Modern Trends and Change (Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque)

The only constant in modern life is change. Our expectation that whatever we possess is doomed to obsolescence has become relentless. And yet invention still comes as a constant surprise. Innovation most often occurs when ideas or things are brought in a way that never happened before; the result is greater than the sum of the parts. So what to do! Doubt what is not self-evident, and reduce every problem to its simplest components. It is these twin tools of ‘methodical doubt’ and ‘reductionism’ that leads to innovation and invention. Then what happens? Look! Reductionism encouraged the fragmentation of knowledge under the rubric “Learn more and more about less and less.” And as the drive to subdivide the natural world into smaller and smaller bits brought the development of the kind of tools needed for the enterprise of invention, disciplines split into subdisciplines and sub-subdisciplines. Its examples are microscopes, telescopes, thermometers, dividing engines and all the other instrumentations for measuring the new data. As a result, isolated in their intellectual silos, scientists and their technological sidekicks literally “reduced” human knowledge to myriad, mutually incomprehensible pinpoints of niche expertise. No matter how esoteric a matter might be today, somebody, somewhere has spent years getting a Ph.D. in it.

Now and again, deep in the epistemological woodwork, mind-numbingly arcane fields mix and mingle to produce cosmic upheaval with startling new realms of crossbred knowledge: astrophysics, biogeography, psychopharmacology, neurochemistry, paleobotany. Medical miracles lengthen our lives and take national welfare provision to the edge of crisis.

Information technology may be on the verge of removing the nitty-gritty, time-wasting, reductionist noodling from the human diary, leaving us freer to indulge in what our connective brains are best at: using the information webs to run connective scenarios based on what options for change present themselves at any given time, deciding what direction we want to go in and leaving it to the reductionist programs of our machines to get on with.

And what has it all brought and is still bringing? Hypocrisy and Falsehood!   Hypocrisy has become the religion and falsehood is the life, human values have become fossils (and are seen nowhere) in the clutches of the religious-craft under its fetish of words, and bodies tremble between the paws of despots on the shredders of blood today. The most crucial human problems are the products of severe moral degeneration throughout the globe. This degeneration is responsible for these fatal human crises: corruption, bribery, poverty, human rights violation, environmental pollution, rape, AIDS/HIV, etc. Because of these problems, human life all over the globe is becoming quite insecure.

Now what are the responsibilities of those projecting the contributions of Quran in the human realm? What role they have to play in harnessing of human emotions? What they have to do in conquering the forces (angles) in the physical and social sciences? We can’t cease the flow of change. So why not make our thoughts an easy trail to flow for change fraught with the teaching of the Quran and remember: Every change is not an improvement, but every improvement in line with the Quran is by change. Did you visualize, as do I?

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