Friday, September 14, 2012

New Book: Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False

September 26, 2012
The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology.

Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history, either. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such.

Nagel's skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative. In Mind and Cosmos, he does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic.

In spite of the great achievements of the physical sciences, reductive materialism is a world view ripe for displacement. Nagel shows that to recognize its limits is the first step in looking for alternatives, or at least in being open to their possibility.
Thomas Nagel is University Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the School of Law at NYU. His new book, Mind and Cosmos, is published this month. (September 2012).

via Rashid

As U.S. Inequality Widens, Scholar Cornel West and Broadcaster Tavis Smiley Launch Poverty Tour 2.0

Democracy Now: Islamic Scholar Tariq Ramadan on the Growing Mideast Protests and "Islam & the Arab Awakening"

Zaytuna College webcast next Monday iA: Between Militarism and Extremism: The Excluded Middle

Next Monday at 7:30 pm PST, the co-founders of Zaytuna will speak about the recent wave of unrest in Libya, Egypt and other parts of the Muslim world that was set off due to the posting of the video maligning the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him). The event will be live-streamed on Facebook.

Please spread the word!
This event is sponsored by Zaytuna College and co-sponsored by the Graduate Theological Union (Center for Islamic Studies), University of California-Berkeley (the Near Eastern Studies and the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project of the Center for Race & Gender Studies), and other organizations.
The event will be held at 2401 Le Conte Avenue, Berkeley, CA.  It will also be livestreamed on Facebook (Zaytuna College's page).

via Dustin

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Life is a journey.

Every moment something new unfolds, every moment we learn something new. It is a mistake to say 'I wish I had learned this before so that I might have practiced it and become a better Muslim.' This is a trick from Shaytaan. You have learned it at this time because God willed it and so that you can build a new foundation starting now. Do not have regrets. This is an opportunity from God to reform yourself. We should always try to reform ourselves. This is what repentance means. This also relates to the last verse in Surah Al-Asr, which says 'Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.' We are each always learning something new which leads to truth. This is why we are told to advise each other, learn from each other and the patience that is mentioned, is what we need to continue through this journey." - Shaykh Muhammad Emin Er
via Muddasir