The System of Nature
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history pre-dates the advent of Islam by about twenty five thousand years.
During this long period man made little progress in knowledge and science. True
scientific progress was made only when Islam broke with the ancient system of
royal absolutism, thus heralding the age of intellectual freedom.
It is a
well-known fact that while intellectual progress is best made through the
exchange of views, the system of determinism stalls this process altogether.
This has been very well expressed by an American writer: ‘When all think alike,
no one thinks very much.’
is that the world of realities is unbounded in scope. But the mind of a single
individual—particularly in isolation—has its limitations. It is only in a
situation where there can be a frank exchange of views and free interaction
without any official repression, that people can learn from one another and
there can be a widespread increase in knowledge. Conversely, in an environment
where people’s thinking is confined to a single constricted sphere, general
knowledge will remain limited.
people have full freedom to think and speak, differences of opinion will
inevitably result. Each will criticize the other’s viewpoint. This process of
criticism is an essential part of intellectual development. In this world the
choice for us is not between uncritical acceptance. It is rather between
criticism and mental stagnation. If curbs are placed on criticism, what results
in reality is mental stagnation rather than a state of uncomplaining acceptance.
intellectual freedom contributes to the system of nature, intellectual
constraints are an impediment.