Stupidity and Cleverness
Investigation will falter in its first step, if not approved by logic. Thus, logic leads to invention and to progress. The progress, which people cite as example of rationalism, are only scientific i.e., a product of logic and rationalism, writes SYED IQBAL ZAHEER.
Concerning human intellect, Qur’anic statements sound strange to hear, especially to its fresh students. After all, there could be an individual here or there, who could be thought to lack intellect; but not the great majority. Any people, of any region of the globe, anytime, past and present – cannot be thought to lack intellect.
Consider the achievements of the modern times: They can fly into space, to planets and return. They are now speaking of ‘time-travel.’ They can locate the origin of emotions in the brains and learn to control them. They can predict the behavior of weather – of the day to the minute. They can prescribe a perfect diet regime for a sick person and keep him brimming with health.
What is it that they cannot achieve if challenged? To call them as irrational beings, cannot be taken by the mind comfortably.
That throws a shadow on the Revelation itself. To say the least, it pollutes the mind with a streak of distrust. But Iman (faith) is the name of complete trust, without any reservation. The angels discard such a faith [with streaks of distrust] as unworthy of note. In fact, the humans too, refuse to concede any respect for words of truth coming out of a heart contaminated with untruth.
A man can be judged by his faith. Hasn’t he the right to declare his faith in God or not, or, is he to lose his right? He can be judged as faithless, but not as mindless.
To judge the unbelievers as worse than animals, is the right of Him, belief in Whom is rejected. But to say that they have a failed mind appears to be – to dare to say the least – over-exaggeration. For example:
“Surely, the worst of creatures in the sight of Allah are the deaf and the dumb.” (Al-Anfal, 27)
There are several verses in the Qur’an of this kind that pronounce human idiocracy without mixing words. One of them says:
“You might assume them to be united, but their hearts are disparate. That is because they are a people who are mindless.” (Al-Hashr, 14)
By saying, “the deaf and the dumb,” the verse refers to those who are “deaf to the truth, and dumb of speaking it out.” But to say that these do not have the facility of their mental abilities is something difficult to stomach.
But, the Qur’an can never be wrong. Consider the following: Writes a leading intellectual –Patrick Cockburn –a highly respected journalist in a newsletter – Counterpunch – of recent print:
“The role of stupidity in determining the course of history is often underestimated by historians.”
His comment is not new. Leading Western intellectuals have never failed to note failures of intellect in human history. Jung – a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology – believed that,
“…it requires no art to become stupid; the whole art lies in extracting wisdom from stupidity. Stupidity is the mother of the wise, but cleverness never.”
A winner of Nobel Prize, Doris Lessing, argued that:
“There is no fool like an intellectual … a kind of clever stupidity, bred out of a line of logic in the head, nothing to do with experience.”
The Americans have created an animated sitcom for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The popular series is a satirical depiction of American life, … The show … parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.
The film industry is not to be left behind: Stupidity was a well received 2003 movie. The Idiocracy, is a Mike Judge film from 2006. Shakespeare never fails to use idiocy as a theme in his plays.
Patrick Cockburn displays his dislike in a recent Counterpuch article:
“I have drawn up a league table of actions by four national leaders which suggests that they are a bigger fool than anybody had imagined.”
So, what is the reason behind people’s rejection of the Qur’anic dictum?
Well, it is simple.
People’s activities are of two kinds: scientific and non-scientific (non-scientific: such as social, literary, sports, politics, wars and peace, etc.: in none of them intellect plays the central role). But science is the product of intellectualism, itself dependent entirely on investigations, which is directed by logic.
Investigation will falter in its first step, if not approved by logic. Thus, logic leads to invention and to progress. The progress, which people cite as example of rationalism, are only scientific i.e., a product of logic and rationalism.
One may re-consider the Qur’anic verse: “You might assume them to be united, but their hearts are disparate. That is because they are a people who are mindless,” and appreciate its correctness.