Expanding My Horizons: A Conversation between Karen Armstrong, Brian Greene and Me

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Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Around minute 7, the conversation in the above video moves to death and how most religions start with discussion about that. While I overall applaud this conversation and that is why I am sharing this, around minute 29 Karen Armstrong more or less denies Afterlife and I will differ with her there. I have a whole collection of articles some written by me about Afterlife.

I totally agree with her in our need to transcend our personal egos to become selfless to find the sacred in other humans and miracles all around us in nature and in our universe and to take care of our environment.

It seems that while Brian Greene and Karen Armstrong are coming from Abrahamic traditions and moving towards agnosticism, former because of science and the latter because of her study of all the world religions, I continue to be a Muslim theist, as obsessed about the Quran as they are about whatever their central focus is.

One may wonder, why I am using such a strong word as ‘obsessed,’ in a fairly progressive discourse such as this? I am guided by the Quranic description of human psychology: “And every one has a goal or objective which consumes him or her; vie, then, with one another in good works.” (Al Quran 2:148) It seems to me that the agnostics and the atheists often over play the role of science and naturalism, which both I and Karen Armstrong want to moderate.

Just like an article below shows what is common between the Prophet Muhammed, may peace be on him, and Abraham Lincoln, I have found a lot common between myself and the two speakers of this video.

A learning and perspective of sharing with people of all faiths that led to my previous writing: I am a Jew, a Catholic, a Christian and a Muslim; I am Zia H Shah.

I believe the above conversation along with what is shared below leads to a more wholesome understanding and all these together lead to broadening of our horizons.

I believe that our faith or understanding, rather than checking off of bullet points of some essential or made up list, should be a pursuit to a wholesome understanding with all the necessary nuance rather than a black and white myopic thinking, which I do believe should or would lead us to essential truths, the greatest in my opinion being Monotheism.

Debate Does the Universe have a purpose?

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