Sunday, January 10, 2016

Why are so many obsessed with possessing guns?

Granted, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution gives the right to bear arms. Still, it is interesting to ponder why many in the general public are obsessed with exercising that right. Some may think that questioning such obsession with guns is foolish or naive, but I don’t. After all, if such obsession is rooted in mistrust of the government, it is unfounded because the kind and amount of arms that the government (military and law enforcement) bears are far superior than those that the general public bears.
If such obsession is based on the perceived need to defend oneself and one’s property from robbers, assaulters, etc., or if it is rooted in the sense of enjoyment from hunting and target practicing, it is crucial to realize that pulling the trigger is easy but its consequences can be drastic. Most of us have likely heard of numerous instances in which use of guns resulted in horrendous consequences, whether intended or not, and regardless of whether the shooters were trigger-happy.
Just to make my point, I consider it is better for the society if nobody (vice all) in the general public bore arms. Understandably, the gun lobby, the multi-billion dollar gun industry, and those that are obsessed with the right to bear arms will not agree with me – which is ok. But notably, my point is in line with considering the world to be a safer place if no country (vice all countries) possessed nuclear bombs.

Cancer equals survival instinct gone haywire

All living beings and body cells possess the instinct to survive, which is the basis of evolution in the long term. I think cancer occurs when that instinct to survive at the cellular level goes haywire after the body is subjected to known cancer causing sources like certain chemicals, radiations, and unhealthy lifestyles. The tainted survival instinct in the affected (i.e., cancerous) cells makes them compete with normal cells by dividing without stopping and spreading into surrounding tissues, to the detriment of the rest of the body.

The situation is similar to when seagulls at many boardwalks are fed food that is unnatural to them, like fries and burgers that many visitors throw at them in good faith. Chances are, the seagulls’ bodies react and eventually, their instinct to survive at the cellular level goes haywire, signifying the onset of cancer.

In that sense, despite extensive on-going cancer research, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a cancer-cure magic pill. After all, in my strictly common sense view, cancer is a result of survival instinct related reaction by the body due to its mistreatment by way of e.g., smoking and drinking excessively.
For cancer treatment to be meaningful, it should be focused more on how to right the wrong that was done to the body, than on how to find a cancer-cure magic pill. That is, an effective approach for cancer treatment needs to look inside rather than outside us and should be focused more on prevention than on cure. 

Are moderate Muslims really FOR the US/West?

I am writing this article to help solve a seemingly alarming problem that Muslims in the US seem to face lately.

In my published article “Allah bless America” from way back on 1/24/2004, I had suggested (but to no avail) that US Muslims use that phrase to show their support for the US and to advocate that Islam can embrace America – because Allah is in practice commonly associated with Muslim God.  Ongoing presidential debates involving Islam/Muslims related issues reminded me of the said article. So, I posted a “Allah Bless America” photo on social media and asked my Muslim social media friends to share it to show that they really are for America. None of my US Muslim social media friends shared the photo. Evidently, most Muslims in general would rather not use the phrase or share the photo. The million-dollar question is, WHY?

My take on why most Muslims in the US are hesitant and feel intimidated to say “Allah Bless America” (vice merely “God Bless America”) is that, deep down, most of them don’t want to associate Islam with America/West. In my view, it is ingrained in most Muslims to associate the US/West with the Satan. By extension, chances are, most Muslims consider saying "Allah Bless America" is like saying "Allah Bless Satan". Notably, in virtually every other context, when it comes to the word "God", almost all Muslims prefer using "Allah". But for whatever the reason, and consistent with trying to distance Islam from America, they seem reluctant to do that when it comes to the phrase "God Bless America".

Furthermore, in my view, many Muslim leaders seem to dwell on HOW to answer questions by non-Muslims – essentially, by being politically correct and taking advantage of the liberal US civil right laws – rather than on WHY those questions are arising in the first place. Some methods that many Muslims have tried to use post 9-11 to promote a positive image of Islam/Muslims include serving in soup kitchens and organizing interfaith meetings. These methods, while helpful, are nevertheless in my view ineffective in terms of easing the suspicion against the Muslims in the US – especially if deep down, there is no genuine “For the US/West” feeling.

That will be the day when an "Allah Bless America" (not just "God Bless America"), a slogan that implicitly says “Muslims FOR the US”, sign will be conspicuously placed outside the gates of mosques in the US. Hopefully, Muslim leaders will not find that request outrageous. But if they do, I suggest they ask themselves WHY, introspect, and realize that Muslims have a long way to go in terms of easing tensions with the US/West.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Math Demystified

I appreciate the crucial role that math and science have played, and will continue to play, in advancement of human civilization. So, I am all for encouraging math and science in school curriculum. After all, I am an engineer by profession.

That said, I would like to demystify math by pointing out that the definition of 1 is at the very core of math, and the equation 1 = 1 is at the very core of all equations. Along those lines, once we define what 1 apple is and what 1 pear is, we can make sense of the following equalities: 

1 apple = 1 apple
1 apple + 1 apple = 2 apples
1 apple + 1 pear = 1 apple + 1 pear
1 apple - 1 apple = 0 apple
Notably, and understandably, 1 apple - 1 pear = undefined 

Note that the same equalities cannot be applied to subjects like anger, hunger, and pain – unless, we can first define what 1 anger, 1 hunger, or 1 pain means. But such definitions, as well as their associated equalities, will be nonsensical and will fall beyond the reaches of math. Math, and science for that matter, despite their grandiosity, have limitations.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Right to Live

Many people will likely agree that marriage is essentially a legal rather than a religious matter. Along those lines, it takes a slight stretch of imagination to realize that it is the government and not God that gives us humans the right to live. 

I consider it overly human-centered and arbitrary, based on lack of any rights in a typical prey-predator relationship in the wild, to assert that God (instead of the government) has given us the right to live.

Likewise, though I generally consider myself to be pro-life and not for abortion, in my view and where applicable, it’s the government (not God) that gives a fetus the right to live and not get aborted. After all, life does not begin at conception – it only propagates, like it has been doing since billions of years ago.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The 14 Teachings of NASHISM

1.     Treat others like you would want them to treat you.
2.     Believe in God, but don’t claim to know his expectations. 
3.     Fear of God need not be the only basis for ethical behavior.
4.     God is whoever an individual or a group of people defines him to be.
5.     Nature is neither kind nor cruel; it is indifferent.
6.     Mysteries of life apply to all living beings, not just humans.
7.     Laws of nature don’t change arbitrarily.
8.     It’s all connected in the time-space universe.
9.     The explainable can be explained, but the unexplainable cannot.
10.   The past and the present make the undetermined future.
11.   Lack-of-time-and-space is the realm of thoughts, soul, and God.
12.   Life is not created at birth or destroyed at death; it only propagates.
13.   Live and let live.
14.   Thinking is authorized.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Insightful Book Review

By Lee Harmon (of The Dubious Disciple)

"With a mysterious Bang! 13.7 billion years ago, an incredible universe of time and space tumbled forth. Science and religion both are fascinated by this existence, as we humans peer ever deeper into the mysteries of the universe. But Nash’s book is different: it wonders what else is out there. It invites us to contemplate what lies outside our prison of time and space. This concept is so key to the book that Nash has given it a label: Lack of Time and Space, or LTS.

The greatest mystery of LTS may be life itself. Life, Nash contends, is special; we’ll never instill life in a robot, which will never be more than a construction in time and space. But where did life come from? How did emotion, thought, wonder, break into our world of time and space? Where does this life-matter go when we die? Is life truly eternal, existing in LTS? What does eternal mean where there is no time?

Nash Khatri meanders through these questions and more as he probes the mysteries of LTS. Nash obviously has a religious background, though he doesn’t discuss it in the book. He at time appears apologetic (though he needn’t be) for contradicting the beliefs of various religions. He points out the silliness of some of our age-old assumptions with both humor and respect.

At times, I would find myself asking: “Is this idea theologically sound?” And then, on the next page, “Is this idea scientifically sound?” You know, it really is hard to think beyond religion and science! In the end, I am unqualified to answer either question about the book, but thank you, Mr. Khatri, for encouraging me to think."