Re: Request for answer

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Posted by db on March 27, 2101 at 00:41:13:

In Reply to: Request for answer posted by Munir A. Qureshi on March 24, 2101 at 10:44:51:

Let me see if I can muddy the waters a little :)

From the English translation it seems clear to me that Baha'u'llah is not denouncing "science and chemistry", but the esoteric sciences of Metaphysics and Alchemy as they were then understood in the middle east in the mid-1800's, when the Kitab-i-Iqan was written.

Also note the context of these statements. Baha'u'llah was critiquing a scholar who was using physical sciences to explain the Mir'aj, while Baha'u'llah emphasized its spiritual meaning. This is the main thesis of the Kitab-i-Iqan: while miracles, prophecies, traditions and scripture may also have valid literal or physical interpretations, the spiritual meanings are usually more important.

As for the unity of science and religion, I think Abdu'l-Baha said it best: "Religion and science are the two wings upon which man's intelligence can soar into the heights, with which the human soul can progress. It is not possible to fly with one wing alone! Should a man try to fly with the wing of religion alone he would quickly fall into the quagmire of superstition, whilst on the other hand, with the wing of science alone he would also make no progress, but fall into the despairing slough of materialism." - Paris Talks, p. 143.

Regarding your second question (if I understand it correctly), Baha'is regard divine revelation from the Manifestations of God (such as the Bible, the Qur'an, the Kitab-i-Iqan, etc.) to be the purest and fullest sources of knowledge and wisdom available to man. Of course, one can interpret scripture any way one wants, and some interpretations may be more "true" than others. If a particular interpretation of scripture is in conflict with science or reason, then the scriptural interpretation may be incorrect, or our scientific understanding may be incomplete, or both!

Hope this helps!

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