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Dr. Khalid Sohail

Dr. Sohail is a psychiatrist who practices in Whitby, Ontario. He is the author of several books, including Prophets of Violence - Prophets of Peace: Understanding the Roots of Contemporary Political Violence. You may visit his website at www.drsohail.com.

Published on the Secular Web

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What is Secularism? Reflections of a Secular Humanist

According to Collins Dictionary, secularism is "a system of social organization and education where religion is not allowed to play a part in civil affairs." Among its fundamental principles are the separation of church and state, a secular court system, fully secular state organizations, and a fully secular education system grounded in modern science, psychology, and philosophy. As the winds of religious fundamentalism get stronger, discussion about secularism becomes increasingly important.

From Blasphemy Law to Freedom of Speech

In the last century, many religious, autocratic and punitive traditions have been challenged by atheists, agnostics, freethinkers and human-rights activists who want to create a democratic, secular and humanist world. The irony is that while some communities are becoming more liberal, others are becoming more fundamentalist. In the last few decades, thousands of men and women have been arrested and punished under blasphemy laws all over the world. In some countries, people have taken the law into their own hands and killed those accused of blasphemy.

Religion, Sex, and Morality

"As a humanist psychotherapist my view is that to promote secular ethics and create a humanistic world, we need to respect human rights and associate sex with love and affection, rather than sin and guilt. To grow as a human species and evolve as sexual beings, we need to embrace advances in science and psychology rather than age-old scriptures that impose contradictory sexual morals and create fear in people."

Secular Ethics: Seven Humanist Philosophers

Over the centuries, secular philosophers and humanist psychologists have been laying the foundations of secular ethics and humanist philosophy. In the 21st century, people have a choice: to follow the traditions of monotheistic religions or adopt the secular traditions of modern science and psychology, medicine and philosophy.

Islam or Secular Humanism?

The fundamental question in the 21st century is whether Muslims all over the world want to send their children to religious schools to learn scriptures and divine revelations or to secular schools to study modern science, psychology and philosophy. Crucial to the future of humanity is the choice Muslims in the Middle East will make: to create fundamentalist, militant and theocratic Islamic states, or democratic, secular and humanistic states.

Julian Jaynes’ Theory of the Evolution of Human Consciousness

Julian Jaynes was one of the original psychologists, philosophers, and scholars, of the 20th century. While Charles Darwin connected human consciousness with biological unconscious, Sigmund Freud with psychological unconscious, and Karl Marx with social unconscious, Jaynes connected evolution of human consciousness with the breakdown of the bicameral mind, the Half God/Half Human mind. Although his theory did not become as popular as other theories it is nevertheless worthy of serious consideration.

Secular Spirituality

"Dr. Jill Taylor's book, My Stroke of Insight is the story of a neuroscientist who experiences a stroke and loses the faculties of the left side of her brain. Her stroke became a mixed blessing as it transformed her into a spiritual person. Her story provides wonderful insights into right-brain functions, the brain that deals with the mysteries of creativity as well as spirituality. I feel optimistic that Jill Taylor's book can develop a bridge between religious, spiritual and secular people so that they can develop insights into those practices and experiences that are traditionally discussed in religious and holy books, and develop a language that can be used to share experiences and insights."

The Psyche of Al-Qaeda

To have a better understanding of the psyche of Al-Qaeda we need to understand the ideology, personality and political strategy of the organization's leaders as well as their followers. Their vision of Islam was not limited to a few countries--it was to be implemented across the whole world according to God's wish as expressed in the Quran, and they were determined to make that wish a reality. They dreamed of world domination.