USKUDAR UNIVERSITY & INSTITUE OF INTEGRATED KNOWLEDGE
EXISTENCE & MEANING:
A MULTIDIMENSIONAL APPROACH
The contemporary conception of science leads to an understanding that science is universal through cultures and civilizations.
Therefore, it is conceived that science crosses borders and goes beyond cultures and civilizations.
This conception is a misleading mentality resulting from the globalization rampant in the last two centuries.
The speedy mass communication and transportation facilities enables us to reach other scientists’ writings and to come together to discuss issues and ideas we develop independently.
This misleads us to think that science is universal.
Consequently, this conception imposes its secular and atheist perspective on all other scientists.
If a scientist opposes this secularist atheism of science s/he is at once pushed out of the boundaries of scientific activities.
Some scholars argue that the secular atheism prevalent in scientific circles does not belong to science but rather to the scientist who introduces his/her interpretation to his/her findings.
This naïve idea is entertained by usually religious minded scientists who are succumbed into the folly of the contemporary global conception defending the universality of science.
They defend the idea that science is neutral, but scientist is not and cannot be neutral.
We, on the other hand, defend the idea that any activity that depends on human beings whether it is science, or any other social activity can never be neutral and value-free.
That is why this program is designed to introduce an epistemological perspective in teaching science that is not using the global mental framework utilized in scientific activities and especially in teaching science.
Since this socio-epistemological perspective pays attention to the socio-cultural conditions of the world, it will try to pave the way to introduce a novel approach coined by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi as “letteral perspective or other indicative meaning” (mana-i harfî). We need to elaborate briefly the epistemology of science utilized in this application.
As human beings whenever we do something we do it in accordance with whatever we have as knowledge related to that activity; the totality of that knowledge which is accumulated in our mind as clusters of concepts in an orderly manner is called “worldview”. Hence, everything in life takes place in accordance with our worldview.
The complete process of acquiring scientific knowledge is based on our knowledge system which works in a similar fashion as our digestive system.
Now, the human system of digestion is universal, just like our system of knowledge.
However, the manifestation of these systems are not universal and that allows us to develop different culinary culture as well as knowledge culture upon which scientific traditions are built.
In today’s world as we live in a global system in future perhaps many differences will fade away and we will reach a general but not universal framework within which we all continue our scientific activities.
It is this state of affairs that lead us to come up with some minimum requirements that will leave room for cultural varieties and differences in scientific mental frameworks so that our cooperation becomes more meaningful.
We can in this way defend a holistic conception of science based on our understanding of the letteral perspective as well as recognizing the framework of other scientists.
Every society has its own worldview as a dominant mental conception. If this is the case then since every scientist will carry out his/her scientific activities in accordance with her/his worldview then there will necessarily be a difference in their conception of science.
This does not mean that they cannot cooperate in scientific activities; on the contrary, they can, but they will hide in this cooperation their beliefs within their worldviews and ideas that may lead to disagreements in their collaboration.
After they complete their research they will express their ideas differently.
However, the current conception of science is almost exclusively based on an atheistic and secularist perspective which almost completely abandons a religious perspective.
Our program aims at developing a new perspective which enables the scientist to look at things not as things in themselves but rather as things beyond themselves.
This way of looking brings a fresh breathing space for those who appropriate a conception of science that reserves room for faith approach.