The Emerald’s Light is a blog dedicated to the philosophy and practice of human inquiry. Its focus is on humanism – the betterment of humanity through cooperation, justice, and science.

The name of this blog refers to the Kitab al-Zumurrud, or “Book of the Emerald”. The Book of the Emerald was written by Ibn al-Rawandi, a 9th century Persian scholar who attacked the authority of religion, and was condemned a heretic. His controversial books did not survive to the modern day, but many of their contents are preserved in books which respond to Ibn al-Rawandi’s views.

In the Book of the Emerald, Ibn al-Rawandi argued that humans through their own intellect can judge right and wrong. If religious prophecies contradict this sense of right and wrong, then the prophecies should be rejected. On the other hand, contended Ibn al-Rawandi, if prophecies matched the judgements of human intellect, then the prophecies are redundant. As examples of the supremacy of human intellect, he pointed out that the science of astronomy and the method for building lutes were both discovered through human intellect alone – without any assistance from divine prophecy.

He went on to point out the ease with which false Prophets could trick the ignorant tribes that lived in Arabia and the Levant, and belittled the arbitrary religious rituals practiced by those around him.

In other books, he went so far as to declare that a God who punishes humans for disobeying orders which he knew they could not obey is a cruel and unwise God.

Ibn al-Rawandi was fully committed to the use of human intellect in inquiry and he retracted many of his works which he later concluded were erroneous.

This blog is based on the spirit of human reasoning which Ibn al-Rawandi promoted.

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