THIS MONTH’S GUEST AT IDE CONFERENCE SERIES: ALEV ALATLI
This Month’s Guest at IDE Conference Series: Alev Alatli
Alev Alatlı gave an online lecture titled “Fuzzy Logic, Physics, and Theology” as part of IDE Conference Series on 27 December 2021 at 8:00 p.m.
Alatlı started her speech by criticizing Mathematics and continued by reminding that Mathematics was born as a result of the endeavor of human beings to explain things. For this reason, she pointed out the importance of the acceptance and internalization of Mathematics as a human-made system. Alatlı indicated that Mathematics explains situations that are static, and it is a tautological way of expression in which the subject returns to itself again, and referring to Einstein, she emphasized that as long as they reflect the truth, the rules of Mathematics are not certain and if they are certain, then they do not reflect the truth.
On the other hand, she stated that the existence of Physics is composed of the totality of actions that surround the universe, humans, and life. She identified the error of explaining Mathematics via Physics by pointing out that, unlike Mathematics, Physics is the structure of God. According to this, Alatlı said: “the greatest disaster of humanity will happen when Mathematics quits following Physics. If Mathematics stops following Physics, we must wait for the apocalypse.”
Alatlı mentioned the fact that the Aristotelian (Term) Logic, which is the foundation of Western thought, is based on a certainty as in “yes and no” or “black and white”, and she stated that in the first Enlightenment, Newton claimed that the universe certainly is provable and understandable by applying Aristotelian Logic to space sciences with the help of Mathematics. However, she indicated that it is not possible to fully comprehend the dynamic infinite via the static Aristotelian Logic and Mathematics and that some things stay out for sure. Despite this fact, she emphasized that the Western scientists commit scientific bigotry by continuing to explain the facts about the gray areas of life and existence with black and white data of Mathematics, which only consists of an artificial arrangement of rules and symbols, in order not to see their system fall.
She revealed that the habitus, which is based on the black and white perspective of the era, aside from the religious perspective of the priests, is the reason behind the definite judgments of Catholics and their ex-communication and burning people.
Alatlı stated that the term “art of thinking right” is Aristotle’s area of expertise for at least 2000 years, but it is not true in a universe and a real-world which everything changes per moment and nothing is stable, and she indicated that it has been understood in time that even modern Mathematics is not at all black and white. She mentioned, referring to Bernard Russel, that modern Mathematics hinges on the Epimenides Paradox (the paradox of lying Cretans) which stands for the situation of a thing that is both true and false at the same time. For this reason, she pointed out the inconsistency of Mathematics with the real world. She added that the Western people do not accept the grayness and the fuzziness of the real world because of Aristotelian Logic and Mathematics. She indicated that this perspective which follows Aristotle’s Logic and Mathematics surrounds all areas from culture to literature, from art to politics, and from architecture to technology, and in this aspect, it is possible to see the “computer” as a victory of the black and white perspective of the world.
Alev Alatlı continued the lecture with the Fuzzy Logic (multivariate logic) which the Eastern world has adopted. She stated that the Fuzzy Logic starts where the Aristotelian Logic ends. She says: “If there was a thing called logical thinking in the real world, it would most probably be the Fuzzy Logic.” She also reminded that the basic principle of the Fuzzy Logic was “reasonableness”.
Alatlı expressed that, with their “Al-Manzilah bayn al-manzilatayn” (intermediate state) principle in which the concepts of belief (iman) and blasphemy (kufr) have no longer been regarded opposites as “black-white” or “zero-one”, the Mu’tazila were acknowledged to be the founders of the Fuzzy Logic in Islamic world. She drew attention to the fact that the Mu’tazila made their major contribution to Physics by introducing “both… and” to the Islamic world. She pointed out that the organizations which emerged nowadays such as ISIS and Taliban took refuge in the ease of Aristotelian Logic in their ways of interpreting the religion.
Alatlı shared that the function of the Fuzzy Logic today is paving the way for technological developments especially in artificial intelligence, and she added: “according to black and white Aristotelian Logic, it is impossible for a machine to be smart or flexible.” She expressed that the Eastern people managed to turn this aspect of Fuzzy Logic into a high technological output from the 70s onwards, and in the 90s, there were over ten thousand Fuzzy students in China. She mentioned that it is possible to see the late USA-China conflict as a struggle to monopolize the Fuzzy Logic on mathematical armament because the Aristotelian Logic lost the importance and the credibility of the certainty it presents.
She indicated that, at this point today, there are various claims that humanity is entering the second Enlightenment, and in this period the Western people realized their insufficiency of understanding the world, but the Humanist perspective of “dismissing the Rab (Lord/Owner) of the universe from that universe” that they developed in order to overcome this insufficiency caused the exceeding of one’s limits.
Alatlı was uneasy about the point which humanity had reached today, and she shared her wish concerning the fact that this awareness must lead a person to know their place and to proceed through the path of learning from “revelation”. In this respect, she emphasized that modern-day Islamic Theology should not be indifferent to this matter. She drew attention to the importance of learning the development of Physics, the place of Mathematics in human history, and Cosmology at the faculties of Theology. In order to achieve this, she indicated that courses such as History of Civilizations, History of Sciences, Philosophy, Cosmology, and Turkish Grammar must be obligatory courses apart from the courses of Religious Sciences and Islamic Sciences at the faculties of Theology.