In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Muhammad, and upon his pure, immaculate and infallible household
First of all, we should thank God because with every day that passes, humanity is becoming increasingly familiar with God’s handicrafts. Truly, God’s servants and God-worshipping people who believe in the Creator and in monotheism should thank God because this issue and this reality is becoming clear – on a daily basis – to individuals, to those who think and to all those who are referred to as “Those who understand” [The Holy Quran, 29: 35] and “Those who reflect” [The Holy Quran, 45: 13].
There is an astonishing order in the universe: on the one hand, there are billions of stars in the sky and on the other hand, there are billions of particles which form the nucleus of an atom – this has been discovered recently. Another example is the qualities that exist in cerebral communications. This astonishing and great system and this order which rules over the universe makes every heart and every individual “That has a heart” [The Holy Quran, 50: 37] get closer to God. We should thank God for getting closer to divine knowledge and understanding in the shade of these human achievements: All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
The next point is that each of the sciences that humanity develops – in the present time, humans have developed cognitive sciences, which are new discoveries, and 70, 80 years ago, they discovered sciences related to atom and its functions and the like – is like a gate that opens to humans so that they can become more familiar with the universe, which has been crafted by God. This is a divine breakthrough. These are divine breakthroughs. We should welcome and benefit from these divine breakthroughs.
God says in the Quran, “It is He Who has produced you from the earth and settled you therein” [The Holy Quran, 11: 61]. He has settled you on earth and has asked you to build it. Building the earth does not mean building an inanimate object, rather it means building all the things that the earth bears, the main part of which is existence of humans. These sciences – the ones that are discovered today gradually, the ones that have already been discovered and the ones that will be discovered later on – will get us closer to “settled you therein.”
As you become surprised at phenomena resulting from cognitive technologies – cognitive sciences lead to certain technologies: for example the relationship between the brain and machines – this would not have crossed others’ minds in the past, but it exists today – you will equally be surprised by many other phenomena in the future while they do not cross our minds today in any way. Each and every one of the gates that Allah the Exalted opens to humans – the gates of knowledge and science – is a stage for the development and transformation of humanity.
In the early 20th century, physics grew exponentially and the sciences related to physics influenced all scientific and industrial environments. As you know, life in that day was completely different from life in the present time. In fifty years, humanity’s life will be considerably different from humanity’s life in the present time as well. There will be a different world. There will be a fundamental transformation. In other words, what we are faced with today – including today’s dangers, threats and opportunities – may not turn out to be dangers, threats and opportunities in 50 years. There will be new threats and new opportunities.
For instance, an atomic bomb is a determining weapon for a government and country in the area of the military. However, in fifty years’ time, the world may change in a way that an atomic bomb may become as significant as an Oerlikon canon. In other words, it may completely lose its significance. I mean that someone may be able to neutralize or explode an atomic bomb – with certain weapons that do not exist today, but that may come into being in the future – that exists five, ten thousand kilometers away. The world will change dramatically.
So, what is the conclusion that we would like to arrive at? I want to reach the conclusion that every nation which falls behind in the area of these new sciences – these cognitive sciences and related technologies are new phenomena in the world as they have entered into science and into universities and research centers in the past 20, 30 years – its fate will be like the fate of those nations which fell behind in the beginning of the industrial revolution. They were destined to be colonialized, to obey others and to be poor and humiliated. Others are working on this area with all their power.
Today, the gentleman in the meeting showed that we are the 14th in the world in the area of Artificial Intelligence. However, if we do not make enormous efforts, if we do not work on cognitive sciences and technologies in a serious way and if we show a little bit of negligence and fall asleep, we will decline rapidly and we will come 50th and 100th fifty years from now. In such conditions, the world will move ahead of us. This is an important point which should receive everyone’s attention. Both you scientists and researchers – you should work day and night – and the officials of the country and the administration should pay attention to it. This is why I continually stress the issue of science.
Thankfully, in the past 15, 16, 20 years – in the last 20 years, approximately – the scientific movement in the country has developed in a serious and satisfactory way, but if it loses speed, we will fall behind. Sometimes, they give us some figures and say, “Our rate of progress is 15 times more than that of the global average.” Very well, this is very good, but it is not enough. This is because we began from point zero. After the destruction of the taghuti regime, we almost began from below zero. When you begin from below zero, your rate of progress should be very high in order to reach the peak and this rate of progress should stay high for a long period of time. It is not enough that in the present time, our rate of progress is several times higher than that of the global average.
This is the case, but this rate of progress should last 20, 30 years so that we can reach the peak. Otherwise, if we do not do that, we will fall behind. The fields related to cognitive sciences are a single scientific package, but there will be more scientific fields in no time because humanity’s mind does not stop. Those countries which are ahead of us in basic sciences and in scientific infrastructures will pose scientific questions sooner than us, and they will try to solve those questions sooner than us. They will also achiever higher ranks sooner. Therefore, we should improve. This is what I want to say. This is what I insist on.
We have thankfully made progress in this area. In other areas too, our progress has thankfully been good, but we should not be too happy. Of course, it is alright to be happy about this, but we should not be satisfied in any way. We should pay attention that if we fall a little bit behind this caravan, we will definitely not catch up with it. We should not allow ourselves to fall behind. There is a poem which I do not remember exactly, but this is the gist of what it says: we were going somewhere in a caravan, but all of a sudden, a thorn stuck in my foot. I sat down to remove it, but I was left behind. This is how things are. The caravan of progress in the world works like this. As soon as you sit down to get the thorn out of your foot, you fall behind and you will not be able to catch up with it. This is because it runs quickly. If you run, the caravan is running too. Therefore, there should not be any hiatus. We should move forward constantly. This is a fundamental point and I stress and approve of the essence of the work.
I will tell you friends and gentlemen and those who work with you – your scientists, students and researchers – that you should dedicate your lives to this in a tireless manner. You should pursue the task in a serious way. This is because the task is in your hands. You are the leaders and riders of the caravan and you should move forward.
There is an example that I have in mind and that I have written down to discuss with you: The French Academy of Sciences is a very well-known and creditable institution in the world. It is 200 years now that the best French scientists have been working in the academy. The academy was formed when the French government experienced its most turbulent era – the era of Napoleon and the wars that ensued in Europe. One day, they waged a war against Italy, one day against Austria, one day against Germany and another day against Russia. The academy was established at that time. So, it is possible to work. Today, we do not have those instances of chaos. We do not have those problems and we can build solid scientific foundations in the country. This is one point.
Another point – there are two words of advice that I have written down – is that we must be able to benefit from all western capabilities and resources, as they are advanced and ahead of us on this matter. We never disdain to be pupils and to learn. We do not find it beneath our dignity to be students. What is disgraceful is that we remain students forever! That is what we do not want, otherwise we should learn what they have. This is the first word of advice.
The second word of advice is that we should not trust their recommendations and schemes in any way. This is the second piece of advice. Well, as you know, cognitive sciences and technologies cover all areas of life. If a country decides to utilize this science in order to conquer another country – whereas in the past, it used to conquer the same country by using weapons on the basis of a self-proclaimed right – do you think this is unlikely? Does it seem unlikely? This is how things are. Therefore, one should look at their recommendations with suspicion. The countries which have made the largest investment in this area today – in other words, the US and some European countries – have also committed the most crimes against humanity. This is the way of the world.
Now, this gentleman wants to build a wall along the US-Mexican border. Well, the lands that are located on the northern border of Mexico used to belong to Mexico. In other words, California and Texas – those large states – used to belong to Mexico. Mexico used to rule over them. However, the US snatched it away from them by use of war and weapons and by killing people and now he wants to build a wall there! The issue is not about Trump, rather, the issue is about the whole system. It is about the whole government and regime. Will a system which is able to – or grants itself the right to – occupy the lands belonging to another country, not grant itself the right to influence their minds as well?
You mentioned that this technology can alleviate stress and fear, but it can equally engender stress and fear. It can influence decision-making as well. Will they not do so if they can? They will definitely do so. The same is true of some European countries: England, France and others, all in different ways. Well, they have a bad reputation in the world. We should always beware of them.
They tell me that I am too suspicious. Of course, I am suspicious. I have legitimate doubts and I am not overly suspicious. These doubts or so-called suspicions of mine do not originate from illusion, rather they originate from reality. I know full well about the details of what the French did in Algeria. I know about what the English and the French did in North Africa and in different African countries. I know about the crimes committed by the English in India. The same is true of China and other parts of the world. Well, can we trust these governments, systems and regimes when it comes to sensitive and important plans such as cognitive sciences? We cannot trust them!
You should determine your goals in this science on your own. In all areas of cognitive sciences, you should primarily set your goals so that you see what you want and what you are after. Then on the basis of those goals, you should prepare subject matters and projects and you should ask scientists, students, researchers and youth to carry them out. It should not be the case that you ask for projects without setting goals. For example, imagine that some academic personalities define a project on the basis of their opinion and then decide to coordinate with you, while that project will not influence – as westerners say – your puzzle and your work and it will not help to fill it in.
First of all, you should prepare the framework of your puzzle so that you know what you want and what you wish to do. Later on, you should ask such and such a university and research center to prepare the pieces of the puzzle and bring them to you. So, this is our second word of advice: you should rely on yourselves and you should define a domestic strategy for developing these sciences and then on the basis of that, you should encourage your employees to work on them.
And you should place your trust in God and make your intentions divine. When I said that you should dedicate your lives to this, to whom does one dedicate one’ life? We cannot dedicate our lives to anyone but God. This is because good deeds are recorded by the divine calculator. If you work half an hour more than the specified time, and if you do quality and thorough work, your employer might not realize it at all, but this will be recorded by the divine calculator. No piece of work will be forfeited. You should pay attention to this point.
And you should try not to do something to make the minds of youth deviate with these sensitive sciences which deal with the mind, thinking, reasoning, decision-making, cognition and the like. You should be careful. As I said in the beginning of my speech and as Dr. Kharrazi mentioned in the beginning of the program citing a quotation from the Commander of the Faithful, you should move in a way that familiarity with these sciences and entering into these arenas will make us more familiar with God. These sciences should help our youth become more familiar with monotheism and with divine teachings. Your efforts should be focused on this.
If you set yourself this goal, every hour that you dedicate to your work will become an eternal good, one whose divine reward will be substantial, God willing.
I pray that God will make you successful, God willing. Once more, I would like to thank Dr. Sattari, Dr. Kharrazi and the other gentlemen in the meeting.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings