The world is more than a machine

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian |  July 19, 2015

A military manoeuvre was performed by the American navy in July 1983, off the coast of San Francisco, the whole process being computerized. Unfortunately, what no one could foresee was that during the artillery firing drills the computer would develop some defect. As a result, the direction of the firing was totally reversed. According to the programming the shelling should have been directed at a far-off place in the sea, but due to this reversal, the shells began hitting a Mexican cargo ship instead. We often come across such news about computers. Why do they go "on the blink" and fail to carry out their orders properly? It is because they are only material machines, totally devoid of brain. Similarly, had the universe been simply a material machine, as is generally held by some people, it could never have functioned so accurately and flawlessly as it does. The earth and all the human settlements on it would have been completely destroyed as if ravaged by earthquake. In the wake of universal accidents, not only the universe, but also those who audaciously seek to place a material interpretation upon the existence of the universe would have been destroyed altogether.

"There is no creator of the universe, it is but a material machine." This sentence reads very well — a good, grammatical sentence. But it loses its value when it is matched with reality, for there is inherent contradiction in these conceptions. This sentence would have been correct if any self-made and self-operated machine had actually existed. But there is no such thing. All the machines we know are made and operated by "men". And they are certainly not free from defects. Then how is it possible for a flawless workshop to have come into existence by itself and to continue to function so perfectly from time immemorial?