Omar Khayyam

Omar Khayyám was a Persian polymath, scholar, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and poet, widely considered to be one of the most influential thinkers of the Middle Ages. He also wrote numerous treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy, astronomy, and music.

Born in Nishapur, in northeastern Iran, at a young age he moved to Samarkand and obtained his education there. Afterward, he moved to Bukhara and became established as one of the major mathematicians and astronomers of the Islamic Golden Age. He wrote one of the most important treatises on algebra written before modern times, the Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra (1070) which includes a geometric method for solving cubic equations by intersecting a hyperbola with a circle. He contributed to a calendar reform.

His significance as a philosopher and teacher, and his few remaining philosophical works have not received the same attention as his scientific and poetic writings. Al-Zamakhshari referred to him as "the philosopher of the world". Avicenna taught him philosophy for decades in Nishapur.
years of life: 18 May 1048 4 December 1131


302 Rizvi Khadijahas quotedlast year
name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer. As yet, I have had no takers. (Whereas, oddly enough, if you ask an audience to name a wicked statement or action directly attributable to religious faith, nobody has any difficulty in finding an example.)
302 Rizvi Khadijahas quotedlast year
Nonetheless, the working assumption is that we should have no moral compass if we were not somehow in thrall to an unalterable and unchallengeable celestial dictatorship. What a repulsive idea! As well as taking the axe to the root of everything that we have learned about evolutionary biology (societies that tolerate murder and theft and perjury will not last long, and those that violate the taboos on incest and cannibalism do in fact simply die out), it constitutes a radical attack on the very concept of human self-respect. It does so by suggesting that one could not do a right action or avoid a wrong one, except for the hope of a divine reward or the fear of divine retribution. Many of us, even the less unselfish, might hope to do better than that on our own.
302 Rizvi Khadijahas quotedlast year
Religion invents a problem where none exists by describing the wicked as also made in the image of god and the sexually nonconformist as existing in a state of incurable mortal sin that can incidentally cause floods and earthquakes.
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