Travelers on the Path of Knowledge

Knowledge is an ocean and a few drops just aren’t enough. -Unknown

Interesting stuff about humans.. April 16, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — musaafir @ 10:10 am

I’m OK, You’re Biased

This article explains how objectivity is in the eyes of the beholder. A study was done about human behavior and how even when we think we’re unbiased, we usually are biased.

“Doctors scoff at the notion that gifts from a pharmaceutical company could motivate them to prescribe that company’s drugs, and Supreme Court justices are confident that their legal opinions are not influenced by their financial stake in a defendant’s business, or by their child’s employment at a petitioner’s firm. Vice President Dick Cheney is famously contemptuous of those who suggest that his former company received special consideration for government contracts.”

“Research suggests that decision-makers don’t realize just how easily and often their objectivity is compromised. The human brain knows many tricks that allow it to consider evidence, weigh facts and still reach precisely the conclusion it favors.

When our bathroom scale delivers bad news, we hop off and then on again, just to make sure we didn’t misread the display or put too much pressure on one foot. When our scale delivers good news, we smile and head for the shower. By uncritically accepting evidence when it pleases us, and insisting on more when it doesn’t, we subtly tip the scales in our favor.”

“And yet, if decision-makers are more biased than they realize, they are less biased than the rest of us suspect. Research shows that while people underestimate the influence of self-interest on their own judgments and decisions, they overestimate its influence on others.”

And in other news, movies such as Gattaca explain how terrifying it can be when our knowledge and technology come before natural biology. We may know so much about ourselves that we can screen out genetic diseases and other complications at birth. We all thought such a future was too advanced for our present state. But do we know about the research that’s being done that involved our own cells and tissues?

“When you go to the doctor for a routine blood test or mole removal, when you have an appendectomy, tonsillectomy or any other kind of ectomy, the stuff you leave behind doesn’t always get thrown out. Doctors, hospitals and laboratories keep them. Often indefinitely. Some get consent with admission forms that say something like, I give my doctor permission to dispose of my tissues or use them in research. Others don’t. Today most Americans have their tissue on file somewhere.”

“How you should feel about all this isn’t obvious. Scientists aren’t stealing your arm or some vital organ. They’re just using tissue scraps you parted with voluntarily. But still, someone is taking part of you. And people often have a strong sense of ownership when it comes to their bodies. Even tiny scraps of it. Especially when they hear that someone else might be making money off those scraps. Or using them to uncover potentially damaging information about their genes and medical histories.

But a feeling of ownership doesn’t hold up in court. And at this point, the law isn’t clear on whether you have the right to own and control your tissues. When they’re part of your body, they’re clearly yours. Once they’re excised, things get murky.”

“At this point, scientists largely have the access they want. And they hope to keep it that way for fear that restrictions might slow research. But a growing number of activists — ethicists, lawyers, doctors and patients — are arguing cases and pushing for federal regulations that would change the status quo by granting people rights to control their tissues.”

For full text visit: Taking the Least of You


SubhanAllah. April 14, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — musaafir @ 3:01 pm

Amazing that I got this article e-mailed to me a few hours after I posted my last post. It’s so great and touching!! 🙂 🙂 : )

I’m not belittling the sadness of this article, but the way the family responded is so touching.

‘A Gesture Of Love’

Updated: 15:02, Monday November 07, 2005

The parents of a Palestinian boy killed by Israeli soldiers have donated his organs to three Israeli children.

Ahmad Khatib, 12, was carrying a toy rifle when he was gunned down on Thursday in the West Bank town of Jenin.

The soldiers, who were conducting a raid, had mistaken him for a militant.

The boy died on Sunday but three Israeli girls underwent surgery to receive his lungs, heart and liver.

Ahmad’s father Ismail Khatib said the decision to donate the organs was influenced by the fact his 24-year-old brother died while waiting for a liver transplant.

Mr Khatib hoped the gesture would send a message of peace to Israelis and Palestinians.

He said: “In our religion, God allows us to give organs to another person and it doesn’t matter who the person is.”

The father of 12-year-old Samah Gadban, who had been waiting five years for a heart, called the donation a “gesture of love.”

Riad Gadban said: “I want to thank him (Mr Khatib) and his family. With their gift, I would like for them to think that my daughter is their daughter.”

The Schneider Children’s Medical Centre in Israel reported that a 14-year-old Jewish girl has received Ahmad’s lungs and a seven-month-old girl was given his liver.

Israel has a chronic shortage of donor organs that many medical officials attribute to Jewish religious taboos against such donations.

How amazing! It’s wonderful that people can be so giving. MashAllah. May Allah reward these people. We’re all human. We all have hearts and brains, why don’t we use them properly 🙂 🙂

I’m gushing with happiness!


Stop the Bloodshed

Filed under: Uncategorized — musaafir @ 1:42 pm

How frightening it is to think some people enjoy killing. How terrifying it is to know that we, as humans, cannot compromise, cannot stop the bloodshed.

Since the beginning of the Second Intifada in September 2000…
Children Killed Total Killed Total Injured
Palestinians 719 3,858 29,691
Israelis 82 1,084 7,633
Isn’t it time to make peace?

How many people must die? 😦


Sorry! April 13, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — musaafir @ 11:49 am

Okay, so I’ve had this up on my profile, but I think it’s time for me to post it. It’s kind of a Rumi style poem. Read it with the spiritual context in mind.

The love of the Beloved
must be unconditionally returned.

If you claim love
yet oppose the Beloved,
then your love is but a pretence.
You love the enemies of your Beloved
and still seek love in return.

You fight the beloved of your Beloved.

Is this Love or the following of shaytaan?

True devotion is nothing
but total submission
of body and soul
to One Love.

We have seen humans claim to submit,
yet their loyalties are many.

They put their trust here, and their hope there,
and their love is without consequence.

Taken from Imam al Jawziyyah