I am honored to announce the commencement of the third International School on Theism. Our journey began with the first event in September 2021, which delved into themes related to the theistic and atheistic conceptions and argumentations. The second school, held in 2022, centered around the theme of “Human,” exploring topics such as the Mind-Body Problem, the Problem of Evil, and Free Will, and now, our third school focuses on Nature, Natural Kinds, Laws of Nature, and Teleology. In summary, our first three years were dedicated to exploring the three distinct yet interconnected realms of God, Man, and Nature.

Looking ahead, for the next three years, we are thinking of focusing on rationality, particularly in the context of science and Scientific Rationality concerning theistic and atheistic approaches. Presently, physics, biology, and cognitive sciences stand as primary domains for philosophical and theological deliberations. We value your suggestions, comments, and criticisms as we work to improve and grow our program in the areas stated. Regarding the format of the event and due to the variety of obstacles and complications that we are facing, while I am cautious to use the word “hope”, as it may seem more like a dream, we are committed to doing our best to organize the upcoming events as an in-person gathering and not on-line anymore.

It might also be worth reemphasizing that our primary objective in this series of theoretical and philosophical discussions goes beyond mere philosophical discourse. If our intention was solely focused on philosophizing, we would concentrate on producing academic papers and scholarly works. Yet, I do not intend to diminish the importance of sharing ideas, fostering international cooperations, and engaging in academic collaborations, however, I am strongly inclined to stress that the aforementioned goals are all subordinate to the art of listening, the virtue of dialogue, and the value of learning. And on the top of these stands, the god’s exclusive gift bestowed to humankind, that is free-thinking and the freedom of thought. Thus, if philosophizing or making and displaying arguments does not advance free thinking or tolerance and pluralism, I believe it should be treated as a business, a profession, a vocation, or even a vacation.

And finally, let me add a question today. Where do we witness the tangible impact of this rich history and heritage in addressing the ongoing challenges faced by human beings, despite the extensive history of philosophy being accompanied by an enormous amount of books, papers, substantial funding, and a flourishing academic community? unfortunately, there appears to be a lack of substantial evidence regarding how philosophy could contribute on a societal basis.

Despite the profound knowledge and insights stored through centuries of philosophical discourse, the question persists: where is the discernible influence of philosophy in lightening and reducing such pressing crises? I am well aware of the superficial responses that dismiss these concerns, often attributing philosophers to a realm of contemplation that seemingly disregards real-world issues. While this perspective may have some validity, let’s acknowledge it as the ‘business of philosophy’—and even a departure that often strays far from the primary objectives of philosophy. And last words of thankfulness, many have contributed to making this event possible. You, the participants, have shown us your kindness and support, for which we are deeply grateful. I am also especially indebted to the distinguished professors, for their warm acceptance and attendance. My sincere thanks to my colleagues in the secretariate, Somaye Rasouli, Mohammadreza Rezayi, Ahmad Bakhtiyari, and Sajad Sojodi. I would also like to thank Hamme institution for their valuable support. 

Seyed Hassan Hosseini