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  1. #11
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morning Star View Post
    It's not the religion I'm against, but the fundamentalist/extreme side of it. I would react the same way if I were to see fanatic Hindus/Christians and the like.
    That I can get behind.

    And I do see Christian extremists, lots of them in North America, and quite a few in Europe as well as Africa and other parts of the world. As far as Hindu extremists are concerned, the recent trends in India are not exactly encouraging - aggressive Hindu nationalism seems on the rise. And then there are extremist Orthodox Jews in Israel who become increasingly influencial and physically threaten and harrass women who dare to walk through their neighborhood with insufficient covering, demand gender seperation in public buses, etc.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  2. #12
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morning Star View Post
    I'm not against Muslims or anything, and I have no problems with Islam being practiced. However, I don't like when its fundamental side tries to force itself upon the world (which is what most, if not all, fundamental ideologies like this tend to do). That's what I'm against.
    Exactly. See Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale for what an oppressive fundamentalist Christian society might look like.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Maybe but you need to be careful about how to fight these kinds of movements.

    What you resist, persists and political islam sorely needs resistance, opposition and an other to constitute a threat or oppressor in order to exist.

    For as long as the mobilised masses can believe that their poverty and oppression is a result of foreign devilry or something like it the longer the very conditions which keep them down will persist because they are not paying attention to the proper things to change to improve their lot.
    The best hope is reformers within Islam itself. Though their numbers are still small, the internet gives them a big advantage over their counterparts attempting to reform Christianity generations/centuries ago.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  3. #13
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    The best hope is reformers within Islam itself. Though their numbers are still small, the internet gives them a big advantage over their counterparts attempting to reform Christianity generations/centuries ago.
    I have long been saying - half jokingly, hald seriously - that I hope this takes place in front of my doorstep. The Christian reformation started in Germany. Reform Judaism started in Germany. So I have high hopes for our mostly religiously moderate Turkish immigrant communities
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  4. #14
    A Gentle Whisper ~MS*ANGEL~'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    That I can get behind.

    And I do see Christian extremists, lots of them in North America, and quite a few in Europe as well as Africa and other parts of the world. As far as Hindu extremists are concerned, the recent trends in India are not exactly encouraging - aggressive Hindu nationalism seems on the rise. And then there are extremist Orthodox Jews in Israel who become increasingly influencial and physically threaten and harrass women who dare to walk through their neighborhood with insufficient covering, demand gender seperation in public buses, etc.
    Yeah, I've noticed Hindu nationalism rising in India as well. It's not a trend I particularly like, either.

    Basically, I feel that it's one thing to practice your own religion in peace, and another to try and force your own beliefs on others. I do hope people across the world have enough sense to realize how dangerous it is to let extremists have their way.
    Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible... and then some.

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  5. #15
    A Gentle Whisper ~MS*ANGEL~'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Exactly. See Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale for what an oppressive fundamentalist Christian society might look like.


    The best hope is reformers within Islam itself. Though their numbers are still small, the internet gives them a big advantage over their counterparts attempting to reform Christianity generations/centuries ago.
    Ah, I'll be sure to find that book - thanks!

    Yeah, there are a few moderate Muslims I know of (one of whom is a good friend of mine) who don't agree with the extreme side of Islam and wish to change it.
    Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible... and then some.

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  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Exactly. See Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale for what an oppressive fundamentalist Christian society might look like.


    The best hope is reformers within Islam itself. Though their numbers are still small, the internet gives them a big advantage over their counterparts attempting to reform Christianity generations/centuries ago.
    Well when you consider western society or post-Christian society what you are looking at is a number of swings in different directions, the reformation had a counter reformation, the enlightenment a counter enlightenment, the rennaisance was a movement all by itself but equally as important, possibly more so than the enlightenment (the analogy about the difference between star gazing on a clear night and star gazing were there is light pollution is not a bad one when it comes to "enlightenment") and all the revolutions and counter revolutions right up to and including the creation of welfare states.

    Although I dont know if the disappearence of communism altogether as a rival has spelt the, eventual, doom of tax funded public services or not, some of the major players in the UK political scene are contemplating a reversal of public spending to the 1930s level, that means the end of the welfare state, end of social services, end of health services, end of benefits, end of all those things other than what may exist as a result of fund raising and charity.

    I would forecast that if this is indeed the case then there is likely to be more insane ideologies, such as political islam, arise rather than less, when reform isnt possible or is over turned in a couple of generations, more apocalyptic and finality or fatality based ideologies are going to get a grip.

  7. #17

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    Atwood's book is fiction though, if you want to see real religious fundamentalism of the supposedly christian hue you may not recognise it, read instead the protestant ethic and the rise of capitalism, to see how the architects of capitalism were motivated by religious precepts, precepts which still hold even if the original tune has changed or even try Erasmus and Luther's Discourse on Free Will and see the extent to which some seriously old dogmas, which the establishment of the time were slowly phasing out, became reasserted and underpin so much today.

    Predestination, by other names, remains a favourite of both the political left and the political right and most of the social elites who have much more hardened feelings of entitlement than anyone on welfare.

  8. #18
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morning Star View Post
    Ah, I'll be sure to find that book - thanks!

    Yeah, there are a few moderate Muslims I know of (one of whom is a good friend of mine) who don't agree with the extreme side of Islam and wish to change it.
    For an interesting discussion of Islam, Judaism and Christianity from the personal perspective of three women, one from each faith, see The Faith Club. It is this kind of dialogue that transcends simple tolerance to achieve understanding and learning that we need. As the reviewer writing in the link notes, however, it is hard to achieve among people who are already convinced that their faith is the "one true faith".

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Well when you consider western society or post-Christian society what you are looking at is a number of swings in different directions, the reformation had a counter reformation, the enlightenment a counter enlightenment, the rennaisance was a movement all by itself but equally as important, possibly more so than the enlightenment (the analogy about the difference between star gazing on a clear night and star gazing were there is light pollution is not a bad one when it comes to "enlightenment") and all the revolutions and counter revolutions right up to and including the creation of welfare states.
    What we are looking at is the fragmentation of what was once a fairly monolithic religious establishment. For all the conflict that has ensued, it is a step in the right direction in the sense that people have choices, can disagree with church doctrine, can find the group that is the best fit, or start a new one, without being judged or penalized for heresy, etc. This reflects an essential shift of responsibility for one's spiritual life to the individual him/herself rather than clergy or the religious organization. I think Islam contains theory to support this, but it is not implemented or emphasized in practice much. Yes, far too many Christians still insist that theirs is the only correct religion, but most are willing to see other Christians as non-threatening, and entitled to their own beliefs and practice. Now to extend this to non-Christians and non-believers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Atwood's book is fiction though, if you want to see real religious fundamentalism of the supposedly christian hue you may not recognise it, read instead the protestant ethic and the rise of capitalism, to see how the architects of capitalism were motivated by religious precepts, precepts which still hold even if the original tune has changed or even try Erasmus and Luther's Discourse on Free Will and see the extent to which some seriously old dogmas, which the establishment of the time were slowly phasing out, became reasserted and underpin so much today.
    Handmaid's Tale may be fiction, but it is not implausible. Many aspects were present through the beginning of the last century, and some of the attitudes linger today. For real examples of fundamentalism in the US, just look at the Fundamentalist LDS (Mormon) church. Yes, they add their Book of Mormon to the Bible so are not Christian in the same sense as Methodists or Baptists. The point is that modern day Americans can be hoodwinked (i.e. raised) to tolerate and accept a very fundamentalist lifestyle.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  9. #19
    A Gentle Whisper ~MS*ANGEL~'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    For an interesting discussion of Islam, Judaism and Christianity from the personal perspective of three women, one from each faith, see The Faith Club. It is this kind of dialogue that transcends simple tolerance to achieve understanding and learning that we need. As the reviewer writing in the link notes, however, it is hard to achieve among people who are already convinced that their faith is the "one true faith".
    Hmm, this was an interesting review to read thanks!

    Yeah, I also agree that it's difficult for people convinced that only their faith is "true" to find common ground. To understand others, I feel it's necessary to keep an open mind. I myself may struggle to keep an open mind when it comes to discussions like this, but it helps to remind myself every day.
    Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible... and then some.

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  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    For an interesting discussion of Islam, Judaism and Christianity from the personal perspective of three women, one from each faith, see The Faith Club. It is this kind of dialogue that transcends simple tolerance to achieve understanding and learning that we need. As the reviewer writing in the link notes, however, it is hard to achieve among people who are already convinced that their faith is the "one true faith".
    How is that now? I believe that my faith is the one true faith, otherwise I wouldnt believe or practice it, although I'm highly tolerant of others views or choices, whether its got to do with religion as I understand it or anything else.

    What we are looking at is the fragmentation of what was once a fairly monolithic religious establishment. For all the conflict that has ensued, it is a step in the right direction in the sense that people have choices, can disagree with church doctrine, can find the group that is the best fit, or start a new one, without being judged or penalized for heresy, etc. This reflects an essential shift of responsibility for one's spiritual life to the individual him/herself rather than clergy or the religious organization. I think Islam contains theory to support this, but it is not implemented or emphasized in practice much. Yes, far too many Christians still insist that theirs is the only correct religion, but most are willing to see other Christians as non-threatening, and entitled to their own beliefs and practice. Now to extend this to non-Christians and non-believers.
    There's a lot in this single post which I would ask you to re-examine, although I'm not sure whether or not you would bother to do so.

    The RCC, Christendom as it was prior to the reformation, was far from monolithic, there were diverse, disparite and warring or competiting factions before the reformation as there were afterwards. People always were able to dissent and begin different movements, the franciscans and groups like them are very good examples of how that happened.

    The role of heresy and heresy hunting have been greatly exaggerated by years and years of anti-clerical propagandists and agitation, each seeking to air brush their own crimes out of the history books by exaggerating those of their opponents.

    In reality the investigation of heresy was more akin to public enquiries which are still held today, yes the sentences handed down by clerical authorities were reflective of the superstition and standards of the time, which remains the case, if you look at some of the sentencing by secular authorities as late as the thirties and forties it is unlikely to seem that progressive. Consider McCarthyism.

    In fact a lot of the practices commonly attributed to the church alone, such as torture, persecution and burnings or lynchings, were often popular or private measures, often practiced by barons, fuedal lords, monarchs, they acted often without fear or favour but the clerical authorities got the blame from history and posterity. In fact often the church's attempts to control practices such as these or curtail their just employment were the cause for the enmity which led those same national and regional powers and principalities to align themselves with rising protestantism.

    The cimes of Calvin's Geneva were greater than the inquisition, deliberately so, as Calvin and his reformers felt the need to shock and awe their opposition, that's been repeated throughout history by secular revolutionaries and usurpers such as with the Paris Commune, the Smersh, NKVD, GRD etc. So it really is hard to draw a clear line and suggest that the inhumane and violent is the preserve of the religious, in particular those predating the reformation.

    Islam has a pretty different structure in terms of authority and clerical and lay believer divisions, that's true, although that can be source of extremism and oppressive spontaneity in a manner that the alternative can not be. The sorts of mobilisation and mobilising capacities are mirrored in later secular atrocities too, such as the books about the actions of anti-semitic murder gangs in the second world war period, much of which was not ever directed or sanctioned by the Nazi party, if you'd like a book reference one I can think of is Hitler's Willing Executioners.

    Handmaid's Tale may be fiction, but it is not implausible. Many aspects were present through the beginning of the last century, and some of the attitudes linger today. For real examples of fundamentalism in the US, just look at the Fundamentalist LDS (Mormon) church. Yes, they add their Book of Mormon to the Bible so are not Christian in the same sense as Methodists or Baptists. The point is that modern day Americans can be hoodwinked (i.e. raised) to tolerate and accept a very fundamentalist lifestyle.
    I do think people can be hoodwinked, its often the people who flatter themselves that they are unlikely to be, Orwell wrote about this in reflection upon his use of the word IngSoc for the party ideology in 1984. He wrote to assure his readers that he was not opposed to the Labour Party or Socialism but that Ing Soc was an abbreviation for English Socialism and that it was meant to be a reference to his belief that fascism and totalitarianism would not go undisguised and would be likely to appear as something desirable and even demanded by the public.

    So I would say that the while anyone could complain about the splitter in the eye of their perceived "useful idiots", ie the religious dupes adopting fundamentalism, they should instead guard against the conceit of their own views.

    In the Handmaiden's Tale, if I remember rightly because I didnt like the book as much as I liked the film adaptation actually, there were numerous guerilla movements holding out against and fighting the regime which were Christian factions too, I think, as you say Methodists and Baptists, I read the pseudo-religious character of the regime in Handmaiden's Tale to be more about choosing a vehicle for patriarchal and establishment military figures. The whole thing seemed more masonic and like military fraternities as I know them.

    In the US context I've always thought that the diversity and independence of some religious communities, such as the Amish, are positive and militate against totalitarianism, they dont want to see others conform to their precepts or principles but they are unlikely to adopt those of the wider society.

    The same cant be said for a lot of liberal or libertarian political tendencies which view punitive consequences for dissenting from their precepts or principles as desirable.

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