djugurba - 5/30/2005 12:59 AM
he spends some time discussing the attempts at grounding the faith in rationality that have happened at various points in time- st. augustine, etc, and dealing with the interactions of different faiths (usually violence)
I have read that one.
He essentially calls for the societal stigmatization of religion as lesser, weaker, fallacious thinking. He argues that future civilizations will regard God, Allah, etc. in the same way we regard Zeus, Prometheus, or Gozer (wink).
But, he thinks that with the rise of Islam, this future is in jeopardy. This is because of the repetitive call to arms in the Koran and Hadith literature to convert or kill those who don't take Allah as the one true God. In the same way that christians conveniently overlook parts of Deuteronomy when setting up a society, he argues that Muslims attempt to overlook bits of their own texts. But, it seems the Islamic cannon is quite a bit more forceful with it's teaching; not an appologetic religion of peace at all, but one of conquest and the sword. A cursory read of the Koran provides page by page confirmation of this.
Blind faith in these books, of whatever tradition, seems to lead to violence. So, how about casting out the societal stupidity that allows this one area to be free from coersive normatization. Call it like it is: Religious faith is dangerous, should not be given a pass on the rationality test, and should be regarded as the madness it really is.
talk amongst yourselves. discuss, discuss.
Not having read the book, it is unfair to offer criticism of an entire book based on a 2-3 paragraph summary that you provided. But who said I have to be fair?
If rejection of a type of thinking is the goal, how best to acheive it? It could be top-down. The UN or some lesser entities could outlaw religious thought. I predict less than ringing success.
We could ask people not to think like that. See previous prediction.
We could allow people to think for themselves. If they wish to believe in spirit worlds, that's fine. If you add-up the butchery of people over the past few thousand years, I'll bet the largest numbers were butchered by atheistic totalitarian regimes. If the butcher's bill is the one we must use to decide which thinking is proper, then even the Islamic expansion pales before even the modest exploits of the Khmer Rouge.
But if one looked at proportionate share of world population, then I'll bet religious wars were on-par with the totalitarian wars of the previous century. Quite and accomplishment, that. But does it prove anything?
If the planet's human population obeyed my wishes, then people would be rational and friendly and walk gently on the Earth. But people obstinately refuse my telepathic commands. Instead, in their pigheadedness they think for themselves. What are we to do with that miserable state?