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Should Christianity adopt Islam’s laws of sins of the flesh?


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From what little I have seen, Islam tends to avoid titillation and 'naughty' indulgences or transgressions, at least in principle. IMHO, the status of women seems to be more balanced and 'moderate' than that of the West, where women also have a status as sex objects and subconsciously associate this status with liberation and freedom. I don't want to be a hypocrite and say that I don't enjoy this fact. I do. I love looking at a lovely pair of legs or a well rounded bottom, or pair of large, firm breasts. However, my mind is inevitably turned towards sex when I do so, and I am sure that other males do the same.

Yes, one of the things I think gets lost on many people both secular and religious is the idea that something can be sinful and still happen regularly without life degenerating into a total seething hell of hate, debauchery, and destruction. Obviously when someone commits theft, murder, or adultery something gets permanently lost and there is no reversing the consequences so people need to be aware of this and not deny the (potential) consequences before or after the fact. However, there are less consequential sins, such as lustful thoughts that, while they may distract you from higher morality may occur regularly and be a continuous struggle of resistance without resolution. So, for example, someone who cannot even have a normal conversation with an attractive woman because he can't focus his mind on higher matters may be able to develop the ability to control this even though he still has lustful thoughts or engages women flirtatiously in some instances. The important thing, I think, is that men (and women) achieve the ability to interact without sexuality eclipsing their ability to interact on other levels. I think this is primarily a question of being sufficiently focussed on the non-sexual matters at hand, which requires a sense of focus generally and the ability to take other matters than relationship-negotiations seriously.

 

Moreover, males are ordered to fast and pray if they feel sexual temptation and I presume that the physical and spiritual immersion in both activities as well as a full working day occupy the mind far more than sexual titillation.

I would also be interested to know how much men exposed to western 'pornocentrism' are able to let go of sexuality when engaged in other activities. Sometimes I think the most peace-giving feeling is being exposed to some representation of sexuality and being able to regard it with emotional neutrality (i.e. without it having a titillating effect) because that makes you feel more mature and liberated from uncontrollable reflex.

 

You are right here about Fascists. But is Fascism not just another brand of collectivism? I wanted to highlight the negative aspects of promoting individuality and individual freedom to indulge in personal pleasures, whilst ignoring the rest of society, and also decry the breakdown of the family.

Fascism has its basic roots in collectivism, I think, but it intensifies the sense that individuals must submit to collective authority. So it may be that part of the reason individual freedom is abused to breakdown families is a response to fascism that occurred at the family level for that individual. I.e. if an individual failed to feel free to engage their family as THEIR family, instead of feeling pressure to submit their individuality to the will of their parents or in some other way sacrifice their independence/individuality for their family, they might be more likely to reject family as such. Divorce is often caused, imo, because one or both partners have been indoctrinated from an early age to subjugate themselves to their partner's will instead of using their relationship as a resource to pursue and achieve what they believe is good for themselves and others.

 

I think this is especially strong with women because they are taught from a young age that they are only good when they are sacrificing themselves for the happiness of others. So, for example, they are unable to reach a point of personal satisfaction from marriage and family/child care because they only experience it as a duty or expectation and not as an opportunity to achieve a desired goal. For example, compare the will to build, say, a remote control airplane to the will to have children. Usually people building an airplane are excited with the idea that they have the capacity and skills to make something they want. On the other hand, how many people have children with this same attitude? How many, on the other hand, have children because they think it is their duty and people will either resent them if they don't have children or they think they'll finally be respected as adults by their parents because they are parents too? Ideally people should think, "I have the capacity to make a child and raise it and enjoy the process of helping it develop into a good person."

 

Or in the case of marriage people should not think that they have to be faithful to their partners to be obedient and respectable but instead they should see being faithful as a way of making their partner/spouse feel completely secure in their marriage. It should give people satisfaction to support others instead of feeling like a burden that they want to escape. This is what fascism causes, the desire to escape social responsibility.

 

You can see that there is ego and narcissism in the arts, as well as other aspects of life, and I find it regrettable. For example, I came across the example of an artist whose display consisted of all the popular video cassettes that were issued when he was in his mother's womb. Rather than being self expression that educated and enriched the life of the viewer, giving the viewer an alternative view or participation in the highest self expression of the artist with a sublime theme of morality or aesthetic value, it was egoistic masturbation. And this is sad.

Maybe the art was meant to express the idea that the thoughts people put into their minds through media shape how their bodies function and that this could have an effect on a pregnancy, for example by causing excess adrenaline or causing more happy/loving hormonal activity (oxytocin?) You could interpret it in any number of ways, though, which sort of speaks to the fact that it was art.

 

 

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If I am talking with someone in the 120 F heat of the desert, have not had a drink of water in ages, and he is casually slurping a spilling water from a jug he occasionally brings up to his lips, I obviously cannot concentrate on a thing he is saying, even if it is very interesting. Share the water and stop treating it as some sort of magical, religious object which can only be very rarely shared after an extremely difficult set of rituals have been complied with and suddenly I can concentrate on the full human person in front of me, rather than just fixating on his water bottle.

 

What we have here in Islam is the same thing we find in other religions: To establish their power over people, they alienate people from their most basic physical needs by making access to the satisfaction of these needs impossible without performing rituals which acknowledge the superiority and mastery over the subject of the religion.

 

Referring to non-sexual things as 'higher' and sexual matters as 'lower' already gives away the culturally arbitrary foundations of the whole reasoning presented, since these terms already implicitly accept the validity of religion's strategy of valuing the ideal over the real, as though the real were intrinsically 'dirty' so it had to be 'cleansed' by resort to religion's power. But if you adopt instead a naturalistic, positivistic, scientific worldview, everything is on the same level of value unless it demonstrably causes concrete physical harm to people, and if so, the goal is just to abstract the harm from whatever we want to do by various precautions.

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