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Eastern vs. Western society


JustinW
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So the question is why is our civilization loosing its ability to deal effectively with world problems? Is it because we are religious, too religious, or not religious enough?

 

Here is the answer:

The only reason the world can get along, divided as it is between our large religion-based societies such as Islam, the (Christian) West, the Marxist East and Hindu India is because the US became the strongest and most prosperous nation on Earth. People all over the world then tried to adopt our secular belief system because they figured it would enable them to become strong and prosperous also. And with most of the world adopting it, we as its leader, were able to lead the world into a "World Community of Nations" and create "the Global Economy."

 

However, we have been gradually losing both our military superiority and prosperity. So, the rest of the world has also been losing respect for our secular belief system and has been turning back to their old and uniformly intolerant faiths. The Christian Right in the US, Ultra Orthodix Judaism, Muslim fanaticism . . . Even Chinese Marxists are now trying to resurect their old Maoism.

 

The result of all this is that world cooperation has become more difficult and the US become increasingly unable to get agreements needed to solve world problems.

 

So the question is why is our civilization loosing its ability to deal effectively with world problems? Is it because we are religious, too religious, or not religious enough?

 

Here is the answer:

The only reason the world can get along, divided as it is between our large religion-based societies such as Islam, the (Christian) West, the Marxist East and Hindu India is because the US became the strongest and most prosperous nation on Earth. People all over the world then tried to adopt our secular belief system because they figured it would enable them to become strong and prosperous also. And with most of the world adopting it, we as its leader, were able to lead the world into a "World Community of Nations" and create "the Global Economy."

 

However, we have been gradually losing both our military superiority and prosperity. So, the rest of the world has also been losing respect for our secular belief system and has been turning back to their old and uniformly intolerant faiths. The Christian Right in the US, Ultra Orthodix Judaism, Muslim fanaticism . . . Even Chinese Marxists are now trying to resurect their old Maoism.

 

The result of all this is that world cooperation has become more difficult and the US become increasingly unable to get agreements needed to solve world problems.

Edited by charles brough
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Prejudices? Its normal for people to prefer their own religion and ideology! After all, we evolved through millions of years as small group primates. We feel a sense of community mostly when our group is threatened by another group. The "praising of diversity" is one of our secular ideology's most recent doctrines and it defies human nature. No wonder it isn't working! The world is becoming more divided and its mainstream religion-based societies are becoming more hositile towards each other. That's why the West is becoming less and less able to solve growing world problems. Its all simple matter of cause and effect.

 

 

brough,

http://civilization-overview.com

 

As someone once said: "Prejudice is a kind of reasoning, operating subconsciously".

 

This prejudice/ reasoning, enables everyone in the world to recognise Western Civilisation, as superior.

 

Eastern people are only hostile to the West, because they feel inferior, and jealous of Western Civilisation.

 

That's it in a nutshell - isn't it?

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As someone once said: "Prejudice is a kind of reasoning, operating subconsciously".

 

This prejudice/ reasoning, enables everyone in the world to recognise Western Civilisation, as superior.

 

Eastern people are only hostile to the West, because they feel inferior, and jealous of Western Civilisation.

 

That's it in a nutshell - isn't it?

 

 

Don't hold anything back, tell us what you really think... I think if you ignore religion it's a more of haves and have nots thing than eastern vs western....

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As someone once said: "Prejudice is a kind of reasoning, operating subconsciously".

 

This prejudice/ reasoning, enables everyone in the world to recognise Western Civilisation, as superior.

 

Eastern people are only hostile to the West, because they feel inferior, and jealous of Western Civilisation.

 

That's it in a nutshell - isn't it?

Close . . . The people in other ideology-based societies, such as Islam, feel a genrally-repressed humilation and resentment towards us because they see us as imposing Israel on them. To them, it is a blot on their fourteen hundred year-old civilization.

 

Most Muslims want to liberalize their old faith by adopting our "road-to-economic-success" secular ideology. Bur some who see no economic future, especially unemployed young men, fall back to the old faith and see their humilation as a need to re-assert Islam's stature by defeating us and our world influence.

 

So they developed the despicable act of terrorism as the only effective means of achieving that. With it, they are achieving more success than we admit to ourselves. Their 9/11 attack has cost us thrillions of dollars of our pwn and the world's resources. We are being slowly bled to death.

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Moontanman,

If and when our civilization falls it will be due to religion, not a lack of religion, many religions not only believe that god is coming to destroy all the unbelievers a great many people are doing more than praying for this to happen, in the USA fundamentalist religions are actively trying to bring about what they call Armageddon. They want it to to happen and actually allow this belief to guide their political agenda. From my point of view, living in the middle of these... people... it's very scary and real... and they gain power every day, if a republican wins the White House they will see it as a sign from god they are succeeding... all of the republican candidates profess to be creationists and fundamentalists... so yeah, i feel prejudice but not toward east or west but toward those who would bring down our first world civilization...

How do you come to this conclusion? Did I miss something in the news?

Moontanman

No the problem resides with religion, it has far too much power over people, you won't find atheists bombing people because they feel slighted because some one is disrespectful to their lack of belief in god or what ever...

 

No, but it's just as easy for me to say that you could find an atheist that will do that against religions they feel a threat to their way of life. Why is it that atheists try to paint themselves as morally superior to those who believe in God? I'm not a religious person but I also don't begrudge those who are.

 

Moontanman,

They are doing that, but they only want their religion taught, no others can be tolerated, you seem relatively naive about this, the religious fundamentalists who are causing the problems will not tolerate anything but their own religion being taught, it's the basis of what they believe, they believe they are correct and everyone else is deluded by the devil or what ever. They want only their religion taught as reality and then they will go about fighting among themselves to show who is doing their religion correctly. It's a never end process of evil in the human race...

I think you're blanketing religion with a label that is far too general when it comes to such a topic. Put atheism or science in place of the word religion and you also come up with a true statement.

 

 

Charles Brough,

Close . . . The people in other ideology-based societies, such as Islam, feel a genrally-repressed humilation and resentment towards us because they see us as imposing Israel on them. To them, it is a blot on their fourteen hundred year-old civilization.

 

Most Muslims want to liberalize their old faith by adopting our "road-to-economic-success" secular ideology. Bur some who see no economic future, especially unemployed young men, fall back to the old faith and see their humilation as a need to re-assert Islam's stature by defeating us and our world influence.

 

So they developed the despicable act of terrorism as the only effective means of achieving that. With it, they are achieving more success than we admit to ourselves. Their 9/11 attack has cost us thrillions of dollars of our pwn and the world's resources. We are being slowly bled to death.

That is a rather depressing way to look at it.

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Proper conduct by who's standards?

 

Standards set up by God to be followed in a particular nation, place or in a region and in a particular period of time. Religion is not static, its an evolving thing and only such a proper conduct given by the God will help us to preserve our nature and to co-exist happily and peacefully in this cosmos.

 

No the problem resides with religion, it has far too much power over people, you won't find atheists bombing people because they feel slighted because some one is disrespectful to their lack of belief in god or what ever...

 

You won't find true theists killing innocent people either, the technology of the atheists which helps to trigger the bomb through a phone call and a misinterpretation of the scripture from any religion to justify such a brutal act are quite enough for the extremists to carry out such an act. Do scientists develop technology with the intention to blow up innocent people? No and nor do religious enlightened men write scriptures which is the word of God with such intentions.

 

Theists don't have any problems with Atheists but they have problems with extremists who do stupid acts and justify it in the name of God.

 

They are doing that, but they only want their religion taught, no others can be tolerated, you seem relatively naive about this, the religious fundamentalists who are causing the problems will not tolerate anything but their own religion being taught, it's the basis of what they believe, they believe they are correct and everyone else is deluded by the devil or what ever. They want only their religion taught as reality and then they will go about fighting among themselves to show who is doing their religion correctly. It's a never end process of evil in the human race...

 

Religion says "You can not end evil through evil, you can end evil only through love".

 

The aim is to nurture our young generations to develop tolerance to different religious views and practices and to simultaneously develop intolerance towards extremist views and we need to give this kind of education in our schools and we need to impede their minds with this kind of moral sciences. I am not afraid of those extremist groups just because they will chop off my head if I don't follow and go by their rules.

 

 

 

Close . . . The people in other ideology-based societies, such as Islam, feel a genrally-repressed humilation and resentment towards us because they see us as imposing Israel on them. To them, it is a blot on their fourteen hundred year-old civilization.

 

Most Muslims want to liberalize their old faith by adopting our "road-to-economic-success" secular ideology. Bur some who see no economic future, especially unemployed young men, fall back to the old faith and see their humilation as a need to re-assert Islam's stature by defeating us and our world influence.

 

So they developed the despicable act of terrorism as the only effective means of achieving that. With it, they are achieving more success than we admit to ourselves. Their 9/11 attack has cost us thrillions of dollars of our pwn and the world's resources. We are being slowly bled to death.

 

Its more complicated than that and they have got genuine reasons for their hatredness towards the west. The europeans divided the muslim world which was working with harmony based on the divine law and this led to a division among the muslim world and its nations. The west has messed up with the middle-east.

 

Osama Bin Laden was your man, an informant to the CIA, you opened up refugee camps in Afghanistan, you fed them with your weapons and after the Soviets disintegrated it was your responsibility to take back those weapons from them and give them education and a future to them and you failed and he started bombing your embassies and killed your ambassadors and he managed to flew aircrafts into the Twin towers and the Pentagon.

 

Those uneducated men started misinterpreting the traditional Sharia law and this gave rise to radical Islamist and fundamentalist organisations. The only way to achieve peace in the middle east is to rejoin the muslim world into one Islamic state with a correct interpretation of the traditional Sharia law and to develop a Islamic society blending the secular views of the west and harmonise it with the traditional Sharia divine laws and to give them a genuine ummah community rather than a community based upon radical Islamists and their fundamentalist views.

 

 

An overview of Islamic society

 

Islam regulates every aspect of a Muslim's life; Islamic law contains elaborate rules regarding relations between individuals and groups in society on every matter ranging from marriage to commercial contracts. For Muslims the Sharia (divine law) is the final authority in all areas of social interaction. Islamic society, therefore, may simply be defined as a community living in accordance with the Sharia.

 

The Ummah

 

This ideal is embodied in the concept of ummah (religious community)Ña community of the faithful submissive to God's will as expressed in the Sharia. The ummah is characterized by two principal virtues, tawhid (unity) and adl (justice), which facilitate human spiritual realization. Sharia legislation governing personal and public affairs also promotes social harmony by regulating the distribution of economic resources. Justice is the guarantor of harmony, and the Sharia is the guarantor of justice.

 

In Islam, man is the viceregent of God (khalifat-Allah). He is the supreme creature, whose life on Earth has great spiritual significance and is dedicated to realizing God's will. To fulfill his responsibilities and realize his spiritual potential, man needs a social equilibrium. That social equilibrium is the ummah, and its promise for man rests in the place that the Sharia occupies in ordering it.

 

The boundaries of the ummah are by definition not territorial; they are boundaries of faith. Membership in the ummah is open to anyone who embraces Islam, regardless of caste, race, or kinship. Thus the concept of ummah went against the time-honored kinship ties of the pagan Arabian society in which Islam was born.

 

The ummah is also defined as distinct from what is "un-Islamic." Muslims accept that God did not will all people to be included in one religious community, which is why he sent many messengers bearing religious revelation (Koran 22:34, 67). Consciousness of the "un-Islamic" other is perhaps best reflected in the division between dar al-Islam (the abode of Islam or peace) and dar al-harb (the abode of war). The former is essentially coterminous with the ummah, the latter with non-Muslim communities. Relations between the two can be antagonistic, especially if the religion of the dar al-harb is not one that is recognized by Islam. The doctrine of jihad (holy war) in the military sense has meaning only against the dar al-harb. It is permissible to wage war against the dar al-harb and to take booty from it. The dichotomy between the abodes of Islam and war constitutes the fundamental division that defines the Muslim concept of international relations.

 

Early in Islamic history the ummah was defined in contradistinction to the Jews of Medina, where the Muslim community first took form, and later against the pagan Mecca that had rejected the Prophet's message and forced him to migrate to Medina. The ideal of the ummah for all Muslims is represented by the early Muslim communities during the rule of the Prophet Muhammad in Medina (622-32) and under the Rashidun (rightly guided) caliphs (632-61). The normative order established during those four decades came to be seen as the exemplary ummah, when Muslim society most closely followed the correct interpretation of the Sharia, when it was most perfect in justice and closeness to God.

 

Proper interpretation of the Sharia is central to the legitimacy of any concept of ummah. Challenges to authority in Islamic history have typically been based on questioning the "correctness" of its implemetation of the Sharia. Interpretation of divine law and forming an ummah are inseparable.

 

Authority in Islamic Society

 

Islamic society has two sources of authority: first, the consensus of the faith community, and second, the institutions of political leadership. The ummah as a virtuous community is itself the repository of religious truth, and hence a source of authority. This belief is rooted in the famous saying of the Prophet: "The consensus of my community will never err." A community based on the Sharia and following the example of the Prophet is virtuous: its consensus is true and is the embodiment of authority.

 

Because the ideal of the ummah is the rule of the Prophet and the Rashidun, and because the righteousness of the ummah lay in the Prophet's message and example, the Prophet himself is also clearly a source of authority, and the caliphate, which was designed to replicate his worldly functions, shared in his authority. Between 622 and 632 the Prophet was simultaneously the spiritual, social, and political leader of his community. He was at once a prophet, a statesman, and a military commander; thus in Islam no separation exists between religion and politics, or between temporal and spiritual authority. Because the Prophet was the link between the community and Divine Truth, he occupied a position of supreme authority in the early Muslim community. The caliphate emerged as an institutionalization of the Prophet's authority and was accepted as such by the community.

 

Nevertheless, some ambiguity existed in the relationship between the caliph's authority and that of the community. The earliest schisms in Islam developed from disputes over this issue. In the era of the Rashidun one group of Muslims, later known as Kharijites, asserted the supremacy of the ummah's authority over that of the caliph. By contrast, the Shiites, who emerged in this same period, viewed the authority of the religiopolitical leaderÑwhom they called the imamÑas absolute; but they believed the right to leadership belonged, not to the caliphs chosen by the community, but to Ali, the Prophet's son-in-law and nephew, and to the descendants of Ali. Shiite doctrine subsequently maintained that Ali and the line of imams that followed him possessed the prophetic charisma and were privy to the same knowledge that God had given to Muhammad for the guidance of the community.

 

The position of the Sunnite majority lay somewhere between that of the Kharijites and the Shiites. The Sunnites accepted both the authority of the political leadership, represented by the caliphate, and that of the ummah, although in practice the sociopolitical institutions always took precedence over the ummah.

 

After the era of Rashidun the caliphate became the monopoly of one family, the Umayyads, and subsequently became a dynastic institution. As such, the caliphs continued to exercise the Prophet's sociopolitical functions, but not his spiritual and religious ones. They were no longer chosen based on their knowledge of the religious sources, nor could they claim to have been among the companions of the Prophet. In fact, over time many of them grew lax in religious observance. As a result, a class of religious scholars (ulama) emerged to interpret the law and serve as religious guides to the community. Eventually the social role of the ulama was defined and their authority became accepted.

 

Beginning in the 10th century local dynasties arose to challenge the power of the caliph, and the caliphate as an institution began to decline. Sociopolitical authority passed to Persian and Turkish military leaders whose authority was derived from the sword rather than from any religious source. This development posed a problem for the community. Muslim political theorists resolved it by according de facto legitimacy to the new rulers, the sultans, while continuing to acknowledge the authority of the caliphs de jure, although the latter ruled in name only. The unity of the ummah was the main concern. As long as the sociopolitical authority allowed for the normal practice of religious rites and the rule of the Sharia, its legitimacy was not challenged, even though that authority itself was not legitimated by religion. The theorists were willing to accept unjust or illegitimate rule so long as it did not disturb the unity and life of the ummah.

 

The Shiites took a similar position. When the last imam went into occultation to return at the end of time, the Shiites were left with no legitimate contender for power. They accepted the authority of the de facto rulers, whether Shiite or Sunnite, while they awaited the return of the legitimate imam. This traditional position of the Shiites changed in the late 1970s, when the Ayatollah Khomeini mobilized Shiites in Iran to an "active" awaiting of the imam and challenged the temporal authority of the Iranian monarchy on religious grounds.

 

Social Change in Islam

 

Four fundamental axioms shape the Muslim view of social change. First, in Islam all change is subordinate to the will of God. This does not mean that Muslims are fatalistic, but that social processes, like natural phenomena, are subject to divine law. The same laws and beliefs that govern the life of the ummah also determine continuity and change in it.

 

Second, change as conceived by Islam is cyclical rather than linear. Muslims (with the exception of the Shiites, who subscribe to millenarian doctrines) do not view history as a continuous linear movement but see it as having been periodically rejuvenated, through prophecy until the advent of Islam, and through messianic (Mahdist) or reformist movements since the death of the Prophet.

 

Third, the role of messianism (see mahdi; messiah) in social change fits the overall Islamic concept of change. Messianism therefore does not strive for an earthly utopia but to restore the righteousness of the ummah. Any concept of utopia, therefore, is not located at an omega point in the future but in the Prophet's ummah. For this reason, social change in Islam possesses a concrete vision and a clear sense of values that it seeks to inculcate.

 

Finally, social change has more than merely temporal dimensions. It is a constituent element in man's whole spiritual mission and religious self-realization and should be evaluated in the light of its contribution to human spirituality.

 

The idealized views of authority and social change that have informed Muslim concepts of social relations, however, have not in fact been paramount in shaping them. In practice, cultural, economic, and political factors have also played a role. The importance of these factors was first pointed out by the 14th-century Muslim thinker Ibn Khaldun. Ibn Khaldun argued that while the ummah ideally rises above kinship ties, in reality individuals are strongly motivated by group identity (asabiyyah). Asabiyyah is a significant dynamic in social relations, and for Ibn Khaldun it explained the Persian-Arab rivalries that destroyed the Umayyad dynasty and led to the decay of their successors, the Abbasids. Although the desire to create and preserve an ummah is a strong impulse among Muslims, Muslim society and history cannot be understood without recognizing asabiyyah.

 

Ibn Khaldun also envisioned a less idealized explanation of the ebb and flow of Islamic history and social change. He saw a division in Islamic society between urban and tribal elements, each of which had its own distinct social, economic, and even religious characteristics. As they periodically poured into urban areas, overwhelming their political institutions, the tribes provided new government for the cities. Once the newcomers became urbanized, they were susceptible to another wave of tribal assault. In Ibn Khaldun's view, urban-tribal tensions and the periodic renewal of urban society by an influx of tribal nomads undergirded social change in Islamic society.

 

Women and Minorities

 

Citizenship in the modern sense of the term has no place in Islamic society. Inclusion in Islamic society is based on acceptance of the Sharia. The status of women and minorities in the social order, therefore, is determined by the Sharia. Muslim women participate in the ummah, but their rights and responsibilities differ from those of men. A modern reading of that difference would suggest that women's position is subordinate to that of men. Muslims, on the other hand, view gender roles as complementary, measuring each in terms of how it contributes to the ethical and spiritual life of the ummah, rather than to the interests of each gender.

 

Minorities in an Islamic society are in effect religious minorities. Those religions accepted by Islam as "genuine" (mainly Christianity and Judaism), whose followers are known as the "people of the Book" (zimmis), have the right to live by the law of their own religion, to oversee their own affairs, and even to have their own courts. Their role in the social life of the ummah, however, is limited; non-Muslims cannot have equal status in a society that is defined and organized in Islamic terms. They also must pay a special tax to the Muslim authorities. Minorities will occupy a lesser social standing in an Islamic society, but the identity, corporate structure, and religious life of their communities are preserved.

 

The Impact of the West

 

The advent of European colonialism had a profound influence on the conception of Islamic society. To begin with, Western domination broke down the unified structure of the Islamic world, which may have been divided internally but nevertheless had until then retained a sense of being one community. This breakup for the first time destroyed the traditional organization of authority and social relations. The initial Muslim response was to call for the restoration of a unified Islamic order to stop the European assault. Political activists such as Jamal al-Din al-Afghani preached Pan-Islamism, a movement to unite the Muslim world; but that notion soon gave way to an acceptance of the reality of division. As European control effectively separated Muslim societies from one another, Muslims began to think of themselves and their ummahs in much more parochial terms. Egyptian, Iranian, Arab, and other national Muslim communities began to materialize. The idea of a national ummah represented a modernizing of Islamic thought, an integration of the Western doctrine of nationalism into the Muslim psyche. It appealed to the Islamic sense of community but defined that community increasingly in terms of national boundaries and loyalty to the nation. The national ummah laid the foundations for the rise of the modern nation-state and the institutionalization of citizenship in the Muslim world.

 

Islamic Society and Islamic Revivalism

 

Modern Islamic revivalists (sometimes called fundamentalists) have been deeply concerned with the reconstruction of a genuine ummah. Although most advocates of Islamic revival pay lip service to pan-Islamic unity, in reality they have sought to recreate the true ummah within existing nation-states. Islamic revivalists argue that in order to empower the Islamic world, Muslims must return to the teachings of their faith and live according to the Sharia, as interpreted by them. They demand the Islamization of society and the creation of a new Islamic authority in the form of an Islamic state. Here the idea of the ummah serves as a political utopia for ideologies that are articulated using Islamic symbols.

 

Islamic revivalists view modern Muslim societies as un-Islamic. This idea was first advanced by the Pakistani Muslim leader Abu-Ala Mawdudi (1903-79) but was most clearly espoused by Sayyid Qutb (1906-66), the spokesman of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. Sayyid Qutb described Egypt under Gamal Abdel Nasser as a jahiliyyah (pagan society)Ñthe very antithesis of an ummah. A jahiliyyah would by definition belong to the dar al-harb, the un-Islamic order against which Muslims must struggle. Sayyid Qutb's views influenced the beliefs of such radical revivalist groups as the Egyptian Takfir wa al-Hijrah (Condemnation and Migration) in the 1980s and '90s.

 

Revivalists define the larger Muslim society as pagan in opposition to the virtuous Muslim ummah to which they belong. They follow the example of the Prophet's ummah, which separated itself from the larger Meccan community when the Prophet migrated to Medina. The name Takfir wa al-Hijrah (hegira) reflects this idea. Revivalist parties from the Muslim Brotherhood of the Arab world to Jamaat-i Islami of Pakistan and PAS in Malaysia all see themselves as the true ummah confronting a larger un-Islamic society. They may differ from one another on methods and tactics, but perceiving the larger society as a jahiliyyah is common to all of them.

 

The ideal of the ummah is therefore at the heart of the contemporary revivalist discourse; it is the goal to be strived for both in creating revivalist parties and in Islamizing the larger society. Although the exact interpretation of the Sharia on which the ummah is to be based is not universally agreed on, the notion of basing societal order on divine law is drawn from widely shared Muslim principles.

 

S. V. R. Nasr

Grolier Encyclopedia

 

 

 

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IMMORTAL, your long quote is informative, and written by a believing Muslim. As you indicated, the Israeli issue is not the only one. It is, however, the one that most Muslims are aware of and which is a constant source of deep esentment. The other issues are understood more by better educated Muslims.

 

Our understanding of the issue was labeled as "depressive" in one of the posts above. In a way it is because it is accurate and shows the direction the world is going. People sense that. Our secular system is weakening and losing its ability to bring unity to the world. The old religions are becoming more assertive. The US is now wasting its resources, men, and wealth hopelessly trying to "solve world problems." If anyone is interested in where this is going, I would be glad to show it---or check out the URL below.

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Well, personally I get the impression that Islam is just making a nuisance in the world. Suicide bombers - who respects them? They're not heroes. Just misguided individuals, probably rather stupid, who've been misled into believing that by blowing themselves up, they'll enter into Paradise.

 

Could anyone really be that daft? However, Islam doesn't really matter - as long as the desert superstition is confined to its own impoverished countries. All Islamic countries are backward. They only keep going, by relying on food and medical aid, from the advanced and enlightened Christian West. The West shows enormous tolerance.

 

However, this tolerance will only continue, as long as Islamic countries don't try to stop the West sucking oil. If any Islamic country starts getting too uppity, it'll get put in its place by the West. We've got nuclear weapons. They haven't.

 

Sorry if this sounds a bit chauvinist. But I tried reading the Koran, and it didn't make much sense. After wading half-way through it, I gave up.

 

I can read the New Testament, and get an intelligible message. But the Koran? No wonder the the Islamic countries are always in a state of confusion!

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Well, personally I get the impression that Islam is just making a nuisance in the world. Suicide bombers - who respects them? They're not heroes. Just misguided individuals, probably rather stupid, who've been misled into believing that by blowing themselves up, they'll enter into Paradise.

 

Could anyone really be that daft? However, Islam doesn't really matter - as long as the desert superstition is confined to its own impoverished countries. All Islamic countries are backward. They only keep going, by relying on food and medical aid, from the advanced and enlightened Christian West. The West shows enormous tolerance.

 

However, this tolerance will only continue, as long as Islamic countries don't try to stop the West sucking oil. If any Islamic country starts getting too uppity, it'll get put in its place by the West. We've got nuclear weapons. They haven't.

 

Sorry if this sounds a bit chauvinist. But I tried reading the Koran, and it didn't make much sense. After wading half-way through it, I gave up.

 

I can read the New Testament, and get an intelligible message. But the Koran? No wonder the the Islamic countries are always in a state of confusion!

I can understand why you would be partial to the New Testament in favor to the Koran (after all, it has had more influence on how we think), but be reasonable. You know your history and that the Muslims created one of the world's greatest civilizations. It was supreme in the world in about the 12th century. So did the Hindu civilization based upon their worship of hundreds of thousands of different gods. The great civilization of China was based on ancestor worship! The value of a religion is determined only by how well it built civilization, that is, how well it worked. Religions have no other value. All of them are too old and now obsolete, but they persist because our Secular ideolgy has been unable to replace them.

 

The problem now is that we lost control over the oil there when the West gave up its empire, and we have been pushing them around ever since in order to get back control. We invade them, interfere politically, assasinate scientists, bomb them, and even imposed a Judaic government on them which we still back politically, economically and militarily. We allowed Isreal to build nuclear weapons but proceed to shut down the Iranian economy becuse they feel unsafe and want one to.

 

I believe things will continue to grow worse until the old, world-divisive religions---and Marxism--are replaced. That task will take a better belief system than we now have anywhere.

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Charles Brough,

 

So do you think that the failure of our secular system gives some validity to religion as far as non believers are concerned, and as far as religious connection to building civilizations and establishing moral and ethical stability is a more acceptable way than most unbelievers would admit?

 

The problem now is that we lost control over the oil there when the West gave up its empire, and we have been pushing them around ever since in order to get back control. We invade them, interfere politically, assasinate scientists, bomb them, and even imposed a Judaic government on them which we still back politically, economically and militarily. We allowed Isreal to build nuclear weapons but proceed to shut down the Iranian economy becuse they feel unsafe and want one to.

There is a couple of things that I don't agree with you about here. Are you saying that we did these things for oil? I don't believe we invaded anyone for oil. I do agree with you that we interfere politically, but that can be classified as us trying to strengthen our foreign policy through democrtatic processes. When did we assassinate scientists? To lay the blame of the last Iranian nuclear scientists at the feet of the US is a bald assertion and unproved assumption. Who have we bombed for oil? Yes we have bombed countries that have oil, but to assume we were there for the purpose of attaining oil is also a bald assumption. We imposed a Judaic government? Some would say that it was a reinstatement. No matter how you see it they had to have somewhere to go, and no, we can't just exterminate them and be done with it. So far as I've seen Isreal has been fairly decent in how they deal with the muslim population compared to how the muslim population would treat them if the situation were reversed. I don't recall Isreal ever threatening to wipe people off the face of the earth. I cannot say the same for Iran. The reason we allowed Isreal to build nuc's and not Iran was because Isreal wasn't the ones making threats and trying to push their weight around between the two. If Iran would have promoted peace and prosperity with both Isreal and the US it probably wouldn't have been a problem them making nuc's. Not only does the US and Isreal not want Iran making nuc's, but others in the world are just as opposed.

 

 

 

Maybe this is too much off topic, so if this looks like you might have a lengthy retort we might think about moving it somewhere else to keep from getting crossways with the Mods.

Edited by JustinW
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Charles Brough,

 

So do you think that the failure of our secular system gives some validity to religion as far as non believers are concerned, and as far as religious connection to building civilizations and establishing moral and ethical stability is a more acceptable way than most unbelievers would admit?

 

Close, but not quite. The weakening of both religious and secular ideology by growing division ("sectarian") causes behavioral deterioration (social problems) which alarms people who then turn back to the founding faith in hope of re-stabilizing society. That is conservatism and "religious regression." In Roman times, with the end of the polytheistic age, regression back to the old polytheisms did not save the Greek-Roman society. Instead, people turned to an ideology built on the belief in one single and less "spiritual" and more abstract god, one who had no image.

In the same way, the old Christianity-based society will, in turn, be replaced with one that is non-theist and hence better able to accommodate to modern science, dealing as it does with natural cause.

 

As someone once said: "Prejudice is a kind of reasoning, operating subconsciously". This prejudice/ reasoning, enables everyone in the world to recognise Western Civilisation, as superior. Eastern people are only hostile to the West, because they feel inferior, and jealous of Western Civilisation.

That's it in a nutshell - isn't it?

Yes, a nutshell distortion. People recognized the West as "superior" because the US was so rich and so powerful. People adopted Western secular doctrines because they hoped they would then become richer and more powerful also.

 

But as they become more prosperous and we more divided and our policies intrusive, our popularity sinks, our influence weakens and more people turn back to their old faith. Militants grow more powerful.

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