silene

Member
  • Content count

    458
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About silene

  • Rank
    - - -
  • Birthday 01/01/1872

Personal Information

  • Location
    UK
  • Gender
    Male

Recent Profile Visitors

1,554 profile views
  1. Makes sense. I'd add that most religions are traditional, their teachings and practices are fossilised in time of the first few centuries after they started. Islam actually has a taboo on 'innovation' doesn't it? So as long as they're still functioning to progress the development of society, then great. But at some point they start to slow down progress: treatment of women is a good example. Islam provided an improvement when it first started, but it hasn't continued to progress, so that now, secular movements like feminism and socialism have taken over the baton of progress. Feminism will reach its apex too in time, and need to be surpassed if it doesn't evolve. Change is important and requires a willingness to let go of the past when it no longer serves us.
  2. The issue of metaphorical vs literal interpretation is an important one. Often the text itself doesn't guide you, although passages like Christian parables are clearly stories rather than facts. I chose these 2 quotes of yours to show how messy this interpretation can be. I understand that Muslims have a class of members called 'scholars' who are seen as authorities to help them decide. I wonder how much individual choice Muslims have in this, eg what would happen if someone decided one day that praying is only metaphorical so they don't need to do it literally? On the other hand, it must feel pretty insecure and defensive if you believe the whole scripture is literally, historically true. The slightest internal contradiction or conflict with science, and the whole world view would come crashing down. There's no room for compromise. There's a danger of believing yourself into a very dualistic bubble.
  3. @Someone here I don't know which country you're in, but judging by this thread you're in the West. Where I live (UK) there's plenty of well educated and prosperous Muslims in business, medicine, academia etc so it's more complicated than making generalisations like most Muslims are poor & uneducated. They go through the same education system as anyone else here. Also by your logic, left wingers in Muslim majority countries would be doing the mirror image: vigorously criticising Islam and making allowances for Christian and other minorities. Do you see that in practice? (I don't have much experience of travelling in the Islamic majority world so I'm not sure. I'm genuinely interested, it's not just a rhetorical question).
  4. The left is really trying to attack "Western" culture (meaning white Christian capitalist) and Islam just happens to be another culture around which they haven't the courage to tackle, perhaps because Muslims tend to defend themselves more than Christians do. But yeah, it's all very embarrassing for the left, considering that Islam is historically guilty of all the same faults (including slavery) as Christianity.
  5. I'm not Jewish. But I think anti-semitism is a word used wrongly (as others in this subject, like racism). Semites means anyone speaking the Semitic_languages which basically means most people in the middle East, some north Africans, even Maltese is Semitic. So it literally means being anti all that, which is basically no-one. Perhaps I'm being pedantic. It's commonly used to mean anti-Jewish, which I guess covers a wide spectrum from regular discrimination, through conspiracy theories, desecrating cemeteries, etc, to full scale genocide.
  6. "Why do so many religions believe in doomsday or judgment day?" Why so many Hollywood disaster movies? Now that old-time religion is on the wane. We love it don't we, thinking it's all going to pot.
  7. Do you mean move from spiral dynamics stage red to green, or something else?
  8. True enough, but in a truly socialist world charity wouldn't be necessary because the system would already provide for everyone. Voluntarily donating your surplus wealth generated via capitalism to poor people (in exchange for enhancing your reputation), is like going back to a 19th C philanthropic capitalist model and not addressing the fundamental problems. But hey, we need short-term assistance like this while those inequalities are dealt with. If they are, I've never asked any African farmers if they want to be socialists!
  9. Discrimination and persecution, yes. Islam's as guilty of that as most. Us humans have always divided ourselves up into competing groups. But my inclination at the moment is to see race as a modern idea, and we have a habit of projecting our modern world-views backwards in history onto people who had different world-views. Or maybe I'm wrong, in which case there will be references in the historical record to people buying into racial identity rather than say, tribalism, nationalism, religionism etc. Do you know of them?
  10. I'm doing some basic research on the history of race and racism at the moment. Although I'm at an early stage however, it appears that race as we know it is a modern Western social construct dating to the 18th C. From Wiki article on Race_(human_categorization) "The modern concept of race emerged as a product of the colonial enterprises of European powers from the 16th to 18th centuries which identified race in terms of skin color and physical differences. This way of classification would have been confusing for people in the ancient world since they did not categorize each other in such a fashion. In particular, the epistemological moment where the modern concept of race was invented and rationalized lies somewhere between 1730 and 1790." So racism only exists in societies (and individuals) which believe in it. For early Islam and other early Medieval philosophies, race wasn't an issue, rather it was things like tribalism that were the problem. Uniting the pagan Arab tribes in the name of the new religion of Islam created an awesome imperialistic force which started conquering as far as they could. It reminds me of a related historical process when the competing and warring British 'tribes' (England, Scotland, Wales etc) came together in the name of the UK and stopped fighting each other, just in time to go out fighting in the rest of the world and create the British Empire. But it's not entirely successful, look at Afghanistan for example where tribal loyalties seem to rank higher than Islamic unity. Plus Islam is split between Sunni, Shia, etc.
  11. +1 Peace comes from within, so can we find peace before answering this question? When we try to make the world a better place, without finding our inner peace, we end up making it worse.
  12. Isn't he just advocating a Hindu version of totalitarianism, rather like Islamic Sharia law for his proposed new Kailasa country?
  13. It looks like we have a different understanding of Tibet. My version is, that the Tibetan state is living in exile in northern India, while their country is occupied, colonised, and its mineral wealth taken by a foreign power, China. Maybe the Dalai Lama is interested now in economics, but he's not in charge of Tibet at the moment. Tibet used to have limited contact with the outside world until the 20th C, which limited its economic development but being essentially a Buddhist theocracy (so to speak) they valued different things anyway. They could sustain themselves at a basic living standard for most of the population, but lack of economic strength meant they didn't have a very effective military to withstand the Chinese invasion apart from the difficult terrain. Anyway, this issue isn't just about Tibet with it's own particular history, but about a broader question of rule by enlightened gurus. Does that mean we should do away with democracy and have some cabal decide who is enlightened enough to rule over us? Who chooses the people who decide who the next ruler will be? We would need enlightened people to choose an enlightened ruler. Sorry but I don't see how this would work.
  14. They already tried that in Tibet, how's it working out?