Somewhere in the Bible, I’ve heard, there is a story about the battle between Satan and his supporters and God and his holy host of supporters. During or after the battle the neutral angels, those taking no part in the fight were the ones who chose the middle way, brought the Holy Grail to earth. Of course I can’t swear to the facts on this story, as I am not a Bible scholar nor Biblical historian. Nonetheless, the metaphor of the “middle way” is what I’m after. The religious and scriptural battles in the world today caused me to ruminate on an old idea.
This is my point:
Islam v. Christianity
Christianity v. Islam
Judaism v. Islam
Islam v. Judaism
Christianity v. Judaism
Judaism v. Christianity
monotheists v. pantheists
heathen v. believer
theists (meaning everybody) v. atheists
shirts v. skins
As Rodney King said, after he recovered from his beating, “Can’t we all just get along?” The answer to that question must be a resounding “NO”. The battle against reason has been joined by the multitudes and it is not going well. The evil angels of other faiths and those of too little faith are destroying the world. OK, if you say so.
Is the antidote for fanatical religion even more of or a different fanatical religion? I don’t think so. Why not just chuck it all? That’s a dangerous concept since the most hated of all of the religions, one great uniting principle of all religious maniacs is a common goal, the suppression of reason and the non-believer. If one stubbornly resists indoctrination in one area, he/she may reject it in others.
There is a strong argument to be made for agnosticism, atheism or secularism in the public sphere.
I don’t mean fall back rigidly on dialectical materialism or communism, at its worst worshiping statism and materialism or fascism, worshipping occultism, racism and romantic nationalism. I mean the abandonment of “isms” as much as possible as illogical and obscuritanist.
Debates about “faith” or the lack of it, can be disturbing or amusing. Here’s a fascinating discussion between Rick Warren (confirmed hypocrite) leader of the Saddleback evangelical church and Sam Harris, neuroscientist (don’t know if he’s a hypocrite). And yes, for the Islamophobes in the house, the Qur’an is included in the debate, no monotheistic religion is neglected.
Let the agnostics and atheists have their say. Good video here.
- Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentine writer. Borges said:
“Being an agnostic means all things are possible, even God, even the Holy Trinity. This world is so strange that anything may happen, or may not happen. Being an agnostic makes me live in a larger, a more fantastic kind of world, almost uncanny. It makes me more tolerant.”
David Arronovitch 1954–
British journalist, author and broadcaster.
“Like most of the Godless (or Godfree), I have no desire to proselytise for atheism or to persuade people out of religions that may offer them comfort and companionship.” “What makes me think I “can reduce the function of religion to the provision of ‘comfort and companionship'” instead of seeing it as a “public truth”? Being an atheist, I suppose. I see religion as a cultural and psychological construct, which fulfils certain almost universal needs and which, as a consequence, I am disinclined to condemn.”
Dutch feminist and politician, a prominent critic of Islam, whose screenplay for the movie Submission led to death threats.
“Too much reason can reform a faith away, which would be fine with Hirsi Ali, who regards herself as an atheist.”