Re: Two essays on the violence seemingly inherent in Islam

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Wed Oct 24 2001 - 02:06:35 MDT

Zero Powers wrote:
> >From: "Alex F. Bokov" <>
> >Hypothetically, what if there was a religion (not Islam, a
> >hypothetical religion that doesn't exist at all in our timeline)
> >diametrically opposed to the liberal, secular, rational, humanist,
> >egalitarian values. Would it be acceptable for us to regard this
> >religion as a problem rather than as a valid point of view, much like
> >we regard bigotry and hatred as problems rather than as opinions?
> >
> >Have we arrived at a paradox?
> Some people (myself and J.R. Molloy included) *do* view religion as a
> problem (if not *the* problem). But the problem with that problem is how to
> deal with it in a "liberal, secular, rational, humanist, egalitarian" way?
> The only way I see is by meme warfare. But this is admittedly an
> excrutiatingly slow way to wipe out theism. Particularly since religions
> are like Chinese handcuffs. The more you pull, the more resistant it
> becomes.

Yes. And the above descriptions are problematic in that it
assumes rationality, humanism, egalitarianism and so on are (a)
the only or best values to all reasonable beings and (b)
incompatible with all or some actual or hypothetical religions.
I am surprised to see egalitarian on the list frankly since most
of us believe in things like equality relative to law or rights
but not actual equality of results, talents, value in particular
enterprises and so on. The term "liberal" is subject to
endlessly fascinating vacillations of meaning. The term
"humanist" is often extended to mean strongly materialistic and
even is seen by some proponents to deny any real validity to
spirituality from the beginning. If so then it begs the
question straight away by being included.

In a society with reasonable tolerance of differing opinions and
worldviews we don't have quite these conversations in my view.

- samantha

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