Re: Two essays on the violence seemingly inherent in Islam

From: Alex F. Bokov (
Date: Wed Oct 24 2001 - 07:14:20 MDT


On Wed, 24 Oct 2001, Samantha Atkins wrote:

> 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)

Can you think of better one?

> incompatible with all or some actual or hypothetical religions.

You're right, I am making that assumption.

> 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

Yes. What I mean by egalitarianism is equal rights, not necesserily
equal outcome.

> endlessly fascinating vacillations of meaning. The term

I mean classical liberal.

> "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.

Okay, okay, I guess I screwed up my hypothetical question.

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

Ah, this is the question I'm tryingto ask. Are there any conversations
we're don't have in a society with reasonable tolerance of differing

- --
* I believe that the majority of the world's Muslims are good, *
* honorable people. If you are a Muslim and want to reassure me and *
* others that you are part of this good, honorable majority, all *
* you need to say are nine simple words: "I OPPOSE the Wahhabi cult *
* and its Jihad." *

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