Had an interesting conversation with a dear friend of mine on the issue of the debate between religion and science, atheism and theism.
While I sought to avoid all the useless rhetoric which leads to no answers – I sought to reconcile what I believe to be two perceptions that are not all quite that different. What I have noticed as a common denominator amongst so-called atheists is a disdain more-so for the morose attributes of religion rather than the philosophy and intellectualism behind it. In reality, even in today’s modern world, religion is a tool for control, power and crime (as expressed through politics), which does nothing to improve the image of the philosophy behind theology in the first place.
Social liberalism grew largely out of the resistance movements against monarchism, despotism, authoritarianism, and socio-economic control. Since most of these ‘tyrants’ in history were in fact justifying their actions through religious dogma, it only makes sense that individuals would be repulsed by the idea altogether. But just as there have been religiously dogmatic tyrants, there have also been irreligiously dogmatic tyrants. And in the midst of it all, we’ve even had tyrants who could not make the decision for themselves, such as Hitler, who in one angle portrays himself as a God-fearing messiah, and in other, an anti-judaic anti-christ. Stalin and Lenin worked to disenfranchise religion entirely from the socio-political scene.
Ultimately, each individual ought to be free – atheist or not. In the end it seems to me what matters are the virtues of life that are carried in philosophy altogether. Religious fanatics will claim you cannot be good without obedience to organized religion; atheists claim you can be ABSOLUTELY moral without the help of God. Both seem quite extreme. I sympathize with the atheist however, because religious dogma is terrifying. Yet, I do believe that without God, man falls prey to hubris, which eventually leads to power-grabbing, and an obstruction of human liberty and dignity.
Ultimately, I must say I am devoted to the Abrahamic God – and I believe all truth and beauty resonates from Him. The wonders of philosophy, morality, existentialism, and secularism as well – all of these resonate from that wonderful truth which is perfection – the Lord of the worlds. No, I do not traditionally welcome the Christian anthropomorphic version of God, and I do reject the evangelical and fundamentalistic zionist interpretation of God – seeing both of these as equally dogmatic and detrimental to individual liberty, dignity, and truth.
I am a muslim and a jew. I believe in the message of Allah. I do so philosophically, however not ‘religiously’. I submit to God – not to one man’s devious understanding of God.
“But it’s crucial to understand that, for any Palestinian, anti-Semitism—whether actual, perceived, or simply expected—is our worst enemy. At a very basic level, differentiating between irrational prejudice and informed criticism of Israel is what keeps Palestinian discourse legitimate.”
Apparently, President Obama is no longer tolerable; he must be impeached.
I thought Glenn Beck always wanted Obama impeached.
Okay so Obama is arming rebels in Syria. As the story goes, these guys are struggling for freedom against a tyrannical regime – meanwhile forces are trying to infiltrate; namely the al qaedas, the al nusras, and other terrorist buddies.
The less sensationalist narrative goes like this: the rebels – ALTOGETHER – are immoral in their struggle against the ‘only secular and stable force in the middle east in the last 50 years’ known as the Ba’athist government led by President Assad. In this narrative, the secularism in Syria is being threatened by a force of fundamentalism from within encouraged, incited and largely supported by forces from without.
Starkly contrary to the previous narrative, is it not?
The question is which is true? Who is doing what and why, and for what reason? Obama is awfully sympathetic to the Saudis; but then again – his sympathy for the Israelis is seemingly rocky. The Middle East is a hotbed for violence and social injustice but there is a finite root – a definite cause to all this which supersedes the conventional Hollywood narrative that portrays Arabs as uncivilized tribal creatures that cause their own misery. This perception is largely propagated by the Right-wingers in most countries – coupled with their Islamo-phobia – to justify military escapades abroad in these countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Egypt & Bahrain where the people seem helpless in the face of internationally sustained tyrants.
Arabs are among the world’s cases of colonialism (not to downplay any others) – but the reality is quite true. The establishment of a religious, theocratic state called Israel in 1948, and the funding of various cults, groups and individuals like Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, create the backdrop for instability, tension and illusory conflict, pinning arabs against each other instead of uniting them in a nationalist initiative.
The Middle East is clouded. Mixed perceptions and propaganda do not help to clear the air, but at the end of the day, it looks to me like the Saudis, the Israelis, the Jordanian Kingdom, the Gulf altogether and all these political entities’ various fundamentalistic satellites in Lebanon, Afghanistan, North Africa, are altogether the cause of social injustice in the Middle East, using dogma to rule, religion to dominate, and money to silence. Their legitimacy? Wahhabiism, imperialism, zionism, conservatism, vanity, etc.
Yet they have the audacity to point at leftist governments such as that of Iran or Syria as the cause of instability in the region. They point at Russia and China as being the leftist-menaces of society – but what about western expansionism? Why the double-standard?
Obama is struggling to initiate even the lightest of leftist reforms in America to address the plight of the poor, the underprivileged, the disenfranchised, the victims of crime, etc. He is still a champion of individual rights, as many leftists are, and while he does support the leftist cause, is still a stern centrist a mon avis, which is in fact exactly why he has been so successful – a great lawyer.
I believe he’s doing his best to uphold the more beautiful tenets of capitalism while brushing off the fundamentalism while he simultaneously works to realign america with the side of justice internationally – as odd and clouded that assertion might be, given recent altercations with Putin in the Ukraine. But overall, I believe Obama is for capitalism and against the anarchy of right-wing pseudo-capitalists. Once the lobbying of these guys is stymied or defeated competitively, if possible, we might see more positive change in this country and abroad. With the Supreme Court ruling against limits on campaign funding, it looks like its going to be a bitter competition till the end. Is that fair? I guess it’s part of the endless struggle for justice in this world. Keep pushing.
Libertarian wave in America. Not sure if it’s a good thing. Label themselves crusaders of genuine freedoms; as does the Republican Party which takes us to war and deprives us of individual rights.
I am all for individual freedom but I don’t know if Libertarians bring anything new – they seem to echo the same message as republicans without having actual plans. All libertarians seem to do is point out the problem. They criticize. They judge. But they have no alternative – no solution – which makes me think their idea of what the problem is might be in fact wrong – which ultimately perpetuates these problems for all americans.
Rand Paul calls for low taxes and less government. He wants involvement in some conflicts abroad but not all. Well, dear Rand Paul, it seems you are part of the wrong political party because we are in involved in every country in the world precisely because of the Bush doctrine of preemption.
I am no fundamentalist by any means because I never want to feel like my beliefs are trampling on the freedom of another. I do respect self-reliance and I do acknowledge that in our world there is potential for certain people or groups to abuse the laws of nature and to use power for the wrong reasons – like starting war, protecting interests, for the sake of vanity, bigotry, greed, etc.
Rand Paul and the Republicans love portraying themselves as the harbingers of justice – the true americans – protecting individual freedom.
Why do you support the Republican Party? Why are you Islamo-phobes? Why don’t you acknowledge the flaws of anarchical-capitalism as exhibited first hand by close Bush-family ally Saudi Arabia? If you are champions of individual rights why do you discourage social liberty and promote conservative controls of human behavior?
Republicans and Libertarians love portraying Democrats as the anti-christ; as the enemies of individualism simply because they do not advocate it to such an extent that ends up violating the individual rights of others. You see dear friends, there is a huge difference between capitalism and imperialism – the latter being the product of fundamentalist-capitalism, bigotry, and fascism.
There is no perfect system, or ideology. Only God is perfect. The rest is subjective. We must deal with society with this in mind – distinguishing between true individualism and pseudo-individualism. The problem of today’s world is precisely that - the Pseudo.
“Clearly, other people in this business, whether it be consumers or fans, or more importantly, the labels or the media, have the need to label me and package me as a conscious artist…The conscious rapper label correctly applies to me, because I am a conscious rapper…But this industry has demonized the term ‘consciousness,’ and has demonized the idea of positive message and music that can move people in a different direction other than debauchery,” he said.
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