Search This Blog

Sunday, December 20, 2015

An Interesting Contrast

The Federalist
Bill Maher Blasts Liberals For Believing That Muslims Share The Same Values
November 21, 2015 By The Federalist Staff
On Friday night’s episode of HBO’s “Real Time,” Bill Maher criticized liberals for believing that Muslims share the same values as other religions.

“This idea that all religions share the same values is bullshit and we need to call it bullshit,” Maher said. “If you are in this religion, you probably do have values that are at odds [with American ones]. This is what liberals don’t want to recognize.” ...

then there was the letter in January, 2015 from Ali Khamenei or Iran, which did not have quite the same amount of cable TV coverage, and for which an entire copy is not easily found. I copy the Wikipedia article about it:

... He [ Khamenei ] states his admiration for Western historians who, in his words, are "deeply ashamed of the bloodsheds wrought in the name of religion between the Catholics and Protestants or in the name of nationality and ethnicity during the First and Second World Wars". The question Khamenei asks here is why Western public awareness is focused on the distant past, "but not [on] current problems". He asks, "Why is it that attempts are made to prevent public awareness regarding an important issue such as the treatment of Islamic culture and thought?"

This question leads him to the main issue that he wishes to communicate to young people: "Hence, my first request is: Study and research the incentives behind this widespread tarnishing of the image of Islam." As part of this, he advises young people to read the Quran for themselves. "Have you studied the teachings of the Prophet of Islam and his humane, ethical doctrines? Have you ever received the message of Islam from any sources other than the media?", he asks...

I have seen this letter referred to as "making the case for Islam", but that is a politicized description; the letter merely asks for an informed evaluation.

If the results of a reasoned and informed evaluation leads to "bullshit", so be it.
By the way, I guess I agree that the idea that religions all share the same values is bullshit.  Obviously all religions do not share all values, nor do they view the world the same way.
This commonplace observation is hardly a suitable springboard to an indictment and denunciation, although a cable TV mentality seems to think it is.

I studied Arabic. I had the idea 40 years ago it would be important. I read the Quran in Arabic.
What I do not do is create a link between what I read in scripture and modern day politics, so while I am somewhat informed, I make no judgements on the value of scripture based on what present day members of a certain faith are doing.

There is an almost infinite number of possible proposition-vectors in the religious Hilbert Space.
Try to pick the good ones.


No comments: