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Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 03:21 am
Here, on this forum, I see certain in favour of eastern religions, for example Buddhism. Christianity is claimed to be authoritarian, violental etc. But let me remeber that very interesting point: those who speak this live in Christian or former Christian countries, whereas those Hindoo or Buddhist or Chinese communities seem to be far more immovable and authoritarian, is it not suggestive? I should like to hear you opinions here: why it happened so, that living under such authoritarian yoke we may discuss all these topics which deny all that authoritarianism.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 04:16 am
@Eudaimon,
I'd credit secular and/or enlightenment values that have moved discourse in these areas into a post-Christian forum outside of churches and temples. It is because 'western' nations have relative freedom of religion that they enjoy relative freedom of expression.

However, I don't think it's a given that such values are synonymous with freedom - certain readings of enlightenment values inspired the political projects that led areas of Europe and Russia into totalitarianism last century, and it is a version of totalitarian socialism that China operates - not an 'eastern' philosophy at all.

However, 'eastern' philosophies may well account for a certain vulnerability to tyranny.

Confuscianism advocates knowing one's place in a rigid social order.
Taoism advocates a certain acceptance of fate.
Buddhism advocates extinguishing desires.

It does strike me that a literal reading of these ideals might make one vulnerable to the manipulations of others.

However, I think Christian ethics are equally flawed, and subject to as much incoherance and internal inconsistency as eastern beliefs.
 
Eudaimon
 
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 08:47 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen wrote:
I'd credit secular and/or enlightenment values that have moved discourse in these areas into a post-Christian forum outside of churches and temples. It is because 'western' nations have relative freedom of religion that they enjoy relative freedom of expression.

However, I don't think it's a given that such values are synonymous with freedom - certain readings of enlightenment values inspired the political projects that led areas of Europe and Russia into totalitarianism last century, and it is a version of totalitarian socialism that China operates - not an 'eastern' philosophy at all.

However, 'eastern' philosophies may well account for a certain vulnerability to tyranny.

Confuscianism advocates knowing one's place in a rigid social order.
Taoism advocates a certain acceptance of fate.
Buddhism advocates extinguishing desires.

It does strike me that a literal reading of these ideals might make one vulnerable to the manipulations of others.

However, I think Christian ethics are equally flawed, and subject to as much incoherance and internal inconsistency as eastern beliefs.

What I should like to know is why all those processes, namely enlightenment, giving up church authorities, took place in Christian communities. I think the fact that Christianity let occur critisism of itself quite contradicts with that opinion that it is so suppressive, authoritarian as modern philosophers, psychologists want to represent it.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 08:58 am
@Dave Allen,
All the concepts that you describe as 'post christian' in fact have their origion in christianity- even secualriation was a concept first advocated by non-conformists.
 
Eudaimon
 
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 09:22 am
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
All the concepts that you describe as 'post christian' in fact have their origion in christianity- even secualriation was a concept first advocated by non-conformists.

This is just what I wanted to make clear for every one who claims it to be "authoritarian". But in any case I have to admit that this opinion is not groundless. Christianity as a descendant of Judaism naturally had violental features. But they do not exhaust all its contents.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 11:54 am
@Eudaimon,
It seems to me like an intellectual analog to Emo Kids. Emo kids generally come from white middle class america, have never suffered poverty, no real violence, no real crime, etc... But they whine about the Black abyss of their lives, the cruel cruel world, and the injustices they suffer. I'm really not so sure it is a real sentiment against Christianity, as it is people who have good lives that they are unhappy with desperately scrambling for a scapegoat.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 01:27 pm
@GoshisDead,
Life without purpose is inherabntly unbearable- it is not simply the removal of religion, but the removal of any meaning at all from the mainstream of society.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 06:07 pm
@avatar6v7,
Where do we get the idea that Eastern societies are more authoritarian than western? Have we already managed to forget Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, Mussolini's Italy, ect?
 
Eudaimon
 
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 11:14 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
avatar6v7 wrote:
Life without purpose is inherabntly unbearable- it is not simply the removal of religion, but the removal of any meaning at all from the mainstream of society.

Avatar, I personally do not see any purpose in life, because in this way should imply existence of someone who gave that. But I have certain preferences which I follow. It is possible to live without any belief.
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Where do we get the idea that Eastern societies are more authoritarian than western? Have we already managed to forget Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, Mussolini's Italy, ect?

When I said about eastern authoritarianism I meant that those societies are generally immovable to a new ideology, new religion, sometimes even intolerable unlike our Christian or, if you wish, post-Christian societies. And I should like to know whether Christianity also may be reason for that. And I incline to say: yes.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Thu 30 Apr, 2009 02:34 am
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon wrote:
When I said about eastern authoritarianism I meant that those societies are generally immovable to a new ideology, new religion, sometimes even intolerable unlike our Christian or, if you wish, post-Christian societies. And I should like to know whether Christianity also may be reason for that. And I incline to say: yes.

Well Japan has seen the Meiji reformation, the end of Imperial divinity and has been a success story in the field of free market capitalism in the last 100 years or so - many Japanese have become Christians, Buddhism is another popular ideological/religious import.

China, Vietnam and Cambodia all adopted the ideology of communism during the 20th century. This move fostered degrees of intolerance, but it was undeniably an ideological change.

Indian culture is predominantly Hindu, though a large majority are Muslims. Whilst sectarian violence exists between the two this does not change the fact that India has not been institutionally opposed to imported cultures. When the Zoroastrians were persecuted in Persia large numbers of them moved to Bombay. Buddhism was developed out of Hinduism without the schism causing sectarian violence in India (though certain buddhist sects were linked to warring factions in Shogunate Japan).

I think it's ignorant to suggest that these cultures are intriniscally superior to western ones, things like the Hindu caste system or the Maoist war against religion are repressive and retrograde. However, to suggest these cultures are closed to new ideologies or theologies is also somewhat ignorant.
 
Eudaimon
 
Reply Thu 30 Apr, 2009 04:38 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen wrote:
Well Japan has seen the Meiji reformation, the end of Imperial divinity and has been a success story in the field of free market capitalism in the last 100 years or so - many Japanese have become Christians, Buddhism is another popular ideological/religious import.

China, Vietnam and Cambodia all adopted the ideology of communism during the 20th century. This move fostered degrees of intolerance, but it was undeniably an ideological change.

Indian culture is predominantly Hindu, though a large majority are Muslims. Whilst sectarian violence exists between the two this does not change the fact that India has not been institutionally opposed to imported cultures. When the Zoroastrians were persecuted in Persia large numbers of them moved to Bombay. Buddhism was developed out of Hinduism without the schism causing sectarian violence in India (though certain buddhist sects were linked to warring factions in Shogunate Japan).

I think it's ignorant to suggest that these cultures are intriniscally superior to western ones, things like the Hindu caste system or the Maoist war against religion are repressive and retrograde. However, to suggest these cultures are closed to new ideologies or theologies is also somewhat ignorant.

I am familiar with all the facts. But it seems to me that there is anyway subtle difference between our cultures, is it not? Eastern communities and even Russian, as it was exposed some time ago to Mongol invasion, tend to be more traditional, patriarchal and in this sense authoritarian than western ones.
By the way, I am not going to maintain cardinal role of Christianity, I am trying to be as humble as Max Weber and enquiring only whether Christianity could also, along with all other reasons, influence our modern liberalism. So many times we have heard that this teaching is suppressive, disfiguring human nature, that this is the top of humiliation of man before God (that is before his self-made fictions), that I decided to ask how it could be that in such society appeared this desperate critisism. Is it not because Christianity contains in itself a very humane seed: tolerance to others, forgiveness, non-resistance to evil by force. However, in Islam, for instance, there are quite opposite values. And if a Christian fanatic may be stopped by his own scripture, others, from sects where distribution of belief is approved in every wise, may only be inflamed with their writs.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Thu 30 Apr, 2009 05:03 am
@Eudaimon,
People do tend to moan more about what happens in their neighbourhoods than what happens in another country, which may be selfish but is also practical. I think it is somewhat churlish not to admit that renaissance and enlightenment flowered out of Christendom, but it's also fair to note that had it not been for the Romano-Christian dark ages we might have got there a fair bit sooner with a lot less bloodshed and torture. Who knows?

The words of Jesus Christ, which are for the most part admittedly peaceful and harmonious in intent, unfortunately come packaged with the aggressive envangelism of Paul, the nightmarish Book of Revelation, and the belligerance of the Old Testament. In practice I think this allows any particular adherant of the faith to find what he wants in the scripture. Search it for advocacy of hatred and violence and it is there, search it for harmony and love and it is there. The fear to me is the rather retrograde steps biblical literalists seem to be forcing upon the US in terms of politics and education, and the knowledge that the UK often follows the lead of America. I think centuries of religious discord have effectively innoculated Europe from mass zealotry - we still have the ugly scars to examine. America, founded on enlightenment values and having no first-hand home-ground experience of widespread religious warfare, can only learn such lessons through examining European history - which I believe engenders a certain vulnerablity.

So you are right to say that former christendom may well be a better place to live than Islamic countries. I suspect so too (though I've no experience of Islamic culture and we tend to only see the worst of it on TV). However, cedeing to Christianity as a gestalt the credit for this state of affairs is too much to ask for, I think. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and other cliches...
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 30 Apr, 2009 10:46 am
@Dave Allen,
Eudaimon wrote:

When I said about eastern authoritarianism I meant that those societies are generally immovable to a new ideology, new religion, sometimes even intolerable unlike our Christian or, if you wish, post-Christian societies. And I should like to know whether Christianity also may be reason for that. And I incline to say: yes.


Which is a generalization that is not accurate. You say that eastern societies are generally opposed to new ideology, yet you mention the transition of China to communism. Wasn't that a transition to a new ideology? What about India's transition to democracy?

As for new religions, I have no idea where you get this notion that eastern societies are less open to new religious ideas. Did the Chinese reject Buddhism? No. Buddhism spread throughout the east. Taoism has also spread to many places outside of China. Not to mention the success of Christianity in many eastern nations.

Are eastern societies sometime intolerant? sure. But western Christian societies are also sometimes intolerant.

Is Christianity the cause of some supposed level of tolerance in the west that surpasses typical levels of eastern tolerance? No. The generalization of societies upon which the question is based is not accurate.

Dave Allen wrote:

Indian culture is predominantly Hindu, though a large majority are Muslims.


No, 80% of Indians are Hindu, while Muslims make up the largest religious minority at just over 10%.
 
Eudaimon
 
Reply Thu 30 Apr, 2009 11:20 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Which is a generalization that is not accurate. You say that eastern societies are generally opposed to new ideology, yet you mention the transition of China to communism. Wasn't that a transition to a new ideology? What about India's transition to democracy?

As for new religions, I have no idea where you get this notion that eastern societies are less open to new religious ideas. Did the Chinese reject Buddhism? No. Buddhism spread throughout the east. Taoism has also spread to many places outside of China. Not to mention the success of Christianity in many eastern nations.

Yes, I admit that was not accurate. Take this for apology:
Eudaimon wrote:
I am familiar with all the facts. But it seems to me that there is anyway subtle difference between our cultures, is it not? Eastern communities and even Russian, as it was exposed some time ago to Mongol invasion, tend to be more traditional, patriarchal and in this sense authoritarian than western ones.
By the way, I am not going to maintain cardinal role of Christianity, I am trying to be as humble as Max Weber and enquiring only whether Christianity could also, along with all other reasons, influence our modern liberalism. So many times we have heard that this teaching is suppressive, disfiguring human nature, that this is the top of humiliation of man before God (that is before his self-made fictions), that I decided to ask how it could be that in such society appeared this desperate critisism. Is it not because Christianity contains in itself a very humane seed: tolerance to others, forgiveness, non-resistance to evil by force. However, in Islam, for instance, there are quite opposite values. And if a Christian fanatic may be stopped by his own scripture, others, from sects where distribution of belief is approved in every wise, may only be inflamed with their writs.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
Are eastern societies sometime intolerant? sure. But western Christian societies are also sometimes intolerant.
Is Christianity the cause of some supposed level of tolerance in the west that surpasses typical levels of eastern tolerance? No. The generalization of societies upon which the question is based is not accurate.

But the question is what we understand under change. The case with Chinese communism as well as with Russian is invalid. The Chinese (as Russian during Stalinism) attitude to life and government did not change because of their "communism" and now they are they have the same despotism as 100 years ago. And Chinese Buddhism is very different from that of India.
Anyway, I think thou shouldst admit that generally those eastern societies are much patriarchal worshipping certain authority: guru, sensei, etc.
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Are eastern societies sometime intolerant? sure. But western Christian societies are also sometimes intolerant.
Is Christianity the cause of some supposed level of tolerance in the west that surpasses typical levels of eastern tolerance? No. The generalization of societies upon which the question is based is not accurate.

If we lived in, say, Islamic community, would it be possible to discuss all that?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 30 Apr, 2009 12:05 pm
@Eudaimon,
Let's look at this "apology":

Eudaimon wrote:
I am familiar with all the facts. But it seems to me that there is anyway subtle difference between our cultures, is it not?


A great many differences between east and west, and differences contained within the west and within the east.

Eudaimon wrote:
Eastern communities and even Russian, as it was exposed some time ago to Mongol invasion, tend to be more traditional, patriarchal and in this sense authoritarian than western ones.


Still we have this generalization that seems entirely arbitrary. You are making a sweeping generalization about half of the globe which contains diverse societies.

Eudaimon wrote:
By the way, I am not going to maintain cardinal role of Christianity, I am trying to be as humble as Max Weber and enquiring only whether Christianity could also, along with all other reasons, influence our modern liberalism.


Of course Christianity influences our modern liberalism.

Eudaimon wrote:
So many times we have heard that this teaching is suppressive, disfiguring human nature, that this is the top of humiliation of man before God (that is before his self-made fictions), that I decided to ask how it could be that in such society appeared this desperate critisism. Is it not because Christianity contains in itself a very humane seed: tolerance to others, forgiveness, non-resistance to evil by force.


Christianity does contain these wonderfully humane ideals. However, Christianity has often been used, and is still used, to produce the reverse thereof. In other words, because Christianity can be used to promote tolerance as well as intolerance, we cannot rightly sight Christianity as a reason why some society may or may not be more tolerant than some other society.

Eudaimon wrote:
However, in Islam, for instance, there are quite opposite values.


No, my friend. Islam also champions love and compassion, tolerance, forgiveness.

Eudaimon wrote:

But the question is what we understand under change. The case with Chinese communism as well as with Russian is invalid. The Chinese (as Russian during Stalinism) attitude to life and government did not change because of their "communism" and now they are they have the same despotism as 100 years ago.


Why is the Chinese example invalid? The Chinese accepted a new ideology, communism. Communism and Confucianism are not the same thing.

Eudaimon wrote:
And Chinese Buddhism is very different from that of India.


Chinese Buddhism is different than the Buddhism of India and Tibet, so what? The Chinese still embraced with open arms Buddhism. The primary difference is that Chinese Buddhism is infused with Taoist teaching. The example remains one of the Chinese embracing a new religion.

Eudaimon wrote:
Anyway, I think thou shouldst admit that generally those eastern societies are much patriarchal worshipping certain authority: guru, sensei, etc.


I would if it were true that eastern societies are inherently more patriarchal. Do western societies not worship certain authority figures? the spiritual teacher? They do. Christians worship Jesus, a spiritual teacher. Catholics worship a variety of saints.

Eudaimon wrote:
If we lived in, say, Islamic community, would it be possible to discuss all that?


Yes.
 
Eudaimon
 
Reply Thu 30 Apr, 2009 01:28 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Let's look at this "apology":
A great many differences between east and west, and differences contained within the west and within the east.
Still we have this generalization that seems entirely arbitrary. You are making a sweeping generalization about half of the globe which contains diverse societies.
Of course Christianity influences our modern liberalism.
Christianity does contain these wonderfully humane ideals. However, Christianity has often been used, and is still used, to produce the reverse thereof. In other words, because Christianity can be used to promote tolerance as well as intolerance, we cannot rightly sight Christianity as a reason why some society may or may not be more tolerant than some other society.
No, my friend. Islam also champions love and compassion, tolerance, forgiveness.
Why is the Chinese example invalid? The Chinese accepted a new ideology, communism. Communism and Confucianism are not the same thing.
Chinese Buddhism is different than the Buddhism of India and Tibet, so what? The Chinese still embraced with open arms Buddhism. The primary difference is that Chinese Buddhism is infused with Taoist teaching. The example remains one of the Chinese embracing a new religion.
I would if it were true that eastern societies are inherently more patriarchal. Do western societies not worship certain authority figures? the spiritual teacher? They do. Christians worship Jesus, a spiritual teacher. Catholics worship a variety of saints.
Yes.

First of all, I should remind that I am speaking only whether Christianity could as well as other factors influence modern freedom of views.
I do not tend to differentiate east and west fully. But it seems to me that since ancient Greece east is commonly associated with despotism and west acceptance of rights of people. Is it so groundless?, I wonder.
The case with chinese "communism", I think, is really invalid. First of all what is currently in China is neither communism, nor socialism as Marx or even Lenin defined them. It's just that very despotism but with other names: "chairman" instead of "emperor". Also important is to know that socialism (Marxism) has much in common with despotism with coercive labour, all-powerful government, "dictatorship of proletariat". And since all workers obviously cannot be dictators there appears some one who becomes him alone, that is it becomes pure tyranny.
I wonder about Islam. How about Jihad? And that thy final "Yes", what it means? Maybe in America it is difficult to face with real Muslims, that is not smoothed over with environment but here, in Krasnodar, where I'm living, that's quite easy. And their way of thinking is really, as Th. Gomperz said, is real "alive fossil". One my groupmate from Dagestan (near Chechnya) told me that if his sister ever wore jeans, he would knocked her into the middle of next week. (I imagine what would he say if she decided to give up Islam and become Buddhist).
That's indeed impossible to reject that Christianity has also many authoritarian elemets, but it also has what some other religions do not have -- that's important.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 30 Apr, 2009 01:50 pm
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon wrote:
First of all, I should remind that I am speaking only whether Christianity could as well as other factors influence modern freedom of views.


And it is clear that Christianity does have some influence on the modern view of freedoms. However, you go too far when you use this influence of Christianity to suggest that the east tends toward despotism due to the lack of Christianity.

Eudaimon wrote:
But it seems to me that since ancient Greece east is commonly associated with despotism and west acceptance of rights of people. Is it so groundless?, I wonder.


Yes, completely groundless.

Eudaimon wrote:
The case with chinese "communism", I think, is really invalid. First of all what is currently in China is neither communism, nor socialism as Marx or even Lenin defined them. It's just that very despotism but with other names: "chairman" instead of "emperor". Also important is to know that socialism (Marxism) has much in common with despotism with coercive labour, all-powerful government, "dictatorship of proletariat". And since all workers obviously cannot be dictators there appears some one who becomes him alone, that is it becomes pure tyranny.


It doesn't matter whether or not Chinese communism is communism as envisioned by Marx or Lenin - the fact remains that the communist revolution in China marked an era in which China adopted a new ideology.

I agree that Chinese communism is a terrible, dictatorial, despotic regime. Though, to conflate socialism with Chinese communism is a mistake, and you yourself point out that Chinese communism is not true Marxism.

Eudaimon wrote:
I wonder about Islam. How about Jihad?


What about it? A jihad is a struggle for God. This is not necessarily a violent practice; violent jihad being a rarity. Caring for the poor is a sort of jihad, for example.

Eudaimon wrote:
And that thy final "Yes", what it means?


It was a response to your question. In other words, we could talk about these issues in a Muslim society.

Eudaimon wrote:
Maybe in America it is difficult to face with real Muslims, that is not smoothed over with environment but here, in Krasnodar, where I'm living, that's quite easy. And their way of thinking is really, as Th. Gomperz said, is real "alive fossil". One my groupmate from Dagestan (near Chechnya) told me that if his sister ever wore jeans, he would knocked her into the middle of next week. (I imagine what would he say if she decided to give up Islam and become Buddhist).
That's indeed impossible to reject that Christianity has also many authoritarian elemets, but it also has what some other religions do not have -- that's important.


Like Christianity, Islam is often used to repress people. That's a terrible shame. But we should not generalize about an entire religion based on a few examples.
 
Eudaimon
 
Reply Thu 30 Apr, 2009 11:48 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
And it is clear that Christianity does have some influence on the modern view of freedoms. However, you go too far when you use this influence of Christianity to suggest that the east tends toward despotism due to the lack of Christianity.

No, that's not what I meant. Buddhist and Hindoo morality has much in common with that of Christian, thus it obviously cannot be the reason. What I meant is that Christianity or rather its values (they may be Buddhist or Jain values as well) was necessary for forming modern 'freedomism'.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
Yes, completely groundless.

How, then, canst thou explain that those eastern seocieties up to middle of the XX century didn't have democracy?

Didymos Thomas wrote:
It doesn't matter whether or not Chinese communism is communism as envisioned by Marx or Lenin - the fact remains that the communist revolution in China marked an era in which China adopted a new ideology.
I agree that Chinese communism is a terrible, dictatorial, despotic regime. Though, to conflate socialism with Chinese communism is a mistake, and you yourself point out that Chinese communism is not true Marxism.

I don't think that was a new ideology. Countrymen have always dreamed about good tzar who will care about them and they will glorify him. It was quite in tune with old Confucian or Taoist, or Legalist tradition. I personally do not see any change except maybe in names.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
What about it? A jihad is a struggle for God. This is not necessarily a violent practice; violent jihad being a rarity. Caring for the poor is a sort of jihad, for example.
It was a response to your question. In other words, we could talk about these issues in a Muslim society.
Like Christianity, Islam is often used to repress people. That's a terrible shame. But we should not generalize about an entire religion based on a few examples.

I know what jihad means. But the fact remains: violence is not only permissible but even in some cases desirable in Islam. Especially with infidels, as we are:). Islam hallows patriarchal relationships: father is the head of family everyone must obey him; women (that is at least half of population) do not have ant rights whatsoever; king, khalif is God's vicar on Earth. All Muslims I have ever met (and it was not so rare) were either such fanatics, when they really believed in their writs (by the way, that fellow had religious education) or undisguised, or concealed non-believers who followed standards of our Christian or post-Christian, hedonist society.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Fri 1 May, 2009 03:57 pm
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon wrote:
No, that's not what I meant. Buddhist and Hindoo morality has much in common with that of Christian, thus it obviously cannot be the reason. What I meant is that Christianity or rather its values (they may be Buddhist or Jain values as well) was necessary for forming modern 'freedomism'.


The values of respecting other life, loving-kindness... sure, these values seem to be very important for the development of the modern conception of freedom.

Eudaimon wrote:
How, then, canst thou explain that those eastern seocieties up to middle of the XX century didn't have democracy?


I'm not sure that I need to explain this. I was just looking around, so if this history is not accurate let me know, but it seems that one of the first known democracies was on the island Arwad, a Phoenician settlement. This is 2,000BCE, well before Christianity.

In any case,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaishali_(ancient_city)
On the Indian subcontinent, many city states existed which were democratic - at least as democratic as it's Greek counterparts.

Eudaimon wrote:
I don't think that was a new ideology. Countrymen have always dreamed about good tzar who will care about them and they will glorify him. It was quite in tune with old Confucian or Taoist, or Legalist tradition. I personally do not see any change except maybe in names.


Chinese communism has some commonalities with Legalism in the broad sense, but none of those Chinese philosophies (especially Confucianism and Taoism!) have the core communist notions - the idea of the proletariat being the rulers of society, the end of the market system, ect.

Eudaimon wrote:
I know what jihad means. But the fact remains: violence is not only permissible but even in some cases desirable in Islam. Especially with infidels, as we are:).


Actually, Christians are not infidels. Neither are Jews or Zoroastrians. A strong case can be made that Hindus and Buddhists were not added to the list of acceptable religions simply because Muhammad had no knowledge of those traditions.

As for violence being desirable in Islam, outside of extreme fundamentalism, violence is rarely desirable. Peace is to be sought first and foremost. Violence being the last resort.

Eudaimon wrote:
Islam hallows patriarchal relationships: father is the head of family everyone must obey him; women (that is at least half of population) do not have ant rights whatsoever;


Except that women do have rights according to the Islamic faith. Only in these extreme fundamentalist societies do we have the concept invented that woman have no rights, that they must wear veils, that the husband cannot be contradicted. None of these things are true to Islam, they are invented by extremist interpreters of the Koran.

Eudaimon wrote:
All Muslims I have ever met (and it was not so rare) were either such fanatics, when they really believed in their writs (by the way, that fellow had religious education) or undisguised, or concealed non-believers who followed standards of our Christian or post-Christian, hedonist society.


Then you should meet some of the Muslims I know.
 
Eudaimon
 
Reply Sun 3 May, 2009 01:45 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
I'm not sure that I need to explain this. I was just looking around, so if this history is not accurate let me know, but it seems that one of the first known democracies was on the island Arwad, a Phoenician settlement. This is 2,000BCE, well before Christianity.
In any case,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaishali_(ancient_city)
On the Indian subcontinent, many city states existed which were democratic - at least as democratic as it's Greek counterparts.

Eventually, they fell into despotism, just as Greek or Roman democracy, though. I mean the latest millenium.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
Chinese communism has some commonalities with Legalism in the broad sense, but none of those Chinese philosophies (especially Confucianism and Taoism!) have the core communist notions - the idea of the proletariat being the rulers of society, the end of the market system, ect.

It is interesting to hear that Chinese communism has some commonalities with Legalism: if I am not mistaking, Legalism was an ideology of ruling classes that preached oppression of plebeians (i.e. that very workers and peasants), decided to apply force against them because of their "bad nature". How could those plebeians support that? Furthemore, in all those so-called Communist countries: Soviet Union, Poland, Czechoslovakia, church was in opposition to the regime, but can we say the same about Confucianism or Taoism in modern China?
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Actually, Christians are not infidels. Neither are Jews or Zoroastrians. A strong case can be made that Hindus and Buddhists were not added to the list of acceptable religions simply because Muhammad had no knowledge of those traditions.
As for violence being desirable in Islam, outside of extreme fundamentalism, violence is rarely desirable. Peace is to be sought first and foremost. Violence being the last resort.
Except that women do have rights according to the Islamic faith. Only in these extreme fundamentalist societies do we have the concept invented that woman have no rights, that they must wear veils, that the husband cannot be contradicted. None of these things are true to Islam, they are invented by extremist interpreters of the Koran.
Then you should meet some of the Muslims I know.

Actually, I am not a Christian, hehe. What about atheists, pagans, adherents of cults that foran his teaching: I really doubt that all they accepted his teachings so peacefully. Is it lawful to commit violence against those who are real infidels? And what is fundamentalism: return to initial principles, is it not? If a Christian or a Buddhist decided to return to his non-violence, surely it wouldn't be a problem for his neighbours, but why is it in Muslim societies?
 
 

 
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