Islamic Law, God's law?

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avatar6v7
 
Reply Fri 12 Jun, 2009 06:04 pm
@hue-man,
This is a digression, regardless of my own view, I was pointing out that even if you see the catholic church in the middle ages as evil, twisted, patriachal, strict, or whathever, any decent historian could tell you that they never had the same oppurtunity to exercise any of those traits as did Islam- as the Islamic political and religous systems are not just close, but the same thing. Islam as a political system, Islam as a social order and Islam as a faith are all the same unified structure. As to whether they were implicitly good or evil is irrelavent, I am discussing power.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Fri 12 Jun, 2009 06:31 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7;68644 wrote:
Islam as a political system, Islam as a social order and Islam as a faith are all the same unified structure.
The Umayyads and the Abassids would probably disagree with you.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 03:00 am
@Aedes,
hue-man;68490 wrote:
I think that we've reached a consensus, Didymos; but to say 'so what' in reference to my point about the role of scientific skepticism and enlightenment humanism's role in this historical event is unnecessarily dismissive.


We have not reached a consensus, my friend. My response of "so what" is not "unnecessarily dismissive given the paragraphs of explanation provided beyond said phrase. Sighting rejection of divine revelation and opposition to theocracy as the two causes of the 'Separation of Church and State' is misleading, and ultimately inaccurate.
 
Baal
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 04:12 am
@hue-man,
The middle ages were ruled with religion. The Church itself did not have as much actual authority as did Christianity have nominal authority. The church did have to go by means of secular leaders, but the 'secularism' of the leaders is generally suspect. Perhaps the leaders were secular in the sense that they dealt with non-religious matters but they were not secular in the sense we would term someone secular nowadays.

In any event; from a historical perspective Islam and the Arab world was far more tolerant and far less hotheaded about religious issues (with some notable exceptions) until modern times. Actually one of the alleged motives of the renaissance was to combat the Islamic renaissance. Political Islam and Islamism is a construct borne of the 20th century, (fascism, and) nationalism -

In any event, getting to the argument; as was noted, the Sharia court is optional, but hue-man made a claim about the Sharia courts not being fair and balanced, and also that people would be under community pressure to go with the Sharia court instead of civil court, and that would be 'unfair'.

However I would like to ask whether it would also be fair for me, if I were a devout Muslim, to be forced into accepting secular law - if I perceived the law as being unfair (according to my world-view)? Should I be forced to accept the validity of secular courts and deny validity of my own religious system? Furthermore, religious courts when reduced to a merely ceremonial role would give impetus for me to seek something more 'concrete' and would be de facto pressuring me to abandon my tradition.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 06:29 am
@Baal,
Baal;68743 wrote:
I would like to ask whether it would also be fair for me, if I were a devout Muslim, to be forced into accepting secular law - if I perceived the law as being unfair (according to my world-view)?
In much of the Muslim world, notably Turkey, Egypt, pre-revolution Iran, and the virtual entirety of Muslim parts of Africa (the sole exceptions being Mauritania and a northern province in Nigeria), the people in those countries wanted secular states. There are plenty of devout Muslims in the United States, and regardless of their beliefs, they do not stone people to death for adultery -- they are willing to accept secular, pluralistic law in exchange for the other benefits of living here.
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 07:29 am
@Baal,
Baal;68743 wrote:
The middle ages were ruled with religion. The Church itself did not have as much actual authority as did Christianity have nominal authority. The church did have to go by means of secular leaders, but the 'secularism' of the leaders is generally suspect. Perhaps the leaders were secular in the sense that they dealt with non-religious matters but they were not secular in the sense we would term someone secular nowadays.

In any event; from a historical perspective Islam and the Arab world was far more tolerant and far less hotheaded about religious issues (with some notable exceptions) until modern times. Actually one of the alleged motives of the renaissance was to combat the Islamic renaissance. Political Islam and Islamism is a construct borne of the 20th century, (fascism, and) nationalism -

In any event, getting to the argument; as was noted, the Sharia court is optional, but hue-man made a claim about the Sharia courts not being fair and balanced, and also that people would be under community pressure to go with the Sharia court instead of civil court, and that would be 'unfair'.

However I would like to ask whether it would also be fair for me, if I were a devout Muslim, to be forced into accepting secular law - if I perceived the law as being unfair (according to my world-view)? Should I be forced to accept the validity of secular courts and deny validity of my own religious system? Furthermore, religious courts when reduced to a merely ceremonial role would give impetus for me to seek something more 'concrete' and would be de facto pressuring me to abandon my tradition.
This may sound extreme but no ones forcing muslims to live in a secular country.What you should be asking is why in certain muslim countries such as Iran you have no rights to even stand for election if you are not a muslim.In ksa you are not even allowed to carry a bible through customs.Again sharia is not law its a way of life,it is used to decide such things as, is it acceptable for women to train as doctors.As there is no hard and fast rules, its down to the council to decide at anyone time what is correct.There are no written laws, its law by consensus of a few Imams.Todays moderate council can become the extremist council, as no laws are conceived by statute,its down to interpretation.Its the same faith that decides children should not fly kites or play music.I honestly believe sharia will cause more divisions in our communities if it is allowed to increase in its use.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 08:26 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;68726 wrote:
We have not reached a consensus, my friend. My response of "so what" is not "unnecessarily dismissive given the paragraphs of explanation provided beyond said phrase. Sighting rejection of divine revelation and opposition to theocracy as the two causes of the 'Separation of Church and State' is misleading, and ultimately inaccurate.


Didymos, I already agreed with you that it wasn't the main cause of the separation of church and state if you would've just read into my words a little more. I simply said that the cause was influenced by enlightenment humanism and freethinkers.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 08:42 am
@hue-man,
Excellent, we've cleared up our history.

Now, perhaps, we should address this 'no knowledge from mysticism' claim which seems patently false. Objections to mysticism? Fine, but to say we have learned nothing from the tradition is a stretch. I have objections to rationalism (Descartes, ect) but we certainly have learned a great deal from the tradition.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 08:58 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;68774 wrote:
Excellent, we've cleared up our history.

Now, perhaps, we should address this 'no knowledge from mysticism' claim which seems patently false. Objections to mysticism? Fine, but to say we have learned nothing from the tradition is a stretch. I have objections to rationalism (Descartes, ect) but we certainly have learned a great deal from the tradition.


I mean that we've learned nothing directly from mysticism and fideism. The former mistakes feeling for knowing, and the latter doesn't really care much about knowing at all. You're speaking of learning in the sense that we learn what the idea says about human beings or what is says about other ideas. I'm talking about actually acquiring knowledge from mysticism as a methodology.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 09:06 am
@hue-man,
hue-man;68778 wrote:
I mean that we've learned nothing directly from mysticism and fideism. The former mistakes feeling for knowing, and the latter doesn't really care much about knowing at all.


Feeling is not a kind of knowing? If I feel a pain in my leg, it is unreasonable of me to conclude that my leg is in pain?

We can take up fideism another time (and we should, as it comes in a variety of forms).

hue-man;68778 wrote:
You're speaking of learning in the sense that we learn what the idea says about human beings or what is says about other ideas. I'm talking about actually acquiring knowledge from mysticism as a methodology.


No, I do very much mean to include acquiring knowledge from mysticism as a methodology as well.
 
LWSleeth
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 10:28 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;68783 wrote:
Feeling is not a kind of knowing? . . . . No, I do very much mean to include acquiring knowledge from mysticism as a methodology as well.


[SIZE="3"]Part of the problem with asserting claims about the potentials of a feeling-based epistemology stems from debating people who know absolutely nothing about serious mysticism (serious = not the supernatural, magical, nonsensical variety). The great saints who spent a lifetime turning inward, and developing the potentials of feeling are ignored by those committed to rationalism alone.

If you make a point about he accomplishments of Teresa of Avila or Joshu or the Baal Shem Tov or Kabir or Julian of Norwich or the great Sufi inner practitioner Shah Nimatullah Wali, it's been my experience you can't get any pure rationalist to go and study the field to understand what you are talking about. What you will get over and over is dismissal without understanding, and unfair evaluation of the inner experience by insisting it meet the standards of science or some other ineffective epistemology (i.e., ineffective at studying the mystical experience)

Why exactly, for example, does the sufi Shah Nimatullah Wali say "When the mind's very being is gone, in a rapture divine and deep, itself in the Godhead lost, it is drawn from its former state, to another [that is] measureless." Is that all nonsense, or was he actually experiencing that? The answer you'll normally get from rationalists will be it is delusion, not because they've done the work of exploring the epistemology of inner practitioners, but strictly because that report doesn't fit within their own beliefs. And so instead of a studied, careful, informed response you get constant arguments intended to be little more than a dismissal.

The ability to feel that "serious" mystics refer to isn't body feeling or emotions; so the problem is made more difficult by using a term that has several meanings. In my opinion, a better term would be conscious sensitivity. In other words, if consciousness is more sensitive, then it can detect more. If we can detect more, we might detect things people whose "normal" consciousness is too insensitive to detect (like a vast field of consciousness we are wall within).

The Sufi Shah Nimatullah Wali did practice the disciplines that evolve our feeling side, and he did report (many times) he experienced a vast field of consciousness. Those who practice and study those disciplines recognize right away what he means when he says "the mind's very being is gone." He has worked to let go of self; that when he says "it is drawn from its former state, to another [that is] measureless" he has experienced absorption and it seems vast to him; when he says "in the Godhead lost," he interprets the field as conscious (the "head" of God); and when he says "in a rapture divine and deep," he is reporting the blissfulness of the experience.

Now, if you study reports of inner practitioners who attain absorption or "oneness," they all report the same sort of experience. 700 years after Shah Wali in Persia wrote, Julian of Norwich wrote from her English monastery "And then the Lord opened my ghostly eye and shewed my soul in the midst of my heart. I saw the Soul as it were an endless world, and as it were a blissful kingdom." Sound familiar? And if someone practices the proper inner discipline himself, he too can experience the same thing as other witnesses.

So there is a verification process for this epistemology, there is a history of consistent reports, and there is a method for personally exploring claims.

Will the science-rationalist mind embrace the rules of this epistemology when examining it? Nope, they'll hook up practitioners to EEGs, etc. and proclaim when they don't find proof that way that it's likely the God area of the brain causing the inner practitioners' reports. Can they prove that claim? Nope, but it fits their a priori physicalist belief system, and so serves as a justification for dismissing those silly ol' deluded mystics.[/SIZE]
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 12:57 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;68783 wrote:
Feeling is not a kind of knowing? If I feel a pain in my leg, it is unreasonable of me to conclude that my leg is in pain?


I'm sorry that I didn't provide you with an example of mysticism mistaking feeling for knowing.

Here's an example: A guy goes into a cave for a month with little to no light, no food to eat, and only water to drink. The guy eventually starts to have distortions of perception that lead him to believe that he has had personal experience with the divine. He now claims to know that there is an immaterial reality, but that we can only know it through personal experience. In reality, this man just had a hallucination due to an imbalance in his brain chemistry that was caused by his not seeing much light and eating no food for a month. The man has mistaken his feeling of what happened to him in the cave for knowing what happened to him in the cave.
 
LWSleeth
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 02:12 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;68814 wrote:
I'm sorry that I didn't provide you with an example of mysticism mistaking feeling for knowing.

Here's an example: A guy goes into a cave for a month with little to no light, no food to eat, and only water to drink. The guy eventually starts to have distortions of perception that leads him to believe that he has had personal experience with the divine. He now claims to know that there is an immaterial reality, but that we can only know it through personal experience. In reality, this man just had a hallucination due to an imbalance in his brain chemistry that was caused by his not seeing much light and eating no food for a month. The man has mistaken his feeling in the cave for knowing what happened to him in the cave.


[SIZE="3"]Yes, but that's not an example of mysticism, that's hallucination. People tend to lump all sorts of crazy stuff in the "mysticism" category, but I am certain it wasn't what Didymos Thomas was referring to. In religious studies, mysticism includes a type of knowledge pursuit that derives from very specific inner practices; many Christian monastics, for example, became expert in this epistemology.

Criticizing mysticism on the basis of eccentrics is like characterizing all of science by listing pseudoscience practices. Your understanding of mysticism is exactly what I was referring to in my previous post. You haven't taken the time to understand what it is, yet you have no hesitation offering opinions about it. How hard is it to study a bit before opining uninformed in such a public setting as a forum? For example, Mysticism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)[/SIZE]
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 03:04 pm
@LWSleeth,
LWSleeth;68830 wrote:
Yes, but that's not an example of mysticism, that's hallucination. People tend to lump all sorts of crazy stuff in the "mysticism" category, but I am certain it wasn't what Didymos Thomas was referring to. In religious studies, mysticism includes a type of knowledge pursuit that derives from very specific inner practices; many Christian monastics, for example, became expert in this epistemology.

Criticizing mysticism on the basis of eccentrics is like characterizing all of science by listing pseudoscience practices. Your understanding of mysticism is exactly what I was referring to in my previous post. You haven't taken the time to understand what it is, yet you have no hesitation offering opinions about it. How hard is it to study a bit before opining uninformed in such a public setting as a forum? For example, Mysticism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)


That is an example of mysticism. It may be bad mysticism in your eyes, but it's mysticism nonetheless. The belief in personal experience with the divine is mysticism.
 
LWSleeth
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 03:18 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;68840 wrote:
That is an example of mysticism. It may be bad mysticism in your eyes, but it's mysticism nonetheless. The belief in personal experience with the divine is mysticism.


[SIZE="3"]It wasn't want DT was referring to however. It seems disrespectful and unfair to present facts that support your views with the highest conscientiousness, and then to poison the well by portraying the other side of the discussion with the lowest possible characterizations. Are you participating to "win" the debate, or are you exchanging ideas for the sake of possibly producing genuine insight? [/SIZE]
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 03:36 pm
@LWSleeth,
LWSleeth;68844 wrote:
It wasn't want DT was referring to however. It seems disrespectful and unfair to present facts that support your views with the highest conscientiousness, and then to poison the well by portraying the other side of the discussion with the lowest possible characterizations. Are you participating to "win" the debate, or are you exchanging ideas for the sake of possibly producing genuine insight?


Well I'm going to be honest and say that I don't expect to get anymore insight from DT's perspective, but I'm open to the possibility that I will gain more insight. I gave DT an example of a mystic mistaking feeling for knowing, and maybe he will give me an example of gaining knowledge directly from practicing mysticism when he responds, which is why you should have at least waited for him to speak for himself.
 
LWSleeth
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 03:47 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;68853 wrote:
Well I'm going to be honest and say that I don't expect to get anymore insight from DT's perspective, but I'm open to the possibility that I will gain more insight. I gave DT an example of a mystic mistaking feeling for knowing, and maybe he will give me an example of gaining knowledge directly from practicing mysticism when he responds, which is why you should have at least waited for him to speak for himself.


Okay, I retract my guess of what he meant; I assume I knew from earlier interactions with him, and reading what he's written in the past.

But that doesn't change the fact that you seem to know nothing about religious mysticism, yet you are asserting strong opinions about it. How is that worthy of an aspiring philosopher? Aren't we obligated to be well-informed when we reason?
 
Baal
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 05:24 pm
@hue-man,
Quote:
...and the virtual entirety of Muslim parts of Africa (the sole exceptions being Mauritania and a northern province in Nigeria), the people in those countries wanted secular states...


Quote:
...no ones forcing muslims to live in a secular country.What you should be asking is why in certain muslim countries such as Iran you have no rights to even stand for election if you are not a muslim...


None of these responses even touch upon the issue I raised. I asked whether true "Liberty" means forced secularism upon people who do not wish to practice such.

It is irrelevant whether some or even most Muslims wanted secularism (although that is actually true), nor did I ask whether 'Islamic' states are justified in their practice and administration; I asked whether we are justified in our 'Free' world to deny people their right to practice their own religion and customs even if we do not see these customs as conforming to our ideals.. and essentially whether secularism in itself has become some kind of religion and whether secular states are essentially theocratic states and prohibit any religion which does not conform to its secular ideals.. apparently the answer was 'Yes'.

And is someone forcing Muslims to live in a secular state? No. Is someone forcing non-Shia muslims to live in Iran?
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 05:31 pm
@LWSleeth,
LWSleeth;68858 wrote:
Okay, I retract my guess of what he meant; I assume I knew from earlier interactions with him, and reading what he's written in the past.

But that doesn't change the fact that you seem to know nothing about religious mysticism, yet you are asserting strong opinions about it. How is that worthy of an aspiring philosopher? Aren't we obligated to be well-informed when we reason?


You're assuming that I know nothing about mysticism. What have I said about mysticism that is incorrect?
 
LWSleeth
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 06:08 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;68887 wrote:
You're assuming that I know nothing about mysticism. What have I said about mysticism that is incorrect?


"I mean that we've learned nothing directly from mysticism . . . former mistakes feeling for knowing . . . I'm talking about actually acquiring knowledge from mysticism as a methodology."
 
 

 
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