By Gary Gutting
The latest victim is a French priest, murdered in his church by killers shouting “Allahu akbar! ”Following such attacks, Muslim leaders assure us that, as Tariq Ramadan said after the Paris mas […]
Here we reach a crux for those who adhere to a revealed religion. They can either accept ordinary human standards of morality as a limit on how they interpret divine teachings, or they can insist on total fidelity to what they see as God’s revelation, even when it contradicts ordinary human standards. Those who follow the second view insist that divine truth utterly exceeds human understanding, which is in no position to judge it. God reveals things to us precisely because they are truths we would never arrive at by our natural lights. When the omniscient God has spoken, we can only obey.
Succinctly put. but is condensed into the sublime quote by Voltaire.
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.
Thus, you can’t trust any seriously religious person!
@OP – “These heinous crimes violate the tolerant teachings of Islam.” Similar responses followed recent attacks in Orlando and Nice. We are told that the fanatical fringe groups who do these terrible things are at odds with the essential Muslim commitment to peace and love.
A bit like the “peace and love” of the Spanish inquisitors who were showing their love (and love of other people’s property), in saving the souls of all those European heretics, and those in the heathen native South and Central American cultures they invaded.
I think that religious leaders and western politicians are both to blame here, primarily for not tackling the subjects of heaven and redemption head-on. Whether paradise exists or not is beside the point – an eight year old child would understand that the notion of a perpetrator of indiscriminate mass murder being rewarded with virgins in some heavenly idyll is absurd. It is an utterly ridiculous concept, irrespective of your religion or culture.
For too long politicians and clerics have avoided pointing out the patently obvious. Western leaders don’t want to get bogged down in theological arguments which they could never win, whilst Imams are too busy distancing their flock from responsibility for the usual carnage.
The inescapable truth is that none of the perpetrators of the atrocities we have seen in the last fifteen years is now in Heaven. None of them.
It’s high time everyone with a dog in this fight started calling it like it is. Take away the redemption and most of the justification goes with it.
Some say we must learn to tolerate intolerance, particularly religious intolerance. If we were to do that, what would it mean?
Normally, you may not kill someone, even if they are gay, even if they reject some religion, even if they marry someone you do not approve of, even if they lose their virginity before marriage. Normally, if someone comes into your hotel or restaurant, you have to serve them, even if they are gay, black or Muslim.
But Christians and Muslims want us to make an exception, just for them.
On what grounds should they get an exemption? All they have is tradition. They have no reason at all for continuing this tradition. This is the most idiotic ground for an exemption. These are just feeble excuses for breaking the law. I say absolutely not. If they are not willing to obey the law, they must pay the penalties, just like any other citizen, or leave the country.
There should be no privileged religious classes issued get-out-of-jail-free cards.