Sunday, November 29, 2009

Boycotting Danish goods, Crow sex and Science

It amazes me that I still receive e-mails telling me about the latest 'outrage' taking place in Denmark against the 'sensitivities' of Muslims over there. The latest film, the latest cartoon, the latest book about the Prophet Muhammad. The e-mails implore me, they beseech me, in all that I hold holy and as a religious duty that I will be answerable for on the Day of Judgement, to forward to all the people I know. Needless to say I delete the message.

Another type of e-mail I receive is about the wonders of the Qur'an, or some latest miracle that has been proven by 'the scientists' which demonstrates that Islam is the one true faith. Mecca is the centre of the world. Water molecules vibrate when the Qur'an is read aloud. Crows adhere to a rigid morality and enforcement of sexual relations akin to those in Islam. You name it, I've received it in my mail box. These e-mails too, I delete. Not that I know enough about scientific method to be able to prove or disprove any of this, like some people who claim they believe only in 'science' - whatever that means. I just know when I'm being taken for a ride when, however plausible a scenario or narrative presented to me is, there is that one little point upon which it all hinges that is conveniently ignored and that we are asked to mentally jump over because somehow the entire edifice is so magnificent that it justifies that we lie to ourselves on this little point.

Then we have the quack-science of people like Harun Yahya. He may have the best intentions for the faith, but to all extents and purposes he is lying, to himself and to other people. This is damaging rather than beneficial. He creates an artificial debate, mirrored exactly with the Christian creationist dilemma regarding evolution, or that the world is older than six thousand years old. I have spoken to Muslims who have credibly told me that in ancient times the people were larger than they are today, that they got smaller with time. Or they fully understand the intricacies of selective breeding, for horses or sheep, but refuse to acknowledge some process called evolution. Suppose we accept their argument that in the days of Noah people literally lived for one thousand years and were five metres tall, how can they explain the physical changes that have taken place so that we are now the diminutive, frail creatures that we are today? Their argument is 'reductio ad absurdum', reduced to the absurd.

I suppose it does not matter what you tell these people, they are not trying to understand in the first place and are usually far busier with their work and lives than to care about these things. So discussing these things rationally is useless. As the Qu'ran tells us, can those who know and those who do not know be equal? It is a qualitative difference. The e-mails being sent around are pandering to the superstitions of people, making them targets to the equally blind imitators of 'reason','civilization', and 'rationalism'. The stoicism of Marcus Aurelius comes to mind, a man who was religious without being superstitious. This streak of stoicism is also visible in the life and behaviour of the Prophet Muhammad, but sadly not in many of those who claim to follow him today. In my opinion that is far more outrageous than anything a stupid Danish man can draw in a newspaper.

1 comment:

qunfuz said...

well put. this kind of sloppy thinking ruins many otherwise sensible people, and is a time-wasting diversion for the Muslims which we can ill afford.