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Charis & Sadaqa, the roads meet

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  • #31
    Originally posted by siam View Post
    Nationalism is also an identity---
    Imo, nationalism is counter productive for the development of any nation. Take for instance Israel: Israeli academics admit that the nation was founded with a national-socialist agenda - even claiming ideas of race purity, which is a benchmark in Israel, were a Jewish concept (derived from Marx & Friedrich Engels) hijacked against them by the Nazis. But, and it is a big but, Israel, at least since the Ethiopian fiasco, there is a secular movement whose aim is to correct the mistakes of the Zionists. Imu, this has led (because of corruption & ethnic prejudice) to the decision of who is Jewish to be gradually transferred from the Israeli religious courts to the Israeli secular courts.

    A Israeli friend of mine tells me that in modern Israel there remains tension between Ashkenazic Jews (the majority) and Sephardic Jews, and the only difference between them is one diaspora mob originates from Eastern Europe & the other from Western Europe & North Africa. Meanwhile, I am told that a current issue is there is division regarding whether South American & Asian peoples with a Jewish heritage can be admitted to Israel (Are they Jewish enough???). I only mention Israel as an example of what I perceive as a incoherent contradiction upon contradiction...

    Originally posted by siam View Post all identities...can cause problems
    Imo it is the root of all modern conflicts! According to academics the RCC has particularly been targeted for persecution because unlike the nationalist churches of the EOC confraternity, ROC, American protestant disunity etc, the RCC doesn't, as a Church, recognise borders or ethnicity. Of course the RCC isn't suicidal! For example: the RCC supports the underground Church in China while kowtowing to the Chinese governments imposition of an "official church" with state appointed Bishops. (The only real issue in China is who appoints the Bishops - Beijing or Rome?) Imu, Beijing leaves the underground Church alone, as long as they don't challenged the secular authority. In Moa's day they either shot the clergy, them threw in prison or deported them.

    Originally posted by siam View Post
    today the problem is the mixing of religion with identity
    More particularly, mixing religion with tribal identity = nationalism.

    Originally posted by siam View Post
    be it the Hindutva movments of India, the Burmese-nationalism (969 group), or the Muslim nationalists of Indonesia/Malaysia, or the Nationalists of Japan and China, or the Australia first/one nation of Australia...Pegida, EDL...etc...of Europe......everyone is fighting to figure out "who" they are and what values define them.
    Most of these groups can be tagged as criminals rather than radical idealists. Piracy & criminality seems to be endemic to a particular mindset eg: The Bedouin, Malaccan, Somolian & Barbary pirates. But that said, there are Islamic militant groups who appear to be pursuing a "liberation theology" type agenda to correct social injustice, but there cause is distracted by jokers like those in Acer who are just racist fanatics following a Daesh type agenda. I must admit the current situation in SEA confuses me. I could comprehend the conflicts arising from post-colonialism but I just don't understand what has been happening lately...seems totally counter productive to me...

    [QUOTE=siam;428749]The ISIS rhetoric of Khaliphate, or the idea of Zionism...etc...are also a marriage between religion and "nation" identity-constructs[quote]I can't see any rational association between the Daesh & Zionism. One is looking to the creation of an apocalypse, the other aims to avoid one!

    Originally posted by siam View Post
    the problem with all of these is not the identity-construct itself---but the notion that only one identity construct can be supreme in one (imagined) "location"/territory (nation). But such a way of thinking is incorrect...It has led to extreme exclusivity---forgetting that all humanity is a single family---instead (arbitrary) claims are made that a person must be x and only x to "belong".

    Originally posted by siam View Post
    But think of our own family---in our family we have siblings that have different names, personalities and thoughts, yet, we try to get along despite these differences and tensions....and in the East, at least, even when family members have problems...we still try to provide care and compassion...This is how society should function as a larger group---like family---where we respect each others identity and differences, yet also help each other be better.

    Originally posted by siam View Post
    How to be "better" requires teaching "values" and these come from religion/philosophy.
    Not necessarily. The historical evidence is that religion/philosophy is at the root of all conflict from the time Cain murdered Abel to our present day...

    From a NT perspective it is curious that Jesus' first mass conversion occurred amoungst a people his countrymen considered societal outcasts (the Samaratans, John 4). A greater curiosity is Jesus accusation that those of his countrymen who believed on him as their promised Messiah, were those who wanted to kill him (John 18).

    Again from the NT, we have a constant teaching of the apostle that there is no longer (amoungst Christians) Jews or Greeks, we are without national, tribal or ethnic identity! Such isn't a matter of philosophy or religion but a conviction by the mindset of each individual! Possibly, an irrationality to those of "the borg" who have "a hive" mentality... In contrast, and the Greeks have a word for it = "Perichoresis", there is "The Great Dance" which requires a group of individuals to have awareness of each other & voiceless communication (there is a similar idea in some Asian martial arts but for opposite purposes).

    Originally posted by siam View Post
    So, for example, in the case of Lebanese gangs (of Australia)---if the community, and the Mosques and Churches (Lebanese Arabs are both Christian and Muslim) were more active in helping their communities and guiding their young---society would improve with less trauma.
    Parts of the Muslim community have extended themselves incredibly opening Muslim youth centres, football clubs etc. Both communities have been co-operative in de-radicalisation programmes. And though it has taken a while, many Muslims trust & co-operate with the authorities reporting suspicious activity. So it is pretty peaceful most of the time where I live (the major problems are closer to the Mosques at Lidcome & Auburn). Currently, the newspapers are reporting a huge issue at Punchbowl Boys High where radical Muslims are attacking teachers . Apparently the problem escalated when some twit appointed a headmaster who had recently converted to Islam (?). The previous headmaster (a born Muslim) had cleaned up the school but quit and went into politics (Great guy! I voted for him! It'll be a great pity if his years of fixing go down the drain).

    Originally posted by siam View Post
    Right now---society generally "outsources" their problem-makers to the police and law...instead of actively seeking compassionate solutions....(homelessness, poverty...etc and their "cure" is outsourced to the government....)
    I'm not sure what you are trying to say,

    The reality is that you can't implement village systems in large Urban societies. For instance; today it was announced that Sydney now has in excess of 6 million people. And I can assure you a considerable portion of those people spend upto 12 hours away from the homestead, five days a week, to make a living (my dad was a night worker, a machinist in a factory, he worked six days a week, and I only saw him Sunday afternoons for most of my childhood. Me, I got up at 6am, had breakfast alone while the wife & kids slept, commuted to work and got home about 7pm. Spent an hour or so with the kids and then had dinner alone. That is just the reality of the modern world if you want your kids to have a better future than you).

    Originally posted by siam View Post
    In the case of Islam (as a value-system) the pursuit of a state mono-culture is particularly problematic as Pluralism is an inherent/traditional "value" of Islam. For ex...there are many Sharia and if a state were to choose only one as would destroy one of the key values of Islam---that of legal pluralism....
    I don't understood your statement about pluralism in seems an oxymoron. However, it might explain the corruption & duplicity in business (unreliability) that is perceived (fairly or unfairly) as a Muslim norm in Oz...

    Originally posted by siam View Post
    Secular "multi-culturalism"---does not come with any "values" as it is not a philosophy itself
    I must stongly disagree with that viewpoint. Secularism appeals to the philosophies of humanism & libertarianism. For example: Voltaire.

    Originally posted by siam View Post
    [Secularism] therefore generally uses "Christian" values as default in Christian-majority territories it claims....
    Secularism is anti-Christian pure & simple! For instance: when Jefferson wrote the words "All men are created equal" his intention was to excluded all the colored races whom he considered sub-human, You can trace the rise of secularism directly to the French Revolution which had the intent of eliminating Christianity from the world. Same with all secularist politics = Leninism, Stalinism, Hitler, Mao etc

    Originally posted by siam View Post
    and Hindus and Buddhists and Muslims use their values as default in territories with their majorities....BUT---this means that minorities in all of these territories must "conform" to a degree....and when they do not or cannot...tensions occur. Some countries such as France have tried to define "secular" values---but other than "secularism" being anti-religion---have not really come up with anything substantial....and so, this is not an attractive solution either...
    So, under such circumstances, I think Pluralism (instead of secularism) is an option worth exploring....
    Eliminating nationalists, racists and/or religious terrorists would solve the problem immediately...

    Maybe an enforcement of a constitutional declaration of "all men, women & children, irrespective of race, color or creed, are equal in the eyes of the law and social opportunity" would help. Oz's constitution plus some auxiliary laws while not perfect comes very, very close...
    Last edited by elam; 03-31-2017, 03:46 AM.


    • #32
      Modern "nations" both secular and communist discouraged or privatized religious identity---so, they had to replace it with something else---because group cohesion ("Asahbiya" in Arabic) depends on a set of common identity-markers. These could be racial, ethno-cultural, or "national" (label of a territory). Globalization has created somewhat of a breakdown in "national" identity---obviously--if we realize that a Russian and an American are equally "human"---what is to distinguish them? So two weak identity markers---one that defines values and the other that defines territory combine to bring about a stronger that can be more excessively exclusive.
      The reason why excessive exclusivity is self-destructive is because it prevents co-operation. Such identity-markers define themselves by making the "other" an enemy/less human, less--whatever....This happens because such identity constructs do not have their own positive/constructive self-image/values on which to stand on---they need the "other" to construct their image/identity.
      Americans who constantly need an enemy to define who they are or Christians who style Muslims as "from the devil" also have the same problem. Their identity constructs are shallow.

      Secularism--It claims to be value-neutral---which is why ethical/moral considerations are to be removed from civics, economics, law, education, science....and all other spheres of life....yes, humanism or whatever ism you want to label it---the values/or lack of... were a response to the Christian heritage of the any rate---everyone in secular societies are compelled to conform to the supposed value-neutral laws, practices and policies of the state. The same applies to those "secular" nations whose value-inheritance comes from other philosophies.....Yet, it is arbitrarily claimed that removing "theism" from public discourse somehow makes it "value-neutral". But is this really so?...Consider....All our notions of "values" (ethics/morality) are anchored in a world-view (meta-narrative) whether that is theistic or, why is one more "neutral" than the other?

      Secularism/Communism (Modernity) has tried to eliminate religious identity but in order to keep group-cohesion they had to substitute with ethno-national identity---Identity is a necessary ingredient in self-definition---that is why we have names---each family member has his /her name....because we need identity. Our language itself is constructed by identifying/defining...(naming things). So eliminating identity is not helpful---perhaps even counter-productive. If we as humans are to have identities---what would be the most beneficial way? To me, religion/philosophy is an interesting option as many of these are global anyway. They also have a strong built-in value system so that an "other" is not necessary as an identity-marker. If these global philosophies can debate, compete and co-operate with each other to build better societies and encourage the betterment of human beings---each in its own way----we could have a constructive way to heal and repair this world? In any case, with the internet age, we cannot turn back globalization...we can only look forward to the future... so why not consider what might be the best way forward....?......
      One consideration is to advocate for people to be comfortable with multiple identities/affiliations. A person can belong to, and be loyal to, more than one group---for example, family is a group, a work team is a group and so forth---and each identity-marker is one of many in an individual. If we can accept that people are complex and multi-dimensional, then maybe the binaries of "us"/"them" may be reduced?


      • #33
        Originally posted by siam View Post
        Law---I don't have any problems with the Christian interpretation of the essence of Jewish law---its what Rabbi Hillel also said....
        To lead an ethical/moral lifestyle,---one must have a set of ethical/moral principles or "laws" (rules). If the RCC does not have those --- can it be a "lifestyle" based on values?
        Whose laws? Those of the eastern Asian Mogols who defied Muhammad and whose laws persist to the detriment of Islam, or those of natural equity?

        Honour deaths, vendetta & corruption at the religious & secular levels are a major issues in the Islamic world...that Islam (and Hindus) have yet to resolve...but in my rare association, I have hope of a resolution...

        I think it is good you and I have the opportunity of having an open discussion. Christianity has its skeletons but at least in my experience of the RCC we don't attempt to hide them...

        Christianity had its reformation. From time to time, I have on Youtube, encountered Mulahs & Imans & Islamic Accademics calling for the restoration of "the Golden Age of Islam" and the rejection of Daesh!

        I'm supportive in that call...

        At least it is a step forward rather the regression that has been occurring...


        • #34
          Originally posted by elam View Post
          Whose laws? Those of the eastern Asian Mogols who defied Muhammad and whose laws persist to the detriment of Islam, or those of natural equity?

          Honour deaths, vendetta & corruption at the religious & secular levels are a major issues in the Islamic world...that Islam (and Hindus) have yet to resolve...but in my rare association, I have hope of a resolution...

          I think it is good you and I have the opportunity of having an open discussion. Christianity has its skeletons but at least in my experience of the RCC we don't attempt to hide them...

          Christianity had its reformation. From time to time, I have on Youtube, encountered Mulahs & Imans & Islamic Accademics calling for the restoration of "the Golden Age of Islam" and the rejection of Daesh!

          I'm supportive in that call...

          At least it is a step forward rather the regression that has been occurring...
          History---The Mongol invasions took place around the 13th century, the Prophet died in the 7th century. (The Khans of the Ilkhanate and some from the Chagatai khanate did convert to Islam---The Mongols that went into China--the Yuan--- converted to the Chinese practices) In (pre-Modern) Islamic history, Fiqh/Law was never completely in the hands of the state/empire---so the nature of the leader did not impact the character of the laws...which is why some Jews and Christians were able to rise into very high positions as advisers/viziers.....Legal Pluralism was practiced.

          "The historical evidence is that religion/philosophy is at the root of all conflict from the time Cain murdered Abel to our present day..."---Perhaps in Western history religion may have been the cause of conflict---but in the rest of the world---the struggle for power, has been the major cause of conflict---regardless of whatever the religious/philosophical association of the power players may have been....
          an imbalance of power---excessive power or power vacuum---is also the cause of corruption.

          Christianity and reform---Maybe for Christianity---reform was necessary....but in the case of Islam---ditching tradition (which acted as a restraint) ends up with "Purists" (such as Wahabi)---an excessively exclusivist strain with an Utopian vision....Ofcourse those who hold to such a world-view have a right to their perspective---yet, when it is abused by extremists such as Taliban, Daesh and such groups---good people have to actively articulate a more correct paradigm....


          • #35
            Thankyou for your input.

            My thought processes continue to evolve into the formulation of an adhesive (multi-cultural) society within Australia = emphasis in my thoughts is Oz and not the circumstances pf the wider world.

            In Oz, nation wide, less than 2.2% of the population is (via recent census) self described as Muslim, but militant "Islamists" attempt to dominate our society with a sexist & inhumane ideology and have attracted a disproportionate political response in their favour (due to fear of terrorism by Islamic fanatics). Thus, there is what I consider a justifiable violent reaction (from an Oz perspective) against Muslim sharia (rapists) perspectives.

            I hold to a most modern western perspective regarding rape (non-agreed copulation), and advocate that any male (whether hetero or homo) convicted of non-mutually agreed anatomical phallic penetration of any other cognitive & cognizant individual should be 100% physically emasculated (made a eunarch).

            The western world justifiably perceives Shia law as justifying rapists.e xisting Sharia law requires reversal of proof,.

            First rule in the prophetic dispensations "treat others as you would have them treat you". Shia law inherited from the Mogol calipahtes defies Islamic objectives!

            Sharia rule also insults Allah. The mandatory head , arm, leg, hand or foot covering of women or face veiling of women is detrimental to their health (vitamen D deficiency) and is only justified is one assumes all Muslim males are inherently inclined to rape the weak!

            Something for you to consider....

            1. why is it that Islamic societies in the world tend to be evidenced as feudal = an elite with suppressed peasantry?
            2 .why is it that Islamic societies in the world tend to be evidenced as supplying inadequate social services t(health, education etc) to the poor?
            3. Why is that , in the commercial world, that corruption is perceived as endemic in Islamic socirty?

            Religiously, I contemplate Christianity & Islam as compatible in its objectives. Societally I perceive Islam has an innumerable number of incompatibles with a rationalurban society (eg: vendetta, honour deaths etc), .

            You & I, perso might get on, but sharia law and I will never be able to be equated to the first & second commands of the illustustrios Isa bin Mariam who Muhammad in the Quran predicted would return to us to judged you, me & all the the living & the dead!
            Last edited by elam; 04-12-2017, 08:08 AM.


            • #36
              fear of terrorism---This "fear" triggers an ugly, xenophobic, response from the ignorant and the prejudiced---not just in Australia---but in North America and Europe too. This kind of hate is simply triggered because of a "fear"---well, then, if human beings can behave this way simply because of a "fear"---how much worse of an emotional state of trauma would they be in when they are attacked by tanks, drones, bombs, and their loved ones and neighbors---killed, their whole country destroyed?.....Why is destructive hate towards "terrorists" acceptable when done by "our" brothers but not by "others"? U.S./NATO are just as much terrorists as those who fight without a State---both parties kill without honor. (just to make it clear---I am pointing out the hypocrisy and not justifying terrorism either State-sponsored or non-State.)

              "Thus, there is what I consider a justifiable violent reaction"---Yes, love of country right or wrong?. Perhaps it is Australian Nationalism that needs reform? If your countrymens wrong conduct is being "justified" by an ideology of Australian Nationalism---then maybe it needs "reform"?

              Sharia---There is not one "Sharia" but at least 5 major schools of law (and maybe some minor schools)
              these are:-
              1) Hanafi
              2) Maliki
              3) Shafi'i
              4) Hanbali
              5) Ja`fari
              There are differences of opinions and rulings in these major schools---between the them as well as internally among them.
              Consider what you call "the West"---you lump it all together---but laws in the West differ too---English law is not the same as French law---they use different methodology. (Common law/Civil law)

              "Shia law inherited from the Mogol calipahtes defies Islamic objectives!"---???the statement is incorrect?---not sure what you are trying to say---but the Mongol invasion occurred in the 13th century---Shia-Sunni split occured after the death of the Prophet (632 BCE)---over the issue of succession.
              There seems to be a fascination with the Mongols for some reason?....we can discuss the period if you want---but it covers a rather large territory...?...If I remember correctly, the Ilkhanate and the Yuan tried out paper currency (fiat, I think) but the experiment failed---I will have to read up on it if you want to discuss....

              If you would like to discuss Sharia---I can explain....? the moment there is a lot of misinformation in the statements...

              Something for you to consider....

              1. why is it that Islamic societies led the world in the development and distribution of knowledge?

              2 .why is it that Islamic societies led the world in the development of medicine and medical care (free care for the sick as wells as facilities for the mentally-ill)

              3. Why is that , in the (Islamic) commercial world, international trade took place without the toxic practices such as exploitation and theft of resources?


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