church and state

sufi

lala
be.jazz said:
Whoa! That's quite a leap.
Aye ... i'm leaping!

because i want secularists to explain to me why religious ethics are seen as a less valid basis for politix than any other moral code,

i mean, enforced laity - that's another imposed oppressive belief system, innit? grrrr!
 
B

be.jazz

Guest
sufi said:
i mean, enforced laity - that's another imposed oppressive belief system, innit? grrrr!
Perhaps, but one that allows the expression of multiple beliefs. And it's not like there aren't Catholic and Muslim schools. So I don't think it's oppressive. In France, a Muslim woman can wear a scarf in the street if she so chooses (or has to). In Saudi Arabia, the woman does not have a choice. The difference is clear.

because i want secularists to explain to me why religious ethics are seen as a less valid basis for politix than any other moral code,
Some religious principles (eg. "I am your one and only God") are not applicable in democratic societies. That does not mean that no "religious ethics" are worthwhile. I thought that the general consensus was that Western secularity emerged from Judeo-Christianity?
 

sufi

lala
hmmm

what i'm looking for is some ideology that will alleviate the current decadence & depravity that afflicts society, i reckon a bit more religion would go a long way. i don't see much sign of it in any overtly religious regime at the mo, who are all bloodthirsty. yr e.g: saudi monarchy uses religion repressively to keep all manner of filthy conduct out of sight.
political philosophies don't encourage moral behaviour on a personal or social level

true that 'western' secularity is based partly on principles derived from the old religions (which followed graeco/roman, even indo/egyptian theisms) ... concepts of state & nation also rely heavily on that belief system, however, it seems to lack the necessary moral fibre to protect it's own adherents from atrocious behaviour on a social or personal level.

am i making sense at all? :D
 

rewch

Well-known member
sufi said:
true that 'western' secularity is based partly on principles derived from the old religions (which followed graeco/roman, even indo/egyptian theisms) ... concepts of state & nation also rely heavily on that belief system, however, it seems to lack the necessary moral fibre to protect it's own adherents from atrocious behaviour on a social or personal level.

:D
you are making sense...but surely enlightenment principles (which i agree emerged partly from old religious thought but also from other sources) shape the secularism much more than the religious angle...there were various rebellions/civil wars that effectively limited the prevalence of religiousness as a guiding principle...it was easier to exploit religion as a tool of oppression than it was to exploit any 'rational' enlightenment principles...at least in wetsern terms...but there are of course many howevers...and in fact it tends to lead to chemical scum & backwater planet-type thoughts...oh dear
 

sufi

lala
so...
can we say that secularism is failing to encourage us to look after one another and look at how religion can fill the gap?
i want to move on to looking at non-fundy, non-extremist religious politix, if such a thing exist?



(wanted to respond to rewch before you go offline for the night... :rolleyes: )
rewch said:
but shirly
but my names sufi, not shirley ;) :D
 

rewch

Well-known member
...it is very hard for me to let you have that...in fact you can't so there...but i will discuss religious aspects if necessary...but i think it is necessary to make it clear that religious hierarchy is an obstacle...in fact i can see no way in which hierarchy in religion is a good thing...and just to pre-empt any dalai lama gibberish...he may be a living buddha, but tibet (certainly not better under chinese rule) was/is a deeply mediaeval society that was ruled by a theocracy which if not deeply exploitative/oppressive was at least tacit to exploitation/oppression...
 

craner

Beast of Burden
When I went to Turkey I was amazed by the Cult of Ataturk: his framed picture in carpet shops, bars, everywhere.

Ataturk was pretty ruthless in divorcing state from religion.
 

rewch

Well-known member
that he was...but he saw it as necessary to break the power of the 'mullahs' in the ottoman power structure because of turkey's inherent weakness in the face of western modernity...most of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw a constant see-saw between the reformist wishes of various sultans and the entrenched religious interests blocking same reforms...his technique to stop the dismemberment of ottoman empire was to ruthlessly suppress islamic political tendencies and promote nationalism...the fruits of which we are currently reaping...
 

sufi

lala
interesting to follow the line from attaturks cult of secularism -> kurdish vs turkish nationalisms -> breakup of iraq and emergence of iraqi religious resistance

that's another thread...

saddam was also a keen secularist tho he flirted with the mullahs to some extent by building some awesome mosques


05 September 2002 the Saddam mosque under construction. The building is 830 feet (meters across and occupies 11 acres. If completed, it will be the largest in the world.


05 September 2002 the al-Rahman mosque under construction. The building is 750 feet across ( 250~meters) and occupies 11 acres. If completed, it will be the second largest mosque in Iraq.
 

rewch

Well-known member
i would've said that he wasn't really flirting with the mullahs...more providing hoi polloi with their opiates & exploiting his muslim status as & when...unless that's what you meant...

also was going to get into the kurdish/iraqi/whole middle eastern issue including palestine &c. &c. but...i think it does need a new thread...i was too daunted
 

sufi

lala
it's interesting that we keep ending up talking about islam, as if it is the only religion that has muddled itself up with politics,
i think that we're quite blind to the extent that religion is part of the western political landscape, without clever ideas about having had a 'reformation' (oh yes very clever well done), this makes it difficult for us to relate to how we're perceived by, say, iraqis under occupation & gives us a comfortable rationalist/scientificalist standpoint from which to justify bombing the shit out of em (was there WMD or not is a very 'rational' argument, compared to is it ok to invade a country & kill innocent people).

at least religious/ideological states (including the communists here i guess) are out of the closet, even if they're not following their creed to the letter of the holy books
 

rewch

Well-known member
aye...partly because neither of us is particularly religious & because we tend to know more about islam (& find it more interesting than say an interpretation of the influence of catholicism on eu foreign policy)...

having said that i think economic factors are still probably he most important in determining foreign policy objectives & reasons for said objectives...mish?
 

rewch

Well-known member
sufi said:
i think that we're quite blind to the extent that religion is part of the western political landscape, without clever ideas about having had a 'reformation' (oh yes very clever well done), this makes it difficult for us to relate to how we're perceived by, say, iraqis under occupation & gives us a comfortable rationalist/scientificalist standpoint from which to justify bombing the shit out of em (was there WMD or not is a very 'rational' argument, compared to is it ok to invade a country & kill innocent people).

at least religious/ideological states (including the communists here i guess) are out of the closet, even if they're not following their creed to the letter of the holy books
but also there is a difference between a justification and a pretext...i.e. blair can stand up & swear all he likes about his virtue but this is really something for the voters & those who would impeach him...he can use this in his defence whether it is a pretext or not...which i think we would agree it is/was
 

Pearsall

Prodigal Son
sufi said:
it's interesting that we keep ending up talking about islam, as if it is the only religion that has muddled itself up with politics,
That's probably because, at this moment in time, there is far more interest among Muslims (not all, sure, but plenty enough) in melding religion with politics. The Christian element in American politics is about frameworks - a prism through which to view the world. They're after a more Christian approach to politics, and hopefully getting their way on a few banner issues. There are no systematic proposals for a full-on meld of Biblical elements with the power of the state (beyond a few Christian Reconstructionist loons). Anyways, the whole Christian conservative thing is over-hyped...basically the top of the Republican Party is run by the corporate types (as it always has been) and their concerns are basically economic. Cut taxes, loosen pollution regulations, tax giveaways for favored industries, that sort of stuff. Sure, they'll occassionally throw a few goodies to the evangelicals, but it's not in their interests to do anything substantial. That would mean losing their easiest populist weapon.

With Islam there are existing theocracies, in words if not in deeds. Saudi Arabia and quite a few other countries have Sharia as the official basis of their legal system. There is no Christian equivalent of Sharia, although Jewish Halakha is similar. Anyways, there is also a sizeable amount of people in the Muslim world (and among Muslim minorities in the West) who want either outright theocratic states based on the Sharia, or a full revival of the Caliphate. There's no movement in the Catholic world to restore the Pope's temporal powers.

That's the difference (as I see it anyways) and why it's interesting and worth talking about.
 

sufi

lala
That's probably because, at this moment in time, there is far more interest among Muslims (not all, sure, but plenty enough) in melding religion with politics.
i reckon this is spurious!

The Christian element in American politics is about frameworks - a prism through which to view the world. They're after a more Christian approach to politics, and hopefully getting their way on a few banner issues.
i reckon this is spot on! & applies to islam as well, more than what you said before. Religion does provide a framework for economics, diplomacy etc, but i don't think any state behaves ethically in those areas - the only areas where religious ethics and politics mix up is on social issues - abortion, hijabs, single mums, - e.g. where religion can be used to keep conservatives happy by preying on vulnerable populations

With Islam there are existing theocracies, in words if not in deeds. Saudi Arabia and quite a few other countries have Sharia as the official basis of their legal system. There is no Christian equivalent of Sharia, although Jewish Halakha is similar.
yeah, but there is no equivalent in the islamic world for a country where the head of state is the head of the religion - like the vatican, or UK!! even in Iran there is a separation between the religious juridical establishment and the parliament (which proportionally contains more women than in UK!)

Anyways, there is also a sizeable amount of people in the Muslim world (and among Muslim minorities in the West) who want either outright theocratic states based on the Sharia, or a full revival of the Caliphate.
What makes you think that? there's such a lot of cultural misunderstandings about this issue....
 

sufi

lala
case in point:
after the attack on the US consulate in Jiddah the Saudis are calling the attackers deviants!

a a Saudi interior ministry official on state television said:
"Members of the deviant group this morning threw explosives at the gate of the US consulate in Jeddah and then entered the compound"

be pure, be vigilant, behave!


where's rewch?
 

sufi

lala
....& where's all the secularists & rationalists?
if they don't turn up soon to make their case i'm gonna officially declare dissensus a theocracy...
 
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