Opinion  Aviad Kleinberg
In the name of reason
Aviad Kleinberg
Published: 20.09.06, 09:36
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18 Talkbacks for this article
1. in the hands of WHITE MEN...???????
USA   (09.20.06)
2. In the name of reason
Dominic Smethurst ,   London   (09.20.06)
Fabulously written aritcle. From post modernism all the way though to irony - just a thank you.
3. In the name of reason - Aviad Kleinberg
Gareyj ,   Japan   (09.20.06)
"and on the other it is being attacked by those who believe that truth is beyond any reasoned discussion (Muslims). " I think this is a rediculous generalisation which discredits the author.
4. What about Palestine?
Dave ,   Indonesia   (09.20.06)
But the Pope doesn't only think in abstract terms. In the Muslim world, Christians are subjected to discrimination and violence. Those who convert to Christianity are threatened by death, churches are desecrated, missionaries are murdered, monasteries are looted and Christian communities are under siege. Everyday innocent women and children killed in Palestine. Who's discriminating who? If you want to stop discrimination, you should stop pointing, buddy.
5. In the name of reason..
Derek ,   Auckland New Zealand   (09.20.06)
Excellent article. It is high time the West stood its ground. If only Europe would show some more courage in confronting this relegion. Our politicians in NZ are not reading the mood of the voters. We want some tough talking from our leaders because we are free to call a spade a spade and we're sick & tired of turning the other cheek. We dishonour all those who have given their lives to make this a better world by not confronting this racist Islamic conspiracy.
6. What's a theologist?
Knave Dave   (09.20.06)
Why do we need to coin a brand-new word, when good old "theologian" has been doing fine for hundreds of years?
7. #4 What's the Matter with You Dave of Indonesia
Knave Dave   (09.20.06)
How does the Palestinian situation make it wrong for anyone, even a Jew, to point out the enormous injustices and attrocities commited against Christians by Muslims? Jews don't kill Muslims for believing in Allah. Christians don't kill Muslims for believing in Allah. But Muslims FREQUENTLY kill people for converting to Christianity.
8. The DNA of Islam ?
Marhaba ,   Beirut Lebanon   (09.20.06)
Yes it's true that the Pope intended to bring things out in the open, and to openly question fundamental Islamic beliefs. (i.e. Is Islam violent and Irrational?). But the problem with the Pope's argument, is that he circumscribes the visible negative manifestations of Islam today, to fundamental and immutable issues – related to the religion itself - , not circumstantial ones. I would have thought that monotheistic religions - all three - are also fundamentally dogmatic by definition, and am not too sure to what extent dogma and “reason” can seamlessly merge together. All Holy Scriptures contain some violent passages as well. It is nevertheless true that Judaism and Christianity have stopped imposing their dogma, because the West has become secular. When the Church was in power, it was a different matter: science and reason were eclipsed (while it thrived in many parts of the Moslem world). The Church has however adapted marvelously (not by changing the scriptures) and has maintained an influential role in our modern secular world. Unfortunately Islam, in its current practice, has maybe not yet made the necessary adjustment, universally speaking (although arguably, in some countries it did). I thought that the Pope could have invited Moslems to take the steps that the Church has taken. Instead he seems to point out to something deep and fundamental: It’s in the DNA of the Islamic Faith. That is what I find - at first impression - to be unwise, particlularly from an "infallible" person.
9. Flaghips of Reason
Q ,   San Francisco, CA   (09.20.06)
Apparently, the "infallible" Pope is attempting to school us all in Reason. This is a man who holds infallible the notions that dead people come back to life, promise rainbows, 900 year life spans, talking snakes and donkeys, and humans that show no surprise when animals speak. Further, we have 500 year old alcoholic farmers builing cargo ships to house every species on the planet. Symbolic cannibalism is as sacred a tradition as Abraham's human sacrifice, as is the saving clause that he didn't really go through with it. Beyond this we have the Moral Sense attributed to original sin, but set forth as a virtue distinguishing man from animals--despite their simultaneous conviction that God had a distinctly poor opinion of it at the time, and did what he could in his clumsy way to keep his "children" from obtaining it. Lastly we have quite gruesome incestuous pornography in the Song of Solomon, bloodspattering "sacrifices," and numerous acts of mass executions of women and children as punishment. It's not that the Pope idiotologies are in anyway are less deserving than Mohommed's when choosing a flagship of reason. If one looks far back enough in time, one sees that although Reason has only ever been developed in their advertisements, and rarely beyond what was needed to enslave. Judaism is no exception to this rule--except behaviorally. Despite it's historical common denominators with other religions, in actual day-to-day life, for all the Jews I have known in my life, I have experienced only reasonable behavior. I have never been religiously insulted, condescended upon, or proselytized. I have experienced justice, generosity, and a uniformly consistent virtue of talking out difficulties without aggression. I have never known an abusive Jewish parent, and have never known them to hold back worthwhile knowledge when sought by a respectful outsider. I have never known violence from them excepting their desire to survive, and despite horrific oppression and massacre spanning millennia, with every tragedy, they refuse to allow it to embitter them into self-destructive behavior. They distinguish between soldiers and civilians, between friends and enemies, and between survival and expansionism. They have maintained the backbone and profile of a race who deserves to survive in this world of struggle, and have expressed a desire to convert, censor, or intimidate me as an American. Perhaps the days of looking to religion as a flagship of reason are over. Perhaps it is the best policy to look more closely at how groups of people conduct themselves, and the safety or danger implied in supporting them. THIS is the most reasonable path to reason as I see it. Shalom
10. Flaghips of Reason
Q ,   San Francisco, CA   (09.20.06)
I accidentally forgot to put "never" under the phrase of my last post. Please add it if you would: "...and have NEVER expressed a desire to convert, censor, or intimidate me as an American."
11. In the Name of Reason
David Irby ,   Dingle, Ireland   (09.20.06)
This is generally, an excellent article. But tAviad Kleinberg is mistaken to describe Benedict as a “rationalist”. He certainly does not adhere to that philosophy, which rejects such things as the concept of miraculous divine interventions and in its most extreme forms, revealed religion altogether. Rather, Benedict calls constantly for a balance between faith and reason.
12. Reason
Master Peace ,   India   (09.20.06)
The fact that the Pope exists at all is proof that reason does not exist! For absolute REASON (tm) I suggest Saku Rado! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkZy2k_aphA
13. 9 - Interesting. All "logical" analysis aside...
Truth ,   USA   (09.20.06)
natural reason is not exclusively part and parcel of Judeo-Christian scripture. Therefore, it is a factual diservice to argue it on such basis. Judeo-Christian scripture is "natural" reasoning and "super natural" wisdom. The instances you disbelievingly and tauntingly describe, such as a 900+ year life span, is literal; the Song of Solomon is figurative. "These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit." Jude 1:19 Would you say parting of the Red Sea was "reasonable" or "unreasonable"? How about the 10 plagues: frogs, hail, darkness, etc.? http://theexodusdecoded.com/vm.jsp Reason is not the benchmark of scripture. Thus, the statement, "..the days of looking to religion as a flagship of reason.." is completely spurious since such has never been the case. The cornerstone of all religion is - faith. And faith is super natural. "...so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. 1 Corinthians 2:5 Keep reading your Bible. You obviously understand the "natural" descriptions. Now lets see if a natural mind can understand how the "supernatural" can be logically proved. http://www.leestrobel.com/videos/Creator/strobelT1011.htm http://www.leestrobel.com/LS_Creator.htm http://theexodusdecoded.com/index1.jsp
14. Islam-religion of oil
Anna ,   Florida   (09.20.06)
Muslems know that they have 20, may be 30 years, left to attack the rest of the world. They all talk about the Oil Power but they have made no progress in the last 30 years. It seems Iran will soon take over the Gilf states and make the desert there, then will go Mecca and the Arabia. Why? Because it is easy to kill almost everyone there. EASY is the key word. Some wealthy Arabs will flood Europe but most will be killed by Iranians.
15. Good points from the Pope
Steve ,   Canada   (09.20.06)
The problem with being a public religious figure as prominent as the Pope is that when you take any approach that even comes *close* to being hardline, you're automatically labelled as a "fundamentalist" or "fanatic". The Pope wasn't trying to make an incendiary comments regarding Islam as a whole; he was simply making a very astute observation as to the nature of militant Islam. He says they're violent; they respond to his remarks with...violence. And yet, the POPE is the one going through the ringer about all this; for whatever reason, no one is calling out those Muslim religious leaders who refuse to condemn these violent repercussions. Am I saying that ALL Muslim leaders approve? No. Am I saying that the ones who DO approve of violence be reprimanded? Yes. If you want to say your religion is the only way, you do that. I say that to people of ANY religion. But the globe as a whole has come to pretty much a majority consensus: *diplomacy* is the name of the religious game now, and if you continue to use violence to spread whatever faith you believe in, be prepared to take the role of villain in the eyes of the world at large. Proselytizing is fine, but whatever faith you are, you better give the same respect to others faiths as what you expect to receive. Violence is where the world draws the line.
16. The Pope's apologies are shameful
Shalom Freedman ,   Jerusalem Israel   (09.20.06)
The Pope's repeated apologies show how intimidated the world has become by Islamic threat and violence. He just made his tenth apology for his third apology .Tomorrow will come his twelvth apology for his twentieth apology. This is ridiculous and even shameful.
17. A Rational Pope?
Vish Adluri ,   NJ, USA   (09.20.06)
This is a good analysis. Atleast on a political plane, reason is the only common denominator and dialogue is the best possible policy. However, hypocrisy remains when religions that are faith based suddenly advocate reason. This pope is on record for having called buddhism a kind of "masturbation of the mind." Reason is supreme in buddhism. So how genuine is the pope's commitment to rationality? The truthfulness and validity of the message should not blind us to the question the integrity of the messenger. Muslims, jews, christians and even the buddhists could benefit from an unconditional commitment to reason. Reason is undermined precisely when people in authority use it for expediency and with little commitment to it. Let us hope that the pope is speaking with integrity here.
18. well done Aviad
Michel ,   France   (09.20.06)
regarding reason, part of me, the reasonable part, prays the good Lord that these fanatics change their hearts and become law-abiding citizens. the nasty part is sick and tired of these crowds of aggressive fanatics and nearly wishes all of them be transformed into icing sugar by the virtuous effect of a nuclear missile.
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