Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I Am to Be Eradicated

A person cannot, at the same time, be on a quest for justice, peace, and support for all people, while calling for the eradication of those who do not share his beliefs.

I am to be eradicated.

So are many of the people that I associate with. All of us are to be eradicated.

Actually, the individual calling for our eradication was saying that "anti-religious materialists" should be eradicated. I do not consider myself to be anti-religious. If my neighbor is kind, respectful, willing to help in times of need, and unwilling to inflict harm or injustice, I do not care about his religious beliefs.

Yet, the person calling for my eradication would accuse me of being anti-religious. He includes in this category anybody who believe in Darwinism or materialism. So, I guess I must be anti-religious.

Oddly -- and this is the part that confuses me -- the author describes the eradicators as those with special qualities. The eradicators allegedly have a sincere belief in justice, peace, and support for all people. The agents of our eradication are those who are “conscientious, tolerant, helpful, conciliatory, reasonable, virtuous, peaceful, and fair.”

As I understand these terms, it is difficult to imagine how these could be the primary traits of an army of eradicators. Indeed, the very urge to eradicate others seems to define a person as intolerant, unreasonable, warlike, and unfair.

The Source

I woke up this morning, followed a few links, and ended up on an article called "Islam's acceptance of Judaism and Christianity" written by Harun Yahya, a "prominent Turkish intellectual", in an online periodical called the "Media Monitors Network."

In this article, Yahya is calling for an alliance of all conscientious people defined as "sincere Christians, along with religious Jews and Muslims, who will come together and unite in this common cause." The people he is speaking to are "All Jews, Christians, and Muslims who are sincere, conscientious, tolerant, helpful, conciliatory, reasonable, virtuous, peaceful, and fair."

In the name of peace and fairness, Yahya wishes that these groups should not be fighting each other. They should be uniting against a different enemy.

That enemy is me.

"Muslims are not at one pole and Jews and Christians are not at the opposing pole. In fact, one pole represents people who believe in God's existence and unity, and the other pole represents the unbelievers, who believe in such anti-religious ideologies as materialism and Darwinism."

This is Yahya's idea of religious morality at work. This is Yahya's idea of tolerance, reasonableness, virtue, peace, and fairness. Yahya thinks that the person with these qualities exhibits them by dividing the world into groups of ‘us’ at one pole and ‘them’ at the other -- not on the basis that 'them' are actually hurting anybody, but on the basis that 'them' does not have the same beliefs that ‘us’ do. On this basis alone, the reasonable, peaceful and fair members of ‘us’ are to embark on a campaign of eradication.

In a paradigm example of double-speak, Yahya says that this campaign is grounded on "[T]he sincere believers' quest for justice, peace, and support for all people."

Well, not quite all people. He seems to have forgotten about those he wants to eradicate.

Unless, of course, I am not to a 'people'. It is, after all, the first step in oppression and injustice is to deny that the victims are 'persons' in the moral sense.

My Take on Eradication

Here is my take on the issue.

In the name of peace and tolerance, I am not going to care about the religious views that my neighbor holds. I do not care if he is Muslim, Jew, Catholic, Protestant, Wikkan, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Atheist, Mormon, Undecided, None of the Above, or whatever. I am going to judge him on a different standard -- whether he is a threat to the rest of us, and whether he is willing to help those who are in desperate need.

If his religion does not make him a threat to others, then I have no right to question it. If, in fact, he belongs to a religion that threatens him with damnation if he does not live in peace with and respect his neighbors, I certainly have no grounds for complaint.

However, if he belongs to a religion that says it is a virtue to blow himself up in a crowded bus or shopping mall, taking as many innocent civilians with him as possible; or fly airplanes into civilian buildings, then I object that his religion is not to be tolerated.

If my neighbor wants to build a temple, it would be wrong for me to try to stop him. However, if he comes over to rob my house or loot my bank account to pay for the construction, he has broken the agreement that we live together in peace. I should have the liberty to decide for myself which temple I will contribute to, if any -- and not be forced to make contributions to a temple I do not care to support. If I am being taxed to pay for the construction of somebody else's temple, then our society is not tolerant, conciliatory, peaceful, or fair.

If my neighbor wants to express his own belief in God, it would be wrong for me to stop him, even if he is in a public place. An individual who ends an oath with, "So help me God" expresses his own view and harms nobody else, so it would be wrong of me to complain. However, if my neighbor promotes an oath that denigrates my beliefs -- saying that I am comparable to those who support rebellion, tyranny, and injustice -- he has stepped beyond his rights. He can no longer honestly claim that he has an interest in tolerance, peace, and fairness if he treats his peaceful neighbor this way.

If my neighbor claims that he should do unto others as he would have others do unto him, then he is not doing what he should if he forces his neighbors to pay for his religious symbols and rituals when he would protest being forced to pay for theirs. He is a hypocrite if he demands the right to make it a public oath to denigrate the views of other peaceful citizens if he would not tolerate oaths that denigrate his own beliefs.

Conclusion

If you want to say that you seek the happiness, security, peace, and tranquility of all people by opposing conflict, you have to be able to do more than use the words in a sentence. You have to be able to show that you know what they mean by your actions.

You do not prove your interest in these goods, or in avoiding conflict, if the reason you are bringing this army together is to eradicate others merely on the basis that they have different beliefs. There is no better proof that an individual's interests is not in happiness, security, peace, and tranquility than the fact that he is calling for the eradication of his peaceful neighbors based only on a difference in belief.

The moral person includes all peaceful neighbors interested in security, peace, and tranquility. This is how one goes about reducing conflict, rather than promoting it.

The moral doctrine should be, "If you can live in peace with me, then I will live in peace with you."

No other ideology deserves the name 'moral'.

1 comment:

bluesky said...

Interesting comments from 'Harun Yahya'considering his/their/? history of anti-Semitism.
On a slightly different note, you might be interested in some articles Taner Edis has written on Islamic Creationism (some specifically on 'Harun Yahya')
http://www2.truman.edu/~edis/writings/articles/