« Cartoons of the Prophet -- Part I | Main | Cartoons of the Prophet -- Part III »

February 7, 2006

Cartoons of the Prophet -- Part II

Many respond to the struggle between religion and atheism by hastening toward some sort of middle ground. Some retreat to a lazy, hazy deist god of the sort first proposed by the Greek thinker Xenophanes in the sixth century BCE. Some prefer a gentle agnosticism.burning danish flag.jpg

The ugly and upsetting riots against the publication of those cartoons satirizing Mohammad demonstrate the difficulty of securing that middle ground. Muslims believe their Prophet should not even be depicted. Western intellectuals believe in the freedom to print what you want, to satirize what you want. Where is the reasonable, non-doctrinaire position that might bridge these beliefs?

A spokeswoman for the European Union speaks of the harm these riots might do to "moderate Islam." This seems an odd adjective to put before any religion. How does one to submit to god in moderation?

Atheists tend not to burn things. Does that make them moderate?

Posted by Mitchell Stephens at February 7, 2006 1:08 AM


I guess being moderate in religion means deciding (perhaps unconsciously) that you're not simply going to blindly swallow the whole package deal of ideas that comes with your religion, but temper it with basic common sense and compassion. It's like being a moderate drug abuser; it's better to get off the junk altogether, but cutting back on it is a good start.

Posted by: No More Mr. Nice Guy! at February 7, 2006 10:42 PM

Some quotes of Sam Harris on "moderate" religion:

"... the difference between all "extremists" and moderates - is the degree to which they see political and military action to be intrinsic to the practice of their faith."

This misses the point in the sense that it assumes that it is what the individual believes. Religion is one of the knobs on the political machine. A big one. Bright red, behind a glass case. Take a look at the pictures posted, that pack of degenerates is far too obtuse to believe anything themselves, however when the glass is broken, the nob is turned, and the "MOHAMMED" siren goes off they come running like Pavlov's dog - tails wagging, flags burning.
Similarly, in the U.S. Bush also broke the glass case and tuned the nob to "win election." The Muslim clerics just tuned it to "destroy all infidel," and thats the difference that makes them extremists and us moderates.

- "Moderates in every faith are oblidged to loosely interpret (or simply ignore) much of the canons in the interests of living in a modern world."

This, he explains, essentially to avoid seeming like a complete cretin certain scripture has to be dropped to account for the most basic science (like no longer putting the creation of the universe after civilization had already been flourishing all over the world, and other such "breathtaking inanity," to quote the Pennsylvania judge on creationism.) Also, says Harris, because it is not economically prudent to slaughter people for having a different imaginary friend (a waste of time, and potential manpower).

Posted by: Andrey at February 10, 2006 12:27 AM

there is not such a thing as modern islam, it merged around 643 a.d. and it stands the same, more than two third of muslims dont know their prayers in their own language and also they dont know the meaning of them eighter. And pardon me for saying but what kind of a man (never mind the holiness) would have a bride aged under ten ?? and get away with it ?? comon, we ve got to drow the line somewhere

Posted by: tk at January 27, 2009 8:29 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)