Friday, June 01, 2007

Thou shalt not be thyself

It has been a long while since I've reference a Star article here, but this one was a particularly eye opening account of what it means to be normal run of the mill Muslim who is trapped between the suspicions of the general public and the extreme element of their own culture that induced the suspicion in the first place. It sounds like a rather lonely place to be.

Ah spiritually, so dangerously politicized as religion. I've toyed with and rejected the idea of reading the Hitchen's book for now - my own religious influences may be many and unfocused, but I find the idea of denying anyones spiritual experiences distasteful - I somehow do not see how replacing all religions with atheism will be an improvement. Of course, I haven't read the book and I suspect that that isn't his message at all, but I have little enough time to read to waste my time trying to read a book that won't hold my interest. So, I find my parables between the covers of sci fi-fantasy paperbacks and wonder why anyone would chose a less interesting text for this purpose. The religious texts I've been exposed to, no offense meant, read somewhere between a history text and a legal document (approaching the legal document more closely). Oh, there are bits that are interesting and ideas that are valuable - which I assume one would find in most religious texts, but the story isn't written in my own dialect, nor was it written to captivate the audience of the 21st century. What is the result - everything between extremism and spiritual and moral bankruptcy. Could you not imagine a distant future where folk study Heinlein's "Stranger in a strange land", Jacqueline Carey's exploration of the D'angeline faith and Robin Hobb's "Liveship Traders" trilogy or even the philosophies of Star Trek. Are we so certain our gods have have left us in ancient times - that nothing written since then is divinely inspired? Shall we reject the basic truths embedded in these writings to cling to tradition? I think we'd be a poorer species for it.

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