Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Does Belief Dumb Down?

Does BELIEF dumb down?

This questions hangs on two others.

On the one hand, belief at its most basic is about discernment, and the classification of the World on the basis of arbitrary terminology such as good and bad, right and wrong. But it is that judgement call, however arbitrary, that forces the Believer to think.

Furthermore morality, which is the prime concern of Believers, is often framed as judgements based on consequence. Consequence is a distant subject for thought, dealing both with far reaching ramifications and futures. These are not easy subjects to converse on, let alone present arguments about.

Which after all is what the Believer has to do both for himself and for his fellows. For when you make that judgment call, you invite the contrary both in thought and deed, both in yourself and others. For that is the nature of man, who after all is but a child of Adam. And then once invited, you must muster argument to justify yourself.

And on the other hand belief at its most basic is opposed to ignorance. For a believer "knows" and trusts his belief. Whilst the admittance of ignorance is certainly a motor for the pursuit of knowledge, belief does not readily lend itself to that pursuit there.

But it is the field within which belief operates there that explains the dynamic between these two poles.

For belief as regards the Muslim nation is clearly defined as being of six parts, collected into three themes. These are GOD, His Oneness and attributes, the communication of knowledge of Him, and His Ways, from Himself to ourselves and then our ultimate return back to Him. They relate to things which are invisible, and hence immune to reasonable question.

And so whilst these are taken as a given, by the believer, they leave open the question of how those beliefs impact on our everyday concerns. And whilst a believer might muster arguments in regard to the moral consequence of action using his or her beliefs, these as a rule do not preclude him/her from further examination of those questions. And in some cases they only provide the bedrock for the further examination of consequence.

So for example for a materialist person all research using embryos might be just Science doing what Science does, but for the believer such questions might hinge on the cases where such research is desirable, permissible and then plain wrong.

The thought processes of such a believer are therefore the more complex than the equivalent materialist.

And since the believer might elucidate cases, in those cases each would need their own justification. A more complex process and definitely not a dumbing down.

Isn't this a far superior version of rational behaviour that what masquerades as such in our time: the championship of freedom of expression when it is just plain stupid. Much of that that masquerades as rational is just that, the lack of discernment and the championship of the plain. Even down to the plain silly notion that there is no division between life and non-life, consciousness and dumbness.

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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Why I choose ISLAM

Why I choose ISLAM.

It is a daily choice to be a Submitter. Not least because of the daily vilification that we have to bear courtesy of our main stream media.

But possibly most when we are faced with justifying our belief, to ourselves, when we come into contact with our own who have forsaken theirs. These call themselves Muslims in a cultural tome mimicking our cousin-brothers; the People of the Book; being the Yuhood and the Nasara.

Well today my belief was shaken in that way and not by the hardship of Ramadhan's long London fasts; lasting a full eighteen plus hours in searing 27 degrees without hydrating fluids; nor by some arrogant rationalist that could not see past the end of his nose, but by a young man who claimed to be Muslim and yet paradoxically did not know, and even shied away, from the defining words of our Shahadah.

But then I remembered that this Islam of mine is a choice; a choice I choose to make. A choice that my religion emphasises to me at the two corners of each day, with the Sunnahs of Fajr and Maghrib where by convention we recite individually Kafiroon followed by Ikhlas in the two circuits of prayer.

And I make that choice with good reason, for I believe in the ascendency and primacy of hope.
That there is MORE.

And that such a belief can have a profound effect on the behaviour of men.

For when men allow fear to reign their psyche look what happens; "They ended up focusing on just those last few seconds and minutes of the struggle, and did George Zimmerman fear for his life? And that's really what it boiled down to for them".

The jury in their negatively fuelled stupidity focused on FEAR. Whether or not Tray Martin was to be feared never entered into their deliberations. A travesty of a judgement that did no truth to the facts and yielded justice to injustice.

And this is one solitary example of what effect fear, or the lack of hope, can have on mans behaviour.

It is the hope that there is MORE that makes me a better person;
More trusting
More generous
More truthful and kind and in the end
More Happy.

And so I choose Islam.
And I believe.
And I submit to GOD in the hope of His grace and mercy.

And I choose Islam because it provides me with a codex of rituals that are abundantly graceful and accessible. That give structure to my daily life and enable me to find both solace and meaning. And I am not ashamed of that.

And I choose Islam because it is not hidden nor shrouded in mystery, so much so that those who make it their duty to destroy it have full access to its sources. But they cannot because they fail to see its heart.

And I choose Islam because no matter what, there can be no denying Muhammed (saw). That he changed the history of the World in the most marvellous of ways, may he (saw) forever be blessed.

And so by God's abundant grace I am Muslim, may He deign to keep me so. Ameen.