Research ProposalPDF Available

Atheism in and out the Moroccan context

Authors:

Abstract

This paper seeks to explore the history, key ideas, and beliefs behind atheism, whether it is the belief in the human mind and self-reliance or faith in science from various quarters. And also to study this phenomenon, which has recently risen suddenly in the Arab countries, with a focus on the country of Morocco.
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Monograph submitted in regard to BA degree’s requirements in English language and
literature
Prepared by: CHAOUCH MOHAMMED AMINE Supervised by: DR. BSAITHI OMAR
Registration Number: 1700683
Option: Literature
Academic Year:
2019-2020
Atheism in and out the Moroccan context
The search for identity
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Abstract
This paper seeks to explore the history, key ideas, and beliefs behind
atheism, whether it is the belief in the human mind and self-reliance or
faith in science from various quarters.
And also to study this phenomenon, which has recently risen suddenly in
the Arab countries, with a focus on the country of Morocco.
I will also discuss moral judgments based on Richard Dawkins' book The
God Delusion, as well as human understanding of the concept of God
through the book The case Of God by Karen Armstrong.
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Acknowledgment
I would like to thank my parents and friends who helped me a lot in
finalizing this project within the limited time frame.
Secondly, I would also like to recognize my indebtedness, and thank my
supervisor, Dr. Omar Bsaithi, for making this research possible.
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Table of Contents
Introduction
Chapter one
1. Atheism as a counter-culture
1.1. Definition and purview
1.2. Historical background
2. Atheism in Morocco
2.1. Atheism and Islamic culture
2.2. Cases of atheism in Morocco
Chapter two
3. Moral judgments and human conceptualization of God
3.1. Moral judgments in Richard Dawkins The God Delusion
3.2. Human understanding of God in Karen Armstrong The case
Of God
Conclusion
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Introduction
To approach a subject like atheism in an Arab Muslim country could be a
sensitive task. Unlike the widespread concept Arab countries are a homogeneous
block of pious Muslims praying five times on a daily basis and fasting during the
holy month of Ramadan, the fact is kind of different. other than the very fact that
Christians, Jews and other minor faiths are represented within the Arab world,
Islam itself is characterized by several branches, primarily Sunni and Shiaa.
Moreover, the phenomenon with which this research mainly deals could be a
further manifestation of the complex spiritual panorama within the region: the
more and more widespread negation of faith itself. in an exceedingly context
where religion is way removed from being just a matter of personal belief, many
governments regard atheism as an unacceptable plague whose consequences on
social order might be destabilizing their semi-authoritarian power. Several
regimes- notably monarchies- spread across the MENA area are supported a
largely religious legitimacy: Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Morocco are the
foremost relevant examples. For certain parts of the Arab world, the opposition is
itself forbidden. Religious differences, particularly in the youngest generations,
were nonetheless slowly emerging. It is clear that a partial opening has taken
place in the public debate on the Arab scene, and some untouchable areas are
now the object of discussion and critique, but within the limits set by the political
force.
There are many studies concerning the history of religion, religiosity, the
tendency of people’s faith, its justifications, motivating factors and their stimulus,
and its dialectical relationship with religious texts, religious and evolutionary
theories about the origins of life and origins of religion, but if we search for similar
studies on the history of atheism, its justifications, motives, and dialectics, we find
that the quantity is hardly comparable, Studies that focus on the issue of atheism
as a human phenomenon are less than those that focus on religion. Indeed, the
American psychology professor Paul C. Vitz when he published his book
Psychology of atheism; This triggered a large number of psychologists and
considered the book unacceptable and annoying, As it is usual in the academic
field is to study the psychology of faith and not the psychology of atheism.
It is noticeable that there is a prevailing belief promoted by advocates of atheism
that atheism is a purely objective scientific option, and a rational decision of the
first order has no place for whims or ideology or politics, in exchange for attacking
faith as an irrational decision based on purely psychological, social and
evolutionary motives, as promoted by advocates of new atheism, led by Richard
Dawkins in his most famous book, The God Delusion.
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Chapter one
1. Atheism as a counter-culture
1.1. Definition and purview
Atheism, in its broadest sense, is a lack of belief or belief in the existence of
deities. In its parochial sense, atheism is considered a position that there are no
gods or high powers. 1
Generally, the term atheism refers to the absence of a belief that deities exist.
This thought contradicts the idea of believing in God or deity, since the term deity
means believing that there is at least one God.
The term atheism crystallized after the spread of free thought and scientific
skepticism and the growth of intellectual currents in criticizing religions. The first
atheists tended to define themselves by using the word "atheist" in the
eighteenth century in the Enlightenment. The French Revolution saw the first
major political movement in history to defend the supremacy of the human mind
as well as an unprecedented stream of atheism. 2
Atheistic arguments range from philosophical to social and historical. As the
justifications for not believing in the existence of a god include the arguments and
that there is a lack of empirical evidence. 3 Although some atheists have embraced
secular philosophies (such as humanity and skepticism), 4 there is no single
ideology or set of behaviors that all atheists adhere to. Nor is there a single
philosophical school that brings together atheists. Some of them fall under the
banner of material or natural school, and many tend towards science and
skepticism, especially concerning the metaphysical world. Some atheists argue
that there is no stubbornness between atheism and Buddhism, because
Buddhists, or some of them, embrace Buddhism but do not believe there is a
deity. 5
Many atheists also see that atheism is a more correct view of divinity, and
therefore the burden of proof does not rest with the atheist to refute the
existence of God but rather the believer in God must provide justifications for
believing in him according to their saying.
Because of the many concepts of atheism, it is difficult to know the accurate
estimates of the current numbers of atheists. Several comprehensive international
surveys were conducted on this topic, the most prominent of which was a survey
conducted by the Gallup International in 2015, where more than 64,000
participants participated, 11% of them indicated that he is "an atheist with
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conviction", while the result of 2012 in a previous poll was 13% of individuals The
sample identified themselves as "atheists with conviction".6
Types of atheism
The authors disagree about the ideal definition of atheism and its classifications,
and argue over supernatural entities that are considered as deities, whether
atheism is a philosophical position that expresses itself or merely the absence of
faith, and about the atheism's need for consciousness and outright rejection.
Atheism was once considered an analogy of agnosticism, 7 but it has become a
comparison with it. 8 Types of atheism have been discerned in various
classifications.
Candid atheism and tacit atheism
Definitions of atheism also differ regarding the degree of one's thoughts about
God. Atheism is sometimes known as the simple absence of a belief in the
existence of a deity. This broad definition may include infants and other persons
who are not subject to qualifying thoughts. Paul Thiry d'Holbach said anciently in
1772: "Every child is born an atheist, as he has no idea of God." 9
Tacit atheism is considered "the absence of a divine belief without a conscious
rejection of God" while outright atheism is a conscious rejection of belief. Ernest
Nagel questions the notion of a lack of God's faith as a type of atheism in his book,
Philosophical Atheism. 10
Positive atheism and negative atheism
Some philosophers such as Anthony Flo and Michael Martin have compared two
types of atheism, which are positive (strong or solid) and negative (soft and weak)
atheism.
Positive atheism expressly states that no deity exists. Whereas negative atheism
contains all other types of deification. According to this classification, any person
who is not deified is considered as either a positive atheist or a negative atheist.
Strong and weak terminology did not arise until recently, while the terms positive
and negative atheism date back to an ancient era, and were used (in various ways)
in philosophical works and Catholic justifications for Christianity. 11 Agnosticists are
considered to be negative atheists based on this classification.
While Martin affirms, for example, that agnosticism involves negative atheism,
many agnosticists see a different position from atheism, 12 as they consider it to be
completely unjustified like deity or require an equal degree of persuasion. 13 It is
sometimes believed that obtaining certain knowledge about the existence of a
god or against his existence is elusive, and this indicates that atheism needs a leap
of faith. 14
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Atheists see their response to this argument as unconfirmed religious hypotheses
deserving disbelief like all other unconfirmed hypotheses, and that the absence of
the possibility of proving the existence of a god does not imply a possibility or
existence of any kind.
Australian philosopher John Smart argues, “Sometimes an atheist describes
himself as agnostic, with a passion, perhaps, because of the general philosophical
skepticism that surrounds us and prevents us from ascertaining any knowledge
whatsoever, except perhaps the facts of mathematics and logic.” 15
In a related context, some atheist writers such as Richard Dawkins prefer
distinguishing between deified, agnostic, and atheist terms over the spectral of
deified possibilities (Dawkins scale), depending on the probability that each of
them puts around the saying “God is there”. 16
Pragmatic atheism
Pragmatic atheism is a view that requires the individual to reject a deity or deities,
because believing in them is not necessary in relation to a pragmatic (practical)
life. This vision is associated with indifference and practical atheism. 17
1.2. Historical background
Some think that atheism began after Darwin's emergence with the theory of
evolution, but this belief is completely wrong, because atheism exists in ancient
history
The first of these historically recorded movements of atheism was in India
approximately 1000 BC, where the first signs of doubt were in the written text
"Rig-Veda" (one of the sacred manuscripts of Indian religions): "Who knows for
sure? Who announces it here? When Born and when was this creation? The gods
were created after the birth of this universe. So who can know where the
universe originated from? Nobody knows how creation was, nor is it (the greatest
god) who made the world or not. He is the one who examines the universe from
the highest heavens, He knows, or maybe he does not know. "
Nearly another 500 years (500 BC) Buddhism emerged, which drew its ideas from
the Rig-Veda. "Buddha (563-483 BC) attempted to transfer thought from a focus
on deities, whose number had Thousands exceeded in Hinduism, to focus on
human suffering and get rid of it.
He attributed the reason for suffering to the attachment of human beings and
their desires, which creates pain when desires are not fulfilled, and to get rid of
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suffering and pain, the desire must be eliminated. And thus access to nirvana, or
dependence, or unwillingness. And in it a person unites with the universe and
melts in it.
When Buddha was asked about the existence of God, he didn't answer. Buddhism
does not concern the gods but human suffering and therefore does not bear any
answer from God, and this is what is classified in modern times as agnosticism.
Around the same time, Greek philosophy was throughout the European continent,
around 420 BC. Materialism appeared in Greece, and the principle of atoms as a
single and fundamental element of the universe began to emerge at the hands of
Democritus, which pushed his theory to the point that it eliminated the presence
of deities in a purely material world, and is also said to be one of the founders of
philosophy, mathematics, and the theory of knowledge. By the fourth century B.C.
(341-270 BC) Epicurus appeared in Greece, who is considered to be the first
apparent atheist philosopher, and he created for the first time a "controversy of
evil" that says:
"Does God want to prevent evil but he cannot? So he is not omnipotent. Is he able
to prevent evil but does not want to? So he is malicious and evil in tendency. Is he
capable and wants to prevent evil? So where did evil come from? Is he unable And
he doesn't want to prevent evil? So why do we call him a god? "
This led him to adopt two gods, one for good and one for evil, and he is said to
have never believed in a life after death. Perhaps this was the beginning of the
intellectual movement that led Zoroaster in Persia to come out with the religion of
the conflict between the two gods of the good god "Ahhur-Mazda" and the god of
evil "Ahraman".
In the modern era, according to Karen Armstrong's A History of God, since the end
of the seventeenth century and the beginnings of the nineteenth century, and
with the development of science and technology in the West, signs of currents
began to declare their independence from the idea of the greatest creator.
This era was the era of Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, and
Sigmund Freud who began to analyze scientific, psychological, economic, and
social phenomena, in a way in which the idea of the greatest Creator had no role
in it.
At that time, an idea emerged that "religion is a creation of humans, which they
invented to explain the natural, psychological or social phenomena unknown to
them, and its purpose was to organize the life of a group of people according to
what the founder of religion deems appropriate and not according to the real
needs of human beings ...
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Karl Marx considered religion the opium of the people, as it makes the people lazy
and not believing in their ability to change their reality, just as religion was
exploited by the bourgeois class to crush the simple class.
As for Sigmund Freud, he said: "Religion is an illusion that humankind needed in its
beginnings, and that the idea of the existence of God is an attempt from the
subconscious to reach perfection in a person like the highest alternative to the
father’s personality. But after a while he realizes that there is no perfection, and
the subconscious tries to find a solution to this crisis by creating a fake image of
something called perfection.
History of atheism in the Islamic world
In the history of the Arabs there is evidence of the presence of atheists before
Islam in another name and they are the sect of dehrien who believed in the feet of
the world and that the world has no first and the Qur’an mentions them: {And
they say, “There is not but our worldly life; we die and live, and nothing destroys
us except time. " And they have of that no knowledge; (Al-Jathiyah, verse 24)}, so
Jamal al-Din al-Afghani wrote a book to respond to contemporary atheists and
called it "The Response to the Sovereign."
As for the word atheism, it was used for those who do not follow the religion and
its orders, considering that religion is sent from God. In the Holy Scriptures, we
find a remembrance of people or groups who do not believe in a particular
religion, do not believe in the idea of the Day of Judgment, or believe in gods in
the form of statues (idols) that were often made of stones.
It seems that the idea of denying the existence of the Creator was completely
excluded and did not receive popular approval in all ages, as the Greek historian
Plutarch says: “In history, I found cities without forts, cities without palaces, and
cities without schools, but there were never cities without temples.”
But after the spread of the Islamic religion, which is inadvertently overlooked by
many, when talking about the history of Islam, he found many types of atheists:
Some minds that began to question the validity of the prophecy, and does God
need a mortal to report it? And some evidence shows a tendency to deny the
entire theological thought, had it not been for the time of it, the language of the
philosophy of modern science did not have enough to speak boldly enough about
the matters of the existence of God, and Ibn al-Rawandi is one of these skeptics
who doubt the Islamic religion, as his life witnessed great doctrinal and intellectual
transformations. In his scientific beginnings, he was one of the Mu'tazilites, but he
turned away from the Mu'tazilah and severely criticized it in his book “The
Mu'tazila scandal.” Then he briefly embraced Shi’ite Islam and has the book of the
Imamate, which is one of the effects of his short Shi’ism. Rawandyi is one of the
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most important agnostics in Islamic history, what deserves mention is that most of
what he wrote was destroyed or lost due to the intensity of the fight against him.
The most prominent and beautiful stage reached by atheism, was at the hands of
Abu Bakr al-Razi. He is one of the rarities who were freed from the idea of
association with atheism because of his inclination for oriental philosophies, for
example, or others, or an attempt to cover up by showing some faith in God and
belief matters and return later to attacking the Apostles and questioning their
health, and from its books for example: the paranormal of the prophets, and he
denied the Mu'tazilites attempt to insert the mind into religion, on the pretext
that philosophy and religion do not come together.
While there is no evidence from the books of those who lived in Al-Razi period,
several allegations have emerged in the modern era saying that he was an atheist
after attributing to him several books criticizing religions and prophets.
2. Atheism in Morocco
2.1. Atheism and Islamic culture
Islam is the predominant religion in the Kingdom of Morocco, according to some
studies, there are approximately 98.7% of the Moroccan population are
Muslims.18
670 AD is the year of Islam’s entry into Morocco at the hands of Uqba ibn Nafi
during the Islamic conquests of North Africa, and the latter was working as a
military commander with the Umayyads in Damascus.
Unlike the provinces and countries of the Levant, the conquest of Morocco was
not an easy thing. It took more than half a century from (646 AD to 710 AD). After
the completion of the conquest of Morocco and the conversion of most of the
Moroccans to Islam, there were signs of the secession of this region from the
caliphate in the East. After several attempts, this desire was fulfilled by the
emergence of the first Islamic state in Morocco, the state of Idris in the year 788
AD, where the founder of this state was the grandson of the Prophet Idris bin
Abdullah (Moulay Idris), who fled to the Far Maghreb fleeing from the battle of
Fakh near Mecca (786). He settled in the city of Volubilis, where the Berber
European tribe embraced him and supported him until he established his state,
and since then Islam is the official religion. And most Berbers have become
Muslims in the era of the Idrisids.
After the idrisids, many honorable Muslim dynasties that prevailed throughout the
Far Maghreb followed and were keen to spread this religion in West Africa.
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Parallel to this, many Arabs from the East came to settle in Morocco, bringing with
them their culture and traditions. Far Maghreb is the main reason for spreading
Islam in West and Central Africa. And the Moroccans struggled, fought and
provided great services to Islam and spread it in Europe, as Andalusia was
subordinate to the Far Maghreb state for more than 8 centuries until it fell into
the hands of the Crusaders and the Far Maghreb is still paying the price of its entry
into Europe until now, by occupying the Crusaders to the cities of Ceuta and
Melilla and their islands in retaliation.
Freedom of religion in Morocco is generally prominent, with some restrictions.
While Islam is the official state religion, the Moroccan citizens are allowed to
follow other religions. However, restrictions apply only to Christian proselytizing
and political activities under a religious banner. There is still a Moroccan-Jewish
sect, although most Moroccan Jews emigrated in the years following the creation
of Israel in 1948.
The Constitution of Morocco stipulates that the official and supreme religion of
the state is Islam, and Morocco grants freedom of religion to everyone in central
Morocco (without declaring or using methods of temptation).
Islam is the religion of the state, and the state guarantees to every one the
freedom to practice his religious affairs. 19
An opinion poll on religiosity, conducted by the independent Arab research
network Barometer, sounded the alarm after the results showed shocking
numbers that totally violate the prevailing belief within Moroccan society about
the relationship of our youth to the Islamic religion.
According to the survey conducted between 2018 and 2019, the number of
atheists, or non-religious, Moroccans is currently 10 percent, most of them are
youth.
The dangerous thing is that the network that completed the poll compared the
recent results with the results reached in 2013, when the number of atheists in
Morocco did not exceed 2.5 percent, that is, the ratio doubled 4 times in just six
years.
The high percentage of non-believers is not only limited to Moroccans, but they
are all Arab countries except for Yemen, where their percentage has witnessed a
significant decrease.
13
If missionary broadcasts, especially in the 1990s, were a method used by
missionaries to make thousands convert from Islam to Christianity, then modern
means of communication represented an opportunity for nonreligious to form
groups to communicate with each other and invite others through chat rooms and
networking sites, as there are pages that attract thousands of fans as a page.
Atheists of the Moroccan "and" Kafer maghribi "and secret groups" like Dar Al
Arqam "and rooms on the chat sites like " Paltalk" as room " secular Moroccans
for freedom."
2.2. Cases of Atheism in Morocco
Sheikh Mohammed Al-Fezazi, one of the symbols of the Salafi movement in
Morocco, says in an interview with the BBC Arabic website that the internet has
already played a role in spreading atheism as like it played in "spreading terrorism
that is spreading there more than any other medium, such as satellite channels
and the media. "
Al-Fezazi likens the Internet to an open door that "does not need a visa nor does it
pass through customs, so he born the phenomenon of preachers of atheism as he
did preachers of faith."
As for Hisham Nostik, who is known as "Kafer maghribi", known for his records
criticizing Islam, he says: "The Internet has become the most powerful weapon
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against indoctrination because it facilitated obtaining information." Today you are,
as Hisham says: "You do not need a priest or imam to see the texts and their
explanations."
"Of course, those who benefit from the survival of religions because of blind faith
or different agendas will not surrender without a fight. This fight that will turn into
death is what we live today on the Internet and satellite channels," he says.
He also insists that: "The future is for rationality and humanity. No matter is long
or short the thing is, religions will end in one way or another."
This is what Sheikh Al-Fezazi disagrees with, stressing that: "Atheism was first for
him to conquer the world in his golden age during the days of the power of the
former Soviet Union, where atheism was a doctrine protected by iron, fire and
tractor armies."
Therefore, Al-Fezazi adds: "Eliminating atheism as well as eliminating faith is
impossible, because humanity is based on this difference in its origin."
As for Said Bin Jabali, a Moroccan researcher interested in criticizing religions and
residing in Boston, USA, he says that there will inevitably be a role for religion in
the short and medium term in North African societies. But he adds that this role
will be subject to development, setting an example with what he calls
"contemporary Islam, which has developed from all shades of Islamic trends.
Including Salafism or Wahhabism that produced secular Wahhabi or secular Salafi
gestures in Morocco, for example."
However, he also affirms that societies are moving towards "non-religionism
slowly but surely".
Memories of kafer maghribi
The book of the "Memories of kafer maghribi" by Hicham Nostik sparked many
contrasting reactions between praise and attack, Creating the uproar among the
corridors of the Casablanca International Salon for Publishing and Book.
Altogether, the book has achieved significant sales since its release. 20
The book tells of 170 medium-sized pages, in Moroccan dialect, and facts he says
are true, for the diaries of a poor young orphan's parents, telling the story of his
transition from faith to atheism, and everything that marred that transition with
what the owner of the memoirs lived to reach that point, i.e. writing that The
notes.
Hisham Nostik, the author of the book, chose for his autobiography to be in a
cover embellished with Islamic motifs, in the suggestion of him to embody the
contradiction between the custom and the visual identity of books of religion,
worn by a book that represents a position on religion.
In his memoirs, Nostik does not stop at trying to draw the timeline of his belief
transformation, in traditional narration, which usually begins with the dissolution
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of religion and its criticism, up to the religion or atheism altogether. Rather, this
goes beyond molding the experiment in an epic form, transmitting it across
several worlds, from Morocco to Germany To jihad in Bosnia during the Balkan
war, which he escapes back to Germany, after he discovered the contradictions
raised by the act of belief: "Why is all this suffering if God is merciful?" And then
he moved to the denial of the existence of God.
Chapter two
3. Moral judgments and human conceptualization of God
3.1. Moral judgments in Richard Dawkins The God Delusion
The book has sparked much controversy between supporters and opponents, and
many books have been written to respond to it. The English version of the book
sold until November 2007 more than 1.5 million copies and 2 million copies in
January 2010 and this number rose to reach 3 million copies in 2014, and it was
translated into 31 languages and translated into Arabic by writer and translator
Bassam Al-Baghdadi in 2009, which makes it The most popular book of all Dawkins
books. 21
In his book The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins begins the morality chapter with a
few of the unfortunate emails and letters he has got from the faithful as to how
they can enjoy the watching of Dawkins suffering in hell.
In addition to this, Dawkins spends the rest of the chapter on the evolution of our
moral senses. It goes through four different facets of morality that could have
given a natural selection advantage: protect your tribe, reciprocation, enhancing
reputation, and defining status (the one who offers may be seen as "greater" than
the one who receives). For example, when it comes to helping somebody outside
your clan, it seems that this defies any natural selection advantages because of a
side effect (for example by assisting someone in their clan and so sharing their
genes).
He then addresses studies that demonstrate how deeply rooted in us is a general
moral sensitivity. Cross-cultural, people respond to the same moral thinking tests
approximately in the same way. Dawkins says this here to demonstrate that we do
not get our ethics from a book(referring to the bible), but that because of the
millions of years of evolution, it is already inside us.
The fascinating thing about the Dawkins case is that it confirms what I believe is
one of God 's greatest arguments: the nature of objective morality. Dawkins
showed how deeply rooted in all societies around the world is a popular ethic,
even so far as he explains that we feel better than normal in expressing it.
We can sense that an innocent bystander is wrong to slow down on the train and
to avoid a train full of people jumping a cliff even though we can't explain why it is
wrong. It is a critical first move, which reveals how not quite relative morality is. If
you were, in every culture you would find very different moral structures, but we
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found the opposite always a similar moral foundation, as Dawkins argued
strongly.
Every person is aware, however, deep down that there is a genuine difference
between right and wrong. The religious worldview has a basis for moral judgments
because they are grounded in the character of the eternal God. He did not
arbitrarily declare a standard of right and wrong, and He did not discover a
standard which was external to him. Instead, the standard which God has
provided is an expression of His eternally holy, just, and loving nature. Believers,
therefore have a norm that is absolute, unchangeable, and unshakable.
Considering Dawkins’ atheistic and evolutionary presuppositions, it makes sense
for him to attempt to argue that morals are grounded in our evolutionary past
independently of religion or God. However, his argument suffers from significant
problems, and it does not do justice to the true nature of mankind’s moral
conscience. Dawkins doesn't explain this well; 1) how natural selection creates a
moral obligation, 2) how morality has to be linked to either Deity or religion, and
3) why morality is essential.
3.2. Human understanding of God in Karen Armstrong The case
Of God
Since the Paleolithic period up to now, Karen Armstrong explains how far the
human race has gone to witness a divine truth that many names, such as Christ,
Brahman, Nirvana, Allah, and Dao have named. In particular, Armstrong is
concerned with Christianity, but also Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and
Chinese spiritualities, since a large number of people either don't want to deal
with God or question the utility of their faith, she explores the decreased
momentum towards the religion of our time. Why is God unbelievable? Why do
atheists and theists think about God and talk so honestly from the thoughts of our
ancestors?
Armstrong, who addresses these questions with the same deep wisdom and
understanding as all her popular novels, makes clear how both the culture and
individual importance of religion has fundamentally changed with the changing
face of the world. She argues that we should develop a trust in our increasingly
fractured age in order to insight into the past. It also makes a strong and
persuasive argument. However, she warns us that religion should never offer a
response that falls beyond human reason's competence; it is the job, she says, of
logos. The goal of religion is "to help us live with realities in imagination, harmony,
and joy." She emphasizes too that religion does not necessarily work. She is, she
says, a practical subject: she has a view which is based on a "compassionate
lifestyle, which allows us to break away from the prism of selfhood," and not on
abstract speculation.
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Changing Views of God?
Her thesis can be seen in two parts: Part One, "The Ancient God," Part II, "The
New God," from 1500 to the present. She briefly introduces this theory in the first
ten pages and then attempts to back up this theory through the historical analysis
that shapes the rest of the novel. According to her, the modern Western world
has developed conceptions of god, faith, and spirituality completely different from
those held until the most recent days in all the major traditions. The current
controversy between religion and science has been brought on by this "modern
god."
Religion as Silence and Unknowing
God is not a personal being who stands apart over and from his formation. The
name we give to ultimate reality is God, Nirvana, Brahman, or Dao. Nothing about
God can be told, not even that he exists or does not exist. Never have religious
tales been literally or factually meant to be understood; they are symbolic. There
are religious symbols and practices and rituals which enable faithful to come into
contact with this transcendent reality and be able therefore to negotiate more
effectively the vicissitudes of life and to display genuine compassion to others.
Modern God as Aberration
In 1492 the modern era began. Via three revolutions of the 16th century: the
Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution, the people of Europe
embarked on a journey into secularisation. Christians started to flourish by
applying innovative scientific methods to the field by religion. Newton argued that
the architecture and function of nature reflected the presence and purpose of the
God of nature. "Newton overtook centuries of Christian tradition in one stroke."
She claims. Theologians had previously argued that nothing could be said of God
through creation (Psalms 19, Romans 1?); indeed, God was not known by us.
Religion had fatally started to seek support from reason and science. So what if a
later generation sought another reason for nature 's architecture and complexity?
Religion would be damaged just as it was when higher German critics "rationally"
studied the Bible, with scientific explanations of human behavior being made by
Darwin, Marx, and Freud. Christianity must have been struggling for life, which is
what we are today. 'Had Christians not allowed themselves to be so dependent
upon a scientific method which is completely alien to it, she argues? 'But that
would not have been the case.'
The Bible’s Claim
"True truth" is possible, as he liked to call it. When God created a person in his
image and the use of language is one of the characteristics of human beings, why
can God not communicate things true to him and true to us, both in the language
of man? Then we would have true facts, even if never full truth. This is exactly the
claim of the Bible. Indeed, historic Christianity is the ultimate form of mysticism
since, as in the orient mysticisms from the East, it "is more able than never to be
reduced to terms," that is to say, things that can be debated rationally.
18
Conclusion
The problem of the problems of our diverse and rich religious society in its
“pluralities” today (if we may express it) lies in our rejection of each other,
especially the rejection of extremist intellectual and political currents of the
cultural diversity mindset, and acceptance of the other, even if it is an infidel or an
atheist or a believer in any belief or religion, that is, we have not yet been able to
"resolve" the problem of the great ethnic, cultural and religious diversity that has
existed in our civilization since eternity, the persistence of religious and sectarian
conflicts, and the catastrophic failure to consciously and manage the diversity of
all beliefs and sanctities, where the pre-national traditional affiliation dominates,
and the climate and mentality of sectarianism. Our Arab countries and societies
emerged (and as a result of their previous diseases) completely exposed to the
challenges of life and contemporary reality, in the face of the facts and conditions
of mental, scientific, and political modernity. After its elite was unable to lead it to
social security, the failure was its ally and companion in its path, and it continued
to transfer from one defeat to another and from fall to another, without
forgetting the problems and questions of the Renaissance and the religious and
political civilization, waiting on the sidewalks of loss, dispersion and
fragmentation, practical, real and adequate answers.
The basic principle in Islam is coexistence with the different faiths (and not with
personal beliefs) between different and varied people, as the origin of these
thoughts are verses of the Quran, and not just some words of any ordinary man or
woman, and the verses are perfect, clear, unambiguous words for anyone. As in
the following verse that considers difference to be the origin of things: “Had your
Lord so willed, He would surely have made mankind one community. But as
things” (Hood: 118). By what means legislate the difference and diversity as a
general condition in our life in human society, as a natural state what establishes
the title for the other within the different cultural spaces and cultural and
historical areas of the nation? Islam and faith are not held by coercion or by force,
violence, and pressure, but rather by reason, perception and freedom, freedom of
choice, "whoever wills - let him believe; and whoever wills - let him
disbelieve."(Al-Kahf: 29)
That is why meeting, dialogue and interaction with the other remains the only
simple, inexpensive way, and the safest remaining guarantee for knowing this
other (after knowing the self, of course) and openness to him, and starting to
produce solid normative common convictions, and formulating a civilized future
political vision for the human world away from discrimination, tension, despair
and anxiety Destructive passive.
A new Islamic human culture must be established (as a large and broad goal) that
is aware of itself from within its heritage, investing, and benefiting from the
experiences of others who have gone through what we have been through and
through struggles and judgments.
19
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