S.M.A. Ehtisham MD,
PO Box 469 Bath NY U.S.A 14810
Phone 607 776 3336
GOD, GOVERNMENT AND GLOBALIZATION.
1. The Origin of Mankind – Richard Leakey
2. The End of History – Fukuyama
3. A Brief History of New Liberalism
4. The Limits of Power – Bacewich
· Origin of Religion
· Greco Roman Period
· Modern Period
· Analytical Study
· Historical Study
· Functional and Structural Studies
· Sociological Studies
· Principles of Classifications
· Systems of Belief
6. God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
7. Breaking the Spell
8. Arise Arjuna
9. Fundamentalism – Ruthven
10. The Battle for God – Karen Armstrong
11. Islamic Liberalism – L. Binder
12. Confessions of an Economic Hitman – Perkins
13. Industry and Empire – Hobshawn
14. Post WWII Neo-Colonization – Thomas Sebastian
15. Does Science Make Belief in Allah Obsolete – Moham Engineer
Human beings (Homo Sapiens) are understood to have evolved to the currently recognizable physical shape and attributes about half a million years ago. The term “attributes” encompasses bipedal locomotion, coherent speech, power of analysis, greater social organization, imagination-all benefits of a larger brain.(include parts of fundamemtalism us style)
The earliest available records are those of hunter-gatherer society, which over hundreds of thousands of years developed in turn into tribal, feudal-monarchial and capitalist stages.
In line with the stage of social development the concept of divine passed through the stage of multiple deities, which in the beginning had more or less equal representation of male and female forms and monotheistic creeds to deism. For a variety of reasons matriarchal society declined and gave way to male domination. Ever since that time Gods have been male.
Initially gods were believed to be just more powerful than humans but over time they have grown more and more distant and different from the ordinary mortal. God of Moses used to invite him for regular parleys, Jesus did not talk to him directly and his followers were reduced to award him with a biological relationship with the Almighty. The prophet of Islam had only one audience when he rose to seventh heaven on a flying horse named “Burraq”; archangel Gabriel was the appointed emissary for all exchanges.
Accounts of the earliest beliefs and their origin are necessarily speculative. Humans needed explanation of and protection from natural elements. It was probably a coincidence that a prediction of member of a tribe came true-drought ended or the crop was good or a fire died down. The person, pushed to explain how she/he knew, might have claimed a special relationship with gods. The profession of clergy probably started that way.
With advancement of knowledge and ability to explain some natural phenomenon on a scientific and rational basis it became necessary to invent the ultimate unknown which was the first cause, the uncreated creator-we have God of Abraham, Moses, Christ and Muhammad.
Governance evolved in a similar fashion. Women ruled the roost and polyandry was practiced till humans settled on land in the earliest agricultural societies. Sheer physical strength rather than stamina, which women are more endowed with than men are, became the prized attribute. Women were further handicapped by relative physical weakness during later months of pregnancy and post delivery-nursing periods also took their toll. Men gradually achieved the dominant position in society. (As a consolation prize Mother hood was sanctified. In Islam it is said that paradise lies at the feet of the mother. Christians gave Mary was a divine status. Classical Judaism however did not place them on a pedestal. But pedestal or not women did not start to regain status till nineteen thirties).
Humans acquired fixed assets in the shape of homes, land and farming equipment and tamed animals. Men would want to leave the assets to their own seed. Legitimacy acquired previously unknown gravity. Polyandry was gradually abandoned. Marriage rites were invented through the agency of priests who had by this time attained high status by dint of their knowledge and supposed links with gods. Marital fidelity was imposed and inevitably became a greater burden on women, as their liaison would show up as swollen abdomen. The oldest profession in the world was invented to enliven the otherwise drab marital life. Women lost out there too. Female “comfort workers” far out numbered the male ones. Men who spent more time on conflicts and were more prone to accidents lost more of their number than women did. Polygamy became a “necessity”. Kings, tribal chiefs and the affluent had never needed any sanction any way.
Not all humans found rich and fertile lands. A substantial number could not draw sustenance from what they had and took to raiding the fields and homes of affluent farmers. Security had to be found. Aggressive and able-bodied men were relieved of farming and animal husbandry duties and assigned security work. They in time organized themselves into gangs. The job of gang leader gradually and over time became hereditary. Tribal chiefs emerged.
Fashioning your own tools was too cumbersome. It took away time from production. Artisans offered cheaper and more convenient supply.
Inter village trade started. Itinerant vendors were especially vulnerable. Security had to be extended to regions. Chiefs morphed into Rajahs. Priests aligned themselves with the ruling class in mutually sustaining relationship.
Commercial and petty bourgeoisie made their appearance. Society was getting more and more complex. Bigger Rajahs attacked the smaller ones and become Kings. Religion helped out by offering celestial sanction. A feudal class emerged and displaced the ordinary farmer from commonly owned natural pastures-the so-called enclosure movement of medieval Britain.
In Europe the feudal class rebelled against the excesses of kings and forced them to grant some powers to the aristocracy. Parliaments were born. Civil rights were celebrated in the Magna Carta.
Europe entered the enlightenment phase.
Industrial revolution caused a qualitative and quantitative change in the mode of production. National bourgeoisie emerged. They needed workers, produce of the land and power to acquire both. They aligned themselves with royalty and aristocracy in turn and gradually over powered both. Capitalism was born and ushered in democracy, which empowered them as every one (men) had a vote and would naturally support the party of people who offered them employment. Women started getting franchised only at the end of nineteenth century with Australia-New Zealand taking the lead. Great Britain actually gave them a vote after the USA did.
Capitalists found it difficult-expensive to acquire raw material and needed markets for their products as well. They went around marauding all over the world and found easy pickings among the people who had lagged behind in sociological development. They subdued people of Asia, Africa and Americas. The Church gave them official permission and blessings. The world entered the imperialist age.
For easier transport of goods infrastructure had to be developed in colonized lands. Natives had to be given education to be able to perform minor administrative work. A comprador class had to be developed to control the natives as the rulers lacked adequate numbers. This applied more to thickly populated and relatively advanced countries in Asia. In Americas and Australasia the simple device of genocide worked fine. In North America slaves were imported for harsh manual labor.
Africa was a different case altogether. It was generally not fertile. The productive parts were taken over by Arabs and later by Europeans. (On 8/3/07- BBC showed Zimbabwe peasants running away to South Africa. Vigilantes-white- arrested and herded them).
The educated and the rich among the people of the colonies in Asia and Africa wanted to replace the foreign rulers. Industry had created a working class. Peasants were groaning under the yoke of the more intrusive and oppressive feudal system introduced by foreign rulers. Independence movements started raising their head.
In the meanwhile the communist party in Russia had overthrown the Czar and established a dictatorship of the “proletariat” via the agency of members of the party. They owed their success partly to the fact that Europe was in the throes of WWI.
WWI did not adequately settle the conflict over the share claimed by colonial powers in the lands of Asia and Africa. After an uneasy peace of just over two decades WWII broke out. Capitalism helped by socialism defeated fascism. The Soviet Union acquired much of Eastern Europe as spoils of war. Hot war was replaced by a cold one.
Led by the now dominant USA an existential struggle ensued between the Soviet Union and imperialist powers. China was already in the throes of a civil war in which lackeys of imperialism were clearly losing. Pressure was on the much-weakened British to let go of the colonies lest they follow the socialist path. They “granted” independence to a cunningly nay devilishly divided India. That bit of chicanery move would pay rich dividends.
Winds of change were blowing in Asia and Africa. People overthrew the yoke of foreign rule. Nehru, Nasser, Tito and Soekarno raised the banner of non-aligned movement.
French were made of “sterner” stuff and wanted to hold on to Indo-China. Humiliated by a peasant army they handed over the fight to the still politically naïve USA. The country was led by Eisenhower, a general who had been transformed into a hero by WWII because the US president wanted to send a second ranker to lord it over the Allied forces in Europe. His secretary of state a hard-boiled cold warrior by the name of John foster Dulles subscribed to the domino theory. If one (Vietnam) were allowed to fall all Asia would tumble into the lap of communists. He also led the campaign of sabotage against nationalist governments and corralled counties like Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Iraq, and Jordan into “mutual” defence treaties.
The biggest success was the over throw of Mossadeq in Iran in 1953. Military take over in Pakistan in 1958 was part of the same grand plan. Murder of Lumumba in Belgian Congo in 1961, China-India border war of the same year, 1965 overthrow of Soekarno, the 1967 Arab debacle among diverse such episodes were natural sequences.
The USA bled in Nam for over a decade, but control as it did the resources of nearly the whole world, it came out shaken but intact. The country went through a period of introspection bur recovered in due course only to suffer a serious setback in the fall of the Shah of Iran who was driven out in 1979 by a coalition of petit and commercial bourgeoisie, intellectuals, radical leftists and the clergy. The US government thought that they could make a deal with the successor government as they had agents in high places like a future President Bani Sadr and a future foreign minister Gotebzadeh. The latter had been the chief of the personal guard of Khomeini. But the hatred of the Shah and by corollary of the USA was such and the clergy were led by the messianic zeal of Khomeini that they managed to sideline and defeat all the factions and excluded the USA from the game. Direct aggression was not practical politics yet as the USSR was still around.
Post WW II The West including Europe had to concede some measures of an egalitarian system lest people opt for socialist parties as they nearly did in Italy and France. The labor party in the UK and the governments in Scandinavian countries offered wide-ranging reforms in heath care, education and welfare. The USA followed suit and both mainstream political parties continued and built upon post depression government assistance of the poor.
By the mid-sixties big money had had enough of government intervention and took vigorous steps to regain lost ground. Corporate funded think tanks; academics and intellectuals developed a neo-liberal ideology. A concerted campaign to take over of media, political parties and academia was launched. Right wing evangelist Christian operatives threw their wholehearted support in building a neo-liberal coalition and played a key role in persuading the working class in voting against their interests. With the 1979 advent into power of Margaret Thatcher in the UK and Ronald Reagan in the USA in 1980, the conservative movement came into its own. Post Thatcher and Reagan, Tony Blair in Britain and Bill Clinton in the USA abandoned their base of support and continued the “good” work.
The Soviet leadership had in the mean while fossilized. It blundered into a confrontation in Afghanistan with the combined might of the west and subsidiary states like Pakistan and Iran. That together with the largesse to the under developed world which kept their own citizens in relative want took a heavy toll. Advances in mass communication had made soviet citizens aware that they were subsidizing poorer and non-communist countries. They no longer wanted to make sacrifices in the name of ideology. Gorbachev took over and tried a gradualist approach. He finally lost his nerve. The military made a final but botched attempt to retrieve the situation. A true blue reactionary Yeltsin took over.
Soviet union imploded on itself. USA became the only super power. Muslim countries, which had gleefully helped out in the decline and demise of the Soviet Union, became the object of western corporate greed. (According to British intelligence reports, the USA had planned to invade Saudi Arabia and other oil rich states in Mid-East after the oil embargo of 1973, but the states agreed to deposit all oil dollars in New York investment banks). They were sitting on most of the oil in the world. Saddam who had bankrupted his country by helping the West by waging a war against Iran for eight long years was enticed into “retaking” Kuwait, which had been a part of Iraq in Ottoman times. He was warned of the consequences but did not take the threats seriously. He was after all dealing with his patrons and had taken the precaution of taping his discussion with the US ambassador April Gillespie that the USA had no position in his interest in Kuwait. To no avail. Soviet union was no longer in the equation. Bush the senior gathered a coalition force under the umbrella of the UNO and put Saddam in a bottle.
A few years later Yeltsin gave away majority of the assets of the country to corporate parasites in return for comparatively little in election contributions. Russia became an economic basket case.
With the USSR out of the picture bourgeoisie changed their tactics. They truly globalized and resorted to accumulation now at greater cost to their own “people”. Manufacturing went to China, IT to India. Ranks of US unemployed, barely employed and inadequately employed swelled. Social benefits, little that they were any way, were further whittled down. Forty five million US citizens have no health coverage. At least twice the number have inadequate insurance. Hospital bills are the biggest cause of bankruptcy.
Third world satraps vied with each other in selling national assets. World Bank and International monetary fund underwrote projects, which would pauperize the countries. WTO helped along with discriminatory policies. Economic hit men and good old CIA destabilized any recalcitrant rulers.
Militant Islam had long had the “great Satan’ in its sights. They had made a “Faustian” bargain with one devil against what they perceived to be the more pernicious enemy in Afghanistan. Freed by the collapse of the USSR from the constraints of having to look over its shoulder, the great Satan was extending itself. It was hitting Muslim interests right and left. The worst cut of all was stationing of its troops in the holy land of Hejaz. Palestine under Israeli heels remained a long festering sore. Muslim wealth was under “Kafir” control. Muslim rulers had sold their soul for a piece of silver.
They could not take the great Satan head on. Bombings of twin towers, naval ships, and embassies culminated in 9/11.
Fundamentalist Christians gave ecclestial reasons for economic wars. They got Bush to the stage where the Supreme Court could put him in the white house. Academics developed spurious thesis of clash of civilizations. Bush found excuses-weapons of mass destruction, WMD’s in popular usage, invented for the specific purpose and launched the war of liberation on Iraq. Britain helped along by announcing that Saddam was capable of launching missiles on targets hundreds of miles away at a few hours notice. When no WMD’s were found, removal of Saddam became the moral imperative.
The central theme is that religion except in its pristine stage has always supported establishment and has supported the ruling elite whether it be a monarchy, aristocracy or corporations. Capital has changed its essential character from being national it multi-national and with the advancement in technology has ceased to pay even lip service to the working class.
Above is the general outline of the text in which I hope to bring the thread of continuity between religion, government and globalization.
Section 1 God
Origin of Religion
Theories of origin of religion defined as a set of inter-connected doctrines, myths, rituals, beliefs and institutions, are of necessity, speculative in nature. Historic records go back only several thousand years and sentient human beings have existed on earth for much longer. A unified theory is therefore not feasible.
It is reasonable to suppose that people were awed by, and could not comprehend or explain natural phenomenon and worshiped natural phenomenon. They were afraid of and apprehensive of what they would face after death and invented gods who would help them at the end of life, and rites to propitiate the different deities who, they came to believe, caused rain, flood, fire, lightening, earthquake, pestilence, disease, life and death. Spirit men, medicine men and magicians of all kinds sprang up to intercede for lesser mortals with the powers that be.
But religion was, if I may hazard the opinion, in its scientific stage, in the sense that one observed, analyzed and came to a conclusion. The conclusion may not be replicable, in science it is called hypothesis, and not meet the modern criteria of acceptability, but it was not based on a super natural power, or entity. Nature was universal, affected all the same way, whether one was black, brown, yellow or white. It was reasonable to suppose that the same gods governed East and West, North and South. Religious conflicts were rather subdued. People would occasionally fight for the pre-eminence of their own favorite god, but would soon come to a compromise, venerating both deities.
When reason and logic man fell back to speculation. There is an instructive story in the Koran. When Abraham was in the process of becoming a prophet it was early night. “ Ayah 77: The night grew dark and he beheld a star; this is my lord, but when it set, I love not things that set. Ayah 78: and when he saw the moon uprising, he exclaimed ; this is my lord, but when it set; unless my lord guide me I surely shall become one of the folk who are astray. Ayah 79: when he saw the sun uprising, he cried this is my lord…when it set he exclaimed O my people I am free from all that ye associate (with them)… I have turned my face towards HIM who created the heaven and the earth… and I am not of the idolaters. (Surah 6 Alanam, the Cattle). As long he was observing and coming to a conclusion, Abraham was in the realm of science, but when his logic failed to satisfy him, he entered the realm of religion.
History encompassing all faiths, old and new, encompassing Mid-East, India, China and Africa does not exist. For the last half a millennium the primary impulse of objective study has resided in the west.
Theories of origin, with no definitive evidence on hand, necessarily speculative.
Definition: is a set of system or systems with doctrines, myths, rituals and institutions.
Numinous experience, sacred and profane, God or gods.. In Theraveds Buddhism, however, god is subsidiary.
Typical aspects: rituals of worship, in most if not in all. Essence-dispute over the possibility of finding it.
Dutch theologian called it Organic Totaliraniaism. Valid comparisons possible though all religions unique. Marxism and Fascism have some fetures analogous to religion.
German philosopher Ludwig Fuerbach (1804-72) “God is an extention of human aspirations”.
Methods of enquiry:
Subjective, is it possible to understand a faith with out holding it? Criteria by which its truth is to be decided are obscure.
Normative inquiries, analysis of claims of truth, acceptability of values.
Descriptive, Epochic-suspension of belief and investigation of phenomenon after German philosopher Edmund Husserel (1859-1938) father of phenomenology-describe phenomenon to bring out beliefs with out opinion on beliefs. Secular historians are skeptical of miraculous events . Religious descriptive study aspects of (1) man’s attitude to transcendent(2) and faithful to facts.
History of Study:
No single study encompassing Western, Mid-Eastern, Indian or Chinese exists.The primary impulse of objective, non-normative study happens to be Western (elightenment period) on genesis and function. 19th CE was the. formative period
Greek poet Hesiod (800 BCE) painstakingly put together the genealogies of gods in his Theogony. Speculative philosophers Thales (600 BCE) and Heraclietus (500) BCE) held out the opinion that water and were the first substances. Aristotle (400 BCE) believed that every thing was filled with gods, where as Anaximander (600 BCE) averred that primary substance apieron was infinite. Heraclietus called the controlling substance logos (reason).
Xenophenes (600s-500s BCE) deplored myths and introduced the concept of monotheism. Plato (400BCE) developed on this work.
Poet Theogenes (600 BCE) classified gods as natural and psychological forces. Historian Herodotus ( 500 BCE) attempted to rationalize plurality of deities by identifying foreign ones with Greek ones (Egyptian Amon with Greek Zeus). This syncretisis was widely employed in the Roman empire (Zeus and Jupiter).
Plurality of gods and cults led to skepticism. Criticias (500BCE) offered that religion was invented to frighten people into morality. Plato in The Republic: Noble lies and myths invented to make people upright. He rejected Homer’s account of gods and substituted it with the concept of Demiurge (Supreme crafts man-creator). Aristotle developed the idea to Supreme Intelligence-unmoved mover. In his opinion concept of gods came from observations of cosmic order and dreams.
Later on stoics, philosophers of nature and morality, adfopted naturalistic monotheism. Epicurus (400s-300s BCE) opted for gods who had no dealings with men.
Euhemerus gave his name to his concept that gods were divinized men.
Greek thinking influenced Romans. Lucretius owed his atheism to Epicurus, Cicero attacked the latter.
In early Roman empire Greek Eleuiniam, Anotolian Cybele, Persian Mithra, neo-platonism and stoicism were all followed.
Christianity was introduced into this amalgam and adopted many of its practices. Euthamerism was especially popular. Non-Christians used allegorical methods to justify cults and syncretized philosophy and popular religion.
Theories of religion had heretofore been rationalistic and naturalistic. With the spread of Christianity a synthesis of the unknown and existing thought was necessitated. Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson (1200s-1300 CE) added Euhemeristic elements to his native folklore.
Islam gifted combined values of revelation and reason to Christianity. Muslims had deeper and clearer idea of religion than Europeans did (Ibne-Hazm 994-1064CE). Marco Polo of Italy (613-14 CE) and Odoric of Portugal (14CE) brought knowledge of Asian creeds to Europe. In an early attempt to establish theology, Roger Bacon (1220-1292 CE) tried to relate natural religion to First cause.
Christianity adopted Pagan customs to combat paganism, to delineate common points and that man had innate capacity to recognize God with reason. There could be truth in other religions
Renaissance reinvigorated Europeean culture by rediscovery of Greek-roman culture and cause tension between in Christian ranks about Paganism. Giovanni Boccacio (1313-1375 CE) made an attempt at resolution by allegorization. Erasmus offered that ancient thinkers had a direct knowledge of highest truth. They preferred ancient Rome. Protestants attacked Roman Catholics as Pagans.
Rennaissance also promoted study of Indian, Chinese and native American religions.
Modern Period: Late 17th and 18th CE
Italian Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) offered the opinion that Greek religion passed through divinization of nature-fire, crops etc- and then institutionalized marriage and harmonization of gods as in Homer.
David Hume (1711-76) in his Natural history of Religion opines that polyteism was was anthropomorphism and assigned causes to natural phenomenon. Propitairy worship led to the concept of one God.
Rationalism rejected Paganism and Christianity for Deism-natural religion. Pietists offered “heart” religion over “head” religion. Voltaire (1694-1778) and Diderot (1713-1784) advocated anti-clerical Deism and thought that priests had invented polytheism. Voltaire was influenced by Confucius (6 BCE).
Immanuel Kant (1774-1804) based religion on ethical rationalism. Jesus enshrined the moral ideal. Frenchman Charles de Brosses (1709-1777) attributed Greek polytheism to Fetishism-magical powers of certain objects-of West Africa. Abbe Berger (1718-1790) felt that primitive religious belief in spirits was due to psychological causes. that led to animism-belief in souls in persons and objects. German Johann Gottfried Von Herder (1744-1803) saw mythology as as an evolutionary explanation of human language and thought.
G.W.F Hegel and his followers were in a large measure founders of modern scientific history-historical dialectism-thesis, anti-thesis to synthesis, which is a new thesis to engender its own anti-thesis and so on. Hegel implied that each phase of religion had limited truth, which led to the general theory of religion. He stressed the formative power of the spritual over human history. Positivist Auguaste Comte (1798-1857) offered phases of Human history as theological, supernatural, metphysical-abstract explanatory-and empirical. Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) referring to the unknown, offered that religion had a place besides science. Ludwig Feurbach (1804-1872) in his Lectiures on Essence of Religion. Described religion as a projection of human aspirations. This theme was taken up by Marx, Freud and Barth.
19th century CE growth of psychology, sociology, anthropology and archeology stimulated study of religions along the lines of doctrine, myths, ethics, social institutions, rituals, inner experiences, architecture, art and music.
Tribal religions are the religious side of communal life.
Psychologucal; religious experience, myths, and symbols.
Social anthropology institutions and related beliefs and values.
Literary; meaning of myths, philosophy-nature supplemented by history, archeology and philosophy.
Expansion of European empires and discovery of sacred texts had notable effect. Sacred books of the East edited by Max Muller (1823-1900) and earlier translations of Vedas. It was thought that non-Christian version of the Bible will be found.
It came about that scripture played a different role in different societies.
Buddhism was studied later. Zoarastrian texts (6th century BCE) were studied from 1850 CE on.
Epic of Gilgamesh, a Mespopotamian religion as well Egyptian book of the dead were discovered. These studies threw light on Judaism and Islam. Data on pre-Christian Greek, Roman, German and Celtic religions was collected and Old and New Testament were subjected to analytical study.(higher Criticism).
Archeologists worked in Troy, Crete, Egypt, Elan and Anatolia. Work at Ras Shamra led to the discovery of Masada, the last Jewish stand against Romans 66-73 CE.
Study of Indus valley pushed Indian history to 3500 BCE and called into question primacy of Aryan/Vedic culture.
In 1841 pre-historic Hun artifacts-magico-religious practices, cave paintings of Dardogne in Spain, of dancing humans with antlers and a stallion tail, a sorcerer or a priest, animal fertility -hunting rites gave a clue to religious evolution. Interpretation of Stone Age culture via contemporary Stone Age artifacts was attempted.
John Lubbock (1834-1913) Non-literate and techno-primitive culture(CHECK). The origin of civlization and the primitive condition of man …atheism, fetishism, nature worship, Toteism (relation of animal to clans) Shamamism ( a person with curative and psychic powers)anthropomorphism, ethical monotheism. E.B Taylor (1832-1917) studied primitive cultures, animist earliest form of religion, out of which arose fetishism, demonism,polyatheism and monoatheism with exaltation of sky god. Herbert spenser stressed ancestor worship rather than animism R.R. Marrett (1866-1943) invented animatism (from Mana, Mulungo and Orinda of Pacific, Africa and Americas respectively). Supernatural powers present in certaoin men, spirit and natural objects. Primary natural attitude is awe rather than fear. Folklorist James Frazer (1854-1941) The golden bough. Men started with magic, developed into religion, then to science. Because magic did not work, man turned to supernatural.with advancement of technology and science scientific explanation of phenomenon offered.but folklorist (1844-1912) ... thought primitive tribes believed in a high god.
Wilhelm Schmidt (1864-1954) studied primitive societies in South America, Rwanda, and Andamans and found evidence of the concept of high god-primordial monotheism which became overlaid with organized religion.
J.J. Backhofer in “The Mother Right” emphasized mother goddess of matriarchal societies.
But the quest for origin did not get too far.
Functional and structural studies
Emile Durkhiem (1858-1917) Totemism was fundamental. Freud shared the view.
And suggested that all objects of worship symbolized social relationships. God was personification of the clan.
Brondislaw Malinowski (1884-1942) emphasized the close relationship between myth and ritual. Vittorio Lanternari Religion of the oppressed-writes about the impact of chritianity and western culture on tribal/primituive societies.G.Swanson Birth of gods- co-relationship between social relationship and belief; caste and re-incarnation.
Auguste comte regarded as the father of sociology the positive philosophy, stages, evolution of thpught (theological, metaphysical, positivistic seek causes in scientific manner.
Marxist. Karl Marx and V.I.Lenin-social interpretation based on class struggle. Religion in man’s primordial condition reflects ignorance of natural causes and explained animistically. Need for liberation in this world leads to the transcendental. Religion conscious or unconscious instrument of exploitation. According to some Marxist critique, the mold did not fit Buddhism.
Max Webber established connection between capitalism and protetanism-the protestant ethics, the spirit of capitalism, this worldly ascetism, rational deception, work ethic;accumulate capital and invest. He wrote about Islam, Judaism and Indian religions too.
Bryan Wilson-on sectarianism and history of religion. Joachim Wach-Chicago School sociology of religion insisted on the practical side against the tendency to treat it as a system of beliefs.
Peter burger-The sacred Canopy draws on Marx, Durkhien, and Webber to create a sysnthesis and proposes a methodical atheism. Religious beliefs explaned wth reference to non-religiuos sentiments and the thesis that religion rests upon an illusion.
Harvey cox The secular city;Secularization not to the same degree in non-western societies.
Wilhelm james- the psychology of religion-the varieties of religious experience-conversion through invasion of the subconscious.
J.H.Leuba-Psychological study of religion-accounts for mystical experiences analogous to drug induced experiences.
Psychoanalytical. Freud in Totem and Taboo applied the idea of Oeddipus complex. Initially small groups dominated by a father who is displaced by a son (?violently) and incest taboos develop. In moses and Monotheism he reconstructed the Bible along these lines. In future of illusion he developed the idea further authoritarian religion alienates man from himself and and makes him sysfunctional. In his opinion god is a father image and religion is infantile and neurotic.(Theraveda Buddhism does not have a father figure).
C.J. Jung adopted an agnostic attitude towards God. He proposed collective unconscious (in addition to Freud’s personal unconscious) which is the repository of human experiences and contains archetype (universal images occur in independent cultures) Irruption of these images into consciousness is the basis of religious experience. Religion can help those who need mysterious and symbolic.
Erich Fromm modified Freud’s Oedipus complex not based on sexuality but on childish profound desire to remain attached to father figure. Religion in practice tends to relapse into neuosis.
Philosophy-attempts to analyze nature of religion from the perspective of the general view of the world , defend/attack different positions, analyse religious language. Theologians tended to incorporate philosophy-rudolph bultman
Thomas Aquinas used Aristotle’s though.Truths about god that can be known by reason. Metphysics, nature of of real;ity, support for revelations and so philosophy adjunct of theology or of anti-religiuos position.
Schleiermacher, Hegel and Kant. Robbed in religion of its basis religion and made it adjunct to morality. Freidrich Scheiermacher on Religion-speeches to its cultural despisers, Central attitude was the feeling of absolute dependence to explore the subjective aspect of religion, relgated doctrine to subsidiary role and de3veloped theology on consciousness. Hegel-Religion arises as the relation between man and the absolute realityof the whole universe.
19th century H-indu renaussance Advaita, non-dualism of 8th century Sankara. Soren Kiergaard Relation of religion to man’s inner life-dread and despair. G.E Moore and Bertrand Russell introduced Empericism and William james used pragmatism to the same effect-existential hostility to metaphysics.
Linguistic analysis. Some scholars believed it was possible to hol beliefs in Empericist frame wor, others felt it was incoherence of belief?
Existentialist and phenomenological studies. Martin Heidegger and Jean paul Sartre-Hiedegger Man’s existence chracterised by care,..He exists as finite entity with limitations.
, seeks to avoid anxietry of limitationsof mantheutic existence?, involves stoicism.Sartre Human desire to be godwhich is a contradictory notion for nothing can contain the grounds of its being. In searching for essence man fils to see nature of freedom which is to go beyond definition, god or man made.
Phenomenology uncovers timeless essences.Edmund Husserl
Western and non-western philosophy and religion.Swami Vivekanda and Sarvepalli RadhaKrishnan have attempted to reveal the underlying unity in all religions.William Ernest Hocking pursued the idea of the world further.
Theology studies-David F Strauss life of jesus to separate historical jesus from overlay of myth. Ernest Troelsch History sifting evidence and testing conclusion, skepticism of reports of miracles, events in history continuous with one another in a causal nexus with out irruption of god as chritainity viewed as a part of of ereligious history as a whole and how theology was taking a a more realistic view in contrast to early simplisistic dichotomies between specialo (Judeo-Christian) and natural revelation.
Demythlozation-Karl Barth Epistle to the Romans and church dogmatic distinction between the Word-god’s self revelation through existentialism, and religion, the latter cultural and human aspiration. Hendrik Kraemer found no point of dialogue gbetween Cristianity and other faiths. Rudolf Bultman focused on the difference between the thinking of early church in new Teatament and modern thought..
Myths, Belief in pr-existance of Christ, heaven, hell and earth as three layers, miracles, demonology-Original function of myths was expressing existential attitudes through objectified representations.
History and phenomenology. Rudolf Otto The idea of the holy. The idea of God is sui generis and is non-rational. Only Jainism and Buddhism have numinous values.
Chicago school- Joachim Wach emphasized theoretical, practical and institutional aspects of religion. Mercea Eliade studied Yoga and Shamamism and synthesized data from several cultures-theories of myths and cultures and influenced by Jung’s interpretation of religious and mythic experience distinguished between the sacred and the profane.
Enuma Elish, Babylonian creation epic, not just storoes but mythic drama enacted every year at spring to renew ritually foundation of the world. Raffaele Pettazoni “God: Formation and Development of Monotheism in the history of religion (check) importance of divinized Sky in in the development of monotheism.
There has never existed any people who were not, in some sense, religious. Religion includes mythologies of pre-historic people, abstruse speculation of the most “advanced” religion and religions embracing primitive practices and sophisticated worship of high-tech literate societies.
Principles of classification.
Normative-true or false, no scientific value, arbitrary and subjective., supported by apologetics.
Anthropologist-simple and complex of “higher” origin lie in humanities.basest superstitions for an early crude stage.
Geographical- Mid East-Judaism, Christianity, Islam Zoarastrian. Far East-Confucian, tao, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism Sikh. African cults excluding Egyptian which falls in Mid-East. American native. Oceanic Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand. Classical Ancient Greece and Rome and descendents.
Ethnic-linguistic-intimatr relation between language, nationality and religion in ealy history of human intellect. Max Muller Asia, Europe three great races Turanians, Semites and Aryans corresponding to three great languages. In pre-history the t5hree races formed a unity. He based his theory on comparative study of languagfes from which he sought to demonstrate similarities in name of deities, mythology, religious forms and ideas and institutions.
Philosophical-G.F.W hegel whole human history as a vast dialectical movement. Historical religion based on nature, on immediate consciousness of sense experience, on magic, Chinese and Indian consciousness of itself, religions of Persia and Syria are transitory stages. Intermediate- Judaism based on sublimity, Ancient Greek on beauty, ancient Rome on utility. Absolute complete spirituality Cristianity. Islam not placid which presumes continuous development.
Otto Pleiderer (check) Religion, its history and essence. Freedom and dependence in perpetual conflict. Dependence Ancient Semites, Egyptian and Chinese. Freedom Indian, German, Greek, Roman. Supernatural Zoarastrian more emphasis on freedom, Buddhist/Brahman more on dependence. Monotheistic Judaism and Islam, though slight toilt to freedom in Judaism and to dependence in Islam, Christian more balanced.
Morphological-Religion passed through discernible stages of development, each constituting an “advance”. Evollutionary classification E.B. Taylor “Primitive Culture”(1871) developed from animism as essential element (check) all religion is belief in spritual beings-arises from death, sleep, dreams, trances, hallucinations. Primitive logic to belief in spritual reality distinct for body and independent of it-soul, phantoms, and ghosts, belief that spirit cause sickness abd control destiny-ancestor worship, fetishism, totemism, polutheism to monotheism.
Nature religions.Polyzoic the earliest-C.P. Tiele opined that at some point man must have regarded natural phenomenon endowed with superhuman magical powers. Polydemonistic- many spirits, magical and dominated by animism and fear of the unknown.Then come therianthropic deities mixed animal-human Highest form of polytheism anthropomorphic, dities human with superhuman powers and indulge in all kinds of shocking acts.
Universaliist-Christianity, Islam and Buddhism
Culture Higher aspects of Hindu and Buddhist religious experience
Prophetic-mysticism of personality.
System of belief
Nature worship-stars, rain and animals.
High god hidden idle withdrew from micro-management.
Pantiesm-god equated with forces of nature, non-intervening
Mana-supernatural power polynesianand Melanesian, conceptually linked to Nort American native Indian tribes. Mana issued from persons and used by them., can be obtained from gods.
Hasina OF Indonesia similar to mana.
Superforces of African tribes.
Heaven and earth- God of heaven of hunter/collector society common to all cultures.
Earth continuously existing or emerged out of chaos/primal sea or made by demiurge.Earth worship started with agrarian societies, source of power renewal(check). Heaven has clouds, thunder, storms and celestial bodies led to its personification early on.
Father of family-able to intervene with out intermediaries(check), creator, recurrent theme of hogh god, original monotheism, human, comical sometimes repulsive traits represented in myths, hunter, gatherer I tropical forests primeval storm/thunder being-tore of pygmies and Karai of Andamans
After creation gave the government to ancestors and spirits and inrvenes only in catastrophes, associated with worship of the dead primitive agriculture Africa, Melanesia and South America.
First among equals-Head of the pantheon of gods, polytheism in its purest form, deities inter related, powers distributed, God-Brahma vague, Vedic India heaven-Dauspitri male. Pirthivi earth female, ancient Egypt Nut, heaven female, Geb? Earth male
West Asia/Greece-generation of gods succeed each other older ones Zeus displaced by goddess Inana-Ishtar-love/fertility goddess of baby …
Ancient China highest god related to and to the rulers other gods and rulers.(collusion between govt and gods)
Deification of emperors from Korea to Japan to Vietnam.
Heaven worship-solitary god among nomadic people of central and North Asia.
Head god over a pantheon Sacral kingdom theo-bureaucracy in North East Africa, Western Indonesia, Polynesia, , Micronesia, pre Columbian meso-Ameroca and Soth America.
Heaven-Earth partnership other spirits missing, usually separation of heaven and earth from chaos, precedes impregnation of earth by god, sacred marriage North East Africa, East Indonesia.
God of heaven and goddess of earth fused into hermaphrodite higher diety-dichotomies day and night, man and woman, overcome by bisexual force. Vedas Purusa primal man separated into man and woman (Eve from Adam’s rib) and from whom the world creatred.
Cosmig egg into male sky and female eart.
God of heacven dualistic view has an antonogistic evil destroys it with varying success the good deeds of the god of heaven.
Monotheistic god of heaven-Chritian, Jewish and Islamic
Goddess earth polytheistic Espouse of god of heaven(( mother goddess of fertility)
Older cults represented in such customs as placing the new born on earth and kissing earth on deplaning.
Mountain-cults of high places based on their being close to sky, host clouds, volcanoes fiery inside of earth, abode of gods places of oracles, mountains first to emerge from primal water, cosmic figure King would stand on a hill at inauguration (Moses met god on a mountain).
Early civilzation high place cult combined with earth(Olympus Greece). Mountain goddesses of non-Aryans influenced Aryans to ger wives of gods-Parvati, Uma, Durga live in mountains.
Pre-Islamic North Africa-extinct natives of Canary islands mountain worship and cults of goats and sheep.
Tides. Moon water deity NW America-moon old woman
Sun male worshipped more in cold areas, moon in warm ones, though sun worshipped in hot egypat and West Africa. Moon regarded as male among hunters Masai and hottrentots. Sun state religion god Re-divine sun kingdom of Pharoah Akhenaton (1350 BCE) solar monotheism.
Mithra of Persia to Romans to Europe son of Roman emperors.
Japan imperial diety
Sun-moon divine pair Munda-Dravidrians (India).
Moon Waxing and waning of, attracted people to gain, lose weight, girls with small breasts stand in full moon light, crescent of Islam
Stars worship Mesopotamia, astronomy reached high refinemant Astral worship spread to America, China ,Asia, Nort Africa. Orion hunter, Venus love, RC Virgin Mary standing on moon, Zulu heavenly goddess, evining morning stars wives of moon
Milky way named after hunting/domestic animals way of god/ dead.
Water appears animated, water gods, regarded as primal matter, vivifying force.
Fire living power, devours, gets hungrier, shines at night, used in cremation to separate soul from body. Ancestors/animals stole fire for numina Promotheus brought it
Fire in the body of female as a center of sexual life. Among aborigines. Iron smelting in neo-lithic age Bellows male, shaft of furnace female.
Iranian fire cult of god Atar made central in Zoarastrianism temples use sandal wood, tending Priest’s mouth bound with purifying shawl, not allowed to go out.
Weather high god also god of storms and rain.
Animism- spiritual beings concerned withj human affairs., in most tribal religions.
Sir James Frazer the Golden Bough-Magical art achieved universality before religion did. Men disillusioned with magicians invented gods.
Ancestor worship-love, respect, fear, trust, reverence, do harm if not propiated.
With increasing complexity of society kinship lost influence, inheritance core issue. Lost out in china and japan ,losing it in the sub-continent, least in Capitalist societies.
China Japan reverence rather than worship. India Hindu rites. Modern scholarship regars it as another practice of supernaturalism.
Polytheism-belief in many gods in all religions (except the Abrahimic ones, thoughChridtians have confused the issue with trinitarianism and ancient Jews bleived in ,many gods. Only Islam uniformly monotheist). Some times one god over many Brahman or many gods as aspects of one god. One god may gain the upper hand with out actually being superior like Zeus of Greece, the pantheon may include other supernatural beings like demons, though incomptible with Abrahamic faiths demons in new testament, they sometimes good other bad. Co-exist as in Vaisnavism or accepted at a lower level Mhayana Buddhism, or as an adjunct as in Threveda Buddhism.
Kathenotheism-belief in one god at one time.
Monolatry-worship of one god while not denying deities of other groups.
Henotheism- supremacy of one god, though not denying other gods like Yehweh existing with other gods in ancient Israel
Animism-Forces around human beings less personalized than in polyteism but Agni Fire god of Rigveda a personal;ized god as well as force with in fire.
There has been a drift towards unification of sacral forces (though a unified theory of evolution not developed yet) into a supreme being(indifferent god). Wilhelm Schmidt original mnotheism overlaid by polytheism later
Panthiesm all embracing iclusiveness of god as against separeteness of theism-immanence-indwelling presence of god, identity of god with the world-Panenthiesm world included-god but more god ? In ancient Greece related to philosophical speculations and more rational than other pasntheisms.
Immanence-transcendence-divine in and around the world present in platonic romanticism- Wordsworth, Coleridge, Tennyson, Emerson, Goethe, divine as intimate, indwelling not the remote character of pantiesm and panentheism and in contrast witrh theism sense of participation in the divine with out mediation by an institution
Classical theism-Transcendence of god and his existence beyond the universe. God is absolute and eternal.
Neoplatonic/emanatioistic Pantheism God is abslolute and remote.
Panentheism-divine can be both transcendent and immanent at the same time. Monistic unity of god and the world. God is absolute and relative.
Monism-Strong sense of unity of the world.
Dualism-two of the world
Theism-God and world/mind and body
Dualistic-separate essence of god and the world.
Pluralistic-multiplicity of kids of beings/events
Holozoistic Panthiesm-Early Greek divide one element …
Hindu-Gods of Vedas (1200 BCE) for the most part represented natural forces.
With the exception of Prajapati (Lord of creatures) and Purusa( supreme being-soul of the universe). By 10th BCE Prajapati became a monotheistic figure, but by 7th BCE Purusa had started making a comeback as a rival. Upanishads (1000-500BCE) god is absolute and impersonal. (note similarity of evolution) .In later Upanishads and in Bhagvatgita god becomes loving and immanent.
Buddhism-600 years after B a new Mahayana school emerged and distinguished between the pure absolute and the mind which was a manifestation of the absolute and the world was …
Ancient Mid-East- Canaanite deities like early gods of Vedas started as natural forces, Baal and Yehveh as storm gods. Baal with his consort Astarte presided over fertility religion but theistic Yehveh triumphed and evolved into a lord of history as a transcendental deity. Through history Isrealites accepted elements of both Baal and Yehveh Later prophets embarked on a purifying mission (Elijah and other old Testament prophets, Yehveh acquired love and concern) Immanence became more important with new Testament..
Greco-Roman- First Greek philosophers were holozoistic., matter and life inseparable and found it impossible to believe in multiplicity and change (Eliaticism).
Xenophanic-Unitary principle of the divine.
Ephisian-fire was the ore element.
Heraclitus-basic element was universal logos-reason.
Anaxagorus?- Moind was the principle of order of all things.
Plato-Absolute god in changeless perfection, along with the world soul. He later fuded them
Aristotle-Absolute god of theism above and beyond the world.
Stoics-Fire was indwelling, basis of of transformation, reason, animating all things.
Plotinus-Neo-platonist-absolute onf god…between god and world soul.
Medieval doctrines- Scholasticism-separate absolute god. Neoplatonis pantheism ran through the age
After St Augustine John Scotus Erigena turned neoplatonism into Christianity, fall into sin and redemption ?
Jewish Kabbala- a mystic system of 10 emanations/
Averroes (Ibne-sina)-active intellect in man is really an impersonal divine reason which lives on when dies.
Muster Ekhehart- a divine uncreated spark of resides in every man which makes possible union with god and knowledge of nature.
Cardinal Nicholas-Man is microcosm with in a microcosm (universe) God of macrocosm mirrored in all his creatures.
Humanism of Renaissance-Platonism, neoplatonism, Kabbala, Mans microcosm of universe ?
Marcillio icino found image of god in every man.
Giordono Bruno universe was in a continuous process of development and is infused with divine life.
Jacob Bohme God goes through a process of self development.
Benedict Spinozoa promoted rational pantheism. God was the infinite being so must be identical with thwe world.
Hume-Sense of freedom is based on ignorance.
Goethe-holozoistic nature was an organic, living unity.
19th century Pantheism and Panetheism sustained by idealism. God entered history and erelated to change and development.
Nikolay Birdyayey emphasized divine and human freedom.
A.N Whitehead God’s nature primordial and abstract.
Charles Hartshorn god includes the world as an organism includes its cells.
Modern non literate people religion-second figures, deiurge-trickster- collaborator and rival of the supreme being.
Women-Plato first incarnation of soul in masculine body. Anti feminisms-Gnostic, Manichean, Ophic Encratite based on hatred for procreation implying fall of soul in material world.
Monotheism and polytheism not just the difference one and many gods. No historical evidence that one system is older than the other. It is not oneness but uniqueness of god that matters in monotheism. Weakness of polytheism is ultimate origin of things. With monotheism it is origin of evil under one god. Antithesis between forms of divine manifestations and unity posited behind them. There is dialectic tension between one and many.History of religion replete with efforts to combine unity with multiplicity.
Basic view-god is one, his essence and character are unique. Philosophical term monism is different-universe has its origin in one basic principle-mind or matter, only one reality. In monotheism there are two-god and universe, god created universe and man and has not abandoned it, continues to guide it. History is a manifestation of divine will. God also created ethical/social order. God is a mystery both to be feared and loved.. in islam, Judaism and Christianity it is a personal god.the god od pantheism may be one but is impersonal, a divine fluid that permeates the world. Monotheism rejects all other creeds as idolatrous and are historically intolerant and fanatical. There is a wide range, though between exclusive monotheism and unlimited polytheism. The symbolic language Creator, Lord, king, Father common in all religions and probably related to common origin as that of primates.
Exclusive-Only one god, others do not exist Islam or are false gods (old Testament evolved to one god), demons, not comparable to the one god,
-Ethical monotheism-Man chooses one god.
-Intellectual-One god logical result of the question on origin of the world. In many African religions, one god behind many and is just the prime mover.
–Christianity accommodates both concepts.
-Inclusive-a great number of gods but all are essentially one, so it does not matter what name they invoked under. Hellenistic religions are examples-Goddess Isis.
Pluralistic –various gods with out losing their position or independence are manifestations of one and the same divine substance.
Unlimited polytheism-Greece and Rome. Each god has own name, and shape undeniably his, though there is difference in status and power., but all are equally divine. In practice they are only a few hundred though in theory millions exist among hindus.
Henotheism-Worship of one god though existence of others accepted (also monolatory, worship of one god whether or not other gods accepted, prevalent in Babylonia and ancient Egypt.
Religious dualism-God and evil, spirit and matter rather than two gods-Chritianity came close to it.Zoaraster- Ormazd good god, Ahrem bad one.
Old Testament monolatory, other gods. But Theodorus an old testament scholar holds that …faith in Yehveh is the is the foundation of life for Israelites. But it was a jealous god who forbade worship of other gods. Other gods of the region did not do so.Judaism developed into strict monotheism in 6 BCE.
Christianity is Trinitarian though its bible and new Testament have no such statements, deal only with a triadic liturgical formula. Unitarianism existed till …three persons are essentially one, resembles pluriform monotheism. (Religion in practice a product of and prop for the establishment).
Islam most literal and intransigent monotheism. Per its dogma trinitarianism is tritheism and partnership with Allah greatest sin, but though disputed, the doctrine exists that Quran uncreated and coequal with Allah.
Existence of god
Plato and Aristotle-Plato spoke of mythical terms like goodness of god, but later in laws “some change must be due to perfect soul…god is beyond being or knowledge” Aristotle called him unmoved mover.
Causal argument- St Thomas Acquinas spoke of five major proofs, complete transcendence (after Plotinus), all movement implies unmoved mover, efficient cause, and to avoid infinite regression who then made god, first cause beyond causal sequence and all other explanations short of showing why any thing is, as it is.4 and 5 are value/design based.
Ontological-St Anslem 11 CE, Rene Descartes mid 17 CE.the very idea of god implies his existence. Can man think of any thing more perfect? Critics like Gaunilo ? a monk contemporary of St Anslem and Immanuel Kant fastened on to the weakness of the argument that existence was not a predicator like color or shape?
David Hume and Kant purposive design of the world does require a supreme designer but what about wickedness.
19and 20CE Samuel Alexander, Henri Bergson and Julian Huxley among others sought to establish knowledge of god through man’s understanding of himself and thwe world.
Problem of particular knowledge of god. How a being whose essence can never be known, who is beyond the grasp of reason, wholly mysterious, can be said to be known at all.
Theists used the doctrine of analogy (St Thomas Aquinas), but natural theology has to be supplemented by revelation.
Episteological argument/problem. How can how man’s essentially finite mind comprehend any thing pertaining to infinite/eternal being.
Authority of a book, doctrine, institution requires initial justification. Alternative is religious experience which is some times understood as paranormal phenomenon voices, visions, or some psychical state. How the experiernce should be recognized? Men do not know each other’s mind, only mediated behavior, so how can man may know god.
Prominence is given to symbolism,-experience extended/deepened through art, dance, song and mythic ritual. Preoccupation with religious language combined with existentialist stress on personal involvement/commitment Ramsay Archbishop of England.
God in modern thought- prominence given to high ethical teaching and character of saints and prophets. In some religions incarnation marked in Christianity. Psychology and anthropology called in to aid the diciplines are generally hostile.
Humanism and transcendence-the very idea of god emantes from man’s needs for succor and comfort. God created in man’s image and proclivity to to personify natural objects like rivers, trees, deserts and to confer peculiar qualities on them, leading in time to super being. (David hume-the natural history of religion 1757, E.B Tylor primitive culture 1871, James Frazer Golden Bough…Andrew Lang High god concept…John H king supernatural its orogin, nature and evolution 1892- Mystry in all…, and Rudolf Otto found evidence in Early religion of the wholly other.
Finite god-to explain evil, world under direction of a superior being who is however limited, has not yet been able to subdue evil powers, thougfh hopefully will be able to eventually. Should he, in that case be worshipped?
Advocates of finite god in 20CE William james and Ralph Barton-Berry, Charles Hotshone and Schubert developed the ideas of metaphysician A.N. Whitehead. God is in the process of fulfillment in some kind of identification with the world though distinct from the universe which he permeates. This is full of paradoxes.
Theism in Islam owes much to semitic outlook, transcendent personal deity but incarnation rejected as blasphemy, though tendency to to idemtify man with god does exist in sufi mysticism.
Theism in Eastern thought-Radhakrishnan Early Vedic hymn has the sense of “”the wonder of existence, the outporing of poetic mind struck by the immensity of the unverse..mystry of life” also henotheism exalting several deities to first place.Upanishad theme of one supreme reality, but no distinctiveness of finite things, not of eternal self involved in in the world in a personal way.Theistic note in Bhaklti devotion to a personal god. Bhagvad Gita (3-4 BCE) more theistic-love of god-love of god for manand of man for god, reflected in 20CE devotional of Gandhi and Sri Aurobindo, of indwelling of the divine in the world.
Buddhism Theraveda seeming negatism reflects caution on profound recognition of of the elusiveness of the transcendent. Adoration of Buddha and Bodhisattvas( on the way to enlightenment) …to religious responses of overt theism.
-Confucian-a power from beyond the world working for judstice with in it, intensified with conflation from entery of Buddhism in China.
Sikhism stresses personal awareness of god as a central and unifying factor.
Jainism is non-theistic in theory. But great figures function as gods in popular practice.
Zoarastrianism Ahura Mazda creator limited for a time, evil Ahriman
Protestants called RC a conspiracy of priests to maintain their power with a riot of ceremonials.
Teachings of Christ a republication of primitivemonotheism?
Used first by T.H.Huxley in metaphysical society meeting in London in 1869 as antithetical to Gnostic Church history, not knowing especially pf religious doctrine. But common usage gave it other meaning. Lenin in Materialism and Empires? Recognized it as a half house between matrialism and idealization eg David Hume and Immanuel Kant.
Huxley not a profession of total ignorance but was a method to follow reason as far as it will take you and at the end frankly recognize the limits of of knowledge. W.K.Clifford (1876)
in Ethics of Belief “ it is wrong… to believe in any thing upon insufficient evidence”.
Agnosticism is generally distinguished from atheism in that latter no god, former do not know. It is not the same as skepticism of ancient Greek skeptic Sextus Empericus (2-3 CE) challenged all knowledge beyond immediate experience.
Religious agnosticism is compatible with religion which does not make disputatious doctrinal demands. In 1889 eassay Huxley contrasted scientific theology with ecclesiasticism. Buddha side stepped any speculation on certainty of general divine scheme of things.
Historical antecedents of agnosticism. Secular sophists and Socrates (5BCE) who knew how much he did not know, David Hume-Enquiry concerning Human understanding matters of fact and and real understanding can not be known a priory and Immanuel Kant in Crtique of Pure reason “ I have found it necessary to to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith” , A.J Ayer Lnaguage ,Truth and Logic, any talk about transcendent god must be with out literal significance.St Augustine stung by Cicero’s sketicism responded that it could be overcome only by revelation. Al Ghazzali (11 CE) on the other hand employed skepticism as a way to accepting revelation.
Fideism truth in religion acceptable only in faith
John Locke (17 CE) “If man’s belief is not to be arbitrary, he must have good reason for believing that there is god and his preferred revelations are the true ones.
Wager argument Blaise Pascal “ we have only a short life to lose and all eternity to win, imported from Islam self persuasive and not evidence of truth.
Rejects belief in that there is god who created the universe out of nothing and who has absolute soveirgnty over all creation. It also rejects belief in all spiritual beings and all belief systems.
It is not simply opposite of theism which is a system of that affirms reality of god and seeks to demonstrate its existence. Not all monotheistic religions are defenders of theism. Protestent theoligian Paul Tillich regards god of theism as another idol. Mnay theists regard such demonstration as impossible. And some regard it as undesirable as it would undermine faith. All denials of god are not denials of his existence. Believerws live their lives as though he did not exist.Atheists believe that bgod’s existence is an speculative hypothesis of an extremely low order of probability. The very concept of Abrahanic faiths is incoherent.Such putative truth claims are not sufficiently intellible to be true or false.
Some fideists believe that looked at objectively existence orf god has very low probability but continue to believe to make sense of life.
There are no ontological proofs or disproofs of god’s existence. (Bertrand Russell-not enough evidence). Given that god is a transcendent reality in the world the burden of proof is on the believer.
Atheism and metaphysics
God of Abrahamic religions is not anthropomorphic like Zeus or Wotan, is pure spirit and could not possibly observed or otherwise detected.
God is not a physical entity like a proton or neutron which though invisible are not transcendental entities. There is no logical , only technical reason, in our inability to see them unlike god who is not even indirectly verifiable.
Atheism as intuitive knowledge.
Hume and Kant offered that no proof of god’s existence was possible. Intutive knowledge is to make an appeal to something not sufficiently clear to be of any value to establish any thing.
Prior to rise of anthropology and scientific study of religion appeal to revelation might have had force, now such arguments have no probative force.
Atheism is a denial of the belief systems of salvation and regard them as a myth. Some protestants offer the apologetics that “god exists and created the world” are metaphors. Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr Cristianity is a true mythIf religion is a myth it is in reality only camofligued atheism.
Robert M. Blessing in Zen and the Art of motorcycle maintenance.”when one person suffers from a delusion it is called religion.
Thus there is grandeur in this view of life originally breathed beamed into a few forms or one …from so simple of begining end forms most beautiful have been and are being evolved .Charles Darwin.
Carl Sagan In Pale Blue Dot; how is it that hardly any religion looked at science… the universe is much bigger than prophets saw…
Steven Weinberg, Nobel laureate physicist. In dreams of a final theory. Some people have views of God… that they will find God wherever they look for him. Like any other word God can be given any meaning,
Einstein was not the only atheistic scientist to invoke the name of God. An atheist in the sense of philosophic… naturalist believes there is nothing beyond the natural world…supernatural creative intelligence..no soul no mracles...only natural phenomenon we do not yet understand.
Many intellectual atheist's …call themselves Jews.. and observe Jewish rites out of loyalty to ancient tradition…but also …willingness to label as religion the panthiestic reverence…shared with Einestien.
Dan Dennett they believe in belief.
Einstein, it was of course a lie what you read about my religious convictions. The idea of a personal God is alien to me and seems even naïve. I have never imputed to nature a purpose or goal.
A theist has belief in supernatural intelligence... in addition to work off creation, is still around to over see the subsequent fate off his initial creation.
Deist supernatural intelligence activities confined to setting up laws that govern the universe...
Pantheist, use the word God as supernatural synonym for nature, universe or for laws that govern it.
Douglas Adams “religion… here is an idea you are not allowed to say anything bad about you are just not”… Taxes should go up or down…you free to have an argument… but if someone says I must not move a light switch on Saturday you say, I respect that… to have an opinion about how the universe began no that is holy (5) .
Cowardly reluctence to use religious names like in Northern Ireland nationalists and loyalists instead of, a Roman Catholic or Protestant (in Iraqethnic rather than sectarianWar, in Bosnia is ethnic cleansing in stead ofreligious cleansing (6)
Privilege of Religion. In a controversy over sex are morals religiously leaders and not moral philosophers and lawyers or doctors are asked for opinion.
On 2. 21.06 the Supreme Court of the USA, ruled that a Church in New Mexico was exempt from the law against that the use of hallucinogenic drugs, because members of the church believe it enhanced their understanding of religion without production of any evidence(8). Smart members of society may not plead that it enhances their appreciation of art. In spite of plenty of evidence that marijuana eases pain and nausea of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy the Supreme Court in 2005 ruled that patients who used cannabis for medicinal purposes are subject to federal prosecution even in those states, where such use is legalized.
The whole point of religious faith, its strength and chief glory is that it does not depend upon rational justification. The rest of us are expected to defend our prejudices…ask a religious persons to justify their faith…. that is imfingement on religious liberty.
LA Times air on 4/10/2006 published the news that Christian groups are suing the universities for enforcing anti discrimination laws against homosexuals. In 2004 at 12 years old boy won a case in Ohio to wear a T-shirt saying homosexuality is a sin, Islam is a Iie, abortion is murder, such issues are black and white, on grounds of freedom of religion.
The Reverend Rick Scarborough announced that Christians… had to take a stand for the right to be Christians(11).
In September 2005, a Danish newspaper Jyllands-Postern published 12 cartoons on prophet Mohamed. Two Imams given sanctuary in Denmark inflamed the Muslim world(12). In Late in 2005 they spread a dossier through the Muslim world about mal treatment of Muslims in Denmark, that the paper was run by the governemnt and published three a additional cartoons, one of a bearded man wearing a fake pig snout held with elastic. It turned out to be from a pig squealing contest from France. Demonstrators burned Danish flag from Pakistan to Indonesia to Nigeria, Newspapers in Europe and the USA (except those in the UK) reprinted the cartoons. Consulatestes were trashed, churches his burned in Pakistan, and a Pakistani Imam placed a $1 million reward on the head of the cartoonist.
In contrast, Arab media publish anti-Jewish cartoons routinely.
The God of old testament is jealous, proud, petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak ethnic cleanser, misogynic genocidal, racist, sadomasochistic, racist and megalomaniac. Most of the people are unaware of the contents of the Bible (16)..
God in the religion is defined as a superhuman supernatural intelligence, who deliberately designed and created the universe and everything in it.
Any creative intelligence of sufficient complexity to design anything comes into existence at the end product of an extended period of gradual evolution as
religion has progressed from tribal animism to polytheism of Greeks and Romans and monotheism.
Hinduism is monotheism in disguise. Brahma creator, Vishnu preserver Shiva destroyerl,Sarasvati, Luxmi, and Parvati (respective wives elephant god Ganesh and others are manifestations- incarnations off one God.
Christianity is according to Catholic Encyclopedia “in the unity of God-head there are three persons. The father is God, the son is God the Holy Spirit is God. Yet…but one god.
The very fact that there can be no evidence to support the theological opinions one way are the other, brings out harsh hostility towards people with different opinions.
Roman Catholics push its flirtation with polytheism to limits as Trinity is joined by Mary. In addition, they list 5120 saints (18) with areas of expertise like abdominal pain, broken bones anorexia, and bomb technology.
Abrahamic God is aggressively male. Some sophisticated theologians claim that God is sexless, feminist deem it female. But what is the difference between a nonexistent male and nonexistent female. Gore Vidal. From a barbaricl bronze age text known as Old Testament have evolved. Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They are literally patriarchal..hence the loathing for females. over 2000 years.
The oldest is Judaism, a tribal cult obsessed with sexual restrictions. god delusion three.
In the first century A.D., part founded a less in model to stick and less exclusive sect of Judaism in which looked outwards. It was a spread by the sword by Emperor Constantine, and Crusaders conquistadors and colonists. In the seventh century A.D., Mohamed elected to monarchies are not that exclusiveness and bottled the sword from Christians to spread it. He also preached that in addition to creating the universe he is a personal God, and lives within and without it and has the human quantities of listening to others granting wishes for giving and punishing.
US founding fathers were a secular.
Barry Goldwater in 1981” there is no position on which people are so immovable as in their religious beliefs. I'm frankly tired of political preachers across the country…” (19).
The Treaty of Tripoli 1796 drafted under George Washington and signed by John Adams. “The US is not in any sense founded on Christian religion (20). It is ironic that the USA founded on secular principles is the most religious country in the West while the UK with a church headed by a monarch is among the least. The reason may be that the US is a country of immigrants, who uprooted from their own environment embraced religion as a substitute kin (Indian, Pakistani and Arab immigrants in the West too). Officially secular, religion has become free enterprise with fierce competition for donations.
Religious fanaticism is rampant in the US. George Bush Sr.said “I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens”. ( 22) David Mills in Atheist Universe describes how he was threatened by the police, to whom he had gone for protection before demonstrating against the faith healer who advised diabetes and cancer patients to throw away Insulin and chemotherapy.
Carl Sagan called them namby pamby fence sitters (27). Carl Sagan was an agnostic about life elsewhere in the universe. When asked about his gut feeling, he said, but I try not to think with my guts. Permanent agnosticism applies to questions that can never be answered. In 1835, a French philosopher said we should never be able to study stars (29). Spectroscopists do it now on every day basis.
Atheists do not have faith and reason alone could not propel one to conviction that any thing does not exist. many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of skeptics to to disprove received dogma rather than of the dogmatists to prove them. Some people regard God as no more than a tooth fairy. And both are equally improbable as you cannot disprove either. Similar are unicorn and flying spaghetti and the monster and gods of Egypt and Vikings (33,34 35). The point is that they are undisprovable yet, nobody thinks existence is at par with the idea of God.
The fact that science cannot answer a question does not imply that religion can. Why should religion have the right to tell us, what is good and what is bad. Which religion, the one we are born in?
Chapters of the Bible and contradict each other. Death penalty is prescribed for adultery and gathering sticks on the Sabbath and in insolence to parents).
Miracles are temporary violation of Gods immutable laws. The presence or absence of a creactive super intelligence is definitely a scientific question. The truth or falsehood of every miracle is the same. Jesus, no human father Mary virgin at birth. Raise Lazarus from dead,return to life three days after crucifixation.
Roman Catholics performance of miracle essential for sainthood. Late Belgian King was a candidate for his stand on abortion. Investigations underway to see if any cures through prayers to him.
Rational religion would be useless at Alice in Wonderland, what is the use of a God if he does not do any miracles and answers no prayers. Ambrose Bierce “ to prayis to ask that the laws of the universe be annuled on behalf of a petitioner .
Darwin's cousins Francis Galton “every Sunday in every church in Britain the entire congregation prayed for the royal family. Should they not be healthier and fitter than ordinary people for whom only friends and relatives pray. He found no statistical difference. He also prayed over different plots of land to see if crops would grow faster pleaded.
An initiative funded by Templeton corporation made a double-blind study to see if patientss who were prayed far, did better. In actual fact the group, which knew that it was being prayed far did the worst case pleaded. (It was ridiculed, what do you say Lord. You can not cure me because I am in the control group). This is study spent $2.5 million and published in April 2006 American heart Journal.
The Oxford theologian Richard Swinburne, “Although a good God rejects our suffering, His greatest concern …is that each of us form a holy character (37). He justified holocaust in a TV discussion …that it gave Jews wonderful opportunity to be..noble..
Life in outer space.
We cannot disprove it, but we can appreciate the case for spending funds on the search for extra terrestrial intelligence (SETI). We know that there are 170 extra solar planets orbiting 147 stars so we can be a little less agnostic.
What kind of signal would convince us of its intelligent origin. Or what should we do to advertise our presence to ETI.
Very probably alien civilizations do exist, which are superhuman to the point of being godlike beyond the imagination of any theologian, akin to the reaction of the dark age peasant to laptops, mobile phones and hydrogen bomb. Arthur C. Clarke “any significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. Our technology would seem to him akin to Moses parting the Waters. Missionaries were treated as gods, when they turned up in the stone age cultures with guns, telescopes and matches.
The crucial difference between ETI and gods is in their provenance. former must have evolved to the stage.
Arguments for God's existence
A a priori and B a posteriori
A Thomas Aquinas. All involve regress. Ads infinitum with God to terminate it. 1 Nothing moves without a prior mover.
2 Nothing is caused by itself first cause is God, the uncaused cause. 3 There must have been a time when there was nothing. So God must have made things. This got them in its arguments. Why should god be immune to regress?. There is no reason to endow the terminator with Omni potence, sience and presence and human attributes such as listening to prayer and forgiving sin.
“ can omniscient god who
knows the future, find
the Omni potence to
change his future mind mind?
4There has to be a maximum of goodness to set standards for perfection- that is God
5 Teleological-nothing can look designed unless it is designed… living things look designed so the designer is God.
B St Anselm Canterbury were 1078 initially address to God as a prayer as though to convince him.
It is possible to conceive of a being than which nothing greater can be conceived. A being that does not exist in the real world is by the very fact less than perfect. We have a contradiction-God exists.
David Hume 1711-76, Immanuel Kant 1724 to 1804. Existence is more perfect than nonexistence (46).
Beethoven and Shakespeare, how do you account for them, if God did not exist. But there would be sublime whether God existed are not. If you have Mozart to listen to why would you need God. Is Shakespeare had to work for the Church we would have lost Hamlet, king lear and Macbeth
Many people believe because they have seen a vision or that speaks to them. Told
Bush to invade Iraq. Patients in psychiatric hospitals think they are God or prophets.. SaM Harris in The end of Faith. We have names for people who have many beliefs for which there is no rational justification when their beliefs are extremely common we call them religious, otherwise they're likely to be called mad, delusional. Clearly there is sanity in numbers.
The simulation software in the brain is especially adept at constructing faces and voices. A hollow mask looks solid from front and back and seems to follow a viewer if he moves around it. That trickery is in the brain of the beholder. Brain is capable of constructing visions, visitations and voices. On 9/11 some people saw the face of Satan in the smoke.
1917, 70,000 pilgrims to a Spanish shrine of our lady of Fatima saw the sun crashing down on the multitude. ( In Multan city of Pakistan there is a shrine to Shams Tabrez who is supposed to have asked the sun to come down as he could not find fire to fry a fish a river had offered him).
page 92 Scripture.
Jesus claimed to be son of God. He must be right, insane or a liar. That is no historic evidence of claim of divinity by Jesus. Trinity is ridiculous in itself.
Written word is persuasive. Since the 19th century A.D., academic theologians have stated that gospels were not accurate historical accounts. They were written long after Christ after epistle of Paul which do not mention events of Christ’s life. They were written by scribes with their own agenda.. At the time of writing gospels, nobody knew. where Jesus was born. Old testament prophecy led Jews to believe that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5-2). John's Gospel followers were surprised he was not born in Bethlehem. Matthew and Luke decided that he must have been born in Bethlehem. Mathew had Joseph there all along. Luke claimed they moved to Bethlehem because of the orders of Caesar Augustus to people to move back to their cities for tax census, and they had to, as they were of the David's lineage. But David was 1000 years ago.. Why would they be forced to move the city of an ancestor 1000 years hence and sensor was actually in AD 6!.
Tom Flynn editor Free inquiry, December 2004 issue lots of holes in Christmas story 50. Robert Gillody all features of Jesus legend, star in East, Virgin birth borrowed from a existent legends in the region at the time. Mathew in his desire to defend Jewish prophecy descent from David and birth in Bethlehem clashed with Luke’s desire to adopt gentile legends virgin birth. Mathew had 28 generations to give to David to 41 of Luke and almost no overlap in the lists of names. But Mary was a virgin so Joseph’s ancestry is irrelevant.
The four gospels chosen out of a larger sample of 12. Thomas, Peter, Nicodemus, Philip, Bartholomew and Mary Magdalen. 51. The Gospel of Thomas had child Jesus, abusing his powers transforming playmates into goats and mud into sparrows. Hebrew of Isaih for ypoung female (almah0 mistranslated into Greek for virgin (parthenos).
Ibne Warraq makes fun of 72 virgins to every Muslim martyr are actually white raisins of crystal clarity. The four gospels derived from Mark.The writers had not known and never saw Jesus. It is all a rehash of old testament.
This religious scientists.
An immense majority of eminent men disbelieve in Christian religion, but conceal the fact because they were afraid of losing their income. Bertrand Russell.
Apologists name Newton, Galileo, Kepler and spread demonstrably false rumors of death bed conversion of Darwin.
Scientists claimed to be religious till 19th-century when social and judicial pressure to conform lessened.. James Haught in 2000 years of disbelief. People with courage to doubt”. Becoming a monk for Mendel was akin to a research grant. In 1996 Jim Watson was asked by Richard Dawkins if he knew any religious scientists “virtually none, occasionally I meet them. And I am at bit embarrassed. I cannot believe anyone accepts truth by the revelation”.
Benjamin Beit Hallehem “among the Nobel laureates .. remarkably degree of irreligiosity. Only 7% of Americans deemed good enough to be elected to national academy were religious compared to 90% among the general population. Among the less distinguished scientists, 60% of nonreligious. (54) In Britain, Royal society members. only 3.3% believed in personal god (56). Michael Shermer and Frank Golloway in “the search for God in the age of science found negative correlation between education and religiosity. Paul Bell Mensa magazine editor 2002 , meta-analytical study of 43 studies carried out since 1927 on the relationship between religious belief and intelligence and education all but for four found an inverse relationship.
Belief as a matter of policy.
Pascal- odds against the existence of God long, but odds of penalty on not believing. and if there is God longer. But belief is not a matter of policy. If you feign, God better not be omniscient. Bertrand Russell famously said, “if confronted by God after death and asked why did not believe in him, I would say not enough evidence God, not enough evidence”.
Vindication of divine providence in the face of the existence of evil. Postulate a nasty God, a separate evil God-Satan an indifferent god, or suffering as a price of free will.
Thomas Jefferson “almost certainly no God exists. The piece of different sects dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight.
Darwinian natural selection is the only known solution of where all the information in living matters comes from. The Darvinian evolution shatters the illusion of design within the domain of Biology and teaches us to be suspicious of design hypothesis in other fields. Leonard Susskind physicist modern cosmology began with Darwin and Wallace. The provided explanation of of our existence that completely rejected supernatural agents. (61) .
Natural selection is not chance. Its cumulative process, which breaks down the problem of improbability into small pieces. Over time, they get less improbable.
If there is a gap in knowledge, God must fill it.
The problem for theologians is that gaps are filled and God will become redundant. To admit ignorance is an essential part of scientific enterprise and an spur thar drives them on. One of the truly bad effects of religion is to be satisfied with not understanding...
Hypothesis of irreducible complexity. Half of an eye and half of a wing is no use. But there are gliders and flatworm and nautilus eye is less powerful than the human eye.
Intelligent design (ID) has no evidence of its own, but thrives like weeds in gaps in scientific knowledge. ID love affair with gaps in fossil record exemplifies their whole gap theology.
ID theorists broadcast to scientists if you don't understand, never mind, just give up and say God did it. Do not squander precious ignorance by researching it away. We need those glorious gaps as the last refuge for God.
. American geneticist Jenny Coyne in the History of science. Evolved organs elegant, effective and efficient, but reveal flaws as they would not have its designed by a superhuman. . Back pain, sinus infection, hernia and prolapse of uterus are due to adoption of upright posture in a body evolved over hundreds of millions of years to walk on all fours.
Origin of life anthropic principle.
Earth is life friendly, has water, and in a zone not too far from the sun so water would freeze and not too near, water would boil. Jupitar pulls asteroids like a vaccum cleaner, which might strike the earth. A relatively large moon stabilizes the axis of rotation.(68)
Origin of life was a chemical event. It did originate and flourish in water.
On a conservative estimate there are a billion planets in the universe. If life arose only in one in a billion planet, it could be in a billion places..(69). (page 138)
Evolution of life is completely different from origin of life, because origin was could have been a unique event, which had to happen only once. On earth we are dealing with optimizing biological species.
One off event like origin of life,eucaryotic cell (nucleus mitochondria our not the bacterium kind) and consciousness explained by anthropic principle. Billions of planets developed life only a fraction made itto eucaryotic cell and only a fraction to consciousness. Whatever it may be, design does not serve as an explanation of life as design is not cumulative.
Anthropic cosmo version
We live in a friendly planet in a friendly universe.
Strong force that bends components of nucleus together, which has to overcome to split an atom. Simplest atom is hydrogen all other elements formed by fusion of hydrogen which occurs in stars and a hydrogen bomb. Relatively small stars can only make helium. Large and hotter ones form heavier elements.. These huge stars may explode as supernovas scattering matériel, including elements in dust clouds, which condense to form new stars including our own.
Intention. Time and space began 13 billion years ago with the Big Bang. Rev Swinburne God can do anything and knows everything that is logically possible to do no and has infinite freedom.
In a book review by Peter Medawar “ Its author can be excused of dishonesty only on the grounds that before decievting others, he had taken great pains to deceive himself (73). To suggest that the first cause is capable of designing the universe and of talking and listening to millions of people simultaneously is a total abdication of responsibility to find an explanation.. It is thought denying skyhookery.
Roots of religion.
Michael Kohn evolutionary psychiatrist The universal extravagance of religious rituals with their cost in time, resources, pain and privasion should suggest… that religion may be adoptive. It is often as extravagantly ornate as the plumage of the bird of paradise.
Thousands of people have been tortured for their loyalty to religion, vowed celibacy, silence, whipped blood from their back. A cathedral consumes an enormous resources yet never used for a recognizably useful for purpose. If akin to peacocks tail at whom the advertisement was aimed. What is the effect of religion.
Benefit to survival,
Hunter gatherers of Australia and New Zealand survive under conditions which test practical skills to utmost. But they clutter their brain with obsession by menses and witchcraft and associated violence of the let the latter. The philosopher Kim Sternely “how can we be simultaneously be so smart and so dumb. (76)
Details differ but all known cultures have some version of hostility provoking, and anti-factual fantasies of the religion. Religious behavior can be called human and universal like hetero-sexual behavior.
From chapter 5
provide some protection from stress related disease as faith healing does.George Bernard Shaw, “that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than that a drunken man is happier than a sober one..
Consolation, Steven Pinker in how the mind works. “Why would a mind evolve to find comfort in beliefs it can plainly see are false. A person face to face with a lion is not put at ease by the conviction that it is a rabbit. Michael and Shermer in How we believe. Proximate cause of religion might be a hyper activity in a part of brain. Visionary religious experience maybe tempered low epilepsy. If neuroscientists find a God center in the brain why those with the center had more grandchildren and whose progeny survive more than those who did not.
Religion designed by cynical priests and rulers. Black slaves in the USA consoled by promises of another than life.
Darwinian selection choses among groups Cambridge Archeologist Colin Renfrew Christianity survived because of the ingroup loyalty. Tribes with martyr complex will fight more bravely and survive, seize livestock and females of the other tribe. (77) They.
Religion as a byproduct
Large number of people hold beliefs that flatly contradict scientific facts as well as rival religions. They die and kill for them
What is the primitively advantageous trait that misfires to generate religion?
We survive by the collective experience of prior generations. A child believes without question whatever grown-ups tell them, not to go near the cliff edge, eat wild berries or jump into crocodile infested water.. If would be an advantage, but like moth flying into flame, it can go wrong, Tennyson charge of the light brigade. There’s not to reason why, there's but to do and die, into the valley of death, rode the six hundred.. But nations whose infantry acts on their own initiative.. will tend to lose wars.
Computers obey like soldiers so they are useful, but it also makes them vulnerable to viruses and worms. But the flip side of trusting obedience is slavish gullibility. Sacrificing a goat the time of full moon is not good advice as avoiding the edge of a cliff..
In different geographical location different beliefs without any factual basis will be handed down and will evolve with time. Religious leaders are well aware of the vulnerability of a child’s brain
Ethnologist Robert Hinde, “Why Gods persist” anthropologist Oscar Boyer Religion explained”, Scott Arran “in God we trust” religion as a byproduct of psycholigical dispositions. All religious beliefs seem wierd to those not brought up in them.
Psychologically primed for religion,
Evolutionary psychologists suggest that brain is a collection of organsns for dealing with specialist data processing needs. Centers for kinship reciprocal exchange, empathy Religion can be due to misfiring of all any of the centers as moths flying into fire or children’s gullibility.
The psychologist Paul brown children have a natural dualist theory- fundamental distinction between matter and mind (monist- mind is a manifestation of matter) They readily accept that mental illness as possession by the devils. Which might be cast out. A tendency to dualism is built in the brain is so we can enjoy PG Wodehouse laughing gas. Children, especially assign purpose to everything (teleology).
Dannet irrationality of religion is a byproduct of an inbuilt irrationality in the brain-our tendency to fall in love Helen Fisher in why we love explaining the insanity of romantic love. Over the top compared with what was strictly necessary. We see the beloved a hundred times more lovely quite irrationally than his/her competition. Polyamory (falling in love with many of the opposite sex) would be more rational than than fanatical monogamyous obsession.. We can have more than one child, parent , friend or pet. Helen Fisher- being in love, accompanied by a highly specific natural drugs. Irrational love could be a mechanism to ensure loyalty long enough to raise a child together. Religiuos faith is akin to falling in love. Neuro-psychiatrist John Smythies. “One facet of religion is intense love… of God and reverence for icons”… human life driven by selfish genes… reenforcement derived from religion… comforting feeling of protection… loss of fear of death… response to prayers.84. Falling in love with one person and only one is irrational but useful. Misfiring… equivalent of the moth flying into a flame… is falling in love with Yehveh and Allah.
Religions like language evolved with the randomness to generate bewildering that diversity. Diverse religions share significant features in common –our persons survive after our death- it caters to wishful thinking.
Many features/attributes of religion are fitted to its survival.
Martin Luther was aware of the dangers of reason. “Reason is the greatest enemy of faith has… and should be destroyed in all Christians 85
MEMES. Unit of cultural inheritance.
Oscar Wilde Truth in matters of religion is simply the opinion that has survived. Whether there are units of cultural imitation, which behave like true replication like genes. Among genes that are occasional mutations which complete for slots on chromosomes (gene are a stretch of DNA. Chromosomes are branches genes of seeds).
Useful tricks in a stitching, carpentry and making fishing nets can be reduced to discrete units, which can be passed down the generations. Memes can sometimes display very high if fidelity due to a self normalizing process.
Susan Blackmore “the Meme machine”. She visualizes a world full of brain and memes jostling to occupy tem. Memes good at getting copies survive like immortality meme are they have the capacity to flourish among the numerous memes..
Genes don't act independently, they tend to travel through generations with neighboring genes on a chromosome. They collaborate with other genes in programming the development process that results in a body like words of a recipe in cooking process which results in a dish. Cartels of cooperative genes emerge, much like free market rather than like a planned economy. planned economy. The idea off cooperating cartels assembled by an invisible hand is centeral to religions.
Carnivore gene pools ( prey detecting cross, claws, teeth, meat digesting enzymes) Genes also favored for compatibility. A carnivore's gene would not survive in a herbivore pool.
Some religious ideas might survive due to survival in the mimetic pool. .
1 life after death, 2 if you die to martyr you would get 72 virgins 3 blasphemers and apostates and heretics would be punished 4 belief in God supreme virtue if wavering work at restoring it 5 faith without evidence is a virtue, the more in defiance of evidence be more virtuous 6 those without beef must give a higher respect to faith than to other beliefs. 7 do not even try to understand trinity trans-substantiation or incarnation. Just accept them as a mystery 8 beauty, and music, art, a scripture self replicating tokens of religious ideas.
Religions are organized by people
Priests and rabbis and imams. Detailed form of each religion has been largely shaped by unconscious evolution. In the early stages simply memes survive by virtue of their appeal to human psychology. Religions are, at least in part, intelligently designed for manipulation by priests and rulers.
Scientology was intelligently designed. Joseph Smith of Mormons in19 Century A.D., composed a new holy book,since. (And fielded one presidential candidate Mitt Romney).
David Attenborough: Quest in Paradise from 19th century to post World War II. Pacific Melenesia and New Guinea Islanders bowled over by possessions of white men They never made them, just sent for some more on ships and later on planes. They did not do any useful work, just sad behind a desk shuffling papers that was thought religious devotion. They did magical things like building tall masts with wires attached and listen to boxes with glowing lights. These were rituals with which white men are persuaded gods to send them cargo.
Similar cargo cults sprang up in widely spread islands suggesting some unifying feature of human psychology. I n New Hebrides John Frum went to ancestors promising a second return and visions of Mountains falling flat, old getting young and white men. expelled. (Isaiah 40:4 Every mountain and hill made low) Cargo cuts provide a fascinating current model of how religions spring up from nothing. 1 amazing speed with which they spring up 2 the speed with which they cover tracks 3 independent origination of several cults in separate islands 4 cargo cults not just similar to each other but to ordered religions as well, which presumably began as local cults.
Roots of morality.
Most religious people find it hard to imagine how one can be good without religion, and drive some to paroxysm of rage against those who do not believe in their faith. Opposition to evolution is a modern outrage. “ If you teach them that they are descended from monkey they will behave like monkeys.
Morality and Darwinism
Robert Hinde in why god is good, Michael Shermer in Science of god and Evil, Robert Buckman in Can we be good without God
Sense of right and wrong are derived from Darwinian past.
Natural selection can explain hunger, fear, sex lust. contribute to survival. What about the compassion to orphans, widows, earthquake and tsunami victims. That apparently negates the selfish Gene.
Unit of life, which survives and passes through natural selection tends to selfishness. The unit is selfish Gene not organism, group or species. Only genes make exact copy of itself which in a pool of self replicating entities. but genes do ensure their selfish surviva by getting the organism to behave altruistically by favoring genetic kin. Being good to own children. Among bees, wasps, meerkats, monkeys mole rats elder siblings take care of younger ones.
The other main type of symbiosis-Basis of all trade and barter. Bee needs nectar and flower pollinating. Reciprocal altruism works because of asymmetry in needs. Vampire bats know which member of their social group will repay in regurgitated blood. There is punishment for cheats. Kinship and reciprocation pillars of altruism in Darwinaian system.
But in humans reputation is important, and we add the power of language to spread reputations (Norwegian economist Thorskien Veblen and Israeli zoologist Amotz Zahari-altruism advertisement for superiority. (Rival chieftains in Pacific Northwest tribes competed in ruinously the generous feasts till one was bankrupted and other was not much better).Veblen’s consipicous consumption.
Zahavi-Arabian babblers- little brown bird live in social groups, breed cooperatively, give little cries of warning, donate food to each other and compete for the role of sentinel exposing themselves to the danger of hawks, all to assert superiority. If his subordinate babbler offers food it is violently rebuffed.
Reasons of altruism- kinship, reciprcation, acquiring a repatation and advertisement.
Pretty history humans
Roving bands like ba.boons.
Villages required all the above traits. Good in to their own group and xenophobically bad to others.
But we now live in the big cities with little kinship or even acquaintence. The urge to altruism has greater scope (or that if we did not learn to exist peaceably, the society will implode with damage to all- instinct of self-preservation takes a new form). Marc Hauser “Moral Minds” How nature designed our universal sense of right and wrong. Most people come to the same decision when faced with moral dilemmas. their agreement is stronger than their inability to articulate reasons, largely independent of their religious beliefs or lack of them. Moral principles fly beneath the radar of awareness. Here page 28
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And though God might be good
it would only to please God, that does not his modern at the it is sucking up Einstein if people are glued to defend of punishment hope for a world. We are a sorry lot in the people off faiths, who is bright person beat are motivated by religion to be good at Jamaican people say we need religion. Then what do you mean is we need police. Conscience is in an otherwise that warns us that someone may be looking over are shorter martyrs of rules for good order in society, which is necessary for survival.
Robert him more in principle, why not necessarily constant that by reason to be defendable by reason 89.
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a brown man to his wife saw Egypt and Basra off as consistent. She was taken in shadows had them. God did not like it and send made it to the final not on a brown.
In the book of the and it is a priest and his she concubine visiting the visiting an old man. The townspeople again wanted to do to sodomize the priest. The host offered that come to mind and his own doctor. The keep was handed over was gang raped in tonight in the morning she came back and glad to have in at the load off the coast. She the priest asked had to get up. But she was dead, secret up, but had up in 12th pieces and 10 had to all the posts of his right judges 1929.
The story of a brown sacrificing his son Isaac might emanated people arrived at the last minute that God was only testing. What of the drama and child-abuse he could only use in Bloomberg defends. I was only obeying orders to be again toward not take it victory but many in the US and Islamic world to take it as such. Stop.
Judges chapter 11 desktop pledged to sacrifice the first person to meet him on his return. If God granted him between or among lights his own the chai energy they came out to greet confessed and he cooked her.
Thou shalt not have no other God but me. When they did with Baden and Gordon cough Peter Moses Moses burnt it down. It makes it did walked in and made me to drink mixture and then off the priest can and the nonbelievers. About 3000 but God was not satisfied and sent a plague.
Moses attacked media nights and tend bondman stewardesses paired female centered in Moses ordered them to keep our team issued in a in our who read not to virgins and keep in nectar for them since number 3118. He shared the stride their auditors, and thou shalt worship no other God for the dog is a jealous God. This is no make convenient made inhabitants of the land and the slow. They go holding off the god Exodus 341370.
So Morton modernity does not come from the Bible idiot George Cosmos other denizens of difficult man to woman young old box and sheep lush 621 and as his is Marley indistinguishable from hit important Saddam with clothes and Shia economy 20 those who lived in the promised land guides won't among lights at termites resides and a nights in the sites. The ocean, nothing that being the economy 20 those who lived a long way went to be invited to send a reasonably. If they refused the amendment dictated and women kept firebreathing.
Political part of US 10 come on been told it's especially dangerous. He worshiping long God and making graven images in which case we should praise Taliban are demolishing in and says hundred 50 feet high and Bamian with the independent nine and 86 2005
historic Mecca is being bloodied after the birthplace of the prophet is facing bulldozes marked of Wahabi fear of historically. In place would give rise to add an entry our quantities. Steven Weinberg, you would have included people doing good things and bad people doing. Even things but some people to do anything it takes religion.
And New Testament.
Jesus was a great improvement turn the other cheek and explicitly give departure from the Scripture he was born in deflated setback.
These as though was brusque with his mother, and inclination as fodder was to eminent family. If any man come to me and had not father and mother children. He cannot be my disciple.
It is no sin.
Adam and Eve ate five info acquired knowledge of good and every that they were naked and made a larded painful never and pain inside but the sin of Adam and he lost down the main line in the semen as San Augustine Klein said. St. Augustine won the temple is no sin be the seat had been God insistence condemns every child to the sin of the remote ancestor. Christian focus is on sin sin and sing
adoption office said a masochistic symbol instrument of project execution cross any boost if Jesus had been to 20 years ago. A taken schoolchildren will be knitting you to edit chicken chairs around their neck.
God incarnation i Jesus phone, I asked him to my being executed, what would been written in them indecent wanted to be betrayed and murdered why you name us and take it out and use it in Ottawa wanted to forgive our sins. Why not just do it is enough, making a chair and then wondered and condemning the use program's execution. John Hartson physician and evolution he is one of his sins and of nine-member men of and then you is Jesus limited visiting the same distributing news now should not gain meant only use them underneath its 13 fetchingly than I liked mincemeat that we do so. Needless to say, one is not let you guess heathen 66 person off and thousand 900 who at their destruction of state. Josh tried in in his right knee cycle. God is selling mystification Western Union demands are turned in on the bad specially on Jinnah and divide and foster started animosity mentor for a was change. The Chinese General Lynn. He 7%.
In Harken was on Jesus was a loyal jerw. It was our hope will be used up with enjoys.
The book of Revelation Kens night the madman by means a new print in the modern instructions for genocide enslavement of of world domination. State I'm in this phone is an IPO include from you than life Isaac Watts. It can not I is right. When I grace that I was on Christian and not even.
Made an offer on forgot Jewish prayer. Blessed are you for not making me a gentile, and a woman are slave. Then again, is and they been in group of vindictive feelings and listen for a single bit had been a good revenge, political and economic integration sanction mind in the North Island, Kosovo@Iraq salon in subcontinent.
The funding to the massacre in Gujarat, what is happening India has had been because god province name of God, which religion is more the meaning that if the number one ladies Jinnah and Gates and P. Campbell is leading outside religion. Not a lot of the men in Texas, Boston analyzed studies on Homo been significant in Pistons specially Hindus will.
The contents of a plot to be considered right and wrong remains widely is basically for protection media something. Even if we disagree, a Texas cheating murdered test. These are in latest highly obnoxious directions come along.
We have come a long way family was taken from not the most he can launched TV equanimity and more since 1920. There are not property, except in Pakistan, India and Newfoundland about some would have been prosecuted in modern times. Most consistent as of early 20th century be condemned as if they most likely to me that all nonwhites be described in the back made in fear except in an me that they will do was partners and others unlawful and female suffrage news in an 1893. Australia in 19 oh sin and 9006 model may 1915 US in 1920 lived in 1928 farms 1945 million 1946 of the 91971. . Switzerland 1971 late thousand six.
Historians will not judge statements By their standards off their own time of . Abraham Lincoln I am not not have been able in favor of solution and politically unity of white and black races. 105 Washington and Jefferson and men of enlightenment that seems.
There are victory nicknames like from war dog will on need war. She may use treaty to be deeds of the odd and not publicly condemn the progressive trend is unstinting. And we continue because education understanding that each of us shares common humanity of the nascent sex at Monza is in media and technology.
Christian hate do not just their own ethnic trend margin with and was embittered and anti-Semite at the back of one's said all the news should be given from Germany got been a boot of wipers met to keep them and also gone them up wipers.
Seneca the younger Reagan regarded by common people as true by the allies as far as and by the rulers as use.
Individual atheist made to evil things but they do not do it in the name of a tease. One cannot think of any water fought in the name of if he's religious Watts are numerous. Sam Harris, the end of Faith the David of religious faith is that it allows otherwise phenomenal human beings believed the Fuchs of madness and concede that there will holy. We are giving now getting our sense over ancient literature .
religion has actually convinced people that there is an invisible man. He has an expression this off things to do. He has a special place outside and smoke for you to live and several in did end up buying what he lets you.
Josh Khan not need religion to be more one can explain the rules of religion in modern he in a nonreligious form’
Tool to any holy book is an axiom, not the end forgot up the process of reasoning. Books about evolution be not because they are fully, but gave but because they often owed living evidence.
JP defend evolution, because their opponents and tools to look at dividends, because it contradicts the legal The would of been done immediately new immigrants arose whenthe school known religious fundamentalist and in what easy to confuse fundamentalism.How tragic to write without having them in. Fundamentalist religion teaches us not to change of her mind and not want Bhutto aims that can be no.
So absolutism. Through the mind of a great number of people, especially in the Muslim world. And in American so busy. It constitutes a major reason that religion can be a force for them. He was shift the medical doctor in Pakistan poses ones that Mohamed was not a Muslim before he became a profit. He was reported by some stewards to 95 see Pakistan" death for blasphemy is still on the stature. American Taliban" the we should invade their country and their leaders and convert them to Christianity. 119.
Homosexuality was a crime in Britain to 19th seven Jenny father. AIDS is not just gods punishment for homosexuals is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals it went to one at Robertson husband is the head of the wife and that is the way it is
sanctity of human life, one being descendents of embryonic life and tell in many in life deemed them to be and company are not a was to taking part in life to one of preventing medical research life before given more institutions in Texas under Bush than in any under under any other go under an amnesty won every nine days one fight rendered Teddy Operation Rescue founder nestling abortion doctors. Men I meet are running the country new tie you and execute aspiring to a minor image of Islamist fascist state sought by the part about.
Slippery slope of the day, you can into the model you. Infants used in his allowed doctors to 10 million next thing he can meet the grandmothers made their money. I need key nuisance dozens of so it to what we are confronted in you to Guardian June 30, 2005. Christian couples months of God to save imbue his life by IDF. Some Muslims living in Britain opening unarmed, that they are not bound exabytes on because they did.
Gun Sikh religionists, if a Martian not provided safely and legally him an unlikely we'll go back and the quakes
why am not a Muslim sunny and in the Aussie and techniques elections. Obvious that the arguments then asked Jean. Stupidity is the only defense against dishonesty wife him on the human life. There are no natural borderlines in evolution, moderation and sentences land, and the best way to undermine the hobbyists to the end of million of Muslim women than he some rapture Christians EN on a nuclear war interpreted as Magadan made his in the second coming. Had his to Christians, scientists in the city of New York were suddenly replaced by a blogger five cent just to them the return of Christ. Nearly half the American publishing believes in that a model an intellectual and emergency in a minute and moderate religion since the climate in which extremism flourishes. 77 murderously British citizens can detect numbering well mannered. Their action was disastrous for victims and their own families and our Muslims in the UK. Only religious faith strong enough to motivate such madnessWho one God delusion continued
Man, like bin Laden actually believe in what they say, 134.
About 77 muted gray in Glasgow headed because of all of this mayhem is religion itself. However misguided, we may think they are. They are more convicted like Christian murderers of abortion doctors that fitfully pursuing what did it again in them to be perceived in their ads to be good, because they have been brought up from credible to have told in an unquestioning faith. Video of suicide bomber taking both on Koran, nudity. Tomorrow you'll be in paradise. We should blame the religion itself, not religious extremism 125.
Bertrand Russell, many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do religious faith is an especially potent silence at operational fought and charms that charges him and its inauthenticity, because of the beguiling promise that debt is not the end. And because it proscribes questioning. How can asked Ms. them be a coalition of faith. When if it does not have any demonstrable extended the poet 750 05v `super deal, director of the Stroup for the study of Islam and Christianity Quran is like to pick and mix selection. If you like peace, you can find peaceably worse is if you want water. You can find many schools were since .
Rounded corners in order to lead with an addictions damnably principal of probation near.txt drums the area once. Islam is peace for only about 13 years, and the Macomber says before his.
Faith is an even precisely because it requires no justification and brooks no movement pitted. Teaching children that faith is worse to crimes that they had a mind to grow up into potentially less than weapons for future the house. Not only do people God exceeds our other priorities by decent dent in ministry and religious instructors.
Chapter 9, Childd abuse.
There is in every village a crotch at teacher and an extinguisher because you Victor Hugo.
Baptism, which makes a pleasant a Christian the right does not have to be performed by a priest depends the tide on anyone as does not have to give consent. No signatures and no witnesses. In 1858, a six years old, Edgardo wok are living with Jewish prayers in one of the was abducted by the And police under orders of an artist from inquisition as when the child was a baby. He had been baptized by a 14 years old and has made the child is sick and the Nets man's heart. He might die without depth, and he would go to hell. Views needed servers, whose religion did not stop them from working on some pretty.
Such is the power of mainstream moderate religion, coup plot judgment in the indoctrinated mind that from both down apologist believed that what they were doing was right. The presumptuousness and fatuousness of religion that if it of their words, is the one true faith and others aberrations are totally false pitted.
More trials would not accept the postulate the other splash of water, and if you mean meaning yes words to get their child back. That has brought peace to at the me to get did. Only by their crass insensitivity that comes easily to a mind hijacked by religious faith.
Physical and mental abuse.
Home of the petition was attacked by and see lot, because he did not know the difference between tradition and a bit of I138, at this was an event off July 2000 news of the world campaign.
Sexual abuse of side. The brutality of Christian Brothers off Ireland who teach a significant proportion of May and operation of the country is one with. And he said he was hard and as he did in 11 ethnic judges. What then one million a compensation for thinking needs. Wednesday night been told that people on your friends not of the same faith, mingled with and is much more dramatic.
In a 21st-century USA March found 16 the outside outside world is actually Ministry. The there is a jamming. So fee shall which actually advocates and reinstatement of Old Testament of killing homosexuals often seen at Robert's cover of a house to witness what might have been after that I at display consequences of sin. Like abortion and homosexual repeat the dais Goddard got every and hand with sulfur smell of burning brimstone and screens of the damn optima and age for attendance is 12. Roberts is Ministry dismissed they can be condescending time, what.
Defense of children pleaded.
The psychologist Nicholas Humphrey 1977 Oxford amnesty lecture patient will to be worth died within days of having a malign spell book on 141 psychosomatic tenet. Children have a right not to have their minds could buy exposure to other people's bad ideas. Children should be taught not walked to think, but how pathetic if after careful thought to be the literal truth of the Bible. It is their privilege.
Education is canned him.
Well, is engaged had in England, was was founded. She went 2,000,000 pounds given by a car salesman to be toward the British government give 20 million grant be off and running costs. Teachers at the cottage taught creationism, one vote, he not get a Mac world and then many wordy homes. Things that if 10,000 years old, and evolution means that we are just a technique and nutrition. 144.
Stephen Livesey had of signs at the cottage and effort include lost Ark. This globe and tossed off he took place in relate to be efficient asked the feasibility of an arc flew off a representative pHs on it yet. She is well documented in old and new Testaments as she pleaded their provided as a minute to come of its history. This.
In raising consciousness
which are invincible than the Chinese navy as belonging to a particular religion, which a tie is not the Muslim tie but the tide was embedded making in the chin and realize that they had tried in choosing the biggest medic in teaching comparative religion, making them conscious that the faith given born into was one of many.
And religious education
King James Bible published 16 11 improves as it is of outstanding literary merit such such as song of songs in loading it impoverishes a decision of English literature. Like the Koran vedas and Gita should. We can give a brief in god without losing touch with a treasure treasured heritage and attend weddings and funerals.
Chapter 10 God shaped gap
brain needs to food up their psychological needs of God. A friend father once in a field the gap with our humanism end of of nature this.
Religion has historically been offered as explanation for our own a business nature of the unknown and that is no longer necessary as assigned Thursday but was very well. Exhortation to do good. That does not city, either. Consolation in the generally friend cinnamon companion and quantum not on life displayed to defend at the time and patience to be more are his attention to the sufferer and much cheaper than a psychiatrist.
American psychologist Julie James thinks that the extra wives as he heard the nearly interned in and in 1000 B.C. been socialized editing the non-consciousness.
In the dust particles Lord does not make it to than it breaking the spell defense didn't believe in God and believe in peace. A coup is unimportant and has connected the human feeling. So they keep on being.
People caught in disasters like an earthquake that I've consideration from their belief that it was often mark of God in his quickly than they did a believer in life after death, and there would be disillusioned. But flew into believing that. Why don't we give messages that the natives. The people on that. A far the moneymaking ripoffs. The setting of intelligences must surely rank among the greatest concerts in history. If the dead simply went to have a knockout, what would be the part of praying for them. So, they endeavored of the concept of a victory in the Roman Catholic faith.
Bin Laden is that we have only one life to make it all the more precious to get lunch with very good at guard relieve with signs as an arts is pretty.
Burka itsf all Burkas. (page 362).
It is an instrument of claustral repression, of liberty, and at token of his edgiest made this cruelty and cowed female submission.
Allusion is limited to a few kilometers from a height to one to 1 mm
this period finds in general as opposed to technology does violence to common sense. 156 quantum theory the Web unity nearly the air. You just need an ad and night proved an actor bring out by a friend in the. The evolution of complex life is most surprising on just one planet in the entire universe. One fumes that would normally make when the Iraq get it together to make a human debris off and running seen peeking. Like other enemas and falling in love with an implement. Now we understand it is diamond expanded in 1859. Ali Ahmad Brin objects and illusion of movement to larger objects in sun and stars rather than smaller ones like the public brain evolved to help us survive. She a privately funded, things like Christensen rocks a composed almost entirely of empty space ship nucleus of an atom is like a fly in the center of the stadium. Because of four CDs we cannot go through the other understanding cannot hope what happens when things move at the speed of light to you at Cannes in a barn and a friend demand that it is no fiction when father at the same speed. We find it hard to believe as air friction is always there. It minute these are images that are extremely improbably. The statue of Madonna gave its head, the act and Senate are vibrating back and forth but because that is no agreed preference in them to move in it but would connection it does not. The odds against it are so great. You would think would not do it had permitted in billions of years. The public to quantify the near impossible is an example of deliberation by signs of the human spirit.
Breaking the spell.
We find human beings setting aside their personal interest…devoting entire lives to furthering an idea.. .Muslims, Christians and Jews ..their lives to spread the word…secular humanists…for democracy. This sets us aside from rest of the animals.
The …ideas of religion …holding in thrall for thousands of years, longer than recorded history, but still a brief moment in biological time.
Sigmund Feud in The future of an illusion. “The philosophers stretch the meaning of words..retain scarecely anything …of sense..their god is…but an insubstantial shadow…no longer the mighty personality of religious doctrine…there is no core essence common to all religions..are social systems whose participants believe in supernatural agents/agent whose approval they seek (?fear of the unknown).
The agent/agents are anthropomorphic to varying degrees-Jehovah of old teatament is a divine man who sees with eyes, hears with ears and talks and acts in real time. (the point where human mind can not go any further, religion starts-Abraham’s story of becoming a prophet).
For most of Muslims, Christians and Jews god is omniscient and does not need sense organs and as an eternal entity does not act in real timwe. But they continue to pray and hope that he will answer their prayers today or tomorrow or have mercy. That seems to be a flat contradiction to their insistence that their god is not anthropomorphic. They offer the apologetics that it is foolish to understand this enigma.
For some praying is not literally talking to god but symbolic like saying dear diary. For others it is.
Core phenomenon of religion invoke god/gods who are effective agents in real time.
People make themselves dependent upon newspapers, cigarettes, music and religion. Are these addictions or genuine needs.
Religion has to be analyzed, it is too important to be ignored as it affects social, economic and political conflicts and for a majority f people nothing is more important.
Billions of people paray for peace and most believe the path is through their religion, others believe religious conviction is a terrible substitute for calm and informed reasoning. Who is right?
Breaking the spell of religion might break the life enriching enchantment of religion and might drive a lot of people to distraction. But the taboo against a through investigation of religion must be broken.
In spite of religious connotation of the words, atheists and agnostics can have sactred values like justice, truth, love.
David hume in The natural history of religion “there are two questions…which challenge our attention..concerning its foundation in human reason and its origin in human nature”
Religions are transmitted culturally, not through genes. One gets parents religion through upbringing.
Religion is a human phenomenon composed of events, edicts, pattern and impress of inventors who are extraordinarily prescient persons who react to the milieu and do not involve miracles. Those who think there are miracles must adopt scientific methods to prove that science was unable to account for the phenomenon.
David Hume in “Dialogues concerning natural religion” He contrasted it with revelaed religion. Philosophers have spent millennia concocting and contradicting arguments for existence of god-design, ontological, whether there are good reasons for believing in god??
Is religion out of bounds to science?
There is a voluminous catalogue of natural phenomenon in religious experiences of human history. It could be considered a psychological state and studied like like drug induced hallucination. As salable product religious books, like other books, follow economic laws. Crusades and jihads can be studied like other wars.
Stephen Jay Gould “Rock of ages” 1999 Religion and science can coexist as long as they do not poach on each other’s territory-science for factual truth and religion for morality and meaning of life.
Modern psychology tells us how easy it was to be ignorant of our ignorance-blind spot, one can not see color in peripheral vision. Darwin’s break through was enabled by his knowledge of detailed empirical data collected by hundreds of pre-Darwin natural historians.
Reaserchers tend to be respectful or hostile to religious phenomenon. Neutrality is rare. Scientistwith pet theories have to take a variety of tested steps to prevent bias-double blind study.
Future of religion-
-one major faith sweeps humanity
-might disappear, become ceremonial like vatican int a catholic museum
-develops into fan clubs like Yankees or Manchester United.
-loses status tolerated like tobacco smokers
-Judgment day arrives
All above have passionate adherents.
Anticipating the future is the crowning achievement of our species, can predict eclipses centuries in advance. Collection of data forestalled ozone hole. We should apply the same to scrutiny of religion.
Taliban and past puritan sects condemned music as evil. Does it make it so. Many people can not live with out it. Most people feel the same way about religion.
Music may keep people tranquilized but is also a song may rally revolutions. Religions do the same. But no fatwas, crusades, Jihads, pogroms by musicians on other musicians.
Food is essential for life. Music enhances life.
Dissection of human body was taboo for many centuries, but its effects are beneficial beyond measure and the practice has not led to moral decay.
1940-50 Kinsey studied human sexuality-behavior in male 1948, ..in female 1957..90% males masterbate, 10% are homo, female orgasm was normal and lesbians better at inducing orgasm.
More scientifically worked out Human sexual response 1966 by William H masters and Virginia Johnson evoked wild response that they encourage a shallow vision of sex. It dispelled myths, clarified sexual dysfunction and improved sex lives.
We deplore muslim clerics for keeping their girls ignorant, we can hardly justify similar restrictions on our own knowledge.
Why good things happen?
Some people survive unimaginable hardship on the strength of their faith and perform herioic feats because of it (Karbala).
Besides religion, child birth, wars and disasters make people rise to the occasion. Many atheists and agnostics are highly moral people (morality a protection mechanism and a tool for survival). It could be said that religion helps some people to come to the level of secular ones. Positive effects of religion have to be weighed against negative ones like bigotry, irrational fanaticism, oppression, cruelty and enforced ignorance.
Miracles can only be made credible by eliminating non-miraculous alternatives like evolution. Our ancestors were wired up to like sweet things as they gave more energy for reproduction. Blind directionless evolutionary process discovers designs that work.(Only 25% to the population of the USA believes in the theory of evolution).
Till a few hundred years ago people believed the earth was flat (not the chief Mufti of Saudi Arabia Ben Baaz who did so even in nineteen seventies) and that the sun revolved around it. Americans have been told by people they trust “scientific” creationists and “intelligent” design theorists.
Evolution very efficient in weeding off pointless traits. If they persist there must be a point to it. Every bargain in nature has a rationale but it can become obselte. Sweet tooth was beneficient foot hunter-gatherers to conserve energy. For the current obese poor it is not.
Love, Alcohol. Money and Sex
Sexual reproduction is very costly. Only half the genes go to the offspring. In unicellular division two perfect copies were made.Sexual reproduction makes offsprings inscrutable to trillions of parasite which live in our system. If a clone was produced the parasites used to the mother would finf themselves at home.
Marriage, rituals, taboos against adultery and cousin close inbreeding have a protective purpose.
Alcohol has quite specific effects on receptors in the brain. Over millions of years of exploratory ingestion we discovered plants with psychological active ingredients. Basic ingredient was spread of seeds for sugar content in fruits-alcohol was a bonus.
Money restricted to humans and transmitted culturally, not genetically. Economists have worked the rationale in detail. Like money no body invented language or music. Old term for money is specie from Latin root species. It could become extinct-credit card and electronic transfer. And like viruses provokes us into making copies.
Sugar, sex, alcohol and music can become an obsession but money is the worst.. Money is filthy lucre (8)but enjoyed by all for what it can provide. Only Muslims condemn alcohol.
Religion and its cost.
It is a costly endeavor and books have to be balanced of benefits and harm. One mark of success is the capacity to reproduce. Not too long ago in the context of evolutionary scale there was no religion on earth. Why so many now?
Biological basis of religion.
Technology of global destruction exists. A lunatic religious fringe might acquire it. We have to learn how to protect ourselves by learning how religion works in a multidisciplinary setting-antrhology, sociology, history, psychology, archealogy.
Science does not take any thing for granted. Why does religion exist?
Nearly all the 6 billion people on earth devote a substantial amount of time to religion in prayers, rituals, supporting the clerics and fighting for their own brand. A common thread of similarities and diversities in equal nearly equal measure runs through.
Leaders debate theology, architects design buildings, poets write hymns and televangelists raise funds.
Folk or tribal religion are not subject to disputes like Vatican II. They are like folk music or art. A culturally transmitted design can have a rationale like the genetic one.
Differential replication. A minor modification can make it better replicated like natural selection of Darwin. (Memes of Richard Dawkins 1976). Cultural replicators can mimic genetic ones. (Romance languages French, Italian, portigese and Spanish descend from Latin). Folk art, music and medicine do not have a mythic originator.
Two extremes of views-Genes for religion
-conspiracy of priests
Sugar tooth theory. Does religion have receptors in the like those for sugar, nicotine and caffeine-god center? Why did those with the center in the brain survive better. Does religion have a substitute like saccharine for sugar? Is religion a sub-species of folk medicine with which we self medicvate for relief. Could it be a mystical gene-William James?
Symbiont theory. Religion survives by leaping from host to host or is it a mutualist like the bacteria in our gut or a commensal, good or bad like parents. It may be a combination of mutualist and parasitical.For millennia people have regarded other ereligions as toxic and converts deem their new state as a great escape. (Islam and Jahiliya). Parent-offspring link a major pathway for transmission of cultural symbiots like mother tongue, socializing skills and religion.
Sexual election. Male bower birds make elaborately decorated bowers. Females choose a bower after careful inspection. Human females might have preferred religion enhancing psychological traits like the peacock’s feathers. May be females prefereed males with a good ear for music which snow balled into religion. Role of music in seduction is well known. For millions of years our ancestors made beautiful but unused hand axes, possibly to entice females. Male spiders wrap a fly in silk to present to the female as a nuptial gift.
Money theory-every body in society benefits, security, harmony, efficiency.
-elite benfit, thrive on the ill informed and the helpless.
-social and political groups enhanced.
Pearl theory-Evolution responds to irritations, it does not benefit any one but once it comes into existence all are captivated.
God theory.Why your religion right not that of the other?
Roots of religion.
There was a time before any beliefs existed. Some are ancient others like the cargo cult recent. ( European ships laden with cargo to Melanesia-seamen regarded as ancestors bringing goodies). WW II US tropops built air fields and army bases in Tana? Islands. John Frum messiah of the natives imitated the troops.
If your religion is the revealed truth why do the other religions crumble? Mormons 200, Protestant 500, Islam 1,500, Christainity 2,000, Judaism 4,000, compared to wroiting 5000, agriculture 10,000, language 40,000 years or longer. 50 articulated languages developed out of prot-languages over hundreds of thousands of years ans are older than existing religions or religions of which there is historic or archeological evidence. (Earlist credible archeological evidence of religion is the elaborate Cro-Magnon burial sites-25,000 years ago (2)
Similarities-common ancestor idea. Favorite raisons d’ etre-comfort us
How invented-tribal leader to give her people an edge.
Raw material of religion “…in all nations which have embraced polytheism, ideas of religion arose …from concern for the events of life. And from incessant hopes and fears..” David Hume “Natural history of Religion”. Jarrett Diamond Guns, Germs and Steel 1997. When animals domesticated parasites jumped species, flu, small pox millions died, survivers relative immunity Native Indians not exposed died like flies, given gifts if pox laden blanket.”
David Sloan Wilson “Darwins Cathedral, evolution, religion and nature of society 2002 makes the case that religion is a social phenomenon designed to improve cooperation with in groups and emerged by a process of group selection.
Pascal Boyer “Religion expalned:the evolutionary origin of Religious thpought 2000, Scott Arran in Gods 2002 (3) we Trust contend that the hold of religion on people can be understood only by understanding evolution of human mind. A system of brain which evolved as immune or respiratory systems have. Its attributes have developed by a process of natural selection biased towards reproductive success….Some features of brain are unique to us. Some effects interact and reinforce each other and create a pattern observable in all cultures. 9.
Normally human beings do not have to be taught that the world has a lot of agents who like themselves have beliefs, desires about belief.
Death plays a potent role in in the birth of religions.The desperate situation of conflict Longing for the dead and disgust at the corpse) is dealt with elaborate ceremonies of burial.
Religion in early days.
Attributing intentions to moving things is called animism. (What start as conveniences become necessities like credit card and computers. It was the same with language once). We all have sworn and screamed at at a car or a computer. This is a throw back to animism and indicates how deep seated is the desire to treat things as agents with belief/desire.
In antiquity seeking an intentional stance must have worked occasionally-rain dance followed by rain ( During a lengthy period of drought n American Indian in Florida asked for money. He performed the dance but as a precaution washed his car too-it always rains after you wash your car). Clouds look inert and passive so must be manipulated by a hidden hand who must be propitiated.
Human brain memory is competitive. You can always remember the first words you said to your beloved.
Fantasy generation process has been going on in our species for hundreds of thousands of years. That could explain superabundance of myths and monsters.
Peter Boyle (2001) “there is no human society with out some musical traditions…musical sounds are always close to pure sounds Than to noise…these properties make music an intensified form of sound experience..this is not unique to music..artifacts pure color instead of dull, visual system sensitive to to symmetry.. textile patterns”.
Fairies, goblins and demons imaginative offspring of ..finding an agent when we are puzzled or frightened. Darwin 1886 “The belief in unseen or universal agencies…as soon as imagination, wonder, curiousity..reasoning failed? And maqn ..craved to understand what was passing around him.
Humans are obsessed with interpersonal relations-reputation, promises, affections, loyalties, trust and love. But we do not share all the information and great work of literature based on that?
World religion have a common thread. An all knowing person is an ancestor. Nietzsche and Freud conjecture that about subliminal memories of mythic struggles and our past.
Humans care for the young for longer than any other species and that period provides opportunities for information transmission bypassing genes.
? information superhighway genetics subjected to refinements over billions of years
Parent-child instructional pathway has been optimized by recursive enhancement among the adaptations of transmission is imprinting in which a new born clings to the first large object it sees-nipple and mom attached to it. Parents genetically designed to attend to infanats, irresistibly captivated by baby face.Babies respond with obedience.
Dawkins 2004 “natural selection builds child brains with a tendency to believe what ever their parents tell thwem”.
Boyer’s hypothesis ancestors are typically not seen as omniscient, Omnkiscience of gods is a much more recent invention of theologians. But they do not depend upon it in ordinary life.
Getting god to speak to us-Our ancestors stumbled upon divination. Napoleon Bonaparte “nothing is more difficult and therefore more precious than to be able to decide”. Any thing that takes away the burden is bound to be attractive.. We do reason but often nothing persuasive comes up. We can not toss a coin for momentous decisions. Divination, tea leaves, animal entrails, numerology, astrology (4) reduce the responsibility and acrimony if the decsion was bad.
In the pasrt everything had a meaning-wish we knew what it was, chance or randomness later thought and as just making a choice to get on. In the past important to believe some body some where knows what is right and is telling you. Crutches for the soul work only if you believe they do (5). It helps them make a timely decision which skweptics pooh pooh and earn the hostility of the people.
Shamans as hypnotists. Jared Diamond Guns…1997 over millennia humans discovered all edible plants and animals, domesticated the latter and medicinal plants which pharma have made a grab for lately. Why rituals accompanied by herb taking? Anthropologist James Mcclennon 2002 found pattern of placebo effect (hypnotism) ofted aided by hallucinogens. Ritual healing works (1960s Birmingham University UK study neurosis/psychosis incidence much higher in the country than in Africa who were treated by witch doctors) especially in stress related situations specifically in child birth and since time of birth can be predicted rituals can be prepared. Mcclennon 2002” I hypothesize that shamans rituals constitute hypnotic inductions…” 15 % of exhibit strong hypnotizablity.
But why amenable to placebo effect? Nicholas Humphrey 2002 resource mangement hypothesis. Pain to restrict activity, fever to kill germs, vomit to get rid of toxins. Body has innate resources. But over use can cause great damage. Placebo is release trigger to put all stops as there was hope. Authotity figure-priests call themselves father-manipulate the hope factor.
Genetist Dean Hammer in God Gene 2004 one of many genes (VMATZ) provides recipies for problems? Help regular molecules carrying signals which compose our thoughts VMATZ makes a monoamine transporting protein. (Prozac adjusts monoamine activity). VMATZ polymorphic –different mutations, different people and can account for different responses of people to the same stimuli.
People with god center survived better because they went to Shamans. Skeptics did not and suffered. This led to (7)
Folk religion with no written creed, theology or hierarchy but do have rituals, stories about gods and ancestors with unknown authorship and lists of permissible practices. Just as some features of written languages retain vestiges of oral tradition so do organized religions.
Scott Atran “In gods we trust” Humans ..only animals ..engage in rhythmic bodily coordination to enhance possibility of cooperation like singing and swaying when they work together. (best example fishermen in laden boats)
Rituals are stunning often involve a lot of energy, effort and resources and may be exhausting, even injurious, they function as features of divination and hypnosis/shamanic healing.(10).
Cults rise and fall with rapidity unless they replicate. From the birth of writing sacred texts have been preserved and written over and over( actually transcription of oral traditions) 11Rituals of non-literate societies are usually longer. How do they remember details.
Lawrence McCauley 2002 “discovery of Nambudiri ritual text in Vedic literature, the sect no longer uses it (12) indicating that religious texts existing for millennia have likely been amended and re-amended (Hadith). People act in unison in prayers. The majority will remember and others will fall in.
Why do people join in rituals? Anthropologist Edward Evans-Pritchard “witch craft, oracles and magic among Azande 1937” describes how shamans cleverly enlist ..onlookers turning them into shills to impress the uninitiated. Lawson and McCauley 2002 “innate curiousity stimulated by music and dancing accounts for initial motivation, mass hypnosis/hysteria If there are penalties for non-participation it can become self sustaining. Boyd and Richardson 1992 Even elaborate rituals can emerge out of earlier practices woth out conscious design. (17).
Public rehearsal of memory friendly features like millions memorizing the Quran with out understanding a word of it. Trigger reproduction.
Folk religion like folk music morphed int organized and sophisticated better able to serve the increasingly complicated demands of people culturally more advanced than their ancestors.
Artfully celebrated occasions can raise congregation to sublime ecstacy. Explanations diminish the wonder. Religion is a finely tuned amalgam and keeps people enthralled for life. Religiuos performers play on the audience as a musical instrument with short and long term effects. Modern religions are as different from ancient ones as Latin is from modern languages.
Because of wear and tear no design thing lasts long with out renewal and replication. But culturally transmitted practices like language and folk religion persist with out grammarians and serious devotees and benefits-make people happy-are similar. Non proficient ones are left out of the game. Female birds gather together to observe performance of male birs to choose them. Could participation in religious rituals have a similar explanation?
Paleolithic hunters and gatheres may have had an easier time than Neolithic agriculturists (Sahlins?1972). Roy Rappaport 1996 anthropologist “ In a world where processes governing it are …unknown…empirical knowledge can not replace…mysterious integrity and may…drape such processes in the supernatural…”
There is no time in life for testing everything, so if every one says you need to sacrifice a goat to have a healthy baby you better do it.
Practitioners of folk religion do not go about discussing their beliefs like we do not discuss atom bombs, as both are hearsay. On enquiry they are puzzled and it is possible many are inventions to please anthropologists.(6)
Secrecy and reflection: The postulation of actor/actors invisible, undetectable and immune to confirmation is common to all religions. It is even forbidden to try to understand.
Shamans and Pirs have agents who collect information (Pakistan TV ran a series on the subject some years ago-find name) on potential clients. McClennon 2002-walking bare feet on live coal,India, Japan, Polynesia, Greece and Bulgaria, concealment of animal entrails to be exhibited after psychic surgery. Bedside manners like those of physicians can matter a great deal in Imams, Rabbis and priests(8). Marjoe Gortner 1972, oscar winning actor, a former evangelist who could not stand deluding people any more, shows how he made people faint by laying hands on them and empty their wallets for the love of Jesus(9).
Domestication of religion.
Elaine Pagels: the GnosticGospels” What we call Christianity…represents only a small selection of specific resources...among dozens of others. Why were other writings excluded, what made them so dangerous”.
There is a general concessus that aggregation of people into large settlements prompted metamorphosis of folk religion into organized ones. Fixed habitat led to division of labor and markets. Boyer 2001 among others attributes it to ..guilds… which established monopoly… and guaranteed a minimum share of the market..” The next step from a guild of priests was franchises/brand names almost inevitable.
Jared Diamond 1997 One of the ways the rulers maintain their power is by constructing a religious ideology to justify their kleptocracy. Alliance between rulers and priests who declare the former divine or descended fro the divine or at least have a hot line to god…gives…motive for sacrificing themselves…conquering other societies …”Accepting an inferior status to an invisible god is a cunning stratagem. There is an understanding between the king and the priest, they need each other and the god above.
Team spirit: Every system is designed to protect itself. In the West decisions are taken in rational self interest.(1)?. If you think the guild is doing good to all, protecting it becomes a higher purpose. From that it is only a short step to forget the purpose and and preserve the guild for its own sake. In due course people become conscious stewards taking on the goal of fostering, protecting, enhancing and spreading the word.
Dunbar 2004 “It is no accident…every religion promises…they alone are the chosen of god…salvation no matter what…current difficulties (will go away) if the right rituals/prayers are performed…comfort in times of adversity…”
Another hypothesis, participation in religion creates bonds of trust. This is obviously only transitory and truly applies only to pristine religion. Failure of international institutions indicates the poor capacity of humans to cooperate. In fact there are only two good examples of effective organization-ant colony and corporation, and the latter rests on exploitation of the poor and the powerless.
Functionalists: David Sloan Wilson 2002 “design innovations that work…to bind human groups…result of Darwinian descent…guided by differential replication of the most fit at many levels including group levels”.
Social scientist who think that religion is some kind of lunacy are challenged by rational choice theorists. Rodney Stark and Roger Finke 2002 “one need not be religious …to grasp…rationality of religion any more…religious behavior is Based on cost benefit calculation” Religions are like corporations, in a free market there is intense competition for market dominance. After all thousands of religions are born and die.
Individual fitness is apparently subordinated to group fitness. 5
Rational Choice theory. Choosing the most effective purveyor of supernatural benefits, it offends the religious people to be branded opportunist.
Islam is submission, the religion ahead of self. In Christianity “word’ is number one
Growth market in religion.
Jim Bakker, Tele-evangelist “we have a better product than soap or automobile, we have eternal life”.8 Stark and Finke 2000 “…the American religious economy” Adam Smith’s wildest dream of a free market Moore 1994. Religiuos donation 760 billion, over 330 per person over 18 ?
Stark 2001 “One True god:
Historical consequences of monotheism.” What sort of gods have have the greatest appeal…as an essence, entirely non-anthropomorphic, or god as conscious supernatural being –listening to and answering prayers in real time, latter are much better sellers.
God with out counterbalancing Satan is an unstable concept, one god responsible …evil as well as good…must be dangerously capricious…this (dual) concept evolved over time, most reasonable and satisfying”.
A key market problem for religions is to entice customers to wait till aftr death for the rewards. Miraculous cures and prayed for reversal of fortunes go a long way. Cost in effort time and money may be high but unlike the heathen you get saved for eternity. Religions will exploit social conflicts as a way of generating business. Stark and Finke “religion is risky goods…unlike other kinds of plularism …can over achieve…total marker penetration…”.
Chap 8 Belief in Belief.
Once our ancestors became reflective, believing in belief became a salient social force, like many believe in democracy and scientific procedures, rule of law.
Once people start committing themselves to an idea, the original idea over time gets buried in defensive reaction. The idea that the myths we live by which must not be disturbed at any cost is a negation of truth seeking and often has lamentable results. Racism is bad so evidence that different races react differently to disease is suppressed with adverse health effects.
Ainslie “several religions forbid the attempt to make their diety more tangible by drawing pictures (Islam). Judaism forbids naming him as do Christians (do not take the name of Jesus in vain). Belief in belief …motivated the morphing the concept of god in Abrhamaic traditions …away from anthromorphism to abstract…concept”. The concept has undergone dramatic changes. Old testament Jehovah (Yehveh) …a superman, took sides in battle, jealous and wrathful. New testament god loving and forgiving but still a He and intervened in the world through his son. Islam’s god id genderless who nevertheless answers prayers in real time. “questions about religion…that person is almost certainly Satan. This all purpose loyalty enforces paranoia…?
Division of labor:
The lay people do the believing and defer the understanding of these dogmas to experts. In religion fundamental incomprehensibility of god insisted upon as a central tenet of faith.
If you believe in a proposition, you also believe non-believer is mistaken.
Raimundo Panniker: God is so great that the greatness precludes existence.
My belief is good enough for me. Strnght lies in profession of faith, not in uniformity. Evangelism’s popularity in contrast to fundamentalism consists in finding what people want and offering it.
Transition from folk religion to organized religion marked by shift in beliefs from concrete consequences to nebulous ones.You sacrifice an ox so rain god will bring rain. What can you do to prove that wine in the chalice transformed into Christ’s blood, send it to a lab?
Hell fire is the stick, mystery is the carrot. People’s discomfort with sheer incoherence is strong, so there are always tantalizing elements of sense making narrative 12.
Islam enjoins its followers to stop whatever they are doing to pray five times a day even if dangerous.Prove faith by preferring death rather than recant even if you do not understand makes the difference between faith in religion and faith in science.
Palmer and Steadman :anthropological theories are accounts of religious behavior not bel;iefs”.
Does god exist:
Voltaire. If god did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. And invented he was!
-No text can be conceded the status of absolute truth with out abandoning rationality.
-St Anselm. God is the being greater than which nothing can be conceived. But a being which was the greatest would be smaller than the greatest being which existed too.
-Every thing must have a cause.Quantum physics teaches that every thing that happens does not have to have a cause.
-Design. Massively paralled, prodigiously wasteful process of design, incessant contribution of chance, tiny increments saved and replicated rather than divine creation.
Buyer’s guide to religion.
Some aver that acceptance of religion is like falling in love. But it is not. One does not compare one’s beloved with another being. He/she is supreme. But language is the same. Except for fringe groups like Yaliban, devotees have lavished religion with poetry, art, music and architecture, cathedrals, Al-Hamra, temples and idols.
We must have a right to question. Blind love leads to tragedy. And it does not give one right to impose one’s views on children or the public if one is a ruler.
Evolutionary economist Robert Frank “because search is costly, it is rational to settle on a partner before having examined all potential candidates” Religion exploits our evolved capacity for romantic love, convincing people that it was honorable to attack all skeptics with fury. That is the stuff fatwas are made of “.
Destroying Buddha statues brought shame to Taliban’s own faith.
Academic smoke screens:
Mercia Eliade 1963 “to grasp the essence in religious phenomenon by physiology, psychology….or any other study is false”. Only females can research feminism. Western peole can never understand the third world, so we should give up! All these claims are just defeatist but protectionist.
One would never accept the argument that crimes of financiers, physicians, lawyers and army generals should not be investigated by others who do not specialize in the fields or have not committed crimes themselves.
William James 1902 “religion…is a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism” People’s moral sense changes over time. Few now believe that blasphemy and adultery should have capital punishment. Old testament punishment for disobedience of a child was ?
Does religion make us better-making us more effective, efficient, resolute or does it make us morally better?
-Prayer to ask that the law of universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
-Health. Bulimea, anorexia nervosa…?
–Church goers have less heart attacks (Koenig 2000). World literature over flowing with reports that people benefit greatly from being deceived by well wishing friends. Pharma firms asked to publish all the reports. Will religious people agree to the rule of research.
-Effect of intercessinary prayers. Templeton study look it up
Chap 10 Morality and religion.
Steven Weinberg 1999 Good people will do good things and bad pe3ople will do bad things but for good people to do bad things that takes religion”. Barna 1999 Open minded people lower divorce rates and born again the highest.
Belief in reward in heaven, though the ground is primed by injustices, important component of suicide bombers.
We no longer need god the policeman to make us behave but many are terrified of abandoning religion.
Don’t rock the boat argument.
Absolute rightness of the cause makes martydom acceptable.
Religion can be a further motivation for the zealot: settlers in the West Bank, Oklahoma bomber, murder of abortion doctors.
Religion and meaning of life.
The big question is if all religions can give meaning to life in a way we should honor? Did con artist Marjoe 1972 documentary of the fraudulent evangelist who decided to expose the system hurt more or the film makers for taking away the illusion?
Chritianity (Acts 3:23) Judaism (Deutronomy 18:20) and Islam (Koran ( 4:89) implicitly, Hadith explicitly, all ordain that apostates should be killed, only Islam had stuck to its guns. Not too long ago the practice was common in the West.
Thanks to technology news of catostrophes spreads quickly and people offer help and donate with out consideration for religious beliefs of victims.
If the faith is so strog that one may not even discuss it, makes on a robotic slave.
“It is not surprising that religion survives. It has been primed, revised and edited for thousands of years…so it has plenty of features that appeal to people ….and secure allegiance” page 309.
The proposition that god exists is not even a theory as it is systemically immune to confirmation or deconfirmation.
Darwin 1871 “The formation of different languages and of different species and the proofs that both have been developed through a gradual process, are curiously the same.
Computer viruses are sequences of binary digits that (can) have an effect on their own replicators. Artificial replicators can escape from their original environment on reasearcher’s computers and take a life of their own on the internet.
Meme An element of cultures that may be considered to be passed on by non-genetic means (Oxford English dictionary).
Accepting the secular rule of law is one of the best bargains in the planet. It recognizes the principle of religious freedom.
A scientist caliming “you don’t understand my theory as you do not have faith or that the contradiction you see in my argument is a sign of the limits of human comprehension” will not get much respect.
We do science because of our innate curiousity.
Astronomers and mathmeticians collaborated with priests at the outset-winter solistice, right position of stars for sacrifice and were funded by the latter.The divide came in the 17th century CE.
Critics of science are not scared to fly, nor does a Wahabi consult an Imam for oil reserves.
Ideology-Balkin?- can be identified with ways of thinking that help maintain unjust social conditions.
Diderot Enlightenment All religion is deception or manipulation by priests vfor their own benefit.
Irshad Manji. In the guise of protecting the world wide Muslim nation from disunity (Fitna) Baghdad approved scholars formed a consensus to freeze debate with in Islam…the only thing this imperial strategy has achieved is to spawn the most dogged oppression of Muslims by Muslims….the incarceration of interpretation”.
News Week Survey (5/24/04) 55% Americans believe that the faithful will be taken up to heaven in rapture, 17% believe the world will end in their life time.
Douglas Coe leader of National Prayer Breakfast bought a mansion as unofficial headquarter in 1978 with $ 1.5 million with funds donated by arms manufacturer Rytheon and digital equipment corp.
The world is in a crisis. All life is threatened. USSR has faded. Capitalists exploit the planet and consume resources with out a thought for the future.
Resources of the underdeveloped world have been taken over by global corporations. The countries are overwhelmed by population explosion. Ecology has been destroyed by deforestation. Civil wars are incited by saboteers. Global warming is no longer a nightmarish vision.
Religions, for want of an credible rational alternative still holds sway over popular mind and offers fundamentalism as a panacea for all ills.
India once a beacon of hope and enlightenment, has forsaken the legacy of liberalism championed by Nehru, is engulfed by a tide of fundamentalism, suffers from ethnic and religious divides, mindless industrialization, surrendering to multi-national corporations, allowing them to plunder natural and human resources in a doomed attempt to compete with China which has managed to attract a major part of manufacturing with out losing control over its economy.
The British have left India only physically, their spirit lives in anglicized Indians. Once vibrant socialist model is fast fading.
Modern Indians blame religion for their social problems but are rediscovering their roots-yoga, Vedanta, Ayuveda and culture. Rejection of Aryan Invasion is a part of cultural/histiric revisionism.
Ancient ages like Buddha and Shankara tried to raise social consciuoness.
Loss of will to struggle is acceptance of decay. Compromise with falsehood is not tolerance. It is surrender to evil.
West is distorted by a culture of self indulgence. It has succeeded only in greed and materialism. Islam is more a political movement than a religion, is miltant and intolerant.
Hinduism unlike Islam and Christianity which are exclusive and monolithic is syncretic. (include role of religion in modern society).There is a Hindu consciousness movement in the -West-Yoga and Vedanta.
Westernized Hindus equate Hindu spirituality with caste and untouchablity.
English press of India and to a lesser extent the native press reflect the same mind set. ( relic of the colonial attitudes). Vedas in Sanskrit are very different from translations which are distorted to fit a euro-centric view that no significant civilization existed in India. New Hindus seek to rediscover their spiritual past.
True enlightened culture does not reside in liberal or leftist politics but in the science of yoga page 121 (religious establishment subverted Hindu spirituality as rulers have done with all religions). Brahmins demolished and drove away Buddhism. Caste system has roots in Hindu social system(mentioned in Vedas-untouchables-out of caste).
Many problems in India are due to centuries of foreign rule and loss of self respect. Jews, Christians and Muslims all claim that every one else is wrong.
Hindu religion does not proselytize and had a tradition of synthesis, acceptance and adopted teachings of Buddha and Mahavira . Till the advent of Muslims in India this trend continued. They continued to live in harmony with Muslim rulers, Christian and Jew immigrants.
Hindus have been victims of of racial and religious oppression. Empire builders used religion as an excuse.
The British arrived as capitalist turned colonists and used religion to divide Hindus from Muslims. Their own attempt at proselytization failed in a large measure as the less favored part of the people had already converted to Islam.
Saudi Arabia is an intolerant fundamentalist state with no line of demarcation between the state and religion and funded terrorist groups all over but is tolerated as it allows exploitation of its resources by MNCs.
China’s atheism is tolerated and has in fact been welcomed lately as MNCs can use cheap labor to enhance profits at the cost of their own people in the USA and the west. HR issues take a back seat to economic imperatives.
Judging Hindu religion on the basis of caste system, mistreatment of females and dowry deaths is akin to depiction of the US through drug addiction, promiscuity and discrimination against blacks.
Christians, Muslims and Jews with their exclusive belief system in one god (Jesus as son), Muhammad as the last prophet, Moses the messenger with a holy book and literal word of God which are easily amenable to fundamentalism and reject integration into modern society and do not tolerate freedom of belief.
Fundo and orthodoxy though overlapping are different in that the latter other faiths. In Hinduism belief in god is not even necessary Sankhya non-theistic system. They do not believe that other creeds are false. One can convert only to the lowest untouchable caste of Hindus, the process is called Shuddhi-clensing not a very flattering prospect.
One thing Hindus share with followers of other creeds is the desire to return to ancient days. Gandhi an astute politician mobilized the masses by a call to return to Ram Raj but had to beat a hasty retreat when Muslims whom he was trying to entice balked at the notion and claimed he meant Insaf (justice) prevalent in Ram’s time.
Hindu fundos confine their intolerance to borders of India. Riots in Jabalpur 1961, Sikh massacres after Indra’s assassination, Babri mosque riots in 1991 and Gujerat genocide 2002?.
Hindus suffer from lack of confidence in their religion as a result of a millennium of colonial rule.
Left in India: romulla Thapur’s deconstructionist view is that Hinduism as a religion existed until recent times? And regards it as misinterpretation of of older practices and symbols whose real meaning we can not know as we are not the products of that cultural milieu. Religions are reinterpretation of cultural symbols for social and political exploitation. Hinduism uses the caste system as a vehicle of political oppression.
She interprets religion in terms of time and history (p 49). Hindu nonviolence and tolerance are mythical. They suppressed Buddhists and Jains. She sees monastic renunciation (sunyasa) as an instrument of political agenda.
Nation-state concept is a late development and arose in culturally homogenous populations in EuropeEurope is now moving away from it to European union.
Imperialistic countries ruling several countries, cultural, ethnic and religious groups have existeded a long time-Greek, roman, Islamic and European empires.Large countries like India, China, USA and the late USSR had difficult times maintaining national integrity. China was successful in mauintaining unity through brutal measures such as shifts of population. USA did it through a civil war and relocation/massacre of Indians. USSR disintegrated as soon as communists lost power.
India suffered from the inability of its sizable minority (pre 1947) to separate state from religion and was vivisected. The dominant faction in Pakistan conducted an scorched earth policy before giving up East Pakistan.
Ahmadis (4 million in Pakistan), 10 million over the world. (Mirza Ghulam Ahmad 1835-1908).
Babri Mosque 12/0992. It is OK if Muslims destroy Ahmadi mosques, temples and churches( 60 destroyed after Babri mosque demolition, one in Multan by a mob led by a sitting minister).
India has the largest number og Muslim sects as Muslim countries suppress various sects Sunnis in Iran, Shias all over.
After being persecuted for millennia, Jews do it to Palestinians.
Tasleema Nasreen-quran needs revision) is living under constant death threats in BD and India. The lobby against blasphemy and apostasy is so strong that India an avowedly secular country was the first to ban Salman Rushdi’s Satanic Verses.
Many intellectuals have written against Christianity, Voltaire, Goethe, Nietzsche, B. Russel, Freud, Sartre, Marx, Engels, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and Mao. Jefferson : The bible god is a being …capricious …unjust”.
Should the bible be banned because it condemns paganism? The very call for Muslim prayer broadcast five times a day in Muslim and some non-Muslim countries, that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the last prophet must be offensive to non-Muslims. It invalidates all other religions. Koran condemns idol worship and forceful conversion is implicitly is advocated. Under Islamic criteria books against atheism should be banned too. Freedom of faith requires that people following different religions or those who do not follow any faith should be able to criticize each other as long as they do no physical harm.
Banning books, burning them and persecuting authors is a hold over from the dark ages. It is the greatest act of stupidity. All religions profess love, tolerance and free will. It is the religious establishment which distorts the message in the interest of the ruling class and to keep its privileges.
Vedanta: Truth is one. The unity of truth is the fundamental principle of Vedanta philosophy. Truth is eternal, self evident, absolute, and consistent.
Vivekanda made a valiant attempt to reform the caste system.
Islam is a religion of the fear of God. Christianity is a religion of evasion-Christ paid for all our sins. Judaism is very self centered and harsh-eye for an eye etc. God chose Jews. Hinduism is fluid.
Public exhibition of faith should be such as not to hurt followers of other faiths-possible only under a secular dispensation.
Social justice does not lie in the realm of any religion. All are biased in favor of their followers.
Capitalism is the most malicious religion. It crushes all but its principals and chosen minions.
Mystical side of all religions has much in common.
Muslims call non-Muslims Kafirs (Urdu and Farsi poets call the beloved Kafir, Hindu and Turk). Kafir is a heretic. Islam means a religion of peace, yet countless million have been killed in its name as pagan chieftains, kings, feudal land owners and capitalists took it over in turn.
A person who asserts his ego and self interest against truth and humanity is Kafir.
God has caused (omniscient-potent) followers of other religions to be born in other faiths. Blaming them is akin to finding fault with God.
Hinduism according to a professor of Asian studies (pp 120-21) is a modern expropiation of various unrelated cults for national;ist ambitions and prior to 19th century there was no such thing as Hinduism in India.
Muhammad had a super conscious experience for which he was not prepared or trained. His God possesses emotions like anger and jealousy and is concerned with political events and gave active aid to him.
Orthodox Islam opposes Sufism and is suppressed in fundamentlist dispensations. Kings have executed them (Mansoor).
Rebel (liberal) Sufis looked for guidance in Greek, Iranian, hindu and Buddhist mysticism.
Islam was initially a revolt against the rule of monks, priests, a sort of people’s religion. It was taken over by the establishment and tirned assertive, militant and political.
Western scholarship depicts vedic people as barbarians who over ran India in 1500 BCE and demolished the advanced civilization of Drvidians. Hindu view is that that they were indigenous to India at the banks of Sarasvati river west of Dehli. Theory of invasion invented in the 19th CCE and questioned by many Indian scholars Aurobindo, Tilak and many others. Now some scientists claim that Harrappa was destroyed by climate change and horse supposedly brought by Aryans existed in the Indus valley.
Cultural, religious and ethnic divisions promoted and used by the British to control Indians. The idea of light skinned Aryan north and dark skinned Dravid of the South was also invented by the British with the caveat that uncouth Aryan subdued the highly civilized Dravids, took over their religion and relgated them to an under class and derisively called them monkeys-Hanuman a Dravid? Dravidian nationalists have taken up the idea and discarded the Vedas.
Europeans dominated in 18th and 19th centuries because of industrial revolution of which technology was a product. Poverty and hunger in their own lands drove them over seas. Harsh clinmate necessitated storagfe of food-meat available only in the summer and with no refrigeration it rotted and smelled. Spices from Java needed to suppress the stink.
All empires decline and fall in due course. Europeans were lucky that India had descended into sloth, luxury and waste ( much like current USA), Africa had been in decline for millennia, Americas being islolated by vast seas had missed out on technology. They came toting the gun and the bilble much like Muslims had sword and the Koran.
Political and economic domination lent a feeling of superiority, perhaps to compensate for the humiliation they had suffered at the hands of Arabs and Turks.
Fortuously the British found “common roots” of indo-European languages. South Indian languages had no such kinship.
Races: Caucasain, Mongoloid and Negroid.
Hindu gods have human characteristics, they fight, have wives, mistresses and children. Buddhists of Sri Lanka venrate Ravana. South Indian politicians regard him as a Dravidian.
Rejection of the authority of the church was in the first place necessary for development of science. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are creationists-6000 years. Buddhists-Hindus billions of years of cycles of creation/destruction. Pre-Christian Europeans pagans like Hindus and Buddhists emphasize reason and dialectics.
13the century Chinese had gun powder. Now the West has technological expertise, but little culture to offer besides beer, football and American “Idol”.
Religious revival, highly charged conflicts in a shrinking world, people of competing faiths have to live together.
Fundamentalism emerged in early nineteen twenties CE among protestants in the USA. Compelling family resemblances between different fundamentalists are symptomatic of spritual/dysfunctional/dystopias and cultural relationships.
Jaipur India 1961, Beirut 1983, Babri mosque in 1992,Gujerat 2002?, 9/11, Luxor 1997, US Embassies in Kenya, Tanzania, US warship mostly by Islamic terrorists ( Is that there is to it? Begin King Edward Hotel bombing 1945?, Kashmir, Jews in Palestine, Russia in Chechnya , US in Iraq and Iran, Indra nad Sikhs, Tamils in Sri Lanka and Rajev Gandhi.
Arab Israeli conflict, and inability to arrive at a deal, is it fundamentalism or resources of water? Gush Emunim refuse to abandon West bank, Paletinians refuse to recognize Israel,, what did PLO get for recognition and Hamas foot the offer to do so
Fundamentalist conflict on the rise since fall of Berlin wall replacing Marxism, fascism and anto-colonialism. Is it struggle against neo-imperialism camoflouged?
Definition: In academic debate fundamentalists (F word) should be used only for the US version. Mullahs say and most Muslims agree that all Muslims by definition fundamentalist, believe in the unmediated inerrant word of God, so the term useless to distinguish militants from moderate Muslims. ( Among the Christians only protestant fundamentalists believe biblical inerrancy). Higher criticism of bible-book of Isaih had more than one author, and Pentateuch the first five books of old testament not written by Moses. It was the cause of fundamentalist protest but all remained Christian while Muslims can not do so by indulging in higher criticism of the Koran. Among the Jews ultra orthodox Haredim do not recognize Israel while Gush emunim (bloc of the fathful) are more attached to the land than to Halaka(Jewish law).
Jay M Harris Fundamentalism, Objections from a Modern Jewish historian in Fundamentalism and Gender Ed J.S Hawley “The word fundamentalism has come to imply an orientation…that is anti-intellectual, bigoted and intolerant… most particularly to those who would break down the barrier…between church and state and therefore desrve to be given ad hominem dismissal…”
Liberals use it against any one who dares to challenge post enlightenment outlook. Fundamentalists repress multi-faceted ways in which myth and religion appeal to all aspects of human psyche. (1) Believers attempt to use religion to preserve identity in face of modernity and secularization. In their view modernist hegemony did not end with the end of colonization. They exist in all faiths and philosopher Ludwig Wienstien called it family resemblance. (3)
The term originated in Southern California in 1910 when oil men Milton and Lyman Stewart sponsored a 5 year program of sending free pamphlets to “English speakers, protestant pastors, theologians, YMCA, Sunday schools, lay workers and Editors. They pre millennial dispensationalists believed in End times as real and not symbolic, sinners would die horribly and the saved ones would be raptured into the presence of Christ.
Page 16 Islamic tradition: Cumulative body of interpretation, law and practice developed over centuries by Ulema. Renovators-reformers have challenged orthodoxy on the basis of Koran and Hadith. Ibne Taymiyya (d 1326) was one such and is very popular among the current militants.
Most of the people do not realize that they are traditionalists and simply do not take alternative view in consideration. Martin Marty (5).
For most of 18 and 19 CCE bible considered compatible with reason. Higher criticism in Germany challenged understanding of the bible. Sophisticated methods of analysis showed editorial changes, multiple authors,, virgin birth based on misinterpretation of original Greek text. (6).
Monkey trials 1925 in Dayton TN. ACLU challenged TN law banning teaching of evolution. A biology teacher John Scopes confessed to breaking the law (8).William Jennings a former secretary of state and presidential candidate was humiliated by Clarence Darrowdefending Scope. Fundamentalists retreated into enclaves like Bob Jones university.
1930-1980 saw a steady institutional growth of fundamentalists into national infrastructure of networks, schools, publishing, Radio, TV and direct mail.US constitution enshrines separation of Church and State. They had fled from Church oppression and poverty in Europe. State posture has to be neutral to all creeds. RC arrived in 1830s and Jews in 19CCE..
1961 SC court extended protection to secularists. Fundamental wing of Republican party successful in reinstitution of public prayers in schools in some states, equal time for creationism and evolution and overturning of 1973 Roe vs Wade in some states. They work with Jews, RCs and other groups (13) and support Global interest wars, suppression of HR, freedom of information laws.
First reference to Islamic fundamentalism was a letter written by Sir Reader Bullard, British minister in Jeddah in May 1937 who stated that King Abd al Aziz ibn Saud “has been coming out strong as a fundamentalist”. (14) The term Islamic Fundamentalism may have been coined by H.A.R. Gibbs author of Mhamedanism later renamed Islamwith reference to Jamaluddin Afghani, a well known pan-Islamist. (15). Ibne Saud’s cohorts followed Ibne Hanbal, Ibne Taymiyya and Ibne Abdul Wahab and sought to return to 7th CCE scriptural roots. Unlike most clerics who were collaborators, Afghani tried to galvanize Muslim rulers against British imperialism.
The Strongest Link founded by Afghani with Muhammad Abduh in Paris. Islamic fundamentalism not anti modern as the Christian variety. Afghani and Abduh founded the “Salafiyya-pious ancestors movement and absorbed modernism. Usuli would be closer to Christian fundamentalists. Among Shias 19th CCE Usuli believe 9in independent ijtehad-reasoned innovation and Akhbaris who believed in traditions. Khomeini was Usuli and incorporated a lot of Marxism in his discourse.
Like Arabic Hebrew has no word for fundamentlism. Israeli papers call it Yamina-Dati “religious right”. Christian right regard the land grab since 1967 as trust for the Messiah. Fundamentalism now spread beyond Abrahamic creeds. Siks killed Indra Gandhi in revenge for assault on the Golden Temple (see chapter on Indra for dates), hindus massacred Muslims after demolition of Babri mosque and Buddhist monks armed against Tamil who pioneered suicide bombing a decade before the Lebanese and Palestinians took it up. A Tamil Tiger woman blew up Rajev Gandhi along with herself a scores of others in revenge for the support Rajev gave Sri Lankan government against the Tigers.
IMF is turned into a Economic fundamentalist organization by Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair-market liberalization, free trade and finance, capital markets, deregulation and suppression of trade union. (16).
Energy of political life released when ideals are pitted against reality of power. Extreme feminist Andrea Dworker calls all penetrative sex rape. Pat Robertson compares 43 million abortions to Nazi Holocaust. There are some similarities between anti-abortionists, animal rightists, 6 day creationists, Islamic agitators and feminists-an obvious reluctance to compromise.
Evangelists especially Christian and Muslim believe that they have a divine mission to convert the world to their creed, but they suffer from the handicap that all of them have parochial origin with “divine” words in particular languages addressed to a small group of people at particular historic times. Religious pluralism that there are multiple paths to salvation is a modern concept.
Fundamentalism is in a way a response to Globalization, a fear of being swamped by norms of living other than their own. (religion contrived and not very well at that, God gave free will to humans and therefore even though he has knowledge of past present and future and power to stop people from committing atrocities, he is not responsible because he gave free will. It appears to be a poorly planned drama).
The conflict between the East and the West:
The Egyptian historian Abd al Jabarti (1754-1822) equated French irreligion with Zindiqis (Manichaeans). He was impressed by their science though “these are things that the minds of people like us can not grasp”. (1). “ their females have no modesty…perform acts of nature …in full view of people…with out washing …private parts…” Al Jabarti-Napoleon in Egypt.
Similar bitterness found in Syed Qutub who was imprisoned and tortured y Nasser in 1966. He concluded that Muslim society had ceased to be Islamic, had in fact relapsed to Jahiliya-Muslim term for pre-Islamic times of “ignorance”
Sunni islam is mercantilist and triumphalist faith. Non-Muslims tolerated if they accepted their subordinate status.
Crisis of Islam flows from the contradiction between collective triumphal memory and recent political failures especially in post colonial phase when physical occupation was replaced by control of abstract space. Reformists like Sir syed and Syed Abduh had to ally with Europeans and accept de facto separation of state and church contrary to Islamic thought and practice.
In Christianity conflict raged between fundamentalism and liberalism. In Islam modernity driven by secularists. Underlying Islamist vision is the golden age of the prophet and the rightly guided caliphs which in fact lasted all of 53 years but in collective memory lasted in a diluted form till pre-colonial times. American fundamentalists hark back to American revolution, to small town America. Hindu fundamentalists venerate Ram Raj to restore which they demolished Babri mosque(1992). Jewish ones look back to David and Solomon who built the first temple and want to demolish the Dome of the Rock mosque. Others like Neturei Karta (guardians of the city) wear long frock coats, hats and ringlets of the 18the CCE ghetto culture. Haredin believe that Isreal will become a Jewish state only when the Messiah arrives so they are currently in exile inside Israel.
All fundamentlists are mono-cultural and reject pluralism of modern society.
Pre-modern Judaism and and RC reinforced religious conformityand it was only after centuries of conflict that that enlightenment emerged and modus vivendi, except for pockets of conflict like N.Ireland (which was more a conflict over division of assets) developed. In the US anti catholicism and anti-semitism lasted well into 20thCCE and raised its head in a new incarnation in anti-Muslim sentiment aggravated by 9/11.
Compared to pre-enlightenment Christianity, Islam treated Jews, Christians, Zoarastrians, Sabians nad later Hindus as people of the book (Dhimmi) offering them protection but protection is not same as religious tolerance or legal equality in ordinary life as witnesses, marriage laws, property ownership-definitely an inferior social status. (New non-Arab converts were not treated any better, had to have a patron if engaging in buisiness. Vestiges of the custom survive. Non-Arabs in Arab countries need a wali-protector if they work or conduct any business in the countries).etc. Fundamentlists in current muslim countries have demanded restoration of the Dhimmi statuus for non-Muslims and “heretical” sects. Islamists in upper Egypt tried to extract Jizya, religiuos tax for protection, from Coptics. BJP in India believe that nation hood should be caste based. Rabbi Meir Kahane’s view about Arabs mirrors those of Hitler to Jews. Premillenialist Protestants believe that born again Christians plus 144,000 good Jews will be raptured with Christ. Rest of mankind will die horribly. Jerry falwell echoed many US evangelicals when he called Muhammad a terrorist. (4). Maududi in Religion of Truth “ very explicitly, for the entire human race, there is only one way of life which is right in the eyes of God and that is Al-Islam.
Reformation broke RC monopoly on religion religious pluralism has been institutionalized but it was gradual. RC were granted the right to vote in the UK only in 19th CCE ( can’t become PM though). The religious wars in Germany resulted in the peace of Westphalia (1648) under “religion belongs to the ruler” principle.
Minorities continued to be persecuted, though conformity vigorously pursued, uniformity became unsustainable. Tolerance became the prerequisite of enlightenment Pierre Bayle (1690s) “God was too benevolent… to be author of revealed religions…which carried …seeds of war, slaughter and injustice” (7). By mid 18th CCE deists had decoupled god from religions and assimilated him into pure reason.
US was the first country to guarantee religious freedom. US churches self governing tax free enclaves and have become a “divine supermarket”.
In Europe state religions are subsidized and retain powerful institutrions through educational establishment. Parodoxically Europeans are more secular tyhan Americans 90% of whom believe in religion. Fundamentalists fought back against laws outlawing racial, sexual, minority and homosexual discrimination and public prayers in schools.
In pre- colonial Islamic societies the state had a watch dog role to oversee civil society in managing itself with little political interference. On paper the ruler was subject to Islamic law. The law was interpreted by Ulema linked to the mercantile class by family and financial ties.
Colonialists bequeathed an authoritarian structure which the native elite have followed. In the Arab world nationalists adopted the Marxist model.
Zionists were dominated by secularists. Religious parties in the Knesset have coerced the state into funding religious education and exempt religious students from military service. Ulster Unionist still reenact the battle odf Boyne July 12, 1689 to which they feel they owe their religious liberty. Muslim settlers in Suriname brought from Java in 19th CCE still pray towards the west though Kaaba is to their East.in their
Chap 3 Literalism, its snares.
1980 Gallup pole, 40% Americans believe … Bible actual word of god….to be taken literally word for word. (1)
For Muslims the Koran since assembled during the third caliphate (644-656) is perfect, complete and unalterable, uncreated word of God. Egyptian scholar Nasr Abu Zaid ventured into higher criticism of the Koran and had to flee for life. Only non-Muslims John Wansborough, Patricia Crone and Gerald Hawting have subjected it to higher criticism-analytical/deconstructionist methods.
Apologists of six day creation aver that day before creation did not mean a day on earth related to the time earth takes to turn around its axis but to geological ages and quote cfrom Psalm 90 “ a thousand years in thy sight are like yesterday”(3). The issue according to James Barr Fundamentalism is inerrancy.“the bible must be so interpreted as to avoid any admission that it contains any6 kind of error”.
Pentateuch, the first five books of the old testament supposed to be authored by Moses has an account of his death! Isasac ibn Yashush a Jewish physician in spain pointed put that the list of Edomite Kings in Genesis 36 named several who lived long after Moses died. Thomas Hobbs and Baruch Spinoza noted other inconsistencies. 19th CCE consensus developed on multiple authorship (6). Similar criticism applies to new testament.
Maurice Bucaille in his book claims that Koran contains references to atoms, particles and viruses and is very popular with Muslim fundamentalists.. (8). Sheikh Abdullah bin Baaz one time chief Mufti of Saudi Arabia threatened any one who disputed Ptolemaic seven heavens mentioned in the Koran and subscribed to Copernican cosmology. Islamists now interpret ‘seven heavens’ symbolically.
Textual anamolies are denied or subsumed into inerrancy of hermeunatics of inerrancy-errors of human understanding. Ben Bazwas going against evidence pre-Copernican people did not have, so the two stances are not similar (9).
Fundamentalists try to rationalize miracles-water rises up or sun stands still by claiming they accord with natural process-children of Israel led by Joshua across the river in full flood. (10). Hugh Blair refers to a Arab historian that Jordan riverwas left dry for 21 hours in 1927 due to a land slide.(11)
Sayyid Qutb redefined Jahiliya, the state of ignorance before Islam in terms of modern state, thus delegitimsing it. His 30 volume commentary on the Koran is full of rationalist exegesis extolling creative power of God reminiscent of Paley’s evidences. Abduh reinterprets Koranic story of defeat of the Abyssinian army besieging Mecca by birds as actually insects/mosquitoes which infected the troops. Several modern Muslim writers have accepted evolution as simply god’s way of doing things. (14).
In the realm of scientific thought generally textual inerrancy easier to defend in the Koran than in the bible.
Cult of text among protestants outweighed cumulative tradition represented by RC church among whom loyalty to institutions is as basic as the scripture. (Dalai Lama, Agha Khan). RC are papal fundamentalists, take papal pronouncements as bulwark against the inroads of modernity (15).
When church leaders take to reform secessionist movements start (Pope xxiii under Monsignor Lefebvre in France or Agha Khan iii among Khojas in East Africa.
Moderist theologists like Alfred Loisy in France and Gerge Tyrell in England were excommunicated by Monsignor Benigni (1903-14) and their books put on the forbidden list. Benigni supported Mussolini (16). RC church supported Franco of Spain, Juan Peron of Argentina, Salazar of Portugal. Getulio Vergas in Brazil and Petain in France.
Protestant fundamental;ists supported Rios Monti of Guetamala who annihilated whole villages in 1980s(20).
Papal infallibility adopted in Vatican 1 (1869-70) was a response to liberal tendencies corresponding to biblical inerrancy. (21). Like papal infallibility the concept of biblical inerrancy among protestants arose when traditional understanding of the scripture began to be challenged. From 1880s pastors from modernist divinity schools began to absorb Darwinism and higher criticism.
Gospels aspire to narrative coherence and it is important to iron out inconsistencies. Koran on the other hand does not take a nrrative or chronological form.. sura are organized roughly in order of length and in approximate reverse chronology, the later ones on the top. Passages in the Koran which refer to historical events like the first major victory of the cprophet are not self explanatory and scholars have to depend upon secondary sources like the Hadith.
Higher criticism of the Koran is in infancy and Ibne Warraq (Why I am not a Muslim) had to adopt a pseudonym. Richard Bell and Montgomery Watt Introduction to the Koran. “The assumption that god himself is the speaker…leads to difficulties. Too often he is addressed in the third person…and the number ( in contrast to the usual occasional use of third person) of times the prophet …being addressed…told about god in the third person is unusual….God is made to swear by himself “(25). Early Shia jurists believe that 10 chapters relating to rightful succession of the prophet by Ali have been suppressed. Kharjis believe that Surs Yusuf (Joseph) celebrating human sexuality could not belong in the book.
R. Stephen Humphreys Islamic history: A frame work of inquiry “Michel Cook, Patricia Crone and Martin Hinds believe) Islam emerged as a …religion …a long struggle for identity among the disparate people yoked together by the conquests:Jacobite Syrians, Nestorian Armaeans in Iraq, Copts, Jews..peninsular Arabs”John Waqnsborough of the revisionist school “Koran and Hadith emerged out of sectarian controvercies between Jewish and Christian momotheists…and projected back to an Arabian origin”26 Gerald Hawting (27).
Karen Armstrong in her The battle for God explains the prevalence of fundamentalism in the three monotheistic faiths by suggesting that pre-modern Mythos-timelessness and Logos-constancy (28) were kept apart in these faiths by modern ideologues who read the texts as blue prints for practical action and not as a source of information and moral guidance..Another approach to fundamentalisms would focus on empowering dimension of myths as self validating expressions of the sacred in a pluralistic world.
Sociologist Anthony giddens “modernity …(based) on trust in …abstract systems as banking or …interactions between engineers, pilots and air traffic controllers…keep jets flying (30)…but… can not supply…personal trust ….hence in the US Buddhism, Sufism centered on ‘discovery of inner self ‘ have become popular …options (31)
Fundamentalisms, cults and religious movements are similar in providing authority in a global world where actual power rests in amorphous MNCs.
All human thoughts tend towards the mythical. Mind works by drawing inferences from the data presented to it on the basis of very limited information.
Myths like poetry exploit our inference systems. Great examples of using myth as a seed bed of symbolism. Sigmund Freud: Oedipus complex-human sexuality, Jung –archetype dreams as a means of exploring conscious through religious symbols.
Fundamentalists reject internalization of religion into private self.(include history of British empire from across three continents) Baptist theologian E.Y. Mullins Conversion like falling in love Jesus (36). Syed Qutb asked his followers like a manual.(37). That mind set shaped Osama bin laden.
Jews think along the same lines. (38) Children of Israel commanded to massacre Amalekites along with women, children and flocks. Rabbi Yisrael Hess, Amalekites assimilated into Palestinian Arabs and presumably suitable for whole sale annihilation.39.
Return of Christ will be preceded by a war against ant-Christ. Hal Lindsay “Late Great Planet” sold 30 million copies.
Most fundamemtalists are content to let divine take its course, but some take it upon themselves to become instruments of its will like attempts to demolish the Dome of the Rock mosque built at the site of the second temple destroyed by Romans 66 CE.40. Fundamentalist acts involve appropriation of divine will, claim to act on god’s behalf paradoxically affirming supremacy of human will.
Chap 4 Controlling females.
Sati, ritual burning of widows banned in India by the British governor of Bengal lord Bentink in 1829, continues to this day. Similar crimes like dowry murder, honor killing, female infanticide and fetecide ( facilitated by the technology of ultra sound which shows the gender of the baby). In one widely publicized case Roop Kanar an 18 year old burnt herself over the pyre of her 24 year old husband who had committed suicide in Deorala Rajhastan India.. No one came forward as a witness in a subsequent trial. A shrine was built at the site which attracted tens of thoudsands of visitors and generated millions of rupees. John Stratton Hawley in fundamentalism and Gender “If a woman pursues her desire to become sati…her divinity becomes manifest in this world…she becomes sat mother…joins other sati mothers…goddess sati, a member of the calss to which the wife of Shiva called Sati also belongs”. Shakantula Narasimhan Sati: A study of widow Burning in India-“ Smothered at birth, given away in marriage…bargained over like a commodity by dowry hunting in laws, secluded in the name of chastity and religion, and finally burned…shunned as an inauspicious widow, the burden of oppression took different forms at different stages of a (Hindu) woman’s life…”
Fundamentalism difficult to apply to Hinduism as no single text like the Bible or the Koran. It goes back to 4,000 years of cumulative tradition.2 BJP pro sati 5.
Control of females looms large among fundamentalists. 1920 American Fuondo J.R. Stratton “”the wave of animalism…modern dance…glorification of the flesh…sex suggestions in …literature…dogs for babies…evolution is spreading over the earth…” Search Light 7/12, Feb 1924. Fidayan e Islam “flames of passion rise from naked bodies of naked women and burn humanity in ashes. 1981 Hudood ordinance in Pakistan; 107 out of 195 articles related to sexual activities including preventing persons of the same sex lying naked under a blanket. 7
Gender division of labor in all pre-modern societies. Segregation achieved by dress code, long hair for women (cave men dragging women by the hair), veil for Muslim women and beard for men. (New Japanese religion has female prophets (9).
In the Islamic world upper class emancipated women gave up the veil. In some cases it was abolished by autocrats like the late Shah of Iran and ‘fundamentalist secularists’ of Turkey and became a symbol of cultural resistance. Veiled women played a significant role in the fight for Algeria’s independence. In Egypt veiled women do not need father’s permission to attend religious meetings. Allah replaces the father (12). But girls are killed by fathers if they do not conform to the traditional code of dress (Toronto, Canada, 2007, a girl strangled by father/brother. Ironically the father was a political refugee). Murder, sale, barter, wedding to the Koran, seigneur’s right to the first night with a bride of the tribe (refer to Tahira S. Khan’s book Beyond Honor).
Pushtoon customary law (Pashtunwali) differs from Islamic law in I Divorce not permitted, females can not own land (13), “a woman is best in the household or in the grave (14). Because of men’s resistance female illiteracy remains over 80 %.
In 1920s King Amanullah promoted female education, and urged women to come out od purdah. He was overthrown in 1929, women put back in burqa and could not come out till 1959 edict of PM Daud but unveiled stand the risk of acid thrown in their face or shot at.
4/1978 communsts took over, changed family, female education encouraged (15).. 1979 Soviet intervention to prop up the tottering regime, resisted by Saudi money, USA arms/training and Pakistani army. Females absent from resistance but 4 out of 7 militia commanders on the communist side female. 1989-1996 widespread turmoil. 1996 Taliban took over and with in 3 months closed 63 schools affecting 100,000 girls and 150,000 boys, shut down Kabul university sent 10,000 students, 4,000 female home. 150,000 women lost jobs, they no longer had recourse to health care as male doctors could not treat them, and with no source of income tens of thousands had to resort to the flesh trade. They even banned Iran style head scarf, imposing the shuttle cock shaped burqa. The regime ended in 10/2001 following US intervention post 9/11.
In Saudi Arabia, though female education permitted, women are not allowed to drive, ironically depending upon na-Mehrem cab drivers. In 2001 a girls dorm caught fire, religious police closed the gate as the girls had not covered themselves properly and 15 were burnt to death. Hudood ordinance in Pakistan imposed by Zia practically equates rape with adultery as the victim can not press charges with out 4 pious adult Muslims witnessing the outrage. ( one would have thought pious adult male Muslim would intervene and save the woman rather than look on and wait to give witness). Men went Scott free and if the woman got pregnant she was thrown in jail for having conceived out side marital bed.
Fundamentalist groups reject legal steps to gender equality and express concern about control of sexuality (16-17). Generalization as to why females join religious movement would be futile but charismatic male preachers exuding powerful masculinity, perhaps the profound effect of socialization since the end of matriarchal age would be nearer the mark than other explanations. All major religions are fundamentally patriarchal since all originated at a time distant from the period when survival depended upon strict division of labor. As Arjuna tells god Krishna in the Bhagwad Gita “ And when women of the family are corrupted, Disorder is born in the society” (18).
In Islam the term fitna is applied equally to the strife among his followers after the prophet’s death and consequences of female unchastity. In Judaism menstruation taboos persist, women inferior exempted from study of Torah/Halaka (Muslim women may not enter a mosque while menstruating). Eve of the weaker sex beguiled by the serpent persuades Adam to sin. St Augustine ironed out the contradictions in Genesis and Paul to prove female inferiority (19). ( According to reliable traditions suppressed by Islamist misogynists, Hijab was meant only for wives of the prophet to make them distinct and protect them from harassment by males in the sexually repressed society. Upper class women emulated the wives of the prophet. Omar the second caliph is said to have snatched a scarf off the head of a slave girl telling her that it was above her station. During my visits to the cultural back waters of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province of Pakistan I noticed that shop keepers and pedestrians would stare at non-Burqa clad women till she passed out of sight).
Hardacre suggests part of the appeal may be economic. (20) Hijab is a potent symbol of rejection of western culture (22). Women voluntarily wearing a body covering burqa proclaim that she are not a sexual objects to be judged by physical appearance. Fundamentalist appeal in societies with prevalent scourges such as Aids, drug addiction can not be underestimated. And Hamas and Hezbollah are more effective than respective government s in providing public services.
Negative side is perhaps more harmful. Chastity is not enough. The enmies must be demonized. A loose woman is an agent of Satan.
Family value is a code word for homophobia. Evangelist James Robison equates homosexual with rapists, robbers and murderers.
In Muslim countries homosexuality better tolerated and less threatening than female sexuality. In fact it has been eulogized in Urdu and Farsi poetry. It may be a reflection of sexual repression, but in certain parts of Pakistan boys are preferred as objects of ‘love’ women being relegated to the role of procreation, not objects of sexual pleasure. Taliban executed homosexuals and they were hanged in post Khomeini Iran. Concern for family values was overtaken by an obsession with sexual behavior.
The origins of homophobia in Judeo-Christian tradition may lie in the love they have for the erotically charged almost naked young man on a cross and the inheritnce from Hebrews and earlier people for whom child bearing was a question of survival.(26). Rc masked the conflict through the institution of celibacy of the priests who wear female garb but could not keep them from indulging in pedophilia (look up reports of Church scandals).
Female fundamentalists are most likely to be transitional between the time women were confined to home and when they were fully emancipated. Anita Weisswho has done extensive work in the urban milieu of Lahore, Pakistan concludes that while men accord more respect to women than they used to but at the same time feel threatened by ‘ uncontrolled, educated nad economicallt independent women’.(32). Michel Gilsenan, an anthopologist draws similar conclusions from northern Lebanon.(33)
Fundo and nationalism
Fundamentlism emerges only when society challenged by modernism and post-enlightenment scholarship. Fundamentals of Christianity in the 20thCCE as understood by evangelist protestants were bound up with WASP identity which sought to preserve itself from such influences as German scholarship, , RC, socialism, Hollywood dominated by secular Jews, and African-americans. Sothern Baptist convention of 40,000 member churches is nearly all white and Bob jones university prohibits mixed race dating. Fundamentalism in the USA and Israel are barely distinct.(3). US fundos find no conflict between religion and patriotism. They have ‘converted’ the international message of Cristianity to narrow nationilst chauvinism. They identify America with isreal as a land covenanted to God’s people. Pat Robertson: The Turning tide: The fall of Liberalism and the rise of Common Sense “In 1350 BCE moses gave one final instruction before his own death and their entry into the promised land…wonderful blessing if …’obey the voice…of God and keep his commandments”. America going down since SC banned prayer in school and legalized murder by allowing abortion defeated in a war, been at the mercy of OPEC, victim of drug abuse etc(4).(9/11 punishment for sins-find reference).
Islamists offer the same arguments. Prophet Muhammad triumphed and his immediate successors conquered vast territories in Asia and Africa by following his example and teachings. The decline of Islam was directly attributable to loss of faith by Muslims especially among the rulers.
In theory fundamentalism and nationalism are ideological opponents, the latter a product of industrial revolution and modernism.(5). Abul ala maududi “religion…opposite pole of nationalism…”(6), it promotes national sovereignty, god alone is sovereign (7). He saw Muslim nationalism in India as “being reprehensible in the Sharia” (8).
Historically nationalism emerged in Europe following emancipation of the bourgeosie from feudal bonds. French and American revolutions generated nationalist forces by extending bourgeois freedoms to the whole of society except for slaves in the USa and excluding women. In France the revolution took a anti-clreical turn as Church allied with the regime.After 1792, the French revolution with its popular assemblies and processions started exporting patriotic ideals.Nationalism though is not uniformly anti-religious especially in socities where nationhood buttressed by religious differences-Presbyterian Scotland, RC Ireland, Poland and Croatia, Eastern Orthdox Greece/Serbia, Muslim Pakistan, Malaysia, Buddhist Tibet, Thailand and Sri Lanka and increasingly Hindu India.
Successive defeat of Arabs at Israeli hand evokes memories of lost grandeur, perhaps compensatory to humiliation. Revivla of Islamist movement dates back to the 1967 the catastrophic defeat in 1967.
Islamic religious leaders have been in the forefront of freedom movements in Algeria, Russia, Britain and Italy against colonialists in 19th and 20th CCE.
Before colonialists divided the world into discrete areas with arbitrary borders , the power of the governmwent in Islamic countries radiated from urban centers, authority diluted with distance(11). Patriotism was based on clan, tribe and only secondarily to Ummah (as in Pakistan). Religion played a collaborative role. Ibne Saud conquered most of Arab peninsula ( against fellow Muslim Turks) in alliance with the followers of Abd al Wahab.
Nationlist leaders like Nehru of India, Nasser of Egypt and Soekarno of Indonesia promoted secular nationalism which gave them upper hand over religious/ethnic leaders.
In early post independence period secular nationalism was not seen as being in conflict with the religious variety. Muslim Brotherhood founded in 1928 in Egypt could be described as culturally nationalist organization which sought to eliminate western influences such as alcohol and mixing of sexes and collaborated with other groups against Israel and joined hands with Arab nationalists to discredit the Wfd party for collaboration with the British. The initial falling out between Nasser and the brotherhood was about power rather than ideology.
Islamists differ amongst themselves on how to achieve a society based on divine law. Some promote Dawa-preaching and social work (reformists) others prefer Hijra-separation emulating the prophet (traditionalists), still others advocate armed insurgency (revlolutionists) . The results have been paradoxical. In iran since 1979 and Sudan since 1989, it is the ruling group rather than the civil society which has derived the most benefit., the regime’s agenda changed from economic development to defense of private virtue, though participation in the political process by the people increased in both countries.
In Khomeini Iran the state is just as powerful as it was in the times of the Shah. In Sudan the state has extended its powers in the name of Islam. In PakistanJamaat e Islami was in fervent support of army’s brutal suppression of Bengali nationalism which involved mass rape of Bengali women as a measure of pacification and subjugation.
Fundo and nationalism 2
Fyodor Dostoyevsky in The Possessed “The object of every national movement…seeking for its god, who must be its own god…the only true (faith)…god is the synthetic personality of the whole people…”Emil Durkhei equated the sacred with the spirit of community. (1)
Nationlist rhetoric is every where informed with religious symbolism. Irish patriot Padriac Pewrse speaking on the grave of an earlier patriot Jeremiah O’Donovan in 1915 “we renew our baptismal vows”. (2) Opponent of irish nationalism Ian Paisley in Steven Bruce, God Save Ulster: The Religion and Politics of Paisleyism “This little province has had the peculiar preservation of divine providence”.
The biblical story of Exodus has had a great impact on American identities from Pilgrim Fathers, to the New Zions to protestant fundamentlists.
Jews have ritualized the Exodus narrative. Rabbi Sybil Sheridan all Jews at the Sedar table at Passover “ are to think of the Exodus as if they were in Egypt at the time…at the foot of Mount Sinai…have been witness to theophany…”Orthodox Judaism approaches history thematically (4). The theologian Rudolph Bultmann credits Jews and Christians with giving meaning and purpose to history. “The greeks did not raise the question of meaning in history…the nacient philosophers had not developed a philosophy of hsotory….the idea of historical progress in …Hegel and Marx…secularized version of Christian eschatology”. (5).
Jewish nationalism actualizes the eschatological expectations…by de-supernatualarizing the Redeemer and placing destiny of Israel in human hands. Jewish ritual is centered on the myth of Exodus. Before the holocaust it was “Next year in Jerusalem” was symbolic-deferred to the end of time.Zionism was opposed on the grounds that only will restore the land. Rabbis were afraid of losing control.
Theodor Herzl the founder of modern Zionism was aecular Jew who wanted the land to be as Jewish as England was English”.Secular Zionism had a nationalist premise: with out a land of their own the jews could not become proper people. Irredentism is an integral part of nationalist movements (including Fascism and Nazism). There is no difference between Zionist claims on Palestine than Italian claims to to the port of Fiume formerly a Venetian territory awarded to Yogoslavia after WW I or Saddam’s claim on Kuwait. (6).
The goal of Aliya, the ingathering of Jews from all over is reflected in Israel’s law of return.
The key figure in rise of religious Zionism was Rabbi Abraham Issac Kook of Latvia. His son Rabbi Yehuda Kook founded the National Religious party (NRP) in 1960s. He stated “…the Torah (old Testament) forbids us to surrender even an inch of our liberated land…There is no Arab land here…. ”(7).
One of the leaders of Gush Emunim, the principal settler movement founded by members of NRP in 1974 stated “Jewish immigration to Isreal and settlement are beyond the law”.(8) and “Democracy is a sacred idea for the Greeks, not the Jews” (9). Its Chairman Effi Eitman (2004) favors transfer of Arabs, a euphemism for ethnic cleansing, a policy previously restricred to fringe elements like Rabbi Mier Kahane. Baruch Goldstein a n American physician follower of Kahane who killed 29 worshippers including children in a mpsque near the the Tomb of Partiarchs in Hebron in 2/94 was called a martyr by Rabbi Israel Ariel in his fumereal eulogy. The Israeli government in a patently provocative move allowed the funeral cortege to pass through streets of Jerusalem. (10). Goldsterin’s act was the mirrot image of Hamas suicide bombers whose acts are described as istishhad-‘self martyrdom’.Assasins of Saadat and Rabin were similarly accorded martyr status. Islamist draw heavily on the writings of IbnTaymiyya (d 1328) a conservative spritual mentor of Abd al Wahab.(13).
Gush emunim and Hamas who reject any accommodation are in a paradoxical collusion against secular Jews and Arabs. Chritian fundos like Pat Robertson ptentiate further diminish the chances of a a compromise. Pat Robertson’s commentary on CBN, June 5, 2003 on Bush ‘road Map’ “God promised the land of Israel to Jews…And god is not going to let any body take it away from them”.
For Hamas after US tropops were sent to Saudi Arabia in 1990 “another episode in the fight between good and evil…a hateful Christian plot against our religion…”(16). Bush lumped Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the Axis of evil in a similar fashion in 1/2003.
The use of such language in religious countries such as America, Ireland and Muslim countries in general had a great mobilizing and noxious influence stoking the fire of bigotry, trancendentalizing disputes to cosmic level and less negotiable.
Religious language is used for gathering support for political/economic objectives. Israeli settlers use 80% of the water available to Palestinian farmers in swimming pools and flush toilets. Religion abets capitalistic grab and appropriation.
RSS, BJP and VHP of India, Jamaat e Islami and Wahabi groups of Pakistan and Sinhalese Nationalist party of Sri Lanka, all invoke religion against Muslims, Ahmadis/Shias and Tamils respectively.
On the face of it Abrahamic faiths seem to be more susceptible to political exploitation of religion but polytheistic Hindus and Buddhists have taken a leaf from their monotheistic book. (20). The Hindu revivalist movement was anti-colonial, but the development of a communal identity generated reciprocal responses among muslim, sikk, Parsee and Jain communities.(21). The movement bears some resemblance to muslim salafi movement. Swami Dayananda Sarasvati (1924-83) founded Arya Samajwhich is a progenitor of RSS and BJP. By 1921 it had become Hindu Mahasabha (24). A.B. Vajpayee, one time PM and his deputy L.K Advani started their career in RSS. The parallels between RSS and Muslim Brotherhood are compelling. Both adopted a bit of the style of the col;onialists, RSS from the police-shorts and batons and Brotherhood organized along thec lines of YMCA and Scout movement. Both transcend family ties (25)RSS ascetic, no salary, no sex mixing Some infusion of Sufism by Hasan al Banna liked to be called Murshid. (26)
K.B Hedgewar founder was called Doctorji. His successor Ms Golwalker was called Guruji. Its intellectual V.D. Savarkar (1883-1966) wrote Hindutva ‘Hindu-ness is a manifesto of religious nationalism. (27). Hindutva is not the same as Hidu orthodoxy, its spirit is according to Savarkar manifest in soth Asian creeds like Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism but not in Islam or Chritianity which are are forien intruders. (28).
Golwarkar like his fellow ideologue Mawdudi? expressed admiration for Nazis.(29).
Sacralization of Indian identity would remain a corrosive ready to be exploited by unscrupulous communal politicians. T.N. Madan “Secularism does not mean in India that religion is privatized…the idea is alien to indigenous religious tradition”. Sikh movement led by an erstwhile protégé of Indra (whom she dropped like US did Osama) Bhindrawale (1947-84) fit the pattern of …religious tradition…end in violence (34)
Fundamentalists observed Sikhism founded in 16CCE constantly faced the threat of absorption into Hindu mainstream. Terror campaign cost the lives of hundreds of Hindus. Fearing arrest miltants holed up in the scared golden Temple in 1984 (36) (Rebels took over Kaaba in 1979).
12/1992 Hindu militants demolished Babri mosque built in 1528 CE ( Ayodhia mythical birthplace of Rama, mythical Avtar of god Vishnu). Thousands of Muslims killed in the aftermath.
Sri lanka like Ireland demand of sepration status by minority linked to mainland India perceived by sinhalese Buddhist majority as a threat to national integrity. Buddhuism suppressed in India by ruling Brahmin caste. Sinhalese regard themselves as survivors of Asoka empire (40-41) .Tamil tigers fighting for political rights as well as cultural, ethnic and religious identity, more than 60,000 have died. Rajev Gandhi killed in a suicide bombing which took the lives of scores of others in reprisal for his support of Sri Lanka government.
None of the major religious traditions is immune from fundamentalism to which violence id closely linked. The heart of fundamentalist project lies not in religion but in the agenda of power of the national state, itself under sway of Capitalism in the West and its satrapies, feudal landowners and tribal leaders in others which serve as agents of Global corporations or as some would have it the Jacobin states that appeared with the French revolution…and the movements that surfaced in its wake…communism, fascism (Zionism) (43).
The use of violence by the state or the revolutionaries or free lancers is neither arbitrary nor meaningless. The cosmic struggle is understood to be occurring 8uin this world rather than in a mythical setting. Beiievers identify personally with the struggle” (47).
All religions affirm the primacy of order so strive to contain violence in an overarching higher purpose.
In Bhagvad Dita ,god Krishna tells Arjuna to submit to his destiny in fightoing against his kinsmen. Koran alludes to Muhammad’s battles to a moral order upheld by God. Christians attribute Jesus’s excruciatingly painlful; death to redemption for human kind. (49).
Human suffering made endurable, nay even desirable by the idea that death is not pointless –the tragedy of Karbala.
Fundamentalism is religion materialized , the word made flesh as it were…all too often shattered (into) body parts by forces of holy rage. (Fundamentalism Malise Ruthven) 190.
Fond hopes: Harvey Cox, The Secular city 1965 “The rise of urban civilization and collapse of traditional religion are the two main hallmarks of our era….’secularization’ is loosening of the world from religion…the gods of traditional religion lives as private fetishes…play no role …in public life…no good to cling to our religion and metaphysical version of Christianity…in the hope…will be back…they are disappearing’’’ for ever…”
That went on till mid 1970s based on Karl marx, Emile Durkhien and Max Webwer that secularization was integral to modernization. The 1976 Iranain rvolution seriously dented the idea.
Some argued that Iran revolution was a peculiarly Islamic phenomenon. By mid-1980s it became clear that this was by no means exclusive to Islam. In the USA New Christian Right raised a serouos threat to Church-State separation. Peter Berger, a Weberian sociologist suggested that America was exceptional, irredeemably religious like India.(2). But since the fall of Soviet Union, Eastern Europe has been fast regressing intop ublic religiousity and Latin America and Africa, Japan and Korea have all seen a mrked resurgence of religion. Only Western Europe and Australasia continue to conform to demise of the public deity.
Why the resurgence? Where religion is a ital component of national identity or where religion invoked in the fight against colonialism, religion retains the power to mobilize.Jeff Haynes “religion finds… work to do other than its pre-modern function of relating individuals to the supernatural” (3).(In case of Muslims Reaction to Post colonial setbacks like humiliating defeats of 1967, civil war in BD in 1971, defeat in 1973, post Soviet total hegemony of the USA. Among hidus exploitation of historic memory of ‘humiliation’ by Muslims)
Post modernism by by allowing religions to have their say, denies them the roght to silence others others, as religions have done through history.
Theologically fundamentalists must reject choice, as they know there is only one truth that has been revealed to their prophet, by god.
Muslims in the West like other minorities are ghettoized. Sites like www.islam-qa.com Saudi clerics advise Muslim women living in America to submit to abusive parents and by implication not to call ‘unbelieving’ authorities even if assaulted by fathers.
How should religious people especially Muslims should behave under modern conditions? In pre-modern societies alternatives were not available. Wwhen pork was not available, alcohol was the preserve of the elite in their palaces and women were segregate, consumptipon of the forbidden or gay/lesbian inclinations were not burning social questions. In a pluralistic society like the USA, all religious groups use restrictions to mark the boundary between the believers and others. Muslim girls in high schools hold all girls prom, , Mormons do not take tea, coffee or alcohol, evengelical Christians hold assemblies of ‘promisekeepers, Jehovah’s witnesses rejiect blood transfusion, Christian scientist avoid conventional medicine as Christ is the only healer, some Hasidic Jews like some ultra-orthodox Muslims do not shake hands with non-believers or women.
Fundamentalists not only politically active but also in charities and net working. Hamas and Hezbollah do a lot of welfare work, in fact more than the respective governments.
Cult leaders like Rajneesh, David koresh and Jerry Falwell draw on religion, mysticism and psychology and are great threats to secularism as fundamentalists are. Anson Shupe and Jeffery Hadden “the economic and secular forces of ….moderization contain seeds of reaction that brings religion back…”7
Tele-evangelists like Pat Robertson and the late Oral Roberts perform ‘healing’ on TV. This may prove subject to law of diminishing return.
The increase in religious militancy may be related to access to audio-visual media. In a low literacy society like Iran audio-video cassettes helped Khomeini acquire massive following. Monopolization of the media by the corporation and deliberate befuddling by sports programs, American Idol and titillating public exposure of flesh unimaginable only a few decades ago hinders literate societies from acquiring knowledge. ( How Ignorant We Are).
French political analyst, after an exhaustive study of Islamist movements came to the conclusion that terrorism was a sign of failure, deployed when political moblization failed. Attack on tourists in Egyptn Taliban in
Afghanistan, attack on US embassies and 9/11 are ‘above all a reflection of the ,movement’s structural weakness….”10
9/11 revealed the dangers of apocalyptic beief. The leaders were not ignorant young men. Their faith in compassionate deity of Islam weakened. It was an act of profound despair.
Christian fundamentalist in the USA have a baleful influence on foreign policy. They tilt it in favor of Israel in the mythical belief that the state has to grow to the fullest extent before would obliterate it by converting 144,000 righteous Jews to Christianity.they have damaged education by adding scientific creationism to the curriculum.
The situation in muslim countries is different. Mixing religion and politics is basic to the tenet. Islamists, though plausibly appeal to democracy when secularist military take over as in Algeria and the final resort position of Turkish army.
The Battle for God-Karen Armstrong
In the late 20thCCE militant piety dubbed fundamentalism emerged in every religion. They have no time for democracy, pluralism, religious tolerance, peace, free speech or separation of the church and the state. In extreme forms thy kill fellow muslims while praying in mosques and gun down nurses and doctors who work in abortion clinics. They reject evolution and theories on the origin of life. Muslim and Jewish fundamentlists interpret the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in religious terms though it started as the settlers in Americas and Australisia did. Buddhist Hindu and even Confucian fundamentalists kill in the name of religion though the motive is economic. Religion plays as the handmaiden to neo-liberals and neo-colonolialists.
For long it was assumed that as humans became more rational, they would no further need for religion. But the secularists had recknoned with out the historic collaboration between religion and establishment. As capitalism found its feet again after the near defeat at the hands of fascism in WW II, it harnessed religion to reverse the social welfarist, egalitarian steps the governments in Europe and less so in the USA had to take.
Historically there was a similar period between 700 to 200 BCE which has been dubbed the Axial age as it was pivotal in human intellectual development and the essence of thousands of years of social evolution starting in Sumer (Iraq) and Egypt. In fourth and third millennia BCE, humans entered the agricultural age and started producing surplus which they could trade and increasingly needed organized life to function effectively. That led to division of labor-peasants, equipment makers, traders, warriors and priests. Villages, cities, city and regional states and empires evolved in due course. They also had leisure to indulge in art and poetry.
Local cults no longer satisfied people. Organised religion was initially polytheistic. As knowledge grew natural phenomenon could not be so easily explained so man kind fell to the ultimate unknown the monotheistic god. Prophets were inspired to offer transcendent being and reacted to social and economic injustice and prescribed codes of behavior suitable for the time. Confessional faiths like Hinduism and Buddhism in India, Confucianism and Taoism in china and monotheism in Middle East.
All civilizations reach a zenith, run out of steam and decline over varying periods of time. It happened to Sumerian, Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, Greek, Iranian, Roman and Arab civilizations. Europe inherited a bit from all, went through enlightenment, reformation and rational age. Religion would, it seemed. Become marginal. But the news of its demise were premature. Starvation and religious intolerance led Europeans to Americas and religion found new, more hospitable habitat. 90 % of Americans regard themselves as religious. Statistics are not available for South America but the proportion of believers should be comparable.
Industrial revolution transformed mercantilist Europe to a capitalist-colonialist society. The indigenous populations which the colonialists could not reduce to unsustainable numbers because of comparatively larger numbers and technological development became captive market. They attributed their downfall to loss of faith, an idea promoted and potentiated by the clergy. The initially secular independence movement in India was gradually undermined by the religious element.
In the Post colonial age, the grip of capital on the former colonies did not slacken. Struggle for cutting the bonds was followed by covert subversion and overt aggression. Starting with Greece, followed by Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, 1967 Arab-Israeli wars, civil war in East Pakistan, sabotage and aggression in Central and South America, Iraq I and II, Afghanistan I and II, all led to emergence of fundamentalism which finding itself impotent degenerated into terrorism.
Spiritual lives of the people of the past were, according to Karen Armstrong, different from ours. Their ways of acquiring knowledge, thought and speech were mythos and lagos (3). Mythos was primary, it was timeless, looked back to origin of life, culture and deepest level of human mind., concerned with meaning and sense of life, and rooted in unconscious mind.(4).
Muth only became a reality when when it was embedded in cults, rituals and ceremonies, it was also associated with mysticism, with pout which and the cults, myths of religion would make no sense.
In pre-modern world history was less concerned with events but tried to bring out eternal dimension (6). Thus we do not really know what happened when ancient Israelites escaped from Egypt, but Jews experience this myth every year at Passover Seder or Muslims celebrate the ascension of the prophet of Islam to heaven with ecstatic ardor.
To demand proof of myths is to confuse mythos with lagos which is rational, pragmatic and scientific thought. It must relate exactly to facts, thus able to function efficiently and use logic and discursive reasoning. Lagos is practical and looks ahead rather than backwards.(7). Though essentially distinct, they were regarded as complementary to each other. Pope Urbab II ordained the first crusade to stop the internecine conflict, channeling it in stead to Muslim countries and plunder from the region. They did well till they got entangled with apocalyptic fantasies when they met disastrous defeats and committed atrocities (8).
Lagos could, however, not ameliorate sorrow, nor could it give meaning to life. (9).
Fundamentalists have tried to turn mythos of their faith into lagos, creating more confusion.
Chap I Jews: 1492-1700
1492 Ferdinand/Isabella conquered Granada, bells pealed over Europe. The last Muslim stronghold was no more. 1499 Muslims given the option of conversion to Christianity or deportation. In March of the same year, edict of expulsion of Jews promulgated and given the same choice. Many converted but 80,000 fled to Portugal and 50,000 to Ottoman empire. In August Christopher Columbus sailed for India but ended up in America.
The events reflect the glory of the early modern period. But the dark side of the period was that Spain one of the most powerful countries on the verge of creating a centralized state could not tolerate guilds or the Jews and Muslims. For some modernization was liberating, for many more it was coercive. In the 2othCCE some would react to it with regression to fundamentalism.
Over the next three hundred years Europe would transform its technology, economics and come to dominate the world. Scientific rationalism would be the order of the day.
In the pre-modern age academics euphorically discussed Italian renaissance. But mythos still had people in its thrall. Columbus wanted to win the world for Christ and his king thus affirming the close link between religion and establishment.(2).
Counter-Reformation by the council of Trent (1545-63) to bring RC in line with new Europe and centralizing the Church, reinforcing the power of the Pope and inducting catechism to ensure doctrinal uniformity was led by Spain. Dutch Humanist Desiderius Erasmus believed that removing the accretions of medieval theology the Church would be revitalized..
The chief Spanish contribution to counter-refomation was mysticism. John of the cross (1552-91) removed the more dubious devotions and made it more credible (like Bokhari and others for Hadith).
In 1483 Spain Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella established its own inquisition to root out heresy-Greek for going one’s own way.
Spanish reconquista of Muslim territories was a catostrophy for Jews. In 1378 and 1391 Jews were dragged by Christians to forced conversion in both Aragon and Castile.Priests incited hate and pogroms else where in Europe. Some converted but were called by Chritians Maranos-pigs. Inquisition killed 13,000.
Jews deported from other places like Vienna and Linz 1421, Moravia 1454 etc and drifted East especially Poland and to Ottoman Empire and Noth Africa but they mourned the loss of Spain they called Sefarad-hence Sephardic Jews.
By 16th CCE Jews felt that Judaism could do nothing for them. Some turned to Messianism. A saintly Ashnazic Jew Issac Luria (1534-72) settled in Safed in Gallilee founded a form of Kabbalah. In Luria’s myth the creative process begins with an act of voluntary exile. In the doctrine of Zimzum, withdrawalthe Godhead called Ein Sof (without End) shrinks into self vacating a region for the world. Unlike the peaceful creation described in the Genesis, this was a violent process of primal explosions and disasters (Big Bang). Creation went awry. When Adam was created, he could have rectified the situation and divine exile would have ended on the first Sabbath, but he sinned. And Shekinah, the Presence (divine) wandered, yerning to be reunited with the Godhead. (11).
Luria’s pupils recorded his teachings and by 1650 the Kabbalah had become a mass movement (14). Before the modern period Jews Christians and Muslims all enjoyed allegorical, symbolic and esoteric interpretation of their sacred texts.
Post Holocaust some Jews see God as the suffering impotent divinity of Zimzum., who is not in control of creation. (16)
In traditional religion myth is inseparable from cult.. In Safed Kabbalists devised special rites, night vigils to help identify with Shekinah whom they imagined as a woman wandering in distress yearning for the divine source. There were penitential fastings, lashings, rolling in the snow.
Luria insisted that Kabbalists must work their sorrow in a disciplined way. Kabbalists were taught mystical practices which have evolved in most religions. In Safed they had to concentrate on skilled reconfigration of the letters compoasing God’s name.
After the Spanish disaster Jews found that philosophy could not assuage their pain.(21).
One of the most illustrious of converts was Teresa of Avilla was a pioneer of reform of spirituality in Spain and insisted that hysterical trances, visions and raptures had nothing to do with holiness.
According to Israeli scholar, most of the converts werec skeptical about all religions (23) and suffered for it.
In 1492 80,0000Jews had been given asylum in Portugal but the king was forced by his parents in law Ferdinand and Isabella to convert them.They had had 50 years to organize an underground movement. (28).
By 17th CCE Judaizing Maranos had migrated to Venice, Hamburg and London where they could openly practice Judaiasm. The Netherlands was the most tolerant country. In Amsterdam they found themselves bewildered in a functioning Jewish communityThe 613 commandments of Pentateuch seemed arcane. Halakah , the codified common law compiled in first centuries of CE seemed even more irrational.
But the Torah has a mythos of its own. It had become a new shrine after the Jews had been deported from Babylob in 6th CCE and their temple had been destroyed.
But none of this made any sense to Marranos some of whom had become “unspeakable atheists” (33). Their god was the first cause of Aristotle who always behaved rationally. Jewish and Muslim philosophers had produced a very similar God, but it did not go we;; with believers, was not religiously useful since it was doubtful if the first cause even knew that human beings existed.
Juan da Prado who had been a committed member of the Jewish underground for twenty years arr9ived in amsterdamin 1655, but it seemed that he had succumbed to deism in 1645 and concluded that God was simply identical with laws of nature.It was a clah between irreconcilable points of view. Rabbis asserted that Prado’s deism had relation to Judaism. Prado denounced the Rabbis who excommunicated him. Simultaneously they started proceedings against Baruch Spinozoa. He had been born in Liberal Amsterdam, had never been prosecuted and had access to intellectual life of the gentile.. He had seemed devout but in 1655, he stopped attending services and began to express doubts. He argued that was simply the totality of nature. He was excommunicated on 7/27/1656.As he explained in his Short Treatise on God , he experienced philosophical study and thought as a form of prayer. He regarded all formal with disdain. He was one of the first to study the Bible scientifically and was one of the first persons to in Europe to promote the ideal of a secular democratic state.
By 16th CCE no Jew outside Netherlands was allowed to live outside the special district called the ghettoe. Which were self governing and autonomous, situated in squlid districts and enclosed by high walls. The Jews were made to wear distinctive clothes, were discriminated against economically , reduced to peddling and tailoring. Deprived of sun light they deteriorated physically.. they continued to study Torah while Christian education was becoming liberal after the 15th CCE, and the tendency to concentration on minutiae. (42)
The jews of the Islamic world were given the status of dhimmi, the protected minority, were given full religious liberty and not persecuted as their was no tradition of anti-semitism.
Poland had annexed much of Ukraine, where the peasants had formed cavalry squads for defense. In 1648, Cossack leader Boris Chmielnicki attacked Poles and Jews and by 1667 100,000Jews had been killed.
When the news of the atrocities reached Symerna, now in turkey, a scholarly young man and a Kabbalist was walking out side the city and heard a voice that he was the savioir of Israel, the messiah, the son of David, the anointed of the god of Jacob” (45).When he was twenty, he used to hideaway for days, sunk in misery in a little dark room, but these periods would be followed by frenzied periods of illumination..He would often violate the commandments, but felt that God had inspired him to do so (46) and that they were redemptive (47). The Jews forced him to leave town in 1650. He roamed around the Ottoman Empire for 15 years, but at the end of this period he wanted to become a Rabbi (48). He went to see a Kabbalist of Gaza, Rabbi Nathan who had had a revelation about Shabbetai shortly after the latter arrived in town “Thus saith the Lord! Behold your savior cometh, . Shabbetai Zevi is his name…(49).
On May 28, 1665 Shabbetai declared himself the messiah. And Nathan sent a letter to Egypt, Aleppo and Smyrna that the Redeemer would defeat the Ottoman sultan, end exile, all gentile nations would submit to him.(51)The news spread like wild fire and by 1666 the messianic fervor had overtaken all Jewish communities in Europe, Ottoman Empire and Iran.Jews sold their assets and Nathan ordered that Jews prepare for the end by performing rituals od Safed by fasting, keeping vigils, and immersed themselves in icy water, rolling in nettles and giving charity.
In February 1666, Shabbetai set out to confront the Sultan. When he landed near Gallipoi, he was arrwested, given the choice of death or conversion, he chose Isalm.
The Jews were able to come to terms with an apostate messiah, as early Christians had with a messiah who had died the death of a common criminal.
Nathan after a period of depression , adapted Shabbetai’s theology of holy sin, and the messiah had become a Marrano, secretly clinging to Judaism. (56).
His followers imagined him to be living a life of anguish when in fact he studied Shariah and teaching the Sultan’s court about Judaism. Shabbetai seems to seen all faiths as valid. Shabbetai’s death on 9/17/1676 was a great setback but the movement continued underground.
Gershom Scholem, the author of the definitive study of Shabbatianism argues that many closet followers like Joseph Wehte in Prague and Aron chovin in Hungary pioneered reform and enlightenment movement. (62).
Following Shabbetai’s death , 200 families converted to Islam in turkey, though they kept secret synagogues. The strength of the sect (donneh-converts) in the second half of 19th CCE was 115,000 (63). Many among the sect took part in Young Turk movement.
A second more sinister movement led by Jacob Frank (1726-91) was a consequence of literal translation of myth into practical action. In Poland he founded a sect which professed Judaism but secretly indulged in forbidden sexual practices. He was excommunicatred in 1756, converted to Islam, then to RC taking his flock with him.In his view the Torah was not just outmoded but dangerous and useless.His followers were engaged in a war against all religion and saw the French revolution as a sign that their vision was true and God had intervened on their behalf. (66).
Muslims lost their last foothold in Europe in Spain, but were still the greatest global power in the 16th CCE. They initially able to contain the challenges of rise of Sung dynasty in china and the Italian renaissance. Muslims though only a third of world population were strategically spread and were bolstered by establishment of three new empires in early 16th CCE, Ottoman spanning a large part of Eastern Europe, the Middle East and north Africa, Safavid in Iran and Moghal in India. The first was fiercely Sunni, the second Shia and the third tolerant philosophic universalism.
The three empires were early modern, governed rationally with organized bureaucracy. Ottomans reached their apogee under Suleiman the magnificent (1520-66). His advance into Europe was only checked by the failure of the siege of Vienna in 1529. 16th CCE was the period of Ottoman architecture, Safavid art and the Taj Mahal. The empires were the last political expression and spirit. (2).
Till the west introduced capitalism which came into its own only in 19th CCE, economy depended on surplus agricultural produce which eventually ran out of resources. Constant reinvestment of capital for new inventions was not possible in agricuture based society which could only try to preserve what they had. In pre-modern society education consisted of learning by rote (still prevalent in Pakistan and till late in India).Radically new ideas were considered socially disruptive. The putative (past) Golden age was held up as a model. Civization could decline as the Roman did or the fate of the Islamic one following Mongol invasion of 13th CCE. Libraries and academies had been demolished and with them went three centuries of accumulated learning. Sufis had led the recovery and tribal chieftains linked with Sufi orders had built the three empires.
Conservatism and effort at preserving what they had been able to save rather than innovation was the clarion call. Sunnis, the most numerous of the faith closed the gate of Ijtehad (independent reasoning).(3).(The Venture of Islam: Marshall G. S. Hodgson, vol II page 406-7). Muslims must imitate (taqlid). Innovation (biddah-apologetics consider Tarawih as biddat e hasna) in matters of law and practice was considered disruptive and dangerous. This was in sharp contrast to the free spirit taking hold of the West.
It is as difficult for conservative people to accept modernity, as it is for the west to tolerate mythology. Majority of Muslims abhor western secularism, separation of state and religion and many would like to have their society governed by Shariah. Law must not be changed. The divide between fundamentalism and modernity is great and ever increasing.
In the period under discussion, Shariah was deeply satisfying. The Ottoman caliph was honred for defense of Shariah. Qadis, Muftis and scholars of fiqh were all state officials. Arabs could accept the caliph as his authority was mediated through the Ulema. The Koran insisted that an egalitarian society be created and that demanded Jihad (struggle and not necessarily holy war) on all fronts-social, spritual, economic, political, military and personal. Concern for the Ummah (the entire body of Muslims) is deeply embedded in the five basic principles of the religionshahda, parayers, zakat (tax) fasting and Hajj where pilgrims are enjoined to wear a uniform while garment to obviate the difference of the poor and the rich.
From the perspective of cohesion the focus of Hajj, the Kaaba, has the greatest significance. It is of great antiquity and was originally dedicated to Al-Lah, the Arab high pagan God. Muhammad adopted the ancient rites of pilgrimage to the shrine which was thought to reproduce the essential structure of the universe. Koran insisted that it was not bringing a new religion. (6). Muhammad was a great synthesizer, he presented all the known teachings from Moses down in a coherent form.
Muslim law developed over centuries after the prophet’s death. The Koran contained very little legislation-Shariah. Four schools of jurisprudence Hanafi. Malike, Hanbali and Shafai so named after the founders) developed which differed in details and in matters of tolerance. The Hanafi school was (and is) accepted by the vast majority. Imam Abu Hanifa ‘s mentor was Imam Jafar, a direct descendent of the favorite daughter Fatima of the prophet and Ali the fourth Caliph. The schools are based on the Koran and Sunnah, reports of the prophet’s sayings and practices collected over a hundred years after the prophet’s demise.
By the of the 13th century Mongol invasion, Shariah had taken root in the Muslim mind. But the society was not static.Muslim history is ereplete with reform and renewal movements, though they remained conservative. Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah (1263-1328) did not accept closure of Ijtehad. He wanted Muslims to revert to the source, the Koran and Sunnah. He rejected medieval jurisprudence (fiqh) and philosophy and ended up in jail. (12). Other Muslims explored ideas and esoteric practices of Sufism whose adherents believed that their ecstasy emulated the spiritual experiences of the prophet, Falasafah, the rationalism of philosophy which tried the principles of Greek philosophy to Islam, and political Puritanism of Shiis who claimed that they alone cultivated the passion for social justice.
Egypt is a good case study. Governed since 1250 CE by Mamluks, a crack military corp of Circassians slaves who had been captured as boys and converted to Islam, had the great Unuiversity ar AlAzhar, was captured by Selim I in 1517 and lost its primacy to Istumbul. (17).
Ulema were the main channel of contact between the people and rulers and became powerful. In 1794, the rector of al-Azhar Sheikh Al-Sharqawi led a mob against a new tax. The rulers were forced to rescind it. (19).
By the eighteent CCE the Ottoman state was in serious trouble. It was worse in the periphery. The West had started its march to power.. Ottomans could not fight on equal terms. (22). Selim III (1789-1807) organized a number of new military schools with French instructors. But just advances in military training was not enough. Turks failed to evolve a rational approach on a mass level.
In the periphery, people responded by reverting to religion orthodoxy. A tribal chief Abdul Aziz in collaboration with Ibn Abd al-Wahab (1703-92) created astate in central Arabia and launched the Wahabi movement which combined with petro-dollars, would give ‘legitimacy’ to fundamentalism in twentieth CCE.
The Moroccan Sufi Ahmad ibne Idris advocated education rather than Wahabi violence. Others like Ahmad al Tigrani of Algeria, Ibne Abd al-Karim of Medina, Ibn Ali al-Sanusi in Libya bypassed Ulema to take faith directly to people.
Sufis taught people to rely entirely on their own insight and not depend on Ulema.
Safavids conquered Iran and made Shiism ther official religion. Sunnis and Shias only differed in outlook, the former were optimistic, the latter pessimistic about history of the creed. Karbala was a symbol of the struggle between good and evil. Evil always seemed to prevail.
The prophet had not designated an heir. After his death in 632 CE, after a brief and pathetic attempt by the original residents of Medina, the so called Ansars, Abu Bakr was chosen the first caliph. Many thought that Ali, the prophet’s cousin and son in law and unarguably the foremost intellectual, besides being an acclaimed warrior, should have succeeded the prophet. Abu Bakr nominated Umar ibn Khatab to follow him.
Following the death of Umar, Ali became the leading contender but the clan of Ommayyads who had been rivals of the Prophets Hashemite clan and had not quite overcome the divine ‘injustice’ in designating a member of the lesser clan as prophet offered Uthman one of their own as a contender and were successful in suborning the members of the committee appointed to adjudicate the issue. Uthman became the third caliph.
Uthman was assassinated by disaffected people who thought with good cause that he was indulging in nepotism and favoritism, a first in Islam. Chaos and civil war followed. Ali, now reluctant, was persuaded to take over in 656 CE, but Ommayyads raised the flag of rebellion.
The factions fought a war led by Muaviyyah the leader of Ommayyads. Among others Aisha, the favorite wife of the prophet and daughter of Abu Bakr supported and took part in the war with Muavyyah.. It was inconclusive and a compromise was reached, but Muaviya, leader of Ommayyads ruled a ‘secessionist’ region in Syria.
In 661 CE Ali was assassinated by a member of a dissident faction called Kharjites who had vehemently opposed the deal Ali had made with Muavyyah.
Now Hasan the elder son of Ali was the main contender, but Muaviyyah persuded him to let the latter take over on the condition that his younger brother Husain will become the caliph after the former died.
Muaviyyah broke the pledge and nominated his son Yezid who had his troops ambush and kill all male members of Husain’s followers at Karbala, (except Husain’s ailing son Ali ibn Husain popularly known as Zainulabedin. All the Syeds who claim descendence from him could not possibly be the genuine article. There are a number of anecdotal stories on how people ascended the ladder of ‘caste’ as they became affluent) who had been invited by people of Kufa to come and take over.(26).
Tenth of the Muslim month of Moharram, the day of Karbal massacre has since been observed as a day of infamy in the history of Islam by Sunnis and Shii alike. Yezid and his marauders have become symbols of brutal tyranny. (27). By the tenth CE it had become a public day of mourning for all Muslims all over the world except for a small number of deviants called Wahabi. The tragedy at Karbla became central to Shii Islam as a continuing struggle between right and wrong and to a lesser degree for Sunnis.
Partisans of Ali made up an informal group called Shain Ali (Shii-partisan). Adherents of the Sufi creed regard Imam Ali as the first Sufi.
Ommayyad dynasty lasted till 750 CE when Abbassids desscendents of Abbas an uncle of the prophet claiming to be Shain Ali overthrew them in the name of the prophet’s family and offered the caliphate to then head of Ali’s clan, Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (d 765) who reportedly told them that he had forgotten the fate of Husain and abandoned the idea of armed struggle. Abbassids soon enough shed their Shii colors and apprehensive of the veneration people had for the prophet’s family, ‘persuaded’ some academics to concoct prophet’s sayings which would deny a special status for the family. Not content with that they actively harassed the family.
In 874 CE Hasan al-Askari, the 11th Imam was poisoned at the instigation of the then Abbassid ruler. Not much is known about him as he had been kept in such strict seclusion. His son Abu al-Qasim Muhammad, a young boy at the time went into hiding in a cave. He was never seen again, is called Imam Ghaib, the hidden Imam and according to Shii and Sufi lore still lives and sends instructions to a mortal deputy. Ayatollah Khomeni claimed the title of the designated deputy.
Yet Shiism is more rational than Sunnism. The cult of the hidden Imam, who was not accessible freed them to exercise their intellect. They agreed with Mutazzalites who tried to rationalize Koranic doctrines. Gates of Ijtihad were never closed for the Shii (35). In fact the learned Shii clerics are called Mujthids.
Most Shii were Arab with Iraq their stronghold. Iranians were Sunnis and welcomed Shah Ismail of Safavid Sufi order. He conquered Tabriz in 1501 and gradually brought the rest of the country under his control and with in a few years ordained Shii creed as the state belief. He claimed descendence and legitimacy of his rule from the seventh Imam.(37). This was a break from Shia orthodoxy who believed that only the hidden Imam could confer legitimacy. (38). In contrast to main stream Shii, Ismail was fanatically opposed to Sunnis.(40).
The extremist creed was not popular. Shah Abbas I (1588-1629) imported Arab Shii ulema to
To promote main stream twelver orthodoxy and built seminaries for them and bestowed property on them to make them self supporting.
Ulema as they became more powerful, became authoritative. Muhammad Baqir Majlisi, one of the most powerful ulema ever abhorred ijtehad and proceeded to persecute Sufis and Falsafah. He also transformed the ritual of Karbala. Camels draped in greem, wailing women and children, coffins and morning men who wounded themselves with knives accompanied the procession. (44) Rawdat ash Shuhada, a highly evocative account of Karbal tragedy by Waiz Kashift, an Iraqi Shia (d1504) was recited. Majlisi portrayed Husain, not as an emblem of intolerance of injustice, but as a patron who could get them into paradise for devotion to his memory. Religion was again playing its time honored role of propping up the establishment (46).
Majlisi specially targeted a Sufi/mystical philosophy school founded by Mir Dimad (d 1631) and his pupil Mullah Sadra (d 1640) who were vehemently opposed to the intolerance of Majlisi. (47). And deemed it perversion of all religion. Shii had believed that fresh insights were always possible. They asserted that mythology and reason both were essential for human life. Sadra was driven out of Isfahan.
In the 17th CCE some ulema believed that ordinary Muslims could not interpret fundamentals (usul) and only ulema as the official spokesmen of the hidden Imam who must choose a mujtahid and follow his rulings.(51) Sadra was incenced by this servility and insisted that all Shii were capable of understanding the traditions ( akhbar) and work out solutions and condemned the use of Ijtihad.(51).
By the end of 18th CCE, both the Ottoman and Iranian Empires had been terribly weakened. They were agriculture based which was being supplanted by mercantilism and capitalism following in the wake of thee industrial revolution.
West was riding high. The British had India in their grip and on May 19, 1798 Napoleon set sail for the Mid-East and on july 1, landed in Alexandria and took the city the next day (57).
The black death had killed 1/3 of Eoropean population in 14th and 15th CCE. It had suffered the hundred years war between England and France and Italian inter-city wars. Ottomans had captured Byzantium in 1453. During the great schism, three popes claimed the throne of St Peters.
Yet it was an exciting time too. The new world had been discovered.Technology was giving better control over life.
By the 16th CCE, the way people thought in Europe and increasingly in American colonies was undergoing transformation. Discoveries were chracterised by a scientific spirit and undermined mythology making people more receptive to new ideas about belief systems, state and society.
With all the changes in the offing, it was naturally a violent era.
There were improvements in agriculture and livestock. Precision instruments like campus, telescope and microscope were developed. Dutch microscopist Antony van Leeuwenhoek was able to visualise bacteria and microorganisms. This would not only result in better treatment of diseases but also in demythologizing illness. Earth sciences did the same for earthquakes and volcanoes. Clocks secularized time.
All the developments led to a more vigorous pursuit of science and experimentation. The process acquired an unstoppable momentum. The whole outlook changed. Capitalism gradually took over from agrarian based economy.
Mechanization led to labor redundancy. They were absorbed in rapidly sprouting mills. Education spread. People and especially workers who as peasants did not know of them developed conscious of their rights. Religion had to be reformed. Martin Luther (1483-1556, like Muslim reformers attacked medieval theologians and wanted to return to follow the Bible.
With loss of mythology people felt helpless and regressed to simpler fundamentals and conformism. ‘Reformers’ demanded that heretical books be banned. They declared that Eucharist was just a symbol and mass only a memorial.
But life in Europe was secularizing and paradoxically protestanism by demytholizing beliefs potentiated the drive.
Luther’s separation of church and politics came from his disgust with the collusion of church and state in usurping the rights of the ordinary mortal.
Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543): The theory of heliocentric universe shook the foundations of mythical perceptions. Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) offered mathemital evidence of the theory and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was able tpo observe planets through his telescope. He was silenced by the inquisition.
Issac Newton (1642-1727) ‘discovered’ gravity, called it a unversal force and called God the great ‘mechnick’. (12) Newton thougfht that Trinity had been added to the creed by unscrupulous theologians of the4th CCE.Many western Cristians share newton’s view of trinatrian theology.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626) wrote that all truth, even the most sacred doctrines must be subjected to critical scientific analysis. This was the moment of independence of science from religion.
For Rene Descartes (1596-1650) though a devout catholic, the universe was a lifeless machine, the only living thing was human mind and he was not sure if any thing besideshuman thought existed.. One evening he offered the maxim “I think, therefore I am”.
Thomas Hobbes(1588-1679) thought that God did exist, but for practical purposes, he might just as well not exist.
But for John Locke (1632-1704) faith in life and reason was serene. His religion, relying entirely upon reason was similar to the deism favored by some of Jewish Marranos. The state must tolerate all religions. Church and state must be kept separate.
This set the tone for Enlightenment.
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804): “Enlightenment is man’s exodus from self incurred tultelage. Tutelage is man’s inability to make use of his understanding, with out direction from another”.(23) In his Critique of pure reason (1881) he state that this order we think we discern in nature was simply the creation of our own minds. Unlike other deists, Kant believed that it was impossible to prove God’s existence as the deity was beyond the reach of human sense. (25) Kant was vehemently opposed to the idea of duvine law which in his eyes was barbarous denial of human autonomy…could see no pint in mysticism, prayer or ritual. (27).
Simultaneously with Enlightenment and attendant demytholization, the witch craze of 16th and 17th CCE erupted, perhaps because with mysticism people were left rudderless. (23).Both sides of the Atlantic were undergoing a convulsion.Catholic protestant conflict. Civil wars execution of Charles I of England 1649 and establishment of a puritan republic. 1789 French Revolution, followed by a reign of terror, military rule and restoration of order only when Napoleon took over. The legacy of the revolution was liberty, equality and fraternity vitiated somewhat by attendant state terrorism. The British and French fought a seven year war in North America (1756-63) which led to the war of Independence (1775-1883).
In the turmoil, people, as they generally do turned to religion. A few reached for something new. In England Jacob Bauthumely and Lawarence Clark groped their way to atheism. The former argued that God had been incarnate in men other than Jesus…existed even in sin. For the latter, sin was simply a human fanatasy. John cotton, a puritan preacher asseterted that bgood works were pointless…God could save us with out …rules.
GeorgeFox (1624-91) of the society of Friends-Quakers-should seek a light in their own hearts and should not doff their hats to any one.(32). John Wesley(1703-91)-Methodist-welcomed the emancipation of faith from reason and followed a strict regime of bilble reading, prayers, fastinf and charity work.(33).
It seemed as though American colonies were being secularized by the end of 17th CCE. (34). Late 19th CCE protestant findamentalism would be one reaction. Early in 18th CCE protestant denominations got their act together and all sects flourished under coercive centralization.
There was, though strong reaction against the restraint.( Quakers because in early days they would tremble, howl and sceram in religious transpoerts). (36). The puritans had tumultuous spirituality, though they had rebelled against Popery and their ‘born again’ conversions were traumatic, at times falling into depression…and suicide. (37).
Cults and rituals of conservative religion had been designed to reassure people. Mysticism was not the masses and was one to one carefully monitered process. When mystical journeys were undertaken en massethey could degenerate to mass hysteria.
Emotional instablility became a feture of religious life in the USA. Starting with the First Great Awakening in Northampton CT in 1734 Consequent upon Calvinist Minister Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) emotive preaching (and described by him) before 1734 people in the town were not particularly religious, but that year two young persons died suddenly and the shock dent the town into frenzied religiousity and it spread like wild fire into MA and Long Island, keeping them from work and spending all the time in reading the bible. With in six months 300 persons in the town were so afflicted in ‘born again’ state and swung between ‘highs’ and ‘lows. (38). It had not quite died down when George Whitfield (1714-70) a Methodist preacher from England revived during a tour of the colonies. He had a wild reception in such places as Yale and Harward and preached tp 30,000 in 1740 in Boston Commons. One man in Northampton committed suicide. Two people went mad. (39). It was not stylized cult with carefully designed rituals like in Lurainic Kabbalah or Shii processions.
The awakening split the Calvinists into two, the old lights who believed that the religion should be rational and enlightened faith (42). Old lights tended to be from more affluent sections while the less prosperous ones veered to emotionalism of New Light churches.(43). They would form the main support of fundamentalism in late 19th CCE.
The awakening had shaken every one up. there Earthquakes in several parts of the world in 11/1755 was taken as portend of great political and religious changes. Boston minister Jonathan Mayhew (1720-66) saw the seven year war between England and France over North American colonies as weakening of the power of the pope who was anti-Christ and a harbinger of the second coming of Christ.(45). Pope’s day 5/11, became a holiday and people burnt effigies of the Pontiff. (46).
The seven year war led to new taxes which provoked the war of independence. The leaders Gerge Washington, John and Samuel Adams, thpomad Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were rationalists, influenced by john Locke, and were deists and fought a secular war. The declaration of independence drafted by Jefferson, John Adams and Franklin ratified by the congress on July 4, 1776 was an enlightenment document enshrining “rights of life, liberty and and the pursuit of happiness”.
The leaders of the revolution were aristocratic elite, and the majority of the publ;ic regarded deism as satanic ideology. (48). Not all wanted to break away from Britain, 30,000fought with them and 100,000 left for Canada and other British possessions. (49). A similar secular and religious alliance emerged in Iranian revolution of 1978-79.
But during the first decade after the revolution people hankered after the past and hoped that the British would change policy. But the British did not and Boston tea party 1773 and Battles of Lexington and Concord 1775 left no room for a compromise.
Ministers Christianized the speeches of the leaders. (51). Secularist leaders leader John Adams looked back on settlement of colonies as God’s design for enlightement of whole humanity. (55). Chritian mythology helped the people and leaders to break from the homeland. During 1774 King George II became a minion of anti-Christ as he had given religious freedom to Catholics in the Canadian territory won from France.(58).
But the notion of radical change scared them. Post independence power and privilege would only passed from the hands of the British elite to colonial ones.
In 1786, Thomas Jefferson disestablished the Church of England. Other denomination had resented the privileged position of Anglicans. Other states followed. The Federal constitution in 1786 did not refer to god at all and in 1798 First amendment-Bill of rights religion was formally separated from the state. The founding fathers did so for pragmatic reasons. If they made a single denomination official faith, they would not be able to get the constitution passed. (61).
By mid 19th CCE USA had regressed to a passionate belief in Christianity.(62). The revolution was increasingly taken as a battle against hell. Churchmen insisted that deism will lead to atheism and materialism.
The union was fragile and a bitter struggle raged among them. The leaders were aristocratic elitists. John Adams, the second president was suspicious of any system which would lead to public rule and impoverish the rich. (68). Jeffersonians believed that ordinary people should also enjoy freedom. The sentiment was especially strong in the frontier which had only recently been colonized. They were prepared to listen to preachers who spoke ordinary person’s language unlike the promoters of the first one who were Oxford and Yale graduates. They led them to the second awakening. The proponents of the new genre held torch light processions, mass rallies and erected huge camp towns. The audience were led into ecstatic trance, they cried, wept and rocked. (70).
One preacher Lorenzo Dow looked like a latter day John the Baptist. Religion and politics became part of a single vision. Dow saw a storm as a direct act of God and asked people to cast off the authority of the secularist government. They founded new Churches including Mormons of Joseph Smith (1805-44).
The establishment, rulers and main line clergy disdained new churches. But the sects founded by Elias smith, O’Kelly. Campbell and Stone formed the deciples of Christ and had 200,000 members by 1860. (75).
The second great awakening was able to democracy to a lower intellectual level and that persists (Lesser* Bush I do not read books). Like modern fundamentalists they mounted a reaction to rationalism. They were, however, more modern in their outlook than the New York farmer William miller (1782-1849) who founded the Millenial movement after discovering from biblical prophecies that the second coming of Christ would take place in 1843 and published the findings in 1841. Considering the mind set of Americans (Why are we so stupid), the movement, though bizarre, not surprisingly found instant support.
Hitherto confined to the lower classes, during the 1840s Charles Finney (1792-1875) brought evangelical Christianity to the middle classes.
After the state declared itself independent of religion, Christians of all denominations started withdrawing from public affairs. Protestants still believed that America should be a godly nation. (82).They were greatly worked up over Catholic immigration into the country. Long regarded as anti-Christ, by 1840s there were 2.5 million of them making them the largest Christian denomination. (84). Temperance was supported to curb the drinking habits of Poles and Italians.
There was, though, emphasis on the value of every human except for the blacks, which persists and has been able to encompass other non-whites.
By the mid 19th CCE evangelicals were no longer marginalized.
Europe was progressing along altogether different lines. Secularist ideologies were being offered; G.W.F Hegel (1770-1831) who proposed that fulfillment was to be found in the mundane not in divine. His pupil Ludwig Fuerbach (1804-72) offered that religion was “the disuniting of man from …himself, God is perfect, man imperfect…” (88).
Karl Marx went a step ahead , religion was a symptom of a sick society, an opiate to make the social system bearable, distracting attention from this world to the next. (89).
Charles Darwin (1809-82) published the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in 1859. In The descent of Man he offered that Homo Sapiens had evolved from the same progenitor-proto-ape-as gorilla and chimpanzee had. The work was not meant to be anti-religious but empowered atheism, nevertheless.
Since the late 18th CCE, German scholars had applied the technique of literary analysis, comparative linguistics and other disciplines to the Bible. The offered that the first five books of the bible believed to be written by Moses were written much later, the book of Isaiah had two authors and the Psalms were not written by Solomon.. That caused a furor. (90). The higher criticism was to be taken as an assault on religion (and only rarely attempted on the Koran-why I am not a Muslim).
Darwin’s Origin of Species challenged Genesis. Asa Gray, an American scientist and contemporary of Darwin tried too reconcile natural selection the two. The project was to develop into Creation Science.
There were skirmishes between religion and Darwin’s hypothesis. Thomas H. Huxley 91825-95) among others rose to his defense. He insisted that people had to choose between mythology and rational science. (94). He was supported by a whole host modernisits. In 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900 pronounced God dead.
Meaningless dread followed and would have great impact on all religious people.
1700-1870-Muslims and Jews:
The followers of the two creeds had a much rougher time with modernism. Muslims had been politically subjugated and could not call their ‘soul’ their own. And regressed into obscurantism. Enlightenment, in spite of the title treated Jews with disdain. Francois-Marie Voltaire (1694-1778) in his Dictionnaire Philosophique (1756) called them “ a totally ignorant nation”. Baron d’Holbach (1723-89) an early athist called them “the enemies of human race”. (1). Kant and Hegel both thought Judaism was servile (2) and opposed to rationalism and Karl marx himself of Jewish origin baled them for capitalism. (3).
Jews had split into two camps. Hasidim were similar to ‘New Lights’ in America and were contemporaneous with the ‘First Awakening’ In 1735, a tavern keeper Israel ben Eliezer (1700-60) decalred that he had received a revelation which made him a ‘Master of the Name baal shem-a faith healer/exorcist.. He helped with spritual and physical distress and came to known as Baal Shem Tov,’The Master of the Good Name besht for short.
Jews were in bad shape. The poor ones were wretched. Popular preachers Hasidim-the pious ones-formed separate prayer groups independent of establishment synagogues. The Besht presented himself to the Hasidic circles and became their Rabbi in 1735.
The Besht tried to take over synagogues, ended up building their own and by early 19th CCE came to dominate Jewish communities in Eastern Europe and Russia. The hasdin condemned the dry scholarship of establishment Rabbis.
Hasidim was a conservative reform movement. God was always present and available, eating, drinking and while making love. The prayers were noisy and ecstatic.(6).
One day Dov Ber (1710-72) visited the Beshat who found “your manner of studing lacked soul” asked Ber to stand up, out of respect for angels and “the whole house was suffuded with light…’ or so the story goes.
Hasdim was the antithesis of Enlightyement. Thpough a people’s movement, there was nothing democratic about it. (10).
After the Beshat, the movement grew apace under the leadership of Dov Ber. The establishment was appaled by the movement.
In 1772 the Goan, head of the academy of Vilna excommunicated the hasidim.(the hasdim called the supporters of the Goan, Misnagdim, the opponents).
The Hasidim tried to effect reconciliation with the Goan but were spurned.
The conflict intensified and the Misnagim had Hasidim leaders arrwested by Russians.
The most disturbing development to bot Hasidim and Misnagdim was Haskalh, the Jewish Enlightenment, a creation of Moses Mendelssohn (1729-86). He was a child prodigy and learned German, French, English, Latin, Mathematics and Philosophy at an incredible speed. Against his will, he had to defend Judaism as Enlightenment was hostile to Jews. In his Jerusalem, Concerning Religious Authority and Judaism, he found that the existence of a benevolent god made sense, but he asserted that reason must take precedence over faith.. He also proposed privatization of religion and its separation from state, an idea attractive to ghetto Jews who wanted to join mauin stream European culture.
Maskilin Jews, ‘the enlightened ones’ began to study their own heritage from a secular point of view and creating new Hebrew literature, started secularizing the holy language.
Their attempt to join the manin stream was, however, hampered bythe restrictions placed ON Jews, they could not take part in the political process. After all they had been given citizenship in independent America. Napoleon was imbued with the spirit of enlightenment and to their ecstatic joy, he made them full citizens. Napoleon convened the Great Sanhedrin, the Jewish governing council which had not met since destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 CE. It gave sanction to French Revolution. (15). Napoleon carried the egalitarian principles of the revolution to every country he swept over.
Some Jews money lenders had evaded conscription. On March 17, 1808,
Napoleon reacted by economic sanction , the sp called infamous decrees on the Jews which in the three years of their of enforcement ruined thousands of Jews.Norman Cantor, an American historian labels Napoleon’s attitude to the Jews as a “Faustian bargain” they had to sell their souls in exchange for emancipation. (17).
Other countries followed France. It was a pragmatic move too, the famed Jewish skill in finance was an irreplaceable asset for capitalism.
Except in France and Holland the civic rights accorded to Jews were withdrawn after Napoleon’s defeat in 1815. There were new pogroms. But the demands of the state required reinstement of the rights as long as the Jews assimilated in external form. By 1870, the process was complete in Western Europe. Russia and Eastern Europe, however, lagged behind (20).
During the period Napoleon had withdrawn the rights, many German Jews converted to Christianity. Others launched pragmatic reform Judaism. Israel Jacobson (1768-1828)proposed that if the Jews appeared less outlandish assimilation would be easoer.. He established a school and a synogogue which seemed to be more protestant than Jewish and prayers were said in vernacular rather than in Hebrew.
In 1817, Edward Kley built a new temple in Hamburg in which prayers for the return of Messiah were replaced by one celebrating brotherhood of all humanity. The Rabbis had the government close down the temples. (21). Many reformed Jews converted to Christianity.. But it became popular in the USA and many synagogues adopted some principles of reform.
In stead of taking exile as an existential catastrophe, reformists felt at home in the diaspora. (23). Scholars subjected the sacred books to higher criticism ( scince of Judaism) and came to the conclusion that the faith had evolved over time rather than being revealed once for all time.(24).
The scholars tried to accommodate the traditionalists, accepting that Torah had been revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai in one go but denied the divine origin of Halaka, the Jewish law.
But the science of Judaism did not go all the way with reformists.They felt that reformers were losing touch with their heritage. They have since reinstated some traditional practices.
By the beginning of 19th century traditional Jews had begun to feel harassed, they had continued to live as though ghetto walls still existed.They immersed themselves in study of Torah and their spokesperson Rabbi Moses Sofer (1763-1839) opposed any changes. In 1803 Rabbi Hayyim Volozhiner changed the mode of education. The school he founded hosted hyundreds od gifted international students with a demanding curriculum and long hours. The students were isolated in a nearly monastic community. The objective was to combat Hasidic influence a first inkling of fundamentalism which usually emerges as a battle with in ranks and creates isolated enclaves.
In 1851 some traditionalist Jews of Frankfurt asked the municipalty for permission to opeen their own religious association and invited Samuel Raphael Hirsch (1808-88) to become their Rabbi. Hirsch opened schools for religious and secular subjects. Rothschild family financed them. (29).
Muslims Had a rather different experience of the West. Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1798 and in order to develop Suez as a base to harass the English in India, he offered himself as a messenger of enlightenment and promised to liberate Egypt from foreign rule. “I have come to restore your rights…all men are equal before God-intelligence virtue and science are the only distinctions..”(30).
The French army was formidable and had defeated Mamelukes killinf two thousand and losing only ten men.(31). The Ulema deluded themselves “All this is nothing but …trickery…” (32).
Napoleon , however, gave the Ulema more power to use them against Mamelukes and Turks, but they were under sway of Mamelukes but did cooperate as they had little choice.(34). “They have strange things and objects …our minds are too small to understand”.(34).
In 1801 the British threw the French out and restored Turkish rule but it rmained chaotic till Muhammad Ali, a young albanina officer seized control and Ulema sent a delegation to Turkey that he be confirmed as Pasha/governor of Egypt.
Muhammad ali had fought the French and had been impressed by the modern army. He wanted build an up to date one of his own and a modern state in Egypt. He was no intellectual and all he wanted was to acquire arms technology and ignored general learning. But he had dragged Egypt from the status of a backward Ottoman province into the modern world. The west had taken three hundred years to reach modernity. It could not be done in a few decades.
Ali simply killed the mameluke officers. The British were alarmed at the control he had obtained so expeditiously. He was equally ruthless in acquiring control over the economy. He made himself the owner of all land in the country, that belonging to Mamelukes, peasants and religious endowments. He did the same to commerce. In one decade he had become the sole landlord, merchant and industrialist of the country. He did not have too much difficulty as the system was thoroughly rotten and corrupt. The people welcomed it as after years law and order had been restored. (Ayub’s martial law). His greatest success was introduction of organized cotton cultivation which gave him resources to buy machinery, weapons and other goods from Europe. (38).
He tried to build an industrial base as that was the only way out of dependency on Europe. He imported manufacturing plants but did not have skilled workers. Most of enterprises failed (39). But he was imbued with the spirit of imitation, and Europe had innovation.
He did try thpough and introduced European style administration, sent hundreds of students to England and France and established a military college and two artillery schools. But he neglected primary education so the education was limited a a small class of the elite-a sure recipe for failure.
The Turks tolerated his army machine as he crushed the Wahabis in Arabia and the revolt of the Greek. But in 1832 his son inflicted serious defeats on the Turks in Syria and Palestine. But for the effort he had to conscript the peasants and had to drag them from their fields. They sometimes mutilated themselves to escape conscription.(41).
His policies allowed penetration of the country by European merchants destroying local industry. By becoming the only monopolist he demolished the native trading class. ((42). He did initiate irrigation works but working class was treated worse than slaves were and died like flies.(23). Egypt became a two class society, ,one bureaucratic/military and the other uneducated, primitive peasants.
During his ascent to power he had wooed the clergy. In 1809, he withdrew their tax exempt status. Though paying lip service to the clergy, he systematically marginalized them.The Islamic establishment was gradually driven to dire straits financially and otherwise. The Ulema gave in as, with rare exceptions, they usually do when confronted with authority. Muhammad Ali had been able to demolish the partnership between ulema and the elite with out great difficulty.
In turkey there had been greater awareness of the ideas that pulled the West up. Mustfa Reshid Pasha, father of an academic Ahmad Vefik Pasha who was later to become the Prime minister, had been an official in the Turkish Embassy in Paris and was convinced that survival of the empire lay in centralization and a modern army and administration with equal rights for all including minorities. Sultan Mahmud II introduced the famous tanzimat-regulations in 1826. But that was not enough. (46).
In 1836 Sultan Abdul Hamid issued the Gulhane decree which made the monarchy dependent on a contract with the governed. In the next three decades local and central governments were reorganized and criminal. Civil codes and courts were established. In 1856, the Hatti Humanyun decree grantred full citozenship to minotities. But Ulema opposed it. (47) as repugnant to Shariah.
In 1840 Europeans forced him to relinquish Syria, Arabia and Greece to Turkey. He never recovered from that.
Muhammad Ali was succeeded by his grandson Abbass who hated everything European. He disbanded the fleet, cut the army down and closed schools. He was assassinated in 1854. Said Pasha the fourt son of Muhammad succeeded Abbasswas a Francophile,. He restored the army but was disillusioned by the chicanery of Europeans.
Muhammad Ali had opposed the Suez canal project. Said Pasha was all for it. And gave the concession to his friend, the French consul, Ferdinand de Lessups.(1805-94).. de Lessups assured him that it would be built with French money. The sultan and the British opposed it. De Lessups formed his own company and floated shres internationally.In the event Egypt provided all the money, labor and material. In addition it also had to cede two hundred square miles of territory free..
Said died in 1863 and was succeeded by his nephew Ismail (1830-95). He asked for arbitration from Napoleon II. In 1964, the Suez canal company right tpo free labor was with drawn and some territory was returned, but Egyptians were asked to pay over three million pounds as indemnity. The grand opening of the canal was as sumptuous affair, free passage and accommodation, Verdi’s opera, road built to take vistors to the pyramids.
All Ismail achieved was a crippling dependence on the West. The canal helped ruin Egyptian economy.
Ismail bought the title of Khedive Farsi for great prince at an annual cost of 350,000 British pounds, this to elevate him above the rank of other pashas.. In addition the canal did not pay its way, so he had to subsidise it. Cotton price which had soared during American civil war slumped.
But he did institute education for both sexes, build bridges, railways and canal, the last helped bring over 1.37 million acres of land under cultivation. Cairo became a modern city with new roads and gardens.
But he had huge amount of loans most of which ended up in the pockets of European entrepreneurs (Iraqi funds in the pocket of Blackwater-methods of colonialists do not change). He was in bad financial shape and when Ottoman securities collapsed on London Stock Market in 10/1875, it got worse.
England and France imposed financial restraints on the Khedive. Muhammad Ali’s prediction came true. European minister were place to mange finance and when Ismail had the temerity to dismiss them, European colonialists got the Turkish sulatan to dismiss Ismail. His son Tewfiq succeeded him and did as he was told.
An Egyptian officer Ahmad bey Urubi staged a coup and demanded the appointment of Egyptians in senior military and civil positions, Britain occupied the country.
Muhammad Ali and his successors never understood that a few reforms would not a modern nation make (much like most third world countries today) and that an overhaul of the system was needed. Mid-Eastern countries were simply aping the west.
Ottomans were on a fast downhill path. They could not hold off penetration of Russians and looked on helplessly while France occupied Tunisia (1881) and Britian took over Egypt (1882).
In 1943 a French writer Gerard de Nerval wrote of the pathetic condition “ ..Rather it (Cairo) was being made into a dependent local metropolis…”.
People were alienated. Westernized parts of the city surrounded old, decrepit, dark alleys.(53).
Napoleon had planned to invade Iran with Russian help. Britain tried to preempt by signing a treaty with the Shah Fath ali (1798-1834, promising the usual arms and technology. The Shah could not risk offending Britain or Russia.Both blocked such innovations as railways.(54).
Qajar Shahs made only sporadic attempts to modernize. Autonomic power of tribes and the large size of rthe country made centralization difficult too.
Iran had the worst of the two worlds. It was dependent and did not have the semblance of moderization that came with direst colonization. Capitulations exempted the Brituish and Russians from the law of the land. The silk industry was destroyed when a European firm imported diseased silk worms. Looking at it from the perspective of acts of colonialists in India and China (destruction of handlooms in the former and opium forced down Chinese throats), it was most likely deliberate sabotage. Merchants fearing the growth of foreign control began campaigning against the regime.(56). Ulema, who were stronger than those in Egypt supported them. Qajars were not as strong as Muhammad Ali had been. Sheikh Murtada Ansari became the first Mujthid to be recognized as ‘model for emulation’ deputy of the hidden Imam (marja e taqlid, the title Khomeni was to acquire and which the head of the state has since inherited).(57).
Europeans rapidly enhanced their control. The clergy, merchants and bazzaris historically natural allies, protested. The shahs countered by seeking popular support especially associating with commemoration of the martyrdom of the prophet’s grandson Husain on a daily basis. The commemoration became an institution under Qajars. The rites had a revolutionary potential.
Two messianic movements of rebellion broke out, one led by Hajj Muhammad Karim Khan Kirmani (1810-71) a cousin of the shah. He got involved with a Shaikhi mystical sect founded by Shaikh Ahmad al Ahsai who had been influenced by the thoughts of Mullah Sadra. Karim publicly denounced the narrow legalism of the mujtahids and lack of interest in new ideas. He was one of the first Iranians to study the new ideas of Europe. But he was conservative and opposed the first high school, darul funoon, staffed by Europeans who taught natural sciences, mathematics and foreign languages.
He reportedly was about to form his own religious government when he was ordered to the court and kept under surveillance till he died a bitter man.(62).
The other messianic movement was led by Sayyid Ali Muhammad who had been been a part of the Sheikhi movement but was open to some western ideas. In 1844, he announced that he had was the ‘gate’ bab to the divine which had been closed at the time of Occultation of the Hidden Imam.(63). He attracted a large following but his disciple Qurat ul Ain drew much larger crowds in Karbala. (This is most likely anecdotal, but I have heard that she was a very beautiful woman and who ever was not convinced by her oratory would fall in line when she lifted her veil). His followers were asked to pray in the direction of his home in Shiraz, his name was mentioned in prayers and when he made the Hajj pilgrimage, he declareded standing besides the Kaaba that he was the incarnation of the hidden Imam. Later on he produced a new scripture the Bayan declaring that all old scriptures had been abrogated. Like the book of Mormons ( and most religious tracts) his book endorsed bourgeois values, free trade, low taxes, higher productivity and guarantees for private property. (GWB is a closet follower). There would be no last day of judgement, paradise was here and people should work for better lives right on this earth.(64). Rumors are rife in Pakistan and India (where these people ran a large number of ‘Irani hotels’ which sold cheap tea, butter toast, omelete etc.) that they indulged in hedonist practices.
His journey to jail became a triumphal procession and he was allowed to receive visitors in jail and in the remote fortress where he was moved later.his 1848 trial was more like a celebrity show. But he put up a poor show, interrogaters were able to expose his deficiencies in Arabic and falsafah. He was sent back to jail.
In June 1848, the Babi leaders held a council in Khurasan where the Koran was formally abrogated and Shariah given temporary reprieve till the Bab was free to amend it. Qurat ul Ain discarded her veil as a sign of women’s emancipation.
Devout muslims attacked the heretics. But one Babi leader gathered two hundred men, took on royal troops, raided and looted with impunity.
The rebellion was put down in due course and the Bab was executed on July 9, 1850 along with other main leaders. Followers were hunted and massacred.
Babis fled to Iraq and broke into factions. Most of the survivors followed Mirza Husain Ali nuri Bahaullah (1872-92) who abjured politics and created his own creed, the Bahai religion by which name the group are now known. The religion adopted separation of religion and politics, equal rights, pluralism and tolterance (68) ( There is an obvious parallel with the Ahmadi/Qadaini sect, followers of Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian now in Indiann Punjab who had declared himself a prophet-not a messenger- in late 19th CCE, had abjured Jihad , though took care not to abrogate the Koran, and is believed to have been instigated by the British secret service. A comparative study would be interesting).
Phase one 1870-1900.
The industrial revolution had brought untold wealth and power but the people also suffered from ennui, melancholy, doubt, discontent, fear, void, uncertainty and lassitude.
A lack of meaning hitherto provided by religion, mythology and ritual was sorely missed. Fundamentalism thrived in the vacuum.
People were more healthy, lived for longer and life was more equitable. But science had also brought powerful weapons with consequent mass death and destruction.(1). Charles Dickens in Hard Times and Somerset Maugham in presented the deperate lives of workers in industrial cities.
European nations indulged in an arms race. Out of the destruction of the next great war would rise an enhanced life. But H.G. Wells in The War of the Worlds (1898) presented a different vision. WW I was a result of rivalry over share in colonial assets but technology cause grievous loss of life.
The USA had undergone the trauma of a civil war (1861-65) between the capitalist North and feudal South, but people had been deluded that it was a conflict between good and evil, liberty and slavery. Whole cities and regions were destroyed and blacks were treated worse than before when they had been looked after as precious live stock. Capitalists made huge fortunes while workers were destitute. By 1890 one in five child worked. Hours were long, safety a low consideration and wages low. (7).
Unlike Europeans, Americans turned more and more to religion. The movement was called pre-millennialism because they believed Christ would arrive on earth to establish a thousand year rule. Founded by a John Nelson Darby, an Englishman who had failed to attract any following in his native country made six triumphant tours of the USA six times between 1859 and 1877. He divided salvation into seven ‘epochs’ which had ended in such disasters as -the Fall, the Flood, the Crucifixion, and so on. The current was the sixth one which would soon end with arrival of Anti-Christ(9), eventually Christ would defeat him. Deviating from what Europeans bleived that every one would suffer at the hands of Ant-Christ, Darby announced that Christians would be “taken up…to meet the lord in air”, the so called rapture. (10).
Rationalism had left people with a god shaped hole in their lives.Arthur Pierson an American Protestant appealed for “truly impartial and scientific spirit” expalanation of the Bible.
The New Light Prebytarian Seminary at Princeton NJ, under the leadership of Charles Hodge, Chair of Theology at Princeton published the first volume of Systematic Theology in 1873.(15). His son Archibald was appointed to the Chair and carried on his work.
Other Protestants like Henry Ward Beecher took the line that dogma was of secondary importance.(21). Theologians like John Bescon ‘Evolution and Religion’ (1897) and John Fiske ‘Through Nature to God’ proposed that that there was no contradiction between science and faith.
It all came to a sorry end. A novel by Mrs Humphrey told the story of a clergy man in ‘Robert Elsmere’ 1888 whom Higher Criticism so disillusioned of religion that discarded his orders and devoted his life to social work became a best seller.(23).
In 1886 Dwight Moody founded the Moody bible Institute in Chicago to combat higher Crticism. I became the prime fundamentalist institution. In 1902 William Bell Riley established Northwestern Bible School and oilman Lyman Stewart the Bible institute of Los Angles in 1907.
In 1776, the vast majority of Americans had been Protestants. Now they were being challenged by RC immigrants. In 1887, the American Protective Association, with membership of over two and a quarter members, became the largest anti-Catholic organization. (32).
Europe was overtaken by racism, centered largely on Jews. The contagion would reach America later in 1920s. The ‘scientific’ theories developed to define genetic identity of the “nationals’ excluded Jews and they became a symbol of the fear people had of modernization. They had to be weeded out like a gardner did with weeds.(33).
Enlightenment was only skin deep. In 1891 ten thousand Jews were expelled from Moscow and pogroms followed in other regions.(34). Germany elected its first deputy on a formal anti-Semitic platform. On January 5, 1895 even France which had been the first nation to emancipate Jews, Captain Alfred Dryfus, a Jewish staff officer was convicted of convicted, on false charges as it turned out, of transmitting secrets to Germany.
Jews converted to Christianity, or became totally secular and still others vowed once again to return to Zion.
In 1897, the Fifth Rebbe, R.Shalom Dov Ber established a Habad Yeshiva to fight ‘enemies of the Lord’-other Jews. Fundamentalism was coming into its own among Jews.(36).
Zionism was the most effective response of Jews to modernity. The movement drew on nationalism, socialism and secularism. Labor party of David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973) was socialist in orientation but depended upon Jewish capitalists who poured in millions to purchase land from absentee Arab and Turkish landlords. The founder Theodore Herzl and Chaim Weizman lobbied furiously. (The latter asked for and was given pledge of support for a Jewish homeland in return for scientific work during WWI, the so called Balfour declaration of 1917).
The orthodox were uncompromisingly opposed to the concept of a Jewish state before the redeemer arrived. Exile was existential fact of life.(39). The Jewish state is highly divisive, though tactically accepted by most Jews, as they accept Christian theology for capture of all the land of Zion which would hasted the arrival of Christ. Zionist were and remain, above all pragmatists. But they could not contemplate a Jewish state except in Palestine. In fact Theodor Herzl nearly lost his leadership when he suggested a state in Uganda during the second Zionist conference in Basel in 1898.
Muslims were not inherently opposed to modernity. The Koran is passionate about justice and egalitarianism. In fact towards the end of 19thCCE many Muslims were entranced by the West. (How much was colonial subjugation responsible for the attitude would be an interesting study). During the later 19th CCE, many intellectual in Iran-Mirza Aqa Khan Kirmani. Abdul Rahim Talibzada and others clashed with Ulema for a secular state.(42). True religion meant rational enlightement and equal right, argued Kirmani.(43). Their views were half baked. An agrarian society could not sustain capitlist culture.
Ulemas had finally had enough. In 1981, Nasir ad-Din Shah gave monopoly of sale and production of tobacco to a British company. The clergy led bazaaris into huge protests. But brought the bacon home (to use an anti-Islamic but apt analogy) was the fatwa by the leading mujathid of Najaf Hasan Shirazi, to proscribe the sale and use of tobaaco. Even non-Muslims and Shah’s wives quit smoking. The government threw in the towel.
Egypt too had passed through a phase of admiration of the West. Rifah al-Tahtawi, an Imam in the new Egyptian army of Muhammad Ali was sent by him to study in Paris.(43). He was enthralled by the Enlightenment which he found close to Falsafah(49) though he did not quite give in to the European view of religion.
When he returned to Egypt to become director of the bureau of Translation, he insisted that gates of Ijtehad be reopened.
In 1870s some practitioners of the new vocation of journalism moved from Ottoman Syria and Lebanon to Cairo (53) and found ore freedom of expression than they had in their homeland. They started journals which discussed medicine, philosophy, politics, sociology, ethics and many other disciplines and came to wield enormous influence. It was a brief honeymoon between the East and the West.
In 1871, Jamaluddin from Iran who had styled himself ‘al-Afghani’ arrived in Cairo. Afghani was acutely conscious of the impending world hegemony of the West. (54). During a visit to India which coincided with 1857 war of independence, he developed the firm conviction that science and mathematics held the key to the future. He had traveled to Arabia, Turkey, Russia and Europe and felt the power of the West at close quarters. He was a man with a mission-unite Muslims under Islam.
Afghani was eloquent and passionate. He quashed the arguments of Tahtavi and others of his type, only by reforming Islam and abiding by own cultural/religious norms could the Muslims recover. Aping Europeans would only make them bad reproductions.(55). They had, perforce, to learn science from Europe.(56).
But just reforming religion and imitating the West would not do. Industry had to supersede agriculture based economy.
Afghani practiced the mysticism of Mullah Sadra and tried tpo prove that his faith was rational and scientific.(58).
He was anxious. Time was short. Muslims had neglected natural sciences for too long. Gates of Ijtehad had to be reopened.
In stead of retreating to Madrasahs, they should follow Koranic injunction “verlily Allah does not change men’s condition, unless they change their inner selves” (62) and educate themselves and participate in worldly affairs.
The establishment could not take it. Afghani was expelled from Egypt in 1879, from Iran in 1891 and allowed to live under strict surveillance in Turkey.
The urgency in Afghani came from desperation. While visiting Paris during the 1880s, he had come across ‘scientific’ racism and had debated with Ernest Renan , a philologist who argued that Semitic languages Hebrew and Arabic reperesented stunted development and lacked the dynamism of ‘Aryan’ languages. Semitic races were similarly inferior. Islam would wither away (64). Afghani was apprehensive of the very viability of Islam.
Capitalism, with ever increasing lust for resources was spearheading the drive to colonialism.(65) . By the end of 19th CCE, colonization of Mid East and Africa was ncomplte. The 1915 Sykes-Picot agreement divided Ottoman possessions between France and England even before actual victory.
The colonized countries produced raw material. In return, they got shoddy goods from colonialists and had their industry subtly as well as aggressively suppressed. Literacy which enhanced dependency was grudgingly imparted.
Egypt had been enticed and coerced into taking huge loans and in 1875 was forced to sell Suez canal to the British ( and Jews and Hindu money lenders were maligned as Shylocks). In 1876 European share holders took over Egyptian economy as money lenders had taken over Turkish finances in the 19 ? CCE. In 1881 Egyptian officers staged a coup. The British intervened, restored the Khedivebut appointed a proconsul Lord Cromer as the real ruler.
Cromer was a typical colonialist, thought ‘orientals’ ad inherently and genetically flawed. From a historic perspective all victors have done so.But for a colonialist, he did achieve a lot, stabilized economy, increased cotton production and abolished forced labor. But he also replaced Sharia courts with European ones, and took away education from the hands of Ulema. A new class of comprador bourgeois and coolaborator class of civil servants was created.
A corrosive sense of inferiority crept in and reformers like Muhammad Abdu, disciple of Afghani were hard pressed to prove modernity and rationality of Islam. He joined Afghani in Paris and was introduced to western scientific though.. Abdu returned and unlike Afghani concentrated on education.
Resentment of Britain grew. Egyptian civil servants were passed over and foreigners exempted from the law of the land. (72) Iraq since 2003.
In 1899 Abdu became the Mufti-chief consultant on Islamic law of Egypt and tried to institute reforms which of course Ulema resisted.(76).
In 1899 Qasim Amin published a book on women’s liberation Tahrir al-Mara that veiling and other practices were responsible for the country’s backwardness.(77). That caused an uproar.
The Koran does not command all women to cover their heads and the practice of veiling as a status symbol was adopted from Byzantium Christians and Zoroastrian Iran three generations after the prophet. (page 165) Seclusion of women and Harem were consequent upon influx of slave girls. The victors wanted to segregate their women from the captives with whom they were allowed to have sexual relations by Koranic edict, though marriage was encouraged. Get reference. Cromer was a typical chauvinist. He opposed women’s suffrage in England but opposed veiling of Egyptian women. (79).
Fundo II 1900-25
After WW I, no rational person could be optimistic about modern civilization. Communists took over in the Russia and were immediately embroiled in a life or death struggle with remnants of monarchy aided and abetted by capitalists. They owed their eventual victory to unparalled unity and disarray of the capitalists.
The economy of the world had been in decline since 1910 and would crash in 1929. Artists like Picasso (1881-1973) dismembered their subjects. Scientists searched for the atom, sociologists and anthropologists studied primeval societies. Capitalism gave reluctant concessions to the poor.
Artists and intellectuals tried to find secular meaning in life. Freud regarded religion as the most serious enemy of science. People in the first Axial Age (c. 700-200BCE) had found that nature could be explained with out recourse to attributing super natural powers and motivation to floods, lightening and earth quakes and had resorted to the ultimate unknown, the god, people in this second Axial age looked for secular solutions but a large number regressed to fundamentalism.
In the USA in the so called progressive decades, liberals and conservatives were trying to cope with industrialization and urbanization. Protestants of all denominations launched campaigns for imposition of “the thought and spirit of Christ”. (4). They developed a ‘Social Gospel’ and set up ‘institutional churches’ and made an attempt to Christianize socialism. (5).
In 1909, Charles Elliot, professor emeritus at Harvard gave a speech entitled “the Future of Religion” in which he asserted that new religion would only practice love of God and service of the people. The religious establishment was stunned. Faith with out doctrine (to control people and support the establishment) was not Christianity at all. Between 1910-1915 Lyman and Milton Stewart, oil millionaires founders of the Bible College of LA, financed publication of twelve paper back pamphlets ‘The fundamentals’ in which higher criticism was refuted and 3 million copies mailed to all theologians and students, teachers with religious inclination (9).
Terrorised out of their wits during the WW I, they frantically searched for indications of the beginning of the end.(10-11). It was xenophobic of foreign influences through Catholics and communists and higher critics. (12). According to their interpretation of the Bible, the League of Nations was a blunder. War and not peace was the fate.
The liberals took the doctrine to be un-American and went on the attack. They accused the premillennialists of being German agents.(16). The accusations flew back and forth.
In 1919 a massive conference attended by 6,000 persons was held in Philadelphia and World Christian Fundamentals Association (WCFA) was formed. In the aftermath, a band of twelve speakers toured eighteen cities in the country and were met with a wildly enthusiastic response.(22). Fundamentalists moved to expel liberals from denominations.(26). By 1923, it seemed that Fundamentalists would win. But in 1920 William Jennings Bryan, former secretary of state and twice a presidential candidate launched a ‘crusade’ against the teaching of revolution in schools. (29). He took in hook, line and sinker the view that there was a direct link between the theory of evolution andGerman miltarism.(30). Other fundamentlists claimed that Darwinism endangered faith in religion.
In TN state , a young teacher, John Scopes, with a view to strike a blow for the First Amendment right of Free Speech, confessed that he had broken the state law and taught Darwin’s theory of evolution. He was tried in July 1925. ACLU sent a team of lawyers headed by Clarence Darrow to defend Scopes. Darrow put Bryan on the stand and exposed the simplistic nature of the latter’s views. Bryan was discredited as bumbling obscurantist.
Scopes was convicted. ACLU paid his fine. The journalist H.L. Mencken condemned fundamentalists as a menace to the nation.(35).
Fundamentalists went quiet but did not go away. In fact they felt embittered and became more extreme. At the same time Pentecostalists were creating a post-modernist rejection of enlightenment. They spoke in ‘tongues’ and believed that the holy spirit had descended upon them as it had on Jesus. The leader of the group was William joseph Seymour, son of slaves. (40). He and his friends experienced the ‘spitit’. The news spread and crowds of African Americans and poor whites swamped his next service. (41).
Fundamentalists hated the Pentecostalists., how much due to racism is difficult to say.Jews were also regressing to fundamentalism though philosophers Herman Cohn and Franz Rosenzweig tried to keep values of enlightenment alive. The latter also treid to revive mythological ideas.
Zionist were to borrow the term from …. Secular fundamentalists. Jews by returning to the Land would not only save themselves from anti-semitism but also find meaning in life with out the concept of God or the Torah and Kabalah. The land would do what God had done for them once.(53).
For all their profession of secularism, Zionist used religious terms and imagery. Aliyah, immigrant in Hebrew, was originally used to describe a higher state of being.(54).On arrival in Jaffa they would kiss the ground.
Rabbi Abraham Yitzak Kook (1865-1935) migrated to Palestine in 1904 to take up appointment as a Rabbi to the settlers. He was deeply attached to Zionism but had taken a strong exception to the Basel 1898 declaration that “Zionism had nothing to do with religion” (57). “When nationalism alone takes root among the people, it is …likely to debase…”. He believed that Jews were existentially tied to the divine, whether they knew it or not. Kook presented Herzl as the doomed Redeemer, Joseph who would die at the gates of Jerusalem but would pave the way for the final Messiah of the House of David.(60).
Kook was Kabbalist, but was convinced that Jews had to throw off the shackles of Agrarian culture. When he arrived in Palestine, he was impressed by the ‘spirituality’ of secularists. (62-63). He was one of the first religious people to embrace secularism. He did not gloss over the problems. “there is a great war” between religious and secular Jews. But wanted to postpone the fight till the Jews had won a homeland. (Like Jews accept the help of evangelical Christians who believe that only 144,000 Jews would be saved when the Messiah arrived, but are content to fulfill the condition of his arrival-capture of all ‘biblical’ land of the Jews).
He did not live to see 750,000 Palestinians rendered homeless when Israel was created in 1948, nor the bloodshed accompanying it and in the aftermath. His son Zvi Yehuda would and created a fundamentalist movement.
Religiuos Jews wanted to fight the secularists on their own terms and in 1912, Misnagdic and Ger Hasidim together with Mizrachi (an association of religious Jews) founded Agudat Israel, The Union of Israel. Russian and Polish Jews were wary of political activism. (74).
For Jacob Rosenheim Agudat was a cosmic event.For the first time since 70 CE Jews had a unified and well determining center” (75). For Issac Breuer the Great War and the Balfour declaration were the “footsteps of the Messiah”. Jews must reject bourgeois society.
Muslims had not yet reached the modern stage. They were still considering if they should absorb new ideas in the religion or adopt a secular ideology. The conflict was in the forefront in the new secularist Turkey. The Ottoman Empire had been dismembered by the allies who had installed satraps in the provinces. Greeks had invaded
Anatolia and Ottoman heartland. It took Mustafa Kemal (1881-1938) three years (1919-1922) to throw Europeans out of the country. By 1947 turkey had acquired a capitalist economy and became the first multi-party state in the Middle East. Homogeinity was acquired at the cost of deportation and massacre of hundreds of thousands of Greek and Armenians from Anatolia in the years 1894 to 1927. they had comprised 90 % of the bourgeoisie. A wholly Turkish commercial class emerged in its place.(78)
Mustafa Kemal made religion subordinate to the state and secularized the country aggressively. Sufi orders were abolished and religious seminaries closed. Women were forbidden the veil and men the Fez. Western dress was ordained by edict. A rebellion by Shaykh Siad sursi, head of the Naqshbandi order was quickly crushed. In the west secularization had been liberating. In Turkey it was coercive, fundamentalism in secular garb. Kemal suffered from inferuiority complex as many reformers from the East do. Turkish establishment has not been able to grow out of the mentality. The supreme judicial body, as recently as 2008 overturned the elected government to allow women to wear a scarf, banned a party a few years ago because it was not sufficiently secular and may ban the current government party.
Army officers called a former PM who visited the holy Muslim cities too often in their opinion The country functioned as a front line state during the whole cold war. It has the strongest army in NATO. It recognized Israel from day one and continues to support it. But its overtures to become a EU members have been spurned while former communist states have been welcomed with open arms. They are still out with a beggars bowl in hand.
Egypt has ben slower of the mark. After WW I, people demanded independence. They rioted and attacked English men. In 1922 the British threw them a bone-Fuad became the king, the country was given a constitution and a legislature. The British retained control of foreign and defense policy. Wafd party independence, won three elections between 1923 and 1930, but each time it was forced out og office.(79).
Egyptians, however, leaned towards secularism. A book al-Isalm wa usul al-hukm (Islam and Principles of Power) by Abd al-Raziq argued that modern Egypt should sever connections with Islam altogether.(81).
The outrage against the book was huge. Rashid Rida (1865-1953) retorted that this kind of thinking would make the task of the West to enslave the Muslims much easier. He argued for restoration of caliphate-al-Khlifa (1922-23).(82). But his salfiyyah (salaf, first generation of Muslims) movement wanted a seminary to teach international law, sociology, history and sciences. He believed that persecution and intolerance were due to decline of religion.(85).
Iranians thought the secret of Europe’s success lay in constitutional government. Sayyed Muhammad Tabatabai, a mujtahid “we ourselves had not seen a constitutional regime…(others) told us…will bring security…” (86).
From December 1905, Ulem and bazzaris agitated against coercive measures, and for constitutional government.(87). In 1906, the Shah dismissed the prime minister who had resisted the change, and the first elected Majlis met in October 1906. In 1907, the new Shah Muhammad ali signed the fundamental law under which he was required to seek approval of the Majlis on all important matters, all citizens were equal and had rights and granted freedom of press.
The Majlis had democratic and conservative factions. Collaboration wuth reformers did not get the ulema Shariah law. The Majlis curbed the power of the clergy in education etc.(88).
It was the first incursion of Shii ulema in power politics. They soon started agitating against the 1907 constiturion. But they saw that it would be better to limit the power of the Qajar shahs , lest policies similar to Egyptian Khedive lead to occupation by western powers. Shaykh Muhammad Husain naini (1950-1936) in his Admonition to the Nation and Exposition to the People (1909), he submitted that a representative government was the next best to to the that of the hidden Imam and a tyrannical ruler was guilty of idolatory (Shirk). ( Maulana Mawdudi gave a fatwa that the military government of Ayub in Pakistan in 1960s was islamically illegtimate and if only a woaman could defeat it, the opposition candidate, though a woman and not ordinarily eligible to head a state, should be supported).
The Shah, however, had been biding his time.In June 1908, he alunched a coup with the help of a Russian Cossack brigade, against hos own government. (As the Shah would do in 1953 with CIA help). But the popular guard in Tabriz resisted, and with the help of Bakhtiari tribe staged a counter coup the following month, overthrew the Shah and instlalled his mionr son Ahmad, supervised by a liberal regent. A second Majlis tried to break the stranglehold of of Britain and Russia by appointing an American Morgan shuster to reform economy, Russian troops marcjed in and closed the Majlis in 1911.
Durinf WW I russain and British troops took over the country. Russians withdrew after the Bolshevic revolution and the British occupied the vacated areas too.
Oil was discovered in Iran in 1908. The concession was granted TO A Briton, William Knox D’Arcy. In 1909 Anglo-Persian oil co was formed British navy ran on Iranian oil. Iranians got little. The Majlis appealed to Russia and America. Britain had to concede a small return ti Iran(94).
Thje unrest helped Sayyid Zia ad-Din, a civilian activist and Raza Khan (1874-1944) commander of the Shah’s Cossack brigade to stsage a coup. In February 1921, Zia became the Prime minister and Raza, the defense minister. Raza was soon able to force Zia out and became the sole ruler. He launched a campaign of successful modernization, to centrlize government authority, enhance the military and empower the bureaucracy and genrally make the system more efficient. He granted oil concession to Standard oil of NJ in return for technical advice. Little did he know that he was simply exchanging one hegemony for another.
In 1925, he forced the qajar shah to abdicate and planned to establish a republic. The ulema pronounced it un-Islamic. Raza had no problem declaring himself the Shah. (another example of the clergy opposing representative government which might curb their privileges).
Chap 7 1925-60
Modern people had felt a void ever since religion lost its universal appeal. Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-80) dubbed it the god shaped hole. New secularist mode-art, literature, psychoanalysisand sexuality were trying to replace the mythology of religion. It had been relgated to private life.
Twentietn century saw the worst atrocities in human history. Seventy million had been killed in the world wars(1). (Twenty first century does not seem likely to be any better). Education and general literacy were no bar to the holocaust. (3). Explosion of atomic bombs dwarfed all the genocidal acts from the earlist known history. Clash of rival Capital interests left the conflict over colonies or racism far behind. The new creed used racism, religion and secularism with equally lethal facility.
Jews suffered the worst regression. Even liberal Jews were convinced that the gentile were essentially evil. The survivors had little choice but to flee to Palestine.
The Edah Haredis (4), ultra orthodox Jews joined had hands with Agudat Israel in opposing Zionism. But the latter were prepared to play the political game. The former gave birth to fundamentalist movement to oppose fellow Jews. Rabbi Hayim Eleazer Shapira (1872-1937) a Hasidic leader of Hungarian Jews accused Agudat of collaborating with Zionists and began a vicious campaign against them.(5). At a meeting Shapira and a young Haredim Rabbi Joel Moshe Teitelelbaum (1888-1979) was one of the first to sign the ban on Agudat. The latter put the blame of holocaust on the sins of Zionists.(6). (? The tele-evangelist who blamed sins of Americans for 9/11). For the former the Holy land was too sacred to be settled by ordinary Jews much less the secular-maligned Zionists. Only the very religious Jews were entitled. Zionists were the evil force preparing to attack the holy land (Eretz Israel) in the garb of natioalism. The very idea of Jewish apostates setting up a secular state in eretz Israel was an anthema.913-14).
(The rejectionist movement was totally incomprehensible to ordinary Jews. Cristians and Muslims have had to face similar dilemma with their own fundamentlists).
Yet even the most fierce rejectionists felt attracted to Zionism. One of them Amram Blau, ruefully dubbed it seduction.
Though the ant—Zionist Haredim are only about ten thousand in Israel, they wield influence much beyond their numbers (much like the Mullahs in Pakistan).(22). They are in constant rebellion. And lob stones on cars on the Sabbath and tear down posters of scantily clad women. Haredim are motivated by the desire to fill the God shaped hole created by modern society.(24-25). Any form of Zionism, Reform, Conservative or neo-orthodox was illegtimate. (26).
Jewish fundamentalism was becoming more stringent (28). Under Torah requirements farmers were advised to let their fields lie fallow every seventh year. (30) Students in yeshivot did not study to put their knowledge to any practical use. They were exempted from service in defense forces.
The Haredi rebellion is only a manifestation of retreat. The soviet union had harshly suppressed the Habad.. To them it was only the birt pangs of Messiah.(37).
In the USA protestant fundamentalists launched a counteroffensive. But initially they withdrew to their own chuches and schools. They worked at grss roots level. By 1930 there were fifty Bible collegesDuring depression years they added another twenty seven. With advent of TV, Billy Graham, Rex Humbard and Oral Roberts took to air.(41).
They deliberately segregated themselves from the main stream. Bob Jones university founded in 1927, found its final home in Greenville SC.(42). Students were taught Christianity along with liberal arts and conform to rules pertaining to dress, dating (no racial mixing)etc.(43). To exert tighter control, it did mnot seek academic accreditation. (44). It became the largest supplier of fundamentalist teachers.
They resented separation from the American life, thpough self imposed. It was reflected in such bizarre acts as that of Baptist Gerald Winrod Had founded Defenders of Christian Faith to combat evolution in 1920s, traveled to Germany in 1930s and returned with a mission to exppose Jewish conspiracy. Along with like minded people he denounced the new deal as satanic Jewish New deal.
They were moving to the political right. While in the 19th CCE, patriotism was idolatrous, now it became a sacred duty. Billy James Hargis founded the Christian Crusade and deemed the Soviet Unin demovic, liberal press, teachers and the supreme court as a part of communist conspiracy to turn the USA red. Carl McIntyre of Christian Beacon joined Senator Joesh McCarthy’s witch hunt.
The rage was based on deep fear as reflected in premillennialists and kept themselves segregated. (50). Billy Graham called himself ‘evangelicals’ as cooperation of other Chritians (and their money) was required. They denounced the UNO as they had the League of Nations as Utopian dream-contradiction of the bilble which predidcted more war.(51). Atom bomb had been predicted by St Peter “with a roar the sky will vanish…”(52).
The privileged knowledge of impending doom gave a sense of superiority to fundamentalists. True believers would not be touched by atomic blasts as theywould be ‘raptured’ to heaven
Fundamentalists had greeted the balfour declaration with ecstacy. The founding of the state in 1948 was seen by Jerry Falwell “as the greatest… single sign indicating imminent return of Christ”. The last days could not begin till Jews had started living in the Holy Land.(55). The darker side to protestant fundamentlism was Anti-Crist would slaughter two third of the Jews living in Palestine according to Zachariah.(56). Holcaust was God’s last effort to convert Jews (and it had failed).In Israel and Prophecy, John Walvoord gave detailed time table of persecution of Jews. The Ant-Christ would help Jews build the temple , then declare himself the Messaih. Jews (144,000) would convert to Christianity and die as martyrs. Only a few would survive to greetJesus at his second coming. (57). Jews would suffer whether they converted or not.
Muslims had not regressed into fundamentalism yet, as modernity had reached them late. They were trying to accommodate Islam to new thoughts. Hasan al-Banna (1906-49) turned reformism into a mass movement. He had studied at the first Teachers Training College and had had traditional religious education as well. He was practising Sufi too.(58). Banna argued that science, technology, and economic and social development have to go hand in hand with faith which must be lived, not just believed in.(59).
As a student along with his friends Banna had been disgusted by the bickering of politicians who were easily manipulated by the British. He re4sented and was ashamed by the contrast between the luxurious life style of the British and the wrtetched conditions Egyptians lived in and the humiliation they suffered in the canal zone where he took his first teaching job.(61). He was distressed by people drifting away from mosques.The newspapers and magazines published in Cairo were generally hostile to Islam. The ulema had ignored modernity and were no use as guides.(32). He decided to work at grass roots to take people back to Koran and Sunnah. He organized indoctrination sessions in mosques and coffee houses.(64). One evening in march 1928, some local workers in the town (Ismailiyyah)asked him to take action. (65).
Together with his visitors, Banna took a pledge to be the first “jund-troops for the message of Islam”. That night the Muslim brotherhood was born. By the time he died there were 2,000 branches each representing 300,000 to 600,000 members and the only organization with links to every section-students, bureaucrats, urban workers and peasants(66).
Banna insisted that his only chief aim was education and politics will be taken care of itself once people absorbed and understood the message of Islam. Muslims had to shed inferiority complex, they did not need to copy Europeans, the prophet had declared liberty, equality, fraternity and the need for social justice 1300 years ago.(69).
Banna ran his group according to Shariah which helped people to build an Islamic archetype. His detractors accused him of running a state with a state. But it was not a slavish return to 7th CCE. Banna was highly critical of Saudi Wahabism.
The society tended to be anti-intellectual because of its appeal to masses, and its image of the west, stressing its greed and tyranny, was distorted by colonial experience.(80)
Liberal democracy failed in 1940s. Neither the British not the Egyptians understood that it could not be imposed on a basically feudal and agrarian society.
The humiliating defeat of five Arab armies cincluding the Egyptian one at the hands of stateless but modern Jewish forces in 1948 and displacement of 750,000 Palestinians demonstrated Arab impotence. Some including Sadaat believed terror was the only way and he founded a “murder society” in late 1940s to attack the Brtish and collaborators.(85). Brotherers had a terrorist wing too.(96). The society was suppressed.(88).
They regrouped in secret. By this time Nasser had taken over and initially wooed them., but he Haad no intention of creating an Islamic state.and dissolved the society once again on 1/15/1954. On 10/26/1954 a society member Abd al-Latif shot at Nasser during a rally. He jailed over a thousand of them, but in his jails, the brothers abandoned Banna’s reforism and regressed to Sunni fundamemtalism.
In Iran Rezahah undertoon even a more accelerated modernization than the one in Turkey. He was ruthless, got opponents like Ayatollah Mudarris killed in 1937 after ten years in jail.((92).He quashed nomadic tribal, who were hitherto autonomous, uprisingsand replaced the Shariah with civil codes.(94).
The attempt was inevitably superficial-imposition of modern institutions on an agrarian model. There was no fundamental reform. ((95) education remained the privilege of the rich. The Shah based nationalisn on ancient Persian culture and tried to suppress Ashura. The dress code also reflected violent modernization process. (98). Fundamentalist movement thrived. Khomeini (1902-89) published Kashful alAsrar (The Discovery of Secrets” which was the first serious attempt to challenge the Shah’s policies from a Shii perspective.(100).
Oil crisis of 1953 (105) erupted after the pro-British PM Ali Razmara, was assassinated. Mosaddeq became the PM and the assembly recommended nationalization of oil. The International court at the Hague ruled in favor of Iran. Mosaddeq demanded control of armed forces in July 1952, the Shah dismissed him. There were massive demonstrations and the Shah had to reinstate him.
Britain and the US had imposed had organized an oil boycott and the economy was reeling. Bazaaris and Ulema deserted him. The Socilist party swung to his support. US administration went to panic stations and approved joint British intelligence and CIA coup plot, operation Ajax. Mosaddeq discovered the plot and the Shah fled.and was brought back after three days. In 1954 the oilod co was returned to the control of to a world cartel.(106) and Iran became the prime customer of US arms, Technology and intelligence.
Chap 8 1960-74:
In the 1960s revolution was in the air in the West as well as Asia. The youth took to streets and also started creating a ‘counter culture’ and went to Kathmandu (Nepal) to escape institutional faith and the capitlist society and indulged in drug trips, transcendental meditation etc. The quest was often wild as the West had neglected the dicipline required for Yoga and Sufism.
The secular ideology political struggleand adopted ideologies which gave it the rationale.(1). But the idelogues are exclusive. Marxists and capoitalists, colonialists and nationalists, Zionists and Palestinians can not appreciate each other’s point of view.
To challenge the establishment , the opposition has to develop their own ideology (Edmund Burke 1729-97). Fundamentalist were scared of being wiped out by secularists.
In Egypt Nasser had called for a cultural revolution. In Egypt as well as Syria secularist ideology was imposed. In 1951 the Work of Maulana Mawdudi (1903-79) was published in Egypt. He feared that Islam was about to be destroyed.(4). The basis of his work was, like that of other Muslim idelogues, the sovereignty of God(6). Islamic system ensured that the state was not subject to whims of the ruling class and that of human caprice. (8&9). He defined joihad as a revolutionaery struggle and organized his party on the lines of communist cells.(10). Sayyid Qutb (1906-66) was profoundly affected by the work.(11). After speding years in jails he developed the conviction that religion and secularism could not co-exist.(17). Jahiliyya was not a period in time, but repeated every time society veers from the Islamic way.(19).
Muslims unlike Christians had experienced the divine as imperative, not just as doctrine and fundamemtalism would be Ummah based activism.(23-24).Koran is adamantly opposed to to the use of force in matters of religion.(26). Muhammad in his last sermon quoted the Koran “ O men,… we have created you all out of a male and female…made uou into nations…so …you may know each other”. (27-28). Qutb’s vision of separation and exclusion was not exactly the tyolerance of the prophet. But he insisted that could happen only after the political victory of Islam.(29).
Iran went through the same alination when the Shah announced the white revolution in 1962.(32). Agriculture declined and there was a massive exodus to urban areas. (34), rural migrants lived in slums and in shanty towns. Iranians were hiding from themselves “waal around houses, darni (inner), biruni (external), veils…women, taryah…faith, Taroof (ritualised discourse)…real thoughts”. (35) per critic Fazaneh Milani.
Unlike Egyptian Mullhas Iranian clergy aware of the need to modernize. Ayatullah Borujerdi, the supreme Marja, in spite of that opposed land reform. A lot of the ulema were land owners.
A lot of students were attracted to the courses taught by Khomeini. In 1963, he broke cover and started openly condemning the Shah.(44) On 3/22/1963 SAVAK surrounded his madressah , killed manby students and arrested Khomeini.(43).. Khomeini was released after a few days and immediately returned to the attack. On 6/3/1963 on Ashura day he compared the Shah to Yezid.(45). Khomeini was arrested again the next day. Protest was wide spread and nmassive. It took SAVAK several days and hundreds of murders to suppress the demonstrations.
Ayatollah Shariatmadari promoted Khomeini to the rank of Grand Ayatollah which made it too risky for the shah to execute him.(47). After his release he began referring to a conspiracy of Jews, Christians and imperialists which was credible due to collaboration of Mpossad, CIA and SAVAK.(48).
On 10/27, 1964 he strongly conde,mned grant of total immunity to American military and other perssonel. He was deported and settled in Najaf (49).
Dr Ali Shariati (1933-70) taught that if Iranians lost Islam, they will lose themselves.(59). He asserted that Shiism of Ali complelled muslims to stand up and say “no”.(69).
In 1973 Shariati was arrested and tortured. After release he was sent to internal exile before being allowed to leave the country. In 1977, he was killed in London, there are good reasons to believe at the hands of ZAVAK.
In 1971 Khomeini published Hukomat e Islami, (Islamic government)”, in which he proposed the ideology of clerical rule which contradicted the prevalent thought that in the absence of the Hidden Imam all goivernemnt was illgitimate nad Ulema cpould not take over the state.(71). This was revolutionary as it legitimized a revolt against western hegemony.(75-76)
In Israel, religious Zionism had taken over. They7 had started their observant settlements along side socialist kibbutzim. Unlike the Haredim they interpreted the Torah l;iterally that God had promised the land to Jews.(77). During 1940s Rav Moshe ZVI Neria had founded elite boarding schools for boys and girls. (77).Desire for wholeness characterizes religious Zionism. Initially they suffered from a crisis of identity, they were not secularist enough to be Zionists and could not compete with Haredim in orthodoxy.(81). They insisted that soldiers were as righteous as torah scholars while Haredim forbade their students from watching army parade.(83). Their holistic ideology made Zionism a religion-the creed serving the ruling class.
Many secularists experienced the 1967 war as a religious event. (89). A few months after the victory rabbis and students held a conference to foil the government plans to return some of the acquired land.
Jews continued to build stttlements in contrvention of international lawas. 1973 Yom kippur war shattered the complacency that had followed the six day war. Americans had to intervene massively, Henry Kissinger nearly went berserk and Israel had reportedly threatened nuking Caoro and Damascus. The transient setback empowered fundamentalists as such events tend to do all over.
Protestants in the USA felt that the permissive culture and sexual activity of 1960s and the turmoil was a sign of impending Rapture. In 1979, Gallup pole shpowed that one third of Americans had had a religious experience (born aagian), 50% believed in inerrancy of the bible, and more than 80% regarded Jesus as divine.There were 1300 evengelical radio and TV stations with an audience of 130 millionand with profits estimated in billions. In 1980 Pat Robertson boasted “we have enough votes to run this country”. There was intense propaganda againstsecular humanism that they “deny deity…soul…creation…be.ieve that there was no right or wrong…deny distinction between male and female role…believe in sexual freedom, premarital, homo…abortion …euthanasia…equal distribution of wealth…removal of …patriotism…free enterprise system…(105).(supporting property). They believed that secular humanism was a huge conspiratorial network which was out to get their privileges.(113).
Fundamentalists had held aloof from politics due to their belief in premillenialism. But by 1970s they had come to the conclusion that Rapture was far away and wanted to protect “their way of life) (121).
Jerry Falwell was the foremost tele-evangelist(125)
Fundamentalist resurgence took secularists by surprise. It had been coming on but secularists had ignored it. Iranian revolution first drew attrention to the power of fundamentlism. 1973 war was taken as a warning from on high that if the government persisted in secular policies, retribution would not take long.They formed Gush Emunim the “bloc of the faithful”.(2) and colonization of captured Arab land grew apace under several subterfuges. Likud governement under took a massive sttlement program. Sadaat by signing the Camp david accord removed the last obstacle to unhindered advance of
The accord made Sadaat beloved of the West. He launched a new open door initiative (24). As US business and culture took root many Egyptians were alienated.
Egyptian universities were huge with very poor facilities and it was fertile ground for discontent.
Women strted regressing to wearing a veil. Like all pre-modern law Shariah reduces women to an inferior position. But Muslim women believe that Islam grants them equality. According to Leila Ahmad in “Women and Gender in Islam” they were vulnerable to cooption by the patriarchal establishment. And that when Islamic regimes come to power…led to deterioration of the status of women.(43). By bullying Islamists took over student’s union. (46) Thunder squads of JTI.
Islamist students rejected the universal expansion of western values. Sadaat supported them till 1977. In June 1979, ee banned the Union of Egyptian students. The students reacted by redoubling their efforts.
All this was happening against the back drop of Iranian revolution. On 11/ 13, 1979 the Shah visited Carter. He was greeted by huge demonstrations by Iranian students. (Only Iranian Jews and Bahais supported him). Carter foolishly called Iran “ an Island of stability”. In Dec 1977 during a visit to Iran, Carter repeated the mindless statement. (56). He thus became “the Great Satan”. (Satan is a much more evil and potent figure in Christianity than in Islam).(57).
Iranian revolution was not just political. It was also a rebellion against secularist ethos.
Demonstrations against the government on the 40th day of Karbala commemoration which the Shah was trying to suppress, turned into Qum massacre. Forty days after this massacre the Ulema and Bazzaris swamped the streets of all Iranian cities to mourn the new dead and police created more martyrs.
In June and 1978, the Shah made concessions-free elections on multi-party basis- too little, too late. More demonstrations resulted in more killings (72). On 9/8/1978 900 people killed in Jaleh Square. Carter reaffirmed his support in a phone to Shah.(74).
On 11/4/1978 students pulled the statue of the Shah down from the gates of Teheran University. All business stopped.
Saddam expelled Khomeini from Iraq. He went to Paris. On 12/2/1978 as Moharram drew near, Khomeini ordered that instead of the usual rituals people should demonstrate against the Shah. The police killed another 700.(BBC-76).
Demonstrators went on getting bigger.(77-80).
Army tried unsuccessfully to arrange pro-Shah demonstrations.
The Shah appointed Shahpur Bakhtiar a known liberal as PM. He could not hold the tide. He arranged for thr the Shah and family to leave for Egypt where Sadaat welcomed them. On 2/1/1979 Bakhtair had to invite Khomeini back.
Khomeini arrival in Teheran was an event like the storming of Bastille. Khomeini liked to quote a hadith that he was returning from the lesser to greater jihad. ( Mullhas, petit bourgeoisie and the feudal element combined against the monarchy).
The symbol of fundamentalist revival in the USA was Moral majority created by Jerry Falwell, but the inspiration came from right wingers. The moral Majoritarians wanted to cooperate and coopt all conservatives of all creeds., including Jesse Helms, an opponent of civil rights((86).
Fundamentalist turned into Christian right. Televangelist James Robison :Any teachind o peace before thje return (of Christ) was heresy.(90). Women’s liberation movement filled them with terror much more than it did Muslim fundamentalists. Phyyllis Schlafly, a Roman Catholic leader of Moral Majority “Ever since Eve disobeyed God and sought her own liberation, feminism had brought sin into the world and with it fear, sickness, pain, anger, hatred, danger, violence and all varieties of ugliness”.(91). They feel unmanned by secular humanism and were concerned about male potency. Modern men were much less “certain of their manhood’’Tim and Beverley LaHaye “The Act of Marriage: The beauty of Sexual Love” 1976.(94). Fundamentalist felt some how castrated.
But there was a liberal back lash. Trivialization of political discourse in Clinton monica Lewinsky affair caused wide spread revulsion.
But the obsessed campaigns went on and had delterious effect. In 1981 Mel and Norma Gabler started a campaign to “get God bvack into Schools” of Texas. The target was bvooks by Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad, William goding and John Steinbeck among other authors with a liberal slant.(104). Courts ruled against the Gablers but the publishers, in the greater interst of profit-market beat a hasty retreat and amended the books themselves!
The religious offensive of 1970s indicated that societies were polarized. Iranian revolution was particularly troubling for adherents of enlightement who believed that revolutions were strictly secularist and the idea of a revolution ushering in a theocratic state was utterly fantastic. No body thought Khomeini regime would survive. But most Iranians wanted Islamic rule.
The draft constitution with the concept of Vilayat e Faqih (deputy imam with control of the army and power to dismiss the PM, was opposed by leading ayatollahs, and Mehdi Barzagan, the new PM, left wing, minorities, liberals and the middle class.
Good old USA came to Khomeni’s rescue. On 10/22/1979 the shah flew into NY city for medical treatment. Barzagan flew into Algiers on 11/1/1979 for independence celebrations and was photographed shaking hands with Zbigniew Brzeinski and was denounced as an American agent. 11/4/1979 3000 students stormed the US embassy. (This type of hostage taking violates specific laws of Islam).(7).Khomeini did not order them to vacate the embassy as he had done after the previous attempt on 2/14/1979. Barzagan resigned on 11/6/1979 and was replaced by Bani Sadr.(4). The new constitution was passed with impressive majority in 12/1979.
Between late May and mid-July 1980 four coups against the regime were discovered. There street battles between secularist guerillas nad Khomeini Revolutionary guards. On 9/20/1980 Saddam, arguably encouraged by the USA attacked.
By offending the west Khomeini could not get equipment and spare parts. That caused great problems in war with Iraq and economy went down hill-fast.
In 1981, the Majlis proposed land reforms. Khomeini, realizing that with out the reforms Iran will remain feudal and agrarian, sympathized, but the proposal ran into fifficulties. Any law had to be approved by the council of Guardians ( a prt of the new constitution), many memberds of which were land owners. They vetoed the bill in spite of Khomeini’s efforts to reason with them. The speaker wanted Khomeini to use his powers as the faqih to over rule the guardians but he did not to go that far.
In 12/1987 the Guardians opposed Labor laws as contravention of Shariah. Khomeini declared that Shaiah was a pre-industrial code and needed to be adopted to the needs of the modern world (29). Government was a crucial part of divine rule delegated by god to the prophet and took precedence even over ‘pillars’ of Islam ((30).
In the spring of 1988 elections Khomeni implicitly asked the people to reject Mullahs and they lost half their seats, got only 63 out of 270(32).
On 2/14/1989 he issued the fatwa against Salman Rudhdi. His novel Satanic Verses had caused an uproar.(34).Khomeni died in 6/1989 and massively grief erupted, which was not understood by the West.
Things gradually changed after Khomeini. On 5/23/ 1997 Syed Khatami won a land slide in presidential elections (22 out of 30 million votes) and declared his intention to develop more positive relations with the west.
In Egypt Sadaat was assassinated on 10/6/1981.The west could not understand that either.(the-slay those who ascribe divinity to aught beside god…47). But the Koran targets only idolaters. Sadaat was a Muslim. Ibn Taymiyyah helped out. He had called Mongol rulers who had converted to Islam but ruled according to their own laws ‘apostates’.(51). Sadaat fell into the category easily.
Mubarak who followed, scared of meeting the same fate, released most of the religious people arrested by Sadaat. But the deep discontent cstill lurks under the surface and has resulted in killings of a former interior minister, speaker of the parliamnent and western tourists(66).
Israel also became more religious reflected in the political rise of the Haredim in 1980s.(70). The major concern was survival. (72) “ we are weak…we must therefore maintain our guard…with in the governwemnt”.
In 1952 Agudat Israel had broken with Labor on the question of drafting women in the army. They joined the coalition with Likud in 1977.
To the astonishment of the Israelis, religious parties won a record number of seats –18-in 1988 elections and held the balance of power between Labor and Likud. They regarded their political work as necessary evil (JI in Pakistan).(74).
On 3/26/1990 Rabbi Schah, the most powerful Rabbi addressed 10,000 bearded and caftaned in that holy of holies of secular Jews, the basket ball stadium. Basketball is nearly a religion in Israel and represents the secular Jewish ideal of Jews as robust sportsmen, capable of beating gentiles at their own game and not pale Talmud reciters. The wars that worried Haredim were not Israeli arab, but the ones Zionist were waging against religion. They wanted to break down the barroers between secular and religious jews(77). The mystical joy of the religious Jews in the land became an ecstacy of rage after Isreal signed the peace treaty with Palestinians. They went berserk(80).
All religious Jews agreed that Paletinians had no place in Israel. They differed in the preferred method of elimination. In 1980 Rabbi Israel Hess published “Genocide: A commandment of Torah” in the official magazine of Bar-Ilan University. (87).
Jerusalem had been, except for brief periods 0f Crusader rule (1099-1187), a Muslim city and the third holiest city for them. The Dome of the Rock was the place Muhammad had ascended to heaven on the site Temple Mount built by King Solomon. Muslims call the city Al-Quds(the holy) and the area of the Dome Haram al-Sharif (the most noble sanctuary).
But for centuries Jews and Muslims had lived peacefully together. Jews believed that that the temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE could only be rebuilt by the Messiah. The Ottoman sultan ssssuleman the Magnificent (1494-1566) granted Jews permission to build an official sanctuary around the only relic of the temple, the Western wall and the shrine was said to have been designed by Sinan, the court architect.The harmony ebnded with the advent of Zionist movement. From 1948 to 1967 during the Jordanian occupancy of Est Jerusalem, Jews were not allowed to visit the wall.
After annexation of Jerusalem by Israel a few days after the 1967 war, they promised to to give unrestricted access to Muslims and Christians.
For the extremists the cDome of the Rock was an abomination and the Messiah could not return as the site was polluted by the Rock (89). There was the Dome of the Rock plot.(92).
All Muslim states wouild have to unite against Israel and while the USSR existed destruction of the Dome could have led to WW III (90). (Iraq would not have been possible if USSR had not imploded. It is safer to have two enemies). The spector of nuclear holocaust did not bother the extreme Kookists.
Another extremist was Rabbi Meir Kahane. He had started his career in NY by organizing the Jewish Defense League to avenge attack on Jews by blacks. He went to Israel in 1974 to harass Paletinians. After trhe 1967 war Jews should have expelled Arabs and other gentiles too, he exhorted his audiences.(97). “When a Jew is humiliated, god is shamed !(99). This inspired Baruch Goldstein to kill 22 Palestinians in the cave of Patriarchsin Hebron on 8/25/1994.
The response of Paletinians to 1967 defeat was not religious revival, but secularist and nationalist. Yasir Arafat orgainized a guerrilla campaign, but when it was suppressed in 1971, Sheikh Ahmad Yasin founded an Islamic movement called Mujamah(congress) and initiated welfare programs, associated with Muslim Brotherhood -by 1987 it had clinics, drug programs, youth clubs, sports faclitieis, and Koran classes, supported by Zakat (religious charity) and oil rich states and by Israel which wanted to undermine Yasir Arafat. The secular ethos of Arafat appealed only to educated elite.(100).
Islamic Jihad on the other hand believed in armed struggle and regarded the secular society as jahiliyya.
On 12/9/1887 Intifadah broke out in the strip and quickly spread to Jerusalem and the West Bank. It impressed the Arab world and empowered the Israeli peace movement too. Yitzhak Rabin realized that force would not solve the problem and as PM in 1992 planned negotiations with Palestinians. Israelsigned the Oslo accord with PLO in 1993.
But another group HAMAS (Islamic resistance movement ) had been formed in early days of Intifadah. It fought Israelis as well as PLO. (102). They avenged the Cave of Patrirch killings with suicide bombs. That made Israelis wary of the accord.
Kookist Rabbis were intensely incensed by the accord and ordered soldiers to disobey orders when they started to evacuate captured territories.(105). On 11/4/1995Rabin was assassinated whom the assasin Yigal Amir regarded as rodef, enemy of Jewisgh people.. (106). Haredim were responding to the hatred secularists bore them by hatred-“ death to Zionist hitlerites”.(107).
Fundamentalists and secularists of all creeds have a different conception of the sacred. The aim of Gush Emunim was “the imposition of an ugly …version of Judaism on the state of Israel” Amos Oz, the celebrated Israeli Novelist.
A deep divide ran between fundamentalists and secularists in the USA and had a negative image of each other.Elements of literalistic faith ran deep in American consciouness.(111).
In 1987 fundamentalists were embroiled in scandals of money grubbing and sex. Bakkers, Jim and Tammy asked their audience to make sacrifices while they spent $ 22,000.00 on floor to ceiling mirrors.(112).In 1980 the Charlotte Observer alleged that Jim Bakker had seduced a church secretary Jessica Helms and paid her $ 250,000.00 to keep quiet.(115). Jim sought help from Jerry Falwell and turned on jimmy Swaggert who had exposed him. But Swaggert had taken to visiting a protitute.(116).
Failure of fundmentlism was starkly demonstrated by vicious attacks the tele0evangelists hurled at each other during the scandals.(119).
But fundamemtlism was not dead. Abortion clinics were harassed.(121).
The Reconstruction movement of Texas is waging a militant battle against secular humanism and like Muslims of their kind are concerned with sovereignty of God.(123). When the kingdom democracy will be abolished, slavery reintroduced, no birth control, adulterers, homosexuals, blasphemers , astrologers and witches will be put to death. A strict capitlist economy will be reinforced. God was not on the side of the poor, one of the founders economist Gary north explains “there is a tight relationship between poverty and wickedness”.(124). No use of Taxes for welfare, that amounted to subsidizing evil.(125).(Religion in its naked form, with all the subterfuges removed).
On 2/28/1993 FBI raided David Koresh’s Branch Davidians, (an offshoot of Seventh Day Adventists) as they were stickpiling arms).
Christian Identity are viciously anti-semitic, call the government Zionist Occupation government (ZOG). They make paramilitary raids to kill government officials and set fire to abortion clinics.(132) and inspired Timothy McViegh’s bomb attack on Federal building in Oklahama city on 4/19/1995.
The trend is worrying.
In premodern days myths and rituals helped people to accept the limitations of an agrarian society. We have a tendency to see truth as factual, histirical and empirical.But rationalism can not address questions of ultimate meaning.
There is a viod in the heart of modernism. Pascal, Descartes, Hobbes and Neitzsche in theor own ways horrified by the emptiness, inert universe, retreat of God from the world and the death of God. Sartre acknowledged a God shaped hole in modern consciousness, but rejected deity as it negated our freedom. Albert camus (1913-60) insisted that by rejecting God, humans would be able to love all human kind. Enlightenment offered that all human beings would become rational.
But a lot of people have not been able to breach the wall of religion and regress when calamities hit them. Extremists descend into fundamentalist fury.
In spite of the horrors of two World wars and many other minor ones, when compared to genocides of Mongols, Aryans, Vikings and Europeans in Americas and Australias, on balance modernity has over all been beneficial, humane and benevolent.
Suppression and coercion of fundamentalists is not the answer. Fundamentalism anticipates imminent annihilation. Exploiting it for pragmatic purpose is also counter productive as Saddat learned.
These theologies are rooted in fear.The premillenial vision views modernity as diabolic. But they are not archaic. They are innovative like Khomeini’s Vilayat e Faqih.Jewish Yeshivot are modern institutions.
Fundamentalists rebel against the hegemony of secularism. Like religious Jews aginst secular Zionists. (Algerian, Somalian, Indonesian and Pakistani fundamentalists. In Pakistan, with the help of the feudal class, they successfully undermined the vision of the founder. In Iran, helped by the delusions of grandeur of the Shah, the feudal and petit bourgeois, they overthrew the monarchy).
(move summaries like God delusion, Sebastain, and industry and empire and articles
Confessions of an Economic Hitman.
John Perkins gives a graphic account of how Corporations work
“Economic Hitmen (EHM) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the Globe of trillions of dollars…funnel money from WB, USAID, …into coffers of huge corporations and into the pockets of a few wealthy families…tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, pay off, extortion, sex and murder…”.
EHM failed to bring Jaime Roldos president of Ecuador and Omar Torrijos of Panama around. They were assassinated by CIA sanctioned killers called ‘jackals’.
Perkins describes how he ended up with a trainer called Claudine who told him “to encourage world leaders to become a part of a vast network that propotes US commercial interests… become ensared …in a web of debt that ensures their loyalty…”.
US executives hire people at near slave wages to work in inhuman conditions in Asian sweatshops….Oil companies pupm toxins into rain forest rivers…killing people, animals and plants…pharma ceutical industry denies life saving drugs to HIV infected Africans, twelve million in the USA worry about the next meal (Dept of Aggriculture http://www.frac.org
It is not a conspiracy. It is actually a neo-liberal belief. It is driven by the idea that all economic groth benefits human kind …those people who excel…should be rewarded…those born at the fringes…available for exploitation.
Corporatocracy controls governments, business, media and academia.
2003, a town named after the company shell, near Quito, capital of Ecuador. Tribals and other indigenous people resist resist destruction of homes by oil companies-unsuccessfully. EHMs arrange loans larger than the country’s ability to pay, it defaults and has to 1 surrender vote in the UNO, allow USA military bases, and hand over natural resources.
Ecuador is about the size of Nevada. It has 30 active volcanoes, 15% of world’s bird species, unclassified plants in thousands and oil which accounts for 50% of exports of the country.. An oil pipeline leaked more than a million barrels of oil into the rain forest, twice that Exxon Valdez did.(2) Indigenous people have brought $ one billion worth of suits against Chevron-Texaco since 1970s with not a penny to show for it.(4)
During the oil bomm official poverty level rose from 50% to 70%, un/under employment from 15% to 70%, public debt from $ 240 million to $ 16 billion, while
share of resources to the poor fell from 20% to 6%.(6)
Third world debt stands (2004) at $ 2.5 trillion with servicing (interest) of $ 375 billion, more than all the third world expenditure on health and education and twenty times of what under developed countries receives as aid!(7)
More than half the people of the world survive on less than $ 2.00 a day while top 1% of the families in poor countries own, depending upon the specific country, 70to 90% of all wealth and real estate in the countries.
Dams built to generate electricic energy play havoc with ecology, displace peasants, and make the elite richer. (Agoyan Hydro-electric plant in Ecuador, the country had to sell rain forest to pay foreign debt).(8).Of $ 100.00 of oil money $ 75.00 goes to oil companies and $ 2.50 for health and education.(9).
EHMs do not carry swords, they appear to be humble, progressive and altruistic, but if they fail Jackals step in. (10). If they too fail direct aggression is resorted to.
Chap 3 Indonesia:
In 14492 Columbus actually wanted to go to Indonesia, known as spice Islands at the time. The Dutch finally defeated Spainiards, Portugese and the English in 1750 bit it took them 150 years to subdue the natives.
During WW II the Dutch surrendred to Japanese with out much of a fight. Following Japanese surrender Soekarno delared independence and four years of fighting led to independence on 12/27/1949.
Intra-tribal conflict followed. Soekarno suspended the parliament in 1960 and was named president for life in 1963, developed alliances with communist governments for military and economic aid. He was one of rhe pillars of non-aligned movement and presided over the Bandung conference. Local communists, large number of whom were ethnic Chinese, the community dominatede indudtry and commerce.
A coup in 1965, reminiscent of the 1953 coup in Iran overthrew him. Half to one million people were massacred by the army whose chief Suharto formally took over in 1968. (1).
By 1971 when it was losing out in Vietnam the USA had decided to seduce Indonesia. Suharto was expected to behave like the Shah of Iran. An electrification project as a part of overall plan to dominate South East Asia was offered.
Chap 4 Saving a Country from Communism:
History of the country offers a cornucopia of wrathful gods, Komodo dragons and Sultans from long before Christ. Books featured beautiful women in sarongs, exotic dancers and Bugi pirates who had so terrorized Europenas sailors that they took to warning their children that if they did not behave Bugimen will get them.
Conditions of the poor were shocking. Girls offered sex for a few coins. Card board hovels sheltered entire families. Canals had turned into cesspools and roads overlaid with choking fumes.
Electrification plants were meant to serve oil companies, ports for pipe lines, and construction planned for the next 25 years while babies were dying for lack of food and potable water. Corporatocracy creates a new kind of feudal system. The malise remains unrevealed as corporations fund and comntrol Think Tanks, Academia and own the Media.
Corporate wives and mistresses lived in 5 star hotels, spent days in swimming pools and nights in clubs and restaurants, while the poor natives bathed and brushed their teeth in canals in which they also defecated.
Lower level employees were scared of confiding in foreign consultants who never learned local languages. Political and business leaders resented them andprovided information they thought would please the consultants.
In the oldest part of Bandung there were no traffic lights. In a puppet show Nixon was shown as uncle Sam, chewing gum and spitting out countries from Vietnam to Mid-East, shouting vituperative words like Muslims are dogs and Muhammad’s monsters
US the most opulent society with the highest drug, divorce and crime rate in the world. Millions depend upon exploitation of LDCs for their jobs.
The British justified taxes over the US for protection against the French and Indians and resistence were called traiters.. Muslims fighting for theirc rights are called terrorists.
Chap 10 Panama’s Omar Torrijos:
Panama was part of Columbia when Ferdinand de Lessups, the director of construction of Suez canal started building Panama canal in 1881 and finished it in 1889. It was a fiscal disaster. At the advent of the 20th century Theodore Roosevelt demanded that Columbia in lieu of laons surrender the isthmus to a North American consortium. Columbia refused. In 1903 Roosevelt sent the US warship Nashville, overthrew the government, installed a puppet. The first Canal Traety was signed by the US secretary of State Hay and by a French engineer Phillipe Bunau-Varilla, but by no Panamian.(1).During the 50 years rule by an oligarchy of wealthy right wing families who served US interests. US army intervened six timestill 1968 when a coup overthrew dictator Arnulfo Arias and omat Torrijosemerged as head of the state. (2) and gave asylum to left wing opponents of Pinichet and right wing anti-Castro people. He was independent of the USA and Soviet Union
The 1823 Monroe doctineasserted special US rights over the hemisphere.and force was used to bring the recalcitrant ones in line. Teddy Roosevelt intervened in Dominican Republic, Venezuala and in Panama. Subsequent presidents Taft, Wison and Franklin Roosevelt used ito expand influence in Latin America. In latter half of 20th century, the communist bogey was used to justify intervention through out the world, especiallu Vietnam and Indonesia (5).
Omar objected to the School of Americas and the US southern command tropical warfare training center both in the canal zone where the sons of dictators and military officerss were invited to learn interrogation and covert operation techniques. Latin Americans hated it.
Perkins had been sent to close a deal on a master development plan which would facilitate investment (loans) of billions of dollars by WB, Inter-American Development Bank and US-Aid which would keep Panama for ever in debt.
Half the traffic is from and to Japan and Americans do not know about it as they do not know about much else. Graffiti covered walls “Go home Gringo, Uncle Sam slave master. Americans owned all the business and property exempt from Panamian taxes and seven 18 hole golf courses.. Panamian had 30% unemployment and an income of less than $ 1000.00 per year.
Panamian women even barred from selling their bodies. All prostitutes imported. MPs look on if soldiers attack prtitutes in bars.
United Fruit founded (1800s in Guetemala). EARLY 1950S REFORM CANDIDATE Jacobo Arbenz elected.At the time 3% Guetemalna owned 70% of the land. Arbenz promised to redress the injustice. United Fruit launched a furious PR campaign. In 1954 CIA supervised a coup, American pilots bombed Guetemala city, Col Castillo Armas, right wing dictator took over (2), reversed land reforms. United Fruit owned by by Zapata oil, Gerge Bush’s (US ambassador to the UN at the time) company.
Omar wanted to build a sea level canal with out locks and expected Japanese finance. The move opposed by Bechtel, world’s most powerful engineering co which was full of Nixon, Ford and Bush cronies and pulled all the strings of the republican party.
Chap 14 Opec and oil companies:
During 1960s OPEC formed.
Oil companies had been holding down oil prices. 1973 oil embargo changed the equation. There were similarities between 1930s and 1970s. the former led to Keynesian economics that governments should play a major role in managing markets and providing services and also led to the establishment of WB, IMF, GATT.
McNamarra jockeyed WB as an agent of Globalization. Rotation between governments and corporations was already routine. (McNamarra. Ford to Defense to WB, Shultz Bechtel to treasury to state, Wienberger to defenseCheney Halliburton to defenseGeorge H.W Bush founder of Zapata Petroleum to VP and President, Rubin from goldman Sachs to tresurey and innumerable other instances.
Chap 15 Saudi money laundering:18th century CE Muhammmad ibn Saud a tribal chieftain joined hands with the guru of fundamentalism Ibne Wahab.
10/06/1973 Yom kippur war, Faisal of Saudi Arabia decided to retliate against US complicity. On 10/16/1973 oil price increased 70%.
In a meeting Iraqi oil minister proposed that US businesses in Arab countries be nationalized.
On 10/17/1973 Arab opil ministers decided to cut back on oil production by 5 to 10% every month till their demands were met. 10/19/1973 nixon asked congress for 2.2 billion aid to Israel. The next day Arabs imposed a total emborgo on oil to USA.(1). It ended on 3/18/1974 but oil went up from $1.39 per barrel on 1/1/1970 to $ 8.32 on 1/1/1974(2).
Nixon threatened to invade Saudi Arabia and only the promise to deposit petro dollars in NY stopped him. The deal included purchase of USG securities. Corporations and USG bonded better than ever.
The wealth offered undreamed of luxuries to Saudi ruling class. Wahabis objected. They were sent to poor Muslim countries wit all the cash they wanted to open madrassahs.
Joint Economic commission between US and Saudi Arabia formed to spend billions of dollars on construction and other projects to siphon petro wealth back to the US, industrial parks, infra-stucture all under US control. .(3)
Chap 16 Osama, pimpimg for Saudis:
Saudi princes placed orders for women. EHTs and Lebanese procurers became rich.(1).
US persuaded Saudis to finance Osama and together they funneled $ 3.5 billion to Mujhideen.(5). Late 2003 US News and World Report “Saudi comnnection” Elr
Electronic intercepts…members of the Royal family…backing not only Al-qaeda but other terrorist..´6). 10/2003 issue Vanity Fair relations between Bush family, Saudis and ben Laden family went back to 1974, close personal, business and political ties, supported a Bush investment Harken, a failing oil co and Bush Sr and Baker appeared before a Saudi audience to raise funds for the Carlyle group.
Days after 9/11 Saudis including ben Laden family members were flown out of the US on private jets when the air space was still closed to civilian flights.
Torrijos and Carter renegotiated Panama canal treaty in 1977, control passed to Panama ratified by a single congress vote. US conservatives vowed revenge.
Chap 18 Iran:
US and European allies determined to show Shah as a progressive alternative to Iraq, Libya, China and Korea. 1962 land reforms, 1963 white revolution, US involved in both, CIA more prerssonel in Teheran than in Langley.. Flowering desert project resented by desert dwellers.
Chap 19 Iranian Torture victim.
The wheel bound man reduced to the state when he offered dissent, was involved in the coup which brought the Shah back in 1954 thought the Shah worse than Hitler.
The Shah fled to the US. Khomeini wanted him back. Business interests forced USG to throw him out.
Seat of Spanish viceroys, idyllic and also the scene of genocide of balcks and Indians in untold numbers. Engineering and construction contracts accepted which it could never repay. Source of cocaine, emarlds, oil, textiles.
Chap 22:American Republic and Global Empire
Indians living along rivers Haated Americans dams built by US companies. They were called communists and terrorists. Guerillas trained in China/USSR to defend themselves against soldiers trained in the US. Sold cocaine to raise funds.
US Republic had been an inspiration. The Empire was a demon. The Empire was the Republic’s nemesis, accumulated resources through aid agencies, contractors and agencies. Swaet shops were no better than slave ships, both the slaves and sweat shop workers socialized into believing that they were better off than they would have been.
Oil exploration in the country’s Amazon basin began in a serious way in late 1960s. A small number of families in the country went on a buying spree of industrial parks, hydroelectric dams etc and asddled the country with huge loans.
Jaime Roldos, a university professor, ran for president in 1978 on the platform of egalitarian and prudent use of resources and won and focused on Texaco, the main oil player.
Summer Institute of Linguistic (SIL) an evangelical group, funded by Rockefeller charities, offered food, , clothes, health care and proselitization and persuded tribesmen to move from land where oil was reported.
Chap 26 Roldos of Equador killed:
Carter lost in 11/1980 due mainly to hostage crisis, and Panama canal treaty. Reagan, a servant of corporatocracy took over and had Bush, Shultz, Weinberger, cheney, Helms told him what to do.
1981 Roldos presented Hydrocarbon law to his congress for changing the relationship with oil companies.(1). Oil co unlaeashed a barrage of vilification of Roldos, offering threats and bribes. Roldos expelled SIL.(2) and in a major address warned other forien interests to help the people of his country or face expulsion.
He died in a midair explosion on 5/24/1981. His successor Oswaldo Hurtado invited SIL back and reinstated oil co.((4). (Zia of Pakistan exploded in the air in 1988 when he obstructed US/USSR deal on Afghanistan and for good measure took US ambassador, military attaché and a dozen generals with him.)
Chap 27: Torrijos killed:
He had expelled SIL too and refused to renegotiate the Canal treaty. Died in a plane explosion on 7/31/1981. Bechtel of Shultz and Wienberger invited ,. School of Americas removed under the Canal treaty was brought back ny Noreiga(3).
Chap 28 Enron and Bush:
Enron came out of nowhere and started putting together huge deals. Another topic of interest was the vp’s son george bush whose first Energy co Arbusto-spanish for Bush was rescued from failure by merger in 1984 with Spectrum 7 which in turn was baled out by purchase by harken in 1986, bush Jr was retained as a board member at $ 200,000.00 per year (2). Harken availed of the opportunity to spread internationally. Vanity Fair “once Bush the board, …new investments…drilling rights”(3).
In 1989 Amoco negotiating with Bahrain for drilling rights. Bush got elected President, Harken replaced Amoco.(4).
Chap 29 Derugulation:
During the 1980s and 1990s dregulation became the mantra, small firms collapsed, the idea of oil independence jettissioned.With Reagan beholden to corporations and bush himself owner of corporations, social welfare, environment, and quality of life gave in to corporate greed. Water, sewage, utilities, communications, all privatized and sought cheaper labor. It was to grow into full blown out sourcing with industries going to China and IT to India. International finance system created post WW II at Bretton Woods NH, WB, IMF to reconstruct Europe were all taken over by corporations. Jim Garrison, President State of the World Forum “Globalization….with in our life time…integration… of all national economies…into a single, global, free market system.(1).
Chap 30 Invasion of Panama:
Noriega initially tried to push through the Japanese deal to build a new canal with out locks. US continued to get in the way.(1).
Noriega had been CIA’s Panama liason, had links with drug dealers, helped CIA infiltrate drug cartels, expected CIA to protect him. 6/12/1986 NY Times “Panama strong man said to trade in drugs and illicit money” on its front page. The US president suffered from the “wimp factor”.(4). Noriega refused extention of the School of Americas for an indefinite period. US attacked on12/20/1989(6). US stopped Red Croos for three daysto destroy evidence and incinerate victims.Cheney 500-6000 casulties, independent observers (9) 3000 to 5000, 25,000 homeless.. Noriega brought to US jailed for 40 years.(10).
The new canal treaty became a moot point.
Chap 31 Iraq, an EHT failure:
Reagan-Bush wanted to see Iraq as another Saudi Arabia. Saddam was aware of the advantages. He could do whatever he wanted afterwards. US had supported many wannabe Hitlers before too.EHMs in Baghdad felt that Saddam will eventually see the light and everything would be privatized with all the arms and security he wanted in return. A vast market for pharma, techno and engineering would be on hand.
Iraq does not have only oil.It is a great reservoir of water too.
But Saddam was not buying into the EHM scenario.
In 8/1990 Saddam, best by loans incurred during war with Iran which fellow Arabs had not forgiven and were not funding Iraqi reconstruction, invaded Kuwait, after getting clearance by April Guillipse, the US ambassador. That was no more illegal than US invasuion of Panama.
Beneath the rhetoric of justice and fair play, Global corporations held sway. Many corporations incorporated in many countries and could pick and choose the ones thet wanted to and make them write legislation to their liking.
Chap 32: 9/11
9/11 was a monstrous security failure. It had beeb attacked before in 1993 and there were several attacks on US consulates (in Pakistan and Africa) and on USS Cole.
24,000 people die of hunger every day. There are 80 million beggars in the world.
Chap 33 Venezuala:
Had been cruelly exploited by corporations. Hugp chavez elected in 1998,(1) introduced Hydrocarbon law, which doubled the royalties charged from oil companies and replaced the executives in the state owned oil co by his own people (2).
Fourt largest exporter and number three supplier to US, with $ 50 billion income, 80% 0f export revenue.
On 12/14/1922 a huge oil blow out, by 1930 world’s largest exporter, 1973 embargo, EHMs went in, international banks flooded the country with loans, then oil prices crashed. It could not repay loans. 1989 IMF imposed harsh austerity measures, riots killed 200, per capita income fell by over 40% (5).
9/11 saved it. US attention diverted to Afghanistan/Iraq, it did try a Mossadeq on Chavez (6)-Guetemala 1954, 200,000 died, Chile 1973, Peru Alberto Fujimori, Panama 1989 Otto J Reich chosen as Kermit Roosevelt. Chavez came back after 72 hours.
Chap 34 Equador again:
US corpn loaned billions to the country, a few rendered rich, the country bankrupt. (poverty up 50to 70%, jobless up 15 to 70%, Public debt up 240 milliomn to 16 billion, resources to poor down from 20 to 6%, 50 % budget for laon payment.(1). The process occurred in both democratic and republican administrations. It was subtle and effective imperialism. Agents in place recruited and trained by western companies, given big salaries, bonus and pension. Amazon forest opened for oil exploration, cultures, lives, fauna and flora destroyed. Rain forests which absorb CO2 and give out O2 and seed rain clouds which creates most of world’s fresh water, destroyed.
Ratio of income of 20% population in rich countries to 20% in poor countries went from 30to one in 1960 to 74 to one in 1995 (2).
Chap 35 Iraq attacked again:
For oil, not terrorism. Rising oil prices might make US empire self destruct.
Loan given and not paid back gives control over the resources of the country. US national debt in 2003 6 trillion (7 by end of 2003).
Global empire depends on dollar acting as world currency. Euro fast rplacing it as world currency.
4/18/2003 NY Times US gives Bechtel major contract in rebuilding Iraq(2). Halliburton another contract (4).
Things are not as they appear to be. News is managed by corporations and truth is the first casualty.
NBC is owned by General Electric, ABC by Disney, CBS by Viacom, CNN by AOL/Time Warner. (Clinton years saw monpolization of media ownership from 85 to 5 owners).
The dependence of this country on Global corporations is increasing fast. Nearly all manufacturing and most of communications work has gone overseas. US imported 8 milliom barrels of oil a day in 1990, 12 million in 2003. Per barrel it was $ 1.38 before 1973 oil embargo. Post Iraq it is nearlt $ 150.00 per barrel. Banks have led the slide in economy. Joblessness, bankruptcies, repossession of homes due to unregulated greed are the legacies of Bush years.
Industry and empire by E.J Hobshawn.
Evolution of industry and emergence of bourgeoisie government can be studied by analysis of statistics for unemployment and production, which were not available even in developed countries before the early part of 20th century. So we have educated guesses.
Statistics are, in any case, an amalgam of error. The earlier ones have higher rate of error. They are in response to narrow questions and are highly manipulable to serve a specific purpose.
Industrial revolution ranks with invention of agriculture, metallurgy and Town as a defining change in human history. It is the most precisely documented of fundamental transformations in recorded human history.
For a brief moment in time, it was restricted to Britain and helped it gain influence out of all proportion to its size, the sources or talent. Other nations, industrialized, but the foundation helped it retain its pre-imminent, if not overwhelming position. Advantages of early development were great. The disadvantage was inertia. Britain was the agency of interchange between the advanced and backward societies. Pound became the primary currency. When challenged Britain would and did fall back on colonies, (which it kept unindustrialized as a matter of policy).
The single world economy, political and military control started coming apart after 1917 Soviet revolution.
Britain’s social and political institutions maintained a superficial continuity with its pre-industrial past, Queen, House of Lords and ceremonials, which attracted a lot of tourists and generated a lot of income. (There are still a few peasants, and labor unions are more empowered, though much diminished by Margaret Thatcher). It also has virtually two classes working and middle, represented by political parties.
Feudal interests resisted industrial development and lost out by the end of 17th century. Capitalists and (monarchy) defeated the feudal system. Working class unlike in other industrial countries dominated the peasants and petit bourgeoisie.
Britain adjusted much better to changing circumstances. Naked capitalism was never an overwhelming force in Europe, as it was in the USA. Its effect were always ameliorated somewhat with welfare-statist trends especially in post world war II period, (though one must keep in mind the writings of Charles Dickens on the plight of the poor).
There have been profound changes since 1750, but have always been camouflaged by the British habit of understatement. In addition the institutions, though not the content has been maintained. Monarchy is not what it was in 1750. Innovations lasting a long time have become traditions. Laissez faire, common law the middle class homes with gardens; Britain tends to absorb irresistible changes.
Britain developed as a part of world economy, which was based on assets of colonial possessions.
Industrialization of Lancashire prolonged slavery in the USA. Economic crisis in Great Britain affected the colonies much worse. In the 18th-century Britain had to make, for a while at any rate, industrial revolution alone. Peasants and artisans were eliminated. It did so with out any concern for trade unions, social security as modern societies have to.
Britain in 1750
Travel was slow, lodgings very expensive, it took a whole day to travel 50 miles.
Countryside was green and prosperous “the whole country is not unlike a well kept garden” Count Keilmanseggar said of Essex in 1761(2). North of the country was different, a bit off the beaten track. London was twice the size of Paris and the largest city in the world but it was ugly. “…Wonderful for its bigness” Abbe Le Blanc 1747 (3).
No other British towns had even a population of 50,000. Ports were busy in trade of slaves and products of colonies like tea, tobacco, sugar and cotton. Ships and overseas trade were the main prop of the economy. Navy the most powerful in the world with 6000 ships, and 100,000 men, was several times the size of the second ranking France.
Industrial produce was massive though poor in workmanship and machines, which “really multiply men by lessening their work” Abbe Le Blanc (6). Steam engine was already present. Metal goods, pottery, and wool were produced in quantity.
Trade was the most important, the natural production not a fourth of her wealth, the rest she owes to her colonies (7). Kings were subordinate to a parliament, which was controlled by land owning aristocrats. (8). “Commerce which had enriched the citizens of England…. and had made them free…in turn expanded commerce” Voltaire. Power was based on the Navy and the state offered more liberty and tolerance than other countries did.
It led in science and technology and literature with stable institutions. (17) Success was based on free enterprise, but transformation of the country due to industrialization was in the future. With population rising in England and Wales from 6 1/2 million in 1750 to more than 9 million in 1801 to 16 million by1814. It was a nation of shopkeepers.
A closed and self sufficient economy is impossible in a city above a certain size. London was 15% of the country's population. It stimulated agriculture, transport and coal mines. Famine did not occur; though rise in prices led to rioting in 1740-41, 1757 and 1767.
Imports specially tea were rising. Since the restoration of 1660, land was increasingly concentrated among large landowners, perhaps a few thousand, leasing it to tens of thousands of farmers, who employed hundreds of thousands of laborers.
Most industry was rural, village artisans doubling as manufacturers of cloth, hosiery, and small metal goods. Market centers between the towns.
Industry was thus scattered widely through the countryside. Politically dominant land owning classes developed interest in mines and industrial villages on their land. They, rather than the King on the continent, received the income from mines. They promoted development of canals and roads for transport of goods and mine products.
Industry became more important than trade, though the latter made more money. In 1760 Merchants made 600-200, tradesmen 400-40, manufactures 200-40, lawyers and innkeepers 100 pounds per year.
At the end of 17th century textile makers, obtained prohibition on foreign calico.
A landed aristocracy headed by 200 peers with the Dukes at the top governed England. According to Joseph Massey, in 1760, 10 families had incomes above 20,000, 20 had above 10,000 and 120 between 6 and 8000 pounds a year. (31). But British nobility, heirs of Roundheads, were not the absolutist hierarchies of the continent. Their government fought for profit colonies and markets and to vanquish competitors.
Industrial revolution worked through economic and solution transformation around capitalist economy. Pursuit of profit led to technological transformation.
The British revolution was the first of its kind in history in the sense that it led to self-sustained growth in technology and development of working class. It was preceded unlike that in the 19th century Russia by two centuries of economic development based on trade and colonies.
The industrial revolution did not emerge in isolation. England was a part of the Europe and controlled subservient economies such as those in Americas and the orient. Dependent economies exported raw material and were forced to import finished products.
European countries competed with each other for colonies and industrial products. Geographic, biologic and climactic conditions and natural resources and access to rivers have been offered as the reasons for Britain’s status as the world's first workshop. These all fall flat on their face as similar conditions obtained in many other countries in Europe. Overseas voyages and scientific discoveries were operative earlier and if they were the reason, the industrial revolution would have burst forth at the end of 17th and not 18th century.
Reformation did not play a part either. It was 200 years before.
By 1750 peasants had virtually disappeared and landless laborers were ready to become factory workers, (partly as a result of enclosure movement). Enough capital had been accumulated for investment. The country had been a manufacturing and a commercial sector.
No part of Britain is it more than 70 miles from the sea and less so from rivers. thus making transport easy and cheap. Men in sufficient numbers, with familiarity with machines and metallurgy were available and factories required little investment and could be enlarged gradually with accrued profits. (Underdeveloped countries cannot follow the path, as they cannot compete with fully developed industry). There would able to muddle through. But it did not occur in many parts of the world and took longer in others. Private enterprise has bias towards profit and not innovation. Mass markets grow slowly. Rothschild of France said “ there are three ways of losing your money, women
Gambling and engineers. The fist two are pleasant but the last is much more certain”. (2)
Industrialization changed the paradigm. With Model T, Henry Ford produced a vast number of customers for a cheap automobile. Mass production creates its own market. Before industrial revolution he could not have done it.
How did it happen? Was it the domestic market, which though large yet did not allow expansion, or the export sector, which with the lack of development of most of the world, seemed limitless?
Domestic sector could grow by increase in population, transformation from agriculture to manufacturing, increase in per capita income with replacement of handicraft by manufactured goods.
Let us look at the population. Registration of births and deaths started in 1640. For 50 years after 17th century it rose little. Rate of growth increased after mid 18th century, but doubled in six decades, often 1780 and again in the next six decades from 1841. People moved en masse from countryside to cities, especially to London. Did people start producing more babies as they had better income, child labor was in demand, or mortality rate had gone down due to better food and environment? But medical improvement did not come into play till mid 19th century. No answers can be certain.
Cheap and numerous labor can retard industrialization, as it does in under underdeveloped countries, though it certainly produces more consumers.
Increase in population, coincided with and not preceded industrialization. Average English income rose in the first half of 18th century due to its stagnant population and learned to cultivate new wants…. (3)
In land transport nation was substantially improved from early 18th century to lower cost. The demand came from the need for food and fuel in for the cities. Cost per ton was cut by 80%.
Food and textiles formed the core of demands on private enterprise. Food faced less competition from foreign countries and their industrialization plays a more important part in underdeveloped countries.
Coal, later to became capital good and was encouraged by fireplaces in city dwellings. Mines also promoted the steam engine. Consumption of coal in 1720 was less than 50,000 tons and rose to 100,000 tons by 1788 when industrial revolution was well underway. Agricultural equipment used most of it.
Both coal and iron had to wait for development of the Railways. Home market was the Savior when American Revolution, and Napoleonic wars disrupted the export market. Development was the spread out. Unlike Shanghai and Ahmadabad, Manchester was not an isolated on enclave of development.
Exports gave larger returns, but were more volatile and uncertain, fluctuating up to 50% in a single year. Between 1717-50 Home market grew 7%, export by 76%. Between 1750 and 1770 home market grew by 7% and export by 80%. Cotton epitomized export growth. All raw materials had to be imported and most finished product sent out. It developed essentially by destroying competition in colonies and capturing other country export markets, both by wars of aggression.
Government by manufacturing interests was a ready to wage such wars. In 1700 manufacturers to stopped the East India Company from importing Indian textiles. In 1813 active de-industrialization of India was initiated and Lancashire cotton was thrust down the throats of Indian masses. Britain fought wars against continental rivals-Spanish war of succession 1702 to 1713, Austrian succession 1739 to 48, seven years war 1756 to 63, US war of independence 1776 to 83, Napoleonic waters 1793 to 1815. Capture of nearly all overseas colonies was based on overwhelming naval power.
Enlargement of Navy from 100,000 in 1685 to 325,000 men in 1760 and massive demand for guns gave great boost to technology as the demand had to be met quickly. Henry Cort revolutionized iron manufacture in the 1760s “in connection with the supply of iron to the Navy”. (4).
The traditional pattern of European expansion in the Mediterranean had died in the depression of 17th century. New centers were maritime states of North Sea and Atlantic. Demand rose in Europe, simultaneously with production in colonies and slaves in the USA. In 1650 33% of East India goods sold in Amsterdam was pepper, by 1780 it had fallen to 11%, and those of textiles and tea to 56% from 17% in 1650. In 16th century, less were than one million slaves, 17th century 3 million, in 18th-century 7 million. In 1650 there were hardly any empires. By 18th-century old Latin American empires had been revived and led by Britain. Nearly all countries had colonies. In 1701 USA had 300,000 colonizers, in 1797, 4 million. Canadian colonizers had increased from 14,000 two half a million.
Dutch and French overseas trade grew from 8% in late 17th century to 25%. For Britain from 15% in 17o by 1775 to 33%…Abbe Raynaut in 1777 referring to manufacturing “are we not indebted to India for all the advantages”. (5). Industrial revolution was based on colonies and overseas market.
Industrial revolution 1780 to 1840 meant cotton, though not entirely so. Manchester grew from 17,000 to180, 000 people between 1760 and 1830. It was said, what it thought today England would think tomorrow, gave its name to the school of liberal economics and gave birth to industrial capitalism based on factory. Other towns were to be dominated by factories much later after mid 19th century. The typical employee worker relationship developed in Manchester.
The only cotton industry, comparable to Europe in early 18th century was the one in India. In 1700 the wool industry got it banned thus inadvertently promoting the native cotton industry, which established inferior substitute products. They exported mainly to African countries, slave plantations in West Indies and later in1790s America provided raw material. After 1757 victory at Plassey its main outlet was India. After world war I Indian, Chinese and Japanese encroached on British monopoly.
Cotton factories of the industrial revolution were spinning mills. Power looms invented in 1780s, but did not come into general use in the end of Napoleonic wars in 1815. Hand weavers, were starved out of the industry.
Cotton technology was fairly simple. Working hours were extended by the use of gaslights. Early revolution was primitive, not for lack of interest in advancement, but because putting existent knowledge in use gave striking results and was cheap. It gave access to enterprising, though not very educated or wealthy persons. (Developing countries on the other hand, in order to update their infrastructure, require a command over science and technology far beyond them). Coalmines can be dug with primitive methods. Oilrigs cannot be.
It is far easier to launch an industry than to run it as PhDs for planning are ready to hand whereas cadre with intermediate skills are not. Britain had technicians and did not start state elementary to secondary level education till 1902.
But when all is said and done cotton industry by the standards of the 18th century was revolutionary.
Between 1788 and 1830 there were revolts against extension of machinery.
Automation had to wait for the mid 20th century technology. Cotton did not give any appreciably boost to coal, iron or steel. Urbanization did help coal mining. Mining pioneered steam engine long before James Watt employed it to develop railways.
In 1780 total demand for iron was hundred thousand tons, rose to half a million tons in 1820s and to 700,000 when the in 1828. Iron stimulated coal, steam engine and transport, in addition to and consuming industry but developed fully only in mid 19th century, five decades after cotton which being consumer goods did not need a flourishing industry. Railways increased production of coal 3 times between 1830 and 1850 and iron nearly 4 times. Clothing, footwear, furniture and building lagged behind. Independent artisans were turned into sweat laborers and skilled workers into slum workers.
Metal using industry started using mechanization and steam power. Because of barbarous working conditions, and worse living conditions, the expectation of life at birth in some places, fell to 18 1/2 years. (p 72) Industrialization was thus limited and essentially based on cotton for the colonies.
Because of the poor working conditions, hopelessness and hunger and blatant exploitation of workers, Luddite radical trade union, socialist and Democratic movements sprang up. In 1869 John Stuart Mill hung on to the theory of wages fund, while stressing accumulation by capitalists. High profit and low wages thus made heavy investment thus possible.
Gross capital formation rose in the ‘essential’ 10% in 1830 to1840 after staying at 7% in pre-Waterloo period. And rise to 30% rate of rapid industrialization till much later when production multiplied and price of finished goods fell a great deal. Since wages tend to lag behind, inflation results in higher profit.
In 1830s and 1840s Working and middle classes got together. In 1829 to1832 they demanded parliamentary reforms and fundamental changes. 1837 on, they formed anti-corn league, which expanded into people’s charter and went to extremism in the depression of 1841-42. They called for general strikes, and national lockout. Working class despaired for lack of food. In 1830s, real income per head fell. In the 1840s specter of communism pointed by Marx and Engels haunted Europe.
Chap 4: Human consequences of industrial revolution.
For Jeremy Bentham, the prophet of capitalism and his disciples the difference between cost of buying and selling, production and sale, investment and return were above morals, religion and politics.
The revolution initially destroyed their old way of living, which was serfdom and replaced it with that of destitution. Nobody is more complacent than a well off person. Haves did not care for have-nots. The land owning class did very well. Their social and political position remained intact. Parasites of aristocracy did well too-church, universities, lawyers. Charles Dickens attacked them scathingly.
Rising bourgeoisie found a pattern of life to mimic the country house, honors, peer hood, and Oxbridge for sons. A nondescript middle class also emerged.
Traditions started breaking down “denounce the middle classes as you may…. there is not a man… not anxious to elevate himself”. (2)
Workers in an industrial society are different from peasants and serfs (and domestic servants) who may have had a small plot of land and could eat in the lord’s kitchen. Workers are the true proletariat, depending entirely on wages (except for government servants who had benefits, vacations and pension but no right to strike).
Industrial labor is monotonous, the same day in and out, and was forced into it by master and servant law of 1823, which threatened workers with jail (fines only for masters) for breach of rules.
Laborers increasingly worked in cities. In 1750 only London and Edinburgh had over 50,000 souls, in 1801 eight cities, and in 1851 29 cities had a population of over 100,000 with more than half the population living in towns with smoke above and filth below and epidemics of cholera, typhoid, respiratory and intestinal disease.
de Tocqueville, the great Frenchman said off Manchester “civilization works its miracles and civilized man is turned back almost into a savage” 3. The new towns did not even have churches. Poor men lived in rows of improvised inns, and chapels.
The city had destroyed society. The distance between the poor and rich was greater than between royalty and their servants. The poor in pre-industrial society knew their place. “The social level to which it has pleased God to cause them”. (p 87) Community had supported persons who had fallen on hard times.
Capitalists would like people to the take jobs that the market offered them and take care of accidents and illness and old age with their savings-whatever they had been able to collect.
The poor law of 1834 made them feel like dregs of society, made provision for jail like workhouse splitting families to punish them for poverty. They had to live on absolute minimum. It remained in effect till WWI. Charlie Chaplin had the same experiences that Dickens wrote of in 1830s when and to 1850s no less than 10% of the English were paupers. People running charitable organizations like friendly societies, odd- fellows and others spent more on luxuries than on the poor. The capitalists frowned upon the expenses on the funeral and wakes of the poor man.
Trade unions already existed in the 18th century when they conducted collective bargaining through riots and, as crafts societies were which assisted the unemployed in their ranks. Skilled workers, who had some education, took themselves to be of the same social standing as entrepreneurs. Artisans became leaders of the working class. Radicals, Owenites, and socialist formed societies to discuss class affairs, and developed into progressive movements. Laborers tended to defend each other and envisaged a just society.
But these primitive class movements died out. The poor became poorer, the rich richer and invested in railways, palatial homes and opulent display of furnishings in 1851 Great exhibition.
Industrialization diverted funds from consumption to investment mostly at the expense of the poor. Britain had no shortage of capital, only the poor, never got any benefit from it. Economists advised that their wages should remain low. The poor wore rags. City dwellers had to make do with in adequate food, and slum dwellings seen in large cities are the world over them even now.
Agricultural workers were pauperized beyond belief. A million starved to death in 1846 to 1847. Manual workers could not compete machines. Wages fell by 75%. 1840s were called hungry forties.
Widely spread unrest broke out for prolonged periods, 2-3 times in every decade, Sometimes more than once a year between 1811 and 1848. As a rioter put it in 1816”… bread… I want bread. And I will have it (5). Machines were broken, factories set to fire. The movements gradually organized themselves till the idea off general trade union and general strike arose in agitation of 1829-1835. What sustained them was a hunger in a society reeking with wealth. An American Colman wrote in 1845” every day that I live, I thanked heaven that I am not a poor man with a family in England” (7).
Agriculture: By 1800 it occupied about one third of the population and national income and by 1850 no longer dominated the economy. But it remained indispensable as the only reliable source of food for 90% in 1830s and population had doubled since 1750. Landed interests still do dominated politics and society and County still overwhelmed cities. England was a country of large land holdings worked by tenants assisted by hired hands. By 1790 they owned 75% of the land, free holders had 15 to 20%.
Landlords resented the social and consequences of agricultural improvement and peasants could not adapt so easily to town life after being made redundant by these improvements.
Agricultural boom ended with a Napoleonic wars. Economists advised that nonprofitable farms be shut down and unemployed peasants turned out to fend for themselves. They had Corn Laws to protect their interests and did not worry too much about the unemployed work allowed by the poor law of 1834. Scottish nobles drove Clansmen to Canada to yield grazing grounds for cattle.
Enclosure Movement was launched. Common and open fields, woodland and grazing were turned into private property. The measure was practiced before, but was immensely speeded up by acts of Parliament, which landed interests controlled. It threw laborers of the work, peasants out of the land in most counties of England, reducing them to day laborer status. Break down of semipatriachal farm encouraged multiplication of local labor, and consequently decrease of its wages ( p104).
In 1795 magistrates of Berkshire attempted to amend the poor laws to ensure a living wage to ensure laborers a living wage, but it did not spread beyond the South and East.
Industrial revolution hardly affected farming before late 1830s when with the use of fertilizers and drainage of swamps increase in yield of crops became striking.
Corn laws were abolished in 1846. The capitalist class was coming into its own but did nothing for the poor and refrained from criticizing aristocratic and church vested interests.
Mines and railways on their land and investments buffered aristocrats. They retained the hold on House of Lords as not many peers we were created. (133 from 1787 to 1837).
In the second phase of the industrialization 1840 to 1895 agriculture reached its limits. Capital goods industry was rapidly coming into its own due to opening up of the foreign market specially the captive colonial ones and by rapid accumulation of capital through vast profits based on barely subsistence living wages. Between1830 to 1850 6000 miles of railways were installed and transformed the speed of movement from a few miles a day to scores of miles per hour.
Transport needs gave birth to railways, broke the monopoly of canals and gave decent return on investment. Vast profits were made by capitalists, which were increasingly invested abroad and helped acquire assets of other countries at rates fixed by the colonial power. But they also wasted it on loans countries at war in Europe, USA and Latin America. It nonetheless provided a new means of mobilizing capital accumulations and vast stimulus to capital goods industry. They were supplemented by steamship pioneered by the USA in 1800s.
Railways, gave a great boost to iron industry. Railway construction in the world was largely by British capital, material, equipment and contractors. Wars were waged to break down the resistance of Japan and China.
International trade promoted heavy industry, industrial revolution, iron and steel. Coal mining rose from 200,000 workers in 1851 to 1. 2 million in 1914. TUC adopted the slogan of nationalization of industries due to gross neglect of miners by owners, about 1000 died in accidents annually. New investments between 1850 and 1870 promoted mass production of steel and gave impetus to capital goods industry by making durable railways and steamships. It also improved the lot of a skilled workers and engineers. Wages rose, but housing and civic amenities remained abysmal.
Export of British capital went up to 700 million in 1870. Joint stock companies with floated. By 1871, 170,000 persons did not do any work and lived off investments of their progenitors.
British economy was now based on diversified industry. Capitalists were rapidly overtaking the aristocrats without having to mobilize the working class. They took the view that the only way to make profits was to pay the lowest wages for the longest hours. (p 121). Law of contract 1823 imprisoned workers for breach of contract. They were forced to purchase in company shops. Owners were merely fined. They did not accept that higher wages and shorter hours might raise productivity. Attempts to undermine trade unions though made legal in 1824 continued apace. The working class did not accept capitalism and were forced to adapt to it by coercion.
10-hour act for cotton was passed in 1847 and spread to other industries. By mid-18th century one and a half-day weekend spread over the country. Productivity incentives started about the same time. Factory inspection was introduced to oversee the working conditions, all under pressure of trade unions. In 1867 factory law was extended beyond cotton. Yearly contract in mining was abolished in 1872. Master and Servant code in 1875. The spur was “the Sheffield Sabotages” acts of sabotage of 1867. 1871 and 1875 acts gave legal rights to trade unions.
1867 reform act accepted the working class vote. Parliamentary democracy introduced 1884-1885, 1918 and 1928 reforms. Democracy was not equated with socialism. Working class had been successfully subverted. Men used to starvation had some food and deemed it affluence. Trade union bargained for better wages, but did not struggle for overhaul of the system.
Great depression of 1873-1896 followed though it was less catastrophic than the earlier ones. Recovery was not as good either. USA and Germany passed Britain in steel production. Before 1840 they had been 1/6 of Britain.
Lower cost of production and transportation lowered prices by one third. Agriculture was specially affected by import of cheap food and led to discontent in the USA. In 1890 there was near revolution in Russia and Ireland. Some countries, adopted protective tariffs. Working class joined the peasants. Marxist parties emerged. Turkish finance collapsed in 1876. Bondholders and their government made virtual protectorates of Egypt and Turkey, and also formed cartels and syndicates. Britain sought refuge in colonization, in Africa directly and indirect control over finances of many other countries and investments. West and the USA divided the world into spheres of influence. Governments were owned by capitalism and fought for it. Nations descended in a new phase of world wars.
In 1870 British liberals (Gladstonian) worked for peace and lowered taxes and national debt. By mid 1890s it had become conservative. Labor party was about to appear and socialists sat in the Commons.
BRITAIN IN WORLD ECONOMY:
Britain had depended on international trade and colonies it had acquired between 1780 and 1815. Its chief rivals were the USA, France, Germany and Belgium. The Navy kept competitors out of high seas. Industry was spread by the British to the continent till they developed their own and protected them. British hegemony in the colonies depended upon force. China and Japan were forced in 1840 to 1860.
Between 1800 and 1830 total international trade grew to 300 to 400 million pounds. By 1870 it had grown to 2000 million.
Balance of payments was the chief economic measure, Credit visible-export and gold. Invisible service and trade insurance, brokerage, tourism, and remittances, smuggling, interest and dividends. Debit-imports, shipping, and remittances abroad. Balance was rare, the gap filled by lending and borrowing.
Britain had deficit with France, Eastern Europe and India-the last did not have to be paid (and bore the cost of British administration in India). Terms of trade affected the balance, but in India Britain fixed the price. At its height, 90% imports were raw material, 75 to 90% exports were manufactured goods. If cost of exports went up, quality went down.
Manufactured goods improved with technology, prices went down, agriculture went down too, it did not transform till the last one third of 19th century. British exports did not remain chiefly textile, 72% to 1879, and 51% in 1914. Capital goods went up from 30 to 39% until second half of 19th century. Slumps often are occurred in agriculture. Price could be fixed better in industry by reducing production. Britain controlled raw material of colonies and dependencies. Terms of trade favored Britain till after world war one, but away from it after World War II. Desalinization was compensated by service industry and dividends.
Latin America saved British cotton in the first half of 19th century. India took 45% during the Great Depression.
Half Capital exports including essential loans in 1850 were to USA. Europe fell to 8% by 1890, India and Latin America slipped in. Share of colonies went up from 12% to 30% between 1860 and 1880.
After world war one dominions including Latin America took 40%. Lassaiz Faire never applied. Its foremost proponents and opponents never considered free trade and decolonization. “India was a vital market for the staple export cotton goods… British policy destroyed the local textile Industry...(p 148-49).
India grew opium; it was taken over as a state monopoly, and forced on China. In 1870 half of China’s import was opium. India’s surplus was channeled back to Britain by Home charge cost of administration and increased interest payment. “…Not only funds for investment in India, but also a large part of total investment income was provided by India and gave Britain balance of payment surplus” (4).
From 1880s the division of world into colonies and spheres of influence-Imperialism was actively sought by Western powers. British hegemony was unchallenged.
Beyond WW II rubber and tin in Malaya, minerals in Africa and oil in Mid-East accounted for Britain’s balance of payment.
Post WW I due to crisis in world economy and reduced international trade by which Britain lived and since its industry had become obsolete, it was no longer competitive. Coal export went down, but service sector grew.
By 1913 Britain owed nearly as much abroad as France, Germany, Belgium, Holland and USA put together.
During WW I, Indian textile industry increased its output from 28% of local demand to 60%.
Post world war two Britain ceased to be world’s creditor, and had to liquidate 500 million in USA and became indebted to the country.
STANDARD OF LIVING:
In 1867, Dudley Baxter calculated 77% of the British were manual workers. He included shop assistants, small shopkeepers, and office workers 85% of whom made no more than manual workers. 15% made 28-40 shillings a week, others 14 to 20.
In 1871 Bank holidays were granted. In 1870 trade unions accepted, but only for its small minority of workers, half a million out of 15 million.
When a worker lost a job, which could be any time, he was dependant on charity, trade union or the Poor law. If old and disabled, they depended upon children. Social security was virtually absent in Victorian time. There was no lower middle class. White collar jobs- bank and commercial clerks were 100,000 in 1871. Middle-class with over 300 pounds per year were 200,000 with fewer over 500 year ( 2148) authors, editors University teachers (14,000 in 1914).
Definition of middle-class was the ability to keep domestic servants. There were 200,000 cooks, maids and coachmen. To be able to afford servants people practiced birth control.
Migration to towns gathered pace, by 1851 half the people lived there. In the first half of 19th century poor sanitation led to epidemics. 1850s ushered in drainage, water supply, street cleaning and parks. The country was enveloped in acrid fog. The people were distracted mirrored gin palaces and music halls. Fast growing cities out paced on urban improvement. (London in 1841, 2 million, in 1881, 5 million). Improvement was confined to affluent areas. Real income of the poor grew slowly, stagnated and fell by 1914 leading to labor unrest. Working class lived in poverty other worse. Two thirds would become paupers at some point in their life.
After 1870 they started eating fruit, a luxury. They ate jam first, apples next. First Fish and Chip shop opened in 1870 in Oldham.
Cooperative and multiple shop movement.
Production of Food, footwear, clothing shops, mass-produced durable consumer goods, hire purchase of sewing machines, bicycles started and tram came into service. 1870-1900 a new pattern of working class life developed.
In 1870, 11 to 12 year old boys of the upper class were, on the average 5 inches taller than those of the poor class. In 1917 en masse examination for military service of the young people found 10% totally unfit, 49% markedly disabled, 22% partially disabled.
Socialism reappeared in a vigorous form in 1880s. Trade union, and working class groups converged to form the labor party in 1900s. 1889-90 Trade union membership grew from 2 million, to 4 million in 1913 and to 8 million in 1918. They acquired political leverage over older parties, especially liberals and in 1914 elected 40 Labor MPs.
By 1914, social security had started emerging. Old age pension at 70 was five shillings a week in 1908. National insurance act of 1914 was limited.
Public housing was negligible. 200,000 in 1884, one million in 1913. In 1930 the poor paid 70 million more in taxes than they got back in services.
The rich indulged in an orgy of conspicuous waste in the Edwardian age-gambling, luxury hotels, yachts and spas.
Middle class, by definition could keep one or two domestic servants.
Assimilation of capitalists into aristocracy/gentry started in mid 19th century. Public schools were founded, other schools started excluding the poor for whom they were originally meant. Free of government control they developed anti-intellectual and anti-scientific games dominated culture (upper class academies in India copied that culture). Secondary schools followed the pattern. Education act, of 1902 aimed at excluding the poor who had won the right to primary education in the 1870. In 1897, 7% of Grammar school kids came from the working class.
New entrepreneurs were mostly foreign specially Germans Jews, which led to anti-semitism.
Pseudo-medieval cultish (royalty) life of Britain dates to late Victorian period. Socialism was a nonconformist radical liberalism, which the capitalists abhorred and want was based on the need for government intervention.
The first phase of industrial revolution pioneered by Great Britain was archaic to which it remained wedded based on tried and error and not on scientific theory. Railways and steamship went pre are at best semi-scientific.
New raw materials Rubber and petroleum required scientific processing. In the second half of 19th century physics and chemistry, organic and inorganic and electro-magnetism developed. Investors had to have scientific background.
Growth industries were electrical and chemical. Internal combustion engine depended on chemistry-refinement of oil and rubber. By the end of 19th century, technological progress depended on input of scientific manpower.
Factory system was extended systematically, division of manufacture into simple processes run by powered machines. Automation developed advancement of original cotton factory concept and mass production by machinery.
Machine making depends upon demand for the same sort of machinery, pioneered nationally in armaments.
Singer sewing machine in the USA in 1850 (it was commercially developed invention of Howe 1846), typewriter 1843 commercial in 1868, Yale lock 1855, Colt revolver 1835, and ginning machine 1861. Mass production of cars started in the USA, though the first car was French-German. Bicycle came in 1868. Behind all these were lathe 1970, milling machine 1861, automatic lathe 1870, steel alloys 1870s. (20th CE, Tungsten Carbide, hard enough to cut steel at high speeds). Tungsten, manganese, Chromium, nickel in metallurgy in 1870s.
USA pioneered mass production by a planned flow of process and scientific labor management. Oliver Evans invented conveyor belt in the late 18th century, not generally used till 1880s in Chicago meat industry. Used by Ford motors in 1900 though in Deptford, London, Navy was using it in basements in early 19th century.
USA industry catered to mass-market of working citizens, unlike the first phase, when the market was small upper and middle class.
Scale of economic enterprise went up with rise of monopolies. (Oligopoly-several firms- General Motors, Ford and Chrysler made cars. Monopoly was socially undesirable and economic retrogressive as it killed competition but more efficient as it had the sources to do complex and expensive development.
Britain fell behind in all aspects. It fell behind in shipbuilding as well which had depended on which had depended its trading/naval power.
Britain pioneered chemical industry-aniline dyes (partly on German academic chemistry. Faraday, and Maxwell laid scientific foundation of electric technology. Wheatstone telegraph (2), Swann (1845) thought of incandescent lamp, 2 years before Edison was born. But by 1913 its electric industry was one third of German. Much of domestic industry controlled by foreign capital especially American, such as Westinghouse.
Machine and machine tools were typically British from Manchester. (3). By 1890 USA was leading in the automatic machine tools.
Britain did not adapt to new developments due to virtual absence of university education. Germany was far ahead.
British capitalist wanted to be accepted as gentleman-autocrats-, and ceased to strive as Americans did. Aristocracy meant amateur status cult, not try too hard and trade was social stigma. Capitalist were knighted.
Britain dominated and did not need to struggle as the US and a Germany did. (That pauperized the British as it had done the Indians before).
Capitalist economy will be dynamic only to maintain long-term profit. Britain declined due to its early and long sustained start. (4) To change from old and obsolescent pattern to a new one was difficult and expensive. British steel industry was slow to adopt.
Sheer catastrophe can come to the rescue of capitalism, as happened in Germany and Japan when industries were destroyed and new ones were modern and efficient. Military competition can also spur modernization.
Britain was becoming a parasitic economy, living off colonies and remains of world monopolies “situated as she is close to historic lands of Europe…how can England help being attractive to wealthy people who speak her own language…(5). GBS in Misalliance 1909.”Rome fell, Carthage fell…”
Before WW I Labor party emerged as an electoral force…ushered in by radical left, labor unrest and political breakdown. Extreme vitriolic anti-Semitic right raised its head. Financial scandals rocked the government and army officers abetted by conservatives mutinied; WWI came as a respite.
After mid-19th century agriculture ceased to be the core of economy though it employed three times as many as textiles did, and continued to do more than any other industry till 1891 when overtaken by transport and metal industry. By 1930 it occupied only 5% of the population and gave 4% of national income.
In social terms, rooted in antiquity, it was the foundation of entire society. Landlords controlled political and social structure of Britain, 4000 persons owned 4/7 of cultivated land and rented it to a million farmers who employed 1.25 million laborers. (In Pakistan over 90% assembly members from landlord class and over 80% are related to each other).
Agriculture is more sensitive to Govt intervention (US corn subsidies). It enjoyed monopoly, as transport cost of imports remained prohibitive till 1870s. 1815 Corn Laws were to preserve high profits. Abolition did not lead to fall in prices for a generation. Farm price fell in 1846. Mortgage and interest rates went up. (Current US mortgage crisis) Mid decades of 19th century increased investment, wide roads, scientific discoveries, shift of labor to industry, efficiency due to machinery and fertilizers.
But over a generation US/Canadian/Russian Steppes, better railroads, ships undercut Britain, which was not willing to raise tariffs. By 1870-80 agriculture down due to cheap imports, glut in USA, Canada, Russia (wheat and tomatoes are still destroyed in USA to keep prices up and farmers paid not to grow them).
Tariffs could not be raised as industry and service needed free trade. Britain did not invest in improvements. European countries Denmark especially excelled in processing, marketing and storage and cooperatives. Brits survived as rich land owners. They had to reduce rent, but unrest was only in Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Old landed aristocracy abdicated and sold the land. Capitalists inherited the conservative party, revived protectionism and passionate imperialism for jobs, investment and estates.
Between WWI and II due to farming crisis Govt forced to guarantee farm prices.
Post WWI economic decline became palpable. Between the two wars cotton cloth, coal, ship building all fell. There was mass unemployment and poverty. Labor force fell by more than half, Welsh unemployment ranged from 37% to 70%. (In 2001, one of my patients in North of England told me that he was third generation unemployed).
Labor vote multiplied 8 times between 1910 and 1922 and threw a faint red shadow over the country. TUC and Labor were hardly revolutionary, lacked confidence in their capacity to govern, but showed their potential in 1926 general strike, idealized USSR, and finally formed Govt in 1945, (part of national Govt from 1940-45).
Liberal party with out its raison d’etre went down.
Capitalist system was threatened. They wanted savage cuts in wages and social expenditure. Colonies blunted the impact of 1929-33 depression. States intervened during WWII and results were sensational, but post war, apparatus of state dismantled with nervous speed.
The British had the least concentration of monopoly and oligopoly, best-known tendency of capitalism.
Britain did not have radical-demo movements of the USA, which imposed anti-trust legislation. Economic competition between wars was curbed to increase profit.
“Monopoly capitalism is ipso facto less dynamic than unrestricted competitive enterprise is a myth” (p 217).
Improvement in working class living standards though patchy and modest was wide spread. There was mass unemployment though.
Homebound industry did not want to be export oriented. Pure sciences especially after the Germans fled was pre-eminent-nuclear physics, computers, TV first broadcast in 1936, media promotion owed to BBC.
R&D was however backward.
CHAP 12; GOVERNMENT AND ECONOMY
Interventionist-before industrial revolution
-Mid 20th century.
Between the above two, non-interventionist coinciding with capitalism. History of economic policy was promotion or down grading of laissez faire.
Policy is based on theory. Economics is an applied subject, influenced by climate of practical discussion and reflects the situation of economy. When prospects are bleak, it is gloomy, preoccupied by wages as in first third of 19th century. Between wars there was mass unemployment and Keynesian emphasis on full employment was in vogue.
Economists generally laud Government acts. Govt policy reflects politically acceptable economics. Experts are not ministers or bureaucrats, so simplified version gets acted on. Theory gets hardened into uncritical dogma.
Modern Govts cannot but influence economic life. Laissaize faire as government policy is a contradiction in terms. Public sector inevitably consumes a substantial part of national revenue. Public law regulation affects economic life. (Bush regulation of economy after sub-prime). It controls currency. In Liberal economy its object is to maintain best conditions for capitalism…to maximize the wealth of the nation. (p 226-27). At the outset of industrial revolution…. create the conditions… 1846 to last quarter of 19th century…could not be… with out intervention, which left the pure theory…left untouched.. (p 227), till 1931.
Promotion of private enterprise-remove Government interference in early 19th century was of four kinds i Mercantilism…system fostering of state wealth through state power. ii Government has duty to maintain stable society.(1830 recommended minimum wage and abolition of machine, which caused unemployment).iii vested interests of landed class iv traditions.
Mercantilism was tough to defeat. Working class was treated as commodity. Till 20th century legally fixing wages was officially thought as prelude to ruin. Poor law could not be abolished for political reasons.
Poor law- labor as cheap as possible, drive unemployed to free labor market to lower wages as population went up.
New Poor laws 1834 with inhuman characteristics led to increased bitterness and revolt and could not be fully applied- no relief outside work house and split families.
Vested interest-land, monarchy, church and lawyers, reforms attempted 1780s, 1820s, 1830s, 1867-74.
1780 separate-public private funds, salary reform 1820, criminal finance law reform1835, municipal reform 1860. Civil service, schools, primary education could not be managed properly due to political compromises between land and capital. There was a risk of revolution. Capital fought for protection and free trade. Corn laws abolished 1846; vested interests gave way quietly as they had been fortified by the reduced vulnerability of rent. They had so much, could afford to waste.
Mercantilism-cotton protected but not slave trade or sugar.
Post Napoleon it was the only industrial and naval power.
Britain’s early industrial start was a historic accident. It became workshop of the west.
Other elements were timber, cotton and tea owners-desirability of protecting British colonies. Adam Smith’s trade by economic means abandoned, and force of arms not needed post 1815, so navigation law abolished 1845, colonial preference 1850s, prohibition of export of machine and experts, by mid 19the century as near lassaize faire as possible.
It was the only country with no government function in education till 1870, only country with out fiscal protection to industry. Railways not built, financed or planned. It had to intervene in tax and currency in addition to traditional customs, property tax and stamp duty, 18th century 2/3 traditional, 1/3 direct tax, new death duty and income tax imposed as 1799-1816 as temporary measure, and for good 1842.
Fiscal policy consisted of reduced interference with business, reduced burden on the rich, raise money for public expenses with out going into debt.
Primitive economics-Indirect taxes socially unfair, poor paid more, income of rich went up, leading to more investment and wealth.
From early 18th century Gold standard, fixed relationship between unit of currency and quantity of gold. It broke down between 1797 and 1821 and again 1914-1925. Depression killed it.
Gold standard meant -how to control issue of commercial bank notes, flow of gold in the country with out exchange controls or suspension of convertibility, (1 centralize notes to bank of England, 2 manipulate bank rate at which Bank of England advanced money against bill of exchange, and the bank lender of last resort).
Lassaize faire collapsed 1860s-70s. Free elections 1885 working class got the vote in 1867; it demanded public welfare especially in 1884-5.
Germany, the USA and Japan emerged as big powers. Peace no longer guaranteed as post 1815.
Late 19th century depression, ideologues demanded clean break with lassaize faire, which was identified with capitalism. State intervention with socialism reappeared 1860.
Not till 1918 did the Labor party get committed to socialization of means of production, distribution and exchange. Imperialist turned towards fascism.
Cheap government not possible because of flag and saber rattling. Arms expenditure and government debt rose.
Labor party led to social welfare legislation by 1912. Poor law not abolished till 1929. Government intervention in labor disputes could be traced back to 1813 coal lock out. Unions recognized as essential part of governance and income tax imposed to reduce income inequality.
Mine nationalization promised in 1919. Govt took over running and took some control over production and distribution.
State apparatus hastily dismantled post WWI, but effects on policy remained. Post WWI, pre 1914 welfare expenditure cut to the bone.
1931 cut in salaries led to Naval mutiny, first since 1797. Welfare benefits reduced, means tests introduced, this led to hunger marches. Government intervened on the side of business, became part owner of Suez canal, Anglo British oil 1911, Cunard shipping co 1904, Marconi 1913. Post office bought phone co 1912. Post WW I air transport, radio communication assisted broadcast as Government monopoly. Railway amalgamated 1921, partial nationalization electric supply 1926, Iron and steel monopoly 1932, national coal 1936, regulation of process and state purchase of 1/3 milk, 1930s, coal 1936 and airlines virtually nationalized 1939.
Free trade died, created walls around colonies. Adam Smith-needs of national defense over ride freedom of trade.
J.M. Keynes with General theory of Economics (1936) became the new economic orthodoxy. Nationalized production, distribution and exchange, Soviet 5 year plans became very fashionable and liberal economists J.A. Hobson, Keynes and Beveridge saved capitalism with state intervention. Some Keynesians adopted socialism and labor party adopted Keynes.
WW II forced Britain into most state controlled economy out side the USSR, due to past experiences of WW I, Keynes and pressure of the working class, it committed to high employment in 1944.
Labor Government 1945-51 nationalized some industries and others were virtually so already.
Welfare planning, National insurance 1946, National Health Service 1948 were ambitious projects, (but as % of national income lower than common market countries, but coverage more complete than European ones).
Capitalism converted to mixed economy Government and Corporations.
Banks, Chemicals, Oil, Iron, Insurance, all merged into big corporations. Trade Union Congress formed as a result of amalgamations of many unions over a period of time.
RESPONSE TO COLLAPSE OF TRADITIONAL BUSINESS;:
Traditional basic industries declined with their export markets. 1913 out put of coal in million tons 1913 287, 1945 183, 1954 224, 1964 193. Textiles continued to fade. Ship building taken over by Japan.
The commercial and financial sector, though disoriented due to collapse of liberal economy, retained sufficient strength.
The new technology mass production industries based on home market expanded, but not efficient enough for international competition.
Concentration in private and state capitalism.
Trade zones estates for depressed areas promoted in 1930s, for nationalization of contracting industries. Post WW II labor shortage helped it. Labor government 1945-51 reinforced it. Declining industries such as railways and mining nationalized and brought under greater trade union control. (2) Unemployment was cut down and the abysmal condition in US Appalachian gives an object lesson.
But manufacturing multiplied 2-1/2 times between 1924 and 1957. Motor industry had been saved from the USA industry by McKenna duties after WW I. In 1929, America exported three times as many cars as the UK, France, Germany and Italy put together. By the end of 1950s car out put in Britain had passed one million and by mid-sixties it was over two million.
Shift from old to new industries provided some sort of an answer to the main question of British economy-exports. It did not though solve the balance of payment problem and the export drive was half hearted. (4). Other European countries though buoyed by the end of domestic austerity as Britain was, exported with great vigor. The invisible sources of income, commercial and financial languished. In 1939 commonwealth owned 30% of world’s merchant tonnage, Britain 25%, by 1964 the first to 18 and the second to 14%.
The outward investment of British capital resumed after 1945. It went into developed regions. (1962 one-third into LDCs) (Loan repayment of LDCs 375 billion, aid 5 billion per year).
Run on pound frequent since 1931, much worse since 1964 Labor government. The choice was between free enterprise and a planned economy. In 1945 Labor chose the second but after 1951, both chose the first.
People did not worry too much on these questions as unemployment virtually disappeared during WW II and averaged 1.7% during fifties. The impetus to modernize British economy was therefore poor.
The welfare state helped the ordinary people a lot. It would have been offset by colored immigration but that was drastically cut in 1963. Labor government had achieved a remarkable extension of the welfare system during its post WW II term of office.
The government had little planned effect on the structure of business. Except during times of war, the prevalent theory did not consider public enterprise a means of assuring economic growth. The government hardly thought of itself as very distinct from private industry, the chiefs of giant corporations (p 270) slipped into public service in times of crisis (at all times in the USA. Civil service structure in the USA is more flexible and the revolving door policy is like the plague) and civil servants into economy controlling giants. (In 1966 ICI chief was a former civil servant and the “expert” appointed to overhaul railways was an ICI executive).
The government let spontaneous evolution take care of economic development.
CHAP 14; SINCE 1914
In economic terms it was a period of net improvement, in social terms of disorienting change. First was the international decline of Britain. The country was indulging in unusually permissive sexuality. Law was no longer sacrosanct, even the integrity of policemen became suspect. There was an unprecedented, modest but visible, influx of colored people.
The middle class was now composed mostly of salaried people. In 1913 top 5% owned 87% of personal wealth, the bottom 90% had 8%, in 1938, 79 and 12%, in 1960 75 and 17%. (2). The very rich remained as affluent as before. The inter war years troubled them a little but not as much as the supposed millionaires jumping down wall street windows post 1929 crash. They recovered confidence in the conservative mid 1950s era though they were joined by business expense executives. The middle salaried class, though bothered a bit by lax moral standards (from the 19th century perspective), lived fairly comfortably. In purely money terms white-collar workers did not make a great deal more than the ‘aristocracy’ of laboring class. It became increasingly difficult to maintain visible superiority over the laboring class. Servants went first.
The middle class resorted to snobbery of dowdy clothes, as the upper class had by their aggressively shabby clothes to distinguish them from parvenus.
The deeply entrenched vested interests of the old elite, City, law, medicine and corporate officers resisted, fairly effectively, the entry in their social position by sons of the lower classes who advanced on the basis of passing exams and not on the basis of parentage.
Workers though not affluent were much better off in 1960s than they had been in 1939.
The presence of Keir Hardy in the parliament in 1882, wearing a cloth cap and speaking in working class accent, had sent shock waves. The contacts between the working class and upper class were no closer than those between blacks and whites in inter war USA. All the institutions of the working class were separate; markets, pawn shops, pubs, newspapers, music halls, football teams and labor movement. Talented proletarian like Aneurin Bevan found opportunities only in the Labor party or in school teaching (secondary school fees abolished only in 1945. Universities had 50,000 students, 20,000 between Oxford and Cambridge.).
The change, a few years after WWII, was due to the fact of the working class being the largest mass consumption market. There was marked sagging of separatist working class institutions. Labor party went into wilderness between 1951 and 1964, (when the conservatives beset by scandals and after effects of ignominious withdrawal from Suez Canal in 1956 and appointment of the bumbling but aristocratic Alec Douglas Home in preference to the brilliant but commoner Rab Butler and ascension of the highly regarded Harold Wilson, he had become a full minister in the coalition government of 1940 at the age of 31) brought them back to power. They held on to power till 1979 when voter fatigue and contradictions sent them to another exile till Tony Blair staged a come back after Margaret Thatcher had become so deluded by illusions of grandeur that she routinely asked the Queen what dress she was going to wear to forestall any resemblance, and imposed a poll tax. Colorless John Major lost to Blair who went on to adopt neo-liberal policies and came to be better known as US president’s poodle.
Technology had less and less use for illiterate workers. The demand for skills increased. Manual dexterity was no longer enough. Working class solidarity became an endangered species.
On the one hand the old working class was drawing closer to the white collar one especially in the prospect for its children. On the other hand the gap between workers and the rest of society tended to widen.
Affluence and techno change produced new social groups, which could not be identified with older classes. These were the youth and intellectuals. The latter could no longer be recruited from the existing upper and middle classes. Youth was a recognizable group, not just a period of transition.
CHAP 15; The other Britain,
Scotland, Wales, the economic history has been uniform, but the social history, traditions and some institutions are entirely different and can not be subsumed under English history.
Wales was incorporated into GB in 1536, but except for the English or anglicized landowners, the Welsh lived like poor peasants. Incomes ranged from the poor to very poor and classes were peasants, small shopkeeper and laborer, hence the radical politics. The successful ones were anglicized, Powells, the steel barons became William-Wyns.
By 1750 the ties became tighter due to development of livestock for export and exploitation of mineral deposits-copper, lead and coal. The people developed mass consciousness and converted to protestant non-conformity instead of Anglican creed and after 1800 that brought development of education, literature and social/political leadership. The Welsh thus did not provide captains of industry as the Scots did, but did produce a lot of preachers, journalists, teachers and officials.
The industrial evolution erupted in the form of involvement in economy especially heavy industry like Iron, copper and above all coal. It did not disrupt the agrarian society of peasants-tenants. Laborers went as seasonal migrant workers. Infertile mountains saved agriculture from fluctuations of English farming. Industry grew especially in Carmarthen, Glamorgan and Monmouth. Between 1801 and 1911 the population of Wales grew from 600,000 to 2 million mainly by immigration of English and Irish men. It was converted from peasant and petit bourgeois to proletariat.
Wales had little share in early industries like textiles. It had heavy industries, coal and Iron.
Iron fluctuated and stagnated but coal obscured the dependence on a single product. Welsh life remained untouched until the end of 19th century, they even preferred Rugby football. The miner’s labor movement developed links with the British one, only after the labor revival of 1889. The rise of solicitor Lloyd George and socialist Keir Hardy symbolized one aspect of the convergence.
The collapse of liberalism transferred the loyalty of Welshmen to Labor, with substantial revolutionary syndicalist and communist elements. Depression and education spread the Welshmen all over GB and tourism did the same to Englishmen.
Scotland was very different from Wales. United to England in 1707, it was already a functioning state with its own history, institutions and class structure, which it retained. It was already divided into feudal lowlands and tribal highlands.
Compared to England it was underdeveloped and poor. It lacked capital, saved more (hence jokes about Scot avarice, like Gujeratis in the sub-continent), but its banking system was superior. It lacked manpower, relieved later by massive Irish immigration. Wages were low and domestic market small and produced low priced consumer export goods.
The highlands and Galloway peninsula were particularly poor, that led to famine and immigration as in Ireland. Highlands were tribal and lowlands feudal and the English tried to assimilate them leading to status-competition with British aristocrats. The rapid industrialization of lowlands and England left the highlanders the choice of modernization or ruin; they chose the latter. The lowlands welcomed and led modernization and produced Adam Smith (1723-90). They played a disproportionately large part-steam engine of Watts, Iron of Mushet and Neilson, Macadam of Telford and Loudon and Engineering firms of Nasmyth and Fairbairn. Jardine Matheson pioneered Far Eastern trade and Moffat and Livingstone explored Africa. It produced David Hume, Ferguson, Kames and Millar besides Adam Smith.
Scotland derived from its Calvinism, a democratic educational system and absence of English poor law, which contributed, to preserving villages and small towns. The system broke down with the growth of cities and the Scottish poor became filthily poor.
The perfectionist ideal must have contributed to technical competence of Scots, making Clyde side the great ship building center it became.
Scotland acquired economic impetus via the markets opened to it by union with England. During and after 1873 depression, Scots came to England and made the agricultural farms that the English abandoned, pay. Cotton industry developed around Glasgow. From 1830-40s iron and coal came as alternative base for industry. But Scot wages remained much lower than those of the English.
With the end of 19th century, Scot Labor movement established hegemony over the English, Keir Hardy became the leader of British Socialism and Ramsey MacDonald the first Labor PM. Scot noblemen also broke the monopoly of English PMs. Bonar Law a Glasgow iron merchant, became PM in 1922. Expatriate Scot Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook helped out.
Neither Wales nor Scotland developed political nationalism till mid 1960s when disillusioned by Labor, they massively shifted to nationalist parties.
Driven by poverty, the Irish flocked into England, which had conquered it and took it over in 1801, much against its wish. The immigrant became seasonal harvest laborers, Dockers, steel workers, weavers and unskilled laborers, all the jobs the English and Scotsmen did not want. They were despised as Catholics and under cutters of wages. Men became soldiers (Empires use their victims to defend themselves) and women took up nursing, domestic service and prostitution in cities.
They like all aliens were slow to adopt and lived in slums. But they provided industry with a mobile vanguard and also offered radicalism to the working class. They produced Feargus O’Connor the leader of Chartism. An Irishman wrote ‘The Red flag’ the anthem of British Labor movement.
Irish immigration declined after it had peaked after the famine of 1847. With the end of mass migration to the USA, it revived again. In 1961 there were one million Irish in Britain, equivalent to 25% of the population of Ireland. Their immigration has been accepted though by no means assimilated.
In economic and social history, turning points are not as well dated as in political history. 1960s may be the end of an era. For the past 150 years economy in advanced countries has followed 50 year long rhythm called ‘Kondratiev Long Waves”. They seem to alternate between 25 years of inflation and business confidence and similar period of deflation, price fluctuation and social malaise; the upswing of 1780s to end of Napoleonic wars, to the troubles till 1840s, the golden Victorian years to the great depression of 1873-96, Edwardian Indian summer to inter war depression, followed by post WW II upswing (Rashid Beta delineation of the following waves is up to you).
Germany exhibited a striking capacity not only to survive, but also to take advantage of catastrophes. GB did not, living in the past (like Muslims). In 1960s Britain did hold its own in industrial activity proportionate to its population. The British enjoyed better health care, higher living standards and education (all lost to a great measure during Thatcher and Blair years).
It remained the most urbanized and proletarianized state in Europe. Up to late 1970s Britain was the only European country in which a socialist (Labor) party stood a chance of electoral victory. (From 1990s it no longer was a socialist party).
The industrial capitalism progressively did away with national differences-airports, car congested roads, nearly identical office blocks, filling stations and advertisements, developed characterless uniformity.
Britain gave the world machines, railways, Lloyds of London, artifacts like mail boxes, association football, sports, horse racing, male clothing, and tailors of Seville Row in London. But this was all before 1914.
The British Labor party remained one of the very few bastions of reforming working class movement (till Blair messed it up).
But hope and pride had grown dim.
(Article 1: Does science make belief in Allah/God obsolete? 2
Posted by: "Moham Engineer" email@example.com moham_engineer
Sun May 18, 2008 9:42 am (PDT)
Article 1 : Does science make belief in Allah/God obsolete?
Necessarily, it does - speaks a physicist
If not, we must invent a science-friendly, science-compatible fiction of Allah/God. First, try the pantheon of available fictional creators. Inspect thoroughly. If none fits the bill, invent a new one. The Allah/God of your choice must be a stickler for the so-called divine principles laid down by the priests-the classical inventors of Allah/God over the centuries. Science does not take kindly to the so-called deity who, ignorants suppose, if piqued or euphoric, sets aside seismological or cosmological principles and in wild dreams of many, can causes the moon to shiver, the earth to split asunder, or, as to some stupids, such a deity may even cause the universe to suddenly reverse its expansion. This fictional Allah/God must, among other things, be stoically indifferent to supplications for changing local meteorological conditions, the task already being naturally performed by the discipline of fluid dynamics. Therefore, religious people, even if they pray earnestly
with their buutocks elevated in the air, dance with great energy around totem poles, shall not cause even a drop of rain to fall on parched soil. This newly invented, rule-abiding and science respecting Allah/God/Bhagwan equally well dispenses with tearful Christians singing the Book of Job, pious Hindus feverishly reciting the havan yajna, or earnest Muslims performing the Â« special rain prayers Â» in hot dry deserts as they face the former abide of idols, the so-called holy KaÂ’aba.
The fact is that the equations of fluid flow, not the number of earnest supplicants or quality of their prayers, determine weather outcomes. This is grossly irreligious otherwise one could imagine joining the faithful of all religions in a huge simultaneous but vain global prayer that stupids feel would wipe away the pernicious effects of anthropogenic global climate change. Your chosen Allah/God cannot entertain private petitions for good health and longevity, prevent an air crash, or send woe upon demand to the enemy. Mindful of microbiology and physiology, She/He cannot cure leprosy by dipping the afflicted in rivers or have humans remain in unscathed condition after being devoured by a huge fish. Faster-than- light travel is also out of the question, even for the so-called prophets and special messengers. Instead, She/He must stay as the fictional and nominal runner of the world according to the laws and unto the letter, closely following the flow of Nature. A
scientific fictional Creator should certainly know an awful lot of science which the formerly invented medieval Allah/God didÂ’t need. To differentiate between the countless universes discovered by superstring theory is a headache. Fine-tuning chemistry to generate complex proteins, and then initiating a cascade of mutations that turn microbe to man, is also no trivial matter. But bear in mind that there are definite limits to knowledge, whether by man or by any fictional creator: the fictional Allah/God can supposedly know only the limited, the knowable. Omniscience and science do not go well with each other. The difficulty with omniscienceÂ—even with regard to a particle as humble as the electronÂ—has been recognized as an issue since the 1920s. Subatomic particles show a vexing, subtle elusiveness that defeats even the most sophisticated effort to measure certain of their properties even when tried by a fictional Allah/God. Unpredictability is intrinsic to quantum
mechanics, the branch of physics which all particles are empirically seen to show. This discovery so disturbed Albert Einstein that he rejected quantum mechanics, pronouncing that the fictional Allah/God could not Â“play dice with the universe.Â” But it turned out that EinsteinÂ’s objections were flawedÂ—uncertainty is deeply fundamental. Thus, any science-abiding fictional deity we invent will be incompletely informed on many aspects of nature. Is one being excessively audacious, perhaps impertinent, in setting down terms of reference for a fictional divine and non-existant entity? Really ! Humans have always invented their objects of worship. Smarter humans go for smarter fictional versions of Allah/God. Anthropomorphic representationsÂ— such as a Allah/God with octopus armsÂ—are a bit out of fashion today but were enormously popular just a few centuries ago. As well, some people might object to binding fictional Allah/God and the real human to the same rules of logic, or
perhaps even sharing the same space-time manifold. But if we drop this essential demand then little shall remain. Reason and evidence would lose meaning and be replaced by fiction, tradition, and the delusion of revelation. It would then be wrong for us to have 2 + 2 = 5, but okay for inventing the fiction of an Allah/God. Centuries of human progress would come to naught.
LetÂ’s face it: the day of the mythical Sky God is long gone. In the Age of Science, religion has been re-invented, and the medieval Allah/God of classical religions has lost repute and territory. Today people pay lip service to trusting that rusty Allah/God but they still swallow medicines when sick. Muslim-run airlines start a plane journey with prayers but ask passengers to buckle-up anyway, and most suspect that people who are falsely rumoured to rise miraculously from the dead were probably not quite dead to begin with. These days if you hear a voice telling you to sacrifice your only son, you would probably report it to the authorities instead of taking the poor lad up a mountain, and if you really took your son to an alter for sacrifice, the state will sure put you in a mental asylum, irrespective of whether you call yourself the prophet Abrahim or somebody else. As you can well imagine, the old trust is disappearing.
Nevertheless, there remains the tantalizing fiction of a divine power somewhere Â“out thereÂ” who is blamed to run a mysterious, but scrupulously and rather stupidly, a miracle-free universe. In this universe, the fictional Allah/God may be dishonestly ascribed to act in ingenious ways that seem miraculous. Yet these fictional and Â“never-actually- verified- miraclesÂ” do violate physical laws and seem ridiculous. Ordinary and naturally, no supernatural interventions in the physical world could permit quantum tunneling through cosmic holes. It would be perfectly unfair for a scientific mind to invent a fictional Allah/God to explain the nonlinear dynamics to explain how tiny fluctuations quickly build up to earthshaking resultsÂ—the famous Â“butterfly effectÂ” to give a rather dull explaination of the deterministic chaos theory. Nietzsche and the other philosophers were plain rightÂ—God was never alive, but always dead. Even as the fiction of divine habitat, the sky, shrinks
before the aggressive encroachment of science, the quantum foam of space-time may be ascribed to create a little confused space for the crazy delusion based on the spare universes, offering space both for self-described Â“deeply and spiritually confused believersÂ”. Many eminent practitioners of science have successfully persuaded themselves that there is no logical contradiction between faith and belief, by inventing a science-fiction of Allah/God, or by clothing a traditional fiction in new terminology of science fiction. Unsure of whether they happen to exist at all, humans are likely to scour the miserable delusion of heavens forever in search of some sort of meaning)
A History of God-Karen Armstrong
The Battle for God-Karen Armstrong
After Empire-Edited by Karen Barkey and Mark von Hagen
The Origin of Universe-John D. Barrow
Western Aid-Myth and Reality-V.S.Baskin
Prosperity and Violence-the political economy of development-Robert H. Bates
In Defense of Globalization-Jagdish Bhagvati
Islamic Liberalism-Leonard Binder
The World on fire-Amy Chua
The God Delusion-Richard Dawkins
Breaking the Spell-Daniel C. Dennett
Sources of Indian tradition-Edited by Theodore De Berry
Devil’s Game-How the USA helped unleash fundamentalist Islam-Robert Dreyfuss
Guns, Germs and Steel-Jared Diamond
The Wretched of the Earth-Frantz Fannon-translated by Constance Farrington
China Inc-Ted C. Fishman
Arise Arjuna-Hinduism and Modern World- David Frawley
The End of history and the Last Man-Francis Fukuyama
Pakistan, Roots of Dictatorship-The Political Economy of A Praetorian State-Edited by Hassan Gardezi and Jamil Rashid
Empire’s workshop-Latin America, the USA and the Rise of New Imperialism-Greg Grandein
The End of Nation state-Jean-Marie Guehenna
A Brief History of Neo-Liberalism-David Harvey
Leviathan-Thomas Hobbes-Edited by Richard Tuck
Industry and Empire-E.J.Hobsbawm
Empire-A very short introduction-Stephen Howe
The clash of Civilization-Samuel P. Huntington
The Muqaddimah-Ibne Khaldoon-Translated by Franz Rosenthal
Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asia-Ayesha Jalal.
With god on their Side-How Christian fundamentalists trampled science, policy and democracy in George Bush White House-Esther Kaplan.
The Origin of Humankind-Richard Leakey
Patterns of Democracy-Government forms and performance in thirty-six countries-Arend Lijphart
Myth of Democracy-Ferdinand Lundberg
The Rich and the Superrich-Ferdinand Lundberg
The Radical Reader-Edited by Timothy Patrick McCarthy and John McMillan
Paradigm Wars-Jerry Mander and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
Democracy for the Few-Michael Parenti
Confessions of an Economic Hitman-John Perkins
The Republic-Plato-Translated by Richard W. Sterling and William C. Scott
The Great Transformation-Karl Polayni
An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire-Arundhati Roy
Globalization and its Discontents-Saskia Sasson
Culture Inc-Herbert I. Schiller
Globalization and Uneven Development-Thomas Sebastian
Forbidden Knowledge-Roger Shattuck
Earth Democracy-Vandana Shiva
Globalization and its Discontents-Joseph E. Stiglitz
Making Globalization Work- Joseph E. Stiglitz