narcasse: Sebastian Flyte.  Brideshead Revisited (2008) (rationale)
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Stadium crowd pushes for Islamist dream BBC News

"I think democracy is OK," [Din Syamsuddin] said. "But it's not enough. I think democracy in Indonesia should be supported by religious, ethical and moral values."
"Because this is a country where the majority of its citizens are religious people. So maybe not liberal democracy, but uncommon democracy; based on religious values - I say religious values, not necessarily Islamic values."


Islamists urge caliphate revival BBC News


My first response to this is that I can see where the idea is coming from and that it could generally be a good one if it wasn’t for the natural expansionist inclination of any similar idealogical state. On one hand if it suits people to live in a cohesive state with its moral principles founded on religious teaching instead of humanist/rational choice inclination then it’s hardly a problem since it would result in the same thing. It shouldn’t matter whether the admonishment to donate to charity or treat others with kindness comes from religious scripture or from a secular inclination. But it all depends on how those mandates are interpreted and whether or not any given group chooses to effect that action towards all or simply towards their own. Yet that too could be overcome with good leadership and a willing populous which then begs the question of what the problem could possibly be.

Unfortunately as per any structured state organisation, there will invariably be conflicts and having put faith in a religious mandate instead of a humanist one isn’t in fact likely to make much of a difference. The key flaw in any such system arises in the translation of said precedents into practical application within the given demographic as well as beyond, especially in interaction with other states that may hold differing viewpoints. Still, if a viable system can be constructed, founded on religious belief, and if such a state can interact with other states possessed of different agendas peacefully and diplomatically, I’m not entirely sure it would be much of a problem since the real issue in any international conflict that takes on an ideological aspect is when states subscribing to one ideology then try to impose that system on another that openly rejects it. The Cold War being a key example of this where clashing ideologies were demonised by their respective opponents and a sympathy with the ideology of the opposition was considered high treason.

On the other hand, though this cardamom tea appears to be making me unnaturally sympathetic this afternoon, I can also see how this could all go horribly wrong because anything founded on an ideology will be prey to antagonism sparked on both sides by the belief in the supremacy or unsuitability of said ideology, respectively and religious ideologies are no different. And things may in fact be inclined to the worse because of the faith aspect which allows little debate around the matter. I could cite the Qur'an here and at least one passage from the very early sections which is an admonishment to stay strong in your faith no matter how cleverly anyone might try to argue the point against it. Ahl al-diyānāt wal-milal and ahl al-ahwā’ wal-ārā’; people of religious faith and communities and people of whims and opinions, respectively. But essentially it does boil down to a very specific problem that isn’t limited to religion at all and it is that issue of ideological conflict that honestly is likely to become the key problem, exacerbated by a strongly held faith on each side.

As for my own personal take on the matter; I have issues with organised religion anyway, especially the corruption that can occur when basic moral principles are suddenly bounded by layers of excess doctrine controlled by a select few. This can of course can occur with secular organisations and I’m just as concerned with that situation too, and seeing as I’ll happily eat shellfish, pork and red meat on a Friday I’m more likely to be able to do something about those secular organisations that revolutionise anybody’s religious doctrine any time soon.



In other news:
Tories ‘have to show discipline’ BBC News
Cameron needs to stop coming up with lovely ideologies and instead work out how to implement them if he’s really going to accomplish anything at all. And cutting funding to Grammar schools isn’t the way to do it.

Russia’s Cossacks rise again BBC News

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narcasse: Sebastian Flyte.  Brideshead Revisited (2008) (Default)
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