Monday, August 23, 2004

Religious Maturity

One sometimes hears the argument, by way of apologia for the more abhorrent outrages perpetrated by Islamists (for an example of which, just wait for the next post...), that, well, Islam was founded with a delay of 500 years after Christianity, so taking into account that headstart, 500 years ago Christian Europe was just heading into the ravages of the Wars of Religion and the Inquisition and all that...

So, you know, that excuses everything.

This argument fails on multiple counts.

First, according to Islamic mythology, Islam was not founded in 622 AD; rather, Mohammed was the last prophet, not the first! Islam believes itself to be the one true monotheistic faith that goes all the way back to Adam. You see, Adam was a Muslim, Abraham was a Muslim, Moses was a Muslim, Jesus was a Muslim...It's the Jews and the Christians who are the younger, heretical offshoots of Islam, led astray by corrupted, incomplete texts! On that basis, Islam should be the world's most mature religion, shouldn't it?

So maybe, perhaps one might retreat to the argument that well, be that as it may, the Arabs were surely only converted in the 7th century, so the basis of conversion time is the one on which they are to be judged. It is important to note however that most of Europe wasn't Monotheized until centuries after that -- the Baltic States, for example, didn't get Christianized until well into the 14th century, 700 years after the Arabs! So, we expect the Lithuanians to be behaving like Dark Age barbarians? Is that it?

Ultimately, this history may be interesting, but I happen to live in the present, and so am concerned with what's going on in 2004. The world must be dealt with as we find it today. I don't have the luxury of waiting around until 2504 to see how it all turns out, do you? Especially when Iran might have nuclear weapons in, oh, a year or so?

It is in fact generous to consider Islam to be a mere 500 years in the past; it has instead not changed one iota since the 7th century -- and that's its whole point!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mommy didn't love you enough, did she?

4:19 AM, August 23, 2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another argument against the hypothesis that Islam is "500 years behind" is the realities of advancements made - realtive to their time - during Christianity's Dark Ages. During that time - that of the Crusades - Muslim nations had progressed in areas of science and mathematics and had likely acted as a conduit to bring into the Christian nations Far Eastern thoughts. I'm not saying the countries were particularly progressive at that time, but my feeling is that they were more advanced in some areas of their society than Mideaval Europe.

So, to say they are "behind" is a ridiculous argument.

- MTLChris

12:50 PM, August 25, 2004  
Blogger RDS said...

Exactly, it's just a dodge.

3:10 PM, August 25, 2004  

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