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Get over this whole Reason vs Faith thing

Reader comment on item: When Conservatives Argue about Islam
in response to reader comment: The nature of religion including Christianity and Islam

Submitted by Homefront (Australia), Jul 11, 2007 at 21:54

Dr Pipes,

I must respectfully disagree with the good Doctor. I have had this divergence of opinion with him on a previous occasion under a different call sign and here we find ourselves yet again. I hope that Dr Whaley views my critique amicably because I am most interested in his rejoinder.

There are a number of points which I wish to raise that will take some of the sheen off the idea that "reason" or "pure reason" as it is sometimes known is the only true pathway to enlightenment and world peace.

The first is one raised by Canadian intellectual John Ralston Saul in his substantial and ongoing roast of economic rationalism, modern corporate culture and the discipline of economics in general. He said that "reason is intrinsically amoral". In order to flesh out this particular assertion he added that "the decision to wipe out six million Jews is completely rational". How could he have reached this conclusion (I ask rhetorically)? He did not after all flesh out what he meant with any degree of detail. Taking the position of Adolph Hitler independently of his irrational anti sematic beliefs persecution and elimination of the German Jewish population serves a number of logical/rational purposes:

  • it provides the Nazi party with a ready supply of resources to fund its propaganda and activities in the form of seized assets (taken from Jews who have their citizenship invalidated)
  • it provides the governing body with an enemy within to direct the attention of its charges towards uniting them against a "soft target" which is easier to eliminate than "hard targets" like Britain or Russia
  • it provides the governing body with expendable additional slave labour (esp. for the later years of the war in which this was running scarce).

And so on and so forth. Other people with more time on their hands could probably think of more reasons why Hitler could logically do what to most is unthinkable. Compare this rationality with the similar mentality of the Islamists and their ongoing antagonisms against the Jews. They have similar expansionist totalitarian goals and so they require the same enemies within and without and they even have the same central antagonists to their hysterical narrative (the Jews). Immoral yes – Irrational no.

Sure some of the footsoldiers hold faith in their hearts but the Islamist agenda is very terrestrial and hence necessarily governed by rationality. The Islamic project is an imperial one and empires in the "spread one's seed as broadly as possible" sense at least is a perfectly rational one for a biological or political entity to pursue its' own self interest in this manner. Dividing the world into believers and nonbelievers is an extension of this political project and allows the former to steal land, women and wealth from the latter endlessly incentivising the project of empire.

Sex and empire are linked in the Muslim male psyche not without reason having the same "rational" underpinnings. This is because Mohammed felt that women were more readily open to coercive methods with respect to conversion and also to increase the Muslim population. On this point I quote heretical Indian historian K.S. Lal in his book "The Muslim Slave System in Medieval India" :

From the teachings of the Quran quoted above, it will be seen that while Muhammad restricted the number of lawful wives, he did not restrict the number of slave girls and concubines.5 All female slaves taken as plunder in war are the lawful property of their master, and the master has power to take to himself any female slave married or single. T.P. Hughes adds that "there is absolutely no limit to the number of slave girls with whom a Muhammadan may cohabit, and it is the consecration of this illimitable indulgence which so popularizes the Muhammadan religion amongst uncivilized nations, and so popularizes slavery in the Muslim religion".6

By the way Lal's excellent book can be found complete and unabridged at: http://voiceofdharma.com/books/mssmi/

The reemergence of slavery will of course be a lateral empire building incentiviser that we can look forward to seeing and perhaps if we are unlucky experiencing given Islam's seemingly unstoppable demographically driven rise to power in Europe and Africa.

I am beginning to digress a bit here though so I had best move on to my next and most significant point. Dr Whaley uses rationality as the basis of his response to radical Islam which is suitably extreme:

"By destroying their means to harm us and more importantly their will to harm us, totally devastating their governments, their factories, their water supplies, their communications systems, their power plants, their transportation systems, their mosques, in short demoralizing them till they surrender unconditionally their threat will be ended."

Given I am convinced of the threat I do not disagree with Dr Whaley's total war strategy. I am however game to point out that by resorting to reason here we are adopting a course that is ethically murky and once again illustrates that reason can be used to do harm as well as good. Reason can take us to a place where the rational pursuit of self interest causes us to embark on a crusade to annihilate an enemy utterly rightly or wrongly.

Like the philosopher Engle and Pope Benedict I find my moral and strategic centre in a combination of faith and reason.

I believe the good Doctor referred in an earlier post to the tension between the philosophies of Rosseau (faith) and Locke (reason) being the two major forces tearing western democracy in two different directions to a self destructive extent and allowing Islamists to fill in the vacuum. France for example being in the grip of Rosseau was getting overrun by an enemy of superior faith (the muslims). What the French needed was to be more like Locke and follow the superior path of reason. This could be seen as an unacceptably simplistic approach to the Eurabia question but I will be kind to it and try to explain my own take on the situation in the west.

The real tension between Europe and the Anglosphere and within all western nations (thus this tension is both inter and intra national) is more one of the tension between Rosseau and Hume than Rosseau and Locke. Hume for example drew his mortality from established sources and authority and proceeded with respect for organisations that had roots in the community such as the Church, Parliament the Magna Carta. Rosseau on the other hand sought liberation from the shackles of the past in a scathingly anti conventional authority and anti clerical revolutionary paradigm.

Those who see the American Revolution and the French Revolution as largely the same thing are unaware of the divergence of paradigms given France adopted a Rosseau Neuvo France framework which attacked its existing governing structures thus the clergy and the nobility found themselves under assault with many amongst the nobility winding up under the guillotine. In America however the minute men with their chant of "no taxation without representation!" merely sought to reestablish rights owed them under the principles of the Magna Carta that in accordance with British law were owed them. When it became apparent the British were not prepared to offer the colonists their rights under British law the colonists rebelled and established their own society with its own accountable executive (President).

I for one respect the Americans and their Hume based society more than the soon to be extinct/Islamised French and their Rosseau based travesty. But the tension between these two approaches is being played out once again within our societies. The left and the Social Democratic parties (ALP, Gordon Brown's British Labor and the American Democrats) like the Rosseau based approach to democracy with its weak property rights and anti clerical and Christian predilections. On many issues therefore natural allegiances can be formed between these people and Islamists. Perhaps this is another reason for the different approaches to lawful Islamism embraced by the Dems ...

It also illustrates an irony of Rosseau's approach to democracy that in attempting to break ties with the past he laid the philosophical foundation of just about all of the tyrannical anti Democratic regimes of the 20th and 21st Century (like similarly anticlerical philosophies of Nazism and Communism). In the Anglosphere Rosseau's philosophy Trojan horsed its way back into Australia and the U.S. on the back of Antiwar movements during the 1960s and has dominated Public education and University policy as well as introduced the vast multicultural Governmental policy nothingness that holds western freethinkers hostage. Opposing it can subject one to civil and even criminal sanction as well as ostracism.

Solving our collective problem in the west then will involved dismantling the vast political architecture that has been established by the totalitarian Rosseau based left and their Islamist allies through our governmental and educational structures. This may require a revolution in its own right and with the MSM and critical governmental structures working against our quite natural instincts to protect ourselves with postmodern platitudes of multiculturalism any such struggle will be uphill. So in the words of musician John Mayer I will "keep waiting for the world to change".



Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (86) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Where are the letters? [116 words]jennifer solisMay 6, 2008 02:57127845
truth is truth and every country should look into this [207 words]john howardOct 17, 2007 14:48111704
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Faith and Reason [188 words]Lactantius JrJul 25, 2007 07:24104700
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Stopping the invasion. [14 words]Paul.Sep 20, 2007 13:45103832
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American Muslims must fight Usama Bin Laden [150 words]poor sinnerFeb 7, 2008 23:19103832
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i would think you bring some thing new ...you use same old islamophobes [639 words]syed mohammad aliNov 12, 2007 03:58103798
1Malapropism [74 words]GodotJul 10, 2007 11:56103353
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1Western Civilisation is based not just on Judeo Christian Morality [76 words]SinghaJul 17, 2007 12:08103243
3How does the ordinary citizen fight Islam ? contd.. [1498 words]Steven SehgalJul 18, 2007 05:55103243
1So what is wrong with polytheism? [4 words]dhimmi no moreJul 21, 2007 21:07103243
1Our dear Lonely in Kabul aka drano rabina ya3tihu zawjatun! [20 words]dhimmi no moreJul 21, 2007 21:11103243
1Every Muslim is a Jehadi ..............We need to counter their Jehad agressively on every level in every field [113 words]TakatJul 22, 2007 03:22103243
Confused??? [162 words]Arius the PriestJul 22, 2007 23:57103243
1Good thought....Arius [201 words]Steven SehgalJul 26, 2007 09:15103243
False blame on the muslim religion [75 words]FaizSep 27, 2007 12:20103243
Non-muslim [217 words]ChrisJan 14, 2008 12:34103243
1Moderate Muslims are a far greater threat than the terrorists [111 words]Roosevelt's DiscipleJul 7, 2007 22:05103216
Please do not do that [128 words]Yuval Brandstetter MDJul 14, 2007 16:12103216
Question about French communists [67 words]HarrakJul 7, 2007 19:03103203
silence is the sign of consent [23 words]MAMAMIA TONTERIYAJul 27, 2007 11:12103203
The New Enemy [2821 words]Bob JackJul 7, 2007 18:32103200
Bravo [95 words]JBKJan 8, 2008 09:44103200
WWIII Against Radical Islam is in Progress [36 words]Bob JackJan 8, 2008 20:37103200
But where does Islamism come from? [147 words]David W. LincolnJul 7, 2007 13:39103187
Muhammed's alter ego? [79 words]Linda HaslamJul 12, 2007 11:29103187
His hand against everyone, and everyone against him [135 words]David W. LincolnJul 14, 2007 09:50103187
Where Islamism comes from [726 words]Lactantius JrJul 26, 2007 07:53103187
Well put [82 words]David W. LincolnJul 27, 2007 10:56103187
advise to israelis [115 words]skydiverJul 7, 2007 12:04103177
stuff and nonsense [162 words]yuval brandstetter MDJul 11, 2007 10:23103177
The thorny question of what is Islam [152 words]Rebecca MouldsJul 7, 2007 09:51103170
too few critical thinkers - on both sides.. [96 words]DarrenJul 7, 2007 09:44103169
There is an information gap [424 words]Denis MacEoinJul 7, 2007 09:21103168
What to do with these moderates? [157 words]Richard B.Jul 7, 2007 01:15103148
re Pipes on Islamism's "moderates" and his comments on Muravchik' [684 words]Jascha KesslerJul 6, 2007 23:46103145
Is Pipes A Shachtmanite? [102 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Barry MillerJul 6, 2007 22:05103141
Attitudes of conservatives and liberals [91 words]Egil UlateigJul 6, 2007 19:57103132
#2 [208 words]dfwhite19438Jul 6, 2007 19:05103130
This is a message to Dr. Pipes (not related to any article) [300 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Leonid Kaplun-LeonovJul 6, 2007 14:58103129
To Sum Up [51 words]Monte GardnerJul 6, 2007 14:48103126
Thank you Dr. Pipes. [153 words]YnnatchkahJul 6, 2007 14:16103121
The nature of religion including Christianity and Islam [273 words]Ralph C Whaley MDJul 6, 2007 13:23103119
Clash of Cultures II [362 words]M. ToveyJul 7, 2007 18:40103119
the faith of reason [328 words]yuval Brandstetter MDJul 8, 2007 04:25103119
Not so Forceful ... [314 words]OliverJul 8, 2007 23:56103119
What is needed is a combination of Faith and Reason not just more Reason [1534 words]HomefrontJul 9, 2007 04:01103119
We can agree on one point [228 words]Abu NudnikJul 10, 2007 11:20103119
Get over this whole Reason vs Faith thing [1530 words]HomefrontJul 11, 2007 21:54103119
"Not so, Dr Whaley" [1182 words]Lactantius Jr.Jul 12, 2007 16:04103119
FAITH AND REASON.... [187 words]DONVANJul 19, 2007 16:39103119
resonable political step 1 [139 words]Donald OJul 21, 2007 20:05103119
not at all harsh.... [145 words]donvanJul 23, 2007 09:00103119
The Destruction of Radical Islam [75 words]Bob JackAug 1, 2007 05:48103119
Left and Islam [58 words]Burton J. DeFrenJul 6, 2007 11:18103113
Moderate Muslims? [95 words]KennyJul 6, 2007 10:41103110
Agree with you, Kenny. [253 words]YnnatchkahJul 7, 2007 16:12103110
Don't Destroy America YOU Conservatives. [32 words]free beeJul 10, 2007 00:49103110
Reply to Kenny -- no entry of muslims at all in any democratic country [411 words]Romesh ChanderJul 11, 2007 07:43103110
Islam is incompatable with democracy [123 words]KennyJul 14, 2007 11:41103110
America will be here with blessing of God forever [31 words]johnAug 1, 2007 05:52103110
Analogy [283 words]Bill StoreyJul 6, 2007 10:27103108
The conflict between "Faith" and "Reason". [262 words]Seamus MacNemiJul 7, 2007 09:15103108
Stopping muslims coming to the West -- reply to Bill Storey [319 words]Romesh ChanderJul 7, 2007 13:18103108
Not Enough Time [81 words]BlackspeareJul 8, 2007 21:32103108
The silent radicals are called "moderates" [205 words]JaladhiJul 9, 2007 13:16103108
Even Jews, eh? [4 words]Abu NudnikJul 10, 2007 13:47103108
Islam in 600 Years [377 words]Bill StoreyJul 13, 2007 18:20103108
RE: Islam in 600 years [43 words]JBKJan 13, 2008 02:44103108
Abandon concept of 'moderate muslim' and 'moderate islam' [31 words]Romesh ChanderJul 6, 2007 09:26103104
Another Difference [81 words]Edward HalperJul 6, 2007 08:46103098

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