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"Not so, Dr Whaley"

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

Submitted by Lactantius Jr. (United Kingdom), Jul 12, 2007 at 16:04

To Ralph C.Whaley

My previous posting " Life In All Its Fullness" http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/90056 concentrated on your self-defeating argument that human reason and rationality is the ultimate arbiter and authority, and I'll be pleased to have your comments about my critique of David Hume and A.J.Ayer, believing my previous posting to have undercut faith in human reason and rationality. I will say little further about them, except to ask you whether it is reasonable to trust reason? What 'reason' can you give for accepting 'reason?' In other words, to use what you are trying to justify (reason) to PROVE it, is 'begging the question'. By definition, to justify a position ('reason only') you have to use something OUTSIDE the position, or it is a circular argument.

You say that "The essence of religion is Faith. All serious scholars of religion agree on this point. Faith is a belief in the absence of evidence and/or in controversion of evidence." Not so Dr Whaley, Christianity is very much evidence-based, and doesn't require "a belief in the absence of evidence and/or in controversion of evidence." I write as a deeply committed follower of Jesus Christ, about Whom, the primary source of reliable information is contained in the New Testament Scriptures, my ultimate authority, in all matters of belief, doctrine and conduct, and which have the following to say about "faith" (‘confident trust'):-

"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." Romans 10:17

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1

the Apostle Paul saying:-

"My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing."

1 Corinthians 2:4-6

Christianity absolutely stakes its claim to validity on Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, following His death by crucifixion. Paul saying this of Jesus Christ's resurrection:-

"Now, let me ask you something profound yet troubling. If you became believers because you trusted the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, how can you let people say that there is no such thing as a resurrection? If there's no resurrection, there's no living Christ. And face it—if there's no resurrection for Christ, everything we've told you is smoke and mirrors, and everything you've staked your life on is smoke and mirrors. Not only that, but we would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised up Christ—sheer fabrications, if there's no resurrection."

1 Corinthians 15:12-15

Writing "the only way for them to interact peacefully is by using reason, facts and making a case to persuade the other that he is wrong," may well be your only option, committed as you are to your own reason and rationality, but as a follower of Jesus Christ, "The Prince of Peace," His words and His example is my paradigm. He not only condemned the use of violence, recorded in Matthew 26:52, stating categorically that "He who lives by the sword must die by the sword," but exemplified it in His own life, by neither advocating it nor practising it, and then gave us our best model concerning how we are to act towards our enemies:-

"You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don't turn away from those who want to borrow.

"You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbour' and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies!Pray for those who persecute you!

Matthew 5:38-44

Some of my previous postings on Dr Pipes' website have dealt with the Islamic paradigm, documented in Islam's most authoritative writings, and displayed in the life of Muhammad, who was in fact, the archetypal Islamic terrorist, demonstrating that violence was foundational to, and remains deeply embedded in Islam. Compare and contrast that with how the follower of Jesus Christ is called to live:-

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

I Corinthians 10:3-5

In concluding your posting by saying "This is a war of ideas, essentially faith vs. reason. Faith and force go together. Reason and persuasion are the only means of making life as humans in society possible. It is either/or!" but no Dr Whaley, following Jesus Christ doesn't comport with force and violence, although, as we are increasingly seeing, in the attempted mass-murder in London and Glasgow by Islamic terrorists recently for example, Islam and its prophet, mandate and sanction violence and murder to extend and impose Islam, and I have dealt with this at some length in my previous postings, such as:-

Response to commentator Jaan

http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/23179

(in response to http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/23089)

Peace and violence in Christianity and Islam

http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/71013

(in response to http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/70500)

Muhammad's Islam sure aint moderate!!

http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/69505

(in response to http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/69387)

"The Islam of Muhammad"

http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/68503

(in response to http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/68349)

You assert that "Reason and persuasion" are the only means of "making life as humans in society possible," not so Dr Whaley, they are not, and they are most certainly not always benign, secular states having repeatedly deployed mass warfare to assert their power and authority, at the expense of autonomous religious (and ethnic) communities. Secular history is not peaceful, and I conclude this response, as I did my previous one to you, by saying, you're going to live forever Dr Whaley, please choose life.

"Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!"

Deuteronomy 30:19

"As God's partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God's kindness and then ignore it. For God says, 'At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.' Indeed, the ‘right time' is now. Today is the day of salvation."

2 Corinthians 6:1-2

With kind regards and best wishes

Lactantius Jr.


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
1Conservatives neutered by Political Correctness [142 words]guy leven-torres (agricola)Aug 29, 2007 06:29107164
1Radical Islamists Trump Moderate Muslims [230 words]Bob JackAug 1, 2007 00:43105207
Faith and Reason [188 words]Lactantius JrJul 25, 2007 07:24104700
1Special Interest to the Rescue [1450 words]SSJul 17, 2007 03:05103832
1The special interest groups are the problem not the solution [639 words]HomefrontJul 23, 2007 04:56103832
1The "Special Interest" We Dont Know [1108 words]SSJul 23, 2007 20:12103832
THE MUSLIMS ARE COMING [46 words]tabingins911Aug 19, 2007 21:01103832
Stopping the invasion. [14 words]Paul.Sep 20, 2007 13:45103832
The Political Process - Make Your Voice Heard [829 words]SSSep 24, 2007 16:36103832
American Muslims must fight Usama Bin Laden [150 words]poor sinnerFeb 7, 2008 23:19103832
what is the defination of radicals moderate and liberal muslims? [234 words]syed mohammad aliJul 16, 2007 13:05103798
1There is Nothing Like a Moderate Islam- Qoran and Mohammad Personally testifies [1980 words]beststarsignNov 8, 2007 02:30103798
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
1Non violent ISLAMISTS? [117 words]donvanJul 10, 2007 11:35103351
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A Rational Approach to Middle East Peace and Islamic Relations [612 words]MarciJul 9, 2007 12:39103296
right on, Marci! [33 words]Bob JenksMay 4, 2008 14:56103296
1Moderates More Dangerous than Al Qaeda [616 words]Linda KeayJul 8, 2007 22:02103267
2Indian Question - Recommended Approach [1406 words]SinghaJul 8, 2007 12:21103243
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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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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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