4 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Being dictatorial is not being virtuous.

Reader comment on item: Will Europe Resist Islamization?
in response to reader comment: examining virtues

Submitted by trans-parere (Canada), May 1, 2008 at 23:01

Dear Taj,

Virtue from the Latin virtus. "The good being good at being good". Which means good people overcoming their vices. The good with in us and the goodness of others combating the vice with in our hearts and the vices we choose to express.

From the early Greeks we have writing on the four cardinal virtues. Temperance or moderation in all things. Prudence or insight. Knowledge is essential. Fortitude or courage to act rightly. And Justice or the being a just man. Plato in his work on ethics argued that these virtues were not independent in themselves virtues but together all one, virtue. I agree with that statement because I don't believe a just man can stand aside in the face of any difficulty and hold himself as an example of a virtuous man and be saying "I am acting rightly [the right and proper manner] by following the herd or doing nothing."

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." -Edmund Burke

When good men do nothing, nothing good gets done. And to be good men, good must be done. It's a catch 22 type of deal. The constant has to be good done for all, all the time. And it's the height of arrogance to believe that one cultural view is right for all and that all must observe that cultural view.

Islam is no longer a Arab device of faith and governing over it's tribes. It was used as a tool to conquer and for expansion. I don't have any argument about that. Many other cultures did as much. I'm not about to enter into some self righteous debate over who was more or less at conquering. There is no such thing as a benevolent conquering. One can not conquer another "just a little". Anyone who imposes their culture outside of it's original confines does so from a sense of superiority. And that means that the other was viewed as being inferior. That was a predominant tribalist ideology yesterday. Such behavior today is ignorant and criminal. I'm talking about the realities on the ground today and what we must collectively face as a people from a multitude of nations, holding to a multitude of different faiths, living in an environment that allows us all independently to excel as the people we hold ourselves to be free from the imposition of any absolutism.

Todays issues with in Islam and with it's various expressions around the world is a direct result of it's movement of expansion. Moslem's can not say defensively that there is nothing wrong with Islam when there are Moslem's saying that there is. Just like Christians can not say defensively that there is nothing wrong with Christianity when Christians say there is. Or Judaism when there are Jews questioning some of that religious expression. All of these religions are operating outside of their tribal environments and are going to be questioned as to validity and prudence when practiced in a environment of diverse cultural, religious, and personal beliefs. Under these conditions no religion has the expectation of absolute authority.

Some Moslem's have made the mistake of [excessive] pride in defense of Islam as they attempt to find their place in a world of freedom where before them all was dictated either by religion or government. According to a narration from Muhammad he said: "He in whose heart there is as much as a grain of arrogance will not enter paradise," and a man remarked: "A man likes his garment to be beautiful and his sandals to be beautiful." Then Muhammad replied: "God, Most High, is beautiful and likes beauty; arrogance is disdaining what is true and despising people." The truth today is there is no place for totalitarianism or any other type of dictatorship whether that be religious or political.

"Tread a woorme on the tayle and it must turne agayne."
Written in the English of the 1500's it means the same today. Even the most humble will strike back if abused enough The women and children of Islam are fighting back in the worlds democracies and the extremist fear for their absolutism and selfish power over those they held as inferior. And that is why the attack on democracy in our free societies and why the Taleban and al-Qaeda and Iran and other extremist Islamist work so hard at preventing the Afghan and Iraqi people from adopting a democratic form of governing. These extremist can only exist as totalitarians and it is UN-virtuous for all good men, Moslem or otherwise, to stand back and behave as mere observers, and to do no good. For Islam the worm has turned and we will see as participants in this world how Islam choses to respond to the knowledge of it's violence and oppression as the world moves towards global democratisation.

"Genuine honesty, assuming that this is our virtue and we cannot get rid of it, we free spirits – well then, we will want to work on it with all the love and malice at our disposal, and not get tired of ‘perfecting' ourselves in our virtue" -Nietzsche

Submitting....

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".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Being dictatorial is not being virtuous. by trans-parere

Email me if someone replies to my comment

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".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)