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Are religions reformable

Reader comment on item: Is Turkey's Government Starting a Muslim Reformation?
in response to reader comment: Sweet lies about Islam

Submitted by J.KOwaqlik@comcast.net (United States), May 26, 2008 at 22:38

Let us for a momernt consider a question, are religions reformable. Any religion . The answer depends on our definition of the concept of reform. If by reform we mean a deep change by which a religion become a rational philosphy based on our knowledge of human psychology and the social experiences over several thousand years of human history then the answer is NO.

This is because such a reformation would kill any religion that is based on the existence of supernatural deities and irrational magic. If we limit the notion of reform to some changes that retain the main supernatural magic but eliminate some crude, barbaric and corrupt elements of a religion then the answer is YES. .

For example .Christianity has been reformed and has survived this operation.Not without blood but we can say that the Catholic church and Protestant churchers are similar but not identical .Can a similar reform happen to Islam. In theory YES but it would require a serious transformation of believers not just the spiritual leaders.

A significant reformation of Islam is only possible if millions of faithful Muslims become so well educated and enlightened that they see the dramatic contrast between rational knowledge and blind faith having no reasonable evidence. The reformation can't succeed if it is initiated by the top.It must be a powerful force acting from the bottom ,by the masses.

As long as the Muslim masses are illiterate, unable to understand rudimentary principles of science the iIslam is unreformable. It is a self perpetuating blind faith full of crude simplistic concepts dating back to the Dark Ages of human history.Now the key question is can the Islamic masses raise intellectually to the point at which a reform of Islam would be possible?

One can defend the aswers YES and NO.. Yes because the world becomes a smaller place and it will be soon imposible to stop spreading information and rational ways of thinking. No, because the leaders of Islamic nations will do everyting possible to keep masses ignorant and fanatical rather than promote rationality. Fascism in the 20th century Europe was not reformable .It was not based on a supernatural deity but on the superman Adolf Hitler. Anybody who believed that NSDAP could become a peaceful party was naive and wrong.

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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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