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Secularism - past, present and future

Reader comment on item: Secularism - Will It Survive?

Submitted by John Bastile (Malaysia), Oct 13, 2005 at 13:58

Secularism pertains to the present world or to things that are not spiritual nor ecclesiastical. As Dr. Pipes pointed out, secularism arose as a result of bloody struggles between religions or even between factions. However, I would like to believe that secularism may be a creature of scientific progress. As we progress and enrich our knowledge of the world, we may be breaching the boundaries that we have placed our concept of God. The world is not flat, as argued by Vatican at one point in time. The sun does not set in muddy springs as mentioned in the Quran. In a way, as we become more educated and understand how things work, some ancient beliefs come to past. Religion needs progress too. The previous pope, John Paull II, sought reconciliation for the Vatican error, as well as the Spannish Inquisition. The muslims however, still argue that the Quran is a complete code and way of life. In a way, I have to agree that the Quran represents a complete way of life. Life of a 7th century desert dweller. Church bells, reminding believers of mass times, are no longer a feature in modern churches. Yet, mosques still blast their azan calls - contributing to noise pollution. We have watches now. Muslims, please progress.

As our knowledge in science increases, humanity matures from an infant stage to an adult stage. As children, we used to believe in Santa Claus and his flying reindeer. We used to believe that Christmas presents were gifts from the lone North Pole resident. We have seen the North Pole. There is no real Santa. Muslims believe that their lone prophet flew on a giant bird, the buraq, to heaven and came near face to face with Allah. Thus, muslims have a first hand witness to the presence of houris (perpetual virgins) in heaven. Meanwhile, the majority of the occupants of hell-fire are women. There is no flying reindeers, neither are there flying buraqs. Are all false precepts. We discover these truths when we become adults.

There are several fronts where religions are seen as obstacle to the progress of humanity. Moreover, over-zealous religious leaders tend to become moral guardians and tend to regulate the behaviours of their people. Thus, secularism was embraced as a form a mechanism that empowers the individuals to be free from religious obligations, and at times, religious persecutions. In short, secularism transfers power from community leaders to inidividuals as far as moral and spiritual powers are concerned. Using legal powers, secularism protects the individual. In simplicity, you can believe in anything you want as long as you do not break the law.

Since Western secularism rose from the Chuch-State separation, it has to be seen to be separate from religous principles. It cannot be identified as Liberal Christians, Moderate Christians, Leftist nor Rightist. It want decisions to be made without the any consideration for the spiritual or moral dimension - besides the Golden Rule. Thus, issues ranging from abortion, mercy-killing and genetic science are constant reminders of secularism antagonizing religios beliefs, or vice versa. The unnoticed effects of secularism are individualism, materialism, and consumerism. Secularist society seeks instant gratification, want little acountability for its needs, and seek material wealth. The more you consume, the happier you are. Have sex. Have lots of em. Have premarital sex. If you're pregnant, no worries - go for an abortion. If you choose to get married. No worries, you can get a divorce easily. No more till death do you part.

The next issue is - can Secularism get along with Christianity? Apparently, the answer is yes. The words that Jesus Christ used: "My kingdom is not on here on earth" allow Christians to exist in all forms of government, even under persecution.

Another issue is - can Secularism get along with Islam? Sadly, the answer is no. Muslims cannot be under any law except for Sharia laws. Muslims believe that the Quran and Hadiths provides a complete code to life. Issues ranging from kissing the black stone to restarting your prayers should you pass wind are all documented. However, the code is not updated since their prophet died prematurely from poisoning (by the hands on his wife - captured as a war booty). Thus, the code is applicable to 7th century desert dwellers. The Quran calls for the extermination of all other religions. The words that their prophet used: "Kill all infidels, wherever ye may find them" remind muslims of their holy order of jihad. We are lucky as the majority of muslims are common folks - either no guts or too humane to carry out their holy orders. That's why the muslims, though saddened by the violent acts of their brethren Jihadis, are consoled that at least the holy orders are being carried out.

Secularism cannot co-exist with Islam. Secularism will seek to protect the individuals' life while Islam seek to kill apostates. Secularism can lean towards pro-choice abortions. Islam seeks to punish sex preperators by stoning them to death. Secularism believe is freedom of speech, Islam challenges anyone who questions its principles.

The main problem is that Secularism respects the religous beliefs of all. The Secular West, a creature of religious persecutions and Chuch-State separation, does not desire now to be the one persecuting the Muslims. Therefore, muslims are allowed to build mosques and make ridiculous demands.

Dr Pipes, now to your question - will Secularism survive? I believe that the answer is yes. Secularism seeks scientific progress and is adaptable. The downside of it is moral decadence.

Can Secularism counter Islam? The answer is difficult. Secularism takes a scientific approach and seek to redress issues with logical reasoning. Islam will not tolerate any questions to its beliefs. One has to be a muslim and be able to read arabic in order to "interpret" the real Quran. Thus, secularist cannot argue with a muslim. Thus, the secularist must either submit to Islam (by the way, Islam means submission) or subdue Islam. For the survival of secular West and countries seeking freedom, there is little choice left. Confrontation is inevitable.

Secularism can tolerate Islam. Secularism can be sensitive to the needs of Islam. Bear in mind, Islam can never tolerate secularism. Islam has never been sensitive to anyone's needs. Verses in the Quran are not even rephrased. "Kill all infidels, wherever ye may find them"













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