April 20, 2006

F.a.i.t.h.

Posted in Religion at 9:22 am by egalitaria

…if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move.

Sam Harris, in his book The End of Faith, claims that the state of terrorism, hatred and fear in this world stems from one thing, and one thing alone: Faith-based religions.

It seems to be a common viewpoint these days, that religions like Judaism, Islam and Christianity get attacked for being the primary cause of terrorism in the world. This is based upon the argument that the holy scriptures of each of the three explicitly outline commandments to kill and not to practise tolerance.

Thus, he postulates that, for example, Muslims in carrying out acts of terror against infidels are merely carrying out their religious duty. There is therefore no such thing as an "extremist Islamic group", or "fundamentalist". If adhering closely to religious principles means following the text, he says, then a Muslim is merely being a good Muslim.

Likewise, a Christian who truly believes in the truth in his faith will only be able to carry out acts of evangelism at the cost of tolerance, because he is merely following scriptural truth. This, to him, is a way of inciting hatred amongst different nations. In this day and age, he believes there should be a complete wipe out of faith-based religions, as the 21st century has no room for intolerance in plural societies.

Faith Freedom International seems to take an extreme stance in considering Islam, the religion itself, the source of terrorism. I am not so sure about this, as I still believe that liberal Muslims will maintain that these are contextual and relevant only to the period of writing itself.

As a Christian who takes her Bible seriously, I do believe that taking context into consideration is of utmost importance. The principle behind the action is maintained, taking into account the reasons for it.

The End of faith? Only if human misinterpretation takes place.

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