On Facebook, Jesse Smith said:
“…Moral “truth” changes with time, else slavery and executions of adultery, among others, would continue. We dont need an ancient book or vague ideas of a celestial overmind to know what is moral, especially when the ancient books morals are selected for by humans as we go. The 4th surah is good evidence of this, as is the punishment for unbelief, as are much of the laws of the Old Testament- for every beautiful verse like u quoted there are others that are shockingly cruel. These books can be a guide, thrown aside when needed and adapted when needed.
Our civilisation has depended on this ability to discern its value, and as we rely on it less and less we have greater freedom and happiness than ever before.
The answer to preventing nuclear war is not faith however, which has a history of fermenting war and rarely preventing it, but more and better science to safeguard that which we have, and limiting the causes for war in general which tends to be poverty and ideological divison- two things religion tends to encourage. So the answer is not less science and more ancient faith based guidance, I would argue.”
The points Paul Williams makes here are valid in themselves, and I’d invite you to take a look. And here, he talks about how Western Christians have themselves become secularised. I just wanted to extend this point to a different conclusion.
There was a time when the Greek-speaking (polytheistic) world made in-roads into the Judaic (monotheistic) one. As a result, some Jews became Hellenised. Who were the Hellenised Jews? And is there a warning, here, for us, nowadays?
As part of an endeavour to try and unpack what we mean by ‘Modernity’, it might prove useful to distinguish a series of warnings about what to avoid when trying to be a Real, Living-It Muslim (i.e. a Mu’min – Believer).
This is a great overview of a failed hypothesis.
Hamza Tzortzis first distinguishes a difference between academic and popular discourse on this topic. Though there are arguments on the popular front as to why and how science has killed religion and that atheism is inevitable, Hamza explains that on the academic front the answer is very different: No – science does not necessarily lead to Atheism.
“Why are we surprised our children become secular-minded after a secular education?” (See 0:27:54)
And so begins Daniel Haqiqatjou, Director of Religion and Scientism for the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, in his lecture, ‘Decoding the Matrix: Restructuring Muslim Thought for the Modern World’.
“Part of your success as a… student in general in the college system is your ability to internalise certain … conceptual schemes… in the process of analysis [of] different texts… so for example, Islamic studies – as Islam is studied in Western nations, we’re assuming a certain conceptual language and we’re asking… ‘what is Islam?’ ‘what is Islamic?’ ‘how much does Islam respect minority rights?’ ‘how much does Islam respect women rights?’ ‘to what extent does Islam respect freedom, equality, and democracy?’… In asking those questions you’re deploying certain concepts – namely, what is a minority? What is freedom? What is democracy? What is power? What is authority? What is equality? These are the terms that any graduate student will understand intuitively. Those questions, however, are never in question. What’s in question is Islam. What’s in question is the Islamic conceptual universe…
And so my recommendation… is that we need to turn the tables in a sense, that we need to assume, as Muslims devotionally, we need to assume the Qur’anic conceptual landscape and interrogate the modern structures and the modern conceptual landscape in those terms… if we do that and have that kind of prioritisation in mind and exercise a little bit of skepticism and critique, that is going to in shaa Allah help us to live in the modern world succesfully, constructively and peacefully.” (See 0:44:08)