Archive for the 'Religion' Category

WHY FREEDOM?

June 23, 2010

WHY FREEDOM?

Here’s a philosophical question I’d like you to consider; we each tend to make judgments on the basis of several more or less fundamental philosophies. Which is most fundamental with you?

My list includes the following:
Religious law, the rules of your religion.
Cultural law: the rules and traditions of your cultural group.
Egalitarianism: Does everybody get “fair” or “equal” treatment?
Libertarianism: Maximum freedom for each person.
Utilitarianism: The greatest good for the greatest number.
The golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Live and let live.
If you have a philosophy that differs from all of these, please contribute a comment.

These fundamental philosophies tend to overlap more than they conflict. Of course, each person has his own interpretation of each of them. And it seems that many religions initially were dogmatic and claimed precedence over any philosophy.

I’m libertarian, but I try to justify liberty as the best solution to the requirements of all other philosophies. Is this necessary? Can liberty stand alone, fully justified without reference to any other measure of right or wrong? I’ll give it a try

Liberty, like the golden rule, is not imposed from above, but is a simple rule each individual imposes on himself; “I will not violate another person’s liberty”. Perhaps this is the foundation of common law. It is the self government which makes anarchy workable.

Within liberty, each person is free to belong to any group, religion, or culture, and free to give up some liberty to live by the rules of the group. However, he is still bound by the rule of liberty; he shall not violate the liberty of any other person.

Trade is essential to our survival if we are to sustain our present population. Within liberty, all trade is free, within groups, and between members of different groups. Liberty is the only framework which assures that all groups, cultures, and religions can live together in peace and prosperity.

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ISLAM VS FREEDOM

June 13, 2010

ISLAM VS FREEDOM

One thing I cannot tolerate is intolerance. I can confidently say that the USA has done a good job of teaching people how to mingle and do business with people of other beliefs, religions, and cultures. I grew up immersed in this culture of tolerance. I see a lot of common fundamental values among different cultures and religions. The common bond among Americans is the desire for freedom and equal rights for all.

There is one way that we can reject this freedom and those rights to people, by denying certain groups the status of human beings. We all do this to children, because they are incapable of independent survival. The matter of the change of status from child to adult is a gray area perhaps never to be fully resolved.

Slavery of Blacks in America was justified in this way. People had to think of them as subhuman in order to live with their slavery. Slavery for millennia before that was justified simply by: “You lost the war; you are the spoils of war and my property”.

Women have been denied equal rights for millennia among many different cultures. Giving women the vote and the right to hold leadership positions is relatively recent in most cultures. Yet I find the status of women in Islam to be beyond toleration.

Under Islam a girl is born the property of her father until he sells her to her husband. She is the property of her husband until he dies or casts her off. She has no choice in this, no freedom at any time, and no more rights than any inanimate object that he owns. Her owner can freely subject her to any kind of abuse. She can be executed if she tries to escape.

I haven’t read a word of the Koran. My information is all second hand, although I did observe the selling off of daughters by a Pakistani family, a neighbor when I lived in Scotland. If you think I’ve got it wrong, please post a comment.

I don’t think it’s my business, or the business of my country, to try to change this, unless it happens within our country. But we should be ready to offer refuge to any woman who dares to escape from such bondage.