Adonis Diaries

Archive for October 26th, 2009

Sins and technology: Tell me more; (October 25, 2009)                     

                        I stated in a previous post “The Sacred Practical Necessities” that “Religion might not have been invented right after we got conscious of our mortality but necessarily as modern man realized that he is a special individuality.  Then modern man got wary of producing mass hand tools for the tribe and took special care for individual designs, specialty carved symbols on the tools, particular color combinations, drawing and painting that reflected feelings and awe toward the environment and the forces of nature.  Painting and sculpting and drawing symbols were the precursors for inventing a language as a practical necessity, first verbally and then by written medium. By the time humankind got conscious of his ephemeral life (for many millennia, people didn’t get to live beyond the age of 30 at best) and that death is a certainty, then religion (the sacred in practical necessities) was created to cope with the consequences that resulted from that conscious fear, on the ground that otherwise no security or peace could prevail within any organized society.”

                        If there is paradise (an after death phase) it must be located within our universe where matters and energy interact and transfer. However, if there is hell, it must be within our mind: there is no hell more terrible and more powerful than our conscious feeling of having committed an egregious sin or guilt.  Since nature does not provide a moral order to observe and emulate then even all our power for abstraction cannot generate the concept of evil.  I believe that the notion of evil is a culture inherited by osmosis to our subconscious by the uninterrupted religious culture that constituted the fundamental basis to organized communities through the millennia. 

                        Sin is a concrete notion because it is associated with punishment and ostracism.  In contrast, the notion of doing good remains relatively abstract and any remuneration is not immediate and not palpable.  Thus, many religions tried, now and then, to great extent to emphasize the reward of commendable actions in their teachings. Ultimately, the religious institutions had to rely on the effective politics to revert to admonitions and focus on the negative deeds because fear has a much more efficient impact on the mind of the believers then the long lasting effects of doing good.

                        Can anyone comprehend the state of an Alzheimer patient who lost all his memory and even his identity and the meaning of his environment?  And yet, the Alzheimer patient carries energies to keeping him alive but for what use and what purpose?  Can we conceive of a paradise without prior memories of feelings, senses and experiences?  Thousands of the early Christians faced boldly their martyrdom simply because they were convinced that they will be resurrected in the third day as Christ did and in the flesh!  Do Muslims go to martyrdom without the conviction of immediate rewards?

                        The same process is taking place with technological breakthroughs.  While we experienced some of the benefits and the many harms of religion we are at the beginning phase for experiencing the benefits and harms of technologies that we can invent and produce but do not comprehend or grasp the consequences. We are traversing a dangerous period without adequate check and balance on the production of new inventions and tampering with human genome and agricultural and animal cloning. Thus the consequences might be irreversible this time around for our survival. 

                        We have created enough tools, processes, and know-how to invent all kind of products without the need of thorough theoretical foundations; it is like a machine that invents new machines with what it already knows and the vast array of tools it has in its arsenal so that theory is becoming an after thought because science requires a rational model. Furthermore, experiments require abundance of time, financial and human resources that validation and testing on consequences to human health, safety and survival is dragging a long backlog that can never catch up with what is thrown in the market place.  For example, developed States have realized that a process for testing and validating the consequences of pharmaceutical products before marketing them was a must to safeguard health and safety of the consumers; but even that process was not adequate enough or ethically stringently applied when pharmaceutical new products were tested in the third world populations. 

                        Technology is the new metaphysical ideology for defining youth; you are as young as you can keep up with new updates.  How fast and how readily you can manipulate and use new gadgets is the main criterion for youthfulness, for keeping your membership in the new cult.  The technology cult means that you should have faith in what the market is providing you in updates and inventions because ultimately it is you who is testing, validating and selling the technology at your own risk. 

                        Technology is basically a cultural revolution against abstract or theoretical works, whether in religion, metaphysics, or sciences, and its motto is “There is no good or evil in technology”.  Let us keep inventing and let the less expensive and quicker trial and error method sort out what is beneficial to mankind.  Let youth, these flexible and adaptable mind, these spiritually and culturally ignorant spirits, and these energetically undaunted and bold souls, be our guinea pigs as they used to be historically”.  

                        The institutional organizations that have the responsibility of reviewing and testing the consequences of any invention and discussing the ethical foundations are feeling the squeeze of mass revolts on any attempt to tampering with the new technological and marketing trend.  At this junction, religious fundamentalism from all kinds, have reacted to the slow process of civic organizations to confronting vigorously the new technological cult; religious fundamentalism is raising the banner for fighting any breakthrough that is practically overrunning all the red lines erected by religions.  Religious fundamentalism cannot be the medium to checking the curious mind of humankind: it has always been the obscurantist power to any rational investigation and cultural paradigm shift.

                       

                        The technological cult feels unstoppable: globalization is its vehicle and many institutionalized tyrants will come to power, under the guise of confronting dangerous technologies, and backed by the impotent minds, scared and lazy, only to use technology in order to sustain and spread this reign of terror.  Technology is running wild and fast and becoming utterly unaffordable by its frequent updates. The best check is that the UN imposes a moratorium on field execution by the greed of the multinationals to slow down this process: humankind wants a reprieve to assimilate and digest this drastic and worldwide cultural transformation.  Human curious mind cannot be usurped but the ethical and moral need to discuss the new paradigm that “Human survival CANNOT be carried with this one-directional mind that only technology is the remaining panacea to all our ills”

                        On a lighter note, I believe that there is a dichotomy of how the two genders view the meaning of life; man thinks that life is a problem that needs to be solved while woman view life as a secret to be uncovered.  Woman whispers into the ears of her lover the mysterious clue “love is everything” and then the man picks up on that clue and starts singing “All we need is love; love is all we need”.  Woman whispers “I need to feel protected” and then man gets all rattled figuring how to resolve the practical difficulties for survival.

Islamophobia knocking at Rotterdam: legal action taken; (October 26, 2009)

Professor Tariq Ramadan, 46, was this summer sacked as Rotterdam’s integration advisor. Tariq Ramadan is professor of Islamic studies and was stripped of his chair at the city’s Erasmus University.  Professor Ramadan was also fired by the municipality of Rotterdam and is taking legal action to demand an apology from the two institutions.

Erasmus University responded to Professor Ramadan  as it emerged he was hosting a weekly discussion programme on Iran’s state broadcaster Press TV. The municipality deemed that the controversy surrounding the revelation disqualified the Swiss-Egyptian professor to lead public discussions in Rotterdam regarding religious identity and free marriage. The city also stopped financing his chair at Erasmus University.

Professor Ramadan had been at the center of previous controversy. In April, the conservative VVD party withdrew from Rotterdam city council accusing the Islam expert of homophobic and misogynous views. A majority of the city council continued to back the professor at the time.

I recall two weeks ago that the French channel TV5 was interviewing the Moslem Tarek Ramadan who had published a new book.  Apparently, Professor Ramadan has published so far over 20 books related to Islam religious belief system and how to communicate according to European customs and traditions. There were five authors taking turn to answering queries on their respective newly published books. Only one claimed to have read Ramadan’s new book; no one read any of the other 20 books. They were in line to badger the Professor in total ignorance of the content of his manuscript.

There is this author Eric Zemmour who is blasting Professor Ramadan and claiming that France is a secular “laic” Nation, that hijab (veil that women wear) should be prohibited and that “for better or worse” France is always right and the citizens should support the Nation’s government decisions. It turned out that this Eric defined himself as an Israelite French; go figure how certain people can have flexible conscious and be so irrational and proud of it; Zemmour wants Professor Ramadan (who is not French yet) to swear that he should be French first while Zemmour thinks that he can get away with being Israelite first!

Professor Ramadan was saying that all his statements are turned around although his 20 books on most Islamic controversial issues are there to read; he said that hijab is not a Moslem religious fashion and that France has no business prohibiting the way people should dress.  He expounded his methodology; he states the verses “sourats” of the Koran related to a topic in their integrality to set the foundation of Islamic belief system and then interpret them in their context, and explain the current interpretations before synthesizing the topic.

 

Professor Ramadan is one of the grandsons of Hassan Al Banna, the founder of the Egyptian movement the “Moslem Brotherhood” in the 30’s and which is the most popular political party in Egypt.  The Arab and Islamic political movements were inspired by the doctrine of the Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood party. Tarek Ramadan writes in at least three languages (English, French, Arabic, German or Dutch); several of his children have French nationality. I would refer the readers of my blog to my post “Europe’s Renaissance is Islamic”


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2009
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