A Menagerie of Outspoken Opinions on Science, World Politics, and Geek Culture

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Islamic Reformation

Jack Risco @ Dinocrat has a very nice summation of the history and future of extreme fundamentalist Religiosity versus Empirical rationalism.

He makes many fine points I do agree with on the way to a conclusion that I think is debatable.

Philosophy retreats along the border advanced by science. So does theology, as Copernicus and Galileo have shown.

The idea that man’s observations and logic can discern God’s rational and mathematical design of the universe, as does revelation, is ultimately very subversive: what happens when the two disagree?

...Islam began its Reformation on January 30, 2005, with the Iraq vote.

...religious reform takes centuries, even for relatively straightforward matters. Moreover, it take centuries even if the intellectual groundwork has been carefully laid...

We should expect no better of the Islamic Reformation.

I may quibble with that last one, his conclusion. Given the fact that communications today is near-instantaneous, the ability for an idea to gain traction across large swaths of people has risen exponentially in comparison to the pamphleteer methods of Martin Luther.

What we will see is the competition of ideas across these new mediums of internet and satellite television. It is going to be of endless fascination to me to note which ideas win over the hearts and minds of people who have lived so long in the dark cave of theocratic and patriarchical oppression.

It may indeed take centuries for a true liberal reformation to mature, but there is reason to hope it could happen much quicker.