Beware of a religion without irony

An interesting article indeed ... especially this ...
Whenever I consider this matter I am struck by a singular fact about the Christian religion, a fact noticed by Kierkegaard and Hegel but rarely commented upon today, which is that it is informed by a spirit of irony. Irony means accepting "the other," as someone other than you. It was irony that led Christ to declare that his "kingdom is not of this world," not to be achieved through politics. Such irony is a long way from the humorless incantations of the Koran. Yet it is from a posture of irony that every real negotiation, every offer of peace, every acceptance of the other, begins. The way forward, it seems to me, is to encourage the re-emergence of an ironical Islam, of the kind you find in the philosophy of Averro

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  1. islam
  2. irony
  3. islamofascism
  4. muslim puritans
  5. scruton
  6. dan lacey

Comments


Mark de LA says
As far as your cherry pie goes . A long time ago I did some study of the hashishians here is something upon them url http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/concepts_assassination.html. Basically they get vulnerable young boys or men and feed them a lot of drugs like hashish & when they are stoned hypnotize them into a paradise as you described & then when they wake up they put the squeeze on them to murder & assassinate in order to get to that paradise briefly glimpsed. That's where the word assassinate comes from. Some of this is rumored to have an origin & still is in Northern Iran.
I doubt that the Koran is any better than the Christian Bible in terms of fidelity. Remember that you can pass a message around the room of 30 people and it will come back to you nearly unrecognizable & very garbled. It will certainly have the imprint & prejudices & fears & insanity of all the people who passed it along.

Christ shows up in the heart & in love - no need to read a book for the truth there.

Mark de LA says
While I found the first part of the opinion interesting, I found the definition of irony as
source: ... Irony means accepting "the other," as someone other than you.
... just plain off-target. I think he needs a thesaurus. We all need to laugh at ourselves & challenge our assumptions & beliefs as per 4204.  I supplied this opportunity in another item in that spirit:


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Seth says
M 2006-08-21 14:47:04 4207
While it is an interesting opinion, I think that ROGER SCRUTON misused the word irony.  It might be irony if New Age Christians walked around with miniature electric chairs on their neck chains instead of crosses. It might be irony if there was something funny in his last paragraph.  I wonder if there are any Muslim humorists . There seem to be quite a few Jewish humorists - maybe that's irony or perhaps, just gallows humor. 
I don't know ... i thought "And maybe, one day, the rigid face of some puritanical mullah will crack open in a hesitant smile, and negotiations can at last begin." was pretty funny ... maybe not a belly laugh ... but at least worth a wishful smile.  In any case it is good writing and something that i personally needed to read. 


Dan Lacey says
I appreciate your comments, Seth. I discovered your site by backtracking the link to one of my cartoons. Thanks for posting.
I think humility and deference best describe the attitude you're promoting (by the way, more than one historian has stated that there's better historical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth than for Alexander the Great, and there's remarkable fidelity between the texts which followed the oral tradition). The personal ministry of Christ was a model of humility and is eminently emulatable by any generation. The form of Christianity which you seem to be supporting is based upon this personal, sacrificial mission. The onus with the radical application of the Islamic faith seems to be that it is the burden of the individual to secure their own salvation, which includes a great reward for self-destruction.
I don't know enough about Islam to state definitely that there's no expression of humor, or at least what we as modern westerners could easily recognize as humor, without misunderstanding. However, I'm pretty sure there isn't going to be an Islamic Life Of Brian anytime soon.

Seth says
M 2006-08-21 15:18:00 4207
Quoting it doesn't help much. There is a bit of a up-tick in the last sentence, but I think he should consult a dictionary.
I think he is using "irony" to to point to "humor" in general.  Afterall is not irony the foundation of humor?  We laugh because we detect that something is amiss.  But Muslims cannot laugh at God or his word or apparently even its interpertation by humans.  There is something fundamentally wrong in that.  You should tell that to your Muslim friends, and then run like hell.

Anonymous Geek says
Allah is stonger

Seth says
M 2006-08-21 15:27:16 4207
While I found the first part of the opinion interesting, I found the definition of irony as
source: ... Irony means accepting "the other," as someone other than you.
... just plain off-target. I think he needs a thesaurus.
Well, as it happens, Scruton's kind of the irony only pops out at you when you "don't accept the other as someone other than you".  Think about it ... it is this confusion of intension that underlies much of ironic humor ...  like "Lois Lane does not know that Clark Kent is strong" ... here the audience knows something but the character does not.  Without "the other" there would be no irony of this type.  Where there is only one interpertation, there can be no irony; because there can be no "other".  Islam is like that ... it accepts no intension ... the map is disallowed ... only the territory exists.  How can you laugh about it?  How could irony exist ... there is no "other" to provide the confusion.
We all need to laugh at ourselves & challenge our assumptions & beliefs as per 4204.  I supplied this opportunity in another item in that spirit:
... which ironically is private.

Mark de LA says
M 2006-08-22 04:08:39 4207
Anonymous Geek 2006-08-22 03:19:00 4207
Allah is stonger
Stronger than what ?
It's not about power, it's about LOVE
Check out the movie El Topo someday.

Seth says
M 2006-08-21 15:34:29 4207
The sad thing is that nobody knows what Allah's word is.  Presumably it was conveyed by the Archangel Gabriel to Mohammed. But since then it has gone thru a bunch of people who are now perverting it to mean blow yourself and a jew up and you can go to heaven & have sex with 72 virgins. (Why anyone would want virgins who probably don't know what they are doing I will never know)  Try asking one of your muslim friends how they know what the word of Allah is. If it is as tenuous as what you get from a born-again Christian - then run!  Both traditions were oral before being written down. 
You keep under stating this reward.  It is 72 palaces, each with 72 virgins ... i count that as 5,184 virgins.  Tha's a lot of cherry pie.

The word of God was transmitted down the ages by the Shari'ah which is not just by a informal "bunch of people" but jourists each studying many many years to get it right.  That is quite an accomplishment and one that Muslims truly identify with.  Go ye in search of the historical Jesus and his sayings interperted and translated correctly to your ear.  You will not find it.  In that regard i think Islam has something that Christianity does not.  Muslims can point to a real  person of flesh and blood through their Shari'ah, Christians cannot.   Early Christian history is nothing but surmise and guess work.   But just because Muslims do so strongly identify with this Shari'ah message is a source of problem.  Because as we know, and as you point out above, it is corruptable.

Seth says
Dan Lacey 2006-08-22 14:18:09 4207
(by the way, more than one historian has stated that there's better historical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth than for Alexander the Great, and there's remarkable fidelity between the texts which followed the oral tradition). 
Or really ?  Can you take any event in the Christian saga and pin a date on it?  I doubt it, but you can with the events in the life of Muhammad.  And there are more discrepancies between the Christian gospels then there are similarities, but there is only one Koran.  I think you are living in a different world.

Seth says
M 2006-08-23 07:59:23 4207
seth 2006-08-23 07:37:10 4207
Dan Lacey 2006-08-22 14:18:09 4207
(by the way, more than one historian has stated that there's better historical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth than for Alexander the Great, and there's remarkable fidelity between the texts which followed the oral tradition). 
Or really ?  Can you take any event in the Christian saga and pin a date on it?  I doubt it, but you can with the events in the life of Muhammad.  And there are more discrepancies between the Christian gospels then there are similarities, but there is only one Koran.  I think you are living in a different world.
So what ? Jesus came ~ 500+ earlier than Mohammed & Abraham earlier than that. The founder of the Mormons, Joseph Smith 1805-1844 came much later & a lot more is known about his life & teachings. One can validates a religion by the fruit of it's adherants rather than what is written in books about it. A religion speaks strongest in how it's adherants are being than the the strength of their beliefs about it.
Well you are probably right about the 5 centuries causing the difference.  But there is no element here of "validation of the religion" in my observation, faith needs no validation.  But what this timing does is create a religion with a stonger grounding in historical facts.  There are few, if any, miracles in Islam.  Islam is more a political movement, than a awakeining of spirit.

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