Sunday, July 21, 2013

We Must Neuter the Quran Just Like We Did With the Bible

The fundamental difference between Islam and Christianity in terms of violence or vile ethical frameworks has absolutely nothing to do with the relative amounts of bloodshed, violent punishment or misogyny. There is so much backwards nonsense in both books that attempting to tally a score is as pointless and ineffective as it is impossible. How does Moses' advocation of stoning the sexually immoral stack up against Muhammad's evident view that women are less capable creatures? 

Who cares. Any book that contains such passages was not inspired by any deity I would trust with something as mundane as my 16 year old junker of a car, let alone something as complex and volatile as my personal morality and search for meaning.
And who cares, the various religious cultures have proven to be capable of remarkable feats of both suppression and amplification of these outdated historical relics. The specific content of a religious text matters less than the cultural environment and the motivations of those who use these books for instruction in their lives. 

But there is a structural difference, at least at present, that makes one tradition far more humane than the other. 

According to what one could describe as conventional or widely accepted Christian tradition, the Old Testament requirements have been nullified by Christ's success as the idealized sacrificial lamb. 

This provides Christians with an escape clause. This allows their moral compass to diverge from God's  commands somewhat. Mind you this was not an easy conclusion to reach and there was significant debate in the early church about the role of the Old Testament law. Things could have, and at various times have, gone the other way and in an alternate but plausible historical timeline out culture could much more beholden to Mosaic edicts. 

Islam does not have an equivalent. Indeed there is a majority of Muslims who live according to their moral compass and ignore various attributes and commands of Allah in order to exist as a progressed society, however this is entirely a result of either an ignorance or an ignoring of certain key aspects of Mohammedan ethics. There is no formalized structure that allows them to skimp on their application of this "absolute truth" as there is in Christianity. 

I hope they come up with one just like the Christians did. There is too much adherence to the Quran in the Muslim  world these days and formally nullifying significant chunks of it would benefit just about everyone.