|The question: what if I'm wrong? Wrong thinking, being wrong - and learning. Facts about Islam, truth about Islam, Islam and the West.|
The question: what if I'm wrong?
What if I'm wrong?
Over the past few weeks I've been creating a teleseminar series on Islam and the West. Last week, I sent out an update on this to everyone on my list.
My first answer: Please listen and participate to make up your own mind. You can register here: Personal Journeys Toward Difficult Truths: Understanding Islam, Understanding the West
My second answer: This question is for all of us. We've all been faced with the possibility of being wrong. Often we freeze, do nothing.
I think of a Canadian case from a few years ago. The neighbors suspected something wrong was going on with a child who eventually died, age 2, starved to death. But such a good explanation had been given by the parents: the child had some severe condition. Still, many of the neighbors didn't feel right about things. None went to the authorities.
What if I'm wrong about Islam? What if Islam is really a religion of peace, despite all the evidence to the contrary? I could be wrong. I know that different branches of Islam interpret the texts in different ways.
If I'm wrong ... Over a billion people call themselves Muslim. I don't imagine Islam will suddenly collapse if I'm wrong. It doesn't strike me as that fragile.
And what if I'm right? What if there is much in Islamic texts that goes against reality-based ethics, is antithetical to reality-based ethics: like slavery, the rape of slaves, lack of equal rights for women, death to those it terms infidels?
In other words, reality-based ethics is not some arbitrary ethical system, based on something like "my god says so." The counter-argument to that can be "my god is bigger than your god" or "my god is better than your god" or ""my god is the one and only god" or "you're misunderstanding what your god said."
With reality-based ethics, we leave the various gods out of the argument, and check on reality. We ask: what do people need to flourish? We need things like safety - enough to eat, clean water, physical safety, the freedom to learn and explore and express.
And what if I'm right about a widespread response of the West - to back away from evaluating Islamic values, and back away from saying things that many Islamic groups term offensive? What if I'm right to think this could be dangerous - like giving in to a bully?
It sounds to me like it's worth taking the risk of being wrong. Because if I'm right, something quite potentially dangerous could well be going on. In fact, it seems quite likely that something quite potentially dangerous is going on.
So take a look, and if this interests you, register here: Personal Journeys Toward Difficult Truths: Understanding Islam, Understanding the West
One of my favorite songs is Amazing Grace - which is about a slave trader who acknowledged he was wrong, and became a Quaker minister preaching against slavery:
Comments very welcome.
And now, all the best to all of us,
Click here to go from this blog on wrong thinking
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