John Pellam John Pellam John Pellam John Pellam John Pellam John Pellam John Pellam John Pellam John Pellam John Pellam The BWW Society The Bibliotheque World Wide Society The Institute for Positive Global Solutions Pellam Journal of Science Journal of Global Issues and Solutions
Has the Answerable Time Come to Us to Find a Globally Satisfactory Human Solution of Religious Questions?
by Dr. Miloš Dokulil
Professor of Philosophy
Brno, Czech Republic
These questions are not purely “academic“. If we consider the era of the relatively conscious Homo sapiens to cover approximately the last 200 000 years of his existence (when he already started to process information by linguistic means) then, in hindsight, we can contemplate as systematically religious only the last and very small fraction of this time. Perhaps, and more strikingly, the last two or three, maximally and exceptionally five thousand years, but not everywhere on this land. With several more dramatic consequences not only in this area only after the beginning of the New Ages, 500 years ago, and then firstly in Christian Europe. Soldiers in the First World War went into combat against each other with the putative “God´s blessing“. During the Second World War, German Nazis tried to annihilate the Jews, at the same time those representatives of a creed in God, out of which both contemporary big religions, Christianity and Islam, originated. After the Second World War, in its so typical “cold“ variant especially, many a state started to actively preach atheist ideology. In the second half of the 20th century, the majority of the Muslim lands successively got into an economic and social pressure which found its outcome in various, especially political, solutions where also Islam – as a tradition of opinion and an institution on the alert – could and should be strengthened. With some elements of these trends now mentioned we have been confronted till today, and often in violence, including acts of terrorism on the traditionally Christian soil. If we count with the fact that Christianity and Islam can be ranked among the most important religious movements of our world today, then only peaceful conditions could induce an initial toleration and a following coveted dialogue. A dialogue about the basic articles of both faiths; and asking whether they still have anything in common when they, both of them, arose from a common Jewish basis. At the same time, should faith in God consist in its followers without any doubts, the conception of God and belief in Him should not be split in “variants“. The necessity of a unique Object of the creed was not yet forthrightly grasped by its subjects.*)
*) We shall be guided to this conclusion by the following 12 “stations“. All the affirmations here formulated can be easily backed up in electronic form so that I do not recur to further quotations. If only the reader finds this approach to these sensitive questions productive and inspiring.
BY WAY OF INTRODUCTION
Just now and directly in the title, we have been faced with the question potentially checking the outlook of religion in the future as not sure and somewhat problematic. Then, there has to be something initially problematic in it in our contemporaneity already! Or else, such a question would not be formulated (as it would be – practically immediately for our contemporaneity – unthinkable and inadequate).
Simultaneously, between people of a religion, the belief in transcendentality has been perceived as a naturally given and acquired gift of an earlier and more blessed time, with a necessary vision of a life after death. It has a firm basis in various dogmas and stabilizes itself in dailiness by miscellaneous accompanying procedures. It stabilizes a mindset to a biologically fixed life by means of remarkable psychological accents, at the same time importantly coupled with social bonds. Eventually, moments of possible episodic existential insecurity are neutralized by this creed in a declarative assuredness of a final redeeming outcome owing to God. Paradoxically and immediately, this supposed God is totally unapproachable (and so He is transcendental) and, simultaneously, He is – so to speak – always fully intervening in human life (and so He is also immanent). Within “our“ planet – as it should or could be theoretically anticipated – we do not indisputably dispose of a unique conception of God, even when He often has been presented in such a way. Various religions mutually introduce different conceptions of this sovereign Godhead; it has been always so and this situation has not changed. If we cannot, in any way, objectify our imaginations of a unique God by a sufficiently evident and fully incontestable and authenticated experience of His existence, it simultaneously means that all what we may try to express in connection with the initially expressed question as an answer has merely got a provisional “bearing capacity“; it will be very subjective, and evidently burdened by tradition in which the subject in question was born and out of which he or she, inevitably and weightily, has it derived.
The initial question of theology hinted at above cannot be reflexed on its autonomous level of gnosiology only, but there would exist its preferential relational network in a differential “mycelium“ of sociology. Then, and as a beginning, there would be presented mutually different parameters of this question in a territorial and historical way. And then, always in a “relative“ way (sit venia verbo) and not in its ontologically derived exclusivity.
Owing to several and mutually coupled factors we cannot ignore the fact that, apart from ontological a gnosiological priority in this matter, there are here especially current its emotional, ethical and, what is more, aesthetic aspects, not to possibly ignore – here already mentioned – various social viewpoints (from the forthrightly individual to different intersubjectively specific, including the political ones).
As a footnote, it should also be mentioned here that the following text has only modestly framed the given problems which it has generally characterized, so that in this way it probably offers only a preliminary starting point for the proposed questioning which therefore cannot serve as a specifically directed and definitive, and thus fully satisfactory answer. Moreover, it is not adequately possible to anticipate anything for a longer period of time in the future. Human history does not possess any acceptable algorithmic signs to be able to credibly set their direction and focus.
SET OF THE “FIELD“
Before all: To set possible alternatives of the religious faith in a general way, I will limit myself primarily on Christianity (2,2 billion) and Islam (1,6 billion); and – owing to the rather great number of adherents – somewhat on Buddhism (375 million); they are creeds propagated internationally. (Hinduism counts with 1 billion believers, but it is a national religion only. Mankind reached 7,2 billion of “souls“ now.) I will try not to get lost in different “details“, not forgetting the connection with the initial questioning and the expected – also more general – conclusions for the future, though preliminarily and for the nearest time only.
The so-called “Western“ world will be conceived as the outworldly Christian one here, even when – especially in Europe – its contemporary exposition, possibly owing to secularization, is relatively neutral from the point of view of religion, if not (notably in connection with science) even with an atheist outcome. (The hangover of the Communist regime supposedly showed, in the Czech Republic, the highest proportion of atheists in the world, possibly 78%!) Even if Islam at its start was only a peculiar mixture of notably Jewish and Christian motives (although with the accompanying traditional local “pagan“ worship of a stone “from the sky“), its followers very early showed their aspiration to become the living representatives of a declared unique religious faith on the earth; we have to treat them separately here. In comparison with contemporary Christianity and in relationship to it Islam orients itself, outwardly as well as inwardly, mostly as a militant movement. Buddhism as the oldest of the three here mentioned creeds, as if it had not enough attracting forces to incorporate itself into modern European life. Or, are its ideas too peculiar and not “practical“ enough for the so-called “Western“ values? (It will serve us more of a partial and subsidiary illustration in the text; also taking account of the frequency of this distinctive religious tradition in the “West“.)
A HISTORICALLY DETERMINING (AND IMPLEMENTED) DIFFERENCE
Not only taking into account the approaching anniversary of 500 years from Luther´s critical performance in Wittenberg (anno 1517), it is always necessary not to forget that – even when it could not be evident that a big, never before shown breakthrough into the ruling interpretation of Christian thought and tradition would emerge – in this way a special doubt over the then ruling Roman Catholic conception of faith in “Western Europe“ openly started. From that time on, this creed would never more be unified and unique (in relationship with, e.g., the Eastern Orthodoxy at that time). Nothing, even a bit similar to Protestantism, has ever occurred in the Muslim tradition (to say nothing of Buddhism). At the beginning of the 16th century and out of the Roman Catholic version of Christianity originated a surprisingly manifold and mutually varied rank of churches and religious communities (and thus a multitude of individualized projects of a theoretically and practically presented religious faith), so that instead of a potentially desirable revision of some notions and practice within the unified and by Rome shielded Christian faith there was here – unforeseen and very early – a more and more differentiated model of additional variants of Christianity, at last even without the original and suggestive bond with Jesus‘ personality, simultaneously invested with the godlike powers of Christ (as it so at last happened, e.g., in Unitarianism).
As far as Islam is concerned, it did not pass through anything similar to the origin and influence of Protestantism but still, and nearly from the beginning, it split in the evaluation of the succession order of the particular representatives of the caliphate (imamate) following Muhammad (and other differential contexts coupled with it in the Sunni and Shia variant). Not that, afterwards, the two branches now quoted would tolerate each other appropriately (as it was and is the case with Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy, and as it exists now within and outside Protestantism). This friction within Islam perseveres till today, sometimes with bloody effects; of course, without any mutually positive results. Through this division of certain ideas – and early after the constitution of this faith (and immediately from the beginning of the Middle Ages thus demarcated much later) – the mutually formulated and never broken differences through stumbling blocks persisted. After nearly 1500 years there is not a sufficiently acceptable boost to overcome those old mutual barriers; and, simultaneously, it does not yet contribute to a better credibility of these humanly employed and historically fixed criteria of evaluation influencing the integrity and credibility of Islam immediately from its possible initial “roots“.
PARS PRO TOTO?
We can immediately and at first, probably cursory, sight see that in a geographical and political view, and for nearly 1500 years, the broad territory around the Mediterranean Sea does not plausibly represent any somewhat globally unified basis and prerequisite for the subsequent 21st century to shape a coveted model of religious faith, at least partially unifying two of the three now probably most important (and most visible) creeds of contemporaneity; at least in the substantial and basic principles when not, simultaneously, in reciprocal respect of institutions and in a manifest effort to mutually converge religious teachings before all.
A WHOLLY DIFFERENT SUBSOIL OF BOTH (or else the three) CREEDS
By a “subsoil“ of each creed I generally mean the customs brought about and stirred up immediately in the family appurtenances. They are (when only Christianity and Islam have been considered) wholly different; and starting with their sensitive registration since early childhood. Much has been conserved, sometimes subconsciously, later in life and for the rest of one´s life without man necessarily having to think about it in adulthood. As if and by the continuous repetitions a platitude was created as a concomitant of church services and accompanying various – possibly distant and abstract – notions. The accompanying binding of feelings in the direction of transcendence fastens this faith as a constant fellow-traveler. (On the other hand, Buddhism has been oriented in the direction of suffering on this Earth, preferentially not on God and a distinctive ritual.)
To be specific: Islam, outwardly, is more compulsively and imminently penitential, also in its form. Christianity on the other hand and immediately in its outer manifestations is more formal, superficial, and half-hearted. It is not an automatic triviality that a Muslim is barefooted in a mosque, he or she kneels, touches penitentially the floor with his or her head when invoking Allah and, e.g., five times a day he or she, during fixed periods of the day, as a Muslim says prayers; and such spiritually motivated prayers are also regularly preceded by a moderate physical cleaning. An average Christian in his or her prayer and in connection with his or her faith is more civilian, unemotional, shallow and half-hearted; and he/she is clear of such intentionally accompanying activities as, e.g., some physical cleaning as a preliminary condition of a clean access to the coveted Transcendentality. In these various procedures, Christians are regularly more formal and impersonal. And without the consciously established connections between some physical activities and their possible following expressions of the psyche. In the private they, many a time, do not put their faith into effect excessively; they more often only do not forget to go to church once a week to attend mass (generally not to kneel down necessarily; they only incline their heads during the elevation procedure).
And we have not mentioned some more delicate, as well as more important, differences in these two creeds when thinking of the belief as such. In the Christian tradition since the year 325 C.E. we have, as dogmatically embedded, a triple conception of God whereas in Islam (and in some Christian denominations of our New Ages) there is monism. Oh, let us try to find positive influences and a viable compromise for a possibly coveted mutual approximation in faith for both creeds! Considering the visible and during the hundreds of years more and more conspicuous differences also in personal manifestations within one´s own personal faith when both the creeds have been considered, we can hardly find acceptable common denominators for each of the two big religious camps taken separately. (Let us mention Buddhism now, too; it does not in any way approach those two creeds either.)
SCIENCE AS A POSSIBLE CONCOMITANT RETOUCHING CREEDS WHEN COMPARING THEM
Here, it may probably be desirable to mention that uniquely profiled trefoil of science discoveries which gradually unsettled the previous Christian self-assurance concerning the religious faith when confronted with nature, man and his/her biological prerequisites; while, at the same time, the Muslim world surprisingly remained practically not, in any visible way, touched by this naturally anchored trio. It has been given by a totally different development of economics, politics and social relationships (and the role of science therein) in both types of religious commonality in between of the corresponding times. — So, let us mention now this weighty cognitive and explanatory trio: Copernicus, in a weighty and unavoidable way – in 1543 – said that man and mankind are not the center of the world around which the Cosmos should hereafter rotate. Some more than three centuries later, Darwin, in an equally pressing way, communicated that man also is – even when then in a not sufficiently explainable manner – a result of a biological evolution of life on this Earth. (And even when Darwin himself primarily, carefully, and with preference, evaded this sensitive expression of “evolution“ in his pivotal book of 1859.) And, not fully one hundred years later, we have here a successfully reached project of a DNA discovered again (1943, Avery) which happened to become the basic building block of life and where, ten years later, a complex screw structure was discovered (1953; Watson, Crick, Franklin /alternatively Wilkins/); in this way it was proved that the code of life man had now recognized was to be interpreted as common with other living creatures on “our“ Earth. So, and the original – and a relatively short time ago – religiously formulated one-shot conception of a miraculous creation of man by God should not be mentioned anymore; including the world as conceived “at the beginning“ by God in a similar act. In the last one hundred and fifty years at least, and owing to these three very important revelations and the similarly growing literacy in the “West“, the religiously anchored knowledge in the thinking of many men got crusty; if sometimes, moreover, owing to science many a man as originally a believing churchman has, or has not, finally resigned. So we can find more and more men in the “West“ (especially in Europe and North America) with no religious (or at least Biblical) “anchor“. The “East“ and the African “South“ have not yet found any tracks on this wandering – taking place several centuries – to pass from fictions to reality. To the contrary, if we pay attention to Islam its impact is evidently more noticeable and sometimes with critical remarks about the so-called Western civilization! (We shall follow up here later on!)
FAITH HAS NOT BEEN PREFERENTIALLY AND GENERALLY TREATED AS COGNITION
There has not been yet any sufficiently urgent mentioning of religion as a possible “life insurance“ of its kind in this text. Let us not forget the fear of the unknown in our psyche. Or the yearning of anchoring this life by means of its hopeful “framing“. So that even if there were any not to be overlooked pieces of knowledge in science well established and verified, many a man between us has, from time to time, got the feeling that there has to be Something above our life, to keep an eye on the purposefulness of this world and life on it. Over and above the constantly more and more dramatically – and exponentially – growing sum of knowledge, there often is here – as triumphant – a certain form of agnosticism, many a time based on a personal need to fix one´s own orientation in this hardly “transparent“ world; together with a certain longing to evaluate this life beyond its natural limits. (The traditional forms of theism within the sphere of Christian tradition have sometimes been exchanged for a more “philosophical“ deism. But, in such a case, we will miss the inter-subjective security of the traditional perspectives of Transcendency.) Islam is generally more immune in this view; probably also therefore that – by means of its religious thoughts – it conserves among its adherents a subordinate relationship of women towards men. In many regions and spheres of Islam there exists a lower level of civilization and culture, and then, of course and naturally, with some prerequisites of a more primitive conception of faith (with also a possible polygamy!).
And in a general view we have not more taken notice of the particular subjects of these various and in this world important creeds. Europe and North America are outwardly Christian, but on the basis of a hitching (and already slowly descending) total number of their inhabitants the numerosity of their worshippers is rather declining. On the other hand, and mostly in Africa, the population has got a high birth rate; and thus also the number of Muslims in Islamic regions is steadily increasing. Considering the fact that Islam does not know anything like a control of birth rate which it rejects vehemently, we cannot expect a change of this situation in at least another several decades which – also in the face of a numerical force of Christianity and Islam – is another disadvantage for a successful end of a potential dialogue if anything like that could start. (Mankind counted 1 billion in 1850 and, in 1960, reached 3 billion; 7.2 billion now.) To the contrary, the “West“ is proportionally getting older and its population is actually reaching a higher age; and thus – on the basis of wholly other reasons – there would be psychological conditions to set some criteria of human life for a longer period and then – in some societies in a rather imperative way more urgently than elsewhere – they could possess a religious formulation in a higher and more urgent proportion. (It may be noteworthy that several Muslim lands in Asia and Africa live from extraction of oil; whereas the “West“ primarily produces goods and strives to introduce technological innovations. Even in this way the two populations in question have been presented in a totally different fashion; so that if there is no global pattern in economics, there is nothing similar in politics and there would be nothing to start a potential convergence of religious faiths which for such a long time – starting in the sixth century – compete against each other under threat of death. And this irreconcilable clash started a few decades ago fully again.)
We should repeat it once more again: Our potential addressees of a stop of mutually confronting Islam and – traditionally at least under such a banner – Christianity are steadily fighting each other (from the Muslim side, moreover, by terror, too). To end such military confrontations, there is – from the point of view of the basic question stated above – a preliminary and initial condition to start with: stabilization of life not only of the citizens who strive for religious values, and life in general, and for all, but also attempt a safe existence of other creeds and persons without any declared faith whatever. It means: not only in a religious sphere, but in other layers of life, too (including the economic ones or derivatively social ones, too).
As a desideratum we would have at our disposal a psychologically obvious asylum for those who have rather been not very content with their life and who possibly are not self-conscious; those who repeatedly have been attracted by that special tradition of some previous (sometimes dearly paid) faith which may ignore the actual skeptical conclusions of science about the transcendent world. (They cannot be substantiated in a similar way as they cannot find a convenient argumentation to disprove them adequately.)
A PARTIAL ILLUSTRATION OF THIS COMPLEX PROBLEM
Let us consider a possibly stock example: Sub-Saharan Africa has been often seen as afflicted by extreme droughts. It does not dispose of a convenient economic background. Let us take as a fact that Abyssinia has already “inaugurated“ there a very exceptional dam (on the river Omo, 17/12/2016). It is also outstanding by the height of the dam wall (243 m, 800 ft). At the same time we should not forget that, next year, another and possibly more important work is to be accomplished there, on the Blue Nile. So that soon Abyssinia will also present itself as an important source (and supplier) of cheap electrical energy. In connection with the dam on the river Omo we do not consider the quantity of water flowing to Kenya, including the irrigation of their plantations (fish hunting should be mentioned, too). Similarly on the Blue Nile, no bad impact has yet been calculated on Sudan thereby. Various positive as well as negative effects not only in Abyssinia will show themselves not only in the economic-social field. A psychological reflection of a better standard here and a lower standard there will also be projected politically as well as in religion, too. Without to be understood necessarily from a geographical distance. And without automatically a signifying a civilizational and cultural rapprochement with the “West“ (and its Christian tradition).
ONE HISTORICAL (and political, economical, and social) MEMENTO
To start some psychical considerations, we have not to forget their geographical background. Even when Byzantion after 330 C.E. changed its name to Constantinopolis, it was then still a region under the Roman imperial influence, even when later on, from a religious point of view, the rite there was Orthodox. The conquering of the town by Osmans (in the year 1453) finally entailed a dramatic shift by the retreat of Christianity before Islam not only in this region. In Russia then, they proclaimed Moscow as a “Third Rome“. (Constantinopolis changed its name to Istanbul no sooner than in 1930.)
In the 20th century, Bolshevism (starting in 1917) was influential throughout Europe; and nearly over the whole century, and considerably also as a force against religion. This influence was possibly more important after 1945 when several states in Europe of the so-called people´s democracy originated as governments outwardly atheistic. This bloc was strikingly strengthened by the establishment of the Chinese People´s Republic as a then nearly a billion people outwardly declaring and presenting an atheistic state. This trend was conserved at least till the 1990s. For hundreds of millions of people God and a religious faith were an anachronism starting only two or three generations ago.
We should not miss, by not mentioning the fact, that Vlad. Putin when he came to power in Russia, to much astonishment of many an observer, he as President began rather quickly to count with the public activity of the Orthodox Church in Russia and its utilization; and explicitly using it as a constitutive force in the national Russian tradition. (The same public application of also Orthodox rites was presented now publicly when a plane Tu-154 crashed in the Black Sea, with 92 people on board, mostly The Alexandrov Red Army Choir members. It happened near Sochi, 25/12/2016.) — It pays to mention here that even when China was and still outwardly is an atheistic state, with the gradually heightened life standard we can find there an augmented rise especially of Islam followers, and not such popularity of the originally traditional Taoism, or Buddhism. (In accord with some signs, Islam has been the most popular religion for the contemporary Chinese especially when younger than 30 years. In China, they officially accept only five religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Protestantism and Islam.)
ANOTHER HISTORICAL (religious and social, but also fashionable) MEMENTO
Within the religious sphere, we should bear in mind again and again that, e.g., the oldest among those creeds here quoted, Buddhism, originated approximately 2 500 years ago, and was first literally (and thus dogmatically) fixed only one hundred years after the death of its founder. Christianity, nearly 2 000 years old, exposed its first written references quoting its founder again with a certain delay, some 40 years after his death. (So we have inherited the first lines of Mark´s Gospel. We should not count as a testimony the older Letters of St. Paul, as he did not know personally Jesus and he had never been his direct “disciple“; as he originally was – as he confessed it personally – one of the enemies of Jesus´ teachings.) Only the Muslim faith, nearly 1 400 years old, can display the nearly authentic documents directly of Muhammad´s religious visions, although he himself was not literate. Simultaneously, no creed from these three now mentioned disposes of something whereby we could conclusively follow and testify the faith in Transcendency (in God). Islam originated and, beyond any doubt, was inspired by both, Judaism and Christianity. In accord with this point of view we should judge the immediately following religious wars motivated by the wish to immediately spread the Muslim faith by military force after the death of the Prophet as not appropriate and commensurate (in a similar way also including the reaction of the Christian world by means of the Wars of the Cross, the crusades, even if its motivation was possibly nobler and more inspiring for its participants).
And the Western civilization and in relationship to it also Africa (or Asia), they possessed and inherited totally different “historical traditions“. Even when, at the beginning of 20th century, in those not European countries (then mostly colonies of Western powers) capitalism slowly began to spread, too; in those countries in question it was, economically and politically, only a somewhat tolerated import. Although, within the last century, some of these countries could and would, with much advantage, extract and export oil from their soil, so that they could only “tack on“ somehow to the outside world without necessarily being obliged to give up their distinctive and there current traditions. In the Muslim world especially we cannot omit the submissive position of women against men (current also in the Christianity of St. Paul; and still partially observed within the Roman-Catholic or Orthodox churches, where a woman cannot aspire to be ordained as a priest).
Owing to the heightened invasion of Muslims as refugees into Europe to find a shelter against war or a low life standard in their homelands, we have in Europe now several wholly new problems to face, including the way a Muslim woman dresses (from a burka to burkini). There also is a question whether a woman should be free in her choices to dress; or whether she openly shows by her dress that she was forced to submit her choice to men´s resolution. (We can also find here another problem, of a possible integration of different cultures. In Europe, a religious faith should not noticeably foreshadow the dress of her follower.)
It can be shown now in this context that the problems here considered are not always and only theological. Or, we can see that the attitude to worship might also, importantly, obligatorily, and in detail, influence the parameters of dressing. Various norms of life have been – or should be – only accompanying features and their statute should be relatively derivative. In practical life, of course, it shows itself in some topics as if everything were “substantial“; for there is some inherited tradition no worshipper (and the more so an unbeliever) should touch.
Even so we can be shown that our contemporary world has not yet been – at least “in outline“ – global. Exhortations to life (and to imaginations about the future, including the “after death“ period) have got such a character as if their religious “background“ possessed such determinants, dominant points and priorities which can never pass over into an interested discussion where its result could be (if only!) a more unified vision of pivotal religious faiths, especially when we cannot dispose of a trustworthy and unchallenged – and for this Earth authenticated – evidence both of God and his “heavens“.
SOME ACTUAL BACKGROUND TO ASK OUR QUESTION
We have not got anything sufficiently convincing to get a single and trustworthy answer to the initial and so important question in a cognitive direction, i.e., how we dispose of anything credible in our craving to come to know God as a cause of all around us and, of course, the cause of ourselves. Obviously, we can find various supporting views, including momentous emotional arguments, sometimes possibly subconsciously in us grown in.
How is the situation in this precarious questioning now? To say nothing special about the need and our real necessity to ask such a question, especially when we already have got some faith since our childhood. And in our contemporary world we can also see (even when the number of blind people on our earth reaches 39 million now!) that – as if in the interest of a special faith – people have always been killed and murdered. We should not only ascertain that recently, e.g., Syria, Iran, Iraq (but also Libya) were partially deprived of their liberty by creating the so-called Islamic state (with Salafist intentions) on their territory; whereas it has not yet been possible to reach the previous status; and, at the same time, the contemporary situation can be judged as a perspective for Islam neither.
And if we mention a partial intrastate problem then, e.g., Salafists in Egypt because they do not try to push through politically (or by force), they are so to speak “on the periphery“ of interest. But they also are an accompanying example of the fact that directly Islam in this land, traditionally rather near Europe, has not been reasonably unified for an interconfessional dialogue with the Christians who, neither themselves, are ready for it. (Directly in Egypt, we can find living Coptic Orthodox Christians in not fitting conditions; they count 10 % of local population there.)
At the same time, we cannot take the bloody incident in Ankara (from 19/12/2016) as a special and only individual act of terrorist atrocity. In accord with what the attacker cried out before shooting the Russian ambassador Karlov we should consider his act as a sign of disagreement with the Russian activities in Syria at the side of the government forces there and against the rebels therein, specifically in Aleppo. We cannot analyze it in detail now; so let us show at least the fact that neither Turkey represents here a not problematic (if not neutral) side in the quoted murder. In contemporary Turkey, possibly 14 million Kurds live now (and their number reaches some 40 million in four neighboring states, without them possessing their own state; and in Syria they are active as forces against the government). The contemporary state of affairs – when mentioning the here somewhat relative Kurdish question – will stake a claim for a rather painful solution from Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and also Syria. There is no adequate talk about it in the mentioned Islamic states yet. (And then, let us move in pure theology!)
At the same time now, let us also introduce here the last terrorist attack in Berlin (on Monday, also 19/12/2016; by Anis Amri finally). It was not only a serious crime, but also another present example illustrating that the contemporary world has not yet been ready for the so important dialogue between the two globally and wholesale presented currents, i. e., between Christians and Muslims (to say nothing of “internal“ problems within each of the two “camps“). Then it is not ready either for an extra coveted captivation, by the faith in God appropriately terrestrially explainable, and in a mutually tolerant mood of our human population considering the need of mutual rapprochement of opinions and starting to realize such an ambitious program. (To say nothing about the inprovability of God´s existence in general. Even less sure as a “word of God“ should be a historical text written by a human being.)
“MEANWHILE“ (?), OUR CONTEMPORARY ANSWER IS NOT SATISFYING
Till now, we have not got any global precondition to a global access to the only globally relevant (and so conceived) question which strives to reach a plausibly substantiated, globally based and, by His presumptive evidence, totally unchallenged Creator. Neither our world, nor God are global for humankind; but in various directions they are only particular.
We should not insistently and repeatedly assert that although we do not dispose of a unique and universal pattern of a redeeming faith, we might be content with its frank declaration. God possibly accepts it. Or does He? The devotee has not got at his disposal any undisputed and universally verifiable preconditions for his faith in God. (At the same time, even our future has got many of its roots in the experience of the past life and does not dispose of its potential guaranties, especially when they are complex, and not only in a cognitive way, but also emotionally.)
Now let us reflect on an Islamist terrorist who without any plausible doubts believes and is sure in his faith that, after his death, he would truly be awaited in Paradise. A Christian has not got a faith in a life after death so firmly fixed and so tangibly given by material coulisses! At the same time, it seems evident that without a vision of a life after death as if all what has been related with a religious faith might automatically break down. To say nothing about a vision of God then… (Religious rituals are only accompanying factors of a reverence toward a Godly Majesty. But they as such cannot verify their Addressee. As far as Buddhism is concerned and starting with the Buddha himself, we cannot assert with confidence that this faith factually professes God, although there is a connection with nirwanam.)
We – unintentionally – have aggravated the keystones to answer the assigned question, haven’t we? To make it immediately clear that, until now, the necessary prerequisites are not at our disposal to (at least!) settle mutual toleration between the representatives of Islam and Christianity but, moreover, in both the basic currents of these creeds, we are missing the preliminary subject conditions to desirably eliminate the mutual barriers of doctrine and form between their constitutive “components“ (i.e., various independent churches, movements and currents).
Thus, a commensurate answer of the question formulated by the Author and here somewhat adapted in the title of this possibly pressing reflection has preliminarily been postponed… even if the majority of the items here mentioned should not be in the least forgotten… (Let us hope, our contemporaneity will not extrapolate its harmful and destructive trends to be continued in the future in the same way for good, still governed by the principles which have nothing to do with the faith in God and eternal life, not confidently preserving human life on this Earth and its cultural securities.)
© 2017 The Bibliotheque: World Wide Society