A recent post of mine entitled Universalist Truth has generated some interesting discussion so I thought I would reintroduce it here. Sean Cranley maintains that when religious folks do some crazy things, like fly airplanes into buildings, they are perverting their religion. Maybe so in some cases, but certainly there are religious (or philosophical) differences between people such that it isn't so easy slap on the "perversion" label and walk away. For example, Christian denominations disagree on the issue of homosexuality. Which ones are perverting their religion and who decides? Sean responded as follows:
"We all make those judgments and we arrive at a general consesus on the big issues. It's called civilization. Clearly threatening or inflicting phyical harm crosses the line of reasonable people in all cultures."
Oh really? This ranks right up there with Sean's "schools can't fail" theory. Note the moral relativism in arriving at a general consensus. But clearly inflicting physical harm crosses of reasonable people in all cultures, says Sean. What about war Sean? Can civilizations clash? Was England being unreasonable in declaring war on Germany?
Lets move beyond war. For thousands of years slavery was, by consensus of non slaves, an institution that was commonplace across many civilizations. Was that consensus OK Sean, or are we correct today in our revulsion of slavery? Lest you think we are in an uninterrupted march toward greater civilization, consider that at one time Muslim women were able to work, reveal their faces, drive cars, keep their clitori and what not, yet, in some Muslim civilizations, by consensus of those with power, well, those rights don't exist.
Write them off as perversions Sean, pretend it is just a handful of crazies, bury your head in the sand. As for me, I will recognize it for what it is. It is a clash of civilizations. Some things are right, others wrong, irrespective of consensus. But I suppose that makes me one of the perverts, eh Sean?