Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Wolfang Bruno asks - Do we need religion?

By Aussiegirl

Readers of Ultima Thule are already aware of the brilliant writing and thinking of Wolfgang Bruno. Here is the next installment in his ongoing engagement with the most profound problems of our age. These are problems we have all been struggling with, including here at this website in my recent article on Faith and Modern Culture. Set aside some time to really peruse both part I and part II of this timely and thoughtful analysis. I will have more thoughts on this topic in a day or two. Bruno's ideas are important to understanding the present immigration crisis as well.

Wofgang Bruno -- Do We Need Religion?

I am fortunate enough to have read Ali Sina’s excellent, upcoming book, which, sadly enough, hasn’t found a publisher yet. I agree with Sina on most important points, especially the fact that Islam probably can’t be reformed and that we are very close to a new world war triggered by Islamic fanaticism. Sina writes a lot about reclaiming the West's morality and what's wrong with the West. This closely mirrors what I am doing in my own book, which so far has the working title: "Reformation Impossible: What’s Wrong With Islam and What’s Wrong With the West?” According to Ali Sina, the West is now a moral relativistic society, where the vacuum created by religion is sorely felt. But at the same time, Sina questions whether a return to religion is the way to go. In an email to me, Sina writes the following: “But is religion the answer? How can we go back to religions when we know they are based on lies? I think our challenge is to find a way to salvage morality and family values without the burden of religion. Maybe I am asking too much. But there must be a way. There must be more choices than either believing in lies or becoming immoral. There must be a middle ground. This point is fundamental to the survival of the western civilization. We must find an answer to it.”

This is where Sina and I part ways. As this is probably one of the most important issues of our age, it could make for an interesting discussion. Can you have morality without religion? I’m not so sure, which is why I will recommend a strengthening of the traditional Judeo-Christian religion of the West. When I first thought of writing my book, I imagined myself concluding it with some short recommendations for how Westerners should deal with Islam and Muslim immigration. The more I have looked into the matter, the more I have discovered that the really interesting issue is not what's wrong with Islam, but what's wrong with the West, which is why I will devote up to one third of the book to answering this question.

Europe has been threatened by Islam several times before, but has managed to withstand it. Why not now? If we want to mount a defense of Western civilization, then we first need to define exactly what Western civilization is. I have found that the West at the beginning of the 21st century is mired in an internal cultural battle, an ideological civil war over the purpose of the West that is sometimes so severe that combined with Muslim immigration it could even trigger physical civil wars in several Western nations in the near future.


At 2:07 AM, Anonymous verity said...

It is a very long and complex piece, and I can't begin to respond adequately in a few sentences. But it appears to me that Sina goes wrong where he states that religions are 'based on lies.' When he assumes that as a given, then the conclusions he comes to are tainted. Apparently his justifiable disillusionment with Islam has colored his view of religion in general; if Islam is based on lies, he concludes that all religions are lie-based. It's a logical fallacy, but one that's commonly held especially by many secular/liberal people.
Sina (and it seems Bruno also) seems to think that a religion is needed, but simply as a means to an end; the idea seems to be to find a religion that will promote morality in order to revive the West. It never seems to occur that it is not a matter of finding some 'belief system' that works, but a matter of finding the Truth. If one does not believe that there is a single Truth out there to be discovered and followed, then I suppose that it matters little which 'faith' or ideology one adopts, as long as it serves a purpose.
There's so much more to the article, but that's just a quick observation.

At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps I am missing something, but to me, the question seems irrelevant. Afterall, whether we wish to or not, Islam will soon be forcing the west to answer. However, the question won't be be do we need it, but rahter "which" will it be.
thank you.


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