So my absences have been long on here, even though I am still using blogspot a lot to read other people's blogs. I have been doing a lot of creative writing, so it is not as if I have been neglecting my writing goals.
I would love to use this site more for my journal and non-fiction reading. I shall try harder, as we proceed into the future.
Here is my continued reading of the Quran.
Section A: Over View
164, seems to be an exaltation of the natural world, with observations on how the rain brings life out of a dead earth, the shifting of night of day, and the sailing of ships. Importantly it tells us that there signs from the sky, that wise people are able to discern.
165 talks about men who take other things beside God, for worship and make them equal to God. The unfaithful person, it states, doesn't recognize the Penalty which God will exact. The foot-note suggests that the lesson here is that there is a unity of design present everywhere and that certain menn deliberately ignore this evidence.
166 explains that those worshipers of false idols, having seen the penalty, will find that their relations with the false idol quickly dissolve,
167 explains that these worshipers of false ideas, will beg for one more chance, after losing their interactions to the false idol, and will basically come crawling back to the one true God, and it explains that there will be no way for them back from the "fire".
The Commentary after basically states that to avoid all this there must be laws, that extend from external principles. All these laws ethical prescriptions sounds great and if followed would create a better world.
168 instructs us not to follow in the footsteps of the Evil One, who is our avowed enemy.
169 says that the Evil One commands us to do evil, and to speak things about God which we have no knowledge
170 states that many want to hold to the beliefs of their Fathers, but the Quran states that the Fathers were without wisdom and guidance.
171 says that those who reject the Faith are like a deaf, dumb, and blind herds of goats that do not respond to shouted commands.
172 demands that believers eat of the good things of the world, and give worship to God
173 gets into some dietary prohibitions against carrion and the rite of Takbir
174 condemns those who conceal and profit from prohibited items revealed in God's book, and says they will not receive mercy on Judgment Day.
175 further elaborates upon the level of wrong doing when one sins, within and fully aware of the divine command, and how it would be a suffering like swallowing fire.
176 explains that God sent the book not to confuse and provide a tool for schemers, but to lay out a simple code, and so those that complicate the matter for profit are in big trouble!
Section B: My Response
I am interested in section 21.170, concerning the criticisms of the Father's old belief systems. I have been watching this documentary below, by Michael Tsarion "Irish Origins of Civilization",
and one idea he elaborates upon is that there is an active program in the Abraham religious tradition to destroy and eradicate people's ancient religious traditions. These lines in the Quran support this hypothesis. We see that Islam is competing with other belief systems, which pre-date it. We also see in this passage that the rejection of the ancient beliefs isn't from a rational perspective. We are not given a solid concrete argument as to what is unwise about these old beliefs, but rather told they basically that they lack wisdom, because they aren't the new monotheistic belief system. This type of circular logic is especially self-serving.
As always I enjoy and support the ethical prescriptions, but it sort of seems that the ethics are obvious and easy to accept, while this battle for ideas is a much more complicated affair.
I still hope to see more of the narrative, story, elements of the Quran as I move forward. I am always more interested in a story then abstract ethical considerations. Ethics in the abstract seem obvious, but it is the real life employment of an ethic where things become interesting. It is this exercise of the ethic that I think a lot of narrative is concerned with.