Our first sermon in both Farsi and English!
Hello Heidar, thanks for your very interesting account of living in a Theocratic state where in religious matters the individual is not encouraged to think for himself and has good reason to feel afraid of ‘thinking outside the box.’ This problem is not unique to your country and Islam as recently it was a feature of Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. In each case they set out to create utopia and ended with dystopia. Aldous Huxley in his novel, ‘Brave New World’ describes a dystopia complete with ‘thought police.’
Christians must be honest enough to admit that during it’s 2000 years of history there have been times and places where the faith has been backed by a Theocratic state. Religions often end up carrying the baggage of local cultures.
Jesus of course preached a new utopia. He said, ‘I came that you may have life, and have it more abundantly.’ He was constantly surrounded by spies listening for a departure from orthodoxy. A good example was the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery. He was at first reminded of Mosaic Law on the subject. Jesus did not believe that the woman should be stoned to death but he could not say this so he pretended to concur by adding that the stoning should be initiated by a man without sin. There is a second lesson that should not be forgotten, there was a man involved in the adultery but he was not dragged out into the street. What does Shariah law say about such adulteries?
Jesus told us to test the prophets. Artificial intelligence is giving us a great insight into the growth of human intelligence. The algorithm allows these machines to learn but if there are human lives at stake they must be validated. To be continued.
Continued from above:
Human beings are not, of course machines but from birth they learn in different ways. The ground is hard and we learn how to avoid getting hurt so we validate some activities and invalidate others, but yet we must play with the environment. A child who is wrapped in Cotton Wool faces greater dangers in the future.
Parents continue our social education. The best parents validate our good activities and invalidate the worst. Bad parents bring out the worst in us and stifle the best. Badly brought up children do not thrive when they go out into the World.
Of course conditioning continues in higher education society at large so what becomes of this self educated intelligence depends on each cycle of validation/ invalidation. Do we fear that the slightest miss step could send us to Hell? Do we believe that it is impious and dangerous to question basic dogmas of our faith or it’s personalities? What is the nature of the God we worship and do we trust him? As Christians, do we believe in the God revealed by Jesus? As Muslims, do we trust that God is Compassionate and Merciful as Sura 2 states?
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