Monday, May 30, 2005
The most specious argument I’ve ever heard would have to be that one put forward by some Muslim apologists for the current sorry state of the Muslim world: Islam is only some fourteen hundred years old, whereas Christianity is two thousand years old and that when Christianity was the same “age” as Islam is now we were in the Dark Ages.
As if we’re living on two separate planets and have to evolve separately and that their evolution has to take the exact same amount as ours did.
It’s a good way of buying time – six hundred years.
True, we had our Dark Ages but when we were in the dark, there was no other role model for us, there was nothing better on offer anywhere, whereas we have since evolved and most of the world has benefited and borrowed from this.
We really thought that the earth was flat but can you honestly tell me that you really think that throwing a tablecloth over a woman is going to protect her and keep her virtuous?
Humanity is now interlinked and interconnected, every religion or civilization that comes along can’t just start all over again and take a specified amount of time to evolve (“just give us two thousand years and everything will be okay”).
Don’t just sit there and wait another six hundred years to evolve, just turn on satellite television or read a book or surf the Internet or talk to and interact with people from different cultures and religions.
All these tools of civilization are luxuries that we didn’t have six hundred years ago.
We had to go through the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the French and American Revolutions, the age of empire and colonialism, two World Wars etc, you don’t – you can fast-track your evolution and benefit from ours just as we once benefited from your golden age.Evolve “horizontally” by looking across at the rest of the world rather than “vertically” waiting for the passage of years until you reach a certain magic number.
We’re not two thousand years old and you’re not fourteen hundred years old, we’re both as old as humanity and should learn from the collective knowledge and experience of that humanity.
We’re all as old as time and as new as tomorrow.
Old in that we share the collective history of humanity and new in that we, as free men and women, are no longer bound and enslaved by it in this modern era as our forebears were.
History may not quite be bunk as Henry Ford said it was, but in the modern era, history is, for the first time, just that – history.