Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Prop Reads Pope!

Well, I've actually read the text of Pope Benedict XVI's speech 12 Sep 06.

First I have to say, if it's a rallying cry and a slap in the face for Muslims there are darn few who would or could actually read through the dense language to find it. If there was any doubt that the Holy Father was a professor one only has to try to read this.

Okay. If I read this correctly, there was this Eastern Roman Emperor (Manuel II Paleologos) who was talking with a Muslim while the Muslims were besieging Constantinople.

The Emperor was arguing against forcing conversion by violence. In his argument he said that you must use logic along with your faith to understand the will of God.

Muslims are not required to do that (Islam didn't develop with as strong a Greek (and therefore Socratic) influence and thus to a Muslim God is above and not constrained by logic).

I think the Pope was trying to say that to Christians it is just presumed that logic and faith go hand in hand (although there have been movements to separate logic from theology). It is natural for us. It isn't for other faiths.

The really radical thing that he said (IMHO) is the faiths that do not use logic and faith to understand the will of God are wrong (i.e. Islam).

I can't say I disagree.

1 comment:

Hiding in the ATL said...

I was struggling with the actual text of his message as well. I think it was also directed at those in Europe who feel that reason (or logic) alone without faith is sufficient (i.e., pure mathematical and empirical science). It wasn't an anti-Islam speech. He was making the point that you need both, faith and reason and that you can't rely solely on one without the other.

The reaction by those Muslims who took it to the street only demonstrates the point that you can't have rational discourse with those who blindly act through violence in the name of faith.

So Muslims are now calling for his death, burning churchs and killing nuns - sounds reasonable.