Posts tagged ‘religion’
Lewis D. Eigen
The Jewish prisoner flinched at the accusations of the police officer. Wearing a traditional white and blue Jewish prayer shawl and publicly praying was so offensive to public morality that for the sake of order in the community, the religious authorities and the police officer had to act. He had nothing personal against the accused, but it was his job to maintain a level of public order and decorum. So many people had been so offended by the accused that he had to act. People took their religion very seriously. God himself had told man how to behave, and this misguided Jew goes out in public and offends most of the serious, fundamentalist religious believers. It was not just the clerics stirring up hate. So many people thought that God and they were being mocked by someone who had no respect for the word of God or man’s religious traditions.
The date was November 18, 2009. The place most of us assume was probably Saudi Arabia or Iran. That the fundamentalist Moslem bigots would not allow a Jew to pray in public. That is the so called law in those countries that blatantly flaunt standards of religious tolerance and commonly violate the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But this particular gross denial of Jewish religious rights was not in those countries. It was not even in a Moslem nation. Nor a Christian one for that matter. It took place in the Jewish state of Israel. The police officers were themselves Jewish. (more…)
Written by Lewis D. Eigen
What would happen if it were discovered that a person—child or adult—were a human clone? All religions appear opposed to human reproductive cloning. So are most people. How will the clone fare in American society. Would she/he be treated just like any other person? Or would there be prejudice against the clone and perhaps danger? Would some religious fundamentalists see the clone as the “spawn of the Devil” or the “Anti-Christ” and physically try to harm or even kill the clone? (more…)
The opponents of embryonic stem cell research have received a major setback in their arguments. New research has just shown that the alternatives that they advocated are not only not equivalent, but are decidedly inferior for the major purpose of the research–creating specialized human and animal replacement cells.
One argument against the use of Embryonic stem cells for research, in addition to the quasi moral one of using potential life forms, is that it is unnecessary because there is a scientific method of taking normal cells and treating them in the laboratory in such as way as to make them “pluripotent.” This is the property that allows the embryonic stem cell to transform into any other kind of cell. This of course is just what makes the embryonic stem cell so desirable as a research tool. And the new research shows that the alternatives are inferior–they die rapidly! (more…)
There may well be human clones living among us and attending our schools. Reproductive human cloning may have aready been accomplished or may be in process at the time of this reading. Dr. Eigen’s article gives us an insight to the many religious, legal, cultural, and civil problems what will ensue unless we strart to consider, debate and make some decsiions of how we will handle human cloning when it is upon us. Eigen argues that it is hopeless to believe that we can prevent cloning and he provides some scenerios that will likely face human society in the next few years. The problems he predicts are if nothing else facinating to contempate and that is his message. We should start now, Human cloning is a matter of when and not if.
This is a dramatization of the difficult position Moslem citizens of India were in when Islamic Pakistan attacked India in 1971. Many Indian Moslems were expeted by their fellow Moslems in Pakistan to support Pakistan if not overtly then at least covertly. Yet the Moslem minority of India had more freedom, a better standard of living, and a more honest government than the Islamic nation on their border. The drama illustrates the tension between loyalty to religion and loyalty to nation that people often face. It also illustrates the fundamentalistic Islamuc concept of religion and nationhood and its difference from most other religions and the views of more contemporary Moslems.
Written by Lewis D. Eigen
Christian theological seminaries are currently banned in Turkey. Yet this is a prohibition with which some Westerners and Christians agree, and even those who do not, often understand. The complexity that has resulted from the clash between Islam and modernity is so great that it is almost impossible to tell what is liberal and democratic and what is not. The conflict between Moslem Turkey and Christianity with respect to theological seminaries is a marvelous example of things being in reality very different from what they first appear. This is the story of complexity where up can be down and wrong might be right.
The Martyred Son, is a tragic playlet of a Palestinian family whose first knowledge of the radicalization of their only son is after his death in the process of murdering 7 Israelis. Their soul searching and recriminations developed while they rethink how such a thing could occur, provides a painful glimpse into the dynamics and impact of the extreme fundamentalists on what otherwise might be a normal society. One critic has observed, “anyone of any religion will tear up reading this poignant, intimate account of what we never usually consider when we hear of another suicide bombing.”
A dramatic dialog of an American Moslem father and his son with two imams in Detroit. The boy has been at the Univeristy of Michigan and the father had visited for the first time and was somewhat shocked. He asked his old friend and imam to talk with them as he was not sure that he was being a good father exposing his son to the diverse and non-Islamic culture of a large modern university. The imams view the situation very differently and present a microcosm the range of viewpoints on secular modernism within Islam.
This is the preface to a series of dramatic dialogues expressing the diversity of Moslem political, religious, social opinion in a world where the second largest religion is percieved as the largest international socio-political problem for the world. The series of dialogues provides insights into many of the different personalities and viewpoints that go under the name of Islam.