Comments: opinions during Lent

Jonathan Sacks' article was a thought-provoking summary of the current financial situation. I am not fully convinced that industrialists and financiers of the past had a stronger moral code. Government regulation was very lax during the lead up to the 20s crash, and the markets then were notorious for dodgy sales tactics. There may have been a better age in between the new laws in the aftermath like Glass-Steagall and the deregulation of the eighties.

It is certain that there was a huge shortfall in ethics in the markets in the last boom - risk taking through to fraud, and not enough compliance and regulatory checks. It's also true that society is more secular.

However, there are plenty of ethical agnostics and atheists. Is it perhaps a morally apathetic majority who are the problem - people who might once have shown up at a church and rather passively done what they were told, who are now under no obligation to pretend they care about anything other than money?

Posted by Joan_of_Quark at Saturday, 21 March 2009 at 11:35am GMT

I agree with all that by Andrew Brown about religion and criticising Blair's use of them for vague uplift, but another way of seeing today's religion and conflict is not that they are forces of the future but rather spent forces that are in transition, don't like it and transfer to a more naked political power game.

My view of Islam is that it has a huge chip on its shoulder, having been bypassed in terms of expected superiority, and now having very little to offer regarding the intellectual world it once led, and up against religious and civil competition - all this after colonialism and state nationalisms. It has become reactive, but reactions whilst they are awkward (to say the least) when they happen are evidence of weakness not strength. (I'd suggest the same about US power.)

I'd leave Tony Blair to his fantasies and being the boy in the playground who likes to be in the big boy's gang. Trouble is bully has left school.

Posted by Pluralist at Saturday, 21 March 2009 at 1:24pm GMT

Sentences which begin with the words "my view of Islam is..." always make my heart sink.

Which "Islam" are you referring to, Pluralist? The Islam I encounter on a daily basis is certainly not "reactive," although much of what I see on my television screen clearly is. But the image you present of Islam as inherently backward-looking and defensive, though popular with orientalists like Bernard Lewis and Patricia Crone, hardly seems to adequately account for the spiritual lives of a billion-odd people. And on what basis do you judge the religion to have such a paucity of interest for enlightened secular societies? Do you think Christianity has "very little to offer the intellectual world"? I suspect you probably do.

Posted by rjb at Sunday, 22 March 2009 at 1:33am GMT

For a different view of Islam, try:

http://www.cbc.ca/littlemosque/index.html

Exterior shots in the first two seasons were shot in the community where I live, and the mosque (and the attached Anglican church) were the former buildings of a parish where I was once the honourary assistant. They've since rebuilt most of the exterior sets in a town down the highway.

The website says that some of the content is only available from within Canada. I'm sure you can find things on YouTube.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Monday, 23 March 2009 at 2:05am GMT

I am surprised the analysis by Andrew Hawkins didn't really look at age and gender - the ComRes report's findings even at a fleeting glance tell me (unless I am getting it plain wrong) that older women are more likely to be in tune with theistic worldviews, while younger men on the whole are more likely to adopt atheistic evolution. I think these would be more sure indicators of what was happening in UK Anglicanism, and why it was happening in relation to politics, than the at least implied ethnic slant. On the other hand, my own church is pretty progressive, and at the same time has its fair share of middle-aged and older women in the congregation.

Posted by orfanum at Monday, 23 March 2009 at 9:16am GMT

For a different view of Islam, try:

http://www.cbc.ca/littlemosque/index.html

Thanks for this. Unfortunately I couldn't cope with the flashing film clips that zoomed in, nor could I find the main body of it or choices. But the flashing I meant I had to duck out fast. What a shame. I think we need various views of Islam here. Where I live I am surrounded by Islam and its everyday practice just is, along with everything esle.

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Monday, 23 March 2009 at 7:59pm GMT
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