The concept that good and evil don’t actually require a white haired angry old man in the sky in order to exist doesn’t seem to have permeated the consciousness yet of a great many people. Nor have they yet to grasp that there really are certain basic articles defined under the premise of “The Human condition”. That all human being at the most fundamental level operate under the guidance of of those basic articles. Moreover that the most basic of those articles is self interest.
The internalized perception of self-interest is the most powerful of all human motivators. It is the most basic and fundamental factor in all living creatures. First and foremost self preservation. Living creatures only surrender their lives when they can internalize that doing so serves a greater accomplishment of that primary goal.
To our knowledge, based on an enormous amount of observation, we have come to the conclusion that only humans being are capable of the abstract conceptualization of a form of self aware survival beyond the temporal physical existence. Only those capable of this abstract leap of logic are willing to place a greater value on their own personal self aware post living fate, than upon their own self interest in self preservation.
In the truest sense the Middle East is where this abstract philosophical concept was born. It is also where the most bizarre and twisted version of that philosophical construct originates.
Within the philosophical foundations of Islam are a number basic premises.
a) That good and evil exist as fundamental forces of all creation.
b) That Allah is the sole and final arbitrator of what constitutes Good and Evil.
c) That Allah having set those values, will judge all human beings on a scale based on the value assigned to each and every deed committed by the individual.
d) That certain specific acts, performed in the name of Allah have the capacity to decisively tilt the balance in the favor of those committing those acts.
Since the basic fundamental belief in Islamic theology is that good and evil exist as fundamental forces of all creation, the logical conclusion is that all human beings will perform a number of deeds that fall within the values set by Allah as evil, sinful or otherwise unacceptable. Therefore it is necessary to perform a greater number of good deeds than evil ones to avoid suffering Allah’s wrath. Islam has in effect wrapped itself in a catch-22 situation. To the credit of those who formulated Islamic theology, they recognized the danger of this trap, and created a “Get out of Hell
Free Card”. Martyrdom in the name of Allah through the performance of Jihad.
Combine this with another of the most basic and fundamental precepts of Islam and you have the root and impetus of all the violence inherent within the Islamic world and most importantly, the Middle East. The fundamental precept here, Allah’s command that the entire world be subjugated to Islamic rule. The very word Islam means nothing less than total submission.
When examined carefully, it become self evident how this theological construct of Islam conforms to that of the basic articles of the “Human Condition” since the basic articles of the human condition are.
1) Self preservation.
2) Preservation of ones offspring
3) Preservation of ones immediate gene pool.
4) Preservation of ones species.
All human motivation can be traced directly back to these articles. The capacity to engage in abstract conceptualizations means that the individual is capable of transposing higher order articles over the lower ones. In other words an individual can place a greater value on the safety and security (preservation of) their offspring, than upon their own safety and security, of their immediate gene pool over their offspring, and their species over their immediate gene pool.
Islam having embraced the concept that ones self aware existence does not cease with the death of ones mortal flesh. That having passed the boundary between life and death, that this post death self aware existence has no time constrained limitation upon it. That the conditions of that post death self aware existence are dictated by a supreme being and predicated upon the actions and deeds of each individual while they were alive. What remains necessarily follows article 1 of the Human Condition, self preservation.
Under Islamic theology, only “The People of the Book” (Jews and Christians) are afforded the privilege of not converting (reverting according to Islamic theology) without facing the penalty of death. Though they are still required to submit to Islamic authority. Anyone not being born or raised either a Jew or a Christian is given only the choice of converting (reverting) or death. This according to Islamic theology is the commandment of Allah as handed down by his only true and faithful servant the Prophet Mohammad.
Those who either have not or refuse to grasp the basic articles of the human condition are incapable of grasping the profound significance or depth of the “Religious” experience. It is at it’s root the first and primary article of the human condition, self-preservation. It is utterly impossible for anyone who fails to grasp this to understand the conflict that exists in the Middle East.
It is the human ability to think in abstract concepts combined with the need for self preservation that drive the concept of life after death. In other words, it is the need and desire to remain self aware beyond the constraints of mortality. Religion is the formalization of procedural steps required to achieve a favorable after life, the establishment of criteria, i.e. set values, upon which the determination of whether the afterlife will be favorable or unfavorable.
If you cannot make the logical leap, (or leap of faith as some would call it) that self awareness does not cease when one shuffles off this mortal coil, then you simply cannot grasp the concept that their are ideas, decisions, actions or beliefs that simply cannot be negotiated away or compromised.
Oddly enough, that same inability to grasp that self awareness does not cease at death finds it’s roots in the first and primary article of the Human Condition, self preservation. Which is precisely why those those unable or unwilling to make the leap of logic (or faith, your choice here) are completely incapable of grasping that some thing are not negotiable. For them, the basic articles of the human condition dictate that negotiated compromises provides the greatest possible degree of probability for the preservation of self, offspring, immediate gene pool and species.
Abraham Maslow in 1943 proposed what is called “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” in his paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”. He outlined the concept of “The Human Condition” in a hierarchical tree descending from the most basic and immediate to the most abstract.
The conflict in the Middle East and the West’s inability to find a solution to it lies in the separation of those who can and those who cannot grasp the significance of the religious aspect of the human condition. Some ideas, decisions, actions or beliefs simply cannot be negotiated away or compromised. Islam will not under any circumstances, negotiate, compromise or surrender it’s most basic theological precepts.
For Islam to do so would be a complete and total violation of the most basic article of the human condition, it would mean that Islam would have to cease to exist. It would have to cease to exist because Mohammad declared Islamic theology to be 100 percent perfect and unalterable, any attempt to alter Islamic theology would be, as declared by Mohammad, an abomination worthy of death and eternal damnation. Islam must bring by force or even death wherever necessary, the entire world into submission to Islam. If you are a Jew or Christian that means you must submit to Islam if you are not a Jew or Christian you must submit and convert or die. There is no negotiating this, no compromising this, and it is why their is no peace solution to the Middle East.