Just a shorter post – but this is what I intended to do with my “thoughts” posts anyway- that was inspired by a conversation I had yesterday.
I was speaking with a International Relations professor who specializes in collective human rights and international law. In our discussion we came to the recent changes in the Middle East. He made a few very interesting points. He believes – hopes at least – that we will see genuine democracy and freedom emerge in the Middle East.
However, it won’t be a Western style democracy it will be Middle Eastern and by that he was implying it will be rooted in Islamic culture. The West has fully embraced secularist ideas and in his words, “they don’t have any reason to live. They talk about these ideas of freedom, liberty, democracy but what do they live for? A house, a car, money? Maybe to party and drink alcohol.” He is subscribing to the view that the removal of religious based values has undercut society and stripped it of its moral foundations. It was interesting to here this view being articulated by a Muslim academician.
What do you think? Can a society discredit religious ideas and still offer a sense of meaning and purpose in life? Can it justify a standard of morality? Where does it draw its support from? By casting of the lines that have moored Western society to a religious system has something essential been lost or is there something else that can take its place?