Reply to Khatami's "Diverse Manifestation of Truth"

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Reply to Khatami's "Diverse Manifestation of Truth"

Postby Amir » Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:42 pm

Khatami is apparently an author for the Washington Post now. A friend brought this article to my attention, which compelled me to write a reply. I am now posting his “tolerant, moderate” article followed by my own reply. Enjoy.

BTW, what’s the deal with the WP? It smells more like Mullah breath than it does in Qom.
I am Dariush the Great King, King of Kings, King of countries containing all kinds of men, King in this great earth far and wide, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, having Aryan lineage

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Postby Amir » Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:42 pm

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfa ... sel_1.html

Absolute Truth Manifests Itself in Diverse Ways

by Mullah Khatami

All divine religions have called humanity to the One, Sacred, and Absolute Truth. Should we aim to strip religion of the Absolute and the Sacred, all its content shall be thereby nullified.

Nevertheless, it remains up to humans to discern and grasp the Truth. Philosophical and speculative discussions of “Being”, “Existence”, the ultimate essence of Truth and the scope and verisimilitude of human understanding notwithstanding, we must realize that humans –all humans- are conditioned and bound within various limits. Truth is essentially absolute, but we shall never doubt that human comprehension of the truth, within the confines of internal and external limits of time, place, history, society and psychology, always remains partial and relative. Any proprietary claim to the full possession of the absolute truth and that which is truly absolute remains as groundless as the categorical rejection of truth in principle.

The problem that afflicted humanity in old days was the exaggerated insistence on bestowing truth and sacredness to essentially non-sacred categories. The problem that afflicts humanity today is the attempt to disenchant everything everywhere and to reject sacredness. The world denuded of that which is sacred and absolute, is but a cold, callous, unsightly and indeed frightening world: no less than the world in which mundane and essentially non-sacred human affairs are bestowed falsely with a sacred aura.

Human beings are, driven by their nature, searching for the truth and seeking to approach it. Through dialogue and acts of bilateral exchange, the possibility emerges for us to bring in our ideals and earnestly set out on the path toward the truth. Also, in the quotidian public arena, we may discern mutual standards and agree through dialogue upon common ways and means to eliminate obstacles and attain goals.

At this point I would like to share an insight about truth and conflict which derives from the perspective of mystic thought.

While truth is in essence absolute and unique, it has infinitely diversely differing manifestations. It is a calamity to mistake any partial manifestation divulged and discovered on a singular basis for the whole truth.

Here we should give voice to the words of the Persian mystic poet who said:

Thou have manifested thyself in a thousand manifestations
And I vow to gaze upon thee with a thousand eyes

When we delve deep into the root of conflicts and controversies, we fathom the illusory whim and bad faith of incomplete individuals who falsely claim completeness, and seek to affirm their own “Self” by obliterating the identity of the “Other”. In conclusion, I would like to cite a verse by the great Persian poet Hafez who said:

May Thou forgive the controversies wrought by the seventy-two creeds,
They failed to see the truth, and thus followed their whims.


POSTED BY SEYED MOHAMMAD KHATAMI ON NOVEMBER 15, 2006 5:00 PM
I am Dariush the Great King, King of Kings, King of countries containing all kinds of men, King in this great earth far and wide, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, having Aryan lineage

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Khatami Is Full of Crap

Postby Amir » Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:46 pm

Khatami is Full of Crap

by Amir


I would like to reply to Mr. Khatami’s article on two levels. First, purely in general terms as to solely the content of the article itself, and second, in specific terms as to the relation of this article to its author.

Part I: Content

The main premise of the above article is that although an absolute truth exists, the human understanding of that truth is flexible and presents with multiple variations. This premise itself may not be flawed, but the way with which it is applied to religion is flawed. Furthermore, since the boundaries of the flexibility of truth are not defined in the article, the main premise is at risk of collapse.

First, although the human understanding of the truth may not be absolute, there must be certain boundaries within which the search for the truth must be undertaken. If no boundaries exist, then every thought and every assertion must be accepted as a human variation of the truth and cannot be rejected as false. Every conceivable concept will thereby be accepted as a differing manifestation of the truth. This takes one down an obvious path of randomness and contradiction, resulting in unavoidable conceptual chaos, which does not at all approximate the absolute truth that one seeks to find.

The above paragraph delineated the simple fact that certain guidelines must be followed when searching for the truth, lest that search becomes meaningless. Now, the question becomes: “What guidelines must one follow, and within what boundaries must one operate in order to approximate that absolute truth?” This is indeed one of the most important questions that one must first answer prior to setting out on the journey to the truth.

There are two fundamentally different approaches one can take in answering the above question, thereby setting forth the guidelines for the search.

The first approach can be best explained by the recently invented word (by Steven Colbert) of “truthiness.” Truthiness, as portrayed by its inventor, is a satirical term in reference to the quality by which a person claims to know something intuitively, instinctively, or "from the gut" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or actual facts. Therefore, the guidelines that one follows in this setting are dictated by one’s emotion, sub-conscious, upbringing, and in following of one’s socially accepted norms, traditions, folklore, or superstitions. Facts, evidence, and logic are not the primary defining features of this approach.

Conversely, the second possible approach entails the exact opposite. The guidelines one sets forth to seek the truth involve logic and evidence. Proof is demanded, in lieu of what feels good, sets well, or is comfortable. It is an evidence-based approach; a relatively new concept to humanity. It is a method which most would call “science.”

So then two pathways exist in the search for the truth: truthiness on the one hand, or science and logic on the other hand. Undoubtedly, the more feel-good pathway is the first, but then one must also ask if he or she is setting out on a path to joy, or a path to enlightenment and an ever closer encroachment to the truth.

This brings the link to religion, which is the foundation of the argument which Mr. Khatami intended to apply this discussion of the truth. Religion by its very nature is based on faith, an acceptance of events and concepts which have been presented by others not based on evidence and proof, but rather on intuition, instinct, and the preaching of another. The guideline which religion sets in its endeavors describes “truthiness” in every sense of the word. There may be variations in the religious pathway to the truth, and as Mr. Khatami states, one may not be any more true than the other. However, given the methodology of “truthiness” by which religion seeks the truth does not makes one wonder which explanation is the absolute truth, but whether any of such explanations even remotely resemble the truth.

Finally, the concept of the diverse manifestation of the truth within the context of religion is contradictory to most religions, including Islam. The dogmatic, absoluteness of religious creeds are what define the various religious sects and make the acceptors of those creeds the members of that religion. When one doubts those dogmas and accepts those of competing religions’ as potentially true (via an acceptance of the idea of the diverse manifestation of the truth), then that person has practically left that religion.

Obviously, this has happened repeatedly in the past, resulting in the multitudes of religions in the world. However, usually new truths (or dogmas) are accepted in lieu of the old. To accept multiple ones simultaneously, as the “diverse manifestations of the same, absolute truth” will undoubtedly result in multiple contradictions and logical inconsistencies which would deem at best only one such premise as true. But then again, within the realm of religion and “truthiness” logic and facts can be easily ignored.


Part II: Author

In part I, only the content of the article was discussed without relation to its author. In this part, a deeper analysis of the hypocrisy of Mr. Khatami’s article will be portrayed, as is related to the author himself.

Although the article as it relates to religion is easily defeated as shown in Part I, one cannot help but sense a general attitude of tolerance and harmony emanating from the article. Such an attitude, whether logically sound or not, is usually appreciated by most; as it ought to be. However, having the knowledge of the Islamic Republic’s crimes against Iranians and humanity including the 8 year presidential tenure of Mr. Khatami makes one highly suspicious as to the genuineness of this article.

Mr. Khatami speaks of the diverse manifestations of the truth, and implies leeway in the interpretation of the truth. This, in turn implies tolerance, and since the article is religiously charged, it implies religious tolerance. Yet, since 1979 Iran has been the single most religiously intolerant nation in the world. The religious intolerance has not been limited to just non-Moslems, but actually directed at the Moslems themselves in enforcement of religious codes. Christians, Jews, Bahais, and Moslems have all suffered at the hands of the Islamic Republic in the name of religion and God.

Amputations, false imprisonments, floggings, tortures, hangings, rapes, and stonings have been committed in the name of religion within Iran by those that do not see a “diversity in the manifestation of the truth.” Of course, all have been committed both during and not during Mr. Khatami’s presidency. Political imprisonment and execution, as well as suppression of student demonstrations and silencing of journalists critical of the government were the legacies of Mr. Khatami’s tenure. The dissent and rebellion resulting from a nation’s frustration at being tormented by an archaic religious code from 1400 years ago which seeks to annihilate and oppress all that oppose it. A religious code which sees everything within it as absolute, and is not at all open to diverse interpretation, tolerance, or leniency.

One wonders what the president of the nation was doing when these atrocities were taking place at the decree of his government (and which continue to take place today).

Perhaps he was too busy contemplating and preparing his essay on the topic of “absolute truth’s manifestation in diverse ways.”
I am Dariush the Great King, King of Kings, King of countries containing all kinds of men, King in this great earth far and wide, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, having Aryan lineage

Naqshe Rostam
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Amir
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