[OPE] The "Islamic threat" in Holland: mosques save the Dutch taxpayer 150 million euro

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Tue Mar 24 2009 - 13:29:51 EDT


There are almost no interesting Marxist discussions about religion, so let's not pursue this.

The sentient awareness one has of being-in-the-world could be described as consciousness, but this is distinct from the specific personal-existential meanings which an individual gives to this experience. Many of the world's greatest scientists were/are religious believers or sympathetic to religion, as far as that is concerned.

Personally I am not religious or christian, but that is also why I am not a Marxist. But nevertheless I am very aware that a spiritual dimension does exist in human life, even if English empiricism has no words for it.

Stalin and Mao did their best to wipe out religion completely, but actually there has been an enormous resurgence of spiritual concern in the CIS republics and China. I am not saying that I support all of that, but I think it shows that the Stalinist and Maoist understanding of what humanity is about, was rather poor.

As I mentioned, Alex Callinicos said there is no soul, because it isn't scientific, but nevertheless the IS tendency published Hal Draper's essay "The two souls of socialism" which became part of IS doctrines. Interestingly, Draper begins his essay stating "Socialism's crisis today is a crisis in the meaning of socialism." That is exactly right, because it is not simply a question of an awareness, but of the personal meaning of an awareness, about interpretation. Hal Draper is talking very directly about the spirit of socialism. http://www.swp.org.uk/swp_archive_list.php?issue_id=177

For your dour group of spiritless scientists, this may be meaningless rubbish, but for me it is meaningful. I think Draper is wrong as a matter of fact, but that is another story.

If you want to gain some understanding of "spiritual" injuries, you could try reading up on the clinical evidence about the psychic effects of (male and female) rape, and persistent sexual harrassment.

An interesting book is: Alan Lightman, A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the Human Spirit. http://www.amazon.com/Sense-Mysterious-Science-Human-Spirit/dp/1400078199/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237915217&sr=1-2 http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=4632997&m=4632998



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Received on Tue Mar 24 13:33:58 2009

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