All posts by Elizabeth Brinsden

Islamic worldview w.r. to the presence or not thereof of the philosophical phenomena of subject-object.

Underpinning the historical development of philosophy in Western Thinking , the role of the subject –object phenomena can be traced quite clearly from the Aristotelian Socratic era to that of St Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274).

Perhaps the most significant development in the realm of this thinking ,took place during the late 17th century with Immanuel Kant ,followed by the German philosophers of the Romantic era , during the 19th century on the part of such thinkers as Arthur Schopenhauer, F.W.T. Schelling ,G.W. Hegel usw. T

The purpose of this article is not to provide a comprehensive overview of these philosophers , but rather to place them within a context under the rubric of subject –object development.

However, it was the incorporation of Greek into the Western Thinking that enabled this phenomenon to develop , whereby Western scientific analysis became possible at all. In order for there to be analysis of an object, the observer must be separate from the object under observation. This is what the line of philosophical development enabled.

Within the realm of Islamic thinking, there has been no such parallel development.

A major component , and indeed the translation of the word Islam itself, is “submission” to Allah’s will, thus crippling the analytical process.

Historically seen , up until the 8th century , there had been two opposing divisions within Islam. The first of these was Hanbalite-Ash’arite formular, i.e.complete submission and no presence of free will. The second was the Mu’tazilites which indeed recognized reason as part of the Islamic thought realm. For some reason however during this century , the side which began to prevail , was that of the first above mentioned sphere. Indeed, the inclusion of the Aristotelian Socratic philosophy was rejected entirely by the Islamic world.

With such a dominance, occasionalism, resulting from there being no inherent underlying order became reality. Thus, If nothing is ordered, it can’t be analysed. This has been put forward by Robert R. Reilly in his fascinating book: “The Closing of the Muslim Mind” How intellectual Suicide created the modern Islamist Crisis- 2015, Wilmington Delaware.

The Western World did indeed incorporate Greek thinking into their philosophers ands this author maintains that this has facilitated the developments of both science and economies in the West , which not one Arab country can exhibit.

However, before we rest on our laurels, we in the West must pose ourselves the profoundly serious question , employing the terms applied by Fydior Dostojevski in his novel :

 

“ The brothers Kamarazov”. The problematic of strict separation of subject and object seems to have been of paramount to concern to him , as this novel makes clear. In it, Ivan is the Secular Humanist and Aljoscha , his brother, is a monk. Dostojevski places Ivan under the rubric of fused subject and object, whereas his monk brother Aljoscha still holds the traditional strict separation between subject-object . This is a continuation of the Aristotelian – Thomistic line. I have dealt with this theme in a previous article which can be found on my website.

What will happen to Western Civilization if the accumulated capital acquired from the legacy of Aljoscha finally expires, leaving Ivan entirely alone in the field ? Will this mean a philosophical return on the part of the West to the 8th century?

There are still some pockets of Aljoschas in existence, but will they be of sufficient strength to be able to survive the onslaught?

I sincerely hope so

 

Why do some people, not of Arabic descent, convert to Islam?

Why do some people , not of Arabic descent convert to Islam?

The peoples of the USA , Australia, Europe etc historically seen, are of European origin. This , in turn , means that the philosophical basis of their culture has been that underlying Christianity and is thus being coupled with the natural law principles based on Aristotle and later on Thomas Aquinas etc.

Therefore , each individual has the free will to either accept or not , to live by the ten commandments as set out by the old testament in the Bible.

But the free will to choose has as its underlying prerequisite the possession of sufficient psychological strength to be able to choose to live by the rules set out by the bible, which has been under constant attack by Secularism for the past two centuries. It has been the basis for Western Civilization since the time of Christ.

The fruits of Christianity have brought about the strict separation between subject and object and has thus enabled the independent analysis of objects , an essential component of science as we know it. I have discussed this theme in another article by way of the application of ideas put forward by Dostoyevsky in his book” The Brothers Kamarazov”.

In direct contradiction to this, is that of the complete “submission to Islam” i.e.to the will of Allah. This has as a consequence , there being no such thing as free will , one must submit oneself to the rules set out in the Koran, thereby inhibiting the development of scientific discovery, as has been the case under Islamic rule.

There is no death penalty for choosing not to live by the rules set out in the Christian bible. Under Islam , the death penalty does exist for those denouncing Islam.

This author would therefore argue, that for those people from European descent choosing to convert to Islam , are those who do not possess the necessary psychological strength to choose to live by the bible and prefer rather to have the imposition of Islamic laws placed upon them, where the lines are clear. They possibly find life easier to cope with that way.

 

prerequisite the possessing of sufficient psychological strength to do so. It is not an easy choice to live by

 

Thomas Jefferson and post-Christian Europe

Thomas Jefferson once defined freedom as:

“Replacing imposed discipline with self-discipline”.

What relevance could this statement have for present-day Europe?

During the course of the nineteenth century, the previously strict separation between subject and object which formed the basis of the Christian world view enabled the development of modern day Science as the object being examined was separate from the subject carrying out the analysis. The Christian world view also gave the world, Dante Alighieri, Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Charles Dickens, magnificent architecture and many more such treasures.
When the subject and object started to fuse, this was of great concern particularly for such authors as Dostojevski. In fact he predicted that the so-called “Liberals” who he hated would cause the deaths of at least 100 million people, which alas was the case in the 20th century.
Ultimately, the subject and object did then fuse in the philosophical thinking of European philosophy, whereby man became mere matter, without a soul, as he predicted.
Alas, the consequences of this fusion will render Europe psychologically and physically too weak to resist the onslaught resulting from the influx of Islamic immigrants.
In Sure 56 in the Koran, whereby putting aside possible errors in the translating thereof, it says
– that if a person is martyred, where the distinction between suicide and martyrdom becomes blurred, the reward will be a harem of virgins in heaven.
These words can not have been uttered by God, but rather can only be attributed to a troubled and unhappy mortal mind.
We have no one to blame except ourselves if we come under the iron rod of a tyrannical Islamic rule.
We have not taken heed of Thomas Jefferson’s warning!
The German poet Michelbeuern once stated-

“Religion is for the very stupid or for the very clever and for everything in between, Secular Humanism was invented!”

To which category do you belong?

The sexualisation and Freudification which took place throughout the Western World in the 1960’s and its ramifications for the present day – 2018.

Up until the 1960’s, children were brought up to accept that there are indeed absolute concepts of what is “right” or “wrong”. That is they are independent of the individual. With the Freudification of society, these were overturned in favour of what appears to the individual to be “right” or “wrong” becomes the prevailing world view of the West. This resulted in the moral relativism which prevails until the present. The Freudification accepted the view that one is not responsible for one’s actions as they are genetically determined and therefore not able to be subjected to any categorization.
The sexualisation of society which also took place in the 1960’s, had as its philosophy the right to be free from any imposed constraints. This was influenced in part by the entertainment industry which can be gleaned from the changes in the film industry of the era.
What consequences do these trends have for members of the Christian churches? Up until this time , the Christian viewpoint maintained that sex outside of marriage was unacceptable. Thus the 1960’s are sometimes referred to as the sexual revolution.
This article maintains that the priests of particularly the Roman Catholic churches but also the Anglican church were indeed affected by the general mores of the era. This is not in any way to condone such atrocious behaviour as has been revealed recently by the scandals in Pennsylvania. But rather to place it into a wider context and understanding of the problem per se.
What can be done about it? Does the church have the strength of convictions to return to traditional values or will it succumb to the swamp of the filth and decay of the present day?
When a person becomes sexualized or Freudified, the control of the self is handed to some force external to the individual, thereby resulting in the loss of freedom, not the gaining of freedom as was the aim of the 1960’s. Previous generations understood this much better than our present day counterparts!
This author hopes there will be a revival of the wonderful traditions of the past generations.

A somewhat atypical Kalgoorlie story

Kalgoorlie people may not be aware any more of the following story. There was once a nun in the Boulder Convent by the name of Sr. Ita. She had apparently studied piano in Germany and had returned to Australia to become a nun. Owing to a serious heart condition , she was only able to teach two piano students. Their names were: Eileen
Joyce and Olive Ruane.

Eileen Joyce went on to have an international career as a concert pianist and Olive Ruane set up a piano teaching studio in the centre of the town of Kalgoorlie. I was fortunate enough to have had her as a teacher and it was there I learnt a method which she called “shadowing” and which originated from Sr Ita. I have to say that I have used this method
all my performing life and wouldn’t have been able to survive without it.

Recently , I received a phone call at 5pm on a Friday evening asking me to give a concert between 9 and 10pm that same night. I had to return to the city and grabbed some music for this purpose. Admittedly I also did two improvisations but the rest was real organ literature. This was what is known here as “the long night of the Church”. The church
was full and the level of interest was enormous . A lot of young people came up as the concert was finishing and showed a great deal of fascination for the organ as an instrument. It was a very positive experience for me as an organist.

But I have to say that it was by virtue of having practiced these pieces using the “shadowing” technique over the course of the years that enabled me to give a concert at such short notice. And I have to thank Sr Ita from the Boulder Convent for that!

I now teach this method to my students at the Conservatorium in Teplice, Czech Republic, the only difference being that I have adapted it to the organ, which is of course now my main instrument.

I went to Vienna after finishing my studies at UWA and studied the organ there, to become the chief organist at St. Peter’s Church for 9 years. But when looking back , it was Miss Ruane who really stands out as perhaps my star teacher! And now the students in this country are also benefiting from her teaching as well as that from Sr Ita of the Boulder Convent, if only indirectly!