Friday, December 03, 2004

One-sidedness

Whenever I browse books on Islam, I often feel graarghharrghghhrrrhhh (sorry but couldn't find a better way to convey the feeling). Books that praise Islam, and books that undermine it. Of course, being a Muslim myself, I am more graaargharaghrrrghhed by anti-Islam books. Although, no, it's not abt their anti-Muslim nature that bugs me, but the staunch & narrow position they adopt. And both sides are guilty of it. Islam is DEFINITELY bad, one side says. No, Islam is DEFINITELY good, the other cries. And each party goes their own narrow way to prove their point, with utmost confidence and utter obliviousness of the opposition's case. As if the opponents never speak. Or spoken only once, and only one rebuttal is sufficient to defeat their case.

You know what I really want to see instead?

an approach from the middle ground. objective. unbiased. thorough.

Like:

okay, here's an issue. Lets see... the pro side says this, this, and this in its favor. The opposition says that, that, and that. now let us evaluate each of these claims...

and not only that, but the author should not stop there, but go on:

... and in response to pro's claim A, the opposition rebutts with point A1, and A2. Likewise, for opposition's claims X and Y, the pro replies with so and so, and they also countered A1 and A2 with this and this argument.

plus, acknowledging that there might not only be just two sides of an issue, the author also lays out what other parties say abt the matter.

... Now there are also some other factions that say this and this instead. Though a minority, their points are nevertheless are worthy of consideration due to the soundness of the argument itself.

it would be great also if we are to see that despite the author's extensive grasp of facts, he/she still mantains a humble attitude as he/she offers his/her opinion/evaluation on that matter.

Yes, I might be wrong, and new facts may surface that might invalidate my points. But as far as my research into this matter reveals, this is the conclusion that I think is most reasonable.

The reader shall be free to make their own decision critically, without rhetorical influence from the author.

Ah well, perhaps I'm expecting too much. Perhaps, my ideal author just belongs in the same fairy tale world as knights in shining armor and virgin princesses who never farts.

So if you can't change the world, change yourself, I'd say.

gotta be aware of what ya read. double-layered aware. triple-layered.

be critical.

Refuse to blindly bite the rhetorical bait the author offers. Refuse to be pulled around by the nose ring as he/she toys with your emotions. take off that nose ring. looks ugly on you.

don't lax your criticalness on an author just coz he/she's on your side.

don't be afraid to be proven wrong. be ready to accept a defeating blow, if it is a valid argument.

And as I always say: sincerity. That is the utmost valuable asset you can have. If you are sincere in your beliefs, if you are sincere about what you know and what you don't, what you feel right and what you feel not, and you sincerely seek the truth & justification about it, I'd say you would survive well, regardless of what is the Truth. regardless of which religion is the Truth, if any.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have always enjoyed your writing. That brain of yours needs to be preserved.

-IHSAN KHAIRIR-

2:29 AM, February 08, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we would like you to donate your brain cells after your death, so we can clone them and implant them in the brains of not-so-very brilliant people.

10:13 PM, February 08, 2005  
Blogger haya_shiloh said...

thankyou, thankyou.... *lubang hidung kembang kempis* man, another praise and i would forget my place.

11:26 AM, February 09, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aahh... don't be so modest man... i think you deserve those praises... i like your writing... although i accidentally stumbled across this blog. keep on writing man...

4:06 AM, February 12, 2005  

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