The question is addressed through this letter to three leaders.
Most recent update: Monday, September 5, 2016 (Labor Day in the USA)
In none of your speeches has the literal interpretation of the Bible, the Qur’an, and the Tanakh (BQT – alphabetically-listed), and all the other associated religious documents with each, been brought into question and rigorously challenged in light of the universals and constants of science. (And, yes, these three groups of writings, taken as a whole, are abbreviated, BQT.)
Fundamentalism and literalism make the same mistake no matter what the belief system. Their frameworks for interpretation are too limited.
Terrorists and warriors take the historic writings within their holy books and use-and-abuse them to justify the most ungodly behavior. The universal writings of the these books reflect God (within the Abrahamic traditions, Allah, Jehovah, and Yahweh). For those of us from non-Arab-speaking countries, Allah is the Arabic word for God. To discern which writing is historic (finite) and which is universal (infinite) is the work for scholars. It is hard work, called exegesis, and the discipline is called hermeneutics.
There are many ways to know God (abbreviate Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, AJY), also known as the Infinite, the Perfect, the One, the Creator, the Sustainer, the Imminent, the Transcendent, the Omnipotent, the Omnipresent, Omnibenevolent…
All of the historic documents, especially all those lines-and-paragraphs within the BQT that reflect the tensions of their unique times within which the words were written, need to be set aside as the history of a particular time. The universal writings, all the lines-and-paragraphs within the BQT that are timeless, not in any way time-stamped, must be developed as a basis for a working faith.*
To discern between the historic and the universal is the key to our global future.
There are many groups and movements within Abrahamic faiths that have not done exegetical and hermeneutical work. Within Christianity there is the KKK, the Christian Identity Movement, the Arayan Nations, and many more. Within Islam that includes movements like Salafism, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Taliban, ISIL, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and any others who believe, “Allah is our objective… death for the sake of Allah is our wish.” Within Judaism there is the Jewish Underground which includes informal groups like Price Tag, and more formal groups like Kach, Kahane Chai, and the Bat Ayin Underground.
To know about God (AJY), one must read sacred texts. To know the face of God, one must study those elements within the sciences and mathematics that are universal and constant; here AJY reveals the very nature of the One who creates and sustains.
• The first form that defines our very being, our intelligence and our humanity is continuity, and its most basic function, a simple perfection, is to create order. In the traditions of the Abrahamic faiths — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — this is the Creator-Sustainer God. Any order, that creates continuity, is a metaphor as well as a direct expression for the Creator-Sustainer God. Anything that creates order is from God. Anything that creates disorder is not from God, but from man.
• The second form is symmetry and in its perfection functions to create relations. In the Abrahamic tradition the perfection of that symmetry is the love doctrine, i.e., to love God with all one’s heart, soul, mind and strength, and one’s neighbor as oneself. Any symmetry that creates real relations is a metaphor and a direct expression of the presence of the Love of God. Anything that breaks relations is from man.
• The third form is dynamics and its perfection, a complex symmetry extended within time, is harmony. Again, in the Abrahamic tradition, the gift of God’s Spirit transcending a moment in space and time creates a profound joy, deep insight, compelling love… simply a moment of perfection. Any dynamic experienced as a harmony is a metaphor, albeit the real presence, of God’s Spirit within that moment.
Every scientific and religious assertion, both seeking to understand and define the universal, begins with the same first principle and evolves within its own understanding to the second and third. Therefore we have a diversity of faith statements which includes all of the sciences.
This is also the basis of the value chain. The more perfect a moment or an experience is, OR the more perfected a thing or system is, the more valuable it becomes. Thus, we have the beginnings of business. Here is the baseline beginning of value and values.
Any assertion that counters life’s evolving perfections is not religion (at best, it’s a cult*); it is also not business (it’s exploitation or a bad company); certainly it is not good government; and most often, it is not even good science.
My bottom line conclusion is simple, “Let us open another front within this epic battle with any and all people who cause the death of another.”
For more, please consider these pages:
- These concepts in a chart about Good and Evil
- An expansion of the concepts about universals and constants
- A 2006 open letter to the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei:
- A simple view of the universe based on these concepts
- The simple math that opens these concepts to scrutiny
*Back in 2006, I proposed a book to the Oxford University Press people,
The Synoptic Scriptures of the Christians, Jews and Muslims.
They found it interesting, but not compelling enough. It still should be done!
Editor’s note: This letter was originally written on the 3rd of March 2015 to Barack Hussein Obama, President, USA, and Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister, Israel. It was then updated on Monday, December 28, 2015 to include Ali Khamanei, Ayatollah Seyyed, Iran. It was sent via the links embedded within their names above on February 10, 2016.
There is much more to come.