Ramadaniyat (IX)

Bo-el3izo; one of my favorite pass time friends is a very knowledgeable person, he’s always busy with his work which has to do a lot with money and numbers, yet I find it fascinating how much he is learned and wise about different issues in life (when does he have time to research?). I call him my encyclopedia. When I tire from searching for something I go back to him. And you should see the sparkle in his eyes when he explains his point of view or recalls history, I imagine myself listening to Abo Zaid Elhilali… LOL
In one of our nice long Ramadaniyat nights, me and bo-el3izo were talking about evolution and the natural selection. He mentioned a Japanese anecdote that I thought is interesting and wanted to share with you, I tried to see if I could find it on the Net for a more solid reference, but I wasn’t able to find any, so if you do, let me know.
Any way, this is supposed to be a true story that happened in the ancient Japanese times, and it supposedly ended the Samurai legacy in Japan.

It was said that the last Samurai family was destined to execution by the emperor and their remains were tossed into the sea. People who were still loyal to the Samurai noticed that some of the crabs in the sea had certain designs on their shells that resembled that of the Samurai, they could not interpret the resemblance, yet they decided to refrain from catching those crabs for food, just in case. With time these crabs multiplied and assumed sacredness while other types slowly vanished. Some until today believe that these are the royal Samurais that came back to life and would forever multiply in the shape of crabs, and someday they will take control of the world.

Now what does natural selection have to do with that? Not much really, since this selection was enforced by beliefs. Those crabs without the mediators (people) would have had the same fate as the other crabs that were destined to disappear with time.
Now this takes me to the subject of religion; if clergymen did not enforce beliefs, would religion ever had survived?

Enforcing religion takes many shapes, and the first; the untouchable has to be faith. If Japanese people did not believe in the Samurai power to come back to life, those crabs probably wouldn’t have survived, and if clergymen did not enforce faith in miracles, religion would have been an anecdote to pass time. Faith is the core in all religions; it’s the strongest weapon against science and logical thinking. Even contemporary scientists who believe that everything in this world is the product of natural processes, can’t dismiss the supernatural probability, why?
It all starts with infancy; human minds are molded like clay depending on the environment, the direct disciplinary process at home and most importantly schooling.
A live example is myself; I do not believe in religions, yet, I can’t deny the existence of God. Not that I don’t have enough evidence of Him being inexistent, there are many evidences, one for example is; when a natural disaster strikes and annihilate innocent people or believers, my mind questions; where is God in all this and why didn’t He use His omnipotence powers to stop it? But in the end I find my own excuses that might not even convince me, but it’s just a way to let things pass.
Don’t we always do that? I mean letting things that we do not understand just pass?
You see, it’s not easy for a mind to deviate from a belief when it’s secured in childhood as part of one’s life.
Now let’s look at our education system and analyze it thoroughly to be able to forecast what type of mentalities are more probable to survive. Education based on fables in our schools, guarded by the clergymen who are controlling it are more likely to bring about Samurais to life. Don’t you think?
So what is your opinion, how do you forecast future, if our educational system stayed the same?

An Update
Thanks to DA for providing the images of the crab, the story is also mentioned in the link he provided in his comment, please check it out.

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24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bosale7
    Oct 16, 2006 @ 15:47:13

    توقعاتي ؟؟

    على قولة النوخذة العتيج : ما شوف بر !

    Reply

  2. q80_demon
    Oct 16, 2006 @ 16:01:48

    You’ll find the story in Carl Sagans “Cosmos”, both the book and the TV series. Oh, and the creature in question is a crab, not a frog.

    Let me go to the office and I’ll scan an image for you.

    Reply

  3. AyyA
    Oct 16, 2006 @ 16:08:58

    Bosale7
    El7ala kaseefa

    DA
    Oh, thanks a lot, yes, my mistake, it was a crab, let me fix that and I appreciate your support, my other encyclopedia 😉

    Reply

  4. Q80_Demon
    Oct 16, 2006 @ 16:32:08

    Reply

  5. Purgatory
    Oct 16, 2006 @ 17:39:37

    I knew it, that is why I do not read the post, I go down to see what exactly you are saying, and I do not read that either, ramadan will end soon and you will go soon taking pictures of stuff.

    Reply

  6. AyyA
    Oct 16, 2006 @ 18:50:47

    DA
    Thanks dear, I added those images above, and I guess I was not able to search them out because I was looking for Samurai frogs LOL
    Well that ought to tell you how word of mouth could unintentionally be diverted when it’s delivered from one ear to another 😉

    Purgy
    7a6aitlik elsowar 3ashan titsalah 7abeebi ;p

    Reply

  7. iDip
    Oct 16, 2006 @ 19:44:38

    Does “el-gobgob” (el-3arabi [male] cheerleader) has anything to do with those scary creatures?!

    P.S.
    I think it’s Ramadaniyat (IX) not (VIIII)
    🙂
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_numerals

    Reply

  8. Hanan
    Oct 16, 2006 @ 22:44:35

    Holy crab 🙂 Ramadan is almost over and your Ramadaniat shall be no more. Should we expect a comeback, say Mu7arram? or maybe eid aladh7a?

    Reply

  9. Purgatory
    Oct 17, 2006 @ 00:15:43

    Rather have other pics 😛

    Reply

  10. AyyA
    Oct 17, 2006 @ 00:43:27

    iDip
    Thanks, I fixed that, that goes to show how rusted I’ve gotten since school LOL
    And about the gubgob; I assume it does, after all Samurais are males, no?
    But I don’t see males weird looking, actually I see them rather beautiful 😉

    Hanoona
    Nah, I don’t think so, it’s only Ramadan that has this kooky effect on me ;p

    Purgy
    Hush. Hush… those pics you only get to see in private, so hold your horses 😉

    Reply

  11. kasik ya watan
    Oct 17, 2006 @ 01:17:11

    Great as usual ayya

    I see the future very disappointing, especially after coming back from Boston.

    I am careless now; I became more open about my beliefs & thoughts. Today only another one said that I should be killed (A7el Dami).

    This person refused even to listen to my argument.

    alla yaster

    kasik …

    Reply

  12. AyyA
    Oct 17, 2006 @ 01:41:49

    Kasak ya watyan
    Alwalan; il7imdillah 3ala elsalamah, wi garat 3ainich ya Lulooah (gool laha 🙂 )
    Thaniyan; let me ask you this question; when the truth is so clear as the rays of the sun in a fog-free day, why should we be ashamed to admit it? Keeping our mouths shut will only give way to more control of a certain group that by using God’s orders they reign. Shino sawa lina sikootna? You tell me
    As of that friend of yours, I believe he has his own doubts, but he is too scared to listen to the voice of reason, because you are invading his comfort zone.
    Hmmm, fear would be a good subject for my next Ramadaniyat 😉

    Reply

  13. ummel3yal
    Oct 17, 2006 @ 02:27:01

    Dear AyyA,

    From what I experience with my kids, their school and friends, I see a better future for them despite the clear strength of the religeous system. The new generation is much more open to the outer world (internet, satallite and travel). This makes them think and question. Everyday I expect my kids coming back saying that they gave their religion teacher a heart attack 😉 There questions at an early age are equivalent to minw when I entered college maybe.

    I know I can not generalize based on my children and private education systems. But this gives me hope that some of the upcoming generations have better analytic thinking 🙂

    P.S. I can see that Proletarian got to you 😉 Won’t tell if you don’t :))

    Reply

  14. Q80_Demon
    Oct 17, 2006 @ 02:28:33

    About the future of education, let me put it this way: what kind of education do we expect in a culture that thrives on myths and false events? When it comes to education, the question is not if the glass is half full or have empty, it should be if there is a glass in the first place. There is no such thing as a benign dose of myth in a rational society.

    BTW; in The God Delusion Dawkins casually mentions that omnipotence and omniscience are not compatible. A few weeks ago I spent two evenings debating the exclusivity of each one of these two characteristics with a few friends online, but as it is usual in such debates a believer sums up his position that we shouldn’t question God.

    Returning to the subject (of education and evolution), I just finished Why Darwin Matters, another great read from Michael Shermer. Highly recommended. Now I’m reading the delightful iWoz which I also recommended and not only for Apple aficionados. And another recommendation: Londonistan: How Britain Is Creating a Terror State Within.

    And many thanks for iDip for his roman numerals observation. Boy, I can’t understand why I didn’t notice it – I only see the numbers 76 times each day on my watch :-/ Going back to the number 4, it should be “IIII”. Only when the number goes beyond 10 (14, 24, …) does it becomes IV.

    Reply

  15. Intlxpatr
    Oct 17, 2006 @ 04:19:39

    I don’t believe the problem is with religious belief, but with the imposition of your/one’s particular interpretation of what IS on others.

    I didn’t have a lot of belief until I had a child. Holding that innocent baby, knowing all the sex in the world hadn’t brought that baby until THIS instant, knowing I had NO power to protect that baby from the infinity of dangers out there – no, it’s not rational, but it made a believer out of me.

    but we all have to look into the abyss and figure out our own way of coping with the infinite. I don’t mind your believing or not believing. We all do what we have to do. But we are on the same team when it comes to a group saying “this is the absolute truth and you WILL believe”. Have you read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaiden?

    Reply

  16. AyyA
    Oct 17, 2006 @ 04:25:52

    Ummel3yal
    What you mentioned, although enthusiastic as it was intended to be, draws my attention to a bigger problem. Kids that are brought up in a liberal or Simi liberal atmosphere, and other kids that are brought up in a very conservative environment can’t communicate today. The gap is getting so deep between them and I believe that this is not healthy. Just one look at the different youth mentalities in the blogs of today could give you an example of what I mean.

    DA
    Actually, I just got to the part where it discusses omnipotence versus omniscience, and I do agree with the author, in fact, I see myself turning the pages as if I’m reading my own thoughts, the book is amazing, allah yastir what will happen to me when I finish it. So far; it’s driving me bananas. It’s been a while since I read a good book 😉
    And thanks for the other list; they all sound the types that I would really enjoy, I checked them on Amazon and will soon order them, thanks again.

    Reply

  17. AyyA
    Oct 17, 2006 @ 05:01:52

    Intlxpatr
    I do respect your beliefs, and our debate should keep this appreciation alive, even if we disagree. And I’m a mother as well. Yet, I know that when my grandfather died, he died because of the infections of his tonsils. How many people die today of this cause?
    It is science that cures, it is science that secures, and it is science that civilized man. This is evident, yet, the supernatural is vague. And when you talk about “The absolute truth, you are talking out of faith, because in reality, there is no absolute truth, and that is a natural process in evolution; the more we humans know, the more we want to know.
    And no I haven’t read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaiden, I’ll check it out soon.

    Reply

  18. neelaah
    Oct 17, 2006 @ 09:27:18

    ارى
    مشاعر اقل
    جمود اكثر
    رموز جديده
    لا تستحق ان تكون رموز
    الناس تتبعها تبعيه عمياء
    استخدام اقل للعقل
    اختفاء الورق
    اختفاء القلم
    بيع الأوراق المكتوبه بخط اليد على اساس انها تحف قديمه
    اختفاء الكتب
    اذواق اشبهه ما تكون موحدة بسبب الانفتاح الاعلامي
    بالتالي الاشكال كلها تتشابه
    اختفاء الطابع الثقافي لدول معينه
    واندماج الناس تحت طابع واحد
    انتشار الموسيقى الصاخبه
    اختفاء الشعراء
    ارى من يستخدمون العقل يلتقون في خلايا سريه
    ارى رقابه حتى على الاحلام
    ارى كتب تتداول بسريه
    صورة سودة

    تشبهه كثير ا فيلم
    Name of the rose
    Or
    V for Vendetta

    Reply

  19. AyyA
    Oct 17, 2006 @ 14:10:43

    neelah
    Very pessimistic indeed, yet, let me ask you this question, and that goes also to all the quests as well;
    Is there anything that can be done by us citizens to at least redirect the education system? I mean; I do not have any objection of having theology as a subject in schools, but I think it’s taking more than it’s share on the accounts of other subjects. Another thing is the substance that is taught in theology depends mostly on personal opinions presented as facts. Facts should be separated from fiction, from personal opinions in the curriculum. This is an example of what I’m talking about:
    http://3asal.blogspot.com/2005/12/brain-washing-starts-early.html#comments

    So is there any way for us to prevent such gray future? Any suggestions?

    Reply

  20. AyyA
    Oct 17, 2006 @ 14:21:08

    Ummel3yal
    LOL, I just noticed your PS
    Yes; Proletarian got to me, he is right, ana elthahir ma 3indi salfa, and you can tell him that 😉

    Reply

  21. ummel3yal
    Oct 17, 2006 @ 22:09:33

    I prefer seeing the glass half full 🙂 Generation gaps and intra-differences is a good alternative to a mono-color generation. The debate and miscommunication will lead to clashes that will wake up the minds that still have hope. Debate is always good even if we don’t “see” immediate change.

    Reply

  22. kasik ya watan
    Oct 17, 2006 @ 22:43:41

    Dear Ayya

    What I meant with being careless is by discussing my beliefs & thoughts with those who I know are hopeless or fanatics.

    Fear would be a great topic, especially with your interesting style of writing.

    Kasik …

    Reply

  23. white wings
    Oct 18, 2006 @ 01:05:51

    I just posted a problem I have with my son’s education, religious education at school which I think is our biggest problem nowو not denying the gravity of all other material taught to our children.
    And yes,I absolutely agree, I often find myself acting against my own logic only because the social heap inside me is very powerful and often smelly 🙂
    If the educational system stays the same, we will be one of the main areas to export terrorists to the world and very soon. I know to some what I say is a foul exaggeration, but I truly believe it
    كلية الشريعة تعرض المقررين التالين في صحيفة تخرجها
    الفئات الضالة
    الاسلام والتيارات المعادية
    كيف الحال؟؟

    Reply

  24. AyyA
    Oct 18, 2006 @ 16:29:56

    Ummel3yal
    I really admire your optimistic view, at times I also have it, but looking at our reality and forecasting future in my mind according to this reality, I only get to the point of despair.
    Yet, hope is good, we need to have doses of it, do they sell’m somewhere? At this time, I’m really desperate for some.

    Kasik
    I just read your blog and will soon post a comment, yes, now I got what you mean. But as ummel3yal said, we should always have a shred of hope. After all; small stones do not overflow oceans but it sure causes ripples, and this small ripple is our hope.

    WW
    My next station is your blog, bas allah yihadeach; I was just energized by this little hope that ummel3yal provided, and you took that away with your last statement in Arabic 😦

    Reply

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