Monday, January 12, 2009

Religious Identities, Tradition, and "Self"

Last night I was scrolling the T.V. channels when I came across the last bit of "talk" on CNN. One was a Jew, the other ?, but they were talking about identities and how the authentic self comes "after tradition".

This would fall in line with Kohlberg's assessment of moral development, as tradition is conventional morality, whereas, reason supercedes that morality with the individual's understanding of justice.

In reading about the recent situation in the Middle East, which is really a continuation of the "same old same old" insanity, I think this is a pivotal "truth". Tradition does not regard individuality as it does not base its understanding on the "rule of law" but "religious tradition". Religious tradition justifies actions by "god's will" in text, or tradition. When tradition's understandings collide, we have what we have in the Middle East.

Although Israel is a state that maintains its boundaries by "law", Hamas has not respected those boundaries. It is not "right" according to our understanding of "justice" (rule of law) for Hamas to attack Israel. Is it "right" for the Palestinians to have any recourse for action because these civilians who Hamas "uses" do not have the recourse of a "stste". What does the international community do with this in seeking justice for Palestianian civilians and yet, respecting Israel's right to boundary maintenence. This the the million dollar question, as tribal identities do not die passively, and are resistant to change.

In understanding what is necessary, these humans do not have the environment to develop their 'authentic selves". They are serving a tradition and the role they think tradition demands of them in obtaining the transcentdent....

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