The Báb’s announcement in the middle of the 19th century came at a time when many Christians were expecting the return of Christ based on their reading of Biblical prophecy. Simultaneously, half way around the world, in the Middle East, many followers of Islam were also expecting their Promised One to appear.
Those who had met the Báb were struck by the beauty of His being and grace. His voice, particularly, when chanting the tablets and prayers He revealed, possessed a sweetness that captivated the heart.
Against the backdrop of widespread moral breakdown in Persian society, the Báb's assertion that He was the Bringer of a new Revelation from God and His call for spiritual and social renewal aroused both hope and excitement among the masses and hostility among the religious and political leaders of His day.
He quickly attracted thousands of followers. Soon the Báb and His followers were persecuted by the religious and political leaders. The Bab was imprisoned, exiled, beaten and finally executed. The followers, by the thousands, were tortured and martyred.
Their extraordinary moral courage in the face of persecution was noted by a number of Western observers, such as Leo Tolstoy and Sarah Bernhardt, who were deeply affected by the spiritual drama that was unfolding in what was regarded as a darkened land. Despite the opposition, the Báb's religion survived. Most of the Báb's followers embraced Bahá'u'lláh's announcement that He was the One promised by the Báb. The religion, known as the Bahá'í Faith after Bahá'u'lláh's declaration, continued to expand although persecutions also continued
Bahá'ís celebrate the anniversary of the Báb’s declaration through prayers and programs where the story of His declaration may be retold. Because the Bahá'í day lasts from sunset to sunset, celebrations are usually held after sunset on May 22 or during the day on May 23.
Of all the tributes which Bahá’u’lláh’s unerring pen has chosen to pay to the memory of the Báb, His “Best-Beloved,” the most memorable and touching is this brief, yet eloquent passage which so greatly enhances the value of the concluding passages of that same epistle. “Amidst them all,” He writes, referring to the afflictive trials and dangers besetting Him in the city of Baghdád, “We stand life in hand wholly resigned to His Will, that perchance through God’s loving kindness and grace, this revealed and manifest Letter (Bahá’u’lláh) may lay down His life as a sacrifice in the path of the Primal Point, the most exalted Word (the Báb). By Him, at Whose bidding the Spirit hath spoken, but for this yearning of Our soul, We would not, for one moment, have tarried any longer in this city.”
The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh.
Since my MPhil/PhD theses topics are theodicy/the problem of evil, I thought I would take a few infamous quotes and look at them through the lens of my academic study.
Please feel free to provide your own quotes/citations in comments.
Death solves all problems - no man, no problem.
My comment and take on what is meant:
Human opposition to Stalinist communist political philosophy is a problem.
Death for such persons is preferred.
Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.
My comment and take on what is meant:
Thinking intellectuals could be a threat to Stalinist communist political philosophy.
Non-intellectual citizens are preferred.
Communism is not love. Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy.
My comment and take on what is meant:
Communism is rule by dictatorial, totalitarian force.
No one must be allowed to be a serious threat to the State.
Passivity is fatal to us. Our goal is to make the enemy passive.
My comment and counter to what is stated:
Communism is a threat to democracy.
Political freedoms should be maintained through diligence.
Propaganda must not serve the truth, especially as it might bring out something favorable for the opponent.
Adolf Hitler: Mein Kampf.
Below appears to be a more full citation:
Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own side. Mein Kampf, Chapter VI War Propaganda
Propaganda uses persuasian.
Propaganda appeals to emotion.
Propaganda uses filtered information.
It is not necessarily truth.
A few years ago I came up with the idea of putting the words promotion and propaganda together.
I am not stating that I am the originator of the word. But at that point I had never heard of it or seen it. I have since then seen it on the web elsewhere.
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. Oscar Wilde
On a British comedy T.V. program in 2004, Jonathan Ross stated that a Muslim extremist suicide bomber was expecting to be taken to heaven where he would be rewarded with 72 virgins. Instead he was given a 72 year old virgin.
The way of Biblical salvation and the ultimate benefits.
John 14:1-6 (New American Standard Bible)
1"(A)Do not let your heart be troubled; [a]believe in God, believe also in Me.
2"In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for (B)I go to prepare a place for you.
3"If I go and prepare a place for you, (C)I will come again and receive you to Myself, that (D)where I am, there you may be also.
4"And you know the way where I am going."
5(E)Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?"
6Jesus said to him, "I am (F)the way, and (G)the truth, and (H)the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Revelation 21:1-9 (New American Standard Bible)
1Then I saw (A)a new heaven and a new earth; for (B)the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.
2And I saw (C)the holy city, (D)new Jerusalem, (E)coming down out of heaven from God, (F)made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
3And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, (G)the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will (H)dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them[a],
4and He will (I)wipe away every tear from their eyes; and (J)there will no longer be any death; (K)there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; (L)the first things have passed away."
5And (M)He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am (N)making all things new " And He said, "Write, for (O)these words are faithful and true."
6Then He said to me, "(P)It is done I am the (Q)Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end (R)I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the (S)water of life without cost.
7"(T)He who overcomes will inherit these things, and (U)I will be his God and he will be My son.
8"(V)But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in (W)the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the (X)second death."
9(Y)Then one of the seven angels who had the (Z)seven bowls full of the (AA)seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, "(AB)Come here, I will show you the (AC)bride, the wife of the Lamb."
‘Abdu’l-Bahia, cited in “God Passes By”, pp. 238-39
(Baha'i Scriptures:'Abdu'l-Bahá, Individual Rights and Freedoms in the World Order
I will add some further comments within the audio.
Thanks. The short mps3 audio post is below and I provide some of the related text.
Blackburn writes that fideism takes a pessimistic view concerning the role of reason for achieving divine knowledge. The emphasis is instead on the merits of acts of faith. Blackburn (1996: 139).
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
'The term itself derives from fides, the Latin word for faith, and can be rendered literally as faith-ism.'
'Fideism” is the name given to that school of thought—to which Tertullian himself is frequently said to have subscribed—which answers that faith is in some sense independent of—if not outright adversarial toward—reason. In contrast to the more rationalistic tradition of natural theology, with its arguments for the existence of God, fideism holds that reason is unnecessary and inappropriate for the exercise and justification of religious belief.'
According to R.K. Johnston, fideism is a term used by Protestant modernists in Paris in the late 19th century. It is often used as a pejorative term to attack various strands of Christianity as forms of irrationalism. Johnston (1999: 415).
Johnston explains that the concept of fideism has little value as most theologians would not deny the use of reason. The term fideism is useful when it describes an excessive emphasis upon the subjective aspects of Christianity. Johnston (1999: 415).
Fideism can be religious and non-religious
It appears to me that many persons with both religious and non-religious worldviews at times concerning certain subjects are fideists. They operate with an over reliance on faith, as they rely heavily on the understanding of their own worldview and perspective at the expense of other views and evidence which may challenge their own ideas.
Fideism in an unorthodox fashion could be defined as faith over reason in the rejection of religious truth.
The my team is best (comfort as truth) approach is problematic
To use figurative language, just because someone is born onto the green team, or has had an intellectual and/or emotional experience with the green team and joined it, does not make the green team the team with the most truth in comparison to the blue, red, yellow, black, or white teams, etc.
Whether or not the green team is essentially correct in worldview is dependent on reason and evidence, and faith can be involved.
Faith has its place
I am not against faith. Christianity is dependent on reasonable faith, as God revealed himself historically through scribes, prophets, apostles and Christ himself. This took place over 1500 years and through various persons and in various regions. It was documented in Scripture and individual books were copied many times. There was also oral tradition. Christianity also relies on philosophy, as in, for example, the concept of first cause, and archaeology to verify that places described in the Bible actually existed as described.
There is not complete objectivity
I do not claim complete objectivity. In many ways we are made up of what we read, hear, and experience. But, in a sense all things are intellectually up for grabs, and up for intellectual challenge. We hold the primary doctrines of Christianity as essential and they can be defended well with Bible, theology and philosophy and at times other disciplines. We trust that God has revealed himself and is guiding his own through the Holy Spirit.
Lack of significant objectivity is intellectually deadly
In a fideistic approach human beings that insist something must be true will likely find an intellectual way for it to be true, no matter what the evidence. One should make as certain as possible that evidence is guiding one to conclusions concerning truth. Being guided by God in the process of finding truth is of course of primary importance.
I would therefore conclude that proper reasonable religious philosophy needs a heavy dose of rational thought that works with faith. In other words, it presents itself reasonably in order that more faith is warranted.
An example would be the documented Biblical, historical resurrection of Christ that is clearly presented in Scripture. It lends itself (1 Corinthians 15) to the theological concept that believers shall likewise one day too be resurrected within a reasonable faith.
BLACKBURN, SIMON (1996) Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
JOHNSTON, R.K.(1996) ‘Fideism’, in Walter A. Elwell (ed.) Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Grand Rapids, Baker Books.
Classic video revisited with more explanation
I saw this on the Tonight Show. Staged.