Tuesday, May 15, 2007

On Preternaturally Unperturbable Faiths: Bahai and Amish

"Amish School," uploaded on November 10, 2006 by cindy47452 on flickr

How is this for a descriptive phrase for Baha'is: "preternaturally unperturbable"? What a lovely
complement, and certainly something to aspire to, as in, to be "radiantly acquiescent"! -gw

The atheist seems to suffer from the curse of all humanists: namely the lack of any gift of discernment between religions (or cultures for that matter.) That Hitchens, et al. would lump preternaturally unperturbable faiths such as the Baha'i or the Amish in the same category as radical Islam suggests a seemingly deliberate effort to make their point by obfuscation rather than argumentation.

Walter, "The atheists are coming!! The atheists are coming!!" Matters of Manner and Type

"Leaves of One Tree Baha'i School," Flitzy Phoebie


Barney said...

"Preternaturally unperturbable" is very much the view of someone who sees Baha'is as a single, undifferentiated, group of people. I know Baha'is who are preternaturally unperturbable. 'Abdul-Baha was preternaturally unperturbable. I also know Baha'is who are highly perturbable. Like any other group of humans, we all have different personal characteristics. I'm not sure that the Faith itself can be said to be "preternaturally unperturbable" - I think that's a category mistake.

The quote about atheists and humanists also lumps together widely diverse people with a single and possibly prejudiced statement. I certainly know atheists who lack the gift of discernment between religions; I know atheists who discern between religions very well. I also know religious people who lack the gift of discernment and assume that all religions behave as theirs does.

Walter Grandberry said...

To be sure, if we took a nonspecific sample of any population (ie: chocolate lovers, members of Baha'i or random bloggers), you would find the both the "preternaturally unperturbable" and the "highly perturbable" and various shadings of perturbability in between. My intention was not to make unfounded generalizations about the Baha'i - or for that matter, atheists or humanists. Of course, perturbability is a relative term; I believe it is safe that relative to al-Qaeda's brand of radical Islam, Baha'i (and Christianity) are benign.

Matters of Manner and Type