Author by : Jon-Aruld Johannessen, Ph.D.
Languange : en
Publisher by : Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Description : The Bible's Satanic verses are the third of the four pillars of religion that have contributed to the development of the concepts of obedience and evil in Western culture. The first pillar is the story of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise due to their disobedience to God. The second is the story of Abraham's obedience to God. Abraham was willing to obey God and sacrifice his son Isaac. In view of Abraham's obedience, God ultimately did not require him to sacrifice Isaac. These first two stories, which form the basis of the Western culture of obedience, are about obedience to God. The Satanic verses introduce the concept of obedience to civil authorities. The two stories about obedience to God, together with Paul's call for obedience to civil authorities, comprise three of the foundation pillars of the Western culture of obedience. The fourth pillar is the military system. The Church has established a hierarchical regime that has its basis in these foundations. As a result, obedience has become an integral part of Western culture. Today, we know from, among other things, the research of Milgram and Zimbardo, together with Hanna Arendt's studies of evil during World War II, that obedience and evil are closely related concepts. The Satanic verses have persuaded many Christians, including priests, bishops and other representatives of the Church, to obey Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, and other tyrants and despots. Today, the Satanic verses are used as an argument in support of the death penalty. In this way, Jesus's message of love has become, by means of seven simple verses in Paul's epistles, an argument that is used to support killing people. The purpose of this book is to get to grips with the Pauline impulse. This is an historic impulse that has oppressed and excluded people, and created an intolerant version of Christianity. It has also established obedience as a fundamental principle in Western culture. As a consequence, Jesus's message of love has become a tool for evil. This Pauline impulse has been instrumental in the destruction of the lives of millions of people throughout history. Pauline Christianity versus Christian faith is expressed in, among other places, the Satanic verses. The theologian Myers, one of the leading authorities on the Epistle to the Romans, says that the Satanic verses "[have] caused much needless suffering and much misery even in the 20th century". To emphasize how Christians have interpreted the Satanic verses in practice up until our own times, the following quotation from Myers is illustrative: "In fact, many Christians in Hitler's Germany appealed to this text [the Satanic verses] as the decisive biblical warrant for obedience to the Nazi regime". The point cannot be made more clearly. Right up until the present day, the Satanic verses have been used to argue that evil should be allowed to develop. The underlying hypothesis of this book may be expressed as follows: If too much emphasis is given to obedience, then this may provide the fundament for evil because obedience and evil are two sides of the same coin. However, an important point to remember when understanding this hypothesis is to make a distinction between obedience and discipline. Obedience is related to following orders. Discipline is related to following a knowledgeable authority.