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Rituals and Ethics

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    Rituals and Ethics

    You know when people play professional sports like cricket or tennis, there are 2 stages. One is practice and the other is the actual game. Players spend hours and hours on practice and then they go and play the game.
    This is good analogy for religious behavior.
    There are 2 stages of religious behaviors - rituals and moral acts. Rituals are like practice and moral acts are the game.
    All the things like namaz, roza, hajj and even what to eat and drink are ritual acts. The purpose of ritual acts is to sharpen our focus and awareness of God's will so that we can obey his will when we are faced with a moral decision and can can act morally.

    A player can practice for hours but if he fails to perform in the game then the practice is useless. Similarly, all ritual acts in of themselves are of no intrinsic value. Their value only comes when they lead to moral action.

    #2
    Morality is subjective, for a vegan eating beef would be immoral. , For most western people arranged marriages would be immoral, In Afghanistan a woman going out to but groceries without Mehram would be immoral. In Saudi Arabia up until now, women driving was immoral.

    Comment


    • MujtabaIK
      MujtabaIK commented
      Editing a comment
      Well I am not a Saudi citizen so I cannot speak for Saudi Arabia, and I will not do so.

      All I know is that it was the law of the land.

      But I have accepted the Hijab or the Islamic headscarf for women.

    #3
    Originally posted by krash View Post
    You know when people play professional sports like cricket or tennis, there are 2 stages. One is practice and the other is the actual game. Players spend hours and hours on practice and then they go and play the game.
    This is good analogy for religious behavior.
    There are 2 stages of religious behaviors - rituals and moral acts. Rituals are like practice and moral acts are the game.
    All the things like namaz, roza, hajj and even what to eat and drink are ritual acts. The purpose of ritual acts is to sharpen our focus and awareness of God's will so that we can obey his will when we are faced with a moral decision and can can act morally.

    A player can practice for hours but if he fails to perform in the game then the practice is useless. Similarly, all ritual acts in of themselves are of no intrinsic value. Their value only comes when they lead to moral action.

    Regardless of whether I agree or disagree on the topic its been since forever I saw a valuable substance here in R&P section. Thank you for the post
    Attitude is more important than facts.
    "Life is 10% what happens to us..and 90% of how we react to it"

    Comment


    • krash
      krash commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the encouragement. Perhaps I will post some more ideas on topics like these.

    #4
    Originally posted by krash View Post
    You know when people play professional sports like cricket or tennis, there are 2 stages. One is practice and the other is the actual game. Players spend hours and hours on practice and then they go and play the game.
    This is good analogy for religious behavior.
    There are 2 stages of religious behaviors - rituals and moral acts. Rituals are like practice and moral acts are the game.
    All the things like namaz, roza, hajj and even what to eat and drink are ritual acts. The purpose of ritual acts is to sharpen our focus and awareness of God's will so that we can obey his will when we are faced with a moral decision and can can act morally.

    A player can practice for hours but if he fails to perform in the game then the practice is useless. Similarly, all ritual acts in of themselves are of no intrinsic value. Their value only comes when they lead to moral action.
    As a matter of principle, agreed.

    But if the rituals of ibadah are sincerely performed they can have secondary effects. May take a while but yes they can. Just like you said practice makes a person better in sports. Not everyone becomes good in sports some take time.

    What I am saying that people have to be patient and not criticize those who might not be 'showing' morality yet performing the rituals.


    Also morality is in some ways unrelated to rituals or ibadah.
    Impress me..with your intelligence and wit. :-)

    Comment


    • krash
      krash commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes. I agree. I think you added more detail to what I said in a simplified form.

    #5
    Originally posted by krash View Post
    You know when people play professional sports like cricket or tennis, there are 2 stages. One is practice and the other is the actual game. Players spend hours and hours on practice and then they go and play the game.
    This is good analogy for religious behavior.
    There are 2 stages of religious behaviors - rituals and moral acts. Rituals are like practice and moral acts are the game.
    All the things like namaz, roza, hajj and even what to eat and drink are ritual acts. The purpose of ritual acts is to sharpen our focus and awareness of God's will so that we can obey his will when we are faced with a moral decision and can can act morally.

    A player can practice for hours but if he fails to perform in the game then the practice is useless. Similarly, all ritual acts in of themselves are of no intrinsic value. Their value only comes when they lead to moral action.
    The sports analogy is incorrect for the following reasons:

    1. In a sports context, if you perform in the match, your absence from practice can be overlooked. Islamically speaking, if you neglect namaz, roza, hajj and eating and drinking halal, then that in itself is morally deficient. There are different duties according to religion and neglecting what you are referring to as rituals means the duties in question remain unfulfilled, and the person doing so is still accountable for them, regardless of whether they are otherwise acting "morally" or not.
    2. If you lose the match, and you didn't attend practice, that will still count as something that you should have done but didn't.




    Tell your assassin to aim for her head...because she doesn't have a heart.

    Comment


    • krash
      krash commented
      Editing a comment
      I understand what you are saying here. This is indeed the traditional, mainstream understanding of ritual acts i.e. rituals have their own reward and ethical behavior has its own rewards.
      What I am trying to say is that perhaps we should re-evaluate this understanding. Maybe, God doesn't want us to do rituals for their own sake but as means to ethical behavior.
      Otherwise, we see the ridiculous situations where we see people balance their ethical lapses with ritual acts instead of reforming their behavior. We also see people so occupied with rituals that ethical behavior is neglected altogether.
      I think such behavior is actually against the true spirit of religion.

    • Captain Obvious
      Captain Obvious commented
      Editing a comment
      If on the other hand, ritual obligations were neglected while people are particular about "ethical" obligations, then the ethical obligations would not make up for the lapse in the ritual obligations either. So both need to be observed.

    • krash
      krash commented
      Editing a comment
      This is exactly the point that I think should be re-evaluated

    #6
    Originally posted by Captain Obvious View Post

    The sports analogy is incorrect for the following reasons:

    1. In a sports context, if you perform in the match, your absence from practice can be overlooked. Islamically speaking, if you neglect namaz, roza, hajj and eating and drinking halal, then that in itself is morally deficient. There are different duties according to religion and neglecting what you are referring to as rituals means the duties in question remain unfulfilled, and the person doing so is still accountable for them, regardless of whether they are otherwise acting "morally" or not.
    2. If you lose the match, and you didn't attend practice, that will still count as something that you should have done but didn't.



    Yes.

    My last sentence above goes along with you.

    Good explanation.
    Impress me..with your intelligence and wit. :-)

    Comment

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