The Creation Of The Universe

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The Common Psychology and Forms of Behavior in Ignorantism (6/6)

14- Aggressive Attitudes in Ignorantism

Another requirement of the Religion of the Ignorant is to have an aggressive character, because being the winning party in any conflict is a matter of prestige. Being victorious is a sign of superior intelligence, strength or character. Being defeated is a sign of weakness. Therefore, people do all they can to emerge victorious from any conflict or debate.

Conflict is also regarded as an indicator of personality. If a person can stand up for himself in the face of a situation he does not like, then this—according to Ignorantism—shows that he possesses a strong character. Thus you can witness frequent scenes of strife among people who do not live by the true religion.

One of the most obvious arenas of such conflict is in traffic. Driving for even a quarter of an hour, you can encounter hundreds of attitudes peculiar to the Religion of the Ignorant.

In traffic, people tend to disparage drivers around them and do all they can to demonstrate how little worth they attach to them. They refuse to give way to one another. If someone behind them blows the horn, they regard this as an insult and deliberately drive very slowly, in order not to be browbeaten. They criticize all the other drivers around them, and frequently make rude hand signals. Whenever you take a taxi or a bus, you can often hear them shout inside their cars, "Are you blind? Keep your eyes open! You could get a battleship through there! You're not the only one in a hurry!"

The fiercest conflicts, thus the strongest reactions of Ignorantism, emerge in the wake of accidents. Invariably, when two cars crash into each other, each driver casts blame on the other. In all probability, the guilty party will strongly deny any responsibility. Both sides tend to put on displays of anger, shouting and trying to browbeat the other. If that fails, they put on temper tantrums, imagining that this will intimidate the other party into admitting guilt. If this, too, is insufficient, they may resort to physical violence to protect their image.

It is generally imagined that in situations of this kind people start fighting because they are unable to stop themselves. The fact is, however, that behavior of this sort is a requirement of the Religion of the Ignorant and is planned right down to the finest detail. People involved in traffic accidents have already learned by heart the gestures they will employ and even the words they will use as they get out of their vehicles. As soon as an accident takes place they automatically start implementing these rules they have learned by rote. These gestures and words, common to all parts of the world, are thus resorted to as a requirement of Ignorantism.

15- The Macho Spirit

Another common personality trait widespread among males in the Religion of the Ignorant is machismo.

Their macho spirit begins in adolescence and generally continues up to middle age, exerting a major effect on attitudes and behavior. These men have common attitudes and forms of behavior.

This personality trait has its own principles and in its advanced form, can become a philosophy and ethical system. It has its own rights and wrongs and its own virtues. Under this system, it is gravely immoral to cast one's eyes on the daughters of friends or neighbors. When this is done to someone not living locally, however, this is regarded as macho behavior. There is a superficial logic of protection of local women and daughters. In theory, rightness or honesty is an unchanging element of the macho spirit, but in practice, all kinds of falsehood are seen as cleverness and highly esteemed.

This wicked culture is generally based on proving oneself, so an aggressive state of mind predominates. Posing as a psychopath, sudden interventions, unbalanced behavior and being ready to fight at any moment are indications of how macho a man is. One method frequently resorted to is adopting an off-putting and exceedingly unbalanced appearance in order to be feared.

Their conversations generally concentrate on football, fighting or the opposite gender. It is highly esteemed to engage in long conversations discussing political, economic or social matters, with second-hand information obtained from print media.

The macho, with such individual traits as indifference and aggression, satisfies his social and ideological impulses with partisanship. A fanatical group psychology rules, manifesting itself in various forms, such as supporting a particular football team or group of friends, or being from the same area or town or same street. How such people protect and support one another is a component of macho ethics.

With increasing age, a man moves away from the macho mindset in direct proportion to the social, economic and cultural level he has achieved, and there is a move towards a new personality that altered circumstances require. For example, for people who haven't registered very much social improvement and who belong to a lower-class culture, the macho character becomes a complete identity as the result of the lack of character resulting from ignorance. People who know they'll be unable to rise to the top in society by means of their professions, culture and intelligence will give themselves airs and generally feel the need to cling to machismo with both hands. That mindset continues throughout their lives. Since this applies to a large section of the society they live in, the macho character constitutes the majority's personality structure. Rather than being regarded as odd, it receives support and acceptance.

Yet it is also worthy of mention that courage, protecting others and honesty, which are the attributes of this character type, are definitely admirable features. But the type of character described here does not live by the essence of these beautiful attributes, merely adopting a few examples of them as a pretense. Indeed, such people do not embrace these attributes as features of moral perfection.

16- The False Concept of Respect

We first need to examine the concept of respect revealed in the Qur'an, according to which a believer feels enormous respect for Allah, first and foremost.

Surah Al 'Imran refers to those "who stand in awe of Allah" (Surah Al 'Imran, 199). Surat al-Anbiya' says: "... They outdid one another in good actions, calling out to Us in yearning and in awe, and humbling themselves to Us" (Surat al-Anbiya', 90). In Surat al-Muminun, believers are described as "those who stand in reverent awe of their Lord" (Surat al-Muminun, 57). In other verses, respect is employed as a component of the sincere awe felt towards Allah.

The source of believers' feelings of respect, therefore, is the respect they feel for Allah. Respect shown for other human beings is a reflection of that fundamental respect. Since believers feel respect for Allah, they respect everyone who obeys Him and seeks to earn His approval—in other words, all believers. A believer never feels sincere respect for those who are unworthy of it—for those who deny Allah, who behave in a manner that contravenes His approval and who refuse to recognize Him. He treats them gently and speaks the best of words, but it is never possible for him to feel an inner respect for them.

The conception of respect in Ignorantism is of course totally different from the true concept of respect described in the Qur'an. The respect in believers, as already stated, is a genuine and sincere one stemming from respect for Allah. In the Religion of the Ignorant, on the other hand, it manifests itself in hypocritical forms of behavior founded on superficial models and formalistic relationships of mutual interest.

According to Ignorantism, showing respect implies courteous behavior and adopting regular models of speech. Respect is regarded as an attitude that helps a person obtain a place in society, whose duration and form are always changing according to the circumstances and person involved.

Since the philosophy of the Religion of the Ignorant is based upon hypocrisy and falsehood, respect is shown under compulsion and unwillingly. People merely endure the times when they are obliged to show respect. Respect is not part of their characters. From that point of view, Ignorantists feel most at ease in circumstances where they do not have to show respect for anyone and where they can easily reveal their true natures. Under those circumstances, a person's defects of style, distorted ethical understanding, and true feelings and attitudes about other people emerge.

Since the philosophy of the Religion of the Ignorant is based upon hypocrisy and falsehood, respect is shown under compulsion and unwillingly. People merely endure the times when they are obliged to show respect. Respect is not part of their characters. From that point of view, Ignorantists feel most at ease in circumstances where they do not have to show respect for anyone and where they can easily reveal their true natures. Under those circumstances, a person's defects of style, distorted ethical understanding, and true feelings and attitudes about other people emerge.

Environments perceived as "natural" have their own particular forms of intrusive behavior. The most obvious manifestations include opening the refrigerator in the kitchen of a stranger, someone one does not know, rummaging through a friend's room, opening a closet and trying on clothes, putting one's feet up on the furniture, assuming a recumbent posture when sitting down, being tactless under the guise of sincerity, speaking loudly, and swearing.

As we've seen, Ignorantism's ethical model is the exact opposite of all the moral principles revealed in the Qur'an. It has been forgotten that an account must be rendered to Allah and that people have been taken in by the baubles of the transitory life of this world. This society is ignorant, as described in the Qur'an, since it lives as if it is completely unaware of the existence of Allah and the Hereafter.

The sole arena for people in this society is the life of this world. But the fact is, the life of this world offers nothing but deception:

Know that the life of this world is merely a game and a diversion and ostentation and a cause of boasting among yourselves and trying to outdo one another in wealth and children: like the plant-growth after rain which delights the cultivators, but then it withers and you see it turning yellow, and then it becomes broken stubble. In the Hereafter there is terrible punishment but also forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure. The life of this world is nothing but the enjoyment of delusion. (Surat al-Hadid, 20)

An ignorant society that has forgotten Allah quickly produces a culture that takes the life of this world as its sole criterion. This culture contains superstitious beliefs handed down from its forebears, and countless rules based on relationships of mutual interests. The Religion of the Ignorant is the name of the culture in question.

Someone born into this society will adopt its culture over a long process of education. From the moment they acquire awareness, they are immersed in the culture of Ignorantism, first from their families and then from those around them. They increasingly learn to use others for their own personal interests, to look out for number one, and to seek goods and status. Members of the society of the ignorant do everything necessary to teach them how to prove themselves as "proper" men.

 

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