Assignment Four : LUSENET : Walsh Intro to Philosophy : One Thread

When I first read Tabataba'i's "Islam is the Road to Happiness" I was impressed by how devoted the author seemed. It is written in such a way to make Islam seem the only way to be happy. I disagree that any religion should sell themselves this way. The Islamic religion also is percieved through this piece to be unaccepting of abnormal ways of life. I find it hard to believe in a faith that compares people to a "normal" standard. However, I can see some of Tabataba'i's positive points. The idea of God's plan for us is a comforting one in many religions. When we are confused and distrought with our current situation, it is easy to just think that God will take care of everything if we just relax. The piece itself seems to reiterate the positive points of the Koran with little wisdom coming from Tabataba'i himself. I enjoyed Chittister's essay "The Rule: A Book of Wisdom" much more. I was not familiar with the Rule of Benedict before however, I was impressed with how the topic was approached. Catholism is so often seen as pushy and strict. I believe the author did the right thing by avoiding this. Right from the start she explains the that the goal of the rule is to guide rather that demand. The essay also bypasses other traditional Catholic routes such as prayer or attending mass. Chittister critisizes workaholics and pseudocontemplatives. She extolls bringing Holy Leisure into everyone's day. One of my favorite quotes from this essay is: "Time is all we have to make our lives bright-colored, warm, and rich." The aspect I appreciate the most is that Chittister strives for a balance between holy devotion and total enjoyment of one's environment.

-- Anonymous, March 01, 2000

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