[ExI] Music fails to chime with Islamic values

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 13 18:43:09 UTC 2010

I believe music becomes central to many religions and even ideologies (think of 
Plato or think of Soviet control over music) because music seems to rile people 
up -- for whatever reason -- or give them religious-like experience -- hence, 
competing with any official religion.* (I've read some of the evolutionary psych 
arguments for this. Regardless of their validity, even the ancients understood 
music had some influence over people.)



* A typical development in religions -- as it becomes more organized -- seems to 
be taking personal contact with religious states away from the average person 
and making these the purview of religious authorities and the state. This seems 
a simple enough process to understand. Just as earlier elites would ban 
rival astrologers -- who might predict the fall of a given elite -- so the same 
process goes for religious experiences. Whether this was a conscious thing -- 
such as leaders being aware rival forms of such experience might question their 
authority and the social order in general (if you and I can have such 
experiences, why should we listen to those guys over at the temple who ask for 
us to supply them with grain, goats, and money? if we have contact with the 
divine, why do we need them?) -- or just some sort of unconscious process -- 
such as elites that do ban such practices tend to be more successful at staying 
in power -- is, I believe, an open question.

----- Original Message ----
From: Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Fri, August 13, 2010 12:58:41 PM
Subject: Re: [ExI] Music fails to chime with Islamic values

On 4 August 2010 06:46, John Grigg <possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I found this somewhat surprising because normally music is used as a
> key means to indoctrinate believers (whatever the religion).

Monotheists (with the possible exception of Luther) always had a
problem with music, even though they regularly made efforts to
"domesticate" it and put it at the service of the Highest Good.

But I believe that The Guardian reads too much in the alleged
statement of Kamenei. In fact, he expressly proclaims music "halal"
(kosher, legal, orthodox) and limits himself to the usual conservative
mumble that the youth should not invest too much time in it. The
popes's distrust for what used to be called "one of the most dangerous
of Satan's seduction" has probably much been much harsher in average.

Let me add from personal experience that in Iran music is equally or
more ubiquitous than in Europe, and that nobody seems especially
scandalised by that.

Stefano Vaj
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