Saturday, 21 January 2017

Krazy Instructions

Today's entry is a reply from Dave after I sent him an article about Great Britain granting Shariat courts jurisdiction over Muslims in Great Britain, followed by a London Times editorial saying that "jurisdiction" was going a bit far but that the Shariat courts nevertheless exercise great pressure in the lives of Muslim citizens of Great Britain, such as pressuring Muslim women in one case to withdraw their complaint about not receiving an equal share as their brothers in their inheritance.

In the same letter to Dave, I mentioned that Edward Howard was doing a blog about the most important American comic strips in history. I mentioned that Howard had blogged about Krazy Kat and asked Dave where it was in Cerebus that he had done an homage to Krazy Kat. 

His handwritten reply by fax came on September 23, 2008:

--First, we have to figure out if there's a uniformity to Shariat law -- I'd be willing to guess there's a wide variety (Persian, Indonesian, Saudi, Shiite, Sunni, etc.)

--The Koran is very specific on inheritance but perplexing in its specificity (i.e., parents inherit from deceased children in priority over the deceased’s children -- from what I understand, this has been "glossed" in Islam in the same way that the Talmud "glosses" the Torah. If it's a crazy instruction then the entrenched priesthood finds a circuitous crazy argument to get around the specificity and the question is never revisited -- i.e., Shariat law specifies that children inherit from parents in direct contravention of what the Koran specifically says.

--My own view is that crazy instructions (in Christianity "Sell all that thou hast and give the money to the poor", if you would follow the Synoptic Jesus -- in Judaism "Stone to death someone caught gathering sticks on the Sabbath") are YHWH-inspired tests to prove men are evil allowed by God for that reason and that God is winning his point: You can't make men do something wrong over the long term just by telling them it's a direct instruction from God.


[Dave also noted that his Krazy Kat homage was page 122 of Going Home.]

And then Dave included a photocopy of pages 45 and 46 of (presumably) his copy of the Koran, noting: Hi Jeff -- The relevant texts from Sura IV "Women". Dave He bracketed verses 12, 13, 14, and 15.

With regard to your children, God commandeth you to give the male the portion of two females; and if they be females more than two, then they shall have two-thirds of that which their father hath left: but if she be an only daughter, she shall have the half; and the father and mother of the deceased shall each of them have a sixth part of what he hath left, if he have a child; but if he have no child, and his parents be his heirs, then his mother shall have the third: and if he have brethren, his mother shall have the sixth, after paying the bequests he shall have bequeathed, and his debts. As to your fathers, or your children, ye know not which of them is the most advantageous to you. This is the law of God. Verily, God is knowing, wise!

Half of what your wives leave shall be yours, if they have no issue; but if ye have issue, then a fourth of what they leave shall be yours, after paying the bequests they shall bequeath, and debts.

And your wives shall have a fourth part of what ye leave, if ye have no issue; but if ye have issue, then they shall have an eighth part of what ye leave, after paying the bequests ye shall bequeath, and debts.

If a man or a woman make a distant relation their heir, and he or she have a brother of a sister, each of these two shall have a sixth; but if there are more than this, then shall they be sharers in a third, after payment of the bequests he shall have bequeathed, and debts, [and it finishes in verse 16:]

Without loss to any one. This is the ordinance of God, and God is knowing, gracious!


Travis Pelkie said...

Shouldn't this be "Krazy" instructions, then? ;)

Didn't Dave also do some Krazy Kat backgrounds in the dream sequences towards the end of GUYS as well?

(Hmm, did Ger do any of the Krazy backgrounds?)

A Moment Of Cerebus said...

Absolutely! "Krazy" it is!

whc03grady said...

So if some Scriptural instruction seems crazy, then YHWH said it; if not, then God said it?

So much for the Divine as the font of moral truth :/


Dave Sim said...

whc03grady - "So much" -- I infer, personally -- is actually an unimaginable amount.

It helps to conceive of the creation of the earth (or any habitable planet) -- the construct within which the YHWH is confined (and YHWHs generally are confined) -- as the means by which God allows His rebel creations (I infer that's why we're out here: we're the ones who wouldn't accept that God was right) their side of the discussion and their opportunity to enact events in the way THEY think is Good.

The YHWH thinks he/she/it is God and is allowed to enact that role inside this little chunk of rock way out in the boonies with "his/her/its" "creations": us. (The YHWH didn't create us, but we were formed of the dust of the YHWH so, close enough for government work.)

God and YHWH both contributed to Scripture. The YHWH tended to take a dictatorial Draconian approach based on the YHWH's view that "the heart of man, evil from his youth." God's point is that we aren't evil by nature but we ARE free to make evil choices. One of which is "Then began men to call upon the name of the YHWH". But, that was up to us.

One of the core points of Scripture (so far as I can discern) is that we're supposed to figure out which is which. Some of them are easy and some of them are far from easy. Did God say this or did YHWH say this?

The Divine IS the font of moral truth, I think. The ONLY font of moral truth. What you choose to do with those moral truths and what you choose to call moral truth is something else again, I think. That's, I infer, why we're way out here instead of back where the Big Bang occurred. To prove to ourselves that God was right and we were wrong and to repent. Or to just keep making the same errors in judgement and be stuck out here when the sun goes nova and collapses into a black hole.

Dave Sim said...

Travis - No, Gerhard didn't do any of the Krazy Kat backgrounds. In retrospect, I think they would have looked more like Herriman a) if I didn't change nibs as often b) if I had discovered the Gillott 303 pen nib back then. I used to wonder, looking at Herriman's work in the few good black-and-white-shot-from-the-original-art-copies I had, "Where in the heck do you find a pen nib that behaves like a brush?"

Jeff Seiler said...

As to Dave's response to whc, I can only say: "What he said."

No matter what your personal beliefs are, or your actions thereunto, you will have to account, one day, to God, for them.

Let us try, always, to act as if we are trying to be judged less harshly.

God knows I need to improve on that front.

Don't we all?

Sorry, just got caught up by it all.

Dave Sim said...

As Bob Dylan sang back in his religious period, "It might be the Devil, or it might be the LORD, but you're gonna have to SERVE somebody." Personally, I just think he got the same being in both references.

I can DEFINITELY understand not wanting to see it that way. And if you don't see it that way, I sincerely hope everything works out the way you want it to.

Personally, I just can't see it any other way than the way I see it.

whc03grady said...

My point is that, if you have some mental faculty F which allows you to distinguish between moral instructions from God and fake (or "trick" or whatever you want to call them) moral instructions from YHWH, then you don't really *need* God's word (or to study God's word) to distinguish what's right and what's wrong. You just need F.


Dave Sim said...

Mitch - Which, I think, is God's point. We're CREATED with the aptitude to distinguish between right and wrong but we're also given free will to choose wrong if that's what we want to choose. The more you choose wrong, the less able you are to differentiate between right and wrong. Or to discern HOW wrong is TOO wrong. Or how to get back to right. But that's something that you do to yourself over time.

My own experience is that prayer, fasting, reading Scripture aloud, etc. (as much as possible to the exclusion of everything else) sharpen the differentiation faculty and allow you to see -- and pass -- greater and more subtly nuanced "distinction tests" when they arrive (as well as keeping the immediate "playing field" in your vicinity clear of debris) and help you to understand what your best choices is/are. What you're describing as mental faculty F.

My experience is that good self-discipline and reliability are their own reward in that way. And, consequently, the best use of free will that I've found. "Oh this is how this {i.e. Reality] works!!" Or, rather, Works.

But, all I can go by is my own experience.