Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog know that I consider all religion to be mythology and that none of the world’s “holy books” should be taken literally. Most religions are civilized enough that their practicioners can deal with that viewpoint, no matter how angry it makes them. We all know which religion would be the one exception and the book The Closing of the Muslim Mind by Robert R Reilly provides a great deal of insight about that religion.

Reilly’s book covers the conflict between religious literalists and rationalists in the Muslim word from the 9th century C.E. to the 11th century C.E. Obviously, the literalists won and ensured that the Muslim world would be pretty much the global version of America’s own Red States all the way up to the present day. At present, the American Left is too spineless to address this issue and the American Right has credibility problems because of the Christian kooks in their own ranks, so books like this don’t get the mainstream attention they deserve. This book is well worth it and is available at Amazon.com and elsewhere.  



Filed under opinion


  1. Zar

    The main problem I have is that you pit Reason agaisnt Religion as if they are opposites, with peopel who have no Relgiion beign on the side of Reason, and those hwo are Religious beign understood to have rejected Reason.

    I find this to be mroe propagandistic than reality. I don’t even beleive that Atheism makes one nonReligious. I am nto saying “Lack of beleif in a god” is a Relgiion, I am sayign that Atheistic Philosophies that ae designed too do exactly th same thing a Religion does are Religions, so I say Secular Humanism, Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, and Neitches hilosophy are all Religions in and of themselves, not Non-Religious Philosophies and alternatives to Religion.

    I also don’t understand why one has ot think “Religious peopel” don’t use Reason or that Reason is in Conflict with Relgiion. It’s uttelry impossible for me to beleive this given that loads of books written by Theologians and ohilosophers actually do give perfeclty Rationale xplanatiosn fr all their beleifs. Relgiion shudl nto be equted wth unthinkign obedience or irratioanlity, just as Atheism shoudl neither be confused with Rationality nor with Irreligion.

    • In my opinion they are pretty much opposites. Especially when looking at literalists. I can’t consider anyone rational if they really believe the supernatural events depicted in any of the world’s holy books, including the Koran, actually happened.

      Religion has pretty much always been a backward-looking, reactionary force opposed to reason and scientific progress.

      Political zealots are getting just as bad, I agree, and I’ve written about that topic several times already. Their approach to politics is every bit as hysterical and irrational as any religion. I can’t really classify them as religious people, however, so I use the term political zealots for clarity’s sake. My posts on that topic reach out to reasonable people who are able to discuss the issues without the childish “good guys vs the bad guys” mentality that liberals and conservatives have.

  2. Woman

    Sounds like it would be an interesting book!!! If I ever come across it here, I’ll be sure to pick it up!!!

  3. I think I’ll have to look for this one – at present I am reading The God Delusion which has me riveted…and makes so much sense !!

  4. Pingback: Alana

  5. It’s good to see someone have the courage to point out how barbarically backward Islam is.

  6. Keep on posting these, please! It’s like a nice book club covering the way Islam is at least as backward as Christianity.

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