All posts by v.depalo

The Qur’an

Consider the depiction of justice and mercy throughout the sections of the Qur’an found in the anthology.

It is indubitable that the qur’an preaches hate towards non-muslims. The qur’an clearly and consistently condemns non-believers in a rather violent, primitive, and intolerant manner for their disbelief. It does not afford them justice nor mercy. The qur’an affords just a select few justice and mercy — others are subject to violence and torture. The lack of justice and mercy for Jews in the qur’an is evident when the it preaches “the Jews who listen eagerly to lies and to those who have not even met you, who distort the meanings of [revealed] words and say [to each other], ‘If you are given this ruling, accept it, but if you are not, then beware!’—if God intends some people to be so misguided, you will be powerless against God on their behalf. These are the ones whose hearts God does not intend to cleanse—a disgrace for them in this world, and then a heavy punishment in the Hereafter—they listen eagerly to lies and consume what is unlawful. If they come to you [Prophet] for judgement, you can either judge between them, or decline—if you decline, they will not harm you in any way, but if you do judge between them, judge justly: God loves the just—but why do they come to you for judgement when they have the Torah with God’s judgement, and even then still turn away? These are not believers.” The qur’an crucifies Jews and Christians of their justice when it says “You who believe, do not take the Jews and Christians as allies, they are allies only to each other. Anyone who takes them as an ally becomes one of them—God does not guide such wrongdoers.” “Those who reject faith and deny our revelations will inhabit the blazing fire” clearly expresses that non-muslims or muslims who “mistake” jews and christians as allies will be sentenced to hell, thus stripping them of the justice and mercy afforded only to those who believe in the qur’ans preachings. The qur’an further denies Jews mercy when it refers to them as “Those God distanced from Himself, was angry with, and condemned as apes and pigs, and those who worship idols: they are worse in rank and have strayed further from the right path.” There are countless more examples of the lack of justice and mercy toward non-muslims in the qur’an but quite frankly I find it unnecessary to hand pick every single instance where this occurs. The duplicity that exists in the qur’an when it refers to justice and mercy explains so much about the violence and terror that exists in the world both historically and presently.


How is the sanctity of marriage portrayed throughout the narrative?

The Ramayana contrasts two very different forms of marriage throughout its narrative. For Rama and Sita, it is seen as a bond that is sacred and cherished. But for the other characters, the bond of marriage is followed loosely – as many of them have several wives and do not see polygamy as an issue. It is interesting how the contrast between Rama and Sita and the rest of the characters is the complete opposite of what we believe a marriage should be. Monogamy is almost taboo for them. The consequences of a monogamous relationship in the Ramayana seem to encourage polygamy – at least in Sita’s case.

Sappho’s notion of love

Describe how Plato, Sappho, and/or Catullus conceive of love (and/or friendship). You can choose to only discuss one of the three works or compare two or three of them. You can also choose to focus more specifically on either the lover or the beloved if you like.

Sappho’s notion of love is filled with negativity; anger, jealousy, alienation. Moreover, she strays from the traditional sense of love and instead embraces homosexuality, a subject that I would imagine was condemned at the time. Poem 94 “I simply want to be dead / Weeping she left me” portrays the powerful feelings Sappho had for another woman, but the lack of reciprocity from her female lover leaves her feeling alienated and angry. In Poem 16, Sappho emphasizes that love is more important than war, and yearns for her lover Anaktoria, who is now gone — “I would rather see her lovely step / and the motion of light on her face / than chariots of Lydians or ranks / of foot soldiers in arms.” As shown in fragment 51, Sappho is able to express these extreme feelings of love when she says “I don’t know what to do / two states of mind in me.” She masterfully evokes a sense of distance from her lover and herself.