At the end of Chapter 1, Mr. Mangalwadi writes, “[t]oday, many people reject the Bible because they consider it to be irrational and irrelevant. Others believe it to be responsible for racial prejudices, sectarian bigotries, slavery, the oppression of women, the persecution of witches, opposition to science, the destruction of the environment, discrimination against homosexuals, and religious wars.” (22).
1. In your experience, what is the most common or pervasive reason (even if it is not listed above) for people to reject the Bible? Can you explain why this may be?
2. In general, do you see people from different cultures embracing or rejecting the Bible? What are the reasons? Explain your position.
In Chapter 1, entitled “The West Without Its Soul”, Mr. Mangalwadi writes about the Seattle musician Kurt Cobain, who became a major celebrity during the early 1990’s when his band’s “grunge” music brought alternative rock to the mainstream music audience. Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994. Mr. Mangalwadi compares the upbringing and worldview of Kurt Cobain with that of classical musician Johann Sebastian Bach. He also looks at the history of music in culture to paint a bigger picture of culture.
Based on the reading and using your own insights, answer one of the three question sets below:
Why is “never mind” a logical virtue for a nihilist? Why did Kurt Cobain’s music appeal to contemporary America? Where do you see expressions of this “never mind” attitude in culture today? What are some of the dangers of such a view?
2. “Music as a natural part of life”
Why is music a natural part of life to the Western mind? How is this reflected at Oxford and Cambridge? How (and why) is music restricted in many countries? What reason does Mr. Mangalwadi give for Buddhism leaving no discernible musical tradition? Do you agree or disagree with his reasoning?
3. “The Amputation of the Soul”
To conclude Chapter 1, Mr. Mangalwadi expresses concern that today, the western educational machinery can make good robots but cannot even define a good man. Describe and discuss this problem, where you have seen evidence of it, and possible solution(s) to the problem.