Religion

For the serious discussion of weighty matters and worldly issues. No off-topic posts allowed.

Moderators: Azrael, Moderators General, Prelates

The Mighty Thesaurus
In your library, eating your students
Posts: 4399
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:47 am UTC
Location: The Daily Bugle

Re: Religion

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Sat Nov 10, 2007 12:58 am UTC

aleflamedyud wrote:I don't know about other people, but if someone wants something different from me and no moral compulsion exists (like helping a third party in need or they're doing something Really Evil I'm obligated to prevent) to force them into my way, I let them do what they want. Why make unnecessary strife?


If God has no feelings one way or the other you say "live and let live"? Then why would you be a douche bag without a divinely ordained morality?
LE4dGOLEM wrote:your ability to tell things from things remains one of your skills.
Weeks wrote:Not only can you tell things from things, you can recognize when a thing is a thing

Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam

Tchebu
Posts: 564
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:42 am UTC
Location: Montreal

Re: Religion

Postby Tchebu » Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:06 am UTC

Damn right I am, which is why those interpretations don't carry anywhere near the authority of direct commands.


Like the sabbath right?...

According to the available accounts, they were actually doing quite a lot of those things until they were told to stop. We weren't very nice people, you know.


They didn't really stop either... Like I said, if you say that without God-given laws society would be a pile of crap, did the Jews get a sudden increase in quality of life after Mount Sinai?
Our universe is most certainly unique... it's the only one that string theory doesn't describe.

zar
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:26 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby zar » Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:12 am UTC

My question to aleflamedyud seems to have gone ignored, but I think it's important, so I will re-ask it:
On what objective basis do you reject one claim of God's will over another claim of his will? (i.e. how do you objectivity decide if God allows x or if God forbids x?)

jmce
.
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:26 am UTC

Re: Religion

Postby jmce » Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:19 am UTC

@alef: my title comment wasn't a jab at you, but a response to gmalivuk's assertion that "Demanding things of the mods, especially after telling them to sod off, is a fantastic way of ensuring that you will never get anything like what you request". In other words, I want an awesome title for myself (making no judgement on the awesomeness or otherwise of your title). Savvy?

Now, in response to your actual post: do you prefer being able make other people unhappy and having them able to make you unhappy, over a "do unto others" situation in which people (theoretically) do their best to improve others' lives? In my view, the latter is more likely to make you contented in the long run as well.

It's the blacklist/whitelist argument again: only doing things that aren't bad* versus only doing things that are good. There's a world of difference between these two approaches. You might argue that without religion we can have no clue about what is "good", and I don't know how to convince you that most of us do. Most but not all of us do, just as most but not all religious people don't pervert the teachings of their God and use them to excuse crimes against humanity ... but some do.

* Okay, and doing the Required good things, but only under duress.
chaosspawn wrote:...a computer screen still can't hug you.

User avatar
Maurog
Posts: 842
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:58 am UTC

Re: Religion

Postby Maurog » Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:00 am UTC

Damn right I am, which is why those interpretations don't carry anywhere near the authority of direct commands.

And that's the whole point, isn't it? Even if we choose the wisest men to try and interpret the word of God, they just can't do it right, because they are mere mortals. At best, you will have a thousand different interpretations from a thousand different wise men, so when choosing morality, people will just pick the wise men they like and say "I follow this" (warning: this actually happened). How is that different from just picking your own morality to begin with? Once you say "I am allowed to do this and that, cause I follow the teachings of Rabbi Liberalstein rather than Rabbi Conservativestein", you just took what you feel is right and gave it a tangible form as a set of rules, which is (surprise surprise) what atheists do all along.

No, the only way to have a divine morality that moves with the times, is have a set of rules which God Himself updates from time to time. But it appears we live in a time without prophets, so by lack of customer support, one would assume the whole divine morality project was abandoned. So of course the competition is on the rise now, what, you didn't think religion follows the rules of free market?
Slay the living! Raise the dead! Paint the sky in crimson red!

jmce
.
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:26 am UTC

Re: Religion

Postby jmce » Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:54 pm UTC

Nicely done. Very nicely done.
chaosspawn wrote:...a computer screen still can't hug you.

Hameed
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:54 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby Hameed » Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:49 pm UTC

One thing to note about religious texts is that there are certain things that are open to interpretation and there are others that are not. For example, the oneness of God. Its stated in clear terms in the religious texts of the three main monotheistic faiths (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) that there is only one God. Now, there are other things that are left open for interpretation purposefully, these things are there for us to contemplate and reflect, they will never be core beliefs, however they will be open enough to be interpreted in different times and different situations.

To answer your second question, if you look at widely accepted prophets then the last one would be prophet mohamed about 1400 years ago. The interesting thing about this prophet is that his message was guaranteed against corruption by God as one of the miracles he brought. I would also argue that humanity as a whole has become a lot more civilized in the last 1000 years than they were 2000, or even 4000 years ago. Ability to retain and broadcast information, better technology - these things have made it easier to not lose whatever messages have been revealed.

zenten
Posts: 3799
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:42 am UTC
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Religion

Postby zenten » Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:53 pm UTC

Hameed wrote:One thing to note about religious texts is that there are certain things that are open to interpretation and there are others that are not. For example, the oneness of God. Its stated in clear terms in the religious texts of the three main monotheistic faiths (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) that there is only one God. Now, there are other things that are left open for interpretation purposefully, these things are there for us to contemplate and reflect, they will never be core beliefs, however they will be open enough to be interpreted in different times and different situations.

To answer your second question, if you look at widely accepted prophets then the last one would be prophet mohamed about 1400 years ago. The interesting thing about this prophet is that his message was guaranteed against corruption by God as one of the miracles he brought. I would also argue that humanity as a whole has become a lot more civilized in the last 1000 years than they were 2000, or even 4000 years ago. Ability to retain and broadcast information, better technology - these things have made it easier to not lose whatever messages have been revealed.


That only works if you're Muslim though (or Baha'i or whatever).

User avatar
Maurog
Posts: 842
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:58 am UTC

Re: Religion

Postby Maurog » Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:16 pm UTC

Protected against corruption doesn't mean it moves with the times, which was my point.

A simple example: how does Mohammed feel about space exploration? As I understand, one of the days of the week is sacred to Islam. Friday, right? There are no Fridays in space, and if you land, say, on Mars, the days and years are completely different from Earth ones. What must a muslim do in space or on Mars? Also, I foresee kneeling in the direction of Mecca will be problematic.

How would a devout believer get an answer? There are no current rules, and playing a game of WWMD just leads to the situation I described in my previous post.

Now that I think about it, I've yet to see a religious text that concerns itself with future rules. As in "when you guys discover flying cars, always give the lowest driver right of way" or "don't starve your robots, plug them into recharge hypercubes at least twice a day". The texts suspiciously concern only stuff that's relevant to the era they were written in. Which would make sense if we had prophets to keep them up to date, but doesn't make sense now.
Slay the living! Raise the dead! Paint the sky in crimson red!

zar
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:26 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby zar » Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:26 pm UTC

Hameed wrote:One thing to note about religious texts is that there are certain things that are open to interpretation and there are others that are not. For example, the oneness of God. Its stated in clear terms in the religious texts of the three main monotheistic faiths (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) that there is only one God. Now, there are other things that are left open for interpretation purposefully, these things are there for us to contemplate and reflect, they will never be core beliefs, however they will be open enough to be interpreted in different times and different situations.

Having a baseless belief that happens to be shared with other religions doesn't change the fact that it's a baseless belief. Being consistent in your own particular religion with a baseless belief doesn't change the fact that it's still a baseless belief.

To answer your second question, if you look at widely accepted prophets then the last one would be prophet mohamed about 1400 years ago. The interesting thing about this prophet is that his message was guaranteed against corruption by God as one of the miracles he brought. I would also argue that humanity as a whole has become a lot more civilized in the last 1000 years than they were 2000, or even 4000 years ago. Ability to retain and broadcast information, better technology - these things have made it easier to not lose whatever messages have been revealed.

First, it being widely accepted says nothing about the truth of it. Second, what is more reasonable to believe: that the Prophet Mohamed was re-dictated bits of the Old and New Testaments by an angel, or that Islam is simply a plagiarism of Christianity and Judaism? Finally, why would the God of All have it dictated in such a way that it can only be properly understood in Arabic? (And why didn't that angel bother to tell Mohamed that having sex with nine-year-olds is not acceptable?)

Hameed
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:54 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby Hameed » Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:35 pm UTC

The whole point of a religious text is that it shouldn't have to move with time. For one thing according to Islamic religious texts Mohamed ascended to heaven itself as one of his miracles. To address the question you brought up about Friday's and prayer - with modern technology it would be quite possible to keep track of earth time and to calculate based on your position which direction you should be oriented in to be directed towards Earth while praying.

The content should be applicable for all time. In the example you brought up, sure there are no rules on how to deal with flying cars of the future, but there are rules for making traveling easier on a Muslim traveller. And there fundamental truths that are revealed in scripture - such as the process of embryo development in the womb or the arrangement of the stars.

zenten
Posts: 3799
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:42 am UTC
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Religion

Postby zenten » Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:37 pm UTC

Hameed wrote: And there fundamental truths that are revealed in scripture - such as the process of embryo development in the womb or the arrangement of the stars.


I'm really going to need to see a citation on that.

zar
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:26 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby zar » Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:43 pm UTC

OK, when you bring up the nonsense "science" in the Koran, you really start sounding like a fundamentalist. I've got to ask you: what do you think should be done to apostates? Do you agree with what the Hadith says, that they should be killed?
Last edited by zar on Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:51 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Maurog
Posts: 842
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:58 am UTC

Re: Religion

Postby Maurog » Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:48 pm UTC

...it would be quite possible to keep track of earth time and to calculate based on your position which direction you should be oriented...
It is possible. The question is whether it's the right thing to do when you live on a different planet. Going by Earth Fridays when you live on Mars means it will not be every seven days, because Mars days are different. Your prayers will fall on odd times, because of the constant shift.

If you interpret it as Earth Fridays, and someone else as "one out of every seven Mars days", who is right? What is the protocol for the direction of Mecca changing in mid-prayer? It's bound to happen at some point.

Extrapolation of rules for making traveling easier on flying cars or anything else is human interpretation. Each wise man will get it wrong in another way, trust me.
Slay the living! Raise the dead! Paint the sky in crimson red!

zenten
Posts: 3799
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:42 am UTC
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Religion

Postby zenten » Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:00 pm UTC

Maurog wrote:
...it would be quite possible to keep track of earth time and to calculate based on your position which direction you should be oriented...
It is possible. The question is whether it's the right thing to do when you live on a different planet. Going by Earth Fridays when you live on Mars means it will not be every seven days, because Mars days are different. Your prayers will fall on odd times, because of the constant shift.

If you interpret it as Earth Fridays, and someone else as "one out of every seven Mars days", who is right? What is the protocol for the direction of Mecca changing in mid-prayer? It's bound to happen at some point.

Extrapolation of rules for making traveling easier on flying cars or anything else is human interpretation. Each wise man will get it wrong in another way, trust me.


Heck, the Earth's rotation is slowing down (slowly). Assuming that Islam lasts long enough, will prayers be based on the calendar at the time of Mohamed, or will it be based on the daylight patterns then?

daydalus
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:05 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby daydalus » Tue Nov 13, 2007 5:34 pm UTC

answering the tangent: http://www.wired.com/science/space/news ... a_in_orbit is how a Muslim Astronaut faces Mecca while praying.

daydalus
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:05 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby daydalus » Tue Nov 13, 2007 5:44 pm UTC

Hameed wrote:The whole point of a religious text is that it shouldn't have to move with time.


The text itself won't change but the way we apply it depends on our culture, environment, etc. This is why the "core" spiritual tenets of most religious texts are very metaphorical and vague. It makes them more open to interpretation and therefore stable over longer periods of time.

Over a long period of time, the Religion will branch out until there are different sects that interpret the vague parts in different ways. For example, look at all the splits the Christian faith has taken over nit-picky issues like the Trinity, Predestination, the authority of the Priesthood/Church. Conversely, fundamentalism gains power when the core tenets of the faith are diluted by secularism. This cycle continues and the religion will change over multiple generations.

zar
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:26 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby zar » Tue Nov 13, 2007 5:52 pm UTC

Fundamentalism is the fault of secularism?

First holy wars were the fault of secularism, and now fundamentalism. Is there any problem of religion that can't be blamed on those damn atheists?

User avatar
Maurog
Posts: 842
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:58 am UTC

Re: Religion

Postby Maurog » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:06 pm UTC

That's also a funny issue. None of the current monotheistic canon has any mention of atheists and how to deal with them specifically. Because, when it was written, there weren't any. It's very clear what to do with people believing in other gods (convert them, kill them, trade with them... lots of rules), but the prophets of these ancient times pretty much failed to predict secularity. In Judaism, I think, the "wise men" rule invoked on atheist Jews is an extrapolated case of finding a man raised by the wolves and as such unfamiliar with the concept of God.

All in all, I find it very amusing.
Slay the living! Raise the dead! Paint the sky in crimson red!

daydalus
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:05 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby daydalus » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:23 pm UTC

Fundamentalism is the fault of secularism?


Yep, read about this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sayyid_Qutb

Extremist need something to rail against in order to set themselves apart from the mainstream.

edit: Secularism doesn't necessarily mean Atheism. Its more of a spectrum of world view that places less importance on the spiritual/religious.

zar
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:26 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby zar » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:27 pm UTC

Xenophobia and religion caused that guy to react negatively to "Western" culture. It's anything but the fault of secularism that he was a bigoted, xenophobic, religious fundamentalist.

zenten
Posts: 3799
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:42 am UTC
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Religion

Postby zenten » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:30 pm UTC

daydalus wrote:
Fundamentalism is the fault of secularism?


Yep, read about this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sayyid_Qutb

Extremist need something to rail against in order to set themselves apart from the mainstream.

edit: Secularism doesn't necessarily mean Atheism. Its more of a spectrum of world view that places less importance on the spiritual/religious.


Heck, one could argue that you can be a non-secular atheist. Like say if you ban religion in a country.

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby Belial » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:31 pm UTC

None of that really makes extremism the "fault" of secularism.

Anymore than racism is the "fault" of black people. Yes, it would be impossible to be racist if no one in the world was a different race than yourself, but that's not the world we live in, and ultimately it's your fault that you can't deal with difference.
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

Hameed
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:54 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby Hameed » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:31 pm UTC

Earth as described in the Bible:
Job 26:7
He stretches out the north over empty space;
He hangs the earth on nothing.

Source: http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/science.shtml

Embryo in Qur'an:
We created man from an extract of clay. Then We made him as a drop in a place of settlement, firmly fixed. Then We made the drop into an alaqah (leech, suspended thing, and blood clot), then We made the alaqah into a mudghah (chewed substance)... (Quran, 23:12-14)

Source: http://www.islam-guide.com/ch1-1-a.htm

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby Belial » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:33 pm UTC

Of course, that only describes fetal development the way the "demon locusts" in revelations describe attack choppers:

If you're vague enough with your predictions, you can make *nearly* any reality fit.
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

Hameed
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:54 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby Hameed » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:34 pm UTC

Decree for Apostates of Islam [sorry for the long post, but this requires a detailed answer]

The Prophet said, "Whoever replaces his religion, execute him."

In order to understand this issue, we need to examine the Islamic law on apostasy. Since religion is looked on as a personal affair in western society, the notion of state intervention in one's personal choice would naturally seem excessive. However, from the Islamic perspective, a number of points must be observed with regard to apostasy:

1. Islam has never compelled anyone to accept the religion. Anyone who becomes a Muslim does so purely through objective study of the religion. As Allah has informed us in the Qur'an:

2:256 There is no compulsion in religion.
10:99 So would you (O Muhammad) then compel people to become believers?

Likewise, Islam encourages its followers to reflect and contemplate upon the universe around us and to ponder over the beauty of the Qur'anic message:

47:24 Do they not ponder over the Qur'an or are their hearts locked up?

51:20-21. And on earth are signs for those endowed with inner-certainty; and [likewise there are signs] in yourselves, do you not observe?

29:20 Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.

Thus, Islam requires that one's faith be constructed upon logical investigation and study of the universe in which we live. Through logical contemplation, one realizes the supreme authority of the Creator and the veracity of Muhammad's (saws) claim to prophethood. Thus we find that, in the history of Islam, no knowledgeable Muslim has ever left Islam. The only cases we find of former Muslims are people who were never practicing Muslims in the first place, nor did they ever have a good understanding of Islam. Yet on the other hand, the list of educated converts to Islam is immense, and it includes educated leaders such as priests, rabbis and atheists.

2. Those who have left Islam have historically fallen under three categories: those who left having never properly understood the religion often due to social circumstances, those who faked a conversion into Islam in order to undermine the Islamic community from within, and those who left to support opposing forces in battle against the Muslims. Because of the first category, Islam requires that the person who has chosen to forsake the religion be consulted with in order that his doubts may be clarified to him if there is any specific issue of confusion, or so that he may learn the proper Islamic teachings that he may otherwise have not been exposed to. As for the second and third category, this was the original reason behind the Prophet's statement on apostasy. The Qur'an records (3:72) that the Jews of Madinah decided to initiate the practice of pretending to accept Islam and then publicly declare their rejection of it, so as to destroy the confidence of the newly-converted Muslims. Thus, the Prophet Muhammad pbuh ruled that a punishment should be announced so that those who decide to accept Islam do so because of a firm conviction not in order to harm the Muslim community from within.

3. Coming to the actual law of apostasy, the Prophet Muhammad pbuh did say, in the above historical context, "Whoever replaces his religion, execute him" (Bukhari, Abu Dawud) but how exactly do we understand this statement and does it conflict with the principles of freedom? The Prophet Muhammad pbuh himself clarified this statement in another hadith narrated in Sahih Muslim where he mentioned that the one who was to be fought against was the one who "abandons his religion and the Muslim community". It should be noted that every country has maintained punishments, including execution, for treason and rebellion against the state (See Mozley and Whitley's Law Dictionary, under "Treason and Treason Felony," pp. 368-369). Islam is not just a set of beliefs, it is a complete system of life which includes a Muslim's allegiance to the Islamic state. Thus, a rejection against that would be akin to treason. Rebellion against God is more serious than rebellion against one's country. However, one who personally abandons the faith and leaves the country would not be hunted down and assassinated, nor would one who remains inside the state conforming to outward laws be tracked down and executed. The notion of establishing inquisition courts to determine peoples' faith, as done in the Spanish Inquisition, is something contrary to Islamic law. As illustrated by the historical context in which it was mandated, the death penalty is mainly for those who collaborate with enemy forces in order to aid them in their attacks against the Islamic state or for those who seek to promote civil unrest and rebellion from within the Islamic state. When someone publicly announces their rejection of Islam within an Islamic state it is basically a challenge to the Islamic government, since such an individual can keep it to themselves like the personal affair it is made out to be.

4. From Islamic history, we can gain a better understanding of how this law has been implemented. Although the Prophet Muhammad pbuh threatened the death penalty in response to the attempts against the Muslim community, no such executions took place in his time (Imam Shawkani, Nayl Al-Awtar, vol. 7, p. 192) even though there is a report that a Bedouin renounced Islam and left Madinah unharmed in his time (Fath Al-Bari vol. 4, p.77 and vol. 13 p. 170; Sahih Muslim biSharh An-Nawawi, vol. 9, p. 391). Thus, we find that context plays an important role in determining how to deal with apostates. The case of one who enlists nations to fight against the Islamic state is more serious, for example. That is why the scholars of the Hanafi school of thought felt that the punishment only applies to the male apostate and not the female apostate because the latter is unable to wage war against the Islamic state. If someone simply has some doubts concerning Islam, then those doubts can be clarified.

So an Islamic state is certainly justified in punishing those who betray the state, committing treason and support enemy forces. As for anyone else, if they do not publicly declare their rejection of Islam, the state has no interest in pursuing them; if their case does become public, however, then they should be reasoned with and educated concerning the religion so that they have the opportunity to learn the concepts they may not have understood properly and they can be encouraged to repent.

Source: http://www.islamnewsroom.com/content/view/330/52/#28

I hope this sufficiently answers your question about apostates.

zenten
Posts: 3799
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:42 am UTC
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Religion

Postby zenten » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:38 pm UTC

Hameed wrote:Earth as described in the Bible:
Job 26:7
He stretches out the north over empty space;
He hangs the earth on nothing.


That would imply the Earth is some sort of floating balloon.

Hameed wrote:Source: http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/science.shtml

Embryo in Qur'an:
We created man from an extract of clay. Then We made him as a drop in a place of settlement, firmly fixed. Then We made the drop into an alaqah (leech, suspended thing, and blood clot), then We made the alaqah into a mudghah (chewed substance)... (Quran, 23:12-14)

Source: http://www.islam-guide.com/ch1-1-a.htm


Fetal development does not go from clay -> leech -> chewed substance ->...

Plus what you're describing is how humans were created in the first place, not fetal development.

zar
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:26 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby zar » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:39 pm UTC

Hameed wrote:Embryo in Qur'an:
We created man from an extract of clay. Then We made him as a drop in a place of settlement, firmly fixed. Then We made the drop into an alaqah (leech, suspended thing, and blood clot), then We made the alaqah into a mudghah (chewed substance)... (Quran, 23:12-14)

Source: http://www.islam-guide.com/ch1-1-a.htm

I hesitate to point out an obvious problem with that "fundamental truth", but people didn't come from clay...

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby Belial » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:42 pm UTC

And even if that were actually a colorful description of the fetal development process....you realize that the egyptians were pretty developed surgeons, right? Medical knowledge had risen and fallen numerous times by the time Islam emerged.

And nevermind that anyone who has livestock is probably pretty familiar with the development process of unborn creatures and all the stages at which it can go wrong?

Potentially, they're just describing pretty common knowledge.
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

Robin S
Posts: 3579
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:02 pm UTC
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby Robin S » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:50 pm UTC

I'm going to go with Belial on that. Poetic language is inarguably used throughout religious texts, but even if the Qur'an is accurate that doesn't mean it has to be divinely-inspired.
VannA wrote:And New Scientist ran aa few articles, several years ago, debunking most of the health issues.. just like people have debunked most of the reasons for douching.
I know there's a separate thread about circumcision, but I'd like to point out here that New Scientist is not peer-reviewed and is not considered authoritative. For example, earlier this year it published an article about a reactionless drive. There is not yet a general consensus as to the health effects of circumcision, but there is at least some evidencethat there are benefits (see Wiki article here).
Last edited by Robin S on Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:52 pm UTC, edited 4 times in total.
This is a placeholder until I think of something more creative to put here.

zar
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:26 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby zar » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:50 pm UTC

Re: apostates

I was hoping for a quick, "Hell no, they should not be executed!" Sadly, it seems that this "religion of peace" cannot bring itself to let its members leave freely.

So an Islamic state is certainly justified in punishing those who betray the state, committing treason and support enemy forces. As for anyone else, if they do not publicly declare their rejection of Islam, the state has no interest in pursuing them; if their case does become public, however, then they should be reasoned with and educated concerning the religion so that they have the opportunity to learn the concepts they may not have understood properly and they can be encouraged to repent.

Supposing I live in an Islamic State, how is me speaking against Islam treason? You're also making the assumption that the rejection comes from misunderstanding it. I might understand it fully and still reject it. And what business do they have forcing me to learn some religious interpretation just because I don't like Islam? What sort of "encouragement" are we talking about?

Do you really think such things are just?

User avatar
TheStranger
Posts: 896
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:39 pm UTC
Location: The Void which Binds

Re: Religion

Postby TheStranger » Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:43 am UTC

That is the unavoidable problem with a theocratic state: Not following the church becomes not following the state... which becomes sedition or treason. It also strips a religion of its Faith, replacing it with hollow obedience. In a theocratic state religious principals are no longer followed out of Faith or love, but out of fear (losing all meaning).

The same can be said for forced conversions... they are false conversions. Putting a gun to someones head and saying "believe what I do or I'll kill you" only ensures that they will nod along. You can never truly judge another persons Faith (that is for God alone) you can only ensure that they say the right things at the right time (lying to stay alive). A forced conversion is nothing more then a spiritual mugging.
"To bow before the pressure of the ignorant is weakness."
Azalin Rex, Wizard-King of Darkon

Robin S
Posts: 3579
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:02 pm UTC
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby Robin S » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:05 pm UTC

I quite like that metaphor. It seems to apply to more than just religious beliefs.
This is a placeholder until I think of something more creative to put here.

User avatar
Vanguard
Posts: 807
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:52 pm UTC
Location: Away from you

Re: Religion

Postby Vanguard » Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:44 pm UTC

Science proves itself wrong to get everything right.
Religion is right by trying to prove everyone else wrong.

The second option doesn't work.

I am a proud Atheist, fully converted from Agnosticism (since I stopped trying with the "what if" crap.)
Call me a quitter, call me a sinner. Call me whatever you want but I just can't bring myself to believe anymore.
Image

Robin S
Posts: 3579
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:02 pm UTC
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby Robin S » Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:46 pm UTC

How do you know that there is no God?
This is a placeholder until I think of something more creative to put here.

User avatar
Vanguard
Posts: 807
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:52 pm UTC
Location: Away from you

Re: Religion

Postby Vanguard » Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:51 pm UTC

I cannot say for sure. All I know is that my family has been kicked in the balls time and time again and 70% of them are devout christians. I could give you a quick life summary but it would look like whining. It's just how my home life has evolved that made me look up in the sky and think "Yeaaa.. something isn't right."

All these people with good lives I sincerely believe that they actually worked for it, I don't think they prayed and their good times magically came to them. They pray, go to church on sundays. but the rest of the time they earn their living, pay for their own crap, and take care of themselves and their family. I think that there is no point in having a god.

Not sure if that answered your question.
Image

Robin S
Posts: 3579
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:02 pm UTC
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby Robin S » Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:13 pm UTC

Yes, I think it does. If you cannot say for sure that there is no God, then you are still agnostic.
This is a placeholder until I think of something more creative to put here.

zar
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:26 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby zar » Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:21 pm UTC

Robin S wrote:Yes, I think it does. If you cannot say for sure that there is no God, then you are still agnostic.

That's an epistemological question more that it is a question of one's religious beliefs. I do not know that God doesn't exist the same way I do not know that Russell's teapot doesn't exist. What's your point?

User avatar
Nath
Posts: 3148
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:14 pm UTC

Re: Religion

Postby Nath » Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:25 pm UTC

Vanguard wrote:I am a proud Atheist, fully converted from Agnosticism (since I stopped trying with the "what if" crap.)
Call me a quitter, call me a sinner. Call me whatever you want but I just can't bring myself to believe anymore.

I'm not religious either, but I think the so-called "'what if' crap" is actually pretty important. That's what separates logical investigation from the 'go-with-what-feels-right' approach.

This does not mean you should consider god's existence likely. I, for one, would be extremely surprised if one existed. But (given a certain amount of evidence) being more sure of something does not make you any more likely to be right.

Robin S
Posts: 3579
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:02 pm UTC
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Religion

Postby Robin S » Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:29 pm UTC

zar wrote:That's an epistemological question more that it is a question of one's religious beliefs. I do not know that God doesn't exist the same way I do not know that Russell's teapot doesn't exist. What's your point?
Recognition that the matter of God's existence is unknowable is agnosticism. It does not preclude belief that God does, or does not exist. Many people who believe (or do not believe) in God are absolutely convinced that they have to be correct; these people are not agnostic. From what you have said, however, Vanguard and yourself are agnostic atheists. I am merely agnostic.
This is a placeholder until I think of something more creative to put here.


Return to “Serious Business”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests