Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » What are your thoughts on Islam? (Page 1)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 5 pages: 1  2  3  4  5   
Author Topic: What are your thoughts on Islam?
JoshuaD
Member
Member # 1420

 - posted      Profile for JoshuaD   Email JoshuaD   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It seems to me that, out of all the major religions, the religious texts of Islam approve and recommend violence more than any other. Similarly, it seems to me that the history of Islam is more full of violence than any other religion.

It seems to me that one can read the Qur'an and derive a religion of peace. There are many beautiful teachings in that text that are full of truth. But it also seems to me to be the religion that allows most for interpretations that condone horrible violence, cruelty, and war.

I'm starting think this is a problem that exists in Islam itself.

You cannot take the suttas of Buddhism and turn them into the backbone of a warring, terrorist state. The raw materials simply don't exist in that religion.

It is very difficult to take the Bible and turn it into the backbone of a warring, terrorist state. Some raw material exist in the Old Testament, but Jesus clearly brought a message of peace and forgiveness.

Jesus admonished Peter to put away the sword. The Buddha encouraged his followers to treat every life with kindness and respect. Muhammad, on the other hand, seems to have taught violence as well as peace. This makes sense in an historical context; Muhammad was a leader of armies as well as a spiritual leader.

Can you blame Islam itself for the hateful interpretations of a small portion if its faithful? I'm starting to think so. I don't think it is exactly proper to blame Christianity for the Westboro Baptist Church. At the same time, the holy texts of Christianity do provide some groundwork for that hatred; the old testament has some ugly stuff in it. The WBC ignores the message of Jesus, I believe, but they did not make up their religion whole-cloth. I think the the WBC has to do a lot of strange mental contortions to draw their conclusions, but I can't say that they are making things up completely; some books of the bible do contain the sorts of things they are advocating.

And I believe it is the same with Islam. The same, but much worse.

The Qur'an has clear instructions on when it is appropriate to use violence. It talks about killing unbelievers until they repent and declare faith in Allah. It talks about casting terror into the hearts of disbelievers and striking off their heads and fingers. There are many more examples.

Some say that these passages promote only self-defense, and not aggressive war. I find that reading hard to support as I look at the passages. They are full of violent and hateful imagery, and that's if we stay limited to the Qur'an itself. The other holy texts seem to be full of more violence, misogyny, and (what appears to me to be) hatred.

Contrast the language from the Catholic Just War Theory to the language of Qur'an:

quote:
Just War Theory:
  1. the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
  2. all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
  3. there must be serious prospects of success;
  4. the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated (the power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition).

vs
quote:
Qur'an (17:16):
And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction.

(Of course, this isn't a perfectly congruent comparison, but I believe it is a basically fair illustration).

I think the sad fact is that Islam is a multi-faceted religion, and many of those facets reflect blood and violence. While many people find the cool refuge of peace under Islam's moon, others find the basis for violence and hatred. Muhammad spent many years of his life engaged in warfare, and I believe the religion he founded bears those scars.

I don't blame peaceful Muslims for the actions of radical Muslims. I am starting to think it's legitimate to recognize the failings of Islam, and how these failings help create the serious problems we're seeing today.

What are your thoughts? I'd love for someone, well educated in Islam, to show me that I'm wrong on these points. It's probably the religion I know the least about, so while I believe my characterization is fair, I'm open to (and invite!) an improved point of view.

[ November 22, 2015, 05:22 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

Posts: 3742 | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As a non-Muslim and non-Christian I read through the lion's share of the New Testament and the Koran almost back to back, and I was quite surprised to find so much violence and call to violence in the Koran. Granted, I did this over 10 years ago and should probably revisit it (and read the parts I didn't finish last time). But there was no comparison at all, in my mind.

Also, JoshuaD, there's one thing I'll add to your comments, which is that the NT wasn't written by Jesus but rather by his students or their followers. Since the material in the NT is therefore a secondary source on Jesus himself at the best of times (people who knew him writing about him), or a tertiary source at other times (people who who people who knew Jesus) the text cannot be taken to be entirely consistent in terms of the mind that conceived it. Assuming there was some accuracy in the recording we might suggest that there's a divide in the NT between the sections quoting Jesus verbatim, and the sections that speak about him or about his teachings second-hand. We might infer that the commentary about Jesus will be of inferior quality to the commentary by Jesus himself, insofar as those who wrote it were imperfect.

Contrast with the Koran, which as I understand it is supposed to have been written top to bottom by Muhammed. If this is so it would mean that there would be a uniformity of thought throughout (meaning no wonder about conflicting interpretations), and it would also mean the entire text is a primary document. As such, there could be no parsing of the Koran like there is in the NT. The "This is in the NT but Jesus himself says something that doesn't seem to agree with it" argument would fail with the Koran; anything in there must be counted as completely accurate with regard to Mohammed's thoughts.

This effectively means that no section of the Koran can be disputed or written off as mistranslation, inaccuracy, or anything else. It's the law. This is just as true for the peaceful parts as for the vicious parts. It makes it much harder to form an argument in defence of the violent sections of the Koran.

Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cherrypoptart
Member
Member # 3942

 - posted      Profile for cherrypoptart     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Muslims aren't so bad when their numbers are very low. The Koran teaches them in that situation, specifically in the Medina verses referring to when they are a small minority and in a position of weakness, to be nice and peaceful and conciliatory. The Mecca verses on the other hand teach them that once they reach a critical mass they need to go for the throat.

Some see it as abrogation wherein the newer teachings of violence replace the older ones of peace but it is slightly more subtle than that.

So there are two forms of Islam. One is in accordance with the Medina verses and the other is in accordance with the Mecca verses.

In Medina the Muslims were the minority and in a weak position so were commanded to show peaceful tolerance and respect for others. This is what the American Muslims do.

In Mecca when the Muslims were in a position of strength they were commanded to force Islamic law upon everyone under their power. This is what the Muslims do in countries in which they are the majority.

So they are both "true" Muslims. The way they practice their religion is situation dependent. This perfectly explains exactly what we see.

I also can't help notice that NONE of these peaceful and tolerant Muslims have EVER tried to get the death penalty for infidels who step foot into Mecca or Medina lifted. So obviously allowing Christian churches, Buddhist temples, Hindu Shrines, Jewish synagogues and the like is completely out of the question. The tolerance that Muslims demand only goes one way. We are to tolerate them everywhere while they can refuse to tolerate everyone else wherever they want.

The same type of double standard permeates all throughout their belief system and actions. No one can blasphemy their prophet but they have no compunctions against calling people of any other religion besides Jews, Christians, and Muslims complete infidels deserving of no respect whatsoever and even Christians and Jews, "people of the book", don't get treatment much if any better than that.

Also, I like to look at people and wonder well what if everybody did that? Or even what if most people did that?

So what if most people in America were Muslim? If Muslims made up 70% of the U.S. there is absolutely nothing in our system of governance that would prevent them from changing our Constitution to be within accordance with Sharia Law. All they would need to do is pass new Constitutional Amendments in full accordance with the legitimate amendment process. Not even the Supreme Court could stop them.

In fact that's what they do in countries where they are dominant all the time. And there is no reason to believe that even the "peaceful, tolerant" Muslims in America wouldn't do exactly that given the chance.

Islam with its STILL ENFORCED death penalty for converting out of it and STILL ENFORCED death penalty for making fun of the prophet violates the U.S. Constitution's and the U.N. Charter's freedoms of speech and religion.

Posts: 7675 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
We have a few resident experts in preventing discussion of Islam.

But one of my areas of study is international law, and I can tell you the comparison of the Koran verse you chose is unfair. There are much closer equivalents to the just war doctrine.

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JoshuaD
Member
Member # 1420

 - posted      Profile for JoshuaD   Email JoshuaD   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Pete: My point is that the Qur'an has a significant higher density and occurrence of encouraged violence than any other major religion.

I'm not contesting that the Qur'an has sections which are restrained or peaceful, so pointing to a section that talks about war in a more measured tone won't satisfy my concern, unless it refutes (or sets a governing context for reading) the more violent sections.

Posts: 3742 | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
It is very difficult to take the Bible and turn it into the backbone of a warring, terrorist state. Some raw material exist in the Old Testament, but Jesus clearly brought a message of peace and forgiveness.
Yes, Jesus very clearly brought a message of peace and forgiveness, but people have been very adept at ignoring those parts. Just look at some of the Republican Presidential contenders for modern examples. [Wink] [Smile]

People twist religions to suit their point of view. They make religious text say whatever they want them to say, including the Bible. This has been demonstrated throughout history in witch burnings, crusades, and slavery justification in the U.S.

People latch onto the text that justifies their position, whatever that position is. So I don't blame the Bible for the evil that men do. So neither would I blame the Koran.

Those who want to do evil will find the text that justifies that evil. Those who want to do good will find the text that justifies that, too.

Islam does not make people and countries worse than they otherwise would be. I see the liberalism of Indonesia and Turkey as proof of that. The evil of terrorism and the subjugation of peoples comes from another source, much deeper in the human psyche, much harder to root out. It will exist whether the violence is justified by the Koran, or the Bible, or even Shinto.

Like Christianity, Islam can be used for peace or war, for love or hate, for life or death. It all depends on what the people, and the individual, wants it to justify.

When the day of judgment comes, God is not going to excuse anyone for their evil just because they did it in God's name, whether that God is called Jehovah or Allah.

Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
You cannot take the suttas of Buddhism and turn them into the backbone of a warring, terrorist state. The raw materials simply don't exist in that religion.
We're seeing evidence to the contrary in the South East Asia region. The real truth is that any time a religion gets ties to the power structure in a given region, it gets warped into another tool by those who would abuse power and do harm to satisfy their desires or fears. Religious authority is power. Power attracts the corruptible, and human ingenuity knows no bounds. That includes no lower bound on being able to twist anything into a justification for abuse.

(My favorite imaginary reference for this is Blackthorne's Code from Ultima V. It demonstrates how easy it is to violate the spirit of a moral code by combining it with abusive legal force:

http://ultima.wikia.com/wiki/Eight_Virtues#Lord_Blackthorn.27s_Code_of_Virtue
quote:

Honesty Thou shalt not lie, or thou shalt lose thy tongue.
Compassion Thou shalt help those in need, or thou shalt suffer the same need.
Valor Thou shalt fight to the death if challenged, or thou shalt be banished as a coward.
Justice Thou shalt confess to thy crime and suffer its just punishment, or thou shalt be put to death.
Sacrifice Thou shalt donate half of thy income to charity, or thou shalt have no income.
Honor If thou dost lose thine own honor, thou shalt take thine own life.
Spirituality Thou shalt enforce the laws of virtue, or thou shalt die as a heretic.
Humility Thou shalt humble thyself to thy superiors, or thou shalt suffer their wrath.

quote:
I'm starting think this is a problem that exists in Islam itself.
The root of the problem lies in the poverty and power imbalance in the part of the world where Islam is most dominant. We saw similar behavior on the part of Christian Europe under similar conditions. It affects both those at the top and at the bottom where you have huge divides. Miserable people at the bottom become vulnerable to manipulation by those with power who can play on their fears and their sense of injustice to radicalize them against external "threats" that are blamed for their state, while those at the top become disconnected and disaffected because of their entrenched state of isolation and the need to dehumanize those that they exploit to maintain their position in order to keep rationalizing their behavior.

Islam, as practiced in the mainstream om economically stable countries emphasizes peace, integration and cosmopolitan civility. It's only where you have some combination of marginalized, polarized, or isolated communities that you find an emphasis on violence, fear, and control instead, which forms a feedback loop that drives fundamentalism and extremism.

Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NobleHunter
Member
Member # 2450

 - posted      Profile for NobleHunter   Email NobleHunter   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm not sure Islam is particularly more violent than Christianity. I mean, Christianity was really violent until it was defanged. Especially if the "christian" justifications and motivations for imperialism and conquest are accepted at face value.
Posts: 2581 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
D.W.
Member
Member # 4370

 - posted      Profile for D.W.   Email D.W.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think the "About the author" section in the cover jacket is an important thing to consider when it comes to that holy book.
Posts: 4308 | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Except that most religious text claim they are ghost-written. (Or is that "Holy Ghost-written?" [Smile] )
Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
D.W.
Member
Member # 4370

 - posted      Profile for D.W.   Email D.W.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Fair enough, but then you should look at the choice of vessel.
Posts: 4308 | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Except that most religious text claim they are ghost-written. (Or is that "Holy Ghost-written?" [Smile] )

[Smile] for style but [DOH] for substance

The Bible text does not make that claim for itself; you have imposed the CHRISTIAN FUNDEMENTALIST reconstruction of "inspired". Bad Wayward, no cookie.

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
I'm not sure Islam is particularly more violent than Christianity. I mean, Christianity was really violent until it was defanged. Especially if the "christian" justifications and motivations for imperialism and conquest are accepted at face value.

The "defanging" of Christendom which you erroneously equate to Christianity came about as Christians began to read the source texts for themselves. More importantly your wording puts under erasure the key point that it was Christians themselves that did the "defanging"

Finally, I doubt any of us have any objection if you want to go back in time and fight the inquisition. Spectres of the past should not dispose of present issues.

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scifibum
Member
Member # 945

 - posted      Profile for scifibum   Email scifibum   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'm starting think this is a problem that exists in Islam itself.
I think that's true, but in the sense that Islam contains the problem, not is the problem. And that's because it's simply too large and diverse a group to lay anything at the feet of the entire group.

If you said the Quran is problematic, then I'd agree without qualifications.

quote:
I don't blame peaceful Muslims for the actions of radical Muslims. I am starting to think it's legitimate to recognize the failings of Islam, and how these failings help create the serious problems we're seeing today.
But what practical application is there? I'd certainly recommend other religions over Islam to a seeker if I was for some bizarre reason obligated to recommend one, but nobody's asking. Opposing Islam in general only increases the justification for jihad (for those who are so inclined).

Working to convince people that Islam itself is problematic may work against convincing Muslims that its practice is compatible with secular government and cultural diversity. I think the latter should spread and that it is the best setting to ensure human rights take priority over religious extremism.

I can't think of a solidly better alternative than what many people (including some of our leaders) generally do already: praise the peaceful practice of Islam, and condemn the violence and totalitarianism that can be derived from parts of the scripture. It says "Islam can be compatible with liberal ideals".

Posts: 6847 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Islam, as practiced in the mainstream om economically stable countries emphasizes peace"

Pray tell where is that? 20 years ago I believed as you said because of examples of Turkey and Indonesia, but sine then Islamist creep in those country have led to persecution and genocide.

(AT THE PRESENT TIME) Muslim majorities seem to be content to live under secular rule only in kleptocracies such as Albania and Kosovo.

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
At its worst interpretation, the Old Testament is problematic only within a very small geographic area.
Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NobleHunter
Member
Member # 2450

 - posted      Profile for NobleHunter   Email NobleHunter   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This thread explicitly refers to the historical record. Your objection doesn't apply.

Christianity was defanged when the mainstream denominations accepted that political power was not congruent with their religious mission. This happened a couple of centuries after Christendom ceased to be a relevant concept. It also happened after Christians developed moral and social frameworks that existed independently of religion.

Posts: 2581 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
D.W.
Member
Member # 4370

 - posted      Profile for D.W.   Email D.W.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
It also happened after Christians developed moral and social frameworks that existed independently of religion.
Can you explain that a little more? I'm not sure I've heard many Christians speak of morality outside of or apart from their faith. At least not enough for this to be stated as a historical bullet point.

What are you referring to?

Posts: 4308 | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NobleHunter
Member
Member # 2450

 - posted      Profile for NobleHunter   Email NobleHunter   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Bother.

I'm referring to ideas of liberty and sovereignty that led to the American and French Revolutions. To moral philosophies that don't depend on "God says so". Ulitmately to the development of epistemologies that permit reaching atheism from a reasoned argument rather than a functional state. i.e. the considered belief that God does not exist rather than just acting like God doesn't exist.

The way people argued about morality and society was drastically different by the modern period than it was in the medieval period. While the changes took place in Christian societies and were permitted and even encouraged by parallel developments in Christianity, they were still distinct from Christianity and represented a move away from it.

Posts: 2581 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
D.W.
Member
Member # 4370

 - posted      Profile for D.W.   Email D.W.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks
Posts: 4308 | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
"Islam, as practiced in the mainstream om economically stable countries emphasizes peace"

Pray tell where is that? 20 years ago I believed as you said because of examples of Turkey and Indonesia, but sine then Islamist creep in those country have led to persecution and genocide.

I'll take right here in the US, for starters. Except where discriminatory social pressure is being used to encourage isolation, mainstream Muslims in the US are not more than superficially different from the faithful of any religion, and only seeking to subvert our system in the imaginations of the paranoid and prejudiced.
Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The US does not have a majority Muslim population, so there is no such thing as a Muslim mainstream here.

Again, point me to a Muslim majority society that illustrates your thesis.

Even medieval Christendom, during our dark ages, had it's Constantinople, its Poland. Where in Muslim dominated countries do Christians and Jew's thrive as they did in 1200ad Constantinople? What Muslim country presently takes in hordes of Jewish refugees as Kasimir's Poland?

[ November 23, 2015, 03:21 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
I'm referring to ideas of liberty and sovereignty that led to the American and French Revolutions. To moral philosophies that don't depend on "God says so". Ulitmately to the development of epistemologies that permit reaching atheism from a reasoned argument rather than a functional state. i.e. the considered belief that God does not exist rather than just acting like God doesn't exist.

Are you quite sure that the concepts of liberty and sovereignty didn't emerge from a religious conviction? You act like the rejection of religion is what led to the separation of Church and State. But what if it's the other way around - that a rediscovery of what it really takes to be religious is what led some great thinkers to realize than in order to realize a religious life the religion had to come from a sense of internal liberty to believe rather than from an autocratic command?

If we look at the history of Christendom as Pete suggests, it seems to be fairly clear that Christianity stepped on its own toes endlessly, mixing up politics and faith in an unreconcilable quagmire.

I'm not saying this was definitely the case, but it seems very far from demonstrated that the founding of America had anything to do with atheism.

Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
This thread explicitly refers to the historical record. Your objection doesn't apply.

*[Christendom, fixing that for you**] was defanged when the mainstream denominations accepted that political power was not congruent with their religious mission. This happened a couple of centuries after Christendom ceased to be a relevant concept. It also happened after Christians developed moral and social frameworks that existed independently of religion.

Yes, and this acceptance and developed simultaneous with an explosion of law Christians reading newly translated versions of the Bible. Yes christians had to first build the foundation for a secular epistomology, like you said, but this is specifically encouraged by Jesus in the New Testament. We can literally thank Jesus for the separation of church and state.

[ November 23, 2015, 03:30 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NobleHunter
Member
Member # 2450

 - posted      Profile for NobleHunter   Email NobleHunter   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The idea of religious sincerity wasn't exactly new. Also, the writings I'm familiar with didn't really seem concerned with achieving a better state of grace.

It's not that the American Revolution is connected to atheism (though I believe some Founding Fathers were Deists which is halfway there). It's that the philosophical underpinnings can be further developed (slightly whiggish construction which I don't mean but it's easier) to support the idea of a world with a god.

Pete, or it occured with the end of the Roman Catholic theocratic monopoly on Truth. The classes with the leisure and security to philosophize were always literate in Latin and reading the Bible before before the Reformation. Translating it into the vernacular didn't suddenly expand the number of philosophers who could read it.

ETA: And Christendom was a laughable construction after the Reformation and well and truly dead by the mid-Seventeeth century.

[ November 23, 2015, 03:39 PM: Message edited by: NobleHunter ]

Posts: 2581 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
The US does not have a majority Muslim population, so there is no such thing as a Muslim mainstream here.

There are mainstream Muslims here. I'm not going to go chasing your strawman. MAjority or minority is irrelevant. How the faith is reflected by members of a stable, integrated middle class is.
Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The Bible text does not make that claim for itself; you have imposed the CHRISTIAN FUNDEMENTALIST reconstruction of "inspired". Bad Wayward, no cookie.
Well, my local preachers says he finds "your lack of faith...disturbing." [Smile]
Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
D.W.
Member
Member # 4370

 - posted      Profile for D.W.   Email D.W.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
How is it a strawman? Wasn't the whole point of that request for an example to show that once they are in majority they change behavior?

Replying by pointing out an example of a country where they are the minority, and not exibiting the behavior proposed consistent with a majority country, is the strawman... right?

Posts: 4308 | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
The Bible text does not make that claim for itself; you have imposed the CHRISTIAN FUNDEMENTALIST reconstruction of "inspired". Bad Wayward, no cookie.
Well, my local preachers says he finds "your lack of faith...disturbing." [Smile]
Tell him I find his lack of Bible literacy disturbing. [Smile]

Incidentally, the word "Bible" never appears in the Bible

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Pete at Home:
[qb] I'm not going to go chasing your strawman.

Holy mixed metaphors, Batman! My dream men can run? I should build an army of them to fight ISIS.

Being a mainstream Muslim in the US would be like me being a mainstream ex Mormon in Georgia. You talk like a major I tar Ian white male who has never actually seen the outside of a circle. Attempting to defend what you think is the underdog gives you some points, but you really don't get it.

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
seekingprometheus
Member
Member # 3043

 - posted      Profile for seekingprometheus   Email seekingprometheus   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's an article from an "ex-Muslim" writer on a twitter campaign that's trending in Britain right now.
quote:
Where are all the secular liberals in the Muslim world?

I've lost count of how many times I've heard this question. The answer is both unsurprising and heartbreaking. In Muslim-majority countries, they are often being lashed and imprisoned for blogging, hacked to death in open daylight, or sentenced to death for writing poetry. Here in the West, they are often being disowned from their families, ostracized from their communities, and even murdered by their own families in "honor killings."

As for those who choose to leave the religion altogether, the outcome is even more sinister. There are thirteen countries, all Muslim-majority, where atheism is punishable by death. And Saudi Arabia -- the birthplace of Islam, its Prophet, and the location of its two holiest sites, Mecca and Medina -- has declared that all atheists are terrorists. Remember, this is also the home country of not only Osama bin Laden, but fifteen of the nineteen hijackers from 9/11.

When simply changing one's mind comes at such a high cost, it isn't surprising that you don't hear much from secularists, atheists, or agnostics in the Muslim world.

It's worth scrolling through the tweets. A lot of them are just funny ("Because Bacon"), but a lot of them are heartbreaking--such as the one by a woman who was, at 17 years old, told by her father that there is no "rape" in Islam when she asked him to tell the man he had forced her to marry to stop raping her.

The theme of persecution/death for abandoning the religion is pervasive.

The problem is that the religiously authoritative sources in Islam do demand unjustified violence from adherents. It's the Milgram Experiment, multiplied by centuries, and containing one and a half billion participants. It's worth noting that the takeaway from the experiment shouldn't actually be that a certain percentage of the participants are evil--the participants are all human, and the experiment simply demonstrates the fallibility of human moral nature in response to authority.

Maybe there is some value in dividing the population into participants who are willing to subject other humans to lethal shocks, and those who refuse to do so, and trying to figure out the causes for the difference in behavior. But wouldn't it be bizarre if we responded to Milgram's experiment by absolving "authority" of any responsibility for the "lethal shocks" administered by participants, claimed that the those participants who administered such shocks had a perverted understanding of what the authoritative commands demanded, and insisted that the full responsibility for violence lay solely with "extremists" who were willing to deliver lethal shocks, and were really acting as they did out of their own personal reasons which had little to do with what were undoubtedly ambiguous messages from "scientific authorities"--given what we know about all the good that has been done by scientific authorities overall?

[ November 23, 2015, 04:58 PM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

Posts: 3654 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There is a difference, mind you, between obeying authority because of its perceived inherent rightness, and obeying authority under outright duress. It's clear that Muslims in places like Saudi Arabia are under duress, so based on that one can't fault Muslims there for silence. Muslims in America may well be submitting to religious or family authority, but is it duress?

In other words, do Muslims in the West qualify for comparison with the Milgram Experiment? If so you may well be right to judge them based on their own acts (even if those acts are pressured), in contrast with Muslims in Muslims countries, where we might suggest that it's unfair to hold them to this standard.

Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
seekingprometheus
Member
Member # 3043

 - posted      Profile for seekingprometheus   Email seekingprometheus   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
There is a difference, mind you, between obeying authority because of its perceived inherent rightness, and obeying authority under outright duress. It's clear that Muslims in places like Saudi Arabia are under duress, so based on that one can't fault Muslims there for silence. Muslims in America may well be submitting to religious or family authority, but is it duress?

In other words, do Muslims in the West qualify for comparison with the Milgram Experiment?

I think you should re-read the conditions of the Milgram Experiment. The participants weren't subjected to "outright duress," so I doubt the distinction you raise has any relevance in terms of whether the experiment applies...

...and the result wasn't one of silence while violence was perpetrated, it was one of participation in an ostensibly violent act in response to an authoritative command to do so...

Maybe I'm just misunderstanding your question. What are you trying to ask?

[ November 23, 2015, 05:11 PM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

Posts: 3654 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
How is it a strawman? Wasn't the whole point of that request for an example to show that once they are in majority they change behavior?

Replying by pointing out an example of a country where they are the minority, and not exibiting the behavior proposed consistent with a majority country, is the strawman... right?

No, that was his counterclaim to try to debunk the fact that I pointed out that Islam has no problem coexisting among the middle class of a developed country.

He's welcome to show some evidence that your average Muslim is a sleeper agent just waiting to have enough authority to impose their views on the world, but asking me to go digging among economically broken regions for evidence of one that's not showing signs of that economic imbalance is completely beside the point and not the argument I was making.

Muslim majority is his attempt to change what I said, not a factor of my claim. That makes it a strawman- a reconstruction of what I said on his own terms, not based on my argument.

A stable middle class will use religion to reinforce its stability in the same way a fractured, divided economic system will use religion on ways that reinforce that division.

Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
D.W.
Member
Member # 4370

 - posted      Profile for D.W.   Email D.W.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sorry, missed you were trying to re-rail, not de-rail. [Smile]
Posts: 4308 | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"He's welcome to show some evidence that your average Muslim is a sleeper agent "

That's a straw man. Pyr asks me to show evidence of an argument I never made. Sadly this is typical bad faith distortion of my argument.

My position, again, is that different religions and educators have carried the totalitarian mindset, for want of a better term, at different points in history. Christians during part of the dark ages. Although even our dark age had bigger areas where majority Christian states were tolerant (Constantinople and Poland) than Muslim states have during their dark age, which started in th 20th century and ends Ba'al knows when.

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Tell him I find his lack of Bible literacy disturbing. [Smile]
Hey, he's only a preacher; Biblical literacy is not a job requirement. [Wink]
Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
"Islam, as practiced in the mainstream om economically stable countries emphasizes peace"

Pray tell where is that? 20 years ago I believed as you said because of examples of Turkey and Indonesia, but sine then Islamist creep in those country have led to persecution and genocide.

I'll take right here in the US, for starters. Except where discriminatory social pressure is being used to encourage isolation, mainstream Muslims in the US are not more than superficially different from the faithful of any religion, and only seeking to subvert our system in the imaginations of the paranoid and prejudiced.
Our laughably gives America as an example of what he said.

And even more laughably claims that I made a "strawman",when I assumed that he meant in Muslim majority countries.

"Islam as practiced in the mainstream om economically stable countries emphasizes peace"

Are you pretending that no Muslim majority country is economically stable? Turkey had to demonstrate ECONOMIC STABILITY. So it isn't. "Strawman" for me to ask you to show how Islam as practiced by mainstream Turkish Muslim's "emphasizes peace.". Your bloody words, pyr. So stop quacking about straw men and either show how what you said applies, or retreat from your first assertion, or get off my leg. I have not misrepresented you. On the contrary. I have simply paid more attention to what you said than you did yourself. That's not my bad, but yours.

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
Tell him I find his lack of Bible literacy disturbing. [Smile]
Hey, he's only a preacher; Biblical literacy is not a job requirement. [Wink]
Sad but true. Faiths are littered with illiterate literalists.
Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Are you pretending that no Muslim majority country is economically stable? Turkey had to demonstrate ECONOMIC STABILITY. So it isn't. "Strawman" for me to ask you to show how Islam as practiced by mainstream Turkish Muslim's "emphasizes peace.".
Are you thinking oft he same Turkey I am? Edge of a war zone, constantly fighting large segments of its own population , even acting a bit against peace in its neighbors for fear of emboldening that particular minority that it wasn't to retain power over? There are countries in the Balkans and the middle east that are more stable than others, to be sure, and some that are less sharply economically divided, but the entire region is, by and large unstable, because even the better countries are constantly under the shadow of the broken ones there.

But even so the average Turk isn't out to create a theocracy. Syria before its collapse was fully cosmopolitan by Western standards, and LEbanon as well. They have extremist factions, to be sure, but that's a consequence to the inequity all around them, not the religion itself. The accusation against the religion itself being at fault rather than the economics are rooted entirely in the fact that the small minority of the religion that support the violent interpretations are taking advantage of the instability around them to gain power, it's not an outgrowth of the faith itself.

I'm not even sure why you chose to contest me on this since otherwise you seem to be in agreement with me- that it's not the religion, but the fact that the region is going through a dark age. Did you have some reason to contest my assertion that, absent the broken economic situation in the middle east, and southeast Asia there wouldn't be a problem? That a stable middle class would bring with it a stable and peaceful interpretation, and not the warlike one that arises from inequitable situations?

Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 5 pages: 1  2  3  4  5   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1