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Yet More News from Our Friends and Allies... - Page 4

post #121 of 125
segovius:

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My argument is not that it is Islam or even religion in general that motivates such people but more that something must serve as a unifying factor and that it was Islam in this case in this area.

Humans create their own unifying factors, and often these are religions. This is one of the reasons I call religion man-made, because they are so blatant in their usefulness as perpetrators of in-group/out-group hostility.

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Not sure what this has to do with the issue. There have always been wars and fighting. It's what humanity does and was doing aeons before the first religion arose.

You said, "In Islam (as I have mentioned to you on the odd occasion), before the Fundies took hold there was a tradition of free thinking…"

I merely pointed out that the history of Islam belies this assertion; that free-thinking was not a "Muslim" value even (or perhaps "especially) at the outset of the faith. When was this time of embracing free-thinking "before" the so-called "fundies" got hold of it if free-thinking was fought against at the birth of the religion?

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But I guess it is also a human proclivity to single out specific groups to isolate and blame whilst exonerating the group to which one oneself owes allegiance.

Indeed, religious faith only makes this unfortunate proclivity more likely. Can you think of an instance in which I have apologized for a group of terrible people?

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And no, their claim to truth is not as valid. Seems strange you would say that. Are you really trying to argue that a believer that God created Man in 7 days has as much a claim to truth as someone arguing from a basis of Scientific fact?

As much claim to religious truth, yes, because religious truth is not scientific. Once we get into the realm of the irrational, how can there be guidance?

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Of course. You really do not know much about Islam do you?

So a Muslim can deny that Muhammad was a prophet and still be considered Muslim? (I am purposefully ignoring that asinine semantic dodge regarding "madman".)

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Except that as you yourself say, that freedom leads to many different versions of Islam. Given that you agree that one can take any road they choose - who is it that you envisages wants this result?

If the road strays too far you may find yourself headless by the blood-red sword of the believer.

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The condition of an atheist who is convinced they are correct when they are only possibly correct for example.

Who believes they are absolutely correct when they might only possibly be correct?

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Can one be a vegetarian and eat meat?

Vegetarian is merely a label we apply to those who do not eat meat. Islam is different entirely. Answer the question. Can one be a Muslim and deny that Muhammad was a prophet?

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I don't do mocking. I occasionally do 'labeling' or even, on a good day, 'describing'.

Can you explain or describe the obvious contradiction in your argument? (At one point saying that Islam has an absolute dogmatic tenet and then saying there are no absolute dogmatic tenets?)

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Well, we;ve established that nothing means what it's supposed to mean, black can be white and and blah, blah. Let;s go with that remarkably Neocon-esque thought process; so you can have atheist HIndus then.

How do we know it is not the atheist part doing the suicide bombing?

We have established that nothing means what it is supposed to mean? I suppose "intellectual cowardice" should be added to "intellectual dishonesty".

Speaking of tells, your failed attempts at humor crop up when you are unable to deal with straightforward discussion.

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I am just dealing with the gargantuan errors you keep serving up before I deal with him.

What gargantuan errors? My sourced statement that the majority of Tamils are Hindu and not atheist? My refutation of your sourceless argument that they are "atheistic"?

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He structured an argument. Unlike you. I posted his argument in response to your claim there was no argument. You have not yet convincingly addressed it let alone disproved it, which to be honest is slightly shocking, it is not so difficult.....

He dismisses religion in their motivations out-of-hand, saying that the economic/political factors are more pressing. In his tallying he ignores religion if any economic/political factor is involved. This requires the belief that these motivations cannot mix or reinforce each other, and this belief is false.
proud resident of a failed state
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proud resident of a failed state
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post #122 of 125
Thread Starter 
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Originally Posted by groverat View Post

Humans create their own unifying factors, and often these are religions. This is one of the reasons I call religion man-made, because they are so blatant in their usefulness as perpetrators of in-group/out-group hostility.

I agree. And of course, such 'religions' as you describe are definitely man-made.

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You said, "In Islam (as I have mentioned to you on the odd occasion), before the Fundies took hold there was a tradition of free thinking"

I merely pointed out that the history of Islam belies this assertion; that free-thinking was not a "Muslim" value even (or perhaps "especially) at the outset of the faith. When was this time of embracing free-thinking "before" the so-called "fundies" got hold of it if free-thinking was fought against at the birth of the religion?

I don't accept the premise you tag on with that 'if' when you say ' if free-thinking was fought against at the birth of the religion'.

It depends on what you mean by free-thinking I suppose but within the framework I mentioned pretty much anything is possible. And there always has to be a framework doesn't there? Even in the most free-thinking Western societies there is a framework within which the free-thinking occurs.

I think the clear evidence of the early presence of this would be the splintering of groups at an early point such as the Shi'ia and the Sufis. All Islamic - all contradicting each other.

As to 'fighting' I do not think it is a benchmark of anything. In any form of entity where there is free-thinking then there will be opposition from one group to another. On the contrary, the absence of such fighting (Saddam's Ba'ath party for example or the Wahabi Sauds) strongly indicates a lack of the possibility of free-thought.

If you mean the literal fighting and wars of Islam, these did not suppress free-thinking either in the majority of cases (a few exceptions such as the fundies from the Maghreb attacking Islamic Spain) but on the contrary, always incorporated existing traditions into the culture. Which is why each style of Islamic architecture is unique to the area and Turkish buildings have Turkic roots and ditto Iranian etc.

It also the reason why you can see Islamic period synagogues and Churches all over Spain, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Jordan - everywhere except where the Wahabis are in fact because they destroyed them. Just like they destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas which no Muslim had ever thought of destroying for 1500 years.

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Indeed, religious faith only makes this unfortunate proclivity more likely. Can you think of an instance in which I have apologized for a group of terrible people?

Not sure. Can't be bothered to think about it. Probably not. But you are wrong anyway; it is always 'Fundie interpretations' of religious faith that do this. Or if you prefer. 'literalist' interpretations.

Here it is you being dishonest. Why don't you cite some examples? If you can find one of a non-fundie or literalist you win. That's got to be tempting no? On second thoughts you will just not accept the evidence even in the unlikely event you go this route so maybe let's skip it.

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As much claim to religious truth, yes, because religious truth is not scientific. Once we get into the realm of the irrational, how can there be guidance?

Of course there cannot. But again, you claim all religion is irrational whereas I claim only some of it - perhaps even the vast majority but not all - is.

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So a Muslim can deny that Muhammad was a prophet and still be considered Muslim? (I am purposefully ignoring that asinine semantic dodge regarding "madman".)

I didn't say that. You are being dishonest again. You brought up the 'madman' angle. I never would have I just addressed it now you try to change it into Prophet by sleight of hand because you strayed out of your depth in your eagerness to disparage.

No, accepting Muhammad as a Prophet is necessary to being a Muslim. The definition of Prophet is open to interpretation. So is the definition of God.

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If the road strays too far you may find yourself headless by the blood-red sword of the believer.

Ok, let's assume that's true. Who are you labeling in this way? We know that you do not make a distinction between 'fundies' and 'believers' as I do, so perhaps you mean the guy who runs the shop you buy your groceries from? The local schoolteacher? The guy who drives your taxi?

I suspect you do not know or interact with many Muslims but if you do and you label them as killers it is perhaps significant.

Or perhaps you do not view them as 'real Muslims' because they don't kill. Or maybe they are waiting in sleeper cells?

And you talk t others about being irrational......

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Who believes they are absolutely correct when they might only possibly be correct?

Who cares. It's enough that it happens though I would not be surprised if you claimed it never does. Anywhere. At any time.

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Vegetarian is merely a label we apply to those who do not eat meat. Islam is different entirely. Answer the question. Can one be a Muslim and deny that Muhammad was a prophet?

I answered it above.

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Can you explain or describe the obvious contradiction in your argument? (At one point saying that Islam has an absolute dogmatic tenet and then saying there are no absolute dogmatic tenets?)

Yes I can explain it though I do not believe you are of a mindset to understand it.

Islam is based on a duality which is an equivalent to Taoist conceptions of Yin and Yang. I have a theory that, unlike the Buddhist mindset which can quite happily accommodate such a contrasting view, the Arab mind (and I mean this apart from other later Islamic elements such as the Iranian and Indian etc) is more rigid and hence strives to 'prove' that either yin or yang is correct. Hence a proclivity to Fundamentalism in Middle Eastern Monotheism.

Back to the Yin/Yang; it is implicit throughout Islam. In the Qur'an, everywhere.

In the Shahada which we are discussing it is overt.

"There is no God".

"Except for God"

Everywhere affirmation and denial. Denial and affirmation. It is a Zen Koan. All religion is actually 'for him who has ears to hear'.

So the explanation could be put - in your terms perhaps; there is no dogma but the dogma there should be no dogma.

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We have established that nothing means what it is supposed to mean? I suppose "intellectual cowardice" should be added to "intellectual dishonesty".

Sorry...I was being dihonest there....I should have said: "we have established that things mean whatever Groverat states that they mean for the purpose of the point he is trying to make at the time."

I realize that any infraction of that will - and should - result in the swift sword of academic justice and I bare my neck for the Hammer of the Righteous.

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Speaking of tells, your failed attempts at humor crop up when you are unable to deal with straightforward discussion.

How can I have a failed attempt at humour?

If a comedian tells a funny joke to a humourless crowd it is still funny.

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He dismisses religion in their motivations out-of-hand, saying that the economic/political factors are more pressing. In his tallying he ignores religion if any economic/political factor is involved. This requires the belief that these motivations cannot mix or reinforce each other, and this belief is false.

It does not become false by you saying it. Only God says 'Be' and it is.......
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #123 of 125
segovius:

So when you said "free-thinking" you didn't actually mean "free-thinking", you actually meant "extremely rigid and violent thought control"? Yet another pathetic semantic dodge.

You know very well what a society that embraces free-thinking involves, and you know very well this was not the attitude of Muhammad and his followers, and that times of Muslim embrace of free-thinking are far more rare than the times of Muslim thought control.

What apology for brutality, pretending that vague cultural vestiges existing in the oppressive framework of Islam actually passes for free thought and belief.

Tell me, what did Muhammad think should be done with groups of Quraish, for instance, that attempted to persuade Muslims away from Islam? (Please answer this question honestly.)
What did Muhammad think should be done with those that decided they no longer wanted to be Muslim? (Please answer this question honestly.)
Do you think Muhammad's beliefs in this vein are consistent with any rational interpretation of "free-thinking"? (Please answer this question honestly.)

You said, and I quote, "In Islam (as I have mentioned to you on the odd occasion), before the Fundies took hold there was a tradition of free thinking…", but you know this is not true, don’t you?

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Here it is you being dishonest. Why don't you cite some examples? If you can find one of a non-fundie or literalist you win. That's got to be tempting no? On second thoughts you will just not accept the evidence even in the unlikely event you go this route so maybe let's skip it.

How could I possibly? You simply dismiss everyone you disagree with as "fundie" or "literalist". The terms have no meaning in your use except that which you decide at the time (like when you accused me of being a "fundie" and being completely unable to substantiate it, except that you like the use the word as a personal insult).

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Of course there cannot. But again, you claim all religion is irrational whereas I claim only some of it - perhaps even the vast majority but not all - is.

Religion is only rational in the same way that everything else is rational. That which it offers that has worth is available in many other ways. It is the irrational aspect of faith that is dangerous.

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I didn't say that. You are being dishonest again. You brought up the 'madman' angle.

I said "deranged", you said "madman" repeatedly because it fit within the framework of the argument you wanted me to make, not the one I was making.

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Ok, let's assume that's true. Who are you labeling in this way? We know that you do not make a distinction between 'fundies' and 'believers' as I do, so perhaps you mean the guy who runs the shop you buy your groceries from? The local schoolteacher? The guy who drives your taxi?

Muhammad, the founder of the religion. The faith has that at its genesis, even if those who now practice it denounce it (or, more accurately, hide from it and pretend it is not important).

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I suspect you do not know or interact with many Muslims but if you do and you label them as killers it is perhaps significant.

I know and like Muslims. Islam, however, is a disgusting cancer on the face of the world.

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Who cares. It's enough that it happens though I would not be surprised if you claimed it never does. Anywhere. At any time.

You care, apparently, so much so that you make repeated personal attacks against me with absolutely no substantiation at all. Your arguments are so weak that you must make these cowardly accusations and then pretend you don't care when you are called out.

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So the explanation could be put - in your terms perhaps; there is no dogma but the dogma there should be no dogma.

And this is nonsense. What is there to respect in nonsense?

The Sahara is not "There is no god. Except for god." It is "There is no god except god." You purposefully separated the clauses and capitalized one to make it seem like a separate clause simply to fit your ridiculous attempt to square the circle you drew in contradicting yourself. Why are you still talking? It is like dishonesty drips from your every pore in this discussion.

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It does not become false by you saying it. Only God says 'Be' and it is.......

What does god say? We say things, I hear no god speaking.
But address the point; is it rational to dismiss all religious motivation if economic/political motivations are also present?
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post #124 of 125


Ah, the religion of peace.

Fanatics demanding Mrs Gibbons' execution by firing squad streamed out of mosques yesterday after prayers — grabbing machetes, knives and clubs.

The Gillian Gibbons story is interesting, because it highlights both the savagery of many religious teachings and also the complete pointlessness of religion as a positive social force. I can illustrate this by laying out a few simple statements and welcoming anyone to contradict them.

The first premise is that it is morally wrong to kill someone for naming a teddy bear after a religious figure. All but the moral relativist and the Muslim should agree with this fully.

The second premise is that the likelihood of an atheist being in the group that thinks she should be protected from being killed for this 'crime' is ~100%.

The third premise is that the likelihood any randomly selected person in the group of those calling for her to be killed for this 'crime' being Muslim is ~100%.

What does this say? One thing it says is that having no religion at all is more likely to guide someone to the proper moral conclusion than being Muslim.
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post #125 of 125
The thing that fascinates me about Islam is its usual expression being that of the notion of "honor" in arabic culture.

None of the people you see at these demonstrations against teddy bear naming, book dropping, cartoon drawing infidels is really concerned about what an all seeing God may be thinking.

Their concern is what their fellow muslims are thinking, and are rushing to appear more zealous than the rest.

I wonder whether this stems from 1500 years of by being harder on apostates than the next man, you secure your own neck.

A case of stone or be stoned, with the bonus social status of being a heavy pitcher.

When Jesus said "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" he did it with the christian belief that we are all sinners and therefore should forgive others their transgressions.

The muslim believes "Stone throwing proves piety".
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