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Top ten reasons why Islam is not the religion of peace
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typoon
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Mar 9, 2005, 05:06 PM
 
http://www.americanthinker.com/artic...rticle_id=4315

Interesting read whether you agree or not.
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placebo1969
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Mar 9, 2005, 05:26 PM
 
That's why I don't trust religions less than 2000 years old.


For the humor impaired, that's a joke.
     
eklipse
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Mar 9, 2005, 06:14 PM
 
     
SVass
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Mar 9, 2005, 06:15 PM
 
You should go for 2500 years. At 1400 years, religions have crusades (jihads) and inquisitions. At 2000 years, they claim to follow the law but kill people in contravention of their commandments and laws. (Trial without jury, imprisonment without trial, and invasion without just cause directly contradict rules that they want to provide in stone in courthouses-after they translate them from the original incorrectly.) sam
     
Kilbey
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Mar 9, 2005, 07:24 PM
 
Originally posted by placebo1969:
That's why I don't trust religions less than 2000 years old.


For the humor impaired, that's a joke.
I understand you were making as joke, but do you realize that Christianity is less than 2,000 years old?

Jesus was in his early 30's when he began his ministry. Around 28-33 AD (depending on the sources.)
     
Stradlater
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Mar 9, 2005, 07:44 PM
 
...and the religion called Christianity didn't begin till long after his death.

And as far as the link goes:

There are similar things you can quote from Christian holy texts.
"You rise," he said, "like Aurora."
     
lil'babykitten
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Mar 9, 2005, 07:46 PM
 
I feel sorry for the author's students. What an idiot.
     
Zimphire
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Mar 9, 2005, 08:50 PM
 
Yeah, you sure showed us how he was wrong....
     
BRussell
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Mar 9, 2005, 08:57 PM
 
If someone wanted to, they could come up with a similar list based on the Bible too.
     
Shaddim
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Mar 9, 2005, 09:03 PM
 
Originally posted by BRussell:
If someone wanted to, they could come up with a similar list based on the Bible too.
The OT, definitely (if taken from a literal perspective). The NT? Not so much.
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Big Mac
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Mar 9, 2005, 09:33 PM
 
I am deeply offended that a fellow Jew would not only illogically libel the Hebrew Scriptures but would also choose to refer to it in a decidedly unJewish way. If someone wants to make an analogous claim about the Hebrew Scriptures or the Greek Testament, let that person put up proof so that it can be challenged and dissected.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
SimpleLife
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Mar 9, 2005, 09:39 PM
 
Originally posted by typoon:
http://www.americanthinker.com/artic...rticle_id=4315

Interesting read whether you agree or not.
More of the "quoted out of context" kind.

Always be careful of people who claim they think. Sometimes, it is the last they do...
     
Big Mac
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Mar 9, 2005, 10:00 PM
 
Originally posted by SimpleLife:
More of the "quoted out of context" kind.

Always be careful of people who claim they think. Sometimes, it is the last they do...
I am curious as to how you support that claim. Those quotations definitely seem to be in their proper context. When people wish to avoid the unambiguous truth, they often seek to rationalize it away, just as you have done.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
SimpleLife
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Mar 9, 2005, 10:37 PM
 
Originally posted by Big Mac:
...definitely seem to be...
oxymoron.
     
zigzag
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Mar 9, 2005, 10:51 PM
 
"Mohammed" and "booty" - two words I never thought I'd see together.

What a dumb article. "Sixth and finally, Islam should never be taught in our public schools, K through 12 . . ." Gee, I wonder if this guy, who writes like a tenth grader, has an agenda.

I Googled the author and he is never identified as anything more than a teacher of "world religions and introductory philosophy at a college in Southern California." I always leap to attention when people claim to teach religion and introductory philosophy at unidentified colleges. I'm willing to bet any amount of money that it's a Bible school, a diploma mill, or both.

How about "Top Ten Reasons why Islam and Christianity alike turn many otherwise sensible people into dimwits"?
     
Big Mac
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Mar 9, 2005, 10:57 PM
 
Originally posted by SimpleLife:
oxymoron.
What a persuasive rebuttal. . . I suppose that response means you've withdrawn your claim about context.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
TETENAL
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Mar 10, 2005, 12:36 AM
 
Originally posted by SimpleLife:
More of the "quoted out of context" kind.
Reminds me of Logi. Whatever I quoted was "out of context". Whatever he quoted was "the truth".
     
Zimphire
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Mar 10, 2005, 12:48 AM
 
So no Rebuttals yet?

I am curious to hear both sides.

Honestly.
     
mitchell_pgh
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Mar 10, 2005, 01:00 AM
 
I grew up roman catholic... they taught compassion for others. I just don't understand religions that teach hatred.
     
Taliesin
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Mar 10, 2005, 07:43 AM
 
Originally posted by typoon:
http://www.americanthinker.com/artic...rticle_id=4315

Interesting read whether you agree or not.
It's indeed interesting and rediculous at the same time, but I guess you knew that I would say that. But I will do more and actually respond to the top ten reasons, starting with the first:

1. Muhammad launches his own Crusades.

In the following verse, Muhammad uses the Arabic word qital (root is q-t-l), which means warring, fighting, or killing:

9:29 Fight [q-t-l] those among the people of the Book [Christians] who do not believe in God and the Last Day, do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden and do not profess the true religion, till they pay the poll-tax out of hand and submissively. (Fakhry)
People of the book are by the way christians and jews. That verse was a direct reaction to Byzant's war against the just created islamic religion and more important islamic state. Before Islam came up, the arabs were not connected in a state but were part of independent tribes, and were therefore no political threat for Byzant, but when Muhammad returned to Mecca and made contracts with a lot of tribes to work together and in peace with each other, Byzant saw a rivaling empire arising and mobilised its army to defeat the new monotheistic Mecca.

Muhammad organized a large army and sent it to north Arabia to fight Byzant's army but Byzant demobilised, obviously seeing the strenght of the new islamic army, and Muhammad led his army back without conquering Byzant. Now that shows truly what violent religion Islam is, oh my God, Muhammad sent out an army and then, when the opponent demobilised, went back without conquering, how mean!

Under prophet Muhammad's regime, war was always used in defensive manner to protect themselves from attacking opponents, and always against armed men, and never against civilians.

2. Muhammad unjustly executes around 600 male Jews and enslaves the women and children.

After the Battle of the Trench in March 627 (named after a trench that the Muslims dug around parts of Medina) against a large coalition of Meccans and their allies, Muhammad imposed the ultimate penalty on the men in the Jewish clan, Qurayzah, his third and final Jewish rivals (he banished the Qaynuqa tribe in April 624 and the Nadir tribe in August 625). The Qurayzah tribe was supposed to remain neutral in the Battle, but they seem to have intrigued with the Meccans and to have been on the verge of attacking Muhammad from the rear. They were judged guilty by one of their Medinan Muslim allies, though Muhammad could have shown mercy, exiled them (as indeed they requested), or executed only a few.
What the author has forgotten to mention is that there was already a jewish tribe before this one that betrayed the neutrality-contract, they had signed with Muhammad, and worked as traitors for the polytheistic Mecca. When that came out Muhammad exiled them, but it didn't take long until the males in fighting age of that tribe came back and fought against Medina on the side of the polytheistic Mecca.

When the second tribe did the same and betrayed the neutrality agreement, too, Muhammad decided to punish the tribe by executing the males, because by only exiling them they would have also returned fighting on the side of polytheistic Mecca in the war Mecca started.

3. Muhammad in his Quran promises sensuous Gardens for martyrs dying in a military holy war.

Throughout the Quran, Muhammad promises the men in his fledgling Muslim community that if they die fighting for Allah and for him, Allah will reward them with a “virgin-rich” Garden (Suras 44:51-56; 52:17-29; 55:46-78).

In the following Quranic passage, representing others (Suras 4:74, 9:111; 3:140-143), the Arabic word “jihad” (root is j-h-d) is the means or currency to trade in this life for the life to come in an economic bargain.

61:10 You who believe, shall I show you a bargain that will save you from painful punishment? 11 Have faith in God and His Messenger and struggle [j-h-d] for His cause with your possessions and your persons—that is better for you, if only you knew—12 and He will forgive your sins, admit you into Gardens graced with flowing streams, into pleasant dwellings in the Gardens of Eternity. That is the supreme triumph. (Haleem)
First, it's important to note that Muhammad didn't promise anything in the Quran, because the Quran was not from him but from God. Muhammad was only an illiterate that was chosen by God to be the one to speak out God's words.

Jihad means struggle, and has numerous non-violent means and aspects, but in times of war, (to be more exact in times of defensive war, as that and the freeing of oppressed people that called for help, are the only ones allowed for muslims) it means to join the ranks of the army in order to fight a defensive war.

For those that die in such a defensive war, the Quran promises paradise as a reward, there is nothing objectionable about that.

As to the virgin-rich gardens, what a nonsense by the way, as everyone entering paradise, men and women will be in the state of virginity, so it's really selffulfilling. But I will quote the verses the author has merely hinted at:

Sura 44:51-57:

51. As to the Righteous (they will be) in a position of Security,
52. Among Gardens and Springs;
53. Dressed in fine silk and in rich brocade, they will face each other;
54. So; and We shall join them to Companions with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes.
55. There can they call for every kind of fruit in peace and security;
56. Nor will they there taste Death, except the first death; and He will preserve them from the Penalty of the Blazing Fire,-
57. As a Bounty from thy Lord! that will be the supreme achievement!
Wow, God promises in the Quran for the righteous people nice things in paradise, like beautiful companions and peace and security and eternal life in paradise, that's really a proof for the violence of Islam, how mean!

Sura 52:17-29:

17. As to the Righteous, they will be in Gardens, and in Happiness,-
18. Enjoying the (Bliss) which their Lord hath bestowed on them, and their Lord shall deliver them from the Penalty of the Fire.
19. (To them will be said) "Eat and drink ye, with profit and health, because of your (good) deeds."
20. They will recline (with ease) on Thrones (of dignity) arranged in ranks; and We shall join them to Companions, with beautiful big and lustrous eyes.
21. And those who believe and whose families follow them in Faith,- to them shall We join their families: Nor shall We deprive them (of the fruit) of aught of their works: (Yet) is each individual in pledge for his deeds.
22. And We shall bestow on them, of fruit and meat, anything they shall desire.
23. They shall there exchange, one with another, a (loving) cup free of frivolity, free of all taint of ill.
24. Round about them will serve, (devoted) to them. Youths (handsome) as Pearls well-guarded.
25. They will advance to each other, engaging in mutual enquiry.
26. They will say: "Aforetime, we were not without fear for the sake of our people.
27. "But God has been good to us, and has delivered us from the Penalty of the Scorching Wind.
28. "Truly, we did call unto Him from of old: truly it is He, the Beneficent, the Merciful!"
29. Therefore proclaim thou the praises (of thy Lord): for by the Grace of thy Lord, thou art no (vulgar) soothsayer, nor art thou one possessed.
Pretty similar to the previous quote, again a reward for righteous people, how violent and mean!

Sura 55:46-78:
46. But for such as fear the time when they will stand before (the Judgment Seat of) their Lord, there will be two Gardens-
47. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-
48. Containing all kinds (of trees and delights);-
49. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-
50. In them (each) will be two Springs flowing (free);
51. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-
52. In them will be Fruits of every kind, two and two.
53. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
54. They will recline on Carpets, whose inner linings will be of rich brocade: the Fruit of the Gardens will be near (and easy of reach).
55. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
56. In them will be (Maidens), chaste, restraining their glances, whom no man or Jinn before them has touched;-
57. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-
58. Like unto Rubies and coral.
59. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
60. Is there any Reward for Good - other than Good?
61. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
62. And besides these two, there are two other Gardens,-
63. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-
64. Dark-green in colour (from plentiful watering).
65. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
66. In them (each) will be two Springs pouring forth water in continuous abundance:
67. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
68. In them will be Fruits, and dates and pomegranates:
69. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
70. In them will be fair (Companions), good, beautiful;-
71. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-
72. Companions restrained (as to their glances), in (goodly) pavilions;-
73. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-
74. Whom no man or Jinn before them has touched;-
75. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-
76. Reclining on green Cushions and rich Carpets of beauty.
77. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
78. Blessed be the name of thy Lord, full of Majesty, Bounty and Honour.
Oh, my God, a reward for those people that fear the Last day, the judgement day, that is ultimately violent and mean.

4. Muhammad aggressively attacks Meccan caravans.

A year or so after Muhammad’s Hijrah from Mecca to Medina in 622, he attacks Meccan caravans six times, and sent out a punitive expedition three-days away against an Arab tribe that stole some Medinan grazing camels (or cattle), totaling seven raids.
Interesting what time is used grammatically in that text: Muhammad "aggressively" attacks (!) Meccan caravans. That alone speaks volumes about the author's manipulative dishonesty. Regardless, the accusation that Muhammad started the agression against Mecca has no basis:

The author himself said that Muhammad's raid started after the Hijra of Muhammad and his followers to Medina. The Hijra was not a voluntary leaving of Mecca, but one made in order to save his followers from the ongoing pogroms against them. After his followers left Mecca for Medina the Meccans even plotted to assassinate Muhammad when he should sleep, but he was warned by a verse sent to him, and so he left Mecca, too.

The Meccans then took all the possessions of the leaving followers of Muhammad and of Muhammad himself, the lands, homes... and distributed among themselves.

The raids of Muhammad's followers on Meccan's caravans are therefore only a small making good for the property the Meccans stole before.

5. Muhammad commands death or the cutting off of hands and feet for fighting and corrupting the land.
5:34 Indeed, the punishment of those who fight God and His Messenger and who go around corrupting the land is to be killed, crucified, have their hands and feet cut off on opposite sides, or to be banished from the land. That is a disgrace for them in this life, and in the life to come theirs will be a terrible punishment. 35 Except for those who repent before you overpower them. Know, then, that God is All-Forgiving, Merciful. (Fakhry)
Lol, off course he "commands (!)" death against those that made war against him, ie. fighters of the enemy, it was a war afterall!

6. Muhammad assassinates poets and poetesses.

These two poets represent others in early Islam.
What a nonsense, fairytales at best. But under that point, the author also listes a few quranic verse-numbers that should presumably support his case, which they off course don't:

Sura 3:186:
186. Ye shall certainly be tried and tested in your possessions and in your personal selves; and ye shall certainly Hear much that will grieve you, from those who received the Book before you and from those who worship many gods. But if ye persevere patiently, and guard against evil,-then that will be a determining factor in all affairs.
In that Quran-verse, God directly adressed prophet Muhammad, by saying "you", and warned Muhammad that his message will be met with prejudice and hostility from the polytheists as well as those from the people of the book, and called Muhammad to be patient. That sure is a proof for assassinating poets.

Sura 9:61-63:
61. Among them are men who molest the Prophet and say, "He is (all) ear." Say, "He listens to what is best for you: he believes in God, has faith in the Believers, and is a Mercy to those of you who believe." But those who molest the Messenger will have a grievous penalty.
62. To you they swear by God. In order to please you: But it is more fitting that they should please God and His Messenger, if they are Believers.
63. Know they not that for those who oppose God and His Messenger, is the Fire of Hell?- wherein they shall dwell. That is the supreme disgrace.
God promises a grievous penalty for those that mock about the prophet and about God, saying that those who oppose God and his messenger will be punished in hell by God himself!

Sura 33:57:
57. Those who annoy God and His Messenger - God has cursed them in this World and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating Punishment.
Again it talks about what God will do with people that annoy him and about a prepared punishment on judgment day and after!

Sura 33:59-61:

59. O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And God is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful.
60. Truly, if the Hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and those who stir up sedition in the City, desist not, We shall certainly stir thee up against them: Then will they not be able to stay in it as thy neighbours for any length of time:
61. They shall have a curse on them: whenever they are found, they shall be seized and slain.
God warns that people that molest and rape people will be banned, and then when found again killed, if they don't desist their behaviour.

7. Muhammad in his Quran commands that the hands of male or female thieves should be cut off.

5:38 Cut off the hands of thieves, whether they are male or female, as punishment for what they have done—a deterrent from God: God is almighty and wise. 39 But if anyone repents after his wrongdoing and makes amends, God will accept his repentance: God is most forgiving and merciful. (Haleem)
Again it's not Muhammad that commands or promises something in the Quran, it's God that said that thieves should be punished with cutting of hands , if they don't repent(that means if they do it again). Hardly a sign for violence, as it is a judicial decision, with much room for forgivings and repentances.

8. Muhammad in his Quran permits husbands to beat their wives.

4:34 Husbands should take full care of their wives, with [the bounties] God has given to some more than others and with what they spend out of their own money. Righteous wives are devout and guard what God would have them guard in the husbands’ absence. If you fear high-handedness from your wives, remind them [of the teaching of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them. God is most high and great. (Haleem)
Again, Muhammad doesn't permit anything, it's God that permits or prohibits things in the Quran. As to the case of women, that verse actually has strenghtened the well-being of women at that time considerably, as it restrained the domestic violence against them that was wide-spread in polytheistic Arabia, by setting up a procedure on how to treat wifes the husbands feel are disloyal or have ill-conducted things:
1. To talk with them about the problem and to remind them of God's message and teachings.
2. If that doesn't help then to punish the wifes by not sleeping with them.
3. And then lastly if that doesn't help to beat them.

That way men were restrained in their domestic violence as there is a long negotiating-phase between the feared offense and the last possibility of direct violence, and numerous possibilities to unite again.

Men that use domestic violence against their wifes nowadays, be they muslims, christians, jews or atheists, mostly ignore those procedures and use the violence directly out of an immediate emotion.

9. Muhammad commands in his Quran that adulterers and adulteresses should receive a hundred lashes.

24:2 Strike the adulteress and the adulterer one hundred times. Do not let compassion for them keep you from carrying out God’s law—if you believe in God and the Last Day—and ensure that a group of believers witnesses the punishment. (Haleem)
Again, like in the former cases, Muhammad doesn't command anything, but God does, and again like in the case of the thieves, this is a judicial decision, which needs four witnesses or more to launch a case for adultery.

10. Muhammad nicknames his weapons.

Tabari (AD 839-923) is an early Muslim historian who is considered largely reliable by scholars today. In fact, the State University of New York Press selected his history to be translated into 38 volumes. (We use volume 9, pp. 153-55, trans. Ismail K. Poonawala.)

In the context of the list of Muhammad’s assets (horses, camels, milch sheep, and so on) at the end of his life, Tabari records the nicknames of Muhammad’s weapons.
Now this has to be the most rediculous accusation, even if true,
which it's not, would be no sign for any violence.

Taliesin
( Last edited by Taliesin; Mar 10, 2005 at 07:52 AM. )
     
SimpleLife
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Mar 10, 2005, 08:00 AM
 
Originally posted by Big Mac:
What a persuasive rebuttal. . . I suppose that response means you've withdrawn your claim about context.
No. It means your own reply is turned useless by its own devices.

The funniest thing is that there is another thread about the Bible or the Torah that requires everyone into reading "in context" or for its figurative/metaphorical aspects. But with Islam? Naaah. The writing is on the wall and forget about any higher cognitive functions!

Or is that not because these arguments are very convenient in a hatred perspective?

We also have to put ourselves at the times of the writing; those times were not peaceful and religion was also used to rally the more fidels that was possible because religions are self-sustaining systems. Look at the expansion of Christianism in 2000 years and especially how it was done. In those times, you had to "be with us or against us". Mere ideas about justice and fairness leading to extreme behaviors. It's human Nature stuff. Nothing new in terms of paradoxes, and complexities and intricate rationalisms.

Religions are not murderous. Only people who act blindly and without common sense are. Religions can provide a higher understanding in hope to reach the Truth, but they all fail and provide only a flimsy sense of reassurance.

And here is an example of oppression from the Bible:

"For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. 10 Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels".
Suddenly, millenia of submission of women to men being justified by a rhetoric of the Creation. That one and simple argument has probably lead to more enslavement and murder of women than any jihad.

I have seen men beating up their wives for a "no" and quote that very passage. Was he wrong? If we are to take the attitude of that "American Thinker", he was right. Because if we give credit to one process of analysis, that process has to remain the same everywhere else. Otherwise, we become quite hypocritical.
     
SimpleLife
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Mar 10, 2005, 08:03 AM
 
Originally posted by TETENAL:
Reminds me of Logi. Whatever I quoted was "out of context". Whatever he quoted was "the truth".
True! And it is a question of point of view. You were both right and wrong, but could not agree on a simple rule of discussion: do we accept the metaphorical level in the debate or do we take the whole thing to the letter? Do we accept that the writers of those times were more clever than we allow them to be?

Can we accept that if some people were able of the greatest wisdom in the most remote past, that others were able of the same as well?
     
deomacius
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Mar 10, 2005, 12:46 PM
 
Originally posted by zigzag:
How about "Top Ten Reasons why Islam and Christianity alike turn many otherwise sensible people into dimwits"?
Yes, and non-religious folk are ALWAYS so much more enlightened.

How about this... dimwitted people were dimwitted BEFORE they came to a particular religion.

You reap what you sow.
     
Shaddim
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Mar 10, 2005, 12:58 PM
 
Originally posted by zigzag:
How about "Top Ten Reasons why Islam and Christianity alike turn many otherwise sensible people into dimwits"?
zig's idiotic attack on religion, take 2182.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Big Mac
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Mar 10, 2005, 01:38 PM
 
Originally posted by SimpleLife:
No. It means your own reply is turned useless by its own devices.
And you're relying on weak rhetorical devices.

The funniest thing is that there is another thread about the Bible or the Torah that requires everyone into reading "in context" or for its figurative/metaphorical aspects. But with Islam? Naaah. The writing is on the wall and forget about any higher cognitive functions!
Although he will, of course, disagree, MacNStein's claims are at variance with normative Orthodox Judaism. But even if you were to accept his claims, that reference still does not help you - your comparison is not analogous.

Suddenly, millenia of submission of women to men being justified by a rhetoric of the Creation. That one and simple argument has probably lead to more enslavement and murder of women than any jihad.
So you see moral equivalence between spousal abuse (which is certainly a horrible thing) and jihads, crusades and inquisitions?

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
zigzag
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Mar 10, 2005, 05:49 PM
 
Originally posted by deomacius:
Yes, and non-religious folk are ALWAYS so much more enlightened.

How about this... dimwitted people were dimwitted BEFORE they came to a particular religion.
Yes, many people are dimwitted independently of religion - no argument there. But the thread is about a rather dimwitted article by someone who is clearly motivated by religious conviction. That's dimwit strike 1. The article is, in turn, about some religious-based beliefs, like wife-beating, that are themselves rather dimwitted. That's dimwit strike 2. Moreover, people are fighting over whether one ancient text of uncertain origin and interpretation is more deserving of strict allegiance than another ancient text of unknown origin and interpretation. The idea of strict allegiance to any ancient text of uncertain origin and interpretation, much less fighting over which one, strikes me as rather . . . dimwitted. Thus my remark.

Are you arguing that my remark is untrue? That religion does not make dimwits out of many - as in a lot of, but not all - people? Isn't that the very premise of the article, that people shouldn't beat their wives just because some ancient text says so? Do you really think such phenomena are limited to Islam?

In any case, when people behave like dimwits as a direct result of their religious convictions, I see no reason why I shouldn't make note of it, just as I would make note of dimwitted behavior in other contexts. Some people seem to think that anything labeled "religous" or "spiritual" is immune from scrutiny; I don't.
     
deomacius
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Mar 10, 2005, 06:51 PM
 
Originally posted by zigzag:
Some people seem to think that anything labeled "religous" or "spiritual" is immune from scrutiny; I don't.
I'm not saying this. What I am saying is don't fall into the trap of blaming the RELIGION for the ACTIONS of the person. While SOME religions DO condone bad behavior, it's really on the PERSON for choosing to behave badly and in some cases justify said behavior with their religion. This is (in my opinion) especially true with Christianity. There are things in there that people will gladly take out of context or misinterpret to fit their view of certain bad behaviors. It's sort of like a person doing something (knowingly) bad or wrong to the nerd down the street and then trying to hide behind a bigger bully when the nerd goes for help. People need to be accountable for their actions. I don't blame religion, TV, video games, music or other "influences". I blame the individual for making poor choices or choosing to behave poorly.

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Mar 10, 2005, 07:31 PM
 
Originally posted by deomacius:
I'm not saying this. What I am saying is don't fall into the trap of blaming the RELIGION for the ACTIONS of the person. While SOME religions DO condone bad behavior, it's really on the PERSON for choosing to behave badly and in some cases justify said behavior with their religion. This is (in my opinion) especially true with Christianity. There are things in there that people will gladly take out of context or misinterpret to fit their view of certain bad behaviors. It's sort of like a person doing something (knowingly) bad or wrong to the nerd down the street and then trying to hide behind a bigger bully when the nerd goes for help. People need to be accountable for their actions. I don't blame religion, TV, video games, music or other "influences". I blame the individual for making poor choices or choosing to behave poorly.
I understand your point, and I don't condemn religion per se because it can have considerable redeeming value, but the unfortunate fact is that it can and does often encourage dimwitted behavior that people would not and should not otherwise engage in, largely because of the blind obedience and, ahem, faith, that it often calls for. If you've accepted a given religious text as the word of God and have pled allegiance to it, and you're told that said text requires you to do X, and X is dimwitted, then the finger can be pointed at the religion and the individual both. To do otherwise is to suggest that anything labeled "religion" is beyond scrutiny, which I don't accept. If religion encourages dimwitted behavior, I'm not afraid to say so. Isn't that the whole point of the article that this thread is based on? The only difference is that I don't think it's exclusive to Islam, and I don't think the author of the article takes a particularly intelligent approach, because he's equally blinded by religious fervor.

EDIT: Just wanted to add that we agree more than it might appear. I also believe that people are responsible for their actions. But it's difficult to act responsibly when you've given yourself over to an external authority, which is a common feature of religion. That's why I can't bring myself to reduce the issue to "It's the person, not the religion." If the religion encourages dubious behavior, then the religion is subject to scrutiny. But I agree that the person is ultimately responsible for making the choice to adopt dubious ideas, in a religious or any other context.

Here's my real point, which I should have made more clearly: I see a discussion in which it's pointed out that the Koran(sp) contains material of dubious merit. The Muslims argue, "No, you've misinterpreted it - there's nothing dubious about anything in the Koran," even though there clearly is. It then gets pointed out that the Bible also contains material of dubious merit, to which the Christians respond, "No, you've misinterpreted it, there's nothing dubious about anything in the Bible," even though there clearly is. Well, here's all I'm asking: Why can't both sides just admit that these ancient texts, both of uncertain origin and meaning, contain material that is of dubious merit, along with useful material? Why is that so hard? It's so hard because religion lends itself to all-or-nothing and often irrational thinking. That, to me, is dimwitted, and I make no apologies for saying so.
( Last edited by zigzag; Mar 10, 2005 at 10:13 PM. )
     
SimpleLife
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Mar 10, 2005, 07:32 PM
 
Originally posted by Big Mac:
And you're relying on weak rhetorical devices.
Next time, avoid oxymorons: it might make your position clearer.

Although he will, of course, disagree, MacNStein's claims are at variance with normative Orthodox Judaism. But even if you were to accept his claims, that reference still does not help you - your comparison is not analogous.
I don't get your point. In what way does this quote I made from MacNstein's not appropriate? If you'd be more explicit, we could have a fruitful discussion you know?

So you see moral equivalence between spousal abuse (which is certainly a horrible thing) and jihads, crusades and inquisitions?
Ah? So jihads are not horrible?

Come on: on one side you have writings, on the other, you have people acting upon them. The rationalisation behind it is owned by the actor. Not the writing.

So yes, there is equivalence when it says the wife has to submit to the husband and when one preaches the following:
4:34 Husbands should take full care of their wives, with [the bounties] God has given to some more than others and with what they spend out of their own money. Righteous wives are devout and guard what God would have them guard in the husbands’ absence. If you fear high-handedness from your wives, remind them [of the teaching of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them.
There has been a Jihad on women, Christian or not, since the World began. The whole thing is about male domination, and religions are accomplices Kill a wife or kill the infidel leads to more power. The history of fundamentalisms, of whatever religion, is the same.

"If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver._ He must marry the girl, for he has violated her._ He can never divorce her as long as he lives._ (From the NIV Bible, Deuteronomy 22:28)"
You want to take this litterally and tell me this is not a moral equivalent to a jihad? How about imposing a lifetime of abuse to the victim? Or would death be preferable?

Here are more examples of extreme interpretations of the Bible.

The Bible is full of contradictory prescriptions, just like the Quran. One is not better than the other; they are both collections of Historical episodes of a life long gone from which we have to struggle to extract valuable wisdom most of the times.
     
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Mar 10, 2005, 07:38 PM
 
Originally posted by SimpleLife:
The Bible is full of contradictory prescriptions, just like the Quran. One is not better than the other; they are both collections of Historical episodes of a life long gone from which we have to struggle to extract valuable wisdom most of the times.
Well said. Sadly, I'm not quite as diplomatic as you are.
     
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Mar 11, 2005, 12:17 AM
 
SimpleLife, in reference to your last post (which I do not have the energy to quote), the words that you deemed oxymoronic - definitely seem - really are not. The definitiveness of the adverb definitely is mitigated by the word seem - I will grant you that - but there is no logical contradiction there. I have to imagine you were able to comprehend the statement, which lead me to conclude that you raised a meritless objection due to the weakness of your previous assertions. On the other hand, you may well have some issues with English comprehension, because I clearly drew a distinction between spousal abuse and theocratic warfare/murder, and I asked you how you could possibly equate the two categories. Either you're being a twit, or you should consider changing your username to SimpleMind. The bible verse you quoted does not state that a woman must be confined to an abusive relationship for life. The obvious, direct meaning is that the man may not divorce the woman he has violated, but she may get a divorce from him. If your mind were not so clouded, perhaps you would find the written word easier to process. Finally, regarding the biblical context/allegory thread featuring MacNStein, my objections to his theological views are in that thread.

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Mar 11, 2005, 03:33 AM
 
Originally posted by Zimphire:
Yeah, you sure showed us how he was wrong....
Give me a break, Zimphire I know your smart enough not to believe that crap!!
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Mar 11, 2005, 06:16 AM
 
Originally posted by SimpleLife:

The Bible is full of contradictory prescriptions, just like the Quran. One is not better than the other; they are both collections of Historical episodes of a life long gone from which we have to struggle to extract valuable wisdom most of the times.
I don't know much about the Bible, only hearing that it was written by a lot of people way after Jesus "died", but the Quran was revealed and written and memorized while Muhammad preached it in a timespan of 23 years. Sure, you can live on the stance that God doesn't exist, and that therefore there were really no real prophets, and that therefore Muhammad's preaching were just his own wisedoms and ideology in order to found an empire, and since there are a lot of stories about Abraham, Moses and Jesus and other prophets in the Quran, that it is therefore logical to conclude that he has just repeated what certain christians or jews have told him about their religion.
That theory though can't stand a thorough research:

1. Muhammad was illiterate, yet he, (if you don't believe it was God's words) produced some of the most beautiful arabic poetry, that even the arabic poets at that time were awed beyond description.
2. The Quran talks about cosmological and biological as well as geographical things that the arabs at that time and for many centuries didn't know anything about, and does so with as much precision as the poetry allowed without devolving into prosaic technicalities.
3. The polytheistic Mecca at that time tried for many years to convince and seduce Muhammad to change his message in such a way as to include polytheism and as a reward gain the complete support of the wealthy Mecca and on top be crowned the leader of all arabic tribes that were under the influence of Mecca. If he were not a real prophet, he would have surely given in to the pressure (his followers were terrorised), the bribery, the offered might... yet he stood clearly by complete monotheism.
4. Eventhough there were no political gain to be expected through it, the quranic message voiced by Muhammad brought women massive rights and freedoms, and restrained domestic violence, reduced the number of wifes a man could marry to a max of four, while suggesting to marry just one, ensured that women had the right to possess money and property, allowed women to become witnesses before courts, called for severe punishing for men that rape women...
5. Again, eventhough there was no real political gain to be expected from it, the quranic message called for slaves to be freed, if they wanted to become free and also if they have declared faith in God.
6. Eventhough there was no political gain to be expected from it, the quranic message called for the prohibition of aggressive wars and allowed wars only in cases of defense or if there are people that call for help as they are oppressed because of their faith in God.
7. Even more convincing, there are verses in the Quran that criticize even Muhammad's own behaviour in certain situations, which show that even such a great human and prophet like Muhammad is not sinless. And God let him speak out these verses to the arabs, eventhough it must have been painful and humiliating for Muhammad to hear that he was criticized.

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ebuddy
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Mar 11, 2005, 10:50 AM
 
Originally posted by SimpleLife:
The Bible is full of contradictory prescriptions, just like the Quran. One is not better than the other; they are both collections of Historical episodes of a life long gone from which we have to struggle to extract valuable wisdom most of the times.
To be clear; when I saw the post title I cringed. This thread topic has been exhausted several times and seems to rear it's ugly head a couple of times a year. I'm going to say the same thing in defense of Islam that I say in defense of Christianity and the like. In most cases, people who commit travesties in the name of their God almost invariably have to ignore specific tenets of their faith to do so. An example might be a pro-lifer who commits murder. This should never be construed as the fallacy of a religion for there are generally more clear reasons to take issue with it than the accusations leveled in this thread, rather it should be an indictment of a human nature that will use ANYTHING it can to manipulate the masses.

That said; I'd like to take issue with the statement that the Bible is full of contradictions. I hear this a lot and I guess it looks good to a bumper-sticker mentality, but I generally find some problems with the arguments and the one offering them. They have generally not read the Bible. I go to a site that supposedly illustrates these contradictions only to find they are either A. woefully ignorant of the culture of the time in which the writings were authored, or B. woefully ignorant of the translations and original text. and C. statements taken out of context from the verses before and after the quoted statement.

In this case, the website offered by SimpleLife above is exclusively relating to the OT conviction and persecution of women. Testament means Covenant or Contract. There was an Old Covenant, and per Christians-now a New Covenant and Contract. You see from reading the Old Contract that while the elite in high places knew the law, they came to a place where they primarily practiced adherence to it only when it was self-serving. They were not allowing God to use them in supporting God's will, but were using God to support their own wills and desires. The natural order was for the man to be in absolute submission to God and for the woman to be in submission to man. Submission to God also meant servitude to his wife, but this was not so. Man had proven that he was not in submission to God and as such women were not likewise in submission to men. The order had become broken in many respects, this only one piece of evidence. The culture of the time did not provision women with the same level of education of men. In this case for a women to have spoken in service would've allowed for the possibility that heresy would've been spoken. John seeked to change this by educating them in a tutorial fashion much later of course and many influential women can be found in the Bible including one who was personally tutored by none other than Jesus Himself; Martha. Jesus essentially came to challenge all that the establishment had become. If all had followed the Old Covenant, there'd been no need for a new agreement between God and His people. The New Testament, and more importantly Jesus Himself was quite clear about the roles of each and they were placed on a much more equal playing field in the New Agreement. Take it or leave it, the OT was building a foundation for the coming of Jesus in fulfillment of prophecy and resulted in the formation of the New Covenant. The history was necessary for the present. The present of course, much more desirable than the past in these respects. Today, many women hold positions of great influence in protestant and pentacostal churches. In short, what is called a contradiction is rarely, if ever so.
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Big Mac
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Mar 11, 2005, 11:19 AM
 
Originally posted by ebuddy:
In this case, the website offered by SimpleLife above is exclusively relating to the OT conviction and persecution of women. [SNIP]
It's too bad that you had to inject anti-Jewish dogma in there, because your bigoted shortsightedness serves to further divide individuals of faith. Let me guess, would you happen to be a Baptist?

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deomacius
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Mar 11, 2005, 12:42 PM
 
Originally posted by Big Mac:
It's too bad that you had to inject anti-Jewish dogma in there, because your bigoted shortsightedness serves to further divide individuals of faith. Let me guess, would you happen to be a Baptist?
Whaa.... huh?



SOMEBODY'S overly sensitive. You'd think it was Mandelbrot's ink test or something. I didn't see ANYTHING about anti-Jewish dogma in his statement.

You reap what you sow.
     
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Mar 11, 2005, 12:55 PM
 
Originally posted by ebuddy:
To be clear; when I saw the post title I cringed.
This forum is full of ghastly horrific things.

I screen-grabbed this nasty sight a few weeks back. There have been worse, but I didn't have the presence of mind to record them.

If this post is in the Lounge forum, it is likely to be my own opinion, and not representative of the position of MacNN.com.

     
Big Mac
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Mar 11, 2005, 01:32 PM
 
I'm beginning to remember why I quit the political portion of the Lounge awhile ago, before it was spun off.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Mar 11, 2005, 02:47 PM
 
Muhammed was abducted by extraterestrials.
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Mar 11, 2005, 03:39 PM
 
Is there any religion that is a religion of peace? that has never had adherents commit
horrible acts in the name of said religion? Buddhism seems pretty pacifistic but I don't
know enough about it's history to know if there have been major movements with
Buddhist thought and practice that advocated violence.

People will argue that it is the individual who does heinous things and that no religion
advocates doing heinous things but seriously, religion provides a strong unifying element
in a cultural group. It doesn't have to be written in some religious text to "kill the infidels"
for a religion to directly or indirectly influence the actions of their followers within a
specific cultural group.

Of course, if we didn't have the Church organizing the Crusades to recover Jerusalem from
the "Moslem infidels" there still would have been reasons for cultural groups in Western
Europe to dislike the, then superior, Islamic nations of the East.

And of course, if we didn't have the Mullahs and Ayatollah's advocating jihad and issuing
fatwah's against the "infidels in the West" today there still would be reasons for cultural
groups in the Arab world to dislike the, now superior, democratic/capitalist nations of the West.
One should never stop striving for clarity of thought and precision of expression.
I would prefer my humanity sullied with the tarnish of science rather than the gloss of religion.
     
deomacius
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Mar 11, 2005, 05:27 PM
 
Originally posted by dcmacdaddy:
Is there any religion that is a religion of peace? that has never had adherents commit
horrible acts in the name of said religion? Buddhism seems pretty pacifistic but I don't
know enough about it's history to know if there have been major movements with
Buddhist thought and practice that advocated violence.

People will argue that it is the individual who does heinous things and that no religion
advocates doing heinous things but seriously, religion provides a strong unifying element
in a cultural group. It doesn't have to be written in some religious text to "kill the infidels"
for a religion to directly or indirectly influence the actions of their followers within a
specific cultural group.

Of course, if we didn't have the Church organizing the Crusades to recover Jerusalem from
the "Moslem infidels" there still would have been reasons for cultural groups in Western
Europe to dislike the, then superior, Islamic nations of the East.

And of course, if we didn't have the Mullahs and Ayatollah's advocating jihad and issuing
fatwah's against the "infidels in the West" today there still would be reasons for cultural
groups in the Arab world to dislike the, now superior, democratic/capitalist nations of the West.
While it may seem convenient to blame religion for a group of people resorting to violent acts, you don't have to look far to see examples that go against what you've stated. In fact in your last sentence you pit a religion against a political and economic adversary. I think the truth of the matter is that people will group together under any number of different things and try to use it to justify violence against people who aren't a part of that group. For instance, what religion do the bloods and the crips represent? Any gang for that matter. Was the civil war a religious war? The Nazis? People will try to group themselves by many things. We all WANT to belong. Sometimes it's based on religion, sometimes it's based on politics, sometimes it's based on race or other interests. When that group reaches a certain size and amount of influence it can do good things or dangerous things. History proves that most times it's dangerous.

It seems like you're trying to justify your dislike of religion. The problem is that your argument doesn't hold up. And to answer your first question... Christianity calls on it's believers to turn the other cheek in the New Testament. I would say that THAT is a religion of peace.

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dcmacdaddy
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Mar 11, 2005, 07:22 PM
 
Originally posted by deomacius:
While it may seem convenient to blame religion for a group of people resorting to violent acts, you don't have to look far to see examples that go against what you've stated. In fact in your last sentence you pit a religion against a political and economic adversary. I think the truth of the matter is that people will group together under any number of different things and try to use it to justify violence against people who aren't a part of that group. For instance, what religion do the bloods and the crips represent? Any gang for that matter. Was the civil war a religious war? The Nazis? People will try to group themselves by many things. We all WANT to belong. Sometimes it's based on religion, sometimes it's based on politics, sometimes it's based on race or other interests. When that group reaches a certain size and amount of influence it can do good things or dangerous things. History proves that most times it's dangerous.

It seems like you're trying to justify your dislike of religion. The problem is that your argument doesn't hold up. And to answer your first question... Christianity calls on it's believers to turn the other cheek in the New Testament. I would say that THAT is a religion of peace.
You just reiterated my point, but said it in a much better fashion. It is people who do these horrible things in the name of religion. So, religions themselves are not inherently good OR evil. They simply provide a means, or perhaps a justification, for people to commit acts of good or evil.
One should never stop striving for clarity of thought and precision of expression.
I would prefer my humanity sullied with the tarnish of science rather than the gloss of religion.
     
demograph68
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Mar 11, 2005, 07:32 PM
 
My god has a bigger dick than your god.
     
SimpleLife
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Mar 11, 2005, 07:58 PM
 
Originally posted by Big Mac:
SimpleLife, in reference to your last post (which I do not have the energy to quote) (etc.)
I will do something Christian here. I will present the other cheek.
     
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Mar 11, 2005, 08:39 PM
 
http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe...ary/index.html

Bin Laden fatwa as Spain remembers

Friday, March 11, 2005 Posted: 6:43 PM EST (2343 GMT)

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Muslim clerics in Spain have issued what they called the world's first fatwa, or Islamic edict, against Osama bin Laden as the country marked the first anniversary of the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people.

     
zigzag
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Mar 11, 2005, 08:44 PM
 
Originally posted by deomacius:
It seems like you're trying to justify your dislike of religion. The problem is that your argument doesn't hold up. And to answer your first question... Christianity calls on it's believers to turn the other cheek in the New Testament. I would say that THAT is a religion of peace.
None of which addresses the issue raised by this thread: the fact that religious texts can and do contain messages that are irrational and contrary to modern values, and that hundreds of millions of people obey them anyway, not because of any independent thought process, but as a direct result of religious doctrine and authority. That's the sort of dimwittedness that I'm trying to address. It isn't universal by any means, but it's certainly prevalent.

And it took no time at all after my last post for people to go right back to arguing that there can't possibly be anything wrong with their chosen ancient text, or their interpretation of that text. The Christians gainsay any scrutiny of the Bible, the Muslims gainsay any scrutiny of the Koran, and the Jews gainsay them both. They can't simply say, "These texts have a lot of useful lessons in them, and some not so useful," which is what a rational person would normally do. We don't even know who wrote the friggin' things. I find it all very childish.

And don't even get me started on the Mormons . . .
     
SimpleLife
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Mar 11, 2005, 08:49 PM
 
Originally posted by zigzag:
They can't simply say, "These texts have a lot of useful lessons in them, and some not so useful," which is what a rational person would normally do.


Well put.

But then, they're all chosen people.
     
undotwa
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Mar 11, 2005, 11:43 PM
 
Originally posted by SVass:
You should go for 2500 years. At 1400 years, religions have crusades (jihads) and inquisitions. At 2000 years, they claim to follow the law but kill people in contravention of their commandments and laws. (Trial without jury, imprisonment without trial, and invasion without just cause directly contradict rules that they want to provide in stone in courthouses-after they translate them from the original incorrectly.) sam
Socrates was condemned to death for not believing in the city gods. Inquisitions are not novel to Christianity.

Besides - the original purpose of the noble Roman office of the Inquisition was not to punish heretics, rather to define Catholic teachings and to determine which teachings were heretical.
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ebuddy
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Mar 12, 2005, 10:15 AM
 
Originally posted by Big Mac:
It's too bad that you had to inject anti-Jewish dogma in there, because your bigoted shortsightedness serves to further divide individuals of faith. Let me guess, would you happen to be a Baptist?
Are you a spokesman for Judaism? You failed to read on. Let me clarify a few things because I'm concerned at what you gleaned from my post. Against suspicion that you are potentially not Jewish at all, rather only trying to paint Christianity as anti-semitic in general. None the less;
The Pentateuch and the Law of the OT are beautiful and are supposed to illustrate the proper marriage of God to His Creation. Man submitting wholly to the authority of God and woman submitting wholly to the authority of man, both in servitude to one another and to God. Unfortunately, this marriage broke down because man was not in full submission to God. Read the Torh, it's all in there for you to see. As a Christian, I was raised to worship a Jewish carpenter. I was raised to believe that the Jew was the chosen one set apart most uniquely for Divine favor. I'm now actively involved in learning Hebrew to better understand, firsthand, the Pentateuch and the translation of it. In learning this, many things are revealed and the Word can be better understood. You begin to learn compelling acts of Divine design in the very words themselves, something that can not be seen in the translations, only the original language. You will find few, more dedicated to easing the plight of the Jew, than the Christian throughout all of history. I believe we await the coming of the same Messiah. For the Christian-it is a second coming. For the Jew, it is the first coming. So, before you clip single sentences with disregard for the sensitive nature of the entire post, realize you do so in ignorance of whom it is walking side-by-side with you. I have nothing, but the utmost respect for Judaism, our Law, and our commonality. I was raised as a Christian with this respect.
ebuddy
     
Athens
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Mar 12, 2005, 10:32 AM
 
Originally posted by demograph68:
My god has a bigger dick than your god.
Thats funny, your god is a bigger dick
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
 
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