Islam for dummies!

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Username, May 28, 2013.

  1. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    I took it as a critique of the the politics that generalizes to a stereotype.
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    But what might lead you think a billion followers of Islam all lead an unexamined life? In my experience people with religious belief often do question themselves and their lives quite a lot, and that goes for muslims as well as adherents of other faiths.
     
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  5. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Touché, Yazata! But to be perhaps pedantic in my defence, all I said was it "comes of" watching it "too much", not that nobody who watches Fox is able to distinguish abuse from argument.
     
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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Partly the politics ("fair and balanced", said tongue-in-cheek) but even more a liking for an aggressive style of presenting politics, almost as a slanging match, with little exploration of the reasons for the positions taken. But I may be out of date. I haven't lived in the States for a few years now. I remember an appalling person called Ann Coulter.....Has anyone shot her yet?
     
  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    If there was, then that might create difficulties for our atheists, who love to dismiss Christianity and Biblical faith as idiotic.

    There are more Christians in the world than Muslims.
     
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    It's not a gratuitous comment. Study after study has found FOX viewers to be, on average, less informed on world events and domestic politics. Indeed, FOX viewers, on average, score worse than would be expected by random guessing - which indicates they are not merely less informed, but actually misinformed.

    Of course that does not mean that all FOX viewers are misinformed.
     
  10. Cheezle Hab SoSlI' Quch! Registered Senior Member

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    745
    Well, I would question whether they are truly examining their beliefs. I think that if they were then the religions would be less concentrated and more homogenous. Why are some countries almost totally Islamic? You would think that if a person were to examine their beliefs then they might decide that Hinduism or Taoism was the correct religion for themselves. Obviously that is not the case. The majority of any religion decides on their belief based on social consideration and not the religion itself. For instance, in Saudi Arabia for a Muslim to decide to be a non-muslim has the death penalty. That has to be a very big factor in what group they decide to conform to. Some people are, what in Mormon country is called a Jack Mormon. Someone does not believe but goes along to be part of the culture or because of family situations. You might be correct that many believers do some kind of examination of their beliefs, but obviously most are just going with the flow.

    I find it odd that so many support people believing in obviously false religions. They can't all be right. Actually the way it works is that at most one is correct. Possibly none. Argument in favor of ignorance seems worse than the unexamined life.
     
  11. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Adherence to a religion is a certainly a complex thing, involving culture, tradition and aesthetics as well as the beliefs themselves. Ask any Jew. There are plenty of versions of Islam, the Saudi Wahhabi one being particularly extreme and puritanical. But in view of its varied wellsprings, I don't find it the least surprising that there are many versions. Re unexamined "belief", I thought we were talking about an examined life. That is what Socrates advocated, isn't it?

    And I can't quite follow where your final statement, about "argument in favour of ignorance", comes from - it seems to be a non-sequitur. Who is arguing in favour of ignorance?
     
  12. Cheezle Hab SoSlI' Quch! Registered Senior Member

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    745
    To examine your life IMO requires a survey of all your beliefs. I think the Socrates "not worth living" quote was referring to his being found guilty and decision to drink the hemlock, and at least part of that verdict was for questioning religion. His more general view was that he knew nothing, which to me means he questioned everything. I think that covers personal beliefs.

    I was referring to a more general attitude I see all the time, a multi-cultural attitude. It seems to be very popular in the media. Many people defend Islam (or whatever religion) even though they are not members. To me that sounds like they are saying that the believers are not really capable to thinking for themselves. Ignorance is bliss. While it might be true, I don't support that attitude. Not completely non-sequitor, more of a rant on the subject at hand.
     
  13. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Haha, OK, point taken. But I don't think you need to be some sort of multicultural relativist to recognise some of the strengths of various religions, as ways to order people's lives and provide constancy through the vicissitudes of the human condition. I don't by any means go in for multiculturalism: I think the most civilised existence on the planet is to be found in Christian Europe. But during my time in the Middle East I felt that Islam at its best does provide an inner calm, reflectiveness and willingness to accept fate with dignity that I found myself quite envious of. So I think one can acknowledge strengths in cultures one would not necessarily recommend in toto. I think that's just being open-minded. And I certainly don't think that being atheist is necessarily a higher calling than being a religious believer.
     
  14. Cheezle Hab SoSlI' Quch! Registered Senior Member

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    745
    Nor do I. Belief systems are like a twisty little maze. Everything is a belief. It is not easy to escape from a warm fuzzy belief. It can be very safe and comfortable there. I am just arguing that you should not get locked into a specific belief system, esp not just to believe in something. A lot of people think they need to believe in something and that whatever belief system is handy will do the trick. As I said, the majority of people in (for instance) Saudi Arabia are Muslim. Why? Because it is there, available, and for the most part a requirement and you get a lot of help and support. Same as a Mormon in Salt Lake City. And not to call down the internet gods on me, but being a Nazi in Nazi Germany was pretty convenient too. Or a communist in Mao's China. The highest calling is to question your own beliefs. And as I said, because most people have to be in a false belief system because they can't all be right, most people are living in ignorance. I know some people would argue with me but atheism is just another belief. I would argue that the only true non-belief is agnosticism. It is kind of funny that the words ignorant and agnostic are similar. But really ignorance is not knowing because you haven't questioned, and agnostic is not knowing because you have.

    By the way, being agnostic is probably one of the hardest things a person can do. It might even be impossible.
     
  15. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    16,330
    Let's repeat it again :

    Hate speech, defined as the vilification of a group of people based on their race, religion, country of origin, sex, sexual orientation, political affiliation etc. is not tolerated on sciforums.

    You are not persecuting ideas. You are persecuting a creed.

    IOW if there was a unified front of your interpretation for the ideology of islam, perhaps you would have a case for their persecution. Instead we plainly see that it is made of a range of individuals with a range of attitudes on a range of issues. So, for as long as you fail do draw a distinction between an individual's ideas (or, to be generous, even a group of individual's ideas - like say a sort of provincialism that may be afforded by a dominant social group in a small neighborhood) and their class, colour or creed, you are guilty of falling back on a pathetic stereotype which achieves nothing except further engendering cycles of separation, violence and persecution (from both sides).

    This is why there is the added note with the forum guidelines:

    The signature of propaganda is that it consists largely of a member expressing strongly held personal beliefs about things that can’t be proven, supposedly in the interests of achieving some important aim (e.g. world peace, governing the nation effectively, ensuring that people act morally).

    IOW the very aims I assume you are trying to achieve by saying things like "islam is for idiots", aside from violating the forum guidelines, are actually inflamed by your acts ... so far from being part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
     
  16. scifes heckle the snobs Valued Senior Member

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    smh

    You angry little man. What I'm saying is that if truth always turned the other cheek to evil it may go extinct someday. Doing nothing for self preservation is counter-extinct and downright counterproductive for changing others. Or at least it looks to me that way.

    What is an "alternate lifestyle" in one culture is an abomination and a crime in another. You can't be that close minded..

    The last part you dodged completely, shame on you.
     
  17. Cheezle Hab SoSlI' Quch! Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    745
    Well, I checked and no infraction was registered. The link I cited was not innuendo or rumor. It contains the references to the Hadith where the murders are mentioned. You can read them there for yourself and I would encourage to do that. Just follow the links. So those were recognized facts and I don't think any Muslim would deny it. If we followed this forum's guidelines to the letter, we would not be able to say bad things about Nazis, or members of the Klu Klux Klan. You would not even be able to talk about the Holocaust because that might make some people (Nazis) feel bad. All I am saying is that the violence and terrorism we see in the name of Islam comes directly out of the faith itself. When Salmon Rushdie and the newspapers that published cartoons had fatwas placed on them calling for their death, that directly relates to the incidents where Mohammad had people killed for ridiculing him in song or poetry. It is quite obvious to me and I would expect that most Muslims understood that too. I mean the elephant is right there in the room for all to see.

    I have in the past here on these forums criticized past atrocities committed by Christians. A lot of people have died cruel gruesome deaths at the hands of reverent Christians. Luckily such things don't happen any more. That made a few uncomfortable but it was true. If I knew of any Jains killing or doing violence in general, I would point that out too. A person that would hide the truth because it is uncomfortable to some is perpetuating the problems of the world.

    As far as the idiocy quote goes. All three religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism have the story of genesis and the garden of Eden. Only an idiot believes that. We have bones of dinosaurs that roamed the earth millions of years ago which is a direct contradiction. Physical proof. Same with Noah's Ark and it obviously could not hold all the animals. And on and on, story after story. But many people in these faiths believe these stories as absolute truth because it is in the book. I say its idiocy. You might disagree.

    BTW, Islam For Dummies is as far as I know, just a book about Islam and not really negative in any way. It is part of the "For Dummies" series like their Philosophy For Dummies book. So the OP was kind of stupid. Here is part of the book description.
     
  18. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Agree with you entirely that atheism is just as much a faith position as religious belief, since it is impossible to either prove or disprove the existence of God.

    Also take your point that peer pressure is powerful in determining beliefs, at least initially (when one is growing up for instance). But not exclusively so - most people I know with religious faith have worked out a very individual "take", compared to whatever orthodoxy would look like in their case. I think this comes of some sort of examination of their life and/or beliefs, however imperfect.
     
  19. Cheezle Hab SoSlI' Quch! Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    745
    Yes, I know what you mean by "take". But finding some excuse, reinforcement or nuanced view to support the belief structure is not really a win for the individual. Often these support views are created and disseminated by the people who benefit most from the belief. We see this everyday in the political battles in our own countries. In most cases the individual loses. IMO the only way for the individual to win, is to confront their beliefs honestly and critically. I realize that will not happen. I know very devout Christians that are so entrenched in their religion that the individual is almost gone. It is like they are part of a hive mind. Even the leaders of these groups are completely under its influence. We have seen many a religious leader that has violated their own preached religious law but they too have a take. Maybe the devil made them do it. Maybe it is all part of some bigger picture to transform themselves into a better person. I have heard a lot of explanations. I really hate to see it but all these people are living a life of lies. Maybe I am wrong, maybe ignorance is bliss. I guess in the end, we die and none of it is not important anymore.
     
  20. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    51,740
    This is a common statement, based on a misunderstanding of what atheism is. It's impossible to prove that you aren't a brain in a jar, do you believe it? It's not about proof or disproof, it's about evidence. If there isn't enough evidence to support a God existing, then it's reasonable not to believe there is one. This is atheism. You don't have to know or believe with absolute certainty in God's absence.
     
  21. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    51,740
    Then you have no faith. Do you think he would let us all die out? Don't you think he could kill our enemies, or all of us with a thought? And bring us back to life with another?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  22. Cheezle Hab SoSlI' Quch! Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    745
    I am not a big fan of Penn. He is a performer and so caters to a certain audience. He is also a magician and so makes (or made) a living deceiving people, in a fun kind of way. This statement in the picture is a joke. It is supposed to be funny.

    I would suggest watching this video for a similar viewpoint. Much better. He talks about the "take" that exchemist and I were discussing.

    How To Tell You're An Atheist
    [video=youtube;0iVCxx-GkMg]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iVCxx-GkMg[/video]
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  23. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    6,152
    Since no faith is involved in reaching the decision to reject faith, that statement is incorrect.

    This is not a basis for claiming that atheists have a belief system. It's a basis for being atheist.
     

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