To think that belief in Father Christmas is not comparable to religious belief.(1000 Posts)
Just that really. I have noticed that the expectation is that we all go along with the pretence of FC for the sake of
parent's children's sensibility, but the same is not afforded where religious belief is concerned.
I think anything (within reason!!!) that someone believes should not be put down by anyone else. I wouldn't tell my cd anything isn't 'real' (bar scary things!!) because I have no idea and neither does anyone else! Let people be and enjoy their beliefs and lives
They are basically the same thing, "be good or else you won't get present s/eternity in heaven".
I agree. People posting that they don't believe in fairies etc when talking about religion is just disrespectful.
YABU because your thread doesn't make sense. Yes it is NOT comparable, that's why we don't play along with religious beliefs until they turn 8 and realise it's really your mum.
No it's not comparable to religious belief- it's a completely different thing. The reason we go along with the FC myth is to preserve the magic for little children. Religious belief meanwhile is a choice that adults make.
Parental choice, surely?
I personally see both as fictions. I would prefer non-denom settings (eg playgroup/etc) to leave both alone or make non-committal "mm, yes" noises to either/both as necessary/appropriate. I am a humanist, and would want DD to have humanist moral values, not to "be good to please God". But we live in the real world and there are lots of cultural assumptions that "Father Christmas brings gifts to good girls/boys" and "Good girls/boys go to Heaven".
Well yes, I suppose. But then no one has actually been killed in the name of Santa have they? Whilst millions have been killed in the name of "God".
no it isn't. I have a perfect right to say that religion equates to fairies, beliefs do not deserve respect. If your belief is that easily offended, that's your problem.
PEOPLE get respect - worship god, santa or the flying spaghetti monster and good luck to you if that's how you wish to spend your time. I can say and think whatever I like, what I can't do is stop you or discriminate against you for it.
although plenty of places and people do.
I agree. People posting that they don't believe in fairies etc when talking about religion is just disrespectful
Because angels are so much more believable?
I feel quite sad that some parents are up in arms if someone dares to suggest that FC isn't real but in the same breath seem to think it is 'outrageous' if someone offers their child a bible or tries to celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas.
So op, do you think people should defend to believe in god when they don't? That is what your post implies.
'no it isn't disrespectful to compare religion to fairies' is what that should say.
I really dislike the fairies comments. People are perfectly able to say there is no proof for God without having to be sarcastic and mocking and talking about flying spaghetti monsters. They seem deliberately out to hurt religious people.
Of course Santa and religion aren't the same.
Human civilisation has progressed by challenging assumptions made without sufficient evidence, so you can't really expect to have a belief that makes no sense and have people pussy foot around it and pretend its fantastic.
"People posting that they don't believe in fairies etc when talking about religion is just disrespectful."
People are perfectly able to say there is no proof for God without having to be sarcastic and mocking and talking about flying spaghetti monsters.
Evidence for God: zero
Evidence for he of the noodly appendages: zero
YANBU, but I genuinely don't think many people would compare the two as like-for-like in a serious way. It gets conflated because it always pops up (funnily enough!) at Christmas! when some don't 'do' Jesus, and some don't 'do' Santa. Some Christians I know get upset about Santa as they feel (rightly) it detracts from a lot of the Christian message of Christmas.
I'm an atheist who genuinely loves all the Santa shite, it's how I celebrate Christmas. I would never trash the religious beliefs of anyone else, I expect though that people should not be disrespectful of my athiesm. I have attended masses for Christmas with family and friends and they've allowed me to buy Santa tat and do all that, even though for some of them it might feel like a conflict.
I think they are the same.
Also I know some people who do actually believe in fairies.
I don't think any belief should be mocked. Ignored perhaps but not mocked. Mocking is rude and disrespectful.
Live and let live.
They are completely different and as such I can't see why you can't have both.
It's disrespectful because it's someone's faith. Faith means a lot to people, it can shape their whole life. You don't have to agree, you can debate the points of it, but to openly mock it is more an indication of your character than that of the person of faith.
Santa is a "suspension of disbelief" - kids WANT to believe in Santa and are very "immediate" in their outlook. If DD was being good in May because of Santa's presents in December then that would concern me.
I think that Christmas is a lovely, fantastic time and I want DD to enjoy it. I want her to celebrate having friends and family. I don't want her to celebrate the birth of Christ because I don't believe that it happened in the way the Bible suggests (as in, am sure there was some bloke who was politically significant but I don't believe he was the son of God).
But some people believe in fairies.
Faith is different from magic. The 2 go together. If they go to church on Christmas Day it will be assumed that Father Christmas has visited. People with a faith want to make a lovely magical experience for their children, the same as those without a faith.
I am very committed to rationalism and the scientific method and critical thinking, but I don't go round saying that people are being disrespectful to me when they insist on telling me that the ghost of great aunt Mabel lives in their teapot and if I wasn't so closed minded and spiritually bankrupt I could hear her singing "Nazareth"
If religion kept out of where it doesn't belong (politics/schools/government) I think people may be less inclined to mock it. It can be frustrating to watch government resources and school education be wasted on religious nonsense, hence people might feel they need to fight back.
Isn't the title of the thread saying a different thing to the first post or have a just drunk a bit too much wine?
Not everyone uses father Christmas in the 'be good or else' way so definitely not comparable there.
Well yes, I suppose. But then no one has actually been killed in the name of Santa have they?
I don't know professor... Ever been to toys r us 2 days before Xmas in search of the last furby?!
No, curlew, you're right
and very witty. When I said disrespectful I meant more the head-tilting and in some cases disparaging comments I've had for essentially being secular. (In some communities/families, it is a hugely minority position, apologies for projecting).
It's disrespectful because it's someone's faith.
So what? Kitzmiller vs Dover Area School District: a bunch of Christian nutters took over the school board in a small town, enforced young-earth creationism on the school, got sued into the ground on the inevitable constitutional issues, and then lied incessantly to try to cover up their stupidity. The judge in the case took over questioning at various points, and came extremely close to charging two of the people involved with perjury. The school district is near bankrupt paying the multi-million legal bill that their dishonesty got them into. Which part of the religious faith of Alan Bonsell (the YEC, the lying, the dishonesty) isn't worthy of mockery?
Closer to home, Bull and another v Hall and another which is the final gasp of the "I want to run a hotel but throw out all teh gayz because they is dirty and nasty" case. Hazelmary Bull (proof conclusion of Dorothy Parker's adage that beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone) claims that God tells her to hate queers to the point of refusing to serve them in her business. Which part of her faith isn't worthy of mockery?
Special, I agree that you do have every right to disagree with a religious point of view. The religious point of view being faith doesn't require proof or affirmation.
The point of this thread was to question those who vehemently suggest that anyone who doesn't go along with the FC myth is harming the 'magic' of christmas, whilst not being prepared to go along with the 'myth' of Christmas (the birth of Christ etc) to spare the feeling of those who believe in 'fairies'.
Santa - Christmas presents, movies, magic, imagination, fun, reindeer, happy memories, excitement. Only children believe in Santa until they're old enough, until then, it makes Christmas magical and exciting.
Religion - mass murder, mass control, insanity, misogyny, homophobia, torture, ignorance, lies, war, genocide, inquisitions, child marriages, honour killings, forced marriages. A tool for evil people to manipulate the ignorant and if they can brainwash enough idiots, can destroy entire societies along with any hope of civilisation for the next few hundred years.
Erm...isn't Santa Claus a version of Saint Nicholas? i.e a religious construct..
It is disrespectful to compare the two, because it amounts to calling the people who believe in the more complex myth idiots. However, if you don't mind offending people, then the comparison can be useful for undermining the arguments that some religious people like to make. I've heard it said that any such person should write down their argument, then replace the word "god" with "Santa Claus" wherever it appears, then decide if they still think it's a good argument.
To illustrate what I mean, I've heard a agnostic say atheism (as opposed to agnosticism) is unjustified, because atheists cannot prove god doesn't exist. Well, similarly, the agnostic cannot prove Santa Claus doesn't exist, but he presumably doesn't believe in Santa. Substituting Santa is the most straight-forward way to show what is wrong with the argument.
What the actual fuck are you all talking about and why are you saying Father Christmas is a myth.
He's not he's real you bunch of utter bastard gits
<sorry couldn't help it even if it was very childish>
Don't really understand your OP if I'm honest. Personally I think god is about as believable as father christmas. But I wouldn't tell you what to believe, nor would I tell you what teach your kids. I would expect you to offer me the same respect I guess. Not sure if that answers your question though.
"no one has actually been killed in the name of Santa have they?" EXACTLY
I really dont "get" what you are saying the two things are completely different - because not everyone believes in God you want us to pull all the worlds children together and tell them santa doesnt exist?
I know people who claim to have experienced ghosts
I know people who firmy believe in angels
I only know 1 person who claims to have had a personal "godly" encounter ...and his wife claims it was probably drink related.
Unfortunately many of the people who are the most scathing and critical of other peoples lifestyle choices and beliefs are people who believe in Gods...they even disparage the belief of people who believe in different gods.
Both fictions, one is a harmless pretence for children, another is something that can rule people's lives.
I don't go around telling religious families' children there is no god, that would be disrespectful. Nor do I go round telling children who believe in santa that there is no santa. I don't expect my children to be told santa is real or that god is real, but am prepared to go along with a certain amount of playing along at christmas (letters to santa, nativity play). I don't tell my children santa is real either, I tend to say "what do you think". So yes there is a certain parallel.
I'm a bit more prepared to play along with santa without letting them know the alternatives because I know they'll all find out it's a myth in the next few years, and I don't think they're likely to offend anyone by fanatical belief in santa to the exclusion of say fairies. Also the things santa requires ("being good") are vague and generally things I want them to do anyway, whereas gods generally require being worshipped.
Actually I do. I'm an atheist to the core (and we didn't do Santa and I always knew the tooth fairy was mum),
but I do bite my young he about religion with other people's DCs until they are 10ish.
By Y5/6 I think DCs have the right to make up their own minds and by Y7 be left at home if they don't want to go to church.
I wouldn't preach to someone else's child, but I wouldn't lie to an older one either.
I think for children it is exactly the same thing. Your parents have taught you to believe so you put your faith in them and trust it is true. I think the only difference is that Santa Claus can be proven to be false.
I don't make fun of people for their beliefs. Everyone has the right to believe whatever they feel. Telling me I am disrespectful for thinking all religions are the same as each other and the same as believing in invisible pink unicorns is a bit unfair, since I would completely support anyone's right to believe in them all.
Can I go all evangelical and recommend the great FSM as god of choice? Nobody has been killed in the name of the great noodle in the sky.
The flying spaghetti monster comment is usually as a defence when an atheist is asked to prove the non-existence of god. Which I think is fair enough because the burden of proof of not on us and we can't disprove god, nor can we disprove the spaghetti
monster- but it doesn't mean we believe in it.
I honestly don't think that is meant to be sarcastic or to hurt anyone but it genuinely is as a response to being backed into a corner and justify one's beliefs as an atheist.
It is disrespectful to compare the two, because it amounts to calling the people who believe in the more complex myth idiots.
What's the threshold of complexity past which believe in the physical reality of a myth is no longer idiotic?
I don't know if my DDs said anything when they were younger (as DH believes in God and I don't, I think they were still deciding).
I know at 12 and 15 they do have frank discussions with their friends.
(Seacreatly I hope they do spread doubt to one DC, because he's far too clever for fairy tales. As is DH, but to question his faith would spoil too many happy childhood memories.)
It's comparable in the sense that they're both beliefs in made-up stories.
It's not comparable in how those beliefs are applied to our lives e.g. no Santa based wars (except on mumsnet) or terrorism, belief in Santa as an adult is not socially acceptable, belief in god is etc.
I don't think it is disrespectful to disrespect someone's faith (does that sentence even make sense?! ).
However it is wrong to disrespect someone because they have faith or don't have faith. I am Christian and I think it is perfectly acceptable for someone to dislike my religion and disagree with its teachings. It is unacceptable for someone to hold the view that I'm stupid and lack skills of rationale because I have faith. Likewise it would be wrong of me to believe that an Atheist is lacking in character.
In my humble opinion faith isn't about intellect and rationale it's very much an individual/personal thing. I have faith that that our spirit doesn't end after death but I don't have proof and I wouldn't want to enter a debating contest as I would probably lose.
So is it okay for me to tell a child I don't believe in Father Christmas?
And is it okay for me to tell a child that I don't believe in God?
I'm happy enought to go along with the fun of a jolly fat man getting stuck I a chimney after flying through the air on a sleigh drawn by reindeer to give presents to every child while simultaneously snorting at the idea of creation, Jesus and god which is just as illogical but so much ore stupid and damage g, particularly to young minds.
Think if you can't see the difference then you are
Rob ably a bit simple but then I do thnk a faith in a god requires you to be a bit simple.
I think it's fine to tell a child you don't believe in father Christmas. Why wouldn't it be?
I've never really understood why I should respect any one's faith. There's a big difference between respecting the right of any one to hold a faith, (which is what we have, albeit that faith will still be subordinate to the secular law of the land which applies to everyone) and respecting the faith itself.
I really don't care if for example it's a person of faith telling me gays are evil and women should dress modestly or just a narrow-minded bigot. I would not respect their belief either way.
Ultimately, we (the grown-ups) can prove Santa doesn't exist (simply by not buying pressies for our DC's). Substituting "Santa" for "God" in a theological presupposes the outcome (at best).
It is unacceptable for someone to hold the view that I'm stupid and lack skills of rationale because I have faith
There are people who purport to genuinely believe that the earth is flat. It's tempting to believe that it's a marvellously arch put-on job, but it's likely that least one of the people here actually do have a fully-formed belief system around a flat earth.
I'd say it's reasonable to assume that such people are either irrational or mentally ill, and I wouldn't (for example) want to try flying across the Pacific using their maps.
I respect a person, but I have no reason to respect their faith.
FabIdiot - Great name very apt.
Throughthelongnight - Acceptable to tell child that you don't believe in Santa and God.
Santa is harmless fun and I think its a shame if we turn a fairy tale into something more than it is. I loved the magic of believing in Santa and I know my children do too.
With God it's different I have never felt that I could tell my children that God existed I always said some people believe etc etc. Ds1 is 9 and veers between being Agnostic and Atheist and that's fine he has made his own mind up.
Equating belief in Santa to faith as an adult, the person doing so is infantalising the person of belief. So in that way it is disrespectful OP.
I do think it's bad form to assume that because you go to church on christmas day that you must also believe that father christmas has been.
I started a thread on this yesterday in the <properly allocated> christmas topic and no one got het up about it.
ThefaboulousIdiot, that is the point, many parents seem to think that it is intrinsically wrong to even hint that FC is perhaps a myth, whilst not being prepared to go along with the Jesus myth...
I have an LLM so I guess that I have pretty good reasoning skills. Not everyone who has faith is the village simpleton.
As I already said its a personal thing and I wouldn't want to debate it. Science points towards the absence of God/afterlife. But on an individual level we can feel things very differently. I can't explain why I believe what I believe. I wasn't raised a Christian and I didn't have a mental breakdown.
What's the threshold of complexity past which believe in the physical reality of a myth is no longer idiotic?
friday16, I think I love you!
People believe they have experiences angels, communication with God, etc., but they are wrong. They have either had some sort of physical or neurological experience that they do not understand or have not had explained to them correctly, or they have suffered a mental health issue (ongoing or momentary).
I genuinely fail to see how comparing fairies to God is insulting. The existence of fairies would be actually more realistic, if someone was to take all the supernatural concepts and weigh up which was more likely to have any possible feasible scientific basis. Believing in BIG people woth wings - angels - is perfectly fine, but believing in tiny people with wings is bonkers, is it? Riiiiiiiight. And what is the reason why I shouldn't compare the two? Would the answer be: The Bible? Well, let me tell you, there's only one Bible, but there's loads of Flower Fairy books. Much less hate, misogyny, racism, homophobia, jingoism and bullshit in those too.
What IS insulting is that other people expect or presume that I, a grown person, could be capable of believing in an invisible, unprovable, magical presence that created all things in a tiny space of time and sort of floats above the sky, watching and controlling all things, living or not, all the time, simultaneously. It is demeaning that anyone could think me capable of such absolute nonsense. Religious people talk about their ^ beliefs^ being insulted, yet care not a jot for insulting anyone with beliefs and knowledge based on proof, fact, and logic.
Ultimately, we (the grown-ups) can prove Santa doesn't exist (simply by not buying pressies for our DC's).
It's fairly easy to prove God doesn't exist, too. If your child shows the symptoms of childhood-onset Type 1 diabetes, don't go to the doctor, just pray a lot. See if your child lives or dies. Call us with the result.
This couple tried it:
It didn't seem to work.
Alternatively, if you think just leaving one child to die because an imaginary God isn't as effective as real insulin, you could go all scientific and shit, and repeat the experiment a couple of times.
This couple have killed two of their children: a eight month old who proved that death from dehydration because of D&V isn't treatable by prayer to an imaginary God, and nor can an imaginary God cure bacterial pneumonia in two year olds.
Personally, I think killing three children as experiments to see whether prayer works is a high price to pay. Christians, apparently, care rather less about their children than the rest of us, and are willing to give it a crack.
Dione - the act of believing in unprovable supernatural figures when one is an adult is what infantilises a person, not pointing that out. There is no more proof or logic to believing in Santa than there is believing in God.
Oxford are you saying that you are insulted by the existence of adults with faith?
'So is it okay for me to tell a child I don't believe in Father Christmas?'
Yes, lots of kids Christmas films centre around the idea that grown-ups don't believe (Miracle on 34th Street, The Santa Clause, The Polar Express) so it's not something kids haven't been exposed to.
'And is it okay for me to tell a child that I don't believe in God?'
No, I am insulted by the idea that anyone would think I could believe in God, the supernatural, all that stuff. If other people are daft enough to fall for it, they can knock themselves out, so long as I'm not expected to join in their delusions.
No wars have been started in the name of Santa. On the whole, I think I prefer him to religion.
I struggle to respect decisions made as a result of faith.
I really struggle to respect anyone who wants to make decisions about other people's lives based on their religion.
Throughthelongnight of course it's acceptable for you to tell a child that you don't believe in santa/god.
It's acceptable to tell them that if they ask you if you believe, it's not acceptable to just tell them without prompt though because that would be unnecessary and a bit mean.
It would not be acceptable for you to tell a child that santa/god is not real because it is not your place to tell them what they can or cannot believe in.
As someone said earlier on the thread "santa is not belief, it's a suspension of disbelief" and it's only young children; religion and other beliefs are a choice, made by an adult - therefore you cannot compare the two.
I agree with OutragedfromLeeds. The question for me is more, when would a situation arise where you would NEED to share your opinions on either with someone else's child? How about just, ask your parents?
I know adults who believe. I know adults who do not believe. So I suppose anyone is capable of belief. I do not understand why you find that an insult.
I'd like a bit more explanation as to why I shouldn't tell my child that SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T EXIST doesn't exist. That's telling him the truth, not telling him not to believe in something. Anyone can believe in anything, but it doesn't mean anyone else has to collude in that belief.
My mind is boggling as to the concept of it being right to lie to or delude my child!
Bull (proof conclusion of Dorothy Parker's adage that beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone) claims that God tells her to hate queers to the point of refusing to serve them in her business. Which part of her faith isn't worthy of mockery?
Errr, the bit where she is one person out of millions who share the same faith but most of us don't share her bigotry? It's always the extreme examples that get into the papers/mn threads but there are millions of Christians out there who are just normal kinda people - we just happen to believe in God. Comparing God to FC just doesn't really show much understanding of religion - it's not a "be good and you get x" deal. .. it's an ongoing, reciprocal relationship. Why would most people believe in a God that demanded to be worshipped but never gave anything back? The whole reason people have faith is because they believe, rightly or wrongly, that God has answered their prayers. It's a thorny and complex journey and involves a lot that we can't justify or explain but that's the basis of it. I'd you ever meet a Christian who claims they do understand it all, they are probably next in line for a daily mail expose ; )
I think you're wrong. I thnk most parents just object to miserable killjoys intent on upsetting their kids because they are miserable fuckers or they object to miserable people using the myth of father Christmas to make sme ridiculous point about 'faith'. Neither of these things a nice person make. I think the whole idea of Jesus and god is utterly ridiculous, I think that religion has no place in schools but I wouldn't walk into a church and tell the congregation they are all stupid, even though I think their belief is. What joy would anyone really get from directly telling a kid that Jesus is a a stupid myth?
Dione, I don't know how to make my point simpler. To me, believing in anything religious is ridiculous, irrational, illogical, and a suspension of intelligence, so therefore someone thinking I could be like that is an insult.
Oxford You can tell your child whatever you want, your child=your beliefs and values, therefore your business.
It's telling other people's children that isn't right IMO (the OP said can I tell "a" child, and I took that to mean a random child, not her own).
I dont get the whole "no war was started in the name of santa" thing. Lets say someone started a war in the name of santa....If you are saying that santa is imaginary then why would you blame santa for someone starting a war in his name. Same with religion...if you dont believe in god, then why blame god for someone else starting a war in god's name?
Ha ha, I meant that Santa is a stupid myth.
Anybags, your own child - your business. Other children - maybe just keep your powder dry? That would be my interpretation anyway
YY to fabulous's last post
And I meant the post before last for fabulous but also yes to the correction post!!
Leaving FC out of this, I totally agree.
I tired of pandering to people with beliefs that we all have to respect and pander too, and yet people who do not believe are treated like heathens.
FabulousIdiot, it's not about getting joy from 'telling a child that Jesus is a stupid myth'. Telling a child the truth - that God does not exist - is not being some sort of malicious, hateful killjoy, devoid of tenderness or whatever. It's like explaining about tides, or the seasons or something else that's true. It's not cruel to explain to a child that oak trees grow from acorns, so why is it somehow mean to not lie to a child about the supernatural? I am talking about my own child, of course.
I would never purposefully choose to tell a child that God or Santa doesn't exist. But they kept pressing me, I would tell them that my personal belief is that God doesn't exist. It's insulting and demeaning and patronising to a child to not give them a truthful answer - it doesn't have to be someone telling them that they have to not believe in God, or are stupid to do so, that's horrible and completely different than just being honest about one's own personal beliefs on the matter.
And who is talking about going into a congregation and telling them they are wrong? Who would do that? No-one! That's a very silly argument
'if you dont believe in god, then why blame god for someone else starting a war in god's name?'
We're not blaming God (because he doesn't exist), we're blaming the people who believe in God.
To put it simply, belief in Santa doesn't cause wars, belief in God does. Therefore belief in Santa is less harmful than belief in God.
FWIW, I am completely atheist, my husband is 'not sure but playing it safe in case there is a god', oldest son (11) is aethiest, youngest son (8) believes in god and jesus and brings home the "Children's Illustrated Bible" from the school library to try and convince me they are 'real'.
I have no idea why he believes, obviously it's come from school but he's had the same upbringing and been to the same schools as his big brother - I don't tell him "it's not true, it's all a lie", I just tell him that I don't believe, and I try to explain why I don't in a nice age appropriate way - but I always finish by telling him that it doesn't matter what I believe or don't believe, it matters what he believes.
You consider being on a par to (for example), Issac Newton, Desmond Tutu, Roger Bacon and Mahatma Ghandi an insult Oxford?
x-post Anybags, that's pretty much how I deal with it with my kids (God).
Santa on the other hand - I ACTIVELY encourage the belief, because I fucking love it
Incidentally, I have told other people's children I don't believe in God, and they were actually pleased to hear that. When one of my grandparents died, my cousins kept going on about heaven and angels and stuff, and it was confusing and upsetting their children, and they kept asking me if I believed in all that, so I gently told them that I didn't, and what I thought happened to people who died (I said that their bodies go back into the earth to keep the circle of life going, and that they live forever in our memories), and they found this much more comforting and easy to understand. I did keep stressing that this was just my belief to them.
I know of quite a few Vicars who are highly educated, come from ex high powered backgrounds and they have admitted they do not actually believe in God.
but they understand the vital need of some people to believe and the comfort that religion offers them and they are quite happy to serve in this way!
Dione, you are clearly not grasping my point, or trying not to, so can we drop it? I do not give a shit a out what anyone else believes, or however many brilliant people believed or believe in something religious, I personally find it insulting that someone would think I could think religiously. I'm not on about the beliefs of any other person, living or dead!
And brilliant people who are also religious are not brilliant because of their religion. Even when they do brilliant things in the name of religion, it is not actually because of religion; religion is the most accessible or available framework through which to mould that brilliance. They would still do, or have done, brilliant things, perhaps even better things, had they been non-believers, or had there been no religion.
ZeVite, I know a vicar who is exactly like that.
How bizarre Zevite. How can you be a vicar if you don't believe in God. Their characters must be deeply flawed. If they want to help people surely they would have better off pursuing careers in counselling or something.
I readily admit that I am not understanding your point Oxford, but I am trying to, hence my questions.
I could understand it if you were saying that you are insulted by people who think you must believe. Or who think you are lesser because you don't. But that's not what you are saying.
Actually, belief in Father Christmas is identical to belief in a god.
Father Christmas and Yahweh (for example) come with the exact same lack of evidence demonstrating their existence & belief in both require a rejection of common sense & an unwillingness to face reality.
The only difference is that parents are happy for their children to eventually learn the truth with Santa, whereas the God myth is often peddled forever.
To a 5 year old: "Never mind how Santa delivers a billion presents in one night. He's super magic so just close your eyes and believe/have faith & see what lovely things he brings"
To a Christian child " Never mind that dead people can't walk around three days after their death or that a loving god wouldn't have created child cancer - just close your eyes and believe/have faith and you'll be rewarded in Heaven".
Whats the difference?
And all those people demanding "respect" for their beliefs? Get respectable beliefs first.
Bizarre indeed TheArtic but true. There are more of them, with I may add quite racey natures.....than you may ....think
What's the threshold of complexity past which believe in the physical reality of a myth is no longer idiotic?
I suppose the threshold is when some proportion of the population that have been heavily exposed to it take it seriously. Very few adults hold onto a belief in Santa Claus, many hold onto a belief in the worlds major religions. Our understanding of the world is mostly a cultural inheritance, that's true even when science is the foundation. (Not saying that science and religion are entirely equivalent, only that the reasons for believing usually owe more to indoctrination than independent reasoning.)
''And brilliant people who are also religious are not brilliant because of their religion. Even when they do brilliant things in the name of religion, it is not actually because of religion; religion is the most accessible or available framework through which to mould that brilliance. They would still do, or have done, brilliant things, perhaps even better things, had they been non-believers, or had there been no religion.''
how about this...
And evil people who are also religious are not evil because of their religion. Even when they do evil things in the name of religion, it is not actually because of religion; religion is the most accessible or available framework through which to mould that evil. They would still do, or have done, evil things, perhaps even worse things, had they been non-believers, or had there been no religion.
That's worrying ZeVite, it makes you wonder what their motivations are.
Maryz, what are you implying?
But why would you want to insult people for holding a belief if it isnt breaking any laws?
For example, if i believe in fairies, why is it ok to mock me or insult me - why is it not sufficient to just disagree or say that you do not believe....rather than trying to convert me into becoming a non believer, or listing all that is bad about people who believe in fairies and generalising all people who believe in fairies as being xxx?
Very true crescent! Hence the madness of using a handful of examples to represent a worldwide religion.
Dione, I have negative feelings about religious belief. Therefore, if someone thought me capable of such beliefs, it is an insult.
Although I do have to say that my bil who is an Agnostic briefly toyed with the idea of becoming a vicar because of the vicarage that goes with the job. When he realised that it wasn't a 9-5 job he swiftly reconsidered.
Not to me, the one's I am aware of are very educated, intelligent, but also very caring types, very colourful, they all like a drink.....and they do believe in the role they play in the community.
I was aware of more of them at the training place in Oxford but about three in the actual community are doing a good job.
I suppose there is that aspect too TheArtic! Very tidy Vicarages, often beautiful....but you do not get to choose where you end up...thats the rub.
Same with star signs really too.
What is a respectable belief? Do you hold respectable beliefs hettie?
And evil people who are also religious are not evil because of their religion
Evil people do evil things.
Good people do good things.
For good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
(Stephen Weinberg, paraphrased because I can't recall the exact quote).
How many people lie awake at night worrying about fundamental Jainism? Fundamental Buddhism?
In order for fundamentalism to be a problem, the fundamentals of a particular religion have to be supportive of violence & murder. In the case of Christianity & Islam, they are.
Jainism is a good example of what a religion of peace actually looks like. Even a fundamentalist Jainist wouldn't harm anyone.
Yes, I do, defuse. My beliefs reflect reality & I make sure they do.
Well they are both largely based on fiction
Well if they like a drink that's ok with me. The God stuff is optional.
Are they CoE or Catholic?
Crescent, that argument doesn't work, because human history is bloodied with the hatred and innumerous crimes commited SOLELY in the name of religion (you also have to include cults of personality, where the state was functionally non-religious, such as Russia under Stalin); acts which only happened because of religious belief. None of those acts have been, or would be, carried out by Atheists in the name of non-belief.
However, everything good done in the name of religion could be done, and often is done, by people with zero religious belief, because goodness and morality have got zero to do with religion, they are innate in the majority of human beings.
Where do those negative feelings come from Oxford?
Wow, religion gets put into the same column as Stalinism? Well in that case you win. vase closed. goodnight!
You need to start clapping your hands, fairies are dying all over the place!
Ahh, Pol Pot was a Buddhist wasnt he responsible for millions of deaths. or was that more his atheism hettie?he? take a look at what fundamentalist Buddhists are doing in Burma and Sri Lanka.
People aren't being blown up on a daily basis because of a belief in fairies. Fairy believers aren't sitting, by right, in our government simply because they believe in fairy. State schools do not seek to divide up children based on what fictitious fairy they believe in. Nigerian children are not being tortured because their parents believe in fairycraft.
If all these things were happening in the name of fairys, I'd take apart the belief and hope the world grows up.
I think oxford is being very positive, I am pleased people are able to be good without the need for devine intervention.
Neither christianity, nor islam condone violence....you can twist the words of the quran as much as you like.....if you construe the words to mean to condone violence, without looking at the whole picture, then you are no different to the supposed islamic extremist that you so despise.
are you being serious about the non-existence of extremist violent buddhist monks or are you being sarcastic? Please tell me it was sarcasm? Never heard of violent buddhist monks? Or is that your reality? There are people around the world dying...and worrying in the night about extremist buddhist monks. Once you have googled it, you will realise that Your beliefs are not reflecting reality - you havent made sure at all that they do - fact.
After reading both the bible and the qu'ran, I can honestly say they condone violence.
You can say words can be misconstrued, or blame translations all you like. But they both have examples of this.
It's no bloody wonder we get extremists.
Buddhist fundamentalism is very rare - you know it, I know it. Islamic or Christian? Not rare in the slightest.
FFS - Pol Pot? Oh yeah - a free thinking atheist who targeted science, education & medicine, and who thought he was being guided by what "heaven" wanted him to do.
Pol Pot (and to save time) Stalin & Mao were not motivated by their atheism - they were motivated by a political ideology that had far more in common with religion than secularism.
You have to be a special kind of dim not to understand this. It's logic.
They do, defuse. You can twist it all you like and pretend they are not saying what they clearly are, but incite violence, murder & bloodshed they most certainly do.
To argue that good and brilliant things done in the name of religion are not done because of religion, but because of features innate in human nature I think you have to accept the reverse is also true. Cruelty and greed are also innate in human nature. Awful things done in the name of religion are not done because of religion. I think crescent is completely right.
You already said you had negative feelings towards religion oxford so that could colour your perception of the goodness or not of non religious/ religious peoples.
Be honest though. have the atheist regimes of the 20th and 21st century - not before present in human history- been better in securing human rights? Atheists always like to say that the only thing atheism is about is the non belief in God- nothing else. atheism doesnt provide any reservatin against evil- as youd argue hettie one may become liverated to do good if they shrug off religion. one may also be liberated from the shackles and inhibitions of religion to do evil also.What reservations are there in atheism against totalitarianism? Or mass slaughter? More human beings were killed under the passionate atheists Stalin and Mao - 80 million odd- than in all the crusades and jihads of the last 2000 years.
People are capable of love and violence. The presence or absence of religion is immaterial.
What is necessary in all cases of genocide and oppression is the acceptance of other as lesser. This can be gender, religion, belief, colour, ethnicity, sexuality, ability.
People are capable of love and violence. The presence or absence of religion is immaterial
Not if the reason for the violence is their religion, it's ridiculous to suggest otherwise.
You missed my point defuse.
It's hard to make a direct link between Buddhism & violence because it's not fundamentally a violent philosophy. That people have done is without doubt, but there are usually clear cut political motivations running alongside that motivate their actions.
In the case of Islam, for example, the religion specifically tells adherents to kill apostates.
Yours is a special kind of dim hettie. You would lay all the evils of the world at the foot of religion but yet you've acknowledged that political ideologies, and I would strongly argue economic ideologies can and still cause just as much if not more evil. if you would reduce all Muslims to Osama bin laden why should I trust in atheism to save humanity? Did it save the human rights of those in Russia china or North Korea?
The presence or absence of religion is immaterial
I wonder if the passengers on the aircraft that were flown into the twin towers who listened to their killers screaming "God is Great" thought that religion was "immaterial"?
Oh ok, so now to make your point, buddhist extremism, which didnt exist until 5 minutes ago in your reality has become from non - existent to rare - so that makes it ok.
I thought your views were respectable and based on reality. How dare you belittle death in the name of violent buddhist extremism and make a big deal of death in the name of muslim or christian extremism. Murder is murder....it is vile, no matter what the religion of the person. It does not make every buddhist, muslim or christian culpable - nor does it make the perpetrator immune from paying for the crime because he holds a certain ideology.
What you would lay squarely at the feet of religion, alot of the world would lay at the feet of Anglo Saxon imperialism. Ostensibly Christianity was used as a cause to rape and pillage around the world, spread the word of God, bring the people to Jesus, but really the wars of colony and conquest were fought for money and greed. Now they don't say Christianity, now its 'democracy'.
No Baubles, religion can be used as an excuse, just like gender, colour, ethnicity etc. It is the lesser that is important.
'Not if the reason for the violence is their religion, it's ridiculous to suggest otherwise'
Religion isn't the fundamental reason for their violence though, that's just the framework it's hung on.
Dione not if your religious text actively encourages violence - which some do.
In fact it's probably the violent ones who are actually following their religion moreso than the non. They're following it to the letter, rather than using interpretations.
And those 3000 innocents that died on September 11th, how many that share the faith of the 19men must atone for their deaths? 10,000? 50,000? 100,000? 150,000?
outraged Obviously people are the reason, but people have to be given further reasons for the violence. Something to incite it. Which some religion does.
It gives them something to hang their violence on, but they're not violent because of their religion, (for that to make sense everyone in that religion would need to be violent).
If they weren't religious they'd be killing over race or eye colour or football teams or x-factor. Dione is right, it's the 'otheness' that matters, not the religion.
Seriously...you shouldnt be talking about non-existence of god and non-existence of extremist buddhist monks, then talking about reality, logic and others being dim hettie..... Your reality is flawed, your logic is questionable....and then to call others dim
''In fact it's probably the violent ones who are actually following their religion moreso than the non. They're following it to the letter, rather than using interpretations''
Then what reservations does atheism have To violence? ends justifies the means? collatoral damage? None actually, whereas terrorists who are muslims have to throw out alot of the reservations against violence within the quran itself- il cut and paste happily. You think the point of religion is to inhibit desire but actually, its main role is to inhibit rage.
I really don't understand why people feel the need to be so rude to those who have a faith. I am literally lost for words at some of the comments on this thread. By all means debate if faith is a possibility/real/a big lie. It is interesting to hear differing opinions but I will never understand the down right nasty attitude some of you have just because other people choose to follow a religion.
Most people I know who have a faith get on with it privately. They do not impose their religion on others. They don't try to "recruit" for their faith. Saying religious scriptures are made up stories is a bit of a joke too. I have read very little of the quran so can not pass much comment on that, but the bible has a fair few historical events in it which we know happened. It has historical figures who we know existed. Ok those stories might be embellished to suit the religion but some of it must also be true.
The comments about respect are some of the ones I find hardest to swallow.....its just down right rude. I have a Muslim friend who is so disciplined in her prayer routine, fasting, doing good. I have a lot of respect for her. She has given up her life and devoted it to her faith. devoted it to helping others and having understanding for those less fortunate than her. She is an amazing woman and does so much good in a very deprived community.
Its a case of tolerance. Just because you don't believe in something doesn't mean you have to insult others and belittle them. Stop for a moment and think before you speak! I'm sure this is half of what is wrong with the world these days. No one has respect for anyone. Freedom of speech means you can insult others and its ok and people wonder why there is so much segregation and hate between different communities!
Like I said, I'm all for debate and voicing opinions......but what has come across in this thread just seems like mockery to me. No one is forcing you to believe in it. No one is mocking you for not having a faith.
I'm so glad I'm not as closed minded as some of the posters on here. Its nothing to do with believing in something and everything to do with treating you fellow human being as an equal.
All that is needed for violence to happen is the identification of other as lesser and threat.
It is that simple.
Baubles, what percentage of religious (whatever type) text centers on violence? How much centers on peace?
The only people who should atone for the deaths of those people are the killers....and those who seek to emulate them, or cheer them on. A very small minority of Muslims worldwide.
Muslims, Christians and so on should not be expected to bear the responsibility for anyone's behaviour but their own. It's ignorant to blame all Muslims. They are no more to blame than a non-Muslim.
But we can blame Islam - the ideology that prompted these actions.
Buddhism, as an example, is fundamentally peaceful. Follow the teachings of the Buddha to the letter, and the very first rule to follow is "don't kill any living thing, for any reason".
That doesn't mean that other motivations & agendas can't creep in and motivate Buddhists to violent action. But fundamentally, Buddhism is peaceful.
The opposite is true of both Islam and Christianity. Follow the fundamentals of them to the letter, and death and destruction follows.
Of course, most Muslims do not follow the Koran to the letter - an acknowledgement that to do so would be horrific. That's why they don't - because they are decent people.
^ have a Muslim friend who is so disciplined in her prayer routine, fasting, doing good. I have a lot of respect for her. She has given up her life and devoted it to her faith. devoted it to helping others and having understanding for those less fortunate than her. She is an amazing woman and does so much good in a very deprived community^
You're defining her by a faith. You can have respect for the lovely woman she is without respecting her religion.
And it's nothing to do with being close minded. In fact I've read a lot about different religions - it doesn't mean I have to pander to them or pretend I like them.
Someone being religious to me, is just like them disliking my favourite tv show. I think they're wrong but it really doesn't affect me and I don't treat them any differently unless they get violent or pushy about it.
Baubles, what percentage of religious (whatever type) text centers on violence? How much centers on peace?
One doesn't cancel out the other. It doesn't work in the real world why should it work in a religious text.
Especially when the peace part is only relevant to those who are like you. Any diversity bears the brunt of violence.
More dim logic aka ignorance from you hettie. I am not going to engage with you anymore.....your views stink of islamophobia and thinly veiled bigotry. Most atheists would be horrified -and rightly so-if i was to generalise them all as holding the same vile views as you.
Slowly, for the hard of thinking......
Buddhism is not fundamentally violent. It's not.
Does this mean some Buddhists can't be violent? Of course not.
I am talking about the ideologies that provoke action - the fundamentals that the ^fundamentalists" draw their oxygen from.
Whatever the motivations of violent Buddhists, it's not the fundamentals of Buddhist teaching, is it? Since THAT does not condone violence & pacifism is inherent.
crescent Atheism has no position on anything - it's a word we use to describe people who don't hold one particular belief. Nothing else.
People don't do anything based on something they don't believe in.
Hettie, I think perhaps you should look further into the history of Buddhism.
Islamophobia is BS. You can be against a religion without being against the people that follow it.
'One doesn't cancel out the other'
That's exactly what you're arguing though! That the violent messages cancel out the peaceful ones and therefore we can blame religion for violence, but not for anything good.
You can't have it both ways
Religion is responsible for both or neither.
Personally I believe it's is ultimately responsible for neither.
I was mainly responding to the comments that people who have a religious background are stupid....or that believing in a god is the same as believing in fairies. That's an incredibly inflammatory thing to say and I think is extremely rude. I am not easily offended and accept that what I believe is what I believe. Everyone has a choice. However I would never dream of telling someone they were stupid just because their train of thought wasn't the same as mine.
I've not once in this thread said that religion doesn't bring peace to some people.
I have said that it instigates violence.
Just as atheism isn't inherently violent, nor is Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, or Judeism.. All advise peace and kindness. And they facilitate that by advocating acceptance and forgiveness.
Is anti semitism bs too baubles? Would islamohobia in the workplace be classified as bs? Or would there be repercussions? Are you saying islamophobia does not exist? A bit like santa or god perhaps?
well if you give that benefit of the doubt to Buddhism hettie, why not to Christianity and Islam. Muslim fundamentalism is also very recent - and I feel more guilt at britain's role in bringing Wahhabism to power in its empire battles through the Middle East. It was something unleashed upon the muslim world not by the muslim world. there was no religious fundamentalism in the ME until after the harsh secularism of the BAath arab leaders was established- one fundamentalism sparked another.
Peace in Europe after world war 2 was bought for the sake of peace in the middle east through forcing the palestinian peoples to atone to the jews for what the germans did to them.
Suicide bombing and Terrorism is also extremely recent- it wasn't seen before the 1990s in the Muslim world.
Do you believe that when a religious person does something good they do so because of their religion? That they wouldn't otherwise do it?
How do you account for the fact that two people who follow the same religion can take completely different messages? One of peace and one of violence?
If you believe that the good are good because of their religion and the bad are bad because of their religion, what do you think motivates the behaviour of atheists?
"Islamophobia is BS. You can be against a religion without being against the people that follow it." I think you need to explain that a little more as I can' personally get my head around it.
IMO most scriptures were written thousands of years ago. Times have vastly changed and evolved, so the attitude and interpretation of those books has to do the same.
outraged surely you and I could both read the same passage in a book and get totally different things from it. Or the post I have previously found offensive on here, others clearly haven't.
People go into religion for different reasons and maybe looking to get different things out of it. No 2 peoples brains work the same or interpret things the same.
'IMO most scriptures were written thousands of years ago. Times have vastly changed and evolved, so the attitude and interpretation of those books has to do the same.'
Shouldn't God send us some new books? Surely we shouldn't just change our perceptions of what God wants willy nilly?! He told us what he wants and hasn't updated us of any changes, we have to assume he wants us to follow the original set of rules, don't we?
'outraged surely you and I could both read the same passage in a book and get totally different things from it.'
Exactly! What would motivate that difference? Our education, upbringing, values, personality, IQ etc? So nothing to do with religion then?
The religion isn't fundamentally responsible for the message that we take or the behaviour that we exhibit as a result.
The reason people need to keep pointing out that religion is bullshit from start to finish and not entitled to any respect at all is because of the extreme danger associated with privileging the people who have imaginary friends, or particular imaginary friends, over other people. If a person is silly enough to believe in Jesus, Allah, Father Christmas, homeopathy or the immense musical talent of Justin Bieber, that's their business until they start insisting that this gives them special privileges such as the right to abuse or discriminate against women or gay people, or to prevent other people getting necessary medical treatment.
well I guess if you believe in Christianity the whole end section of the bible will come into play. Personally I would rather not think about that. I have read it once and it scared me.
I have watched far too many horror films
I don't think it is changing perceptions willy nilly. There are whole chapters in the bible about what you shouldn't do whilst you are on your period. Whilst that may have been applicable/misunderstood back then the modern day society we live in now couldn't facilitate those rules.
I find it odd that some types of atheists blame people's shortcomings on a god that they don't believe exists.
So we can just pick and choose which bits are applicable now? Which bits we want to follow?
see that's the exact thing I'm talking about solid why is it necessary for you to say "imaginary"
ok that might be your opinion but it's rude and offensive.
Again that is why I think that a lot of the things should not be interpreted word for word. In regards to gay relationships I believe that Jesus was all about love and tolerance and wouldn't begrudge two people in love. Other people who believe in Jesus might not feel the same but that is how I have interpreted it. I don't think my religion entitles me to any special treatment. I just expect people to treat me with a bit of respect.
I have been through some horrendous things in life and would not have got through them without the support of the church and my faith.
Solid, I totally get you on the privilege issue.
I think they're blaming religion, not God though? It's not the same. Religion most definitely exists. God, not so much.
No....that's not what I am saying.
1. everyone will read something and interpret in their own way.
2. There is a lot of contradictions in the bible, one passage saying one thing, another saying the opposite. Sometimes you just have to pick which you think is relivant.
3. A lot of stuff is a bit outdated, times have moved on.
At the end of the day I try to be a good person and follow the basic rules of my faith. There are some things I read in the bible and I don't agree with, gay relationships being one of them. I don't know how to explain that. I just don't see what harm two men/women are doing to anyone by being in a relationship with one another. Love is love whatever form it comes in.
''crescent Atheism has no position on anything - it's a word we use to describe people who don't hold one particular belief. Nothing else.''
Exactly, atheism itself does not entail a moral position on anything. Beyond saying 'there is no God', there is nothing in atheism to say murder is wrong, stealing is wrong, rape is wrong, morally atheism offers no reservation against evil. None at all. Yet I can still believe in your holding to ethical values, then why cannot it be believed of me with al the reservations and inhibitions of my religion against anti humanity behaviour?
So are atheists commended for using their their critical faculties, but believers condemned for the same?
Exactly dione...why do they feel it necessary to be rude and insulting and vent at something they dont believe existed...or is it just an attempt to insult a person by pretending to insult something else.
To say that islamophobia is bs and that you are hating the religious doctrine and not the observer, is like saying something derogatory about my race and then saying it wasnt racist and trying to justify it by saying it was just the doctrine held by that race that you hate! So actually, it is racist. Racism is subjective, as is islamophobia. If the person feels its racism, then it is racism...if a person feels it islamophobia, then it is islamophobia. The people who so daringly call islamphobia bs, would think twice before they said the same thing for anti-semitism.
As for human beings would be less violent without religion.
From Scott atran's 'god and the ivory tower' article in foreign policy magazine:
''Moreover, the chief complaint against religion -- that it is history's prime instigator of intergroup conflict -- does not withstand scrutiny. Religious issues motivate only a small minority of recorded wars. The Encyclopedia of Wars surveyed 1,763 violent conflicts across history; only 123 (7 percent) were religious. A BBC-sponsored "God and War" audit, which evaluated major conflicts over 3,500 years and rated them on a 0-to-5 scale for religious motivation (Punic Wars = 0, Crusades = 5), found that more than 60 percent had no religious motivation. Less than 7 percent earned a rating greater than 3. There was little religious motivation for the internecine Russian and Chinese conflicts or the world wars responsible for history's most lethal century of international bloodshed''
Here's the audit in full,
it completely debunks the 'religion as the main cause of war' argument often trotted out.
You can't compare race and religion. A physical characteristic is not the same as a belief.
'If the person feels its racism, then it is racism'
That's not true. Thankfully.
The feeling of other or lesser due to what you are told is exactly the same. Be it gender, religion, ethnicity or sexuality.
Outraged - Islamophobia utilises many racist/orientalist tropes, the "barbarous, savage other" being a particularly popular one.
Despite only a minority of Muslims being Arab, much Islamophobia uses the language and terminology of anti-Arab racism.
That supposedly intelligent people fail to see this is very disturbing.
The 'feeling' may be the same. The fact is, that an opinion or belief is not the same as a physical characteristic though.
Being disabled is not the same as believing the world is flat.
Being white is not the same as believing that gay people should have fewer rights that straight people.
I can judge someone, think less of someone or dislike someone as a result of their beliefs.
I cannot judge someone, think less of someone or dislike someone as a result of a physical characteristic.
Gosh I haven't made any comment on Islamaphobia on this thread. I think you're confusing me with someone else.
I don't doubt for a second that people mix racism with their views on religion. They shouldn't though, that's my point. They're two different things.
I see Hettie's been showing her ignorance of Islam yet again.
Hettie - C+Ping from an anti-Islamic website which purposely picks and twists the words of the Quran to serve an extremely dubious agenda, does not make you any kind of expert in Islam, just as quoting from Stormfront, wouldn't make you an expert on Judaism.
The idea that you can lecture Muslims on their own religion and expect them to bow to your "superior" knowledge is patronising white saviour nonsense and yet another way in which racism manifests itself through Islamophobia.
Outraged - yes, people shouldn't do lots of things, but they do. Islamophobia does manifest itself through racism, that's just the way it is and Muslims (most of whom are not white) are entitled to call racism and racist terminology as they see it.
Quick poll - Muslim ladies on this thread, hands up if you've ever been told "Go back to your own country" <raises hand>. If you look identifiably Muslim, people will often be identifiably racist towards you, so I think you can understand why we find the "criticising the religion, not a race argument" to ring somewhat hollow.
I didn't say it was down to a physical characteristic, I said it was down to what you are told about who and what you are.
If someone is telling you that you are less than them, is that not insulting?
And ultimately dangerous?
'Islamophobia does manifest itself through racism, that's just the way it is'
I'm sure it does. I haven't mentioned Islamophobia anywhere on this thread. Are you mixing me up with someone else?
'I didn't say it was down to a physical characteristic, I said it was down to what you are told about who and what you are.'
I'm not sure what this has to do with my point, which was simply that comparing someone disliking your views/values/beliefs is in no-way similar to someone disliking the colour of your skin/how big your feet are/how many freckles you have. People are well within their rights to judge you on your beliefs whether these come from religion or not.
'If someone is telling you that you are less than them, is that not insulting?
And ultimately dangerous?'
Yes, but they're entitled to comment negatively on your beliefs, religious or otherwise. That's the difference between physical characteristics (what you are and cannot change) and what you believe/how you behave.
Yup raised hand here gosh (I reckon defuse has gone to bed), Alot of xenophobes vent their bile against muslims because they can't against Jews and blacks without being called an anti Semite or a racist.
Why i joined this thread was to ask when an atheist argues against religion is it based on scientific materialism or capitalist materialism? to me the distinction is whether one is ok with the propagation of the father christmas story or not.
People are perfectly able to say there is no proof for God without having to be sarcastic and mocking and talking about flying spaghetti monsters.
The irony. You don't want your beliefs mocking with the beliefs of others.
There is only one flying spaghetti monster, and his noodly appendage of course.
I am a Catholic well I used to be but I cannot stand religion, yet when my children were small, Jesus ( chose him as we are in a Christian country) was afforded the same mystery and joy that Santa was until my children made their own choice, they were at a Christian school, how awful if I would have passed my dislike onto them at a school where they celebrated Easter and. Christingle and Carol Service. They loved Church when they were small but neither go now and I am happy about that, but that was their choice at about 12 I think.
if you dont believe in god, then why blame god for someone else starting a war in god's name?
Because religion has caused many wars and atrocities (as has greed and other things - I'm not blaming religion for all). You don't need to believe in god to know that religion exists. One is a concept requiring belief, the other is a tangible force, they are quite different things.
It is man who has caused wars, in the name of religion but generally the real reason is power and greed.
I disagree that it is power and greed rather than a firm belief that their religion is the only right one.
I have respect for the beliefs of others whether I agree with them or not. Sadly not everyone takes this view.
the bible has a fair few historical events in it which we know happened. It has historical figures who we know existed.
So what? We have massive amounts of evidence of the first world war taking place, of George IV having had an extended period as Prince of Wales and of Queen Elizabeth I being monarch of England. That doesn't mean that Blackadder is a real person, or that any of the events portrayed in it happened.
I'm relatively content with the evidence that the second world war took place, and that in countries under or threatened with occupation there were organisations built by the government or government-in-exile which attempts to resist invasion. People writing histories of that would be advised to ignore both Dad's Army and 'Allo 'Allo as primary evidence.
And so on.
So what does having respect for the beliefs of others mean? How does it manifest itself? If somebody says something that I profoundly disagree with do I have to accept it if they say it's because of their faith? Does the faith card trump all?
I have respect for the beliefs of others whether I agree with them or not.
I don't respect people who are holocaust denying neo-nazis who think that Jews should be murdered. Do you?
I find it odd that some types of atheists blame people's shortcomings on a god that they don't believe exists.
What an embarrassing attempt at a counter argument.
it doesn't matter that Hazelmary Bull's God doesn't exist. The Bulls believe in a spiteful, hateful, discriminating God, and that's all that matters. The God doesn't exist; the belief in it, and the foul behaviour that stems from that belief, does.
The Church of England this week published the Pilling Report, in which it's outlined how they're going to have a "facilitated discussion" over the next two years to see if they can agree to hate gays a little bit less. They're not suggesting that gays should be treated equally, of course (I mean, next they'll be suggesting that blacks can vote or women can think or something equally absurd) but just that they rein back the hatred a bit (for example, Pilling does suggest, without wishing to offend anyone, that killing people for being gay might be something to consider stopping doing).
The God behind this sort of vile discrimination doesn't exist. It's the belief in their imaginary God that makes people vile nonetheless.
"I find it odd that some types of atheists blame people's shortcomings on a god that they don't believe exists."
A couple of points here. There aren't different types of atheist. Being an atheist means that you don't believe in god or gods. Nothing more, nothing less. So you are either an atheist or not.
I can attribute others "shortcomings" to their god because they believe in that God , and that belief informs their actions. Whether or not I believe in that god is irrelevant. They do, and they behave accordingly and
My atheism has absolutely nothing to do with my moral compass, or my political beliefs or my behaviour or anything except whether or not I believe in God. I think this is a common problem with discussions like this. People think that atheism is like a religion. It isn't. It begins and ends with not believing there is a a God. No rules, code or behaviours attached.
Saying religious scriptures are made up stories is a bit of a joke too. I have read very little of the quran so can not pass much comment on that, but the bible has a fair few historical events in it which we know happened. It has historical figures who we know existed. Ok those stories might be embellished to suit the religion but some of it must also be true.
The historical Herod did not order a census or murder children, so yes he existed at the right time but that's as far as it goes.
The family trees of Jesus are different in different books.
There is no evidence that the entire world flooded or that the sun 'stood still'.
SGB is absolutely spot-on. As usual. And if believers wants others to not refer to their particular deity as imaginary then all they have to do is provide even a tiny bit of proof. Saying that The Bible, or other religious texts, say a deity exists is not enough. It is humiliatingly laughable to offer that as proof enough or reason to believe. I don't believe that Orcs and elves and Hobbits exist because I read the Lord of The Rings trilogy. And much of it is based on Norse mythology and history, so. You could use the argument about it having some historical basis.
Does it feel offensive and ludicrous to Christians to have it suggested to them that Hobbits are believable just because LOTR says so? Because that's what it feels like to Atheists for religious believers to just go "the bible/Qu'ran/whatever says so" as their only 'proof' of their belief.
And all the stories in the Bible can be broken down roughly into these categories:
1) Rules, laws, ideas and morality that was relevant and pertinent only to the region and era in which they were originally included in the initial stages of the various texts that eventually became the Bible. Some of this is downright abhorrent nowadays - see treatment of rape, for example.
2) Stuff that was made up to try to explain things, particularly biology or natural occurences, because they had no scientific way to work them out any better.
3) Stuff that was made up to try to explain things that was pushing an agenda onto people - this covers most of the all the other categories too. Mainly to keep rich men in power (the world hasn't changed much there).
4) Fictional stories, fairy tales, cautionary tales.
5) Hearsay, chinese whispers, rumours, gossip, popular misconceptions, etc., of the day.
The fact that real historical figures and events figure in some stories in the Bible mean bugger-all. It is a childish argument to suggest this gives them extra credence. Storytellers have always woven in facts with their fiction, in order to give their stories more weight, or to give what we would call a 'shout-out', or just for fun. Dr Who features real historical figures and events, but it doesn't make me believe cybermen.
Also, many of the historical figures and events used were not at all contemporaneous - revealing the proven fact that the Bible was an ongoing work with an agenda, with innumerous contributors and authors, for absolutely ages, centuries. And many figures are lied about, ie Herod, because of contributor's own bias. It's like taking the opinion pieces in the Daily Mail as holy truth.
Finally, many of the things featured in the Bible can be proven to be wholly scientifically impossible or untrue. A woman cannot be made from a man's rib. Seas cannot part and then come back together. A virgin cannot have a baby - and, moreover, a woman could not have a male baby in that instance because her body contains zero XY genetic material to create him from. The path of the star that supposedly guided the Three Wise Men has long been proven to just not have happened in that geographical area at that time, and certainly not at the seasonal time it was supposed to have happened. The Noah's Ark flood was based on a real event, but is ruined with the absolute horseshit about getting every animal on earth on a wooden boat and the hyperbolic enormity of the extent of the flood.
And if all these amazing things and miracles happened then, how come not a single one has happened since? In the Bible, they pre and post date the life of Jesus, so he can't be used as the reason. The answer is simple: they did not happen, none of it is true.
I respect anyone's right to believe what they want. I refuse to believe the content of their belief, especially when there is zero evidence for any of it. The time for privilege just because you believe in the supernatural is over. If so many people question religious belief and find it hard to respect, ridiculous, silly, bizarre, immoral, etc., then believers have to, at some point, even if just in the early hours of the morning in their own minds, ask why this is. It can't just be because there are hoardes of nasty, spiteful, disrespectful killjoys about...
Oh here we go. I can't dislike Islam without being racist apparently. I've also said I dislike Christianity, funny how that doesn't get turned into something else.
It's extremely shoddy when you have to protect Islam by calling racism to anyone who doesn't agree with you.
I dislike all organised religion. Nothing to do with race, skin colour or any other characteristic.
AnyBag It's offensive because you liken believing in god to having an imaginary friend. It's mocking, degrading.....I could carry on. If you don't like it or agree with it that's fine I respect your decision but using language like that is unnecessary.
There are parts of other religions that I don't understand but I would never dare tell that person they were stupid for believing in it. I have my opinion and I voice it regularly but not at the expense of others. Trying to make someone look like an idiot to prove your point is IMO just nasty.
Personally for me religion is far more than what I read in biblical scriptures and more about the support and love I get from the people around me and the god I trust in.
There have been times where I have called upon god and I feel he has answered and provided. I have felt a guiding presence in my life when I have felt lost. Whether you choose to believe that or not is your own business and I have the politeness to respect your views. It is not something I can prove or measure. It is just a feeling I have felt in my life.
I have always thought religion would be rather pointless if it could be proved. To believe in a god is to take a leap of faith and trust.
"It's offensive because you liken believing in god to having an imaginary friend"
In what way is believing in god different from having an imaginary friend?
A virgin cannot have a baby
Well it does depend on the definition, there are women who have given birth and still have an intact hymen.
But in the general terms you are right, it doesn't happen outside religious texts/stories where it is surprisingly common.
And if all these amazing things and miracles happened then, how come not a single one has happened since?
Can I just add to that, why does God hate amputees? One of my friends keeps trying to get me to go to a church that does faith healing. I know these churches claim to heal all sorts of things, but I have not heard of an amputee's limbs being restored.
because I and millions of others don't believe he is "imaginary"
If you think that then that's fine. I don't know how to articulate myself here....I just find it unnecessary.
its like you need to gratify your own opinions at the expense of others.
So why does your belief that he isn't imaginary more important than my belief that he is? Why does faith trump all?
Bananas, but what you believe in IS imaginary. The very definition of imaginary is 'having existence only in the imagination'. Religious belief is using one's imagination in a certain way. You are making, or allowing, your mind to imagine that something exists that there is absolutely no proof for. This same process is the same in children believing in fairies, Santa, ghosts, whatever, as it is in adults believing in God and other things. It is the very same process that children use to believe in things, including God, that continues in some people that makes them continue to believe in God.
Beliefs and feelings are 100% subjective. They cannot be proven to be true or real. To ask anyone to accept something that you imagine or feel as fact is totally unrealistic, very immature and actually incredibly egotistical.
Of course you have the right to believe that certain feelings you have are to do with God. I defend that right for you totally. Do I have to believe it too? Of course not. I also do not have to respect what it takes to be religious. Blindly trusting is something negative and undesirable, in my opinion, it's not a great quality in an adult. Religious people always present this as one of the more honourable and lovely aspects of belief, whereas I just think "why are you boasting about being gullible and suspending your intelligence?".
And pointing out facts about Biblical content, and about the nature of belief is not trying to make people look like idiots, or feel stupid. If FACTS make them feel like this, then they need to address their beliefs or their self-esteem. People cannot be asked not to set out facts and truth in order to not potentially offend people whose lives revolve around avoiding said facts. That is outrageous! It's the privilege that I and others have discussed.
God doesn't seem to be particularly keen on people with tooth decay or short sight either. Like most faith healers, he specialises in curing non specific, vague feelings of unhappiness and self diagnosed and/or limited illnesses.
I also meant to add: in what universe should belief trump facts and logic?! Demanding respect for believing in something imaginary (because it is) at the expense of the views of others is the ultimate in offensiveness and having your views gratifed at the expense of others!
If belivers want people to stop calling God imaginary, or their beliefs delusions, all they have to do is offer proof, as I said.
But, oh! the whole point of belief is deliberately avoiding proof. Handy, that
I just saw the part in your post gosh about white saviour complex but i think with the new atheist movement and its rhetoric against islam theres no salvation Offered at all. read the justification for the iraq war by christopher hitchens or sam harris's writings on the muslim world, not just islam but its ordinary lay adherents, and its Less far less about saving and more 'wipe them out' militarily. It certainly wouldn't stop at 'keep religion to the private sphere' as they would say to the Christian.
Terry Pratchett said that belief in the tooth fairy and Father Christmas trains children to believe in invisible concepts (as an atheist, he meant big concepts like justice, rather than God).
"All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."
REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.
"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"
YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
"So we can believe the big ones?"
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
"They're not the same at all!"
YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.
"Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—"
MY POINT EXACTLY.”
― Terry Pratchett, Hogfather
Bananas, why do you care what non-believers say about your faith? If you think you have an imaginary friend who's going to give you pie in the sky when you die, then surely you win, and it's me and my non-believing friends who lose out? So why does it matter what we say about your credulity?
If you think you have an imaginary friend who's going to give you pie in the sky when you die, then surely you win, and it's me and my non-believing friends who lose out?
Indeed. Christian faith can't be very fulfilling if the mere hint of a suggestion that people are laughing at you cuts you to the core. And I thought that Christians were quite keen on being martyred, too, so that a few people just think they're gullible doesn't really seem too much to endure.
That's the point. I don't think it does....but I also don't think you need to say such rude things. You could pick a religion and study its scriptures till you know them by heart and still not agree with them. I guess you have to experience the religion first hand and feel the presence of god and again there is no recipe to make that happen. It is just something that happens. Like I said this can not be measured so can not be proven. I get that to some it is too much and too far fetched but I have been through so many things that have been miraculous that I stand firm in my beliefs.
I know people who have been through difficult times who would have probably had a nervous breakdown had they not had their faith and the church to support them. Whether god exists or not it has many positive effects on those who trust in it.
I have never asked anyone to believe what I do. I would never do that. I was just trying to explain my perspective. I have not once been rude or disrespectful to any of your views. I have objected to your choice of words which you have continued to use.
"blindingly trusting" doesn't mean you surrender any intelligence you had....people aren't gullible or stupid.
If I was to find out tomorrow that god defiantly didn't exist, I wouldn't feel foolish or stupid or tricked. I pray and my prayers are answered, perhaps that is just my brain working through todays problems and solving them tomorrow. Perhaps it gives me a positive perspective to deal with tomorrows problems and a positive energy to fight hardship. I wouldn't change my behaviour because this works for me. Life is hard. Anything that makes it easier is a blessing!
Like I said I feel the presence of god. I feel him calling me and guiding me. Might sound like tosh to you but it does you no harm if I follow this and makes me a better person.
I think I'm going to leave this thread now. My initial request was that people stop and think of the language that they were using and how insulting that could be to anyone who chooses to have a faith. No one has really listened. You all keep claiming you have respect for those who hold a faith then calling them names in the next sentence. I have always been brought up to respect others, so I will respectfully leave you with your opinions.
"I think I'm going to leave this thread now. My initial request was that people stop and think of the language that they were using and how insulting that could be to anyone who chooses to have a faith. No one has really listened. You all keep claiming you have respect for those who hold a faith then calling them names in the next sentence. I have always been brought up to respect others, so I will respectfully leave you with your opinions."
I don't thing anyone has called anyone names, have they? And I have listened very hard to what you've said. I understand how religion can be a comfort for some people, and, obviously, people can believe what they want to so long as it doesn't intrude on anyone else's life. I still don't understand, however, why belief trumps non belief. If I thought in those terms I would take great comfort from the fact that there is not a supreme being who could answer my prayer or help me in a time of danger or crisis but chooses not to. I am not offended by people saying there is a god, why are you offended by people saying there isn't?
And, for what it's worth, I do think leaving the thread is a strange decision. If people don't understand you, it is, up to a point, their fault. But it could also mean that you haven't explained as clearly as you could. Why not have another go? I don't think there are any of the "go for the jugular" types on either side on this thread........
But no-one is telling you that you can't believe that you feel the presence of God, Bananas. No-one is telling you that you can't call those feelings God, or benefit from them. No-one is trying to stop you. No-one wants you to change or stop.
People are just saying that they don't believe in God, or that they would find different explanations for what believers call religious experiences, or that they want to look factually and critically and objectively at religious texts and history. how is any of that disrespectful?! Respect for having beliefs is different from respecting the beliefs themselves. No-once can demand or expect that their beliefs are automatically respected. You are asking for special privilege for beliefs you hold that cannot be proven. You must be able to see, if not admit, that that is almost narcissistic, never mind unrealistic and unfair. You keep saying you respect the views of others, but you are actually asking others to not view theirs, or to modify or censor theirs in order to not challenge yours in any way. That's the opposite of respect.
And I would like an explanation of what blindingly trusting means, if it does not involve being gullible or suspending intelligence. It is impossible to unquestioningly trust whilst still utilising critical and logical perspective. The two are incompatible.
Curlew - because flouncing is the only choice left to someone who cannot participate in an argument because it's becoming apparent that they can't back up their ideas, and cannot handle having them challenged, especially when the arguments behind the challenge is strong.
I've always found the role of Thomas in the story of Jesus very disconcerting.
I haven't flounced and I know no one is telling me what I can and cant believe, . I just felt this debate was getting a bit pointless. I'm not in the slightest bot offended that you do not believe in god. Why would I be offended? I have said all along that I respect everyone's views whatever they be. I am just annoyed at the words being used.
As for name calling, stupid and gullible have both been used amongst others. Scroll back. There are loads! It is disrespectful to call someone stupid because the choose to believe in a god. That is the only point I have tried to press on here.
I haven't tried to push any of my religious beliefs on any of you, I have explained them as I see them so that you can understand what I believe in.
As I said the only thing I have tried to alter is your use of language. I don't think that means that I have a lack of respect for you.
"I understand how religion can be a comfort for some people, and, obviously, people can believe what they want to so long as it doesn't intrude on anyone else's life" I agree totally with you there.
I don't think that belief trumps non belief....they are both equal. it all stems back to your use of language. That's is all I was trying to point out. Yes I am asking you to censor your language....I don't see anything wrong with that. Why would you want to repeatedly use words in a context that are offensive?
anybags that's not the case at all....it was more so that I didn't really feel anyone was listening to my opinion which is of course your own choice and it was a bit pointless for me to continue. Its not flouncing at all. I have stuff I need to get on with and didn't want to get dragged any further into this debate. instead of commenting and not returning for you to then speculate that it was because the stupid Christian had nothing else to fight her corner with.
like I said, my only issue within this thread has been the name calling. Deny it all you like but all you need do is look back over the previous posts and see that there are quite a few there! I really am going now otherwise my children are going to turn into cannibals!
But you haven't said what language you want people to use. "Imaginary friend" is offensive. So what can I say?
It is insulting because it is intended to be insulting. Lots of people are able to discuss belief without being offensive. Those who are offensive are so because they wish to offend.
And nobody has said "stupid Christian"
Nothing like attacking language to shut down debate.......
I don't knock on people's doors and tell them Santa is not real. Nor do I tell them that god is not real. I wish religious people would have the same courtesy.
On threads discussing religion I will say that your god is not real because that's what we are talking about.
As for suggesting that belief in fairies is the same as belief in god, of course it is. The main reason I do that comparison though is to make the point that lack of evidence for the existence of something is not evidence it exists.
Sometimes I say fairies and other times I might say 'a magic banana that created the world and wants you to worship it'. The point of the comparison is to use a belief that the person I am debating with finds ludicrous.
Also it is revealing that a religious person can be offended by the comparison. No respect there for those who believe in fairies when they say "of course fairies are not real - don't be stupid".
Dione- so if I say I have absolutely no intention of being insulting by using the expression"imaginary friend" then it's all right? Because it seems to me to be a very useful shorthand when discussing faith.
I'm a card-carrying atheist, but even I can see that "imaginary friend" is a bit offensive. Only young children (usually) have imaginary friends. It's infantilising. Surely there is a better term?
Bananas I don't think anyone was name calling. Several people, including me, have asked why it's not only the right to hold a faith which should be respected, but also the beliefs themselves. Curlew put this succinctly in several of her posts.
Surely there is a better term?
Tell us, then.
A lot of the language of offence that the religious trot out starts from the position that describing imaginary things as imaginary is offensive to them. They do this because they want to shift the narrative, to imply that there is a qualitative difference between belief in God and belief in, say, the Loch Ness Monster. They want to be able to put clear blue water between their evidence-free beliefs, which are obviously entirely rational and deserving of being tip-toed around, and the real crazies who believe in alien abductions.
Of course, were evidence to alien abductions to surface, the rational world would continue unscathed. There's no evidence that aliens are abducting semi-psychotic mid-Westerners with limited education, but it wouldn't be fundamentally implausible for such a thing to happen, or cause us to re-examine our entire system of knowledge, were such a thing to happen. So actually, as evidence-free assertions go, "I have daily communication with an omnipotent being in the sky" and "I was abducted by green aliens who did bizarre sexual things to me after I had been out drinking" aren't comparable, because the latter is substantially more likely (in the hierarchy of things that aren't likely, of course).
When the religious provide a single coherent piece of evidence that one word of their basis thesis about "God" is true, then the word "imaginary" ceases to be the best one to use. But at the moment, "God" is as real as Harry Potter: there's a book about him, too.
BackOnlyBriefly raises a good point. What believers fail, or do not want to understand, is that to non-believers, believing in God is nor more silly or respectable, whichever way you choose to describe it, than believing in fairies, Scientology, the Magic Faraway Tree, or whatever. Religious people get offended at being asked to accept that ideas they find silly or unbelievable are equally as valid and realistic as their own, yet expect everyone else to do exactly that about their beliefs. AND I can prove everything I believe in, yet the expression of that is offensive, is it? How does that make sense, logically or morally?!
Just because there is a cultural precedent for Christianity (or monotheistic religion) does not mean that belief in it gets some sort of get-out-of-jail-free card of privilege when being placed on a scale of unbelievability or nonsense.
Anything that cannot be proven, that is imaginary - and ALL belief without fact is imaginary, it makes believers look even worse to try to argue against dictionary definitions in order to scrape some sort of defence together - is equally silly to people who cannot make their minds do whatever it is believers do to suspend rational critical thought. Which again, is what has to happen to believe in something invisible and unprovable. It is not an insult to accurately describe the process. If someone feels insulted by a description of what blind faith is, then perhaps they ought to look at how insulting it was for them to have been lied to so much and so often as a child about the supernatural, that as an adult, they believe in the imaginary, and use belief processes of children in order to do so.
As has been previously said that for some people, faith plays a huge role when there is turmoil in life. Any religious belief should not be mocked as cheap point scoring.
On a personal level, i am a muslim and God's existence is proven by the existence of the quran. The quran is not the work of man.
Any religious belief should not be mocked as cheap point scoring.
And pointing out facts about Biblical content, and about the nature of belief is not trying to make people look like idiots, or feel stupid. If FACTS make them feel like this, then they need to address their beliefs or their self-esteem. People cannot be asked not to set out facts and truth in order to not potentially offend people whose lives revolve around avoiding said facts. That is outrageous! It's the privilege that I and others have discussed.
repeating this because it is so well-expressed.
If someone else disagreeing with you is offensive, they are not the one with the problem. Religion bangs on about tolerance, but seems to produce the exact opposite.
friday16 - the irony being, that believers often get offended at the aliens comparison, when there is actually more likelihood that aliens could exist, in some form (although doubtful they'd be like the grey men or blobs of sci-fi). Life, of sorts, has actually been found on other planets, after all.
I don't believe in aliens at all, I hasten to add!
And the alien thing brings up another important point - the experiences that people who say they have been abducted by, or who have made conact with, aliens, are all things that are nuerological, physical, emotional, mental, situational, or a combination of the above, that they have not been able to rationally explain, so have found an explanation in the cultural mythology of aliens and UFOs, etc. When really, scientists, doctors and psychologists can explain all their symptoms and experiences (the most common reason is actually just Night Terrors and other sleep disorders).
In the past, people used to attribute these things to angels, demons, fairies, pixies, spirits of the water, and so on. People use popular frameworks of belief to explain feelings and experiences that feel big or different or downright odd to them. What religious people call praying and having prayers answered is just talking to themselves and using their inner voice, like every human on Earth ever has done, does do, and will do. They are just calling it something religious. The big spiritual feelings they might get when watching a beautiful sunset are the plain old feelings of awe that anyone would get at something lovely to see, and bigger than themselves. But believers say this is God's presence, or God's work, and so on. They choose to see messages and signs or mysterious things where there are none, or which can be explained rationally. All of this is fine, and if it makes people feel better, then I am very happy for them. They just can't expect or demand that anyone else agrees that it had some supernatural or spiritual element, or that they don't look for other explanations.
I find it very odd that people would find facts and reason offensive.
Oh ... so this is what happens on father christmas threads
defuse, could you explain how the Qu'ran is not the work of man? Are you actually explaining that invisible, mystical figures somehow magically wrote it? How? Where?
And can you explain how a book saying someone exists is enough for that to be fact? Because I am pretty sure that Elizabeth Bennett didn't exist, and yet millions of people love that character.
It is stuff like this that totally makes people roll their eyes about religion.
It sounds bizarre and humiliating to hear adults talk like that. It sounds like a toddler insisting that their teddy is real and expecting you to play along. Which I would do with a child, but an adult needs to grow out of that.
Also, context is all. I wouldn't barge onto a prayer thread and start banging on about imaginary friends. But this is a debate thread. The terms of reference are completely different.
I'm still catching up with some of this thread, but I see we have some of those 'but you wouldn't say that about...' posts.
So let me make it clear. There is no difference in believing in fairies, allah, jesus, thor, yahweh or hanuman. I don't dislike one god more than another because they are equally unreal. Only a religious person could think there was a difference.
Defuse I see that you do see a difference. Your quran is true, but as I understand it muslims believe the bible is corrupt and inaccurate and that Jesus wasn't the son of god. Is that about right?
The quran is not the work of man.
Urgh, you know if you find the mocking of religion objectionable, you really should keep views like this to yourself, or at least only express them in the company of like minded people. It's hard for any rational and intelligent person to suppress the urge to correct such nonsense when it is asserted to them.
defuse You're claiming special status for a belief. Why should a religious belief have special status and protection? And don't just say " because", which is essentially what your post is saying.
If I say sorry my belief is the Koran and the bible are very definitely the work of men , which it is, does your belief trump mine?
I've often asked that question Caitlin. Why on earth should my beliefs be seen as lesser just because I don't have some imaginary deity behind them?
oxford i believe that quran is God's word and not man's word because for those who say it is man made, then there is a challenge for them within the quran:
“If you are in doubt of what We have revealed to Our Messenger, then produce one chapter like it, call upon all your helpers, besides Allah, if you are truthful.”
All you need to meet this challenge are the grammatical rules and the Arabic alphabet. A chapter can comprise of miminum of 3 sentences. Even non muslim scholars accept that this challenge has not been met to this day.
See, the eye rolling would be acceptable, had, say, an atheist risen to the challenge. But to sit on the side, not take up the challenge or fail at the challenge (even with all the professional help in the world) and still be eye rolling is not very grown up either.
I would be happy to be humiliated only if you actually met the challenge. But please dont throw words and attacks without actually meeting or attempting to meet the challenge set.
Firstly it's a circular argument because the book is telling you how to tell if the book is real.
Secondly, What's hard about making a chapter like it?
So because it's a literary exception it's the word of god?
I quote this
^And I'm certain that 'you Muslims' have reached a conclusion regarding the "unique literary form, unique genre, unique rhythm and unique eloquence" of the Qur'an based upon objective criteria applied to an extensive knowledge, appreciation, and technical understanding of world literature.
Either that or you are just childishly parroting assertions that you have been conditioned to believe must be true even though you don't even fully understand what they mean.
One or the other.
It'd be literally slightly interesting to find out which...
What exactly do you mean by "literary form", "genre", "rhythm", and "eloquence" in the context you used them in?
How is the Qur'an unique in each of these respects? What methods or measurements have you used to ascertain or quantify these criteria in comparison to other literature?
I look forward to being educated^
backonbriefly get all the expert help in the world an go do it. If it really is man made, then you will succeed.
There are many things in this world that cannot be reproduced, or cracked - like equations and codes. This doesn't make them the work of god.
im a muslim because i think Islam is quite a clever religion, you might say its diabolicially clever, i would say divinely inspired clever. i would take a far easier path to God if there was proof for it, my religion requires alot of its followers, but i dont think the arguments for other faiths stand upto those that the Quran makes. but do you want us to quote verses and scripture?
I wrote a religious book this morning. Everything in it is true. The way you can tell it is true is that on page 1 it says "this is true".
Page 2 just says "All religion is false"
Page 3 says "Don't believe anything a book says"
Quoting scriptures that you think are literary genius doesn't make them the word of god. Otherwise people would worship shakespeare.
defuse I imagine an arabic speaker could knock up a chapter in 20 minutes, but who judges if the new chapter is sufficiently like the others?
That will be the catch yes?
i mean, would you be bothered to read through it if you did? not to convert you, never that, but just to explain why we bother with it? but i dont think you would really care, because if you cant reconcile yourself to the 'God is Love' of Christianity, with all the compromises the early church fathers made to appeal to the european pagan, then the God of Islam might be abit harder to handle, requiring submission, not just 'believe and you'll be saved' - as much as i sometimes wish that was all it took. we can bother if your really interested, but lets not waste each others time if not.
I don't think you can say, believing in this imaginary thing is more or less important than believing in that imaginary thing. If people are to be allowed belief in things they cannot touch, see or prove then it counts across the board. Santa stand for sharing, coming together and rejoicing your loved ones. Whats the problem??
Backonbriefly you go get that arabic speaker to get a chapter together...take all the time you need, and i will make sure that the panel comprises of an acceptable balance of muslim and non muslim professionals with years of expertise.
Expertise in what? on what basis would they be examining it? Style of writing?
crescentmoon quoting the book might be interesting in itself. I've not studied it like I have the bible because until the last decade or so I've mostly encountered Christians, but it would probably not bring me closer to understanding why people believe it is true. It may well be an admirable literary work, but that doesn't really have a bearing on truth,
On the other hand perhaps it contains something that does prove it wasn't written by people. I have seen a claim that it contains knowledge unavailable to people of that time. Including apparently the speed of light. I've been meaning to look into that.
This s the criteria that needs to be met at producing a chapter - remember this can be just 3 sentences or longer if you wish.
1. Replicate the Qur’an’s literary form
2. Match the unique linguistic nature of the Qur’an
3. Select and arrange words like that of the Qur’an
4. Select and arrange similar grammatical particles
5. Match the Qur’an’s superior eloquence and sound
6. Equal the frequency of rhetorical devices
7. Match the level of content and informativeness
8. Equal the Qur’an’s conciseness and flexibility
The quran condists of:
i. Eloquent use of language to please and persuade;
ii. Its perfect choice of words expressions with the best of verbal forms;
iii. Accuracy of meaning;
iv. Apt selection of pronouns and rhetorical devices;
v. Interrelation between style, structure and meaning.
The list above is not exhaustive and represents just some of the reasons why it has not been possible to emulate the Qur’an to this day.
If belief in god was comparable to belief in Santa I'd be all for it. I think the general message of "be nice to everyone and try not to hurt anyone" (I'll ignore all the nasty bits) is basically sound. I get weepy at school nativities because I think the Christmas story is a nice one.
If we came clean about god when kids reached "that age" and said look, there isn't really a man in the sky, it's all made up but we went along with it because it's a nice story and there is a nice message to be taken from it - now you know the truth, don't go spoiling it for the little ones" then you could compare god with Santa.
defuse all those are subjective. A matter of opinion, except perhaps for 'Accuracy of meaning'. By that would you mean "true"?
Oh and I forgot to ask. Where in the koran does it have that list of criteria ?
It's exactly the same, except that we are supposed to grow out of Santa.
Imaginary friend=16 characters
That's not shorthand Curlew. If your intention is not offence why not just use the word god?
defuse what you are talking about is simply a book, which you consider eloquently written and says someone which resonates with you. You think that makes it the work of a god. I don't.
The same criteria of being considered to be eloquently written and resonating with the reader could be applied to The Communist Manifesto.
As for not being able to better it, you'll find plenty of people who will tell you no one has bettered Shakespeare or Jane Austen. Your explanation is just " just because" using more words.
Argh says something, not someone.
ok thanks backonly, stop me if it gets boring.
the Quran is central to Muslim spirituality, not Muhammad, whereas it is Jesus who is central to the Christian spirituality, not the Bible. interspered amongst the verses on religious law, religious history, religious spirituality, are the verses that set out the argument the Quran makes for itself.
alot of the arguments people use now in the 21st century to deride the stories of the Prophets Moses, Jesus, Abraham, the pagan Arabs also derided Muhammad for, and the Quran records their words and goes on to address them...
"When Our verses are recited to them, they say, “We have heard; if we wish, we can compose a discourse like this. It is nothing but the tales of the ancient people."
(chapter 8, verse 31)
"This is what has been promised to us and to our fathers before. It is nothing but the tales of the ancients.”
(chapter 23, verse 83)
"The disbelievers said, “This is nothing but a lie he (the messenger) has fabricated and some other people have helped him in it.” Thus they came up with sheer injustice and falsehood. And they said, “(These are) the tales of the ancients he (the messenger) has caused to be written, and they are read out to him at morn and eve.”
(Chapter 25, verse 4-5)
'Imaginary friend' can include all gods, pixies, fairies and devils. The ghost of your grandad or Napoleon who tells you where there's a good parking space. The spirit of the tree and the wind and anything else that you think communicates with you that you can't demonstrate exists.
already in the 7th century, they were saying 'these are but tales of the ancients' - just as atheists say now about religious books. so, its something to acquiant us with doubt.
the Quran does not ascribe divinity, independent powers, will to perform miracles or knowledge of the unseen to Muhammad (pbuh). instead it repeatedly says that muhammad is a plain warner and his duty is to convey the message. what made Muhammad (pbuh) extraordinary and his message was not any special powers. and apart from the Quran, Muhammad did not perform the miracles of Moses or Abraham or Jesus, and we are not a religion that looks to miracles in that way to prove faith.
and just like people say 'i wont believe unless i see something dramatic', the pagans said the same..
"The disbelievers say, “Why is it that no sign has been sent down to him from his Lord?” You are but a warner; and for every people there is a guide."
(Chapter 13, verse 7)
"And they say, “Why is it that no signs (miracles) have been sent down to him from his Lord?” Say, “Signs are only with God, and I am only a plain warner.” Is it not sufficient for them that We have sent down to you the Book that is being recited to them? Surely in it there is mercy and advice for a people who believe."
(Chapter 29, verse 50-51)
"Say: "I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me, that your God is one God: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner."
(Chapter 18, verse 110)
"Say, “I have no power to bring a benefit or a harm to myself, except that which God wills. If I had the knowledge of the Unseen, I would have accumulated a lot of good things, and no evil would have ever touched me. I am but a warner, and a herald of good news for a people who believe.”
(Chapter 7, verse 188)
"They said, “We shall never believe in you unless you cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth. Or you have a garden of date palms and grapes, then you bring forth rivers from their midst in abundance. Or you cause the sky to fall upon us in pieces, as you claimed, or you bring Allah and angels before us face to face. Or you have a house made of gold. Or you ascend to the sky, and we will not believe in your ascension unless you send down to us a book we may read.” Say, “I proclaim the Purity of my Lord. I am nothing but human, a messenger.” Nothing prevented people from believing, when guidance came to them, except that they said, “Has Allah sent a man as a messenger?”
(Chapter 17, verse 90-94)
"Say, “I do not say to you that I have the treasures of God, nor do I have the knowledge of the Unseen, nor do I say to you that I am an angel. I only follow what is revealed to me.”
(Chapter 6, verse 50)
"Say: I am not the first of the messengers, and I do not know what will be done with me or with you: I do not follow anything but that which is revealed to me, and I am nothing but a plain warner."
(Chapter 46, verse 9)
"And Muhammad is no more than a messenger like the messengers that have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means do harm to God in the least, and God will reward the grateful."
(Chapter 3, verse 144)
crescentmoon sorry, but those verses are still just saying "but ours is different. It is true" which anyone can say. They might be interesting as a story and so is the bible in parts, but that's as far as it goes.
I don't really know enough about Muhammad to decide, but he might have been a good and sincere man. If Jesus existed (still not proven) then he might have been too.
I'm willing to bet that Muhammad said a lot of sensible and helpful things, but it changes nothing really.
The list above is not exhaustive and represents just some of the reasons why it has not been possible to emulate the Qur’an to this day.
Do you seriously think that your argument convinces anyone who is not already convinced of the underlying claim?
It is highly unlikely that you could write text that you claim to be by Shakespeare and have it fool scholars. The analysis now done is working very effectively to pick out bits of Middleton in Macbeth, bits of Shakespeare in Sir Thomas Moore, and so on. That's not to say that these conclusions are right in an objective sense, of course, but they have strong scholarly backing across most people working in the field, and a consensus is emerging.
The same would apply to attempting to write extensions to Bach's work: there's now sufficiently detailed analysis of Bach's work that it is unlikely you could pastiche it and not get caught (and it's not as though previously unknown Bach hasn't turned up and been authenticated quite recently).
The same's true, mutatis mutandis, for almost any good composer, writer or painter. If their work is available in sufficient volume to be analysed in detail, then the precise details of their style and technique will be known to a depth greater than the ability of anyone to forge it.
Neither Shakespeare nor Bach are divine, and their work is not the product of divine inspiration. It is highly unlikely, however, that you would be able to construct work purporting to be by them and not be detected. How does this differ from your claims about the Quran?
sure, stop me if it gets boring backonly, the purpose of quoting those verses here is that, islam wanted to make its followers realise that if it was going to be followed, it would be on an argument, not a big amazing stupendous miracle. this would have been very hard for the people of the 7th century desert to realise, they were still living in the times of the supernatural but i appreciate it now in the 21st century because, we are not caught up in the arguments about the occurances of miracles. the virgin birth of jesus, etc, they are not the proof of the Quran, but when one believes in the argument of the Quran, then one reconciles themselves to those earlier miracles of prophets.
and thats fine
before getting to the literary parts, or maybe il leave that to defuse, as for the argument the Quran makes for the existence of God. its not to do with a small still voice, not to do with the inner, not a supernatural miracle muhammad performed by his hands and then by that the arabs fell to the ground in wonder. it was simply the literary the Quran tells the reader to look around them. observe. Muhammad used a DEIST argument, belief that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a Creator, by the verses in the Quran, and it was part of the gradual arguments.
backonly. If you are truly interested in proving or disproving this challenge, then please go find an arab speaker or linguist or professional or expert and he/she will soon inform you about what is subjective and what is not.
You said that you could get someone to do it in 20 minutes. Have a try and i will be very interested to know what they say.
As i said, the challenge is there and it is not a trick question. It is there to ponder if you actually want to look into it.
verses like this about the proof for God being based on reason and observation of the natural world are through the Quran, il only quote 3...
"Verily! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding. Those who remember God (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): 'Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners". (Chapter 3, verse 190-191)
"In the succession of the night and day, and in what God created in the heavens and the earth, there truly are signs for those who are aware of Him". (Chapter 10, verse 6)
"the creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind, but most of mankind know not". (Chapter 40, verse 57)
so, again, in the 7th century the people might not have appreciated it as much as i in the 21st, the age dominated by science and discovery of the universe around us. this argument the Quran makes that, as a human being learns more about the world and universe around them, they will acknowledge and appreciate God more. not the argument of the God of the gaps, the opposite - learn more and understand more of hte world and that is all you need to believe. no need for miracles by the hands of Muhammad.
crescentmoon I do think the 'miracles in the bible backfired. They look ludicrous now in the 21st century. It is better to use a more philosophical approach. The sense of wonder we feel at the universe around us inspires awe in everyone I'm sure.
For me though it doesn't require a creator to be beautiful and wonderful.
defuse you say "he/she will soon inform you about what is subjective and what is not.". That's not how it works.
If you are making the rules then you can decide it doesn't fit, but how about if I judge if it fits?
You are still getting humans to say that the book is divine. Surely you see how silly that is. First you must prove that these criteria are the ones Allah meant and then prove that your panel are guided by Allah. THEN you can use the panel to say that the book is true.
To me Father Christmas and god are both fictional characters who don't actually exist.
I really don't mind what other people believe though.
Another problem is that deists like to claim that it's offensive to say that they are stupid and gullible.
And then they produce arguments like "this book is true, because it says it's true" and "this book was written by God because it says it was written by God", and then look around them, astounded, when people aren't convinced.
It is offensive to call anyone stupid and gullible Friday. I am that you would need that pointed out to you.
DioneTheDiabolist, would you care to critique defuse's argument for us?
It is offensive to call anyone stupid and gullible
It's offensive to talk about gay people living a "deathstyle". And to publish articles starting:
"You know the end of Western civilisation is near when our elites, eggheads and rulers turn virtue into vice and vice into virtue. When they actually promote that which is not only morally wrong, but just plain deadly, then it really is the end of the world as we know it."
But that doesn't stop Christians doing it.
And that's just this week's example from "Anglican Mainstream", who are run by ordained vicars in the CofE. Other Christians say things like
"So even though homosexual desires feel natural, they are actually unnatural, because God says they are. He also calls all sexual involvement outside of marriage immoral. (There are 44 references to fornication—sexual immorality—in the Bible.) Therefore, any form of homosexual activity, whether a one-night stand or a long-term monogamous relationship, is by definition immoral—just as any abuse of heterosexuality outside of marriage is immoral."
The religious are perfectly happy to throw abuse about. They have incredibly thin skins when it gets slung back. Christians get to stop being called stupid and gullible when they tone down the abuse and hatred they direct at people whose sexuality doesn't match their bible standards.
"It is offensive to call anyone stupid and gullible Friday. I am that you would need that pointed out to you."
I don't think it's offensive to call somebody gullible. Anyone can be gullible- we all are sometimes. It's part of the human condition. Stupid, I agree, is offensive. But what if somebody has said something which shows that they are both stupid and gullible? Does the fact that they have been stupid and gullible over a matter of religion make a difference?
would you care to critique defuse's argument
Wouldn't that involve her making one?
As Dirac is supposed to have said, "it's not even wrong".
You made claims that anyone who speaks arabic can write a chapter like the quran in 20 minutes. Go and do it. Then come back and tell me how easy or difficult it was.
The panel is not there to say whether the quran is the word of god or not. The panel is not sitting there commenting on the divinity of the quran. It is there to analyse whether your chapter follows the 'flow' of the quran. The panel/scholars/experts (muslim and non) maintain that nobody has been able to imitate the style of quran.
defuse genuine question is the Koran never translated? If it is what is the genuine version?
I'm sorry your arguments far from convincing me are making me even more sceptical.
So let me get this right....i have said that there is a challenge in the quran. You have not met that challenge, but have decided to start go on the defensive. You have claimed that you can submit a piece in 20 minutes, but havent submitted one. You have called it easy but havent produced it.
Then friday pops up with an argument that it not being offensive calling people stupid and then goes onto comment on my lack of argument!
They can write a chapter in 20 minutes. I could if you would be willing to translate it into arabic.
The hurdle is 'can they do it in a way that proves to your panel that it is the same style as allah uses' and I've seen no proof that it has to be in the same literary style yet, or that your panel or any panel has the divine knowledge to judge that.
Here you go.
Chapter XX.1 "and allah created the world because his xbox was broken and he was bored"
Chapter XX.2 "and he messed it up so he drowned it and started again"
It is there to analyse whether your chapter follows the 'flow' of the quran. The panel/scholars/experts (muslim and non) maintain that nobody has been able to imitate the style of quran.
They're hardly disinterested observers, are they?
And in any event, as I pointed out already, the same holds for attempting to write music in the manner of Bach which will fool a panel of Bach experts. That doesn't make Bach divine. How is this different?
But surely it's completely beside the point whether the style of the koran can be replicated or not. As people have already said, there are plenty of known human literary (and musical) styles that can't be replicated. It proves nothing either way.
Caitlin, the quran is translated into many languages. The original language is arabic.
Caitlin, i am not here to convince you or anybody else. I know that these attempts can be futile. I have merely posted a challenge. If you want to take it up, then fair enough, but nobody has actually proven me wrong as yet and actually come up with a chapter like quran.
What makes the Quran stand apart is that it is impossible for a human being to compose something like it, as it lies outside the productive capacity of the nature of the Arabic language. The productive capacity of nature, concerning the Arabic language, is that any grammatically sound expression of the Arabic language will always fall with-in the known Arabic literary forms of prose and poetry. All of the possible combinations of Arabic words, letters and grammatical rules have been exhausted and yet its literary form has not been matched linguistically.
Back, I haven't read it. I have only read little posts today. I am in too much pain to concentrate.
This is an interesting change in tactic, 'proving' a religion by an obscure challenge that would take years of study even to have the information required to undertake it. Sort of like claiming "There's a little alien who lives in a cave in Antarctica" - it could be proved long, but nobody is really going to be arsed to do it, so in the meantime the claimant says their position is solid.
I agree Friday, but I'm not sure why you think bigotry is any better than homophobia.
Defuse, it's not possible to prove you wrong because we can't criticise the Quran, can we?
Cheval, i am glad you acknowledged that a challenge like this would involve some form of study. Study is not a bad thing and there are many, many people out there who like to study things that which you may not feel inclined to.
Studying is never a bad thing, no matter how long it may take - be it about anything - linguistics or the black hole. Or alternatively, we can continue to call anybody who is not an atheist stupid or closed minded and at the same time claim that one cannot be 'arsed' to study or explore a different avenue because it may take too long - and therefore justify to themselves why they are right - because they couldnt be 'arsed' to get up and learn.
Kitten, the challenge was not to criticise, offend, insult.
Please study something that is more useful than a faith.
How many angels fit on the head of a pin, anyway?
I don't understand. Why challenge not to criticise offend or insult?
Defuse, I spend a lot of time studying, but I like my study to ultimately be useful and learning arabic and studying arabic styles of writing in order to prove religion that is almost certainly false to actually be false according to an arbitrary self-designated test is not a worthwhile use of my study time.
Anybody can issue an arbitrary vastly time consuming challenge, it doesn't mean it's worth anyone's time to answer it - especially one with so subjective a way of judging the response. You'd think if there is an almighty being somewhere with super powers they'd be capable of coming up with a more accessible test.
How do you know that for example Christianity is not the right answer? Have you studied it enough?
Wow, so many excuses.
Learning is always useful.
Btw, this was not a 'change in tactic' as you said earlier cheval. The challenge has been there for centuries.
You avoid all of my points. I challenge you to answer them.
It's not the only test or argument the quran makes of itself though cheval. But its literary style also became the standard for the peak of Arabic literature- not just then but until now, and not just to the Muslim Arabs, but it was a challenge and still is to its detractors 'and if you think this is a mere work of man Create something similar like it'.
Another thing about the quran is that it has been unchanged for millennia- all qurans throughout the world have the same content and this is a reason for critics to say islam is inflexible- 'because their book is not allowed to be changed'. But to us, it is the proof that the book made of itself that it would be protected from being changed unlike the holy books of the earlier peoples. The famous verse 15:9 ''indeed it is We who sent the Message and it is We who will Guard it (from corruption).
The quran has a single author- whether it is believed to be by Muhammad's hand or divinely inspired, and this cerse verse that says it would be protected from being changed is found on the oldest copies of the quran and in the newest- its stayed throughout the history of the quran.
Anyone aquianted with islamic creed and history will realise how remarkable this was. Because Islam unlike Judaism of Christianity has no religious hierarchy, no clergy class to oversee the preservation of the holy book, not even a quran authority to make sure that very copy throughout every land has the same content. Its an organised relgion but no hierarchy - not an inam or mufti stands above a layperson. Even more remarkable when its considered how many empires there were in the Muslim world, sultanates in south east Asia, sub Saharan Africa, sultans in North Africa, emperors in Central Asia, the Muslim world broke away from the central power of a caliph within 150 years after the death of Muhammad. And yet none of these bombastic chauvinistic dynasties within the Muslim world whether Shia or Sunni tampered with the text. Of course encouragement of memorisation helps but we find that part of its proof also
What I fi d really hard to believe is how some of you posters have the patience to try and argue rationally with someone with such nonsense arguements as defuse
Honestly. How do you do it?
I really admire you.
Lol, call it 'excuses' if you like, but the human lifespan is very limited, and spending years of it trying to establish if Islam is in fact real (by a very dubious methodology), seems like a waste. Islam is only one of thousands of religions, how is it possible to spend years of study on each to establish the correct one, if indeed there is a correct religion?
What do you say about the more problematic verses crescent moon. I think you know what I mean.
Kitten: you asked, why challenge not to criticise, offend or insult?
I do not know how to answer that. Either you have misunderstood, or i have.
Like some previous posts have said. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs. An atheist can put their point across about their views on theists without the need to resort to offensive or insulting language.
Still don't get you, defuse. The thing is, you make claims, we cannot counter them without being considered offensive as ANY criticism is deemed offensive.
Were not speaking to convert anyone, just slowly going through why we follow our faith and why it generally has the confidence to require so much of its followers throughout the world (eg the five pillars of Islam).
But real life intrudes so il probably be on in dead of night again to see how the thread is going. kitten I hope gosh comes on but if not il answer your question.
crescentmoon I like the idea of having every copy match the original and I've heard that before. It's just struck me though that this surely can't be 100% true.
I'm willing to believe that if I sent off for a copy from amazon or whatever it would match yours, but there's nothing to stop someone making an altered copy mistakenly or maliciously is there.
It doesn't really detract from your overall point. It just made me wonder if there was another, non-official, version out there
On the 'no hierarchy' thing that would be a point in its favour - given the behaviour of most organised christian churches, but you have uluma do you not who 'explain' the hadith and so on? and I see clerics waving their hands and issuing edicts so perhaps not quite as simple as individual muslim <->Allah
And you have at least two kinds of Islam last I looked. Not sure what the differences are, but I never understood how christians can admit to having 100s of different denominations without admitting that all but one must have it wrong.
All of the possible combinations of Arabic words, letters and grammatical rules have been exhausted and yet its literary form has not been matched linguistically.
Don't be silly. "All possible combinations of words" is, obviously, infinite. It would require infinite time to enumerate them. How can they possibly be "exhausted"? All possible finite-length combinations of words is not infinite, but why don't you nip away and work out, say, the number of thousand word documents you can derive from an lexicon of a thousand words, and tell us how long they would take to evaluate at one document per second?
any grammatically sound expression of the Arabic language will always fall with-in the known Arabic literary forms of prose and poetry
That's absolute, utter, nonsense on so many levels it's hard to know where to start. Are you seriously saying that Arabic is resistant to the rise of any new form of prose or poetry as all possible forms have been already used? Doesn't that make it a bit dull for writers?
Friday, feel free to produce a chapter then.
defuse and crescentmoon - I don't have to respond to your challenge, I just KNOW you are so totally wrong. I don't have to prove you are wrong or give evidence in support of my arguement because I have FAITH.
I believe my God is the one true God so therefore you must be wrong.
You believe that my holy book is not the word of God but I believe it is. I feel like you are calling me stupid and gullible for believing this.
I find this attitude very offensive.
And quite possibly racist.
The problematic verses? Anyone? Written by God?
Friday, feel free to produce a chapter then.
You really don't get it, do you?
I cannot produce a chapter that reads like JK Rowling.
That does not mean that JK Rowling is divine.
It is unlikely that anyone can produce a chapter purporting to be like JK Rowling that would pass a reasonable battery of modern linguistic analysis tools.
That still does not mean that JK Rowling is divine.
I realise that the arguments that you are advancing are convincing to people who are convinced.
But, seriously, standing there saying "produce a chapter, then" is convincing no-one but yourself. I cannot produce a chapter that would withstand modern analysis and be indistinguishable from that written by any literary writer for whom there is a large authentic corpus available. That does not mean that the authors are divine. It just means that literary analysis is sophisticated.
I have have admired people on this thread that are trying tonhave a rational discussion and respect them for their patience and tolerance but I am just totally fed up with trying. What is the point? Some people's minds are closed.
I am fed up with pussy footing around trying to be polite and respect peoples beliefs that I find ridiculous, nasty and dangerous.
If someone said they held Nazi beliefs, or sexist beliefs, I would be able to say what I think about them. I want the right to criticize someones religious beliefs in the same way.
I object to to the privilege religious people have when it comes to criticism of their beliefs.
I really don't want to upset people but I just feel that I have a right to express my strongly held beliefs as much as any religious person does and if you come out with a comment like this - The quran is not the work of man then I think you are stupid, and very gullible.
I can't help it, but I really believe this.
"What makes the Quran stand apart is that it is impossible for a human being to compose something like it, as it lies outside the productive capacity of the nature of the Arabic language"
What does this mean? Surely if that was true, nobody could read or understand it?
btw this is off topic really, but I mentioned earlier hearing that the koran contained the speed of light and other scientific knowledge. I found a site if anyone is interested that lists these 'gems'.
Miracles of the Quran
redshifter for every poster there could be dozens or 100s of people reading these threads. Some of them may be put off accepting religion blindly because of what they read here. If it makes one person re-examine their position it's worth it.
defuseOk, let's assume the Koran is indeed written by a god and is the only absolute truth about anything.
I am an ignorant infidel who will in some way I can't be bothered to Google suffer for all eternity. Why do you care what I think or say about your book?
I'm not of your faith. It can't possibly be harmed or diminished by anything I do.
What does this mean? Surely if that was true, nobody could read or understand it?
It's apologetics. People who have already convinced themselves like to throw around phrases that they don't understand but they think will be unanswerable weapons against the unbelievers. As you say, what does "lies outside the productive capacity of the nature of the Arabic language" mean? If you know anything about natural languages, you ponder Shapir-Whorf and the like. If you know anything about formal languages, you start muttering about various undecidable problems in language theory, like Universality. If you ask for a definition of what it means, you rapidly realise it means "you are not meant to understand this, but it's impressive, isn't it?"
I am confident that none of the people saying "lies outside the productive capacity of the nature of the Arabic language" have the slightest knowledge of what it means, or would be able to explain it. What does "productive capacity" of a language mean? That the grammar that defines the language is closed? That's quite a claim...
Friday - you may find this of interest: www.hamzatzortzis.com/essays-articles/exploring-the-quran/the-inimitable-quran/
I post it not to convince you, but to provide an overview of the argument that the Qur'an is inimitable.
Love the link. Very entertaining
"The implication of this is that there is no link between the Qur’an and the Arabic language; however this seems impossible because the Qur’an is made up of the Arabic language. "
That's interesting, GoshAnne
"What makes the Quran stand apart is that it is impossible for a human being to compose something like it, as it lies outside the productive capacity of the nature of the Arabic language. The productive capacity of nature, concerning the Arabic language, is that any grammatically sound expression of the Arabic language will always fall with-in the known Arabic literary forms of prose and poetry. All of the possible combinations of Arabic words, letters and grammatical rules have been exhausted and yet its literary form has not been matched linguistically."
The essay *GoshAnne* cites:
"What makes the Qur’an a miracle, is that it is impossible for a human being to compose something like it, as it lies outside the productive capacity of the nature of the Arabic language. The productive capacity of nature, concerning the Arabic language, is that any grammatically sound expression of the Arabic language will always fall with-in the known Arabic literary forms of prose and poetry. All of the possible combinations of Arabic words, letters and grammatical rules have been exhausted and yet its literary form has not been matched linguistically. "
Isn't that interesting that defuse should coincidentally come up with such a similar paragraph? I mean, obviously, someone with the high morals and principles of the faithful wouldn't just cut and paste and then claim it as their own, uncredited, because that would obviously be wrong. It must be another of those miracles, must it not?
That's why the people citing all this nonsense can't argue about it: they're just cutting and pasting it.
Otoh it explains a lot
"I can't write 'women should be equal' in this chapter because it doesn't fit the rhythm"
"How about 'women should be silent' that fits"
Friday yes the same thought occured to me reading that link! It's also a bit of a cheek to expect others to study Arabic to see this miracle for themselves, whilst seemingly not having done this study themselves...
Friday - plenty of unacknowledged C+Ping from you noble atheists too. As I said upthread, some charmer on another thread C+P'd screeds from an anti-Muslim hate site. Or is it different when atheists do it?
Back - you will not find "women should be silent" in the Qur'an.
"Friday - plenty of unacknowledged C+Ping from you noble atheists too. As I said upthread, some charmer on another thread C+P'd screeds from an anti-Muslim hate site. Or is it different when atheists do it? "
How is what somebody did on another thead relevant?
Th issue with c and ping stuff like this is the time it very difficult to understand. I don't. And I asked if somebody could explain it to me- but they couldn't. Because I suspect they don't understand it either. I just don't see how something written in a language that people can read and understand can be completely uncopyable. In what way? Who judges that the copy has failed? By what criteria?
plenty of unacknowledged C+Ping from you noble atheists too.
You will find it recommending that men marry, and have sex with (rape) child brides, though.
GoshAnneGorilla the actual example was a joke - I was going to go with 'stoning' instead of 'silent' - though I wouldn't be surprised if there were similar passages. There are in the bible and the value of women seems similar.
And I asked if somebody could explain it to me- but they couldn't.
Quite. The word for people who cut and paste things they don't understand is "idiot". They're too stupid to understand it themselves, and assume that everyone else is too stupid to notice. If you've spent any time around YECs you can see this in action, where they cut and paste ludicrous nonsense that they're too stupid to see is ludicrous nonsense, can't explain or justify it, and response to people who know what they're doing pointing out the flaws by repeating it. They treat low-quality, unrefereed papers in junk journals the same as they treat their holy books: as unanswerable truth.
Let's, for fun, point out why the paper that our Muslim friends are cutting and pasting from is bollocks. Take section 1. The claim there is that all poetry in Arabic has to follow specific patterns, and all poems known fit those patterns. It's nonsense. You can produce a new pattern. It won't be part of the Arabic cannon, but it'll still be Arabic.
There's a finite set of existing formal poetic forms in English. A sonnet has fourteen lines in a specified rhyme scheme, each line usually of ten or twelve syllables. You can write a poem of fifteen lines, each line containing 11 syllables. It won't be a sonnet. It won't be (I think) any previously known form. It will still be a poem and, of course, it will still be English.
BTW, all this quoting from the Qu'ran and so forth really just wins the arguments for Atheists. Because when religious believers start properly explaining what they believe, most of the time it is laughably childish or scarily bonkers. That an adult believes a book can't have been written by normal people, or that there is proof of a deity just because a book goes "Cor, the, world, eh? Big and mysterious, innit? Has to have been some magical bloke dunnit and no mistake" terrifies me. It is simply not normal to be capable of making your mind operate like a tiny child believing in the tooth fairy.
"The claim there is that all poetry in Arabic has to follow specific patterns, and all poems known fit those patterns. It's nonsense. You can produce a new pattern. It won't be part of the Arabic cannon, but it'll still be Arabic."
That's what I thought, but I thought I must be missing something. And how can a metrical form be unrepeatable? I can write iambic pentameters- I am old enough to have had to in my youth. They aren't obviously,Shakespeare, but they are still iambic pentameters......
I was not remotely attempting to pass that off as my work, so do not make those accusations. I said quran is the word of god. You asked for the criteria, i gave you the criteria - not my own criteria, but a criteria that would be accepted by linguists and scholars. As i said, go and get a chapter ready, then come back with your arguments.
Cheval, if you refute it, then produce the chapter.
Backto, same for you too - you said 20 minutes should be sufficient and an arabic speaking person could put a chapter together. Go do it.
Friday, you are of the opinion that calling someone stupid is not offensive. And you question someone else's principles! I have been saying that calling theirs names and being rude in general just because your beliefs do not match theirs is unnecessary and offensive. Your belief is that god doesnt exist So here is a challenge to you from the quran which challenges your belief system.
And how can a metrical form be unrepeatable? I can write iambic pentameters- I am old enough to have had to in my youth. They aren't obviously,Shakespeare, but they are still iambic pentameters.
No, I don't think that's the claim that's being made here. I think the claim that's being made is that there's a fixed and finite set of metrical patterns, and either that you can't write Arabic in a metrical pattern other than one of those or, alternatively, that you can, but in some sense it wouldn't be Arabic.
I don't speak Arabic. But let's assume that it's a language that contains elements, and that some of those elements are similar in sound (rhyme) and that some of the elements in a text will be stressed differently in ordinary reading (rhythm). Here's how I make a new metrical form. I write a piece in an existing metrical form. I add one extra element at random by replacing a word that contains n elements with one that contains n+1 elements (I'm saying "element" to finesse pedantry about phonemes, lexemes, graphemes, "feet", pulses, whatever). Does the result match an existing form? No? I've made a new one. Yes? Let's add another element, then.
Where Shakepeare wrote "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" (Sonnet 18) I can replace "thee" with "Sheldon Cooper, PhD". It's still English, it's still poetry, it's a new metrical form. Others could write new poems in my new metrical form, too.
It's easy, this stuff, isn't it?
You asked for the criteria, i gave you the criteria - not my own criteria, but a criteria that would be accepted by linguists and scholars.
The criteria wouldn't be accepted for a second by linguists. "This work is written divinely" is not the purview of linguists.
As i said, go and get a chapter ready, then come back with your arguments.
We have no idea, at all, what relevance the production of such a chapter has to your argument. We have already said, quite clearly, that producing a new piece of work to match seamlessly an existing corpus is a known hard, probably impossible, problem. You'll need to explain why you think keeping on saying this bolsters your argument.
Let's break this down, carefully.
I accept, certainly for the purposes of this discussion, that it is impossible to produce a literary text that seamlessly matches another, large corpus. Faking a missing chapter of Ulysses, or the missing "Love's Labour's Won", is not going to work. This does not prove that Joyce or Shakespeare are divine, just that literary analysis is sophisticated. Now, your task is to explain why our inability to replicate some other book proves that book to have been divinely produced. Try to write on only one side of the paper at once.
So here is a challenge to you from the quran which challenges your belief system.
Anybags - citation please for stating the Qur'an justifies raping child brides.
Those saying "but I could just write something in Arabic" are rather missing the point.
Also, FWIW, I find many opinons people hold to be far more "terrifying" then religious faith, racism being a good example.
I take it we're moving to the part of the debate where the atheists claim that their sneering and mockery are all for our own good. Nothing at all dubious about that
GoshAnneGorilla, actually this is mostly the bit where we talk about poetry.
If you're referring to the reminder that Muhammad married a 9yo I don't know where in the koran it says this is acceptable. If you tell me it doesn't then I will believe you.
I think it's a bit unfair to bring that up anyway. Muhammad was just doing what everyone else did. It's not like he had access to some source of morality that the others of his time lacked.
Well, thank you friday for acknowledging it cant be done. The linguists are not there to comment on the quran being a divine revelation, but to tell you linguistically, that it is impossible to copy.
But as backto keeps reiterating...anyone can do it. No, any one can't do it.
Those saying "but I could just write something in Arabic" are rather missing the point.
We're rather struggling to understand what point is being made. There's a literary text. It's not possible to seamlessly produce more of it without the join showing. So what?
defuse Frankly I'm getting a little bored now with going over the same ground. Your whole argument has more holes than a fishing net. I'm amazed you can't see it.
The fact that the koran doesn't say it must fit the criteria that they/you claim it must is the least of your problems. Though isn't it some kind of sin to put words in Allah's mouth? Still I'm sure you and those people who wrote the criteria know better than him don't you and can explain that when you see him.
Regardless of that, and as many have tried to explain, even if you are right that it can't be made to fit the criteria, that proves nothing at all about Allah or the koran because the only evidence you have for the koran being true is still only what the koran says.
How old was aysha again?
Gosh - mockery is a very good thing. You can't mock something that makes sense.
You are right backto, only ypur viewpoint makes perfect sense. I am of course making things up about the quran and the criteria. The quran doesnt tell one how to perform prayer or ablution prior to prayer. But if i write the criteria down, then i am somehow sinful because it is my criteria right?
The evidence i have for the quran is what the quran says, because as you have acknowledged, nobody is able to produce a mere 3 lines copying the style. Not then and not now.
I re-iterate, there is no need to mock any religion, just because you do not believe.
Yes there is a need to mock it. People who blindly believe in religion are too ready, the world over, to tell the rest of us how to live.
Who has been telling you how to live kitten?
I have completely lost track. Are people saying that it is impossible to write a sura indistinguishable from the ones in the Qur'an? Well, as that would be largely a subjective judgement, then it's probably true- so long as the people judging the attempts wanted it to be true!
And it's pretty well accepted that the Qur'an talks about marriage and sex with what we would consider to be under age girls- Mohammed's wife was, I think 9 when they married? 6 when he proposed. Certainly 18 when he died.... But autre temps, autre moeurs. I presume this has been overtaken by modern standards of behaviour? No Muslim nowadays would sanction such behaviour. So in this a least, the Qur'aan is wrong?
The evidence i have for the quran is what the quran says, because as you have acknowledged, nobody is able to produce a mere 3 lines copying the style. Not then and not now.
Do you think that makes sense? Do you think it will convince anyone?
Curlew, i think this question has been covered many times on mumsnet. I think there was a piece in the guardian regarding this too. So, in answer to your question, no the quran was not and is not wring.
Friday, i have no intentions to convert you, nor convince you. The facts are there and still stand.
The facts are there and still stand.
Spell them out.
So far we've got "literary works are difficult, if not impossible, to copy seamlessly, therefore they are written by God". Do you have anything else? Because I don't think anyone outside the already convinced finds that argument anything other than laughable.
Curlew, are you living on a different planet to the rest of us? Because Muslims (and yes, men of other religions) are marrying and 'having sex with' (I refuse to write it as though it is normative) girls all over the bloody globe.
And I don't give a fuck if having sex with a child bride was normal at the time, it still makes the perpetrator a fucking freak and scumbag. A man cannot penetrate a child without immense, obvious pain and difficulty - they might have believed that it was normal and right, but they obviously found it okay, even enjoyable, to do that to children.
Defuse, I think you need a psychiatrist. The shit about evidence for the Qu'ran being the Qu'ran, and your latest attempts at debate are actually so bizarre as to be worrying. An adult that gullible and incapable of critical thought needs help. I'm not saying this to insult, it genuinely concerns me.
Friday, so far we have 'literary works are impossible To copy. ' i didnt say difficult, i said impossible.
My job is not to try and convince you or anyone else. You acknowledge that nobody, no expert can produce or imitate the 3 lines required. Yet you still insist that the argument is laughable.
My job is not to convince you nor convert you.
I am confused.
I am an atheist, I simply do not believe in any god or gods.
defuse, if I and millions of others do not believe in any deity why does a challenge laid down in a story have any bearing on anything - why would you bring that up?
Why does it "prove" there is in fact a god or gods or whatever?
I really, seriously just don't get it.
I have followed this thread all the way through and am completely in the dark now - I have no idea what point you are making (and I really, genuinely am not trying to be rude).
Eh? Sorry, AnyBags- not sure what I did wrong there......
Defuse- well you must have missed all of the coverage of the vigilantes in stepney, stopping people from holding hands, drinking and warning clothes that these guys don't like.
Bags, so good of you to be genuinely concerned. Please dont worry too much about my psychiatric health. I am concerned by the level of anger you hold towards people who believe in religion/ God.
Shall we also talk about the council for ex Muslims - a group formed in this country to support ex Muslims who are threatenened for leaving the faith?
And the fact that the Koran backs up this view.
shall I quote the verses?
And then shall we talk about Christians in Nigeria, Indonesia, Egypt ... And how they live in fear of their lives
Because of what the Koran says?
Defuse- so are you saying that nowhere in the Qur'an does it say that it is acceptable to have sex with pubescent, or even pr-pubescent girls? Or that Mohammad's wife was 9 when he married and 18 when he died?
Of course we are angry defuse. It's the only rational response.
You acknowledge that nobody, no expert can produce or imitate the 3 lines required. Yet you still insist that the argument is laughable.
Suppose I argue that "Fire hurts, therefore God exists"? Can you see why sticking my, or your, hand in a fire would not prove much?
Your claim is "a text cannot be copied, therefore God exists". Well, actually "a text cannot be copied, therefore it was written by God", but that depends on the existence of God".
It makes no sense as an argument. It is, in fact, laughable. You can't just assert "If A then B, A, therefore B" without proving each step. You're jumping straight to step 2.
If you could rationally prove the existence of god, you would not need faith.
I'm not angry, I am bemused and worried in equal parts. It never fails to freak me out, the sorts of things that believers believe in, or their baffling 'arguments' to prove their point fail to amuse me.
Defuse, the stuff about producing 3 lines is just snookerloopy. You might as well say "Can you make a carrot? You can't? Well, God exists then, ta-da!". It doesn't make sense. It's just gobbledegook. It's not even an attempt at an adult debate.
Curlew, my comment to you was directed at you saying that surely no Muslim in the modern world could condone marriage to, and sex with, a child. Unless you were being sarky and I missed it.
Monica, you are not being rude.
I do not question your beliefs, i accept you have them. What i dont like is when people are rude about my beliefs and try to mock those when i have accepted that they have their beliefs.
I said that i believe that quran is the word of God. I got incredulous gasps and got asked why would you believe such a thing! To which i responded that i believe because.... God says that the quran is His word. For which i got mocked and some rudeness along with being called gullible and stupid.
To which i responded that i believe it is is god's word as god says to those who do not believe in god or those who say that quran is written by man, that if you think this book is man made then write a chapter like it.
As i said, it is my belief, i havent imposed it on anyone, i have merely told those who mock me for holding that belief to go and rise to the challenge, to which i got an acknowledgement that it cannot be done but still they continue to mock my belief in god, and now i am seeing comments about all the bad muslims in the world.
Even if Allah existed and was sitting right here I'd say "Allah, clearly you exist, but the fact that there's a book doesn't prove you exist does it. And if he were intelligent enough to design a universe he'd say "Of course not. That's just daft"
No defuse, what you said is that the quran is proof that god exists. And then you said the fact it can't be replicated is proof that it is god's word. That's what people are arguing with.
You can believe it's the word of god all you like, no one will argue there, but you can't prove it.
I have proof that aliens visited the egyptians because we can't replicate what they did without modern tools.
Defuse please listen. You just keep going back to the same nonsensical argument.
The Koran is really not that special. Whoever told you it can't be imitated was being silly.
Who do you get to judge this anyway? Other Muslims.
Your faith does not do well with criticism. Why is this?
You asked who was telling me how to live. I answered with 'all the bad Muslims in the world. '
and they use the Koran to justify their behaviour.
Defuse- just in case you missed this
"Defuse- so are you saying that nowhere in the Qur'an does it say that it is acceptable to have sex with pubescent, or even pr-pubescent girls? Or that Mohammad's wife was 9 when he married and 18 when he died?"
defuse This is the thing though, I don't have any beliefs - I just don't. We are born, we live, we die - that's it.
Nobody needs to respect this because it does not affect me either way, I will still live and then die.
Whilst I would never mock someone for believing something which is (to me) incredulous, I would still be as to why an otherwise rational individual would make the leap to "make believe".
I would like to debate why, but it is taboo, because we must 'respect others beliefs' - this means that you cannot debate without upset because by declaring that you think the 'belief' is a figment of imagination you are instantly attacking the person (because they truly believe it to be true and it is such a big part of them).
Defuse, can you REALLY not understand why people might question or even mock such massive, sweeping statements with zero evidence behind them?! Do you really expect people to just go "Oh, God exists because the Qu'ran says so, well, that's that sorted then"?!
You have everything the wrong way round. The Qu'ran says that God exists, not God saying that it is his word. How can someone who doesn't exist say anything? If God has actually appeared to you, or anyone else, where is your proof? I mean, REAL proof, not just parroting "a book says so".
And the burden of proof is not on those of us who KNOW - not believe, KNOW - that the Qu'ran is not written by God to prove it's not, the onus is on YOU to prove it is. You are the one claiming bonkers, childish nonsense and demanding that it is true without having even the faintest whiff of rational thought or actual proof to it. Saying that we should prove that the Qu'ran was written by man by writing something similar, is ridiculous.
Ad now you want us to pretend that some people who are Muslims don't do bad stuff (just like people of other faiths, or no faith can do bad stuff). Any other ridiculous privilege you want? Because adults who can't cope with the basics of real life are very tiresome.
Btw, I am not specifically referring to Islam, it is religion non-specific for me.
Defuse obviously hasn't watched or read the news lately. Arrests have been made because people have been trying to enforce Sharia law. Attacking men who were having a drink, abusing a couple holding hands in the street...
Don't deny there are bad things going on because of Islam, and I won't deny that there are good.
Same goes for Christians/Catholics too.
Yeah, all religion has its moments, but I think Islam is having a doozy at the moment.
Arrests have been made because people have been trying to enforce Sharia law. Attacking men who were having a drink, abusing a couple holding hands in the street...
Not just arrested, but convicted and sentenced, as it happens.
Good. But it is still intimidating. I don't feel free to say what I really think because of violent mutters and I know I'm not alone in this.
Monica, in that case i would still happily say, you have your beliefs and i have mine. You are entitled to your beliefs as i am mine.
Catkind, i am a muslim and this is my belief. The quran is proof that god exists. It is a fact it can't be replicated which is proof that it is god's word.
That is my strongly held belief. People may ask how i make that leap, and that it is a man made book, kittens has very recently stated it can be imitated. my answer is simple: (from quran)
“And if you all are in doubt about what I have revealed to My servant, bring a single chapter like it, and call your witnesses besides God if you are truthful.” (Quran 2:23)
My whole belief system is not based on my own logic, it is the quran. I make no apology for it. I have not mocked, nor have i been rude about any religion or atheism, but its funny how that will never be reciprocated when talking about atheism vs religion.
The quran also says:
Say : O ye that reject Faith!
I worship not that which ye worship,
Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
Nor will I worship those whom you have worshipped;,
Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
To you be your Way, and to me mine.
The quran is proof that god exists. It is a fact it can't be replicated which is proof that it is god's word
In that case does Aslan exist, because The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe says so.
You do realise there are all sorts of things that can't be replicated, it doesn't make them of god.
The thing about proof is, it cannot be subjective.
How can an adult say that their proof is a book? That'd be an embarrassing line of reasoning for a primary school child?!
Bags, for all the muslims around the world, the quran is the word of god.
Ah, I think the problem we're having here is the word proof. Defuse, you seem to mean something that convinces you. Most of us mean more like a logical chain of deduction from mutually accepted axioms, something that would stand up in a court of law. If something is proved in our sense then it has no need of faith.
Defuse, that just means that A LOT of people are incredibly gullible, possibly mentally ill, possibly educationally subnormal, then. Anyone who believes in a deity just because a book says so is not right in the head, and that goes for any and all religions, not just Islam.
Good point, catkind. Proof does not mean that which convinces, it means that which provides solid evidence that stands up to rigorous scrutiny.
To be honest, I think I have more of a reaction to people who 'become' religious in later life.
If you have grown up in a faith environment then it must become a hard-wired part of you in a way, some people choose to cast it aside as they grow up and cannot make logical sense of the belief but most still carry it as it has been a part of them for ever.
For a grown person who was previously not religious to then make a leap of fantasy and faith is really strange and does not make sense to me at all.
for all the muslims around the world, the quran is the word of god.
Yeah, but maybe they believe it for other reasons. There are no really good reasons, but perhaps they have that feeling inside that Christians describe and convinced themselves it was god speaking to them.
Anybags - Your comment about defuse being mentally ill is disgusting and vile. That is a personal attack, not just a comment upon what she has said.
There are many, many, unimpressive arguments made to support various opinions all day long on Mumsnet, yet some how it seems that only in anti-religious arguments does mental illness get invoked.
Does "playing the ball" not have any meaning to you super rational types? I have yet to see where defuse has personally attacked or insulted anyone. Is she not worthy of similar treatment, or is she somehow lower than you? If so, that doesn't sound a particularly enlightened attitude and spare me any nonsense that arguing on a website is somehow striking a great blow for human rights, so you're entitled to be as unpleasant as you wish to counter those you disagree with.
I am still waiting for anyone to prove that the Quran - yes specifically the Quran, mentions anything about child brides. You have google, bring forth the surah and ayah please.
I note as well, Kitten's descent into talking about "Violent nutters" and "all the bad Muslims in the world". That train is never late, is it? Lovely company you atheists keep. We'll soon be hearing about Muslims not adhering to "British culture" and other such niceties, as that's how these conversations usually go.
I've tried to follow the whole thread, but I'm going to be honest and say that some of the literary references have gone over my head a bit. But am I right in thinking that people are asserting that the quran is actual proof that Allah exists because it says in the book that this is the word of god, and that because no one has been able to write a chapter that matches up to a totally subjective list of descriptors (given in the book, obviously) and that can be passed off as similar enough to the book that it could be real... that that is the evidence required? That is the 'proof'?
Because that is stupid.
I am an atheist. I support your right to believe in whatever religion you want. Though I have reservations about the nature of some organised religions, I'll admit. But if you want to believe it, then that is your right. I would defend it, and your right not to be persecuted for it, with everything I have. What you can not do is expect the rest of the world to pander to those beliefs. You can believe with all your heart that x is true, but if you then want me to live my life as though x is actually true, that is where we have a problem. If you can prove (using actual scientific evidence and logic, not made up wishful thinking) that x is true, then I will listen. Until then, keep your beliefs. And keep them firmly away from me.
Catkind, i follow what you are saying. Yes, in the court of law, no one can prove the existence of God. Yes, it is a matter of faith. This has been long established. That is why i keep saying that my job is not to convince you nor convert you. The closest proof that i as a muslim can provide to those who mock, is the challenge to provide at least 3 verses imitating the quran.
See, the trouble is, many people find it irritating if someone believes in a God. I have maintained on this thread that i believe God exists and i have got comments about 3 men imposing shariah law have been jailed. Rightly so, i say. What judgements have you derived about muslims from their behaviour? What judgements should i derive about atheists based on the hostility against anyone who believes in a deity on this thread?
I am proud to hold my beliefs as are atheists. Why should my beliefs be subjected to ridicule and the atheist mockery be applauded and held in high esteem?
The quran doesn't state an age, instead it says things like 'And test the orphans until they have reached marriageable age'. Which is subjective.
Atheists don't have beliefs. That's kind of the point.
Or Sahih Book 008, Hadith Number 3311.
defuse can I ask, have you always believed God exists (from very young), or did you grow up with no religion and then make a conscious choice to believe once you were older?
Gosh, believing in a deity purely because a book says so IS a form of mental illness. Can you explain how it is not? If I told you that I totally believe Mr Tickle is real, just because a Mr Men book told me he existed, would you say I was not mentally ill? Just because some people call certain books holy, or whatever, doesn't mean their content actually makes them any more special or believable than Fungus The Bogeyman.
And can you drop this nonsense about trying to suggest that anyone who criticises Islam is racist or Islamophobic, or whatever agenda you're peddling? You're just making yourself look bad, no-one else.
Defuse, no-one is hostile about you having a faith. This has been explained to you so many times that it's become boring. People are hostile to the idea of accepting the notion that God must be real because a book says so, and other things you and others have said without any proof to back them up. Not respecting the content of a belief is different from not respecting your right to belief. But if you come out with stuff like God is real, the Qu'ran wasn't written by man, you have to expect people to ask you for real proof.
I'm not ridiculing your beliefs at all. It's the assertion that simply because you believe it to be true, it is. And when questioned you can't come up with a decent argument for why it is the truth, and why it is more true than any other religion or arbitrary belief system. And what you do offer up as evidence doesn't stand up to scrutiny, so you just dig your heels in and repeat the same thing over and over again. If you believe in Allah, and that the quran is the word of god, that's fine. No one is saying you can't believe in it. What a lot of people are saying is that it is a belief not a truth, your 'evidence' is not evidence. And that's fine, if you want to have faith then that's your prerogative. It's when you start making claims that there is actual proof that what you believe is 'the truth' and using shoddy reasoning to try and show it, people get worried. Because if we start accepting reasoning like that, then we start saying it's maybe OK to teach people that it's the truth, and maybe then imposing the bits that come along with that truth, on other people. That's why a lot of atheists argue.
BTW, I don't have any judgements about Muslims or Islam based on the actuons of the 3 men who have been jailed. I have the mental and emotional maturity to know that what they did does not represent their religion or other followers of it.
Hopalong, I did not at any point ask you to live your life in any way other than that which you choose to do. Why has the same courtesy not been extended to me?
Monica, i was raised to believe in god, but then started practising (meaning praying more frequently, wearing hijab etc) in my twenties - a bit after the 9/11 stuff.
Defuse, who has asked you to live your life in any way other than the one that you choose for yourself? If people not accepting your faith as proof that God must exist shakes your beliefs and your commitment to your lifestyle that much, then your faith must be very shaky indeed.
DoYou - Hadith is not Quran, the two are not interchangeable.
Anybags - you label anyone with religious belief as being mentally ill or "educationally subnormal" and then claim I'm making myself look bad? I don't think so, but then nor do I place any store by what you consider "looks bad".
Also, defuse has said nothing about anything said here "shaking her beliefs" so stop putting words into her mouth.
But I am letting you believe. We have freedom to practice religion. You are perfectly free to believe whatever you want. I would never deny you that. You are free to offer up unsound and shoddy reasoning as to why you believe that. But it is not fact. It is not truth. You have no actual proof. And when we start saying that it's OK to accept the kind of things you offer up as actually evidence, it chips away at the standards we hold for laws and rules. As an example, you (general you) can believe that a foetus has a soul and that to terminate a pregnancy is murder. You can believe that all you want. I'm not forcing you otherwise. I'm not forcing you to have a termination. BUT what you can't do is say that it is the TRUTH that a foetus has a soul and that no one should be allowed to terminate a pregnancy because it is the TRUTH that it is murder. We live in a society where we rely on evidence about viability and the ability to feel pain (and proven scientifically, not in those hack job videos on youtube) and other various medical evidence, put forward by scientists, to make a decision on where we draw the line on terminating pregnancies.
It's a crap example, obviously. But the point is that atheists are not asking people not to believe. They are not saying you cannot believe. They are saying that you cannot exert that what you believe is TRUE and try and make it infringe on the rights of others, or persecute other people because of what you believe to be true. It happens every single day across the world.
So much anger and misanthropy Oxford.
I know gosh but this:
^Hadiths are regarded by traditional Islamic schools of jurisprudence as important tools for understanding the Quran and in matters of jurisprudence. Hadith were evaluated and gathered into large collections during the 8th and 9th centuries. These works are referred to in matters of Islamic law and history to this day.
The largest denominations of Islam, Sunni, Shiʻa, and Ibadi, rely upon different sets of hadith collections.
Clerics and jurists of all denominations classify individual hadith as sahih (authentic), hasan (good) and da'if (weak). However, different traditions within each denomination, and different scholars within each tradition, may differ as to which hadith should be included in which category^
suggests they work alongside the quran and are accepted amongst people of Islam.
Dione - It doesn't point anywhere good, does it?
Doyou - Quran outweighs hadith. Also, there were specific claims upthread that the Quran had ayahs mentioning child brides, so I asked for those to be cited.
Bags, i was not offended when you called me mentally ill, but i am disgusted at you making sweeping statements about entire religions.
Hopalong, having a differing opinion is acceptable. I am not so naive as to not know the affect that my statement about quran being the word of God would have on this thread. I will not back down wrt to my beliefs, they are still strong. It is the amount of vitriol that came out about islam that is still shocking - though i have come to expect it. The puberty thing, the 3 men imposing shariah law thing, the women get stoned thing, according to bags, none of that is islamophobic.
I did not at any point ask anyone to live their life in any way other than that which they choose to do. Why has the same courtesy not been extended to me? I get told that i must be stupid for believing what i believe. Its funny how despite all the intolerance on this thread, islam gets depicted as intolerant.
I was raised in a non religious household, non religious schooling - I have never carried a belief in any deity because of my upbringing, and as such cannot comprehend why anyone could believe so fervently with no proof.
My husband was brought up to believe in god (not ott, but sunday school/church etc) and as an adult he stopped 'believing' as such, but cannot bring himself to say he's an atheist because "there might just be something, so it's best not to completely denounce it". This is because it was a part of his defining experiences growing up.
Our children have been brought up in a completely non religious way due to neither myself or my husband practising a religion, so the only influence they have is (non-secular) school; my 11 yr old does not believe at all, my 8 yr old is on the fence. Both of my children have brought the children's bible home from the school library when they were younger to 'convince' me that god is real (it didn't work, obviously!).
I told my children that I didn't believe in god, but if they want to believe then that is for them to decide, but I do believe that the basic premise of 'a good way to live' and a moral compass can be found within religion ie don't kill, respect others etc (the nitty gritty little shitty parts about hating gays etc I don't even mention because it is irrelevant, and is largely irrelevant to most of those practising that faith anyway).
I cannot get upset at other people choosing to believe or not, because that is such an intrinsic part of who they are and no amount of arguing logic can stop such a powerful belief that has been with a person forever; that and the fact that I would not want to mock someone anyway.
I do however find it difficult to understand the people who become religious as adults - that is the sort of religiousy person I would want to discuss it with IYSWIM. You have your beliefs and they have always been a part of your life so you cannot argue from any other viewpoint other than "it just is" (this is nothing against you, just explaining why I don't see the point in asking you personally to explain the logic behind your faith).
Thank you for answering my questions though
Bags, what are you on about? Who has shaken my beliefs? What?!!!
But religion does ask that, every single day. You only have to look at the current debates about gay marriage or adoption or any number of things where religion is asking for special privileges that impact on non-religious people. You, personally, might not. But religion does, as a matter of course, expect everyone to pander to their belief. And ALL religions do it. They ALL believe that they are the one true belief. And none of them any have proof! It's laughable. If you are the type of person that bases their beliefs in logic and evidence, then all religion is similarly laughable. I, personally, think that some are more ridiculous that others because of the extreme things they require of their followers. A religion that asks it's followers to die or allow their children to die is not only laughable, it's dangerous. Religion has the power to be incredibly dangerous, and that's why we question it over and over and over again, so that it doesn't get above itself and start thinking that because This God Over Here thinks x, y and z, we should all start doing x, y and z even if we don't want to and it impacts on our human rights.
Un, Gosh, I have not said that Defuse has said anyone is shaking her beliefs. That is a term I used to describe her attitude. Subjective description is not putting words in someone's mouth.
YOU, ironically, are putting words into MY mouth. I did not say that anyone with a religious belief is subnormal or mentally ill, etc. I said that believing in a deity purely because a book says they exist could be as a result of those things. That is different than saying that all religious belief is a form of mental illness, etc. If you are incapable of understanding that distinction, or unable to debate with me, or others, without trying to twist what has been said, then maybe you should step away from debate?
And Dione, I am not angry, although maybe a bit misanthropic at times. I believe that religion diminishes people, it hobbles their thinking and potential, it enshackles them, it infantilises them, and that saddens me. I am offended and upset for people that factors in their lives have led them to be capable of believing in things that are clearly impossible and untrue and do not have a shred of evidence behind them, and believing any old horseshit to support their faith. I am also offended that people want others to accept that what they say is true without any evidence to back it up, and then wail and lie that they are being told they shouldn't believe that if someone questions it. I am not offended by someone telling me they don't believe the same things as me,because I am confident in what I think, religion-wise. Anyone who truly has conviction in their beliefs shouldn't give a toss if anyone else concurs.
Well, lets look at this shall we:
واللائي يئسن من المحيض من نسائكم ان ارتبتم فعدتهن ثلاثة اشهر واللائي لم يحضن واولات الاحمال اجلهن ان يضعن حملهن ومن يتق الله يجعل له من امره يسرا
Which translits to
Waalla-ee ya-isna mina almaheedi min nisa-ikum ini irtabtum faAAiddatuhunna thalathatu ashhurin waalla-ee lam yahidna waolatu al-ahmali ajaluhunna an yadaAAna hamlahunna waman yattaqi Allaha yajAAal lahu min amrihi yusran
'Walla-ee Lam yahidhna' means those who haven't had menses yet
That whole text is giving instruction on how to divorce a female. Since divorce is based around their menstrual period, it includes those who haven't yet had theirs 'yet', ie prepubescent girls.
But isn't it strange how when 'translated' it misses this part out and heads to:
Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the prescribed period, if ye have any doubts, is three months, and for those who have no courses (it is the same): for those who carry (life within their wombs), their period is until they deliver their burdens: and for those who fear Allah, He will make their path easy.
A lot of muslims say that translation means the quran loses a lot of it's true meaning - this being the case here as it seems to be censoring.
Defuse, making points about some negative aspects of Islam is not Islamophobic. I could come up with a list of stuff I think is dubious about Judaism too, and that wouldn't make me an anti-Semite, FFS.
A religion cannot expect respect if it wants people to pretend they know nothing about negative aspects of it. I have no problem with anyone practicising any religion - I just don't expect anyone to ask me to agree with some or any of the content of those religions.
HopAlong while this: "Religion has the power to be incredibly dangerous, and that's why we question it over and over and over again, so that it doesn't get above itself and start thinking that because This God Over Here thinks x, y and z, we should all start doing x, y and z even if we don't want to and it impacts on our human rights."
seems very noble. I'm not sure where some of the discussion on this thread fits into that. Branding people as "mentally ill" and "educationally subnormal" doesn't seem a very helpful way of achieving those aims to me.
Also when people talk about facts and rationalism without any thought to social constructivism and who gets to assert what is factual and what is not, I feel rather uneasy.
There used to be scientific "proofs" for racism and sexism, science did not overturn those proofs, moral concepts and civil rights activism did.
People can co-opt whatever they wish to suit their own purposes, I feel no better about a supposedly "rational" atheist making sweeping statements about a group of people, then I would someone doing so on religious grounds.
It really doesn't Gosh.
Oxford, misanthropy diminishes people regardless of it's origins. It closes minds and blinds you to the brilliance of people. It stems from fear, manifests as anger and as history has shown, leads to dark and fearful times.
How does your misanthropy benefit you Oxford? What do you get out of it?
thanks for sharing. I have friends whose DH's are similar to your DH in that they dont believe but wont say it, just in case. I get it. My personal journey towards islam is one that would give the mockery brigade a field day.
My upbringing wasnt strict, your usual blend of traditional stuff along with throwing in the odd prayer is very noble and pious.
I still remember telling colleagues that i would never wear the hijab. Post 9/11 i got loads of questions thrown my way and i didnt know how to answer most of them. Started looking into islam just so that i could answer those questions. and fast forward a few years i couldnt fathom how i can say that i believe in god and i know that i should be wearing the hijab, and yet i didnt have the courage to do so. So one day i just did it. It is still the hardest thing that i did in my life That piece of cloth put things into perspective. I am not pious, nor devout. I still dont manage all 5 prayers on some days and end up making up the missed prayers. My life was still full of terrible mistakes even after i 'found god'. But my belief in god is solid.
There isnt so much a 'logic' behind my faith...it is a very strong belief. I do not impose my views on others, nor do i say that other faiths or those of no faith are wrong. That in itself would be wrong of me to say. But i will always defend my faith. To me it is the truth and it has shaped my life for the better.
I haven't called anyone mentally ill, or made sweeping statements about groups of people. But you know, while we're lumping everyone into their pigeon holes...
There seem to be a couple of different camps of people on here;
Those who think that you can believe whatever you want to believe, as long as you don't try and impose it on a secular (and rational) society. That would be me.
Those who think that people who don't use reason and logic to build every single aspect of their life and belief framework are somehow either mentally ill, damaged emotionally, brainwashed, or just stupid.
Those that think that just because they believe that something is true, even though they have no proof that stands up to any kind of testing (not just the kind of testing that you might say was in fashion or in line with society's general belief system at the minute, any kind), and that that means that they should be afforded special privileges (which often seem to involve not allowing other people to have certain rights or equality that everyone else is afforded based on their religion or sexuality or sex or race etc etc)
Those that think that just because they believe that something is true, even though they have no proof etc etc... but that don't think they should be treated as special snowflakes and happily accept that there are a multitude of belief systems in the world and that it is none of their business whether someone is a Muslim, or a Christian or a Buddhist or Hindu or Jewish (and on and on and on)
And a few shades inbetween.
I'm glad it has helped you defuse, I truly am.
Bags, you were rude and offensive and my beliefs are not shaken, figuratively speaking. If my beliefs were shaky, i would not have posted them on here! I am not afraid of expressing my beliefs - i have the ability to do so without being rude and offensive.
Making Derogatory remarks about islam make you islamophobic as do derogatory remarks about jews make you anti semitic.
Gosh and Hopalong: Yet again, for the record, I said that I think that believing in a God purely because a book says they exist, sounds mentally ill to me. That aspect. Not all religious belief. But you keep on spreading the lie that it has been claimed on this thread that all believers are mentally ill, if it suits your purpose.
Dione, being misanthropic is better than believing in imaginary, unprovable things. At least I'm not humiliating myself.
And the argument about civil rights activists proving racism wrong is a bit weak. You can't equate civil rights activists with religious believers, and that argument doesn't go anywhere, it doesn't make any real point.
No, making derogatory remarks about muslims makes you islamophobic as making degrogatory remarks about jews would make you antisemitic.
Making Derogatory remarks about islam make you islamophobic as do derogatory remarks about jews make you anti semitic
That isn't true at all.
Making derogatory remarks about Islam is attacking the religion, not muslims.
You can dislike something without disliking those who partake in it
'all jews are stupid/greedy' = antisemitic
'I find judaism quite an unbelievable religion that places too much emphasis on obedience to archaic rules' does not = antisemitic.
(For the record I don't think either of those things)
Baubles: you want to discuss your views on muslims/ islam in a workplace and then tell me if HR dont pull you up on islamophobia.
No, defuse, making derogatory remarks about a religion is not a form of racism. Making derogatory remarks about people of a religion purely on the grounds of religion is racist (Islmophobic if they are muslims). The distinction is embarrassingly clear. I have said at no point "Muslims are all this, blah di blah", because I do not think like that and am not Islamophobic or racist. Your argument is like saying someone is racist because they don't like curry.
Derogatory remarks about Jews would be anti-Semitic, yes. Not agreeing with some aspects of Judaism is in no way racist, it is merely not agreeing with people.
Is any disagreement with a religion some sort of prejudice, then? Is that how low people will sink when they have nothing left in their armoury to debate with? Oh dearie me.
defuse, that's why it is impossible to argue religion with people of faith - because it defines who they are and 'just is'.
So many people find comfort in their faith and I will never understand or comprehend it but what they believe is their business and that is just fine.
I believe most people are happy to just be, so long as everyone is living to be the best they can be then that is what's important - I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like as a Muslim following 9/11, very difficult I'm sure.
Thanks again, night night!
Hopalong, thanks for the correction.
But there is a difference between discussing Islam, as you might discuss Christianity or Hinduism, and discussing muslims or christians or hindus.
Not to mention that generally any discussion about religion is inappropriate and irrelevant in a work place. Unless we're talking about booking time off round religious festivals or making allowance due to fasting etc.
Bags, of course your views on mentally ill and the link with religions are also embarrassingly clear.
defuse Yes it would cause a problem (not in my workplace, but in others) because our society doesn't allow any negative opinion on islam in public for some reason. Too scared to offend people. Why on earth can't I slate your religion without it being racist or deemed as an attack on a person? It's ridiculous.
It's funny really because I've spoken to muslim scholars who don't give a toss, and say it reflects badly on them if people aren't 'allowed' to speak out about islam.
It is very strange, and very telling that you think people shouldn't be allowed a negative opinion of Islam. Dictatorship, censorship...
Others may try to humiliate me, but I am not humiliating myself Oxford. I am fine with who I am. I am fine with those who do not believe what I do. I am sad that you feel the need to view people with contemporary and distain rather than risk embarrassment.
Where do you think this stems from?
allowance for fasting......that is another thorny issue isnt it!
That should be contempt.
'islam is disgusting' > I am entitled to voice this view and it is not prejudice to say so.
'muslims are disgusting' > I am NOT entitled to voice this, neither do I believe it. This would be prejudice.
The funny thing is half of my family are strict muslims, but they are comfortable in their religion and do not feel they have to protect it from other people's opinion by screaming racism or prejudice when someone doesn't agree with it.
Baubles : your muslim family are tolerant, what happened to you?
Not really defuse (well, not for me and the people I manage). Look at the needs of the business, jiggle stuff if it needs to be jiggled. I'd make similar allowances for family commitments/other religious festivals/generally any reasonable request.
defuse I tolerate other people's religions actually, I am merely engaging in a discussion. I could perhaps ask you the same question, and also ask why you can't distinguish between the religion, and the people, like my family can.
Any - I wasn't equating civil rights activists with religious believers, just stating that science and the proofs deriving therefrom is not the neutral force some rationalists like to posit it as.
Also, you have repeatedly called someone commenting here mentally ill. That isn't a lie.
Anyway, since you consider holding any sort of religious faith to be demeaning and humiliating, why on earth are you claiming some big distinction with regards to the source of someone's religious faith? Are we meant to be reassured that according to you, only people who believe because of a book are "incredibly gullible, possibly mentally ill, possibly educationally subnormal, then."
And you can stop stomping your feet and suggesting I leave the thread. I'll post where I wish.
Hop - I've seen plenty of translations mention that as either "Not had menstruation", or "not had menstruation yet", it is certainly not censored. There are many reasons why someone may not have had periods, so it doesn't specifically refer to pre-pubescent brides, nor it is the verse encouraging child rape that someone up thread promised existed. We know that child brides existed both prior to Islam and for many centuries afterwards, in many cultures, but there is nothing in the Quran that specifically encourages the practice, which I think is an important distinction to make.
Hop along, would you be happy to have baubles in your workplace whose sentiments are: Why on earth can't I slate your religion (being islam) without it being racist or deemed as an attack on a person? It's ridiculous.
Excuse me defuse but do NOT include me in your discussion with Hop to try and instigate something.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with me saying it is perfectly fine to criticise religion. Just as you are fine in doing the same for atheism.
Hang on a minute, where exactly in the UK can you not speak out negatively about Islam?
Most media coverage about Islam is negative.
Baubles, i could endure people attacking me, there are vile people out there who believe muslims to be mentally ill etc because they have a belief system, but I shall never tolerate anyone attacking my religion.
gosh the media may be fine in doing so, but criticise islam as a sling being and you get people wrongly labelling you as racist.
Like I said before, it is extremely telling if people feel that others shouldn't be allowed to voice their opinions on religion.
And I wonder if the people of this thread would say the same about comments against christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism etc.
Baubles, i could endure people attacking me, there are vile people out there who believe muslims to be mentally ill etc because they have a belief system, but I shall never tolerate anyone attacking my religion
Well that is your problem, but labelling them racists or islamaphobes for having a negative opinion on Islam is incorrect.
Is it relevant to a workplace discussion? It's one thing to say 'I dislike islam because of x y and z' in a conversation where it is relevant and you might say similar about other religions. It's something entirely different to say 'I think Islam is a vile religion because of x, y and z'. Its also something entirely different to say 'I think all Muslims are...'
Surely its all about not deliberately making your colleagues uncomfortable. So for example I might think fasting is ridiculous (I have no feelings either way) but it would be wrong to make a rude statement to that effect. It would also be wrong for someone who was fasting to demand that no one in the office drink tea or eat hob nobs. As it stands we're nice and manage to have open conversation even though we're a mixed religion/sexuality/age/sex office. I think that's the norm. Only we only hear about the extreme cases because the reality is that office banter about GBBO and strictly and who's annoyed with Bob in finance cause he cocked up expenses again is so mundane it doesn't make good Daily Mail fodder.
I dislike religion full stop. The only reason why islam is the main subject matter here is because there are people who practice it in this thread. I'd be saying the same if it were catholics
Baubles, insulting is easy, constructing an argument without the need to insult is somewhat trickier for those who feel validated by insulting others.
When have I insulted you? I wasn't the one who said you were mental. I wouldn't ever say anything like that because I have mental health issues myself and don't like it being said flippantly. I have insulted islam, but that isn't you is it?
DoYou - I would say it depends what your criticism of Islam is. As I said way upthread, many criticisms supposedly of Islam, the religion, use racist and orientalist terminology.
If someone's criticism of Islam seems to be that it is not British and doesn't belong in the UK, or that it is somehow inherently more savage and barbarous then it's fellow Abrahamic faiths - well that does sound rather racist, wouldn't you agree?
Also, we cannot ignore that rather prominent sections of the media criticise Islam (and Muslims) all day long. Nor can we ignore that many Muslims, especially women have been publicly verbally or physically assaulted for being Muslim. So you can understand why Muslims feel defensive.
Here is a map of Islamophobic attacks that have occurred since May 2013: https://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=209838309277789756669.0004ddefdf328805d9d8d&hl=en&ie=UTF8&t=m&ll=52.683043,-2.614746&spn=6.396147,14.0625&z=6&source=embed
Tell Mama have a working definition of anti-Muslim prejudice which I think is quite comprehensive: tellmamauk.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/press/antimuslimhatred.pdf
Your post isn't relevant to me nor this thread, as we were labelled islamaphobes and racists by the content of our posts; none of which encompass the ideology that it doesn't belong in the uk, or that we dislike muslim people.
Like I said, people should be able to criticise the religion freely. This shouldn't lead to attacks on muslim people, but again that has no relevance to this thread as we aren't against people we are against religion as a whole.
we know Santa isn't real
if you don't believe in God the most you can say is that you don't believe in His existence.
you can not say He doesn't exist because you have no proof He doesn't exist.
so at least there's the doubt He might exist.
so yes, completely different things.
and FWIW I'm a Christian and I know God exists, but it is not my job to prove to anyone what I know and how I know it.
(and there's no way that I will try and convince anyone to believe what I say who have already decided otherwise.
those in the know will understand "do not throw your pearls in front of swine..."
you say we 'cant say he doesn't exist because we have no proof'.
Use your own logic: you can't say you know he exists. Because you have no proof either.
I know santa isn't real just as I know god isn't real.
And I believe in faeries.
You can't say they don't exist because you have no proof.
I know faeries exist, but it is not my job to prove to anyone what I know and how I know it.
Does this sound silly to you? yes, it should do.
And with that, I'm out and hiding the thread. I'm glad I don't need to believe in something that doesn't exist to give my life meaning or bring me peace.
I have proof - but as I said it's too precious to be shared with anybody, especially with those who wouldn't believe it anyway.
if you don't believe God exists you won't believe anything I say - so there's no point saying it.
and I haven't a clue about fairies
No you don't have proof, proof is something that would stand up in a court of law, that would be able to withstand objective testing.
You will have an anecdote, a story - that is not proof.
you mean like witness statements?
Oh here we go, did you and your friends see a shining light? someone raised from the dead? Perhaps the face of the messiah on a piece of toast?
and yes, I do.
no you don't
yes I do
ad infinitum. I told you, pointless
why are you being rude?
I understand that not being part of something that other people experienced can be unsettling, but it doesn't make their experiences untrue.
and do you really expect me to share my experiences?
it will not make any difference as you are not ready to hear them
Yes it is pointless, because whatever 'proof' you think you have will have a scientific reasoning behind it.
People are so desperate to believe in a higher deity they'll see it in anything rather than finding the rational explanation.
But you can believe what you want to, I hope your 'god' is treating you well..
No it isnt unsettling, it's delusional.
Like people who think they have a ghost because they keep feeling a chill. Only to be told there's a draft coming through one of the windows.
not desperate at all.
And yes, God is amazing. thanks for asking
Tell Mama includes "religious and other related social institutions" in its definition which is rubbish. Though I can quite see why religious people might want to make it illegal to disagree with them. It's actually quite revealing to see someone try and play the trump card.
Judaism, Islam and Christianity are childish fantasies. So is belief in Odin and family (whatever that's called), The Hindu gods read like the narnia books and are equally real.
The main religions are in my opinion damaging to the individual in many cases and to society in most cases. They frequently lead to abuses of the vulnerable or minorities, demands for special rights and immunities from laws we must all follow and to conflicts in which we all suffer.
I usually try to be at least a bit tactful about the kind of 'thinking' that accepts these fairy stories as true without evidence, but it's no secret that I find it shocking and disappointing that people have so weak a grasp on reality.
If some part of that is Islamophobia then feel free to call the police, but you won't stop me holding those opinions or voicing them in debates.
Back - That is ludicrous cherry-picking. No where in TellMama's definition of anti-Muslim hatred is "making it illegal to disagree with them" mentioned or even hinted at.
What is it you are hoping to achieve by your debate Back?
GoshAnneGorilla I didn't say it was. I pasted part of what Tell Mama said - feel free to actually read it since it was your link - and then I said "religious people might want to make it illegal to disagree with them" which is my experience generally. I also said it was revealing to see people trying to play that trump card, which it is.
Dione, I've said many times what I believe debate achieves. Not the conversion of the true believers as it's relatively rare for that to happen. I'm more interested in demonstrating to those others reading that not everyone has to believe and that the arguments for believing are weak and empty. That believing is not necessarily desirable and that it is legal to say so. I'd hate for people to keep quiet because they had been led to believe that was the law.
Oh and I think I covered enough religions in that post to make the point once again that there is no real difference between them to me. I would expect that only a religious person would think the differences were that significant.
So you are using actual posters on a thread to make a point to an audience. I never really thought about it like that before Back. That's very interesting.
Back - that's like saying "Only a philosopher would find any major differences between deontology and utilitarianism". It makes you sound ignorant and I'm sure that's not your intention.
Still not sure where Tell Mama or anyone on this thread are trying to make it illegal for you to disagree with them, or play it as a "trump card".
The only religion I really know anything about is Christianity so these are genuine questions.
I know Judaism does not accept Christ as the son of god and the whole idea of exemption and resurrection through Christ as saviour; so fairly fundamental differences between those two.
So far as Islam I assume the position on Christ will be the same as Judaism although no doubt plenty of other points on which it will disagree with Christianity and Judaism.
Is the god of Islam, Judaism and Christianity the same one?
Given there seem to be significant differences amongst them which one is right?
How is that determined?
Who gets to decide?
And are Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism are misguided?
Nobody apart from actual Scientologists ever seems to have a good word to say about them but just out of interest are they right too?
Sorry, redemption, not exemption.
I have only read the first item on that list
Glory to Him [Allah], Who created in pairs all things that the land produces, and their own kind (humans) and other things of that they have no knowledge of.
How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known that matter is in pairs
Well the Quote doesn't mention matter.
And many fruit trees need to have another one in the vicinity to produce fruit, it's not unreasonable for an illiterate man to know that.
OK it's got me hooked
(Allah) Rules the cosmic affair from the heavens to the Earth. Then this affair travels to Him a distance in one day, at a measure of one thousand years of what you count.
How is that the speed of light?
BackOnlyBriefly Sat 07-Dec-13 18:05:01
for every poster there could be dozens or 100s of people reading these threads. Some of them may be put off accepting religion blindly because of what they read here. If it makes one person re-examine their position it's worth it.
What a ludicrously self-important person you are.
Let's take away the belief that helps a widower keep going every day, and the ethical code that helps people to turn the other cheek and otherwise consciously choose to be better human beings in a hundred little ways every day, and the social structure which gets isolated old people out of their solitude and encourages teenagers to volunteer in orphanages, and so on.
Just because some pinhead on the Internet feels the better for it.
I think BackOnly made that point in response to something I posted.
I agree with her/him now.
It was a good point.
How about respect individuals until they've done something to hurt/disrespect you?
And no, having different beliefs/being religious is NOT disrespectful to you.
I'm an agnostic, I actively dislike the concept of organised religion (It's not that I don't accept the possibility of a higher being, I just don't believe in one who takes attendance), but the reason I'm agnostic is because I really can't be arsed to get all militant about what I do/don't believe in. I don't know what I believe in and I'm not sure I even really want to - what happens, happens.
I would never disrespect someone purely because they follow a religion, or ask me if I follow a religion (seriously? someone thinking you follow a religion is offensive? How ridiculous) - if they asked me about my beliefs I'd tell them, adult or child, in a respectful way because I'm an adult capable of respecting people rather than a child who whines "I can't respect you because you have thoughts!".
Also, I believed in FC for longer than I believed in a God. But neither belief is ridiculous/pointless/bad if it makes people happy. Oh, and people start wars and blame it on their beliefs. The beliefs themselves don't start the wars.
Respecting beliefs, particularly in a discussion about beliefs-not essential.
If somebody says "This is what I believe. I have no proof, but faith is an important part of that belief, and I have faith" then, until such time as that faith impinges on my life, then it is their business and nothing to do with me.
If somebody says, particularly in the course of a discussion about belief "This is what I believe- and this is the proof that it is real" then surely they should be prepared for what they put forward as proof to be analysed, challenged, and, yes, even ridiculed if it is ridiculous. Nobody is forced to join the discussion.
I'm being slated for saying people who would believe in someone because a book says they are real could be mentally ill, but no-one want to answer the question I posed, which is how is it NOT mentally ill to believe this?
If you take away the cultural privilege of a religious text, is it not bizarre to say this? Religious people here - if I was to say to you that I KNOW totally, I truly believe that Bilbo Baggins the Hobbit is totally real, and I have talked to him and had experiences of him, would you not think "Okay, that sounds crazy". You know you would.
Saying you believe someone or something is real solely on the grounds that a book says they are does sound mentally ill. You can't exclude the Qu'ran or Bible from this, as there is no other proof of the existence of deities to exclude them.
Incidentally, mental health problems are incredibly common, and do not mean someone is dangerous or 'stark, staring mad', as the saying goes. Many people are mildly depressed or have issues around food and eating. This would be classified as them having a mental illness. It does not mean that they are incredibly damaged, flawed, inadequate human beings. Nor did I mean that people who believe God exists on the basis that a book says so are incredibly damaged and inadequate. Just that it's a bit of an odd thing for an adult to do. I presumed other posters would understand better about using MH as a term. I suffer from Mh issues (depression and OCD). It is not meant as an insult, it was meant as a statement of fact to describe disordered thinking about something (suspending critical judgement, etc.).
Some, possibly most individuals. Not all individuals. Rudolf Höss was hung in April 1947. You're welcome to say that it's essential that he be respected, but if the name doesn't ring a bell, look him up and call us back about the respect you think he deserves in life or in death.
I am fully aware of who Rudolph Hess was, thank you.
Even he, as an individual, deserved the "respect" of a proper trial, for example. "Respect" in this context does not mean agreement, sympathy or condoning.
Rudolph Hoess, not Hess: the latter, of course, wasn't hung (have all the conspiracy theories about that died down yet?)
But OK, your definition of respect is "correct respect for human rights", and on that I agree completely.
Usually in debates about religion, the demand for "respect" for people extends rather further than restrictions on torture and a belief in due process. For example, a lot of the religious demand respect as meaning "not having my beliefs challenged, even if I enter into a debate about them".
friday - my statement was to respect individuals until they've done something to hurt or disrespect you. I think the example you suggested is null and void for many people because they can't claim to have been affected by the Holocaust - for those who were, saying they disrespect him is entirely justified. Personally I have contempt for his actions, and it does lead me to draw conclusions about his character - but I neither respect nor disrespect him. Saying you don't disrespect someone isn't immediately saying you hold them in high regard - it is perfectly reasonable to "nothing" someone.
Respect people when you speak to them, when you have contact with them, until they have disrespected you, is what I meant. Don't declare a universal disrespect of all people because they follow a religion/have a certain belief/etc. If an individual's actions make you disrespect them, that's perfectly logical and reasonable - what isn't logical or reasonable is saying "Everyone who believes in God/Santa is unworthy of my respect", because you don't know the individual circumstances, the ins and outs of those beliefs, etc.
Cross-posted I agree that demanding respect for religion should never extend to not having their beliefs challenged.
And for defining purposes, my definition of respect is respecting human rights as above - and also just generally trying not to be an arse towards them until they've done it back. At least let them explain their reasons before you jump down their throat and call them stupid for believing in something - not necessarily worshipping at their feet!
(and - fuck sakes I need to read my posts before I send them - when I said I have contempt for what Hoss did, I mean that I disrespect his actions, but - in not knowing him, never going to know him and having no desire to know him - I don't think I can rightly say that I disrespect him as a person. That's just my opinion and no reflection on anyone else).
I don't think respect has to be earned. I think everyone should be treated with respect, whether they treat us with respect or not. Otherwise you're just descending to their level.
Then my idea of respect doesn't mean not questioning people's logic, it means being polite while doing so. Comparison of religion with belief in santa, fairies or the flying spaghetti monster is not mocking or disrespectful, it's putting up a logical point for consideration. To someone who doesn't believe in supernatural beings, belief in any of those is a similar concept in a sense. Of course, if you believe in one particular one then there's all the difference in the world, I'm not insulted or disrespected that you think that. But perhaps considering the other ones may give you some idea what religious belief looks like to an outsider.
And if you try to tell us you can "prove" your faith is true, it's a useful logical test to test the same proof out on other cases. If it also proves faiths you agree are silly, you probably need to examine your proof further, or agree that faith is faith and not proven truth.
I think the example you suggested is null and void for many people because they can't claim to have been affected by the Holocaust
What? "No man is an island" and all that? Are you seriously saying that if you're born after 1945 you can't take a position of the merits of the third reich?
Sashh not read them all yet, but yeah so far all ridiculous. So much for the claim that the science in it proves it's from Allah.
GoshAnneGorilla I know it seems important to you which religion you picked, but since they are all just fantasy I see no reason why I should care which one you went with in the end. It would be like having a deep philosophical objection to which fancy dress costume you chose to wear to the party.
For your other question I refer you to the history of the UK for the last few decades - in fact all of history, but I think you know full well what I was referring to.
themaltesefalcon "the ethical code that helps people to turn the other cheek" Ah you must be Christian. You don't seem to be turning the other cheek so I guess the ethical code is a bust.
It's interesting that threads like this are usually full of Christians saying "you wouldn't talk about Islam like that". This thread is full of Muslims saying "if you challenge Islam you're being racist"
I haven't got a point here- just interested. At least the Christians will realize they are not being "persecuted for their faith".........
Curlew, you can ask for proof. You can query the nature of the proof and you can say "I still don't believe". That is not disrespectful, it is simply stating your point of view.
There is no need for ridicule unless your intention is to try to make the the other person look ridiculous.
How about respect individuals until they have done something to hurt/disrespect you
There is no need for ridicule unless your intention is to try to make the the other person look ridiculous.
To me there is a need for ridicule, and just to me personally, my intention is to to make the other person look ridiculous.
But that is just me, not the other more intelligent and patient PPs.
Why do you seek to ridicule and hurt people you don't know Redshifter?
AnyBags - I have MH problems (bi-polar) but at no point in this thread did I feel insulted by your posts.
There was an interesting comment made by a muslim scholar called Hamza Yusuf which really resonates with me when I read threads like this.
He said for those who believe in God everything they see around them is a proof that God exists and for those who dont believe in God everything they see around them is proof that God doesnt exist.
At the end of the day people will see what they want to see. Thats the thing about having free will. We have the freedom to decide for ourselves. Despite what some atheists on here are trying to assert there is no definite way to prove that God doesnt exist. Even Richard Dawkins acknowledges that. All that is left is looking at all the arguments for and deciding which one is the most convincing to you. That at the end of the day is subjective and personal.
However it is childish to assume that because someone has not come to the same decision as you they are mentally defective or whatever other insult takes your fancy. If religious belief was so obviously irrational, flawed and wrong then why would so many of the greatest human beings that ever lived, (scientists, philosophers, historians, activists) had faith in God? And you have no right to separate a persons actions from their faith or explain away their religion as if its an irrelevant part of them, only that person has the righ to do that. This sort of totalitarian argument, that you either agree with me or your irrational, stupid, gullible, dumb and are undeserving of respect is certainly what is undesirable about religious people and it doesnt look any better when its used by athiests.