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Religion/Spirituality Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Halt, May 26, 2017.

  1. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    To keep myself sane, I am moving the religion discussion in the Manchester Arena Bomb thread to here. Have actually got nothing to say on the matter, so I'll leave y'all with the last few (twenty? I honestly lost count) pertinent posts.

    TLDR:

    Arthellion and co. believes there are theological problems with Islam that make the religion more prone to violence and terrorism.

    The other DLPers think this is silly and point to verses within Christianity that could be misconstrued to justify said violence.

    Arthellion and co. disagree because it's not "the right interpretation" (insert facts and arguments here).

    Other DLPers think that is silly.

    I think you guys get the gist of how things went down.

    Knock yourselves out.





     
  2. Arthellion

    Arthellion Groundskeeper

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    Thanks for making thread. Just to clarify though I changed my statement regarding the propensity of Islam towards violence and ultimately conceded that point.


    People can use any religion or cause to support violence even if the cause religion or ideal does not actually support said violence.
     
  3. calutron

    calutron Unspeakable

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    I think people are looking at it the wrong way, it's easy enough to justify violence in the name of most major religions.

    The more interesting question is "how easy is it to ignore or suspend sections of their ideology to conform with modern liberal ideas whilst remaining true to their faith?"
     
  4. Hush

    Hush Sixth Year

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    As far as Islam goes, I had someone mention for me to check out the principle of Taqiyyah. What I found wasn't very reassuring:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F4wBeshTsw

    Yeah, I know, youtube... but it explains some pretty damning text. What are your guys' thoughts on this?
     
  5. Nazgus

    Nazgus Death Eater

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    I feel like that goes back to how you interpret it. I'm in no way an expert and have no way to refute what he claims is "one of the most respected scholar's interpretation", but an alternate reading would be to focus on the fact that it says "in preference to believers". This could be read as saying you should put those who share your faith first, which isn't nearly as bad as his interpretation of it.
     
  6. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    David Wood is not a particularly credible source, given that he's a protestant evangelist.

    I suggest actually asking a Muslim person what it means.

    By the sound of it, it's forgiveness for renouncing your faith in the face of persecution. Given such things as the Spanish Inquisition and how they treated Muslims and Jews, it doesn't sound unreasonable. But then, what would I know, I'm not Muslim.
     
  7. Arthellion

    Arthellion Groundskeeper

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    Then again, here lies a key issue. The experts in the fields of a religion are those who almost always hold to that religion.

    This leads to the lack of neutral evaluation of a theological text.
     
  8. Agayek

    Agayek Dark Lord

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    So this typifies an interesting perspective that I've noticed recurrent among discussions on similar topics, and I've gotta ask:

    So fucking what? What does being Muslim have to do with understanding any particular aspect of Muslim ideology?

    To use an example I'm more personally familiar with, take Christianity for example. Oftentimes, especially in traditionally and heavily Christian areas, atheists tend to be substantially more informed about the contents and interpretations of the New Testament than many Christians. As a direct result, the opinions of those atheists carries substantially more authority and correctness than those same Christians.

    So why is the reverse applied to Muslims (or any other group)? Why is the opinions and perspectives of non-Muslims rejected, regardless of their level of study and understanding of the Quran, in favor of literally any Muslim?
     
  9. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    An interesting thought experiment, to be sure.

    As it relates to Christianity and Atheism, I think this is mostly due to the fact that, in the West, most Atheists were raised either in Judaism or Christianity. Speaking purely for myself, I am an Atheist, although I was raised Catholic, so I feel on firmer ground arguing over matters of Christian theology than I do with Islam or Hinduism or Confucianism, because my knowledge base is small to non-existent.

    Going on from that, if you want to get an actual answer about Islam, I suppose the best person to ask would be a Muslim-turned-Atheist?
     
  10. Agayek

    Agayek Dark Lord

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    Well, more of the point I was trying to make wasn't really related to atheists vs Muslims or any of that stuff. It was "informed opinions > uninformed opinions, regardless of source", and that assuming a Muslim opinion is informed and more valid than a non-Muslim opinion, solely on the basis of being Muslim is inherently fallacious.
     
  11. Nazgus

    Nazgus Death Eater

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    I think tends to be a way to say that you're not only not someone with a deep understanding of the religion, but that you didn't even grow up in it so you don't have that level of familiarity either.
     
  12. joshuafaramir

    joshuafaramir Unspeakable

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    You'd be surprised on how knowledgeable apologists are with respect to their religion vs other major religion. I myself am not an apologist as I have only surface level understanding of other major religion such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam.

    However, it is shown and told to us by Paul (in the Bible) that apologetics is a key part of the faith as well.

    As far as "growing up with the faith" issue, just because a person grew up with that certain religion does not instantly mean his interpretation is correct or even close to accurate.

    I lot of Christians I know even struggle to answer basic facts about Christianity that should have been base knowledge for every believer of the faith. It does not only affect religion as well. Take language for example.
    A lot of Americans struggle with grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation of English in comparison to foreigners who have studied English more thoroughly.
     
  13. TMD

    TMD Groundskeeper DLP Supporter

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    These discussions are normally a total shitshow when it comes to Islam because its basically
    1. Non-muslim right wingers with no understanding of Islam beyond the Daily Mail and cherry picked Quran/Hadith quotes, also from similar Islamophobic sources

    versus

    2. Well meaning non-muslim people who realise that generalising a religion of 1.6 billion people based on the actions of a few who are equally brainwashed and misguided as group 1 - but their lack of knowledge of islam hinders the depth of argument they can actually make.

    Here is a post I made from a previous thread where I think the topic was "does Islam encourage killing of apostates" or something like that:

    ________________________________________________

    I skimmed the above posts in this thread, but I noticed the point where people were like "oh why do Muslims get this special pass that their arguments are given higher weight than that of non-muslims".

    The answer is simply that Islam considers knowledge and education to be one of the most important acts and ambitions a Muslim should strive for. This is the reason why the middle ages (referred to in Europe as the dark ages) were the golden age of the Islamic world, with the forefront academic centres and discoveries being in Iraq, Syria, etc.

    So with that in mind, most Muslim children from a young age (much like Jews) are encouraged to read the Quran, learn from someone with knowledge and study the messages within. That in itself puts them at a higher tier of knowledge than Dave who got sent a quote from the Quran on whatsapp from his mate from the EDL. However, that's not to suggest that the ordinay Muslim's knowledge is higher than that of a non-muslim automatically. As mentioned in my above quoted post, there are scholars and jurists of Islam who have dedicated their lives to understanding and learning and teaching. An equivalent would be a Supreme Court Judge or a top QC lawyer, and their understanding of their specialist fields of law. It is the opinions and teachings and guidances of these individuals who all muslims turn to and use, an example would be the Tafseer of Ibn Katheer.

    I could go on about this forever, but I think it would be better to focus on a few specific points and go from there.

    1. Trying to gain more than a cursory understanding of the philosophy of a religion from a translation of the text is stupid.

    2. Islam is not a religion of peace, nor is it a religion of violence. Like all religions, it is a way of life that intends to guide it's followers on the ways to deal with all aspects of human life from marriage to taxes to inheritance to conflict to spirituality to communication and so on. (If you have the time, Professor Tariq Ramadan is a hugely respected Professor of Islamic and Oriental Studies at Oxford University, and speaks very eloquently on this topic, if you have the time listen to some of his arguments here: https://youtu.be/mMraxhd9Z9Q?t=1112) - if you speak French even better because a lot of his talks are in his native French.

    3. A verse from the Quran is often quoted as: "Whoever kills a person…it is as though he has killed all mankind." The actual verse is much longer, but essentially is the same but includes the exception of the death penalty for treason or being a murderer. Someone posted a verse earlier regarding being lawful and just. Lots more verses, basically illustrating that Islam is very clear that you shouldn't be a violent wanker.

    4. Wahabbism can fuck off. Breaking news, people often need support for their own sociopolitical ambitions (ruling a land/making money/having power/getting laid/whatever). One of the most natural ways of getting support is going to your own people who share something in common with you that you all follow and leveraging that. Seeing as how most people only have a basic understanding of their religion (most Muslims haven't memorised the Quran, and only know the main messages), someone with enough motivation can easily take a tool like a religion which followers submit to and follow completely, and twist it to serve their own goals. This isn't a new thing, and has been going on since humans were still figuring out the wheel probably. Doesn't mean the religion is inherently flawed.

    5. If you come along and say "muslims should stop this kind of extremism in their community" you can fuck off. The manchester bomber was reported 5 times to the police by members of his mosque. When undercover police agents infiltrate mosques and pose as radicals trying to gain support, they get reported by members of that mosque. Every time an attack happens, unanimously all the big scholars and mosque say something and condemn it and reiterate the same old messages trying to encourage the community to keep an eye out for extremist nutters that want to radicalise isolated and impressionable youths. Just because the media doesn't report it, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. There's 1.6 billion Muslims, if we were out to get you, you would have all been fucked by now.

    6. In Islam, renouncing your faith and worshipping other Gods or idols etc is obviously a fairly big sin. Taqqiya is the principle that if you're facing persecution for being a Muslim (see the spanish inquisition, see Islamophobia post 9/11 and other terror attacks, see the EDL, see "paki bashing") you can do the above without penalty as its for your own safety. It's been made out by the Daily Mail right wing nutters as this incredibly sly thing Muslims are doing so they can lie to everyone and eat your precious children in the night - actually it's no different to say, Islam allowing you to eat pork if you're starving and there's no other food available.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
  14. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    While we're on the subject of Islam:

    Ramadan Mubarak!
     
  15. Aurion

    Aurion Headmaster

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    This is a relic of the days when professing a religious faith that wasn't state approved had some very nasty and very immediate personal consequences. Which can still happen in some places. Just not as common.

    Which, by the way, can apply for Sunni-Shi'a just as easily as Muslim vs non-Muslim- the Shi'a have used the practice to deal with getting stomped on by Sunnis plenty of times.

    Context is important. Of course, even without that context it's nowhere near as cartoonishly evil as your link implies. Basically, the established jurisprudence on the matter is that you actually have to be in unavoidable danger to your life. You can't, for instance, invoke the principle "just because" you were going to get a flogging or going to jail for a bit. If they're setting up stakes and a bonfire in the town square though? Yeah.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  16. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    Hmm, let me respond to this and in doing so, make some observations on Western understanding of Islam.

    1. The problem with saying "They believe that!"
    Today's "apologetics" is not what is meant by the word in the early history of the church. In the early church, apologetics was simply an explanation or clarification of beliefs. For instance, in the first few centuries, Christians were accused of infanticide and following that, cannibalism. Christian apologists took to the charges and explained the Eucharist is a reflection of the Last Supper and a remembrance of sacrifice. There is no sacrificing of children nor does anyone eat the flesh of another human. The concept of "arguing" someone into faith or to "prove" Christianity is few and far in between in ancient times (outside of internecine fights between Jewish followers of Jesus and other Jews in the first and second centuries).

    How does the above paragraph compare to Islam? In the same way the Romans were taking Christian texts and applying them without context and the overarching guide of Christian understanding and tradition, so many Westerners take Islamic texts and apply them without context and an overarching guide to Islamic understanding and tradition. Doing so violates acceptable hermeneutics and has nothing to do with what practitioners actually believe.​

    2. The problem with arguing a whole from a part.

    This is an issue I have ranted against since forever, even on this board—you simply cannot paint the whole from a part, especially a small part. Let me provide an example. I, as an Evangelical Christian, consider Jehovah Witnesses to pervert the scriptures (and in fairness, they believe the same about the scriptures I use). If a Muslim were to argue that I am a polytheist based on the Jehovah Witnesses's interpretation of Jn 1:3 (And the word was a god), I would probably start laughing because the claim is ludicrous.

    However, that is exactly what we do with Islam. We take the interpretation of a text that a small part of the faith holds, and then extend it to the whole of Islam.

    3. The problem of the arrogance of the logical or "rational" mindset.
    This problem is two-fold. From the non-faith Western perspective, many who hold to this mindset believe, ispo facto, that others who live by a faith mindset as their primary world view are illogical or irrational.
    For many faiths, however, this cannot be further from the truth. In Christianity, for instance, all nine (or twelve, depending on which method you use) areas of Christian Theology is based solely on rational and logical arguments. While the foundation is faith, the understanding and exploration is purely rational and logical.

    For Christians, there is an arrogance that underlies much of our interaction with other faiths. It stems from believing in the exclusivity of Jesus Christ for salvation. Let me note, this doctrine is something in which I absolutely believe—belief in Jesus his death, and his resurrection is the only way to restore our relationship with God. However, we then borrow from the logical/rational mindset and believe any other belief is illogical and irrational.

    When these mindsets turn to Islam, Islam gets painted as an illogical religion full of ignorance. We then interpret their scriptures as though we know better than they what it says (see #1); we treat them as ignorant natives who we need to help by sending them money and educating them so they can stop their savage ways; and others treat them all as religious zealots without any foundation for reasoning and thus, we might as well kill all Muslims (an extension of #2).

    A corollary danger here is the complete misunderstanding of issues many Muslims might have with the West. Without understanding not only the foundational tenets of the faith, but also the logical/rational constructs that develop from them, we'll never understand how to deal with Islam, let alone any faith. Short and sweet on this point—stop treating religious adherents as if they're irrationally stupid. ​

    There are several other issues I see, but these are probably the three greatest ones that affect not only how we view and often misrepresent Islam, but also hamstring Western interaction with Islam. And, sadly, I think it's only going to get worse because we'd rather hear either how terrible they are or how much smarter we are because we're so logical/rational/not blinded/have the Truth.

    Again, let there be no doubt, I say all of this as an Evangelical Christian who believes in the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. And as someone who holds these beliefs, I can also say that some of my best conversations about my faith came when I was talking with Muslims and debating tenets of the two faiths.

    Perhaps, the tl;dr version of all I have written here is this: very few people know how to have a respectful conversation anymore with a person with whom they disagree and actually listen to what is being said.
     
  17. Agayek

    Agayek Dark Lord

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    Well said, but I have to point out that the "anymore" here is probably not appropriate. We, as a species, are not really any worse at it now than we've ever been. In fact, we're substantially better at it. We just started at absolutely-fucking-horrible and have, over the last 20,000, years graduated to "completely useless".
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  18. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    Yeah. If you think modern people have some strange ideas about Islam, try reading something from the middle ages, like La Chanson de Roland. At least modern folks don't think Muslims worship Apollo...
     
  19. Arthellion

    Arthellion Groundskeeper

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    Joe's Nemesis

    Just saying...well said.

    As a fellow evangelical couldn't have put it better myself.

    Not sure what denomination you follow, but if you want some awesome modern apologetics RC Sproul Sr. is brilliant. Dry as dirt in person but his books are great
     
  20. joshuafaramir

    joshuafaramir Unspeakable

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    Great analysis but the problem remains that it isn't just the West or non-Muslims that paint the whole from a part, especially a small part. Muslims themselves more often than not, do so as well. Why else would a lot of the Islamic terrorist attacks be based on Islam faith?


    There's no denying that Muslims take Islam and use it as their main weapon to justify their acts. And if Muslims themselves use it as justification for their actions, then why can't we use those same justifications to explain and question their claims about Islam?


    However, the clearest picture for me about Islam is on how they treat non-Muslims in Islamic nations such as Malaysia, Saudi, Iraq, Syria, Iran etc. Islam claims tolerance and peace but there's not a whole lot of tolerance for Christianity in those countries which is predominantly occupied by Muslims.


    It is well and good that Muslims in the West proclaim that their religion is of peace and tolerance when they are protected by religious freedom but have you ever heard of Muslims in the areas I have mentioned stating that they welcome and want Christians to come visit and live in their country?

    tl;dr: There's a clear dichotomy between what they claim and what they actually practice as a whole. I have nothing against Muslims, they're just people. It's Islam that is the problem.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017