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Author Topic:   Evil Muslim conspiracy...
Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 644 days)
Posts: 5140
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 121 of 189 (600416)
01-14-2011 11:58 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Coyote
01-10-2011 9:39 PM


Re: How can you ignore all of this?
No one is ignoring that filth, Coyote, but you can find extremists within any religion. Hindu's aren't exactly the model for extremism, and yet it was a Hindu extremist who assassinated Ghandi.

I think the OP is simply stating that we can't make blanket statements, we have to look at it on a case-by-case basis.


"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it" -- Thomas Paine
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Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 644 days)
Posts: 5140
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 122 of 189 (600420)
01-14-2011 12:16 PM
Reply to: Message 109 by ApostateAbe
01-14-2011 1:19 AM


Absolutely. If all Muslims believed that Islam is a religion of peace and they acted accordingly, then Islam would be a religion of peace. The majority really do believe that Islam is a religion of peace, and they are against violence. The main problem seems to be that all of them encourage absolute belief in the Koran, which is filled with the encouragement of violence and hatred. Muslims live in the modern time, and they try to believe holy scriptures from a medieval time period. This means that anyone who could be inclined to violence will find all the justification and moral support they need in the Koran.

The problem is that radical madrassas make it easy to use the Qur'an and/or Sura, combined with current events involving Muslims and non-muslims, to manipulate the minds of angry and impressionable teens.

But the same kind of rhetoric could be used against Muslims too. It's easy for a pastor on the pulpit, or even Dawkins at a public speaking engagement, to make the claim that Islam inherently leads to violence.

And while that is not necessarily a fabrication, it is a little distorted. If even 1% of the entire Muslim population is extremist, that still leaves 10 million crazed Muslims looking to murder anyone who does not share their ideological beliefs. That still doesn't negate the fact that it's still, fractionally, a low percentage of extremists in the overall population.

Conversely, we see the same war of attrition on this side of the pond too, with wars being waged that are interpreted by peaceable Muslims as naked aggression.

The optimal solution for America is to simply not intervene in the affairs of the Muslim world. This also means no tangling alliances with Israel.

As Jefferson rightly stated, "Commerce with, alliances with none." This philosophy seems to have served Switzerland very well. They're have not had to fight a war since 1815, which is unprecedented.


"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it" -- Thomas Paine
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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 145 days)
Posts: 3943
Joined: 07-01-2005


(1)
Message 123 of 189 (600444)
01-14-2011 1:33 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by onifre
01-13-2011 10:10 PM


Ooo, have you seen the video of that dude getting his head cut off as he screams and peacefully dies? Guess what religion the people that did it were?

I bet you guessed correct. Now ask yourself why you were able to guess that correctly.

...because you purposefully constructed a scenario for your inquiry that matches the specific type of violence typified by stereotypical Muslims.

Let me try:

"Oooh, have you seen the news reports of that dude getting shot in front of his church and peacefully dying? You know, the abortion doctor? Guess what religion the shooter was?"

That's pretty easy. Should I ask who you think of when I talk about political prisoners being executed and having their organs harvested? Maybe I should ask about gassing Jews?

You're smarter than this, onifre.

I'm all for equality, but not for the liberal PC bullshit. The middle east is a violent fucking place,

Yes, it is. Do you wonder why that might be? Remember, the majority population of Iraq was Muslim, yet they didn't have terrorism problems until we toppled any semblence of order or rule of law there and destroyed the entire security structure. And their secular dictator was a violent horrific genocidal asshole without needing the Koran to rile the masses.

and it is full of muslims who are really fucking violent. I mean, who was threatening the Christians to begin with? Other muslims. You call them homicidal maniacs, they call themselves true followers of the faith.

As do the peaceful ones. That's why we have the No True Scotsman fallacy, onifre - again, you're smarter than this.

If Islam causes adherents to be violent, why are we still alive? We should be drowning in the blood of Muslim martyrs about now if that were the case.

Turn the question around. There are plenty of Christian terrorists. Take a look at Ireland for a "great" example, but we've had plenty of abortion clinic murderers, too, among others. Hitler used Christian rhetoric and Biblical justification for antisemitism and his "final solution" taken directly from the writings of Martin Luther, father of Protestantism. The Inquisition and the persecution of Native Americans all unquestionably had roots in the Christian faith. Do these things mean that Christianity is a violent religion?

Most modern Christians are pretty peaceful. Not many witch burnings nowadays, except in the third world where they still do that (except instead of unpopular women, children seem to get targeted, and they do things even more brutal than just burning, if you can imagine that). The abortion clinic murderers are a tiny minority, though a large number of Christians don't exactly disapprove.

Should we go into back farther and look at the brutal laws from the Old Testament? I mean, we're talking about ancient Jews stoning "rebellious" children on the milder side here. Hell, even in the modern day, Israel does some pretty fucked up things in response to terrorism, responding with far more force than they received, killing far more people than they lost, and deliberately antagonizing Palestinians by reneging on just about every agreement they make. Are Jews violent? Is Judaism a violent religion? Certainly nto the Jews I know.

And Muslims have had very peaceful and progressive civilizations in the past, while Westerners were behind the times. Islam certainly didn't change...only cultures did, just like with Christianity and Judaism and every other religion.

I'm going to restate my hypothesis, onifre, and I'd like you to actually read it this time instead of replying with outrage and mockery. I'm not some Creationist repeating PRATTS I found on some website without knowing what the fuck I'm talking about.

I think that the root causes of Muslim violence are the same as those behind most other human sectarian violence. I think that, looking particularly at the Milgram Experiment, we can see that authority will very often cause people to follow through with actions they would normally believe to be immoral, right up to murder.

I think that religious texts and religious leaders take positions of authority in the minds of followers, and the implication is that, if the leaders and their congregation's interpretation of the authoritative text includes violence, they'll be more likely to use violence.

I also think that the Koran as an authoritative text is not significantly more violent than the Bible, or many other religious texts.

I think that most adherents of religions whose texts contain incitements or even requirements for violence are, in today's society, particularly in the First World, not particularly violent.

I think that Christianity, Islam, and other faiths have not significantly changed over the years, yet the attitudes of adherents of those faiths have changed.

I consider the above to be very strong evidence that sectarian violence is a cultural phenomenon, not merely a religious one.

Most Muslims do not cut off heads, do not shoot people, do not blow themselves up, and do not fly planes into buildings. The article I posted in my OP demonstrates an example of Muslims acting to prevent violence against "infidels" rather than incite it. I consider this to be strong evidence that Islam does not necessarily cause or incite violence, and that the generalized rule that Muslims tend to be violent is inaccurate.

Islamic terrorism has been the focus of media attention since before 9/11/01 and has only gotten worse since, despite the fact that the brutal despotic regimes have not significantly changed to justify that additional coverage. Other forms of terrorism and brutality have not received nearly so much coverage, strongly suggesting a bias in reporting and public sensationalism that would very easily play into confirmation bias and result in a false conclusion that Muslims are more violent than non-Muslims.

People in this thread, including yourself, continually focus on evidence that supports their position while completely ignoring evidence to the contrary. You're seeing a pattern of 2, 4, 6, verifying that 8, 10, 12 match the pattern, and concluding that the pattern is that the numbers must increase by two, ignoring the possibility that the pattern could simply be numbers in ascending order, or just random numbers. It's classic confirmation bias - you cannot verify your hypothesis by seeking positive evidence, you must seek out falsification and contrary evidence to maintain accuracy.

My conclusion is that Islam is not itself violent, because adherents are not compelled to do violence as verified by the direct observation that most Muslims do not perpetrate violence. My conclusion is that Muslim violence is caused by the same factors that cause Christian violence or race riots or the Holocaust: human tribalistic separation with the human tendency towards inhumanity against the "other," a cultural acceptance of violence that has historically been present in many religions that are no longer considered to be violent, and the human tendency to follow authority such as religious leaders or authoritative texts even to ends they would otherwise identify as immoral.

My hypothesis predicts that we should see violence, regardless of specific religion, that differs by cultural group rather than simply the lines of faith. For instance, we should see Christians in some cultures modern and historical that perpetrate great violence and inhuman horror. We should see Muslims in some cultures modern and historical that perpetrate great violence and inhuman horror. We should see Hindus...you get the picture. We should also see adherents of those same religions in different cultures who do not support violence or inhumanity. My prediction is that, while the authoritative texts do not change, different cultures will reinterpret or even disregard sections of those texts in accordance with their own cultural values.

This seems to match reality better than the simple hypothesis that Muslims are violent. That hypothesis fails to explain nonviolent Muslims; it fails to explain violent non-Muslims; it fails to explain why American Muslims don;t tend to blow things up, while some Muslims from cultures where real violence is more accepted do; it fails to explain why Christianity, which has an undisputedly more horrific history than Islam, is not considered violent, while Islam is, despite incitements to violence in both holy texts.

What do you think about my reasoning? Please, no more links or references or videos or pictures of an angry crowd of Muslims doing something nasty, unless you want me to start spamming the same for Christian or Jewish or Hindu or Chinese or white supremacist or Nazi or other monstrosities. I rather think that battle of anecdotes could go on forever without progressing any sort of discussion. I'd just like you to, as objectively as you can, analyze my reasoning and say what you think.

It's a religion that currently promotes violence as a resolution, they themselves say it. On Egyptian television. Live for everyone to see. They recognize their violent ways and are quite proud of it. I don't see why Americans keep trying to sway opinions the other way.

Some of them say it. Many, many others denounce it. Most do not commit violence. The violence seems to be correlated to culture, geographic origin, and the opinions of religious leaders rather than strictly to the religion itself. Adherents of other religions have said similar things in history as well, yet we don't consider those faiths to be particularly violent, meaning we're making a special exception in our chain of logic - if we say that violent content in holy books causes violence among practitioners, we should expect equal violence to be observed among all adherents of all violent texts regardless of specific religion, and yet this is not what we see.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by onifre, posted 01-13-2011 10:10 PM onifre has responded

Replies to this message:
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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 145 days)
Posts: 3943
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 124 of 189 (600454)
01-14-2011 2:28 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by Hyroglyphx
01-14-2011 12:16 PM


The problem is that radical madrassas make it easy to use the Qur'an and/or Sura, combined with current events involving Muslims and non-muslims, to manipulate the minds of angry and impressionable teens.

Small correction: any perceived authority (an Imam, the Qur'an itself when presented with a violent interpretation and focus, even just a political leader) will have a significant effect on all who see it as an authority, young or otherwise.

As an aside, all of us from Christian upbringings likely know very well that different flavors of churches and preachers will focus on different parts of the Bible; when I was growing up as a Christian and as a young adult, my churches never focused on any of the violence of the Bible. I heard about Sodom and Gomorrah briefly as a tale about obedience to God (the pillar of salt), but there was no mention of Lot offering up his daughters to the rapacious crowd, or his subsequent drunken incest with them after the cities had been destroyed. Is it so hard to imagine that, perhaps, there are "fire and brimstone" Muslims just as there are more peaceful followers of Islam, and that the spread is more determined by local culture than the actual content of the texts or the historical traditions of teh religion?

That's more to everyone else, Hyro, not so much to you, as it seems we pretty much agree.

But the same kind of rhetoric could be used against Muslims too. It's easy for a pastor on the pulpit, or even Dawkins at a public speaking engagement, to make the claim that Islam inherently leads to violence.

And while that is not necessarily a fabrication, it is a little distorted. If even 1% of the entire Muslim population is extremist, that still leaves 10 million crazed Muslims looking to murder anyone who does not share their ideological beliefs. That still doesn't negate the fact that it's still, fractionally, a low percentage of extremists in the overall population.

Conversely, we see the same war of attrition on this side of the pond too, with wars being waged that are interpreted by peaceable Muslims as naked aggression.

The optimal solution for America is to simply not intervene in the affairs of the Muslim world. This also means no tangling alliances with Israel.

As Jefferson rightly stated, "Commerce with, alliances with none." This philosophy seems to have served Switzerland very well. They're have not had to fight a war since 1815, which is unprecedented.

Amazing - Hyro and I agree almost compeltely.

I think the US can afford to have some actual alliances as well as trade...but I think it's important that we not make such alliances unconditional, as is the case with Israel. I'm fairly certain Israel could start rounding up Muslims for concentration camps or nuke Iran and still retain American support, and that forces us into a corner I think we'd rather not be in.


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onifre
Member
Posts: 4853
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 125 of 189 (600460)
01-14-2011 2:50 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by Rahvin
01-14-2011 1:33 PM


...because you purposefully constructed a scenario for your inquiry that matches the specific type of violence typified by stereotypical Muslims.

Wait, YOU said the example you gave was "what the followers of a religion of peace would do." I gave an example of what the followers of a religion of violence would.

They are both examples, my point was to show that neither one can be selected as the right example to define Islam.

What we should focus on are the leaders of the religion, their Imams and those who imposs the Koranic law. These people depict Islam as a religion that promtes violence as a resolution, openly and without reservation. These people are also infallible and their orders are Islamic law.

As I said, on Egyptian TV they call for war against Jews and infidiels. Now sure not everyone agrees, but you know what they don't play on Egyptian TV? Those who disagree. The only ones shown are the one's calling for violence.

Remember, the majority population of Iraq was Muslim, yet they didn't have terrorism problems until we toppled any semblence of order or rule of law there and destroyed the entire security structure.

Have you ever heard of the Kurds? How well do Sunni and Shite get along?

If Islam causes adherents to be violent, why are we still alive?

Did I say it causes them to be violent, or did I say it is a religion that promotes violence as a resolution?

No one has to be violent for the leaders of that religion to still promote violence. The leaders represent the religion the same as the Pope represents Catholicism - he is infallible according to doctrine, as are the Islamic Imams.

Are Jews violent? Is Judaism a violent religion? Certainly nto the Jews I know.

You're missing the point. Was Judaism ever a religion that promoted violence as a resolution? Hell fuck yes. And that goes for Christianity too.

Was Islam a religion that always promoted violence? Well no, but they sure as fuck do now.

I'm going to restate my hypothesis, onifre, and I'd like you to actually read it this time instead of replying with outrage and mockery.

I did read it, and I re-read it, and I still don't agree with it.

I think that, looking particularly at the Milgram Experiment, we can see that authority will very often cause people to follow through with actions they would normally believe to be immoral, right up to murder.

Good people do good things and bad people do bad things, but for good people to do bad things you need religion.

I consider the above to be very strong evidence that sectarian violence is a cultural phenomenon, not merely a religious one.

Violence, period, is a cultural phenomenon. You didn't break new ground with that.

The difference is, sectarian violence can be evaluated and seen as wrong, then corrected and never done again - like say with Nazism or the torturing of slaves.

As a political ideology it can be scrutinized, evaluated and the fundamental priciples can be done away with.

The problem with religious violence is, it can't be questioned when instructed by an Imam. It is dogmatic. It is NOT subject to re-evaluation and/or re-interpretation. And their word is Islamic law.

Some of them say it. Many, many others denounce it.

Like I said, the ones who denounce it don't get equal air time.

To paraphrase Dr. A's excellent point just a few post's ago:

Quite probably there are, somewhere, some Muslims who have an ideology which they could advocate in positive terms; but lately they appear to have been shouted down by the leaders of their faith who think the Jews and the west want to rape their land and turn all their women into Lady Gaga.

The religious leaders of Islam, currently, openly, and without any reservation promote violence as a resolution. Their words are infallible. They cannot be questioned. And thus the current call from Islamic leaders for violence should be considered, by faithful followers, as lslamic law.

Americans need to recognize that.

- Oni

Edited by onifre, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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 Message 129 by Rahvin, posted 01-14-2011 3:09 PM onifre has responded
 Message 134 by Dr Adequate, posted 01-14-2011 9:21 PM onifre has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 126 of 189 (600461)
01-14-2011 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 125 by onifre
01-14-2011 2:50 PM


As I said, on Egyptian TV they call for war against Jews and infidiels. Now sure not everyone agrees, but you know what they don't play on Egyptian TV? Those who disagree. The only ones shown are the one's calling for violence.

Well, but that can hardly be taken as influencing anybody, now can it?! Why, to suggest that is absurd as those who would suggest that South Park or heavy metal music are responsible for Columbine!


This message is a reply to:
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onifre
Member
Posts: 4853
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 127 of 189 (600463)
01-14-2011 2:58 PM
Reply to: Message 126 by crashfrog
01-14-2011 2:55 PM


Well, but that can hardly be taken as influencing anybody, now can it?! Why, to suggest that is absurd as those who would suggest that South Park or heavy metal music are responsible for Columbine!

I never said anyone was influenced to be violent, you CAN read right? I said that currently Islam is a religion that promotes violence, that is all.

In fact, no one has to be violent for it to promote violence.

- Oni

Edited by onifre, : No reason given.


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Cat Sci
Member
Posts: 9536
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 128 of 189 (600464)
01-14-2011 3:01 PM
Reply to: Message 125 by onifre
01-14-2011 2:50 PM


The leaders represent the religion the same as the Pope represents Catholicism - he is infallible according to doctrine,

Not always. Its only when he's in his magic chair...


This message is a reply to:
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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 145 days)
Posts: 3943
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 129 of 189 (600465)
01-14-2011 3:09 PM
Reply to: Message 125 by onifre
01-14-2011 2:50 PM


As I said, on Egyptian TV they call for war against Jews and infidiels. Now sure not everyone agrees, but you know what they don't play on Egyptian TV? Those who disagree. The only ones shown are the one's calling for violence.

So it seems we agree on this point - the media creates a situation ripe for confirmation bias to lead to incorrect conclusions. As usual.

You're missing the point. Was Judaism ever a religion that promoted violence as a resolution? Hell fuck yes. And that goes for Christianity too.

Was Islam a religion that always promoted violence? Well no, but they sure as fuck do now.

...

Violence, period, is a cultural phenomenon. You didn't break new ground with that.

It seems we agree here, as well: the specific religion is less important than the current leaders and the surrounding culture. Contemporary Christians are largely different from their medieval counterparts, despite the fact that the text didn't change much aside from some translation.

Good people do good things and bad people do bad things, but for good people to do bad things you need religion.

This seems to be where we disagree, and it looks like it's slight. I'd say this:

Good people do good things and bad people do bad things, but for good people to do bad things you need authority, and religion tends to create particularly strong authority.

Wait, YOU said the example you gave was "what the followers of a religion of peace would do." I gave an example of what the followers of a religion of violence would.

They are both examples, my point was to show that neither one can be selected as the right example to define Islam.

What we should focus on are the leaders of the religion, their Imams and those who imposs the Koranic law. These people depict Islam as a religion that promtes violence as a resolution, openly and without reservation. These people are also infallible and their orders are Islamic law.

My entire point has been that you can't really assign a generalization to an entire religion - I'm unaware of many truly "violent" or "peaceful" religions. Most major religions contain elements (or can be interpreted as) of both. My OP was merely trying to point out that saying "Islam is a violent religion" is inaccurate, disrespectful to the Muslims who do stand up for basic human rights and deserve attention, and actively serves to further polarize us along lines that are already pretty polarized.

I'm not sure you and I disagree so much as it initially appeared.


This message is a reply to:
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onifre
Member
Posts: 4853
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 130 of 189 (600467)
01-14-2011 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 128 by Cat Sci
01-14-2011 3:01 PM


Not always. Its only when he's in his magic chair...

Is "magic chair" a euphemism for a boy's anus?

- Oni


This message is a reply to:
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Modulous
Member
Posts: 6481
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 131 of 189 (600483)
01-14-2011 5:08 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by Hyroglyphx
01-14-2011 12:16 PM


a rambling comment
And while that is not necessarily a fabrication, it is a little distorted. If even 1% of the entire Muslim population is extremist, that still leaves 10 million crazed Muslims looking to murder anyone who does not share their ideological beliefs. That still doesn't negate the fact that it's still, fractionally, a low percentage of extremists in the overall population.

The outlook is probably more like a huge percentage (perhaps even a majority in some places) want global Islam, Shariah for all, extreme modesty for women etc etc. The only difference is that despite wanting these things they are not always prepared to take extreme measures to acheive them, taking a more long term 'Allah will see to it eventually' kind of ending.

This however means that there is a strong temptation to 'look the other way' when it comes to certain situations. Sure, threatening to kill Rushdie is not condoned by this Muslim - but they might think that Rushdie brought it on himself and deserves to take some flak and should even 'expect' Allah to enact his vengeance through some 'extremist'. The means were questionable, but the end is noble kind of thing.

I went looking for examples of this attitude:

quote:
Four out of 10 British Muslims want sharia law introduced into parts of the country, a survey reveals today.

The ICM opinion poll also indicates that a fifth have sympathy with the "feelings and motives" of the suicide bombers who attacked London last July 7, killing 52 people, although 99 per cent thought the bombers were wrong to carry out the atrocity.


Source: telegraph

All this said - 'Islam' is a very wide demographic with probably more differences between groups than similarities.

quote:
About eight-in-ten Muslims in Egypt and Pakistan (82% each) endorse the stoning of people who commit adultery; 70% of Muslims in Jordan and 56% of Nigerian Muslims share this view. Muslims in Pakistan and Egypt are also the most supportive of whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery; 82% in Pakistan and 77% in Egypt favor making this type of punishment the law in their countries, as do 65% of Muslims in Nigeria and 58% in Jordan.

When asked about the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion, at least three-quarters of Muslims in Jordan (86%), Egypt (84%) and Pakistan (76%) say they would favor making it the law; in Nigeria, 51% of Muslims favor and 46% oppose it. In contrast, Muslims in Lebanon, Turkey and Indonesia largely reject the notion that harsh punishments should be the law in their countries. About three-quarters of Turkish and Lebanese Muslims oppose the stoning of people who commit adultery (77% and 76%, respectively), as does a narrower majority (55%) of Muslims in Indonesia.


The bottom line is: if religiously sanctioned death and mutilation is an extremist position - its a very common one.

Most people in the West say they would support the murder of Hitler. They argue that killing one person is worth it to save millions of lives (under the potentially mistaken notion that Hitler was a necessary condition of the Holocaust). This is a form of consequentialism, a balance of greater goods etc.

When you draw your morality from religious sources - this can lead you to quite different conclusions based on perfectly acceptable moral heuristics.

For instance - if you think that the Western culture is leading young Muslims to drink and engage in promiscuity which leads them to an ETERNITY of torture and even DISHONOURS their family which could result in the family being taken to hell (or the tribe etc etc). Then through simple consequentialism it is better to kill the occasional promiscuous teen or mutilate the odd set of genitials if means saving more Muslims from the eternal holocaust that is hell.

This is the argument Abe has brought to the table - that religion with eternal consequences (Christo-Islamic religions famously) if earnestly believed, can compel its believers to certain actions that others consider immoral or wicked.

For instance: There are two beliefs about a common phenomenon called 'hearing voices'
1. It is a hiccup of the mind, not serious on its own but possibly symptomatic of a mental illness etc.
2. It is a supernatural force (Shaitan, Allah, djinn etc) that must be obeyed or struggled with as appropriate.

If you believe Allah has commanded you to kill your neighbour then you are a morally obliged to do so. But if you believe you are having delusions that Allah is commanding you to do something you might go to a mental health pro or maybe just choose to believe it is a djinn that must be resisted or something.

Many Muslims think that wearing revealing clothes is bad, but other than tutting, gossipping, saying insulting things and ostracisation they don't do much more than that.

But some people realize that doing this could be construed as being no different to standing by as someone drowns. Their moral beliefs compel them to stand up for decency. How can there be peace when the West mocks us so? How can there be peace when x occupies y. Even if it means killing or dying, maybe it will be worth it, the greater good to obtaining peace for all mankind under the gaze of Allah's good will etc etc.

Beliefs direct actions. This is true of secular beliefs too: many people have died and killed for love, their country, honour, freedom, justice etc. It may well be true that some people kill and die for freedom while wrapped up in convenient religious beliefs meaning linear causality is less clear, but I challenge anybody that doesn't think religion wasn't a key motivational factor in the forming of Brit HaKanaim (Covenant of the Zealots). From wiki:

quote:
The ultimate goal of the movement was to impose Jewish religious law in the State of Israel and establish a Halakhic state. The organisation's members trained using stolen weaponry, and would torch the vehicles of individuals who drove during Shabbat and the shops of butchers that sold non-kosher meat.

Setting fire to properties because they don't meet certain purely religiously based standards? That's an immoral act that can only come about because of religion. Of course - people can set fire to property for all manners of reasons, but without religion laws this particular thing would not have occurred I'm sure.

There are often, perhaps always, political goals when we consider terrorism much like with Kach - another theocratic terrorist group that apparently felt a bomb at a girl's school was the way to advance us back to the glory of the Kingdom of Israel.

Naturally - I concede that Islam and Judaism are capable of motivating good behaviour in a person that might have otherwise misbehaved.

Unfortunately, the US - and the UK - suffered from a wave of Islamaphobia in the last decade and people with a head on their shoulders tried to rebalance things by rebuffing the blatant propaganda and lies of the Islamaphobes who tried to paint Islam as necessarily evil or antagonistic by referring to war passages. Unfortunately this lead to a dichotomy of people saying 'Islam isnt as crazy evil as we say and we shouldn't prejudice our dealings with individuals or nations on the basis of the prevailing religious beliefs' and 'Religion poisons everything'.

So sure - the clash of cultures is sufficient to explain the general big picture of things but religious views I feel, play a strong role in shaping the details of that clash as well as the resolution (or lack) thereof.

All that said and done - I really like the story in the OP. I saw some interesting evidence that religion played an important role in helping communities larger than 120 or so to flourish. Religion builds communities (but by unfortunately dividing those commmunities from other communities).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by Hyroglyphx, posted 01-14-2011 12:16 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

    
onifre
Member
Posts: 4853
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 132 of 189 (600491)
01-14-2011 5:59 PM
Reply to: Message 129 by Rahvin
01-14-2011 3:09 PM


So it seems we agree on this point - the media creates a situation ripe for confirmation bias to lead to incorrect conclusions.

A slight difference to media in the US is that the media in Egypt is controlled by the religious leaders. So I won't say it's a "media created situation," but more so a religious authority created situation.

More on authority bellow.

It seems we agree here, as well: the specific religion is less important than the current leaders and the surrounding culture.

To an extent, yes. But the religion does play a role, for example:

The Pope is infallible, his orders are equal to that of their God. So in the Catholic faith, the leader is of great importance because he can invoke new doctrine. If the Pope were to say, homosexuals are not allowed to be Catholic, it can then be said that the Catholicism is a religion that promotes anti-homosexuality.

However, with a religion like Baptist, where there is no infallible authority figure, if a Baptist minister said homosexuals were not allowed to be Christian, it has no relevance on Christianity itself.

The same goes for every current religion out there, at least the common ones that I'm familiar with. With TWO exceptions: Catholicism and Islam. In both of these religions, the authority figures are infallible and thus do play a very critical role.

So it most certainly has to do with the specific religion/s - those with infallible authority figures, and those without.

Contemporary Christians are largely different from their medieval counterparts, despite the fact that the text didn't change much aside from some translation.

Ah yes, but the authority did change from Roman Catholic (infallible) rule when the church could not be questioned, to what we see today with all the different sects of Christianity without any infallible authority.

The same cannot be said for Islam who still has infallible authority figures, and these authorities dictate Islamic law.

Good people do good things and bad people do bad things, but for good people to do bad things you need authority, and religion tends to create particularly strong authority.

I would add "an infallible authority," one that cannot be questioned. This is ONLY found in religion. And before anyone screams "totalitarianism," I would advise looking at every totalitarian system and see if it doesn't mimic religious authority. As it is said, totalitarianism is nothing more than a theocracy.

My entire point has been that you can't really assign a generalization to an entire religion

But that would be dependant on the specific religion and how they view their authority figures. Or for that matter, any ideology and how they view their authority figures.

In the US we have a democratic society. The president is, for sake of argument, our highest authority figure. But he is not infallible. He does not dictate what American politics will be, at least not alone. He does not define what democracy is. So while he is our highest authority figure, he really has no authority without a proper vote.

Likewise (ignoring Catholicism for this example) Christianity has authority figures. But none of them are infallible. None of them define what Christianity is. So while ministers can be considered authority figures, none of them have actual authority over Christianity.

The ONLY religion where true, infallible authority is found (currently, and ignoring Catholicism for this example) is in the Muslim faith. These infallible men DO define what Islam believes. They CAN make new laws. They DO have actual, unquestionable authority over Islamic doctrine and interpretation.

So...

If Obama comes out and says the US hates Muslims, that cares absolutely no weight. In fact, he would be fired as president. His opinion would have no bearing on US politics.

If a Christian minister came out and said that Christianity does not accept homosexuals, that does NOT mean Christianity as a whole does not accept homosexuals. The minister's opinion would be just that, his opinion, and would have no bearing on Christianity itself.

However... If an Imam says women are not allowed to show their face in public, that DOES mean it is Islamic law that women should not show their faces in public. The Imam's interpretation of scripture would have bearing on the Muslim faith since the Imam is infallible and their word is like that of Allah.

In these three cases, only one has real authority. So it does matter which religion we are discussing. And when those Imam's call for violence as a resolution, it is like the word of Allah, and as such, it can be said that Islam is a religion that currently promotes violence as a resolution.

The reason this is not said for any other religion is because no other religion has infallible, authoritative rule.

I'm not sure you and I disagree so much as it initially appeared.

Seems like it. Do you agree that Islam is a religion that currently promotes violence?

I don't think that is the same as saying Islam is a violent religion. That I don't agree with, it is not a violent religion.

Maybe the future of Islam is like that of Christianity, where different sects break off and eliminate infallible, authoritative rule. If that happened, I think we'd see a reduction of promoting violence as a resolution.

- Oni

[ABE] If it satisfies those reading, replace the word "Imam" with Grand Ayatollah or Allamah, as there seems to be some confusion with my use of the word. However, it is important to note that they remain the highest authority on religious law in Islam, both for Shi'a and Sunni. It is not allowed to question their authority.

Edited by onifre, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 129 by Rahvin, posted 01-14-2011 3:09 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 133 by Dr Adequate, posted 01-14-2011 9:07 PM onifre has responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12881
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 133 of 189 (600505)
01-14-2011 9:07 PM
Reply to: Message 132 by onifre
01-14-2011 5:59 PM


However, with a religion like Baptist, where there is no infallible authority figure, if a Baptist minister said homosexuals were not allowed to be Christian, it has no relevance on Christianity itself.

The same goes for every current religion out there, at least the common ones that I'm familiar with. With TWO exceptions: Catholicism and Islam. In both of these religions, the authority figures are infallible and thus do play a very critical role.

The same cannot be said for Islam who still has infallible authority figures, and these authorities dictate Islamic law.

The ONLY religion where true, infallible authority is found (currently, and ignoring Catholicism for this example) is in the Muslim faith. These infallible men DO define what Islam believes. They CAN make new laws. They DO have actual, unquestionable authority over Islamic doctrine and interpretation.

Well the problem here is that this is complete bollocks.

There is nothing at all in Islam that identifies any particular person as the One True Leader Of The Faithful*.

Of course, people can so identify themselves, and people can believe them --- just as Christians can choose to follow Fred Phelps as the One True Christian Minister.

Any particular Muslim jurisprudent can claim no more authority than will be ceded to him by the people who choose or are compelled to follow him.

* Footnote: in Shi'a Islam there was such a person until 941 AD.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 132 by onifre, posted 01-14-2011 5:59 PM onifre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 135 by onifre, posted 01-14-2011 10:14 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12881
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 134 of 189 (600507)
01-14-2011 9:21 PM
Reply to: Message 125 by onifre
01-14-2011 2:50 PM


The religious leaders of Islam, currently, openly, and without any reservation promote violence as a resolution. Their words are infallible. They cannot be questioned. And thus the current call from Islamic leaders for violence should be considered, by faithful followers, as lslamic law.

No, this is nuts.

(See my previous post.)

There are no "religious leaders of Islam". Just specific religious leaders of Muslims. Those who advocate terrorism are not regarded as "infallible" by those who repudiate them, but rather as damned to Hell.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 125 by onifre, posted 01-14-2011 2:50 PM onifre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 136 by onifre, posted 01-14-2011 10:27 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
onifre
Member
Posts: 4853
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 135 of 189 (600518)
01-14-2011 10:14 PM
Reply to: Message 133 by Dr Adequate
01-14-2011 9:07 PM


There is nothing at all in Islam that identifies any particular person as the One True Leader Of The Faithful*.

Where did I say that? Wtf are you talking about?

I said Imams are considered infallible. That is all.

- Oni


This message is a reply to:
 Message 133 by Dr Adequate, posted 01-14-2011 9:07 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 137 by Dr Adequate, posted 01-15-2011 10:51 AM onifre has responded

    
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