ALL religions make me want to throw up...

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Bouncelot
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Post by Bouncelot » Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:14 pm

Best First wrote:
Bouncelot wrote:Looks to me like Uthman destroyed variant readings of the Qur'an after Mohammed had died. What guaruntee have we got that Uthman preserved the correct version? How do we know that the objectors weren't right about Uthman? His version may have been the best preserved version, but there's no way to be certain given that the variants no longer exist to compare.


There's not even a "J" letter in the Aramaic alphabet either. Though if you look at various languages, the letter "j" represents a wide variety of sounds. The reason that the Hebrew name Yeshua is translated "Jesus" in English translations is because the English anglicised Jesus/Yeshua's name and it would cause too much confusion to use the original in an English translation. Using a more familiar rendering of a name is hardly evidence that anything has been changed.


i love the above two quotes together, from the same person, in the same post.

"Dude, i think it looks highly likley that your holy blah de blah has been fiddled with"

"Dude i find it highly unlikley that my holy boop de boop has been fiddled with"

:eyebrow:


Hm, one bit saying that there was this guy who destroyed variant manuscripts and was accused at the time of tampering with the text, and one bit saying that translating a name to a more familiar version of the same name doesn't count as tampering with the text. What's the eyebrow for? :eyebrow:

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Post by Metal Vendetta » Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:31 pm

I think the point is that both of the holy boop-de-boops were fiddled with.
I would have waited a ******* eternity for this!!!!
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Post by Shanti418 » Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:50 pm

Have you ever played telephone?

Now imagine that with thousands of people over hundreds of years, knowing that changing the message will change the minds and actions of millions.
Best First wrote:I thought we could just meander between making well thought out points, being needlessly immature, provocative and generalist, then veer into caring about constructive debate and make a few valid points, act civil for a bit, then lower the tone again, then act offended when we get called on it, then dictate what it is and isn't worth debating, reinterpret a few of my own posts through a less offensive lens, then jaunt down whatever other path our seemingly volatile mood took us in.

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Post by Yaya » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:04 pm

Metal Vendetta wrote:You mean an eye for an eye? Hardly an attractive system, it leaves the whole world blind, or so I hear. Also it's incredibly close to vengeance again.


Yes, an eye for an eye, because this is a system based on equality. Justice is not always a pretty thing. But it should always be a fair thing.

In truth, the Koran teaches "an eye for an eye, but to forgive is better" (paraphrased)

Or the Koran, written a few thousand years later, just left out the bad stuff?


If you choose to believe that.

I believe otherwise. That the bad stuff was never revealed to Jesus in the first place.

4. Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers, smite at their necks; at length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind (the captives) firmly: thereafter is the time for either generosity or ransom: until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost.

The bits in bold italic are the sort of thing I have a problem with. You know, exactly the kind of verse that might incite people to, well, smite at the necks of Unbelievers? Take their families hostage? Lovely.


Certainly, if a Muslim does not make an effort to understand the context of this revelation and how it should apply, then they might use a twisted interpretation of this to justify their actions of unfounded violence on innocents. But it would be just that, a twisted interpretation. There are clear rules and regulation to warfare that have been spelled out by God. It is the Muslims responsibility to know these and to live by these. The danger arises from those who interpret the Koran themselves, and do not take into account what the Prophet (PBUH) said of the Koranic verses.

The Koran is the "what" and the life of the Prophet (PBUH) is the "how"? If Muslims go around with their own ideas of "what" and "how", then that is when the problem arises. Being Muslim myself, I have an insider's view of whether this happens. Sadly, it happens all too often.

This particular verse (47:4) addresses the situation of the early Muslims, who were outnumbered overwhelmingly, and were the target of the Meccan pagan tribes. Numerous Muslims had already been taken captive and tortured. Many who tried to flee were killed. Essentially, this verse affirms that "when once the fight is entered upon, carry it out with the utmost vigor, and strike home your blows at the most vital points, both literally and figuratively. You cannot wage war with kid gloves."(Yusuf Ali, Quranic exposition).

War is and always will be a part of life. Some like to blame religion for this (cough, Impactor), but I believe war occurs for many other reasons as well, like money, greed, land, etc. But when the fight is taken to you, there is no slakening in defense.

There is etiquette in conflict, armed or otherwise.

Take for example verse 2.190. God instructs Muslims to fight back, but not to transgress and remain just even during the battle.

They are told that material interests should not be the motivation for their fighting, that they should not take up arms against those were not in opposition to the true faith, that they should not resort to unscrupulous methods or to the indiscriminate killing and pillage which characterized the wars of the pre-Islamic era, the Age of Ignorance.

The excesses alluded to in this verse are acts such as taking up arms against women and children, the old and the injured, mutilation of the dead bodies of the enemy, uncalled for devastation through the destruction of fields and livestock, and other similar acts of injustice and brutality.

In the Hadith (sayings of the Prophet) all these acts have been prohibited. The real intent of the verse is to stress that force should be used only when its use is unavoidable, and only to the extent that is absolutely necessary.

then edited to produce a definitive version in 7th Century Arabia.

The Koran was never edited, only compiled into one book. Hundreds of Arabs had the entire Koran memorized by heart during the time of the Prophet(PBUH), and it was written down, though not in a single volume until the time of Othman. Of course, Western texts and authors conclude otherwise so it comes down to who you believe is most accurate. Even today, millions of Muslims have the entire Koran memorized by heart (I know of three myself), so there were certainly people who confirmed its authenticity. I know of no other project that has been so carefully looked after then the preservation of the Koran. Certainly, Muslims of that time were more meticulous then today. That the oldest Koran today housed in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, dating back to the times of Othman is the same text to the letter today is testimony to the care of its preservation. If the Koran was to be altered, why has it not happened in the past thirteen hundred years? Finally, according to the Koran itself, it will remain "preserved".

"We cannot understand God's reasoning" is a total cop-out of an answer.


You are asking me to relate to you the knowledge of God as my evidence, which is impossible. Of course I cannot know all the answers, not even a fraction of them. That does't deter me from believing God exist.

For example, you listen to the radio, right? So I guess you believe in radio waves. But do you see them? Can you tell me everything about radio waves there is to know? Yet you still believe they exist. Such is my belief in God. I hear God's "radio music" (the world and creation itself), but I don't directly see Him. Still, I believe in Him. The same can be said about gravity, about the Van Allen radiation belts, about quasars, etc. I believe they exist, though I don't see them directly.

His version may have been the best preserved version, but there's no way to be certain given that the variants no longer exist to compare.


That's because you do not know the character of Othman, who was one of the greatest of the Prophet's (PBUH) companions. And if what you say is true, why then have not other Othans' come in the past 1300 years to change the book to their liking? Because they can't. And then won't. Many have tried, but none of succeeded. Muslims believe it is protected from alteration, as God deems this so in hthe Koran itself.

Again, it is a matter of belief. But before making conclusions, proper research should be done. If I want information on the Bible, I will read it from a Christian writer, not from a Muslim writer.
"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

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Post by Kaylee » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:07 pm

Bouncelot wrote:
Karl Lynch wrote:
Bouncelot wrote:There are a whole host of reasons why I believe what I do. I believe Christianity to be true based on my personal study of it and my experience of it, and the effect I see it having on people I know. I can think of lots of people I know who have been utterly tranformed by Christianity, I've seen and experienced things that make most sense to me as God acting, there are times when God has spoken to me.


Hm highly intriguing. What makes you believe that there is more to these sights and sounds than normality can explain?


Well, things like healings, people speaking in lanuguages they've never learnt (and I can point to cases where speaking in tongues was an actual language that somebody in the room understood), and some examples of absolutely accurate prophecy stand out as examples of things I can't explain easily by naturalistic means.


Ah yes, I've heard much of this before. If this is indeed the case, why don't we hear of it outside its own (biased) circles? I know from first hand experience that some (particularly evangelical) churches will swear blind that impossible events x, y and z have happened.

Differentiating this for a moment from the cases of a person happening to make a recovery from an illness (which does happen) have you seen with your own eyes someone physically beind healed? The trick here is not "someone who was prayed for got better" as there are far too many factors involved to possibly say that prayer/faith was the cause of their recovery- I mean an instance where somebody *was* ill, a prayer or ceremony was performed, and then they were well.

If these things were true, and they have been investigated often by Science- including many other claims such as ESP, telepathy, clairvoyance etc., then they would have made slightly bigger news and be accepted a little wider than their own niche audience I think. Unless one wants to start down the path of conspiracy stories.

The common thread that runs along with the idea of healing is that of magic- that witches are real and are the tool of Satan and that indeed there are angels and demons all around us whom we can 'conjure' with using certain prayers/spells.

So, elaboration aside, what evidence have you directly been exposed to that this is the case?

Have you considered perhaps that, similar to the self-perpetuating and self-justifying nature of conspiracy theories ("But what about this?" "Ah, that's what THEY want you to think!" "But why would they do that?" "So you would dismiss it as a loony conspiracy theory!" - forgive my characature), you may be in the middle of something similar? Unjustified 'phenomenon' which serve as their own proof? Which may be then amplified by word of mouth, individuals who for one reason or another are convinced they are true and have happened to them (alien abductions are a good example here) and so forth?

Believe it or not I'm not especially interested in 'disproving' religion to you, I wish to see how your belief copes with this concept.

Furthermore, I assume at one point you were non-religious (that is, not aligned to any particular religion) and came to believe through your experiences of life that there must be something more?


I first became a Christian as a child, I saw my parents' Christianity and decided - unprompted by anything or anyone - that I wanted the relationship they had with God. My subsequent experience and study has completely backed up that decision. Most of my Christian friends became Christians much later in life and could probably answer that in a lot more detail.


Ah, I see, a parental influence? How much of your early personality do you feel may have been influenced to be susceptible to these teachings? i.e. is it a coincidence that you happen to favour Christianity over the other branches of the main religions when your parents felt the same?

Now obviously not all children follow in their parents footsteps, but that does not mean we can discount their influence either.

Is there perhaps some childlike belief, that is to say a belief without wishing to question for fear of shattering a beautiful illusion, that drives you forward in your convictions of something which has no proof other than your own convictions?

Naturally the idea that you were unprompted is completely untrue (although I'm not saying you were intentionally lying, sounds more like you were trying to second guess my thought process :))- human beings are not born with notions and preconceived constructs like religion, there must have been influences upon you as a child to make you believe in this 'relationship' with God- indeed to make you believe that this relationship was a good thing and a thing which you needed. Have you considered perhaps re-evaluating these processes? Revisiting them outside of your current mindset, although I appreciate how difficult that is.

I've no real surprise that your experiences in life have backed up your decision to become Christian, if they had not you wouldn't be here now discussing this topic in such a fashion :) Stands to reason.

What made you believe this 'more' was Christianity, as oppose to say the beliefs of your Islamic cousins? I appreciate ideas and philosophies can be very profound on people's psyches, how do you make the link between this and believing in something which, if it weren't so steeped in institution and collective consciousness, would be generally considered rather far-fetched?


As I said before, looking at the evidence for the central doctrines of Christianity leads me to believe that it is true. When I've looked into Islam, it's seems so much more human in its doctrines and beliefs. When I've looked into Judaism, I find their interpretation of the Hebrew Bible so much less convincing than a Christian one. Though, admittedly, I've not looked too much into other faiths than those.


But they are not evidence. In order to consider that they are evidence you must believe in them. You are however citing that it is their 'evidence' that helps cement your belief. This is circular reasoning- I wish to understand why you subscribe to these things... now you speak of 'truth'. Truth is an internal construct- we have our own notion of truth which may or may not change over time (like most of our mental mechanisms). So what I'm understanding from this is that you have a preconceived notion of 'truth' (which is fair, we all do I think to one degree or another) which would have been built on your upbringing from Christian parents- this 'truth' then was aligned with Christianity, and because of it's alignment with Christianity you believe Christianity to be true?

Now that is, again, a reasonable position but the distinction I would like to bring about is that the 'truth' is not an externality, it is something from you. You are not set in stone and may change over time, your mind may in fact change one day to the next. Therefore the tenure of 'truth' is entirely in your own mind. You need only let go of Christianity for it to lose all practical truth and meaning. Would that not be an interesting experiment? Particularly considering that a truth should be immutable and always correct.

Finally, how do you differentiate God's voice from the many conflicting threads of your own mind? How can you be sure it was Him and not just your own mind. Unless you physically heard him, naturally, but I'm assuming this was an internal experience. If so, on what basis do you believe this internal experience to have any external causality?


I've not physically heard God, though I've known people who have. My experience is that there are a range of ways of hearing God. There have been two or three times when God's voice has been utterly unmistakeable - it's the mental equivalent of someone shouting in your ear, and there's no way it could possibly be your own thoughts. Other times, I've been reading the Bible and verses have directly leapt out at me, and there are other times where I've had a definite "impression" of something God wants to say, it doesn't resemble any of my own thoughts, and isn't exactly words. It's the sort of thing that's difficult to describe to anyone who hasn't experienced it.


I'm firstly greatly interested in how you believe others to have physically heard God when you have not heard him yourself? How do you know that they are not merely externalising the same internal thoughts and ideas you have?

Which brings me to my second issue which is of the greatest interest so far- I have the exact same 'visions' or 'messages'. It isn't a case of me not experiencing it, I do. I however place an entirely different meaning and emphasis on it. I constantly hear voices, feelings and insights in my mind. I believe that's part of being human. To what we attribute them is up to us and to what extent we feel them I would expect depends how far we are willing to take notice of our own thoughts.

I for example have heard voices in my head warning me against bad decisions, 'bad' people [I use the term for simplicity's sake], good ideas, big decisions or to tell me to trust people or situations. They are part of my intuition, my empathy and my senses (which I would argue form the building block for my intuition, which is then filtered through my personality).

Now, these thoughts and 'messages' definitely come from inside me- no matter how alien or unlike me they may be. I've never yet found one which does not stem from some facet of my mind (bearing in mind the complexity of the human mind, there is so much more to it than the 5% we show/use every day). Some can be very subtle, and others very loud. Would this correspond correctly to the voices which you believe are from God? If so, how would this impact on your belief that they are from God? Is he messaging me? And if so, why do these thoughts always stem from (albeit sometimes virtually disused and deserted) areas of my psyche?

Interestingly enough, on a more unrelated note, I did a psychometric test today and the job which I was second most suited to was a counsellor/psychologist! Strange how things work out! :)


Hm, your posts in this thread dovetail with that quite nicely.


I have a profound interest in other people's minds... particularly deconstructing them, which I appreciate is rather a cruel experiment but I find it fascinating to see how other people's motives, agendas, personalities and preconceived notions influence them. Particularly when they fully believe themselves to be operating under 'free will', which is a concept I theorise may not in fact exist. :)

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Post by Shanti418 » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:56 pm

Agreed. And THAT'S why I'm a sociology major.
Best First wrote:I thought we could just meander between making well thought out points, being needlessly immature, provocative and generalist, then veer into caring about constructive debate and make a few valid points, act civil for a bit, then lower the tone again, then act offended when we get called on it, then dictate what it is and isn't worth debating, reinterpret a few of my own posts through a less offensive lens, then jaunt down whatever other path our seemingly volatile mood took us in.

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Post by sprunkner » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:00 am

Yaya's Muslim?

How did we miss that? How did you keep quiet when Emvee was reading the Qur'an?

Metal Vendetta wrote:The nice lady said I should be a Scientist.


Questions of science, science and progress... they don't speak as loud as my heart.

Karl Lynch wrote:Most people are perfectly capable of doing all the positive things involved in a religion without actually subscribing to the religion.


Amen, my brother.

This is the thing I keep coming back to. Belief in God as a kind of universal supervisor feels like I would have to keep looking up saying "Hey, am I doing all right?" Also, my experience with institutions has shown that the will of God tends to reflect the tribal values of the institution. If you go against the "will of God," then you're screeeewed. Realizing that your choices are your own has great power, though it carries great fear.

Since there have been a lot of conversion stories around here, I thought I'd go with my "deconversion" story-- those of you who have been around for a while may be interested.

The Mormon Church makes some pretty fantastic claims. Basically, Joseph Smith said that he saw God and Jesus face-to-face numerous times through the 1830s and had repeated revelations, including some that revealed polygamy as the "true order of marriage," and ones where he was shown golden tablets from which he "translated" a history of Christianity among early Native Americans. The Mormons ask people to pray to God and gain a "sure knowledge by the Spirit" of these claims, as well as the idea that God exists and Jesus is the Savior. For years, I thought back to some experiences I'd had praying and believed I had received that "sure knowledge." But then, as usual, things weren't what they were supposed to be-- I found out that the "true order of marriage" was a lot more like swinging. Apparently it was also okay to marry other men's wives, and not to tell your first wife. Then there was the fact that, despite the Book of Mormon's claims, there was absolutely no Hebrew DNA in over a thousand random samples of Native Americans from all over North and South America.

What was going on? Were my "sure knowledge" experiences untruths? Had I created some kind of mental high? I was pretty sure that I still believed in God, so I kept reading and praying and reading and praying and NOTHING.

Then I went to see an old friend, a recovering alcoholic who was a Mormon growing up until he came out of the closet. Like most people in AA, he was a devout believer in a personal God, but thoroughly non-denominational. After I talked with him I started meditating, and you could say I had a revelation, though it felt much more like a realization.

I didn't actually care if the Mormon Church's claims were true. I didn't actually care if God existed, how God existed, or what he said to Jesus, Moses, Muhammed or the crazy guy downstairs. The whole reason I had been religious in the first place was to try and find out what was right. I wanted to get a feeling that I was doing the right thing and being a good person. But I already knew, and I had for a long time, what it took to be a good person. I knew that some of what the Mormon Church was doing-- fighting against homosexual marriage, encouraging people to live and marry within Mormon communities-- was actually hurtful. I knew plenty of stuff just on my own. In the quiet of meditation, I found myself-- and it felt just like finding God had.

I knew I had moved beyond the Mormon Church as my authority for good or evil. It kept me out of trouble and led to me marrying the coolest girl alive. But all those choices had been mine; I just used their framework until I could graduate, so to speak, to a bigger and more complex worldview.

Can I get a witness?

Can I get an Amen?

As the greatest irony of all, however, I have a violent lifelong intolerance to wheat and barley. So, despite having no more objections to it spiritually, I still cannot have beer.
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Post by Kaylee » Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:53 am

{sways arms in the air rhythmically}

AMEN, Brother!

Seriously though, very interesting and of great value :) :up:

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Post by Professor Smooth » Tue Jun 27, 2006 8:27 am

Karl Lynch wrote:Your religion sounds more like a hobby than anything else. It sounds like you don't 'believe' in it to any great degree as you'll happily admit that there are times when a person would do well to ignore it. In fact you sound happy to admit it's all completely made up and, in the final analysis, of no importance. I suppose therein lies my answer to why you 'believe' in it, you seem to basically don't ;)

You like it and are happy to go along with it sometimes and to associate yourself with it, as you see no reason not to do so, but you don't seem to have the level of conviction and belief in it as a 'truth' as some other individuals here do in their religious persuasions. Would that seem a fair summary? i.e. for yourself saying "I am a Satanist" is more akin to somebody saying that subscribe to Freudian Theory rather than a more conventional religious subscriber expanding their adherence to their particular sect. A reasonable metaphor?

I'd imagine that means I need therefore to reclarify my question to include the word 'faith', which I think we can agree is a word missing from your adherence to Satanism. Rightly or wrongly, you have no other-worldly faith in it (I don't mean that in the judgemental sense, I've no interest in such issues- I'm fascinated however by the motives behind these convictions or in this case the lack thereof).

So what reasons do other individuals here perhaps have for putting such levels of faith into something? Basically I'm trying to break the chicken-and-egg line of reasoning which runs:

1. I believe in God
2. I believe in God because of the beauty/wonder of the world (or similar)
3. I know this was created by God because of 1.

A believer must have a reason intrinsic to themself (something not exterior to themselves) for subscribing to point 1. I'm on a mission to perhaps expand my understanding of the motivations for such a conviction :) Yeah, I'm bored. And nosey. Sue me.


A hobby, eh? Yeah, that's about right. That's how I view all religions, to be honest. To compare, once again, comic fans to the religiously inclined, let's look at the different types. The casual Christians (and it is, pretty much the default setting for Americans) are the guys who like Spider-Man, they read a couple comics, they can sing the theme song to the 60's show, and they go see the Spider-Man movies. The more dedicated followers buy the core titles; they've bought the original series on DVD, and go to midnight showings of the new movies. The really devout are those people who go to the comic book store every wednesday (Their Sabbath) even though their local shopkeepers hold their books for them. They have the original series DVDs, but also VHS bootlegs of that and the other series that have yet to be released on DVD. Their collections are massive and ever growing. They'll go to the movies at midnight and see them several more times even though a large amount of time is spent online or at conventions (church?) saying how the original message has been altered.

I somehow managed to leave out one of the most important aspects of Satanism. It's an atheistic religion. All-told, The Satanic Bible is more a work of philosophy than anything else. Similar, in many ways, to Hobbes "Leviathan." My lack of belief is the norm in Satanism, not the exception. Dr. LeVay knew that dogmatic uncompromising rules can never apply to every situation, let alone stand the test of time. As knowlege increases the number of situations that can occur, so too do different responses to them. The Nine Satanic Statements don't tell readers what they SHOULD do, but what they CAN do. They're suggestions, not commandments. In many cases, they're not telling you anything you don't already know.

There is no "higher power" to believe in, according to Satanism. There are no universal truths. There is life and what you do with it. Help people if you want to, but avoid hurting those who do not wish to be hurt.
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Post by sprunkner » Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:21 am

So why Satan?

Seriously, why not just call it humanism? What do you need a mythological evil being for? Shock value?
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Post by Best First » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:02 am

Bouncelot wrote: What's the eyebrow for? :eyebrow:


the amazing ability of some people to scrutinse others whilst failing to apply the same level of logic or question to their own beliefs, probably.

man this topic has gone crazy.

in a good way.

i wish i had more time to post, its moving at a rate of knots...

an Amen for sprunk. Ah have thu pow-uh.
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Post by Kaylee » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:49 am

Best First wrote:Ah have thu pow-uh.


Of Greyskull? {looks hopeful}

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Post by sprunkner » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:44 am

I got the power to make y'all dance.

DANCE!
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Post by Kaylee » Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:02 pm

{sleeps}

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Post by Professor Smooth » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:36 pm

sprunkner wrote:So why Satan?

Seriously, why not just call it humanism? What do you need a mythological evil being for? Shock value?


I didn't name the thing. I highly doubt that shock value wasn't a factor, though. The humanists I've met aren't as fun to talk to. Satanism doesn't take itself too seriously.
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Post by Impactor returns 2.0 » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:43 pm

better yet why do you need anything at all?

why not think for yourself? - I dont understand why ppl need to be told how to live thier lives.
Do u know right and wrong? - simple.

Heres a question - Im not with any religon, am I not worth/as good as the ppl who are with a relgion?
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Post by Metal Vendetta » Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:15 pm

Not if you're applying for a job as a bishop...
I would have waited a ******* eternity for this!!!!
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Post by Pissin' Poonani » Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:53 pm

Just a quick question for the religious folks:

As someone who has attempted suicide, how does that affect my 'relationship' with God? I mean, I get the impression that he's supposed to love us, but haven't I done one of the few things that automatically condemns me to eternity in Hell? How does that work out? Would there be no forgiveness for me, even though I was suffering greatly due to mental illness at the time? Or am I just expected to put my faith and trust in him at all times, even during times when my own mind is not truly mine to control?

Can I be saved from an eternity in torment, or am I ******?

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Post by Impactor returns 2.0 » Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:14 pm

If there was a god, I would assume he felt sorry for you in the sense u had to take such drastic action.
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Post by Pissin' Poonani » Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:42 pm

Impactor returns 2.0 wrote:If there was a god, I would assume he felt sorry for you in the sense u had to take such drastic action.


That's what I'd like to believe as well, but (and I may be muddling things up here) I believe that suicide is a one-way ticket to Hell, as it shows that you didn't have faith in God to make things right. Or something. Or maybe, not at all!

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Post by Shanti418 » Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:29 pm

Impactor returns 2.0 wrote:better yet why do you need anything at all?

why not think for yourself? - I dont understand why ppl need to be told how to live thier lives.
Do u know right and wrong? - simple.

Heres a question - Im not with any religon, am I not worth/as good as the ppl who are with a relgion?


To me, the difference between those two people is the same as someone who makes dinner by following a recipe out of a book as compared to someone who makes dinner by figuring it out as they go along.

As long as the food tastes good, what does it matter?
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Post by Professor Smooth » Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:16 pm

Impactor returns 2.0 wrote:better yet why do you need anything at all?

why not think for yourself? - I dont understand why ppl need to be told how to live thier lives.
Do u know right and wrong? - simple.

Heres a question - Im not with any religon, am I not worth/as good as the ppl who are with a relgion?


I don't need it. I like it, though. That, of course, is most people's reason for doing anything. I don't need to be told how to live my life. I'm not above listening to a suggestion or two, though.

If you're not with any religion, that's fine. As long as you're happy with it.
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Post by Yaya » Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:10 am

Pissin' Poonani wrote:Just a quick question for the religious folks:

As someone who has attempted suicide, how does that affect my 'relationship' with God?

Can I be saved from an eternity in torment, or am I ******?


Are you talking about your attempt or are you talking about if you actually followed throught with it?

Don't know about other religions, but in Islam it is considered a major transgression, one of the worst of acts, and those who, while sane , commit suicide will face punishment for it. By sane, I mean are aware what they are doing.

The Koran states: ""And do not kill yourselves. Surely, God is Most Merciful to you". (Surah An-Nisa Verse 29)"

Regarding your attempt, God is Forgiving, above all else. This is one of His attributes, that He extends His Mercy to those who seek it. It is an easy thing for God to do to forgive you for this if He chooses.

Life is full of trials and tribulation, of struggle. A Muslim believes that the answer to these are patience and perserverance. It is also taught that except for old age and death, there is a cure out there for every illness. Every illness. It may not have been uncovered by scientists yet, but it is out there.

Life is about ups and downs, really. Its about remembering that the down times won't last forever. I think most people experience depression in their lives at some point. I know I have, and will continue to do so at points throughout my life. What a bleak world it would be for me though if I couldn't look beyond those rough times, if I didn't believe in my heart that my pain will pass, maybe not soon, but it will pass.

Suicide is never the answer. And for the one who believes as I do, it is not a way out.

If you believe in God, then you probably believe that you will face Him. We all will. You don't want to be there before your Creator when He gave you life for a purpose, and you ended it. However, if you lived out your life, were patient and perservered through your difficulty and trial, then when you meet your Lord, He would know your struggle like no one else would. He would know what you faced and how you overcame it. And He would be pleased with your effort at trying to please Him.

Regardless of the different difficulties we face, a believer in God looks at life in this way.

Just remember, the tough times pass eventually. And we all die, whether we want to or not. Do the things that please your Creator first. You won't live forever. Death finds everyone. So use the time you are given to the utmost and don't shorten it.

Again, this is my belief from an Islamic viewpoint.
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Post by Yaya » Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:19 am

Shanti418 wrote:To me, the difference between those two people is the same as someone who makes dinner by following a recipe out of a book as compared to someone who makes dinner by figuring it out as they go along.

As long as the food tastes good, what does it matter?


This analogy is not accurate for comparing an atheist and a God believing person though.

Why? Because the goal of both is "not to make the food taste good". The goal of the God believer is to please his or her Creator, the goal of the atheist is to please himself, herself, or some other person.

If the end result, or the objective, were the same, then the analogy would hold. As it is, their objectives differ.
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Post by Shanti418 » Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:36 am

Yaya wrote:
Shanti418 wrote:To me, the difference between those two people is the same as someone who makes dinner by following a recipe out of a book as compared to someone who makes dinner by figuring it out as they go along.

As long as the food tastes good, what does it matter?


This analogy is not accurate for comparing an atheist and a God believing person though.

Why? Because the goal of both is "not to make the food taste good". The goal of the God believer is to please his or her Creator, the goal of the atheist is to please himself, herself, or some other person.

If the end result, or the objective, were the same, then the analogy would
hold. As it is, their objectives differ.


The God believer pleases his or her Creator by being a moral person, by living the kind of life that has been outlined in your chosen holy books. To say that all atheists operate purely in perspectives of maximizing pleasure is painting with an absurdly large brush, and distorts your entire rebuttal.

The objective is the same. The God Believer just takes his life spaghetti and submits it to his God for approval and enjoyment.
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Post by Pissin' Poonani » Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:25 pm

Yaya wrote:
Pissin' Poonani wrote:Just a quick question for the religious folks:

As someone who has attempted suicide, how does that affect my 'relationship' with God?

Can I be saved from an eternity in torment, or am I ******?


Are you talking about your attempt or are you talking about if you actually followed throught with it?


My attempt. I was wondering whether you have to succeed to be damned, or whether just trying counts. Also, how far does this go? Is it blatant things like razors to the wrist, pills down the throat etc, or would ignoring doctors advice and bringing on the heart attack they warned you would happen count as suicide? After all, you've been told that you'll die if you don't, say, change your diet, so if you don't and then you die, is that suicide?

Don't know about other religions, but in Islam it is considered a major transgression, one of the worst of acts, and those who, while sane , commit suicide will face punishment for it. By sane, I mean are aware what they are doing.


I was aware of what I was doing -painfully so- yet it was because I was suffering from depression enhanced by my OCD-both of which are mental disorders. So I knew, yet I wasn't in my right mind-how does that work?

The Koran states: ""And do not kill yourselves. Surely, God is Most Merciful to you". (Surah An-Nisa Verse 29)"

Regarding your attempt, God is Forgiving, above all else. This is one of His attributes, that He extends His Mercy to those who seek it. It is an easy thing for God to do to forgive you for this if He chooses.


So you're saying He'll forgive suicide under certain circumstances? Say, someone not in their 'right' mind stands a chance, as opposed to these teenagers I've been reading about who form suicide pacts because they think it's all cool and 'children of the night' like?

Life is full of trials and tribulation, of struggle. A Muslim believes that the answer to these are patience and perserverance. It is also taught that except for old age and death, there is a cure out there for every illness. Every illness. It may not have been uncovered by scientists yet, but it is out there.


Unfortunately, despair tends to eat up patience and perseverence and spit them back out again.

Life is about ups and downs, really. Its about remembering that the down times won't last forever. I think most people experience depression in their lives at some point. I know I have, and will continue to do so at points throughout my life. What a bleak world it would be for me though if I couldn't look beyond those rough times, if I didn't believe in my heart that my pain will pass, maybe not soon, but it will pass.

Suicide is never the answer. And for the one who believes as I do, it is not a way out.

If you believe in God, then you probably believe that you will face Him. We all will. You don't want to be there before your Creator when He gave you life for a purpose, and you ended it. However, if you lived out your life, were patient and perservered through your difficulty and trial, then when you meet your Lord, He would know your struggle like no one else would. He would know what you faced and how you overcame it. And He would be pleased with your effort at trying to please Him.

Regardless of the different difficulties we face, a believer in God looks at life in this way.

Just remember, the tough times pass eventually. And we all die, whether we want to or not. Do the things that please your Creator first. You won't live forever. Death finds everyone. So use the time you are given to the utmost and don't shorten it.

Again, this is my belief from an Islamic viewpoint.


So, what if I'd been in an accident and prior to that I'd signed a 'Do Not Ressucitate' order? If I was in such a state that I'd never wake up, or wouldn't be able to live without the aid of machinery, or that I'd be in terrible pain for the rest of my life, would it still be considered suicide? Is your God the kind who would see me in agony yet still insist that I endure it, just because He gave me a gift and He'd feel slighted if I no longer wanted it, because that gift was causing me pain? If He loves me, why would He do that? Why not end my pain for me-either with the release of death, or by healing me?

I agree that everyone experiences depression during their life time, but there is a big difference (in my mind) between being depressed, and having depression. Having depression is like spending your life in a fog-it's scary, relentless and the worst part is there quite often seems to be no reason for it, so how do you fight something you can't identify? How can you get over something you can't even see? This isn't intended to trivialise anyone's pain-depression is awful, regardless of the circumstances-I'm just saying that it can be easier to deal with if you have something to attribute it to (at least, in my experience)-you can set goals for yourself, talk to people about it etc, but when you wake up day in, day out, feeling absolutely awful and alone for no discernable reason, that is when you start to question what the point to anything is. This is why it causes so many people to take their own lives every year-I just don't understand what kind of a God would condemn them to Hell for being afraid and not knowing where to turn-isn't that effectively condemning them to Hell, after already condemning them to a living Hell? Especially when He could have taken them out of that living Hell if He so chose to?

I'm not trying to get at you, Yaya-I just really don't understand why God works the way you say he does. It all seems rather cruel-like He is content to see how much we're willing to suffer in order to win His affections.

I'm going to wrap this up now. There are far too many questions, none of which can really be answered. I guess, what it comes down to for me is something that I heard elsewhere: "I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of Him".

Thanks for trying to explain.

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Post by Yaya » Thu Jun 29, 2006 3:43 am

Pissin' Poonani wrote:My attempt. I was wondering whether you have to succeed to be damned, or whether just trying counts. Also, how far does this go? Is it blatant things like razors to the wrist, pills down the throat etc, or would ignoring doctors advice and bringing on the heart attack they warned you would happen count as suicide? After all, you've been told that you'll die if you don't, say, change your diet, so if you don't and then you die, is that suicide?


The only thing that can stop you from repenting for any wrong is death itself. Once death comes, there is no return. You are alive and therefore, if you seek forgiveness sincerely, God can forgive. Again, this is the Islamic belief.

Regarding the issue of not following doctors advice, I know that in Islam this is addressed, though I don't know the details of it. If memory serves me, if the end result of not following a doctors advice is certain death, then yes, it is a major transgression not to take the treatment. However, if the treatment itself has its own inherent risks and dangers, or the treatment is not a certain thing itself, then one can put faith in God and choose to not take the treatment. There are volumes of exposition on this sort of thing, and to comment further would likely lead me to say something incorrect, so I'll leave it at that. Also, every case must be viewed on an individual basis when applying such laws of Shariah (Islamic jurisprudence).


I was aware of what I was doing -painfully so- yet it was because I was suffering from depression enhanced by my OCD-both of which are mental disorders. So I knew, yet I wasn't in my right mind-how does that work?


In Islam, one has to be a) aware of what they are doing, and b) be of sound mind, i.e., not be provoked by madness, insanity, medications, etc. for suicide to actually happen. For example, if you had an untoward reaction to a medication you took, and were not in full control of your faculties, then you could not be held accountable for your actions or suicide attempt. Again, this is the Islamic viewpoint.


So you're saying He'll forgive suicide under certain circumstances? Say, someone not in their 'right' mind stands a chance, as opposed to these teenagers I've been reading about who form suicide pacts because they think it's all cool and 'children of the night' like?


In the case of the teenagers, certainly in that instance, they are likely to be hellbound by an Islamic standpoint, though God only knows the true state of their mind when they actually committed the act of killing themselves. In regards to whether someone who is not of sound mind standing a chance, it likely depends on the level of awareness one had of what they were doing. Only God knows the true state of ones mind when an attempt is made.

There is only one safe way to approach it. If someone is aware of their actions, specifically in this case the act of killing oneself, the best course of action then is to not do it. One should not bank on the idea that "God knows I'm depressed, so He'll forgive me", because if one has that level of understanding of what's going on, and can think about the situation on that level, then likely God will not forgive someone for ending the life He gave. Again, God only knows, and each case is different. But I would implore you to seek every option available to you, because as bad as depression is, punishment in the hereafter is far worse. Again, the Islamic teaching.



Unfortunately, despair tends to eat up patience and perseverence and spit them back out again.


No doubt, clinical depression is a major illness that can truly impact all facets of ones life. And sometimes, a patient is hit with a double whammy. They get cancer and then go into major depression.


So, what if I'd been in an accident and prior to that I'd signed a 'Do Not Ressucitate' order? If I was in such a state that I'd never wake up, or wouldn't be able to live without the aid of machinery, or that I'd be in terrible pain for the rest of my life, would it still be considered suicide? Is your God the kind who would see me in agony yet still insist that I endure it, just because He gave me a gift and He'd feel slighted if I no longer wanted it, because that gift was causing me pain? If He loves me, why would He do that? Why not end my pain for me-either with the release of death, or by healing me?


Yeah, you're getting into deep stuff now. :)

Anyway, if the best efforts have been made at resuscitation and they have failed, and the only thing that is keeping someone alive is a machine, then according to the Islamic teaching, scholars have agreed that pulling the plug is permitted. Again, that's provided the best, reasonable efforts have been made and a qualified physician has in his expert opinion stated that chances are that one will never recover after this attempt at revival has been made, then pulling the plug is allowed at that point.

or that I'd be in terrible pain for the rest of my life, would it still be considered suicide? Is your God the kind who would see me in agony yet still insist that I endure it, just because He gave me a gift and He'd feel slighted if I no longer wanted it, because that gift was causing me pain? If He loves me, why would He do that? Why not end my pain for me-either with the release of death, or by healing me?


In order to understand the Islamic standpoint on this, one has to go back to what happens to those who commit sins and transgressions against God, themselves and others.

Justice is the most important feature of Islam. Justice between ourselves. Justice to animals and other creatures. Justice between ourselves and our Creator. When we die, everything we ever did to anyone or ourselves is known, and we face justice for this. There is no escape except seeking forgiveness, which most of us are apt to not do.

With this in mind, then we have reward and punishment. For our good acts, God can choose to reward us with good in this life, or a far better reward in the next life. With our bad deeds, He can punish us in this life, or punish us far, far worse in the next.

So if we have to face justice, we would prefer the good of the next life, and the bad of this one.

This leads us into pain and suffering in this life. Sometimes pain and suffering are a Mercy from God. How? Because we all must face justice for things we did without repentence (which includes all of us), the suffering we would face in the next life is unimaginable in comparison to what pain we experience here and now. In other words, pain and suffering can be a cleansing. One might ask, why punish at all? Because in Islam, though God is loving and forgiving to those who seek Him out, still, all of us must face justice in one form or another.

This is how I look at the pain and adversity I experience in this life now. I don't like pain, I hate it. But I have to remember that with every hardship I face now, a hardship is taken away from me in the time I will experience in the hereafter.

In this sense, pain and suffering can actually be good things for us. Certainly, if we take just a worldly view, pain and suffering can only be bad things. But as a believer in God and a follower in God, a Muslim thinks differently about these things.

The same can be said of good things, or rewards, as well. It may be that God has chosen that we receive all the reward for our good actions now, and none later.

This is why measuring one's worldy gains and losses does not give us a fair estimate of our standing with our Creator. A rich man can be hellbound, and poor man bound for Paradise. A healthy man or women can be hellbound, and the sick man so cleansed that he or she will have nothing but good, an eternal good, in the hereafter.

I will end by reiterating that this is the Islamic belief which I fully believe in. Others will have their own ideas and beliefs. But this is mine.
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Post by Professor Smooth » Thu Jun 29, 2006 4:22 am

Yaya wrote:
However, if the treatment itself has its own inherent risks and dangers, or the treatment is not a certain thing itself, then one can put faith in God and choose to not take the treatment.



So putting your faith in God (I notice you don't call it by name), is a forgivable form of suicide, then?
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Post by Yaya » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:54 pm

Professor Smooth wrote:
Yaya wrote:
However, if the treatment itself has its own inherent risks and dangers, or the treatment is not a certain thing itself, then one can put faith in God and choose to not take the treatment.



So putting your faith in God (I notice you don't call it by name), is a forgivable form of suicide, then?


Again, its not suicide if the treatment is something uncertain or something that has its own dangerous risks to life that one is not willing to take.

Suicide involves an intentional action with the purpose of ending one's life. The key word there is intentional. If one refuses a treatment with the idea that "I want to die", this is a major transgression. Not sure if can be called suicide, but it certainly is along the same lines of it.
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Post by Bouncelot » Sun Jul 02, 2006 12:30 pm

Yaya wrote:
His version may have been the best preserved version, but there's no way to be certain given that the variants no longer exist to compare.


That's because you do not know the character of Othman, who was one of the greatest of the Prophet's (PBUH) companions. And if what you say is true, why then have not other Othans' come in the past 1300 years to change the book to their liking? Because they can't. And then won't. Many have tried, but none of succeeded. Muslims believe it is protected from alteration, as God deems this so in hthe Koran itself.


Well, yes. I've never met Othman, so I can't comment on his character. Also, if the Koran was altered in he course of his standardising the text, it might not have been deliberate on his part. And nobody else has had the chance to alter the Koran. There's been a standardised version since his time. And if the Koran is protected from alteration, why do you believe that the Bible - which Islam teaches was an earlier revelation - doesn't have the same protection?

And, incidentally, I'm not saying that the Koran has been altered, merely that there is no way to know whether it was or wasn't altered during Othman's time.

Again, it is a matter of belief. But before making conclusions, proper research should be done. If I want information on the Bible, I will read it from a Christian writer, not from a Muslim writer.


But your claim that the Bible has been altered is a claim that Muslim writers make but Christian writers do not make. So what source did you get that claim from from?

Regarding your attempt, God is Forgiving, above all else. This is one of His attributes, that He extends His Mercy to those who seek it. It is an easy thing for God to do to forgive you for this if He chooses.


Justice is the most important feature of Islam. Justice between ourselves. Justice to animals and other creatures. Justice between ourselves and our Creator. When we die, everything we ever did to anyone or ourselves is known, and we face justice for this. There is no escape except seeking forgiveness, which most of us are apt to not do.


So how does Islam reconcile God's justice and His forgiveness? In Christianity these two attributes of God are reconciled by the cross - the just punishment for our sin being given to Jesus in our place. In Islam, there seems to be no mechanism whereby justice and forgiveness can both be satisfied.

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