ALL religions make me want to throw up...

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Bouncelot

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Sun Jul 09, 2006 10:43 pm

Karl Lynch wrote:
Bouncelot wrote:For more examples see my response to Impy's post. It's remarkable how often such massive changes in peoples' conditions co-incincide exactly with people being prayed for.


I already did and answered it :3 In short, given the sheer number of religious people and the sheer number of people in the world with illnesses, it would be highly unusual if some people who were prayed for didn't improve. That doesn't mean the two are causal, as FSM observed: the rate of global warming has increased with the decrease in the pirate population.


In some of the examples I quoted somebody is prayed for and instantly their condition dramatically changes after many years of it being stable. And yet you're claiming that the change happens to be co-incidental? In other cases, the change wasn't necessarily instantaneous, but clearly happened about the time they were prayed for, and the change is also just co-incidental? I've seen it happen often enough that it's obvious that there's a correlation.

Interesting you mentioned 'remote' healing as I know I read an article on an investigation into that. They were using three groups- one left to heal without intervention, another group who were prayed for at their bedside (with their full knowledge) and a final group who were prayed for remotely (without their knowledge). The results weren't any great shakes if I remember correctly- I think the group who were prayed for in their presence generally did better than the others, but that lends itself open to the obvious placebo effect.


I don't recall there being a group that was prayed for in their presence in studies I'm aware of. Most examples of miraculous healing are people being prayed for in their presence, it's impossible to test it against the placebo effect. Interesting that there is a difference in that group, though.


You mean in their absence I assume? I don't see why praying for someone in their presence or absence would make any difference if prayer was truly the means to that person's recovery. Prayer is prayer, surely? If God fancies healing that person then he'll do so.


When people prayed for in their presence there is often a more obvious link between the healing and the prayer. And healings do seem to happen more often when the person is being prayed for when present than when absent.

Annoyingly I can't find the paper (although I'm only making a cursory google against it) but did find this -> http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0403/p13s02-lire.html

It's from a Christian website, but interesting highlights that in fact in one study those who were prayed for did worse!


The page also highlights that it's incredibly difficult to design any sort of scientific test for the effectiveness of prayer. The study cited certainly offers no real insight into clearly miraculous healings.

I'm not sure that naturalistic necessarily equates to rational.

And no it doesn't worry me. If someone is healed when they are prayed for, does it matter if it was God acting outside of the way the universe normally works or God acting within the way the universe normally works?


You're making the leap that God is involved at all. If you wish to believe that God may intervene through entirely natural effects (that is to say, he's not turning up and literally healing someone with a flash of lights but perhaps working metaphorically with their immune system, doctors, family and wellwishers etc.) then that's reasonable I suppose. One may consider the Almighty to be a first cause of the Universe, in which case all things descending from it (including the human immune system for example) is 'His' healing.


Take the example of the parting of the Red Sea [actually it was the Reed Sea, but if I'd said that you'd be less likely to be recognise the example] from the Bible. There's a naturalistic explanation for the miracle - that the right kind of wind could leave a portion of the sea exposed so you could cross it. However, the story very clearly says that the sea parted when Moses raised out his hands over it and closed again when he did the same from the other side. Does that count as a miracle or a co-incidence? If someone is instantly healed when they are prayed for to be healed, as has happened in many cases, does it make the healing any less an act of God if there is a naturalistic explanation available?


We're assuming the Red Sea ever in fact parted at all, but even so aren't we rather defocussing the point? You're beliefs are mounted in large part on a belief that God is behind these healings and that they have no rational explanation, is this the case or is God now benig demoted down to a sort of 'first cause'? i.e. he created the Universe and is therefore responsible for everything anyway, such as the human immune system is an extension of God (for example)?


If you pray for something which wouldn't normally happen and it happens, does it count as an answer to prayer if it was at least theoretically possible for it to happen, or does it have to be utterly outside the laws of nature as currently understood in order to count? If God consistently answers prayers (and my experience is that He does), does that count as evidence that He exists, or is it just co-incidence until He intervenes in a way that is outside of our understanding.

However isn't that at odds with Biblical teachings, that God is actively afoot in the world?


Actively afoot in the world doesn't exclude working through the laws of nature as we understand them. The Bible teaches that God created and sustains the world. He's the one who makes sure the Universe functions as it does. It doesn't say that He cannot or will not work through the natural order.


So God works as a first cause then? Rather than a constantly interfering, meddling deity?


He does both. Look at the miracles in the Bible, many of them are at least theoretically within the laws of nature, whilst others aren't.

But you're not disputing the fact that thousands of children died today with HIV who prayed to God for their salvation? My conundrum is how a God who will happily descend a cure someone's earache because it was prayed for could turn a blind ear to all those children.

Naturally that can be despatched with "Ah, but we cannot hope to understand the mind of God", but I think you are more than smart enough to know that is a non-answer- as we said before, the ability for faith to paper over obvious glaring issues with a doctrine.


Well you have two options - either you assume that God has to answer every prayer for healing, or you assume that He will answer prayers for healing as and when He decides to do so. The Bible is quite clear that not everybody gets healed. There's one story from the gospels where Jesus goes to a pool that is believed to offer healing - when the waters were stirred up the first one in the pool gets healed - and He heals just one person there. Your take on the issue assumes that God should heal whoever we ask Him to whenever we ask (or something close). It's essentially saying "I know better than God does". If God does heal, He is free to do so in a way that doesn't align up with our preconceptions about how it is supposed to work.


That's basically a fancy way of saying "We cannot hope to understand the mind of God", isn't it? ;)


It's actually a way of saying "why should God pander to your personal ideas of how He should act?" If you're debating the existence of the God of the Bible, then you have to debate it on the basis of what the Bible says about Him, not what Western culture believes God should be like.

So does it not concern you that there is this omission in your belief and that you need to essentially paper-over it using the desire to believe in your belief?


What omission? I'm not the one assuming I know who God will or won't miraculously heal.

Incidentally, I know from experience that actually when God leaves you in a difficult situation, or allows an illness to continue, that when you come out the other side, He has often enabled you to grow your character in ways that wouldn't otherwise have been possible. I also know that just because God hasn't healed someone of an illness yet, that doesn't mean He won't ever.

God spent most of the Old Testament appearing in fireballs, wiping cities off the earth with brimstone and sulphur, flooding the world and killing everyone except for Noah and his brood (plus a few animals), sending tablets of stone to Earth and unleashing plagues of locusts upon his people's enemies.

He hasn't done a huge amount of that recently, in fact not since Man generally speaking became able to accept more down-to-earth explanations for world events.


He didn't do a lot of that in the Old Testament either. The big earth-shattering type of miracles were quite rare. It feels like there are a lot of them simply because the Bible naturally focuses its narrative on the times when stuff happened rather than when it didn't, but within the period covered by the Old Testament such in-your-face miracles happened every few centuries at best.


Yar, I appreciate that, you've got to admit he's been a little bit quiet for the last couple of millennia though hasn't he? Even allowing for one or two miracles every two hundred years you'd have expected a few by now.


How do you know He hasn't done a few miracles that were that obvious to the people witnessing them, but just not recorded for posterity? Even the most spectacular BIblical miracles were usually highly localised events witnessed by a single community of people.

It's interesting to note that contemporary records from church history frequently record miracle stories of various types, but it's incredibly rare for such stories to make it into books on the subject, except on rare occasions when they're treated as patently unreliable myths. Miracle stories from history rarely get reported by even Church Historians, let alone by secular ones..

Quantifiable evidence of God would simply be thus:

We have an empty box. We know it is empty. We have measured it, weighed it, analysed it. Empty. We put it in an empty sealed room, nobody is allowed in. We get someone to pray for God to influence the box, and we then detect a change in the box. God heats the box up, cools it down, rips it, makes a tiger appear in it. Whatever. Why the Almighty considers giving us proof of his existence to be a sin is something I cannot grasp, similarly how a character who spends so much time interfering in the world in such obviously Godlike ways can suddenly totally withdraw and be reduced to dubious healing ceremonies.


If you look at the miracles in the Bible not one of them was about God proving that He exists. All of them were about something else. There is no example of a miracle that is purely intended to convince someone that God exists. They are all for a specific purpose - whether to authenticate a particular messenger, to prove a point about God's character to those who already know Him, to move His people to the next stage (like leaving Egypt), to preserve someone's life, to judge people for their sins or whatever. So that kind of experiment (which, incidentally, nobody has ever tried) isn't in keeping with the pattern of divine intervention shown in the Bible.


I don't see why he shouldn't do it though. Why is it anathema for God to do such things, he can do anything he likes and is all powerful so technically it's impossible to waste his time since he has an infinite quantity of it to waste :)

Plus the number of problems it would solve if God just appeared, cleared his throat and announced "Alright, I appreciate the last few messengers didn't do much of a job (3,445,098+ contradictory religions and counting... case in point... only one God, people!) so here's the ground rules..."

I see nothing even vaguely silly or impractical about that at all. If God's quite happy to turn up and heal [random] people why not interfere in a slightly bigger way and let everyone know the real scoop?


My best guess is because people still won't be convinced for more than a brief moment. The Bible is full of examples of people experiencing in-your-face miracles and then, the next moment, turning against God.

Why can't God influence the world in such a fashion if he has no problems interfering in it?


That's one way of looking at it. The other is to ask why should He bother? Should God pander to our every desire for a sign. It reminds me of a former housemate's conversion story. He asked God for a sign that He existed and a Bible reference flashed into his mind. He looked it up, and it was the verse that said "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it."


But that is in and of itself a sign, isn't it? o.O Is God into recursive irony now? Yikes.


God has a highly developed sense of humour.

Why shouldn't God do so though? As I said, he's all powerful- it's not as if we can physically waste his time. We're in theory his number one priority, and if he gets it right this time (instead of fudging his message like last time through a load of vague writings) he wouldn't need to appear again.


Proving His existence to sceptics isn't necessarily His number one priority. And accounts of the supernatural aren't ever going to convince hardcore sceptics 2000 years after the event, so there would be the need to repeat it over and over.

You're assuming that there is an objective truth outside of your own personal agenda. However, if God's truth were always true, objective and all-encompassing... shouldn't anybody be able to see it regardless of genetics? Considering God in theory also created our DNA.


Why would everybody necessarily be able to see it? If the Bible is true, then humanity has been tainted by sin and some people are spiritually blind, unable to see what should be staring them in the face.


Well it doesn't sound very fair for a start- everybody should have the same crack of the whip, surely? Else God doesn't sound like much of a deity worth worshipping if you're going to be screwed for all eternity just because the dice fell that way.


Why should it be fair? From the point of view of Christian theology, the entire world has been tainted by the effects of sin. Spiritual blindness is a consequence of both the general effects of sin and a person's own personal sin. It is, at least to some extent, our own fault.

The true irony I continue to smile at however is that you're fully aware that I'm not inventing these faults with your understanding and that we've exposed it's essentially your faith self-sustaining your faith against what most people would consider to be normal reasoning- an intentional decision not to look facts in the face and instead to retreat into belief because the process of assimilating these understandings would be too upsetting- yet you're implication is that it's everybody else who is blind. You know this to be true, you're intentionally ignoring it :) That's the most fascinating thing about this.


On the contrary, you're critiquing a version of faith that I don't actually hold to. I believe the Bible to be true, and therefore any critique of my faith has to be a critique of the Bible's teaching (or at least my understanding of it) rather than a critique of what is, essentially, modern Western culture's ideas about how God should behave.

Not that it matters one iota, but if as I suspect we only get one shot at life with nothing coming after don't you think you might be rather wasting time you can't afford to waste?


Well if you're right then it matters not one iota what I do with my life. If I'm right then it matters an awful lot. :p

You're assuming independence where none really exists. Human beings acquire knowledge through their senses, not directly. The world is filtered through these and goes to make up our personalities and understanding.

Essentially what you're telling me is logically impossible:

You were involved in your church and saw 'things' through its (rather tinted) lens and you also see the word of the Bible at work in the world.

However this is not a result of you believing the teachings or the word of the Bible, as that came after (since these affirmations are your reason for believing the word of the Bible).

You must first believe these things to see them and believe them, how can they then stand as proof for your beliefs?

Essentially you cannot escape that human beings filter the world through our minds and not directly- to see 'evidence' for the Bible, one would first need to believe the Bible.

Your faith must therefore be an internal quality, rather than external. It's no great biggie, but it's the leadup to the following:


I'm not sure I entirely follow the logic of what you're saying. The evidence I see for the Bible being an accurate depiction of events is not dependant on the evidence for supernatural events happening around me. The evidence for supernatural events happening around me to people who believe in the Bible is not dependant on the evidence for the Bible. Yes, they point in the same direction, and ultimately reinforce each other, but either is capable of standing up as evidence in its own right.


Unless you believed what you were seeing was the work of God you wouldn't see it as the work of God. I rather fancy I've probably seen some things in this life you might undeniably attribute to God yet I do not qualify them as such. If you didn't already believe they were the work of God surely you'd say it was something else?


Possibly. But when things that have no obvious natural explanation repeatedly happen in a Christian context, they point towards there being something in that context which produces them. And it doesn't alter that I find the more naturalistic evidence for the Bible to be convincing independant of whether I see miracles happening around me or not.

Hence you must first believe before you can see the 'evidence'. Otherwise why don't I see this same evidence, if it's apparently there in such obvious quantities that anybody who can't see it must be 'spiritually blind'?


Well your response to examples I've quoted of instantaneous healings when people are prayed for healing and people praising God in languages they've never learnt but which other people present know is consistent with you refusing to accept the evidence rather than not seeing it.

Oh not one bit, multiple bits will do fine. So you like God's 'grace'? I'd like you to tell me more about that... by grace you mean the way his works all fit together and interact? Erm, elegant I think is perhaps the word- the workings of the world are elegant?


Nope. Grace is essentially God giving us the opposite of what we deserve - eternal life when we deserve eternal damnation and the like. It's a wonderful concept that basically underpins Christian theology.


Why don't we deserve nice things? God made us, made our universe, made all the laws that Govern it and is the first cause for all things- if God is responsible for all things then he is responsible for us and our behaviour. If we do bad things, isn't that the fault of the individual who not only made us but made all the things that influenced us to do bad?


So you're denying the possibility of personal responsibility for your actions and decisions. Explain precisely why God should let you, or anyone. into heaven rather than hell. Heaven is a place of absolute perfection where God is absolutely present. Why should an imperfect person be let in? Wouldn't he or she ruin it by his or her mere presence, unless there is some mechanism to remove his or her imperfection? Hell is a place where God is, as much as He could be, absent. Someone who chooses not to believe in God, or to reject Him, is choosing for themselves that they would prefer Hell to Heaven. Why should you or I deserve heaven instead of hell?

Is a vicious dog a 'bad' creature or is the person who whipped it, starved it and generally mistreated it to make it so 'bad'? Or are they both dislikeable entities? Now there's an idea... maybe God could really be like mankind- faults and all! Which would explain his picking-and-choosing over who to save from dreadful illness.


If the Biblical version of God is true, then humans rebelled against God with no bad treatment, to provoke them. Does your analogy still hold true?

So a non-Christian whose attitude to God at the time was "If I ever meet him I'll thump him one" audibly hears God's voice?


Why shouldn't he? If the mechanisms are already built in his brain for such a belief and he is in fact expressing other thoughts and feelings (sounds like frustration) through his words?

Let's put it this way, if he plots to thump God one he must first be open to the idea of his existence :) So maybe there were whole areas of his brain and psyche just waiting to kick into action, perhaps therefore creating 'fulfilment'? An interesting idea! :)


I'm not sure he did actually believe in God at the time. I know people who have gone from not believing in God at all to becoming Christians. How would they fit into your model?


Not believing in God is not the same thing as the capacity to be able to believe in God, I believe is the distinction I'm making.


I get you now. Interesting take.

Hm sounds good to me- part of his mind needed something to believe in, best place to start is someone who knows a thing or two about religion. It'd be probably such a man might be reading his Bible at the time.

Minds are incredibly complicated, subtle impulses are built on and joined to thoughts and feelings which can then become words and sensations in our mind. Maybe your friend felt such a thing? Maybe if God were a 'first cause' he might well be behind them (ultimately).


Possible. Though, knowing the man in question, I'm not convinced about your explanation.


{Shrug} You're perogative if you believe you know another man's mind that well :) From an unbiased, practical perspective it's no more unlikely than God talking to him though, is it?


What's an unbiased, practical perspective? Is it one where the activitiy of God is considered unlikely compared to naturalistic explanations? Because that's a naturalistic bias. I really don't think there is such a thing as an unbiased perspective on the issue of God being involved in a particular example of possible divine intervention. The nearest you'll ever get to unbiased is a bias where either explanation is considered equally plausible.

Expending energy on something that's constructed to fit non-existent patterns seems to me to be something that would be less useful as a survival trait.


Patterns may be extremely complicated- to ellucidate the point, wise women used to make crazy potions for fixing all manner of illnesses. Believing they were expunging demons, or evacuating humors or any other amount of what we know today to be total nonsense. However, nobody would deny that often their remedies might work- they wouldn't be handed down one generation to the next as cures if they consistently failed.

Certain herbs, plants and animals may contain chemicals with restorative and healing properties, hence assisting the body in dealing with the illness.

The understanding is nonsense, but the pattern derived by the human brain may be more effective than seeing no pattern at all.

Does it still sound as if expanding this energy in such a fashion is of no benefit? Why shouldn't we scale this model up to include a philosophy of all things, considering it's highly unlikely human beings can switch this capacity on and off at will?


Surely the effects of such constructs would be as likely to construct things that hold society back or damage it as to accidentally hit something that works? Certainly in its earliest stages of development.
 

Yaya

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Sun Jul 09, 2006 11:37 pm

Bouncelot wrote:
Let's not forget that Muslims believe a Bible was revealed to Jesus Christ, which like the Koran, taught belief in One God. In essence, Islam teaches that those called Christians of that time were in fact equivalent to Muslims today. However, regarding the religion of Christianity we know today, Muslims believe it to be a very much altered form of the teachings of Jesus, a different religion altogether.


How so? The Bible we have today is from manuscripts which predate Mohammed. The key creeds that define (mainstream) Christianity were written centuries before Muhammed.


Of course they predate Muhammad (PBUH). Jesus came many years before him, and this is when Muslims believe the teachings of Jesus were altered, years before Muhammad's (PBUH) birth and not too long after the coming of Jesus.

Why else do Muslims feel the Bible has been altered? Well, why is it Bouncelot that prophets, men chosen by God to convey the message of truth, in the current Bible are commiting lewd acts like incest, acts that God Himself has ordained as gravely sinful? Prophets are meant to be examples, to be leaders of people. If such is the Bible's case, then why fault those who are guilty of incest today? Again, I would rather take this argument from something credible and not written by nonscholarly people. Which is why I cite the Bible here.

Adam, Abraham, Noah, Moses were prophets who all came before Jesus, yet none of them taught the Trinity in the Old Testament. Why not then? Why was it not taught to Adam, to Abraham, to Ishamael, to Isaac, etc. that God was Three in One, that He had a son? Otherwise, the Jews who follow the Old Testament today would believe as the current day Christians do.

Christians agree that Jesus, God be pleased with him, did not have a popular following during his time, as Muhammad (PBUH) did. It would have been an easy thing for those after Jesus to alter what he taught, especially when the Bible was written years after Jesus came.

But this is a matter of belief. The fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam is the Trinity.

Ny the way Yaya, I notice you haven't responded to a post I made a couple of pages back where I asked where you got your claim about the Bible being altered and asked how Islam reconciles justice and mercy, which you had said were central concepts. I'm guessing you just missed it, because I often do that.


I believe I addressed that above.
Let me cut and paste.

Quote:
So how does Islam reconcile God's justice and His forgiveness?

Yaya:
God's Justice is that every human being be accountable for their actions against God and fellow humans.

Here is God's Justice:
If I killed you, and we stood before God, God would not forgive me unless you forgive me. In other words, for crimes against other fellow persons, God allows the victim to determine whether they choose to forgive or not. Human beings will stand before their Creator and answer for the crime they committed against even animals, even themselves. This is regardless of whether they are Muslim, Christian, atheist, etc. That is God's Justice.

Here is God's Forgiveness:
That despite my not being deserving of Paradise given my constant tendency to sin and disobedience(example, forgoing prayer for a day, committing fornication, not fasting when I am told to do so, etc), that if I seek His forgiveness, He extends it to me.

If human beings were judged simply on our acts, our good vs. bad acts, no human being would end up in Paradise, Muslim or otherwise. This is because human beings are imperfect with a tendency to commit sin, and God recognizes this. As such, for those who seek His forgiveness, He extends it to him or her. And His forgiveness in this regard have no limits.

So Justice and Forgiveness certainly coexist. But it is not Justice that I hurt someone, and that person not have a say in the matter, is it? Just like it is not Justice that another person should die and suffer on the cross for the sins of another, the very point that a Christian and Muslim differ on.

"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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Mon Jul 10, 2006 1:40 am

We made it to nine!

I was thinking we should just make this topic a sticky and keep it as the permanent religious discussion.

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Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:54 am

why is it then anyone takes whats written in the bible seriously when it was written hundreds of years later anyhows?

What I find interesting about these topics is that the more thats said about religion the more I realise how daft it is. My views become more compunded as contridiction or ideas clearly based upon human controll surface one after the other.

Religion makes me sad for the ppl who follow it, sticky this topic it gives me faith that hopefully one day everyone will see the light that religion is a horrible thing for mankind.

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Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:39 am

Yaya wrote:Here is God's Justice:
If I killed you, and we stood before God, God would not forgive me unless you forgive me. In other words, for crimes against other fellow persons, God allows the victim to determine whether they choose to forgive or not. Human beings will stand before their Creator and answer for the crime they committed against even animals, even themselves. This is regardless of whether they are Muslim, Christian, atheist, etc. That is God's Justice.

This seems weird to me - so essentially if I go around killing nice people (who would be likely to forgive me when we stand before God) then I'll get away with it, but if I kill people who are complete bastards (and more likely to say, "Nah, let him burn!") then I'll go to hell?

Actually I'm an unbeliever, I'm going to hell anyway. It says so in the Koran. About 800 times.

I would have waited a ******* eternity for this!!!!
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Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:51 am

Do dogs who bite kids faces off go to hell?

Heaven & Hell - its such a human concept, so totaly rooted in super-natural BS created when we didnt know what rain and thunder was.

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Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:50 pm

Metal Vendetta wrote:
Yaya wrote:Here is God's Justice:
If I killed you, and we stood before God, God would not forgive me unless you forgive me. In other words, for crimes against other fellow persons, God allows the victim to determine whether they choose to forgive or not. Human beings will stand before their Creator and answer for the crime they committed against even animals, even themselves. This is regardless of whether they are Muslim, Christian, atheist, etc. That is God's Justice.

This seems weird to me - so essentially if I go around killing nice people (who would be likely to forgive me when we stand before God) then I'll get away with it, but if I kill people who are complete bastards (and more likely to say, "Nah, let him burn!") then I'll go to hell?

Actually I'm an unbeliever, I'm going to hell anyway. It says so in the Koran. About 800 times.


Almost every chapter in the Koran begins "In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful". It does not start "In the Name of God, the Most Harsh, the Most Wrathful".

Therefore, if one chooses to forgive another for crimes against them, the person forgiving gets rewarded as well, because forgiveness is an attribute that God likes as it is an attribute of the Creator Himself. Showing mercy and compassion when someone has a right to justice is a quality that goes above and beyond what is demanded of someone. In Christianity, turning the other cheek is something that is demanded. In Islam, it is encouraged, but justice does not depend on it. Justice is like for like, which is the most fair of systems.

Heaven & Hell - its such a human concept, so totaly rooted in super-natural BS created when we didnt know what rain and thunder was.


So prisons and the like should also be considered supernatural BS?

Why is it that in this life in society the natural tendency is that good deeds can be rewarded (with raises in salary, etc.) and bad deeds can be punished (prison, fines, etc. for breaking the law), yet such a justice system cannot be the case in the hereafter?

Heaven (Junnah) and Hell (Juhunam) are nothing more than the rewards and penalites of the ultimate system of justice, one that the Creator has defined.

It is your disbelief in the hereafter perhaps why you cannot fathom that a system of ultimate justice can exist.

I mean, if I don't believe in a Creator, or a Hereafter, of course Heaven and Hell would be silly concepts.

"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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Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:12 pm

err - I dont understand, prisons are man made creations - hell is an extension of that. An extension thought up by mankind.

The creator didnt come up with the idea - a bloke wrote the concept in a book, a man.

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Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:16 pm

Yaya wrote:I mean, if I don't believe in a Creator, or a Hereafter, of course Heaven and Hell would be silly concepts.


But that's not true the opposite way: If you DO believe in a Creator, Heaven and Hell could still be quite silly concepts.

Let's just say there is a Creator: Do you really think that life's situations are so simple that you can simply outline what to do in a book? EVEN if you thought that, what happens to the people who never get exposed to the book? Who are in the 10th Century and are blind deaf mutes? If there IS a Heaven ahd Hell, there would be no better way to get there than BF and I's aforementioned secular philosophy of "Be Excellent to Each Other"

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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Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:26 am

Shanti418 wrote:Let's just say there is a Creator: Do you really think that life's situations are so simple that you can simply outline what to do in a book?


Books are not enough, as you say. Hence the need for examples, for Prophets.

In Islam, the Koran is a book of guidance, but it cannot be a guide without a human example of its application. This human application is the very reason for the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

EVEN if you thought that, what happens to the people who never get exposed to the book? Who are in the 10th Century and are blind deaf mutes?


Exposure to guidance is a prerequisite to benefiting or learning from it. That is why every individual will be judged according to his or her own circumstances. i.e., if a person does not know of the Koran, how can they be judged by it? With the creation of Adam, there was only one command. Believe in one God. There was no Bible, no Koran, etc. How could Adam and Eve be judged by a book that did not yet exist?

A person cannot judge the soul of another and cannot say with any certainty what even their own destiny is. I believe Islam to be the truth, but I cannot say with certainty that I will end up in heaven. This is the problem today, we have people who tell others where they will end up. This is wrong, because this knowledge rest with the Creator only. Because of this uncertainty, a Muslim should never become smug in his or her obedience.

Only the Creator knows what lies in the heart. Any person, Muslim or otherwise, who can claim they know the secrets of heaven and earth, who can claim they know the ultimate destiny of anyone's soul, including their own, has become misguided.

"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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Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:39 am

Yeah but Adam and Eve didnt exist. science has shown that.

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Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:13 am

Impactor returns 2.0 wrote:Yeah but Adam and Eve didnt exist. science has shown that.


If you had put all your faith in science years ago, you would have thought the Earth flat and that sperm housed tiny microscopic men that grew in the womb.

These were scientific beliefs, held as fact based on the information science had garnered at that time.

Science will change, time and time again. We are at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to scientific discovery.

You think religion is a leap of faith, and in many ways it is.

But don't go round thinking science is the end all be all. Its discoveries change more than even the numerous Bible translations.

"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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Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:24 am

Yes. Science is imperfect. It is not, however, as imperfect as the beliefs if Christianity and Islam.

snarl wrote:Just... really... what the **** have [IDW] been taking for the last 2 years?

Brendocon wrote:Yaya's money.

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Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:41 am

Yaya wrote:
If you had put all your faith in science years ago, you would have thought the Earth flat and that sperm housed tiny microscopic men that grew in the womb.

These were scientific beliefs, held as fact based on the information science had garnered at that time.

Science will change, time and time again. We are at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to scientific discovery.


We are at the tip when it comes to quantum physics - were pretty sure adam and eve didnt exist.

Adam and eve did not exist - You dont need quantum physics to work that out.

actually I find this more laughable - where as science gos around trying to uncover the truth in things using evidence to support it, your argument for why adam and eve did exist is one that science used to belive the world was flat!! - well yours is based on what exactly?, a book!! I hope you can understand why thats such a daft comparrison to make

Thats funny! science evolves and changes, religon if you want was the science of old times gone by, we couldnt explain 'nature' for example so we blamed it on a devine god,.. now we can, and as each things is explained science moves the goal posts.
Now religon argues one step backwards each time, perhaps all of nature is under control of a god, science will continue to strip each and every idea back untill it understands how everything works on a electro-magnetic spectrum and perhaps even beyond, untill there is nothing beyond even that, at which point religion will be left with 1 thing only to work with - that it happens because god made it happen.

Religion doesnt do anything, god has never done anything for anyone ever. find me somthing he has done, somthing I can honestly belive in and will honestly be 100% interested. Dont argue he gives ppl strength, or heaven or hell, or somthing else. Ill counter it and tell you the FSM monster did that instead and your argument is ened instantly.
I want to see 1 thing, surely a devine religion such as this can show me just 1 thing?

I am a better person without religion then yourself - my mind is open to everything via my own judgement, whilst yours is clouded. again, ill just raise homosexuality. If you think thats wrong, then say so, I can assure you its pretty narrow minded to think that because a 'book' says so.

Science exists on every level, God exists in a book as much as FSM - if you can prove to me the FSM doesnt exist then I will belive in your God.
Now thats a simple task is it not? if you cant, then what on earth are you doing with your life?

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Thu Jul 13, 2006 11:42 am

10 Things I Hate About Commandments

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Thu Jul 13, 2006 8:12 pm

Yaya wrote:
Bouncelot wrote:
Let's not forget that Muslims believe a Bible was revealed to Jesus Christ, which like the Koran, taught belief in One God. In essence, Islam teaches that those called Christians of that time were in fact equivalent to Muslims today. However, regarding the religion of Christianity we know today, Muslims believe it to be a very much altered form of the teachings of Jesus, a different religion altogether.


How so? The Bible we have today is from manuscripts which predate Mohammed. The key creeds that define (mainstream) Christianity were written centuries before Muhammed.


Of course they predate Muhammad (PBUH). Jesus came many years before him, and this is when Muslims believe the teachings of Jesus were altered, years before Muhammad's (PBUH) birth and not too long after the coming of Jesus.


So Muslims believe that God allowed His message to be completely corrupted by the very people who heard it firsthand. Because the only time there was any opportunity to alter the message was during the years when the New Testament was being written. Which, in contrast to Impy's claims about being hundreds of years after the event, it was well within living memory - and by people who either had known Jesus when He was on the Earth, or knew the people who had actually been there.

Why else do Muslims feel the Bible has been altered? Well, why is it Bouncelot that prophets, men chosen by God to convey the message of truth, in the current Bible are commiting lewd acts like incest, acts that God Himself has ordained as gravely sinful? Prophets are meant to be examples, to be leaders of people. If such is the Bible's case, then why fault those who are guilty of incest today? Again, I would rather take this argument from something credible and not written by nonscholarly people. Which is why I cite the Bible here.


Prophets are no more perfect than anybody else. Muhammed ordered people to be assassinated, had many more wives than Islam permits and, IIRC, claimed that he was exempt from the command he gave others to treat his wives equally. Was he the sort of example you say that prophets should be?

I would say that the reason the Bible portrays its heroes warts and all (and it does portray their imperfections as things to be avoided rather than things to be emulated) actually makes them better examples. To quote scripture:

James 5:17-18 wrote:17Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.


The Bible portrays Elijah as a man who, after calling down fire from heaven and totally humiliating the prophets of Baal, got scared of Queen Jezebel and ran away. Who would believe that Elijah was a man just like us - an example to emulate and an example of the amazing things God could choose to do through us - if he hadn't been shown to have human weaknesses like the rest of us? We can learn as much from where the Bible's heroes failed as we can from where they succeeded.

Also, there is the danger that if the Bible's heroes were shown without their failings, then we could begin seeing their successes as things that they did by their own efforts rather than things that God enabled them to do. They would become the heroes instead of God being the hero. In some parts of the Roman Catholic church, Mary and the official Saints have become de facto gods. How much more would that be the case if none of the heroes, apostels, prophets, etc. of the Bible were shown to be flawed men and women?

Adam, Abraham, Noah, Moses were prophets who all came before Jesus, yet none of them taught the Trinity in the Old Testament. Why not then? Why was it not taught to Adam, to Abraham, to Ishamael, to Isaac, etc. that God was Three in One, that He had a son? Otherwise, the Jews who follow the Old Testament today would believe as the current day Christians do.


The old why/why not question. Why should God reveal everything about Himself at any particular time? You could ask the same thing of Islam. Why do the Hebrew and Christian scriptures not even hint about Muhammed, given that he was supposedly to be the greatest of all the prophets, bringing God's final message to mankind? Or if you think that all such references were edited out of the scriptures, why did God allow that to happen? There are passages in the Old Testament that hint at God being a Trinity. There are also many passages that serve as messianic prophecies which portray the type of Messiah Jesus was, yet the Jews did not, and still don't accept them as such. Would it be any different if there had been more teaching about the Trinity in the Old Testament?

Christians agree that Jesus, God be pleased with him, did not have a popular following during his time, as Muhammad (PBUH) did. It would have been an easy thing for those after Jesus to alter what he taught, especially when the Bible was written years after Jesus came.


Um, not entirely true. Jesus did have a reasonably large popular following during His lifetime. In 1 Corinthians, Paul points to 500 believers - most of whom were still alive - who saw Christ after He had been raised from the dead and before He ascended to Heaven 40 days later. There were plenty of people who could have pointed out any falsehoods about Jesus' teaching when the New Testament was being written, so it would not have been easy to alter His teachings.

But this is a matter of belief. The fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam is the Trinity.


I disagree. The fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam is the Cross and what it achieved. Christianity is founded on the premise of Jesus' death paying the penalty for sin, and ensuring that we can go to Heaven - not depending on our own righteousness. Islam, on the other hand, boils down to attempting to earn our way into heaven by following Islamic beliefs and practices.

By the way Yaya, I notice you haven't responded to a post I made a couple of pages back where I asked where you got your claim about the Bible being altered and asked how Islam reconciles justice and mercy, which you had said were central concepts. I'm guessing you just missed it, because I often do that.


I believe I addressed that above.
Let me cut and paste.

Quote:
So how does Islam reconcile God's justice and His forgiveness?

Yaya:
God's Justice is that every human being be accountable for their actions against God and fellow humans.

Here is God's Justice:
If I killed you, and we stood before God, God would not forgive me unless you forgive me. In other words, for crimes against other fellow persons, God allows the victim to determine whether they choose to forgive or not. Human beings will stand before their Creator and answer for the crime they committed against even animals, even themselves. This is regardless of whether they are Muslim, Christian, atheist, etc. That is God's Justice.

Here is God's Forgiveness:
That despite my not being deserving of Paradise given my constant tendency to sin and disobedience(example, forgoing prayer for a day, committing fornication, not fasting when I am told to do so, etc), that if I seek His forgiveness, He extends it to me.

If human beings were judged simply on our acts, our good vs. bad acts, no human being would end up in Paradise, Muslim or otherwise. This is because human beings are imperfect with a tendency to commit sin, and God recognizes this. As such, for those who seek His forgiveness, He extends it to him or her. And His forgiveness in this regard have no limits.

So Justice and Forgiveness certainly coexist. But it is not Justice that I hurt someone, and that person not have a say in the matter, is it? Just like it is not Justice that another person should die and suffer on the cross for the sins of another, the very point that a Christian and Muslim differ on.


Hm, well, it's a different view of justice. So you're basically saying that if you sin against God, it is just to be punished if you're not sorry after the event but not just if you are sorry. But if you sin against someone else then it's irrelevant whether you're sorry or not, it depends entirely on the other person's attitude to your act. So either way justice doesn't depend at all on the act you've committed, but entirely on somebody's reaction to the act.

And as for whether Jesus dying for our sin is just or not. If you broke the law and the Judge sentenced you to a fine, would it be just if someone else volunteered to pay that fine on your behalf? What if that person was the victim of your crime (sin is, first and foremost, sin against God, and the Bible very firmly teaches that Jesus was God)? Would that be just? Surely Jesus' death is exactly the same principle of justice I've advocated in this paragraph.
 

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Sat Jul 15, 2006 12:45 am

Bouncelot wrote:So Muslims believe that God allowed His message to be completely corrupted by the very people who heard it firsthand.


We are talking about the same God who allows others acts of evil, like murder, rape, theft,etc to happen, right?


Prophets are no more perfect than anybody else. Muhammed ordered people to be assassinated, had many more wives than Islam permits and, IIRC, claimed that he was exempt from the command he gave others to treat his wives equally. Was he the sort of example you say that prophets should be?


Definitely, because the things you attribute to him are the same things Christian propogandists have been attributing to him for years now. If you read the life of Muhammad (PBUH) from the Christian perspective, these are the types of claims that are made against his character. No doubt you would read many numerous unfounded attacks on his character in Bible class and Sunday school. Hell, my high school history text degraded his character. So I'm used to hearing such statements made in many Western texts. Muslims do not believe he ordered assassinations unless he and his people were at war, where such things like assassination are legitimate wartime strategy. Muhammad(PBUH) broke no law in marrying the wives he did, as this restriction was not meant for him. You will find the same types of things in the Bible, where Prophets were accorded different rights and responsibilites from their followers. It was common place. As far as his treatment of his wives, you will find in the biographies of his wives from Khadija to Aisha (may God be pleased with them) that they found no greater blessing than being his wife. In his last sermon, he stressed that husbands should be good to their wives right before he died.


I would say that the reason the Bible portrays its heroes warts and all (and it does portray their imperfections as things to be avoided rather than things to be emulated) actually makes them better examples.

As only God is Perfect, it goes without saying that mankind is cannot perfect. I mean, this was part of the prophets message. But incest, Bouncealot? A Christian can believe this about God's messenger, but Muslims do not hold that a Prophet of God would lay with his sister. Again, its a matter of belief.


The old why/why not question. Why should God reveal everything about Himself at any particular time? You could ask the same thing of Islam. Why do the Hebrew and Christian scriptures not even hint about Muhammed..


It does. Let me show you the verse when I find it.

Islam, on the other hand, boils down to attempting to earn our way into heaven by following Islamic beliefs and practices.


Absolutely incorrect. Islam teaches that if a human being were truly judged by all that they did, weighing the good deeds against the bad on a scale, that no human being would enter paradise because the scale would tip easily against them.

A Muslim believes that he or she can only get to paradise through God's Mercy, not his or her actions.

We just don't believe God has to kill His son to forgive, as Christians do. Forgiveness, like anything else to God, is an easy thing. He need only say "Be", and it is.


Hm, well, it's a different view of justice. So you're basically saying that if you sin against God, it is just to be punished if you're not sorry after the event but not just if you are sorry. But if you sin against someone else then it's irrelevant whether you're sorry or not, it depends entirely on the other person's attitude to your act. So either way justice doesn't depend at all on the act you've committed, but entirely on somebody's reaction to the act.


If you don't commit the sin, then you can't get punished for it, can you? Not sure what part is unclear. Whether God chooses to forgive is His business. But He certainly will take into account the victims of others' evil actions in His decision, as this is fair and just.

"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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Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:36 pm

Yaya wrote:
Bouncelot wrote:So Muslims believe that God allowed His message to be completely corrupted by the very people who heard it firsthand.


We are talking about the same God who allows others acts of evil, like murder, rape, theft,etc to happen, right?


Yeah, but if He's going to allow Jesus' message to be altered to something completely different to what Jesus actually said by the only people who ever heard it, what was the point of sending Him in the first place? It's an Islamic doctrine that really doesn't seem to make sense, given that you also believe that the Koran has been preserved absolutely error free, and that some Muslims point to this as a proof of Islam's truth. Why would God allow the Bible to be corrupted but not the Koran?

Prophets are no more perfect than anybody else. Muhammed ordered people to be assassinated, had many more wives than Islam permits and, IIRC, claimed that he was exempt from the command he gave others to treat his wives equally. Was he the sort of example you say that prophets should be?


Definitely, because the things you attribute to him are the same things Christian propogandists have been attributing to him for years now. If you read the life of Muhammad (PBUH) from the Christian perspective, these are the types of claims that are made against his character. No doubt you would read many numerous unfounded attacks on his character in Bible class and Sunday school. Hell, my high school history text degraded his character. So I'm used to hearing such statements made in many Western texts. Muslims do not believe he ordered assassinations unless he and his people were at war, where such things like assassination are legitimate wartime strategy. Muhammad(PBUH) broke no law in marrying the wives he did, as this restriction was not meant for him. You will find the same types of things in the Bible, where Prophets were accorded different rights and responsibilites from their followers. It was common place. As far as his treatment of his wives, you will find in the biographies of his wives from Khadija to Aisha (may God be pleased with them) that they found no greater blessing than being his wife. In his last sermon, he stressed that husbands should be good to their wives right before he died.


Last time I looked, some of the Hadiths (which are decidedly Muslim sources) included stories about Mohammed ordering people assassinated for the crime of writing satirical poetry about him. Hardly a tool of war. And if different (more lenient) rules apply to prophets, why are you complaining about them being portrayed as less than perfect in the Bible? And the Bible does not teach that there is one rule for leaders, kings, or prophets and another for the rest of us. Where there are any differences in what is expected, the leader is told to be more stringent in his morality, not less.

edit: here's a link to the English translation of the Hadith in question

I would say that the reason the Bible portrays its heroes warts and all (and it does portray their imperfections as things to be avoided rather than things to be emulated) actually makes them better examples.

As only God is Perfect, it goes without saying that mankind is cannot perfect. I mean, this was part of the prophets message. But incest, Bouncealot? A Christian can believe this about God's messenger, but Muslims do not hold that a Prophet of God would lay with his sister. Again, its a matter of belief.


True, it is a matter of belief. Though I fail to see why incest is an unacceptable crime for a prophet to commit than assassinating satirical poets. Both could be justified in terms of the culture and circumstances of the day. It's also worth noting that Sarah was Abraham's wife before he got called by God - back when he was still worshipping the pagan gods of Mesopotamia.

It's also worth noting that unless you believe the Koran to be infallible, then logic dictates that you take the Bible as a more accurate source of information on Biblical characters than the Koran because it was written by people a lot nearer to the originals than the Koran was (the only source Mohammed could have had would have been Bible stories - either directly, or indirectly by people telling him what they could remember of them). So from a non-Muslm point of view, it's more likely that the Bible is right in what it says about them than that the Koran is.

The old why/why not question. Why should God reveal everything about Himself at any particular time? You could ask the same thing of Islam. Why do the Hebrew and Christian scriptures not even hint about Muhammed..


It does. Let me show you the verse when I find it.


I hope you won't mind if I prove that whatever verse you're thinking of doesn't predict Mohammed. I've seen a couple of claimed proof texts that don't stand up to scrutiny at all.

Islam, on the other hand, boils down to attempting to earn our way into heaven by following Islamic beliefs and practices.


Absolutely incorrect. Islam teaches that if a human being were truly judged by all that they did, weighing the good deeds against the bad on a scale, that no human being would enter paradise because the scale would tip easily against them.

A Muslim believes that he or she can only get to paradise through God's Mercy, not his or her actions.


So the five pillars of Islam are utterly irrelevant, then? Why are they called Pillars of Islam if they are irrelevant? From the outside, Islam looks like a religion which is all about doing the right things to get into heaven. How does having obligations to undertake the Hajj, recite the creed, fast at Ramadan, give 2.5% of your income to the poor, and pray five times a day fit with a salvation through God's mercy?

We just don't believe God has to kill His son to forgive, as Christians do. Forgiveness, like anything else to God, is an easy thing. He need only say "Be", and it is.


Which, to my mind, suggests that Allah isn't particularly keen on justice, holiness, or righteousness. From what you're saying, then the Islamic view of sin is that it isn't a big deal. Obviously that's one significant difference between the god of the Koran and the god of the Bible. The BIble portrays God as a person who, though He allows sin to continue on the Earth for now, cannot abide it, or its corrupting influence. That isn't compatible with a god who can just say "that sin doesn't matter anymore" without doing something specific to remove it.

Hm, well, it's a different view of justice. So you're basically saying that if you sin against God, it is just to be punished if you're not sorry after the event but not just if you are sorry. But if you sin against someone else then it's irrelevant whether you're sorry or not, it depends entirely on the other person's attitude to your act. So either way justice doesn't depend at all on the act you've committed, but entirely on somebody's reaction to the act.


If you don't commit the sin, then you can't get punished for it, can you? Not sure what part is unclear. Whether God chooses to forgive is His business. But He certainly will take into account the victims of others' evil actions in His decision, as this is fair and just.


The basis of justice as you have described it is entirely based in peoples' reactions to the sin committed, and not at all related to the act committed. Punishment is not proportionate to the crime, punishment is not affected at all by the nature of the crime. Which, incidentally, seems rather inconsistent with your singling out of incest as a particularly bad crime which no prophet could possibly have committed.[/url]
 

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Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:04 pm

See, Christians and Muslims?


Isn't it just easier and whole lot more fun to have your ideological
battles across a message board? There's no need to bomb buildings, or launch unprovoked wars, or support/destory Israel.

Oh, you silly kids.

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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Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:08 pm

Shanti418 wrote:Isn't it just easier and whole lot more fun to have your ideological battles across a message board?

I think the context is perfect, yes.

I would have waited a ******* eternity for this!!!!
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Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:53 pm

Do God and Jesus have opposing viewpoints? God has clearly told people to act a certain way. Jesus came along and said another. This makes sense how exactly?

Hail Satan!

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Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:07 am

Bouncelot wrote:Yeah, but if He's going to allow Jesus' message to be altered to something completely different to what Jesus actually said by the only people who ever heard it, what was the point of sending Him in the first place? It's an Islamic doctrine that really doesn't seem to make sense, given that you also believe that the Koran has been preserved absolutely error free, and that some Muslims point to this as a proof of Islam's truth. Why would God allow the Bible to be corrupted but not the Koran?


Why allow the Bible to change? I don't know, I'm not God.

Asking me why God would allow the Bible to be corrupted and not the Koran is like asking why God would not reveal the Trinity to the people of Moses and Noah. I mean if Jesus is God and is of utmost importance in your belief, doesn't it make less sense that He would not mention it to the people of Abraham, the people of Moses, the people of Noah? I mean, since we are the line of "Why?" questioning, how can you accept that God chose not to reveal the truth of Himself and His son to all of mankind before the birth of Jesus, yet be confused as to why He would allow the Bible to change? To me, that would stand as a bigger "Why?" question.

Last time I looked, some of the Hadiths (which are decidedly Muslim sources) included stories about Mohammed ordering people assassinated for the crime of writing satirical poetry about him. Hardly a tool of war.


On the contrary, propoganda is one of the greatest weapons in times of war. The poet in question was a tool of the enemy, to slander the Prophet (PBUH), spread lies about his character and purpose, and incite pagans to violence against him. And incite violence he did. Hence, he was ordered executed. You are taking Hadith, like many do with the Koran, out of context. You are guilty of citing verses without knowing the circumstances under which they were revealed or said. A common mistake and a common tool used all too often by those who would see the image of Islam and its Prophet (PBUH) debased. Not that you are doing this intentionally, but all too often, this mistake is made. Again, in times of war, for the protection of one's people, such actions are allowed. I stress in times of war.

True, it is a matter of belief. Though I fail to see why incest is an unacceptable crime for a prophet to commit than assassinating satirical poets.


In that case, let me spell it out for you. One is a wartime strategy used to deter the inciting of an enemy to violence against your people. The other is having sexual intercourse with your sister. I'll leave you to your belief and I'll keep mine.

It's also worth noting that unless you believe the Koran to be infallible, then logic dictates that you take the Bible as a more accurate source of information on Biblical characters than the Koran because it was written by people a lot nearer to the originals than the Koran was


Have you ever heard of that game where people say something to the person sitting behind them, then they pass it on to the person behind them, and so on and so forth. In the end, you would be surprised what story about a prophet you might end up with. No doubt, the Koran does not go into the detail the Bible does regarding the lives of the Prophets. Its just that the details that the Bible mentions are believed by Muslims to be inaccurate and degrading to the chosen Messengers of the Creator.

I hope you won't mind if I prove that whatever verse you're thinking of doesn't predict Mohammed. I've seen a couple of claimed proof texts that don't stand up to scrutiny at all.


Be my guess. The point is moot anyway because I believe the Bible to be altered, but I am still looking for that particular passage and will get back to you.

Islam, on the other hand, boils down to attempting to earn our way into heaven by following Islamic beliefs and practices.


So the five pillars of Islam are utterly irrelevant, then? Why are they called Pillars of Islam if they are irrelevant? From the outside, Islam looks like a religion which is all about doing the right things to get into heaven. How does having obligations to undertake the Hajj, recite the creed, fast at Ramadan, give 2.5% of your income to the poor, and pray five times a day fit with a salvation through God's mercy?


There is a Hadith that a man once stood before God and it will be told to him to enter Paradise "through God's Mercy". The man will be shocked and will say, "No, I want to enter through my deeds. I went on Hajj yearly, I fasted more than I was required to, I spent the night in prayers, and I gave all that I had to the poor. I should enter through my deeds." And an angel will say "Very well, let use measure your deeds" and the angel will place the good deeds on one side of the scale and the bad deeds on the other. The scale will tip easily from the weight of his bad deeds. At that point, he will cry "By Your Mercy, by Your Mercy!", and God will allow him to enter Paradise.

The point? The acts of worship that we do are because they are owed to our Creator, because He is worthy of our worship. But nothing will get us into Paradise except God's Mercy and forgiveness. And that will be the only way. As Muslims, we worship God because He is the One, He is the Greatest, and He is the only One worthy of our best efforts of worship. But our final destination is not on our hands. That is Islam.

"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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Starlord

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Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:54 am

Be my guess. The point is moot anyway because I believe the Bible to be altered, but I am still looking for that particular passage and will get back to you.


Why do you belive what men wrote hundreds of years after it was supposedly said or happen?
Why do you take the Bible as fact?

Why cant you think for yourself?

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Mon Jul 17, 2006 2:51 pm

Yaya wrote:On the contrary, propoganda is one of the greatest weapons in times of war. The poet in question was a tool of the enemy, to slander the Prophet (PBUH), spread lies about his character and purpose, and incite pagans to violence against him. And incite violence he did. Hence, he was ordered executed. You are taking Hadith, like many do with the Koran, out of context. You are guilty of citing verses without knowing the circumstances under which they were revealed or said. A common mistake and a common tool used all too often by those who would see the image of Islam and its Prophet (PBUH) debased. Not that you are doing this intentionally, but all too often, this mistake is made. Again, in times of war, for the protection of one's people, such actions are allowed. I stress in times of war.


With all due respect, Yaya.... this is how they get you. This is how they **** you up, every time. Yea, it was a time of war and he was directly inciting people to riot. So it's okay to kill someone who was 1) not perpetuating direct violence, but just sort of indirectly mocking Muhammed, and 2) practicing artistic expression? So what would you say about Salman Rushdie? Should he also be murdered? He's inciting pagans to riot against Islam!

The self-proclaimed "prophets" of history do not, when you look at them, meet our standards for selfless service and love. Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, took a similar action and destroyed a PRINTING PRESS because the newspaper was printing the truth of his "spiritual marriages." I had that justified to me a thousand different ways when I was in the Church, most based on "the paper was inciting people to riot and kill Mormons. So many people had been killed that they did it to avoid a new wave of persecution." That is just ****. It was unconstitutional and immoral to destroy a printing press.

All religions get people to buy into the good stuff before the slowly introduce people to the bad stuff. Their members, who joined in the first place because they were looking for something moral, wholesome and uplifting, something with a higher standard than the rest of the world, are forced, when confronting the actions of these despot "prophets," to call evil good and good evil. Make no mistake about it. Every religion has and will perpetuate evil deeds. Most religions won't own up to them, because so many of their members have become cognitively dissonant trying to reconcile the murder of poets and the destruction of printing presses with God's love.

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Mon Jul 17, 2006 4:00 pm

It's also probably true to say that while those verses may have been quoted without knowing the circumstances or context, Yaya, that you don't know the circumstances or context either. Your opinion is just that, since you have no idea what 'God' intended either. You're operating from a position of faith in the idea that God is good and Islam is the true way, so I'd hardly expect you to have an objective viewpoint about this.

[edit]While I'm here,
Yaya wrote:If you had put all your faith in science years ago, you would have thought the Earth flat and that sperm housed tiny microscopic men that grew in the womb.

These were scientific beliefs, held as fact based on the information science had garnered at that time.

Science will change, time and time again. We are at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to scientific discovery.

You think religion is a leap of faith, and in many ways it is.

But don't go round thinking science is the end all be all. Its discoveries change more than even the numerous Bible translations.

This is the most ridiculous argument I've ever heard. "Science changes all the time as they discover new things!" Don't you get it yet? this is precisely why I like science - because it takes into account new knowledge, it changes as theories are proved or disproved. It doesn't base all its knowledge on a single book from the dark ages. The idea that "sperm housed tiny microscopic men that grew in the womb" is about as silly today as the notion that gender roles are the be-all and end-all of society, yet you still cling to your outdated beliefs while the rest of us have moved on and accepted that, yes, science was wrong in the past, but at least it has learned from its mistakes instead of making them over and over again because 'God' said so.

I would have waited a ******* eternity for this!!!!
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Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:48 pm

sprunkner wrote:
Yaya wrote:On the contrary, propoganda is one of the greatest weapons in times of war. The poet in question was a tool of the enemy, to slander the Prophet (PBUH), spread lies about his character and purpose, and incite pagans to violence against him. And incite violence he did. Hence, he was ordered executed. You are taking Hadith, like many do with the Koran, out of context. You are guilty of citing verses without knowing the circumstances under which they were revealed or said. A common mistake and a common tool used all too often by those who would see the image of Islam and its Prophet (PBUH) debased. Not that you are doing this intentionally, but all too often, this mistake is made. Again, in times of war, for the protection of one's people, such actions are allowed. I stress in times of war.


With all due respect, Yaya.... this is how they get you. This is how they **** you up, every time. Yea, it was a time of war and he was directly inciting people to riot. So it's okay to kill someone who was 1) not perpetuating direct violence, but just sort of indirectly mocking Muhammed, and 2) practicing artistic expression?


He was neither practising artistic expression, nor was he indirectily mocking Muhammad (PBUH).

You are confusing the ideas of free speech and the idea of inciting others to kill another person. Whether one is prodded by a sword or prodded by the tongue to wage war on another, it still remains an act of agression.

Let me be more clear as to what the circumstances were so you can understand this difference more. For years, the Prophet (PBUH) taught the belief in One God amongnst the pagan tribes of Arabia, and no one listened. No, instead, they mocked him, attacked him, spat on him, and even threw animal entrails on him when he would pray. Slowly, some became convinced of his message, and these people were tortured for their acceptance of Muhammad's(PBUH) message. The pagans of Mecca would take heavy rocks and place them on the chests of these newly converted Muslims under the desert sun until they renounced Islam. Some died from this. Until it got so bad that they had to leave Meccas and make for Medina, where the Muslims, still small in number, grew in size. They grew, and were seen as even a bigger threat. So war was waged upon them, though in reality, it had been waged on those few Muslims long ago. Amongnst these enemies was a poet who would incite others to either attack Muslims or their families.

Now I ask you, is there not a difference here between this poet and those whom you say have a right to freedom of speech? We can get into the whole freedom of speech argument for the hundredth time. But this poet was not exercising freedom of speech. He was a villian, an enemy siding with torturers and pillagers. His death he brought on himself. He sought to wage war in the way he knew how, and he died because of it.

You want to see in differently, certainly, that's your prerogative. But understanding the circumstances of the times should be a prerequisite before passing judgement on things that others would love to have you believe. Read the history of Muhammad (PBUH) not from a Western perspective, but from a Muslims. I'm sure it will read quite differently.


It's also probably true to say that while those verses may have been quoted without knowing the circumstances or context, Yaya, that you don't know the circumstances or context either. Your opinion is just that, since you have no idea what 'God' intended either. You're operating from a position of faith in the idea that God is good and Islam is the true way, so I'd hardly expect you to have an objective viewpoint about this.


Conveying what I believe to be the real story in what I'm doing. You are right that I have my spin on things, and a Christian will have theirs. Whom you choose to believe, whether it be one, the other, or neither, is a choice you make. I have studied the life of Muhammad (PBUH) as written from Islamic scholars, not from Christian and Western historians. The stories, as you can imagine, differ quite a bit.

As I say, who you choose to believe is up to you. I am operating from a position of faith, this is true, but I also like to garner my information not from the media or television or history class as many do. I would rather go to the source, the Koran and Hadith, or the Bible if we are talking Christianity.

"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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Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:21 pm

I still find it hard to accept anything thats based on hear-say + 100 years+...

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Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:46 pm

Read the history of Muhammad (PBUH) not from a Western perspective, but from a Muslims. I'm sure it will read quite differently


That makes no sense. I'm not saying that Western perspective trump everything else, but what I am saying is that don't Muslims have a vested interest in believing their belief system to be just and lawful? Just as Christians do when they read the bible?
It's like saying, "Read the history of the Holocaust not from a Western perspective, but from the journal of Nazi doctors. You'll get a whole different story." It's like, what's your point?

He was a villian, an enemy siding with torturers and pillagers. His death he brought on himself. He sought to wage war in the way he knew how, and he died because of it.


Again, this whole "There is evil and good, and thanks to *blank prophet or blank book*, I know what it is and therefore we can judge people based upon it" is ALWAYS going to get you, as sprunk says. You don't know that guy. Who knows what was going through his head, if he was conflicted about it, if he needed the paycheck, if his son was killed by a Muslim accidentally, whatever. Point being, there are lots of reasons why people do things that are much more plausible than, "Well, I guess he was just inherantly evil and deserves to die."

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.
Last edited by Bouncelot on Mon Jul 17, 2006 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mon Jul 17, 2006 7:15 pm

Oops. Double post.

So I'll edit out my reply to Yaya and reply to a more throwaway comment or two by Impy about holy books being written centuries after the event. The New Testament was not written centuries after the event. The gospels were all written well within living memory, some of them by people who were actually there. Acts was written by somebody who was actually there. The epistles were written at the time, and Revelation was written when the author (who was probably the Apostle John - Jesus' closest friend when He was on the Earth) received the vision described in it. All of it (even Revelation) was written well within the first century.
 

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Mon Jul 17, 2006 7:15 pm

Yaya wrote:
Bouncelot wrote:Yeah, but if He's going to allow Jesus' message to be altered to something completely different to what Jesus actually said by the only people who ever heard it, what was the point of sending Him in the first place? It's an Islamic doctrine that really doesn't seem to make sense, given that you also believe that the Koran has been preserved absolutely error free, and that some Muslims point to this as a proof of Islam's truth. Why would God allow the Bible to be corrupted but not the Koran?


Why allow the Bible to change? I don't know, I'm not God.

Asking me why God would allow the Bible to be corrupted and not the Koran is like asking why God would not reveal the Trinity to the people of Moses and Noah. I mean if Jesus is God and is of utmost importance in your belief, doesn't it make less sense that He would not mention it to the people of Abraham, the people of Moses, the people of Noah? I mean, since we are the line of "Why?" questioning, how can you accept that God chose not to reveal the truth of Himself and His son to all of mankind before the birth of Jesus, yet be confused as to why He would allow the Bible to change? To me, that would stand as a bigger "Why?" question.


The Bible portrays God as giving "progressive revelation". He didn't reveal everything important in one go, He revealed it gradually over the centuries. Understanding the Trinity (which is something that is difficult for humans to comprehend anyway) in advance isn't something that necessarily fits the pattern. In fact, I doubt we'd really have understood the concept before God came as a man, which was the point at which it became relevant anyway. Also, the Bible tends to reveal things in a narrative style rather than a conceptual style. Explaining the trinity and the incarnation as concepts before there was the actual story to back them up doesn't fit with the styles God tended to use.

For my money, it's certainly less of a problem than Islam's claim that every revelation of God before Muhammed was horribly corrupted so that it bears very little resemblance to the original and yet it's an act of God that the Koran has been perfectly preserved, because there's no conflict there. The New Testament clearly teaches that God chose not to reveal the full picture of His purposes to the Old Testament prophets. In Matthew's gospel Jesus says:

6But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.


So the idea that God didn't reveal it all is built into the revelation.

Last time I looked, some of the Hadiths (which are decidedly Muslim sources) included stories about Mohammed ordering people assassinated for the crime of writing satirical poetry about him. Hardly a tool of war.


On the contrary, propoganda is one of the greatest weapons in times of war. The poet in question was a tool of the enemy, to slander the Prophet (PBUH), spread lies about his character and purpose, and incite pagans to violence against him. And incite violence he did. Hence, he was ordered executed. You are taking Hadith, like many do with the Koran, out of context. You are guilty of citing verses without knowing the circumstances under which they were revealed or said. A common mistake and a common tool used all too often by those who would see the image of Islam and its Prophet (PBUH) debased. Not that you are doing this intentionally, but all too often, this mistake is made. Again, in times of war, for the protection of one's people, such actions are allowed. I stress in times of war.


I think you just justified the Soviet Union's Gulags there. Deliberately killing a man who is not actually engaged in battle with you and without a trial is surely murder rather than execution.

True, it is a matter of belief. Though I fail to see why incest is an unacceptable crime for a prophet to commit than assassinating satirical poets.


In that case, let me spell it out for you. One is a wartime strategy used to deter the inciting of an enemy to violence against your people. The other is having sexual intercourse with your sister. I'll leave you to your belief and I'll keep mine.


Fair enough. I'll believe that you believe that incest is a worse crime than ordering a murder and I'll continue to believe that God can use people with serious character flaws - and even that He often prefers to do so because then it's more obvious that it's Him rather than the person He's using who's responsible.

It's also worth noting that unless you believe the Koran to be infallible, then logic dictates that you take the Bible as a more accurate source of information on Biblical characters than the Koran because it was written by people a lot nearer to the originals than the Koran was


Have you ever heard of that game where people say something to the person sitting behind them, then they pass it on to the person behind them, and so on and so forth. In the end, you would be surprised what story about a prophet you might end up with. No doubt, the Koran does not go into the detail the Bible does regarding the lives of the Prophets. Its just that the details that the Bible mentions are believed by Muslims to be inaccurate and degrading to the chosen Messengers of the Creator.


Fair enough. Just as long as you're aware that there's no historical evidence to back you up on this one.

I hope you won't mind if I prove that whatever verse you're thinking of doesn't predict Mohammed. I've seen a couple of claimed proof texts that don't stand up to scrutiny at all.


Be my guess. The point is moot anyway because I believe the Bible to be altered, but I am still looking for that particular passage and will get back to you.


Look forward to seeing it.

Islam, on the other hand, boils down to attempting to earn our way into heaven by following Islamic beliefs and practices.


So the five pillars of Islam are utterly irrelevant, then? Why are they called Pillars of Islam if they are irrelevant? From the outside, Islam looks like a religion which is all about doing the right things to get into heaven. How does having obligations to undertake the Hajj, recite the creed, fast at Ramadan, give 2.5% of your income to the poor, and pray five times a day fit with a salvation through God's mercy?


There is a Hadith that a man once stood before God and it will be told to him to enter Paradise "through God's Mercy". The man will be shocked and will say, "No, I want to enter through my deeds. I went on Hajj yearly, I fasted more than I was required to, I spent the night in prayers, and I gave all that I had to the poor. I should enter through my deeds." And an angel will say "Very well, let use measure your deeds" and the angel will place the good deeds on one side of the scale and the bad deeds on the other. The scale will tip easily from the weight of his bad deeds. At that point, he will cry "By Your Mercy, by Your Mercy!", and God will allow him to enter Paradise.

The point? The acts of worship that we do are because they are owed to our Creator, because He is worthy of our worship. But nothing will get us into Paradise except God's Mercy and forgiveness. And that will be the only way. As Muslims, we worship God because He is the One, He is the Greatest, and He is the only One worthy of our best efforts of worship. But our final destination is not on our hands. That is Islam.


Hm, it's almost starting to sound like Christianity there. Certainly the version of Islam you're putting forward is very different to the one that shouts the loudest.
 
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