The Islam Thread. Page 6

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  • Khanivor 18 Feb 2013 01:20:56 40,349 posts
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    Personally, I'd define an Islamist as someone who, rather than having their faith as part of their identity, derive the totality of their sense of self and their sense of place in the world from their interpretation of Islam.
  • dufftownallan 18 Feb 2013 02:25:03 4,723 posts
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    religion is such a daft concept, it really doesn't stand up to scrutiny whatsoever.

    i think it's a disease on mankind that does need to be eradicated; for all the good that it has (un?)questionably done in the world, it's done just as bad. That's not really the fault of religion per se but more the way in which it has been used for peoples own nefarious agendas.

    the more that we grow up as a species and the more enlightened we make ourselves the less we need religion as a convenient placemarker for things we don't understand. you can appreciate why mankind a couple of thousand of years ago wanted to believe that we were all created by an omnipotent being, there were no other explanations that we could think of at the time. however, then mr darwin came along and we started to understand how we came to be here, science is providing the answers that religion made up.

    can anyone tell me why you need faith in a religion other than as a soothing balm against your fear of an inevitable death?
  • Mola_Ram 18 Feb 2013 03:19:49 6,938 posts
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    dufftownallan wrote:
    can anyone tell me why you need faith in a religion other than as a soothing balm against your fear of an inevitable death?
    You mean, apart from providing some people with the sense that ourselves and everything around us are not just collections of atoms, pointlessly flailing against the cold, stark reality that nothing, in the end, really matters or means anything? A feeling that existence is too beautiful a thing to just be some random fluke? An idea that maybe there's some purpose for life rather than Darwinian struggles for survival?

    Apart from those things? Yeah, I haven't the foggiest.

    Look, it's likely none of that will reconcile you with the horrible realty that billions of people on this planet are religious. And it's fine if you don't believe any of that yourself, or think it nonsense. Hell, as far as my own beliefs go, mine are probably pretty close to yours.

    But I understand the urge, and if it helps people live their lives then who am I to judge? I'm not really sure why we are so quick to dismiss a large swathe of the world's population, just for being religious.
  • Nanocrystal 18 Feb 2013 03:38:30 991 posts
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    Yep, atheism is basically a privilege. Being a healthy, white, middle class, Western male makes it very easy to accept that this one life is all I'm going to get. If I was struggling every day to find food in an oppressed, war-torn, disease-ridden part of the world, I'd damn well cling to any scrap of hope on offer, no matter how "daft".
  • Tonka 18 Feb 2013 06:36:02 20,006 posts
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    Mola_Ram wrote:
    You mean, apart from providing some people with the sense that ourselves and everything around us are not just collections of atoms, pointlessly flailing against the cold, stark reality that nothing, in the end, really matters or means anything? A feeling that existence is too beautiful a thing to just be some random fluke? An idea that maybe there's some purpose for life rather than Darwinian struggles for survival?
    I'm sorry but arguments like that makes me feel sorry for the ones who use them. Is there really no meaning to your life other than what the Bible says?

    Live a little.

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  • MrTomFTW Moderator 18 Feb 2013 06:46:08 37,300 posts
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    Tonka wrote:
    Mola_Ram wrote:
    You mean, apart from providing some people with the sense that ourselves and everything around us are not just collections of atoms, pointlessly flailing against the cold, stark reality that nothing, in the end, really matters or means anything? A feeling that existence is too beautiful a thing to just be some random fluke? An idea that maybe there's some purpose for life rather than Darwinian struggles for survival?
    I'm sorry but arguments like that makes me feel sorry for the ones who use them. Is there really no meaning to your life other than what the Bible says?

    Live a little.
    Well maybe that is how they want to live. If it's what they want, why not?

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  • Tonka 18 Feb 2013 07:02:27 20,006 posts
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    That's a good point and one of the reasons I try to avoid religious discussions. Who am I to judge?

    It's just that when I see that argument and its ilks I can't stop myself from pointing out that I find plenty of joy, purpose and meaning in my life. It's a false argument and it isn't advancing the discussion.

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • disusedgenius 18 Feb 2013 07:36:24 5,195 posts
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    Tonka wrote:
    I find plenty of joy, purpose and meaning in my life.
    Right, now try imagining that you don't.
  • Tonka 18 Feb 2013 08:22:58 20,006 posts
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    disusedgenius wrote:
    Tonka wrote:
    I find plenty of joy, purpose and meaning in my life.
    Right, now try imagining that you don't.
    Then what?

    The point I'm trying to counter is that without gods there can be no joy, purpose or meaning in life. I use the old counter argument of "Well, for me there is joy, purpose and meaning so clearly your argument is ivalid"

    To counter that with "Imagine if it wasn't?" doesn't add anything to the discussion. It's like saying

    "There is a god because I KNOW there is"

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • MrTomFTW Moderator 18 Feb 2013 09:12:05 37,300 posts
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    The point he's trying to make isn't that there's no happiness without God. Rather if you're been dealt a shit hand by life, then the thought of paradise once dead, that death is not the end and if you live life by this religion you well be rewarded... Well its easy to see why someone would turn to it.

    For hope.

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  • Tonka 18 Feb 2013 09:20:48 20,006 posts
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    That's fine by me. Really, I'm not bothered by religious people.

    What bother's me is the "Without gods there can be no happiness, purpose or meaning" line of thought since it's such a clear cut lie.

    So when I see it I counter it.

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • warlockuk 18 Feb 2013 09:28:01 19,131 posts
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    MrTomFTW wrote:
    The point he's trying to make isn't that there's no happiness without God. Rather if you're been dealt a shit hand by life, then the thought of paradise once dead, that death is not the end and if you live life by this religion you well be rewarded... Well its easy to see why someone would turn to it.

    For hope.
    Well, that's the point really isn't it? Control. You tell the peons that they'll be rewarded for their hard work in some kinda paradise and they'll get on with shit. It's just the easiest way to control a massive uneducated population. Of course these days people are better educated and lazier so it makes the whole thing a lot more difficult to keep going.

    Even with Islam, you've got a lot of people taking liberties with it - they'll use it when it suits them and then drink alcohol and smoke weed at the weekends... It's getting harder and harder to have the current society and these old world religions living side by side - which is probably why conservatives of all walks of life are calling for so-called "values". Which, tbh, I'm for in some respects; sadly they'll also be used to subjugate women and allow other forms of dickish behaviour.

    I'm happy without God. I still crave some form of meaning even though there isn't any - no more than an ant has meaning - and the idea of death and having my life essentially have no impact whatsoever is kinda shit. But I can't delude myself that there's some kinda deity watching over me, not even Thor or Ceiling Cat. Which is a bit depressing but it is what it is. Fuck it, you're a long time dead - may as well appreciate life while I have it, eh?
    Yes, this post contained very little point. Just like life ^_^

    I'm a grumpy bastard.

  • RedSparrows 18 Feb 2013 09:41:23 21,961 posts
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    Isaiah Berlin sums it up for me. A Jew who did not believe in God:

    'Kant was a Christian, and indeed, a pietist. I think that it is this that leads him to postulate a transcendent world. I have myself no sense of a reality above and beyond the life I know. I am not religious, but I place high value on the religious experience of believers. I am moved by religious services - those of the synagogue, but also of churches and mosques. I think that those who do not understand what it is to be religious, do not understand what human beings live by. That is why dry atheists seem to me blind and deaf to some forms of profound human experience, perhaps the inner life: it is like being aesthetically blind. Mere capacity for feeling is not enough to enable one to understand other human beings, believers, unbelievers, mystics, children, poets, artists. Reason and experience are not enough. When you are profoundly moved by a work of art, it is difficult to say that it is an empirical experience. Every experience is, of course, in a sense empirical, but this is not something which you can subject to verification or experiment. You can't say it is true or false, real or unreal, you can only say that it is sublime, upsetting, beautiful, profound or shallow. If you ask me what "profound" means, I am unable to tell you. There are all kinds of words which we use, which we know the meaning of, but cannot explain.'

    I am an atheist, for me. But that does not mean I consider religion to be merely a historical power game, or the only source or guarantor of morality, or a delusion of the stupid, or the only path to some kind of good life.

    Edited by RedSparrows at 09:42:49 18-02-2013
  • warlockuk 18 Feb 2013 09:57:33 19,131 posts
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    Buddhism's got it's own terrible parts, too though. You're still partly offloading your own thought to some kinda "magic". Just look at the Shingon Buddhists, though. Mentalists :D

    I'm a grumpy bastard.

  • Lukus 18 Feb 2013 10:03:20 18,996 posts
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    That and most (Western) Buddhists are incredibly annoying in real life.

    Paintings & Photographs

  • RedSparrows 18 Feb 2013 10:13:20 21,961 posts
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    P.S. now having watched the OP video, it's nice to see Billy carrying on his new topics with the same open-mind and fair hand as he normally shows.
  • dufftownallan 18 Feb 2013 10:20:57 4,723 posts
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    nanocrystal makes a good point; i'm somewhat priviliged in numerous ways that have allowed me to free myself from the constructs of faith. i'm perfectly happy with the concept of no god and no after life, I do not fear death and believe that my existence is a fantastic gift against fantastic odds, I am at peace with the idea that once I am gone I will cease to exist.

    but that's just me and it feels like a somewhat unique point of view. (that I never foust on anyone, nor do I ever mock a persons faith I hasten to add)

    however, if religion is such a power for good, why on earth are people struggling to find scraps of food in oppressive war torn, disease ridden parts of the world? of course there are too many variables at play to answer this question but has religion helped or hindered? i think hindered; I see religion and see so much evil, so much division, so much greed, so much control. warlock is right; religion is a way of indoctrinating people, of making people behave. if a fear of the (potential) pointlessness of life is one of religions main functions then is it really a good thing or is it just a crutch that people use?
  • disusedgenius 18 Feb 2013 10:25:08 5,195 posts
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    Tonka wrote:
    Then what?
    Well then you'd have to go searching for some kind of balance, if base reality doesn't do it for you then of course things are going to get a bit meta.
  • Tonka 18 Feb 2013 10:37:17 20,006 posts
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    Did you skip the rest of my post?

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • RedSparrows 18 Feb 2013 10:41:33 21,961 posts
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    If you're in a shite situation and you turn to a (set of) God/s then I doubt you see the dirt and misery around you as their plan - they are the salvation and the way out of that place. If you DO see it as part of their plan, then perhaps you feel more determined to escape, as you see it as a trial et al. Or, really, any number of other views and theories.

    It's all very well saying it sounds bollocks and doesn't make sense to you, but the important thing is this: it happens, all over the world, in far greater numbers than we care to recognise.

    Edited by RedSparrows at 10:42:03 18-02-2013
  • MetalDog 18 Feb 2013 10:42:10 23,708 posts
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    dufftownallan wrote:
    I see religion and see so much evil, so much division, so much greed, so much control.
    I see exactly these things in the non-religious quarters as well. Religion isn't the problem there - people are. It is a great pity that religion doesn't cure everybody of these things.

    Personally though, if I honestly thought that the material world was all their was and all there would ever be, I'd have checked out a long time ago. I'm really not having so much fun here that I'd want to extend my stay. As it stands, I believe I'm not here to have a whale of a time, but to learn - hell, maybe I'm here to learn to enjoy it more than I do. Skipping school would only hurt me, so I stay and try to concentrate (and spend way too much time staring out the window and doodling in my exercise book, in all likelihood).

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • dufftownallan 18 Feb 2013 10:54:09 4,723 posts
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    should it though red, should it...?
    I actually used to think like that md, and it was the slither of doubt about life the universe and everything (I have never discounted the possibility of something happening beyond this realm, I just think it's massively unlikely) that made me dismiss the notion.
    I totally agree that it's people who are the problem rather than religion itself, but religion and praying on the base fears of people make such control easier.
  • disusedgenius 18 Feb 2013 10:56:11 5,195 posts
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    Tonka wrote:
    Did you skip the rest of my post?
    No, I just find large quote tedious.

    Edit: Ah, I see. I think you read 'imagine if it you didn't' as 'imagine if it wasn't'. Of course I'm not talking about absolutes here.

    Edited by disusedgenius at 11:14:33 18-02-2013
  • bitch_tits_zero_nine 18 Feb 2013 11:07:36 6,654 posts
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    Some good posts on this page.
  • MetalDog 18 Feb 2013 11:14:50 23,708 posts
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    dufftownallan wrote:
    I totally agree that it's people who are the problem rather than religion itself, but religion and praying on the base fears of people make such control easier.
    Easier than economic control? Or the fear of terrorism, or immigrants? There isn't a government out there that doesn't pull this shit - the banner under which they do it changes, but it's all about keeping them at the top in comfort and keeping the masses from lynching them, really, isn't it?

    Clashing ideologies are bad news no matter what those ideologies are. The whole capitalism vs communism thing almost got the whole planet nuked back to the stone age.

    We really need to fix ourselves as a species somehow... I think we're always going to be at each others throats for one reason or another until we do. No idea how, though.

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • RedSparrows 18 Feb 2013 11:22:11 21,961 posts
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    dufftownallan wrote:
    should it though red, should it...?
    I actually used to think like that md, and it was the slither of doubt about life the universe and everything (I have never discounted the possibility of something happening beyond this realm, I just think it's massively unlikely) that made me dismiss the notion.
    I totally agree that it's people who are the problem rather than religion itself, but religion and praying on the base fears of people make such control easier.
    In a perfectly rational world, then no, it shouldn't. But do we actually want a perfectly natural world? It'd be a cruel place.

    But it does, and it's of such a fundamental nature that I think attempts to remove it, en masse, are in danger of being barbarous, and ignores the positives of it.

    I am not saying everyone should be religious in the sense of following a particular, recognised faith. Nor do I think everyone must have faith in the divine. I am saying it fulfills such an important need for so many in so many different ways, and that it is not the form of belief that is the issue, but the content. That is when ideologies clash, and suffering results.
  • Tonka 18 Feb 2013 11:30:52 20,006 posts
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    disusedgenius wrote:
    Edit: Ah, I see. I think you read 'imagine if it you didn't' as 'imagine if it wasn't'. Of course I'm not talking about absolutes here.
    My mistake then, glad we got that out of the way. Now lets solve religion once and for all.

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • MetalDog 18 Feb 2013 11:34:22 23,708 posts
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    Tonka wrote:
    My mistake then, glad we got that out of the way. Now lets solve religion once and for all.
    A final solution, eh?

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

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