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May Ayob
01-21-2013, 11:36 AM
I decided to post a new thread because Independent suggested to do so. So, I'm hoping my questions will be addressed here.

An overview of what I understood so far in reading a prior thread- I don't understand this about the atheists:
In the OP the member posting states that he is surprised,dazzled or rather let's say confused as to why an atheist would adhere to or follow any rules when he/she doesn't believe in a god or in hell and heaven because there is no retirbution in atheist's point of view, then he goes on and takes it a step further and says that if he didn't have faith he wouldn't have followed any moral rule but because of his fear of hell fire and his eagerness to obey the commands of his creator he will patiently discipline himself. Then the following post states that-- from the experience of the atheists whom she (sister Glo) knows of --atheists follow moral laws for their own good,because it feels right and fair to do so,and not because of fear of punishment or anticipation for reward or because the need to obey a higher authority,thus the atheist here is gaining satisfaction in doing good things for their own sake.

The thread thereon proceeds and escelates into religious vs. non-religious morality. The points that I understood --though I may be wrong or missing something-- not all atheists are bitter sociopaths, a sociopath is just as likely to be religious than non religious it all depends on circumstances and opportunities given at the particular moment. An atheist believes that an offender must, first and most importantly, seek forgiveness from the offended or victim rather than asking it from the god they worship. Atheists believe that non religious morality is more justifiable and validated because; if the book or scripture the religious follow orders them to kill their family or do something against their moral judgement, there would be 'no option' but to serve the orders. The thread also diverts into a disscussion of whether or not morals are hardwired in humans and is gained through genetic inheretince. Atheists also believe that empathy and culture are what shape an individual's perception of morality,religious or non religious. Which makes it subjective mainly and may broadly vary.

The thread is really good I read it a couple of times but sadly,it almost has nothing to do with my question which I stated in another thread:Answering atheism in one paragraph, the thread mentioned above mainly deals with how an atheist chooses to deal with moral issues that he or she carries out or acts upon in life. The question for which I seek an answer is not why or why not they follows rule--though incase that was an issue maybe because they feel better following their conscience?--but my question was *How does an atheist come about the henious crimes and injustices that happen in this world that were left unpunished and inthe case where punishment is strongly called for* regardless of whether the one individual here responsible for them has a religious or a non religious background. My guess here is that the atheist would be indifferent,maybe? since he/she does not recognize a high just supreme entity that will account all those who are evidently responsible and serves justice on which. Or maybe they believe in karma? I don't know making safe assumptions isn't very helpful. Also is this why atheists are more prone to commiting suicide?. I'm just wondering what does the average atheist think about the likes of Hitler and Genghis khan.

All participation is welcome and appreciated.
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Indian Bro
01-21-2013, 03:14 PM
As-salamu alaykum,

Sorry to hijack your thread, I myself have a question for atheists and it MIGHT be related to the topic of this thread! Anyways here goes...

As we all know atheists do not believe that God exists, however they cannot prove it by any means, it is merely just a belief. So any atheist would deny that there is no possibility of a God existing. The only reason atheists do not believe God exist is because they don't think there is enough evidence to believe in God. But I'm quite sure that even the most hardcore atheist in the world wouldn't deny the possibility of God existing because there is NO WAY to prove that God doesn't exist. A hardcore atheist would probably say the chances of God existing according to them would be 0.000000000000001% or even less, but whatever it maybe, it will be a tiny fraction, but no atheist can say that there is a 0% chance of God existing.

So now, lets say there's a hardcore atheist that's going to die. Now this hardcore atheist has to consider that there are two possible scenarios of what will happen after he/she is going to die.

First possibility:
The atheist dies and after death experiences nothing. No resurrection, no nothing! Just blackness and *POOF* gone! No meeting with God or anything!

Second possibility:
The atheist faces resurrection (on the Day of Judgement) and will be judged for what he did on earth.

Now, considering that the atheist believes that the chances of God existing are 0.0000000000000000001% or whatever, and also considering that the atheist has totally rejected God, IF that 0.0000000000000000001% turns out to become reality, surely the atheist is going to be punished by God Almighty. And according to Muslims, this punishment is eternity in Hell. Eternity in Hell means burning in a fire MUCH hot than the fire on Earth, and not burning for 10 years or 30 years or 80 years or 1000 years, but burning for ETERNITY. Difficult stuff to stomach, isn't it? So I want to know, why would an atheist take such a huge risk and totally reject God. Doesn't he fear that there could be a 0.000000000000000001% percent chance that he/she might spend the rest of eternity in Hell fire?

Now the atheist might pose a question as "There are so many religions and all of them say 'If you do not follow our religion you will burn in hell for eternity', so this whole explanation makes no sense as we're back to square one because if I pick the wrong religion I'm going to face the same consequence as an atheist would". To answer this question, the atheist must obviously perform a research on his own on all particular beliefs and reach a conclusion about which is the true religion to follow. And if this seems like a difficult task, then would you rather spend your entire life seeking the truth or spending entire eternity in a Hell fire. Even if the chances of being judged after death seem very low to an atheist, it is not something they can ever rule out completely.

I hope I haven't caused any confusion in my post and I apologize if my English hasn't been up to the mark.


Salam 3laikum.
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Independent
01-21-2013, 03:30 PM
Originally Posted by May Ayob
*How does an atheist come about the henious crimes and injustices that happen in this world that were left unpunished and inthe case where punishment is strongly called for
I'm taking this to mean that you're asking, does an atheist believe in any kind of natural justice? In other words, does someone like Genghis Khan (who escaped any legal justice in his own lifetime) face any other form of retribution?

The answer for an atheist must be 'no' - I can't think of any reason to say otherwise. Genghis gets away with it (although some people believe he was poisoned).

Regrettable, but true.
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Independent
01-21-2013, 04:04 PM
Originally Posted by Indian Bro
As we all know atheists do not believe that God exists, however they cannot prove it by any means, it is merely just a belief.
In the absence of proof one way or the other, the default philosophical position should be 'no God'.

Originally Posted by Indian Bro
But I'm quite sure that even the most hardcore atheist in the world wouldn't deny the possibility of God existing because there is NO WAY to prove that God doesn't exist
Although I personally don't agree with this, there are certainly atheists who believe that the non-existence of God CAN be proved. The most famous example today is Richard Dawkins, which is why he is such an amazing hate figure on the forum.

Originally Posted by Indian Bro
So I want to know, why would an atheist take such a huge risk and totally reject God
I have to say that of all the reasons to believe in God I find this the worst. You're going to take up religion just to hedge your bets??! You're a believer out of fear? That's the extent of your sincerity? If that's the reason behind many peoples' faith, then that's sad.

Originally Posted by Indian Bro
And according to Muslims, this punishment is eternity in Hell. Eternity in Hell means burning in a fire MUCH hot than the fire on Earth, and not burning for 10 years or 30 years or 80 years or 1000 years, but burning for ETERNITY. Difficult stuff to stomach, isn't it?
You have hit on one of the issues that most turns me away from an organised religion such as Islam. In natural justice, you expect the punishment to at least roughly fit the crime. This punishment is about as massive an over-reaction as you could possibly get. Not only am I barred from heaven, I am going to endure horrible torture into infinity. I cannot imagine anything more sadistic.

I don't believe that torture by evil humans should be allowed, so I'm hardly going to think it's ok for a perfect religion.

What's more, I find it incredible that a Muslim can tell an atheist they are being 'arrogant' or 'self centred', when this is the future they have promised for the atheist.

This also runs into issues of whether every person in the world today, or in history, has a real or equal chance to find salvation in Islam - which they most certainly do not. I know there are counter-rationales for this and perhaps some of them will be posted in reply. But I am being honest, I am giving you my gut reaction, and so far in life I cannot get round it.

I fail to see why people on this forum feel the need to abuse me or anyone else for our views, seeing as that's the punishment you think we have coming our way.
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Indian Bro
01-21-2013, 04:17 PM
Originally Posted by Independent
In the absence of proof one way or the other, the default philosophical position should be 'no God'.


Although I personally don't agree with this, there are certainly atheists who believe that the non-existence of God CAN be proved. The most famous example today is Richard Dawkins, which is why he is such an amazing hate figure on the forum.


I have to say that of all the reasons to believe in God I find this the worst. You're going to take up religion just to hedge your bets??! You're a believer out of fear? That's the extent of your sincerity? If that's the reason behind many peoples' faith, then that's sad.


You have hit on one of the issues that most turns me away from an organised religion such as Islam. In natural justice, you expect the punishment to at least roughly fit the crime. This punishment is about as massive an over-reaction as you could possibly get. Not only am I barred from heaven, I am going to endure horrible torture into infinity. I cannot imagine anything more sadistic.

I don't believe that torture by evil humans should be allowed, so I'm hardly going to think it's ok for a perfect religion.

What's more, I find it incredible that a Muslim can tell an atheist they are being 'arrogant' or 'self centred', when this is the future they have promised for the atheist.

This also runs into issues of whether every person in the world today, or in history, has a real or equal chance to find salvation in Islam - which they most certainly do not. I know there are counter-rationales for this and perhaps some of them will be posted in reply. But I am being honest, I am giving you my gut reaction, and so far in life I cannot get round it.

I fail to see why people on this forum feel the need to abuse me or anyone else for our views, seeing as that's the punishment you think we have coming our way.
Salam 3laikum

I am not trying to abuse you, I only want to understand your point of view. I'm not saying you should base your faith on fear, but on the fact that there is no "gain" after you die from being an atheist. None whatsoever! Whereas if you are a believer, there is a possibility to gain something much, much, much more than you can ever imagine. And apart from that, there are so many benefits of being a believer in this world, you make a concious effort to do only good and not to do anything bad, you can argue that a person can do both those things without believing in God, but surely you can't deny that a person would be more successful in doing good actions and avoiding bad acts if they know they are constantly being watched even when they are alone. Imagine having a surveilance camera following you for the rest of your life, wouldn't that increase the chances of you doing good knowing you are being watched and decrease the chances of doing bad? So you do good on the earth AND you receive an amazing prize after you die, OR, you do good on the earth and receive NOTHING after you die.


Salam 3laikum
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Independent
01-21-2013, 04:28 PM
Originally Posted by Indian Bro
I am not trying to abuse you
i should say I wasn't thinking of you. If you look back through various threads you'll see what I mean.

Originally Posted by Indian Bro
there is no "gain" after you die from being an atheist. None whatsoever!
I agree, there is no gain. But for an atheist, there never was an opportunity for gain. They don't believe because they are not convinced by the evidence presented, not because they weren't tempted by the rewards. Do you want me to pretend? Maybe some Muslims are pretending.

Once again, this is why i find it so strange that atheists are routinely described in this forum as 'selfish'. I can't think of anything less selfish than forgoing the (supposed) opportunity for perpetual reward.

Originally Posted by Indian Bro
surely you can't deny that a person would be more successful in doing good actions and avoiding bad acts if they know they are constantly being watched even when they are alone.
In theory I agree with you. That should be the result. In practice, I'm not convinced. I see good and bad people in all religions and no religion. I can't see that religion has really made people more moral on average.

In fact, now I know more about Islam, I am constantly amazed that individual Muslims are prepared to do the things that they do.

Part of this also depends on your particular religion and what your society considers to be moral or immoral. If your morality says that a woman walking around with her head uncovered is immoral, then obviously Europe is a fantastically immoral place.
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Indian Bro
01-21-2013, 04:50 PM
As-salamu alaykum

Originally Posted by Independent
i should say I wasn't thinking of you. If you look back through various threads you'll see what I mean.
Sorry for the misunderstanding then.


I agree, there is no gain. But for an atheist, there never was an opportunity for gain. They don't believe because they are not convinced by the evidence presented, not because they weren't tempted by the rewards.
I agree that you don't see the opportunity for gain because you don't believe any evidence has been presented. I'm not going to prove to you God exists because this thread isn't mean to discuss that, all I'm speaking about is the possibility of "chance", surely if atheists believe that everything that came to be in the world today all happened by chance, if you actually calculate the probability of everything you see around you putting itself together to be merely a "chance", the probability must be quite low - something like 0.000000001 or less? And you could argue that the possibility of an event taking place after death could also be an extremely low possibility, though you don't want to believe in it, you can't entirely rule it out. It would seem illogical to think that everything around us came to being by a random chance, however you disregard the chance of being judged after death. As you can see, I'm not using science in this discussion between Atheism and Belief but using Math. I mentioned in the previous thread that you can use Science to reach God, now I'm trying to prove to you that you can use even Math to reach God. :P

Once again, this is why i find it so strange that atheists are routinely described in this forum as 'selfish'. I can't think of anything less selfish than forgoing the (supposed) opportunity for perpetual reward.


In theory I agree with you. That should be the result. In practice, I'm not convinced. I see good and bad people in all religions and no religion. I can't see that religion has really made people more moral on average.

In fact, now I know more about Islam, I am constantly amazed that individual Muslims are prepared to do the things that they do.

Obviously, part of this also depends on your particular religion and what your society considers to be moral or immoral. If your morality says that a woman walking around with her head uncovered is immoral, then obviously Europe is a fantastically immoral place.
I don't think you should judge religions based on the behaviors of societies and people, but if you really want to judge a religion, look at those that truly practiced it as perfectly as they could - people like the Prophets. Read about Moses (PBUH), Jesus (PBUH), Abraham (PBUH), Muhammad (PBUH), and you will conclude that these men were truly humble, honest, kind, generous, inspirational and the best role models for any person who wishes to lead an honest and righteous life.
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Independent
01-21-2013, 05:06 PM
Originally Posted by Indian Bro
if atheists believe that everything that came to be in the world today all happened by chance
That's not at all what atheists think. The universe is full of systems, processes and structures. So at a macro level, most of what we see is anything but chance. But on the other hand i don't see it as preordained or with a necessary moral purpose.

Originally Posted by Indian Bro
you could argue that the possibility of an event taking place after death could also be an extremely low possibility, though you don't want to believe in it, you can't entirely rule it out
Personally, I don't rule it out. But i don't see the concept of life after death as a monopoly belonging to organised religion. Maybe consiousness can continue to exist in some other way that i don't understand. The difference is, I would still expect this survival to be subject to some kind of law of physics, even if it's not any physics we know today.
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Indian Bro
01-21-2013, 05:40 PM
Originally Posted by Independent
That's not at all what atheists think. The universe is full of systems, processes and structures. So at a macro level, most of what we see is anything but chance. But on the other hand i don't see it as preordained or with a necessary moral purpose.


Personally, I don't rule it out. But i don't see the concept of life after death as a monopoly belonging to organised religion. Maybe consiousness can continue to exist in some other way that i don't understand. The difference is, I would still expect this survival to be subject to some kind of law of physics, even if it's not any physics we know today.
As-salamu alaykum,

If you haven't read the Qur'aan yet, I would suggest to you to get one and read it if you ever get the time to. There's nothing wrong with reading it and you wont be "brain-washed" if you do read it, people like Mahathma Gandhi have read the Qur'aan and he also advised the Indians of different beliefs (the Hindus and Sikhs) to read it as well. There's nothing wrong with reading it. And if anything, the Qur'aan will certainly wash your heart and make you a more humble person. We Muslims believe that the first word God Almighty revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was "Iqra" which can be translated to "Read" or "Recite".

Salam 3laikum.
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Independent
01-21-2013, 05:50 PM
Originally Posted by Indian Bro
If you haven't read the Qur'aan yet, I would suggest to you to get one and read it if you ever get the time to. There's nothing wrong with reading it and you wont be "brain-washed" if you do read it,
I have started it in the past, but didn't get far - i mean to try again. (And no, I'm not afraid of brainwashing.)

But I appreciate the invitation.
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May Ayob
01-21-2013, 05:53 PM
Sorry to hijack your thread, I myself have a question for atheists and it MIGHT be related to the topic of this thread! Anyways here goes...
No problem, anytime.

I'm taking this to mean that you're asking, does an atheist believe in any kind of natural justice? In other words, does someone like Genghis Khan (who escaped any legal justice in his own lifetime) face any other form of retribution?

The answer for an atheist must be 'no' - I can't think of any reason to say otherwise. Genghis gets away with it (although some people believe he was poisoned).

Regrettable, but true.
Yes, that was exactly my question. Is 'no' really the answer? that's really sad then. Those people's lives were taken away from them and their blood couldn't have been spilled in vain.If there was no high supreme entity of justice-as how an atheist sees it- then that's a real dis-apointment,right then and there,if that were true.

You're going to take up religion just to hedge your bets??! You're a believer out of fear? That's the extent of your sincerity? If that's the reason behind many peoples' faith, then that's sad.
Faith in Islam requires full and complete sincerity,though I understand what you mean on questioning the sincerity of a believer because his/her faith and actions are based on the fear of God,but that's not entirely the reason behind people's faith- it's because in God we find hope,shelter, and love. God is the most merciful the most loving and forgiving, when no one is there for you,no one to hear you out-there is always God,He has always been with you and knows exactly what you're going through and He understands you more than anybody ever can,infact more than you would understand yourself.Because God inspires you to be patient and grateful and helps you become a better person to the core. Warning people -or perhaps I should say scaring them away- with frequent mentioning of hell fire is not something that Islam indicates to do infact it's wrong and ofcourse it almost never works, if one wishes to become a muslim they should do so because the consentually and totally want and seek to do it by their own will and choice. This is why God observes people's hearts and intentions-in Islam: Good action+Bad intention=Nothing. People who follow or pretend to be believers where in they know very well that they only observe faith just because and solely based on their fears,I think should be addressing their feelings appropriately and re-considering the pillars of their faith because that may lead to severe psychological distress which is not good at all.

[I don't believe that torture by evil humans should be allowed, so I'm hardly going to think it's ok for a perfect religion.

What's more, I find it incredible that a Muslim can tell an atheist they are being 'arrogant' or 'self centred', when this is the future they have promised for the atheist.

This also runs into issues of whether every person in the world today, or in history, has a real or equal chance to find salvation in Islam - which they most certainly do not. I know there are counter-rationales for this and perhaps some of them will be posted in reply. But I am being honest, I am giving you my gut reaction, and so far in life I cannot get round it.

I fail to see why people on this forum feel the need to abuse me or anyone else for our views, seeing as that's the punishment you think we have coming our way.
Don't be hard on yourself and just because some people weren't very pleasant in their approaches -which is wrong ofcourse-it shouldn't let their behavior and hostility get to you.There's a general stereotype about atheists being -I'm sorry to say-know it all,mean,arrogant,thinking less of and looking down on religious people,materialistic enemies of God, amogst many religious people so they go with the 'combat is the best means of defense' and may give off the vibes of hostility.I apologize for any discomfort you have faced here. And,who knows,maybe one day it will all make sense and hopefully you'll find peace and faith in Him. By the way,what do you mean by "I don't believe that torture by evil humanbeings should be allowed"?. Torturing them?-Certainly not. Justly punishing them and giving them a taste of their own medicine? -Well ofcourse,there's no reason why they shouldn't be.
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Abdul Fattah
01-21-2013, 06:05 PM
Aselam aleykum

We (people in general) have two built in mechanism that encourage us to act just. Our super-ego, and our conscience. Both have their weaknesses and strong points. Atheists and theists alike normally have both! The only exception is the sociopath, who has only a super-ego, but not a conscience. An estimated 4% of the population is like that.

1. Super-ego
Our superego, is an internalistaion of external authority. That's a complicated way of saying, our super-ego is the part of our mind that urges us to act in the way we think parents/society/God wants us to act. It manifests itsef in different ways, it can be that little voice that tells you: "you should go to sleep or you'll be sorry tomorrow." Or sometimes it's allot more vicous and says: "Stop eating you fat cow." or "She'll never marry you, stupid loser." It is a part of the mind that is capable of complex reasoning and deduction. The super-ego can also manifest itself in your "automatic actions". Sabotaging you without you even knowing it. Like when you accidentally break that one hideous vase you got from your mother-in-law. It's weakness obviously lies in that our rational thought can be flawed. And thus so can our rational sense of right and wrong be completely off-target.

How does this relate to the topic?
Well like I said. Both atheists and theists have a superego. Even sociopaths have one. The only diffrence will be the premisses on which rationality is based. For example, atheists will often hold the optimalisation of personal freedom as one of the most fundamental premises. Sometihng among the lines of, my freedom ends where yours begins. Theists on the other hand will more often have the optimalisation of personal wellbeing as one of the most fundamental presmises. Meaning, my freedom can even be limited, if it would lower your wellbeing. As to which premise is most moral, that's a whole diffrent discussion obviously. and obviously the existence of God is an important issue there as well. If you believe God exist, obviously his rationality would trumph ours.

2. Conscience
Our conscience is a feeling. It is not a nagging voice, it's not complex, it is not capable of reasoning and deduction. It is simply an emotional trigger based on the emotional bonds/relations we have with others. With other people, with animals, with nature, with God. It's that feelling that makes you get out of bed at night to tend for your crying child, even though you really want to sleep. It's that inhibition that keeps you from hitting someone in a fight, even though you swore that if he/she said this one more time... It's that feeling that makes you drive back home, even though you're already late, to check if you didn't forget to feed your cat. Even though you rationally know that the cat can survive perfectly well without food 'till tonight, the mere thought of being responsible for her suffering is unbearable! The weakness here, is that we need emotional connections. This shows us why it is possible for a racist to be very empathic to one person, and apathic to another. One triggers the conscience, the other not. Another flaw is that our conscience is not just! How many parents would be emotionally urged to cover up the crimes of their children? Since the conscience is not capable of complex reasoning, it will not recognice the greater suffering of the victims, and the conscience will urge the parents to protect the criminal son/daughter

How does this relate to the topic?
Well both Atheists and theists are capable of forming emotional bonds, so both are capable of having an equally functioning conscience. Religion does not change this! It is one of the most universal things, and you find references to it in almost every religion (the golden rule).

Final thought:
In my personal opinion, Islam aims to balance those two. And even link them. In our love of God, we keep our conscience strong, and in fear of God we keep our super-ego balanced. So in my personal beliefs, a muslim will be better equiped to be a just person. However this is obviously not a guarantee. In fact I can think of many atheists who are more just than many Muslims.

Another final thought:
Like I said, in my personal opinion Islam aims to balance those two. In our love of God, we keep our conscience strong, and in fear of God we keep our super-ego balanced. However in those extremeists-groups the focus of religion lies heavy on fear and only slightly on love. By over-rationalising things, and completely ignoring the emotional aspect and our intuition, a situation is created were Muslims are capable of some of the most horrible apathy and racism, terrorism and what-not.
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Ali_008
01-21-2013, 07:01 PM
“I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.”

- Albert Camus
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Independent
01-21-2013, 07:26 PM
Originally Posted by May Ayob
Yes, that was exactly my question.Is 'no' really the answer? that's really sad, those people's lives were taken away from them and their blood couldn't have been spilled in vain
It also means that it's important for all of us to strive for justice in this life, which is not a bad thing.

Also, I believe that in the long term, a cooperative, supporting, just society will be more successful than an evil one. Hitler was defeated, albeit at huge sacrifice. Genghis Khan and his successors were probably the most destructive rulers in history, yet in they end the too were swallowed up. I think people are far too negative about today's society. There are so many, many things that are better.
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Independent
01-21-2013, 07:34 PM
Originally Posted by Abdul Fattah
We (people in general) have two built in mechanism that encourage us to act just. Our super-ego, and our conscience.
I'm an admirer of Freud. I've not seen him mentioned here, although I've always assumed he would be disliked alongside other huge influencers like Darwin and Marx.

For me, I think my father is a big part of my conscience and I always have him in my head.

Originally Posted by Abdul Fattah
In fact I can think of many atheists who are more just than many Muslims.
I appreciate this.

Originally Posted by Abdul Fattah
Like I said, in my personal opinion Islam aims to balance those two. In our love of God, we keep our conscience strong, and in fear of God we keep our super-ego balanced
I can see lots of reasons why Islam should make people behave in a better way.
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May Ayob
01-21-2013, 08:02 PM
Originally Posted by Independent
It also means that it's important for all of us to strive for justice in this life, which is not a bad thing.

Also, I believe that in the long term, a cooperative, supporting, just society will be more successful than an evil one. Hitler was defeated, albeit at huge sacrifice. Genghis Khan and his successors were probably the most destructive rulers in history, yet in they end the too were swallowed up. I think people are far too negative about today's society. There are so many, many things that are better.
As much it inspires us to be more just (atleast those of us who have a conscience and a beating heart),it's still sadly dissapointing. A tyrant comes and till his heart's content kills an unkown of number of people and gets away with it and then another one comes along and repeats history and gets away with it as well, no punishment, no retribution and the victims and sufferers should just 'shut up and deal with it' because it was their tragic fate. Also it's only a fraction amount of people who really are having it better- infact very privilaged people -than it was in the past. I'm not denying that things have gotten better but again for some selected fraction few, the rest still have to suffer in many forms for most of them their only hope is God, then again if that really was the case (no existance of God) we live in a selectively very unjust bundle of chaos called planet earth.
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Abz2000
01-21-2013, 08:12 PM
From what I can see, atheists have no binding moral duties or responsibility to uphold truth or justice in the way children of Adam who acknlowledge themselves to be such do,
It is as they choose, just as any other animal might choose - either personal or collective anarchy.
There is an old satanist saying: do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, and satanism is of course an extreme form of atheism - as acknowledged even by leaders of satanic cults.

The only law I can think of for an atheist who follows his own desires is: its ok do anything you feel like doing as long as you don't get caught even if it's murder or rape.
"do as thou wilt shall be most of the law, thou shalt not get caught shall be the remainder of the law".

For a believer decisions are a lot more difficult because it isn't about not getting caught, it's about answering for deeds and it usually makes them feel bad about and give up bad habits.

And please let's leave off that old argument about ones definition of good and bad because there is no atheist definition.
The Quran forbids incest, unjustly exploiting the poor or weak, stealing etc.
The atheist book doesn't...........exist.
There are just desires and laws made by another atheist between oneself and evil, but no fixed boundaries.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Independent
01-21-2013, 08:37 PM
Originally Posted by May Ayob
I'm not denying that things have gotten better but again for some selected fraction few
Alas, it's not great everywhere or for everyone. But if you look across a swathe of countries in the first world and now China, Brazil etc, the standard of living has improved immeasurably.

And think of medicine. I personally would have been dead twice over, if it weren't for modern medicine. Once at 3 months and again at 13. I have to believe things are better now!
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Iceee
01-21-2013, 09:41 PM
Salaam.

Originally Posted by Abz2000
From what I can see, atheists have no binding moral duties or responsibility to uphold truth or justice in the way children of Adam who acknlowledge themselves to be such do,
It is as they choose, just as any other animal might choose - either personal or collective anarchy.
There is an old satanist saying: do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, and satanism is of course an extreme form of atheism - as acknowledged even by leaders of satanic cults.

The only law I can think of for an atheist who follows his own desires is: its ok do anything you feel like doing as long as you don't get caught even if it's murder or rape.
"do as thou wilt shall be most of the law, thou shalt not get caught shall be the remainder of the law".

For a believer decisions are a lot more difficult because it isn't about not getting caught, it's about answering for deeds and it usually makes them feel bad about and give up bad habits.

And please let's leave off that old argument about ones definition of good and bad because there is no atheist definition.
The Quran forbids incest, unjustly exploiting the poor or weak, stealing etc.
The atheist book doesn't...........exist.
There are just desires and laws made by another atheist between oneself and evil, but no fixed boundaries.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Just wanted to say that I read all this stuff, and I like your quote ^^^ :)
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May Ayob
01-21-2013, 09:56 PM
Originally Posted by Abz2000
From what I can see, atheists have no binding moral duties or responsibility to uphold truth or justice in the way children of Adam who acknlowledge themselves to be such do,
It is as they choose, just as any other animal might choose - either personal or collective anarchy.
There is an old satanist saying: do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, and satanism is of course an extreme form of atheism - as acknowledged even by leaders of satanic cults.

The only law I can think of for an atheist who follows his own desires is: its ok do anything you feel like doing as long as you don't get caught even if it's murder or rape.
"do as thou wilt shall be most of the law, thou shalt not get caught shall be the remainder of the law".

For a believer decisions are a lot more difficult because it isn't about not getting caught, it's about answering for deeds and it usually makes them feel bad about and give up bad habits.

And please let's leave off that old argument about ones definition of good and bad because there is no atheist definition.
The Quran forbids incest, unjustly exploiting the poor or weak, stealing etc.
The atheist book doesn't...........exist.
There are just desires and laws made by another atheist between oneself and evil, but no fixed boundaries.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Wa'alaikum alsalam.

Thanks for participating.

"do as thou wilt shall be most of the law, thou shalt not get caught shall be the remainder of the law".
That's a scary way of life.But apparently not all athesits follow the above mentioned though they do have their own understanding of good and evil,I'm not sure though but all I can think of is that they think that things should be okay as long as all parties involved indulge in a certain action consentually and whether the action in itself doesn't hold any harm to anyone in concern- take for example incest marriage, some approve and see 'no problem as long as both sides are consentually involved' others may disapprove and they will never say because it's just wrong and disgusting, I suppose they take a more secular approach in saying that incest marriage may give the risk of child defeciences and may cause life threatning problems for the health of the child.But yeah, it's pretty embarassing to think that an atheist would only refrain from doing something immoral just because they fear being caught and exposed,I have the sense that I'll get a counter arguement of how it's just as dismaying how a religious person is only refraining from immoral acts just because they fear the god that they worship.But anyway I think that particularily was addressed some time ago in a previous thread.
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May Ayob
01-21-2013, 09:58 PM
Originally Posted by Independent
Alas, it's not great everywhere or for everyone. But if you look across a swathe of countries in the first world and now China, Brazil etc, the standard of living has improved immeasurably.

And think of medicine. I personally would have been dead twice over, if it weren't for modern medicine. Once at 3 months and again at 13. I have to believe things are better now!
Yep, Gratitude and hope is all we have.But I'm not an atheist, so I do believe that someway and somehow there will always be justice that is served and mercy that is granted.

Peace be to you.
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Independent
01-21-2013, 10:33 PM
Originally Posted by Abz2000
From what I can see, atheists have no binding moral duties or responsibility to uphold truth or justice in the way children of Adam who acknlowledge themselves to be such do,
It is as they choose, just as any other animal might choose - either personal or collective anarchy.
There is an old satanist saying: do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, and satanism is of course an extreme form of atheism - as acknowledged even by leaders of satanic cults.

The only law I can think of for an atheist who follows his own desires is: its ok do anything you feel like doing as long as you don't get caught even if it's murder or rape.
"do as thou wilt shall be most of the law, thou shalt not get caught shall be the remainder of the law".

For a believer decisions are a lot more difficult because it isn't about not getting caught, it's about answering for deeds and it usually makes them feel bad about and give up bad habits.

And please let's leave off that old argument about ones definition of good and bad because there is no atheist definition.
The Quran forbids incest, unjustly exploiting the poor or weak, stealing etc.
The atheist book doesn't...........exist.
There are just desires and laws made by another atheist between oneself and evil, but no fixed boundaries.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
You never spoke a truer last two words.
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Pygoscelis
01-22-2013, 12:50 AM
Originally Posted by May Ayob
I decided to post a new thread because Independent suggested to do so. So, I'm hoping my questions will be addressed here.

An overview of what I understood so far in reading a prior thread- I don't understand this about the atheists:
In the OP the member posting states that he is surprised,dazzled or rather let's say confused as to why an atheist would adhere to or follow any rules when he/she doesn't believe in a god or in hell and heaven because there is no retirbution in atheist's point of view, then he goes on and takes it a step further and says that if he didn't have faith he wouldn't have followed any moral rule but because of his fear of hell fire and his eagerness to obey the commands of his creator he will patiently discipline himself. Then the following post states that-- from the experience of the atheists whom she (sister Glo) knows of --atheists follow moral laws for their own good,because it feels right and fair to do so,and not because of fear of punishment or anticipation for reward or because the need to obey a higher authority,thus the atheist here is gaining satisfaction in doing good things for their own sake.

The thread thereon proceeds and escelates into religious vs. non-religious morality. The points that I understood --though I may be wrong or missing something-- not all atheists are bitter sociopaths, a sociopath is just as likely to be religious than non religious it all depends on circumstances and opportunities given at the particular moment. An atheist believes that an offender must, first and most importantly, seek forgiveness from the offended or victim rather than asking it from the god they worship. Atheists believe that non religious morality is more justifiable and validated because; if the book or scripture the religious follow orders them to kill their family or do something against their moral judgement, there would be 'no option' but to serve the orders. The thread also diverts into a disscussion of whether or not morals are hardwired in humans and is gained through genetic inheretince. Atheists also believe that empathy and culture are what shape an individual's perception of morality,religious or non religious. Which makes it subjective mainly and may broadly vary.

The thread is really good I read it a couple of times but sadly,it almost has nothing to do with my question which I stated in another thread:Answering atheism in one paragraph, the thread mentioned above mainly deals with how an atheist chooses to deal with moral issues that he or she carries out or acts upon in life. The question for which I seek an answer is not why or why not they follows rule--though incase that was an issue maybe because they feel better following their conscience?--but my question was *How does an atheist come about the henious crimes and injustices that happen in this world that were left unpunished and inthe case where punishment is strongly called for* regardless of whether the one individual here responsible for them has a religious or a non religious background. My guess here is that the atheist would be indifferent,maybe? since he/she does not recognize a high just supreme entity that will account all those who are evidently responsible and serves justice on which. Or maybe they believe in karma? I don't know making safe assumptions isn't very helpful. Also is this why atheists are more prone to commiting suicide?. I'm just wondering what does the average atheist think about the likes of Hitler and Genghis khan.

All participation is welcome and appreciated.
If you are asking what assurance do atheists have that good people will be rewarded and bad people will be punished, the answer is not very much. Some may believe in karma (you don't have to believe in God to believe in Karma) but most simply think that we humans ourselves and the societies we build are the only mechanisms for justice that we have. So we put a lot of effort into making them as good as we can.

I have sometimes wondered this about theists. If you think God will sort it out in the end, then why bother building a just and fair society?
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Pygoscelis
01-22-2013, 12:56 AM
Originally Posted by Abdul Fattah
Well like I said. Both atheists and theists have a superego. Even sociopaths have one. The only diffrence will be the premisses on which rationality is based. For example, atheists will often hold the optimalisation of personal freedom as one of the most fundamental premises. Sometihng among the lines of, my freedom ends where yours begins. Theists on the other hand will more often have the optimalisation of personal wellbeing as one of the most fundamental presmises. Meaning, my freedom can even be limited, if it would lower your wellbeing. As to which premise is most moral, that's a whole diffrent discussion obviously. and obviously the existence of God is an important issue there as well. If you believe God exist, obviously his rationality would trumph ours.
I don't see why atheists could not agree with the statement "my freedom can even be limited, if it would lower your wellbeing" that you attribute to theists.
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Pygoscelis
01-22-2013, 01:02 AM
Originally Posted by May Ayob
As much it inspires us to be more just (atleast those of us who have a conscience and a beating heart),it's still sadly dissapointing. A tyrant comes and till his heart's content kills an unkown of number of people and gets away with it and then another one comes along and repeats history and gets away with it as well, no punishment, no retribution and the victims and sufferers should just 'shut up and deal with it' because it was their tragic fate. Also it's only a fraction amount of people who really are having it better- infact very privilaged people -than it was in the past. I'm not denying that things have gotten better but again for some selected fraction few, the rest still have to suffer in many forms for most of them their only hope is God, then again if that really was the case (no existance of God) we live in a selectively very unjust bundle of chaos called planet earth.
Yes. And I think this very thing you point at here is one of the major comforts that religion brings people in with, along with the comfort of having answers for where there really are none, and the comfort of promised immortality. I can definitely see why religion may be attractive, especially to the downtrodden. Religion truly can be an opiate for the masses. Doesn't make it true of course.
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Pygoscelis
01-22-2013, 01:30 AM
Originally Posted by May Ayob
That's a scary way of life.But apparently not all athesits follow the above mentioned
I've never met one that did, and I know a lot of them. Trying to brand atheism with satanism is even less honest than trying to brand Islam with terrorism.

And that said, the quote from Abz is misleading even of Satanists. Here is a good explanation of why: http://altreligion.about.com/od/sata...anic_rules.htm

though they do have their own understanding of good and evil,I'm not sure though but all I can think of is that they think that things should be okay as long as all parties involved indulge in a certain action consentually and whether the action in itself doesn't hold any harm to anyone in concern- take for example incest marriage, some approve and see 'no problem as long as both sides are consentually involved' others may disapprove and they will never say because it's just wrong and disgusting, I suppose they take a more secular approach in saying that incest marriage may give the risk of child defeciences and may cause life threatning problems for the health of the child.
Yes, I know atheists who take each of those positions. Please keep in mind that atheism itself is nothing but a lack of belief in Gods. The rest varies from atheist to atheist.

But yeah, it's pretty embarassing to think that an atheist would only refrain from doing something immoral just because they fear being caught and exposed
That would be a sociopathic atheist. Those people are rare (maybe even more so than satanists), but yes they do exist.

So do sociopathic theists (who have no sense of empathy or right and wrong aside from obedience to their perceived God). You may expect that they'd be better for society than sociopathic atheists, because God's rules should keep them in line, but that doesn't usually turn out to be so. They just change what they perceive their God to demand, to suit what they want. Statements as clear as "Thou Shalt Not Kill" have found plenty of contorted exceptions over the years.

I have the sense that I'll get a counter arguement of how it's just as dismaying how a religious person is only refraining from immoral acts just because they fear the god that they worship.But anyway I think that particularily was addressed some time ago in a previous thread.
I hope that you are not refraining from immoral acts just for that. I hope you have a sense of personal empathy. So do I, independent of any authority figure or surveillance.
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Roasted Cashew
01-22-2013, 03:25 AM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
I have sometimes wondered this about theists. If you think God will sort it out in the end, then why bother building a just and fair society?
Because the very God has given them laws to abide by in this world and prescribed punishments for those who break those laws. He takes care of them who escape punishment in this life.
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Abz2000
01-22-2013, 06:21 AM
I've never met one that did, and I know a lot of them. Trying to brand atheism with satanism is even less honest than trying to brand Islam with terrorism.
I got this one from the church of satan's website pygo:

You don't have to start with metaphysics to create your ethics.
Satanism does not assert that the fundamental truth of the nature of reality (metaphysics) is known. (ring a bell pygo?)
In fact, Satanists utilize two different metaphysical assumptions regarding reality as evidenced in Satanic ritual as opposed to the rest of life. In effect, Satanists are pragmatic regarding their beliefs concerning reality. Thus, as Satanists do not claim to know the absolute “truth” regarding what is real they are, by definition, not “Objectivists” who hold that reality is totally objective.
Satanists proclaim that doubt is vital in the absence of proof. At this fundamental level there is division between the two views of reality.

Second, Satanism does not hold that “a life appropriate to a rational being” is the sole standard of ethical right as does Objectivism. If anything, Satanism holds that indulgence in life or “fun” as perceived by the individual is the highest standard of ethics. Satanists see that Objectivism has enthroned reason above the individual as opposed to utilizing this sole means to knowledge as a tool to achieve a purpose.
Satanism enthrones the individual as a whole, not reason, as the supreme standard to determine the value of actions (Ethics).
http://www.churchofsatan.com/Pages/SatObj.html


As I talk to Christians, I find that most assume that people who belong to the Church of Satan worship the devil. *That assumption is natural, based on how Satanists portray themselves. *It is also wrong. *Satanists are atheists who believe in neither God nor Satan. *You can find a good article on Satanism on CNN here:

One of the main tenets of the faith is atheism. Not just a disbelief in God but also in the devil or Satan. Satanists believe God is an invention of man and instead deify themselves.


According to the official website of the Church of Satan: “We Satanists are thus our own ‘Gods,’ and as beneficent ‘deities’ we can offer love to those who deserve it and deliver our wrath (within reasonable limits) upon those who seek to cause us—or that which we cherish—harm.”
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/0...ry-a-satanist/
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Independent
01-22-2013, 09:44 AM
Originally Posted by Abz2000
Satanists are atheists who believe in neither God nor Satan.
This tells us that, in defiance of all logic, there are some Satanists who also claim to be atheists. I'm not sure how they can still call themselves Satanists, since apparently they don't believe in Satan either.

Who cares?

An atheist, who is a person that fundamentally does not believe in the existence of Satan (or he isn't an atheist), cannot possibly be any closer to Satanism than a Muslim or Christian, who do at least believe in the existence of Shaytan/the Devil - although not as a figure of worship obviously.

If you want to attack Satanism, find a Satanist. Wrong thread.
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Abdul Fattah
01-22-2013, 07:01 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
I don't see why atheists could not agree with the statement "my freedom can even be limited, if it would lower your wellbeing" that you attribute to theists.
Yes I don't see why they wouldn't either. I wasn't trying to argue that this view and atheisms are mutually exclusive. Howevre the two principles I described are mutually exclusive. And my point was that when push comes to shove, most atheists prefer the first principle over the second.

Consider this example:
Every rational person would have to agree that if a society forbids alcohol-consumption (and is able to enforce this law efficiently) that this would benefit allot of people. Of course on the other hand there are people who have the ability to drink with limitation, without causing harm to others nor themselves.
According to the first prinicple, my freedom ends where yours begins, in the case of alcohol it's the wrongdoers who should leanr their limit. And the rest shouldn't "suffer" a limitation for the sake of society.
According to the second principle, the sacrafice of personal freedom does not compare to the overall wellbeing of a society, and thus a prohibition would be the ethical correct rule.
I hope this practical example demostrates how one has to chose one over the other, and that we cannot hold both principles as fundamental premise for justifying laws. And I think you'll agree that indeed most atheist will go for the first principle rather than the second, right?
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Independent
01-23-2013, 09:24 AM
Originally Posted by Abdul Fattah
Every rational person would have to agree that if a society forbids alcohol-consumption (and is able to enforce this law efficiently) that this would benefit allot of people.
Yet, in history it hasn't always turned out that way. One of the main effects of Prohibition in the US was, ironically, to create a huge criminal industry of bootleggers and secret bars. Because the law didn't really have true consent, it turned ordinary people into a nation of lawbreakers. By the time the law was repealed it was too late. The criminal organisation that had been created and the funds they had acquired were turned to other criminal enterprises which persist to this day.

So while I agree that excess alcohol is plainly a bad thing, simply banning it may not have the result you want. The new problems are partly caused by other changes in society (relatively cheaper alcohol and greater disposal income amongst young consumers).
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tearose
01-23-2013, 11:30 AM
Originally Posted by May Ayob
I 'believe' it was reported that he had claimed to have experienced some kind of 'divine inspiration', but is that even something Islam accedes with? to claim that you were inspired by a powerfull spiritual being ( and no I don't recall them mentioning the name of God or Allah, they said some kind of spirituall force or something) that gives you orders to murder and slaughter people --sounds more like another self-deluded ancient 'Jim Jones' and besides he never really actually contributed to the Islamic state in anyway he rather launched a very un-Islamic position and lead a very very un-islamic way of life.
According to wikipedia: The Secret History of the Mongols chronicles Genghis praying to the Burhan Haldun mountain.
He was religiously tolerant and interested in learning philosophical and moral lessons from other religions. To do so, he consulted Buddhist monks, Muslims, Christian missionaries, and the Taoist monk Qiu Chuji.
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May Ayob
01-23-2013, 11:34 AM
Originally Posted by tearose
According to wikipedia: The Secret History of the Mongols chronicles Genghis praying to the Burhan Haldun mountain.
He was religiously tolerant and interested in learning philosophical and moral lessons from other religions. To do so, he consulted Buddhist monks, Muslims, Christian missionaries, and the Taoist monk Qiu Chuji.
Thank you for participating. ^ I take the above to mean that Genghis khan was a very tolerant man whom 'consulted Buddhist monks,Muslims,Christian missionaries and the Taoist monk Qui Chuji' before he took any military measures and they inturn(despite their religious beliefs) all agreed on advising him to pursue his dream of conquering the world even if its at the expense of killing innocent souls. Or is this not getting across to me properly?.
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tearose
01-23-2013, 12:02 PM
Originally Posted by May Ayob
I take the above to mean that Genghis khan was a very tolerant man whom 'consulted Buddhist monks,Muslims,Christian missionaries and the Taoist monk Qui Chuji' before he took any military measures and they inturn(despite their religious beliefs) all agreed on advising him to pursue his dream of conquering the world even if its at the expense of killing innocent souls. Or is this not getting across to me properly?.
Possibly, or maybe he just consulted them about their beliefs at various points in his life? I posted this info because I think it shows we don't have any evidence that he followed Islamic belief and therefore if he killed Muslims shouldn't he be considered as an enemy of Islam, not a great man? I don't know whether any of those people approved of his ambitions or not. I agree with you, I was under the impression that the idea of a human being directly inspired had no place in Islam at all? But I don't know if Genghis Khan claimed that. Allah knows best.
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Independent
01-23-2013, 12:04 PM
Originally Posted by May Ayob
I take the above to mean that Genghis khan was a very tolerant man whom 'consulted Buddhist monks,Muslims,Christian missionaries and the Taoist monk Qui Chuji' before he took any military measures and they inturn(despite their religious beliefs) all agreed on advising him to pursue his dream of conquering the world even if its at the expense of killing innocent souls.
Er - not quite. Other way around. He only came into meaningful contact with those religions as a result of his conquests. And whether or not he converted to any religion, it made not the slightest difference to his behaviour and added zero to his capacity for mercy.

He was tolerant of other religions because the Mongol Empire wasn't built in the name of any religion, and it had no part in the state structure. It was more like the early Roman Empire before Constantine - quite happy to let people believe whatever they wanted, so long as they didn't challenge the state.
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Al-Mufarridun
01-23-2013, 12:13 PM
I'm bit confused. Who said Genghis Khan was Muslim?

The Mongols who embraced Islam did so many many years after the death of Genghis.
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Al-Mufarridun
01-23-2013, 12:42 PM
Originally Posted by Independent
Wikipedia gives this with regard to the Khans and Islam: In 1222 he, on his way back to Mongolia, visited Bukhara in Transoxiana. It was believed he inquired about Islam, and subsequently approved of Muslim tenets except the Hajj, considering it unnecessary. Nevertheless, he continued his worship of Tengri as his ancestors had done. Genghis Khan's grandson Berke converted to Islam due to the efforts of Saif ud-Din Dervish, a dervish from Khorazm, thus Berke became one of the first Mongol rulers to convert.
It is during the time of his grandsons that the majority of the mongols who entered into Islamic territories embraced Islam. The turning point being the battle of Ain-Jalut in Palestine. It is one of the most fascinating parts of the Mongols. Going from building towers of human heads to building some of most beautiful Mosques.

The Mongols conquered the Muslims, but Islam conquered the Mongols.

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May Ayob
01-23-2013, 02:42 PM
Originally Posted by Al-Mufarridun
What he is referring to might be what is mentioned in the Islamic sources. That, once Genghis learned about the Islamic faith, not that he accepted it, he used to address the Muslim populations by saying, "I'm send by your God to destroy you, for your wickedness". This was more of a psychological war than him sincerely claiming to be Inspired.

I guess from that angle, you could say that Allah swt sent him as a trial for the people, but that does not in any way clear him of his evilness.

Allah swt knows best.
If that was his arguement,okay then as he likes it. God sent Genghis Khan to punish the 'corrupt' muslims in Baghdad. What about the ones who weren't corrupt. Besides Genghis Khan targeted any one who "came in his way" muslim or not. Thanks for the response now I think I'm starting to understand where CosmicPathos is coming from.
*off topic*
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Independent
01-23-2013, 05:30 PM
Originally Posted by May Ayob
God sent Genghis Khan to punish the 'corrupt' muslims in Baghdad.
Strangely enough this ties back into your original question! Which is, whether an atheist believes in the possibility oif natural justice.

The notion that Genghis's disastrous descent on the Muslims of Kwharezmia might have been a 'trial' for lack of virtue or spirituality seems wrong at every level. Partly because what kind of 'trial' is it to face mass extermination? But also because the Mongols spent at least as much time invading China and Russia/eastern Europe as they did Muslim territory.

Really, he just attacked everybody.
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May Ayob
01-23-2013, 09:40 PM
Originally Posted by Independent
The notion that Genghis's disastrous descent on the Muslims of Kwharezmia might have been a 'trial' for lack of virtue or spirituality seems wrong at every level
Yes it does seem wrong at every level. But I don't think it's accurate, I think what brother Al-Mufarridun was saying that Genghis Khan being percieved as 'sent from God' in CosmicPathos post means that he was more a test and trial not necessarily for a lack of virtue-that would be punishment- but to test the patience of the people. I don't know somehow this arguement is becoming less and less coherent.


Originally Posted by Independent
Really, he just attacked everybody.
True.
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'Abd-al Latif
01-24-2013, 10:39 PM
I'm closing this thread on a temporary basis. Will be reopened soon inshaa'Allah.
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'Abd-al Latif
01-24-2013, 11:00 PM
Thread reopened. All off topic posts have been removed and will continue to be removed. I hope it doesn't come to that.
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