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The-Deist
02-20-2016, 03:15 PM
Why is there a punishment for leaving Islam? Shouldn't everyone be free to choose their religion? And no, don't tell me what can be worse than a person leaving Islam. I just see the punishment as unnecessary and makes Islam look like a religion controlled by fear.
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Muslim Woman
02-20-2016, 03:26 PM
:sl:


there are few threads on the topic . Pl. browse forum and read the answers there.
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Kiro
02-20-2016, 05:05 PM
Originally Posted by Muslim Woman
:sl:


there are few threads on the topic . Pl. browse forum and read the answers there.
may u link dem pls
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AabiruSabeel
02-20-2016, 08:26 PM
You will find detailed explanation here in this post: http://www.islamicboard.com/aqeedah/...ml#post1157658



For more information, you can also see these threads:
http://www.islamicboard.com/clarific...-apostasy.html
http://www.islamicboard.com/clarific...html#post17915
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The-Deist
02-20-2016, 08:30 PM
What about born muslims? I would probs than let my offspring (if I ever have any) be born as agnostics and they can choose when they grow up.
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azc
02-21-2016, 07:32 AM
Originally Posted by StrivingforDeen
What about born muslims? I would probs than let my offspring (if I ever have any) be born as agnostics and they can choose when they grow up.
mind your own life brother. If someone doesn't die as a believer he'll go into hell.May Allah swt keep all Muslims steadfast on deen and give hidaya to all. Ameen
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sister herb
02-21-2016, 08:55 AM
Originally Posted by StrivingforDeen
What about born muslims? I would probs than let my offspring (if I ever have any) be born as agnostics and they can choose when they grow up.
Nobody borns as agnostic. As we know, we all are born Muslims - also those whose at their later age claim they are agnostics. ;)
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greenhill
02-21-2016, 09:22 AM
Originally Posted by StrivingforDeen
I just see the punishment as unnecessary and makes Islam look like a religion controlled by fear.
What islam looks like will always be what islam will look like because that the way some people want islam to look like and they can influence the media... So, I know I am on to a good thing (with regards to accountability and the basic I reap I what I sow (good and bad)) in my deen, and does not matter really what the next person thinks.

The point is very simple, if you believe, you have the passport to heaven and if you do not, you don't. That is the punishment. If you pretend to believe and do all the rituals with the community, but in fact you do not, the answer is still the same, no passport.

The issue is can we submit or are we haughty? To deny Allah is being haughty. Once you have read, understood, and then using peripheral arguments to deny the truth then there is a problem. When the proof is there and we know it, but question rulings that has been explicit in the Quran on grounds of (whatever) like marriage etc really is like being insolent. Hence, the reaction of people and their extreme action. For true muslims, who believe in Allah The All Mighty, it makes us wonder how a fellow muslim can even think of leaving the deen? It is almost impossible. How can anyone be so terribly misinformed to actually walk away from the truth into misguidance? How can one purchase such error?

It is almost like having to 'beat some sense into them'... It makes sense why there is thought for punishment for apostasy. But at the end of the day, there is no compulsion in religion, and you answer your Maker. I suppose, people will turn a blind eye to others leaving the deen but would most likely will take offense if those people who had left start actively campaigning against Islam.

:peace:
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The-Deist
02-21-2016, 11:02 AM
Originally Posted by sister herb
Nobody borns as agnostic. As we know, we all are born Muslims - also those whose at their later age claim they are agnostics. ;)
I wouldn't influence or make them practise any religion. Making them search for themselves if they want to.
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The-Deist
02-21-2016, 11:03 AM
Originally Posted by azc
mind your own life brother. If someone doesn't die as a believer he'll go into hell.May Allah swt keep all Muslims steadfast on deen and give hidaya to all. Ameen
What do you mean mind your own life?
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sister herb
02-21-2016, 11:37 AM
Originally Posted by StrivingforDeen
I wouldn't influence or make them practise any religion. Making them search for themselves if they want to.
That´s easier to say than make it works. Children should then live in the culture where nobody practice any religion. Neither be even an atheist - or agnostic. But for adults whose live this kind of society it would to be against their religious rights.
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Scimitar
02-21-2016, 12:02 PM
Originally Posted by StrivingforDeen
Why is there a punishment for leaving Islam? Shouldn't everyone be free to choose their religion? And no, don't tell me what can be worse than a person leaving Islam. I just see the punishment as unnecessary and makes Islam look like a religion controlled by fear.
The Prophet pbuh never punished anyone for apostating due to lack of conviction.

The apostacy law only applies when someone enters Islam and then leaves it to defame it - it's an offence of treason and punishable by death... not just in Islam, but in every country in the world.

Scimi
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The-Deist
02-21-2016, 12:03 PM
Originally Posted by Timi Scar
The Prophet pbuh never punished anyone for apostating due to lack of conviction.

The apostacy law only applies when someone enters Islam and then leaves it to defame it - it's an offence of treason and punishable by death... not just in Islam, but in every country in the world.

Scimi
Is this an opinion accepted by Islamic scholars (not modern-moderate)?
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Scimitar
02-21-2016, 12:04 PM
This is FACT.

Do your homework kid,

Scimi



But ignorance births threads such as this :D

Scimi
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greenhill
02-21-2016, 01:26 PM
Originally Posted by StrivingforDeen
I wouldn't influence or make them practise any religion. Making them search for themselves if they want to.
Coming from your point of view I can understand. I suppose....

Some years ago I read an article (I have not as yet verified it but I believe in it because it makes a lot of sense) that on the day of judgment, when we see the fire of hell and hear the roar of its fire we will be blaming everyone we know who know the deen and did not 'remind' us of our errors. We will blame our parents, friends etc and put the blame squarely on their shoulders for not making sure that we were on the right path.

I tell my children. It matters not to me whether they like hearing it or not. I tell them again, and ask them if they would point the finger at me then? It is easy to deny things now that they do not see, but what about when we are all out before Allah?

They paused and considered my message. But being young kids, they will have the youthful rebelliousness but hopefully they will get the hormones under control as they grow up and mature.

:peace:
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farhan
02-24-2016, 04:48 AM
Originally Posted by Milton
Can you explain to me how the Indian tribesman living in the remote Amazon rain forest who has never had any contact with the outside world or any concept or knowledge of Islam deserves to go to hell for eternity ?
Watch this video: http://www.islamicboard.com/islamic-...dela-hell.html
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eesa the kiwi
02-24-2016, 05:03 AM
Originally Posted by Milton
In this thread it was stated that all non Muslims will go to hell,

Can you explain to me how the Indian tribesman living in the remote Amazon rain forest who has never had any contact with the outside world or any concept or knowledge of Islam deserves to go to hell for eternity ?

this isnt the case at all
if a person doesnt recieve the message of islam they will be tested instead on the day of judgement
so your indian tribesman will be tested in the hereafter and if he passes he will go to paradise inshaallah

that being said you Milton will not be asked on the day of judgement about that indian tribesman. the message has reached you and you will be judged based on your response to it
worry about yourself first before worrying about amazonians lost in the jungle
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azc
02-24-2016, 06:51 AM
Originally Posted by StrivingforDeen
What do you mean mind your own life?
life in hereafter must be more important for all of us than this temporary life
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azc
02-24-2016, 06:54 AM
Laws of Islam will not be changed.
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eesa the kiwi
02-24-2016, 09:33 PM
Originally Posted by Milton
How has the message reached me ? I have never seen or heard anything that leads me to believe in Islam. I live a happy, relaxed and good life, when I do good for others its because I choose to, not to gain points for the next life, I get my rewards in this life, its a beautiful day today, and the snowdrops and daffodils are coming up, in my garden. I will take this life thanks, and you can have worry about the next.
our job is muslims is not to make you believe, our job is to convey the message of islam so that's what im going to do. if you accept this and die upon islam inshaallah you will be granted paradise, if you reject then you are risking a great torment


islam is to believe that the creator alone is worthy of worship and that muhammed sallaho alayhi wa sallam is his slave and messenger
we are also obligated to believe in Allah's books (the old and new testament, book of psalms and the quran however due to the previous books getting corrupted with additions/subtractions only the quran is in the form it was revealed) his angels, his messengers (including jesus and moses alayhis salam). the last day (that makind will be raised up and judged by the lord of all that exists with the righteous believers going to paradise and the disbelievers going to hellfire) and in divine decree that everything that occurs was destined by Allah
basically the message of islam in a nutshell is to worship the creator not the creation

i also recomend having a look at this site www.islamreligion.com alhamdulilah they have a lot of good articles about islam inshaallah you will find it beneficial

hope this helps
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Serinity
02-25-2016, 10:39 AM
Originally Posted by Milton
It all depends on how and where you have been brought up and schooled. In my life of 40+ years we never heard about Islam at school, and Christianity was laughable rubbish to most educated people. Our tradition is reason rather than belief, so personally I don't see any advantage in believing in any god, unless he or she chooses to appear.

Of course God could appear and prove himself to every human in one second, and there would be no doubt .
God is genderless, and this life would be no test, if He SWT was to reveal Himself. The value of faith would decrease.

In Islam, we believe with open eyes. Ie. with reason. So reason coupled with belief in Allah, and you will reach truth.
You believe in One God, and use reason to be sceptical as to whether this can be from God or not etc.

And who and how do we know who is God?

read Surah Al-Ikhlas, and you will know.

Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One,

Allah , the Eternal Refuge.

He neither begets nor is born,

Nor is there to Him any equivalent."

And, couple this with your perfect image of God, ie. All-powerful, etc. Allah can not have any weakness.

We can not see God, but we can use reason to deduce He SWT exists.

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azc
02-25-2016, 11:06 AM
Originally Posted by Milton
In this thread it was stated that all non Muslims will go to hell, Can you explain to me how the Indian tribesman living in the remote Amazon rain forest who has never had any contact with the outside world or any concept or knowledge of Islam deserves to go to hell for eternity ?
Have you got the msg of Islam?
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Sojourn
03-01-2016, 04:41 AM
Originally Posted by Timi Scar
The Prophet pbuh never punished anyone for apostating due to lack of conviction.

The apostacy law only applies when someone enters Islam and then leaves it to defame it - it's an offence of treason and punishable by death... not just in Islam, but in every country in the world.

Scimi
Scimi is it true though that at least in the Four Schools, the classical understanding is that apostasy in general is punishable by death and not just those that are "defaming"?
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Scimitar
03-01-2016, 01:02 PM
No. The histories clearly show that only those who apostated and then committed treason against the Muslims and Islam, where the only ones who were put to death as far as I know.

Also, far as I know, treason is still punished by the death penalty in the west.

Scimi
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Pygoscelis
03-02-2016, 04:51 PM
Originally Posted by greenhill
The point is very simple, if you believe, you have the passport to heaven and if you do not, you don't. That is the punishment. If you pretend to believe and do all the rituals with the community, but in fact you do not, the answer is still the same, no passport.
Originally Posted by eesa the kiwi
our job is muslims is not to make you believe, our job is to convey the message of islam so that's what im going to do. if you accept this and die upon islam inshaallah you will be granted paradise, if you reject then you are risking a great torment
You say accept and reject as if it is a choice. Can you choose to believe in something you don't? Think of any mythical being that you don't believe in, and see if you can make yourself believe it exists. Can you? I can't. So am I judged on my ability to pretend very well about believing something I don't believe? Greenhill says that won't get me anywhere. Or is it more about being a good person and helping and loving my fellow humans? Or am I hellbound at the outset because Allah has decided I am not chosen to believe he exists?
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Pygoscelis
03-02-2016, 04:56 PM
Originally Posted by Timi Scar
No. The histories clearly show that only those who apostated and then committed treason against the Muslims and Islam, where the only ones who were put to death as far as I know.
That begs the question of what "treason" means in the context of a religion. Does a Muslim who converts to another religion and preaches in favor of that new religion over Islam qualify? So basically any ex-Muslim who has become Christian? Or do they have to do something more radical like vandalize a mosque or something?
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Kiro
03-02-2016, 05:04 PM
scholar squad, assemble!
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The-Deist
03-02-2016, 05:09 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
That begs the question of what "treason" means in the context of a religion. Does a Muslim who converts to another religion and preaches in favor of that new religion over Islam qualify? So basically any ex-Muslim who has become Christian? Or do they have to do something more radical like vandalize a mosque or something?
So what abouy someone who never became Muslim vandalizes a mosque. Nothing happens to him?
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Scimitar
03-02-2016, 05:12 PM
Categorically, there is not a single verse in the Qur’an which prescribes an earthly punishment for apostasy. Verses about apostasy in the Qur’an speak only about God’s punishment of the apostate in the Hereafter. Following are two examples:

…[your enemies] will not cease to fight against you till they have turned you away from your faith, if they can. But if any of you should turn away from his or her faith and die as a denier [of the truth] – these it is whose works will bear no fruit in this world and in the life to come; and these it is who are destined for the fire, therein to abide 7 2:217

Behold, as for those who come to believe, and then deny the truth, and again come to believe, and again deny the truth, and thereafter grow stubborn in their denial of truth - God will not forgive them, nor will guide them in any way 4:137.

It is notable in the above verse that had the Qur’an prescribed capital punishment for apostasy, the apostate would have been killed after the fist instance of apostasy. As such there would be no opportunity to “ again come to believe and again deny the truth, and thereafter grow stubborn in their denial of truth” . It is also notable that in spite of these acts of repeated apostasy described in the above verse, capital punishment is not alluded to nor is it prescribed or sanctioned as a morally or legally valid consequence of apostasy.

Treason is punishable in every nation on earth by death. This is law, why should it be any different if the nation instilled Shariah? Four nations on this earth have shariah law as their law system, yet no one has ever made a case for unjustified treason against these.

It is worth noting that people would often have a chip on their shoulder regarding the Apostacy verses in the Qur'an when the reality is that in order to be punished for treason, you have to leave the faith AND THEN commit treason against it. It seems Islam has an extra requirement in order to punish the one who commits treason, and treason itself is not really punishable on its own unless a Muslim defects from the faith and commits treason to boot... quite the measure eh?

And treason is unforgivable in every country under the sun. Yet in Islam the extra measure to ensure that a person is not just acting out of rebelliousness but has malice in his heart.

I hope this helps to answer the question.

Scimi
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Serinity
03-02-2016, 06:04 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
You say accept and reject as if it is a choice. Can you choose to believe in something you don't? Think of any mythical being that you don't believe in, and see if you can make yourself believe it exists. Can you? I can't. So am I judged on my ability to pretend very well about believing something I don't believe? Greenhill says that won't get me anywhere. Or is it more about being a good person and helping and loving my fellow humans? Or am I hellbound at the outset because Allah has decided I am not chosen to believe he exists?
In Islam we don't KNOW how Allah looks like. NO PICTURE etc does. Point is, in Islam we believe in the One who caused life to come etc.

That is Allah. No human can know, AFAIK, how Allah looks like.
PS. Truth can not come from humans, ever. The reality of life. Only Allah can.

It is easy, if someone comes with a claim one has to come with proof.

Our proof? The quran. If that is not enoigh then the whole creation of Allah, signs etc.

There is no proof for things having come out of nothingness. We see no sign of any such. We believe in Allah unseen, how did we come to believe? With signs.

If I told you this cup came from nowhere. You'd call me mad.

anything that has a beginning, a start etc. Must have a cause. Search for God first, then religion. We can not see god, but with His signs we can come to a rational conclusion, that the existence of God is far more plausible than this whole thing arising from nothing.
Don't take my word, search yourself.
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Pygoscelis
03-02-2016, 07:47 PM
Originally Posted by StrivingforDeen
]So what abouy someone who never became Muslim vandalizes a mosque. Nothing happens to him?
That would just be flat out vandalism, not "treason". It should be punished as any act of vandalism should be, and possibly also as a hate crime if it is done to intimidate or threaten.

Originally Posted by Serinity
There is no proof for things having come out of nothingness. We see no sign of any such. We believe in Allah unseen, how did we come to believe? With signs.

If I told you this cup came from nowhere. You'd call me mad.
I'm not going to argue with you about whether or not God exists. I take no issue with your belief and worship. If it brings you meaning and purpose and peace, I am happy for you. But I personally do not believe your God exists. That is what an atheist is. There is no secret belief in atheists and we are not rebelling against or mad at or disobedient to a God who as far as we are concerned is imaginary. And I would rather be called mad than dishonest.
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Serinity
03-02-2016, 08:40 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
That would just be flat out vandalism, not "treason". It should be punished as any act of vandalism should be, and possibly also as a hate crime if it is done to intimidate or threaten.



I'm not going to argue with you about whether or not God exists. I take no issue with your belief and worship. If it brings you meaning and purpose and peace, I am happy for you. But I personally do not believe your God exists. That is what an atheist is. There is no secret belief in atheists and we are not rebelling against or mad at or disobedient to a God who as far as we are concerned is imaginary. And I would rather be called mad than dishonest.
Ok. :)

Peace. :D

May Allah guide you tho. Ameen.
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Sojourn
03-06-2016, 06:09 AM
Originally Posted by Timi Scar
No. The histories clearly show that only those who apostated and then committed treason against the Muslims and Islam, where the only ones who were put to death as far as I know.

Also, far as I know, treason is still punished by the death penalty in the west.

Scimi
Hmm

But I mean with regards to the Four Schools of Sunni Islam, is it not true that apostasy in general is usually punished with death? I understand you may feel that such a position might be wrong, but again my question is in the context of the Four Schools.
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Zafran
03-06-2016, 06:31 AM
Originally Posted by Sojourn
Hmm

But I mean with regards to the Four Schools of Sunni Islam, is it not true that apostasy in general is usually punished with death? I understand you may feel that such a position might be wrong, but again my question is in the context of the Four Schools.
For treason as empire and religion were one. Just like in Christianity and Judaism and pretty much every religion on the planet. Always find it odd when Christians pick out historical opinions yet in there own Tradition they have countless examples of mainstream scholars advocating the very same thing for most of its history.
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Scimitar
03-06-2016, 01:11 PM
Originally Posted by Sojourn
Hmm

But I mean with regards to the Four Schools of Sunni Islam, is it not true that apostasy in general is usually punished with death? I understand you may feel that such a position might be wrong, but again my quesintion is the context of the Four Schools.
Apostacy is only accompanied by death when treason is also proven.

None of the four schools of thought have (to my knowledge) ignored the ayah of the Qur'an:

Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.

So far, apostacy does not result in death in Islam - except and unless the apostate has committed treason as well... in regards to what is defined as treason in this instance is something which may shed light on the issue.

Treason in this case would be an apostate causing social unrest by preaching his or her new religion or causing doubt in the hearts of the Muslims with his or her speech.

In such cases, the apostate is usually warned what his actions will result in - and after the third warning... punishment.

As we can see, the apostate must want death if he or she has been warned 3 times that their actions will result in it, and the apostate insists on their motivations despite being warned.

Scimi
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Sojourn
03-06-2016, 02:42 PM
Originally Posted by Timi Scar
Apostacy is only accompanied by death when treason is also proven.

None of the four schools of thought have (to my knowledge) ignored the ayah of the Qur'an:

Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.

So far, apostacy does not result in death in Islam - except and unless the apostate has committed treason as well... in regards to what is defined as treason in this instance is something which may shed light on the issue.

Treason in this case would be an apostate causing social unrest by preaching his or her new religion or causing doubt in the hearts of the Muslims with his or her speech.

In such cases, the apostate is usually warned what his actions will result in - and after the third warning... punishment.

As we can see, the apostate must want death if he or she has been warned 3 times that their actions will result in it, and the apostate insists on their motivations despite being warned.

Scimi

I am not an expert Scimi but I think you are mistaken here.

All four schools of thought taught that apostasy is punishable by death, and this did not require some act of treason against the community, but related strictly to belief.

“Whoever changes his religion, execute him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2794)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim who bears witness that there is no god except Allaah and that I am His Messenger, except in one of three cases: a soul for a soul (i.e., in the case of murder); a married man who commits adultery; and one who leaves his religion and splits form the jamaa’ah (main group of Muslims).” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6878; Muslim, 1676)

This is from: https://islamqa.info/en/20327
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Sojourn
03-06-2016, 03:00 PM
Originally Posted by Zafran
For treason as empire and religion were one. Just like in Christianity and Judaism and pretty much every religion on the planet. Always find it odd when Christians pick out historical opinions yet in there own Tradition they have countless examples of mainstream scholars advocating the very same thing for most of its history.
Hello Zafran,

This is not true, in Christendom to become a heretic or apostate was not necessarily met with execution. When the Roman Empire converted to Christianity the punishment for apostasy was loss of civil rights (e.g. ability to take witness in court, gain inheritance, etc. CF http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01624b.htm). Certainly no contemporary scholar feels killing apostates is something desirable let alone something that should be enforced today. In contrast, many Muslims do seem to believe that execution of apostates is the ideal that should be brought into *contemporary* society.
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Muhammad
03-06-2016, 11:08 PM
Greetings Sojourn,

We submit to whatever our Scripture teaches us, and indeed scholars do hold that the punishment for apostasy is not dependent on waging war etc. However, such a ruling needs to be understood together with its accompanying rulings, such as the need for an Islamic authority which will undertake the task of presenting the proof, clarifying the misconceptions and undertaking all the proper investigative procedures, without prejudice or injustice. In the establishment of this ruling, there is protection for the sanctity of religions as they are not to be toyed with, so that those who are manipulative and desire-driven do not obtain the means to advance their personally-motivated ambitions and objectives. Furthermore, in that which Allah has ordained, He has the perfect proof and argument, as well as the Ultimate Wisdom.

Many in the West have the understanding that 'faith' means to believe in something that one cannot prove. This is not the approach of Islam. In general, Muslims hold that there are very strong, rational reasons for them to believe in their religion. It is not simply a matter of blind faith. For example, the excellence of the Qur'an, its unquestionable historical authenticity and the numerous miracles related to it all point to this Book being a true revelation from God. So @Pygoscelis's analogy about choosing to pretend or believe in a random mythical being is totally off the mark, as explained to him elsewhere. Before a Muslim is asked to override something found in his religion, there had better be very strong evidence that something is mistaken or unacceptable in the religion of Islam.

This is not true, in Christendom to become a heretic or apostate was not necessarily met with execution. When the Roman Empire converted to Christianity the punishment for apostasy was loss of civil rights (e.g. ability to take witness in court, gain inheritance, etc. CF http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01624b.htm).
Until the 13th century torture was apparently not sanctioned by the canon law of the Christian church; about that time, however, the Roman treason law began to be adapted to heresy as crimen laesae majestatis Divinae (“crime of injury to Divine majesty”). Soon after the Inquisition was instituted, Pope Innocent IV, influenced by the revival of Roman law, issued a decree (in 1252) that called on civil magistrates to have persons accused of heresy tortured to elicit confessions against themselves and others; this was probably the earliest instance of ecclesiastical sanction of this mode of examination.


Jamaal Zarabozo writes,


Could God Legislate Death for Apostasy?


Many Christians, in particular, seem abhorred by the fact that Muslims could believe that God has legislated death for apostasy. This author has personally heard Christians claim, once again, that Islam must be some barbaric religion to believe in such a penalty. This attitude is very perplexing to this author. It is one thing to say, “We no longer believe in such a law” and quite another to say, “We do not believe in a God that would legislate such a penalty.” In the former case, the individual is simply turning his back on what may have been part of his religion. Such an approach is common for modernist Jews, Christians and Muslims. However, the latter approach clearly denies what is stated in their holy books. (Unfortunately, this is also not uncommon for modernists. However, many less-extreme Jews, Christians and Muslims do not allow themselves to go that far.)

An in-depth study of all of the relevant Biblical texts is well beyond what is needed here. Hence, only one or two verses shall be commented upon.[12]

Exodus 22:20 reads, “He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed.” Famed and widely respected Biblical commentator Matthew Henry had the following to say about this verse:

IV. Idolatry is also made capital, v. 20. God having declared himself jealous in this matter, the civil powers must be jealous in it too, and utterly destroy those persons, families, and places of Israel, that worshipped any god, save the Lord: this law might have prevented the woeful apostasies of the Jewish nation in after times, if those that should have executed it had not been ringleaders in the breach of it.[13]

Numbers 25:1-5 reads:

1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. 2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 3 And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. 4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel. 5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baal-peor.

Another passage, Deuteronomy 13:6-11 is also quite telling:

6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; 7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; 8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: 9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 11 And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.

2 Chronicles 15:8-19 has the law being applied even to the young among the apostates. The relevant verses in that passage are verses 12-13 which read,

12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; 13 That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

From the New Testament, one finds in Romans 1:20-32 that Paul approves of the death of idolaters, homosexuals and other sinners. This passage reads,

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

The above examples should be sufficient. The interested reader may further consult Deuteronomy 13:12-18 and Deuteronomy 17: 1-7.

Actually, as is well-known, the history of the official Christian church and many of its leaders on issues of this nature is very dark indeed. One did not need to be an apostate to be killed in the history of Christianity. Apostasy is to be distinguished from heresy, as is clear in the following passage from the Encyclopedia Britannica,

[Apostasy is] the total rejection of Christianity by a baptized person who, having at one time professed the faith, publicly rejects it. It is distinguished from heresy, which is limited to the rejection of one or more Christian doctrines by one who maintains an overall adherence to Jesus Christ.

Two examples from the history of Christianity dealing simply with heretics—not apostates—should suffice here. The Cathars, a pacifist heretical group of southern France, were crushed. Pope Innocent III declared a crusade against them. Here is how two Christian authors described part of that crusade:

In 1209, Arnold Amaury, abbot of Citeaux, called for the collective slaughter of all Cathars in the town of Beziers. His motto, which has carried forth into modern expression, stated, "Kill them all, the Lord knows those who are his." Only a small minority of the town, perhaps five hundred, was made up of Cathars, but all the city paid the price for guilt by association. Twenty thousand were killed. Thus began the wholesale slaughter of thousands of Cathars in the thirteenth century.[14]

Non-Catholics, of course, may respond to the above by putting the blood of those deeds on the hands of the evil Catholics. However, one should not forget Martin Luther’s ruling concerning the Anabaptists, another pacifist heretical group who had the audacity to have themselves re-baptized when adults.[15] Martin Luther stated that such heretics are not to be tolerated and the only fitting punishment for them was hanging.[16]

This approach is in compelling contrast to the legacy of Islam. Not long after the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), the caliph Ali had to face the crisis of the heretical group known as the Khawarij. Although he sent people to preach to them to correct their misunderstandings, his approach was that they were not to be physically attacked by the state as long as they did not commit any acts of violence against the Muslims. The Khawarij did become violent, and it became necessary for Ali to fight and defeat them. Afterwards, he was asked about them. He was asked if they were polytheists, and Ali replied that they, by holding the beliefs they held, were attempting to flee from falling into polytheism. When he was asked if they were hypocrites, he replied that hypocrites rarely remember and mention Allah. Finally, they asked him, “What are they?” He replied, “They are our brethren who revolted against us and we fought them only due to their revolting against us.”[17]



In the conclusion of his article, he further writes,


Conclusion


It is beyond the scope of this article to touch upon all of the relevant points related to the question of the law of apostasy in Islam[25] in the light of contemporary thought and attitudes. However, the above has been sufficient to demonstrate that there does not seem to be any logical, historical or philosophical argument that proves that Islam’s law of apostasy is unacceptable or irrational, especially when applied within the strict confines of the principles of Islamic Law.

The belief in the Islamic law of apostasy stems from the Islamic belief in God, the Creator. It stems from the belief that God has the right to lay down laws for His creatures and that, in fact, He is the best in laying down such laws. This should be considered logical by anyone who believes in God. Even though it can be considered logical, this argument is repugnant to many of the West, even those who believe in God. However, this fact has more to do with the West’s unique history than with the logic of the argument being made. The West experienced a period in which many were killed in the name of God and they also experienced a period in which they realized that their scriptures are not truly from God, due to their manifest contradiction with science. Both of these facts led the West to move away from “God’s law” to man-made laws. One, though, cannot derive “universal principles” from the experience of this small portion of human beings. In fact, those phenomena have no relevance whatsoever to Islam.

Thus, there is no logical reason for a Muslim not to trust in Islam’s scripture, the Quran, as being a true revelation from God.

Hence, there is no reason for a Muslim to abandon God’s law.

Similarly, there is no reason for a Muslim to stop believing in the fact that the best lawgiver is God Himself.

Therefore, there is no logical reason for a Muslim to stop believing in the Islamic law of apostasy as explained by the Prophet of God, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).


Taken from: http://www.zeriislam.com/artikulli.php?id=921


Muslims do not feel the need to neglect their Scripture just because we live in a 'contemporary' society. Moreover, this 'contemporary' society is one in which Western governments have systematically designed and implemented a programme of abducting and torturing suspected individuals, before imprisoning them without due process. Capital punishment is very much a part of many societies today - the United States being among the countries with the most executions. So, Sojourn, you have a lot of things to think about here. You'd be far better off to question your own religion instead of attempting to sow doubts using ours.
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Pygoscelis
03-07-2016, 01:36 AM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
So @Pygoscelis's analogy about choosing to pretend or believe in a random mythical being is totally off the mark, as explained to him elsewhere.
You missed my point. I wasn't defining what faith is. I wasn't saying that people become religious by choosing to pretend or believe in random mythical beings. Indeed, I do not believe anybody can do that, at least not while remaining rational. My point is that you should not expect or demand it of those of us who do not believe that your Allah exists. We can't make ourselves believe Allah exists anymore than you could make yourself believe in random mythical beings.

I agree that most (if not all) who believe in Gods, including in Allah, do so because it makes sense to them and they have little choice BUT to believe because it is so evident to them. I do not doubt that you have your reasons, and that you find them convincing. Not all of us do, and I simply ask that religious folks recognize that. Too often they seem to presume we believe their Gods exist and we are in some sort of rebellion against these Gods, which in actuality, in our view, do not exist.

We don't believe and we can't simply make ourselves believe, even if we very much wanted to (and some do). Telling us that we "reject" God or that we "disobey" God makes no sense to us, and shows a lack of understanding of who we are and what we actually hold to be true.
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Sojourn
03-07-2016, 01:47 AM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
Greetings Sojourn,

We submit to whatever our Scripture teaches us, and indeed scholars do hold that the punishment for apostasy is not dependent on waging war etc. However, such a ruling needs to be understood together with its accompanying rulings, such as the need for an Islamic authority which will undertake the task of presenting the proof, clarifying the misconceptions and undertaking all the proper investigative procedures, without prejudice or injustice. In the establishment of this ruling, there is protection for the sanctity of religions as they are not to be toyed with, so that those who are manipulative and desire-driven do not obtain the means to advance their personally-motivated ambitions and objectives. Furthermore, in that which Allah has ordained, He has the perfect proof and argument, as well as the Ultimate Wisdom.

Many in the West have the understanding that 'faith' means to believe in something that one cannot prove. This is not the approach of Islam. In general, Muslims hold that there are very strong, rational reasons for them to believe in their religion. It is not simply a matter of blind faith. For example, the excellence of the Qur'an, its unquestionable historical authenticity and the numerous miracles related to it all point to this Book being a true revelation from God. So @Pygoscelis's analogy about choosing to pretend or believe in a random mythical being is totally off the mark, as explained to him elsewhere. Before a Muslim is asked to override something found in his religion, there had better be very strong evidence that something is mistaken or unacceptable in the religion of Islam.
Hello Muhammad,

I appreciate your candor in admitting that the execution of apostates under Islamic law does not require a physical act of treason such as waging war, but that the freely held conviction of a woman or man to leave Islam is itself sufficient to be executed. Many non-Muslims in the West find this particular Islamic ruling to be deeply disturbing because to kill a person for exercising their free will in what they believe contradicts humanist values like the inestimable dignity of the human person, the freedom of speech, and the freedom to practice one's own religion. Now there are controversial cases where even in the West actions are done against these values, including those you mentioned at the end of your post, and I find such cases disturbing as well. They are controversial and attacked not just by Muslims such as yourself but by non-Muslim Westerners as well. Whatever can be levied against the West and the United States in particular, in the end there is massive migration from predominantly Islamic countries towards secular countries in the West, which is the biggest argument for things not being that bad.

Until the 13th century torture was apparently not sanctioned by the canon law of the Christian church; about that time, however, the Roman treason law began to be adapted to heresy as crimen laesae majestatis Divinae (“crime of injury to Divine majesty”). Soon after the Inquisition was instituted, Pope Innocent IV, influenced by the revival of Roman law, issued a decree (in 1252) that called on civil magistrates to have persons accused of heresy tortured to elicit confessions against themselves and others; this was probably the earliest instance of ecclesiastical sanction of this mode of examination.
Torture is an abhorrent practice whenever it is used and certainly no modern Pope would approve of its use. It was however as you note permitted at a late point in Christendom to extract information when there was positive evidence that a suspect possesses knowledge they are withholding (e.g. several independent witnesses point to same neighbor knowing where heretics would gather.) To this extent I could see why a magistrate might mistakenly think it useful, but other than being immoral it also produces questionable data as people under torture are willing to say virtually anything. This is also why many are against the Military employing various modes of torture during interrogation.

The point though is that where we are now is not where we were a thousand years ago, and this is where we differ fundamentally. We do not believe in an ideal time period in the past that we are trying to return to. Nor do we believe that a Divine command for a specific act in Israel of 1,000 BC that was meant for that particular time and places, is some general command to be observed for all times and places. The fact is that times do change. Human collective psychology and sociology of today is not the same as it was in Israel of 1,000 BC. We don't stone fornicators or behead idol-worshipers. Thousands of years have past and at least in the West we learned that spilling blood over religious differences is not worth it. Religious tolerance is to be preferred and freedoms of speech and religion extolled. Society is developing and evolving. It's moving ever closer to the injunctions that Jesus uttered over two thousand years ago, which were ahead of its time then as they are now: To love your enemy and to pray for those who persecute you.
Reply

talibilm
03-07-2016, 03:30 AM
Originally Posted by Timi Scar
Apostacy is only accompanied by death when treason is also proven.

None of the four schools of thought have (to my knowledge) ignored the ayah of the Qur'an:

Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.

So far, apostacy does not result in death in Islam - except and unless the apostate has committed treason as well... in regards to what is defined as treason in this instance is something which may shed light on the issue.

Treason in this case would be an apostate causing social unrest by preaching his or her new religion or causing doubt in the hearts of the Muslims with his or her speech.

In such cases, the apostate is usually warned what his actions will result in - and after the third warning... punishment.

As we can see, the apostate must want death if he or she has been warned 3 times that their actions will result in it, and the apostate insists on their motivations despite being warned.

Scimi
Salams to All. And To All UF members here especially Bro Zeeshan and I have to declare that I am doubtful on my stance about '' immediate '' death rulings on Apostasy after seeing a proof from an incident during Caliph Umar Junior ( Rahmathullahi alaihi) since we can follow those rulings upto to the Tabe Tabieen since Prophet :saws: had guaranteed only up to 2 or 3rd generation through several Sahih hadiths . so i found this incident as a clearer direction in this matter which seems to support Bro Timi scar's view.

Blood Money (Ad-Diyat)
Bukhari :: Book 9 :: Volume 83 :: Hadith 37
Narrated Abu Qilaba:
Once 'Umar bin 'Abdul 'Aziz sat on his throne in the courtyard of his house so that the people might gather before him. Then he admitted them and (when they came in), he said, "What do you think of Al-Qasama?" They said, "We say that it is lawful to depend on Al-Qasama in Qisas, as the previous Muslim Caliphs carried out Qisas depending on it." Then he said to me, "O Abu Qilaba! What do you say about it?" He let me appear before the people and I said, "O Chief of the Believers! You have the chiefs of the army staff and the nobles of the Arabs. If fifty of them testified that a married man had committed illegal sexual intercourse in Damascus but they had not seen him (doing so), would you stone him?" He said, "No." I said, "If fifty of them testified that a man had committed theft in Hums, would you cut off his hand though they did not see him?" He replied, "No." I said, "By Allah, Allah's Apostle never killed anyone except in one of the following three situations: (1) A person who killed somebody unjustly, was killed (in Qisas,) (2) a married person who committed illegal sexual intercourse and (3) a man who fought against Allahand His Apostle and deserted Islam and became an apostate."

So this issues needs further careful deliberation by muftis taking into account the above hadith. Since we know
the last actions OR APPROVALS by our recognized Sahabas and Tabieens (if it does not go against the Noble Quran or hadith) will be an endorsement to the correct procedures in Islam. And from some incidents that happened during his reign and after his death we know Umar Junior was the caliph with glad tidings to jannah (allahul Aalam)
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Muhammad
03-07-2016, 07:12 PM
Greetings Pygoscelis,

Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
My point is that you should not expect or demand it of those of us who do not believe that your Allah exists. We can't make ourselves believe Allah exists anymore than you could make yourself believe in random mythical beings.
This is where my main contention lies, though. On the one hand you acknowledge that people of faith believe based upon reasons they find convincing, yet on the other you compare this to believing in random mythical beings. When we convey our faith to you, we are asking you to see those same evidences that we do. We are asking you to employ your faculties of intellect and reason. We are not asking you to make yourself believe something at random.

We don't believe and we can't simply make ourselves believe, even if we very much wanted to (and some do). Telling us that we "reject" God or that we "disobey" God makes no sense to us, and shows a lack of understanding of who we are and what we actually hold to be true.
In the hereafter, the disbelievers will blame themselves and regret not having heeded the warnings that came to them. What goes on in an individual's heart, only Allaah knows. We are required to convey the message and what He has told us, we believe.

It almost bursts up with fury. Every time a group is cast therein, its keeper will ask: "Did no warner come to you?"
They will say: "Yes, indeed a warner did come to us, but we belied him and said: 'Allah never sent down anything (of revelation); you are only in great error.'"
And they will say: "Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not have been among the dwellers of the blazing Fire!"
[Qur'an 67:8-10]
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Abz2000
03-07-2016, 07:35 PM
Originally Posted by Milton
How has the message reached me ? I have never seen or heard anything that leads me to believe in Islam. I live a happy, relaxed and good life, when I do good for others its because I choose to, not to gain points for the next life, I get my rewards in this life, its a beautiful day today, and the snowdrops and daffodils are coming up, in my garden. I will take this life thanks, and you can have worry about the next.

Here you go,
http://www.islam101.com/quran/yusufAli/
That's the best i have other than good sense, additional knowledge, history, current events etc, hope it reaches you in good condition, but bear in mind that it is a translation/interpretation in your mother tongue, hope you read it and use sincerity and good sense with honesty to yourself with the intellIgence and other knowledge God has granted to you.

Just curious....do you work as a volunteer out of the goodness of your heart or do you get paid at work?
If I you get paid, do you work only for money or do you choose your field of work rationally and feel good about your job and paycheck?
Also are you aware of the motivation center in the brain which only interprets based on reward and punishment/ benefit and loss and releases dopamine accordingly? It's somewhere in the frontal region of the head and I know animals have it too but God gave it to humans for a good reason.
As humans we sometimes feel inclined to the quick rush but then there's rationality and much sorting and filing to be done, otherwise it would just be soma, alcohol, porn, masturbation and magic mushrooms.

If there was no positive motivation, we would come across a stumbling block somewhere down the line depending on how steep it is, as Muslims we usually feel the motivation to persevere 'til the end, probably a reason why most nations lacking a strong Islamic presence have fallen to userer domination, and why there was a phenomenally higher percentage of non-Muslims working for the east india company and british government during the colonization period of india than Muslims, and why Muslims in Indian congress were stronger in their convictions and more unwilling to compromise with injustice than non-Muslims were despite the awesome and unjust terror they faced - before the were separated and managed individually of course.
Muslims don't take the bait as easily, we have a strong source of motivation......no wonder the criminals hate jihadis and find the to be uncompromising in ideals.
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Pygoscelis
03-07-2016, 07:41 PM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
This is where my main contention lies, though. On the one hand you acknowledge that people of faith believe based upon reasons they find convincing, yet on the other you compare this to believing in random mythical beings. When we convey our faith to you, we are asking you to see those same evidences that we do. We are asking you to employ your faculties of intellect and reason. We are not asking you to make yourself believe something at random.
Most of us atheists live in societies dominated by religion and belief in the supernatural and Gods. We have heard the arguments and seen the purported evidences and found them unconvincing, landing them on even footing with other beings we do not believe exist. In our minds they land on equal footing other mythical beings, and the only big difference is the number of people who believe them to exist. At that point believing in the one would be just like believing in the other. It would have to be by pure willpower. I say that not to offend you, but to clarify that we really truly don't believe, and that this should be recognized... and it isn't recognized when we hear things like how we "refuse" or "reject" or "disobey" a being we don't believe exists.


In the hereafter, the disbelievers will blame themselves and regret not having heeded the warnings that came to them.
If I'm wrong, and you are right, and I'm not seeing what you see, I would have to judge myself in the afterlife as having been unperceptive and blind... but not intentionally so or in any way rebellious or deceptive. No more than if the ancient Greeks or Romans were right and Poseidon (who many believed in) sank my ship at sea with a Kraken for failing to properly honour him. I would have no excuse that I hadn't heard people speak about him and what he wanted of me... but I never believed it to be real.
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Abz2000
03-07-2016, 07:54 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
YMost of us atheists live in societies dominated by religion and belief in the supernatural and Gods. We have heard the arguments and seen the purported evidences and found them unconvincing, landing them on even footing with other beings we do not believe exist. In our minds they land on equal footing other mythical beings, and the only big difference is the number of people who believe them to exist. At that point believing in the one would be just like believing in the other. It would have to be by pure willpower. I say that not to offend you, but to clarify that we really truly don't believe, and that this should be recognized... and it isn't recognized when we hear things like how we "refuse" or "reject" or "disobey" a being we don't believe exists.



If I'm wrong, and you are right, and I'm not seeing what you see, I would have to judge myself in the afterlife as having been unperceptive and blind... but not intentionally so or in any way rebellious or deceptive. No more than if the ancient Greeks or Romans were right and Poseidon (who many believed in) sank my ship at sea with a Kraken for failing to properly honour him. I would have no excuse that I hadn't heard people speak about him and what he wanted of me... but I never believed it to be real.
What if i live in America and say i don't believe Obama to be real unless i personally meet him, would i have to abide by his laws and be exempt from taxes or would he have to meet in person each and every individual who made the claim? What? With photoshop, after effects, april fools and fake broadcasts and newspapers pushing wmd hoaxes?
Boy, God is probably gonna send yous a squad like like you sent to the branch davidians.
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Pygoscelis
03-07-2016, 08:45 PM
Originally Posted by Abz2000
What if i live in America and say i don't believe Obama to be real unless i personally meet him, would i have to abide by his laws and be exempt from taxes or would he have to meet in person each and every individual who made the claim? What? With photoshop, after effects, april fools and fake broadcasts and newspapers pushing wmd hoaxes?
Boy, God is probably gonna send yous a squad like like you sent to the branch davidians.
If you didn't believe Obama existed, and was some kind of hoax, I'm not sure what I would say to you. You would still have a government and laws existing in the USA even if somebody else was really the president. If you further believed that government did not exist, I imagine it would be a difficult belief to maintain, as you'd be interacting with government on a regular basis, and this is flesh and bone people, not an incorporeal being that is said to exist via hundreds year old prophets and books. But if you somehow did believe government didn't exist, you probably wouldn't see any reason to follow the laws. You would probably eventually be arrested despite your lack of belief... and you would probably be sent to a mental hospital for help... but that wouldn't make your lack of belief any less genuine.

Is that how you see us atheists? As mentally ill? Like Richard Dawkins seeing you as having a "God Delusion" but the other way around? If so, then at least you recognize our genuine lack of belief in your God, and can stop saying things like we "reject" or "rebel" or "disobey" him.

Oh, and I haven't sent a squad to the branch davidians, or anywhere else. I don't have a squad to send. I'm not a government official in the USA. I'm not from the USA at all. I am Canadian. But, you already knew that.
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Abz2000
03-07-2016, 09:14 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
If you didn't believe Obama existed, and was some kind of hoax, I'm not sure what I would say to you. You would still have a government and laws existing in the USA even if somebody else was really the president. If you further believed that government did not exist, I imagine it would be a difficult belief to maintain, as you'd be interacting with government on a regular basis, and this is flesh and bone people, not an incorporeal being that is said to exist via hundreds year old prophets and books. But if you somehow did believe government didn't exist, you probably wouldn't see any reason to follow the laws. You would probably eventually be arrested despite your lack of belief... and you would probably be sent to a mental hospital for help... but that wouldn't make your lack of belief any less genuine.

Is that how you see us atheists? As mentally ill? Like Richard Dawkins seeing you as having a "God Delusion" but the other way around? If so, then at least you recognize our genuine lack of belief in your God, and can stop saying things like we "reject" or "rebel" or "disobey" him.

Oh, and I haven't sent a squad to the branch davidians, or anywhere else. I don't have a squad to send. I'm not a government official in the USA. I'm not from the USA at all. I am Canadian. But, you already knew that.
Thank you, i take it you spoke on behalf of atheists and non-Muslims and therefore accept your judgements as they fall in line with the truth, if there is evidence of God which non-Muslims are hiding, and there exists a flesh and bone person to confirm it and you still deny and reject, you should probably admit yourself to a mental hospital until your madness dissipates or you will probably be severely punished.
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The-Deist
03-07-2016, 09:16 PM
How did this go from the punishment of an apostate to belief of God.

You can make a separate thread for that.
Reply

Muhammad
03-07-2016, 09:45 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Most of us atheists live in societies dominated by religion and belief in the supernatural and Gods. We have heard the arguments and seen the purported evidences and found them unconvincing, landing them on even footing with other beings we do not believe exist. In our minds they land on equal footing other mythical beings, and the only big difference is the number of people who believe them to exist. At that point believing in the one would be just like believing in the other. It would have to be by pure willpower. I say that not to offend you, but to clarify that we really truly don't believe, and that this should be recognized... and it isn't recognized when we hear things like how we "refuse" or "reject" or "disobey" a being we don't believe exists.
We have to be honest; it is one thing to find an argument unconvincing, but it is another to see all religions on equal footing. As an example, you mentioned Poseidon, a figure from Greek mythology. According to this mythology, he was believed to be the brother of Zeus and Hades. After the overthrow of their father, he drew lots with them to share the universe and that's how he ended up becoming 'god' of the sea. He married the granddaughter of another 'god'. He was considered by Greeks to have a difficult quarrelsome personality. Combined with his greed, he had a series of disputes with other 'gods' during his various attempts to take over the cities they were patrons of. Already we can see numerous problems with this belief - gods being likened to human beings, imperfect and having to fight for power. When you compare that (or any religion) to Islam, you'll find an instant difference. In Islam, there is only One God, alone deserving our worship. There is nothing like Him. There are no sharers of His exclusive Divinity. He is free from any need or imperfection. There is no movement or power except by His Will. This pure, simple yet powerful creed resonates with the human intellect and stands out very clearly above the rest.

This message of monotheism was brought by every Prophet to his nation, which had the choice of either accepting or rejecting it. Likewise, if we bring this message to you and you choose not to accept it, are you not then rejecting it?

If I'm wrong, and you are right, and I'm not seeing what you see, I would have to judge myself in the afterlife as having been unperceptive and blind... but not intentionally so or in any way rebellious or deceptive.
I hope you will judge yourself much sooner, whilst you can take the right action!
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Pygoscelis
03-07-2016, 11:45 PM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
This message of monotheism was brought by every Prophet to his nation, which had the choice of either accepting or rejecting it. Likewise, if we bring this message to you and you choose not to accept it, are you not then rejecting it?
Not in the sense that "reject" is often meant. I'm rejecting the claim, as I find it untrue, and that isn't a conscious act on my part. I can not make myself believe what I don't or find evidence convincing to me when it isn't. I am rejecting the truth claim being made that Allah exists. I am not rejecting Allah himself or disobeying him. It would be impossible to reject a being I don't believe exists. It would be like saying you reject Poseidon. Yes, I know that you think you have better reasons to believe Allah is real than Poseidon is real, but I simply don't.

I don't ask you to agree with me or even see me as rational in my lack of belief in your God. I ask only that you don't seek to tell me what I do and do not actually believe.
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najimuddin
03-08-2016, 12:58 AM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Not in the sense that "reject" is often meant. I'm rejecting the claim, as I find it untrue, and that isn't a conscious act on my part. I can not make myself believe what I don't or find evidence convincing to me when it isn't. I am rejecting the truth claim being made that Allah exists. I am not rejecting Allah himself or disobeying him. It would be impossible to reject a being I don't believe exists. It would be like saying you reject Poseidon. Yes, I know that you think you have better reasons to believe Allah is real than Poseidon is real, but I simply don't.

I don't ask you to agree with me or even see me as rational in my lack of belief in your God. I ask only that you don't seek to tell me what I do and do not actually believe.
Hi Pygo,

Would you be open to the possibility that there may be some objective, observable, and measurable evidence supporting the Islamic claim that you have not been exposed to?
Reply

Pygoscelis
03-08-2016, 05:37 AM
Originally Posted by najimuddin
Hi Pygo,

Would you be open to the possibility that there may be some objective, observable, and measurable evidence supporting the Islamic claim that you have not been exposed to?
Yes, sure. I could be wrong. I am not infallible or all knowing. Allah could exist. Poseidon could exist. So could the Aztek Gods, but I would be rather shocked.
Reply

Zafran
03-08-2016, 05:50 AM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Yes, sure. I could be wrong. I am not infallible or all knowing. Allah could exist. Poseidon could exist. So could the Aztek Gods, but I would be rather shocked.
How Posiedien has never sent a messenger, or a proof? neither has the Aztec God or the Ancient Egtyptian pantheons or the Nordaic Gods??
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Muhammad
03-08-2016, 12:09 PM
Greetings Pygoscelis,

Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
It would be like saying you reject Poseidon. Yes, I know that you think you have better reasons to believe Allah is real than Poseidon is real, but I simply don't.
Again, I find it puzzling you claim not to see a difference between a belief attributing lowly, illogical attributes to their god(s), influenced by their own ideas and perceptions, and a pure monotheistic belief in which God is free from all imperfection and human limitation. As Zafran said above, did Poseidon send a Messenger, and do we have a Scripture surviving today that nobody has been able to challenge or fault? The two examples are not the same, for multiple reasons. When you tell us that the evidence is not convincing to you and then bring the example of incomparable theologies, it suggests an unfair and indeed incorrect analysis.
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Muhammad
03-08-2016, 12:13 PM
Originally Posted by StrivingforDeen
How did this go from the punishment of an apostate to belief of God.
If belief in God is established, everything else will fall into place, including the law of apostasy. That's why it's better to start from the beginning and work on that first.
Reply

Pygoscelis
03-08-2016, 02:47 PM
Originally Posted by StrivingforDeen
How did this go from the punishment of an apostate to belief of God.

You can make a separate thread for that.
I agree. I had no intention of turning this thread into one about atheism. Ever since the comparison religion section was closed long ago I have tried to not make any case for atheism or any other religion. This board is basically your platform to push Islam on the internet, like an e-mosque, and I try to respect that. As one of the longest standing atheist members of this board, I now try to only interject when something incorrect is said about atheism, as it was above. But it is hard not to resist reacting to direct questions or or accusations...

Originally Posted by Muhammad
Again, I find it puzzling you claim not to see a difference between a belief attributing lowly, illogical attributes to their god(s), influenced by their own ideas and perceptions, and a pure monotheistic belief in which God is free from all imperfection and human limitation. As Zafran said above, did Poseidon send a Messenger, and do we have a Scripture surviving today that nobody has been able to challenge or fault? The two examples are not the same, for multiple reasons. When you tell us that the evidence is not convincing to you and then bring the example of incomparable theologies, it suggests an unfair and indeed incorrect analysis.
Again with the "claim not to see a difference". Why are you unable to accept that my lack of belief is genuine? Would it not offend you if I insisted that you are an in the closet atheist who only goes along with Islam because of societal and family pressure? I know atheists who think that about all religious people, because they find it so hard to imagine that people could actually believe what religious people say that they do. Would you not seek to correct such people? But you really genuinely do believe in Allah, right? And to insist to you otherwise wouldn't be right.

As for the rest of what you write above.... I am trying to resist responding out of respect for the board, but since you open the door... you say that a God created the universe and that he and a book you say is from him are flawless. I find a deist God implausible. I find a perfect monotheist flawless God that intercedes in human affairs and says a particular thing even less plausible. I don't find that consistent with the world I see around me, or the science I know about the known universe. Flawed limited Gods in competition with one another would make more sense to me, not less, but I don't find that plausible either.

You say the Quran is a perfect communication from God, but I would disagree. If it was, I would expect that everybody who ever read it would be Muslim. And in fact if the God is all powerful, there would be no need for a written text, and we would simply all know he is there and what he expects of us. That we don't, looks to me like pretty good evidence against your claim. Maybe that is why you have this strong need to believe that we all believe as you do and that we pretend no to? Come to think of it, that makes some sense to me now. Thank You.
Reply

Muhammad
03-08-2016, 03:08 PM
Greetings Sojourn,

Originally Posted by Sojourn
Many non-Muslims in the West find this particular Islamic ruling to be deeply disturbing because to kill a person for exercising their free will in what they believe contradicts humanist values like the inestimable dignity of the human person, the freedom of speech, and the freedom to practice one's own religion.
Using culture or personal opinions and feelings as a standard to critique a law is very flimsy because it is not based on an objective standard, rather a subjective emotional one. As Jamaal Zarabozo put it, 'the above has been sufficient to demonstrate that there does not seem to be any logical, historical or philosophical argument that proves that Islam’s law of apostasy is unacceptable or irrational, especially when applied within the strict confines of the principles of Islamic Law.'

It is important to note that we don't live in a world of absolute freedom. Whichever country you go to, you must follow the law of that place. Regardless of whether you agree with the law or not, you don't have a choice but to follow it. In numerous countries, it is a crime to deny the holocaust. There are laws against hate speech and racial vilification. In some places, it is a crime simply to wear the face veil. Certain crimes such as treason warrant death in places like the US. If inestimable dignity and freedom of speech is your concern, this is a much wider discussion than the law of apostasy.

Whatever can be levied against the West and the United States in particular, in the end there is massive migration from predominantly Islamic countries towards secular countries in the West, which is the biggest argument for things not being that bad.
This is irrelevant. The reasons for mass migration are more to do with finding better living standards and fleeing war-torn regions. It does not mean we can now turn a blind eye to the war crimes and restrictions imposed by these western countries, or the harassment of people that goes on there.

Torture is an abhorrent practice whenever it is used and certainly no modern Pope would approve of its use. It was however as you note permitted at a late point in Christendom to extract information when there was positive evidence that a suspect possesses knowledge they are withholding
Thank you for clarifying. I’m sure you’ll agree there’s a big difference between saying the punishment was merely ‘loss of civil rights’ and that torture was permitted. However, we should realise that in the early days of Christianity, during which the nature of God was being debated, the ongoing disagreements were at times violent and bloody. Of the aftermath of the Council of Nicaea, noted historian Will Durant writes, “Probably more Christians were slaughtered by Christians in these two years (342-3) than by all the persecutions of Christians by pagans in the history of Rome” ( The Story of Civilization, Vol. 4: The Age of Faith, 1950, p. 8). While claiming to be Christian many of them fought and slaughtered one another, considering the others to be heretics. Even much later, for some years after the Reformation, Protestant churches were known to execute those they considered heretics, including Catholics.

The point though is that where we are now is not where we were a thousand years ago, and this is where we differ fundamentally. We do not believe in an ideal time period in the past that we are trying to return to. Nor do we believe that a Divine command for a specific act in Israel of 1,000 BC that was meant for that particular time and places, is some general command to be observed for all times and places. The fact is that times do change.
This is indeed a fundamental difference between Islam and other religions. The teachings that were revealed to Moses, Jesus and the other Prophets, upon them be peace, were for their respective peoples. But as Prophet Muhammad :saws: was the Final Messenger, the teachings were for his people until the end of time. That is why we have the Qur’an in its original form today, a miracle for all to appreciate. Allaah :swt: has legislated a perfect Law that is for all times and places. A Law that is for the betterment of the individual and society. A Law that covers all aspects of life, whether personal, familial life, societal roles, financial transactions, political dealings and more.

The fact that times change does not mean that our Creator who legislated our Law had no knowledge of this. All of His Commands are based upon perfect knowledge and wisdom and for our own benefit. Thus, we have no reason to reject, change or hide any of them. It is also important to appreciate that Islam allows flexibility and concession where the situation calls for it.

Religious tolerance is to be preferred and freedoms of speech and religion extolled. Society is developing and evolving. It's moving ever closer to the injunctions that Jesus uttered over two thousand years ago, which were ahead of its time then as they are now: To love your enemy and to pray for those who persecute you.
But is this the reality though? Augustine justified violence if the motive behind the violence was ‘love’ for the person or persons who needed to be restrained or punished. He cited biblical texts, notably Luke 14:16-23, to justify the use of compulsion. It seems, according to Christians, loving one’s enemy can even amount to killing him.
Reply

Muhammad
03-09-2016, 03:12 PM
Greetings Pygoscelis,

Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Again with the "claim not to see a difference". Why are you unable to accept that my lack of belief is genuine? Would it not offend you if I insisted that you are an in the closet atheist who only goes along with Islam because of societal and family pressure?
I have refrained from making judgement on the genuineness of your lack of belief. The issue I am having difficulty understanding is why you repeatedly misrepresent the position of those who believe. As I said earlier, 'on the one hand you acknowledge that people of faith believe based upon reasons they find convincing, yet on the other you compare this to believing in random mythical beings. When we convey our faith to you, we are asking you to see those same evidences that we do. We are asking you to employ your faculties of intellect and reason. We are not asking you to make yourself believe something at random.'

you say that a God created the universe and that he and a book you say is from him are flawless. I find a deist God implausible.

I find a perfect monotheist flawless God that intercedes in human affairs and says a particular thing even less plausible. I don't find that consistent with the world I see around me, or the science I know about the known universe. Flawed limited Gods in competition with one another would make more sense to me, not less, but I don't find that plausible either.
Starting from the bottom... flawed, limited 'gods' go against a logical concept of God. In the Qur'an, we are repeatedly called to reflect upon the creation around us and how the interrelation between matters is evidence for our Creator's Oneness. By considering the cosmos and the world around us; the amazing interaction between the earth, sun, moon and stars to effect day and night for work and rest; the harmony of interconnecting ecological cycles and chains, all the way from cells to systems, provisions that grow on the earth or come down from the sky; how all the necessary proportions are maintained such that man's existence is neither endangered nor impossible... rational thinking points to an omnipotent, independent, transcendent, unique, powerful, wise and perfect Creator.

Flawed beings who are subject to the same processes that God created, beings who have the need for eating, sleeping and excreting, are not gods. God sustains us but does not Himself require the very sustenance He created. Moreover, reason necessitates that if there were more than one creator who created the universe it would be in chaos. There would also not be the level of order we find in the cosmos. The Qur’an has a similar argument,

Had there been within the heavens and earth gods besides Allah, they both would have been ruined. So exalted is Allah, Lord of the Throne, above what they describe. [21:22]

Next, God cannot be deist because out of His Perfection He is All-Merciful and Wise. His Mercy would lead Him to make Himself known to His creatures and provide guidance for their success. His Wisdom would also cause Him to make Himself known because this would give purpose to His creation as without knowledge of Him their existence would be all-material and therefore ultimately purposeless and in vain. Out of His Justice humans would not be left neglected without any accountability for their actions.

Then did you think that We created you uselessly and that to Us you would not be returned?" [Qur'an 23:115]

You say the Quran is a perfect communication from God, but I would disagree. If it was, I would expect that everybody who ever read it would be Muslim. And in fact if the God is all powerful, there would be no need for a written text, and we would simply all know he is there and what he expects of us. That we don't, looks to me like pretty good evidence against your claim. Maybe that is why you have this strong need to believe that we all believe as you do and that we pretend no to? Come to think of it, that makes some sense to me now. Thank You.
If God appeared before us, there would be no test and no need for the existence of this world. We might as well all be living in heaven. But we have been created for a purpose and we are required to strive. Those who are sincere and receptive to guidance shall receive it. God has made this easy by repeatedly sending Prophets and Messengers with Scriptures, proofs and miracles supporting their message. In addition, He has created us with a predisposition to believe in Him alone.

The fact that not everyone becomes Muslim after reading or hearing the Qur'an has no bearing. Esteemed members of the Quraysh who were respected for their eloquence and mastery of poetry and rhetoric recognised the superior quality of the Qur'an, yet they invented accusations such as calling it a type of magic, out of pride or fear that their people would convert. Even the Orientalists of today recognise the beauty and eloquence of the Qur'an yet they concoct explanations that echo the same desperation of their predecessors. The Qur'an itself discusses the effects it has on its listeners. For the disbelievers, it causes them despair and increases their arrogance. As for the believers, it increases them in faith and they are transformed by it. The Qur'an never changes; it is hearts that are different.

Pygoscelis, you may not find our reasons for believing in Islam convincing. You are responsible for your own choices and we will ultimately receive what our actions merit. All that I am asking is that you adopt a fair and honest approach in your appraisal of our beliefs. The above is just a brief insight into the logical reasoning, reviewing of evidences and thorough research involved for Muslims. We want you to do the same. This can in no way whatsoever be compared to the approach you described earlier: 'Think of any mythical being that you don't believe in, and see if you can make yourself believe it exists'. The call to truth involves much more than that.
Reply

Pygoscelis
03-09-2016, 07:07 PM
Greetings Muhammad,

I have been trying not to give reasons for my lack of belief, out of respect for the forum, but you are making points and accusations that deserve a response.

Next, God cannot be deist because out of His Perfection He is All-Merciful and Wise.
So you say. Everything from earthquakes and tornadoes to young children dying from disease to 99% of the known universe being completely hostile to life make me think otherwise. If there is/are God(s), I can't bring myself to believe that he/she/it/they is/are all powerful, all just, or all benevolent to humans or life in general.

If God appeared before us, there would be no test and no need for the existence of this world.
This is where it gets really interesting to me. If God had us all know that he exists, and had us all know everything else he wishes us to know, such as what he wants and expects from us, etc (and he wouldn't need prophets or books to do that if he is all powerful - he could just make it so), are you are saying that would eliminate the "test" (which I see no reason for, but that's another matter) and render our existence pointless? Are you saying that the test is to see if we can figure out the mystery about him and what he wants? Does he intend or allows all of the strife and confusion from competing and warring religions, so he can reward those who get the right answer? Is the test about solving the mystery and not about behaving well or obeying /rebelling once we do know what he wants of us?

Those who are sincere and receptive to guidance shall receive it.
Christians have been saying this to me most of my life. I accept that both you and they are genuine in your belief that those of us who seek shall be guided to the Truth, but you and they (and earnest people from other religions) have such very different answers and what that is, and that makes me take great pause. Are your answers right and theirs wrong, and if they would only honestly genuinely seek guidance, they would be Muslims like you? Do you insist on their dishonesty when they tell you that they have spent their lives genuinely seeking such guidance? Do you insist on my dishonestly when I tell you that I have genuinely sought such guidance and have come to the conclusion that there is very likely no such supernatural guide? It seems implied.

God has made this easy by repeatedly sending Prophets and Messengers with Scriptures, proofs and miracles supporting their message. In addition, He has created us with a predisposition to believe in Him alone.
I have no such predisposition to believe in him and him alone. So again, you have to conclude that I am dishonest when I say that, don't you? That may work for you to explain me away and keep your faith strong, but it certainly does nothing for me, as I know I am telling the truth.

The fact that Gods have sent human messengers... or rather the fact that people have claimed to be human messengers for Gods... is a point of evidence that doesn't look the same to me as it does to you. I would presume that an all powerful God could certainly make me know whatever I was intended to know, and that an all powerful God would not be restricted to written word, human language, or human messengers, prone to all of the faults therein. When you show me text purporting to be from God or a person claiming to speak for God, my skeptical radar immediately goes off and I immediately have to wonder why this purported all powerful God can't speak for himself, or chooses not to; creating all of the confusion of competing religions.

For the disbelievers, it causes them despair and increases their arrogance.
Reading holy texts I don't believe in neither causes me great despair nor increases my arrogance. That goes for the Quran as much as it does the Egyptian book of the Dead or the Tao Te Ching or the Book of Mormon. These books can be fascinating from a sociology and cultural standpoint, and I have collected many of them over the years, but they don't particularly alarm me in any way. Again, do you feel the need to find me dishonest in saying that? You may be reading despair and arrogance into my words right now. I submit that you are likely to do so no matter what I say or how I say it, and you would reach that same conclusion, because you go in needing to believe that. I have walked on eggshells in this forum and other religion based forums for years, carefully measuring my words so not to give offence, and invariably somebody will be offended.

All that I am asking is that you adopt a fair and honest approach in your appraisal of our beliefs.
I have.

This can in no way whatsoever be compared to the approach you described earlier: 'Think of any mythical being that you don't believe in, and see if you can make yourself believe it exists'. The call to truth involves much more than that.
Again, you missed my point in quoting that. My point was that you can not make yourself believe something that you see no reason to believe. I know that you find your reasons for believing in your God to be convincing, and I can see that you are confused as to why I don't find them remotely convincing. That is fine. That means you have a strong faith. All I ask is that you recognize that I don't find them at all convincing, and that I am not dishonest in saying that. I may be asking too much, as your posts above show that projecting particular beliefs, reactions, and traits on non-believers may be a basic requirement of your belief system.
Reply

MuslimInshallah
03-09-2016, 11:33 PM
Greetings Pygoscelis,

(smile) I've been reading this thread for a few days. And I wanted to say thank you for your self-restraint and your candour. As you have said, this is not easy for you to discuss.

(pensively) You know, I think you are somewhat correct when you feel that perhaps some people call you to their faith, because it might benefit them in some way- such as to shore up their own weak faith, or carve a notch on their belt for a revert (with bragging rights) or for some other benefit. I have seen such people. However, you know, there can be other motivations, too. Perhaps a person might call to you faith because they feel so good, they'd like you to share in such joy? Or perhaps they care about you, and worry that you might be harming yourself through your lack of connection with God?

(gently) Personally, I think you are a decent and good person, and I like you. And it pains me to think that you might die with a heart too tightly wrapped and bound to be able to connect with God. And that would be terrible, because then you would be so completely alone, not able to receive any of God's Beautiful Gifts (Love, Compassion, Kindness, Forgiveness, Strength...). And that, truly, would be Hell.

When we say that all humans are born Muslim, that means that we all are born in harmony with God's Will. As is all the rest of Creation- animals, plants, rocks... everything. (smile) All creation is sacred, because it echoes with God's Will. (smile) Including you.

But humans have the capacity to chose other than God's Will. (smile) And as we grow up, we become more and more able to make those choices. (smile) It doesn't mean that we wake from the wonder and awe of childhood one day and say: I reject God, because na! I think what happens is that as we grow into our capacity for choice, we can start making little choices that gradually cover over our hearts, mute our innate connection to God. (smile) There are a myriad of choices that can gradually mute our hearts. So gradually, that we might hardly notice, until one day we say to ourselves: there is no connection. And we may even forget that we ever had one.

(sigh) And then the wonders of Creation seem like flat fizzy water, the Qur'an holds no Guidance, and belief in anything more than the whirl of this life seems impossible.

(pensively) So what to suggest?

(gently) You may think this presumptuous of me. But might I request that you try something? (hesitantly) Something that perhaps will seem foolish and embarrassing, but that is private and respects your dignity (I hope)?

(pensively) You know, in the city, there is too much noise and bustle, and creation is stripped to such a degree that it is hard to sense the sacred in it. But perhaps one day, you could go out into the woods (smile. It's excellent exercise, and soothing psychologically, too)? Perhaps you could walk for a while, just yourself, and drink in the beauty and quiet around you. And then, when you feel most at peace and balance within yourself, you could call out within yourself, with your whole Self: Please Creator, Help me to feel You!

(twinkle) And perhaps you may have other thoughts. Like: I can't believe I'm doing this because some anonymous woman asked me to do so on the internet! Or: I feel like such an idiot... of course no one will reply to this! (quietly) But could you try this? Please?

(quietly) You don't have to ever tell anyone if you do. Not even myself. It would just be a quiet thing between you and... whatever might possibly exist that you are not aware of. (softly) Just the tiniest spark of an attempt to connect with God.

(smile) Even if it is only to humour an anonymous woman on the internet.


May the One Who Creates, Protect and Nourish you.
Reply

Muhammad
03-10-2016, 12:33 AM
Greetings Pygoscelis,

Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
I have been trying not to give reasons for my lack of belief, out of respect for the forum, but you are making points and accusations that deserve a response.
I would have thought, if respect is holding you back, you wouldn't have made a statement about random mythical beings in the first place.

So you say. Everything from earthquakes and tornadoes to young children dying from disease to 99% of the known universe being completely hostile to life make me think otherwise. If there is/are God(s), I can't bring myself to believe that he/she/it/they is/are all powerful, all just, or all benevolent to humans or life in general.
That's because this is a superficial way to look at it. Pain, suffering and trial are sometimes needed to bring about a greater good. Sometimes a diseased limb needs to be removed to save the whole body. A response to the atheistic claim of the problem of evil can be found here:
http://www.islamicboard.com/clarific...onse-evil.html

This is where it gets really interesting to me. If God had us all know that he exists, and had us all know everything else he wishes us to know, such as what he wants and expects from us, etc (and he wouldn't need prophets or books to do that if he is all powerful - he could just make it so), are you are saying that would eliminate the "test" (which I see no reason for, but that's another matter) and render our existence pointless? Are you saying that the test is to see if we can figure out the mystery about him and what he wants? Does he intend or allows all of the strife and confusion from competing and warring religions, so he can reward those who get the right answer? Is the test about solving the mystery and not about behaving well or obeying /rebelling once we do know what he wants of us?
And if their evasion is difficult for you, then if you are able to seek a tunnel into the earth or a stairway into the sky to bring them a sign, [then do so]. But if Allah had willed, He would have united them upon guidance. So never be of the ignorant. [Qur'an 6:35]

There need not be any mystery or confusion. God directed us to believe in Him by means of the various signs around us and within us. He told us He has created the heavens and the earth, life and death, for the purpose of testing man. Whoever obeys Him, He will reward him, and whoever disobeys Him, He will punish him. The real mystery is what will people believe and follow if they reject what is clear and what resonates with the natural disposition and human intellect.

The fact that He sent Messengers and Scriptures for our guidance does not suggest a problem with power. For instance, how many times has the Prime Minister visited your house personally to tell you what is required of you? Yet I doubt you felt the need to criticise his power as a result of that.

Christians have been saying this to me most of my life. I accept that both you and they are genuine in your belief that those of us who seek shall be guided to the Truth, but you and they (and earnest people from other religions) have such very different answers and what that is, and that makes me take great pause. Are your answers right and theirs wrong, and if they would only honestly genuinely seek guidance, they would be Muslims like you? Do you insist on their dishonesty when they tell you that they have spent their lives genuinely seeking such guidance? Do you insist on my dishonestly when I tell you that I have genuinely sought such guidance and have come to the conclusion that there is very likely no such supernatural guide? It seems implied.
The judgement of dishonesty in an individual's heart is for God. Our task is simply to convey the message. And the truth is a Straight Path. In comparing religions, it is possible to discern truth from falsehood - the monotheism emphasised in Islam is a stark contrast to the Trinitarian concept of Christianity. You may have noticed the numerous converts from Christianity on this forum and the recurring theme of Christian creed not making any sense to them.

I have no such predisposition to believe in him and him alone.
It is possible for a person's predisposition to become corrupted. The Prophet :saws: said: “Every child is born in a state of fitrah (the natural state of man, i.e., Islam), then his parents make him into a Jew or a Christian or a Magian.”

The fact that Gods have sent human messengers... or rather the fact that people have claimed to be human messengers for Gods... is a point of evidence that doesn't look the same to me as it does to you. I would presume that an all powerful God could certainly make me know whatever I was intended to know, and that an all powerful God would not be restricted to written word, human language, or human messengers, prone to all of the faults therein. When you show me text purporting to be from God or a person claiming to speak for God, my skeptical radar immediately goes off and I immediately have to wonder why this purported all powerful God can't speak for himself, or chooses not to; creating all of the confusion of competing religions.
Instead of making our own demands, is it not wise to at least examine the proof and message that He has sent? On the one hand you complain about confusion, yet on the other you make excuses for not even wanting to receive guidance. The Qur'an is the Words of Allaah, so I'm not sure why you say He 'can't speak for himself'.

Reading holy texts I don't believe in neither causes me great despair nor increases my arrogance. That goes for the Quran as much as it does the Egyptian book of the Dead or the Tao Te Ching or the Book of Mormon. These books can be fascinating from a sociology and cultural standpoint, and I have collected many of them over the years, but they don't particularly alarm me in any way. Again, do you feel the need to find me dishonest in saying that? You may be reading despair and arrogance into my words right now. I submit that you are likely to do so no matter what I say or how I say it, and you would reach that same conclusion, because you go in needing to believe that. I have walked on eggshells in this forum and other religion based forums for years, carefully measuring my words so not to give offence, and invariably somebody will be offended.
The point is not whether you feel despair or arrogance. The point being made was that it is expected not everyone will believe in the Qur'an. It's rather strange you keep iterating what I 'need' to believe, yet become uptight any time someone says you 'refuse' or 'reject' the message of Islam.

I have.
The more this discussion is transpiring, the more difficult I find that to believe.

Again, you missed my point in quoting that. My point was that you can not make yourself believe something that you see no reason to believe. I know that you find your reasons for believing in your God to be convincing, and I can see that you are confused as to why I don't find them remotely convincing. That is fine. That means you have a strong faith. All I ask is that you recognize that I don't find them at all convincing, and that I am not dishonest in saying that.
If you had worded things in this way, perhaps I wouldn't have even replied. But there seemed to be an implication earlier that there are no reasons presented at all for belief.

I may be asking too much, as your posts above show that projecting particular beliefs, reactions, and traits on non-believers may be a basic requirement of your belief system.
The same could be said of yours to validate the lack thereof.
Reply

Pygoscelis
03-10-2016, 05:40 PM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
That's because this is a superficial way to look at it. Pain, suffering and trial are sometimes needed to bring about a greater good. Sometimes a diseased limb needs to be removed to save the whole body.
Are carnivores that can only survive by killing and eating other living beings needed for a greater good? Are insects that can only reproduce by laying their eggs in other insects that then eat the host from the inside out needed for a greater good? Is this the purposeful design of an all loving creator? Are cancer, tornadoes in major city centres, stillborn children, mothers killed in childbirth, etc, all needed for some greater good? Does an all powerful God not have some other way to realize his greater good without having to create or allow such horrible things? Would saying no to that not be saying that he isn't all powerful?

Whoever obeys Him, He will reward him, and whoever disobeys Him, He will punish him.
Who are you saying disobeys Allah? Certainly not me or any other non-Muslim. We can't disobey what doesn't exist. Or are you still saying we are lying about that and secretly believe as you do?

The real mystery is what will people believe and follow if they reject what is clear and what resonates with the natural disposition and human intellect.
Do you mean science? Maybe not. A lot of what science discovers is counter-intuitive. Maybe you mean the world being flat? The sun going around the earth? Illness being caused by spirits instead of germs? Light not being a particle and wave? That all seems intuitive and seems clear and resonates with the natural disposition and human intellect.

Our senses are tricked all the time and we have dozens of cognitive biases that lead us away from actual truth. Everything from peer pressure to optical illusions to tribalism to confirmation bias to naturalistic fallacy and on and on. Trusting in your "gut" instinct will often lead you astray from actual objective truth. This is where science comes in, purposefully designed to control for such biases and confounding factors.

The fact that He sent Messengers and Scriptures for our guidance does not suggest a problem with power. For instance, how many times has the Prime Minister visited your house personally to tell you what is required of you? Yet I doubt you felt the need to criticise his power as a result of that.
The Prime Minister isn't omnipotent or omnipresent and is limited to human language and means of communication. A messenger or written text from him is what I would expect of him. Plus, I can see him on TV, photos in newspapers, etc. And there are not usually many conflicting accounts of who he is or what he has said. If such conflicting accounts do come to me, I would have to view them all much more skeptically. I also don't declare the Prime Minister to be perfect or perfectly benevolent or acting in my best interest. He may even be acting against me.

The judgement of dishonesty in an individual's heart is for God. Our task is simply to convey the message. And the truth is a Straight Path. In comparing religions, it is possible to discern truth from falsehood - the monotheism emphasised in Islam is a stark contrast to the Trinitarian concept of Christianity.
The judgment of dishonesty is laced throughout many things you have said to me in this thread, as I pointed out to you in my last response. For example, when you say that anyone who honestly and genuinely seeks for spiritual guidance will be brought to believe in Islam, are you not calling anybody who says that they honestly and genuinely seek spiritual guidance but it brought them to other religious beliefs, or no religious beliefs, liars? If not, explain to me how that is? When you say that reading the Quran makes non-muslims uncomfortable and arrogant, are you not declaring the dishonesty of any of us who say that isn't so? When you say that we reject or disobey Allah, are you not implicitly saying that we must believe he exists? As I have said numerous times now, how can you reject or disobey somebody that does not exist?

You can say that you are just relaying what you are convinced Allah has told you, but even then, by worshiping and supporting Allah, you are agreeing with and praising the message. You can tell yourself that you are not judging, but you clearly are. The mere statement that God is good is a judgment on your part.

You may have noticed the numerous converts from Christianity on this forum and the recurring theme of Christian creed not making any sense to them.
I have also noticed the numerous converts form Islam to Christianity, though as near as I can tell the Christians don't say that those who convert away from their religion should be put to death. It is less clear with the Muslims. Some of you say apostates from Islam should be left in peace (and I applaud you for that). Others call for blood. That brings us back to the OP.

I know that you can't fathom why or how I could think it, but I honestly and truly see no more sense in Islam than in Christinaity, or more sense in either than in ancient polytheistic beliefs, such as in Poseidon as previously mentioned above. that doesn't mean I am closed minded to either Islam or Christianity or belief in Poseidon.

It is possible for a person's predisposition to become corrupted. The Prophet :saws: said: “Every child is born in a state of fitrah (the natural state of man, i.e., Islam), then his parents make him into a Jew or a Christian or a Magian.”
Then you have some explaining to do, because given the culture and demographics of where I live, a LOT of atheists I know grew up with religious parents. Some of them were successfully indoctrinated into the religions of their parents and broke free later in life. Others, such as myself, never adopted any religious beliefs. The vast majority of us over here were never Muslim. I myself had not even heard of Islam until I was an adult. Are you telling me that as a baby I was a Muslim, though I have no memory of it? I suppose that is possible, but I find it highly unlikely. And I suspect that the only reason you could think it so would be because your religion says so.

Instead of making our own demands, is it not wise to at least examine the proof and message that He has sent? On the one hand you complain about confusion, yet on the other you make excuses for not even wanting to receive guidance. The Qur'an is the Words of Allaah, so I'm not sure why you say He 'can't speak for himself'.
If an all powerful god exists... I am certain that he CAN speak for himself. To say otherwise would be to say he's not all powerful. But according to every religion I have ever looked into, it is always "messengers" or "prophets" claiming to speak for him, or "holy books" claiming to be his words. If an all powerful God exists, I would expect that he wouldn't be so limited, and that he could simply have us all know whatever it is he wants us to know. All of the theatrics of prophets, holy texts, even human language, would not be needed.

So the question then is IF such a god exists, why would he choose the theatrics and limited means of communication, and all of the confusion and conflict that arises form it? Why would his test have anything to do with who and who does not believe in the truth he has hidden with this? Why would he reward or punish people for finding the right religious beliefs, rather than rewarding or punishing them for doing good or bad? And how can his test have anything to do with obedience to his commands if the vast majority of us don't receive his commands?

I hope you will surprise me and tell me otherwise, but I fear that your answer, and that the answer of many Muslims, and of many religious people in general, is that we all DO receive his commands, know exactly what he expects of us, and that we are rebelling or disobeying him if we don't do it. Will you tell me that you have relayed the message from him to me, and that therefore I have no excuse and should be punished for not following it? Even though I have told you that I don't believe it is actually a message from any such God? Will you again insist that I believe what I don't?

The point is not whether you feel despair or arrogance.
Then why did you say that non-muslims feel despair and arrogance when reading the book?

The point being made was that it is expected not everyone will believe in the Qur'an.
So it is not your Gods intention for us all to believe? Then what is the problem? Why insist on our dishonesty?

uptight any time someone says you 'refuse' or 'reject' the message of Islam.
Is it really surprising to you that I don't appreciate being told what I think or believe, and being called a liar? Are you ok with it when people do that to Muslims? Would it be ok with you if we all declared that real Muslims don't actually exist, and that you only pretend to believe in these stories and in Allah and Mohammad and lie about it because of social pressure or whatever other reason (maybe because you are afraid that if you go apostate you will be murdered for it), and so your pretend beliefs shouldn't be respected? Shall I draw a cartoon of Mohammad for you? I don't think you would be cool with that, nor should you be. I think you expect us to respect your beliefs as genuine and worthy of respect. I only ask the same.
Reply

Pygoscelis
03-10-2016, 06:10 PM
Hi MuslimInshallah,

Your words are kind and loving and I appreciate that. I don't think I could dislike you if I tried :) I can see that your motivation is good and that you hope and pray for non-muslims to come to Allah because you genuinely care for them. And that is truly beautiful.

But just as I could not dislike you, because you are so kind, I can not believe what I do not, because it just ins't believable to me. I am an avid camper an canoeist and have been most of my life. I find peace and tranquility in nature, of a quasi-transcendent quality. But that just doesn't lead me to see anything supernatural. I sit in awe under the stars looking up at the massive universe and sitting in wonder at how amazing it all is. But that does not lead me to see any reason to believe in a creator God.

We are simply looking at life from different frameworks and worldviews. There is no polite way for you to tell me that I am spiritually blind or that my heart is covered up from the truth that you see, etc, though I must say you come awfully close in your post above. There is no polite way for me to tell you that I see you as engaging in fantasy. But we can love and respect one another and accept that the other simply does not believe as we do. That is all I have been asking for above. I find that some of you religious folks do afford me that, and some do not.

Peace Be Upon You always.
Reply

anatolian
03-10-2016, 09:09 PM
The Hadiths should be read in their context and chronological order. Quran clearly states that there is no forcing in religion. So just leaving Islam cannot be sentenced for death according to my understanding of Islam.
Reply

anatolian
03-10-2016, 09:23 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
If an all powerful god exists... I am certain that he CAN speak for himself. To say otherwise would be to say he's not all powerful. But according to every religion I have ever looked into, it is always "messengers" or "prophets" claiming to speak for him, or "holy books" claiming to be his words. If an all powerful God exists, I would expect that he wouldn't be so limited, and that he could simply have us all know whatever it is he wants us to know. All of the theatrics of prophets, holy texts, even human language, would not be needed.
Salam. This has been something which tampered with my mind since my childhood. Why doesnt Allah talk to each human being but sent prophets and revealed books for all people. I just think that would you really accept every word of Him and live as He tells? "nafs" the human nature always tends to run from responsibility. You can disobey Him even if He directly speaks to you. However, when He sent prophets He gave us the very human examples to follow from among us. The Prophet was just a man like you and me. This is the human side of the revelation.
Reply

Muhammad
03-13-2016, 12:41 PM
Greetings Pygoscelis,

Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Does an all powerful God not have some other way to realize his greater good without having to create or allow such horrible things?
Again, what we might think is 'horrible' does not mean there is no good or wisdom in something. Using emotional arguments does not change that fact.

We can't disobey what doesn't exist.
If someone doesn’t believe their Prime Minister exists, does it mean he can’t be disobeyed by them?

Do you mean science? Maybe not. A lot of what science discovers is counter-intuitive.
What I am referring to, as an example of only one form of evidence, is man's innate nature with regards to a basic belief that is universal and not bound to any time or culture. I don't remember suggesting natural disposition (or even ‘gut instinct’) should be a tool for conducting a science experiment or research trial. If you want to discuss allegations about Islam and science, that would be a separate discussion.

The Prime Minister isn't omnipotent or omnipresent and is limited to human language and means of communication. A messenger or written text from him is what I would expect of him. Plus, I can see him on TV, photos in newspapers, etc. And there are not usually many conflicting accounts of who he is or what he has said. If such conflicting accounts do come to me, I would have to view them all much more skeptically. I also don't declare the Prime Minister to be perfect or perfectly benevolent or acting in my best interest. He may even be acting against me.
All of this is besides the point, which is that it’s not illogical for someone of status to communicate via messengers, regardless of how capable that entity is.

There are numerous ways and signs through which we can know God and what He has said, which actually attest to His perfection and benevolence. The conflicting accounts arise due to human error, not because God has sent conflicting messages.

The judgment of dishonesty is laced throughout many things you have said to me in this thread, as I pointed out to you in my last response. For example, when you say that anyone who honestly and genuinely seeks for spiritual guidance will be brought to believe in Islam, are you not calling anybody who says that they honestly and genuinely seek spiritual guidance but it brought them to other religious beliefs, or no religious beliefs, liars? If not, explain to me how that is?
Finding truth can be a long journey and everyone will have their own experiences and trials. If someone is searching and has not yet found Islam, they may find it later. If you read some of the convert stories, you’ll find some have converted in their 60’s. There's enough to talk about in terms of what I've actually said rather than what you think I've said.

When you say that reading the Quran makes non-muslims uncomfortable and arrogant, are you not declaring the dishonesty of any of us who say that isn't so?
Again, you are plucking things out of context. You'll note I gave examples of the Quraysh disbelievers and Orientalists. If it doesn't apply to you, good. For whatever reason you don't accept the Qur'an, that does not change the fact it is a perfect communication from Allaah :swt:.

The mere statement that God is good is a judgment on your part.
There are many reasons to believe God is good. He has bestowed upon man innumerable favours and blessings.

I have also noticed the numerous converts form Islam to Christianity, though as near as I can tell the Christians don't say that those who convert away from their religion should be put to death.
What I'm emphasising here is the general trend, not the exceptions. Islam is still considered the fastest growing religion. People who leave Christianity often talk about the central creed as being problematic. Those who leave Islam often have other issues, not the fact the central creed didn't make sense to them. The death penalty is of little relevance here because there are many places where Muslims can freely leave the faith if they really wanted to, with no one to implement the Shariah ruling.

Others call for blood.
I don't see anyone calling for blood here. They've just been discussing a ruling in Islamic law.

I know that you can't fathom why or how I could think it, but I honestly and truly see no more sense in Islam than in Christinaity, or more sense in either than in ancient polytheistic beliefs, such as in Poseidon as previously mentioned above. that doesn't mean I am closed minded to either Islam or Christianity or belief in Poseidon.
I notice you offered no response when I compared the belief in Poseidon to the Islamic belief in monotheism. It's one thing to say you don't find the concept of Books and Messengers convincing, but it is another to equate a religion that does not contradict logic to others which do. There is a clear difference between Poseidon not being an all-powerful god and having to fight for power, and the belief in Islam of a perfect, all-powerful God who has no partners.

Then you have some explaining to do, because given the culture and demographics of where I live, a LOT of atheists I know grew up with religious parents.
A child may be influenced by numerous factors, not only his parents. The Prophet :saws: told us that Allaah :swt: said,

'I created My servants in the right religion but the devils made them go astray.'

The vast majority of us over here were never Muslim. I myself had not even heard of Islam until I was an adult. Are you telling me that as a baby I was a Muslim, though I have no memory of it? I suppose that is possible, but I find it highly unlikely. And I suspect that the only reason you could think it so would be because your religion says so.
When a child is born, it has with it a natural belief in God. If the child were left alone, it would grow up aware of God in His oneness. Islam complements its role and details rulings that man’s innate disposition cannot reach independently.

So the question then is IF such a god exists, why would he choose the theatrics and limited means of communication, and all of the confusion and conflict that arises form it? Why would his test have anything to do with who and who does not believe in the truth he has hidden with this? Why would he reward or punish people for finding the right religious beliefs, rather than rewarding or punishing them for doing good or bad? And how can his test have anything to do with obedience to his commands if the vast majority of us don't receive his commands?
You are asking the question of why. We cannot always know the answer to this. Yes, God could make us all believers without any test. But He has created this world for a purpose and He has decreed things to occur in a certain way. He has sent us Prophets we could speak to and interact with. He has sent Scriptures that people could read and understand. He has sent miracles that attest to their truth. He has made the world around us a place of signs and contemplation. There is nothing ‘hidden’ about this. So, rather than questioning why didn’t the message come in an alternative form, which doesn’t really get you anywhere, it makes more sense to analyse that message and seek its truth.

So it is not your Gods intention for us all to believe? Then what is the problem?
The problem is with humans themselves, not God.
Why insist on our dishonesty?
Kindly point out where.

Is it really surprising to you that I don't appreciate being told what I think or believe,
No, and I hope you can appreciate the same for me.

I think you expect us to respect your beliefs as genuine and worthy of respect. I only ask the same.
Which is where this whole thing began. Kindly stop comparing our beliefs to nonsensical fantasy stories.
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Pygoscelis
03-14-2016, 04:08 PM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
Kindly stop comparing our beliefs to nonsensical fantasy stories.
The point wasn't to call Islamic beliefs nonsense or to offend you, and I apologize if it did so. The point was to show that you can't make yourself believe what you don't. No matter how much I wanted to believe in Allah, no matter how much you promised me or threatened me, I could not make myself believe, just as you could not make yourself believe in Shiva or Odin, or any other being you think is myth. Obedience once you believe is a choice. Belief itself is not. I could only pretend to believe; lie about it, but of what value would that be?

I notice you offered no response when I compared the belief in Poseidon to the Islamic belief in monotheism. It's one thing to say you don't find the concept of Books and Messengers convincing, but it is another to equate a religion that does not contradict logic to others which do. There is a clear difference between Poseidon not being an all-powerful god and having to fight for power, and the belief in Islam of a perfect, all-powerful God who has no partners.
I did. I noted that I find multiple conflicting Gods a better explanation of the less than perfect world we live in. You can logically avoid the problem of evil if you don't posit a singular perfect all-benevolent and all-powerful God.

Again, what we might think is 'horrible' does not mean there is no good or wisdom in something. Using emotional arguments does not change that fact.
Saying anything is "good" or "horrible" is indeed a value judgment. I would judge needless suffering as horrible, and I would question the concept of an all-good and all-powerful being requiring suffering for some greater good. It would make me wonder about the all-powerfulness or the all-goodness, and would land me on the horns of Euthyphro's dilemma.

All of this is besides the point, which is that it’s not illogical for someone of status to communicate via messengers, regardless of how capable that entity is.
It is illogical if you claim that the person of status is all powerful and intends their message to be understood by all. Perhaps the person of status has limitations (like a prime minister) or perhaps they do not wish to be understood by all, and intend all of the confusion and conflict that results from their purposefully unclear message, or perhaps there is no such person of status. I don't see a fourth logical possibility.

If someone doesn’t believe their Prime Minister exists, does it mean he can’t be disobeyed by them?
Yes. It does. If that someone has good reason to doubt that there is a Prime Minister that was elected by the people, and that he's just being told so by somebody claiming to be a messenger, who demands particular things of this someone, then refusing is not refusing any actual prime minister who may actually exist.

Have you seen the story of "Hank" that was going around the internet a few years ago? Hank is a billionaire philanthropist who will give you a million dollars when you leave town if you do particular things that are here on a list Hank wrote. Hank can't come say this himself. He's very busy. Talking to anyone who has left town and gotten their million dollars is forbidden. The story goes through a few more points we have covered in this thread, and the reader is left wondering if this Hank actually exists or if the messenger has made him up. It is a good analogy for why atheists don't believe in Gods.

What I am referring to, as an example of only one form of evidence, is man's innate nature with regards to a basic belief that is universal and not bound to any time or culture.
When a child is born, it has with it a natural belief in God. If the child were left alone, it would grow up aware of God in His oneness. Islam complements its role and details rulings that man’s innate disposition cannot reach independently.
I would agree with you that there is an innate instinct in us to want to believe in a "higher power" to obey and follow. This isn't unique to human beings, and can be seen in many animal species, and especially in social and pack animals. Without this instinct a cub may not implicitly trust its mother and may venture off into danger. Authoritarian structure and the need to feel the part of something bigger are also tendencies found in social animals, and which greatly benefit both the individuals and the groups. You probably think "god made us this way" or that this is some evidence of God. I disagree and see perfectly good reasons why this would have evolved.

I would also point out that just because we have an innate tendency to do or believe something, doesn't make it true. We have an innate hyper-sensitivity go agency and patterns, hence our cursing at our toasters burning our bread and seeing recognizable features in clouds and ink blots. I think this also has some explanatory power towards why people believe in things like ghosts and Gods and engage in superstitions like harvest/rain dances and lucky charms.

There are numerous ways and signs through which we can know God and what He has said, which actually attest to His perfection and benevolence. The conflicting accounts arise due to human error, not because God has sent conflicting messages.
God doesn't have to send conflicting messages for this to occur. God does not have to send any messages at all for this to occur. People will come up with their own ideas and their own interpretations of whatever, if any, message is given. Given the hyper-agency detection I noted above, people will invent Gods even where they are not. Surely you can see this occurring in religions other than your own? We are then left with many competing messages with no clear unanimous clear it up and tell for sure which, if any, Gods exist.

If there is an all powerful being that wants to clear it all up, he certainly could. That he does not, shows that he does not intend to (or that he does not exist). And if this God doesn't intend to be known to and understood by all, then how is it just to punish anybody who doesn't know or understand. What sense would it then make to punish those who fail to believe? And how would it be just to punish those who cease to believe and become apostate?
Reply

Sojourn
03-20-2016, 01:31 PM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
Greetings Sojourn,

Using culture or personal opinions and feelings as a standard to critique a law is very flimsy because it is not based on an objective standard, rather a subjective emotional one. As Jamaal Zarabozo put it, '[I]the above has been sufficient to demonstrate that there does not seem to be any logical, historical or philosophical argument that proves that Islam’s law of apostasy is unacceptable or irrational, especially when applied within the strict confines of the principles of Islamic Law.'
Peace be with you Muhammad,

Lengthy articles attempting to paint the "unacceptable" as acceptable only go to show how unacceptable they are. Executing a woman or man for believing differently is unacceptable, and it's not just outsiders like myself that feel this way but take a look at some of the posts by Muslims in this very thread. There is a remarkable shift away from the traditional Islamic ruling, suggesting that apostasy (i.e. change of belief) is not itself punishable by death but only if it is accompanied by an act of treason such as waging war. This suggests a Muslim or Muslimah can under Shariah change their religion as their hearts and minds dictate without fear of punishment. Again, this is remarkable as even an outsider as myself is aware that the Four Schools of Sunni Islam teach that those who leave Islam by a change of belief are to be punished by death (If I am not mistaken the most lenient position was of some Hanafi jurists who stated such a person is to be imprisoned for life.) Now why do some Muslims find executing people for believing differently problematic? I do not think it is a matter of emotion or subjective opinion. It stems from human dignity. Humans are born with a conscience, a will, and reason. The truth is out there, God has made His case so to speak, but faith has to be an act of free will. There is no coercion in religion, as your Book states so clearly, but that goes both ways. If a person chooses to embrace or leave a religion, that is their free will, there can be no coercion. If it is illogical to say you can coerce a person to become Muslim, it is likewise illogical to say you can coerce them to stay Muslim. What is the value of person's faith if the only reason she is practicing is because she is being forced to? Is it not meaningless before God's eyes if the heart is not there to begin with? Let her leave, let her follow her conscience and reason, as she has a duty to do so.

It is important to note that we don't live in a world of absolute freedom. Whichever country you go to, you must follow the law of that place. Regardless of whether you agree with the law or not, you don't have a choice but to follow it. In numerous countries, it is a crime to deny the holocaust. There are laws against hate speech and racial vilification. In some places, it is a crime simply to wear the face veil. Certain crimes such as treason warrant death in places like the US. If inestimable dignity and freedom of speech is your concern, this is a much wider discussion than the law of apostasy.
Yes, I agree with you. Cases such as the ones you mention above go against the free speech and they remain controversial to non-Muslims as well. But you have to understand that the position you hold to execute people for no longer wanting to be Muslim is a move in the wrong direction. It is a move towards less freedom and less dignity of the human person.

This is irrelevant. The reasons for mass migration are more to do with finding better living standards and fleeing war-torn regions. It does not mean we can now turn a blind eye to the war crimes and restrictions imposed by these western countries, or the harassment of people that goes on there.
I agree that we can not turn a blind eye towards war crimes or harassment of people. But it does go to show that Christian and Secular nations provide a better standard of living even despite some of the cases you mention above. Millions of people are fleeing to Germany and not Saudi Arabia or ISIS held territory, and I don't think it's only due to economic reasons, but also do to the culture and freedom that is in Germany and other Western countries.

Thank you for clarifying. I’m sure you’ll agree there’s a big difference between saying the punishment was merely ‘loss of civil rights’ and that torture was permitted. However, we should realise that in the early days of Christianity, during which the nature of God was being debated, the ongoing disagreements were at times violent and bloody. Of the aftermath of the Council of Nicaea, noted historian Will Durant writes, “Probably more Christians were slaughtered by Christians in these two years (342-3) than by all the persecutions of Christians by pagans in the history of Rome” ( The Story of Civilization, Vol. 4: The Age of Faith, 1950, p. 8). While claiming to be Christian many of them fought and slaughtered one another, considering the others to be heretics. Even much later, for some years after the Reformation, Protestant churches were known to execute those they considered heretics, including Catholics.
Christianity does not have an absolute version of civil laws that are meant for all places and all times that we are attempting to resurrect in the Modern Age. This means that laws can vary from time to time, and even between two nations during the same time period, it also means that there is movement towards creating a community ever more in line with Jesus' teachings, and if possible a society as well.

A clear understanding of human dignity has been developing over time. Referring to the Roman Emperor of the 4th century or a Pope's fallible opinion on a civil matter in the 12th century is a moot point.

From the Second Vatican Council:

First, the council professes its belief that God Himself has made known to mankind the way in which men are to serve Him, and thus be saved in Christ and come to blessedness. We believe that this one true religion subsists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus committed the duty of spreading it abroad among all men. Thus He spoke to the Apostles: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have enjoined upon you" (Matt. 28: 19-20). On their part, all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embrace the truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it.

This Vatican Council likewise professes its belief that it is upon the human conscience that these obligations fall and exert their binding force. The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power.

...

his Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself.(2) This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right.
http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_c...umanae_en.html


This is indeed a fundamental difference between Islam and other religions. The teachings that were revealed to Moses, Jesus and the other Prophets, upon them be peace, were for their respective peoples. But as Prophet Muhammad :saws: was the Final Messenger, the teachings were for his people until the end of time. That is why we have the Qur’an in its original form today, a miracle for all to appreciate. Allaah :swt: has legislated a perfect Law that is for all times and places. A Law that is for the betterment of the individual and society. A Law that covers all aspects of life, whether personal, familial life, societal roles, financial transactions, political dealings and more.
You're saying this dogmatically and it might make sense to someone who already believes, but as an outsider who does not follow Muhammad, it does nothing to make your position more believable or reasonable. I would like to address some of the things you mention above but I do want to cause offense and nor do I want to go against the forum guidelines or the scope of this thread.

But is this the reality though? Augustine justified violence if the motive behind the violence was ‘love’ for the person or persons who needed to be restrained or punished. He cited biblical texts, notably Luke 14:16-23, to justify the use of compulsion. It seems, according to Christians, loving one’s enemy can even amount to killing him.
As GK Chesterton said, "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” You mention St Augustine, the brilliant African Churchman and scholar of the 4th century, who lived in present date Algeria and whose Christian community has been all but whiped out. He lived in a time when the Roman Empire had converted to Christianity and it was being sacked by countless pagan tribes. The idea of Christians fighting in war was controversial because for centuries Christians had for the most part abstained from military duty and lived pacifistic life styles. But now the Empire was Christian and involved in a constant war and defense against the tribes of norther Europe, and Augustine had argued that the Empire did have a right to defend itself. His statements in his book The City of God would become the starting point for the concept of Just War:

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/2309.htm
Reply

Muhammad
03-21-2016, 02:16 PM
Greetings Pygoscelis,

Apologies for the delayed reply.

Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
The point was to show that you can't make yourself believe what you don't. No matter how much I wanted to believe in Allah, no matter how much you promised me or threatened me, I could not make myself believe, just as you could not make yourself believe in Shiva or Odin, or any other being you think is myth.
I accept the point that you can't make yourself believe. Guidance is ultimately in the control of God. The only issue I have is that you group all types of belief into one - fairytales and myths (if these can be called beliefs), polytheism, monotheism etc. I am trying to clarify that these are not the same and the evidence and reasoning for each one varies. The fact that a person can't accept a myth doesn't mean they can't accept an actual belief system with a substantial basis.

I did. I noted that I find multiple conflicting Gods a better explanation of the less than perfect world we live in. You can logically avoid the problem of evil if you don't posit a singular perfect all-benevolent and all-powerful God.
Again, you are working on the premise that the existence of evil in the world is a problem, and that God doesn’t have any reasons to permit evil and suffering in the world. The story of Khidr, which can be found in the 18th chapter of Qur’an from verses 60 to 82, is an eloquent account of how God’s wisdom, whether understood or not, has positive results and benefits for humanity. Moreover, we need to establish that God exists first before attempting to reconcile who God is with our perception of reality, in this case, evil and suffering.

Saying anything is "good" or "horrible" is indeed a value judgment. I would judge needless suffering as horrible, and I would question the concept of an all-good and all-powerful being requiring suffering for some greater good.
The question also arises as to what makes our value judgements objectively true. Without God, these terms are relative as there is no conceptual anchor, apart from God himself, which transcends human subjectivity.

It is illogical if you claim that the person of status is all powerful and intends their message to be understood by all. Perhaps the person of status has limitations (like a prime minister) or perhaps they do not wish to be understood by all, and intend all of the confusion and conflict that results from their purposefully unclear message, or perhaps there is no such person of status. I don't see a fourth logical possibility.
You are arguing using subjectivity, not logic. Indeed, the Qur'an details how former people made similar demands, asking to see God in public, receiving what the Messengers received and asking for a book to descend upon them from heaven.

And those who have no knowledge say: "Why does not Allah speak to us (face to face) or why does not a sign come to us'' So said the people before them words of similar import. Their hearts are alike, We have indeed made plain the signs for people who believe with certainty. [Qur'an 2:118]

God knows best how to deliver His message. Out of His Mercy, He has delivered it in a language we can understand and sent a Messenger from amongst mankind who could expound upon it, with whom people could interact and seek clarification. God has made the arguments clear, proving the truth of the Messengers, with no need of further questions or proofs for those who believe, follow the Messengers and comprehend what Allah sent them with. This is a universal message which transcends culture, nationality and ethnicity. It has been preserved meticulously for all those alive today to reflect, learn and ponder over.

Yet the Qur'an also makes clear,

Truly, those, against whom the Word (wrath) of your Lord has been justified, will not believe. Even if every sign should come to them, until they see the painful torment. (10:96-97).

Ultimately, it is the approach of individuals towards the message of God that varies. It is not a problem with the message or its mode of delivery that is at fault.

Yes. It does. If that someone has good reason to doubt that there is a Prime Minister that was elected by the people, and that he's just being told so by somebody claiming to be a messenger, who demands particular things of this someone, then refusing is not refusing any actual prime minister who may actually exist.
You are answering from the perspective of the individual. However, in reality, just because someone denied the validity of the Prime Minister would not be a license for them to break the law. The other citizens and law enforcement officers would most likely regard such an individual as deluded.

Have you seen the story of "Hank" that was going around the internet a few years ago? Hank is a billionaire philanthropist who will give you a million dollars when you leave town if you do particular things that are here on a list Hank wrote. Hank can't come say this himself. He's very busy. Talking to anyone who has left town and gotten their million dollars is forbidden. The story goes through a few more points we have covered in this thread, and the reader is left wondering if this Hank actually exists or if the messenger has made him up. It is a good analogy for why atheists don't believe in Gods.
The problem with this analogy is that it's not representative of our beliefs. It is a scenario restricted to a particular situation, presumably of a dubious person turning up at one's doorstep (and numerous alarm bells would be ringing before a person even listens to what the 'salesman' is saying). The fact that it involves human beings and isn't about an All-Powerful Creator means we are dealing with limited beings capable of greed, deception, malice and other weaknesses. There isn't even any evidence presented for Hank existing! As you can see, it fails on multiple levels. The Prophet :saws: was known to his people for 40 years before he even began preaching about Islam. His message was the same given to countless generations before him, a message from the Lord of the Worlds. The Jews and Christians around him recognised his message and even anticipated his arrival. Again, it is a completely different scenario.

I would agree with you that there is an innate instinct in us to want to believe in a "higher power" to obey and follow. This isn't unique to human beings, and can be seen in many animal species, and especially in social and pack animals. Without this instinct a cub may not implicitly trust its mother and may venture off into danger. Authoritarian structure and the need to feel the part of something bigger are also tendencies found in social animals, and which greatly benefit both the individuals and the groups. You probably think "god made us this way" or that this is some evidence of God. I disagree and see perfectly good reasons why this would have evolved.
What I am referring to is more than an instinct. It is a reference point used by God to appeal to man. It is complemented by Islam. One of the scholars of Islam likened man's innate disposition and the truth to vision and the sun: every individual should be able to see sunshine if there is no barrier between them. Similarly, false and passing beliefs are like a barrier that prevents the eyes from seeing the sun.

I would also point out that just because we have an innate tendency to do or believe something, doesn't make it true. We have an innate hyper-sensitivity go agency and patterns, hence our cursing at our toasters burning our bread and seeing recognizable features in clouds and ink blots. I think this also has some explanatory power towards why people believe in things like ghosts and Gods and engage in superstitions like harvest/rain dances and lucky charms.
The innate disposition is not used on its own. An individual is born sound and free from all false beliefs and ready to accept correct ones. A person’s disposition recognises matters in general, while the law of Islam details, explains and attests to what the innate self cannot do alone.

God doesn't have to send conflicting messages for this to occur. God does not have to send any messages at all for this to occur. People will come up with their own ideas and their own interpretations of whatever, if any, message is given. Given the hyper-agency detection I noted above, people will invent Gods even where they are not. Surely you can see this occurring in religions other than your own? We are then left with many competing messages with no clear unanimous clear it up and tell for sure which, if any, Gods exist.

If there is an all powerful being that wants to clear it all up, he certainly could. That he does not, shows that he does not intend to (or that he does not exist). And if this God doesn't intend to be known to and understood by all, then how is it just to punish anybody who doesn't know or understand. What sense would it then make to punish those who fail to believe? And how would it be just to punish those who cease to believe and become apostate?
I agree that people do come up with their own interpretations and ideas regardless of the message given to them. However, the Hyper Active Agency Detection theory neglects external evidences and use of intellect in recognising God and the message He has sent to us. As I mentioned above, the innate nature of man is only one tool amongst others. From an Islamic perspective, we don’t believe that man evolved from a lower species, rather he was created by God. The belief in monotheism was present from the beginning, not something which was the product of an evolutionary process.

God has given man responsibility and the ability to make choices. The answers are in front of us if we seek them. God is there to accept our prayers if we take the step and ask for His guidance. The question is not about what God intends or not; the question is what are we doing to find the true guidance?
Reply

~ Sabr ~
03-21-2016, 02:19 PM
:salamext:

Alhamdulillaah for Islam being complete, and unfortunate and cursed are those who leave this true religion!
Reply

The-Deist
03-21-2016, 03:24 PM
Originally Posted by ~ Sabr ~
:salamext:

Alhamdulillaah for Islam being complete, and unfortunate and cursed are those who leave this true religion!
Ever since u knew I was an apostate u been everywhere.
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Pygoscelis
03-21-2016, 08:25 PM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
The question also arises as to what makes our value judgements objectively true. Without God, these terms are relative as there is no conceptual anchor, apart from God himself, which transcends human subjectivity.
Value judgments are by definition subjective. They are values, not facts. Attributing it to the mind of a God doesn't change that, it only seeks to externalize it from yourself.

And if you are thinking how can we know good from bad or right from wrong or live in harmony without a moral law giver from on high, my answer is our evolved and innate senses of empathy and fairness, which we share with many social animals, but have developed further, which enables us to live in towns and cities, etc, in relative harmony. The vast majority of my moral framework and my moral values comes from this. I don't need any external code of ethics or values to get there.

Tradition and authoritarianism is another source of "moral values" for people, especially fundamentalist religious people or highly nationalistic people, who seem to conflate morality with obedience a lot more than I do. This is seen in Islam as "submission to Allah", etc. I have no obedience to a God or King. Authority figures can tell me what is legal and illegal, but not what is right and wrong. When I say something is wrong, I say so because it is unfair or because my sense of empathy kicks in (seeing myself in others and feeling their pain). Authoritarian/Tradition based morality adds rituals (praying a certain number of times in the "proper" manner) and other "values" (dietary laws, sexual laws etc) that I don't follow.

That's a bit of an aside, but I think it is an interesting one, and I am curious how people on the other end of the spectrum look at this. Am I speaking unfairly when I say that they are basing their values on obedience to an authority (King) or a perceived authority (God) as much as on their own sense of empathy and fairness? Sometimes I get the sense that they bury their own sense of morality under a sense of obedience or group identity. Well, I'm getting way off topic now, so I digress.

God knows best how to deliver His message. Out of His Mercy, He has delivered it in a language we can understand and sent a Messenger from amongst mankind who could expound upon it, with whom people could interact and seek clarification. God has made the arguments clear, proving the truth of the Messengers, with no need of further questions or proofs for those who believe, follow the Messengers and comprehend what Allah sent them with. This is a universal message which transcends culture, nationality and ethnicity. It has been preserved meticulously for all those alive today to reflect, learn and ponder over.
I agree that any all powerful God would know how best to deliver his/her message. I disagree that arguments have been made clear or "truth" been made apparent. This is obvious to me as I see that the majority of human beings are not Muslims, or otherwise of a unified view on theology. If there is an all powerful God, then this God must have intended that, and all that results from it. To say otherwise would be to question his all-powerfulness.

I agree that people do come up with their own interpretations and ideas regardless of the message given to them. However, the Hyper Active Agency Detection theory neglects external evidences and use of intellect in recognising God and the message He has sent to us.
I see no convincing evidences and my use of intellect leads me in the opposite direction, so we'll have to politely agree to disagree. :)

I accept the point that you can't make yourself believe. Guidance is ultimately in the control of God.
God has given man responsibility and the ability to make choices. The answers are in front of us if we seek them. God is there to accept our prayers if we take the step and ask for His guidance. The question is not about what God intends or not; the question is what are we doing to find the true guidance?
So you accept that many (ie, Hindus and Christians) do their best to "find true guidance" and come to other things than Islam, with as much conviction as certainty as you have in Islam? And do you accept that some of us (ie, Athiests and the non-religious) see no need for such guidance? Is this God's plan? If so, I must wonder then, why should any of us be punished for coming to different answers? Or changing our minds, such as apostates from Islam? Or are you saying that we should not be? :)
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Muhammad
03-21-2016, 09:00 PM
Greetings Sojourn,

Originally Posted by Sojourn
Lengthy articles attempting to paint the "unacceptable" as acceptable only go to show how unacceptable they are.
Is that your excuse for not reading it? Let us look at the points made rather than the length.

Executing a woman or man for believing differently is unacceptable,
That isn't what we are talking about, or else there would be no non-Muslims in Muslim countries. Apostasy refers to someone willingly disbelieving after embracing Islam.

and it's not just outsiders like myself that feel this way but take a look at some of the posts by Muslims in this very thread. There is a remarkable shift away from the traditional Islamic ruling, suggesting that apostasy (i.e. change of belief) is not itself punishable by death but only if it is accompanied by an act of treason such as waging war.
If you want to look for traditional Islamic rulings and whether there is a shift away from them, you should look to what the body of Islamic scholars have said, not what lay Muslims say on forum threads.

Again, this is remarkable as even an outsider as myself is aware that the Four Schools of Sunni Islam teach that those who leave Islam by a change of belief are to be punished by death (If I am not mistaken the most lenient position was of some Hanafi jurists who stated such a person is to be imprisoned for life.)
To the best of my knowledge, the Hanafi jurists say only the female apostate is to be imprisoned until she accepts Islam; the male apostate is to be killed.

Now why do some Muslims find executing people for believing differently problematic?
Hmmm... what do you tell your Christian brethren who find the very core of your faith, the trinity, problematic?

I do not think it is a matter of emotion or subjective opinion. It stems from human dignity.
There can be no greater dignity than following divine guidance in its entirety, without distortion or rejection. The Qur'an warns of previous nations who subjected the revelation to their own whims and desires and as a result, went astray.

Humans are born with a conscience, a will, and reason. The truth is out there, God has made His case so to speak, but faith has to be an act of free will. There is no coercion in religion, as your Book states so clearly, but that goes both ways. If a person chooses to embrace or leave a religion, that is their free will, there can be no coercion. If it is illogical to say you can coerce a person to become Muslim, it is likewise illogical to say you can coerce them to stay Muslim. What is the value of person's faith if the only reason she is practicing is because she is being forced to? Is it not meaningless before God's eyes if the heart is not there to begin with?
Our conscience, will and reason should not precede God's wisdom and knowledge. We are His humble creation and recognise His authority in ordaining how we should live. If we claim to love Him, we must obey Him.

With regards to there being no coercion in religion, it's important to note that there are two different types of people: a person who has not embraced Islam and someone who apostatised from Islam. Both of them do not fall under the same category. In the verse you are referring to [2:256], the believers are ordered not to coerce anybody into accepting the fold of Islam. This verse is not speaking about apostasy.

But if one, of his own free will, chooses to believe and enters Islam by declaring the testification of faith, then he is bound by his declaration and all the disciplines of Islam become obligatory upon such a person. If one, after accepting Islam, does not pray, he will be compelled by Law to offer his prayers; or if he refuses to pay the zakah dues, he will be compelled by Law to fulfill his zakah dues; or if he refuses to distribute inheritance as prescribed by Shariah, he will be compelled by Law to do so; etc. Once the person of his own free will accepts Islam, he has no right to pick-and-choose the laws he wishes to follow, rather he will be compelled to follow all the obligatory dictates of Shariah by Law. Here one cannot say or bring forth the excuse Let there be no compulsion in religion, nor would it be accepted. This command only applies to one who has not accepted Islam as his way of life.

A simple example may help to further explain the point. In today's age, one is not compelled to take citizenship of any nation (e.g. United States of America); but if one of his own free will chooses to take on and accept US citizenship, he cannot pick-and-choose which law he wishes to follow. If the law of the land states that he has to pay tax, he will be compelled to pay it whether he likes it or not; of if the law of the land states he has to be drafted in the army, he will be compelled to join the army; or if the law of the land states he has to pay half his wealth to his divorced wife, he will be compelled to do so; etc.

Let her leave, let her follow her conscience and reason, as she has a duty to do so.
What if their so-called conscience and reason takes them and those around them to Hell? The duty rests on others to try and prevent this from happening.

It is a move towards less freedom
Sometimes having less freedom is beneficial, as in the examples to prevent hate crimes. In some cases it can save a person's life, as in detaining a severely depressed person trying to kill themselves.

I agree that we can not turn a blind eye towards war crimes or harassment of people. But it does go to show that Christian and Secular nations provide a better standard of living even despite some of the cases you mention above. Millions of people are fleeing to Germany and not Saudi Arabia or ISIS held territory, and I don't think it's only due to economic reasons, but also do to the culture and freedom that is in Germany and other Western countries.
Rather than reduce the Islamic world to Saudi Arabia and 'ISIS held territory', you would do yourself more favours to remember how much western culture owes to Islam's rich tradition. Templar Historian, Tim Wallace-Murphy, writes in his book:

Even the brief study of history revealed in these pages demonstrates that European culture owes an immense and immeasurable debt to the world of Islam. Muslim scholars preserved and enhanced the learning of ancient Greece, laid the foundations for modern science, medicine, astronomy and navigation and inspired some of our greatest cultural achievements. If it were not for the inherent tolerance for the People of the Book that was manifest within the Islamic world for over fifteen centuries, it is highly doubtful that the Jewish people could have survived as a racial and religious entity, and we would have lost their contribution to art, medicine, science, literature and music which is almost beyond measure. We in the West owe a debt to the Muslim world that can never be fully repaid. Despite our common religious and spiritual roots, we have thanked them with centuries of mistrust, the brutality of the Crusades and an imperial takeover that was conducted with callous indifference to the needs of the peoples we exploited.
Tim Wallace-Murphy, What Islam Did for Us; p. 215


Christianity does not have an absolute version of civil laws that are meant for all places and all times that we are attempting to resurrect in the Modern Age. This means that laws can vary from time to time, and even between two nations during the same time period, it also means that there is movement towards creating a community ever more in line with Jesus' teachings, and if possible a society as well.
It is not only laws you are referring to, but doctrine as well. The fact that there is no way for Christians to ascertain Jesus’ actual teachings means that the Church has used ‘Sacred Tradition’ to extract out of the Bible whatever verses that might be construed to support their doctrines. Even a customary reading of the Bible does not lend itself to the numerous beliefs and practices of today. Thus, it is somewhat ironic for you to speak of Jesus’ teachings and in the same breath boast of modified laws.

A clear understanding of human dignity has been developing over time.
Well, the direction of where that dignity is going is debatable.
Referring to the Roman Emperor of the 4th century or a Pope's fallible opinion on a civil matter in the 12th century is a moot point.
Or perhaps inconvenient when you realise it wasn’t what you expected.

You're saying this dogmatically and it might make sense to someone who already believes, but as an outsider who does not follow Muhammad, it does nothing to make your position more believable or reasonable.
It is easy for an outsider to appreciate the preservation of the teachings of Islam and their comprehensiveness. Simply reading a biography of the Prophet :saws: will illustrate the numerous teachings from him in all spheres of life. The fact that this Law was revealed over a thousand years ago and yet is applicable today and provides the solutions for our problems, is evidence of originating from an All-Knowledgeable, All-Wise Legislator.

As GK Chesterton said, "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” You mention St Augustine, the brilliant African Churchman and scholar of the 4th century, who lived in present date Algeria and whose Christian community has been all but whiped out. He lived in a time when the Roman Empire had converted to Christianity and it was being sacked by countless pagan tribes. The idea of Christians fighting in war was controversial because for centuries Christians had for the most part abstained from military duty and lived pacifistic life styles. But now the Empire was Christian and involved in a constant war and defense against the tribes of norther Europe, and Augustine had argued that the Empire did have a right to defend itself. His statements in his book The City of God would become the starting point for the concept of Just War:
I take it you will agree, then, that operating on the basis of love alone is an impractical worldview.
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Pygoscelis
03-22-2016, 01:27 PM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
That isn't what we are talking about, or else there would be no non-Muslims in Muslim countries. Apostasy refers to someone willingly disbelieving after embracing Islam.
I can't think of anything as fundamental as a belief in a God that I ever "willingly disbelieved". How is that possible? What does that mean? There are ex-Muslims who actually lose faith on purpose by will? Is it different from a former Muslim coming to disbelieve Islam unwillingly? And why would either merit murder?
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Muhammad
03-23-2016, 12:26 AM
Greetings Pygoscelis,

Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Value judgments are by definition subjective. They are values, not facts.
We agree on this. That is why I am saying we cannot use subjective value judgements as an objective standard to argue against the existence of evil.

Attributing it to the mind of a God doesn't change that,
It does. If we are discussing the existence of evil in the context of the existence of an All-Powerful God, we need to complete that picture by remembering God's knowledge and wisdom is perfect, in contrast to ours which is limited.

And if you are thinking how can we know good from bad or right from wrong or live in harmony without a moral law giver from on high, my answer is our evolved and innate senses of empathy and fairness, which we share with many social animals, but have developed further, which enables us to live in towns and cities, etc, in relative harmony. The vast majority of my moral framework and my moral values comes from this. I don't need any external code of ethics or values to get there.
I agree that man has an innate moral compass (although we may disagree on how it got there), and I add that guidance from God endorses and completes the virtues intrinsic within us. It's interesting to note, when we were talking about innate nature as a means for recognising God, you said, 'just because we have an innate tendency to do or believe something, doesn't make it true'. However, when trying to find fault with God, you are quick to justify innate sense as an independent tool.

Tradition and authoritarianism is another source of "moral values" for people, especially fundamentalist religious people or highly nationalistic people, who seem to conflate morality with obedience a lot more than I do. This is seen in Islam as "submission to Allah", etc. I have no obedience to a God or King. Authority figures can tell me what is legal and illegal, but not what is right and wrong. When I say something is wrong, I say so because it is unfair or because my sense of empathy kicks in (seeing myself in others and feeling their pain).
A Muslim's submission to Allaah :swt: and confidence in His Law is based upon a very logical framework. The initial stages of this involve establishing that God exists and identifying the sources by which we may know about His message. Some of these sources we have been discussing - internal ones like innate disposition and intellect. There are also external sources we have not really discussed (but have been discussed at length in other threads) which would mainly comprise of the Qur'an and the teachings and life of the Prophet Muhammad :saws:. Once the foundation is in place with regards to believing in God and understanding His message, naturally obedience and implementation of that should follow. It is no coincidence that the Qur'an was revealed gradually over many years, and that the focus of the message at the beginning was on creedal issues as well as character, before there was even a command for things like prayer. It is also no coincidence, as I mentioned earlier, that the Prophet Muhammad :saws: was a renowned man of impeccable morals and character well before he was assigned as Messenger. In all this we see a stepwise, logical process illustrating how faith is coupled with reason and that submission is not without knowledge and certainty.

With regards to morality, God is the One who instilled our moral compass in the first place and His Laws are there to elevate it. When we talk about human authorities who are capable of making mistakes, being corrupted and having ulterior motives, it is clear they are not infallible sources of right and wrong. But, when that authority is God and His Messenger, it is a different picture entirely.

Authoritarian/Tradition based morality adds rituals (praying a certain number of times in the "proper" manner) and other "values" (dietary laws, sexual laws etc) that I don't follow.
In Islam, worship is very comprehensive; it is one's entire life. Worship may include beliefs, social activities and personal contributions to one's society and fellow human beings. Rituals which are performed correctly and sincerely elevate the individual both spiritually and morally and actually help him to live a righteous life according to the guidance of Allaah :swt:.

Sometimes I get the sense that they bury their own sense of morality under a sense of obedience or group identity.
I assert that godlessness is what tends to cause moral decline, not obedience to God.

I disagree that arguments have been made clear or "truth" been made apparent. This is obvious to me as I see that the majority of human beings are not Muslims, or otherwise of a unified view on theology. If there is an all powerful God, then this God must have intended that, and all that results from it. To say otherwise would be to question his all-powerfulness.
Everything is indeed according to God's Will. There is no doubting that. However, we must understand that God has given mankind the freedom to make choices and we must also face the consequences of those. If the majority of people have fallen prey to misguidance, that is not to say the way of truth is not clear. The Qur'an tells us (interestingly, in the very verse about there being no compulsion in religion):

Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. [Qur'an 2:256]

So you accept that many (ie, Hindus and Christians) do their best to "find true guidance" and come to other things than Islam, with as much conviction as certainty as you have in Islam?
I do not believe that anyone can have as much conviction and certainty as Muslims have in Islam. How can it be so, when there is no foundation, neither of intellect nor scripture, to support those beliefs? As for people doing their best, that is a matter known to God.

And if you obey most of those upon the earth, they will mislead you from the way of Allah. They follow not except assumption, and they are not but falsifying. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who strays from His way, and He is most knowing of the [rightly] guided. [Qur'an 6:116-117]

And do you accept that some of us (ie, Athiests and the non-religious) see no need for such guidance?
There is not a single soul on this earth who is not in need of guidance. To think otherwise is a huge disservice to oneself in realising the purpose of being here.

If so, I must wonder then, why should any of us be punished for coming to different answers?
There are numerous factors because of which people fail to accept the truth. This is for the individual to analyse within their own heart. As for those who have a genuine excuse, God is the Most Just and will not punish unfairly.

I can't think of anything as fundamental as a belief in a God that I ever "willingly disbelieved". How is that possible? What does that mean?
I believe what is being referred to here is someone who does that of his own free will, i.e. he is not acting under coercion. And Allaah :swt: knows best.
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saif-uddin
03-23-2016, 06:14 AM
Atheism, a complete Schism,

According to Atheist mentality, every crook, Rapist, Pedo, mass Murderer, Genocidal maniac that gets away from the long arm of the Law has got away,

"Tough luck" according to them,

Cause there is no judgement day and no justice served, according to Atheists.

آمين يا رب العالمين
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czgibson
03-23-2016, 10:59 AM
Greetings,

The death penalty for apostasy is obviously morally unacceptable to any decent person, and no amount of attempted justification can alter that. It's a primitive solution to the problem of keeping people in a religious group, and it's the kind of ruling cult groups like the Scientologists wish they could invoke, were it not for the fact that it is so obviously barbaric.

Originally Posted by Muhammad
I assert that godlessness is what tends to cause moral decline, not obedience to God.
I don't say that obedience to God necessarily causes moral failures, but I do note that the suicide bombing community is almost exclusively made up of religious people, as is the female genital mutilation community, and the forced marriage community. I'd say a bit more godlessness would be highly beneficial for the victims of those evil acts.

Can you think of any criminal act that tends to be committed only by non-believers?

Peace
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Pygoscelis
03-23-2016, 01:55 PM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
I assert that godlessness is what tends to cause moral decline, not obedience to God.
We will have to politely agree to disagree. I do not say that externalization of your moral values to an imagined authority (what you call obedience to God) is necessarily going to lead to immoral actions, but I do believe that externalization of your moral values to any authority, imagined or otherwise, places a barrier to your own senses of empathy and fairness. It can lead to farming out your judgments of good and bad, which I view as an avoidance of moral judgment and an avoidance of personal responsibility, such as with the catholic gentleman I spoke to recently who answered a moral quandry with "What does the Pope say? Whatever he says is what I believe to be right".

Everything is indeed according to God's Will. There is no doubting that. However, we must understand that God has given mankind the freedom to make choices and we must also face the consequences of those. If the majority of people have fallen prey to misguidance, that is not to say the way of truth is not clear.
Yes, it is. Unless your God is not all powerful, of course. If an all powerful being willed us to know and understand him, we would know him and understand him. We don't... so he doesn't. Simple as that. You say that there is no compulsion in religion, but does that apply to belief or to obedience once you believe? If the former, it makes no sense to me whatsoever. As I have been saying above, and as you agreed, we can not make ourselves believe what we do not believe, or make ourselves not believe what we believe by sheer willpower. There is compulsion in belief. Not compulsion by some threat by a religious person, but compulsion by your own senses. If I put an apple in your hand, you are compelled to believe you have an apple in your hand. Or can you stare at it and make yourself believe you are holding a banana? I can't do that.

I do not believe that anyone can have as much conviction and certainty as Muslims have in Islam. How can it be so, when there is no foundation, neither of intellect nor scripture, to support those beliefs?
Because you are Mulsim. The Hindu and the Christian tell me the exact same thing about how their religion is the only one with good foundation, intellect and scripture.

There is not a single soul on this earth who is not in need of guidance. To think otherwise is a huge disservice to oneself in realising the purpose of being here.
That isn't what I asked. I asked if you believe that there are those of us who do not see any need for guidance. I accept that you wrongly believe that you need some external purpose and guidance to your life imposed by an external all powerful being. Do you accept that I very wrongly (in your view) dismiss your belief as without rational foundation?

I believe what is being referred to here is someone who does that of his own free will, i.e. he is not acting under coercion. And Allaah :swt: knows best.
I think we established above that it is God's will that makes us either believe or not believe he exists, and his will that either guides us to believe in Islam or doesn't. If he is an all powerful being, I would further posit that it must be his will if we lose belief in his existence. Would an all powerful being not have the power to stop that from happening? I further posit that people who lose belief in the existence of God do not do so willingly, anymore than you willingly believe that the apple you ate is no longer in your hand. You don't choose to believe that the apple is no longer in your hand. It just isn't, and you believe that it isn't because your senses compel you to.

I then look to the concept of punishing or murdering somebody for it, and my moral senses, my true moral senses of empathy and fairness, not externally shelled off or farmed out, tell me that it is abhorrent and wrong.
Reply

Serinity
03-23-2016, 01:56 PM
Death by apostasy secures the foundation, security and unity of the Ummah. It prevents hypocrites from coming, leaving, and defaming.
Reply

saif-uddin
03-23-2016, 03:24 PM
Yes plus it Prevents people, from playing with the Deen.

And it's treason against Allah tala
Reply

Serinity
03-23-2016, 03:27 PM
Originally Posted by saif-uddin
Yes plus it Prevents people, from playing with the Deen.

And it's treason against Allah tala
True. Any sane reasonable man will find no fault in Islam. Islam doesn't oppose science, and it commands people to think and reason.

Whether people do that or not, is up to them.
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Pygoscelis
03-23-2016, 07:32 PM
Originally Posted by saif-uddin
Yes plus it Prevents people, from playing with the Deen.

And it's treason against Allah tala
Does somebody who was never a believer, but pretended to be, and played with the Deen as you say, qualify as an "apostate"? Is this what you are really looking to stop? Outsiders from messing with your internal religious workings?

If so, what then of actual true believers that then lose their faith and become actual nonbeliever aspostates? Are they to be treated differently?
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The-Deist
03-23-2016, 07:38 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Does somebody who was never a believer, but pretended to be, and played with the Deen as you say, qualify as an "apostate"? Is this what you are really looking to stop? Outsiders from messing with your internal religious workings?

If so, what then of actual true believers that then lose their faith and become actual nonbeliever aspostates? Are they to be treated differently?
Yeah, that's like the west saying that whoever leaves us shall be executed, it doesn't make any sense to me. It's the same as being executed for divorcing someone.
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Serinity
03-23-2016, 07:42 PM
afaik, those who knew the religion, inside out, and memorised the Quran 100% etc. And left, they are to be executed. Cuz their life is pointless and empty.

The one who knew the truth, practiced it, and left it, is to be executed. Cuz his life bears no value. Cuz knowing the truth, practicing it,and leaving it is the worst thing one can do.

May Allah forgive me if I said anything wrong. Ameen.
And Allah knows best.
Reply

The-Deist
03-23-2016, 07:44 PM
Originally Posted by Serinity
afaik, those who knew the religion, inside out, and memorised the Quran 100% etc. And left, they are to be executed. Cuz their life is pointless and empty.

The one who knew the truth, practiced it, and left it, is to be executed. Cuz his life bears no value. Cuz knowing the truth, practicing it,and leaving it is the worst thing one can do.

May Allah forgive me if I said anything wrong. Ameen.
And Allah knows best.
Well, thank God I didn't memorise the Quran.

And does that not make Islam the opposite of mercy "their life is pointless and holds no value".
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Pygoscelis
03-23-2016, 08:10 PM
To declare that somebody else's life is pointless and empty because they don't share your beliefs, and to declare that they therefore have no value and so we should murder them.... I don't even know what to say to that.

That ranks up there with when Abz told me he wants to hunt down and murder homosexuals for engaging in sex he doesn't approve of.

So many calls for murder in this peaceful religion of yours.
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Scimitar
03-23-2016, 08:24 PM
So many calls for all sorts among the ones who seek it - this is not reflective of Islamic teaching at all - but of perversion in practice.

Pygo - Muslims all have the same fundamental beliefs - ie: one God, Muhammad last prophet pbuh, salaat, sawm, zakaat, hajj...

But when it comes to the matters such as the ones we discuss here - many will not even think to consider what the scholars have said on the issue and instead prefer to rant with their bias affecting their opinion... not scholarly, not correct, and definitely not worth wasting your time over.

Muhammad has provided you with some excellent food for thought, but I feel you have not honestly taken a look at what he is suggesting to you and instead you are only seeking to object due to your own bias.

If we play the bias, what chance do we have to learn something new?

Scimi
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Pygoscelis
03-23-2016, 09:19 PM
^ indeed. I've heard from enough different Muslims to know that there is no one universal Islam that you all believe in. Your Islam (or what you believe is the true Islam) may be very different than the Islam of the person above who said non-muslims have no value so should be murdered (what they believe to be the true Islam). You can dismiss such things as that and calls for murdering homoxexuals, apostates, etc, as not the true Islam (as you see it), but that doesn't change or undo what other people who also call themselves "Muslims" believe (and claim is the true Islam). I am left to address both you and them, and I use the label you each give yourselves, "Muslim" and "Islam". I do make an effort to address you individually and not paint all of you with a broad brush, though that can be challenging sometimes. i would hope the same is true of how you consider non-muslims (who vary even moreso between each other, since all we have in common is that we are not muslims).

Originally Posted by Timi Scar
Muhammad has provided you with some excellent food for thought, but I feel you have not honestly taken a look at what he is suggesting to you and instead you are only seeking to object due to your own bias.
And you with yours, of course. We all have bias. By interacting and explaining our positions, we can try to see passed those biases and explore the ideas involved.

I appreciate Muhammad's posts, have found him to be polite and thoughtful, and am learning his perspective and considering his ideas. At the end of the day I can not and will not share it (even if I wanted to), as I simply don't think as a religious person does, or as a Muslim in particular does, but I do appreciate learning his outlook and approach, as well as yours. I hope the reverse is true as you read what I write about my own perspective and viewpoint. We don't have to agree with each other's worldviews to coexist or acknowledge the honesty or thoughtfulness in the other. In fact, seeking to understand the viewpoints of others is a good step towards peaceful coexistence and broader empathy and respect, and is a safeguard against that "they think different from me, so they should die" mentality referenced above.
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Muhammad
03-23-2016, 11:28 PM
Greetings czgibson,

Originally Posted by czgibson
The death penalty for apostasy is obviously morally unacceptable to any decent person, and no amount of attempted justification can alter that. It's a primitive solution to the problem of keeping people in a religious group, and it's the kind of ruling cult groups like the Scientologists wish they could invoke, were it not for the fact that it is so obviously barbaric.
'Morally unacceptable', 'primitive solution', 'obviously barbaric'... these are subjective terms. Subjective morals are those that depend on you, your situation, culture, and your preferences. Subjective morals change, can become contradictory, and might differ from person to person. The fact that numerous countries across the world, both religious and secular, apply death penalties to various crimes illustrates that the alleged immorality here is not as obvious as you think.

I don't say that obedience to God necessarily causes moral failures, but I do note that the suicide bombing community is almost exclusively made up of religious people, as is the female genital mutilation community, and the forced marriage community. I'd say a bit more godlessness would be highly beneficial for the victims of those evil acts.
The question arises as to whether it is godliness, or religiosity, that drives people to do these things, just as one wonders whether it was atheism that, for instance, drove communist leaders to purge millions for not conforming to state control. You'll remember from previous discussions that research is emerging to show that religious ideology is not an underlying driver of violence, rather a host of other factors play a far more significant role, such as political grievances, state violence and a climate of alienation and suspicion.
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Muhammad
03-24-2016, 12:39 AM
Greetings Pygoscelis,

Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
I do not say that externalization of your moral values to an imagined authority (what you call obedience to God) is necessarily going to lead to immoral actions, but I do believe that externalization of your moral values to any authority, imagined or otherwise, places a barrier to your own senses of empathy and fairness. It can lead to farming out your judgments of good and bad, which I view as an avoidance of moral judgment and an avoidance of personal responsibility,
The same God who placed within us our moral compass is our Law-Giver. There can be no conflict between these two. This is evident if a person studies Islam's teachings, they will find how it commands noble characteristics like truthfulness, justice and kindness, and prohibits evil characteristics. Moreover, as mentioned, our judgements of good and bad are limited. God's judgements are based upon perfect knowledge and wisdom. When we need help from the doctor, we trust in his qualification and expertise even though he may give us a bitter medicine. We don't subject everything he tells us to our own judgement.

Yes, it is. Unless your God is not all powerful, of course. If an all powerful being willed us to know and understand him, we would know him and understand him. We don't... so he doesn't. Simple as that.
We cannot blame God's Will for lack of belief. The fact that He has sent numerous Prophets and scriptures shows He does want us to know Him. We have to exert the faculties He has given us to take action, learn and apply. In our worldly affairs, we strive to attain what is in our best interests and to take care of it. If we fail to act and lose out, we would only blame ourselves, not pre-decree. Thus it should be with religion also.

There is compulsion in belief. Not compulsion by some threat by a religious person, but compulsion by your own senses. If I put an apple in your hand, you are compelled to believe you have an apple in your hand.
This is why there is no need to force anyone to embrace Islam (which is the compulsion we were referring to earlier). Islam is plain and clear, and its proofs and evidence are plain and clear, like that apple in someone's hand. Whoever Allah directs to Islam, opens his heart for it and enlightens his mind, will embrace Islam with certainty.

Because you are Mulsim. The Hindu and the Christian tell me the exact same thing about how their religion is the only one with good foundation, intellect and scripture.
Each one can be analysed and you will see for yourself which one has the good foundation, supported by intellect and scripture. : )

That isn't what I asked. I asked if you believe that there are those of us who do not see any need for guidance. I accept that you wrongly believe that you need some external purpose and guidance to your life imposed by an external all powerful being. Do you accept that I very wrongly (in your view) dismiss your belief as without rational foundation?
I don't know. The thing is, if you are telling me you see no need for guidance, and presumably, there is no meaning or value to this universe (in your view), then that begs the question as to why you are concerned with objective meaning and morality.

I think we established above that it is God's will that makes us either believe or not believe he exists,
God has a Will, but we humans also have a will and ability to make choices. We are not compelled to make the choice of disbelief, rather we are shown both ways.

I further posit that people who lose belief in the existence of God do not do so willingly, anymore than you willingly believe that the apple you ate is no longer in your hand. You don't choose to believe that the apple is no longer in your hand. It just isn't, and you believe that it isn't because your senses compel you to.
You are positing that the rationale for leaving or rejecting Islam is as strong as for entering it, which you would have to prove. I posit there is none.

I then look to the concept of punishing or murdering somebody for it
We're not talking about murder, just as we are not accusing the US government of murdering their death-sentenced prisoners. We are talking about a capital punishment carried out by due process of law. Let us not confuse the issue here.
Reply

czgibson
03-24-2016, 01:20 AM
Greetings Muhammad,

Originally Posted by Muhammad
Greetings czgibson,

'Morally unacceptable', 'primitive solution', 'obviously barbaric'... these are subjective terms. Subjective morals are those that depend on you, your situation, culture, and your preferences. Subjective morals change, can become contradictory, and might differ from person to person.
A subjective account of morality is the only game in town, philosophically speaking. The idea that morality is objective is nonsensical for various reasons. Morality is an evolving set of conventions that is always based ultimately on human opinion. Attributing the basis of morality to a supernatural source and following its commands gives rise to obedience, not moral behaviour.

The fact that numerous countries across the world, both religious and secular, apply death penalties to various crimes illustrates that the alleged immorality here is not as obvious as you think.
It's a diminishing list, and the death penalty tends to be used in countries that are either still under the sway of religion to a great degree, or less developed countries, which explains my use of the word 'primitive' earlier.

The question arises as to whether it is godliness, or religiosity, that drives people to do these things, just as one wonders whether it was atheism that, for instance, drove communist leaders to purge millions for not conforming to state control.
Lust for power drove the communist purges you speak of. This has nothing to do with a simple lack of belief in God.

Let's one of the examples I mentioned: are you really suggesting, as a thinking adult, that you can see no connection at all between the certain belief in the rewards of an afterlife and the practice of suicide bombing?

You'll remember from previous discussions that research is emerging to show that religious ideology is not an underlying driver of violence, rather a host of other factors play a far more significant role, such as political grievances, state violence and a climate of alienation and suspicion.
As before, the text as you have given it to me is incomplete. Again, you don't seem to have understood its contents, despite having had plenty of time to reread it since the last time you showed it to me.

The text is arguing against a reductionist account of terrorism, particularly terrorism committed in the name of Islam, and is also concerned with evaluating counter-terrorism responses. The text emphatically does not discount the role of religious ideology in enabling violence, as you claim. For example [my emphasis]:

This suggests that religious ideology gives coherence to a group of individuals
who are already engaged in terrorism
but is not what drives them into becoming
terrorists in the first place – which has more to do with a desire to join others in
the adventure of fighting a dominant power.
Wouldn't we all be better off without systems of thought that give coherence to those already engaged in terrorism? It makes no difference whether religion is the first cause of violence (it isn't necessarily), and as you rightly say, other factors are involved, but the end result is the same.

I note you decided to ignore my question:

Can you think of any criminal act that tends to be committed only by non-believers?

Would you like to offer an answer?

Peace
Reply

Scimitar
03-24-2016, 03:04 AM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
^ indeed. I've heard from enough different Muslims to know that there is no one universal Islam that you all believe in. Your Islam (or what you believe is the true Islam) may be very different than the Islam of the person above who said non-muslims have no value so should be murdered (what they believe to be the true Islam). You can dismiss such things as that and calls for murdering homoxexuals, apostates, etc, as not the true Islam (as you see it), but that doesn't change or undo what other people who also call themselves "Muslims" believe (and claim is the true Islam). I am left to address both you and them, and I use the label you each give yourselves, "Muslim" and "Islam". I do make an effort to address you individually and not paint all of you with a broad brush, though that can be challenging sometimes. i would hope the same is true of how you consider non-muslims (who vary even moreso between each other, since all we have in common is that we are not muslims).
I believe you have failed to factor in that for us Muslims, learning of an apostate within out own communities is actually very rare - in my forty years I have still yet to meet an apostate from Islam, or to learn of one from my community - now you may argue that this is because one may apostate in private for fear of being butchered etc lol - but the truth is that is quite the dishonest opinion to take - simply because for me as a Muslim, the only time the apostate issue comes up Pygo - is when non Muslims bring up the subject.

I've looked into the issues regarding apostacy in great detail, as I was asked this question on VC - and there I had to go up against a forum full of bible belt Christians who wanted a willy waving match lol... but no.

Instead I spent a good few days learning the issue and made my post - the proverbial thread killer, in VC v2.

Since then the apostate topic doesn't appear there anymore... (we now on VC v5 btw) because that thread kill was epic.

The good thing about that place is that the people there are willing to entertain anothers premise without necessarily accepting it... a sign of intelligence imo.

The simple truth regarding apostacy law is this - you do not have to worry if you are a Muslim and now wish to not remain so - no one gonna kill you - unless you wish to dissent from Islam for the sake of treason... and to my knowledge, treason is still the only crime the Brits will kill you for - that in the Great of Britain... why would it be so bad because it's another people?

After all that's been written in this thread, I believe it is beating dead horses if we keep going - time to let this one die eh Pygo?

Scimi

EDIT:

Originally Posted by Pygo
I've heard from enough different Muslims to know that there is no one universal Islam that you all believe in.
We're like skittles mate - sour and sweet, but never salty :D
Reply

Pygoscelis
03-24-2016, 03:50 PM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
The same God who placed within us our moral compass is our Law-Giver. There can be no conflict between these two. This is evident if a person studies Islam's teachings, they will find how it commands noble characteristics like truthfulness, justice and kindness, and prohibits evil characteristics.
I see what you are saying, and I suppose that could make sense if you buy into it enough, but I'm also sure you can see what I am saying, when you look at people of other religions or interpretations of Islam (those who get it wrong in your view). It isn't hard to think of a situation where religious doctrine or inspiration (other than your own) runs directly against empathy, fairness and morality. Yes? Can you see how externalizing our moral value judgments to a third party could compromise them?

Moreover, as mentioned, our judgements of good and bad are limited. God's judgements are based upon perfect knowledge and wisdom. When we need help from the doctor, we trust in his qualification and expertise even though he may give us a bitter medicine. We don't subject everything he tells us to our own judgement.
I believe that this is the best point that I think you have. It is true that when we lack knowledge, we often trust in people who have superior knowledge. I get that analogy. It fails with me for 3 reasons. First, because an all powerful being would not likely have such limitations. Any analogy between an all powerful being and limited humans is going to falter a little. Second, because I see no reason to believe such a being exists. Auto mechanics and Doctors are real flesh and blood people I can visually see who have gone to brick and mortar universities and learned their expertise and have degrees and diplomas to show for it. Third, because even if such a being exists, them being benevolent seems inconsistent with what I see around me. Auto mechanics and Doctors can be shady characters out to exploit or harm or rip me off. I see no reason to give such a being the benefit of the doubt, or pre-define him as benevolent. Power corrupts as they say.

A similar point to the one you make above is that at least in the human realm,sometimes something bad has to happen so something good can. You running up and pushing me would seem abhorent, until I realize you pushed me out of the path of an incoming locomotive. That is why I can't really fault those annoying people who I would otherwise view as disrespectful, such as Jehova's Witnesses, Mormons, or other missionaries. They may be doing that because they care enough to genuinely want to help eople (or the more cycnical side of me suspects because they want brownie points with Gods). I once saw a missionary try to convert a 6 year old right in front of her parents. That is shockingly disrespectful, but even then, it may be motivated with good intentions. Same as when a Christian comes to try to convert you and save you with Jesus from Islam. As the saying goes, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".

We cannot blame God's Will for lack of belief.
We will have to agree to disagree on that. An all powerful being could make us believe whatever he wants us to believe, and since belief isn't really intentional on our part anyway, it wouldn't rob us of free will. If he was giving us truth, then it would actually enable free will, and allow us to make informed decisions.

The fact that He has sent numerous Prophets and scriptures shows He does want us to know Him.
It really really doesn't. Humans have produced hundreds, maybe thousands of different "prophets", "holy books" and understandings of the Gods and what they/he/she wants us to know. The fact that we have so many earnest and well meaning
seekers, finding such a wide array of conflicting "answers" makes it crystal clear to me that any God that actually does exist, can not want to be known by all. I see no way of getting around that. And the mere existence of human messengers (prophets) and holy texts, bringing with them all the human flaws of memory, perception, communication and spoken and written word amplifies that. An all poweful being would not be so limited, and could simply have us know what he wanted us to know, perfectly and without misunderstanding, with no need for such theatrics as written or spoken human language.

The fact that these so-called prophets and holy texts look so much like what we would expect from man-made fabrications amplifies it even more. The Quran and the Bible both read like texts written by people of that time with the cultures and knowledge of that time. If the Quran told us that germs rather than spirits make us sick, for example, that would be impressive! The Bible doesn't even get the question of slavery right.

This is why there is no need to force anyone to embrace Islam (which is the compulsion we were referring to earlier). Islam is plain and clear, and its proofs and evidence are plain and clear, like that apple in someone's hand.
Maybe to you. Certainly not to me. All I see is an empty hand.

Whoever Allah directs to Islam, opens his heart for it and enlightens his mind, will embrace Islam with certainty.
So you do believe it is Allah's decree that decides if we are going to be believers or not? I thought you were saying the opposite above?

Each one can be analysed and you will see for yourself which one has the good foundation, supported by intellect and scripture. : )
A lot of us do that. And we come to radically different conclusions. That tells me something. How do you explain that away?

I don't know. The thing is, if you are telling me you see no need for guidance, and presumably, there is no meaning or value to this universe (in your view), then that begs the question as to why you are concerned with objective meaning and morality.
First, not seeing a need for moral guidance from an all powerful being, does not equate to seeing no meaning or value to the universe, or in your life. That is a misunderstanding about atheists that I encounter in a lot of theists. It ranks right up there with "you can't be good without God" and "atheists are rebelling against God". These are all fundamentally wrong statements about atheism. My life actually has plenty of meaning, as does the universe. That meaning just isn't imposed by some external all powerful authority figure.

Second, my concern with "objective meaning and morality" mostly centers on the religious person's claim of it. I do not believe that morality or meaning exist in a vacuum where no mind is present to create or judge them. The closest I can get to a belief in "objective morality" is recognizing that as a social species we have evolved innate senses of empathy and fairness. I can see why we evolved that way and can see why it is mostly universal (aside from sociopaths) and why it is getting stronger in our species over time as we cooperate in bigger and bigger groups.

We are not compelled to make the choice of disbelief, rather we are shown both ways.
"The choice of disbelief" you say. I am sad to see that we are right back where we started. If you see and feel me put that apple in your hand can you choose to disbelieve it is an apple, and believe it is a banana or a grape? Is that some power you have that I lack?

We're not talking about murder, just as we are not accusing the US government of murdering their death-sentenced prisoners. We are talking about a capital punishment carried out by due process of law. Let us not confuse the issue here.
Murder is culpable (unjustified) homocide (human killing). I call killing apostates murder because I find it completely unjustified, and I don't any legal authority in your religious belief, especially when applied to those who no longer share that belief.
Reply

Pygoscelis
03-24-2016, 04:06 PM
Originally Posted by Timi Scar
The simple truth regarding apostacy law is this - you do not have to worry if you are a Muslim and now wish to not remain so - no one gonna kill you - unless you wish to dissent from Islam for the sake of treason... and to my knowledge, treason is still the only crime the Brits will kill you for - that in the Great of Britain... why would it be so bad because it's another people?
What exactly qualifies as "treason" in Islam? Blowing up a mosque? Drawing a cartoon? Merely speaking against Islam? ls Is Ayaan Hirsi Ali an apostate that committed treason against Islam? Is she to be killed? Is Salman Rushdie?

If a person born in England moves to America and speaks about dissolving the monarchy, or speaks against or makes fun of England, they are not killed for treason against England. Everyone from Christopher Hitchens to John Oliver would be put to death if that were the case. I am Canadian and I can write that the Queen of England is ridiculous and should absolutely not be our head of state, ceremonial or otherwise, that our Prime Minister is weak willed, and that our flag looks ridiculous (a leaf? really?). Nobody is going to want to kill me for saying that.
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M.I.A.
03-24-2016, 04:33 PM
Ok as logic dictates, the difference between leaders and dictators is not the law it's application of law.

Religion is based on moral law and criminal law, the two are combined.

While a Western democracy works on criminal law..

The difference is freedom of speech and expression..

Both are open to abuses.

The punishment of death for apostasy is to protect moral law.

Criminal law still allowes for the death penalty in some countries.. Both East and West.

So I guess the crux of the question is why the death penalty for apostasy?

...apart from the fact that you are asking the question to a large number of people who would probably not enforce such a rule..

Why they enforce such a rule.

The answer is context specific.

Empires are expanded at the cost of millions of lives..

What becomes of the opposition?


...I think Russians have died on English soil for being outspoken.

...I think snowden still does not want to leave.

...I think bin laden instigated a disproportionate response.. Although it's an example of an insider becoming an outsider.

It's just my take on the idea, nowhere do I claim to be correct.

Have yet to mention Kim.

...the flip side is Mandela although it's probably complicated.

With respect to the above post,

The number one cause of mosques blowing up is other muslims.. Although any claim has yet to be decided.

The West has mosques defaced although the response via CRIMINAL LAW should make it an unacceptable habit.

As for drawing pictures, the West has antisemitism laws..

Ever wonder why?


I give no fatwas, argue in the best of ways.. I have yet to read the satanic verses.


You may be Canadian but maybe the fighting Irish would agree..

Your lucky you don't live in new England.
Reply

Scimitar
03-24-2016, 05:24 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
What exactly qualifies as "treason" in Islam? Blowing up a mosque? Drawing a cartoon? Merely speaking against Islam? ls Is Ayaan Hirsi Ali an apostate that committed treason against Islam? Is she to be killed? Is Salman Rushdie?
Treason is treason - you leave one camp in order to go the enemies camp and give them knowledge of the first camps particulars - treason is not an opinion dude - it's an act of war.

Did you honestly not know this?

Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
If a person born in England moves to America and speaks about dissolving the monarchy, or speaks against or makes fun of England, they are not killed for treason against England. Everyone from Christopher Hitchens to John Oliver would be put to death if that were the case. I am Canadian and I can write that the Queen of England is ridiculous and should absolutely not be our head of state, ceremonial or otherwise, that our Prime Minister is weak willed, and that our flag looks ridiculous (a leaf? really?). Nobody is going to want to kill me for saying that.
Like I said, opinion is not treason lol

Scimi
Reply

Pygoscelis
03-24-2016, 07:55 PM
Originally Posted by Timi Scar
Treason is treason - you leave one camp in order to go the enemies camp and give them knowledge of the first camps particulars - treason is not an opinion dude - it's an act of war.

Did you honestly not know this?
You didn't answer. Are Ayan Hirsi Ali and Salman Rushdie guilty of treason? What exactly is Treason as it pertains to a religion? Treason when it relates to a country usually means acts of wanton destruction or at least endangering the lives of people of your own country.

You say opinions are opinions. So it is not "treason" for an ex-Muslim to speak against Islam? Just want to be clear. Because a death fatwa was put on Rushdie and Ali has received many death threats as well. These are from false Muslims?
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saif-uddin
03-24-2016, 08:00 PM
Salaman Rushdie is Shataans excrement,

He's got poop on his brain,

And yes he deserves death,
Reply

czgibson
03-24-2016, 09:18 PM
Greetings,

Originally Posted by Timi Scar
The simple truth regarding apostacy law is this - you do not have to worry if you are a Muslim and now wish to not remain so - no one gonna kill you - unless you wish to dissent from Islam for the sake of treason... and to my knowledge, treason is still the only crime the Brits will kill you for - that in the Great of Britain... why would it be so bad because it's another people?
This claim often pops up in this debate, but in fact the death penalty was completely abolished in the UK in 1998.

Originally Posted by saif-uddin
Salaman Rushdie is Shataans excrement,

He's got poop on his brain,

And yes he deserves death,
If that's the best argument you can come up with to support putting a man to death, then you don't deserve to read the excellent novels Salman Rushdie has written. You wouldn't understand them anyway.

Peace
Reply

piXie
03-24-2016, 09:47 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
To declare that somebody else's life is pointless and empty because they don't share your beliefs, and to declare that they therefore have no value and so we should murder them.... I don't even know what to say to that.
Why are you speechless? Do you believe that murder is wrong Pygoscelis?
Reply

M.I.A.
03-24-2016, 10:28 PM
...jfk?


.....mlk?


..........MX?


...is it too late to change username?

I'm Kidding but only just, I nearly got stabbed...

Bad knife etiquette is a health and safety hazard.

Always carry knives with the tip facing downwards.

Achieve competency.


....do not rotate at the hip while pointing the knife.


I sincerely hope you people are not zombies.


Dangerous knife carrier does not live here.

...can't make this stuff up!


No clue who salman rushdie is?


.....ooooohh.. I exclaimed before thinking I had imagined it..

But somebody mentioned it as they left.


...maybe I should sell Ferraris.
Reply

Scimitar
03-24-2016, 11:07 PM
Originally Posted by czgibson
Greetings,



This claim often pops up in this debate, but in fact the death penalty was completely abolished in the UK in 1998.
Peace
Officially, yes... you telling me you believe the UK doesn't take out home grown threats? :D come on fella.

Scimi
Reply

Scimitar
03-24-2016, 11:14 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
You didn't answer. Are Ayan Hirsi Ali and Salman Rushdie guilty of treason? What exactly is Treason as it pertains to a religion? Treason when it relates to a country usually means acts of wanton destruction or at least endangering the lives of people of your own country.

You say opinions are opinions. So it is not "treason" for an ex-Muslim to speak against Islam? Just want to be clear. Because a death fatwa was put on Rushdie and Ali has received many death threats as well. These are from false Muslims?
Their opinion is not worthy of it in my honest opinion... I've read the satanic verses, from start to finish - the start itself was highly amusing to know how Salman envisioned satans fall from heaven to earth - singing a bollywood film song from the 50's lol

Mera jhoota hai japani, mera patloon englishtani, sarr pe laal topi wala phir bhi dil hai hindustani - translation, my shoes are japanese, my trousers from england i wear a red turks hat but my heart is fully Hindu... that to me spelled volumes alone - did I find it offensive? No. Did I find it amusing? Yes, Did I get an insight into the dark workings of a an ex Muslims mind - yes... was it treason? NO. He wrote a book ffs.

As for your beloved Ayaan - she's just a tool in satan's play box... and she played Tavis well good here:



Post 911, the media machine propagates a mutual disdain for both Islam and Christianity. Over the years it dawns upon us, that secular ideals have no tolerance for the worlds two most adhered to religions - Christianity and Islam. Here you can see it at work.

This is defamation, from people who are not credible - they are media monkeys.

If you're looking for an extreme opinion - you won't find it here... you'll find an honest opinion coming from someone who has argued these topics constantly for five years in the hope that I can present a POV that reflects the majority of Muslims on this planet.

Shia Imams who make fatwa do not qualify in my opinion for the majority Sunni populations opinion on such matters - especially when the scholars themselves are very much split on the issue and therefore approach with serious caution.

For me - the Shia wing of Islam has always been problematic politically speaking. And what you fail to understand is that these Fatwa's have a political edge to them which make them even more difficult to tread on - thus the Shia to me are quite ignorant of their approach and totally whack for making a fatwa on Salman Rushdie for writing something in a context that was fiction... where were they when Dante's Inferno was making its waves eh? sheesh. You still won't frikkiin get it.

oH i DUNNO... surprise me.

Scimi
Reply

M.I.A.
03-24-2016, 11:15 PM
It's a funny ol world,

Anjum choudry is what the people want apparently.
Reply

Pygoscelis
03-25-2016, 12:29 AM
Originally Posted by Timi Scar
For me - the Shia wing of Islam has always been problematic politically speaking. And what you fail to understand is that these Fatwa's have a political edge to them which make them even more difficult to tread on - thus the Shia to me are quite ignorant of their approach and totally whack for making a fatwa on Salman Rushdie for writing something in a context that was fiction... where were they when Dante's Inferno was making its waves eh? sheesh. You still won't frikkiin get it.
Is this long post your way of saying "no"? These people are not doing treason against Islam and should not be murdered? You still didn't define what treason to a religion means. What would qualify? If you disagree with the fellow who responded to me before you and said Salman Rushdie should be put to death, then how far would Salman Rushie have had to have gone for you to say he should be?

And as for Ayan Hirsi Ali, why do you presume that she is my beloved? I though it would be clear by now that I am not an Ayan Hirsi Ali or Sam Harris type of atheist. Or do you view all us atheists as the same?

As for your claim that the "media machine" is out to get Christianity and Islam.... I just have to roll my eyes. Islam yes. A lot of the media, especially in the USA, is out against Islam, but Christianity? Christianity gets pushed on the rest of us every single day, and for the most part it is fundamentalist Christians that attack the other religions. For every Ayan Hirsi Ali or Sam Harris you show me, I could show you a dozen Christian zealots that hate Muslims. Look how popular Donald Trump (who wants to ban Muslims) is right now. Images of witch trials and the inquisition come to mind. But a little bit of pushing back and they claim persecution. The irony is so thick you can cut it with a chainsaw.
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Pygoscelis
03-25-2016, 12:41 AM
Originally Posted by piXie
Why are you speechless? Do you believe that murder is wrong Pygoscelis?
Indeed. I am speechless because what was said was so far out there beyond wrong that I don't know how to walk the person back to sanity.
Reply

Scimitar
03-25-2016, 01:19 AM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Is this long post your way of saying "no"? These people are not doing treason against Islam and should not be murdered? You still didn't define what treason to a religion means. What would qualify? If you disagree with the fellow who responded to me before you and said Salman Rushdie should be put to death, then how far would Salman Rushie have had to have gone for you to say he should be?

And as for Ayan Hirsi Ali, why do you presume that she is my beloved? I though it would be clear by now that I am not an Ayan Hirsi Ali or Sam Harris type of atheist. Or do you view all us atheists as the same?

As for your claim that the "media machine" is out to get Christianity and Islam.... I just have to roll my eyes. Islam yes. A lot of the media, especially in the USA, is out against Islam, but Christianity? Christianity gets pushed on the rest of us every single day, and for the most part it is fundamentalist Christians that attack the other religions. For every Ayan Hirsi Ali or Sam Harris you show me, I could show you a dozen Christian zealots that hate Muslims. Look how popular Donald Trump (who wants to ban Muslims) is right now. Images of witch trials and the inquisition come to mind. But a little bit of pushing back and they claim persecution. The irony is so thick you can cut it with a chainsaw.
Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi weren't selling state secrets far as I can tell lol - you're attempting to put words in my mouth i do not sponsor lol.

I've told you - OPINION DOES NOT COUNT AS TREASON IN MY RESEARCH - TREASON IS TREASON.
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MuslimInshallah
03-25-2016, 02:21 AM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Hi MuslimInshallah,

Your words are kind and loving and I appreciate that. I don't think I could dislike you if I tried :) I can see that your motivation is good and that you hope and pray for non-muslims to come to Allah because you genuinely care for them. And that is truly beautiful.

But just as I could not dislike you, because you are so kind, I can not believe what I do not, because it just ins't believable to me. I am an avid camper an canoeist and have been most of my life. I find peace and tranquility in nature, of a quasi-transcendent quality. But that just doesn't lead me to see anything supernatural. I sit in awe under the stars looking up at the massive universe and sitting in wonder at how amazing it all is. But that does not lead me to see any reason to believe in a creator God.

We are simply looking at life from different frameworks and worldviews. There is no polite way for you to tell me that I am spiritually blind or that my heart is covered up from the truth that you see, etc, though I must say you come awfully close in your post above. There is no polite way for me to tell you that I see you as engaging in fantasy. But we can love and respect one another and accept that the other simply does not believe as we do. That is all I have been asking for above. I find that some of you religious folks do afford me that, and some do not.

Peace Be Upon You always.

Hello Pygoscelis,

(smile) What I was most trying to say previously was that it might help you to ask God to help you perceive Him.

Mmm... fantasy...? (twinkle) Perhaps the word "delusional" might be more apt? (smile) I remember reading a story years ago about a fictional explorer who stumbles into an isolated valley in the mountains. Everyone in the valley is blind, and they think he is delusional when he talks about sight to them. They patiently try to explain away all that he is perceiving with his eyes. But when he persists in saying that he can see, they finally decide to surgically remove his eyes, in the hope of curing his delusion...

(smile) Since I can remember, I have "felt" God. (smile) Not feel as in touch, but as in an awareness of God, rather like what I imagine that pigeons feel when they can "feel" their location. (smile) Like a compass swings round, though you can't see anything that causes it to do so, I feel a pull within towards rightness, harmony. And occasionally, I feel a brush with something so vast and so beautiful, that I shiver with my insignificance. (pensively) This, I think, it what the word "awe" truly means.

(smile) How do you explain colour to a blind person?

So yes, I'm afraid I do see you as somehow missing this sense that I can feel. Indeed, it is somewhat mysterious to me how you can't sense this. But I respect you when you say that you cannot feel it. You have stated several times in this thread that you feel you are being accused of dishonesty when you say you do not feel a connection with God. No, no, I do not think you are being dishonest. I think you are being very honest (smile) And this is why I think it is not impolite for me to say that this sense is somehow muffled in you. It is what you yourself honestly say: you do not feel it.

(smile) But just as the colours of this beautiful world lift my heart, I find that this sense of God adds so much beauty and texture to my life. And if I was to live without it... oh, that would be such a terrible loss!

The immersion in nature I mentioned would not, by itself, necessarily lift the veil on your sense of connection with God. But if you were to ask Him humbly and sincerely... God might Help you. (smile) The natural setting could help you limit the cacophony on the other senses, and this might make it easier for you to start to open that connection with God, with your petition to Him.

(smile) Though you might think it a completely crazy thing to do.


Anyway, I appreciate your efforts to converse with people on this Forum. It is not easy to be a minority, I know. Especially one that the majority may feel negative emotions towards.

May God, the Sublime, Bless you.
Reply

Scimitar
03-25-2016, 02:31 AM
Originally Posted by pygoscelis
is this long post your way of saying "no"? These people are not doing treason against islam and should not be murdered? You still didn't define what treason to a religion means. What would qualify? If you disagree with the fellow who responded to me before you and said salman rushdie should be put to death, then how far would salman rushie have had to have gone for you to say he should be?

And as for ayan hirsi ali, why do you presume that she is my beloved? I though it would be clear by now that i am not an ayan hirsi ali or sam harris type of atheist. Or do you view all us atheists as the same?

As for your claim that the "media machine" is out to get christianity and islam.... I just have to roll my eyes. Islam yes. A lot of the media, especially in the usa, is out against islam, but christianity? Christianity gets pushed on the rest of us every single day, and for the most part it is fundamentalist christians that attack the other religions. For every ayan hirsi ali or sam harris you show me, i could show you a dozen christian zealots that hate muslims. Look how popular donald trump (who wants to ban muslims) is right now. Images of witch trials and the inquisition come to mind. But a little bit of pushing back and they claim persecution. The irony is so thick you can cut it with a chainsaw.
i give up!!! This guy is trolling :d
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Pygoscelis
03-25-2016, 03:14 AM
Originally Posted by Timi Scar
Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi weren't selling state secrets far as I can tell lol - you're attempting to put words in my mouth i do not sponsor lol.

I've told you - OPINION DOES NOT COUNT AS TREASON IN MY RESEARCH - TREASON IS TREASON.
You said that apostates are to be put to death only if they do treason. So what is treason as it relates to apostacy in your religion? I am glad that you don't view opinion as treason, but you still have not answered the very straight forward question.
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Scimitar
03-25-2016, 03:48 AM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
You said that apostates are to be put to death only if they do treason. So what is treason as it relates to apostacy in your religion? I am glad that you don't view opinion as treason, but you still have not answered the very straight forward question.
Pygo, I also asked you:

Originally Posted by Timi Scar
Their opinion is not worthy of it in my honest opinion... I've read the satanic verses, from start to finish - the start itself was highly the Shia to me are quite ignorant of their approach and totally whack for making a fatwa on Salman Rushdie for writing something in a context that was fiction... where were they when Dante's Inferno was making its waves eh? sheesh. You still won't frikkiin get it.

oH i DUNNO... surprise me.
No surprise here lol. I;m bored.

I'll repeat myself again to answer your question and this is going to go circular real fast *hyper eye roll.

When John from team A joins the enemy team B and informs team B of team A's wekanesses so team A can attack team B and jeapordise the peace and secirity of team A.

Gosh.

Please do not ask me this again.

Scimi
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piXie
03-25-2016, 04:17 AM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Indeed. I am speechless because what was said was so far out there beyond wrong that I don't know how to walk the person back to sanity.

Where did you get that concept of right and wrong from? And who or what do you believe decides that?

Right and wrong demands accountability for us all but you do not believe in that.
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Pygoscelis
03-25-2016, 04:40 AM
Originally Posted by Timi Scar
Please do not ask me this again.
I will keep asking you so long as you keep avoiding the question. The eye rolling attitude you are giving accomplishes nothing. How does "John from team A informing team B of team A's weaknesses" apply to your religion and apostacy? There are secret weaknesses within Islam that only Muslims know that if you tell the "enemies" of Islam will amount to treason?
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Pygoscelis
03-25-2016, 04:47 AM
Originally Posted by piXie
[/B]
Where did you get that concept of right and wrong from? And who or what do you believe decides that?

Right and wrong demands accountability for us all but you do not believe in that.
I explained that at length in my posts back and forth with Muhammad. My sense of right and wrong comes from my evolved senses of empathy and fairness. I don't confuse that sense of morality with any sense of obedience to an imagined authority figure or "moral law giver". I do believe in accountability, to myself and to others, just not to an imagined God. If you slash my somebody's tires, praying for forgiveness from Allah doesn't fix anything. Amends must be made with the person you wronged.

If you want to talk accountability, I did so above. I believe that externalizing your moral judgments and claiming that some higher power is making them instead of yourself, is what I consider an avoidance of personal responsibility. Again and again I hear religious people doing and saying nasty things (like hating on homosexuals), and then saying it isn't them saying it, and they are only telling me what their God says.

Christianity does it far worse, and introduces vicarious redemption. By the suffering of an innocent person (Jesus) they say that they undo their own wrongdoing. I am glad Islam doesn't buy into that sort of avoidance of personal responsibility at least.
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M.I.A.
03-25-2016, 09:24 AM
With regards to treason, there are accounts of how people made plots to kill the prophet pbuh..

And how he already knew.

Even in Christianity.. Although Islamic accounts differ in part.

I don't think the response was the apostasy punishment in either case..

Although those with better knowledge will know.
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Scimitar
03-25-2016, 12:01 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
I will keep asking you so long as you keep avoiding the question. The eye rolling attitude you are giving accomplishes nothing. How does "John from team A informing team B of team A's weaknesses" apply to your religion and apostacy? There are secret weaknesses within Islam that only Muslims know that if you tell the "enemies" of Islam will amount to treason?
I have not avoided your questions, I replied to you but you seem to want this to go circular - and you want to put words in my mouth which I do not sponsor.

To you be your extreme interpretation of Islam, to me - my middle way - the way of Islam.

Scimi
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Pygoscelis
03-25-2016, 01:06 PM
Originally Posted by Timi Scar
I have not avoided your questions, I replied to you but you seem to want this to go circular - and you want to put words in my mouth which I do not sponsor.

To you be your extreme interpretation of Islam, to me - my middle way - the way of Islam.

Scimi
When you don't answer the question, I am forced to guess. You said that mere apostacy is not enough, and that treason against Islam is required. I asked you what that means. You refused to answer. You told me what treason in general is, and gave an analogy to nations. I still do not know what you think is treason as it applies to a religion. Is it bombing a mosque or something less than that? Apparently it isn't speaking harshly against the religion like Ayan Hirsi Ali does. And it has something to do with somebody from Islam telling weaknesses to enemies of Islam is all I can get from your analogy/answer. So what is it? What qualifies? Why are you so hesitant to answer?
Reply

piXie
03-25-2016, 01:51 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
I explained that at length in my posts back and forth with Muhammad. My sense of right and wrong comes from my evolved senses of empathy and fairness.
Every mans sense of empathy and fairness has evolved and based on these he decides what is right and wrong?

So one mans sense tells him one thing and another mans sense tells him another thing. Who decides who is right then ?


I do believe in accountability, to myself and to others
Accountability based upon which law ?

With all due respect, it doesn't make sense.

If you slash my somebody's tires, praying for forgiveness from Allah doesn't fix anything. Amends must be made with the person you wronged.
Indeed, I agree. In Islam the rights of man are based upon accountability whereas the rights of Allah are based upon forgiveness

I believe that externalizing your moral judgments and claiming that some higher power is making them instead of yourself, is what I consider an avoidance of personal responsibility.
Again, I agree.

But what is your evidence that the believe of homosexuality being wrong evolved in men first and then man claimed God said it, or was it the other way wrong.

The Quran was not sent to "justify" man. It came to confirm the good in man and reject the bad. Why would man forbid anything upon himself. If he evolved from an animal, then an animal pursues what it likes, not the opposite!
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czgibson
03-25-2016, 02:06 PM
Greetings,

Originally Posted by Timi Scar
Officially, yes... you telling me you believe the UK doesn't take out home grown threats? :D come on fella.

Scimi
So now you're comparing the Islamic punishment for apostasy with some shady secret service hit operation? It looks like you find it morally questionable just as I do.

Peace
Reply

M.I.A.
03-25-2016, 02:39 PM
Originally Posted by piXie
Every mans sense of empathy and fairness has evolved and based on these he decides what is right and wrong?

So one mans sense tells him one thing and another mans sense tells him another thing. Who decides who is right then ?



Accountability based upon which law ?

With all due respect, it doesn't make sense.


Indeed, I agree. In Islam the rights of man are based upon accountability whereas the rights of Allah are based upon forgiveness


Again, I agree.

But what is your evidence that the believe of homosexuality being wrong evolved in men first and then man claimed God said it, or was it the other way wrong.

The Quran was not sent to "justify" man. It came to confirm the good in man and reject the bad. Why would man forbid anything upon himself. If he evolved from an animal, then an animal pursues what it likes, not the opposite!
My take on homosexuality,

Iv seen kids of the same sex lay there heads on each other's laps.

...iv seen grown men hold hands.

The change is in loss of innocents..

For example what is defined as modern feminism may in no way represent what actual feminism looks like..

Who is to blame for the pigeon holing? The stereotyping?

...as it goes I am no terrorist either.

Maybe we might walk I'm circles a little more?
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Pygoscelis
03-25-2016, 03:06 PM
Originally Posted by piXie
Every mans sense of empathy and fairness has evolved and based on these he decides what is right and wrong?

So one mans sense tells him one thing and another mans sense tells him another thing. Who decides who is right then ?
We all do, and for the most part we agree. We have evolved to work cooperatively in groups, even more than other social animals, we feel a sense of connection with other people (especially those of our tribe) and we also evolved a sense of fairness. Only rarely do people lack this, and that is the disorder called sociopathy.

With all due respect, it doesn't make sense.
I always find it fascinating when I encounter people who can't see this. Do they have no sense of morality aside from obedience to authority and power (ultimate power being God)? If God told you to kill your child as a sacrifice, fly a plane into a building, or force poisoned cool aid on a village of innocent people, would you do it? Or would you refuse and turn against such a monstrous God?

Consider the bible story of Abraham and Isaac, where God tells Abraham to kill Isaac, as a loyalty test. Abraham is about to do it, and so God spares Isaac by offering a lamb to kill in his place (why the lamb deserved to die I don't know, but that's another matter). Imagine if that story instead ended with Abraham refusing God's demand, and telling him that he will not kill Isaac because that is immoral. And imagine if God then said Abraham passed the test, for standing up against authority for what is right. That would make it a great morality tale instead of the sick one that the story actually is. But instead we have Christians decreeing that obedience trumps morality. Does that bother you as a Muslim as much as it bothers me as a secular humanist?

As my sig below says, obedience is doing what you are told no matter what is right, morality is doing what is right no matter what you are told, and we should be careful not to mistake the one for the other.

But what is your evidence that the believe of homosexuality being wrong evolved in men first and then man claimed God said it, or was it the other way wrong.
The complete lack of convincing evidence that any such God exists. You can disagree about that, but you asked and I have answered.

Why would man forbid anything upon himself. If he evolved from an animal, then an animal pursues what it likes, not the opposite!
Man didn't evolve from an animal. Man is an animal. We are highly intelligent and social primates. We forbid ourselves and each other from doing things for a number of reasons, the most important being group cohesion and mutual empathy. If we considered it ok to kill each other, we would have to always be on guard from being killed by each other. An animal without any sense of empathy for other members of its species or grouping within that species isn't going to survive in groups. It isn't hard to see why we evolved our senses of empathy and fairness, and you can see the same in some degree in other social animals, such as dogs, dolphins, and chimps.

You may argue that empathy is not all powerful and we are prone to doing some horrible things to each other, and that is true. The dark side of empathy is tribalism (us vs them mentality). That is reality, and it exists on all sides (from Donald Trump to Isis to Hitler to the witch burnings). Adding religion into the mix doesn't necessarily improve matters, and often make them a lot worse, because they give you something to hide behind, to duck away from personal responsiblity. I am not saying that you yourself do that, but you must have noticed people doing it.
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Serinity
03-25-2016, 03:31 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
I explained that at length in my posts back and forth with Muhammad. My sense of right and wrong comes from my evolved senses of empathy and fairness.
I find that line of thinking flawed. So who then decides what is right and wrong? what you may deem as right and wrong, might be wrong and right. Who you'd consider a psychopath, for that psychopath, you'd be a psychopath.

I disagree on how we got our moral sense.

And to answer the obedience of God thing. No sane human being would think "God loves evil, God commands evil"

God is All-just etc.

What people do wrong is blame God for whatever they do, by saying "if God wills everything, then God willed for me to chop this baby's head off, therefore God is responsible" That is sick avoiding responsibility.

One would be right if God forced one to do something, but He didn't. We all have free will, and to blame everything on God, is just avoiding responsibility. And it is also ignorance, cause any sane Human, would think good of God. To redirect the blame on God, is avoiding responsibility.
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M.I.A.
03-25-2016, 03:45 PM
..brings new meaning to the TERM alpha male.

Although any enforcement of such a notion leads to its own outcome.

Tribalism.

The future is written on good company and conversation.. Sometimes you just have to live with it.


And Allah swt says, do not covet your own soul.


Trump gets anti Muslim endorsements even from the opposition... As they drop out.

Others do a lot worse when they have hold of you.


...what hope is there for the average Joe's?
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Pygoscelis
03-25-2016, 04:46 PM
Originally Posted by Serinity
I find that line of thinking flawed. So who then decides what is right and wrong? what you may deem as right and wrong, might be wrong and right. Who you'd consider a psychopath, for that psychopath, you'd be a psychopath.
A psychopath and a sociopath are people who have no sense of empathy. Empathy isn't arbitrary. It means seeing yourself in others, relating to them, and feeling their pain. It is why you can get emotionally invested in a movie or in a story or life event that isn't about yourself. It is neurological and hard coded into most of us. We even have mirror neurons that activate when we see somebody else do something, which are linked to our neurons that are activated when we do the same things or suffer the same pleasures and pains.





What people do wrong is blame God for whatever they do, by saying "if God wills everything, then God willed for me to chop this baby's head off, therefore God is responsible" That is sick avoiding responsibility.
It is, I agree. And sometimes they say that God TOLD them to do it. Such as the story of Abraham and Isaac that I mentioned above, or the Jim Jones cult with the poisoned coolaid, or the witch burnings, inquisition, or murdering apostates or kafir or homosexuals in the name of Islam (all of which have been endorsed on this board by various people). I hope that you and I can both see that these people are not actually being told by God to do these things, but sometimes they think they are or claim that they are, and that is how dangerous God belief (or any authoritarian belief structure) can be.

A lesser version of this is people deciding that homosexuals should be told they are abominations and to be denied civil rights, or when people scare their children with stories of hellfire and eternal suffering if they do not believe in God, despite their best efforts to delude themselves to believe what they simply do not. A lesser and indeed mostly harmless version of it is when people decide that they should abide by certain dietary laws or prayer rituals. That is not morality. That is obedience to doctrine.

And it is also ignorance, cause any sane Human, would think good of God.
I disagree. I see no reason to believe a God exists firstly, but secondly, if God does exist, I see no reason to believe that he must be benevolent. The world around me is inconsistent with that hypothesis.

To redirect the blame on God, is avoiding responsibility.
Indeed. And if anybody murders an apostate they should not be able to hide behind their religion, God or holy book. It doesn't matter what they say that their imagined God decrees. They did what they did and should be held responsible for their actions. I hope we can agree on that?
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Scimitar
03-25-2016, 05:20 PM
Originally Posted by czgibson
Greetings,
Assalaam :)

Originally Posted by czgibson
So now you're comparing the Islamic punishment for apostasy with some shady secret service hit operation? It looks like you find it morally questionable just as I do.
2qwiotx 1 -


Originally Posted by czgibson
Peace

And unto you, the peace :)
Reply

Scimitar
03-25-2016, 05:23 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
When you don't answer the question, I am forced to guess. You said that mere apostacy is not enough, and that treason against Islam is required. I asked you what that means. You refused to answer. You told me what treason in general is, and gave an analogy to nations. I still do not know what you think is treason as it applies to a religion. Is it bombing a mosque or something less than that? Apparently it isn't speaking harshly against the religion like Ayan Hirsi Ali does. And it has something to do with somebody from Islam telling weaknesses to enemies of Islam is all I can get from your analogy/answer. So what is it? What qualifies? Why are you so hesitant to answer?
Ah, I see where you are failing to understand now.

You see all religions as separate from the state - right?

In Islam, that is not the case - In Islam, religion and state are one.

Now, when you look back at your posted questions and my answers, you will find that the question you keep pursuing is not warranted and makes no real sense given that in Islam, state and religion are NOT separate. You'll also find that my answers are actually making sense now.

Savvy?

Scimi
Reply

M.I.A.
03-25-2016, 05:26 PM
God probably tells people to do stuff..

Moses AS was inspired to strike his staff.. Allah swt did the rest.

Unfortunately most people that hear voices are described as mentally ill..

Even fewer claim those voices to be beneficial.

Mentally ill people are 40% more likely to be violently assaulted than "normal" people..

Who do not hear voices..

At this point I would refer you to a translation of surah ya seen.

...it is a terrifying prospect for those that reflect.


Then I would refer you to your own post at the top of the page..

Freedom of choice in a situation does not negate the situation..

Although there are those that follow and those that impose will..

Breaking the fourth wall is impossible.

What fourth wall?


I have recently said knowledge is not power, application of knowledge is power.. And in the difference between the two..

Is an understanding of Allah swt.
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Pygoscelis
03-25-2016, 05:49 PM
Originally Posted by Timi Scar
In Islam, that is not the case - In Islam, religion and state are one.
Only in a true Islamic state though, right? My country has Muslims in it, and the state is certainly separate from that religion (or any other religion). So if there is no true islamic caliphate, then none of this applies, and the question is moot for you in present day reality?
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czgibson
03-25-2016, 05:54 PM
Greetings,

Originally Posted by Timi Scar
Assalaam :)
2qwiotx 1 -
No what? Are you denying that you made the comparison, or denying that state-sanctioned covert killing is morally questionable?

In either case, it looks like you haven't really thought this through.

Peace
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piXie
03-25-2016, 09:23 PM
We all do not decide what is right or wrong, that is a delusion , and neither will man ever come to any agreement of what is right or wrong and you only need to look around you to see how much division there is around us and how many groups are fighting one another. Which group is right? My tribe because they are my tribe or your tribe because they are your tribe? And who takes account ? You say u believe in accountably but have failed to explain how that practically works. Which group takes the other to account and on what basis ? Yes there are good people with morality and a sense of fairness and then there are people with no such sense of morality or fairness, or at least it's been destroyed by power and greed. What do we do with those people because many of them exist today with their polished speeches and hypocrisy and lies.

If we considered it ok to kill each other, we would have to always be on guard from being killed by each other
Look around you, do you not see that every country is guarded and every man guards his wealth and life.

Killing is only too common. Is man evolving a moral sense or is he evolving into a monster?

The point I am trying to make is, Mankind needs a set criteria of what is right and wrong, and morality and instinct alone is not enough to guide us on how to live. And no man can just get up and claim that God told them to do this out of the blue, again there is a criteria. We have the Quran, that is our criteria. What is Your criteria?

And that is the problem I have with atheism. There is no agreed upon criterion of what is right and wrong and that is what is dangerous. Athiesm offers no solution to the problems mankind is suffering from today. And even if there is a law, the men with power don't follow it for themselves - there is no fairness or guarantee of accountability for all men.

Adding religion into the mix doesn't necessarily improve matters, and often make them a lot worse, because they give you something to hide behind, to duck away from personal responsiblity. I am not saying that you yourself do that, but you must have noticed people doing it.
So which way or system of life do you suggest will improve matters then ? One based upon everyone's individualistic sense of morality and ungaranteed accountability for every man or one with a set Criterion of right and wrong and guaranteed accountability for every man.

A man can sit and delve deeply into all the personal issues he has with Allah. He denies divine authority because he doesn't agree with some matters, so he ends up obeying a man authority wether he agrees with some matters or not. Has man been able to come up with a better system of life or even equal to that laid out in the Quran. He has lived on earth for 1000s of years and he is still deciding what is right and wrong, forget being able to establish a system of life which provides a solution to the problems we face in the world.

In fact, results speak for themselves. The only man in history who was the most successful in every aspect of his life and eradicated oppression and evil within the space of 23 years was known by the name of Muhammad :saws: Because, he did not rule by his law or dictate what he thought was right. He ruled by Gods law, first and foremost applying it to himself and then to others. And this is what is missing in the leaders that rule the world today, secular or so called religious ones.
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M.I.A.
03-25-2016, 11:43 PM
http://i.giphy.com/ML92G87vGGkiA.gif

:/
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Serinity
03-26-2016, 04:33 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
I disagree. I see no reason to believe a God exists firstly, but secondly, if God does exist, I see no reason to believe that he must be benevolent. The world around me is inconsistent with that hypothesis.
I disagree. Here you are blaming God for people's actions, which is wrong. God gave us free will, and a consequence of free will, is chaos and corruption - that you can not attribute or blame God for, it is no different from the child killer saying "well, God willed it"

Will you find it justifiable for me to say "God willed me to kill children, He gave me free will, so the responsibility goes on God"? NO.

And there are plenty of reasons to believe in God. Just like this world existed without you knowing - or having any knowledge before hand before its creation, so is the hereafter. Your situation is like the lifeless, unborn child, questioning whether this world exists.(which he couldn't think off) but point is, this world exists, whether you wanted or not, you exist whether you want it or not. So it is with the hereafter - why risk your akhira on being short sighted?

Personally I don't find the risk worth it to assume my situation - or hereafter - safe. Just like this world existed - so does the hereafter. That is what I believe.
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Pygoscelis
03-26-2016, 06:02 PM
Originally Posted by piXie
We all do not decide what is right or wrong, that is a delusion , and neither will man ever come to any agreement of what is right or wrong and you only need to look around you to see how much division there is around us and how many groups are fighting one another. You say u believe in accountably but have failed to explain how that practically works. Which group takes the other to account and on what basis ?
We can only do the best we can to love and support one another, and to hold those accountable who would harm us. We, human beings collectively, have to do that. Imagining a spectator God that doesn't intervene (because free will you will say) doesn't fix anything. I am sure it is comforting to believe that justice will always be had in the end, with or without our efforts, and that good is always rewarded and people never get away with doing bad, but that just isn't so. And standing by, imagining it to be so, doesn't make is so. I believe that there is no supernatural babysitter that will come down and fix our problems. All we have is ourselves and each other, so only we can make efforts towards fairer and more just society. That is yet another level of responsibility and accountability.

And we have made progress. We have a long way to go, but we do live in the most peaceful time in human history. This can be seen both by looking at history and by looking at moral codes codified long ago and moral codes developing today. I am not certain about the Quran, but I know that the bible doesn't speak against slavery, rape, or racism. It tells slaves to obey their masters, tells rape victims they must marry their rapists, and tells us to put to death a wide variety of people, ranging from disobedient children to homosexuals. Islam likewise hates on homosexuals and kafirs (at least as some push it). Here in this thread we are discussing the Muslim doctrine that apostates are to be put to death. We have some in this thread saying that only applies given "treason" (whatever that means in this context) and others saying that Salman Rushie should be murdered. Secular humanism has no such calls for blood or bigotry.

Yes there are good people with morality and a sense of fairness and then there are people with no such sense of morality or fairness, or at least it's been destroyed by power and greed. What do we do with those people because many of them exist today with their polished speeches and hypocrisy and lies.
What we don't do is sit idly by imagining that God will sort it out for us. We organize and take action to better our societies, fight for true democracy, fairness, justice, and equalizing the wealth disparity. Yes, I'm following the current US election and I'm a big backer of Bernie Sanders :)

The point I am trying to make is, Mankind needs a set criteria of what is right and wrong, and morality and instinct alone is not enough to guide us on how to live. And no man can just get up and claim that God told them to do this out of the blue, again there is a criteria. We have the Quran, that is our criteria. What is Your criteria?
As I told you before, my criteria are empathy and fairness, along with the social contracts we form with one another. All of this other baggage you add with your religion, ranging from dietary laws, to methods of prayer, to hating homosexuals and distrusting kafir, to killing apostates, does more harm than good in my view. We can agree to disagree on that.

So which way or system of life do you suggest will improve matters then ? One based upon everyone's individualistic sense of morality and ungaranteed accountability for every man or one with a set Criterion of right and wrong and guaranteed accountability for every man.
My karma ran over your dogma, goes an old joke. I take serious issue with dogma, and its authoritarian nature. I have no such problem with karma. Karma is a beautiful concept, and it would be nice if it were true; that what goes around comes around and that good things always happen to good people. But it is not the default state of our existence. It is a goal for us to strive towards. Pretending that there is some divine justice that will just happen despite any effort to bring it about isn't going to improve anything aside from comforting us.
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Serinity
03-26-2016, 06:13 PM
Believing in God doesn't mean we become passive, and stay at home hoping for God to bring us food, and hoping for society to become better - that is a wrong perspective.
. You speak as if we who believe in God think that God will do everything for us, and hope for society to become better, while we sit at home passively at home. - That is a wrong mindset.

No matter how much supplications to God you do, if you don't do something - and put in effort to improve, or get that thing, - you won't get it. And no matter how much you try to get a thing - if God doesn't will that for you, you won't get it. Though that does not mean we assume God's will, and blame God. We still continue to do our best - cause we don't know our future, our end.

While it is God that wills everything - and lets everything to happen, we need to play our part, and put in effort, otherwise we won't get anywhere.
Again, a wrong perception on God's will from your side, I presume, Pygo.

And may Allah forgive me if I said anything wrong. Ameen.
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Pygoscelis
03-26-2016, 06:25 PM
Originally Posted by Serinity
I disagree. Here you are blaming God for people's actions, which is wrong. God gave us free will, and a consequence of free will, is chaos and corruption - that you can not attribute or blame God for, it is no different from the child killer saying "well, God willed it"
First, that isn't even remotely what I am saying. I am not blaming God for anything. There is no God to blame.

Second, when I said when I look around me it doesn't fit with a benevolent creator, I wasn't referring to human actions. How does human free will account for natural disasters, stillborn children, carnivores that must kill in order to survive, or the wide variety of truly sadistic looking creatures on the earth, such as parasitic wasps that eat their victims from the inside out? God designed all of this why? Is he sadistic?

Will you find it justifiable for me to say "God willed me to kill children, He gave me free will, so the responsibility goes on God"? NO.
That is the opposite of what I am saying. That would be a type of religious "morality", and confusion of obedience for morality. If God did exist and asked me to kill children, I would stand up to God and say no, not lead my son to be sacrificed as Abraham did to Isaac in that story I mentioned above. We must learn to always question authority and disobey it when it demands wrong of us. Religion too often teaches the opposite.

Don't pretend you can't see this in many of your fellow Muslims, even if you don't fall prey to it yourself. If a so-called holy text or so-called prophet says X is wrong, then is X truly wrong? Even if it wouldn't otherwise appear wrong in the slightest? What basis besides obedience to authority or "faith in God" do you have to establish that homosexuals are abominations or that you shouldn't befriend kafirs or that apostates should be murdered? I see none.

why risk your akhira on being short sighted?

Personally I don't find the risk worth it to assume my situation - or hereafter - safe. Just like this world existed - so does the hereafter. That is what I believe.
This sounds like Pascal's Wager: "Is it safer to believe in God rather than not believe in God? If you believe and are wrong, you lose nothing. If you don't believe and are wrong, you lose everything." Right? Wrong.

First, we can't force ourselves to believe what we don't. We could pretend and lie, but any all powerful God could see right through that deception, right?

Second, it is a false dichotomy. When I read most religious texts and talk to most religious people, it appears that the Gods they believe in are more offended by the worship of false Gods than no worship of Gods at all. Who is to say that you picked the right God? Won't Shiva, Odin, Ra, etc be quite upset with you when you face them in the afterlife having dedicated all your prayer to a false God?

Third, why would any benevolent, all knowing, and just God who made us himself punish us for using our logic and reason, and it leading us (as he knew it would) to the conclusion that he doesn't exist? Why would he punish us for not being able to believe he exists, as he designed us to be? Why would he reward us for telling lies and pretending to believe when we don't? I find that completely unfair and completely nonsensical. It isn't even a test of obedience if we don't know he's there and what he wants of us.
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MuslimInshallah
03-26-2016, 06:49 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis

we do live in the most peaceful time in human history.
Hello Pygoscelis,

Mmm... in Canada, this is certainly true; we haven't had war on our turf for over 200 years... but I wonder whether this is true elsewhere? Wars seem to be pretty devastating when they are waged... and there seem to be quite a few places that are experiencing war.

(pensively) With our industrial methods... war seems to me to be pretty bad in ways that humans have rarely seen in the past (the Mongol hordes were pretty efficient at killing large amounts of people, though).

As for slavery and the like... mmm... it may not be formally labeled as such, but it seems to me that there is a fair bit of this in the world, too.

(smile) Perhaps this peacefulness that we have in Canada may colour our views in other ways, too (as expressed in your last post)? (pensively) When you are at the top a hierarchy, it is easy to exhort those lower down to take responsibility for their position, in this instance, to struggle for justice. It is also easier to forget about God and any kind of reckoning. But if a person is in a position of weakness... if a person cannot get justice... then perhaps the idea that there will be justice eventually (if not in this life, then the Next) might be rather appealing, don't you think? It is not necessarily that a person can't be bothered to struggle for justice in this life... it could be that a person struggles in this life... but knows that even if they fail in the here-and-now, they could succeed eventually. (mildly) And this could help motivate a person out of apathy, don't you think? (smile) Because if you can succeed (eventually), no matter what...


May God, the Bringer of Judgment, Strengthen those who strive to do good in this world.
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Serinity
03-26-2016, 07:02 PM
Pygo - Truth can not come from us. and since we are not all-knowing etc. and since we are limited, what we come to conclude - from our senses and such, may be far from truth.

Truth can only come from God, and before we talk about truth from God, we must believe in a God. So how does one believe in a God one can't see with one's eyes? You see, those false dieties you mentioned are all from the imaginations and whims of man.

But how do we know - or rationally come to the conclusion of a possibility of a God? We can't assign who is God and who isn't. But what we can do is, rationally conclude that there must have been a cause to this Universe- as it has a beginning.

And the complexities furthers my belief in God. One's belief in God has to be on basis of sound reasoning and rationale. If someone came and said "worship this God, like this etc." you'd say "no" cause he has no evidence for his claims, and many times one's logic and mind will just say no..

But before we even reach religion, we must found common grounds on the existence of a God. And How do we do that without seeing Him? We have plenty of signs that points towards the existence of God.


One's belief in God has to be on basis of sound reasoning and not superstition, otherwise, you'd end up worshipping your imagination! Or shaytan.
And to avoid being mislead by one's own logic, as you claim, one must remain sceptic. Otherwise, you'd believe everything people say.


To conclude: One's belief in God has to be on basis of sound reasoning, and God created us right? So there is no harm in using our brain, to think and search what is true and false, since our mind is God's creation, God's religion, can not contradict God's creation.

But one also has to keep in mind - that you are limited by your senses, and science is but a tool - limited.

Just use sound reasoning, but don't get mislead by your own arrogance, or ignorance.

Im out!
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piXie
03-26-2016, 07:52 PM
Phygoscelis,

The core difference between you and me is, you believe you are an animal, and I believe I am a human.

I agree with what you believe and I agree with what I believe. So, end of debate.

Thank you and best of wishes. :)
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Pygoscelis
03-27-2016, 04:17 PM
Originally Posted by MuslimInshallah
if a person cannot get justice... then perhaps the idea that there will be justice eventually (if not in this life, then the Next) might be rather appealing, don't you think?
This is a good point, and I think it is one way that religions get sold to people. It doesn't make the religions or Gods true however.

It is not necessarily that a person can't be bothered to struggle for justice in this life... it could be that a person struggles in this life... but knows that even if they fail in the here-and-now, they could succeed eventually. (mildly) And this could help motivate a person out of apathy, don't you think? (smile) Because if you can succeed (eventually), no matter what...
This is another excellent point, and one I had not considered. The concept of Karma may motivate people in dire conditions to have not only hope but also to do good so that they may be rewarded or reincarnated in a positive direction. That is more suited for buddhism and religions such as that however, and not at all suited for authoritarian religion. I believe that authoritarian religion such as Christianity and Islam are more geared towards keeping the downtrodden from rising up against those who oppress them. I think it serves to placate them and make them accept their lot in life and feel less animosity towards the rich and powerful (believing that all will be equalized in the end). When a religion confounds obedience for morality, I become alarmed.
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Serinity
03-27-2016, 09:42 PM
But thinking that you know more than the One who created everything, is kinda arrogant.

You may see a meteor strike as merciless, but you have only a 1% of the view while God has 100%. So the overall picture may be merciful.

You may see a tornado as merciless, but behind it there is mercy. It'd be kinda ignorant to judge by the apparrent, as if you have the whole view and knowledge.

And we do not say "don't think and believe" but rather "think and believe" but also know that you don't know everything.

And without something to strive for, I swear by God, one may be driven to destroy the world, out of boredom. Lol.
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MuslimInshallah
03-27-2016, 10:44 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
This is another excellent point, and one I had not considered. The concept of Karma may motivate people in dire conditions to have not only hope but also to do good so that they may be rewarded or reincarnated in a positive direction. That is more suited for buddhism and religions such as that however, and not at all suited for authoritarian religion. I believe that authoritarian religion such as Christianity and Islam are more geared towards keeping the downtrodden from rising up against those who oppress them. I think it serves to placate them and make them accept their lot in life and feel less animosity towards the rich and powerful (believing that all will be equalized in the end). When a religion confounds obedience for morality, I become alarmed.
(smile) Hello again Pygoscelis,

Mmm... But you see, what you are stating is what you believe... but perhaps these beliefs are incorrect? (smile) It seems that you believe that faith in God serves to keep people quiet and submissive. You affirm that Islam is an authoritarian religion. But on what are you basing these assertions?

You are correct that some will try to use a person's faith against them, to extract benefits. (mildly) I was reading a thread this morning where a man was using a woman's kindness and empathy to try to manipulate her into bed with him. (twinkle) Does this mean that we should avoid kindness and compassion?! ... Or should we avoid manipulators?

You know, when I read the Qur'an, I read a revolutionary text. It exhorts me to struggle to become a better person... more just, more strong, more self-restrained, more compassionate... it is not at all calling me to be passive. The word Muslim is one who actively struggles to submit... to God. And nothing and no one else.

Are there authoritarian methodologies of interpretation? Oh gosh, yes! This is a real problem, I agree with you. But does a belief in God and the Qur'an as Word of God automatically lead a person to submit to these human-based interpretations that seek to manipulate others? (mildly) I do not think so.

(mildly) Islam for me is very liberating. It has helped me through some incredibly hard times, and strengthened me. Have some people tried to use my faith to manipulate me? (sigh) Oh goodness, yes! But what I have learned is that I need to avoid these manipulators. Such people use anything and everything to their advantage.

(smile) I read a book quite a few years ago called: And God Knows the Soldiers: The Authoritative and the Authoritarian in Islamic Discourses by Khaled Abou El Fadl https://www.amazon.ca/And-Knows-Sold...=1&*entries*=0. It makes the distinction between the authoritativeness of the Qur'an and the usurpation of God's authority by humans for their own ends. (mildly) If you are interested in understanding Islam in a more fair and balanced way, I would suggest this book.


May God Bless you Pygoscelis.
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Pygoscelis
03-28-2016, 02:12 PM
Originally Posted by MuslimInshallah
You know, when I read the Qur'an, I read a revolutionary text. It exhorts me to struggle to become a better person... more just, more strong, more self-restrained, more compassionate... it is not at all calling me to be passive. The word Muslim is one who actively struggles to submit... to God. And nothing and no one else.
My concern is that if you truly did this completely, you would be subduing your own moral senses of empathy and fairness and replacing them with obedience. It then would become only a matter of what you are convinced Allah wants of you. This would make the words of the prophets, the people who transcribed them, and the scholars that help interpret them for you, potentially very dangerous.

You personally appear to have concluded that Allah wants you to be kind, sweet, and caring, which is a relief. But it is very clear that other Muslims have reached a far more aggressive, hateful, and violent conclusion. Having buried their own evolved moral sense under complete submission to what they believe is Allah and what he wants, they would be unreachable by empathy, and left as monsters without much hope. A soldier of Daesh could be sawing off the head of a captured medical relief worker, and fighting hard not to let themselves feel bad about it, because they must submit to Allah and they read that Allah demands they kill unbelievers wherever they find them. And if you were truly and completely submitted to Allah yourself, then they would only need to convince you that you overlooked, misread or misunderstood something in the holy text or a hadith, to change you into one of them.

Your submission to Allah, and following his orders, as you see them, instead of your own moral sense, would also mean that your acts of kindness are done out of obedience, and not because you are a genuinely kind and caring person, and I find that hard to believe in your case.
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Muhammad
03-28-2016, 02:44 PM
Greetings czgibson,

Originally Posted by czgibson
A subjective account of morality is the only game in town, philosophically speaking. The idea that morality is objective is nonsensical for various reasons. Morality is an evolving set of conventions that is always based ultimately on human opinion. Attributing the basis of morality to a supernatural source and following its commands gives rise to obedience, not moral behaviour.
These two are not mutually exclusive - the One who has created man and given him a sense of right and wrong is the same Law-Giver. Obeying Him elevates our moral behaviour and does not pose any obstacle in that regard. The Prophet :saws: said, 'I have only been sent to perfect good moral character'.

Even if we look at things from a subjective point of view, there is nothing immoral about the concept of capital punishment being used to deter crime. That is why I pointed out that numerous countries across the world, both religious and secular, apply such penalties to various crimes.

It's a diminishing list, and the death penalty tends to be used in countries that are either still under the sway of religion to a great degree, or less developed countries, which explains my use of the word 'primitive' earlier.
This is irrelevant. The US still uses the death penalty, and it is considered among the most developed countries in the world.

Lust for power drove the communist purges you speak of. This has nothing to do with a simple lack of belief in God.
Likewise, terrorist atrocities are not due to a simple belief in God.

Let's one of the examples I mentioned: are you really suggesting, as a thinking adult, that you can see no connection at all between the certain belief in the rewards of an afterlife and the practice of suicide bombing?
Trying to force connections will not help us; looking at facts will. That's why I have posed some research-based food for thought, which I think is more convincing than what a thinking adult like me might say.

As before, the text as you have given it to me is incomplete. Again, you don't seem to have understood its contents, despite having had plenty of time to reread it since the last time you showed it to me.

The text is arguing against a reductionist account of terrorism, particularly terrorism committed in the name of Islam, and is also concerned with evaluating counter-terrorism responses. The text emphatically does not discount the role of religious ideology in enabling violence, as you claim. For example [my emphasis]:
I remember this response of yours, and I pointed out that clutching to a single statement without considering the entirety of the report is poor scholarship. Interestingly,the report goes on to recommend public defence of freedom of religion, even for individuals who choose to adopt religious beliefs deemed 'extremist', which goes to show how little a threat it considers religion to be. Even the very statement you choose to focus on is sufficient for the point I am making, just by emphasising the latter half:

This suggests that religious ideology gives coherence to a group of individuals who are already engaged in terrorism but is not what drives them into becoming terrorists in the first place – which has more to do with a desire to join others in the adventure of fighting a dominant power.
Originally Posted by czgibson
Wouldn't we all be better off without systems of thought that give coherence to those already engaged in terrorism? It makes no difference whether religion is the first cause of violence (it isn't necessarily), and as you rightly say, other factors are involved, but the end result is the same.
It is good to see you agree that religion is not the primary cause of violence - I think we are making progress here. As for giving 'coherence', this is such a vague term that can apply to all sorts of things, including the supposed 'War on Terror'.

I note you decided to ignore my question:

Can you think of any criminal act that tends to be committed only by non-believers?

Would you like to offer an answer?
I thought it was obvious why. You have already conceded that religion is not necessarily the primary cause behind violence, therefore the question (and its underlying assumption) becomes void.
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Muhammad
03-28-2016, 08:52 PM
Greetings Pygoscelis,

Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
I see what you are saying, and I suppose that could make sense if you buy into it enough, but I'm also sure you can see what I am saying, when you look at people of other religions or interpretations of Islam (those who get it wrong in your view). It isn't hard to think of a situation where religious doctrine or inspiration (other than your own) runs directly against empathy, fairness and morality. Yes? Can you see how externalizing our moral value judgments to a third party could compromise them?
We are diverging from the point here, which is that obedience to God, in and of itself, does not cause moral decline (once we establish that God exists). You said that externalisation of moral values places a barrier to things like empathy and fairness. From a logical perspective I am saying that is not so when it comes to obeying God. The fact that some people may misinterpret, manipulate etc, does not mean in principle any externalisation of moral values is problematic. In terms of religious doctrine being directly against empathy, fairness and morality, again this is not exclusive to religious ideology. This can happen with any authority. There is no reason for a Muslim to stop believing in the fact that the best lawgiver is God Himself.

It fails with me for 3 reasons. First, because an all powerful being would not likely have such limitations.
I do not see the limitation here. Are you saying human beings should never undergo any suffering? How would we learn qualities such as patience and reliance upon God if there was never a trial we had to face?

Second, because I see no reason to believe such a being exists. Auto mechanics and Doctors are real flesh and blood people I can visually see who have gone to brick and mortar universities and learned their expertise and have degrees and diplomas to show for it.
There is a problem with raising this argument here. Currently we are discussing how trusting in God's judgement is a logical thing to do. This is based upon the premise that He exists in the first place. To question His existence is going back to the first premise, but it is not an argument against the issue at hand of trusting in His knowledge and judgement if He does exist.

Third, because even if such a being exists, them being benevolent seems inconsistent with what I see around me. Auto mechanics and Doctors can be shady characters out to exploit or harm or rip me off. I see no reason to give such a being the benefit of the doubt, or pre-define him as benevolent. Power corrupts as they say.
God cannot be corrupted, as that is a human weakness. Logic dictates that God must be above all human wants, needs and weaknesses if He is our Creator. Regarding the idea that benevolence is inconsistent with the world around us, I responded to this earlier:

Again, you are working on the premise that the existence of evil in the world is a problem, and that God doesn’t have any reasons to permit evil and suffering in the world. The story of Khidr, which can be found in the 18th chapter of Qur’an from verses 60 to 82, is an eloquent account of how God’s wisdom, whether understood or not, has positive results and benefits for humanity. Moreover, we need to establish that God exists first before attempting to reconcile who God is with our perception of reality, in this case, evil and suffering.


We will have to agree to disagree on that. An all powerful being could make us believe whatever he wants us to believe, and since belief isn't really intentional on our part anyway, it wouldn't rob us of free will. If he was giving us truth, then it would actually enable free will, and allow us to make informed decisions.
He could make us all believe, but in His Wisdom He has created us with the ability to choose. He has given us all the information we need to make that decision.

It really really doesn't. Humans have produced hundreds, maybe thousands of different "prophets", "holy books" and understandings of the Gods and what they/he/she wants us to know.
How many of these have a message as clear, logical, universal and timeless as Islam? Which religion believes in all the Prophets and Scriptures from the first till the last, connecting them all with the same core message?

The fact that we have so many earnest and well meaning seekers, finding such a wide array of conflicting "answers" makes it crystal clear to me that any God that actually does exist, can not want to be known by all. I see no way of getting around that.
How do you know who is a well meaning and earnest seeker? Besides, in your own words, conflict is not necessarily proof against God: 'God doesn't have to send conflicting messages for this to occur. God does not have to send any messages at all for this to occur. People will come up with their own ideas and their own interpretations of whatever, if any, message is given.' People will always differ in their opinions and beliefs, but those who actually follow God's Message are excluded from this.

And the mere existence of human messengers (prophets) and holy texts, bringing with them all the human flaws of memory, perception, communication and spoken and written word amplifies that. An all poweful being would not be so limited, and could simply have us know what he wanted us to know, perfectly and without misunderstanding, with no need for such theatrics as written or spoken human language.
Anyone who is familiar with the revelation and preservation of the Qur'an and Sunnah will know that they are far from being limited by flaws of memory, perception or communication. Again, there is nothing limiting, illogical or irrational about communicating via Prophets and Scriptures. You agreed with me earlier that God knows best how to deliver His message. What actual grounds do you have to reject a message delivered via such means?

The fact that these so-called prophets and holy texts look so much like what we would expect from man-made fabrications amplifies it even more. The Quran and the Bible both read like texts written by people of that time with the cultures and knowledge of that time.
Again, claiming that the Qur'an is man-made stems from ignorance. How could an illiterate man produce a text that even the most eloquent of the Arabs could not imitate; a text which not only surpassed their skill but became regarded as a source of grammatical and lexicographical information? From where in a society steeped in ignorance, paganism and barbarism did a Scripture arise that would deal with matters of belief, legislation, politics, spirituality, economics and more in an entirely new literary form? I will highlight once again that the Prophet Muhammad :saws: was a renowned man of impeccable morals and character for forty years among his people... someone who was known for his honesty and trustworthiness. A man who does not lie to people does not lie about God. His truthfulness was even attested to by Jews and Christians who came to meet or know of him. He confirmed knowledge of previous peoples without ever having studied previous Scriptures. He foretold many prophecies which came true. It is evident that his words transcended the culture and knowledge of his people.

If the Quran told us that germs rather than spirits make us sick,
Where in the Qur'an are we told that spirits make us sick?

So you do believe it is Allah's decree that decides if we are going to be believers or not? I thought you were saying the opposite above?
I said in my post that Allaah :swt: has a Will, and we humans also have a will and ability to make choices. We are required to act and exert effort, and Allaah :swt: will help us.

A lot of us do that. And we come to radically different conclusions. That tells me something. How do you explain that away?
There are numerous factors driving people to make different choices, not necessarily having different conclusions. Let's take the moral trait of fairness as an example. Let us say most, if not all people recognise this as a good trait and that we should seek to practice it. Does that mean all humans are fair? We know from countless examples and instances that this isn't so. Knowing the right way doesn't always mean people will take it. For others, they may not know. For each person there are individual challenges. Many times we don't get anywhere because people have no intention of changing their mindset; they just wish to justify what they already believe (or don't believe).

My life actually has plenty of meaning, as does the universe. That meaning just isn't imposed by some external all powerful authority figure.
Where do you believe that meaning of the universe came from?

Second, my concern with "objective meaning and morality" mostly centers on the religious person's claim of it. I do not believe that morality or meaning exist in a vacuum where no mind is present to create or judge them. The closest I can get to a belief in "objective morality" is recognizing that as a social species we have evolved innate senses of empathy and fairness. I can see why we evolved that way and can see why it is mostly universal (aside from sociopaths) and why it is getting stronger in our species over time as we cooperate in bigger and bigger groups.
Innate senses are limited in terms of being objective measures of morality. What was considered by most people as immoral only a few decades or so ago has now become protected (and arguably even encouraged) by law. Have those people holding on to former values now become immoral? As I said to czgibson, subjective morals can change according to situation, culture and personal preferences. It then becomes clear that we cannot always use subjective morals to derive universal principles.

"The choice of disbelief" you say. I am sad to see that we are right back where we started. If you see and feel me put that apple in your hand can you choose to disbelieve it is an apple, and believe it is a banana or a grape?
This is really a question a believer would ask an atheist with regards to the world we see and feel around us.

Murder is culpable (unjustified) homocide (human killing). I call killing apostates murder because I find it completely unjustified, and I don't any legal authority in your religious belief, especially when applied to those who no longer share that belief.
You find it unjustified based upon subjective morals, just as any war or judgement we don't agree with would constitute countless lives murdered. I know you don't find a legal authority in my religious belief, but that does not make it wrong. There is no logical reason for a Muslim not to trust in Islam as being a true revelation from God. Hence, there is no reason for a Muslim to abandon God’s law.
Reply

Pygoscelis
03-28-2016, 09:48 PM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
We are diverging from the point here, which is that obedience to God, in and of itself, does not cause moral decline (once we establish that God exists).

You said that externalisation of moral values places a barrier to things like empathy and fairness. From a logical perspective I am saying that is not so when it comes to obeying God. The fact that some people may misinterpret, manipulate etc, does not mean in principle any externalisation of moral values is problematic.
What you are saying may make some sense if you could be sure that not only Allah exists, and is perfectly good, but also that you have a perfect understanding of him and what he wants of you. Given how vastly Muslims disagree with each other (as we have seen in this very thread), I don't see how you can be so sure that you do. And even if you did, you would be at best making yourself amoral and obedient, and removing moral agency from yourself. That creates the barrier I mentioned above.

In terms of religious doctrine being directly against empathy, fairness and morality, again this is not exclusive to religious ideology. This can happen with any authority. There is no reason for a Muslim to stop believing in the fact that the best lawgiver is God Himself.
Absolutely, it can happen with any authority. I would be very alarmed at the subduing of one's own moral senses in favour of obedience to any authority, be it a God, the King of England, Hitler, Hamurabi, or the most benevolent and kind of dictators.

I do not see the limitation here. Are you saying human beings should never undergo any suffering? How would we learn qualities such as patience and reliance upon God if there was never a trial we had to face?
I see no need for us to learn "reliance on God". In fact I see a need for us to learn reliance on ourselves and each other. We can learn patience without stillborn children, tornadoes, disease, parasitic wasps, and a universe wherein 99% of it is immediately deadly to human life. Were I to look at the world and consider an all powerful creator, I simply could not conclude that said creator was in any way benevolent towards us or other living beings on earth. A deist God who is indifferent or competing polytheistic Gods would make more sense to me.

How many of these have a message as clear, logical, universal and timeless as Islam? Which religion believes in all the Prophets and Scriptures from the first till the last, connecting them all with the same core message?
A religion sewing other religions together? Are you talking about Bahai now? :p

How do you know who is a well meaning and earnest seeker?
I give them the benefit of the doubt, just as I give you the benefit of the doubt. You claim to have the best religion with the best foundation and the best answers. So do these many other people from other religions. I see no reason to not take you all at your word that you all believe that. I also can clearly see that you can't all be right.

Anyone who is familiar with the revelation and preservation of the Qur'an and Sunnah will know that they are far from being limited by flaws of memory, perception or communication.
Written human language has limitations, even if the best words are chosen and are flawlessly recorded and preserved. Different interpretations can result. Different emphasis can be placed on different parts of the text. And this is exactly what we see within Islam and within other religions. Gods apparently don't like to be clearly heard and always choose to communicate through human language and human prophets, rather than just making us know what they want us to know. And for some odd reason their revelations are always steeped in the culture and time and moral beliefs and values of the prophets. This wouldn't have to be so if any of these Gods truly did exist and was all powerful.

Where in the Qur'an are we told that spirits make us sick?
Where in the Quran does it say that sickness comes from bacteria, viruses, etc? Where in the Quran or any other religion's holy text does it clearly state anything that wasn't already known at the time? And I don't mean Nostradamus style cryptic poetry. I mean clear straight forward statements. If the Quran told us that the earth goes around the sun, or gave us Einstein's theory of relativity... then I would be impressed and would have to reconsider my atheism. Likewise I would have to take the Quran very seriously if astronauts found evidence that the moon had in fact been split in two when the Quran claims this happened.

Where do you believe that meaning of the universe came from?
The same place the meaning of anything comes from: our minds observing it.

This is really a question a believer would ask an atheist with regards to the world we see and feel around us.
Do you have an answer? You keep referring to making a choice to believe. I tried to tell you that I make no such choice. Why are you so keen on insisting that I do? Can you choose to believe what you don't? Can you choose to believe that an apple you see me place in your hand is an orange or a grape?
Reply

Sojourn
03-29-2016, 06:27 AM
Peace be with you Muhammad,

Originally Posted by Muhammad
Greetings Sojourn,

Is that your excuse for not reading it? Let us look at the points made rather than the length.

That isn't what we are talking about, or else there would be no non-Muslims in Muslim countries. Apostasy refers to someone willingly disbelieving after embracing Islam.

If you want to look for traditional Islamic rulings and whether there is a shift away from them, you should look to what the body of Islamic scholars have said, not what lay Muslims say on forum threads.
That educated Muslims are shifting away from the traditional body of teaching concerning executing people who choose to leave Islam is an indicator that academic opinions are not convincing.
Hmmm... what do you tell your Christian brethren who find the very core of your faith, the trinity, problematic?
The core of Christian faith is the Jesus' redemptive work through his death and resurrection, something the Qur'an does not address. The trinity is simple to define and easy to understand but impossible to imagine because nothing in the created order is a trinity, and herein lies the "difficulty" for some people. The best analogy was outlined by St Augustine and the scholastics and it involves turning towards God's highest creation, the human person, but we digress.

Our conscience, will and reason should not precede God's wisdom and knowledge. We are His humble creation and recognise His authority in ordaining how we should live. If we claim to love Him, we must obey Him.
You are making Islam an irrational religion. A person must always go according to their conscience and reason. Muslims are right to feel uncomfortable with the idea of executing a man or woman for freely choosing to leave Islam.

With regards to there being no coercion in religion, it's important to note that there are two different types of people: a person who has not embraced Islam and someone who apostatised from Islam. Both of them do not fall under the same category. In the verse you are referring to [2:256], the believers are ordered not to coerce anybody into accepting the fold of Islam. This verse is not speaking about apostasy.
That may the opinion of the scholars you follow, but the verse itself does not limit itself to those embracing Islam. And the point is straightforward, it is illogical to coerce people to Islam as it would be to coerce them to stay. Faith is a *free* act of the will, it can not be forced. To force someone to stay Muslim is really forcing them to remain a munafiq, and what value is that?

But if one, of his own free will, chooses to believe and enters Islam by declaring the testification of faith, then he is bound by his declaration and all the disciplines of Islam become obligatory upon such a person. If one, after accepting Islam, does not pray, he will be compelled by Law to offer his prayers; or if he refuses to pay the zakah dues, he will be compelled by Law to fulfill his zakah dues; or if he refuses to distribute inheritance as prescribed by Shariah, he will be compelled by Law to do so; etc. Once the person of his own free will accepts Islam, he has no right to pick-and-choose the laws he wishes to follow, rather he will be compelled to follow all the obligatory dictates of Shariah by Law. Here one cannot say or bring forth the excuse Let there be no compulsion in religion, nor would it be accepted. This command only applies to one who has not accepted Islam as his way of life.
Again, faith is a free act of the will. The only thing that binds a Muslim to these disciplines is this free act of faith, but if the freely choose to leave Islam, these disciplines no longer apply to them. To threaten a person with death and force them to live the life of a hypocrite, or munafiq, is absurd. Let these people leave, it's better for the community to be small but sincere than large but full of hypocrites, no?

A simple example may help to further explain the point. In today's age, one is not compelled to take citizenship of any nation (e.g. United States of America); but if one of his own free will chooses to take on and accept US citizenship, he cannot pick-and-choose which law he wishes to follow. If the law of the land states that he has to pay tax, he will be compelled to pay it whether he likes it or not; of if the law of the land states he has to be drafted in the army, he will be compelled to join the army; or if the law of the land states he has to pay half his wealth to his divorced wife, he will be compelled to do so; etc.
But a person can renounce their US citizenship without fear of being executed.

What if their so-called conscience and reason takes them and those around them to Hell? The duty rests on others to try and prevent this from happening.
And forcing a woman or man to live the life of hypocrite by threatening them with execution if they leave saves them from hell? If they act Muslim but in their hearts they left Islam years ago, it doesn't really matter, does it? This is why executing people who leave Islam is irrational.
Rather than reduce the Islamic world to Saudi Arabia and 'ISIS held territory', you would do yourself more favours to remember how much western culture owes to Islam's rich tradition. Templar Historian, Tim Wallace-Murphy, writes in his book:

Even the brief study of history revealed in these pages demonstrates that European culture owes an immense and immeasurable debt to the world of Islam. Muslim scholars preserved and enhanced the learning of ancient Greece, laid the foundations for modern science, medicine, astronomy and navigation and inspired some of our greatest cultural achievements. If it were not for the inherent tolerance for the People of the Book that was manifest within the Islamic world for over fifteen centuries, it is highly doubtful that the Jewish people could have survived as a racial and religious entity, and we would have lost their contribution to art, medicine, science, literature and music which is almost beyond measure. We in the West owe a debt to the Muslim world that can never be fully repaid. Despite our common religious and spiritual roots, we have thanked them with centuries of mistrust, the brutality of the Crusades and an imperial takeover that was conducted with callous indifference to the needs of the peoples we exploited.
Tim Wallace-Murphy, What Islam Did for Us; p. 215
Wow, where do we begin?

How did Muslims acquire the ancient learning of Greece? Was it not from the Christians they conquered? And what did Muslims do with that knowledge? Sure, you had Averros and Avicenna, but in the end the Islamic world closed it's mind and rejected Greek Philosophy and the rationalizing of faith proposed by the Mutazelites.

Tolerance? Is he referring to "Muslim Spain" where the liberal Sultans permitted Christians and Jews to practice there faith to a level unprecedented in any part of the Muslim world at that time? And what is this of the Jews? At one point 3 out of 4 Jews in the world lived in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a Catholic Kingdom well known for it's tolerance.

And has Mr Wallace-Murphy forgotten that the Christian West was on constance defense against the Islamic conquest? Some one hundred years after Muhammad's death Muslims conquered two-thirds of the Christian world, and yet Wallace-Murphy makes an asinine comment about the West's mistrust and "imperial takeovers"? What breathtaking ignorance!

All this is a moot point, the better question is what have Muslims contributed to the modern world in terms of science, medicine, technology, and culture? And conversely, how much is the Islamic world indebted to the Christian and Secular West for all it's contributions?

It is not only laws you are referring to, but doctrine as well. The fact that there is no way for Christians to ascertain Jesus’ actual teachings means that the Church has used ‘Sacred Tradition’ to extract out of the Bible whatever verses that might be construed to support their doctrines. Even a customary reading of the Bible does not lend itself to the numerous beliefs and practices of today. Thus, it is somewhat ironic for you to speak of Jesus’ teachings and in the same breath boast of modified laws.
Jesus established a spiritual community, a Church, whom he promised the divine Holy Spirit to guide and protect until the end of time. Any Christian can ascertain Jesus' teaching through the sacred tradition and sacred scripture possessed by the Church. We have always believed Jesus was divine, that he was crucified, that he resurrected. All these your Book rejects or simply never addresses. Furthermore, we never believed a table descended from heaven with food, or that he turned clay birds into living ones, or that he shook a palm tree as an infant, or that a cube monument in the Hijaaz is a place of pilgrimage, or that the holy spirit is an angel, or that it's ok for us to have multiple wives or divorce a spouse, or that there is a prophet after him that would totally reverse his teachings. Some of these are legends circulating in parts of the Christian world, and yet your Book is telling us they are historical. The truth is very easy to ascertain.

I
t is easy for an outsider to appreciate the preservation of the teachings of Islam and their comprehensiveness. Simply reading a biography of the Prophet :saws: will illustrate the numerous teachings from him in all spheres of life. The fact that this Law was revealed over a thousand years ago and yet is applicable today and provides the solutions for our problems, is evidence of originating from an All-Knowledgeable, All-Wise Legislator.
The point is those laws that may have been suitable and even progressive in 6th century Hijaaz are not applicable to the modern world.

I take it you will agree, then, that operating on the basis of love alone is an impractical worldview.
Love is not impractical, and if more followed love the world would be a better place.
Reply

Pygoscelis
03-29-2016, 08:32 AM
Originally Posted by Sojourn
And forcing a woman or man to live the life of hypocrite by threatening them with execution if they leave saves them from hell? If they act Muslim but in their hearts they left Islam years ago, it doesn't really matter, does it? This is why executing people who leave Islam is irrational.
This is an excellent point and speaks to the heart of what I have been saying. It seems to presume that these people can actually choose to believe or can be forced by other Muslims to keep actually believing, rather than pretending to believe to avoid being murdered. You can't choose to believe that apple you watched me put in your hand is an orange or a grape. You know it is an apple. I did not make a choice to fail to be convinced by your religion. I just don't believe it. The apostate didn't make a choice to stop believing. They just stopped, and no amount of coercion or force is going to make them truly believe again.
Reply

azc
03-29-2016, 10:36 AM
Punishment for apostasy...http://www.answering-christianity.com/death.htm
Reply

Muhammad
03-29-2016, 11:57 AM
Greetings Pygoscelis,

Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
What you are saying may make some sense if you could be sure that not only Allah exists, and is perfectly good, but also that you have a perfect understanding of him and what he wants of you.
This much is already presumed. It is like the point about trusting in superior knowledge, which is based upon the assumption that God exists in the first place and we know what He wants from us.

Given how vastly Muslims disagree with each other (as we have seen in this very thread), I don't see how you can be so sure that you do.
If Muslim scholars disagree with each other, that is one thing. But for lay people to disagree is hardly significant when often we lack basic pre-requisites to delve into details of Islamic law.

And even if you did, you would be at best making yourself amoral and obedient, and removing moral agency from yourself. That creates the barrier I mentioned above.
That is exactly what I’m saying isn’t the case. If we assume God exists and assume we know what He wants from us, this leads us to the understanding that there would be no conflict between moral values because He created our sense of right and wrong.

Absolutely, it can happen with any authority. I would be very alarmed at the subduing of one's own moral senses in favour of obedience to any authority, be it a God, the King of England, Hitler, Hamurabi, or the most benevolent and kind of dictators.
But if that authority is our Creator Who has the most perfect knowledge and free from any corruption, it makes sense to obey Him. To presume that our own moral sense can be better than God’s is arrogance.

I see no need for us to learn "reliance on God". In fact I see a need for us to learn reliance on ourselves and each other. We can learn patience without stillborn children, tornadoes, disease, parasitic wasps, and a universe wherein 99% of it is immediately deadly to human life. Were I to look at the world and consider an all powerful creator, I simply could not conclude that said creator was in any way benevolent towards us or other living beings on earth. A deist God who is indifferent or competing polytheistic Gods would make more sense to me.
You are simply repeating the same arguments that I’ve responded to earlier. You subject the world to your own limited perception of reality. You agreed that morality can be subjective and presumably you agree it cannot be used to define universal principles. The criterion for judging anything cannot be our own desire. Why then do you insist that the world should be moulded according to your thoughts and refuse to acknowledge there could be many reasons to permit evil and suffering? I’ve responded to the implausible argument about deist and polytheistic gods in my earlier post here.

A religion sewing other religions together? Are you talking about Bahai now?
No, not other religions. I’m talking about the same religion taught by all the Prophets and the Scriptures they brought. I’m not talking about false prophets and scriptures. As sister Insaanah explained:

Originally Posted by Insaanah
Allah has sent a succession of prophets to people throughout the ages, to convey His message to them, and with guidance to show people how He wants them to live and worship Him. Muslims believe in all the prophets Allah sent, and do not reject or blaspheme any of them, from Adam, to the last and final prophet, Muhammad, peace be on them all. They were the purest and noblest of humanity and were not divine in any way. Allah sent all the prophets with the same message and not different messages. All the prophets and messengers sent by God to humans to convey His message, conveyed the same message since the beginnig of time, regardless of when and which people they were sent to. The message was:to submit wholeheartedly to Allah and worship Him and Him alone, without any associates in, or parts to, His Exclusive Divinity, and to obey the prophet. They taught that people should be under no misperception that they can commit themselves to Allah as their Lord, and then combine this with accepting others as their Lord, or associating others in His Divinity, in whatever way. They taught that we should strive hard to translate our belief in the One True God into practice, by obeying Allah and the messengers He sent, who were also role models and examples for us, showing us practically how to put the guidance they were sent with into practice in our daily lives, explaining the scriptures, warning against wrong-doing, giving good tidings, and giving additional legislation from Allah.

So Islam is not a new faith, but is the same ultimate universal truth that God revealed to all the prophets, including Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus (peace be on them), and the same thing they all taught. Thus Islam is not named after a specific person (like Christianity, Buddhism), nor after a certain race or place (like Judaism, Hinduism), but is named by God Himself, the meaning loosely translating as 'submission to God', which is what every Prophet and their righteous followers did, from amongst all times, places and peoples. That in itself is one fraction of the evidence that it was the way of all the Prophets from the beginning...
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
I give them the benefit of the doubt, just as I give you the benefit of the doubt. You claim to have the best religion with the best foundation and the best answers. So do these many other people from other religions. I see no reason to not take you all at your word that you all believe that. I also can clearly see that you can't all be right.
That is why I’m asking you to investigate beyond giving the benefit of the doubt. You can’t use the ‘benefit of the doubt’ as evidence to say God doesn’t want to be known.

Written human language has limitations, even if the best words are chosen and are flawlessly recorded and preserved. Different interpretations can result. Different emphasis can be placed on different parts of the text. And this is exactly what we see within Islam and within other religions. Gods apparently don't like to be clearly heard and always choose to communicate through human language and human prophets, rather than just making us know what they want us to know.
The Qur’an was sent with a Messenger to explain and teach it to the people, whose life was modelled on its instruction. All of these teachings have been meticulously preserved. The fundamentals of how to live a good life and enter Paradise are very clear. There are some different interpretations of finer issues, yes, but you agreed that differing is a human trait. Even if God spoke to each of us directly, there is still the possibility we would differ in our interpretations and opinions of what He said. So, there are no grounds here to reject God’s Message. We simply need to do our best to follow His Message and He will help us.

And for some odd reason their revelations are always steeped in the culture and time and moral beliefs and values of the prophets. This wouldn't have to be so if any of these Gods truly did exist and was all powerful.
That is not the case with the Qur'an due to reasons I have already mentioned and more below.

Where in the Quran or any other religion's holy text does it clearly state anything that wasn't already known at the time?
Have a look at the references to embryology:
https://islampapers.com/embryology-in-the-quran/

You may also look at the Qur’an’s remarkable insight into the past:
http://www.islam21c.com/islamic-thou...into-the-past/

The same place the meaning of anything comes from: our minds observing it.
But why should life or the universe have any meaning if everything is purely material and coincidental with nothing to guide it?

Do you have an answer? You keep referring to making a choice to believe. I tried to tell you that I make no such choice. Why are you so keen on insisting that I do? Can you choose to believe what you don't? Can you choose to believe that an apple you see me place in your hand is an orange or a grape?
There has to be a choice between belief and disbelief, otherwise that would mean you are being compelled to disbelieve. There may well be an apple in your hand, but you have to open your eyes to see it. Mankind is surrounded by signs which are enough to direct us to believe in God; we have to open our hearts to them.
Reply

Pygoscelis
03-29-2016, 04:15 PM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
This much is already presumed. It is like the point about trusting in superior knowledge, which is based upon the assumption that God exists in the first place and we know what He wants from us.
Which of course can't be true for the vast majority of us, given how vast the disagreements are in this understanding. You think that your particular understanding is special. So do all the others.

That is exactly what I’m saying isn’t the case. If we assume God exists and assume we know what He wants from us, this leads us to the understanding that there would be no conflict between moral values because He created our sense of right and wrong.
This becomes a small and possibly moot point if we make all of your assumptions, but still, obedience is not moral agency. You could do the same physical acts for different reasons, based on moral agency (your judgment of right and wrong) or based on obedience to power.

The criterion for judging anything cannot be our own desire.
But must be our own moral senses, for any moral judgment we make. Not mere obedience to authority.

Why then do you insist that the world should be moulded according to your thoughts and refuse to acknowledge there could be many reasons to permit evil and suffering?
I have explained this a number of times now. Permitting evil is evil, unless there is some limitation on the person permitting it, so that it can not be stopped without a greater evil happening or a greater good being prevented. An all powerful being by definition has no such limitation.

I’ve responded to the implausible argument about deist and polytheistic gods in my earlier post here.
The problem of evil can be readily and easily explained if you posit a God or Gods limited in power, in benevolence, or given multiple Gods in conflict. Not so much if you posit a single all powerful and perfectly benevolent God. Your demand that there must be some explanation because you insist it must exist and I can't definitively prove otherwise, is not persuasive. I would also note that whereas you are biased in favor of monotheism, I am giving an unbiased view on this. I am not monotheistic or polytheistic. I agree that we have gone over this already, and so I will leave it at that and not respond further to this point.


Have a look at the references to embryology:
https://islampapers.com/embryology-in-the-quran/
I've seen this before. It is a good effort, but it doesn't amaze me. The Quran refers to distinct stages of development, as did the Jews before Mohammad, and has did the Greeks. The Quran's particular stages and descriptions of them appear to be copied from ancient Greek physician Galen. The Quran states that bone is formed first and then flesh is clothed upon it, when in fact bone and muscle develop at the same time.

The Quran makes reference to sperm or seminal fluid. So does the Bible (a lot of reference to "his seed" meaning his sperm or seminal fluid). So did the ancient Greeks. You don't need divine revelation to figure that sex leads to babies, and you don't need to study much so know that sperm passes from the male to the female during sex. Moreover, does the Quran not say that this fluid (and that is as specific as it gets, yes?) comes from between the backbone and the ribs rather than saying it comes from the testes?

That is why I’m asking you to investigate beyond giving the benefit of the doubt. You can’t use the ‘benefit of the doubt’ as evidence to say God doesn’t want to be known.
To reach my conclusion that any all powerful being that exists doesn't want to be clearly known by all, I am indeed assuming that theists (including yourself) are being honest when they say that they are earnestly seeking to understand God and seek spiritual guidance. You are saying that I should not make that assumption? I don't need it to be true of all of them for my argument to work, just a couple of them that contradict each other. Are you saying that everybody who disagrees with your particular understanding of God and what he wants is lying to me?

There has to be a choice between belief and disbelief, otherwise that would mean you are being compelled to disbelieve. There may well be an apple in your hand, but you have to open your eyes to see it. Mankind is surrounded by signs which are enough to direct us to believe in God; we have to open our hearts to them.
I have told you repeatedly that I make no such choice. I am indeed as compelled not to believe in your spiritual claims as I am compelled not to believe that an apple in my hand is a grape. Yet here you are insisting that I must be choosing disbelief. So you require my dishonesty in this? Along with the dishonesty of every theist that doesn't agree with your particular theological view? Everybody is lying but you?
Reply

M.I.A.
03-29-2016, 04:55 PM
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2...ot-lose-voters

...well, apostates beware.


But seriously..

Too be fair he is a very charismatic and successful man, it's a shame he likes how he can say whatever he wants but freedom of speech from Muslims is classed as hate..

Apparently not the demographic he is aiming for.. Probably.
Reply

MuslimInshallah
03-29-2016, 11:20 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
My concern is that if you truly did this completely, you would be subduing your own moral senses of empathy and fairness
and replacing them with obedience.
Hello Pygoscelis,

(smile) This innate moral sense you speak about is what Muslims call our fitrah. This is a moral compass that God has endowed us with. And it is one of the elements that we use when trying to understand God's Will.

Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
It then would become only a matter of what you are convinced Allah wants of you. This would make the words of the prophets, the people who transcribed them, and the scholars that help interpret them for you, potentially very dangerous.
Yes, this is a problem. Indeed, there are definitely people who try to usurp God's authority and try to bend others to their will. In order to try to address these problems, Muslims have tried very hard to preserve as accurately as possible the Prophet Mohammed's (God's Peace and Blessings upon him) words and actions. This is where the hadith sciences come in. There really has been a lot of work to try to ascertain which sayings are reliable, and to what degree.

This is also why many Muslims feel wary about who is telling them what. Rather like looking at the credentials of a surgeon who will operate on you, people wonder at the reliability of the scholar. Who is he/she? Where did they study? With whom? What did they study?

And here I have a little disagreement with some posters. I do not believe that anyone knows all God's Will for sure. Even the most learned of scholars is a human being, and therefore fallible. Yes, there are some points of consensus. But there are also points of controversy. And frankly, when you are living your day-to-day life, you can't always check everything with a scholar. Indeed, you rarely can. (mildly) So you do your best. You try to educate yourself, through reading the Qur'an, ahadith, scholarly works. You listen to your inner compass. You seek clarifications from others. You think. You struggle to understand God's Will.

(smile) And this is what life is about: trying to understand God's Will, and then doing what is Pleasing to him. (mildly) And yes, you will face hardship. You will suffer. But this suffering is not senseless. It is what can help the seed that you are, grow. This is how you can grow closer to God: by growing in those Qualities that are His. (smile) And yes, He is Good. And Kind. And Compassionate. (smile) As well as Just, Strong, Self-Reliant, Firm... all the Beautiful Qualities belong to God.

(smile) You know, my own life has not been an easy one. But it has been a very rich one, I think. (smile) I know you think that suffering is bad, but I do not. I can't say that I would wish my life on anyone, and yet, I am grateful to God that He Has Gifted me with my life. It has taught me many things, I think. And I feel as if my life has had some meaning, some use. (smile) Of course, I can never learn everything. Nor can I come anywhere near attaining God's Qualities. But when you love someone... do you not want to be more like them? Do you not wish to get closer to them? Would you not be happy for an opportunity to do this? Even if it was difficult?

Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
You personally appear to have concluded that Allah wants you to be kind, sweet, and caring, which is a relief. But it is very clear that other Muslims have reached a far more aggressive, hateful, and violent conclusion. Having buried their own evolved moral sense under complete submission to what they believe is Allah and what he wants, they would be unreachable by empathy, and left as monsters without much hope. A soldier of Daesh could be sawing off the head of a captured medical relief worker, and fighting hard not to let themselves feel bad about it, because they must submit to Allah and they read that Allah demands they kill unbelievers wherever they find them.

Mmm... from what I have read, soldiers working with Daesh are human beings like everyone else. Some truly are heartless, and use any pretext to do acts that are far from God's Beautiful Will. But others join because they want to put food on the table. Or because they mistakenly thought that Daesh was a good organization... only to discover that it was not at all what they thought. And when people with hearts see the corruption and the cruelty, they may go along with things because they are afraid. Or confused (and yes, God's authority is usurped to create this confusion, by people who want to bend others to their wills). Or they try to convince themselves that it's ok to do something, because it benefits them in some way. Or...

(gently) It is not God who is inspiring these terrible acts. This is human weakness and Satanic whisperings. And you will find these sorts of horrors being done by peoples of all ideological stripes. Yes, atheists, too. This is the dark side of humanity that the angels perceived.

Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
And if you were truly and completely submitted to Allah yourself, then they would only need to convince you that you overlooked, misread or misunderstood something in the holy text or a hadith, to change you into one of them.
(smile) This sounds like I could be the Incredible Hulk or some such!

(seriously) You say "they". But do you not realize that I have agency? God has endowed me with reason, with a moral compass, with a Guidebook... and with the power to chose my actions. Only I am responsible for my acts. Of course, others may try to convince me of their interpretations, but at the end of The Day, I will stand before God and be accountable for what I chose to do. I cannot get out of anything by saying "Oh! So-and-so told me that this is what I must do. I just followed so-and-so."

Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Your submission to Allah, and following his orders, as you see them, instead of your own moral sense, would also mean that your acts of kindness are done out of obedience, and not because you are a genuinely kind and caring person, and I find that hard to believe in your case.
(smile) My inner compass comes from God. It is part of my toolkit. It helps me understand His Will. If I do not do what is Pleasing to Him (if I do not struggle to surrender my destructive desires for what is actually better for me), then my compass will warn me (if I am paying attention to it). (gently) Obeying God leads to kindness and caring. There is no contradiction between obeying God and being a genuinely kind person (twinkle. Though I'm not always kind, you know!).


May God Bless you, Pygoscelis.
Reply

Pygoscelis
03-30-2016, 03:02 PM
Originally Posted by MuslimInshallah
Hello Pygoscelis,

(smile) This innate moral sense you speak about is what Muslims call our fitrah. This is a moral compass that God has endowed us with. And it is one of the elements that we use when trying to understand God's Will.
Now that is a fascinating layer on top of all of this. So you are saying that you don't bury your own moral senses of empathy and fairness under obedience to authority, but instead you view your moral senses as coming from the authority figure? So you are completely amoral and this is all about obedience? There is no moral sense that you have truly of your own that is independent of God? How then could you know that God is good and worthy of your obedience to begin with? Or is it a matter of Might makes Right? He made us, so whatever he says goes, no matter what that may be, or no matter what you become convinced that it is?

That would explain the lack of cognitive dissonance and my inability to reach people who endorse killing apostates, discriminating against homosexuals, etc... they are not only obeying what they think God wants, but they have truly made themselves feel that it is right, even at the deepest of levels. Is that correct? If so, I see little hope for them.
Reply

najimuddin
03-30-2016, 06:30 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
I have told you repeatedly that I make no such choice. I am indeed as compelled not to believe in your spiritual claims as I am compelled not to believe that an apple in my hand is a grape. Yet here you are insisting that I must be choosing disbelief. So you require my dishonesty in this? Along with the dishonesty of every theist that doesn't agree with your particular theological view? Everybody is lying but you?
Greetings Pygo,

My take on this is that you have made a conscious choice. I don’t think you’re lying though. This choice is based on the perceptions you’ve developed due to various influences.

These perceptions are preventing you from even exposing yourself to information and an environment that has the potential to alter them. You have acknowledged that you are not all knowing and that there may be objective, observable, and measurable evidence supporting the Islamic claim that you have not been exposed to. The following quotes illustrate this:

Originally Posted by najimuddin
Hi Pygo,
Would you be open to the possibility that there may be some objective, observable, and measurable evidence supporting the Islamic claim that you have not been exposed to?
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Yes, sure. I could be wrong. I am not infallible or all knowing. Allah could exist. Poseidon could exist. So could the Aztek Gods, but I would be rather shocked.
However, when I mentioned:
Originally Posted by najimuddin
Although it’s possible for analogies in relation to this to be made with other personalities and dogmas, it is believed that definitive judgments should be based on a comprehensive understanding of the Islamic tradition.

Sometimes the key to understanding something may lie in practical exposure. That said, there are places where one can gain an understanding of the man that delivered the message from traditional subject matter experts in person.

I see you’re in Ontario. If you’re interested I know a place in Chatham where you can meet these engaging, non-judgmental, and friendly people.
Your response was analogous:
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
No need. I don't doubt your sincere belief in Muhammad's integrity. I don't have any reason to question his integrity myself either. I also don't have any particular reason to question the integrity of Jesus, the Budha, or any other spiritual icon or founder of a religion. But that doesn't make what they believed about theology to be any more convincing to me.
By stating “No need”, you have made a conscious choice of rejecting to even being exposed to something that you have acknowledged may exist.

Understanding and agreeing with theology is a subsequent matter. If God, then theology.
Reply

MuslimInshallah
03-31-2016, 03:09 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Now that is a fascinating layer on top of all of this. So you are saying that you don't bury your own moral senses of empathy and fairness under obedience to authority, but instead you view your moral senses as coming from the authority figure? So you are completely amoral and this is all about obedience? There is no moral sense that you have truly of your own that is independent of God? How then could you know that God is good and worthy of your obedience to begin with? Or is it a matter of Might makes Right? He made us, so whatever he says goes, no matter what that may be, or no matter what you become convinced that it is?

That would explain the lack of cognitive dissonance and my inability to reach people who endorse killing apostates, discriminating against homosexuals, etc... they are not only obeying what they think God wants, but they have truly made themselves feel that it is right, even at the deepest of levels. Is that correct? If so, I see little hope for them.
Hello Pygoscelis

(amused) Of course I believe that everything comes from the Creator, including my moral compass. I am a theist! It wouldn't be very logical of me if I said that there was a Unique, All-Powerful, All-Encompassing Creator, and then said that there was a part of creation that was independent of that Creator!

(gently) Perhaps this is why you have trouble convincing theists of anything: you are coming from a different set of assumptions. It's a bit like Canadians trying to convince Americans that gun control is a good idea. We Canadians tend not to understand the underpinnings of American thought on this idea, and therefore, we tend not to be able to get very far in our discussions with them on this topic.

(twinkle) It might surprise you, but theists tend to believe that atheists don't have any sort of morality. That they believe that everything is good, if they (the atheists) like it and want it to be good. (mildly) I disagree with this lumping together of atheists and easy dismissal... just as I disagree with the lumping together of theists and dismissal... (gently) I believe that each person is unique and full of precious potential. And that rather than see the "other" as a sort of zombie army (which opens the door to such dark thoughts and actions towards the "other"...), that we must hear each voice in its uniqueness, and evaluate each person individually.

(mildly) If you want to try to convince a theist of what you feel your moral compass is telling you about right and wrong... then I would suggest that you use arguments that fit within the frame of reference of the theist. (smile) I think you could make a lot of positive contributions, you know.

(smile) May God Bless you. Pygoscelis.
Reply

piXie
04-01-2016, 02:14 PM
Originally Posted by The-Deist
Why is there a punishment for leaving Islam? Shouldn't everyone be free to choose their religion?
The question you should be asking is, why is there a punishment for following Islam, Shouldn't everyone be free to choose their religion?

Why are Muslims falsely accused, jailed without trial, and being massacred in their own countries.
Reply

piXie
04-01-2016, 02:49 PM
Originally Posted by MuslimInshallah
what you feel your moral compass is telling you about right and wrong...
:sl:

What I don't understand about athiests is how they can condem someone else's moral compass based on their own moral compass. If their moral compass is telling them homosexuality is normal and another persons moral compass is telling them that it is abnormal, why do they condem that person.
Reply

Delphi
04-01-2016, 03:47 PM
I was going to post something about reason, athiestic neutrality, science, revealed truth through rational discovery and scientific logic, and rational tolerance - the freedom of every person on earth to answer to God - or the infinite stars (or both) according to their conscience alone, so long as they do not seek to bring violence against another. As soon as one man starts using violence to coerce another into belief, the outcome is automatically tainted and polluted by that act alone. To be quite frank multicultural tolerance is the glue that holds the world together, the peace that we have forged to allow multiple tribes with different beliefs to live together in peace. As soon as one person or group begins trying to co-erce or force another into belief, that glue breaks, and the eventual end result is violence, and then war. Matthew 26:52 - those who live by the sword, die by the sword.

Throughout it's history Christianity has said that the way of the world, the way of force, and the way of the sword are the ways of the devil.

1But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.
3Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst,
4they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.
5Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?

6This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
7So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
8And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
11She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
12Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Reply

The-Deist
04-01-2016, 03:55 PM
Originally Posted by piXie
The question you should be asking is, why is there a punishment for following Islam, Shouldn't everyone be free to choose their religion?

Why are Muslims falsely accused, jailed without trial, and being massacred in their own countries.
Religion is becoming more disliked by time, plus islamophobia.
Reply

Pygoscelis
04-01-2016, 04:42 PM
Originally Posted by najimuddin
These perceptions are preventing you from even exposing yourself to information and an environment that has the potential to alter them.
This is an incredibly ironic thing to say to an atheist on a Muslim board that has shut down the comparative religion section. I've had a PRIVATE MESSAGE here censored and scolded for attempting to speak with a recent apostate to tell them that they are not alone in not believing and to comfort them while they were attacked by Muslims here in a public thread.

My mere presence in this very thread is evidence against your claim that I have not exposed myself to Muslims who would like to change my views to match their own. Look at the start of this thread. One Muslim fellow complained about Muhammad interacting with me and asking me questions of why I don't believe (didn't want to be exposed to my views), and Mohammed (board moderator) responded by saying that he wanted to hear me out so he could attempt to change me. I have since read, considered, and responded to multiple different Muslims who have come and gone in this conversation. MuslimInshallah has been especially thought provoking a couple of posts up. it has been a refreshingly open dialogue for a board that has otherwise always shut that sort of thing down very quickly.

I have personally been to multiple mosques, hindu and sikh temples, a kingdom hall, numerous churches of various christian denominations, and even a zoroastrian temple, all as a guest of various friends who have subscribed to these beliefs. I grew up surrounded by religious people.

The irony here is in how religions such as Islam and Christianity tell followers not to be "yoked" with unbeleivers, not to take them as friends, not to ally with them, date them, etc etc. I have no such directive. Many of my friends (and some people I have dated) are religious people, and I have heard their views. I am doing the same with you folks right now and giving my honest reactions to what you say. Just because I don't agree with you does not mean I haven't heard you out. The opposite is rarely true, which brings us full circle to the OP.

Remember, we are in a thread about a doctrine of Islam that says you are to KILL apostates. If you were to seriously consider anything I or other atheists had to say, and actually came to agree with us, and made that public, some of your fellow Muslims would like to kill you for it. If you then went on to write some negative things about Islam, like Hirsi Ali did, some muslims in this very thread have told me you should die for it. Even if that were not so, there is the concept of hell to punish you if you leave the fold. There is no such pressure on atheists to keep their minds so closed and protected from foreign ideas, religious or otherwise.
Reply

Pygoscelis
04-01-2016, 04:57 PM
Originally Posted by MuslimInshallah
(twinkle) It might surprise you, but theists tend to believe that atheists don't have any sort of morality. That they believe that everything is good, if they (the atheists) like it and want it to be good.
I realize this, and it is not surprising at all. If you conflate morality with obedience and define good as doing what God tells you to do, and if you see Goodness as something objective and needing to come from some law giver, then it makes perfect sense that atheists would have no such morality. I content that this is a completely wrong definition of morality, is mere obedience to power, and is dangerous in so far as it isolates people from their own inner senses of empathy and fairness. If God tells you to sacrifice your son, as in the Abraham and Isaac story, these two different definitions of morality will reach different conclusions. We know what the religious one is. Same for if God tells you to fly a plane into a building, drown your children, drink poisoned cool aid en masse, etc.

I agree with you that we can't lump all theists into one box. They vary in how fundamentalist they are (some liberal ones see much of the holy texts as poetry not meant to be taken literally, etc), and the fundamentalists vary in what they believe the God(s) want of them. Most religious folks really do have their own sense of morality independent of their religious belief, whether they know it or not, and based on it they declare certain parts of their holy books and doctrines to be less important or even ignore them completely. That's why you can have Fundamentalist Christians who follow the nasty parts of the bible, hating on homosexuals, and other liberal ones who can even BE homosexuals themselves and get gay married in liberal churches. It is also why pretty much nobody today follows the parts of the bible clearly telling people to stone adulterers to death, not suffer wtiches to live, and murder disobedient children, etc. It is also why Mulsims can vary from Daesh (ISIS) on one extreme (bloodthirsty, tribal, etc) to yourself on the other (loving, inclusive, etc). You both push yourselves to obey what you think Allah wants of you, only your personality and personal morality and ethics lead you to interpret that one way, and Daesh the other.
Reply

najimuddin
04-01-2016, 10:15 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
This is an incredibly ironic thing to say to an atheist on a Muslim board that has shut down the comparative religion section. I've had a PRIVATE MESSAGE here censored and scolded for attempting to speak with a recent apostate to tell them that they are not alone in not believing and to comfort them while they were attacked by Muslims here in a public thread.

My mere presence in this very thread is evidence against your claim that I have not exposed myself to Muslims who would like to change my views to match their own. Look at the start of this thread. One Muslim fellow complained about Muhammad interacting with me and asking me questions of why I don't believe (didn't want to be exposed to my views), and Mohammed (board moderator) responded by saying that he wanted to hear me out so he could attempt to change me. I have since read, considered, and responded to multiple different Muslims who have come and gone in this conversation. MuslimInshallah has been especially thought provoking a couple of posts up. it has been a refreshingly open dialogue for a board that has otherwise always shut that sort of thing down very quickly.

I have personally been to multiple mosques, hindu and sikh temples, a kingdom hall, numerous churches of various christian denominations, and even a zoroastrian temple, all as a guest of various friends who have subscribed to these beliefs. I grew up surrounded by religious people.

The irony here is in how religions such as Islam and Christianity tell followers not to be "yoked" with unbeleivers, not to take them as friends, not to ally with them, date them, etc etc. I have no such directive. Many of my friends (and some people I have dated) are religious people, and I have heard their views. I am doing the same with you folks right now and giving my honest reactions to what you say. Just because I don't agree with you does not mean I haven't heard you out. The opposite is rarely true, which brings us full circle to the OP.

Remember, we are in a thread about a doctrine of Islam that says you are to KILL apostates. If you were to seriously consider anything I or other atheists had to say, and actually came to agree with us, and made that public, some of your fellow Muslims would like to kill you for it. If you then went on to write some negative things about Islam, like Hirsi Ali did, some muslims in this very thread have told me you should die for it. Even if that were not so, there is the concept of hell to punish you if you leave the fold. There is no such pressure on atheists to keep their minds so closed and protected from foreign ideas, religious or otherwise.
Greetings again,

My post did succinctly acknowledge your varied experiences. I have no doubt that you have had them – you are obviously here as well. It’s these experiences that shape who we are.

The statement that you quoted from my post was in the context of our interactions and my offering you a different type of experience. I did this realizing that you would likely respond to this offer with indifference. What more could I possibly offer? Nevertheless, I think you're worth the effort.

May Allah make this effort beneficial. Ameen.
Reply

Muhammad
04-02-2016, 12:59 PM
Greetings Sojourn,

Originally Posted by Sojourn
That educated Muslims are shifting away from the traditional body of teaching concerning executing people who choose to leave Islam is an indicator that academic opinions are not convincing.
This statement is deceiving. First, you offer no basis as to how you have deducted that ‘educated’ Muslims are shifting away from the traditional body of teaching. Secondly, the term ‘educated’ needs clarification. Being educated in the general sense does not necessarily put one at an advantage when it comes to following God’s message. As a Christian, you should know this. Doesn't the New Testament itself teach that the followers of Jesus :as: were uneducated lower-class Aramaic-speaking Jews from Palestine?

The core of Christian faith is the Jesus' redemptive work through his death and resurrection, something the Qur'an does not address.
Clearly you are not familiar with the Qur’an then:

And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. [Qur’an 4:157]

The trinity is simple to define and easy to understand but impossible to imagine
Christians desperately try to explain the concept of one-God-but-three-persons using an alarming range of elaborate analogies that leave us more confused than ever. Christian preachers themselves admit they struggle with the trinity and that it’s a subject which ‘has always been elusive’. The Vatican Council has explained the meaning to be attributed to the term mystery in theology. It lays down that a mystery is a truth which we are not merely incapable of discovering apart from Divine Revelation, but which, even when revealed, remains “hidden by the veil of faith and enveloped, so to speak, by a kind of darkness”.

You are making Islam an irrational religion. A person must always go according to their conscience and reason.
There is nothing irrational about recognising one’s limits. You speak of conscience and reason yet Christians freely admit that the trinity is a ‘mystery’, so they stop trying to understand it logically. In my discussions with other Christians on this very forum, they have described the trinity as ‘unspeakably mysterious relationships’ and that they are commanded to ‘believe where reason cannot go’. You need to ask yourself who is being irrational.

That may the opinion of the scholars you follow, but the verse itself does not limit itself to those embracing Islam.
Maybe it doesn’t. But what credibility do you have over Muslim scholars qualified in the field of Qur’anic exegesis? In the Qur’an, verses are understood in the light of others, and in light of the explanation given by the Prophet :saws:. We don’t just take one verse and make up rulings.

And the point is straightforward, it is illogical to coerce people to Islam as it would be to coerce them to stay.
You have not demonstrated anything illogical; we’re talking about different values and perspectives, so something doesn’t become ‘illogical’ just because you disagree with it.

To force someone to stay Muslim is really forcing them to remain a munafiq, and what value is that?
Would you use the same argument against stopping people from committing treason? By this logic, we should allow people to commit treason if insincerity is such a major concern.

Again, faith is a free act of the will. The only thing that binds a Muslim to these disciplines is this free act of faith, but if the freely choose to leave Islam, these disciplines no longer apply to them.
Entering faith is a choice, but we are not free to pick and choose which part of that faith we want to follow. Remember, we are talking about applying the ruling in an Islamic state, and a person cannot claim disciplines no longer apply just as someone living in the US cannot claim the law no longer applies.

But a person can renounce their US citizenship without fear of being executed.
Treason would be a more accurate example here. Religion is not like citizenship where one can keep entering and leaving like a tourist. Commitment to a religion has far more value than that.

And forcing a woman or man to live the life of hypocrite by threatening them with execution if they leave saves them from hell? If they act Muslim but in their hearts they left Islam years ago, it doesn't really matter, does it? This is why executing people who leave Islam is irrational.
This claim fails to take account of a number of issues. First, it is not necessarily the threat of execution which is responsible for hypocrisy. A person thinking of forsaking truth after knowing it has a problematic heart to begin with. There were those who entered Islam for political reasons, people who harboured evil intentions against the Prophet :saws: and his followers but were too cowardly to resist them publicly; they were rather, under those Islamically favourable conditions, obliged to fake amicability and friendliness. This is why the Qur’an repeatedly exposes their hypocrisy and warns against their concealed designs. Their surreptitious intrigues continued to undermine the stability of the Islamic society.

This leads us to the second point which is very pertinent, which is that capital punishment has a role towards the whole society, not just the individual. An apostate fuels widespread disorder and confusion. His apostasy has a negative impact on others. Islam is a complete system of life. Its rules govern not only individual conduct but also shape the basic laws and public order in the Muslim state. In the establishment of the ruling on apostasy, there is protection for the sanctity of religions not to be toyed with, lest those who are manipulative and desire-driven obtain the means to advance their personally-motivated ambitions and objectives.

What is interesting to note is that during the time of the Prophet :saws: there were many hypocrites yet he did not execute them, despite knowing who they were. The rulings of this worldly life are applied in relation to what is apparent, and Allaah :swt: knows what is hidden in the hearts of the people. It is quite possible for a hypocrite to repent from his hypocrisy and become sincere to Allaah :swt:.

As I have been explaining to Pygoscelis, which is really the crux of the matter, Muslims hold that there are very strong, rational reasons for them to believe in Islam. It is not simply a matter of ‘blind faith’. Thus, before a Muslim is asked to override something found in his religion, there needs to be very strong evidence that something is mistaken or unacceptable in the religion of Islam.

How did Muslims acquire the ancient learning of Greece? Was it not from the Christians they conquered?
Didn’t the Ottomans arrive in Greece from the 15th century onwards? Yet, hundreds of years earlier in the 9th century we had academic institutions like Bayt al-hikma, founded in Baghdad. In this academy, translators, scientists, scribes, authors, men of letters, writers, authors, copyists and others used to meet every day for translation, reading, writing, scribing, discourse, dialogue and discussion. Many manuscripts and books in various scientific subjects and philosophical concepts and ideas, and in different languages were translated there.

but in the end the Islamic world closed it's mind and rejected Greek Philosophy and the rationalizing of faith proposed by the Mutazelites.
Is that so surprising, when many historians and religious scholars attest to the influence of Greek or Platonic philosophy on Christian theology, most notably the development and acceptance of the Trinity doctrine? That is why the Islamic creed remains pure and clear, and remains to be the truth from God Himself.


And what is this of the Jews? At one point 3 out of 4 Jews in the world lived in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a Catholic Kingdom well known for it's tolerance.
Yes, we have seen the ‘tolerance’ expressed by Catholic councils towards Jews. One of the clauses in the text of the proceedings of the Fourth Council of Toledo (633 CE) states:
We decree that the sons and daughters of the Jews should be separated from the company of their parents in order that they should not become further entangled in their deviation, and entrusted either to monasteries or to Christian, God fearing men and women, in order that they should learn from their way of life to venerate the faith and, educated on better things, progress in their morals as well as their faith.
Amnon Linder, The Jews in the Legal Sources of the Early Middle Ages, New York, 1997, p. 488.

Hence, according to Amnon Linder, who is a professor of medieval history in Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, the children of the Jews were to be forcefully converted to Catholicism. On the other hand, the Islamic rule proved to be most advantageous in the history of Judaism. The Spanish Jews reached such a high level of learning and progress that they could now claim to be world leaders of Judaism. The Jews were certainly saved from extinction by the Muslim conquest of Spain.

And has Mr Wallace-Murphy forgotten that the Christian West was on constance defense against the Islamic conquest? Some one hundred years after Muhammad's death Muslims conquered two-thirds of the Christian world,
Was it not a Christian ruler, Julian, Count of Ceuta, who is said to have requested help from the Muslims against the Visigoths of Spain? Indeed, Jews also welcomed them as liberators from Christian Persecution.

and yet Wallace-Murphy makes an asinine comment about the West's mistrust and "imperial takeovers"? What breathtaking ignorance!
Could it be that he is referring to the Christian crusades – you know… the genocide preached by Pope Urban II? Or perhaps the Spanish Inquisition where countless Jews and Muslims were forced to convert to Christianity?

All this is a moot point, the better question is what have Muslims contributed to the modern world in terms of science, medicine, technology, and culture?
Science
The impact of Al-Battani on European Astronomy
From Alchemy to Chemistry
Contribution of Al-Khwarizmi to Mathematics and Geography
Botany, Herbals and Healing In Islamic Science and Medicine
Gleanings from the Islamic Contribution in Agriculture
Ibn Khaldun: Studies on His Contribution in Economy


Medicine
Medical Sciences in the Islamic Civilization
Insights into Neurologic Localization by Al-Razi (Rhazes), a Medieval Islamic Physician
The role of Ibn Sina (Avicenna)’s Medical Poem in the transmission of medical knowledge to medieval Europe
Anaesthesia 1000 Years Ago (II)
A Medical Classic: Al-Razi’s Treatise on Smallpox and Measles
Paediatric Urology 1000 Years Ago

Technology
Top Seven Ingenious Clocks from Muslim Civilisation that Defied the Middle Ages
Taqi al-Din ibn Ma‘ruf and the Science of Optics: The Nature of Light and the Mechanism of Vision
The Six-Cylinder Water Pump of Taqi al-Din: Its Mathematics, Operation and Virtual Design
Manuscripts and printing in the spread of Muslim science
A Review of Early Muslim Control Engineering
An 800 Years Old Ancestor: Today’s Science of Robotics and Al-Jazari

Culture
Architectural Links between East and West in Early Modern Times
Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil or the Triumph of the Islamic Architectural Style
Beauty and Aesthetics in Islam
The Islamic Art in the Louvre Museum in Paris
Arab Influences on Spanish Language and Culture
The Coffee Route from Yemen to London 10th-17th Centuries
The Influence of Islamic Culinary Art on Europe



Muslims continue to contribute in various fields across the world. Here follows a list of achievements from 2014:


Genetics:



Medicine:



Mathematics:

  • An Iranian mathematician became the first ever female winner of the celebrated Fields Medal. In a landmark hailed as "long overdue", Prof Maryam Mirzakhani was recognized for her work on complex geometry.
  • Kazakhstani Muslim scientist proves the existence of a solution to Navier Stokes Equation which is deemed one of the hardest in the world.

Engineering:


Education:
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), four Muslim countries were ranked in the top 20 destinations all over the world for international students.

Space:

  • The European space probes Rosetta and Philae didn't only have Egyptian names to commemorate the Egyptian Civilization’s contributions to humanity, but four Egyptian scientists have also worked in this historic space mission.
  • Egyptian students were ranked internationally among the top 20 teams of space engineering youth groups that participated at the University Rover Challenge (URC), in USA. In 2016, Bangladesh and Egypt are among the teams advancing to the semi-finals.
  • A young female Kazakh inventor Nazifa Baktybayeva has been working on a real in-orbit satellite that will allow Kazakhstani students to conduct research based on materials obtained from space. This invention wasn't Nazifa's first one as in 2012 she created a model of a Venusian spacecraft that was fabricated using parts of her own old computer, headphones, a DVD disk, an umbrella and even a hanger and she calculated the craft's trajectory.




In addition, I present to you 14 exciting and celebrated nanotechnologists from the Muslim world:

  1. Dr. Mostefa El-Sayed [Nano-scale Scientist], Regents’ Professor and Julius Brown Chair, Georgia Institute of Technology, Zewail Prize, #17 on Thomson Reuters, Top 100 Chemists of the Decade
  2. Dr. Ibrahim Elfadel [Designer of Nano-scale Tools], Professor, Masdar Institute, Winner of Six Invention Achievement Awards, an IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Award and a Research Division Award
  3. Dr. Muhammad Al-Sayah [Supra-molecular Chemist], Professor, American University of Sharjah and winner of Comstech Award
  4. Prof. Ali Khademhosseini [Biologically inspired Engineer], Assoc. Prof., Harvard Medical School, President Obama’s Early Career Award
  5. Dr. AbdolReza Simchi [Nanostructures & Biomaterials], Assoc. Prof., Sharif University, Khwarzimi International Award
  6. Munir Nayfeh [Quantum Nanotechnologist], Professor, University of Illinois (UIUC), Award for Single Atom Detection
  7. Sharifah Bee Abd Hamid [Catalyst and nanomaterials], Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Malaysia
  8. Dr. Aghil Yousefi Koma [Designer of Micro-vehicles], Professor, University of Tehran
  9. Resit Turan [The Solarizer], Director, Center for Solar Energy, Research & Applications, Metu, Turkey
  10. Muhammad Mustafa Hussain [Integrated nanotechnologist], Associate Professor, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  11. Halimaton Hamdan [Synthesizer of Nanostructures], Director, National Nanotechnology Directorate, Mosti, Malaysia
  12. Prof. Uda Hashim, Director [Micro-electronic Systems Engineer], Institute of Nano Electronic Engg, Malaysia
  13. Dr. Irfan S. Ahmed [Bionanotechnologist], Executive Director, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, University of Illinois (UIUC)
  14. Prof. Ali Eftekhari [Electrochemist & Nanoscientist], Avicenna Institute of Technology (USA)


List from: http://muslim-science.com/14-most-ex...-muslim-world/


In terms of the future, there are grassroots efforts across the Muslim world to stimulate curiosity about science among students of all ages, operating without much government support. Eminent international experts have called for comprehensive reforms to universities of the Muslim World seeking to transform societies though scientific excellence.

And conversely, how much is the Islamic world indebted to the Christian and Secular West for all it's contributions?
I’m sure the Christian and secular West have made important contributions. The point here is not to make arrogant generalisations such as Muslims being backwards and inferior to the rest of the world.

Any Christian can ascertain Jesus' teaching through the sacred tradition and sacred scripture possessed by the Church.
There is not a single document from the time of Jesus :as: that exists today. We only have "gospels" from one or two generations later, written by unknown authors. There are many contradictions in them and NONE of them are written in the language that Jesus spoke. NOT ONE!

Furthermore, we never believed a table descended from heaven with food, or that he turned clay birds into living ones, or that he shook a palm tree as an infant, or that a cube monument in the Hijaaz is a place of pilgrimage, or that the holy spirit is an angel,
It seems like you’ve gone for the ‘scatter-gun’ approach; by casting your net indiscriminately you’re targeting your own beliefs at the same time. The Bible tells us that Jesus performed miracles such as healing the lepers, blind, turning water into wine, even bringing the dead back to life… don’t you believe in these miracles gifted by God? So, if the Qur’an tells us that a table descended from heaven with food, or that clay birds became real, we believe in those with conviction, because the Qur’an is the Word of God and God is able to do all things.

Muslims have ONE place of pilgrimage. How many do Christians have? Hundreds, by the looks of it, and this list is just for Catholics.


or that it's ok for us to have multiple wives or divorce a spouse,
How many wives does the Bible tell us Prophet Solomon had? Divorce is a way out of an irreparable situation. According to you, why is it not allowed to leave a marriage but acceptable to leave God’s message?

or that there is a prophet after him that would totally reverse his teachings.
The core message of all the Prophets was the same, but laws can vary between peoples.

Some of these are legends circulating in parts of the Christian world, and yet your Book is telling us they are historical. The truth is very easy to ascertain.
Indeed the truth is easy to ascertain, if you have one Book which exists as the original version and whose author is known.

The point is those laws that may have been suitable and even progressive in 6th century Hijaaz are not applicable to the modern world.
So, on the one hand you endorse following teachings presumed to be over two thousand years old, yet on the other hand criticise Muslims for following teachings from the 6th century? You accuse me of being illogical yet have no qualms about believing in a contradictory concept of God. You criticise Muslims for trusting God’s teachings based on a preserved Scripture and yet yourself blindly follow a Church that constitutes the opinions of men.

Love is not impractical,and if more followed love the world would be a better place.
What better place to start with than yourself? Instead of coming to Islamic forums to tell Muslims how backwards and illogical their religion is, you should practice what it is you claim to preach.
Reply

Pygoscelis
04-02-2016, 06:36 PM
Originally Posted by najimuddin
The statement that you quoted from my post was in the context of our interactions and my offering you a different type of experience.
What reason could I possibly have to believe you have anything that is actually different or more convincing than what I've already seen in all of the adventures I spoke of above, especially when you won't present it here and insist it is out there somewhere in my local community and I should go find it? EVERYONE who I have ever spoken to in all of the experiences I noted above have also claimed to have had unique and special information that was convincing evidence. Perhaps it was for them, but most of it is indistinguishable to me in any meaningful way, and none of it has been even remotely convincing. Why do you think you have something special and why can't it be presented in this thread?

And of the hypocrisy I noted above... how many of you here are equally willing to take in new and competing information and open your mind to change as I have, even if it means you may become apostates to Islam? Like me, have you visited Sikh temples, Hindu temples, Zoroastrian temples, Catholic churches, Jehova's Witness Kingdom Halls, and other such places to see their views and maybe discover that they have better foundation and evidence for their beliefs than you have for yours? Is this something you would encourage in Muslims? Quite a question to have to ask in a thread about a doctrine about killing apostates. I obviously don't expect you to have such an open mind. But for you to then turn around and accuse ME of not having an open mind and taking in your views... while I have been here for nearly a decade listening to Muslims... the irony is incredibly thick.
Reply

Pygoscelis
04-02-2016, 07:06 PM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
Maybe it doesn’t. But what credibility do you have over Muslim scholars qualified in the field of Qur’anic exegesis? In the Qur’an, verses are understood in the light of others, and in light of the explanation given by the Prophet . We don’t just take one verse and make up rulings.
This speaks directly to what I was saying above. You are not merely listening to Allah directly. You are not even merely taking what is written in the Quran directly. You are listening to "scholars" who tell you it is complicated, so you shouldn't read it for yourself and you should listen to what they tell you it says. This is not obedience to a deity. This is obedience to people purporting to speak for a deity. Coupled with the idea that obedience trumps morality, this can dangerous, as you immediately go on to demonsrate here....

Originally Posted by Muhammad
As I have been explaining to Pygoscelis, which is really the crux of the matter, Muslims hold that there are very strong, rational reasons for them to believe in Islam. It is not simply a matter of ‘blind faith’. Thus, before a Muslim is asked to override something found in his religion, there needs to be very strong evidence that something is mistaken or unacceptable in the religion of Islam.
On the face of it, it is wrong to kill people for believing Allah exists. You and I both know that. I would have to come up with some pretty convincing argument to reach any conclusion that we should hunt and kill Muslims, just for being Muslims, and preaching the Muslim religion. Right?

On the face of it, it is wrong to kill people for no longer believing Allah exists. You and I both know that too. You would have to come up with some pretty convincing argument to reach any conclusion that we should hunt an kill apostates, just for being apostates, and speaking against the Muslim religion.

You can't tell us what that argument is, but you believe it exists and that it justifies such an otherwise obviously immoral action, because you are convinced it is a part of Islam, and you are convinced that Islam has some superior "strong, rational reasons" foundation. This is where your "faith" comes in. You are trusting that Allah has his reasons, and just because we don't know them, doesn't mean they don't exist. Yes?

So, from my view point, you wind up rationalizing an obviously immoral position because you have convinced yourself an imaginary authority demands it of you. Can you see why I find that dangerous?


Originally Posted by Muhammad
And the point is straightforward, it is illogical to coerce people to Islam as it would be to coerce them to stay.
You have not demonstrated anything illogical; we’re talking about different values and perspectives, so something doesn’t become ‘illogical’ just because you disagree with it.
So you are saying it IS logical to coerce them to stay? Despite them not believing? Really... what would you have somebody who stops believing in Allah do? Do you want them to lie for the rest of their lives and pretend to be Muslim? Is it then about keeping up appearances so the next guy doesn't realize he's not the only disbeliever?
Reply

M.I.A.
04-02-2016, 07:15 PM
? Keep a beard why don't you.

...you seem very opinionated
Reply

najimuddin
04-02-2016, 08:13 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
What reason could I possibly have to believe you have anything that is actually different or more convincing than what I've already seen in all of the adventures I spoke of above, especially when you won't present it here and insist it is out there somewhere in my local community and I should go find it? EVERYONE who I have ever spoken to in all of the experiences I noted above have also claimed to have had unique and special information that was convincing evidence. Perhaps it was for them, but most of it is indistinguishable to me in any meaningful way, and none of it has been even remotely convincing. Why do you think you have something special and why can't it be presented in this thread?

And of the hypocrisy I noted above... how many of you here are equally willing to take in new and competing information and open your mind to change as I have, even if it means you may become apostates to Islam? Like me, have you visited Sikh temples, Hindu temples, Zoroastrian temples, Catholic churches, Jehova's Witness Kingdom Halls, and other such places to see their views and maybe discover that they have better foundation and evidence for their beliefs than you have for yours? Is this something you would encourage in Muslims? Quite a question to have to ask in a thread about a doctrine about killing apostates. I obviously don't expect you to have such an open mind. But for you to then turn around and accuse ME of not having an open mind and taking in your views... while I have been here for nearly a decade listening to Muslims... the irony is incredibly thick.
I’m not accusing you of anything Pygo. I made an observation and thought I’d try to make you aware of it.

You did acknowledge that evidence supporting the Islamic claim may exist – something that you have not been exposed to before. That’s the reason why.

The resource that I referred to is an Islamic school of the classical tradition. The environment and interactions you have with the subject matter experts/scholars at this institution are likely to be entirely different than what you have experienced before.

I can’t bring the school to this forum. Here’s the link to their website: ducanada.org

I don’t think that you’re closed minded. I think that you are making assumptions based on your past experiences.
Reply

czgibson
04-03-2016, 02:08 AM
Greetings, Muhammad,
Originally Posted by Muhammad
These two are not mutually exclusive - the One who has created man and given him a sense of right and wrong is the same Law-Giver. Obeying Him elevates our moral behaviour and does not pose any obstacle in that regard. The Prophet :saws: said, 'I have only been sent to perfect good moral character'.
I think Pygoscelis is doing a good job trying to help you see the difference between obedience and moral behaviour.

Even if we look at things from a subjective point of view, there is nothing immoral about the concept of capital punishment being used to deter crime.
Stop trying to move the goalposts. This thread is about using the death penalty to punish apostasy, which cannot be a crime if you endorse freedom of religion, as you claim later on.

That is why I pointed out that numerous countries across the world, both religious and secular, apply such penalties to various crimes.

...

The US still uses the death penalty, and it is considered among the most developed countries in the world.
I will grant that the US is something of an anomaly in this area (as it is in many other ways), but it is one of the countries I had in mind when I said "still under the sway of religion". The fact that countries, as they become more civilised, tend to abolish the death penalty should indicate to you that it is not as simple a moral issue as you might like to believe. The claim that "there is nothing immoral about the concept of capital punishment being used to deter crime" is not necessarily true at all.

Likewise, terrorist atrocities are not due to a simple belief in God.
I never claimed that they were, and you know that this is not my position.

Trying to force connections will not help us; looking at facts will. That's why I have posed some research-based food for thought, which I think is more convincing than what a thinking adult like me might say.
You have given me an incomplete text, and I have attempted to summarise it for you in response. The text does not say what you seem to think it does, and at this point I'm beginning to suspect that you haven't even read it.

It is good to see you agree that religion is not the primary cause of violence - I think we are making progress here.
Not necessarily the primary cause, no. I'm saying that religion helps to cause violence. This has always been my position, and I have mentioned this several times to you already. I'm astonished that you don't seem to be aware of this.

As for giving 'coherence', this is such a vague term that can apply to all sorts of things, including the supposed 'War on Terror'.
This is an intriguing comment and I'm sure you could unpack it in interesting ways. What systems of thought do you have in mind as providing justification or coherence to the supposed War on Terror? Religious ones? Secular ones?

If you think I'm being vague with regard to the coherence that I claim Islam provides to the killers of the world, then I suggest you try reading Dabiq, the magazine of Daesh. Look at how Islamic concepts of death and the afterlife (backed up with a huge number of quotes from the Qur'an) govern the whole narrative of their military operations. Even though you and I agree that the interpretation of Islam shown there is incorrect and highly partial, the end result is the same. There is a very serious problem here, and we do not have time to wait for an Enlightenment; if large numbers of people continue to believe that religion is literally true, murderous groups like Daesh will always be one of the results.

I thought it was obvious why. You have already conceded that religion is not necessarily the primary cause behind violence, therefore the question (and its underlying assumption) becomes void.
How does the question become void, given that this has always been my position from the outset? I ask again:

Can you think of any criminal act that tends to be committed only by non-believers?

Note that my position on the relationship between religion and violence has no bearing on the corollary question here, which would be:

Can you think of any criminal act that tends to be committed only by believers?

for which we can all readily supply numerous answers with no difficulty whatsoever.

Peace
Reply

MuslimInshallah
04-03-2016, 03:03 AM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
I realize this, and it is not surprising at all. If you conflate morality with obedience and define good as doing what God tells you to do, and if you see Goodness as something objective and needing to come from some law giver, then it makes perfect sense that atheists would have no such morality. I content that this is a completely wrong definition of morality, is mere obedience to power, and is dangerous in so far as it isolates people from their own inner senses of empathy and fairness. If God tells you to sacrifice your son, as in the Abraham and Isaac story, these two different definitions of morality will reach different conclusions. We know what the religious one is. Same for if God tells you to fly a plane into a building, drown your children, drink poisoned cool aid en masse, etc.
Hello Pygoscelis,

Mmm... But where does this inner sense of empathy and fairness come from? A theist would say: from God. And God is Good (by definition). Behaving in accordance with our inner sense of empathy and fairness (our inner compass, or fitrah) will bring us into harmony with God. And thus we feel no dissonance, and this brings peace to us. This is Islam.

(mildly) The story of Ibrahim and his son has been studied at length, and it is too big a topic to discuss in detail here. But please recall that the Biblical and Qur'an accounts are different. For instance, in the Qur'anic account, the son was a young adult, and agreed to follow the dream (when his father told him about a dream he'd had in which he had seen himself preparing to sacrifice his son). And please note that God didn't actually tell Ibrahim to sacrifice his son. The dream showed only Abraham and his son preparing to do this. Not an actual sacrifice.

As for people saying God inspired them to kill innocent people... well, those that wish to do wrong will use any excuse to try to cover themselves from blame. And this is true no matter what their ideology. For instance, if a child molester says the child seduced him and egged him on, and that he (the molester) is the true victim... do we believe the molester? Is the child at fault? Or do we understand that the molester is just trying to avoid responsibility for his despicable actions?


Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
I agree with you that we can't lump all theists into one box. They vary in how fundamentalist they are (some liberal ones see much of the holy texts as poetry not meant to be taken literally, etc), and the fundamentalists vary in what they believe the God(s) want of them. Most religious folks really do have their own sense of morality independent of their religious belief, whether they know it or not, and based on it they declare certain parts of their holy books and doctrines to be less important or even ignore them completely. That's why you can have Fundamentalist Christians who follow the nasty parts of the bible, hating on homosexuals, and other liberal ones who can even BE homosexuals themselves and get gay married in liberal churches. It is also why pretty much nobody today follows the parts of the bible clearly telling people to stone adulterers to death, not suffer wtiches to live, and murder disobedient children, etc. It is also why Mulsims can vary from Daesh (ISIS) on one extreme (bloodthirsty, tribal, etc) to yourself on the other (loving, inclusive, etc). You both push yourselves to obey what you think Allah wants of you, only your personality and personal morality and ethics lead you to interpret that one way, and Daesh the other.
(smile) The opposite of extreme is centered. Not another extreme.

(mildly) I don't think the divide between "fundamentalists" and "liberals" works well to describe Muslims. Yes, there are extremists (and your divisions sound like extremes to me), but Islam is supposed to be the "Middle Way". And this Middle Way is where we should struggle to find ourselves. (smile) But we don't often find this point of balance, and even when we do, we do not remain balanced for long. (smile) Not in this life. (smile) The atheist-turned-Muslim mathematician Jeffrey Lang called one of his books Struggling to Surrender. And it is a very apt title, I think. For Islam is the struggle to surrender to God's Will. The struggle to find harmony, balance, inner peace. A struggle that continues our whole lives.

(mildly) Incidentally, I think you are misunderstanding Najimuddin. I don't think he is trying to be harsh with you. I think he actually is positively inclined towards you, and wishes to do you some good through his discussions with you. I think the problem is partly that you are coming from different sets of assumptions, and so you find one another somewhat unintelligible.

May God Bless you, Pygoscelis.
Reply

Kiro
04-04-2016, 05:45 PM
why is this thread so popular
Reply

Pygoscelis
09-30-2016, 08:13 PM
Originally Posted by Kiro
why is this thread so popular
You killed it by asking why is it so popular lol. I just noticed that.
Reply

Kiro
09-30-2016, 08:23 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
You killed it by asking why is it so popular lol. I just noticed that.
i guess i have that effect
Reply

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