2 of 4
2
Muslim Women and Virginity
Posted: 22 June 2008 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1639
Joined  2007-12-20

author=“Jack Shooter” date=“1214164402”]

Fine.  By your own logic then, the next time anyone attributes the deaths caused by Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and so forth to secular thought (and indeed it is a direct product of it), then you ought to nod in agreement if you are truthful.

By the way, I posted a critique of secularism by Imam Zaid Shakir on separate thread called “The Changing Face of Secularism”.  Did you read it?

No need to nod my head in agreement because those deaths were a direct product of immoral,  unreasonable and mentally unstable thought and in the case of Hitler, that unstable thought was condoned by the Catholic Church.  And in all of these cases a “godlike” belief in authority and cultism is what gave their acts credence.

Secular reasoning and morality are the antithesis of said acts, not the perpetrator. Secularism holds steadfastly to doctrines and laws of human rights.  Such abuses as carried out by these monsters reject  and annihilate principles of secularism.  And because a person rejects religion (as these men allegedly did) such a rejection does not guarantee they will act in moral and ethical ways, just as (quite obviously) claiming to believe in God does not guarantee morality either.

 

I haven’t read your article but if I can find it I will.

 Signature 

“Every war is a war against children.”
Howard Zinn

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 June 2008 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  885
Joined  2008-01-23
lindajean - 22 June 2008 04:36 PM

author=“Jack Shooter” date=“1214164402”]

Fine.  By your own logic then, the next time anyone attributes the deaths caused by Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and so forth to secular thought (and indeed it is a direct product of it), then you ought to nod in agreement if you are truthful.

By the way, I posted a critique of secularism by Imam Zaid Shakir on separate thread called “The Changing Face of Secularism”.  Did you read it?

No need to nod my head in agreement because those deaths were a direct product of immoral,  unreasonable and mentally unstable thought and in the case of Hitler, that unstable thought was condoned by the Catholic Church.  And in all of these cases a “godlike” belief in authority and cultism is what gave their acts credence.

Secular reasoning and morality are the antithesis of said acts, not the perpetrator. Secularism holds steadfastly to doctrines and laws of human rights.  Such abuses as carried out by these monsters reject  and annihilate principles of secularism.  And because a person rejects religion (as these men allegedly did) such a rejection does not guarantee they will act in moral and ethical ways, just as (quite obviously) claiming to believe in God does not guarantee morality either.

 

I haven’t read your article but if I can find it I will.

Actually, human rights codes are often preceded or predated by divine law, that is, they are sacred in nature, don’t forget this.  Indeed, it is more apt to call such codes religious rather than secular as they more closely reflect every religion’s basic injunctions.  If anything, you could say secularists borrowed them from religion and called it their own, except when it comes to same sex marriage, abortion, and other such misguided policies.

Conversely, secular reasoning fails to even define morality, let alone make a case for what constitutes right and wrong behaviour, hence the gross contradictions we see in our societies (i.e. don’t drink and drive, have safe sex, worry about your rights not responsibilities, glamorize violence but don’t committ it, it’s okay to be gay because we vote to say so, it’s okay to consume as much as you can because this life is the end all of everything so why not, and so on and so on).  Now, it just so happens that the particular ‘secularism’ you fancy, which informs various human rights codes, fits more closely with religious injunctions, and so, naturally, it just seems right.  Unfortunately, however, the secularism of other secularists (i.e. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot) is not so divinely inspired - it is, however, secularism (i.e. the removal of the sacred) that is behind the atrocities they committed, it is secularism that prevents a practicing Muslim woman wearing a head scarf from getting a university level education in Turkey.

The article I was referring to is here:

http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/misc/sec.htm

[ Edited: 27 June 2008 01:49 PM by Jack Shooter]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 June 2008 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2927
Joined  2006-12-17

It seems to me Jack that you cannot tar secularism with the atrocities of Hitler, Pol Pot, etc., without at the same time tarring religion with atrocities committed in the name of religion.  (Indeed, at least the tyrants didn’t dress up their actions with claims they are supporting secularism.)  At the same time, you point to problems that appear more openly in secular societies as a condemnation of secularism.  (Of course these problems also arise in Muslim societies and are responded to with prohibition and sever punishment so they are more underground.)  So let’s try to sort out the basic moral messages of religious cultures and secular cultures.  I would suggest that in religious cultures it is: The rules of proper behavior are given and are backed by our sacred texts, it us up to each citizen to adhere to these rules as a religious obligation.  In a purely secular society (which does not yet exist) I suggest that the message is: There are social rules of acceptable behavior grounded in our understanding of human nature—it is the responsibility of each individual to understand the reasons for these rules and to respect them.  In other words, secular society aims at producing responsible mature individuals, religious society aims at producing good believers.  In my view, the former represents a more advanced level of human cultural development.  An important point is that even the idea of a secular culture has only been around for a few hundred years—it is still developing and growing.  I assume that over time it will absorb the religious cultures in the same way that they absorbed the magical cultures.  (That doesn’t mean the end of religion.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 June 2008 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  885
Joined  2008-01-23
burt - 27 June 2008 07:01 PM

It seems to me Jack that you cannot tar secularism with the atrocities of Hitler, Pol Pot, etc., without at the same time tarring religion with atrocities committed in the name of religion.  (Indeed, at least the tyrants didn’t dress up their actions with claims they are supporting secularism.)  At the same time, you point to problems that appear more openly in secular societies as a condemnation of secularism.  (Of course these problems also arise in Muslim societies and are responded to with prohibition and sever punishment so they are more underground.)  So let’s try to sort out the basic moral messages of religious cultures and secular cultures.  I would suggest that in religious cultures it is: The rules of proper behavior are given and are backed by our sacred texts, it us up to each citizen to adhere to these rules as a religious obligation.  In a purely secular society (which does not yet exist) I suggest that the message is: There are social rules of acceptable behavior grounded in our understanding of human nature—it is the responsibility of each individual to understand the reasons for these rules and to respect them.  In other words, secular society aims at producing responsible mature individuals, religious society aims at producing good believers.  In my view, the former represents a more advanced level of human cultural development.  An important point is that even the idea of a secular culture has only been around for a few hundred years—it is still developing and growing.  I assume that over time it will absorb the religious cultures in the same way that they absorbed the magical cultures.  (That doesn’t mean the end of religion.)

Burt,

First of all, you create a false dichotomy when you say “secular society aims at producing responsible mature individuals, religious society aims at producing good believers” as though the two qualities in an individual are mutually exclusive.

In reality, many of us believe precisely because of a level of maturity we have reached, which tells us that any turning away from God is a turning away from the potential to realize our own greatness as human beings.

Interestingly, I think you speak to the essential dilemma you face as someone without recourse to religion when you write, “There are social rules of acceptable behavior grounded in our understanding of human nature—it is the responsibility of each individual to understand the reasons for these rules and to respect them.”  I ask you, whose understanding of human nature, and subsequently, whose definition of acceptable behaviour are we to accept?  Left to our own devices, as many philosophers have posited, and history as well as our present condition has shown time and again, our understanding of human nature, when separated from a sense of the sacred, necessarily results in loss, as Imam Zaid’s article so eloquently points out.

However, God, being the Most Merciful, has not left us to our own devices, but has given us guidance so that we might prevent the inevitable harms that await us when we go astray.  It is only for us to heed the guidance, if only we would.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 June 2008 05:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2927
Joined  2006-12-17
Jack Shooter - 27 June 2008 08:25 PM
burt - 27 June 2008 07:01 PM

It seems to me Jack that you cannot tar secularism with the atrocities of Hitler, Pol Pot, etc., without at the same time tarring religion with atrocities committed in the name of religion.  (Indeed, at least the tyrants didn’t dress up their actions with claims they are supporting secularism.)  At the same time, you point to problems that appear more openly in secular societies as a condemnation of secularism.  (Of course these problems also arise in Muslim societies and are responded to with prohibition and sever punishment so they are more underground.)  So let’s try to sort out the basic moral messages of religious cultures and secular cultures.  I would suggest that in religious cultures it is: The rules of proper behavior are given and are backed by our sacred texts, it us up to each citizen to adhere to these rules as a religious obligation.  In a purely secular society (which does not yet exist) I suggest that the message is: There are social rules of acceptable behavior grounded in our understanding of human nature—it is the responsibility of each individual to understand the reasons for these rules and to respect them.  In other words, secular society aims at producing responsible mature individuals, religious society aims at producing good believers.  In my view, the former represents a more advanced level of human cultural development.  An important point is that even the idea of a secular culture has only been around for a few hundred years—it is still developing and growing.  I assume that over time it will absorb the religious cultures in the same way that they absorbed the magical cultures.  (That doesn’t mean the end of religion.)

Burt,

First of all, you create a false dichotomy when you say “secular society aims at producing responsible mature individuals, religious society aims at producing good believers” as though the two qualities in an individual are mutually exclusive.

In reality, many of us believe precisely because of a level of maturity we have reached, which tells us that any turning away from God is a turning away from the potential to realize our own greatness as human beings.

Interestingly, I think you speak to the essential dilemma you face as someone without recourse to religion when you write, “There are social rules of acceptable behavior grounded in our understanding of human nature—it is the responsibility of each individual to understand the reasons for these rules and to respect them.”  I ask you, whose understanding of human nature, and subsequently, whose definition of acceptable behaviour are we to accept?  Left to our own devices, as many philosophers have posited, and history as well as our present condition has shown time and again, our understanding of human nature, when separated from a sense of the sacred, necessarily results in loss, as Imam Zaid’s article so eloquently points out.

However, God, being the Most Merciful, has not left us to our own devices, but has given us guidance so that we might prevent the inevitable harms that await us when we go astray.  It is only for us to heed the guidance, if only we would.

Jack, God’s mercy is greater than that and we have guidance from multiple sources (John Brand’s project), but the most important source is internal.  That can be discovered in many ways, but they all require effort.  One is sincere religion, another is sincere philosophy, and there are others—the main point is sincerity.  So you are correct in saying that I “create a false dichotomy when I say ‘secular society aims at producing responsible mature individuals, religious society aims at producing good believers’ as though the two qualities in an individual are mutually exclusive.” I’m just laying out two general themes: Bruce is a good example of a mature believer, IMHO, and from your postings you seem on the way to becoming one but not there yet, and a number of my friends and relatives are what I would call “mature believers.”  But there are many who are simply “believers.”  Basically, a secular society places the burden of becoming mature on each individual (one of the current problems in the US today is that the tools for working toward maturity are not taught as well as they ought, education has been dumbed down and focused on such nonsense as promoting self-esteem, so we get problems from immature behavior of people who have never learned maturity); a religious society may encourage maturity, but in its very nature, provides a structure for those who want to wallow in belief alone.  As I envision it, in an evolved secular society religions would still exist, as would atheism, but ingrained in the social fabric would be the value of real tolerance for others spiritual path or beliefs and society itself would not impose laws regulating belief or laws that imposed the beliefs of any religion or group of religions.  I think (but others here would disagree) that such a society would have a solid spiritual foundation, just not a religious one.  As I said, it seems to me that we are moving in that direction by fits and starts, but moving we are.  Where we will be in 500 years?  God or nobody knows.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 June 2008 05:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  885
Joined  2008-01-23
burt - 27 June 2008 09:37 PM
Jack Shooter - 27 June 2008 08:25 PM
burt - 27 June 2008 07:01 PM

It seems to me Jack that you cannot tar secularism with the atrocities of Hitler, Pol Pot, etc., without at the same time tarring religion with atrocities committed in the name of religion.  (Indeed, at least the tyrants didn’t dress up their actions with claims they are supporting secularism.)  At the same time, you point to problems that appear more openly in secular societies as a condemnation of secularism.  (Of course these problems also arise in Muslim societies and are responded to with prohibition and sever punishment so they are more underground.)  So let’s try to sort out the basic moral messages of religious cultures and secular cultures.  I would suggest that in religious cultures it is: The rules of proper behavior are given and are backed by our sacred texts, it us up to each citizen to adhere to these rules as a religious obligation.  In a purely secular society (which does not yet exist) I suggest that the message is: There are social rules of acceptable behavior grounded in our understanding of human nature—it is the responsibility of each individual to understand the reasons for these rules and to respect them.  In other words, secular society aims at producing responsible mature individuals, religious society aims at producing good believers.  In my view, the former represents a more advanced level of human cultural development.  An important point is that even the idea of a secular culture has only been around for a few hundred years—it is still developing and growing.  I assume that over time it will absorb the religious cultures in the same way that they absorbed the magical cultures.  (That doesn’t mean the end of religion.)

Burt,

First of all, you create a false dichotomy when you say “secular society aims at producing responsible mature individuals, religious society aims at producing good believers” as though the two qualities in an individual are mutually exclusive.

In reality, many of us believe precisely because of a level of maturity we have reached, which tells us that any turning away from God is a turning away from the potential to realize our own greatness as human beings.

Interestingly, I think you speak to the essential dilemma you face as someone without recourse to religion when you write, “There are social rules of acceptable behavior grounded in our understanding of human nature—it is the responsibility of each individual to understand the reasons for these rules and to respect them.”  I ask you, whose understanding of human nature, and subsequently, whose definition of acceptable behaviour are we to accept?  Left to our own devices, as many philosophers have posited, and history as well as our present condition has shown time and again, our understanding of human nature, when separated from a sense of the sacred, necessarily results in loss, as Imam Zaid’s article so eloquently points out.

However, God, being the Most Merciful, has not left us to our own devices, but has given us guidance so that we might prevent the inevitable harms that await us when we go astray.  It is only for us to heed the guidance, if only we would.

Jack, God’s mercy is greater than that and we have guidance from multiple sources (John Brand’s project), but the most important source is internal.  That can be discovered in many ways, but they all require effort.  One is sincere religion, another is sincere philosophy, and there are others—the main point is sincerity.  So you are correct in saying that I “create a false dichotomy when I say ‘secular society aims at producing responsible mature individuals, religious society aims at producing good believers’ as though the two qualities in an individual are mutually exclusive.” I’m just laying out two general themes: Bruce is a good example of a mature believer, IMHO, and from your postings you seem on the way to becoming one but not there yet, and a number of my friends and relatives are what I would call “mature believers.”  But there are many who are simply “believers.”  Basically, a secular society places the burden of becoming mature on each individual (one of the current problems in the US today is that the tools for working toward maturity are not taught as well as they ought, education has been dumbed down and focused on such nonsense as promoting self-esteem, so we get problems from immature behavior of people who have never learned maturity); a religious society may encourage maturity, but in its very nature, provides a structure for those who want to wallow in belief alone.  As I envision it, in an evolved secular society religions would still exist, as would atheism, but ingrained in the social fabric would be the value of real tolerance for others spiritual path or beliefs and society itself would not impose laws regulating belief or laws that imposed the beliefs of any religion or group of religions.  I think (but others here would disagree) that such a society would have a solid spiritual foundation, just not a religious one.  As I said, it seems to me that we are moving in that direction by fits and starts, but moving we are.  Where we will be in 500 years?  God or nobody knows.

Regrettably, I have not always acted better than my opponents on this forum, but I would be interested to know if you are judging my level of maturity by some other measure as well when you say that I am ‘not there yet’.  Likewise, I would like to know what sets Bruce and I apart from your perspective.

Anyway, I think you misunderstand religion, Islam anyway, when you say things like “a religious society may encourage maturity, but in its very nature, provides a structure for those who want to wallow in belief alone.”  I don’t understand how this is the case.  In my reading of religion, God requires people to use their intellect to come to believe in Him and to live an upright life.  The story of Abraham is clear in its message that one finds God through consideration and thought about the wonders of the world.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 June 2008 08:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1639
Joined  2007-12-20

author=“Jack Shooter”

Actually, human rights codes are often preceded or predated by divine law, that is, they are sacred in nature, don’t forget this.

I would call your “divine law” natural law.  Encoded in DNA possibly, not proscribed by a “supreme” being.  Whatever you want to call it, its origins are debatable, not a given.

Indeed, it is more apt to call such codes religious rather than secular as they more closely reflect every religion’s basic injunctions.  If anything, you could say secularists borrowed them from religion and called it their own, except when it comes to same sex marriage, abortion, and other such misguided policies.

Now we are headed into a “which came first the chicken or the egg?”

If we can agree that secularism has been around only a few hundred years, then it is plausible that you are right that the roots of human rights ideologies (may have) come from religion.  We don’t know that for sure but it makes some logical sense. But we also know that compassion and nurturing and some of the basic emotions that encourage altruism are found within the animal world and could be part of our DNA. Whether human rights practices came from religion, past civilizations, DNA, etc…. does not prove any existence in God or prove that God gave us these practices.  It only indicates to us that such practices came about within human societies and cultures and that generally speaking (we would both agree) they are beneficial to the quality of human life.

 Signature 

“Every war is a war against children.”
Howard Zinn

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 June 2008 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  885
Joined  2008-01-23
lindajean - 28 June 2008 12:25 PM

author=“Jack Shooter”

Actually, human rights codes are often preceded or predated by divine law, that is, they are sacred in nature, don’t forget this.

I would call your “divine law” natural law.  Encoded in DNA possibly, not proscribed by a “supreme” being.  Whatever you want to call it, its origins are debatable, not a given.

Indeed, it is more apt to call such codes religious rather than secular as they more closely reflect every religion’s basic injunctions.  If anything, you could say secularists borrowed them from religion and called it their own, except when it comes to same sex marriage, abortion, and other such misguided policies.

Now we are headed into a “which came first the chicken or the egg?”

If we can agree that secularism has been around only a few hundred years, then it is plausible that you are right that the roots of human rights ideologies (may have) come from religion.  We don’t know that for sure but it makes some logical sense. But we also know that compassion and nurturing and some of the basic emotions that encourage altruism are found within the animal world and could be part of our DNA. Whether human rights practices came from religion, past civilizations, DNA, etc…. does not prove any existence in God or prove that God gave us these practices.  It only indicates to us that such practices came about within human societies and cultures and that generally speaking (we would both agree) they are beneficial to the quality of human life.

Now your getting it, precisely, divine law is natural law.  They are two sides of the same coin, as Socrates pointed out in his dialogue in which he asks whether the gods love things because they are good or if things are good because they are beloved to the gods.

Indeed, that ‘divine law’ and natural law appear to go hand in hand does not prove the existence of God, but it does go to show that if there is a God, then He is in fact merciful in that he has given us, through scripture, guidance as to how to live a fruitful life.  As I said before, we know through experience that when we turn away from God, from natural law, we do so at our own peril.

Now, the Muslim belief is that the nature of man (and woman of course) is that he (and she) is fundamentally good (humans are said to be born in a state of ‘fitra’), but that their lack of nurturing this nature via divine law results in its gradual diminishing to the extent that they are no longer able to understand right from wrong.  This explains the ‘enlightened secularists’ proclivity towards good in general, as well as the outright demonic secularist ideas that pervade aspects of our society today.

Here is, perhaps an unrelated, but interesting anyway, quote by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf about Truth vs. truth:

Part of the modern crisis in the Muslim Ummah is we have auto-didactic scholars - the damage that they have caused is, I think, extraordinary, and one of the signs of the end of time is a Hadith in which the Prophet (saw) said knowledge would be taken from a “Saghir” which means “a little one”. Ibn Abd-ul Barr, the great Andalusian commentator on Hadith, wrote that what this Hadith means is that the chain would be broken towards the end of time - people who had not taken their knowledge from the previous generation will begin to transmit knowledge, and that knowledge will be their own opinion and not transmitted knowledge and from the Muslim perspective, truth is not something that needs to be discovered - it’s something that needs to be learned. In the western understanding, truth is something that needs to be discovered, truth has not been given to man - it’s something that man needs to discover for himself. In the 20th Century, although that meta-narrative is disappearing, i.e. - the post-modern phenomenon is in a sense a capitulation to the idea that there is no truth - and if there is truth, it is not with a “T” but with a “t” - meaning, “your truth may not be my truth”. What the post-modernist thesis is to say that, really what we have not is some grand narrative of the search of truth, but rather a meta-narratives or small narratives of the truth, that each one is as equally true as the other which is ultimately saying that nothing is true. Because one you say everything is true, what you’re really saying is nothing is true. If I say it’s wrong to kill and somebody says, well that statement has no meaning because what is “wrong”? - what’s your definition of wrong? And because wrong cannot be technically defined within the dominant discourse of the 20th century, therefore it has no meaning. Whereas, if I say it is wrong and wrong is that which Allah has made prohibited, I am laughed out of the auditorium because what I’m saying is that “truth has been revealed by God” - that is no longer an accepted premise for the modern social discourse. So we can’t talk of morality - all we can talk of is legislation, and legislation is what the latest vogue is - should we have the death penalty or shouldn’t we…. it becomes a debate, and there’s nothing in stone so to speak. Like “Thou shalt not kill”. It becomes “should we kill or shouldn’t we? Well, let’s take a vote”. Truth becomes a democratic process, and that is very alien to the Islamic tradition. So the idea that truth is something which is transmitted from generation to generation is no longer acceptable within the dominant social discourse. And for the Muslims that has been the truth because the Prophet (saw) said that this knowledge - i.e. the truth/revelation will be carried in each generation by upright people and transmitted to the following generation. So Muslims have always seen that knowledge is a transmission, from the breasts of those who know to the hearts of those who don’t know.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 June 2008 09:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2927
Joined  2006-12-17
Jack Shooter - 28 June 2008 09:20 AM

Regrettably, I have not always acted better than my opponents on this forum, but I would be interested to know if you are judging my level of maturity by some other measure as well when you say that I am ‘not there yet’.  Likewise, I would like to know what sets Bruce and I apart from your perspective.

Anyway, I think you misunderstand religion, Islam anyway, when you say things like “a religious society may encourage maturity, but in its very nature, provides a structure for those who want to wallow in belief alone.”  I don’t understand how this is the case.  In my reading of religion, God requires people to use their intellect to come to believe in Him and to live an upright life.  The story of Abraham is clear in its message that one finds God through consideration and thought about the wonders of the world.

Basically, the distinction I see (and I admit, it is only from reading things posted in this forum) between you and Bruce is that Bruce is more tolerant and less dogmatic.  He has his solid core of personal belief, but his postings don’t show the sort of dogmatic insistence that sometimes characterizes yours.  I suspect that you are quite a bit younger than he is, which could be part of it. 

As for the other comment about religion providing structure for those who want to wallow in belief—look around you.  How many of your co-religionists (and this applies to all religions) are using their belief as only an emotional outlet, or a means of being socially acceptable.  You say that in your understanding of Islam it is required of a person to use their intellect, but how many people fulfill that requirement.  Many people are lazy and belief, whatever it happens to be. is for them just a means of not making a deeper effort?  That’s what I meant about sincerity.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 June 2008 05:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  885
Joined  2008-01-23
burt - 29 June 2008 01:20 AM
Jack Shooter - 28 June 2008 09:20 AM

Regrettably, I have not always acted better than my opponents on this forum, but I would be interested to know if you are judging my level of maturity by some other measure as well when you say that I am ‘not there yet’.  Likewise, I would like to know what sets Bruce and I apart from your perspective.

Anyway, I think you misunderstand religion, Islam anyway, when you say things like “a religious society may encourage maturity, but in its very nature, provides a structure for those who want to wallow in belief alone.”  I don’t understand how this is the case.  In my reading of religion, God requires people to use their intellect to come to believe in Him and to live an upright life.  The story of Abraham is clear in its message that one finds God through consideration and thought about the wonders of the world.

Basically, the distinction I see (and I admit, it is only from reading things posted in this forum) between you and Bruce is that Bruce is more tolerant and less dogmatic.  He has his solid core of personal belief, but his postings don’t show the sort of dogmatic insistence that sometimes characterizes yours.  I suspect that you are quite a bit younger than he is, which could be part of it. 

As for the other comment about religion providing structure for those who want to wallow in belief—look around you.  How many of your co-religionists (and this applies to all religions) are using their belief as only an emotional outlet, or a means of being socially acceptable.  You say that in your understanding of Islam it is required of a person to use their intellect, but how many people fulfill that requirement.  Many people are lazy and belief, whatever it happens to be. is for them just a means of not making a deeper effort?  That’s what I meant about sincerity.

Burt, your right, I don’t tolerate nonsense thrown at my religion well.  But then again, if you expect me to laugh along with you while you mock my beliefs out of ignorance, I think you are expecting me to show, not tolerance, but cowardice.  Apparently, Chesterton said “tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions,” and I would tend to agree with this to some extent.

As to the second of your paragraphs, I don’t think belief is that complicated that you need to analyse it in terms of psychology and sociology.  While it is true that many people believe for the reasons you cited, in fact, religion is beneficial insofar as it provides an emotional outlet and social belonging, but I think the vast majority of people believe in God, certainly the people I know, because it just makes sense.  Sure it cannot be proven either way.  But conversly, thinking that the entire cosmos is here by accident and has no purpose at all proves to be a mentally retarding belief that immediately renders even the notion of truth to be nothing more than a consequence of mere perception as opposed to a reflection of some reality, and this results in even more dangerous consequences for human life.  All of this, in effect, is a sign of the falsity of such belief.

In the end, even if there were no one left on this earth such that I could belong to a social group, or that there was no suffering such that I would not need an ‘emotional outlet’, I would still worship God.  Indeed, heaven is truly heaven because it entails the ‘vision of God’.

I remember here, the story of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who used to stand in prayer for the majority of the night to the point where his legs and feet would become swollen from standing so long.  His wife Ayesha (may God be pleased with her) asked him why he prayed so much when all of his previous and future sins were forgiven (i.e. he was sinless).  The prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “Should I not be a thankful slave?”.  True believers, and there are many, will worship God despite themselves (i.e. their psychological needs) or others (i.e. need for acceptance).

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 June 2008 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1639
Joined  2007-12-20

“Jack Shooter”

Now your getting it, precisely, divine law is natural law.  They are two sides of the same coin, as Socrates pointed out in his dialogue in which he asks whether the gods love things because they are good or if things are good because they are beloved to the gods.


Divine law and natural law are not the same.  This is from wikipedia:

Natural law or the law of nature (Latin: lex naturalis) is a theory that posits the existence of a law whose content is set by nature and that therefore has validity everywhere….


Divine law is any law (or rule) that in the opinion of believers, comes directly from the will of God (or a god).

Like natural law (which may  be seen as a manifestation of divine law) it is independent of the will of man, who cannot change it. However it may be revealed or not, so it may change in human perception in time through new revelation.

In Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Law, Divine Law, as opposed to Natural Law, comes only from revelation or scripture, and is necessary for human salvation.

Jack

Indeed, that ‘divine law’ and natural law appear to go hand in hand does not prove the existence of God, but it does go to show that if there is a God, then He is in fact merciful in that he has given us, through scripture, guidance as to how to live a fruitful life.

It proves nothing because we have no proof of a God.

Jack

As I said before, we know through experience that when we turn away from God, from natural law, we do so at our own peril.

Where does natural law subscribe that pornography, divorce or infidelity are a sin, that will commit one to Hell?  Divine law may subscribe to this but where does Natural Law make this distinction?  If you look in the world of nature, such “sins” are human constructs, and there is nothing in our biology that makes them inherently wrong.

Jack

Now, the Muslim belief is that the nature of man (and woman of course) is that he (and she) is fundamentally good (humans are said to be born in a state of ‘fitra’), but that their lack of nurturing this nature via divine law results in its gradual diminishing to the extent that they are no longer able to understand right from wrong.  This explains the ‘enlightened secularists’ proclivity towards good in general, as well as the outright demonic secularist ideas that pervade aspects of our society today.

Sorry, not to be rude, but this is totally nonsensical.

 Signature 

“Every war is a war against children.”
Howard Zinn

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 June 2008 11:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  885
Joined  2008-01-23
lindajean - 29 June 2008 02:35 PM

“Jack Shooter”

Now your getting it, precisely, divine law is natural law.  They are two sides of the same coin, as Socrates pointed out in his dialogue in which he asks whether the gods love things because they are good or if things are good because they are beloved to the gods.


Divine law and natural law are not the same.  This is from wikipedia:

Natural law or the law of nature (Latin: lex naturalis) is a theory that posits the existence of a law whose content is set by nature and that therefore has validity everywhere….


Divine law is any law (or rule) that in the opinion of believers, comes directly from the will of God (or a god).

Like natural law (which may  be seen as a manifestation of divine law) it is independent of the will of man, who cannot change it. However it may be revealed or not, so it may change in human perception in time through new revelation.

In Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Law, Divine Law, as opposed to Natural Law, comes only from revelation or scripture, and is necessary for human salvation.

Jack

Indeed, that ‘divine law’ and natural law appear to go hand in hand does not prove the existence of God, but it does go to show that if there is a God, then He is in fact merciful in that he has given us, through scripture, guidance as to how to live a fruitful life.

It proves nothing because we have no proof of a God.

Jack

As I said before, we know through experience that when we turn away from God, from natural law, we do so at our own peril.

Where does natural law subscribe that pornography, divorce or infidelity are a sin, that will commit one to Hell?  Divine law may subscribe to this but where does Natural Law make this distinction?  If you look in the world of nature, such “sins” are human constructs, and there is nothing in our biology that makes them inherently wrong.

Jack

Now, the Muslim belief is that the nature of man (and woman of course) is that he (and she) is fundamentally good (humans are said to be born in a state of ‘fitra’), but that their lack of nurturing this nature via divine law results in its gradual diminishing to the extent that they are no longer able to understand right from wrong.  This explains the ‘enlightened secularists’ proclivity towards good in general, as well as the outright demonic secularist ideas that pervade aspects of our society today.

Sorry, not to be rude, but this is totally nonsensical.

First of all, natural law is not a body of laws that you can point to and say “this is from natural law.”  I don’t know if you understand that given your question “where does natural law say pornography…”  What natural law basically suggests that there is a law that is self-evident in nature.

Now, I said divine law and natural law go hand in hand.  Unfortunately, nothing in your response proves otherwise.  In retrospect, I think that you have a problem when it comes to discerning things.  So let me put it this way: natural law exists but it is hidden, we need to discover it through our own efforts; divine law is revealed to us or recieved by us from God, but it is one and the same.  To give you an example, I would argue that, like divine law, natural law would have it that pornography, infidelity, and such things are crimes or sin.

Just ask yourself, does a person need to be religious to feel harm when their spouse cheats on them?  Obviously not.  Thus, natural law would have it that it is wrong to do so given the harm that ensues and divine law just says this explicitly so we don’t have to find out the hard way.  God, if He exists, and I believe He does of course, is Most Merciful indeed.

As to people who don’t think there is a harm in pornography, I would say they need to recover their humanity.  We can talk about the evils of pornography if you want, but I think they are pretty self-evident.

Now, what is so non-sensical about the belief that the nature of human beings is fundamentally good?  Please tell me.

[ Edited: 29 June 2008 11:34 AM by Jack Shooter]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 June 2008 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2927
Joined  2006-12-17
Jack Shooter - 29 June 2008 03:31 PM

As to people who don’t think there is a harm in pornography, I would say they need to recover their humanity.  We can talk about the evils of pornography if you want, but I think they are pretty self-evident.

Now, what is so non-sensical about the belief that the nature of human beings is fundamentally good?  Please tell me.

Question Jack: What distinction, if any, do you make between pornography and erotica?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 June 2008 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1453
Joined  2005-01-22

Jack writes,

I think the vast majority of people believe in God, certainly the people I know, because it just makes sense.  Sure it cannot be proven either way.  But conversly, thinking that the entire cosmos is here by accident and has no purpose at all proves to be a mentally retarding belief that immediately renders even the notion of truth to be nothing more than a consequence of mere perception as opposed to a reflection of some reality, and this results in even more dangerous consequences for human life.  All of this, in effect, is a sign of the falsity of such belief.

Just because you believe in “the notion of truth” as it might come unmitigated by human engagement, there is no need to denigrate atheism by calling it a “mentally retarding belief.”  All of your theistic pronoucements come with the presumption that your version of theistic belief is somehow privileged AND that those who do not believe as you do are somehow mentally retarded.  In addition, you have made open claims that you have special insights that atheists are incapable of comprehending (as if your intellect is superior to those who see no evidence of a god).

Yet, your theism comes across as very generic in thatyou can metaphorically make your “god” the source of everything - this strategy appears to me as making your god entirely meaningless and superfluous.  You refer to this, to that, and to the other thing as evidence for god, but in the end god is just “the universe in action” and therefore only your own sense of importance is fulfilled by your theism.  You have god and you have truth, and these put you in a superior category to those of us who have neither - this is your own particular delusion Jack, and it works for YOU!

Bob

[ Edited: 29 June 2008 01:48 PM by CanZen]
 Signature 

It’s definitely a moon! . . . and now it’s become a sunflower!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 June 2008 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1639
Joined  2007-12-20

Jack Shooter

First of all, natural law is not a body of laws that you can point to and say “this is from natural law.” I don’t know if you understand that given your question “where does natural law say pornography…” What natural law basically suggests that there is a law that is self-evident in nature.

I agree, that natural law suggests what is self-evident in nature, but all it does is make “suggestions.”  We cannot conclude that divine law even exists because we do not know it for a fact.  That which is “self-evident” tends to get distorted when we start having people (through the eyes of their god) decide what is “evident” and what is not;  what is “divine” and what is not.

This becomes very, very subjective when we start saying things like homosexuality goes against natural law because God (the Divine One) says it is wrong. On the other hand,  most (civilized) people will believe certain natural laws are self-evident such as the right to vote, the right to work, the right to live in peace, the right to have basic needs, food, shelter, education, health, etc… Certainly in western society these rights are natural or self-evident and are believed to be basic for all humans on the planet.  There are obviously some cultures or governments that disagree with these rights and abuse these rights and most of us consider them barbaric or despotic for that reason.

So let me put it this way: natural law exists but it is hidden, we need to discover it through our own efforts; divine law is revealed to us or recieved by us from God, but it is one and the same.  To give you an example, I would argue that, like divine law, natural law would have it that pornography, infidelity, and such things are crimes or sin.

That is simply your argument because you don’t prefer it.  In all honesty, Jack, I do not prefer pornography, infidelity or divorce (for my personal lifestyle) but I do not believe it is self-evident that these acts are morally wrong thereby believing people ought to be punished for them.

As to people who don’t think there is a harm in pornography, I would say they need to recover their humanity.  We can talk about the evils of pornography if you want, but I think they are pretty self-evident.


Well, I could say people who kill animals and eat them for food or wear them for clothes or people who stone women to death for adultery or people who start wars and justify them through lies, distortions and manipulations need to regain their humanity as well.  I have a sense of what is “morally right” and you have a sense of what is “morally right” and some of those beliefs are the same and some are not.  This is not going to change.  This is how the world of human constructs works.  And you can cling to a belief in God and then claim your beliefs are “superior” to mine but this is not going to move people forward in any positive direction.


Morality tends to be arbitrary depending on the culture and circumstances. It has been this way since the beginning of time. And while I would like the world to hold the same “moral absolutes” that I hold, I know that by doing so I am being   impractical and delusional.

 Signature 

“Every war is a war against children.”
Howard Zinn

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 4
2
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed