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What if we read the Islamic texts (Quran & hadith) critically?

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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17 March 2017 14:59
 
medschoolstudent - 14 March 2017 02:46 PM
Brick Bungalow - 14 March 2017 02:25 PM

Can you be more specific? I think criticism of a text largely depends on genre. Evaluation of a scientific paper is different from a historical account and both are different from the kind of critique one would apply to a novel. One difficulty with scripture is that people cannot agree on context. I don’t think a person who subscribes to the idea of revealed truth in book form will have any point of reference with the person who thinks all books are human creations. There is no common standard of criticism.

What kind of critical read do you propose exactly?

Scriptural criticism can include many things. For example, recognizing facts as facts (if any!) and fiction as fiction, recognizing the intolerant, cruel, inhumane, absurd parts as such while also appreciating the good parts. Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, Quran and Book of Mormon are very good examples of scriptural criticism and can serve as a starting or reference point.

I guess what I’m asking is what sort of book do you consider the Quran to be? I agree that there is a mix in terms of content. Verifiable versus unverifiable. Moral versus immoral. Plausible versus implausible. This doesn’t speak to the question of genre though. Can you describe the standard that you use to evaluate it?

As an example: I would put the quran in the same category as the bible, torah, bhagavad gita or other religious scriptures. I find each of these books to be a roughly analogous mixture of moral prescription, cultural reference, poetry and quasi-historical narrative. They are distinguished from one another in terms of cohesion, coherence and moral arc. My standard is essentially derived from my theology which is a kind of sympathetic naturalist. I have affection for religious tradition but I don’t actually lend any credence to the concept of scripture as revealed truth. So, there really isn’t any chance that a passage in one of these books will impress me enough to say that it was divinely inspired. Essentially I consider such books relics. I think their scientific, social and moral wisdom is almost completely antiquated at this point. They are worth considering for insight and necessary to study because they still inform culture and policy.

You have volunteered that you don’t consider the quran perfect but how good could it be? Is your impression that it was divinely inspired if even in part? Could other books also be divinely inspired? I’m just trying to understand what kinds of conclusions are possible.

Thanks.

 
medschoolstudent
 
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medschoolstudent
Total Posts:  84
Joined  19-10-2016
 
 
 
18 March 2017 08:45
 
Brick Bungalow - 17 March 2017 02:59 PM
medschoolstudent - 14 March 2017 02:46 PM
Brick Bungalow - 14 March 2017 02:25 PM

Can you be more specific? I think criticism of a text largely depends on genre. Evaluation of a scientific paper is different from a historical account and both are different from the kind of critique one would apply to a novel. One difficulty with scripture is that people cannot agree on context. I don’t think a person who subscribes to the idea of revealed truth in book form will have any point of reference with the person who thinks all books are human creations. There is no common standard of criticism.

What kind of critical read do you propose exactly?

Scriptural criticism can include many things. For example, recognizing facts as facts (if any!) and fiction as fiction, recognizing the intolerant, cruel, inhumane, absurd parts as such while also appreciating the good parts. Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, Quran and Book of Mormon are very good examples of scriptural criticism and can serve as a starting or reference point.

I guess what I’m asking is what sort of book do you consider the Quran to be? I agree that there is a mix in terms of content. Verifiable versus unverifiable. Moral versus immoral. Plausible versus implausible. This doesn’t speak to the question of genre though. Can you describe the standard that you use to evaluate it?

As an example: I would put the quran in the same category as the bible, torah, bhagavad gita or other religious scriptures. I find each of these books to be a roughly analogous mixture of moral prescription, cultural reference, poetry and quasi-historical narrative. They are distinguished from one another in terms of cohesion, coherence and moral arc. My standard is essentially derived from my theology which is a kind of sympathetic naturalist. I have affection for religious tradition but I don’t actually lend any credence to the concept of scripture as revealed truth. So, there really isn’t any chance that a passage in one of these books will impress me enough to say that it was divinely inspired. Essentially I consider such books relics. I think their scientific, social and moral wisdom is almost completely antiquated at this point. They are worth considering for insight and necessary to study because they still inform culture and policy.

You have volunteered that you don’t consider the quran perfect but how good could it be? Is your impression that it was divinely inspired if even in part? Could other books also be divinely inspired? I’m just trying to understand what kinds of conclusions are possible.

Thanks.

I agree with most of what you said above. To answer your questions in a few words, I consider Quran as a guide to humanity, but maybe not a very good one. I agree with Sam what he says in his book Waking Up about the Bible and Quran:

Whatever wisdom can be found in their pages is never best found there, and it is subverted, time and again, by ancient savagery and superstition.

Harris, Sam (2014-09-09). Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (p. 32). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

And of course, there is no evidence whatsoever that any of our books were written by the creator of the universe!

 
 
proximacentauri
 
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proximacentauri
Total Posts:  74
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18 March 2017 16:32
 
medschoolstudent - 18 March 2017 08:45 AM

To answer your questions in a few words, I consider Quran as a guide to humanity, but maybe not a very good one. I agree with Sam what he says in his book Waking Up about the Bible and Quran:

Whatever wisdom can be found in their pages is never best found there, and it is subverted, time and again, by ancient savagery and superstition.

Harris, Sam (2014-09-09). Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (p. 32). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

And of course, there is no evidence whatsoever that any of our books were written by the creator of the universe!

From your post above, one could make the assumption that you no longer consider yourself a Muslim, but an Agnostic or Atheist. Yes?

 
medschoolstudent
 
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medschoolstudent
Total Posts:  84
Joined  19-10-2016
 
 
 
18 March 2017 18:20
 
proximacentauri - 18 March 2017 04:32 PM
medschoolstudent - 18 March 2017 08:45 AM

To answer your questions in a few words, I consider Quran as a guide to humanity, but maybe not a very good one. I agree with Sam what he says in his book Waking Up about the Bible and Quran:

Whatever wisdom can be found in their pages is never best found there, and it is subverted, time and again, by ancient savagery and superstition.

Harris, Sam (2014-09-09). Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (p. 32). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

And of course, there is no evidence whatsoever that any of our books were written by the creator of the universe!

From your post above, one could make the assumption that you no longer consider yourself a Muslim, but an Agnostic or Atheist. Yes?

To be honest, I feel uncomfortable with such titles.

 
 
proximacentauri
 
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proximacentauri
Total Posts:  74
Joined  07-02-2017
 
 
 
18 March 2017 18:48
 
medschoolstudent - 18 March 2017 06:20 PM
proximacentauri - 18 March 2017 04:32 PM
medschoolstudent - 18 March 2017 08:45 AM

To answer your questions in a few words, I consider Quran as a guide to humanity, but maybe not a very good one. I agree with Sam what he says in his book Waking Up about the Bible and Quran:

Whatever wisdom can be found in their pages is never best found there, and it is subverted, time and again, by ancient savagery and superstition.

Harris, Sam (2014-09-09). Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (p. 32). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

And of course, there is no evidence whatsoever that any of our books were written by the creator of the universe!

From your post above, one could make the assumption that you no longer consider yourself a Muslim, but an Agnostic or Atheist. Yes?

To be honest, I feel uncomfortable with such titles.

I think I can guess why. Be that as it may, good luck as you find your way.

 
medschoolstudent
 
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medschoolstudent
Total Posts:  84
Joined  19-10-2016
 
 
 
18 March 2017 18:56
 
proximacentauri - 18 March 2017 06:48 PM
medschoolstudent - 18 March 2017 06:20 PM
proximacentauri - 18 March 2017 04:32 PM
medschoolstudent - 18 March 2017 08:45 AM

To answer your questions in a few words, I consider Quran as a guide to humanity, but maybe not a very good one. I agree with Sam what he says in his book Waking Up about the Bible and Quran:

Whatever wisdom can be found in their pages is never best found there, and it is subverted, time and again, by ancient savagery and superstition.

Harris, Sam (2014-09-09). Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (p. 32). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

And of course, there is no evidence whatsoever that any of our books were written by the creator of the universe!

From your post above, one could make the assumption that you no longer consider yourself a Muslim, but an Agnostic or Atheist. Yes?

To be honest, I feel uncomfortable with such titles.

I think I can guess why. Be that as it may, good luck as you find your way.

Thanks!

 
 
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