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Islam v Judaism

 
2Q17
 
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2Q17
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05 September 2017 16:10
 

Of course it’s depend on the circumstances of the abandonment of religion, and lynmc is right that is doesn’t ensure a reduction in overall harm, but the argument is that the possibility of improvement can only really exist without the current state of religion as a whole.

 
Kalessin
 
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Kalessin
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05 September 2017 16:15
 
2Q17 - 05 September 2017 04:10 PM

Of course it’s depend on the circumstances of the abandonment of religion, and lynmc is right that is doesn’t ensure a reduction in overall harm, but the argument is that the possibility of improvement can only really exist without the current state of religion as a whole.

Is that actually what lynmc is saying?  I wasn’t sure, which is why I was asking for clarification.

How about this: Is it possible to criticise a specific religion without fear- and hate-mongering?
Or, is it possible to criticise religion in general without fear- and hate-mongering?

 
2Q17
 
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2Q17
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05 September 2017 16:24
 

No, I don’t think that’s what lynmc was saying. I sought to agree with them, but then state how it still fits in into the overall statement.

I do think it’s possible to criticize a specific, and religion in general without using fear and hate mongering, or receiving it in return. I don’t know what that way is, but I do believe it exists.

 
Kalessin
 
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05 September 2017 16:33
 
2Q17 - 05 September 2017 04:24 PM

I do think it’s possible to criticize a specific, and religion in general without using fear and hate mongering, or receiving it in return. I don’t know what that way is, but I do believe it exists.

Does that position seem at all tenuous to you?  Not knowing what something is but believing it exists sounds almost religious in itself smile
How about:  is it possible to criticise a specific idea, or ideas in general, without fear- and hate- mongering?

 

 

 
2Q17
 
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2Q17
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05 September 2017 16:36
 

Absolutely

 
Kalessin
 
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05 September 2017 16:55
 
2Q17 - 05 September 2017 04:36 PM

Absolutely

OK.  But if that idea is religious, is it more difficult to avoid fear- and hate-mongering?

So, I can say - “some people think that competitive sports can be bad for children; I disagree because of x, y z ... “
Can I say - “some people think that eating pork is wrong because pigs are unclean; I disagree because of x y z….”?

 
2Q17
 
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2Q17
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05 September 2017 17:02
 

It is much harder to avoid with an idea tied so closely to identity ,like religion of course.

I don’t think arguing aspects that aren’t universal to the overall argument provide tangible benefit.

 
EN
 
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05 September 2017 18:25
 
2Q17 - 05 September 2017 05:02 PM

It is much harder to avoid with an idea tied so closely to identity ,like religion of course.

I don’t think arguing aspects that aren’t universal to the overall argument provide tangible benefit.

I’m a Christian, I’ve been here since 2007, and I don’t have a problem with people criticizing Christianity.  If you don’t like it, you don’t like it.  I have my thoughts about my religion, and you have yours. No reason to get mad about discussing ideas and attitudes.  It often does turn personal, but it doesn’t have to.  So in that respect, I agree with you that it should be possible to criticize a religion without lapsing into hate speech.

 
Dumaya
 
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07 September 2017 17:21
 

>all cut from the same, blood-stained, Semitic cloth

[ Edited: 07 September 2017 17:24 by Dumaya]
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lynmc
 
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10 September 2017 08:05
 
2Q17 - 05 September 2017 04:24 PM

No, I don’t think that’s what lynmc was saying. I sought to agree with them, but then state how it still fits in into the overall statement.

I do think it’s possible to criticize a specific, and religion in general without using fear and hate mongering, or receiving it in return. I don’t know what that way is, but I do believe it exists.

Well, yes, I agree you can criticize religious texts, however, its really up to the members of a faith to express what their faith says.  Whether or not it’s a literal reading.

If, say, Keith Ellison says the context for passages in the Qur’an supposedly advocating violence need to be taken in context (e.g.  violent defense is permissible when one is under violent attack but aggressive violence isn’t actually permissible), well, it’s not my faith, he’s the one who has the belief. 

If, on the other hand, some member of the Muslim faith said the same passages really say it’s permissible to attack non-Muslims anywhere, just for not believing, or force them to convert at gunpoint, well, that’s his belief.

I don’t particularly have any objection to the first one (that I’ve attributed to Keith Ellison), the second one I find horrible.

To go further, say some non-Muslim goes around saying
- the second one is the correct interpretation,
- and Muslims, for claiming the first interpretation is correct, are dishonest or deceitful,
- and the passages are the reason Muslims are prone to violent savagery (note: without evidence that Muslims are particularly prone to violence or savagery)

I would say that non-Muslim is a bigot, he/she is fear and hate-mongering

 
Kalessin
 
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30 September 2017 06:54
 
lynmc - 10 September 2017 08:05 AM

... however, its really up to the members of a faith to express what their faith says.  Whether or not it’s a literal reading.

I think this presents a few logical problems and appears related to the notion of identity.as invariably validating an intellectual assertion.

First issue would be - if each member of a faith are always the authoritative arbiters of what their own faith says, how do you resolve what competing or antagonistic faiths say about each other?

Secondly - if a member of a faith asserts a position about atheists or apostates based on that faith, then that position must be accepted and considered authoritative?

Third point - if two members of a faith offer different competing interpretations of their own faith, then no-one outside their faith is allowed to comment on the logical or intellectual grounding of these positions and whether one appears more correct or valid than another?

This seems to suggest that religious faith actually adds some evidential or moral weight to any particular act of scriptural interpretation, regardless of other factors.  I think this could be scrutinised - a good way might be to see how it looks under different circumstances - the below example exactly follows the structure of your argument.

1. A Nazi says their ideology does not automatically sanction violent actions against non-white races, but that that is permissible if threatened by them.
2. Another Nazi says that their ideology is clear that non-whites must be removed from the homeland or killed.
3. A non-nazi says that the history of Nazism and careful reading of all the texts seems to support and encourage the “non-whites must be killed” argument.
4. The non-Nazi says that claiming the ideology does not support this is dishonest.
5. The non-Nazi suggests that Nazism in fact contributes to the collective violence by Nazis against non-whites.
6. The non-Nazi is accused of hate speech and fear mongering.

If this isn’t valid it can only be because religious faith has some additional merit over and above political or ideological belief.  The concern I have is the validation of faith as a meaningful component of intellectual, moral or empirical assertions, and the primacy of the owner of that faith (by means of arbitrary identity labels) to have claim to the correct understanding, even if it differs to other ‘correct’ understanding by other members.

How about this example -

1. A Jehovah’s Witness says their faith does not permit blood transfusions and therefore any child must be allowed to die from a minor blood infection.
2. Another Jehovah’s witness says this only applies to JWs, so therefore only the child of a JW must be allowed to die from a minor blood infection.
3. An atheist scholar says that the translation of selected bible texts by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (founders of JWs) is in fact incorrect and inaccurate as a reflection of the original Bible languages, and highlights the passages relating to this area as examples.
4. The atheist scholar says that arguing either position as being based on correct scripture is dishonest.
5. The atheist scholar suggests that this doctrinal positions contribute to the unnecessary death of children.
6. The atheist scholar is accused of hate speech and fear mongering.

I don’t believe these are strawmen, exaggerations or reductions because you can substitute with any examples, regardless of how uncontroversial; this is about the logical basis for assessing the merit of truth claims, where those truth claims directly impact upon behaviour.

Your second point is about the “members of the faith” having additional rights to interpretation and perhaps indeed protection from criticism.

“As a Christian, my faith tells me that slavery is wrong; and my faith tells my that the Bible is the Divine word of God”
“As a non-Christian bible scholar, I have found passages in the Bible (both OT and NT) that legitimise slavery and provide instructions on it”
“As a Christian, it’s up to me to express what my faith says, whether or not it’s a literal reading”
“As a non-Christian bible scholar, I don’t understand how your interpretation can be correct and coherent”
“As a Christian, it’s up to me how I interpret and express my faith and because I am a Christian my view is more valid”
“As a non-Christian bible scholar, I worry about your willingness to accommodate incorrect interpretations into a way of life that you believe is divinely inspired”
“You are guilty of religious intolerance”

Surely at some point we can at least argue that people are wrong regardless of whether we are “in the club” or not?
Kalessin

[ Edited: 30 September 2017 06:56 by Kalessin]
 
lynmc
 
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04 October 2017 13:43
 
Kalessin - 30 September 2017 06:54 AM
lynmc - 10 September 2017 08:05 AM

... however, its really up to the members of a faith to express what their faith says.  Whether or not it’s a literal reading.

I think this presents a few logical problems and appears related to the notion of identity.as invariably validating an intellectual assertion.

First issue would be - if each member of a faith are always the authoritative arbiters of what their own faith says, how do you resolve what competing or antagonistic faiths say about each other?

Since I don’t believe in any of them, I see no need to resolve which faith is “correct”

Secondly - if a member of a faith asserts a position about atheists or apostates based on that faith, then that position must be accepted and considered authoritative?

 

Just because a member says it, it doesn’t make it authoritative, except for the specific member’s beliefs.

Third point - if two members of a faith offer different competing interpretations of their own faith, then no-one outside their faith is allowed to comment on the logical or intellectual grounding of these positions and whether one appears more correct or valid than another?

 

You can comment.  Why do you want to, and what makes you an authority?

This seems to suggest that religious faith actually adds some evidential or moral weight to any particular act of scriptural interpretation, regardless of other factors.  I think this could be scrutinised - a good way might be to see how it looks under different circumstances - the below example exactly follows the structure of your argument.

1. A Nazi says their ideology does not automatically sanction violent actions against non-white races, but that that is permissible if threatened by them.
2. Another Nazi says that their ideology is clear that non-whites must be removed from the homeland or killed.
3. A non-nazi says that the history of Nazism and careful reading of all the texts seems to support and encourage the “non-whites must be killed” argument.
4. The non-Nazi says that claiming the ideology does not support this is dishonest.
5. The non-Nazi suggests that Nazism in fact contributes to the collective violence by Nazis against non-whites.
6. The non-Nazi is accused of hate speech and fear mongering.

 

The above is a ridiculous analogy, but of course if you replace “Nazism” with “Zionism” then you hit the nail on the head.  Though of course Zionist commit plenty of violence against non-Jews even when not threatened (to create a “pure” Jewish state), as have Nazis against “non-Aryans”.

If this isn’t valid it can only be because religious faith has some additional merit over and above political or ideological belief.  The concern I have is the validation of faith as a meaningful component of intellectual, moral or empirical assertions, and the primacy of the owner of that faith (by means of arbitrary identity labels) to have claim to the correct understanding, even if it differs to other ‘correct’ understanding by other members.

How about this example -

1. A Jehovah’s Witness says their faith does not permit blood transfusions and therefore any child must be allowed to die from a minor blood infection.
2. Another Jehovah’s witness says this only applies to JWs, so therefore only the child of a JW must be allowed to die from a minor blood infection.
3. An atheist scholar says that the translation of selected bible texts by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (founders of JWs) is in fact incorrect and inaccurate as a reflection of the original Bible languages, and highlights the passages relating to this area as examples.
4. The atheist scholar says that arguing either position as being based on correct scripture is dishonest.
5. The atheist scholar suggests that this doctrinal positions contribute to the unnecessary death of children.
6. The atheist scholar is accused of hate speech and fear mongering.

I don’t believe these are strawmen, exaggerations or reductions because you can substitute with any examples, regardless of how uncontroversial; this is about the logical basis for assessing the merit of truth claims, where those truth claims directly impact upon behaviour.

 

No, it’s a completely wrong analogy.  The Jehovah’s Witness believes one thing, the atheist is claiming he (the Jehovah’s Witness) believes something else and calling the Jehovah’s Witness a liar based on the atheist’s interpretation of the biblical text (that would be the proper analogy).  I’m just saying the atheist (or anyone) making such a claim is using utterly fallacious logic.

Your second point is about the “members of the faith” having additional rights to interpretation and perhaps indeed protection from criticism.

“As a Christian, my faith tells me that slavery is wrong; and my faith tells my that the Bible is the Divine word of God”
“As a non-Christian bible scholar, I have found passages in the Bible (both OT and NT) that legitimise slavery and provide instructions on it”
“As a Christian, it’s up to me to express what my faith says, whether or not it’s a literal reading”
“As a non-Christian bible scholar, I don’t understand how your interpretation can be correct and coherent”
“As a Christian, it’s up to me how I interpret and express my faith and because I am a Christian my view is more valid”
“As a non-Christian bible scholar, I worry about your willingness to accommodate incorrect interpretations into a way of life that you believe is divinely inspired”
“You are guilty of religious intolerance”

Surely at some point we can at least argue that people are wrong regardless of whether we are “in the club” or not?
Kalessin

If you go around saying Christians are more violent or fanatic than members of other religions in the same circumstances, then either produce the evidence or yes, I’ll call you guilty of religious intolerance.

Suppose you have a quote from some religious text, “go and kill the infidels”.  One member of the religion says “Yeah, lets go and kill the infidels.”  You could say that person was inciting violence against infidels. 

Note, the quote was in the middle of a story in which the infidels had just committed mass murder and expulsion against members of the religion and are coming after them to kill some more.  A present-day member of the religion says he believes the story is true (it all happened long ago), and actually should be interpreted to mean defensive violence is OK. 

There’s absolutely no evidence that members of the religion in question are in fact more violent than any other group against non-members.  Yet, you go around claiming that the first interpretation is the correct one, and that members of the religion tend to be violent fanatics.  Why are you the authoritative arbiter?  Sorry, I’d call you a bigot.

 
lynmc
 
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04 October 2017 14:34
 
Kalessin - 30 September 2017 06:54 AM
lynmc - 10 September 2017 08:05 AM

... however, its really up to the members of a faith to express what their faith says.  Whether or not it’s a literal reading.

I think this presents a few logical problems and appears related to the notion of identity.as invariably validating an intellectual assertion.

First issue would be - if each member of a faith are always the authoritative arbiters of what their own faith says, how do you resolve what competing or antagonistic faiths say about each other?

...
Kalessin

P.S. If you really want to resolve what competing or antagonistic faiths say about each other, just ask God.

 
Kalessin
 
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04 October 2017 14:53
 

You’re actually refuting a point I wasn’t making and not getting to the heart of my comments which were in bold.  Asking “why would you comment” and “what makes you the authority” are not related to anything I said and not really part of a meaningful discussion smile;  you said one of my analogies was ridiculous but if I replaced Nazis with Zionists it would be right smile; then you have misread my second analogy and claimed ‘fallacious logic’ about a truth claim which doesn’t involve logic smile; then you say “put up the evidence for Christians being violent” which isn’t an argument I made, and then a long passage about how scripture needs to be seen in context, which wasn’t something I was talking about nor relevant to it smile.  Finally, you say “Just ask God”. smile

I think I’ll go off and do that, or not,  as I have an early start tomorrow.  Hopefully all the answers I do or don’t need will come to me in a dream smile

 
lynmc
 
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04 October 2017 17:19
 
Kalessin - 04 October 2017 02:53 PM

You’re actually refuting a point I wasn’t making and not getting to the heart of my comments which were in bold.  Asking “why would you comment” and “what makes you the authority” are not related to anything I said and not really part of a meaningful discussion :);  you said one of my analogies was ridiculous but if I replaced Nazis with Zionists it would be right :); then you have misread my second analogy and claimed ‘fallacious logic’ about a truth claim which doesn’t involve logic :); then you say “put up the evidence for Christians being violent” which isn’t an argument I made, and then a long passage about how scripture needs to be seen in context, which wasn’t something I was talking about nor relevant to it :).  Finally, you say “Just ask God”. :)

I think I’ll go off and do that, or not,  as I have an early start tomorrow.  Hopefully all the answers I do or don’t need will come to me in a dream :)

Even if you replaced Nazism with Zionism, in fact it wouldn’t be a correct analogy.  I wasn’t addressing your point (whatever it was) in that case.  I was noting that Zionism (like Hitler’s Nazism) supports “kill or expel” violence towards members of non-favored ethnic groups, yet anti-Zionists are called racists all the time (mostly by Zionists).  You hit the nail on the head.

... this is about the logical basis for assessing the merit of truth claims, where those truth claims directly impact upon behaviour.

You haven’t established that any of the biblical or Quranic texts directly impact behavior, in particular when it comes to instigating violence. 

Not sure what you mean by “logical basis” for assessing the merit of truth claims, or what you even mean by a truth claim.  If someone tells me “the bible is true” I would need them to show me the evidence before I believe it.  If someone says they believe the bible is true, or even that means such and such (e.g., slavery is wrong), I would say OK, all evidence says that’s their belief.  It doesn’t mean I approve or disapprove of a particular tenet as interpreted.  Of course, there’s some things that could be said about the texts that are clearly either true or false, for example “the bible says God doesn’t exist” is clearly false.  However, there’s so much that’s ambiguous or contradictory and that can be left up to interpretation, e.g., the business of slavery.  Similarly for plenty of political ideology.

And you mis-read my point, I never said you said Christians were more violent.  I said if you did so then I would call you an anti-Christian bigot unless you had solid evidence.

 
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