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Does Islam encourage violence more than others?

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Niall001
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Re: Sacred and normative texts

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Quote:Judeo-Christian ethics have been tempered by several hundred years of influence by humanist/secular ethics.See, as far as I can see, Humanist values are based on Judeo-Christian values. Almost all of the great Humanists were Christian. Christian-Humanism certainly predates Secular-Humanism.Heck, secular values tend to be borrowed wholesale from the Christian tradition because they developed in Christian societies. While I'd say that Islam probably is slightly more violent than most of the world's major religions, the way in which a religion or belief system is implemented usually reflects the pressures that society in which it is situated faces.Let's face it, if the Middle East was a rich region where wealth was distributed equally and people had the political freedoms that we enjoy in the west, then the difference between South Carolina and Pakistan would be slight. Just look at Turkey's path over the last decade. Full of Porn*http://plainofpillars.blogspot.com
Niall001
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Quote:Islam still holds the ideals of infidels and the inferiority of women, equality the core value of a just nation is alien to Muslims. What do you think of Turkey's development and reform over the past decade? If Islam has such a problem with women then why is it that Turkey like Indonesia can have female leaders when (as yet) the US has not? Truth is that within the next decade, it will most likely become part of the EU and to do so, it will have to abandon concepts like infidel and sexual inequality. Do you think that's going to happen?Useful link:news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1023189.stmAs far as I can see, using the carrot of EU membership and the potential for prosperity that this membership would bring, Turkey is moving towards the standards of a western secular democracy. Full of Porn*http://plainofpillars.blogspot.comEdited by: Niall001 at: 3/7/06 2:43 pm
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Frank 013
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Re: Sacred and normative texts

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There are several Islamic nations that are moving towards a secular government; a few already have made the change. I for one commend them; it's a step in the right direction. It will take time but if Islam can abandon its less favorable qualities I personally have no serious problem with it. [Niall: If Islam has such a problem with women then why is it that Turkey like Indonesia can have female leaders when (as yet) the US has not?]Women have had the ability to become president for some time now and we have had women as leaders in lesser government for over 50 years. We even have a black woman in high government right now, and I believe she has earned the position. [Niall: Turkey is moving towards the standards of a western secular democracy.]I hope they succeed, and become a shining example of what a free society can achieve. Later
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Re: Sacred and normative texts

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Frank,It seems I've been answering the question "Is Islam the most violent religion?"...which I've answered with (in my opinion) a clear "no". I've described what has been the far more violent combination of religio/secular forces that make up European and American history and contemporary life. Islam is not nearly as violent as Euro/American religio/secular society. Still, I am aware that these societies have always been in contact and the interconnections make it difficult to make clear distinctions.I've also made the argument that Euro/American aggression (for energy resources, etc.) in relation to Islam has created a violent reaction within Islam that has enflamed a fanatical fundamentalism as a line of defense. Those forces of progressive, democratic, and egalitarian ideals (that can be found, nurtured and built upon within Islam) have been silenced in at least two ways: outright support of dictatorial regimes via Western diplomatic, political, economic and military forces; and (as already stated) the fear-filled movement of reactionary forces presenting the most militarist, hierarchical, dominating ideals and structures possible.And, like all human endeavor, Islam has its share of scoundrels, tyrants and sociopaths that make any project for the "good society" ripe with error.You, it seems, have been pitting the best of the West against the worst of Islam, with a limited understanding of how the history of their interactions have impacted each other.I've been operating from the basic moral principle (at least as I see it) that it's best to remove the beam from my own eye before launching cruise missles at the speck in my brother's eye.Islam has progressive, egalitarian and democratic principles. These are in conflict with the negative values you have consistently highlighted. I argue the "good" side of Islam will find it impossible to take the lead as long as the "bad" side of the West continues its aggressive, militarized assault. I do not agree that the West is engaged in its military assault upon Islamic countries for progressive, democratic reasons. Like the vast majority of Muslims, I think it is part of a long history of neo-colonial, imperialist aggressions toward control of natural resources and securing American hegemony in the region.
lanceman1971

Re: Sacred and normative texts

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Let's not divide religions because they all are dirrivitive of the same string. More people have died in the name of GOD than any other single thing in the history of man kind. There is an underlying reason for that. If you go back to early civilizations like in Mesopotamia, Assyria, Babylonia and Sumer you will find that man created religion in an effort for a king to better control his people.If "GOD" chose me then what I say must be true and even more importantly must be followed. Religious leaders of that era often had power second only to their king so there was great incentive to support a king. You lived very well.Of course back then each city had its own gods. Judaism shares many of the same creation concepts of some of the early mesopotamian religions. Christianity shares most of judaisms and Islam falls in line as well. Each has an important component of religion. It's survival and in order for a religion to survive its GOD must provoke fear into its followers. All of these religions talk about destroying non believers. I would say Christians overall have massacred far more people than any other single religion. Islamist seem more dangerous in todays society because the christian extremist of today have been subdued by the much larger moderate christian population. So one could say that christians are not being good christians if they are not murdering the nonbelievers and Islamist are currently just being good followers.And yes I believe religion to be a bunch of bullshit, but read all three books and you will see what I am saying. The Torah, The Bible (hebrew version not the hacked King James or NIT) and the Koran.
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Lance,Your thesis sounds bold, but it doesn't reflect scholarship in the field (history of religions, comparative religions, anthropology, cross cultural psychology), nor is it anything new. Reducing Religion to political oppression, psycholgocial neuroses, irrational superstition, intellectual cowardice is nothing Booktalk hasn't enagaged on multiple levels in many conversations.Obviously violence and malice have played important roles in the history of Religion; just as it has played a role in kinship relations, political structures, economic systems, cultural settings, etc.. I suppose you are able to provide a bit more nuanced and sophisticated analysis of violence and malice in these other areas of human activity, such that all of human life is not simply reduced to piggy kings and perverse priests oppressing the masses into servile dupes. I don't think crude reductions help.If violence and Religion is an important issue for you (and it seems like it may be) I think you might want to be better informed about your subject, and work for ways to build peace and reconcilliation, avoiding greater violence. There are many voices within the world of Religion who struggle for peace and justice, ecological sustainability and healing; and they have been part of the equation for as long as temples have been built, scriptures read, and prayers offered. These voices are within the Scriptures you deride, and offer a powerful counterforce to the violence you rightly condemn.The conflict between violence and peace wages within the world of Religion, as well as secular alternatives. I think forces for peace and reconcilliation should allign themselves above and beyond crude reductions and seek solidarity for the cause of planetary survival. I don't think your approach helps.Cheers.
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lanceman1971: More people have died in the name of GOD than any other single thing in the history of man kind.You have, I suppose, some figures to back that claim? For my part, it seems highly suspect. How many people have died in the name of nation, for instance? By most accounts that I've seen, people have died at a much quicker rate in the presumably secular ways of the last 100-200 years.There is an underlying reason for that. If you go back to early civilizations like in Mesopotamia, Assyria, Babylonia and Sumer you will find that man created religion in an effort for a king to better control his people.Again, where's your support for that? Those are the sort of hypotheses that tend to arise when people have an agenda to support. There's not much support for such a claim in the historical record itself. Nor does it make a hell of a lot of sense if you think about it. What about having been born several thousands of years ago makes the populace of an ancient civilization more credulous than a modern person? Why would they just spontaneously believe that a person had been "chosen" by God unless they were building on a previously existing religious tradition?Incidentally, you appear to have your facts wrong. The notion of election by a divinity is one that arises in the Israelite religion that displace the Assyrian and Babylonian religions. In earlier religious traditions, the kind was not chosen by the gods, but was perceived as the incarnation of a god. Israelite monotheism made such claims untenable, and thus the shift towards the divine election of kings. Even that was not an automatic or simply switch -- rather it encompassed hundreds of years of slow change and struggle.But getting back to the "conspiracy theorist" version of the origin of religion, you do understand that the difficulty involved in attributing the origin of religion to a single royal figure is that they would have not only to impress the populace with the veracity of their divine election, they'd also have to explain the concept of God, make it emminantly believable to a populace that you've already described as tending away from authority, and make certain they all stay within orthodoxy. You seem to suppose that the notion of God preceded religion, that religion wasn't an explicit institution until made so by monarchical declaration -- I see no particular reason to assume so, and there are forms of village and tribal devotion that seem to me no less deserving of the title of religion than that professed by the ancient kingdoms. The simpler explanation is that the concept of the divine election of kings built on a religious tradition that preceded that form of monarchy. And realistically speaking, there is evidence for religion that precedes our records of monarchical kingdoms, so there's not much reason to suppose that religion was "invented" as an aide to monarchical oppression.All of these religions talk about destroying non believers.Now this may well be the result of making strange bedfellows of politics and religion. As far as I know, there are no divine injunctions to destroy other populations until religion becomes an aspect of political sovreignty.Islamist seem more dangerous in todays society because the christian extremist of today have been subdued by the much larger moderate christian population.I would say that Islamicists seem more dangerous to some because the Christian populations tend to work through authoritative channels rather than in splinter cells. It's bait and switch. We're lulled into not including certain acts of violence because they're couched in other terms. But because a group like al Qaeda acts outside of any recognized authority, we find ourselves less able to explain its actions in terms of political involvement. Yet, such groups are often guided by politics as much, if not more than, they are by religion.
lanceman1971

Re: Sacred and normative texts

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MAD guy,Read: A History of the Ancient World, written by Chester G Starr. Read: Ancient History : From the First Civilizations to the Renaissance by J. M. RobertsRead:Oxford First Ancient History (Rebuilding the Past) by Roy Burrell and Peter ConnollyRead:The Early History of the Ancient Near East, 9000-2000 B.C. by Hans J. Nissen and ElizabethOne of us has our facts askew my friend but I do not believe it to be me, unless your contention is that the leading academics of our time are wrong and you sir are correct at which point I would be happy to read your books.Read the story of Gilgamesh, a Sumerian story that is incredibly similar to Adam and Eve, There are stories from the early Egyptian culturs in 5000bc that tell a tale of a flood and an arc being built. But it wasn't a world flood, it was a flooding of the mouth of the Nile river, and animals 2 of every kind were most certianly not gathered and put on board the vessel. In fact the ship building technology at the time was little more than a 6' x 10' raft.Quote from A History of the Ancient world."The first cities to emerge out of tribal life were at the outset apparently governed by the citizens as a whole, who met in assembly. Yet we hear also of a chief man or governor (ensi) for the gods, and soon a king (lugal) appears. Even though hereditary rule does not yet seem to have existed is was soon created to keep families in power. The power and functions of the monarchical element were to grow greatly under the guise that these men had a direct link to the gods. In order for these families to keep power, they must demonstrate themselves to be favored by the gods. One method of doing so was to predict natural phenomenon such as weather."-----------------------------------------------Read the books, don't get your history from the history channel. Edited by: lanceman1971 at: 3/16/06 5:49 am
lanceman1971

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Mad guyYou question wether religion talks of destroying people. Have you read the Torah, Quran and Bible. I am guessing no. Because of time I will give you two examples.Let's look at Deuteronomy 13:7-11 and see what the lord wants us to do, and I quote,"If your brother, the son of your father or of your mother, or your son or daughter, or the spouse whom you embrace, or your most intimate friend, tries to secretly seduce you, saying, "Let us go and serve other gods," unknown to you or your ancestors before you, gods of the peoples surrounding you, whether near you or far away, anywhere throughout the world, you must not consent, you must not listen to him, you must show him no pity, you must not spare him or conceal his guilt. No, you must KILL him, your hand must strike the first blow in puttin ghim to death and the hands of the rest of the people following. You must stone him to death, since he has tried to divert you from Yahweh your God..."This is the word of God know by all three religions as they are all dirivitive of judaism.Quran 9:123 reads "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. Know that God is with the righteous.This is the scary thing, you have several sides all totally delusional to what reality really is and they are both making decisions based on this type of insanity.
MadArchitect

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lanceman1971: You question wether religion talks of destroying people.Where did I question that? What I questioned was your claim that religion has been responsible for more murder than anything else in the history of humanity. Is religion more inherently dangerous than, say, nationalism? It seems to me that, compared to religion, which is not exactly innocent of human bloodshed, three hundred years of nationalism has led to an astonishing and disproportionately large number of deaths. If -- and that's an if that I haven't seen anyone answer -- religion is responsible for more deaths than the secular concern of nationalism, then it's only by virtue of the fact that religion has been around for several thousand years longer.Have you read the Torah, Quran and Bible. I am guessing no.My, aren't you presumptuous?
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