An Encounter with a Stranger

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An Encounter with a Stranger

Postby BadgerJelly on December 15th, 2017, 5:57 am 

I just met someone briefly and we were talking about politics.

He started a little rant about Islam and I foolishly made a comment about Islam suffering from internal politics due to it having to reform to catch up to the modern world and mentioned that it had a lot in common with Christianity, a major difference being Christianity has had a lot of time to reform since the enlightenment.

He then made some comments about Islam being nothing like Christianity and I somewhere along the way I stated that there is more hard evidence for the existence of Muhammed than Jesus (relating the idea of mythos to this point.)

What really confused me is he told me I needed to read more history, basic history? As he left he politely said farewell and insinuated that I was "defending Islam" when I was simply defending historical evidence.

Has this kind of thing happened to you guys much?
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Re: An Encounter with a Stranger

Postby wolfhnd on December 15th, 2017, 6:59 am 

I tend agree with the stranger. Christ being a historical figure is somewhat irrelevant. In fact Mohammed as a historical figure is one of the problems with Islam. Mohammed appears to have been a warlord and theocracy flows from that. Christianity is somewhat insulated from politics because we know so little about the hypothetical historical figure of Christ.

Judaism and Islam have more in common with each other than with Christianity. They are both very tribal and concerned with more than just the spiritual. Christianity repudiates tribalism as in the story of the good Samaritan and sets a non political tone as in give to Caesar what is Ceasar's and to God what is God's.

To me Islam is a throwback to tribal religion where as Christianity and Buddhism are more spiritual and universal. That can be perceived negatively of course in the case of Christianity because it is deeply eschatological and temporally nihilistic. In the case of Buddhism the nihilism comes from an almost absurd focus on the internal.

Of course I'm talking about the philosophical foundations of religions not how they are manifested in the world.

The reason that Islam does not receive more objective criticism in the West is easy to understand. White guilt plays a part. Multiculturalism is almost a religion. The West is highly secular and dismissive of theological differences. Many people simply think it is bad taste to criticize spiritual beliefs, possibly because of a tradition of separation of church and state. Terrorism makes critiquing Islam publicly somewhat dangerous. Muslim's are politically impotent in the West unlike Christians so there has been little motivation to discredit it. People are either ignorant of the brutal history of Islamic imperialism or feel it is irrelevant today. Saudi Arabia is key to maintaining the petrol dollar and Western governments don't want to upset them. Very few Westerners have read the Islamic texts and have no basis for critique. There is something of an oriental mystique to Islam and kind of exotic flare in the mythology that some find poetically appealing. So on and so forth.
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Re: An Encounter with a Stranger

Postby BadgerJelly on December 15th, 2017, 7:05 am 

WHAAAA ? ?

So you say I'm defending Islam?? I just read the first paragraph and stopped in shock!
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Re: An Encounter with a Stranger

Postby BadgerJelly on December 15th, 2017, 7:16 am 

Just in case you missed my point I was saying he said "I was defending Islam." because I stated a historical fact. Please note I said this as well as stating that Islam was founded on during a time of war and that Mohammed was actively at war and killing people. I am not delusional, yet by remarking on a historical fact he somehow seemed to think I was defending Islam.

Sorry, I believe in historical evidence. There is more historical evidence for Muhammed. That is all I said in protest of a remark he made (a false remark.)
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Re: An Encounter with a Stranger

Postby wolfhnd on December 15th, 2017, 8:35 am 

Ok I see why you are upset with my comment but it wasn't directed at you so much as the popular narrative. Making comparisons of religions is difficult because there is the dogma and how that dogma is manifested.
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Re: An Encounter with a Stranger

Postby BadgerJelly on December 15th, 2017, 9:35 am 

Wolf -

I'm not upset by your opinions. I am simply concerned when people deem facts as opinions (which he did.)

We can certainly agree/disagree about how comparable certain religions are, I've no issue there. If you were to start saying that Mohammed was in fact several different people and claim that the historical evidence for the existence of Jesus is greater I will state the facts. I also stated to this guy that it didn't matter whether either of them existed or not because the mythos exists.

For the sake of discussion my opinion is that Christianity and Islam have a lot in common. I would agree that Judaism is more alike Islam (at least in terms of the scripture given that many scholars say the Koran lifts whole sections from the Old Testament.) There is an awful lot to unearth when it comes to religious history as it's utterly entwined with culture at large and the structure of society.
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Re: An Encounter with a Stranger

Postby wolfhnd on December 15th, 2017, 12:42 pm 

I'm not sure why people think Christ is a historical figure. I suppose it is because without a real person the death and resurrection could be easier to construe as myth.
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Re: An Encounter with a Stranger

Postby Braininvat on December 15th, 2017, 12:58 pm 

A couple of comparison of violence and advocacy of violence in the Bible and the Qu'ran, the first one a bit deeper and more scholarly than the second one.....

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124494788

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/violence-more-common-in-bible-than-quran-text-analysis-reveals-a6863381.html

Some surprising results.....


"Much to my surprise, the Islamic scriptures in the Quran were actually far less bloody and less violent than those in the Bible," Jenkins says.

Jenkins is a professor at Penn State University and author of two books dealing with the issue: the recently published Jesus Wars, and Dark Passages , which has not been published but is already drawing controversy.

Violence in the Quran, he and others say, is largely a defense against attack.

"By the standards of the time, which is the 7th century A.D., the laws of war that are laid down by the Quran are actually reasonably humane," he says. "Then we turn to the Bible, and we actually find something that is for many people a real surprise. There is a specific kind of warfare laid down in the Bible which we can only call genocide."

It is called herem, and it means total annihilation. Consider the Book of 1 Samuel, when God instructs King Saul to attack the Amalekites: "And utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them," God says through the prophet Samuel. "But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey."

When Saul failed to do that, God took away his kingdom.

"In other words," Jenkins says, "Saul has committed a dreadful sin by failing to complete genocide. And that passage echoes through Christian history. It is often used, for example, in American stories of the confrontation with Indians — not just is it legitimate to kill Indians, but you are violating God's law if you do not."
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Re: An Encounter with a Stranger

Postby BadgerJelly on December 15th, 2017, 1:39 pm 

Biv -

That is a perfect example of one particular perspective. That is the Old Testament for starters and is in modern society generally looked down upon. Christianity has conformed a great deal. My argument is simply that the heartland of the Islamic world has been stuck in a political stasis and now is being dragged into the modern world with all its diverse cultural baggage.

People are, generally speaking, not murderers. We could also argue from another position to that proclaimed above. That being that the Torah and Judaic texts are far more violent than Christian texts, yet it is the Jews who suffered at the hand of Christianity.

My personal opinion is that religion is not bad in and of itself. Radical views are bad end of story. They need not be religious (a glance at the political landscape prior to and during WWII will show as much - referring to Stalin and Hitler to name the obvious.) As a tool religion can be used to press home some twisted ideologies and I wouldn't deny that.

Wolf -

Well, there is enough evidence. Again we see skewed opinions because people wish to either push some pro-Christian agenda or even some refutuation against the authority of the church. Practically speaking it doesn't matter to the folks who go around causing trouble in the name of religion, and historically the factual evidence remains apparent and should not be viewed as purely opinion.

We know from todays world how individuals can change the course of human history, or rather be symbolized as a change in society. The principle of religious adherence basically revolves around the idea of "betterment", meaning working toward a more hopeful and pleasant future for all.
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