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Old 26th July 2020, 11:26 PM   #41
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Yep, that's such a commonsense and obvious view, yet so few Muslims, even ex-Muslims, actually have the balls to say this outright. That namby pamby religion-of-peace **** is plain nonsense. The Prophet, PBUH, ironically was all about the exact opposite of peace, right from the get go. You can't cherry-pick the odd 'peaceful' elements from within that vile doctrine, nor reform this religion (all religion for that matter, but this one, probably, more than any other), not without changing its very nature (which is what the Sufis have done, and are -- rightly -- criticized by the orthodox as apostates for that reason). The only thing you can do with this religion is to fling it out wholesale. Which is what Omar has done. Kudos to you, Omar!


(Sorry for my multiple posts hogging what is, after all, your thread, Omar, meant for us to hear you out! But I was very happy to hear you hint at this POV earlier on, and state it more fully now, and couldn't stop myself slapping you on the back over this intellectual integrity you show, that's rare amongst even those who've outgrown Islam.) So over to you, with one last question to you if I may: Any thoughts about the Sufi strain of Islam? Are you equally dismissive of that as well? That's a pretty much civilized faith, benign even, wouldn't you say? Do you reject even that?)
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Old 26th July 2020, 11:48 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
If you read just a little further, you'll see that he also said, "I want to mention that I myself believe that Taliban and ISIS are the true Muslims"
OK, I think I get it - "true Muslims" are savages.

But there are quite a few Muslims who would disagree.
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Old 27th July 2020, 04:18 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
OK, I think I get it - "true Muslims" are savages.

But there are quite a few Muslims who would disagree.
That is a willful misrepresentation of what was actually said.
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Old 27th July 2020, 07:47 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
OK, I think I get it - "true Muslims" are savages.

But there are quite a few Muslims who would disagree.
Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
That is a willful misrepresentation of what was actually said.
Yes.

Omar, feel free to ignore Minoosh...most of the people here are ISF are decent folks, but you still get the occasional idiot who's too wrapped up in their own ego to be able to contribute meaningfully.
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Old 27th July 2020, 10:51 AM   #45
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Pardon my officiousness, but ...

I disagree completely with Minoosh on this. I think she's (probably inadvertently) strawmanning Omar here. I also think her idea about what Islam is, is completely wrong.

That difference of opinion does not make her an idiot, and mostly emphatically not, by implication, lacking in decency. And the fact that her POV differs from yours and mine does not make her contributions any less meaningful than ours.

Let's not go down that route, okay?
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Old 27th July 2020, 12:01 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Pardon my officiousness, but ...

I disagree completely with Minoosh on this. I think she's (probably inadvertently) strawmanning Omar here. I also think her idea about what Islam is, is completely wrong.

That difference of opinion does not make her an idiot, and mostly emphatically not, by implication, lacking in decency. And the fact that her POV differs from yours and mine does not make her contributions any less meaningful than ours.

Let's not go down that route, okay?
"Idiot" here is used to indicate someone who has no interest or intent on carrying on an honest, sincere conversation. For me, "idiot" and "troll" are essentially synonymous, and that's how I regard Minoosh.

Minoosh started with a claim -- demonstrably false -- that Omar wasn't saying that the Taliban are the "real Muslims". I gave the benefit of the doubt in that case, and responded civilly.

The next response was a complete straw man argument, and one that was essentially attacking Omar with a sarcastic statement that, "OK, I think I get it - "true Muslims" are savages"

Given that it is Omar's first time here, and that he's rather shy, I chose to advise him to ignore a person like this, rather than to attempt to engage with them.

Minoosh is free, of course, to demonstrate that my opinion of their attitude is wrong, by actually contributing meaningful content that A) does not misrepresent what Omar is saying, and B) demonstrates a sincere desire to understand. If they can do that, but still disagree, I have no issue.
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Old 27th July 2020, 01:28 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
Yes, I figured that was what you meant.

We could make a similar argument for extreme Christian groups who seek to take Old Testament teachings literally...they are, in some ways, more 'real Christians' than anyone else; as opposed to those who play with the scriptures to make them say something else.

I think that the important point here is that you aren't saying they are "real Muslims" to praise them...it is more saying it to reveal the violence and intolerance that are part of Islamic teachings.
Yes I don't mean to praise to by calling Taliban true muslims
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Old 27th July 2020, 03:33 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Pardon my officiousness, but ...

I disagree completely with Minoosh on this. I think she's (probably inadvertently) strawmanning Omar here. I also think her idea about what Islam is, is completely wrong.

That difference of opinion does not make her an idiot, and mostly emphatically not, by implication, lacking in decency. And the fact that her POV differs from yours and mine does not make her contributions any less meaningful than ours.

Let's not go down that route, okay?
Thanks for that. I was not trying to straw man Omar. He said he thought Taliban and ISIS were "the true Muslims" - in other words the savagery laid bare, the oppression, the violence. How else to interpret that? I think you also agreed that ISIS and the Taliban were "the true Muslims," as far as that goes. Just like fundamentalists may be seen as the "true Christians" by people who think the religious right wants to turn the U.S. into a sexist, authoritarian theocracy.

In an analogy, I'm living on a church campus owned by the Congregationalists, who some might consider the Sufis of Christianity - they've deleted the nasty bits and are about as liberal and inclusive as it's possible to be while embracing the peculiar theology of Christianity.

I think Wolfman is protective of Omar, which is fine. But my motives aren't hostile.
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Old 27th July 2020, 04:25 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
"Idiot" here is used to indicate someone who has no interest or intent on carrying on an honest, sincere conversation. For me, "idiot" and "troll" are essentially synonymous, and that's how I regard Minoosh.

Minoosh started with a claim -- demonstrably false -- that Omar wasn't saying that the Taliban are the "real Muslims". I gave the benefit of the doubt in that case, and responded civilly.
Right. After your correction, I read his post again and realized he said he believed Taliban and ISIS were the "true Muslims."

Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
The next response was a complete straw man argument, and one that was essentially attacking Omar with a sarcastic statement that, "OK, I think I get it - "true Muslims" are savages"
How the hell is that a straw man? Hmmm, ISIS, Taliban, what do those 2 groups have in common? They're both authoritarian, homicidal maniacs. They're both savage, blood-soaked cults. My statement wasn't sarcasm and it wasn't an "attack."

Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
Given that it is Omar's first time here, and that he's rather shy, I chose to advise him to ignore a person like this, rather than to attempt to engage with them.
Late last night I read his post in an education thread asking how to start a new thread. I told him. I'm pretty sure this is the thread he wanted to start. Somehow we managed to engage without a referee.

Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
Minoosh is free, of course, to demonstrate that my opinion of their attitude is wrong, by actually contributing meaningful content that A) does not misrepresent what Omar is saying, and B) demonstrates a sincere desire to understand. If they can do that, but still disagree, I have no issue.
Oh, for pity's sake. You had asked him why he considers Taliban and ISIS the true Muslims. Why? Because in his opinion they're the ones who are actually following the Qur'an. He already said most of Kabul disagrees with him; some stranger saying many Muslims would disagree about who the "true Muslims" are isn't going to hurt him.

Last edited by Minoosh; 27th July 2020 at 04:35 PM. Reason: slight clarification
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Old 27th July 2020, 05:25 PM   #50
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Unpopular opinion time.

Religion changes over time. It wasn't that long ago, historically speaking, that the Catholics were the violent ones rampaging all over the Middle East and torturing women for being accused of witchcraft. The Catholic church doesn't do that any more, and that's a good thing. Doctrine changes over time.

If Islam is moving to marginalise extremism and become a more peaceful religion, we should be encouraging that, not disparaging them for not adhering to the letter of a 1500 year old book, any more than we should be disparaging Catholics for not doing inquisitions and crusades any more.
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Old 27th July 2020, 05:25 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
How else to interpret that?

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
How the hell is that a straw man?

Briefly: Saying that the ISIS and the Taliban are probably truer Muslims than those who favor a more watered-down version of the original, actual creed, as Omar had done -- or saying that Islam is fundamentally a vile doctrine, as I'd done (as, for that matter, is RCC, say) -- is very different from saying that all true Muslims, or all true RCCs, are savages. Your strawmanning -- which I don't think is deliberate or, as you say, hostile -- takes on implications of cultural insularity, and even of racism, that were entirely absent in Omar's comment, and in mine as well.

Your question, and differing opinion, are IMO well within forum norms for further discussion within this thread itself, but I don't want to have Omar's thread hijacked away from him, so I'm done posting here after this. Happy to continue the discussion if you wish to start a fresh thread.
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Old 27th July 2020, 08:00 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Briefly: Saying that the ISIS and the Taliban are probably truer Muslims than those who favor a more watered-down version of the original, actual creed, as Omar had done -- or saying that Islam is fundamentally a vile doctrine, as I'd done (as, for that matter, is RCC, say) -- is very different from saying that all true Muslims, or all true RCCs, are savages.
OK, I totally get what you’re saying. It has to do with judging people, vs. judging an ideology. And I’m pretty sure I get the difference. I’m not going to second-guess someone who has lived with the Taliban, particularly in rural areas. I’m sure as heck not going to tell Omar that he’s wrong. It’s just that I have met moderate Muslims who might put up an argument.

That’s one of the things this forum is for - rational argument without undue personalization. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Wolfman can jump in to suggest that Omar should ignore me and that’s cool. I’m sure Omar can find plenty of uncritical support here. But if someone does present a challenge - in my case, definitely not with intent to troll - it’s just part of the nature of this forum. Dissent is not automatically hostile. This is IMO a safe place for Omar to hone his arguments and maybe get some practice in English as well.

Omar, I am not trying to exclude you from your very own thread! But you might learn something about how so-called “civil” people construct their arguments. I am not telling you you’re wrong, or trying to tell you what to believe! But there is a famous fallacy in logic called “No true Scotsman.” It does sometimes come up in our generally civil conversations. By now I think you can tell that many people here will offer you overwhelming support. Don’t let my incivility (if it was incivility) get in the way of that message. There are a lot of atheists here who will automatically support your position and I hope it helps, whether you want to get out of Afghanistan or find a way to live an authentic life in Afghanistan.

If we disagree with each other it’s a sign that we care about your situation.

Last edited by Minoosh; 27th July 2020 at 08:33 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 27th July 2020, 08:37 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Thanks for that. I was not trying to straw man Omar. He said he thought Taliban and ISIS were "the true Muslims" - in other words the savagery laid bare, the oppression, the violence. How else to interpret that? I think you also agreed that ISIS and the Taliban were "the true Muslims," as far as that goes. Just like fundamentalists may be seen as the "true Christians" by people who think the religious right wants to turn the U.S. into a sexist, authoritarian theocracy.
And again, you are wrong.

Omar was previously Muslim...he didn't consider himself a savage. He has many friends who are Muslims...he doesn't consider them savage.

What he actually meant to say (but as he's not a native English speaker, he did not explain it really clearly, which is why I asked him to clarify for everyone) was that the teachings of the Koran are savage.

There are, obviously, many Muslims who do not take the Koran literally, and/or who interpret it in a more liberal fashion.

But people like those in the Taliban are the ones who take the Koran literally...which is what, in Omar's opinion, makes them "real Muslims", because they follow the Koran the most faithfully. And yes, they are violent and savage. That is pretty much beyond question. Omar himself has had to live through their savagery...he recently showed me pictures of where he went to school, and the building is riddled with bullet holes from the Taliban.

You are one of those who take a general statement from someone, and rather than ask questions to clarify, instead jump to entirely unwarranted conclusions that completely distort what the person actually said.

Everyone else here seems to have had no problem understanding what Omar said. Which leaves the burden entirely on your side.
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Last edited by Wolfman; 27th July 2020 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 27th July 2020, 08:42 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Thatís one of the things this forum is for - rational argument without undue personalization.
This coming from the person who characterized what Omar said entirely inaccurately, and used it to launch a sarcastic and unwarranted personal attack on Omar:

"OK, I think I get it - "true Muslims" are savages."
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Old 27th July 2020, 09:54 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
This coming from the person who characterized what Omar said entirely inaccurately, and used it to launch a sarcastic and unwarranted personal attack on Omar:

"OK, I think I get it - "true Muslims" are savages."
Think what you will, but no sarcasm or attack was intended. If ISIS are the true Muslims, then millions of people who consider themselves Muslim are misguided at best or just plain wrong. Iíve tried to read the Qurían, in translation, and really couldnít understand the meaning or even who was supposed to be tallking. There was a poster here with the scholarly chops to shed some light on that stuff but she had health problems and I havenít seen any posts for quite some time.

If the Taliban is right, then the moderates in Afghanistanís cities are wrong. If Westboro Baptist Church are the true Christians, then the Congregationalists are wrong and are not true Christians. Iím not sure whatís controversial about those statements.
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Old 28th July 2020, 12:56 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
Yes, I figured that was what you meant.

We could make a similar argument for extreme Christian groups who seek to take Old Testament teachings literally...they are, in some ways, more 'real Christians' than anyone else; as opposed to those who play with the scriptures to make them say something else.

I think that the important point here is that you aren't saying they are "real Muslims" to praise them...it is more saying it to reveal the violence and intolerance that are part of Islamic teachings.
Yes I don't mean to praise them by calling Taliban True Muslims
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Old 28th July 2020, 01:01 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
Yes, I figured that was what you meant.

We could make a similar argument for extreme Christian groups who seek to take Old Testament teachings literally...they are, in some ways, more 'real Christians' than anyone else; as opposed to those who play with the scriptures to make them say something else.

I think that the important point here is that you aren't saying they are "real Muslims" to praise them...it is more saying it to reveal the violence and intolerance that are part of Islamic teachings.
Yes I don't mean to praise Taliban by calling them true muslims
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Old 28th July 2020, 01:07 PM   #58
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Hi Omar, I've heard on the grapevine that you're a great guy. Does this mean you will be taking us out for burgers and chips?
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Old 28th July 2020, 01:55 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Omar View Post
Hi
It spends on the people where they live. From my point of view, maybe %60-80 people who live in country believe that Taliban are true muslims. But less than %2 people who live in cities believe that Taliban are true muslims.
I want to mention that I myself believe that Taliban and ISIS are the true Muslims. They follow whatever is the real Islam and what Muhammad says.

Taliban appeared when Afghanistan was in a very bad situation. There a civil war here and so many groups were fighting to get power and money. Taliban were created by an Iman who was also a teacher of a religious school in Kandahar province ( Mohammad Omar). At first they killed a few muggers. People thought they were good people, so they got a lot of support from people. Soon they received publicity and when they got the power, then of course, Sudi Arabia supported and helped them. Even now sudi Arabia and other Arabic countries support Taliban.
Omar, I'm very sorry and I apologize if I mischaracterized your beliefs. I never meant to call your friends and your own past self "savages." Exactly the opposite. You resisted the cult of savagery. Now, is that cult the real Islam? Are people who believe in peaceful engagement with Muslim-run countries deluded? Does engagement do more harm or good to the people of Afghanistan, Iran etc.? I don't know, I've never had the answers.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 28th July 2020, 06:19 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Exactly the opposite. You resisted the cult of savagery. Now, is that cult the real Islam?
No more so than other religions such as Christianity.
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Old 28th July 2020, 07:28 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
You resisted the cult of savagery. Now, is that cult the real Islam? Are people who believe in peaceful engagement with Muslim-run countries deluded? Does engagement do more harm or good to the people of Afghanistan, Iran etc.? I don't know, I've never had the answers.

Best of luck to you.
Omar has stated clearly that he's an atheist. Therefore, to him, a "real Islam" in terms of a religion that is based on some sort of reality is non-existent. The Koran is nonsense written by humans, and those who follow it are following nonsense. When he talks about "real Islam", he's not implying that one form is superior to another, or that one form is more real than another. They are all wrong. The only difference is in the degree of wrongness.

Just like with every other religion.

As to the other questions...Omar himself has expressed the desire -- both in this thread, and in our own conversations -- to try to introduce Secular Humanism in Afghanistan, and bring about positive change. So he obviously believes in some kind of engagement with Muslims. But please note also that in doing so, he would literally be risking his life...there are a great many Muslims in Afghanistan who would murder him for even attempting such a thing.

I would like to point out that at least for me, real change is much more likely to come about through people like Omar -- people who are a part of that culture -- than it is through outsiders. So in terms of 'engagement', I'd think that it's far, far better to support and encourage people like Omar, than to send outsiders in.

But change is going to be slow. A religion which teaches that Muslims who reject Islam must be killed is a religion that is going to be very slow to change, as even those who may have doubts will refuse to express those doubts, or pursue them.

This, to me, is what makes Omar a particularly outstanding individual...it would have been far, far easier for him to simply decide to keep following what he'd been taught, and ignore or dismiss his own doubts. To follow those doubts to their natural conclusion, and to actually take action on them, demonstrates incredible bravery.
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Old 28th July 2020, 08:29 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
Omar has stated clearly that he's an atheist. Therefore, to him, a "real Islam" in terms of a religion that is based on some sort of reality is non-existent. The Koran is nonsense written by humans, and those who follow it are following nonsense. When he talks about "real Islam", he's not implying that one form is superior to another, or that one form is more real than another. They are all wrong. The only difference is in the degree of wrongness.

Just like with every other religion.

As to the other questions...Omar himself has expressed the desire -- both in this thread, and in our own conversations -- to try to introduce Secular Humanism in Afghanistan, and bring about positive change. So he obviously believes in some kind of engagement with Muslims. But please note also that in doing so, he would literally be risking his life...there are a great many Muslims in Afghanistan who would murder him for even attempting such a thing.

I would like to point out that at least for me, real change is much more likely to come about through people like Omar -- people who are a part of that culture -- than it is through outsiders. So in terms of 'engagement', I'd think that it's far, far better to support and encourage people like Omar, than to send outsiders in.

But change is going to be slow. A religion which teaches that Muslims who reject Islam must be killed is a religion that is going to be very slow to change, as even those who may have doubts will refuse to express those doubts, or pursue them.

This, to me, is what makes Omar a particularly outstanding individual...it would have been far, far easier for him to simply decide to keep following what he'd been taught, and ignore or dismiss his own doubts. To follow those doubts to their natural conclusion, and to actually take action on them, demonstrates incredible bravery.
Yes, I understand all that.
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Old 28th July 2020, 08:37 PM   #63
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Omar, new friend, you will find that people here will jump at any excuse to argue with each other about almost anything. It's just something that you get used to.
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Old 28th July 2020, 08:48 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
No more so than other religions such as Christianity.
I don't understand your point. I'm not being snarky. What does the "no more so" relate to?
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Old 28th July 2020, 09:33 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I don't understand your point. I'm not being snarky. What does the "no more so" relate to?
They are ALL nonsense, built on lies and falsehoods.

Thus, the "real" Islam is no more "real" than any other religion.
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Old 29th July 2020, 09:54 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
They are ALL nonsense, built on lies and falsehoods.

Thus, the "real" Islam is no more "real" than any other religion.
If real Islam is ISIS, the Taliban etc. Iím not finding contemporary equivalents in other major religions.
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Old 29th July 2020, 10:23 AM   #67
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Really?!?

In Christianity, you have things like the Westboro Baptist Church, which not only preaches an extreme anti-gay message, but that believes the Bible calls for the death penalty for all homosexuals. There are many other extreme Christian leaders who similarly have advocated for the death penalty for homosexuals.

In Africa, you have Christian groups who are literally murdering children accused of being witches, or of being possessed by demons.

The Hindu faith teaches an extreme bigotry and intolerance within the caste system, where members of the lowest castes are effectively sub-human. Furthermore, it is wrong to do anything at all to help them, because their low position means they are being punished for evil in their past lives, and helping them will just mean they are punished for even longer. They must suffer.

Then there are extreme Jewish groups, who literally call Palestinians sub-human, and call for their complete extermination.

And all of these groups teach and do these things based on literal interpretations of their own scriptures -- scriptures that call for murdering homosexuals, scriptures that teach intolerance and hatred, scriptures that proclaim they are somehow 'superior' to everyone else, scriptures that teach they have the right and obligation to punish those who they believe violate those scriptures, often by killing the perceived offenders.

Any religious scriptures that were written hundreds/thousands of years ago are full of beliefs and ideologies that would be repugnant to us today. Promoting slavery. Teaching that you should kill unbelievers, or homosexuals, or others that religion finds offensive. Teaching that followers of that religion are 'chosen' by god, and are therefore superior.

Following any of those religious teachings literally today will result in abuses just as terrible as those of the Taliban. And there are extremists in every one of those religions who actively seek to do just that.

P.S. -- Just as Omar calls the Taliban "real Muslims" for following the teachings of the Koran literally, I similarly would consider groups like Westboro Baptist to be far closer to "real Christians" because they don't seek to play games or alter the scriptures to fit modern morality...they seek to follow its teachings as closely and literally as they can. The hatred, intolerance, and violence that comes as a result of such belief is indicative of the 'real' value of those scriptures.
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Old 29th July 2020, 10:36 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
What sort of religion is it that will kill people who try to leave it?
Pretty common, apostates and heretics are rarely liked all that much.
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Old 29th July 2020, 12:31 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
P.S. -- Just as Omar calls the Taliban "real Muslims" for following the teachings of the Koran literally, I similarly would consider groups like Westboro Baptist to be far closer to "real Christians" because they don't seek to play games or alter the scriptures to fit modern morality...they seek to follow its teachings as closely and literally as they can. The hatred, intolerance, and violence that comes as a result of such belief is indicative of the 'real' value of those scriptures.
I get your examples but nothing leads me to conclude that Westboro Baptist Church are the "true Christians." Are there atrocities across all faiths, yes. But Westboro takes all kinds of liberties with scripture. Westboro may think they're the true Christians (with their "God hates fags" message), but mainstream Christianity largely thinks they are a bunch of dicks. Russell Brand took them on in a taped session during which he tried to display the utmost kindness in keeping with his own brand of spirituality.

Buddhist have even gotten in on the act and I don't think it's based on anything in scripture. I find all scripture baffling and weird and self-contradictory and I don't think it's possible to take any of it "literally"; for one thing, it's filled with figurative language that can't all be literal. And millions of people who consider themselves true Muslims don't buy into the cult of bloodlust. Many - I'd say most - Jews do not believe Palestinians are subhuman.

IMO no other religion, recently, has rivaled the success of the Taliban, ISIS and Al Qaeda in promoting a certain malignant religiosity. But to say all truly religious people are genocidal, or at least steeped in bloodlust, is just not accurate, IMO. Plenty of people reject those views. You really want to compare ISIS to Westboro Baptist Church? Sorry, I don't buy it. The hatred may be the same but the scale is radically different.

If the main goal you have with Omar is to solicit emotional support from a sympathetic international community, maybe this should be in Community vs. Religion and Philosophy. Largely because that's somewhat more protected. I have no idea if the Taliban is good at tracing IP addresses, monitoring keyword use or tracking mobile phone communications. It's possible Community wouldn't help much. But if something is posted in Religion and Philosophy, having arguments about various religious viewpoints is to be expected. "ISIS are the true Muslims" is a perfectly valid debate topic. Maybe sticking to ISIS would be slightly safer for posting purposes.

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Old 29th July 2020, 07:39 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I get your examples but nothing leads me to conclude that Westboro Baptist Church are the "true Christians." Are there atrocities across all faiths, yes. But Westboro takes all kinds of liberties with scripture. Westboro may think they're the true Christians (with their "God hates fags" message), but mainstream Christianity largely thinks they are a bunch of dicks. Russell Brand took them on in a taped session during which he tried to display the utmost kindness in keeping with his own brand of spirituality.
First, please keep in mind that there is no such thing as a "true Christian". Just as there is no such thing as a "true Muslim". Since there is no god, and all of their claims are false, there's nothing to call a 'true religion'. Furthermore, even among themselves, they cannot agree who is a "true Christian/Muslim".

So your ongoing debate about whether someone is a "true Christian" or "true Muslim" entirely misses the point of what Omar, myself, and others are saying. We are only saying that if you define "true Christian/Muslim" strictly according to a literal following of their scripture, then it is the most violent/abusive ones who are the "true followers". After all, the Bible talks not only about owning slaves, but about your responsibility to beat them. It talks about murdering your own children for rebellion. It talks about genocide against other nations simply because they follow another god.

There are tons of modern interpretations that may seek to ignore or dismiss these things in terms of a more liberal, gentle message...but that doesn't make them "real Christians", since, again, the entire thing is a sham.


Quote:
Buddhist have even gotten in on the act and I don't think it's based on anything in scripture. I find all scripture baffling and weird and self-contradictory and I don't think it's possible to take any of it "literally"; for one thing, it's filled with figurative language that can't all be literal. And millions of people who consider themselves true Muslims don't buy into the cult of bloodlust. Many - I'd say most - Jews do not believe Palestinians are subhuman.
Again, you are trying to argue "what is a real [insert religion here]. That is entirely beside the point.

Buddhist teachings and scriptures, regardless of how you interpret them, are nonsense. Same with Muslims. Christians. Jews. And any other religion.
Quote:
IMO no other religion, recently, has rivaled the success of the Taliban, ISIS and Al Qaeda in promoting a certain malignant religiosity. But to say all truly religious people are genocidal, or at least steeped in bloodlust, is just not accurate, IMO. Plenty of people reject those views. You really want to compare ISIS to Westboro Baptist Church? Sorry, I don't buy it. The hatred may be the same but the scale is radically different.
And a several centuries ago, it was the Christians who were doing that. Not only murdering people of other religions, but forcing Jews and Muslims to convert to Christianity, or be murdered. Invading and pillaging entire nations in order to push their religion.

Even in modern history -- gross atrocities in Bosnia were committed by Christians and Muslims butchering each other in the name of religion. The war in Ireland was divided along religious lines, between two different Christian groups, who engaged in acts of terrorism against each other. In Africa, multiple civil wars and campaigns of genocide have been committed by Christians. And there's the aforementioned ongoing murder of children who are accused of being witches, possessed by demons, etc.

Please tell me where those things go on your "scale" of acceptability.

Times change. Different religions come and go. But the atrocities committed by Christians during the Crusades are quite arguable even worse than what the Taliban is done...if you're measuring by the scale, European Christians inflicted far more death, pain, and suffering than the Taliban has.

Quote:
If the main goal you have with Omar is to solicit emotional support from a sympathetic international community, maybe this should be in Community vs. Religion and Philosophy. Largely because that's somewhat more protected. I have no idea if the Taliban is good at tracing IP addresses, monitoring keyword use or tracking mobile phone communications. It's possible Community wouldn't help much. But if something is posted in Religion and Philosophy, having arguments about various religious viewpoints is to be expected. "ISIS are the true Muslims" is a perfectly valid debate topic. Maybe sticking to ISIS would be slightly safer for posting purposes.
The "main goal" is for Omar to have the opportunity to share his perspectives and views, and learn from others (he's very new to atheism, and has many areas he'd like to learn more. That goal is certainly not aided by people misinterpreting and misstating what he's saying...asking him questions to clarify is a far better tactic (and I do appreciate your attempt to do this more, even if you are rather obsessing on the "real Muslim" thing).

WRT the Taliban, the risk you describe is incredibly low...and given that Omar's long-term goal is to promote Secular Humanism in Afghanistan, he's going to be facing far greater risks.
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Old 30th July 2020, 12:36 AM   #71
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Some of these points may be out of order - I was doing a clumsy cut & paste. I think it's OK overall.
Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
So your ongoing debate about whether someone is a "true Christian" or "true Muslim" entirely misses the point of what Omar, myself, and others are saying. We are only saying that if you define "true Christian/Muslim" strictly according to a literal following of their scripture, then it is the most violent/abusive ones who are the "true followers".
Sure. Under that definition, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was a true Muslim. But I don't know where that leaves moderates. Deluded, maybe? I don't know enough about the Qur'an to say. Aisha, I miss you.

Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
Buddhist teachings and scriptures, regardless of how you interpret them, are nonsense. Same with Muslims. Christians. Jews. And any other religion.
GAH. I get it - Quakers are as bad as ISIS (that's a joke, but you may actually believe it.) What makes you think I've never heard of the Crusades?

Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
Please tell me where those things go on your "scale" of acceptability.
I never said anything about a scale of acceptability. Just that Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS have collectively left a HUGE regional footprint and there will be fallout for a long time. A stateless regime declaring itself to be a new global caliphate because the end is near ... not normal.

Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
The "main goal" is for Omar to have the opportunity to share his perspectives and views, and learn from others (he's very new to atheism, and has many areas he'd like to learn more.
Great. Maybe he'll learn that people will try to straw-man one's arguments. Not that I was trying. I hope he's resilient to shake off my sheer awfulness.

Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
WRT the Taliban, the risk you describe is incredibly low...and given that Omar's long-term goal is to promote Secular Humanism in Afghanistan, he's going to be facing far greater risks.
What makes you so certain he is safe? In China, if he was criticizing the CCP, they'd be all over it. In Iran, you could probably get away with certain things. In Afghanistan, I have no idea.
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Old 30th July 2020, 07:05 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
But there is a famous fallacy in logic called ďNo true Scotsman.Ē
The best advice I can give is to deeply familiarize yourself with this. You'll find others using it to say "no True [adherent] would approve of [horrific practice]" while you point to the part of their sacred text that specifically calls for that horrific practice. You'll find yourself using it when you say "no True [adherent] would [message of tolerance]" while they point to the part of their sacred text that specifically calls for tolerance. Recognizing its use is useful all around.
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Old 30th July 2020, 06:36 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
The best advice I can give is to deeply familiarize yourself with this. You'll find others using it to say "no True [adherent] would approve of [horrific practice]" while you point to the part of their sacred text that specifically calls for that horrific practice. You'll find yourself using it when you say "no True [adherent] would [message of tolerance]" while they point to the part of their sacred text that specifically calls for tolerance. Recognizing its use is useful all around.
I think I generally avoid making statements about who the "true" adherents are in any religion. People cherry-pick the bits they like and the schisms go on forever.
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Old 31st July 2020, 02:55 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I think I generally avoid making statements about who the "true" adherents are in any religion. People cherry-pick the bits they like and the schisms go on forever.
I agree with this but (of course there has to be a but!) with one proviso. And that is if someone tells me they are (for example) a RC I will insist on going by what that religion says rather than a person's own take on it.
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Old 31st July 2020, 12:46 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I agree with this but (of course there has to be a but!) with one proviso. And that is if someone tells me they are (for example) a RC I will insist on going by what that religion says rather than a person's own take on it.
I asked a dissident Catholic why he identified as such and he said it was his religion and he had as much right as anyone else to challenge doctrine. I respected his answer but didn't understand it. To me it seems the whole point of such a hierarchical religion is to toe the line.
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Old 1st August 2020, 03:48 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I agree with this but (of course there has to be a but!) with one proviso. And that is if someone tells me they are (for example) a RC I will insist on going by what that religion says rather than a person's own take on it.
I think that may be overdoing it a bit.
Most of the Catholics I know are basically doing the bare minimum to get into Heaven and nothing more. Most of them have never actually read the Bible, beyond what is read to them at Mass. For many of these believers, being a Catholic is merely a cultural convenience coupled with a supernatural insurance policy, rather than a zealous adherence to Catholic doctrine or Biblical laws.
I also think we should be encouraging believers to step away from the nastier parts of what is technically required and/or endorsed by the Bible. Insisting that they cannot be true Catholics if they don't own slaves etc. would be entirely counterproductive, by creating a tension between what the original religion was teaching and its more progressive (in relative terms) modern version. I would prefer not to drive these people back into the arms of the fundamentalists.
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Old 1st August 2020, 04:01 PM   #77
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Omar, I've heard that Muhammed plagiarized other religions and philosophies when he created Islam, do you know exactly what it was? It may have been from this quote "I have not been able to discover in it one single idea of value" but I can't remember exactly.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 10:40 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I asked a dissident Catholic why he identified as such and he said it was his religion and he had as much right as anyone else to challenge doctrine. I respected his answer but didn't understand it. To me it seems the whole point of such a hierarchical religion is to toe the line.
That was kind of the point of the Protestant Reformation. Religions schism all the time.
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