Some Questions From Atheists
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20-02-2018, 03:48 PM
RE: Some Questions From Atheists
(20-02-2018 03:38 PM)onlinebiker Wrote:  1. You can't be anti to something that doesn't exist.

2. No. I would only get married to a 95 year old millionairess with no family. No pre- nup.

3. Anybody who believes they have " the truth" about some nefarious, invisible, omnipotent being is playing fast and loose with the concept of truth and should be discounted at all costs.

4. If they' would quit knocking on my door on Saturday morning, they might have a chance...

5. What has the most value? I don't know. How much are you charging??
Laugh out load are you some sort of nihilist? Dismissing the questions about "value" gave me that impression.
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20-02-2018, 03:50 PM
RE: Some Questions From Atheists
(20-02-2018 03:21 PM)Hussein Wrote:  
(20-02-2018 02:50 PM)julep Wrote:  I am not anti-religion, but neither am I indifferent about religion. I've seen religion damage people badly. I'm one of the damaged, in fact.

I'm sorry to hear it. But I'd be interested to know how religion has harmed you? of course if you feel comfortable to talk about it. Harming others by my religion is among my greatest fears. So I'd like to learn about it.

A brief and far from comprehensive peek:

I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian household in the south United States. My religion taught that my natural state as a human, and especially as a female, was repulsive to god, that every impulse I had was sinful. Any earthly pleasure...sunshine, a song, a book...was at best a distraction from what should be my proper focus, which was to be on god; at worse it was a way for the devil to get me. I was taught that as a female, I was morally inferior to all males; I was to submit myself to them. I was taught that if any male had a sexual impulse towards me, it was because I had led him on in some way. I was told that my high school science teachers were teaching me lies; I was told that black people had been deemed inferior by god; I was told lie after lie after lie.

My sect believed in "spare the rod, spoil the child" (although my father preferred a belt or occasionally his fist) so there was a lot of physical punishment to keep me on the straight and narrow.

What harm did this cause? It made it very difficult for me to enjoy being alive. It kept me preoccupied with my grimy soul and the need to cleanse it when I could have been helping others. It made it hard for me to form healthy romantic relationships. It made me judgmental and neglectful of wonderful people who could have used my friendship or support. It took years for me to work my way through it and understand what had happened to me, to finally be able to open to the world and take an active position.

Not everyone who grows up a fundamentalist Christian has this experience. Some people are a better fit, some people have more functional families than mine. My circumstances are a combination of family dynamics and religion and culture. Still, the messages of my childhood--"you are a vile sinner, females are inferior, the world is a trap"--run throughout Christianity. They are damaging to straight A students like me who take them seriously enough to try to live according to them.
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20-02-2018, 05:34 PM (This post was last modified: 20-02-2018 07:56 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Some Questions From Atheists
(20-02-2018 02:15 PM)Hussein Wrote:  
(20-02-2018 01:29 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The absence of something (theism) doesn't define me in any way.
I can't answer any question "as an atheist".

That's an interesting and insightful point Shy Thank you for that.

Quote:I have a question for you, however.
As a self-identified Muslim, what is the mental algorhythm you use, when you decide to ignore (if you do) certain parts of your holy book that promote violence ?

I do not ignore any part of the Qur'an, however, my interpretation might significantly vary from someone who perceives radical violence in the Qur'an.

In general I'm not absolutely anti-violence, following the teachings of the Qur'an, I believe violence is not only permissible, but necessary in case of defense and against the oppressor. I also find this stance to be reasonable independent of my religion.

Hope that answers your question.

It doesn't.
See below. Take any two or three and describe how it is you rationalize what is clearly written there. (If you claim "times have changed" tell us when that happened, and how one decides "times have changed")


"Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)

"Slay them wherever you find them...Idolatry is worse than carnage...Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God's religion reigns supreme." (Surah 2:190-)

"Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)

"Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)

"Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)

""Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)

"Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it." (Surah 2:216)

"Believers, do not make friends with any but your own people...They desire nothing but your ruin....You believe in the entire Book...When they meet you they say: 'We, too, are believers.' But when alone, they bite their finger-tips with rage." (Surah 3:118, 119)

"Forbidden to you are...married women, except those you own as slaves." (Surah 4:20-, 24-)

Seek out your enemies relentlessly." (Surah 4:103-)

"Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

"It ill becomes the idolaters [non-Muslims] to visit the mosques of God..." (Surah 9:17)

"If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein It is objectively immoral to kill innocent babies. Please stick to the guilty babies.
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20-02-2018, 06:38 PM
RE: Some Questions From Atheists
(20-02-2018 03:48 PM)Hussein Wrote:  
(20-02-2018 03:38 PM)onlinebiker Wrote:  1. You can't be anti to something that doesn't exist.

2. No. I would only get married to a 95 year old millionairess with no family. No pre- nup.

3. Anybody who believes they have " the truth" about some nefarious, invisible, omnipotent being is playing fast and loose with the concept of truth and should be discounted at all costs.

4. If they' would quit knocking on my door on Saturday morning, they might have a chance...

5. What has the most value? I don't know. How much are you charging??
Laugh out load are you some sort of nihilist? Dismissing the questions about "value" gave me that impression.

Not at all.

Once political spin artists hijacked the word value, and attached it to " family" as a great sounding but undefined buzzword - I have found value has lost it's value. Therefore any mention to it I ignore.

Unless you' re ready to count dead presidents.


It' s also entirely likely I am just yanking your chain.



Big Grin

....

I'm a double atheist. I don't believe in your god or your politician.
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20-02-2018, 06:56 PM
RE: Some Questions From Atheists
(20-02-2018 12:41 PM)Hussein Wrote:  I'd like to know your answer as an Atheist about a couple of questions. I'd be interested in the reasons behind your answers.

1. Do you categorize yourself as anti-religion/God or you are simply indifferent about it? To be more clear, would you actively oppose religion and the idea of God if you find the right opportunity? Or you just don't care about it.

As an anti-theist, I am also rather anti-religion. As far as god is concerned, I cannot be against that which does not exist. I can, however, be against the theistic concept stubbornly kept alive by the imagination of the believer. The only place I actively oppose religion is online. In real life, I don't encounter fundamentalists as I do online.

2. Would you marry a Theist?

Possibly.

3. If a Theist comes to you, interested in explaining his/her version of "the truth about God" to you, is there a chance you would take him/her seriously?

Not in the least.

4. Do you think Theists and Atheists can coexist in peace, without any sort of conflict?

Only if theists could learn to "live and let live" instead of attempting to control how others live their lives.

5. Finally, what is your most high value in life? The one with the highest priority and significance, if you can name one.

Simply to live my life to its fullest.
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20-02-2018, 08:28 PM
RE: Some Questions From Atheists
(20-02-2018 03:03 PM)Hussein Wrote:  
(20-02-2018 02:32 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  Protecting the innocent/vulnerable.

My respect for this answer Smile

How do you think we can achieve this? What method would you suggest?

ETA: This situation is very close for me. Innocent people of Yemen are struggling almost with bare hands against the US-backed Saudi, showering children with advanced US-made weapons day and night. I regularly think how I can help those innocent people and I'm struggling to figure out what is the right thing for me to do.

Thank you.

In general I think it's about attitudes, and trying to shift them in the right direction. At an individual level, we can lead by example and speak out against injustice.

I'm sorry to hear about the situation you experience. I'm afraid I don't know enough about that to be able to offer any sensible suggestions. Once situation gets to the point of such violence, I suppose that trying to change attitudes is still the way to go, but doing so is going to be a lot harder.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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20-02-2018, 11:08 PM (This post was last modified: 20-02-2018 11:20 PM by Hussein.)
RE: Some Questions From Atheists
(20-02-2018 05:34 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  It doesn't.
See below. Take any two or three and describe how it is you rationalize what is clearly written there. (If you claim "times have changed" tell us when that happened, and how one decides "times have changed")


"Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)

"Slay them wherever you find them...Idolatry is worse than carnage...Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God's religion reigns supreme." (Surah 2:190-)

"Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)

"Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)

"Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)

""Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)

"Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it." (Surah 2:216)

"Believers, do not make friends with any but your own people...They desire nothing but your ruin....You believe in the entire Book...When they meet you they say: 'We, too, are believers.' But when alone, they bite their finger-tips with rage." (Surah 3:118, 119)

"Forbidden to you are...married women, except those you own as slaves." (Surah 4:20-, 24-)

Seek out your enemies relentlessly." (Surah 4:103-)

"Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

"It ill becomes the idolaters [non-Muslims] to visit the mosques of God..." (Surah 9:17)

"If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)

I will do my best to clearly address those particular verses. I would need some free time to do so Smile

For now I just refer to two verses:

Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just. [60:8]

Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out... [60:9]

And some notes:

- There is no such thing as "unbeliever" in Qur'an. Qur'an uses the word Kafir (کافر) which means "someone who conceals [the truth]", so Kafir is an entirely different concept, some [apparent] believers might be Kafir, by concealing any sort of truth for their self-interest, unbelievers should not be counted as Kafir, if they are honest about their lack of belief. Non-Muslims who make good deeds are not considered "Kafir" in Islam and all these verses are only relevant to those who knowingly conceal the truth. In general there are great misses when Qur'an is not read in its original form.

- As in any other piece of text, verses of the Qur'an must be understood within their own context. Some of the verses you mentioned can be easily understood to be talking about self defense by investigating the surrounding verses.

- There is an important concept called Asbāb al-nuzūl (reasons of revelation), which refers to the historical context of the revelation of particular verses. Knowing this historical context can further elucidate the point that the verses about war are about self defense and against the oppressors.

- There have been instances of unlawful violence throughout the Islamic history, the last one being ISIS, I condemn them all and I think they have been against the true teachings of the Qur'an.
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21-02-2018, 12:01 AM
RE: Some Questions From Atheists
(20-02-2018 08:28 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  we can lead by example and speak out against injustice.

I find your ideas and values respectable and quite in-line what I believe to be right. An interesting question that raises for me is that how much "faith" you put into in such beliefs. Do you have such a strong faith in your values that you actively follow them and integrate them in you daily life? How much your most important value affect your daily actions?

Maybe I'm not accurate when I'm talking about "faith", but I think adhering to values, especially such idealistic values, requires some sort of faith. Reason alone wouldn't suffice IMO.

Quote:I'm sorry to hear about the situation you experience. I'm afraid I don't know enough about that to be able to offer any sensible suggestions. Once situation gets to the point of such violence, I suppose that trying to change attitudes is still the way to go, but doing so is going to be a lot harder.
Do you think violence can be a solution in extreme situations like this? I mean, do you think fighting the war can be the right choice in such circumstances?
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21-02-2018, 12:25 AM
RE: Some Questions From Atheists
(20-02-2018 03:50 PM)julep Wrote:  
(20-02-2018 03:21 PM)Hussein Wrote:  I'm sorry to hear it. But I'd be interested to know how religion has harmed you? of course if you feel comfortable to talk about it. Harming others by my religion is among my greatest fears. So I'd like to learn about it.

A brief and far from comprehensive peek:

I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian household in the south United States. My religion taught that my natural state as a human, and especially as a female, was repulsive to god, that every impulse I had was sinful. Any earthly pleasure...sunshine, a song, a book...was at best a distraction from what should be my proper focus, which was to be on god; at worse it was a way for the devil to get me. I was taught that as a female, I was morally inferior to all males; I was to submit myself to them. I was taught that if any male had a sexual impulse towards me, it was because I had led him on in some way. I was told that my high school science teachers were teaching me lies; I was told that black people had been deemed inferior by god; I was told lie after lie after lie.

My sect believed in "spare the rod, spoil the child" (although my father preferred a belt or occasionally his fist) so there was a lot of physical punishment to keep me on the straight and narrow.

What harm did this cause? It made it very difficult for me to enjoy being alive. It kept me preoccupied with my grimy soul and the need to cleanse it when I could have been helping others. It made it hard for me to form healthy romantic relationships. It made me judgmental and neglectful of wonderful people who could have used my friendship or support. It took years for me to work my way through it and understand what had happened to me, to finally be able to open to the world and take an active position.

Not everyone who grows up a fundamentalist Christian has this experience. Some people are a better fit, some people have more functional families than mine. My circumstances are a combination of family dynamics and religion and culture. Still, the messages of my childhood--"you are a vile sinner, females are inferior, the world is a trap"--run throughout Christianity. They are damaging to straight A students like me who take them seriously enough to try to live according to them.

That's quite unfortunate, it's great that you have managed to find your way to where you are now. Hope you are living at peace.

As you said it's not simply religion, there are other factors involved here I think.

Quote:"you are a vile sinner, females are inferior, the world is a trap"--run throughout Christianity
Although as a Muslim I believe in the authenticity of Christianity and Judaism in their original forms, we believe many Christian beliefs such as the inferior spiritual position of females, trinity, substitutionary atonement, etc. are all invalid and inauthentic.

However the teaching that "the world is a trap" is also present in Islam and I think if it is taught to children the right way, it can help them as they grow up. Developing strong attachment to that which is transient to experience extreme euphoria will certainly have negative consequence and I think it is the root of most the suffering in the world. So I think in some sense "the world is a trap" is not necessarily a bad teaching. What do you think?
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21-02-2018, 01:28 AM
RE: Some Questions From Atheists
At work.

Sadcryface

Nah, just kidding.

You're getting tones of good feedback.

Thumbsup
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