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[First posted somewhere else September, 2004] NEWS ITEM: ISLAM AND ALL RELIGIONS FORBID VIOLENCE.

This unfortunate article was penned by Shirin Ebadi, Iran's Nobel (REDFLAG) Peace Laureate. This dried up piece of third world baggage has the temerity to state, '...all religions forbid terrorism and violence...' Ask Mohammed (who, we are told, is still living in paradise) what he'd think of the foregoing and one wouldn't possess a head for long. Just to be balanced one can be certain that the Borgia Popes, Henry VIII, or Joshua would have reacted similarly.

The gallant lady goes on to lament '...that certain Islamic governments are not prepared to accept an interpretation of Islam (based on the dreaded al Qur'an and Hadith)-parenthesis ours- that is compatible with democracy and human rights.'

If Islam sanctioned democracy and individual rights there would be no more Islamic 'faith'. Mullas, imams, and ayotolahs aren't so blind that they can't see the infrared search lights illuminating their salubrious demise.

Ebadi marches on to insist that, '...no country needs the atomic bomb...' What she means is that America should not maintain nuclear weapons while Iran needs one to obliterate Tel Aviv.

She also blathers that the '...atrocities committed in Bosnia and Israel cannot be attributed to the Christian or Jewish faiths...' Ebadi is correct on her last point; members of the Jewish faith do not bomb pizzerias, discos, and and commuter busses.

One would do well to consult al-Qur'an. Sura 47, verse 36, wherein allah ranks the merits of human life and achievement that eschew mystic brutality, 'Verily the life of this world is no more than sport and frivolity. If you believe in Allah,...' 911 was a poignant display of Moslem sport and frivolity.

This is an archetypal page from the Moslem playbook. If one is just, according to Islam, the mass murder of non-combatants is not a bad thing.

When one deals with Islam he's playing with a malignant, criminal, pathology that trivialises human life.

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Many Christians -- in Europe and even in the US -- think that US should never have invaded Iraq. Many Hindus think the same. Many Muslims too.

Many muslims would deride western values, yet they do not think Osama is right.

Similary, many orthodox jews would deride western values, yet they do not think Osama is right.

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I'm not sure what your point is. If it is that Islam isn't compatible with individualism and freedom, there's nothing new in what this woman wrote.

For those who want to keep an up-to-date watch on what Muslim's across the world are saying, check out MEMRI (an Israeli service that translates articles and papers written in Arabic) or the Charles Johnson blog, Little Green Footballs. For that matter, look at what they say themselves at sites like CAIR's. Chilling.

I think it is more significant that the US is once again dealing with the Palestinian terrorists -- to the point of giving them money ... lots and lots of money. We never seem to learn; or, rather, we continue to be worshippers of the wish that these people will deal honestly.

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As would the death of Christianity and Hinduism.

All religions bring much happiness to billions of people around the world. To hope for their demise is lunacy. Do you propose the fulfilling culture of consumerism in its place? It gives billions of people fulfillment and you want to take that away!?! The fact is that current interpertations of certain religious docterines is what is to be hoped away. Of course the imposition of a religion by force is awful and if it leads to violence all the worse. However to urge its utter destruction is unfair to the people whose life is defined by it.

Also it is worth mentioning that while Western society was rotting away under the Church during the Middle Ages, Islamic society was flourishing. Books have been written on those advances that Islamic society produced. It is more than ovbious that Islam can be compatible with progress albeit not in the present form that we in the western world have been accustomed to.

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All religions bring much happiness to billions of people around the world. To hope for their demise is lunacy. Do you propose the fulfilling culture of consumerism in its place?

Consumerism is a false alternative to faith. The alternative to faith is reason. The proposal would be to replace faith with rational thought. Consumerism is already here and it makes people happy too, along with providing them with things the REALLY need.

Religions are also responsible for other things besides happiness. You may attempt to portray religion in it's most favorable light, but people on here aren't going to let that go by.

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All religions bring much happiness to billions of people around the world.

Oh yes. Like those burned at the stake. Those stoned to death. Those who are told masturbation and sex are sins. Those who live in fear of random smitings from the sky. Those who "enjoy" lack of sanitation, medicine, science. Those victims of human sacrifice to appease gods of the sky. Those who worship cows.

Get real.

I smell flamebait.

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Consumerism is a false alternative to faith.  The alternative to faith is reason.  The proposal would be to replace faith with rational thought.  Consumerism is already here and it makes people happy too, along with providing them with things the REALLY need.

Religions are also responsible for other things besides happiness.  You may attempt to portray religion in it's most favorable light, but people on here aren't going to let that go by.

Does consumerism make people happy? How come the rich and famous who have ovbiously benefitted the most from consumerism are often unhappy? Afterall they are the ultimate example of consumerism and materialistic. Take a look a look at people in Hollywood looking for alternative lifesyles ie Maddonna and Kabbala etc.

Thanks for the head up.

Yes. Absolutely. I would say the fulfillment they get from it is about equivalent to the "fulfillment" a heroin junkie gets, and is about as healthy.

Heroin junkies do something incredibly dangerous and eventually become a burden on the government and society. The majority of religious people who I know are fully functioning people and members of society. I suppose you would advocate the abolition of of computer games as well. How many atheistic charities and hospitals are you familiar with? Do you rationalists give money and services to the needy the way Jewish and Cathoic organisations (to name a few) do?

Oh yes.  Like those burned at the stake.  Those stoned to death.  Those who are told masturbation and sex are sins.  Those who live in fear of random smitings from the sky.  Those who "enjoy" lack of sanitation, medicine, science.  Those victims of human sacrifice to appease gods of the sky.  Those who worship cows.

Get real.

I smell flamebait.

I didn't say that religion should impose itself forcefully. Thats why we have Democracy and individual liberties, at least in the West. I didn't say that religion in government is good. Sorry, I am talking about religion where people decide that that is what they want, not out of fear of projectiles.

Your impression of religion might be slightly biased not to mention ignorant, "random smiting from the sky??" You are using a random example and pinning it on all faiths. It is ovbious that all believers do not live in the miserable state that you describe. I am talking about religion in general, not pathetic examples. I am defending religion in general as a way of life, not specifics that apply to some but not all faiths.

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Does consumerism make people happy?

Oh, boy... another person named "punk" who rails against "consumerism." Please take your thinly veiled attacks on Capitalism elsewhere.

Heroin junkies do something incredibly dangerous and eventually become a burden on the government and society.
I would consider the acceptence of openly irrational ideas ("faith") to be dangerous. Not as immediately dangerous as heroin, but dangerous in the same way and for the same reasons.

I suppose you would advocate the abolition of of computer games as well.

What on earth would cause you to suppose that?

How many atheistic charities and hospitals are you familiar with? Do you rationalists give money and services to the needy the way Jewish and Cathoic organisations (to name a few) do?
I am not too familiar with charity in general. I consider charities, by and large, to be a bunch of crooks and con-men who give money to those who LEAST deserve it. We here are Objectivists and are ABSOLUTELY NOT "Rationalists." We are advocates of reason, if that is what you mean.

I am defending religion in general as a way of life, not specifics that apply to some but not all faiths.

The only thing that applies to all faiths is faith itself. Which is the antethesis of reason. Since we here are advocates of reason, maybe you had better take your defense elsewhere. It won't fly here.

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However to urge its utter destruction is unfair to the people whose life is defined by it.

Islamic society was flourishing. Books have been written on those advances that Islamic society produced. It is more than ovbious [sic] that Islam can be compatible with progress albeit not in the present form that we in the western world have been accustomed to.

There's something wrong with your conclusions. First, the notion that 'utter destruction' of a social system devised by a mystically inclined mass-murderer and serial rapist child molestor [i.e. Mohammed d. c.e. 632] isn't moral is untenable. Second, any homey, schmo, paisan, greeek, or fellah can write a book; any 'advances'-e.g.: plane trigonometry imputed to Islamic 'society' are not attributable to 'Islamic' anything; these apocryphally documented achievements belong to the foreign hellenistic civilisation that enriched smarter than average Caliphs. Their legacy was incinerated by al-Ghazali (Acqinas's moslem antipode) c. 1095.

Averring that a kindlier, gentler interpretation of al-Qur'an would be a salutary adjunct to Western Civilisation is more dangerously silly than hallucinating Mein Kampf is logical. <_<

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I didn't say that religion should impose itself forcefully.

Whether people submit to religion voluntarily or by force is not the issue. The issue is whether religion is good for man.

Religion as such is a pox on humanity. Our very survival depends on reason, while religion upholds the denial of reason (i.e., faith) as the highest virtue. What could be more inhuman than blessing a death sentence on man?

Your impression of religion might be slightly biased not to mention ignorant, "random smiting from the sky??" You are using a random example and pinning it on all faiths. It is ovbious that all believers do not live in the miserable state that you describe. I am talking about religion in general, not pathetic examples. I am defending religion in general as a way of life, not specifics that apply to some but not all faiths.
Ignorant? What the hell do you know about me, pal? You're not qualified to judge my level of knowledge about anything.

The examples pick out just a few of the very real consequences of taking religion seriously, literally, and as consistently as possible. Many people (like most Americans) embrace a mix of religion and reason. They don't integrate their lives, living by one standard on Sunday mornings and by another during the rest of the week. So one cannot look to their happiness (if such is the case) as evidence that religion leads to happiness. I could just as easily argue (and with far more merit) that to the extent someone is truly happy, they are not religious.

What is "religion in general", if we can't look at real examples? I'll tell you: it's a fantasy, a wish, an abstract idea divorced from reality. You call my examples "pathetic"; is that your idea of an argument? Name calling just shows how feeble your position really is. You may not like those examples, but they are very real.

Incidentally, "happiness" is not the blank stare of an Eastern mystic contemplating Nirvana. It is a state that has to be earned through hard work, across the length and breadth of one's life. It can only be achieved through a committment to dealing with reality, to acting according to one's best judgement of the facts -- in a word, through reason.

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I am talking about religion in general, not pathetic examples. I am defending religion in general as a way of life, not specifics that apply to some but not all faiths.

Religion as a way of life, as history has demonstrated, is universally pathetic. If not for rational Greek thought conquering 'religion' you wouldn't have a computer let alone the opinions to type into that computer.

There may be an excuse for religion but never a reason.

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