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I understand that Oism is against the basic tenets of religions (ie: believing in a higher power, blind faith, unconditional love, sacrifice, etc). More specifically, it's against acts of violence that aren't rooted in self-defense. It's obviously against Jihad or any other acts that harm people because of their religious beliefs.

..Makes sense.

But just as Oism isn't against all Christians, it isn't against all Muslims. It's just against the teachings of these religions that do nothing to promote independence, reason, or self-esteem. In this sense, we can't make generalizations about Muslims or Chrisitans based on just one aspect of their religions. Not all Muslims believe in Jihad (physical acts of violence against nonbelievers)- they're not ticking time bombs waiting to go off. Similarly, not all Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin- not all of them believe in harming gay people.

So statements like the one below are not consistent with Oism.. right?:
 

[...] They're Muslims! They're jihadis! Their Islamic philosophy compels them to wage continuous holy war (jihad) on the whole world -- to kill or enslave everyone!

 

It makes not a jot of difference whether or not the individual muzzies think the U.S. supports Israel too much, or fails to aid Chechnya enough against Russia, or is improperly working against the Syrian dictatorship, or isn't doing enough to overthrow the Syrian dictatorship, etc. The "reason" for the various Islamic atrocities is absolutely irrelevant. The Muslim response to all of these alleged American failures is always the same: jihad!  


I think it's important to differentiate between 'Islamic hatred' and the hatred of irrational, blind violence- if that's truly the reason why Oism is against Islam.

Edited by mdegges
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Yes, really. If you subject the two sets of values to a rigidly rational evaluation, the conclusion is that Islamic and western values are not compatible. You have to compromise and neglect parts of

Right. There are millions of Muslims in the US. Most of them don't agree with the stuff that motivated these two. The people we ought to hate (and fear) are the ones who subscribe to a particular

Aleph, I suggest you let the Muslims hash that argument out. Islam cannot be divorced from how it is practiced. So if someone within Islam is trying to reform how it is practiced, to make it benign an

Examine the doctrine and ask what kind of action it leads to when accepted.  Something to consider:

 

Let’s take a trip to the real world. Consider: Anyone who wants to draw a cartoon, write a novel, or stage a Broadway play that denigrates Mormonism is free to do it. In the United States, this freedom is ostensibly guaranteed by the First Amendment—but that is not, in fact, what guarantees it. The freedom to poke fun at Mormonism is guaranteed by the fact that Mormons do not dispatch assassins to silence their critics or summon murderous hordes in response to satire. As I have pointed out before, when The Book of Mormon became the most celebrated musical of the year, the LDS Church protested by placing ads for the faith in Playbill. A wasted effort, perhaps: but this was a genuinely charming sign of good humor, given the alternatives. What are the alternatives? Can any reader of this page imagine the staging of a similar play about Islam in the United States, or anywhere else, in the year 2013? No you cannot—unless you also imagine the creators of this play being hunted for the rest of their lives by religious maniacs. Yes, there are crazy people in every faith—and I often hear from them. But what is true of Mormonism is true of every other faith, with a single exception.  At this moment in history, there is only one religion that systematically stifles free expression with credible threats of violence. The truth is, we have already lost our First Amendment rights with respect to Islam—and because they brand any observation of this fact a symptom of Islamophobia, Muslim apologists like Greenwald are largely to blame.

 

This paragraph appears in one of Sam Harris's most recent posts (see here).   I think it speaks for itself. 

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Let me add this from an article by Alex Epstein from ARI:

http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=13279&news_iv_ctrl=1021

The near silence about the true role of Islam in motivating Islamic terrorists has two main causes: multiculturalism and religion. Multiculturalism asserts that all cultures are equal and therefore none may criticize another; intellectuals and politicians are therefore reluctant to declare the obvious superiority of Western culture to Islamic culture. And the strong commitment to religion of many Americans, especially conservatives, makes them reluctant to indict a religion as the cause of a massive evil. But if we are to identify the fundamental cause of the terrorists' actions, we must understand at least two fundamental premises of the religion they kill for.

First, Islam, like all religions, rejects reason as a means of gaining knowledge and guiding action; it holds that all important truths are grasped by faith in supernatural beings and sacred texts. The Koran explicitly states that knowledge comes from revelation, not thinking. (Christianity in pure form entails a similar rejection of reason, but it has been heavily diluted and secularized since the Renaissance.) Islam advocates the subordination of every sphere of life to religious dogma, including the legal system, politics, economics, and family life; the word "Islam" means literally: submission. The individual is not supposed to think independently but to selflessly subordinate himself to the dictates of his religion and its theocratic representatives. We have seen this before in the West--it was called the Dark Ages.

Second, as with any religion that seeks converts, a derivative tenet of Islam is that it should be imposed by force (you cannot convince someone of the non-rational). The Koran is replete with calls to take up arms in its name: "fight and slay the Pagans wherever you find them . . . those who reject our signs we shall soon cast into the fire . . . those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads . . . as to the deviators, they are the fuel of hell."

These ideas easily lead to fanaticism and terrorism. In fact, what is often referred to as the "fanaticism" of many Muslims is explicitly endorsed by their religion. Consider the following characteristics of religious fanatics. The fanatic demands unquestioning obedience to religious dogma--so does Islam. The fanatic cannot be reasoned with, because he rejects reason--so does Islam. The fanatic eagerly embraces any call to impose his dogma by force on those who will not adopt it voluntarily--so does Islam.

The terrorists are not "un-Islamic" bandits who have "hijacked a great religion"; they are consistent and serious followers of their religion."

Here is a page from ARI website with lots on Islam, Islamic Totalitarianism, etc.

http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=media_topic_islamic_totalitarianism

Edited by intellectualammo
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Examine the doctrine and ask what kind of action it leads to when accepted. 

 

I was looking at the sketpic's annotated bible vs. quran to compare the number of violent passages in each. (In both cases, some of the passages listed don't promote violence, they just tell of it, but it's interesting anyway). According to the website, the # of violent passages in the bible is 1313, and the # of violent passages in the quran is 532.

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I understand that Oism is against the basic tenets of religions (ie: believing in a higher power, blind faith, unconditional love, sacrifice, etc). More specifically, it's against acts of violence that aren't rooted in self-defense. It's obviously against Jihad or any other acts that harm people because of their religious beliefs.

..Makes sense.

But just as Oism isn't against all Christians, it isn't against all Muslims. It's just against the teachings of these religions that do nothing to promote independence, reason, or self-esteem. In this sense, we can't make generalizations about Muslims or Chrisitans based on just one aspect of their religions. Not all Muslims believe in Jihad (physical acts of violence against nonbelievers)- they're not ticking time bombs waiting to go off. Similarly, not all Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin- not all of them believe in harming gay people.

So statements like the one below are not consistent with Oism.. right?:

 

I think it's important to differentiate between 'Islamic hatred' and the hatred of irrational, blind violence- if that's truly the reason why Oism is against Islam.

Mdegges, you seem level-headed.  You need to learn to trust your own judgment before asking others. 

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I was looking at the sketpic's annotated bible vs. quran to compare the number of violent passages in each. (In both cases, some of the passages listed don't promote violence, they just tell of it, but it's interesting anyway). According to the website, the # of violent passages in the bible is 1313, and the # of violent passages in the quran is 532.

 

So why is there no organized worldwide jihad like campaign executed by Christians and Jews?  The answer lies in the actual content of the teachings of the religions.  Take the Christian example.  The words and instructions of Christ and Paul are the source of their doctrine. 

 

Love your enemies and do kindness to those who hate you (matt 5:44, Luke 6:27, 35)

Turn the other cheek (matt 5:39, luke 6:29)

coexist and have dinner with unbelievers (1 cor 10:27)

Do not judge the outsider (1 cor 5:11-12)

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders (col 4:4-6)

Do unto others .. (the golden rule) (matt 7:12, luke 6:31)

render unto Ceasar (matt 22:20-21, mark 12:16-17)

Let he who is whithout sin be the first to cast a stone.. do not condemn the sinner (John 8:3-11)..   These passage almost demand a position of dhimmitude.

 

Who are the most celebrated examples of the Christian doctrine in practice?  Don't say Timothy McVeigh or David Koresh.  They are way outside the doctrine.  Maybe Billy Graham?  Robert Schuller?   Mother Teresa and the Pope?   Not exactly jihadists.  

 

When 'The Last Temptation of Christ' was released in movie theatres?   Lot's of peaceful protesting but no violence and no fatwa against the producer.

When 'The Davinci Code' was published and later the movie was released?   The Pope issued...  no instructions for jihad.   Catholics resorted to... mere whining.   BORING!

Christians are persecuted in the muslim world and it takes an atheist to remind our American President to speak out against it or do something about it: 

 

When some peaceful muslims are targets of what seems an irrational form of persecution motivated by fear, it's the attacks perpetrated by the islamists that inspires that fear.  When many muslims riot all over the world over a movie, book or cartoon, it's the harmless blasphemy that inspires their hatred. 

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M, I I would offer a more detailed response, but I am writing on a tablet at the moment. I will respond later to elaborate on the following points:

1) There are Muslims that effectively divorce their religion from their politics. They can be valuable allies.

2) Unlike the Bible, the Koran offers it's own guide to resolving apparent contradictions. That guide favors the violent passages over the peaceful ones.

3) The Organization of Islamic Cooperation is a 57-member diplomatic organization, second in size only to the UN. The way it defines human rights presents the troubling implication that it actively promotes Islamic theocracy.

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  I think Turkey contains a lot of Muslims who are not interested in theocracy. Their leadership at the very least is interested in joining the European Union, and thus integrating with Europe economically and legally. 

 

  I don't hate muslims. I hate medievalists and anyone who would try to drag me down to that kind of barbarism. Islamic culture is just unique in that it has so much of that left in them. The rest of the medieval cultures got overturned by imperialism and statism. 

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So statements like the one below are not consistent with Oism.. right?

Right. There are millions of Muslims in the US. Most of them don't agree with the stuff that motivated these two.

The people we ought to hate (and fear) are the ones who subscribe to a particular interpretation of Islam and the Quran. However, we should not underestimate their numbers. They are still in the millions (just look around on youtube, they're all over the place, with videos and comments identical to the videos and comments these two assholes made). Not all of them take it seriously enough, or are big enough losers, to act in a suicidal manner, of course, but, given the opportunity, every single one of them would act.

That must be considered. In Muslim countries where the norm is to act on your fundamentalist beliefs, millions do act on them. Look at the state of Iran, and what happens to anyone who dares dissent in the slightest. Everywhere you turn, there's someone willing to brutally crush you for it. We must make sure that never becomes the norm here or any other country we are allied with (be it in Europe, Asia or North Africa). (it's the same with any ideology: in early 20th century Europe, millions hated the Jews, but very few acted on that hatred, until the cowardice and evasion of the people in charge of defending rights allowed for that hatred to be established as the norm - then, all of a sudden, those millions of passive, cowardly little Nazis all acted, in a manner as brutal as anything Islamists have done - not just Germans, people from all over Europe took the opportunity to brutalize and murder their neighbors).

We must all recognize such hatred, and identify it for what it is. It isn't just innocent words that could never turn into action. It's people waiting for their opportunity to commit attrocities. The only way to prevent that opportunity is to crush the ideology at its source. The source is Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen, and any other nation that provides sanctuary to the Imams and terror leaders who are the driving force behind this.

 

If your neighbor posts youtube comments about why infidels everywhere ought to be killed, know that he would not hesitate to cross the street and bash your skull in with an ax, given the right conditions. History is full of examples of neighbors who have been perfectly polite and friendly their whole lives, doing exactly that as soon as it became acceptable.

Edited by Nicky
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1) There are Muslims that effectively divorce their religion from their politics. They can be valuable allies.

 

I think the key here is whether or not the Muslim in question supports state sharia law, particularly laws that ban criticism of the religion. If they don't support freedom of speech, they will condemn cartoonists rather than violent rioters. That kind of behavior is incredibly widespread, and the kind of change it promotes is never positive. The American Islamic Forum for Democracy is an organization that accepts freedom of speech and could promote truly positive change. I'll elaborate on the other points when I have some more time.

Edited by FeatherFall
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@Craig, I'll also respond again later when I have more time.. but from your post, it seems you're implying that Christ and Paul are positive figures (or that Christianity is an overall positive religion), while Muhammad and his teachings in the Quran are not. Is that right?

 

The doctrines of Islam are extremely similar to those of Christianity, and are positive in many of the same ways. I can elaborate on this later if you'd like, but even Islam's first three pillars are followed by most Christians. Both texts are also negative in the same ways... ie: (the bible says if you're a christian, you'll be saved, but everyone who 'doesn't believe' will burn in hell. the quran says the same of those who are muslim). As to your original question: "So why is there no organized worldwide jihad like campaign executed by Christians and Jews?" - I would like to know the answer to that too. The Quran makes it pretty clear that suicide is a great sin, and that murder is absolutely prohibited: "[w]hosoever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind” (5:32). Seems bad for Islamic fundamentalists.

 

The only passage I know of in the Quran that directly tells muslims to kill infidels is this: "fight and slay the pagans (or infidels or unbelievers) wherever you find them" (9:5). Not suprisingly, many (more) passages in the bible advocate the exact same thing:"If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him.  Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you.  You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery..."  (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB).

 

Perhaps given similar conditions, Christians would be in the same situation.. led by crazies like the WBC.

Edited by mdegges
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There is no version of Islam that says you should be free to criticize the Qur'an, its just a product of human minds.There isn't a reform Judaism form of Islam. Islam is in a very different moment in its history and it is as though we are countering Christians of the 14th century. Christianity has been castrated since the Enlightenment.

Edited by Mikee
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Perhaps given similar conditions, Christians would be in the same situation.. led by crazies like the WBC.

What do you mean by "similar conditions"? Do you mean the lack of an enlightenment-like infusion of rational modernity? If so, then -- yes, it is possible. Islam had its golden age, when Islamic nations were relatively more rational than Christian ones. As Mikee said, the enlightenment changed Christianity radically.

If the enlightenment had come in (say) Egypt or Turkey, one could draw out an alternate history of modern-Muslim colonialism, with Christian countries remaining poorer and more traditional, followed by a use of Christianity as a support for nationalism and for dictatorships.

Nevertheless, in terms of doctrine, there are some differences in Islam and Christianity. Doctrine is not just what the first guru taught, but also how subsequent generations interpreted it. Firstly, Mohammed was a political and military leader in a time of tribal warfare. Jesus was part of a colonized people, and did not advocate civil-disobedience, let alone rebellion. Christianity remained the ideology of a minority, oppressed people until the Romans adopted it four centuries later. Islam -- by the time Mohammed died -- was the ideology of the Caliphs. So, there are some differences in ideologies of the initiators and also of the the first few generations.

In the beginning, Christianity was a Jewish sect, but Post-Roman Christians could easily shake off the old-testament, and treat all those pre-Jesus texts like they were open to human interpretation. Islam has more layers to remove, but it would have happened there too. (Here's an attempt by one scholar.) Unfortunately, the politics of the Islamic world largely encouraged a more extreme rather than a more modern interpretation... and that's where we stand today. A century from now, the middle east would probably have accepted many more modern ideas, but we are here, now.

Edited by softwareNerd
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I think the key here is whether or not the Muslim in question supports state sharia law, particularly laws that ban criticism of the religion. If they don't support freedom of speech, they will condemn cartoonists rather than violent rioters. That kind of behavior is incredibly widespread, and the kind of change it promotes is never positive. The American Islamic Forum for Democracy is an organization that accepts freedom of speech and could promote truly positive change. I'll elaborate on the other points when I have some more time.

A dear friend of mine who is a native of Iran has told me more than once that Islam does not recognize any division between church and state and that is one of its strengths. Any Muslim you know who says otherwise is fooling him/herself.

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A dear friend of mine who is a native of Iran has told me more than once that Islam does not recognize any division between church and state and that is one of its strengths. Any Muslim you know who says otherwise is fooling him/herself.

Neither does Christianity. Christian churches make suggestions on how the government should be run all the time. We just ignore them.
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Aleph, I suggest you let the Muslims hash that argument out. Islam cannot be divorced from how it is practiced. So if someone within Islam is trying to reform how it is practiced, to make it benign and non-political, you'd do well to get out of his way if you can't help him.

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2) Unlike the Bible, the Koran offers it's own guide to resolving apparent contradictions. That guide favors the violent passages over the peaceful ones.

I thought there was a quote from the Koran that explained later passages in conflict with earlier ones negate the earlier ones, but it seems I was mistaken. There is a relevant concept called Naskh, or abrogation, which, as far as I can tell, is an interpretive doctrine that Koran-nerds can argue over. In other words, people have to apply logic to explain away the contradictory directives (do this or don't do that, not this is or this isn't). The funny thing is, the Koran is just one guy's revelations. The differing circumstances surrounding each pronouncement start to paint a consistent picture of a Machiavellian quest for political power. Do the unbelievers outnumber you in the city? Don't kill them. Can you ambush them on the road? Kill ten of them for every one of you. Have the upper hand? Ok, kill them two to one instead of ten to one. Contrast that to the revelations of a handful of Judeo-Christian prophets, retold through many different messengers. Unity through the application of context becomes much harder.

Edited by FeatherFall
grammar/clarity
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It is foolish to allow for full open borders and immigration.

I was just today thinking how dumb is this viewpoint. Are terrorists going to become easier or harder to stop if they try to base more of their operations here in the US?

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Neither does Christianity. Christian churches make suggestions on how the government should be run all the time. We just ignore them.

"render to Caesar that which is Caesar's and render to God that which is God's." I am an atheist but your claim is contradicted by the New Testament. Yes, there are some who wish to legislate morality, but that is already widespread amongst even atheists. We (as a country) legislate against gambling, drugs, prostitution and much more. There is precious little that has been accomplished by the politically religious in this country. These are a trifle compared to the statist left.

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@Craig, I'll also respond again later when I have more time.. but from your post, it seems you're implying that Christ and Paul are positive figures (or that Christianity is an overall positive religion), while Muhammad and his teachings in the Quran are not. Is that right?

 

The doctrines of Islam are extremely similar to those of Christianity, and are positive in many of the same ways. I can elaborate on this later if you'd like, but even Islam's first three pillars are followed by most Christians. Both texts are also negative in the same ways... ie: (the bible says if you're a christian, you'll be saved, but everyone who 'doesn't believe' will burn in hell. the quran says the same of those who are muslim). As to your original question: "So why is there no organized worldwide jihad like campaign executed by Christians and Jews?" - I would like to know the answer to that too. The Quran makes it pretty clear that suicide is a great sin, and that murder is absolutely prohibited: "[w]hosoever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind” (5:32). Seems bad for Islamic fundamentalists.

 

The only passage I know of in the Quran that directly tells muslims to kill infidels is this: "fight and slay the pagans (or infidels or unbelievers) wherever you find them" (9:5). Not suprisingly, many (more) passages in the bible advocate the exact same thing:"If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him.  Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you.  You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery..."  (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB).

 

Perhaps given similar conditions, Christians would be in the same situation.. led by crazies like the WBC.

 

The majority of Christian denominations (in America at least) believe that the teachings of Jesus have supplanted Old Testament verses like this. There are some radical Christian sects that don't (like Christian Reconstructionism), but most Christians see verses like this as part of their history, not part of their doctrine.

It takes more to understand a religion than just reading its holy book.

Edit: Just found the name for this doctrine (that Old Testament verses are largely not applicable to today's Christians): Dispensationalism

Edited by Dante
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Edit: Just found the name for this doctrine (that Old Testament verses are largely not applicable to today's Christians): Dispensationalism

I have recently had renewed opportunities to hang around the religious culture from my childhood, and I have been surprised by all the new crap they've made up. They make up new terms for elaborations of terms that they made up! It sounds like nonsense when they argue, the terms mixed with all the false ideas and argument tactics.

As far as I can tell, if anything the new Christians are all about "the true love of Christ." They even try to separate themselves from traditional church. The most they would probably try to force on others would be to teach their kids lies in school. They definitely consider the most obvious nonsense in the Bible as explained by rationalistic interpretations and just simple historical fact, as opposed to literal doctrine.

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