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The Quran Quontroversy

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Stephanos
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25 posted 01-18-2007 01:57 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Honestly, I don't know. You might well be right. But I'm going to continue to judge, be it religions or politics or personal relationships, not just by words that can so easily be twisted and misunderstood, but rather by actions. What people do has meaning.


I thought we were questioning the doctrine of the Koran, not merely what people do.  Do I commend Muslims who supercede the sternness of the Koran, in order to be loving and peaceful?  Certainly.  I'm just not so sure that's a Koranic prescription at all, unlike the contrast we have in the Bible.


You're chiding me for judging people ... but I'm not judging anything but what I percieve as unmitigated prescriptions to violence.  You say that Muslims have a right, perhaps even a duty to see a "deeper" meaning.  I'm just arguing that it's not unreasonable to believe that that "deeper" meaning is extra-Koranic ... coming from somewhere else.


We agree on everything else, perhaps we should just leave it at that, until we're willing to examine the Koran in some detail?


But I would like to point out that in the spirit of your present complaint against my doubts of the Koran, I could likewise say that no one should criticize the Satanic Verses as long as Satanists play nice.  You might reply that these two are obviously different.  But nothing is obvious until we discuss texts is it?  That's my point.


The impossibility of textual superiority is the only thing that you seem to be saying, which I am denying.  We're pretty much in agreement otherwise.  Though with a 600 year late-entry text that states Jesus never even died, I don't understand how you can avoid at least saying "that's wrong" every once and a while.  
  

Stephen.
Ron
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26 posted 01-18-2007 03:12 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I thought we were questioning the doctrine of the Koran, not merely what people do.

One is a reflection of the other, Stephen. In my opinion, how people live their lives is a better reflection of their beliefs than a cursory examination of their texts. That's my whole point.

quote:
You're chiding me for judging people ... but I'm not judging anything but what I percieve as unmitigated prescriptions to violence.  You say that Muslims have a right, perhaps even a duty to see a "deeper" meaning.  I'm just arguing that it's not unreasonable to believe that that "deeper" meaning is extra-Koranic ... coming from somewhere else.

I guess I'm not being clear. No, I'm not chiding you for judging people, Stephen. My argument is that it's much more reasonable to assume that you are wrong than to assume they are. Just as I think they would be wrong if a Muslim suggested a Divine Trinity was clearly derived from something extra-Biblical. Paddling a boat on the surface reveals only what is floating near that surface and the Trinity, like much else in the Bible, is found only in deeper waters.

quote:
But I would like to point out that in the spirit of your present complaint against my doubts of the Koran, I could likewise say that no one should criticize the Satanic Verses as long as Satanists play nice. You might reply that these two are obviously different.

If the way people live is at odds with my interpretation of their texts, then clearly one of us has misinterpreted. Is it me, with maybe twenty hours of study? Or them with some twenty years? Hindu, Muslim, or Satanist, Stephen, I don't pretend to know their religion better than they.


Stephanos
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27 posted 01-18-2007 03:27 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Stephen, I don't pretend to know their religion better than they.


Neither do I Ron.  It's no small number of Muslims who recognize the Koranic prescriptions to literal Jihad as a path of virtue.


I'm just more confident that one doesn't have to be a 20 year loyalist to correctly discern what the text says.  And the very fact that many long standing muslims and myself have the very same of view of the Koran (that it does indeed prescribe violence) proves my point.  


To the text, to the text.


Denise has already layed out scriptures which (on the surface) appear to sanction violence in the name of Allah.  Now it's your turn to show the other side, textually.  If you can't, you can't assume that someone else is misunderstanding the Koran.  


An Anti-trinitarian can be shown the verses in the Bible which teach the triunity of God in a matter of hours or minutes.  That's not to say that his mind will be changed.  It's just to say that there is presentable data which doesn't take 20 years to set forth.  I for one, am asking to see the counter argument from the Koran.


And your too-general argument for egalitarian texts doesn't get me there.  To me, it all sounds like just another expression of the popular philosophical truism "you can't be right, and still be right".  The fact that you're willing to suggest that the Satanic verses might be upstanding if we only had time to understand them, proves my point.


Let's hear textual discussion here, or nothing.  I'm not interested in that kind of philosophy.  We already agree that violence in the name of religion is wrong.  I just happen to doubt that the nature of a text is unknowable, while you hold to a certain agnosticism.  I guess as long as we disagree on that, the discussion of texts is moot anyway?            


Stephen.  
Ron
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28 posted 01-18-2007 04:42 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
It's no small number of Muslims who recognize the Koranic prescriptions to literal Jihad as a path of virtue.

And there are no small number of Christians out there ready to kill witches, Stephen. The outliers prove nothing.

quote:
An Anti-trinitarian can be shown the verses in the Bible which teach the triunity of God in a matter of hours or minutes.  That's not to say that his mind will be changed.  It's just to say that there is presentable data which doesn't take 20 years to set forth.

Really? Then why did the First Council of Nicaea wait over 300 years to meet? Why is it, nearly two thousand years later, we still have Binitariansim, Unitarianism, and the Church of Latter Day Saints?

Maybe, Stephen, it only seems simple to you because it's the way you've lived your entire life? Maybe the references seem so easily presentable because you know right where to look, having studied under a very long chain of Christian teachers, one dating back thousands of years? Have you approached Islam with the same dedication and open mind?

quote:
To me, it all sounds like just another expression of the popular philosophical truism "you can't be right, and still be right".  The fact that you're willing to suggest that the Satanic verses might be upstanding if we only had time to understand them, proves my point.

I didn't say that, and you're still missing my point if you think I did.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I'm going to treat it like a duck. If someone points out a few birds on the fringes who are trying to climb trees, I'm not going to assume that all ducks have opposing thumbs and prehensile tails.

Sometimes, the few are right and the many are wrong. But I still think that's the exception, not the rule.

quote:
I just happen to doubt that the nature of a text is unknowable, while you hold to a certain agnosticism.

Not at all, Stephen. Many a time over the years, we've compared Scripture and, I hope, learned from each other in the process. Text is knowable, if not always absolutely then absolutely always. But you aren't going to learn how to quack by trying to climb trees, either.

Would you be willing to post your opinions on the Quran at a predominately Muslim forum? What do you think their reactions would be to your conclusions?


rwood
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29 posted 01-18-2007 05:52 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Wow.

How many doctrines, non/denominations, sects, and cults have come from the three main groups of Christianity? Non of them follow or base their beliefs on the same exact things.
Just in my lifetime:

Jim Jones led plenty to their death.

David Koresh of the Branch Davidians is questionable.

Several bombings and shootings from religious fanatics upon abortion clinics.

Portions of the Catholic church are still trying to recover from shame.


I'm more afraid of what people try to Make UP in the Bible, than what stands as clear text. Clearly, not all text is followed in today's age, same as what's in the Quran.

Rationale is terribly clouded, I agree, if people are "recruited" into things, but that doesn't make every believer a threat, or else we'd all be put to the stakes.

As far as threats within their text? Well, text for text, Psalms 23 still gives me great comfort.

Books don't kill people, the same as guns don't kill people, which there are apprx 15,000+ homicides per year in America, and many of them have yet to crack their first book of any kind of scripture.

P.S. When I was traveling in Europe this past May, I had a lady walk up and sit down in her seat on our flight. She seemed sane and altogether harmless on 1st impressions. She saw me reading the bible, asked where I was headed, she was American from Indiana, small talk, then she began to tell me how I needed to be careful traveling in Europe, because "The end of time is near and the yellow people are taking over the world. Don't trust any of them. Says so in the bible!" Not that she scared me, but the look I gave her scared her.
Stephanos
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30 posted 01-19-2007 12:57 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron:
quote:
And there are no small number of Christians out there ready to kill witches, Stephen. The outliers prove nothing.



You're right. This does prove nothing.  That's my point, the text sets forth the prescriptive element of a religion, in spite of misinterpretation and examples of deviance.  And that text still has influence for good or ill, apart from those who twist it ... which makes a discussion of a religious text itself a valid one.  


quote:
Then why did the First Council of Nicaea wait over 300 years to meet?


Because that's when the heresy of Arianism reared it's head.  The Council of Nicea did not establish the deity of Christ, but defended it.  I'm not saying it was simple, but that's no reason to doubt that we can reasonably know whether a text prescribes violence or not.


quote:
Why is it, nearly two thousand years later, we still have Binitariansim, Unitarianism, and the Church of Latter Day Saints?


Why do we have any wrong system of belief Ron?  You can't forever point to mistakes to show that no one can be correct.  You know that I'm ready to discuss any of these Christian heresies and why they are heresies.  But doubtless we would have to discuss the text again, rather than just debate our personal philosophies of behavior.  


quote:
Have you approached Islam with the same dedication and open mind?


I've studied the Koran more than you might think, and have already seen glaring examples of historical reconstruction.  It almost seems like you're telling me I would have to be converted to Islam before I could explain to someone else why I wouldn't want to convert to Islam.  By your standards Biographers should be disqualified because they don't happen to be the person they write about.  And autobiography isn't always a more accurate picture than biography, by the way.


quote:
If someone points out a few birds on the fringes who are trying to climb trees, I'm not going to assume that all ducks have opposing thumbs and prehensile tails.



Then you're misunderstanding me.  I'm not talking about the ducks as much as some book I've seen which seems to give them climbing lessons.  A commentary on a text's moral prescription is valid.  You could quit what you're doing here and argue "You're wrong Stephen. The Koran does not teach that.  See here ...".  But thus far, only your personal philosophy of behavior I am hearing.


The thing is Denise began a textual discussion, which you've declined.  If we're making mistakes with the Koran, then we would like to hear counter-arguments, not be scolded for actually thinking a text can be understood.


quote:
Sometimes, the few are right and the many are wrong. But I still think that's the exception, not the rule.


Are you so sure that Muslims who believe in literal Jihad are few?  Remember that there are probably many more who see terrorists as their leaders and representatives, who shy from the "martyrdom" themselves.  There may be many admirers and much silent approval.  I'm not saying all Muslims are this way.  But the question of what constitutes the majority is one which you seem pretty sure of.  Are you?


My only observation is that the Koran seems to prescribe this kind of violence, and doesn't seem to offer much to counter that prescription.  I'm still open to be persuaded, but not by philosophy.


quote:
Would you be willing to post your opinions on the Quran at a predominately Muslim forum? What do you think their reactions would be to your conclusions?


Interesting question isn't it, considering the subject matter of our discussion.  It would depend on the temperment of those to whom I was writing.  I can honestly say that, if asked, I would tell the truth of what I saw and give an invitation to further discussion.


Look, haven't we gone around enough on this one?  Let's agree to disagree and move on.  But just to satisfy me and Denise (and others perhaps), let's someday start a thread on the Koran and invite Muslims to participate.  It's not about religion-bashing, but about arriving at the truth.  


You might view such a thread (or even the desire for one) as frivolous or unproductive, but I disagree.  I haven't stated that I can learn nothing more, only my impressions up until now.  


I've never said I wasn't willing to hear.  I haven't heard anything yet, that's all.  And Ron, as much as I appreciate you (really) and respect your personal views on how we should conduct ourselves, I've already heard that a few times.     So go ahead and dust off your Koran, or else let's move on to something else?  


Stephen.
serenity blaze
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31 posted 01-19-2007 10:01 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Why on earth would anyone want to force someone to make an oath on something that is meaningless to them?

This confuses me. You might as well ask them to swear on a copy of "Alice in Wonderland".

As for all of this literalist interpretation of The Bible, (and that very annoying quote) if yer gonna go literalist, go all the way. Some nuance has been lost in translation.
fixed link  



And interesting, that bit about the Hippocratic Oath--

quote:
I swear by ∆sculapius, Hygeia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgement, the following Oath.


whoa. "all the gods, all the goddesses"?

Talk about covering yer arse! Hippocrates must have foreseen the current aspect of our litigious society, eh?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocratic_Oath

And btw? Witch burners? Y'can call off the barbecue. Rumor has it this witch is already burnt.

My Goddess gave birth to your God.


Oh calm down, it's a bumper sticker I have on my desk. But if that smacked of disrespect, imagine how I feel. I have received that witch burning quote a kzillion times in my inbox, always from some temporary address, too.

And shame on me, I really bought into that whole "freedom of religion" thing.

*shaking my head*

and thanks Ron, for fixing the link for me. Maybe one day Pete can teach me that too. *grin*


[This message has been edited by serenity blaze (01-21-2007 02:36 PM).]

Brad
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32 posted 01-20-2007 04:02 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Karen,

I was trying to say that a few posts back. Is the point is so obvious that it's not even worth considering? Yes, he should use the Quran, but what seems to turn people on is whether that book is as good as 'our' book.

At the same time, it seems we all have copies of the Quran in our homes. How many Muslims living in Saudi Arabia or Egypt can say they own a Bible?

It's difficult to square my personal experience with Muslims and the violent things said by extremists and the interpretations presented here. Suffice to say, I've never met a Muslim that didn't come off as open and friendly.

And yet, the difference, perhaps, isn't in the difference between texts but between our respective degrees of secularization:

quote:
In 1981, the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt called for an end to scientific education. In the areas of science I know best, though there are talented scientists of Muslim origin working productively in the West, for forty years I have not seen a single paper by a physicist or astronomer working in a Muslim country that was worth reading. This is despite the fact that in the ninth century, when science barely existed in Europe, the greatest centre of scientific research in the world was the House of Wisdom in Baghdad.

Alas, Islam turned against science in the twelfth century. The most influential figure was the philosopher Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali, who argued in The Incoherence of the Philosophers against the very idea of laws of nature, on the ground that any such laws would put Godís hands in chains. According to al-Ghazzali, a piece of cotton placed in a flame does not darken and smoulder because of the heat, but because God wants it to darken and smoulder. After al-Ghazzali, there was no more science worth mentioning in Islamic countries

Adeadlycertitude

So, perhaps it's our commitment to classic liberalism and the Open Society that keeps us sane?  
serenity blaze
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33 posted 01-20-2007 09:05 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

quote:
So, perhaps it's our commitment to classic liberalism and the Open Society that keeps us sane?


Um, yeah, sure, why not?



Yeah...Here, here!

What Brad said!

(once I figger out what Brad said...)



I should go back to bleep.

Love you guys!

Stephanos
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34 posted 01-20-2007 10:53 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad:
quote:
So, perhaps it's our commitment to classic liberalism and the Open Society that keeps us sane?

Why should we assume science and reason are wholly "secular" or equate violent extremism with a failure to live as if there were no God?  Especially when destroying one's own enemies seem more like a confession of a lack of faith, and especially when we have so many examples of peaceful piety in the world.  The choice doesn't need to be forced along those lines at all.  Sanity = Secularism isn't a logical conclusion at all, considering the data we have.  


Stephen.    
Brad
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35 posted 01-20-2007 11:05 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Oh, I don't know, how about the 30 years war?

Honestly, I don't think I'm forcing anything, I take it to be the common sense position. By the way, did you read the article and Dawkins's description of the OT God?

Secularism creates the groundwork for religious tolerance. Everything else (Including Soviet style atheism.) does not.
Stephanos
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36 posted 01-21-2007 12:03 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad,

I'm curious, is this the same kind of religious tolerance that doesn't allow nativity scenes in public schools, and wants to take the word "God" off of currency?  


A leveling, taming, and emasculating of religion is a poor definition of "religious tolerance" which is such a lofty sounding ideal.


Soviet-style atheism is only a different face of secularism.  Secularism by definition is a freedom from religious ideas, not a freedom of religious ideas.


If you say I shouldn't lump all secular expression into one lump, then neither should you lump all of religious devotion into one batch.  To say that sanity is equal to secularization basically places a peace-loving devoted Christianity on the same par with radical Islam, and paints your view of the world as the only sane one.  


In a way that's as fundamentalist as the fundamentalists get.  That doesn't surprise me, seeing that metaphysical (or in your terms, meta-social) beliefs are very religious-like, both in the areas of commitment and exclusivity.


Stephen.
Stephanos
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37 posted 01-21-2007 12:14 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad,

I have only read small portions of Dawkins, except for a few articles.  But what I have read seems little more than autobiography to me (certainly not good philosophy).  Dawkins doesn't like God.  Okay.  Point noted.  

But I do find it (on many levels) interesting that he won't attack the Koran the way he does the Bible.  


Stephen.
Brad
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38 posted 01-21-2007 12:38 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
I'm curious, is this the same kind of religious tolerance that doesn't allow nativity scenes in public schools, and wants to take the word "God" off of currency?


You bet it is.  
Stephanos
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39 posted 01-21-2007 12:47 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

New definitions of tolerance and freedom?  I'm kind of like the kid who didn't believe when the parent said "this is going to hurt me a lot more than it hurts you".       See, I get to be a skeptic too.


Stephen.
Denise
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40 posted 01-21-2007 12:51 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I'm confused, Brad. How can Secularism which denounces all belief systems other than its own, create the groundwork for religious tolerance?
Local Rebel
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41 posted 01-21-2007 01:38 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Maybe 'pluralism' would be the better word Brad -- secularism becomes the common space in a pluralist society -- but doesn't forego everyone having their own room.

Stephen -- your contintued use of the term "literal jihad" tells me that you're applying your own interpretation to what jihad is.  Jihad literally applies to every single type of Jihad that was listed.  Most Muslims interpret the greater Jihad as the struggle against self.
serenity blaze
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42 posted 01-21-2007 02:35 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze



What a coincidence!

My Logic 101 course this week is titled:

"Definitions"

and quote of the week?

Russell on Meaning and Definitions:

Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise.

  


I thought it was appropriate.

Now.

Football.

Stephanos
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43 posted 01-21-2007 03:40 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Stephen -- your contintued use of the term "literal jihad" tells me that you're applying your own interpretation to what jihad is.

LR,

Not at all.  "Literal" actually differentiates what I am speaking of from other kinds which are taken from a more figurative approach in interpretation.  When I use the term, I am referring to a specific kind of Jihad.


I'm just pointing out that the Violent prescriptions in the Koran are real, and they are there.  And while some Muslims have rejected those prescriptions, this rejection is extra-Koranic ... not derived from the Koran itself.  


Again, if you know otherwise, use the Koran and correct me.  It's not like I've never been wrong before.  I just haven't seen or heard them.  Otherwise I have no reason to think that a Muslim couldn't "struggle against self", and yet still practice literal Jihad against infidels.  Are these different types of Jihad set forth antithetically in the Koran, or rather as a varied set of equally valid approaches?


Karen,

many many texts are vague until they are read.     While there is truth to what you (and Russell) are saying, there is also the truth that we are good at denying clarity when it is there.


Again, that the Koran has literal prescriptions to violence (for Muslims) is not in question by anyone here.  The question I am asking is whether these are superceded by anything in the Koran, as a principle of Mercy or "let Allah judge", or "be kind to your enemies"?  ... Those kinds of things.  Or does the prescription to Violence stand as a legitimate choice among peers, (in the Text of the Koran)?  


Stephen.
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44 posted 01-21-2007 11:51 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Ok... we can quote the Koran;

quote:

002.256
YUSUFALI: Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.
PICKTHAL: There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.
SHAKIR: There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever disbelieves in the Shaitan and believes in Allah he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/002.qmt.html#002.256

**********

018.029
YUSUFALI: Say, "The truth is from your Lord": Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it): for the wrong-doers We have prepared a Fire whose (smoke and flames), like the walls and roof of a tent, will hem them in: if they implore relief they will be granted water like melted brass, that will scald their faces, how dreadful the drink! How uncomfortable a couch to recline on!
PICKTHAL: Say: (It is) the truth from the Lord of you (all). Then whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve. Lo! We have prepared for disbelievers Fire. Its tent encloseth them. If they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which burneth the faces. Calamitous the drink and ill the resting-place!
SHAKIR: And say: The truth is from your Lord, so let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve; surely We have prepared for the iniquitous a fire, the curtains of which shall encompass them about; and if they cry for water, they shall be given water like molten brass which will scald their faces; evil the drink and ill the resting-place.
http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/018.qmt.html#018.029

***********

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
109.001
YUSUFALI: Say : O ye that reject Faith!
PICKTHAL: Say: O disbelievers!
SHAKIR: Say: O unbelievers!
109.002
YUSUFALI: I worship not that which ye worship,
PICKTHAL: I worship not that which ye worship;
SHAKIR: I do not serve that which you serve,
109.003
YUSUFALI: Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
PICKTHAL: Nor worship ye that which I worship.
SHAKIR: Nor do you serve Him Whom I serve:
109.004
YUSUFALI: And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship,
PICKTHAL: And I shall not worship that which ye worship.
SHAKIR: Nor am I going to serve that which you serve,
109.005
YUSUFALI: Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
PICKTHAL: Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
SHAKIR: Nor are you going to serve Him Whom I serve:
109.006
YUSUFALI: To you be your Way, and to me mine.
PICKTHAL: Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion.
SHAKIR: You shall have your religion and I shall have my religion.
http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/109.qmt.html#109.006

**********

003.032
YUSUFALI: Say: "Obey Allah and His Messenger": But if they turn back, Allah loveth not those who reject Faith.
PICKTHAL: Say: Obey Allah and the messenger. But if they turn away, lo! Allah loveth not the disbelievers (in His guidance).
SHAKIR: Say: Obey Allah and the Messenger; but if they turn back, then surely Allah does not love the unbelievers.
http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/003.qmt.html#003.032



And we can find that it is as vague and inconsistent to the reader as is the Bible.  Not to mention that we read it in English and understand only from our own perspective -- much as those reading the Septuagint influenced the understanding of the 'Old' Testament among early Christians.

I don't see where posting excerpts from the Koran to prove points gets anyone further to winning an argument than the same thing would accomplish with the Bible.  It is, rather, incumbent on us to view the fruit and listen to the many interpretations or think all Christians are Witch burners.
Local Rebel
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45 posted 01-22-2007 12:13 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

001.001
YUSUFALI: In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
SHAKIR: In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
001.002
YUSUFALI: Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds;
PICKTHAL: Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds,
SHAKIR: All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
001.003
YUSUFALI: Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
PICKTHAL: The Beneficent, the Merciful.
SHAKIR: The Beneficent, the Merciful.
001.004
YUSUFALI: Master of the Day of Judgment.
PICKTHAL: Master of the Day of Judgment,
SHAKIR: Master of the Day of Judgment.
001.005
YUSUFALI: Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
PICKTHAL: Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help.
SHAKIR: Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help.
001.006
YUSUFALI: Show us the straight way,
PICKTHAL: Show us the straight path,
SHAKIR: Keep us on the right path.
001.007
YUSUFALI: The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.
PICKTHAL: The path of those whom Thou hast favoured; Not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray.
SHAKIR: The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors. Not (the path) of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down, nor of those who go astray.
http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/001.qmt.html#001.001-3

**********

002.128
YUSUFALI: "Our Lord! make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (Will), and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to Thy (will); and show us our place for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for Thou art the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: Our Lord! And make us submissive unto Thee and of our seed a nation submissive unto Thee, and show us our ways of worship, and relent toward us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Relenting, the Merciful.
SHAKIR: Our Lord! and make us both submissive to Thee and (raise) from our offspring a nation submitting to Thee, and show us our ways of devotion and turn to us (mercifully), surely Thou art the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.
002.129
YUSUFALI: "Our Lord! send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall rehearse Thy Signs to them and instruct them in scripture and wisdom, and sanctify them: For Thou art the Exalted in Might, the Wise."
PICKTHAL: Our Lord! And raise up in their midst a messenger from among them who shall recite unto them Thy revelations, and shall instruct them in the Scripture and in wisdom and shall make them grow. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Mighty, Wise.
SHAKIR: Our Lord! and raise up in them a Messenger from among them who shall recite to them Thy communications and teach them the Book and the wisdom, and purify them; surely Thou art the Mighty, the Wise.
002.130
YUSUFALI: And who turns away from the religion of Abraham but such as debase their souls with folly? Him We chose and rendered pure in this world: And he will be in the Hereafter in the ranks of the Righteous.
PICKTHAL: And who forsaketh the religion of Abraham save him who befooleth himself? Verily We chose him in the world, and lo! in the Hereafter he is among the righteous.
SHAKIR: And who forsakes the religion of Ibrahim but he who makes himself a fool, and most certainly We chose him in this world, and in the hereafter he is most surely among the righteous.
002.131
YUSUFALI: Behold! his Lord said to him: "Bow (thy will to Me):" He said: "I bow (my will) to the Lord and Cherisher of the Universe."
PICKTHAL: When his Lord said unto him: Surrender! he said: I have surrendered to the Lord of the Worlds.
SHAKIR: When his Lord said to him, Be a Muslim, he said: I submit myself to the Lord of the worlds.
002.132
YUSUFALI: And this was the legacy that Abraham left to his sons, and so did Jacob; "Oh my sons! Allah hath chosen the Faith for you; then die not except in the Faith of Islam."
PICKTHAL: The same did Abraham enjoin upon his sons, and also Jacob, (saying): O my sons! Lo! Allah hath chosen for you the (true) religion; therefore die not save as men who have surrendered (unto Him).
SHAKIR: And the same did Ibrahim enjoin on his sons and (so did) Yaqoub. O my sons! surely Allah has chosen for you (this) faith, therefore die not unless you are Muslims.
002.133
YUSUFALI: Were ye witnesses when death appeared before Jacob? Behold, he said to his sons: "What will ye worship after me?" They said: "We shall worship Thy god and the god of thy fathers, of Abraham, Isma'il and Isaac,- the one (True) Allah: To Him we bow (in Islam)."
PICKTHAL: Or were ye present when death came to Jacob, when he said unto his sons: What will ye worship after me? They said: We shall worship thy god, the god of thy fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac, One Allah, and unto Him we have surrendered.
SHAKIR: Nay! were you witnesses when death visited Yaqoub, when he said to his sons: What will you serve after me? They said: We will serve your god and the god of your fathers, Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq, one Allah only, and to Him do we submit.
002.134
YUSUFALI: That was a people that hath passed away. They shall reap the fruit of what they did, and ye of what ye do! Of their merits there is no question in your case!
PICKTHAL: Those are a people who have passed away. Theirs is that which they earned, and yours is that which ye earn. And ye will not be asked of what they used to do.
SHAKIR: This is a people that have passed away; they shall have what they earned and you shall have what you earn, and you shall not be called upon to answer for what they did.
002.135
YUSUFALI: They say: "Become Jews or Christians if ye would be guided (To salvation)." Say thou: "Nay! (I would rather) the Religion of Abraham the True, and he joined not gods with Allah."
PICKTHAL: And they say: Be Jews or Christians, then ye will be rightly guided. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Nay, but (we follow) the religion of Abraham, the upright, and he was not of the idolaters.
SHAKIR: And they say: Be Jews or Christians, you will be on the right course. Say: Nay! (we follow) the religion of Ibrahim, the Hanif, and he was not one of the polytheists.
002.136
YUSUFALI: Say ye: "We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah (in Islam)."
PICKTHAL: Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.
SHAKIR: Say: We believe in Allah and (in) that which had been revealed to us, and (in) that which was revealed to Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq and Yaqoub and the tribes, and (in) that which was given to Musa and Isa, and (in) that which was given to the prophets from their Lord, we do not make any distinction between any of them, and to Him do we submit.
002.137
YUSUFALI: So if they believe as ye believe, they are indeed on the right path; but if they turn back, it is they who are in schism; but Allah will suffice thee as against them, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.
PICKTHAL: And if they believe in the like of that which ye believe, then are they rightly guided. But if they turn away, then are they in schism, and Allah will suffice thee (for defence) against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower.
SHAKIR: If then they believe as you believe in Him, they are indeed on the right course, and if they turn back, then they are only in great opposition, so Allah will suffice you against them, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
002.138
YUSUFALI: (Our religion is) the Baptism of Allah: And who can baptize better than Allah? And it is He Whom we worship.
PICKTHAL: (We take our) colour from Allah, and who is better than Allah at colouring. We are His worshippers.
SHAKIR: (Receive) the baptism of Allah, and who is better than Allah in baptising? and Him do we serve.
002.139
YUSUFALI: Say: Will ye dispute with us about Allah, seeing that He is our Lord and your Lord; that we are responsible for our doings and ye for yours; and that We are sincere (in our faith) in Him?
PICKTHAL: Say (unto the People of the Scripture): Dispute ye with us concerning Allah when He is our Lord and your Lord? Ours are our works and yours your works. We look to Him alone.
SHAKIR: Say: Do you dispute with us about Allah, and He is our Lord and your Lord, and we shall have our deeds and you shall have your deeds, and we are sincere to Him.
002.140
YUSUFALI: Or do ye say that Abraham, Isma'il Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Do ye know better than Allah? Ah! who is more unjust than those who conceal the testimony they have from Allah? but Allah is not unmindful of what ye do!
PICKTHAL: Or say ye that Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Do ye know best, or doth Allah? And who is more unjust than he who hideth a testimony which he hath received from Allah? Allah is not unaware of what ye do.
SHAKIR: Nay! do you say that Ibrahim and Ismail and Yaqoub and the tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Are you better knowing or Allah? And who is more unjust than he who conceals a testimony that he has from Allah? And Allah is not at all heedless of what you do.
002.141
YUSUFALI: That was a people that hath passed away. They shall reap the fruit of what they did, and ye of what ye do! Of their merits there is no question in your case:
PICKTHAL: Those are a people who have passed away; theirs is that which they earned and yours that which ye earn. And ye will not be asked of what they used to do.
SHAKIR: This is a people that have passed away; they shall have what they earned and you shall have what you earn, and you shall not be called upon to answer for what they did.
002.142
YUSUFALI: The fools among the people will say: "What hath turned them from the Qibla to which they were used?" Say: To Allah belong both east and West: He guideth whom He will to a Way that is straight.
PICKTHAL: The foolish of the people will say: What hath turned them from the qiblah which they formerly observed? Say: Unto Allah belong the East and the West. He guideth whom He will unto a straight path.
SHAKIR: The fools among the people will say: What has turned them from their qiblah which they had? Say: The East and the West belong only to Allah; He guides whom He likes to the right path.
002.143
YUSUFALI: Thus, have We made of you an Ummat justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves; and We appointed the Qibla to which thou wast used, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels (From the Faith). Indeed it was (A change) momentous, except to those guided by Allah. And never would Allah Make your faith of no effect. For Allah is to all people Most surely full of kindness, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: Thus We have appointed you a middle nation, that ye may be witnesses against mankind, and that the messenger may be a witness against you. And We appointed the qiblah which ye formerly observed only that We might know him who followeth the messenger, from him who turneth on his heels. In truth it was a hard (test) save for those whom Allah guided. But it was not Allah's purpose that your faith should be in vain, for Allah is Full of Pity, Merciful toward mankind.
SHAKIR: And thus We have made you a medium (just) nation that you may be the bearers of witness to the people and (that) the Messenger may be a bearer of witness to you; and We did not make that which you would have to be the qiblah but that We might distinguish him who follows the Messenger from him who turns back upon his heels, and this was surely hard except for those whom Allah has guided aright; and Allah was not going to make your faith to be fruitless; most surely Allah is Affectionate, Merciful to the people.
http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/002.qmt.html#002.128




Local Rebel
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46 posted 01-22-2007 12:26 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:


Misconception 7
Islam tolerates the killing of innocents because:
Muslims can be terrorists

Muslims engage in `holy wars' (jihad)

Islam spread by the sword

it has a harsh and cruel judicial system

This misconception is one of the most widely held misconceptions about Islam today. And yet in the Qur'an, the Creator unambiguously states (translation),

[17:33] Nor take life - which Allah has made sacred - except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand retaliation or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life, for he is helped (by the Law)
Based on this verse, it is Islamically unlawful to murder anyone who is innocent of certain crimes. It is well to remember at this point the distinction made above between Qur'an and Sunnah, and the Muslims: only the Qur'an and Sunnah are guaranteed to be in accordance with what the Creator desires, whereas the Muslims may possibly deviate. Hence, if any Muslim kills an innocent person, that Muslim has committed a grave sin, and certainly the action cannot be claimed to have been done "in the name of Islam."

It should be clear, then, that "Muslim terrorist" is almost an oxymoron: by killing innocent people, a Muslim is commiting an awesome sin, and Allah is Justice personified. This phrase is offensive and demeaning of Islam, and it should be avoided. It is hoped that as the general level of public awareness and understanding of Islam increases, people will keep "terrorism" and "Islam" separate from each other, not to be used in the same phrase.

Another reason advanced in support of the misconception is that the Creator has imposed `jihad' on us. The term "holy war" is from the time of the Crusades and originated in Europe as a rallying cry against the Muslims in Jerusalem. Jihad is an Arabic word meaning struggle, but in the context of many verses in the Qur'an, it carries the meaning of military struggle, or war. Allah gradually introduced the obligation of military struggle to the Muslim community at the time of the Messenger (saas). The first verse ever revealed in that connection is as follows (translation),

[22:39] Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them;
This verse lays down the precondition for all war in Islam: there must exist certain oppressive conditions on the people. The Creator unequivocally orders us to fight oppression and persecution, even at the expense of bloodshed as the following verse shows (translation),

[2:190-192] And fight in the cause of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits. And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from where they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah) until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the reward of the unbelievers. But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.
As one might imagine, the method of military struggle has been clearly and extensively defined in the Qur'an and Sunnah. Since this subject is a huge one, we simply summarize part of it by noting that it is unlawful to kill women, children, the infirm, the old, and the innocent. From the Sunnah, specifically in the study of the Sunnah called Sahih Bukhari, we find:

[4:52:257] Narrated 'Abdullah: During some of the Ghazawat of the Prophet a woman was found killed. Allah's Apostle disapproved the killing of women and children.
A related misconception to jihad is often propagated by Muslims who say that "Jihad is only for self-defense of physical borders." The Qur'an and Sunnah refute this notion categorically. As the verses cited above show, jihad is obligatory wherever there is injustice, and Muslims need not acknowledge imaginary lines around the earth when it comes to upholding this obligation. The Messenger of Allah (saas) has also commented on this extensively in the Sunnah. From the study of the Sunnah called Sahih Bukhari, we find that,

[4:52:65] Narrated Abu Musa: A man came to the Prophet and asked, "A man fights for war booty; another fights for fame and a third fights for showing off; which of them fights in Allah's Cause?" The Prophet said, "He who fights that Allah's Word (i.e. Islam) should be superior, fights in Allah's Cause."
Hence, the Creator obligates us to fight wherever people are being grossly deprived of freely hearing or practicing the Message of Allah as contained in the Qur'an and Sunnah. Sayyed Qutb, a famous Muslim scholar eloquently discusses the notion of jihad and self-defense in his book Milestones,

"If we insist on calling Islamic jihad a defensive movement, then we must change the meaning of the word `defense' and mean by it `defense of man' against all those elements which limit his freedom. These elements take the form of beliefs and concepts, as well as of political systems, based on economic, racial, or class distinction."
A third reason often cited for the misconception about Islam which says that this way of life tolerates the killing of innocents is that the judicial system of Islam is unnecessarily harsh. This reason is weak in two respects. First, it presupposes that human beings are more just and more merciful than the Creator, and therefore we can change the law. Second, it is often based on gross oversimplifications of Islamic law, such as saying "all thieves get their hands cut off."

The Qur'an and Sunnah make it clear that the law of retaliation (or equality) governs us for murder and physical injury, but forgiveness is better as the following verses from the Qur'an show (translation),

[2:178] O you who believe! the law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman. But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then prosecution (for the bloodwit) should be made according to usage, and payment should be made to him in a good manner; this is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy; so whoever exceeds the limit after this he shall have a painful chastisement.
[42:40-43] The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: for (Allah) loves not those who do wrong. But indeed if any do help and defend themselves after a wrong (done) to them, against such there is no cause of blame. The blame is only against those who oppress men and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a grievous penalty. And whoever is patient and forgiving, these most surely are actions due to courage.
The Creator ordained the law of retaliation on us knowing full well that we might question it. In many non-Muslim societies today, there are ongoing debates about the death penalty. In Islam, this discussion is moot: the Creator has decided the matter for us. He has however given us an interesting verse in the Qur'an which advises to consider the matter carefully if we want to understand it (translation follows),

[2:179] And there is life for you in (the law of) retaliation, O people of understanding, that you may guard yourselves.
Most people are also unaware of the stringent conditions which must be met for the law of retaliation to be applicable. The Sunnah is full of examples of the Messenger of Allah showing us when the law's preconditions were fulfilled. For example, a thief is only liable to lose his or her hand if the item stolen exceeds a certain value, and if it is proven that the item was taken from its normal resting place. Stealing food is not punishable by the loss of one's hand, and other items are exempt as well. This is just an example of how gingerly the law is applied in Islam.

Finally, another reason advanced for this prevalent misconception is that Islam `spread by the sword'. It should be clear by now that we must always distinguish between the Qur'an and Sunnah and the Muslims when it comes to determining what the Creator has asked of us. Allah has stated clearly in the Qur'an (translation),

[2:256] There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever rejects Satan (and what he calls to) and believes in Allah, he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handhold, which shall not break off, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
Hence, it is impossible to accept Islam under duress. Even if misguided Muslims were to try to `force' Islam somehow on others, it would not be accepted by the Creator based on this verse.

Historical arguments that try to demonstrate that Muslims did not `convert others by force' are actually secondary to the argument given above. However, it is worth noting that historically, Islam did spread by peaceful means. The Message of the Creator was conveyed to Africa and to southeast Asia by trading Muslims, and today the largest Muslim country in the world is Indonesia. The military expeditions that led to the conquest of large swathes of territory in Europe and central Asia were all marked by tolerance of other creeds and faith.

Again, it is important to remember that Allah declares it IMPOSSIBLE that Islam can be forced on a person, hence Muslims find it useless to try!



http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/notislam/misconceptions.html
Stephanos
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47 posted 01-22-2007 02:33 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

LR,

Thank you.  Finally.  At least we're not hearing the urge to assume that all texts are equally true or equally gracious.  I will read these carefully and respond.  

Stephen.  
Brad
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48 posted 01-22-2007 05:19 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

While part of me wants to get out of the way and I will concerning the Quran discussion, I have to say that I'm the one a bit confused.

I was trying to use Popper's 'The Open Society', Classical Liberalism (Mill), and secularism more or less interchangably. I don't have any problems with pluralism, but I don't see how a pluralistic society can be any different from a secular one except perhaps in name (England's Anglicanism for example). Secular, of course, is paired/opposed with sacred. The idea being, I think, a practicing "Render what is Caesar's unto Caesar . . . ."

Or if you want, the affairs of civil society are too important to be placed in the hands of God.

I wasn't shooting for the equivalence of different religions, I was saying or trying to say that religion and government should be separate entities. The irony is that the link and quote that I posted weren't trying to show equivalence, they were showing the opposite.

To me, the fact that Baghdad was the center of rationality and science a thousand years ago and their subsequent rejection of that path is an example that we Westerners (as loosely defined as I can make it) should not follow.

The fact that we argue and debate over "In God we Trust" on money and school prayer and not whether we should murder someone who converts from Christianity to Islam or vice versa is a telling sign that our society is not equivalent to some Middle Eastern ones. The fact that we do not try to mark Muslims as Muslims with a sign or symbol as they did to Christians under the Taliban is a telling sign. The fact that we debate the Quran itself and not whether Ellison should be allowed to use the Quran is telling.

Now, if you want, you can tell me that Christianity helped set up this current state of affairs, I won't argue that. But, at the same time, let's not fall into the trap of religious equivalence by arguing that their are two societies, one Christian and one Islamic, and then argue that one is morally superior because of that.
Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
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49 posted 01-22-2007 05:48 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Personally I think Deism may have had as much to do with setting up the current state as anything... but, I digress...

I know what your intent was Brad and I'm not disagreeing -- but, a secular society doesn't necessarily have to have any religions at all -- to Stephen's point re: the Soviet Union.

My only intention is that if the word 'secular' is getting in the way, certainly it is easily sacrificed for a more western specific term like 'Pluralism'.  
 
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