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    Moshe Feiglin is the former Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and the head of Zehut, an Israeli political party formed in 2015. Zehut advocates the return of Israel to the Jewish people and leading the State of Israel through authentic Jewish values. Feiglin was interviewed by Vox Day on January 24, 2017. VOX DAY: There...
  • @Anon
    Not that it really matters, but your source is oversimplifying here:

    Now you want to expose your ignorance about Anglo-Saxon history too:
    “Until the late 20th century U.S. age of consent laws specifically names males as perpetrators and females as victims. Following English law, in which the age was set at 12 in 1275 and lowered to 10 in 1576, ages of consent in the American colonies were generally set at 10 or 12. The laws protected female virginity, which at the time was considered a valuable commodity until marriage.”
    Sex and Society, Volume 1
     
    The 1275 act did not actually specify an age; 12 was the common-law interpretation, and the general common-law interpretation of the 1576 act was that carnal knowledge of a woman between 10 and 12 had not been newly made legal, but harsher penalties imposed (felony without benefit of clergy) for violation of a woman beneath the age of 10, though of course the opposite argument could be made.

    Common law discussions should best be left to common-lawyers. You'd like it, it's a lot like fiqh.

    See also a modern opinion .

    Thanks – common law is a lot like how ‘urf (or local/cultural custom) affects shariah rulings. Which is the point I was trying to get across. And common law for a European country was going to reach a slightly higher age since the age of menarche occurs later in them.

    And can change over time actually – due to diet and environment!

    http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/case-studies/207

    “At the turn of the 20th century, the average age for an American girl to get her period was 16 to 17. Today, that number has plummeted to less than 13, according to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The trend has been attributed to the epidemic of overweight children and a greater exposure to pollution, which does bad things to developing bodies and accelerates the timing of a girl’s first menstruation.”

    http://www.newsweek.com/2015/02/06/puberty-comes-earlier-and-earlier-girls-301920.html

    It is very difficult to force a one-size fits all upon such a complex issue that spans the globe and history.

    Prof. Jonathan Brown mentions this, that in his research on the topic, none of the polemics against Islam in the past mention anything about the age of Lady Aisha (ra) until after the 20th century is underway:

    Basically, a century and a half ago or prior (in Christian countries) – we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. So this kind of grandstanding may work for the regulars on Sailer’s threads (Muzzies are all low-IQ degenerates! Go team!) – but we don’t see a need to take it seriously – it’s really sleazy.

    Peace.

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  • Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    Prior to the mid-19th century there were no age-of-consent laws at all
     
    Now you want to expose your ignorance about Anglo-Saxon history too:
    "Until the late 20th century U.S. age of consent laws specifically names males as perpetrators and females as victims. Following English law, in which the age was set at 12 in 1275 and lowered to 10 in 1576, ages of consent in the American colonies were generally set at 10 or 12. The laws protected female virginity, which at the time was considered a valuable commodity until marriage."
    Sex and Society, Volume 1

    But back to our topic, what this does not mean is that people in 19th century America thought it was normal to have sex with ten year olds.
     
    You clearly have no idea what you are talking about:
    "Age of sexual consent, for example, rose from 7 during colonial times to 10, 12, and eventually as high as 14 during the eighteenth centuries. By the late 1800s, the average age of consent in the United States was 14. Across the nation, however the age of consent was raised slowly, unevenly, and with great reluctance. Legislators’ opposition to changing age of consent laws reveals important pre-ninteenth century understandings of childhood and child sexuality, as well as female sexuality."
    Not My Kid: What Parents Believe about the Sex Lives of Their Teenagers

    "After 1885, age of consent laws changed around the country, reaching 16 in New Yorkin 1889 and 18 in 1895. Prior to these changes, the age of consent in most places in the United States was 10 to 12 years. Gilfoyle describes a level of acceptability of sex with pre-pubescent girls, citing the absence of the risk of pregnancy and the myth that sex with a virgin would cure sexually transmitted infections."
    Prostitution and Sex Work

    And you keep on bringing up the number 9 again and again as if that makes a difference. The number is not the main factor - the main factor is puberty which varies from person to person and which can occur perfectly naturally at nine or later:
    “We conclude that signs of puberty in 6- to 8-year-old girls should not be considered normal or benign.”
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/111/1/47

    Prof. Nigosian (an Armenian Christian minister and historian of Islam) states the following about Muslims:
    “It was not uncommon at one time for children to be married even before they reached puberty, though they were not permitted to cohabit until they were at least sexually mature.”
    Islam: Its History, Teaching, and Practices

    Which is almost verbatim what I quoted about diaspora Jewish culture:
    "Minor girls were betrothed by their fathers (by Kidushin, a legally binding commitment) even before they came of age, and usually began living with their husbands - occasionally much older than them – at the age of puberty."


    you would expect to find that Abraham Lincoln married a 12 year old
     
    Well according to your folk, that is fine:
    "Minors (i.e., such as have not reached the age of puberty, which was held to begin at thirteen years in males, and twelve in females), are also precluded from contracting marriages (see Majority). A daughter who was a minor could be given in marriage by her father; and such a marriage was valid."
    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10435-marriage-laws

    So all of this is posturing on your part anyway and choosing an arbitrary age of 15 or something which has no basis other than in some fuzzy changing cultural outlook or to try to win points. Look, if you want me to take you seriously, do the following:
    1) Declare every person in history that consummated marriage with a girl at puberty (no matter what her age) to be paedophiles or child-rapists, etc. Then you can deal with the consequences on the Day of Judgement for calumny if you are wrong.
    2) Ready yourself for mubahala if you are ready to stand on your conviction and we can mutually call down the curse of God on whichever one of us is lying about the Prophet (pbuh).

    Otherwise, don't waste my time.


    And how well they turn out
     
    We have dirty laundry, and so do you:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOEldjyTVps

    You claim that Biblical figures act in an inexcusable fashion
     
    According to your own rules. You are saying that they did A, B, and C and went 'astray'.

    According to our principles, since they are protected from sins, they;
    1) Either did A, B and C and thus you cannot pass judgement on them and should follow their example or
    2) They never did A, B and C and you got the record wrong

    Here are the principles you are putting forward:
    1) Prophets can sin (sometimes egregiously) and tell falsehoods
    2) Your rabbis are also not free from error
    3) Your texts were being 'processed' over a thousand years after the people they claim to speak about:
    "Remarkably, some of these ancient copies are identical to the traditional text of the Hebrew Bible that is used today. Other copies preserve differences in the text, which was in the process of standardisation."
    http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/featured-scrolls?locale=en_US

    "Because 11QPs constains many Psalms in an order different from that found in M, as well as several compositions not present in the MT-150 Psalter, this document challenges traditional ideas concerning the shape and finalization of the Book of Psalms."
    The Dead Sea Psalms Scrolls and the Book of Psalms, Volume 17

    So who was working on this 'work in progress'? Why should we believe they are inerrant when the prophets themselves aren't protected? Because there is a promise from God that it will be protected, where does it say that? Oh in the text...written by? Oh...

    You're basically saying; "What our writings say is the truth, because..."
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xafO3c2lKUc

    Now if you are going to say, well it's because the Jewish people collectively are Divinely protected from error - well, nobody believes you, but you. Case in point; the majority of the world believes that the Son of Mary (pbuh) was the Messiah (we only differ with Christians about what they record about him and his nature - but both of us consider him to be truthful and God-sent - heck, even many Hindus believe he was an avatar in the West). Your numbers compared to world population that believes him is a rounding error. Or maybe we are all oafs.

    Which reminds me of something you said..."cheating your oafish brother out of a blessing". You asked for motive, well there you go, bro. If you don't think much of impugning a prophet of this kind of conduct, well then, what 'big deal' is it to alter the texts so that only one son is legitimate, only one son has the covenant, only one son is the chosen? All of what you say about Ismael (pbuh) is suspect for good reason.

    And you bring up that issue that Muslims don't know for sure which son was the sacrifice. This is true; most believe it was Ismael (pbuh) and a minority say it was Ishaac (pbuh) - may both their memories be blessed - did you ever care to wonder why? Because that detail, to us, is irrelevant - for you it is your core identity. The point of the story is the willingness of Abraham (pbuh) to sacrifice his son - whichever one it was because he loved them both immensely and God blessed them both in unique ways...and the covenant was established with both of them and, through Ismael (pbuh), by extension to the world:
    "And fulfill the covenant of Allah when you have taken it, [O believers], and do not break oaths after their confirmation while you have made Allah, over you, a witness. Indeed, Allah knows what you do." (16:91)

    Look this is all based on belief, one must pick which belief is most coherent. Bani Ismael and their growing confederates march on...


    Funny is funny.
     
    "God mocks them and gives them time to continue blindly in their transgressions." (2:15)

    Yuck, yuck - here's more rope...

    Peace.

    Not that it really matters, but your source is oversimplifying here:

    Now you want to expose your ignorance about Anglo-Saxon history too:
    “Until the late 20th century U.S. age of consent laws specifically names males as perpetrators and females as victims. Following English law, in which the age was set at 12 in 1275 and lowered to 10 in 1576, ages of consent in the American colonies were generally set at 10 or 12. The laws protected female virginity, which at the time was considered a valuable commodity until marriage.”
    Sex and Society, Volume 1

    The 1275 act did not actually specify an age; 12 was the common-law interpretation, and the general common-law interpretation of the 1576 act was that carnal knowledge of a woman between 10 and 12 had not been newly made legal, but harsher penalties imposed (felony without benefit of clergy) for violation of a woman beneath the age of 10, though of course the opposite argument could be made.

    Common law discussions should best be left to common-lawyers. You’d like it, it’s a lot like fiqh.

    See also a modern opinion .

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Thanks - common law is a lot like how 'urf (or local/cultural custom) affects shariah rulings. Which is the point I was trying to get across. And common law for a European country was going to reach a slightly higher age since the age of menarche occurs later in them.

    And can change over time actually - due to diet and environment!
    http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/case-studies/207

    "At the turn of the 20th century, the average age for an American girl to get her period was 16 to 17. Today, that number has plummeted to less than 13, according to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The trend has been attributed to the epidemic of overweight children and a greater exposure to pollution, which does bad things to developing bodies and accelerates the timing of a girl’s first menstruation."
    http://www.newsweek.com/2015/02/06/puberty-comes-earlier-and-earlier-girls-301920.html

    It is very difficult to force a one-size fits all upon such a complex issue that spans the globe and history.

    Prof. Jonathan Brown mentions this, that in his research on the topic, none of the polemics against Islam in the past mention anything about the age of Lady Aisha (ra) until after the 20th century is underway:
    https://youtu.be/hE_zypf8DAU?t=5m30s

    Basically, a century and a half ago or prior (in Christian countries) - we wouldn't even be having this conversation. So this kind of grandstanding may work for the regulars on Sailer's threads (Muzzies are all low-IQ degenerates! Go team!) - but we don't see a need to take it seriously - it's really sleazy.

    Peace.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Gabriel M
    You see, this is why apologetics suck.

    ~Second off – if one looks at this chart, one sees that most US states thought 10 year olds could consent to sex (all thought 12 year olds could and Delaware thought 7 was kosher) – and this is not that long ago (just before the 20th century):
    https://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/case-studies/230?section=primarysources&source=24

    Does that mean all these people were immoral degenerates until we finally figured out the correct moral code of life on this subject?
     
    Stop and think for a second. Prior to the mid-19th century there were no age-of-consent laws at all, that would mean, if your logic held true, that early 19th century Americans and Europeans thought it was licit to have sex with babies. Obviously, something else is going on and I will explain it to you.

    Over the 19th century a new concept of rape was being developed: "sex without consent of one party". Part of this process was defining ages of consent, such that anyone who had sex with someone under that age was ipso facto guilty of rape. When the laws were introduced the ages specified were quite young and they were gradually raised. Now, parenthetically, it is my opinion that this has gone too far, it is obviously absurd to say that someone who has sex with a willing 15 year old is a rapist and, in fact, most courts will not convict someone for this. The problem is that in modern liberalism the only non-licit forms of sexual activity so any attempt to modify the age of consent down to a more reasonable level would be taken as permission to have sex with minors. (Even more parenthetically, I think the whole liberal concept of rape is itself incoherent, and a clumsy replacement for traditional sexual ethics, and this can be clearly seen by the widespread confusion about what is and isn't rape).

    But back to our topic, what this does not mean is that people in 19th century America thought it was normal to have sex with ten year olds. If that was so, you would expect to find that Abraham Lincoln married a 12 year old, Jefferson Davis had a tryst with a 10 year old, Andrew Jackson eloped with an 11 year old etc. but you can't find any examples of such behaviour because normal people are not attracted to ten year olds, still less nine year olds and deviants who are have to conduct themselves in secret unless G-d tells them in a cave it's OK.

    They do now – plenty of them have studied all of this, and still find no problems naming their sons after him.
     
    And how well they turn out http://www.pmclauth.com/sentenced/Grooming-Gang-Statistics/Gangs-Jailed

    Don't you suspect that if Mohammed had been a one-wife, twice a week kind of a guy then this wouldn't happen with such alarming frequency?

    Am I really supposed to gauge transcendent morality by randomly asking the ‘man on the street’?
     
    This, again, is why apologetics suck. You claim that Biblical figures act in an inexcusable fashion, thus the Bible must be corrupted and then you say that we cannot judge morality and G-d can just make any old thing moral if he says so.


    And if you hold them blameless then I understand who I am dealing with.
     
    Not that is is pertinent, but I hold them blameworthy in the same sense I hold liberals who supported the civil rights movement blameworthy for the epidemic of black crime that proceeded from it. No-one forced Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis to blow up and kill each other by the hundreds of thousands, not the neocons and not anyone else, indeed they poured huge amounts of money and manpower into a mostly futile effort to get you to stop.

    Of course you do.
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0taTSaUO2hM

    Funny is funny.

    Oh and…

    No-one forced Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis to blow up and kill each other by the hundreds of thousands, not the neocons and not anyone else,

    This is true – it is a shame that so many Muslims turned on each other once the country was shattered. We cannot blame others for our own actions, there was no need for this kind of slaughter.

    indeed they poured huge amounts of money and manpower into a mostly futile effort to get you to stop.

    Nonsense, they poured fuel on the fire; case in point – Syria.

    Peace.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    Prior to the mid-19th century there were no age-of-consent laws at all
     
    Now you want to expose your ignorance about Anglo-Saxon history too:
    "Until the late 20th century U.S. age of consent laws specifically names males as perpetrators and females as victims. Following English law, in which the age was set at 12 in 1275 and lowered to 10 in 1576, ages of consent in the American colonies were generally set at 10 or 12. The laws protected female virginity, which at the time was considered a valuable commodity until marriage."
    Sex and Society, Volume 1

    But back to our topic, what this does not mean is that people in 19th century America thought it was normal to have sex with ten year olds.
     
    You clearly have no idea what you are talking about:
    "Age of sexual consent, for example, rose from 7 during colonial times to 10, 12, and eventually as high as 14 during the eighteenth centuries. By the late 1800s, the average age of consent in the United States was 14. Across the nation, however the age of consent was raised slowly, unevenly, and with great reluctance. Legislators’ opposition to changing age of consent laws reveals important pre-ninteenth century understandings of childhood and child sexuality, as well as female sexuality."
    Not My Kid: What Parents Believe about the Sex Lives of Their Teenagers

    "After 1885, age of consent laws changed around the country, reaching 16 in New Yorkin 1889 and 18 in 1895. Prior to these changes, the age of consent in most places in the United States was 10 to 12 years. Gilfoyle describes a level of acceptability of sex with pre-pubescent girls, citing the absence of the risk of pregnancy and the myth that sex with a virgin would cure sexually transmitted infections."
    Prostitution and Sex Work

    And you keep on bringing up the number 9 again and again as if that makes a difference. The number is not the main factor - the main factor is puberty which varies from person to person and which can occur perfectly naturally at nine or later:
    “We conclude that signs of puberty in 6- to 8-year-old girls should not be considered normal or benign.”
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/111/1/47

    Prof. Nigosian (an Armenian Christian minister and historian of Islam) states the following about Muslims:
    “It was not uncommon at one time for children to be married even before they reached puberty, though they were not permitted to cohabit until they were at least sexually mature.”
    Islam: Its History, Teaching, and Practices

    Which is almost verbatim what I quoted about diaspora Jewish culture:
    "Minor girls were betrothed by their fathers (by Kidushin, a legally binding commitment) even before they came of age, and usually began living with their husbands - occasionally much older than them – at the age of puberty."


    you would expect to find that Abraham Lincoln married a 12 year old
     
    Well according to your folk, that is fine:
    "Minors (i.e., such as have not reached the age of puberty, which was held to begin at thirteen years in males, and twelve in females), are also precluded from contracting marriages (see Majority). A daughter who was a minor could be given in marriage by her father; and such a marriage was valid."
    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10435-marriage-laws

    So all of this is posturing on your part anyway and choosing an arbitrary age of 15 or something which has no basis other than in some fuzzy changing cultural outlook or to try to win points. Look, if you want me to take you seriously, do the following:
    1) Declare every person in history that consummated marriage with a girl at puberty (no matter what her age) to be paedophiles or child-rapists, etc. Then you can deal with the consequences on the Day of Judgement for calumny if you are wrong.
    2) Ready yourself for mubahala if you are ready to stand on your conviction and we can mutually call down the curse of God on whichever one of us is lying about the Prophet (pbuh).

    Otherwise, don't waste my time.


    And how well they turn out
     
    We have dirty laundry, and so do you:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOEldjyTVps

    You claim that Biblical figures act in an inexcusable fashion
     
    According to your own rules. You are saying that they did A, B, and C and went 'astray'.

    According to our principles, since they are protected from sins, they;
    1) Either did A, B and C and thus you cannot pass judgement on them and should follow their example or
    2) They never did A, B and C and you got the record wrong

    Here are the principles you are putting forward:
    1) Prophets can sin (sometimes egregiously) and tell falsehoods
    2) Your rabbis are also not free from error
    3) Your texts were being 'processed' over a thousand years after the people they claim to speak about:
    "Remarkably, some of these ancient copies are identical to the traditional text of the Hebrew Bible that is used today. Other copies preserve differences in the text, which was in the process of standardisation."
    http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/featured-scrolls?locale=en_US

    "Because 11QPs constains many Psalms in an order different from that found in M, as well as several compositions not present in the MT-150 Psalter, this document challenges traditional ideas concerning the shape and finalization of the Book of Psalms."
    The Dead Sea Psalms Scrolls and the Book of Psalms, Volume 17

    So who was working on this 'work in progress'? Why should we believe they are inerrant when the prophets themselves aren't protected? Because there is a promise from God that it will be protected, where does it say that? Oh in the text...written by? Oh...

    You're basically saying; "What our writings say is the truth, because..."
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xafO3c2lKUc

    Now if you are going to say, well it's because the Jewish people collectively are Divinely protected from error - well, nobody believes you, but you. Case in point; the majority of the world believes that the Son of Mary (pbuh) was the Messiah (we only differ with Christians about what they record about him and his nature - but both of us consider him to be truthful and God-sent - heck, even many Hindus believe he was an avatar in the West). Your numbers compared to world population that believes him is a rounding error. Or maybe we are all oafs.

    Which reminds me of something you said..."cheating your oafish brother out of a blessing". You asked for motive, well there you go, bro. If you don't think much of impugning a prophet of this kind of conduct, well then, what 'big deal' is it to alter the texts so that only one son is legitimate, only one son has the covenant, only one son is the chosen? All of what you say about Ismael (pbuh) is suspect for good reason.

    And you bring up that issue that Muslims don't know for sure which son was the sacrifice. This is true; most believe it was Ismael (pbuh) and a minority say it was Ishaac (pbuh) - may both their memories be blessed - did you ever care to wonder why? Because that detail, to us, is irrelevant - for you it is your core identity. The point of the story is the willingness of Abraham (pbuh) to sacrifice his son - whichever one it was because he loved them both immensely and God blessed them both in unique ways...and the covenant was established with both of them and, through Ismael (pbuh), by extension to the world:
    "And fulfill the covenant of Allah when you have taken it, [O believers], and do not break oaths after their confirmation while you have made Allah, over you, a witness. Indeed, Allah knows what you do." (16:91)

    Look this is all based on belief, one must pick which belief is most coherent. Bani Ismael and their growing confederates march on...


    Funny is funny.
     
    "God mocks them and gives them time to continue blindly in their transgressions." (2:15)

    Yuck, yuck - here's more rope...

    Peace.

    By the way, this started out interesting – and a Muslim friend who is observing the thread is getting some amusement out of it (basically it’s confirming our narrative – maybe my words are doing the same for you), but I’m having a difficult time taking this seriously anymore because of how childish it’s getting.

    I’m sure we both have better things to do.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Gabriel M
    You see, this is why apologetics suck.

    ~Second off – if one looks at this chart, one sees that most US states thought 10 year olds could consent to sex (all thought 12 year olds could and Delaware thought 7 was kosher) – and this is not that long ago (just before the 20th century):
    https://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/case-studies/230?section=primarysources&source=24

    Does that mean all these people were immoral degenerates until we finally figured out the correct moral code of life on this subject?
     
    Stop and think for a second. Prior to the mid-19th century there were no age-of-consent laws at all, that would mean, if your logic held true, that early 19th century Americans and Europeans thought it was licit to have sex with babies. Obviously, something else is going on and I will explain it to you.

    Over the 19th century a new concept of rape was being developed: "sex without consent of one party". Part of this process was defining ages of consent, such that anyone who had sex with someone under that age was ipso facto guilty of rape. When the laws were introduced the ages specified were quite young and they were gradually raised. Now, parenthetically, it is my opinion that this has gone too far, it is obviously absurd to say that someone who has sex with a willing 15 year old is a rapist and, in fact, most courts will not convict someone for this. The problem is that in modern liberalism the only non-licit forms of sexual activity so any attempt to modify the age of consent down to a more reasonable level would be taken as permission to have sex with minors. (Even more parenthetically, I think the whole liberal concept of rape is itself incoherent, and a clumsy replacement for traditional sexual ethics, and this can be clearly seen by the widespread confusion about what is and isn't rape).

    But back to our topic, what this does not mean is that people in 19th century America thought it was normal to have sex with ten year olds. If that was so, you would expect to find that Abraham Lincoln married a 12 year old, Jefferson Davis had a tryst with a 10 year old, Andrew Jackson eloped with an 11 year old etc. but you can't find any examples of such behaviour because normal people are not attracted to ten year olds, still less nine year olds and deviants who are have to conduct themselves in secret unless G-d tells them in a cave it's OK.

    They do now – plenty of them have studied all of this, and still find no problems naming their sons after him.
     
    And how well they turn out http://www.pmclauth.com/sentenced/Grooming-Gang-Statistics/Gangs-Jailed

    Don't you suspect that if Mohammed had been a one-wife, twice a week kind of a guy then this wouldn't happen with such alarming frequency?

    Am I really supposed to gauge transcendent morality by randomly asking the ‘man on the street’?
     
    This, again, is why apologetics suck. You claim that Biblical figures act in an inexcusable fashion, thus the Bible must be corrupted and then you say that we cannot judge morality and G-d can just make any old thing moral if he says so.


    And if you hold them blameless then I understand who I am dealing with.
     
    Not that is is pertinent, but I hold them blameworthy in the same sense I hold liberals who supported the civil rights movement blameworthy for the epidemic of black crime that proceeded from it. No-one forced Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis to blow up and kill each other by the hundreds of thousands, not the neocons and not anyone else, indeed they poured huge amounts of money and manpower into a mostly futile effort to get you to stop.

    Of course you do.
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0taTSaUO2hM

    Funny is funny.

    Hey Gabriel,

    Prior to the mid-19th century there were no age-of-consent laws at all

    Now you want to expose your ignorance about Anglo-Saxon history too:
    “Until the late 20th century U.S. age of consent laws specifically names males as perpetrators and females as victims. Following English law, in which the age was set at 12 in 1275 and lowered to 10 in 1576, ages of consent in the American colonies were generally set at 10 or 12. The laws protected female virginity, which at the time was considered a valuable commodity until marriage.”
    Sex and Society, Volume 1

    But back to our topic, what this does not mean is that people in 19th century America thought it was normal to have sex with ten year olds.

    You clearly have no idea what you are talking about:
    “Age of sexual consent, for example, rose from 7 during colonial times to 10, 12, and eventually as high as 14 during the eighteenth centuries. By the late 1800s, the average age of consent in the United States was 14. Across the nation, however the age of consent was raised slowly, unevenly, and with great reluctance. Legislators’ opposition to changing age of consent laws reveals important pre-ninteenth century understandings of childhood and child sexuality, as well as female sexuality.
    Not My Kid: What Parents Believe about the Sex Lives of Their Teenagers

    “After 1885, age of consent laws changed around the country, reaching 16 in New Yorkin 1889 and 18 in 1895. Prior to these changes, the age of consent in most places in the United States was 10 to 12 years. Gilfoyle describes a level of acceptability of sex with pre-pubescent girls, citing the absence of the risk of pregnancy and the myth that sex with a virgin would cure sexually transmitted infections.”
    Prostitution and Sex Work

    And you keep on bringing up the number 9 again and again as if that makes a difference. The number is not the main factor – the main factor is puberty which varies from person to person and which can occur perfectly naturally at nine or later:
    “We conclude that signs of puberty in 6- to 8-year-old girls should not be considered normal or benign.”

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/111/1/47

    Prof. Nigosian (an Armenian Christian minister and historian of Islam) states the following about Muslims:
    “It was not uncommon at one time for children to be married even before they reached puberty, though they were not permitted to cohabit until they were at least sexually mature.”
    Islam: Its History, Teaching, and Practices

    Which is almost verbatim what I quoted about diaspora Jewish culture:
    “Minor girls were betrothed by their fathers (by Kidushin, a legally binding commitment) even before they came of age, and usually began living with their husbands – occasionally much older than them – at the age of puberty.”

    you would expect to find that Abraham Lincoln married a 12 year old

    Well according to your folk, that is fine:
    “Minors (i.e., such as have not reached the age of puberty, which was held to begin at thirteen years in males, and twelve in females), are also precluded from contracting marriages (see Majority). A daughter who was a minor could be given in marriage by her father; and such a marriage was valid.”

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10435-marriage-laws

    So all of this is posturing on your part anyway and choosing an arbitrary age of 15 or something which has no basis other than in some fuzzy changing cultural outlook or to try to win points. Look, if you want me to take you seriously, do the following:
    1) Declare every person in history that consummated marriage with a girl at puberty (no matter what her age) to be paedophiles or child-rapists, etc. Then you can deal with the consequences on the Day of Judgement for calumny if you are wrong.
    2) Ready yourself for mubahala if you are ready to stand on your conviction and we can mutually call down the curse of God on whichever one of us is lying about the Prophet (pbuh).

    Otherwise, don’t waste my time.

    And how well they turn out

    We have dirty laundry, and so do you:

    You claim that Biblical figures act in an inexcusable fashion

    According to your own rules. You are saying that they did A, B, and C and went ‘astray’.

    According to our principles, since they are protected from sins, they;
    1) Either did A, B and C and thus you cannot pass judgement on them and should follow their example or
    2) They never did A, B and C and you got the record wrong

    Here are the principles you are putting forward:
    1) Prophets can sin (sometimes egregiously) and tell falsehoods
    2) Your rabbis are also not free from error
    3) Your texts were being ‘processed’ over a thousand years after the people they claim to speak about:
    “Remarkably, some of these ancient copies are identical to the traditional text of the Hebrew Bible that is used today. Other copies preserve differences in the text, which was in the process of standardisation.”

    http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/featured-scrolls?locale=en_US

    “Because 11QPs constains many Psalms in an order different from that found in M, as well as several compositions not present in the MT-150 Psalter, this document challenges traditional ideas concerning the shape and finalization of the Book of Psalms.”
    The Dead Sea Psalms Scrolls and the Book of Psalms, Volume 17

    So who was working on this ‘work in progress’? Why should we believe they are inerrant when the prophets themselves aren’t protected? Because there is a promise from God that it will be protected, where does it say that? Oh in the text…written by? Oh…

    You’re basically saying; “What our writings say is the truth, because…”

    Now if you are going to say, well it’s because the Jewish people collectively are Divinely protected from error – well, nobody believes you, but you. Case in point; the majority of the world believes that the Son of Mary (pbuh) was the Messiah (we only differ with Christians about what they record about him and his nature – but both of us consider him to be truthful and God-sent – heck, even many Hindus believe he was an avatar in the West). Your numbers compared to world population that believes him is a rounding error. Or maybe we are all oafs.

    Which reminds me of something you said…”cheating your oafish brother out of a blessing”. You asked for motive, well there you go, bro. If you don’t think much of impugning a prophet of this kind of conduct, well then, what ‘big deal’ is it to alter the texts so that only one son is legitimate, only one son has the covenant, only one son is the chosen? All of what you say about Ismael (pbuh) is suspect for good reason.

    And you bring up that issue that Muslims don’t know for sure which son was the sacrifice. This is true; most believe it was Ismael (pbuh) and a minority say it was Ishaac (pbuh) – may both their memories be blessed – did you ever care to wonder why? Because that detail, to us, is irrelevant – for you it is your core identity. The point of the story is the willingness of Abraham (pbuh) to sacrifice his son – whichever one it was because he loved them both immensely and God blessed them both in unique ways…and the covenant was established with both of them and, through Ismael (pbuh), by extension to the world:
    “And fulfill the covenant of Allah when you have taken it, [O believers], and do not break oaths after their confirmation while you have made Allah, over you, a witness. Indeed, Allah knows what you do.” (16:91)

    Look this is all based on belief, one must pick which belief is most coherent. Bani Ismael and their growing confederates march on…

    Funny is funny.

    “God mocks them and gives them time to continue blindly in their transgressions.” (2:15)

    Yuck, yuck – here’s more rope…

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    By the way, this started out interesting - and a Muslim friend who is observing the thread is getting some amusement out of it (basically it's confirming our narrative - maybe my words are doing the same for you), but I'm having a difficult time taking this seriously anymore because of how childish it's getting.

    I'm sure we both have better things to do.
    , @Anon
    Not that it really matters, but your source is oversimplifying here:

    Now you want to expose your ignorance about Anglo-Saxon history too:
    “Until the late 20th century U.S. age of consent laws specifically names males as perpetrators and females as victims. Following English law, in which the age was set at 12 in 1275 and lowered to 10 in 1576, ages of consent in the American colonies were generally set at 10 or 12. The laws protected female virginity, which at the time was considered a valuable commodity until marriage.”
    Sex and Society, Volume 1
     
    The 1275 act did not actually specify an age; 12 was the common-law interpretation, and the general common-law interpretation of the 1576 act was that carnal knowledge of a woman between 10 and 12 had not been newly made legal, but harsher penalties imposed (felony without benefit of clergy) for violation of a woman beneath the age of 10, though of course the opposite argument could be made.

    Common law discussions should best be left to common-lawyers. You'd like it, it's a lot like fiqh.

    See also a modern opinion .
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anon
    Okay, let's agree that

    1. Mohammed was not the kind of guy you or I would want as a son- or brother-in-law.

    and

    2. Muslims disagree.

    If


    this is all extraneous to the main point. You claim that you are forced to conclude that the Bible has been corrupted because it portrays prophets with moral failings
     
    then let's talk about that, instead. You claim it would be possible to interpret what the patriarchs and prophets did in the Bible as upright, with a little bit of stretching, with which point I'm inclined to agree.

    But your original point was that Mohammed, being unaware of the precise content of the Biblical accounts, was also unaware of any significant contradiction between his own teaching and that of the Bible, and I'm not sure how the Biblical content itself could affect this argument, since the Prophet was putatively* unaware of it.

    You had a good point about the people of the book being advised to follow their own gospels, which to my mind Talha did not thoroughly deal with. I'd be interested in seeing what develops from that.

    *What is with the Firefox spellcheck dictionary? I have to add a word every time I type, it seems.

    But your original point was that Mohammed, being unaware of the precise content of the Biblical accounts, was also unaware of any significant contradiction between his own teaching and that of the Bible, and I’m not sure how the Biblical content itself could affect this argument, since the Prophet was putatively* unaware of it.

    Well I think there were three factors.

    1) Mohammed was possibly entirely illiterate and certainly couldn’t read Hebrew and Greek so he couldn’t check up the accurate versions of the stories he was telling.

    2) Arabia was full of heterodox Christian sects, Nestorians, Marcians, Arians, Eutychians etc. as well as Christian gnostics and those who held various pseudo-gospels to be sciptural. There were probably a smaller amount of heterodox Jews who would have believed in works like the book of Enoch, Jubilees etc. (and some Christians would have held these books holy). Mohammed would not only have heard inaccurate versions of stories, he would often have heard multiple conflicting versions of the same story. Add this to Midrashic retellings of Biblical stories he would have heard from orthodox Jews and you have a recipe for total confusion.

    3) Sometimes he just changed a story to make it fit with his agenda, for example “the binding of Ishmael”.

    With regards to no. 3 you can ask why Mohammed wasn’t clear that he was “correcting” the Jewish or Christian Bible. I think this assumes a lot more coherence in his message than we have reason to expect. In fact, the Koran and Hadith are apparently incoherent even on the basic question of which of Abraham’s sons was taken up Mt. Moriah.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishmael_in_Islam

    2. Muslims disagree.

    I think Talha would be horrified if Mohammad married his daughter.

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  • @Talha
    And honestly, this is not going anywhere and isn't likely to go anywhere - you're just going to post more stuff, then I'm going to spend time refuting it. It is really a waste of both our times.

    "And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation, but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ." (5:48)

    You see, this is why apologetics suck.

    ~Second off – if one looks at this chart, one sees that most US states thought 10 year olds could consent to sex (all thought 12 year olds could and Delaware thought 7 was kosher) – and this is not that long ago (just before the 20th century):

    https://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/case-studies/230?section=primarysources&source=24

    Does that mean all these people were immoral degenerates until we finally figured out the correct moral code of life on this subject?

    Stop and think for a second. Prior to the mid-19th century there were no age-of-consent laws at all, that would mean, if your logic held true, that early 19th century Americans and Europeans thought it was licit to have sex with babies. Obviously, something else is going on and I will explain it to you.

    Over the 19th century a new concept of rape was being developed: “sex without consent of one party”. Part of this process was defining ages of consent, such that anyone who had sex with someone under that age was ipso facto guilty of rape. When the laws were introduced the ages specified were quite young and they were gradually raised. Now, parenthetically, it is my opinion that this has gone too far, it is obviously absurd to say that someone who has sex with a willing 15 year old is a rapist and, in fact, most courts will not convict someone for this. The problem is that in modern liberalism the only non-licit forms of sexual activity so any attempt to modify the age of consent down to a more reasonable level would be taken as permission to have sex with minors. (Even more parenthetically, I think the whole liberal concept of rape is itself incoherent, and a clumsy replacement for traditional sexual ethics, and this can be clearly seen by the widespread confusion about what is and isn’t rape).

    But back to our topic, what this does not mean is that people in 19th century America thought it was normal to have sex with ten year olds. If that was so, you would expect to find that Abraham Lincoln married a 12 year old, Jefferson Davis had a tryst with a 10 year old, Andrew Jackson eloped with an 11 year old etc. but you can’t find any examples of such behaviour because normal people are not attracted to ten year olds, still less nine year olds and deviants who are have to conduct themselves in secret unless G-d tells them in a cave it’s OK.

    They do now – plenty of them have studied all of this, and still find no problems naming their sons after him.

    And how well they turn out http://www.pmclauth.com/sentenced/Grooming-Gang-Statistics/Gangs-Jailed

    Don’t you suspect that if Mohammed had been a one-wife, twice a week kind of a guy then this wouldn’t happen with such alarming frequency?

    Am I really supposed to gauge transcendent morality by randomly asking the ‘man on the street’?

    This, again, is why apologetics suck. You claim that Biblical figures act in an inexcusable fashion, thus the Bible must be corrupted and then you say that we cannot judge morality and G-d can just make any old thing moral if he says so.

    And if you hold them blameless then I understand who I am dealing with.

    Not that is is pertinent, but I hold them blameworthy in the same sense I hold liberals who supported the civil rights movement blameworthy for the epidemic of black crime that proceeded from it. No-one forced Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis to blow up and kill each other by the hundreds of thousands, not the neocons and not anyone else, indeed they poured huge amounts of money and manpower into a mostly futile effort to get you to stop.

    Of course you do.

    Funny is funny.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    Prior to the mid-19th century there were no age-of-consent laws at all
     
    Now you want to expose your ignorance about Anglo-Saxon history too:
    "Until the late 20th century U.S. age of consent laws specifically names males as perpetrators and females as victims. Following English law, in which the age was set at 12 in 1275 and lowered to 10 in 1576, ages of consent in the American colonies were generally set at 10 or 12. The laws protected female virginity, which at the time was considered a valuable commodity until marriage."
    Sex and Society, Volume 1

    But back to our topic, what this does not mean is that people in 19th century America thought it was normal to have sex with ten year olds.
     
    You clearly have no idea what you are talking about:
    "Age of sexual consent, for example, rose from 7 during colonial times to 10, 12, and eventually as high as 14 during the eighteenth centuries. By the late 1800s, the average age of consent in the United States was 14. Across the nation, however the age of consent was raised slowly, unevenly, and with great reluctance. Legislators’ opposition to changing age of consent laws reveals important pre-ninteenth century understandings of childhood and child sexuality, as well as female sexuality."
    Not My Kid: What Parents Believe about the Sex Lives of Their Teenagers

    "After 1885, age of consent laws changed around the country, reaching 16 in New Yorkin 1889 and 18 in 1895. Prior to these changes, the age of consent in most places in the United States was 10 to 12 years. Gilfoyle describes a level of acceptability of sex with pre-pubescent girls, citing the absence of the risk of pregnancy and the myth that sex with a virgin would cure sexually transmitted infections."
    Prostitution and Sex Work

    And you keep on bringing up the number 9 again and again as if that makes a difference. The number is not the main factor - the main factor is puberty which varies from person to person and which can occur perfectly naturally at nine or later:
    “We conclude that signs of puberty in 6- to 8-year-old girls should not be considered normal or benign.”
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/111/1/47

    Prof. Nigosian (an Armenian Christian minister and historian of Islam) states the following about Muslims:
    “It was not uncommon at one time for children to be married even before they reached puberty, though they were not permitted to cohabit until they were at least sexually mature.”
    Islam: Its History, Teaching, and Practices

    Which is almost verbatim what I quoted about diaspora Jewish culture:
    "Minor girls were betrothed by their fathers (by Kidushin, a legally binding commitment) even before they came of age, and usually began living with their husbands - occasionally much older than them – at the age of puberty."


    you would expect to find that Abraham Lincoln married a 12 year old
     
    Well according to your folk, that is fine:
    "Minors (i.e., such as have not reached the age of puberty, which was held to begin at thirteen years in males, and twelve in females), are also precluded from contracting marriages (see Majority). A daughter who was a minor could be given in marriage by her father; and such a marriage was valid."
    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10435-marriage-laws

    So all of this is posturing on your part anyway and choosing an arbitrary age of 15 or something which has no basis other than in some fuzzy changing cultural outlook or to try to win points. Look, if you want me to take you seriously, do the following:
    1) Declare every person in history that consummated marriage with a girl at puberty (no matter what her age) to be paedophiles or child-rapists, etc. Then you can deal with the consequences on the Day of Judgement for calumny if you are wrong.
    2) Ready yourself for mubahala if you are ready to stand on your conviction and we can mutually call down the curse of God on whichever one of us is lying about the Prophet (pbuh).

    Otherwise, don't waste my time.


    And how well they turn out
     
    We have dirty laundry, and so do you:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOEldjyTVps

    You claim that Biblical figures act in an inexcusable fashion
     
    According to your own rules. You are saying that they did A, B, and C and went 'astray'.

    According to our principles, since they are protected from sins, they;
    1) Either did A, B and C and thus you cannot pass judgement on them and should follow their example or
    2) They never did A, B and C and you got the record wrong

    Here are the principles you are putting forward:
    1) Prophets can sin (sometimes egregiously) and tell falsehoods
    2) Your rabbis are also not free from error
    3) Your texts were being 'processed' over a thousand years after the people they claim to speak about:
    "Remarkably, some of these ancient copies are identical to the traditional text of the Hebrew Bible that is used today. Other copies preserve differences in the text, which was in the process of standardisation."
    http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/featured-scrolls?locale=en_US

    "Because 11QPs constains many Psalms in an order different from that found in M, as well as several compositions not present in the MT-150 Psalter, this document challenges traditional ideas concerning the shape and finalization of the Book of Psalms."
    The Dead Sea Psalms Scrolls and the Book of Psalms, Volume 17

    So who was working on this 'work in progress'? Why should we believe they are inerrant when the prophets themselves aren't protected? Because there is a promise from God that it will be protected, where does it say that? Oh in the text...written by? Oh...

    You're basically saying; "What our writings say is the truth, because..."
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xafO3c2lKUc

    Now if you are going to say, well it's because the Jewish people collectively are Divinely protected from error - well, nobody believes you, but you. Case in point; the majority of the world believes that the Son of Mary (pbuh) was the Messiah (we only differ with Christians about what they record about him and his nature - but both of us consider him to be truthful and God-sent - heck, even many Hindus believe he was an avatar in the West). Your numbers compared to world population that believes him is a rounding error. Or maybe we are all oafs.

    Which reminds me of something you said..."cheating your oafish brother out of a blessing". You asked for motive, well there you go, bro. If you don't think much of impugning a prophet of this kind of conduct, well then, what 'big deal' is it to alter the texts so that only one son is legitimate, only one son has the covenant, only one son is the chosen? All of what you say about Ismael (pbuh) is suspect for good reason.

    And you bring up that issue that Muslims don't know for sure which son was the sacrifice. This is true; most believe it was Ismael (pbuh) and a minority say it was Ishaac (pbuh) - may both their memories be blessed - did you ever care to wonder why? Because that detail, to us, is irrelevant - for you it is your core identity. The point of the story is the willingness of Abraham (pbuh) to sacrifice his son - whichever one it was because he loved them both immensely and God blessed them both in unique ways...and the covenant was established with both of them and, through Ismael (pbuh), by extension to the world:
    "And fulfill the covenant of Allah when you have taken it, [O believers], and do not break oaths after their confirmation while you have made Allah, over you, a witness. Indeed, Allah knows what you do." (16:91)

    Look this is all based on belief, one must pick which belief is most coherent. Bani Ismael and their growing confederates march on...


    Funny is funny.
     
    "God mocks them and gives them time to continue blindly in their transgressions." (2:15)

    Yuck, yuck - here's more rope...

    Peace.

    , @Talha
    Oh and...

    No-one forced Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis to blow up and kill each other by the hundreds of thousands, not the neocons and not anyone else,
     
    This is true - it is a shame that so many Muslims turned on each other once the country was shattered. We cannot blame others for our own actions, there was no need for this kind of slaughter.

    indeed they poured huge amounts of money and manpower into a mostly futile effort to get you to stop.
     
    Nonsense, they poured fuel on the fire; case in point - Syria.

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    Seriously, tell that to a random guy in the street.
     
    Depends on which street, call the Prophet (pbuh) a child molester on the streets of Cairo, see what happens.

    there are really only two possibilities here
     
    If you keep insisting on this point even after the evidence has been presented to you, then...have you heard of mubahala? It's basically an ancient game of chicken. We both believe in the God of Abraham (pbuh) with full conviction, correct? You say the Prophet (pbuh) was a paedophile - I seek refuge in God - and I say he was not. Are you willing to commit to both of us calling down the curse of God upon whichever one of us is lying? How well do you have conviction in your position? I'm ready to go.

    The difference is that you can’t admit that Muhammad’s life has a lot of junk in it because you are tied to the belief that he is the exemplary human being.
     
    Like I said, if you are tied to the belief that the emissaries of God had 'junk' in their lives - go for it, my friend. Then we simply cannot take you seriously if you say that they transmitted the truth about God - even if you say you preserved it 100%. If they could disobey God, they could falsify His teachings. If you feel you can criticize the prophets sent to you - then of course you can criticize the one sent to us. We criticize neither, rather we criticize the reliability of your sources. We're both waiting - let's see what is most acceptable to God when we meet Him.

    One word: creepy.
     
    More words: evidence that a man that is married to multiple women is allowed to visit each of them in the day for sexual relations even if he is committed to spending the night with one of them - due to her turn.

    Solomon was led astray
     
    Does not compute.

    We do not regard him as an exemplary human being
     
    Does not compute - you are welcome to your version. We will call to ours.

    "'O David, indeed We have made you a successor upon the earth, so judge between the people in truth and do not follow [your own] desire, as it will lead you astray from the way of God.' Indeed, those who go astray from the way of God will have a severe punishment for having forgotten the Day of Account." (38:26)

    Sure sounds like Muhammad was the kind of guy who might …. burn people alive.
     
    Correct or was about to mutilate the enemy dead, which was normative practice at the time (have you not read about warfare of Late Antiquity?) - which is proof for us that God always guided His Messenger (pbuh) to the right path even against his own personal judgement - he was always being raised in perfection of conduct.

    “Millions” of people didn’t follow him
     
    They do now - plenty of them have studied all of this, and still find no problems naming their sons after him.

    we would expect decent followers of Donald Trump, if such could be found, to condemn the book as a wicked libel on their leader
     
    Ummm...Imam Malik (ra) - a jurist and hadith scholar of the highest level called him a liar and imposter for his stories about the Prophet (pbuh). Others were more guarded in their words and simply stated he was unreliable. Like I said, stick with Ibn Ishaq - it shows the desperation of your positions. We also have books in which we recorded and collected outright false and fabricated hadith; why don;t you look through those and see what juicy stuff you can find? I mean, some Muslim scholar Abu So-and-so collected and published them, right?

    go into the street and ask people which is more wrong
     
    Am I really supposed to gauge transcendent morality by randomly asking the 'man on the street'? Why don't I judge gay marriage by this? What about if I asked someone two centuries ago?
    https://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/case-studies/230?section=primarysources&source=24

    And...your folk have always used puberty (as almost all pre-modern societies) as the litmus test:
    "Minor girls were betrothed by their fathers (by Kidushin, a legally binding commitment) even before they came of age, and usually began living with their husbands-occasionally much older than them - at the age of puberty."
    Jewish Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Culture

    With that said, I have no idea why you expect civility on my part.
     
    Maybe I gave you more credit than I should have. Honestly, it is appalling how you don't care to hit below the belt, bringing up the age of Lady Aisha again and again. Like I said - I'm ready for mubahala when you are. I don't know if it is a jealousy that we have a belief in the untarnished view of the prophets or what - but this is seriously getting personal.

    to conversing with holocaust-deniers and unhinged Jew-haters
     
    They are human beings. I do not agree with them even if I converse civilly. Everyone can be redeemed and I have my words to answer for and they have theirs. It is funny you don't point out that I have also been called vile terms like 'Uncle Talha' and a sell-out because I converse civilly with Jewish people on this forum and even Zionists and even those who call themselves hardcore extremists (talking about you 'Greasy' if you are listening).

    And I'm conversing with you with decency, even though you seem to be a 'hater spreading wild and baseless libels against my religion.'

    And, after years and years and years of this, I’m pretty sick of it.
     
    Same here - when do I defend ethnic rape gangs exactly? Talk about left field - should I just randomly link to the fact that some extremist Jews visit the grave of Baruch Goldstein. Why don't they kick them out - these guys make our job a lot harder. If Muslims behaved according to our ethics we wouldn't have to be dealing with half the nonsense we do now.

    but respond to anyone pointing out that Muslims across the world are killing each other and everyone else in industrial numbers
     
    I remember telling others we Muslims need to take full responsibility for the mess we are in:
    http://www.unz.com/article/israel-wins-in-november/?highlight=sanguinary#comment-1570384

    "The backwardness that the Muslim world faces is entirely our own fault. We have lost our bearings:
    'Verily, we were a disgraceful people and Allah honored us with Islam, so if we seek honor from other than Islam, then Allah will humiliate us.' reported from Umar al-Khattab (ra)
    Our Lord has every right to censure, correct and humiliate His slaves at the hands of His other slaves until we mend our ways."
    http://www.unz.com/ldinh/unhappy-women/?highlight=right#comment-1703229

    neocons
     
    And if you hold them blameless then I understand who I am dealing with.

    You literally call for the dissolution of my country.
     
    I have never called for that - but I doubt there is any other eventuality. I have always called for people sticking to the current UN international framework - so do not put words in my mouth. If Israel falls apart, I could care less - a nation-state is an abstract social organization - I don't particularly care if Pakistan falls apart. But I do care that the Jews get treated decently even if the Muslims eventually take over. As one of my teachers stated; we want for Bani Israel what their father Jacob (pbuh) would have wanted for them - and yes, we disagree on the details, but it definitely does not include a slaughter in the Holy Land.

    So if you are saying that all these low-brow attacks on my religion have been specifically because of your concern for Israel then it honestly just provides more evidence as to how many supporters of Israel have no compunction about how they attack Islam. Thanks for the confirmation.

    I like David Wood.
     
    Of course you do.

    Peace.

    And honestly, this is not going anywhere and isn’t likely to go anywhere – you’re just going to post more stuff, then I’m going to spend time refuting it. It is really a waste of both our times.

    “And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation, but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.” (5:48)

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    • Replies: @Gabriel M
    You see, this is why apologetics suck.

    ~Second off – if one looks at this chart, one sees that most US states thought 10 year olds could consent to sex (all thought 12 year olds could and Delaware thought 7 was kosher) – and this is not that long ago (just before the 20th century):
    https://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/case-studies/230?section=primarysources&source=24

    Does that mean all these people were immoral degenerates until we finally figured out the correct moral code of life on this subject?
     
    Stop and think for a second. Prior to the mid-19th century there were no age-of-consent laws at all, that would mean, if your logic held true, that early 19th century Americans and Europeans thought it was licit to have sex with babies. Obviously, something else is going on and I will explain it to you.

    Over the 19th century a new concept of rape was being developed: "sex without consent of one party". Part of this process was defining ages of consent, such that anyone who had sex with someone under that age was ipso facto guilty of rape. When the laws were introduced the ages specified were quite young and they were gradually raised. Now, parenthetically, it is my opinion that this has gone too far, it is obviously absurd to say that someone who has sex with a willing 15 year old is a rapist and, in fact, most courts will not convict someone for this. The problem is that in modern liberalism the only non-licit forms of sexual activity so any attempt to modify the age of consent down to a more reasonable level would be taken as permission to have sex with minors. (Even more parenthetically, I think the whole liberal concept of rape is itself incoherent, and a clumsy replacement for traditional sexual ethics, and this can be clearly seen by the widespread confusion about what is and isn't rape).

    But back to our topic, what this does not mean is that people in 19th century America thought it was normal to have sex with ten year olds. If that was so, you would expect to find that Abraham Lincoln married a 12 year old, Jefferson Davis had a tryst with a 10 year old, Andrew Jackson eloped with an 11 year old etc. but you can't find any examples of such behaviour because normal people are not attracted to ten year olds, still less nine year olds and deviants who are have to conduct themselves in secret unless G-d tells them in a cave it's OK.

    They do now – plenty of them have studied all of this, and still find no problems naming their sons after him.
     
    And how well they turn out http://www.pmclauth.com/sentenced/Grooming-Gang-Statistics/Gangs-Jailed

    Don't you suspect that if Mohammed had been a one-wife, twice a week kind of a guy then this wouldn't happen with such alarming frequency?

    Am I really supposed to gauge transcendent morality by randomly asking the ‘man on the street’?
     
    This, again, is why apologetics suck. You claim that Biblical figures act in an inexcusable fashion, thus the Bible must be corrupted and then you say that we cannot judge morality and G-d can just make any old thing moral if he says so.


    And if you hold them blameless then I understand who I am dealing with.
     
    Not that is is pertinent, but I hold them blameworthy in the same sense I hold liberals who supported the civil rights movement blameworthy for the epidemic of black crime that proceeded from it. No-one forced Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis to blow up and kill each other by the hundreds of thousands, not the neocons and not anyone else, indeed they poured huge amounts of money and manpower into a mostly futile effort to get you to stop.

    Of course you do.
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0taTSaUO2hM

    Funny is funny.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Gabriel M

    No, (though there is difference of opinion on her being older – the strongest source is indeed nine) she was a nine year old woman – since a girl who has experienced menarche has reached adulthood. And they can at nine:
     
    Seriously, tell that to a random guy in the street. He'll knock your teeth out. Again, there are really only two possibilities here. (i) You are a paedophile, (ii) you are forced to defend paedophilia because you have the unetnable belief that a paedophile was the most exemplary human being ever to have lived.

    So if you insist at the lowest age reported. Why can’t we insist that you say the age of 3 for Rebecca? Some prominent Rabbis obviously had no problem with it.
     
    There's a lot of garbage out there in rabbinical sources. It's obvious that she was not 3 since the Torah record her fetching water and conversing in an adult fashion. Now, that brings me on to a relevant topic. Occasionally, a critic of Judaism finds something in Talmudic or other literature that is completely inane, ridiculous, obviously untrue, incompatible with science or morally indefensible. Jewish apologists then scan the archives for a single commentator who explains the statement in a more acceptable fashion or, if that fails, concoct an explanation themselves and then say the critic of Judaism is "ignorant". I've seen this hundreds of times from the inside and I find it pathetic. The simple truth is the Talmud has some junk in it. I therefore know exactly what you are doing from the inside, so to speak,. The difference is that you can't admit that Muhammad's life has a lot of junk in it because you are tied to the belief that he is the exemplary human being.

    “The Prophet used to visit all his wives in one night and he had nine wives at that time.”
    https://muflihun.com/bukhari/5/282
     
    Turn back a few pages

    Anas bin Malik said, "The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number." I asked Anas, "Had the Prophet the strength for it?" Anas replied, "We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men)." And Sa'id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven).
     
    https://muflihun.com/bukhari/5/268

    One word: creepy.

    (Sigh) No, he simply asked him why he didn’t marry a virgin
     
    Creepy.

    The Prophet King Solomon (pbuh) had over a hundred wives – ain’t nothing wrong with that if God allows it.
     
    The Bible relates that Solomon was led astray as a consequence of his excessive desire for wives.

    Yeah – your narrative is really sound; millions of people followed him because he was a manipulative, murdering, child-raping, torturing, treasure seeking/hoarding, transvestite, sex-crazed, mad man, who came up with a (remarkably coherent religion) in order to rule the world – bwaahaahaahaaa!
     
    "Millions" of people didn't follow him. Lots of people followed him because he was a successful chieftan, slaughtering anyone who got in his way and rewarding his followers. People like a winner.

    For someone who knows about the tradition of prophets who were also warrior-kings this doesn’t seem genuine.

     

    (i) King David was not allowed, according to our tradition, to build the temple because his hands were stained with the blood of war. (ii) We do not regard him as an exemplary human being. (iii) King David was a legitimate monarch fought wars to liberate the Jewish people and expand their territory, in line with historical norms. He wasn't some random guy who decided he was allowed to conquer the whole world because G-d said so. (iv) My surprise was at your blithe excuse that Muhammad was about to burn some people alive to Allah told him that this was wrong. Sure sounds like Muhammad was the kind of guy who might .... burn people alive.

    That brings me to Ibn Isshaq. Let's imagine that a supporter of Donald Trump wrote a book for other supporters of Donald Trump detailing his various exploits, one of which was that he burned someone alive because he wouldn't reveal the location of his treasure. Even if we didn't believe the actual story, we would be forced to conclude that the followers of Donald Trump are bunch of deranged nutcases. Moreover, we would expect decent followers of Donald Trump, if such could be found, to condemn the book as a wicked libel on their leader, not say "well, this Ibn Isshaq is a bit unreliable, but it's still a useful source for chronology."


    But this is all extraneous to the main point. You claim that you are forced to conclude that the Bible has been corrupted because it portrays prophets with moral failings. However, by the apologetic strategies you employ you can excuse anyone. Again, go into the street and ask people which is more wrong: cheating your oafish brother out of a blessing or having sex with a nine year old "woman".

    Just a note – I actually had more respect for you from our previous exchanges. Some of the stuff you are resorting you is a bit low brow actually (one of the reasons I completely left posting on Mr. Sailer’s threads). I’m simply explaining the core beliefs of my religion which contradict yours and the reasoning behind why they make coherent sense to us.

    I looked through the exchange to see where I could have triggered the antagonism by being brutish or nasty, but couldn’t find it.
     
    Let me start by saying that I believe you are an upright and moral individual and, what is more, I believe that Muslims who subscribe to your traditionalist-conservative Islam are more likely to be good citizens of whatever country they are in than ones who become irreligious or Salafist (whatever you want to call them). With that said, I have no idea why you expect civility on my part. You devote hundreds of comments to conversing with holocaust-deniers and unhinged Jew-haters spreading wild and baseless libels against my country, which you know nothing about. You cry crocodile tears about the Palestinians, but respond to anyone pointing out that Muslims across the world are killing each other and everyone else in industrial numbers by saying "the neocons made us do it". You literally call for the dissolution of my country.

    On top of that, part way through our conversation, I read this.

    Two of Rotherham child-abuse gang shout 'Allahu Akbar' in court after being handed jail terms
     
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/rotherham-child-abuse-gang-shout-allahu-akbar-court-after-being-handed-80-year-jail-term-1604539

    And, after years and years and years of this, I'm pretty sick of it.

    Can we quit this tennis match while we are ahead or do you have more nonsense you want to copy-paste from your homies at jihadwatch or wikiislam?
     
    I like David Wood.

    Hey Gabriel,

    Seriously, tell that to a random guy in the street.

    Depends on which street, call the Prophet (pbuh) a child molester on the streets of Cairo, see what happens.

    there are really only two possibilities here

    If you keep insisting on this point even after the evidence has been presented to you, then…have you heard of mubahala? It’s basically an ancient game of chicken. We both believe in the God of Abraham (pbuh) with full conviction, correct? You say the Prophet (pbuh) was a paedophile – I seek refuge in God – and I say he was not. Are you willing to commit to both of us calling down the curse of God upon whichever one of us is lying? How well do you have conviction in your position? I’m ready to go.

    The difference is that you can’t admit that Muhammad’s life has a lot of junk in it because you are tied to the belief that he is the exemplary human being.

    Like I said, if you are tied to the belief that the emissaries of God had ‘junk’ in their lives – go for it, my friend. Then we simply cannot take you seriously if you say that they transmitted the truth about God – even if you say you preserved it 100%. If they could disobey God, they could falsify His teachings. If you feel you can criticize the prophets sent to you – then of course you can criticize the one sent to us. We criticize neither, rather we criticize the reliability of your sources. We’re both waiting – let’s see what is most acceptable to God when we meet Him.

    One word: creepy.

    More words: evidence that a man that is married to multiple women is allowed to visit each of them in the day for sexual relations even if he is committed to spending the night with one of them – due to her turn.

    Solomon was led astray

    Does not compute.

    We do not regard him as an exemplary human being

    Does not compute – you are welcome to your version. We will call to ours.

    “‘O David, indeed We have made you a successor upon the earth, so judge between the people in truth and do not follow [your own] desire, as it will lead you astray from the way of God.’ Indeed, those who go astray from the way of God will have a severe punishment for having forgotten the Day of Account.” (38:26)

    Sure sounds like Muhammad was the kind of guy who might …. burn people alive.

    Correct or was about to mutilate the enemy dead, which was normative practice at the time (have you not read about warfare of Late Antiquity?) – which is proof for us that God always guided His Messenger (pbuh) to the right path even against his own personal judgement – he was always being raised in perfection of conduct.

    “Millions” of people didn’t follow him

    They do now – plenty of them have studied all of this, and still find no problems naming their sons after him.

    we would expect decent followers of Donald Trump, if such could be found, to condemn the book as a wicked libel on their leader

    Ummm…Imam Malik (ra) – a jurist and hadith scholar of the highest level called him a liar and imposter for his stories about the Prophet (pbuh). Others were more guarded in their words and simply stated he was unreliable. Like I said, stick with Ibn Ishaq – it shows the desperation of your positions. We also have books in which we recorded and collected outright false and fabricated hadith; why don;t you look through those and see what juicy stuff you can find? I mean, some Muslim scholar Abu So-and-so collected and published them, right?

    go into the street and ask people which is more wrong

    Am I really supposed to gauge transcendent morality by randomly asking the ‘man on the street’? Why don’t I judge gay marriage by this? What about if I asked someone two centuries ago?

    https://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/case-studies/230?section=primarysources&source=24

    And…your folk have always used puberty (as almost all pre-modern societies) as the litmus test:
    “Minor girls were betrothed by their fathers (by Kidushin, a legally binding commitment) even before they came of age, and usually began living with their husbands-occasionally much older than them – at the age of puberty.”
    Jewish Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Culture

    With that said, I have no idea why you expect civility on my part.

    Maybe I gave you more credit than I should have. Honestly, it is appalling how you don’t care to hit below the belt, bringing up the age of Lady Aisha again and again. Like I said – I’m ready for mubahala when you are. I don’t know if it is a jealousy that we have a belief in the untarnished view of the prophets or what – but this is seriously getting personal.

    to conversing with holocaust-deniers and unhinged Jew-haters

    They are human beings. I do not agree with them even if I converse civilly. Everyone can be redeemed and I have my words to answer for and they have theirs. It is funny you don’t point out that I have also been called vile terms like ‘Uncle Talha’ and a sell-out because I converse civilly with Jewish people on this forum and even Zionists and even those who call themselves hardcore extremists (talking about you ‘Greasy’ if you are listening).

    And I’m conversing with you with decency, even though you seem to be a ‘hater spreading wild and baseless libels against my religion.’

    And, after years and years and years of this, I’m pretty sick of it.

    Same here – when do I defend ethnic rape gangs exactly? Talk about left field – should I just randomly link to the fact that some extremist Jews visit the grave of Baruch Goldstein. Why don’t they kick them out – these guys make our job a lot harder. If Muslims behaved according to our ethics we wouldn’t have to be dealing with half the nonsense we do now.

    but respond to anyone pointing out that Muslims across the world are killing each other and everyone else in industrial numbers

    I remember telling others we Muslims need to take full responsibility for the mess we are in:

    http://www.unz.com/article/israel-wins-in-november/?highlight=sanguinary#comment-1570384

    “The backwardness that the Muslim world faces is entirely our own fault. We have lost our bearings:
    ‘Verily, we were a disgraceful people and Allah honored us with Islam, so if we seek honor from other than Islam, then Allah will humiliate us.’ reported from Umar al-Khattab (ra)
    Our Lord has every right to censure, correct and humiliate His slaves at the hands of His other slaves until we mend our ways.”

    http://www.unz.com/ldinh/unhappy-women/?highlight=right#comment-1703229

    neocons

    And if you hold them blameless then I understand who I am dealing with.

    You literally call for the dissolution of my country.

    I have never called for that – but I doubt there is any other eventuality. I have always called for people sticking to the current UN international framework – so do not put words in my mouth. If Israel falls apart, I could care less – a nation-state is an abstract social organization – I don’t particularly care if Pakistan falls apart. But I do care that the Jews get treated decently even if the Muslims eventually take over. As one of my teachers stated; we want for Bani Israel what their father Jacob (pbuh) would have wanted for them – and yes, we disagree on the details, but it definitely does not include a slaughter in the Holy Land.

    So if you are saying that all these low-brow attacks on my religion have been specifically because of your concern for Israel then it honestly just provides more evidence as to how many supporters of Israel have no compunction about how they attack Islam. Thanks for the confirmation.

    I like David Wood.

    Of course you do.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    And honestly, this is not going anywhere and isn't likely to go anywhere - you're just going to post more stuff, then I'm going to spend time refuting it. It is really a waste of both our times.

    "And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation, but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ." (5:48)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Gabriel M

    No, (though there is difference of opinion on her being older – the strongest source is indeed nine) she was a nine year old woman – since a girl who has experienced menarche has reached adulthood. And they can at nine:
     
    Seriously, tell that to a random guy in the street. He'll knock your teeth out. Again, there are really only two possibilities here. (i) You are a paedophile, (ii) you are forced to defend paedophilia because you have the unetnable belief that a paedophile was the most exemplary human being ever to have lived.

    So if you insist at the lowest age reported. Why can’t we insist that you say the age of 3 for Rebecca? Some prominent Rabbis obviously had no problem with it.
     
    There's a lot of garbage out there in rabbinical sources. It's obvious that she was not 3 since the Torah record her fetching water and conversing in an adult fashion. Now, that brings me on to a relevant topic. Occasionally, a critic of Judaism finds something in Talmudic or other literature that is completely inane, ridiculous, obviously untrue, incompatible with science or morally indefensible. Jewish apologists then scan the archives for a single commentator who explains the statement in a more acceptable fashion or, if that fails, concoct an explanation themselves and then say the critic of Judaism is "ignorant". I've seen this hundreds of times from the inside and I find it pathetic. The simple truth is the Talmud has some junk in it. I therefore know exactly what you are doing from the inside, so to speak,. The difference is that you can't admit that Muhammad's life has a lot of junk in it because you are tied to the belief that he is the exemplary human being.

    “The Prophet used to visit all his wives in one night and he had nine wives at that time.”
    https://muflihun.com/bukhari/5/282
     
    Turn back a few pages

    Anas bin Malik said, "The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number." I asked Anas, "Had the Prophet the strength for it?" Anas replied, "We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men)." And Sa'id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven).
     
    https://muflihun.com/bukhari/5/268

    One word: creepy.

    (Sigh) No, he simply asked him why he didn’t marry a virgin
     
    Creepy.

    The Prophet King Solomon (pbuh) had over a hundred wives – ain’t nothing wrong with that if God allows it.
     
    The Bible relates that Solomon was led astray as a consequence of his excessive desire for wives.

    Yeah – your narrative is really sound; millions of people followed him because he was a manipulative, murdering, child-raping, torturing, treasure seeking/hoarding, transvestite, sex-crazed, mad man, who came up with a (remarkably coherent religion) in order to rule the world – bwaahaahaahaaa!
     
    "Millions" of people didn't follow him. Lots of people followed him because he was a successful chieftan, slaughtering anyone who got in his way and rewarding his followers. People like a winner.

    For someone who knows about the tradition of prophets who were also warrior-kings this doesn’t seem genuine.

     

    (i) King David was not allowed, according to our tradition, to build the temple because his hands were stained with the blood of war. (ii) We do not regard him as an exemplary human being. (iii) King David was a legitimate monarch fought wars to liberate the Jewish people and expand their territory, in line with historical norms. He wasn't some random guy who decided he was allowed to conquer the whole world because G-d said so. (iv) My surprise was at your blithe excuse that Muhammad was about to burn some people alive to Allah told him that this was wrong. Sure sounds like Muhammad was the kind of guy who might .... burn people alive.

    That brings me to Ibn Isshaq. Let's imagine that a supporter of Donald Trump wrote a book for other supporters of Donald Trump detailing his various exploits, one of which was that he burned someone alive because he wouldn't reveal the location of his treasure. Even if we didn't believe the actual story, we would be forced to conclude that the followers of Donald Trump are bunch of deranged nutcases. Moreover, we would expect decent followers of Donald Trump, if such could be found, to condemn the book as a wicked libel on their leader, not say "well, this Ibn Isshaq is a bit unreliable, but it's still a useful source for chronology."


    But this is all extraneous to the main point. You claim that you are forced to conclude that the Bible has been corrupted because it portrays prophets with moral failings. However, by the apologetic strategies you employ you can excuse anyone. Again, go into the street and ask people which is more wrong: cheating your oafish brother out of a blessing or having sex with a nine year old "woman".

    Just a note – I actually had more respect for you from our previous exchanges. Some of the stuff you are resorting you is a bit low brow actually (one of the reasons I completely left posting on Mr. Sailer’s threads). I’m simply explaining the core beliefs of my religion which contradict yours and the reasoning behind why they make coherent sense to us.

    I looked through the exchange to see where I could have triggered the antagonism by being brutish or nasty, but couldn’t find it.
     
    Let me start by saying that I believe you are an upright and moral individual and, what is more, I believe that Muslims who subscribe to your traditionalist-conservative Islam are more likely to be good citizens of whatever country they are in than ones who become irreligious or Salafist (whatever you want to call them). With that said, I have no idea why you expect civility on my part. You devote hundreds of comments to conversing with holocaust-deniers and unhinged Jew-haters spreading wild and baseless libels against my country, which you know nothing about. You cry crocodile tears about the Palestinians, but respond to anyone pointing out that Muslims across the world are killing each other and everyone else in industrial numbers by saying "the neocons made us do it". You literally call for the dissolution of my country.

    On top of that, part way through our conversation, I read this.

    Two of Rotherham child-abuse gang shout 'Allahu Akbar' in court after being handed jail terms
     
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/rotherham-child-abuse-gang-shout-allahu-akbar-court-after-being-handed-80-year-jail-term-1604539

    And, after years and years and years of this, I'm pretty sick of it.

    Can we quit this tennis match while we are ahead or do you have more nonsense you want to copy-paste from your homies at jihadwatch or wikiislam?
     
    I like David Wood.

    Okay, let’s agree that

    1. Mohammed was not the kind of guy you or I would want as a son- or brother-in-law.

    and

    2. Muslims disagree.

    If

    this is all extraneous to the main point. You claim that you are forced to conclude that the Bible has been corrupted because it portrays prophets with moral failings

    then let’s talk about that, instead. You claim it would be possible to interpret what the patriarchs and prophets did in the Bible as upright, with a little bit of stretching, with which point I’m inclined to agree.

    But your original point was that Mohammed, being unaware of the precise content of the Biblical accounts, was also unaware of any significant contradiction between his own teaching and that of the Bible, and I’m not sure how the Biblical content itself could affect this argument, since the Prophet was putatively* unaware of it.

    You had a good point about the people of the book being advised to follow their own gospels, which to my mind Talha did not thoroughly deal with. I’d be interested in seeing what develops from that.

    *What is with the Firefox spellcheck dictionary? I have to add a word every time I type, it seems.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Gabriel M

    But your original point was that Mohammed, being unaware of the precise content of the Biblical accounts, was also unaware of any significant contradiction between his own teaching and that of the Bible, and I’m not sure how the Biblical content itself could affect this argument, since the Prophet was putatively* unaware of it.
     
    Well I think there were three factors.

    1) Mohammed was possibly entirely illiterate and certainly couldn't read Hebrew and Greek so he couldn't check up the accurate versions of the stories he was telling.

    2) Arabia was full of heterodox Christian sects, Nestorians, Marcians, Arians, Eutychians etc. as well as Christian gnostics and those who held various pseudo-gospels to be sciptural. There were probably a smaller amount of heterodox Jews who would have believed in works like the book of Enoch, Jubilees etc. (and some Christians would have held these books holy). Mohammed would not only have heard inaccurate versions of stories, he would often have heard multiple conflicting versions of the same story. Add this to Midrashic retellings of Biblical stories he would have heard from orthodox Jews and you have a recipe for total confusion.

    3) Sometimes he just changed a story to make it fit with his agenda, for example "the binding of Ishmael".

    With regards to no. 3 you can ask why Mohammed wasn't clear that he was "correcting" the Jewish or Christian Bible. I think this assumes a lot more coherence in his message than we have reason to expect. In fact, the Koran and Hadith are apparently incoherent even on the basic question of which of Abraham's sons was taken up Mt. Moriah.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishmael_in_Islam


    2. Muslims disagree.
     
    I think Talha would be horrified if Mohammad married his daughter.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anon
    Just to be clear , re #189, I don't mean to insult anybody either. Differing perceptions are a result of differing ethical and cultural frameworks; you, for instance, and many Jews as well, would certainly call us, quite sincerely, idolaters and possibly polytheists.

    No problem – none taken. Look – we have to share the world together, so we might as well get along. Now we are going to disagree – that is a given – we should just be forthright and honest and mature about it – as you are.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anon
    In defense of Gabriel M...

    I'm not really sure how the argument over whether Mohammed* was an appealing personality or not came in to what I thought was a very interesting and still ongoing discussion about how the Prophet and his earliest followers viewed the Christian and Jewish scriptures. On second thought, I do see; the argument was that as prophets are sinless in Islam, the Bible must be corrupted because its prophets are not, whereupon Gabe argued that Prophet is as awful a person as any Biblical prophet, etc. etc. etc. where we are now. It's a sideline and not an interesting one, considering that the following two things are obvious:

    1. From a modern Jewish-Christian standpoint (which exists; the Jews have been around us so long they've picked up a lot of our attitudes, and possibly vice-versa) the Prophet was possibly a cruel man, certainly a vulgar and perverted one.

    2. From a seventh-century Arab standpoint, and presumably a timeless Muslim standpoint, he was a perfectly normal and perfectly moral fellow.

    I generally avoid mentioning (1) in polite company because there is hardly ever a good reason to, much the same way as I get annoyed when Nietzscheans or other fools go on about Christianity.

    I'm rather curious about ibn Ishaq; when I briefly read up on him (on wikipedia, I'm sorry to say) I found it mentioned that his story was doubted to an extent because he got much of it second-hand, from descendants of the participants. What I did not find mentioned, and what I thought an interesting omission, possibly because Wiki-writers are idiots, is that the biography was not condemned on the grounds that the Prophet would have done no such thing. Could you say a word or two about that?

    But, finally, my defense of Gabe M: it's probable that, coming as he does from a tradition in which the doings of the patriarchs are freely examined and criticized, he simply does not realize just how insulting it is to a Muslim to accuse the Prophet in the manner he does.

    *Spellcheck wants me to say "Mo-hammed". What on earth does its dictionary look like?

    Hola Senor,

    I’m not really sure how the argument over whether Mohammed* was an appealing personality or not came in

    Many people lose their cool and it degenerates into an ad hominem slug fest.

    the argument was that as prophets are sinless in Islam

    And, from our standpoint, must be. If they can sin, they can lie or be corrupted, or…and anything they have to say about the unseen has the same weight as your uncle telling you about the crazy dream he had about him being destined to be king of the world.

    For us it is a belief issue, but one must decide on which narrative has more coherency.

    Excellent points. You have hit upon the crux of the issue:
    1) From a modern … standpoint
    2) From a seventh-century Arab standpoint, and presumably a timeless Muslim standpoint

    If post-modern (PM) man wants to judge all human beings going backwards by his specific cultural assumptions, then that is really up to him. Then they are all criminals since they would all have been guilty of (ever-changing) human rights violations; like not letting homosexuals have gay pride parades or killing male prisoners of war (depending on circumstance) or enslaving their women and children, etc. If PM man feels we have made moral progress, then there is no other recourse than to consider the earlier generations (including the prophets) morally degenerate or inferior – this being unbelief, ipso facto. For instance, this issue about marrying a 9 year old. First off, people think that looks like their 9 year old – no, that nine year old that has hit puberty looks more like your fourteen year old as her body has reached the physical maturity to bear and wean children.

    Second off – if one looks at this chart, one sees that most US states thought 10 year olds could consent to sex (all thought 12 year olds could and Delaware thought 7 was kosher) – and this is not that long ago (just before the 20th century):

    https://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/case-studies/230?section=primarysources&source=24

    Does that mean all these people were immoral degenerates until we finally figured out the correct moral code of life on this subject?

    Now, most Muslims don’t actually marry their girls off at puberty, but some cultures do. Some Muslim countries have laws of minimum age like 15, 16, etc. and some allow marriage very early, right at puberty like in the Bedouin areas. This is why we feel he was man perfected; his life contains guidance for all cultures across all times; polygamous or not, city-dwelling or not, etc. If some cultures wish to raise age of marriage legally, no problem – he never said you have to marry that early (most of his wives were plenty older – some older than him) – this has been approved by erudite scholars. If some cultures wish to keep it low, no problem – they obviously have the example of Lady Aisha (ra) – this has also been approved by erudite scholars (I mean, assuming they keep to the minimum limits of the Shariah – which he defined).

    I found it mentioned that his story was doubted to an extent because he got much of it second-hand, from descendants of the participants

    Exactly, one needs to properly document sources so they can be scrutinized for veracity – especially when talking about the Prophet (pbuh) – because this is not child’s play.

    the biography was not condemned on the grounds that the Prophet would have done no such thing

    Correct, because – like I said – they define morality. Even their silence in the presence of an act is considered legal acceptance of it. For they were sent to guide and declare clearly (from the guidance of God) what is moral and what is not. If they were to keep that information hidden, it is treachery.
    “And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, those who do not expect the meeting with Us say, “Bring us a Qur’an other than this or change it.” Say, [O Muhammad], “It is not for me to change it on my own accord. I only follow what is revealed to me. Indeed I fear, if I should disobey my Lord, the punishment of a tremendous Day.”” (10:15)

    “(This is) a Message sent down from the Lord of the Worlds. And if he were to invent any sayings in Our name, We would certainly seize him by his right hand, And We would certainly then cut off his life-artery.” (69:43-46)

    If he were to have been solidly documented to approve torture or killing children or dressing like women or the like, then that would be a proof that God considers these acts acceptable*.

    This is baseline creed; God defines morality, not us – injustice in inconceivable on His part. Thankfully, His morality aligns with that which He has inspired in our hearts. This is what submission entails.

    This Rabbi thinks Abraham (pbuh) failed the test:
    “But in as much as this might have been a test of Abraham, I read the story as a clear indication that Abraham failed the test.”

    http://www.paulkipnes.com/repost-akedah-abraham-failed-gods-tes/

    This is unquestionable disbelief in our tradition; who are you to question God’s orders? Who are you to question the understanding of the prophets – does God communicate with them, or you?

    “The response of the believers, when they are invited to Allah and His Messenger that he may judge between them, is only to say: ‘We hear and we obey’ – and these it is that are the successful.” (24:51)

    “But no! By your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.” (4:65)

    how insulting it is to a Muslim to accuse the Prophet in the manner he does.

    This I don’t mind actually, because one who does not believe in the Islamic narrative is going to obviously consider him a false man – basic logic dictates this. All I was saying is; is it too much to ask that people criticize from a legitimate basis and not make up stuff or use only the most spurious of sources while neglecting the strongest ones? That is just decent, mature, academic behavior.

    You know, I told my teenage daughter last night that some people accuse the Prophet (pbuh) of dressing up** in his wife’s dresses based on a mistranslation of a word – she burst out laughing. Which is the reaction any normal person should have.

    Peace.
    *There are nuanced exceptions to the rule – for instance there were specific rules only for him, but not for others (this is all determined by looking at all relevant texts), for instance; night vigil prayers were obligatory on him, he was not allowed to retreat in a battle, he could fast two consecutive days in a row without breaking in the night in between but that is prohibited for us, he (and his family) could not receive charity, etc.

    **And the funny thing is they accuse him (a grown Arab man, a warrior who would go into battle wearing two sets of armor) of dressing up in his young wife’s clothes, the one they say was a child – are they ******** mad?

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  • @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    Is that supposed to be translated into English?
     
    Yeah, sorry, loses something in translation.

    Many Muslims—and Orientalists—will tell you otherwise, of course, but the fact is that a fifth of the Koranic text is just incomprehensible.
     
    No, logic dictates that fact is the text is quite clear to other people, Muslim and not, just not to Mr. Puin.

    As I stated to plontz what Imam Ghazali (ra) stated; claiming something doesn’t make sense to one is not an argument – the proposition may well be ontologically correct and the person is simply unable to understand the premise.


    And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein.
     
    You are missing out on the key statement there. This is an admonition to them; what they have with them and what was actually revealed was never assumed to be the same. The second sentence of that verse "And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient" was actually in connection to another incident:
    https://muflihun.com/muslim/17/4214

    This is why the science of asbaab un-nuzul (reason/context for revelation) is extremely important. If you don't care to understand, again, it is irrelevant to us - the message is and has been quite coherent when studied with the full picture in mind.


    What is going on here? What is going on is obvious.
     
    Sure, I'm dealing with someone who is obviously not looking at things objectively. I mean, neither am I - but at least I'm up front about it.

    He claimed that he was just re-revealing what had already been revealed so that Arabs had a copy of his message in their own language.
     
    No - he was claiming that this was a confirmation of what was revealed before, not what was in possession. And that this new message was now replacing the older ones (in the realm of practice). This doesn't make sense to you because you assume that what you have is the correct version. That position is based on belief of course, but your conclusions are perfunctory stemming from that belief. I believe the Qur'an is correct, therefore it negates the veracity of your texts as evidence for your claims. You don't seem to understand there is a stalemate here - you actually think you are going to prove your point through some kind of empiricism or rational take down. I'd rather just dialog as I eventually got to with plontz. If you have questions, ask.

    a nine year-old girl
     
    No, (though there is difference of opinion on her being older - the strongest source is indeed nine) she was a nine year old woman - since a girl who has experienced menarche has reached adulthood. And they can at nine:
    "It usually starts sometime between ages 11 and 14. But it can happen as early as age 9 or as late as 15."
    http://www.webmd.com/children/tc/menarche-topic-overview#1

    This marriage at early biological age is not alien to your tradition:
    "The Rabbis disagree as to the age of Rebekah at the time of her marriage to Isaac. The statement of the Seder 'Olam Rabbah (i.) and Gen. R. (lvii. 1) that Abraham was informed of Rebekah's birth when he ascended Mount Moriah for the 'Aḳedah, is interpreted by some as meaning that Rebekah was born at that time, and that consequently she was only three years old at the time of her marriage. Other rabbis, however, conclude from calculations that she was fourteen years old, and that therefore she was born eleven years before the 'Aḳedah, both numbers being found in different manuscripts of the Seder 'Olam Rabbah (comp. Tos. to Yeb. 61b). The "Sefer ha-Yashar" (section "Ḥayye Sarah," p. 38a, Leghorn, 1870) gives Rebekah's age at her marriage as ten years."
    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12610-rebekah

    So if you insist at the lowest age reported. Why can't we insist that you say the age of 3 for Rebecca? Some prominent Rabbis obviously had no problem with it. Glass houses, chief.


    he had sex with 9 (or 11) women in one night with the knowledge of his followers
     
    Umm - the hadith that mentions this that I know of is this one:
    "The Prophet used to visit all his wives in one night and he had nine wives at that time."
    https://muflihun.com/bukhari/5/282

    Nothing in there about having or not having sex with any or all of them - the Arabic is straight-forward, there is no mention of sex or lack of it - it simply says he visited/met/mingled (plug يطوف into Google translate and see if it implies sex) with them. As far as his virility, sure, his wives attested to that; is that a bad thing? The Prophet King Solomon (pbuh) had over a hundred wives - ain't nothing wrong with that if God allows it. His prophets were the best among us, even in looks and other physical traits - including virility.

    Now, Lady Aisha (ra) actually sheds more light on his practice, that he actually would visit many of them, but only spend the night with the one whose turn it was:
    "Aishah said: 'O my nephew, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) did not prefer one of us to the other in respect of his division of the time of his staying with us. It was very rare that he did not visit us any day. He would come near each of his wives without having intercourse with her until he reached the one who had her day and passed his night with her...'" - reported in Abu Dawud


    He admonished a follower for marrying an old woman and asked why he didn’t marry a little girl like him
     
    (Sigh) No, he simply asked him why he didn't marry a virgin - read the Arabic - the word is quite clear (بِكْرً).

    For some reason he liked to wear his child-wife’s clothes whilst having prophesies.
     
    Oh, that one - you mean where these guys translate the word for her 'cloth' or 'sheet' to mean her 'clothes'. I didn't see that one coming...again.

    Yeah - your narrative is really sound; millions of people followed him because he was a manipulative, murdering, child-raping, torturing, treasure seeking/hoarding, transvestite, sex-crazed, mad man, who came up with a (remarkably coherent religion) in order to rule the world - bwaahaahaahaaa! Do me a favor, find me a single fictional villain with all these check-marks and you'll see how off-the-charts your depiction of him is.

    Meanwhile, Bani Ishmael and their confederates march on by...


    ….!
     
    Yeah - Clausewitz 101: when you are in a war, you send people on military expeditions to kill the enemy. Who would've known. For someone who knows about the tradition of prophets who were also warrior-kings this doesn't seem genuine. I've seen this from Christians and it makes sense, the Son of Mary (pbuh) was not a warrior (yet) - but from your tradition?

    Can we quit this tennis match while we are ahead or do you have more nonsense you want to copy-paste from your homies at jihadwatch or wikiislam?

    Peace.

    No, (though there is difference of opinion on her being older – the strongest source is indeed nine) she was a nine year old woman – since a girl who has experienced menarche has reached adulthood. And they can at nine:

    Seriously, tell that to a random guy in the street. He’ll knock your teeth out. Again, there are really only two possibilities here. (i) You are a paedophile, (ii) you are forced to defend paedophilia because you have the unetnable belief that a paedophile was the most exemplary human being ever to have lived.

    So if you insist at the lowest age reported. Why can’t we insist that you say the age of 3 for Rebecca? Some prominent Rabbis obviously had no problem with it.

    There’s a lot of garbage out there in rabbinical sources. It’s obvious that she was not 3 since the Torah record her fetching water and conversing in an adult fashion. Now, that brings me on to a relevant topic. Occasionally, a critic of Judaism finds something in Talmudic or other literature that is completely inane, ridiculous, obviously untrue, incompatible with science or morally indefensible. Jewish apologists then scan the archives for a single commentator who explains the statement in a more acceptable fashion or, if that fails, concoct an explanation themselves and then say the critic of Judaism is “ignorant”. I’ve seen this hundreds of times from the inside and I find it pathetic. The simple truth is the Talmud has some junk in it. I therefore know exactly what you are doing from the inside, so to speak,. The difference is that you can’t admit that Muhammad’s life has a lot of junk in it because you are tied to the belief that he is the exemplary human being.

    “The Prophet used to visit all his wives in one night and he had nine wives at that time.”

    https://muflihun.com/bukhari/5/282

    Turn back a few pages

    Anas bin Malik said, “The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number.” I asked Anas, “Had the Prophet the strength for it?” Anas replied, “We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men).” And Sa’id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven).

    https://muflihun.com/bukhari/5/268

    One word: creepy.

    (Sigh) No, he simply asked him why he didn’t marry a virgin

    Creepy.

    The Prophet King Solomon (pbuh) had over a hundred wives – ain’t nothing wrong with that if God allows it.

    The Bible relates that Solomon was led astray as a consequence of his excessive desire for wives.

    Yeah – your narrative is really sound; millions of people followed him because he was a manipulative, murdering, child-raping, torturing, treasure seeking/hoarding, transvestite, sex-crazed, mad man, who came up with a (remarkably coherent religion) in order to rule the world – bwaahaahaahaaa!

    “Millions” of people didn’t follow him. Lots of people followed him because he was a successful chieftan, slaughtering anyone who got in his way and rewarding his followers. People like a winner.

    For someone who knows about the tradition of prophets who were also warrior-kings this doesn’t seem genuine.

    (i) King David was not allowed, according to our tradition, to build the temple because his hands were stained with the blood of war. (ii) We do not regard him as an exemplary human being. (iii) King David was a legitimate monarch fought wars to liberate the Jewish people and expand their territory, in line with historical norms. He wasn’t some random guy who decided he was allowed to conquer the whole world because G-d said so. (iv) My surprise was at your blithe excuse that Muhammad was about to burn some people alive to Allah told him that this was wrong. Sure sounds like Muhammad was the kind of guy who might …. burn people alive.

    That brings me to Ibn Isshaq. Let’s imagine that a supporter of Donald Trump wrote a book for other supporters of Donald Trump detailing his various exploits, one of which was that he burned someone alive because he wouldn’t reveal the location of his treasure. Even if we didn’t believe the actual story, we would be forced to conclude that the followers of Donald Trump are bunch of deranged nutcases. Moreover, we would expect decent followers of Donald Trump, if such could be found, to condemn the book as a wicked libel on their leader, not say “well, this Ibn Isshaq is a bit unreliable, but it’s still a useful source for chronology.”

    But this is all extraneous to the main point. You claim that you are forced to conclude that the Bible has been corrupted because it portrays prophets with moral failings. However, by the apologetic strategies you employ you can excuse anyone. Again, go into the street and ask people which is more wrong: cheating your oafish brother out of a blessing or having sex with a nine year old “woman”.

    Just a note – I actually had more respect for you from our previous exchanges. Some of the stuff you are resorting you is a bit low brow actually (one of the reasons I completely left posting on Mr. Sailer’s threads). I’m simply explaining the core beliefs of my religion which contradict yours and the reasoning behind why they make coherent sense to us.

    I looked through the exchange to see where I could have triggered the antagonism by being brutish or nasty, but couldn’t find it.

    Let me start by saying that I believe you are an upright and moral individual and, what is more, I believe that Muslims who subscribe to your traditionalist-conservative Islam are more likely to be good citizens of whatever country they are in than ones who become irreligious or Salafist (whatever you want to call them). With that said, I have no idea why you expect civility on my part. You devote hundreds of comments to conversing with holocaust-deniers and unhinged Jew-haters spreading wild and baseless libels against my country, which you know nothing about. You cry crocodile tears about the Palestinians, but respond to anyone pointing out that Muslims across the world are killing each other and everyone else in industrial numbers by saying “the neocons made us do it”. You literally call for the dissolution of my country.

    On top of that, part way through our conversation, I read this.

    Two of Rotherham child-abuse gang shout ‘Allahu Akbar’ in court after being handed jail terms

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/rotherham-child-abuse-gang-shout-allahu-akbar-court-after-being-handed-80-year-jail-term-1604539

    And, after years and years and years of this, I’m pretty sick of it.

    Can we quit this tennis match while we are ahead or do you have more nonsense you want to copy-paste from your homies at jihadwatch or wikiislam?

    I like David Wood.

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    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Anon
    Okay, let's agree that

    1. Mohammed was not the kind of guy you or I would want as a son- or brother-in-law.

    and

    2. Muslims disagree.

    If


    this is all extraneous to the main point. You claim that you are forced to conclude that the Bible has been corrupted because it portrays prophets with moral failings
     
    then let's talk about that, instead. You claim it would be possible to interpret what the patriarchs and prophets did in the Bible as upright, with a little bit of stretching, with which point I'm inclined to agree.

    But your original point was that Mohammed, being unaware of the precise content of the Biblical accounts, was also unaware of any significant contradiction between his own teaching and that of the Bible, and I'm not sure how the Biblical content itself could affect this argument, since the Prophet was putatively* unaware of it.

    You had a good point about the people of the book being advised to follow their own gospels, which to my mind Talha did not thoroughly deal with. I'd be interested in seeing what develops from that.

    *What is with the Firefox spellcheck dictionary? I have to add a word every time I type, it seems.

    , @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    Seriously, tell that to a random guy in the street.
     
    Depends on which street, call the Prophet (pbuh) a child molester on the streets of Cairo, see what happens.

    there are really only two possibilities here
     
    If you keep insisting on this point even after the evidence has been presented to you, then...have you heard of mubahala? It's basically an ancient game of chicken. We both believe in the God of Abraham (pbuh) with full conviction, correct? You say the Prophet (pbuh) was a paedophile - I seek refuge in God - and I say he was not. Are you willing to commit to both of us calling down the curse of God upon whichever one of us is lying? How well do you have conviction in your position? I'm ready to go.

    The difference is that you can’t admit that Muhammad’s life has a lot of junk in it because you are tied to the belief that he is the exemplary human being.
     
    Like I said, if you are tied to the belief that the emissaries of God had 'junk' in their lives - go for it, my friend. Then we simply cannot take you seriously if you say that they transmitted the truth about God - even if you say you preserved it 100%. If they could disobey God, they could falsify His teachings. If you feel you can criticize the prophets sent to you - then of course you can criticize the one sent to us. We criticize neither, rather we criticize the reliability of your sources. We're both waiting - let's see what is most acceptable to God when we meet Him.

    One word: creepy.
     
    More words: evidence that a man that is married to multiple women is allowed to visit each of them in the day for sexual relations even if he is committed to spending the night with one of them - due to her turn.

    Solomon was led astray
     
    Does not compute.

    We do not regard him as an exemplary human being
     
    Does not compute - you are welcome to your version. We will call to ours.

    "'O David, indeed We have made you a successor upon the earth, so judge between the people in truth and do not follow [your own] desire, as it will lead you astray from the way of God.' Indeed, those who go astray from the way of God will have a severe punishment for having forgotten the Day of Account." (38:26)

    Sure sounds like Muhammad was the kind of guy who might …. burn people alive.
     
    Correct or was about to mutilate the enemy dead, which was normative practice at the time (have you not read about warfare of Late Antiquity?) - which is proof for us that God always guided His Messenger (pbuh) to the right path even against his own personal judgement - he was always being raised in perfection of conduct.

    “Millions” of people didn’t follow him
     
    They do now - plenty of them have studied all of this, and still find no problems naming their sons after him.

    we would expect decent followers of Donald Trump, if such could be found, to condemn the book as a wicked libel on their leader
     
    Ummm...Imam Malik (ra) - a jurist and hadith scholar of the highest level called him a liar and imposter for his stories about the Prophet (pbuh). Others were more guarded in their words and simply stated he was unreliable. Like I said, stick with Ibn Ishaq - it shows the desperation of your positions. We also have books in which we recorded and collected outright false and fabricated hadith; why don;t you look through those and see what juicy stuff you can find? I mean, some Muslim scholar Abu So-and-so collected and published them, right?

    go into the street and ask people which is more wrong
     
    Am I really supposed to gauge transcendent morality by randomly asking the 'man on the street'? Why don't I judge gay marriage by this? What about if I asked someone two centuries ago?
    https://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/case-studies/230?section=primarysources&source=24

    And...your folk have always used puberty (as almost all pre-modern societies) as the litmus test:
    "Minor girls were betrothed by their fathers (by Kidushin, a legally binding commitment) even before they came of age, and usually began living with their husbands-occasionally much older than them - at the age of puberty."
    Jewish Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Culture

    With that said, I have no idea why you expect civility on my part.
     
    Maybe I gave you more credit than I should have. Honestly, it is appalling how you don't care to hit below the belt, bringing up the age of Lady Aisha again and again. Like I said - I'm ready for mubahala when you are. I don't know if it is a jealousy that we have a belief in the untarnished view of the prophets or what - but this is seriously getting personal.

    to conversing with holocaust-deniers and unhinged Jew-haters
     
    They are human beings. I do not agree with them even if I converse civilly. Everyone can be redeemed and I have my words to answer for and they have theirs. It is funny you don't point out that I have also been called vile terms like 'Uncle Talha' and a sell-out because I converse civilly with Jewish people on this forum and even Zionists and even those who call themselves hardcore extremists (talking about you 'Greasy' if you are listening).

    And I'm conversing with you with decency, even though you seem to be a 'hater spreading wild and baseless libels against my religion.'

    And, after years and years and years of this, I’m pretty sick of it.
     
    Same here - when do I defend ethnic rape gangs exactly? Talk about left field - should I just randomly link to the fact that some extremist Jews visit the grave of Baruch Goldstein. Why don't they kick them out - these guys make our job a lot harder. If Muslims behaved according to our ethics we wouldn't have to be dealing with half the nonsense we do now.

    but respond to anyone pointing out that Muslims across the world are killing each other and everyone else in industrial numbers
     
    I remember telling others we Muslims need to take full responsibility for the mess we are in:
    http://www.unz.com/article/israel-wins-in-november/?highlight=sanguinary#comment-1570384

    "The backwardness that the Muslim world faces is entirely our own fault. We have lost our bearings:
    'Verily, we were a disgraceful people and Allah honored us with Islam, so if we seek honor from other than Islam, then Allah will humiliate us.' reported from Umar al-Khattab (ra)
    Our Lord has every right to censure, correct and humiliate His slaves at the hands of His other slaves until we mend our ways."
    http://www.unz.com/ldinh/unhappy-women/?highlight=right#comment-1703229

    neocons
     
    And if you hold them blameless then I understand who I am dealing with.

    You literally call for the dissolution of my country.
     
    I have never called for that - but I doubt there is any other eventuality. I have always called for people sticking to the current UN international framework - so do not put words in my mouth. If Israel falls apart, I could care less - a nation-state is an abstract social organization - I don't particularly care if Pakistan falls apart. But I do care that the Jews get treated decently even if the Muslims eventually take over. As one of my teachers stated; we want for Bani Israel what their father Jacob (pbuh) would have wanted for them - and yes, we disagree on the details, but it definitely does not include a slaughter in the Holy Land.

    So if you are saying that all these low-brow attacks on my religion have been specifically because of your concern for Israel then it honestly just provides more evidence as to how many supporters of Israel have no compunction about how they attack Islam. Thanks for the confirmation.

    I like David Wood.
     
    Of course you do.

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Just a note - I actually had more respect for you from our previous exchanges. Some of the stuff you are resorting you is a bit low brow actually (one of the reasons I completely left posting on Mr. Sailer's threads). I'm simply explaining the core beliefs of my religion which contradict yours and the reasoning behind why they make coherent sense to us.

    I looked through the exchange to see where I could have triggered the antagonism by being brutish or nasty, but couldn't find it.

    I mean, you may not care whether you offend people or not (or me in particular), but I thought I'd put that out there.

    Peace.

    Just to be clear , re #189, I don’t mean to insult anybody either. Differing perceptions are a result of differing ethical and cultural frameworks; you, for instance, and many Jews as well, would certainly call us, quite sincerely, idolaters and possibly polytheists.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    No problem - none taken. Look - we have to share the world together, so we might as well get along. Now we are going to disagree - that is a given - we should just be forthright and honest and mature about it - as you are.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Talha
    Just a note - I actually had more respect for you from our previous exchanges. Some of the stuff you are resorting you is a bit low brow actually (one of the reasons I completely left posting on Mr. Sailer's threads). I'm simply explaining the core beliefs of my religion which contradict yours and the reasoning behind why they make coherent sense to us.

    I looked through the exchange to see where I could have triggered the antagonism by being brutish or nasty, but couldn't find it.

    I mean, you may not care whether you offend people or not (or me in particular), but I thought I'd put that out there.

    Peace.

    In defense of Gabriel M…

    I’m not really sure how the argument over whether Mohammed* was an appealing personality or not came in to what I thought was a very interesting and still ongoing discussion about how the Prophet and his earliest followers viewed the Christian and Jewish scriptures. On second thought, I do see; the argument was that as prophets are sinless in Islam, the Bible must be corrupted because its prophets are not, whereupon Gabe argued that Prophet is as awful a person as any Biblical prophet, etc. etc. etc. where we are now. It’s a sideline and not an interesting one, considering that the following two things are obvious:

    1. From a modern Jewish-Christian standpoint (which exists; the Jews have been around us so long they’ve picked up a lot of our attitudes, and possibly vice-versa) the Prophet was possibly a cruel man, certainly a vulgar and perverted one.

    2. From a seventh-century Arab standpoint, and presumably a timeless Muslim standpoint, he was a perfectly normal and perfectly moral fellow.

    I generally avoid mentioning (1) in polite company because there is hardly ever a good reason to, much the same way as I get annoyed when Nietzscheans or other fools go on about Christianity.

    I’m rather curious about ibn Ishaq; when I briefly read up on him (on wikipedia, I’m sorry to say) I found it mentioned that his story was doubted to an extent because he got much of it second-hand, from descendants of the participants. What I did not find mentioned, and what I thought an interesting omission, possibly because Wiki-writers are idiots, is that the biography was not condemned on the grounds that the Prophet would have done no such thing. Could you say a word or two about that?

    But, finally, my defense of Gabe M: it’s probable that, coming as he does from a tradition in which the doings of the patriarchs are freely examined and criticized, he simply does not realize just how insulting it is to a Muslim to accuse the Prophet in the manner he does.

    *Spellcheck wants me to say “Mo-hammed”. What on earth does its dictionary look like?

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hola Senor,

    I’m not really sure how the argument over whether Mohammed* was an appealing personality or not came in
     
    Many people lose their cool and it degenerates into an ad hominem slug fest.

    the argument was that as prophets are sinless in Islam
     
    And, from our standpoint, must be. If they can sin, they can lie or be corrupted, or...and anything they have to say about the unseen has the same weight as your uncle telling you about the crazy dream he had about him being destined to be king of the world.

    For us it is a belief issue, but one must decide on which narrative has more coherency.

    Excellent points. You have hit upon the crux of the issue:
    1) From a modern ... standpoint
    2) From a seventh-century Arab standpoint, and presumably a timeless Muslim standpoint

    If post-modern (PM) man wants to judge all human beings going backwards by his specific cultural assumptions, then that is really up to him. Then they are all criminals since they would all have been guilty of (ever-changing) human rights violations; like not letting homosexuals have gay pride parades or killing male prisoners of war (depending on circumstance) or enslaving their women and children, etc. If PM man feels we have made moral progress, then there is no other recourse than to consider the earlier generations (including the prophets) morally degenerate or inferior - this being unbelief, ipso facto. For instance, this issue about marrying a 9 year old. First off, people think that looks like their 9 year old - no, that nine year old that has hit puberty looks more like your fourteen year old as her body has reached the physical maturity to bear and wean children.

    Second off - if one looks at this chart, one sees that most US states thought 10 year olds could consent to sex (all thought 12 year olds could and Delaware thought 7 was kosher) - and this is not that long ago (just before the 20th century):
    https://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/case-studies/230?section=primarysources&source=24

    Does that mean all these people were immoral degenerates until we finally figured out the correct moral code of life on this subject?

    Now, most Muslims don't actually marry their girls off at puberty, but some cultures do. Some Muslim countries have laws of minimum age like 15, 16, etc. and some allow marriage very early, right at puberty like in the Bedouin areas. This is why we feel he was man perfected; his life contains guidance for all cultures across all times; polygamous or not, city-dwelling or not, etc. If some cultures wish to raise age of marriage legally, no problem - he never said you have to marry that early (most of his wives were plenty older - some older than him) - this has been approved by erudite scholars. If some cultures wish to keep it low, no problem - they obviously have the example of Lady Aisha (ra) - this has also been approved by erudite scholars (I mean, assuming they keep to the minimum limits of the Shariah - which he defined).

    I found it mentioned that his story was doubted to an extent because he got much of it second-hand, from descendants of the participants
     
    Exactly, one needs to properly document sources so they can be scrutinized for veracity - especially when talking about the Prophet (pbuh) - because this is not child's play.

    the biography was not condemned on the grounds that the Prophet would have done no such thing
     
    Correct, because - like I said - they define morality. Even their silence in the presence of an act is considered legal acceptance of it. For they were sent to guide and declare clearly (from the guidance of God) what is moral and what is not. If they were to keep that information hidden, it is treachery.
    "And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, those who do not expect the meeting with Us say, "Bring us a Qur'an other than this or change it." Say, [O Muhammad], "It is not for me to change it on my own accord. I only follow what is revealed to me. Indeed I fear, if I should disobey my Lord, the punishment of a tremendous Day."" (10:15)

    "(This is) a Message sent down from the Lord of the Worlds. And if he were to invent any sayings in Our name, We would certainly seize him by his right hand, And We would certainly then cut off his life-artery." (69:43-46)

    If he were to have been solidly documented to approve torture or killing children or dressing like women or the like, then that would be a proof that God considers these acts acceptable*.

    This is baseline creed; God defines morality, not us - injustice in inconceivable on His part. Thankfully, His morality aligns with that which He has inspired in our hearts. This is what submission entails.

    This Rabbi thinks Abraham (pbuh) failed the test:
    "But in as much as this might have been a test of Abraham, I read the story as a clear indication that Abraham failed the test."
    http://www.paulkipnes.com/repost-akedah-abraham-failed-gods-tes/

    This is unquestionable disbelief in our tradition; who are you to question God's orders? Who are you to question the understanding of the prophets - does God communicate with them, or you?

    "The response of the believers, when they are invited to Allah and His Messenger that he may judge between them, is only to say: 'We hear and we obey' - and these it is that are the successful." (24:51)

    "But no! By your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission." (4:65)

    how insulting it is to a Muslim to accuse the Prophet in the manner he does.
     
    This I don't mind actually, because one who does not believe in the Islamic narrative is going to obviously consider him a false man - basic logic dictates this. All I was saying is; is it too much to ask that people criticize from a legitimate basis and not make up stuff or use only the most spurious of sources while neglecting the strongest ones? That is just decent, mature, academic behavior.

    You know, I told my teenage daughter last night that some people accuse the Prophet (pbuh) of dressing up** in his wife's dresses based on a mistranslation of a word - she burst out laughing. Which is the reaction any normal person should have.


    Peace.
    *There are nuanced exceptions to the rule - for instance there were specific rules only for him, but not for others (this is all determined by looking at all relevant texts), for instance; night vigil prayers were obligatory on him, he was not allowed to retreat in a battle, he could fast two consecutive days in a row without breaking in the night in between but that is prohibited for us, he (and his family) could not receive charity, etc.

    **And the funny thing is they accuse him (a grown Arab man, a warrior who would go into battle wearing two sets of armor) of dressing up in his young wife's clothes, the one they say was a child - are they ******** mad?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYB3Fx0a8-4
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Durruti
    Ron Unz:

    You know that I would vote for you whenever and wherever you run for political office (only exception is if you would ever oppose Ron Paul - which would never happen).

    I like/love you soo much, I would willingly have your baby, if that were medically possible.

    Your decision to allow this article was, (as with all you do), sheer genius. The readers and commenters on this website (I refuse to use the accepted "commentaters" - sounds like a brand of potatoes), need, every so often,to read a clear succinct listing of the Fascist rationale behind the ongoing Ethnic Cleansing of the Palestinian People.

    This Feiglin, piece of shit Land Thieving politician, is spewing a line I heard as a child in the Ocean Avenue Jewish Center (Brooklyn). Portions of my family, land thieves currently residing in Palestine also heard, and spew this line. They should return to Germany,or to America, and do the morally correct thing.

    "There was never a Palestinian nation, there was never a Palestinian state. That’s all one big lie." The dis informing agent, actually wrote this, but after he gets the reader leaning, he cuts off his head with, "If, God forbid, Israel would disappear one day, immediately, the word “Palestinian” would disappear as well."

    Hmm! so without the presence of the Occupier, there would be no Palestinians? This Land Thief is utilizing a brainwashing technique known as doublespeak. "Doublespeak is language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the ..... Beyond 1984: Doublespeak in a Post-Orwellian Age." A link here: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjht4GYneDRAhWFOiYKHXbnB0gQFggaMAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FDoublespeak&usg=AFQjCNH-SCOm8AArkI-UT1_7gMKjFsmiIA&sig2=roixUwxOgmcNN49kvaAuUg&bvm=bv.145063293,d.eWE

    There are other useful links on the same page.

    One final mention of the Old Testament (sometimes called the Jewish Bible), The Talmud, and Jericho:

    Jericho is either a History of one of the first (possibly the first) Holocaust committed. This early, possible first Holocaust was committed by the Hebrews. Agent Hitler was not yet born. The inhabitants of Jericho were exterminated (every man, woman, elderly, and child) by the Hebrews. And they and most Christian Churches are proud of this deed, and celebrate it in their places of worship, in History Brainwashing Books, and in song.

    Here is a nice rendition by Elvis.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiTiJvEoODRAhUHVyYKHaLjCgIQ3ywIHDAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D0ftahXv0KIU&usg=AFQjCNEOtBPUFGowrUbLXjB6uoSMzFNYsA&sig2=r0ZyMfQ7fbVCpELGZC33Cg&bvm=bv.145063293,d.eWE

    Some may say the Old Testament is not accurate History, or any History. However, the story, the fable of Jericho is celebrated far and wide. I remember my mother playing (on the Piano), and singing the song. Genocide celebrated by song, and praised in Religious Establishments (do I need a verb?)!!!

    "6:20 The rams’ horns sounded and when the army heard the signal, they gave a loud battle cry. The wall collapsed and the warriors charged straight ahead into the city and captured it. 6:21 They annihilated with the sword everything that breathed in the city, including men and women, young and old, as well as cattle, sheep, and donkeys."

    The Palestinians are the actual, and/or spiritual descendants of the original inhabitants of the land of Canaan. The Palestinians are there/here Canaan-Palestine, and are being Ethnically Cleansed - Brutalized - Robbed, now, in 2017. To see a crime being committed, and do nothing...

    Ron Unz, and good people everywhere.

    The Republic is dead! Long Live the Republic!

    The Palestinians are the actual, and/or spiritual descendants of the original inhabitants

    LOL
    “and/or spiritual”

    wtf? hahahahahahahah.
    “palestinians” are mostly syrians, egyptians, turks, bedouins and others who flooded into a certain land area and mixed together when zionists created opportunity and an economic boom through their enterprising and land development. Nice try.

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  • @Ronnie
    This article is irrational rubbish. Unz.com is usually more discriminating in what they publish.

    As someone recently Tweated "Israel as a nation state is something akin to Scientology".

    I just returned from six days all over the West Bank. I can tell you with great certainty that Israel is the most racist country in the world. In all respects they treat the Palestinians in a way that shows little concern for the minimum standards of liberal decency. Most Israelis and illegal settlers I spoke to were racists by any definition. Hundreds of children as young as 14 go to jail for months when it is alleged that they threw a rock. The evidence is usually flimsy or from an unreliable source and the sentence is based on a plea-bargaining system that uses intimidation, fear and brute force to get a 99.7% conviction rate. I even attended the Army court for processing such victims. It reminded me of a dog pound in a very poor country. The judge was a IDF officer who was also an illegal settler.

    “I just returned from six days all over the West Bank.”

    LOL you went on one of those special tours the NGOs (funded by hostile terror-sympathizing foreign govt’s) and terrorist organizations jointly arrange for gullible westerners to be duped by the phony Fakestinian “narrative” of oppression and victimhood by the evil joo occupier. They are the SJWist of SJWs and the same axis pushing 3rd wave feminism, “islamophobia narrative,” BLM etc on american college campuses. CAIR and MSA and Hamas are very proud that they can propagandize you with ease.

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  • @Gabriel M

    We do, I just presented it to you.
     
    Well, no, you didn't.

    Here’s another:
    “O People of the Book! There has come to you Our Messenger, revealing to you much that you used to hide in the Book, and passing over muc: There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book.” 5:15
     
    Is that supposed to be translated into English? Perhaps this observation is pertinent.

    The Koran claims for itself that it is 'mubeen,' or 'clear,' but if you look at it, you will notice that every fifth sentence or so simply doesn't make sense. Many Muslims—and Orientalists—will tell you otherwise, of course, but the fact is that a fifth of the Koranic text is just incomprehensible. This is what has caused the traditional anxiety regarding translation. If the Koran is not comprehensible—if it can't even be understood in Arabic—then it's not translatable. People fear that. And since the Koran claims repeatedly to be clear but obviously is not—as even speakers of Arabic will tell you—there is a contradiction. Something else must be going on. Gerd Puin.
     

    Again, not a single scholar I can think of missed this.
     
    And presumably they cannot have missed this.

    And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.
     
    And yet according to Muslims the Gospels are so inaccurate that they misrecords every important detail of Jesus's life and systematically falsifies his teachings. But Muhammad/Allah told Christians that if they did not judge by these hopelessly inaccurate books they are disobedient.

    What is going on here? What is going on is obvious. Muhammad plagiarized stories for his new religion targeting (nothing changes) rubes and lowlifes, getting many of the details wrong and changing others. He claimed that he was just re-revealing what had already been revealed so that Arabs had a copy of his message in their own language. Unfortunately, when Islam was being organised into a semi-serious religion it became clear that the Koran is totally incompatible with the Jewish and Christian scriptures so .... tahrif. This is a totally familiar pattern with cults.

    OK – so drunken adultery then.
     
    Again, your examples of immoral behaviour from Biblical prophets are (i) engaging in a conspiracy to trick Isaac into changing his blessings, (ii) getting drunk and, basically, being raped. But your prophet was such a sex-mad loon that he donked a nine year-old girl, he had sex with 9 (or 11) women in one night with the knowledge of his followers. He admonished a follower for marrying an old woman and asked why he didn't marry a little girl like him, making a super-creepy comparison of pederasty to food. For some reason he liked to wear his child-wife's clothes whilst having prophesies. His conception of heaven was a brothel.

    Apparently, you think that the biblical Jacob is worse than that. Maybe you're a pervert yourself, or maybe you're just in a cult.

    ‘Previously I ordered you to burn so-and-so and so-and-so with fire, but as punishment with fire is done by none except Allah, if you capture them, kill them, (instead).’
     
    ....!

    Just a note – I actually had more respect for you from our previous exchanges. Some of the stuff you are resorting you is a bit low brow actually (one of the reasons I completely left posting on Mr. Sailer’s threads). I’m simply explaining the core beliefs of my religion which contradict yours and the reasoning behind why they make coherent sense to us.

    I looked through the exchange to see where I could have triggered the antagonism by being brutish or nasty, but couldn’t find it.

    I mean, you may not care whether you offend people or not (or me in particular), but I thought I’d put that out there.

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    In defense of Gabriel M...

    I'm not really sure how the argument over whether Mohammed* was an appealing personality or not came in to what I thought was a very interesting and still ongoing discussion about how the Prophet and his earliest followers viewed the Christian and Jewish scriptures. On second thought, I do see; the argument was that as prophets are sinless in Islam, the Bible must be corrupted because its prophets are not, whereupon Gabe argued that Prophet is as awful a person as any Biblical prophet, etc. etc. etc. where we are now. It's a sideline and not an interesting one, considering that the following two things are obvious:

    1. From a modern Jewish-Christian standpoint (which exists; the Jews have been around us so long they've picked up a lot of our attitudes, and possibly vice-versa) the Prophet was possibly a cruel man, certainly a vulgar and perverted one.

    2. From a seventh-century Arab standpoint, and presumably a timeless Muslim standpoint, he was a perfectly normal and perfectly moral fellow.

    I generally avoid mentioning (1) in polite company because there is hardly ever a good reason to, much the same way as I get annoyed when Nietzscheans or other fools go on about Christianity.

    I'm rather curious about ibn Ishaq; when I briefly read up on him (on wikipedia, I'm sorry to say) I found it mentioned that his story was doubted to an extent because he got much of it second-hand, from descendants of the participants. What I did not find mentioned, and what I thought an interesting omission, possibly because Wiki-writers are idiots, is that the biography was not condemned on the grounds that the Prophet would have done no such thing. Could you say a word or two about that?

    But, finally, my defense of Gabe M: it's probable that, coming as he does from a tradition in which the doings of the patriarchs are freely examined and criticized, he simply does not realize just how insulting it is to a Muslim to accuse the Prophet in the manner he does.

    *Spellcheck wants me to say "Mo-hammed". What on earth does its dictionary look like?
    , @Anon
    Just to be clear , re #189, I don't mean to insult anybody either. Differing perceptions are a result of differing ethical and cultural frameworks; you, for instance, and many Jews as well, would certainly call us, quite sincerely, idolaters and possibly polytheists.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Gabriel M

    We do, I just presented it to you.
     
    Well, no, you didn't.

    Here’s another:
    “O People of the Book! There has come to you Our Messenger, revealing to you much that you used to hide in the Book, and passing over muc: There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book.” 5:15
     
    Is that supposed to be translated into English? Perhaps this observation is pertinent.

    The Koran claims for itself that it is 'mubeen,' or 'clear,' but if you look at it, you will notice that every fifth sentence or so simply doesn't make sense. Many Muslims—and Orientalists—will tell you otherwise, of course, but the fact is that a fifth of the Koranic text is just incomprehensible. This is what has caused the traditional anxiety regarding translation. If the Koran is not comprehensible—if it can't even be understood in Arabic—then it's not translatable. People fear that. And since the Koran claims repeatedly to be clear but obviously is not—as even speakers of Arabic will tell you—there is a contradiction. Something else must be going on. Gerd Puin.
     

    Again, not a single scholar I can think of missed this.
     
    And presumably they cannot have missed this.

    And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.
     
    And yet according to Muslims the Gospels are so inaccurate that they misrecords every important detail of Jesus's life and systematically falsifies his teachings. But Muhammad/Allah told Christians that if they did not judge by these hopelessly inaccurate books they are disobedient.

    What is going on here? What is going on is obvious. Muhammad plagiarized stories for his new religion targeting (nothing changes) rubes and lowlifes, getting many of the details wrong and changing others. He claimed that he was just re-revealing what had already been revealed so that Arabs had a copy of his message in their own language. Unfortunately, when Islam was being organised into a semi-serious religion it became clear that the Koran is totally incompatible with the Jewish and Christian scriptures so .... tahrif. This is a totally familiar pattern with cults.

    OK – so drunken adultery then.
     
    Again, your examples of immoral behaviour from Biblical prophets are (i) engaging in a conspiracy to trick Isaac into changing his blessings, (ii) getting drunk and, basically, being raped. But your prophet was such a sex-mad loon that he donked a nine year-old girl, he had sex with 9 (or 11) women in one night with the knowledge of his followers. He admonished a follower for marrying an old woman and asked why he didn't marry a little girl like him, making a super-creepy comparison of pederasty to food. For some reason he liked to wear his child-wife's clothes whilst having prophesies. His conception of heaven was a brothel.

    Apparently, you think that the biblical Jacob is worse than that. Maybe you're a pervert yourself, or maybe you're just in a cult.

    ‘Previously I ordered you to burn so-and-so and so-and-so with fire, but as punishment with fire is done by none except Allah, if you capture them, kill them, (instead).’
     
    ....!

    Hey Gabriel,

    Is that supposed to be translated into English?

    Yeah, sorry, loses something in translation.

    Many Muslims—and Orientalists—will tell you otherwise, of course, but the fact is that a fifth of the Koranic text is just incomprehensible.

    No, logic dictates that fact is the text is quite clear to other people, Muslim and not, just not to Mr. Puin.

    As I stated to plontz what Imam Ghazali (ra) stated; claiming something doesn’t make sense to one is not an argument – the proposition may well be ontologically correct and the person is simply unable to understand the premise.

    And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein.

    You are missing out on the key statement there. This is an admonition to them; what they have with them and what was actually revealed was never assumed to be the same. The second sentence of that verse “And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient” was actually in connection to another incident:

    https://muflihun.com/muslim/17/4214

    This is why the science of asbaab un-nuzul (reason/context for revelation) is extremely important. If you don’t care to understand, again, it is irrelevant to us – the message is and has been quite coherent when studied with the full picture in mind.

    What is going on here? What is going on is obvious.

    Sure, I’m dealing with someone who is obviously not looking at things objectively. I mean, neither am I – but at least I’m up front about it.

    He claimed that he was just re-revealing what had already been revealed so that Arabs had a copy of his message in their own language.

    No – he was claiming that this was a confirmation of what was revealed before, not what was in possession. And that this new message was now replacing the older ones (in the realm of practice). This doesn’t make sense to you because you assume that what you have is the correct version. That position is based on belief of course, but your conclusions are perfunctory stemming from that belief. I believe the Qur’an is correct, therefore it negates the veracity of your texts as evidence for your claims. You don’t seem to understand there is a stalemate here – you actually think you are going to prove your point through some kind of empiricism or rational take down. I’d rather just dialog as I eventually got to with plontz. If you have questions, ask.

    a nine year-old girl

    No, (though there is difference of opinion on her being older – the strongest source is indeed nine) she was a nine year old woman – since a girl who has experienced menarche has reached adulthood. And they can at nine:
    “It usually starts sometime between ages 11 and 14. But it can happen as early as age 9 or as late as 15.”

    http://www.webmd.com/children/tc/menarche-topic-overview#1

    This marriage at early biological age is not alien to your tradition:
    “The Rabbis disagree as to the age of Rebekah at the time of her marriage to Isaac. The statement of the Seder ‘Olam Rabbah (i.) and Gen. R. (lvii. 1) that Abraham was informed of Rebekah’s birth when he ascended Mount Moriah for the ‘Aḳedah, is interpreted by some as meaning that Rebekah was born at that time, and that consequently she was only three years old at the time of her marriage. Other rabbis, however, conclude from calculations that she was fourteen years old, and that therefore she was born eleven years before the ‘Aḳedah, both numbers being found in different manuscripts of the Seder ‘Olam Rabbah (comp. Tos. to Yeb. 61b). The “Sefer ha-Yashar” (section “Ḥayye Sarah,” p. 38a, Leghorn, 1870) gives Rebekah’s age at her marriage as ten years.”

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12610-rebekah

    So if you insist at the lowest age reported. Why can’t we insist that you say the age of 3 for Rebecca? Some prominent Rabbis obviously had no problem with it. Glass houses, chief.

    he had sex with 9 (or 11) women in one night with the knowledge of his followers

    Umm – the hadith that mentions this that I know of is this one:
    “The Prophet used to visit all his wives in one night and he had nine wives at that time.”

    https://muflihun.com/bukhari/5/282

    Nothing in there about having or not having sex with any or all of them – the Arabic is straight-forward, there is no mention of sex or lack of it – it simply says he visited/met/mingled (plug يطوف into Google translate and see if it implies sex) with them. As far as his virility, sure, his wives attested to that; is that a bad thing? The Prophet King Solomon (pbuh) had over a hundred wives – ain’t nothing wrong with that if God allows it. His prophets were the best among us, even in looks and other physical traits – including virility.

    Now, Lady Aisha (ra) actually sheds more light on his practice, that he actually would visit many of them, but only spend the night with the one whose turn it was:
    “Aishah said: ‘O my nephew, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) did not prefer one of us to the other in respect of his division of the time of his staying with us. It was very rare that he did not visit us any day. He would come near each of his wives without having intercourse with her until he reached the one who had her day and passed his night with her…’” – reported in Abu Dawud

    He admonished a follower for marrying an old woman and asked why he didn’t marry a little girl like him

    (Sigh) No, he simply asked him why he didn’t marry a virgin – read the Arabic – the word is quite clear (بِكْرً).

    For some reason he liked to wear his child-wife’s clothes whilst having prophesies.

    Oh, that one – you mean where these guys translate the word for her ‘cloth’ or ‘sheet’ to mean her ‘clothes’. I didn’t see that one coming…again.

    Yeah – your narrative is really sound; millions of people followed him because he was a manipulative, murdering, child-raping, torturing, treasure seeking/hoarding, transvestite, sex-crazed, mad man, who came up with a (remarkably coherent religion) in order to rule the world – bwaahaahaahaaa! Do me a favor, find me a single fictional villain with all these check-marks and you’ll see how off-the-charts your depiction of him is.

    Meanwhile, Bani Ishmael and their confederates march on by…

    ….!

    Yeah – Clausewitz 101: when you are in a war, you send people on military expeditions to kill the enemy. Who would’ve known. For someone who knows about the tradition of prophets who were also warrior-kings this doesn’t seem genuine. I’ve seen this from Christians and it makes sense, the Son of Mary (pbuh) was not a warrior (yet) – but from your tradition?

    Can we quit this tennis match while we are ahead or do you have more nonsense you want to copy-paste from your homies at jihadwatch or wikiislam?

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @Gabriel M

    No, (though there is difference of opinion on her being older – the strongest source is indeed nine) she was a nine year old woman – since a girl who has experienced menarche has reached adulthood. And they can at nine:
     
    Seriously, tell that to a random guy in the street. He'll knock your teeth out. Again, there are really only two possibilities here. (i) You are a paedophile, (ii) you are forced to defend paedophilia because you have the unetnable belief that a paedophile was the most exemplary human being ever to have lived.

    So if you insist at the lowest age reported. Why can’t we insist that you say the age of 3 for Rebecca? Some prominent Rabbis obviously had no problem with it.
     
    There's a lot of garbage out there in rabbinical sources. It's obvious that she was not 3 since the Torah record her fetching water and conversing in an adult fashion. Now, that brings me on to a relevant topic. Occasionally, a critic of Judaism finds something in Talmudic or other literature that is completely inane, ridiculous, obviously untrue, incompatible with science or morally indefensible. Jewish apologists then scan the archives for a single commentator who explains the statement in a more acceptable fashion or, if that fails, concoct an explanation themselves and then say the critic of Judaism is "ignorant". I've seen this hundreds of times from the inside and I find it pathetic. The simple truth is the Talmud has some junk in it. I therefore know exactly what you are doing from the inside, so to speak,. The difference is that you can't admit that Muhammad's life has a lot of junk in it because you are tied to the belief that he is the exemplary human being.

    “The Prophet used to visit all his wives in one night and he had nine wives at that time.”
    https://muflihun.com/bukhari/5/282
     
    Turn back a few pages

    Anas bin Malik said, "The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number." I asked Anas, "Had the Prophet the strength for it?" Anas replied, "We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men)." And Sa'id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven).
     
    https://muflihun.com/bukhari/5/268

    One word: creepy.

    (Sigh) No, he simply asked him why he didn’t marry a virgin
     
    Creepy.

    The Prophet King Solomon (pbuh) had over a hundred wives – ain’t nothing wrong with that if God allows it.
     
    The Bible relates that Solomon was led astray as a consequence of his excessive desire for wives.

    Yeah – your narrative is really sound; millions of people followed him because he was a manipulative, murdering, child-raping, torturing, treasure seeking/hoarding, transvestite, sex-crazed, mad man, who came up with a (remarkably coherent religion) in order to rule the world – bwaahaahaahaaa!
     
    "Millions" of people didn't follow him. Lots of people followed him because he was a successful chieftan, slaughtering anyone who got in his way and rewarding his followers. People like a winner.

    For someone who knows about the tradition of prophets who were also warrior-kings this doesn’t seem genuine.

     

    (i) King David was not allowed, according to our tradition, to build the temple because his hands were stained with the blood of war. (ii) We do not regard him as an exemplary human being. (iii) King David was a legitimate monarch fought wars to liberate the Jewish people and expand their territory, in line with historical norms. He wasn't some random guy who decided he was allowed to conquer the whole world because G-d said so. (iv) My surprise was at your blithe excuse that Muhammad was about to burn some people alive to Allah told him that this was wrong. Sure sounds like Muhammad was the kind of guy who might .... burn people alive.

    That brings me to Ibn Isshaq. Let's imagine that a supporter of Donald Trump wrote a book for other supporters of Donald Trump detailing his various exploits, one of which was that he burned someone alive because he wouldn't reveal the location of his treasure. Even if we didn't believe the actual story, we would be forced to conclude that the followers of Donald Trump are bunch of deranged nutcases. Moreover, we would expect decent followers of Donald Trump, if such could be found, to condemn the book as a wicked libel on their leader, not say "well, this Ibn Isshaq is a bit unreliable, but it's still a useful source for chronology."


    But this is all extraneous to the main point. You claim that you are forced to conclude that the Bible has been corrupted because it portrays prophets with moral failings. However, by the apologetic strategies you employ you can excuse anyone. Again, go into the street and ask people which is more wrong: cheating your oafish brother out of a blessing or having sex with a nine year old "woman".

    Just a note – I actually had more respect for you from our previous exchanges. Some of the stuff you are resorting you is a bit low brow actually (one of the reasons I completely left posting on Mr. Sailer’s threads). I’m simply explaining the core beliefs of my religion which contradict yours and the reasoning behind why they make coherent sense to us.

    I looked through the exchange to see where I could have triggered the antagonism by being brutish or nasty, but couldn’t find it.
     
    Let me start by saying that I believe you are an upright and moral individual and, what is more, I believe that Muslims who subscribe to your traditionalist-conservative Islam are more likely to be good citizens of whatever country they are in than ones who become irreligious or Salafist (whatever you want to call them). With that said, I have no idea why you expect civility on my part. You devote hundreds of comments to conversing with holocaust-deniers and unhinged Jew-haters spreading wild and baseless libels against my country, which you know nothing about. You cry crocodile tears about the Palestinians, but respond to anyone pointing out that Muslims across the world are killing each other and everyone else in industrial numbers by saying "the neocons made us do it". You literally call for the dissolution of my country.

    On top of that, part way through our conversation, I read this.

    Two of Rotherham child-abuse gang shout 'Allahu Akbar' in court after being handed jail terms
     
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/rotherham-child-abuse-gang-shout-allahu-akbar-court-after-being-handed-80-year-jail-term-1604539

    And, after years and years and years of this, I'm pretty sick of it.

    Can we quit this tennis match while we are ahead or do you have more nonsense you want to copy-paste from your homies at jihadwatch or wikiislam?
     
    I like David Wood.
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  • @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    The bottom line is that you clearly don’t have any Koranic verse that states that either the Jewish or Christian bibles were falsified.
     
    We do, I just presented it to you. Here's another:
    "O People of the Book! There has come to you Our Messenger, revealing to you much that you used to hide in the Book, and passing over muc: There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book." 5:15

    And there are other verses - a little more harsh in tone, so I'm sticking to these. These verses, along with strong hadith make clear our position. Again, not a single scholar I can think of missed this. That you don't accept the evidence is of little concern to us.

    We are thus left with the following two possibilities.
     
    Again with the Pepsi and Coke - when a third cola is around. We get to define our position, thanks. Our position is that; the earlier scriptures had been corrupted over time, whether through innocent inadvertent mistakes or deliberate tampering by the priestly class (the priestly class can have plenty of motives to hide the truth - the Son of Mary [pbuh] was scathing in his criticisms) - thus the last scripture was sent to set the record straight and be the gathering point for all mankind who may have corrupted scriptures or lost them altogether - a gathering at the hands of the only prophet to be sent through the line of Ishmael (pbuh) as a fulfillment of the prayer of his father Abraham (pbuh).

    So pick from this or the other two options.

    it tells the story as a dummy would tell it
     
    Or as someone would if they wanted to make it accurate, concise and get rid of unnecessary details in order to make it clear and relevant.

    I’ve often wondered, however, if it’s not just that simple people like their religion simple.
     
    A universal religion appeals to all at their level; the simple and the extremely intelligent - this accords with Divine justice. A person who has read (or even been exposed) to works from geniuses like Imam Ghazali (ra), Fakhruddin Razi (ra), and others isn't bothered by attempts at IQ put downs.

    Once Imam Fakhruddin Razi (ra) was passing through a town and was surrounded by an entourage of eager students. An old woman came out and asked what was going on. One student replied, "Don't you know who that is? That's the famous ar-Razi, he has worked out 70 proofs for the existence of God!"
    "If he didn't have 70 doubts, he wouldn't need 70 proofs," she replied.
    When word of this exchange got back to him, he addressed his students, "I urge you to have the faith of old women!"

    And Lot’s daughter wasn’t his “biological daughter”.
     
    OK - so drunken adultery then.

    See, no need to resort to outlandish claims of tahrif.
     
    I claim nothing - we are simply conveying the message we have. God wants to set the record straight on His noble emissaries. Again, accept your narrative or this one.

    Why did Ibn Ishaq make up stories about Muhammad setting peoples’ chests on fire as an instrument of torture?
     
    He didn't actually - he simply recorded everything he was told without scrutinizing the source deeply. Which is fine actually, he was never claimed he was trying to write down an accurate book of hadith. All of our maghazi literature has major problems of sourcing and confirmation - nobody really takes it seriously except that it actually does help in fitting things in a chronological manner.

    Who was he trying to impress?
     
    Non-Muslim critics of Islam apparently - they love his work. He was criticized for one particular trait by many scholars of hadith like Imam Dhahabi (ra) mentioned his one big fault was narrating invalid hadith from unknown narrators; big problem. Which is why in all of the discussions about whether burning can be used as a punishment, this incident doesn't even merit discussion. Instead, this is the hadith (as well as others) that comes up as proof for the prohibition for burning:
    "Allah's Messenger (pbuh) sent us on military expedition telling us, 'If you find such and such persons (he named two men from Quraish), burn them fire.' Then we came to bid him farewell, when we wanted to set out, he said: 'Previously I ordered you to burn so-and-so and so-and-so with fire, but as punishment with fire is done by none except Allah, if you capture them, kill them, (instead).'" - reported in Bukhari

    Why the change of orders? Because until the Prophet (pbuh) is told otherwise, he acts according to the norms of the people and times - if he receives inspiration to the contrary, he will contradict his personal judgement. This happened at the Battle of Uhud when the Quraysh mutilated the 70 dead Muslims (including his uncle). The Prophet (pbuh) swore to mutilate 70 of their's in return. The revelation of (16:126) came, admonishing him to be patient and so he chose that route and gave up his oath and ended up prohibiting the Muslims from that act going forward.


    Peace.

    We do, I just presented it to you.

    Well, no, you didn’t.

    Here’s another:
    “O People of the Book! There has come to you Our Messenger, revealing to you much that you used to hide in the Book, and passing over muc: There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book.” 5:15

    Is that supposed to be translated into English? Perhaps this observation is pertinent.

    The Koran claims for itself that it is ‘mubeen,’ or ‘clear,’ but if you look at it, you will notice that every fifth sentence or so simply doesn’t make sense. Many Muslims—and Orientalists—will tell you otherwise, of course, but the fact is that a fifth of the Koranic text is just incomprehensible. This is what has caused the traditional anxiety regarding translation. If the Koran is not comprehensible—if it can’t even be understood in Arabic—then it’s not translatable. People fear that. And since the Koran claims repeatedly to be clear but obviously is not—as even speakers of Arabic will tell you—there is a contradiction. Something else must be going on. Gerd Puin.

    Again, not a single scholar I can think of missed this.

    And presumably they cannot have missed this.

    And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.

    And yet according to Muslims the Gospels are so inaccurate that they misrecords every important detail of Jesus’s life and systematically falsifies his teachings. But Muhammad/Allah told Christians that if they did not judge by these hopelessly inaccurate books they are disobedient.

    What is going on here? What is going on is obvious. Muhammad plagiarized stories for his new religion targeting (nothing changes) rubes and lowlifes, getting many of the details wrong and changing others. He claimed that he was just re-revealing what had already been revealed so that Arabs had a copy of his message in their own language. Unfortunately, when Islam was being organised into a semi-serious religion it became clear that the Koran is totally incompatible with the Jewish and Christian scriptures so …. tahrif. This is a totally familiar pattern with cults.

    OK – so drunken adultery then.

    Again, your examples of immoral behaviour from Biblical prophets are (i) engaging in a conspiracy to trick Isaac into changing his blessings, (ii) getting drunk and, basically, being raped. But your prophet was such a sex-mad loon that he donked a nine year-old girl, he had sex with 9 (or 11) women in one night with the knowledge of his followers. He admonished a follower for marrying an old woman and asked why he didn’t marry a little girl like him, making a super-creepy comparison of pederasty to food. For some reason he liked to wear his child-wife’s clothes whilst having prophesies. His conception of heaven was a brothel.

    Apparently, you think that the biblical Jacob is worse than that. Maybe you’re a pervert yourself, or maybe you’re just in a cult.

    ‘Previously I ordered you to burn so-and-so and so-and-so with fire, but as punishment with fire is done by none except Allah, if you capture them, kill them, (instead).’

    ….!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    Is that supposed to be translated into English?
     
    Yeah, sorry, loses something in translation.

    Many Muslims—and Orientalists—will tell you otherwise, of course, but the fact is that a fifth of the Koranic text is just incomprehensible.
     
    No, logic dictates that fact is the text is quite clear to other people, Muslim and not, just not to Mr. Puin.

    As I stated to plontz what Imam Ghazali (ra) stated; claiming something doesn’t make sense to one is not an argument – the proposition may well be ontologically correct and the person is simply unable to understand the premise.


    And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein.
     
    You are missing out on the key statement there. This is an admonition to them; what they have with them and what was actually revealed was never assumed to be the same. The second sentence of that verse "And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient" was actually in connection to another incident:
    https://muflihun.com/muslim/17/4214

    This is why the science of asbaab un-nuzul (reason/context for revelation) is extremely important. If you don't care to understand, again, it is irrelevant to us - the message is and has been quite coherent when studied with the full picture in mind.


    What is going on here? What is going on is obvious.
     
    Sure, I'm dealing with someone who is obviously not looking at things objectively. I mean, neither am I - but at least I'm up front about it.

    He claimed that he was just re-revealing what had already been revealed so that Arabs had a copy of his message in their own language.
     
    No - he was claiming that this was a confirmation of what was revealed before, not what was in possession. And that this new message was now replacing the older ones (in the realm of practice). This doesn't make sense to you because you assume that what you have is the correct version. That position is based on belief of course, but your conclusions are perfunctory stemming from that belief. I believe the Qur'an is correct, therefore it negates the veracity of your texts as evidence for your claims. You don't seem to understand there is a stalemate here - you actually think you are going to prove your point through some kind of empiricism or rational take down. I'd rather just dialog as I eventually got to with plontz. If you have questions, ask.

    a nine year-old girl
     
    No, (though there is difference of opinion on her being older - the strongest source is indeed nine) she was a nine year old woman - since a girl who has experienced menarche has reached adulthood. And they can at nine:
    "It usually starts sometime between ages 11 and 14. But it can happen as early as age 9 or as late as 15."
    http://www.webmd.com/children/tc/menarche-topic-overview#1

    This marriage at early biological age is not alien to your tradition:
    "The Rabbis disagree as to the age of Rebekah at the time of her marriage to Isaac. The statement of the Seder 'Olam Rabbah (i.) and Gen. R. (lvii. 1) that Abraham was informed of Rebekah's birth when he ascended Mount Moriah for the 'Aḳedah, is interpreted by some as meaning that Rebekah was born at that time, and that consequently she was only three years old at the time of her marriage. Other rabbis, however, conclude from calculations that she was fourteen years old, and that therefore she was born eleven years before the 'Aḳedah, both numbers being found in different manuscripts of the Seder 'Olam Rabbah (comp. Tos. to Yeb. 61b). The "Sefer ha-Yashar" (section "Ḥayye Sarah," p. 38a, Leghorn, 1870) gives Rebekah's age at her marriage as ten years."
    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12610-rebekah

    So if you insist at the lowest age reported. Why can't we insist that you say the age of 3 for Rebecca? Some prominent Rabbis obviously had no problem with it. Glass houses, chief.


    he had sex with 9 (or 11) women in one night with the knowledge of his followers
     
    Umm - the hadith that mentions this that I know of is this one:
    "The Prophet used to visit all his wives in one night and he had nine wives at that time."
    https://muflihun.com/bukhari/5/282

    Nothing in there about having or not having sex with any or all of them - the Arabic is straight-forward, there is no mention of sex or lack of it - it simply says he visited/met/mingled (plug يطوف into Google translate and see if it implies sex) with them. As far as his virility, sure, his wives attested to that; is that a bad thing? The Prophet King Solomon (pbuh) had over a hundred wives - ain't nothing wrong with that if God allows it. His prophets were the best among us, even in looks and other physical traits - including virility.

    Now, Lady Aisha (ra) actually sheds more light on his practice, that he actually would visit many of them, but only spend the night with the one whose turn it was:
    "Aishah said: 'O my nephew, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) did not prefer one of us to the other in respect of his division of the time of his staying with us. It was very rare that he did not visit us any day. He would come near each of his wives without having intercourse with her until he reached the one who had her day and passed his night with her...'" - reported in Abu Dawud


    He admonished a follower for marrying an old woman and asked why he didn’t marry a little girl like him
     
    (Sigh) No, he simply asked him why he didn't marry a virgin - read the Arabic - the word is quite clear (بِكْرً).

    For some reason he liked to wear his child-wife’s clothes whilst having prophesies.
     
    Oh, that one - you mean where these guys translate the word for her 'cloth' or 'sheet' to mean her 'clothes'. I didn't see that one coming...again.

    Yeah - your narrative is really sound; millions of people followed him because he was a manipulative, murdering, child-raping, torturing, treasure seeking/hoarding, transvestite, sex-crazed, mad man, who came up with a (remarkably coherent religion) in order to rule the world - bwaahaahaahaaa! Do me a favor, find me a single fictional villain with all these check-marks and you'll see how off-the-charts your depiction of him is.

    Meanwhile, Bani Ishmael and their confederates march on by...


    ….!
     
    Yeah - Clausewitz 101: when you are in a war, you send people on military expeditions to kill the enemy. Who would've known. For someone who knows about the tradition of prophets who were also warrior-kings this doesn't seem genuine. I've seen this from Christians and it makes sense, the Son of Mary (pbuh) was not a warrior (yet) - but from your tradition?

    Can we quit this tennis match while we are ahead or do you have more nonsense you want to copy-paste from your homies at jihadwatch or wikiislam?

    Peace.

    , @Talha
    Just a note - I actually had more respect for you from our previous exchanges. Some of the stuff you are resorting you is a bit low brow actually (one of the reasons I completely left posting on Mr. Sailer's threads). I'm simply explaining the core beliefs of my religion which contradict yours and the reasoning behind why they make coherent sense to us.

    I looked through the exchange to see where I could have triggered the antagonism by being brutish or nasty, but couldn't find it.

    I mean, you may not care whether you offend people or not (or me in particular), but I thought I'd put that out there.

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @plontz
    I'm glad I could have such a nice discussion with you.


    not something that can be used to win over a skeptic.
     
    Not much can. When it comes to belief, I have seen all sorts of positions. People can be quite stubborn in their belief or skepticism – which is why it is silly to debate it. Pick something that makes coherent sense to you and roll with it.
     
    People will believe what they want to believe regardless of evidence, but some beliefs require a bigger leap of faith than others.


    what convinced so many people to follow him?
     
    Well actually, many people rejected him – polytheist leadership don’t like being told their gods are bunk. It was in Madinah where he had success – why? Because it was torn apart by tribal warfare and Islam came in and made people look at each other like brothers and lay down arms – that was a powerful message. Also, it made people treat slaves with dignity, etc. People liked the message – plus one absolute God made more sense than hundreds of local ones.
     
    So are you saying that people believed him because it was beneficial, regardless of truth?


    Someone who comes and claims to be a prophet and changes God’s teachings
     
    There are two parts to this; 1) the principle teachings will never be changed (like belief in monotheism, afterlife, angels, judgement, etc.) and 2) rules and regulations which can change (like marriage rules, prayer, etc.).
     
    According to the sacred texts that you reject, no one is allowed to add or subtract even one of God's commandments. It's not that the principles of faith are eternal but the laws are temporal, it's all eternal.

    However, if you claim that rules and regulations can change, does that mean that according to Islam Sharia can theoretically be fully re-written?

    Offer people your version of the prophets of Bani Israel, we’ll offer ours – may the best offer gain acceptance.
     
    Our way of offering, which is what God commanded us to do, is to leave an ideal holy life as an independent nation in the promised land and thus serve as an example that others will seek to emulate. They will see our success and want to know the cause and so will come to us to learn. Some say we were chosen because we are spiritually the best people. Others say that God chose us because he wanted to demonstrate the power of his teachings to elevate the worst people. Either way, this is our job. Not to go out and proselytize and force people to convert on pain of death, but to entice people to want to learn.

    Many people like the idea of a universal religion that brings universal brotherhood and offers itself as a reminder and revival of the unique prophetic traditions that each community might have forgotten. Some people don’t.
     
    You sound like you are talking about Judaism, not about the imposed uniformity of Islam (with all the sects who fight over what that uniformity should look like).

    A humanity that is made up of a multitude of nations, each free in its own homeland to develop it's culture and spirituality according to its own unique character, all sharing the same basis of civilization and building upon it, all living at peace with each other. That is what the world should be like, not all this fighting to impose your way on everyone and subjugating and oppressing those who don't fall in line.

    Hey plontz,

    So are you saying that people believed him because it was beneficial, regardless of truth?

    No, they saw the truth in it and it was beneficial – both go hand in hand.

    It’s not that the principles of faith are eternal but the laws are temporal, it’s all eternal.

    Case in point; maybe you agree or disagree. In the story of Joseph (pbuh), his brothers prostrate to him in his court. This is what we call (sajdah taZeem) prostration of honor. This was allowed for the previous people, but is now completely prohibited for our Ummah. Likewise, there are some things not allowed for them, which are allowed for us.

    However, if you claim that rules and regulations can change, does that mean that according to Islam Sharia can theoretically be fully re-written?

    Theoretically? Absolutely. If a new prophet was to come with a new message, he could indeed bring new rules per Divine instruction. The Prophet (pbuh) being the last, this is only a hypothetical case and will not come to pass.

    You sound like you are talking about Judaism, not about the imposed uniformity of Islam

    No, I’m talking about Islam – the Shariah has general principles people must adhere to, while there is room for local custom (‘urf) which fleshes out details on the ground. There is no monolith; the Tuareg do not live their lives like the Malays, though both are Muslim.

    with all the sects who fight over what that uniformity should look like

    We actually have very few sects – it’s actually quite miraculous when I think about it. Most get along pretty well – it’s the worldly politics that tend to get in the way.

    That is what the world should be like, not all this fighting to impose your way on everyone and subjugating and oppressing those who don’t fall in line.

    I like this vision. Though the historic Muslim practice was indeed to take down adjacent kingdoms and empires if they didn’t have explicit non-aggression treaties in place (the right of others to practice their religion was supposed to be safeguarded – which is why Jews often fled into Muslim lands from Europe). I can’t think of any solid Muslim scholars that want the world to return to pre-modern conquer-or-be-conquered norms. The current international order is fairly reasonable if we could get everyone to cooperate. Like I said; let people know about your narrative, we’ll tell people about ours – we’ll see what appeals to them.

    Peace and thanks for keeping it civil – I gain a lot more from dialogue than shouting past each other.

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  • @Gabriel M
    I don't find copy and paste apologetics very persuasive. The bottom line is that you clearly don't have any Koranic verse that states that either the Jewish or Christian bibles were falsified. We are thus left with the following two possibilities.

    (i) Muhammad picked up a bunch of stories from both orthodox and heterodox Christians he met in Arabia. Some of these stories were told to him inaccurately, some he mis-remembered and some, perhaps, he just chose to rewrite. Later, when it became clear to the Muslims community that the stories in the Koran were at variance with what can be found in the original sources, the doctrine of tahfir was conjured up as an ad hoc band aid to deal with the problem.

    (ii) Jews and Christians for some unknown reason decided to tamper with the holy scriptures they had received. Luckily, Muhammad came along to reveal the true versions of these scriptures, of which no historical trace exists whatsoever. The only way to know what sources written hundreds or thousands of years before Muhammad really said is to ask Muhammad. Muhammad weirdly neglected to mention that this is what he was doing.


    Many converts into Islam (that I have come across) say they are glad that the character of the prophets is corrected in Islam and that this was a specific issue they had problems with in the Bible. Again, to each his own.
     
    Well, that is hardly surprising. The Koran rewrites Biblical stories as childish morality plays (much like many Midrashic sources), i.e. it tells the story as a dummy would tell it. It's well known that Christian Arabs are much cleverer than Muslims ones (Christian Arab Israelis actually slightly outperform Jews in test scores). The most common explanation is inbreeding depression caused by endemic cousin marriage. I've often wondered, however, if it's not just that simple people like their religion simple.

    She was never a ‘child bride’. As I’ve mentioned before in other posts, she was a biological adult
     
    And Lot's daughter wasn't his "biological daughter". That makes as much sense as your claim (none). See, no need to resort to outlandish claims of tahrif.

    Find me a sound source for this and we’ll discuss; not Ibn Hisham, Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Sa’ad’s Tabaqat or Imam Tabari’s Tareekh
     
    Why did Ibn Ishaq make up stories about Muhammad setting peoples' chests on fire as an instrument of torture? Who was he trying to impress?

    Hey Gabriel,

    The bottom line is that you clearly don’t have any Koranic verse that states that either the Jewish or Christian bibles were falsified.

    We do, I just presented it to you. Here’s another:
    “O People of the Book! There has come to you Our Messenger, revealing to you much that you used to hide in the Book, and passing over muc: There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book.” 5:15

    And there are other verses – a little more harsh in tone, so I’m sticking to these. These verses, along with strong hadith make clear our position. Again, not a single scholar I can think of missed this. That you don’t accept the evidence is of little concern to us.

    We are thus left with the following two possibilities.

    Again with the Pepsi and Coke – when a third cola is around. We get to define our position, thanks. Our position is that; the earlier scriptures had been corrupted over time, whether through innocent inadvertent mistakes or deliberate tampering by the priestly class (the priestly class can have plenty of motives to hide the truth – the Son of Mary [pbuh] was scathing in his criticisms) – thus the last scripture was sent to set the record straight and be the gathering point for all mankind who may have corrupted scriptures or lost them altogether – a gathering at the hands of the only prophet to be sent through the line of Ishmael (pbuh) as a fulfillment of the prayer of his father Abraham (pbuh).

    So pick from this or the other two options.

    it tells the story as a dummy would tell it

    Or as someone would if they wanted to make it accurate, concise and get rid of unnecessary details in order to make it clear and relevant.

    I’ve often wondered, however, if it’s not just that simple people like their religion simple.

    A universal religion appeals to all at their level; the simple and the extremely intelligent – this accords with Divine justice. A person who has read (or even been exposed) to works from geniuses like Imam Ghazali (ra), Fakhruddin Razi (ra), and others isn’t bothered by attempts at IQ put downs.

    Once Imam Fakhruddin Razi (ra) was passing through a town and was surrounded by an entourage of eager students. An old woman came out and asked what was going on. One student replied, “Don’t you know who that is? That’s the famous ar-Razi, he has worked out 70 proofs for the existence of God!”
    “If he didn’t have 70 doubts, he wouldn’t need 70 proofs,” she replied.
    When word of this exchange got back to him, he addressed his students, “I urge you to have the faith of old women!”

    And Lot’s daughter wasn’t his “biological daughter”.

    OK – so drunken adultery then.

    See, no need to resort to outlandish claims of tahrif.

    I claim nothing – we are simply conveying the message we have. God wants to set the record straight on His noble emissaries. Again, accept your narrative or this one.

    Why did Ibn Ishaq make up stories about Muhammad setting peoples’ chests on fire as an instrument of torture?

    He didn’t actually – he simply recorded everything he was told without scrutinizing the source deeply. Which is fine actually, he was never claimed he was trying to write down an accurate book of hadith. All of our maghazi literature has major problems of sourcing and confirmation – nobody really takes it seriously except that it actually does help in fitting things in a chronological manner.

    Who was he trying to impress?

    Non-Muslim critics of Islam apparently – they love his work. He was criticized for one particular trait by many scholars of hadith like Imam Dhahabi (ra) mentioned his one big fault was narrating invalid hadith from unknown narrators; big problem. Which is why in all of the discussions about whether burning can be used as a punishment, this incident doesn’t even merit discussion. Instead, this is the hadith (as well as others) that comes up as proof for the prohibition for burning:
    “Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) sent us on military expedition telling us, ‘If you find such and such persons (he named two men from Quraish), burn them fire.’ Then we came to bid him farewell, when we wanted to set out, he said: ‘Previously I ordered you to burn so-and-so and so-and-so with fire, but as punishment with fire is done by none except Allah, if you capture them, kill them, (instead).’” – reported in Bukhari

    Why the change of orders? Because until the Prophet (pbuh) is told otherwise, he acts according to the norms of the people and times – if he receives inspiration to the contrary, he will contradict his personal judgement. This happened at the Battle of Uhud when the Quraysh mutilated the 70 dead Muslims (including his uncle). The Prophet (pbuh) swore to mutilate 70 of their’s in return. The revelation of (16:126) came, admonishing him to be patient and so he chose that route and gave up his oath and ended up prohibiting the Muslims from that act going forward.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Gabriel M

    We do, I just presented it to you.
     
    Well, no, you didn't.

    Here’s another:
    “O People of the Book! There has come to you Our Messenger, revealing to you much that you used to hide in the Book, and passing over muc: There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book.” 5:15
     
    Is that supposed to be translated into English? Perhaps this observation is pertinent.

    The Koran claims for itself that it is 'mubeen,' or 'clear,' but if you look at it, you will notice that every fifth sentence or so simply doesn't make sense. Many Muslims—and Orientalists—will tell you otherwise, of course, but the fact is that a fifth of the Koranic text is just incomprehensible. This is what has caused the traditional anxiety regarding translation. If the Koran is not comprehensible—if it can't even be understood in Arabic—then it's not translatable. People fear that. And since the Koran claims repeatedly to be clear but obviously is not—as even speakers of Arabic will tell you—there is a contradiction. Something else must be going on. Gerd Puin.
     

    Again, not a single scholar I can think of missed this.
     
    And presumably they cannot have missed this.

    And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.
     
    And yet according to Muslims the Gospels are so inaccurate that they misrecords every important detail of Jesus's life and systematically falsifies his teachings. But Muhammad/Allah told Christians that if they did not judge by these hopelessly inaccurate books they are disobedient.

    What is going on here? What is going on is obvious. Muhammad plagiarized stories for his new religion targeting (nothing changes) rubes and lowlifes, getting many of the details wrong and changing others. He claimed that he was just re-revealing what had already been revealed so that Arabs had a copy of his message in their own language. Unfortunately, when Islam was being organised into a semi-serious religion it became clear that the Koran is totally incompatible with the Jewish and Christian scriptures so .... tahrif. This is a totally familiar pattern with cults.

    OK – so drunken adultery then.
     
    Again, your examples of immoral behaviour from Biblical prophets are (i) engaging in a conspiracy to trick Isaac into changing his blessings, (ii) getting drunk and, basically, being raped. But your prophet was such a sex-mad loon that he donked a nine year-old girl, he had sex with 9 (or 11) women in one night with the knowledge of his followers. He admonished a follower for marrying an old woman and asked why he didn't marry a little girl like him, making a super-creepy comparison of pederasty to food. For some reason he liked to wear his child-wife's clothes whilst having prophesies. His conception of heaven was a brothel.

    Apparently, you think that the biblical Jacob is worse than that. Maybe you're a pervert yourself, or maybe you're just in a cult.

    ‘Previously I ordered you to burn so-and-so and so-and-so with fire, but as punishment with fire is done by none except Allah, if you capture them, kill them, (instead).’
     
    ....!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    From what I can tell...Not a very good proof text.
     
    This is not a good argument from our perspective. You are a non-Muslim looking into the Qur'an at verses in translation in English. There is a consensus among the scholars from beginning to now that the various Qur'anic verses on the subject plus the hadith indicate that there were either accretions in the earlier text or things were dropped - whether through intention or accident. That is what Islam says - if you want to challenge that narrative based on our texts, find a single authority from our tradition that says otherwise - I wouldn't waste your time honestly. And it makes sense from our perspective; for us, the Qur'an (all of it, was exact dictation from the mouth of the Prophet [pbuh]) including its sounds - verbatim. Which is why certain chapters of the Qur'an start simply with letters, like "Alif, Laam, Meem" or "Haa Meem" - nobody knows what they mean exactly - but they have been preserved. A cursory reading of the Bible shows it reads like a history book. The prophets and their lives are indeed the subject (and sometimes other random people), but who is doing the dictation - from whose mouth is the text flowing? Or are people simply recording history as it occurs? Who then are the actual writers of the original text - did they hear the words directly from the mouth of the prophets and other than the direct words, could they have made mistakes in details of what they recorded? How does this all come into play when we know the earliest Torah copies come centuries after the events? When the Qur'an states revelation, it says, we revealed the Psalms to David (pbuh) or the Gospels to Jesus (pbuh) or the like - the revelation is what is directly revealed to the prophet or messenger at hand (who must be absolutely truthful - as I outlined) - not whatever extraneous words are interpolated by observers.

    To us, the Bible really more resembles our hadith - which we have had to sift through weak ones from strong and even reject outright fabrications.

    Just a note: I'm only talking about what would fit our criteria for preserved revelation - if you find it sufficient that the scribes were collectively 'inspired' to get things right - that's fine. It simply doesn't work for us in our framework.

    The fine tuned preservation of the Arabic language (including the sounds and original meanings from the initial revelation in the Hijaz) have not only helped us keep the tradition intact, but been instrumental to other communities which have lost certain knowledge with the passage of time:
    "For the interpretation of the Old Testament the Arabic language has been of service in a variety of ways. In the department of lexicography it has thrown light not only on many a word used but once in the Bible or too seldom for usage alone to determine its meaning, but also on words which had seemed clear enough in their Biblical setting, but which have received illustration or correction from their usage in the immense bulk and range of Arabic literature with its enormous vocabulary. For the modern scientific study of Hebrew grammar, with its genetic method, Arabic has been of the greatest value, through the comparison of its cognate forms, where, in the main, the Arabic has the simpler, fuller and more regular morphology, and through the comparison of similar constructions, for which the highly developed Arabic syntax furnishes useful rubrics. In addition to this the Arabic language plays a prominent part, perhaps the foremost part, in the determination of those laws of the mutation of sounds, which once governed the development and now reveal the mutual relationships of the various Semitic languages."
    http://biblehub.com/topical/a/arabic.htm

    "The stimulus for the study of Hebrew philology was, it is, true, strengthened by external influence, namely, the example furnished by Arabic philology, which continued to influence materially the character of the Hebrew science; and it was the Arabic model which, being that of a kindred language, directed the development of Hebrew philology into the right path and led it to permanent results. But, notwithstanding this foreign stimulus, Hebrew philology retained its independence and its own character, to which its connection with the Masorah, the peculiar collection of old traditions regarding the spelling and pronunciation of the Biblical text, contributed not a little...Later, when, under the influence of Arabic grammar, Hebrew grammar grew out of the Masoretic rules for reading, this expression offered itself as a designation for the new science...Ben Asher, the great Masorite of Tiberias, who formulated the Masoretic notes to the Bible text and laid down general rules, dealt in particular with the consonants and vowels; but in his work, "Di?du?e ha-?e'amim," the theory of forms is laid down in a few sentences that already show the influence of Arabic grammar. "
    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/6854-grammar-hebrew

    The Islamic claim that we falsified our sources to make our heroes look bad is thus almost the opposite of the truth.
     
    Doesn't have to be intentional at least on the part of the whole community - the accretion could have entered from anywhere even forced into it from external source - for a good amount of Jewish history, they are constantly being hauled away from one place to the other - the temple and all it contained was destroyed - twice. This is also an issue with early Christians who acknowledge that many of their churches and writings were destroyed in early Roman persecutions. We did not have this problem; Muslims entered into Babylon and Persia as conquerors, not slaves.

    In order to portray Muhammad as a good person you have to resort to a mixture of apologetic tactics.
     
    Sure, every religion does this.

    So what?
     
    I already explained the 'what' - epistemological collapse; if a prophet of God is not protected from such an egregious sin (that the vast majority of human beings themselves would not commit - this is not even a little white lie or stealing an apple or something) - then how can one claim they are protected from lying? And if they aren't, how can any words from their mouth be taken at face value?

    Look, if you want to believe in exceptions, like Jacob (pbuh) could lie in order to steal the blessings of the covenant from his elder twin brother, and yet be an upright prophet whose words were sacrosanct in nature, then that is up to you. This is an issue of belief after all. We don't roll that way. It is a consensus of the Muslims (which means there is no negotiation on this point) that the prophets and messengers of God are protected from sin. They can make errors in judgement or mistakes but those are unintentional slights. Many converts into Islam (that I have come across) say they are glad that the character of the prophets is corrected in Islam and that this was a specific issue they had problems with in the Bible. Again, to each his own.

    child bride
     
    She was never a 'child bride'. As I've mentioned before in other posts, she was a biological adult (which is why he waited before they cohabited):
    http://www.unz.com/pgottfried/real-islam-and-democracy/#comment-1713585

    C'mon, you guys know better than this:
    https://youtu.be/c8eeHRAIaIc?t=5m58s

    had someone burned alive because he wouldn’t tell him where to find some buried treasure
     
    Nonsense - where did you find this - on some anti-Islam website? Maybe they were quoting from one of our Seerah books or Maghazi literature. These are the weakest of our sources; they contain many wild tales, outright fabrications and unsourced quotes. Using those is like someone using apocrypha* to say whacky things about Jesus (pbuh). Find me a sound source for this and we'll discuss; not Ibn Hisham, Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Sa'ad's Tabaqat or Imam Tabari's Tareekh, etc.

    We are obligated to believe in none of that - which is why you'll never find a single opinion from any juristic school that it's OK to torture someone to find treasure.

    Peace.

    *Note: Apparently the Son of Mary (pbuh) is found doing crazy stuff (I seek refuge in God) like cursing little kids until they die and then blinding their parents:
    “And when Jesus saw what was done, he was wroth and said unto him: O evil, ungodly, and foolish one, what hurt did the pools and the waters do thee? behold, now also thou shalt be withered like a tree, and shalt not bear leaves, neither root, nor fruit. 3 And straightway that lad withered up wholly, but Jesus departed and went unto Joseph’s house. But the parents of him that was withered took him up, bewailing his youth, and brought him to Joseph, and accused him ‘for that thou hast such a child which doeth such deeds.’
    IV. 1 After that again he went through the village, and a child ran and dashed against his shoulder. And Jesus was provoked and said unto him: Thou shalt not finish thy course (lit. go all thy way). And immediately he fell down and died. But certain when they saw what was done said: Whence was this young child born, for that every word of his is an accomplished work? And the parents of him that was dead came unto Joseph, and blamed him, saying: Thou that hast such a child canst not dwell with us in the village: or do thou teach him to bless and not to curse: for he slayeth our children.
    V. 1 And Joseph called the young child apart and admonished him, saying: Wherefore doest thou such things, that these suffer and hate us and persecute us? But Jesus said: I know that these thy words are not thine: nevertheless for thy sake I will hold my peace: but they shall bear their punishment. And straightway they that accused him were smitten with blindness”

    http://gnosis.org/library/inftoma.htm

    I don’t find copy and paste apologetics very persuasive. The bottom line is that you clearly don’t have any Koranic verse that states that either the Jewish or Christian bibles were falsified. We are thus left with the following two possibilities.

    (i) Muhammad picked up a bunch of stories from both orthodox and heterodox Christians he met in Arabia. Some of these stories were told to him inaccurately, some he mis-remembered and some, perhaps, he just chose to rewrite. Later, when it became clear to the Muslims community that the stories in the Koran were at variance with what can be found in the original sources, the doctrine of tahfir was conjured up as an ad hoc band aid to deal with the problem.

    (ii) Jews and Christians for some unknown reason decided to tamper with the holy scriptures they had received. Luckily, Muhammad came along to reveal the true versions of these scriptures, of which no historical trace exists whatsoever. The only way to know what sources written hundreds or thousands of years before Muhammad really said is to ask Muhammad. Muhammad weirdly neglected to mention that this is what he was doing.

    Many converts into Islam (that I have come across) say they are glad that the character of the prophets is corrected in Islam and that this was a specific issue they had problems with in the Bible. Again, to each his own.

    Well, that is hardly surprising. The Koran rewrites Biblical stories as childish morality plays (much like many Midrashic sources), i.e. it tells the story as a dummy would tell it. It’s well known that Christian Arabs are much cleverer than Muslims ones (Christian Arab Israelis actually slightly outperform Jews in test scores). The most common explanation is inbreeding depression caused by endemic cousin marriage. I’ve often wondered, however, if it’s not just that simple people like their religion simple.

    She was never a ‘child bride’. As I’ve mentioned before in other posts, she was a biological adult

    And Lot’s daughter wasn’t his “biological daughter”. That makes as much sense as your claim (none). See, no need to resort to outlandish claims of tahrif.

    Find me a sound source for this and we’ll discuss; not Ibn Hisham, Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Sa’ad’s Tabaqat or Imam Tabari’s Tareekh

    Why did Ibn Ishaq make up stories about Muhammad setting peoples’ chests on fire as an instrument of torture? Who was he trying to impress?

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    The bottom line is that you clearly don’t have any Koranic verse that states that either the Jewish or Christian bibles were falsified.
     
    We do, I just presented it to you. Here's another:
    "O People of the Book! There has come to you Our Messenger, revealing to you much that you used to hide in the Book, and passing over muc: There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book." 5:15

    And there are other verses - a little more harsh in tone, so I'm sticking to these. These verses, along with strong hadith make clear our position. Again, not a single scholar I can think of missed this. That you don't accept the evidence is of little concern to us.

    We are thus left with the following two possibilities.
     
    Again with the Pepsi and Coke - when a third cola is around. We get to define our position, thanks. Our position is that; the earlier scriptures had been corrupted over time, whether through innocent inadvertent mistakes or deliberate tampering by the priestly class (the priestly class can have plenty of motives to hide the truth - the Son of Mary [pbuh] was scathing in his criticisms) - thus the last scripture was sent to set the record straight and be the gathering point for all mankind who may have corrupted scriptures or lost them altogether - a gathering at the hands of the only prophet to be sent through the line of Ishmael (pbuh) as a fulfillment of the prayer of his father Abraham (pbuh).

    So pick from this or the other two options.

    it tells the story as a dummy would tell it
     
    Or as someone would if they wanted to make it accurate, concise and get rid of unnecessary details in order to make it clear and relevant.

    I’ve often wondered, however, if it’s not just that simple people like their religion simple.
     
    A universal religion appeals to all at their level; the simple and the extremely intelligent - this accords with Divine justice. A person who has read (or even been exposed) to works from geniuses like Imam Ghazali (ra), Fakhruddin Razi (ra), and others isn't bothered by attempts at IQ put downs.

    Once Imam Fakhruddin Razi (ra) was passing through a town and was surrounded by an entourage of eager students. An old woman came out and asked what was going on. One student replied, "Don't you know who that is? That's the famous ar-Razi, he has worked out 70 proofs for the existence of God!"
    "If he didn't have 70 doubts, he wouldn't need 70 proofs," she replied.
    When word of this exchange got back to him, he addressed his students, "I urge you to have the faith of old women!"

    And Lot’s daughter wasn’t his “biological daughter”.
     
    OK - so drunken adultery then.

    See, no need to resort to outlandish claims of tahrif.
     
    I claim nothing - we are simply conveying the message we have. God wants to set the record straight on His noble emissaries. Again, accept your narrative or this one.

    Why did Ibn Ishaq make up stories about Muhammad setting peoples’ chests on fire as an instrument of torture?
     
    He didn't actually - he simply recorded everything he was told without scrutinizing the source deeply. Which is fine actually, he was never claimed he was trying to write down an accurate book of hadith. All of our maghazi literature has major problems of sourcing and confirmation - nobody really takes it seriously except that it actually does help in fitting things in a chronological manner.

    Who was he trying to impress?
     
    Non-Muslim critics of Islam apparently - they love his work. He was criticized for one particular trait by many scholars of hadith like Imam Dhahabi (ra) mentioned his one big fault was narrating invalid hadith from unknown narrators; big problem. Which is why in all of the discussions about whether burning can be used as a punishment, this incident doesn't even merit discussion. Instead, this is the hadith (as well as others) that comes up as proof for the prohibition for burning:
    "Allah's Messenger (pbuh) sent us on military expedition telling us, 'If you find such and such persons (he named two men from Quraish), burn them fire.' Then we came to bid him farewell, when we wanted to set out, he said: 'Previously I ordered you to burn so-and-so and so-and-so with fire, but as punishment with fire is done by none except Allah, if you capture them, kill them, (instead).'" - reported in Bukhari

    Why the change of orders? Because until the Prophet (pbuh) is told otherwise, he acts according to the norms of the people and times - if he receives inspiration to the contrary, he will contradict his personal judgement. This happened at the Battle of Uhud when the Quraysh mutilated the 70 dead Muslims (including his uncle). The Prophet (pbuh) swore to mutilate 70 of their's in return. The revelation of (16:126) came, admonishing him to be patient and so he chose that route and gave up his oath and ended up prohibiting the Muslims from that act going forward.


    Peace.
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  • @Anon
    You're right about Alcibiades; my point in citing him was that he obviously did not care much for the external trappings of this world, viewing them as mere instruments for the attainment of his ambition. Lysander the Spartan is, fittingly enough, a better example of a spartan lifestyle and financial incorruptibility (like Mohammed, he died penniless or nearly so) combined with, again, a devouring ambition. But Alcibiades is interesting because in disdaining the passing things of the physical world he owes a great deal to his mentor, Socrates; the thing he serves and strives to perfect is always himself; the sin of pride, the great temptation which specifically attacked the noblest of the Greeks (and to which they had no theological resistance), has found him out and relentlessly pursues him.

    As I said, I wasn't specifically attacking the Prophet, about whom I know fairly little; though it is certain, even to a non-Muslim, that he was both a great statesman and a great teacher, a synthesis rarely achieved except in legend (Numa, Theseus, etc.); the nearest real-life comparison, and it would be a distant one, would probably be Confucius. Given his religious framework, the sin of pride would probably be easier for him to avoid than for a classical Greek who knew of no such thing.

    My intention was to point out that it is no defense from the charge of reckless ambition to prove simplicity of life or financial incorruptibility.

    You probably know this but the short explanation of the term "cynicism" is the contrast between the loyalty and simplicity of dogs and the faithlessness and pretentiousness of men.

    Thanks for those insights! It is interesting, but some have opined that Socrates may have been a prophet to the Greeks – after all, wasn’t he put to death for corrupting the youth and denying the gods of the city? He challenged the wisdom of the oracle too, right? We aren’t sure of course because we aren’t 100% confident about the sources, but what we know about him is quite interesting!

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11841-011-0266-0

    My intention was to point out that it is no defense from the charge of reckless ambition to prove simplicity of life or financial incorruptibility.

    I will agree with you in an absolute sense – but it sure helps, no?

    Peace.

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  • @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    not something that can be used to win over a skeptic.
     
    Not much can. When it comes to belief, I have seen all sorts of positions. People can be quite stubborn in their belief or skepticism - which is why it is silly to debate it. Pick something that makes coherent sense to you and roll with it.

    what convinced so many people to follow him?
     
    Well actually, many people rejected him - polytheist leadership don't like being told their gods are bunk. It was in Madinah where he had success - why? Because it was torn apart by tribal warfare and Islam came in and made people look at each other like brothers and lay down arms - that was a powerful message. Also, it made people treat slaves with dignity, etc. People liked the message - plus one absolute God made more sense than hundreds of local ones.

    Someone who comes and claims to be a prophet and changes God’s teachings
     
    There are two parts to this; 1) the principle teachings will never be changed (like belief in monotheism, afterlife, angels, judgement, etc.) and 2) rules and regulations which can change (like marriage rules, prayer, etc.).

    falls squarely in the definition of a false prophet as we have been taught
     
    Yup - so one has to choose - which narrative is correct; accepting one negates the foundations of the other; because according to us, your 'we have been taught' is based on inaccurate texts. We can get along for sure; Jews have often lived better within Muslim lands than in Christian ones - but the belief narrative cannot be reconciled. Offer people your version of the prophets of Bani Israel, we'll offer ours - may the best offer gain acceptance.

    but indicates nothing about Ishmael being chosen or Islam being the true religion
     
    No problem - Bani Ishmael and their growing confederates feel otherwise. :)

    Many people like the idea of a universal religion that brings universal brotherhood and offers itself as a reminder and revival of the unique prophetic traditions that each community might have forgotten. Some people don't.

    Peace.

    I’m glad I could have such a nice discussion with you.

    not something that can be used to win over a skeptic.

    Not much can. When it comes to belief, I have seen all sorts of positions. People can be quite stubborn in their belief or skepticism – which is why it is silly to debate it. Pick something that makes coherent sense to you and roll with it.

    People will believe what they want to believe regardless of evidence, but some beliefs require a bigger leap of faith than others.

    what convinced so many people to follow him?

    Well actually, many people rejected him – polytheist leadership don’t like being told their gods are bunk. It was in Madinah where he had success – why? Because it was torn apart by tribal warfare and Islam came in and made people look at each other like brothers and lay down arms – that was a powerful message. Also, it made people treat slaves with dignity, etc. People liked the message – plus one absolute God made more sense than hundreds of local ones.

    So are you saying that people believed him because it was beneficial, regardless of truth?

    Someone who comes and claims to be a prophet and changes God’s teachings

    There are two parts to this; 1) the principle teachings will never be changed (like belief in monotheism, afterlife, angels, judgement, etc.) and 2) rules and regulations which can change (like marriage rules, prayer, etc.).

    According to the sacred texts that you reject, no one is allowed to add or subtract even one of God’s commandments. It’s not that the principles of faith are eternal but the laws are temporal, it’s all eternal.

    However, if you claim that rules and regulations can change, does that mean that according to Islam Sharia can theoretically be fully re-written?

    Offer people your version of the prophets of Bani Israel, we’ll offer ours – may the best offer gain acceptance.

    Our way of offering, which is what God commanded us to do, is to leave an ideal holy life as an independent nation in the promised land and thus serve as an example that others will seek to emulate. They will see our success and want to know the cause and so will come to us to learn. Some say we were chosen because we are spiritually the best people. Others say that God chose us because he wanted to demonstrate the power of his teachings to elevate the worst people. Either way, this is our job. Not to go out and proselytize and force people to convert on pain of death, but to entice people to want to learn.

    Many people like the idea of a universal religion that brings universal brotherhood and offers itself as a reminder and revival of the unique prophetic traditions that each community might have forgotten. Some people don’t.

    You sound like you are talking about Judaism, not about the imposed uniformity of Islam (with all the sects who fight over what that uniformity should look like).

    A humanity that is made up of a multitude of nations, each free in its own homeland to develop it’s culture and spirituality according to its own unique character, all sharing the same basis of civilization and building upon it, all living at peace with each other. That is what the world should be like, not all this fighting to impose your way on everyone and subjugating and oppressing those who don’t fall in line.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    So are you saying that people believed him because it was beneficial, regardless of truth?
     
    No, they saw the truth in it and it was beneficial - both go hand in hand.

    It’s not that the principles of faith are eternal but the laws are temporal, it’s all eternal.
     
    Case in point; maybe you agree or disagree. In the story of Joseph (pbuh), his brothers prostrate to him in his court. This is what we call (sajdah taZeem) prostration of honor. This was allowed for the previous people, but is now completely prohibited for our Ummah. Likewise, there are some things not allowed for them, which are allowed for us.

    However, if you claim that rules and regulations can change, does that mean that according to Islam Sharia can theoretically be fully re-written?
     
    Theoretically? Absolutely. If a new prophet was to come with a new message, he could indeed bring new rules per Divine instruction. The Prophet (pbuh) being the last, this is only a hypothetical case and will not come to pass.

    You sound like you are talking about Judaism, not about the imposed uniformity of Islam
     
    No, I'm talking about Islam - the Shariah has general principles people must adhere to, while there is room for local custom ('urf) which fleshes out details on the ground. There is no monolith; the Tuareg do not live their lives like the Malays, though both are Muslim.

    with all the sects who fight over what that uniformity should look like
     
    We actually have very few sects - it's actually quite miraculous when I think about it. Most get along pretty well - it's the worldly politics that tend to get in the way.

    That is what the world should be like, not all this fighting to impose your way on everyone and subjugating and oppressing those who don’t fall in line.
     
    I like this vision. Though the historic Muslim practice was indeed to take down adjacent kingdoms and empires if they didn't have explicit non-aggression treaties in place (the right of others to practice their religion was supposed to be safeguarded - which is why Jews often fled into Muslim lands from Europe). I can't think of any solid Muslim scholars that want the world to return to pre-modern conquer-or-be-conquered norms. The current international order is fairly reasonable if we could get everyone to cooperate. Like I said; let people know about your narrative, we'll tell people about ours - we'll see what appeals to them.

    Peace and thanks for keeping it civil - I gain a lot more from dialogue than shouting past each other.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    not something that can be used to win over a skeptic.
     
    Not much can. When it comes to belief, I have seen all sorts of positions. People can be quite stubborn in their belief or skepticism - which is why it is silly to debate it. Pick something that makes coherent sense to you and roll with it.

    what convinced so many people to follow him?
     
    Well actually, many people rejected him - polytheist leadership don't like being told their gods are bunk. It was in Madinah where he had success - why? Because it was torn apart by tribal warfare and Islam came in and made people look at each other like brothers and lay down arms - that was a powerful message. Also, it made people treat slaves with dignity, etc. People liked the message - plus one absolute God made more sense than hundreds of local ones.

    Someone who comes and claims to be a prophet and changes God’s teachings
     
    There are two parts to this; 1) the principle teachings will never be changed (like belief in monotheism, afterlife, angels, judgement, etc.) and 2) rules and regulations which can change (like marriage rules, prayer, etc.).

    falls squarely in the definition of a false prophet as we have been taught
     
    Yup - so one has to choose - which narrative is correct; accepting one negates the foundations of the other; because according to us, your 'we have been taught' is based on inaccurate texts. We can get along for sure; Jews have often lived better within Muslim lands than in Christian ones - but the belief narrative cannot be reconciled. Offer people your version of the prophets of Bani Israel, we'll offer ours - may the best offer gain acceptance.

    but indicates nothing about Ishmael being chosen or Islam being the true religion
     
    No problem - Bani Ishmael and their growing confederates feel otherwise. :)

    Many people like the idea of a universal religion that brings universal brotherhood and offers itself as a reminder and revival of the unique prophetic traditions that each community might have forgotten. Some people don't.

    Peace.

    Yup – so one has to choose – which narrative is correct; accepting one negates the foundations of the other; because according to us, your ‘we have been taught’ is based on inaccurate texts.

    Actually, another thing I’ve heard from Western converts is that they like the idea that they really don’t have to reject their tradition wholesale. They can still keep (in fact have to keep) their older prophets – but they only have to keep what is the best about them. Likewise with the earlier revelations, they like that they can still believe in the Bible and simply have a nuanced stance about it in its entirety. It’s not like if they converted to, say, Wiccan or Shinto.

    This brother was conflicted about the Son of Mary (pbuh) – growing up in a mixed Catholic/Jewish household:

    I love that Burger King-like logo he came up with! ‘Have it His way’ – LOL!

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  • Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Talha
    What you say has some truth in it. But the example you give states this:
    "In Sparta, he was all for bodily training, simplicity of life, and severity of countenance; in Ionia, for luxurious ease and pleasure; in Thrace, for drinking deep; in Thessaly, for riding hard; and when he was thrown with Tissaphernes the satrap, he outdid even Persian magnificence in his pomp and lavishness. but when he saw that his natural manners were likely to be annoying to his associates, he was quick to assume any counterfeit exterior which might in each case be suitable for them."

    To stay true to one's principles throughout all circumstance - that indeed is a major accomplishment. We have been taught to shun praise:
    "He who lets the people hear of his good deeds intentionally, to win their praise, Allah will let the people know his real intention (on the Day of Resurrection), and he who does good things in public to show off and win the praise of the people, Allah will disclose his real intention (and humiliate him)." - reported in Bukhari

    He made sure people understood proper limits of who he was: “Do not exaggerate in praising me like the Christians have exaggerated in praising Jesus the son of Mary. Rather, say that I’m the slave of God and His Messenger” - reported in Bukhari

    I guess one can be cynical* about his motives (or of the motives of the other prophets) - we don't see any reason to be; but, to each his own.

    Peace.

    *I've always found it interesting that the word cynic is derived from the Greek for 'doglike'.

    You’re right about Alcibiades; my point in citing him was that he obviously did not care much for the external trappings of this world, viewing them as mere instruments for the attainment of his ambition. Lysander the Spartan is, fittingly enough, a better example of a spartan lifestyle and financial incorruptibility (like Mohammed, he died penniless or nearly so) combined with, again, a devouring ambition. But Alcibiades is interesting because in disdaining the passing things of the physical world he owes a great deal to his mentor, Socrates; the thing he serves and strives to perfect is always himself; the sin of pride, the great temptation which specifically attacked the noblest of the Greeks (and to which they had no theological resistance), has found him out and relentlessly pursues him.

    As I said, I wasn’t specifically attacking the Prophet, about whom I know fairly little; though it is certain, even to a non-Muslim, that he was both a great statesman and a great teacher, a synthesis rarely achieved except in legend (Numa, Theseus, etc.); the nearest real-life comparison, and it would be a distant one, would probably be Confucius. Given his religious framework, the sin of pride would probably be easier for him to avoid than for a classical Greek who knew of no such thing.

    My intention was to point out that it is no defense from the charge of reckless ambition to prove simplicity of life or financial incorruptibility.

    You probably know this but the short explanation of the term “cynicism” is the contrast between the loyalty and simplicity of dogs and the faithlessness and pretentiousness of men.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Thanks for those insights! It is interesting, but some have opined that Socrates may have been a prophet to the Greeks - after all, wasn't he put to death for corrupting the youth and denying the gods of the city? He challenged the wisdom of the oracle too, right? We aren't sure of course because we aren't 100% confident about the sources, but what we know about him is quite interesting!
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11841-011-0266-0

    My intention was to point out that it is no defense from the charge of reckless ambition to prove simplicity of life or financial incorruptibility.
     
    I will agree with you in an absolute sense - but it sure helps, no?

    Peace.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @plontz
    So you do have an answer. Great.

    That part about the beauty of the poetry of the Qur'an is something I've heard in the past, but it's the kind of argument that only strengthens the faith of the believers or convinces those who want to believe, not something that can be used to win over a skeptic. It's not a debate-winning piece of evidence.

    The part about the prophecies has a few answers I can give. First a question: In order to carry out all those Islamic conquests he would have needed an army of believers, no? So before he made those bold promises come true, what convinced so many people to follow him? The original followers didn't have already-fulfilled prophecies as evidence to convince them.

    (there is more to say on the issue of predicting the future, but that's enough for now)

    Second, God told us that his teachings are forever and that any who contradict them is a false prophet, and that he may send false prophets to test our faith. He says these false prophets may even perform supernatural deeds. Someone who comes and claims to be a prophet and changes God's teachings (no matter the pretext, whether he claims to be "correcting" them or that God changed his mind) falls squarely in the definition of a false prophet as we have been taught.

    (which incidentally also provides something of an answer about how we can trust human prophets - they have to be consistent with God's teachings that were given to us directly by God and (at our request) through the intermediary Moses. Now I understand why you insist prophets must be angels, because you don't have another basis for trust except to believe that they are perfect)

    Third is that we already know that God blessed Ishmael that he will be a great nation, but we also know that he wasn't chosen to inherit Abraham's job. So the Ishmaelite empire building is a fulfillment of ancient prophecy, but indicates nothing about Ishmael being chosen or Islam being the true religion.

    (what's in brackets is for me unimportant to the discussion. I'm just acting as if I have logorrhea)

    Hey plontz,

    not something that can be used to win over a skeptic.

    Not much can. When it comes to belief, I have seen all sorts of positions. People can be quite stubborn in their belief or skepticism – which is why it is silly to debate it. Pick something that makes coherent sense to you and roll with it.

    what convinced so many people to follow him?

    Well actually, many people rejected him – polytheist leadership don’t like being told their gods are bunk. It was in Madinah where he had success – why? Because it was torn apart by tribal warfare and Islam came in and made people look at each other like brothers and lay down arms – that was a powerful message. Also, it made people treat slaves with dignity, etc. People liked the message – plus one absolute God made more sense than hundreds of local ones.

    Someone who comes and claims to be a prophet and changes God’s teachings

    There are two parts to this; 1) the principle teachings will never be changed (like belief in monotheism, afterlife, angels, judgement, etc.) and 2) rules and regulations which can change (like marriage rules, prayer, etc.).

    falls squarely in the definition of a false prophet as we have been taught

    Yup – so one has to choose – which narrative is correct; accepting one negates the foundations of the other; because according to us, your ‘we have been taught’ is based on inaccurate texts. We can get along for sure; Jews have often lived better within Muslim lands than in Christian ones – but the belief narrative cannot be reconciled. Offer people your version of the prophets of Bani Israel, we’ll offer ours – may the best offer gain acceptance.

    but indicates nothing about Ishmael being chosen or Islam being the true religion

    No problem – Bani Ishmael and their growing confederates feel otherwise. :)

    Many people like the idea of a universal religion that brings universal brotherhood and offers itself as a reminder and revival of the unique prophetic traditions that each community might have forgotten. Some people don’t.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    Yup – so one has to choose – which narrative is correct; accepting one negates the foundations of the other; because according to us, your ‘we have been taught’ is based on inaccurate texts.
     
    Actually, another thing I've heard from Western converts is that they like the idea that they really don't have to reject their tradition wholesale. They can still keep (in fact have to keep) their older prophets - but they only have to keep what is the best about them. Likewise with the earlier revelations, they like that they can still believe in the Bible and simply have a nuanced stance about it in its entirety. It's not like if they converted to, say, Wiccan or Shinto.

    This brother was conflicted about the Son of Mary (pbuh) - growing up in a mixed Catholic/Jewish household:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ltd_Y332T64

    I love that Burger King-like logo he came up with! 'Have it His way' - LOL!

    , @plontz
    I'm glad I could have such a nice discussion with you.


    not something that can be used to win over a skeptic.
     
    Not much can. When it comes to belief, I have seen all sorts of positions. People can be quite stubborn in their belief or skepticism – which is why it is silly to debate it. Pick something that makes coherent sense to you and roll with it.
     
    People will believe what they want to believe regardless of evidence, but some beliefs require a bigger leap of faith than others.


    what convinced so many people to follow him?
     
    Well actually, many people rejected him – polytheist leadership don’t like being told their gods are bunk. It was in Madinah where he had success – why? Because it was torn apart by tribal warfare and Islam came in and made people look at each other like brothers and lay down arms – that was a powerful message. Also, it made people treat slaves with dignity, etc. People liked the message – plus one absolute God made more sense than hundreds of local ones.
     
    So are you saying that people believed him because it was beneficial, regardless of truth?


    Someone who comes and claims to be a prophet and changes God’s teachings
     
    There are two parts to this; 1) the principle teachings will never be changed (like belief in monotheism, afterlife, angels, judgement, etc.) and 2) rules and regulations which can change (like marriage rules, prayer, etc.).
     
    According to the sacred texts that you reject, no one is allowed to add or subtract even one of God's commandments. It's not that the principles of faith are eternal but the laws are temporal, it's all eternal.

    However, if you claim that rules and regulations can change, does that mean that according to Islam Sharia can theoretically be fully re-written?

    Offer people your version of the prophets of Bani Israel, we’ll offer ours – may the best offer gain acceptance.
     
    Our way of offering, which is what God commanded us to do, is to leave an ideal holy life as an independent nation in the promised land and thus serve as an example that others will seek to emulate. They will see our success and want to know the cause and so will come to us to learn. Some say we were chosen because we are spiritually the best people. Others say that God chose us because he wanted to demonstrate the power of his teachings to elevate the worst people. Either way, this is our job. Not to go out and proselytize and force people to convert on pain of death, but to entice people to want to learn.

    Many people like the idea of a universal religion that brings universal brotherhood and offers itself as a reminder and revival of the unique prophetic traditions that each community might have forgotten. Some people don’t.
     
    You sound like you are talking about Judaism, not about the imposed uniformity of Islam (with all the sects who fight over what that uniformity should look like).

    A humanity that is made up of a multitude of nations, each free in its own homeland to develop it's culture and spirituality according to its own unique character, all sharing the same basis of civilization and building upon it, all living at peace with each other. That is what the world should be like, not all this fighting to impose your way on everyone and subjugating and oppressing those who don't fall in line.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    No problem. I am more than happy to answer any questions; my teachers have taught us to avoid theological debates.


    So I’ll restate: is there any evidence whatsoever to support Muhammad’s claims?
     
    You mean like; is there any prophecy or something that can be verified? Sure - he had multiple prophecies; that the Muslims would conquer Byzantium, Persia, Constantinople, etc. Some of these prophecies were extremely bold - given that he was talking about the conquest of the empires of his age at the Battle of Khandaq - when the Muslims were completely surrounded by a confederate force of 10,000 and had to dig a huge ditch around Madinah to prevent being completely overwhelmed.

    Also, the Qur'an was revealed at the stage when Arabic had reached the peak of eloquence due to the age of the master poets like Labid, Imru' al-Qais, etc. The Arabs used to honor and memorize these works (and continued to do so after Islam). But the Qur'an came and knocked them all off the throne in Arabic - it has yet to be challenged (and in fact basically is the apex of eloquence in that language). There is also its appeal to unadulterated transcendent monotheism.

    And prophecies continue to be relevant today:
    https://youtu.be/3_M5sGmdkr4?t=9m12s

    Peace.

    So you do have an answer. Great.

    That part about the beauty of the poetry of the Qur’an is something I’ve heard in the past, but it’s the kind of argument that only strengthens the faith of the believers or convinces those who want to believe, not something that can be used to win over a skeptic. It’s not a debate-winning piece of evidence.

    The part about the prophecies has a few answers I can give. First a question: In order to carry out all those Islamic conquests he would have needed an army of believers, no? So before he made those bold promises come true, what convinced so many people to follow him? The original followers didn’t have already-fulfilled prophecies as evidence to convince them.

    (there is more to say on the issue of predicting the future, but that’s enough for now)

    Second, God told us that his teachings are forever and that any who contradict them is a false prophet, and that he may send false prophets to test our faith. He says these false prophets may even perform supernatural deeds. Someone who comes and claims to be a prophet and changes God’s teachings (no matter the pretext, whether he claims to be “correcting” them or that God changed his mind) falls squarely in the definition of a false prophet as we have been taught.

    (which incidentally also provides something of an answer about how we can trust human prophets – they have to be consistent with God’s teachings that were given to us directly by God and (at our request) through the intermediary Moses. Now I understand why you insist prophets must be angels, because you don’t have another basis for trust except to believe that they are perfect)

    Third is that we already know that God blessed Ishmael that he will be a great nation, but we also know that he wasn’t chosen to inherit Abraham’s job. So the Ishmaelite empire building is a fulfillment of ancient prophecy, but indicates nothing about Ishmael being chosen or Islam being the true religion.

    (what’s in brackets is for me unimportant to the discussion. I’m just acting as if I have logorrhea)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    not something that can be used to win over a skeptic.
     
    Not much can. When it comes to belief, I have seen all sorts of positions. People can be quite stubborn in their belief or skepticism - which is why it is silly to debate it. Pick something that makes coherent sense to you and roll with it.

    what convinced so many people to follow him?
     
    Well actually, many people rejected him - polytheist leadership don't like being told their gods are bunk. It was in Madinah where he had success - why? Because it was torn apart by tribal warfare and Islam came in and made people look at each other like brothers and lay down arms - that was a powerful message. Also, it made people treat slaves with dignity, etc. People liked the message - plus one absolute God made more sense than hundreds of local ones.

    Someone who comes and claims to be a prophet and changes God’s teachings
     
    There are two parts to this; 1) the principle teachings will never be changed (like belief in monotheism, afterlife, angels, judgement, etc.) and 2) rules and regulations which can change (like marriage rules, prayer, etc.).

    falls squarely in the definition of a false prophet as we have been taught
     
    Yup - so one has to choose - which narrative is correct; accepting one negates the foundations of the other; because according to us, your 'we have been taught' is based on inaccurate texts. We can get along for sure; Jews have often lived better within Muslim lands than in Christian ones - but the belief narrative cannot be reconciled. Offer people your version of the prophets of Bani Israel, we'll offer ours - may the best offer gain acceptance.

    but indicates nothing about Ishmael being chosen or Islam being the true religion
     
    No problem - Bani Ishmael and their growing confederates feel otherwise. :)

    Many people like the idea of a universal religion that brings universal brotherhood and offers itself as a reminder and revival of the unique prophetic traditions that each community might have forgotten. Some people don't.

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Gabriel M
    http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=5&verse=13

    From what I can tell, most of the translations state that we perverted it through misinterpretation (which is something that Christians would agree with). Not a very good proof text.

    I will add that in the Midrashic tradition there are numerous cases of Biblical verses and passages being interpreted in very different, sometimes even opposite, manner to their plain meaning. Within Judaism some will obstinately defend these Midrashic readings as the *true* meaning of the text whereas others, myself included, interpret them as being homilies using the text as a springboard, but not intending to subvert the actual meaning of the text. It seems most likely that these Midrashim are what Muhammad was referring to.

    On this note, I will add that there are many Midrashic sources that try to whitewash Jewish figures, so that David, Reuven, Aaron, Yehuda etc. did not really sin, or at least, did not sin all that much. Often children (and in ultra-Orthodox communities even the adults) are only exposed to these whitewashed accounts. However, the strict prohibition we have on changing any word of the Tanakh has preserved the record of these figures in all their realistic complexity, for those who want to look. The Islamic claim that we falsified our sources to make our heroes look bad is thus almost the opposite of the truth.


    In fact, all external criticisms stem from scrutinizing the very same texts our scholars expended efforts to preserve.
     
    You are missing the point. In order to portray Muhammad as a good person you have to resort to a mixture of apologetic tactics. If you wanted to, you could do the same with any prophet. To take your example, Lot got drunk and unwittingly had sex whilst semi-comatose with his own daughters. So what? Muhammad has his child bride scrape semen off his clothes and had someone burned alive because he wouldn't tell him where to find some buried treasure. I'm pretty sure if you can justify the one, you can justify the other.

    Hey Gabriel,

    From what I can tell…Not a very good proof text.

    This is not a good argument from our perspective. You are a non-Muslim looking into the Qur’an at verses in translation in English. There is a consensus among the scholars from beginning to now that the various Qur’anic verses on the subject plus the hadith indicate that there were either accretions in the earlier text or things were dropped – whether through intention or accident. That is what Islam says – if you want to challenge that narrative based on our texts, find a single authority from our tradition that says otherwise – I wouldn’t waste your time honestly. And it makes sense from our perspective; for us, the Qur’an (all of it, was exact dictation from the mouth of the Prophet [pbuh]) including its sounds – verbatim. Which is why certain chapters of the Qur’an start simply with letters, like “Alif, Laam, Meem” or “Haa Meem” – nobody knows what they mean exactly – but they have been preserved. A cursory reading of the Bible shows it reads like a history book. The prophets and their lives are indeed the subject (and sometimes other random people), but who is doing the dictation – from whose mouth is the text flowing? Or are people simply recording history as it occurs? Who then are the actual writers of the original text – did they hear the words directly from the mouth of the prophets and other than the direct words, could they have made mistakes in details of what they recorded? How does this all come into play when we know the earliest Torah copies come centuries after the events? When the Qur’an states revelation, it says, we revealed the Psalms to David (pbuh) or the Gospels to Jesus (pbuh) or the like – the revelation is what is directly revealed to the prophet or messenger at hand (who must be absolutely truthful – as I outlined) – not whatever extraneous words are interpolated by observers.

    To us, the Bible really more resembles our hadith – which we have had to sift through weak ones from strong and even reject outright fabrications.

    Just a note: I’m only talking about what would fit our criteria for preserved revelation – if you find it sufficient that the scribes were collectively ‘inspired’ to get things right – that’s fine. It simply doesn’t work for us in our framework.

    The fine tuned preservation of the Arabic language (including the sounds and original meanings from the initial revelation in the Hijaz) have not only helped us keep the tradition intact, but been instrumental to other communities which have lost certain knowledge with the passage of time:
    “For the interpretation of the Old Testament the Arabic language has been of service in a variety of ways. In the department of lexicography it has thrown light not only on many a word used but once in the Bible or too seldom for usage alone to determine its meaning, but also on words which had seemed clear enough in their Biblical setting, but which have received illustration or correction from their usage in the immense bulk and range of Arabic literature with its enormous vocabulary. For the modern scientific study of Hebrew grammar, with its genetic method, Arabic has been of the greatest value, through the comparison of its cognate forms, where, in the main, the Arabic has the simpler, fuller and more regular morphology, and through the comparison of similar constructions, for which the highly developed Arabic syntax furnishes useful rubrics. In addition to this the Arabic language plays a prominent part, perhaps the foremost part, in the determination of those laws of the mutation of sounds, which once governed the development and now reveal the mutual relationships of the various Semitic languages.”

    http://biblehub.com/topical/a/arabic.htm

    “The stimulus for the study of Hebrew philology was, it is, true, strengthened by external influence, namely, the example furnished by Arabic philology, which continued to influence materially the character of the Hebrew science; and it was the Arabic model which, being that of a kindred language, directed the development of Hebrew philology into the right path and led it to permanent results. But, notwithstanding this foreign stimulus, Hebrew philology retained its independence and its own character, to which its connection with the Masorah, the peculiar collection of old traditions regarding the spelling and pronunciation of the Biblical text, contributed not a little…Later, when, under the influence of Arabic grammar, Hebrew grammar grew out of the Masoretic rules for reading, this expression offered itself as a designation for the new science…Ben Asher, the great Masorite of Tiberias, who formulated the Masoretic notes to the Bible text and laid down general rules, dealt in particular with the consonants and vowels; but in his work, “Di?du?e ha-?e’amim,” the theory of forms is laid down in a few sentences that already show the influence of Arabic grammar. ”

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/6854-grammar-hebrew

    The Islamic claim that we falsified our sources to make our heroes look bad is thus almost the opposite of the truth.

    Doesn’t have to be intentional at least on the part of the whole community – the accretion could have entered from anywhere even forced into it from external source – for a good amount of Jewish history, they are constantly being hauled away from one place to the other – the temple and all it contained was destroyed – twice. This is also an issue with early Christians who acknowledge that many of their churches and writings were destroyed in early Roman persecutions. We did not have this problem; Muslims entered into Babylon and Persia as conquerors, not slaves.

    In order to portray Muhammad as a good person you have to resort to a mixture of apologetic tactics.

    Sure, every religion does this.

    So what?

    I already explained the ‘what’ – epistemological collapse; if a prophet of God is not protected from such an egregious sin (that the vast majority of human beings themselves would not commit – this is not even a little white lie or stealing an apple or something) – then how can one claim they are protected from lying? And if they aren’t, how can any words from their mouth be taken at face value?

    Look, if you want to believe in exceptions, like Jacob (pbuh) could lie in order to steal the blessings of the covenant from his elder twin brother, and yet be an upright prophet whose words were sacrosanct in nature, then that is up to you. This is an issue of belief after all. We don’t roll that way. It is a consensus of the Muslims (which means there is no negotiation on this point) that the prophets and messengers of God are protected from sin. They can make errors in judgement or mistakes but those are unintentional slights. Many converts into Islam (that I have come across) say they are glad that the character of the prophets is corrected in Islam and that this was a specific issue they had problems with in the Bible. Again, to each his own.

    child bride

    She was never a ‘child bride’. As I’ve mentioned before in other posts, she was a biological adult (which is why he waited before they cohabited):

    http://www.unz.com/pgottfried/real-islam-and-democracy/#comment-1713585

    C’mon, you guys know better than this:

    had someone burned alive because he wouldn’t tell him where to find some buried treasure

    Nonsense – where did you find this – on some anti-Islam website? Maybe they were quoting from one of our Seerah books or Maghazi literature. These are the weakest of our sources; they contain many wild tales, outright fabrications and unsourced quotes. Using those is like someone using apocrypha* to say whacky things about Jesus (pbuh). Find me a sound source for this and we’ll discuss; not Ibn Hisham, Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Sa’ad’s Tabaqat or Imam Tabari’s Tareekh, etc.

    We are obligated to believe in none of that – which is why you’ll never find a single opinion from any juristic school that it’s OK to torture someone to find treasure.

    Peace.

    *Note: Apparently the Son of Mary (pbuh) is found doing crazy stuff (I seek refuge in God) like cursing little kids until they die and then blinding their parents:
    “And when Jesus saw what was done, he was wroth and said unto him: O evil, ungodly, and foolish one, what hurt did the pools and the waters do thee? behold, now also thou shalt be withered like a tree, and shalt not bear leaves, neither root, nor fruit. 3 And straightway that lad withered up wholly, but Jesus departed and went unto Joseph’s house. But the parents of him that was withered took him up, bewailing his youth, and brought him to Joseph, and accused him ‘for that thou hast such a child which doeth such deeds.’
    IV. 1 After that again he went through the village, and a child ran and dashed against his shoulder. And Jesus was provoked and said unto him: Thou shalt not finish thy course (lit. go all thy way). And immediately he fell down and died. But certain when they saw what was done said: Whence was this young child born, for that every word of his is an accomplished work? And the parents of him that was dead came unto Joseph, and blamed him, saying: Thou that hast such a child canst not dwell with us in the village: or do thou teach him to bless and not to curse: for he slayeth our children.
    V. 1 And Joseph called the young child apart and admonished him, saying: Wherefore doest thou such things, that these suffer and hate us and persecute us? But Jesus said: I know that these thy words are not thine: nevertheless for thy sake I will hold my peace: but they shall bear their punishment. And straightway they that accused him were smitten with blindness”

    http://gnosis.org/library/inftoma.htm

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    • Replies: @Gabriel M
    I don't find copy and paste apologetics very persuasive. The bottom line is that you clearly don't have any Koranic verse that states that either the Jewish or Christian bibles were falsified. We are thus left with the following two possibilities.

    (i) Muhammad picked up a bunch of stories from both orthodox and heterodox Christians he met in Arabia. Some of these stories were told to him inaccurately, some he mis-remembered and some, perhaps, he just chose to rewrite. Later, when it became clear to the Muslims community that the stories in the Koran were at variance with what can be found in the original sources, the doctrine of tahfir was conjured up as an ad hoc band aid to deal with the problem.

    (ii) Jews and Christians for some unknown reason decided to tamper with the holy scriptures they had received. Luckily, Muhammad came along to reveal the true versions of these scriptures, of which no historical trace exists whatsoever. The only way to know what sources written hundreds or thousands of years before Muhammad really said is to ask Muhammad. Muhammad weirdly neglected to mention that this is what he was doing.


    Many converts into Islam (that I have come across) say they are glad that the character of the prophets is corrected in Islam and that this was a specific issue they had problems with in the Bible. Again, to each his own.
     
    Well, that is hardly surprising. The Koran rewrites Biblical stories as childish morality plays (much like many Midrashic sources), i.e. it tells the story as a dummy would tell it. It's well known that Christian Arabs are much cleverer than Muslims ones (Christian Arab Israelis actually slightly outperform Jews in test scores). The most common explanation is inbreeding depression caused by endemic cousin marriage. I've often wondered, however, if it's not just that simple people like their religion simple.

    She was never a ‘child bride’. As I’ve mentioned before in other posts, she was a biological adult
     
    And Lot's daughter wasn't his "biological daughter". That makes as much sense as your claim (none). See, no need to resort to outlandish claims of tahrif.

    Find me a sound source for this and we’ll discuss; not Ibn Hisham, Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Sa’ad’s Tabaqat or Imam Tabari’s Tareekh
     
    Why did Ibn Ishaq make up stories about Muhammad setting peoples' chests on fire as an instrument of torture? Who was he trying to impress?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @plontz
    I'm really trying to wean myself off of this debate, but I'd just like to point out that you are still sticking to peripheral issues in my comment and ignoring the core argument.

    So I'll restate: is there any evidence whatsoever to support Muhammad's claims? Because from anything I have ever heard people from the very first believers to this day ultimately just take him at his word, which means they are making an unsupported giant leap of faith and that the fancy logical structure of Islam lacks a foundation.

    I hope this is focused enough.

    Also, when saying I don't want to try destroy your faith I did not necessarily mean that I thought I could, only that even if I thought it was possible I still wouldn't want to try.

    Hey plontz,

    No problem. I am more than happy to answer any questions; my teachers have taught us to avoid theological debates.

    So I’ll restate: is there any evidence whatsoever to support Muhammad’s claims?

    You mean like; is there any prophecy or something that can be verified? Sure – he had multiple prophecies; that the Muslims would conquer Byzantium, Persia, Constantinople, etc. Some of these prophecies were extremely bold – given that he was talking about the conquest of the empires of his age at the Battle of Khandaq – when the Muslims were completely surrounded by a confederate force of 10,000 and had to dig a huge ditch around Madinah to prevent being completely overwhelmed.

    Also, the Qur’an was revealed at the stage when Arabic had reached the peak of eloquence due to the age of the master poets like Labid, Imru’ al-Qais, etc. The Arabs used to honor and memorize these works (and continued to do so after Islam). But the Qur’an came and knocked them all off the throne in Arabic – it has yet to be challenged (and in fact basically is the apex of eloquence in that language). There is also its appeal to unadulterated transcendent monotheism.

    And prophecies continue to be relevant today:

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @plontz
    So you do have an answer. Great.

    That part about the beauty of the poetry of the Qur'an is something I've heard in the past, but it's the kind of argument that only strengthens the faith of the believers or convinces those who want to believe, not something that can be used to win over a skeptic. It's not a debate-winning piece of evidence.

    The part about the prophecies has a few answers I can give. First a question: In order to carry out all those Islamic conquests he would have needed an army of believers, no? So before he made those bold promises come true, what convinced so many people to follow him? The original followers didn't have already-fulfilled prophecies as evidence to convince them.

    (there is more to say on the issue of predicting the future, but that's enough for now)

    Second, God told us that his teachings are forever and that any who contradict them is a false prophet, and that he may send false prophets to test our faith. He says these false prophets may even perform supernatural deeds. Someone who comes and claims to be a prophet and changes God's teachings (no matter the pretext, whether he claims to be "correcting" them or that God changed his mind) falls squarely in the definition of a false prophet as we have been taught.

    (which incidentally also provides something of an answer about how we can trust human prophets - they have to be consistent with God's teachings that were given to us directly by God and (at our request) through the intermediary Moses. Now I understand why you insist prophets must be angels, because you don't have another basis for trust except to believe that they are perfect)

    Third is that we already know that God blessed Ishmael that he will be a great nation, but we also know that he wasn't chosen to inherit Abraham's job. So the Ishmaelite empire building is a fulfillment of ancient prophecy, but indicates nothing about Ishmael being chosen or Islam being the true religion.

    (what's in brackets is for me unimportant to the discussion. I'm just acting as if I have logorrhea)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    I don’t want to try to destroy your faith
     
    I would be worried if this was in your hands:
    "And had Allah willed, He could have made you (all) one nation, but He leaves astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. But you shall certainly be called to account for what you used to do." (16:93)

    the conclusion that Muhammad cynically invented it for the purpose of gaining glory and power for himself
     
    Hmmm...OK, even though he lived a completely spartan life and died in debt to a Jewish man for a loan for 30 measures of barley - even while he was the undisputed ruler of the Arabian peninsula?
    http://www.virtualmosque.com/personaldvlpt/character/the-prophet-and-food/
    http://lifeofprophet.com/the-bed-of-the-prophet/
    Yeah - really living it up there...

    The only ones who don’t don’t commit sins are those who...
     
    ...are prophets - fixed it for you.

    If you believe that your own prophets committed sins, you have no problem believing that other prophets could. For us, if a Muslim believes that any of the prophets could commit any sins - then he is no longer a Muslim; they can make mistakes, but sins are intentional disobedience of God. If they can disobey God, they can be treacherous and dishonest and lie about what God has communicated - there go the foundations of religion.

    Committing a sin, making a mistake, or giving in to your ego don’t necessarily prevent you from being a great person
     
    Yes, that is all fine for the rest of humanity - even the greatest saints.

    One way...The second way...It’s up to the Muslims to decide which interpretation is closer to the historical truth.
     
    Sorry, you don't get to offer up Coke and Pepsi and demand we choose when a third cola is around.

    If Islam is Muhammed being a messenger bringing “God’s Teachings: The Ishmaelite Edition” to his people, then it can be a true religion and Muhammad can be a great person
     
    Sorry, he stated that he came for all of mankind - you either accept that or reject it based on what he is reported to have said.

    a revision of God’s teachings that replaces all that came before it and is destined to rule the world then it has no basis whatsoever and is a false religion.
     
    Perhaps...or its claims are true and that is exactly what it is; God can update religion as He wishes. Plenty of people around the world (1.5 billion+) find this proposition to be quite sane and logical. Actually, plenty of people accepted the first revision too, from within Bani Is-haac - the Son of Mary (pbuh) - your viewpoint may actually be in the extreme minority, accounting for all human beings.

    Imam Ghazali (ra), in his deconstruction of the various philosophical schools, made it clear that claiming something doesn't make sense to one is not an argument - the proposition may well be ontologically correct and the person is simply unable to understand the premise.

    Now, can we quit while we're ahead and drop the theological debate? I'm not interested in winning.

    Peace.

    I’m really trying to wean myself off of this debate, but I’d just like to point out that you are still sticking to peripheral issues in my comment and ignoring the core argument.

    So I’ll restate: is there any evidence whatsoever to support Muhammad’s claims? Because from anything I have ever heard people from the very first believers to this day ultimately just take him at his word, which means they are making an unsupported giant leap of faith and that the fancy logical structure of Islam lacks a foundation.

    I hope this is focused enough.

    Also, when saying I don’t want to try destroy your faith I did not necessarily mean that I thought I could, only that even if I thought it was possible I still wouldn’t want to try.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    No problem. I am more than happy to answer any questions; my teachers have taught us to avoid theological debates.


    So I’ll restate: is there any evidence whatsoever to support Muhammad’s claims?
     
    You mean like; is there any prophecy or something that can be verified? Sure - he had multiple prophecies; that the Muslims would conquer Byzantium, Persia, Constantinople, etc. Some of these prophecies were extremely bold - given that he was talking about the conquest of the empires of his age at the Battle of Khandaq - when the Muslims were completely surrounded by a confederate force of 10,000 and had to dig a huge ditch around Madinah to prevent being completely overwhelmed.

    Also, the Qur'an was revealed at the stage when Arabic had reached the peak of eloquence due to the age of the master poets like Labid, Imru' al-Qais, etc. The Arabs used to honor and memorize these works (and continued to do so after Islam). But the Qur'an came and knocked them all off the throne in Arabic - it has yet to be challenged (and in fact basically is the apex of eloquence in that language). There is also its appeal to unadulterated transcendent monotheism.

    And prophecies continue to be relevant today:
    https://youtu.be/3_M5sGmdkr4?t=9m12s

    Peace.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    Yes there is, just one example:
    "...they change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the message that was sent them..." (5:13)

    And numerous hadith (which explain the Qur'an) ask us to take an agnostic view - for indeed it is a delicate dance; if one denies a verse in the Bible that is true inadvertently, one has made an offence to God:
    "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: Whatever the people of the Book [Jews and Christians] tell you, do not verify them, nor falsify them, but say: We believe in Allah and His Messenger. If it is false, do not confirm it, and if it is right, do not falsify it." - reported in Abu Dawud

    "Do not believe the people of the Book, nor disbelieve them, but say, 'We believe in Allah and whatever is revealed to us, and whatever is revealed to you.'" - reported in Bukhari

    So - how do we determine what is true? Well, if it doesn't contradict the Qur'an, of course. :)

    Well, no offense, but you seem to manage fine with Muhammad.
     
    None taken. His life is literally an open book. He asked everyone to report everything about himself; not one human being is this well documented. In books like the Shama'il of Imam Tirmidhi (ra) he records hadith on how he ate grapes or how he leaned on a pillow. In fact, all external criticisms stem from scrutinizing the very same texts our scholars expended efforts to preserve. And his teachings preserve the honor and nobility of the prophets before him:
    "Both in this world and in the hereafter, I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary (pbuh). The prophets are paternal brothers, their mothers are different but their religion is one." - reported in Bukhari

    Peace.

    http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=5&verse=13

    From what I can tell, most of the translations state that we perverted it through misinterpretation (which is something that Christians would agree with). Not a very good proof text.

    I will add that in the Midrashic tradition there are numerous cases of Biblical verses and passages being interpreted in very different, sometimes even opposite, manner to their plain meaning. Within Judaism some will obstinately defend these Midrashic readings as the *true* meaning of the text whereas others, myself included, interpret them as being homilies using the text as a springboard, but not intending to subvert the actual meaning of the text. It seems most likely that these Midrashim are what Muhammad was referring to.

    On this note, I will add that there are many Midrashic sources that try to whitewash Jewish figures, so that David, Reuven, Aaron, Yehuda etc. did not really sin, or at least, did not sin all that much. Often children (and in ultra-Orthodox communities even the adults) are only exposed to these whitewashed accounts. However, the strict prohibition we have on changing any word of the Tanakh has preserved the record of these figures in all their realistic complexity, for those who want to look. The Islamic claim that we falsified our sources to make our heroes look bad is thus almost the opposite of the truth.

    In fact, all external criticisms stem from scrutinizing the very same texts our scholars expended efforts to preserve.

    You are missing the point. In order to portray Muhammad as a good person you have to resort to a mixture of apologetic tactics. If you wanted to, you could do the same with any prophet. To take your example, Lot got drunk and unwittingly had sex whilst semi-comatose with his own daughters. So what? Muhammad has his child bride scrape semen off his clothes and had someone burned alive because he wouldn’t tell him where to find some buried treasure. I’m pretty sure if you can justify the one, you can justify the other.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    From what I can tell...Not a very good proof text.
     
    This is not a good argument from our perspective. You are a non-Muslim looking into the Qur'an at verses in translation in English. There is a consensus among the scholars from beginning to now that the various Qur'anic verses on the subject plus the hadith indicate that there were either accretions in the earlier text or things were dropped - whether through intention or accident. That is what Islam says - if you want to challenge that narrative based on our texts, find a single authority from our tradition that says otherwise - I wouldn't waste your time honestly. And it makes sense from our perspective; for us, the Qur'an (all of it, was exact dictation from the mouth of the Prophet [pbuh]) including its sounds - verbatim. Which is why certain chapters of the Qur'an start simply with letters, like "Alif, Laam, Meem" or "Haa Meem" - nobody knows what they mean exactly - but they have been preserved. A cursory reading of the Bible shows it reads like a history book. The prophets and their lives are indeed the subject (and sometimes other random people), but who is doing the dictation - from whose mouth is the text flowing? Or are people simply recording history as it occurs? Who then are the actual writers of the original text - did they hear the words directly from the mouth of the prophets and other than the direct words, could they have made mistakes in details of what they recorded? How does this all come into play when we know the earliest Torah copies come centuries after the events? When the Qur'an states revelation, it says, we revealed the Psalms to David (pbuh) or the Gospels to Jesus (pbuh) or the like - the revelation is what is directly revealed to the prophet or messenger at hand (who must be absolutely truthful - as I outlined) - not whatever extraneous words are interpolated by observers.

    To us, the Bible really more resembles our hadith - which we have had to sift through weak ones from strong and even reject outright fabrications.

    Just a note: I'm only talking about what would fit our criteria for preserved revelation - if you find it sufficient that the scribes were collectively 'inspired' to get things right - that's fine. It simply doesn't work for us in our framework.

    The fine tuned preservation of the Arabic language (including the sounds and original meanings from the initial revelation in the Hijaz) have not only helped us keep the tradition intact, but been instrumental to other communities which have lost certain knowledge with the passage of time:
    "For the interpretation of the Old Testament the Arabic language has been of service in a variety of ways. In the department of lexicography it has thrown light not only on many a word used but once in the Bible or too seldom for usage alone to determine its meaning, but also on words which had seemed clear enough in their Biblical setting, but which have received illustration or correction from their usage in the immense bulk and range of Arabic literature with its enormous vocabulary. For the modern scientific study of Hebrew grammar, with its genetic method, Arabic has been of the greatest value, through the comparison of its cognate forms, where, in the main, the Arabic has the simpler, fuller and more regular morphology, and through the comparison of similar constructions, for which the highly developed Arabic syntax furnishes useful rubrics. In addition to this the Arabic language plays a prominent part, perhaps the foremost part, in the determination of those laws of the mutation of sounds, which once governed the development and now reveal the mutual relationships of the various Semitic languages."
    http://biblehub.com/topical/a/arabic.htm

    "The stimulus for the study of Hebrew philology was, it is, true, strengthened by external influence, namely, the example furnished by Arabic philology, which continued to influence materially the character of the Hebrew science; and it was the Arabic model which, being that of a kindred language, directed the development of Hebrew philology into the right path and led it to permanent results. But, notwithstanding this foreign stimulus, Hebrew philology retained its independence and its own character, to which its connection with the Masorah, the peculiar collection of old traditions regarding the spelling and pronunciation of the Biblical text, contributed not a little...Later, when, under the influence of Arabic grammar, Hebrew grammar grew out of the Masoretic rules for reading, this expression offered itself as a designation for the new science...Ben Asher, the great Masorite of Tiberias, who formulated the Masoretic notes to the Bible text and laid down general rules, dealt in particular with the consonants and vowels; but in his work, "Di?du?e ha-?e'amim," the theory of forms is laid down in a few sentences that already show the influence of Arabic grammar. "
    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/6854-grammar-hebrew

    The Islamic claim that we falsified our sources to make our heroes look bad is thus almost the opposite of the truth.
     
    Doesn't have to be intentional at least on the part of the whole community - the accretion could have entered from anywhere even forced into it from external source - for a good amount of Jewish history, they are constantly being hauled away from one place to the other - the temple and all it contained was destroyed - twice. This is also an issue with early Christians who acknowledge that many of their churches and writings were destroyed in early Roman persecutions. We did not have this problem; Muslims entered into Babylon and Persia as conquerors, not slaves.

    In order to portray Muhammad as a good person you have to resort to a mixture of apologetic tactics.
     
    Sure, every religion does this.

    So what?
     
    I already explained the 'what' - epistemological collapse; if a prophet of God is not protected from such an egregious sin (that the vast majority of human beings themselves would not commit - this is not even a little white lie or stealing an apple or something) - then how can one claim they are protected from lying? And if they aren't, how can any words from their mouth be taken at face value?

    Look, if you want to believe in exceptions, like Jacob (pbuh) could lie in order to steal the blessings of the covenant from his elder twin brother, and yet be an upright prophet whose words were sacrosanct in nature, then that is up to you. This is an issue of belief after all. We don't roll that way. It is a consensus of the Muslims (which means there is no negotiation on this point) that the prophets and messengers of God are protected from sin. They can make errors in judgement or mistakes but those are unintentional slights. Many converts into Islam (that I have come across) say they are glad that the character of the prophets is corrected in Islam and that this was a specific issue they had problems with in the Bible. Again, to each his own.

    child bride
     
    She was never a 'child bride'. As I've mentioned before in other posts, she was a biological adult (which is why he waited before they cohabited):
    http://www.unz.com/pgottfried/real-islam-and-democracy/#comment-1713585

    C'mon, you guys know better than this:
    https://youtu.be/c8eeHRAIaIc?t=5m58s

    had someone burned alive because he wouldn’t tell him where to find some buried treasure
     
    Nonsense - where did you find this - on some anti-Islam website? Maybe they were quoting from one of our Seerah books or Maghazi literature. These are the weakest of our sources; they contain many wild tales, outright fabrications and unsourced quotes. Using those is like someone using apocrypha* to say whacky things about Jesus (pbuh). Find me a sound source for this and we'll discuss; not Ibn Hisham, Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Sa'ad's Tabaqat or Imam Tabari's Tareekh, etc.

    We are obligated to believe in none of that - which is why you'll never find a single opinion from any juristic school that it's OK to torture someone to find treasure.

    Peace.

    *Note: Apparently the Son of Mary (pbuh) is found doing crazy stuff (I seek refuge in God) like cursing little kids until they die and then blinding their parents:
    “And when Jesus saw what was done, he was wroth and said unto him: O evil, ungodly, and foolish one, what hurt did the pools and the waters do thee? behold, now also thou shalt be withered like a tree, and shalt not bear leaves, neither root, nor fruit. 3 And straightway that lad withered up wholly, but Jesus departed and went unto Joseph’s house. But the parents of him that was withered took him up, bewailing his youth, and brought him to Joseph, and accused him ‘for that thou hast such a child which doeth such deeds.’
    IV. 1 After that again he went through the village, and a child ran and dashed against his shoulder. And Jesus was provoked and said unto him: Thou shalt not finish thy course (lit. go all thy way). And immediately he fell down and died. But certain when they saw what was done said: Whence was this young child born, for that every word of his is an accomplished work? And the parents of him that was dead came unto Joseph, and blamed him, saying: Thou that hast such a child canst not dwell with us in the village: or do thou teach him to bless and not to curse: for he slayeth our children.
    V. 1 And Joseph called the young child apart and admonished him, saying: Wherefore doest thou such things, that these suffer and hate us and persecute us? But Jesus said: I know that these thy words are not thine: nevertheless for thy sake I will hold my peace: but they shall bear their punishment. And straightway they that accused him were smitten with blindness”

    http://gnosis.org/library/inftoma.htm
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  • @Anon

    Hmmm…OK, even though he lived a completely spartan life and died in debt to a Jewish man for a loan for 30 measures of barley – even while he was the undisputed ruler of the Arabian peninsula?
     
    I'm not specifically referring to the Prophet here, but extreme simplicity of life can in fact coexist with a wanton desire for power or praise:

    Plutarch on Alcibiades

    At Sparta, he was held in high repute publicly, and privately was no less admired. The multitude was brought under his influence, and was actually bewitched, by his assumption of the Spartan mode of life. When they saw him with his hair untrimmed, taking cold baths, on terms of intimacy with their coarse bread, and supping on black porridge, they could scarcely trust their eyes, and doubted whether such a man as he now was had ever had a cook in his own house, had even so much as looked upon a perfumer, or endured the touch of Milesian wool. 4 He had, as they say, one power which transcended all others, and proved an implement of his chase for men: that of assimilating and adapting himself to the pursuits and lives of others, thereby assuming more violent changes than the chameleon. That animal, however, as it is said, is utterly unable to assume one colour, namely, white; but Alcibiades could associate with good and bad alike, and found naught that he could not imitate and practice. 5 In Sparta, he was all for bodily training, simplicity of life, and severity of countenance; in Ionia, for p65luxurious ease and pleasure; in Thrace, for drinking deep; in Thessaly, for riding hard; and when he was thrown with Tissaphernes the satrap, he outdid even Persian magnificence in his pomp and lavishness. It was not that he could so easily pass entirely from one manner of man to another, nor that he actually underwent in every case a change in his real character; but when he saw that his natural manners were likely to be annoying to his associates, he was quick to assume any counterfeit exterior which might in each case be suitable for them. 6 At all events, in Sparta, so far as the outside was concerned, it was possible to say of him, " 'No child of Achilles he, but Achilles himself,'48 such a man as Lycurgus trained"; but judging by what he actually felt and did, one might have cried with the poet, " 'Tis the selfsame woman still!"
     
    Indeed, this sort of vice seems to have been endemic with the ancient Greeks, especially the real Spartans:

    Indeed, from the very first they wish their boys to be sensitive towards public opinion, distressed by censure, and exalted by praise; and he who is insensible and stolid in these matters, is looked down upon as without ambition for excellence, and a cumberer of the ground. Ambition, then, and the spirit of emulation, were firmly implanted in him by his Laconian training, and no great fault should be found with his natural disposition on this account.
     
    (ibid, Life of Lysander)

    What you say has some truth in it. But the example you give states this:
    “In Sparta, he was all for bodily training, simplicity of life, and severity of countenance; in Ionia, for luxurious ease and pleasure; in Thrace, for drinking deep; in Thessaly, for riding hard; and when he was thrown with Tissaphernes the satrap, he outdid even Persian magnificence in his pomp and lavishness. but when he saw that his natural manners were likely to be annoying to his associates, he was quick to assume any counterfeit exterior which might in each case be suitable for them.”

    To stay true to one’s principles throughout all circumstance – that indeed is a major accomplishment. We have been taught to shun praise:
    “He who lets the people hear of his good deeds intentionally, to win their praise, Allah will let the people know his real intention (on the Day of Resurrection), and he who does good things in public to show off and win the praise of the people, Allah will disclose his real intention (and humiliate him).” – reported in Bukhari

    He made sure people understood proper limits of who he was: “Do not exaggerate in praising me like the Christians have exaggerated in praising Jesus the son of Mary. Rather, say that I’m the slave of God and His Messenger” – reported in Bukhari

    I guess one can be cynical* about his motives (or of the motives of the other prophets) – we don’t see any reason to be; but, to each his own.

    Peace.

    *I’ve always found it interesting that the word cynic is derived from the Greek for ‘doglike’.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    You're right about Alcibiades; my point in citing him was that he obviously did not care much for the external trappings of this world, viewing them as mere instruments for the attainment of his ambition. Lysander the Spartan is, fittingly enough, a better example of a spartan lifestyle and financial incorruptibility (like Mohammed, he died penniless or nearly so) combined with, again, a devouring ambition. But Alcibiades is interesting because in disdaining the passing things of the physical world he owes a great deal to his mentor, Socrates; the thing he serves and strives to perfect is always himself; the sin of pride, the great temptation which specifically attacked the noblest of the Greeks (and to which they had no theological resistance), has found him out and relentlessly pursues him.

    As I said, I wasn't specifically attacking the Prophet, about whom I know fairly little; though it is certain, even to a non-Muslim, that he was both a great statesman and a great teacher, a synthesis rarely achieved except in legend (Numa, Theseus, etc.); the nearest real-life comparison, and it would be a distant one, would probably be Confucius. Given his religious framework, the sin of pride would probably be easier for him to avoid than for a classical Greek who knew of no such thing.

    My intention was to point out that it is no defense from the charge of reckless ambition to prove simplicity of life or financial incorruptibility.

    You probably know this but the short explanation of the term "cynicism" is the contrast between the loyalty and simplicity of dogs and the faithlessness and pretentiousness of men.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    I don’t want to try to destroy your faith
     
    I would be worried if this was in your hands:
    "And had Allah willed, He could have made you (all) one nation, but He leaves astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. But you shall certainly be called to account for what you used to do." (16:93)

    the conclusion that Muhammad cynically invented it for the purpose of gaining glory and power for himself
     
    Hmmm...OK, even though he lived a completely spartan life and died in debt to a Jewish man for a loan for 30 measures of barley - even while he was the undisputed ruler of the Arabian peninsula?
    http://www.virtualmosque.com/personaldvlpt/character/the-prophet-and-food/
    http://lifeofprophet.com/the-bed-of-the-prophet/
    Yeah - really living it up there...

    The only ones who don’t don’t commit sins are those who...
     
    ...are prophets - fixed it for you.

    If you believe that your own prophets committed sins, you have no problem believing that other prophets could. For us, if a Muslim believes that any of the prophets could commit any sins - then he is no longer a Muslim; they can make mistakes, but sins are intentional disobedience of God. If they can disobey God, they can be treacherous and dishonest and lie about what God has communicated - there go the foundations of religion.

    Committing a sin, making a mistake, or giving in to your ego don’t necessarily prevent you from being a great person
     
    Yes, that is all fine for the rest of humanity - even the greatest saints.

    One way...The second way...It’s up to the Muslims to decide which interpretation is closer to the historical truth.
     
    Sorry, you don't get to offer up Coke and Pepsi and demand we choose when a third cola is around.

    If Islam is Muhammed being a messenger bringing “God’s Teachings: The Ishmaelite Edition” to his people, then it can be a true religion and Muhammad can be a great person
     
    Sorry, he stated that he came for all of mankind - you either accept that or reject it based on what he is reported to have said.

    a revision of God’s teachings that replaces all that came before it and is destined to rule the world then it has no basis whatsoever and is a false religion.
     
    Perhaps...or its claims are true and that is exactly what it is; God can update religion as He wishes. Plenty of people around the world (1.5 billion+) find this proposition to be quite sane and logical. Actually, plenty of people accepted the first revision too, from within Bani Is-haac - the Son of Mary (pbuh) - your viewpoint may actually be in the extreme minority, accounting for all human beings.

    Imam Ghazali (ra), in his deconstruction of the various philosophical schools, made it clear that claiming something doesn't make sense to one is not an argument - the proposition may well be ontologically correct and the person is simply unable to understand the premise.

    Now, can we quit while we're ahead and drop the theological debate? I'm not interested in winning.

    Peace.

    Hmmm…OK, even though he lived a completely spartan life and died in debt to a Jewish man for a loan for 30 measures of barley – even while he was the undisputed ruler of the Arabian peninsula?

    I’m not specifically referring to the Prophet here, but extreme simplicity of life can in fact coexist with a wanton desire for power or praise:

    Plutarch on Alcibiades

    At Sparta, he was held in high repute publicly, and privately was no less admired. The multitude was brought under his influence, and was actually bewitched, by his assumption of the Spartan mode of life. When they saw him with his hair untrimmed, taking cold baths, on terms of intimacy with their coarse bread, and supping on black porridge, they could scarcely trust their eyes, and doubted whether such a man as he now was had ever had a cook in his own house, had even so much as looked upon a perfumer, or endured the touch of Milesian wool. 4 He had, as they say, one power which transcended all others, and proved an implement of his chase for men: that of assimilating and adapting himself to the pursuits and lives of others, thereby assuming more violent changes than the chameleon. That animal, however, as it is said, is utterly unable to assume one colour, namely, white; but Alcibiades could associate with good and bad alike, and found naught that he could not imitate and practice. 5 In Sparta, he was all for bodily training, simplicity of life, and severity of countenance; in Ionia, for p65luxurious ease and pleasure; in Thrace, for drinking deep; in Thessaly, for riding hard; and when he was thrown with Tissaphernes the satrap, he outdid even Persian magnificence in his pomp and lavishness. It was not that he could so easily pass entirely from one manner of man to another, nor that he actually underwent in every case a change in his real character; but when he saw that his natural manners were likely to be annoying to his associates, he was quick to assume any counterfeit exterior which might in each case be suitable for them. 6 At all events, in Sparta, so far as the outside was concerned, it was possible to say of him, ” ‘No child of Achilles he, but Achilles himself,’48 such a man as Lycurgus trained”; but judging by what he actually felt and did, one might have cried with the poet, ” ‘Tis the selfsame woman still!”

    Indeed, this sort of vice seems to have been endemic with the ancient Greeks, especially the real Spartans:

    Indeed, from the very first they wish their boys to be sensitive towards public opinion, distressed by censure, and exalted by praise; and he who is insensible and stolid in these matters, is looked down upon as without ambition for excellence, and a cumberer of the ground. Ambition, then, and the spirit of emulation, were firmly implanted in him by his Laconian training, and no great fault should be found with his natural disposition on this account.

    (ibid, Life of Lysander)

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    • Replies: @Talha
    What you say has some truth in it. But the example you give states this:
    "In Sparta, he was all for bodily training, simplicity of life, and severity of countenance; in Ionia, for luxurious ease and pleasure; in Thrace, for drinking deep; in Thessaly, for riding hard; and when he was thrown with Tissaphernes the satrap, he outdid even Persian magnificence in his pomp and lavishness. but when he saw that his natural manners were likely to be annoying to his associates, he was quick to assume any counterfeit exterior which might in each case be suitable for them."

    To stay true to one's principles throughout all circumstance - that indeed is a major accomplishment. We have been taught to shun praise:
    "He who lets the people hear of his good deeds intentionally, to win their praise, Allah will let the people know his real intention (on the Day of Resurrection), and he who does good things in public to show off and win the praise of the people, Allah will disclose his real intention (and humiliate him)." - reported in Bukhari

    He made sure people understood proper limits of who he was: “Do not exaggerate in praising me like the Christians have exaggerated in praising Jesus the son of Mary. Rather, say that I’m the slave of God and His Messenger” - reported in Bukhari

    I guess one can be cynical* about his motives (or of the motives of the other prophets) - we don't see any reason to be; but, to each his own.

    Peace.

    *I've always found it interesting that the word cynic is derived from the Greek for 'doglike'.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @plontz
    When I saw that you completely evaded my most fundamental argument on the issue and instead fell back to an argument you must already know is nonsensical I wanted to gloat over my triumph in this debate, but then I took a day to think about it and decided that I don't want to try to destroy your faith. However, I can't just let you walk away thinking that you've won, so I'll just quote the argument that you seem to be running away from:

    Muhammad was guy who went around telling self-glorifying stories with absolutely no evidence to back up any of his claims. The fact that people believed him is only a testament to his powers of persuasion, but says nothing of the truth of his claims. There is simply no reason for anyone at any point in history, not even for his original followers, to believe a word he says. People are just taking it all on a leap of faith. Furthermore, as Gabriel M says, some of Muhammad’s stories are directly contradicted by established historical fact, giving us plenty of reason not to believe him. If we don’t believe Muhammad, then we also don’t believe the Qur’an. If there is no reason to believe that something is true, then it can’t be used as evidence.
     
    As far as I'm concerned there are 2 ways to interpret Islam. One way is to interpret it based on its actions, which would then lead me to the conclusion that Muhammad cynically invented it for the purpose of gaining glory and power for himself. The second way is to say that he brought back God's teachings to the Ishmaelites but got carried away with his ego. It's up to the Muslims to decide which interpretation is closer to the historical truth.

    Saying that he got carried away with his ego is no insult, as we are all human and as humans are a combination of body and soul they are inherently imperfect and all will make mistakes or commit sins, even the greatest. The only ones who don't don't commit sins are those who do not have a soul, such as animals, or those who do not have a corporeal body, such as angels. As it says in the holy book: "There is not a righteous man in the land who will do good and not sin" - Righteous people commit sins too and that doesn't contradict their definition of being righteous. What then is the difference between the righteous and other people? "Seven times a righteous man will fall and rise", meaning that the righteous commit sins but don't give up and recover from them, as opposed to other people who give up and give themselves over to sin.

    Committing a sin, making a mistake, or giving in to your ego don't necessarily prevent you from being a great person, as long as you are able to recover and return to the struggle to achieve the unattainable perfection.

    I'm not sure I want to make any more points because I don't want to distract too much from the first point in this comment. If Islam is Muhammed being a messenger bringing "God's Teachings: The Ishmaelite Edition" to his people, then it can be a true religion and Muhammad can be a great person, but if Islam pretends to be a revision of God's teachings that replaces all that came before it and is destined to rule the world then it has no basis whatsoever and is a false religion.

    Hey plontz,

    I don’t want to try to destroy your faith

    I would be worried if this was in your hands:
    “And had Allah willed, He could have made you (all) one nation, but He leaves astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. But you shall certainly be called to account for what you used to do.” (16:93)

    the conclusion that Muhammad cynically invented it for the purpose of gaining glory and power for himself

    Hmmm…OK, even though he lived a completely spartan life and died in debt to a Jewish man for a loan for 30 measures of barley – even while he was the undisputed ruler of the Arabian peninsula?

    http://www.virtualmosque.com/personaldvlpt/character/the-prophet-and-food/

    http://lifeofprophet.com/the-bed-of-the-prophet/

    Yeah – really living it up there…

    The only ones who don’t don’t commit sins are those who…

    …are prophets – fixed it for you.

    If you believe that your own prophets committed sins, you have no problem believing that other prophets could. For us, if a Muslim believes that any of the prophets could commit any sins – then he is no longer a Muslim; they can make mistakes, but sins are intentional disobedience of God. If they can disobey God, they can be treacherous and dishonest and lie about what God has communicated – there go the foundations of religion.

    Committing a sin, making a mistake, or giving in to your ego don’t necessarily prevent you from being a great person

    Yes, that is all fine for the rest of humanity – even the greatest saints.

    One way…The second way…It’s up to the Muslims to decide which interpretation is closer to the historical truth.

    Sorry, you don’t get to offer up Coke and Pepsi and demand we choose when a third cola is around.

    If Islam is Muhammed being a messenger bringing “God’s Teachings: The Ishmaelite Edition” to his people, then it can be a true religion and Muhammad can be a great person

    Sorry, he stated that he came for all of mankind – you either accept that or reject it based on what he is reported to have said.

    a revision of God’s teachings that replaces all that came before it and is destined to rule the world then it has no basis whatsoever and is a false religion.

    Perhaps…or its claims are true and that is exactly what it is; God can update religion as He wishes. Plenty of people around the world (1.5 billion+) find this proposition to be quite sane and logical. Actually, plenty of people accepted the first revision too, from within Bani Is-haac – the Son of Mary (pbuh) – your viewpoint may actually be in the extreme minority, accounting for all human beings.

    Imam Ghazali (ra), in his deconstruction of the various philosophical schools, made it clear that claiming something doesn’t make sense to one is not an argument – the proposition may well be ontologically correct and the person is simply unable to understand the premise.

    Now, can we quit while we’re ahead and drop the theological debate? I’m not interested in winning.

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @Anon

    Hmmm…OK, even though he lived a completely spartan life and died in debt to a Jewish man for a loan for 30 measures of barley – even while he was the undisputed ruler of the Arabian peninsula?
     
    I'm not specifically referring to the Prophet here, but extreme simplicity of life can in fact coexist with a wanton desire for power or praise:

    Plutarch on Alcibiades

    At Sparta, he was held in high repute publicly, and privately was no less admired. The multitude was brought under his influence, and was actually bewitched, by his assumption of the Spartan mode of life. When they saw him with his hair untrimmed, taking cold baths, on terms of intimacy with their coarse bread, and supping on black porridge, they could scarcely trust their eyes, and doubted whether such a man as he now was had ever had a cook in his own house, had even so much as looked upon a perfumer, or endured the touch of Milesian wool. 4 He had, as they say, one power which transcended all others, and proved an implement of his chase for men: that of assimilating and adapting himself to the pursuits and lives of others, thereby assuming more violent changes than the chameleon. That animal, however, as it is said, is utterly unable to assume one colour, namely, white; but Alcibiades could associate with good and bad alike, and found naught that he could not imitate and practice. 5 In Sparta, he was all for bodily training, simplicity of life, and severity of countenance; in Ionia, for p65luxurious ease and pleasure; in Thrace, for drinking deep; in Thessaly, for riding hard; and when he was thrown with Tissaphernes the satrap, he outdid even Persian magnificence in his pomp and lavishness. It was not that he could so easily pass entirely from one manner of man to another, nor that he actually underwent in every case a change in his real character; but when he saw that his natural manners were likely to be annoying to his associates, he was quick to assume any counterfeit exterior which might in each case be suitable for them. 6 At all events, in Sparta, so far as the outside was concerned, it was possible to say of him, " 'No child of Achilles he, but Achilles himself,'48 such a man as Lycurgus trained"; but judging by what he actually felt and did, one might have cried with the poet, " 'Tis the selfsame woman still!"
     
    Indeed, this sort of vice seems to have been endemic with the ancient Greeks, especially the real Spartans:

    Indeed, from the very first they wish their boys to be sensitive towards public opinion, distressed by censure, and exalted by praise; and he who is insensible and stolid in these matters, is looked down upon as without ambition for excellence, and a cumberer of the ground. Ambition, then, and the spirit of emulation, were firmly implanted in him by his Laconian training, and no great fault should be found with his natural disposition on this account.
     
    (ibid, Life of Lysander)
    , @plontz
    I'm really trying to wean myself off of this debate, but I'd just like to point out that you are still sticking to peripheral issues in my comment and ignoring the core argument.

    So I'll restate: is there any evidence whatsoever to support Muhammad's claims? Because from anything I have ever heard people from the very first believers to this day ultimately just take him at his word, which means they are making an unsupported giant leap of faith and that the fancy logical structure of Islam lacks a foundation.

    I hope this is focused enough.

    Also, when saying I don't want to try destroy your faith I did not necessarily mean that I thought I could, only that even if I thought it was possible I still wouldn't want to try.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Gabriel M
    Just to be clear, is there a single text anywhere in the Koran that says the Torah (or the Christian Bible for that matter) has been corrupted, or is it a belief introduced later when it became clear that it was impossible to reconcile the Koran with the Torah?


    I’m asking, how are we Muslims supposed to square the circle that (one of the principle beliefs we hold) the emissaries of God (all of them, including Lot [pbuh]) are infallible, honest and upright?
     
    Well, no offense, but you seem to manage fine with Muhammad.

    Hey Gabriel,

    Yes there is, just one example:
    “…they change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the message that was sent them…” (5:13)

    And numerous hadith (which explain the Qur’an) ask us to take an agnostic view – for indeed it is a delicate dance; if one denies a verse in the Bible that is true inadvertently, one has made an offence to God:
    “The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: Whatever the people of the Book [Jews and Christians] tell you, do not verify them, nor falsify them, but say: We believe in Allah and His Messenger. If it is false, do not confirm it, and if it is right, do not falsify it.” – reported in Abu Dawud

    “Do not believe the people of the Book, nor disbelieve them, but say, ‘We believe in Allah and whatever is revealed to us, and whatever is revealed to you.’” – reported in Bukhari

    So – how do we determine what is true? Well, if it doesn’t contradict the Qur’an, of course. :)

    Well, no offense, but you seem to manage fine with Muhammad.

    None taken. His life is literally an open book. He asked everyone to report everything about himself; not one human being is this well documented. In books like the Shama’il of Imam Tirmidhi (ra) he records hadith on how he ate grapes or how he leaned on a pillow. In fact, all external criticisms stem from scrutinizing the very same texts our scholars expended efforts to preserve. And his teachings preserve the honor and nobility of the prophets before him:
    “Both in this world and in the hereafter, I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary (pbuh). The prophets are paternal brothers, their mothers are different but their religion is one.” – reported in Bukhari

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @Gabriel M
    http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=5&verse=13

    From what I can tell, most of the translations state that we perverted it through misinterpretation (which is something that Christians would agree with). Not a very good proof text.

    I will add that in the Midrashic tradition there are numerous cases of Biblical verses and passages being interpreted in very different, sometimes even opposite, manner to their plain meaning. Within Judaism some will obstinately defend these Midrashic readings as the *true* meaning of the text whereas others, myself included, interpret them as being homilies using the text as a springboard, but not intending to subvert the actual meaning of the text. It seems most likely that these Midrashim are what Muhammad was referring to.

    On this note, I will add that there are many Midrashic sources that try to whitewash Jewish figures, so that David, Reuven, Aaron, Yehuda etc. did not really sin, or at least, did not sin all that much. Often children (and in ultra-Orthodox communities even the adults) are only exposed to these whitewashed accounts. However, the strict prohibition we have on changing any word of the Tanakh has preserved the record of these figures in all their realistic complexity, for those who want to look. The Islamic claim that we falsified our sources to make our heroes look bad is thus almost the opposite of the truth.


    In fact, all external criticisms stem from scrutinizing the very same texts our scholars expended efforts to preserve.
     
    You are missing the point. In order to portray Muhammad as a good person you have to resort to a mixture of apologetic tactics. If you wanted to, you could do the same with any prophet. To take your example, Lot got drunk and unwittingly had sex whilst semi-comatose with his own daughters. So what? Muhammad has his child bride scrape semen off his clothes and had someone burned alive because he wouldn't tell him where to find some buried treasure. I'm pretty sure if you can justify the one, you can justify the other.
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  • @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    No need to take it personally - I was responding that if someone makes a claim to land by virtue of something based on belief (God says so), it can be refuted based on belief (God says so).

    As to the details...Islam, makes it clear that it is meant to correct problems in the earlier revelations - that was the whole point of it; to bring things full circle. The Qur'an both makes it clear that the earlier revelations were indeed from God and confirms them, but that there were parts that were forgotten/lost or changed/corrupted.

    the concept of tahrif
     
    The Bible says things like the prophet Lot (pbuh) committed drunken incest with his daughters. I'm asking, how are we Muslims supposed to square the circle that (one of the principle beliefs we hold) the emissaries of God (all of them, including Lot [pbuh]) are infallible, honest and upright? If they aren't and are capable of immorality/dishonesty - if there is even a question about this - kiss the foundations of your revelation goodbye - this is simple epistemology.

    As far as falsifiable hypothesis - look, if people are going to claim something is from unequivocally from God (from cover to cover), the burden is on them to produce evidence that it was at least transmitted soundly and they didn't make errors in it. As you know there was quite a few centuries of gap between when the revelation came to Moses (pbuh) and when it is compiled in its current form. Now if one wants to believe that nothing went awry in between, that's cool with us:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/05/130530-worlds-oldest-torah-scroll-bible-bologna-carbon-dating/

    Does Occam's Razor really state that the simplest explanation for someone claiming a book is from God and preserved exactly for 3000+ years is that it is?

    You can’t prove me wrong, but you would obviously regard this argument as childish and inane.
     
    I actually don't find it to be inane - it is a legitimate question. How do we know the Qur'an was preserved? I would submit that, yes, in order to believe in the Qur'an, you have to believe that the first few generations of scholars were upright individuals - otherwise, there is no foundation for us to stand on - Qur'an, Hadith, anything - period. These things did not just fall out of the sky into our hands. One of the important stages of our history was the process of sifting through sound, unsound, weak and fabricated hadith. The scholars developed a specific science just to figure out who could be reliably transmitted from:
    http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e1010

    The preservation of the Qur'an (assuming you believe in the honesty of that first generation) was meticulous - they even transmitted and preserved the way it is pronounced (and the variations in which it is pronounced) - we don't even have any confidence that we pronounce any letter of English the way Shakespeare did because nobody cared to preserve its phonetic sound or intonation. One can get an ijazah (certification) in the valid pronunciation(s) which is part of a human chain that must trace itself back to the Prophet (pbuh):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N99geG0zUsc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQcsOmNrX8A

    To be completely honest, if we were to apply our rules of preservation to any other tradition, it wouldn't pass, so I'm not sure it's fair that we have developed a set of rules and try to apply them backwards to other traditions. Of course, that also means we can't consider them reliable according to our standards.

    Peace.

    Just to be clear, is there a single text anywhere in the Koran that says the Torah (or the Christian Bible for that matter) has been corrupted, or is it a belief introduced later when it became clear that it was impossible to reconcile the Koran with the Torah?

    I’m asking, how are we Muslims supposed to square the circle that (one of the principle beliefs we hold) the emissaries of God (all of them, including Lot [pbuh]) are infallible, honest and upright?

    Well, no offense, but you seem to manage fine with Muhammad.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    Yes there is, just one example:
    "...they change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the message that was sent them..." (5:13)

    And numerous hadith (which explain the Qur'an) ask us to take an agnostic view - for indeed it is a delicate dance; if one denies a verse in the Bible that is true inadvertently, one has made an offence to God:
    "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: Whatever the people of the Book [Jews and Christians] tell you, do not verify them, nor falsify them, but say: We believe in Allah and His Messenger. If it is false, do not confirm it, and if it is right, do not falsify it." - reported in Abu Dawud

    "Do not believe the people of the Book, nor disbelieve them, but say, 'We believe in Allah and whatever is revealed to us, and whatever is revealed to you.'" - reported in Bukhari

    So - how do we determine what is true? Well, if it doesn't contradict the Qur'an, of course. :)

    Well, no offense, but you seem to manage fine with Muhammad.
     
    None taken. His life is literally an open book. He asked everyone to report everything about himself; not one human being is this well documented. In books like the Shama'il of Imam Tirmidhi (ra) he records hadith on how he ate grapes or how he leaned on a pillow. In fact, all external criticisms stem from scrutinizing the very same texts our scholars expended efforts to preserve. And his teachings preserve the honor and nobility of the prophets before him:
    "Both in this world and in the hereafter, I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary (pbuh). The prophets are paternal brothers, their mothers are different but their religion is one." - reported in Bukhari

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    There is simply no reason for anyone at any point in history, not even for his original followers, to believe a word he says.
     
    Yeah - transcendental monotheism - pfffssshhh, who needs that? Arab Paganism is so much more retro.

    People are just taking it all on a leap of faith.
     
    Sure - same as you. Somebody comes and says 'God (or an angel) spoke to me' - what're you going to do? That's what belief is about.

    some of Muhammad’s stories are directly contradicted by established historical fact
     
    I've seen some polemics like this - I've never seen a convincing one though - post one, I'd like to take a look.

    Speaking of historical fact...I assume you've come across this and believe it:
    “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.” – Genesis 17:20

    Historically, can you tell me who else this 'great nation' could be out of the line of Ishmael (pbuh) - and what does God mean when He says 'great nation' in the context of a promise of 'surely blessing' someone?


    If there is no reason to believe that something is true, then it can’t be used as evidence.
     
    Agreed.

    all other religions have a very weak foundation, and I’ve already explained this specifically regarding Islam
     
    OK - last time I checked (and it surprises me still), our numbers are ticking higher - even in the post-modern era. You don't seem to think we have much to offer, that's fine. Plenty of intelligent people in the West seem to be throwing their lot with Bani Ishmael - we're also getting not a few from Bani Isaac. But mostly this is a heart thing - the appeal to a universal brotherhood and a God who doesn't pick favorites is quite appealing (well, unless you say you are the favorites).

    No disagreements about the stature of the prophet Abraham (pbuh) in the eyes of God. He is both called the 'close friend' of God and that he was himself a 'nation'. It is funny though, you give credit to his intellect, while in the Qur'an he gives credit to God for guidance:
    "And his people argued with him. He said, 'Do you argue with me concerning God while He has guided me? And I fear not what you associate with Him [and will not be harmed] unless my Lord should will something. My Lord encompasses all things in knowledge; then will you not take heed?' (6:80)


    Cultural appropriation doesn’t make things yours and it’s offensive.
     
    Tell it to SJW's - they'll get you a coffee mug or something. My eldest son is named Zakariya - do I have to pay a toll?

    I don’t know why Ishmaelites, with all that they have to be proud for, still feel a need to take credit for other people’s achievements.
     
    We don't - they are God's achievements - always have been. We are the khudaam (attendants) of the prophets (all of them) - the fact that they happen to come from one or another people is incidental. You keep saying ours, ours, ours - while we say these noble men are the inheritance of the world. This is the reason why Malays and Chechens name their children Maryam and Dawood.

    Sometimes you reach for the divine and the divine then reaches back for you.
     
    Agreed.

    It may be almost accidental, but it is a manifestation of a big chunk of truth.
     
    Nothing accidental about it as far as we're concerned - "surely bless" "great nation". :)

    Peace.

    When I saw that you completely evaded my most fundamental argument on the issue and instead fell back to an argument you must already know is nonsensical I wanted to gloat over my triumph in this debate, but then I took a day to think about it and decided that I don’t want to try to destroy your faith. However, I can’t just let you walk away thinking that you’ve won, so I’ll just quote the argument that you seem to be running away from:

    Muhammad was guy who went around telling self-glorifying stories with absolutely no evidence to back up any of his claims. The fact that people believed him is only a testament to his powers of persuasion, but says nothing of the truth of his claims. There is simply no reason for anyone at any point in history, not even for his original followers, to believe a word he says. People are just taking it all on a leap of faith. Furthermore, as Gabriel M says, some of Muhammad’s stories are directly contradicted by established historical fact, giving us plenty of reason not to believe him. If we don’t believe Muhammad, then we also don’t believe the Qur’an. If there is no reason to believe that something is true, then it can’t be used as evidence.

    As far as I’m concerned there are 2 ways to interpret Islam. One way is to interpret it based on its actions, which would then lead me to the conclusion that Muhammad cynically invented it for the purpose of gaining glory and power for himself. The second way is to say that he brought back God’s teachings to the Ishmaelites but got carried away with his ego. It’s up to the Muslims to decide which interpretation is closer to the historical truth.

    Saying that he got carried away with his ego is no insult, as we are all human and as humans are a combination of body and soul they are inherently imperfect and all will make mistakes or commit sins, even the greatest. The only ones who don’t don’t commit sins are those who do not have a soul, such as animals, or those who do not have a corporeal body, such as angels. As it says in the holy book: “There is not a righteous man in the land who will do good and not sin” – Righteous people commit sins too and that doesn’t contradict their definition of being righteous. What then is the difference between the righteous and other people? “Seven times a righteous man will fall and rise”, meaning that the righteous commit sins but don’t give up and recover from them, as opposed to other people who give up and give themselves over to sin.

    Committing a sin, making a mistake, or giving in to your ego don’t necessarily prevent you from being a great person, as long as you are able to recover and return to the struggle to achieve the unattainable perfection.

    I’m not sure I want to make any more points because I don’t want to distract too much from the first point in this comment. If Islam is Muhammed being a messenger bringing “God’s Teachings: The Ishmaelite Edition” to his people, then it can be a true religion and Muhammad can be a great person, but if Islam pretends to be a revision of God’s teachings that replaces all that came before it and is destined to rule the world then it has no basis whatsoever and is a false religion.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    I don’t want to try to destroy your faith
     
    I would be worried if this was in your hands:
    "And had Allah willed, He could have made you (all) one nation, but He leaves astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. But you shall certainly be called to account for what you used to do." (16:93)

    the conclusion that Muhammad cynically invented it for the purpose of gaining glory and power for himself
     
    Hmmm...OK, even though he lived a completely spartan life and died in debt to a Jewish man for a loan for 30 measures of barley - even while he was the undisputed ruler of the Arabian peninsula?
    http://www.virtualmosque.com/personaldvlpt/character/the-prophet-and-food/
    http://lifeofprophet.com/the-bed-of-the-prophet/
    Yeah - really living it up there...

    The only ones who don’t don’t commit sins are those who...
     
    ...are prophets - fixed it for you.

    If you believe that your own prophets committed sins, you have no problem believing that other prophets could. For us, if a Muslim believes that any of the prophets could commit any sins - then he is no longer a Muslim; they can make mistakes, but sins are intentional disobedience of God. If they can disobey God, they can be treacherous and dishonest and lie about what God has communicated - there go the foundations of religion.

    Committing a sin, making a mistake, or giving in to your ego don’t necessarily prevent you from being a great person
     
    Yes, that is all fine for the rest of humanity - even the greatest saints.

    One way...The second way...It’s up to the Muslims to decide which interpretation is closer to the historical truth.
     
    Sorry, you don't get to offer up Coke and Pepsi and demand we choose when a third cola is around.

    If Islam is Muhammed being a messenger bringing “God’s Teachings: The Ishmaelite Edition” to his people, then it can be a true religion and Muhammad can be a great person
     
    Sorry, he stated that he came for all of mankind - you either accept that or reject it based on what he is reported to have said.

    a revision of God’s teachings that replaces all that came before it and is destined to rule the world then it has no basis whatsoever and is a false religion.
     
    Perhaps...or its claims are true and that is exactly what it is; God can update religion as He wishes. Plenty of people around the world (1.5 billion+) find this proposition to be quite sane and logical. Actually, plenty of people accepted the first revision too, from within Bani Is-haac - the Son of Mary (pbuh) - your viewpoint may actually be in the extreme minority, accounting for all human beings.

    Imam Ghazali (ra), in his deconstruction of the various philosophical schools, made it clear that claiming something doesn't make sense to one is not an argument - the proposition may well be ontologically correct and the person is simply unable to understand the premise.

    Now, can we quit while we're ahead and drop the theological debate? I'm not interested in winning.

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • If a country were hell-bent on genocide, WHY WOULD THEY KEEP RECORDS?? WHY would they build “camps” hundreds (if not thousands) of miles away with sanitary facilities, housing, recreational, medical and other ancillary facilities. Would it not have been easier to just “eliminate” them without going through all of this trouble? The jewish communist Bolsheviks did just that with the non-communist civilian populations of the conquered countries in the communist orbit.

    Something BIG “stinks” in this whole jewish “holocaust ™” deal. It is no secret that jewish Zionists made “deals” with the Nazis in order to make life “uncomfortable” for jewish Germans.

    The establishment of a “homeland” was a Zionist “dream” since the 1800s. What better way to encourage “emigration” to a barren land than to make things difficult for the “cream of German society” (jews)?? The TRUTH about the so-called jewish “holocaust ™” is out . . .

    The so-called jewish “holocaust ™” has been turned into a de-facto “religion” in which no deviation from orthodoxy is permitted. In fact, in most European countries, independent investigation into jewish “holocaust ™” truths is strictly forbidden under pain of fines and imprisonment. In the USA, things are not quite as bad, only job loss and personal and professional destruction at the hands of those of the “tribe” that FEAR the real truth of the jewish “holocaust ™” being exposed is evident.

    The truth about this minor event in human history will change much of the world’s perception about those that are using this event as a “cash cow” that “keeps on giving”. . . “there’s NO business like “SHOAH business”.

    Jewish complicity in this event is carefully “covered up”.

    It is curious to note that jewish interests will hunt down and imprison a 90 plus year-old German “camp guard” while looking the other way when their “own kind” was involved in truly brutal actions. Camp “capos” and “sonderkommandos” (who were primarily jewish) come to mind. Not one of these jewish “collaborators” has been brought to (jewish) justice. I guess blood is thicker than water.

    A good example of present-day censorship is the fate that awaits those that dare question “official” jewish “holocaust” orthodoxy. Most European countries have criminalized ANY line of thought that deviates from the “official” jewish “holocaust” story. WHY?? In fact, TRUTH is no defense when it comes to “all things holocaust”.

    Ask noted WW2 researcher David Irving, who was forced to recant TRUTH in order to avoid punishment. . .

    If people only knew of the planning that took place (among those of the “chosen”) to engineer the jewish “holocaust”, there would be a pogrom of massive size. You see, the jewish “holocaust” was necessary in order to force the establishment of a jewish state. In this case, the ENDS justified the MEANS. There have been many “holocausts” of much greater misery throughout human history, yet the jewish “holocaust” is the only one that counts . . .

    Look at the “commercialization” of the so-called jewish “holocaust ™” while the much larger communist (true) holocaust is conveniently forgotten. To assure a continuing supply of jewish “holocaust ™” “survivors”, jews are tattooing their ATM (oops, I mean “camp” numbers) on their children and grandchildren.

    Since the jews declared war on Germany in 1933 (yes, 1933), the Germans had no choice but to complete the Zionist plan of marginalizing German jews (to say the least).. This fulfilled the Zionist plan of “encouraging” German jews to emigrate to Palestine while making the world grant jews a “homeland” – Israel.

    Zionists have been predicting a jewish “homeland” for the last two-hundred years while predicting a “holocaust ™” of 6 million for the same amount of time. The ACTUAL number of non-combatant deaths in the European theater of operations is approximately 731,000, NOT 6 million (official International Red Cross figures).

    Regarding that “holocaust ™” “showplace” Auschwitz, there are engineering inconsistencies in the design of the so-called “gas chambers”. The doors are not of a gas-tight design; it would have been impossible to retrieve the bodies, and there is no means to ventilate the rooms after the so-called “gassing” took place”. From an engineering standpoint, these are very serious errors that would have caused the deaths of the “operators” of these supposed “gas chambers”.

    American execution expert, Fred Leuchter travelled to Auschwitz, surreptitiously obtained samples from the purported “gas chambers”, had them tested and published his results. The absence of methylene blue in ALL of the samples, save one, was PROOF that the “gas chambers” did not exist. The one positive sample was taken from a room used to disinfect clothing.

    Mr. Leuchter was rewarded for his search for TRUTH by his professional and personal character assassination by those of the “tribe”. He lost all of his federal and state contracts, and was prosecuted under an obscure Massachusetts “law” for “practicing engineering without a license” – a law which had never been used before or since. . .

    It is no secret that after WW2, the Soviets attempted to “create” the “death camps” for propaganda purposes.

    The engineering inconsistencies proves that these “death camps” were recreated for communist propaganda purposes. Germans were excellent engineers, and as such, would not have made the engineering “mistakes” that are evident.

    Yes, there was extreme deprivation and suffering–many people perished. However, the prime cause of death was typhus. As allied bombings destroyed most of the infrastructure, typhus was at epidemic levels. THIS is what caused the massive amounts of human deaths . . .NOT gassing.

    After the end of WW2, these same “camps” were used to intern German civilians. These German civilians were subject to much greater deprivation and suffering than the previous “occupants” of these “camps”. In fact, jews were controlling these camps, at the behest of the Allied forces, and were vicious in their treatment of those interned. In fact, the German civilians interned were defined as “disarmed enemy combatants” despite being civilians, so that Geneva Convention rules would not apply to them.

    In fact, it was JEWS that ran the internment camps after WW2. I guess vengeance was theirs, as the Germans made the jews WORK (manual labor in the camps) for the first time in their lives…

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  • @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    You cannot use your assertions concerning the empirical support for your texts to make a superior claim over the faith and rationality of someone who has faith in the Bible.
     
    This is correct - which is why this whole thing started off with when I was simply making this statement earlier:
    "God Himself repeatedly, clearly, and unmistakably states the Bible is corrupted; says so in the Qur’an."

    To show how this statement could be challenged:
    "God himself repeatedly, clearly, and unmistakably disagrees with you. Says so in the Bible."

    Claim of faith challenged by claim of faith - no harm no foul.

    Peace.

    My mentioning of evidence of strength of texts was specifically in reference to how Muslims claim tahrif (distortion, alteration) in the earlier source texts (because we are in a unique position that we actually do believe they are from God, but that they are not reliable in current form). A claim that is absolutely not unique to us, but has been going on within Biblical scholarship itself.

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  • @iffen
    the burden is on them to produce evidence that it was at least transmitted soundly

    Rational proof? Sure.

    Empirical proof? No way!

    What I was getting at was, we have been blessed with the authenticity of our texts from an empirically verifiable standpoint more so than others.

    The Bible can be taken on faith and interpreted rationally just like the Koran.

    You cannot use your assertions concerning the empirical support for your texts to make a superior claim over the faith and rationality of someone who has faith in the Bible. You can only say that I think that there is more empirical evidence for my texts than you have for yours. This assertion has no weight in regards to a faith-based rational interpretation of the texts. The faith is not on sounder ground because of empirical evidence. You keep wanting to mix the supernatural with the empirical, not kosher.

    I dunno, maybe the Mormons would say they’re top dog in this regard.

    Yes, Joe Smith made a really big mistake when he put those golden plates back into the ground. :)

    Hey iffen,

    You cannot use your assertions concerning the empirical support for your texts to make a superior claim over the faith and rationality of someone who has faith in the Bible.

    This is correct – which is why this whole thing started off with when I was simply making this statement earlier:
    “God Himself repeatedly, clearly, and unmistakably states the Bible is corrupted; says so in the Qur’an.”

    To show how this statement could be challenged:
    “God himself repeatedly, clearly, and unmistakably disagrees with you. Says so in the Bible.”

    Claim of faith challenged by claim of faith – no harm no foul.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    My mentioning of evidence of strength of texts was specifically in reference to how Muslims claim tahrif (distortion, alteration) in the earlier source texts (because we are in a unique position that we actually do believe they are from God, but that they are not reliable in current form). A claim that is absolutely not unique to us, but has been going on within Biblical scholarship itself.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    Rational proof? Sure.

    Empirical proof? No way!

    Let's see what the Qur'an has to say right from the get go:
    "Alif, Laam, Meem. This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guidance for the God-conscious. Those who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them. And who believe in what has been revealed to you, and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain. These are upon guidance from their Lord, and it is these who are the successful." (2:1-5)

    It already makes belief in a bunch of empirically unverifiable things the requisite to get guidance from the Book. If you can't get past that hump - move along, move along.

    What I was getting at was, we have been blessed with the authenticity of our texts from an empirically verifiable standpoint more so than others. But we do have an unfair advantage; latest to come in the game, learning from mistakes of previous traditions, and immediately having a secure caliphate that ensured the first generation could implement the means to preserve the tradition helped massively - as opposed to, say, being scattered Christian communities that the Romans could kick around or burn down churches and writings.

    I dunno, maybe the Mormons would say they're top dog in this regard.

    Peace.

    the burden is on them to produce evidence that it was at least transmitted soundly

    Rational proof? Sure.

    Empirical proof? No way!

    What I was getting at was, we have been blessed with the authenticity of our texts from an empirically verifiable standpoint more so than others.

    The Bible can be taken on faith and interpreted rationally just like the Koran.

    You cannot use your assertions concerning the empirical support for your texts to make a superior claim over the faith and rationality of someone who has faith in the Bible. You can only say that I think that there is more empirical evidence for my texts than you have for yours. This assertion has no weight in regards to a faith-based rational interpretation of the texts. The faith is not on sounder ground because of empirical evidence. You keep wanting to mix the supernatural with the empirical, not kosher.

    I dunno, maybe the Mormons would say they’re top dog in this regard.

    Yes, Joe Smith made a really big mistake when he put those golden plates back into the ground. :)

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    You cannot use your assertions concerning the empirical support for your texts to make a superior claim over the faith and rationality of someone who has faith in the Bible.
     
    This is correct - which is why this whole thing started off with when I was simply making this statement earlier:
    "God Himself repeatedly, clearly, and unmistakably states the Bible is corrupted; says so in the Qur’an."

    To show how this statement could be challenged:
    "God himself repeatedly, clearly, and unmistakably disagrees with you. Says so in the Bible."

    Claim of faith challenged by claim of faith - no harm no foul.

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @iffen
    Talha,

    Do you actually believe that there is secular "proof" for your beliefs?

    Hey iffen,

    Rational proof? Sure.

    Empirical proof? No way!

    Let’s see what the Qur’an has to say right from the get go:
    “Alif, Laam, Meem. This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guidance for the God-conscious. Those who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them. And who believe in what has been revealed to you, and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain. These are upon guidance from their Lord, and it is these who are the successful.” (2:1-5)

    It already makes belief in a bunch of empirically unverifiable things the requisite to get guidance from the Book. If you can’t get past that hump – move along, move along.

    What I was getting at was, we have been blessed with the authenticity of our texts from an empirically verifiable standpoint more so than others. But we do have an unfair advantage; latest to come in the game, learning from mistakes of previous traditions, and immediately having a secure caliphate that ensured the first generation could implement the means to preserve the tradition helped massively – as opposed to, say, being scattered Christian communities that the Romans could kick around or burn down churches and writings.

    I dunno, maybe the Mormons would say they’re top dog in this regard.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    the burden is on them to produce evidence that it was at least transmitted soundly

    Rational proof? Sure.

    Empirical proof? No way!

    What I was getting at was, we have been blessed with the authenticity of our texts from an empirically verifiable standpoint more so than others.

    The Bible can be taken on faith and interpreted rationally just like the Koran.

    You cannot use your assertions concerning the empirical support for your texts to make a superior claim over the faith and rationality of someone who has faith in the Bible. You can only say that I think that there is more empirical evidence for my texts than you have for yours. This assertion has no weight in regards to a faith-based rational interpretation of the texts. The faith is not on sounder ground because of empirical evidence. You keep wanting to mix the supernatural with the empirical, not kosher.

    I dunno, maybe the Mormons would say they’re top dog in this regard.

    Yes, Joe Smith made a really big mistake when he put those golden plates back into the ground. :)

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    No need to take it personally - I was responding that if someone makes a claim to land by virtue of something based on belief (God says so), it can be refuted based on belief (God says so).

    As to the details...Islam, makes it clear that it is meant to correct problems in the earlier revelations - that was the whole point of it; to bring things full circle. The Qur'an both makes it clear that the earlier revelations were indeed from God and confirms them, but that there were parts that were forgotten/lost or changed/corrupted.

    the concept of tahrif
     
    The Bible says things like the prophet Lot (pbuh) committed drunken incest with his daughters. I'm asking, how are we Muslims supposed to square the circle that (one of the principle beliefs we hold) the emissaries of God (all of them, including Lot [pbuh]) are infallible, honest and upright? If they aren't and are capable of immorality/dishonesty - if there is even a question about this - kiss the foundations of your revelation goodbye - this is simple epistemology.

    As far as falsifiable hypothesis - look, if people are going to claim something is from unequivocally from God (from cover to cover), the burden is on them to produce evidence that it was at least transmitted soundly and they didn't make errors in it. As you know there was quite a few centuries of gap between when the revelation came to Moses (pbuh) and when it is compiled in its current form. Now if one wants to believe that nothing went awry in between, that's cool with us:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/05/130530-worlds-oldest-torah-scroll-bible-bologna-carbon-dating/

    Does Occam's Razor really state that the simplest explanation for someone claiming a book is from God and preserved exactly for 3000+ years is that it is?

    You can’t prove me wrong, but you would obviously regard this argument as childish and inane.
     
    I actually don't find it to be inane - it is a legitimate question. How do we know the Qur'an was preserved? I would submit that, yes, in order to believe in the Qur'an, you have to believe that the first few generations of scholars were upright individuals - otherwise, there is no foundation for us to stand on - Qur'an, Hadith, anything - period. These things did not just fall out of the sky into our hands. One of the important stages of our history was the process of sifting through sound, unsound, weak and fabricated hadith. The scholars developed a specific science just to figure out who could be reliably transmitted from:
    http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e1010

    The preservation of the Qur'an (assuming you believe in the honesty of that first generation) was meticulous - they even transmitted and preserved the way it is pronounced (and the variations in which it is pronounced) - we don't even have any confidence that we pronounce any letter of English the way Shakespeare did because nobody cared to preserve its phonetic sound or intonation. One can get an ijazah (certification) in the valid pronunciation(s) which is part of a human chain that must trace itself back to the Prophet (pbuh):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N99geG0zUsc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQcsOmNrX8A

    To be completely honest, if we were to apply our rules of preservation to any other tradition, it wouldn't pass, so I'm not sure it's fair that we have developed a set of rules and try to apply them backwards to other traditions. Of course, that also means we can't consider them reliable according to our standards.

    Peace.

    Talha,

    Do you actually believe that there is secular “proof” for your beliefs?

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    Rational proof? Sure.

    Empirical proof? No way!

    Let's see what the Qur'an has to say right from the get go:
    "Alif, Laam, Meem. This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guidance for the God-conscious. Those who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them. And who believe in what has been revealed to you, and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain. These are upon guidance from their Lord, and it is these who are the successful." (2:1-5)

    It already makes belief in a bunch of empirically unverifiable things the requisite to get guidance from the Book. If you can't get past that hump - move along, move along.

    What I was getting at was, we have been blessed with the authenticity of our texts from an empirically verifiable standpoint more so than others. But we do have an unfair advantage; latest to come in the game, learning from mistakes of previous traditions, and immediately having a secure caliphate that ensured the first generation could implement the means to preserve the tradition helped massively - as opposed to, say, being scattered Christian communities that the Romans could kick around or burn down churches and writings.

    I dunno, maybe the Mormons would say they're top dog in this regard.

    Peace.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    There is simply no reason for anyone at any point in history, not even for his original followers, to believe a word he says.
     
    Yeah - transcendental monotheism - pfffssshhh, who needs that? Arab Paganism is so much more retro.

    People are just taking it all on a leap of faith.
     
    Sure - same as you. Somebody comes and says 'God (or an angel) spoke to me' - what're you going to do? That's what belief is about.

    some of Muhammad’s stories are directly contradicted by established historical fact
     
    I've seen some polemics like this - I've never seen a convincing one though - post one, I'd like to take a look.

    Speaking of historical fact...I assume you've come across this and believe it:
    “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.” – Genesis 17:20

    Historically, can you tell me who else this 'great nation' could be out of the line of Ishmael (pbuh) - and what does God mean when He says 'great nation' in the context of a promise of 'surely blessing' someone?


    If there is no reason to believe that something is true, then it can’t be used as evidence.
     
    Agreed.

    all other religions have a very weak foundation, and I’ve already explained this specifically regarding Islam
     
    OK - last time I checked (and it surprises me still), our numbers are ticking higher - even in the post-modern era. You don't seem to think we have much to offer, that's fine. Plenty of intelligent people in the West seem to be throwing their lot with Bani Ishmael - we're also getting not a few from Bani Isaac. But mostly this is a heart thing - the appeal to a universal brotherhood and a God who doesn't pick favorites is quite appealing (well, unless you say you are the favorites).

    No disagreements about the stature of the prophet Abraham (pbuh) in the eyes of God. He is both called the 'close friend' of God and that he was himself a 'nation'. It is funny though, you give credit to his intellect, while in the Qur'an he gives credit to God for guidance:
    "And his people argued with him. He said, 'Do you argue with me concerning God while He has guided me? And I fear not what you associate with Him [and will not be harmed] unless my Lord should will something. My Lord encompasses all things in knowledge; then will you not take heed?' (6:80)


    Cultural appropriation doesn’t make things yours and it’s offensive.
     
    Tell it to SJW's - they'll get you a coffee mug or something. My eldest son is named Zakariya - do I have to pay a toll?

    I don’t know why Ishmaelites, with all that they have to be proud for, still feel a need to take credit for other people’s achievements.
     
    We don't - they are God's achievements - always have been. We are the khudaam (attendants) of the prophets (all of them) - the fact that they happen to come from one or another people is incidental. You keep saying ours, ours, ours - while we say these noble men are the inheritance of the world. This is the reason why Malays and Chechens name their children Maryam and Dawood.

    Sometimes you reach for the divine and the divine then reaches back for you.
     
    Agreed.

    It may be almost accidental, but it is a manifestation of a big chunk of truth.
     
    Nothing accidental about it as far as we're concerned - "surely bless" "great nation". :)

    Peace.

    Ahhh – but I really should quit – I am again getting far too deep into theological debate territory.

    Darn that slippery slope!

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  • @plontz
    I wasn't going to discuss Islam. Figured I'd leave you guys out of this. Oh, well.

    God Himself repeatedly, clearly, and unmistakably states the Bible is corrupted; says so in the Qur’an.

    Do you see how that works?
     
    I finally figured out how to use these blockquotes.

    Anyway, to the subject at hand:

    Muhammad was guy who went around telling self-glorifying stories with absolutely no evidence to back up any of his claims. The fact that people believed him is only a testament to his powers of persuasion, but says nothing of the truth of his claims. There is simply no reason for anyone at any point in history, not even for his original followers, to believe a word he says. People are just taking it all on a leap of faith. Furthermore, as Gabriel M says, some of Muhammad's stories are directly contradicted by established historical fact, giving us plenty of reason not to believe him. If we don't believe Muhammad, then we also don't believe the Qur'an. If there is no reason to believe that something is true, then it can't be used as evidence.

    No it is not, it is available to any people who received Divine guidance from prophets (who you recognize can come outside of your group). They may not have been able to preserve it as well, but that is a different question.
     
    The divine guidance provided by God to Israel is unique both quantitatively and qualitatively. Quantitatively, just the number of prophets for which we have surviving records are numbered over 50, and there are many more who received divine inspiration but weren't considered formally as prophets, not to mention records of a huge multitude of prophets who didn't make it into the Bible (their message didn't add anything new compared to others, or it was only relevant to a specific situation).

    Qualitatively we've had the best prophets. Prophets who spoke directly with God as a man might speak face to face with another man. The most prominent is Moses, although Samuel and Elisa are said to be of the same level in prophecy, even though they fell short of Moses's standard in other areas.

    More than that, God gave us a subset of the truth that is very close to being the complete truth although not quite there.

    You are talking about things you believe as if they are factually provable. You already acknowledge others can and did receive revelation, so what proof do you have that you were the first? Lack of evidence to the contrary is not proof. For instance in the Qur’an, it is stated that Abraham (pbuh) was given a written revelation – it is not around now, nor do we have proof for it other than the Qur’an mentioning it. You have zero evidence that the prophets sent to the North Americans or Europeans or East Asians did not precede the Abrahamic revelation, thus you have no proof He revealed Himself to Bani Israel first.
     
    Maybe I should stop trying to be simplistic, but writing everything out takes a lot of effort.

    I talk as if everything I say is fact because I believe in it. Why do I believe? Is it that I want not to believe yet believe anyway despite myself, or do I want to believe yet still suffer from doubt? I'm not sure. In any case Judaism has the firmest foundation in evidence out of all religions, but the evidence is not so airtight as to close the door on disbelief. If you don't want to believe, then you will find rational justification. If you do want to believe, you will find rational justification. However, if you doubt Judaism then you should definitely disbelieve everything else because all other religions have a very weak foundation, and I've already explained this specifically regarding Islam.

    Now to the second part of being simplistic: Judaism is, contrary to what I said in the previous comment, not "first". According to Judaism humanity started out with a direct relationship with God and then grew distant and its understanding of God became warped until almost all people forgot God and became pagan. There were a few people who still remembered and kept the faith and they tried to teach others, but it didn't hold. Abraham was born to this line of people who kept the faith, but his own father turned away from it and became a priest to an idol. That's the kind of house that Abraham was born into, and yet with his own intellect he discovered God without any background. It's this quality that caused him to become chosen for the purpose of reigniting the spark. Abraham had many children who spread far and wide, including many that he sent "to the east to the land of the people of the east", which, coincidence or not, is an event that happened roughly at the same time that monotheism first appeared in the East Asia.

    Abraham wasn't the only person worshiping God during his time. There were others who are also recorded as knowing about God and practicing semi-monotheistic religions, although it seems that pure monotheism was somewhere between rare to extinct. Abraham is recorded as having many followers, but there is no record of those followers after his death. He fought a war and won, but conquered nothing and did not even keep the spoils.

    It is possible that prophets and philosophers appeared in various places around the world and reintroduced the truth to people, but whether it's the quantity, quality, staying power, or mission focus, it's just not the same and I'm not sure that there's any record of anything like that that predates Abraham. It could have happened. There's no reason to think it didn't. It's just that if it did happen it didn't survive or leave enough of an impression. Furthermore, God says that his relationship with Israel, his communication with us, and the miracles he performed for us are unique.

    Exactly, which means that the claim to uniqueness doesn’t hold up – though we will readily admit, even by our scripture, Bani Israel was granted many more well-known prophets than any other nation – so they are unique in that regard. Of course, we claim them too (along with any/all other historic prophets), but that’s a separate issue.
     
    Cultural appropriation doesn't make things yours and it's offensive. I don't know why Ishmaelites, with all that they have to be proud for, still feel a need to take credit for other people's achievements. The rest has been addressed above.

    This is contradictory; if other religions are true (or fragments of them) then, by necessity, they too were given it directly from God and did not simply make it up. They may have screwed things up later, but we are talking about the source.
     
    Humans are a combination of the physical and metaphisical (or spiritual and and material, whichever you prefer). This means that we can use the part of us that is divine to grasp a minuscule part of the divine. Whether we achieve this through our intellect or some other means is not really important, the important point is that philosophers, prophets, and even barbarians can realize parts of the truth then bring them to the people. Even if someone invents a false religion, that religion will likely contain truth just in order to be believable and appealing, not to mention people who have actual contact with the divine.

    There are two directions of communication: a human reaching up to the divine and managing to grasp a tiny piece of it, and God contacting a human and sending him information. Sometimes you reach for the divine and the divine then reaches back for you.

    Interesting – so are you saying anyone can enter Paradise as long as they follow the ‘golden rule’?
     
    I'm not sure what the term 'golden rule' means, but there is a set of rules that we believe were given by God to all mankind and that any who follow these rules merit an afterlife, regardless of the reason behind their compliance. Whether they do it because their own intellect tells them that it how they should behave, or whether they believe that God commanded it. There are some hints about these rules in scripture, but most of it is in the oral tradition (not that it matters). Islam includes all of these rules, so therefor a good Muslim goes to heaven. Christianity more or less includes them as a kind of vague recommendation, so good Christians will probably go to heaven too.

    Islam seems like a good religion. It just needs to stop being imperialistic and stop rewriting history. It may be almost accidental, but it is a manifestation of a big chunk of truth.

    Friendly note: I would avoid saying ‘Jews did this…’ and ‘We Jews that…’ – it is better to always give credit to God completely
     
    That's a nice piece of friendly advice. Thanks. However, realistically I'm not going to change the way I talk. To me the terms "according to Judaism" and "according to God" are interchangeable in the context of religion, because when using the term "Judaism" as something that refers to a religion it just means "what God taught the nation of Israel". Maybe talking like this is offensive or off-putting, but I'd be far more offended by the rest of what I'm saying than by a poor choice of words.

    Hey plontz,

    There is simply no reason for anyone at any point in history, not even for his original followers, to believe a word he says.

    Yeah – transcendental monotheism – pfffssshhh, who needs that? Arab Paganism is so much more retro.

    People are just taking it all on a leap of faith.

    Sure – same as you. Somebody comes and says ‘God (or an angel) spoke to me’ – what’re you going to do? That’s what belief is about.

    some of Muhammad’s stories are directly contradicted by established historical fact

    I’ve seen some polemics like this – I’ve never seen a convincing one though – post one, I’d like to take a look.

    Speaking of historical fact…I assume you’ve come across this and believe it:
    “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.” – Genesis 17:20

    Historically, can you tell me who else this ‘great nation’ could be out of the line of Ishmael (pbuh) – and what does God mean when He says ‘great nation’ in the context of a promise of ‘surely blessing’ someone?

    If there is no reason to believe that something is true, then it can’t be used as evidence.

    Agreed.

    all other religions have a very weak foundation, and I’ve already explained this specifically regarding Islam

    OK – last time I checked (and it surprises me still), our numbers are ticking higher – even in the post-modern era. You don’t seem to think we have much to offer, that’s fine. Plenty of intelligent people in the West seem to be throwing their lot with Bani Ishmael – we’re also getting not a few from Bani Isaac. But mostly this is a heart thing – the appeal to a universal brotherhood and a God who doesn’t pick favorites is quite appealing (well, unless you say you are the favorites).

    No disagreements about the stature of the prophet Abraham (pbuh) in the eyes of God. He is both called the ‘close friend’ of God and that he was himself a ‘nation’. It is funny though, you give credit to his intellect, while in the Qur’an he gives credit to God for guidance:
    “And his people argued with him. He said, ‘Do you argue with me concerning God while He has guided me? And I fear not what you associate with Him [and will not be harmed] unless my Lord should will something. My Lord encompasses all things in knowledge; then will you not take heed?’ (6:80)

    Cultural appropriation doesn’t make things yours and it’s offensive.

    Tell it to SJW’s – they’ll get you a coffee mug or something. My eldest son is named Zakariya – do I have to pay a toll?

    I don’t know why Ishmaelites, with all that they have to be proud for, still feel a need to take credit for other people’s achievements.

    We don’t – they are God’s achievements – always have been. We are the khudaam (attendants) of the prophets (all of them) – the fact that they happen to come from one or another people is incidental. You keep saying ours, ours, ours – while we say these noble men are the inheritance of the world. This is the reason why Malays and Chechens name their children Maryam and Dawood.

    Sometimes you reach for the divine and the divine then reaches back for you.

    Agreed.

    It may be almost accidental, but it is a manifestation of a big chunk of truth.

    Nothing accidental about it as far as we’re concerned – “surely bless” “great nation”. :)

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Ahhh - but I really should quit - I am again getting far too deep into theological debate territory.

    Darn that slippery slope!
    , @plontz
    When I saw that you completely evaded my most fundamental argument on the issue and instead fell back to an argument you must already know is nonsensical I wanted to gloat over my triumph in this debate, but then I took a day to think about it and decided that I don't want to try to destroy your faith. However, I can't just let you walk away thinking that you've won, so I'll just quote the argument that you seem to be running away from:

    Muhammad was guy who went around telling self-glorifying stories with absolutely no evidence to back up any of his claims. The fact that people believed him is only a testament to his powers of persuasion, but says nothing of the truth of his claims. There is simply no reason for anyone at any point in history, not even for his original followers, to believe a word he says. People are just taking it all on a leap of faith. Furthermore, as Gabriel M says, some of Muhammad’s stories are directly contradicted by established historical fact, giving us plenty of reason not to believe him. If we don’t believe Muhammad, then we also don’t believe the Qur’an. If there is no reason to believe that something is true, then it can’t be used as evidence.
     
    As far as I'm concerned there are 2 ways to interpret Islam. One way is to interpret it based on its actions, which would then lead me to the conclusion that Muhammad cynically invented it for the purpose of gaining glory and power for himself. The second way is to say that he brought back God's teachings to the Ishmaelites but got carried away with his ego. It's up to the Muslims to decide which interpretation is closer to the historical truth.

    Saying that he got carried away with his ego is no insult, as we are all human and as humans are a combination of body and soul they are inherently imperfect and all will make mistakes or commit sins, even the greatest. The only ones who don't don't commit sins are those who do not have a soul, such as animals, or those who do not have a corporeal body, such as angels. As it says in the holy book: "There is not a righteous man in the land who will do good and not sin" - Righteous people commit sins too and that doesn't contradict their definition of being righteous. What then is the difference between the righteous and other people? "Seven times a righteous man will fall and rise", meaning that the righteous commit sins but don't give up and recover from them, as opposed to other people who give up and give themselves over to sin.

    Committing a sin, making a mistake, or giving in to your ego don't necessarily prevent you from being a great person, as long as you are able to recover and return to the struggle to achieve the unattainable perfection.

    I'm not sure I want to make any more points because I don't want to distract too much from the first point in this comment. If Islam is Muhammed being a messenger bringing "God's Teachings: The Ishmaelite Edition" to his people, then it can be a true religion and Muhammad can be a great person, but if Islam pretends to be a revision of God's teachings that replaces all that came before it and is destined to rule the world then it has no basis whatsoever and is a false religion.
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  • @Gabriel M
    I was under the impression that this is not taught in the Koran, but is rather an implication drawn from the fact that the Koran relates events also related in the Bible, but with numerous changes in detail. From my limited knowledge, In understand that the Koran testifies to the truth of the Torah and never once mentions it containing inaccuracies, which is kind of .... suspicious.

    I will add that to most people the concept of tahrif looks like a particularly obvious example of an unfalsifiable hypothesis that violates Occam Razor in a particularly obnoxious way. By the same logic, I can just claim that Muhammad really told everyone to be a Jew/Christian/Hindu/anything, but his followers perverted his message and introduced false teachings into the Koran and Hadith to cover their tracks. You can't prove me wrong, but you would obviously regard this argument as childish and inane.

    Hey Gabriel,

    No need to take it personally – I was responding that if someone makes a claim to land by virtue of something based on belief (God says so), it can be refuted based on belief (God says so).

    As to the details…Islam, makes it clear that it is meant to correct problems in the earlier revelations – that was the whole point of it; to bring things full circle. The Qur’an both makes it clear that the earlier revelations were indeed from God and confirms them, but that there were parts that were forgotten/lost or changed/corrupted.

    the concept of tahrif

    The Bible says things like the prophet Lot (pbuh) committed drunken incest with his daughters. I’m asking, how are we Muslims supposed to square the circle that (one of the principle beliefs we hold) the emissaries of God (all of them, including Lot [pbuh]) are infallible, honest and upright? If they aren’t and are capable of immorality/dishonesty – if there is even a question about this – kiss the foundations of your revelation goodbye – this is simple epistemology.

    As far as falsifiable hypothesis – look, if people are going to claim something is from unequivocally from God (from cover to cover), the burden is on them to produce evidence that it was at least transmitted soundly and they didn’t make errors in it. As you know there was quite a few centuries of gap between when the revelation came to Moses (pbuh) and when it is compiled in its current form. Now if one wants to believe that nothing went awry in between, that’s cool with us:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/05/130530-worlds-oldest-torah-scroll-bible-bologna-carbon-dating/

    Does Occam’s Razor really state that the simplest explanation for someone claiming a book is from God and preserved exactly for 3000+ years is that it is?

    You can’t prove me wrong, but you would obviously regard this argument as childish and inane.

    I actually don’t find it to be inane – it is a legitimate question. How do we know the Qur’an was preserved? I would submit that, yes, in order to believe in the Qur’an, you have to believe that the first few generations of scholars were upright individuals – otherwise, there is no foundation for us to stand on – Qur’an, Hadith, anything – period. These things did not just fall out of the sky into our hands. One of the important stages of our history was the process of sifting through sound, unsound, weak and fabricated hadith. The scholars developed a specific science just to figure out who could be reliably transmitted from:

    http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e1010

    The preservation of the Qur’an (assuming you believe in the honesty of that first generation) was meticulous – they even transmitted and preserved the way it is pronounced (and the variations in which it is pronounced) – we don’t even have any confidence that we pronounce any letter of English the way Shakespeare did because nobody cared to preserve its phonetic sound or intonation. One can get an ijazah (certification) in the valid pronunciation(s) which is part of a human chain that must trace itself back to the Prophet (pbuh):

    To be completely honest, if we were to apply our rules of preservation to any other tradition, it wouldn’t pass, so I’m not sure it’s fair that we have developed a set of rules and try to apply them backwards to other traditions. Of course, that also means we can’t consider them reliable according to our standards.

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @iffen
    Talha,

    Do you actually believe that there is secular "proof" for your beliefs?
    , @Gabriel M
    Just to be clear, is there a single text anywhere in the Koran that says the Torah (or the Christian Bible for that matter) has been corrupted, or is it a belief introduced later when it became clear that it was impossible to reconcile the Koran with the Torah?


    I’m asking, how are we Muslims supposed to square the circle that (one of the principle beliefs we hold) the emissaries of God (all of them, including Lot [pbuh]) are infallible, honest and upright?
     
    Well, no offense, but you seem to manage fine with Muhammad.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    1. Morality – The universal eternal specific code of human behavior, whose source is the absolute authority known as god, and is equally binding upon all humans.
     
    I would agree with this - for us, it is called the Shariah (which linguistically means something along the lines of the 'well-trodden path').

    is uniquely Jewish
     
    No it is not, it is available to any people who received Divine guidance from prophets (who you recognize can come outside of your group). They may not have been able to preserve it as well, but that is a different question.

    The reason it exists is because we got to god first and he subsequently chose to reveal himself to us and use us to spread the knowledge around.
     
    You are talking about things you believe as if they are factually provable. You already acknowledge others can and did receive revelation, so what proof do you have that you were the first? Lack of evidence to the contrary is not proof. For instance in the Qur'an, it is stated that Abraham (pbuh) was given a written revelation - it is not around now, nor do we have proof for it other than the Qur'an mentioning it. You have zero evidence that the prophets sent to the North Americans or Europeans or East Asians did not precede the Abrahamic revelation, thus you have no proof He revealed Himself to Bani Israel first.

    So if a religion is based on the words of a true prophet it will contain a lot of truth, some of which might even be missing from Judaism.
     
    Exactly, which means that the claim to uniqueness doesn't hold up - though we will readily admit, even by our scripture, Bani Israel was granted many more well-known prophets than any other nation - so they are unique in that regard. Of course, we claim them too (along with any/all other historic prophets), but that's a separate issue.

    Other religions can also be true, but Jews are the pioneers and have a solid base, and we have top down knowledge from God rather than trying to put it together from scratch and maybe getting it wrong sometimes
     
    This is contradictory; if other religions are true (or fragments of them) then, by necessity, they too were given it directly from God and did not simply make it up. They may have screwed things up later, but we are talking about the source.

    but a secular philosophy that exists without being connected to the source of moral authority has shallow roots
     
    Will agree here.

    If you follow the basic rules of decent behavior, regardless of your reasons for doing so, you merit an afterlife according to your beliefs or philosophy.
     
    Interesting - so are you saying anyone can enter Paradise as long as they follow the 'golden rule'?

    Peace.

    Friendly note: I would avoid saying 'Jews did this...' and 'We Jews that...' - it is better to always give credit to God completely:
    "...And they shall say: 'Praise be to God, who hath guided us to this - never could we have found guidance, had it not been for the guidance of God. Indeed it was the truth that the messengers of our Lord brought to us..." (7:43)

    I wasn’t going to discuss Islam. Figured I’d leave you guys out of this. Oh, well.

    God Himself repeatedly, clearly, and unmistakably states the Bible is corrupted; says so in the Qur’an.

    Do you see how that works?

    I finally figured out how to use these blockquotes.

    Anyway, to the subject at hand:

    Muhammad was guy who went around telling self-glorifying stories with absolutely no evidence to back up any of his claims. The fact that people believed him is only a testament to his powers of persuasion, but says nothing of the truth of his claims. There is simply no reason for anyone at any point in history, not even for his original followers, to believe a word he says. People are just taking it all on a leap of faith. Furthermore, as Gabriel M says, some of Muhammad’s stories are directly contradicted by established historical fact, giving us plenty of reason not to believe him. If we don’t believe Muhammad, then we also don’t believe the Qur’an. If there is no reason to believe that something is true, then it can’t be used as evidence.

    No it is not, it is available to any people who received Divine guidance from prophets (who you recognize can come outside of your group). They may not have been able to preserve it as well, but that is a different question.

    The divine guidance provided by God to Israel is unique both quantitatively and qualitatively. Quantitatively, just the number of prophets for which we have surviving records are numbered over 50, and there are many more who received divine inspiration but weren’t considered formally as prophets, not to mention records of a huge multitude of prophets who didn’t make it into the Bible (their message didn’t add anything new compared to others, or it was only relevant to a specific situation).

    Qualitatively we’ve had the best prophets. Prophets who spoke directly with God as a man might speak face to face with another man. The most prominent is Moses, although Samuel and Elisa are said to be of the same level in prophecy, even though they fell short of Moses’s standard in other areas.

    More than that, God gave us a subset of the truth that is very close to being the complete truth although not quite there.

    You are talking about things you believe as if they are factually provable. You already acknowledge others can and did receive revelation, so what proof do you have that you were the first? Lack of evidence to the contrary is not proof. For instance in the Qur’an, it is stated that Abraham (pbuh) was given a written revelation – it is not around now, nor do we have proof for it other than the Qur’an mentioning it. You have zero evidence that the prophets sent to the North Americans or Europeans or East Asians did not precede the Abrahamic revelation, thus you have no proof He revealed Himself to Bani Israel first.

    Maybe I should stop trying to be simplistic, but writing everything out takes a lot of effort.

    I talk as if everything I say is fact because I believe in it. Why do I believe? Is it that I want not to believe yet believe anyway despite myself, or do I want to believe yet still suffer from doubt? I’m not sure. In any case Judaism has the firmest foundation in evidence out of all religions, but the evidence is not so airtight as to close the door on disbelief. If you don’t want to believe, then you will find rational justification. If you do want to believe, you will find rational justification. However, if you doubt Judaism then you should definitely disbelieve everything else because all other religions have a very weak foundation, and I’ve already explained this specifically regarding Islam.

    Now to the second part of being simplistic: Judaism is, contrary to what I said in the previous comment, not “first”. According to Judaism humanity started out with a direct relationship with God and then grew distant and its understanding of God became warped until almost all people forgot God and became pagan. There were a few people who still remembered and kept the faith and they tried to teach others, but it didn’t hold. Abraham was born to this line of people who kept the faith, but his own father turned away from it and became a priest to an idol. That’s the kind of house that Abraham was born into, and yet with his own intellect he discovered God without any background. It’s this quality that caused him to become chosen for the purpose of reigniting the spark. Abraham had many children who spread far and wide, including many that he sent “to the east to the land of the people of the east”, which, coincidence or not, is an event that happened roughly at the same time that monotheism first appeared in the East Asia.

    Abraham wasn’t the only person worshiping God during his time. There were others who are also recorded as knowing about God and practicing semi-monotheistic religions, although it seems that pure monotheism was somewhere between rare to extinct. Abraham is recorded as having many followers, but there is no record of those followers after his death. He fought a war and won, but conquered nothing and did not even keep the spoils.

    It is possible that prophets and philosophers appeared in various places around the world and reintroduced the truth to people, but whether it’s the quantity, quality, staying power, or mission focus, it’s just not the same and I’m not sure that there’s any record of anything like that that predates Abraham. It could have happened. There’s no reason to think it didn’t. It’s just that if it did happen it didn’t survive or leave enough of an impression. Furthermore, God says that his relationship with Israel, his communication with us, and the miracles he performed for us are unique.

    Exactly, which means that the claim to uniqueness doesn’t hold up – though we will readily admit, even by our scripture, Bani Israel was granted many more well-known prophets than any other nation – so they are unique in that regard. Of course, we claim them too (along with any/all other historic prophets), but that’s a separate issue.

    Cultural appropriation doesn’t make things yours and it’s offensive. I don’t know why Ishmaelites, with all that they have to be proud for, still feel a need to take credit for other people’s achievements. The rest has been addressed above.

    This is contradictory; if other religions are true (or fragments of them) then, by necessity, they too were given it directly from God and did not simply make it up. They may have screwed things up later, but we are talking about the source.

    Humans are a combination of the physical and metaphisical (or spiritual and and material, whichever you prefer). This means that we can use the part of us that is divine to grasp a minuscule part of the divine. Whether we achieve this through our intellect or some other means is not really important, the important point is that philosophers, prophets, and even barbarians can realize parts of the truth then bring them to the people. Even if someone invents a false religion, that religion will likely contain truth just in order to be believable and appealing, not to mention people who have actual contact with the divine.

    There are two directions of communication: a human reaching up to the divine and managing to grasp a tiny piece of it, and God contacting a human and sending him information. Sometimes you reach for the divine and the divine then reaches back for you.

    Interesting – so are you saying anyone can enter Paradise as long as they follow the ‘golden rule’?

    I’m not sure what the term ‘golden rule’ means, but there is a set of rules that we believe were given by God to all mankind and that any who follow these rules merit an afterlife, regardless of the reason behind their compliance. Whether they do it because their own intellect tells them that it how they should behave, or whether they believe that God commanded it. There are some hints about these rules in scripture, but most of it is in the oral tradition (not that it matters). Islam includes all of these rules, so therefor a good Muslim goes to heaven. Christianity more or less includes them as a kind of vague recommendation, so good Christians will probably go to heaven too.

    Islam seems like a good religion. It just needs to stop being imperialistic and stop rewriting history. It may be almost accidental, but it is a manifestation of a big chunk of truth.

    Friendly note: I would avoid saying ‘Jews did this…’ and ‘We Jews that…’ – it is better to always give credit to God completely

    That’s a nice piece of friendly advice. Thanks. However, realistically I’m not going to change the way I talk. To me the terms “according to Judaism” and “according to God” are interchangeable in the context of religion, because when using the term “Judaism” as something that refers to a religion it just means “what God taught the nation of Israel”. Maybe talking like this is offensive or off-putting, but I’d be far more offended by the rest of what I’m saying than by a poor choice of words.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    There is simply no reason for anyone at any point in history, not even for his original followers, to believe a word he says.
     
    Yeah - transcendental monotheism - pfffssshhh, who needs that? Arab Paganism is so much more retro.

    People are just taking it all on a leap of faith.
     
    Sure - same as you. Somebody comes and says 'God (or an angel) spoke to me' - what're you going to do? That's what belief is about.

    some of Muhammad’s stories are directly contradicted by established historical fact
     
    I've seen some polemics like this - I've never seen a convincing one though - post one, I'd like to take a look.

    Speaking of historical fact...I assume you've come across this and believe it:
    “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.” – Genesis 17:20

    Historically, can you tell me who else this 'great nation' could be out of the line of Ishmael (pbuh) - and what does God mean when He says 'great nation' in the context of a promise of 'surely blessing' someone?


    If there is no reason to believe that something is true, then it can’t be used as evidence.
     
    Agreed.

    all other religions have a very weak foundation, and I’ve already explained this specifically regarding Islam
     
    OK - last time I checked (and it surprises me still), our numbers are ticking higher - even in the post-modern era. You don't seem to think we have much to offer, that's fine. Plenty of intelligent people in the West seem to be throwing their lot with Bani Ishmael - we're also getting not a few from Bani Isaac. But mostly this is a heart thing - the appeal to a universal brotherhood and a God who doesn't pick favorites is quite appealing (well, unless you say you are the favorites).

    No disagreements about the stature of the prophet Abraham (pbuh) in the eyes of God. He is both called the 'close friend' of God and that he was himself a 'nation'. It is funny though, you give credit to his intellect, while in the Qur'an he gives credit to God for guidance:
    "And his people argued with him. He said, 'Do you argue with me concerning God while He has guided me? And I fear not what you associate with Him [and will not be harmed] unless my Lord should will something. My Lord encompasses all things in knowledge; then will you not take heed?' (6:80)


    Cultural appropriation doesn’t make things yours and it’s offensive.
     
    Tell it to SJW's - they'll get you a coffee mug or something. My eldest son is named Zakariya - do I have to pay a toll?

    I don’t know why Ishmaelites, with all that they have to be proud for, still feel a need to take credit for other people’s achievements.
     
    We don't - they are God's achievements - always have been. We are the khudaam (attendants) of the prophets (all of them) - the fact that they happen to come from one or another people is incidental. You keep saying ours, ours, ours - while we say these noble men are the inheritance of the world. This is the reason why Malays and Chechens name their children Maryam and Dawood.

    Sometimes you reach for the divine and the divine then reaches back for you.
     
    Agreed.

    It may be almost accidental, but it is a manifestation of a big chunk of truth.
     
    Nothing accidental about it as far as we're concerned - "surely bless" "great nation". :)

    Peace.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    Says so in the Bible.
     
    God Himself repeatedly, clearly, and unmistakably states the Bible is corrupted; says so in the Qur'an.

    Do you see how that works?

    Peace.

    I was under the impression that this is not taught in the Koran, but is rather an implication drawn from the fact that the Koran relates events also related in the Bible, but with numerous changes in detail. From my limited knowledge, In understand that the Koran testifies to the truth of the Torah and never once mentions it containing inaccuracies, which is kind of …. suspicious.

    I will add that to most people the concept of tahrif looks like a particularly obvious example of an unfalsifiable hypothesis that violates Occam Razor in a particularly obnoxious way. By the same logic, I can just claim that Muhammad really told everyone to be a Jew/Christian/Hindu/anything, but his followers perverted his message and introduced false teachings into the Koran and Hadith to cover their tracks. You can’t prove me wrong, but you would obviously regard this argument as childish and inane.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    No need to take it personally - I was responding that if someone makes a claim to land by virtue of something based on belief (God says so), it can be refuted based on belief (God says so).

    As to the details...Islam, makes it clear that it is meant to correct problems in the earlier revelations - that was the whole point of it; to bring things full circle. The Qur'an both makes it clear that the earlier revelations were indeed from God and confirms them, but that there were parts that were forgotten/lost or changed/corrupted.

    the concept of tahrif
     
    The Bible says things like the prophet Lot (pbuh) committed drunken incest with his daughters. I'm asking, how are we Muslims supposed to square the circle that (one of the principle beliefs we hold) the emissaries of God (all of them, including Lot [pbuh]) are infallible, honest and upright? If they aren't and are capable of immorality/dishonesty - if there is even a question about this - kiss the foundations of your revelation goodbye - this is simple epistemology.

    As far as falsifiable hypothesis - look, if people are going to claim something is from unequivocally from God (from cover to cover), the burden is on them to produce evidence that it was at least transmitted soundly and they didn't make errors in it. As you know there was quite a few centuries of gap between when the revelation came to Moses (pbuh) and when it is compiled in its current form. Now if one wants to believe that nothing went awry in between, that's cool with us:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/05/130530-worlds-oldest-torah-scroll-bible-bologna-carbon-dating/

    Does Occam's Razor really state that the simplest explanation for someone claiming a book is from God and preserved exactly for 3000+ years is that it is?

    You can’t prove me wrong, but you would obviously regard this argument as childish and inane.
     
    I actually don't find it to be inane - it is a legitimate question. How do we know the Qur'an was preserved? I would submit that, yes, in order to believe in the Qur'an, you have to believe that the first few generations of scholars were upright individuals - otherwise, there is no foundation for us to stand on - Qur'an, Hadith, anything - period. These things did not just fall out of the sky into our hands. One of the important stages of our history was the process of sifting through sound, unsound, weak and fabricated hadith. The scholars developed a specific science just to figure out who could be reliably transmitted from:
    http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e1010

    The preservation of the Qur'an (assuming you believe in the honesty of that first generation) was meticulous - they even transmitted and preserved the way it is pronounced (and the variations in which it is pronounced) - we don't even have any confidence that we pronounce any letter of English the way Shakespeare did because nobody cared to preserve its phonetic sound or intonation. One can get an ijazah (certification) in the valid pronunciation(s) which is part of a human chain that must trace itself back to the Prophet (pbuh):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N99geG0zUsc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQcsOmNrX8A

    To be completely honest, if we were to apply our rules of preservation to any other tradition, it wouldn't pass, so I'm not sure it's fair that we have developed a set of rules and try to apply them backwards to other traditions. Of course, that also means we can't consider them reliable according to our standards.

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @plontz
    "Chinese, Dharmic civilization of India, Mayans…please tell me you have heard of these people. Or are you saying they had no concept of ethics or morality?"

    I'm going to define two words. These definitions might not match the dictionary definition, but they will be useful for the purpose of this explanation:

    1. Morality - The universal eternal specific code of human behavior, whose source is the absolute authority known as god, and is equally binding upon all humans.
    2. Ethics - A human attempt to puzzle out morality based on our own intellect.

    There have been many great humans throughout history who achieved many great things in the area of ethics. They are wise. Their words should be studied and practiced. They should be respected. However, what they say is merely the best that human intellect has to offer. Often they hit the mark, but sometimes they can get things awfuly wrong. However, morality, that is actually knowing what the truth is and putting it into practice rather than theorizing about the truth without knowing, is uniquely Jewish. The reason it exists is because we got to god first and he subsequently chose to reveal himself to us and use us to spread the knowledge around. This doesn't mean that God couldn't or didn't reveal himself to other people around the world. We ourselves have documented at least 2 cases of true prophets who weren't Jews. Not to mention that people can simply find at least fragments of the truth on their own. All religions contain at least a fragment of the truth (and might even contain pieces that we are missing), and probably the more monotheistic they are the more truth they will contain. So if a religion is based on the words of a true prophet it will contain a lot of truth, some of which might even be missing from Judaism. It will probably also contain elements that only belong to the nation that created that religion, and probably, although not necessarily, also some false elements too. The difference with Judaism is that all other religions are based on an individual or a small group of individuals who then go and teach everyone else, while Judaism is based on the direct communication from God to the entire nation.

    tl;dr - Other religions can also be true, but Jews are the pioneers and have a solid base, and we have top down knowledge from God rather than trying to put it together from scratch and maybe getting it wrong sometimes (it doesn't mean we never get it wrong, but thankfully God set up a system for dealing with that too).

    "Based on common practice, I would say the commandments were meant to be applied only to the in-group. The universal application of morality, introduced by Plato and his successors, especially Immanuel Kant, is one of the pillars of Western (i.e., not Judeo-Christian) civilization."

    Jews are the pioneers championing the idea, and have a different set of rules that govern every tiny aspect of our lives. However the idea we are championing is not that everyone becomes like us, but that everyone becomes civilized. Christianity did a lot to promote this. So did some secular philosophies that developed independently of us, but a secular philosophy that exists without being connected to the source of moral authority has shallow roots and can be much more easily forgotten, warped, or discarded.

    The goal is to make the world civilized. The most important thing is that people behave morally. What their motivation for doing so is is a secondary issue at most. If people act morally because secular ethics teach them to do so, that's great! If they act morally because Christianity teaches them to be good and kind and compassionate, that's great! The only reason I'm getting into this argument rather than just leave Christians be to be the good faithful people that they are is because someone attacked Judaism for not conforming to Christianity.

    Just like what I said about the messiah, it's all about results. If you follow the basic rules of decent behavior, regardless of your reasons for doing so, you merit an afterlife according to your beliefs or philosophy.

    Hey plontz,

    1. Morality – The universal eternal specific code of human behavior, whose source is the absolute authority known as god, and is equally binding upon all humans.

    I would agree with this – for us, it is called the Shariah (which linguistically means something along the lines of the ‘well-trodden path’).

    is uniquely Jewish

    No it is not, it is available to any people who received Divine guidance from prophets (who you recognize can come outside of your group). They may not have been able to preserve it as well, but that is a different question.

    The reason it exists is because we got to god first and he subsequently chose to reveal himself to us and use us to spread the knowledge around.

    You are talking about things you believe as if they are factually provable. You already acknowledge others can and did receive revelation, so what proof do you have that you were the first? Lack of evidence to the contrary is not proof. For instance in the Qur’an, it is stated that Abraham (pbuh) was given a written revelation – it is not around now, nor do we have proof for it other than the Qur’an mentioning it. You have zero evidence that the prophets sent to the North Americans or Europeans or East Asians did not precede the Abrahamic revelation, thus you have no proof He revealed Himself to Bani Israel first.

    So if a religion is based on the words of a true prophet it will contain a lot of truth, some of which might even be missing from Judaism.

    Exactly, which means that the claim to uniqueness doesn’t hold up – though we will readily admit, even by our scripture, Bani Israel was granted many more well-known prophets than any other nation – so they are unique in that regard. Of course, we claim them too (along with any/all other historic prophets), but that’s a separate issue.

    Other religions can also be true, but Jews are the pioneers and have a solid base, and we have top down knowledge from God rather than trying to put it together from scratch and maybe getting it wrong sometimes

    This is contradictory; if other religions are true (or fragments of them) then, by necessity, they too were given it directly from God and did not simply make it up. They may have screwed things up later, but we are talking about the source.

    but a secular philosophy that exists without being connected to the source of moral authority has shallow roots

    Will agree here.

    If you follow the basic rules of decent behavior, regardless of your reasons for doing so, you merit an afterlife according to your beliefs or philosophy.

    Interesting – so are you saying anyone can enter Paradise as long as they follow the ‘golden rule’?

    Peace.

    Friendly note: I would avoid saying ‘Jews did this…’ and ‘We Jews that…’ – it is better to always give credit to God completely:
    “…And they shall say: ‘Praise be to God, who hath guided us to this – never could we have found guidance, had it not been for the guidance of God. Indeed it was the truth that the messengers of our Lord brought to us…” (7:43)

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    • Replies: @plontz
    I wasn't going to discuss Islam. Figured I'd leave you guys out of this. Oh, well.

    God Himself repeatedly, clearly, and unmistakably states the Bible is corrupted; says so in the Qur’an.

    Do you see how that works?
     
    I finally figured out how to use these blockquotes.

    Anyway, to the subject at hand:

    Muhammad was guy who went around telling self-glorifying stories with absolutely no evidence to back up any of his claims. The fact that people believed him is only a testament to his powers of persuasion, but says nothing of the truth of his claims. There is simply no reason for anyone at any point in history, not even for his original followers, to believe a word he says. People are just taking it all on a leap of faith. Furthermore, as Gabriel M says, some of Muhammad's stories are directly contradicted by established historical fact, giving us plenty of reason not to believe him. If we don't believe Muhammad, then we also don't believe the Qur'an. If there is no reason to believe that something is true, then it can't be used as evidence.

    No it is not, it is available to any people who received Divine guidance from prophets (who you recognize can come outside of your group). They may not have been able to preserve it as well, but that is a different question.
     
    The divine guidance provided by God to Israel is unique both quantitatively and qualitatively. Quantitatively, just the number of prophets for which we have surviving records are numbered over 50, and there are many more who received divine inspiration but weren't considered formally as prophets, not to mention records of a huge multitude of prophets who didn't make it into the Bible (their message didn't add anything new compared to others, or it was only relevant to a specific situation).

    Qualitatively we've had the best prophets. Prophets who spoke directly with God as a man might speak face to face with another man. The most prominent is Moses, although Samuel and Elisa are said to be of the same level in prophecy, even though they fell short of Moses's standard in other areas.

    More than that, God gave us a subset of the truth that is very close to being the complete truth although not quite there.

    You are talking about things you believe as if they are factually provable. You already acknowledge others can and did receive revelation, so what proof do you have that you were the first? Lack of evidence to the contrary is not proof. For instance in the Qur’an, it is stated that Abraham (pbuh) was given a written revelation – it is not around now, nor do we have proof for it other than the Qur’an mentioning it. You have zero evidence that the prophets sent to the North Americans or Europeans or East Asians did not precede the Abrahamic revelation, thus you have no proof He revealed Himself to Bani Israel first.
     
    Maybe I should stop trying to be simplistic, but writing everything out takes a lot of effort.

    I talk as if everything I say is fact because I believe in it. Why do I believe? Is it that I want not to believe yet believe anyway despite myself, or do I want to believe yet still suffer from doubt? I'm not sure. In any case Judaism has the firmest foundation in evidence out of all religions, but the evidence is not so airtight as to close the door on disbelief. If you don't want to believe, then you will find rational justification. If you do want to believe, you will find rational justification. However, if you doubt Judaism then you should definitely disbelieve everything else because all other religions have a very weak foundation, and I've already explained this specifically regarding Islam.

    Now to the second part of being simplistic: Judaism is, contrary to what I said in the previous comment, not "first". According to Judaism humanity started out with a direct relationship with God and then grew distant and its understanding of God became warped until almost all people forgot God and became pagan. There were a few people who still remembered and kept the faith and they tried to teach others, but it didn't hold. Abraham was born to this line of people who kept the faith, but his own father turned away from it and became a priest to an idol. That's the kind of house that Abraham was born into, and yet with his own intellect he discovered God without any background. It's this quality that caused him to become chosen for the purpose of reigniting the spark. Abraham had many children who spread far and wide, including many that he sent "to the east to the land of the people of the east", which, coincidence or not, is an event that happened roughly at the same time that monotheism first appeared in the East Asia.

    Abraham wasn't the only person worshiping God during his time. There were others who are also recorded as knowing about God and practicing semi-monotheistic religions, although it seems that pure monotheism was somewhere between rare to extinct. Abraham is recorded as having many followers, but there is no record of those followers after his death. He fought a war and won, but conquered nothing and did not even keep the spoils.

    It is possible that prophets and philosophers appeared in various places around the world and reintroduced the truth to people, but whether it's the quantity, quality, staying power, or mission focus, it's just not the same and I'm not sure that there's any record of anything like that that predates Abraham. It could have happened. There's no reason to think it didn't. It's just that if it did happen it didn't survive or leave enough of an impression. Furthermore, God says that his relationship with Israel, his communication with us, and the miracles he performed for us are unique.

    Exactly, which means that the claim to uniqueness doesn’t hold up – though we will readily admit, even by our scripture, Bani Israel was granted many more well-known prophets than any other nation – so they are unique in that regard. Of course, we claim them too (along with any/all other historic prophets), but that’s a separate issue.
     
    Cultural appropriation doesn't make things yours and it's offensive. I don't know why Ishmaelites, with all that they have to be proud for, still feel a need to take credit for other people's achievements. The rest has been addressed above.

    This is contradictory; if other religions are true (or fragments of them) then, by necessity, they too were given it directly from God and did not simply make it up. They may have screwed things up later, but we are talking about the source.
     
    Humans are a combination of the physical and metaphisical (or spiritual and and material, whichever you prefer). This means that we can use the part of us that is divine to grasp a minuscule part of the divine. Whether we achieve this through our intellect or some other means is not really important, the important point is that philosophers, prophets, and even barbarians can realize parts of the truth then bring them to the people. Even if someone invents a false religion, that religion will likely contain truth just in order to be believable and appealing, not to mention people who have actual contact with the divine.

    There are two directions of communication: a human reaching up to the divine and managing to grasp a tiny piece of it, and God contacting a human and sending him information. Sometimes you reach for the divine and the divine then reaches back for you.

    Interesting – so are you saying anyone can enter Paradise as long as they follow the ‘golden rule’?
     
    I'm not sure what the term 'golden rule' means, but there is a set of rules that we believe were given by God to all mankind and that any who follow these rules merit an afterlife, regardless of the reason behind their compliance. Whether they do it because their own intellect tells them that it how they should behave, or whether they believe that God commanded it. There are some hints about these rules in scripture, but most of it is in the oral tradition (not that it matters). Islam includes all of these rules, so therefor a good Muslim goes to heaven. Christianity more or less includes them as a kind of vague recommendation, so good Christians will probably go to heaven too.

    Islam seems like a good religion. It just needs to stop being imperialistic and stop rewriting history. It may be almost accidental, but it is a manifestation of a big chunk of truth.

    Friendly note: I would avoid saying ‘Jews did this…’ and ‘We Jews that…’ – it is better to always give credit to God completely
     
    That's a nice piece of friendly advice. Thanks. However, realistically I'm not going to change the way I talk. To me the terms "according to Judaism" and "according to God" are interchangeable in the context of religion, because when using the term "Judaism" as something that refers to a religion it just means "what God taught the nation of Israel". Maybe talking like this is offensive or off-putting, but I'd be far more offended by the rest of what I'm saying than by a poor choice of words.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @plontz
    "God is not a real estate agent. The concept of Israel is of the mind and NOT a piece of land…"

    God himself repeatedly, clearly, and unmistakably disagrees with you. Says so in the Bible.

    Hey plontz,

    Says so in the Bible.

    God Himself repeatedly, clearly, and unmistakably states the Bible is corrupted; says so in the Qur’an.

    Do you see how that works?

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @Gabriel M
    I was under the impression that this is not taught in the Koran, but is rather an implication drawn from the fact that the Koran relates events also related in the Bible, but with numerous changes in detail. From my limited knowledge, In understand that the Koran testifies to the truth of the Torah and never once mentions it containing inaccuracies, which is kind of .... suspicious.

    I will add that to most people the concept of tahrif looks like a particularly obvious example of an unfalsifiable hypothesis that violates Occam Razor in a particularly obnoxious way. By the same logic, I can just claim that Muhammad really told everyone to be a Jew/Christian/Hindu/anything, but his followers perverted his message and introduced false teachings into the Koran and Hadith to cover their tracks. You can't prove me wrong, but you would obviously regard this argument as childish and inane.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @anarchyst
    God is not a real estate agent. The concept of Israel is of the mind and NOT a piece of land...

    “God is not a real estate agent. The concept of Israel is of the mind and NOT a piece of land…”

    God himself repeatedly, clearly, and unmistakably disagrees with you. Says so in the Bible.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    Says so in the Bible.
     
    God Himself repeatedly, clearly, and unmistakably states the Bible is corrupted; says so in the Qur'an.

    Do you see how that works?

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    Without Judaism we would all be barbarians.
     
    Wait - what??!!

    Chinese, Dharmic civilization of India, Mayans...please tell me you have heard of these people. Or are you saying they had no concept of ethics or morality?

    Bro - you are totally not doing your people any favors by saying something like that.

    Peace.

    “Chinese, Dharmic civilization of India, Mayans…please tell me you have heard of these people. Or are you saying they had no concept of ethics or morality?”

    I’m going to define two words. These definitions might not match the dictionary definition, but they will be useful for the purpose of this explanation:

    1. Morality – The universal eternal specific code of human behavior, whose source is the absolute authority known as god, and is equally binding upon all humans.
    2. Ethics – A human attempt to puzzle out morality based on our own intellect.

    There have been many great humans throughout history who achieved many great things in the area of ethics. They are wise. Their words should be studied and practiced. They should be respected. However, what they say is merely the best that human intellect has to offer. Often they hit the mark, but sometimes they can get things awfuly wrong. However, morality, that is actually knowing what the truth is and putting it into practice rather than theorizing about the truth without knowing, is uniquely Jewish. The reason it exists is because we got to god first and he subsequently chose to reveal himself to us and use us to spread the knowledge around. This doesn’t mean that God couldn’t or didn’t reveal himself to other people around the world. We ourselves have documented at least 2 cases of true prophets who weren’t Jews. Not to mention that people can simply find at least fragments of the truth on their own. All religions contain at least a fragment of the truth (and might even contain pieces that we are missing), and probably the more monotheistic they are the more truth they will contain. So if a religion is based on the words of a true prophet it will contain a lot of truth, some of which might even be missing from Judaism. It will probably also contain elements that only belong to the nation that created that religion, and probably, although not necessarily, also some false elements too. The difference with Judaism is that all other religions are based on an individual or a small group of individuals who then go and teach everyone else, while Judaism is based on the direct communication from God to the entire nation.

    tl;dr – Other religions can also be true, but Jews are the pioneers and have a solid base, and we have top down knowledge from God rather than trying to put it together from scratch and maybe getting it wrong sometimes (it doesn’t mean we never get it wrong, but thankfully God set up a system for dealing with that too).

    “Based on common practice, I would say the commandments were meant to be applied only to the in-group. The universal application of morality, introduced by Plato and his successors, especially Immanuel Kant, is one of the pillars of Western (i.e., not Judeo-Christian) civilization.”

    Jews are the pioneers championing the idea, and have a different set of rules that govern every tiny aspect of our lives. However the idea we are championing is not that everyone becomes like us, but that everyone becomes civilized. Christianity did a lot to promote this. So did some secular philosophies that developed independently of us, but a secular philosophy that exists without being connected to the source of moral authority has shallow roots and can be much more easily forgotten, warped, or discarded.

    The goal is to make the world civilized. The most important thing is that people behave morally. What their motivation for doing so is is a secondary issue at most. If people act morally because secular ethics teach them to do so, that’s great! If they act morally because Christianity teaches them to be good and kind and compassionate, that’s great! The only reason I’m getting into this argument rather than just leave Christians be to be the good faithful people that they are is because someone attacked Judaism for not conforming to Christianity.

    Just like what I said about the messiah, it’s all about results. If you follow the basic rules of decent behavior, regardless of your reasons for doing so, you merit an afterlife according to your beliefs or philosophy.

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    • LOL: iffen
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    1. Morality – The universal eternal specific code of human behavior, whose source is the absolute authority known as god, and is equally binding upon all humans.
     
    I would agree with this - for us, it is called the Shariah (which linguistically means something along the lines of the 'well-trodden path').

    is uniquely Jewish
     
    No it is not, it is available to any people who received Divine guidance from prophets (who you recognize can come outside of your group). They may not have been able to preserve it as well, but that is a different question.

    The reason it exists is because we got to god first and he subsequently chose to reveal himself to us and use us to spread the knowledge around.
     
    You are talking about things you believe as if they are factually provable. You already acknowledge others can and did receive revelation, so what proof do you have that you were the first? Lack of evidence to the contrary is not proof. For instance in the Qur'an, it is stated that Abraham (pbuh) was given a written revelation - it is not around now, nor do we have proof for it other than the Qur'an mentioning it. You have zero evidence that the prophets sent to the North Americans or Europeans or East Asians did not precede the Abrahamic revelation, thus you have no proof He revealed Himself to Bani Israel first.

    So if a religion is based on the words of a true prophet it will contain a lot of truth, some of which might even be missing from Judaism.
     
    Exactly, which means that the claim to uniqueness doesn't hold up - though we will readily admit, even by our scripture, Bani Israel was granted many more well-known prophets than any other nation - so they are unique in that regard. Of course, we claim them too (along with any/all other historic prophets), but that's a separate issue.

    Other religions can also be true, but Jews are the pioneers and have a solid base, and we have top down knowledge from God rather than trying to put it together from scratch and maybe getting it wrong sometimes
     
    This is contradictory; if other religions are true (or fragments of them) then, by necessity, they too were given it directly from God and did not simply make it up. They may have screwed things up later, but we are talking about the source.

    but a secular philosophy that exists without being connected to the source of moral authority has shallow roots
     
    Will agree here.

    If you follow the basic rules of decent behavior, regardless of your reasons for doing so, you merit an afterlife according to your beliefs or philosophy.
     
    Interesting - so are you saying anyone can enter Paradise as long as they follow the 'golden rule'?

    Peace.

    Friendly note: I would avoid saying 'Jews did this...' and 'We Jews that...' - it is better to always give credit to God completely:
    "...And they shall say: 'Praise be to God, who hath guided us to this - never could we have found guidance, had it not been for the guidance of God. Indeed it was the truth that the messengers of our Lord brought to us..." (7:43)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Gabriel M
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sacrifice_in_pre-Columbian_cultures#Maya_culture

    In 2005 a mass grave of one- to two-year-old sacrificed children was found in the Maya region of Comalcalco. The sacrifices were apparently performed for consecration purposes when building temples at the Comalcalco acropolis.[2]
     
    You are perfectly correct about Chinese culture, which achieved a very high level of ethical sophistication at an early stage, but its global impact was close to nil. You can more or less study the history of the world outside China without knowing China even existed. Most of the stuff we "know" about the ancient religions of the Indian subcontinent turns out, when you look into it, to be kind of made up, so it's hard to comment, but, frankly, what the British found when they turned up wasn't much to write home about.


    Anyway, I assume plontz was using the term "barbarians" inaccurately, but not unusually, to mean "not possessing what we would recognize as morality". He's not so far off; Tacitus lists among the odd customs of the the Jews that they did not practice infanticide. Maybe they would have got the memo anyway if it wasn't for Christianity, but I'm inclined to doubt it.

    Hey Gabriel,

    Yuck – I guess you learn something new every day – I thought that was an Aztec thing, oh well. I know the pagan Arabs did this as well – just with females.

    Few points…

    “not possessing what we would recognize as morality”

    I have seen this before, truth requires precision, and this is not necessarily a sound yardstick on its own (we, and our sensibilities, are a product of our times):
    “An older tradition appears to be that the punishment for adultery was stoning: the lighter offenses of the unvirginal bride (Deut. 22:21) and of the betrothed woman and her adulterer (Deut. 22:24) were punished by stoning, and the severer offense of adultery would certainly not have carried a lighter punishment. Stoning of adulteresses is moreover vouched for in prophetic allegories (e.g., Ezek. 6:38–40) and is described in the New Testament as commanded by the Law of Moses (John 8:5). In the aggravated case of adultery by a priest’s daughter, the adulteress was burned (Lev. 21:9), while the adulterer remained liable to strangulation (Sif. 5:19). Burning is provided for another similar offense (Lev. 20:14) and is also found in prophetic allegory (e.g., Ezek. 23:25; Nah. 3:15).”

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/adultery-2

    I believe each culture needs to be viewed holistically and cannot simply be tossed aside or discounted because of certain exceptions.

    The reason I disagreed with plontz is because our tradition differs in this particular respect from what we have on record (though we are not confident in its veracity) through Judaism and Christianity. From what they convey, Divine guidance is the lot of Bani Isaac exclusively and the rest of the world has been left to its own designs.

    From what we have been taught; Divine guidance was never the monopoly of the Semites (of this we are certain):
    “Verily! We have sent you with the truth, a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner. And there never was a nation but a warner had passed among them.” (35:24)

    “Of some messengers We have already told you the story; of others We have not – and to Moses God spoke directly.” (4:164)

    Certain hadith (though they are weak in their chain of transmission) mention over a 100 thousand guides sent to all of mankind. It may be possible that men like Confucius, Zoroaster, the Buddha, Aristotle, etc. might have been prophets to their people. We just don’t know for sure, nor are we confident that everything transmitted from them is accurate or sound – it may have easily been corrupted over time. Thus, a message that starts out pure, eventually is diluted with impurities (like infanticide, polytheism, etc.) while still retaining other good qualities which were hold-overs from the pure source. As the late Shaykh Abul Hasan Nadwi (ra) wrote; all goodness present anywhere in mankind can be traced back to the teachings of God’s many emissaries. We are indebted to them for the sacrifices they made – all of them (the European [that's right White people - God was not remiss about you either], Asian, African, Aboriginal, etc.) – some of them humanity has forgotten because they were not as successful, but God has not:
    “The nations were displayed in front of me and I saw one prophet passing by with a large group of his followers, and another prophet passing by with only a small group of people, and another prophet passing by with only ten (followers), and another prophet passing by with only five (followers), and another prophet passed by alone…” – reported in Bukhari

    “God has written, ‘I will surely triumph, I and My messengers.’ Indeed, God is Powerful and Exalted in Might.” (58:21)

    So…

    If plontz had stated:
    “God conveyed the concept of morality to the world through His emissaries, and morality is the basis of civilization. Without them we would all be barbarians or worse.”

    I would have had no problem.

    Peace.

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  • @iffen
    one of the pillars of Western (i.e., not Judeo-Christian) civilization.

    You say tomato, I say .........

    You say tomato, I say ………

    It’s more like “apples and…

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Gabriel M
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sacrifice_in_pre-Columbian_cultures#Maya_culture

    In 2005 a mass grave of one- to two-year-old sacrificed children was found in the Maya region of Comalcalco. The sacrifices were apparently performed for consecration purposes when building temples at the Comalcalco acropolis.[2]
     
    You are perfectly correct about Chinese culture, which achieved a very high level of ethical sophistication at an early stage, but its global impact was close to nil. You can more or less study the history of the world outside China without knowing China even existed. Most of the stuff we "know" about the ancient religions of the Indian subcontinent turns out, when you look into it, to be kind of made up, so it's hard to comment, but, frankly, what the British found when they turned up wasn't much to write home about.


    Anyway, I assume plontz was using the term "barbarians" inaccurately, but not unusually, to mean "not possessing what we would recognize as morality". He's not so far off; Tacitus lists among the odd customs of the the Jews that they did not practice infanticide. Maybe they would have got the memo anyway if it wasn't for Christianity, but I'm inclined to doubt it.

    We note that Abraham’s response to God in Genesis 22 was not: huh?

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  • @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    Without Judaism we would all be barbarians.
     
    Wait - what??!!

    Chinese, Dharmic civilization of India, Mayans...please tell me you have heard of these people. Or are you saying they had no concept of ethics or morality?

    Bro - you are totally not doing your people any favors by saying something like that.

    Peace.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sacrifice_in_pre-Columbian_cultures#Maya_culture

    In 2005 a mass grave of one- to two-year-old sacrificed children was found in the Maya region of Comalcalco. The sacrifices were apparently performed for consecration purposes when building temples at the Comalcalco acropolis.[2]

    You are perfectly correct about Chinese culture, which achieved a very high level of ethical sophistication at an early stage, but its global impact was close to nil. You can more or less study the history of the world outside China without knowing China even existed. Most of the stuff we “know” about the ancient religions of the Indian subcontinent turns out, when you look into it, to be kind of made up, so it’s hard to comment, but, frankly, what the British found when they turned up wasn’t much to write home about.

    Anyway, I assume plontz was using the term “barbarians” inaccurately, but not unusually, to mean “not possessing what we would recognize as morality”. He’s not so far off; Tacitus lists among the odd customs of the the Jews that they did not practice infanticide. Maybe they would have got the memo anyway if it wasn’t for Christianity, but I’m inclined to doubt it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    We note that Abraham's response to God in Genesis 22 was not: huh?
    , @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    Yuck - I guess you learn something new every day - I thought that was an Aztec thing, oh well. I know the pagan Arabs did this as well - just with females.

    Few points...

    “not possessing what we would recognize as morality”
     
    I have seen this before, truth requires precision, and this is not necessarily a sound yardstick on its own (we, and our sensibilities, are a product of our times):
    "An older tradition appears to be that the punishment for adultery was stoning: the lighter offenses of the unvirginal bride (Deut. 22:21) and of the betrothed woman and her adulterer (Deut. 22:24) were punished by stoning, and the severer offense of adultery would certainly not have carried a lighter punishment. Stoning of adulteresses is moreover vouched for in prophetic allegories (e.g., Ezek. 6:38–40) and is described in the New Testament as commanded by the Law of Moses (John 8:5). In the aggravated case of adultery by a priest's daughter, the adulteress was burned (Lev. 21:9), while the adulterer remained liable to strangulation (Sif. 5:19). Burning is provided for another similar offense (Lev. 20:14) and is also found in prophetic allegory (e.g., Ezek. 23:25; Nah. 3:15)."
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/adultery-2

    I believe each culture needs to be viewed holistically and cannot simply be tossed aside or discounted because of certain exceptions.

    The reason I disagreed with plontz is because our tradition differs in this particular respect from what we have on record (though we are not confident in its veracity) through Judaism and Christianity. From what they convey, Divine guidance is the lot of Bani Isaac exclusively and the rest of the world has been left to its own designs.

    From what we have been taught; Divine guidance was never the monopoly of the Semites (of this we are certain):
    "Verily! We have sent you with the truth, a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner. And there never was a nation but a warner had passed among them." (35:24)

    "Of some messengers We have already told you the story; of others We have not - and to Moses God spoke directly." (4:164)

    Certain hadith (though they are weak in their chain of transmission) mention over a 100 thousand guides sent to all of mankind. It may be possible that men like Confucius, Zoroaster, the Buddha, Aristotle, etc. might have been prophets to their people. We just don't know for sure, nor are we confident that everything transmitted from them is accurate or sound - it may have easily been corrupted over time. Thus, a message that starts out pure, eventually is diluted with impurities (like infanticide, polytheism, etc.) while still retaining other good qualities which were hold-overs from the pure source. As the late Shaykh Abul Hasan Nadwi (ra) wrote; all goodness present anywhere in mankind can be traced back to the teachings of God's many emissaries. We are indebted to them for the sacrifices they made - all of them (the European [that's right White people - God was not remiss about you either], Asian, African, Aboriginal, etc.) - some of them humanity has forgotten because they were not as successful, but God has not:
    "The nations were displayed in front of me and I saw one prophet passing by with a large group of his followers, and another prophet passing by with only a small group of people, and another prophet passing by with only ten (followers), and another prophet passing by with only five (followers), and another prophet passed by alone..." - reported in Bukhari

    "God has written, 'I will surely triumph, I and My messengers.' Indeed, God is Powerful and Exalted in Might." (58:21)

    So...

    If plontz had stated:
    "God conveyed the concept of morality to the world through His emissaries, and morality is the basis of civilization. Without them we would all be barbarians or worse."

    I would have had no problem.

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    You know - sometimes I'm besides myself. I mean, I've seen some Muslim commentators say really whacky things, but I just cannot understand why someone would type the stuff they type - at least from a Muslim perspective. Like, do you want them to get pitchforks and torches out and toss us out on our backsides - why are you poking fingers in everyone's eyes for no reason? I'm not talking about covering up the truth or anything - I don't think we have anything to hide and have a rock solid foundation. But, just saying incendiary stuff for no good reason...makes you wonder though with this anonymity stuff...

    Peace.

    Agent provocateur

    I am going to keep in mind to be on the lookout for the earliest occurrences in history.

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  • @iffen
    Bro – you are totally not doing your people any favors by saying something like that.

    Maybe JR is right and there really are false flaggers and unicorns. :)

    You know – sometimes I’m besides myself. I mean, I’ve seen some Muslim commentators say really whacky things, but I just cannot understand why someone would type the stuff they type – at least from a Muslim perspective. Like, do you want them to get pitchforks and torches out and toss us out on our backsides – why are you poking fingers in everyone’s eyes for no reason? I’m not talking about covering up the truth or anything – I don’t think we have anything to hide and have a rock solid foundation. But, just saying incendiary stuff for no good reason…makes you wonder though with this anonymity stuff…

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    Agent provocateur

    I am going to keep in mind to be on the lookout for the earliest occurrences in history.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AaronB
    That's true - loving your neighbor is a Jewish teaching, but loving your enemies is not found in Judaism, but is specifically Christian (and Buddhist, Hindu, and Taoist - I don't know about Islam, but I bet it's there somewhere among the Sufis).

    In fact, hating your enemies and "evil" people is a very Jewish virtue. I was reading an article in a Christian magazine, First Things I believe, in which Rabbi Aaron Soloveichick (I think it was him) wrote very eloquently and passionately about the Jewish virtue of hating your enemies, to the consternation and chagrin of his Christian readers.

    You're also right that universal truth is timeless - Christian precepts about not returning evil for evil are 2,000 years old, hardly a development of modern "post-tribal" conditions, and Buddhism and Taoism are even earlier.

    Nor is Jewish behavior merely a "bad fit" for modern conditions, as Art implies - Jewish particularism was a potent source of conflict in the ancient world, as well.

    I often wonder if Judaism would benefit from a "reformation" - but then I reflect, it already happened, and is called Christianity.

    Hey AaronB,

    I don’t know about Islam

    I’ve honestly never found an explicit maxim of “love thine enemy” within the Islamic framework, but there is what I would call “want best for your enemy” – if that makes sense. This includes the following maxims:
    1) Be just to your enemy despite enmity:
    “O you who believe – stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just! That is next to piety: and fear God. For God is well-acquainted with all that you do.” (5:8)
    2) Be forgiving of their trespasses:
    “O you who believe – indeed, among your wives and your children are enemies* to you, so beware of them. But if you pardon, and overlook, and forgive – then indeed, God is Forgiving and Merciful.” (64:14)
    3) Pray for them:
    “It was said [when the Muslims were besieging the Tribe of Thaqif at their stronghold of Ta'if], ‘O Messenger of Allah, the arrows of the of Thaqif have pierced us, so pray against them!’ So he said: ‘O Allah! Guide the Thaqif.’” – reported in Tirmidhi
    4) Never make it personal:
    “It may be that God will grant love between you and those whom you (now) hold as enemies. For God has power (over all things); And God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (60:9)
    5) Do your best to repel evil with good:
    “Do not be a people without a will of your own, saying: ‘If the people treat us well, we will treat them well; and if they do wrong, we will do wrong.’ But accustom yourselves to do good if people do good, and not to do wrong if they do evil.” – reported in Tirmidhi

    That, of course does not mean you do not fight your enemies, but that you are always hopeful for the best outcome for them (from a spiritual perspective – you can’t obviously be fighting them and pray for their material victory – that’s just incoherent).

    Peace.

    *This was when the wives and children of the early Muslims still did not convert and were antagonistic to their faith.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @LarryS
    When will Israel define its border? Is it Genesis 15:18 from the river in Egypt to the Euphrates river in Iraq? Didn't God make His covenant conditional on the obedience of Abraham's offspring? Deuteronomy 28. Does the modern, secular state called Israel have a living prophet telling the Jews to take the land away from the people living there? The 10 tribes of the Kingdom of Israel were conquered and assimilated in 722 BC leaving the southern Kingdom of Judah (and the tribe of Benjamin). They were conquered in 586 BC. Later Judeans (Jews) returned to Judea. The land today should rightfully be called Judea, not Israel, and of course Jews should be allowed to live there. But I disagree that it should be a solely Jewish state. Also, I do not believe that the modern, secular state called Israel has anything to do with the Second Coming of Christ. Modern Israel was created by the UN in 1948 and is not the Israel of the Bible.

    God is not a real estate agent. The concept of Israel is of the mind and NOT a piece of land…

    Read More
    • Replies: @plontz
    "God is not a real estate agent. The concept of Israel is of the mind and NOT a piece of land…"

    God himself repeatedly, clearly, and unmistakably disagrees with you. Says so in the Bible.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    Without Judaism we would all be barbarians.
     
    Wait - what??!!

    Chinese, Dharmic civilization of India, Mayans...please tell me you have heard of these people. Or are you saying they had no concept of ethics or morality?

    Bro - you are totally not doing your people any favors by saying something like that.

    Peace.

    Bro – you are totally not doing your people any favors by saying something like that.

    Maybe JR is right and there really are false flaggers and unicorns. :)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    You know - sometimes I'm besides myself. I mean, I've seen some Muslim commentators say really whacky things, but I just cannot understand why someone would type the stuff they type - at least from a Muslim perspective. Like, do you want them to get pitchforks and torches out and toss us out on our backsides - why are you poking fingers in everyone's eyes for no reason? I'm not talking about covering up the truth or anything - I don't think we have anything to hide and have a rock solid foundation. But, just saying incendiary stuff for no good reason...makes you wonder though with this anonymity stuff...

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @geokat62

    Judaism introduces the concept of morality to the world, and morality is the basis of civilization. Without Judaism we would all be barbarians.
     
    Based on common practice, I would say the commandments were meant to be applied only to the in-group. The universal application of morality, introduced by Plato and his successors, especially Immanuel Kant, is one of the pillars of Western (i.e., not Judeo-Christian) civilization.

    one of the pillars of Western (i.e., not Judeo-Christian) civilization.

    You say tomato, I say ………

    Read More
    • Replies: @geokat62

    You say tomato, I say ………
     
    It's more like "apples and...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @plontz
    Jews don't teach to hate. We teach rigorous self-defense, which includes preemption. Loving your enemies is suicide. If someone is trying to kill you then you've got to fight back.

    Jews are a nation. Erasing national identity is not only incredibly sad, it's a disaster. This is true for all nations, of course. Every nation should be free in its own homeland, develop its own unique culture, and have its own religion.

    Judaism introduces the concept of morality to the world, and morality is the basis of civilization. Without Judaism we would all be barbarians.

    Christianity is a big step up from paganism, but it's a big step down from Judaism, and it is provably false, but Christians are either unaware of the facts or they repress them, thinking that reality is what you choose to believe in rather than something objective.

    Hey plontz,

    Without Judaism we would all be barbarians.

    Wait – what??!!

    Chinese, Dharmic civilization of India, Mayans…please tell me you have heard of these people. Or are you saying they had no concept of ethics or morality?

    Bro – you are totally not doing your people any favors by saying something like that.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    Bro – you are totally not doing your people any favors by saying something like that.

    Maybe JR is right and there really are false flaggers and unicorns. :)

    , @Gabriel M
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sacrifice_in_pre-Columbian_cultures#Maya_culture

    In 2005 a mass grave of one- to two-year-old sacrificed children was found in the Maya region of Comalcalco. The sacrifices were apparently performed for consecration purposes when building temples at the Comalcalco acropolis.[2]
     
    You are perfectly correct about Chinese culture, which achieved a very high level of ethical sophistication at an early stage, but its global impact was close to nil. You can more or less study the history of the world outside China without knowing China even existed. Most of the stuff we "know" about the ancient religions of the Indian subcontinent turns out, when you look into it, to be kind of made up, so it's hard to comment, but, frankly, what the British found when they turned up wasn't much to write home about.


    Anyway, I assume plontz was using the term "barbarians" inaccurately, but not unusually, to mean "not possessing what we would recognize as morality". He's not so far off; Tacitus lists among the odd customs of the the Jews that they did not practice infanticide. Maybe they would have got the memo anyway if it wasn't for Christianity, but I'm inclined to doubt it.
    , @plontz
    "Chinese, Dharmic civilization of India, Mayans…please tell me you have heard of these people. Or are you saying they had no concept of ethics or morality?"

    I'm going to define two words. These definitions might not match the dictionary definition, but they will be useful for the purpose of this explanation:

    1. Morality - The universal eternal specific code of human behavior, whose source is the absolute authority known as god, and is equally binding upon all humans.
    2. Ethics - A human attempt to puzzle out morality based on our own intellect.

    There have been many great humans throughout history who achieved many great things in the area of ethics. They are wise. Their words should be studied and practiced. They should be respected. However, what they say is merely the best that human intellect has to offer. Often they hit the mark, but sometimes they can get things awfuly wrong. However, morality, that is actually knowing what the truth is and putting it into practice rather than theorizing about the truth without knowing, is uniquely Jewish. The reason it exists is because we got to god first and he subsequently chose to reveal himself to us and use us to spread the knowledge around. This doesn't mean that God couldn't or didn't reveal himself to other people around the world. We ourselves have documented at least 2 cases of true prophets who weren't Jews. Not to mention that people can simply find at least fragments of the truth on their own. All religions contain at least a fragment of the truth (and might even contain pieces that we are missing), and probably the more monotheistic they are the more truth they will contain. So if a religion is based on the words of a true prophet it will contain a lot of truth, some of which might even be missing from Judaism. It will probably also contain elements that only belong to the nation that created that religion, and probably, although not necessarily, also some false elements too. The difference with Judaism is that all other religions are based on an individual or a small group of individuals who then go and teach everyone else, while Judaism is based on the direct communication from God to the entire nation.

    tl;dr - Other religions can also be true, but Jews are the pioneers and have a solid base, and we have top down knowledge from God rather than trying to put it together from scratch and maybe getting it wrong sometimes (it doesn't mean we never get it wrong, but thankfully God set up a system for dealing with that too).

    "Based on common practice, I would say the commandments were meant to be applied only to the in-group. The universal application of morality, introduced by Plato and his successors, especially Immanuel Kant, is one of the pillars of Western (i.e., not Judeo-Christian) civilization."

    Jews are the pioneers championing the idea, and have a different set of rules that govern every tiny aspect of our lives. However the idea we are championing is not that everyone becomes like us, but that everyone becomes civilized. Christianity did a lot to promote this. So did some secular philosophies that developed independently of us, but a secular philosophy that exists without being connected to the source of moral authority has shallow roots and can be much more easily forgotten, warped, or discarded.

    The goal is to make the world civilized. The most important thing is that people behave morally. What their motivation for doing so is is a secondary issue at most. If people act morally because secular ethics teach them to do so, that's great! If they act morally because Christianity teaches them to be good and kind and compassionate, that's great! The only reason I'm getting into this argument rather than just leave Christians be to be the good faithful people that they are is because someone attacked Judaism for not conforming to Christianity.

    Just like what I said about the messiah, it's all about results. If you follow the basic rules of decent behavior, regardless of your reasons for doing so, you merit an afterlife according to your beliefs or philosophy.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @plontz
    Jews don't teach to hate. We teach rigorous self-defense, which includes preemption. Loving your enemies is suicide. If someone is trying to kill you then you've got to fight back.

    Jews are a nation. Erasing national identity is not only incredibly sad, it's a disaster. This is true for all nations, of course. Every nation should be free in its own homeland, develop its own unique culture, and have its own religion.

    Judaism introduces the concept of morality to the world, and morality is the basis of civilization. Without Judaism we would all be barbarians.

    Christianity is a big step up from paganism, but it's a big step down from Judaism, and it is provably false, but Christians are either unaware of the facts or they repress them, thinking that reality is what you choose to believe in rather than something objective.

    Judaism introduces the concept of morality to the world, and morality is the basis of civilization. Without Judaism we would all be barbarians.

    Based on common practice, I would say the commandments were meant to be applied only to the in-group. The universal application of morality, introduced by Plato and his successors, especially Immanuel Kant, is one of the pillars of Western (i.e., not Judeo-Christian) civilization.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    one of the pillars of Western (i.e., not Judeo-Christian) civilization.

    You say tomato, I say .........

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AaronB
    That's true - loving your neighbor is a Jewish teaching, but loving your enemies is not found in Judaism, but is specifically Christian (and Buddhist, Hindu, and Taoist - I don't know about Islam, but I bet it's there somewhere among the Sufis).

    In fact, hating your enemies and "evil" people is a very Jewish virtue. I was reading an article in a Christian magazine, First Things I believe, in which Rabbi Aaron Soloveichick (I think it was him) wrote very eloquently and passionately about the Jewish virtue of hating your enemies, to the consternation and chagrin of his Christian readers.

    You're also right that universal truth is timeless - Christian precepts about not returning evil for evil are 2,000 years old, hardly a development of modern "post-tribal" conditions, and Buddhism and Taoism are even earlier.

    Nor is Jewish behavior merely a "bad fit" for modern conditions, as Art implies - Jewish particularism was a potent source of conflict in the ancient world, as well.

    I often wonder if Judaism would benefit from a "reformation" - but then I reflect, it already happened, and is called Christianity.

    Jews don’t teach to hate. We teach rigorous self-defense, which includes preemption. Loving your enemies is suicide. If someone is trying to kill you then you’ve got to fight back.

    Jews are a nation. Erasing national identity is not only incredibly sad, it’s a disaster. This is true for all nations, of course. Every nation should be free in its own homeland, develop its own unique culture, and have its own religion.

    Judaism introduces the concept of morality to the world, and morality is the basis of civilization. Without Judaism we would all be barbarians.

    Christianity is a big step up from paganism, but it’s a big step down from Judaism, and it is provably false, but Christians are either unaware of the facts or they repress them, thinking that reality is what you choose to believe in rather than something objective.

    Read More
    • LOL: iffen
    • Replies: @geokat62

    Judaism introduces the concept of morality to the world, and morality is the basis of civilization. Without Judaism we would all be barbarians.
     
    Based on common practice, I would say the commandments were meant to be applied only to the in-group. The universal application of morality, introduced by Plato and his successors, especially Immanuel Kant, is one of the pillars of Western (i.e., not Judeo-Christian) civilization.
    , @Talha
    Hey plontz,

    Without Judaism we would all be barbarians.
     
    Wait - what??!!

    Chinese, Dharmic civilization of India, Mayans...please tell me you have heard of these people. Or are you saying they had no concept of ethics or morality?

    Bro - you are totally not doing your people any favors by saying something like that.

    Peace.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @plontz
    Jews have become focused on survival in a hostile world, but Christians don't have a monopoly on loving one's neighbor. That's a Jewish teaching. They don't have a monopoly on peace - Jews have sought peace incessantly, even insanely. And you have no idea what the messiah actually is. The messiah isn't a prophet or an angel or "the son of god". He is called the messiah (meaning: anointed one) because Jewish kings and high priests are anointed with oil. Yes, all the hundreds of high priests and kings were all messiahs. There isn't one messiah. The special Messiah with a capital M is just one of many messiahs who will accomplish a specific task list, and actually in Jewish tradition there are 2 of them for 2 different roles.

    If there is a universal eternal truth then it doesn't matter if it was known a 2000 years ago or not. Since it is universal and eternal then it is just as relevant to the present day as it was relevant in the past.

    That’s true – loving your neighbor is a Jewish teaching, but loving your enemies is not found in Judaism, but is specifically Christian (and Buddhist, Hindu, and Taoist – I don’t know about Islam, but I bet it’s there somewhere among the Sufis).

    In fact, hating your enemies and “evil” people is a very Jewish virtue. I was reading an article in a Christian magazine, First Things I believe, in which Rabbi Aaron Soloveichick (I think it was him) wrote very eloquently and passionately about the Jewish virtue of hating your enemies, to the consternation and chagrin of his Christian readers.

    You’re also right that universal truth is timeless – Christian precepts about not returning evil for evil are 2,000 years old, hardly a development of modern “post-tribal” conditions, and Buddhism and Taoism are even earlier.

    Nor is Jewish behavior merely a “bad fit” for modern conditions, as Art implies – Jewish particularism was a potent source of conflict in the ancient world, as well.

    I often wonder if Judaism would benefit from a “reformation” – but then I reflect, it already happened, and is called Christianity.

    Read More
    • Replies: @plontz
    Jews don't teach to hate. We teach rigorous self-defense, which includes preemption. Loving your enemies is suicide. If someone is trying to kill you then you've got to fight back.

    Jews are a nation. Erasing national identity is not only incredibly sad, it's a disaster. This is true for all nations, of course. Every nation should be free in its own homeland, develop its own unique culture, and have its own religion.

    Judaism introduces the concept of morality to the world, and morality is the basis of civilization. Without Judaism we would all be barbarians.

    Christianity is a big step up from paganism, but it's a big step down from Judaism, and it is provably false, but Christians are either unaware of the facts or they repress them, thinking that reality is what you choose to believe in rather than something objective.
    , @Talha
    Hey AaronB,

    I don’t know about Islam
     
    I've honestly never found an explicit maxim of "love thine enemy" within the Islamic framework, but there is what I would call "want best for your enemy" - if that makes sense. This includes the following maxims:
    1) Be just to your enemy despite enmity:
    "O you who believe - stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just! That is next to piety: and fear God. For God is well-acquainted with all that you do." (5:8)
    2) Be forgiving of their trespasses:
    "O you who believe - indeed, among your wives and your children are enemies* to you, so beware of them. But if you pardon, and overlook, and forgive - then indeed, God is Forgiving and Merciful." (64:14)
    3) Pray for them:
    "It was said [when the Muslims were besieging the Tribe of Thaqif at their stronghold of Ta'if], 'O Messenger of Allah, the arrows of the of Thaqif have pierced us, so pray against them!' So he said: 'O Allah! Guide the Thaqif.'" - reported in Tirmidhi
    4) Never make it personal:
    "It may be that God will grant love between you and those whom you (now) hold as enemies. For God has power (over all things); And God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (60:9)
    5) Do your best to repel evil with good:
    "Do not be a people without a will of your own, saying: 'If the people treat us well, we will treat them well; and if they do wrong, we will do wrong.' But accustom yourselves to do good if people do good, and not to do wrong if they do evil." - reported in Tirmidhi

    That, of course does not mean you do not fight your enemies, but that you are always hopeful for the best outcome for them (from a spiritual perspective - you can't obviously be fighting them and pray for their material victory - that's just incoherent).

    Peace.

    *This was when the wives and children of the early Muslims still did not convert and were antagonistic to their faith.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Art
    My original point was that the solutions of 2000 years ago, are worthless today.

    Ultra-nationalism to the death and messiah chasing are things of the past and are not relevant today. We have other options.

    The Christian option is to love your neighbor. Clearly this is not an option used by the tribal Jews of today. The Western peoples (not their elites) prescribe looking for peace, and for tolerance for difference religious views. No one can say those are the goals of mainstream Jewish thought.

    Peace --- Art

    Jews have become focused on survival in a hostile world, but Christians don’t have a monopoly on loving one’s neighbor. That’s a Jewish teaching. They don’t have a monopoly on peace – Jews have sought peace incessantly, even insanely. And you have no idea what the messiah actually is. The messiah isn’t a prophet or an angel or “the son of god”. He is called the messiah (meaning: anointed one) because Jewish kings and high priests are anointed with oil. Yes, all the hundreds of high priests and kings were all messiahs. There isn’t one messiah. The special Messiah with a capital M is just one of many messiahs who will accomplish a specific task list, and actually in Jewish tradition there are 2 of them for 2 different roles.

    If there is a universal eternal truth then it doesn’t matter if it was known a 2000 years ago or not. Since it is universal and eternal then it is just as relevant to the present day as it was relevant in the past.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    That's true - loving your neighbor is a Jewish teaching, but loving your enemies is not found in Judaism, but is specifically Christian (and Buddhist, Hindu, and Taoist - I don't know about Islam, but I bet it's there somewhere among the Sufis).

    In fact, hating your enemies and "evil" people is a very Jewish virtue. I was reading an article in a Christian magazine, First Things I believe, in which Rabbi Aaron Soloveichick (I think it was him) wrote very eloquently and passionately about the Jewish virtue of hating your enemies, to the consternation and chagrin of his Christian readers.

    You're also right that universal truth is timeless - Christian precepts about not returning evil for evil are 2,000 years old, hardly a development of modern "post-tribal" conditions, and Buddhism and Taoism are even earlier.

    Nor is Jewish behavior merely a "bad fit" for modern conditions, as Art implies - Jewish particularism was a potent source of conflict in the ancient world, as well.

    I often wonder if Judaism would benefit from a "reformation" - but then I reflect, it already happened, and is called Christianity.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @plontz
    So I read that wiki page. A few notes:
    1. Bar Kohva and Ben Kosiva are both different pronunciations of the same name. They are both correct and neither of them is a nickname.
    2. The messiah's entity is measured by results. Bar Kohva was a political leader who restored Jewish independence, therefor meeting the first few requirements for being the messiah, and thus could be assumed to be the messiah. However, he died without completing the list of accomplishments the messiah needs to achieve (and what he did accomplish was undone with his death), so retroactively it was proven that he was never the messiah.
    3. That wiki article seems confused about the timeline.
    4. That wiki article seems unaware of some of the facts:
    a. During the time of the Bar Kohva rebellion a few Roman legions ceased to exist, indicating that the Jews inflicted very heavy casualties on the Romans.
    b. The Romans had a custom of honoring dead soldiers by inscribing difficult battles they participated in on their tombstone. Half of all the Roman tombstones in the relevant period after the war had the inscription "fought in Judea", indicating that the Romans considered the war in Judea to be noteworthy and that half of the entire Roman army was sent to fight in it.
    c. Rome sent the general who was in charge of the war in Scotland (Polonius?) all the way to the opposite end of the empire to put out the Jewish rebellion. Another indication of how tough the Jewish rebellion was. I wonder how the Jewish rebellion affected Scottish history, since they must have gotten 4 years worth of breathing room against the Romans thanks to us?

    In any case, it seems like the rebellion had some impressive achievements against the most powerful empire of its day, even though it ultimately ended in failure.

    5. The article seems to rely on the book of Josephus Flavius when referencing The Great Jewish Rebellion. However I don't think his account can be trusted for the following reasons:
    a. The war started with Shimon Bar Giora and Yohanan of Gush Halav successfully striking against Roman forces stationed near Jerusalem. They came home and were greeted as heroes, but the establishment was afraid of their popularity and cast them aside in favor of appointing cronies. And when people are appointed based on connections rather than ability the results are bad.
    b. Josephus Flavius was one of the elites who were cozy with the Roman elites and was placed in charge of organizing the defense of the Galilee. Like the other establishment cronies he did close to nothing, but he went one step further and when the Roman army showed up he turned coat and helped the Romans conquer the Jews.
    c. Eventually Shimon and Yohanan performed a coup, kicked the establishment out, and took control of the Jewish army. They then waged heroic war and broke the Roman troop several times. If not for the sheer force of Titus's personality the Roman troops would have run away with their tails between their legs.
    d. After the war was over Josephus wrote a "history" book in which he expends every effort to smear the heroic Jewish rebels and praise his barbaric Roman masters, making the book seem less like an objective account and more like a traitor's attempt to manufacture justification for his treason.

    Both rebellions started as a reaction to Roman oppression and persecution. There were several atrocities committed by Romans against Jews in the decades leading up to the first rebellion.

    My original point was that the solutions of 2000 years ago, are worthless today.

    Ultra-nationalism to the death and messiah chasing are things of the past and are not relevant today. We have other options.

    The Christian option is to love your neighbor. Clearly this is not an option used by the tribal Jews of today. The Western peoples (not their elites) prescribe looking for peace, and for tolerance for difference religious views. No one can say those are the goals of mainstream Jewish thought.

    Peace — Art

    Read More
    • Replies: @plontz
    Jews have become focused on survival in a hostile world, but Christians don't have a monopoly on loving one's neighbor. That's a Jewish teaching. They don't have a monopoly on peace - Jews have sought peace incessantly, even insanely. And you have no idea what the messiah actually is. The messiah isn't a prophet or an angel or "the son of god". He is called the messiah (meaning: anointed one) because Jewish kings and high priests are anointed with oil. Yes, all the hundreds of high priests and kings were all messiahs. There isn't one messiah. The special Messiah with a capital M is just one of many messiahs who will accomplish a specific task list, and actually in Jewish tradition there are 2 of them for 2 different roles.

    If there is a universal eternal truth then it doesn't matter if it was known a 2000 years ago or not. Since it is universal and eternal then it is just as relevant to the present day as it was relevant in the past.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @plontz
    So I read that wiki page. A few notes:
    1. Bar Kohva and Ben Kosiva are both different pronunciations of the same name. They are both correct and neither of them is a nickname.
    2. The messiah's entity is measured by results. Bar Kohva was a political leader who restored Jewish independence, therefor meeting the first few requirements for being the messiah, and thus could be assumed to be the messiah. However, he died without completing the list of accomplishments the messiah needs to achieve (and what he did accomplish was undone with his death), so retroactively it was proven that he was never the messiah.
    3. That wiki article seems confused about the timeline.
    4. That wiki article seems unaware of some of the facts:
    a. During the time of the Bar Kohva rebellion a few Roman legions ceased to exist, indicating that the Jews inflicted very heavy casualties on the Romans.
    b. The Romans had a custom of honoring dead soldiers by inscribing difficult battles they participated in on their tombstone. Half of all the Roman tombstones in the relevant period after the war had the inscription "fought in Judea", indicating that the Romans considered the war in Judea to be noteworthy and that half of the entire Roman army was sent to fight in it.
    c. Rome sent the general who was in charge of the war in Scotland (Polonius?) all the way to the opposite end of the empire to put out the Jewish rebellion. Another indication of how tough the Jewish rebellion was. I wonder how the Jewish rebellion affected Scottish history, since they must have gotten 4 years worth of breathing room against the Romans thanks to us?

    In any case, it seems like the rebellion had some impressive achievements against the most powerful empire of its day, even though it ultimately ended in failure.

    5. The article seems to rely on the book of Josephus Flavius when referencing The Great Jewish Rebellion. However I don't think his account can be trusted for the following reasons:
    a. The war started with Shimon Bar Giora and Yohanan of Gush Halav successfully striking against Roman forces stationed near Jerusalem. They came home and were greeted as heroes, but the establishment was afraid of their popularity and cast them aside in favor of appointing cronies. And when people are appointed based on connections rather than ability the results are bad.
    b. Josephus Flavius was one of the elites who were cozy with the Roman elites and was placed in charge of organizing the defense of the Galilee. Like the other establishment cronies he did close to nothing, but he went one step further and when the Roman army showed up he turned coat and helped the Romans conquer the Jews.
    c. Eventually Shimon and Yohanan performed a coup, kicked the establishment out, and took control of the Jewish army. They then waged heroic war and broke the Roman troop several times. If not for the sheer force of Titus's personality the Roman troops would have run away with their tails between their legs.
    d. After the war was over Josephus wrote a "history" book in which he expends every effort to smear the heroic Jewish rebels and praise his barbaric Roman masters, making the book seem less like an objective account and more like a traitor's attempt to manufacture justification for his treason.

    Both rebellions started as a reaction to Roman oppression and persecution. There were several atrocities committed by Romans against Jews in the decades leading up to the first rebellion.

    Hey plotz,

    Good stuff – Bani Israel rocking the pagan empire – love it! Reminds me a bit about the Punic Wars (though on a more localized scale) which also ultimately ended in Rome’s favor – empire strikes back…what can you do?

    Peace.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Art
    And I’m not sure that the wiki you’re quoting has the full and correct information.

    Simon bar Kokhba

    Simon bar Kokhba (Hebrew: שמעון בר כוכבא‎‎; died 135 CE) was the Jewish leader of what is known as the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 CE, establishing an independent Jewish state which he ruled for three years as Nasi ("Prince"). His state was conquered by the Romans in 135 following a two and half-year war.[a]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_bar_Kokhba
     

    So I read that wiki page. A few notes:
    1. Bar Kohva and Ben Kosiva are both different pronunciations of the same name. They are both correct and neither of them is a nickname.
    2. The messiah’s entity is measured by results. Bar Kohva was a political leader who restored Jewish independence, therefor meeting the first few requirements for being the messiah, and thus could be assumed to be the messiah. However, he died without completing the list of accomplishments the messiah needs to achieve (and what he did accomplish was undone with his death), so retroactively it was proven that he was never the messiah.
    3. That wiki article seems confused about the timeline.
    4. That wiki article seems unaware of some of the facts:
    a. During the time of the Bar Kohva rebellion a few Roman legions ceased to exist, indicating that the Jews inflicted very heavy casualties on the Romans.
    b. The Romans had a custom of honoring dead soldiers by inscribing difficult battles they participated in on their tombstone. Half of all the Roman tombstones in the relevant period after the war had the inscription “fought in Judea”, indicating that the Romans considered the war in Judea to be noteworthy and that half of the entire Roman army was sent to fight in it.
    c. Rome sent the general who was in charge of the war in Scotland (Polonius?) all the way to the opposite end of the empire to put out the Jewish rebellion. Another indication of how tough the Jewish rebellion was. I wonder how the Jewish rebellion affected Scottish history, since they must have gotten 4 years worth of breathing room against the Romans thanks to us?

    In any case, it seems like the rebellion had some impressive achievements against the most powerful empire of its day, even though it ultimately ended in failure.

    5. The article seems to rely on the book of Josephus Flavius when referencing The Great Jewish Rebellion. However I don’t think his account can be trusted for the following reasons:
    a. The war started with Shimon Bar Giora and Yohanan of Gush Halav successfully striking against Roman forces stationed near Jerusalem. They came home and were greeted as heroes, but the establishment was afraid of their popularity and cast them aside in favor of appointing cronies. And when people are appointed based on connections rather than ability the results are bad.
    b. Josephus Flavius was one of the elites who were cozy with the Roman elites and was placed in charge of organizing the defense of the Galilee. Like the other establishment cronies he did close to nothing, but he went one step further and when the Roman army showed up he turned coat and helped the Romans conquer the Jews.
    c. Eventually Shimon and Yohanan performed a coup, kicked the establishment out, and took control of the Jewish army. They then waged heroic war and broke the Roman troop several times. If not for the sheer force of Titus’s personality the Roman troops would have run away with their tails between their legs.
    d. After the war was over Josephus wrote a “history” book in which he expends every effort to smear the heroic Jewish rebels and praise his barbaric Roman masters, making the book seem less like an objective account and more like a traitor’s attempt to manufacture justification for his treason.

    Both rebellions started as a reaction to Roman oppression and persecution. There were several atrocities committed by Romans against Jews in the decades leading up to the first rebellion.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey plotz,

    Good stuff - Bani Israel rocking the pagan empire - love it! Reminds me a bit about the Punic Wars (though on a more localized scale) which also ultimately ended in Rome's favor - empire strikes back...what can you do?

    Peace.
    , @Art
    My original point was that the solutions of 2000 years ago, are worthless today.

    Ultra-nationalism to the death and messiah chasing are things of the past and are not relevant today. We have other options.

    The Christian option is to love your neighbor. Clearly this is not an option used by the tribal Jews of today. The Western peoples (not their elites) prescribe looking for peace, and for tolerance for difference religious views. No one can say those are the goals of mainstream Jewish thought.

    Peace --- Art

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  • @plontz
    You can't have peace when there is persecution. And I'm not sure that the wiki you're quoting has the full and correct information.

    And I’m not sure that the wiki you’re quoting has the full and correct information.

    Simon bar Kokhba

    Simon bar Kokhba (Hebrew: שמעון בר כוכבא‎‎; died 135 CE) was the Jewish leader of what is known as the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 CE, establishing an independent Jewish state which he ruled for three years as Nasi (“Prince”). His state was conquered by the Romans in 135 following a two and half-year war.[a]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_bar_Kokhba

    Read More
    • Replies: @plontz
    So I read that wiki page. A few notes:
    1. Bar Kohva and Ben Kosiva are both different pronunciations of the same name. They are both correct and neither of them is a nickname.
    2. The messiah's entity is measured by results. Bar Kohva was a political leader who restored Jewish independence, therefor meeting the first few requirements for being the messiah, and thus could be assumed to be the messiah. However, he died without completing the list of accomplishments the messiah needs to achieve (and what he did accomplish was undone with his death), so retroactively it was proven that he was never the messiah.
    3. That wiki article seems confused about the timeline.
    4. That wiki article seems unaware of some of the facts:
    a. During the time of the Bar Kohva rebellion a few Roman legions ceased to exist, indicating that the Jews inflicted very heavy casualties on the Romans.
    b. The Romans had a custom of honoring dead soldiers by inscribing difficult battles they participated in on their tombstone. Half of all the Roman tombstones in the relevant period after the war had the inscription "fought in Judea", indicating that the Romans considered the war in Judea to be noteworthy and that half of the entire Roman army was sent to fight in it.
    c. Rome sent the general who was in charge of the war in Scotland (Polonius?) all the way to the opposite end of the empire to put out the Jewish rebellion. Another indication of how tough the Jewish rebellion was. I wonder how the Jewish rebellion affected Scottish history, since they must have gotten 4 years worth of breathing room against the Romans thanks to us?

    In any case, it seems like the rebellion had some impressive achievements against the most powerful empire of its day, even though it ultimately ended in failure.

    5. The article seems to rely on the book of Josephus Flavius when referencing The Great Jewish Rebellion. However I don't think his account can be trusted for the following reasons:
    a. The war started with Shimon Bar Giora and Yohanan of Gush Halav successfully striking against Roman forces stationed near Jerusalem. They came home and were greeted as heroes, but the establishment was afraid of their popularity and cast them aside in favor of appointing cronies. And when people are appointed based on connections rather than ability the results are bad.
    b. Josephus Flavius was one of the elites who were cozy with the Roman elites and was placed in charge of organizing the defense of the Galilee. Like the other establishment cronies he did close to nothing, but he went one step further and when the Roman army showed up he turned coat and helped the Romans conquer the Jews.
    c. Eventually Shimon and Yohanan performed a coup, kicked the establishment out, and took control of the Jewish army. They then waged heroic war and broke the Roman troop several times. If not for the sheer force of Titus's personality the Roman troops would have run away with their tails between their legs.
    d. After the war was over Josephus wrote a "history" book in which he expends every effort to smear the heroic Jewish rebels and praise his barbaric Roman masters, making the book seem less like an objective account and more like a traitor's attempt to manufacture justification for his treason.

    Both rebellions started as a reaction to Roman oppression and persecution. There were several atrocities committed by Romans against Jews in the decades leading up to the first rebellion.

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  • @Art
    The second rebellion, the Bar Cochba rebellion, lasted 3.5 years.

    Golly Gee - This is Jew glory?


    Wiki: The second Jewish rebellion took place 60 years after the first and established an independent state lasting three years. For many Jews of the time, this turn of events was heralded as the long hoped for Messianic Age. The excitement was short-lived, however, and after a brief span of glory, the revolt was crushed by the Roman legions

    ... ... ...

    Bar Kokhba took up refuge in the fortress of Betar. The Romans eventually captured it after laying siege to the city for three and a half years, and they killed all the defenders except for one Jewish youth whose life was spared.
     

    Not too smart. Peace is better! (And more intelligent.)

    Peace --- Art

    You can’t have peace when there is persecution. And I’m not sure that the wiki you’re quoting has the full and correct information.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art
    And I’m not sure that the wiki you’re quoting has the full and correct information.

    Simon bar Kokhba

    Simon bar Kokhba (Hebrew: שמעון בר כוכבא‎‎; died 135 CE) was the Jewish leader of what is known as the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 CE, establishing an independent Jewish state which he ruled for three years as Nasi ("Prince"). His state was conquered by the Romans in 135 following a two and half-year war.[a]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_bar_Kokhba
     

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  • @Dean

    2000 years ago the Jew culture got itself sacked by Rome.
     
    Sure it did. And now Jewish kids read about the Romans in history books.


    It is amazing how the Jews can get pathologically and so blindly stuck on themselves.
     
    Pathologically, blindly, whatever. The fact that so many people (e.g. in this forum) are obsessed with this tiny nation of ~15 million people and their tiny-tiny country is enough to make you wonder.

    Roman civilization lives-on in the West today. The Roman fasces, rods bundled together, have been a symbol of how white men organize themselves into State-level politics to defend his blood and soil. Even today, the Roman fasces are found today all over the United States, from the Senate chambers to the reverse of the dime coin—not just in history books.

    As to those in the current year who recoil from Roman fascism in our Western culture, it must be noted that even Austrian economic theory accepts the fascist war axe as an expedient against Bolshie expansion.

    It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aimed at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has for the moment saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history.

    -Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism, section I:10

    Unfortunately, Western fascism lost, the Bolshies and their Allies won, and the GW (Good War) narrative has become the favorite of ANTIFA (anti-fascist/anti-western) activists today.

    Perhaps that GW narrative can be best symbolized by today’s dime fasces, while still present, being manipulated into looking rather like a torch handle.

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  • @mcohen
    interesting obsession,mostly since the internet,social conditioning for the ignorant.

    peace-art

    interesting obsession,mostly since the internet,social conditioning for the ignorant.

    You Jews do not like freedom of speech – do you!

    You have to control everything – otherwise people will get to the truth of your misdeeds.

    Your endless screeds of guilt will not function in a free society – will they?

    Jesus said “the truth will set you free” – you Jews should try it. We will let you – we will help you.

    Peace — Art

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  • @Dean
    You totally missed my point. Certainly speaking Hebrew is not the criterion of being part of the Jewish nation and I was not advocating reading the bible in any language. I was just trying to prove to @jacques sheete that the Jewish nation is indeed some 3,000 years old and one (if not the) oldest nations in the world.

    And just for your information, Hebrew kids in Israel actually speak Hebrew as their mother tongue, and not "exclusively for the sake of reading the bible, and with a racist intend".

    And of course, thank you for the article from the economist. I have no idea how this has anything to do with the discussion here.

    “Jewish nation” and reading the bible…”
    Wikipedia: “Biblical Hebrew as preserved in the Hebrew Bible is composed of multiple linguistic layers…. Hebrew had already ceased being used as a spoken language around 200 CE… The Israelite tribes who settled in the land of Israel adopted the Phoenician script around the 12th century BCE… This script developed into the Paleo-Hebrew script in the 10th or 9th centuries BCE….The ancient Hebrew script was in continuous use until the early 6th century BCE, the end of the First Temple period. In the Second Temple Period the Paleo-Hebrew script gradually fell into disuse, and was completely abandoned among the Jews after the failed Bar Kochba revolt… Spoken in ancient times, Hebrew, a Canaanite language, was supplanted as the Jewish vernacular by the western dialect of Aramaic beginning in the third century BCE… It was revived as a spoken language in the 19th and 20th centuries”
    More: http://ling.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/alumni%20senior%20essays/Freeburg,%20Elizabeth%20-%20Senior%20Essay.pdf
    “Language does not exist in a political vacuum… The connection between the Hebrew revival, Zionism, and Jewish “[efforts] to retain or regain their political autonomy, their land base, or at least their own sense of identity” is obvious.”
    1. Colonialism. 2. The use of the US to farther the ethnocentric agenda.

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  • @Dean

    2000 years ago the Jew culture got itself sacked by Rome.
     
    Sure it did. And now Jewish kids read about the Romans in history books.


    It is amazing how the Jews can get pathologically and so blindly stuck on themselves.
     
    Pathologically, blindly, whatever. The fact that so many people (e.g. in this forum) are obsessed with this tiny nation of ~15 million people and their tiny-tiny country is enough to make you wonder.

    Pathologically, blindly, whatever. The fact that so many people (e.g. in this forum) are obsessed with this tiny nation of ~15 million people and their tiny-tiny country is enough to make you wonder.

    Please – that statement is disingenuous – it is dishonest.

    What insignificant tiny-tiny country has 200 nukes?

    What insignificant tiny-tiny country controls congress and the president of the most powerful country on the planet?

    Peace — Art

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  • @plontz
    There were 2 major Jewish revolts against Rome. In both cases Rome was persecuting the Jews and the Jews responded with open rebellion. In the first case, The Great Jewish Rebellion, the "elites" took over the rebellion, mismanaged it, and the rebels suffered from widespread treason. The commander of the Gallilee switched sides and helped Rome conquer Judea, then after the war he wrote a "history" book smearing the rebels and praising the Romans. This rebellion lasted 7 years and ended in the destruction of the temple.

    The second rebellion, the Bar Cochba rebellion, lasted 3.5 years. This time the Jews were united and the seriously kicked Roman butt. Half of all the legions in the Roman empire were sent to Judea, a few of them got completely wiped out, and Rome reassigned its top general all the way from the war in Scotland to Judea. This is the war that Rabbi Akiva was involved in, and it took place about 60 years after the previous one. Although the Jews failed to establish permanent independence the achieved their first goal, which was ending the persecution.

    The second rebellion, the Bar Cochba rebellion, lasted 3.5 years.

    Golly Gee – This is Jew glory?

    Wiki: The second Jewish rebellion took place 60 years after the first and established an independent state lasting three years. For many Jews of the time, this turn of events was heralded as the long hoped for Messianic Age. The excitement was short-lived, however, and after a brief span of glory, the revolt was crushed by the Roman legions

    … … …

    Bar Kokhba took up refuge in the fortress of Betar. The Romans eventually captured it after laying siege to the city for three and a half years, and they killed all the defenders except for one Jewish youth whose life was spared.

    Not too smart. Peace is better! (And more intelligent.)

    Peace — Art

    Read More
    • Replies: @plontz
    You can't have peace when there is persecution. And I'm not sure that the wiki you're quoting has the full and correct information.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • interesting obsession,mostly since the internet,social conditioning for the ignorant.

    peace-art

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art
    interesting obsession,mostly since the internet,social conditioning for the ignorant.

    You Jews do not like freedom of speech - do you!

    You have to control everything - otherwise people will get to the truth of your misdeeds.

    Your endless screeds of guilt will not function in a free society - will they?

    Jesus said "the truth will set you free" - you Jews should try it. We will let you - we will help you.

    Peace --- Art
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Moshe: [T]he Founding Fathers of the United States based their deepest concepts on the Bible and the Jewish prophets.

    That’s an old trope of Christian apologists; however, in reality, the United States is based on classical Greek and Roman civilization.

    “Thomas Jefferson and the two John Adamses were particularly keen on the Greek and Roman idea of rule…”

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/architect-of-the-republic/

    Especially valued was Epicurus, from whom the concepts of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” as well as “Nature’s God” originate in the DoI.

    “As you say of yourself, I TOO AM AN EPICUREAN. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing every thing rational in moral philosophy which Greece and Rome have left us.” -Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, October 31, 1819

    As far as what Jefferson thought of the Jews, an outline of his reads:

    “II. Jews. …their ideas of Him and of his attributes were degrading and injurious.”

    - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Benjamin Rush, April 21, 1803

    Time to check your premise.

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  • @Art

    If rabbi Akiva, who lived in Israel almost 2,000 years ago, woke up from his grave today most Jews could easily converse with him about current affairs, relating to things he said and done in his time and dilemmas he had which are not much different than those Israeli Jews deal with today.
     
    Really -- is this good - 2000 year old solutions?

    2000 years ago the Jew culture got itself sacked by Rome.

    It is amazing how the Jews can get pathologically and so blindly stuck on themselves.

    Peace --- Art

    2000 years ago the Jew culture got itself sacked by Rome.

    Sure it did. And now Jewish kids read about the Romans in history books.

    It is amazing how the Jews can get pathologically and so blindly stuck on themselves.

    Pathologically, blindly, whatever. The fact that so many people (e.g. in this forum) are obsessed with this tiny nation of ~15 million people and their tiny-tiny country is enough to make you wonder.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art

    Pathologically, blindly, whatever. The fact that so many people (e.g. in this forum) are obsessed with this tiny nation of ~15 million people and their tiny-tiny country is enough to make you wonder.
     
    Please - that statement is disingenuous – it is dishonest.

    What insignificant tiny-tiny country has 200 nukes?

    What insignificant tiny-tiny country controls congress and the president of the most powerful country on the planet?

    Peace --- Art
    , @Steel T Post
    Roman civilization lives-on in the West today. The Roman fasces, rods bundled together, have been a symbol of how white men organize themselves into State-level politics to defend his blood and soil. Even today, the Roman fasces are found today all over the United States, from the Senate chambers to the reverse of the dime coin—not just in history books.

    As to those in the current year who recoil from Roman fascism in our Western culture, it must be noted that even Austrian economic theory accepts the fascist war axe as an expedient against Bolshie expansion.

    It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aimed at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has for the moment saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history.

    -Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism, section I:10
     
    Unfortunately, Western fascism lost, the Bolshies and their Allies won, and the GW (Good War) narrative has become the favorite of ANTIFA (anti-fascist/anti-western) activists today.

    Perhaps that GW narrative can be best symbolized by today's dime fasces, while still present, being manipulated into looking rather like a torch handle.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @annamaria
    "Every 6-year-old Jewish child (at least in Israel) can read stories off the bible in its original language."
    Perhaps you need to ponder then on the most important cultural achievements of the Jewish people in Europe and Americas: These achievements seem to be, from your perspective, non-Jewish at all but belong squarely to the European civilization, since none of the greatest Jewish scholars and scientists and artists of the 18th-20th centuries were busy with speaking and reading "off the bible in its original language." (Currently, Israel is in making of a Golem on other peoples' land.) Learning ancient languages us great but to do it exclusively for the sake of reading the bible, and with a racist intend, does not look healthy. By the way, are not these Israeli kids destined to become the birthing machines for the state? http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21656207-israel-cannot-afford-keep-paying-ultra-orthodox-men-shun-employment-eat

    You totally missed my point. Certainly speaking Hebrew is not the criterion of being part of the Jewish nation and I was not advocating reading the bible in any language. I was just trying to prove to that the Jewish nation is indeed some 3,000 years old and one (if not the) oldest nations in the world.

    And just for your information, Hebrew kids in Israel actually speak Hebrew as their mother tongue, and not “exclusively for the sake of reading the bible, and with a racist intend”.

    And of course, thank you for the article from the economist. I have no idea how this has anything to do with the discussion here.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    "Jewish nation" and reading the bible..."
    Wikipedia: "Biblical Hebrew as preserved in the Hebrew Bible is composed of multiple linguistic layers.... Hebrew had already ceased being used as a spoken language around 200 CE... The Israelite tribes who settled in the land of Israel adopted the Phoenician script around the 12th century BCE... This script developed into the Paleo-Hebrew script in the 10th or 9th centuries BCE....The ancient Hebrew script was in continuous use until the early 6th century BCE, the end of the First Temple period. In the Second Temple Period the Paleo-Hebrew script gradually fell into disuse, and was completely abandoned among the Jews after the failed Bar Kochba revolt... Spoken in ancient times, Hebrew, a Canaanite language, was supplanted as the Jewish vernacular by the western dialect of Aramaic beginning in the third century BCE... It was revived as a spoken language in the 19th and 20th centuries"
    More: http://ling.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/alumni%20senior%20essays/Freeburg,%20Elizabeth%20-%20Senior%20Essay.pdf
    "Language does not exist in a political vacuum... The connection between the Hebrew revival, Zionism, and Jewish “[efforts] to retain or regain their political autonomy, their land base, or at least their own sense of identity” is obvious."
    1. Colonialism. 2. The use of the US to farther the ethnocentric agenda.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Art

    If rabbi Akiva, who lived in Israel almost 2,000 years ago, woke up from his grave today most Jews could easily converse with him about current affairs, relating to things he said and done in his time and dilemmas he had which are not much different than those Israeli Jews deal with today.
     
    Really -- is this good - 2000 year old solutions?

    2000 years ago the Jew culture got itself sacked by Rome.

    It is amazing how the Jews can get pathologically and so blindly stuck on themselves.

    Peace --- Art

    There were 2 major Jewish revolts against Rome. In both cases Rome was persecuting the Jews and the Jews responded with open rebellion. In the first case, The Great Jewish Rebellion, the “elites” took over the rebellion, mismanaged it, and the rebels suffered from widespread treason. The commander of the Gallilee switched sides and helped Rome conquer Judea, then after the war he wrote a “history” book smearing the rebels and praising the Romans. This rebellion lasted 7 years and ended in the destruction of the temple.

    The second rebellion, the Bar Cochba rebellion, lasted 3.5 years. This time the Jews were united and the seriously kicked Roman butt. Half of all the legions in the Roman empire were sent to Judea, a few of them got completely wiped out, and Rome reassigned its top general all the way from the war in Scotland to Judea. This is the war that Rabbi Akiva was involved in, and it took place about 60 years after the previous one. Although the Jews failed to establish permanent independence the achieved their first goal, which was ending the persecution.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art
    The second rebellion, the Bar Cochba rebellion, lasted 3.5 years.

    Golly Gee - This is Jew glory?


    Wiki: The second Jewish rebellion took place 60 years after the first and established an independent state lasting three years. For many Jews of the time, this turn of events was heralded as the long hoped for Messianic Age. The excitement was short-lived, however, and after a brief span of glory, the revolt was crushed by the Roman legions

    ... ... ...

    Bar Kokhba took up refuge in the fortress of Betar. The Romans eventually captured it after laying siege to the city for three and a half years, and they killed all the defenders except for one Jewish youth whose life was spared.
     

    Not too smart. Peace is better! (And more intelligent.)

    Peace --- Art

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Dean
    Every 6-year-old Jewish child (at least in Israel) can read stories off the bible in its original language.
    What other people can read 3,000 years old text?

    If rabbi Akiva, who lived in Israel almost 2,000 years ago, woke up from his grave today most Jews could easily converse with him about current affairs, relating to things he said and done in his time and dilemmas he had which are not much different than those Israeli Jews deal with today.
    Can you say the same thing about, for instance, Confucius and the Chinese? I don't think so.

    If rabbi Akiva, who lived in Israel almost 2,000 years ago, woke up from his grave today most Jews could easily converse with him about current affairs, relating to things he said and done in his time and dilemmas he had which are not much different than those Israeli Jews deal with today.

    Really — is this good – 2000 year old solutions?

    2000 years ago the Jew culture got itself sacked by Rome.

    It is amazing how the Jews can get pathologically and so blindly stuck on themselves.

    Peace — Art

    Read More
    • Replies: @plontz
    There were 2 major Jewish revolts against Rome. In both cases Rome was persecuting the Jews and the Jews responded with open rebellion. In the first case, The Great Jewish Rebellion, the "elites" took over the rebellion, mismanaged it, and the rebels suffered from widespread treason. The commander of the Gallilee switched sides and helped Rome conquer Judea, then after the war he wrote a "history" book smearing the rebels and praising the Romans. This rebellion lasted 7 years and ended in the destruction of the temple.

    The second rebellion, the Bar Cochba rebellion, lasted 3.5 years. This time the Jews were united and the seriously kicked Roman butt. Half of all the legions in the Roman empire were sent to Judea, a few of them got completely wiped out, and Rome reassigned its top general all the way from the war in Scotland to Judea. This is the war that Rabbi Akiva was involved in, and it took place about 60 years after the previous one. Although the Jews failed to establish permanent independence the achieved their first goal, which was ending the persecution.
    , @Dean

    2000 years ago the Jew culture got itself sacked by Rome.
     
    Sure it did. And now Jewish kids read about the Romans in history books.


    It is amazing how the Jews can get pathologically and so blindly stuck on themselves.
     
    Pathologically, blindly, whatever. The fact that so many people (e.g. in this forum) are obsessed with this tiny nation of ~15 million people and their tiny-tiny country is enough to make you wonder.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @geokat62

    I do, however, find it interesting that when you encounter a Jewish entity that is doing something you don’t like your immediate conclusion is “Jews are the worse” and not “these particular Jews are bad”.
     
    Not sure where that is coming from. Perhaps a little context might help. Someone pointed out in another thread that while there were several Jewish organizations promoting the immigration into the US, there was not a single one that did so for Israel. That is when another commenter suggested that HIAS was doing just that. I jumped into their exchange by pointing out that while HIAS very much supported the resettlement of refugees in the US, they were less enthusiastic about doing so in Israel. So, that was it. Nothing about "Jews are the worse" or "these particular Jews are bad."

    Sorry. It looks like I accidentally conflated your comment with someone else’s.

    The interview was good, but then when I started reading the comment thread I found sickening antisemitism, and even though I can see that not everyone here is an antisemite this impression is coloring the way I read all the comments.

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  • @plontz
    I was trying to keep it simple by not discussing the non-leftists who are suffering from trauma and paranoia. I don't know if that's the case with this HIAS organization or not because I don't know it. It does seem to lean towards the Left and secularism. Or perhaps there is another reason, like trying to seem non-political in Israel while in the US you can go further left without drawing as much scrutiny. As I said, I don't know HIAS. I can only speculate. I do, however, find it interesting that when you encounter a Jewish entity that is doing something you don't like your immediate conclusion is "Jews are the worse" and not "these particular Jews are bad".

    Suffice it to say that the Leftists in Israel are doing everything they can to erase the country's identity and bring in a mass of immigrants to dilute the Jewish population and to give away the country's core territory, and other things to destroy the country. They control the media, academia, and judicial system. They just happen to be unpopular and don't have control of the government (executive/legislative. They are kind of mashed together here). The Left has controlled Israel for decades before the country was reestablished, collaborating with foreign powers to squash any alternative (handed NILI over to the Turks in WWI, persecuted the ETZEL under the British mandate) and only in recent decades has its control started to erode. Only in the last 10 years or so does Israel have a popular daily newspaper that's not Leftist. Only in the last few years has Israel finally gotten a public broadcast TV station that's not Leftist, and only in the last month or so has that station finally been given permission to broadcast news. Only around 13 years ago did Israel finally give a broadcasting license to a non-Leftist radio station. It's taking time to pry the Left's fingers off the country's neck. And a few years ago they were advocating for letting Syrian refugees into the country, but we had a right-wing government. They have been supporting the invasion of Sudanese and Eritreans, but our right-wing government has built a wall and has been getting them to leave (although actually they are multiplying. I hear that now Sudanese and Eritrean women come by plane on tourist visas and then stay to get married and have children) against the opposition of the Leftist supreme court.

    You deal with the Leftists in your country. We'll deal with the Leftists in our country.

    I do, however, find it interesting that when you encounter a Jewish entity that is doing something you don’t like your immediate conclusion is “Jews are the worse” and not “these particular Jews are bad”.

    Not sure where that is coming from. Perhaps a little context might help. Someone pointed out in another thread that while there were several Jewish organizations promoting the immigration into the US, there was not a single one that did so for Israel. That is when another commenter suggested that HIAS was doing just that. I jumped into their exchange by pointing out that while HIAS very much supported the resettlement of refugees in the US, they were less enthusiastic about doing so in Israel. So, that was it. Nothing about “Jews are the worse” or “these particular Jews are bad.”

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    • Replies: @plontz
    Sorry. It looks like I accidentally conflated your comment with someone else's.

    The interview was good, but then when I started reading the comment thread I found sickening antisemitism, and even though I can see that not everyone here is an antisemite this impression is coloring the way I read all the comments.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @geokat62

    Again, nothing here is particularly Jewish, because Leftist Jews are just as eager to destroy Israel as American Leftists are to destroy America.
     
    The comment I linked to makes it clear that Lefteist Jews are more eager to destroy America than they are Israel. As a matter of fact, Leftist Jews have zero appetite to destroy Israel:

    So while refugee resettlement lies at the heart of HIAS’ work in the U.S., it is not a priority for HIAS in Israel. In Israel, HIAS is merely willing to meet with the African refugees to help them reunite with their family in western countries, but not to help them resettle in the Zionist state. There are no appeals by rabbis telling the Knesset to keep Israel’s doors open for the refugees, urging them to prioritize refugee resettlement, protection, and human rights. No pre drafted personal letter to send to their Member of the Knesset.

    So much for being guided by history and the Jewish value of “welcoming the stranger.”

    If you’re looking for a clue that explains this difference, HIAS itself reveals it in the following:

    HIAS is using our expertise to help [Israel] develop a humane admission system for refugees and asylum seekers that adheres to international legal standards and protects the security of the state.

    I looked all over, but I couldn’t find a similar qualifier for HIAS’ work in the US.
     

    I was trying to keep it simple by not discussing the non-leftists who are suffering from trauma and paranoia. I don’t know if that’s the case with this HIAS organization or not because I don’t know it. It does seem to lean towards the Left and secularism. Or perhaps there is another reason, like trying to seem non-political in Israel while in the US you can go further left without drawing as much scrutiny. As I said, I don’t know HIAS. I can only speculate. I do, however, find it interesting that when you encounter a Jewish entity that is doing something you don’t like your immediate conclusion is “Jews are the worse” and not “these particular Jews are bad”.

    Suffice it to say that the Leftists in Israel are doing everything they can to erase the country’s identity and bring in a mass of immigrants to dilute the Jewish population and to give away the country’s core territory, and other things to destroy the country. They control the media, academia, and judicial system. They just happen to be unpopular and don’t have control of the government (executive/legislative. They are kind of mashed together here). The Left has controlled Israel for decades before the country was reestablished, collaborating with foreign powers to squash any alternative (handed NILI over to the Turks in WWI, persecuted the ETZEL under the British mandate) and only in recent decades has its control started to erode. Only in the last 10 years or so does Israel have a popular daily newspaper that’s not Leftist. Only in the last few years has Israel finally gotten a public broadcast TV station that’s not Leftist, and only in the last month or so has that station finally been given permission to broadcast news. Only around 13 years ago did Israel finally give a broadcasting license to a non-Leftist radio station. It’s taking time to pry the Left’s fingers off the country’s neck. And a few years ago they were advocating for letting Syrian refugees into the country, but we had a right-wing government. They have been supporting the invasion of Sudanese and Eritreans, but our right-wing government has built a wall and has been getting them to leave (although actually they are multiplying. I hear that now Sudanese and Eritrean women come by plane on tourist visas and then stay to get married and have children) against the opposition of the Leftist supreme court.

    You deal with the Leftists in your country. We’ll deal with the Leftists in our country.

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    • Replies: @geokat62

    I do, however, find it interesting that when you encounter a Jewish entity that is doing something you don’t like your immediate conclusion is “Jews are the worse” and not “these particular Jews are bad”.
     
    Not sure where that is coming from. Perhaps a little context might help. Someone pointed out in another thread that while there were several Jewish organizations promoting the immigration into the US, there was not a single one that did so for Israel. That is when another commenter suggested that HIAS was doing just that. I jumped into their exchange by pointing out that while HIAS very much supported the resettlement of refugees in the US, they were less enthusiastic about doing so in Israel. So, that was it. Nothing about "Jews are the worse" or "these particular Jews are bad."
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  • @AaronB
    I think I understand where you're coming from. You see the world in terms of predator, or prey. I'm trying to say that its possible to be neither predator, nor prey - a third way.

    But its obvious I'm not going to convince you, and that's OK.

    Fear makes people want power.

    The fear may be justified, and power may be necessary - but we should be clear about the relationship between fear, weakness, and the desire for power. People who seek inordinat power are not 'strong', they are the more insecure and fearful elements of any community.

    There are times when fear is justified and fighting is necessary, but those times are when the community is facing a genuine threat - i.e, its position is not secure. Aggression may be necessary, but the passage from necessary aggression towards inordinate power-seeking is the passage from justified fear towards neurotic insecurity.

    Consider. The Jews are the most power-hungry and wealth and status obsessed people on the planet - they are also the worlds most insecure and fearful. Their position in society is always on thin ice, their culture fosters pathological fear and a sense of persecution, and Jews are famously neurotic and anxiety-ridden. Such are the worlds most power-hungry people.

    People like to say its crazy for the Jews, who have such power and wealth, to be so afraid, that they should relax, why are they so neurotic - such people don't understand the causal relationship between neuroticism and power and wealth. Take away that fear, and you take away the intense psychological pressure that drives so much of Jewish behavior. If the Jews ever lose their neuroticism and anxiety, they will lose their position as "top dog".

    As the white community has come to feel itself imperiled, it has produced 'strong' leaders and turned towards aggression and power-politics - as whites find themselves in a position of weakness, they turn to the politics of power. This may be necessary - and I myself support some of what Trump is doing - but there is nothing to valorize here, and it is well to remember that the passage from self-defense to power-seeking is from appropriate fear to weakness.

    Look at China. In its great days, when it was secure as the hart of East Asia, it had a philosophy that was anti-power - the military was despised, it wasn't expansionist, and Taoism and Buddhism were the basis of values. But the Chinese were traumatized by the West, and suddenly found their position far less secure than they could possibly have imagined - and now they are aggressive, boastful, obnoxious, bullying. They have become a fearful, insecure people. Their great days are over.

    Now, I am not opposed to necessary self-defense and necessary power. China really did need to become more powerful - in a world that contains the West, it cannot live in a Taoist fantasyland - and whites now really do need to deal with the threats facing them - we see now that the position of whites in a competitive world isn't so secure. But if we remember the relationship between weakness and power-seeking, we won't vavlorize this, and we'll see that countries, groups, and people who seem inordinately power-seeking are either in a weak position, or suffer from acute feelings of fear and weakness.

    aaronb says ……Consider. The Jews are the most power-hungry and wealth and status obsessed people on the planet – they are also the worlds most insecure and fearful.

    Consider.i am neither of the above.would you consider making an exception in my case.it means a lot.i have always been the black crow of the tribe and some sort of recognition would go a long way.

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  • @plontz
    Most Jews find the suicidal behavior of Leftist Jews to be very puzzling. I assume you have similar difficulty understanding non-Jewish Leftists. Basically, the explanation for why Jewish Leftists do the crazy things they do is the same as the explanation that one would give regarding non-Jewish Leftists.

    Leftists are Leftist first, and everything else second if at all. The basic idea of the Left (as far as I can comprehend it) is that ther