Misconceptions and quries about Islam

Discussion in 'Islam' started by Mohsin, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. banjo

    banjo Established Member

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    bananabrain said:

    A marriage is not just an economic transaction though, a business deal. It is first and foremost an emotional commitment. You can't just ignore the emotional aspect to marriage since that is the main component.

    All this other stuff about how each partner is treated and terms of divorce etc is all very well but it's not the main point of marriage. The point of marriage, under nearly all religious systems, is that the two people are making a commitment to each other for life. You don't get married to someone in the expectation of getting a divorce further down the line.

    I say "nearly all religious systems" because I think there is such a thing within shia islam as a temporary marriage, although I think you can only do this under certain very specific circumstances.

    If I marry a woman I am committing myself totally to that woman, emotionally and in every other way. If I, even on the day of my wedding itself, intend to keep looking for other wives after the wedding then I don't see how that can be a total commitment to that woman.

    It's only a partial commitment. So it's uneven - the woman is making a total commitment but the man is making a partial commitment. It's not a balanced arrangement.

    Also there is a completely separate argument to all this. If I married a woman I wouldn't want to go out hunting for other women afterward. I call into question the morality of muslim men who marry more than one woman. Why do they even want to?

    Their commitment to the woman they have married is less than my commitment would be. Therefore their moral values are lower. Likewise with all muslim men who don't actually marry other women but who defend the system.

    Just my opinion but I would question their moral values - if they marry a woman with anything less than full emotional commitment

    So this backs up my point. That all the religions say different things and aren't progressions from one another ie they can't all be right. This means that EITHER only one of them is right OR they are all wrong.

    If one of them is right, why do all the others exist?

    Not quite. What I am saying is that religions create their own "problems" and then create the system to solve these "problems". A lot of the problems that religions solve aren't actually problems at all, or rather, they are only problems because the religion has made it into a problem.

    islam is the worst offender at this. It cures all kinds of "problems" none of which are problems in the first place. A good example of this kind of thinking is the argument that Mohsin used re polygamy. That there aren't enough men to go round and therefore islam solves this problem by allowing polygamy. He created his own problem - there are enough men to go round. Lack of men is not a problem.

    So islam creates a non-existant problem - lack of men - and then provides the solution. This was just one example but it happens all the time in all areas. Consider the hijab argument, this is another example.

    Islam says that hijab protects women's modesty. If you ever talk to muslims defending the hijab you would get the impression that the streets are full of male rapists wandering around just waiting for a chance to get at a woman, and the hijab solves this problem.

    The fact is the problem isn't there in the first place. So many of islam's "solutions" don't actually solve real problems, they solve imaginery problems which islam has invented itself.

    Islam invents a whole boatload of "problems" and then provides the "solutions".

    Well you need to use common sense and judge each situation by it's own merits.

    Imagine if you have got two people in their mid 30s. They've both been around the block a few times and know what's what. They are both single but, for various reasons, they don't want to get married. But they do fancy each other and want to have sex.

    Religion would stop them, why? They are not harming anyone else. Islam would give them a hundred lashes but christianity bans it too (sex outside marriage).

    They won't do any harm but religion says that they WILL do harm. So this is another case of religion creating a problem where none exists.
     
  2. Vapour

    Vapour Well-Known Member

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    ah, why not forget about it. In this day and age where things are definitely moving into allowing gay marriage, what is wrong with mulsim or mormon wedding provided that we also allow women to marry multiple partners. This whole idea of state instituting private affiar is stupid. If someone want to bless marriage of dog and a man, who care (except PETA of course but they are nuts so don't count. :D)
     
  3. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    i never said i was "ignoring" it. of course it's important, especially these days, but to be quite honest, the idea that it is first and foremost an emotional commitment is a modern ideal (read some jane austen) and a western one at that - it was a rare thing to marry for love before the romanticism of the 19th century.

    says who? the whole point of "making it official" is to benefit from the protection that state gives you, or to gain institutional (religious, state, legal or otherwise) sanction for your relationship - otherwise, if it's just about the two of you, why not just live together? the answer is that marriage is primarily about people OTHER than the two making the commitment (like the resulting children, for example); it is a *public* statement, not merely a private one. actually, for me, the idea of standing up before your friends and family and making it official is a darn sight more romantic because of its idealism.

    don't take this the wrong way, but i think you're being a bit of a hippy. perhaps in systems where divorce is not permitted, this is the case, but to my knowledge in both judaism and islam the point of the divorce process is to enable both partners to clarify their status and that of their children afterwards. it's just being realistic - i wouldn't get married to someone without an understanding of the divorce system. under both systems, it is clearly recognised that you cannot *mandate* love, but that you can demand respectful behaviour - whatever that is agreed to be.

    playing devil's advocate for the moment, banning polygamy has hardly stopped it happening in practice - one might even say that permitting it simply recognises a fact of life and one that is hardly restricted to muslim men.

    i dare say you might, but if it's a contractual agreement then the emotional commitment is surely less of an issue. not that i agree with polygamy, but i think you're being just the teensiest bit of a cultural chauvinist.

    how the hell do you get to that? because one religion is not necessarily a progression from another does not mean they can't be "right" in their own way. you're not being logical. judaism addresses jews. if christianity addresses everyone and islam addresses muslims, then the conflict is between the universalist and the particularist - it doesn't arise unless christianity tries to repeal the strictures of judaism or islam tries to impose unwarranted strictures upon christians. either way judaism is not claiming that all of its commandments are binding on non-jews. in fact, only 7 are.

    yes, of course, i can see how that would work, but that relies on a countervailing PoV which insists that these problems are artificial - and this PoV could be just as well understood as "claiming that certain real problems don't exist". the fact that you don't see something as a problem doesn't translate into a universal statement of truth.

    not at all. turn this round for a second. what if my employer demanded that i walk around with my tackle hanging out? is that not an infringement on my right to cover them up? similarly, i'm not going to be too happy if my girlfriend's employer insists on her coming to work topless. we both choose to cover up our various bits for whatever our personal reasons are. more strictly observant muslim and jewish people choose to dress modestly and insist on their right to cover up more of themselves. therefore it is a question of degree, not principle and the right of the institution to dictate your degree of modesty. to put it another way, i don't like nudists. now they have a right to be nude but i don't see why they should "own" public space and force me to look at it. it's the same as the right of people to get drunk and act like idiots. they are free to do so, but why are they permitted to get in my face?

    we've all seen "sex in the city". if you want to kid yourself that there is such a thing as consequence-free sex then you are of course free to do so. you are taking a chance and, so, you must take the attendant responsibility. that's all i'm saying and that's all religion says.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  4. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    So... you're equating the female face with genitalia? Why just chicks? From now on I find all uncovered men to be offensive to my God 'Peaches'.
     
  5. Mohsin

    Mohsin Well-Known Member

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    Regards to all.

    I do recall people saying that God cannot make mistakes. What if God wanted to because God can do it easily?...... Heh, God cannot make mistakes, cannot do any unjust act and cannot do anything that will not make Him God anymore, and this includes taking an imperfect form of a human or something else. By the way, the point on Jesus(P.B.U.H) himself claiming devinity, many poeple are saying that he(P.B.U.H) never himself did that.


    You keep in mind the statement you made, 'who are we to question God's actions? God does whatever he wants even if we don't understand the reasons for it.' I will use it in future in reply to your statements. The thing with the point of Jesus Christ(P.B.U.H) as born as son of God, the reply I made earlier that it is not difficult for God to create a person. Adam(P.B.U.H) was without any parents. Why do people not call him(P.B.U.H) as a son of God as well?


    Or may be we can confirm a few with the help of archiological discoveries. Qur'an actually invites us to do that. But still, there would be the other factor so no need do discuss archiology right here and now. About why God doesn't give us a big miracle every hundred years or so, 'who are we to question God's actions? God does whatever he wants even if we don't understand the reasons for it.' A reason in my mind is that it may be so that Allah(the Almighty God) may test us again in a manner that He pleases. Where would the test be if everything is made so apparent. Somethings/signs are apparent, but people tend to avoid them. Again, this is just my view.


    Yeah, I know. But that is why we do not call them Muslims. They are called Qadiyyanies(spelling) and other stuff, mainly 'munkir' or 'munafiq'. For a Muslim, it is important to believe in Prophet Muhammad(P.B.U.H) as the last and final Prophet. It is written clearly in the Qur'an and in several authentic Hadiths. For a Muslim, believing in the Qur'an is very important, especially the beliefs section. If not, the person is not a Muslim. Kurt should note this point as well. (Bananabrain, you were right on the PMs, people do know very little about what Islam is and teaches and what some people follow.)


    About the conditions of Polygyny, yeah, one should concider them and the most important point which is to be able to do justice. Keep in mind that polygyny is on the level permissible. One is allowed to do that, but neither will it make you a better Muslim, nor a lesser one. About female population being more then male, it is. Confirm from the stats if you can find them. Also, in backward nations and countries like India plus a few surrounding one, there is an evil practive of female infanticide. I saw a documentry on BBC about this issue in which they said that more than one million female foetuses are aborted every year in India, after they are identified as females. If this evil practice is stopped, then India too will have more females as compared to males.


    You are talking about being virtuous,(this is a conversation for a point actually for a logic which is not somewhat applicable for the conditions now/today, so, you know what I mean) were the fathers and nuns of several churches that were indulged in fornication and homosexuality, and many might still be, virtuous? Being a virgin thoughout ones lifetime is not impossible, but very difficult, especially nowadays with the kind of media and all. Also, where did you get this idea that Islam(and other major religions) forces men and women to marry against their will/better judgement.


    Then do not look, rather be committed as you said in you other post. I do not care, and neither will the faith of that person will be going wrong if he does that. As I said that polygyny is only on the permissible level. If I start stating a few more conditions in which polygyny is prefferd, you will again say that I am creating more problems by myself, even though many are genuine. The Qur'an has also made it clear that you need to give equal rights, be just between your wives if you are going to go for polygyny. Now if a person is going to say that since Islam allows more then one wife, so he can look around, he must keep in mind the conditions as well and also fulfil them. One more point that I came across in yet another artical, in India, this Islamic permission for having more wives is being misused by people from other religions. Some people(both male and female) become Muslims, marry, and then back to whatever they were. They do not for one moment think about the conditions. Also, they are a disgrace to their own religion as well, rather making a fun of religion and religious beliefs. By the way, Hindus banned polygamy on 1954. Before that, in India, the percentage of polygamy in Hindus was more then among the Muslims. Also, I personally think that Islam is talked about when talking about polygyny because Islam has allowed it. Even though other religions do not stop one doing it, atleat their scriptures do not, but still, Islam is targetted. This is wrong and you know it.

    Also, please keep in mind what you said 'who are we to question God's actions? God does whatever he wants even if we don't understand the reasons for it' for many reasons including why sex is not allowed between unmarried people in Islam and many other religions. There can be many arguments for such reasons, but for now, lets not get deep into them but I do want to say that it was you who talked about moral values and they are at great stake/risk here.
     
  6. banjo

    banjo Established Member

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    bananabrain said:

    You misunderstand me. I wasn't talking about marrying for love. Marrying for love is a different thing. I was just talking about marriage, full stop. All forms of marriage are considered to be a lifelong emotional commitment whether you marry for love or whether you have an arranged marriage and never met your wife before the wedding day.

    Even if you have an arranged marriage, the idea is that you marry this girl (or this guy) and then you stay married forever. That's the idea. You don't get married in the expectation of getting a divorce further down the line. This is true of all systems of marriage (except the temporary marriage which I mentioned earlier).

    I'm not talking about Jane Austen-type, weak at the knees, swooning over Mr Darcy type things. I'm just talking about the institution of marriage itself. Forget how the couples come together. ALL systems of marriage (whether christian, jewish, muslim, hindu, secular or whatever) entail the couples making a lifelong commitment to each other.

    That's the whole point of marriage.

    Obviously, it doesn't always work out. And divorce is there as a get-out in the event it doesn't work. But, at the time of the marriage itself, the idea is to stay married. Not to get a divorce later on.

    No one gets married with the intention of getting divorced in 5 years time.

    So, I have ascertained that marriage is a lifelong commitment. It is also an emotional commitment because you have to share your life with this person. You live with them, go on holiday with them, have children with them. Any highs or lows that you have for the rest of your life, they will share them with you.

    They are not just a business partner. Even if you never met your wife until the day of your wedding, you are still making an emotional commitment to them. Because this is the person you have to share your life with from now on.

    Even with arranged marriages you are making a promise to that person not to have sex with anyone else, not to fall in love with anyone else. So it's still an emotional commitment. In fact, it's about as big an emotional commitment as it's possible to get. It's the same size emotional commitment whether you marry for love or whether you have an arranged marriage. Your emotions might be different but the size of the commitment is the same.

    Whether you marry for love or whether you have an arranged marriage you are still making a lifelong commitment to that person - emotionally, financially and in every other way.

    What are the origins of marriage? Where does the idea of marriage come from?

    Consider humans as just another animal. We tend to pair off. Lots of animals pair off - albatrosses, for example. When a boy albatross meets a girl albatross (assuming they hit it off) they will stay together for life. Scientists have tagged them and then checked them 30 years later - the same two albatrosses will still be together. They pair for life.

    Some animals do this, some don't. Humans, it seems, do do this.

    The origins of marriage probably lie in the fact that we are merely recognising this fact. Religions recognise this fact and even secular legal systems recognise this fact. People could live together just as easily as they could get married but humans always like to over-complicate things.

    We have developed formal rules for this kind of thing (just as we have developed formal rules for everything). The reason why we develop formal rules for everything is probably a product of our high intelligence. This is probably the reason why we have developed religion, law, politics, economics, and philosophy (amongst other things).

    There are no systems where divorce is not permitted. Even catholicism has annulment. OK I know annulment is different to divorce but it's the same idea really. They both allow for a get-out clause from the marriage.

    Yes but you don't marry someone in the expectation of getting a divorce. At the time of the marriage you are supposed to be making a lifelong commitment.

    Of course married people have affairs, but they are the exception rather than the rule. Most married people don't have affairs. So you can't base a rule (polygamy) on something that is an exception (adultery). And, in any case, all religious systems think that adultery is undesirable and not something to be encouraged.

    As regards islam, polygamy doesn't prevent adultery anyway. Most of the time adultery may take the form of the guy fancying the new secretary at the office (eg Bill Clinton) and wanting a short term fling with her. Or maybe he goes and seeks out a prostitute for some quick sex. He doesn't necessarily want to marry her. So this type of guy will have short term flings anyway, whether there is polygamy or not.

    I'm not being a cultural chauvinist, everthing I say is just common sense. I'm a very common sense-centric person. If I'm wrong then show me why. I'm an adult, I can take it. So far though, no one on this thread has shown me why I am wrong, so I can only assume that I must be right (in the absence of any evidence to the contrary).

    No I'm afraid your logic doesn't work (although it sounds good at first glance).

    Judaism affects me as much as it affects you because it was the same God that made us all. Assuming that Judaism is correct then (as a non-jew) I need to follow the best route to get me into heaven. I can accept that I am not a jew and therefore most of the precepts of judaism do not apply to me, however some of the precepts of judaism DO apply to me - those that apply to the best way to live your life eg the ten commandments and other stuff.

    If judaism is correct then that means that christianity must be wrong (jesus was not the awaited messiah).

    If judaism is correct then islam must be wrong.

    If judaism is correct then that means that all the other religions must be wrong.

    Just because judaism is particularist does not exempt it from my point. If judaism is correct then all the others are wrong, so why do they exist when we all share the same God?

    In fact, judaism is worse because it says it is correct and then it bans anybody else from joining it! At least if islam or christianity are correct then you can join them.

    (In fact, judaism does accept converts but reluctantly).

    Far as I'm aware hinduism also doesn't accept converts which is why people become hare krishna types - because they aren't allowed to convert to hinduism.

    So it seems my inexorable, steamroller logic rumbles on. If one is right why do the others exist?

    Judaism affects me as much as it affects a jew (if it's right). So why doesn't God just write His message across the sky and remove all doubt?

    I try very hard to remove myself from the equation. I am just one person and therefore am bound to have a subjective view. Therefore I remove myself and only address things which are universally true ie accepted as such by everyone.

    Within these parameters there are certain things that one can see. There are certain "problems" that are not really problems but that have been created by the religions which solve these problems.

    After a thousand years or so of everyone following these "solutions" everyone forgets that the "problem" that the religion "solves" was never a problem to begin with. Or if it ever was a problem, it was not a serious problem ie the "solution" is worse than the "problem". Or else it was a real problem 1000 years ago but times have changed, new technologies have emerged and we no longer need the "solution" because we have better ways of dealing with it.

    Well, I just gave the hijab as an example of religion creating a problem and then providing the "solution". Maybe it was a bad example but my point was this:

    Commands to modesty appear in many religions. Muslims often justify this particular command by over-exaggerating the danger to women from appearing in public wearing skimpy costumes. But really, it's all about what you're used to.

    If Britney Spears walked down the main street in Riyadh or Tehran wearing the type of clothes she wears in her videos she would probably cause a riot. If she did it in London or Paris, she probably wouldn't get a second glance (maybe a few admiring looks but no big deal).

    Yet the people in Riyadh are as human as the people in London, they are all the same species.

    In London, people don't see the need to call for women to wear all-over covering because they don't see it as a problem that needs addressing. In riyadh, people see it as a problem that needs addressing. Why do they see it as a problem that needs addressing? Because their religion tells them it's a problem.

    We could, in fact, all walk around the streets naked and it wouldn't make any difference to anything in practical terms (execpt we'd all be cold and wouldn't have anywhere to keep stuff). But once we'd got used to it, we wouldn't think about it any more.

    In some African and South American tribes, you see people walk around practically naked. I think there have been one or two tribes in the world that have walked around ACTUALLY naked. I think there's one in Papua New Guinea, if memory serves.

    So the fact of nudity isn't, in itself, a problem. It's only a problem if we choose to make it one. Some countries make it into a bigger problem than other countries. The taliban thinks that women should be completely covered up whereas the Papua New Guinea tribe thinks that women should be completely naked. The west is somewhere in the middle.

    The size of the problem is purely down to what you make of it. The problem itself has a definite objective size (the level of desirability of covering women up) but all religions give different answers. They all give different answers to a question that can have only one correct answer.

    Therefore they're all wrong. Or if one of them is right, then it's only by chance since religion covers the full spectrum of opinion from completely naked to completely covered up. So one of them's gotta be right.

    Thus religion can exaggerate certain problems in certain areas and then provide the solution.
     
  7. SchiZo

    SchiZo Omnipresent

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    Hey, I'm back. Been busy lately, had alot to do. Anyway.

    - Banjo. You are just dragging the argument senselessly. It seems you are just looking for points to argue on, just for the sake of argument, and I sense no genuine desire on your part to actually understand.

    4 witnesses are only required, if a 3rd party is making the accusations. That means, if you were to accuse the lady down the street of fornication/adultery, it would be incumbent upon you to provide solid evidence. However, if the fornicator, or the husband or wife, launches the charges, 4 witnesses are NOT required, but only your own word. Then after, there is another process, and that would lead to either punishment here, or in the hereafter.

    So it is not pointless.


    LOL..... I can't believe you are arguing it like that. If there is a pregnant woman, and she is not married, then most likely she had sex and is a fornicator. You argue it as if, artificial insemination is a kit you can buy from the local pharmacy and perform yourself in the bathroom of your home. ROFL..

    I mean what I say. Go read over my post again, I specifically wrote a SINCERE Muslim will not do them things.


    Your knowledge of Islam and polygamy is limited. You think Muslims can go around freely dating, but that is all bollocks. Not every guy is out looking for mutliple wives. Even some of those who are capable of it, would never go for more than one woman, just for sexual lusts.

    The notion that a guy can date, marry just for a shag and then disappear is flawed. For a start, one who is going to have sex with many women, will do it regardless of any laws or religions. Secondly, in that Islamic State, a guy that marries will have to provide a dower, which can be costly, and on top of that, he will have to pay for the wife's care, shelter, financial duties etc.. and when they divorce, he still has to pay, if they have children, and give her money to take care of herself, for a time. So the chances of every guy going and making links with other families, marrying their daughter, then paying for all these costs, and in the end dumping, well theres not many I know who could go through with the whole thing.

    The Quran does not command Muslims to have several wives, in fact it commands them to marry only one. Islam is a realistic religion, and does not deny the reality of life. There are many widowed and divorced women, who have children from previous husbands, and not many people are willing to take them in and marry them. Go study the effects of single mothers, and how hard their life can be, especially for the kids. It is better for a woman like that to marry an already married man, and have him provide security, financially and otherwise. Including a role model for the kids.

    Now had the Quran restricted the marriage to only one man & woman, the divorced and widowed would not benefit from that possibility. Instead, the Quran gives permission in such cases. It is not a command to marry everyone you can get your hands on.


    All guys oogle women. I never denied that. Even I am guilty of it at times. It is different for a sincere Muslim who is conscious of his every move and has God in remembrance continually. A glance here and there is no problem, even for Muslims, but oogling is a long heavy stare, or a virtual raping with the eyes, where one does not see a person, but a sex object.

    Islam has been implemented properly in past and can/will in future.

    My views are fully in conform with reality. It is you who denies it at convenience, just to argue. Wether it is the ill effects of unrestricted sex, or the benefits from having permission to marry more than one wife.
     
  8. Mohsin

    Mohsin Well-Known Member

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    Good to have you back Schizo.

    A few points regarding hijab, not relevant but worth sharing.

    A small incident of a sort. I heard this from a Canadian friend. A person came to some Muslims and started criticizing hijab saying, what is this hijab, why wear it, its this and that, e.t.c. One Muslim there asked the person what his background/religion was. He replied that he was a Christian. Guess what the Muslim said.........," THE MOTHER OF YOUR GOD USE TO DRESS LIKE THIS...... so, SHAME ON YOU."
    Speechless, he walked away, could not say a thing.

    Also, there is some concept/order of hijab in the Bible as well. Nothing much, a headcovering and that too when praying, but if a woman does not cover her head, her head is to be shaven..... won't that be a sight.
    See 'I Corinthians 11:6'.
     
  9. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    er, i think you're missing the point. my point is that it is the individual, man or woman, who chooses how much of their body they wish to reveal, incorporating their moral and religious influences. in your case, you are happy to walk around showing your head, hands and in some cases and contexts, like at the pool or beach, your upper torso and legs. you still don't choose to reveal your genitals or buttocks, unless you happen to be a nudist or a scandinavian, or a german on "eurotrash". i am saying it's unavoidable to take a person-centred view where religious groups are a self-differentiating minority within a larger society where they are by definition making a choice to differentiate themselves from the "norm". they are holding themselves to a stricter standard than that demanded by social consensus, but they are doing that *for themselves* as a free choice.

    i read a rather good explanation in an otherwise not terribly good book the other day, which is that sometimes a parent has to let a kid hurt himself, because pain is one of the ways we learn what not to do. however, with G!D the point is we would be terribly arrogant to assume we can understand the whys of Divine motivation; that's the definition of ineffability, after all.

    also, i don't think anyone's pointed out so far the fact that polygyny is *permitted* does not make it *praiseworthy*, let alone a commandment and, in both judaism and islam that makes it a big difference. the only argument i can see for it is that polygyny enables a man to have more chance to fulfil his commandment obligation to reproduce, the woman not having the same obligation, but frankly nowadays there are a lot of other options and if you're not doing it solely for the purposes of fulfilling your obligation it is hard to see how it can be approved of.

    the statement you are making here is a universal assertion of truth, which you do not appear to offer anything else than "because i say so" to justify. i am not saying emotional commitment is not a part of marriage, but it is an implied term rather than an explicit term of the contract. and i think it is rather specious of you to ignore the fact that a large number of marriages have been based on convenience - and have stayed that way. i mean, there's enough literature about precisely this problem, jane austen being a case in point - take charlotte lucas and mr collins in "P&P" for a start. the thing with love is that it is undoubtedly unusual to remain emotionally distant from someone you have a child with; thus it would be unusual if some form of emotional attachment, whether it be love or at least friendship did not appear at some point. in other words, it's not legislated, but it is kind of built in.

    of course ideally that would happen, but the point i am making is that it can only remain an aspiration - it seems like you are deliberately avoiding the fact that this is an ideal.

    er.... how can you possibly make such a categorical assertion? what about people who are getting married to inherit money, or get a green card, or whatever? the point i am making about marriage is that it provides social protection and position that falling in love with someone doesn't.

    really? what about all the people who live separate lives whilst remaining married? don't be naive!

    it's still not an emotional commitment *alone*. it's a legally binding, actionable agreement with consequences if you break it.

    in jewish tradition, it just says that people got married. it doesn't say *why the tradition of marriage was invented*. originally when eve was created out of adam's rib, this was so he would not be alone and so he would have 'ezer kenegdo - a "help that opposes him" - that's an incredibly compact phrase which has a multiplicity of meanings within, covering all of what we're saying here.

    there's a difference between *formalising* something to avoid grey areas and confusion and complicating it. in fact, i would say not having marriage would make it far more complicated to work out who owns what.

    er, i wasn't. i'm arguing that polygamy is either based upon a *concession* to human (and masculine at that) nature or, at most, enabling the man to fulfil his obligation to procreate.

    i never said it did. but it arguably makes it less likely. just being devil's advocate, remember.

    am trying to, mate. your cultural chauvinism consists of the assumption that an emotional commitment is necessarily more valuable than one based on social protection. it's a post-enlightenment, european notion that everything has to be based upon the individual; life, liberty and happiness, d'ye see.

    by the same logic, the aztec religion affects me (which it doesn't) because G!D made the aztecs as well.

    "the righteous amongst the nations inherit a portion in the world to come" - which judaism understands as you obeying the "seven noachide laws", which most people do, without ever having heard of them. these are the only commandments that apply to you. the "ten commandments" do not all apply to you, in fact - you have no obligation to keep the sabbath, for example.

    christianity can be wrong about jesus being the jewish messiah, but that doesn't mean it's wrong about *everything*. it's still a valid and praiseworthy path for non-jews according to jewish law, as is islam. the same goes for all other religions which are not considered idolatrous - rabbeinu me'iri of posquieres (C12th) declared that any religion that had a system of law and ethics (mugdar b’nimussim) was not idolatrous ("Beit HaBechira" on Bava Kamma 113a,b). so, that second point is incorrect if you know what judaism actually says.

    as for your point about conversion, the reason judaism doesn't seek converts is because you don't have to be jewish to be a "righteous" person - so it's actually internally consistent with other paths being acceptable and judaism not being "better".

    because without doubt, religious people are terribly terribly dangerous - as we are currently experiencing all over the world from the sort of people that are certain they are in possession of the exclusive truth. for this reason, the Torah states that there must always be an alternative explanation for all miracles, otherwise doubt would disappear - the only exception being the Revelation at Sinai.

    and this is only a problem with religion, not, say, secular systems of thought *cough, cough, communism* or science *cough, cough, gene modification*?

    if she did it in my house, i would feel free to object. that's the difference. this is right up with that whining objection of "it doesn't hurt anybody" - it all depends on your point of view.

    firstly, i'm not only talking about women, which should be pretty clear by now. secondly, why has it got to have only one correct answer? why does everyone have to agree? and, moreover, why does everyone have to agree with *you*?

    and, like SchiZo says - DEVOUT muslim, mate! sheesh.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  10. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    Yeah, but its not a choice. Its choice under threat of damnation. When its religious law or cultural mandate it ceases to be choice. If you force a hooker to wear a veil, she doesn't do it because she's modest. But if a devout woman should go without one, she's taken as less modest. Its bull.

    Yeah, Paul was a mysognist, too. LOL But he was influenced by the legends of Enoch where uncovered women were swept away by lustful angels. I think NASA has since refuted that.
     
  11. SchiZo

    SchiZo Omnipresent

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    Thanks for the warm welcome Mohsin.

    I've not really followed this thread closely, so I may have missed some important points out. If theres a certain topic or aspect of Islam that needs clarifying, just bring it to my attention.

    As for the hijab or the head covering... I don't see what the big deal is. Why does anyone care how someone dresses in a certain way? In some cultures, the women cover their heads with a scarf, and they are non-muslims. So why all the commotion if a muslim woman covers her head too? lol. No one is asking you to do anything, if you don't like a certain part of Islam, just don't embrace it. Simple. lol
     
  12. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    Again, if it were a choice, it wouldn't be of issue. Go read Sayyid Qutb. There can be no compulsion in virtue. And yet that's what the hijab represents.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2004
  13. SchiZo

    SchiZo Omnipresent

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    No one is compelled to do anything. I don't need to read up on anyones opinions. If you want to discuss Islam with me, bring me credible Islamic sources and scriptures.


    Head covering is an act of ones own will.
     
  14. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    LOL Its a choice until its not! Are you denying its in the holy writ and law?
     
  15. SchiZo

    SchiZo Omnipresent

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    I don't understand what you are trying to say. Please elaborate.

    especially the phrase; "Its a choice until its not!".

    Hijab is not the same thing as a head covering or scarf. Modesty and hijab is a command which is to be observed by muslims. It is not social law. If one doesn't agree with it, they don't become a muslim. That simple.
     
  16. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    You elaborated for me. We were on the same line of thought. I just couldn't express myself properly.

     
  17. SchiZo

    SchiZo Omnipresent

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    Hrmm ok. Well I don't know if I am supposed to respond with an explanation, since I don't know if you are asking a question or not.

    Either way, I have to go now. I might come back tomorrow and expound on the topic.
     
  18. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    No, no. I was just stuttering over myself. I guess scarves aren't compulsory if one ignores the side-effect of being at odds with the popular brand of the faith. Or that multiple wives is a good idea if the chicks in question like being counted as (some may see it) property... or just likes being one of many wives. At least in the countries that don't enforce laws demanding suchs things, which is a whole 'nother political discussion.

    As a Christian in America, I accept that as a man my long hair would be unwelcome in many churches. I personally consider that too a compulsion of virtue.
     
  19. banjo

    banjo Established Member

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    Mohsin said:

    Jesus never denied his divinity either, even when directly asked about it. In John 20:28, Jesus lets Thomas call Him "my Lord and my God" without correction or clarification.

    As regards the trinity idea, the understanding is that Jesus as God the Son is eternally begotten of God the Father, and therefore the Son derives being from the Father, but has done so forever and that the Son's being is as much Divine as is the Father's (think of an Eternal Mind which has Eternally Thought- the Mind represents the Father & the Thought represents the Son). Also, by His Incarnation in a human body, God the Son has become a created being of God the Father. Thus, both by His eternal begettal & His temporal incarnation, Jesus while being fully of God-nature can regard the Father as His God. Thus, in John 20:17, Jesus says "I go to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."

    Bear in mind, I'm not a christian. This is just how (I think) they think about it.

    Don't bother quoting that back to me. When I used that phrase, I was just paraphrasing a common religious argument. It's not what I think myself. Personally I think that is too vague an argument to mean anything at all.

    You can justify anything if you start using that argument.

    No, I've met mainstream well-educated (al-Azhar) muslims who raise a slight question about this. Not saying they don't believe it, just that there is apparently room for argument.

    Schizo said:

    It doesn't matter who is making the accustaions - you will never get 4 witnesses to a sexual act.

    4 witnesses is not solid evidence. 4 witnesses is impossible evidence. You might as well not have the offence at all, because you will never get 4 witnesses. The only way you would get 4 witnesses is if the two people had sex in a public park in the middle of the day, which never happens. So it's a non-crime.

    So why does the quran bother to mention it (since it is such a rare, minor crime - adulturous sex in front of 4 witnesses.)?

    Islam is saying that adultery is wrong and punishable by the authorities (to the tune of 100 lashes). Suppose I think that the lady down the street is committing adultery. Suppose I have evidence - 3 witnesses, DNA evidence, photos, etc. My case would fail because I haven't got enough witnesses. And yet, by any objective criteria, I have proven the adultery beyond all reasonable doubt.

    It's a non-crime because no one will ever be able to produce 4 witnesses. So there's no point in even having it on the statute books.

    Well great, then islam is useless because it will only work if everyone is sincere. It doesn't work on the non-sincere people.

    I'm not saying this, I'm saying that islam gives them the right to do this.

    I know. Agreed.

    Look, I'm a lawyer. I look for loopholes. I'm not saying that muslims go around dating and seeking out other women. I'm saying that if they want to do this, islam would let them. It would not place any objections in their way.

    So it morally sanctions this behaviour for those people who wish to abuse the system.

    Theoretically one could marry one's first wife. Then after a year or so (once the honeymoon period has worn off) go out looking for wife number 2. As long as the man can afford to keep 2 wives then islam has no problem with this.

    After a year or two with wife number 2 he can start looking for number 3. He always has the option of divorcing wife number 1 at any time if things get difficult. As long as he can afford to pay her off then theres no problem.

    And it's not just the ultra rich who take two wives. Plenty of muslims do it.

    Also is it not the case that he can divorce wife number 1 by saying "I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you" and that's it. He just walks away. Doesn't matter if there's kids or whatever. He may have to pay some money (return of dowry etc) but the actual divorce itself, in terms of legal requirements, is just a matter of saying I divorce you three times.

    bananabrain said:

    Doesn't matter what kind of term it is, it's still there and my point (originally) is that, in polygamy, the man is only making a partial emotional commitment whereas the woman is making a total emotional commitment.

    Doesn't matter what kind of a marriage it is. You still have to live with this person for the foreseeable future. So the emotional aspect is stil there.

    I'm talking about at the time you actually marry them.

    At this point in time (the wedding day) you are commiting for life - or at least the foreseeable future. The difference is that (under polygamy) the woman is committing herself totally to this one man whereas the man is saying "I commit myself totally to this woman, until I meet someone else".

    Partial commitment.

    You don't seem to understand what I'm saying. It's not an ideal, it's the norm. At the time you get married you are making a long term commitment.

    AT THE TIME YOU GET MARRIED.

    Whether it works out in the long run is irrelevant. AT THE TIME YOU GET MARRIED you are making a long term commitment.

    Or at least the woman is, the man isn't (under islamic polygamy).

    These are rare exceptions, we can ignore them for the purposes of this argument. I'm talking about the general rule of thumb for marriage.

    Yes and it's still a long term (lifelong) commitment. Under monogamy it's a long term commitment for both partners to each other (for whatever reason). Under polygamy, it's only a lifelong commitment for one of the partners (the woman).

    Again, I'm not talking about how married life turns out, I'm talking about the commitment you make when you marry someone.

    In the vast majority of cases, people don't get married in order to live separate lives.

    I never said it was an emotional commitment alone. It is a commitment on various levels - financial, social, etc. I'm just talking about the emotional component of it.

    The emotional component is probably the most important in most marriages. This is just de facto truth - if you are going to live with someone for the rest of your life you are making an emotional commitment, doesn't matter why you married them.

    They aren't your business partner. You're going to sleep with them, have kids with them, share the good times and the bad.

    This may be what jewish tradition teaches but are you incapable of thinking outside of jewish tradition? Why do you think people pair off and marry? Never mind jewish tradition, what do you think?

    YES, now you're starting to get it. The Aztec religion does affect you. As much as any other religion. As much as judaism affects me.

    Exactly, so there are certain things I need to do. What if I follow a religion that outlaws all these things?

    The original UK religion was paganism which was quite big on human sacrifice (which is basically murder). So suppose I'm a pagan - that means I agree with murder. According to judaism, I'm in trouble if I murder people. According to paganism, I'm pleasing God if I murder people.

    Which is correct?

    If God wrote his message across the sky in letters of fire then there wouldn't be different sects claiming to have the exclusive truth. We would all be one sect (the correct one).

    God could say, for example:

    "Sects A, B, C, and D are wrong. Sect E are closest but they are still slightly wrong. Here's where they are wrong.... etc"

    If God did this every 100 years or so we would gradually get rid of all the wrong ones and narrow it down. After a couple of thousand years we'd probably have it about right.

    Look, the question is:

    "What is the correct degree of modesty we should show?"

    There is only one correct answer. The correct answer is:

    "That level of modesty which God requires."

    Tribes in Africa and South America reckon God requires hardly any modesty. Muslims reckon God requires a lot of modesty.

    They can't both be right. There is a definate answer, it's just that we don't know what that correct answer is.

    I don't want you to agree with me - there's nothing to agree with. I'm not making any statements. I don't know what the correct level of modesty is. I don't speak to God very often. But there MUST be a correct answer.

    Since the religions of the world cover the whole spectrum of opinion on the subject, one of them is probably right (just by chance) but we don't know which one that is. So in probability terms they are all as correct as each other.

    So you might as well follow one as another, it doesn't make any difference. You're as likely to be right whichever one you follow. The more likely response though is that none of them are right. Or, if one is, then it's only by chance.

    Schizo said:

    What if one is already a muslim (by birth for example). They don't have the choice of not becoming a muslim. Many interpretations of islam think that the penalty for apostacy is death.

    Personally, I would never join a club that wouldn't let me leave.
     
  20. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    nor does judaism, christianity, secular humanism or vegetarianism. it's a problem with humans, not religion particularly.

    oh, i must have missed that. well, i suppose if, as i have been arguing, the man is not necessarily making an emotional commitment, one can hardly expect the woman to be. as indeed i believe the case has been in many times.


    i think you're purposely ignoring the "separate lives"/"marriage of convenience" issue by claiming it's a "rare exception" - in which case you're now falling back onto statistical generalisations which you can't back up without data that you couldn't possibly have access to. you were also (at least originally) arguing about the *origin* of marriage and the *history* of marriage - and although nowadays i agree the majority of people in western societies probably consider the emotional commitment and mean it to last forever when they get married, 'twas not always thus and in other parts of the world, still isn't. my issue is with your post-enlightenment eurocentric generalisations being used to justify universalist validations, which they don't, especially about modern islam or, indeed, judaism.

    leaving aside my "incapabability" of thinking outside judaism and the implication that such a thing is necessarily better (individual-centred reason again, there), i don't see why it's relevant. assuming we establish that "under lab conditions, 59% of human beings will mate for life", what the arse does that prove? what do we learn? i haven't got where i am today (wherever that is) by doing exactly what all my various impulses tell me to do whenever they tell me to do it. neither have you i dare say.

    NO, now we're starting to really disagree. i don't agree that the aztec religion affects me in any appreciable way other than by being pleased it isn't around any more, because i think there is enough murder done in the name of religion. what you are effectively arguing is that by the creation of a system of thought, people who aren't aware of it are affected - now that may be an argument for going to the middle of the amazon and missionarising to people who would never otherwise have heard of hell or salvation, but judaism doesn't agree with that. i have no idea why you would think i care what the aztecs would think of me.

    you'd be an idolater, a fascist, a murderer, a thief, an incest-committer, an anarchist and someone who eats bits of animals while they're stil alive. so it doesn't actually apply to all that many people, in fact.

    assuming it was as simple as that (which it isn't) then i leave it to you to choose which side you prefer.

    well, actually, that's what a lot of religions started out trying to be; christianity, islam, sikhism and ba'hai, for a start. however, it does run up against a general problem, which is that humans tend to disagree whenever possible and have a tendency to divide into mutually antagonistic groups rather than all pull together. if you are proposing an imposed solution to this problem, though, i would have to ask you one question:

    all together now...

    are you kawohl, are you kawohl, aaaare you kawohl in disguiiiiise?
    are you kurt kawohl in dis-guiiise?


    actually, in judaism, that's not the answer. the answer is "these and those are the words of the Living G!D - but the halacha is in accordance with the school of hillel".

    in other words, ultimate Truth is not within the grasp of human perception and the best we can do is approach things heuristically, on the basis of the best answers we have available - to which i would respectfully add: the best answers do not include human sacrifice or running around the streets with your todger hanging out.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     

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