Santa V God

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Tao_Equus, May 10, 2008.

  1. Devadatta

    Devadatta New Member

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    That’s the furthest thing from my mind. I hope you remain a member in good standing. As for me, my pattern here is intense involvement for a time, and then a long absence until some kind of sick addiction draws me back!

    So my hidden agenda is that I’ve been trying to bail out of these forums for at least a week, and our little dust-up has just delayed me! I just hate leaving a discussion in such a stupid state of near-total lack of communication. And, frankly, adversarial types of discussions where inevitably substance is lost under a flurry of “gotchyas” just wears on my nerves.

    Here’s some more background: several years ago, in light of political events we all know about, I spent some time learning about Islam, re-reading the Koran looking at some of the hadith, peeking into the earliest Muslim biographies of the Muhammad, and reading a few serious books on the subject, while avoiding the merely tendential at either extreme. Partly what I learned is what I tried to set out above: that Islam can be a positive or negative force, and that for the sake of us all we’d better hope that moderate forces win out in the end and that grass roots Islamist movements do indeed find their better angels.

    But I also learned that constitutionally I’m the last person to carry on detailed debate on the nature, history, and effects of Islam because I have no instinctive sympathy for the religion even on its good days. For me, Islam summarizes a lot of what I object to in the Abrahamic tradition as a whole – and this is an inference I’m sure you can easily draw from some of my other threads (“cult of obedience,” et al). So again that’s why I merely wanted to suggest some middle ground between you and Tao. That’s the only contribution I wanted to make. And it was more a “pointing” than a point.

    So while I’m tempted to get on for another ride on this merry-go-round, I can’t think of a logical reason to do so except out of ego, to nail down my position, show where I’m right and you’re wrong, to get in the last word. In fact, whoever is driven to get in the last word has probably already lost the argument.

    But perhaps we can end with a brief discussion of less messy topic, where can respectfully exchange views. See next post.

    (face in the clouds)
     
  2. Devadatta

    Devadatta New Member

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    Hi Netti. So again my purpose is simply an exchange of views on the ideas you're raising here.


    I guess I would first ask for some clarification. Can you tell me something of this "G-d" and how he/she/it ordains human rights?


    I certainly recognize in a pragmatic sense that a certain concept of God and faith in that concept is a way to develop love for other human beings. But can you elaborate a little more on your paticular framework for these ideas?


    (friendly face)
     
  3. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    I thought we were doing ok, just bumpy here and there.

    Sorry, Devadatta, I don't see it your way. I don't share your definition of the situation. I think we're doing fine. Maybe you're talking about another thread somewhere.

    Well, that wasn't my agenda.

    I don't understand the urgency to get closure and the desire to put an end to the dialogue. What's wrong with going with the flow and seeing where it goes?

    Does it make sense to start a new thread with your next post? I think we've been off topic for some time.

    Up to you.
     
  4. Devadatta

    Devadatta New Member

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    Okay, at least this is sounding fairly civil. But you’re right we do have different senses of the value of these exchanges, which I’ve already made clear. I haven’t responded point by point to your last few posts because they don’t notably depart from territory already covered and so I’d only be repeating my same basic disagreements. And I don’t enjoy being disagreeable. Perhaps I’d be a little more diplomatic, but that would likely not change very much. As for urgency, well, I do have a few other things going on in my life, as I’m sure you do, but it’s not a question of urgency as such. It’s just that you’ve yet to point out any particular sense to this discussion. I’m still a little in the dark as to what precisely you feel we’re achieving here.

    So this may be a difference in learning styles. Perhaps you feel you’re learning something? Perhaps this adversarial give and take is the way you advance in understanding? Perhaps you’re simply honing your debating skills? Certainly, one can learn some things from these kinds of discussions. The most valuable thing I’ve learned on these forums is a sense of how people arrive at their viewpoints, especially ones I don’t share.

    But when we fall into a broad-ranging discussion of anything so huge as Islam and its cultural effects (you can define this in different terms if you like), it all feels a little bogus, a little absurd. Beyond the few generalities and basic facts I can put out there, I don’t have the time or – as I’ve pointed out - the needed sympathy with the subject to treat it with the seriousness it deserves.

    Again, you’re kind of making me repeat myself. I’ve already said I don’t believe wiki-battles of sourcing are all that useful. Nor do I think that out-of-context cut and paste, or the insertion of materials only loosely related to the context or the points in question are necessarily the best ways to advance a discussion. Finally, for me to significantly increase the depth of my knowledge and the comprehensiveness and sophistication of my view would require serious study on my part. These exchanges we’ve been having don’t qualify. Quite the contrary, I think outside observers must find them a little silly.

    Now, you’ve made clear your own views on this. You disagree with my assessments, and you’ve directed your own criticisms at my style and ways of proceeding as well. Fair enough. But it seems to me the best way forward is to give this some space, and sometime later when the emotional investment has faded, to have a fresh look at these exchanges. Perhaps then we can both take the other’s criticisms in stride, and there we will have learned something.

    So unless you do indeed have a specific point you feel I simply must respond to, again I can only wish you the best.

    (face of a rugged country & western star, say Johnnie Cash in his prime)
     
  5. Muslimwoman

    Muslimwoman Coexistence insha'Allah

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    Sorry Thomas but how would you do this? Santa Claus is a myth built on an actual living person, Saint Nicholas 270-280 AD to 343AD, Sainted for his good works to the poor. Known to have gone out at night in a hooded cloak to leave gifts for the poor, particularly children.

    Therefore St Nicholas can be proved to have existed, the spirit of his gift giving and selfless attitude lives on in the form of a myth.

    Tao I was really sad to read on page one of a thread you started that you are not interested in the history if Santa, as the history is what is important, as it is in religious discussion and it is humans that have taken a story of selfless care of the poor and turned it into a fat guy that brings a 5 year old a mobile phone and ipod.
     
  6. Muslimwoman

    Muslimwoman Coexistence insha'Allah

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    What a shame then that you choose to state the Quran, Islamic teachings and Islamic history so out of context and even in some places with apparent total ignorance of the subject.

    Hey right back at you Tao!! At least Netti has tried to offer context, an example would be the "verse of the sword" which you quoted and made huge inferences about without any historical context or reference to preceding or following verses.

    By the way who named it the verse of the sword? Most certainly it wasn't the Quran or the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).

    Am a little hurt that despite my long posts about the history of this verse you haven't even bothered reading them. No sane Muslim believes that verse is anything other than a single event in history, which Netti has already explained very well. No Muslims, other than jihadists, believe it is meant as an instruction for all Muslims for all time or that it abrogates peaceful verses.

    You also state the Prophet killed up to 900 Jews all by himself ..... wow his arm must have been aching.

    I have posted at length about this incident (the battle of the trench). If you try to read a broad range of authors and not just jihadist rubbish you would know that this account comes from one book (Ibn Ishaq's Sira) which many historians have relied on since that time and the jurist Imam Malik, a contemporary of the author who by the way wrote his book 145 years after the death of the Prophet, denounced as a liar who only his took his information from the descendents of the tribe (how can you have descenents when every man in the tribe was killed?).

    We also know Jews continued to live in Medina after this time, look up Battle of Khaybar ..... how could Jews still live there and work with the Muslims to prepare for this battle if they had all been either banished or killed? (interesting questions like these lead to the logical conclusion that historical accounts hold exaggerations)

    Did the Muslims invite the Banu Quraya in for tea and biscuits? No they had broken the treaty and formed an army with Bedouin tribes (Ghatafan, Murra, Fazara, Sulaym, and Ashja'), the Pagans of Mecca and the Jewish tribes of Banu Nadir and Wa'il, in order to once and for all overthrow the Muslims.

    The Quran has one small verse mentioning this story, it is literally one line and makes no mention of the numbers killed "He caused those of the People of the Book who helped them (i.e. the Quraysh) to come out of their forts. Some you killed, some you took prisoner." (33:26) ..... strange considering your assertion that the Quran is a pack of lies by a megolomanic claiming Prophethood in order to grab power and wealth .... one would think that such a bloody and glorious victory over the Jews would be shouted from the rooftops in that case.

    We also know the men that were killed were kept prisoner in one womans house ...... 900 of them wow it must have been a big house!!

    These men were killed for treason and it was their arbitrator Sa'd ibn Mu'adh of the Aws tribe (allies of the Qurayza, thwe tribe in question) that chose their fate. the Nadir tribe also bought and sold the women and children of the Jewish tribe. So it is all not quite as cut and dried as you attempt to make it sound.

    Islamic scholars have many views on this story ranging from "so what if 900 men were killed they were traitors trying to wipe out the Muslims", to "nobody knows how many were killed and it was only the fighters against Muslims" to "this story is at best exaggerated and at worst an utter lie".

    In the UK at the time people that committed treason were hung, drawn, quartered and their heads displayed on pikes ..... a much nicer fate than beheading don't you agree?!

    Oh please send me a link to it and can you also include your credentials regarding your ability to speak and read classical Arabic, which Islamic school you studied at and how long you have been studying the Quran .... no doubt I will have questions for you. ;)

    Tao to be fair on this thread you have quoted jihadist clap trap and I am deeply offended that you have told me what I believe and am taught ..... I had better start practicing my fibbing and start planning world domination!!

    One small example of where your assertions are wildly misplaced is your continued references to the different books (chronology) of the Quran. Even the greatest Islamic scholars do not know the chronology and the Quran does not have different books, it has era's that scholars refer to. It was never a book as such in the life of the Prophet and when it was developed as such nobody knew the exact chronology and so verses that refer to the same subject were placed together. Scholars attempt to place verses in chronological order based on events mentioned at the time but there are many many verses the scholars cannot even place with any certainty in Mecca or Medina. Perhaps you need to get over here and explain it to them?

    As for your comments about one verse abrogating 124 others .... go and sit on the naughty step for quoting jihadist rubbish again. Scholars opinions across the centuries range from no quranic verse can abrogate another and it is simply our lack of understand where verses appear to contradict each other, to yes abrogation exists but to what extent (total abrogation, partial, explaination or addition to), to the modern jihadist cr*p saying it abrogates all peaceful verses.

    Needless to say the jihadist stuff is in the vast minority and it troubles me that you are choosing to state their view is the real Islamic doctrine and I must therefore be a lying apologist ..... perhaps when you begin to quote serious Islamic scholars I will answer you more fully.
     
  7. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    My kids know "Santa" was St. Nicholas, who was murdered while tending to the children of his town and country side. They know that we kept the spirit of his giving alive by providing for them in special ways at that time of the year, and emulating him (thus stimulating their young imaginations), and keeping his history alive for them to carry on with their children. But we always had a picture somehting like this hanging on the wall near the Christmas tree.
     

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  8. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    I'm honored. Thank you, Sally.

    There is a remarkable passage toward the end of her first book where Ayaan Hirsi Ali says that Muslims as a people see Islam as a peaceable religion and as a source of spiritual guidance. (Presumably they conduct their lives accordingly.) Even though Ms. Ali can attest to what she said from experience (having been raised a Muslim), she has been trying to make a career out of portraying Islam to be something different from the religion that it is for Muslims.

    So why does Ms. Ali criticize Islam? Isn't her dispute with the peaceable and pious Muslims of the world who have been foolish enough to look to G-d, who shows them the "ways of peace" and directives for an ethical life??? (See Koran 5:15-16)

    Even when it's staring them in the face, the proof of a religion's power is not good enough for some non-Muslims. So they keep bashing away all the while assuming no one will speak up and point out that Islam is being insulted with lies. Shame!
     
  9. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Afraid to take me and my faith on Netti? Does not seem like you. You asked a question, I answered. Is that enough?

    v/r

    Q
     
  10. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    Can you be a little more un-specific? :)

    And what's this about "taking on" other people's faith? :confused:

    Sorry, I have no idea what you're talking about.
     
  11. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Sorry, I must have been mistaken. I apologize Netti.

    v/r

    Q
     
  12. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    Not a problem. Blessings to you.
     

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