Eid Sa’id, to the good side of Islam

Indonesians Celebrate the Eid (source)

Indonesians celebrate Eid-al-Fitr (source)

Here is wishing peaceful Muslims around the world “Eid Sa’id” (Happy Eid). Today is Eid-al-Fitr which is a feast day ending their month of day-time fasting (Ramadan).

Festivals, sacred and secular, can be a joyous experiences. Depending on rhetoric and propaganda, people can use that joy to improve and of the following:

  • their inner life (like peace, love or taqwa -the ultimate goal of Ramadan)
  • their generosity and other virtues
  • their community

But joyous religious festivals can be used to also build negative attributes like:

  • a holier-than-the-pagan idea
  • a us-vs-them idea
  • their subservience to their government or religious rulers
  • licentiousness and lawlessness

Mind you, even secular holidays can do the same. So I only offer “Eid Sa’id” to the healthy side of Islam and hope the ugly practices in the name of Islam fade a little more today.

As an addition to my sacrilegious post here which proposes a fictitious medicine for constipation experienced during Ramadan, clicking here you will see a Saudi article about the complaint of weight gain that Eid-al-Fitr brings to doctor offices among many binging celebrates.  So next week, I may see folks for that.  Heck, my proposed medicine may work for that too (sorry, just can’t help myself).



Filed under Philosophy & Religion

48 responses to “Eid Sa’id, to the good side of Islam

  1. Eid Sa’id from me as well.🙂

  2. rautakyy

    Good willing people find good morals, and selfish people excuses for nasty things from their respective religions.

    Bülent Arinc the second hand man to Turkish premier Erdogan is reported to have said, that women should not laugh publicly. He made the comment in the Eid-al-Fitr party of his party. He was calling for moral values from the Quran, that have in his opinion deteriorated in modern day Turkey. He was immidiately called out for such stupidity by opposition representatives, because Turkey – after all – is rather modern semi-European country.

    Political conservatism often has roots in culturally obsolete ideas in ancient religions. Social morals has moved on from the ideals of the largest world religions, but they do adapt to modern reality. If not with a little delay to the rest of the society. Do they not?

  3. I like the post but I’m not a Muslim. Do you think a Muslim would read this post from an Atheist and actually consider any of it?

  4. @haydendlinder,
    Thanx for stopping in.
    Nah, didn’t expect Muslims to see though I have had a few such readers and I get several who are just doing google searches.
    Do I expect to change a Muslim mind, no?
    I can see a few purposes for this post:
    (1) Real encounters with folks can help and maybe this post will help one person to relate to another Muslim.
    (2) I have had a few rigid categorically anti-religion atheists read this blog — though they usually leave quickly — and this post may challenge them a bit.
    (3) It was just fun.

  5. @rautakky,
    “Laughing”? Who’d ever imagine.
    I looked around a bit and found no Qur’anic or Hadith commands against laughing of women. I wonder where he pulled that one from. I imagine “laughing loudly” means immodest to him and the Quran does talk about women’s modesty.

  6. rautakyy

    @Sabio Lanz, indeed. It seems possible to find what ever moral guidelines one wants from one’s respective religions. Regardless of what the “holy” books precisely say. Rather few religious people really know what their scriptures actually say. Instead they have these cultural traditions, that they rely to be based on those scriptures. But the Turks had their own culture before they became Muslims, that did not disappear at the moment they joined Islam and they have been under influence of Christianity and other cultural phenomenons for centuries.

  7. There is good in everything. Sadly the good that one may experience in religion is underpinned by superstition and lies and over time these often become inseparable.
    In fact, when religion comes under threat the ‘hardcore’ tend to come to the fore; many of whom try ( and often succeed) to assert barbaric practices that are all too familiar in a religion such as Islam.
    The trouble with embracing religion, even if one’s motivation is positive, is it suggests a tacit implication that it is ‘okay’ – which it is not – and those who are unable to express their objections for fear of reprisal ( especially in a religion such as Islam ) are the ones that are so often crying out for help.

    A cursory read of any article or blog hosted by a Muslim deconvertee, will illustrate this point.

  8. @ Ark,

    Your comment touches on several issues:

    (1) The many horrible things about Islam [I agree]

    (2) All good in one’s religion being “underpinned” by superstition. [I disagree – and have many posts addressing that.]

    (3) Embracing religion reinforces negative aspects even if you aren’t negative. [I sort of agree on this, but if a religious person is vocal against the negative aspects, my disagreement wanes.]

    (4) The bad of anyone’s embracing a religion always outweighs the good. [I disagree. Again, I have lots of posts on that. We probably just disagree.]

    I have several Muslim colleagues — excellent docs and fine people. This weekend, working with one, he told me of his up-coming return visit for 3-weeks in Iran (where I have once visited). We discussed some of the horrible laws in that land. First we talked about the death penalty for intoxicant use. He agreed, hesitantly that it was a bad law. Then I talked about death penalty for deconverting and said how criminally horrible I thought that was. He didn’t agree right away — I am sure he doesn’t want people reconverting either. That he didn’t jump in and absolutely agree with me right away was shocking.

  9. 2) All good in one’s religion being “underpinned” by superstition. [I disagree – and have many posts addressing that.]

    You are entitled to disagree. This does not mean you are correct and based on the evidence you are not. Religion is underpinned by superstition and lies, and certainly the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

    3) Embracing religion reinforces negative aspects even if you aren’t negative. [I sort of agree on this, but if a religious person is vocal against the negative aspects, my disagreement wanes.]
    This reverts to 2) . The very fact that religion is based upon superstition makes it bad. It is as ridiculous as saying a women is a little pregnant, and one cannot separate a “Good Christian” ( for example) from Christianity, which is bad.

    (4) The bad of anyone’s embracing a religion always outweighs the good. [I disagree. Again, I have lots of posts on that. We probably just disagree.]

    Similar to above. Good people smoke cigarettes. But cigarette smoking is bad.
    Therefore we shouldn’t try to eventually ban cigarettes? Nonsense…of course we should! And at the very least more laws should be made that severely punish manufacturers.
    The same pressure should be brought to bear against religious institutions.

    As I have often stressed. As adults we are entitled to believe what we wish. It should not be indoctrinated into those that have no defense or have not yet developed critical thinking skills.
    Why is it considered anathema to teach kids that the world is only 6000 years old but seemingly okay to teach kids that the biblical character Jesus walked on water and was raised from the dead? Or that Mohammed flew on a winged horse to Heaven?
    Thus if we are fighting to ensure rubbish like Creationism is stamped out of all educational institutions then kids should not be subject to religion period.

    As for your last paragraph; this illustrates the point.
    When push comes to shove the Qur’an and its doctrine, as with most religious text, ( but the Koran in particular) will win hands down, and this is why religion has to eventually go and why, ultimately there is no justification for it at all.

  10. @ Ark,

    Right, and you are welcome to disagree with me too — and likewise it does not mean you are correct!

    Come on, Ark, I won’t engage you in dialogue if you continue this type of rhetoric.

    In fact, I don’t think we can go any further.
    I know your position well, we just disagree on what I consider important points — the biggest being rhetoric.
    And I don’t have time for your type of rhetoric.
    Our dialogue will be of no value. I think you know that.

  11. If there was value in religion – and I am not talking about the simple social structures that might involve watching over one’s neighbour or working at a soup kitchen or tea and biscuits with like-minded people, which do not require religion – then there would be no need for indoctrination. No need for obfuscation regarding religious text or fear-based religious education etc.
    Furthermore, every single positive attribute that one may find within religion can and is found in secular humanism.
    Any religious doctrine text that is built upon a foundation that includes such gems as Jihaad ( irrespective of how it is chosen to be interpreted) or laws regarding slavery, homosexuality, subjugation of women and the doctrine of Hell has no merit worth considering. None. Even more so when one considers that such words are considered to be the ‘Inspired Words of a Deity’.
    And in Islam’s case the literal word of their god, Allah.

    [poor rhetoric removed – see comment policy]

    As you state you are a self-proclaimed atheist you have no right to claim there are benefits of religion until you have experienced this from the perspective of those that went through/still go through the horror of what it is capable of.
    A world without religion will be a far better place than one with.

    [poor rhetoric removed – see comment policy]

  12. OK, Ark, I am now editing your comments for poor rhetoric.
    Keep it up, and I will hold your comments.
    Now on to your comment’s content:

    Religion is a fuzzy word with broad, unagreed definitions between scholars themselves. (now anti-religion Atheists think they know a religion when they see one, of course). Not only that but actual believers hold their religions (their “living religion”) in very different ways than the dogmas their religious professionals would prefer. Just recently I have written superstitions — phenonema inside religions or on the edge of religion (again, exposing the artificial nature of the word religion — which I have posted on many times.)
    I have shown, some of the potential adaptive, selective value of such things. Not to say that those who package religions, don’t do this will all sorts of horrible intents.

    “Religion” is a complex phenonomena. To understand all the complexity is one of the conversations of this blog. Religious Humanism does not offer everything Religion does. Some groups are trying, but it is tough because religions trick and motivate humans in ways hyper-rational humanism isn’t succeeding. But can humanism do it? Yes, it can but it take time to develop productive methods that spread — time that religions had.
    Is it possible to have a world better without religion — yes, I think so. I think it is highly improbable because all those subphenomena I spoke about in religion will always arise to form new religions among people. So I am for understanding what advantages religions serve and how best to evaluate the negative elements to help religions always see through their weak sides while preserving the good.

    Our approaches are different, Ark. You are on an “All Religion is Bad” crusade. This blog is not for you. You will be nothing but frustrated here as I explore the human mind and anthropological issues.

    All atheists who categorically condemn religion, do so with some private definition of religion in their head. (I have done several posts on this issue) And even then, some narrow, concept of the application of that definition.

    They are above all else committed to the phrase “All religion is bad”. They don’t care to explore the uses of the word, the exceptions to their mantra, the phenomena of religion. They (in an ironically religious way) will side step everything to make sure that sentence is protected. In general they attack fundamental literalism — and I get that.

    You strike me as one of those.
    Though you and I probably agree very strongly on most of the atrocities done in the name of religion and using religion, we disagree on some important science methodology points.

    I don’t know of any sociologists or anthropologists who are atheists and would agree with your strong position that yells “All religion is bad.” To take you through the steps of understand what I am speaking about would take too much effort because you only want to win and not to understand. You are in attack mode all the time and have one zealous religious mission.

    Please go to other blogs where you will meet fellow atheists who love to scream and cry. There you can backslap each other in congratulatory agreement. Or go to Fundamentalist Christian sites who have your same spirit and love to spit and shout with you.

    Learn to talk to me and to the issues I bring up and do so calmly and without slander and the type of rhetoric I had to cut out of your last comment. I will keep cutting your horrible slander, or put your comments on hold or outright ban you. I should just ban you for your slander of me on other sites, but I give you this last time to see if you can understand my point.

  13. While I agree that religion has its complexities – one only has to look at the number of denominations/cults within any particular religion – the premise of all of them is based unfalsifiable claims that amount to nothing but superstition an d thus they are generally inculcated through the use of
    varying degrees of reward and punishment.

    That good people who do good things exist within these frameworks ( as you illustrate in this post) is not denied, but very often the reason they behave in such fashion is because they believe they are commanded to do so by a deity.
    How many times have you read or heard a religious person state that God is ultimately responsible for morals and without God society would simply degenerate into barbarism?
    Thus, promoting or even acknowledging this and other similar doctrine merely cements a belief that the supernatural is credible and extends a licence for more fundamental elements to push their insidious agendas.
    One only has to look at the conflict across the globe that has religion as a major reason for that conflict to recognise this.
    Yes, people will likely always fight over something, but without religion that is just one LESS thing to kill each other over.

    I reiterate. If an adult wishes to follow such beliefs in an environment free from coercion this is their choice, providing it does not hurt or interfere with others.
    But children should be protected from the insidious indoctrination that is, sadly, part and parcel of religious belief.

    [non-productive rhetoric deleted]

  14. ….we disagree on some important science methodology points.

    Would you care to elaborate?

  15. OK, Ark, keep to productive, calm, focused dialogue and your comments can stand. And stop talking about the rhetoric — just stick to the topic.

    Now concerning the substantive part of your comment, to speed up dialogue, let me abbreviate

    ARAB atheists = “all religions are bad” atheist
    no, that won’t work.
    how about:
    RIABA: Religion-is-always-Bad Atheists
    yeah, that will work for now.

    Your objections which you make often in your comments, fall into five categories — I address all five below so they are easier to discuss and to limit unnecessary repetition.

    1. Beliefism
    The vast majority of RIABA hold that “religion” is fundamentally about “beliefs”. As your first paragraph states. Every anthropologist I’ve read disagrees with this, but it is a common lay position — even one held by many “believism” religious folks. Indeed, in many religions (as practiced by real people) “beliefism” is central — my post on “Believism” for more. But I think “beliefism” is not a huge part of many personal religions or actually those how claim it is.

    So this point may be at the center of some of our, perhaps unnecessary, disagreements. You may not like the model I work with, but let’s not waste time arguing words and models but establish clear disagreements when they exist.

    I am pretty sure you know about the “beliefism” objection — many folks have written about it (even if not under that neologism).

    Here is a post I started to that effect but haven’t worked on — perhaps I should.

    2. Good Deed Commonalities
    I think religious folks do good things for the similar reasons you do. They may say otherwise, but those who deconvert (myself included) are testimony to the contrary. I did good things as a believer and may have attributed to a god, but when I deconverted, I continued — only my explanation changed.

    But I agree, any religious doctrine that teaches that only religious people can do truly good deeds is pernicious and needs to be fought. Fortunately not all religious people believe this.

    You see, I am for focused criticism when possible.

    3) Religion as Major Cause of Conflict
    I think religion is often an ugly factor in conflicts and if the exclusivism of religion. But even without religion, people generate all type of horrible reasons for war. Us-vs-Them disease can will grab whatever ideology it can to spread its hate and power.

    This claim is common among certain types of atheists. It is an empirical claim and not really interesting to me since I see both religious and non-religious horrible causes of war. And I agree that religion can be one of the major causes and a horrible manipulative tool.

    So you see, again, I am look at underlying principles that capture the nature of the crime on both sides of the fence.

    4) Supporting a “Good” Religion reinforces the Bad

    I think this can be true — as I already said in another comment — so please stop repeating yourself. Let’s close topics as either we agree, we disagree or we are still exploring. I have no need to hear your objections over and over. Hopefully this numbering helps us avoid that. No need to keep “re-iterating” when I have already addressed you issue. Instead, you must show me why you think my counter is mistaken.

    But, I think Good religion does not alwaysreinforce bad. And claiming otherwise, seems part of the rhetoric of RIABA — it is a pseudo-empirical claim which is worse. It pretends to have stats to back it but not only are there no stats, but there is no way to measure this. Sound familiar?

    Indeed, good religion can often be one of the best ways to change bad religion. We have many historical examples of this. Thus, I like to explore the good vs bad components and how they can influence each other.

    5) Religious Coercion of Children
    I also don’t like this — but only when the coercion is toward bad religion (as I explained above). Thus, this is a complicated issue. Everyone coerces children’s beliefs — we all give kids our values and try to surround them with influence move them in that direction. Hands of child raising is not my method.

    But I absolutely despise and frequently argue agains any exclusivist, better-than-though teaching to children — be it religious, class, race, ethnic group or any such thing. And of course religious teaching of hell and damnation is disgusting. But not all religions do this, though many do.

    I hope that helps delineate our possible differences.

  16. @ Ark,
    Perhaps the above explanations point at the difference in methodological approaches we have. You are very interested in a big gun approach. You seem to believe that unforgiving broad generalizations are the best way to approach problems with religion. And thus your analysis methods are meant to fit your goals. That is my perception.

  17. The minutia of god-belief have no major bearing in my perspective other than for interest sake.
    That there are 40,000 plus Christian denominations alone perfectly illustrates they cannot agree among themselves, so even if a person were to accept Christianity as a first choice religion which one should be considered ”correct”?
    In the face of such numbers finding the right religion becomes nonsensical.
    A similar situation presents itself with other religions as well.

    The key negative areas of (all) religion are as follows:
    Belief in a unfalsifiable deity. ( creator deity)
    Indoctrinating children.

    By not indoctrinating children with god belief and by extension, religion , it will dwindle.
    While I acknowledge it would be ridiculous and churlish to expect legislation to be be handed out willy-nilly against religious indoctrination, ( and here we are focusing on western society) steps can be taken to encourage a speedier move toward a secular humanist global society which is why I make the point that acknowledging the “Good of Religion” is to maintain a tacit acceptance – that its okay to be religious – when simple common sense tells you that societal acceptance of the supernatural claims as a basis for truth and/or reality should be discouraged at every turn.

  18. Ah yes, I forgot, another trope:

    6) Denominations and Sects prove Religion Wrong:
    Likewise, there are tons of divisions of theories in linguistics, anthropology and sociology — that proves it is all a waste of time. Right! This is poor logic.

    You know I don’t except any of them either — who are you lecturing? But I do feel there are interesting shared deep interests in them and techniques that may be valuable that are missed in many secular methods. I wish to improve both.

    Thanks, you are building my list for me. I don’t think you are listening — just lecturing your repeated tropes.

    Ark, I get it, I get it. No matter what, you never want anything nice thought about any religion, any religious practice or anything associated with the word “religion”. I get it. You are on a mission. You feel if the word “religion” is not thoroughly and consistently attacked, the evils associated with it will prosper.

    I think you are wrong and I have shown you why. But I understand your religious zeal. Yet you have not addressed of my explanations, instead you keep evangelizing — almost like you never read or thought about them. Do you feel I don’t understand your perspective? I feel I totally understand your point. Do you feel you totally understand my perspective?

  19. Denominations and Sects prove Religion Wrong:

    Your bold heading is a misrepresentation of what I wrote.
    The premise of religion is false, based on superstition and often lies.
    It should be important to ensure clarification.

    You appear to simply want to dismiss the central issue of the argument to score points. I have no idea why?

    If we are to accept that there is ”good religion” then we may as well look for the good points in Creationism. Or give the likes of Ken Ham the green light.
    Or maybe we should embrace Islam and not worry about the vile interpretations of the Qur’an?
    On this particular issue alone it would be worthwhile asking the opinion of an apostate.
    It is also worth remembering that no Muslim (that I am aware of ) will forswear any part of the Qur’an whilst still part of Islam.

    I think you are wrong and I have shown you why.

    Not really, Sabio. In fact all you have done is reinforce the reason for the argument in the first place.
    And this denial is the zeal that appears to come across.

    I am not on any ”mission”, any more than you are.
    And I thought you were against any form of rhetoric, but here you are – again – being rhetorical, using such terms as my ”religious zeal” as a pejorative.

    I will repeat once again – the premise of all religion that encompasses a creator deity is false and thus to indoctrinate this into children along with the rest of the text based doctrine that encourages belief in the supernatural is morally wrong.

    If you would like to reply to the morality issue surrounding unfalsifiable claims of divinity and god belief re kids etc then maybe we will have a more productive discussion?
    Or perhaps you could find an apostate/deconvertee that will provide info that might enlighten us both on this issue?

  20. @ Arkenaten,

    #1 Beliefism: contradicts your first paragraph — and much more that you repeat over and over. Instead, please show me you are reading.

    What is “the central issue of the argument”?
    I think #1 is the major stumbling block for you.

    Address the points by number — that way I know you are listening and have read. Do only one number and then we will move on.

    Warning: I am growing tired of this — please show you have listened.

  21. 1)

    #1 Beliefism: contradicts your first paragraph — and much more that you repeat over and over. Instead, please show me you are reading.

    my first paragraph…
    Your bold heading is a misrepresentation of what I wrote.
    The premise of religion is false, based on superstition and often lies.
    It should be important to ensure clarification.

    The premise IS false.
    I do not insist on being right for my sake. If you can demonstrate that the premise as I have outlined – is not false then I will retract my statement.

    [poor rhetoric deleted]

  22. Starting again, explore each point one by one.

  23. Right, no problem. So please answer my reply to point one:

    The premise of religion is false, based on superstition and often lies.

    (Oh, and you link to beliefism: it did not work so I read another link.- in case you were wondering?)

  24. Both links are fixed — read those then let’s carry on.
    It will show why your second statement is narrow — only based on your own private definition of religion.
    You feel religion is based on belief, I feel such a view is inaccurate
    — as do almost all anthropologist and sociologists.
    I think everything you say is based on that, so it is a crucial step.

  25. I do not need to read your post on beliefism as I already read one which was covered the salient points well enough.
    You may consider my first point to be narrow, but incorrect it is not.

    If you believe that it is incorrect, then please name a god-belief based religion that is falsifiable.
    Of course, my main areas of interest are Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

  26. For the record, I though this particular comment from your second link most inciteful and the most relevant.

    “how much difference does it actually make …
    [the rest deleted due to lack of relevance]

  27. Ark!
    Pay attention — that quote is from a commentor at one of the links I supplied. I could care less what they say. Read the posts themselves.
    Deleted due to lack of relevance.

  28. @ Ark,

    You are begging the question!

    I tell you that I work with the broader definition of religion which does not view religion as primarily based on belief.
    THEN, you say:

    then please name a god-belief based religion that is falsifiable.

    Do you see the begging? Should be obvious.

  29. .I tell you that I work with the broader definition of religion

    But I accept this. What you are not getting is that what YOU believe is not the definition of religion, is is merely an interpretation, which is exactly what every religious person does- interpret their religion for themselves .
    But the basic premise of all ( god based) religion is false.

    The basic definition – foundation – of all religions has already been established, Judaism, Christianity Islam etc
    This belief is unfalsifiable and when taught as immutable truth is untenable and wrong.

  30. @ Ark,
    There is not ONE definition of religion. Here is an index of posts I’ve done on this and they reference many scholars. I doubt you want to read them at all, though.

    Again, I know your position, and we disagree.
    So now we see that we are stuck on point #1.

    Like I said, most anthropologists and sociologists would agree with me on this, so it is not my approach, it is a common scholastic approach. Yours, on the contrary, seems a common anti-religion, rhetorical approach. Perhaps useful against some, but uninteresting here on this blog.

    So if you want to read those folks, let me know. Otherwise, you have just demonstrated (with your question begging) why we are at a dead end. Understanding why an argument reaches a dead end, however, is a sort of progress of it own, I guess.

    Night — it is probably about 11 pm now in South Africa.

  31. The you tell me what is the first basic immutable tenet of Christianity?

    Please try to be succinct.

  32. There is no “basic immutable tenet” of any religion. You are not getting it, Ark. Either you are doing so intentionally or perhaps this is so new to you that you can’t hear it. If you want reading to broaden your category, I can offer some. Instead, you keep question begging.

    Can’t you see what you are doing? A “tenet” is a belief, a doctrine and I tell you time and again that religion is not primarily about belief. You say, “Well, in my definition it is!”

    SO, we are at a stand still and not it seems you just can’t hear what I am saying.

  33. I did not say that religion is primarily about belief. I have stated time and time again that the basic premise of god based religion is false.

    You seem to be struggling ith this terminology and this is my fault as I cannot think of any other way to put this to you.

    Christianity , for example, hinges on the acceptance of the Resurrection, that Jesus of Nazareth is the creator god.
    Saul of Tarsus even states as much in the bible, does he not?
    This is not falsifiable and yet it is a core tenant and is indoctrinated into children as fact and immutable truth.

    This is immoral and wrong.

    I hope this is understandable for you?

  34. @ Ark,
    Check out these two links. I imagine you would not want to approach religion as either of these authors discuss here. Both say “religion is much more than belief — be that belief in a god or “acceptance” (read: belief) in resurrection and such.

    (1) Vasquez: http://www.amazon.com/More-Than-Belief-Materialist-Religion/dp/0195188543
    (2) Armstrong: http://religiondispatches.org/religion-is-not-about-belief-karen-armstrongs-ithe-case-for-godi/

    Again, I am not struggling with terminology, instead you are failing to understand a different view of religious studies. It sounds like you have not read anything in this realm — and thus you are not understanding my points. On the other hand, I totally understand your position. Let me see if I can say it:

    The Abrahamic religions are based on central claims (an intervening deity, resurrection and such) that are non-falsifiable and thus inevitably wrong. And being based on such falsehoods can generate nothing but a preponderance of bad. Thus, “All Religion is Bad”.

    Close, right? Maybe not as verbose as your explanations, but see if you can say your own position more accurately and yet as succinct or in less words.

  35. @Sabio, you said, “Us-vs-Them disease can will grab whatever ideology it can to spread its hate and power.” I did a minor experiment exploring this idea yesterday when I posted an article on Facebook that challenged the nutritional advantages of organic foods. I don’t have any strongly-held opinions about the topic but have a friend who does and posts pro-organic, anti-GMO articles frequently so I wanted to see what she would say. It came as no surprise that she picked what she wanted out of the article and said, “See, this is why I buy organically.” Today she even posted an article about pesticide use and tagged me. Tagged me! Both times I was simply trying to make the point that rhetoric should be avoided in this or any discussion but it was more important that she defend her beliefs. Religion isn’t the problem. Blind adherence and allegiance to unsubstantiated ideas is.

  36. @ Michael B,

    Exactly !

    If someone is on a mission, the confirmation bias screams in their head so they can hear nothing else.

    You said,

    Religion isn’t the problem. Blind adherence and allegiance to unsubstantiated ideas is.

    Blind adherence and allegiance to ideas is always a problem, whether it be in a person’s religion or not. But religion is far more & far less than just ideas. [something I am trying to get Ark to understand as a different definition that his narrow one.]

  37. You seem to believe that I fail to recognize that religion has multiple components. Let me correct that false assumption once and for all.
    I am fully aware of the complex nature of religion, its, rites and rituals, it good works, it outreach programs etc etc.
    This is not what I am talking about, and never has been. I hope this is clear enough for you?

    Firstly, please, at least acknowledge that I might have done a little research, okay?

    Now try to grasp the salient point I am making without continually leveling erroneous unfounded accusations at me.

    If we stick with Christianity for now it will simplify matters – especially for me – but the principle can and is extended to every other god-based religion.

    The foundational claims are based on unfalsifiable superstition and usually encompass some sort of reward/punishment doctrine/dogma that is indoctrinated into children and is carried through to adulthood.

    In Christianity this involves the belief and acceptance that the character, Jesus of Nazareth died, was resurrected and is the Creator of the Universe.
    To inculcate this unfalsifiable claim and the accompanying doctrine is immoral and wrong.

  38. Great, Ark, you understand all those other aspects of religion.

    But further, any given person’s “living religion” is the way they hold all those things and live them out.

    As I have written here, I am most glad that Most Christians Don’t Believe what they confess to believe. For like you, some of the beliefs they could hold are pernicious — you see, we agree there. They are not pernicious because they are inaccurate or untrue, but because of the way they are used — like “only believers like me go to heaven”.

    So we probably agree on most of the beliefs that are inaccurate in Christianity. And I am sure every belief I feel is pernicious, you also do.

    But given that similarity, here are just some of the things I hold which you seem to disagree with (correct me if I am wrong):

    (a) A given person’s “religion” is bigger than just the beliefs they confess

    (b) People can hold mistaken ideas and yet use them well

    (c) People often don’t really believe what they confess — the confession is more of a signal within their community.

    (d) We all hold multiple conflict beliefs. “Beliefs” are not solid fixed things. The common sense notion of beliefs is mistaken.

    (e) Using the above, we get: A person’s religion should not be evaluated only by what they confess

    And thus, not agreeing with these, you seem to make the following syllogism (again, correct me if I am wrong):

    (1) Christianity holds all sorts of non-falsifiable claims
    (2) Teaching these to children is immoral and wrong
    (3) So Christianity is immoral and wrong
    (4) All Religion is Immoral and Wrong !

    See the difference in out thinking. Yours is black and white.

  39. Two more questions for clarification:

    And Ark, certainly it is not the teaching non-falsifiable ideas that you think is “immoral and Wrong!” is it?

    And I am sure you are aware of the limitation of the Popperian “non-falsifiability” mantra, right?

  40. You seem to be wishing to make a point of being right…well so be it .

    Well done Sabio! You are a man of great patience my friend!:)

  42. @ Ark,
    Nah, I am not trying to be right, per se, but I am (perhaps naively) hoping that through dialogue you would perhaps see the shortcomings of saying things like:
    “all religion is bad”
    “religion is, in the long run, harmful to everyone”
    “Religion is all a lie”
    “Religion is all about Beliefs”
    “Wrong Beliefs are always Bad”
    and all related mantras
    and instead, start being more specific and focused in your criticisms.
    Maybe this conversation influenced you, maybe not.
    Usually influences are felt slowly over time — no one like to admit error in their thinking or approaches at the time of conflict.

  43. @haydendlinder:
    Thanx. My dialogue skills are always the greatest, but I do try — sometimes. 🙂
    I will give up, though, when I see pointless name calling, ego-battles and lack of desire to seek real understanding. Or, if people are just dense! 🙂

  44. [deleted poor rhetoric and off post]

    “all religion is bad”
    “religion is, in the long run, harmful to everyone”
    “Religion is all a lie”
    “Religion is all about Beliefs”
    “Wrong Beliefs are always Bad”
    and all related mantras

    Aside from the first, all religion is bad, which it is I don’t recall writing any of the other little quotes, Sabio. Are you paraphrasing or taking a bit of poetic licences

  45. Well, then, stick with the first one, Ark.
    Watch your commenting — and watch your slander on other sites or I will be ban you here too. I am tired of cleaning up your comments. But perhaps banning is what you are hoping for. If so, glad to oblige. I like commentors who contribute knowledge and are fun to talk to.

    I keep a blog like a coffee shop — I only let in guests who obey the rules and are fun to talk to. I love differing opinions — but won’t tolerate bad behavior. My house, my rules, mate.

    So stick to the subject, no more commenting about commenting. I tire of it.

  46. If you apply the same criteria on ‘other sites’ and don’t drop little thinly-veiled ad homs then we could all get on famously.

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