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Is Islam a bad religion?

  

24 members have voted

  1. 1. Is the main cause of terrorism the doctrine of Islam, or is it not related to the actual teachings of Islam.

    • Islam creates terrorists
    • Islam does not create terrorists


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To be critical of Islam for a moment, my concern is less that it breeds terrorists and more that it often has a fideistic hostility to philosophy and reason. This goes back to Al-Ghazali's Incoherence of the Philosophers and has been a popular trope ever since; for instance, in the Reliance of the Traveller--a fifteenth century collection of Sharia principles based on the rulings of Islamic rulers up to that time and still considered a classic text--philosophy and "the science of the materialists" are both listed as unlawful knowledge. Even today in debating with Muslims, often things end with "well, but such abstract reasoning is useless anyway, we must just have faith about God's mysteries."

Of course this is a frequent recourse for mystical religions of all stripes including Christianity. Still, it's a trend I tend to find more pronounced in Islam, especially since my religious background is in the more Thomistic stripes of Christianity. What do the resident experts on Islam think of this?

 

*poke*

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*poke*

Gah, you're not allowed to be reasonable here! ;)

 

Seriously though, I haven't experienced what you speak of regarding Muslims, but definitely experienced it from Christians :P

Of course, this is likely a result of my interactions with Muslims being mostly in University/Academia.

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Read an interesting article on this today: http://thedailybanter.com/2010/08/neil-degrasse-tyson-and-the-myth-of-islamic-anti-science/

I think the article misrepresents Al-Ghazali a bit--unlike Tyson, I have read him at length, and he is anti-philosophy/science. Far from espousing scientific skepticism, he instead takes the Humean tact of denying causality and instead substitutes "God did it" for literally all seemingly non-random events in nature. In that light, he denies the possibility of justified inference from even scientifically tested premises.

That said, I think the emphasis on the crusades and Sufism are interesting and worth considering.

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Beware! I am once again taking the side of the unpopular faction in a year old debate. I am bored, so I decided to state my opinion on some random debate board. This is totally going to end well.

 

I feel that Islam is not a peaceful religion, and it does cause terrorists. Unlike others on this board, I have actually read the Koran, and have multiple books on the religion. Everything points to Islam being a death cult created by a child raping, polygamist, hypocrite mad man who openly told his followers to kill apostates and to conquer those who stood in their way.

 

History points to Islam being an ideology of hate. After conquering neighboring cities, Muslim forces went out and conquered huge amounts of people and land. After being held back at Tours, the Muslims established a nation that oppressed those who disagreed. Muslim terrorists are not a modern thing as well, just look at the Barbary pirates who ravaged the Mediterranean for years. All this was justifiable by their "religion."    

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I opened this thread thinking it was new, haha, and when I saw the results for the poll, I was kind of surprised at how polar they were, and I expected the question to be the same as the topic name. Before reading anything in this thread I believed Islam does not "create terrorists," but does encourage that behavior. I mean, there's no modern Christian equivalent to ISIS, is there? and like Jag said, the Inquisition was much less brutal...

I have not read the Qur'an, but from what I have seen and from what few verses I have heard talked about... It definitely seems very violent and unforgiving. At its root, Christianity is a love-centered religion... I'm not sure I can say the same about Islam.

While the Qur'an and the Bible may share strange and violent commands, Christianity does have the sacrifice of Christ to release us from many of the previous laws. Basically every one of those commands is contained in the Old Testament.

So I voted yes.

 

(Also, wow, a lot of you guys are really good at debating and clearly expressing your thoughts. But a lot of you are much older than me  :thumbup: )

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No. No. No. No.

This thread is full of reasonable responses explaining why. 

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You guys all miss the point. There is not just one Islam to be either violent or peaceful. Unless there is a version of Islam which is actually true (and there is not), then violent and nonviolent Islams are equal in every way, except perhaps faithfulness to the Koran, but unless the Koran is true that is mostly irrelevant because people can make Islam into whatever they please.

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 Unless there is a version of Islam which is actually true (and there is not), then violent and nonviolent Islams are equal in every way

 

 

 

Not really. There are lots of important qualities about religions besides truth, such as:

 

-Internal consistency

-Attractiveness

-Proneness to violence

-Respect for science

-Compatibility with secular/liberal civilization

-Resilience against de-conversion

 

While I agree that there are many legitimate Islams, some set of essential ideas or historical antecedents determine what Islam is mostly like, and it's worth discussing how tolerant we should be of that "essential" Islam.

 

Personally, I think the answer is "quite tolerant," since it's clear that there are peaceful and liberal permutations of Islam in the west. Still, it's a question worth asking, since some doctrines--like white supremacy, for example--clearly don't meet minimum liberal standards of appropriate belief.

Edited by Chris-M

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Not really. There are lots of important qualities about religions besides truth, such as:

 

-Internal consistency

-Attractiveness

-Proneness to violence

-Respect for science

-Compatibility with secular/liberal civilization

-Resilience against de-conversion

 

Well, to be more specific I meant nothing giving one or another variant a higher claim to authenticity, even as Islam.

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The thing is, people defend Islam by saying that not all Muslims are bad. They claim that those who are bad are "not true Muslims." This is a logical fallacy if I have ever seen one. Look up the "No True Scotsman" fallacy.

 

Now, I am not saying that Muslims and all their sects are bad, they are not. Some Muslims really do care about non-Muslims. But I am saying that the core of the religion, the various books and Mohammed, all point to the religion being violent. Some groups interpret those verses as a call to arms, others just ignore them and claim it was based on a historical event. If anything, the ISIS guys are the true Muslims.

 

Not really. There are lots of important qualities about religions besides truth, such as:

 

-Internal consistency

-Attractiveness

-Proneness to violence

-Respect for science

-Compatibility with secular/liberal civilization

-Resilience against de-conversion

Internal Consistency: Mohammed made so many contradictions and hypocritical claims in the Koran that there is literally a Muslim doctrine devoted to figuring out which answer is correct.

 

Attractiveness: There is a reason Islam is spreading through the prisons and gangs. Islam attracts those who want power, those who have serious mental problems associated with violence and chaos. It allows people to justify acts of violence and sexual desire.

 

Proneness to Violence: Well, when you have verses saying to "hunt down the infidels" and "Strike them at their neck," in no historical context, you are kinda asking for it. The religion started through violence, spread through violence, and still exists as violence.

 

Respect for Science: Mohammed sorta messed up his descriptions of reproductive organs. And how reproduction worked, and astronomy, and geology. Basically, the Koran is not very good when you want actual science. And the Koran claims those who don't believe the Koran is perfect is committing a big sin, so why would Muslims look towards science, if science clearly proofs it wrong?

 

Compatibility with secular/liberal civilization: You can just look at the world today and tell me the answer.

 

Resilience against de-conversion: The Koran says to kill all those who leave Islam, so I say the resistance is pretty high. Add in the fact that the Koran says everyone is an Muslim, just fallen or not, and you realize again another reason to kill.

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I personally don't actually think moderate Islam (aka the Muslims I've been surrounded by my entire life) is bad* and I also don't think Islam has a monopoly on terrorism, but I do think we shouldn't shy away from critiquing its compatibility with liberal society. Two good books to consider reading: 

 

Freedom to Believe: Challenging Islam's Apostasy Law - Dr Patrick Sookhdeo 

​Secret Believers: What Happens When Muslims Turn to Christ? - Brother Andrew

 

I think both demonstrate clearly that there is definitely a disconnect between the Islam we experience in the West and that which is occurring elsewhere in the world. 

 

BTW, PlasmaHam - No True Scotsman works both ways. You can't say that anything other than literal interpretation of the Qur'an is not 'true' Islam (i.e. people "ignore" facets of it). Differing interpretations occur in every religion with a sacred text (Christianity, for a start - we have hundreds of denominations!).

 

*Just to clarify I obviously think Islam is untrue.

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But I am saying that the core of the religion, the various books and Mohammed, all point to the religion being violent....If anything, the ISIS guys are the true Muslims.

 

Who gets to define the "core" of Islam or a "true" Muslim?

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This thread is full of reasonable responses explaining why. 

I'm learning quite a lot from reading your guys' thoughts :)

 

And I read the entire thread before I made my post. Just to clarify, like I said, I don't think Islam "creates terrorists" but it is much easier to come to the conclusion that killing nonbelievers is okay when reading the Qur'an than it is when reading the Bible.

This article is very educational: http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/call_to_muslims.htmIt focuses on the 9/11 attack in 2001, but it explains how the terrorists who carried out the attack were not extremists, but were simply following the literal orders given by the Prophet in the Qur'an.

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it explains how the terrorists who carried out the attack were not extremists, but were simply following the literal orders given by the Prophet in the Qur'an.

 

What if following the literal orders of the Prophet is extremism?

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Well, to be more specific I meant nothing giving one or another variant a higher claim to authenticity, even as Islam.

 

 

 
 
I mean, suppose someone claimed to believe that life is a cycle of suffering we have to escape by overcoming the illusions of selfhood and attachment, and that God is unimportant to that journey, but then this same person turned around and said "I'm a Muslim." I feel like I'd be justified in saying "that sounds a lot more like Buddhism than Islam." Islam has a historical and cultural reality that excludes certain kinds of beliefs.
 
If refusing to recognize that person as a genuine Muslim is acceptable, then it at least seems possible that more common claims might also be true. For example, perhaps some kinds of liberal or radical Islam really do have almost nothing in common with what most people throughout most time have meant by Islam.
Edited by Chris-M

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Who gets to define the "core" of Islam or a "true" Muslim?

I am talking about the basis that Muslims build their religion on, Mohammed and his writings. Muslims admit this, and thus I am taking the Koran and other similar writings to be the core of their religion. I am not getting into the theological debate of what actually makes a religion and how people's personal religion relates to the actual religion itself. If you have a problem with the way I am going about this, I'm sorry, but I am not going to deal with the metaphysical at the moment.

 

What if following the literal orders of the Prophet is extremism?

 Someone who follows the literal orders of Jesus is not seen as an extremist. They are seen as being good Christians. Similar with Muslims. Now, please don't go talking about how Christianity and Islam are different and how that comparison is unfair and so on. You could say taking the literal orders of the prophet is extremism, but wouldn't that also make them the most devout Muslims, and thus the truest form of Islam if you base Islam on the Koran and Mohammed, which most do.

Edited by PlasmaHam

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What if following the literal orders of the Prophet is extremism?

Ah, I guess you're right. I think I misunderstood the meaning of "extremism" to be taking something too far or to extremes, but it just describes something that is extreme.

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I guess I'm very liberal on the topic of different religions, but Islam does not create terrorists. In many ways, they're just like us. Yes, there are some extremists, but aren't there Christian extremists as well? I mean, Malala Yousafzai is my hero.

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