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Featured Islam is unable to relate to the diverse contemporary cultures

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by shunyadragon, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Do you understand the difference between the LATIN west (i.e Germanic HRE in the Middle Ages) and the HELLENISTIC/GREEK SPEAKING (Eastern) Roman [Byzantine] Empire that included Greece?

    Where do you think the Islamic Empire got the Greek texts from? Themselves?

    This is the problem of thinking spending 5 mins on wikipedia gives one a sufficient depth of knowledge ;)
     
  2. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    I believe the source references other sources which you choose to ignore.

    More to follow . . . Where did the Greek texts go in Byzantine Rome when it became Christian?
     
  3. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    From: Transmission of the Greek Classics - Wikipedia

    Direct reception of Greek texts
    As knowledge of Greek declined in the west with the fall of the Western Roman Empire, so did knowledge of the Greek texts, many of which had remained without a Latin translation.[3] The fragile nature of papyrus, as a writing medium, meant that older texts not copied onto expensive parchment would eventually crumble and be lost.

    After the Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) and the Sack of Constantinople (1204), scholars such as William of Moerbeke gained access to the original Greek texts of scientists and philosophers, including Aristotle, Archimedes, Hero of Alexandria and Proclus, that had been preserved in the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire, and translated them directly into Latin.[4]

    The final decline and collapse of the Byzantine empire in the fifteenth century heightened contact between its scholars and those of the west. Translation into Latin of the full range of Greek classics ensued, including the historians, poets, playwrights and non-Aristotelian philosophers. Manuel Chrysoloras (c. 1355–1415) translated portions of Homer and Plato.Guarino da Verona (1370–1460) translated Strabo and Plutarch. Poggio Bracciolini (1380–1459) translated Xenophon, Lucan and Diodorus. Francesco Filelfo (1398–1481) translated portions of Plutarch, Xenophon and Lysias. Lorenzo Valla (1407–1457) translated Thucydides and Herodotus. Marsilio Ficino (1433–1499) and his Platonic Academytranslated Plato. Poliziano (1454–1494) translated Herodian and portions of Epictetus and Plutarch. Regiomontanus and George of Trebizond translated Ptolemy's Almagest.[5]Important patrons were Basilios Bessarion (1403–1472) and Pope Nicholas V (1397–1455).
     
  4. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    They stayed in the empire.

    How do you think the Muslims got the texts after they conquered Christian lands? Why do you think the translation in the translation movement was mostly carried out by Christians?
     
  5. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    So you agree with me now?
     
  6. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    Absolutely no, I do not you read the previous carefully, but the following will clarify and there will be more:

    Arabic: Latin or Vernacular

    Further information: Latin translations of the 12th century

    While Muslims were busy translating and adding their own ideas to Greek philosophies, the Latin West was still suspicious of pagan ideas. Leaders of the Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire also frowned upon philosophy, and the Empire had just gone through a period of plague, famine, and war.[35] Further west, several key figures in European history who came after Boethius had strengthened the overwhelming shift away from Greek ideas. For centuries, Greek ideas in Europe were all but non-existent, until the Eastern part of the Roman Empire – Byzantine – was sacked during the crusades unlocking numerous Greek texts.[36] Within Western Europe, only a few monasteries had Greek works, and even fewer of them copied these works.[13]

    There was a brief period of revival, when the Anglo-Saxon monk Alcuin and others reintroduced some Greek ideas during the Carolingian Renaissance of the 8th century.[37] After Charlemagne's death, however, intellectual life again fell into decline.[38] By the 12th century, however, scholastic thought was beginning to develop, leading to the rise of universities throughout Europe.[39] These universities gathered what little Greek thought had been preserved over the centuries, including Boethius' commentaries on Aristotle. They also served as places of discussion for new ideas coming from new translations from Arabic throughout Europe.[39]

    By the 12th century, European fear of Islam as a military threat had lessened somewhat. Toledo, in Spain, had fallen from Arab hands in 1085, Sicily in 1091, and Jerusalem in 1099.[40][41] These linguistic borderlands proved fertile ground for translators. These areas had been conquered by Arab Greek and Latin-speaking peoples over the centuries and contained linguistic abilities from all these cultures. The small and unscholarly population of the Crusader Kingdoms contributed very little to the translation efforts, until the Fourth Crusade took most of the Byzantine Empire. Sicily, still largely Greek-speaking was more productive; it had seen rule under Byzantines, Arabs, and Italians, and many were fluent in Greek, Arabic, and Latin. Sicilians, however, were less influenced by Arabs and instead are noted more for their translations directly from Greek to Latin.[41] Spain, on the other hand, was an ideal place for translation from Arabic to Latin because of a combination of rich Latin and Arab cultures living side by side.[41]

    Following all references it is abundantly clear that the influence of Greek philosophy did not become significantly available until the Middle Ages.
     
    #106 shunyadragon, Jan 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  7. Ancient Soul

    Ancient Soul The Spiritual Universe

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    Straw man argument.

    Your original statement was this:


    To which I replied with:

    "Go do some Internet research on all the torture, beatings, destruction of property, total or near total destruction of other religious writings, imprisonment, millions of murders, etc., that the Christian church has inflicted upon the world to force their mythology upon everyone. Also look up how they are STILL at it today wherever they can get away with it. Like who was behind the "Kill the Gays" law that was considered in Africa. And who is behind all the other persecution and imprisonment of gays all around the world."

    So your reply really has nothing to do with what I stated, just a straw man argument to make it look like you did. As I see nothing in your reply pertaining to that.
     
    #107 Ancient Soul, Jan 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
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  8. Ancient Soul

    Ancient Soul The Spiritual Universe

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    Only because there are laws against it, otherwise the Christians would be out killing gays and everyone who didn't belong to their mythology. Their "god" demands that all non-believers be put to death. Doesn't ANY of you Christians know about your own mythology?

    Deuteronomy 17:2-5

    2"(A)If there is found in your midst, in any of your towns, which the LORD your God is giving you, a man or a woman who does what is evil in the sight of the LORD your God, by transgressing His covenant,

    3and has gone and (B)served other gods and worshiped them, (C)or the sun or the moon or any of the heavenly host, (D)which I have not commanded,

    4and if it is told you and you have heard of it, then you shall inquire thoroughly. Behold, if it is true and the thing certain that this detestable thing has been done in Israel,

    5then you shall bring out that man or that woman who has done this evil deed to your gates, that is, the man or the woman, and (E)you shall stone them to death.

    Deuteronomy 17:12-13
    12 The person who acts arrogantly, refusing to listen either to the priest who stands there serving the LORD your God or to the judge, must die. You must purge the evil from Israel. 13 Then all the people will hear [about it], be afraid, and no longer behave arrogantly.

    Deuteronomy 18:20-22
    20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”
     
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  9. Ancient Soul

    Ancient Soul The Spiritual Universe

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    OK, I just wasn't sure.

    And just for the record, I made no mention of any "attack", just a difference of opinion. To me there's a BIG difference. A difference of opinion is like what you posted. An "attack" is a raging post full of hostility and insults.
     
  10. Firemorphic

    Firemorphic Activist Membrane

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    You don’t seem to get it at all. These words “Islam”, even “Shia” (in the general sense) are blanket terms that don’t actually describe anything. They are vague convenience terms that wrap many, many, many diverse and often opposing “traditions” (if you want to use that word, fine we’re still saying the same thing) into one indolent Stamp of approval.



    When you get down to the specifics, there are huge, incomparable differences between the key doctrines themselves. The theology/philosophy and conception of God itself, perspective on prophets prior to Muhammad, the role of Muhammad, the role of a prophet in general, the role of the scripture, the identity of the religion(s), the role of previous prophets, the way the ‘supernatural’ is interpreted, the view on heaven, the view on hell, I can keep going on. Between all of these “sects” of “Islam”, all of these things I mentioned are seen completely differently, period. (and this deviation is a direct consequence of the split between the prophet's family/imams and the caliphate. Things would be very different if people had stuck to the prophet and his family but deviation of this magnitude is what happened as a result)


    First ask yourself what are they’re selling? and what is unique to them specifically? I do see you have quite a naivety towards them, which is odd considering your very strong feelings against Islam. I’d actually expect a person like you to be rallying against BOTH “Islam” and the Baha’i faith, not just one of them.



    Exclusivist “universalism”? it’s not universalism, it’s pick and choose. Everyone should try to get along, that’s not a virtue. They are a smokescreen for a political agenda which roots back to Bahaullah himself. And a tolerant person doesn’t go around demanding everyone acknowledge that they are tolerant.



    Islamic heritage? The Bab (Sayyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi), who the Baha’i’s take every ounce of their validity from yet turn their back to entirely...The Bab claimed to be the gate of the hidden Imam, a continuation of the Imams in some sense, he formed the sect the “Bayanis” (also known as Bayani Gnosticism and referred to by Baha’i’s as “Babism”). He (through his profession) abrogated prior Islamic law and revealed that there where endless revelations from the divine (God), this was an esoteric and individualistic sect he formed. In the Bayani gnostic sect, Muhammad was still the last prophet but until the period of the end time, the divine will continue to reveal itself.



    Then what the Baha’i faith did, was take his universalist notions and subvert it entirely. Now for them the Bab is just a small player, a convenience. Bahaullah proclaims himself the Exoteric hollywood Messiah and an incarnation of God (if that doesn’t make you laugh), starts his own religion (everything goes from it’s transcendent, esoteric Shia state in the Bayani sect towards now being another Christianity), steals what he pleases from the Bayani doctrine and steals from Sufi thought. Now, suddenly it’s ‘us and them’ and Shi’ism has to go, Bahaullah must have his power and destroy Shi’ism (however long it takes). The Baha’i’s are so universalist that you have to join them and accept their mock-up Jesus-clone.


    Stop focusing on your views of monotheism, I was describing the meaning of what the words “Islam” and “Muslim” mean in and of themselves. They don’t refer to a “religion”.


    Who says reconciliation isn’t possible? Who says that it’s a universal thing either? Two people with completely different religions, ideologies and world views can still get on just fine.



    You once again read me wrong. My comment is intending to state that those two things; 1. Origin before the “split”. And 2. The notion of attempting to keep peace.........are the foremost biggest culprits for this false notion that there is one, unvarying, globally-unified religion known as “Islam” when there really is not.


    I deny the legal validity of so-called “Shaira” to begin with, so that is a nil argument from you.

    And if you know anything about religious law, you’d know how infuriating it would be for people like me to see spiritual discipline interpreted as an obligatory legal system. Shaira is vague too, while it does have basis in various Sunnah and Hadith, it’s certainly never going to be an agreed-upon legal system as it’s routed in false application.


    No, (most) Baha’i’s don’t learn anything but I wish they would.
     
  11. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Hooray, another person who doesn't understand logical fallacies yet insists on using them.

    A straw man is when you misrepresent someones idea then attack the misrepresentation. I didn't reply to what you said as I don't care about. It wasn't relevant.

    My point was about the historical contributions of Christianity to Western society, not "isn't Christianity marvellously perfect" (I already corrected you on this misrepresentation). I'm not a Christian so have no problem acknowledging it has caused many problems. Something causing many problems, doesn't preclude the same thing from having other positive influences also, especially something as old and diverse as Christianity (really Christianities).

    Hence:

    "Given the Christian West produced modern liberal democracy, and the Islamic world didn't why should we assume that?

    Christianity had a huge influence on political liberalism, gave birth to the concept of secularism and has constantly been updated to adapt to an evolving world (as has Islam, but less so due to greater theological rigidity).

    Obviously there are also many problems it has caused, but on these points there are significant differences."


    Have you any opinions on 'these points'?
     
  12. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Interesting that when I included peer-reviewed academic scholarship in support of my argument you dismissed it out of hand as 'outrageously false', yet sources you quickly googled and are unfamiliar with are presented as the definitive truth.

    Any reason for this inconsistency? (still waiting for some rational arguments on why you saw fit to dismiss such scholarship as 'outrageously false' btw).

    It's always amusing that people who claim to value truth and reason become so obviously irrational when it comes to such issues. The beauty of the human mind, eh? :D

    As I noted before, 5 mins on google is not a sufficient substitute for actually knowing something about the subject you are discussing.

    You don't seem to realise the source you quote support my argument, not yours.

    My point:

    You:

    Me:

    As I tried to point out:

    Yet you refer to the WESTERN (Latin) Roman Empire covering Western Europe (remember my point was about the EASTERN (Greek) Roman Empire.

    Let's look at your sources:

    As I said, Greek scholarship arrived in WESTERN Europe via both the Byzantines and the Muslims, who had also made additions and advances to ideas contained within these texts.

    Would you now say that, in fact, you do agree with me? Or have your hand-picked sources suddenly become 'outrageously false'?
     
    #112 Augustus, Jan 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  13. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    You have failed to read the references, and are not aware of foot noted references. Despite your biased derision,and selective referencing the Wiki source is reasonably accurate and footnoted with references. I acknowledged that some Greek texts were preserved in the Eastern Church, but you failed to acknowledge there limits and other problems noted in the references.

    Actually,your original argument was the rise of intellectual movements and democracy in WESTERN EUROPE due to Christian influence, and I disagree. The source of the influence and development of intellectual movements is the influence of Greek Philosophy predominately from texts acquired from Islamic sources in the Middle Ages. There never was a significant democracy nor intellectual movements in the Eastern Empire nor in the Orthodox Churches that followed.

    There is nothing in the Bible nor in the hierarchy of Roman Church inherited from Rome that would inspire democracy. In fact they would go against democracy.

    Actually there was resistance to Greek philosophy and ideas like St Jerome
     
  14. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    I wish you would learn too. Your egregious and derisive slander are exemplified by the fact that Baha'u'llah DID NOT claim to be an incarnation of God. At least get your facts straight before you go on a bitter acrid tirade. The Baha'i Faith does not claim to Exclusivist Universalism,and it is not a pick and choose belief system.The way you describe Islam represents a very confusing belief this and not believe that pick and choose ununited belief system.

    Despite you efforts to create a high fog index to avoid the fact that Islam is a religion based on the Quran,and Shia and Sunni are distinct divisions in Islam based on specific differences.Nonetheless ALL based on the guidance from the Quran, which is the fundamental problem the ancient text of the Quran cannot provide the guidance to deal with the contemporary world in issues like women's rights, slavery and relationships with those that believe differently.

    Your assertions that Islam is made up of many diverse 'opposing' beliefs and traditions represents a problem of the failure of Islam to unite its own believers.
     
    #114 shunyadragon, Jan 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  15. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    Islam is a far more heterogeneous religion than most people are aware. Once you bypass the overly simplistic bifurcations, the startling diversity and theological chaos of the tradition becomes apparent.

    There are sizeable Shi'ite sects which believe: in a Trinity of Divine Emanations that incarnate cyclically, including Muhammad and Imam Ali, as well as reincarnation (Alawites); that the Yawm al-Qiyāmah (“the Day of Resurrection”) will not actually take place at the end of time in the afterlife but has already occurred within history, in the person of the Imam of the Time Hasan in 1164 A.D., which means that sharia law has been abrogated because "there will be no laws in Paradise" (Nizari Ismaili) and that the last Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, lives in occultation and will reappear as the promised Mahdi (Twelver Shi'ism).

    Sunnism, despite being somewhat more uniform in terms of shariah law given the genesis of all classical schools in a set of early jurisprudential madhabs, is just as crazy in terms of theological dispute - if not more so, actually, given its decentralised governance model. The Sufi movement with its explicit mysticism and veneration of the Wali (saints), was born in the Sunni world. Some Sufi schools (which are, again, incredibly diverse theologically) teach the extremely bizarre - by conventional Islamic standards - doctrine of An-Nūr al-Muḥammadī, or the Muhammadan Light, which posits that Muhammad existed before creation itself and that creation is a manifestation of his primordial nur or light. Ibn Al-Arabi (1076–1148) and Fariddudin Attar (1145–1221) were prominent advocates, the later having wrote, "The origin of the soul is the absolute light, nothing else. That means it was the light of Muhammad, nothing else." Most mainline Sunnis would view this as shirk, or associating partners with God.

    Other Sufis, such as Ibn Taymiyyah (1263 -1328) a high-profile scholar of the Hanbali school, condemned widely accepted Sunni-Sufi doctrines such as the veneration of saints and the visitation to their tomb-shrines.

    And many these groups, view one another as heretics.

    That said, Sunni sects are far less amenable - or rather is less able to accommodate or adapt - to secular liberal thought than Shi'ite sects, at least outside the Khomeinist strain post-1979. There is a reason that other than Turkey, very few Sunni countries have embraced secularism or democracy, whereas even the Islamic Republic of Iran - under the most repressive version of Shi'ism - in principle holds elections (albeit with a highly restricted pool of candidates) and tolerates Christians, Zoroastrians and Jews (with confessional representation in the majles or parliament, so long as Muslims don't convert which is deemed apostasy), whereas Saudi Arabia does not even permit churches to be built and is completely opposed even in principle to electoral democracy. Today, the most consistently secular and liberal - but undemocratic - Islamic-majority country, is the Shia dominant Azerbaijan.

    The underlying reasons for this are multiple. One of the most important is that Shia theology is centred around rituals that commemorate their community having been a persecuted "under-dog" minority, alongside Christians, Zoroastrians and Jews, within the Sunni Umayyad Caliphate and their leader, Imam Husayn, suffering martyrdom for refusing to recognise (in Shia eyes) the tyrannical and unconstitutional authority of the Sunni caliphs, and for Nizaris existing as assassins on the peripheries of huge Sunni empires. Sunni theology, by contrast, is emphasises divine triumphalism and godly victory.

    Shi'ism is therefore closer to Christianity in prioritising the rights of victimized minorities and of revolutionary social change in favour of those oppressed by society. Thus in the Nahj al-Balagha, collected by Sharif Razi, a Shia scholar in the Tenth century, we find the following statements attributed to Imam Ali:


    Letter 47

    Let the eternal Reward and Blessings of Allah be the prompting factors for all that you say and do. Be an enemy of tyrants and oppressors and be a friend and helper of those who are oppressed and tyrannized.

    Letter 17

    We (Bani Hashim) still own the glory of prophethood (having the Holy Prophet (s) from amongst us). Prophethood which brought equality to mankind by lowering the position of mighty and despotic lords and raising the status of oppressed and humiliated persons. When Allah willed the Arabs to embrace Islam, in large numbers they entered its fold willingly or reluctantly.

    You can even see a twisted semblance of this rhetoric in the 1979 Iranian Revolution against the Shah.

    So while Islam, in general, has difficulties embracing secular liberal constitutionalism because it is a strongly juristic religious tradition, with a vision of One God and a divinely ordained law for his community on earth, different sects are more or less amenable to it.

    Christianity is in fact the progenitor of much of liberal thought in its germinal state, as @Augustus has been rightly and adroitly contending in this thread. The reason that Christianity was a propitious ground for the emergence of such a political philosophy, is again a complicated issue that one could write books on and indeed many scholars have. In essence, though, a particularly important reason was St. Paul's avowed contention that Jesus's death had somehow abrogated the need to observe the dictates of the Hebraic law. In contrast, St. Paul postulated that there was no longer any objective need for a divinely imposed law for governing society but rather that the true source of "the law" was to be sought in the individual human conscience and the corresponding idea that not everyone would interpret this "natural law" in exactly the same way, meaning that difference in custom, dietary habit, clothing and civil or criminal matters had to be tolerated and could be amended in accordance with human need:

    Romans 2: 14-15


    Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature what the Law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the Law, since they show that the work of the Law is written on their hearts


    Romans 14:1-23

    Welcome a man whose faith is weak, but not with the idea of arguing over his scruples. One man believes that he may eat anything, another man, without this strong conviction, eats only vegetables. The one who eats meat [that isn't kosher or is sacrificed to animals] should not despise the one who refrains, nor should the vegetarian condemn the meat-eater.

    Again, one man thinks some days holier than others. Another man considers them all alike. Let every one be definite in his own convictions. If a man specially observes one particular day, he does so “to God”. The man who eats, eats “to God”, for he thanks God for the food. The man who fasts also does it “to God”, for he thanks God for the benefits of fasting. The faith you have, have as your own conviction before God.

    Let us therefore stop turning critical eyes on one another. If we must be critical, let us be critical of our own conduct and see that we do nothing to make a brother stumble or fall.

    We should be willing to be both vegetarians and teetotallers if by doing otherwise we should impede a brother’s progress in faith. Your personal convictions are a matter of faith between yourself and God, and you are happy if you have no qualms about what you allow yourself to eat. Yet if a man eats meat with an uneasy conscience about it, you may be sure he is wrong to do so. For his action does not spring from his faith, and when we act apart from our faith we sin.

    This is an enormously important idea, because in tandem with Jesus's concept of "render to Caesar what is Caeser's and to God what is God's" and his abrogation of the ritual-cleanliness laws of kashrut and the criminal justice of the Old Testament (i.e. saving the life of the adulterous woman from being stoned to death in accordance with Deuteronomy), it is the opening salvo of what will become the greatest shift in Western civilization. That is, the decisive movement away from the idea of prescriptive law as being of divine origin and mandating a society structured according to unchanging but cyclical ancestral custom under the rule of God or the gods, in favour of a society in progress towards an idealized state of perfection, in which public and private law becomes a separate discipline from theology, and is deemed to be fundamentally human in origin - a fallible and thus revocable human attempt to encode the intuitions of conscience for a given historical circumstance, as humankind increases in better understanding of natural law.

    The Romans and Greeks had not belied this either. For them, Caesar was a living deity from whom the law emanated and the Pontifex Maximus (head of both state and religion), while the Athenians famously executed Socrates for diverging from the laws of the gods as passed down by unchanging ancestral custom.

    Only one sect of Islam developed this concept, whether independently of Christian influence or not, and this was the Nizari Ismailis within Shi'ism, who broke free of the constraints of shariah or externally imposed and prescriptive divine law, in 1164 CE.

    As Marshall Hodgson explains:


    The end of the rule of taqiyya followed naturally from the coming of the Qâʾim, whose manifest and universal power would make taqiyya unnecessary for the protection of the faithful. But its meaning here was no longer simply the guarding of the inner religious truth of the mission of ʿAlî from prying Sunnî eyes.

    All those outer forms which the Shîʿa shared more or less with the Sunnîs had come to be lumped together in popular Ismâʿîlî consciousness as being enforced by taqiyya. In the Qiyâma now the learned Ismâʿîlî tradition, in the person of Ḥasan II, was indirectly admitting the validity of their notion. The lifting of taqiyya was made to involve the rejection of all the outer ritual law.

    The imâm was now of his mercy granting permission to live without cult, in the spirit alone, which he had formerly forbidden. The end of the sharîʿa could conceivably have been presented as itself a natural consequence of the Resurrection—and no doubt it was so taken in part: there will be no laws in Paradise.[4]


    In other words, St. Paul's innovation only caught on comparatively late (compared with being in the very earliest scriptures of Christianity, the Pauline epistles) in one sect (Nizari) of a single denomination (Shi'ism) of Islam, whereas it is mandatory upon all orthodox Christians.

    Unsurprisingly, Nizari Shi'ites remain to this day the most liberal and progressive Muslim sect.
     
    #115 Vouthon, Jan 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
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  16. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    Actually, the Greek texts in the Empire were minimally translated and used,and not transmitted to the Western empire as cited. No the the translation movement in the Middle Ages was not mostly translated by Christians. The Christians mostly went to Islamic libraries to do their translations, and the Western Middle Ages received and used the texts very late as per the cited sources.
     
  17. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    In relation to my above post, I should also note that the Islamic Golden Age - which took place in the Abbasid Empire - was made possible only due to Shi'ism (despite leading to a nominally Sunni dynasty) and Persian influence: the Battle of Karbala resulted in the massacre of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, and his kin and companions by the Sunni Umayyad army in 680 CE.

    This became a rallying cry among Shias to resist the tyranny of the Umayyad regime and their uprising eventually spread to other minorities, and then to the Sunni non-Arab majority in the Empire as well, when Abu Muslim (a Persian general) became leader of the organised revolt.

    As such, the rebellion against the Umayyads initially arose from Shi'ite ideas and was egalitarian and grassroots, as well as profoundly Iranian-influenced, in contrast to the preceding Sunni Arab Umayyad and Rashidun caliphates. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Abbasid Caliphate proceeded to employ scholars from the Greek Christian and Jews minorities in its court who transcribed many texts from classical antiquity leading to an ecumenical flowering and interchange of ideas.

    As the referenced wiki article explains:

    Abbasid Caliphate - Wikipedia

    The Abbasid Caliphate first centred its government in Kufa, modern-day Iraq, but in 762 the caliph Al-Mansur founded the city of Baghdad, near the ancient Sasanian capital city of Ctesiphon. The Abbasid period was marked by reliance on Persian bureaucrats (notably the Barmakid family) for governing the territories as well as an increasing inclusion of non-Arab Muslims in the ummah(national community). Persianate customs were broadly adopted by the ruling elite, and they began patronage of artists and scholars.[4] Baghdad became a centre of science, culture, philosophy and invention in what became known as the Golden Age of Islam...

    the Abbasids championed the cause of knowledge and established the House of Wisdom in Baghdad; where both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars sought to translate and gather all the world's knowledge into Arabic...

    Christians, especially the adherents of the Church of the East (Nestorians), contributed to Islamic civilization during the reign of the Ummayads and the Abbasids by translating works of Greek philosophers and ancient science to Syriac and afterwards to Arabic.[18][19] They also excelled in many fields, in particular philosophy, science (such as Hunayn ibn Ishaq,[20][21] Thabit Ibn Qurra,[22] Yusuf Al-Khuri,[23] Al Himsi,[24] Qusta ibn Luqa,[25] Masawaiyh,[26][27] Patriarch Eutychius,[28] and Jabril ibn Bukhtishu[29]) and theology. For a long period of time the personal physicians of the Abbasid Caliphs were often Assyrian Christians.[30][31] Among the most prominent Christian families to serve as physicians to the caliphs were the Bukhtishu dynasty.[32][33]

    Throughout the 4th to 7th centuries, Christian scholarly work in the Greek and Syriac languages was either newly translated or had been preserved since the Hellenistic period. Among the prominent centers of learning and transmission of classical wisdom were Christian colleges such as the School of Nisibis[34] and the School of Edessa,[35] the pagan University of Harran[36][37] and the renowned hospital and medical academy of Jundishapur, which was the intellectual, theological and scientific center of the Church of the East.[38][39][40] The House of Wisdom was founded in Baghdad in 825, modelled after the Academy of Gondishapur. It was led by Christian physician Hunayn ibn Ishaq, with the support of Byzantine medicine. Many of the most important philosophical and scientific works of the ancient world were translated, including the work of Galen, Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Ptolemy and Archimedes. Many scholars of the House of Wisdom were of Christian background.[41]

    Given the broad scholarly consensus on the particular importance of Christian scholarship and translation of texts at the House of Wisdom during the Abbasid Islamic Golden Age, I am somewhat bewildered as to why @shunyadragon is apparently contesting it so potently.
     
    #117 Vouthon, Jan 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
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  18. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    Interesting, and does contain many facts, and also misconceptions and overstatements on the nature of Islam, but nonetheless provides much information that supports the view presented in this thread that neither Islam nor the Quran can provide guidance for the diverse cultures of the world neither inside nor outside Islam. It represents an ancient divided tribal culture, and even at war with itself.
     
  19. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    That is not my view as you expressed. Yes in the Middle to the Late Middle Ages there was great enthusiasm among Christians in the West to acquire the Greek philosophers texts from Islamic libraries particularly in Spain. My belief is that the Greek texts of the philosophers were the inspiration of the intellectual movements and democracy that led to the movement of the separation of Church and State, and my references support this.

    Early efforts of Boethius was the translation of texts of math, music,astronomy and geometry and not philosophy,

    In fact prior to these efforts in the West, there was widespread opposition and neglect to Greek philosophy and ideas and Greek texts among Christians, which actually continued to a certain extent in the Middle Middles Ages. St Jerome was a primary opponent of Greek philosophy and ideas.

    Also note From: Transmission of the Greek Classics - Wikipedia

    Early Middle Ages in the Western Provinces
    In the Western Provinces (what today is considered the Western Europe's heartland), the collapsing Roman empire lost many Greek manuscripts which were not preserved by monasteries. However, due to the expense and dearth of writing materials, monastic scribes could recycle old parchments. The parchments could be reused after scraping off the ink of the old texts, and writing new books on the previously used parchment, creating what is called a palimpsest.[12] Fortunately for modern scholars, the old writing can still be retrieved, and many extremely valuable works, which would have otherwise been lost, have been recovered in this way. As the language of Roman aristocrats and scholars, Greek died off along with the Roman Empire in the West, and by 500 CE, almost no one in Western Europe was able to read (or translate) Greek texts, and with the rise of the Islamic Empire, the west was further cut off from the language. After a while, only a few monasteries in the west had Greek works, and even fewer of them copied these works (mainly the Irish).[13] Some Irish monks had been taught by Greek and Latin missionaries who probably had brought Greek texts with them.
     
    #119 shunyadragon, Jan 7, 2019
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  20. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    With respect, that is not what I stated in my prior post and nor was it the argument of the collated scholars.

    There was great enthusiasm among scholastic Catholic scholars in the West to study the works of Islamic commentators of Aristotle such as Avicenna (whom St. Thomas Aquinas simply called "the Master") as well as the works of Byzantine translators and commentators who already possessed voluminous texts from classical antiquity.

    But that wasn't what I discussed above. I was referring to the earlier Islamic Golden Age, in which the Abbasid rulers employed many Christian scholars of Syriac and Greek origin to translate classical works in the House of Wisdom. Their expertise. in tandem with their Muslim peers, was absolutely essential to the flourishing of knowledge during the Golden Age, and a strong consensus of scholars - including Muslim scholars - recognises their contributions.

    On the second point, I do not have much time today for a lengthy debate but while "democracy" in the sense of non-parliamentarian direct democracy and sortition for a privileged group of free male citizens in a small city-state can be traced to Athens, @Augustus is completely correct in arguing (and indeed I've done so before with ample references to the scholarly literature myself) that liberalism and secularism emerged in the Christian milieu.

    It is, if I may be so bold, hogwash to claim that the Graeco-Roman civilisation had conceptions of individual rights (there wasn't even private law in ancient Greece and individual natural rights have been traced by scholars, convincingly, to the canonists of the 12th century who innovated it from earlier writings of the church fathers and canons), equality under the law (it was in fact freedom for aristocratic males to exercise dominion over their household females, children and slaves, and then enter the agora to deliberate with other property-owning male slave-holders in a worldview in which inequality was an unquestioned, natural virtue), secularism (the Roman Emperor was the Pontifex Maximus, or head of Roman religion, and a living deity with a divine cult of worship, while the Athenian democracy executed Socrates, the greatest philosopher of the ancient world, for questioning the ancestral customs of the Hellenic gods) or the eschatological view of history necessary for a belief in progressivism (the Greeks and Romans believed in a cyclical cosmology, in which everything was fated to keep returning).

    In basic terms, Aristotle argued that the primal and legitimating factor for according citizenship was leisure and not "human dignity". The farmer therefore, while having a profession upon which the welfare of the polis depended for survival, was excluded from citizenship on the basis that he lacked leisure-time in which to seek the ‘good life’ of virtue and reason in the agora. Having both a job and citizenship rights were seen as two inimical things.

    Likewise, throughout the imperial era the Roman emperor was 'above the law' and the law in point of fact “originated” from his authority. So he was not subject to the same moral duties or prohibitions as his 'subjects', even in theory. Rights were not seen as universally applicable - different classes of people possessed lesser or superior rights and this was understood to be perfectly 'natural'. Aristotle even went so far as to argue that many people were "naturally" born to be enslaved - sub-human, essentially.

    Plato and Aristotle believed in the natural inequality of people. As an example, consider Aristotle's Politics (350 BCE) from The Internet Classics Archive:


    … The rule of a master over the slave by nature is exercised primarily with a view to the interest of the master...

    [T]hat some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.

    … [T]he lower sort are by nature slaves, and it is better for them as for all inferiors that they should be under the rule of a master...And indeed the use made of slaves and of tame animals is not very different.

    Plato, likewise, concurred. In his Republic (375 B.C.), he theorized about his ideal state being founded on a foundation of inequality, requiring that different people assume roles appropriate to their innate level of quality, even going so far as to speak about: “inferior members of the human race" (495c) and to “inferior kinds of people” (545a), arguing that if “a small, bald metalworker” happened to accidentally get rich and married “his master’s daughter,” their defective offspring would only be “second-rate half-breeds” (496a). Plato therefore argued that philosophy “should only be practiced by men of true pedigree, not by b-astard-s” (535c), which takes him to the conclusion that we should ideally prohibit the lower orders of human from reproducing: “sex should preferably take place between men and women who are outstandingly good, and should occur as little as possible between men and women of a vastly inferior stamp. [. . .] This is how to maximize the potential of our flock” (459d-e).

    This was the very idea condemned by Pope Paul III in 1537, when it was used by some errant Spanish philosophers against the Native Indians of the Americas:

    Sublimus Dei On the Enslavement and Evangelization of Indians


    The enemy of the human race, who opposes all good deeds in order to bring men to destruction, beholding and envying this, invented a means never before heard of, by which he might hinder the preaching of God’s word of Salvation to the people…to publish abroad that the Indians of the West and the South, and other people of whom We have recent knowledge should be treated as dumb brutes created for our service, pretending that they are incapable of receiving the Catholic Faith.

    We, who, though unworthy, exercise on earth the power of our Lord and seek with all our might to bring those sheep of His flock who are outside into the fold committed to our charge, consider, however, that the Indians are truly men

    Desiring to provide ample remedy for these evils, We define and declare by these Our letters, that,
    notwithstanding whatever may have been or may be said to the contrary, the said Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ; and that they may and should, freely and legitimately, enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property; nor should they be in any way enslaved; should the contrary happen, it shall be null and have no effect.

    In writing this, he was simply articulating age-old Christian principles of innate human equality. You can see, clear as day, that Renaissance Christians (as horrible as their society could be by our standards) inhabited a different moral universe from the ancient Greeks and Romans.

    There is no proto-liberalism or rule of law to be found in the classical world. Democracy, yes, but not constitutional, parliamentary or liberal democracy. These all emerged from feudal Christian society and took full bloom in the Enlightenment.
     
    #120 Vouthon, Jan 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
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