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Featured Some thoughts about the usual motivations of Christianity and Islaam in practice

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by LuisDantas, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I recently learned of "The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom", by Candida Moss.

    It gave me quite some food for thought. It was already quite apparent that many Christians are much too eager to position themselves as "persecuted", but I had not realized quite how mainstream that trait has been historically.

    There is a perverse yet effective irony at work there. By being encouraged to perceive themselves as wronged people, Christians (and Muslims) all too often end up oblivious to their own abuses of trust and power. Peer reinforcement and plain confort of convenience blunt their self-awareness to the point of full alienation and delusion. Both Christians and Muslims have a long history of acquiring and brandishing both military and political power even as they keep complaining of being misunderstood, persecuted and discriminated against, sometimes bordering on self-parody.

    If anything, Islaam suffers from the same defects to an even greater degree. It has been noted that the Qur'ans attitude towards non-believers is consistently arrogant and hypocritical. According to Bill Warner, slightly over half of the Qur'an, Sira and Hadith are actually about non-Muslims. (Source: Kafir with a Capital K - Political Islam )

    And indeed, the typical attitude of Muslim apologists is very often and very predictably one based on the assumption that Islaam inherently deserves better than whatever the current situation warrants it... despite the plain fact that Islaamic people have attained power very often in very large communities over continental expanses of land, far too often drawing a lot of blood while at it. We are often reminded that ISIS and other plainly violent groups have Muslim victims, and we are often pressured towards raising doubt on whether those groups should be considered Muslims at all.

    Those are marks of adherents of doctrines that teach people to avoid responsibility over their own beliefs and to prefer to take refuge in audacity, arrogance, denial and just plain irresponsibility. By framing their cravings and fears as some form of piety - often enough necessary piety for the "protection of the oppressed" no less, and supposedly in an attempt at pleasing "the one and only God" for good measure - those doctrines create a most impressive trap that impedes its people from actually growing in the spiritual sense.

    Cravings for more power, more protection from criticism and more promises of simply deserving better are of course all too human and understandable. But I don't think that they should be raised to actual articles of faith, and definitely not given routine passes simply because people claim to be receiving directives from God.

    Of course, both Islaam and Christianity number into the billions and have plenty of true rebels against those waves of immature conformity to the appearance of rebellion. But those waves are still the movers and shakers for the influence of both doctrines, and it is difficult to create meaningful renewal against those fears and cravings.

    How accurate do you think these thoughts are? Do you want to contribute any related thoughts?
     
    #1 LuisDantas, Mar 14, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  2. Foxic

    Foxic Member

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    It's no surprise that the early church forged stories. Heck, the biggest forged (fiction) story is the bible itself.
     
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  3. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Something else that occurs to me is that this craving for influence is one major reason why Christians and Muslims have such a hard time in accepting the existence of unbelievers.

    The narrative of unfairness and persecution does not mesh at all well with the admission that people are entitled to disagree with their articles of faith, which are after all arbitrary beliefs.
     
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  4. Foxic

    Foxic Member

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    The disposition to disagree stems from people having learned to think for themselves rather than blindly accepting concepts put forth by those in positions of power. Sadly, considering how many people still adhere to religious concepts, some people still cannot seem to think for themselves.
     
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  5. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    But is religion supposed to rely on passive agreement? I would like to think not.
     
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  6. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    Think of my comment as playing Devil's Advocate. I'm just throwing this out there...

    I wonder if you haven't simply identified a common human failing, namely self-pity. One that is more noticeable because you are seeing it in two very large groups.

    People prone to self-pity can always find someone else to blame for their problems.
     
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  7. Gerry

    Gerry Well-Known Member

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    That’s why religion is so successful imo.
    Most people love to be led by others. It’s easier.:(
     
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  8. Gerry

    Gerry Well-Known Member

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    Agree.
     
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  9. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Well I was going to point out it's common use by any political group, but it seems the author is already aware of this.

    Positioning oneself as the victim has been an effective way to gain sympathy support for thousands of years.

    It's a political tool that continues to work. The weak disenfranchised need to be supported. Those in power don't.

    When you have actual power, you can force the issue. When you don't, can't force the issue, it's best to try and play on the sympathies of those with power.

    I think a majority of folks have compassion, so you play on that common sense of compassion if it can benefit you politically.
     
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  10. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Of course, that is true. But it is not all that usual to have whole doctrines whose practice centers on accepting and encouraging that self-pity.
     
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  11. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know that it's fair to say that "whole doctrines center on encouraging self-pity." I think the most popular religions appeal to both sides of human nature the strong-good side and the weak-bad.

    Until your post, I hadn't thought about self-pity but I had noticed that the Abrahamic faiths appeal to our arrogance -- as members of their faith, we would become members of an elite group favored by God.
     
    #11 joe1776, Mar 14, 2018
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  12. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    That site about Islam has no backup documentation and thus to me is one person's opinion laced with pejoratives. I don't agree with his one-sided view as I've noted a number of times.
     
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  13. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    You are welcome to present an opposing view.

    Documentation for the criticism is not lacking, however. If anything, we have too much of it and it becomes rather tedious after a while.
     
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  14. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    • "The problem with being privileged your whole life is that because you have had that privilege for so long, equality starts to look like oppression." - Mark Caddo
     
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  15. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    In your OP, you hinted that the best of the leaders among those in either faith (or any faith, for that matter) do not rely on such passivity. However, there are a great many who are willing to let the "wave" of "movers and shakers" you also referenced carry and inform them. And even in that lackadaisical mindset their sheer numbers put them in the role of representatives of their faith. I don't think it is so much a reliance as a tolerance for the hope of achieving some "greater good" for "the cause"... which it is understood needs those numbers, above all.
     
  16. idav

    idav Being
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    I have seen it argued plenty of times, by Christians, that since the bible says they will be persecuted that it justifies their beliefs. Anytime a person says they are wrong, ignorant or whatever, they can always point to the bible that it says its prophesied that they will be hated for their beliefs. Similarly they use the fact that their is war and disease, and say, see, the end of times. Christianity can be to the brink of extinction and each individual sect will claim to be the last church as everyone else has fallen from truth. This losing battle of Christianity only intensifies their belief to accept bullying and a type of psychological martyrism(I just made that word up). Couple that with Christianities scapegoat philosophy where humans are to look at themselves as inherently corrupt just fuels the fire. Its like a badge of honor to be ridiculed with that sort of philosophy and only further proves everyone else corruption just to even tell them anything about it.

    Islam has similar beliefs of the end of days where there will be increased corruption in the world and rejection of Hadith and that Islam will fall into cruelty, faithful people will be called traitors, honest people disbelieved, cruelty towards Muslims etc.

    All these type of philosophies, IMO, justify a persecution complex to only strengthen their personal beliefs. So you can't even tell any of them anything without them being more justified, cause see, the sacred texts said you would call them stupid, how great is God. Thats my "humble" opinion on the issue.
     
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  17. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Indeed! But best of all, it is not only the leaders. So too do the random, street level adherents.

    There are circles where it is fashionable to insist that the actual people can never be more than imperfect examples of the doctrine.

    It seems to me that the opposite is much closer to the truth. People of sincere effort and heart can and often bridge over the pitfalls of their own learned doctrines, misrepresenting them in favor of better if uncodified doctrines and learnings.

    Quite so. Often it is not much of a matter of willingness, either. It can be rather tricky to openly challenge a doctrine that is perceived as necessary for peace at home.

    That is a common perspective, I think. And to a degree I it is probably true. But there are moments when challenge is called for.

    I have suffered similar experiences.

    Do you feel the urge to shake those people and ask them to begin the conversation again with a bit more honesty and respect? I know that I do.
     
  18. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Once, maybe. Not now, though. I focus on what I can control, which is me.
    If they can't see the self-fulfilling nature of a persecution belief, or of end day prophecies centred around strife (which is constant anyway) then shaking them won't help. Best to live my life according to my beliefs, and leave them to their self-righteousness.
     
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  19. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    I would like to correct you on the point you made about the Quran being arrogant and hypocritical towards non believers.

    Firstly, terms such as non believers in those days did not equate to blue collar office workers of today’s age. The term then denoted active enemies who pursued and tortured, raped, pillaged and killed the innocent or sided with those who did.

    The Quran praises all good people but condemns evil.

    Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. 2:62

    The key word here to note is the praise is conditional upon ‘righteousness’. And ‘any’ who do righteousness so that covers a lot of people.

    But there are discrepancies and blatant inaccuracies in translations. Translations are interpretations and some are very lazy.

    Here is one which is used against Muslims.

    • Arberry: "O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Whoso of you makes them his friends is one of them. God guides not the people of the evildoers."

      But a more accurate translation is:

      The Message of The Quran says: "O you who have attained to faith! Do not take the Jews and Christians for your allies: they are but allies of one another -- and whoever of you allies himself with them becomes, verily, one of them; behold, God does not guide such evildoers

      Auliya’" does not mean friends in the way of pals or companions. It’s meaning is more about allies, protectors or guardians.

      One footnote to this passage in The Message version of the Koran says "this prohibition of a ‘moral alliance’ with non-Muslims does not constitute an injunction against normal, friendly relations with such of them as are well-disposed towards Muslims."

      So Muslims are permitted association but not affiliation. They can be friends with both Christians and Jews but not follow their moral codes.

      Hadiths and stories are not the Quran and if they do not agree with the spirit of the Quran they are false.

      The Quran alone represents Islam and any other source whether accepted by either Muslim or layman cannot reflect true Islam if it does not comply with both the spirit and letter of the Quran.

      There are social and historical scenarios behind each verse and it’s not just a matter of reading it like a novel. And for us westerners translations are often misleading and people seize on the misleading ones a lot because the intention is to criticise and find fault. I’m a Bahá’í so there’s nothing in it for me except to speak what is true and right. We defend the Quran and Muhammad because we believe them to be from God.

      Another instance of misuse of the Quran to create hostility towards Muslims is Sura 4:34 which has been translated ‘to hit ones wife.’The correct translation is to separate from ones wife as any instance where the Quran indicates a punishment it always gives further directions. Also it is known Muhammad never physically hit his wives.
     
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  20. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Depends which religion and in what sense one is talking- does it not?
     
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