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In the Name of God بسم الله

N-E-R-D

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Everything posted by N-E-R-D

  1. I do tend to agree with you that there are vast misunderstandings underlying the way in which the west and middle east view one and other. Sympathy and empathy should be the foremost response when clashes ensue. But do you ever feel as if Islam's self imposed universal nature makes it harder for it to cohesively co-exist in a non-major Islamic society? Also I tend to think things like gay rights and teaching scientific theories are mostly in the realm of social rules and practices. I mean notions of natural rights, legal status are mostly listed within a society's constitution. Yay fellow redditor! Yes I agree that the responses in Reddit mostly affirm the topic and don't allow for any interesting discussion; and I do tend to stay away from r/atheism since it's mostly just a circle jerk. But what claim exactly do you feel is wrong?
  2. I'm sorry but I've never heard of these concepts before. Could someone please explain what "Wayfaring" and "Wird"? What would be the purpose of this path, what does it entail, and what does it achieve?
  3. You should check out: plato.stanford.edu/ www.iep.utm.edu/ I took a philosophy of mind course a while ago. I'll see if I can find the course work if you're interested.
  4. You don't need these self imposed restrictions; they are an arbitrary set of rules that you can choose to follow or disregard. Please man for the love of God, experience the world.
  5. First I must confess something. Although this post was made in the first person point of view; it is a repost of a blog I found online. See it here: http://www.reddit.co...ther_heres_why/ I simply wanted to share a different perspective about Islam and gauge the responses because I found the post , however disagreeable, somewhat enlightening. I'm glad to see an alternative viewpoint from a native Belgian. I do believe the post makes a mistake when it universalizes the whole of Belgium culture through simply one person's experience. But we come to the crux of the argument with your statement here. "You can't blame Islam for the ignorant muslims" This. This is the stance that almost an entirety of muslims take and this is something I must disagree with. If an ideology is harmful, if the practice that it preaches is dangerous, then do I not have a right to protest that ideology? Can it not deserve blame or even criticism for what it states? I am not saying that Islam is such an ideology, I am simply trying to make the case that an Ideology can be considered responsible for moral wrongness, just as action can be deemed morally wrong. And if Islam is such a universal system of governance; governing not only morality, buy commerce/trade, natural rights, etc. then is not worthy of blame when it falls short of what I find is necessary? Yes I agree that Islam is taken to be such an ideology, or like I said a kind of government. But when you reach outside of morality (which most religion is concerned with) and dictate commerce, rules of trade, group behaviour, etc. you then clash against different forms of governance. If I were to say something along the lines that unrestrained Capitalism is wrong because it creates vast inequality among people and promotes corruption for the want of profit; You would not object that I am in my right to make such a claim. But if I were to criticize Islam in such a way, I would be shunned as a bigot. Why so? The special treatment that Islam enjoys is because it is under the guise of religion. You hold it to be absolute and criticism thus creates a moral dispute. See this "rightness" and "wrongness" is very hard to spell out. When it's a simple matter of fact, it is easily discernible; if I see a tree and claim that "there is a tree there". I am justified in making such a claim; the truth of which can be gauged in a variety of objective ways such as perception. When it comes to an Ideology, one that is open to interpretation and reinterpretation ; the rightness and wrongness can be vague and lead to dispute/conflict. I feel as if it is the easy to simply say "what they are practising is wrong" "they are not true Muslims"; it requires no analysis or critique about the actual content. And then this role of the media; I've heard this over and over again. Yes media is biased. Yes it perpetuates controversy for the sake of entertainment. Yet media is not not one thing; it is comprised of multiple sources and some of which strives for objectivity. The attacks and riots that occurred following the "Innocence of Muslims" video was not perpetuated by what I would would call the mainstream US media. Is it not the case that imams and glorified clergy used this as a means to spread their own conservative agenda? True words. I cannot deny or verify the details in the post. It may be the case or it may not. However I believe it does point to a stronger notion of cultural identity and clashes when one's identify does not conform with the society around it. Again I do not understand the rational of Islam as not being blameworthy. If it dictates behaviour in such and such a way, if it is a rule that people live their lives by then I feel as if it does and can be held liable. I cannot take credit for this post but your words are appreciated. Do you believe that the cultural aspect of Islam can be critiqued? I feel as if you're hinting at another point that has been made in recent discussions about Islam and it's role in the world. And that is Islam's clash versus modernity. Do the rules of governance as applicable to trade/commerce/behaviour dictated 1400 years ago still apply today? I am not talking about whether or not the moral values hold true. Rather the cultural aspects. This universalism is what I find most troublesome. Universalism as dictated by a supreme being does create a strong foundation for belief. And it seems as if one criticises one aspect of Islam then it can be taken more personally since it undermines the foundation for belief.
  6. I feel as if you're missing something here though. And that is the viewer or the audience. The audience also has a sense of responsibility or choice for what they want to see. If you did post such a video; you're friends have a choice to either A) Find the material offensive and ignore it. B) Find the material offensive and react to it. Yes offensive material incites us to react; it excites the lesser base emotions of anger, resentment; it creates hatred to a select group and enforces an ideology of "us" against "them". But would you not agree to simply ignore the material would be a better choice? Would not the greater emotions of forgiveness, understanding and peace be better justified when faced with this sort of material?
  7. Yes I agree with you; the video post is obscene and vulgar and idiotic and people should strive for mutual respect. But please understand that by keeping the video available doesn't mean that Google Inc, Youtube or other companies support the content of that video. They support a kind of freedom of speech not available in other areas of the world. I simply support the value of speech rather than the value of censorship. @Wing It has everything to do with freedom of speech; it truly honestly does. For areas in which this is considered hate speech thus a hate crime Youtube has blocked the video. See this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/18/youtube-innocence-muslims-saudi-arabia_n_1894691.html
  8. Are you guys serious? Boycotting an entire industry based of one idiotic video? Google Inc is not responsible for the content of that video. Responsibility lies in the author/director/producer etc... Even so, why is there such an insanity of anger and outrage? Because it offends you? Do you not teach your own children that words cannot hurt? Crying over and over again "I was offended, and I have rights!" Nothing happens when you're get offended. Nothing happens. You cannot make arbitrary judgments on what you find offensive and then dictate that to an independent company. In fact the same freedom of expression you are boycotting allows the videos of Islamic prayers, majalis, haj, and other ceremonies to be broadcasted without any filter or restriction. Being offended is subjective; it has everything to do with you as an individual, or as a collective group, of a society, or a community; it has everything to do with your moral conditioning; your religious beliefs; what offends me, may not offend you and you would like to dictate a policy of offense? Are you guys serious....
  9. I live in a small country in Europe named Belgium. We have "freedom of religion". There is a strict separation between Church and State. Officially, we are a catholic country but nowadays we have mainly agnostics and atheists, our churches stay empty on sundays. We have many different religions, and many different cultures here in Belgium. None of them posed a big problem, but Islam really is an exception. What I have learned is that Islam is not a religion like any other. Let me explain: Most religions and most cultures are compatible with Belgian culture and law, and just fit in. Islam however, is not just a religion as how we here define "religion". Islam is a whole package. Islam contains a political system, economic system, justice, education, culture and religion. When Muslims come to Europe to live their lives, this creates impact. We have Police here who's job is to make sure that the citizens follow the law. People with Islamic roots are showing some kind of immunity against the police. They show this in how they behave towards the police, by not accepting the police as an authority. They literally say and admit that Allah, the Islamic God, is the only authority. Every week there are cases of violence against police and it always shows the same pattern: 1 Muslim gets arrested, and then suddenly a group of sometimes up to 50 Muslims gather and attack the police. This has happened so many times that the police has decided to no longer patrol certain neighborhoods, because their authority is no longer accepted there so they are just outnumbered by the ( Islamic ) civilians. I'm not speculating about the future here, this is the reality here today in 2012. Then there is education. We have Belgian laws which guarantee a minimum level of education. It's a book full of facts that must be taught in every school, they are called the "end terms". One of those subjects is evolution. The theory of evolution must be taught in both science class and history class. Creationism is not allowed. If a teacher teaches his pupils the theory of creationism instead of evolution, then this is against the end terms. I personally know a teacher who had the task to teach evolution to her pupils. The children with an Islamic background, we are talking about 9 and 10 year olds here, said to her: "You are talking bull[Edited Out], you are just a dumb woman, my parents tell us that we should not listen to you about this evolution [Edited Out], Allah has created us and all the animals." They are ordered by their parents to not do any homework on the theory of evolution and they deliberately fail the tests. This problem is not limited to pupils. There are 20-year olds studying to become teachers, who also deny evolution. There are various reports of Islamic teachers who got their job as a teacher, and they are teaching creationism to Islamic children, denying evolution, and not following the end terms that are actually protected by law and by separation of church and state. They not only deny the authority of the police, they also deny our education system and its rules. Then there is the problem of food. Islam does not accept pork as "clean" food. Therefore, they do not buy food in our supermarkets. Instead, they build their own stores which do not allow the sale of pork or alcohol. Here I have an example of one of my relatives: a family member was celebrating her birthday at work. She gave away boxes of chocolates containing alcohol. She got a complaint from an Islamic employee that she apparently had not shown respect for his "beliefs" by not having any non-Alcoholic chocolates. This might sound like a stupid small issue but I'm trying to make a point here: I'm not talking about extremist Muslims here blowing themselves up, I am talking about the everyday Muslim. Now economy. Belgium has banks, our banking system is interweaved with economy ( ok I know this is not the ideal period to start defending banks with all the economic mess we are into but still ... ). They do not use our banks: they keep their money in foreign banks located in Turkey, Morocco, Saudi-Arabia etc... because those banks follow certain Islamic rules. They are constantly draining and transferring money out of Europe. They do not accept our banking system because it's not compliant with the Islamic view of economy. I know I'm writing a long text here, but I hope you are still with me, because there is an important point I want to arrive to: Justice. The number of hate crimes against homosexuals is increasing every year. It started a few years back with taunting and attacking homosexual persons around areas with gay bars. Since last year, the first murders of gays have happened, by Muslims. No provocation, just hate crimes, hate against gays. The gay community is aware of areas in Belgium where they are no longer safe simply because they are gay. This wasn't the case 10 years ago. Then there are the increasing reports of honor killings. Just recently, a 22 year old Belgian bared the child of her 19 year old Islamic ex-boyfriend. The family of this Muslim had arranged a wife and a marriage for him, and this child would bring a shame on the whole family. That's why he and his nephew have killed this young 22 year old girl, to save the honor of the family. I hope I'm getting my point across here. Although Islam is being defined as a religion, it is not just that. Islam is much more, it's a whole package, it's a culture, it's an entire social system. And it's impacting with another system. It's not impacting with Christianity, it's impacting with the Western world. We can see it slowly unfolding here in Europe. Slowly but certain. Let me stress out that Muslims are more attached to their Islamic system, than the European people are attached to the Western system. This is because the Islamic system has a God as the authority, which is a more powerful psychological motivation, than the European people who just have the government as the authority. Muslims are therefore not showing as much indulgence as other Europeans, resulting in an increasing amount of rights for Muslims and a decreasing amount of rights for Europeans. Other cultures and religions have had no problem with fitting in. But Islam is not just a religion. It's something different. When "Freedom of Religion" was written in the Belgian law, it wasn't meant for something like Islam. This is the mistake and the problem that we are facing. And at this moment nobody knows how to deal with it.
  10. Hey man I tried giving this site another try...

    But the amount of dribble and unadulterated [Edited Out] that is being spewed about without any sort of moderation is overwhelming;

    I get such a negative visceral reaction from reading all of it, I can barely stand it...

    If you wanna keep in touch add me on msn messenger: hssn_hdr@hotmail.com

    or facebook; just search that email.

    P...

  11. Causality doesn't necessarily exist as a relation in the world. Like you stated "To my knowledge, everything has a source." Using knowledge as a quantifier we are limited in our understanding of the world. Hume said it best when he claimed that we only ever see one event preceding another event; we explain this relation in terms of causality, but it is a human construct derived from human conceptions, and limited to human experience. As far as 'nothing' in concerned; I'm content in saying that it too is a human construct; This might be an overreaching claim but I want to say something along the lines that there is no real empirical thing as "nothing". The concept of "nothing" as understood to be devoid of everything, devoid of anything physical, in opposition to something seems to be incoherent. To understand nothing in this sense seems contradictory, it even presupposes a 'something' in order to refer to it as nothing, but then what is that 'something' to which I'm referring to?...
  12. No we didn't know each other personally, and didn't communicate but I really appreciated the posts you would make on the forum; as far as atheism goes I'm more in an agnostic position right now and it's due to more than just the affluence of this community; thanks for the shout out to Quentin Smith, I'll look through some of his articles for my paper.

  13. wow that is really insane timing; I'm taking a Philosophy of Religion course and I wanted to reread the essay you wrote about 3 years ago( the one about cosmology affirming atheism)...that's why I checked Shiachat right now to do a search for it...

    incredible coincidence that you've returned around the same time I randomly decided to reminiscence and procrastinate over this site..

  14. As far as western philosophy goes I belive what you're describing is simply a empircistic view that focuses on sensory perception as a means to gain knowledge or expierence about the physical world. I think you're orignally concern was more of an epistemic query, that is to say it's a question over knowledge; correct me if I'm mistaken but I intrepretated your post to differ between the question of "Is the object to which my intention is oriented truely there?" but more the question of "Do I have knowledge of the fact that the object to which my intention is oriented is truely there?" And again the 'truely there' part suggests all the qualative notions we put into 'truely'; i.e. the structure, extension, color, form, shape, size, etc. or any given object. Now if you're limiting knowledge to the state of mere sense preception then that has metaphysical consequences such as a idealistic or phenomenal worldview. Simply stated idealism states all there exists I also think embedded in your query is a problem of language.rather than saying "intentions of people", I think you're actually refering to your own "sense data" albeit with human constructs and constraints within language. I' would add more and clarify the concepts in more detail but I'm running late for class right now and I just wanted to leave this comment because your question is something I've been thinking on and of about for a couple years. Quick shout out to David Hume; he was a empircist who eventually lead a path down to skepeticism. And Also a shout out to Immanuel Kant; a philosopher who tried to answer Hume's skepetcism by defining reality in two parts: the phenomenal and the noumenal. I'll post a little something about how these two guys relate to your earlier post. Peace
  15. LOL this is soo funny thanks for sharing :!!!: Specially this line:
  16. Sometimes I feel like you guys are the same person and just arugeing with yourself from differing viewpoints... But ya check this out: Rare vegetarion spider discovered! http://www.livescience.com/animals/091012-vegetarian-spider.html
  17. In any way? We can at least agree to equal rights in the sense of the inviolability of human beings. I guess it partially depends on what sort of moral theory one is ascribing to, but shouldn't there be some standard to basic rights as applicable to us by our human nature.
  18. I was wondering if anyone could direct me to where I could find lectures/majalas for the 19th, 20th, and 21th ramadan days. Something I can download and burn and preferably in English or Urdu. Thanks
  19. Conformity is nothing negative in itself. People partially define themselves from the perception of other people. I am not immune to this nor is anyone else. The belief you have that conformity to societal norms is itslef a conformity to your intrepration of Islamic thought. The problem here seems to be a conflicting value system; you value the life as protrayed by the the Ahlul Bayt yet others value life for an inumerable amount of reasons; perhaps the life protrayed by popular media or anti-media, popular culture and again anti-culture, or life as afforded by government (I'm thinking of but not limited to forms such as socialism, communism) or the break of government (anarchy!) and on and on... So then is the judging other's value systems subjectively just? Or should we objective? I don't know... But one should recognize that saying conformity is bad is itself a conformity...
  20. What's the point of posting a homework assignment on a forum?
  21. I really don't understand the radical and irrational claims you seem to be making here... You first draw a distinction between the Mind, Body, and Soul (or Spirit) but this is rather presumptuous; for if the only thing one has direct and real access to is one's mind and body; why presuppose this idea of a soul?.. If it's from reliance on textual evidence than it is nothing more than hearsay... You then go on to rationalize how this immaterial, noumenal thing you call a Soul could exist in the same reality as a physical body and encompass the mind yet this is the one of the main tenants behind rejecting the idea of a Soul. That is to say there is no evidence to support the belief that an immaterial, non-physical thing could have any sort of relationship with physical reality. Most notably that there is no causal relationship between a Soul and a Body or Mind. But one could always and you will most probably appeal to the will of Allah as instantiating some kind of relationship, maybe something along the lines of recreating the world or all of reality continuously, that is from one moment to the next; or maybe through the notion of pre-established harmony where God syncs the possibly infinite relationship between these entities before the start of time. However both these response are not without their rightful criticisms and if you choose one or both of them I will gladly clarify the rebuttals. But what is really just absolute nonsense is your claim that "The soul is who you really are". Who one is, is their personal identity, something that is subject to time/memory/habit or just their general being...What I think you could mean is that the soul is the essence of who someone is; yet that is not what is portrayed; we do not engage each other souls, we engage each others thoughts, each others mannerisms but never the thing you call the Soul... The whole talk of the harmonies of the Soul seems to be regurgitated Early Modern philosophy that Islamic scholars use to propel their ambitions of conversion and obedience... If you are looking for some sort of transcendence of the human condition, it is not in the fairy tales of religion, it is not in the return to absolutes for certainty; there is no certainty, absolutes are subjective faith, even rationality itself is subjective faith, but perception exists, the mind exists and that is all that exists. To appeal to a mind-independent reality for a groundwork of beliefs is to gravely err... To sjpeters79: You need to think about what the mind is and examine the various theories of mind out there before asking the question of its existence after death. But if your firm belief is that there is a distinction between a Mind, Body, and Soul then I see of no way of preserving the being your are now, after death...
  22. If God always speaks through a veil doesn't that mean we recieve a distorted sense of his nature or his message? Unless by veil you mean unique to human understanding, something like limiting tje infinite to finite thereby never knowing the true essence outside of our perceptions.
  23. ^ The Final Cut (2004) starring Robin Williams
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