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In the Name of God بسم الله

mattbrowne

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Everything posted by mattbrowne

  1. Evolution is an important branch of science. Islam is a religion, not a science. Christianity is a religion, not a science. Science and religions can coexist. Religions contain rituals and parables and myths. “Myths are about the human struggle to deal with the great passages of time and life—birth, death, marriage, the transitions from childhood to adulthood to old age. They meet a need in the psychological or spiritual nature of humans that has absolutely nothing to do with science. To try to turn a myth into a science, or a science into a myth, is an insult to myths, an insult to religion, and an insult to science.”—Michael Shermer
  2. Freedom is about having a choice. I believe in free countries. I believe in the freedom of people to visit casinos. I don't, by the way. Lotteries are for people who don't understand the mathematical theory of probabilities.
  3. Big bang theory does not explain the cause of the big bang. It merely explains the chain of events after when our universe was 10^-43 seconds old. The Quran is not a science document and cannot be used for scientific proof. Holy books offer spiritual explanations. They talk about purpose and meaning.
  4. A "Muslim pharmacy" sounds like a weird concept to me. We should think of pharmacies for human beings. Why create divisions between humans, when health is something that concerns all humans?
  5. I read that Muslim scholars have discouraged the word's use due to the Quran's command to use kind words. Christians call Muslims Muslims. Christians don't call Muslims nonbelievers or heathens, except a few radical Christians (and they should not be our role models).
  6. Sex is only allowed if there is consent between the two. And slavery is a thing of the past, so today there's no need to deal with the question.
  7. Laws should be upgraded by elected people for the people. Laws do evolve over time. It's called progress.
  8. I agree with your view. Different cultures can enrich a religion. And different religions can enrich one culture. Using the world infiltrate is not appropriate. Christianity in Africa is different from Christianity in Europe for example. And even within Europe there are differences because of different cultural histories. A good thing. Yes, we should be open minded. We should appreciate diversity.
  9. I greatly admire the Egyptian demonstrators for what they have accomplished. I think people like Wael Ghonim and Asmaa Mahfouz deserve to win the Nobel Peace prize. What we witnessed was a peaceful revolution almost like the one in East Germany in 1989. The Muslim Brotherhood includes a wider spectrum of political opinions, but overall I consider them to be a potentially very dangerous movement. I hope we can all agree that we can’t tolerate intolerance, whether it’s the intolerant ultra-conservative Christian Right movement in the US or the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab world. “In a 2008 interview Muslim Brotherhood Executive Bureau member Mahmoud Ghozlan emphasized that homosexuality needed to be outlawed. He also insisted that ‘women and non-Muslims don’t have the right to lead or govern Muslim states,’ echoing the sharia-based gender segregation in all sectors of life called for by Muslim Brotherhood founder al-Banna.” http://www.progressivefix.com/nine-questions-about-the-muslim-brotherhood Eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty. And the Egyptians who ended a tyranny don't want it replaced by another tyranny. I really hope that Egypt becomes a truly secular country, similar to Turkey, with freedom of religion and freedom of thought. Egyptians must also get the right to not believe in God. The Egyptian Revolution showed us something else too: Tolerant Muslims and tolerant Christians can unite and fight off tyranny and intolerance together. "During the night of 3–4 February, there were tanks on the street in Cairo as many of the protesters again spent the night in Tahrir Square. Two million Egyptians flooded Tahrir Square to participate in Friday day prayer in Tahrir Square. Egyptian Christians and others not performing Friday prayers formed a "human chain" around those praying to protect them from any potential disruptions. The day's planned events began after Friday prayers. Al Jazeera estimated the crowd size to be over a million in Tahrir Square. On Sunday, Copts wanted to show that they are a part of Egypt's popular uprising and share the same grievances as the rest of the country. Christians started their Sunday Mass in Cairo's Tahrir Square as Muslim protesters formed a ring around them to protect them during the service." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_Revolution_of_2011 I think we should stop dividing humanity into Muslims and non-Muslims. We should look into the hearts of people.
  10. Miracle are rare events obeying the natural laws created by God.
  11. There are numerous statistics that girls outperform boys at school. In Kuwait for example girls outperform boys in every subject of the 12th grade examinations, particularly in philosophy, English, Arabic languages, chemistry, physics, mathematics and biology. The situation is very similar in other Muslim countries. And in Western countries as well. I'm not surprised that some men seem to claim that men are superior to women. In these cases we are in fact talking about grown-up boys who were substantially outperformed by smarter girls. So this isn't very credible. Likewise is biased interpretation of the Quran and certain hadeeths not credible. Worldwide statistics are. Just use Google and search girls outperform boys and you will get hundred of thousands of hits. We are witnessing a transformation from the industrial to a knowledge-based economy. Countries not making use of their female potential will be outperformed by countries that do. Queen Rania has realized this. -------------------------- Education is key as a holistic, transparent, dialog-oriented process --Queen Rania Al Abdullah Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people --Eleanor Roosevelt
  12. Paul Watzlawick: "The belief that one's own view of reality is the only reality is the most dangerous of all delusions." -------------------------- Education is key as a holistic, transparent, dialog-oriented process --Queen Rania Al Abdullah Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people --Eleanor Roosevelt
  13. If God is omnipotent why would He choose to become a lowly micro manager, playing around with DNA and protein molecules. Why not think of God as the origin of the natural laws? -------------------------- Education is key as a holistic, transparent, dialog-oriented process --Queen Rania Al Abdullah Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people --Eleanor Roosevelt
  14. The history of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_music is very long. In Germany J.S. Bach is still very popular in many churches. I think the Scottish example is rather an exception. -------------------------- Education is key as a holistic, transparent, dialog-oriented process --Queen Rania Al Abdullah Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people --Eleanor Roosevelt
  15. Recently I read about an interesting hypothesis: stagnation in the Arab world because Arabic is a static language like Latin or Sanskit. And Arabic always has a touch of sacredness and cannot evolve like a normal spoken language. Economic development seems to somewhat correlated with the number of books published http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Books_published_per_country_per_year -------------------------- Education is key as a holistic, transparent, dialog-oriented process --Queen Rania Al Abdullah Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people --Eleanor Roosevelt
  16. I don't see why women can't be priests or ministers or imams. This doesn't require strong muscular arms. Just good brains. In Morocco female clergy are called http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/3672924/Mourchidat-Moroccos-female-Muslim-clerics.html -------------------------- Education is key as a holistic, transparent, dialog-oriented process --Queen Rania Al Abdullah Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people --Eleanor Roosevelt
  17. Anne Frank said: "Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart." She also said: "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." -------------------------- Education is key as a holistic, transparent, dialog-oriented process --Queen Rania Al Abdullah Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people --Eleanor Roosevelt
  18. Yes, it's a matter of hygiene, the best treatment for animals, and the overall impact on our planet. Because of climate change we should eat less meat. -------------------------- Education is key as a holistic, transparent, dialog-oriented process --Queen Rania Al Abdullah Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people --Eleanor Roosevelt
  19. Yes, God might see whether we pray 4 or 5 times a day, and I'm aware that this is one of the five pillars, but I think God is also merciful and forgiving and considering the circumstances. There might be days when several prayers are impractical and in my opinion no one should feel depressed about it. Having a good heart and helping other people can make up for the missing prayers on certain days when this is difficult. On the next day it might be perfectly feasible to pray 5 times. A religion should not make people feel empty. This is just my opinion. And every individual should have the right to decide how to live a good life.
  20. Violating animal laws and being cruel to animals is 7th century or 11th century thinking. This does exist in Europe or North America as well. Our societies are self critical. And even animal laws do change over time. But the understanding of the Quran and the Hadiths should also change over time. No 21st century Muslim should view dogs as unclean anymore or reject non-halal beef when traveling in Western countries. Viewing women as unclean is even worse. Too much dogma in religion hinders progress. -------------------------- Education is key as a holistic, transparent, dialog-oriented process --Queen Rania Al Abdullah Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people --Eleanor Roosevelt
  21. God sees what's in our hearts, not whether we pray 4 or 5 times a day. Examine your heart. Can you put smiles on other people's faces? Do you help other people? Then there's no reason to feel empty. You should be proud of being able to help other people. -------------------------- Education is key as a holistic, transparent, dialog-oriented process --Queen Rania Al Abdullah Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people --Eleanor Roosevelt
  22. 1. Separation of religion and state 2. Freedom of religion and freedom of thought 3. Separation of powers (executive, legislature, judiciary) 4. Critical thinking and scientific method 5. Appreciation of diversity including interfaith dialog -------------------------- Education is key as a holistic, transparent, dialog-oriented process --Queen Rania Al Abdullah Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people --Eleanor Roosevelt
  23. I'm aware that the majority of Muslims do not share my views about the sharia. And I do keep asking myself why this is so. I think there are many explanations. One is the decline of all Muslim societies after 1250 CE when the Golden Islamic Age ended. Galileo, Newton, Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, Kant, Hume, Hegel, Voltaire, Bohr and Einstein profoundly changed most majority Christian countries. Most Christians today are children of this Enlightenment. Many Muslims today are not children of this Enlightenment. The two mindsets differ and this could explain the feelings of Muslims about the sharia and political Islam. Another explanation is that Muslim societies feel left behind. Progress seems to happen elsewhere, so more and more Muslims want to feel proud about their identity, the sharia and political Islam. But in my opinion this hinders progress and creativity. Religion and state should be kept separate. Our laws come from lawmakers elected by a majority of people. -------------------------- Education is key as a holistic, transparent, dialog-oriented process --Queen Rania Al Abdullah Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people --Eleanor Roosevelt
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