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Mohammedan
Posted: 11 June 2007 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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OK, not all, there are nice fundies, but all religions are predicated on the belief that mine is right and yours is wrong - Christ and Allah are quite explicit in this regard which is worrying if you are planning on an afterlife. Which to chose? No wonder atheists get exercised. Allah and God can’t both be right. This is not to excuse the clown in the atheist site using Mohammedan but I can sympathise with his frustration. With numerous religions claiming a monopoly on god he would claim only one can be right (unless they are all wrong) and target the claims of the most conservative and damaging ones with some bitterness.
You can take the awed and whispering documentary-maker approach: “This Amazonian tribe believe the spirits of their ancestors reside in jaguars” and apply a similar uncritical approach to the “major” religions, I suppose.

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Posted: 11 June 2007 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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This will all end in tears, you mark my words.

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Posted: 11 June 2007 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Allah and God can’t both be right.

“Allah” and “God” are the same thing.  Not only is allah simply the Arabic word for ‘god,’ but the god of the Quran is the god of Abraham and Moses and Jesus, the same god worshipped by Jews and Christians.  Why not take some time off to actually learn something about religion before you resume sniping at it?  It’s not very convincing listening to someone rant when they make such basic mistakes.

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Posted: 11 June 2007 02:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Thanks LH.

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Posted: 11 June 2007 08:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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I think it was Voltaire who said “I disagree to the death with what you say, and I will defend with my life your right to say it”.  That was during the Age of Enlightenment, and anyway, during any age there aren’t very many people like Voltaire around. A much more prevalent view, throughout history, has been “I disagree to the death with what you say, and to prove I am right, I am going to kill you”. Attitudes like this are gaining ground today in many parts of the world. Even in the U.S.A. (land of the free) people may be murdered for their beliefs, if they dare to live by them (I have in mind, among others, Martin Luther King. And certain advocates of legal abortion).

This is an enlightened forum, as the present thread shows. The fact contributes much to one’s enjoyment in participating in it. Toleration has been the keynote of the discussion here. But unless it’s mutual, toleration doesn’t last long. I agree with ElizaD. This will end in tears. It always does.

Let’s move on.

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Posted: 11 June 2007 09:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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lionello - 11 June 2007 08:47 PM

I think it was Voltaire who said “I disagree to the death with what you say, and I will defend with my life your right to say it”.

I first heard that attributed to Jefferson by a newsletter called “The Rationalist” (I think--I wish I’d kept them) edited by Madalyn Murray O’Hair back when I was in my own atheist years (Ayn Rand was another heroine of those early years).  Turns out that it may be neither Jefferson nor Voltaire:

Voltaire is often incorrectly credited with the quote “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” These words were actually written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, in her 1906 book The Friends of Voltaire. Hall intended to summarize in her own words Voltaire’s attitude towards Claude Adrien Helvétius and his controversial book De l’esprit, but her first-person expression was mistaken for an actual quotation from Voltaire. citation.

Seems to be so.

Right up there with the Prayer of St. Francis I guess.

[ Edited: 11 June 2007 09:54 PM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 11 June 2007 11:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Thank you, Oecolampadius. i think I’ll see about buying that book...... and thanks too for the Prayer of St. Francis, which i’d never heard of.

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Posted: 12 June 2007 10:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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I meant people who believe in Allah or, say, the Christian God can’t both be right and that these deities cannot coexist in a theological or philosophical sense, not an etymological one.
Nor do I see how being an atheist is prejudicial against religion -it’s a reasoned position unlike any kind of fundamentalism, though there have been attempts at proving the existence of a supreme being (Descartes and Michael Behe, for example). 
I have already stated I wouldn’t use a term like Mohammedan. Now it seems un-PC to even suggest that any of the world’s major religions are mutually exclusive. No one would seriously assert that every religion gets you into heaven or a next life. I was making a logical point not an etymological one.

Tears is right, Eliza. We should stick to niceties of usage.

[ Edited: 12 June 2007 11:01 AM by venomousbede ]
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Posted: 12 June 2007 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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Well, Venemousbede, Allah is the Christian God--Arabic speaking Christians refer to Him thus.

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Posted: 12 June 2007 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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On another forum there has been a discussion about the significance, if any, of a growing trend among Indian Muslims to use “Allah haafiz” as a farewell instead of “Khuda haafiz”. Some have seen it as a sign of growing militancy or Islamism, but since friends of mine who describe themselves as atheist Muslims use it, I tend to think it’s not that significant.

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Posted: 12 June 2007 12:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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I meant people who believe in Allah or, say, the Christian God can’t both be right and that these deities cannot coexist in a theological or philosophical sense, not an etymological one.... I was making a logical point not an etymological one.

I was not making an etymological point either, I was explaining to you that the word allah means ‘god’ just like the French word chat means ‘cat,’ and just as it would make no sense to say that you can’t believe in both chats and cats it makes no sense to say that you can’t believe in both Allah and God.  Furthermore, Muslims do not consider Jews and Christians followers of essentially different religions; their take on it is that God (the God, the only God) inspired various prophets (including Moses and Jesus) with his message but that the message got garbled and people fell away from the true religion, so he instructed Muhammad to recite his message word for word and make sure it wouldn’t get lost.  They regard it as restoring the true religion (as, for instance, Protestants felt they were restoring true Christianity), not creating a new one.

You have the right, of course, not to care about any of this, but then you should do everyone the favor of not shooting off your mouth about things you don’t want to take the trouble to understand.

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Posted: 12 June 2007 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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On another forum there has been a discussion about the significance, if any, of a growing trend among Indian Muslims to use “Allah haafiz” as a farewell instead of “Khuda haafiz”.

Oy.  This is the same misunderstanding in a different language.  Khuda (or khoda) is just the Persian word for ‘god,’ as allah is the Arabic.  Some people just love stirring up trouble.

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Posted: 12 June 2007 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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languagehat - 12 June 2007 12:59 PM

On another forum there has been a discussion about the significance, if any, of a growing trend among Indian Muslims to use “Allah haafiz” as a farewell instead of “Khuda haafiz”.

Oy.  This is the same misunderstanding in a different language.  Khuda (or khoda) is just the Persian word for ‘god,’ as allah is the Arabic.  Some people just love stirring up trouble.

My thoughts exactly. The argument goes that abandoning the Persian-sourced, Urdu-identified Khuda for the openly Arabic Allah is a sign that Indian Muslims are algning themselves by religious identity first, as opposed to national identity. It’s an extension of the thinking that says “Indian Muslim” = “closet Pakistani”.  Given that my friends are also the most rabid Indian nationalists I know, the idea seems kinda funny.

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Posted: 13 June 2007 07:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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I like the idea of numerous supreme beings happily coexisting somewhere, all of them responsible for creating our universe maybe working in shifts. Give a deity a name and a set of attributes and it will pop straight into existence alongside all the others. If Allah means God in Arabic then you can posit two new non-exclusive prime movers unless it’s the same one in two manifestations.

There’s an interesting account of this phenomenon here (also how one single individual can believe in two religions at the same time as was suggested in a post):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_inconsistent_revelations

Related stuff here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager and at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chosen_people

Admittedly not about words so much but it relates to the debate here and expresses it a lot better than I did.

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