The Instigator
Zerosmelt
Pro (for)
Winning
38 Points
The Contender
Blessed-Cheese-Maker
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

The fact that the word "Islam" means Peace should not be used in defense of Islam.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/3/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,724 times Debate No: 4890
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (32)
Votes (13)

 

Zerosmelt

Pro

My point is very simple and i want to keep this short.

The word Islam means peace but this fact is unimportant when debating the moral standards of Islam. Just because the name of an organization/religion/movement is something does not mean that the organization/religion/movement abides by that thing.

For example lets suppose that a band of murders called themselves "Los Amantes de la Gente" Suppose this band has killed more than 500 people and are now at court on trail. Are we to believe that they shouldn't be convicted simply because their name means the lovers of the people?

You may think their names sounds far fetched but consider the fact that The Nazi Party actually stood for The National Socialist German Workers' Party. It was supposedly a party for the people.

Just to hammer the nail in the whole. Imagine someone with the name Dietfried. (yes its a real name, http://www.behindthename.com...) murders hundreds of people. Would any lawyer even think to try and make the defense that his name means "peace of the people."

I'm afraid not.
Blessed-Cheese-Maker

Con

The nature of Islamic people and their religion is continually under attack from the west as being violent, war mongering and backwards. It is important for the western world to take a step back and take a look at Muslims as a whole, instead of focusing on the very tiny minority that behave badly towards other humans.

The true definition of Islam ( http://www.thefreedictionary.com... ) is not strictly peace as the proponent suggests, it actually means to surrender or resign oneself to God or to make peace with God.

The point that Islam by definition means making peace is an important tool that should be used by Muslims in defense of their religion. The claims that Islam is not a religion of peace are refuted by the vast majority of muslims who live peaceful lives.

As an example, lets take a look at the word Christian. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

Utilizing my opponents logic, Christians should not use the definition of Christianity, Christ like, when defending it to Atheists who claim it is anything but. It is similar to an Atheist using the Westboro Baptist Church to prove that Christians are not Christlike, then claiming that Christians shouldn't point to the fact that Christianity means Christlike, while defending themselves.

The fact that a very small minority of Muslims don't live in peaceful submission to Allah, doesn't negate the definition and true intent of the religion.
Debate Round No. 1
Zerosmelt

Pro

Thanks for accepting my debate blessed cheese maker.

First of all, this is a debate about the validity of a tactic used by islamic apologists to defend islam. It isn't a debate about Islam itself.

My claim is that just b/c the name of an organization means something does not necessarily mean that the organization adheres to whatever its name means.

because of this the meaning of the word "islam" has no discernible relation to the ethical merits of the religion. It is essentially irrelevant to even state the meaning of this word when discussing the ethical merits of islam.

I have not, nor do i intend to make any claims about the ethical merit of this religion in this debate.

My opponent hasn't actually posed any argument about the validity of this tactic. At least not a sound one.

"The nature of Islamic people and their religion is continually under attack from the west as being violent, war mongering and backwards."

If this is a reason why this tactic should be used we only need to look at the neo-nazi's to see the absurdity of such a claim.

Neo nazism is continually under attack from the majority of americans as being violent, war mongering and backwards. Therefore in their defense it is valid to point out that the word "nazism" refers to The National Socialist German Workers' Party.

It doesn't matter what nazism means it doesn't excuse their actions in anyway.

I want to make it clear that I am not saying that islam is necessarily a violent religion or anything to that accord. As that would be a topic for another debate. I am simply pointing out that Islam the word does not necessarily have anything do with the ethical merits of the religion. Therefore it shouldn't be used in defense of islam.
Blessed-Cheese-Maker

Con

My opponent brings up very good points however neglects to recognize that the context of utilizing the definition of the world Islam is very important.

Words mean things, the fact that people misinterpret them and misuse them doesn't detract from the fact that they actually mean specific things. My opponent stated that the definition of the word Islam shouldn't be used in defense of it.
I disagree as the definition of Islam as peaceful submission to God, helps define non peaceful people as non Islamic people.

A terrorist cannot be a follower of Islam, according to the definition of the word. Just as someone who is angry at God cannot be an Atheist, or someone who follows Zeus cannot be a Christian. The fact that words are utilized to define things requires that they should be used in the defense of things and actions attributed to those words.

It is reasonable for Muslims to utilize the definition of the word Islam to refute claims that it is morally reprehensible or a violent religion, simply because those who behave in a reprehensible or a violent way CANNOT represent Islam by definition.

The fact that violent people take on the mantle of the word, does not detract from the fact that they are NOT Muslims by definition. Just as followers of Quetzalcoatl claiming to be Atheists cannot exist by definition and Christians claiming to be former Atheists, when in fact they were 'rebelling against God' did not exist as Atheists by definition.

If this argument stated:

Violent People utilizing the world Islam to describe themselves are mistaken
- I would agree.

Or

The definition of the word Islam should be changed to include violent Muslims
-I might consider it.

However the claim was:
The fact that the word "Islam" means Peace should not be used in defense of Islam.

Which is illogical. The definition of any word can and should ALWAYS be used to defend the true meaning of that word.

--

Also, I understand that my opponent is not trying to make an ethical statement about Islam as a religion, and urge the reader to also understand this important point.
Debate Round No. 2
Zerosmelt

Pro

My opponent has offered us a very na�ve view of the world.

Once a word or phrase is defined to include an individual or group of individuals the initial meaning of the word/phrase is no longer pervasive of the entire definition.
That is to say that the definition of a word/phrase changes once it is used to define one person or a group of people.

There are many examples to choose from but lets take the case of "The Giggling Granny." In and of itself what does the phrase "the giggling granny" mean? It means a particular woman who has had grandchildren and is either laughing now or tends to laugh a lot. Let's suppose a friend and I were to walk by two people. One person was a grandmother who is laughing and the other is a little girl. If my friend were to say to me, "Did you see that woman, the giggling granny?" that would be a perfectly acceptable use of the phrase. However the phrase "the giggling granny" was redefined in the early part of the 20th century to describe a particular individual. That individual is Nannie Doss, a serial killer.

Now we can see that this phrase has two meanings:
1 - Good humoured grandmother
2 - Nannie Doss.

In no way should the first meaning of the word/phrase trump the second or be used to defend the actions of the second. What do I mean that it shouldn't trump the second? That means it would be incorrect to say that Nannie Doss was not "the giggling granny" b/c she did not adhere to the first meaning of the word/phrase. She is the giggling granny b/c the word/phrase is defined to include her. My opponent has attempted to use this tactic with the word "Islam." Suggesting that terrorists who follow Mohammad are not followers of Islam. This resolution cannot hold.
This is simply a lack of understanding as to what the definition of Islam is.

Islam http://dictionary.reference.com...
1.the religious faith of Muslims, based on the words and religious system founded by the prophet Muhammad and taught by the Koran, the basic principle of which is absolute submission to a unique and personal god, Allah.
2.the whole body of Muslim believers, their civilization, and the countries in which theirs is the dominant religion.

Whether my opponent likes it or not terrorists, such as Osama bin laden, DO belong to Islam. In fact they fall into both definitions of the word.
They follow the words, and religious system founded by Muhammad and the Koran. AND they are part of the civilization.

"Resign oneself to God", as a MEANING (not a definition) of the word "islam" is only one part of the definition of the word and cannot be used in defense of the actions done by individual's who are also considered a part of that definition.

I hope you don't actually believe you had any sort of argument.
Blessed-Cheese-Maker

Con

Blessed-Cheese-Maker forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ndasa 8 years ago
ndasa
The entire religion should not be judged by the few people that claim their elvil doings are allowed by god, with that being said, the fact that islam means peace does not mean that the people of it are peaceful. But islam is meant to spread peace.
Posted by Amplifier 8 years ago
Amplifier
It would seem the debate was a true statment, not something to be debated. Strange that anyone accepted con.
Posted by Zerosmelt 8 years ago
Zerosmelt
Ive read many of Blessed Cheese Maker's debates and I know that he is probably one of the most intelligent people on this site. I find it hard to believe that the view he put forth is his actual view. I would never think of saying that BCM, himself, is naive. Just the view point put forth in an attempt to defend his argument.
Posted by Zerosmelt 8 years ago
Zerosmelt
If we are to hold the view the CON purported then we would be naive. I'm sorry if that is insulting, I don't mean it to be. Its just that it would in fact be naive.
Posted by Blessed-Cheese-Maker 8 years ago
Blessed-Cheese-Maker
Pro was the one who described Con's perspective as Naive. Notice how Con ignored it despite its clear indication of a weak position?
Posted by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
brian_eggleston
This was a close debate - a good one - one of the few where every round one is inclined to change one's point of view. Well done guys!

However, I do believe that it was not gentlemanly for Con to describe Pro's argument as "naive" and that this will count against him.
Posted by Blessed-Cheese-Maker 8 years ago
Blessed-Cheese-Maker
Ran out of time while writing round 3...

I implore the reader to be objective while voting on this issue. I believe that my opponent has failed in promoting his initial claim that the definition of the word Islam has no bearing on the defense of it.

His arguments can be easily summarized and found wanting for logic:

Round 1: My opponent makes statements about people who call themselves one thing while actually doing another. ex..Nazis and Dietfried.
I point out that a large majority of Islamic people actually do live up to the definition of Islam as peaceful submission to God, proving that the defense of the definition of Islam is accurate in their case.

Round 2: My opponent retracts his implied denouncement of Islam in regards to moral standards. He then proceeds to draw a comparison to our denouncement of NeoNazi's ignoring the fact that a large majority of those who adopt Neo Nazism are violent people and are justly denounced as such. He ignores the point of round 1 which was to point out that Islam's definition as peaceful submission to God is accurate for the majority, therefor valid as a defense. I contend that words have meaning, and are utilized to communicate, and that attempts to redefine them are not logical.

Round 3: My opponent makes a statement about my naivety, (an offensive move typically utilized when one's position is weak) then proceeds to point to the fact that we as humans utilize bad definitions all the time, bringing up Giggling Granny as an example. However he fails to provide an example of how grannies defending themselves against claims of being like Nannie Doss by utilizing the definition of Giggling and Granny would be illogical. Which, after all is his contention.

I contend that absent of proof that a majority of the followers of Islam are violent and non peaceful, one cannot justly take away their right to utilize the definition of the world Islam to defend their religion.
Posted by Blessed-Cheese-Maker 8 years ago
Blessed-Cheese-Maker
Hopefully my contention in round 2 helps persuade your opinion toward Con SexyLatina. Words have definitions because they help us communicate and the fact that word are misused, shouldn't be rewarded or excused. It would result in a complete breakdown in our ability understand one another.

For an example lets use your avatar name. SexyLatina is a combination of words that have meaning. I can tell that you take pride in your appealing appearance and your heritage as Latin simply because you use 'sexylatina' as your username.

The fact that it is possible for an ugly European to utilize the username 'sexylatina' doesn't mean that its meaning shouldn't be utilized in defense it. If you claim that you are a sexy latina, then you have the right to point at the repellent Norwegian and utilize the definition of Sexy and Latina as a claim that she does not represent the term. Especially if there is a claim that SexyLatinas are all generally Abhorrent Whities.

;-)

Hope this helps.
Posted by SexyLatina 8 years ago
SexyLatina
How would one win this debate, besides being Pro? I find no holes in the logic. It's a very specific (one might go so far as to say "abusive"). Obviously what you call something doesn't necessarily reflect what it is; look at the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) in Sudan. Are they an army of the resistance for the Lord? Maybe, but they certainly don't follow Christian tenets, as the name would imply.
Posted by Zerosmelt 8 years ago
Zerosmelt
How many times do i have to say this?

I am not arguing the morality of the religion.
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