We're not enemiesPosted 2 years Ago

At 9/2/2016 12:02:43 PM, Axonly wrote:
A lot of people on both sides of the argument are treating the opposing side as the enemy. That's just not correct, and it really seems to be the source of most of this forums problems.
I agree that it's an illusion, Ax, born of the fact that this being a forum of contested ideas, it emphasises differences but not similarities and common ground.

But I believe that our forum's problems arise not from focusing on disagreements at cost to awareness of the person, but from disrespect of the person in the first place. In this forum I've heard regularly claims that all atheists are amoral hedonists; all Muslims are terrorists; all Christians are gay-hating theocrats.

None of those claims is remotely true. But sadly, what is true is that many members enter with disrespect, and our discussions don't greatly improve on that deficiency.

The point of this thread is just to ask people in this forum to try to treat people of opposing views with respect, seriously we are the problem with the religion forum, so we are the ones who can fix it.
It's a worthy request Ax, and I endorse it. However I don't believe we can hope members will be respectful when some disrespect is enshrined in sacred doctrine itself. Part of what makes this forum important is that disrespectful traditions can be challenged, and the ethics of doing so can be challenged to.

If we treat people on the other side of the argument as monsters, then we ourselves become the monsters we hate.
This I strongly endorse. The thoughts being discussed here are very old, and humans have been developing and seeking to reform and improve on civilisations for their entire recorded history. So some doctrines upheld as the peak of virtue in the past may seem ignorant, cruel, disrespectful, even wicked, and deserving of critique; while some members considering ancient doctrines the peak of virtue may now consider more modern ideas degenerate and impious.

But that doesn't make their adherents demons.

It's a hard line to balance, isn't it?
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why do some bird species have crest?Posted 2 years Ago

At 8/31/2016 3:06:56 PM, film wrote:
for what reason those who did not have crest failed the natural selection?
Film, for some birds, a head crest serves a sensing role. For example in the 2010 paper Origin and Maintenance of Mechanosensory Feather Ornaments, biologists at two Canadian universities write:

Mechanosensory use is a seldom-mentioned function for feather ornaments, yet recent experimental evidence showed that the elaborate facial plumes of crevice-dwelling whiskered auklets, Aethia pygmaea, have just such a sensory role. Here we explored the evolutionary patterns of mechanosensory function of similar facial feather ornaments in related species. In an experimental chamber (maze) devoid of visible light, crested auklets, A. cristatella, a close relative of the whiskered auklet, showed an increase in head bumps (262%) after trial flattening of their forehead crest. The frequency of head bumps in the absence of the crest was positively correlated with the natural crest length of the crested auklet.

The authors think the development of an avian head-crest as a sensory organ may have preceded its use in sexual selection:

We suggest that selective pressure enforced by complex habitats may trigger facial feather exaggeration for mechanosensory use. Once the primordial sensory structures evolved, sexual and other social selection processes could act on these traits and lead towards further exaggeration.

Reference: [http://www.sciencedirect.com...]
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Wahhabism: How the West Established TerrorismPosted 2 years Ago

At 9/2/2016 5:51:41 PM, desmac wrote:
At 9/2/2016 5:46:32 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 9/2/2016 10:03:20 AM, desmac wrote:
Could someone else ask Fat1 who colonised Turkey. He seems unable or unwilling to answer me.

Des, you caught it before me but I said Fati was wrong about it too, and while he did respond to my post, he didn't deny it or supply new information.

Perhaps you don't admit error to the infidel. If you're wrong about Muslim history, you might be wrong about faith too. :D

Thanks for trying Ruv. Maybe your honey will trap more wasps than my vinegar,lol.
Quite an empire those Ottomans had.

Mmm. And Islam spread into Northern Africa, Persia, Turkey, Central Asia and Spain not through militant nationalism but purely in peaceful self-defense. :D
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Wahhabism: How the West Established TerrorismPosted 2 years Ago

At 9/2/2016 10:03:20 AM, desmac wrote:
Could someone else ask Fat1 who colonised Turkey. He seems unable or unwilling to answer me.

Des, you caught it before me but I said Fati was wrong about it too, and while he did respond to my post, he didn't deny it or supply new information.

Perhaps you don't admit error to the infidel. If you're wrong about Muslim history, you might be wrong about faith too. :D
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If Religion Is A Placebo "Posted 2 years Ago

At 9/1/2016 9:56:52 PM, PureX wrote:
At 8/29/2016 6:58:18 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 8/29/2016 2:01:21 PM, PureX wrote:
At 8/27/2016 7:58:27 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 8/26/2016 2:49:07 PM, PureX wrote:
The courts generally offer people convicted of minor alcohol related crimes the option of supervised out-patient treatment (including participation in AA) or some form of incarceration. It's not "forced" on them.
So the drug-and-alcohol dependent patients concerned and complaining about this in multiple forums, and referencing specific court-cases are all lying, Pure? [http://www.rehabs.com...][http://www.smartrecovery.org...][https://www.thefix.com...][http://aaagnostica.org...][http://www.rational.org...]
Let's see: alcoholics complaining about being told to either go to a treatment center (AA has no treatment centers, by the way), or go to jail. What a surprise!
A reformed alcoholic AA apologist isn't?
Throughout, your argument has been one of special pleading, Pure. You haven't researched beyond recounting personal experience, haven't tested your beliefs, have not been consistent in your claims, have dismissed alternative ideas on pretext rather than exploring them, have no interest despite having led with a question, and clearly didn't read my links in any detail. You've also shifted the conversation to a defense of AA when the subject was never critique of AA specifically, but the social consequences of unskilled, unsupervised people forming support groups around placebo administration.
You don't seem to grasp the idea that when something works for someone, to improve their lives significantly, they don't go looking for logical justifications. They take the help and move on.
The point of this thread is that religions do help a lot of people.

No, Pure, the central question of your thread is what's wrong with religion as a placebo. So anything potentially wrong with religion as a placebo will be explored in this thread. Your premise is that an individual psychological benefit -- however rare or weak -- justifies any undesirable side-effects. But that could only be the point of the thread if yours were the only answer to the question.

It isn't, but you don't seem prepared for that.

If we stand reason and logic up against effective healing for people who need it, why wouldn't we choose the effective healing for people who need it? And debate the logic, later.
I've already told you. An ethical approach to medicine, psychology , education or social support has to consider all the consequences of the methods.

But you don't like these alternatives. Right?
Don't I?

So you keep looking for ways to deny that anyone is actually being helped.
Please quote where I have asserted that religion has helped nobody. Or if you can't, please acknowledge that you're misrepresenting my position to drive a false dichotomy between no help and unethical help.

Your objection to religion, and mine, has more to do with the misuse and abuse of faith than with the positive application of it. The problem is not that "religion is bad".
Pure, you'd do well to ask me my views rather than seeking to misrepresent them.

The topic is an interesting one, and I thank you for raising it, however I believe you're not ready to discuss the example you yourself introduced. Despite posing the question and introducing this example, you're simply rehearsing canned arguments to yourself, and aren't interested in any other ideas.
I do not worship at the alter of logic, reason, and 'objective evidence'. I am fundamentally an artist and have been all my life.
I'm also an artist, Pure, and a scientist, an educator, and a businessman. And in all those roles I've never seen anyone worship logic, reason or objective evidence. I've seen them use them for accountability, or ignore them. Sometimes they're not directly relevant and I ignore them myself. But are you trying to say that using them is worshiping them, or is this another false dichotomy to justify ethical unaccountability at times when you personally find ethical reflection inconvenient?

I have many years of experience exploring the realm beyond their reach, so you aren't likely to convince me otherwise, now.
What were you hoping from this thread, and this exchange? Was it a chance to explore other views? If so, what other views than your own did you hope to explore?

Also, we should leave AA out of this discussion all together
I didn't raise alcoholism support in the context of religion, Pure -- you did. I'm aware that you're not ready to discuss it.
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Wahhabism: How the West Established TerrorismPosted 2 years Ago

At 9/1/2016 8:14:29 PM, Fatihah wrote:
At 9/1/2016 8:03:43 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

There is no "Muslim thought".
Qu'ranic doctrine does not tell people what to believe, how to live and act?

So it has no moral prescription?

Response: The Qur'an prescribes a way of life from Allah and those who except it are called Muslims.

And those who claim Muslim culture has no doctrinal thought are called exceptionalists. :D
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Wahhabism: How the West Established TerrorismPosted 2 years Ago

At 9/1/2016 7:47:06 PM, Fatihah wrote:
At 9/1/2016 7:29:32 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Fati, ancient Muslm thought has the same problem as ancient Judaic and Christian thought: it's so self-satisfiedly, closed-mindedly patriarchal, it cannot even see its own bigotry toward women.

Judaic and Christian thought are not superior on this, but their cultures have had longer to challenge and change it for largely economic reasons. Muslim countries have a respectable recent history of women in power despite Muslim patriarchies (Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan and Megawati Soekarnoputri in Indonesia for example, plus a growing range of female legislators in places like Afghanistan and Turkey.) This is not a matter that needs Western agitation to develop: under stable economic development, Muslim women can and shall develop it themselves.

On the other hand, men in Muslim countries are about where men in Christian countries were in the late 19th century: they still can't see the problem.

That'll change. :)

There is no "Muslim thought".
Qu'ranic doctrine does not tell people what to believe, how to live and act?

So it has no moral prescription?
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Wahhabism: How the West Established TerrorismPosted 2 years Ago

At 9/1/2016 7:17:53 PM, Fatihah wrote:
At 9/1/2016 7:10:17 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Response: Stoning is not mentioned in the Qur'an
It derives from Judaic scripture, which Muslims venerate, as I'm sure you know.

Beheading is mentioned in war, and no teaching in the Qur'an says to oppress women or oppression at all.
Fati, ancient Muslm thought has the same problem as ancient Judaic and Christian thought: it's so self-satisfiedly, closed-mindedly patriarchal, it cannot even see its own bigotry toward women.

Judaic and Christian thought are not superior on this, but their cultures have had longer to challenge and change it for largely economic reasons. Muslim countries have a respectable recent history of women in power despite Muslim patriarchies (Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan and Megawati Soekarnoputri in Indonesia for example, plus a growing range of female legislators in places like Afghanistan and Turkey.) This is not a matter that needs Western agitation to develop: under stable economic development, Muslim women can and shall develop it themselves.

On the other hand, men in Muslim countries are about where men in Christian countries were in the late 19th century: they still can't see the problem.

That'll change. :)
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Wahhabism: How the West Established TerrorismPosted 2 years Ago

At 9/1/2016 6:06:40 PM, Fatihah wrote:
Every single Muslim state in existence was once colonized by Europe or countries in Europe.

I don't believe that's true of Turkey, Fati, though I think it broadly true. Turkey was occupied after WWI, and has certainly felt European influence in its affairs, but I don't believe it was ever colonised. I also agree that a great deal of the developmental issues afflicting Muslim states today are legacies of Eurocolonialism and petrohegemonism -- and that's not just true of Muslim states, but of course of non-Muslim and non-Christian states in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

On the other hand, the way corruption, injustice and cruelty expressed in Muslim states are culturally-dependent. The stonings, beheadings and particular forms of female oppression do not come from colonial influences: their influences are found in the Qur'an, while the culture of bribery is pre-Islamic, and never seems to have been reformed.

Moreover, the Muslim states that have developed notions of secular justice, religious equality, gender equality and human dignity (I'd place Turkey and Indonesia as more developed than most on these matters) seem to have done so despite their colonial and Muslim heritage.

So you're right that it's more complex than Atlantic bigotry normally describes, but it's also more complex than Muslim nationalism normally describes too.

I agree with you that Wahhabism serves nobody but a few theocratic families, and that its dominance in the Middle East is largely to related to the actions of petrohegemonistic interests. Atlantic states have interfered with the state affairs of many countries (including those of other Atlantic states), and often made politically naive and socially unjust decisions based largely on greed.

They've paid for those decisions too, of course. But there's no doubt that the citizens of affected states, and their neighbours have paid more.

So I don't agree with everything you say, but you're right that Atlantic reporting on these matters is an airless echo-chamber. It's helpful and informative to see another perspective.

Thank you for posting, and I hope you will continue to do so.
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A Third ChoicePosted 2 years Ago

At 9/1/2016 2:30:45 AM, Tree_of_Death wrote:
This is my first venture into the religion forum...I normally try to avoid it because any attempt at logical discussion is derailed by both theists and atheists alike who have no respect for other people's views.

Anyhow, I've noticed that there is a dichotomy that has been created in this forum. When discussing the origin of the universe, atheists claim that the Big Bang created the universe, and theists (usu. Christians) claim that the universe was created by God.
Hi ToD...

Technically, you're incorrect. The people who derive a big bang causing the inception of the universe are called scientists, and they're of many faiths.

As to what the religious believe, it depends on what they think they can get away with saying they believe. Abrahamic theists used to believe that the universe was the Earth, with the sun, moon and stars created specifically to illuminate it. They so believed that this was the only possible interpretation of Genesis, and that a false Genesis couldn't be authorised by a real God that contesting this was considered blasphemy and they'd punish you for it in some very nasty ways to silence you.

This continued for some 1200 years, through to the 16th century.

They were wrong -- they now all know they're wrong, but now they believe that it's okay for theology to interpret scripture differently, and despite their appalling rate of error in authentication, interpretation and prediction from scripture, some still insist they have the authority to say that more careful and diligently tested methods are wrong.

The matter is essentially closed, ToD: theological predictions about the universe should not be trusted because the people authoring and interpreting those predictions cannot be trusted. No reconciliation of these viewpoints is needed, because people who wish to serially lie about their ignorance deserve no respect for having done so.

I postulate (here's where the Buddhist theory comes in) that the universe is just one in a cyclical string of infinite universes.
We know quite a lot about the inception of matter, but very little about the inception of the Bang. There are many postulates around. We don't yet know how to test them.
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