TED Conversations

Amr Salah

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Aren't Christianity, Judaism and Islam basically the same? How much archaeological evidence is there of similar teachings in the past?

Among countless arguments that keep recurring almost on a daily basis, specially in the middle-east, many are centered around the constant conflict between the Abrahamic religions. I found it strange that whole centuries were not enough for humans to reach some conclusions, perhaps because we are all, to some extent, biased. People simply ignored, and in some cases resented, what they didn't konw. The media played a significant role in further increasing the gap using inflaming language, fabricated and biased news while ignoring or hiding historic and concrete facts altogether.

Apparently, Jews denied Christians and Muslims, Christians denied Muslims and Jews, and Muslims denied Christians and Jews. Nowadays, many people are conditioned to take sides without even thinking. One puzzling point is that some people turned other religions to a forbidden knowledge instead of encouraging people to know. Thus, they seem to prefer keeping people ignorant rather than letting them form an opinion on their own.

I don't know if someone has contributed to any sort of worldwide work that deals with the basic similarities between the Abrahamic religions, specially the beliefs. Thus, I invite everyone who is willing to share what they know about: the similarities between the Abrahamic religions, the archaeological evidence regarding them and what you think whether any human, organization or government nowadays has any right to turn any of the Abrahamic religions to a forbidden knowledge.


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    Sep 14 2012: Only have New Revised Standard Version Anglicised edition of Bible to refer to. Who knows what the original message might have been. Different times, different social rules, different everything. Just wanted to suggest ultimately we are social beings who are aware enough to realise the potential of our environment and aware enough to support and nurture it rather than strip it bare. So much beauty in the world, so much beauty in nature, so much potential in alternative energy sources like solar power and tidal power. So much information available. See in the news Pope is heading to Lebanon. Very difficult, tense situation. Thought maybe rather than tanks, bible might be referring to 'a thousand and one' different electrical appliances and suggesting eating the wrong sort of power might be an alllusion to petro-chemical based energy sources like fossil fuels. Do get some strange ideas at times. The original meaning of the texts is lost. People need reasons to celebrate these days, reasons to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and just be with other people. Lots of amazing scientific research in the last few weeks, possible solution to diabetes, all sorts of advances. Evidence based scientific progress. Wonderful.
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      Sep 14 2012: Scientific research is without doubt very important. It improves our tools and quality of life, but it doesn't change morals, values or what's inside people's hearts. It improves our understanding of life and the rules that govern it, but it doesn't change the rules. There are still many questions that evidence-based scientific research cannot, and possibly will never, answer.

      Also, probably you have noticed that the biggest part of the scientific research of super powers is about developing war toys that are more capable of destroying cities and killing people.

      Do you think it is possible for religion to coexist with evidence-based scientific progress?
      They don't have to contradict because the goal of both, science and religion, is to reach the truth, right?
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        Sep 15 2012: I think what might be clouding the issue is the idea that there is just one truth. I think there is a great deal of wisdom in the spiritual texts of the world but you must also remember the historical, cultural and environmental context of them. It is also so important not to 'read into them' what you might like them to say. I think the reliance of science on mathematical, geometry is a little unhelpful at times. The idea that certain scientific knowledge is incompatible with other knowledge doesn't help but I have found people with a life-time invested in one career can be very arrogant and protective to the point that the way they behave can be hugely damaging. Rather than using linear modelling for scientific progression sometimes it might be necessary to think of a multi-layered, more complex, holistic modelling. Three stage, four stage, six stage modelling particularly to do with things like filtration and condensation have lead to huge steps forward in management of processes involving water. Sometimes it is in observation, a little lateral thinking and 'sleeping on it' that really constructive results can be found. Do have a 'bee in my bonnet' about environment and food production. Did you know the condensation trails from aircraft have actually been acting as artificial clouds and deflecting excess solar radiation. Not sure what is happening with natural cloud cover, not enough rain where rain is badly needed, too much rain elsewhere. Badly affecting food production globally. Too many people time impoverished and driven. People need to be free to make their own choices, basic psychology people respond to loss rather than potential gain. The hospital admissions for stress related mental illness in U.K, have rocketed in last year. It's hard to have faith, hope, charity and perserverance in a society that demands consumption then denies the means to achieve it.

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