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Terror based on materialistic, violent and irreligious ideologies can only be beat with intellectual struggle.

Quran denounces terrorism and any kind of violence. You cannot force someone to do anything, if you are following the rules of Quran. Islam teaches friendship, patience, self-sacrifice, generosity, speaking the truth, being protective and caring others more than yourself. Although it seems like the people mentioned in the speech are Muslims, they are educated with materialistic, violent and irreligious ideologies. That’s why we should try to defeat these ideologies with intellectual struggle. Because you cannot defeat an ideology with bombs or weapons, you can defeat it just by truth and awaking the consciousness. Most effective way is spreading the concept of love, peace and respect by explaining Creation with scientific proof.

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    Dec 18 2012: Thank you for highlighting Bobby Ghosh’s Ted Talk.

    The traditional meaning of jihad as an internal struggle is akin to the Christian desert Fathers and Mothers practice of withdrawl for the purpose of self reflection. These men and women followed the example of Christ by leaving the distraction of family and town living to enter the emptiness of the desert so as to experience more clearly their own internal struggle against mortal sins: anger, pride, lust, jealousy, envy, greed and sloth. The word “sin” is derived from Greek and means something close to “wrong choice”. We humans have free will, and often choose unwisely - the good news is that we can always choose again. We can learn from our errors! “Let the one without sin cast the first stone.” Jesus encourages us to be self-critical rather than judgemental - we all need to do better.

    Although I am not a Muslim, I appreciate the Islamic call to prayer (to turn towards God) five times a day. As human beings we become very easily distracted by life. Most of the worlds 7+ billion people now live in urban areas where noise, hustle and bustle prevent us from hearing the small voice of God within us. In such noise we are all disabled.

    The global population has never been so connected - sites such as TED encourage debate, questioning and the sharing of ideas. However, at the same time, there is a terrible negative force at work which seeks to polarize people -secular v. faith - men v. women - Arab v. Jew - black v. white…. The variables upon which to discriminate and separate seem endless. However, anyone who has chosen poorly can choose again and thereby atone. No one else need cast a stone against anyone, but we should all speak up to teach by example the message of peace, love and grace obtained by personal inward reflection.

    We need a global campaign for greater silence, stillness, solitude and space for personal reflection. Then maybe all our jihads will fall back inside us.
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      Dec 18 2012: Yes, that was a great comment. It is so important for all of us to leave searching the differences and start sharing the similarities to increase love and compassion. Because everyone needs mercy, as you have state with a wonderful quote of Prophet Jesus. So everyone has to show mercy to ask for it.
      TED is really inspiring and as I experienced so far, people here are also very inspiring, challenging and encouraging.
  • Dec 18 2012: This issue, prompted by recent events caused me to refelct on some of the thinking that has been going on inrecent years. It is, I believe our ability to embed these values of frienship, compassion and placing others ahead of one's own interest that will overcome violence/ I have a friend who laid down his life to demonstrate how it is possible.
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    Dec 16 2012: It is beyond my comprehension how supposedly 'intellectual' people, in our era of vast and free knowledge still believe that Islam causes wars- It is always political propaganda, resources or someone wanting a piece of land! and to get that they use Islam. They manipulate people to get free army..

    That said. We Muslims, are mere creation. We can not 'defend' God and His Message (aka Quran), no one can. Sustainer of all existence doesn't need anyone to defend Him.
    People take out Quranic verses our of chapter/context and whine 'oh... Quran says this... Quran say that... Quran say kill 'em all' etc etc. But reality of matter is they never want to go to bottom of that misconception ( ). All people want is sensationalism.
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      Dec 18 2012: I suggest it is not that simple.

      I agree blanket statements about causal relationships may be over simplistic, but it cuts both ways.

      For me religions are human constructs, cultural technologies, but even if one was linked to a real deity it is also over simplistic to simply ignore how a religion integrates into motivations and behaviour and tribalism etc.

      Humans interpret things individually. One person who considerate themselves a Muslim, living in the real world may act violently in as way that is partly or strongly motivated by their faith, their religious beliefs. You may disagree with their interpretation, but there is not one Islam. It is the sum of the whole. Shia, sunni, down to individual interpretations.

      Don't worry too much because Christians and Jews can get the same criticism. Its probably fair to say Christianity played a part in a thousand years of Jewish persecution. Some may argue that this was not true Christianity, but it is the result of practical, human, real world religion.

      The abrahimic religions also start with a cruel monster of a tribal god in the Jewish bible. And in the new testament we get the eternal torturer. Some nice stuff mixed in but Even the scriptures provide a basis for hate, sexism, violence, slavery, homophobia, as well as the nicer bits. Even the scriptures reflect the best and worse of humans.

      So to whitewash religion and scriptures is also simplistic in my view.

      We don't need religions to be tribal, to make war, but they are often part of the mix.
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      Dec 14 2012: I totally agree with you. Thank you for your kind reply. You are right to worry about it, I worry too. Because many Muslims don't even know Quran, many never read it in their language or try to understand the meaning. They just listen to some people and act according to that. But we cannot change it by making them irreligious or destroying the religion. This causes much more violence because it will cause oppression. We can change it by education, science, knowledge, love, compassion and patience. Please take into consideration that I'm talking about people who name themselves religious and put forward delusional terror.
      • Dec 14 2012: well my friend you are right in your view that the terrorism can be only be eliminated by the intellectual struggle, but the main problem is WHO WILL BE STARTING THIS STRUGGLE? history gives solid proof that religion is the one of the main forces which had stopped the unification of mankind (please dont feel angry, but that is true) wether there is war by crusades, or any other bigger wars in the history, religion has played a role. also we know just as a car has only one steering and gare box, similarly this car (i.e earth) requires only one steering and gare box, not 6. thus , in nutshell, we require a law that will not allow any type of stereotypes, should be formulated by the consent of the people, not by group of individuals and ther should be no interference by the religious sentiments in the country
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          Dec 14 2012: Evilness of terror affects all of us, so everyone can try as much as they can. If societies leave the differences aside and try to unite with love and peace, that will be a start. The number of people with conscience is more than we think. For example I think all people I spoke here would stop these killings if they can, because they have good hearts. We have different ideas but it doesn’t matter, they are concerned and intelligent people. If we try by heart constantly, terror will vanish someday. One doesn’t need to go far; I’m trying to do my best first in my family, than with my friends and everyone I can reach. And it influences them to change. But if I oppress, behave arrogant, hate, insult and do not respect their thoughts and feelings, nothing will change. One person can change the world, if he really wants to.
    • Dec 14 2012: note:- i have not target any particular religion or any group
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    Dec 12 2012: How many wars those mankind has so far experienced had no link with religion ?
    What is TRUTH ?
    Whom you consider MUSLIM? How they become so?
    Would love to hear explanation of creation with scientific truth....may I?
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      Dec 12 2012: Dear Mr. Solaiman,
      First of all I have mentioned about terror. Terror, in its broadest sense, is violence committed against non-military targets for political purposes. To put it in another way, the targets of terror are entirely innocent civilians whose only crime is, in the eyes of terrorists, to represent "the other". This is an act bereft of any moral justification. This, as in the case of murders committed by Hitler or Stalin, is a crime committed against "mankind".
      I’m not authorized to define “who is” or “who is not” Muslim; I’m just a person who is trying to learn. But I believe that terror has no room in sincere deep faith and killing innocent has no excuse.
      When it comes to “Truth”, it is a wide concept and depends on the person and situation. My truth does not have to be yours, and yours does not have to be mine, but they both can be reasonable. Can you define your question a little bit more?
      Science still don’t know how the first living being started to live, many says thunders, storms and rains but many others claim that these are inadequate facts for emergence of life. Deeper they go, more complex they discover, so complex to be random.
      I have worked with cells and DNA. DNA is a very complex molecule, including enormous information. (Still don’t know the meaning of %97-98). Its shape (with golden ratio), its language (duplicate under control, one missing letter may cause serious disease or death), its dynamic structure (1meter long 2 strands fit into micro scale), its information (carry the information of everything about human and even the proteins that can produce itself) are unique and amazing. This is only one example, and there are so many magnificent examples in the nature that gets you shocked when you start to learn the details about them.
      Interesting interview of Francis Collins – leader of Human Genome Project
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        Dec 13 2012: Is a deity that sends its creations to eternal suffering in hell conducting a form of terrorism?

        Humans didn't know what caused disease, lightening and earthquakes in the past so often assumed capricious gods were responsible. Ignorance is not an excuse to inject gods.

        DNA is not a language. Its just stuff obeying the laws of physics.

        I agree nature is amazing but everything we have figured out does not include gods or magic.

        A snow flake is amazing. But it is what get when a compound made from polar molecule freezes. Nothing supernatural.

        Life and the universe is amazing but harsh. 99.99999999% of the universe would kill us in seconds. Life on earth is a struggle. Nothing about it makes me think a loving god made the universe with us in mind. Ah but god moves in mysterious ways.
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          Dec 13 2012: DNA has a language that we cannot read, but some proteins can. That’s why it is accepted as the data bank of the cell among scientific societies. It includes information and the nucleotides in it are called “letters”, even by my anti-theist professors. So, don’t worry, accepting that, won’t make you religious. But if you don’t like it, you can call it whatever you like.
          Snowflake is a fantastic example, thank you for that. Each has a unique shape with golden ratio. Maybe you know, a snowflake is a crystal that forms around a small dust particle and just a micron size. It is hexagonal and can grow by extending tiny arms from its corners. Crystals have wonderful structures that their atoms make bonds with each-other using specific ratios and we see a flawless geometrical regularity in them. Snowflake’s atoms attach each other by weak bonds and that causes the formation of different shapes. If you consider that, during only a snow storm in just one area, literally trillions of snowflakes fall and all have different shapes.
          Finally yes, I agree with you that we live like we could die any moment... And there must be a reson that we are still alive.
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        Dec 13 2012: Thank you Sir, for your elaborate reply.
        So what would be way out when TERROR being based on Religious Belief ?

        Understand your believe about Deep Faith......but history says we had more bloodshed over centuries that was based on religious belief.....well if I take out the examples of Hitler & Statlin you gave, being driver of terror based on materialistic , violent and irreligious ideologies.....then what waa the base for crusades of past and what is base of Al Qaida or Talebani killings ?

        Regarding TRUTH you already explained nicely so no need of futher explanation from my side , as you agreed about the relativity of TRUTH....

        What I don't know today , will know tomorrow that's happened since the begining of it's up to one's ownself what s/he will do....I mean whether someone will strive to know more while facing the complexity or just give up and believe blindly something of her/his comfort.
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          Dec 13 2012: Dear Mr. Solaiman,
          Thank you for your reply. If someone is in such a delusion that he is supporting religion by doing terror, then first of all that person should learn the features of God, and then learn the manifestations (that is the most important part I think, because people don’t see the miracles happening around them) of God, and then think about the reasons and aims of his/her life, and decide sincerely if he/she wants to believe.It is very important to be sincere to oneself, if he doesn’t have the feeling, then IT IS OKAY.No one has the right to judge or kill him, it is his decision.There are many people in the world living religion as a tradition, not in the heart.That’s why they don’t feel the love of God; they just feel an imaginary pressure, and oppress others because they are uncomfortable.Human mind is not suitable for oppression; it is suitable for thinking and deciding. For me,I cannot live something that is illogical to me.And if I feel something wrong about the information,then I start to search.It won’t make me irreligious or cause me leave the faith. If I cannot understand it, then I keep on working on it.Of course I will think and learn, it is not against religion.By the way, scientists did many mistakes in the past (like atom bombs) but it didn’t make me against science, in contrary it get me closer to science to use it in a better way.For example, there is nothing wrong about listening to music, dancing, having fun.But many people assume that it is against Islam. No, that is not true.But if someone thinks that it is wrong; than he is free not to listen. But he is not allowed to ban others, or stigmatize the Muslims who are listening to music as Hypocrites.This kind of oppression make people hypocrite and that’s why I support secularity. People should be FREE.I want to add something to “believe blindly” phrase.There is nothing blind in faith.I’m not addressing anyone, but if someone says something like that, he should be unreasonable.
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        Dec 14 2012: Seems you are implying something mystical or supernatural to the patterns we observe in nature.

        So far you have not provided any evidence for patterns, therefore god, and even further away from therefore Allah, and my interpretation of god.

        Our minds can perceive patterns. DNA is a complex pattern. Water, h2o is a simpler pattern. So what?
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          Dec 14 2012: So, nothing. That' okay, DNA is a complex pattern, like water, snowflake and butterfly wings and others. I'm not trying to convince you, I'm just sharing my amazed with you.
          I generally watch documentaries and some patters in nature really take my breath away. In one of Sir David Attenborough’s documentaries he mentioned about a wonderful pattern. Here is his words: 'When you look at a complex sponge skeleton such as that made of silica spicules which is known as Venus' Flower Basket, the imagination is baffled. How could quasi-independent microscopic cells collaborate to secrete a million glassy splinters and construct such an intricate and beautiful lattice? We do not know.'
          And here are Richard Dawkins’s own words: “The statistical improbability of phenomena such as Euplectella's skeleton is the central problem that any theory of life must solve. The greater the statistical improbability, the less plausible is chance as a solution: that is what improbable means.”
          You know that they are not religious people, but they agree the complexity of patters is a phenomenon. And the rest is up to them and everyone else. Living life with surprises and amazements makes it meaningful for me, and gives joy of living. By the way if you haven’t seen it before, please look at the pictures of Venus' Flower Basket, it is fantastic.
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        Dec 14 2012: Evolution explains how different life forms developed in general.

        To assume god is responsible becasuse you can not think how it all happened is an argument from ignorance, a logical fallacy.

        Also if you think Dawkins is suggesting a god is responsible for the amazing diversity of life you are probably mistaken.

        What is the probability that a snow flake is a particular shape. That a wave is a specific shape. That you are drinking the specific water molecules in your next glass of water. That your parents met, and their parents, and theirs back generations before our ancestors were human. YEt here we are. Just natural processes and luck.
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          Dec 14 2012: That’s why I wrote their quotes, because they both deny existence of deity however, they accept the complexity of nature. I know that Dawkins doesn’t support Creation; in one of his interviews he said that some extra-terrestrials or aliens might be the origin of life, looked like grasping at a straw.
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        Dec 14 2012: There is no well established theory on abiogenesis that I'm aware of.

        But a 100 or so years ago we only knew of one galaxy.

        Most thought the sun revolved around the earth before Copernicus and Galileo.

        Who new about sub atomic particles until recently.

        Life and the universe is huge and complex for our primate brains.

        I also feel awe, but don't jump to unverifiable supernatural explanations to fill the gaps.
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          Dec 14 2012: I would like to meet them if they are there, and ask if possible...
          "what is their origin?" :)
  • Dec 12 2012: Your initial sentence is incorrect. From the "Guide to Understanding Islam" web site, "The Quran has 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called 'hypocrites' and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter."
    It would seem that your title of irreligious ideologies, should be changed to regligious ideologies.
    We are stuck in a cycle of child abuse, where children, who are genetically wired to accept as fact, information from adults, are fed religious dreck and taught through repetition not to ever quesiton it.
    This leaves them in a state of perpetual childhood, never able to mature and assume control of their own minds.
    My only hope is that, over time, all religions will be reduced to a state of mild or passing interest, similar to the state of mind I take when reading the daily horroscope.
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      Dec 12 2012: Living and influencing everything around someone is depending on the level of his/her consciousness and sincerity. And wrong practitioners (in any field) have never been barriers for me.
      I will explain what I understand and I am not forcing you to understand or support it.
      The only conflict suitable is an intellectual struggle. War is only possible for defensive purposes, when property, lives or virtue are in danger, and it is the last choice. Besides even if you override, you cannot go further and act with violence. You should take care of people you defeated, even if they hurt you. You should share your meal with them even if you are hungry and there is not enough food, and establish peace as soon as possible and protect civilians and the innocent.
      Moral values, sincerity and love are the keys of salvation.
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    Dec 7 2012: Dolunay,

    Terror and violence can only be eradicated by education and elimination of prejudice in society. People who indulge in such acts use religion as their tool to muster support from the uneducated. And people who blame the religion for individual acts of terror are also uneducated.

    All prophets and faith systems have almost identical principles of love, hate, good and evil. But the ones who organized the religions based on these prophets teachings basterdized the concepts for political purposes and cultural control.

    You speak of Islam. The Prophet Mohammed has a famous quote. It is`The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr`But those who follow the faith do not follow this.

    Such examples exisit in amlost all faith systems. But the leaders of these faiths who organized the books and cultural norms and rules were politically motivated which evetually lead ot wars and violence.

    But we can change. We are lote more intelligent and educated tahn our ancestors, but we are too lazy to learn or voice positive opinions. Many take comfort in thier beliefs and stop the evolution of faith systems with the changing times. Yet many are changing in many small and big ways. The muslim world sees progressive development in the form of what is now being called as Arab Spring. People are getting tired of hate. And this is happening in almost every religion. Hence you see many choosing to follow the principles of the religions but defy the rituals, books and norms becasue it no longer makes any sense to the modern man.
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      Dec 7 2012: Yes, that's true. As it is getting easier to reach knowledge and eachother, I hope it will incerease the number of people educated and wise. By this way, we can stop searching and arguing about the differences, instead unite for same goals as peace and freedom.
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      Dec 6 2012: Nice choice; I’m a Muslim woman and I have both Jewish and Christian friends whom are very nice and kind. They both have deep faith and we are not focusing on the differences but similarities that we share. We all believe in same God, and we all want peace and love spread among the world. I also have atheist friends and do respect their choice, and they respect mine so, don’t afraid to share my opinions. It is not the people who are bad; it is the bad ideologies that make people disturbed. It is not the war of religions; it is the power play of some dangerous ideologies.
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    Dec 6 2012: Dear Ted Lover, (I like your nickname!) yes I have red Quran several times it includes parts open to interpretation which I don’t interpret as you do, and I don’t judge you about your interpretation and don’t want to argue about it. I just want to express by heart that, Islam is not the reason of terror. Disturbed people are the reason of terror and this disturbance can be defeated by changing the way of thinking, not with bomb or killings.
  • Dec 6 2012: I read where Albert Pike, who is credited with a distortion of the old masonic order in favor of a secret society devoted to changing the world thru creation of a new world order, discussed and encouraged , in his writings, creating an environment where religions would war with one another leading to a final devastating blow to one another whereby the survivors of this devastation would yield wholeheartedly and embrace a new world order where no religion dominated but rather the political dominated hence the final war of mankind yielding the true fruition of all former struggles - one world government- where people believed they were free yet, in reality , were enslaved. The ultimate dream model of this diabolical entity and it's evil adherents. In history it is recorded that this secret societies roots began with the catholic churches creation of the knights templar - of that , I'm not sure ;but, I am sure that as the final acts of mankind transpire it appears there is an awful lot of accelerated mayhem which seems to be spawned from supposed religious differences , yet , the benefactor of all this mayhem would be political entities, not religious and complete control and accountability would be the end product.
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      Dec 6 2012: Dear Rob,
      Dear Rob,
      I hope this miserable dream model would stay only in dreams :) cos’ it reminded me the model of Anarres of The Dispossessed (novel by Ursula Le Guin – although not agree with whole story, nice to read!). They were the slaves of the concept of freedom and as they left moral values, family, religion and other relations they also lost love, deep feeling, passion and other emotions. They were like robotics! I hope the true moral values (like love and tolerance) will unite the world as one, including all religions with respect, excluding egocentrism that separates people.
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    Dec 5 2012: Thats true. this all things are also necessary to make a crime free world. Because only love can change a person. Love will taught you everything ..
    the most assence thing is understanding and care towards everyone.....
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    Dec 16 2012: Can you give us the specific places in Quran where it says you can't force someone to do anything? Is the Quran broken down into chapters and verses like the Bible?
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      Dec 16 2012: Yes, it includes verses and chapters like Bible and Torah.
      I have tried to explain under Mr. Bourque's comment below.
      One can not force someone to believe or be religious.
      Even if you want to talk to people you have to use the kindest way you know.
      Two verses here;
      There is no compulsion where the deen(religion, faith) is concerned. (The Cow - 256)
      Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition, and argue with them in the kindest way. (The Bee – 125)
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    Dec 16 2012: Being that religion is a form of structure to person’s life, intellectual talk is abased around. Regardless of the "proof" it is not going to change a person’s self-foundation; it is in fact something most religions preach against is giving in to other god s and beliefs against their own.
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      Dec 16 2012: Would you please define intellectual talk?
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        Dec 16 2012: Talk regarding truth and sciences, these types of talk will not alter a persons religious mind because their mind has been formed by their religion and their religion is designed to not except fact or truths already given by science.
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          Dec 16 2012: I see. Science relies on observation and experiment. So, starts with a theory, then experiments arise and tries to prove it reasonably. The result should not always be the one that is expected, but there is always a result and knowledge improves, new theories arise and so on. And a scientist should be brave and humble enough to accept these results, because he is doing science, not trying to flatter his pride.
          Religion by the way, should embrace the scientific truth and everything that is explained reasonably by science, like a subset. If belief cannot embrace it, then there would be a conflict in the mind. So, belief also should be reasonable to the mind with its own reasons. One needs reasons to believe.
          So, religion has to be designed to except the truths already given by science. And science should be true enough to show evidence.
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          Dec 16 2012: Suggest science develops models to explain observed facts, after trying to prove and did prove and peer review become established theories, which are always open to improvement.
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    Dec 16 2012: “Quran denounces terrorism and any kind of violence.”
    There are many who don’t see it this way.

    I cite the following taken out of the Koran (English translation);

    Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends. “The Table” 5:49
    The only true faith in Allah’s sight is Islam. “The Imrans” 3:19
    He that chooses a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him and in the world to come he will be one of the lost. “The Imrans” 3:85
    Proclaim a woeful punishment to the unbelievers, except those idolaters who have honored their treaties with you and aided none against you… When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. “Repentance” 9:4
    Those who make war against Allah and His apostle and spread disorders in the land shall be put to death or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides. “The Table” 5:33
    The true believers are those who have faith in Allah and His apostle and never doubt; and who fight for His cause with wealth and persons. Such are those whose faith is true. “The Chambers” 49:13
    Allah has purchased of the faithful their lives and worldly goods and in return has promised them the garden. They will fight for His cause, slay, and be slain. “Repentance” 9:110

    When a person of faith believes that the punishment of God against the wicked is eternal torment in hell (and many do), then any act, no matter how vile, can be justified in the mind of a believer if its intention is to save souls from eternal torment. There is no earthly punishment that surpasses the concept of eternal torment in hell.

    The three main religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, teach this doctrine. It has been the driving force for many acts of violence throughout history. It’s just a matter of determining whom the wicked are. How does your kind of truth address this problem?
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      Dec 16 2012: Dear Mr.Bourque,
      My answer is alittle bit long so, I will try to reply in 2 seperate parts.
      First of all there is no oppression in Islam, and it is stated with verses.
      There is no compulsion where the deen is concerned. (The Cow - 256)
      Muslims have to be kind, compassionate and reasonable. They cannot be violent; the verses in your comment are reasonable only for defense, and protecting your family and poor-weak women, children and men.
      Besides, the verses always direct the believers to forgive and help.
      There are so many people who cannot even forget a single word. But in Quran it is stated that you should forgive and if you can, you should try to change the violent view of your enemy, even if he killed your friends and family.
      At the times of the battle of Badr, prisoners were set free with ransom (as a deterrent factor) or by teaching 10 Muslims how to read and write. One has to spend time with his students to teach them something, and during that time he has to know them better, to teach them. And if one accepts someone who killed his family as his teacher, he has to leave his revenge aside and be respectful. This requires a strong faith, determination and sincere attitude. Some very sincere companions of the Prophet were against him in the beginning, but they changed. How could it be possible without love, friendship and compassion?
      The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person FORGIVES and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah. (Counsel – 40)
      Fight in the Way of Allah against those who fight you, but do not go beyond the limits. Allah does not love those who go beyond the limits. (The Cow - 190)
      Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition, and argue with them in the kindest way. (The Bee – 125)
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        Dec 17 2012: I suggest you are just picking out the nice bits and ignoring the nasty bits.

        How do you respond to the verses Roy raised. Do you just ignore and the sexist and slave keeping verses. And the pagan parts. And ultimately, does Allah still send humans to hell?

        Suggest you can find good and bad in the Quran and bible. If promoting these as moral resources you don't get to cherry pick.
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          Dec 17 2012: I'm just saying that one has mind, brain and heart to think and decide. If one has conscience, than he can find his way. No one (religious or not it doesn’t matter) has the right to torture the other and I can see it in my book. One can separate good from evil with sincerity and behave according to that. But one should have the courage to search for what is good and what is bad and according to whom? If he accepts the concept of good only for his benefit, than it doesn’t seem like “good” to me, it seems more like an escape. Earth is a place that one learns who he is and what his choices are and doubt is a great tool for testing himself. As I said before truth changes according to people and condition, and our truths do not have to be the same but they should be reasonable. I have my reasons, you have yours. And that is fine…
          Actually the threats in religion are for deterrence and holly books are for premonition and calling. That would be so primitive and ignorant to think that you are living this world to be tortured. One needs to recognize himself and without tests and effort he cannot know who he is. Have you ever thought why people love movies like Braveheart? Because everyone knows that constant courage and effort despite suffering is valuable. So, if there is no reason in one’s life, he cannot find the value of living. And everyone needs to find an aim and reason for his life, more than work, marriage, money or fame. When they cannot find it they lose the love for everyone and everything and especially for themselves. And this is the most miserable situation, because it leads to lose hope. So, in another perspective, some sufferings in one’s life could be a guide to find himself.
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        Dec 18 2012: The problem with religion is it often claims to be the ultimate truth.
        Plenty of nasty such in scriptures, let alone human interpretations.
        Not every religious person is as reasonable as you.

        And you are stuck with the words in scriptures, not just traditions. When Yahweh coo ands the Hebrews to kill, when he is said to kill, and is intolerant, and jealous, and threatens eternal damnation......what would a person do to avoid eternal damnation. Would a person die or kill to please their god. Would they lock up their daughters.

        Its really difficult to discuss and debate with someone who thinks they have the absolute truth.

        The bible was used to argue for slavery leading up to the us civil war. There are verses that clearly regulate band endorse slavery. Sure there were economic rationales as well. But believing you have god on your side, that you have divine truth, following gods will exacerbates human problems.

        If we saw religion as a human construct and just took the good we would be better off in my view.
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          Dec 18 2012: I can understand your concerns and you are right, people don’t have right to kill, lock up or torture others. They shouldn’t kill or torture themselves too. People who do this are ignorant and really have poor knowledge about life, other people, faith and love. All around the world there are many uneducated people, mostly women in Islamic countries and this should change. Women and Men are equal and they both should be modern, intellectual, wise, and happy. And this can change with educating people about science, love, faith and everything.. And not forcing them to become religious or irreligious, just giving the information and making them free.
          I hope I could be reasonable. And any reasonable thing you read from my comments comes from the moral values I tried to gain with faith. If there were any irregularity in the way I experience faith, I could not believe it.
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      Dec 16 2012: God lets people decide and act with their conscience, but also shows what is better than the other. And if you are searching for the deeper love and faith, you should try to do your best.
      Also, Christians and Jews are our FRIENDS; and we accept their prophets as our prophets and books as holly. People belong to other religions can feast and have dinners together, even they can marry. And if you marry someone, it means that you trust her, and let her raise your children.

      Only argue with the People of the Book in the kindest way – except in the case of those of them who do wrong – saying, ‘We have faith in what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to you. Our God and your God are one and we submit to Him.’(The Spider - 46)
      They are not all the same. There is a community among the People of the Book who are upright. They recite Allah’s Signs throughout the night, and they prostrate. (The Confederates – 113)
      Those who have faith and those who are Jews and the Sabaeans and the Christians, all who have faith in Allah and the Last Day and act rightly will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (The Table -69)
      You will find the people most affectionate to those who have faith are those who say, ‘We are Christians.’ (The Table – 82)
      ...And the food of those given the Book is also halal (lawful) for you and your food is halal (lawful) for them. So are chaste women from among the Muslim and chaste women of those given the Book before you... (The table -5)

      The people who practice wrong don’t change the fact. I think if someone looks without prejudice and with conscience can see the aim here.
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        Dec 16 2012: I enjoyed reading your comments. You seem to know your holy book and have an open mind for sharing love and kindness. You speak for humanity. I see the trend moving in that direction.

        You and I share similar feelings. I wrote a book refuting the controversy between religion and science based on misconceptions. It’s called “The Merging of Two Worlds”. I never saw science and religion as controversial, only two different expressions of reality. Science deals with physical structure whereas religion deals with thought and spirituality.

        Explaining creation with scientific proof doesn’t deal with the spiritual side of creation. The scientific community wants physical evidence. You can provide physical evidence for the evolutionary buildup of physical phenomenon, but you cannot provide physical evidence for spiritual experience. That is the issue with atheists. The atheist wants to do what you propose with the intention of eliminating religion altogether. Have you thought about that side of things?
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          Dec 17 2012: Thank you for your reply, I’m so glad and I will read your book as soon as possible. I agree that science deals with physical structure whereas religion deals with thought and spirituality. But I saw that religion directs people to science, search and discover. And there are some interesting sayings in the Quran that I was surprised when I read it. Of course it is not a science book and does not explain the details of scientific experiments but there are some sayings that couldn’t be known 1400 years ago. Like big-bang, skies with orbits, existence of atoms, growing of a fetus, bees, ants and so on.
          Also, science leads me to belief. Because I see that there are serious gaps about the evolution of highly complex molecules and phenomenon. I have studied evolution at the micro level for at least 6 years in the lab and I can say that a cell is very very very complex to be the product of coincidence. A cell is more complex then London, New York, Istanbul and somehow it is acting conscious. Because natural selection is not enough for making a meaningful DNA structure and mutations do not cause beneficial results. Mutations are harmful or at least silent. When we consider how living cells emerged on the ground, it causes a deep silence, because they contain meaningful DNA codes and patterns producing proteins. And proteins are so fragile and delicate that their abilities and aims are very interesting and you need tens of other proteins to produce just one. It indicates that they all have to be emerged at the same time, because one cannot continue its existence without the other. I’m just telling that, if evolution has the explanation for that, it has to be a serious one, not depending on rain and storm or wind…
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        Dec 17 2012: I have read material in Eastern philosophy and now modern Rosicrucian doctrine that are very much in harmony with the big bang. I found many explanations of biblical stories in Eastern philosophy that are not being taught in modern religious institutions. I had to find that on my own. My desire to know stemmed from a spiritual experience I had when I was nine years old. I still reflect back on that experience. I have not found any scientific or religious material that is not in harmony with my earlier experience except in the misconceptions that are being taught. And it is that earlier experience that helps me to see the misconceptions. Once the misconceptions are cleared away, what remains is all in harmony.
        Rosicrucian doctrine claims that the individual cells of our bodies are not much more advanced than simple micro-organisms, but they operate together as a collective whole as the organs and systems of our bodies because there exist conscious levels other than our own consciousness. When we go to sleep, we are not aware of our own existence, yet there are processes going on in our bodies all night long. Rosicrucian doctrine teaches that this is not just simple chemistry. The body knows what it is doing even though we don't. It is repairing itself and preparing for our next day's work. And it knows how to do it because it is aware of what it is doing. We are not consciously aware of that ourselves because we operate on a different level of consciousness. Advanced Rosicrucian disciples became aware of this because they were able to alter their own conscious levels. Not only are there lower levels, but there are higher levels as well. The entire universe comes from a singular source - quantum fields that emerged from the big bang. In higher levels of consciousness, one is able to glimpse the collective whole. It produces extraordinary insights into what the universe is capable of, and it is where the idea of God emerged.
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      Dec 18 2012: Great thread. everyone is correct!
      1) Both the Bible and Quran are full of contradictions and violence.
      2) Holy books were written by human beings who made mistakes by changing the original meanings as their moods dictated.
      3) Finding the loving message within religious texts is the key to their study.
      4) Holy texts need very careful discernment and interpretation by skilled teachers to protect our young people from others who worship violent death and terror.

      Bobby Ghosh’s Ted Talk hits the spot. We all need to be vigilant regarding any outbreaks of local hate talk - no matter what faith group we belong to.
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        Dec 19 2012: Heather,
        I agree with your points. Not only are they true with religious literature, they are also true with social media. People are easily led astray when they allow themselves to be.

        My nephew is a linguist whose job it is to infiltrate foreign people to discover how they think. What he has discovered is that most Muslim terrorists are illiterate, or at least have never read the Quran and are being taught by leaders who use them to do their dirty work. The quotes I listed in my first comment are the kind that are being taught to these people. The fact that they are there is an issue in itself. The fact that they are being singled out to fire up these people to do the things that they do is why the holy books speak about evil. It's not that they protect you from it, but that they make you aware that it exists.

        You make very valid points, particularly your last two. I hope that others get the message.
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    Dec 15 2012: Maybe aliens seeded life on earth. Technically a a powerful god like being that is not from earth is an alien.

    But that does explain how the aliens developed. I suggest it is a open question unless you have a low burden of proof.

    Same if a meteorite, brought RNA or DNA containing molecules to earth, you are still a step away.

    Im not sure aliens would have our interests in mind. Although if they survived long enough to develop technology that can travel light years may be , not like humans and the gods we created.
  • Dec 13 2012: Where to find ex-muslims for help and information.
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    Dec 12 2012: So what do you mean by terrorist, violent, materialistic irreligious idealogies?

    Do you agree that it is possible that ideologies held by atheists are not all bad.

    That some humanist non theist views are at least as good as theist views to improve peace, love etc.

    Being a non theist doesn't mean you revert to base primal instincts. It means you have to do a bit of thinking yourself. So if you ignore religions saying kill homosexuals, you need to work out for yourself, is it bad tthingg etc.
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      Dec 12 2012: I guess you have always met with intolerant and bigot people. I have never said that I agree with everyone who defines themselves as religious. I look for sincerity and good moral values; someone doesn’t have to be religious, but has to carry human values. There are non-theists, Christians and Jews around me and I do respect their ideas and talk to them. The difference is they also do respect others, and we are communicating.
      First of all my religion is mine and the others beliefs, religions (whatever you want to call it) are theirs and my intention is not changing their way. My intention is to share opinion (religion is a part of me that is why sometimes you read words related to it) and communicate to understand and improve as a natural human act. And if possible, spread love and tolerance and make world a better place for everyone (everyone includes non- theists as you know).
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        Dec 13 2012: I suggest your guesses about the rationale behind my views reflect your assumptions about those who appreciate religions are important to people but are all false at best except for one, and all likely man made.

        I won't present you with the argument that religious people doing harm to others in the name of their interpretation of religion makes all religion bad. Its just most likely all false in core assumptions. Rather think about what is behind you selectively choosing the bits in Islam the Koran and bible as the true and correct view.

        How do you justify ignoring the calls to violence, the sexism, the support of slavery, and the evil deity described in the bible. I suggest the values we agree on are human values.

        That we can judge religions and the deities they describe based on human values.

        That a god that ordered us to murder, that takes sides, that commits global genocide, is a monster.

        How would you judge a man that tortures his child for a year because it disobeyed. What if torture was 10 years. Well apparently Yahweh will eternally punish some. Even Hitler doors not deserve that. Its not anger. Its just looking out its not all good in your old books.

        I'm glad you don't keep slaves or treat wife as chattel. Don't kill homosexuals etc. Isn't it odd that most Jews, Christians and Muslims ignore these divine rules. In some countries they still do kill homosexuals, and they have every reason to if they follow scripture.

        Treating scripture or religious dogma as something from god is dangerous. You need to accept the bad as well as the good from religions.better to have evidence for why something is good. Not just god said so, or it says so in the Koran or bible or other religious writings. Mormons don't drink coffee. God said so.
  • Dec 11 2012: "Is it what you are trying to say?"

    Thread depth cannot go deeper then about 3 so I'm replying here. I'm saying that each thought you have exists in a "pool" of available resources physically in your head, if we damaged your brain to a certain extent your memory and understanding and possibly even personality would be altered. This memory area of your brain is limited to what you are capable of remembering given your bodies limited resources but there is no guarantee that it is good enough to qualify as sound understanding.

    And this applies to everything, even our perceptions of pain, color, feelings, etc when dealing with the world. Much of what we perceive is false and incomplete - it is what the mind produces given limits on resources.

    The problem comes with the fact that the problems in our world are CAUSED by people who have minds and bodies that do not work properly, they don't perceive the world accurately.

    Our biological mind has to create our awareness (understanding of the world/environment) the problem comes with the mind and human bodies limited resources in terms of energy/nutrients. Say if one day it was proven that people who believe in traditional book based gods have poorly working parts of their mind would you accept it?

    "I have read that we cannot observe the real existence of matter in any case, because we are observing the electrical signals in a way that only we can sense, individually"

    The problem here is WE DO know of their existence, the computer you rely on - relies on TESTED ideas. You could not have a working computer based on false ideas, so something about those ideas (matter/energy) must have truth value even if the mind has difficulty comprehending it because falsehoods can't produce knowledge that can cause computers to exist.
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      Dec 11 2012: I like the conversation, it’s interesting and please excuse me if I ask too much, but I’m really curious about it.
      First question; if what we perceive is generally false and incomplete, than there should be a right and complete version in somewhere that lets you (or some people) make a comparison. How do you define incomplete and complete? What kind of a mind is more close to right perception?Does someone eating healthy food and experiencing sunny, happy life get closer?It seems not enough for me, there should something more.
      I’m trying to figure out what is true, correct perception;I mean the “accuracy”. If it is the quality of perception, how could people satisfy with less? Some people say that they are happy but some don’t, how does these feeling arise if the only concept is perception.
      Now, maybe I’ll overstep, but I like the challenge you brought into my mind and I want to try to add something that into yours, if you let me.
      What if science discovers that the truest, complete and right perception could not be reached ever by human totally, because it is beyond the comprehension and belongs to higher being that has the power over all, it sounds like God to me.(Of course just for me).
      Second question; how can you trust a computer, made by a man who has false and incomplete perceptions? The parameters in a computer is based on algorithms and mathematics that men have discovered, and you know that maths also have limits like physics, we can only reach the limits of maths and physics that genius human mind can understand (Genius but still incomplete according to this fact). We don’t know what a black hole hides or we don’t know what is inside the subatomic particles. We just have theories, yet.But I believe that we will discover someday.
      If we accept that only computers or calculators are saying the truth, where are emotions?Are they the weakness or strength of a person?I think they are what make you who you are and me who I am, and I don’t want to ignore them
      • Dec 12 2012: The problem comes is that you do not understand how truth works, you think in language, you aren't educated enough to participate in the discussion because you have no theory of truth (no standard ruler by which to determine truth from falsehood). You have not thought about the koran or done analysis to find contradictions, your mind has invented fictitious stories to defend your prior beliefs. A divine being would never communicate poorly, any failure of communication and disbelief in mankind is proof that your god is not all powerful. The problem is you have no clear reality based concept of god, it's just a mish mash of concepts based on psychological model of your own mind. The koranic god is some aspect of your psyche, not a real thing. To discover a real god you'd have to use science and no holy texts and you'd have no religion or promises of afterlife, just a genuine want for truth in the face of your own death. People believe in traditional book based gods because of promises of reward, not for rational reasons.

        I'm saying that despite the brains flaws we have developed methods to determine truth from falsehood, the problem comes with people who have bad minds who can't accept that we can know things about traditional book based gods that demonstrate they are false. In that these peoples minds don't work right and they aren't educated/mature enough to accept how truth works.

        Medicine and computers are real demonstrations of our ability to discriminate truth from falsehood that has had positive real impacts on human life (extended lifespan, cars, health, etc). Book gods have had no positive material impact on mans health. Prayer has been defeated by medicine. If the koranic god existed science could not so easily show contradictions in the book.

        To be good at truth you have to understand if your ideas are valid and analyze them with sound methods.
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          Dec 12 2012: Thank you for the explanation.
          I feel like the value of inner conscience is alittle bit missing in this standard ruler.
          As I can see from the name, there are some rules that you should accept before you start thinking, which I wouldn't prefer.
          I have my own reasons to believe and that grows in me everyday.
          New questions arised in my mind, but we can discuss them in another platform as a new topic.
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      Dec 11 2012: Bob,

      In the spirit of discussion, I can understand what you are saying and agree with it in part. Yes we are imperfect beings and often do more illogical things and hold unscientific beliefs. But yet, we are the species that is caught in the process of constant evolutions who have developed the most advanced scientific tools and theories. We keep learning all the time and often our old beliefs fail we we learn new things about them. Becasue we cannot afford to rest our inquisitive minds on existing beliefs and we often end up trying to ponder and device further progress and beter understanding. Evev several scientific discoveries and processes that were once to be proven facts change over time as new learnings develop about that subject.

      Hence we cannot scientifically prove that a devine entitiy "as in a creator" does not exisit nor can any religion prove it. However, as you said, we create our own problems and device our own solutions. Perhaps just a process of learning from failureand developing.

      Wheater we like it or not, we have no choice but to develop and progress as we can only rely on our own intellect regardless of how imperfect we are. Our progress thus far has certainly been impressive enough and only continues to grow. Hence we strive and thrive on developing solutions and progressing. Wejust cannot afford to declasify ourselves as an imperfect species and leave it to the nature and science to define our progress. Science is only a process of learning. Several theories once proven by science continue to be wrong and in the light of new learnings and facts. If one this is certain, it is the "uncertainity". But one thing we can do, is not to hold on to what we believe to be "facts" and continue to progress by learning and developing solutions.
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        Dec 12 2012: While science helps to explain human behaviour, animals caught between instinct, group dynamics etc it is up to us individually and collectively to decide how we want to live our lives given this understanding.

        I suggest philosophy and the arts, history etc have important contributions also to help us understand and improve then human condition.
  • Dec 11 2012: The koran is falsehood and so are all traditional gods like that of the bible, the fact that you believe in myths makes you an immoral human being.

    If you want to serve TRUTH (and hence the real god for the sake of argument) then you must begin with science - nature is the only thing mankind cannot taint with lies like books and words written by men.

    No divine being would ever inspire the bible, nor koran, nor any other ancient holy text. There would be no need for belief either since the laws of nature take precedence and are the cause of human behavior. Human beings do not have freedom, they have illusions of freedom.
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      Dec 11 2012: So, as you are so sure, we don't need to discuss about religion. But, I hope that we can discuss about solution. What is your solution about terror? What shall we do, continue to fight, or try to communicate, educate.. What else we can do?
      • Dec 11 2012: The solution to terror cannot exist yet because the human mind doesn't work correctly, see here:

        How a persons understanding and behavior occur is dictated by processes not in your control. You and everyone must acknowledge the supremacy of cause and effect over your behavior first (the TRUTH) before any kind of solution can even begin. You must acknowledge WE as human beings are BROKEN in that we do not understand the basis of our feelings and morals - and what causes us to be that way. Most of our feelings and morals are based in illusion and lack of understanding of the universe. Onc cannot be a moral being without accepting the truth about how the universe works first.

        So we need much more research into the human mind, body and how the interactions effect behavior.

        The way the human mind constructs and understands is the problem, we all suffer from not living in the 'real world' our mind creates bits and pieces it forces us to perceive and make us feel as if it is truth.

        The problem is human beings confuse how they feel with knowledge, feelings are IMPORTANT but being moral requires a high degree of inborn talent and a penchant for learning beyond most human beings.

        Perception and awareness of the world has physical costs in terms of ENERGY and resources, people forget that and think all mens minds are "good enough" but our minds are NOT good enough and our world reflects our false beliefs... illusions... that we are good and moral people.

        Moral people would never tolerate the existence of the way our current world works, many things that now exist would never even be a possibility to be considered.

        Socrates was a heathen according to koran (anyone who does not accept X holybooks god is enemy and sentenced to death eternal)

        Do you believe socrates was moral?
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          Dec 11 2012: I agree that there should be more research about human mind, body and interactions.

          But, I'm trying to understand, help me. What do you mean by; "The way the human mind constructs and understands is the problem, we all suffer from not living in the 'real world' our mind creates bits and pieces it forces us to perceive and make us feel as if it is truth."

          I have read that we cannot observe the real existence of matter in any case, because we are observing the electrical signals in a way that only we can sense, individually. I can never see the color "RED" as you see, or taste "SUGAR" as you taste. But it doesn't mean that RED and SUGAR do not exist, they are exist in the outer world but the way I sense them is unique for me.

          Is it what you are trying to say?
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      Dec 12 2012: I don't know Bob. Why wouldn't a god be cruel.

      Also I don't known if believing in dogma and myth makes you immoral. Perhaps it is what you do.

      Then we also get into the debate of what is moral or ethical.
      • Dec 12 2012: Valuing truth is a pre-requisite to be moral, think about it for a second. If you don't value truth then how can anyone claim to be a moral being?

        I take as given valuing lies as a negative attribute.
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    Dec 11 2012: Its sad to see another example of someone saying my holy book, and my interpretation of it is the truth, and this is the way to love peace and respect.

    Firstly, there is no compelling evidence for supernatural gods.

    Second, there are thousands of gods and goddesses, more denominations, millions and billions of interpretation s.

    They can't all be true, but people believe their beliefs are correct, even if inherited from when and where you live.

    Each with their own rationale why true.

    They are plainly man made, by men mostly.

    If there are gods we have no idea which interpretation s are correct if any.

    Suggest science shows we evolved.

    Suggest respect, peace, love are human values, related to the human condition, and while religious traditions may include some positive values, they also contain a lot of rubbish. Sexist. Fascist. Homophobic. Gods tgast take sides, kill, flood, order murder, and taking animals. Divine command does not actually make something moral.

    Suggest if we focus on our shared humanity, not this or that superstitious dogma, we would be much better off.

    What we reasonably know is we have one life, and it is better if we try get along.

    You are welcome to your religion but you can keep your dogmatic views on how we should live to yourself, unless there is some secular rationale.
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      Dec 11 2012: I didn't mean to disturb you, just trying to express the truth the way I know, as you have described yours. If we won’t talk and share opinions how will we communicate? Why don’t you want to hear different ideas than yours? Your words and expressions include humiliation and anger. Most of the people in the world believe in God and you should be respectful, even though you don’t feel the same way. I don’t disrespect your ideas, so you should do the same. This is a requirement of humanity.
      As I said before, I respect your choice, but do not agree the way you support it. Secularity is a necessity and I haven’t even mentioned about it in my idea on top, because that is not what I was talking about. But as we are now, secularity is an obligation for freedom and true religion includes secularity. That is why I’m against bigotry (in all minds). Man should think, ask questions, search, discover, understand and then believe in whatever they want to believe.
      By the way, it is interesting that you have chosen Ben’s name as your nickname. That character was a devoted defender of a religious sect.
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        Dec 12 2012: hi, I support freedom of religion, within limits, up to the point they harm other people.

        I support freedom of speech, which includes the right to offend.

        I respect peoples right to hold their views even if I disagree.

        But Happy to debate. I dont think we always need to tippy toe around issues such as the god of the old testament being sexist, homophobic, a murderer, jealous etc. Have you read it.

        Call a spade a spade. The god of the is claimed to have killed hundreds of thousands, and ordered the deaths of millions. Thatbsjust the verses with numbered, not including the global flood that kills everyone but Noah's family.

        This book tells humans its okay to beat slaves as long as they dontbdie, that we should kill homosexuals and adulters and rude kids and people who work on holy days. If your new wife is not a virgin you should kill her in front of her father.

        Seriously enlightenment values, human rights etc are far superior to biblical or Quranic morality on the whole in my view.

        I reread my comment above and perhaps the word rubbish was less than ideal. The rest is fine.

        Hopefully I'm not a bigot just because I say I don't believe your religious interpretation is incorrect and the source materials say some nasty things. I guess you think people who believe in other gods, or Buddhism, etc are incorrect.

        Glad we agree on secularism as a sound foundation for freedom of and from religion.

        I also reread your opening statement, and may have misinterpreted your assumptions of a god and creation and mentions of the quran as a claim we should look to the Quran to promote peace love etc. If I got that wrong, I apologise.

        Still I'm not sure assuming creation and a creator is helpful in regards to determining how we ought best live to have the most fulfilling lives, to get along and reduce suffering.
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          Dec 12 2012: I agree that people are free to believe anything they want without causing harm or hurting the others. Deep thinking, giving value to others life and trying to act with conscience could be the starting points and it could be possible by speaking words of friendship and love.
  • Dec 9 2012: Let me just say that your last line is wrong.
    "Most effective way is spreading the concept of love, peace and respect by explaining Creation with scientific proof."

    There is no "love / peace / respect" in the scientific proofs. There is just physics and a few questions.
    If anything when you purely believe in science there is not much to live for as all you'll be doing throughout your life is moving some molecules/atoms around. There is no real reason to be virtuous. At least 'religion' tells you that "when you are virtuous you'll go to heaven" (heaven standing for every other name of the concept of heaven there can be ofcourse).

    We should just be spreading the concepts of love / peace / respect by showing people what being loved and respected can feel like (peace will follow automatically).
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      Dec 10 2012: Dear Richard,
      I became a scientist to discover and learn, and I really amazed when I learned many details about the tiny and huge creatures that live around me and all around the world. That gave me more passion to discover and learn and it continues since then. I do respect your idea, but sorry that I cannot agree with your first words. Science and investigation and every proof I learned brought me love and respect to life. So knowledge and education is very important and basics of your last sentence.
      And I agree with you last sentence totally, although words are necessary, they are not enough. Acting according to these concepts is vitally important.
      When it comes to atoms, they are the tiny particles carrying the strongest force in the universe (strong nuclear force). I wonder if you have watched a documentary about physics, “What the bleep do we know!?” scientific proofs and explanations about atomic and subatomic particles were amazing… They are still beyond our comprehension.
      • Dec 10 2012: Well what you're saying is mostly true Tezin.
        The world painted by science is a fascinating one. And knowledge and education are extremely important.

        However science does not show any need for love / peace / respect / or any virtues at all.

        If you would "explain creation with scientific proof" the first reaction would be that faith is completely obliderated... the church will probably tell the world you're wrong and ban you (like galileo and pretty much all other philosophers before / after who doubted anything in the bible).

        Those who will fall off of their faith might think: hey if theres no heaven... I don't have to be nice to get there. I've always "liked my neighbours wife" so if I just "kill her husband" I'll be able to do whatever I want... effectively breaking all 10 commandments there are in that part (I assume all commandments of god himself are broken be the proof that there is no god).

        Ofcourse my example is exagurated quite a bit but you get the idea.
        There is no atom saying that we should become men of virtue.
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          Dec 10 2012: I like your point, and it is very important. If someone accepts himself/herself as a religious person, he/she has to look for scientific truth, examine the world and try to add something to science if he/she can.
          There are some people who cannot accept this point of view in my Country also (I call this as bigotry), but I don’t afraid of being Galileo. He is still right about what he said. Although I respect everyone’s choice, I’m totally against any kind of bigotry. People can be modern, scientific and religious at the same time.
          But, it was surprising that I also witness bigotry in scientific societies, some scientists don’t listen to the other person just because he/she is religious. So, this is a bilateral prejudgment problem caused by both sides.
          Actually being nice should not be just for getting to heaven, it seems insincere to me as a believer... But I got what you are trying to say. And I think if there were no immoralists, we could never understand the difference between the moral and immoral, like day and night. However, everyone has a consciousness and hears a sound in their head although there is no sound out there… There are so many situations in life only you experience and only you know how to act deep inside you. I can see that you are a clever person. So, you already have your own moral values in you, how did they grow in you?
      • Dec 10 2012: Well for me it is simple.
        I was brought up to believe that everyone starts out equal. Because of that I treat others the way I would like to be treated.
        Sometimes people however show a complete lack of empathy and I have no problem in treating them the same way they treat me hehe ;)

        As to the point of being scientific and religious...
        I could see how some physics students might not take religious people serious but only the very narrow minded scientific guys can do that.

        I have no problem with religion in science because of the "brain in a vat" principle. It tells us that science can never prove that our perceptions are correct.
        Therefor you can never truely show that there is no god which leads to "religion being possibly true".
        Then according to, I think it's pascal but I'm not sure, some philosopher you would be in a situation if you 'bet on religion' that if it's true you'll be happy in death while if it's not true you would be equally dead as if you did not believe. So according to him there is no negative aspect to believing.

        scientists who deny the above are wrong! If they would argue that they can prove that they are not a brain in a vat then allow them to finish their story and just ask some questions in between that make them doubt even more.

        Ofcourse people are also free to believe whatever they want to believe as long as I don't have to do anything for them.

        Then again for me personally... I cannot believe in god because religion causes so much destruction and hatred across the globe that it cannot be true (in my eyes ofcourse).
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          Dec 11 2012: I agree with you. Just wish people realize that destruction and hatred across the globe is not only caused by people who present themselves as religious (I don't accept them as religious) but also radical defenders of different ideologies like communism and fascism. Their acting had nothing to do with religion but results are obvious. And religion is something that should be inside you, that you cannot force yourself or any others to believe.
      • Dec 11 2012: just to clarify a tiny bit, (I think you understood me correctly anyway.. but just to be sure)

        I don't think religion causes all wars / hate / .... But for me (aka my own opinion!) the fact that the "most holy place on earth" (according to many religions) has been in a constant turmoil for over millenia is enough proof that religion has to be false.
        Also even the holiest of men alive according to christianity (the current as well as previous popes) have commited so many indirect deaths that sometimes I wonder if it's their job to 'get as many people into heaven as they can in the short time that they are in power'.

        But I also think that religion on a personal level is very valuable.
        I like it that they can "know" that dieing just is another way of continueing elsewhere. And I like most of the idiologies in there. Also it's nice that they talk among eachother about social issues etc. etc. (there are many good points ;p)
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      Dec 11 2012: Hi Richard I suggest that our improving scientific understanding of the universe, including ourselves provides a sound basis for working out how best to live. No easy answers but better than relying on this or that religious dogma.

      Science with philosophy are perhaps the best tools we have to improve the human condition.
      • Dec 11 2012: Hello funny faced twisted starwars reference,

        I like your approach to life.

        But you know.... I don't like the easy answers that the rest of the world is finding.
        I like most of the answers I found though but I kinda stand alone... My guess would be that I'm similar to you :D
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          Dec 12 2012: Hi there person with proto Germanic name meaning powerful leader.

          Could be similar.

          I guess one thing I would like to highlight is that being evolved animals reducible to atoms does not mean we need to ignore art, love, etc.

          We may have natural explanations for the feelings of love, sacrifices, oxytocin, group survival etc, but we still can value the experience, we can still look at what enriches our short lives. Suggest most of us would prefer to be surrounded with love and art not hate and primal brutality.

          We have evolved to have instincts and reason and appreciation of art and music.

          Its not an either or proposition.

          Science as part of a broader naturalistic big picture can help more fulfilling lives.

          Agree that people like moses as described would be war criminals today.

          Maybe people can pick and choose the good bits from dogmas and scripture etc, but I think it is risky because they are next to nasty bits, and thinking you have some sort of absolute truth is dangerous. It can exacerbate our worst.
      • Dec 12 2012: Ye you're very agreeable in the above post.

        I also (like you) won't say that we can't enjoy life / feel feelings because we can explain them. What I said was the other way around. What I tried to say was "you can't teach enjoyment through explaining it with science". (learning about science itself can be entertaining / enjoyable though but that's a whole other topic)

        I am actually not entirely sure if knowing more can help us lead more fulfilling lives. As the great philosophers of The Matrix teach us "Ignorance is bliss".

        As to your last paragraph... hmmm I'm not sure why you put that in a reply to me, but I can tell you my views on it regardless of the reason for bringing it up.
        I know that there are many things I can not know, and probably will never know. If there is a god is one of them (although I guess I'll find out if there is one when I die.. if theres none it's a more complex answer as I can't find out because I'm not there anymore).
        Also I can never know if I'm "inside the matrix" or not.

        I believe certain things to be true, but in all fairness I would not find it impossible to learn that everything I was once believed to be true are in fact all false.

        This is a view which I dearly miss at many religious people though. They all "know that god exists"' even though it's even called "faith" of which the definition is that "you hold it to be true regardless of a lack of evidence to support your views".

        I myself have many theories on how the world works... I even have a lot of faith that I am correct with them. But I know that I could be wrong. Which is why I try to parttake in many discussions (to learn about other views / explainations / new facts / etc.).

        One point which I would like to add is: I don't know why so many "religous nuts" (people that won't even consider other views than those in their faith) actually parttake in debates....
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    Gail .

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    Dec 6 2012: Part of the Quran is loving, peaceful, and inspiring. It's the other part that is of concern. Are you pretending that the violent parts do not exist? The Quran very clearly does not denounce any kind of violence. It spends a lot of time encouraging it and not always in self-defense. Have you read it?

    You are right in that education, peace and respect will go a long way towards curing our globe's social ills. And you are right that awakening to consciousness is key. But one who depends on a religion to tell them "the way" is not awakened.