02 April 2011

Which is more violent, the Bible or the Quran?

(Repost with updated numbers and graphs on 2 April 2011.)
The LORD is a man of war. Exodus 15:3
Fight in the way of Allah. Quran 2:244

Which is more violent, the Bible or the Quran? Is there a way to objectively answer such a question?

Well, it wouldn't be easy. But it is possible to compare the amount of cruelty and violence in the two books.

Here is a summary of the highlighted verses in the SAB and SAQ.

Number of Cruel or Violent Passages
Bible 1214
Quran 527

So the Bible has more than twice as many cruel or violent passages as does the Quran. But the Bible is a much bigger book. How do they compare when size is taken into account?

Violence and Cruelty Total verses Percent
Bible 1214 31173 3.89
Quran 527 6236 8.45

When expressed as a percentage of cruel or violent verses (at least as marked in the SAB/Q), the Quran has more than twice that of the Bible. (8.45 vs. 3.89%)

Of course this analysis does not consider the extent of the cruelty in the marked passages. And that is an important consideration. Is Numbers 31:14-18, for example, more cruel than Quran 5:34? That is something that each person must decide.

A good argument could be made that either book is the most violent and cruel book ever written. The award would go to one or the other, for neither has any close competitors.

It is frightening to think that more than half of the world's population believes in one or the other.

272 comments:

1 – 200 of 272   Newer›   Newest»
Mark said...

Steve,

You seem like a really smart guy, and it seems you like to do a lot of research, which is great.

I don't agree with your findings, but can appreciate what you do if you are in fact searching for truth or answers to real questions.

It's understandable if you don't agree or like the Bible, but the basis of everything I had a chance to read here is based on a misleading way of observing, interpreting, and applying the Bible.

What you're doing is basically known as proof-texting: taking a verse out of context and applying it to a teaching or meaning that the verse(s) were never intended to support.

Do you remember the movie The Shining? It was the creepiest, scariest horror movie of the ‘70’s.

Check out this re-made movie trailer for The Shining.

What you are about to witness is movie proof-texting. A clever individual pulled out little snippets of this gruesome movie to make it look downright charming. As you view this, keep the context of the whole movie in view. And keep this in mind, if you do not keep the entire context of the Bible in mind when you go through Scripture, you end up twisting Scripture to say anything you want.

Yes, it's clever, but misleading.

Steve Wells said...

Thanks for your comment, Mark.

Which do you think is more cruel and violent, the Quran or the Bible?

Mark said...

I won't comment on the Quran, since I have never read it.

Steve Wells said...

Mark said:
"I won't comment on the Quran, since I have never read it."

Fair enough. But what do you think about Surah 5:33, which says:
"The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom."

After reading this verse in its context, does it seem cruel to you? Do you think it is cruel to cut off a person's hand?

Mark said...

Steve,

No kidding that seems like a pretty cruel act, (and unfortunately not as bad as half of what you'll read in your local newspaper today or on CNN) but a paragraph is hardly full context. I am not saying there is more to it, but to be fair, I do not know if it is advocating it's readers today to cut off hands or not.

You have gone through quite a bit of work with the SAB, and your blog, I respect that kind of diligence and commitment. Why are you so interested in these documents anyways?

Steve Wells said...

Mark said: "No kidding that seems like a pretty cruel act, (and unfortunately not as bad as half of what you'll read in your local newspaper today or on CNN) but a paragraph is hardly full context."

Yeah, I know. That's why I provided the link to the text -- so that you could read the verse in its context.

After doing that, what do you think? Is it cruel or not?

Mark said: "You have gone through quite a bit of work with the SAB, and your blog, I respect that kind of diligence and commitment. Why are you so interested in these documents anyways?"

Because more than 3 billion people believe (or pretend to believe) in one or more of these documents. These beliefs conflict with one another and are causing problems throughout the world. It's time for us to take a look at the Bible, Quran, and Book of Mormon to see if they are worthy of belief.

Mark said...

3 billion? How are you helping them?

As I pointed out in a previous comment, (at least in what I saw about your method of Biblical interpretation), you either lack, or avoid, contextual interpretation, and it is more than a slight misrepresentation for the way the Bible would be understood for today's reader.

Obviously that could be your whole point, but nevertheless it is misleading. To try and steer people away from what you call works that are conflicting and causing problems is noble, but rings hollow if you are misleading them nonetheless.

Steve Wells said...

"3 billion?"

Yeah, more than 3 billion, actually. 2.1 billion Christians, 1.3 billion Muslims, and 20 million or so Mormons.

But you never told me whether or not you think Surah 5:33 is cruel. If you don't want to tell me, that's fine. But I am curious.

Mark said...

Steve,

It doesn't matter if I think it is cruel or not, it isn't a document I believe in or use, so whether it gave advice on infidels or infinity, makes no difference to me.

You're obviously captivated by this document, so it makes sense for you to comment. However, if your skills of interpreting what the Quran means for readers today is anything close to your abilities to interpret the Bible, chances are you're missing it by a mile.

Steve Wells said...

"It doesn't matter if I think it is cruel or not...."

You're right, it doesn't matter.

But do you think it's cruel or not? Is anything cruel to you, Mark?

Anonymous said...

I don't really have anything to contribute to this conversation but it is nice seeing both of you, Mark and Steve, holding an intelligible conversation. The internet has resulted in me expecting terribly misuse of grammar and nonsensical comments, whenever I look at the comments box of any page. This was a refreshing change. Thanks.

A Drunken Man said...

It doesnt matter what the context of the passage is, unless it says "the following is a lie" before it. What matters is do you think it is cruel and if so, than these many cruel passages is not a good influence on people. Your using of the Shining edited trailer doesnt support your theory as it takes out only the good bits of the film to portray it as nice, however noone is denying that the film has nice bits, they are useful in the story. The bad parts are in the bible and the Quran, no doubt in many religious works. The problem is, that even if by some slim chance they are better when read completely in context with the whole bible, how many people attending churches and other religious places across the world have not read the whole of their faiths writings? Im sure the answer is many, if not most of them. That constitutes a bad influence, and its hard to dismiss this as like any other form of media as none require such adherance as matters of faith.
Cheers guys

Dennis said...

Interesting.. rather than the passages being interpreted as violence. I choose to read them as passages of guidance and justice.

I've read a few passages from the Qur'an on here. The translation's are not accurate.

I disagree with dismissing the context argument. The above poster when giving an example of 'lie' before the passage is not thinking outside the box.

Peace.. I'd recommend checking the authenticity of each verse of Qur'an.. Here is a translation of the works of Marmaduke Pickthal

Anonymous said...

Did acts of cruelty get counted if they were followed by denunciations? For example, stoning somebody is cruel, but if somebody stops it and says "stoning this person is bad," then are we reading about an act of cruelty or an act of mercy?

Steve Wells said...

"Did acts of cruelty get counted if they were followed by denunciations? For example, stoning somebody is cruel, but if somebody stops it and says "stoning this person is bad," then are we reading about an act of cruelty or an act of mercy?"

I'd consider it an act of mercy and put it in the good stuff in the Bible or Quran.

David said...

One man's justice is another man's cruel violence. I like that. :)

Of course, the real problem is the idea of "belief" or "faith" rather than the content (context or not) of the text. Since faith is belief in the absence of evidence (and often in the face of it), the real problem that is being probed in this blog is of what harm that does to humanity.

The various religious texts, Bible, Book of Mormononsense, and so on are all different flavors the samething: texts used to control. One may argue it is God who is exherting that control (though why he'd need such badly written, and unclear garbage as this to do it remains a mystery) but the more likely answer is that man did. In fact, a believer in any one of these texts is duty bound to also believe that the other books are written for such purposes as those texts could not have been truely divinely inspired as the one believed in.

Of course, the funny thing is how a believer is sucked into their faith and cannot grasp how random it is. Christian? Muslim? Jew? Depends on where you grew up, who raised you, what you were and were not exposed to, who you meet in life and so on. Giving rise, ultimately to the most absurd of statements I always hear: "I have very good reasons for what I believe."

Yeah, and so does Tom Cruise... in his mind. Hell, 9/11 was one really well organized and effective faith-based initiative. We are supposed to live in a time of reason, yet paranormal beliefs tend to rule way too many important things in our lives.

If we'd all spend a little more time over at http://www.randi.org we'd all be better for it.

-- David

Dennis said...

Of course, the funny thing is how a believer is sucked into their faith and cannot grasp how random it is. Christian? Muslim? Jew? Depends on where you grew up, who raised you, what you were and were not exposed to, who you meet in life and so on. Giving rise, ultimately to the most absurd of statements I always hear: "I have very good reasons for what I believe."

u've not met many converts to Islam then.. *chuckle

Sam from Egypt. said...

Steve as much as your article is interesting as much as it's missing content. An article just to base the facts of which one is crueler or not isn't really a comparison but how do people interpret the text and how it is followed is a more precise acuracy.

Oh btw, I am wondering why you have written this article comparing the Bible and the Quran and not mentioning the Torah? If you're going to compare the monogomous religions might as well make it a proper comparison.

Dino Nuhija said...

Honestly it matters not which of these has more violent passages, if you study them closely they are both trying to say on thing and one thing only. There is one god and you must obey him. Allah is just a translated term in Arabic for the word "god", so please do not misinterpret these as two different gods. These passages are both violent, yes I agree but the simple fact of the matter is that, that violence is to defend your belief and gods name. I personally don't understand why the muslims and christians have been fighting for such a long time.

Anonymous said...

Going back to the comment about the verse of Quraan. Surah 5:33
It says:"The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land"
Is that really typical to thank or please somebody makes war against you?
But I was hoping you read critically before you comment. In this time, in these days you're a terrorist if you try to protect yourself from occupiers and attackers. It is occupation at its best. Something 15th century actually had missed a lot with all of its darkness. Thanks to government broadcasting. I don’t really know how people think in these days.
Mark: I hope you can give me your address. So I can come and take your loved ones, car, and house, if you have one, I don’t have one yet. And I may let you work for me after I take everything, don’t be hasty, I still like you, and according to your peacefulness that is fair enough. I’m really dying to see you thank me after doing all of that and leave you miserable after that. Then I will come back here and really, really thank you for your givings.

Jason Leonard said...

Mark: I hope you can give me your address. So I can come and take your loved ones, car, and house, if you have one, I don’t have one yet. And I may let you work for me after I take everything, don’t be hasty, I still like you, and according to your peacefulness that is fair enough. I’m really dying to see you thank me after doing all of that and leave you miserable after that. Then I will come back here and really, really thank you for your givings.

Actually, the Bible pretty much teaches that bad things happen to people only because they've made a choice to separate themselves from God. Or, if they are a follower of God, that they've probably got some sin to get rid of in their life...or just need to be tested to be sure they'll stick around.

And, anyone following Jesus (not religion) probably would not get miserable when all his possessions are taken away. Jesus actually commanded us to sell them all, they have little value except here on earth. Now, being humans, it might be a rare if that extreme of an example actually took place, but it sounds about like what happened to Job.

It's all about learning to be humble and be a servant...ancient near east culture understood that, the Japanese still do. It only sounds crazy to westerners who are too attached to what they have.

Jason Leonard said...

Of course, the real problem is the idea of "belief" or "faith" rather than the content (context or not) of the text. Since faith is belief in the absence of evidence (and often in the face of it), the real problem that is being probed in this blog is of what harm that does to humanity.

Biblically, "faith" is actually supposed to be based on evidence. We can't have one without the other. The word used is "pistis", which is a legal term used when referencing to trial evidence. It has the general definition of "loyalty" (or, more appropriate, FAITHfulness). You can't be loyal (faithful) to something without evidence! It's impossible! And the evidence is more than out there. Biblically, God's fulfilled promises and the things He's provided for mankind are more than enough evidence. But for the person who is still lacking that, all the evidence needed is given when someone experiences the change that He's promised (if you just believe in Him) So where is this absence of evidence anyway? I'm still looking for it. I've been to thousands of "skeptic" websites, and one thing was always clear for people claiming lack of evidence - they just don't understand what they're talking about. Not even some of the "science" that is supposedly being passed off as authoritative.

The various religious texts, Bible, Book of Mormononsense, and so on are all different flavors the samething: texts used to control. One may argue it is God who is exherting that control (though why he'd need such badly written, and unclear garbage as this to do it remains a mystery) but the more likely answer is that man did. In fact, a believer in any one of these texts is duty bound to also believe that the other books are written for such purposes as those texts could not have been truely divinely inspired as the one believed in.

So who is controlling people with these texts? I don't see anyone controlling me yet with the Bible. It's just there, it's subject to however we respond to it. Obviously you're not controlled by it. What people get "controlled" by is religion - the man-made aspect of spirituality. People who believe that just doing what they're told, or following laws, is all it's about. People who haven't understood that it's a bit something more than making a routine of things.

As for divine inspiration, this is also a concept frequently misunderstood. The idea is that the writers themselves were inspired by what they saw or heard from God, and wrote down what they could. In a few cases, God did tell them what to write, but it's usually obvious that God isn't the one actually writing things. Most of the books included in the Bible were written in the literary styles of their time period. It was obvious the authors were writing to cater to their audience - they had to put some of their own work into that. But their "inspiration" for writing was divine.

And where is the "badly written, unclear garbage"? Maybe the bulk of the madeup nonsense in the Book of Mormon, otherwise everything I've heard people say is "badly written" or "unclear", is just something that people are trying to understand with the wrong context. Historical, as well as textual context, is needed to really understand alot of the Bible. If someone abuses either, then what they read will seem "unclear" or "badly written". But in actuality, I find most of these people knew exactly what they were writing...and didn't make near the mistakes some people think they did. And when you do see something out-of-place, translators have historically mis-transcribed a dash of things here/there. Never anything that overturns the meaning and teaching of the book.

Of course, the funny thing is how a believer is sucked into their faith and cannot grasp how random it is. Christian? Muslim? Jew? Depends on where you grew up, who raised you, what you were and were not exposed to, who you meet in life and so on. Giving rise, ultimately to the most absurd of statements I always hear: "I have very good reasons for what I believe."

This is just bigotry and oversimplification of a complex concept. What about Jews for Jesus? What about Muslims who become Christian? What about Christians who become Muslim? What about Christians who become atheists? And then the ones that eventually turn back to Christians? Or what about all the Christians who leave for other "cults". Or what about the people raised wicca who convert to Christianity?

Where you grew up, who raised you, etc. - has alot to do with where your "religion" starts. But what you make of it is ultimately personal choice. As for me? Few people I met had anything to do with my conversion. It was the desire for a changed life. It just so happened that later on, I realized how much some of the people I had come across had been trying to get me there sooner. If anything your argument is more saying it's controlled, not random. My argument actually states it's a bit more random...

Yeah, and so does Tom Cruise... in his mind. Hell, 9/11 was one really well organized and effective faith-based initiative. We are supposed to live in a time of reason, yet paranormal beliefs tend to rule way too many important things in our lives.

Wow, belittling someone or their religion to downplay it's importance. So what makes Tom Cruise's belief crazy, as you have implied? I know why I don't believe in Scientology, but what is it to you if he does? Everyone does have their reasons, maybe for once you should ask what they are and listen to them? Otherwise it just sounds like you're just believing what you want without weighing any evidence.

9/11 was not a faith-based initiative. 9/11 had nothing to do with religion, save for the intended purpose of inciting a Muslim civil war and a conflict with Israel. But that was planned decades ago by the CFR. The main purpose of 9/11 was resource and localized population control. But of course I'm sure you still believe it was 19 Muslims that were responsible for pretty much controlling the military's decisions that day?

If we'd all spend a little more time over at http://www.randi.org we'd all be better for it.

Actually, perusing the site a bit, I like it! Thanks for the link! The guy tends to oversimplify many things, or just write complete dissertations on crazy topics like UFOs.

Anonymous said...

The old testament quote that you point out in Numbers was a directive from God pertaining to a particular war. Jesus has given us the dirctive for our time and that is to 'love your enimies and pray for those who dispitefuly use you'. Old testament law was an eye for a eye, but Jesus taught to turn the other cheek. So therefore all who claim to be Christians ought to adhere to the doctrines of Jesus Christ. It could be argued that the Jews who don't believe in Jesus and who have only the old Testament law could have a more extreme view if they believe that those old battle directives applied today. Do Muslims have a change in dispensation like the Christians do, or would every literal interperetation of the Q'ran lead to an extreemist view.

Anonymous said...

So, by your math, 2.7% of the Bible is evil, 0.8 % is good. What about the other 96.5%? Useless? Somehow I think your criteria for deciding these types of things was a bit off. Are all the psalms and proverbs not "good" material.

Steve Wells said...

"So, by your math, 2.7% of the Bible is evil, 0.8 % is good. What about the other 96.5%? Useless?"

Well, besides cruelty and good stuff there are another twelve categories at the SAB.

But, yeah, if I had "useless" and "boring" categories, every verse in the Bible would be highlighted.

"Are all the psalms and proverbs not 'good' material?"

I've only found three good verses in the Psalms, with 51 in "Injustice". That doesn't seem too good to me.

Proverbs is much better, though. 54 verses good verses, more than any other category. I think Proverbs is one of the best books in the Bible. (But the best by far is Ecclesiastes.)

Mark said...

Jason,

I have no idea what your comments stem from, or what your point is, but no worries matey (Matt 12:29).

Anonymous comments are weak.

Ba`alZebhubh said...

Steve,

When you count the cruel verses in the SAQ, are you counting, additionally, verses stating that non-believer's will reside in hell, etc.?

Also, I'd be interested to know the "Big" count -- i.e. how *ALL* the bad/cruel/intolerant/sexist verses count as a % vs. the good stuff in the Qur'an

A Drunken Man said...

Sam from Egypt said:

"Oh btw, I am wondering why you have written this article comparing the Bible and the Quran and not mentioning the Torah? If you're going to compare the monogomous religions might as well make it a proper comparison."

I dont think that it warrants bringing in the torah when the bible and quran reach a far larger group of people, i think its more sphere of influence that brings these texts into the light, the torah cant match them in numbers

Anonymous said...

Well depending on which book you believe in the other one is more violent because it represents a faith that is anethema to yours. And I would like to pose a question, which one is the real religion?

Anonymous said...

funny thing. someone above says he posted the context of the verse 5:33 just by posting the verses before and after.

newsflash bro...the quran is not like any other book. usually each verse has distinct history behind it. they're just placed togother.

5:34 is not necessarily related to 5:33 or 5:35.

the bible is because it's like a story book. the quran is different.

the blogger fell into this trap.

5:33 is related to a certain people. to find this context you will never find it in a quran. you may need exegesis or a quran WITH comentaries.

so i advise all to pick up the book and do their own homework.

Anonymous said...

I hope people would come to understand Islam and know what Islam really is.

I've read a few passages from the Qur'an on here. The translation's are not even close to accurate.

John K said...

And yet many of the followers of the Koran are more violent than the followers of the Bible these days.

I'd like to think that we as Christians understand the "truth" better, but I'm afraid it may be only because we, as a whole, have merely read our own book less. If the majority read more of the less "accessible" sections of the Bible, with their misunderstandings the world would be torn in twain. Yet, I fear, that may still be inevitable.

The majority is what is evil, whether Christian, Muslim, or Jew.

Anonymous said...

I think some key things are missing in this Koran vs Bible comparison...

1 - The Law that is in the Torah (which is the first five books of the OT) was law that God explictly imposed upon the Hebrews. The Hebrews were never given a mission by God to convert the world to their religion, so these violent laws were not binding on the rest of the world. So while some of these things are as violent as some Suras in the Koran the target of the violence is completely different. With the Koran it's usually everyone else on the planet who is going to get hurt, in the Torah it was just the Jews.

A lot of the New Testament letters are about why these laws didn't apply to Gentile (non-Jewish) converts to Christianity. God never intended them to be universal laws (with the exception of the basic dont kill, dont steal)

2 - The violence in the Old Testament that is not part of the Law is merely historical documentation (from its point of view) of past events. The violence is certainly not a "model" for readers to emulate.

3 - The violent commands in the Koran are intended for its readers to mete out on those who deserve it. For its readers to adhere to in their present time. The violence is PROSCRIBED not described. And this violence is directed towards those who are not members of the faith.


So perhaps you should add some subcategories to your violence labels, like "Violent "historical" event described"... "Violence directed towards adherents", "Violence command to be against non believers by beleivers" etc.

Anonymous said...

How much of the violence is merely related, and how much is actually presented as something proper? I think that this distinction is important.

CrunkChipmunk said...

How can god advocated rape, murder and slavery be taken out of context and thus be right in its proper context? It can't and its sick and its in the Bible. True believers of both Christianity and Islam are so poisoned by their belief systems they will make excuses for any atrocities committed or commanded to be committed by their supposed loving gods in their holy books. These books can be interpreted many different ways which is why there are different Islam and Christianity sects competing with eachother throughout the world and these interpretation problems are also the reasons why young children are misguided to ignore or accept some of the more cruel Bible or Koran verses by their elders and not allowed to read the books by themselves and come to their own conclusion as to read it on their own without adult interpretations and apologetics thrown in the mix for questionable verses both the Koran and Bible are absolutely sickening documents worthy of the world's revulsion not belief.

Seth said...

Interesting break-down. Of course, since "good" and "evil" are subjective concepts based on our own person upbringing and the culture we live in, it's difficult to gauge which of these scriptures has more "good" or "evil" violence.
If I kill an animal and eat it, then I gain protein and other nutrients, fur or skin to make into clothes or shelter, etc. If I kill an adversary, I can protect myself from her and maybe take her possessions, position, etc. So I could say that if there are those making war upon my god and his prophet, attempting to corrupt my land and by extension exploiting or threatening me, I would wish they were rewarded with death, or have their hands and feet cut off. At our basic core there is a primal instinct for survival. Some of us in the West do not think about it since we are protected from thoughts of survival. Our leaders and our businesses fight for us: exploiting others for their land and resources and killing those who oppose us. This way we don't have to bloody our own hands. Killing for religion is just an extent of killing for the tribe, just as killing for nationalism is an extent of killing for the tribe. It's just basic animal nature.

Anonymous said...

Is it not contradictory for some who does not believe in a diety to attempt to make commentary on books which require such belief to accept?

This aint the Constitution or a book by Carl Sagan.

What you are doing is like sending a rap critic to judge a rock album.

The first chapter and first handful of verses in the second chapter are like a disclaimer.

This is where the rap critic starts to cringe at the first loud notes of guitar and crashin cymbals. By the end of his listening session he's like...'hell nah that shit lacked a groove, the bass wasn't enough, etc,etc,etc blah blah'. So you are just like that rap critic.

So utterly and totally biased by what you believe.

What is your goal here? To defame a large group of people who will not listen to you either way? Hell, most will not hear you.

It is said we look for things in life that agree with what we already believe. So you are doing service to no one, ESPECIALLY not yourself.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this is a continuing thread, or if it's long dead. Regardless....

As far as ALL so-called "holy scriptures" are concerned, if the supreme being of the universe had something to say to people, then certainly he shouldn't need specially trained people (clergy, "apologists" of all stripes) to interpret or translate the meaning of his words. I've read enough of the bible, particularly the Old Testament, to see quite clearly that any attempt to pretend that the violent, nasty, inhumane passages that abound there somehow turn out to be perfectly reasonable and loving and okay when "read in context" is a crock. Scriptures were supposedly written for PEOPLE, not for a special priestly class whose role it is to interpret it for the common "dummies." Are people here suggesting that God was such a befuddled thinker and even a worse writer that he was incapable of stating in clear terms - and for all ages - exactly what he meant without internal contradiction?

Anonymous said...

One other thing:

A previous "anonymous" poster stated: "Is it not contradictory for some who does not believe in a diety to attempt to make commentary on books which require such belief to accept?"

Say what? What came first, the scripture or the belief? Are you stating or implying that those who accepted the truth of the Bible and Koran many centuries ago already believed in them BEFORE they were written and disseminated? They already had to BELIEVE before they were able to accept? Then if they somehow already believed in stories and precepts that they had never been exposed to before, what was the point of writing down "God's word?" And why do missionaries proselyze and hand out copies of their scriptures to "heathens" if acceptance presupposes belief? That's absurd.

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that most of the violent sections in the bible are in the OLD testament and are generally overridden by the NEW testament in Christianity. However, in the Koran it is the opposite.

There are 114 versus in the Quran about peace and patience that are canceled by the call to Jihad and later periods in the Koran. These are in the earlier sections, where most of the nice versus about peace and patience, of the Quran and have been overridden by the later sections. This is known as nasikh (abrogation) in the Quran where versus written later in time abrogate the versus written earlier in time whenever there is a contradiction. Note that the Quroan is not arranged chronologically (time order), it is arranged from the shortest book to the longest. You need to know the time period a versus was written to determine if it is still valid or abrogated. Many Secular and moderate Muslims still quote peaceful verses despite the fact these are considered overridden via nasikh. The nasikh is not mentioned to Westerners when they read/study the Quran. For example in AD 614 Allah made one verse Surah 2:256 “There is no compulsion (i.e. coercion) in religion.” Then in AD 627 a very different one Surah 9:5 Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them…. But if they repent and accept Islam then leave their way free. The later one created in AD627 overrules the earlier one in AD614. In other words verse 2:256 is null and void. See abrogation rule in the Quran 2:106 Whatever a verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things? The 9th chapter is actually the last chapter written in time, it is the only chapter that does not start with the compassionate one and it contains the verse of the sword. There are peaceful and moderate Muslims but no peaceful and moderate Islam. Many of the most radical Muslims say Islam is a religion of peace because once Islam takes over the world there will be nothing but peace.
So now if you compare the valid violent sections of the Koran vs the bible you will get a much different result. Almost all, if not all, the violent verses in the Koran remain while virtually all of the violent versus in the bible’s Old Testament are void. There are still a few violent versus in the New Testament but I believe that is less than a dozen or so (can someone count them?). Thus as a percentage the Bible’s valid violent versus drops to almost zero while the Korans remains at the previously high amount. Thus it is an inescapable conclusion is that the Koran contains significantly more valid violent verses than the bible.
Let’s apply liberal rules around the bible’s valid violent versus and assume there are 50 violent versus left. The percentage of the violent versus in the bible would drop to 0.16% (50/31173) That is less than one percent. Now divide the Koran’s figure of 5.4% by 0.16% and you get 33.77 as the ratio, in other words the Koran is over 33 more time violent than the Koran. That is a HUGE difference!!!

Anonymous said...

Correction:
in other words the Koran is over 33 more time violent than the >>BIBLE<<. That is a HUGE difference!!!


Also: There are peaceful and moderate Muslims but >>it is hard to believe in<< peaceful and moderate Islam >>>when taken literally.

Anonymous said...

Steve wrote:

Fair enough. But what do you think about Surah 5:33, which says:
"The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land...

It didn't insist violence against innocent people. But Bible do. That is another BIG DIFFERENCE! :)

John said...

Moreover it is equally noticeable that certain verses in Qur'an repeates again and again!

The violent verses in Bible are all unique!

Joel said...

By the looks of it, you need a damn degree in order to correctly understand a passage in any religions writing. You'd think "God" would make a message more accessible, but instead people argue about which book is divinely inspired and which book isn't. In the end, it's arguing about who's shit smells the least.

Anonymous said... "Old testament law was an eye for a eye, but Jesus taught to turn the other cheek."

Here's another interpretation. Normally, a 'higher' person would slap a 'lower' person, usually with the back of the hand. To turn the other cheek would be to have the higher person slap you with the front of the hand, which was reserved for equals. Jesus was saying let him slap you as an unequal then have him slap you again as an equal, subtly insulting him.

The church has taken Jesus, a social activist, a rebel that challenged religious authorities - and it has turned him into a relic used in a ritual required by 'God' for an injust judgement of our souls. It all started with good ol Paul the pharisee..

GothNigga4Lyfe said...

It's interesting that you bring up Muslims. My husband and I compare the similarites of Islam and Christianity almost daily. If the bible's teachings,(but who's to say, as it's very contradictory - some of it to be taken literally, and some not?) don't advocate violence, why do Christians still carry it out? Are they just the ones whom are confused? Or were they just not supposed to listen to that part of the bible? Maybe they're the brave ones, whom practice literally what they believe the bible tells them? Where are the violent radical Pagans, or Buddhists?

Most Christians - most, but not all - are not content with allowing others their own beliefs. They feel they must convince/convert/preach that their way is the one and only true way. This is what led to the intolerance that I and others with differing opinions have to deal with. When I point this out, the typical response is, "Oh, they're just the radicals, the extremists. I'm fine with what you believe." Well, if all Christians were so docile and accepting, why does this discrimination continue to prevail? Why can't I be public about my beliefs, without suffering some kind of consequences? The truth is, there are very real consequences for those who are not Christians - I live it every day. The victims of the Inquisition would probably agree.

The point is, any religion which is not OK with allowing others their own thoughts, is attempting to control people, and this in turn becomes violence.

Anonymous said...

The big problem with this research is that you are equating ACTS of violence in the bible with COMMANDS to COMMIT violence in the Koran.

Violent things happened in the bible, but there are few places where standing commands can be seen for Christians to COMMIT violence.

In the Koran most of the violent quotes are of the Koran specifically commanding their followers to COMMIT violence.

As such your comparison isn't exactly fair.

Anonymous said...

Firstly. Let me say that we should consider how intolerant each book is, rather than how violent it is. This must clearly be the best question when investigating how humane any religious or political ideology is. That the followers are always promised paradise, in heaven or on earth, goes without saying.

Secondly. The way a religion is practised is not only based on what is written in its scriptures, but also how rigid the interpretations of these scriptures are. Seemingly the Koran is stricter in that the followers have to believe exactly what is written.

The Koran is arguable the worst book in the first respect. But the latter is probably a much bigger problem.

Oz said...

In a discussion of violence in religion, we first have to separate individual instances and personal interpretations from the actual religion. In the case of Islam, the Koran is the ultimate AND ONLY authority. Therefore the actions of radicals cannot be attributed to violence in the religion. Followers of radical clerics (terrorists etc.) are in fact in strictly Koranic terms "idolteres" for they associate others (namely their clerics, leaders etc) with God instead of going to the source themselves. Of course they are fooled into believing this is ok as the clerics treat the Koran as a "guideline" instead of a definitive text, taking -- Just like the original article did -- verses that seemingly encourage violence and filtering out the rest.

In Islam this is the greatest form of blasphemy. The worst of the sins is to associate oneself or others with God and assume God's role in the interpretation and application of the divine Message.

The first verse of the Koran, "the Opening" explains this very well by dividing people into three categories: 1. Those God has blessed. 2. Those wrath has been directed to 3. Those who are astray. Some people lump 2 & 3 together, but I like to keep them separate as it introduces a leader/follower kind of hierarchy among the "sinners".

Radical Islamist Extremists that follow ideologies of hate fall right into groups 2 & 3. But of course so do the people on the other side of the coin who perpetuate violence and wars for oil and worldy gains and directly or indirectly spill the blood of thousands of innocents.

The Koran indeed treats this "sinner" group which it considers to be the enemy of God very cruelly. But to call it a cruel book because of this, you have to be ignoring a very cruicial element in the rest of the book that offsets this cruelty at every turn: God in the Koran, besides being all-powerful, all-knowing etc. is also all-compassionate and all-merciful. In fact these two are the most repeated properties of God. Each chapter begins with the phrase: "In the name of God, the all-compassionate, the all-merciful."

The opening verse I have mentioned also includes these adjectives and on top of which introduces the concept of divine guidance. Receiving divine guidance, followed by repentence and correcting one's actions is the path from groups 2 & 3 into what the opening verse calls "the straight path" on which the blessed walk. So these groups are not set in stone. God is not eternally vengeful against any specific person and everybody gets plenty of chances to repent and be forgiven in God's endless compassion and mercy. This involves people so wicked that we with our human mercy and compassion do not have the power to forgive.

So yes, you can focus on a specific verse against the enemies of God and call the Koran cruel if you want. But it wouldn't be the correct judgement when you also know that those who are subjected to that cruelty are also offered endless chances of repentence at a super-human level of mercy and compassion.

Outside of the Koran, the prophet Muhammed illustrated God's mercy by saying that "All of your sins are forgiven if you remove one thorn from your neighbor's path."

Now unlike many here, I don't know too much about the Bible. But I believe the true Muslim view above is very much in agreement with the true Christian view. God's mercy is embodied in Jesus in Christianity. Guilt is said to be a trick of the Devil to pull sinners deeper into self-loathing and more sin. Whereas repentence is rewarded with mercy and is achieved only by the guidance of the Lord.

Bottom-line: Neither religion is violent. Stupid people of ANY religion are.

Anonymous said...

My religion - or lack thereof - is atheism. I'm so glad that I don't need to be told how to think. I've never been incited to violence, as I personally abhor it.

Free will is so vastly underrated in this world.

Sébastien said...

The bible and the Quran were writen and modify many many many time by human with interest....

Anonymous said...

o please, dont compare christianity with islam. I know christianity can be a pain. But at least THEY DONT KILL PEOPLE in name of their religion! The pope does NOT burn or hang people, and does NOT ask for violence. Jesus was NOT a murderer. Mohammed WAS. Fatwas are always MUSLIM orders to kill someone who dared to oppose the VIOLENCE of ISLAM.

it was the inquisition who was the last christian religeous killing-team. The crusades. Herecy. Burnings to the stakes. Middel ages. Power corrupts. People who tried to live like jesus, poor, loving, unarmed, NOT VIOLENT, found a corrupt pope, with more power as kings, who was rich, un-loving, armed and VIOLENT.

we now know, that religion can NEVER be an excuse to KILL another person. We shall never tolerate a religion that incites VIOLENCE.

every scholar who reads the quran and studies the life of the prophet, will turn into a terrorist. Because that is what the prophet was. A terrorist. Because that is what the quran teaches: violence and hatred.

the core, the essence, of christianity is love. And STILL the popes killed people. The core, the essence, of islam is violence.

how would you feel if I claimed that 'kill all jews' was the word of god? or 'kill all black people'? That would be 'racist', right?

but the quran is full of texts like that, aimed at disbelievers! the prophet KILLED everyone who opposed him! dansers! poets! complete villages! he stole their woman! he fucked a nine year old child!

come on. This is clearly not a prophet. mohammed is worse as hitler and dutroux put together.

because people believe he actually IS a messenger from god.

would GOD ask you, to cut with a knife into the genitals of your child? would GOD, who created life, ask of you to KILL another living being?

islam is not a religion, it is FACISM!

the difference with christianity? NO PRIEST asks for MURDER! there are no SUICIDE nuns! the pope denounces violence, like jesus did!

christianity is bad. Islam is all that, PLUS a license to kill disbelievers, given, by ALLAH!

man said...

Steve,

Sorry about all the negative comments. You're doing good work here. That is all.

Man

Brucker said...

I think I ought to make a comment on this suspect methodology that you employ quite a bit in your blog. To be honest, it's not like I have the answer to how you could do better, but these numbers seem to me to be misleading.

If you count the number of violent passages in the Bible vs. the number of violent passages in the Quran, you're only getting part of the story. You say, I'll make it better, and make it a percent! On other posts, you've said, I'll balance out the good and the bad! But is this really reflective of reality?

The real world, even from the point of view of most fundamentalists is not black ad white. Consider a hypothetical pair of killers:

Person A is a serial killer. Out of a sense of moral outrage, he sneaks into the houses of convicted (but released) sexual offenders and injects them in their sleep with lethal doses of morphene. He's killed, let's say 20.

Person B has never committed a crime before a few months ago, at which time he abducted a child from a local playground. He took the child home and tied them up in his basement, proceeding to sexually and physically torture them on a daily basis for a few months, until he got bored and decided to kill them off by feeding them alive to his pit bull.

Is person A 20 times more violent, cruel and/or unjust than person B because he killed twenty times more people (or more, perhaps technically person B never really killed anyone with their own hands, afterall)? I don't think anyone would think that, whether or not they thought he was morally justified. (I put in the part about the victims being sexual offenders because I expect some would consider such a person a hero, although I don't want you to think I would consider him justified.)

How violent a person is is not measured in numbers of victims of acts of violence, nor numbers of individual acts of violence, nor numbers of acts of violence less acts of kindness divided by years of life. Jesus implied in the Sermon on the Mount that it is measured in an abstract way in the heart. I agree with the sentiment, and not just because I'm a Christian.

Ease said...

Folks,

Most can agree that these two texts contain violent imagery in order to convey a message. The problem with modern religion is not the text but the interpretations. Interpretations are based on one's own perception of the world and the realities that exist in their life, community, country, region, etc. You cannot fairly condemn any book or text only the literal, figurative or simply misguided interpretation and the actions brought forth as a result.

Nick said...

You need to take a look at the extent of the creulty in each book.

In the old testiment there's lots of talk about God commanding people to kill for him or God killing people. Wiked people were killed and sent to hell, it sucks but it happened.
In the new testiment Jesus comes and alows people to be forgiven of their sins by believing in him, most of the creul talk is Jesus and God's way of discribing hell (lake of fire, gnashing of teeth, ect.) in the majority of the new testiment God is a relitively nice person but at the time of death and at the time of the rapture, non believers are sent to hell and during the rapture they are almost all killed by God with a death befitting to them. Then the devil gets to take over and he tourtures everyone left for a lot of time and then God comes back kicks the devil out and makes Heaven on earth, yay.

But in the Quran there is a lot of talk about killing or maiming people in the name of Allah, these rules have not been revoke but they command all muslums to kill Christians, Jews, Hippocrites, and non-believers or they will suffer the same fate as them. It describes multiple ways of torture that muslums should inflict upon those not deemed worthy. It says Allah himself MAKES people disbaleve (thats very nice). There is no talk revoking these rules and there still in effect for muslums today. Hence why we have all these problems in the middle east with muslums killing people and themselfs for Allah. Horribly violent religion if taken as the Quran tells you to.

The basis is Bible tells you to believe in Jesus Christ as your lord and savior and you get to go to Heaven. Do good deeds, witness and help others become Christians and you get rewards in Heaven. Strict guidelines restrict any creulty being done by christians (ten commandments).

On the other hand you have the Quran which tells its followers to be relentless and mercyless to anyone who doesn't believe. It commands people to kill others for the glory of Allah. There really isn't anything nice about the way people are told to treat anyone who donesn't believe and to kill them muslums have free reign and are actually praised for being overly cruel to non believers

Quran is MUCH MUCH MUCH more cruel then the Bible, the Bible talks about cruel things most of them discribing Hell.

zack said...

First I think we should take out the promise of hell as violent. We all know it is allerogical.

In all those violent verses , the Quran is quite simple. Fight them hard if they fight you, but stop fighting them if they stop fighting you (them can be anybody). I dont see this as violent, but for self defence against your enemies.

As for worldly punishment, The Quran always gives the limits. The minimum and maximum. Example as for Surah 5:33, which says:

"The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom."

Well, it doesnt look that bad relatively in those days for a crime for treason. During world war2 it was death. The Quran gives 3 options at least. Maybe banishment for the lighter offence and death for the severe ones.

As for the bible, it is the only holy book that include the killing of innocent women and children, etc.

In conclusion, I would say that the Bible is more violent than the Quran. Not by the number of violent words, but the violence itself. In fact The Bible is the most violent of all Holy Books.

Thank You

zack said...

Please note that I was comparing the Bible and the Quran, not muslims or christians.

Thank You

Spike Spiegel said...

People,

Any good christian or muslim, in fact any human being KNOWS it's wrong to be violent, cruel or to take anyone's life.
The people we see or hear about, that kill in name of God/Allah are downright fanatics, brainwashed and ignorant. In my eyes I do not consider them muslims, christians, jews or whatever.

@ Nick: Please do read some more of those books. Reading improves your spelling and removes all the bullshit the bogey man has planted in your head. It might also help to spend time with people from the two religions and watching a little less TV.

PS: I'd recomend anyone to visit any of the three blogs i write on, but they're in portuguese, so...

rigidsporty said...

Interesting work and worth reading. I would have to agree that most followers of these religions have not read the works in full context, so each side, the believers and non believers are talking and not listening. These documents were written long ago and they survived transcriptions, translations, and even editing to some extent. The fact that a semi coherent document exists is a marvel of mankind. Skeptical fanatics and religious fanatics alike can mold these documents however they see fit and make their own plausible intellectual discussions for eternity. The truth of the matter is that a person of sound mind and reasonable intellect can produce positive thought from reading these texts in context and in their entirety. Skeptics with and without interest can play with their own short sightedness and fanatics can play with gullible masses. The rest will spend more time reading the texts and less time watching an intellectual volley. When I was a child I used to correct my fathers English. He would ask me if I was listening to how he said it or what he is saying. Don't be a child.

laijorad said...

Listen man, Only God knows your true intentions,What are you trying to prove,More violent the Quran or the Bible.They both have violent verses so,What's new,That's very normal since they are from the same God.Or are you another radical pacifism Christian.God is no violent,His only love.Comforting your self with this fantasy.And by the way You don't know how to count. The Bibles you mentioned are just translations of different versions,Stop doing that, Stop Questioning God.Thats what you doing these are the words of God,Prove there not and your free to your opinion,But when it comes to your God then it's blasphemy.Man shame on you.You are playing with fire.

laijorad said...

Come on people use your heads.In the Quran the first verse that gave permission to the Muslim to fight,be careful permission not command,They were asking God for it. [2:190] You may fight in the cause of GOD against those who attack you, but do not aggress. GOD does not love the aggressors. [2:191] You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Masjid, unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for those disbelievers. [2:192] If they refrain, then GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful. [2:193] You may also fight them to eliminate oppression, and to worship GOD freely. If they refrain, you shall not aggress; aggression is permitted only against the aggressors. [5:87] O you who believe, do not prohibit good things that are made lawful by GOD, and do not aggress; GOD dislikes the aggressors.

[8:61] If they resort to peace, so shall you, and put your trust in GOD. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.

[4:90] ... if they leave you alone, refrain from fighting you, and offer you peace, then GOD gives you no excuse to fight them.

[4:94] O you who believe, if you strike in the cause of GOD, you shall be absolutely sure. Do not say to one who offers you peace, "You are not a believer," seeking the spoils of this world. For GOD possesses infinite spoils. Remember that you used to be like them, and GOD blessed you. Therefore, you shall be absolutely sure (before you strike). GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.
[6:151] Say, "Come let me tell you what your Lord has really prohibited for you: You shall not set up idols besides Him. You shall honor your parents. You shall not kill your children from fear of poverty - we provide for you and for them. You shall not commit gross sins, obvious or hidden. You shall not kill - GOD has made life sacred - except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand."

[17:33] You shall not kill any person - for GOD has made life sacred - except in the course of justice. If one is killed unjustly, then we give his heir authority to enforce justice. Thus, he shall not exceed the limits in avenging the murder; he will be helped.

[25:68] They never implore beside GOD any other god, nor do they kill anyone - for GOD has made life sacred - except in the course of justice. Nor do they commit adultery. Those who commit these offenses will have to pay.

No Compulsion in Religion

[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.

Absolute Freedom of Religion

[18:29] Proclaim: "This is the truth from your Lord," then whoever wills let him believe, and whoever wills let him disbelieve. We have prepared for the transgressors a fire that will completely surround them. When they scream for help, they will be given a liquid like concentrated acid that scalds the faces. What a miserable drink! What a miserable destiny!

How to Spread God's Message

[16:125] You shall invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kind enlightenment, and debate with them in the best possible manner. Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best who are the guided ones.

[8:12-13] Recall that your Lord inspired the angels: "I am with you; so support those who believed. I will throw terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved. You may strike them above the necks, and you may strike even every finger." This is what they have justly incurred by fighting GOD and His messenger. For those who fight against GOD and His messenger, GOD's retribution is severe.

[9:4-5] If the idol worshipers sign a peace treaty with you, and do not violate it, nor band together with others against you, you shall fulfill your treaty with them until the expiration date. GOD loves the righteous. Once the Sacred Months are past, (and they refuse to make peace) you may kill the idol worshipers when you encounter them, punish them, and resist every move they make. ...

[9:13-14] Would you not fight people who violated their treaties, tried to banish the messenger, and they are the ones who started the war in the first place? Are you afraid of them? GOD is the One you are supposed to fear, if you are believers. You shall fight them, for GOD will punish them at your hands, humiliate them, grant you victory over them, and cool the chests of the believers.

The verse you quote it is not for the unbelievers,It's for any Muslim that does corruption,It's a law.

GypsyRose said...

I for one appreciate SAB, and the side blogs as well. I find that it is very thorough in its research and picking apart things...In short its one of the best online concordances I have ever seen and doesn't leave anything out just because someone thinks that part is just a sidebar...

I also like that there is now also Koran and Book of Mormon. I would love to see him do a few other religious documents as well...

nnn said...

bible has rich history of thousands of years....yes also killings(i'm not naive- it was in ancient times through the cradle of civilization in mesopotamia to the greek and roman era)

while islam in few years exterminated entire civilizations ,their people language ,and culture

Travis said...

The Bible and Koran are just words. It's the followers that carry out the violence. Which religion has done more violence? That is the question we should be asking and we all know the answer to.

Travis said...

Your list of "violent" bible passage are akin to reading the phone book and finding names that sound dirty. You have to consider three things: CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT!

Sharon said...

I have read both the BIBLE and the QURAN / KORAN. The violence in the two is EXTREMELY DIFFERENT.

The bible's violent passages are mostly in the telling of a story. Cain kills Abel, David slays Goliath. THEY ARE OVERWHELMINGLY STORIES OF HUMANS HARMING OTHER HUMANS. There isn't a general feeling of G*d condoning or ORDERING his followers to commit violence upon each other when you look at the overall book.

On the other hand, the passages in the Koran are often ORDERS FROM G*D TO HIS FOLLOWERS. They are clear cut, concise COMMANDMENTS TO KILL, SLAY, BURN, and/or DISMEMBER the unbelievers (non-Muslims) or those whom you percieve to have wronged and/or threaten you. This is ABSOLUTELY DIFFERENT from the Bible, it is in TOTAL OPPOSITION TO IT, especially the NEW TESTAMENT with it's overall message of turning the other cheek, of forgiving, of live-and-love-and-LET-live-and-love...

For a covering of some interesting Koran quotes visit my blog at wingless.aoriginality.com

Blogman said...

I have been reading the articles on your website and the comments.. i must say to the writer that he deffinately takes things out of context! Your quotes are also incorrect:

Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom. (7)

This is the exact quote from a surah in the quran, if u read it like that you think that Allah has sealed the eyes on all non believers however the context is actually that Allah has sealed the eyes of the children of Israel!

They were favouritised and the most guided people however they chose to wonder astray regardless and so Allah has given the word that their eyes are sealed and they will see an awful doom.. which makes sense.

If Islam had nothing to do with what id called punishment not cruelty then it would all be good!!! why would one obey if regardless you will be rewarded? People use logic to try and defy religon however never try and use logic to explain religon.

Hannah said...

I have been reading new testament. It is filled with "Love" from God.

I recently started seriously reading Old Testament, in particular, Samuel I, II. I am shocked by the violences in these books. That is why I
Googled to find out anythings in this regards. There it is, some pretty interesting blogs here.

The 'cruelty' in the old testament is the interpretations of God treatments or rather punishment to the Israel's 'misfortunes' or rather 'arrogances'. Israel people along the Arab people suffered in common from 'hatred' between each other for thousands of years. Therefore their God seems to be merciless when these people in fact do not follow God's commands.

Don't forget Bible's New Testament, God's true revelations of His Goodness and Mercies. God through His son, Jesus Christ, loves all of us who all fall short in His glory.
We are no different in terms of our true sinful nature. There is no differences in a criminal and a president in terms of our nature. Though yet, God loves us through Christ, our Lord ! That is the ultimate love.

Boniface.'. said...

"What you're doing is basically known as proof-texting: taking a verse out of context and applying it to a teaching or meaning that the verse(s) were never intended to support."

You mean like every minister in every church that's ever existed?

stuslaptop said...

If any God exists there is know way that it would condone the killing of non believers, all of you blind people should go grab a gun or some other weapon and go kill each other until we are left with the people that actually want peace on Earth with out the racial hatred and violence that is incited by religion.

It’s all a simple case of my “God is bigger than your God” and if you disagree then you will burn in hell, this all sounds to me like the work of the Devil as commonly described to all of us.

The day religion dies is the day that humans evolve stop making weapons to protect a fake faith that totally contradicts everything that is truly Godly, if God does exist then the religions are just Chinese whispers of the same story spread around the world and translated into many languages and I know for a fact that no God would condone the killing, burning, harming of any kind of any living thing be it setenant or not.

The reason you believe in this bullshit is that you clearly have something missing in your sad lives.

I guess you all believe in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and dragons, all of which have no evidence of existence just like your fake Gods, these lies are there to control you idiots into following paths of violence 911 ring a bell?.

Despite what you may think of my opinion the world would be a much more humane place if so many people did not believe in this shit.

I also assume that you self centred, selfish individuals believe in alien’s right?
And if not why not?

Peace to all creatures that exist in the entire universe is what my God would promote, you would not burn in hell for not believing, being gay / lesbian as after all God made them gay at the end of the day and like it or not the facts remain that religion is a way to make the rich richer the poor die of AIDS in Africa all because the pope told them that contraception is evil, condone that your God thinks that is ok and you are the evil ones.

I can not prove if God exists or not I have an open mind unlike you religious zealots with your closed minds and if you had your way the whole world would be slaves to your demons.

Religion is like a Utopia in that if everyone followed the same rules and worshiped the same God peace may be possible, but all the time that religions live in a time of the past promoting violence to the non-believer and condemning them to burn in hell all I see is evil nothing good, nothing peaceful just a bunch of morons that clearly think their God is bigger and better than my God and if you do not believe me then die.

What a crock of horse shit, if any thing I type here offends any of you religious nut cases then I say good, because what you have done to the world in the present and the past offends me so much that it makes me almost hate humanity for being so foolish to believe is such nonsense.

Sharon said...

blogman said:

Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom. (7)

This is the exact quote from a surah in the quran,
--------------- --------------- ---------------

HEY GENIUS, YOU JUST FOUND ANOTHER TRANSLATION! There are several... Some are very liberal in their translations (i.e. they say 'moved' or 'slayed' instead of 'killed', they say 'subdued' instead of 'humiliated'...

So do not assume the author misquoted...


--------------- --------------- ---------------
blogman said

if u read it like that you think that Allah has sealed the eyes on all non believers however the context is actually that Allah has sealed the eyes of the children of Israel!
--------------- --------------- ---------------

OH! THAT MAKES IT ALL BETTER... YOU EXPLAINED IT, I'M GOING TO SLEEP NOW FEELING ALL WARM AND FUZZY! End of delusion.

Are you saying it's ok because he only smote the JEWS?!
Heck, the Islamists would agree as that targets their favorite scapegoat (funny how that is, the #2 religion in the world (Islam), the religion involved in most wars going on in the world today (Islam!!!) are blaming all the world's woes on a religion whose numbers are so small that they do not make it to the top 10 by population (Judaism))

--------------- --------------- ---------------
blog man said:
They were favouritised and the most guided people however they chose to wonder astray regardless and so Allah has given the word that their eyes are sealed and they will see an awful doom.. which makes sense.
--------------- --------------- ---------------
Thanx, you are just echoing the original authors point that the Koran is manifesto for a holy war again non-Muslims. You assetion that it is "not against everyone" but JUST the Jews is (a) absolutely false (read the Koran, come down to wingless.aoriginality.com and see the posts on the Sura), (b) absolutely devoid of morality

--------------- --------------- ---------------
If Islam had nothing to do with what id called punishment not cruelty then it would all be good!!! why would one obey if regardless you will be rewarded? People use logic to try and defy religon however never try and use logic to explain religon.
--------------- --------------- ---------------

That is NOT NOT NOT the point. Do you not understand? The Jews & Christians & Buddists & Hindus & Jains & Bahais & Satanists DO NOT WANT TO FOLLOW ISLAM! Again, they have no interest or need for Islam... The Koran calls upon Muslims to KILL these people! There are multiple passages that call for the FOLLOWS to smite the non-believers. It does not say that G*d will punish them, it does not say they will be punished by an unseen force, it calls upon humans to kill other humans. That is unique in Islam, to Koran often reads like a manifesto to violence against non-Muslims. see sources

sitbaddoggy said...

I'm gonna borrow from Pat Condell here:

I respect a Christian, I don't respect Christianity.
I respect a Muslim, I don't respect Islam.
I respect a Jew, i don't respect Judaism.

In other words, I respect the person as a human being but I couldn't give a hoot about whatever sky deity they believe in. Followers of these Abrahamic faiths use their holy books as a blueprint for daily life, which includes binding laws as well.

So if god tells you that unbelievers were punished both here and in the hereafter in all sorts of nasty ways, do you need any context to justify it? God says he did it or condones it, so it must be true. Otherwise it wouldn't be the word of god in the first place.

If you end up cherry picking verses based on context, as that context changes through time you'll find even less verses to choose from until there are none left. In the end you might as well put the Bible/Quran on the same shelf as the Greek myths and Gilgamesh.

(do correct me about where the top quote came from)

C Woods said...

I’m sure everyone has heard someone say, “I believe what I see,” but actually the reverse is true: we see what we believe. If one believes the Bible is full of inspiration, one will see and believe those passages that support that belief and ignore the rest. Instead of finding the Bible beautiful and uplifting, I found much of it rather appalling. Thus, reading the Bible was one of the triggers that started my doubts.

As George Bernard Shaw said: “No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.”

According to Mark Twain: [The Bible] “is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.” (Letters From the Earth)

You can find more on why I am an atheist at my blog:
http://tirelesswing.blogspot.com/2008/12/why-i-am-atheist-blame-it-on-bible-part.html

C Woods said...

In response to o Anonymous who posted MON APR 16, 11:20:00 PM 2007 who said: "o please, dont compare christianity with islam. I know christianity can be a pain. But at least THEY DONT KILL PEOPLE in name of their religion!... "

Has Anonymous never heard of the Inquisition? or the Salem witch trials? Did Christians not kill each other in the name of their religions in Northern Ireland? Have Christians not killed homosexuals or abortion doctors because they were sinners? I'm not saying every Christian does this, but some do, and they do it in the name of God and/or Jesus.

The tragedy of 9/11 is a perfect example of Muslim zealotry gone bad. But then most Christians conveniently forget that Christians killed every man, woman, and child in Maarat and Jerusalem ---at least 50,000 people--- during the First Crusade. They killed everyone: Muslim, Jew, Christian, man, woman, and child ---and even ate the bodies of those they had slain, all in the name of Christ.

There were nine Crusades in the Middle East and numerous others elsewhere. Although the main targets were Muslims, Crusaders also targeted pagan Slavs, Jews, Russian and Greek Orthodox Christians, and political enemies of the popes, among others.

Most of us have no idea if our own ancestors were involved in The Crusades, but the Muslims know. They meet in coffee houses where the entertainment is the relating of the history of families for generations back to the Crusades as if it all happened yesterday. This is why Muslims were so horrified when George W. Bush used the word “Crusade” in remarks about his War on Terrorism.
(Read more: http://tirelesswing.blogspot.com/2009/02/why-i-am-atheist-part-3.html)

And then there are those good Christians who write hate letters to atheists. (Read some examples of the "lovely, kind, heartwarming" letters received by the Freedom From Religion Foundation from "compassionate" Christians: http://tirelesswing.blogspot.com/2009/02/christians-behaving-badly-6.html)

John O said...

Steve,

Your blog and annotated texts are magnificent and enlightening.

The weaselly evasion that bad verses are out of context is rubbish. Frequently, you describe the entire surrounding story, and often that makes the violence and injustice even more remarkable.

Just curious: you've calculated violence as a percentage of both books. Would it be possible to divide the books into percentages for your categories (violence, injustice, contradictions, cruelty, good stuff) summing to 100%, or is there too much overlap between categories, or is 60% of them filler and pointless narrative and begats?

Thanks again for your great work.

John

Parker said...

As I read through the comments above, I was impressed by the respectful tone taken by everyone on every side of the discussion.

The content, however, left me less impressed. The Muslim defends the Koran without question, the Christian fully supports the bible and the Atheist claims both are 100% wrong. No wonder religion lies at the heart of so many of the world's conflicts.

Ben said...

Hi Steve (and the Internet...),

The concept of abrogation and the distinction between descriptive/past-tense violence and instructive/future-tense violence does seem important. Further, I often wonder about the "wiggle room" afforded by each tradition... because the Qur'an was written down by companions of the Prophet and because one version was agreed upon so quickly after his death, I think Islam is much more inclined to literal interpretations. But the point made earlier that distinctions like "good" and "evil" are relative is valid... from the perspective of Muslims they are simply defending themselves and all that is holy I guess (and honoring contracts, treating orphans kindly etc. are "good" ideas), and it was (almost?) all said somewhere in the OT/NT... too bad for women, homosexuals, non-believers, people who charge interest, etc...

At this point I'm rambling though... thanks very much for the work you're doing!

Oh, one last thing: I'm a Master's student studying Criminology at SFU, and my thesis is an analysis of online Canadian conservative discourse regarding "Islamic Terrorism," which is why I ended up at your wonderful blog. I have access to NVivo 8 (Qualitative analysis software, super handy for coding/content analysis) and if you ever wanted to collaborate on developing a code-sheet to dis-aggregate/further analyze the violence etc. in the Bible/Qur'an I would love to help. You've probably already done something like that actually, so I'll go poke around some more and see.

Cheerio,

Angel Rai said...

Yeah. who cares, right? Even the Devil doesn't believe he's evil ... LOL and so are his children ... ask the Crusaders ... the Jihadists ... the ones who plotted the Inquisition during the dark ages---and they'll all tell you, they're doing all these FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD. And like the fanatical MARK, everyone who doesn't see things the way he does are being misled and deceived. Very typical of anyone whose closeminded.

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Slaylem said...

Jason Leonard, I'm calling shenanigans! You can't just spout some long-winded diatribe about how "evidence of christ's glory is everyhere and people who claim there is none just don't know what they're talking about!" and not site the evidence that claim is readily available. Faith does not equal evidence, dude. Just because you grew up in a situation that lead to your devout belief in an invisible man that lives in the sky doesn't mean everyone who didn't is gonna fry. Christianity isn't even the mostly widely believed in religion! So god is gonna fry all those folks all over the world who lead perfectly decent lives doing good by others and helping each other out but didn't have the benefit of being born in a christian household? Pretty much, right? Then there's that part of your blathering that I barely made it through about how the authors of the "good book" took certain liberties and wrote the books in the literary styles of the time and gave it their own flare so now we're supposed to interpret the meaning for ourselves. So who's responsibility is it to come up with an accurate interpretation? That guy on TV with the expensive suit telling me that Christ REALLY needs my credit card to build this awesome church with huge vaulted ceilings and multiple commercial-sized tax-free electricity-sucking air conditioners to house his worshippers on Sundays? Or maybe I should come up with the interpretation on my own. Look within my own soul, right? Maybe I see how commonly people get stoned for stupid stuff like eating shellfish or being gay or coveting the neighbors in the bible and decide that must be something I should practice in my own life and start chucking rocks at people that I feel aren't up to par with Christ's teachings.

I must also disagree with you about how no one is trying to control anyone with religion. How about all the Christian churches that rally support for the republican party? How about the push for religion in schools? It's so well established throughout history that religion has been used to control the masses that if I really have to site specific examples, the point is lost on you anyway. Hell, the point was lost on you long ago. Save it for the Sheeple in your Sunday service.

PeaceByJesus said...

The issue of the violence goes beyond what percentage it consist of in of in each respective authority, and much include interpretive factors.

In the the Old Testament, in which ordained violence was limited to a specific area and people, (Dt. 7:1; Ex. 17:16) and was preceded and accompanied by unmistakable supernatural Divine attestation, and under the [New Testament the church did not, in doctrine or in practice, seek to physically rule over those without: (1Cor. 5:12,13), nor use physical violence against them, or in disciplining its members, (Jn. 18:36; Eph. 6:12; 2Cor. 6:1-10; 10:3,4) as it must depend upon spiritual power.

In contrast, Muahhamad's exhortations to bloodshed know no dispensational boundaries, while his more moderate expressions occur in his pre-Medenic utterances, and as pointed out, such make up a more substantial part of the Qur'an.

In addition, the relatively brevity of the Qur'an (approx. 77,700 Arabic words according to one source versus 788,280 in the KJV, or
O.T.= 602,585; N.T. = 180,552 by another), and its lack of the manner of extensive historical narratives of the Bible, and other means of the context it provides for understanding its laws, renders the Qur'an more difficult to interpret, including physical rel. violence. At best it may restrict exhortations to physical violence to only defensive warfare, while at worse it offers support to an Osama Bin Laden type exegesis.

Moreover, the Qur'anic allusions to Biblical characters and events overall evidence that it depends upon the Bible. Muhammad himself is seen to uphold the Scriptures that existed then as Divinely inspired, both the Torah, (Sura 2:87) and the Psalms, (4:163) and the gospels, (Suras 3:3; 5:46; 68; 29:46).

However, the Qur'an critically contradicts the Bible, especially as concerns the person and work of Jesus Christ. This is likely due to Muhammad not being able read, as Islam states, and thus he would have relied upon the word of others (travelers, etc.) who were overall likely to be significantly Biblically illiterate. This would explain how Muhammad could be so confused as to believe such things as that the Christian Trinity consisted of God, Jesus and Mary,[(Sura 5:116-117) in addition to speaking numerous other contradictions. http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/#bible http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/JESUS.Vs.Muhammad.html

Islamic apologists recognize these contradictions, and charge that the Bible was tampered with, though the amount of alterations required to explain the Quranic deviations from Biblical text would require a radical amount of rewriting of the latter. However, no extant Biblical manuscript, from before the time of Muhammad or after him, agrees with the Quranic contradictions, though they conflate with the Bible today. Many Muslim apologists thus look to the Gospel of Barnabas for support, with its additional obvious anachronisms and historical errors (like sailing to Nazareth), it is believed by both Christian and secular scholars (and some Muslims such as Abbas el-Akkad) though any ancient manuscript evidence, with its additional obvious anachronisms and historical errors (like sailing to Nazareth), it is believed by both Christian and secular scholars (and some Muslims such as Abbas el-Akkad) to be a circa 14th century pseudepigraphical work.

marry said...

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Abdul Haq said...

PeaceByJesus...that reminds me of a joke. Several colonialists are taken prisoner by a primitive African tribe. Because the colonialists unknowingly trample a sacred site belonging to the tribe, the chief is called on to issue a punishment. He asks the first prisoner whether he prefers death or whether he prefers jeebus. The first prisoner says jeebus. So he is taken away to be given his punishment. The second prisoner approaches and and he is asked whether he prefers death or jeebus. The second prisoner says jeebus and he is taken away to be given his punishment. By this time the first prisoner can be heard screaming in agony from a distance. The third prisoner asks the interpreter "What is jeebus?" The interpreter says jeebus is the punishment by which you are fukked by a bull. The second prisoner approaches the chief and is asked the same question. He answers "death." The chief reflects on this for a moment and then he says, "Death by jeebus!"

Furthermore, you are full of shit. "In contrast, Muahhamad's exhortations to bloodshed know no dispensational boundaries." This statement is verifiably false if you only bothered to read all these passages in their context. For example, "And slay them wherever ye catch them" (2:191).

In context, the passage reads: "Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loves not transgressors. And kill them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for persecution and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, kill them. Such is the reward of those who reject faith. But if they cease, God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression. The prohibited month, for the prohibited month, and so for all things prohibited, there is the law of equality. If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress ye likewise against him. But fear (the punishment of) God, and know that God is with those who restrain themselves."

The Koran is actually quite even-handed in its treatment of the "enemy." Although, militant Islamic movements completely ignore Muhammad's proscriptions against bloodlust and egregious acts of violence, including the proscription against killing innocents, those who are not fighting you.

So, please go spew your misinformation on Jihad Watch. This site is not for the likes of you.

Cool site by the way. I have a lot to say on this subject and you may hear from me directly as I am planning my own blog on a related subject.

Marcelo said...

"What you're doing is basically known as proof-texting: taking a verse out of context and applying it to a teaching or meaning that the verse(s) were never intended to support."

Mark, that't actually what priests do. They try to hide the crazy stuff on the Bible and only talk about how God is good and loving.

Christians should know that God kills, torture, and orders others to kill and rape. It's written on the Holy Book.

Martin said...

"Muahhamad's exhortations to bloodshed know no dispensational boundaries"

abdul haq, you may ridicule that statement, but it's probably true. i once read in my collection of hadiths bukhari that muhammad ordered the killing of an old woman for insulting him ( or blind, or old and blind, i forgot, i havent read it in a long time ) . many others are also murdered, some of which are of no threat to him. many of muhammad actions are actually unprovoked, the attacks on wealthy merchants for example. he robbed them plain and simple. he also massacred entire tribes, unprovoked.

i dont think he's a nice guy

i wish people would just be peace-loving atheists. this religion thing is making people unproductive and spend time thinking and doing stupid things.

Dennis said...

Of course the Qur'an is a lot more violent than the Bible. Interestingly almost all of the violence described of in the Bible do not apply to Christians. They only applied to ancient Israel. While the Qur'an wants to be followed by all Muslims. Regardless of what era they live in.

You be the judge. Which religion spread through convincing and which spread through the sword? Christianity or Islam? Which one actually tells its adherents to go and kill? Islam does. Christianity always denies converting people by force. There have been a few people who have done that but they were mostly Catholics. Catholics are wrong anyway. We are actually talking about the Holy Books here. The Bible has its violent share. The reason for that is the immense sin of the Canaanites. God needed the Israelite nation to carry out his judgment. Not because he couldn't do it. He could do it but he wanted to see the faith of his people.

Abdul Haq said...

Dennis - Of course, the reason why the New Testament is not as violent is because it is a slave religion, born of a slave class of people living under Roman oppression. Jesus and his cohorts had no chance against the Romans, so peace was the only way to go. It's nothing mystical or special about the New Testament. It's all human, all too human.

Moreover, Protestants may have the most peaceful religion but they are by far the most violent people. WWI, WWII, and just about every major war since then has been fought by mostly Christians. The current wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan have killed more than half a million people, a good percentage of them innocent. So, to argue that Christians are somehow more peaceful that Muslims is just plain bullshit.

Chris said...

To those who have no particular 'faith', reading comments like these leaves us wondering what are these people on? We judge you based on what you do, not on what you say or say you believe. I give not tuppence whether you are Christian, Muslim, or some small furry creature from Apha Centauri, but I do care about how you treat your fellow man. Trying to justify any inhumanity by quoting your religious texts merely increases the disgust. As a Scholar, I know that I can manipulate almost any text to serve my purpose, and know that it is merely words, words, words. The sadness is that together, you have the ability to create a better world for everyone, yet you seem to choose not to.

The truth that you know in your heart and your head, that you need to treat others as you would wish to be treated, is ignored. We are all human. We laugh, we cry, we hurt, we die. As the great English playwright wrote "We are such stuff as dreams are made of, and our little lives are rounded with a sleep". What a piece of work is Man indeed. Have we learned nothing? Peace is achieved through tolerance. Regardless of what you believe, you have a choice. How you use that choice defines you and what you are, and thus you are judged.

If you say that your God will ensure your salvation if you are brutal, then I say shame on you and shame on him. You have nothing to offer mankind. Tell your God that he must reject such inhumanity and challange him to justify such commands. If he is a fair and just God, he will acknowledge that right and understand that your devotion is genuine and reverential. If not, then he is merely a God of pain and suffering with bankrupt morality who does not deserve to be honoured.

Peace and goodwill to ALL men.

Jared said...

The Shining example is perfect for the Bible, only talk about good things in Church. Like the movie clip and ignore the rest.

Global said...

"So, to argue that Christians are somehow more peaceful that Muslims is just plain bullshit."

Agree!

Both books are written by governments justifying mass land grabs thru genocide by "villifying" inhabitants of the land and resources they want under the guise of being "chosen people" because they have a bigger invisible friend (so they can deny accountably for their atrocities.

Opus Croakus said...

I am a fan of SAB and encourage you to keep up the good work and "fight the good fight" to qoute our less friendly counterparts.

I came up with an experiment after hearing many of my "peers" cite the violence in Islam in contrast with the percieved peace in Christianity. I think every one should do the experiment. I haven't tried it yet, but here's a link:

http://thecowardlyatheist.blogspot.com/2009/09/bible-or-quran.html

if anyone gives it a go, please let me know about it! I feel the problem is not what's in these books, but rather what their adherents don't seem to know what's in them.

Because of religious folks,I have no hope for humanity as we are all plainly mammals trying so desperately to convince ourselves otherwise.

sharing said...

Both Islamic and Christian follower and priest don't understand that both religions are not founded by god it is made by a single human that why these religions have the basic human error .objective of both religions might be positive or progressive at that time but these are out of date now because both religion have no method to correcting the error.that is the main reason both are related to forceful conversion or conversion by making fool or by offering bribe.It is as simple as eating cookies to understand that god is not unfair or biased , for him it doesn't matter whether a person is a muslim ,christian,or hindu. A person is the son of him and he is responsible for his survivals.and he is doing his duty without any mistake . but either we fight on the name of him,or killed others on the name of so called jihad or convert forcefully or by cheating or by offering bribe.

SD said...

Also we must remember the "violence" of the Old Testament is DESCRIPTIVE.

The hatred and violence in the qur'an is PRESCRIPTIVE.

That is a huge difference most people don't take into consideration.

Also the qur'an has what is known as abrogation which, in context, resulted after Muhammad was being made fun of for saying one thing and then saying something opposite later. Abrogation means to cancel out conflicting verses, such as the earlier peaceful verses.

Sura 2:106 of the qur'an deals with abrogation.

The later violent verses, cancel out the earlier peaceful verses.

Sura 9 was written last [some Islamic scholars will argue it was Sura 9 then Sura 110, but it makes no difference as 110 does not abrogate anything in Sura 9].

Sura 9 contains the prescriptions to slay non-muslims on an indefinite basis [9:5, 9:29].

Chouru said...

Let me pose a few points.

I've heard many "Christians" say stupid silly things like "This is the devil" or "That is the devil"... such as: ooooh magic. Witchcraft. Remember Salem?

Did not God create ALL things? Does the Devil have the power to CREATE ANYTHING? From what I understand, God created all things, and the Devil does not have the power to create anything.

Therefore, if these things that exist in our world were created by God, how can they be "the devil"?

If miracles of God are real, then how is magic not real? If prophets during an older age were seen as true messengers, then why, in modern times, are people labeled as mentally insane when they "see God" or "hear God"? Are they not then, the same people who "wrote" the books in the bible?! Can they be considered prophets?

Another point is this:

Numbers 31:14-18, as Steve Wells has mentioned before. I'm sorry, but killing ANY innocent man, woman, child, animal, or whatever is just plain cruel. I don't care what "context" it is in!

There is absolutely no justification for killing any innocent person. Throughout the Bible, such as when Joshua massacres seven kingdoms, there are numerous accounts of genocide in which innocent people are killed. In those times, an army did not slaughter everyone they conquered. If they didn't assimilate them, they enslaved them.

This means two things to me, either:

A. The Israelites and their "God" were just plain vicious, cruel barbarians
or
B. What actually happened was they did try to assimilate or enslave the people they conquered, and what was written down, that they massacred everyone, was false.

I'm not aiming to offend anyone here, but these are my personal observations. This just makes no sense at all, I don't care what "context" you are in, but the slaying of innocents is wrong! The judgments of worldly things created by God as "the devil" is just hypocritical.

These are rather specific examples. All in all what I'm trying to say is:

These religious texts make no sense at all. The "context" of violence, cruelty, rape, or any other atrocity can NEVER justify the act. Stop basing your faith on an ancient book that exalts characters who are basically criminals! Lot was not righteous. He lied (saying his two daughters were virgins, when a few passages later they have husbands), willingly gave his daughters up to a mob of rapists, then got drunk and impregnated those same daughters. I'm surprised the whole family didn't have some sort of genetic mutation caused by incest, or HIV/AIDS. Oh that's right, God must not have "created" those yet, like the Guinea Worms he created just to kill whining Israelites.

Use your damn BRAIN!

Chouru said...

One thing I noticed was the Quran is full of similar or exact passages, such as:

Those who disbelieve in the Hereafter will be tormented. 34:8
Those who disbelieve will have an awful doom. 35:7
Allah will burn the disbelievers in hell. 36:63-4
Those who disbelieve will burn in the Fire. 38:27

*took these from "Cruelty in the Quran" page*

Shouldn't these not count as new entries, since they are essentially the same thing? I found very few of this in the Bible; just retelling of the flood or sodomites.

If there are so many accounts in the Quran that are virtually the same saying, then those accounts should really be pooled and counted as just one passage.

It would be interesting to see if the Quran still has a higher percentage of violent passages than the Bible, after something like this was done. Of course, to be fair, one would have to do the same for the Bible.

What do you think?

GurtejArora said...

It doesn't matter what how much violence is in the books, it's how much violence has been caused over the books.

In my opinion, the Bible has led to more violence than any other religion. It's been used to justify the raping of cultures and peoples. Yes, the Qur'an has also led to violence, but not on the same scale as the Bible. I am a Sikh, and the Mughal(muslims) Empire savagely tried to put down my people for years, and we fought back. We were created as a warriors religion, and yet I still believe the Bible has led to more violence.

Yes, Islam does have misguided followers, who believe that killing is the answer, but that is a small minority.

Alright, lets look at modern times. A very small minority of muslims, in a group of 1.6 billion, agree with the Al Qaeda

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_terrorism#2008_.26_2009_Surveys_and_Polls

There are less than 1000 members of Al-Qaeda, which was a number in 2001. Outdated, I know, but thats all I have

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

The KKK, a white-christian anti-semite group in the U.S. has approximately 5000 members. At one point in the early-mid 1900's, it had 3-6 million.

http://www.adl.org/learn/ext_us/kkk/default.asp?LEARN_Cat=Extremism&LEARN_SubCat=Extremism_in_America&xpicked=4&item=kkk

I know what you're saying. "Wikipedia? Really?", but I checked out the sources. They seem legit.

Fat Bastard said...

Nicely done.

Which is more cruel, the OT or the NT?

דודשמש יםךא ךםהד עםג said...

So your whole claim here is that you are kinder than God.
And wiser and better.
Create a universe! And..then write your blogs condemning God.
Go on...go create a universe just by speaking it into existence. Then write a blog on it and condemn God.
Until then I cannot see you as anything but a dreamer.

Nancy Thompson said...

Excellent blog post and very thought provoking comments.

The Holy Quran said...

Along history,moslem never doing crucifying, even over people attacking Islam. So did the prophet. Moslem soldiers just fighted against them, not torturement, like Indian people fight against Colonialist. Naturally, people will defend from their attacker.

The fact, Jews had done that over Jesus.Serbian soldier genocide moslem bosnian.So, who is more violent???

By reading Quran a piece of piece, you never got the true meaning of Quran.

Surah 5:33 tells the punishment of God, not by human. And there is no doubt that God has a right to do that (of course if you believe of God). Every religion have the same believe that in the Hell, people suffer from The God Punishment.

Just read comprehensively Quran with The Multi Language Holy Quran : http://www.ziddu.com/download/11162756/TheMultiLanguageHolyQuran.exe.html

Besur said...

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion" said Prof Weinberg. I am glad there are about a billion atheists...

Risto said...

"But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

As I think it there is no need for religion. Common and vulgar greed is quite enough for good people to do evil things - and to find very good excuses for doing them.

gabriel said...

It's not every day you run across a blog that has carried on for 4 years and retains the relevance that this one has and always will. I am nowhere near an expert on the Koran nor will I ever be. I wouldn't claim to be an expert on the bible either but you don't have to be to be a Christian. A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ. His teachings were simple and so is the single most important message in the Bible. Through our belief in Him and our acceptance of him as our savior we are saved and granted eternal life.

Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek, forgive those who sin against us and to love and pray for our enemy. Hate groups such as the KKK do not represent any of the teachings of Jesus and wouldn't be able to find anything that Jesus taught us to justify their actions.

There was a posting that also insinuated that Christian missionaries are somehow violent and their mission is to indoctrinate others to force them to believe as they do. This simply isn't the case. The sole purpose of a true missionary is to lead people to Jesus Christ. You can't force someone to accept Christ as their savior. That's a personal decision that every person has to make on their own. Mission trips are done by showing love to strangers as Jesus taught us to do. Why wouldn't we want to spread the good news? There is an almighty creator and he loves you. So much in fact that he sent his own son to die for you. That is the message of the bible. It's about mercy and love. If all you're picking up on is the violence then you're missing the point.

Charlene said...

A key point missed in pointing out that violent acts are seen on CNN is that those violent acts are not condoned, whereas they are condoned, and encouraged in religious teachings.

Chuck R said...

Steve,

Ever since I read the Koran maybe 15 years ago, I've wondered how many times the phrase "lake of fire" is used. After a while, it's perpetual use got to me. Do you have a count on that?

Steve Wells said...

Chuck R,
I'm not sure about the phrase "lake of fire." It doesn't seem to be used in Pickthall's translation. But "the fire" occurs at least 140 times.

Chuck R said...

Steve,
Thanks for the incredibly fast response. The version I read was "The Meaning of the Glorious Koran" by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, Mentor/New American Library paperback, 15th printing. No date given.

After receiving your answer, I went back and thumbed thru it for a while. Then googled a bunch of sites including http://quran.com/ for the phrase "lake of fire" and sure enough, it doesn't appear. "The Fire", says that site, appears 157 times.

So this appears to be a case of memory shifting over time. "The Fire" became "lake of fire". It's very annoying when one's sense of certainty becomes transparently wrong.

Thanks for the correction, Steve.

Steve Wells said...

You're welcome, Chuck R.

BTW, the Bible mentions a lake of fire four times, all in Revelation (19:20; 20:10, 14, 15).

hasan said...

you can not judge a religion by it's radicals.
and in response to
Sharon said...
I have read both the BIBLE and the QURAN / KORAN. The violence in the two is EXTREMELY DIFFERENT.

The bible's violent passages are mostly in the telling of a story. Cain kills Abel, David slays Goliath. THEY ARE OVERWHELMINGLY STORIES OF HUMANS HARMING OTHER HUMANS. There isn't a general feeling of G*d condoning or ORDERING his followers to commit violence upon each other when you look at the overall book.

On the other hand, the passages in the Koran are often ORDERS FROM G*D TO HIS FOLLOWERS. They are clear cut, concise COMMANDMENTS TO KILL, SLAY, BURN, and/or DISMEMBER the unbelievers (non-Muslims) or those whom you percieve to have wronged and/or threaten you. This is ABSOLUTELY DIFFERENT from the Bible, it is in TOTAL OPPOSITION TO IT, especially the NEW TESTAMENT with it's overall message of turning the other cheek, of forgiving, of live-and-love-and-LET-live-and-love...

It is forbiden in Islam to slay a person unless an act of self-defense, or in war.
Islam forbids the slaying of the elderly, women, and children.

guineap1g said...

"It's about mercy and love. If all you're picking up on is the violence then you're missing the point."

Can you say that in Arabic?

An excellent article showing the violence inherent in both texts. Which is worse is irrelevant to the fact of the violence itself.

As has been mentioned, it is the "mercy and love" aspect that seems to be "picked up on" by most faithful who then ignore or blithely hand-wave away the naughty bits.

This often involves treating the Bible as two completely separate books rather than the two volumes of one it is. IIRC, the first volume is based on the Torah, no?

The happy 'The Shining' trailer is a good example of this behaviour - pulling out little snippets of these gruesome books to make them appear downright charming.

Take Deut. 28 - http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/dt/28.html

In a comment on Big Think, someone had listed a pile of nasty passages from the Bible including Deut. 28:53:

"And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee"

It was suggested I read the whole chapter because it's aboot what could happen to you if you become destitute.

If you read it, I think you'll see the above interpretation is rather broad since the chapter appears to be a primer on how to worship God - or else. One of the else's is being besieged by armies sent by God until you have to eat your children. Three quarters of the 68 verses are devoted to God botching the unbelievers.

Too literal an interpretation? That's what it says in semi-plain English. Why should I have to interpret what for centuries, and still to many today, is the word of the Creator of the Universe?

The Words of the Lord speak for themselves. Any interpretation is spin-doctoring because the interpreter wasn't around back then to know the authors and what they were thinking.

Fatman said...

Nice comparison, although I liked the Complete Table of Divine Homicide better :)

As seen above, however, this will not help asshats like "Mark" and a collection of illiterate individuals recognize the truth. They will continue to sip the Kool-Aid and utter empty statements like "yes, but you took it out of context" ad nauseam. He will write "misleading interpretation" and "proof-texting" (a new favourite of blind Bible-thumping idiots), without bothering to elaborate further. How could he? Close your eyes and mumble "it's not true" until it goes away - I think that's something that Christians and Muslims learn in Sunday school (is that Friday school in Islam? I wonder).

Your accurate analysis in fact proves the complete opposite - the Bible is full of examples of divine violence. The abundance of such references in this long and utterly boring text in fact PROVES that they have NOT been taken out of context. This entire long, boring text was created with the sole purpose of striking fear into the hearts of primitive folks.

The history of Christianity supports my claim 100%: this maniacal ideology has been responsible for countless violent deaths over the ages and the disappearance of entire civilizations. It has held the progress of the human race back by centuries (anyone heard of the Dark Ages?). There is no need to elaborate this further, much as one does not need to explain why the brain-child of Adolf Hitler was a "bad thing".

To another asshat who even used CAPS LOCK to underline his error: "proscribed" is not the word you're looking for... "prescribed" might be a better option. Your choice in fact means the opposite of "prescribed". But you don't know this, as the only book you have read is the Quran/Bible.

Another blog I'll be following with interest, good job and keep it up!

nothing said...

Many good points, here. But it all strikes me as an "angels dancing on heads of pins" exercise. Humans have evolved to require justification for killing those who are not members of the same tribe/religion/nation-state--part of having become a species that survives as much by social ties as by muscles or even technological know-how. What better way to justify eternal war than to state that a violent religion whose adherents are mandated by their sacred book to kill non-believers is an enemy of peace and tolerance? And justification--by which I mean rationalization--is all it ever can be, because humans are going to be killing one another more and more, as resources grow more scarce on this planet.

I appreciate what Steve appears to be trying to do, but you could cut the crap and you'd still get the same counter-argument from the well meaning people in both camps. The belligerent ones will never respond favourably to reason, regardless.

sharing said...

both are very violent the history of murder, rape, loot, destryig cities killing communities, are attached with both . and both preache intolrency and rigidity humanity does not need any of those

thirdworldcounty said...

A quantitative analysis of violent passages Bible Vs Koran is simply silly. If you want to take thye two and compare them, you must do so theologically and historically.

In the Bible, for example, the New Testament injunctions by Jesus, often beginning with "But I say unto you... " are generally followed by injunctions that abrogate the earlier, often violent, "Old Testament" commandments.

When asked to sum up the Law, Jesus, for example, Said,

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself." (Luke 10:27)

WHen npressed for a definition of "neighbor" by his legal questioners, thinking to limit its use to literal neighbors, fellow Jews, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan... who helped the mugged Jew on the road to Jericho.

Mohamed, on the other hand, never once defined "newighbor" so loosely. In fact, his later, Medinan, pronouncements abrogated ALL of his early "peaceful" Meccan pronouncements and stated clearly that ANYONE who did not submit to his view of religion and politics was an enemy to ALL Muslims and under a sentence of death, only to be deferred if the unbeliever submitted to Islam ic rule or the Muslim confronting the unbeliever were unable to advance Islam through the submission or death of the unbeliever.

It's all there is black letter Islamic law in the Koran.

Thus, anyone, at any time, who tries to justify mas murder, rape, pillage, torture and worse by claiming to do it in the name of Jesus is a liar, and pointing to the record of such liars as doing such things in the name of Christianity does nothing to bolster an arguer's case..

Conversely, anyone--ANYONE--who appeals to the words and deeds of Mohamed as justification for acts of mass murder, rape, pillage, torture and worse can do so quite legitimately. Pointing to a consistent pattern of abuse of persons throughout history by Muslims is simply noting that such abuse simply follows the specific injunctions and acts of its founder and final arbiter of truth, within Islam's worldview.

The contrast could not be more stark.

Richard said...

All three books (Koran, Talmud, Bible) are the idiotic, often barbaric, babble of irrational, illiterate, shepherds & goatherds from places in the Mid-East. Both books have been copied by hand for centuries, with small and large additions or subtractions made, depending on the goals of the scribe. It is ALL worthless trash except, unfortunately, as a means to explain a lot of really stupid human actions —from Halal to Fish on Fridays, circumcision (for both sexes) & particularly wars, torture.

More trivially, it also explains why academics dress like priests for graduation day, and judges do so. To impress the minions with appearances rather than content.

A pox on the lot.

Quranreading said...

Well Every book sent by GOD on His Beloved Prophets have message of love, freedom and peace in it . that's might be certain that Bible is not in it's original form it is changed by people of different ages to make their life more easier.
Quran is the last book sent by God on his last prophet to force the spread the truth.

Steve Wells said...

Quranreading,
Every book sent by GOD on His Beloved Prophets have message of love, freedom and peace in it.

Yeah, "And Moses was wroth with the officers ... And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? ... Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." Numbers 31:14-18

And "Those who make war upon Allah and His messenger .... will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom." Quran 5:33

Are both filled with lots of "love, freedom and peace."

But the question I asked in this post was, and still is, this:

Which is more violent, the Bible or the Quran?

Do you have an answer for that question, Quranreading?

Dan said...

Fantastic work Steve. Absolutely fantastic.

sharing said...

It is a useleass debate "Which is more violent, the Bible or the Quran?"
in fact all religeons are made by human. god did not send any angel or messanger to spread his so called light of knowledge.
it was an effective method to spread own view and to force the peoples to follow it. because these books are mainly consisted the ideology of one person. these books might be written by different peoples but the ideology behind the books belong to a single person. thats why it says to follow the guidelines strictly. and the punish ment which was suggested for non believers is the common thing between these books. It is the clearcut indication of its manmade tendency. because god cannot be cruel for its creation.so as per my view both books increased unharmony and enimity amongst the mankind.if christians believed in converting non believers into christianity, muslim believs to kill non believers. it is a unique similarity of nontolrence amongs the follower of these books. histoty witnessed the long crusade between them.the foolowers of both books destroyed the culture art and religeon which they invaded.so both books are equally violent in nature.

Markus Arelius said...

You gotta love the the excuses on display here today. It's all a huge misunderstanding, because Steve is extracting the wrong passages, taking the verses out of their "true context", oh, and the translations? They're wrong.

It's the 21st century and we have millions of persons praying to god and organizing their lives around these repulsive, misogynistic, capricious and violent texts, so I'm not surprised to read comments of persons glossing over and sugar coating these things. These are the same dolts who agree with the the 2nd and 7th century dogma that a young girl with an unbroken hymen should be stoned to death.
These texts are infallible.

I commend Steve for just telling it like it is. The excuses are really entertaining stuff.

Sarah said...

In the spirit of the pure essence of religion - kindness and love...

An amazing man spreading the faith in an unconventional way throughout New York City!

http://newyorkknowsbest.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/if-you-need-me-call-me-no-matter-where-you-are-no-matter-how-far/

This cab driver is a Pastor!
A great read!!!

DMartyr said...

I'm coming to the conversation a bit late, but I just wanted to comment about the exchange between Mark and Steve. Both make interesting points and it's refreshing to see commenters actually debating, rather than exchanging pointless rambling, diversions, or even childish insults.

I have been in many discussions with those who support and/or defend the quran, and I notice 'context' or translation accuracies only seem relevant with violent passages. Rarely, if ever, is context questioned with regard to apparently 'peaceful' or good verses.

For example, verse 5:32 - see that particular verse constantly being quoted to show a good quality of the quran. The verse:

"...Whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men; and certainly Our messengers came to them with clear arguments, but even after that many of them certainly act extravagantly in the land."

Unless one is familiar with the verse and the context, it sounds like good advice to follow. However, this verse is not for muslims to follow. It is addressing Jews.

Not only that, but many who use this verse to illustrate the quran's peacefulness gloss over that all important "unless it be... for mischief".

The penalty for 'mischief' is prescribed in the next verse, 5:33, which is quoted above in comments. 'Mischief' is defined in other places in the quran. Spreading disbelief (proselytizing other religions or criticizing islam) is considered 'mischief' (16:88). Again in verse 8:73 is disbelief defined as mischief. Verse 5:64 says that Jews are guilty of mischief for questioning allah.

So, in the context of verse 5:32, 5:33, and the quran's own definitions of 'mischief', I ask 'Mark' (if he's still around), and any others who care to comment, is it excessively cruel to crucify or amputate the limbs of someone simply for proselytizing or questioning islam?

Plus, one must understand the concept of abrogation. The New Testament fulfills the Old Testament, not really abrogates, but the violence described in the Old Testament is essentially ended with the New Testament, which guides followers to a new direction of peace.

The quran, on the other hand, specifically addresses abrogation:

"Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it." (verse 2:106)

In other words, if two quran verses seem to conflict with each other, the newer verse prevails.

So, in judging violence in the quran and the bible, I believe a better and more accurate comparison could be made if DIU compared the New Testament with the verses in the quran produced during muhammad's (later) Medina period.

Anyway, excellent post followed by excellent comments.

:)

Steve Wells said...

I believe a better and more accurate comparison could be made if DIU compared the New Testament with the verses in the quran produced during muhammad's (later) Medina period.

Thanks for the suggestion, DMartyr. That sounds like a great idea. I'll look into it.

a@sd said...

we muslim belive on torah , bible also
and our book quran say to belive on these books, but quran have all the knowledge which bible and torah , the evidence is
quran tell about jesus (mercy of god on him) mary (mercy of god on her) even about moses(mercy of god on him)
and these all are prophets of god to guide us,even you christan dont think that bible was reveal on jesus in jerushlam while quran was reveal in arab so how it tell about all prophets (jesus ,adam,moses etc!!)
today a special group (called them self Muslims) make violent in the world which basically a creation of jews .we have common enemy and they are "JEWS". they wnt to kill jesus (mercy of god on him)

John Smith said...

this is the original article that you distorted.

Dan said...

a@sd said...
we muslim belive on torah , bible also
and our book quran say to belive on these books, but quran have all the knowledge which bible and torah , the evidence is
quran tell about jesus (mercy of god on him) mary (mercy of god on her) even about moses(mercy of god on him)
and these all are prophets of god to guide us,even you christan dont think that bible was reveal on jesus in jerushlam while quran was reveal in arab so how it tell about all prophets (jesus ,adam,moses etc!!)
today a special group (called them self Muslims) make violent in the world which basically a creation of jews .we have common enemy and they are "JEWS". they wnt to kill jesus (mercy of god on him)

So if this is all the evidence for all the knowledge you claim to have, chill out… Go snorkeling and then sit under a palm tree and contemplate how fantastic life on this planet is. More then likely neither jesus (mercy of god on him) mary (mercy of god on her) even about moses(mercy of god on him) ever existed so you have no reason to hate Jews. That’s why living as a non-theist is so much easier- there is no one to hate and no one to blow yourself up over!

farzkhan351 said...

This is hilarious...So, all the violent verses in the Bible have to be understood in its proper context, and all the violent verses in the Quran are in the context of how the reader interprets it? Or how the media wants to interpret it? Or how the Islam-haters want to interpret it. Is that your way of fairness?

agyragobogar said...

"taken out of the context" is always a nice excuse when it comes to Bible verses that are not the "nice ones".
Here is a good example of this
http://youtu.be/PK7P7uZFf5o

archangelodiluce said...

It frustrates me to no end when uninformed Westerners draw comparisons between the Bible and the Koran to make some relativist claim about the values underlying the respective religions. When they do so, they reveal the limitations of their own perspectives, and a complete lack of appreciation for the meaning of Islam.

One cannot understand the Koran without reading the Hadiths and the Siyar. One can't appreciate Islam without studying its implementation through shari'a. Consistency in understanding Allah's will through Mohamed's example has been accomplished during 1300 years of religious decrees and a millennium worth of extensive analysis by Islamic jurists. With few exceptions in the majority Sunni world, the four schools of Madh'hab are in nearly universal agreement on the primary points of Islam. Fire-breathing clerics who daily exhort the Umma to emulate the prophet and conquer or slay the kuffar know Islam inside and out, run innumerable madrassas in which they train the faithful, and hold positions of authority at Al Azhar.

The Bible is not like the Koran, and the Koran is not the Islamic equivalent of the Bible. Believing that they are roughly equal for religious foundational purposes is a grave error regularly made by Westerners trying to bridge cultural gaps while burdened with overwhelming self-doubt.

I will not enter this argument because although it is important to understand why it is meaningless, it is itself a useless exercise. I've read every post on here and only a few demonstrate that their authors have taken the necessary steps toward toward cultural and literary enlightenment. As the source material is eminently available, I commend the rest of you to do the same.

archangelodiluce said...

It frustrates me to no end when uninformed Westerners draw comparisons between the Bible and the Koran to make some relativist claim about the values underlying the respective religions. When they do so, they reveal the limitations of their own perspectives, and a complete lack of appreciation for the meaning of Islam.

One cannot understand the Koran without reading the Hadiths and the Siyar. One can't appreciate Islam without studying its implementation through shari'a. Consistency in understanding Allah's will through Mohamed's example has been accomplished during 1300 years of religious decrees and a millennium worth of extensive analysis by Islamic jurists. With few exceptions in the majority Sunni world, the four schools of Madh'hab are in nearly universal agreement on the primary points of Islam. Fire-breathing clerics who daily exhort the Umma to emulate the prophet and conquer or slay the kuffar know Islam inside and out, run innumerable madrassas in which they train the faithful, and hold positions of authority at Al Azhar.

The Bible is not like the Koran, and the Koran is not the Islamic equivalent of the Bible. Believing that they are roughly equal for religious foundational purposes is a grave error regularly made by Westerners trying to bridge cultural gaps while burdened with overwhelming self-doubt.

With proper understanding, one realizes that this discussion is a useless exercise that ultimately only benefits the disciples of Hassan al-Banna. I've read every post on here and only a few demonstrate that their authors have taken the necessary steps toward toward cultural and literary enlightenment. As the source material is eminently available, I commend the rest of you to do the same.

Chuck R said...

Archangelodiluce,

1) Complaints about Christians' attitudes towards Islam should be posted elsewhere. Most of the people reading this blog are not religious. Christianity holds no more value to Atheists than does Islam, said value being next to nothing. Both are fairy tales invented by either delusional or well-meaning but ignorant people, and only children or childish people could believe them. The same, by the way, goes for Judaism, Hinduism, and the other organized and still-operating but archaic systems of mythology.

2). If one must read the Hadith & the Siyar, study shari'a and be fairly familiar with 1300 years of Islamic history in order to understand the Koran, then it wasn't written very well, was it? An intelligent 8-year old child - a mere mortal - could do better. Can't Allah express and explain "him"-self properly? We are mere mortals: why do we have to aid Allah with ancillary writings? Is "he" incapable of speaking clearly? If Allah needs all this help from humans to be understood, he's a bit of a bumbling fool, isn't he?

3). The koran may not be like or equivalent to the bible in any way, but that does not make it superior in any way, except to people who value one style of fairy-tale telling over another style. Both are works of fiction.

4). Self-doubt would do you a world of good. You express certainty and confidence where none is warranted, deserved nor earned. I have seen people leap to disaster with similar, utterly unwarranted, self-confidence.

5). You already entered this argument by making your posting. When one speaks and says, "I am not speaking," he both speaks and is in error.

Teaching of Islam said...

Islam is the greatest of the greatest Religion. There is peace in each verses of Quran, and the one who recites it, gets peace also. Quran is only a holy book, responsibility taken by ALLAH only, no one can change its verses and ALLAH says that "Is there any one in this world who dare to make a single word like Quran"? but till to day there is no one who can claim that he can make Quran type word nor any one would be able to do the same. We all know that there are many alteration in the bible, evidently we can say this because the bible of America is different and bible of uk is different. thereby when any christian goes to take a bible, he is being asked which country's bible who want to take.
but there is no any same case with Quran. ALLAH is One so the Quran.

Chuck R said...

To "Teaching of Islam", et. al.

If you find peace by reading the Koran, good for you. Such peace is within YOU, not the book. How long does it last? Five minutes? An hour? A day? Your whole life?

We can find peace or anger within nearly any writing because "peace" is a emotion already within us. Different things provoke different emotions in different people. The Koran works for you. For many people, the Bible works.

Any human writing may contain phrases that stir the human heart. That doesn't make them sacred or written by God/Allah.

I find both the Bible and Koran to be so filled with nonsense and untruth that both are useless to me. They are books written by primitives for gullible children. Flowery phrases and emotion-rousing passages may make for an appealing work of fiction, but that doesn't make them true.

kami said...

Steve,

The "cruel" verses are there for justice, you seem to want a religious book without any form of punishment for a bad deed. What would be the point then, everyone will just do bad and not believe in God. If you cant handle the punishment dont do the crime, simple.

waseem said...

5:33 The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter
The context of this verse itself will clear any negative perceptions against Islam. One cannot quote verse 5:33 without quoting verse 5:32 (prohibition of murder) and verse 5:34 (command to forgive). Let us examine the verse in its proper context:

5:32-34 ...If any one slew a person - unless it be as punishment for murder or for spreading corruption in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land. The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter; Except for those who repent before they fall into your power: in that case, know that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

There are several points to note here. The first is the gravity of the offense. This is punishment for WAGING WAR against the Prophet of God and spreading evil and destruction. In modern terminology this would be considered “terrorism”. This is a punishment for such a severe offense, hence the severity of the punishment. As Muhammad Asad writes on this verse:

The present participle la-musrifun indicates their “continuously committing excesses” (i.e., crimes), and is best rendered as “they go on committing” them. In view of the preceding passages, these “excesses” obviously refer to crimes of violence and, in particular, to the ruthless killing of human beings. (Asad, The Message of the Qur’an)
It is quite shocking to see how many Islam-haters will place this verse under the heading of “inciting Muslims to kill and wage war”, whereas the verse commands nothing of this sort! In fact, it comes directly after a verse prohibiting murder and likening the unjust murder of a single individual to the slaughter of humanity. The Qur’an purposefully describes the gravity of the sin before describing the punishment. The crime of murder and committing terrorist activities is regarded as such a severe violation in Islam, that a severe retribution has been prescribed. Waging war against God’s prophet is tantamount to waging war against Our Creator Himself. It is ironic that Islam-haters will present this verse to justify their claim that Islam supports terrorism, whereas Muslim scholars have always presented this verse as proof that Islam is vehemently opposed to terrorism.

waseem said...

5:33 The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter
The context of this verse itself will clear any negative perceptions against Islam. One cannot quote verse 5:33 without quoting verse 5:32 (prohibition of murder) and verse 5:34 (command to forgive). Let us examine the verse in its proper context:

5:32-34 ...If any one slew a person - unless it be as punishment for murder or for spreading corruption in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land. The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter; Except for those who repent before they fall into your power: in that case, know that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

There are several points to note here. The first is the gravity of the offense. This is punishment for WAGING WAR against the Prophet of God and spreading evil and destruction. In modern terminology this would be considered “terrorism”. This is a punishment for such a severe offense, hence the severity of the punishment. As Muhammad Asad writes on this verse:

The present participle la-musrifun indicates their “continuously committing excesses” (i.e., crimes), and is best rendered as “they go on committing” them. In view of the preceding passages, these “excesses” obviously refer to crimes of violence and, in particular, to the ruthless killing of human beings. (Asad, The Message of the Qur’an)
It is quite shocking to see how many Islam-haters will place this verse under the heading of “inciting Muslims to kill and wage war”, whereas the verse commands nothing of this sort! In fact, it comes directly after a verse prohibiting murder and likening the unjust murder of a single individual to the slaughter of humanity. The Qur’an purposefully describes the gravity of the sin before describing the punishment. The crime of murder and committing terrorist activities is regarded as such a severe violation in Islam, that a severe retribution has been prescribed. Waging war against God’s prophet is tantamount to waging war against Our Creator Himself. It is ironic that Islam-haters will present this verse to justify their claim that Islam supports terrorism, whereas Muslim scholars have always presented this verse as proof that Islam is vehemently opposed to terrorism.

Fahim kamran mirza said...

i would rather say that pin pointing the harch verces of any book would not be right and the verses should be read through the context not just the line we as a muslim should not do as the other do they pin point the verces of the quran to let people know that this is why we are terriest.... which is wrong if we do the same thing to them it will be wrong because we should talk about peace and should spread the word of Allah and in one case if they dont want to listen point the same thing then we can put it for an argument to let them go 1 foot back and come on coommon terms quran reading

The Simon Of Oz said...

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

Stephen Roberts

RossPoldark said...

Can any Muslim tell me about Taqiyya in the Quran? Can you tell us what Dhimma means in the Quran?
Can you tell me about Qur'an 5:51,9:5? How about Qu'ran 47:4. Oh, and then there is Qu'ran 2:256. Qu'ran 48:29. Qu'ran:9:29. Can you also tell me what najis is, and who or what is considered najis? These are just a few things I am trying to get a clear understanding on here. You can post your response here. I will come back and read, and also learn. Thank you.

ecks why said...

the islam koran is a guide to being a warlord...

Mohamhead was a 7th century murdering warlord who rose to power on a river of blood surrounded by thugs and gangsters using intimidation, violence, deception and trickery to expand their criminal empire while mercilessly suppressing and killing their opponents and enriching themselves on stolen booty.

The koran is a collection of sayings and speeches by this diabolical madman claiming divine guidance from some mythical sky-god which has inspired generations of crazed fanatics to abhorrent behavior resulting in historys worst ever crimes against humanity starting 1400 years ago and still continuing even today.

graphics version, great for emailing :)

http://img256.imageshack.us/img256/1479/dangermoko.jpg

Richard said...

There are far too many comments here for me to investigate. Of the top ones, there was discussion of context picking ("proof texting" is a narrower term).

What I did not see in Steve's work is any effort at distinguishing invocations to violence vs simple reporting of violence.

In my present view, the Quran is very explicit at invoking the use of violence in the present, whereas the Bible reports past violence. That is, the Quran is normative in intent, where as the Bible's intent is, in large part, historical reporting.

Children growing up with the Bible look on the past as horrific, and the present as Christian progress to a peaceful life. They also see their Christianity as a matter of their own choosing... the only threat they face is God's disapproval in purgatory.

Children growing up with the Quran look on the past as the source of Holy commands that were acted on then and must be acted upon now! These children learn that to be anything but Muslim means going to Hell fire, as well as to be a target for being murdered, or at least for double amputation.

Unknown said...

Too bad we can't all be atheist, and just commit murder without the need to justify ourselves.

Jon said...

If all of these religious texts were truly the word(s) of an omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent deity, wouldn't you think that the deity in question would have written the books in a way that made them:
1. very easy to understand for all,
2. utterly unambiguous, and, therefore,
in absolutely no need of any 'interpretation', whatsoever, and,
have included every possible eventuality knowing, as every good omniscient being would, that things like guns, nuclear weapons, steam engines, jet aircraft, space travel, and the internet were going to be around?

Of course, the real problem is that not one of these omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent deities has, in spite of their supposed supernatural powers, revealed themselves to the masses, only to certain selected individuals with no camera crews around.

The only logical conclusions to be drawn from the above are that:
a) Men wrote these incomprehensible religious texts for reasons of their own, mainly to provide themselves with the power and means to control the, then, uneducated and gullible masses, and were thus able to ‘interpret’ them for heir own gain;
b) The non-appearance of all these non-existent deities to the masses is excused by those of faith by them insisting one has to have faith and, as a result, obey the rules of a given faith – and give its clerics your money – in order to meet the relevant deity in some sort of 'afterlife'.

My question to my own conclusion b), above, is; why?

Placibo Var said...

I completely agree with Mark, the first commenter.

You take lots of things out of context. The ones you don't, you haven't looked into it deeper, as there are many rules that govern a law.

For example "have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off". There is a process governing that. It is not applied if someone steals out of hunger or poverty. If the item stolen was obviously left unguarded, like a car unlocked or keys in the ignition. There has to be sufficient evidence. There might be more to it. I'm not an expert in this field. All the laws are meant as a deterrent. It is not out of violence or malicious intent.

God in the Quran does not go into details there and left the Prophet pbuh to expound on it. I know the Quran is a miracle out of evidence thus I submit to it. Out of ignorance I'm not going to surf my delusion of grandeur.

I can say that putting someone is prison is even more violent. Taking away a persons freedom is worse than death. But then, some of them do deserve it.

Once again I reemphasize the first commenter's point.
It is misleading. If you were truly clever then you are malicious. But I don't think you are, just wanting to make a small buck of this.

Richard said...

Placibo Var, and Mark, both need to learn just what rationalization is.

Anyone who is honest, anyone, and who reads the Quran with the idea that it might provide any kind of enlightenment at all, would throw it in pig manure by the end of Surah 2. It is clumsy, hate filled, bigoted, racist, murderous, mind corrupting filth. The only reason to read further is as academic research.

It is completely medieval and offers nothing but intellectual stagnation for the true believer and for any culture dominated by true believers and timid moderates.

Jon said...

Comment Part 1 of 2
In all of this thread, I see – as I do so often – people saying that they believe in only one version of the 'revealed truth', almost exclusively having had no experience, knowledge or understanding of any of the hundreds of other 'revealed truths'.

But, for a bit of fun, let's look at reality. The overwhelming majority of those who profess a belief or faith can cite, with enthusiasm, precisely why each one of the hundreds of beliefs and faiths, other than his or her own, is wrong. All I ask is that, using exactly the same parameters of criticism, and adapting them to your own belief or faith, explain how it is any different to the ones you 'know' are wrong.

All believers are, in fact, atheists. They have absolutely no belief or faith in any of the religions in the world. Except their own. They will never believe in any other religion in the world unless they encounter compelling evidence that a religion other than their own is, in fact, true and, even then, the really truly true believer will discount such evidence, as they discount the undeniable fact that their is no rational evidence for their own belief.

A declared atheist is one who has succeeded in examining every religious faith or belief for indications that there is incontrovertible evidence that any of them stand up to scrutiny as being factual. If any religious belief or faith was found to be based on such evidence, any atheist would immediately alter their position. An atheist, then, believes in just one less faith or belief than believers do.

For example, there is incontrovertible evidence that the universe is 13.73 billion years old plus or minus 130 million years. (http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/uni_age.html) There is incontrovertible evidence that our solar system is around 4.5 billion years old (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/01/solar-system-age/) There is also incontrovertible evidence that the earliest bipedal ancestor of homo sapiens (us) walked the earth 5.2 million years ago (http://www.unisci.com/stories/20013/0712011.htm) and that the fist known evidence of our own, distinct, species is known to be 196,000 years old.

The above reflect our latest scientific knowledge, based on the latest independent research and using the latest, reliable, tested and peer reviewed scientific techniques.

When it comes to, say, the Bible, there are those who claim that the Bible clearly states that earth is 6,000 years old. Why? Well, it says so in the Bible. How is that incontrovertible evidence? Well, that's easy, the authors of the Bible wrote in the Bible that the book, the Bible, was really and truly the word of their god, that means that, because the people who wrote the Bible say that it is the word of their god, everything in the Bible is the word of their god and, since they also wrote in the Bible that god knows all, whatever the writers of the Bible wrote must be true.

Any rational person will immediately see that the only evidence that anything in the Bible is true is that the Bible says it's true. That lies so far beyond any rational examination that no rational person can possible accept it, only those who have been conditioned or indoctrinated to accept it... but, of course, none of the numerous other, similarly fantastical works of other faiths which, by the same logic that I have used above, must be wrong, can possibly be true, right?

Jon said...

Comment Part 2 of 2
By using the same logic that the earth is 6,000 years old, it can also be seen, in the Bible, that our planet, each, is a disc suspended between two bodies of water with a solid roof, held up by columns, that has tiny holes in it through which we can see light at night that we call 'stars'. It's true. It says so in the Bible. And, be advised, everything else in the Bible is exactly as true as earth being a flat disk, god said so... mind you, in recent times, after scientists like Galileo (excommunicated for suggesting that earth orbits the sun, rather than the other way round... as it says in the Bible, God's word) started to research the matter, believers started to 'interpret' the Bible, true word of God, to make God's words fit the reality, rather than, again, the other way round.

Anyway, keep on believing in your own 'revealed truths'. Hey, they must be true, your god says they are true... and don't listen to any of those other pesky false gods, even though their believers believe in them for exactly the same reasons that you believe in yours. You believe in the only really true 'revealed truth', it's all those other guys that wrong! Right?

By the way, I read, in a really old book, that there's a teapot orbiting the sun somewhere between Mars and Earth the guy who wrote the book says in the book that he had the truth of the teapot revealed to him. It seems that he was sitting in cave somewhere and, honestly, ithe truth about the teapot was just there, right in front of him!

Apparently, no one has ever actually seen the teapot and it's so small that it has no noticeable gravitational effect on the rest of the solar system, so even our very best technology cannot detect it. Anyway, it's true. It's really there. It says so in a really old book so I believe it and so should you, after all, it's entirely sensible and, when I go and see special people who really know a lot more about this teapot than I do, they tell me it's true over and over again. I even give them money so that they can spend all their time telling me and others about how true the teapot is. If you do not believe it, you prove it's not true. You have to prove to me that it's not true because that's how belief works, it's up to you to prove it's not true and, until you can prove that it's not true, you have to believe that it is true as well, like I do.

Richard said...

Jon, there is incontrovertible evidence that there is a Universe of material objects, acting according to certain Natural Laws mankind is steadily elucidating.

There is no rational justification for proving that something isn't... that is the Logical Fallacy of Proving a Negative. In many ways it it is a part of Karl Popper's messed up, but widely seen as profound in academia, view of scientific method.

Ayn Rand, if read with thoughtful care, contrary to her shallow detractors, spotted such errors and explained them in her non-fiction and touched on many in Atlas Shrugged. Sometimes she did so with a subtlety the detractors failed to notice.

Jon said...

A Comment on Richard's Previous Message

As a campaigning atheist living in Ireland, my concentration has been solely on the Bible, I have yet to investigate the Qur'an for myself. However, colleagues of mine, you, Richard, and the antics of fundamentalist Islamists, have reinforced my view that it is the avowed aim of fundamentalist Islamists to drag themselves, their followers and, indeed, the rest of the world, back to the 7th century when the Qur'an was written.

It seems to me that fundamentalist Christians in fact, fundamentalist religious zealots of all stripes, have the intent of dragging civilisation back to a state in which they can rule with an iron hand, murdering those who disagree with with their warped vision of how the world should be.

Having met quite a few Muslims, as opposed to Islamists, I have no doubt that, in a similar way to most Christians, Jews, atheists, etc., they are content to live in a world that embraces differences and where each can learn from and so gain from others.

You are, Richard, doubtless correct in your view of the Qur'an. It is my intent to become more knowledgeable about that particular book of fairy tales as I am doing with the fairy tale book the Bible.

It will also interest me to compare and contrast the weird and subjective interpretations of both, in particular the ahadith, to analyse, for example, why women, gays, transexuals – in fact anyone who does not comply with the bigoted, racist and intolerant chauvanistic and misogynistic 'values' of these interpretations – can be derived and why followers allow them to be applied against any possible logical analysis.

Ultimately, if people want to believe in fairies, Father Christmas, ghosts, gods or prophets, good luck to them. It won't do them much, if any, good but will harm their rational mental development and, thanks to the vicious religious hatred that exists, could well do them physical harm. The overriding proviso is, do not come near me with your simple, irrational, bogus nonsense that, if it ever belonged anywhere, it was in the archaic ignorance of times long past.

Richard said...

Jon:
Can't disagree with that!! Wouldn't want to spent a minute longer than is necessary to grasp the evil & to negate any supposed positive claims.

Moderate Muslims are wickedly guilty of failing to think... and of tacitly support Islamofascism - knowing it is as murderous & oppressive as any imaginary Satanism.

Jon said...

Richard,

I think it was Dawkins or, possibly, Sam Harris, that said that the 'moderate' believers – basically the ones who sit back and watch the violence be inflicted in the name of their religion – who are as much to blame as those who perpetrate the violence.

Whilst the 'moderates' are content to live their lives in a peaceful way, they acquiesce with the violence by doing nothing to take their religion back from the extremist fundamentalists. Perhaps, as you infer, they don't really want to.

The real blame, though, rests with governments, including the Irish government, that permit human rights abuses by permitting children below the age of reason to be indoctrinated by religious dogma which are, of course, only beliefs.

In Atheist Ireland (atheist.ie), we are attempting to at least have religious instruction banned from junior schools (age 5 to 13). The problem is then the previously brainwashed parents taking the kids to their churches to have them indoctrinated. Personally, I'd ban that, too, but you end up in a world of pain from parents demanding their human right to fill their kids' heads with religious mumbo jumbo and, in so doing, preventing their kids learning how to think instead of what to think.

It was definitely Sam Harris who said, when you hear on the news that a suicide bomber has blown himself and a bus full of people up, you don't ask what religion he was – we don't lie awake at night wondering what the Amish are going to do next.

Jon

Richard said...

I agree with you in every way, Jon, but one. Painful and wrong as it is to indoctrinate kids, freedom of speech & freedom of conscience specifically mean that no one can tell you or I what we may think constitutes parenting. This is why most countries limit parenting offenses to outright violence and/or failure to provide the basic necessities of life. It is a very slippery slope once on it!

Jon said...

Richard,

You are, of course, correct.

The campaign that we are running is for religious instruction/indoctrination/faith formation to be removed from schools and replaced by religious education.

Our idea of religious education is that it will educate kids about as many belief systems as possible along with non-belief. No individual system will be treated with any favouritism, none will be ridiculed and all will be taught properly, maybe even by scholars from the various religions... and Atheist Ireland, of course.

It is only because kids are indoctrinated into one belief that they end up believing in that, and only that, belief. If kids are properly exposed to a whole range of conflicting ideologies at school, especially in schools that have kids coming from homes that practice a range of different religions and none, I think the chances are that they may well start thinking the whole idea of religion is exactly what it is, unsubstantiated nonsense.

Jon

Jeremy said...

I did not have time to read this whole thing, but I did read the first 10 or so comments. It is therefore possible that what I have to say has already been addressed, but I do not know so I will go ahead and say it. It does not matter which of the two books contains more verses that are "cruel". It only matters which of the two is advocating it. If you read a history book, you will find gruesome accounts of world war 2, but that does not make the history book evil, it makes it accurate. If the history book advocates such action, then it is evil. That is the difference. The Bible chronicles the events, the Koran advocates them.

Brianjaf said...

I think this question is a paradox and a WRONG one.
I have ready Qur'an many times, also read parts of Bible and Book of Mormon.
As a matter of Fact one third of Koran/ Qur'an comes from Bible. Which shows the connection between two religions and their source as one source.
Few points to consider specially about Qur'an:
- Qur'an has come to be the Book for all aspects of life, Religions, warship, Ethics, politics, Peace, social life, sexology, diet, business...etc including war and peace times.
so, if a BOOK ( Qur'an) wants to be the book of life, guiding all aspects of life without limiting it ( except moral things) it should contain and address all parts of humanity including SEX which is included, also relationship between humans, cultures, states and entities which involve peace and war ( as a matter of reality) not as something being advocated by Qur'an or Bible.
- Things related to war are regulations of war, restrictions to make the war A JUST war, nothing else.
It has in it, you shall not cut trees, kill unarmed people, worshipers in their temples or churches, children, women, animals, you shall not attack, you shall extend hand for peace unless the other side attacks, even when they attack you should not react with bigger or exaggerated force.

- It is clear that those CALLED/ SEEMINGLY quoted verses from Qur'an, not only out of text but ALSO played with
look at this link for the translations and you see how this fellow has intentionally or unintentionally played with verses in addition to taking them out of their context.

http://quran.ksu.edu.sa/index.php#aya=2_6&qaree=Abdurrahmaan_As-Sudais_64kbps&trans=en_sh

- last point is that both Bible and Qur'an contain warnings and threats for disbelievers in the day of judgement or resurrection. That is something between unbelievers and GOD, and its the right of GOD to forgive them ( as he is the most merciful) or punish them as they deserve( since they have been warned by GOD , his messengers and his BOOKS.
and for those who have not had the chance to meet, know, hear or learn about any of those warnings, rules would be different and GOD is much more merciful than our own MOM.
so, do not never ever ever think that there is a way for YOU or anyone else to be more MERCIFUL than GOD.
All the mercy we see from MOM, animals and other beings is only one drop from the ocean of mercy of GOD.
as prophet Muhammad says: all the mercy you see from mom to their kids, animals to their babies and in humanity at all, is only 1% of God`s mercy, he has kept the 99% of the mercy for the day of reckoning, resurrection or judgment.. So why should I worry?

Richard said...

Branjaf has apparently commented without reading the comments. If he has read the comments, he is being dishonest.

If he has read the Quran, as he says he has, he read it to glean justifications for Islam, as an Islamist sympathizer. No rational person can escape the misogyny, racism and nihilism of Surah 2, without some such motive. "Nazi sympathizers" did much the same thing: "Look how Hitler improved the German economy, made Germans strong and proud again."

Except the Nazis did not have the ruse of religious belief for their views. Worse, the voting support for Nazism was about 17 million. A PEW poll learned that one third of Muslims south and east of the Mediterranean ardently supported the killing of Americans and Jews. That is not 17 million, it is ~400 million. That Muslims use different language for their obvious beliefs and actions does not change the nature of those beliefs and actions, as sympathizers seem to recurrently & naively(?) believe.

Richard said...

The numbers below, for such vicious views, are not a matter of incidental, misguided thinkers in a large population. Nor are they a function of a few individuals who have 'hijacked' a great religion. They are a function of a concerted, dominant, philosophical view: in this case it is Islam. Islam's guidebook, & the source of their view, is The Quran.

Pew Survey of Muslim countries, (pdf p5) July 2007. There was some improvement by 2007, but the poll needs to be repeated, in light of the Arab 'Spring', actually a 'Fall' wherein Islamism is gaining political power.

Support the suicide bombing of civilians:
2002
74 % of Lebanese
47 % of Nigerians
44 % of Bangladeshis
43 % of Jordanians
33 % of Pakistanis

2007:
42 % of Nigerians
34 % of Lebanese
23 % of Jordanians
20 % of Bangladeshis
9 % of Pakistanis
8 % of Egyptians

Support Bin Laden killing Americans:
2003
72 % of Palestinians
59 % of Indonesians
56 % of Jordanians
46 % of Pakistanis
20 % of Lebanese

2007
57 % of Palestinians
41 % of Indonesians
38 % of Pakistanis
20 % of Jordanians
1 % of Lebanese

Islam is more evil than Nazism.

J. Kern said...

"Actually, the Bible pretty much teaches that bad things happen to people only because they've made a choice to separate themselves from God. Or, if they are a follower of God, that they've probably got some sin to get rid of in their life...or just need to be tested to be sure they'll stick around."

So, essentially, what you are saying is that god sometimes makes bad things happen to his followers in order to test whether they'd 'stick around'.

I don't get how that is not an outrage to people. Doing something like that to a person is considered unhealty, mentally unstable behaviour in a human being and a sure sign of majorinsecurity issues. But somehow, for god, it's ok to do that? No offense, but I seriously don't understand that people don't find stuff like this completely twisted.

Richard said...

J.Kern — exactly.
"stuff like this completely twisted"

It is deeply irrational, but most people were raised where the broad ideas in their lives were completely irrational, so they can actually move from one religion to another and think they are choosing a better way. To all such people, the unthinkable is the atheist.

Yet only atheism makes any sense at all. However, atheism by itself is terrible, if it is presumed to mean there are no moral principles. Ayn Rand presented the first rational, atheist moral system. Basically she proved it to be incontrovertible.

show83time said...

Two points I'd like to make: (1) great blog and great discussion in the comment boards, (2) isn't atheism just as dogmatic as religious fanaticism? In science one doesn't completely deny the existence of something else based on a lack of observable evidence. We couldn't observe cells for most of human existence, but would anyone say they didn't exist before the microscope? Of course not. Who knows what the future holds. The prudent scientist adheres to a system of skepticism: we cannot be for sure one way or the other (or perhaps more precisely "we cannot know if we know")

Richard said...

Re show83time

You have struck two related, but difficult to dissect, issues. First, scientific skepticism entails considering alternative explanations for apparent facts before considering an explanation to be true. Philosophical Skepticism holds that mankind can never achieve certainty with respect to the possible. The former is rational, the latter is widespread but irrational. Yet many academic scientists accept that nothing should be rejected unless proven otherwise, very much thanks to Karl Popper. This open ended acceptance of anything as possible is no justification for Gods.

Does that mean there really could be a Flying Spaghetti Monster?

Karl Popper gives precedence to such arbitrary ideas over certain facts.

The following covers both positions and two stages in between. It helps to begin with the certain, to make the irrationality of the arbitrary more evident:

#1 Some things are absolutely certain.
E.g. that you exist is a fact of which I am absolutely certain!
In the very act of denying that statement, the speaker accepts that the statement exists, that there is an audience for his denial, that he & his thoughts exist by his acting upon it!

Many other things are absolutely certain, such as the fact that you commented on this blog, are human, breathe air for oxygen, and so on.

#2 Probable ideas are undemonstrated facts.
E.g. it is probable that there are thousands of unidentified species of fish in the oceans.

Facts about species identification, particularly in the oceans, include the fact that the species identification process has not been exhausted because a massive portion (73%) of the Earth's surface is oceanic and the waters beneath simply cannot be fully explored, seived, for every species. We may be certain that there is one unidentified species of fish, and probable that there are thousands. That new species continue to be discovered, even only weeks ago, constitutes evidence.

Things that are probable, are mainly interpolations of facts and natural laws that are known, and are natural, logical, applications of those facts.

#3 Possible ideas are extensions of facts into the unknown.
E.g. Planets in other solar systems may be suitable for supporting life.

Possible is similar to probable, but now the argument is without evidence, and is very much by extrapolation from known facts. It is not a strong position, it does not violate known fact, but it is not a truth.

#4 Arbitrary ideas have no supporting facts or evidence.
E.g. Intelligent alien beings from other galaxies are flying across millions of light years of space and are living among us.
No known facts support such travel, the existence of living organisms 'out there' let alone sentient organisms. It is all imaginary.

Gods, as defined by religious belief (supernatural, creating the universe, omnipotent, omniscient etc etc.) are utterly arbitrary claims that violate all known fact. Any claim of their existence is irrational &/or delusional. Those who accept the arbitrary on principle, "God has not been disproven", want to keep one foot in reality and one foot in the arbitrary. Their position actually denies reality & reason by allowing for unreality & unreason! Such is agnosticism.

Atheism is not dogmatic, it just rejects gods. Its only morality is that one's mind and life is not made for dwelling on and living according to, the arbitrary. Unfortunately, atheism offers no thorough epistemological, ethical or political principles. (Without such principles, it is true that many atheists —such as communists— hold their atheism in a dogmatic fashion.) The only atheist to establish such principles is Ayn Rand. In doing so she has been widely and unjustly vilified by those seeking to protect their arbitrary beliefs (that criticism applies to Leftists too).

cont'd

Richard said...

Returning to science:
The prudent scientist accepts the facts of reality within the context upon which they are understood. As those facts mount, and integrate one with all the others, he finds he can logically structure them into a new natural principle or law. He probes outside that context, sometimes making considerable logical leaps which may be proven false.

The Wright brothers learned to integrate weight, lift, drag, roll, pitch, yaw in developing powered flight. As they proceeded, they accepted many facts of reality as being absolute. Their rules for flight in the rarified atmosphere of very high altitudes does not work, especially for helicopters, but that does not mean their scientific facts were false in any way. Within their context, those facts were and are absolute. The same is true with respect to Newton's Laws, despite claims that Einstein proved them wrong.

Jon said...

When I look at the contention that “We couldn't observe cells for most of human existence, but would anyone say they didn't exist before the microscope?”, my answer is that I don’t know. Is there any evidence of someone saying, randomly, that “cells don’t exist” before the invention of the microscope? Did a scientist posit the theory that cells do exist before the invention of the microscope and was challenged to prove this and, so, he or she invented the microscope? Or, perhaps, cells were discovered whilst something else was being researched, I can’t remember.

Randomly stating that ‘there is a god’ is an interesting start to a scientific debate. If a scientist made such a statement, he would, of course, be expected to provide evidence for such an outrageous claim. His evidence would be subjected to scrutiny by his peers and his experiments and observations repeated to ensure the same results were achieved. If the conclusion of these experiments was that there is, indeed evidence that ‘there is a god’, it would become an accepted theory, a theory I would accept, by the way.

On the other hand, randomly stating that ‘there is a god’ and then managing to convince others, by whatever non-scientific methods one chooses, to agree that ‘there is a god’ does not prove the existence of a god, all it proves is that some people are capable of convincing others that what they say is ‘true’.

By the way, I have a theory that everyone in the world should give me fifty dollars. I know I can’t prove the theory, but I’m hoping that, maybe, I can convince about a fifth of the population of the planet to believe that my theory is true. Don’t knock it, it worked for the Catholics, have you seen the obscene wealth in the Vatican?


Finally, just a couple of points raised by Richard.

To be honest, my view on extra-terrestrial life is that it is probable, rather than possible. I’ve held that view for as long as I can remember because I think that it is highly improbable that, around the billions of stars in each of the billions of galaxies in the known universe, there are not more instances of the requirements for the sustainment of life having occurred than just ours. I suppose I’m cheating because a planet meeting the specifications, Kepler 22b, was discovered only a couple of months ago. This discovery, I believe, should see the existence extra-terrestrial life moving from the possible colum to the probable column for more people than me.

The other matter that I have to mention is the use of the phrase ‘natural law’ Until a couple of years ago, I would probably have used ‘natural law’ and ‘laws of nature’ interchangeably. Since then, I have studied jurisprudence for my law degree. Like so many other aspects of the natural world, the religious – St. Thomas Aquinas, to name but one – have hijacked the phrase to describe the natural order of the universe... derived from his god. Sure, other, secular, jurists use the phrase ‘natural law’ in the way that you did but, to me, ‘natural law’ will forever be contaminated by the disease of religion so, when I refer to the ‘laws of nature’, if shall use the term ‘laws of nature’ or, even better, the ‘laws of physics.

Jon
(Ends)

pelayar dunia said...

Too much misconception in Islam, perhaps admin should learn how to read & learn the quran with the right person, u cannot read the quran without any basis of knowledge on the religion.Quran is not same like newspaper that u read daily, it more than that.Quran very special and unique, it store a lot of konwledge including huminity, history, future, science and more. However, people will speak how much knowledge in their mind, but open ur heart to know more on Islam. Find the knowledge with truth & justify it.A person's greatest asset is his heart.

If you don't know the purpose of life, then you don't have a life

Wherever his heart takes him, so goes his life...in this world and the hereafter.

"Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to mankind." (Bukhari)

Richard said...

pelayar dunia,

I do not know how much you have read of the comments here. Your reply ignores the very many truths they have brought forth, and as if to shut them out, blandly announces that it is "too much misconception".

Admin admits not having read the Quran, but at least one principle is inescapable: an ominiscient, omnipotent & omnipresent Being, and creator of the Universe whether you call It Jehovah, Allah, or God (JAG), is a self-contradicting impossibility.

Most religions have vicious & anti-human-life elements. The first of these elements is to blindly accept the claims of the religion. That is, they demand one give up the amazing capacity of humans to use conceptual thought & reason, for the purpose of living happily and peacefully. (Most large scale violence across history revolves around religion and irrational government). This blind acceptance begins with the idea of accepting JAG, and then heaps in various practices and morals. Some practices and morals make sense but others, to repeat, are vicious and anti-human-life.

Religious leadership brings a kind of power to the leaders: a control over the spirit of others. The anti-reason elements of religion are essential to them, so that they can maintain their leadership. Part of that maintenance includes omitting, minimizing or disregarding that which might call the religion into question. As centuries pass, even the Holy Books (being composed by humans in the first place) are edited, bit by bit, to suit each new era. This use of "taqiyya" keeps the support of 'moderate' Muslims', as 'useful idiots', in promoting the religion as one of peace and beauty. To the contrary. Islam, at it's core (i.e. Quran), is perhaps the worst most hate-filled, ugly, & mind-numbing of the major religions. It certainly is not the religion of peace! There are 109 verses in the Quran that call for Muslims to war against non-believers. "Some are graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers" etc. "Muslims who do not join in the fight are considered hypocrites by many imams, and radical imams consider these Muslims to be unbelievers (because they do not take the Quran, Allahs Words, literally)!

Saud Shahid said...

Some critics of Islam carelessly quote the following verse to illustrate Islam's aggressiveness:

And slay them wherever ye catch them.... (2:191)

However, the full quotation is:

Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. But if they cease, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (2:190-192)

Can anyone still justify what they "interpret" as Jihad. For Muslims, the word Jihad is not fighting, it's "fighting back".


And Muslims don't hate people from other religions, they do NOT promote violence. Here is a complete Surah from the Qura'an:

Say: O ye that reject Faith! I worship not that which ye worship, nor will ye worship that which I worship. And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, nor will ye worship that which I worship. To you be your Way, and to me mine. (109:1-6)

Do you really think Muslims, who are so firm in Faith, would differ from the words of the Qura'an. If you don't think this is right, go check the verse out yourself. Surah 109, Qura'an.

Jon said...

Part 1

Saud. I honestly believe that your's is the first coherent comment from someone who 'defends' the Qur'an that I have ever read, and I've read a lot.

I see your location is Pakistan and so I assume (perhaps incorrectly?) that you were told that you were a Muslim as far back as you can remember and that you have probably believed that ever since. This is, of course, why anybody has any specific religion at all, with the exception of a very small minority of people who switch from one set of beliefs to another.

I am very happy to say that I am an atheist. I was born and brought up in England and religion wasn't something that was rammed down your throat at school so, I guess because my parents were not churchgoers, I never got infected by any religious beliefs. I say 'infected' because I honestly believe that is what all religious people are. I notice that you list amongst your favourite books "Generally anything I can find". I'm not sure how censorship works in Pakistan (no religion should be so weak as to ban books) but, if you can, try to get hold of and read 'The God Virus' by Darrel Ray and 'Why We Believe in God(s)' by J. Anderson Thomson. I believe that you would find them extremely illuminating.

As to out-of-context quote mining, you are of course correct. However, whilst I am reasonably conversant with Biblical violence (the Judeo-Christian God certainly did a lot of smiting!) I am less familiar with the Qur'an.

I think that it is fair to say, though, that there is evidence of not only violence being committed and threatened but also exhortations to violence in both the Bible and the Qur'an. A good place to check out this kind of material is at http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/ which analyses the Bible, the Qur'an and the Book of Mormon under a number of different categories.

As Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg said, "Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes Religion."

And perhaps that is the crux of the issue. To me, all religions are equally invalid. I have observed that religious people seem to have varying strengths of, for want of a better word, 'faith'. I suppose liberal or moderate could be used to describe those who don't take their religious beliefs too seriously and fundamentalist or extremist could be used to describe those at the other extreme. These terms, by the way, are applicable to all religions in varying degrees.

The question as to whether one religious text is more or less “violent” than another is both absurd and irrelevant. In my 59 years on earth, I have never encountered a “violent” book. I’ve had a few fall on my head, I’ve dropped a few on my feet but I can honestly say that no book has ever displayed any aggression towards me or deliberately inflicted injury on me. As to whether the contents of a book are “violent”, I do not see what that has to do with anything.

Jon said...

Part 1

Saud. I honestly believe that your's is the first coherent comment from someone who 'defends' the Qur'an that I have ever read, and I've read a lot.

I see your location is Pakistan and so I assume (perhaps incorrectly?) that you were told that you were a Muslim as far back as you can remember and that you have probably believed that ever since. This is, of course, why anybody has any specific religion at all, with the exception of a very small minority of people who switch from one set of beliefs to another.

I am very happy to say that I am an atheist. I was born and brought up in England and religion wasn't something that was rammed down your throat at school so, I guess because my parents were not churchgoers, I never got infected by any religious beliefs. I say 'infected' because I honestly believe that is what all religious people are. I notice that you list amongst your favourite books "Generally anything I can find". I'm not sure how censorship works in Pakistan (no religion should be so weak as to ban books) but, if you can, try to get hold of and read 'The God Virus' by Darrel Ray and 'Why We Believe in God(s)' by J. Anderson Thomson. I believe that you would find them extremely illuminating.

As to out-of-context quote mining, you are of course correct. However, whilst I am reasonably conversant with Biblical violence (the Judeo-Christian God certainly did a lot of smiting!) I am less familiar with the Qur'an.

I think that it is fair to say, though, that there is evidence of not only violence being committed and threatened but also exhortations to violence in both the Bible and the Qur'an. A good place to check out this kind of material is at http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/ which analyses the Bible, the Qur'an and the Book of Mormon under a number of different categories.

As Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg said, "Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes Religion."

And perhaps that is the crux of the issue. To me, all religions are equally invalid. I have observed that religious people seem to have varying strengths of, for want of a better word, 'faith'. I suppose liberal or moderate could be used to describe those who don't take their religious beliefs too seriously and fundamentalist or extremist could be used to describe those at the other extreme. These terms, by the way, are applicable to all religions in varying degrees.

The question as to whether one religious text is more or less “violent” than another is both absurd and irrelevant. In my 59 years on earth, I have never encountered a “violent” book. I’ve had a few fall on my head, I’ve dropped a few on my feet but I can honestly say that no book has ever displayed any aggression towards me or deliberately inflicted injury on me. As to whether the contents of a book are “violent”, I do not see what that has to do with anything.

Jon said...

Part 2

The problem, as I see it, is how much any individual is influenced by what they read or, more accurately, what they are told by others is the interpretation of what they have read.

It seems to me, from what you have written, that you would be unlikely to pick up a Qur’an and decide that it tells you that everyone who is not a Muslim belonging to your own particular sect must die and that you must be one of those doing the killing. It also seems to me that you would not particularly welcome a nuclear holocaust destroying the planet on the basis of the ‘fact’ that all non-believers will suffer for eternity but you, because you happened to pick(?) the right sect of the right religion will be luxuriating in paradise for eternity. These thoughts are not specific to one religion. To be honest, I was probably more terrified by Sarah Palin saying that she would have no problem with pressing the nuclear button than any Muslim threatening a nuclear holocaust. Right now, the highest probability of a fundamentalist, extremist religionist getting control of a nuclear arsenal – and taking actions that would prompt a war – is in the good old USA.

So, I hope that we can agree that it is not a ‘battle’ between religions as to whose religious text has more violence in it than another (that is, frankly, no more valid than religionists arguing whose imaginary god is the best) that is the problem with, well, religion, it is what those who have ‘got’ religion do about what is written in their own god-dictated book.

I hope that you can agree that there are many people who interpret their religious texts in such a way that they believe that their god is telling them to fight and kill – in a very peaceful way, of course. I would even go so far as to say that even if there were no religion on the planet, groups of people would collect together and find something to fight over with others. In fact, Jonathan Swift, in his brilliant satirical parody, ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, told the tale of the ‘Big-endians’ and the ‘Little-endians’ who fought a civil over which end of a boiled egg should be broken.

Of course, if you want to read the real truth of how the universe was created, why we are here and what we should do while we are alive on this planet you should read… an awful lot more than one book!

It was a genuine pleasure reading your comment. I assume that English is not your first language but I can assure you that your comment is in degrees of magnitude in advance of what any American fundamentalist/creationist could write. In fact, the only part that I could not understand is where you said, ‘Can anyone still justify what they "interpret" as Jihad’. Although I think what you were saying is that Islam teaches that Muslims should defend themselves but not strike first and that the correct translation of Jihad is ‘to fight back’.

Richard said...

Saud, I agree with Jon, with respect to the clarity of your comment. (I also agree over the universal wrongness of religious belief... & hold reason & a rational morality are the only proper guide to Life).

With the particular quotation you discuss, you are correct, however there are other "slay the unbeliever" verses in the Qur'an that do not have the qualifying context you have pointed out.

Why did you pick that one example? The most decent reason would be that you really believe that that one verse is characteristic of the Qur'an. (But it is not.)

Alternatively, under taqiyya your choice of that particular verse would be to deceive infidels (who do not know the Qur'an) until we are powerless to resist the Islamic jizya & complete dhimmitude (on pain of death).

This latter point is the purpose behind this sentence, in your quotation, "Such is the reward of those who suppress faith." Fitna (conflict in faith) is caused by all who do not worship Allah. Thus the verse is not as benign as you might think. Islam cannot rest until non-Muslims are converted or eliminated

I stick to my earlier point, contrary to Jon,
— that the Bible describes violence in the Judeo-Christian past while objecting to it for the present,
— whereas the Qur'an advocates violence as a solution, for what it views as moral transgression, in the present.

Unknown said...

You've made a quantitative comparison, which assuming that the counts are correct, it

gives a comparison btw the 2 books.

There's an intensity or extensity factor which is hard to consider, like the length of the

passages, and the intensity (rating) of the violence.

But there's a crucial factor that those numbers don't account for. 1) Who enacts or is

encouraged to enact the violence? 2) Who are the victim or intended victims of the

violence? 3) I the violence focused in time, targets, and place? 4) What is the rationale

for the violence?

B/c the numbers don't show the level of violence qualitatively btw the 2 books. Let's look

at the points 1 to 4:

1) Who enacts or is encouraged to enact the violence? It's not the same a passage that

says that God was angry and punished someone violently, than one that encourages men to

act violently.
Ex: The LORD is a man of war. Exodus 15:3 In this quotation there's no exhortation to

believers to act violently.
Fight in the way of Allah. Quran 2:244 is an exhortation open in time, targets, etc.

2) Who are the victim or intended victims of the violence? It's not the same a violent

passage that narrates something that happened to some people or followers of an ideology

or race that's now extinct, than a writing that encourages violence against people, races

or followers of an ideology that exists today.
Ex: let's say the Bible when some town is destroyed is not the same than Koran 5:33:

talking about infidels "... crucify them or cut off hand & foot from opposite sides..."

this is an ongoing command that incites violence not one occurrence in time, but ongoing

timeless violence on billions of people who aren't Muslims.

3) Is the violence focused in time, targets, and place? It's not the same violence that is

focused to a certain relatively small group of people, that happened in a brief period of

time, in a specific place, than ongoing violence over long periods of time, on abroad

population of targets, all overa continent or the globe. In this aspect the Koran and

other books the Hadith & the Sira are much more violent than the Boible.

4) What is the rationale for the violence? All violence is not equally justified. It's not

the same trying to reconquer lans that has been taken from you than to kill people just

b/c they don't agree with you.

Finally, there's a crucial point here, and it's that only b/c a book says you have to do

something, that doesn't justify that you actually have to do it. I don't see any

Christians killing whole villages, or smashing the skulls of babies against stones in any

river or anything like that. But on the Muslim side, there's been ongoing violence for

centuries. They're actually acting on the Koran's violence, and that makes a huge difference.

Unknown said...

You've made a quantitative comparison, which assuming that the counts are correct, it gives a comparison btw the 2 books.

There's an intensity or extensity factor which is hard to consider, like the length of the passages, and the intensity (rating) of the violence.

But there's a crucial factor that those numbers don't account for. 1) Who enacts or is encouraged to enact the violence? 2) Who are the victim or intended victims of the violence? 3) I the violence focused in time, targets, and place? 4) What is the rationale for the violence?

B/c the numbers don't show the level of violence qualitatively btw the 2 books. Let's look at the points 1 to 4:

1) Who enacts or is encouraged to enact the violence? It's not the same a passage that says that God was angry and punished someone violently, than one that encourages men to act violently.
Ex: The LORD is a man of war. Exodus 15:3 In this quotation there's no exhortation to
believers to act violently.
Fight in the way of Allah. Quran 2:244 is an exhortation open in time, targets, etc.

2) Who are the victim or intended victims of the violence? It's not the same a violent passage that narrates something that happened to some people or followers of an ideology or race that's now extinct, than a writing that encourages violence against people, races or followers of an ideology that exists today.
Ex: let's say the Bible when some town is destroyed is not the same than Koran 5:33: talking about infidels "... crucify them or cut off hand & foot from opposite sides..."
this is an ongoing command that incites violence not one occurrence in time, but ongoing timeless violence on billions of people who aren't Muslims.

3) Is the violence focused in time, targets, and place? It's not the same violence that is focused to a certain relatively small group of people, that happened in a brief period of time, in a specific place, than ongoing violence over long periods of time, on a broad population of targets, all overa continent or the globe. In this aspect the Koran and other books the Hadith & the Sira are much more violent than the Boible.

4) What is the rationale for the violence? All violence is not equally justified. It's not the same trying to reconquer lans that has been taken from you than to kill people just b/c they don't agree with you.

Finally, there's a crucial point here, and it's that only b/c a book says you have to do something, that doesn't justify that you actually have to do it. I don't see any Christians killing whole villages, or smashing the skulls of babies against stones in any river or anything like that. But on the Muslim side, there's been ongoing violence for centuries. They're actually acting on the Koran's violence, and that makes a huge difference.

Richard said...

"Unknown" has appropriately detailed the point I made on Mon Dec 26, 04:49:00 PM 2011. The Quran exhorts Muslims to act now, against people of today. If the exhortations to violence are mitigated in one part of the Quran, in another part they are NOT. Experts seem to agree that the much more violent material was written last and is supposed to override the earlier material.

Jon said...

As I think I may have pointed out previously, since both books are basically works of fiction – in the Bible's case, the eventual writing down of many times distorted myths and fantasies (dragons, unicorns, leviathans anyone?) – and in the Qur'an's case the unsubstantiated ramblings of a man claiming to have heard voices in a cave – and later stated to have hitched a lift on a passing flying horse – one might as well be comparing Burgess's 'A Clockwork Orange' with King's 'Misery'.

What maters to me is that I live my own life in a way that I never intentionally inflict harm on others and, whenever I can, I help others. My favourite way of helping them is to help release them from the oppression, suffering and mentally repressive evil that is religion.

I shall continue to live my ethical and moral life without attacking, hating or attempting to stop from practicing irrational religions, anyone. In return, I expect to be left free to go about my life unimpeded by those who feel that they must attempt to rule my life based on some random religious text – from one of the 3,700 or so religions out there.

Whilst I have no ill will towards anyone because of their beliefs, I do, and I will continue to, attack all religions – all 3,700 equally – for their complete irrationality and the damage they to the human race.

Even this stupid question, "Which is more violent, the Bible or the Quran?", is nonsense and only aimed at pitting one set of irrational myths and fairy tales against another set of myths and fairy tales. In much the same way that kids say, "my Dad's better than your Dad", the religious are, in effect, saying, "my imaginary friend is better than your imaginary friend".

If the religious could only apply the same 'logic' to their own irrational beliefs that they apply to everyone else's irrational beliefs, and realise that, ultimately, all 3,700 religions are identical in their stupidity, the world would be a much better place.

Remember, ALL religious people are atheists when when it comes to ANY religion but their own. The religious don't believe in 3,699 gods, I don't believe in 3,700.

Richard said...

Jon wrote,
"I expect to be left free to go about my life unimpeded by those who feel that they must attempt to rule my life based on some random religious text – from one of the 3,700 or so religions out there."

And 'there's the rub'. There are quite a few religions among the 3700 with members who not only want to impede your life, they want to slaughter your atheist ass. Some of the flock may be teachable, and might become peaceful enough for you to live without their interference. Others are not teachable. They are the equivalent of a mindless rabid bear or chummed white tip shark. You must make yourself safe from them!

That means you must promote a proper police, court system and military —that relentlessly enforces your Right to Life, Liberty & Property. That means you have to oppose all religious interference with those rights.

Altruism is the morality of the religious Right and of the socialist Left, and the basis for the arguments they use to loot your property (for the needy) and to proscribe your liberty (so that you do your part for 'society'. - that is they want YOU to sacrifice things from your life. They want to 'eat' you, like the bear or shark, but in smaller chunks, and they must be repelled.

Jon said...

Richard,

I'm afraid that I don't know where you live but here in Ireland, and also where I'm from – England – and, from what I've seen wherever I've travelled in Europe, the "military" is not a civil force that can be used on the streets to fight the people, only for emergencies like flood, power cuts, etc. The police in neither Great Britain or Ireland routinely carry firearms and the courts systems operate under the written (apart from the UK) constitutions of the various States, as voted for by the people, and completely separate from government control.

I do, indeed, fight against religious interference. I am a member of Atheist Ireland and we are working to see a complete separation of (the Roman Catholic) church and Sate and the introduction of a State education system where it will be illegal to instruct, indoctrinate or form the faith of any child in any religion.

Ironically, in England, this is virtually already the case. Ironically because the head of State – Queen Elizabeth II – is also head of the Church of England which itself is the established church.

I am not opposed to fighting – I served in the Royal Air Force – however, I would never go looking for a fight and would always seek a negotiated solution to any problem.

Also, I am a member of the Irish Labour Party, what you would refer to as the 'socialist Left'. My party is currently in a coalition government with a centre right party. Living in Europe, I expect social democracy to exist and I have grown up in systems where the weakest in society were not left to rot while the super-rich got even richer. I like that. I don't see paying taxes as 'looting', I see it as a contribution to the society I live in to make it a fair society where all are treated with dignity and all have access to the basic needs of life – shelter, food, fuel, education and health care. To me, that's not looting, that's caring.

I was also brought up in a world were big business and banks were not given a free hand to do what they like and where the disgusting greed that has destroyed so many in the last 10 to 15 years – whilst making the super-rich even richer – was neither acceptable or encouraged.

I care about my fellow human beings, something big business and banks do not. I genuinely cannot understand how the people in charge can sleep at night. I was astounded, for example, that big business USA even outsourced the manufacture of the USA team's Olympic clothing but I shouldn't have been, I suppose. If you save a couple of cents per item, it mounts up to bigger bonuses for the bosses and more money for he rich investors. And if the jobs of the ordinary citizens are going to some desperately underpaid foreigner rather than a now-unemployed fellow countryman, then all the better.

No, I think I'll choose democratic socialism, an unarmed police force and a lack of paranoia over the alternative, thank you.

Unknown said...

Man I couldn't understand if you're British or American of live in the US or Ireland. Don't make such a big deal about the sportmen clothes made in China. Probably the suits & underwears of many politicians in the party you favor were made in China too. Things have been made in China for almost half a century. Don't you know that GM's CEO who is Obama's friend is outsourcing jobs to China, creating jobs in China with US-taxpayer dollars while in the US we have the highest unemployment rate ever?

Maybe I'm misinterpreting ur post, but if u r a communist, why haven't you moved to Cuba yet? They have a 53 y/o dictatorship which has all the "free" things you want. How comes you're not living there? That paradise's been waiting for you 53 years! Comon move over there, man, pot ur money where ur mouth is!!!

Chuck R said...

Richard said: "Altruism is the morality of the religious Right and of the socialist Left..."

Altruism is a human instinct, developed over millions of years due to the necessity of our need to get along with the rest of our group (family, clan, tribe, village, etc.). Humans are an intensely social species (eusocial is the term). Anything that promoted bonding within the group was reinforced through natural selection. Altruism is one such bonding force. Language is another.

Children instinctively behave altruistic some of the time. They also instinctively behave "selfish" some of the time. We are all both selfish and altruistic. There is no easy balance between these two instinctual forces.

To brand altruism as some sort of 'learned' evil, and to reject it's importance, is to amputate 1/2 of human nature. You wind up with a mutilated travesty of a human being.

Altruism is not a morality in and of itself. Rather, in conjunction with other social binding instincts, it gives rise to morality.

Richard said...

Chuck R

Determinism, including genetic determinism, is a self-contradiction and intellectually bankrupt viewpoint. Mankind has evolved free will, and the contents of his mind are not pre-determined. Though influenced by hormones, nerves and other structural features that influence his experiences they neither determine his conclusions nor his actions.

Altruism is self sacrifice. It is the relinquishing of greater values in exchange for a lesser value. A parent who dies by throwing himself in front of a train, whilst pushing his child out of harms way is not acting altruistically. That act is selfish... one would rather die knowing his child would live, than live knowing he failed to save the life of his child.

Human Nature is first and foremost a function of thinking. Accepting such nonsense as Determinism is an abdication of that personal responsibility.

I suppose it never occurred to you that if such determinism is true, there is no argument you could possibly use to change my view! The fact that you just tried is your own contradiction. However, contrary to your hypocritical claims about humanity living a contradiction, you can rectify it.

I did a quick Google on Free Will, and promptly encountered a whole mass of excerpts from Ayn Rand. She makes some darn smart points on free will, even if you dislike her, overall. Since they are just excerpts, it stands to reason that to properly understand her points the entire article or book should be read. I've seen a lot of people dismiss her ideas, only to find out they were repeating what other people said, and never actually read/understood what she wrote.

Jon said...

Exactly. To use a well-worn cliché, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

I wonder, sometimes. Do these people who believe that altruism isn't necessary believe that they can make their own computers – from sand? Generate their own electricity by constructing a generator from raw materials – and mining or drilling for the fossil fuels to power it? Grow their own food, make their own clothes, build their own houses? Oh, and heal themselves, operate on themselves and develop the drugs they need?

Morons.

bob said...

Here is something from a neutral objective study of Islam done by a research institution.

Real Islam and dualistic logic.

...the doctrine of Islam developed in Mecca contradicts the doctrine developed in Medina. Which is the real Islam? there is not a real Islam in the sense of resolving apparent contradictions between the two. Both persuasion-jihad and domination-jihad can be applied as needed.
Mohammed revealed a new logic, the logic of unresolved contradiction, the logic of duality. Two contradictory statements can both be true if Allah says they are. Therefore niether is false.
For instance, Mohammed was involved in a violent event every seven weeksfor the last nine years of his life, but Mohammed is the prophet of the religion of peace. That is a contradiction but, inside of dual logic, both sides of the contradiction are true. Both peace and violence advance Islam; both are good and true. Both are Islam. That is the message of the Sira and the power of Islam.

Naming.
All of the names for events and descriptive terms used by Islam come from the Triology (The Koran, the Sira or biography of Mohammeds life, and the Hadith or traditions). But kafirs (unbelievers) don't use these terms or names.
Some past history: The jihad of Umar burst out of Arabia and crushed the Christian world of Syria, Egypt, and the rest of the middle-east. The Christians recorded it as an "Arabic war." When Islam invaded Europe, Europeans called it a "Turkish invasion." The jihad against Spain was an "invasion by the Moors." The Muslims called these events jihad.
In the early nineteenth century America sent the Navy and Marines to war against the Barbary pirates on the Berber coast in North Africa. For centuries the Islamic Barbary pirates had raided Europe and taken nearly a million white slaves, and their shipping raids in the Mediterannean had taken a great toll. But the Muslims never called their naval raiders "Barbary pirates." They called them 'ghazis,' sacred raiders. A raid by Mohammed against the kafirs' caravans was called a 'ghazwah.' The Muslims were clear that naval raids by the "Barbary pirates" were actually jihad by the army of Mohammed. Naming them "pirates" showed that the kafirs had no idea about the doctrine and history of Islam.
Look at the news today. The media report an 'intifada,' uprising, by the Palestinians against the Israelis. But the terms 'intifada,' 'Palestinian,' and 'Israeli' are misnomers. The real terms are 'jihad,' 'Muslim' and 'infidel,' if we follow the Koran. The doctrine of political Islam clearly states that jihad is to be waged by all Muslims against all Jews and other kafirs. It's no different today than it was 1400 years ago in Islam...
What do the terms, "moderate Muslim" and "extremist Muslim" actually mean? Only Islam can define what a Muslim is. According to the Trilogy, a Muslim is anyone who follows the pattern (sunna) of Mohammed. What kafirs call a moderate, i.e. peaceful, Muslim is really a Medinan Muslim, one following the words and actions of the Prophet when he lived in Medina [friendly while getting a foot in the door]...
The naming of events by kafirs does not convey the right meaning. Muslims' names for themselves and their actions connect events and people with Islamic history and doctrine and shows a continuing process. Kafir names are temporary, do not connect events, and show no historic process...

Excerpt from: Mohammed and the Unbelievers, www.cspipublishing.com

Richard said...

Quite so, Bob!

Richard said...

Quite so, Bob!

Richard said...

Jon, Of course you
"wonder, sometimes. Do these people who believe that altruism isn't necessary believe that they can make their own computers – from sand?" etc.

That is a complete and utter misinterpretation of what Rand is saying! Such understandings abound among people who only copy what others say, rather than reading the source.

Briefly, every commodity (or good) is made because someone finds it useful to their lives. If it is good enough to trade with someone else, for whatever good that next person makes, then each person benefits from the original production of the other.

It does not matter how many levels of production you want to go through, e.g. from sand to silicon chip, each (productive) person along the way adds HIS particular measure of individual, independent effort, for which he is paid.


The final product (laptop?) is not the product of some amorphous collective, it is the product of particular individuals in a long chain. Some of those individuals contribute basic labor, a few others may have thought up (components of) the entire design. When an individual brings forth an original idea it came from his mind alone. It does not matter that someone else might think of it if he hadn't, because he is 'the one' who did think of it. All of human achievement is of this nature: whether big steps or small, perhaps built on the shoulders of predecessors the particular step can only be that of one independent mind. Just as no one can (fully) breathe for another, so no one (nor group) can think for another. Every new thought could only have come from one independent mind, even in think tanks or brainstorming sessions, each new idea originates in only one mind at a time.


Yes, the sum of parts of the product is greater than the disconnected parts, but the individuals who put the work in it do not similarly add up to a whole! Those who think so are part of one of the two greatest hoaxes in all of humanity: collectivism (aka socialism or communism) and all claims of the Supernatural.

When a man puts together a business, he may use thousands of things used by other men, acquired by trade, but that man puts his business together his way. He ,may coordinate with others, but it was his vision that guided it . . . Steve Jobs being a great example. Jobs set the standards, not only for the products, but also for the type of minds that would work with him to come up with the end product.

It is all individual, from top to bottom. That is the American way that made it a great country. The idea that the individual should be viewed as subordinate to the group is what the Democrats espouse and you have articulated, is the fallacy in Obama's "you didn't build that" AND in the USSR, China, Cuba, N. Korea and many other communist dictatorships. In those countries the people are individually enslave to the herd around them. The tighter the state the worse their prosperity, and more starvation, the more stagnant technical progress, & the more deaths.

Jon said...

Richard,

I should say, first of all, that I am quite capable of having my own thoughts. It would be odd were it not so having managed to struggle through 59 years of life to date.

My main experience has been in large system (i.e. not Windows) computer systems development. Whilst I distain “management-speak”, such as, “there’s no ‘I’ in team” [there is, by the way, a ‘me’, if you look hard enough], I can say that no single individual on any development team that I have worked on could have taken any of those systems zero to full implementation.

It is absolutely true that, during problem-solving sessions, an individual will, eventually, put together a number of ideas floated into a coherent solution, but not always the same individual.

In my own experience, then, I can say that the resulting, working system would not have performed its designed task were only one of the team to have have attempted the full development cycle on their own and the system would either have not been completed at all or would have failed, catastrophically, in a relatively short period of time. In fact, I witnessed precisely such a catastrophic failure once when a dumb manager and an overconfident developer tried to do a one-man system development.

Certainly, it is likely that, in big business, an individual may suggest that a certain process may be better performed by automation than manually but that is hardly an inspirational, ground-breaking idea. Does it really need someone in a motor car manufacturer’s company to even say, for example, “wouldn’t it be a good idea if we could get our cars to go further on a litre of fuel than they do already”? Does working towards that goal not require a team comprising individuals of different skill sets each contributing to the whole – a more fuel efficient engine?

And, with respect to America being a “great” country, it rather depends upon where you are looking from. I have to say that I was personally delighted to see one of those rare, excellent US TV shows that dared to say what many Europeans already know about how imaginary the “greatness” of the US is by any independent, international standards. If you have not viewed it already, you might be interested in watching this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YI7Oq8y-jXA

And, by the way, if it’s that great, how come it’s in hock to the evil Chinese communist state for $1.2 trillion? And that’s not down to the Democrats, the US had the strongest economy I can remember under Bill Clinton – it was Bush the Dumber that got the country into the sh*t hole it’s in now and Obama is left putting on his NBC suit to clear it up. Let’s just hope that the man with magic underpants loses in November so that the next greed-driven Republican – who as sure as night follows day will be elected in four year’s time – will at least be kicking the 47% of US citizens about whom, if the Republicans could give less of a sh*t about, they would, from a higher base before the rich stop paying any taxes at all… yet still benefit from what they pay for.

Jon

bob said...

My apologies for mistyping a small portion of the exerpt (a couple of missed lines) from 'Mohammed and the Unbelievers' in my previous comment. It should read:

What do the terms, "moderate Muslim" and "extremist Muslim" actually mean? Only Islam can define what a muslim is. According to the Triology (the Koran, The Sira or biography of Mohammeds life, and the Hadith or traditions), a Muslim is anyone who follows the pattern (sunna) of Mohammed.
What kafirs (unbelievers) call a moderate, i.e. peaceful, Muslim is actually a Muslim behaving as Mohammed did when he lived in Mecca [friendly while getting a foot in the door].
And an extremist Muslim is really a Median Muslim, one following the words and actions of the Prophet when he lived in Medina.

www.cspipublishing.com

paradise said...

the word perfect is the problem...the idea is it is strongly linked ot out god, and yet we

observe none of it.

the texts tell of a god who makes mistakes.

we cannot know perfect, even if it did exist...we cannot comprehend or even lend a single

example of perfect.

it is the perfect totem..it is a coping result...a myth...

we have it wrong...the texts are right.

we believe falsely at the most fundamental of all truths.

god did not perfectly create this universe

and humans can never know perfect.

and the reason why this is true, is because, perfection got poisoned before even the

moment of creation.

the designer, all knowing, set into motion, a universe that was not perfect..and humans

that also are not perfect.


all of the reasons, and the timing, and the waiting..I have heard all (almost) of these

reasons ...god's will...he has season...etc...etc.

Richard said...

Jon, no one was questioning your thinking ability, I am here because it is good, so please avoid taking the wrong spin on a phrase.

(I like to think of an all caps TEAM, where every straight line comprises an "I". Each individual seeks a goal only attainable by a group, and works in his or her best capacity to maximize the group achievement.)

Your objections to the idea that individuals are the source of achievement consists, IMO, of several Straw Men.

Rand's argument does not dismiss or belittle collaboration. Nor does it suggest that one person must know all there is to know about everything, at every level, of a project. Surely you can see that both arguments would be as obvious to her as to you.

It remains that the mind is an attribute of the individual. In a group situation, each contribution comes from each mind, not from 'the group'. Still, a group of timid un-imaginative minds will not proceed as well as it will with one great mind. That one mind may even be held back by the others (a problem with non-hierarchical committees where decisions are by vote).

America has been declining rapidly perhaps most notably, but not only, due to FDR. A certain amount of American 'meddling' was a completely legitimate effort to maintain honest trade with nations that reneged on the rights and property they once assured American businessmen.

(British colonialism was founded in efforts at mutual trade to mutual benefit, and there was no problem so long as trade was honest. The fighting was always over duplicity - sometimes due to a rotten Brit, but more often due to foreign duplicity.)

The video to which you link demonstrates the great weakness of Americans. So many have no clue what great principles America was founded upon, and why it progressed so brilliantly in the 19th Century then rotted into what the blond man still thinks is "American". Whether true or not, of Ben Franklin, "It's a Republic, if you can keep it." But what he was referring to was not any republic system. He was referring to a unique one that recognized Individual Rights to Life, Liberty (incl. Property) and the Pursuit of Happiness. None of the countries that blond man in the video lists have ever had proper rights & freedoms. All are compromised, as are the American ones, compared to The Founders intent. America is the only nation that had that intent, in writing. It is the best hope for returning to them. Why?
(cont'd)

Richard said...

...
Those Rights arise from the fact that they are necessary for a man to live by his mind , and not by the dictates of another. It is the moral prerogative that one pursue one's own goals by one's own judgment and not perform as a puppet -- with someone else, or some group however elected, pulling the strings. All of history, and most political geography of today shows that is true empirically, but it is also true philosophically. Inescapably so. The bloody course of socialism is clear, yet Americans still choose socialism over their original system.

The neat trick that the Socialists have enabled, is to lay the blame for every socialist/fascist failure on capitalism and individualism. Most Americans have not been smart enough to recognize that fact. In outrage they demand . . . more socialist/fascist regulation. The cycle continues.

Bush was poor, and so was Reagan, Carter etc. etc. Obama's solution is to double down on the very things that brought him the trouble he inherited (as per my second last sentence in the previous paragraph). His is sheer lunacy: stupidity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul is un-American. Want to help Paul, do it yourself! Then, if Paul actually is a wastrel, only your resources are wasted -- by doing it yourself you also do not have to pay for an expensive bureaucracy to manage the redistribution. YOU will be better off.

No offense, but the arguments you presented are commonly echoed & misleading. They are part of the problem that has been gradually snowballing for 70 years. Try reading "Capitalism: The Unknown. Ideal"

Richard said...

Jon,
E.O.Wilson, astonishingly, has come to the same conclusion, after most of his life was spent believing human progress is a social process. He has come around 180 degrees:

Audience Questioner: You're talking about progress in society as coming as a result of groups . . . working together. But on the other hand, real genius of individuals who are acting, actually selfishly, for their own benefit and aggrandizement, per se, are the ones who are really making the greatest progress in our society. Do you feel that the groups will overwhelm these individuals?

Wilson: No, not at all. In fact, I couldn't agree with you more . . . And I've been in on a lot of discoveries, you know, new developments, and so I have known people intimately that were doing it themselves. So I know how real innovation takes place, and it's not “groupthink.” It is not going to come from taking a bunch of real bright people and putting them in one of these “think tanks” and asking them to sit together in front of a blackboard and think together and produce great ideas. That's not the way it works. It works when one mind—usually rebellious, in a way; usually ambitious; enterprising—decides to do something new, preferably where no one has tried before, and goes for it. And what you find then, time and again, is an individual like that, a real innovator. And they're in every society, they're in every larger group, you have to find who they are. In high school, for example, they'll be the “nerd,” the kid “least likely to succeed,” who's on no team but who's always doodling with something, or crazy about the chemistry lab, or something like this. And that one person then pursues it; it requires a spirit of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship if anything is more important than high IQ. That person then gathers people, collaborators: one here who can do the mathematical model at a high level; another one there that can do the natural products, chemistry; another there who knows how to design the right computer programs to push the thing forward. And before long you have a group. But that's not the group that innovated. [They didn't] have the dream—that [came from] one person. You're right. And that's not going to disappear at all.

(Edward O. Wilson, discussing his book “The Social Conquest of Earth” at the Free Library of Philadelphia on 4/24/12, broadcast on C-SPAN2's Book TV.)

Jon said...

Richard,

At the risk of appearing equivocal, I would like to propose the notion that we are both correct.

Individuals are capable of greatness. Groups are capable of greatness.

Perhaps that is to the advantage of humanity. Everything cannot be achieved by individuals alone and everything cannot be achieved by groups working cooperatively. However, the achievements of both individuals and groups takes us forward in our development.

(Just don't let fuckwits who think that they are going to get a second chance in some imaginary after-life get hold of any launch codes, though.)

Richard said...

That will work.

Significant patches of land that supports centers of Islamic religio-political & military power should be abruptly turned to green glass that glows at night. Collateral death & injury is the fault of the saber-rattling, terrorist supporting, power mongers.

Chuck R said...

Richard & Jon:
Richard's quote from E.O. Wilson tells only half of Wilson's story.

From Pg. 243 "The Social Conquest of Earth" - "Nevertheless, an iron rule exists in genetic social evolution. It is that selfish individuals beat altruistic individuals, while groups of altruists beat groups of selfish individuals. The victory can never be complete; the balance of selection pressures cannot move to either extreme. If individual selection were to dominate, societies would dissolve. If group selection were to dominate, human groups would come to resemble ant colonies."

He makes that point throughout the book, and it shows why his book is "The SOCIAL Conquest of Earth", not the INDIVIDUAL conquest of Earth.

Competition among individuals for survival is found throughout the animal kingdom and is fundamental to evolution. Multi-level competition, wherein eusocial (altruistic, multi-generational, with division of labor) groups compete against other such groups is very rare, confined to humans and various lines of social insects. Nevertheless, the success of eusocial humans and insects demonstrates just how powerful a force altruistic group cooperation really is.

Humans evolved using multi-level natural selection: individual competition as well as eusocial competition among groups. These two methods cannot be comfortably reconciled. They caused humans to become a genetic chimera, evolving mechanisms promoting individual survival, and other mechanisms promoting group survival. From this arises the permanent existential angst of the human condition.

Richard said...

Hey Chuck, thanks for that. So E.O.W. thinks all that thinking and mutual collaboration are genetic things.

It takes only a little observation to see that we humans are born tabula rasa, and choose to collaborate or not based on our own judgments and knowledge.

Collaboration is teamwork, wherein every member is an independent thinking egoist, selfishly pursuing a common goal. Contrary to E.O.W. a good team is not altruist at all. Even military history bears this out: soldiers of the American Revolution fought the British with great selfishness, because they wanted freedom from The King of England. The British fought altruistically, for the sake of their King. America, the great experiment in individualism, was born. (Now much more than half of Americans have no clue what that means.)

So, E.O.W. is no individualist, & remains a genetic determinist, arguing as if individuals' minds & choices are superfluous elements in the greater game that is Darwinian Evolution by Natural Selection. Again it is observable that quite the opposite is true: our flexible minds are the essential feature by which we have evolved beyond all other organisms in our ability to create the environment we need whether we are 11 km under the sea (Marianas Trench) to over 400 Km above the Earth in Space. Evolution did not think of Space Flight; all it did was enable a conscious, conceptual mind that could grasp the principles of Nature and put them to use for survival and happiness.

What is disregarded is the fact than even in a group collaboration, each idea that adds to the success of a project, still comes from a single individual mind, that grasps a solution where others did not. Nothing about collaboration is the result of collective thinking. There is no such thing.

Some amazing minds are able to grasp just enough of many sub-issues in a project to bring it forward better than would other minds. They did not fall back on the security & anonymity of The Group. Those amazing minds are the Steve Jobs, or early Bill Gates, or Edisons, etc. of humanity. Those three, and many others, collaborated with others, but that in no way detracts from their greatness, nor raises the others to their level. Their example of independent thinking and creativity, using the 'knowns' of their time, is something to aspire to.

Chuck R said...

Richard:
There are very few - if any - competent cognitive psychologists who still adhere to the "tabula rasa" viewpoint. That view began to fade away even before the fMRI information began to come in. Steven Pinker's book "The Blank Slate", published in 2002, was one of the nails in the tabula rasa coffin.

Sorry, Richard. About 30 years of cognitive science research has driven tabula rasa right off the field. There's really no point in addressing any of your other comments because your premise is fatally flawed.

Black Rose said...

Richard said to Saud: "Why did you pick that one example? The most decent reason would be that you really believe that that one verse is characteristic of the Qur'an. (But it is not.)"


BUT IT IS NOT!!!! You're right there Richard. This one verse in question by the blogger is NOT characteristic of the entire Quran... Just as the one he selected from the Bible is not characteristic of the entire Bible...Maybe you all should give the entire books a good read before commenting and showing off all your meaningless knowledge....

I observed that the comments/feedback started off objectively, and I see them getting more and more bigoted & straying from the topic as they go along.... and when anyone has talked about "context", you say "context is not the issue or concern".... FIRSTLY, If you can try to understand the PURPOSE behind the Quran (which is by no means to spread violence as many bigots have interpreted it), than maybe you will understand what its trying to say.... The Quran is not for the feeble to understand... In fact its interpreted by many a Muslim in the wrong manner too, hence illiterates who pursue terrorism in the name of Jihad (and no one has even bothered to find out what Jihad really is either)..though they pursue Jihad for reasons other than religion? A different agenda altogether, that is not going to be discussed here as its not even been considered..

Hence there is nothing to say that the Quran is lacking in its message (entire message).... Or that its a violent book (Sorry its not meant to be a bedtime story with quaint, peaceful stories of love, its a Holy Book with a purpose and a message!!)..As are the other Holy books.. Secondly, whats lacking is its proper interpretation... And that lets every bigot here to pounce on any given line & give responses via their fancy meaningless research, which has not provided any proof of anything so, just egotistic banter it seems... and therefore, as the Quran suggests - don't take it lightly, and keep discovering what you must on your own, even if that involves science.. if you 'truly' wish to understand.. PS - "Forgiveness" and "Tolerance" has been given precedence over any form of violence in Islam.. If some so-called Muslims are unable to heed to this - THEY do not represent the rest of the Muslim world, or even the religion for that matter!!! .... Treat them as individuals or a community with their own interpretation & go ahead hold hold them accountable for their individual deeds.... doesn't make the Quran or Bible violent books, just its interpreters..... sorry if i'm repeating anything, this box sucks! :)

Black Rose said...

Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,========> The "punishment" is not to be delivered in this world or our lives.... its saying disbelievers will be lose grace in this world... but their punishment will be given in the hereafter.... jeez do you people read, or just have selective reading goggles on!?!?

Richard said...

But all your talk about the Quran as a "Holy Book" makes two errors.

The first is that there is no such thing as a "Holy" anything. To accept that there is, is to instantly toss aside rational judgment in favor of imaginary things told to you or written by others. Their urgent belief was never a reason for you to believe, even when you were a child! The supernatural is impossible, period!

Second, once one discards rational judgment on the scale of the entire Universe (Metaphysics), then they are going to toss aside rational judgment again, and again, in all sorts of topics (epistemology, ethics, politics, economics) as it may suit his/her feelings. They can even believe a man (just one, mind you) can hear the words of God, and be a prophet. That nonsense is extremely stupid yet billions, who would consider such a man doing that today to be a crackpot, fall for it when it was supposedly done by a man a millennium or two ago.

The Quran and the Bible are both nonsense, with snippets here and there that make some sense if taken out of context. In context those snippets are ruined. They can be abused in foolish or vicious ways, because they are ultimately not based in reality. You interpret them one way and swear you are right, and someone else interprets them another way and swears they are right.

Whether a person is Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist etc. everyone who believes is just as absurd as Suzie.

Richard said...

Chuck R The researchers you refer to have a materialist view of consciousness, with zero grasp of how concepts are formed. I subscribe to the emergent perspective which is gaining academic traction with agonizing slowness.

While biological features influence tastes, and can indirectly lead a person to particular understandings, those understandings are not present in the neonatal mind.

Me said...

You guys are so sick, this blog is a complete tragety, the qur'an is obviously extremely cruel and evil, and the bible is not, you are just makingit seem that way, everyday muslims kill christians, and christians dont kill muslims!! the qur'an is PURE evil... i will repeat that my whpole life and al muslims are completely wrong and its a shame... muslims will go to hell, not by my choice or Gods, butthere own... this blog is so stupid and the people are so foolish..... may Jesus be with you..

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