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back to article Indonesia in pre-Ramadan web porn blitz

Indonesia’s government has decided to come down hard on internet porn, blocking access to at least one million smutty sites ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. The vast south-east Asian nation, which has a larger Muslim population than any other at over 200 million, has strict laws relating to “negative content” online …

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Big Brother

“We cannot check one by one. So we hope people will actively report to the communication and information minister if they find a link to negative web site.”

The real issue is when you find a link to a positive site that has been banned. Of the million or so new banned site, how many are innocent?

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Anonymous Coward

Censorship is obviously in vogue at the moment to a lesser or greater extent with every country.

They nibble here and nibble there slowly eroding the freedom of the web, it's power play and if we are not careful eventual mind control. They want to tell us what we can see, when we can see it, but what Governments down the ages always forget and underestimate the ingenuity of the human mind.

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Is it censorship? Really?

Whilst I am appalled by the sexist attitude of Islam, I really don't see this as censorship. All credit to the Indonesians for at least trying to do something about the more disgusting parts of the Internet.

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Out of curiosity ...

Am I allowed to nibble on my Wife's nether regions during Ramadan?

If not, why not? Be explicit, please.

If yes, am I allowed to share images of same, should we care to[1]? If not, why not? When engaged in that activity, we're obviously on the same wavelength ...

The entire "we are the law of Moses" set needs their collective heads examining ...

[1] Ain't gonna happen ... faggedaboutit ;-)

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Re: Out of curiosity ...

"Am I allowed to nibble on my Wife's nether regions during Ramadan?"

Of course, just don't swallow

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Happy

Re: Out of curiosity ...

Given as you were Islamic I think that you would be OK with your wife so long as it was during the hours of darkness. Think of it as either a late supper or very early breakfast (depending on the daylight hours of your latitude).

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Out of Curiosity - 'Fagged'

I did think that the word 'fag' had a different meaning out in the US of A. I so remember the looks of the various receptionists when my (ex now) wife said 'Titus where have you put the box of fags' whilst staying at The Hilton Phoenix, AZ.

Now then here fag = 'Ready-made' as opposed to 'Rollies', or possibly a younger servant. So Jake is the phrase 'Fagged about it' above going to be stronger than the equivelent usage in the UK? Here I guess it would mean a bit tired probably from the servitude usage of the word, where as above I guessing it means sufficiently upset that you might consider 'boy on boy' activities?

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J1

Re: Out of curiosity ...

The issue is one of what is right and wrong. Who defines it, who sets the limits, who enforces.

For the Atheist, there is no such thing.. Objectively, it does not exist.. Subjectively, make up whatever you like. Change it whenever you like.. base it on whatever you like.. it does not have to make sense etc.. your call. With such a situation, one would not consider lying, cheating, stealing, murder etc. as bad or wrong acts.. they are just acts.. similarly, telling the truth, helping others, saving lives are also just acts.. not good acts.

In the case of Islam, the law, right and wrong are defined by God. The acts of telling the truth etc.. are said to be good, and the others are evil. Furthermore, God is the judge, and enforces the laws/limits He has set.

In the case of Islam, you have a limited choice, and you will be held responsible for every choice that you make by the one that gave you that choice.

As to this particular issue, since God defines what is right and wrong, He also defines when it is right and wrong.. so for instance eating, normally is fine. However, in the month of Ramadan, it is prohibited during certain hours of the day. ie. it has been made wrong.

Similarly, relations with ones spouse, normally are fine.. however, during the month of Ramadan, between certain hours, are also made forbidden.

Why, for you to show that you are bending your will to the will of your Lord.. you are acknowledging His Lordship, something most people will not undertake. You are the creation, He the creator.. He has all the power, control etc.. you have none. You are to be questioned, held to a standard set by Him, He cannot be put in the same place.

wrt taking images of your private encounters with your spouse, or disseminating them. Pornography is amongst the things prohibited by God. If one keeps this in mind, then the government in this case is merely living up to its duties and obligations to its population in trying to protect them from this vice.

wrt the Holy Prophets of God, peace be upon them all.. they are not to be made a mockery of. They are the best of humankind, chosen to be God's representatives to the rest of humankind.

There is ofcourse much much more that can be said on all of the above. I am trying to be brief however.

Back to the Atheist. The curious thing, if there is one, is that of those without any objective grounding of good bad etc.. making value judgements based on the same.

Going forward, I do not use this site much, so keep that in mind If you wish to discuss further. Please keep in mind that I will not respond to any bad language, applied to God, His Prophets, peace be upon them all.. etc. , or to me. You can have your foul language party without me. The use of such language is merely an advert for ones state of mind, lack of self control, and ability to communicate.

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Re: Out of curiosity ...

"The issue is one of what is right and wrong...." Well that is wrong right from the outset. The issue is what one group of people BELIEVE to be right and are therefore forcing their selective views on everyone in the country.

".....In the case of Islam, the law, right and wrong are defined by God....." I think not. Did your "God" speak publicly to all and sundry? No he didn't. In fact, all you have is the word of one man and then a load of furious arguing from his followers as to what he said/meant/did, usually said arguing being directly related to who got the power to tell everyone else what he wanted them to think "God" said. Not too long ago David Icke came out with a similar line, will you be happy to let him control your Internet as he seems to have just as good a claim as your "Prophet"? I doubt it.

".... I do not use this site much...." Shame, you would learn a whole lot that the censors in Indonesia wouldn't like you to learn.

"..... The use of such language is merely an advert for ones state of mind, lack of self control, and ability to communicate." Your touching faith in a 7th Century faitytale that approves paedophillia, the killing of Jews simply due to their religion, and espouses the oppression of women, does little to enhance my view of your ability to think for yourself.

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@Titus (was: Re: Out of Curiosity - 'Fagged')

In the vernacular: "Forget about it".

Don't make me debag you in front of morning assembly ...

I think we should get you an owl ... Most of us techies like getting titus an owl ;-)

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Pirate

OWL???

Get me an OWL? Apart from the more obvious usage of the word for a large feathered bird, I haven't particularly heard of a technical OWL acronym (apart from an obscure use of the term for one of the files that configured an Oracle 7 web server).

Possibilities are I guess -

Ordinary Wizarding Level

Obsessed With Learning

Open-Wire Line

Personal preferences would be

Outdoors Without Limits

Other Wooded Land

Hmm I wonder what the wife is up to? ;-)

Oh dear there is nowt as strange as folk, particularly US folk. Oh yes 'Forgot btw' but debag away if you so choose old man ...... now then I did hear that there was a very significant difference between the British (or indeed Cornish) pastie, and the US pastie ?

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Happy

Re: OWL??? @Titus

OWL: Our Woman Liz ?

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Alien

Re: Out of curiosity ... @J1

@J1

The users of El Reg are sophisticated, erudite, suave and urbane and refined intellectuals imbued with unusually high levels of élan. We don't f^%&ing swear.

And as far as god is concerned, which god ? There is a list here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_deities you can choose from. One of my favourites is Thor. He was /so/ good he has an entire day named after him. And of course it is only one day to the weekend!

Thor did not really define 'right and wrong' ; it more a case of 'don't get in my way.............'.

Hard to argue with a man with a massive hammer.

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@J1

So long as it is during the night spousal activities are OK? How does that work, is that either local time, or is there a specific time zone and latitude combination?

I could never understand why there was any theological argument prohibiting taking photo's of the wife, either initimate or otherwise. Made in god's image, he send's us down here naked, what is the argument for not then seeing nakedness?

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Re: OWL???

Yes, Owl. Simon Templar, talking to Patricia about her Uncle Titus ;-)

We'll leave your trousers in place, for the moment.

Pasties depends on circumstances ... My homemade meat pies are just as good as anything I ever had in Cornwall or Yorkshire. Or Scotland or Wales, for that matter. Irish lamb ... maybe a toss-up. Strip clubs? Whole 'nuther kettle o'worms ...

Agree, ain't nowt daft as folks ... Hopefully the human race will grow up, eventually.

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Re: OWL???

Mid Atlantic usage of the word pasty sort of gives you an image of Bucolic West Country lasses covered only in edible meat pies...... mmmmm where the US pasties would be......

Still totally lost on the OWL. Just wondering if for some reason I should revise my 'nom de plume'. Oh well, I quite like this one, and it's crusty sadomasochistic slightly right wing postings. Also there is the voting to consider, if I start again I'm going to have a whole load of work to get another 1400 votes.

Thank you kindly for leaving me kex in place I formally retract all comments on the US usage of the word fag..........

Aye the whole world is strange except thee and me (and even thee is a little odd). Still wondering if J1 is going to give some explanation why god thinks clothing is such a good idea? If I remember my scriptures people only thought being nude was bad after eating the apple (the first sin) .... that makes dressing up sin #2 surely? Ah the indeed circular nature of life, maybe there is something in buddism, back again to cider drinking West Country girls? Scrumpy being sin #3?

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Pint

Re: OWL???

You've never read Leslie Charteris's "The Saint" books? Get thee to a library, post haste.

Yes, I'm odd ... maybe more than a little ;-) This round's on me (pardon if I don't actually partake, I have a couple critters I'm keeping an eye on).

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Pint

Re: OWL???

Yikes more reading :-) Just working through the 50 Shades trilogy, having bought them for the wife (mainly to be honest to encourage a less vanilla approach to er errm photography) she is now insisting that I read them.

Let me get the next round (again I won't actually partake HSE departments now frown on this sort of thing in the UK work place), is Old Rosie scrumpy OK? I did think that was from the West Country but it seems to be from the home county of the SAS, Much Marcle in Herefordshire. It may not be from the West Country but trust me the effect is exactly what you would expect from scrumpy .......... a couple of pints in the 'Head of Steam' at Huddersfield station and you will be set for the night. Best not to think about the next morning.

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@J1

I, as an atheist, say that you are free to believe whatever you want to, just as everyone else is free to believe what they want.

If you believe that your god says you shouldn't do something, fine, don't do it, I have no problem with that. However you also seem to think that because *you* don't like something, *we* should not be allowed to do it and that I have a problem with.

To say that only your god (or any god) can define what is right and wrong is supremely presumptuous. I do not cheat, steal, murder etc etc because I *CHOOSE* not to. Not because I am threatened with some alleged divine vengeance at the end of my life, but because I consider the world is a better place *now* if I don't do them.

So please, feel free to hold to whatever beliefs you want and don't do things that you consider are "forbidden" to you, but do not be so arrogant as to consider everyone else to be so weak-minded and morally bankrupt that they need *you* to protect them from all the bad things in the world with a "Nanny (or god) knows best" attitude.

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Happy

@Piloti

"And as far as god is concerned, which god ?"

I saw a lovely quote from Ricky Gervais the other day:

"The dictionary definition of God is “a supernatural creator and overseer of the universe.” Included in this definition are all deities, goddesses and supernatural beings. Since the beginning of recorded history, which is defined by the invention of writing by the Sumerians around 6,000 years ago, historians have cataloged over 3700 supernatural beings, of which 2870 can be considered deities.

"So next time someone tells me they believe in God, I’ll say “Oh which one? Zeus? Hades? Jupiter? Mars? Odin? Thor? Krishna? Vishnu? Ra?…” If they say “Just God. I only believe in the one God,” I’ll point out that they are nearly as atheistic as me. I don’t believe in 2,870 gods, and they don’t believe in 2,869."

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Re: OWL???

".... Just working through the 50 Shades trilogy...." Ew! Sorry, but the Fifty Shades series are exactly what Barbara Cartland would write if she was writing S&M stories.

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Pint

Re: OWL???

Don't you start on me with your 'TORY BOY blue rinsed' thumbs down disgust icon Matt!!!!! I did say that my wife was insistent that I read the books.

Although 50 Shades may well S&M in the style of Barbara Cartland, I'm not going to know as I have never read any. I did think that the books were following a theme along the lines of 'Pretty Woman'.

Anyway, it's Friday and as mentioned above it would seem to be my round. Pint of Old Rosie?

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Re: @J1

Since J1 hasn't replied, I'll try to answer the questions.

"So long as it is during the night spousal activities are OK? How does that work, is that either local time, or is there a specific time zone and latitude combination?"

He means after you break your fast. The prescribed time is when the sun sets, locally of course.

"I could never understand why there was any theological argument prohibiting taking photo's of the wife, either initimate or otherwise"

Something to do with privacy. You're not even allowed to discuss intimate moments between yourself and the wife with anyone else, unless there's a good reason to do so, i.e. a cause for concern or something.

"Made in god's image, he send's us down here naked, what is the argument for not then seeing nakedness?"

Err... can't answer that. Hey, why not direct the questions at "http://www.islam-qa.com", I would love to see their responses.

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Re: Out of curiosity ...

Then how's this, J1? Fuck you and your gods.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/thumb_down_32.png

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J1

Graham Marsden ... 20120720 12:19.. Re: @J1

Interestingly enough, the begining of Islam is exactly what you have just enunciated.

Islam starts with the conviction that nothing is worthy of worship, so all the mentioned god's (in the various posts) are rejected. They have qualities unbecoming to god.. either they are offspring of others, parents of others.. eat, drink, make mistakes etc.. all are rejected in the Islamic view. God is unlike anything one can think or imagine. The only knowledge we have of Him, comes from Him.

As to your other issues as to being able to choose your own destiny, obviously you already have that choice.

You will recall, that jake is the one who asked the question. Mine was a response to that question.. an attempt at an explanation. There was neither presumption, or arrogance involved, just an attempt at an explanation.

From the Islamic point of view, there is indeed good and bad, right and wrong, and these are defined by God.

As you have pointed out, that if I were to say that you are wrong doing a b c, then that is only my opinion, and worth as much as anyone else's opinion.. you will recall the point I was making in my first post.

However, if I point out that your creator is the one who said that a b c are wrong, then it is not my opinion that you have to contend with. To then say that one's personal opinion is on a level with that of God, now that would indeed be arrogance.

Whether you choose or not to lie, is not the issue.. why do you choose to not lie, is the point being made. On what basis do you say, as an atheist, that it is wrong to lie? the response you have given is that you consider the world to be a better place because of it.. however, this is a subjective view. Not something necessarily shared by others. There are plenty of people who lie, and have no problem with it, how is your view superior to theirs, how did you come to this conclusion? you cannot derive it from Atheism.

On what basis do you take exception to my previous post? The post, from an Atheistic point of view, was neither bad nor good.. it was just a post. However, you have decided, that it was a bad post, one requiring you to respond and express your view that I am in error. From the Atheistic point of view.. its just one view against another.

Essentially, all you have said is.. do what ever you want. No one should tell anyone else a better way, because that would be classed as arrogance, or presumption.

Islamically, there is agreement with your position in this instance.. I cannot tell you want to do, I do not have any such position.. however, God does and can.

wrt weak minded, most people do not care one way or other.. they neither care what is true, and are content to enjoy the 'bread and circus'. In the Islamic context, humankind was not created for such a purpose.

wrt morally bankrupt.. Atheism does not provide one with any morals. All it takes to be an Atheist, is to not believe in a supernatural being, God. That is the end of it. The rest is up to you, alone.. subjective.

In a society, you will always find people that will take advantage of the other.. that is why you have rules, laws and punishments if you break the laws.. what you seem to be suggesting is that the world can do without the laws, and law enforcement.. because everyone is able to decide for themselves, and does not need a 'nanny' to keep them in check.. the evidence would suggest otherwise.

I have also noticed mention of man made in the image of God.. this is not the Islamic view. Such a notion is unbecoming to the majesty of God. God has no image.

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Graham Marsden - Re: @J1

Graham Marsden wrote :- "I, as an atheist, say that you are free to believe whatever you want to, just as everyone else is free to believe what they want."

That does not follow from atheism as you imply. An atheist believes there is no God. He may or may not insist that others believe like him.

The novels "Nineteen Eighty Four" and "Brave New World" both describe atheist regimes which did not tolerate any religious beliefs.

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@J1 - Re: Graham Marsden ... 20120720 12:19...

You said: "The issue is one of what is right and wrong. Who defines it, who sets the limits, who enforces. For the Atheist, there is no such thing.. Objectively, it does not exist.. Subjectively, make up whatever you like. Change it whenever you like.. base it on whatever you like.. it does not have to make sense etc.. your call. "

You are absolutely right that there *is* no objective critieria for what is "right" and what is "wrong". Just because someone wrote a book 1,500 or 2,000 or however many years ago saying "God told me this" and lots of people *choose* to believe that, does not provide any objective criteria ie it's simply something that someone, "subjectively, made up whatever they liked".

Unless $DEITY has personally appeared to you via some form of supernatural manifestation what you choose to believe comes from other peoples *opinions* so the only knowledge you have of Him/ Her/ It/ Them comes from other people. If you choose to reinforce that in your mind, that's up to you.

You choose to believe that your god has defined "right" and "wrong" and seemingly choose to dismiss anyone else's views on the subject, that is not providing an answer, that is arrogance. "I'm right and you are wrong because my god tells me so".

You tell me that my personal choice not to lie etc cannot be derived from Atheism and ask me "how is your view superior to theirs", the answer to that is that is *may not* be, but I am capable of having a rational and logical debate about the subject without needing to fall back on the argument that "$BOOK says $DEITY says so, end of discussion. If you can come up with an argument other than that for why my choices are wrong, please. let's discuss the subject, I'd be happy to engage in it with you, alas I don't think that's going to happen because you don't seem to comprehend that it *IS* just "one view against another" rather than "my belief is better than your belief".

You go on to say "Essentially, all you have said is.. do what ever you want. No one should tell anyone else a better way, because that would be classed as arrogance, or presumption" but once again you either misunderstand or fail to comprehend. There are those who justify atrocities, slavery, killings and so on because $BOOK says $DEITY says it's ok for me to do so (see the Books of Exodus and Leviticus for some perfect examples) in other words they can do what they want *because* their holy book says so. They don't have to think about it, they don't have to make a decision on their own, they've been *TOLD* that it's ok!

This is the difference between morals and ethics. Morals are things that are imposed from outside "Thou shalt do this, thou shalt not do that" etc usually because a particular religion says so. I, however, have ethics. I have considered what I can do and have made my own decisions. It's my choice, my responsibility, not that of an Imam, Vicar, Priest, Shaman or whatever to tell me what I should or shouldn't do. You seem to think that I would follow Aleister Crowleys "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" because I have chosen to make up my own mind, however, in fact, I prefer to follow the Wiccan Rede of "An it harm no other, do what thou wilt."

BTW I find it somewhat ironically amusing that you claim that *you* cannot tell me what to do, however your god does and can. Well, when and if he appears to me in person and tells me what to do, I may change my viewpoint, but until such time, all I hear are the words of *men* arrogantly telling what god wants me to do (and, of course, what I should *not* do!)

You continue by saying "In a society, you will always find people that will take advantage of the other.. that is why you have rules, laws and punishments if you break the laws.. what you seem to be suggesting is that the world can do without the laws, and law enforcement.. because everyone is able to decide for themselves, and does not need a 'nanny' to keep them in check.. the evidence would suggest otherwise" but yet again you show your misunderstanding (however your views would be welcomed by certain British Governments!)

The law in England is based on the premise that "anything that is not forbidden is permitted". Unfortunately there are too many who think that it should "anything that is not permitted should be forbidden" and, of course *they* are the only ones who are capable of being arbiters of what is or isn't permitted and believe that (as I've said before) if *they* don't like it then *we* should not be allowed to do it, be it drinking, looking at pornography, marrying someone they love if they are of the same sex or whatever. They consider that if *they* are not there to be "Nanny" then society will collapse, the country's morals will vapourise and we will descend into anarchy, so they are doing it to us "for our own good".

Well I say that that is nonsense. Despite what they (and, it seems, you) believe, people *can* behave in a responsible and reasonable manner and they don't need to be forced into doing it by repressive laws or religious dictats, all they need is education, not coercion.

So, please feel free to express your views, but don't be so arrogant as to think that just because *you* believe it, everyone else must too. History is laden with examples of what has happened when that attitude is taken to extremes...

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Re: Re: OWL???

"......Pint of Old Rosie?" Best idea in the whole thread! May I suggest El Reg provides a cider icon for those that know the better pint is made from apples not grain and hops, please?

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Re: Graham Marsden ... 20120720 12:19.. @J1

"....Islam starts with the conviction that nothing is worthy of worship, so all the mentioned god's (in the various posts) are rejected. They have qualities unbecoming to god...." So if your "god" is perfect then why isn't the Earth a perfect place too? In fact, why even bother creating an Earth in the first place, if he was so gosh-darn perfect he'd surely have more important things to do? Let's not mention that your Surahs disagree over how many days it took your "god" to create the Earth (Surah 32;4, says they were created in six days, while Surah 41:9, 12 say Allah created them in two) seeing as science has proven that to be a complete load of baloney.

".....The only knowledge we have of Him, comes from Him....." Nope, it came from one guy, your "prophet" Mohammed, and your own crowd have been arguing about what "god" supposedly said to him ever since. And then it wasn't even "from god" as it was supposedly related to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel. What, was your all-perfect "god" too busy? That doesn't sound very perfect, a perfect "god" would be able to make the time to do his own cult building.

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Re: @J1 - Graham Marsden ... 20120720 23:26...

I think you are missing the point.

Personal opinion, is just that. You can put them up against each other and decide for yourself which you prefer. I think this is agreed.

However, when God is brought into the picture, ones personal opinion is longer comparable against His. One cannot hope to compete with one who has all knowledge etc.

Do you agree?

All that is left is to be convinced that the opinion being touted as Gods, His words, are indeed His words. If this can be achieved, then the personal opinion problem goes away.

Do you agree?

In order to be convinced that the word being put forward is indeed Gods word.. one has to have some idea of what God is/is not. So, you gave a list of names.. I provided a brief set of reasons for rejecting them. Here are some more..

Can God make a mistake.. no.

Does God get tired.. no.

Can you overpower God.. no.

Is He a He.. no.

Does He have any needs.. no.

etc..

Taking the example of Thor (someone mentioned they liked him and his hammer).. Thor has a human form, gets hurt, makes mistakes, eats and drinks, gets tired.. does not create, etc. therefore cannot be God, ie. the supreme being.

One can quickly reduce the list from around 3000 to a few. With the few remaining it would become just a matter of names being applied to the same being.

Do you agree?

With that addressed, if it is addressed, one could proceed on to giving arguments in support of the revelation.

As to the rest.

Objective/Subjective.. if one can show that the words the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, was passing on as revelation, were indeed not his own.. then that would be objective.. and this problem would also disappear.

Underlying your postings so far, is the understanding that arrogance is a bad thing. Why, on what have you based this, since your Atheism does not tell you anything of the sort.

Arrogance is however a major sin in Islam, a crime for which one will not be permitted entrance in to paradise.

wrt justifying atrocities etc..the first problem you have is in deciding what is an atrocity.. since again Atheism does not give you any help with this one either.

People use whatever they want to justify whatever they want. Whether it makes any sense or not, and it can change on fly. Essentially they want to do something, and they use their intellect to grab at whatever is available to act as justification for it. Rather than not have to think about it, they have to sell it to themselves, and then sell it to others. That takes effort. Christ says 'turn the other cheek', yet you still have Christians willing to fight etc..

Responsibility for ones actions. Again, Atheism does not give you this. You seem to be indicating that this is a good thing.. on what basis.

Infact, I'd contend that it is quite the reverse for the Atheist. Since most Atheists consider that there is nothing after death.. there is no accountability etc.. just nothing. Which means that your actions in the world of the living add up to a big nothing. Which means there is no responsibility.

Just to point out, that in Islam, we are held responsible for every word we utter.. every second we are alive is to be answered for.. and these responsibilities cannot be foisted off on someone else (Imaam, Vicar etc..).. since when one is to stand and answer for ones life.. one will be alone. This level of responsibility is way more than what you mention, and extends beyond the few years one is alive for.

You mention that your opinion could be wrong.. which is the whole point about subjective opinions. That is why we try to get to an opinion that is not subjective.

If you acknowledge the possiblity that you could be wrong.. then why take it so badly when it is pointed out?

Islamically, my opinion is worthless. As soon as God has said something on a subject, ie. do not steal.. I can't now consider the options. If I do so, then I am essentially saying that God does not exist.

As to law and law enforcement.. you may well be able to control yourself, though your display of getting upset with someone just saying you are wrong would suggest otherwise. What I said is that other people will not. People tend to do whatever they want to, whatever they can get away with. The riots are evidence of that.

As to English law is based on.. I do not know the truth of your statement.. however, I do know that this is what Islam teaches. In the case of ones normal day to day life.. everything is permitted, the exceptions being what is explicitly forbidden by revelation. In the case of religious observance, the case however is reversed.. what is not explicitly permitted, is forbidden.. ie. one is not permitted to make up a religious observance.. however, in normal day to day life. one can make up whatever one likes.

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Re: @J1 - Graham Marsden ... 20120720 23:26...

J1, it is not me who is missing the point. Yes, "Personal opinion, is just that. You can put them up against each other and decide for yourself which you prefer" I agree entirely, however when someone then goes on to say "my holy book or my prophet or my deity says X,Y and Z and that trumps your personal opinion, so you *cannot ever* win the argument", that is arrogance, plain and simple.

And, no, my Atheism does not "tell me anything" because there is no "Big Book of Atheism" which tells people what to think, unlike the many and multifarious holy books which purport to be the sole bearers of "the only truth", so all of your arguments questioning the basis of my arguments because "atheism doesn't tell you A, B or C" fall based on your lack of understanding of what Atheism is (or, rather, is not).

You ask "If you acknowledge the possiblity that you could be wrong.. then why take it so badly when it is pointed out?" but again you fail to understand. When I mentioned various other claimed deities you " provided a brief set of reasons for rejecting them", but those are simply opinions, not facts. Who says that a god has to be infallible, untirable, indomitable etc etc? Can you prove any of those by any logical or rational argument? Or do you simply have to fall back on the "it says so in $BOOK" which is just a way of dodging the issue. Well, you give the answer yourself: "As soon as God has said something on a subject, ie. do not steal.. I can't now consider the options." you are no longer thinking for yourself, you're letting someone else do it for you.

As for "Which means that your actions in the world of the living add up to a big nothing. Which means there is no responsibility", this is ridiculous. To quote Shakespeare "This above all: to thine own self be true". I don't need threats of some putative hell and damnation or being refused entry into some equally putative heaven to make me behave in a "good" way, I *CHOOSE* to behave that way. Why do *you* have such a problem with that?

You go on to say "People tend to do whatever they want to, whatever they can get away with. The riots are evidence of that." but how many people actually *participated* in those riots? How many just tagged along? How many wanted nothing to do with them? The last group is, of course, by far the largest, but they're not newsworthy, yet they are the ones who *had* the opportunity to "do whatever they wanted" but *chose* not to!

J1 I see little point in continuing this discussion with you because whatever I say, it seems you're going to fall back on "my holy book, my god, his prophet said this, so I can't argue against it". Well fine, that's your choice and I respect your right to believe it. What I will not respect and what I will not submit to is someone telling me "I believe this, I don't like that, so just because of that *you* are not allowed to do it" which is where we came in and this is where I *choose* to step out.

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@Nuke - Re: Graham Marsden - @J1

"He may or may not insist that others believe like him."

I think you missed the point I was making. I was speaking *for myself* as an atheist. I'm not "insisting that others believe like me", nor would I be so arrogant as to think that.

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Re: @J1 - Graham Marsden ... 20120722 07:50...

J1, it is not me who is missing the point. Yes, "Personal opinion, is just that. You can put them up against each other and decide for yourself which you prefer" I agree entirely, however when someone then goes on to say "my holy book or my prophet or my deity says X,Y and Z and that trumps your personal opinion, so you *cannot ever* win the argument", that is arrogance, plain and simple.

----I suppose its not arrogance to then dismiss all gods etc.. in one foul swoop? or to say that someone else is arrogant, while all the time saying that you could be wrong..

----Further, I am not trying to win an argument. Just trying to explain a position. Jake asked a question (I suspect the question was not sincere), I tried to answer it, you decided you wanted to get involved.

----If you want to score points, and say you won, go for it.

And, no, my Atheism does not "tell me anything" because there is no "Big Book of Atheism" which tells people what to think, unlike the many and multifarious holy books which purport to be the sole bearers of "the only truth", so all of your arguments questioning the basis of my arguments because "atheism doesn't tell you A, B or C" fall based on your lack of understanding of what Atheism is (or, rather, is not).

----Ok, which part of Atheism have I not grasped? Afterall there is not much to it to grasp. I have checked various Atheism websites in the past, and they informed me of what I said.. you have not disagreed with any of it.. wrt to what Atheism gives you. Yet, somehow it is I who am the one who does not understand it.

----I thought I explained it pretty well in my first post.. ie. make up whatever you like, base it or not on anything you like or don't like. How is this incorrect?

You ask "If you acknowledge the possiblity that you could be wrong.. then why take it so badly when it is pointed out?" but again you fail to understand.

----Since Atheism does not tell you that arrogance is bad thing.. why get upset. It makes no sense. I suppose your own thinking would tell you that arrogance is bad.. based on what? a dream? you have already acknowledged that you have nothing objective to go on.

----Now comes along someone purporting to have something objective.. why not try and follow the reasoning and see if it leads anywhere. I asked you a set of questions.. asking, do you agree? but appears its to no avail.

When I mentioned various other claimed deities you " provided a brief set of reasons for rejecting them", but those are simply opinions, not facts. Who says that a god has to be infallible, untirable, indomitable etc etc? Can you prove any of those by any logical or rational argument? Or do you simply have to fall back on the "it says so in $BOOK" which is just a way of dodging the issue. Well, you give the answer yourself: "As soon as God has said something on a subject, ie. do not steal.. I can't now consider the options." you are no longer thinking for yourself, you're letting someone else do it for you.

----I never claimed to be able to think for myself. You are making that claim. I asked you whether you agreed with the reasons.. whether they are made up by me or not is irrelevant.. do you agree with them? afterall you must have rejected the 3000 or so names on your list based on something.. what reasons do you have to reject them? or perhaps you have no reasons... I gave you some reasons, perfectly reasonable, simple to use, to reject such names as God. What were your reasons?

---- As to comparing ones opinion to that of God.. surely this is a simple enough concept to understand.. If God exists, and says something, then is it possible for your opinion to be comparable? The answer would appear to be self evident. Yet you refuse to accept it.

----Something further on your I'm a free thinker claim.. I'd suggest that much that you claim to have decided upon, you did not in actuality. The examples you mentioned, are things that were decided for you, and enforced upon you.. by the law of the land. You are merely repeating what others say, since it is the common view. If one where to seriously look at each of these, one would see that they all cause problems for not only the individual, but also the society at large.. whether it is in the form of broken homes, or pressure on the health service. They do not even live up to your self chosen Wiccan Rede of "An it harm no other, do what thou wilt.". Just based on this you would have to reject them.

----So for instance the case of drinking, lots has been written about the effects of it on the NHS, on crime, peoples homes, the amount that needs to be spent on cleaning up the mess afterwards.. yet, it appears to mean nothing to you.. it appears to not even register as relevant evidence in opposition to your subjective opinion.

----I suspect these are all to do with the Atheist attitude... of you only live once.. enjoy it while it lasts. You claim to be the exception, but still want to enjoy drinking, porn and free sex in all their forms.

As for "Which means that your actions in the world of the living add up to a big nothing. Which means there is no responsibility", this is ridiculous.

----How so. It is the result of what the Atheists push.. or is it not? do you not say that there is nothing after death? Life is only these few years.. and then nothing more. Enjoy it while you can. etc.. with such thinking, where is the responsibility for ones actions? For those that do not share your, 'do no harm' choice... why would they be responsible, self controlled.. why would they not want to enjoy their drinking, porn etc..

To quote Shakespeare "This above all: to thine own self be true". I don't need threats of some putative hell and damnation or being refused entry into some equally putative heaven to make me behave in a "good" way, I *CHOOSE* to behave that way. Why do *you* have such a problem with that?

----You don't even know what 'good' is, yet you say you behave in a 'good' way. That is the problem. Other people also claim to be doing good.. and justify it in the same manner as you. Yet their good is not yours.. and may end up being to your detriment. So which is good? Your subjective opinion gets you nowhere.

-----The case of the riots shows that there are many who actually do need rules, punishments, and rewards in order to keep them in line.

----When you start quoting Shakespeare and the like, you essentially are saying that you could not think this thing up yourself. Where does that leave your claim of thinking for yourself? All your doing is repeating which on the other hand you don't like others doing.

You go on to say "People tend to do whatever they want to, whatever they can get away with. The riots are evidence of that." but how many people actually *participated* in those riots? How many just tagged along? How many wanted nothing to do with them? The last group is, of course, by far the largest, but they're not newsworthy, yet they are the ones who *had* the opportunity to "do whatever they wanted" but *chose* not to!

----Which is besides the point. The point is the ones who did not live up to your standards, and did go out. They are strong evidence that your opinion is far off the mark. They are the reason for laws and enforcment.. in your world.. these people do not appear to exist, you just wish them away with a 'well the majority are not like them'. I'd suggest that once people saw that they could get away with it.. more would also riot and you would find that very few people would be left behind.

J1 I see little point in continuing this discussion with you because whatever I say, it seems you're going to fall back on "my holy book, my god, his prophet said this, so I can't argue against it". Well fine, that's your choice and I respect your right to believe it.

----Dissapointing, but hardly surprising.. people claiming to think for themselves are a dime a dozen, however actually running across one that has carried out the task is rare. In order for one to actually carry out the great task of free thinking wrt good and bad etc.. one needs to spend alot of time and effort on deciding on what to base right and wrong, and then build a framework from there.

----I know I would not be capable of it.

What I will not respect and what I will not submit to is someone telling me "I believe this, I don't like that, so just because of that *you* are not allowed to do it" which is where we came in and this is where I *choose* to step out.

----I'd suggest you reread my first post again.. Jake was asking about the Islamic justification for his curiosity.. I provided it. You might recall I did mention that 'in the case of Islam' etc... whether you like it or not, the answer was for the question.

----Perhaps you would have been happier if others poked a bit more fun at the expense of Islam?? probably wouldn't have ruffled any feathers that way.. cause that would not be classed as arrogance or presumption. Would probably have sat well with the rest of the drinking, porn etc.. that you guys seem eager to protect.

----When one is content with jokes at the others expense.. this does not show any respect. You were even happy to quote a comedian. If this is what respect looks like...

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Re: @J1 - Graham Marsden ... 20120722 07:50...

J1 - I wasn't planning on replying again, but you make comments that I wil not leave unaddressed.

Firstly it is not "arrogant to dismiss all gods in one fell swoop", it is a simple fact that there is *no proof* of the existence of *any* gods. To claim existence and expect others to accept this without proof is arrogance. If you can provide demonstratable proof, I'm entirely willing to admit that I am wrong and gods exist, but even without proof you insist that your god does exist. (BTW calling this "faith" instead does not eliminate the total absence of proof).

Next, why should I not "get involved"? This is a public discussion, not a private conversation. You claimed (incorrectly) that "for Atheists there is not right and wrong", justifying this by claiming that only god (or, at least, your god) could a) do this and b) judge it. I have pointed out that your view is as subjective as mine, but you refuse to accept this, continuing to expect me to accept that, since Atheism is "made up" whilst your "objective" holy book is divinely inspired, thereby it is *you* who "have won".

I have to say, by the way, that I wish I could find it astonishing that you seem to be proud of the fact that you "never claimed to be able to think for myself". You gave me some reasons "to reject such names as god", based on what, it seems, you want to believe a god should be and you seem incapable of realising that those are, once again, totally subjective. When you can objectively and logically justify that a god *should* be such things in the first place, *then* you can start asking me for my reasons of rejecting such claims. Of course that's not likely to happen since you admit you're unable to think for yourself and question what you have blindly accepted "on faith".

You bring up drinking, porn, free sex etc and say "I suspect these are all to do with the Atheist attitude... of you only live once.. enjoy it while it lasts. You claim to be the exception, but still want to enjoy drinking, porn and free sex in all their forms", well, yes, at least you pretty much get that right, albeit for the wrong reasons. Sure, if people abuse drink etc, it causes problems, but that is *not* justification for banning them. There are plenty of people who enjoy such things *without* causing problems, yet once again you seem to think that the Nanny State should step in and say "well *some* people can't enjoy these things without abusing them, so *nobody* should be allowed to enjoy them at all!"

You say "You don't even know what 'good' is, yet you say you behave in a 'good' way. That is the problem. Other people also claim to be doing good.. and justify it in the same manner as you. Yet their good is not yours.. and may end up being to your detriment. So which is good? Your subjective opinion gets you nowhere", yet you fail to remember that there are those who follow the same god as you, who have read the same holy book as you and who have undertaken some truly despicable actions against innocents, yet they still believe that they are "doing good". So where does *your* allegedly objective opinion get you? Sure, *if* you're right and there's some deity passing out judgements after death, they may get punished, but that doesn't do any good(!) in *this* world, does it?

Regarding the quote from Shakespeare, you're really reaching now. Nobody has *told* me to accept what he wrote without question, nobody has threatened me with damnation if I don't believe it, those words simply are a good summation of my feelings, not holy writ.

And so you dismiss me as "not thinking for myself" because you again admit that you are not capable of doing so and have to rely on the crutch of faith, but if your faith is so weak that jokes at its (or your) expense upset you then perhaps it's not as good(!) as you think.

Now I am finished with this discussion and will leave you with what I said back in my first post: "So please, feel free to hold to whatever beliefs you want and don't do things that you consider are "forbidden" to you, but do not be so arrogant as to consider everyone else to be so weak-minded and morally bankrupt that they need *you* to protect them from all the bad things in the world with a "Nanny (or god) knows best" attitude."

If you wish to declare victory or get the last word in, please feel free.

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Re: Out of curiosity ...

The correct answer is yes, but not during daytime when you're supposed to fast. Food and sex is not allowed from sunrise to sunset.

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Part1 Re: @J1 - Graham Marsden ... 20120722 22:39...

J1 - I wasn't planning on replying again, but you make comments that I wil not leave unaddressed.

----Hmmm, perhaps I'll do so again, and then you will feel compelled again.

Firstly it is not "arrogant to dismiss all gods in one fell swoop", it is a simple fact that there is *no proof* of the existence of *any* gods.

----Oh really, how much proof have you looked at? Which proofs have you looked in relation to 3000 list of names.. it must have taken quite alot of time. So far you haven't given any reason for rejecting any, just there's 'no proof'. Which proofs did these gods make, and how did you reject them. What you actually are doing, is repeating the standard view of the society.. the likes of your comedian for instance. Otherwise, it should not be hard to provide a number of examples.. lets not go for the full list.. but take your pick out of the 3000, perhaps a few from each hundred or so would suffice.

----As to Islam, there is plenty of proof around.. what counts as proof to you? Note, one could just discount this as a subjective request for stuff to fit into your world view.. something I will not be able to fulfill.

----Anyway, here goes.

----A miracle perhaps, the Quran claims to be one.. one which is not reproducable.. ie. it lays down a challenge to those who say it is not to produce a chapter like it.. many have tried over the years.. you can even see examples on the the net. This claim is falsifyable. Perhaps you could take it up. Muslims became masters of cryptography of the time.. why.. they wanted to be able to analyse the language, and see if they could just distinguish different peoples writings/speaches just based on the word usage, structure etc.. There is a very distinct difference between the Quran, and the sayings of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him. People have overtime been able to mimic the words of the Prophet, peace be upon him, but not the Quran.

----Perhaps history, When Islam came, over the period of 23 years.. everything changed in the society that it came to. From the way the people eat to what they wear, to how they go to the toilet, to how they marry, how they run their government, finance, social system, what they considered as good and bad.. there was nothing that was left untouched. In the case of revolutions, the only thing that normally changes.. is the government.. in this case everything was changed. It's a pretty striking example on a large scale, if one where to pay attention.

----The US tried prohibition in the 1930's. They realised the danger of drinking (something you still do not appreciate), and tried to do something about it. They spent alot of money, put people in prison etc.. to make it work.. and failed. In the case of Islam, one revelation came down.. and the people stopped. Why, because the people where prepared beforehand to receive the commandment. Its a pretty outstanding example. Peoples hearts had been imbued with the love of God.. ie. something greater than themselves. So when the revelation came down, they were happy to accept it. As opposed to the example of yourself.. you have no trust of your government etc.. and would reject their commandments.. if they went against you subjective views..

----Perhaps you like wars etc.. The Muslims fought in many wars, always outnumber heavily, took on 2 superpowers (the Romans and the Persians), at the same time, without superior weaponary or tactics, yet they won.

----Quran 21:30 Do not, see, those who, disbelieved, that, the heavens, and the earth, were, a joined entity, then we parted them, and we made, from, water, every, living thing, then will not, they believe.

----There are many of the above type of verses which talk about matters beyond the wit of the Arab of the desert at the time. In this case, those being addressed are those that claim this is not from God.. The heavens and earth, one entity.. God parted them.. made from water every living thing.. will you not then believe.. its not even being addressed to the believer.. but to the self professed free thinker type.. where did this man in the desert get this from?

----Quran 51:47 And the heaven, we constructed it, with strength, and indeed we, surely expanders.

----Expanding the heaven.... how did he know that.. people only worked that out a few years ago.. required alot of work to get there.. needed the invention of alot of equipment... yet the man in the desert is saying it 1500 years ago.

----You mentioned that you'd want God to come and tell it to you face to face.. He does not do that for most people. That is the reason for the Prophets, and that line is at an end. So your on your own with this type.

----The Quran makes the claim that the day and night are signs, mountains, sea's etc.. however, I am sure you have already discounted all these, based on what?

----There are the many prophecies.. ones that were fulfilled, ones that are yet to be so..

----Perhaps a mention of the honesty and trustworthiness of the final Prophet, peace be upon him, would help??

----Perhaps you want to be sure that the Quran we have today is what was revealed to the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him.. how was it preserved etc..

----How about a sign to do with how to clean oneself when one goes to the loo. This is sign that impressed a particular Christian, that he started to look seriously at Islam because of it.. however, for you, it may only be a justification for more mirth.

To claim existence and expect others to accept this without proof is arrogance.

----I never said I expect you to accept anything. Infact I am pretty sure that you will accept nothing. An example of this kind of mentality (one I've used before)...

----The splitting of the moon. The people of Mecca asked (again and again) for a sign. What sign would you like.. we'd like to see you split the moon in two. You sure about that? sure were sure.. will you believe in the revelation if God does this for you? defintely (got nothing to lose, not possible to split the moon after all)... ok then, lets meet in area abc, and get your people together so they can see this aswell. At area abc, the people meet up, and the moon is split. The people are blown away. Ok, you saw that right? errr, our eyes were bewitched. hmmmn, you were given the sign you asked for, are you now going to believe? errr, no, you are a magician, you bewitched our eyes.. no one accepted.

----Over the next few days, weeks, as caravans came in to the city from the desert, people in the caravans also described the splitting of the moon.. man did you see a couple of nights ago, I saw the moon, it was in two bits. Did you see it? err yeah.. I saw it.

----Many years passed, Mecca becomes Muslim. Now it becomes a source of shame for them to admit that they saw the sign, yet did not believe.

----This kind of behaviour is normal, people are always doing it.. take for example the signs of the Holy Prophet Moses, peace be upon him. He showed sign after sign, yet the people still did not believe and follow him. They still came after him with an army. Even his own people, built the golden calf after witnessing the signs..

----Even when a sign hits one between the eyes.. I expect most people to reject it. In the house of Islam, we are told that most people will reject God.. only 1 out of every 1000 will accept Him and enter paradise.

If you can provide demonstratable proof, I'm entirely willing to admit that I am wrong and gods exist, but even without proof you insist that your god does exist. (BTW calling this "faith" instead does not eliminate the total absence of proof).

----See above. What is demonstratable proof? What does it look like, do you have an example of any?

----If you are asking for something you can try.. well sure there is. Give up on your drinking, porn etc.. spend a number of months away from the world you are immersed in, you will need the time to clean you up, detox yourself so to speak.. listen to the Quran in Arabic, as recited by a master. Listen for a few hours every day. The Quran makes the claim that it is a healing, you can try it out.

----Will you, I doubt it.

----You could try and take up the challenge of the Quran, to produce a chapter like it. Will you, I doubt it.

----There is a difference between the one who is really interested, and being honest with such a request as above.. and the one who is just using it as cludge to win an argument. Well, I'm throwing your cludge back at you.. lets see if you pick it up, or run for the hills.

Next, why should I not "get involved"? This is a public discussion, not a private conversation.

----You already say that all you have to offer is subjective.. and you also say that whatever someone else has, carries as much weight, no good or bad... that is why you should not get invovled.. it would be consistent with your stated view. Getting involved is not. It suggests you actually think your view is superior. Which is not consistent with what you claim.

You claimed (incorrectly) that "for Atheists there is not right and wrong", justifying this by claiming that only god (or, at least, your god) could a) do this and b) judge it.

----Wrong, I said there is no objective right and wrong in Atheism.. please try and stick with what is being said. You may recall you agreed with this previously, and now you don't. Atheism on display.

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Part2 Re: @J1 - Graham Marsden ... 20120722 07:50...

I have pointed out that your view is as subjective as mine, but you refuse to accept this, continuing to expect me to accept that, since Atheism is "made up" whilst your "objective" holy book is divinely inspired, thereby it is *you* who "have won".

----Wrong again. I said that if God exists, and my book is indeed the word of God, then it is objective. Notice the if.. then.

I have to say, by the way, that I wish I could find it astonishing that you seem to be proud of the fact that you "never claimed to be able to think for myself".

----I did not say I was proud of it. I just said that I never made the claim.. remember, your the one making that particular claim.. and showing a singular lack of ability on that front. Really, you have got to start dealing with what people are saying, this could yet be another reason that you for the moment should not take part in discussions.

You gave me some reasons "to reject such names as god", based on what, it seems, you want to believe a god should be and you seem incapable of realising that those are, once again, totally subjective.

----I asked you whether you agreed to the reasons. As I said, its immaterial where they came from if we are already in agreement on them.

When you can objectively and logically justify that a god *should* be such things in the first place, *then* you can start asking me for my reasons of rejecting such claims.

----In your world, objectivity does not exist.. therefore its an impossible task. However, you can see above.

----As to the use of logic. see below.

Of course that's not likely to happen since you admit you're unable to think for yourself and question what you have blindly accepted "on faith".

----Err, again I did not say that either. You said that you can think for yourself... thats your claim.. I did not make that same claim.. how does this lead you to saying that I admitted that I cannot think for myself.. how are you going to be able to judge the logic of an argument, if you cannot even work out the logic of this.

You bring up drinking, porn,

----No, it was you who brought them up.. you'll also recall that the particular article is about stopping porn getting into the Indonesia.

free sex etc and say "I suspect these are all to do with the Atheist attitude... of you only live once.. enjoy it while it lasts. You claim to be the exception, but still want to enjoy drinking, porn and free sex in all their forms", well, yes, at least you pretty much get that right, albeit for the wrong reasons. Sure, if people abuse drink etc, it causes problems, but that is *not* justification for banning them. There are plenty of people who enjoy such things *without* causing problems, yet once again you seem to think that the Nanny State should step in and say "well *some* people can't enjoy these things without abusing them, so *nobody* should be allowed to enjoy them at all!"

----Ofcourse its a justification, just not one that you like. If the harm produced is greater than the enjoyment you are getting, its a pretty good justification. However, in your Atheistic world, there is no good and bad.. therefore its probably all ok.. the abuse etc..

You say "You don't even know what 'good' is, yet you say you behave in a 'good' way. That is the problem. Other people also claim to be doing good.. and justify it in the same manner as you. Yet their good is not yours.. and may end up being to your detriment. So which is good? Your subjective opinion gets you nowhere", yet you fail to remember that there are those who follow the same god as you, who have read the same holy book as you and who have undertaken some truly despicable actions against innocents, yet they still believe that they are "doing good".

----Wrong again. Those that have carried out such actions will be punished accordingly, with an exemplary punishment. Those that said they were doing it in the name of Islam, will be dealt with severely since they tarnished the image of Islam also. Justice will prevail.

----As to those that did things based on their own subjective views.. ie. the vast majority of people.. in your view.. nothing will happen to them.. since there is nothing after death. No justice..

----Its pretty poor to bring this one up, since it turns on you so badly.. If I am being held responsible for all those that profess the Islamic faith, and have committed bad deeds.. then you can jolly well be responsible for all those that have done whatever they have done based on their own whims and desires. You have many many many times the horrors committed on your side. Just based on that, and your Wiccan rede, you'd have to reject your position.

So where does *your* allegedly objective opinion get you? Sure, *if* you're right and there's some deity passing out judgements after death, they may get punished, but that doesn't do any good(!) in *this* world, does it?

----It does a world of good, oh yes that word again.. what is good by the way? Perhaps I should take the same tag line you appear to like.. once you can objectively and logically justify that the things you mention are good or bad, then you can start asking me for reasons for rejecting your claims.. feels to you like I'm ducking the issue right?

----Good in this world is pretty relative. Good for one guy can be bad for another. And you cannot judge something as good or bad, if you cannot see the end outcome of it all. If you are limiting your self to this world.

----However, if God exists, and the revelation is indeed from Him, then it is possible that the suffering, difficulties etc.. that people endured, while in this world, lead to something alot better. Suppose for instance if they get a massive compensation for being tortured.. they may well come to view that as a price worth paying. An eternal life of bliss, for a few difficult hours.. if one were to put it in terms of exams.. and preparing for them. You have to put in alot of effort to prepare to sit an exam, thats the hardship that you are undergoing. Once you sit the exam and pass it, you have the ability to enjoy the fruits of that hardship you endured for the rest of your life.

----In the house of Islam, the joy, pleasure, happiness etc.. that is on offer is way beyond comprehension.. and is eternal.. therefore the limited amount of difficulties one has to endure on this end may well be worth it on the other end. You have to gain a longer term view.

----Further, in the case of the believer doing bad deeds, one can show them the evidence, in the case of Islam from the Quran and Sunnah, to get them to change their behaviour.. if they are a believer, they will change, if not, then they are just someone who wants to do as they please... an Atheist perhaps.

----If you do not know that there is a hereafter, that one needs to prepare for.. then sure it does not help you here.. but that choice of accepting the hereafter, based on plenty of evidence, is up to you. You are putting yourself in the position of, it doesn't do you any good in this world.

----Actually from various items in the media it appears that even if you just belive in it based on nothing, it still helps you deal with the difficulties better than one who does not.

Regarding the quote from Shakespeare, you're really reaching now. Nobody has *told* me to accept what he wrote without question, nobody has threatened me with damnation if I don't believe it, those words simply are a good summation of my feelings, not holy writ.

----I did not say anyone had, I just said that you are repeating the words of another, which does not sit well with your claim of thinking for yourself. If you think for yourself, you have no need to rely on others.. yet you do, and so do not.

And so you dismiss me as "not thinking for myself" because you again admit that you are not capable of doing so and have to rely on the crutch of faith, but if your faith is so weak that jokes at its (or your) expense upset you then perhaps it's not as good(!) as you think.

----In that case we are in the same boat.. you get upset because you have no objective reason for anything. Want to paint the other as arrogant and presumptious.. and me because someone makes a mockery of God, or me, or whatever else you can come up with.

----As to a crutch.. its been pretty good to me so far.. and proving to be better and better all the time. Atheism seems to be giving you nothing... perhaps not even a crutch. You appear to be lurching from side (drinking) to side (porn), with no help to keep you upright. The position of Islam is that man is created weak, and needs the crutch of his Lord to help him to stand up. Without it, all he can manage is the lurching, and falling over.

----You might recall the point about respect that was being made, on the one hand you are claiming to respect, yet on the other are happy to trade jokes etc.. with your buddies. The two are not consistent. I pointed this out. You do not appear to like it.

----The thing I did say, was that I would not be capable of carrying out the massive task/undertaking of building a moral framework.. what is right and wrong, from the ground up. It's a massive task. You seem to think you have already done so.. yet you have shown nothing of the sort.

----Here's something else for you.. the very fact that someone gets upset, shows that they have strong emotions attached with whatever that thing is.

----So, should I suggest that your Atheism is weak because you get upset when someone says something about it that you don't like.. I think you would disagree.

----Similarly, when one has strong association with Islam, it is not a sign that you feel threatened or weak when you stand up for it strongly. Its actually a sign of strength. Islam is way of life for dealing with the real world.

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Part3 Re: @J1 - Graham Marsden ... 20120722 22:39...

Now I am finished with this discussion

----What a shame. Though it is a good place to go away and spend sometime on self examination. Somethings to concentrate on.

----1. What does it mean to be respectful.

----2. What is logic, how does one use it, why should it be used.

----3. Proofs, what are they, why are they important, what would you accept.

----4. Why did you reject all the 3000 gods. Do you actually have any reasons, did you look at the proofs (if they exist) for each of them, or is it just something everyone else does, so you did to, just not to be laughed at by your drinking/porn buddies.

----5. Why do you enjoy drinking, and why should that be more important for a society than the harm it causes.

----6. Why do you enjoy porn, and why should that be more important for a society than the harm it causes.

----to 5 and 6 you can add the many other things you may have on your list of activities that you enjoy, that are a detriment to a society, the people invovled, and to you.

----7. If God exists, and the revelation in ones hand is His.. then is it possible for ones own opinion to be on the same level as His. You will notice the if.. then.

----8. What is good and bad. Where did you get the usage that you appear to apply. Was it just from the society, or did you actually make it up yourself.

----9. What does it mean to think for yourself. Does it mean that you rely on others, to repeat the words of others.

----10. The items at the top wrt to Islam.. do any of them make sense. If not, why not, just personal desire, or something more.

----apologies, this list does appear to be getting quite long.

and will leave you with what I said back in my first post: "So please, feel free to hold to whatever beliefs you want and don't do things that you consider are "forbidden" to you, but do not be so arrogant as to consider everyone else to be so weak-minded and morally bankrupt that they need *you* to protect them from all the bad things in the world with a "Nanny (or god) knows best" attitude."

----Again, the riots, the prison population etc.. are all proofs agaisnt what you are saying.. however proofs appear to count for little.. such is the world of the Atheist.

If you wish to declare victory or get the last word in, please feel free.

----Oh no you don't, that was your game.. not mine. The jokes, the point scoring etc.. all yours.. this winning thing seems to be pretty important to you.. you've bought it up again. Perhaps its a rear guard action.

----For what its worth, I consider this a dissapointment, at the moment. Perhaps I could have explained something a bit better.. perhaps not. I do however have hope.. it could be that in the future, you will appreciate more what I have been saying, or trying to say. Human beings are such creatures, that it does take time for things to sink in. People change overtime, experience, age all have a part to play. Take the example that I gave above of the people who wanted the sign of the moon splitting.. they rejected the sign, fought against the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, and only years later accepted it. Their behaviour was more extreme than is your.. you've just called me arrogant etc.. hardly anything in comparison.. if they could learn and change.. perhaps we all can.

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Re: Part3 @J1 - Graham Marsden ... 20120722 22:39...

So Islam implements all the rules regarding say porn and alcohol for the good of society. How does Islam justify the atrocities that some of it's proponents have committed?

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Re: Re: Part3 @J1 - Graham Marsden ... 20120722 22:39...

"......----5. Why do you enjoy drinking, and why should that be more important for a society than the harm it causes.

----6. Why do you enjoy porn, and why should that be more important for a society than the harm it causes....."

Oh, come on! Have you seen the average "devout Muslim" Arab when he hits New York, London, Rome or Paris? Drunk, chasing blondes and gambling like there's no tomorrow. And then please ask yourself why it is that countries like Iran, Iraq, Saudi, Kuwait and - yes! - Indonesia all have thriving local pr0n industries serving up cheap and very nasty filth to the locals, made by the locals? You going to blame it all on "decadent Westerners"? Monumental fail. I suggest you stop reading the Koran and go and look outside at the real World.

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@Titus Technophobe - 20120724 09:47

Quran 4:135: You who believe! be upholders of justice, bearing witness for Allah alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives. Whether they are rich or poor, Allah is well able to look after them. Do not follow your own desires and deviate from the truth. If you twist or turn away, Allah is aware of what you do.

I would imagine you have been keeping up with the rest of the discussion so far.

The only thing of concern you have is the issue following.

Can I assume that you have no problems with the rest of it?

----So Islam implements all the rules regarding say porn and alcohol for the good of society.

The laws that God sends down are for the benefit of humankind, yes.

Whether or not people follow them is up to them as individuals and as a whole. We will all be held responsible for them. So the case for the Muslims at the moment is indeed dire.. since there are many laws that we as a whole are not adhering to.. take the example of interest/usury on money. The majority of banking across the Muslim world is interest based. This is in the house of Islam classed as one of the major sins.

----How does Islam justify the atrocities that some of it's proponents have committed?

First you'll have to say what an atrocity is.. as I have said, for the Atheist, there is no such thing, not objectively.

In the case of Islam, it does not justify even any bad deeds a person carries out. Anything that breaks Gods laws are to be dealt with in this world by the authorities.. if they are not, then both the authorities, and those responsible for the deeds will be held accountable on the day of reckoning. The day on which there will be no freedom, no lawyers, just one, ones deeds, and ones Lord.

Being in authority is not a good position to be in, in the house of Islam, if one is building up more and more sins that one will have to answer for before God and those you oppressed/betrayed/persecuted/took advantage of etc.. the responsibility is much greater than that for the common man. Any and every position that puts one in authority over others is counted. So a parent over his/her children, is also a position of authority.

People seem to think that being a Muslim means that you can do whatever you want. This is far from the case. As I mentioned in one of the previous posts, the responsibility is much greater, the questioning will be much more intense, the standard expected of one is higher. Lots of Muslims will be punished for the sins that they commited here on earth that they had not atoned for before the end of their test period (death). So for instance, if a Muslim steals, and does not apologise and make amends for it to the one he stole from etc.. then he will be faced with making such amends for this deed on the day of Judgement. The situation of those who commit murder etc.. is ofcourse much worse.

Contrasting this with the case of what the Atheist believes.. nothing after death, good and bad, whatever you want them to be.. therefore no responsibility for anything. No justice, in this world, or the next. Infact, for the Atheist, justice does not even exist... no such thing objectively after all.

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Re: @Titus Technophobe - 20120724 09:47

> First you'll have to say what an atrocity is..

How about the attacks on the World Trade Centre in the US on September 11th? That's an atrocity from my perspective. I have never read an outright statement by Islam that this was against the will of God, and that the people involved would be accountable to god.

If so much of Islam is for the benefit of mankind, as you have said, how does killing close to 3000 innocents fit logically into the religion?

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Re: @Titus Technophobe - 20120724 09:47

"....So Islam implements all the rules regarding say porn and alcohol for the good of society....." Really? So it had nothing to do with the fact that 7th century Arabs were prone to getting drunk a lot, and Mohammed needed them sober in order to complete his plans to conquer the Saudi Arabian peninsula? Strange, because he only started telling people not to drink when he needed that sober army, not straight after his alleged chats with Gabriel.

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Re: @Titus Technophobe - 20120724 09:47

> First you'll have to say what an atrocity is..

----How about the attacks on the World Trade Centre in the US on September 11th? That's an atrocity from my perspective.

Are your an Atheist?

Why is that an atrocity?

Can you objectively justify it as one?

Your saying from your perspective.. Is that your subjective opinion?

---- I have never read an outright statement by Islam that this was against the will of God, and that the people involved would be accountable to god.

If you were to carry out the simplest of google searches.. you can find lots..

'islam condemns 9 11'

http://www.islamicity.com/articles/articles.asp?ref=am0109-335

http://kurzman.unc.edu/islamic-statements-against-terrorism/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactions_to_the_September_11_attacks

Would you expect other populations to also come out with statements condemning atrocities commited by a few of their numbers?

----If so much of Islam is for the benefit of mankind, as you have said, how does killing close to 3000 innocents fit logically into the religion?

Quran 5:32. Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with clear proofs, evidences, and signs, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits in the land!.

Read the condemnations.

Does Atheism recognise innocence? Suppose if the victims had not been innocent of whatever you think they were innocent off.. would it not count as an atrocity? Does it make a difference in Atheism, which has no right and wrong, no good or bad. Is it not bad enough if 3000 people where killed?

Why do you want logic to be used? Does Atheism require its use?

As to a justification, you'd have to ask those that committed the act, what their logic for it was.

Perhaps its similar to the following, if part of a population commits something awful.. then the whole population is to be condemned and held accountable.

There are loads of people with that kind of mentality around.. all over the news, internet.. but perhaps you've never seen them either.

This kind of mentality only works for the other, not for ones own society, since ofcourse the individual or group from ones own neck of the woods cannot be a representative of the whole in that case... since one knows better ofcourse.

You have ducked the question.. what objectively is an atrocity?

The rest of the discussion, do accept it? you have not answered this one either,

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So basically, J1 ... (was: Re: @Titus Technophobe - 20120724 09:47)

... if your Shaman says "jump", you wonder "how high" ...

Me, I wonder where I'll come down, and who I'll hurt when I hit the deck.

Personally, as an individual, I go out of my way not to hurt anybody. Not as a government, or as a religion, but as an individual. Me. Personally. I have ethics & ethos. Do you?

Objectively, an "atrocity" is the wrong word, because it takes more than one word to describe statistically meaningless events brought about by politically & religiously intolerant xenophobic nutcases.

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@ J1 - One question and some answers

I have one yes or no question for you 'Do you believe god condemns the actions of the people who attacked the world trade centre'?

Are your an Atheist?

Why is it relevant? The points I have put to you are raised from a secular perspective.

Why is that an atrocity?

The dictionary definition of an atrocity (in this context) is 'acts of extreme cruelty'. By cruelty we mean unjustified actions that harm others, and 'extreme' would mean either of numbers, or actions that cause excessive harm. (This also answers your first question for a generic definition of atrocity)

The September 11th attack on the World Trade Centre was an atrocity because it was an unjustified action resulting in both excessive harm (killing somebody is about the most harm possible) to a large number of people.

Can you objectively justify it as one?

Yes. See above.

Your saying from your perspective.. Is that your subjective opinion?

No. See above. Objectively there is no more harm you can do to a person than killing them, and 3000 is a large number. Both these objective points define the attack on the World Trade Centre as an 'atrocity'.

Would you expect other populations to also come out with statements condemning atrocities commited by a few of their numbers?

Yes. For reference see the statements by the UK government on atrocities committed in Kenya.

Does Atheism recognise innocence?

No idea, ask Graham above that one. But secular governments do recognise innocence.

Suppose if the victims had not been innocent of whatever you think they were innocent off.. would it not count as an atrocity?

If the attack was justified then the attack on the World Trade Centre would not count as an atrocity. Is there any justification?

Does it make a difference in Atheism, which has no right and wrong, no good or bad. Is it not bad enough if 3000 people where killed?

See above.

Why do you want logic to be used? Does Atheism require its use?

Logic is a test of truth and falls outside the bounds of religion. As to the beliefs of atheism ask an atheist?

As to a justification, you'd have to ask those that committed the act, what their logic for it was.

They are dead but I understand that their Imam's had informed them that the justification was that 'All Americans were legitimate targets', and that this act would 'fast pass them to heaven'. This seems very wrong to me. Indeed as you say yourself "Perhaps its similar to the following, if part of a population commits something awful.. then the whole population is to be condemned and held accountable."

This also follows into you next question

There are loads of people with that kind of mentality around.. all over the news, internet.. but perhaps you've never seen them either.

I have seen the people to whom you refer. I don't believe there is a term for Religious Intolerance (which I guess was the justification for the World Trade Centre), however I would condemn this intolerance along with sexism, racism etc.

I would condemn all atrocities against a group of people on the basis of a retaliation for stereotypical assumed misbehavior by that group of people. This would include the attacks on the world trade centre, the killings of Sikhs believing that they are Islamic, and indeed the attacks on Islamic peoples.

As to my question above I asked that particular question because you don't seem to subscribe to either my belief in condemning atrocities, or tolerance of other people. Whilst you have supplied references to Islamic condemnations of the attack, you then go onto albeit vaguely provide justification for the attacks.

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Re: @ J1 - One question and some answers

----I have one yes or no question for you 'Do you believe god condemns the actions of the people who attacked the world trade centre'?

All oppression, whether great or small, is condemned by God.

All acts where innocents, as you said, are targetted. That includes your personal favourites, and those of everyone else.

Just to make something clear, I have mentioned this before, however it seems it needs repeating, in the house of Islam, I cannot say something about God, that He has not said so Himself. So whether God condems the WTC attacks, I do not know. I neither have the ear of God, nor converse etc.. with Him.

All I can say is based on what He has revealed.. and in the revelation He says that any innocent that is killed, unjustly, will be counted as if all of humankind was killed.

It is immaterial the numbers invovled, a single innocent person killed, is an atrocity.

A single bad word said to someone, will have to be answered for.

----Are your an Atheist?

----Why is it relevant? The points I have put to you are raised from a secular perspective.

Why hide it?

It is relevant so that one knows what mindset you purport to come from.. do you claim to think for yourself?

Secular is basically the same mentality of make it up as you go along.. God and His revelation have nothing to do with anything.

----Why is that an atrocity?

----The dictionary definition of an atrocity (in this context) is 'acts of extreme cruelty'. By cruelty we mean unjustified actions that harm others, and 'extreme' would mean either of numbers, or actions that cause excessive harm. (This also answers your first question for a generic definition of atrocity)

----The September 11th attack on the World Trade Centre was an atrocity because it was an unjustified action resulting in both excessive harm (killing somebody is about the most harm possible) to a large number of people.

This is a subjective opinion.. You are touting around words like harm, cruelty and extreme that not everyone will agree to your opinion on, or that of your dictionary.

Take for instance the word cruelty, the dictionary definition is not the same as what you have given.

Callous indifference to or pleasure in causing pain and suffering.

There is no mention of justification at all in the definition above.

This is still however subjective.

I said objective, not generic.

You seem to be implying, that there could be a justification for killing so many innocent people. That as long as it was justified.. then thats all ok. Are you?

As to whether killing someone is the most harm that can be done to someone. From an Islamic point of view, losing ones hereafter is much much worse. Since the hereafter is forever, and not for a few short years in this realm.

----Logic is a test of truth and falls outside the bounds of religion.

Logic is a tool, that does not always work. It does not get you to truth, if your assumptions are wrong etc. Even in some cases where they are correct, it still does not get you there. There are also many types of logic.

---As to my question above I asked that particular question because you don't seem to subscribe to either my belief in condemning atrocities, or tolerance of other people.

If you read your previous post, you will notice that you said..

---- I have never read an outright statement by Islam that this was against the will of God...

You obviously are not that interested as you did not carry out the simplest of searches. Such a search would have lead you to the long lists that existed at the links I sent you.. (did you bother to read them?), if you are not that interested, why are you questioning?

I gave you what you wanted, what you requested, outright statements that condemned the attacks. Rather than appreciating the statements, you now somehow want to turn this on its head, and say that I do not subscribe to your beliefs.

How did you come up with your beliefs by the way?

As to tolerance, the very fact we are discussing, shows that tolerance exists.. yet, somehow, you are the only one who somehow is tolerant.

Perhaps this is a different take on the arrogance and presumption game played by Graham in the posts above.

----Whilst you have supplied references to Islamic condemnations of the attack, you then go onto albeit vaguely provide justification for the attacks.

It's what you asked for, is it not.. on the one had if I try to answer you, your going to say that I'm justifying murder, on the other hand, if I don't, well I'm not answering.

You asked a question, I said, I do not know.

However, the kind of thing that people use in such instances.. as it appears you have agreed with in your response, is what I pointed out.

How does this become a justification even if vague?

Do you equate the possibility of understanding something, to a justification for it.. I suppose you would then also say that the justification for something is actually an agreement of it, which I suppose leads to an involvement in it, which I suppose requires one to be strung up for it etc.. is this logic, and how it is supposed to be used?

Going forward, I will be looking at this site less and less.. it is Ramadan after all, a time to get closer to God by fasting etc.... so please forgive me if I am not as prompt as you would like in responding to you.

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@Titus Technophobe .. nakedness .. 20120720 09:58

I was not going to reply to this.. but came across this while I was reading Quran the other day.

If you read what I have been saying in the posts to Graham, good and bad in the house of Islam, are defined by God. Once one accepts that this particular revelation, the Quran, is a revelation from God. Then it becomes incumbent on one to follow the dictates as sent down by God. Whether or not one understands something, whether or not an explanation is provided is irrelevant, ones obligation is to obey.

So at its basic, if God says jump, you do not ask how high, you just do.

If on the other hand if it is not God who is telling you to jump, then you can ask as many questions as you like. It is not your obligation to obey.

Gods creation, His rules.

If its your creation, its your rules.

I found the following about nakedness in the Quran.. this is the from Pickthall translation. Iblis is Satan, further, Iblis is not an Angel as in the Christian conception. Angels in Islam are beings of light, that do not have a choice.. Iblis is jinn, a being of fire.. these are beings like humans who are also given the ability to choose.

007.011 And We created you, then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam! And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who make prostration.

007.012 He said: What hindered thee that thou didst not fall prostrate when I bade thee ? (Iblis) said: I am better than him. Thou createdst me of fire while him Thou didst create of mud.

007.013 He said: Then go down hence! It is not for thee to show pride here, so go forth! Lo! thou art of those degraded.

007.014 He said: Reprieve me till the day when they are raised (from the dead).

007.015 He said: Lo! thou art of those reprieved.

007.016 He said: Now, because Thou hast sent me astray, verily I shall lurk in ambush for them on Thy Right Path.

007.017 Then I shall come upon them from before them and from behind them and from their right hands and from their left hands, and Thou wilt not find most of them beholden (unto Thee).

007.018 He said: Go forth from hence, degraded, banished. As for such of them as follow thee, surely I will fill hell with all of you.

007.019 And (unto man): O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden and eat from whence ye will, but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrong-doers.

007.020 Then Satan whispered to them that he might manifest unto them that which was hidden from them of their shame, and he said: Your Lord forbade you from this tree only lest ye should become angels or become of the immortals.

007.021 And he swore unto them (saying): Lo! I am a sincere adviser unto you.

007.022 Thus did he lead them on with guile. And when they tasted of the tree their shame was manifest to them and they began to hide (by heaping) on themselves some of the leaves of the Garden. And their Lord called them, (saying): Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you: Lo! Satan is an open enemy to you ?

007.023 They said: Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If thou forgive us not and have not mercy on us, surely we are of the lost!

007.024 He said: Go down (from hence), one of you a foe unto the other. There will be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a while.

007.025 He said: There shall ye live, and there shall ye die, and thence shall ye be brought forth.

007.026 O Children of Adam! We have revealed unto you raiment to conceal your shame, and splendid vesture, but the raiment of restraint from evil, that is best. This is of the revelations of Allah, that they may remember.

007.027 O Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you as he caused your (first) parents to go forth from the Garden and tore off from them their robe (of innocence) that he might manifest their shame to them. Lo! he seeth you, he and his tribe, from whence ye see him not. Lo! We have made the devils protecting friends for those who believe not.

007.028 And when they do some lewdness they say: We found our fathers doing it and Allah hath enjoined it on us. Say: Allah, verily, enjoineth not lewdness. Tell ye concerning Allah that which ye know not ?

007.029 Say: My Lord enjoineth justice. And set your faces upright (toward Him) at every place of worship and call upon Him, making religion pure for Him (only). As He brought you into being, so return ye (unto Him).

Please keep in mind, that a translation is not the Quran... just someones understanding of it. It will have errors, etc.. within it. The Quran is only in Arabic.

Further, God gives us many things in life as a test. So for instance, we have nails which grow.. yet we are meant to cut them, when we go to the loo, we make a mess, yet we are meant to clean ourselves and the mess afterwards. Why, because God says it is better for us.

Some things we will agree with, some we will not understand or agree with. Our obligation however, in the house of Islam, is still to obey.

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Re: @Titus Technophobe .. nakedness .. 20120720 09:58

"....the Quran, is a revelation from God...." No, it is what one man said he had been told by an angel. Now, if one of your mates came in to work tomorrow and said the Grand Firefly Fairy had appeared in his garden and told him that the Path of Right was David Icke you'd immedialtely drop Islam, burn your Quran and start listening to your mate? Thought not.

".... if God says jump, you do not ask how high, you just do...." Great, so when some mufti or imam claims that he speaks for your god and says Allah wants to blow up schoolkids on a bus, you're going to be at the head of the queue? Can't say I'm surprised.

You have a brain you just seem unable to use it for independent thought, actually taking pride in your inabaility to function.

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