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Old 06-13-2003, 05:29 PM   #46
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Some good discussion here, however, it is vital for the purposes of cordial debate that the tone is maintained as calm as possible, free of personal assumptions and infringements such as 'its people like you who...' or 'your ignorance is overwhelming'.

Please maintain a tone of civility, especially with such a 'touchy' subject.

Ant.
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Old 06-13-2003, 05:55 PM   #47
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Also, though I have already made my points previously at the beginning of the thread (indeed, it is a topic I am quite passionate about, having spent years living in a country where the religion is pretty much shoved down one's throat), I have to say that believe what you want of the Bible or the Koran, but they are indeed, violent books - I would say that the Bible is indeed far more violent a book than the Koran, but there is still violent content.

How can they not be described as violent, when it speaks of Elijah cutting the throats of so many idolators, the Angel of Death killing all the first born of Egypt, tales of crucifixion, flagellation, stoning etc.? Though I am probably far more knowledgable of the content of the Bible, I have read the Koran and it contains violent passages as well. Words that constantly keep coming up such as 'smiting' and it does indeed speak of 'going to war' with the infidels as well. No, this is not Koran-bashing or the negation of a possibility for a peaceful existence from one's belief in the Koran, it is not only a possibility but a reality. Since not everyone who reads the violent stories in the Bible turn out as homicidal Bible-bashers (in fact, most of them do not), it follows on that not everyone who reads the Koran are going to scream 'jihad' upon termination of reading. Yes, I am stating the obvious, but I do want to make it quite clear that I am not describing the Islamic culture, nor the Christian culture as predominantly violent one - I am merely calling a spade a spade in saying that these books are indeed violent. For instance, even in the Koran, under the chapter of 'Repentance', there is talk of the believers 'making war on the infidels who dwell around you'. (Reading from the Penguin Classics translation, revised edition 1981).

Surely with the mention of 'war', 'smiting' and others (don't get my started on Revelations in the New Testament), one can clearly describe such books as 'violent' in the strictest sense of the word. I am not inferring that they are good books or bad books, that is neither here nor there; they describe violent events.

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Old 06-14-2003, 01:00 AM   #48
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From an anthropological perspective, it would seem that most forms of missionary work could be seen as a form of cultural genocide. To assume that any particular belief is better than any other is ethnocentric.
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Old 06-14-2003, 01:30 AM   #49
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It is my firm belief that relativism is ridiculous.

2 ideas that are opposite cannot both be truth.
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Old 06-14-2003, 10:21 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
It is my firm belief that relativism is ridiculous.

2 ideas that are opposite cannot both be truth.
Well, and I think this statement is illogical. It is possible that one or the other is "Truth" or that neither is "Truth." In the case of religion, it has less to do with "Truth," as much as faith, which is opinion. That's it. Radical Christianity and radical Islam both share at least one thing in common: they believe that only they are right and they aren't shy about forcing it down each others' throats. But how can both be right? They can't, but, at the same time, both could be completely wrong, and there is no amount of argument or evidence that will sway either side.

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Old 06-14-2003, 10:53 AM   #51
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melon, my statement was not illogical at all. I didn't say that one or the other had to be truth. I said that if they are opposite ideas, they cannot both be true. I was responding to the statement:

"To assume that any particular belief is better than any other is ethnocentric."

I was stating my opinion on relativism.
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Old 06-14-2003, 11:08 AM   #52
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The unfortunate truth about missionary work is that it has far reaching historical and cultural effects that cannot be reversed. Truth of a religion aside, changing the belief systems of a culture can never be erased. Far too many cultures have lost touch with their own traditions and ideas because of missionary work. If you take away the beliefs of generations what is left?
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Old 06-14-2003, 12:51 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
melon, my statement was not illogical at all. I didn't say that one or the other had to be truth. I said that if they are opposite ideas, they cannot both be true. I was responding to the statement:

"To assume that any particular belief is better than any other is ethnocentric."

I was stating my opinion on relativism.
Well...if they are opposite ideas and can't both be true, that means, then, that one or the other would have to be true...correct?

And ditto what Anthony said.

Angela
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Old 06-14-2003, 02:21 PM   #54
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Well...if they are opposite ideas and can't both be true, that means, then, that one or the other would have to be true...correct?
Angela
No, they can both be totally opposite and both be wrong.

For instance...Maybe Person A believes his pet cat is loved by everyone in the universe.
Person B is of the belief that no one in the universe loves Person A's pet cat..

Person A and Person B have exact opposite beliefs, and neither one is right.
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Old 06-14-2003, 02:58 PM   #55
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Oh. I see what you're getting at now.

Thanks for clearing it up. .

Angela
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Old 06-14-2003, 05:11 PM   #56
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this is to anythony who said there is more violence in the bible then in the koran. remember the stories of violence you describe is of the old testiment. to me in the new testiment it changes to a time of judgement through death to idoloters to a time of grace! the bible talks of understanging grace to all the koran talks of killing through out it to any christians
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Old 06-14-2003, 05:25 PM   #57
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megadrum,

I agree there is a lot of difference between the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible, however I don't think that means that comments on the violence of the Old Testament are invalid. After all, Christians recognise all 66 (or 73) books of the Bible as Scripture, so you can't just dismiss the contents of the 39 old Testament books.

Out of curiosity, have you read very much of the Koran? I'm not a Muslim and don't pretend to know a huge amount about Islam, but even I know that there is an awful lot more about the Koran than the negative aspects you have highlighted. Also, and please correct me if I'm wrong, I don't believe the Koran makes any reference to Christians, even if it talks about "unbelievers" it doesn't specifically mention Christians.
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Old 06-14-2003, 05:26 PM   #58
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Islam views Christians as People of the Book. The unbelievers or infidels it speaks of are polytheists.
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Old 06-14-2003, 05:30 PM   #59
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Really? I didn't know that. Thanks for correcting me.
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Old 06-14-2003, 05:42 PM   #60
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Maybe going forward we should all just remember this: It's okay to convert to any religion, as long as that religion isn't Christianity.

And an advisory to all Christians: if you feel led to do good things because of your Christian beliefs, and someone asks you what you believe and/or why you wish to help others, simply say, "No comment" or babble something about the 5th Amendment, etc. Therefore, you won't run the risk of "converting" anyone or commiting cultural genocide.

~U2Alabama
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