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Source: (consider it) Thread: The origin of Islamic extremism
leo
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# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
And in end, the question is in that contrast - a God who gives a really good way through Jesus and the apostles to spread a religion non-coercively, voluntarily; and then 600 years later changes his mind and tells Muhammad to go back to the essentially coercive state religion where in many ways the state is something of a barrier to preaching and hearing the word' and the 'conversion through force' questionable.....

But Muslims believe that the NT is inacurate so there is no contradiction.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
And in end, the question is in that contrast - a God who gives a really good way through Jesus and the apostles to spread a religion non-coercively, voluntarily; and then 600 years later changes his mind and tells Muhammad to go back to the essentially coercive state religion where in many ways the state is something of a barrier to preaching and hearing the word' and the 'conversion through force' questionable.....

But Muslims believe that the NT is inacurate so there is no contradiction.
Literally LOL. I was going to write a longer break down of how SL's statement was faulty, but this simple retort will do.

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Callan
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The division within Islam is really the extent to which one can use Mohammed as a precedent for one's actions. If you look at ISIS, for example, the whole thing is a rather macabre attempt to re-enact the early days of the Umma. Muslims who deplore that sort of thing would tend to say that given that Mohammed was in a situation where non-Muslim Arabs would have killed him had they been able to he was justified in defending and extending his territory by force but it doesn't follow that, say, the Mayor of London would be justified in converting the city to the One True Faith by the sword. This is, as I understand it, a perfectly legitimate argument within Islam. The Prophet had, off the top of my head, something like a dozen wives, the Sunna confines believers to four and blamelessly Orthodox Muslims maintain that the dictum to treat all four equally is, essentially, a fairly broad hint that monogamy is the best way. Mohammed's many marriages are seen as an exception forced upon him by the need to make tribal alliances.

Something similar, btw, is how most Christians approach slavery. St. Paul saw it as a fact of life. We do not. If pressed we would probably say something about how St. Paul lived in the Roman Empire where slavery was the basis of much of the economy and where rebellious slaves were punished severely and, therefore, there was a sound prudential ground for his attitude but nothing he said precluded Wilberforce and the abolitionists from denouncing it as a crime later on.

If the entire Islamic world woke up tomorrow and collectively decided that they had been barking up the wrong tree and wanted to embrace Anabaptism, this would be a Result, on all sorts of levels. But, realistically, this is pretty unlikely.

So the question is, how do we empower Muslims like Sadiq Khan against the sort of people who think that ISIS is a good idea? Or to put it another way, how do we strengthen our allies and weaken our enemies? I am by no means averse to evangelism in principle but it does strike me that we might need a few other options as backup here.

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Steve Langton
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A bit ago, I asked mr cheesy to clarify his views about what looks to me and most people to be the historic fact that Muhammad set up an Islamic state by military force. He's been rather persistently evading that answer.

It has been increasingly occurring to me that there's another question he needs to answer - or perhaps realise that the answer he's already got should be affecting his views differently to what's currently going on.

The question is
quote:
"Do you, mr cheesy personally believe that Muhammad is a real prophet of God, and that we are therefore obligated to believe that he can't have made any mistakes, and interpret his acts and teaching accordingly whatever the appearances?

Or is it your personal belief that he was in fact an ordinary bloke, who may have sincerely believed he was a prophet, but in fact was just as likely as the next man to come up with a mix of good and bad ideas, stuff which may be interesting and exciting but can also be flawed and confused and lead to bad results that he didn't realise or foresee?

Indeed, if he was mistaken in believing he was a prophet, isn't he if anything more than average likely to have come up with confused ideas?

As I'm reading the evidence so far provided, and I think it's a legitimate reading, yes there are a lot of modern Muslims who have seen the flaws in Muhammad's position and in the Islamic state (and religious states in general) idea. And the problem is, they're attempting to interpret the situation without quite yet being willing to accept that the problems they're seeing are simply because Muhammad wasn't a true prophet, but an ordinary guy who got things wrong and left things confused....

(BTW, to avoid confusion, the above is not a 'quote' as such; I simply used the quote function to set off my question clearly from the surrounding bits)

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

The question is
quote:
"Do you, mr cheesy personally believe that Muhammad is a real prophet of God, and that we are therefore obligated to believe that he can't have made any mistakes, and interpret his acts and teaching accordingly whatever the appearances?

Or is it your personal belief that he was in fact an ordinary bloke, who may have sincerely believed he was a prophet, but in fact was just as likely as the next man to come up with a mix of good and bad ideas, stuff which may be interesting and exciting but can also be flawed and confused and lead to bad results that he didn't realise or foresee?


Which, to me, seems to be addressing the wrong person. The question is about what Muslims think about Muhammed - and the answer to that would be that for the vast majority of Muslims IME there would be no doubt that Muhammed is a true prophet, indeed The Prophet. Whether that means he didn't make mistakes is probably a different question, and one over which I would expect there to be some disagreement within Islam. I see nothing logically problematic with a belief that Muhammed faithfully and accurately recorded and passed on the message he received from Allah, but that in other aspects of his life he didn't always get it right, made mistakes, and took a less than perfect course of action - or even, the best possible course of action in the circumstances he faced but that that was still imperfect.

So, to the case in point, from my limited knowledge of Islam I don't think there is a divine command recorded that tells Muhammed to create an army and spread Islam by force of arms (ie: no equivalent of the instructions from Yahweh to Joshua to conquer and ethnically cleanse Canaan). So, therefore, a perfectly reasonably valid argument could be made that Muhammed acted in a politically expedient manner in using force of arms to establish Islam, and that either this was the best (but imperfect) approach in the circumstances or that he was actually wrong to do so. In both cases, this would mean that his actions do not automatically mean that force of arms is justified in other circumstances. But, whether that argument is one that works within the traditions of Islam is something you would need to find out from Islamic scholars.

But, if we look at Christian tradition, we take the narratives in Joshua and (even within an 'Evangelical' framework of considering the Bible to be infallible) interpret them to state that Joshua was mistaken or that the ethnic cleansing of Canaan was a special situation which demanded extra-ordinary action, so that only a very small minority of Christians would use these stories to say "and, therefore, we are commanded by God to commit genocide".

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
A bit ago, I asked mr cheesy to clarify his views about what looks to me and most people to be the historic fact that Muhammad set up an Islamic state by military force. He's been rather persistently evading that answer.

No, I've answered it several times: it doesn't matter what I think. What matters is how Muslims perceive their own religion.

quote:
"Do you, mr cheesy personally believe that Muhammad is a real prophet of God, and that we are therefore obligated to believe that he can't have made any mistakes, and interpret his acts and teaching accordingly whatever the appearances?
No, I am not a Muslim. But that's irrelevant as to why Muslims become extremists.

quote:
Or is it your personal belief that he was in fact an ordinary bloke, who may have sincerely believed he was a prophet, but in fact was just as likely as the next man to come up with a mix of good and bad ideas, stuff which may be interesting and exciting but can also be flawed and confused and lead to bad results that he didn't realise or foresee?
What I think of Muhammed is utterly irrelevant as to this question.

quote:
Indeed, if he was mistaken in believing he was a prophet, isn't he if anything more than average likely to have come up with confused ideas?
What I think of Muhammed is utterly irrelevant as to this question.

quote:
As I'm reading the evidence so far provided, and I think it's a legitimate reading, yes there are a lot of modern Muslims who have seen the flaws in Muhammad's position and in the Islamic state (and religious states in general) idea. And the problem is, they're attempting to interpret the situation without quite yet being willing to accept that the problems they're seeing are simply because Muhammad wasn't a true prophet, but an ordinary guy who got things wrong and left things confused....
What I think of Muhammed is utterly irrelevant as to this question.

The point you are consistently failing to grasp is that it isn't up to people outside of Islam to tell Muslims how they should behave or to try to determine which are "true" interpretations of the Koran.

I'm not playing any more, Langton.

[ 29. September 2016, 11:59: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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Steve Langton
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by mr cheesy;
quote:
The point you are consistently failing to grasp is that it isn't up to people outside of Islam to tell Muslims how they should behave or to try to determine which are "true" interpretations of the Koran.
The point you are very persistently failing to grasp is that a large area of the Quran, and Islamic teaching generally, tries to claim that Islam is a successor of the Judeo-Christian tradition while very persistently telling Jews and Christians how to behave, and not just telling us how we should interpret our scriptures but actually insisting that if they don't agree with Muhammad our Scriptures are 'corrupt'. Islam both hijacks our traditions and denigrates them at the same time. We, Christians and Jews, have EVERY RIGHT to defend our faith against that Islamic criticism, and to criticise, comment, question, and tell them our views in response. If he didn't want that criticism Muhammad shouldn't have involved our faith in his. By dragging our faith into his he gave us EVERY RIGHT to criticise. End of!!

On top of which it is simply a general principle applicable to any and all religions that if a religion seeks to missionise people, that is, tries to convert them to the faith, then they necessarily open up their teachings to examination by the intended converts who in turn have again EVERY RIGHT to tell the missionising religion their opinions of it, criticise, comment, etc. When the intended converts are the whole world, the whole world gets the right to criticise. End of!!

And that goes double if not more for a religion when large numbers of its adherents are not just missionising in terms of voluntary acceptance, but are actually trying to impose their beliefs by force. The idea that the religion can be immune from criticism in such a situation is simply intolerable. End of!!

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

If he didn't want that criticism Muhammad shouldn't have involved our faith in his. By dragging our faith into his he gave us EVERY RIGHT to criticise. End of!!

No one is saying that Islam is immune from criticism, neither its texts or its praxis.

However, your general thrust is to continually confuse 'ought' with 'is' (where you get to define 'ought').

Just because you think you have the one true interpretation of the Quran and the life of Mohammed, doesn't mean that a significant number of Muslim will agree with you [and apart from anything else your arguments ignore the ways in which people interpret their own faith - in fact it even ignores the ways in which you interpret your own faith - witness your tap dancing around what involvement in the state should consist of].

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
No one is saying that Islam is immune from criticism, neither its texts or its praxis.

The word of God-Emperor Langdon I, on the other hand, is immune from not only criticism but any comment at all. Note the Imperial "End of!!" precluding any further discussion. You can tell that God-Emperor Landon I is speaking ex cathedra because of the two exclamation points.

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Eutychus
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hosting/

quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
The word of God-Emperor Langdon I,

Crœsos, you know that's over the line in Purgatory, and are quite capable of producing arguments without personal insults. Kindly desist from the latter outside Hell.

/hosting

[ 30. September 2016, 04:54: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Kelly Alves

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Ok, counting Alan's guest host post, that makes three host posts in three pages.

General reminder: y'all have three choices: engage on this thread in a Purgatorial fashion, back away from this thread until you can think of a Purgatorial response, or engage with gusto on the lovely Hell thread provided for you earlier in the week. Stop the personal stuff.

Kelly Alves
Admin.


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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
The point you are very persistently failing to grasp is that a large area of the Quran, and Islamic teaching generally, tries to claim that Islam is a successor of the Judeo-Christian tradition while very persistently telling Jews and Christians how to behave, and not just telling us how we should interpret our scriptures but actually insisting that if they don't agree with Muhammad our Scriptures are 'corrupt'. Islam both hijacks our traditions and denigrates them at the same time. We, Christians and Jews, have EVERY RIGHT to defend our faith against that Islamic criticism, and to criticise, comment, question, and tell them our views in response.

That's an extremely naive view.

Nobody is talking about rights, it is simply about facts; there is no point in trying to tell someone else that you know better than they do about their own religion. Particularly when the thing you think you know better is that their religion, if properly followed, would make them violent psychopaths.

And, once again, it is absolutely nothing about what I think of their religion. I could waste time trying to persuade Mormons that ultimately their religion is going to lead them to becoming sex-pests - but the simple facts of how Mormons live shows that they're no more prone to sexual crimes than anyone else.

There are plenty of religions I consider to be on some kind of scale between bollocks and utter bollocks. Of those, Islam at least should be respected for offering millions of adherents a way to live in peace. Continually shouting about your fixation with how everyone else is ultimately invested in state religious violence isn't an argument worth wasting any more time on.

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Steve Langton
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Right....
I've a quite detailed response to chris which I think he will find reasonable but which I think should not go on the thread, certainly not at the present time.

Croesos, it is rather the point of my general position that I NEVER speak 'ex cathedra', and it might help us all if people would remember that. Indeed didn't I recently make exactly that point to you in the Biblical inerrancy thread? But if you actually read the principles I enunciated above, you will realise that they are elementary principles that the Ship pretty much depends on - the notion, for example, that any religion which seeks to convert people necessarily exposes itself to having its beliefs examined and critiqued by the potential converts. The "!!" was about my belief that those points were common ground for the vast majority of posters on the Ship, not about thinking they're my "Don't you dare argue" ideas. Do you really disagree with what I said there?

mr cheesy, I have simply not been saying about Islam many of the things you suggest. Read me more carefully, please.

Hosts, Admin, I tried but this was a tricky one to respond to....

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:


mr cheesy, I have simply not been saying about Islam many of the things you suggest. Read me more carefully, please.

I'm afraid you did say that Muslims who were legitimately following Muhammed would be looking to set up a violent Islamic state:

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:


As I've pointed out previously, much of the problem here is that Islam was consciously set up by Muhammad to be a 'state religion' and therefore Muhammad himself saw it as proper to practice war/persecution to set up his Islamic state, to defend it, and to expand it. And that approach is heavily supported in the Quran.

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
My point is that in a religion which has developed over time and shows variation of belief and/or practice there is a genuine need to look at the developments and try to decide which are legitimate developments and which are perhaps going down the wrong track - that is, which are the 'real' form of the faith, and which are a false form of it.

You said that there was a true and legitimate development which was the true track of Muhammed and that was the violent Muslim state. You said that.

In fact you've said that multiple times in this thread.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Eutychus
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hosting/

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Read me more carefully, please.

Hosts, Admin, I tried but this was a tricky one to respond to....

Steve Langton, you have been granted considerable leeway in your posting in a gracious attempt by the powers that be to keep you onside.

That is not to be taken as a free pass. I am not an Admin, but I think it's safe to say you are well into "extra mile" territory.

Ordering how other posters should behave is entirely unacceptable, not to mention extremely rude.

Moreover, we take an extremely dim view of running amok and then "apologising" pre-emptively. Your posts are your responsibility and you have plenty of time to engage your brain before posting. In other words, you have no excuse. You always have the option of not replying, or of allowing yourself more time.

Apologies, especially pseudo-apologies, are not mandatory. Conforming to the spirit of our Ten Commandments is, if you want to keep off the Admins' radar.

/hosting

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
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Kelly Alves

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Steve, you can use the damn Hell thread to scold people, too. Knock it off.

Kelly Alves
Admin


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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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Ridiculous as it may be to enter this thread in the midst of all this kerfuffle: In 1977 I went to Eid in Georgetown, Guyana. The neighbours across the street took me with them, it's a bit of a blurr. I hadn't a clue about it. Wonderful. Happy people who had welcomed me. They worship God too. I didn't find much to object too. It was sort of a Christmas in Sept. I experienced it as surrounded by a loving bunch of kind people.

There may be extremists. I didn't notice any in 1977, and I don't notice any here today either, when they open up the hockey arena for an overflow crowd (that's real hockey on ice). I only notice people who extremes kindness, joy and love.

The extremists are a different species. Probably mutant.

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Steve Langton
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Transferred from that Hell thread, so may be a little disconnected till I add some of the other stuff I've been preparing; following from Sioni Sais saying;

quote:
If these women were obedient Muslims then wouldn't they be blowing up infidel Westerners at every opportunity?
that kind of thing is simply not what I'm saying.

As above, I'm saying that IF your religion, like Anabaptist Christianity, DOESN'T do the 'religious state' thing it will not fight wars in the name of the religion, not persecute in the name of the religion (beyond the reasonable situation where any voluntary group says "If you really won't keep our rules please leave"), nor rebel against the state in the name of the religion, and if they do feel it necessary to disobey the state in the interests of obeying God first, they will still be subject to the state by accepting martyrdom for their disobedience rather than fight back with guns etc.

IF your religion DOES accept the idea of running a religious state or being privileged in the state above others, then that adds a whole new set of reasons for wars and rebellions and persecutions, wars for other reasons can be exacerbated by that 'God is on our side attitude' and so on. And in various situations of pressure, either the religious state or those trying to establish such a thing are liable to be tempted to go to extremes, and fall into that temptation. As an example elsewhere of such things, see the post-Constantine era of Christendom with its Crusades, Inquisitions, and atrocities like the Crusader massacre in Jerusalem.

All I'm saying is that
1)Islam is not exempt/immune from the dynamics that produce such conduct, and
2) Islam compared to Christianity has the slight problem that Muhammad's own acts in originally setting up an Islamic state by force in Mecca produces a considerable weight FOR the view that Islam is inherently on the 'religious state' side of that divide and therefore liable from time to time to (a) the pretty much inevitable wars and rebellions that ethos provokes, and (b) lapses into extremism such as seen in ISIS/Al Qaeda/etc.

In this sense, that setting up of an Islamic state by Muhammad, and the support for that in the Quranic Scripture, is the ultimate root of Islamic extremism which is then set off from time to time, as in the present, by responses to more immediate circumstances and pressures....

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:


As above, I'm saying that IF your religion, like Anabaptist Christianity, DOESN'T do the 'religious state' thing it will not fight wars in the name of the religion, not persecute in the name of the religion (beyond the reasonable situation where any voluntary group says "If you really won't keep our rules please leave"), nor rebel against the state in the name of the religion, and if they do feel it necessary to disobey the state in the interests of obeying God first, they will still be subject to the state by accepting martyrdom for their disobedience rather than fight back with guns etc.

IF your religion DOES accept the idea of running a religious state or being privileged in the state above others, then that adds a whole new set of reasons for wars and rebellions and persecutions, wars for other reasons can be exacerbated by that 'God is on our side attitude' and so on.

OK but this is an unfair comparison because you are taking one expression of Christianity - anabaptism - saying it is the authentic version of Christianity and then using as a contrast against the whole of Islam.

One could self-evidently reply that anabaptism does not represent anything other than an recent aberration within Protestant Christianity; that one can only compare the whole of Islam with the whole of Christianity; or that in fact the "true" essence of Islam is a peaceful non-state sect.

However you dress it up, you are still engaged in a process of using your own definitions of what is the truth of Christianity and Islam and unfairly comparing the one with the other.

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quetzalcoatl
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Or you can argue that there is no true essence of anything, and what people usually mean by this is their own view. I am very wary now of people telling me what the truth of something is.

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no path

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Steve Langton
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# 17601

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by mr cheesy;
quote:
OK but this is an unfair comparison because you are taking one expression of Christianity - anabaptism - saying it is the authentic version of Christianity and then using as a contrast against the whole of Islam.

One could self-evidently reply that anabaptism does not represent anything other than an recent aberration within Protestant Christianity; that one can only compare the whole of Islam with the whole of Christianity; or that in fact the "true" essence of Islam is a peaceful non-state sect.

However you dress it up, you are still engaged in a process of using your own definitions of what is the truth of Christianity and Islam and unfairly comparing the one with the other.

I take it from the 'OK' that you are agreeing with my basic point that the religious state (or notion of it, desire to set up such a thing,etc.) does have that effect of adding religious war/rebellion/persecution/etc., to the other more general coerciveness of Croesos' "Weberian state" which operates as the 'local monopoly of force'.

I'm saving fuller examination of the idea of Anabaptism as the truest expression of Christianity for a separate thread on Anabaptism I hope to start.

But it is rather the point here that both religions (and other religions probably do it too) have over the centuries developed variations which are so diverse that it is pretty clear they can't all represent the original founding intention, and therefore may be seriously defective in representing the intentions of the God they worship.

And please do remember that in theory Islam and Christianity worship the SAME God so from a Christian viewpoint Islam is in effect a variant and possibly heretical form of Christianity, a situation which very much entitles Christians to compare the two faiths and ask awkward questions of the newcomer.

Where there are such variations within a religion it is both useful and necessary to explore which may be the 'true' version. I mean, when one version says "No fighting and we're willing to be martyrs", and the other says "We have a duty to fight wars for our faith and burn heretics at the stake" - which is the authentic version of the faith is rather important, and can't be trivially sorted out by the other common Shipboard tactic of declaring it to be just a matter of "There are other opinions" and implicitly or explicitly everybody's opinions are of equal value. Clearly, whichever is true, those alternatives are not a matter for indifference.

And such are the variations within Islam and within Christianity that it is logically impractical to compare "the whole of" one faith with "the whole of" the other. It may not be possible to establish every detail of the 'true original'; but I'd submit it is possible to establish broad outlines for a workable comparison.

quote:
One could self-evidently reply that anabaptism does not represent anything other than an recent aberration within Protestant Christianity
I guess one could reply that - but is it absolutely 'self-evident'? Protestant Christianity itself claims to be a 'Reformation' - an attempt to return to the original compared to an RC church which Protestants consider to have gone off the rails more than a bit. The Anabaptist claim is simply to have seen a further area that needed reforming for consistency with the Protestant biblical ideal, namely the idea of a 'Christian state' and the problems that entails - like the 'Wars of Religion' that followed the Reformation in Europe. Is that really an aberration, or a truer insight into the NT teaching?

And I'm a bit puzzled by your seeing that as an aberration because unless I grievously misunderstood one of your earlier posts, you don't believe in the 'Christian state' idea yourself.

I've run out of time for now; but the point is that it is a legitimate matter to explore whether
quote:
the "true" essence of Islam is a peaceful non-state sect.
And the main piece of evidence on that still appears to be what most people accept as the historical fact that Muhammad fought a war to set up an Islamic state.... EVIDENCE to the contrary please....
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
I take it from the 'OK' that you are agreeing with my basic point that the religious state (or notion of it, desire to set up such a thing,etc.) does have that effect of adding religious war/rebellion/persecution/etc., to the other more general coerciveness of Croesos' "Weberian state" which operates as the 'local monopoly of force'.

Don't, I said no such thing. I was simply trying to engage with you on the ridiculous and superficial level at which you put your point.

quote:
I'm saving fuller examination of the idea of Anabaptism as the truest expression of Christianity for a separate thread on Anabaptism I hope to start.
Ookay then.

quote:
But it is rather the point here that both religions (and other religions probably do it too) have over the centuries developed variations which are so diverse that it is pretty clear they can't all represent the original founding intention, and therefore may be seriously defective in representing the intentions of the God they worship.
No, what is rather the point is that people have interpreted their faith(s) in wildly different ways, and thus the whole project of seeking to find the "original founding intention" is a fools errand.

quote:
And please do remember that in theory Islam and Christianity worship the SAME God so from a Christian viewpoint Islam is in effect a variant and possibly heretical form of Christianity, a situation which very much entitles Christians to compare the two faiths and ask awkward questions of the newcomer.
But you're not asking awkward questions, you're the person who walks into a French bar and attempts to engage in a discussion of French grammar based on your knowledge of the superiority of English. That's not "asking awkward questions", that's a stubborn refusal to even begin to engage with the thing on its own terms.

quote:
Where there are such variations within a religion it is both useful and necessary to explore which may be the 'true' version. I mean, when one version says "No fighting and we're willing to be martyrs", and the other says "We have a duty to fight wars for our faith and burn heretics at the stake" - which is the authentic version of the faith is rather important, and can't be trivially sorted out by the other common Shipboard tactic of declaring it to be just a matter of "There are other opinions" and implicitly or explicitly everybody's opinions are of equal value. Clearly, whichever is true, those alternatives are not a matter for indifference.
Nope and nope. Utter drivel. And pretty dangerous drivel at that, if your conclusion is that your projection of a state-building violent Islam is the only real and authentic one.

quote:
And such are the variations within Islam and within Christianity that it is logically impractical to compare "the whole of" one faith with "the whole of" the other. It may not be possible to establish every detail of the 'true original'; but I'd submit it is possible to establish broad outlines for a workable comparison.
But who are you to make that assessment and why should anyone care what you think?

On that basis, an Orthodox might say that they have the "authentic Christianity" and hence that is the thing to be compared to Islam. Or alternatively a Shi'ite might say that this is authentic Islam and that the whole totality of Christianity should be only compared to that.

quote:
I guess one could reply that - but is it absolutely 'self-evident'? Protestant Christianity itself claims to be a 'Reformation' - an attempt to return to the original compared to an RC church which Protestants consider to have gone off the rails more than a bit. The Anabaptist claim is simply to have seen a further area that needed reforming for consistency with the Protestant biblical ideal, namely the idea of a 'Christian state' and the problems that entails - like the 'Wars of Religion' that followed the Reformation in Europe. Is that really an aberration, or a truer insight into the NT teaching?
I don't think you have any tools to educate anyone on this point - other than your repeated claims of knowledge. I reject your claims. So what now?

quote:
And I'm a bit puzzled by your seeing that as an aberration because unless I grievously misunderstood one of your earlier posts, you don't believe in the 'Christian state' idea yourself.
See and there you go again. Of course I must be in favour of anabaptists because I have previously said something about the Christian state.

It is this constant faulty arithmetic approach - which conveniently rubs out all possible complexity with a sweeping "you know this must be true" stuff which makes it impossible to engage with you.

quote:
I've run out of time for now; but the point is that it is a legitimate matter to explore whether
quote:
the "true" essence of Islam is a peaceful non-state sect.
And the main piece of evidence on that still appears to be what most people accept as the historical fact that Muhammad fought a war to set up an Islamic state.... EVIDENCE to the contrary please....
I don't need evidence, because I'm not engaging with you on this point. As I've stated over and over and over again, it makes no difference what I think. And what does matter is what Muslims think, and there is plenty of evidence that large numbers of Muslims do not interpret their faith in that way.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
As above, I'm saying that IF your religion, like Anabaptist Christianity, DOESN'T do the 'religious state' thing it will not fight wars in the name of the religion, not persecute in the name of the religion (beyond the reasonable situation where any voluntary group says "If you really won't keep our rules please leave"), nor rebel against the state in the name of the religion, and if they do feel it necessary to disobey the state in the interests of obeying God first, they will still be subject to the state by accepting martyrdom for their disobedience rather than fight back with guns etc.

This seems to rest on the erroneous assumption that persecution only ever arises at the hands of the state. I'm sure as Rhineland Jews were massacred by peasant mobs caught up in the religious fervor surrounding the First Crusade their last thoughts were "Well, at least this isn't state sanctioned violence, otherwise we might feel somewhat persecuted!" [Roll Eyes]

I've already commented on the somewhat demented mindset the doesn't consider al Qæda to be "extremists" because they reject action through a formal, territorial state.

The other main problem with your analysis is that most Islamic extremists aren't medieval throwbacks but modern phenomena who, at best, are cosplaying the early Caliphate. As such, Protestant-style hyperlegalistic analysis and proof-texting of Islamic scripture and early history is a completely wrong-headed approach.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Golden Key
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Steve--

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
And please do remember that in theory Islam and Christianity worship the SAME God so from a Christian viewpoint Islam is in effect a variant and possibly heretical form of Christianity, a situation which very much entitles Christians to compare the two faiths and ask awkward questions of the newcomer.

As Jews are entitled to ask of Christians?

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Steve Langton
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by Golden Key;
quote:
As Jews are entitled to ask of Christians?
Definitely!!!
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Steve Langton
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by Croesos;
quote:
This seems to rest on the erroneous assumption that persecution only ever arises at the hands of the state.
Didn't say that. In the case of Christians observing the 'NO Christian state' idea they would also be following the 'warfare not with fleshly weapons' teaching of Paul, and the notion in Peter that Christians are not only not to murder but not even be that 'allotriepiskopoi' thing.

The Rhineland situation at that time would I think reflect people under the mistaken idea that the state they lived in should be 'Christian' so that there was no place for Jews - that is, it seems to be private vigilante action by people nevertheless taking the 'Christian state' line.

What I've written includes such ideas, as well as simply violence by the state - just as one example, the idea of people trying to change their state into a Christian state. I hadn't gone into such detail as to cover people trying to make their religious state even stricter, as IS seems to be doing in states that were already Islamic - but I certainly covered the general idea of violence by non-state forces.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
I take it from the 'OK' that you are agreeing with my basic point <snip>

That's as erroneous as taking a person who starts a sentence with "Right" to be meaning s/he thinks your last utterance was true. It's just a verbal tick.

quote:
I'm saving fuller examination of the idea of Anabaptism as the truest expression of Christianity for a separate thread on Anabaptism I hope to start.
Well we've already had that thread 20 times in the form of underlayment and tangents on other threads. But okay.

quote:
But it is rather the point here that both religions (and other religions probably do it too) have over the centuries developed variations which are so diverse that it is pretty clear they can't all represent the original founding intention,
Unless the founding intention was to create a foundation for diverse variations. Maybe that's a feature and not a bug.

quote:
and therefore may be seriously defective in representing the intentions of the God they worship.
I sense a "One True Church" theme arising.

quote:
And please do remember that in theory Islam and Christianity worship the SAME God so from a Christian viewpoint Islam is in effect a variant and possibly heretical form of Christianity, a situation which very much entitles Christians to compare the two faiths and ask awkward questions of the newcomer.
Then that would doubly apply to Judaism, which existed for some good while before the newcomer Christianity showed up. The question is, whose questions have any bite, and why? Does age always imply correctness? Islam asks questions of Christianity, on the basis of a reformation of Christianity, not on the basis of being the elder of the two.

For that matter, the original Churches can ask similar questions of the Protestant upstarts, and especially the braggadocious Anabaptists.

quote:
Where there are such variations within a religion it is both useful and necessary to explore which may be the 'true' version. I mean, when one version says "No fighting and we're willing to be martyrs", and the other says "We have a duty to fight wars for our faith and burn heretics at the stake" - which is the authentic version of the faith is rather important, and can't be trivially sorted out by the other common Shipboard tactic of declaring it to be just a matter of "There are other opinions" and implicitly or explicitly everybody's opinions are of equal value. Clearly, whichever is true, those alternatives are not a matter for indifference.
That's one polarity one can discuss when comparing and contrasting religious movements. There are many others. Certain subspecies of Buddhism are pacifist. Does that make them right, and Christianity wrong? Pacifism is not the only, and not necessarily the most important, criterion when seeking the True Church.

quote:
And such are the variations within Islam and within Christianity that it is logically impractical to compare "the whole of" one faith with "the whole of" the other. It may not be possible to establish every detail of the 'true original'; but I'd submit it is possible to establish broad outlines for a workable comparison.
Go for it. I'll wait here.

quote:
quote:
One could self-evidently reply that anabaptism does not represent anything other than an recent aberration within Protestant Christianity
I guess one could reply that - but is it absolutely 'self-evident'?
It is to me.

quote:
Protestant Christianity itself claims to be a 'Reformation' - an attempt to return to the original compared to an RC church which Protestants consider to have gone off the rails more than a bit.
That's not what "reformation" means. It merely means an attempt to improve something.

quote:
And the main piece of evidence on that still appears to be what most people accept as the historical fact that Muhammad fought a war to set up an Islamic state.... EVIDENCE to the contrary please....
The point isn't the naked historical fact. Nobody has evidence to disprove it because we all know it happened roughly that way. Therefore it's hard to see why you keep pushing that particular point. No, the issue is not what happened at that point in time, but how contemporary Muslims interpret those events, and particular the theological and philosophical and historical framework(s) which underlay contemporary Islam, and into which they fit the events of their Founder, as well as the events of today. And you are strangely silent on that point, for someone who wants to paint contemporary Islam a certain color.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Steve Langton
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by Mousethief;
quote:
That's not what "reformation" means. It merely means an attempt to improve something.
It is certainly true that the word 'reformation' can simply mean that. It is also rather clearly true that the very much expressed intention of the 'Reformers' was not a general or vague improvement, but a specific goal, a specific kind of reformation/improvement, of taking a church which had gone wrong by departing from Scripture, and to 're-form/reshape' it by going back to the Scriptural original. As you said yourself, new shit (post-4th century Orthodoxy or medieval RCC) shouldn't contradict old shit (the actual teaching of Jesus and the apostles in the NT).

Buddhism as I understand it is not simply pacifist; it is pacifist through the implications of a completely different worldview to Christianity. I raised Buddhism to point out that even their kind of pacifism could be compromised by the dynamics of making Buddhism a state religion....

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Steve Langton
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by mr cheesy;
quote:
See and there you go again. Of course I must be in favour of anabaptists because I have previously said something about the Christian state.
No, I don't expect you to be in favour of every aspect of Anabaptism; we aren't here discussing Anabaptism as such - but I am puzzled that your own view appears to be opposed to the 'Christian state' and the 'religious state' in general, yet you refer to that view as an 'aberration' of the Anabaptists. Is it also an 'aberration' when expressed, in terms an Anabaptist can pretty thoroughly agree with, by the Muslim author of that book you recommended?

The question there, and so far I'm not finding a clear answer in the book, is how he will get round/explain away Muhammad's acts which, as Mousethief has pointed out, is a case of
quote:
Nobody has evidence to disprove it because we all know it happened roughly that way.
.

So far, I've not found the bit that explains that....

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by Mousethief;
quote:
That's not what "reformation" means. It merely means an attempt to improve something.
It is certainly true that the word 'reformation' can simply mean that. It is also rather clearly true that the very much expressed intention of the 'Reformers' was not a general or vague improvement, but a specific goal, a specific kind of reformation/improvement, of taking a church which had gone wrong by departing from Scripture, and to 're-form/reshape' it by going back to the Scriptural original.
Ah. I misunderstood your use of quotes around "reformation" -- I thought you were meaning to point out the meaning of the word. Why did you put it in quotes, then?

New shit: Sola Scriptura. Wholly novel in the history of Christianity.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
This seems to rest on the erroneous assumption that persecution only ever arises at the hands of the state.

Didn't say that. In the case of Christians observing the 'NO Christian state' idea they would also be following the 'warfare not with fleshly weapons' teaching of Paul, and the notion in Peter that Christians are not only not to murder but not even be that 'allotriepiskopoi' thing.

The Rhineland situation at that time would I think reflect people under the mistaken idea that the state they lived in should be 'Christian' so that there was no place for Jews - that is, it seems to be private vigilante action by people nevertheless taking the 'Christian state' line.

Wow. That is an incredible amount of contortion in a very small amount of writing. You say you never claimed that persecution only ever arises at the hands of the state and to demonstrate that you claim . . . that vigilante violence is actually an example of violence perpetrated on behalf of the state! The term "one size fits all" doesn't even begin to cover your obsessive attempts to frame all violence (and just about every other action you disapprove of) as state action.

I'd hypothesize that your typical murderous mediæval peasant engaged in a pogrom was not acting out of a complex political analysis of the proper concept of an ethno-state. Indeed, the concept of 'the state' was a lot more nebulous in the Middle Ages than it is today, even to scholars of the time. It seems a lot more likely that he was motivated by revenge (because the Jews murdered God*) rather than any calculations about the demographic composition of the state in which he lived.


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*Speculative motive for Mediæval pogromists, not an actual accusation against Jews.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Steve Langton
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I'll come back to some of the above later - and it may be a while because I know I've got a heavy weekend coming up.

But I would like to get rid of this canard, and basically stupid idea, that I'm characterising 'all Muslims' as evil murdering psychopaths and similar.

No, if anything I'm characterising all Muslims as the unfortunate innocent victims of Muhammad's confused and incredibly bad decision to set up his religion in the form of a religious state established by military force and so leaving Islam with a major contradiction at its heart, with aspirations of peace undermined by the implications of being a state religion.

It says much for most Muslims - as a similar situation says for most citizens of 'Christendom' over the centuries - that the results have been nowhere near as bad as they might have been.

It still remains a fact that it would be a good idea to correct Muhammad's mistake; unfortunately there is no easy way to do that in Islam - and if Croesos thinks I'm contorted, he should read this book mr cheesy introduced me to by a Muslim who's attempting that, and so far doing brilliantly in arguing against the religious state but making very heavy weather of reconciling that argument with Muhammad's actual teaching and example. OK, I haven't finished yet and he may surprise me - but so far his efforts don't seem to really work.

And given that Muhammad DOES claim to be following/worshipping the SAME GOD as Judaism and Christianity, I think there are significant implications in Muhammad setting up a religious state in that God's name 600 years after that SAME GOD provided, through Jesus, a better way to spread his religion globally on the basis of eschewing 'Christian states'.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

It still remains a fact that it would be a good idea to correct Muhammad's mistake; unfortunately there is no easy way to do that in Islam - and if Croesos thinks I'm contorted, he should read this book mr cheesy introduced me to by a Muslim who's attempting that, and so far doing brilliantly in arguing against the religious state but making very heavy weather of reconciling that argument with Muhammad's actual teaching and example. OK, I haven't finished yet and he may surprise me - but so far his efforts don't seem to really work.

I'm not sure that several centuries of political, religious and philosophical thought could easily be summarised by one book.

Unless it's a really thick book.

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Golden Key
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Steve--

I doubt that it's right for Christians to try to fix Islam. Anymore than Muslims should try to fix Christianity.

Sure, we can discuss it. But trying to do any more than that would deeply offend Muslims. Not to mention how ISIS/Daesh would react...

Are you thinking that, if we can just convince the Daesh terrorists to give up on instituting a state/caliphate, their terrorism would stop, and everything would be ok?

FWIW: I think they've got lots of issues; but they aren't really about Islam at all--they're just using it as a vehicle, though they may not realize that. I think they're nihilists, and in love with wreaking pain and the bad kind of chaos. They want revenge for many things, and may be seeking the return of a perceived Golden Age.

Or maybe they think that if they set everything right (by their lights), Allah will end the world, and they can go to Paradise.

(Thinking aloud.)

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--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
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quetzalcoatl
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Yes, it's a bit like a bat-squeak in a hurricane. I don't know if many Muslims will be all that interested in Christians' opinions of their history and their doctrine, maybe some will be.

Meanwhile, the Middle East is an all-consuming inferno, with tribal, national, ethnic, and religious splinters flying all over the place. Is there a solution? It might be exhaustion in the end that brings peace.

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no path

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Steve Langton
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by chris stiles;
quote:
I'm not sure that several centuries of political, religious and philosophical thought could easily be summarised by one book.
I'd want more than one book; but having been specifically recommended this one by another participant on this thread, I'm giving my opinion so far on it - and thinking of other cases where I've come across similar arguments, feeling they're all rather convoluted because they're not faced by something which is easy to expound as they want, but by rather big obvious facts which tend against their position and which they need to 'get round' to justify their position.

It's nowhere near so complicated to explain the (actually in many ways similar) Anabaptist position where at least the NT is on my side rather than working against me....

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mousethief

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This touches directly on the topic of this thread. This is from Karen Armstrong's Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World. Speaking about the period between the Camp David accords and the assassination of Anwar Sadat.

quote:
In his book The Hidden Pillar , which was privately circulated, Abed al-Salem Faraj takes this new belligerent Islam to its logical conclusion in a way that is quite new. He argues that the jihad was one of the "pillars" of Islam and was central to it. This was an extraordinary innovation that, in those days of heightened tension, many Egyptians were prepared to accept.... He thus limited Islam to one aggressive doctrine and excluded many other more complex traditions, in the same way as Crusaders and religious Zionists had produced caricatures of their religion.


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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Steve Langton
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This is a bit of a tangent here but seems necessary to clarify something Croesos said earlier....

Anabaptists are NOT objecting to 'the state' as such. We accept the existence of states and similar institutions as part of God's providential arrangements in managing a world full of humans of whom it can be said "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" - even a bad state provides some mitigation and restraint....

According to the NT Christians are actually told to be 'subject to the state/authorities/powers-that-be' with essentially only one exception - that in the last resort we must "obey God rather than man".

And contrary to the interpretation espoused (though not invented) by Ian Paisley in NI, when we are unable to 'obey man' we are not to 'go for our guns' and rebel, but to remain subject to the state in a different way, following the example of Jesus, Paul, Peter and large numbers of the early church by accepting martyrdom, the state's penalty for our disobedience.

The primary Anabaptist objection is to the idea of a 'Christian state', conflating and confusing the moral/spiritual power of the religion with the 'local monopoly of (physical) force' in the state. And the primary reason for our objection is not the rational(ist)/secular objections to a religious state, but simply an issue of faith - Jesus personally and through the apostles has instructed us not to do his kingdom that way, and we trust him about it....

Having said that, looking at the explicit and implicit reasons why the true religion would pass up the tempting idea of being allied with the state, it's possible to come up with quite a few good rational reasons why the religious state isn't a good idea - ideas such as I've also been finding in that Muslim author on mr cheesy's recommendation.

Anabaptist beliefs mean in general that Christians will sit light to the state. And even lighter when faced with the monstrosity of a supposedly Christian state distorting the way Jesus' kingdom is meant to work, and in the process dividing the church....

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Baptist Trainfan
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How about this: from "A statement concerning the nature, faith and order of the United Reformed Church" which is always read out at ordination and induction services:

We believe that
Christ gives his Church a government
distinct from the government of the state.

In things that affect obedience to God
the Church is not subordinate to the state,
but must serve the Lord Jesus Christ,
its only Ruler and Head.

Civil authorities are called
to serve God's will of justice and peace for all humankind,
and to respect the rights of conscience and belief.

While we ourselves
are servants in the world
as citizens of God's eternal kingdom."

Posts: 9218 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
Steve Langton
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# 17601

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by Baptist Trainfan;
quote:
Civil authorities are called to serve God's will of justice and peace for all humankind, and to respect the rights of conscience and belief.
This is the awkward bit - and in effect how an 'Independent' like Cromwell was able to fight a war including such incidents as the Drogheda massacre and end up with many years of what was effectively a Puritan tyranny.

The catch comes, you see, when we think it is the business of Christians to MAKE the 'Civil Authorities' live up to that ideal. Paul wrote Romans 13 in the time of Emperors like Caligula and Nero - but he still said "be subject to the authorities and don't rebel". Subsequent Christians have often talked themselves into the idea that being 'subject to the authorities' is only for when there is a 'good ruler' - but with the likes of a Hitler or a Stalin, get the guns out....

Paul set forth the difficult task of Christian witness by peaceable means against even the likes of Nero - in NI, one Ian Paisley made this comment; and note that by including the 'reformers', 'puritans' and particularly the 'covenanters' he is clearly envisaging and approving English Civil War style military action against a government...
quote:
Certain people who wish to bolster up a rotten government and the persecuting laws of the same, condemn the resistance of the martyrs, reformers, confessors, non-conformists, puritans and covenanters to the evil laws and governments of their day, and to all who would follow in their train in this our own generation....
Which, and similar arguments, was taken as justification for the Protestant side of fighting against not some horrendous Nero/Hitler/Stalin, but against the UK's democratic government trying to end anti-RC discrimination in NI.... And I'm fairly sure the Republican/RC side would be using similar arguments, it's a line of reasoning that goes back even beyond the separate RCC to the united Imperial Church of Theodosius & Co.

In effect the 'Paisley pattern' seeming to offer a sensible 'exception' actually overturns the rule as Paul stated it....

Posts: 2095 | From: Stockport UK | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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hosting/

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
This is a bit of a tangent here but (...)

Steve Langton, you may like to consider the wise words posted earlier on this thread describing
quote:
the reasonable situation where any voluntary group says "If you really won't keep our rules please leave"
You are straying off the topic and onto your hobby horse again. That is against the rules. You cannot reasonably expect to stay on board and continue to flout the rules.

/hosting

--------------------
One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Baptist Trainfan
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Sorry, my fault too this time. Apologies.

[ 09. October 2016, 20:48: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

Posts: 9218 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
Steve Langton
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Sorry Eutychus. Although Christian extremism as a comparison to Islamic extremism is perhaps not so far 'off-topic'...
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Gwai
Host
# 11076

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Surely you are not arguing with a hostly ruling in Purgatory, Steve. Right?

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


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Steve Langton
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Ooops! Sorry Gwai and Eutychus. If I have further queries on that I'll take them to Styx.... Thank you....
Posts: 2095 | From: Stockport UK | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged
Steve Langton
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Returning to 'nos moutons'...

The case I made originally, and I've been a bit bewildered by how heavy weather you've all made of it, was that whatever in the present world may be the immediate causes of violent Islamic extremism, the ultimate cause of it was Muhammad's decision to set Islam up in the form of a religious state.

By thus conflating the faith and its moral/spiritual power with the physical power of Weber's "local monopoly of force", he basically made war, and persecution of heresy in the state, pretty much inevitable to begin with. War by the state in the name of Islam, war against the Islamic state by states of other religions or none, wars/rebellions to set up Islamic states, wars to make an already Islamic state more strict... and so on.

Precisely because this is holy war in the name of a god, the temptation to win at all costs all too easily leads to extremism, and sinful humans are very good at justifying their extreme conduct at least in their own minds. Look at the example above, in a 'Christian state' context, from Ian Paisley....

We may be able to mitigate individual examples of Islamic extremism by reducing the more immediate provocations - but even that's not going to be easy. To really prevent it means tackling the state-and-religion link, to somehow get Islam to work like the early Christian church seeking only voluntary membership and not seeking a privileged place in the state.

And unfortunately that's not easy either, because of that not-very-disputable fact of Muhammad having set up the first Islamic state, and the Quran supplying apparent divine backing for that step. Muslims who try make heavy weather of it, because it's basically impossible without criticising Muhammad and the Quran; and the kind of people affected by the more immediate causes of extremism are unlikely to find such argument convincing anyway.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
The case I made originally, and I've been a bit bewildered by how heavy weather you've all made of it, was that whatever in the present world may be the immediate causes of violent Islamic extremism, the ultimate cause of it was Muhammad's decision to set Islam up in the form of a religious state.

I'm not sure why you're bewildered by us making heavy weather of it when you acknowledge that Muslims (who, naturally, have a far better understanding of what Muhammad said and did and subsequent Islamic scholarship) make heavy weather of it. I don't think it's helped clarify things here when the conversation has spun off into vaguely related tangents.

The main question (for Islamic scholars and ordinary muslims to sort out) is whether that first Islamic state was the result of something inherent in the revelation Muhammed received (in which case that should be a feature of Islam today), or whether it was simply a case of situational expediency and following the only examples Muhammed had to follow (in which case it may not need to be a feature of Islam today) - there wouldn't have been any states or Empires he knew of which did not have any official religion.

quote:
To really prevent it means tackling the state-and-religion link, to somehow get Islam to work like the early Christian church seeking only voluntary membership and not seeking a privileged place in the state.
However, in relation to your "heavy water" comments, that doesn't seme to be an issue for a very large number of Muslims living in secular states - which includes several Muslim majority countries such as Turkey or Malaysia (which, of course, doesn't mean those countries don't contain a sizable minority of Muslims who would seek to make those nations religious states).

--------------------
Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
The case I made originally, and I've been a bit bewildered by how heavy weather you've all made of it, was that whatever in the present world may be the immediate causes of violent Islamic extremism, the ultimate cause of it was Muhammad's decision to set Islam up in the form of a religious state.

I too have been surprised at the heavy weather. But that's how we do it. [Paranoid]

I think it is interesting to pin the issue on this point about a religious state. I'm sure that case has merit, and agree that the problems inherent in a religious state are very significant.

To me, though, the answer relates to your comment here:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
We may be able to mitigate individual examples of Islamic extremism by reducing the more immediate provocations - but even that's not going to be easy. To really prevent it means tackling the state-and-religion link, to somehow get Islam to work like the early Christian church seeking only voluntary membership and not seeking a privileged place in the state.

I suppose that it may be possible to mitigate individual examples of Islamic extremism by reducing the more immediate provocations. I'm guessing that you mean a reduction in the Western military presence that every Western leader appears to dearly wish for.

I think, though, that the problem goes so far beyond this that it is out of the control of any Western leader. Western capitalism and culture are inherently invasive. Everything about them undermines the pillars of Islamic culture. They especially undermines the state-and-religion link because they do not recognize this kind of authority.

To me this means that there is little that we can do to significantly reduce extremism, other than reducing the more immediate provocations. The central problem is still there, and will continue until something gives.

--------------------
"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

Posts: 12829 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
quetzalcoatl
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It's an interesting point about the immediate causes of something, and the ultimate cause, in this case, of Islamist violence.

However, in such cases, relating to historical questions, I always wonder how someone can know this. History is much more difficult to decipher than physical stuff, since the latter tends to be reproducible.

Hence, we can make predictions, say, that gravity should have such and such effects on very large stars. But we can't predict historical events.

Anyway, I don't understand the process whereby the 'ultimate cause' is ascertained in relation to historical stuff, except by saying 'because I say it is'.

--------------------
no path

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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Anyway, I don't understand the process whereby the 'ultimate cause' is ascertained in relation to historical stuff, except by saying 'because I say it is'.

Maybe so.

I guess it is just opinions based on observation, which of course may be way off.

--------------------
"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

Posts: 12829 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged



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