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Hi All One thing I’ve come across on this forum a number of times is the idea that I can’t question certain ideas, that you will be offended if I do so, and we should just steer away from those topics. Is that really how you believe rational dialog should be conducted? I hold none of my ideas to that standard. If you want to run down or rationally complain about anything I say please go ahead. Question anything I say, question my lifestyle choices, my family values and my ideas on evidence, none of it is off limits and nothing you ask will offend me. Not so it seems with Muslims. I’ve suggested a couple of times here that Muhammad was, at most, just a man and people took great offence that I could even think that. “I love him so you shouldn’t suggest such a thing” was basically one answer to me on that comment. Another argument was that you would not even discuss anything with me if I didn’t accept up front that Muhammad was more than a man. The idea that he was more than just a man is incompatible with atheism of course but that was ignored at the time. Another idea I’ve expressed here a number of times that seems to cause problems is the church of Mickey Mouse. I use that one to try to explain what an atheist sees when they walk down the street and look at all these buildings with symbols on them, crosses, moons and stars etc. But think about it, given my view on god (I’ve already said I’m an atheist so this is no secret) how else should I see such symbols and the people who revere and worship them if atheism is the truth? Now don’t get me wrong here, it’s the ideas I’m discussing, it’s the ideas I’m complaining about. I understand that people come to these ideas for many reasons and that many of the people who hold them are intelligent rational people, that’s not at question here, but I do think we need to rationally consider the ideas themselves. That Muhammad was just a man or that he may even be an invention are ideas which we should be able to discuss. Now this is the crucial point here if these ideas hold water you should be able to defend them and not have to pull the “you can’t question that idea” card. Rationally that statement is an admission of the weakness of your position. If you are incapable of defending a position maybe you should not hold it as true. So what do you think, should rational enquiry be open to discuss any idea or are you really unwilling to truly examine the belief system that you hold to and if so why? Does insecurity pay a part in that reluctance? Russell