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The Quran Is Not The Word Of Man

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No, I haven't misunderstood the argument. You do not judge the relative quality of anything on an objective basis, for if you had objective basis for judging, it would not be relative.

 

You turn the argument into one of semantics here. I'm sure you know what I'm trying to convey. If not, I'll spell it out again: It is possible to rank the quality of a range of things of the same kind on an objective basis. In rhetoric, it is quite possible to determine, upon the basis of a set of rules, whether one piece of writing is better than another. An essential component of rhetoric is eloquent expression that influences and convinces. For scholars of rhetoric therefore, it is certainly possible to compare two pieces or writing, or two examples of speech, and determine which best conforms to and achieves the aims of the rules of rhetoric.

 

The Quran's rank as the best writing in Arabic, in terms of rhetoric, is evidenced by various factors. Certainly, authorities on literature are in agreement on the matter. And its ability to convince and influence is self-evident. But the Quran goes much further than this and claims that its eloquence and ability to convince is so elevated that it can not be matched by the human mind. How can we disprove this? By showing that a certain human authored book better conforms to the rules of rhetoric, and more thoroughly achieves the aims of rhetoric in terms of its ability to convince and influence persons.

 

 

No one is disputing it is a literary masterpiece, although the Arberry quote is unfortunate in that it attributes that masterpiece to mankind. Nevertheless, it, like the other quotes, is still an opinion, and should we compare it to opinions about the Bible and other major world religion literature, not a terribly uncommon one at that.

 

Well, that would make perfect sense to me and other Muslims, as we know the Bible and other Scripures (in their original form) to also be the Word of God.

 

I have no issue with Arberry and others attributing the Quran to man. My aim was to show the esteem in which the Quran is held by authorities on Arabic, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, as a starting point for my argument. As I have argued in other threads, it is not intended by Allah that any given thing in the universe should indubitably prove His existence, in a way that forced us to believe. More on this later.

 

Had I have quoted only Muslim authorities, you would have claimed that these were biased. I seek to demonstrate that authorities on Arabic, if they are to be fair, must acknowledge the Quran's rank as the finest example of Arabic literature in existence, regardless of their religious beliefs.

 

It ought to be noted also, that various previously non-Muslim authorities on Arabic have accepted Islam on the basis of their study of the Quran. Pickhall is a notable example, as are Leopold Weiss, Goethe and Lings and Irving to name but a few. This further demonstrates the powerful eloquence of the Quran. Again, I stress that one is never forced to accept that the Quran's eloquence is Divine. This would be contrary to Allah's wisdom in the creation of universe as a testing ground. So it is no surprise that not every reader of the Quran will believe in its Divine authorship. But what authorities on Arabic must admit, if they are unbiased, is that so far, the Quran has not been matched in terms of rhetoric, by any other book (at least in Arabic). This is the starting point for the

 

 

No, what we see is the general consensus forming around the belief that the Quran ranks among the greatest of religious literature, and so deserving of high accolade, even as other great religious literature has received. I'm sorry, but you continue to make leaps of logic in this defense of yours that are only possible due to your commitment to the idea being propounded. It is the leap from world class literature to divine, from great to greatest. And still, I am left ignorant of what standard you are using to make that leap, to make the determination of greatest, and "beyond mortal ability". It is an inherently subjective and volatile thing you are bandying about, and yet you continue to want to portray it as objective truth.

 

The criteria to be used are the rules and aims of rhetoric. Consider this:

 

1. The Quran is considered the best example of Arabic writing in existence so far. (If you disagree, do produce whatever you feel is better than the Quran).

 

2. Further still, the Quran challenges all comers, claiming that it will always remain the best, because it is from Allah and beyond human ability.

 

As I have discussed above, this audacious claim could be discredited by the production of an example of writing that better conformed to, and achieved the aims of, rhetoric. Unbiased, non-Muslim scholars of Arabic rhetoric could assess this as far I'm concerned. Should such an example ever emerge, the challenge would be met. In the absence of this, you are forced to concede at the very least, that you can not disprove the claim.

 

That leap can only be made with the aid of divine intervention, and so far, God hasn't helped me see the light on the matter.

 

Outstanding! You have understood an important concept. Belief is not forced upon you, nor is it something that may be granted to you automatically. But this is a topic for another discussion - the mystery of limited free-will.

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Well if you wish to soil a mans name and character thats loved by over 1 billion people amongst whom there are some fanatical crazy ones then you would be a fool.

But you do realize that this would have a coersive quality to it, right? And how that could impact the consensus you keep pointing to?

The Quran is all about the arabic if you want to really see what is being said then you should study the arabic .

Do you only read works that were originally written in English and/or Arabic? As I said, it is perfectly legitimate to look at a translation of the Quran in one's native tongue, if only to be introduced to the religion and make a decision as to whether one wanted to take the next step, especially one as intensive as learning a new language.

 

Well sad clown you wish to know more of the Quran ?

Not really. I made an initial investigation and found that I wasn't interested. I am interested in Muslims as human beings, and so I have an indirect interest in the religion in so far as it informs their perspective, but that is insufficient motivation to make me want to learn Arabic (if it was sufficient motivation, I would have to familarize myself with everyone's religious literature, mother tongue, etc.).

 

You wish to know how is this considered divine and from God

No, I just have questions about how you could demonstrate this in the objective manner you are alluding to or, relatedly, arbitrate a difference of opinion on the matter.

 

you shouldnt ask questions about the validity of the Book comming from God

But I'm not asking about its validity. I don't believe I am in a position to judge that, even if I was able to read arabic. Which of course was my point.

 

If i called you an idiot who cant spell then you would automatically look at my words that i have misspelled and you would quickly pass judgement

But the only reason we can do this is because we have an agreed upon standard to judge the matter. And that is my question. What is the criteria by which we can arbitrate the matter of whether the Quran is more eloquent than all other works of literature. I mean, even a list of the 100 greatest works is controversial, so I can't even imagine how you are going to derive a method for objectively determining the #1 work.

 

You say that Mohammed didnt get it from God

No, I am saying that I have no way of determining that outside of direct divine intervention.

 

Just be honest man nobody wants to try and convince you you have to study yourself and come to an understanding for your self

I have been honest. But I am fairly certain I have also been misunderstood. But I promise I won't call you an idiot, or even adopt your tactic and imply that you may be one.

Edited by the sad clown

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Where are you from wattle?? Well im from America and guess what its not the Chinese who record our history it is Americans that are responsible for recording Americas history. You want to know about american history then majority of all of your sources is going to come from Americans or those who studied in america.

 

Yes, the histories of most events have to use sources close to those events (although you would search hard for neutral observers), and for that reason historians are very cautious about believing the 'official' line on events. The US military would be the main source for the history of the US military in the Vietnam war - a historian would be crazy to take this source at face value, and no historian does. Similarly, a historian would be crazy to take the official Muslim line on Islamic history at face value.

 

Then what do you call the ages that the world was in before Islam came... History and not just Islamic history calls it the dark ages

 

The Dark Ages refers only to Europe. Look it up. If China, India, Africa, the Americas, the Pacific etc had their own 'dark ages' (I've not heard of them if they did), they were not at this time.

 

edit tyops

Edited by wattle

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The fact is that with most aspects of human endeavour, there will always be examples that are the 'best' or 'worst', when compared to all other examples of their kind.

 

No, there is no "best" book (painting, sculpture, opera, building, symphony, etc) in English, and I doubt that there is consensus on a "best" book in any language, except that of Muslims abpout the Koran.

 

Now, if the Quran was the work of man, we could not rationally make such a claim. After all, a man could come along, even in 10,000 years, and write something better. Men can always be beaten by other men (or women, dare I say!). But the Quran is not the work of man. Indeed, it is beyond the ability of man.

 

Circular. You *define* the Koran as beyond human ability to prove that it *is* beyond human ability.

 

The only way to disprove this claim is to produce a superior book written by man. No one needs to actually set out to 'beat' the Quran. They need only write in the normal course of events. If a book ever emerges that, upon an unbiased evaluation by experts in the field, is found to be superior to the Quran, the challenge would be met.

 

But it's nonsense to rank literature like that. There are no criteria by which to judge it, for a start. (You keep implying that there ARE criteria but you don't tell us what they are.) Also, no-one *wants* to (say) write a better Chaucer poem than Chaucer.

 

However, it seems that the Quran's present detractors are unwilling to even accept the challenge. If this is the case, they have no grounds to say, "The Quran is not the word of God". They can only say, "I don't care whether the Quran is the word of God" or in agnostic vein, "We can never know whether it's the word of God"!

 

I do not think it is detracting from the Koran to say that it was written by a human. And if you really think it's possible to 'challenge" the Koran, set out the terms of the challenge - what are the criteria, who are the neutral judges, etc.

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But it's nonsense to rank literature like that. There are no criteria by which to judge it, for a start. (You keep implying that there ARE criteria but you don't tell us what they are.) Also, no-one *wants* to (say) write a better Chaucer poem than Chaucer.

 

I do not think it is detracting from the Koran to say that it was written by a human. And if you really think it's possible to 'challenge" the Koran, set out the terms of the challenge - what are the criteria, who are the neutral judges, etc.

 

I would have thought the criteria were self explanatory, but none the less, I have outlined them in my previous post. To briefly reiterate, the quality of a piece of writing or an example of speech can be judged on the basis of the limited rules of rhetoric. Remember that 'rhetoric' is eloquent expression that convinces and influences, whilst conforming to the appropriate rules of language such as grammar.

 

So yet again, it is possible for scholars of rhetoric and literature to assess whether a given example of writing or speech is better than others. In the case of the challenge issued by the Quran (such as at Sura Baqara 2:23), it is not even asking for challengers to beat - just to match it.

 

Attempts have been made to match it, so seemingly, I'm not the only one who believes the challenge is valid. And the challenge is open to all comers, for all time. That allows plenty of time.

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the quality of a piece of writing or an example of speech can be judged on the basis of the limited rules of rhetoric. Remember that 'rhetoric' is eloquent expression that convinces and influences, whilst conforming to the appropriate rules of language such as grammar.

But rhetoric itself is inherently subjective, for what rules and expressions that convince and influence are not only dependent on the individual, but even vary between cultures and even periods of time within cultures.

 

it is possible for scholars of rhetoric and literature to assess whether a given example of writing or speech is better than others.

Yes, they can evaluate in accordance to the rules they learned from the particular school of rhetoric they follow, their culture, their generation in that culture, plus whatever variations they contribute to such a judgment from their own personal tastes and experiences. No one debates whether an elephant is larger than a mouse, which is why we do not have scholars on the subject. Scholarship is rather an indicator that these matters are up for debate, that they are not certain, and that it is certainly not something that we can objectively measure.

 

I'm not the only one who believes the challenge is valid. And the challenge is open to all comers, for all time.

I realize you believe the challenge to be valid, and that you are not alone in this. But you do realize that you and those who follow Islam are ideologically commited to the idea that it is a valid challenge, since it is one of the cornerstone arguments in support of the divine nature of the Quran. To dismiss, or worse, deny the validity of the challenge would constitute an attack on those beliefs. You find it valid not because you have in your possession a means of demonstrating its validity, but because it is an integral element in your Muslim faith.

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I would have thought the criteria were self explanatory, but none the less, I have outlined them in my previous post. To briefly reiterate, the quality of a piece of writing or an example of speech can be judged on the basis of the limited rules of rhetoric. Remember that 'rhetoric' is eloquent expression that convinces and influences, whilst conforming to the appropriate rules of language such as grammar.

 

We're back to the initial objection I raised earlier in the thread - a Muslim judge *could not* decide that something was rhetorically better than the Koran or they would cease to be a Muslim (and if they happened to live under Sharia they would have sentenced themselves to death).

 

However you have not actually defined the terms of the contest. "Eloquent expression that convinces and influences" is judged by subjective means. This is proven by the fact that the non-Muslims Arabic speakers you quoted praising the Koran have *not* become Muslims - they have subjectively decided that its eloquence is not sufficient to make them believe that it could not be written by a human.

 

Just what *are* the "limited rules of rhetoric"?

 

edit - have a read of the intro to a book called 'Methods of Rhetorical Criticism'. It's a minefield. (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_books.google(contact admin if its a beneficial link).au/books?id=g9_oe6rGv9oC&dq=rhetoric+contest&printsec=frontcover&source=in&hl=en&ei=zlEHS8KiAY6PkQWIvPjwCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=12&ved=0CCoQ6AEwCw#v=onepage&q=&f=false"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_books.google(contact admin if its a beneficial link).au/books?id=g9_oe6...;q=&f=false[/url]

Edited by wattle

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But rhetoric itself is inherently subjective, for what rules and expressions that convince and influence are not only dependent on the individual, but even vary between cultures and even periods of time within cultures.

 

Yes, they can evaluate in accordance to the rules they learned from the particular school of rhetoric they follow, their culture, their generation in that culture, plus whatever variations they contribute to such a judgment from their own personal tastes and experiences. No one debates whether an elephant is larger than a mouse, which is why we do not have scholars on the subject. Scholarship is rather an indicator that these matters are up for debate, that they are not certain, and that it is certainly not something that we can objectively measure.

 

You are of the view that it is not possible to objectively judge between two pieces of literature. But you proffer this view only because it is convenient for your present purposes. It is far easier for you to play the (old) subjectivity card, than deal with the reality that nothing can be found in Arabic literature which can match the Quran's eloquence.

 

When a group of experts in Stockholm sit around for two months and then award a certain book the Nobel Prize for Literature for that year, most people are be happy to accept that that book is in fact, the best example of literature that year. Granted, the majority of people wouldn't know any better, and maybe wouldn't even find the winning book enjoyable. But those who understand literature will appreciate the fact and even herald the victor. Few would complain that the granting of the Prize is invalid, a total sham, because you could never possibly make such a judgment with even a hint of objectivity. This is so, because the relevant experts at the Stockholm Academy are considered competent, impartial and reliable judges of literature. The fact that some might disagree with their decision does not invalidate the Prize, nor diminish its value.

 

In the case of the Quran, we see that an overwhelming majority of experts in Arabic literature hold that nothing in Arabic comes close to matching its eloquence. You can dismiss this on the basis of what you perceive to be the subjectivity of judging eloquence and rhetoric, but this is pure dogmatism. Yes, taste may be a subjective thing, but if 100 billion people, past and present, all agree that chocolate tastes better than blue cheese, we can safely say that chocolate tastes better than blue cheese. It matters not that a few crazies dislike chocolate!

 

I realize you believe the challenge to be valid, and that you are not alone in this. But you do realize that you and those who follow Islam are ideologically commited to the idea that it is a valid challenge, since it is one of the cornerstone arguments in support of the divine nature of the Quran. To dismiss, or worse, deny the validity of the challenge would constitute an attack on those beliefs. You find it valid not because you have in your possession a means of demonstrating its validity, but because it is an integral element in your Muslim faith.

 

You accuse Muslims of the very dogmatism which you yourself commit. You refuse to entertain the Quran's challenge on the basis of something as weak as perceived subjectivity. Even if another 1400 years passed, and an overwhelming majority of Arabic literature specialists agreed on the Quran's superior eloquence, you would hold fast to your feeble claim that, "No, such a judgement is invalid, because eloquence is a subjective thing".

 

This is a total cop out my friends. If there did exist a book which bettered the Quran's eloquence, as agreed upon by most experts in Arabic, no doubt you would hold it high above your heads, claiming victory over the Quran. But such a book does not exist, so you are forced to resort to arguments about subjectivity.

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You are of the view that it is not possible to objectively judge between two pieces of literature.

Yes, that is my view.

 

But you proffer this view only because it is convenient for your present purposes.

No, I'm offering it to you because that a conclusion that is not only fairly uncontroversial, but has some rather sound philosophical thought in support of it.

 

It is far easier for you to play the (old) subjectivity card, than deal with the reality that nothing can be found in Arabic literature which can match the Quran's eloquence.

Well, seeing as I have asked on a number of occasions what criteria we would be using, I feel like it could hardly be said that I don't want to deal with it. Rather, I haven't seen you present a way to do it.

 

When a group of experts in Stockholm sit around for two months and then award a certain book the Nobel Prize for Literature for that year, most people are be happy to accept that that book is in fact, the best example of literature that year.

But you realize that the only fact from this process is that that particular group of experts in Stockholm selected a book for a prize. It still remains their opinion however.

 

Few would complain that the granting of the Prize is invalid, a total sham, because you could never possibly make such a judgment with even a hint of objectivity.

I think you are making a mistake here. Saying that it is subjective, which I am fairly sure the experts in Stockholm would agree with, does not make the prize a sham or invalid, since objectivity is not a requirement of the prize. The only thing required is the conclusion of this group of experts deliberations on the matter.

 

This is so, because the relevant experts at the Stockholm Academy are considered competent, impartial and reliable judges of literature. The fact that some might disagree with their decision does not invalidate the Prize, nor diminish its value.

And again, I would not say that subjectivity is a denial of their competence, attempts at impartiality and expertise, nor does it diminish the value of the prize so long as one realizes what the prize means. If one thought that the prize was some kind of indicator for objective truth in the world of literature, then sure, claims that it is actually subjective could be seen as threatening. But as long as we keep in mind that it is a process involving the subjective, albeit educated, opinion of a group of people, then there is no threat, no diminishment of the significance of the accomplishment by admitting that their, and our, evaluation of literature is subjective.

 

Yes, taste may be a subjective thing, but if 100 billion people, past and present, all agree that chocolate tastes better than blue cheese, we can safely say that chocolate tastes better than blue cheese.

No, if, as you say, taste is subjective, then what we can say is that chocolate tastes better than blue cheese to these 100 billion people. That is the limitation of subjectivity. There is no mysterious formula that allows you to bridge the gap between the subjective and the objective by simply having a big enough number.

 

It matters not that a few crazies dislike chocolate!

And why would they be crazy for disliking chocolate, or the Quran for that matter?

 

You refuse to entertain the Quran's challenge on the basis of something as weak as perceived subjectivity. Even if another 1400 years passed, and an overwhelming majority of Arabic literature specialists agreed on the Quran's superior eloquence, you would hold fast to your feeble claim that, "No, such a judgement is invalid, because eloquence is a subjective thing".

So long as the claim was for objectivity, yes, that is exactly what I would do. I do not know if subjectivity is weak or strong, green or yellow, hot or cold. But I do know that objectivity is not an emergent phenomena that can somehow be derived from what is subjective.

 

If there did exist a book which bettered the Quran's eloquence, as agreed upon by most experts in Arabic, no doubt you would hold it high above your heads, claiming victory over the Quran. But such a book does not exist, so you are forced to resort to arguments about subjectivity.

No, since I have repeatedly stated that such a judgment is not possible. I would say that, if that were to happen, that most experts like this work more than the Quran, but their disposition towards one literary work does not make one objectively better than the other, because there is no such thing as objectively better. What is better, what is best, is always going to be dependent on the subjective, since it is we, as individuals and collectives, who determine what the criteria is for determining what is better, and what is best. All someone would have to do to arrive at a different conclusion is to bring a different set of criteria to the question and they too would be justified in their belief, just as the first party were.

 

In conclusion, I do not argue that the Quran is not a great literary work. I do not argue that many or even most find it to be the best they have read. But I do argue that this only tells us about them, about their tastes, dispositions, and preferences, and not about some objective reality having to do with the book.

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Note that the Nobel Prize for Literature is for an author's career, not an individual work. A better example would be the Booker Prize. If you've ever read blogs or forums where people are interested in literature after the Booker is announced, you'll know that the choice is always a matter of argument. As it must be - the judges are presenting the consensus of their preferences, not a scientific conclusion.

 

I don't go quite as far as Sad Clown, in that I'm prepared to accept that in general there are people whose taste/experience/culture are sufficiently similar to mine that we will broadly agree on what are 'good' pieces of literature and what are not, and even go so far as to agree that within that grouping of 'good' there are some that are 'great'.

 

I think this is a quasi-objective position. No, there are no criteria to judge by, just preference, but the similarity of preference of this group (say, well-read people interested in English Lit) means that what a member of this group thinks about a book will rarely be completely surpising to another member of the group. I can say, quasi-objectively, that if person X, who I know broadly agrees with me on what is 'good' literature, thinks that a new book is very good, there is a better chance that I will agree than if the person was not a member of this group. Experiment confirms this hypothesis.

 

But as to the exact composition of the set of 'great' works, much less whether one 'great' is better than another 'great' will never be agreed on. It cannot be.

 

Just as a matter of interest, of the total number of Muslims, what sort of prcentage actually speak Arabic (as opposed to being able to recite the Koran in Arabic) well enough to make a literary judgement on it? What sort of percentage of Muslims have ever actually read any Arabic literature other than the Koran and its associated works?

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But you do realize that this would have a coersive quality to it, right? And how that could impact the consensus you keep pointing to?

 

No it wouldnt, drug dealers who are considered societies crazys threaten us every day but are we afraid to speak out against them?

 

 

 

Not really. I made an initial investigation and found that I wasn't interested. I am interested in Muslims as human beings, and so I have an indirect interest in the religion in so far as it informs their perspective, but that is insufficient motivation to make me want to learn Arabic (if it was sufficient motivation, I would have to familarize myself with everyone's religious literature, mother tongue, etc.).

 

Well if your interested in muslims as human being then why are you rejecting somthing that gives us our humanity? Why are you questioning it? If your not interested in studying the Quran then how can you be interested in a people that are named in the Quran Muslims? The term Muslim is and arabic word you know that is in the Quran nowif your truly interested in Muslims as human beings then you have to what being a muslim is. And the Quran describes what a muslim should be and the Prophet Mohammed is the example that is to be followed. But if you reject the Quran then you will never know about muslims as human beings functioning in a society as a muslim. You would just know us as a your human brother or sister no different than any other human being.

 

 

 

No, I just have questions about how you could demonstrate this in the objective manner you are alluding to or, relatedly, arbitrate a difference of opinion on the matter.

 

You want me, to give to you, a way of how to look at the Quran in an objective manner?? I study the arabic and the Quran and its an amazing Book i dont object to the arabic at all so you would have to find another person to do that....good luck

 

And that is my question. What is the criteria by which we can arbitrate the matter of whether the Quran is more eloquent than all other works of literature. I mean, even a list of the 100 greatest works is controversial, so I can't even imagine how you are going to derive a method for objectively determining the #1 work.

 

Ok heres one criteria

1. there are over 1 billion people and the number still climbing that think that it is the most eloquent than all other works of literature, 1 billion muslims and hundreds of thousands of non muslims

2. Only thousands of people think that shaksphere and others literature are great as well.

 

So the one criteria is to look at is the amount of people who favour the Quran verses the other writings.

 

 

No, I am saying that I have no way of determining that outside of direct divine intervention.

 

Because you dont believe in God right?

 

I have been honest. But I am fairly certain I have also been misunderstood. But I promise I won't call you an idiot, or even adopt your tactic and imply that you may be one.

 

LOL adopt my tactic lol oh boy mate im not implying or calling you an idiot your taking this personal. But clowns do, do idiotic things and you called yourself a clown i didnt do that :sl: but yeah mate im not calling you an idiot trust me i would have no problem being banned for calling you an idiot if i thought you was one.

 

Yes, the histories of most events have to use sources close to those events (although you would search hard for neutral observers), and for that reason historians are very cautious about believing the 'official' line on events. The US military would be the main source for the history of the US military in the Vietnam war - a historian would be crazy to take this source at face value, and no historian does. Similarly, a historian would be crazy to take the official Muslim line on Islamic history at face value.

 

so now your racist?? Because you would judge american history if an american wrote it? A historian can be any race and of any religion but their profession is documenting and studying the history a muslim studying muslim history is enriched more by the study of his own religion but he has no need or drive to rewrite it. And if Mohammed had been a man with a any negativity attached to his name you know as wellas i know that it would have been recorded. A historian takes nothing at face value be they muslim or non muslim and historians who are muslim who have studied muslim history have served to help preserve muslim history. A historian that doesnot take majority of his studies from a muslim historian on the history of Islam is forced to guess and make assumptions which is very stupid. How many universities is set up and they have the subject of Islamic history, most likely if the schoolcan afford the scholar they will hire a historian that has studied Islamic history and most of the time its a muslim. And if its not a muslim its a non muslim who has studied with muslims. You name me a people whos history has been solely written and kept up by another people and where their own history wasnt take as face value.

 

Your suggesting that muslims would have somehidden motive to lie about Islamic history.

 

The Dark Ages refers only to Europe. Look it up. If China, India, Africa, the Americas, the Pacific etc had their own 'dark ages' (I've not heard of them if they did), they were not at this time.

 

Ummm the dark ages refers to the whole world not just Europe the Quran came and brought the world out of the dark ages Ive looked it upand ive studied it for years and even studied it in school. Africa was most definitly in the dark ages if you argue this point then trust me you are arguing in ignorance and im not being rude it would be very ignorant for you to strongly believe that the world wasn't in the dark ageswhen Islam came. Who do you think done all of the maths and science and all that while china and the others you mentioned were in darkness?? Study what the muslims did for the world and you wont make these type of comments

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No it wouldnt, drug dealers who are considered societies crazys threaten us every day but are we afraid to speak out against them?

Drug dealers don't threaten to kill you if you insult cocaine in public. The difference is that religious fanatics (not just Muslims) threaten you because you are speaking out against them and their beliefs.

 

Well if your interested in muslims as human being then why are you rejecting somthing that gives us our humanity? Why are you questioning it? If your not interested in studying the Quran then how can you be interested in a people that are named in the Quran Muslims?

I am not sure what you mean by rejecting. Clearly I don't accept the Quran as objective truth. If I did that, I would be Muslim, wouldn't I. I don't have to convert to Islam in order to have empathy with a Muslim, anymore than I would have to convert to Hinduism or Buddhism, or any other religion in order to have empathy with their followers. I do not reject your culture for you, I merely have not accepted it for me. I am not telling you not to believe in the Quran, I am merely telling you that you are going to have difficulty demonstrating those beliefs outside of the religious context they occur in. Again, I am not questioning it for you. But I am questioning it's universal applicability precisely because that would entail myself. Are you saying I can not question someone's attempt at imposing a belief on me? And your final question, are you capable of caring for people of other religions or no religion? How can you do that if you aren't studying their literature? Perhaps you don't care about them, but I do, and I do in fact try and educate myself. I have read english translations of the Quran, I have visited multiple internet forums that are specifically Muslim, and I have even visited a Masjid and spoken with their representative on a couple of occasions. I don't want to boast, but how many people do you know who are willing to go to these lengths to understand a religion they have no interest in becoming a member of?

 

The term Muslim is and arabic word you know that is in the Quran now if your truly interested in Muslims as human beings then you have to what being a muslim is. And the Quran describes what a muslim should be and the Prophet Mohammed is the example that is to be followed. But if you reject the Quran then you will never know about muslims as human beings functioning in a society as a muslim.

Again, I do not need to adopt your religion to understand something of it. Of course I do not know as much as someone who becomes a member, but it is illegitimate to expect conversion just to have empathy, for otherwise I would need to convert to every religion. I strive to understand Islam within the constraints of one not part of that religion. You can expect no more, for how else would you introduce your religion to anyone? You would be insisting that they convert before you tell them about the religion they are converting to.

 

 

You would just know us as a your human brother or sister no different than any other human being.

Is that such a bad thing? Regardless, that isn't true, one can have some understanding of a religion and not accept all of its beliefs and tenets.

 

You want me, to give to you, a way of how to look at the Quran in an objective manner?? I study the arabic and the Quran and its an amazing Book i dont object to the arabic at all so you would have to find another person to do that....good luck

It seems you still don't understand me. I am not looking for people who think another piece of literature, whether in arabic or not, is better than the Quran. I actually don't care about the question, for the very reasons I have been spelling out for you in the last couple of previous posts. I believe that you have studied the Quran in arabic and have come away from it impressed, but that clearly isn't an objective manner of looking at it.

 

Ok heres one criteria

1. there are over 1 billion people and the number still climbing that think that it is the most eloquent than all other works of literature, 1 billion muslims and hundreds of thousands of non muslims

2. Only thousands of people think that shaksphere and others literature are great as well.

Well, I would think your numbers are a little off for Shakespeare, but I've already said numbers of believers don't make for objectivity. There are more who don't believe Islam than believe it. Does that mean it is wrong? No, it doesn't. Numbers don't prove truth. If they did, then Islam would be mostly wrong in the beginning (when there were fewer believers) and gradually getting more right as it increased in followers. Surely you aren't suggesting that this is the case.

 

Because you dont believe in God right?

Ah, well, actually it would be the other way around. I don't believe in God because I lack experience of God. I was a believer in God, and lost this belief involuntarily. I did not reject God so much as lost my ability to believe in him. The desire to believe remained for some time, but the ability was no longer there. I have noticed a gradual diminishment in the desire to believe over time. I believe this has to do with conscious and subconsious attempts at relieving the stress and frustration of wanting to believe something that I couldn't bring myself to believe.

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I have read the Koran and found it, to be honest, a bit dull (obey me me me, over and over). I've also read most of the bible and while the OT is much the same it at least has stories - and a wonderful English translation.

 

 

if you did not find any stories in the Quran..then you have not read the whole of it.

you find it dull because you dont find the kind of stories you most probably are looking for.the bible contains all kinds of stories.including ###### and incest.the Quran does not.

the Quran is not a book of english language.it's real language is arabic...and humans have translated it in to other languages,so it is possible that there might be grammer mistakes and you might not have an english translation you desire. but you will not be able to find any mistake in the arabic language of the Quran.

 

the argument is that Quran is not the Word of man....

 

..................................I've had a week doing things which a Muslim or a fundamentalist Christian would claim are sinful. I'm afraid that I just cannot believe that a loving god would really decide that giving and receiving pleasure is sinful.

 

a loving God decides which is best for you.even if you accept it or not.

 

 

And your final question, are you capable of caring for people of other religions or no religion? How can you do that if you aren't studying their literature? Perhaps you don't care about them

 

how can you say that...and you claim that you have read the copy of the Quran..

suratu thaubah verses 6

If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah. and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge.

 

in context...the above verse is refering to a war between the muslims and the pagans.

 

even during war,if the enemies want peace..we are ordered to escort them to a place of security.if Islam does not care, how come we are ordered to do so.

and you know what the rasulullah (SAW) said to the pagans of makkah? he said you are free.go where ever you want.

 

 

if he did not care...then how come he let every one of those who had tortured him and his followers go free.he could have held them captive.

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how can you say that...and you claim that you have read the copy of the Quran..

suratu thaubah verses 6

If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah. and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge.

 

in context...the above verse is refering to a war between the muslims and the pagans.

 

even during war,if the enemies want peace..we are ordered to escort them to a place of security.if Islam does not care, how come we are ordered to do so.

and you know what the rasulullah (SAW) said to the pagans of makkah? he said you are free.go where ever you want.

if he did not care...then how come he let every one of those who had tortured him and his followers go free.he could have held them captive.

You seem to be confusing me and Wattle. Nevertheless, you have misunderstood me. I was responding to twoswords question:

If your not interested in studying the Quran then how can you be interested in a people that are named in the Quran Muslims?
Clearly Islam says that you can be interested in people without being interested in their religion. I was merely pointing this out, that one can be care about others without being students and/or disciples of their religion.

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Drug dealers don't threaten to kill you if you insult cocaine in public. The difference is that religious fanatics (not just Muslims) threaten you because you are speaking out against them and their beliefs.

 

WHAT!!!!??? Ok then i would gladly pay for you to come to NewYork with me and we can go to my old neighborhood in Harlem right up where they sell crack and cocaine and i would love to see you go to the drug dealers and INSULT crack publicly and see if they wont threaten to kill you. I cant believe you said that?

 

I am not sure what you mean by rejecting. Clearly I don't accept the Quran as objective truth. If I did that, I would be Muslim, wouldn't I. I don't have to convert to Islam in order to have empathy with a Muslim, anymore than I would have to convert to Hinduism or Buddhism, or any other religion in order to have empathy with their followers. I do not reject your culture for you, I merely have not accepted it for me.

 

Your empathy is false because you dont believe in God. We are not trying to force you to believe but you will have great difficulty trying to relate to believers in God when you reject God. The only common ground that we can agree on is that you reject God so if you reject God or you dont believe in God then how can we have any discussion when we as muslims speak from the word of God the Quran.

 

I am not telling you not to believe in the Quran, I am merely telling you that you are going to have difficulty demonstrating those beliefs outside of the religious context they occur in

 

No difficulty at all i am a muslim, my life is all about trying to be a better human being. And being a muslim helps me to function better in this life and with other people. Now if your a person who doesent believe in God then its is clear that you and a muslim share nothing in common. There is no difficulty you have put up a wall to reject God and therefore you will reject what ever a muslim says because when a muslim speaks he or she speaks from studying the Quran and Mohammed. We dont have to demonstrate anything you yourself used to believe in God but now you dont, well we still do believe in God, wheres the difficulty?? It lies with you

 

.

Again, I am not questioning it for you. But I am questioning it's universal applicability precisely because that would entail myself.

 

Well just look at the world, again if you studied the Quran you would be abl to see its universal applicability the Quran speaks to all worlds all systems of knowledge.

 

 

Are you saying I can not question someone's attempt at imposing a belief on me? And your final question, are you capable of caring for people of other religions or no religion? How can you do that if you aren't studying their literature?

 

first question,, yess you can but Muslims are not trying to impose nothing on you

Second question of course im capable and i do care for human beings and i want the best way of life for them. But will i have a friendship with a devout devil worshipper?? Hell No lol. I love God more than i love people and i love those who love God, and i also love those who have loved God but were given such a nasty picture of religious life that they were compelled to say screw this and screw God, Because they are lost and they have had their minds messed with and they are seeking their God given independence, and Islam is for these types of people. But those who work hard against those who believe in God and they themselves dont believe in God and they have no respect for religion then i Have no love for them

 

 

Perhaps you don't care about them, but I do, and I do in fact try and educate myself. I have read english translations of the Quran, I have visited multiple internet forums that are specifically Muslim, and I have even visited a Masjid and spoken with their representative on a couple of occasions. I don't want to boast, but how many people do you know who are willing to go to these lengths to understand a religion they have no interest in becoming a member of?

 

Thats excellent i encourage you to please do it more often and learn more keep the studying up , I admit that is very excellent!! I really hope that continue doing that.

 

 

Again, I do not need to adopt your religion to understand something of it. Of course I do not know as much as someone who becomes a member, but it is illegitimate to expect conversion just to have empathy, for otherwise I would need to convert to every religion. I strive to understand Islam within the constraints of one not part of that religion. You can expect no more, for how else would you introduce your religion to anyone? You would be insisting that they convert before you tell them about the religion they are converting to.

 

No but if your belief in God is none then there is really no point in conversating. You have to have some belief in God inorder to see where the Muslim is comming from but if you reject God it will be very hard for you to understand Islam. Like math, i can be given and taught math but if i dont believe that math can help me in life then i truly will not understand math and i would never be able to use math in any situations.(I am an engineer technician and till this day i love math ......and hate it lol ) So i can tell you about Islam and God and Mohammed but if you dont believe in God then you will never fully understand Islam.

 

 

Is that such a bad thing? Regardless, that isn't true, one can have some understanding of a religion and not accept all of its beliefs and tenets.

It seems you still don't understand me. I am not looking for people who think another piece of literature, whether in arabic or not, is better than the Quran. I actually don't care about the question, for the very reasons I have been spelling out for you in the last couple of previous posts. I believe that you have studied the Quran in arabic and have come away from it impressed, but that clearly isn't an objective manner of looking at it.

 

Well, I would think your numbers are a little off for Shakespeare, but I've already said numbers of believers don't make for objectivity. There are more who don't believe Islam than believe it. Does that mean it is wrong? No, it doesn't. Numbers don't prove truth. If they did, then Islam would be mostly wrong in the beginning (when there were fewer believers) and gradually getting more right as it increased in followers. Surely you aren't suggesting that this is the case.

 

You asked for a criterior and i gave you one, now 1 billion people verses hundreds of thousands over whether or not The Quran is a better book is a good example. In this case numbers do make a difference. And for your other comment that view is wrong because history has shown that its never a large group that managed to make a difference it always started with a few. And that few turned into thousands and then intomillions then into billions and still growing. Nowif we take a poll of what is the most popular religion with the most people in it then numbers would show that Christianity would be number 1. And if we did the same poll for the Quran then it will be the numbers that would show that the Quran is better.

 

 

 

Ah, well, actually it would be the other way around. I don't believe in God because I lack experience of God. I was a believer in God, and lost this belief involuntarily. I did not reject God so much as lost my ability to believe in him. The desire to believe remained for some time, but the ability was no longer there. I have noticed a gradual diminishment in the desire to believe over time. I believe this has to do with conscious and subconsious attempts at relieving the stress and frustration of wanting to believe something that I couldn't bring myself to believe.

 

hmmm interesting so when you believed in God did you have experience of God??

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Ok heres one criteria

1. there are over 1 billion people and the number still climbing that think that it is the most eloquent than all other works of literature, 1 billion muslims and hundreds of thousands of non muslims

2. Only thousands of people think that shaksphere and others literature are great as well.

 

No, you cannot use democratic means to decide the worth of a piece of art. If that was the case a Dan Brown novel would be superior to an A S Byatt novel.

 

 

so now your racist?? Because you would judge american history if an american wrote it? A historian can be any race and of any religion but their profession is documenting and studying the history a muslim studying muslim history is enriched more by the study of his own religion but he has no need or drive to rewrite it.

 

Wot? I'm saying that no historian takes at face value the version of history preferred by the people in power. Actually, they don't take at face value *any* one perspective.

 

And if Mohammed had been a man with a any negativity attached to his name you know as wellas i know that it would have been recorded. A historian takes nothing at face value be they muslim or non muslim and historians who are muslim who have studied muslim history have served to help preserve muslim history. A historian that doesnot take majority of his studies from a muslim historian on the history of Islam is forced to guess and make assumptions which is very stupid. How many universities is set up and they have the subject of Islamic history, most likely if the schoolcan afford the scholar they will hire a historian that has studied Islamic history and most of the time its a muslim. And if its not a muslim its a non muslim who has studied with muslims. You name me a people whos history has been solely written and kept up by another people and where their own history wasnt take as face value.

 

My point is that AFAIK the ONLY source we have for very early Islamic history comes from those who had a powerful motive for presenting a certain view of that history.

 

Ummm the dark ages refers to the whole world not just Europe the Quran came and brought the world out of the dark ages Ive looked it upand ive studied it for years and even studied it in school. Africa was most definitly in the dark ages if you argue this point then trust me you are arguing in ignorance and im not being rude it would be very ignorant for you to strongly believe that the world wasn't in the dark ageswhen Islam came. Who do you think done all of the maths and science and all that while china and the others you mentioned were in darkness?? Study what the muslims did for the world and you wont make these type of comments

 

Sorry, but when non-Muslim historians refer to the Dark Ages, they refer to Europe. Maybe Muslim historians have a different definition, I don't know, but everyone else is talking about Europe.

 

edit - Here's what Wiki says (I don't know why I had to look that up for you):

 

The Dark Ages is the period of cultural decline or societal collapse that took place in Western Europe between the fall of Rome and the gradual recovery of learning between the ninth and thirteenth centuries.[1][2][3] Increased understanding of the accomplishments of the Middle Ages in the 19th century challenged the characterization of the entire period as one of darkness.[3] Thus the term is often restricted to periods within the Middle Ages, namely the Early Middle Ages, though this usage is also disputed by most modern scholars, who tend to avoid using the phrase.[1][4]

 

The concept of a Dark Age was created in the 1330s by the Italian scholar Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca), and was originally intended as a sweeping criticism of the character of Late Latin literature.[5][6] Petrarch regarded the centuries since the fall of Rome as "dark" compared to the light of classical antiquity. Later historians expanded the term to refer to the transitional period between Roman times and the High Middle Ages, including not only the lack of Latin literature, but also a lack of contemporary written history, general demographic decline, limited building activity and material cultural achievements in general. Popular culture has further expanded on the term as a vehicle to depict the Middle Ages as a time of backwardness, extending its pejorative use and expanding its scope.[7]

Edited by wattle

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WHAT!!!!??? Ok then i would gladly pay for you to come to NewYork with me and we can go to my old neighborhood in Harlem right up where they sell crack and cocaine and i would love to see you go to the drug dealers and INSULT crack publicly and see if they wont threaten to kill you. I cant believe you said that?

You changed the scenario. Of course if I insult them to their face they will threaten me (if not act upon those threats). I'm not disputing that. But if I went on television, said that cocaine was bad, I would not be receiving threats from them. They wouldn't care.

 

Your empathy is false because you dont believe in God. We are not trying to force you to believe but you will have great difficulty trying to relate to believers in God when you reject God. The only common ground that we can agree on is that you reject God so if you reject God or you dont believe in God then how can we have any discussion when we as muslims speak from the word of God the Quran.

Do you have empathy for anyone other than Muslims? Bint ali seemed quite adamant on that point that Muslims should, even though they do not share the beliefs of those they are compassionate towards. Your argument would seem to indicate otherwise, however, and I'm not sure what to think of that.

 

No difficulty at all i am a muslim, my life is all about trying to be a better human being. And being a muslim helps me to function better in this life and with other people. Now if your a person who doesent believe in God then its is clear that you and a muslim share nothing in common. There is no difficulty you have put up a wall to reject God and therefore you will reject what ever a muslim says because when a muslim speaks he or she speaks from studying the Quran and Mohammed. We dont have to demonstrate anything you yourself used to believe in God but now you dont, well we still do believe in God, wheres the difficulty?? It lies with you

Again, your answer seems to indicate that you did not understand me here. But why would you say I have nothing in common with you? I eat and breathe, I love and laugh and cry. I have hopes and aspirations, sorrow and anger. And I have not put up a wall to reject God, and neither have I rejected what you said, I have merely qualified it. I am not asking you to demonstrate anything to me, but your religion motivates you do to so, at least in regard to the superiority of the Quran, which is an article of your faith. I am quite fine with you not trying to demonstrate this, however, so please don't let this bother you.

 

Well just look at the world, again if you studied the Quran you would be abl to see its universal applicability the Quran speaks to all worlds all systems of knowledge.

Do you have any reason to give me that I should expect a different outcome from the other times I have done this? I have looked into Islam and read the Quran. But I understand that you cannot allow this to be a failure of either the Quran or God, and so are obligated to find the fault in me. I accept this as well.

 

 

first question,, yess you can but Muslims are not trying to impose nothing on you

Of course not. What I was talking about is more passive, in that any universal claim necessarily imposes itself on everyone, including myself.

 

Second question of course im capable and i do care for human beings and i want the best way of life for them.

Then why would you say that I am incapable of such?

 

In this case numbers do make a difference. And for your other comment that view is wrong because history has shown that its never a large group that managed to make a difference it always started with a few.

But that wasn't my view, it was the logical outcome of your view.

 

hmmm interesting so when you believed in God did you have experience of God??

Yes and no. Yes, I thought I had experieces of God, and no, I do not believe they were experiences of God. Our beliefs are an intricle element in what we perceive of the world around, including how those perceptions are organized. Naturally, my loss of faith has had an impact on how I perceive things, as does everyone's beliefs. It is an inescapable element of human cognition.

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you find it dull because you dont find the kind of stories you most probably are looking for.the bible contains all kinds of stories.including ###### and incest.the Quran does not.

 

Are you referring to the Song of Soloman as ######? Have you read it? I think it's a beautiful poem, and I have never heard of anyone thinking otherwise. I'm surprised if it's that you refer to as ###### but if it isn't, I have no idea what you could mean, as the Bible is notably short on eroticism.

 

On a broader literary note, I don't think it's good to exclude stories because some readers might find them unpalatable.

Edited by wattle

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You seem to be confusing me and Wattle.

no i did not.

 

Nevertheless, you have misunderstood me. I was responding to twoswords question:

 

and all what i did was refute what you have said

 

Are you referring to the Song of Soloman as ######? Have you read it? I think it's a beautiful poem, and I have never heard of anyone thinking otherwise.

yes i have read it and.....OFCOURSE it is ######. do you really think that such sort of language is suitable in what anyone would consider the Word of God? i would not quote the song of solomon because it is unsuitable....for anyone to read.

I'm surprised if it's that you refer to as ###### but if it isn't, I have no idea what you could mean, as the Bible is notably short on eroticism.

 

i am much more surprised you dont think it is ######.i cant believe that you dont see ###### in it.

maybe you were reading it for english literature...i dont have anything to say about that...but the argument here is that Quran is not the Word of man.and since the Bible contains such stories.....i would say it is unsuitable for the book of God to contain such stories. and by the way if you did not find any ###### in the bible besides the song of solomon...then you really need to revise your definition of ######.

 

On a broader literary note, I don't think it's good to exclude stories because some readers might find them unpalatable.

 

and i dont think it is suitable for the Book of God to contain such stories

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You changed the scenario. Of course if I insult them to their face they will threaten me (if not act upon those threats). I'm not disputing that. But if I went on television, said that cocaine was bad, I would not be receiving threats from them. They wouldn't care.

 

Television or on the streets you insult people and some crazy person will want to kill you.

 

Do you have empathy for anyone other than Muslims? Bint ali seemed quite adamant on that point that Muslims should, even though they do not share the beliefs of those they are compassionate towards. Your argument would seem to indicate otherwise, however, and I'm not sure what to think of that.

 

I have a deep concern for humans to become the best human being that they can be. For those who fight hard against those who believe in God my love for them is only that they change their was and become the best human being that they can be. Those who constantly rebel i have no need in wasting time with them.

 

Again, your answer seems to indicate that you did not understand me here. But why would you say I have nothing in common with you? I eat and breathe, I love and laugh and cry. I have hopes and aspirations, sorrow and anger. And I have not put up a wall to reject God, and neither have I rejected what you said, I have merely qualified it. I am not asking you to demonstrate anything to me, but your religion motivates you do to so, at least in regard to the superiority of the Quran, which is an article of your faith. I am quite fine with you not trying to demonstrate this, however, so please don't let this bother you.

 

Do you have any reason to give me that I should expect a different outcome from the other times I have done this? I have looked into Islam and read the Quran. But I understand that you cannot allow this to be a failure of either the Quran or God, and so are obligated to find the fault in me. I accept this as well.

 

One reason is the fact that you guys totaly misread the Quran when it was speaking about the mountains. You guys went all off on some tangent which had nothing to do with the message that the Quran was trying to convey. You have looked at the Quran and Islam but it has been with eyes wide shut. If you approach the Quran in the way in which im telling you about then you can recieve great benefit, but if you dont believe in God then I really cant see you understanding anything from the Quran. You will always misread it. But the Quran shows that there is a God just by looking at life it self

 

Of course not. What I was talking about is more passive, in that any universal claim necessarily imposes itself on everyone, including myself.

 

Again the Quran is universal but it is not imposing anything on anybody and to say the Quran imposes goes against what the Quran talks about.

 

Then why would you say that I am incapable of such?

 

If you dont believe in God then what is your concern for humanity?? All that we know about good comes from the belief in God and thats how we know about right from wrong good and evil this all takes place in religion and belief in God. So with out belief in God then how can you truly want the best for human beings the knowledge of good would never exist without belief in God... before you answer think about that

 

Yes and no. Yes, I thought I had experieces of God, and no, I do not believe they were experiences of God. Our beliefs are an intricle element in what we perceive of the world around, including how those perceptions are organized. Naturally, my loss of faith has had an impact on how I perceive things, as does everyone's beliefs. It is an inescapable element of human cognition.

 

your rejecting your own history now.You started with belief in God what made you lose that faith

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One reason is the fact that you guys totaly misread the Quran when it was speaking about the mountains.

Actually, I haven't said anything about mountains. Don't really care about it either.

 

You guys went all off on some tangent which had nothing to do with the message that the Quran was trying to convey. You have looked at the Quran and Islam but it has been with eyes wide shut. If you approach the Quran in the way in which im telling you about then you can recieve great benefit, but if you dont believe in God then I really cant see you understanding anything from the Quran. You will always misread it. But the Quran shows that there is a God just by looking at life it self

Yes, I realize that if I look at the Quran with the perspective of a believer, then of course it will be a different experience for me, this goes without saying, and in fact was precisely what I have been arguing for.

 

If you dont believe in God then what is your concern for humanity?? All that we know about good comes from the belief in God and thats how we know about right from wrong good and evil this all takes place in religion and belief in God.

Sorry, I might have agreed with you when I was a believer, but I have discovered after having lost my faith that I have remained remarkable the same, including my ability to care for others. This was an interesting, and unexpected discovery for me.

 

So with out belief in God then how can you truly want the best for human beings the knowledge of good would never exist without belief in God... before you answer think about that

I can want the best for human beings because I am so inclined to do so. I have no need of any other reason than I because it is what I want to do. I understand perspective, it would have been mine a few years ago. I simply have a different one now, although I can remember how I thought about the issue before. One of the few benefits of my loss.

 

your rejecting your own history now.You started with belief in God what made you lose that faith

It is not something that I chose for myself. I lost my faith because I discovered that God wasn't there. And I mean that subjectively, not objectively, so I make no judgment as to whether God is there for you or not. One can't really continue on with religious faith if one doesn't have a god to anchor it in. As for my history, in a sense I reject it, but in another it continues on in me, informing who I am even to this day, and I accept that. Nothing is ever as simple as we would like to believe it to be, especially ourselves.

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yes i have read it and.....OFCOURSE it is ######. do you really think that such sort of language is suitable in what anyone would consider the Word of God? i would not quote the song of solomon because it is unsuitable....for anyone to read.

 

There's a difference between celebrating human sexuality and pornography. This is genuinely the first time I've ever heard the Song of Solomon referred to as '######', and I'm genuinely surprised.

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So with out belief in God then how can you truly want the best for human beings the knowledge of good would never exist without belief in God... before you answer think about that

 

I don't agree that the knowledge of good (a human construct) would not exist without belief in your god, but as a matter of interest, are you saying that anyone who happened to believe in a different god (or no god) could not have "knowledge of good"? If so, reality doesn't seem to verify the claim.

Edited by wattle

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No, since I have repeatedly stated that such a judgment is not possible. I would say that, if that were to happen, that most experts like this work more than the Quran, but their disposition towards one literary work does not make one objectively better than the other, because there is no such thing as objectively better. What is better, what is best, is always going to be dependent on the subjective, since it is we, as individuals and collectives, who determine what the criteria is for determining what is better, and what is best. All someone would have to do to arrive at a different conclusion is to bring a different set of criteria to the question and they too would be justified in their belief, just as the first party were.

 

In conclusion, I do not argue that the Quran is not a great literary work. I do not argue that many or even most find it to be the best they have read. But I do argue that this only tells us about them, about their tastes, dispositions, and preferences, and not about some objective reality having to do with the book.

 

Your position that it is not possible to objectively judge between two pieces of literature is arguable. It seems to derive itself from Relativism, whereas Relativism and its various permutations such as Subjectivism have been severely challenged on philosophical grounds by a long list of thinkers. To bandy the notion about as being a universally accepted truth is at best a mistake, and at worst deceptive. Is there really any consensus among thinkers on the question of 'objective reality'? I'd say not.

 

So we return to the Quran's challenge and your allegation that the challenge is invalid. To reiterate your stance, you say that it is impossible to judge whether one piece of writing is objectively better than another. But this seems counter-intuitive. A qualified assessor can easily distinguish the work of Shakespeare as being better than a poem written in haste by a school student. You would be hard pressed to assert that this view was merely the subjective opinion of the assessor. Such an assertion illicitly assumes the non-existence of an objective reality to 'greater quality'. Again, this is a view from Relativism, whereas Relativism is far from being universally accepted.

 

I have been asked to specify the criteria upon which the Quran could be objectively judged for literary quality against other pieces of literature. It may be useful to take another look at the challenge, as it appears in various places in the Quran:

 

"And if you are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down to Our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call your witnesses besides God if you be truthful." (part of Sura Baqara 2:23)

 

"Or do they say 'He has forged it.' Say: 'Then bring a chapter like it and call whoever you can besides God if you are truthful'." (10:38)

 

The Quran possesses various literary characteristics which together, give it an elevated eloquence. It is possible to assess objectively whether a given challenger to the Quran possesses these characteristics to the same or a greater extent.

 

1. A unique literary style. The Quranic style does not fit into any of the 16 categories of Arabic poetry, nor the 3 styles of Arabic prose, nor the style of spoken word. Therefore, any challenger would also need to possess a totally original literary style, by being distinct from any of the known literary styles of the language in which it is written. It must do this whilst maintaining coherence and meaning.

 

2. The use of rhetorical devices such as grammatical shift. An objective assessment could be made by determining the number of valid rhetorical devices used effectively throughout the text. Further, these should be used in a logical and structured manner, as in the Quran.

 

3. Conciseness whilst maintaining depth. The number of words used to express a particular meaning should be as short as that in the Quran.

 

(A landmark treatise on this topic, Isaratul Ijaz - 'Signs of Miraculousness - The Inimitability of Quran's Conciseness' - Said Nursi - with English translations freely accesible on the web - provides a useful insight into this aspect of the Quran.)

 

4. The use of rhyme resulting in rhythm and cadence. The Quran's unique style, for lack of an existing descriptor, was dubbed 'rhyming prose'. It seamlessly combines a sort of prose with an astounding amount of rhyme. For example, in excess of 50% of all verses in the Quran rhyme with the Arabic sound nun. Any challenger would need to demonstrate that it could match or better this amount of rhyme, whilst remaining coherent and meaningful.

 

 

The above is by no means an exhaustive list of the Quran's attributes and I'm sure experts in the field could add several more criteria. I believe I have provided a list of objectively assessable criteria against which any challengers could be judged. Remember that the Quran possesses all of these attributes whilst still achieving its purpose, and still conveying its intended meaning. Again, these criteria are not an exhaustive list of the Quran's eloquent qualities, but none the less, provide us with sufficient material for objective comparison.

 

So I ask you again, is there any book that can match the Quran on these criteria? If not, if it is beyond the ability of humankind to do so, we can say that the Quran is not the word of man.

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To reiterate your stance, you say that it is impossible to judge whether one piece of writing is objectively better than another. But this seems counter-intuitive. A qualified assessor can easily distinguish the work of Shakespeare as being better than a poem written in haste by a school student. You would be hard pressed to assert that this view was merely the subjective opinion of the assessor. Such an assertion illicitly assumes the non-existence of an objective reality to 'greater quality'. Again, this is a view from Relativism, whereas Relativism is far from being universally accepted.

 

I'm sure that Sad Clown will argue this effectively, but can I just say that if relativism is 'far from being universally accepted', thus incorrect, the idea that the Koran was dictated by a god is also far from being universally accepted. Does that make it an incorrect idea?

 

1. A unique literary style. The Quranic style does not fit into any of the 16 categories of Arabic poetry, nor the 3 styles of Arabic prose, nor the style of spoken word. Therefore, any challenger would also need to possess a totally original literary style, by being distinct from any of the known literary styles of the language in which it is written. It must do this whilst maintaining coherence and meaning.

 

Not difficult. Every author has their own style.

 

2. The use of rhetorical devices such as grammatical shift. An objective assessment could be made by determining the number of valid rhetorical devices used effectively throughout the text. Further, these should be used in a logical and structured manner, as in the Quran.

 

Again, not difficult. If you can quantify the number of these devices used by the Koran, it's simple to add one more. (Although your word "effectively" again puts us back in the realm of the subjective.)

 

3. Conciseness whilst maintaining depth. The number of words used to express a particular meaning should be as short as that in the Quran.

 

"Depth" is subjective, unless you can quantify it.

 

4. The use of rhyme resulting in rhythm and cadence. The Quran's unique style, for lack of an existing descriptor, was dubbed 'rhyming prose'. It seamlessly combines a sort of prose with an astounding amount of rhyme. For example, in excess of 50% of all verses in the Quran rhyme with the Arabic sound nun. Any challenger would need to demonstrate that it could match or better this amount of rhyme, whilst remaining coherent and meaningful.

 

Lots of subjectivity there, but simply stipulating that a certain number of verses have to rhyme with something doesn't make for much of a challenge.

 

The above is by no means an exhaustive list of the Quran's attributes and I'm sure experts in the field could add several more criteria. I believe I have provided a list of objectively assessable criteria against which any challengers could be judged. Remember that the Quran possesses all of these attributes whilst still achieving its purpose, and still conveying its intended meaning. Again, these criteria are not an exhaustive list of the Quran's eloquent qualities, but none the less, provide us with sufficient material for objective comparison.

 

Well, you cannot set up a challenge ithout a complete list of criteria. Also, a more fundamental problem is that you have stipulated that the challenger must have its own unique style, yet you also stipulate that it must conform to the style of the Koran (number of rhyming verses, etc). You can't ask for both.

 

So I ask you again, is there any book that can match the Quran on these criteria? If not, if it is beyond the ability of humankind to do so, we can say that the Quran is not the word of man.

 

You again made an incorrect leap of logic. Just because one particular book scores better on a certain set of quantifiable criteria than all others does not logically mean that it was dictated by a god. Given *any* quantifiable set of criteria (which is itself a dubious possibility) one book (or building or painting or song or sculpture) will *always* score better than all others. If the criteria cannot be quantified, then the issue is a subjective one.

Edited by wattle

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