I wonder what the response of the atheist community would be to a religion that endorses scientific progress and doesn't contradict it.


This is a somewhat irritating read as an article due to its ESL issues, but here:


http://www.deenresearchcenter.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=BQJs4ei...

And, I know people will raise a load of other protests against this religion. 


But I'm confident that anyone who cares will really research the topic and come to their own conclusion. I will also reply to debate (if I remember to check back) and provide links here if asked. The article I posted is only a tiny fraction of what you can investigate online.


Think of these questions:


What is the natural state of humankind? (As a self-conscious creature?)


How could humankind achieve a culture of sentient, progressive harmony with the rest of the planet? (When and where has this state existed, if anywhere or any time, since we evolved that sentience?)


What can happen to extraneous religious teachings of an organized religion over time? (Especially to something as subjective as related memories? What do you need to take with a grain of salt even if you believe in a "God"?)


Who was it who believed you could discover the truth of the universe through pure rationality, and what conclusion did he reach? (Does modern science support his philosophy at all?)


There's a lot of criticism of religious people based on the thought that it's somehow intellectually weak to believe in a higher power. A religious person is seen as cowardly, unwilling to face a world without a higher power. They bind themselves to the imaginary machinations of a faith in order to feel part of something greater than themselves, because they can't stand living without meaning and they're not strong enough to forge their own.


These critiques are quite sensible and may hold water in some individual cases.


However, those who utilize them often forget a crucial point of understanding. People are diverse. Some don't want to believe in a higher power, they'd much rather have the freedom and the decision that there is no higher power is often based on psychological conditioning instead of pure rationality. 

 

There are some who desire freedom and some who desire bondage. It's not any stronger to choose freedom as long as you still remain a slave to whatever it is that you desire.


Then, there are the ones who understand that the fabric of reality isn't dependent on their desires. 


For instance, if I want a state of existence in which rocks are alive and grass is a collection of static, inanimate, non-living emerald shards...  


I'd have to delude myself into seeing it. All of us delude ourselves by limiting informational input by our own expectations, by our socialized psychologies, by our subconscious desires.

 

There's a lot of people who deny evolution, for instance, because they don't really want 'reality'. It's much more comfortable to cling to traditional beliefs than go out on a limb and conceptualize the universe.

 

On closing, I know it's somewhat foolish to make this post in an atheist internet community - after all, why are you all here if you don't want to believe in atheism? I don't imagine anyone will care, but I hope you don't just see this post as an annoying attempt at proselytizing. I'd honestly like honest responses to these questions.


Peace.

Tags: islam

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I wonder what the response of the atheist community would be to a religion that endorses scientific progress and doesn't contradict it.

 

That would not be Islam.

Although it initially seems as though you are asking many questions, a thorough reading has revealed to me a small enough number to be answered in a single reply - from my perspective and knowledge.

 

I would have no feeling one way or the other about a religion that fully endorsed science - I would only wonder why people who endorsed the pursuit of evidence would cling to any beliefs that had no supporting evidence.

 

The natural state of humankind, as a self-conscious creature, is determined by the point at which one considers us to have become self-conscious in the evolutionary tree.  In the broadest sense, we are born unable to care for ourselves and would parish without parenting.  We have some genetic dispositions to language, agency detection, two-ness & three-ness, theory of mind, and several other cognitive tools that survived through natural selection.  We are born with intense credulity and we start soaking up knowledge before we are even out of the womb.

 

We have never existed in sentient, progressive harmony with the rest of the planet - we have survived in spite of our environment and violent tendencies.

 

Religion is an extraneous teaching and it is time for it to be buried in the pages of our history.

 

Ontological proofs of god have never been widely convincing although the philosophical undertaking has been productive to the extent of developing epistemology.

 

I am not here because I want to believe in Atheism - there is literally nothing to believe and that's the point.  I am hear because I am without belief in a god and I find it refreshing to engage in dialog with others who also lack such belief.

"I am not here because I want to believe in Atheism - there is literally nothing to believe and that's the point.  I am hear because I am without belief in a god and I find it refreshing to engage in dialog with others who also lack such belief."

 

This was the first article I read on this website. And this line made me join the community. Well said.

@Christoffel Jacobus Bezuidenhout - Welcome to TA!  Don't forget to check out the live chat; there is a button for it in the lower right corner on each page.

I'll come back to this thread later, but a few quick things before I retire.

 

1. Please don't link to random files from the internet, especially when it's just text.  It would have been better to provide that document by way of a normal webpage.  If I was on a different machine I would have been disinclined to follow the link for a PDF download.  [I know that scientific journals are typically distributed as PDFs, but they tend to come from well-known sources.]  If you cannot provide a webpage, at the very least provide fair warning about what exactly you are linking to.

 

2. Citing people's attempts to reject knowledge is not a way to demonstrate that such behaviour is positive. People can believe what they want, but others do not have an obligation to treat all ideas and beliefs as equally valuable or valid.

 

2b.  People can desire bondage, but that desire doesn't require religion to satisfy it.  People who need 'definitive' guidance can use law, or philosophical frameworks to provide the structure they need to satisfy a need.  Which of course is to say nothing of the alternative - strengthening their ability to stand on their own.

 

3. The best method of truly supporting the diversity of people's desires is to foster a pluralistic society rather than promoting Islam as the "proper" or "right" religion.  You spend a lot of time explaining how we need to understand the religiously minded person, yet do little to address how the atheist will be accommodated by Islam.  The only good solution to accommodating both the muslim and the atheist is some sort of pluralism.  The society would either have to be secular (best) or at least based on some sort of ultra-broad religion that readily accepted all kinds of perspectives on spirituality --- Hey look it's Unitarian Universalism!

 

4. I understand it's hip to say the Qur'an is bursting at the seams with advanced scientific knowledge, but none of the ideas are more advanced than the ideas of the time of its writing.  All of this song and dance about "aha but this modern scientific discover was already in the Qur'an!" is retroactive reinterpretation.  For all the advancement Islamic peoples provided between the 9th & 12 centuries...none of them were talking about the big bang, none of them were talking about evolution & natural selection...all of this is modern day reaction rather than time-of-writing revelation.  If the science was really there, then Islam would have been ridiculed for centuries only to be vindicated by science, rather than running with the crowd only to change stories later.

[LIKE]

agree

Thanks for the great reply, Heather.

 

For me, that evidence is the socio-biological evolution of religion in a way that complements our natural evolution. Apes, for instance, are polygynous to the degree that the males are taller than the females.  When I look at modern society today and view its many flaws - such as the objectification of women, the oppression of common people by consumer capitalism, the sharing of propaganda, and the twisted way that many religious people tend to follow their religions - I can't help but see that most of these problems would be solved, for both individuals and for society, by true acceptance of Islam. 

 

I feel that now humankind is within an informative, technological age and it is absolutely disgraceful that we are still squabbling selfishly over negligible things while people are being oppressed and our planet is being polluted.  It is disgusting that everyone is spreading negativity about things and failing to look up real information.  Muslims as well as non-Muslims are culprits here, and I know you understand this very well because I read the article you wrote.

 

On the contrary to burying religion within the pages of our history, I feel it still bears great relevance today. Despite the widespread malpractice of Islam, I imagine a world where it is practiced properly by those who truly believe in it, and I can't help but see that as a utopia. This is because when I look at my problems through the lens of Islam they just look like opportunities to be a better person. What if a great deal of people really felt like this, and they actually studied the teachings of their God to know: "hey, stoning people isn't actually very nice. maybe we shouldn't be killing civilians! wow, suicide is wrong. whoa, I guess there's not supposed to be any compulsion in religion! look here, it says you're not supposed to consume wealth in excess, maybe we should give a little charity instead of having extravagant parties with five-thousand-dollar bottles of wine and French hookers."?

 

You wouldn't have to be a Muslim yourself to benefit from the positive changes that those people would enact, if given a chance. Even if they were small things, like children trying to be kind to their older parents, niceness has an effect in the world.

 

 

 

R1Gami:

 

1. Sorry about that, I wasn't aware it was a difficulty and now I am.

 

2. Of course not. Having an open mind isn't about wondering if 2 + 2 = 5. I'm just pointing out that rejecting knowledge is something that both theists and atheists partake in, and I suppose that was somewhat tactless.

 

For instance, Pat Condell is convinced that Islamophobia doesn't exist. You only have to look at Sassan K to see that it most certainly does. He told me that Islam is the greatest evil that the world faces today while posting successive strings of illegitimate information on its teachings.

 

People also make quips about a 'phobia' being an irrational fear and that Islamophobia is an entirely rational fear. However, those 'rational' people are always getting their information on Islam's teachings wrong while they continue their fear-mongering. It may be true that Islam is something to be feared a little bit by people who have things to lose by its widespread acceptance (what would Abercrombie do when 7 years olds stopped wanting padded bras?). However, the degree to which Islamophobes fear Islam is most certainly irrational, much like the degree to which Arachnophobes fear black widow spiders.

 

2b. I completely agree, in fact I think people should be capable of standing on their own and then studying their surroundings to obtain truth. My entire point was that our desires should be separate from our observations if those observations are to hold any valid evidence for our understanding.

 

3. That sounds like a much better idea than what we have today! How can we help it to happen?

 

4. Yes, I'm not contesting that is the case with many scientific discoveries. However if you read the article, you will see how evolution was conceived long ago by an Islamic scholar and then the theory largely abandoned after the ruin of the empire and the subsequent cultural failure of the Muslim people. Further, whether or not the scientific import of passages were completely clarified at the time, their relevance to science is still fairly strong. It's a great failing of the Muslims that they've fallen into such disgrace despite the guidance they have ready, and I can't express how distasteful I find that. When I read the news, especially about Saudi Arabia, I am always so disappointed... but, I am looking forward to revolution there. God willing, the waves through the Middle East won't be stopped.

My problem with religion is that as long as the leaders claim to be getting their orders from an imaginary man there is no way to find out if they are telling the truth or not.

I agree, the orders should be judged on the basis of their merit.

 

Exactly!  That's why I feel imaginary beings need to be left out of the equation.
I understand and can sympathize with that, however...

Some of us truly do believe in the existence of what you call imaginary. If the orders are meritorious, then why not just sit back and contemplate the vastness of the universe?

Imagine that there is actually a Creator, and some beings within creation want to be grateful. It is a wholesome thought whether or not you believe in a creator. In the great scheme of things, is that wrong?

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