Sunday, February 20, 2011

The View From The Other Side

I wrote a post about this yesterday, but felt it was too flippant and took it down.

I downloaded the Koran from Audible and am slogging my way through it now. The writing style is not very fluid and the composition is nonlinear, so it's probably better in an audio version than text. Last week I was listening to the Gospel of St. Matthew and the contrast on all levels is dramatic.

I'm 1/3 of the way through it and have already come across the beat-your-wife-if-she's-disobedient part as well as the recommendations on taking slave girls (by all means, do so!) and the kill the infidels part (attack!). All in all, it's a very aggressive book. Something I saw on Secular Apostate's blog suggested that it gets even more aggressive as it goes along and so far that's held up. It's also a schizophrenic book.

The Koran is a big on righteous living, being good to orphans and avoiding sin. You can certainly see how it could be interpreted as a religion of peace by some. Seen through a particular prism, the Koran would lead you to respecting and loving your spouse, raising your children to be good citizens, telling the truth and caring for the poor.

Seen through a different lens, you could be properly following it when you killed Jews, Christians, secularists and any other idolators, infidels or transgressors. My own personal reading of it is that the peaceful parts apply to Moslems and the warlike parts apply against the infidels. If I were Moslem, that's the way my mind would reconcile the two halves. I'd be squarely in the jihadi camp and completely at peace with my world view and religion.

I've got another 9 hours or so to go to listen to it all. One thing became clear within the first hour and has been reinforced over and over again as I've gone along - arguing that the Islamofascists are improperly interpreting the Koran is never going to work.

Bono's got a tough job ahead of him.

35 comments:

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

IIRC, they believe God isn't "bound" by logic.

K T Cat said...

That's a pretty accurate statement. You are instructed to respond to infidel questions about the logical contradictions in the book by saying that you don't know anything that God has not revealed and that God is all-powerful and can make anything He wants happen.

All religions use the same kind of dodge, but the Koran takes it to extreme levels.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, the view looks pretty similar to me...

Deuteronomy 22:13-21

Numbers 31:17-18

Deuteronomy 6:14-15

Deuteronomy 8:19-20

Deuteronomy 13:1-10

How do you square these passages in your mind?

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Er... where you trying for actual contradictions, Anon, or just throwing up the usual list of out of context things that sound horrible?

Incidentally, usually helps if you link to which specific version you mean-- means there can be no claims of misunderstanding, and that we don't ignore you as a troll who just wants to sap other folks' energy.

Anonymous said...

Contradictions? No, I was pointing out that the Bible contains numerous passages just as vile and barbaric as those found in the Koran. It seems strange to me that, depending on who you're talking to, one book is divinely inspired, and the other book is man-made and repulsive.

Out of context? So are you actually implying that there is a context in which things like taking slaves, stoning non-virgins, and executing non-believers is considered acceptable?

As for links, sure:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%2022:13-21&version=KJV

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%2031:17-18&version=KJV

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%206:14-15&version=KJV

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%208:19-20&version=KJV

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%2013:1-10&version=KJV

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Contradictions? No, I was pointing out that the Bible contains numerous passages just as vile and barbaric as those found in the Koran.

Ah, so you weren't really responding to the post or responses at all.

So good *sarc* to know the old sophomore change-the-topic-and-shriek-like-it's-never-been-dealt-with-before tactic is alive and well.

Anonymous said...

Uh, I'm not following you. I think it's entirely relevant to point out the hypocrisy in taking two books, both riddled with barbaric passages, and to say that one is divine guidance and the other is vile trash.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Uh, I'm not following you.

What a shock.

Either you're trolling, or you're too blind and foolish to spend a little time in good-faith research to educate yourself about a supposed problem that is only slightly related to the topic at hand.

Either way, not taking the bait for someone who can't bother to make even an account.

K T Cat said...

Reading the Koran has really opened my eyes to just what a lazy, slovenly argument people like anon make when they equate religions.

Seriously, if you can't differentiate between dramatically disparate things, you shouldn't be leaving comments on blogs, you ought to be reading.

Anonymous said...

Dramatically disparate? Seriously? Right there in your post, you railed on the Koran for advocating the taking of slave girls and the killing of infidels. I pointed out to you that the Bible advocates those exact same things. Specifically, Numbers 31:17-18 and Deuteronomy 13:6-10. I know that precisely because I do read. The Bible, that is. Tell me, how exactly do you reconcile the two halves of your holy book?

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

stoning non-virgins,

Good example of your dishonesty.

Deuteronomy 22:13-21 (New International Version, ©2010)

Marriage Violations

13 If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her 14 and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” 15 then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin. 16 Her father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. 17 Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, 18 and the elders shall take the man and punish him. 19 They shall fine him a hundred shekels[a] of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.
20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.


This is a far cry from stoning a woman to death because she was raped.

While we're at it, you linked the KJV-- I'm pretty sure KT and I are both Catholic.

Anonymous said...

You're right, that passage is a far cry from stoning a woman to death because she was raped. For that, you have to go to Deuteronomy 22:23-24.

23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.

That's NIV, by the way.

K T Cat said...

I did an RGB analysis of some randomly chosen pixels from the image on this post and found that the Blue values were nonzero. The flower is therefore blue.

Isn't that right, anon?

Flame away, troll.

Anonymous said...

So are you saying that if you just point out enough of the good passages in the Bible, you can just gloss over the fact that this supposedly divinely inspired Word of God contains passages endorsing genocide and slavery and stoning?

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Selective quoting, again. (Ignoring that the following verses are if she IS RAPED, rather than "sleeps with.")

So troll, not just ignorant.

Anonymous said...

So are you actually saying that, while it's wrong to stone someone to death for being raped, it's acceptable to stone them to death if the relationship is consensual?

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

A honest critic might look at what the laws were replacing, and think.

A curious person might look around the history, and find that "Eye for an eye" was revolutionary-- the standard was "you wound my eye, I kill you and your family."

A reasonable person might think "Hm. Eating pork in the ancient desert would be a really good way to get seriously ill-- and the forbidden blends of fabric catch fire easily, and an obsession with female virginity would align very well with dealing with the issue of STDs." (Remember sex ed class? All the horrible things that happen to the children of women with STDs, if they can become pregnant at all?)

But hey, who said trolls have to be honest?

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Anonymous said...
You're right, that passage is a far cry from stoning a woman to death because she was raped. For that, you have to go to Deuteronomy 22:23-24.


When shown to be a dishonest liar, he tries to change the subject.

Goodness, this may as well be a textbook case.

K T Cat said...

Hey Foxie, don't be so hard on the troll. Poor thing, they probably think Robinson Crusoe is a story about banking because there's a few lines in it about preserving the dude's earnings while he makes a trip from Spain to England. Troll must be having a hard time telling Daniel Defoe and Alan Greenspan apart.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, maybe "an eye for an eye" was revolutionary. But I can't help but think that a supernatural god of infinite love and infinite wisdom could do better than that.

And if the intent of this being was to keep people safe from the effects of viruses, bacteria, chemicals, etc, why is there no mention of these things in a book that was supposedly divinely authored?

Why does such a supreme being so often endorse stoning and genocide?

These are hardly just a few lines as K T Cat would have us think. We're talking about chapter after chapter of barbaric acts in the first half of a book that is purported to be the word of god. And it seems like you two are perfectly content with just rationalizing these things away without a second thought...

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

You think it should be better when you can't even accurately read what it is ALREADY?

As I already pointed out up above, there's all sorts of things you could do if you were even honest with yourself.

Since you're not, there's no way we can make the horse drink.

Jedi Knight Ivyan said...

"a supernatural god of infinite love"

That's the problem right there. You want a god who is love without justice, who gives rewards without requiring discipline. You want a two-dimensional god of your own making.

Does it occur to you to think that a god of "infinite wisdom" might have a damn good reason to order that a people be put to death? Apparently not. You'd rather judge God by your own morals and think highly of yourself than seek truth.

Anonymous said...

Does it occur to you to think that a god of "infinite wisdom" might have a damn good reason to order that a people be put to death?

Sure, maybe he does. But when all the supposed evidence for his existence comes from the mouths and pens of men, you'll have to forgive me if I remain somewhat skeptical of his existence, and wonder who is really the source of your so-called justice.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Actual complaint:
He hasn't done any really obvious miracles for ME.

Notice a pattern here? It's like an Obama speech-- me, me, me, I, I, I.

K T Cat said...

Look, the troll has no point here other than to agitate. Are people being stoned in Judeo-Christian nations? No. Are they being stoned in Islamic nations? Yes.

So is there a point to finding a passage or two which have no current, practical consequences out of a massive book and taking that to be a theme or indsicative of something? Of course not.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the logical construct of multiculturalism. Lazy, slovenly, ignorant trash. The intellectual exercise of the bong smoke set. Noise and smoke and nonsense from beginning to end.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah that's a real admirable tactic. If all else fails, resort to personal attacks.

All of this back-and-forth boils down to one simple question. Do you believe that the Bible is the Word of God or not?

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

All of this back-and-forth boils down to one simple question. Do you believe that the Bible is the Word of God or not?

No, it doesn't.

1) "Back-and-forth" implies some sort of continuity-- you make accusations and jump around like a fart in a skillet.
2) The exchange has followed a simple pattern:
random inaccurate accusation straight out of the Ignorant College Atheist Attack On Christianity pamphlet from you, followed by a response-- ranging from correction of basic errors to information on where you can educate yourself, becoming harsher as it became more clear you were trolling rather than simply ignorant.

Oh yeah that's a real admirable tactic. If all else fails, resort to personal attacks.

It's not a personal attack when someone describes you accurately, even if it does sting the ego.
Hard to avoid such a large target.

K T Cat said...

OK, bonehead, here we go.

Try this one.

Under the Talmudic law the severity of the Mosaic code was in many instances modified, and the laws relating to Adultery came under the influence of a milder theory of the relation of crime and punishment. Indeed, the rabbis went so far as to declare that a woman could not be convicted of Adultery unless it had been affirmatively shown that she knew the law relating to it—a theory that resulted in the practical impossibility of convicting any adulteress. No harm was done by this new view, because the right of divorce which remained to the husband was sufficient to free him from the woman, who, although guilty of the crime, was not punishable by the law. Upon this mild view followed the entire abolition of the death penalty, in the year 40, before the destruction of the Second Temple (Sanh. 41a), when the Jewish courts, probably under pressure of the Roman authorities, relinquished their right to inflict capital punishment.

That's from JewishEncyclopedia.com a place I would go for Old Testament interpretations long, long, long before consulting you. There's plenty more at that site. Once you've exhausted that, you might want to consult a rabbi or three before rattling off cherry picked Bible verses to make some vapid point you picked up from an unmoderated AOL atheism newsgroup.

As for whether or not I think that the Bible is the Word of God, all I can say is that until you can differentiate between Islam, Judaism and Christianity a little bit better than you've shown here, answering your questions about my beliefs would be a total waste of time.

In short, you wouldn't be able to understand the answer.

Anonymous said...

You guys sure are quick to resort to name-calling when you don't agree with someone. I'll simply point out that I have yet to descend to personal attacks when defending my position.

Vapid point? Should I reiterate it yet again? In your post, you criticized the Koran because it contains recommendations to take slave girls and kill infidels. I pointed out that the Bible contains passages that say the exact same thing. My question remains, how are you able to discount one and embrace the other?

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

You guys sure are quick to resort to name-calling when you don't agree with someone.

Again, calling a spade a spade isn't name-calling.

By your actions, you are 'trolling'-- you throw out the same old ignorant claims, misquote, take things out of context and when called on a flat lie you change the subject. You change the subject a lot, actually.

I'll simply point out that I have yet to descend to personal attacks when defending my position.

You've flatly lied to "defend" your position, as well as grossly misrepresenting things you are quoting.

BTW, accusing someone of "name-calling" is a personal attack.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

I pointed out that the Bible contains passages that say the exact same thing.

No, you lied and claimed that it did.

K T Cat said...

You guys sure are quick to resort to name-calling when you don't agree with someone.

Oh please. You showed up here with no intention of learning anything and behaved rudely. You've been disingenuous about absolutely everything, including this. You aren't hurt or bothered by any of this, it's exactly what you wanted, except for the part where you totally lost the argument.

tim eisele said...

This was pretty funny to read. Especially the bit where "Anonymous" got labeled a troll and not worth arguing with by comment 8, and yet somehow he ended up getting argued with for another 24 comments after that.

If you don't want to argue with anonymous trolls, shouldn't you, you know, just not argue with them? Or at least disable anonymous commenting?

K T Cat said...

Tim, I actually learned something from the whole exchange about Mosaic and Talmudic law.

As for Foxie, she can take care of herself. ;-)

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

I didn't treat him the way I'd treat someone who I thought was seriously looking for information-- which would take a heck of a lot more time and effort.