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    (Original post by Democracy)
    No, I haven't, cause we're not Muslims

    And Muslims should not be allowed to settle domestic abuse cases in religious courts which are heavily biased against women.



    Could be cause the Beth Din doesn't run off misogynistic laws...and don't have as high an incidence of misogynists and fundementalists as the Islamic courts...
    Domestic abuse cases are not allowed to be settled in these tribunals.. they aren't courts for the millionth time. Domestic abuse has to go through the criminal courts. Ofcoiurse any shariah tribunals found to be acting outside their remit, should be shutdown/punished/whatever.. but that should be on an individual basis, they shouldn't all be shut.

    Secondly, could you please substantiate your claims about misogynists and the higher incidence of them in the Shariah tribunals? Even if there are, does that have any bearing on the proceedings because from what I have read, lots of civil aspects of Islamic law actually created and upholds to this day many rights for women. E.g. A man has the duty to earn the money to run his household, to feed his wife and children etc. All men of the house once they start working should contribute to the running of the house. A woman has no such duty, but she is allowed to work/do business as much as she likes and NOBODY has any right to that money, the women can keep it and does not have to contribute it to the household.

    That is just one example off the top of my head and I know certain aspects of Islamic criminal law are not compatible with English laws, values and principles - that is a fact. But I don't see the same problem with its civil legal system.
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    (Original post by Johnthebaptist1)
    Secondly, could you please substantiate your claims about misogynists and the higher incidence of them in the Shariah tribunals?
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2005/...sharia_is.html

    Particularly:

    "If you fear highhandedness from your wives, remind them [of the teaching of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them. God is most high and great."

    Furthermore what about the part of the Quran that says that a woman must bring four male witnesses to substanciate rape?

    Or how a woman's testimony is only worth half of a man's in court?

    If you can't see this as misogynistic then you're living on another planet.
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    (Original post by Grim_the_Reaper)
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2005/...sharia_is.html

    Particularly:

    "If you fear highhandedness from your wives, remind them [of the teaching of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them. God is most high and great."

    Furthermore what about the part of the Quran that says that a woman must bring four male witnesses to substanciate rape?

    Or how a woman's testimony is only worth half of a man's in court?

    If you can't see this as misogynistic then you're living on another planet.
    Oh for **** sake.

    Have you even read the thread, or even what I wrote?

    We are talking about the civil system first of all.

    Secondly, any case of domestic abuse or wife beating in this country goes through OUR criminal courts, not a shariah one and there definately isn't a choice. The CPS and the Police actively exercise a policy to prosecute wife beaters even when the wife wants to drop charges.

    You should have read the whole of my post before responding with nonsense.
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    (Original post by Johnthebaptist1)
    Obviously the people taking part don't see it as injustice or they wouldn't agree to it. Justice is different to each person. Your argument doesn't stand, you want to take people's rights away and you are trying to hide it behind secularism, 'justice' and other rubbish.

    In regards to your second point: Which charities and what have they based that on? Even if people are being coerced into it, what % of cases does that make up? Does that mean we should ban everything people are coereced into? Even if they are being coereced into it, the issue is completely seperate to the actual tribunals. It is a matter for the police, it has no relation to the existence of the actual tribunals in our society.
    Naive rubbish, but I don't believe you are this unintelligent - you are just pretending.

    Of course coercion in a system of arbitration already stacked against women is a concern. We don't need religious arbitration of family matters, voluntary or otherwise, its not some core right of our democratic system, its a bizzare development that has nothing to do with democratic freedoms - that freedom that we all enjoy is recourse to a single secular legal system whose statutory laws are created by Parliament and adjudicated by an independently minded judiciary. To say that people have a right to anything else is misleading nonsense, such things were not envisaged in the past and have nothing to do with human rights.

    The attempt to use human rights discourse to allow communities (or rather unelected patriarchal self appointed community religious and political leaders) to violate the human rights and protections our constitution and legal system afford to individuals (usually the women in their own community) is more like colonial rule through tribal chiefs and elders than anything akin to democracy or actual human rights. Its an attempt to turn logic on its head, confuse everyone and make strides for political Islamism at the expense of real democratic civil society and any semblance of social cohesion. But we aren't all idiots, some of us see through these patently ridiculous assertions.
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    (Original post by pendragon)
    There is no point arguing with you on the latter point because for you its an article of faith, but to any non-Muslim its clearly apparent where he got all of this material so suspiciously similar (yet cunningly distorted) to Christian and Jewish myths and scriptures. Strange too that you seem to celebrate illiteracy, and if he is any kind of role model for you its surprising you can read and write.
    Hell why shouldnt we celebrate illiteracy, when what we have here is an illiterate who can single handedly come up with a whole new book, which he's plagirised from others and managed to do it well enough so as not to arouse suspicion via contradictions or incongruity in his work. Well isnt that a feat? :rolleyes:

    Now see the onus is on you to prove that the Quran is guilty of plagirising, when the definition of plagirism is passing someone elses work off as your own, and bearing in mind Islam says that the Torah and other books were themselves books from God and as such will contain various truths, some of which have been mentioned again, but never claimed as its own.

    So when one article of faith is that we believe in the books such as Torah, and we ubsequently see evidence of that in the Quran by recounting events that we acknowledge as truth, then your claim does fall flat on its face.

    On the former point, well Bin Laden has a whole shopping list of mischief he thinks America and the West more generally have been up to in the land. You clearly haven't looked into the justifications that terrorists use, so how could you ever hope to understand them?
    Once again, more vague replies. See why dont you refrain from making outlandish statements if you cant justify them?

    And also of course its a good idea to discuss the meaning of scripture and to outline the interpretations people use in order to justify violence in its name. With a perspective like yours you may as well despair of all knowledge.
    But to come up with 'justifications' you've clearly pulled out of your backside for the acts of violence is not only irresponsible but down right stupid. The verse refers to the governance of an Islamic state with regards to the legitimate use of killing someone for justice or as punishment for 'mischievous' activites against the Islamic state such as robbery, organised crime, drug trafficking, waging war against the state, and what dya know, terrorism. Now how you can interpret that to what you have when currently there is no Islamic State and there is no self-proclaimed emir is puzzling.
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    (Original post by Johnthebaptist1)
    Domestic abuse cases are not allowed to be settled in these tribunals.. they aren't courts for the millionth time. Domestic abuse has to go through the criminal courts. Ofcoiurse any shariah tribunals found to be acting outside their remit, should be shutdown/punished/whatever.. but that should be on an individual basis, they shouldn't all be shut.

    Secondly, could you please substantiate your claims about misogynists and the higher incidence of them in the Shariah tribunals? Even if there are, does that have any bearing on the proceedings because from what I have read, lots of civil aspects of Islamic law actually created and upholds to this day many rights for women. E.g. A man has the duty to earn the money to run his household, to feed his wife and children etc. All men of the house once they start working should contribute to the running of the house. A woman has no such duty, but she is allowed to work/do business as much as she likes and NOBODY has any right to that money, the women can keep it and does not have to contribute it to the household.

    That is just one example off the top of my head and I know certain aspects of Islamic criminal law are not compatible with English laws, values and principles - that is a fact. But I don't see the same problem with its civil legal system.
    Domestic abuse doesn't go through the legal system if it isn't reported. The existence of these tribunals means many women who don't speak English and are fresh from Pakistan won't even know their rights. And if unreported domestic abuse is the basis for a discussion of divorce at one of these tribunals it will of course be understood within the context of the Sharia attitude to domestic abuse. You can't so easily separate family matters out as you suggest, because domestic abuse (which might never be reported to the police out of fear) is relevant to any discussion of separation, divorce or custody of children.
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    (Original post by MrGuillotine)
    Hell why shouldnt we celebrate illiteracy, when what we have here is an illiterate who can single handedly come up with a whole new book, which he's plagirised from others and managed to do it well enough so as not to arouse suspicion via contradictions or incongruity in his work. Well isnt that a feat? :rolleyes:
    A assume you are making a half baked attempt at humour.

    1) Illiteracy is not a good thing, or worthy of emulation.

    2) At the same time you vastly underestimate knowledge transmission in oral cultures which can be very refined and elaborate.

    3) It would not have been difficult at all to hear stories from the Jewish tradition in Arabia at the time - there were many Jewish communities in Arabia, included in Mecca itself.

    4) It is not difficult to take a parable or myth that you've heard and recount it yourself, it takes very minor powers of memory and people who live in oral cultures tend to have very great memories (bards and poets in such societies could recite epic poems far longer than the entire Qu'ran).

    5) I never said the whole of the Qu'ran was copied, its a very different text, but it does copy substantially from previous scriptures and religious myths. If you believe that is because God said these things to Moses, Jesus and then Muhammad that is just a religious belief, it can't be an empirical or falsifiable assertion - though if you wanted it to be one the burden of proof would rest on you.

    (Original post by MrGuillotine)
    Now see the onus is on you to prove that the Quran is guilty of plagirising, when the definition of plagirism is passing someone elses work off as your own, and bearing in mind Islam says that the Torah and other books were themselves books from God and as such will contain various truths, some of which have been mentioned again, but never claimed as its own.

    So when one article of faith is that we believe in the books such as Torah, and we ubsequently see evidence of that in the Quran by recounting events that we acknowledge as truth, then your claim does fall flat on its face.
    I have already provided evidence that apocryphal Jewish texts and myths are replicated in the Qu'ran. Would you like me to provide more examples? If you believe that this is because God said these things to the Jews and then said them again to Muhammad the onus is on you to prove that is the case, which you can't, because such religious assertions can never be proved to the satisfaction of anyone who doesn't share your blind faith.

    (Original post by MrGuillotine)
    Once again, more vague replies. See why dont you refrain from making outlandish statements if you cant justify them?
    I don't think your views are justified either. Outlandish just means outside your frame of reference, but Muslim assertions are equally outlandish to many non-Muslims.

    (Original post by MrGuillotine)
    But to come up with 'justifications' you've clearly pulled out of your backside for the acts of violence is not only irresponsible but down right stupid. The verse refers to the governance of an Islamic state with regards to the legitimate use of killing someone for justice or as punishment for 'mischievous' activites against the Islamic state such as robbery, organised crime, drug trafficking, waging war against the state, and what dya know, terrorism. Now how you can interpret that to what you have when currently there is no Islamic State and there is no self-proclaimed emir is puzzling.
    Islamists want to create such an Islamic state, they want to establish the Caliphate - where you unaware of this? My interpretations are based both upon rational reading of the text and upon extensive knowledge of the goals and justifications employed by Islamist groups.
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    (Original post by Johnthebaptist1)
    You should have read the whole of my post before responding with nonsense.
    Speaking of which you still haven't answered my points about a woman needing four male witnesses to prove rape or their testimony being worth half a man's.

    Probably because you know it shows Sharia to be the cruel, misogynistic pile of garbage that it is.
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    (Original post by pendragon)
    Naive rubbish, but I don't believe you are this unintelligent - you are just pretending.
    I'm afraid not.

    Of course coercion in a system of arbitration already stacked against women is a concern. We don't need religious arbitration of family matters, voluntary or otherwise, its not some core right of our democratic system, its a bizzare development that has nothing to do with democratic freedoms - that freedom that we all enjoy is recourse to a single secular legal system whose statutory laws are created by Parliament and adjudicated by an independently minded judiciary. To say that people have a right to anything else is misleading nonsense, such things were not envisaged in the past and have nothing to do with human rights.
    Again, i'm afraid that isn't the case. It IS a freedom of ours to resolve civil and personal matters however we choose. State involvement at a level anymore than it already is, would be a gross infringement on our rights and liberties. I wouldn't put it passed this government though, with the way its being behaving over the past 12 years or so. Ever more authoritarian with very weak justification for the changes in the law. In regards specifically to the coercision, please give me some figures, coercision most likely exists when arbitration takes place in any context. Just because muslims have a bad image, it doesn't mean they all force women to go through Islamic tribunals. I'm repeating myself again and again, but the rulings offered by these arbitrators aren't actually legally binding. Also, I've seen figures in the past when this issue was first raised, the outright majority of Muslims don't even use these councils at ALL, for any of their disputes. I live in Bradford, i know many muslim businessmen, they would never dream of using these arbitration councils. I think their most accessed service is for divorce and marriage, just to make things all 'official' under Islam, the procedure is repeated (both marriage and divorce) through the usual English system to make things official therein too.

    Its all over hyped, sensationalised ********.


    The attempt to use human rights discourse to allow communities (or rather unelected patriarchal self appointed community religious and political leaders) to violate the human rights and protections our constitution and leal system afford to individuals (usually the women in their own community) is more like colonial rule through tribal chiefs and elders than anything akin to democracy or actual human rights. Its an attempt to turn logic on its head, confuse everyone and make strides for political Islamism at the expense of real democratic civil society and any semblance of social cohesion. But we aren't all idiots, some of us see through these patently ridiculous assertions.
    You are just making loads of unsubstantiated claims here, with each point i'm referring to the bolded part of the abvoe para in order:

    1. Neither are any of the members of other arbitration institutions. They are private organisations, offering services for a fee.

    2. Please give me a source that this is occuring. Even what aspect of Islamic civil law, emphasis on the Civil bit, that you feel discriminates against women or any other group of people, or is unfair.

    Again, are we forgetting that people agree with these principles/rules and the justification (if any) given for them. Thats why they agree to arbitration by these principles. (I have seen your post further down discussing this and I'll get to that eventually.)

    3. I'm probably more 'right wing' than you are, but I think you read too much into the sensationalist crap in the media.

    There is no conspiracy by Muslims to takeover this country or force us to do anything. If they did, they would be locked up, lined up and probably shot dead and rightly so. Please don't cite Choudry and his little group of **** heads as evidence, they are a pathetic bunch. Many of the Asian Pakistanis that I know here in Bradford are sick of him, they openly say that if he was to ever come up north they would be eager as anyone else to lay into him. They are affected more adversely by his presence than anyone else. But we're going way off topic here.
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    (Original post by pendragon)
    Domestic abuse doesn't go through the legal system if it isn't reported. The existence of these tribunals means many women who don't speak English and are fresh from Pakistan won't even know their rights. And if unreported domestic abuse is the basis for a discussion of divorce at one of these tribunals it will of course be understood within the context of the Sharia attitude to domestic abuse. You can't so easily separate family matters out as you suggest, because domestic abuse (which might never be reported to the police out of fear) is relevant to any discussion of separation, divorce or custody of children.
    First of all, just like any other crime.

    Secondly, what do you take Pakistani girls for? Even the ones that are uneducated and come from the villages in rural pakistan, would know something was wrong if they were told they were in an English court, when they are sat in a mosque (where these tribunals usually operate from), with bearded men sat infront of her.

    Also, what makes you assume they are all coming from Pakistan. Is there anything to say that Pakistani women or Muslim women face more domestic abuse than White English people or any other group? Or is that a given because the Daily Mail says so..

    You also refer many times to Pakistan through out your posts in the thread (in reply to others I think as well, I might be wrong, apologies if I am). Firstly, i'd like to clear up something - Pakistanis don't run these arbitration councils. The only Asians that do I think are Indian Muslims on the whole and maybe some Arabs in certain areas. I don't know of any Pakistani run Arbitration centres and I live in Bradford, where I would have thought there would have been some. My friend who is more learned in these matters told me that its because Pakistanis don't actually feel the need for them, they just use the local Imam to carry out divorce/marriage ceremonies and repeat it the procedure as required in the English system. For everything else, they just rely on the English judicial system like everyone else. Also, these Shariah centres can't decide on the custody of children and even then I think under Islamic law, women get beneficial treatment in regards to custody.

    I am no advocate of shariah law, but I seem to find it a lot easier than some of the rampant athiests and islamaphobes to understand a lot of the reasoning behind it. Not everything, but a lot of it. Much of it just boils down to the fact as westerners we believe everyone is equal, no matter what including men and women. Muslims believe, that everyone is equal infront of god, but men and women are different. Hence, the reason for slightly different treatment. This is demonstrated by the fact, sometimes women actually recieve preferential treatment to men. Some would say in less significant matters, but again we are looking at world cultures and religions through our narrow minded western prespective, that everything should be the way we see right.

    Anyway, you probably won't get a reply from me for the rest of the day as I'm supposed to be busy with work
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    (Original post by Grim_the_Reaper)
    Speaking of which you still haven't answered my points about a woman needing four male witnesses to prove rape or their testimony being worth half a man's.

    Probably because you know it shows Sharia to be the cruel, misogynistic pile of garbage that it is.
    Haha, I addressed it by telling you that we are talking about civil matters strictly here.

    I am neither obejcting to or defending Shariah Law. It has no place in the English judicial system, but arbitration councils are outside of that system.

    Also, I just see it as different rather than misogynist garbage as you put it.
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    (Original post by Phugoid)
    I fully intend not to feed my child some ******** about fairies and men in red suits. Also, if my child has a question, it will be answered truthfully, and in as much detail as the my child is able to comprehend at whatever stage they're at in life.
    Well then, your child will miss out on an experience that most children will have and most will enjoy (up until a certain age). I know I used to love the whole Christmas experience when it was all a fantasy in my mind. Nowadays it's just sitting around a table with the family eating turkey. It doesn't nearly compare to the Christmases I once enjoyed as a naive child.

    (Original post by Phugoid)
    I fail to see how a child who knows the mechanics of sex would be worse off than a child who doesn't. I can, however, see how a child who knows nothing but lies is worse off than a child who knows the truth.
    Explain your point.

    A young child will eventually learn that Santa and the Tooth Fairy are not real. I don't see why you cannot let them eventually rationalise these things for themselves when they are old enough to. You would merely be ruining an experience for them that they will most likely enjoy and one that most other children do enjoy.

    Ever wondered why pre-adolescence was the most enjoyable period of your life? It was the fantasy of it. The cold truth is: reality is depressing. I take exception to you making out you'd be doing your child a favour by ruining their innocence in a period of their life where it is totally natural and non-detrimental to be naive and fantastical.

    (Original post by Phugoid)
    What? That makes absolutely no sense. If something is untrue, and you are sure that it is true, then you are wrong.
    It makes perfect sense to me. Being sure/certain/confident of something has nothing to do with being right or wrong. An insane person, by definition, is sure that they are sane. They are again by definition, wrong, but they are still sure of their sanity nonetheless.

    Similarly, a religious person can be sure they will live an afterlife. They may well be wrong, but they are sure of their beliefs.

    (Original post by Phugoid)
    Because it is extremely likely that we only get one shot at life (there has been no evidence to suggest otherwise), and so to allow a person to live their one life without ever appreciating the reality in which they existed is nothing short of cruel.
    Lol, yes there has been. Ironically, there has been no evidence to the contrary. There is no disputing that there has been a whole lot of attesting to the afterlife. Near-death experiences, ghost sightings/recordings, white noise, contact through mediums, etc., the list goes on... However infallible you might find the evidence, and however infallible it might be in itself, it is evidence nonetheless.

    (Original post by Phugoid)
    The unexamined life is not worth living. If you want to live life without actually thinking about what you believe, and justifying it to yourself, then you are living a pointless life. To question somebody when they believe something for which there is no evidence is to give them the opportunity to live a wholesome life integrated with reality.
    "Unexamined" in your experience. Knowledge is based purely on experience (and then subsequent reasoning). Religious experience is a well-documented phenomenon, and one that is not entirely implausible if you really examine it. Regardless, who are you to tell people what they have and have not experienced?

    You are naive if you believe that you are definitely equipped with all the senses required to experience all that is around you (and thus capable of examining all). It can be argued that you are only equipped with the senses that have enabled your ancestors to survive and evolve. Ever wondered why cats and dogs can see things that we cannot? While I'm currently withholding from being a proponent of the theory, it has been well argued that there are dimensions that we as humans cannot (always) sense.

    You might want to watch this half-hour video - it's quite interesting.

    http://www.ninjavideo.net/video/18939

    I'm not quite sure if that's the one relevant to my point but there are four there, and after watching one you might well be inclined to watch the others. It's interesting stuff, and not entirely inconceivable.

    (Original post by Phugoid)
    False belonging, false hope, and meaningless goodwill.
    I don't quite understand your fixation on genuineness. Whether or not these things are false, they are still good things that promote positivity and happiness.

    Looking at special needs people (or children) who know very little about anything and who tend to live in their own fantasy world, I can see that they are a lot happier than I, a drug-addled and depressed, but discerning "realist".

    (Original post by Phugoid)
    I am not sure that spirituality is a bunch of lies - but until somebody produces evidence to the contrary, I have no reason to be sure of it either way, and neither does anybody else.
    Covered this. But you are more than within your right to discount the evidence that exists. Some people choose not to.

    (Original post by Phugoid)
    Your mother may well be right that, once we die, we are reunited with everybody we knew in this life. She may not be right. But to assume one over the other is arbitrary, and to life you life on the presumption that your arbitrary selection is the correct on is a total waste of life.
    On the contrary, she believes it gives her life meaning. If anything, one could well argue that living her life to no broadened meaning would be a waste - no matter how delusional such a meaning might be. If spiritualism is what makes her happy, then by my reckoning, her worship is not futile - no matter how misdirected it might be.

    (Original post by Phugoid)
    I do not insist that they are wrong. I insist that they have provided no evidence for their statements, and therefore they are nothing more than conjecture, guesswork, and high hopes. To live your life on such things is ludicrous.
    (Original post by Phugoid)
    The religious person is wrong because he says 'I know there is a God'. This is false. He does not know that there is a God, because nobody knows whether or not there is a God. There's no evidence for the existence of such a being, and so the religious person is wrong to state that he knows that there is.
    You might want to research the philosophy of knowledge. It is a subjective perception based on experience. The only way we can learn is through direct experience. Somebody may have experienced something that you may not have. While it may then be difficult for them to then reason and justify such knowledge, it is still their knowledge. For instance, I just had a glass of water. I might never be able to prove this to you, but it happened. So, I maintain, to categorically deny that anybody has any knowledge of God, is arrogant.

    Knowledge and fact are not interchangeable.

    (Original post by Phugoid)
    And so a person like me is right to dismiss his claims of knowledge as false. I'm not saying that the actual claim is false - maybe there IS a God, but the claim of knowledge of God is false.
    In which case, you should change your biography. You are not an atheist, you are agnostic. That's good, though - atheism is retarded.

    Please give an objective analysis to everything I have said. I'm interested because I once thought very much along the same lines you do, but my mind is a lot more open now. We are similar in that we both base our beliefs strictly on experience and justification. However, I have come to the conclusion that, as it is, my experience is way too finite to be as conclusive as you are on spiritual matters.
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    (Original post by Johnthebaptist1)
    ...Again, i'm afraid that isn't the case. It IS a freedom of ours to resolve civil and personal matters however we choose. State involvement at a level anymore than it already is, would be a gross infringement on our rights and liberties. I wouldn't put it passed this government though, with the way its being behaving over the past 12 years or so. Ever more authoritarian with very weak justification for the changes in the law. In regards specifically to the coercision, please give me some figures, coercision most likely exists when arbitration takes place in any context. Just because muslims have a bad image, it doesn't mean they all force women to go through Islamic tribunals. I'm repeating myself again and again, but the rulings offered by these arbitrators aren't actually legally binding. Also, I've seen figures in the past when this issue was first raised, the outright majority of Muslims don't even use these councils at ALL, for any of their disputes. I live in Bradford, i know many muslim businessmen, they would never dream of using these arbitration councils. I think their most accessed service is for divorce and marriage, just to make things all 'official' under Islam, the procedure is repeated (both marriage and divorce) through the usual English system to make things official therein too.
    ...
    You are just making loads of unsubstantiated claims here, with each point i'm referring to the bolded part of the abvoe para in order:

    1. Neither are any of the members of other arbitration institutions. They are private organisations, offering services for a fee.

    2. Please give me a source that this is occuring. Even what aspect of Islamic civil law, emphasis on the Civil bit, that you feel discriminates against women or any other group of people, or is unfair.

    Again, are we forgetting that people agree with these principles/rules and the justification (if any) given for them. Thats why they agree to arbitration by these principles. (I have seen your post further down discussing this and I'll get to that eventually.)

    3. I'm probably more 'right wing' than you are, but I think you read too much into the sensationalist crap in the media.

    There is no conspiracy by Muslims to takeover this country or force us to do anything. If they did, they would be locked up, lined up and probably shot dead and rightly so. Please don't cite Choudry and his little group of **** heads as evidence, they are a pathetic bunch. Many of the Asian Pakistanis that I know here in Bradford are sick of him, they openly say that if he was to ever come up north they would be eager as anyone else to lay into him. They are affected more adversely by his presence than anyone else. But we're going way off topic here.
    (Original post by Johnthebaptist1)
    First of all, just like any other crime.

    Secondly, what do you take Pakistani girls for? Even the ones that are uneducated and come from the villages in rural pakistan, would know something was wrong if they were told they were in an English court, when they are sat in a mosque (where these tribunals usually operate from), with bearded men sat infront of her.

    Also, what makes you assume they are all coming from Pakistan. Is there anything to say that Pakistani women or Muslim women face more domestic abuse than White English people or any other group? Or is that a given because the Daily Mail says so..

    You also refer many times to Pakistan through out your posts in the thread (in reply to others I think as well, I might be wrong, apologies if I am). Firstly, i'd like to clear up something - Pakistanis don't run these arbitration councils. The only Asians that do I think are Indian Muslims on the whole and maybe some Arabs in certain areas. I don't know of any Pakistani run Arbitration centres and I live in Bradford, where I would have thought there would have been some. My friend who is more learned in these matters told me that its because Pakistanis don't actually feel the need for them, they just use the local Imam to carry out divorce/marriage ceremonies and repeat it the procedure as required in the English system. For everything else, they just rely on the English judicial system like everyone else. Also, these Shariah centres can't decide on the custody of children and even then I think under Islamic law, women get beneficial treatment in regards to custody.

    I am no advocate of shariah law, but I seem to find it a lot easier than some of the rampant athiests and islamaphobes to understand a lot of the reasoning behind it. Not everything, but a lot of it. Much of it just boils down to the fact as westerners we believe everyone is equal, no matter what including men and women. Muslims believe, that everyone is equal infront of god, but men and women are different. Hence, the reason for slightly different treatment. This is demonstrated by the fact, sometimes women actually recieve preferential treatment to men. Some would say in less significant matters, but again we are looking at world cultures and religions through our narrow minded western prespective, that everything should be the way we see right...
    1) Pakistan.

    The elites in Pakistan are highly educated intelligent and cultured people. There are a significant number of secularists amongst them.

    Most of the migration to the UK from Pakistan, and Pakistani's make up one of the largest and most significant ethnic groups within the Muslim community, has come from poorer parts of the Pakistani population - some from tribal areas with extensive practice of cousin marriage (encouraged for the UK Pakistani population by its ability to bring more relatives to the UK and keep wealth in the extended family both in Britain and Pakistan).

    Pakistan has Islamist inspired laws as the basis for its main legal system, and these have operated to be extremely prejudicial to women, especially as regards adultery laws, the requirement of four male witnesses to rape and the Qu'ranic principle of weighing women's testimony at half that of a mans.

    The British Muslims of Pakistani origin are such a large group that there is space for quite a wide range of opinions, views and practices. Your experience is your experience. And as for British newspapers I mainly read the Financial Times, and rarely the tabloids.

    Pakistan and Britain (particularly London) are in point of fact centres of global Islamic terror.

    2) Islamism

    Anjem Choudary is an extremist individual with a small number of followers, but he is not simply nuts. He represents a radical fringe within British Islam that stretches far further than his own group. The writings of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood thinkers Hassan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb and the Pakistani Jamaat-e-Islami thinker Syed Abul A'ala Maududi are widely circulated on British university campuses and in Muslim areas amongst Islamist groups up and down the country. The ideas are real and need to be taken seriously, they can't be dismissed or claimed to be marginal or unimportant. They have real consequences, including various acts of violence that have taken place.

    There are Islamist groups who don't believe in Jihad today, who think that this must await the authorisation of the Caliph of a newly constructed Caliphate that they will work towards - people like the Hizb ut-Tahrir whom New Labour has kept under surveillance but has not banned, there is even a senior Hizb member lecturing at LSE (as reported in the Times, which cannot be so easily dismissed as the Daily Mail). Islamists have a political programme to progressively Islamise Western countries by any means necessary, they are quite happy to use the language of human rights even while subverting the human rights of others and planning for the coming of a system which will abolish human rights.

    The full goals of Islamists are not widely shared in the Muslim community in Britain, but they are shared by a significant minority and they have a wider influence on the remainder of British Muslims - the calls for Sharia and for radical Arabic versions of Hijab that are entirely alien to South Asian (and Pakistani) Islam are the result of the success of the spread of Islamist ideas and the Islamist agenda into the wider Muslim population.

    3) Human rights, democracy, Sharia and arbitration

    The Guardian, champion of multiculturalism and diametrically opposed in its political agenda to the Daily Mail, conducted a poll of British Muslims in November 2004 which revealed that 61% of those polled wanted to be governed by Islamic law operating on Sharia principles 'so long as the penalties did not contravene British law.' The Association of Muslim Lawyers said it wanted formal recognition of a Muslim man's right under Sharia to have up to four wives, and one of their members Ahmed Thompson argued that "Under the Human Rights Act they actually have a right to live and practise as Muslims and part of that is having this principle [of polygamy] recognised by the law of the land." (BBC Radio Four, Sunday, 6th Feb 2005).

    In fact this has nothing to do with human rights or with democracy at all. Democracies have a single secular legal system that ensures that the human rights of all are maintained. There is no human right to polygamy, and there is no human right to be tried or have your affairs adjudicated in any capacity according to a set of principles alien to the single legal system of the state. Arbitration is not a human right, or any essential component to democracy. Arbitration is a cost cutting means of ADR (alternative dispute resolution), but historically has always been subject to the will of the English courts. Arbitration was secular, and when the legislation for it was enacted it was not envisaged that people could arbitrate on the basis of Islamic legal codes that are entirely alien to our system of justice. In fact because any decision made even by perfectly voluntary arbitration concerning family matters could be overturned by and English court on the basis that the principles underlying that decision were prejudicial to women, the practice of Sharia arbitration is already potentially invalid with regard to family matters. The basis of any appeal would be that the principles underlying the UK legal system are paramount, and that any other principles that violate English legal principles would be rejected. So what is the point even, in trying to make a semi-Sharia system that is in accord with or pretends to be in accord with English legal principles with regard to women - it would in any case be a sham, a obfuscated fudge or subject to being quashed the first time it came up before an English court.

    I will repeat the key facts here - it is not a human right or a democratic right to undergo secular arbitration, let alone arbitrate according to religious principles that would most probably be overturned in an English court. It is operating under an act of Parliament that can be democratically altered, restricted or revoked at any time. Arbitration is a law, not the basis of our legal system, it is part of a cost cutting plethora of ADR methods (including mediation) that governments periodically favour because they save the money of full blown trials or court hearings. There is no human right to arbitration, there is no democratic right to arbitration, there is just the law as it stands and which can be changed - especially if it is being used in ways prejudicial to women which were not foreseen when the legislation was drawn up. I have argued previously on this thread that I don't even believe in secular arbitration for family matters, I think this tool should be restricted to commercial and corporate dispute resolution. Certainly I don't believe in arbitration carried out according to principles other than the English law - be they Jewish or Islamic.
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    (Original post by Johnthebaptist1)
    Obviously the people taking part don't see it as injustice or they wouldn't agree to it. Justice is different to each person. Your argument doesn't stand, you want to take people's rights away and you are trying to hide it behind secularism, 'justice' and other rubbish.
    I suggest you look up the definition of "coercion".

    In regards to your second point: Which charities and what have they based that on? Even if people are being coerced into it, what % of cases does that make up? Does that mean we should ban everything people are coereced into? Even if they are being coereced into it, the issue is completely seperate to the actual tribunals. It is a matter for the police, it has no relation to the existence of the actual tribunals in our society.
    I have an idea, why don't you read previous posts before replying?

    (Original post by Johnthebaptist1)
    Domestic abuse cases are not allowed to be settled in these tribunals.. they aren't courts for the millionth time. Domestic abuse has to go through the criminal courts. Ofcoiurse any shariah tribunals found to be acting outside their remit, should be shutdown/punished/whatever.. but that should be on an individual basis, they shouldn't all be shut.

    Secondly, could you please substantiate your claims about misogynists and the higher incidence of them in the Shariah tribunals? Even if there are, does that have any bearing on the proceedings because from what I have read, lots of civil aspects of Islamic law actually created and upholds to this day many rights for women. E.g. A man has the duty to earn the money to run his household, to feed his wife and children etc. All men of the house once they start working should contribute to the running of the house. A woman has no such duty, but she is allowed to work/do business as much as she likes and NOBODY has any right to that money, the women can keep it and does not have to contribute it to the household.

    That is just one example off the top of my head and I know certain aspects of Islamic criminal law are not compatible with English laws, values and principles - that is a fact. But I don't see the same problem with its civil legal system.
    RTFM
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    (Original post by Tetrahydro)
    Well then, your child will miss out on an experience that most children will have and most will enjoy (up until a certain age). I know I used to love the whole Christmas experience when it was all a fantasy in my mind. Nowadays it's just sitting around a table with the family eating turkey. It doesn't nearly compare to the Christmases I once enjoyed as a naive child.
    I found out Santa wasn't real when I was 6 or 7. I was told by a friend at school, and it made sense. Following this, I experienced a few different things.

    1) Disappointment in my parents who had been lying to me.
    2) A greater appreciation of my parents, now knowing that the presents came from them, rather than some false image.
    3) My Christmases didn't start getting boring and depressing until I was about 14, meaning that exactly half of my enjoyable christmases were enjoyed with full knowledge that there was no supernatural or magical elements to it. Christmas gets boring with puberty, not with a loss of fantasy.

    Explain your point.

    A young child will eventually learn that Santa and the Tooth Fairy are not real. I don't see why you cannot let them eventually rationalise these things for themselves when they are old enough to. You would merely be ruining an experience for them that they will most likely enjoy and one that most other children do enjoy.
    As I've said before, there's no reason to suggest that Christmas is not enjoyable for Children who know that Santa isn't real. And there's also no reason why reality can't be fun and fantastical if you view it with the correct perspective.

    Ever wondered why pre-adolescence was the most enjoyable period of your life? It was the fantasy of it. The cold truth is: reality is depressing. I take exception to you making out you'd be doing your child a favour by ruining their innocence in a period of their life where it is totally natural and non-detrimental to be naive and fantastical.
    You don't have to believe that your fantasies are true to enjoy them. For example, I never believed that the batman figurine in my hand was real, but that didn't stop me from fully employing my imagination to make playing with him a fun, fantastical experience. Santa, on the other hand, is someone who we actually tell our kids exists, when he doesn't. I repeat, you do not need to believe false statements in order to experiment with and enjoy the fantastical.

    It makes perfect sense to me. Being sure/certain/confident of something has nothing to do with being right or wrong. An insane person, by definition, is sure that they are sane. They are again by definition, wrong, but they are still sure of their sanity nonetheless.

    Similarly, a religious person can be sure they will live an afterlife. They may well be wrong, but they are sure of their beliefs.
    And what, exactly, is the point of being sure about something which is false? Surely that makes you, at best, a delusional person, and at worst, an idiot who is believing something which can easily be shown to be false?

    Lol, yes there has been. Ironically, there has been no evidence to the contrary. There is no disputing that there has been a whole lot of attesting to the afterlife. Near-death experiences, ghost sightings/recordings, white noise, contact through mediums, etc., the list goes on... However infallible you might find the evidence, and however infallible it might be in itself, it is evidence nonetheless.
    My definition of evidence is the same one used in scientific circles. The 'evidence' that has been provided for the existence of an afterlife is not 'evidence' by a scientific standard, and therefore I do not include it as evidence.

    There is very much grounds to dispute that anything has existed that attests to the afterlife. Only a small handful of people who have come close to death have reported religious phenomenon. The vast majority wake up afterwards, not knowing where they are, and only remembering things up to a certain point before they blacked out. There are also many plausible rational explanations for the things people report when they are clinically dead for a short period.

    Ghosts sightings and recordings fall into two categories:
    1) Those that have been debunked after a rational explanation has been found to explain the phenomenon.
    2) Those that are too vague, trivial or dubious to count as evidence for anything.

    I'm not sure waht you mean by 'white noise'... other than the perfectly normal and well-explained phenomenon we experience with untuned TVs and radios.

    And mediums? HA! If there is truly a genuine medium out there, then why has there never been a successful claimant for James Randi's $1,000,000 prize for a performance of any paranormal, occult or supernatural event, under proper observing conditions for more than 25 years?

    For centuries now, mediums have been offered opportunities to settle the score on scepticism, and to make a handsome profit on the side, and in all those years not a single participant has accepted the challenge, let alone attempted it successfully?!

    "Unexamined" in your experience. Knowledge is based purely on experience (and then subsequent reasoning). Religious experience is a well-documented phenomenon, and one that is not entirely implausible if you really examine it. Regardless, who are you to tell people what they have and have not experienced?
    I don't care whether or not something is 'implausible' or not. I care whether or not it has actually happened, or is capable of happening, and to this day not a single person has written an accepted academic paper which provides credible evidence to support such statements.

    I'm not telling people what they have and have not experienced. I'm telling people that I have no reason to believe that they have experience what they are telling me they have experienced unless they provide credible evidence to support their statements. And I also ask them to ask themselves the same question - do I have any credible evidence to convince myself that I have experienced what I think I have experienced? Because where religion is involved, the answer is usually 'no'.

    You are naive if you believe that you are definitely equipped with all the senses required to experience all that is around you (and thus capable of examining all). It can be argued that you are only equipped with the senses that have enabled your ancestors to survive and evolve. Ever wondered why cats and dogs can see things that we cannot? While I'm currently withholding from being a proponent of the theory, it has been well argued that there are dimensions that we as humans cannot (always) sense.
    What the HELL are you foaming about?

    I HAVE NEVER SAID THAT I HAVE ALL THE SENSES NECESSARY TO EXPERIENCE EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS IN THE UNIVERSE. NEVER.

    All I have said, you idiot, is that unless somebody provides evidence that they have experienced something, they might as well be talking to a brick wall because I have NO reason to believe it. I'm not saying they didn't experience it, I'm not saying that it's not possible to experience it, I'm not saying that I am capable of experiencing everything. What I'm saying is that WITHOUT EVIDENCE such claims should be ignored, as they are completely indistinguishable from bald faced lies.

    You might want to watch this half-hour video - it's quite interesting.

    http://www.ninjavideo.net/video/18939

    I'm not quite sure if that's the one relevant to my point but there are four there, and after watching one you might well be inclined to watch the others. It's interesting stuff, and not entirely inconceivable.
    Many, many things are not inconceivable. But as I have said before, I'm not interested in what is inconceivable and what is not. I'm interested in what is, and what is not. So whether or not something is inconceivable or not is irrelevant... until actual evidence is provided, I will not be more or less inclined to believe it. Stop trying to convince my that the claims of religion 'could possibly be true', because I already accept that statement. My beef is not about whether or not religious claims are possible, but about whether or not they actually happened - and without evidence, nobody will ever be able to answer that question for me or anybody else who is inclined to think about their beliefs.

    I don't quite understand your fixation on genuineness. Whether or not these things are false, they are still good things that promote positivity and happiness.

    Looking at special needs people (or children) who know very little about anything and who tend to live in their own fantasy world, I can see that they are a lot happier than I, a drug-addled and depressed, but discerning "realist".
    Speak for yourself, mate. It is not necessary to be depressed when one is a realist. The universe we live in is a remarkable and beautiful place, and my heart finds great joy in observing and acquainting myself with it. I would not trade this universe for another, regardless of how fantastical other realities may seem.

    The natural universe inspires me, and I am an extremely happy and optimistic person as a result. If you, personally, are depressed by your own existence, then that's fine, but do not dare assume that everybody who thinks realistically is incapable of joy - we're not. I hypothesise that many people who find solace and joy in religion could easily replace that source of solace and joy with something in the natural world. I have many such things in the natural world.

    Covered this. But you are more than within your right to discount the evidence that exists. Some people choose not to.
    Yes, and such people are being unscientific in their methods. Science is, philosophically and realistically, the only method we have to discovering the truth about the reality in which we exist. Nothing is better than it. And in order for science to continue to do this for us, it requires a certain standard of evidence. That standard of evidence just does not exist in mystical circles.

    On the contrary, she believes it gives her life meaning. If anything, one could well argue that living her life to no broadened meaning would be a waste - no matter how delusional such a meaning might be. If spiritualism is what makes her happy, then by my reckoning, her worship is not futile - no matter how misdirected it might be.
    We give meaning to our own lives, and if your mother would realise that, she could find an alternative source of joy and meaning in something a bit more reliable than religious dogma from the medieval middle east.

    Given the choice between something that makes you happy, and is extremely unreliable as a correct description of reality, and something that makes you happy and is extremely reliable description of reality, you would be a fool to take the former over the latter.

    You might want to research the philosophy of knowledge. It is a subjective perception based on experience. The only way we can learn is through direct experience. Somebody may have experienced something that you may not have. While it may then be difficult for them to then reason and justify such knowledge, it is still their knowledge. For instance, I just had a glass of water. I might never be able to prove this to you, but it happened. So, I maintain, to categorically deny that anybody has any knowledge of God, is arrogant.
    Okay, well allow me to add an adjective to my sentences: correct knowledge. i.e., knowledge which is congruent with events that happened in reality.

    IF somebody says to me 'I know God exists', I could say one of two things. I could say:

    1) Describe to me the evidence which has convinced you of this.

    Or I could say:

    2) Provide me with the evidence which has convinced you of this, and then I too will be convinced of this.

    Now, the 2nd one is harder to do because many things occur for which no credible evidence can be accumulated. So I can fully accept that somebody might be telling me the truth, but are just unable to reproduce the evidence for me, right there and then. So although I will not be convinced by their claims, I still acknowledge that IF the evidence that they did see actually existed, then they would be right to be convinced by it.

    The 1st is fairly easy. All they would have to do is produce a description of the evidence. Now again, I wouldn't be convinced by a description of the evidence, because they could be simply inventing that description. But I can gather from their description whether or not that evidence, if it did exist, would be valid and credible.

    Not once has anybody answered question 1 with a description of evidence that, if it did exist, would be credible. Often their evidence could be indicative of a whole number of possible explanations.

    As an example, consider somebody said to me 'I met Bruce Forsyth last night'. I could ask question 2, in which case they could say 'Okay, I took a picture with him, and here it is.' And if I analyse that picture and show it to not be doctored, then I have seen the evidence myself, and I will be convinced by their statement. Or I could ask question 2, and they could say 'I took a picture, but it's at home'. I would not, myself, be convinced by their statement because I can't access the evidence, but I can convince myself that, if that evidence did indeed exist, then I could see how it would be possible for the person I am talking to to be convinced by it.

    The same thing applies with the existence of God and an afterlife. Nobody has ever answered question 2 by reproducing valid evidence that would convince the rest of us. But nobody has EVER even answered question 1 with a description of evidence that WOULD be convincing if the rest of us could see it. It's always a vague description of something wooly they, if it did exist, could indicate any number of things.

    Knowledge and fact are not interchangeable.
    No, but useful knowledge and fact are interchangeable.

    In which case, you should change your biography. You are not an atheist, you are agnostic. That's good, though - atheism is retarded.
    Depending on your definition of God, I am an Atheist. If your definition of God is the Abrahamic God, then I am an atheist, because the existence of such a being is illogical and self-contradictory. A bit like saying there's an invisible pink unicorn - how can something be pink if it's invisible?

    Most definitions of God about which I am 'agnostic' are too vague to be useful to anybody. A vast majority of definitions of God which I have heard are extremely specific, and often flawed logically, and therefore I can be an atheist about it with almost full certainty.

    Please give an objective analysis to everything I have said. I'm interested because I once thought very much along the same lines you do, but my mind is a lot more open now. We are similar in that we both base our beliefs strictly on experience and justification. However, I have come to the conclusion that, as it is, my experience is way too finite to be as conclusive as you are on spiritual matters.
    I don't get why you assume that I am conclusive on spiritual matters. I have never stated that the spiritual world does not exist. All I have stated is that, if it does exist, I have never been provided any evidence to support that, and so don't believe such claims.

    I am completely open to the idea of a 'God', or a spiritual world. I love the natural world, and if it turns out that the natural world contains a spiritual element, then so be it - that is reality. In fact, I would love for there to be a continuation of life after death, because as I said, I love the natural world, and I enjoy being alive and want to stay alive as long as possible. Although I'm not too sure I enjoy the idea of God, depending on your definition (the Abrahamic God, if he did exist, sounds like a horrifically twisted being). But until somebody provides evidence, I've no reason to believe that this is the case, and anybody who lives their life as if it IS the case is a fool.
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    (Original post by Phugoid)
    I found out Santa wasn't real when I was 6 or 7. I was told by a friend at school, and it made sense. Following this, I experienced a few different things.

    1) Disappointment in my parents who had been lying to me.
    2) A greater appreciation of my parents, now knowing that the presents came from them, rather than some false image.
    3) My Christmases didn't start getting boring and depressing until I was about 14, meaning that exactly half of my enjoyable christmases were enjoyed with full knowledge that there was no supernatural or magical elements to it. Christmas gets boring with puberty, not with a loss of fantasy.



    As I've said before, there's no reason to suggest that Christmas is not enjoyable for Children who know that Santa isn't real. And there's also no reason why reality can't be fun and fantastical if you view it with the correct perspective.



    You don't have to believe that your fantasies are true to enjoy them. For example, I never believed that the batman figurine in my hand was real, but that didn't stop me from fully employing my imagination to make playing with him a fun, fantastical experience. Santa, on the other hand, is someone who we actually tell our kids exists, when he doesn't. I repeat, you do not need to believe false statements in order to experiment with and enjoy the fantastical.



    And what, exactly, is the point of being sure about something which is false? Surely that makes you, at best, a delusional person, and at worst, an idiot who is believing something which can easily be shown to be false?



    My definition of evidence is the same one used in scientific circles. The 'evidence' that has been provided for the existence of an afterlife is not 'evidence' by a scientific standard, and therefore I do not include it as evidence.

    There is very much grounds to dispute that anything has existed that attests to the afterlife. Only a small handful of people who have come close to death have reported religious phenomenon. The vast majority wake up afterwards, not knowing where they are, and only remembering things up to a certain point before they blacked out. There are also many plausible rational explanations for the things people report when they are clinically dead for a short period.

    Ghosts sightings and recordings fall into two categories:
    1) Those that have been debunked after a rational explanation has been found to explain the phenomenon.
    2) Those that are too vague, trivial or dubious to count as evidence for anything.

    I'm not sure waht you mean by 'white noise'... other than the perfectly normal and well-explained phenomenon we experience with untuned TVs and radios.

    And mediums? HA! If there is truly a genuine medium out there, then why has there never been a successful claimant for James Randi's $1,000,000 prize for a performance of any paranormal, occult or supernatural event, under proper observing conditions for more than 25 years?

    For centuries now, mediums have been offered opportunities to settle the score on scepticism, and to make a handsome profit on the side, and in all those years not a single participant has accepted the challenge, let alone attempted it successfully?!



    I don't care whether or not something is 'implausible' or not. I care whether or not it has actually happened, or is capable of happening, and to this day not a single person has written an accepted academic paper which provides credible evidence to support such statements.

    I'm not telling people what they have and have not experienced. I'm telling people that I have no reason to believe that they have experience what they are telling me they have experienced unless they provide credible evidence to support their statements. And I also ask them to ask themselves the same question - do I have any credible evidence to convince myself that I have experienced what I think I have experienced? Because where religion is involved, the answer is usually 'no'.



    What the HELL are you foaming about?

    I HAVE NEVER SAID THAT I HAVE ALL THE SENSES NECESSARY TO EXPERIENCE EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS IN THE UNIVERSE. NEVER.

    All I have said, you idiot, is that unless somebody provides evidence that they have experienced something, they might as well be talking to a brick wall because I have NO reason to believe it. I'm not saying they didn't experience it, I'm not saying that it's not possible to experience it, I'm not saying that I am capable of experiencing everything. What I'm saying is that WITHOUT EVIDENCE such claims should be ignored, as they are completely indistinguishable from bald faced lies.



    Many, many things are not inconceivable. But as I have said before, I'm not interested in what is inconceivable and what is not. I'm interested in what is, and what is not. So whether or not something is inconceivable or not is irrelevant... until actual evidence is provided, I will not be more or less inclined to believe it. Stop trying to convince my that the claims of religion 'could possibly be true', because I already accept that statement. My beef is not about whether or not religious claims are possible, but about whether or not they actually happened - and without evidence, nobody will ever be able to answer that question for me or anybody else who is inclined to think about their beliefs.



    Speak for yourself, mate. It is not necessary to be depressed when one is a realist. The universe we live in is a remarkable and beautiful place, and my heart finds great joy in observing and acquainting myself with it. I would not trade this universe for another, regardless of how fantastical other realities may seem.

    The natural universe inspires me, and I am an extremely happy and optimistic person as a result. If you, personally, are depressed by your own existence, then that's fine, but do not dare assume that everybody who thinks realistically is incapable of joy - we're not. I hypothesise that many people who find solace and joy in religion could easily replace that source of solace and joy with something in the natural world. I have many such things in the natural world.



    Yes, and such people are being unscientific in their methods. Science is, philosophically and realistically, the only method we have to discovering the truth about the reality in which we exist. Nothing is better than it. And in order for science to continue to do this for us, it requires a certain standard of evidence. That standard of evidence just does not exist in mystical circles.



    We give meaning to our own lives, and if your mother would realise that, she could find an alternative source of joy and meaning in something a bit more reliable than religious dogma from the medieval middle east.

    Given the choice between something that makes you happy, and is extremely unreliable as a correct description of reality, and something that makes you happy and is extremely reliable description of reality, you would be a fool to take the former over the latter.



    Okay, well allow me to add an adjective to my sentences: correct knowledge. i.e., knowledge which is congruent with events that happened in reality.

    IF somebody says to me 'I know God exists', I could say one of two things. I could say:

    1) Describe to me the evidence which has convinced you of this.

    Or I could say:

    2) Provide me with the evidence which has convinced you of this, and then I too will be convinced of this.

    Now, the 2nd one is harder to do because many things occur for which no credible evidence can be accumulated. So I can fully accept that somebody might be telling me the truth, but are just unable to reproduce the evidence for me, right there and then. So although I will not be convinced by their claims, I still acknowledge that IF the evidence that they did see actually existed, then they would be right to be convinced by it.

    The 1st is fairly easy. All they would have to do is produce a description of the evidence. Now again, I wouldn't be convinced by a description of the evidence, because they could be simply inventing that description. But I can gather from their description whether or not that evidence, if it did exist, would be valid and credible.

    Not once has anybody answered question 1 with a description of evidence that, if it did exist, would be credible. Often their evidence could be indicative of a whole number of possible explanations.

    As an example, consider somebody said to me 'I met Bruce Forsyth last night'. I could ask question 2, in which case they could say 'Okay, I took a picture with him, and here it is.' And if I analyse that picture and show it to not be doctored, then I have seen the evidence myself, and I will be convinced by their statement. Or I could ask question 2, and they could say 'I took a picture, but it's at home'. I would not, myself, be convinced by their statement because I can't access the evidence, but I can convince myself that, if that evidence did indeed exist, then I could see how it would be possible for the person I am talking to to be convinced by it.

    The same thing applies with the existence of God and an afterlife. Nobody has ever answered question 2 by reproducing valid evidence that would convince the rest of us. But nobody has EVER even answered question 1 with a description of evidence that WOULD be convincing if the rest of us could see it. It's always a vague description of something wooly they, if it did exist, could indicate any number of things.



    No, but useful knowledge and fact are interchangeable.



    Depending on your definition of God, I am an Atheist. If your definition of God is the Abrahamic God, then I am an atheist, because the existence of such a being is illogical and self-contradictory. A bit like saying there's an invisible pink unicorn - how can something be pink if it's invisible?

    Most definitions of God about which I am 'agnostic' are too vague to be useful to anybody. A vast majority of definitions of God which I have heard are extremely specific, and often flawed logically, and therefore I can be an atheist about it with almost full certainty.



    I don't get why you assume that I am conclusive on spiritual matters. I have never stated that the spiritual world does not exist. All I have stated is that, if it does exist, I have never been provided any evidence to support that, and so don't believe such claims.

    I am completely open to the idea of a 'God', or a spiritual world. I love the natural world, and if it turns out that the natural world contains a spiritual element, then so be it - that is reality. But until somebody provides evidence, I've no reason to believe that this is the case, and anybody who lives their life as if it IS the case is a fool.
    Right, I have to apologise and promise that I will give a full response to this when I have more time and I will try to further explain the points you don't seem to have understood.

    What I can say for now though is that you do seem awfully arrogant. What's the point in arguing with somebody who cannot accept that they are wrong - ever? You cannot just make your own definitions to words when somebody points out you're wrong. I never said anything about the Abrahamic God. You are open to the idea of God, therefore you are agnostic. Stop sugar-coating your errors: it's almost cringe worthy.
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    (Original post by booraad)
    What do you mean by 'facts and logic which haven't been stated before'? Please clarify that line.
    Let us look at Noble Verse 2:23 "And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Sura like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (If there are any) besides God, if your (doubts) are true."

    Let us look at Noble Verse 17:88 "Say: 'If the whole of mankind and Jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support.'"

    In the above two Noble Verses we see two different challenges: One challenge in the first Noble Verse from Allah Almighty to the unbelievers from the Arabs to produce one Chapter similar to the one in the Noble Quran, and another challenge in the second Noble Verse from Allah Almighty to Mankind to produce a whole Book like the Noble Quran.

    The challenge in Noble Verse 17:88 to Mankind proves that Allah Almighty is not limiting His challenge to the Arabic language only, because we see Him clearly challenging all of Mankind and the Jinns as well. Otherwise, He would've said "If the whole of Arabs were to gather together to....." We also see that the challenge is also not only limited to the Global languages that Mankind speaks, but also to the language or languages that the Jinns speak or communicate among themselves.

    Important Point: It is true that the Arabic stylistic composition of the Noble Quran is miraculous, and is impossible to imitate. No one can really imitate it. Allah Almighty's challenge was never met by the strong Arabic poets 1500 years ago. In fact, the Arab pagans embraced Islam because of the strong poetry and stylistic miracle of the Noble Quran. Today, many Arab Christians who are affluent with the Arabic language poetry, structure, and grammar embrace Islam just by simply listening to the recitation of the Noble Quran on TV or radio. But like I said, I believe that the open challenge that Allah Almighty declared is not just limited to the Arabic speaking people, but to all of Mankind and the Jinns too for every time and every place.

    So what type of challenge is Allah Almighty challenging us here?

    Religious books, in general, can be produced in any other language than Arabic. But however, the miraculous imitation of the style, poetry and language is impossible. So a man-made book can sound ok or good, but it can never be miraculous. At least so far, no Arab was able to imitate the miracle of the Noble Quran.

    The type of challenge that Allah Almighty is challenging us here is both physical and spiritual. The physical one is the imitation of the Noble Quran, and the spiritual one is the guidance and Divine Inspiration that should exist in the man-made book.

    There are more than 1.4 billion Muslims today. Prophet Muhammad did not convert sticks to snakes, or split the sea in half, or raise the dead, or cure the blind, or perform any of the Miracles that Allah Almighty's Messengers did in the past peace be upon all of them. Prophet Muhammad came with a Book revealed to Him by Allah Almighty.

    The miracle in inspiring the reader of the Noble Quran, and to make him accept the Divine Message of Islam, which is believing in Allah Almighty as the One True Living GOD Almighty, is the spiritual challenge that Allah Almighty declared on both Mankind and the Jinns combined together:

    "Those whom God (in His plan) willeth to guide,- He openeth their breast to Islam; those whom He willeth to leave straying,- He maketh their breast close and constricted, as if they had to climb up to the skies: thus doth God (heap) the penalty on those who refuse to believe. (The Noble Quran, 6:125)"

    "Thy Lord knoweth best who strayeth from His way: He knoweth best who they are that receive His guidance. (The Noble Quran, 6:117)"

    The miracle of the Noble Quran lives within it. All of the miracles that the Messengers of Allah Almighty before Muhammad had performed died when they died. The miracle that Prophet Muhammad brought to earth lived after his death, and will live until the Day of Judgment. This is the challenge of Allah Almighty that no Man or Jinn can meet.

    Many can try to produce chapters that have similar literature that of the Noble Quran, as some already done so, but non of these man-made books can convert a single sincere person. Only Allah Almighty's Divine Revelations such as the Noble Quran can. This is the Miracle of the Noble Quran, and the Miracle of Islam.

    "Who can be more wicked than one who inventeth a lie against God, or saith, "I have received inspiration," when he hath received none, or (again) who saith, "I can reveal the like of what God hath revealed"? If thou couldst but see how the wicked (do fare) in the flood of confusion at death! - the angels stretch forth their hands, (saying),"Yield up your souls: this day shall ye receive your reward,- a penalty of shame, for that ye used to tell lies against God, and scornfully to reject of His signs!" (The Noble Quran, 6:93)"
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    I suggest you look up the definition of "coercion".



    I have an idea, why don't you read previous posts before replying?



    RTFM

    Sorry what?

    I know what coercion means and it wasn't relevent to the point I was replying about. I referred to it in my next sentence.

    Which post contains the information I am looking for? I seem to have missed it.

    Or do you not have any arguments in return?

    What the **** does RTFM stand for?
 
 
 
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