Sunday, November 29, 2009

Does Qur'an 2:256 Show That Islam Is a Religion of Peace?

Qur'an 2:256—"There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever disbelieves in the Shaitan and believes in Allah he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing."

(Note: Surah 2 was the first Surah revealed after the Muslims migrated to Medina.)

So many abrogated verses, so little time to convince Westerners that these verses are still relevant to Islam!

Qur'an 2:106—“Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?”

Qur'an 16:101—“And when We change (one) communication for (another) communication, and Allah knows best what He reveals, they say: You are only a forger. Nay, most of them do not know.”

Qur’an 9:29—"Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."

(Note: Sura 9 was one of the last two Surahs revealed, and therefore abrogates any Qur'anic teachings that conflict with it.)

46 comments:

Simon said...

david woods

when r u guys back on the air? and which topics r u gona be talking about?

David Wood said...

We'll be back on December 11th-13th.

What would you like us to talk about?

minoria said...

You are doing a good job David.Now some Muslims may disagree that 2:256 has been abrogated.So be it but I have learned that Muslim EXPERTS(not the ordinary Muslim but the intellectuals)literally HIDE things,it turns out to be deception.

REZA ASLAN

He is an Iranian Muslim intellectual born in 1972.You can find his debates in youtube.He became famous in 2005 with his book "No God but God:the Origins,Evolution and Future of Islam".I have read it.In his book he says the the Judeophobic passages in the Koran are ONLY for the Jews of Mohammed's time,NOT universal statements.That anti-Islam people ignore the context.

SURA 5:64

But then what about 5:64?He does not mention it,just like KAREN ARMSTRONG does not.

HE DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT

That argument would work if REZA ASLAN were the typical Muslim who had NOT received theological training and education.But look at his CV:he has a BACHELOR's degree in RELIGION,a MASTERs degree in DIVINITY from Harvard and is now a DOCTORAL candidate in the Sociology of Religion.He has been a PROFESSOR of ISLAMIC and Middle East Studies.Of course he knows about 5:64.HOW MANY of his non-Muslim readers of his 2005 book ever heard about 5:64?Very few.Then as an honest INTELLECTUAL he had to have made reference to it.Hmmm,another Muslim intellectual who can not really be depended upon.

ubiquitouserendipity said...

david and nabeel,,, possibly you guys could contact the heretic amongst these deceivers, i.e., the "Christian," and request a three on three debate with you guys and brother shamoun or dr. white.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/24/us/24amigos.html?_r=4

on a personal note: nabeel, sometimes the smallest gesture can mean the world. thank you for your thoughtfulness.

G_d bless you both, and your beloved families. Peace, in His love, papajoe

recreation_man said...

Jesus’ disciples continued with their sin-offerings. This kind of disproves that Jesus did not die for the sins of mankind – at least, they didn’t think so.

Can I hear your response?
:)

Simon said...

well i wud like to hear wut wud these islam preachers r preaching in the masq. i was watching the the documantary on it where the guy sneeks in a hidden camera in the masq.
and i wud like to hear the differences between quran only believers and the radical believers and i wud like to knw WUT IS THE TRUE RELIGION OF ISLAM and y r people that do not not wut islam is about r saying " ISLAM IS CORRUPTED BECAUSE OF POLITICS.
also i wud like to hear how and where did islam and politics get involved.

Fernando said...

Hi recreation_man...

just two things...

1) where habe you seen sins?

2) Jesus died to forgive our sins, not to make all people avoid sins... the example is muslims all arounde the World: they're sin-based creatures as yo'll easilly acknowledge... don't you?

may God, the Holy Trinity, bless you and your familie...

Fernando said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Fat Man said...

Recreation Man where is your BROFE?

Paul Guralivu said...

I struggled a bit with this passage myself. Because the hadiths would say the Muhammad did some bad-bad things to people around him after he came to power:

77. Narrated Abu Huraira: While we were in the mosque, Allah's Apostle came out to us and said, "Let us proceed to the Jews." So we went along with him till we reached Bait-al-Midras (a place where the Torah used to be recited and all the Jews of the town used to gather). The Prophet stood up and addressed them, "O Assembly of Jews! Embrace Islam and you will be safe!" The Jews replied, "O Aba-l-Qasim! You have conveyed Allah's message to us." The Prophet said, "That is what I want (from you)." He repeated his first statement for the second time, and they said, "You have conveyed Allah's message, O Aba-l-Qasim." Then he said it for the third time and added, "You should Know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I want to exile you fro,,, this land, so whoever among you owns some property, can sell it, otherwise you should know that the Earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle." (See Hadith No. 392, Vol. 4) Sahih Bukhari 85.

What we see here:
I.Muhammad going to Jews and giving them 2 posibilities:
a)convert to Islam.
b)leave the land.

This was Islam expansion for about 13 centuries.

II.The equality between Muhammad and Allah:
The earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle.
This phrase we can found it in the mouths of warloards.

THINK.

Paul.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

David,

It might be worth looking at the common Muslim idea that the Qur'an predicts modern science.

This claim is easily refuted, but I have the feeling that many Muslims base their faith in Islam mainly due to this sort of speculations.

CharlieR said...

You might want to consider the phenomena of western women converting to islam for romance/marriage. And expose the fact that muslim men target western women. Expose the high conversion rates of women compared to men.
It is amazing to me that any woman would convert to religion like islam that is rough on women but i guess romance trumps their concerns.

I have talked with some of the cupid converts and their stories many times end really bad
Anyway just a thougt, whatever you choose as a topic i am sure will be enjoyable. God bless

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

David,

I would like to see some shows dealing with the theology of Islam. It is clear to me that Allah is not the same god as Yahweh.

The contrast between the completely transcendent arbitrary Muslim deity and the loving Father of the Bible needs to be shown.

Unlike Yahweh, Allah is not worthy of worship because either he is not all holy or he is not all loving.

Muslims need to know and understand this.

peace

Ed said...

In Sahih Bukhari, the most canonical of hadith collections, Muhammad said, "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him."

Also in Sahih Bukhari, Muhammad said, "I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.' And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah."

In other words, if you are not a Muslim, Muhammad says your blood and property will not be safe from Muslims.

Religion of peace?

minoria said...

Hello:

What Charlie said is interesting.I have several times read in the Muslim literature that the MAJORITY of those who convert to Islam in the US/West are women.Ok,but in the US 75% of the converts LEAVE within 5 years.It seems it coincides.Alot of women converted only to please their husband but later found out they didn't like it and left.

Fernando said...

Hi recreation_man...,

can we all hear your response? Where are you? recreating?

may God, the Holy Trinity, bless you and your familie...

The Fat Man said...

CharlesR said...

"You might want to consider the phenomena of western women converting to islam for romance/marriage."

Western woman who convert to islam are like those who stick their hands in snow blowers, or decide to play russian rullet with a semi automatic. They are proof positive that the therory of evolution is just WRONG.

Ed said...

It's not that evolution is wrong; it's that Darwinian evolution represents only part of the truth. The spiritual world, and the Christ, are linked with evolution. Christ can be seen as the pivot of all earthly and cosmic evolution.

The choice between Design and Evolution is a false choice. Evolution is real, but only partly material. One has to try to understand how matter gradually, over many long eons, "coagulated" out of the spiritual world. And how in that process, various life forms appeared over time. Physically, the human being appears last. But spiritually, one can argue he was there at the beginning, because just like the beginning of evolution, the human being today is the only unspecialized form. The beginning of evolution had to be unspecialized too. But all the animals and plants existing today are specialized. Only human beings are general, universal. From that point of view, plants and animals descended "too quickly" into matter, broke off as it were from the spiritual form of humanity, which remained a bit more aloof from matter and only gradually descended into physical incarnation, as the physical world itself only gradually became physical. Humanity only descended gradually and in such away as to avoid the loss of universality and the fall into specialization. But this is a long digression.

Semper Paratus said...

Who let Tielhard de Chardin in here?

Fernando said...

Hi Brother Semper...

did you ment Teilhard when you wrote Tielhard? I also think Ed is around Teilhard an others that preceeded him... lool...

Jon said...

Killing those that leave the faith!! That's awful.

Dt 13:6-10 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. 9 You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.

By the way, you're taking Sura 9 grossly out of context. I called into right wing radio and argued with the host about it. He does the same. You can listen at the link.

http://bigwhiteogre.blogspot.com/2009/06/fascinating-discussion-on-dutko-show.html

Semper Paratus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Semper Paratus said...

Fernando,

Yes, that'd be the one. Pardon my gaffe. Thanks for the correction.

Semper Paratus said...

Jon,

I was wondering if you could go over that again with me?

How exactly did you get kill apostates out of that Old Testament verse?

I don't see any command in the passage to kill apostates. I only see a command to kill those who try to turn other people away from the Lord (who redeemed Israel from slavery in Egypt) and secretly entice them to worship other gods (gods that they have never known).

In other words, the passage doesn't say anything about what should be done with an apostate qua apostate, and only speaks of what should be done to an Israelite who seeks to turn a fellow Israelite away from the Lord to the worship of other gods.

Since you accused others of taking Surah 9 out of context, I'd like to see the exegetical steps you took to reach the conclusion that Deuteronomy 13 required that apostates in ancient Israel be put to death. As a math teacher might say, "Show your work."

Jon said...

Well, if you want to be technical, Semper, I didn't actually say that Dt 13 was making the exact same claim that the Hadith quoted was making. I think the text is similarly awful. Is it your position that a command to kill apostates is awful but a command to kill anyone that is trying to persuade you of another faith is not awful?

And let's be clear about that Hadith mentioned by Ed. It's actually in response to news that Ali had killed some atheits. The Hadith was actually criticizing that action. He says you shouldn't kill people generally just because they aren't Muslims. You should only kill those that were once in the faith and have now left. So basically we're all safe. The context undermines the thrust of Ed's point, which is that we're all unsafe as non-Muslims. Click his link for the full context.

Ed's next quote is a statement that he's ordered to fight until they embrace Islam. But why? Is that a rule that applies to everyone or just his particular enemy? Because elsewhere we know Mohammad didn't just go and pick fights with non-Muslims. In fact when he conquered the pagans at Medina he let them go free without converting as long as they dropped their swords. Sometimes Mohammad fought people and killed them. That's not a surprise, and it's certainly all over the bible.

Strange that so many want to demonize Muslims. It's typical for aggressors to demonize those they are exterminating. The Nazi's were scared of the Jews, as the colonists were scared of the Native Americans. Today maybe 5K Muslims die per month due to U.S. foreign policy, yet this website is dedicated to proclaiming how we should all be scared of Muslims. Shouldn't they rather be scared of Christians? They are the ones that are dying. Every month in Iraq during the 90's under the US and UK sanctions regime was twice as bad as 9-11.

Fernando said...

Jon saide: «You should only kill those that were once in the faith and have now left»...

Christianity, dear Jon, does not look upon its navel... how can you be OK with "only kill"?... what is "only kill" for a Christian? We are nott "ok" when a single person in the world is in danger off dying for his religion... the opositte was the logic off those who saide «it is to your advantage that one man should die for the people, rather than that the whole nation should perish»... don't you think so?

then Jon daide: «Sometimes Mohammad fought people and killed them. That's not a surprise, and it's certainly all over the bible»...

the problem Jon is thate in the Bible those actions are not prescritive or to be foolowed by anyone, butt all the actions off muhammad, thate false prophet thate is dead for good, are intemporal rules off action for every muslim every time everuwhere... so: killing people discritionary according to muhammad's nascisisti criteria is ok for you? whell... that's the measure off your (un-)humanitty...

then Jon saide: «Strange that so many want to demonize muslims»...

no Jon, there are only many who presente the world a mirror in which the demons thate are in muslims appear... no one needs to demonize islam, it does thate for itself... butt shoulde you nott be bothered withe a religion thate from its satrt and core texts demonizes and vilifies all those who are nott muslims?

then Jon, a believer in the greatte Narrative (presented in many sites in the NET) saide: «Today maybe 5K Muslims die per month due to U.S. foreign policy, yet this website is dedicated to proclaiming how we should all be scared of muslims»...

who... american foreign policy is the cause off the dyiengs off muslims everywhere... how futile can be someone who presents thate argument? how many more people woulde be dying att the hands off muslims iff there was not thate american foreign policy? And, Job, this site is not sayingue thate people shoulde be scared off muslims, its only saying: look, islam is like this no matter whate dawa spetialists (like you, I guess) and corrupted politics and journalists are pretending it to be...

may God, the Holy Trinity, bless you and your familie...

Jon said...

Hi Fernando,

the problem Jon is thate in the Bible those actions are not prescritive or to be foolowed by anyone, butt all the actions off muhammad, thate false prophet thate is dead for good, are intemporal rules off action for every muslim every time everuwhere...

Can you prove that?

who... american foreign policy is the cause off the dyiengs off muslims everywhere... how futile can be someone who presents thate argument?

I'm sorry but I think it takes an unusual level of blindness to not see the corpses that result from U.S. foreign policy towards Muslims. Is it your position that the U.S. invasion of Iraq represents a net decrease in the number of Muslims killed?

minoria said...

Hello Jon:

I agree with Semper Paratus that DEUT 13:6-11 is about those who try to lead Jews from God.It does NOT say "kill the Jews who leave Judaism."Thanks Semper,I had never seen it that way,my knowledge of Mosaic law is not the best.

MORE

In Mosaic Law it will be somewhat difficult to apply DEUT 13:6-11.Because:

1.In Mosaic law you need a MINIMUM of 2 WITNESSES and,
2.Even with that an thorough INVESTIGATION has to be made (the witnesses can be lying).
3.I believe that the rabbis saw that if there was REASONABLE DOUBT regarding if the person was REALLY guilty then they would drop the matter(like today in the US).

ALSO

Mosaic law was only for a MINUSCULE part of humanity,the Jews.Judaism itself states it.And we believe that later came the New Covenant of Jesus 2,000 years ago.

I would also like to say to the others that Nakdimon and I were able to post our comments(several) in the comment section of CNN under the article by ARSALAN IFTIKHAR.That is great,we passed the SCREENING part and CNN PEOPLE(at least some) know about how Arsalan HID things.I also added about sura 5:64,so NOW they know that also.

Fernando said...

Jon asked: «Can you prove that?»...

sure... do you have any doubt thate muhammad is dead? or thate he's in no way a true prophet? or thate his actions are normative for muslims? or thate the violente parts in the OT are descriptive ones? whow... whate ammout off "unusual level of blindness" you habe...

Jon saide: «Is it your position that the U.S. invasion of Iraq represents a net decrease in the number of Muslims killed?»...

oh... Jon... whie are you erasing parts off my words... I onlie saide: «how many more people woulde be dying att the hands off muslims iff there was not thate american foreign policy»... can you see the difference: on one hand I wrote PEOPLE, on the other hand you asked about MUSLIMS... to me a non-muslim is as valious as a muslim... on the other hand it seams you're only bothered withe muslims... are they the only living beeings thate are worth living? that's the difference between a true human being thate loves all human beings and... well, you know whate you are, don't you?

Semper Paratus said...

Well, if you want to be technical, Semper,...

Actually, the call to be "technical" was yours; I just held you to it. How was I supposed to know that you only wanted us to read Surah 9 in context but not also Deuteronomy 13? I'm sure you can forgive me; I don't usually expect people to be so blatantly arbitrary.

...I didn't actually say that Dt 13 was making the exact same claim that the Hadith quoted was making.

Actually, you did. Your citation of Dt. 13 follows this remark of yours, and was obviously meant to impute the same thing to the Bible:

"Killing those that leave the faith!! That's awful."

If this prefatory remark wasn't intended to show that the Torah included the same penal sanction for apostacy as can be found in Islam, then you are a poor communicator. Since I don't think you are, it seems obvious that you are now just trying to save face with a cop-out about not trying to be technical.

I think the text [in Dt. 13] is similarly awful.

And that should be a concern to me because...?

Is it your position that a command to kill apostates is awful but a command to kill anyone that is trying to persuade you of another faith is not awful?

It is my position that killing those who apostatize from Islam is awful because Islam is a false religion, and we can thank you for giving us another reason to think so: Muhammad couldn't even get this sanction of the Mosaic law right, corrupting it into a command to "kill apostates".

As for whether or not it was "similarly awful" for God to require the death penalty for any Israelite who secretly enticed a fellow Isrealite to break faith with the God who redeemed them from slavery in Egypt, contrary to the terms of the covenant they entered into with Him, would you care to show us the steps that lead you to this conclusion, or would you prefer to give us another cop-out about not being interested in getting technical?

Or perhaps we should just skip that and get to what really makes you squeamish - the eschatological reality that such punishments pointed to:

"If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 9:26-31)

To repeat the challenge: spare sharing with us more of your feelings and assertions and tell us what warrant you have for condemning God's judgments as "awful". Show us your work, Jon. Tell us how an atheist gets from "sound and fury signifying nothing" to "that's awful".

(Since the rest of your comments were directed at ED, I will let him answer you if he so pleases.)

Semper Paratus said...

P.S. Mr. Curry, just because you are not welcome at Triablogue anymore doesn't mean you have to be reduced to coming here and defending Islam in order to attack Christianity. Surely you can find a better way of showing people the glories of atheism. After all, if being an atheist/agnostic leads one to defend the world's most militant and evil religion, then this is surely a potent illustration of the fact that anti-theism can't underwrite moral absolutes.

Jon said...

Fernando, nothing you said shows that Mohammad's actions were prescriptive, so I await something substantive on that point. You are right that I did misread your statement about "more" people dying if U.S. foreign policy was different. There's no need to impute wicked motives to me. Internet communication is imperfect. I'm imperfect. I'll be happy to address the point as you intended it.

I am not persuaded that starving a million Iraqi children saved a lot of lives. I'm not persuaded that providing Israel the means to avoid a peaceful settlement has saved either Israeli or Palestinian lives. The very motivation for the attacks on 9/11 were the starvation in Iraq and the oppression of the Palestinians, among other things. These are the very words of OBL. 3000 Americans died that day due to that oppressive foreign policy that the U.S. government engages in. So I'd be curious how you conclude that our occupations throughout the Middle East results in a total net savings of life. If I've missed your point again I apologize.

Semper, I find it hard to see where you're going with your comments. The call to be technical was mine? OK. So read my words in a technically correct way. Even if I had said that Dt 13 was related to apostasy, which I think is safe to assume though it's not necessarily true (what religion would you expect your sons and daughters are deviating from?) who cares? And where did I say that Dt 13 should be read out of context? I'm having trouble making sense of what you are saying.

"But our religion is true, so in our case killing those pulling others out is fine." But that's what they all say. That's what Muslims say. Does this justify them in killing apostates like it justifies the Bible in demanding death for those that attempt to persuade you of another faith?

I'm squeamish about the eschatalogical realities? I don't think you know me that well, and you should focus on the arguments, not me personally.

How do I warrant moral conclusions? Actually I don't know. It's an interesting discussion and I've thought a lot about it. We could go in to it. But right now it's a deviation from the topic at hand. I can have discussions with people that hold to different worldviews as me as long as we can start with some guiding principles that we agree to and then we can work out the logical implications.

For instance, do you agree that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us? I do. Do you believe Jesus was right to criticize the hypocrite that holds others to standards that he won't apply to himself? I do. Do you believe that we should focus on our own flaws primarily before looking to the flaws of others? I do. If we agree on these moral principles let's apply them to the situation in the Middle East and see what conclusions we come to. We don't have to agree on the source of those virtues in order to draw conclusions.

Fernando said...

Jon... ok... we had a bad, a really bad starte... I just felt you came her shoutting out loud without any interest in a serious debate... sorry for thate...

you saide: «Fernando, nothing you said shows that Mohammad's actions were prescriptive»...

well, maybe because I even did not bothered to show it... you seemed a bery informed person aboutt islam and Christianity... I thought you were only playing dumb... I was mistaken...

here just two ways off proving itt...

1) from the qur'an

"You have indeed in the messenger of allah (muhammad) a beautiful pattern (of efective conduct) for any one whose hope is God and the Final Day" (33:21)... whate is in brankets is not mine (the words in darker tone are)... they are from Ali Akbar, a MAJOR muslim schoolar who also sayes:

«the great model muhammad presents all phases of life to follow»...

many other examples can be presented...

2) from the notion off muhammad as "the Perfect man" “al-insan al-kamil”, and normative model off conduct “uswa hasana” , here you have some proofs that muslims do consider muhammad as the normative role for every muslim…

a) http://www.ibnarabisociety.org/articles/weismann.html;

b) Azizoddin Nasafi - "Kitab al-Insan al-Kamil";

c) Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki - "Muhammad al-Insan al-Kamil";

d) Seyyed Hossein Nasr - "The Essential workes"... for this one I'll eben probide a page since I habe it just in front off me: 65 (this book probides more than 200 names off people callin Muhammad as such and saying he's the way muslims shoulde behave...);

e)'Abd al-Kerim Jili - "Muhammad al-Insan al-Kamil";

f) http://www.sufilive.com/Attach_Yourself_to_Prophet_Muhammad_saw_-1461-print.html

g) http://www.dartabligh.org/web/Al_Furqan/files/Al-Furqan%201-3%20Feb16.pdf

Semper Paratus said...

1/2

Semper, I find it hard to see where you're going with your comments. The call to be technical was mine? OK.

There is no need to feign ignorance here or to begrudgingly cede the point. My words on this were both clear and accurate.

You castigated others for (supposedly) taking Surah 9 out of context. This implies that you expected enough technical precision on our part to represent Islam's position accurately, in context. That means that we should have been able to expect the same from you when it came to your handling of a passage like Dt. 13. Unfortunately, you didn't meet that expectation. But hey, there is always next time.

So read my words in a technically correct way.

The problem is, I can't. Your words were not correct. Not technically; not even a little bit. Not only does the passage not say to kill apostates, as you originally insinuated, but it doesn't even so much as tell us to give them a noogie or say “yo mama” jokes about their mothers, as ugly as they might be.

Even if I had said that Dt 13 was related to apostasy, which I think is safe to assume though it's not necessarily true (what religion would you expect your sons and daughters are deviating from?) who cares?

Obviously you don’t care; hence the perfunctory nature of your remarks so far.

And where did I say that Dt 13 should be read out of context? I'm having trouble making sense of what you are saying.

You didn’t say it should be read out of context, you just went ahead and gave us your a-conextual understanding of it, and ever since then you have been making excuses about why it doesn’t really matter and how you don’t care. Are you starting to see the problem now?

"But our religion is true, so in our case killing those pulling others out is fine." But that's what they all say.

So what if everyone says they are right. If everyone came up with different answers to a particular math problem – say, what is the sum of 2 plus 2? – would that mean that the person who answers “four” has no more right to act on his answer than the person who says “three” or the person who says “five”? Why should other people’s ignorance be the measure of another person’s action if that person happens to be right?

That's what Muslims say. Does this justify them in killing apostates like it justifies the Bible in demanding death for those that attempt to persuade you of another faith?

No, Muslims aren’t justified in killing apostates simply because they say they are right. Saying they are right, doesn’t make them right. That also isn’t my approach to why I think Old Covenant Israel was justified in applying the law of God as it was revealed to them.

I'm squeamish about the eschatalogical realities? I don't think you know me that well, and you should focus on the arguments, not me personally.

I’d love to focus on the arguments. Care to tell me where I was supposed to find them in your first two posts? All I could find to respond to was your personal opinion – “that’s similarly awful” – offered in lieu of an argument.

As for how well I might know you, you’ve been around for years on Triablogue, the Stand to Reason blog, etc., and you even have your own blog complete with scores of posts and even a useful little “About Me” section.

By the way, that line about not knowing you was played out a long time ago on Jerry Springer. Every trailer park reject who has paraded his disreputable lifestyle choices out on stage in front of live studio audiences and TV cameras has used it. After you have beared it all, it is rather silly to turn around and say: "You can't judge me; you don't know me. Who are you to say I am wrong for cheating on my wife with her best friend's goat?"

Semper Paratus said...

2/2

How do I warrant moral conclusions? Actually I don't know.

No surprises there.

It's an interesting discussion and I've thought a lot about it.

Apparently that hasn’t gotten you very far.

We could go in to it.

Let’s.

But right now it's a deviation from the topic at hand.

Are you kidding me? This entire discussion about the Bible and Deuteronomy 13 is a deviation from the topic of this thread, but you didn’t hear me complain. It looks to me like you don’t mind deviating when it suits you, and I can see why a discussion of your background assumptions doesn’t suit you.

Furthermore, how do you expect me to answer your non-existent arguments about why Dt. 13 is awful if you not only haven’t provided those arguments so far but have no interest in justifying how you arrived at that conclusion? If you don’t have a clue how you justify your claims, then what am I supposed to respond to?

I can have discussions with people that hold to different worldviews as me as long as we can start with some guiding principles that we agree to and then we can work out the logical implications.

“I don’t know” isn’t a worldview.

Inferring logical implications from unwarranted guiding principles won’t get us anywhere. If such principles are arbitrary, then you can always turn around and reject such principles if they don’t take you where you want to go.

For instance, do you agree that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us? I do. Do you believe Jesus was right to criticize the hypocrite that holds others to standards that he won't apply to himself? I do. Do you believe that we should focus on our own flaws primarily before looking to the flaws of others? I do.

I only agree with these general principles if they are contextualized by God’s revelation where they are:

1) grounded in the character of God

and

2) understood in terms of the concrete applications that Scripture makes of them.

I don’t suspect that is what you mean.

If we agree on these moral principles let's apply them to the situation in the Middle East and see what conclusions we come to. We don't have to agree on the source of those virtues in order to draw conclusions.

We do have to agree if your failure to see their source means that you can turn around and reject them if they don’t lead where you want to go. As long as you want to say that these principles are arbitrary, unwarranted, etc., then this is always a live option for you.

You remind me of the last line of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus: "My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them - as steps - to climb beyond them. He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it."

Jon said...

Semper, much of what you write is just distraction from the central issue in my view, so I'm not going to address it. This means you get the last word on that, so from your perspective maybe that's a good thing. But I want to say a couple of things.

First of all your use of the phrase "out of context" is incorrect. What that suggests is that if the surrounding verbiage is provided the implied meaning is altered. This is not what you are accusing me of. There is no need to look at the surrounding text to understand your criticism. What you're actually saying is that I'm drawing an incorrect inference from the text I quoted. It doesn't specifically say it is about apostates but only that it is about those that attempt to persuade you of another faith.

I will grant your point and you can chalk up a score for yourself. As I said last time I think it's safe to assume that your sons/daughters/brothers are apostates, but that's not necessarily true. Fair enough. But I don't see how this helps you. Isn't it worse to call for death of those that merely attempt to persuade you of another faith? Think of it this way. If Muslims had a similar text in the Qur'an they'd need to see to it that you were killed, since you attempt to persuade others to follow Yahweh instead of Allah. Your holy book is demanding death for many more people.

True, if God is really speaking through your book and not theirs, then you are right because we wouldn't expect God to be wrong. But that's just not obvious to most people, as it is obvious that 2+2=4. I'd like to see Christians demonize less. Your book says similar things. You think they're wrong of course, but try to understand that when you're born in Pakistan it's kind of hard to not think that Islam is the correct way. Yet they don't demonize you for Dt 13, despite the fact that Christians are the far more successful killers over the last few decades. You should try to rise to at least their level of charity.

Semper Paratus said...

Semper, much of what you write is just distraction from the central issue in my view, so I'm not going to address it.

Jon, I would suggest that the real reason you won't address much of what I write is because of your admission that you "don't know" how you justify your claims. Apparently you want me to just let you pontificate on such matters, and, if I don’t, well, then you will just say I am guilty of deviating and distracting this discussion from the “central” issue, which is nothing more than to say, from your “agenda”.

It is also more than a little disquisitive that you want me to answer your arguments, but then accuse me of deviating when I respond to the nearest thing you have to an argument, i.e. your subjective opinion.

This means you get the last word on that, so from your perspective maybe that's a good thing.

As far as I am concerned, the last word that needed to be spoken was somewhere back around where you said: "I dont know."

But I want to say a couple of things.

Have at it.

First of all your use of the phrase "out of context" is incorrect. What that suggests is that if the surrounding verbiage is provided the implied meaning is altered. This is not what you are accusing me of.

Nice attempt at a hermeneutics lesson, but it is precisely what I am accusing you of as I will show momentarily.

There is no need to look at the surrounding text to understand your criticism. What you're actually saying is that I'm drawing an incorrect inference from the text I quoted. It doesn't specifically say it is about apostates but only that it is about those that attempt to persuade you of another faith. I will grant your point and you can chalk up a score for yourself.

Consider it done. Score.

As I said last time I think it's safe to assume that your sons/daughters/brothers are apostates, but that's not necessarily true. Fair enough.

Not quite. It is more than safe to assume that your wife/sons/daughters/brothers/friends are apostates. That’s not what I denied. My point was that the text doesn’t say to kill them because they are apostates. The stated reason is altogether different.

This illustrates part of what I mean in saying your understanding is a result of taking things out of context. You lifted the phrase about sons, brothers, and daughters out of the text, and then observed that these apostates are to be put to death, but you ignored on what grounds they were to be put to death. Just because you originally provided the full citation doesn’t mean that you took everything the passage says into account when determining its overall meaning. That is as a-contextual as anything on the market, your truncated definition notwithstanding.

Semper Paratus said...

But I don't see how this helps you.

And you haven’t shown how this hurts me either. As long as you “don’t know”, you never will be able to. You can’t beat something with nothing, Jon.

Isn't it worse to call for death of those that merely attempt to persuade you of another faith?

It only sounds worse if you put it in such an abstract way.

When it comes to ancient Israel the nation was redeemed from bondage in Egypt, by a mighty hand and outstretched arm. They saw what the Lord did to Egypt, to Pharaoh, and how the Lord dried up the Red Sea before them. They heard His voice at Sinai, ate Manna from heaven, etc.

As well, they were called to be a special people, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. In God’s economy, Israel was to serve as an example to the nations, both with respect to His righteousness and the way of salvation. She was to be a city set on a hill. Accordingly, as she was to model before the world God’s righteousness and the way of redemption, the penalty for violating His standards was severe. To violate His standards would mean, among other things, to mar and obscure that message for the world.

Think of it this way. If Muslims had a similar text in the Qur'an they'd need to see to it that you were killed, since you attempt to persuade others to follow Yahweh instead of Allah. Your holy book is demanding death for many more people.

If they had a similar text, then they should also have similar warrant for believing it. By their own admission, they do not. Allah never spoke from heaven, never performed a miracle, and never ponied up a single bona fide prediction to prove that he wasn’t a devil in disguise.

A great deal more could be said, but the point is a not a practically relevant one since we are not talking about the position of the Christian Church, as you seem to constantly assume, but that of ancient Israel. You know very well that the New Testament handles these punishments pedagogically and eschatologically. The New Testament speaks of a far more severe punishment, i.e. hell, a judgment that is carried out by God alone.

True, if God is really speaking through your book and not theirs, then you are right because we wouldn't expect God to be wrong. But that's just not obvious to most people, as it is obvious that 2+2=4.

I beg to differ. God’s existence is obvious. So is the fact that the Bible is His Word. In fact, it is just because you reject the obvious truth of His existence that you have no warrant for the moral judgments you want to make. That’s why you are stuck pontificating about such matters rather than proving them.

You have the same problem when it comes to arithmetic, by the way. You have no more reason for saying that 2+2=4 is obvious than you do for saying that God’s command in Dt. 13 was “awful”. Since you made the confident pronouncement, care to tell me on what basis you know that 2+2=4? If the answer is so obvious, then you shouldn’t have any trouble telling me how you know it. Do you know this on some a priori basis? A posteriori? Some other way? Do tell.

I suspect we will probably either hear that you don't know or, what is the next best thing, some kind of “just-so story”.

Semper Paratus said...

I'd like to see Christians demonize less.

You haven't proven that we are demonizing them, or that our criticisms is without any basis in fact.

If you would, please try to demonize Christians less.

Your book says similar things. You think they're wrong of course, but try to understand that when you're born in Pakistan it's kind of hard to not think that Islam is the correct way. Yet they don't demonize you for Dt 13, despite the fact that Christians are the far more successful killers over the last few decades.

The only way your statement would make any kind of sense to me is if you are assuming that America is a Christian nation, governed by the Bible, etc. Would you care to prove this idea? No doubt some Christians would be none too pleased if you could do so, but I suspect your atheist betters would not like it very much.

Somebody go tell the ACLU (Atheists, Communists, Liberals United) that Jon is declaring America to be a Christian nation.

You should try to rise to at least their level of charity.

You almost sound like you believe your own rhetoric here.

Jon said...

Here's how it works, Semper. The Bible says kill those that attempt to persuade you of another faith. Why would an ancient Hebrew attempt to persuade his parents of a new faith? Most likely (though not necessarily) it is because they left their former Hebrew faith and have embraced a new one (they are apostates). Logically apostasy is a secondary cause of their execution. This is not exactly like what the hadith says. I congratulate you for recognizing what in my view is an irrelevant difference.

Your definition of "out of context" clearly is contrived to sustain your false allegation. Now any time anybody makes a mistake or misunderstands a text it qualifies as "out of context". That's just not what the phrase means.

A better example of out of context citation is your application of my claim "I don't know" on one subject to a variety of other subjects. That's how you take things out of context.

According to the archeological evidence there is not good reason to think that God extracted the Jews from Egypt with his outstretched arm. Maybe the archeology is wrong, but I think the consensus view of archeologists is a fair starting point, meaning I don't grant that the warrant for their belief is much poorer than yours.

it is just because you reject the obvious truth of His existence that you have no warrant for the moral judgments you want to make.

Would you mind telling me what my warrant is? You would have to at least understand my view before dismissing it. What is my view?

Semper Paratus said...

Here's how it works, Semper.

Here it is, your sixth post, and now you are ready to show me how it works? This should be good. I expect more of the same.

The Bible says kill those that attempt to persuade you of another faith.

Where does it tell me to do that again, Jon? I thought we were talking about Dt. 13. Does something in the context indicate to you that it is a directive issued to me or other Christians, Jon?

Why would an ancient Hebrew attempt to persuade his parents of a new faith? Most likely (though not necessarily) it is because they left their former Hebrew faith and have embraced a new one (they are apostates). Logically apostasy is a secondary cause of their execution. This is not exactly like what the hadith says. I congratulate you for recognizing what in my view is an irrelevant difference.

But the non-existent warrant you have for making moral distinctions doesn't enable you to know whether the distinction is relevant or not, so I am not sure why you are under the impression that you are saying anything of any consequence here.

Your definition of "out of context" clearly is contrived to sustain your false allegation. Now any time anybody makes a mistake or misunderstands a text it qualifies as "out of context". That's just not what the phrase means.

You've already granted that you were wrong in your interpretation. You also said it was because you made a false inference from the text. The problem is I didn't agree with where you thought your error lied. The error was not that the people in view are not apostates, it is that the REST OF THE TEXT, i.e. the context, tells us why they were to be killed. You simply ignored the surrounding context to make your original criticism. That is hardly a contrived understanding of what it means to take something out of context, and if you still insist on thinking so, then have at it. Just don't come back to me when others laugh at you and tell me that I should have told you what the word meant when I had the chance.

A better example of out of context citation is your application of my claim "I don't know" on one subject to a variety of other subjects. That's how you take things out of context.

Even if I misapplied your claim to other subjects, and you haven't shown where, the place where you applied it is enough to undermine your entire criticism of the Bible.

According to the archeological evidence there is not good reason to think that God extracted the Jews from Egypt with his outstretched arm. Maybe the archeology is wrong, but I think the consensus view of archeologists is a fair starting point, meaning I don't grant that the warrant for their belief is much poorer than yours.

I understand that you don't grant the point, and that you don't think the current state of archaeology allows us to say with confidence that all these things happened, but all that would be irrelevant to an ancient Israelite.

Would you mind telling me what my warrant is?

That's a strange question to ask me, Jon.

I asked it earlier and you said, "I don't know".

Apparently things are so bad that not only do you not know what warrant you could possibly have, but you don't even remember that you don't know (or at least that you said you don't know.).

You would have to at least understand my view before dismissing it.

And you would have to have a view for me to dismiss.

What is my view?

I'm still waiting to know myself. As it is, for all your thinking on the subject, you don't know, and I don't suspect you will be having any breakthroughs any time soon.

But do keep us posted if you get a clue.

P.S. I do like all the things in my posts that you chose to ignore. It is not only interesting to see what you think is relevant, but also to see what, by your silence, is obviously too hot for you to handle.

minoria said...

I have to put in my part on the idea of "demonizing Muslims."The critique is concerning a SET of IDEAS called ISLAM.

THE TEXT

I said we have 5:64 that encourages Judeophobia and 9:111 that encourages killing for Islam and guarantees heaven for those who kill or get killed for Islam.(Notice it does not just say GET KILLED but also KILL,you don't even have to die to get heaven).

QUESTION?

Is it DEMONIZING to say what their text actually says?I am not saying deport them,outlaw their religion.Demonizing is saying FALSE things like:"the Jews of Germany in WW I did a "stab in the back" on Germany and that was why it lost(Hitler's claim).

minoria said...

AGAIN ABOUT MOSAIC LAW

Yes,there is the death penalty in DEUT 13 but:

1.In JUDAISM it is ONLY for Jews.For the rest of humanity there are the 7 NOAHIDE laws and there is no mention of the death penalty.Besides the Jewish rabbis have come with new ideas and points of view and so Deut 13 is no longer applied.

2.In Christianity there is the New Alliance and what is necessary for the whole world is just Jesus.The reason God put in Deut 13 was to try to stop what happened OVER and OVER again (mass apostasy among the Jews).But it did not prevent it(what stopped it finally was national disasters like defeat by the Babylonians).

Jon said...

Minoria, do you know any Muslims? If so ask them why they have a problem with Jews. My original point here is that these obscure texts have nothing to do with the rage that many in the Middle East feel. Are these texts what motivate Christian suicide bombers to expel Jews from occupied Lebanon?

The Muslims I know are a lot like the Christians I know. They have a vague idea of some of the Qur'anic references, but not too much. Ask them why they don't like Israel and they'll talk about how Israel is always bombing their kin-folk. Looking to the Qur'an seems to me to be a way of avoiding the obvious reasons. The obvious reasons are the stated reasons. Israel refuses to accept a peaceful settlement. The United States starved a million kids in Iraq. The United States imposes puppet governments that are murderous and export the resources to the United States to the detriment of the native population. This is what they say. These are understandable reasons. Why not believe them?

Alaha said...

Hi, Can you make a video about why as christians you are talking on behalf of muslims? And why you wont put a muslim like Dr. Zakir Naik in the studio and ask him all of these questions, or other established scholars who knows the religion inside out. You would expect a doctor to talk about the ins and outs of make-up would you? Just like you would expect a make-up artist to talk about the ins and outs of medicine. You wanna know about islam, and why islam is like this and why islam is like that, and whats this thing and whats that thing, ask a muslim!

PAUL FISHMAN said...

The Quran truly reads in Surah 2:256 that there IS compulsion in religion. Even though the evidence may or may not prove this religion is the right way, Orthodox Muslims will force unbelievers to faith. Therefore it proves that forced conversions make Islam the false way to Godliness and Salvation.