Philosophy

Chat with others about dyspraxia and share your experiences.

Are you religious?

yes
6
33%
no
12
67%
 
Total votes : 18

Postby parnassus » Sun Apr 17, 2005 5:02 pm

I grew up in Saudi Arabia. I still return there for school holidays. It hurts me so much when I come back to Britain and find myself saturated in ignorance and prejudice. I'm not a Muslim, but my best and closest friends are, and I feel like I'm betraying them if I don't say anything to correct people's misconceptions about the Islamic faith.

I especially hate it when people assume that all Muslim women are oppressed and that the headscarf is a symbol of shame. There is a girl in my boarding house who also lives in Saudi. She doesn't speak a word of Arabic, have one Muslim friend, or even associate with anyone who isn't English. Yet she gave her GCSE English presentation on the topic of life in Saudi ("Because it's what I know most about") and, surprise surprise, talked about how terrible Islam is.

One of the things she said was, "An Arab man can divorce his wife just by saying, 'I divorce you' three times and he doesn't have to give her any money." I corrected her - the procedure is actually extremely complicated and the ex-husband is required to pay maintenance for life - but she just shrugged sulkily and said, "My dad told me that this is true."

Her dad is renowned on our compound as a racist and a bigot. Thanks to their misinformation, a class of twenty-four people is now convinced that Islam is a demonic belief system. Heigh-ho...
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Postby Hermionefan5 » Sun Apr 17, 2005 5:31 pm

That is HORRIBLE. :cry: Many people after September 11, 2001 thought that Muslims were really bad people because there were just a few men who drove planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. I think some people were just mad, but it did not give them the right to write graffiti on middle eastern people's houses or discriminate against people who looked like or were middle eastern. One of my friends is of Indian (not American Indian, but the country) descent and they still discriminated against him. They just assumed because he was darker skinned that he was middle eastern and he was a mean guy. He is a part of my youth group. He is one of the nicest boys I know. I can't even believe that people would say that to anyone. He was really hurt by it. Although I definitely don't agree with the things that Osama bin Ladin and his men did on 9/11, I don't think that anyone should be discriminated against just because of a few people's actions. I hate catorigization. Is that a word? Also, I hope the war in Iraq ends soon so there will be no more dying on either side. :cry:


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Postby mattie » Mon Apr 18, 2005 2:08 pm

I try not to judge people on the basis of nationailty, religion etc. We are all different and worthy of respect whatever our beliefs. It annoys me when ignorant people make judgments on certain cultures and religions, and yet, don't even know that much about them.

I really disagree with the campaign run by the Conservative party at the moment. They are using immigration to scare people. They seem intent on giving the message that immigrants are dangerous to this country which is complete nonsense IMO. The problem is that their message is reaching people, and has only increased racial hatred in some communities.


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Postby Hermionefan5 » Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:21 pm

I agree, Mattie.
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Postby madame_tigre » Mon Apr 18, 2005 4:51 pm

I agree as well!

Besides, most people immigrate to escape from war or something else horrible. They aren't coming here to just relax or cause trouble. People should give them a lot more respect!
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Postby mattie » Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:07 pm

Doing police checks when immigrants enter the uk is ok - I don't object to that. I would even support this as we need to protect the uk from terrorists and criminal gangs. However, it is wrong that the Conservative party is using people's prejudices to gain votes. Immigrants do not pose a serious problem to the UK. As long as the immigrants are checked I don't really see immigration as a problem.

I'm afraid a lot of the prejudice is caused by the tabloid press, especially the Sun and the Daily Mail. Until this is adressed a lot of people will remain ignorant. :(


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Postby parnassus » Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:43 pm

Not to mention the Daily Express. For some reason they have declined to publish even one of my letters about their demonisation of Gypsy folk. I don't know whether any of you know this - those of you who have seen my photograph might be able to tell - but some of my ancestors were Romany. The Daily Express attempts to portray all Gypsies as worthless, uneducated scroungers who live in filthy hovels and wantonly destroy the countryside. They mistakenly assume that the word 'Gypsy' denotes a whole race, when there are actually many racial subgroups within that category - the Roma, the Sinti, and the white New Age travelling wannabes who were born in Battersea or somewhere similar, to name but a few!

Perhaps I shouldn't have signed my letters 'Angry, from Lancashire'. Then they might have got in.
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Postby mattie » Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:33 pm

Yeah, I hate it when the tabloid press try to make certain groups (i.e. the unemployed, single mums, gypsies etc) all seem like scroungers. The single mother thing really annoys me as there are a lot of single mothers who are not lazy, and just want to do what is best for their children. Unfortunately the press (i.e. tabloids) seems to want to blame them ALL for their current situation - which is ludicrous.


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Postby medrich11 » Tue Apr 19, 2005 7:24 pm

same here
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Postby Hermionefan5 » Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:09 pm

Yeah, I agree.
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Postby C » Sat May 07, 2005 11:44 am

I am not really religous, although I'd like to think that there is something there. I don't know what but something. I don't know whether I think that because it's a ncier thought than thinking you are just born and then you die, though!

I agree with you all, about the single mother etc. thing.
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Postby lukeyj » Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:16 pm

I'm in agreement with the first person that wrote on this post. Originally people believed that the sun rotated around the earth. The first person to suggest otherwise did get lynched. Human's were (and still are) too arrogant to believe they aren't special. We are no different to other animals, we just have other skills that others don't.

I believe in the random chain of events, fairness is a ridiculous theory as true random doesn't always even out especially when the factors involved are so significant. With religion, i believe it is someone to believe in rather than accept the fact that death is just that. Death. Say when you close your eyes and wake up the next day, can't remember a dream or anything, well the state when that is happening, where everything is not all black, just lacking content, if you brain doesn't work then you can't think.

I've seen views where people say they concentrate on the now and let god focus on the rest. Well i know a fair few people who let that follow paths and it hit them rather hard when they realise there is no god. I don't close myself off to the possibility that god exists but it seems that miracles and divine intervention are a thing of the "past" or the story books. If the big hand comes down and says "it's you" then maybe I will start believing but believing stories of the past is as close to gullibility as you can get. Most people are just born and allegience sworn before they think about it and by that time it's in a biased context. They look for the positive points and use it for justification and disregard other evidence as insubstantial. People pick and choose what parts of a holy scripture to believe before they even think whether religion even applies to them.

Apologies for offense caused but if you read what i say in context, it'll either change your view or strengthen it. In order to grow we must be open minded after all in what we read. If people think they are going to attack my stance as closed minded, if i see some modern day proof that defies the laws of science and what not, i would believe it. I'm agnostic not atheist.
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Postby parnassus » Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:39 pm

That was a very insightful message. I have some doubts about the existence of God, because faith is worth nothing without doubt. According to the Bible, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the essence of things unseen," and you can't get anything more flimsy or inconsequential than that. Humans are naturally afraid of what they can't see. At one time the Church persecuted Galileo as a heretic, because it erroneously taught that the earth was the centre of the universe - it took Scripture literally. To my way of thinking, there must be some absolute Truth out there, but we only have fragments of it. Our minds distort the rest.

Yet my faith has dramatically revolutionised my life. Religions can become outmoded and embedded in the past, but faith is timeless. Faith is something that unites the followers of every religion on earth.

As for the sleep analogy, did you know that our brains are extremely active during sleep? Every human being dreams at least four times per night (assuming that they sleep for the average eight hours, of course.) All dreams occur during REM sleep, when our bodies are paralysed but our brains are unusually active. This has been proven through EEG scanning and other tests undertaken by teams of biologists and psychologists. We do not dream during the oth stages of sleep. If you are woken up at the wrong point of the sleep cycle, you won't remember your dreams. So our mind is always working, we just can't always remember our night-thoughts. But this is immaterial, because most religious people make a distinction between the mind and the soul.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Postby lukeyj » Tue Jun 07, 2005 6:04 pm

I understand what you mean. I also believe that the truth is out there but to me the truth is science (i also think of pyschology as a science, the science of human actions), we learn new things every day, i doubt we will learn everything in my life time, we can only know what can possibly be discovered at our stage in evolution. If i believe that the truth can't be found in our lifetime then it wouldn't be wise to persue it, it'll come in time. It doesn't need to be me to discover things new, it's the job of the motivated/talented/and the free thinkers. I would be a bit arrogant to think that I could find the art of discovery, you can't force inspiration, it appears where and when it is ready to.

On the topic of sleep, i've heard about that and i understand it. What I meant was the practical side, thinking back when you can only remember the time you went to bed, now think of the bit in between, it's vacant to you, no clues. Without assumption and educated guesses it is nothing in relation to yourself and when the brain dies, there is nothing.

On the mind and soul theory. I've always been sceptical. How I act is based on my character. It is made up of the foundations of my genes past down from both side and adapted by years of experience, set backs, the way things are handled. Each individual moment where there is time to think there becomes an evolution in your character, this I believe, is stored in the brain. I've come up with this because without any proof about the physical entity of the brain retaining a none local entity I feel it unlikely. I'm still open to the subject, but i've settled on the viewpoint of what's plausable to me. If it was discovered i'd probably change my viewpoint but i can't help but believe this is wishful thiking to explain things that have not been proven by science.

In the western world on the whole with the constant developments in science and discoveries, religion has been become lesser a part in the way of life. It seemed to explain the unexplained and a lot deserted due to an alternative more likely to them, i'm not saying either view is correct but religion doesn't encompass the larger scale it used to. It still begs question unexplained to this date like the bing bang theory for example. What started it? Was it a superior entity.

I believe to some extent Religion has been a good moral code for a lot of people, a guide for some to improve on their life. I personally aim to improve on myself but I haven't really looked to religion. I've recently quit/cut down on drinking. I noticed i relied on it for happiness as i was very unhappy in myself. Religion has helped a lot to achieve the same goal but by a different method.

For the moment life to me is a journey i'm in. I'm born, I will die. Whether i make a difference or not is not vitally important. As i can't know whether it would be a good or bad impact on human society in years to come. I'm just one of a number, to think i'm any more than that would be pretty arrogant.

P.s. Apologies if you don't understand. I think a lot but I can't word it in a way that it appeals to myself. Language is an art, one i have yet to grasp.
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Postby parnassus » Tue Jun 07, 2005 9:43 pm

"For the moment life to me is a journey i'm in. I'm born, I will die. Whether i make a difference or not is not vitally important. As i can't know whether it would be a good or bad impact on human society in years to come. I'm just one of a number, to think i'm any more than that would be pretty arrogant."

This is where the believer differs from the atheist. I can relate to everything else you wrote - that religion no longer serves such a socio-political purpose in the developed world, etc. - but because of my faith, I believe that everyone has the power to make a difference. Consider Oskar Schindler (he saved eleven hundred Jews from certain death in the Holocaust) Mother Teresa, Princess Diana, Nelson Mandela...

You don't necessarily have to be religious to make your mark on the world. No one can afford apathy and everyone has a responsibility towards each other. I define that responsibility in terms of Christian love and compassion; a humanist would couch it in other, equally acceptable terms.

And you are not just one of a number. There never has been anyone exactly like you in the world, and there never will be again. It's a sobering thought.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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