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Message Icon Topic: Are These Acts of Idolatry? Post Reply Post New Topic
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islamispeace
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Quote islamispeace Replybullet Posted: 19 August 2014 at 8:26pm
Originally posted by Ron Webb

Just as the god represented by the statue still (hypothetically) exists.  How is it "completely different"?


The statue is given worship and offerings.  Also, a statue is (as you have admitted) not even needed in the first place.  People simply choose to have it.  In contrast, there really isn't a way for a person to "visit" or "converse" with his/her loved ones without actually physically going to the grave of that person, unless of course seances are available. LOL 

Originally posted by Ron Webb

And if my wife is physically present, for example in front of me, then I wouldn't need a picture of her.  But if I'm at work and she isn't there, it's nice to have the picture.  Still not seeing the difference...
    

LOL Of course you're not "seeing the difference"!  You're still stuck on the absurd analogy of your wife's picture!

If Mary or a saint was physically present, then the statue would not be needed and the devotee could simply physically pray to the flesh and blood Mary or saint.  That would be idolatry, would it not?  Now, if you remove the flesh and blood person and replace it with a statue, would it still not be idolatry?  Of course it is!

Originally posted by Ron Webb

I don't think I'm following you.  When you referred to a "physical object", I assumed you meant other than Mary herself.  I hope you can see people as more than mere physical objects.  You believe in the concept of a soul, don't you?  I don't happen to share that belief, but surely we agree that reducing people to "physical objects" is overly reductive and simplistic.


LOL Oh really?  If you don't believe in the soul, then what else is there?  Certainly, evolutionists don't see much in humans or any other living thing.  To them, we are all just accidents living out a pointless existence.  That sounds pretty "reductive and simplistic" to me.

My point was that, in general, we are all "physical objects", but if you want to get technical, then of course we are more than that.  By praying to Mary or to a statue of her, Catholics are praying to a physical object.  God, on the other hand, has no "physical" body.  See the difference?

Originally posted by Ron Webb

From our point of view there is no need for any of this ritual, but it is part of their tradition.  Who are you to tell them what is necessary?  And yes, obviously it is symbolic.  The music is literally being played, and the idol is literally being bathed; but they don't play the music expecting any response from the idol, and they don't wash the idol because it is dirty.
    

I am simply asking whether the "rituals" they perform are akin to idolatry.  Bowing down to an idol, praying to it, making it offerings, "waking" it up in the morning, "bathing" it, etc. are all literal acts, not merely "symbolic". 

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Sorry, which facts have I been "confronted" with?  Capillary action was actually demonstrated by India's Ministry of Science and Technology in at least one case.  It is a real phenomenon -- as are evaporation, mass hysteria, observational error, etc.  Did you disprove these phenomena at some point?  Because if so, I missed it.
 

LOL I responded to your theories by pointing out the weaknesses in them.  You then ignored the issue for a while. 

As I said, the various theories simply do not take all the facts into account.  If it was "capillary action", then why has the phenomenon stopped?  Why are people not reporting the same phenomenon?  It's been almost 20 years since the alleged miracle!  Surely, you could walk into a temple right now and demonstrate capillary action. 

The same questions can be applied to the theory of "evaporation".  In fact, the evaporation theory is impossible given that the boiling point of milk is around 100 degrees Celsius (the same as water), which is equivalent to 212 degrees Fahrenheit!  Do you really think that someone was applying that much heat to the milk in all those cases and yet no one noticed?  Shocked 

The same problem exists with the claim that it was "observational error".  Do you really think that thousands of people, including journalists, all made the same error? Shocked

Originally posted by Ron Webb

n other words, you don't know what humanism is.  You seem to think it is a synonym for atheism.  It is not.

   
Humanism is synonymous with atheism.  Atheism denies the existence of the supernatural, and hence of God.  Your so-called "Humanist Manifesto" even states:

"Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity."

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Maybe, maybe not.  I think we just agreed that neither of us can know for sure.  Which means that neither of us can say for sure that Satan (or some other malevolent supernatural being, call him whatever you want) would not want to create a plethora of monotheistic religions, just to watch them go at one another.


LOL Don't drag me down to your level.  I don't follow the "Agnostic Code".

It is already abundantly clear that humans will always fight over something.  Hence, even if Islam (or Christianity or any other religion, and yes even atheism) did not exist, there would still be violence because people would find something else to fight over.  Like I said, people are the problem. 

Originally posted by Ron Webb

IMHO it would be a drab, dull, boring place for men, and a repressive, misogynistic place for women.  But that's a topic for another time, perhaps.
 

LOL No one cares about your "humble" opinions, because we know that you are just another troll with very little knowledge about Islam.

Misogynistic, huh?  How so?  Oh right, because Islam places more value on virgins than non-virgins...or something like that? Wink

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Do you have to reach back hundreds of years to find anything good to say about Islam?  It may have had a positive influence when it first began, but the world has changed, and Islam has not.  In fact, the very idea of "innovation" is anathema to Islam.

What has Islam done for us lately?


LOL Haven't you learned to keep your mouth shut when you don't know what you are talking about?  You could save yourself more embarrassment. 

"Innovation" is not "anathema" to Islam.  Sure, religious innovation is anathema, but I assume you are talking about secular innovation, such as in science and medicine, which as we have seen, Islamic civilization was very adept at. 

Your special pleading that "what has Islam done for us lately" just goes to show what a clown you are.  If it wasn't for Islam, the modern world would probably not exist, or at the very least would have been delayed for hundreds of years.  If that had happened, chances are that you would probably be a peasant living in the European Dark Ages!  LOL    

The advances made by Islamic civilization made this world possible.  You owe a lot to Islam!  Yet, like some spoiled child, you ask "well, what have you done for me lately".  That's like an adult asking the woman who gave birth to him and raising him as a child "hey mom, what have you done for me lately?" Big%20smile  

Anyway, how about offering a path to salvation?  I know you don't believe it, but trust me, a time will come when you will wish that you had, inshaAllah.  Wink


Edited by islamispeace - 19 August 2014 at 8:53pm
Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Surat al-Anaam: 162)

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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 21 August 2014 at 12:34pm
Originally posted by islamispeace

The statue is given worship and offerings.  Also, a statue is (as you have admitted) not even needed in the first place.  People simply choose to have it.  In contrast, there really isn't a way for a person to "visit" or "converse" with his/her loved ones without actually physically going to the grave of that person, unless of course seances are available.

Why isn't there a way?  A person could just as easily "converse" with a picture as with a tombstone.  (It's all make-believe anyway, as far as I'm concerned; but you can play make-believe with a picture just as well as a tombstone or a pile of bones.)

If Mary or a saint was physically present, then the statue would not be needed and the devotee could simply physically pray to the flesh and blood Mary or saint.  That would be idolatry, would it not?  Now, if you remove the flesh and blood person and replace it with a statue, would it still not be idolatry?  Of course it is!

When you speak with someone, are you communicating with their body, or with their spirit?  No, it's not idolatry (though it may well be polytheism) to pray to a living, physically present Mary, as long as your prayer is addressed to her spirit and not to her physical body (but that would be weird -- "my eyes are up here, creep"Wink).

Now, if you remove the flesh and blood person and replace it with a statue, it's still not idolatry, again assuming you're addressing her spirit and not the statue.  Again, it's a matter of intention.

Oh really?  If you don't believe in the soul, then what else is there?  Certainly, evolutionists don't see much in humans or any other living thing.  To them, we are all just accidents living out a pointless existence.  That sounds pretty "reductive and simplistic" to me.

I'd like to explain it to you, but it's off-topic and probably beyond your comprehension level.  You are still struggling with much more basic concepts, like differentiating the symbol from the thing it represents.

My point was that, in general, we are all "physical objects", but if you want to get technical, then of course we are more than that.  By praying to Mary or to a statue of her, Catholics are praying to a physical object.  God, on the other hand, has no "physical" body.  See the difference?

No, they are praying to her spirit.  Just as they pray to the Holy Spirit, a.k.a. God.  No difference.

I am simply asking whether the "rituals" they perform are akin to idolatry.  Bowing down to an idol, praying to it, making it offerings, "waking" it up in the morning, "bathing" it, etc. are all literal acts, not merely "symbolic".

They are both.  A literal act, but symbolic of some greater meaning.

As I said, the various theories simply do not take all the facts into account.  If it was "capillary action", then why has the phenomenon stopped?  Why are people not reporting the same phenomenon?  It's been almost 20 years since the alleged miracle!  Surely, you could walk into a temple right now and demonstrate capillary action.

You could, and India's Ministry of Science and Technology did, as I said.  Why did they stop reporting it?  Probably because someone explained capillary action to them.  Or maybe because the media just got bored with the story.

The same questions can be applied to the theory of "evaporation".  In fact, the evaporation theory is impossible given that the boiling point of milk is around 100 degrees Celsius (the same as water), which is equivalent to 212 degrees Fahrenheit!  Do you really think that someone was applying that much heat to the milk in all those cases and yet no one noticed?

Now I have to explain evaporation to you? Shocked

The same problem exists with the claim that it was "observational error".  Do you really think that thousands of people, including journalists, all made the same error?

No, just a few of them -- the ones who reported the stories.

Humanism is synonymous with atheism.

This would be news to the majority of atheists who are not humanists, and have probably never heard of humanism.

Atheism denies the existence of the supernatural, and hence of God.  Your so-called "Humanist Manifesto" even states:

Actually, to be precise, the current Humanist Manifesto describes secular humanism, the more common form and the one most people mean when they say "humanism".  Originally there was also something called religious humanism, which adopts the same value system but within a religious framework.  However, I haven't heard much about it recently and I'm not sure if it's still a "thing".

So in summary, it's fair to say that most humanists are secular, and all secular humanists are atheist; but not all atheists are humanist.

It is already abundantly clear that humans will always fight over something.  Hence, even if Islam (or Christianity or any other religion, and yes even atheism) did not exist, there would still be violence because people would find something else to fight over.  Like I said, people are the problem.

Yeah, we can agree on that.  The question is, would there be as much fighting?  Realistically, neither of us knows the answer to that.

"Innovation" is not "anathema" to Islam.  Sure, religious innovation is anathema, but I assume you are talking about secular innovation, such as in science and medicine, which as we have seen, Islamic civilization was very adept at.

"Was".  I think that was my point.

Your special pleading that "what has Islam done for us lately" just goes to show what a clown you are.

You probably should review the definition of special pleading.

If it wasn't for Islam, the modern world would probably not exist, or at the very least would have been delayed for hundreds of years.  If that had happened, chances are that you would probably be a peasant living in the European Dark Ages!

It's true that the Muslim world preserved a lot of ancient knowledge that might otherwise have been lost in the so-called "Dark Ages" (a term no longer much in use among historians).  However, for whatever reason, Muslim involvement in science and technology has virtually disappeared in the last century or so.  FWIW, my theory is that as secular progress continued in areas such as medicine, astronomy, and evolution, Islamic religious doctrine found itself increasingly in conflict with secular knowledge.  Unable to adapt or "innovate" its own world view, Islam could only withdraw from secular science in general.

Again, another topic for another time, maybe.
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Quote islamispeace Replybullet Posted: 21 August 2014 at 6:42pm
Originally posted by Ron Webb

Why isn't there a way?  A person could just as easily "converse" with a picture as with a tombstone.  (It's all make-believe anyway, as far as I'm concerned; but you can play make-believe with a picture just as well as a tombstone or a pile of bones.)


You missed the point.  I said that in order to "converse", a person needs a physical grave.  You said that it would be "just as easy" to converse with a picture of the deceased, which is true.  But how is this the same as praying to an idol?  A person could just as easily pray without the idol.  A Hindu could pray to his gods without an idol.  A Catholic could pray to Mary without a statue.   

Originally posted by Ron Webb

When you speak with someone, are you communicating with their body, or with their spirit?  No, it's not idolatry (though it may well be polytheism) to pray to a living, physically present Mary, as long as your prayer is addressed to her spirit and not to her physical body (but that would be weird -- "my eyes are up here, creep"Wink).

Now, if you remove the flesh and blood person and replace it with a statue, it's still not idolatry, again assuming you're addressing her spirit and not the statue.  Again, it's a matter of intention.


LOL What, in your view, is "idolatry" then?!  I would love to know, because it seems that you have decided that any act of worship directed at a statue is not "idolatry".

If Mary was physically present, the prayers would be directed to her.  That is idolatry!  And if you replace her with a statue, it is still idolatry!

Originally posted by Ron Webb

I'd like to explain it to you, but it's off-topic and probably beyond your comprehension level.  You are still struggling with much more basic concepts, like differentiating the symbol from the thing it represents.


LOL Don't flatter yourself.  I don't need to you to "explain" it to me.  What do I need from an atheist nut? 

It's hilarious for an atheist to complain about "reductive" and "simplistic" approaches to humans as "physical objects", when by definition, an atheist believes that we are all just chemical accidents and not created by a higher power.  How much more "reductive" and "simplistic" can one get?  Shocked

Originally posted by Ron Webb

No, they are praying to her spirit.  Just as they pray to the Holy Spirit, a.k.a. God.  No difference.


No difference?!  Praying to a created spirit is not the same as praying to God! 

Originally posted by Ron Webb

They are both.  A literal act, but symbolic of some greater meaning.


But if they are literal acts, then why are they not "idolatry"?  I don't doubt that they have some "greater meaning", but I would think that a literal act of worship directed at an idol would be indicative of...well...idolatry! Confused

Originally posted by Ron Webb

You could, and India's Ministry of Science and Technology did, as I said.  Why did they stop reporting it?  Probably because someone explained capillary action to them.  Or maybe because the media just got bored with the story.


More theorizing.  What a shock.

If it was indeed capillary action, then it should be observable at any time.  Hindus should be able to go into a temple right now and see an idol "drinking" some milk.  Yet, no one seems to be observing this, which is strange given that Hindus regularly make offerings to their idols.  

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Now I have to explain evaporation to you? Shocked


LOL I didn't realize you were so inept.  Oh wait, yes I did!

Your source makes it clear:

"...as most people are aware, liquids evaporates faster at a higher temperature."


In order for your theory to work, the milk had to evaporate quickly, like it did during the "milk miracle", so that it would appear that the idol was drinking the milk.  In other words, it had to completely and quickly evaporate, and not just at the surface.  That would only be possible at very high temperatures.

Originally posted by Ron Webb

No, just a few of them -- the ones who reported the stories.
 

Confused Um, the incidents were reported all over the world and were witnessed by, at the very least, thousands of people, including journalists.

Originally posted by Ron Webb

This would be news to the majority of atheists who are not humanists, and have probably never heard of humanism.


Humanism, according to your definition, espouses atheism.  Or are you suggesting that anyone can be a "humanist", even religious people?

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Actually, to be precise, the current Humanist Manifesto describes secular humanism, the more common form and the one most people mean when they say "humanism".  Originally there was also something called religious humanism, which adopts the same value system but within a religious framework.  However, I haven't heard much about it recently and I'm not sure if it's still a "thing".

So in summary, it's fair to say that most humanists are secular, and all secular humanists are atheist; but not all atheists are humanist.


So then, "secular humanism" is synonymous with atheism.  If it wasn't, then "all secular humanists" would not be be atheists, but only some.

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Yeah, we can agree on that.  The question is, would there be as much fighting?  Realistically, neither of us knows the answer to that.


True.  But then, why are atheists so adamant in assuming that religion is the cause of most violence, when humans have fought for many different reasons?  And why do they claim that if religion was to disappear, the world would magically become less violent?

Originally posted by Ron Webb

"Was".  I think that was my point.


LOL If Islam "was" adept at it, then there is no reason why it shouldn't be adept at it now as well.  Early followers of Islam were very cultured and advanced.  That can happen again.  Like I said, people are the problem.

Originally posted by Ron Webb

You probably should review the definition of special pleading.
 

"...a participant demands special considerations for a particular premise of theirs."

You first claimed that Islam has not had a net positive effect on humanity.  I dispelled that claim by pointing out that Islam was heavily influential in the development of the modern world.  You then argued that what was done in the past is irrelevant, and demanded to know what Islam has done for you "lately".  It goes back to your original argument that Islam has not had a positive effect.  That sounds like special pleading to me, since you are demanding "special considerations" for your "particular premise" that Islam has not offered anything positive. 

Originally posted by Ron Webb

It's true that the Muslim world preserved a lot of ancient knowledge that might otherwise have been lost in the so-called "Dark Ages" (a term no longer much in use among historians).  However, for whatever reason, Muslim involvement in science and technology has virtually disappeared in the last century or so.  FWIW, my theory is that as secular progress continued in areas such as medicine, astronomy, and evolution, Islamic religious doctrine found itself increasingly in conflict with secular knowledge.  Unable to adapt or "innovate" its own world view, Islam could only withdraw from secular science in general.


Great, another theory.  Well, you got me! Wink


Edited by islamispeace - 21 August 2014 at 6:49pm
Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Surat al-Anaam: 162)

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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 24 August 2014 at 1:06pm
Originally posted by islamispeace

You missed the point.  I said that in order to "converse", a person needs a physical grave.  You said that it would be "just as easy" to converse with a picture of the deceased, which is true.  But how is this the same as praying to an idol?  A person could just as easily pray without the idol.  A Hindu could pray to his gods without an idol.  A Catholic could pray to Mary without a statue.

Yes, a Hindu could pray without an idol.  A Catholic could pray without a statue.  I could think of my wife without a photo.  And a widow could imagine a conversation with her deceased husband without actually being at his grave.

Still not seeing the difference.

What, in your view, is "idolatry" then?!  I would love to know, because it seems that you have decided that any act of worship directed at a statue is not "idolatry".

Idolatry is "the religious worship of idols".  Not the worship of a god symbolically represented by an idol, but the actual worship of the physical statue.  Which some Hindus actually do, but knowledgeable Hindus know better.

It's hilarious for an atheist to complain about "reductive" and "simplistic" approaches to humans as "physical objects", when by definition, an atheist believes that we are all just chemical accidents and not created by a higher power.  How much more "reductive" and "simplistic" can one get?

As a humanist I believe in much more than that; but again, I don't think you would understand.

No difference?!  Praying to a created spirit is not the same as praying to God!

What is God, if not spirit?

But if they are literal acts, then why are they not "idolatry"?  I don't doubt that they have some "greater meaning", but I would think that a literal act of worship directed at an idol would be indicative of...well...idolatry!

Literally washing a statue is not worship.  It is the intent, i.e. the symbolism, that constitutes worship.

If it was indeed capillary action, then it should be observable at any time.  Hindus should be able to go into a temple right now and see an idol "drinking" some milk.  Yet, no one seems to be observing this, which is strange given that Hindus regularly make offerings to their idols.

It is undoubtedly observable at any time.  I repeat, India's Ministry of Science and Technology demonstrated it.  They don't report it anymore because it has been debunked and is no longer considered a "miracle", just a natural phenomenon.

If you want to see capillary action yourself, here's a neat little experiment you can try.  For bonus points, instead of a rolled up paper towel, carve yourself an elephant god with a trunk made of hemp or wrapped in fabric or something.  Dip the trunk into a glass of milk, wait a while and watch the idol "drink" the milk. Wink

In order for your theory to work, the milk had to evaporate quickly, like it did during the "milk miracle", so that it would appear that the idol was drinking the milk.  In other words, it had to completely and quickly evaporate, and not just at the surface.  That would only be possible at very high temperatures.

Why does it have to happen quickly?  You put a saucer of milk out for the god on a hot day, and in a few hours it's gone.  Miracle! Smile

Um, the incidents were reported all over the world and were witnessed by, at the very least, thousands of people, including journalists.

I'm not sure how you know it was "thousands".  Seems like an exaggeration to me; but even so, there are about a billion Hindus, so thousands is still a very small percentage.

Humanism, according to your definition, espouses atheism.  Or are you suggesting that anyone can be a "humanist", even religious people?

Well yes, as I just explained, I believe there are also religious humanists.  But it's true that secular humanism by definition implies atheism.  It is not true, however, that atheism implies humanism (secular or otherwise).  Hence humanism is not synonymous with atheism.

So then, "secular humanism" is synonymous with atheism.  If it wasn't, then "all secular humanists" would not be be atheists, but only some.

All secular humanists are atheist, but not all atheists are secular humanists.  Therefore secular humanism is not synonymous with atheism.  (I feel like I'm teaching a Logic 101 class.)

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Yeah, we can agree on that.  The question is, would there be as much fighting?  Realistically, neither of us knows the answer to that.

True.  But then, why are atheists so adamant in assuming that religion is the cause of most violence, when humans have fought for many different reasons?  And why do they claim that if religion was to disappear, the world would magically become less violent?

We were talking about eliminating a particular religion, or exchanging one with another.  It's hard (for mortals, anyway) to know what the net effect of that would be.  I'm guessing that the remaining religions would just take up the slack, for no net benefit.

Eliminating all religions is a different matter.  I don't think it's possible, really.  People invent comforting myths about heavenly protectors and magical forces because they like them, and they probably always will.  However, I think that less religion, and less reliance on religion, would be a good thing if it meant a greater focus on the real needs of humanity and more reliance on rational solutions to our problems.

If Islam "was" adept at it, then there is no reason why it shouldn't be adept at it now as well.  Early followers of Islam were very cultured and advanced.  That can happen again.  Like I said, people are the problem.

I just gave you the reason: the world has changed, but Islam has not and cannot.  It is becoming increasingly difficult to wrestle the Quran into conformity with modern astronomy, physics, biology, etc.  Other religions, notably Christianity, have faced the same problem, and have (mostly) solved it by reinterpreting scripture in the light of modern knowledge.

In theory Islam could do that too, but unfortunately Muslim scholars "closed the doors of ijtihad" about a thousand years ago, and few Muslims have dared to go there ever since.
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Quote islamispeace Replybullet Posted: 25 August 2014 at 7:32pm
Originally posted by Ron Webb

Yes, a Hindu could pray without an idol.  A Catholic could pray without a statue.  I could think of my wife without a photo.  And a widow could imagine a conversation with her deceased husband without actually being at his grave.

Still not seeing the difference.


How many people do you know who actually have such a conversation, instead of going to a tomb?

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Idolatry is "the religious worship of idols".  Not the worship of a god symbolically represented by an idol, but the actual worship of the physical statue.  Which some Hindus actually do, but knowledgeable Hindus know better.


So, if "some Hindus actually do" worship idols, then that is idolatry.  So, what exactly has been your point of your posts?  Confused  I asked whether the pictures (and subsequent videos) shown were example of idolatry.  Since you seem to think that "some Hindus" do indeed worship their idols, then were those pictures and videos examples of idolatry?

Originally posted by Ron Webb

As a humanist I believe in much more than that; but again, I don't think you would understand.


What do you mean by "believe"?  Is "humanism" like a religion to you?  What is your "belief" based on? 

Do tell what you believe!  I'm all ears. Wink

Originally posted by Ron Webb

What is God, if not spirit?


God is not created.  God has always existed.  You were comparing praying to a created spirit such as Mary to praying to God.  They are not the same thing.

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Literally washing a statue is not worship.  It is the intent, i.e. the symbolism, that constitutes worship.


Literally making offerings is not worship?  Literally "waking up" the idol is not worship? Shocked

Originally posted by Ron Webb

It is undoubtedly observable at any time.  I repeat, India's Ministry of Science and Technology demonstrated it.  They don't report it anymore because it has been debunked and is no longer considered a "miracle", just a natural phenomenon.

If you want to see capillary action yourself, here's a neat little experiment you can try.  For bonus points, instead of a rolled up paper towel, carve yourself an elephant god with a trunk made of hemp or wrapped in fabric or something.  Dip the trunk into a glass of milk, wait a while and watch the idol "drink" the milk. Wink


This just further proves how out of touch you are with the facts.  Hindu idols can be made from various materials, not just "hemp or wrapped in fabric or something".  During the alleged miracle, idols made from different materials were "drinking" the milk.  For example, according to the book "What is Hinduism?", p. 193 (which was published by the editors of the magazine "Hinduism Today"), people reported copper statues "drinking milk". 

The only plausible explanation I have read that may prove capillary action is the claim made that the idols were washed before each feeding, which would cause the milk to drain over the water.  I cannot verify whether this is true or not.  Based on the videos I have seen, it does not appear that the idols were washed.

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Why does it have to happen quickly?  You put a saucer of milk out for the god on a hot day, and in a few hours it's gone.  Miracle! Smile


LOL With this statement, you have unwittingly refuted the evaporation theory.  Have you even seen videos of the alleged miracle?  Didn't I give you a link previously?

In those videos, and as reported by journalists, the milk was removed quickly.  Do you really think that people would have waited in line for milk to disappear "in a few hours"?  They were waiting in line to get the opportunity to offer a spoonful of milk, which was then taken up by the idol.  The whole incident would last a few seconds or minutes at most, not "a few hours".

Originally posted by Ron Webb

I'm not sure how you know it was "thousands".  Seems like an exaggeration to me; but even so, there are about a billion Hindus, so thousands is still a very small percentage.

    
LOL Learn to pay attention, because it's getting embarrassing.  I said that it was "at the very least".  It could easily be tens of thousands given that the alleged miracles were reported all across India and throughout the world.  And let's not forget the numerous journalists who reported the incidents.

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Well yes, as I just explained, I believe there are also religious humanists.  But it's true that secular humanism by definition implies atheism.  It is not true, however, that atheism implies humanism (secular or otherwise).  Hence humanism is not synonymous with atheism.
 

You just said that "secular humanism by definition implies atheism".  So how are they not synonymous?  A secular atheist would be, by definition, an atheist, correct? Confused

Originally posted by Ron Webb

All secular humanists are atheist, but not all atheists are secular humanists.  Therefore secular humanism is not synonymous with atheism.  (I feel like I'm teaching a Logic 101 class.)


LOL You would be the last person who should teach Logic 101, since you seem to lack it.  If all secular humanists are atheist, then the two terms are synonymous.  I could refer to a secular humanist as an atheist and not be wrong. 

Originally posted by Ron Webb

We were talking about eliminating a particular religion, or exchanging one with another.  It's hard (for mortals, anyway) to know what the net effect of that would be.  I'm guessing that the remaining religions would just take up the slack, for no net benefit.

Eliminating all religions is a different matter.  I don't think it's possible, really.  People invent comforting myths about heavenly protectors and magical forces because they like them, and they probably always will.  However, I think that less religion, and less reliance on religion, would be a good thing if it meant a greater focus on the real needs of humanity and more reliance on rational solutions to our problems.


That is clearly not true given the fact that "less religion, and less reliance on religion" has resulted in some pretty bad things happening, such as, oh you know...the mass murder of millions.

Originally posted by Ron Webb

I just gave you the reason: the world has changed, but Islam has not and cannot.  It is becoming increasingly difficult to wrestle the Quran into conformity with modern astronomy, physics, biology, etc.  Other religions, notably Christianity, have faced the same problem, and have (mostly) solved it by reinterpreting scripture in the light of modern knowledge.

In theory Islam could do that too, but unfortunately Muslim scholars "closed the doors of ijtihad" about a thousand years ago, and few Muslims have dared to go there ever since.
 

LOL Why are you so insistent on making a fool of yourself? 

"Ijtihad" has nothing to do with scientific advancements.  Islam does not need to change in order for Muslims to re-emerge on the scientific scene.       


Edited by islamispeace - 27 August 2014 at 1:51pm
Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Surat al-Anaam: 162)

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