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Message Icon Topic: Are These Acts of Idolatry? Post Reply Post New Topic
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Ron Webb
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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 05 August 2014 at 10:45am

Originally posted by islamispeace

Your personal opinions are irrelevant.  The fact remains that people do take offense when a flag is "desecrated", regardless of whether you feel that they shouldn't.  So yes, you can desecrate a "piece of cloth".

We're all expressing our personal opinions here.  People who take offense are also expressing personal opinions.  I happen to think they are wrong to be offended, and I am explaining why.  You're welcome to express a contrary opinion and give your reasons, but you can't just dismiss other opinions as "irrelevant".

What does "intention" have to do with the simple fact that the law was struck down on the basis of "freedom of expression" or that the law was put into effect at all before being struck down?  Whatever the intention was, the law was in place and was then declared "unconstitutional".  Period.

Expression implies intention.  As the Court pointed out, whether it's a protester burning a flag to make a political statement, or an official burning the flag to dispose of it, the physical process is the same.  The only difference is the intention of the person doing it -- whether as an expression of respect, or disrespect.

and by the way, even the Supreme Court was divided on the issue.  It was a 5-4 decision to declare the law "unconstitutional".

It makes no difference to our discussion whether the law is in effect or not.  Either way, the law was aimed at desecration of the flag, not just disposal.  Desecration is an act of disrespect; and disrespect assumes intention.  It doesn't count if you "mean no disrespect".

Praying to a statue and making offerings to it is idolatry because those are acts of worship.  If "focus" was the intention, then people could just stare at a wall or at the ground, or just close their eyes.  Idols would not even be needed, in the same way that a flag is not needed as a "symbol" for "freedom".

You're absolutely right.  The flag is not needed, statues are not needed, the picture of my wife on my desk is not needed.  I could just close my eyes and imagine her.  Christians can pray without crucifixes.  And despite what you think, Hindus can pray without idols.  We just prefer not to.  We like to have images and other physical reminders of the things we love.

Addeenul ‘Aql – Religion is intellect.
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Quote Caringheart Replybullet Posted: 05 August 2014 at 6:12pm
Originally posted by Andrew Eby

Yes, my brother. As a follower of Christ I believe our actions have stripped away from us by FALSE teachings. The act of kneeling before your savior, the KING!! Has been stripped from the publics eye. I myself see this very evident throughout the United States. I want to get back to God and give him my FREE WILL back because my WILL is to serve HIM, rejoice in HIM and KNEEL before HIM. So I believe you still don't understand the meaning in being a follower. All the religions are connected and the day we come together and philosophy like logical human beings and stop fighting on who's wrong and who's right, why don't we all come together out of love and piece this together. One people, one destiny, one GOD is our destiny as the human race. I would love to speak with the leaders of Islam about this issue we have in religions. So much fighting an desperation from the one TRUE fact, that ALL of us are HIS children and look at how GOD must feel right now with all the religions fighting and bickering I'm who's right and who's wrong, CHILDISH, as we are STILL CHILDREN fighting amongst ourselves, let's grow up and come together and fight for what is TRUTH and what is RIGHT and put the past behind us so we can grow in HIM together as one PEOPLE. I beg the leaders of the world to lay down the weapons and stop death. Why do you think there is son much death?? Truth has been long hidden, and you know that saying?? " you can't handle the truth" that's absolutely TRUE. We can't handle the truth in these days because the TRUTH has been manipulated, distorted to the point where we fight amongst ourselves I have the evidence for that. Tower of Babel. Telling the truth is a hard thing to do because it can make someone mad, angry, jealous, hated and everything that that coincides with evil if you do not tell the truth. Why do you think there is so much death in the world?? All those emotions lead to one ending and that's DEATH. Like I said I love all of the people in this world and my words are kind and gentle. Power of info is our finger tips, and really appreciate this site for letting express my feelings to other religions around the world and to hear what other people have to say. We are connecting as we speak lol

Greetings Andrew,

Sorry to see that your post was so delayed.  It should be the last posted on this page. Smile

asalaam and blessings.
Let us seek Truth together
Blessed be God forever
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islamispeace
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Quote islamispeace Replybullet Posted: 08 August 2014 at 10:02pm
Originally posted by Ron Webb

We're all expressing our personal opinions here.  People who take offense are also expressing personal opinions.  I happen to think they are wrong to be offended, and I am explaining why.  You're welcome to express a contrary opinion and give your reasons, but you can't just dismiss other opinions as "irrelevant".


But that's the point that you have missed over and over again.  I started this thread by showing some pictures, and asked if those pictures depicted acts of idolatry.  Based on what we know about the people and their religious beliefs regarding praying to statues, the question is if those pictures do indeed depict idolatrous acts.  This is not a matter of opinion.  We are not talking about whether they are right or wrong to believe what they believe.  We are talking about whether what they believe is akin to idolatry.  Based on the facts (not opinions), it seems pretty clear that the pictures are indeed examples of idolatry.

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Expression implies intention.  As the Court pointed out, whether it's a protester burning a flag to make a political statement, or an official burning the flag to dispose of it, the physical process is the same.  The only difference is the intention of the person doing it -- whether as an expression of respect, or disrespect.
 

But either way, the act is protected under free speech.  The law was "unconstitutional" because of this principle.

Originally posted by Ron Webb

It makes no difference to our discussion whether the law is in effect or not.  Either way, the law was aimed at desecration of the flag, not just disposal.  Desecration is an act of disrespect; and disrespect assumes intention.  It doesn't count if you "mean no disrespect".


When did I say anything about the law being "in effect"?  I pointed out that even the judges were divided on the issue.  Four judges believed the law was not "unconstitutional" and that desecrating a flag is not protected by the Constitution. 

Originally posted by Ron Webb

You're absolutely right.  The flag is not needed, statues are not needed, the picture of my wife on my desk is not needed.  I could just close my eyes and imagine her.  Christians can pray without crucifixes.  And despite what you think, Hindus can pray without idols.  We just prefer not to.  We like to have images and other physical reminders of the things we love.


Except that Christians and Hindus pray to their images.  They don't simply "love" them.  Hindus even go so far as to make offerings to their idols.  Is that idolatry?  Yes or no? 

By the way, I previously mentioned the incident which occurred several years ago in Hindu temples around the world when idols allegedly began "accepting" offerings of milk.  What is your view on this?  Since the people obviously believed that their idols were alive (remember - whether they were right or wrong is a separate issue), was that idolatry? 

And I am curious as to what you make of the alleged "miracle" itself?  How do you explain it? 
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: 11 August 2014 at 12:01pm
Originally posted by islamispeace

But that's the point that you have missed over and over again.  I started this thread by showing some pictures, and asked if those pictures depicted acts of idolatry.  Based on what we know about the people and their religious beliefs regarding praying to statues, the question is if those pictures do indeed depict idolatrous acts.  This is not a matter of opinion.  We are not talking about whether they are right or wrong to believe what they believe.  We are talking about whether what they believe is akin to idolatry.  Based on the facts (not opinions), it seems pretty clear that the pictures are indeed examples of idolatry.

Well, we can agree on one thing: it's not a matter of opinion.  Opinion would hopefully be informed by evidence.  This is a matter of sheer idle (no pun intended) speculation.

You can't look at a picture and know what the people in the picture are thinking.  They may be bowing in a particular direction (an idol, a statue or a Black Stone), but that does not tell you which god they are praying to or where they think that god is physically located.

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Expression implies intention.  As the Court pointed out, whether it's a protester burning a flag to make a political statement, or an official burning the flag to dispose of it, the physical process is the same.  The only difference is the intention of the person doing it -- whether as an expression of respect, or disrespect.


But either way, the act is protected under free speech.  The law was "unconstitutional" because of this principle.

That's true.  It wasn't my example and I'm not suggesting that it illustrates either my point or yours.  I'm just saying (and the Court in this case is agreeing) that disrespect is an act of intention.  What matters is not the physical act, but intention of that act, i.e. the message that the act is intended to communicate.

In the same way, when a person bows to an idol, or to a statue, or to a black stone, what matters is not the physical act (which is all you can see in a picture), but what is going on inside the person's head -- what their intention is.

By the way, I previously mentioned the incident which occurred several years ago in Hindu temples around the world when idols allegedly began "accepting" offerings of milk.  What is your view on this?  Since the people obviously believed that their idols were alive (remember - whether they were right or wrong is a separate issue), was that idolatry?

If they believed that the idols were literally alive, then it was idolatry.  If they believed only that the gods represented by the idols performed the miracles to encourage belief, then it was not.  I don't know, you would have to ask the individuals.

And I am curious as to what you make of the alleged "miracle" itself?  How do you explain it?

I think it was a fad, or in other words what some would call "mass hysteria".  In the span of a few days/weeks, there were hundreds of accounts all around the world of Hindu idols drinking their milk offerings.  The explanations were probably various: capillary action, evaporation, observational error, and probably a fair amount of fraud, "pious" or otherwise.

How do you explain it?  And why would you doubt this "miracle", yet naively accept the various "miracles" associated with Muhammad?
Addeenul ‘Aql – Religion is intellect.
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Quote islamispeace Replybullet Posted: 11 August 2014 at 1:37pm
Originally posted by Ron Webb

Well, we can agree on one thing: it's not a matter of opinion.  Opinion would hopefully be informed by evidence.  This is a matter of sheer idle (no pun intended) speculation.

You can't look at a picture and know what the people in the picture are thinking.  They may be bowing in a particular direction (an idol, a statue or a Black Stone), but that does not tell you which god they are praying to or where they think that god is physically located.


Ugh...why are you still having trouble understanding this?  Confused

I have already abundantly shown that Christians and Hindus do literally pray to their statues.  It has nothing to do with "direction" or "focus".  The only time you can appeal to "direction" is in the case of Muslims and Jews.  Muslims pray in the direction of Mecca, and more specifically, the Kaaba.  Jews pray in the direction of Jerusalem, and more specifically, the Temple Mount.

Originally posted by Ron Webb

That's true.  It wasn't my example and I'm not suggesting that it illustrates either my point or yours.  I'm just saying (and the Court in this case is agreeing) that disrespect is an act of intention.  What matters is not the physical act, but intention of that act, i.e. the message that the act is intended to communicate.

In the same way, when a person bows to an idol, or to a statue, or to a black stone, what matters is not the physical act (which is all you can see in a picture), but what is going on inside the person's head -- what their intention is.


We have already seen the "intention".  Most people literally pray to these statues.  Hindus even make offerings to them.  The "intention" seems pretty clear to me!  LOL

Originally posted by Ron Webb

If they believed that the idols were literally alive, then it was idolatry.  If they believed only that the gods represented by the idols performed the miracles to encourage belief, then it was not.  I don't know, you would have to ask the individuals.


Of course they believed the idols are literally alive!  Even in the absence of these events, Hindus have always made "offerings" to their idols.  That is part of their normal, everyday rituals.  The only difference in the case of the events in question is that on those occasions, the idols actually began to literally "accept" those offerings.  And certainly, there is no talk here of mere "direction" or "focus".  The idols were the talk of the town.

Originally posted by Ron Webb

I think it was a fad, or in other words what some would call "mass hysteria".  In the span of a few days/weeks, there were hundreds of accounts all around the world of Hindu idols drinking their milk offerings.  The explanations were probably various: capillary action, evaporation, observational error, and probably a fair amount of fraud, "pious" or otherwise.


I expected this sort of response, and you certainly did not disappoint!  LOL

I think the various explanations all have weaknesses.  If it was something as mundane as capillary action or evaporation, then surely, it would happen again and again.  It should be readily observable even now.  Yet, no one is reporting these events.

"Observational error"?  You mean to tell me that thousands of people all had "observational error"?  Even the media?  Even all those curious people who just came to see if all the hype and "hysteria" was true?  Even the scientists who argued that capillary action or evaporation could explain the phenomena?  All of these people somehow misinterpreted these events? 

"A fair amount of fraud"?  If it was just one or two places that reported these phenomena, a hoax could be a plausible explanation (although, without proof, it would be just speculation).  But, as you admitted yourself, there were reports from all over the world.  I find it hard to believe that there was some sort of international conspiracy by a consortium of Hindu temples to pull off this elaborate hoax. LOL

Originally posted by Ron Webb

How do you explain it?  And why would you doubt this "miracle", yet naively accept the various "miracles" associated with Muhammad?
 

See, unlike you, I don't simply try to explain it away using skeptical scenarios which make no sense when scrutinized.  You seem content to simply suggest various scenarios, without even considering if they make any sense and if they really explain what actually happened.  Its the "Agnostic Code", all over again...

Based on the available information, I think it is quite possible that this was a genuine supernatural event, but one that was the work of demonic forces.  Demons would love nothing more than to get people to worship idols and false gods.  If there is anyway they can misguide and deceive human beings, they will do it.           

So, unlike you, I don't just "naively" reject events such as these based on an a priori belief that the supernatural realm does not exist.  I don't just "naively" believe alternative explanations which simply do not explain these events.  You do.




Edited by islamispeace - 11 August 2014 at 1:44pm
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: 11 August 2014 at 2:06pm
Originally posted by islamispeace

I have already abundantly shown that Christians and Hindus do literally pray to their statues.

In which post(s) did you do that?

We have already seen the "intention".  Most people literally pray to these statues.  Hindus even make offerings to them.  The "intention" seems pretty clear to me!

Can you see this intention by looking at a picture?

Of course they believed the idols are literally alive!  Even in the absence of these events, Hindus have always made "offerings" to their idols.  That is part of their normal, everyday rituals.  The only difference in the case of the events in question is that on those occasions, the idols actually began to literally "accept" those offerings.  And certainly, there is no talk here of mere "direction" or "focus".  The idols were the talk of the town.

The offering is symbolic, not literal.  It cannot have escaped even the Hindus' notice that generally speaking when they place food offerings in front of an idol, it does not get consumed.

I think the various explanations all have weaknesses.

Of course they do.  No single explanation accounts for all cases.  What happens is that one such observation is made, other people and/or media pick up on it and start looking for such events; and if you look hard enough, you'll find them (or imagine them, or invent them).  The phenomenon grows exponentially for a while, until it reaches some practical limit and the bubble bursts.

Based on the available information, I think it is quite possible that this was a genuine supernatural event, but one that was the work of demonic forces.  Demons would love nothing more than to get people to worship idols and false gods.  If there is anyway they can misguide and deceive human beings, they will do it.

Whereas your alleged "moon splitting" miracle, for instance, couldn't possibly be explained the same way, right?
Addeenul ‘Aql – Religion is intellect.
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Quote Power of GOD Replybullet Posted: 11 August 2014 at 3:16pm
It does not matter what muslims worship a black stone or allah which is both idols,allah is a imaginary idol which Muhammad made up in his briliant mind you may not be able to convince a muslim  to worship a real God
 
The integrity of Muhammad is all important. He was either whom he
claimed to be, a liar or a nut case  (mentally insane or demon
possessed).This is why the Traditions went to such great lengths to
create a model of Muhammad that depicts him as a "super man" as well as
a  prophet.   What do we find in  the Hadith?   
Muhammad's credentials for prophethood are unacceptable.
The two prominent Hadithic "proofs" of his prophethood came from pagan
ideas of what a shaman would look like and the manner in which he would
be inspired.                                                                    
The Hadith explains that when the Qur'an an refers to the seal of
prophethood being upon Muhammad  (Surah 33:40), the seal was a large
hairy mole on his back. This is found in   both Bukhari (vol. I, no. 189;
vol. IV, no. 741) and Muslim (vol. IV, no. 5790,5793). This mole was the
physical proof that Muhammad was a prophet according to Tabari and other
later Muslim authorities. They even claimed that the mole was a fulfillment
of such   Scriptures as Isa. 9:6. We cannot accept this proof. While such
ideas can be found in pagan   traditions from many primitive cultures, it
is not a part of the religion of Abraham, the prophets, the apostles or Jesus


Edited by Power of GOD - 11 August 2014 at 3:17pm
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Quote islamispeace Replybullet Posted: 11 August 2014 at 3:46pm
Originally posted by Ron Webb

In which post(s) did you do that?


Are you having bouts of memory loss?  Go back to the previous posts. I showed a video clip which showed how some Catholics prayed to a statue of Mary.  Your best argument in response was "well, its from Fox News", as if somehow that serves as a viable argument!  LOL

I have also pointed out repeatedly that Hindus literally pray to their idols and make offerings to them.  What is that if not idolatry? Shocked

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Can you see this intention by looking at a picture?


If you know beforehand about their beliefs, then yes.  But, I will admit, that if you are an ignoramus (which you seem to be Wink), then no, you probably could not tell whether the people in the pictures are actually praying to the statue or just facing it.  Of course, a picture can be supplemented by a video or perhaps a series of pictures which would show more information.  In fact, here are some for you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkP1TF16z1M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME4CDvgmB5g

Originally posted by Ron Webb

The offering is symbolic, not literal.  It cannot have escaped even the Hindus' notice that generally speaking when they place food offerings in front of an idol, it does not get consumed.


LOL How do you know it is "symbolic"?  The idols are literally given offerings!  If these were "symbolic", then you could offer a pencil and it would be fine.  Yet according to the following source, only certain types of offerings can be made, because apparently, the deities prefer certain things:
  • Never put tulsi (basil) leaves on the shivling. Always offer only Bael leaves
  • When offering milk to the shivling make sure that you never use pasteurized or packet milk and make sure you always use ice cold milk
  • Never offer coconut water as an offering to the shivling, although you can offer coconuts
  • Although many fruits can be offered but the most common fruit that is offered to the shivling on all major festivals is Bael (wood apple) as it signifies longevity
  • The shivling should be first offered Panchamrit, which is a mixture of milk, ganga jal, saffron, sugar/honey and water
  • It is believed that the shivling and the idol of Lord Shiva should only be offered white flowers because Lord Shiva is said to be especially fond of flowers that are white in colour.
  • Never offer kewda and champa flowers as they are said to be cursed by Lord Shiva
  • The devotees can put a tilak of sandalwood paste on the shivling. (http://www.theshivaexperience.com/products/shiva-pooja/)

Moreover, it is forbidden to consume the offering.  Why would that be the case if it was "symbolic" and not "literal"?  The source states:

"It is believed that the devotees should never consume whatever they have offered to the shivling as it brings bad omen, leads to loss of good luck and money and can also cause illness."

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Of course they do.  No single explanation accounts for all cases.  What happens is that one such observation is made, other people and/or media pick up on it and start looking for such events; and if you look hard enough, you'll find them (or imagine them, or invent them).  The phenomenon grows exponentially for a while, until it reaches some practical limit and the bubble bursts.
  

So, in other words, you have no actual explanation.  What a shock! LOL 

Originally posted by Ron Webb

Whereas your alleged "moon splitting" miracle, for instance, couldn't possibly be explained the same way, right?

You could make the argument, but that would bring us back to the hypothetical argument that Satan started Islam.  The pieces just don't fit.  If anything, when the pagans asked for a miracle, Satan would have split the moon (assuming he has that power) and put an image of one of the pagans gods or something.  Why would Satan want to make idol worshipers believe that their idols are nothing but lifeless pieces of wood and stone and that they should only worship the One, Supreme God? 

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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