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Our True Identity

Printed From: IslamiCity.com
Category: Religion - Islam
Forum Name: Interfaith Dialogue
Forum Discription: It is for Interfaith dialogue, where Muslims discuss with non-Muslims. We encourge that dialogue takes place in a cordial atmosphere on various topics including religious tolerance.
URL: http://www.IslamiCity.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=24923
Printed Date: 15 September 2014 at 10:07pm


Topic: Our True Identity
Posted By: Al-Warraq
Subject: Our True Identity
Date Posted: 22 February 2013 at 10:47am


There is no true identity for man without religion. Actually, what is identity? All the things humans attach themselves to such as nation, country or tribe etc.., are all superficial. True identity lies in the deep connections and attachments. We all know that those attachments are shallow and there is a deeper one. We know that the nation or family name doesn't change much. If we were in a different country we would still be us, and if our name or family name is different nothing real has changed. A person his name is John for example, can't he be Richard, George or Omar? It's only a change of letters and their arrangement. Those are the information in your Identity Card. Nothing in your ID card can determine your identity more than religion, because it is a connection with the deep and constant, at least you view it this way.

Thus, lack of religion makes a person lacks true identity, except those attachments which aren't deep and not specific to the individual himself, (you know things from their relationship with yourself, and you know yourself from your relationship with God).

That's why who strictly adheres to those shallow attachments is called a fanatic. Extreme attachment to a nation is called chauvinism or Nazism, extreme loyalty to skin color and race is called racism, and extreme attachment to a certain sect is called sectarianism. All those images are ugly and despised, and all can be destroyed by logic and doesn't stand up for criticism. There is no real difference between being an Asian, European or African, being black or white, and being German, French, Indian or Chinese.

What is the difference that can really differentiate? Nothing can clearly differentiate more than religion. The choice between good and evil is the clear difference, this choice is the true identity. Who has lost his religion has lost his identity. There is no real value for the ID card except where it's needed, it's more valuable to the government employee than it is for its owner.

One of the signs of the superficiality of the common identity attachments is that they attach to the close blood relationship, the new nation or new home country. There is no value for the old home or the old blood relationship, this is a proof of superficiality.

Atheism is a true lie. Even the atheist deep down is attached to his old religion. Israel is an evidence for that, it's a secular government and many of its leaders are atheists, and yet they came to serve what they call a national project, while it's a religious one.

Emmanuel Kant assures that identity is built on the basis of our relationship with others. But he didn't clarify its mechanism. Religion, however, organizes one's relationship with others, which means that religion is the basis of identity not others.

Identity is the answer to the deep question: who am I and why do I exist? When one says: I'm a slave to God for the rest of my life, here identity is accomplished. True identity is found in slavery to God, it can't be changed by the change of one's home country or any other attachment, because it's deeper than all of them. One's home might change, so is one's language and customs, but religion doesn't change except by free choice. All the other information required for identity are unnecessary, thus identity is reached when slavery to God is reached, {I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me} the Quran. All other identities had been acquired through culture, and true identity is discovered by an internal motivation and from what one has consciously chose from his/her religion, not from all one knew about religion without choice. True identity isn't reached by an outer pressure or an external motivation, the person has searched and found that s/he is a slave to God. Here one has stopped and became a person with identity.






Replies:
Posted By: W.S.
Date Posted: 23 February 2013 at 6:07am
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

There is no true identity for man without religion.

 
According to whom? You?

Originally posted by Al-Warraq

Nothing can clearly differentiate more than religion.

 
That would depend on how religious you are.
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

The choice between good and evil is the clear difference, this choice is the true identity.

 
Are you saying that those who don't choose Islam are evil, or that their actions in life are evil?
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

Who has lost his religion has lost his identity.

 
According to you, I suppose.

Originally posted by Al-Warraq

One of the signs of the superficiality of the common identity attachments is that they attach to the close blood relationship, the new nation or new home country. There is no value for the old home or the old blood relationship, this is a proof of superficiality.
No value for the old home or the old blood relationships? Have you ever met any immigrants?
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

Atheism is a true lie. Even the atheist deep down is attached to his old religion.

 
And how would you know that?
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

Israel is an evidence for that, it's a secular government and many of its leaders are atheists, and yet they came to serve what they call a national project, while it's a religious one.


Maybe to them it's a national project.

Originally posted by Al-Warraq

Emmanuel Kant assures that identity is built on the basis of our relationship with others. But he didn't clarify its mechanism. Religion, however, organizes one's relationship with others, which means that religion is the basis of identity not others.

 
There are many, many things that organize one's relationship with others, like the society you live in, its institutions, communities, interest groups etc. Not just religion.

Originally posted by Al-Warraq

Identity is the answer to the deep question: who am I and why do I exist? When one says: I'm a slave to God for the rest of my life, here identity is accomplished.

 
Again, it depends on whether you're religious or not. It depends on what you're interested in.
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

True identity is found in slavery to God, it can't be changed by the change of one's home country or any other attachment, because it's deeper than all of them. One's home might change, so is one's language and customs, but religion doesn't change except by free choice.

 
That is not necessarily correct. If I could choose to be religious then I probably would. But I can't. I could pray five times a day but those prayers wouldn't count, since the niyya wouldn't be right.  
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

All the other information required for identity are unnecessary, thus identity is reached when slavery to God is reached, {I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me} the Quran. All other identities had been acquired through culture, and true identity is discovered by an internal motivation and from what one has consciously chose from his/her religion, not from all one knew about religion without choice.

What if you choose some parts of a religion and don't bother with the rest?  
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

True identity isn't reached by an outer pressure or an external motivation, the person has searched and found that s/he is a slave to God. Here one has stopped and became a person with identity.


I agree that belief has to come from within.
 
 
If a person chooses a certain way of life, then that person has an identity, yes? That specific way of life and all its contents is perishable, but so is the person that lives it, so what does it matter?


Posted By: Nur_Ilahi
Date Posted: 24 February 2013 at 2:46am
Salam dear Brother,

Just like to share a bit here.

"KNOW YOURSELF BEFORE YOU KNOW GOD"

This applies to all of us - The Creations of the Creator.


-------------
Ilahi Anta Maksudi, Wa Redhaka Mathlubi - Oh Allah, You are my destination, Your Pleasure is my Intention.


Posted By: Al-Warraq
Date Posted: 04 April 2013 at 4:57am


"According to whom? You?"

Yes. And this opposition is according to whom? You?

"Are you saying that those who don't choose Islam are evil, or that their actions in life are evil?"

No, I mean those who didn't chose good, truth and beauty a method for their life. And I mean those who when they understand Islam as it truly is will respect it and will find that they need it and it's the truth from God. I'm speaking about those. There are evil muslims and Islam isn't responsible for them, and there are people who love good and aren't muslims, but their goodness can't continue and cover all life without faith, because good can't be except at the expense of private and selfish interest, and this deal requires compensation. There must be a good God who respects and rewards who choose to be good for their whole life and help them. Nobody sacrifices for the sake of nothing, and goodness requires sacrifice. It's a losing deal to always do the good and righteous thing while we believe in interest and pleasure as the main purpose of our life, the sacrifice will be our main goal if we chose interest. True goodness doesn't be without connecting it to God. A person can't hold two intentions at once. There must be an elevated goal for man to adhere to and work for, and there is nothing more elevated and long lasting than God.
Logically speaking, there is no true goodness without belief in God.


"According to you, I suppose."

But you didn't detail your point of view, then it's just an according-to-you-point of view, not according to logic. You didn't use logic, we heard your voice but not logic's voice.


"No value for the old home or the old blood relationships? Have you ever met any immigrants?"


The whole issue is relative. Even to those immigrants, does the value of the new homeland really the same as the old one? Of course not. Is its value to the old generation the same as the second generation? Of course not. Does patriotism cover everything that interests man? Of course not, because it's related to geography, but they view everything through their religion, and often even if it opposed nationalism and patriotism. Their homeland changes but not their religion, their political affiliation changes but not their religion, so are their economical level and language, but not religion.

What I mean to say is what is the deepest piece of information in the Identity card? Is it the name? place of birth? Nationality? Or religion? Religion is the strongest piece of information that can make you form an image of the person. Religion penetrates the wall of patriotism and nationalism and not vice versa. A Swedish person belongs to Sweden only, while a Christian doesn't only belong to Sweden. Nationalism is local while religion is international. The term "Swedish" can't be global, but "Christian" can. Thus, religion is deeper and more wide-ranging than patriotism, let alone nationalism which is originally weak. Nationalism's effect is weak except when it's accompanied by patriotism, while religion isn't related to a land or an ethnicity, and can be a common place for people of different nations and nationalities, while patriotism and nationalism can only gather its people. Therefore, the most important piece of information in the ID card is religion, because it tells about the person, his choice and way of life, while other information only tell about the environment in which the person is living. Religion even affects politics in secular countries, in terms of loyalties with other countries and animosities, because religion means similarity in identity, and similarity brings forth security and trust.

You want to know the person not his/her environment. Religion is the only piece of information that is especial the individual which they willingly chose, while place of birth, homeland, race, their father's name, their grandfather's name and even their name isn't willingly chosen. What represents you is what you have chosen not what is imposed upon you. What you are forced to say doesn't represent you, it's what you freely speak that speaks you.      


"And how would you know that?"

There are so many examples. Ben Gurion, for instance, is an atheist and yet he built a religious country at the expense of a weak people for the sake of the promise of the Torah, even though he and the members of his government claim to be atheists! As an atheist, he shouldn't believe in the religious texts and their promises, and ridicule the whole idea, not kill people for it!

That's one example, and millions of atheists advocate Israel against the Palestinians who own the land, even though Israel is a religious country based on biblical promises, isn't that a proof of the religious background? Atheists should be the first to oppose founding a country on the basis of the old testament, but that is not the case. So, their religious background has dragged them without them realizing it, because man can't live without an identity. That's why atheism can't be lived as a truth, only as a claim. Atheism is materialistic and believes in nothing but matter, while atheists deal with others with trust and feelings, and those aren't material evidence. If the atheist applied his atheism he would be a machine like a computer, not to mention that some atheists tend to affiliate with Satan and believe in him as an alternative God, admiring his teaching like the devil worshipers and the satanic church. And all that is for the sake of filling the void caused by atheism, because a human being can't live his/her whole life in a place called nothing, where there is no duty, no wrong, no right, no loyalty, no disapproval…, it's impossible.      


"Maybe to them it's a national project"

They are not ignorant of the fact that their nationalism is built on a religion, and without it this nation would have dissolved in other peoples. It's the nation of the chosen people of God (Yahweh) and they know that, and still claim to be atheists while serving a religious project based on the old testament. Where is their atheism then? One rabbi have said that a Jew remains a Jew even if they became atheists that's why it doesn’t bother (him) to see Jewish atheists! That's what he said, because he doesn't really view them as atheists since they are serving a biblical project at the expense of the land of the Palestinians and their villages.

Why does Israel declare Jerusalem as an eternal capital of Israel? Why not Tel Aviv since it's not a religious country? And the secular US and Europe devotedly support this religious project even though they claim secularism and atheism, at the expense of their interests with the Muslim world. Isn't the motivator for that the religious background and the emerging harmony between the old and the new testament?


"There are many, many things that organize one's relationship with others, like the society you live in, its institutions, communities, interest groups etc. Not just religion."

But what's deeper and more wide-ranging? And which of those are willingly chosen and which are externally imposed? This needs detail. We are looking for the deepest. I didn't say that there's nothing that organizes our relationships, I admitted the role of nationalism, patriotism and society, but none of those is deeper than religion. Because it is chosen by the individual to see everything through it, whether it's a theistic or an atheistic religion, while the rest are imposed from the outside of the individual, like their name, country, society etc…   

"Again, it depends on whether you're religious or not. It depends on what you're interested in."

Of course it is, you didn't say anything new, your religion is your identity, whether it's a known religion, an atheistic religion or satanic religion. Man must have a religion, whether they admitted it or not, because man doesn't live in void, there must be connections.

For every human being there is an inclusive overall vision, and a specific vision. Man can't live without having those two visions, like the car which has a highlight and a low light, a close-range and a wide-range vision, because the driver needs to looks both to the close and the far level. Man's overall vision is their religion, because the word religion means the inclusive and the general. The specific vision is what operates when they focus on a specific matter.

The philosophical error in atheism is that it negates the existence of the overall vision, which is religion. And that's an error in the understanding of the nature of man. That's why every atheist is religious without them knowing so, whether it's formed from atheism or from the remnants of their old religion, and in most cases they both exist in a strange inconsistency. Every religion relies on believing, therefore the atheist is a believer but in a different way.   

An overall view can't be formed without religion, even if it was an atheistic religion. All philosophies are bound by this duality, either belief in God or non belief in God. You can't create a way for yourself outside this duality. Meaning to say that people are bound by religions, either inside belief in God or outside it.


"That is not necessarily correct. If I could choose to be religious then I probably would. But I can't. I could pray five times a day but those prayers wouldn't count, since the niyya wouldn't be right."

Why did others could and you couldn't? No one can decide their place of birth, but you can choose to pray but you don’t want to. There is a difference between "you can't" and "you don't want".


"What if you choose some parts of a religion and don't bother with the rest? "

But the religious view is still there, and your religion will be the sum of what you took from religion and what you took from other sources and formed your view. Your religion is your overall vision, whatever its sources were. The overall vision is built on faith, because no one can encircle the overall and experiment it.


"If a person chooses a certain way of life, then that person has an identity, yes? That specific way of life and all its contents is perishable, but so is the person that lives it, so what does it matter?"

The term "specific way" doesn’t point to a wide vision. Circumstances might force man to adopt a specific way, which makes their view not freely chosen. But the overall vision is more inclusive than the way of life, because it evaluates things outside our life. You talk about the way of life, but the issue is bigger than just a way of life, because most our ways of life are imposed on us, like your costume, language, food etc… . All that is imposed on you and it's a way of life, but I'm not talking about that.

Thus, we can't consider the way of life an identity that clarifies the person as much as it's an identity for the society. The society has chosen this costume, for instance, this doesn't mean that every single individual had chosen this costume or those table manner. So, the way of life isn't like religion in determining the identity, for two reasons. One, is that religion is the choice of the individual based on faith and conviction. Two, religion is more inclusive than the way of life and spreads its vision to include what's after life, and sheds its light on morality, history, the future, society etc… .

What matters is that the most telling piece of information about a person's identity in their ID card is their religion, in which they must be either a believer or a non-believer in God. It's the piece of information that speaks the person more than their date of birth, name and nationality, because those are imposed on them, don't you agree? If you don't, tell me a piece of information in the ID card that's more important than religion, or else you would be agreeing with me. And if you did agree, we conclude from that the importance of religion in determining identity, even if it was an atheistic religion, because we know the history of the person from their religion more than their place of birth, name and nationality. This is the core of the issue. Thus, atheists' marginalization of religion isn't realistic, especially when they are religious and belong to a religion that struggles with other religions to take their place, and thinks that it has all the right answers, promises a terrestrial paradise, relates all the problems of humanity to holding on to their religions, and salvation will be on the hands of atheists alone. This is the religion of atheism. Don't you think, after all that, that atheism is a religion competing with other religions?       

Atheism covers all the areas covered by religion and answers all the questions answered by religion. Therefore it's a religion taking the place of another religion. Man asks: is there a life after death? Religion says yes, and atheism says no. man asks: is there a separator between good and evil? Religion says yes, atheism says no. man asks: where did we come from? Religion says we were created by God or gods, the atheist says we came from blind coincidences and random evolution that came out of nothing, and so on and so forth.

Thus, every area covered by religion is covered by atheism, and it addresses it as an alternative religion. Therefore, atheism is an overall view of life and what's after life, exactly like religion. Even if it argued using science and even if most of its answers are negation prior to knowledge. But science wasn't able to answer those questions, which makes the atheists speak ahead of science, because they are believers and have their materialistic prophecies. Although this is digression..    



Posted By: W.S.
Date Posted: 06 April 2013 at 10:22am
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

"According to whom? You?"

Yes. And this opposition is according to whom? You?
It was merely a question.

Originally posted by Al-Warraq

"Are you saying that those who don't choose Islam are evil, or that their actions in life are evil?"


No, I mean those who didn't chose good, truth and beauty a method for their life. And I mean those who when they understand Islam as it truly is will respect it and will find that they need it and it's the truth from God. I'm speaking about those. There are evil muslims and Islam isn't responsible for them, and there are people who love good and aren't muslims, but their goodness can't continue and cover all life without faith, because good can't be except at the expense of private and selfish interest, and this deal requires compensation. There must be a good God who respects and rewards who choose to be good for their whole life and help them.
No, there must not. People do good for other reasons than receiving a "reward" from a god.
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

Nobody sacrifices for the sake of nothing, and goodness requires sacrifice. It's a losing deal to always do the good and righteous thing while we believe in interest and pleasure as the main purpose of our life, the sacrifice will be our main goal if we chose interest.
 
People make sacrifices for others in order to help them. It's not always a losing deal, because people you do good things for tend to do good things for you in return. Sometimes you may do good to get an ego trip, to feel good about yourself even if you like to think that it's purely out of the goodness of your heart. But seeing it as a losing deal to do good and righteous things where you necessarily have to be compensated, seems to me like a very cynical view.
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

True goodness doesn't be without connecting it to God.
 
If an atheist donates money to charity and you do the same, your goodness is truer than his or hers? How self-righteous are you?
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

A person can't hold two intentions at once.
Intention 1: I want to help a person because he or she needs help. Intention 2: I want to help that same person because it would make me feel better about myself.
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

There must be an elevated goal for man to adhere to and work for,
Having an elevated goal helps in one's efforts, it gives you something to work for, as you say. Such an elevated goal could be an ideology, for instance.
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

and there is nothing more elevated and long lasting than God.
Logically speaking, there is no true goodness without belief in God
Provided that you believe in God.

Originally posted by Al-Warraq


"According to you, I suppose."

But you didn't detail your point of view, then it's just an according-to-you-point of view, not according to logic. You didn't use logic, we heard your voice but not logic's voice.

Well, "Who has lost his religion has lost his identity", is a pretty bold statement, one for which you have no evidence but only your thoughts and theories.

Originally posted by Al-Warraq


"No value for the old home or the old blood relationships? Have you ever met any immigrants?"

The whole issue is relative. Even to those immigrants, does the value of the new homeland really the same as the old one? Of course not. Is its value to the old generation the same as the second generation? Of course not. Does patriotism cover everything that interests man? Of course not, because it's related to geography, but they view everything through their religion, and often even if it opposed nationalism and patriotism. Their homeland changes but not their religion, their political affiliation changes but not their religion, so are their economical level and language, but not religion.
Yes, it's relative. For instance, some people don't care one bit about their religion but a great deal about their culture.

Originally posted by Al-Warraq

What I mean to say is what is the deepest piece of information in the Identity card? Is it the name? place of birth? Nationality? Or religion? Religion is the strongest piece of information that can make you form an image of the person.
If the person in question happens to be very religious, then I suppose that that information on the ID-card could contribute to forming an image of him or her. But if that person has renounced his or her faith, then that information wouldn't necessarily be of that much help.
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

Religion penetrates the wall of patriotism and nationalism and not vice versa.
It has the potential of doing that but it can also to the opposite, like in Iraq.
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

A Swedish person belongs to Sweden only, while a Christian doesn't only belong to Sweden. Nationalism is local while religion is international. The term "Swedish" can't be global, but "Christian" can. Thus, religion is deeper and more wide-ranging than patriotism, let alone nationalism which is originally weak. Nationalism's effect is weak except when it's accompanied by patriotism, while religion isn't related to a land or an ethnicity, and can be a common place for people of different nations and nationalities, while patriotism and nationalism can only gather its people.
Nationalism is local and religion is global, yes.
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

Therefore, the most important piece of information in the ID card is religion,
The purpose of an ID is identification. Those who might look at your ID-card to identify you, like hospital staff and police, probably won't be too interested in what religion you might or might not belong to, but rather your name and social security number.
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

because it tells about the person, his choice and way of life, while other information only tell about the environment in which the person is living. Religion even affects politics in secular countries, in terms of loyalties with other countries and animosities, because religion means similarity in identity, and similarity brings forth security and trust.
It doesn't necessarily tell a thing about a person. It depends on whether that person is religious or not. Btw, do you seriously think that all people who live religiously do so because they choose to? It would be interesting to know how many people there are in the world, who follow their respective religion against their own will. You know, most religious people were born into their religion. In some cultures you're free to choose any religion and to leave your religion, and in some cultures you're not.

Originally posted by Al-Warraq


"And how would you know that?"

There are so many examples. Ben Gurion, for instance, is an atheist and yet he built a religious country at the expense of a weak people for the sake of the promise of the Torah, even though he and the members of his government claim to be atheists! As an atheist, he shouldn't believe in the religious texts and their promises, and ridicule the whole idea, not kill people for it!

Apparently this atheist used religion to build a country. Religion can be a powerful tool.

Originally posted by Al-Warraq


That's one example, and millions of atheists advocate Israel against the Palestinians who own the land, even though Israel is a religious country based on biblical promises, isn't that a proof of the religious background?
It shows that there is a religious background, yes.
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

Atheists should be the first to oppose founding a country on the basis of the old testament, but that is not the case. So, their religious background has dragged them without them realizing it, because man can't live without an identity. That's why atheism can't be lived as a truth, only as a claim.
 
Are you really that insecure about who you are? Of course you can have an identity without religion! And yes, atheism can indeed be lived as a truth, more so than religion, actually. Religion is based on myths and fantastic claims for which there is no evidence whatsoever, which means that you can only believe or have faith. Sure, an atheist can't prove that a god doesn't exist, but he doesn't make up incredible stories and call them truth either.
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

Atheism is materialistic and believes in nothing but matter, while atheists deal with others with trust and feelings, and those aren't material evidence. If the atheist applied his atheism he would be a machine like a computer,
 
Trust and feelings are nerve signals and substances in your brain and body and there is nothing religious about that. I'd say that if an atheist applied his atheism, he'd be a human being (who doesn't believe in God).
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

not to mention that some atheists tend to affiliate with Satan and believe in him as an alternative God, admiring his teaching like the devil worshipers and the satanic church.
 
Then they're not atheists anymore, but Satanists. Btw, do you know this from personal experience?
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

And all that is for the sake of filling the void caused by atheism, because a human being can't live his/her whole life in a place called nothing, where there is no duty, no wrong, no right, no loyalty, no disapproval…, it's impossible.
      
Do not atheists have a sense of duty? Do not atheists have a sense of right and wrong? No loyalty? You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. You know, most of us have this thing called a conscience. It's an innate thing that develops when you grow up and it helps you tell right from wrong. There are also social norms, rules, laws...

Originally posted by Al-Warraq


"Maybe to them it's a national project"

They are not ignorant of the fact that their nationalism is built on a religion, and without it this nation would have dissolved in other peoples. It's the nation of the chosen people of God (Yahweh) and they know that, and still claim to be atheists while serving a religious project based on the old testament.
 
Powerful tool and all that. Maybe their true reasons are nationalistic and religion is just a means to an end.
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

Where is their atheism then? One rabbi have said that a Jew remains a Jew even if they became atheists that's why it doesn’t bother (him) to see Jewish atheists! That's what he said, because he doesn't really view them as atheists since they are serving a biblical project at the expense of the land of the Palestinians and their villages.

Within them, I guess. If they don't have religious faith, they're not really religious, are they?

Originally posted by Al-Warraq

Why does Israel declare Jerusalem as an eternal capital of Israel? Why not Tel Aviv since it's not a religious country?
 
You can be an atheist and still appreciate something for its historical and sentimental value, you know.
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

And the secular US and Europe devotedly support this religious project even though they claim secularism and atheism, at the expense of their interests with the Muslim world.
 
That's too bad!
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

Isn't the motivator for that the religious background and the emerging harmony between the old and the new testament?

I don't know about that possible harmony but obviously the religious bakground is a big factor.
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

"There are many, many things that organize one's relationship with others, like the society you live in, its institutions, communities, interest groups etc. Not just religion."

But what's deeper and more wide-ranging? And which of those are willingly chosen and which are externally imposed? This needs detail. We are looking for the deepest. I didn't say that there's nothing that organizes our relationships, I admitted the role of nationalism, patriotism and society, but none of those is deeper than religion. Because it is chosen by the individual to see everything through it, whether it's a theistic or an atheistic religion, while the rest are imposed from the outside of the individual, like their name, country, society etc…
   

Provided that you've indeed chosen your religion and follow it and have genuine faith, religion is more wide-ranging.

Originally posted by Al-Warraq

"Again, it depends on whether you're religious or not. It depends on what you're interested in."

Of course it is, you didn't say anything new, your religion is your identity, whether it's a known religion, an atheistic religion or satanic religion. Man must have a religion, whether they admitted it or not, because man doesn't live in void, there must be connections.

For every human being there is an inclusive overall vision, and a specific vision. Man can't live without having those two visions, like the car which has a highlight and a low light, a close-range and a wide-range vision, because the driver needs to looks both to the close and the far level. Man's overall vision is their religion, because the word religion means the inclusive and the general. The specific vision is what operates when they focus on a specific matter.

The philosophical error in atheism is that it negates the existence of the overall vision, which is religion. And that's an error in the understanding of the nature of man. That's why every atheist is religious without them knowing so, whether it's formed from atheism or from the remnants of their old religion, and in most cases they both exist in a strange inconsistency. Every religion relies on believing, therefore the atheist is a believer but in a different way.   

An overall view can't be formed without religion, even if it was an atheistic religion. All philosophies are bound by this duality, either belief in God or non belief in God. You can't create a way for yourself outside this duality. Meaning to say that people are bound by religions, either inside belief in God or outside it.

Interesting as it may be, that's just a theory.
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

"That is not necessarily correct. If I could choose to be religious then I probably would. But I can't. I could pray five times a day but those prayers wouldn't count, since the niyya wouldn't be right."

Why did others could and you couldn't? No one can decide their place of birth, but you can choose to pray but you don’t want to. There is a difference between "you can't" and "you don't want".
 

What I mean is I don't have that kind of religious belief. Yes, I could do the prayers but they wouldn't count so what would be the point? I'd only be a hypocrite.
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

So, the way of life isn't like religion in determining the identity, for two reasons. One, is that religion is the choice of the individual based on faith and conviction.
 
In an ideal world that would be the case, but in the real world that is not always the case. No offence, but you call yourself Al-Warraq, so I reckon you ought to know. People, especially girls and women, who do as they're told out of fear, fear of punishment, fear of dishonoring their family, fear of being disowned by their family and so on.

Originally posted by Al-Warraq

What matters is that the most telling piece of information about a person's identity in their ID card is their religion, in which they must be either a believer or a non-believer in God. It's the piece of information that speaks the person more than their date of birth, name and nationality, because those are imposed on them, don't you agree?
 
No, I don't because it depends on whether a person is religious or not. You know, religion is imposed on many people who don't really have a choice.
You can't choose your place or date of birth, but you can change your name, move to a different country and learn a new language, just like you can convert to a different religion, or be an atheist or agnostic or whatever you'd might want to call yourself.
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

If you don't, tell me a piece of information in the ID card that's more important than religion
 
Name and social security number, so that you can identify yourself. Btw, we don't register religion here in Sweden, so our ID-cards have no such information.
 
Originally posted by Al-Warraq

Thus, atheists' marginalization of religion isn't realistic, especially when they are religious and belong to a religion that struggles with other religions to take their place, and thinks that it has all the right answers, promises a terrestrial paradise, relates all the problems of humanity to holding on to their religions, and salvation will be on the hands of atheists alone. This is the religion of atheism. Don't you think, after all that, that atheism is a religion competing with other religions?
     
 
If there are atheists who compete with religions, I'd call that an atheist movement, not religion. Atheists don't believe in God or any higher Being, don't perform any religious rituals etc., so no, I don't think that atheism is a religion.




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