Is there any evidence (let alone proof) that religions mellow after 1900 years. - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

Wandering the information superhighway, he came upon the last refuge of civilization, PoFo, the only forum on the internet ...

An atheist-free area for those of religious belief to discuss religious topics.

Moderator: PoFo Agora Mods

Forum rules: No one line posts please. Religious topics may be discussed here or in The Agora. However, this forum is intended specifically as an area for those with religious belief to discuss religion without threads being derailed by atheist arguments. Please respect that. Political topics regarding religion belong in the Religion forum in the Political Issues section.
#14898347
I have not read most of the other threads here, so this may be old news for you, but --

On other sites I have seen it claimed that Islam may be harsh now but it will mellow when it is as old as Christianity. This is claimed by liberals.

I'm no expert on the history of the world's religions, but I am unaware of any such tendency. Are there other examples (other than Christianity) of this happening? Did Judaism mellow when it turned 1900 years old. Did Sintoism, Taoism, Hinduism? What about the ancient Egyptian religion? Or other ancient Mesopotamian religions.

As far as I can see liberals are generalizing from 1 case here. This is, of course, totally unscientific. If it were done in any other case liberals would be all over the claim to debunk it. Just as they do with claims that Muslims in Europe (I said Europe not the USA) are raping a lot of white women there, i.e., more than whites and other older residents are raping.
. . Astronomers used to theorize that the gas giant planets of all stars would be the further out planets, because this is true of the Solar System. But, when more actual data came in recently it was found that gas giants can often be close into stars. Generalizing from one case is not scientific.

So, I'm asking liberals here to educate me. Show me the evidence that backs up this generalization.

BTW -- I call myself a Progressive. I'm not sure what a Liberal is according to today's definitions. To me a Progressive is in favor of change that is seen as progress. Pres. Lincoln and the early Republican Party were Progressives. Their 1860 platform was in favor of Civil Rights for Blacks (not extending slavery into the West), was in favor of the US Gov. paying for internal improvements, was in favor of building the transcontinental railroad, was in favor of establishing Land Grant Universities, etc.
#14898403
I'll have you know that Islam was much more enlightened than Christianity ever was during it's Golden Age and even during the 20th century.


Nonsense. You are going to have to prove that. And before you try, avoid picking good examples of Islam and bad of Christianity. That is not a valid argument.

Tell us how Islam was more enlightened than Christianity. Start with "enlightened about what".
#14898412
@Drlee

You happen to realize that my point was that religion, like all social institutions, change rapidly to adapt to different circumstances which is why I mentioned the Islamic Golden Age in the first place because that was when the Middle East was at the height of prosperity which was mirrored by a very tolerant, very rationalistic, and very pacifist flavor of Islam. This can also be seen in the 20th century of the Ottoman Empire which, while not as forward thinking and rationalist as it's preceding iterations, was still tolerant and most of Islamic theology was still focused on it's Sufi branch. This is because, by the 19th to early 20th century, the Ottoman Empire no longer was the "sick man of Europe" that people thought it was, by 1898 it was modernizing at a rapid pace and had it avoided geo-political games with Russia and the West, focused internally, and stayed out of WW1, given it's growth during the period (which would likely grow after the discovery of oil) it may have survived until the present day. As I stated, these sets of optimistic circumstances lead to Islam being mellow and relaxed.

This changed after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the emergence of colonialism in the Middle East. When that occurred, the most common perception was that Islamic culture was under attack which is why nationalism and fundamentalism grew massively after imperialism began in the Middle East. It is not coincidence that Wahhabism grew from a fringe, heretical group washed away in the deserts of Central Arabia into a political behemoth after the fall of the Ottomans and the emergence of Western influence in the Middle East. Because of these new pressures pushing upon the Middle East, it's social institutions changed to weather such pressures. Islam became exclusionary, traditionalist, and more prone to violent often framed as "revolutionary" actions which focused primarily on destroying present forms of government and reinstating a newer, more fundamentalist one. It is not coincidental that the concept of a "revolution" so predominant in modern fundamentalist Islamic thought arose from a time in which the Middle East was ruled over by people who it's native inhabitants did not see as legitimate.

Islam is a social institution and therefore it is to be seen that it's condition is representative of the consciousness of it's population. When dealing with social institutions such as Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, etc. we need to see exactly what lead them to be the way they are. If knowledgable of Judaism's history, one might not find it particularly surprising to see how Israel treats outsiders when Jews themselves have been treated as outcasts with no identities for most of their history. If knowledgable of Christianity's history, it is clearly understood why the nation-state suited the West.

(Note: If I were to discuss with you why Islam is more enlightened than Christianity I would discuss Islamic theology rather than any random points in history. The lack thereof regarding similar in Christianity will be sufficient in proving which is or was more enlightened.)
#14898419
Steve_American wrote:
I have seen it claimed that Islam may be harsh now but it will mellow when it is as old as Christianity. This is claimed by liberals.

I'm no expert on the history of the world's religions, but I am unaware of any such tendency. Are there other examples (other than Christianity) of this happening?


I don't think it's necessarily age, it's more about the evolution of society, although that does generally take a lot of time. People's interpretations of their religions evolve as their societies become more enlightened. The Arab countries were in the process of democratizing and secularizing and the West pushed them back into fundamentalism and theocracy as a "bulwark against communism".
#14898526
Steve_American wrote:So far no Liberal has come forward to provide any evidence of such a time based tendency.

Several people have said it isn't like that.

I'm still waiting for the Liberals to come out and back up their fellow Liberals position.


As far as I know, this is not a liberal position, or a progressive one, or a factual and true position.

I find this idea comes from people who get their understanding of religion and history from video games or Asterix, and it is based on the erroneous assumption that all societies and religions evolve the same way. Obviously, they do not.

The current trend of violence and terrorism from Muslims has far more to do with western intervention in MENA countries than it has to do with the age of Islam.
#14898535
So far no Liberal has come forward to provide any evidence of such a time based tendency.

Several people have said it isn't like that.

I'm still waiting for the Liberals to come out and back up their fellow Liberals position.


Two questions. Why do you think this is a "liberal/conservative" question?

I take it you would not accept an explanation of this position from a conservative like myself. Is that correct?

WRT your characterization of the golden age of Islam. I think you answered your own question in your post. Islam, like Christianity is a religion. It lives quite comfortably in a variety of political situations. As an example.

In the US today Christianity would appear to the outside observer to be more conservative in the American south than it does in Oregon or California. But because the US has a great many options for religious exercise it would be a mistake to call American Christianity "conservative" simply because one took the tour in Mississippi or "liberal" because Christians are marching against Trump in Arizona.

An example of your kinder and gentler Islam under the Ottoman empire might include slavery which continued into the 20th century. I suppose its victims might take exception to your characterization of the Empire.

I don't disagree that the fundamentalism of modern Islamic states is in some way a reaction to the arbitrary division of the region but this fundamentalism is cultivated by those leaders as a means of control. For example, everyday life in Iran under the Pahlavis was far more 'liberal' than it is today. This would argue that Islam is moving backward.

The fundamentalist movement in American Christianity would argue that Christianity in the US is similarly moving 'backward'. This is counterbalanced by an overall move to a more secular society. Nevertheless, fundamentalist Christians have been handed power by republicans through gerrymandering thereby giving them far more power than they ought to have. Does this say anything about Christianity in general other than some people prefer conservative forms? Not really.

Tell me this. Since you like to use the term. Is Roman Catholicism in the US more liberal or more conservative?
#14898554
@Drlee

Are responding to me or the OP? It seems you are conflating the two. I am against the implication of the OP's post while he, I assume, is against mine (although I don't think he has read it :roll: )

My post was a statement, not a question. You would be hard-pressed to find anything other than rhetorical ones in my post. No, Islam, like Christianity, is a social institution.

If Islam wasn't religiously tolerant then why are there so many different new sects and post-Islamic religions that were created during the time of the Caliph and even the Ottomans (Bahaism)> Just on the top of my head I am aware of the Druze, Ismailis, Yazdis, Ishikism, Zaydism, Ibadism, Alevism, Samaritanism, Ahmadiyya, Quranism, Maturidis, Qadariyah, and finally, Mutazila.

I don't understand how this is in anyway related to Islam and it's theology which is what we're really discussing. Often those who criticize Islam wish to avoid arguments surrounding it's theology lest their ignorance regarding the religion becomes apparent. In the Ottoman Empire slaves were primarily soldiers (i.e. Janissaries) who were taken from their homes and given high-quality education in order to make them effective politicians and generals. However this is purely an Ottoman institution and not to be found in other Islamic Empires. This lack of knowledge regarding any form of Islamic history outside of the negatives is why so many of it's critics fall flat in their arguments. There is simply a great deal of ignorance there and often an unwillingness to cure such ignorance. There is a reason why the best critics of Islam, come from Islam.

Miniskirts and suggestive ads are not an indicator of liberalism. Under the Pahlavis, life in Iran was much more authoritarian than it was today. Freedom of speech was stamped down upon and all who criticized the government were taken by the secret police and tortured until their eventual death. The reason why the Islamic revolution happened was because the only place where one could freely criticize the government was in mosques and this lead Imams to be not just spiritual leaders, but political ones and this is why fundamentalism became popular. Had the Pahlavis been Islamic fundamentalists and cafes along with intellectuals been the harbors of liberty we would've gotten French Revolution 2: Iranian Boogaloo.

Currently Iran, while it's women must wear hijabs, has greater freedoms for it's citizens than the Pahlavi ever gave them. Women, unlike during the Pahlavi era, are now allowed to freely pursue educational activities and go to university. The economy is better and less oil-oriented than the Pahlavi dynasty and there is more political participation than there was in the Pahlavi dynasty as well. Iran managed to vote for a socially-liberal president and succeed in doing so. It managed to have several political parties both liberal and conservative that have actual power in the government. Even communists have representation.

And let's not forget that the Pahlavis were not legitimate monarchs nor related to any of Iran's actual royal families. The Great Powers simply placed a fisherman's family on the throne and called it a day. They had no legitimacy to begin with. Islam is a social institution that adapts to different circumstances.

What gives conservatives more power than they really have is it's sympathizers. Currently, there is a growing amount of secularists in the West who sympathize and share some of the views of Christian conservatives and even go more extreme than the actual views of Christian conservatives. It is no coincidence that the majority of people who attend White Nationalist, Men's Rights, Neo-Nazi, Neoreactionary, and Anti-Liberal meet-ups are predominantly white atheists rather than white Christians.

I have not used the term at all.
#14898617
Oxymandias wrote:If Islam wasn't religiously tolerant then why are there so many different new sects and post-Islamic religions that were created during the time of the Caliph and even the Ottomans (Bahaism)> Just on the top of my head I am aware of the Druze, Ismailis, Yazdis, Ishikism, Zaydism, Ibadism, Alevism, Samaritanism, Ahmadiyya, Quranism, Maturidis, Qadariyah, and finally, Mutazila.


:lol:

If we went through this entire list we would invariably see a history of internecine bloodshed and religious persecution. The 'Yazdis' aren't even Islamic by the way.
#14898638
I don' like the statement of the question itself. 1900 years is too artificial border to be real. Like it's the law of universe: "Oh no, you know, your religion is 1900 years and 2 minutes old, please shave your beard, now you're reformed moderate". Probably there were other reasons for mellowing. Also, it's not quite clear where is the border between mellowed and unmellowed. And worse. Christianity is mellowed already? Was it mellowed in 1900? And what to do with that Christianity consists of the Catholic Church, several Orthodox Patriarchies and countless Protestant denominations? And Europe was secular, atheist and moderate in the times when they were burning witches in America? On the other side there were different flagellants and scoptsy, the sects as cruel as the proto-Christianity of IV century.

No, I think religions don't mellow at all. It's a change of society that makes them to search new approaches to softer human hearts.
#14898646
@The Sabbaticus

My point is the fact that these religions and sects were created after the advent of the Caliph and although religious persecution happened, it was not to the degree seen in the West. Note that every single one of these religions exist today and in large numbers as well despite being minorities. There's a reason why there was only one sect of Christianity dominant until the Reformation. Islam, despite it's flaws, was only interested in being the most prominent religion. Christianity was interested in being the dominant religion.

Furthermore, if we're really going to be using history as a determinant as to whether or not a faith is enlightened, let's not forget that the Islamic world was quite open to different interpretations of it's own faith. Many schools of thought were popular in the Islamic world at the time despite suspicion towards the Shia and Khawarij for mostly political rather than religious reasons (the Caliphate was the dominant polity during the time and both the Shia and Khawarjj disapproved of the Caliph).

I think you need to improve your reading comprehension.

If Islam wasn't religiously tolerant then why are there so many different new sects and post-Islamic religions that were created during the time of the Caliph and even the Ottomans (Bahaism)> Just on the top of my head I am aware of the Druze, Ismailis, Yazdis, Ishikism, Zaydism, Ibadism, Alevism, Samaritanism, Ahmadiyya, Quranism, Maturidis, Qadariyah, and finally, Mutazila.


:lol:

You even quoted me too. Do you not read what you write?
#14898656
Perhaps you should read what you wrote. You claimed that Islam was religiously tolerant, for which you used as argument the proliferation of Islamic sects. Practically all of these sects were historically met with religious conflict and persecution, punctuating the bloody history of the Islamic religion and undermining your argument. The survival of these religious sects has to do with geographical, ethnic, cultural, economic and political reasons, amongst other things, and the lack of a central religious authority. Then you offered as a secondary argument the religious intolerance of Christianity and its lack of religious sects prior to the Reformation. You failed to factor in the major historical schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Catholic Church, and the many pre-Roman Christian sects and Roman Christian sects. Not to mention the many monastic and other religious orders.

The Muslims were historically speaking genocidal warmongers, hence their unrelenting quest to spread their primitive religion with the sword.
#14898660
Steve_American wrote:I have not read most of the other threads here, so this may be old news for you, but --

On other sites I have seen it claimed that Islam may be harsh now but it will mellow when it is as old as Christianity. This is claimed by liberals.

I'm no expert on the history of the world's religions, but I am unaware of any such tendency. Are there other examples (other than Christianity) of this happening? Did Judaism mellow when it turned 1900 years old. Did Sintoism, Taoism, Hinduism? What about the ancient Egyptian religion? Or other ancient Mesopotamian religions.
...

I would assume:
.. there is a chaotic and unpredictable flow of time. Future is born every moment.
The charming idea, we could find long term patterns, steadily repeating, is troublesome.
#14898665
@The Sabbaticus

You claimed that Islam was religiously tolerant, for which you used as argument the proliferation of Islamic sects.


I also mentioned several new religions which were created around the time of the Caliph.

Practically all of these sects were historically met with religious conflict and persecution, punctuating the bloody history of the Islamic religion and undermining your argument.


Find your response hilarious. First of all, you give no examples of religious persecution and simply assume that there was because of prior bias, not because you did any research on any of these sects. If I asked exactly how many of the ideologies I listed were Islamic sects and how many were religions, you would not be able to tell me because you are simply too ignorant and too unwilling to cure your ignorance of any Middle Eastern history. You think you can "undermine" my argument through a baseless handwave? If my argument holds that little water yours had none to begin with.

You can find examples of religious persecution in Islamic history however it is certainly not as genocidal as Christianity's was. If one tried to start a new religion in the medieval West openly they would certainly be sentenced to a quick death.

Also how can you call Islam an inherently violent religion if there are several Islamic sects which aren't violent and that has been persecuted by the dominant sect of the time? Wouldn't that just make something like Orthodox Sunnism inherently violent and not all the rest of the sects violent given that they are the ones being persecuted? In fact there is higher religious persecution of Shias than there has been of Christians under the Caliphate so wouldn't that mean that Islam is violent against itself. You're homogeneous perspective of Islam is falling apart Sabbaticus, fast I might add.

The survival of these religious sects has to do with geographical, ethnic, cultural, economic and political reasons, amongst other things, and the lack of a central religious authority.


And you mention none of these reasons. Why don't you give me one hmm? I think you should be well aware that if the Caliph really wanted to kill of a religion, it can but it didn't. There is no compulsion in religion. Also funny that you mention a lack of central authority. The Quran actually is against there being any central religious authority. Even the Caliph is merely a protector of Islam, God is considered to be the sole religious authority. Because of this, the Caliphs had no theological justification for the persecution of Islamic sects and they better have a good reason or they would be displaced. As I stated, the Caliph is merely a protector of Islam. If the people do not think that he is protecting Islam, then he has no purpose. This is one of the reasons why the Abbasid Revolution happened in the first place. The Umayyads were seen as unjust and the Quran states that Muslims cannot stand still in the face of injustice.

You failed to factor in the major historical schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Catholic Church, and the many pre-Roman Christian sects and Roman Christian sects. Not to mention the many monastic and other religious orders.


Why was there a schism in the first place? The Sunnis and Shias, despite their differences did not attempt to kill each other over it and many saw them as simply other Muslims. Can Christian sects not tolerate even the littlest differences between themselves? Furthermore most of those early Christian sects were found in the Middle East which had a very, very different political scene than the West. The medieval sects also either were excommunicated by the Church, driven out of the country, or had to keep themselves hidden lest they end up like the Cathars having even their existence being erased from history.

Historically speaking, and I mean actually historically speaking, many of them were merchants. Mohammed was a merchant, not a Bedouin warlord (although he did become a warlord). He lived in a city, not a desert. This is why Islam goes into economics in the first place, because unlike the Arabo-Jewish tribe Christianity arose from, economics was important to Mohammed. While this limited Islamic world rather than help it (being weighed down by Late Antiquity economics is never a good idea. Furthermore if they were in fact genocidal then there would be no Persian or Europeans in the Balkans or in Iran. Did they screw over loads of people? Yup. The reason we know so little about the Sassanid Empire is because of Muslims. But they were not primarily warmongers, they did have a particular administration in mind which in hindsight kind of sucked but it certainly is more organized than you depict it as.
#14898671
'Religions' don't 'mellow' they were never anything else.

Like politics, with the 'Left' or 'Right', so too with 'religion', there is a 'core' at the centre of all religious flavours, call them what you will, 'evangelicals' 'fundamentalist' ,'witnesses', 'disciples', 'followers', ' Catholics ,'Methodist', 'Baptist', 'Covenanters', 'pilgrims', collectively, for the sake of saving space, call them 'sheep'.


EVERY SINGLE 'FOLLOWER' OF ANY 'RELIGION' IS, CONSCIOUSLY OR OTHERWISE, IS in denial of the reality, that there is no 'god' & THAT THEY ARE MERELY WILLING PAWNS IN A BUSINESS WHOSE OBJECTIVE IS GLOBAL CONTROL OF THE BRAINLESS 'SHEEP' THAT MUST FOLLOW THE BRAINWASHING REGIME IMPOSED ON THEM BY THE 'ILLUMINATI' LEADER'S.

ALL 'religions' have as 'leaders', sterile, delusional crankies , dressed up in theatrical garbs suitable for the chosen acting parts that they play.
What they ultimately seek, is for the 'sheep' to share the same delusions that the 'leaders' have, the LIE that there is any 'god'.
Perhaps the worst felony to that end, is the 'Catholic Church', whose violence to non-believers is as bad, if not worse than that of ISIS.
#14898731
Still no Liberals have come forward to defend this claim. So, I'll explain where this came from.

On another site, this Progressive asserted that in Europe the wave of recent immigrants have brought a culture with them that is in conflict with the recently evolved culture of Europeans. I was jumped on by a group of about 6 Liberals who said I meant Muslims and that I am a racist because I meant Muslin immigrants and by "original people of Europe" I meant White people.

Then they asserted that Islam is so harsh because it is 600 years younger than Christianity. Given time Islam will automatically become more mellow.

I had put in a foot note that "I was not sure 'original' was the right word". I meant the people who lived in Europe 4 or so years ago not 400 years ago. And of course the "original" people of Europe were Homo Erectus and then the Neanderthals. But they didn't care.

I just thought that their claim was BS. You-all here seem to agree that it is BS. That religions do not follow any fixed evolutionary path. So, Christianity was started about 32 AD and so 1900 years later would be 1932. But 1900 was a rounded off inexact number anyway. And Islam was founded about 660 AD, so it will be 1900 years old in 2560 or so. So, how harsh or mellow Christianity was 630 years ago in 1388 is meaningless.

I think that European Gov. have made a grave mistake in not enforcing the law when the recent immigrants break it. The Gov. seem to be shooting for an end point of "Multiculturalism", not assimilation. America aims for assimilation, so America is different.

As I understand Multiculturalism it means letting there be 2 different set of laws, 1 for the old Europeans and another for Muslin Europeans. Either by geography or by religion. So, wife beating and child sexual abuse [etc.] will be OK in Muslin areas. I just don't see this as being a workable long term solution. And, there have been stories about some Muslim criminals (at least if I can so label them before the law has done so) who have abused white children and raped them, etc. [you have seen the stories just as I have]. It has been alleged that this has gone on for many years with the police and other Gov. officials doing nothing to stop the criminals or TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN WHO ARE NOT MUSLIMS FROM THOSE CRIMINALS.

I just suggested that the European Gov. should do more to protect their non-Muslim citizens from the immigrant criminals. And not have separate systems of laws for different citizens. Those 6 Liberals there jumped all over me for this. I do not post there anymore as a result. Those 6 Liberals have their heads stuck so far up their asses that they can't see truth when it kisses their ass.
#14898777
Oxymandias wrote:then I'll have you know that Islam was much more enlightened than Christianity ever was during it's Golden Age

That's a Cultural Marxist lie. The Muslims were amazed by the freedom that the Crusaders allowed to their women. Also Islam was far more tolerant of slavery than Christendom. The Byzantine empire was certainly less developed in in terms of liberty than the West, but his is because it was corrupted by Islam. As Islam has corrupted and deformed Ethiopian Christianity and Hinduism.
How ISIS replenishes its ranks

@Palmyrene I challenge you to find a surah, no[…]

Trump, Oh my god !

I read that. It is a disgrace. They also have s[…]

Made in Israel

Actually, Germany has never provided any voluntar[…]

DPRK Threats

The US-China rivalry is the only thing standing be[…]