The Abrahmic Religions

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  • keithprosser
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    in the 6th entury BC the israelite king jehoiaikim refused to pay tribute (ie 'protection money') to the powerful Babylonians which resuted in the Baylonians attacking and defeating the Israelites.  Consequently the israelite elite and part of the general poultion were removed from israel to babylon.
    The exiled priests were concerned to preserve the ethic identity of the israelites and did so by creating an official mythology, in writing so it was immune from change, dilution or contamination from foreign ideas.   It was a scheme that blurred nationalism and relligion, myth and history.  

    70 years later the babylonians were themselves defeated by the Persians under Cyrus.  Cyrus permitted the exiled jews to return to jerusalem, making israel a vassal state of his empire.   jewish royalty and aristocracy had been destroyed;  the reconstitued Israel was highly theocratic.

    For the next few hundred years israel changed hands repeatedly.  However it remained a small minor theocracy on the fringes of world event.

    By the time of Jesus, israel had passed from Greek control to the Romans, but most Isealites were poor, highly taxed subjects of foreign power.  Traditional judaism was represented by a corrupt and venal priesthood and the mass of ordinary people were open to a very different vision.

    Christianity has little in common with judaism.   Judaism is ethnocentric and is not concerned with aterlife; Christianity is universal and salvation is central. 

    Christianity was more successful outside israel than with the Jews inside.  However this is a period where there were any number of competing creeds and religions around the mediterranean.  The dominance of Christianity was due to a historical accident - it was championed by a roman general who went on to become emperor.  Almost at a stroke christianity was transformed from 'just another cult' to the official religion of the world's greatest empire.   

    islam is closely modelled on Judaism.  In my view, islam was invented as a political device - it was intended to forge unity aross a pan-arabian empire containing a wide variety of ethnicities and religions. 




      
  • Outplayz
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    --> @keithprosser
    Good read. I don't get why anyone from the Abrahmic faiths can't see how human this all is... it took one Atheist such as yourself to explain similar chain of events and i was like... oh, shouldn't defend that anymore. And i was like 10. I just don't get it. It's so clearly man-made. 
  • disgusted
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    --> @Outplayz
    Just as your beliefs are.
  • Stephen
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    --> @keithprosser
    In my view, islam was invented as a political device - it was intended to forge unity aross a pan-arabian empire containing a wide variety of ethnicities and religions.  
     
    What is your evidence that Islam was invented and intended to forge a unity of religions?


  • keithprosser
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    --> @Stephen
    All religions are invented - the only thing to think about is why they were invented.

    The historical fact is that Mohammed established a united Arabian empire, and a common religion played a large part in it being unified.  i think it plausible that Islam is something of a Frankenstein's monster; having been created as a political tool of secular imperialists it soon became a powerful force in its own right, transforming a political entity into a theocratic one.   That transformation has a lot to do with causing the decline in Arab culture, ending a Golden age of philosophy with thinkers such as Averoes and Avicenna replaced with the intellectual stagnation of theologians such as al Ghazali.




  • Stephen
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    All religions are invented - the only thing to think about is why they were invented.

    I agree. But your evidence for Islam being invented to forge a unity of religions, was what I asked you for. Do you have any?


    The historical fact is that Mohammed established a united Arabian empire, and a common religion played a large part in it being unified.


     unified under "a common religion". That would be islam? yes or no?



  • keithprosser
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    --> @Stephen
    Hard evidence is hard to come by!   Such things are not documented in policy statements or the minutes of committee meetings.  much of the early 'history' of Islam is tradition, often first recorded decades or centuries after the alleged events.

     unified under "a common religion". That would be islam? yes or no?
    No. Scientology.

     
     
  • Stephen
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    Hard evidence is hard to come by!  

    So that is a definite no, then. So you have started a thread knowing you have absolutely no evidence for your claims. Well done.

    So all this below that you have presented as fact is simply your own opinion supported without facts? 

    In my view, islam was invented as a political device - it was intended to forge unity aross a pan-arabian empire containing a wide variety of ethnicities and religions. 


    Such things are not documented in policy statements or the minutes of committee meetings. 
    So how did you come up with the idea that " Islam was intended to  forge unity  containing a wide variety of ethnicities and religions"? 
    Did you just make that up?



    much of the early 'history' of Islam is tradition,

    I agree Ok. from what traditional early history and where about among this  " traditional early history" did you get the idea or notion that  "islam was intended to forge unity aross a pan-arabian empire containing a wide variety of ethnicities and religions"?  

    often first recorded decades or centuries after the alleged events.

    Ok, so where are the records that caused you to tell us that "Islam was intended to  forge unity  containing a wide variety of ethnicities and religions"? 

     unified under "a common religion". That would be islam? yes or no?
    No. Scientology.


    So it is Islam we are talking about. Nice to have got that cleared up. So tell me: Just how were these "other religions" brought under the one unifying umbrella of Islam? and what other religions are you talking about specifically?
  • Goldtop
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    --> @keithprosser
    All religions are invented - the only thing to think about is why they were invented.
    That should be relatively easy to figure out. There were people simply looking for a savior from the perils of their lives.

    Old Testament - Hebrews in slavery looking for a deliverer.
    New Testament - the reign of the Roman Empire.
    Islam - Tribes of Arabs all killing one another, the rich getting richer off the backs of the poor.


  • keithprosser
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    --> @Stephen
    what other religions are you talking about specifically?
    As I implied there isn't much concrete stuff to work with, but it is generally accepted that the Arabs - like everyone else - followed unsophisticated animistic, polytheistic religions.   Certainly Islam is very 'anti' when it comes to multiple gods; it appears that is not due to conflict with Christianity or hinduism in the first instance (although it came to have the effect of exaggerating the difference) but was aimed at the Arabian polytheists who were the first to be absorbed into the Mohammedan empire.

  • keithprosser
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    --> @Goldtop
       
    Old Testament - Hebrews in slavery looking for a deliverer.
    New Testament - the reign of the Roman Empire.
    Islam - Tribes of Arabs all killing one another, the rich getting richer off the backs of the poor.
    Sort of, but i'd give different one-line summaries from the above.  It might not be possible to condense things quite that far - i think my op is already a very broad-brush picture guilty of over-simplifying things!  But a forum post is not the place for a 40,000 word thesis - any more than 4 sentences is probably 'tl;dr' and a waste of effort!




  • Goldtop
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    --> @keithprosser
    i'd give different one-line summaries from the above
    Sure, you can try, but that's exactly what was going on and were a result of why those religions came about. Look into the details of the histories and you'll find out yourself.

  • keithprosser
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    --> @Goldtop
    Ummm... i have done just that and i wouldn't summarise things in one line the way you did.   I don't suppose there'd be a million miles between our views once they are padded out to, say, essay length.

    But I'm not going to post an essay on DA - at least not all in one go!
  • Outplayz
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    --> @disgusted
    Never said mine aren't... you're quite bad at understanding.
  • disgusted
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    --> @Outplayz
    And yet
    Good read. I don't get why anyone from the Abrahmic faiths can't see how human this all is..................... I just don't get it. It's so clearly man-made. 
    I just don't get why Outy believes his self created beliefs when he knows he created them.
  • Outplayz
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    --> @disgusted
    I just don't get why Outy believes his self created beliefs when he knows he created them.
    Maybe you can mediate on that one... i'm sure in 1000 years it'll come to you. 

  • IlDiavolo
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    --> @Goldtop
    Lol!! Why are you so excited? Keith's explanation doesn't mean people are going to disbelieve in their Gods so easily.

    Besides, this is all about history. I have no doubt Jesus wanted  to teach something good to their people, unfortunately his followers started to exagerate his story and ended up making up a fantastic story that lead to Christianity. Either way, Jesus teachings are good.
  • Stephen
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    --> @keithprosser
    what other religions are you talking about specifically?
    As I implied there isn't much concrete stuff to work with, but it is generally accepted that the Arabs - like everyone else - followed unsophisticated animistic, polytheistic religions.  
    Ok, again nothing "concrete" that would be no evidence, then.


    Certainly Islam is very 'anti' when it comes to multiple gods;
    That is putting it politely or in your case playing  down just how "anti" and intolerant Islam is towards any other religion.

    it appears that is not due to conflict with Christianity or hinduism in the first instance (although it came to have the effect of exaggerating the difference)
    I noticed you left out Judaism.

    but was aimed at the Arabian polytheists who were the first to be absorbed into the Mohammedan empire.

    Your careful choice of words hasn't gone unnoticed. Again you are attempting to play down how exactly these "polytheists" were actually "absorbed"  into the Islamic empire. Would you like  to expand as you seem to have have  totally ignored this part of my original question:

    So tell me: Just how were these "other religions" brought under the one unifying umbrella of Islam? 

  • Goldtop
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    --> @IlDiavolo
    Either way, Jesus teachings are good.
    Of course you would say that, you're a Christian, Archy.

  • keithprosser
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    --> @Stephen
    Ok, again nothing "concrete" that would be no evidence, then.
    i said 'not much', not 'nothing'.

    Being a retired computer programmer i don't claim special expertise in pre-islamic arabian religions!  I'm just a random guy on the internet that you take moreseriously than I do myself!   I know no more than you can read for yourself on wikipedia etc.  AFAICT there is a dearth of contemporary documents, certainly not much I can provide links to.  

    The policy of the mohamedan empire was certainly to impose islam on their conquests.   That follows from the way that religion and politics were - and are - very blurred.   The division between church and state is alien to islam!   
    Force - including lethal force - was employed and non-muslims were subject to restrictions, and were required to pay extra taxes, which undoutedly encouraged many conversions.  

    My point is that the arahamic religions are the product of human politics and sociology, not the will and whims of deities.
       

  • Stephen
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    --> @keithprosser
    i said 'not much', not 'nothing'.

    But still offered nothing of what bit there is or maybe is. OK

    I'm just a random guy on the internet that you take more seriously than I do myself!  

    Interesting that. But it is not you that I take as interesting, No, it is your opinions and views on Islam and Christianity that I take seriously. And why, in particular,  you are more than comfortable for me to criticize and question Christianity but not Islam. But I have started a thread all about that here>  Am I A Christianophobe? https://www.debateart.com/forum/topics/1609  so there is no need to press on that now.




    I know no more than you can read for yourself on wikipedia etc. 

    Opinion.  And it is very rarely I look at wiki. I thought that was your source of information,  you have quoted it enough in the past. No, libraries and books and documents ans scriptures have been my sources of information for over 40+ years. But wiki is a quick reference I would use if it backed up an opinion or a statement I have made or referenced elsewhere. It is just convenient, but I wouldn't say it is reliable. That is why I only usually question the actual scriptures themselves. There can be no argument as to what is written there. As with the quran.

     certainly not much I can provide links to.   

    OK.  Can you recommend a book or paper/ essay source from for instance, an Arab Islamic teacher or scholar, from where you got the information that states that Islam  "was intended to forge unity aross a pan-arabian empire containing a wide variety of ethnicities and religions. ? Or shall I just take that as another no?

    The policy of the mohamedan empire was certainly to impose islam on their conquests.  

    It was wasn't it.  And the whole reason for these  conquest was to force Islam onto those who believed different to Muhammad . These "other religions" were not just simply "absorbed" as if by gentle persuasion as you so lightly like to put it. They were conquered and forced to accept Islam by the sword of the "mohamedan"  the very ideology that Winston Churchill and others warned about when he told us: 

    "Islam is as dangerous in a man as rabiesin a dog. The religion of bloodand war is face to face with that of peace. Luckily the religion of peace isusually the better armed. The Mahommedan religion increases, instead oflessening, the fury of intolerance. Propagated by the sword, and a form ofmadness". But I Suppose Churchill would be called an islamophobic, far right  racist, bigot who is spreading hate who is  causing division and promoting intolerance. The thing was , churchill wasn't on his own when he warned the world about the threat to come from islam. William Gladstone  told us that the "Quran,an accursed book, so long as there is this book there will be no peace in theworld". There were others too. But we can leave that there. 

     The division between church and state is alien to islam!

    Yes I know.  Which should be very concerning to anyone with the slightest bit of common sense, especially Westernised  so called "moderate muslims".


    Force - including lethal force - was employed and non-muslims were subject to restrictions, and were required to pay extra taxes, which undoubtedly encouraged many conversions.  

    Yes I know. And not much seems to have changed in the Islamic world either has it?  The Sultan of Brunei has just shown the world his commitment to Islamic sharia law, by ordering stoning for homosexuals. Lesbian sex carries a different penalty of 40 strokes of the cane and/or a maximum of 10 years in jail. And this tolerant dictate:
     "Those who persuade, tell or encourage" Muslim children under the age of 18 "to accept the teachings of religions other than Islam" are liable to a fine or jail".
    This comes under the quranic verse of  "causing mischief in the land". I will admit though, that the actual punishment for those influencing others to anything other than Islam (cause mischief in the land) as written in the Quran seems a lot harsher than that imposed by the Sultan. her read it for yourself:

    Quran 5:33 those who wage war against Allah and HisMessenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption/mischief is none but thatthey be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off fromopposite sides or that they be exiled from the land.




    My point is that the arahamic religions are the product of human politics and sociology, not the will and whims of deities.

    That is quite obvious to you and I , but it isn't you or I that people have to be concerned about, is it:?  Contrary to what you believe about me.
        

  • Outplayz
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    --> @Stephen
    was intended to forge unity aross a pan-arabian empire containing a wide variety of ethnicities and religions
    Actually, i think that's true. I was talking to someone that knows the Koran quite well... i don't know if he got it from the Koran or just history... but, he was telling me something similar. It was suppose to work in small communities and bring them together. It's the infidel part of the Koran that throws a wrench in it. But, if you look at the Koran as a community... as in everyone in agreement with the Koran and in agreement with translation... that community is likely going to love each other and be very peaceful. It's once you add other humans to it that problems arise bc of course the Koran is flawed too. So, i don't know if in the bigger sense... that's what they hoped it would do as Keith describes. They probably just didn't anticipate humans aren't agreeable and will translate things differently. Again... bc they're flawed humans.  

  • Stephen
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    --> @Outplayz
    was intended to forge unity aross a pan-arabian empire containing a wide variety of ethnicities and religions
    Actually, i think that's true.


    And I don't believe I have said anything to the contrary.  I needed to know if there was any written fact to support  it. And how and what religions came to be unified under Islam.

    It was suppose to work in small communities and bring them together.
    OK.  But I asked how did muhammad bring these "small communities" together. 


    It's the infidel part of the Koran that throws a wrench in it.

    I take it you mean a wrench In muhammads glorious idea?

    But, if you look at the Koran as a community... as in everyone in agreement with the Koran and in agreement with translation... that community is likely going to love each other and be very peaceful.

    I agree. I have said all along that the fluffy verses in the Quran only apply to muslims and are a lesson in how muslims should respect and love one another. It certainly doesn't apply to anyone outside of that ideology. As the quran testifies: Quran 51- You, who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact]allies of one another........


    It's once you add other humans to it that problems arise bc of course the Koran is flawed too.
    The quran appears to be contradictory on the face of it without doubt.  This is because of the Islamic law of abrogation,where an earlier verse is repealed or done away with.  This is why it started off fluffy in the fluffy christian sense,  but,  as keithprosser well knows, It turns very violent and intolerant towards outsiders very quickly. Muhammad's excuse for this was that "satan had made him write those earlier verses" known as the "Satanic Verses"


    So, i don't know if in the bigger sense... that's what they hoped it would do as Keith describes.

    Yes, world conquest. See Quran 8:39.  I think keithprosser knew exactly what he was doing and  saying  when he carefully chose  words such as :  "absorb and  forge unity" as if these "small communities" on believing muhammad  simply and willing just handed over all authority to Muhammad and made him their leader  and became muslim.  keithprosser was simply playing down the violence  of conquest by muhammad.  As you can read above, the actuality of what keith prosser was saying had to be coaxed and winkled out of him. 


    They probably just didn't anticipate humans aren't agreeable

    Oh I can assure you muhammad knew damn well there would be resistance a lot of resistance.

    and will translate things differently. Again... bc they're flawed humans.  

    The (good?) thing about the Quran is that it is truthful and its doesn't mince its words. Its intentions are very clear: Submit or die.  Quran 8:39
     And fight them until there is no fitnah and[until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah.

  • Stephen
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    --> @IlDiavolo
    Jesus teachings are good.

    And many just do not make any sense at all.
  • keithprosser
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    --> @Stephen
    One reason Christianity is 'nice' is that it was predicated on an imminent new world order in which 'the meek shall inherit the earth'.  The original message was that a short period of being oppressed would be followed by a great change and the rich and powerful would be cast down.  Jesus taught that it was better to suffer than fight back because - very soon - the 'bosses' would be sent to hell.   There was no thought of ever becomung a political force in the mundane world; the first christians saw themselves as an elite-in-waiting, smugly self-satisfied that however much they suffered, they would soon have the last laugh over evil landords, tax-collectors and corrupt priests.  Christianity was the religion of the powerless.

    Islam was born in very different circumstances - ie in a dynamic and expanding empire.  One can ask if the empire served the purpose the religion or if the religion served the purpose of the empire.   i think it was originally the latter, but the two became interwined and inseperable.