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Pattern matching and themes in the Quran

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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07 October 2018 13:05
 

Over the last several years I’ve debated many Quranic apologists about the nature of the book. An extremely common exchange boils down to:

critic: Surah X, verse Y says Z, which is a very intolerant message.
apologist: You’re taking that verse out of context.

This page contains of list of well over 500 times that the Quran preaches intolerance towards nonMuslims:

intolerance in the quran

Let’s apply a little cognitive science to this situation. Human beings are pattern finding animals. We have experiences, we observe many moments, and we make general conclusions to navigate our lives. We see knifes cutting a variety of objects and we conclude that knives cut things. Most of us won’t test that out on our own fingers.

Apologists would have us believe (I guess?), that Muslims can read the 500+ ways they should be intolerant of nonMuslims, and I guess remember 500 specific rules???

I think that’s preposterous. One of the key themes in the Quran is that Muslims should be intolerant of nonMuslims. full stop.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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07 October 2018 13:26
 

It is incontestable that the Qu’ran is intolerant. Of course it is. So is the Torah. The NT less so. The question is to what extent do adherents to a particular religion interpret the text, in all instances, literally.  That is determined by the individual believer.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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07 October 2018 13:36
 
EN - 07 October 2018 01:26 PM

It is incontestable that the Qu’ran is intolerant. Of course it is. So is the Torah. The NT less so. The question is to what extent do adherents to a particular religion interpret the text, in all instances, literally.  That is determined by the individual believer.

When I discuss the Quran with Muslims, they invariably deny that the book is intolerant. Their approach is to defend individual verses. From a cognitive science perspective, I think a good case can be made that consciously they don’t think the book is intolerant. So they’re not lying in these debates. But at a subconscious level the broader message of intolerance towards nonMuslims has been burned in.

I don’t think that the way the brain commits messages to long term memory is determined by individual behavior. I think that the brain is going to spot these patterns regardless of what the mind thinks is going on.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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07 October 2018 14:14
 
icehorse - 07 October 2018 01:36 PM
EN - 07 October 2018 01:26 PM

It is incontestable that the Qu’ran is intolerant. Of course it is. So is the Torah. The NT less so. The question is to what extent do adherents to a particular religion interpret the text, in all instances, literally.  That is determined by the individual believer.

When I discuss the Quran with Muslims, they invariably deny that the book is intolerant. Their approach is to defend individual verses. From a cognitive science perspective, I think a good case can be made that consciously they don’t think the book is intolerant. So they’re not lying in these debates. But at a subconscious level the broader message of intolerance towards nonMuslims has been burned in.

I don’t think that the way the brain commits messages to long term memory is determined by individual behavior. I think that the brain is going to spot these patterns regardless of what the mind thinks is going on.

They need a Martin Luther. Then everything changes.

 
EN
 
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07 October 2018 14:19
 

It took 1500 years for Christianity to produce a Martin Luther. Maybe modern technology will assist the rise of an ML much sooner for Islam.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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07 October 2018 15:45
 
EN - 07 October 2018 02:19 PM

It took 1500 years for Christianity to produce a Martin Luther. Maybe modern technology will assist the rise of an ML much sooner for Islam.

One thing we need, is for it to be known that studying the Quran trains human brains to be intolerant of nonMuslims. Of course that widespread knowledge won’t solve the problem, but it will help.

And it does NOT help to continue to defend the Quran.

 
 
bbearren
 
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bbearren
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07 October 2018 22:16
 

“In our war against terrorism,” said Mokhtar Gomaa, “there’s no difference between Muslims and Christians.”

The World’s Biggest Muslim Organization Wants to Protect Christians”

Thousands of Egyptian Muslims Serve as Human Shields to Protect Coptic Christians”

Extremists of both the Muslim and Islamophobic non-Muslim varieties try to ignore, or even deny, the covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but all accept the authenticity of the Constitution of Medina. There is no doubt that in this there was a clear paragraph:

“The Jews of Banu ‘Awf are one community with the believers; the Jews have their religion and the Muslims have theirs; their freedmen and their persons except those who behave unjustly and sinfully, for they hurt but themselves and their families.”

The second paragraph of the covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians states, “To the followers of Islam I say: Carry out my command, protect and help the Nazarene nation in this country of ours in their own land.”

The significance of these words is that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) recognized the Nazarenes (Christians) as a people and a nation existing among of the people.

Thus, it’s obvious that Islam guarantees the protection of Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims who reside in Muslim lands. Their houses of worship should be defended from attack and their right to worship according to their choice respected.”

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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08 October 2018 06:52
 

Agreed. In addition to being intolerant, the Quran is also incoherent.

 
 
EN
 
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08 October 2018 08:19
 

Part of the challenge is remembering to determine if the passage is a Mecca passage or a Medina passage. Mecca was earlier, when Muhammad was not as strong.  Medina came later, when he had power. You can often tell the difference in the passages, with the latter being more intolerant.

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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08 October 2018 08:35
 
EN - 08 October 2018 08:19 AM

Part of the challenge is remembering to determine if the passage is a Mecca passage or a Medina passage. Mecca was earlier, when Muhammad was not as strong.  Medina came later, when he had power. You can often tell the difference in the passages, with the latter being more intolerant.

Like all religions, they whine about tolerance and peace and their right to worship their god when they are a minority, but as soon as then have enough power they become intolerant and attack those who don’t believe what they believe, per orders of their god of course.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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08 October 2018 09:38
 
EN - 08 October 2018 08:19 AM

Part of the challenge is remembering to determine if the passage is a Mecca passage or a Medina passage. Mecca was earlier, when Muhammad was not as strong.  Medina came later, when he had power. You can often tell the difference in the passages, with the latter being more intolerant.

It’s a good point, but..

The OP was an attempt to take a slightly different angle on assessing this book. That is to zoom out and consider how the 500+ calls for intolerance will be assimilated by the reader’s subconscious. Kahneman’s “Thinking, fast and slow” would indicate that the subconscious will see a single pattern and won’t make the subtle distinction you’re making here. So the “mind” might be able to do the sort of analysis you suggest, but the “brain” will be drawing its own conclusions.

 
 
bbearren
 
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bbearren
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11 October 2018 16:04
 

Egypt sentences 17 to death for Coptic Christian church attacks”

“A further 19 people were handed life jail terms over the attacks, which took place in 2016 and 2017, state news agency Mena reported on Thursday.”

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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11 October 2018 16:07
 
bbearren - 11 October 2018 04:04 PM

Egypt sentences 17 to death for Coptic Christian church attacks”

“A further 19 people were handed life jail terms over the attacks, which took place in 2016 and 2017, state news agency Mena reported on Thursday.”

You mean to tell me that statistical claims about 1.8 billion people aren’t 100% true?!!!!!!  : O

 
 
bbearren
 
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bbearren
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11 October 2018 20:12
 
icehorse - 11 October 2018 04:07 PM
bbearren - 11 October 2018 04:04 PM

Egypt sentences 17 to death for Coptic Christian church attacks”

“A further 19 people were handed life jail terms over the attacks, which took place in 2016 and 2017, state news agency Mena reported on Thursday.”

You mean to tell me that statistical claims about 1.8 billion people aren’t 100% true?

I meant to post a link sans comment.  I did post a link sans comment.  I had no intent to tell you anything.

icehorse - 07 October 2018 01:05 PM

One of the key themes in the Quran is that Muslims should be intolerant of nonMuslims.

“In our war against terrorism,” said Mokhtar Gomaa, “there’s no difference between Muslims and Christians.”

The World’s Biggest Muslim Organization Wants to Protect Christians”

Thousands of Egyptian Muslims Serve as Human Shields to Protect Coptic Christians”

Extremists of both the Muslim and Islamophobic non-Muslim varieties try to ignore, or even deny, the covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but all accept the authenticity of the Constitution of Medina. There is no doubt that in this there was a clear paragraph:

“The Jews of Banu ‘Awf are one community with the believers; the Jews have their religion and the Muslims have theirs; their freedmen and their persons except those who behave unjustly and sinfully, for they hurt but themselves and their families.”

The second paragraph of the covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians states, “To the followers of Islam I say: Carry out my command, protect and help the Nazarene nation in this country of ours in their own land.”

The significance of these words is that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) recognized the Nazarenes (Christians) as a people and a nation existing among of the people.

Thus, it’s obvious that Islam guarantees the protection of Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims who reside in Muslim lands. Their houses of worship should be defended from attack and their right to worship according to their choice respected.”

Egypt sentences 17 to death for Coptic Christian church attacks”

“A further 19 people were handed life jail terms over the attacks, which took place in 2016 and 2017, state news agency Mena reported on Thursday.”

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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11 October 2018 20:39
 

Again I agree with you, Islamic scripture is incoherent.

 
 
bbearren
 
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bbearren
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12 October 2018 07:14
 
icehorse - 11 October 2018 08:39 PM

Again I agree with you, Islamic scripture is incoherent.

Unless you’re addressing this post to someone else (which you should make clear in any case), I’ve made no such statement, which would render any “agreement” from you incoherent.

 
 
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