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Honest question to atheists


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#121    eight bits

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:23 PM

BM

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Mary has nothing to do with the trinity

Nor did Mohammed say otherwise. PA believes that Mohammed meant to say otherwise.

All is fine so long as it is clear that this is PA's personal reading of another religion's scripture, as he has lately acknowledged, and that even though PA invited us to draw a historical conclusion, that nevertheless we ought not to scrutinize his opinion as we would some other historical claim.

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#122    Paranoid Android

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:50 PM

View Posteight bits, on 10 February 2013 - 10:39 AM, said:

PA, your original pronouncement was



There's not one single word about "My reading of the Koran is ..." You say Mohammed argues such and such. That's a simple declarative sentence, asserting that Mohammed did something as an accomplished fact.

No, he did not. He wrote something and you argue that you can read it in your way. Sure you can. It's scripture. That well-known labilitiy doesn't alter what's in the black-letter text.
I disagree with you.  As far as I can tell, it's obvious that it is a reference to the Trinity, and that Mohammed was mistaken in what the Trinity was in Christian doctrine.  I'm sorry, we're just not going to agree on this, we're already going back and forth, in a topic not even about Islam (that's partly my fault for rising to the post in the first place).


View Posteight bits, on 10 February 2013 - 10:39 AM, said:

When Mohammed does argue against the Christian Trinity, which he surely does because he surely rejects it, there is nothing in his text to indicate that it isn't the Nicene Trinity he rejects. When he argues against a divine Mary, which he also rejects, there is nothing to indicate that he thinks her divinity is part of any Christian belief, whether about the Trinity or otherwise.
And why would Mohammed even NEED to argue against a divine Mary unless it was what he thought Christians believed?


View Posteight bits, on 10 February 2013 - 10:39 AM, said:

You mention unnamed "groups in the Middle east at the time of Mohammed," but you skip the questions of whether they're Christians, and whether the "belief held" is that the Trinity actually is Father-Son-Mother, or whether the holding is that Jesus taught that, as might be said by non-Christians to discredit the competition. I showed three historically attested avenues whereby a divine Mary might have been taught by non-Nicenes, with a variety of motives for their proposing a hypothetical divine status that may or may not have been part of the Trinity.

That Mohammed is a witness to somebody proposing a divine Mary does not mean that he teaches that typical Christians of his day included Mary in their Trinity.
There's a group identified as "Collyridians" who believed Mary to be part of the Trinity, a small sect of mostly women (you've already addressed this though, and their historical basis can be tracked to the fourth century - is it possible that such a group existed at the time of Mohammed also?).


View Posteight bits, on 10 February 2013 - 10:39 AM, said:

Godhead? There is no godhead mentioned in the passage. There is a hypothetical pantheon with at least three members. Or, is it your proposal that when I read, at 53: 19-20

Have you then considered the Lat and the Uzza, and Manat, the third, the last?

I am to suppose that Mohammed also believed that the Christian Trinity consists of three Arab pagan goddesses?
But as you pointed out regarding my quoting of 4:171, that is a completely different sermon.  I am no expert in the Qu'ran, but the context of Surah 53 is not the context of Surah 5.  Surah 5 refers to the three-ness of Christianity, and also to the non-three-ness of Allah/Jesus/Mary.  Surah 53, on the other hand, appears to discuss an entirely different subject matter.  Therefore there is no reason to suggest that 53:19-20 refers to a triune deity.

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#123    Paranoid Android

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:54 PM

View PostBeckys_Mom, on 10 February 2013 - 11:42 AM, said:

Growing up as a young catholic, the trinity was - The father and of the son and the holy spirit ..  Some said holy ghost, but holy spirit was used more in catholic churches ....Mary has nothing to do with the trinity
I know this.  The Father/Son/Holy Spirit is the Trinity in protestantism too, and in mainstream Christian consciousness for the better part of 2000 years.  I am arguing that Mohammed's contact with Christianity was not with mainstream Trinitarian Christians but with small heretical sects that held Mary to be part of the Trinity.  Mohammed therefore mistakenly believed that this is what the rest of Christendom believed also, and such it made its way into Qu'ranic literature.

That's the only logical way to read Surah 5 (at least, I do not understand the reasons for alternate readings, perhaps if a Muslim explained it to me I'd understand better, but at the moment I'm basing it off my own views and the views of another non-Muslim).

~ Regards, PA

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#124    Zaphod222

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 01:10 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 10 February 2013 - 12:54 PM, said:

I know this.  The Father/Son/Holy Spirit is the Trinity in protestantism too, and in mainstream Christian consciousness for the better part of 2000 years.  I am arguing that Mohammed's contact with Christianity was not with mainstream Trinitarian Christians but with small heretical sects that held Mary to be part of the Trinity.  Mohammed therefore mistakenly believed that this is what the rest of Christendom believed also, and such it made its way into Qu'ranic literature.

Or much closer to occams razor: Mohammed was simply an illiterate, uneducated buffoon.
Why construct convoluted explanations when the simple answer suffices.

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#125    Paranoid Android

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 01:28 PM

View PostZaphod222, on 10 February 2013 - 01:10 PM, said:

Or much closer to occams razor: Mohammed was simply an illiterate, uneducated buffoon.
Why construct convoluted explanations when the simple answer suffices.
Illiterate, uneducated buffoons don't start mighty empires. This isn't the logical conclusion to Occam's razor.

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#126    Zaphod222

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 01:31 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 10 February 2013 - 01:28 PM, said:

Illiterate, uneducated buffoons don't start mighty empires. This isn't the logical conclusion to Occam's razor.

Why not? Obviously some do. That Mohammed was illiterate, by the way, is something that every mohammedan will proudly confirm to you. They actually take this as proof for the greatness of the Koran.

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#127    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 01:54 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 10 February 2013 - 12:54 PM, said:

I know this.  The Father/Son/Holy Spirit is the Trinity in protestantism too, and in mainstream Christian consciousness for the better part of 2000 years.  I am arguing that Mohammed's contact with Christianity was not with mainstream Trinitarian Christians but with small heretical sects that held Mary to be part of the Trinity. Mohammed therefore mistakenly believed that this is what the rest of Christendom believed also, and such it made its way into Qu'ranic literature.

What you have said I think could well be true... I looked into this and I found the following..

We might go on to show that many other of the doctrines of the Qur'an such as the denial of the death of Christ, the resolving the Christian Trinity into a tri-theism consisting of the Father, the Son and the Virgin Mary were derived by Muhammad from the Gnostic and other heretical sects of Christians who flourished in Arabia in his time. Enough, however, has been written to show that much of the Qur'an can be traced to Apocryphal Christian sources; whilst the Christian reader will also perceive how false is the claim that the former "confirms" the preceding scriptures - the Taurat and Injil.
Source - http://www.answering...urces/chap3.htm


I was thinking that Muhammed had seen early catholic churches who had statues of Mary the mother of God..  I think maybe he thought they worshipped her like a god  ( when in fact they didn't because Mary is not taught in the catholic faith as a goddess ) ....So he mistakes this and thinks Mary was part of the trinity.. But like I said, that was just a thought I had myself..   Like you said, he was in contact with heretical sects of Christians

Edited by Beckys_Mom, 10 February 2013 - 01:54 PM.

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#128    Frank Merton

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 02:13 PM

I

View PostParanoid Android, on 10 February 2013 - 01:28 PM, said:

Illiterate, uneducated buffoons don't start mighty empires. This isn't the logical conclusion to Occam's razor.
I'm afraid they do, far too often.  Besides, the empire wasn't until after he died.


#129    eight bits

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 02:20 PM

Questions posed

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And why would Mohammed even NEED to argue against a divine Mary unless it was what he thought Christians believed?

Let me recap the three possibilities I have already described. We have Jewish witness that ancient Jews commented on Christian teaching and the facts of Jesus' career, sometimes giving "alternative readings" of their own. We have Epiphanius' witness that there was a pagan-Chrisitan syncretism in his time which deified Mary. We have Muslim witness that Jesus and Mary were both among the Arab pagan idols in the Kabbah.

Let me introduce a fourth. The charitable reading of 53: 19 ff. is that Mohammed is responding to an anonymous contemporary's question about where Abrahamic teaching fits in with more traditional Arab religion. Answering questions like that is an occupational hazard of religious teachers, as your own scriptures attest.

Mohammed enthusiastically promoted both Mary and Jesus as ideal figures, whose lives were directly intertwined with Allah's will. It would be unsurprising if some lifelong polytheist inquired of Mohammed whether he was teaching that Jesus and his mother had attained divine status in light of their exemplary piety.

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is it possible that such a group existed at the time of Mohammed also?

Of course. It is also possible that somebody merely thought such a group might have existed at the time of Mohammed, and asked him what he thought about that.

The idea that Mary is divine, or is copied from a divine model (the contemporary Christ myther's theory), or that somebody might err and ascribe divinity to her (possibly leading to false accusations of doing just that) are all surface ideas. In her one and only canonical dealing with Jesus as an ambulatory adult, Mary tells him what to do and he does it, despite his own mission-requirement objections to her demand (John 2: 1-12). Jesus is God, on a mission from God. How hard is it to think that many people have independently done the math?

Quote

But as you pointed out regarding my quoting of 4:171, that is a completely different sermon.

And, as I also pointed out, the whole religion is about the oneness of Allah. This verse addesses one aspect of that, just as the other verses we have discussed address other aspects of it.

In any case, I see that the answer to the question that I asked you is "No." Which, of course, I fully agree with. My point is that the Christian Trinity is not the unqiue three-fold alternative to a unitary Allah which Mohammed rejects with literary flair. It also illustrates that threesomes occur within pantheons much larger than just the three mentioned by name in the Koran. That three are mentioned is not a reliable indication that only three belong in whoever's idea is being discussed.

Since the Koran is a singly authored work, it is entirely appropriate to draw from anywhere in the work to support such points. Of course, the example also illustrates that just because the Christian Trinity is discussed in some places, it is not being discussed everywhere Mohammed mentions something with some features in common with the Christian Trinity but with other features which are different.

BM

Protip: Going to Christian apologetics sites to find out what Islam teaches is like going to a Protestant Fundie site to learn what's in the Catholic Catechism.

Like? Often enough, it's the same site.

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#130    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 06:47 PM

View Posteight bits, on 10 February 2013 - 02:20 PM, said:

BM
Protip: Going to Christian apologetics sites to find out what Islam teaches is like going to a Protestant Fundie site to learn what's in the Catholic Catechism.

Like? Often enough, it's the same site.

I often find that if someone ( myself included ) does not like the answer given, they will claim it came from a biased source...

I went on to Wiki and found this....

Collyridianism was an obscure Early Christian heretical movement whose adherents apparently worshipped the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, as a goddess. The main source of information about them comes from their strongest opponent, Epiphanius of Salamis, who wrote about them in his Panarion of about 375 AD. According to Epiphanius,[1] certain women in then-largely-pagan Arabia syncretized indigenous beliefs with the worship of Mary, and offered little cakes or bread-rolls (Greek κολλυρις – a word occurring in the Septuagint) to her. Epiphanius states that Collyridianism originated in Thrace andScythia, although it may have first travelled to those regions from Syria or Asia Minor. Little else is known.

The Collyridians have become of interest in some recent Christian–Muslim religious discussions in reference to the Islamic concept of the Christian Trinity. The debate hinges on some verses in the Qur'an, primarily [Quran 5:73], [Quran 5:75], and [Quran 5:116] in the sura Al-Ma'ida, which have been taken to imply that Muhammad believed that Christians considered Mary part of the Trinity. This idea has never been part of mainstream Christian doctrine, and is not clearly and unambiguously attested among any ancient Christian group (including the Collyridians). But there has been some modern speculation thatMuhammad might have confused heretical Collyridian beliefs with those of orthodox Christianity. There is no evidence that Collyridianism still existed in Muhammad's time (the 6th and 7th centuries AD), but perhaps the idea of the divinity of Mary might have been associated with Christian belief in Arabia because of the heritage of the Collyridian heresy.http://en.wikipedia..../Collyridianism

So with that I still feel PA was right, and you know that my replies to this are not a result of bias on my behalf

Edited by Beckys_Mom, 10 February 2013 - 06:48 PM.

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#131    eight bits

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:44 PM

BM

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I often find that if someone ( myself included ) does not like the answer given, they will claim it came from a biased source...

I often find that if someone posts something from a biased source, then the quality of the information posted is less than I would like. Funny how we have parallel experiences like that.

We're several posts ahead of you on Collyridianism. I assume your posting from Epiphanius' Panarion, of course. Are you using the Williams translation? The original Greek?

Obviously, Epiphanius' mention of them had nothing whatsoever to do with Mohammed, who came centuries after the Panarion was composed. Also, nobody here has proposed that the specific group discussed by Epiphanius survived long enough to come in contact with Mohammed. That's the sort of thing you'd expect to find on Wikipedia... oh, I see that it is Wikipedia.

The form of their worship, however, predates Christianity. Jeremiah 7: 18 says:

The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to arouse my anger.

The Christian innovation, if there actually was one, would be to associate Mary with the "Queen of Heaven." It is, of course, absolutely impossible that pagans would ever be persecuted by Christians, so we can eliminate the possibility of any pagans doing what pagans have done for centuries and saying to Christians, perhaps under torture, that they were worshipping Mary.

Nevertheless, if a Jew writing in Old Testament times witnesses the same ritual as Epiphanius in conciliar Christian times, would it be completely surprising that Mohammed might have met somebody who witnessed the same ritual in some later, but still ancient time?

But that is not my argument. No, the argument here is that Mohammed doesn't say who he's writing about. Which is a fact; he doesn't. The uncertainty is whether PA has guessed correctly which of the unboundedly many reasons Mohammed might have had for observing that Jesus didn't teach that his mother is a goddess.

My own favorite is that the Muslim tradition is correct. They say Mohammed found her portrait among the pagan idols in Mecca. My second favorite is that one of his critics heckled Mohammed about his strident praise of Mary, featuring direct concern shown about her by Allah personally, her having a child, not fathered by some god, but rather with no father at all, and the consequent title of Jesus, according to Mohammed, as "Son of Mary."

BTW, we find that same title in Jewish sources. Except it's not a title there, but rather a claim that Jesus was illegitimately conceived, or possibly the offspring of rape. Then again, in these sources, maybe an occupational hazard of Mary's profession or hobby.

Anyway, Christians call him "Son of God." Can you think of a way to heckle Mohammed that plays on the difference between the formulaic titles "Son of God," which Mohammed never uses, and "Son of Mary,' which he does use, but uses differently than some other people use the same title? I'll bet you can, BM.

But the text of the Koran is silent on why Allah is said to have asked Jesus whether he taught this about Mary. So, unlike PA, I say that I don't know why Mohammed wrote that question. That's because, unlike PA, I can think of many other ways to explain Mohammed's interest in Jesus' answer.

Edited by eight bits, 10 February 2013 - 08:50 PM.

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#132    Paranoid Android

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:08 AM

View Posteight bits, on 10 February 2013 - 02:20 PM, said:

Let me recap the three possibilities I have already described. We have Jewish witness that ancient Jews commented on Christian teaching and the facts of Jesus' career, sometimes giving "alternative readings" of their own. We have Epiphanius' witness that there was a pagan-Chrisitan syncretism in his time which deified Mary. We have Muslim witness that Jesus and Mary were both among the Arab pagan idols in the Kabbah.
Thanks, sorry I must have missed that in your earlier post.  I read about Epiphanius, that's where the idea of the Collyridians came in.  Of the other two, I think perhaps the "alternative readings" may have merit.  However, does the Qu'ran anywhere mention Father/Son/Holy Spirit?  If not, then we are left with a conundrum still.  Why wouldn't Mohammed go into further detail on the mainstream Christian view?


View Posteight bits, on 10 February 2013 - 02:20 PM, said:

Of course. It is also possible that somebody merely thought such a group might have existed at the time of Mohammed, and asked him what he thought about that.
Possible, but again suffers the same flaw as above - why didn't anyone ask about more mainstream Christian belief and question the Father/Son/Spirit relationship?  Perhaps he did, and if so the entire debate is over.


View Posteight bits, on 10 February 2013 - 02:20 PM, said:

And, as I also pointed out, the whole religion is about the oneness of Allah. This verse addesses one aspect of that, just as the other verses we have discussed address other aspects of it.

Since the Koran is a singly authored work, it is entirely appropriate to draw from anywhere in the work to support such points. Of course, the example also illustrates that just because the Christian Trinity is discussed in some places, it is not being discussed everywhere Mohammed mentions something with some features in common with the Christian Trinity but with other features which are different.
And yet when I brought up 4:171 your counter to that was that it was in a totally different sermon???? Sure, the whole religion of Islam is about Allah's oneness, however, each Surah is not necessarily revolving primarily around that subject.  Surah 5 definitely is.  Surah 53, definitely isn't.  A quick read of both Surah's show one of them with repeated phrases such as "Allah is one", the other does not.  Its purpose is different.  It's still about the same God, so it is still about one God, but the subject isn't directly about that.

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#133    SpiritTraveler

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:29 AM

View PostCradle of Fish, on 06 February 2013 - 01:16 PM, said:

How many alien worlds are out there to visit? How many bizzare star systems and beautiful galaxies? If I got that afterlife I would pity those who go to heaven to gaze at Gods ankles.


We wouldn't be gazing at Gods ankles, and He wouldn't want us to.  We would be seeing all the beautiful galaxies that you dream of as a ghost. And much much more. More than we could ever imagine. And by the way, I also visit other worlds in my sleep. Not as a ghost though. As a spirit.
Maybe I've met you! ;)

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#134    SpiritTraveler

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:12 AM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 06 February 2013 - 03:16 PM, said:

Sure, an afterlife would be cool as long as I can terminate it any time I wish.  I'm really hoping for of course the reuniting with loved ones, but also hoping to be able to time travel maybe in spirit form (or even in physical form), there's a lot of concerts/events I missed that I'd like to witness.

Praising and worshipping? I don't think so. I'm christian and my belief is that the afterlife holds so much more than that for us.

All your loved ones will be there, and all your pets too. You can see all the concerts you've missed. Read all the books you didn't have time for. See all the movies that you haven't seen here (but they won't be on a DVD player lol). Watch the history of our planet and peoples unfold as though they were movies as well as the history of all other planets and their peoples.  And there will be things to do that we have no idea of here on this planet. Things that will put you into rapture. Your heart will soar.

The question of eternal life here on earth has been posed to me and I say no. But eternity in the afterlife - yes

Edited by SpiritTraveler, 11 February 2013 - 09:18 AM.

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#135    SpiritTraveler

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:13 AM

Sorry. Double post. Don't know how I did that. lol

Edited by SpiritTraveler, 11 February 2013 - 09:16 AM.

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