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Theme Changer

 Topic: Hello

 (Read 1799 times)
  • 1« Previous thread | Next thread »
  • Hello
     OP - November 17, 2011, 04:57 PM

    Abu Faris in Alexandria, Egypt here.

    Presently awaiting first democratic elections in over 60 years with strong sense of foreboding. al-Ikhwaan rule the roost politically, with all the other (desperately inexperienced, but infinitely power-hungry) contestants in the elections lining up to kiss the collective ring piece of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Bruvvers will probably not win an outright majority in the polls and will need minor party coalition parties to govern. So all the other players are jostling for prize of "Best Good Boy" and - insh'allah - some share of the political action when MB form the first administration. In other words, Egypt has devolved onto its thousands of years old political model of a strong central force, ruling via the suborning and connivance of a greedy periphery... with the prime intention of fucking over the vast majority of peasants and workers in every imaginable manner. Plus ca change...

    About me: I am in education and have been for the better part of 15 years, first in inner city schools in the UK and for the last ten years, overseas. I have worked mostly in the Arab-speaking world of North and Sub-Saharan Africa, but also in Persian (Tajik and Dari) speaking Central Asia, the People's Republic of China, Colombia... and elsewhere). I get around a bit. I am presently in Alexandria, but I was in Cairo during the January 25th Revolution and participated in that glorious time in my own small way (for which I lost a job there).

    I am married with two small children. My wife is a Sudanese Arab, from the desert province of Kordofan. My family are from the streets of London and Bristol. Her family traditionally round up camels, mine have for two generations now tended to round up kids and get them off playgrounds. We seem, nonetheless, to get along.

    I used to be very active in leftist politics; but became a Muslim in a moment of what I know recognise as one of considerable existential crisis. I am presently an agnostic - atheism itself is a form of religion. Epicurus said that even if one might prove the existence of the divine, one then owed a proof that this divine was in any way remotely interested in us. Consequently, why is it reasonable to be interested in the divine. I think that is right.

    Apologies if that is a bit intense; but there you are.

    Regards and Greetings

    Abu Faris


    Once all struggle is grasped, miracles are possible.

    Similar bollox and hijabi fashion tips, here: http://nilesider.wordpress.com/
  • Re: Hello
     Reply #1 - November 17, 2011, 05:03 PM


    Hello mate, good to see you here, fascinating introduction  Afro


    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • Re: Hello
     Reply #2 - November 17, 2011, 06:22 PM

    Welcome, enjoy and participate where necessary. Great introduction, and you deserve a parrot  parrot!

    Religion is organized superstition
  • Re: Hello
     Reply #3 - November 17, 2011, 09:06 PM

    Welcome!

    I am presently an agnostic - atheism itself is a form of religion.


    I must correct you on this.  To be "a" something means "without".  Therefore to be an atheist means nothing more than

    "I have no belief in a god"
    rather than
    "I have a belief in no god"

    Just as a member of a jury returning a "not guilty" verdict has not been convinced the defendant is guilty, rather than necessarily having been convinced they are innocent. All atheists are agnostic because we currently have no positive proof that no god exists, so strictly speaking you are an agnostic atheist.

    I had to point this out, because I dislike it when people tell me that my atheism is a belief, or even worse....a religion Smiley

    I don't come here any more due to unfair moderation.
    http://www.councilofexmuslims.com/index.php?topic=30785
  • Re: Hello
     Reply #4 - November 17, 2011, 09:27 PM

    Sorry if you hate it, but unless you want to maintain agnosticism is simply a synonym of atheism, or perhaps more plausibly some sort of proper sub-set of the same, then you are going to run into the commonly held distinctions between agnosticism and atheism. Agnosticism entails a suspension of belief - in doubt. Atheism requires belief in a set of assertions that are held beyond doubt.

    Once all struggle is grasped, miracles are possible.

    Similar bollox and hijabi fashion tips, here: http://nilesider.wordpress.com/
  • Re: Hello
     Reply #5 - November 18, 2011, 01:13 AM

    Better to be an atheist or agnostic than a theist.

    Epicurus is very fine -- nearly as good as the Buddha (but Buddhism is illegal in Egypt, n'est ce pas?)

    I am truly hoping that all goes better (more secular) for Egypt in the future (my sanity depends upon it).

    See my signature, friend. Any good resources on Epicurus?


    Interested in Buddhism? Check out http://www.accesstoinsight.org/!
    Consider Nalanda University, and never let it happen again.
  • Re: Hello
     Reply #6 - November 18, 2011, 02:19 AM

    I regard myself as a theist now (not linked to any of the religions though)

    "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." - Viktor E. Frankl

    'Life is just the extreme expression of complex chemistry' - Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Re: Hello
     Reply #7 - November 18, 2011, 02:57 AM

    Well hello there abu faris! Nice to have you join the exmuslim club. But tell me, how did you come across us?

    I'm open for debate (of why we should re-/embrace Islam), but I will no longer participate in this forum. Message me if you need anything. Good luck and may you all find your way... again...
  • Re: Hello
     Reply #8 - November 18, 2011, 09:07 AM

    Via Harry's Place and links to my own blog.

     thnkyu

    Once all struggle is grasped, miracles are possible.

    Similar bollox and hijabi fashion tips, here: http://nilesider.wordpress.com/
  • Re: Hello
     Reply #9 - November 18, 2011, 12:01 PM

    Atheism requires belief in a set of assertions that are held beyond doubt.


    The ONLY positive assertion I have to make to be without belief in a claim for any god is that I have absolutely not yet been presented with sufficient evidence to convince me.  To imply that atheism automatically requires anything more than this is erroneous.

    If you think that adding the prefix "a" before a word means you reject a possibility then you need to take a look at the word "agnostic" which you label yourself with.  Whereas theism is a position of belief, gnosticism is a position of knowledge.  If "atheist" means that one positively asserts there can be no god then "agnostic" means you positively assert there can be no knowledge; and yet I strongly suspect your position is "I am without knowledge" just as my atheist label is a reflection of my position which is "I am without belief."

    agnostic = without knowledge
    atheist = without belief

    Both are positions, neither are religions, neither require faith; so please don't call me "religious", thank you Smiley

    I don't come here any more due to unfair moderation.
    http://www.councilofexmuslims.com/index.php?topic=30785
  • Re: Hello
     Reply #10 - November 18, 2011, 12:47 PM

    I think you are both putting words in my mouth and refusing to address what I actually wrote. You are simply repeating your position without acknowledging or addressing the argument I made. That is a shame. If you think philosophical issues are to be solved by looking at the conditional grammar of natural languages, then off you go; but I get off at this stop.

    Thanks all the same.

    Once all struggle is grasped, miracles are possible.

    Similar bollox and hijabi fashion tips, here: http://nilesider.wordpress.com/
  • Re: Hello
     Reply #11 - November 20, 2011, 10:27 AM

    Welcome, Abu Faris.

    I am truly hoping that all goes better (more secular) for Egypt in the future (my sanity depends upon it).


    What? Why?

    He's no friend to the friendless
    And he's the mother of grief
    There's only sorrow for tomorrow
    Surely life is too brief
  • Re: Hello
     Reply #12 - November 20, 2011, 12:47 PM

    The commonly held misconception is that theism is belief in God, atheism is a belief in the fact that they are no gods, and agnosticism is a middle-ground where you're not sure, or you don't know.

    Agnosticism as it was originally coined by Huxley doesn't answer the question of whether one knows that Gods exit, it is more precisely a position that states that God's existance cannot be known, or is "unknowable".

    Atheism in it's broadest definition (ie. one that encompasses all the various positions of people who call themselves atheist) is a lack of belief in Gods. This lack of belief is something that is true for "weak" atheists (who stop at a lack of belief) and "strong" or "positive" atheists (who not only lack a belief in Gods but also add on top of that a positive belief in the lack of Gods). This may not be the popular laymans definition of atheism, but to me it makes sense not only from the etymological point of view (as described by TheRationalizer - a-politcal, a-sexual, a-symetrical), but also from the pragmatic point of view that it is a term that encompasses all people who now refer to themselves as atheists (whether strong or weak). Most prominent atheists (like Dawkins or Bertrand Russel) are certainly popularly perceived as atheists, but are clearly in the "lack of belief" category. So too narrow a definition of atheism - restricting it to only those who positively claim that they know there is no God, excludes some of the most prominent proponents of the position.

    On a side point, contrary to TheRationalizer I do not think that all atheists are not necessarily agnostic, since even a weak atheist may believe the God hypothesis to be testable (given the right equipment). Nor indeed are agnostics and theists mutually exclusive. A persn may have a strong faith in God even though he believes the answer can never really be "known" with 100% certainty (leap of faith etc...)


    In SUMMARY:

    Atheism and theism divide the universal set in two, and between them cover the field. Strong atheism is a subset of atheism, the remainder of the atheism set being weak atheism. Agnosticism is a subset of the universal set that intersects with trong atheism, weak atheism and theism.

    Belief in the existence of Gods: Theism

    No belief in existence of Gods, but no belief in lack of Gods: Weak Atheism
    Belief in lack of Gods: Strong atheism

    Agnosticism: belief that the existence or non-existance of Gods is un-knowable.


    I accept that to some people atheism means what I call strong atheism. But they must also accept that some people like myself give it a broader definition. And in my opinion it is more pragmatic to choose the definition that encompasses all who claim to sbcribe to the viewpoint rather than insisting that a significant portion (including several prominent members) of those that call themselves atheist are not infact that which they claim to be.
  • Re: Hello
     Reply #13 - November 20, 2011, 07:20 PM

    Quote
    Agnosticism as it was originally coined by Huxley doesn't answer the question of whether one knows that Gods exit, it is more precisely a position that states that God's existance cannot be known, or is "unknowable".


    Quite right. An epistemological anti-realist stance is one in which it is upheld that there are aspects of existence about which the truth might never be known...

    Once all struggle is grasped, miracles are possible.

    Similar bollox and hijabi fashion tips, here: http://nilesider.wordpress.com/
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