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Thread: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

  1. #21
    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    Quite a number of historical inaccuracies in the post above. Crusaders did resort to rape, as the sack of Constantinople could attest, even if the First Crusade was allegedly limited only to indiscriminate massacres, cannibalism and forced conversions. Of course, isolated cases of rape also occurred, albeit not in a systematic scale. There were religious wars involving western Europe even after Westphalia, such as the Holy League of Pope Innocent XI. Finally, the fifth point is completely misleading, but also often used nowadays to sow discord among fellow citizens. Taqiyya refers to the possibility of Muslims hiding their faith, when their life is threatened by bigoted authorities. It only concerns religious affiliation and is only allowed in times of violent persecution, although martyrdom by refusing the forced conversion remains the preferred option.

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    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    The chief weakness in Islam is that at the end of the day not one Muslim is guaranteed salvation when he or she dies, rather on the mercy of God when it is too late. Jesus Christ guarantees to every one who believes on Him that their salvation is assured before they die because after is too late. The second weakness is that this man/God will be their judge and they accept this, when He does return. Entry to paradise has passed them by by that time. So, when people call it an Abrahamic religion they are quite wrong because it is not. Abraham was a Gentile from Ur in the Chaldeas who was called of God to drop everything and follow His commands and in believing God's promises was accounted righteous before God that never happened to Mohammed. The third flaw in Islam is that in Paul's day he wrote to the Galatians that anyone who preached a gospel other than the one he preached is a false preacher and is accursed. Aye, even if supported by angelic power that gospel is cursed.

    So, let's see what happens within Islam. You are not allowed to lie but you can, not allowed to kill but you can, not allowed to rape but you can, not allowed to collect usury but you can, so we see it's a religion of double speak. Then there is this appeal to the very basic instinct of man that in paradise some 72 virgins will be available for them should they ever get into it. Paradise must be pretty empty since no unsaved sinner can ever enter it according to Jesus Who is one of their Prophets. Yes, this same Jesus Who is coming back to judge them saying hundreds of years before Islam that there is no giving and taking in marriage in heaven so it looks like virgins will remain virgins if any are there. The good news is that the Spirit of God is moving mightily among those peoples and many are being converted to Jesus Christ, the One true God.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    The last war in the West were religion was a major factor ws the 30 Years War, and that was more than 300 years ago, not 70. One of the things that contemporaries noted was that whil Muslim Turks both raped and killed, the Crusaders only killed, but did not rape.
    While it's true that the Troubles in Northern Ireland in late 20th century wasn't a war, the two sides were identified as Protestants and Catholics and over three thousand people were killed.

    As 95thriflemen said, rape is used as a weapon of war by people from different cultures and religions. For example, rape was used as a weapon of war by all sides in the civil war in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The three groups involved - Croats (Catholic), Serbs (Orthodox), and Bosnians (Muslims) - mainly belonged to a specific religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Quite a number of historical inaccuracies in the post above. Crusaders did resort to rape, as the sack of Constantinople could attest, even if the First Crusade was allegedly limited only to indiscriminate massacres, cannibalism and forced conversions. Of course, isolated cases of rape also occurred, albeit not in a systematic scale. There were religious wars involving western Europe even after Westphalia, such as the Holy League of Pope Innocent XI. Finally, the fifth point is completely misleading, but also often used nowadays to sow discord among fellow citizens. Taqiyya refers to the possibility of Muslims hiding their faith, when their life is threatened by bigoted authorities. It only concerns religious affiliation and is only allowed in times of violent persecution, although martyrdom by refusing the forced conversion remains the preferred option.
    Well said!

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    Islam (?Muhammad) legally sanctioned the rape of slaves, Christianity never legally sanctioned rape as Islam did. (Sex with a slave against her will is still rape.). That others like Christians raped their slaves I am sure happened, but that it not the same thing as when the founder of your religion says it is ok to rape your slaves, as was the case in Islam. ISIS and other groups do what they do following the example of Muhammad as set down in writings by Muslims themselves. There is no indication that the Muslims who recorded these actions by Muhammad were at all disturbed by them, which meant they did not think these things were very wrong. It as OK in their eyes to kill someone simply because they criticized you, to rob, enslave, and rape you enemies as Muhammad did.
    Islamic extremists agree with your interpretation of Islam, but many other Muslims such as Mariam Hakim ("intercourse has to be consensual. Rape is forbidden as it is violent") and Azman Mohd Noor "In Islam, rape is considered a serious sexual crime") disagree.
    Last edited by Alwyn; August 24, 2019 at 02:40 AM.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    The last war in the West where religion was a major factor was the 30 Years War, and that was more than 300 years ago, not 70.
    Not really, there was actually quite a number of wars in Europe after the Peace of Westphalia where religion was a major component to it such as


    • The Savoyard–Waldensian wars
    • The First War of Villmergen
    • The Nine Years War
    • The various Jacobite uprisings from 1689-1745
    • The 1702 Camisard Revolt
    • The Toggenburg War
    • The Wars of the Vendée
    • The 1798 Irish Rebellion
    • The Belgian Revolution
    • The Sonderbund War
    • The Carlist Wars


    Further Reading
    War and Religion after Westphalia, 1648–1713 by David Onnekink
    Spain's First Carlist War, 1833-40 by Mark Lawrence
    Napoleon's Other War: Bandits, Rebels and their Pursuers in the Age of Revolutions by Micheal Broers
    Ireland 1798-1998: War, Peace and Beyond by Alvin Jackson
    The Cambridge Modern History, Volume 1 pg 248
    The Intellectual Origins of the Belgian Revolution: Political Though and Disunity in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, 1815-1830 by Steefan Marteel
    The Jacobites: Britain and Europe, 1688-1788 by Daniel Szechi
    Last edited by RandomPerson2000; August 24, 2019 at 09:38 AM. Reason: Fixed up bullet points

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    Aexodus's Avatar Persuasion>Coercion
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    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    Yeah there’s been lots of religious conflicts.

    For context, the 1798 Irish rebellion by the ‘united irishmen’ wasn’t a true religious conflict in the same sense of the 30 years war, but it had connotations of the same. The penal laws discriminated in favour of anglicans, and against non-anglicans.

    Thus to throw off the penal laws a rebellion was attempted by some Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, and basically a segment of every group who wasn’t Anglican. Their leader was a Presbyterian called Wolfe Tone, you may have heard of him. I always thought it was a funny bit of historical trivia that this was before the tricolour had been designed, the flag for 1798 was solid green with a harp on the front.
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  6. #26
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    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    Islam (like all religions AFAIK) offers a framework for understanding the world and religious feelings that many humans experience.

    Islam (like Christianity) clearly treats women differently and usually more oppressively than men but its worth noting at the time Mohammed and Jesus preached and taught women in their societies had shockingly low legal and social status. Some of the elements I find oppressive probably constituted protection for them.

    I do think the clarity of Islam (no god but God, and Mohammed is his prophet) is more approachable than the mess of Christology and Trinitarism (homoousios and homoiousios, three personhood and uncreated nature of the Trinity (which is One)). The brotherhood of Islam seems a very appealing aspect too. It has developed a snug fit between government and belief, much more so than the uneasy place Christianity finds in politics, although as is often noted the Q'ran does not map directly onto modern society and technology very well.
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  7. #27
    basics's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    Cyclops,

    The Trinity has baffled people since time began, our time that is, but not where God exists as it is purely a Spiritual realm in which there is no beginning nor end. The Father being a blinding Light upon Whom no man may look and live therefore functions with Two other Personalities and Qualities upon Whom angels as well as men my look and not die in His time as well as ours. The Second personality is called the Son seen as His Right Hand with all the power of God being God. It was He Who created us and He Who would become our Saviour and our Judge. All this backed up by His Spirit, the third Personality of God, to sustain all things for God being God Himself. Therefore the Son acts for the Father just as the Spirit acts for the Son, all Three being the One God. Now time is of the essence here because in our time since creation we are way behind God's time so our thinking and beliefs remain at man's level until God reveals the deeper things to and of life to us which is why He had Moses write them down.

    When mankind fell under the curse of sin, God blinded man's eyes and minds so that only by revelation of the Son, Jesus Christ, that situation could be turned around. So what happened through our time came many variations of not only God but variations of pleasing Him, why? Because His Gospel became a stumbling block upon which many couldn't get past not knowing that only appealing to the Holy Spirit was the answer. Breaking that deadlock is therefore down to God the Father for it is He Who draws men to Jesus by the Spirit and so when that happens and man gets saved, man gets a full understanding of the Triune Godhead in action having just experienced it. It's only complicated because man makes it so through the blindness of his own sin. Sadly religions like Islam fall over the same stumbling block.

  8. #28

    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPerson2000 View Post
    Not really, there was actually quite a number of wars in Europe after the Peace of Westphalia where religion was a major component to it such as


    • The Savoyard–Waldensian wars
    • The First War of Villmergen
    • The Nine Years War
    • The various Jacobite uprisings from 1689-1745
    • The 1702 Camisard Revolt
    • The Toggenburg War
    • The Wars of the Vendée
    • The 1798 Irish Rebellion
    • The Belgian Revolution
    • The Sonderbund War
    • The Carlist Wars


    Further Reading
    War and Religion after Westphalia, 1648–1713 by David Onnekink
    Spain's First Carlist War, 1833-40 by Mark Lawrence
    Napoleon's Other War: Bandits, Rebels and their Pursuers in the Age of Revolutions by Micheal Broers
    Ireland 1798-1998: War, Peace and Beyond by Alvin Jackson
    The Cambridge Modern History, Volume 1 pg 248
    The Intellectual Origins of the Belgian Revolution: Political Though and Disunity in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, 1815-1830 by Steefan Marteel
    The Jacobites: Britain and Europe, 1688-1788 by Daniel Szechi
    While I did overlook some of those wars, many of of those you listed were simply not religious wars - religion was not the primary driver of the conflict. That was true of the Carlist Wars, and the Irish conflicts. There may have been religious elements to them, especially if one side typically was of one religion, and the other side of another, but the primary driver for most of them was not religion.

    The Belgium Revolution was driven by cultural, linguistic, and economic views, with the south of the Netherlands dominated by Catholic speaking elites who had a protectionist outlook against the Dutch speaking freed traded leaders in the north. Likewise, the the Irish may have been predominately Catholic, and the English Protestant, but there were national and cultural issues that drove that rebellion as well. None of the these were like the ISIS conflict, where religion was by far the main driver, and often the sole point for many of the fighters.

  9. #29

    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Quite a number of historical inaccuracies in the post above. Crusaders did resort to rape, as the sack of Constantinople could attest, even if the First Crusade was allegedly limited only to indiscriminate massacres, cannibalism and forced conversions. Of course, isolated cases of rape also occurred, albeit not in a systematic scale. There were religious wars involving western Europe even after Westphalia, such as the Holy League of Pope Innocent XI. Finally, the fifth point is completely misleading, but also often used nowadays to sow discord among fellow citizens. Taqiyya refers to the possibility of Muslims hiding their faith, when their life is threatened by bigoted authorities. It only concerns religious affiliation and is only allowed in times of violent persecution, although martyrdom by refusing the forced conversion remains the preferred option.
    Well, point being Christianity center/point isn't Crusading, and the concept of Crusade was copied from the concept of Jihad from Islam, in a way to counter the Jihad during medieval times, because the Jihad armies were defeating the conventional medieval ones, leading to loss after loss in influence and terrain in christian world, to the point where Papal States themselves started to feel their survival threatened by this force with a "Holy War" theology. So to counter such force, another "Holy War" theology was developed/aproved, together with "Just War" theory.

    Killing of Civilian Christian pilgrims to/staying in Jerusalem was already underway many years before first crusade started. This led to Christian pilgrims to hire bodyguards, preferably Christians themselves, and some of them rode on horseback for maximum protection against moor raiders, and issue kept escalating more and more.

    When it started, it was more of an formalization than anything else.
    Plus everything you described in the quote can be attributed to... almost every protracted instance warfare ever. Wars don't exactly leave valleys of roses behind.

    Let's not elaborate that many different Christians exist/existed (and I here don't mean from an ethical point of view), but a Baptist or Evangelical isn't going to give you same output as a Catholic or a Calvinist.
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  10. #30
    Aexodus's Avatar Persuasion>Coercion
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    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    While I did overlook some of those wars, many of of those you listed were simply not religious wars - religion was not the primary driver of the conflict. That was true of the Carlist Wars, and the Irish conflicts. There may have been religious elements to them, especially if one side typically was of one religion, and the other side of another, but the primary driver for most of them was not religion.

    The Belgium Revolution was driven by cultural, linguistic, and economic views, with the south of the Netherlands dominated by Catholic speaking elites who had a protectionist outlook against the Dutch speaking freed traded leaders in the north. Likewise, the the Irish may have been predominately Catholic, and the English Protestant, but there were national and cultural issues that drove that rebellion as well. None of the these were like the ISIS conflict, where religion was by far the main driver, and often the sole point for many of the fighters.
    Indeed, most historians recognise the troubles as an ethnic conflict, not a religious one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    Well if you survive a beheading I feel like that's fair enough you get to go home

  11. #31
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    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    Every time I see and hear men and women who were once Muslim tell of how Jesus Christ came into their lives, their stories confirm Islam's greatest weakness which is that they have got another god not the One true God that is Jesus Christ.

  12. #32

    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    I admit that Islamic scholarship and science of the middle ages was a great thing, and it is only through Islam that we still have many of the Greek and Roman classics. So I'd say Islam's insistence on literacy and honoring of scholarship was a strength, and possibly could be again someday.

    However, this also leads into Islam's greatest weakness in my opinion. There are differing opinions on the fading away of the Islamic golden age, with most bringing up the Mongol invasions as the final death knell. But I believe an equal or greater factor is the closing in of the Muslim mind on itself, this ideal of returning to properly Muslim values without the taint of godless infidel philosophies. The Incoherence of the Philosophers, and the Asharite philosophy it championed are like a list of reasons explaining how the Islamic world has managed to stagnate intellectually for hundreds of years while the West surged ahead, despite Islam's relative headstart.

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    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    In my opinion, intellectual stagnation is the consequence of economic decline and not the reason for it. Reactionary teachings, like The Incoherence of the Philosophers always existed, with very fluid popularity, which was largely determined by the position of the political elite. Hostility against science can be noticed from the times of the Rashidun Caliphate to the suspicion of the Ottoman Sheikh al-Islam towards astronomical observatories, but Islamic science losing steam cannot be undeniably connected to any definite endorsement of obscurantism from universities or sultanates. After all, since the Islamic world was almost never a monolithic entity, such a coincidence is essentially impossible to occur. To give a similar example, technological progress was not seriously undermined in western Europe, despite the sudden emergence of Protestant extremism in England, the Rhine valley and elsewhere.

    I personally believe that Islamic thought lost its prominent place, mainly because of western Europe dramatically surpassing the Middle East in prosperity. There are many factors that led to this unexpected situation, ranging from drought and the collapse of irrigation systems to the Mongol invasions, the flood of nomadic and pastoral people at the expense of the urban and agricultural system, while Europe established a direct trade link with the Indian Ocean and enjoyed an exclusive monopoly at the exploitation of the American resources. The accumulated wealth and strengthening of commerce provided the necessary conditions that allowed and motivated scientific advancement. Meanwhile, the Ottoman and Safavid Empires suffered from desertification, tribal conflicts and currency depreciation, which hardly encouraged the flourishing of universities. Islam probably certainly contributed at a certain extent to strangling innovation, but there's no indication to suggest that religious interventionism increased, in comparison to the rather glorified Golden Age. The Muslim Empires gradually even became more secular, although they could not imitate the methods of the European monarchies, basically because they lacked a sufficient budget for a more centralising and aggressive towards the clergy domestic policy.

  14. #34

    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coughdrop addict View Post
    and it is only through Islam that we still have many of the Greek and Roman classics.
    This is often repeated, but I don't believe it's actually true. For example, Claudius Ptolemy's Almagest has an Arabic derived name in English because it was Gerard of Cremona's Latin translation from Arabic that circulated most in Western Europe, but Henry Aristippus had already made a Latin translation directly from the Greek original. Not to mention the Greek original is still extent to this day. Likewise, Euclid's Elements was known in Western Europe via Adelard of Bath's translation into Latin from Arabic, but once again the Greek original was preserved in the Greek speaking world, and as it turned out, there had also been a Greek copy in the Vatican Library the whole time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


  15. #35

    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    In my opinion, intellectual stagnation is the consequence of economic decline and not the reason for it. Reactionary teachings, like The Incoherence of the Philosophers always existed, with very fluid popularity, which was largely determined by the position of the political elite. Hostility against science can be noticed from the times of the Rashidun Caliphate to the suspicion of the Ottoman Sheikh al-Islam towards astronomical observatories, but Islamic science losing steam cannot be undeniably connected to any definite endorsement of obscurantism from universities or sultanates. After all, since the Islamic world was almost never a monolithic entity, such a coincidence is essentially impossible to occur. To give a similar example, technological progress was not seriously undermined in western Europe, despite the sudden emergence of Protestant extremism in England, the Rhine valley and elsewhere.

    I personally believe that Islamic thought lost its prominent place, mainly because of western Europe dramatically surpassing the Middle East in prosperity. There are many factors that led to this unexpected situation, ranging from drought and the collapse of irrigation systems to the Mongol invasions, the flood of nomadic and pastoral people at the expense of the urban and agricultural system, while Europe established a direct trade link with the Indian Ocean and enjoyed an exclusive monopoly at the exploitation of the American resources. The accumulated wealth and strengthening of commerce provided the necessary conditions that allowed and motivated scientific advancement. Meanwhile, the Ottoman and Safavid Empires suffered from desertification, tribal conflicts and currency depreciation, which hardly encouraged the flourishing of universities. Islam probably certainly contributed at a certain extent to strangling innovation, but there's no indication to suggest that religious interventionism increased, in comparison to the rather glorified Golden Age. The Muslim Empires gradually even became more secular, although they could not imitate the methods of the European monarchies, basically because they lacked a sufficient budget for a more centralising and aggressive towards the clergy domestic policy.

    The Islamic world's rejection of the printing press on what appears religious grounds would have had a negative economic effect. At the time the printing press was invented. The Islamic world was still quite prosperous at the time the printing press was created. The printing press helped spread idea and discoveries faster, in a way that was not possible in the Islamic world precisely because it rejected under religious pressure inventions like the printing press.

    Some have claimed the Moghul Empire was the richest in the world at the time, yet it did not have the intellectual curiosity of Europe - it built no great observatories and telescopes, it made no great scientific discoveries. You cannot boast how rich the Moghul Empire was and at the same time plead poverty as an excuse. While the Moghul Empire was waxing, Galileo was building his telescope and making his discoveries. You can't plead poverty that the Moghuls did not make similar discoveries.

    The Islamic world rejection of interest and things like the modern corporation equally would have an effect on prosperity. A.modern style astronomical observatory was forced to close after a few years, again due to religious objection. While one might wonder how astronomy could effect economic prosperity, the ability to calculate longitude at sea wouldn't be possible without advanced astronomical knowledge, and the ability to calculate longitude had a economic impact. Not only did it make sailing safer, but we see a decline in travel time on long distance trips to placed like India in the late 18th and 19th century. While other factors were invovled, better navigation meant less time traveling out of ones way and more time toward the destination. Intellectual ideas and inventions can contribute toward prosperity.

    Intellectual ideas can have economic impact, and inventions and intellectual ideas can promote economic growth. And until the the later 20th century, much of science was done as a hobby. Priestley, who discovered oxygen, did so on his own time as a hobby, and the discovery of oxygen would eventually have economic consequences. The famous astronomer Herschel was originally a musician by profession, and he built his telescope himself on his own expense. The claim Muslims were too poor to do experiments like Benjamin Franklin's kite experiment is false, as is the claim that lightning storms did not exist in the Islamic world. Yet without amateur experiments like Franklin's the entire field of electricity and the industry it created would not exist. It wasn't economic poverty that prevented rhe Islamic world from conducting the same kind of scientific experiments that were done in Europe.

    The development of modern firearms is an instructive example. The man responsible for the inventions of the percussion cap was a minister who was an avid bird Hunter, and was tired of the birds escaping because the slight delay from the flash of flintlock and when the gun fired was enough for the birds to fly away. That certain chemicals would ignite when struck was the kind of discoveries made by persons with an intellectual curiosity to see how the world works, no vast wealth was required to make such discoveries, the Muslim world had the money available. But without the printing press Rev. Forsyth would have been unlikely to have heard of the discovery of fulminates, and the modern gun as we know it would not exist. The use of fulminates to ignite the gunpowder made possible modern bullets and modern guns, and had a huge impact on warfare, yet was not made by the military, but by ordinary civilians. To claim that the Islamic world was too poverty stricken to have made a similar invention isn't true, as is a claim no wealthy Muslims were interested in hunting. What was lacking was an intellectual curiosity in the Muslim world to lead to similar inventions. But the lack of a printing press would have hinder the Muslims from making a similar invention.

  16. #36

    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
    This is often repeated, but I don't believe it's actually true. For example, Claudius Ptolemy's Almagest has an Arabic derived name in English because it was Gerard of Cremona's Latin translation from Arabic that circulated most in Western Europe, but Henry Aristippus had already made a Latin translation directly from the Greek original. Not to mention the Greek original is still extent to this day. Likewise, Euclid's Elements was known in Western Europe via Adelard of Bath's translation into Latin from Arabic, but once again the Greek original was preserved in the Greek speaking world, and as it turned out, there had also been a Greek copy in the Vatican Library the whole time.
    That is true. While it is true that a few classical Greek works were preserved in the Islamic world that couldn't be found in either Greek or Latin text, the majority of the classical works we have today were from Latin or Greek text. And there are some classical works that were only preserved in Greek or Latin, not Arabic, but those are not mentionrd.

    And the classics Greek works the Muslim world preserved were restricted mostly to mathematical and scientific and philosophical works. In classical works of history, literature, poetry, mythology and such, we are not in debated to the Muslims at all.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    The Middle East had long declined economically, in comparison to Europe, when the printing press was introduced in Istanbul or even invented by Gutenberg. The relationship between printing and the imperial authorities is generally complicated and cannot be easily explained as the result of religious bigotry. The calligraphy lobby probably played a more important role at forcing the Sultans to restrict the innovators than the clergy. In any case, as I mentioned above, the Islamic world is not a monolithic entity, which also means that the Ottoman example is quite irrelevant as to the flimsy popularity of printing in Iran, Morocco, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and elsewhere. In fact, even when Ibrahim Muteferrika was permitted to freely publish printed books, the results of his endeavour were not brilliant, because the Ottoman society lacked a necessary element: willing customers. On the other hand, the wealthy bourgeoisie of Europe was desperate for relatively cheap books, without demanding too much regarding the quality of the script.

    That brings me to the fact that the mythical absolute wealth of Oriental monarchies is irrelevant to my argument. What technological progress requires is a prosperous class of citizens and relatively rich states, which have the means, time and need to establish an efficient education system and to indulge in experiments and exhaustive reading. Islamic thought and science continued to evolve and improve during the early modern era, with the remarkable difference of having lost the ability to pioneer and compete with the western European countries that gradually abandoned medieval feudalism.

  18. #38

    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    The Middle East had long declined economically, in comparison to Europe, when the printing press was introduced in Istanbul or even invented by Gutenberg. The relationship between printing and the imperial authorities is generally complicated and cannot be easily explained as the result of religious bigotry. The calligraphy lobby probably played a more important role at forcing the Sultans to restrict the innovators than the clergy. In any case, as I mentioned above, the Islamic world is not a monolithic entity, which also means that the Ottoman example is quite irrelevant as to the flimsy popularity of printing in Iran, Morocco, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and elsewhere. In fact, even when Ibrahim Muteferrika was permitted to freely publish printed books, the results of his endeavour were not brilliant, because the Ottoman society lacked a necessary element: willing customers. On the other hand, the wealthy bourgeoisie of Europe was desperate for relatively cheap books, without demanding too much regarding the quality of the script.
    Yet it is precisely the fact that printing wasn't adopted anywhere in the Islamic world that undermines your point - the only unifying principle in the Islamic world was Islam.. The Mughuls, and other wealthy Islamic realms didnt adopt printing either, so the policies of the Sultan and the policies in the Ottoman court do not explain the failure of printing to be adopted in other parts of the Islamic world. The flowing Arabic script was perhaps a little harder to replicate, but printers are able to print decent Arabic today, so it was possible. If the quality of Arabic wasn't acceptable, it was of because of lack of effort. Perhaps the flowing Arabic script was harder to replicate in printing, and the existing calligraphy lobby stronger, but those are mere obstacles, not insurmountable barriers.

    Also, the quality of Gutenberg's Bible was a good as the finest calligraphy, so the European consumers weren't giving up on quality unless they chose to save even more money. There were many kinds of technical writing, reports, where beautiful calligraphy was not needed. If readers insisted on beautiful calligraphy for everything, even daily news reports and dull farm reports, thatnis a cultural issue, and what unifying factor among the Islamic world is there but Islam?

    As for the lack ofneilling customers, why weren't their customers? Weren't there engineers, miners, and others whoncould benefited from reading technical manuals on their subjects? Why should they be demanding beautiful closing script for practical reference works? And the printing press spread throughout Europe, Even Russia had a printing press by the 16th century. Are we saying that even Russia was richer than the entire Islamic world?

    That brings me to the fact that the mythical absolute wealth of Oriental monarchies is irrelevant to my argument. What technological progress requires is a prosperous class of citizens and relatively rich states, which have the means, time and need to establish an efficient education system and to indulge in experiments and exhaustive reading. Islamic thought and science continued to evolve and improve during the early modern era, with the remarkable difference of having lost the ability to pioneer and compete with the western European countries that gradually abandoned medieval feudalism.
    So it seems you are acknowledging Europe had become richer than than the Islamic world even before European colonial expansion, since the printing press was invented before Columbus sailed to America or the Portuguese sailed to India. Already by the 12th century Europeans had developed horizontal axis windmills, 13th century reading glasses, the 14th century all mechanical clocks, and the 15th century the matchlock gun. Europe had created modern university, and had a system of universities throughout Europe by the 14th century, many which still are famous universities today. Do you think Europe of the 14th century was more prosperous than the Islamic world already by the 14th century? When did Europe become richer? 12th century, 13th?

    While it takes a certain level of prosperity to make inventions and discoveries, inventions and discoveries also increase and drive prosperity. Invention of trains and steamships greatly lowered transportation cost and greatly increased prosperity. The Islamic world took over what was the richest parts of the ancient Greek and Roman classical world, and while you talk about a decline in agriculture due to things like increased desertification, was that any worse that what Europeans faced with the Little Ice Age, which render Greenland uninhabitable, and shortened growing seasons? The Plague hit places like Egypt hard,.true, but Europe was hit just as hard, yet the Plague did not stop European technical advance. Nor did all the wars the Europeans fought in stop European advance either.

    Another factor is that to develop new technology, or pioneer new travel routes takes money, and if it harder to borrow money, that will discourage development. Yes, Muslims had work aroundz against the prohibition against lending money, but they are just arounds and not as effective.

  19. #39
    LestaT's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    Islam strength = is not a religion, but a way of life. Islam is not just about prayers and rituals but how one conduct one's life better, both for this world amd the next. Islam is like the string of a high flying kite, keeping the kite to the ground no matter how people (kite) fly high and far.

    Islam weakness = often misunderstood due to actions by some (who calls or were called by others) muslims are considered as what Islam is and what's not.

  20. #40
    basics's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: On Islam's strength's and weaknesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by LestaT View Post
    Islam strength = is not a religion, but a way of life. Islam is not just about prayers and rituals but how one conduct one's life better, both for this world amd the next. Islam is like the string of a high flying kite, keeping the kite to the ground no matter how people (kite) fly high and far.

    Islam weakness = often misunderstood due to actions by some (who calls or were called by others) muslims are considered as what Islam is and what's not.
    LestaT,

    In effect Islam is just another religion of works.

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