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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • One of the wisest things I've heard on this subject has been told to me by a muslim. As you may know, the first of the five Pillars of Islam is the shahada : a muslim must claim his faith by the means of the following sentence : There is no other god than God, and Muhammad is His prophet. The theological importance of the first part of the sentence is enormous : the other religions have the same God -- but different prophets. Muhammad -- from a muslim point of view -- happens to be a better prophet because
    • the other religions have the same God [as Islam]...

      I have heard this argument before. And, interestingly, it's usually atheists who make it.

      Well, it's bogus. I'm sure that from an atheist's point of view, a logical identity relation exists between all religions that have the quality "Num_Gods==1". But that's silly. If anything, an atheist should be more inclined to distinguish between various purported all-being entities, since they're all fictitious!

      In any case, it is fallacious to draw an identity
      • The whole idea of incompatible gods is ridiculous. How can you say 'my god is true and yours is false'. The problem with this is that man is faliable and therefore all religions are flawed by their intepretation by man.

        The other problem with this attitude is that different cultures have the same view of say 'the sun' and use different words for it. For example God being referred to as Allah or JHVH is a language rather than religious issue.

        The characteristics of both God and the sun are also different acc
        --

        @JAPH = qw(Hacker Perl Another Just);
        print reverse @JAPH;
        • How can you say 'my god is true and yours is false'.

          That boils down to religious belief. But that's not the issue here.

          God being referred to as Allah or JHVH is a language rather than religious issue.

          Of course; that's also not what's under discussion here.

          God and the sun are also different according to your culture and location.

          You miss the point.

          According to "my" world view, the Earth is flat, and if you sail too far, you'll fall off the edge.

          According to "your" world view, the surface of the
          • Actually, I think the analogy with the blind men and the elephant is bang on. At least for the people of the Book. Consider the history of the three religions (ignoring for the a moment the Shia/Sunni and Protestant/Catholic/Orthodox schisms).

            In each of those three religions God is revealed through the teachings of a prophet (or prophets).

            Moses comes down from the mountain with his tablets of stone and does the whole "The Lord thy God is a jealous bastard, do what he says or get smited, for ye are his cho
            • I think the analogy with the blind men and the elephant is bang on.

              I don't see how it can be. It boils down to this: the perspectives given by the blind men are not contradictory. Put together, they form a picture of the whole beast (or at least a part of the beast). That picture is consistent -- an animal with a head, a tail, four legs, etc. This does not work for the various religions' perspectives of the deity.

              Consider the history of the three religions...

              With all due respect, the histories are irrelevant. In some/most/all/? cases, the historical connection was an ex post facto grab for legitimacy, or at least relevance.

              The fact that Muhammad claimed that Allah is none other than the God of Abraham, is, unfortunately, insufficient to establish his identity as such.

              Look at it this way: the prophecies of the Old Testament are incompatible with the word delivered by Muhammad. Both religions depend upon the inerrancy of prophecy; yet if the two bodies of prophecy are to be reconciled, the integrity of prophecy itself is destroyed, to both religions' detriment. In short, the god who spoke through the OT prophets can not be the same god who spoke through Muhammad.

              The situation with Christianity vs. Judaism is not quite so stark, I'll admit.

              ...while altering their teachings in more or less subtle ways.

              I'd say in entirely unsubtle ways.

              After all, it appears that that's what Mohammed himself believed.

              Strange, isn't it? To believe, and teach, such a thing that clearly (to anyone with a lick of sense) can not possibly be. Yet, that's what religion is all about, eh?

              I believe that there is no God.

              As I said before, I think it's interesting -- significant, even -- that the only people who try to argue that all monotheistic deities must of necessity be the same god are atheists.

              From the perspective of a believer, all other religions' gods (whether nor not monotheistic) are false, fictitious, and "different", similarities and historical connections not withstanding.