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Define "far right" and please explain how much of the religious terrorism out there is "far right".
It's the "militaristic" interpretation of religios texts taken without proper background or context of revelation to push one's political or any other agenda. I dare not to talk about other people's faiths, for I am not theologian or sociologist, or even my own without proper research. But let me use leyman's examples here. There are indeed Qur'an verses that about killing your enemies, and that seems harsh. But let's look someplace else, there are verses about being gentle to women, being just, always telling the truth... so it's a system that covers all the aspects of human life. War isn't something that doesn't happen, it's not encouraged, it's said even never to seek confrontation, but in the event of it, of course that you are going to be fierce in fight, you aren't letting someone walk all over you. So yes, war happens, and you are to show your teeth if your existence is endangered. Certain entities are using things like this to promote violence and killing of others, even of their own faith if they don't match their militaristic views. Take ISIS, most of their victims were Muslims that didn't share their views. For further explanation I suggest you check what scholars have to say about, I am not well versed in citing and interpreting sources, and also I don't want to make this a ideological battle.

Thanks for asking, I hope I did shed SOME light at least.
 

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It's strange how in a few months, my views have changed from what I posted in the first few pages of this thread. I still believe, in fact I probably take it more seriously but I still have unanswered questions; more specifically, I've realized that I'm never going to be fully satisfied with the answers that I get from both sides.

So I continue to believe due to a combination of (imperfect?) logic and emotion; I still pray , attend service, I try to follow the tenets of my faith but I try not to think too much about existential stuff. That last part is becoming hard to do.

I do respect other beliefs or lack there of. They let me be, I let them be.
 

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It's the "militaristic" interpretation of religios texts taken without proper background or context of revelation to push one's political or any other agenda. I dare not to talk about other people's faiths, for I am not theologian or sociologist, or even my own without proper research. But let me use leyman's examples here. There are indeed Qur'an verses that about killing your enemies, and that seems harsh. But let's look someplace else, there are verses about being gentle to women, being just, always telling the truth... so it's a system that covers all the aspects of human life. War isn't something that doesn't happen, it's not encouraged, it's said even never to seek confrontation, but in the event of it, of course that you are going to be fierce in fight, you aren't letting someone walk all over you. So yes, war happens, and you are to show your teeth if your existence is endangered. Certain entities are using things like this to promote violence and killing of others, even of their own faith if they don't match their militaristic views. Take ISIS, most of their victims were Muslims that didn't share their views. For further explanation I suggest you check what scholars have to say about, I am not well versed in citing and interpreting sources, and also I don't want to make this a ideological battle.

Thanks for asking, I hope I did shed SOME light at least.
Thank you, you shed a lot of light. One question: is that notion of what constitutes religious 'far right' common in the muslim world or is it mainly your own interpretation?
 

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Thank you, you shed a lot of light. One question: is that notion of what constitutes religious 'far right' common in the muslim world or is it mainly your own interpretation?
Of course it isy common, and it has roots since the 7th century. There is a term "Khawarij" and ISIS is only the most recent manifestation of that teaching. Those are people who have no knowledge whatsoever, and they don't accept any authority but themselves. It's basically a sect. They even killed a rightful ruler at that time. All islamic scholars through time have stongly advised against such teachings and behaviours, but today that voice isn't heard because for some political agendas it's better to take these outlaws as a representation of faith that has more than a billion followers. Ridiculous really.

I am glad my word salad was helpful. Cheers.
 

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It's the "militaristic" interpretation of religios texts taken without proper background or context of revelation to push one's political or any other agenda. I dare not to talk about other people's faiths, for I am not theologian or sociologist, or even my own without proper research. But let me use leyman's examples here. There are indeed Qur'an verses that about killing your enemies, and that seems harsh. But let's look someplace else, there are verses about being gentle to women, being just, always telling the truth... so it's a system that covers all the aspects of human life. War isn't something that doesn't happen, it's not encouraged, it's said even never to seek confrontation, but in the event of it, of course that you are going to be fierce in fight, you aren't letting someone walk all over you. So yes, war happens, and you are to show your teeth if your existence is endangered. Certain entities are using things like this to promote violence and killing of others, even of their own faith if they don't match their militaristic views. Take ISIS, most of their victims were Muslims that didn't share their views. For further explanation I suggest you check what scholars have to say about, I am not well versed in citing and interpreting sources, and also I don't want to make this a ideological battle.

Thanks for asking, I hope I did shed SOME light at least.
It is true ISIS did persecute other Muslim faiths, but that was mainly due to their numbers.
Any Christians and other religions, eg the Yazidis, were met with a terrible fate at the hands of ISIS.
But on the subject of right wing extremism, it certainly exists in most western societies, but is generally underground and not that visible to most conservative citizens.
 

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I belong to the Christian civilization, in that sense Im deeply Christian and Roman Catholic. Unfortunately Im agnostic, that is faithless, the worst of all places.
That surely implies you have an open mind. Commitment is hard because of the sacrifices required. I totally get the atheist point of view as well, life just seems more "inconvenient" when you have God in the picture. We all don't like being told what to do. The irony is that from the Christian perspective, this inconvenience we perceive is exactly part of the problem - we are unable to truly relate to God on our own, and when all we do what we want to do, sometimes the consequences aren't so great.

The alternative that the universe is completely naturalistic is far more difficult for me to accept. Are we simply the same as the animals, the breath no greater than they? Did we cry or mourn death in vain? Was injustice really just our imagination of what a proper world should be like, when the world is just dog eat dog, and death imparts to all with finality - i.e. then suicide is actually not a bad end for the person, only to others? And was our seeming intelligence, the ability to solve some of the most "useless" but dastardly difficult problems as Fermat's Last Theorem (number theory Diophantine problem that was posited in the 17th century but took over 350 years to solve, credited to Andrew Wiles) just a product of random gene mutations that produced superior intelligence, without imparting any additional benefit (I mean Wiles solved it and got huge acclaim, but it didn't exactly change the world nor even was considered of high priority on a mathematician's to-do list, rather it was a party game by comparison, albeit of a troll source. Entirely useless in and of itself, apart from the algebra required to prove it)? I must insult myself to suggest that an unordered unintelligent universe put together the thoughts that appear from my head, with which I have no way to ascertain its internal logic! Do we just take the word from our brain, which operates and was produced under such unintelligent and chaotic principles?


Evolution by natural selection somehow managed this for our survival?

Anyhow just wanted to explain some perspectives on a rational basis for belief.
The other perspective is an irrational one - and one I cannot explain, except for that it is. Now I sit down at the church pews and they start preaching on the love of God through Christ, his selflessness, and the desperation of the human situation and their need for a Saviour. I get fed truth bombs and get broken up inside. There's an unconscious divine call that tells me it is right, even when I am inclined to turn away from that. My heart's not always there in the right place but the man on the cross and his story, whenever it is emphasised, makes me shake from the walls of my body, and I cannot fight that, to the point of tearing up. Acts 2:36 calls this "cut to the heart", and that's the feeling I get in oneness with God. It's beautiful and awe-inspiring, and leaves me defenseless and broken to my own desires.

354868


The Bible tell the stubborn Israelites in the book of Joel to "rend your heart, not your garments" (Joel 2:13) and in Ezekiel to have their hearts of stone replaced with hearts of flesh. Joel and Ezekiel both then predicts this heart rending experience.

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26

But at the same time, we know that we find it very hard to change our attitudes and propensity towards evil, as the leopard doesn't change its spots nor can a black man the colour of his skin (Jeremiah 13:23). Even greater a problem, is that we cannot do moral heart surgeries on ourselves. Religious cleansing rituals do not clean our moral consciences marred from the inside. No amount of washing our hands, or bowing your head on a mat, even kissing the pope's ring will change that part of us, but we are so inclined to buy it. These are but covers for a defective heart.



The prospect of a new heart is a fantastic one, but I always feel the internal struggle to choose rightly and embrace the new heart and let it rule my life. This to me is the basis of the Christian faith more than anything else. The struggle is real but has been won. I can feel that within. As much as I am a man of logic, the personal heart rending experience is one that transcends our scale of logic, but it is a crucial one to a person's faith. The default position of any man is to proclaim his own intelligence and perspectives superior. No man will comfortably turn his head to face God unless he is humble enough to recognise a heart issue within. And when such a person realises that God still loves them despite this horrible truth, the heart is rended, reshaped and reinvigorated, quite a cathartic experience. There are many out there who struggle with the truth about God. They have so many questions but see no answers, steeped too heavily in "logic" to see beauty, love and tragedy. Being intelligent can often be a huge blindspot. Of all things, it wasn't science or logic that brought me to God, but rather "rend your heart", and I'm more the glad for that. Of course, I still had to investigate the claims further but without the heart-rending, there would not be any magnetic draw towards faith.
 

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Discussion Starter #308 (Edited)
Today, it is Resurrection Day, Easter Sunday. Churches have been shut but moving onto online platforms. Distant in physical space, but one in spirit and chorus. As I spoke about heart-rending, you can often feel it in Christian hymns and songs, I cannot help but tear up and have fullness in the heart. These in particular are very fitting for the Easter period. I hope these might lift up your spirits and inspire in tough times, regardless of your faith status. @IBM @Bakano @RocketMan70 @bilentsob @n00b


There Is a Higher Throne (feat. Keith & Kristyn Getty)

And quite possibly the most beautiful hymn:
Jesus Your Blood and Righteousness (Ruth Buchanan arrangement)

The purity knows no bounds, and understandably, some people are afraid to embrace it. But what power to those who do.
 

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That surely implies you have an open mind. Commitment is hard because of the sacrifices required. I totally get the atheist point of view as well, life just seems more "inconvenient" when you have God in the picture. We all don't like being told what to do. The irony is that from the Christian perspective, this inconvenience we perceive is exactly part of the problem - we are unable to truly relate to God on our own, and when all we do what we want to do, sometimes the consequences aren't so great.

The alternative that the universe is completely naturalistic is far more difficult for me to accept. Are we simply the same as the animals, the breath no greater than they? Did we cry or mourn death in vain? Was injustice really just our imagination of what a proper world should be like, when the world is just dog eat dog, and death imparts to all with finality - i.e. then suicide is actually not a bad end for the person, only to others? And was our seeming intelligence, the ability to solve some of the most "useless" but dastardly difficult problems as Fermat's Last Theorem (number theory Diophantine problem that was posited in the 17th century but took over 350 years to solve, credited to Andrew Wiles) just a product of random gene mutations that produced superior intelligence, without imparting any additional benefit (I mean Wiles solved it and got huge acclaim, but it didn't exactly change the world nor even was considered of high priority on a mathematician's to-do list, rather it was a party game by comparison, albeit of a troll source. Entirely useless in and of itself, apart from the algebra required to prove it)? I must insult myself to suggest that an unordered unintelligent universe put together the thoughts that appear from my head, with which I have no way to ascertain its internal logic! Do we just take the word from our brain, which operates and was produced under such unintelligent and chaotic principles?


Evolution by natural selection somehow managed this for our survival?

Anyhow just wanted to explain some perspectives on a rational basis for belief.
The other perspective is an irrational one - and one I cannot explain, except for that it is. Now I sit down at the church pews and they start preaching on the love of God through Christ, his selflessness, and the desperation of the human situation and their need for a Saviour. I get fed truth bombs and get broken up inside. There's an unconscious divine call that tells me it is right, even when I am inclined to turn away from that. My heart's not always there in the right place but the man on the cross and his story, whenever it is emphasised, makes me shake from the walls of my body, and I cannot fight that, to the point of tearing up. Acts 2:36 calls this "cut to the heart", and that's the feeling I get in oneness with God. It's beautiful and awe-inspiring, and leaves me defenseless and broken to my own desires.

View attachment 354868

The Bible tell the stubborn Israelites in the book of Joel to "rend your heart, not your garments" (Joel 2:13) and in Ezekiel to have their hearts of stone replaced with hearts of flesh. Joel and Ezekiel both then predicts this heart rending experience.

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26

But at the same time, we know that we find it very hard to change our attitudes and propensity towards evil, as the leopard doesn't change its spots nor can a black man the colour of his skin (Jeremiah 13:23). Even greater a problem, is that we cannot do moral heart surgeries on ourselves. Religious cleansing rituals do not clean our moral consciences marred from the inside. No amount of washing our hands, or bowing your head on a mat, even kissing the pope's ring will change that part of us, but we are so inclined to buy it. These are but covers for a defective heart.



The prospect of a new heart is a fantastic one, but I always feel the internal struggle to choose rightly and embrace the new heart and let it rule my life. This to me is the basis of the Christian faith more than anything else. The struggle is real but has been won. I can feel that within. As much as I am a man of logic, the personal heart rending experience is one that transcends our scale of logic, but it is a crucial one to a person's faith. The default position of any man is to proclaim his own intelligence and perspectives superior. No man will comfortably turn his head to face God unless he is humble enough to recognise a heart issue within. And when such a person realises that God still loves them despite this horrible truth, the heart is rended, reshaped and reinvigorated, quite a cathartic experience. There are many out there who struggle with the truth about God. They have so many questions but see no answers, steeped too heavily in "logic" to see beauty, love and tragedy. Being intelligent can often be a huge blindspot. Of all things, it wasn't science or logic that brought me to God, but rather "rend your heart", and I'm more the glad for that. Of course, I still had to investigate the claims further but without the heart-rending, there would not be any magnetic draw towards faith.
Thank you for sharing your experience in such a great manner. Lot of food for thought.
 

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I belong to the Christian civilization, in that sense Im deeply Christian and Roman Catholic. Unfortunately Im agnostic, that is faithless, the worst of all places.
Everybody is agnostic. Nobody has proof of a higher being and nobody has proof there isn’t one. Nobody knows. So the word and state of being is actually redundant.
What we have to do is decide which is the more probable and go with that. I am an atheist because I believe the probability of a higher being is below 50%. - way below in my own belief.

And why would you choose to be in what you think is the worst of all places?
 

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Everybody is agnostic. Nobody has proof of a higher being and nobody has proof there isn’t one. Nobody knows. So the word and state of being is actually redundant.
What we have to do is decide which is the more probable and go with that. I am an atheist because I believe the probability of a higher being is below 50%. - way below in my own belief.

And why would you choose to be in what you think is the worst of all places?
Lots of things out of your equation. Faith or lack thereof has little to do with a probability-based rational decision.
 

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Lots of things out of your equation. Faith or lack thereof has little to do with a probability-based rational decision.
It does not matter what you put in the equation. It does not even have to be rational. It is a simple personal yes or no, based on whatever parameters you wish.
 

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It does not matter what you put in the equation. It does not even have to be rational. It is a simple personal yes or no, based on whatever parameters you wish.
It's yes, no, or I don't know.
 

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@MWW I don't recall where your parents are originally from. But if it is where I think it is, there is only a tiny percent of Christians there.

I'm always curious how people from countries where most people are either irreligious or follow a non-organized (I'm trying to find a better word for this) religion become members of one of the Abrahamic Faith's like Christianity, Islam or Judaism.
 

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@MWW I don't recall where your parents are originally from. But if it is where I think it is, there is only a tiny percent of Christians there.

I'm always curious how people from countries where most people are either irreligious or follow a non-organized (I'm trying to find a better word for this) religion become members of one of the Abrahamic Faith's like Christianity, Islam or Judaism.
Does Chile as one of the most atheist countries in Latin America count?
 

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Does Chile as one of the most atheist countries in Latin America count?
I just looked at the numbers. I didn't know Uruguay and Chile had such relatively high numbers. Is that an effect of economic development or are they totally unrelated?
 

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Discussion Starter #317 (Edited)
@MWW I don't recall where your parents are originally from. But if it is where I think it is, there is only a tiny percent of Christians there.

I'm always curious how people from countries where most people are either irreligious or follow a non-organized (I'm trying to find a better word for this) religion become members of one of the Abrahamic Faith's like Christianity, Islam or Judaism.
China and Hong Kong.

Much better than in Japan, actually where a lot of missionaries from my church have gone.
Cambodia's Christian population great vastly after the end of the Vietnam War. Part of it is actively seeking change and community. Remember the words of Paul from Galatians 3.



These are trulyremarkable words. In Sunday school, I recall singing that song, "Father Abraham had many sons...many sons had Father Abraham. I am one of them, and so are you. So let's just praise the Lord". At the time I was wondering how I could be related to Abraham, for I was not a Jew by heritage (remember Nicodemus, "you must be born again"). This is answered in this passage, you become a child of Abraham and heir of the promise by sharing in the same faith Abraham had in God's promises fulfilled in Christ.

The other aspect is community (see end of Acts 2) where people support each other's needs.
 

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I never knew religious Christian from Asia on personal level, so kudos @MWW

so are you Catholic, and how often were you going to church there in Australia, during pre-covid world?
 

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How did your respective religious communities react to
I want to add another question

How do other religious see moses?

In jewdisem he is very important, equals to abraham's status and closeness to god
That's a very good question, thank you.

Moses, or the Arabic version of a name Mūsā, is one of the most highly revered Prophets in Islam, and is the most frequently mentioned individual in the Qur'an, his name being mentioned 135 times. Many Qur'anic stories refer to Moses and his trials. Also during the "Miraj" (night journey) Muhammad met Moses on the 7th level of Heaven. After ascending further and receiving the obligation of 50 (yes fifty, not a mistake) daily prayers by God, Muhammad met Moses on his way back, where Moses told him he should ask God to reduce this number, for his community won't be able to fulfill it. This was repeated until it was reduced to 5 daily prayers, on which Moses also advised reduction, but Mohammad said he felt ashamed to ask for more. There is an amazing story of him you'd love to read, in Qur'an surah Kahf, where he travels with his boy-servant to meet this wise man that should teach him wisdom. The old man had a gift of seeing the consequences of all events, so he used to intervene with seemingly harsh actions, by which Moses was appalled and angered, but later when he received the explanation, he was soothed and had learned it was a gift from God to this, man and one shouldn't be quick to judge other's action without knowing the reason behind it. There is also a story we all know, about how his mother had to put him in a river to save him, and he grew with Pharaoh, only to rebel against him later and demand the end of slavery for Israelites. Qur'an states he came with his brother Aron bringing miracles to convince Pharaoh of the existence of One God, and challenged his magicians and beat their illusionary magic with true genuine miracles.

Regardless of Israeli conflict with Palestinians, there is no harm for you to check on these stories, they might reinforce your faith and at the end of the day, they are just beautiful to read. I personally have read Bible (not studied in detail though) and I'd love to read Torah as well.

Cheers.
 

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Thank you for your reply, I did hear a few times how much moses is important in the Islam. Will you say he is the second most important prophet?
 
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