Stathis, 
you argued 'my points' in your usual eloquence. What you missed IMO:
 the 'seeming rationality' of the pro-Q'ran  argument is in the rationality (?) 
of the faithful mindset. It starts from premises as 'truth' what you would 
question. "I" find your position reasonable and OK for our minority.  
And do not denigrate numberwise the religious portion of the (western?) part by 
the agnostics: they are believers, not so sure in what. 

Our nameless Oriental (?) sage reverses the question of 'proving' into 'prove 
the nonexistence', which is quite impossible, if the 'existence' has not been 
'justified' - only such argument can be made a subject of a debate. 

I don't think it is reasonable to 'talk' to those who blow you up because of 
their worldview impenetrable by our mindset. What can we say to them? that they 
are wrong? Whatever we tell them "is a lie", is noise, meaningless. 
They KNOW. They are instructed by people they believe and THOSE people are not 
subject to discussion. It is a power-war (aggrevated by US political moves into 
- what I am afraid of - no recourse). It is just as not religious as the commi 
world was (unless you call that, too, religion). 
More dangerous, because of the promised rewards in the 'afterworld' which is 
believable, but not checkable. 

John 

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Stathis Papaioannou 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Tuesday, February 27, 2007 9:24 AM
  Subject: Re: Believing in Divine Destiny





  On 2/28/07, John Mikes <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:


    Stathis:
    You, of all people, should realize that one belief system cannot reach over 
to 
    another one. Logic - mindset is different, "facts" come in different 
shades, "evidence" is 
    adjusted to the 'system', a belief system is a whole world. 
    Brent makes the same mistake: to argue from his 'scientific' (is it really 
- in the 
    conventional old sense???) mindset with statements of the faithful, but it 
is a 
    geerally committed error - while you, a learned mind-scientist should know 
    better. 
    I am not on top of this myself: I fall frequently into arguing from my 
'rational' 
    worldview into the (rational for them) faith-induced mentality.

  [EMAIL PROTECTED] was specifically arguing that the evidence for the Qu'ran 
being the genuine word of Mohamed was good. That is an empirical argument and I 
can accept it. But this misses the point because the more interesting question 
is whether the Qu'ran is the word of God. [EMAIL PROTECTED] has been proposing 
allegedly rational/empirical arguments in support of this latter claim, but 
they are not nearly up to the standard of the evidence that the Qu'ran was, 
indeed, written by the historical figure Mohamed. Had [EMAIL PROTECTED] said, 
"this is what I believe to be the truth, so there", there is no gain in 
pointing out logical or empirical inconsistencies, although there may still be 
a point in examining the nature of faith, and how to decide which of the 
multitude of conflicting faiths is true (sometimes religious people are 
perfectly rational and scientific about every religion except their own, which 
strikes me as cheating). 



    We are the (negligible) minority. "They" have less doubts than us.

  Most of what is commonly called the western world today, with the notable 
exception of the US, is agnostic, atheistic or just plain uninterested in 
religion.



    So I thank [EMAIL PROTECTED] (whoever he or she may be) for the 
    valuable intofmation about the Muslim culture and take it as that. 

  No doubt about it, he or she put a lot of work into the posts and even writes 
reasonably well. 



    We will never get a jihadic self-sacrificer to accept that his expectation 
of the 
    huris waitnig for pleasuring him 'over there' is unfounded. It is for him 
and who 
    cares (in my view) for 'happenings' of our present (human) copmplexity 
after it 
    dissolved (call it death) into disintegration? 

  You don't think we should even try to talk to them? Admitedly, they are far 
more likely to listen to economic or political arguments than philosophical 
ones. 



    A year ago or so Wei Dai put an end to religious discussions on the list.

  Did he? I suppose we are straying from the list subject somewhat, but overall 
the quality and relevance of the debate has remained very high over the years, 
more so than some moderated lists. 



    That was in the Judeochristian domain. He was right on the button. 
    Is the Judeochrismuslim argumental domain different? 
    Such discussions cannot be resolved into any agreement of the 2 poles.

    Anybody arguing  - MY - point?

  What you've consistently said is that people may come from completely 
different backgrounds and viewpoints and this does not mean we should discount 
the non-standard viewpoint. However, at the very least, if someone comes along 
and claims that they are following the standard rules of a game, such as 
science, they can't complain if they are judged according to those rules. 



    John Mikes


    On 2/26/07, Stathis Papaioannou <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
      But how do you know that the Qu'ran is actually the word of God? People 
claim all sorts of things, and while it's often easy to prove that they 
*claimed* these things (although as you rightly point out, with many religions, 
such as Christianity, even this is not a given), the point is to prove that 
these things are *true*. The more incredible-sounding, the more proof is 
needed. If I tell you I had a conversation with my mother last night you would 
probably have no reason to demand proof, but if I tell you I had a conversation 
with God or aliens or Elvis Presley, then you'd be foolish to just accept it, 
even if it can be shown that I genuinely believe what I am claiming. 

      Stathis Papaioannou

       
      On 2/27/07, [EMAIL PROTECTED] < [EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

        Skip text








  



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