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bryden42
Ok, So I am all up for free speech and whilst not a great fan of religion I also up for anyone believing in whatever they wish but an interesting situation arose for a teacher friend of mine the other week and I thought that I would field it to you guys to discuss.

It goes like this:
Teacher is asked by small girl (who is a Pentacostalist christian)
"how long can someone hold their breath for?"
Teacher (with alarm bells ringing) asks
"Why do you want to know?"
Little girl replies
"last Sunday the pastor was telling us about jonah and the whale, And I was wondering how long jonah could have held his breath for"
Teacher replies
"I think that that story is meant to be allegorical"
Small child gets Irate and says
"No its not our pastor says so, and he said that anyone that saidit was is going to hell"

Now there are a number of things that concern me about this story (Respect for elders and the brainwashing of small children not withstanding) what concerns me here though is the fact that after the outburst the teacher in question left the conversation and walked away, Why? because of fear of losing a job. This leads me to the question where do you draw the line between being able to say what you want despite the religious implications and religion being able to control what is said, for example the Hamas party has recently said that it does not recognise Israel and its right to exist or believe what it does (not an exact quote but deffinately the upshot of).
Of course I don't recognise any religions right to tell me what I can or cannot say or do does this make me an extremist? (of course I have enough respect for others beliefs to live and let live).

Any body else any thoughts?
beleraphon
interesting

I'd have bounced it back to the childs preacher, let him explain.
Tell the child that humans can be starved of oxygen for about 4 mins before brain damage starts to occur, and most people can hold their breath for about 1 minute without too much discomfort. Without oxygen humans die.

Its easier to say - "I don't know how Jonah survived inside the whale, he should have died under those conditions" than to try and explain the concept of alegory to a small child, or to contradict someones faith.

Then again, if the preacher had any sense then he'd be telling the child that under 'normal' circumstances Jonah would have perished inside the whale - but that because god can do miracles Jonah survived.

That way you are not damaging the childs faith and scientific fact is preserved.

I'd say it was a very irresponsible and close-minded 'elder' who told the child that story.
Mata
The expression of beliefs is always a tricky thing. An extreme socialist might feel that their views on racial purity are logical, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they should be given the right to attempt to convince others.

In the example given, the responsibility for upholding a logical argument clearly rests with the pastor, and the best response would be to let the pastor deal with it. The simple answer is simply that Jonah survived through the miraculous will of God. It's simple, it's easy, and it does not require scientific evidence. I don't have any problem at all with religions that say 'it's a miracle, so that's why it doesn't make rational sense'. I start having issues when people like Creationists start trying to tell me that they have a logical faith.

For me, logic has to be the underpinning of arguments, and beyond that faith is needed. I don't mind faith at all, I have a fair bit of it myself, as long as it is kept discrete from the process of logical rationalisation. When you start demanding rationalisation of the precise physical method emplyed by God to keep Jonah alive, for example, then you're taking the whole thing too far. You can say it's an allegory, you can say it was a miracle, but saying that it happened through a rational natural process just bugs me!
Calantyr
She asked the question to the teacher. They is perfectly within her rights to answer that to the best of their ability. That could be, a human can hold their breath for a maximum of two minutes if they are extremely fit.

If she doesn't like that answer? Well that's her fault. She shouldn't have asked the question if she isn't prepared for someones honest answer.

"But my pastor said this!" Well good for him. Get him to explain it then. You don't like my explanation? Well stop asking me questions.

Bah. I hate kids. And I hate indoctrinated kids even more.

In fact I hate a lot of things at the moment.

*Is filled with generic rage.*
Mata
It would certainly be an interesting test case. I'm not sure what the argument would be against the teacher: clearly there would be some approach stating that they were infringing the religious wishes of the family, but the teacher is employed by the state to educate and give accurate information to students who ask for it. Any ruling suggesting that the teacher should not answer questions about the natural operation of the world, in case a physics lesson demonstrates that water does not spontaneously turn into wine, would be very interesting to see enforced.

To me, a teacher's duty is to inform students about the operation of the natural world. The duty of religious leaders appears to be to convince people that there are also potential supernatural events in the world, and a religion teacher is there to explain the competing supernatural interpretations of the world. The teacher's answer about Jonah should be accurate, and the child's questions about the contradiction between that and the Bible story should then be explained with 'that's why it's regarded as a miracle. I don't teach the Bible, so you'd better talk to your pastor about that.'

I think that the concept of miracles is important in life, because serendipity is necessary for optimism. Christianity can provide a reasonable and ethical approach to the world, but it also needs to recognise that it is primarily a moral framework, and such things need to be adaptive to help their believers function in society. The teachings of Jesus are basically sound, the problems come when all Bible stories are understood and taught as being the literal truth. Not having any faith in the possibility of miraculous luck would sap any hope for good outcomes in bad situations. Yes, it's more rational to believe that bad events result in bad endings, but isn't it more useful to believe that, by apparent luck, great benefits can come out of bad times?

That's a little off-topic, but my point is that I think that the teaching of miracles to children has its place in building an optimistic view of the world at an early age. We can all get bitter and cynical when we're older, but if we once believed in magic I think that helps us get through life. Yes, there are levels to this so indoctrination must be viewed differently from promoting an open and curious mind, but I think that overall it can create a happier adult.
Calantyr
Oh I'm not saying we should beat all sense of miracle and wonder out of our children. I believe that that there are certainly things to existance that are completely unknowlable and as such to restrict ourselves to only cold science... well... its somewhat limiting...

And as for various mythologies, religions, or even folk tales? Well they build character, enrich our world, and give people hope.

But as you say, they are different spheres. Teachers teach observeable facts and 'truths' obtained through the scientific method. Simply how things appear to be and what we can reason is probable. It doesn't have to step on the toes of religion at all. They are different ways of understanding the world. Learning either doesn't negate the other. If you don't believe in science? Well good for you. If you can find another explanation, great.

However that doesn't give you the right to belittle people who teach science.

Gah. I'm not sure if I'm making any sense. I was watching Dawn of the Dead while typing this.
bryden42
just to add to this, I heard on the radio on the way home about the new laws the government are putting through the system at the moment regarding incitment to religious hatred and the demonstrations that are going on outside of parliament.

What I find scary about my teacher friends situation is that 2 thirds (about 150) of the children at the school go to the same churchand hold the same beliefs.

My other issue is what kind of response do you want from a biology teacher, yes the 1 to 2 minute breath holding but do you then not want them to bring up stomach acids and the effects of depth pressure on a body or a whole host of other things that a biology teacher knows about.

Yes Mata I agree with you about the teachers place and the pastors place and all about the place of belief and wonder in a persons life.

I suppose that one of the other things I was trying to bring up was that whilst this child is just that, A child, the point of view she displayed wasn't unrepresentative of a lot of parties (both religious and not) that i have heard (hamas, Protestant v catholic etc) who espouse the oppinion that not only are they right but that everyone else shouldn't be allowed to entertain any other view.
Museum Girl
The teacher ought to be able to explain biological fact but then add on something like "but you and your church believe that Jonah could do this because of god" or something. Explain what would normally happen but then say but Jonah didn't die because it was a mircle and miracles happen outside of normal science according to (insert religion here).

What do I know though, I got expelled from Sunday school.
Astarael
All of the above advice sounds sensible. When the kid gets bratty and fussy about "my pastor said so," explain that it's considered a miracle for a reason (outside natural possibilities) and then move on. Believing in miracles does do a lot for you later in life, but teachers should be able to explain natural law without offending little kids.
It's also annoying that the teacher was in danger of losing her job because the kid could have had so much control, but that's another subject.
How on earth can you be expelled from Sunday School? blink.gif
sjbbandgeek
In California, a teacher can tell a student that there is no God, Santa, or Easter Bunny with the knowledge that it would take over a year for them to potentially lose their job. Then they pull the First Amendment Card and all hell breaks loose.
Phyllis
QUOTE (sjbbandgeek @ Jan 31 2006, 04:55 PM)
In California, a teacher can tell a student that there is no God, Santa, or Easter Bunny with the knowledge that it would take over a year for them to potentially lose their job. Then they pull the First Amendment Card and all hell breaks loose.
*

I'm sorry, but what on earth are you talking about? Do you have any specific cases to cite as evidence?
sjbbandgeek
I apologise for exaggerating the comment. As far as I'm concerned, such issues do not happen frequently and they are usually minor.
My thoughts were mostly fueled by a horrible personal expirience in which I had little to no grasp on life and having many difficulties with schooling. Most of the difficulties arose from one individual teacher, whose political bias interrupted class progress. A few years later, I've sorted things out and am doing fine in school. But that teacher, who is not worthy of the title, still has a job. That is my basic problem with the school system.
Daedalus
Seems like a fairly hefty grudge to hold against someone for letting slip that santa isn't real...

EDIT: And hooray for Labour "rebels"

EDIT 2: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/homeaffairs...1699343,00.html
beleraphon
QUOTE (Astarael @ Feb 1 2006, 12:25 AM)
How on earth can you be expelled from Sunday School? blink.gif
*


In my case?

Starting a fight with the girl who got to play Mary in the Nativity laugh.gif
(I was playing a shepherd and hit her with my toy sheep)
Jonman
QUOTE (Astarael @ Feb 1 2006, 01:25 AM)
How on earth can you be expelled from Sunday School? blink.gif
*



I'd imagine it can't be that tough. Mumble something about everyone's soul belonging to Shaitan, and touch yourself in your fun places. Ought to do the job.
Museum Girl
QUOTE (Astarael @ Feb 1 2006, 01:25 AM)
How on earth can you be expelled from Sunday School? blink.gif
*


My Mum didn't like me going but my gran insisted, and it was this happy clappy church so when I was four mum taught me some "real theology" all about god punishing people and soddom and gomorrah and, being four, I repeated it all with glee (think Jeanette Winterson in Oranges are Not the only Fruit). I made the other children cry and the teacher asked my mother if we were catholics or Jewish or something then told her I wasn't welcome to come back until we sorted out the "little doctrinal problem" (my mum's really proud of this and still tells everyone).
Astarael
That would just about do it. I was a bit puzzled because even the people who misbehave horribly are pretty much just dragged back into my Sunday School. Their theory seems to be that you need more Sunday School to become a better person, but the kids who resent coming back just cause problems.
Anyway, the freedom of speech versus not harming people with your speech issue often has a fuzzy line. Some teachers probably are pretty fanatic about some topic or other in a way that hurts students, but sometimes the whole thing swings too far the other direction, so that teachers can't say anything for fear of offending the student's sensibilities.
sjbbandgeek
Teachers do not have the responsibility to discuss God or Politics unless it is within the class sylibus. Even in such classes, the teacher must remain neutral. When it comes to four year olds, the parents should be the authority on these topics.
Wookiee
I thought this thread might have something to do with Denmark, but it doesn't. However, seems as good a place as any to point out how nuts most of Islam is, out there chanting "Death to Denmark!" and burning Danish, Norwegian and Swedish flags. I'm not sure what Norway and Sweden actually did, but I suspect it has something to do with them just being generally Scandinavian.
beleraphon
QUOTE (Wookiee @ Feb 3 2006, 12:10 PM)
I thought this thread might have something to do with Denmark, but it doesn't. However, seems as good a place as any to point out how nuts most of Islam is, out there chanting "Death to Denmark!" and burning Danish, Norwegian and Swedish flags. I'm not sure what Norway and Sweden actually did, but I suspect it has something to do with them just being generally Scandinavian.
*


A danish newspaper printed some cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad - Muslims do not have pictures of their holy people, its against the faith to show anything like that.
These cartoons were less than flattering as well - making observations about the recent violence that has been carried out 'in the name of Islam' by some groups.

Naturally this caused a lot of upset as it was a double-insult to the Islamic faith, and more radical groups have definatly over-reacted.
The more moderate groups have been a lot better - they complained and some people are boycotting Danish goods in peaceful protest, its a minority who have gone mental - burning Danish flags, threats, violence and so on.

Most of europe is a bit suprised about it all, and the general feeling is that they need to calm down and lighten up!

Try the BBC news site for more infomation.
Mata
They are completely right to be incensed by the cartoons, because, as the Muslims on the news said yesterday, no-one would ever tolerate other religions' prohpets having the piss taken out of them...





Err... Okay, scrap that first bit...
Calantyr
I like how lots of them are complaining that the cartoons portray Muslims as violent and bloodthirsty. In retaliation they are threatening to kill Scandinavian aid workers.

...

Well I'm glad they've banished any misconceptions I may have had.
beleraphon
just remeber that its only a minority of muslims who have reacted so drastically - I'm pretty sure most of them don't care and wish the nutters would shut up and go away so that everyone can get on with a normal life!
Calantyr
Oh believe me, I don't think that every Muslim is carrying a backpack full of C4. Far from it. However the outbust is rather dispreportionate when compared to other religions.

This really wouldn't have been an issue if they hadn't been fired up though. If I recall correctly, the cartoons had been out for ages and there was little commotion. Only after certain individuals went about drumming up resentment did the feces hit the rotating cooling appliance.

This really is a clash of cultures that throws things into harsh relief. In our western society restricting free speach is the ultimate tabboo. In the muslim world, portraying Mohammad in such a way can be considered the same. I'm not sure if there is any room for compromise.
beleraphon
And the paper that printed the pictures was deliberatly fishing for a reaction - its not the Danish equivelent of the Times, more like a tabloid!
Astarael
The cartoons had indeed been out for a while, but then someone republished them in an Islamic newspaper. It was a stupid thing to do because now the cartoons have gotten a lot more publicity and everyone is furious. The Muslims have every right to be angry at the people who drew these, but I'll agree that some of them are getting far too violent.
Mata
Do they have a right to be so angry? I'm really not sure. Certainly it was culturally insensitive, but surely the same can be argued of the extreme reactions that a minority of Muslims have had: they are living in a culture where religion is just as fair game as politics or celebrities. They should be sensitive that this is an area of the world where jokes about religious leaders are usually considered risque but basically a given a fair judgement on whether they are actually funny or not.

I'm not saying that it was right for them to be published, but I also think that death threats are massively disproportionate to the seriousness of the offence. There is not currently a law against satire, but there is a law against threatening violence against another individual. Some Muslims are making themselves criminals because they don't like the way western media works... Which I guess really isn't news to anyone.
artist.unknown
Well, it must be pointed out that it wasn't one cartoon, but an entire series, none of them positive, which can only lead one to deduce that the paper was being deliberately incendiary. Personally, I would not purposely aggrieve a highly volitile segment of the population. I'm all for freedom of speech, but our political cartoons are typically published with the tacit understanding that the other side will draw equally rude caricatures--a sort of merry battle of the pen, if you will. We are irritated but not outraged by political cartoons. We have this history. They don't. It's a cultural gap.

I believe it was insensitive for the cartoons to be published, but that doesn't mean that I condone the reaction. The reaction was out of proportion and probably doesn't reflect the feelings of the majority of Muslims. But that doesn't mean that just because we want the Muslim community to get on with it and assimilate doesn't mean that they have or will any time soon. We certainly aren't going to encourage them to accept our culture when it attacks their beliefs. So while I think the threats of violence are deplorable, and I stand for freedom of speech, I don't think you need to kick a sleeping dog just to prove a point.
Astarael
The Muslims who are giving death threats and having violent protests are overeacting, but I can certainly understand why some Muslims are angry about the slap in the face to their religion. Some Christians have had similar reactions in the past, recently about The Da Vinci Code because some see it as blasphemy. When something blasts a religion, the people of that religion have the right to be angry but not to threaten others with harm. It would probably be best if the Muslims calmed down and the newspaper delivered a qualified apology, perhaps saying that they didn't mean to offend and weren't so aware of the cultural gap, but that they stand on their right of freedom of speech. There's no need for the newspaper to grovel, but an apology would certainly ease some of the tension.
Jonman
QUOTE (Astarael @ Feb 4 2006, 11:07 PM)
When something blasts a religion, the people of that religion have the right to be angry but not to threaten others with harm.
*


I'd like to paraphrase that to:
"When someone blasts an opinion, the people who hold that opinion have the right to be angry but not to threaten others with harm"

Let's face it, religion is essentially an opinion. There is no right or wrong, as much as many of us would like there be me. But once you extract the spiritual hoo-haa out of it, it really brings it down to earth.
trunks_girl26
QUOTE (Jonman @ Feb 4 2006, 06:48 PM)
QUOTE (Astarael @ Feb 4 2006, 11:07 PM)
When something blasts a religion, the people of that religion have the right to be angry but not to threaten others with harm.
*


I'd like to paraphrase that to:
"When someone blasts an opinion, the people who hold that opinion have the right to be angry but not to threaten others with harm"

Let's face it, religion is essentially an opinion. There is no right or wrong, as much as many of us would like there be me. But once you extract the spiritual hoo-haa out of it, it really brings it down to earth.
*



Ah, but there tends to be a big difference between a religious opinion and any other opinion. People wouldn't stake their lives on the outcome of the Superbowl, for example, because it's not a life or death situation, but when one is dealing with religion, it is, simply because revolves around their continued living (by that I mean whatever they believe happens after death). Granted, there's no reason for them to act anywhere near as violent as they have, but I'd have to agree with AU on this one- knowingly printing those was like throwing a fox into a henhouse and expecting none to be eaten.
Wookiee
QUOTE (beleraphon @ Feb 3 2006, 01:52 PM)
A danish newspaper printed some cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad - Muslims do not have pictures of their holy people, its against the faith to show anything like that.
These cartoons were less than flattering as well - making observations about the recent violence that has been carried out 'in the name of Islam' by some groups.

Try the BBC news site for more infomation.
*


Thanks, I did actually know what was going on in the world. I was just a little perplexed by Norway and Sweden being dragged into the flag-burning and death-threatening. And, y'know, generally perplexed by how f*cking nuts these reactionary fundamentalists are.

The marches in London were absolutely amazing. Placards saying, "DEATH TO THOSE WHO INSULT ISLAM" and "EUROPE YOU WILL PAY / YOUR 9/11 IS ON ITS WAY".

The Danish embassy in Beirut was torched today.

I know it's not all Muslims, but Mohammed on a pogo-stick, these people are complete ballbags. There is something to be said for religion breeding ignorance, and this can be equally applied to fundie Christians like George Bush or Fred Phelps, crazy warmongering Jews like Ariel Sharon, but these demonstrations are totally bananas and sickeningly stupid.

Dear crazy Muslims. Get yourselves and eductation. Love Pete.
Jonman
QUOTE (trunks_girl26 @ Feb 5 2006, 01:04 AM)
QUOTE (Jonman @ Feb 4 2006, 06:48 PM)
QUOTE (Astarael @ Feb 4 2006, 11:07 PM)
When something blasts a religion, the people of that religion have the right to be angry but not to threaten others with harm.
*


I'd like to paraphrase that to:
"When someone blasts an opinion, the people who hold that opinion have the right to be angry but not to threaten others with harm"

Let's face it, religion is essentially an opinion. There is no right or wrong, as much as many of us would like there be me. But once you extract the spiritual hoo-haa out of it, it really brings it down to earth.
*



Ah, but there tends to be a big difference between a religious opinion and any other opinion. People wouldn't stake their lives on the outcome of the Superbowl, for example, because it's not a life or death situation, but when one is dealing with religion, it is, simply because revolves around their continued living (by that I mean whatever they believe happens after death). Granted, there's no reason for them to act anywhere near as violent as they have, but I'd have to agree with AU on this one- knowingly printing those was like throwing a fox into a henhouse and expecting none to be eaten.
*




That's precisely my point. People are staking their lives on an opinion. Which bebaffles me completely.
Calantyr
QUOTE (Jonman @ Feb 5 2006, 04:46 PM)
That's precisely my point. People are staking their lives on an opinion. Which bebaffles me completely.
*
Silence, infidel! Or I'll burn down your embassy!
Mata
bryden42
Mata, That rules!

Wow, when i started this topic I had no idea how topical it would be. So a lot of what has been said here brings the argument a little closer to this:

Does anyone have the right to enforce their own oppinion over anothers either verbally, visually, or physically?

Does an article of religious dogma have precedence over Law?

Does Law have precedence over religious dogma?

Who wins in a face off between public majority opinion and religious opinion?

If I were to choose a religion it would probably be Taoism, Now Taoism suggests that the path of least resistance is probably for the best and as such this kind of ridicule of say Lao Tse, would not meet with this kind of reaction but this is my opinion, do I have the right to say to, for example, a muslim that they should not react in the way that they have? or is this forcing my point of view upon them? where do we draw the line? can we ever arrive at common concensus? (what is so common about concensus? I never bloody see it! smile.gif ).

anyone?
Witless
All those questions remind me of a documentry I saw once asking "is religion really the root of all evil". Quite a harsh title.. I was expecting a huge religion bashing session.
I was right.. to a degree.. but he brought up a lot of contravershal issues, among them were "evil people will often do good things, but to get a good person to do something evil, we need religion". It's a quote from long ago, I don't entirely agree with it. BUT.. I do agree religion can scew people's perspective a lot.. to the point of believing things so strongly and becoming so sensitive about things, they can easily lash out wildly.

So in response to Bryden's brain melting post,
Yeah I think we should have the right to say our opinion without fear of reprisal... but whether or not we'll ever be able to get away with that. History says no.. never, But I have hope that will change!
Calantyr
The first 'religious war' wasn't faught until.. Cyrus the Great I think. A man who fist started the idea of killing opponents because it was Gods' will.

However he was also the first person to set down a charter on human rights. Religion really does cut both ways.

To some degree or another there is ALWAYS a system where a person or persons impose their will on others. Even in the most open and equal society you still have people forcing others to accept their opinion. Look at the US. The worlds standard in democracy. It still has to abide by the tyranny of the majority.

Is it right? Well I suppose so. If you lay out all the facts why something has to be a certain way, give ample time and resources for people to sway opinion, and above all make it a transparent process... why not? If people can see the way by which a decision was made and it's reasonable, I suppose it has every right to be imposed. People may not like it, but if it's for the best...

I mean look at parents. They often do things that their children do not agree with. But when they are old enough to have the resons why explained to them...?

Religion should not have any standing in temperal law, but it always does. Gay marriage still is not on an equal footing with straight. Why? There is no reason why except through religion. Religion has the habit of forcing people to do things, hate things, and ostracise groups not out of valid reason. It can be used as an excuse to do things where our morality would normally scream out in protest.

During the Rennaisance, explorers to the new world wanted the natives to be classified as having no souls so they could be used and exploited as we would do animals of labour. Thankfully this was rejected, but can you imagine how much more horrific things would have been if this religious standpoint was used?

The reasoning for having a monarchy is rooted in religion as well. Somehow the royal family was chosen (at some point in the distant past) to rule by God. Since then it has become custom, but it's original reason is still there. However secular we try to say our society is, there are always throwbacks like this.

In my opinion religion should be used on the personal level, not impossed on entire groups of people. By all means believe what you want to believe and have freedom to practice it, as long as it does no harm to others. Just don't try to impose your beliefs and quaint little customs on others. I like a world where the rules are based on scientific facts, reason, logic, and proveable theory. Not because some bearded guy sitting on top of a cold mountain said so.
Mata
The problem with that approach is that religion is never about a single person; religion does not address the personal experience, instead it addresses the way that a person relates to others. There are aspects of internal discourse in all religions that I know of, but they all also define the nature of a person by their acts towards others. To put that more clearly, people don't say about a saint 'inside he had a really strong conviction in the divinity of Christ', instead they talk about the person's physical acts in the world. Religions are all based on the way that people interact with society, and this can cause problems.

Religions are like virii: they need to infect and spread to survive. Without conscious will, the meme of a religion propogates and ensures its continued existence. It does this by over-ruling contrary ideas that it encounters. In the example of Christianity, this has happened through the perversion of existing traditions into a Christian framework and bribery, but in Islam it is often through the promise of a strict system of justice (and bribery again). Christianity survives through adaptation to social climates, so the Christianity of Africa is very different to the Christianity of California, which is different to that of Kentucky. Islam appears to go about things a different way: while there are regional differences, there is a single goal (the return of the caliphate, a state ruled by the laws and ideals of Islam). In this way Islam present an appealing unified front to those searching for a strict set of rules, and those rules are taught as being of a higher importance than the laws of government.

Due to the need to spread, religions cannot operate only on the personal level for their continued existence in society: a person that finds God but has no need to convey this to others will not establish a religion. This means that eventually every religion will meet with the problem of governmental-law. In the case of Christianity in the west this was simple: the laws of the land over time came to reflect Christian ideals, but now with Christian ideals and a multicultural society we face the conflict between a Christian-law system and an Islamic set of beliefs that contradict what is legal in the Christian system. Which leads us to the current state of affairs.

This whole 'controversy' about the cartoons annoys me. Flexibility is needed on both sides. Yes, it was culturally insensitive for the cartoonist/newspaper to represent the prophet Mohammed, but followers of the Islamic faith also need to show cultural sensitivity to the environment that they are living in. They are in a western society where the rules follow the (standard) Christian teaching that allows the representation of gods and prohpets. Yes, they may be offended, but they are choosing to live in this world, and they are not going to gain any sympathy by requesting beheadings for a cartoon!

Perhaps I'm being too harsh there: I'm a fan of the 'if you don't like it then try to change it' mentality, but I think that the reactions to the cartoons have been excessive. Yes, it's against Islamic law, but they're not in an Islamic state so those laws have no governance. It's been centuries in the UK since the church could prosecute those that annoyed Christianity, so why should Islamic laws be given any greater respect?

On a pedantic note to Bryden: Taoism is a philosophy, not a religion. Its systems for propogation are similar to those of a religion, but the focus of Taoism is not on worship or deities but internal peace.
bryden42
QUOTE
On a pedantic note to Bryden: Taoism is a philosophy, not a religion. Its systems for propogation are similar to those of a religion, but the focus of Taoism is not on worship or deities but internal peace.


I stand humbly corrected smile.gif
Astarael
The demand for beheadings is far too extreme. I can sympathize with a bit of righteous anger at first, but it should have settled down into most of the offended people grumbling a bit and perhaps writing occasional letters to the editor of the newspaper that published the cartoons originally. There likely would have been a few die-hard fanatics screaming about sinful the whole business was, but that sort of whinging happens every time someone gets snarky with any religion. This kind of widespread rage shouldn't be continuing for so long, and the people who stirred it up originally were being very stupid.
I just read another article about it, and apparently some protesters set the Norwegian embassy in Syria on fire. This has reached the point of unreasonable anger, and I'm not really sure what would be best to settle the crisis at this point.
Mata
It's nice to see a sensible response from some Muslims:

http://www.sorrynorwaydenmark.com/
Astarael
That's a very mature and good thing to do. They definitely have a good point about the media being attracted to raving sensational maniacs. Thirty seconds of Pat Robertson screaming something stupid is guaranteed to wind up on television over someone trying to take reasonable look at both sides.
bryden42
QUOTE
the media being attracted to raving sensational maniacs
yeah look at David Icke (sp?)
trunks_girl26
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4691878.stm

What I found shocking was that an Iranian newspaper is asking for cartoons about the Holocaust. As much as I favor free speech, sometimes people take it a bit too far.
Calantyr
QUOTE (trunks_girl26 @ Feb 10 2006, 09:01 PM)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4691878.stm

What I found shocking was that an Iranian newspaper is asking for cartoons about the Holocaust. As much as I favor free speech, sometimes people take it a bit too far.
*


So business as usual then?

It's a bit dumb though. Danes insult you, so you insult Jews? But then again this whole event has been void of common sense.
Astarael
Wow. So mocking the Holocaust will make everything all better rather than pissing off everyone who thinks that killing lots of people is bad. *facepalm* The cartoons were dumb in the first place, but retaliating is going to be like throwing napalm and firecrackers into an already dangerous fire. I can see the Iranians' point, though. They revere their religion, so they found a touchy subject to hurt people as much as they've been hurt. It's a lousy and immature way to deal with things, though.
Mata
On the other hand, maybe Jews will show demonstrate a sensible response to insults and not demand the death of the artist. I suspect we're long past the point where religions will look and learn from each other, but I remain an optimist even in the face of the evidence.
bryden42
QUOTE
but I remain an optimist
hmmm optimism vs realism? a whole new question.
Mata
You can be an optimist and be aware of the statistical likelihood of failure: you just hope for the best!
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