The Misconception About the Misconception About Muslims

Far too often do people forget that a religion does not control a person. We are products of our society as well as our genetic makeup. Simply joining a religion that promotes peace does not make you a peaceful person just as joining a violent religion will not make you a violent person. We will change our religion (or our interpretation of it) depending on who we are. Different religions allow for certain types of people, they do not create certain types of people.

Islam can be, and sometimes is, interpreted as a peaceful religion. This does not mean that Muslims are peaceful, it simply means that Islam can be compatible with peace. Unfortunately, it can also be interpreted to promote violence, which is why we see so many militant, fundamentalist Muslims. Don’t believe me?

“O ye who believe! fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.” Sura 9.123

“O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.” Sura 5.51

“And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.” Sura 2.191

“Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.” Sura 60.8

“And He caused you to inherit their land and their homes and their wealth, and land ye have not trodden. Allah is ever Able to do all things.” Sura 33.27

This is not evidence that Muslims are violent, this is just a response to the many pro-Islam activists out there who insist that Islam is peaceful and that it encourages peace. Religions will always be interpreted to fit the individuals agenda.

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How to learn

Rule #1 (and really the only rule): Everything you believe is probably wrong.

Don’t panic! Admitting you have a problem is always the first step.

To begin your movement towards truth you must first learn how to argue. I don’t mean yelling at one another until you both give up, I mean “to state the reasons for or against” as the Random House Dictionary puts it. An argument, from now on, will be the comparison of your own beliefs with those of another. A belief is your conclusion supported by every piece of valid evidence you have. How do you know if your evidence is valid? That is the goal of the argument. With the help of your fellow human beings, you can find problems in your beliefs. Once you find a problem with your belief’s reasoning or evidence, you can refine it. By this I mean you can improve upon the existing belief by removing previously unnoticed fallacies and incorporating evidence that you had not yet known. You can sometimes weed out a lot of problems with your beliefs on your own, but chances are, you’re going to miss a lot of valid evidence.

To understand how to form your own opinions, you need to learn reasoning. I think this matter is best left to a more organized source.

If you find anything wrong with this post, let me know.

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Treat others as you want to be treated

Why do I believe in treating other the way I want to be treated? Let me lay down some foundation. The mind works subjectively. That is, you interpret things based on your own unique experiences. Since no two people have the EXACT same experiences, we all have a different subjective view of things. One person cannot come to a factual conclusion, other than that he or she exists. We depend on other people’s perception to understand things more clearly.

Here’s an example of this line of thinking: With no knowledge pertaining to survival in a desert, I am stuck in one and, after walking aimlessly, see a pool of water. I have come into contact with pools of water before, so I know what they look like. Even with this evidence, I cannot state that the idea of water being there is a proven fact. Having not yet reached the water, I come across another person and tell her that water is near. Not seeing any water, she asks me why I say this. I tell her, “because I see it right there,” but she sees nothing where I point. Since two contradicting ideas cannot both be facts, either she is wrong, I am wrong, or we are both wrong. Given the evidence, there is no reason for either of us to make a claim with any certainty that there is or is not a pool of water in that direction. Finding no other reasonable direction, the woman walks with me towards where I see a pool of water, and we come across a man who has lived his entire life in the desert. He cannot see the pool of water either. He goes on to tell me about mirages. With the given evidence, it is reasonable to conclude that there probably is not a pool of water where I was previously certain there was. This evidence does not PROVE that there is no pool of water but, with no valid reason why there is one, I cannot confirm it.

Keep in mind that this series of evidence, and the most reasonable conclusion, may change as I meet new people. I will not find out any additional information if I don’t allow communication with other people I find and, by doing so, will cease my movement towards the truth. I would not have communicated with these people if they attacked me in any way, nor would they have if I attacked them.

You may ask “But why does it matter if there is or isn’t a pool of water?” Because instead of spending my lifetime chasing this pool of water, I could instead be reaching towards civilization, and out of the desert.

If you don’t find any flaw with this evidence or conclusion, the reasonable thing to do would be to adopt it into your own beliefs. If you find something wrong with my argument, please tell me, as I would like to know your perspective to further refine my beliefs.

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