Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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retrofuturist
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:02 pm

Greetings David,
davidbrainerd wrote:I've been informed I can have my dhammawheel access restored so long as I recant my position on Mohammed.
This is simply false. No one told you to do any such thing. You were instead asked to provide substantiation for something you said earlier in this topic because... "TOS 2d. Unsubstantiated allegations against individuals or traditions" constitute a violation of the Terms of Service.

You can speak or criticize whatever you choose... it just needs to be done within the parameters of the Terms of Service if you're going to do it at Dhamma Wheel. Your recent postings with links have been regarded as an adequate attempt at substantiation.

Now, to avoid violating "TOS 2e. Disruptive meta-discussion (i.e. discussion about discussion)", I recommend getting...

:focus:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Bundokji
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by Bundokji » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:37 pm

clw_uk wrote:The problem with moral relativism of this sort is that usually its only applied to negative judgments. I rarely hear people say the same about positive judgements, despite that being a logical extension of the argument. If I cannot judge Muhammad as being good or bad for his actions as they are dependent on the time, then I cannot do the same with Buddha and so I cannot attribute to him the many noble qualities that I do. Another extension would be the inability to judge Hitler, because anti-semitism was rife at the time and "that was the culture and world he grew up in".

I guess it comes down to if you are a moral relativist or not. Do you believe certain actions are always immoral, or productive of bad kamma, or not?


The fact that moral relativism is applied mostly to negative judgement says nothing about the validity of moral relativism. It is more likely that moral issues are raised when a particular action is perceived "negative" as we have the general tendency to take what is right for granted. In this particular thread, it is used to counteract what is perceived as "unfair" moral judgement and it has a mitigating effect and it makes sense. We all live in space and time and we are social animals, so what we perceive as normal or acceptable behavior is largely driven by the common practices in the age we happen to experience. Overlooking it is as bad as to completely relying on it what we make a moral judgement in my opinion.

In my opinion, a major weakness in the way you chose to approach this topic, at least from an intellectual point of view, is that you decided to use a very personal criteria to judge a historical figure who had a great impact on humanity (great impact does not mean good or bad). Words such as "respect" and "pedophile" did not sound (at least to me) as a serious and fruitful approach. First, it can lead to wrong conclusions as it relied on one isolated action, and second, regardless of its truth it does not necessarily answer whether Muhammad is worthy of respect. Imagine someone taking one aspect of you, and then using it to determine how respectable you are, do you think he should be taken seriously?

More generally, i think we live in an age where we are becoming increasingly opinionated. Seeking the truth becomes secondary.

May i introduce an alternative approach? Muhammad has been successful in many ways and failed in many other. He unified the Arabs and gave them purpose. He introduced a new morality and a new way of life. We always hear about what is wrong with Islam which is mostly valid and true, but i can tell you with a great deal of certainty that Islam improved many people's lives and was a cause of a lot of positive behavior.

On the other hand, he could have done much better. Right after his death, his closest companions started to fight among themselves. Just imagine, right after the Buddha's death, that Anada, Sariputta, Moggallana and other disciples started to fight, would this make him a successful teacher? His realistic and pragmatic approach has backfired regardless of his intentions. But judging his success/failure without taking into consideration the temperament of his people, the historical context and the tribal rift and rivalry between his own tribe (Banu Hashim) and their distant cousins (Banu Umayya) which preceded Islam and the role it played in shaping what Islam turned out to be would be unfair.
Assuming the story is true (in terms of the young age) does that make Muhammad's actions good or not, in your opinion?
I think his marriage of Aisha was bad, but for a totally different reasons than the ones you are emphasizing. After his death, she waged a war against his cousin (Ali bin Abi Taleb) which was one of the main contributing factors of the major rift between Sunni and Shiaa Muslims, and might serve as another reminder that the focus on her age when he married her, in the wider scheme, is pretty pity concern.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by davidbrainerd » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:38 am

Bundokji wrote:I think his marriage of Aisha was bad, but for a totally different reasons than the ones you are emphasizing. After his death, she waged a war against his cousin (Ali bin Abi Taleb) which was one of the main contributing factors of the major rift between Sunni and Shiaa Muslims, and might serve as another reminder that the focus on her age when he married her, in the wider scheme, is pretty pity concern.
I'm sure she knew more about Ali's character than we do today. Its interesting that the Hadiths record that some verses of the Koran were lost because Aisha's goat ate them. One verse mentioned is some weird idea about women being able to make an unrelated male into a close relative by breast-feeding him 5 times (thus enablding him to be around her without her husband around). That's a very sick idea, that Mohammed supposedly (according to Hadiths) forced upon a particular disciples' wife. Aisha's goat ate it, resulting in it not being in the Koran today. In other words, Aisha purposefully saved future women from that crazy nonsense. She's a hero.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by davidbrainerd » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:45 am

davidbrainerd wrote:
Bundokji wrote:I think his marriage of Aisha was bad, but for a totally different reasons than the ones you are emphasizing. After his death, she waged a war against his cousin (Ali bin Abi Taleb) which was one of the main contributing factors of the major rift between Sunni and Shiaa Muslims, and might serve as another reminder that the focus on her age when he married her, in the wider scheme, is pretty pity concern.
I'm sure she knew more about Ali's character than we do today. Its interesting that the Hadiths record that some verses of the Koran were lost because Aisha's goat ate them. One verse mentioned is some weird idea about women being able to make an unrelated male into a close relative by breast-feeding him 5 times (thus enablding him to be around her without her husband around). That's a very sick idea, that Mohammed supposedly (according to Hadiths) forced upon a particular disciples' wife. Aisha's goat ate it, resulting in it not being in the Koran today. In other words, Aisha purposefully saved future women from that crazy nonsense. She's a hero.
There is also the fact that after Mohammed attacked a certain Jewish city and killed all the men (according to Hadith) and then raped a woman from that town (according to Hadith) he made that woman cook him dinner. As he was eating the dinner, the Hadith says, he realized it was poisoned, and spit it out, after having eaten quite a bit. From that time forward, he was constantly sick, for the next 6 months, until he died. And Aisha took care of him. But he never got better. Although the ancients didn't think of this, some moderns have come up with the theory that Aisha took advantage to get her revenge for him raping her at 6 or 9, by keeping him sick by poisoning him little by little that whole time. If so, she is a hero again.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by binocular » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:54 am

clw_uk wrote:
binocular wrote:
clw_uk wrote:As Buddhists we should not respect such a man.
So what should this "not respecting such a man" look like?
In simple terms it would involve being critical of Muhammad and the religion that he founded.
Oh, honey, we already are critical of Islam, and for reasons that have nothing to do with Mohammed.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by binocular » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:21 am

davidbrainerd wrote:I don't want Mohammed ruling me, so I won't stop criticizing him.
But does such criticism achieve its goal?
It seems, rather, that criticism of a person triggers their tendency to dominate, so that they are more likely to want to overpower (and annihilate) the critic. IOW, by criticizing someone, one makes oneself their target.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by davidbrainerd » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:28 am

binocular wrote:
davidbrainerd wrote:I don't want Mohammed ruling me, so I won't stop criticizing him.
But does such criticism achieve its goal?
It seems, rather, that criticism of a person triggers their tendency to dominate, so that they are more likely to want to overpower (and annihilate) the critic. IOW, by criticizing someone, one makes oneself their target.
It doesnt really matter. My constitution is such that I dont back down to bullies. Its the one place logic is out the window. Even with thinking about dating I use logic, and the dont do it because it makes no financial sense. But if a bully is 9 feet tall picking on me that little logic that saya "hey, hes bigger than you" just melts away.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by Bundokji » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:41 am

davidbrainerd wrote:
davidbrainerd wrote:
Bundokji wrote:I think his marriage of Aisha was bad, but for a totally different reasons than the ones you are emphasizing. After his death, she waged a war against his cousin (Ali bin Abi Taleb) which was one of the main contributing factors of the major rift between Sunni and Shiaa Muslims, and might serve as another reminder that the focus on her age when he married her, in the wider scheme, is pretty pity concern.
I'm sure she knew more about Ali's character than we do today. Its interesting that the Hadiths record that some verses of the Koran were lost because Aisha's goat ate them. One verse mentioned is some weird idea about women being able to make an unrelated male into a close relative by breast-feeding him 5 times (thus enablding him to be around her without her husband around). That's a very sick idea, that Mohammed supposedly (according to Hadiths) forced upon a particular disciples' wife. Aisha's goat ate it, resulting in it not being in the Koran today. In other words, Aisha purposefully saved future women from that crazy nonsense. She's a hero.

There is also the fact that after Mohammed attacked a certain Jewish city and killed all the men (according to Hadith) and then raped a woman from that town (according to Hadith) he made that woman cook him dinner. As he was eating the dinner, the Hadith says, he realized it was poisoned, and spit it out, after having eaten quite a bit. From that time forward, he was constantly sick, for the next 6 months, until he died. And Aisha took care of him. But he never got better. Although the ancients didn't think of this, some moderns have come up with the theory that Aisha took advantage to get her revenge for him raping her at 6 or 9, by keeping him sick by poisoning him little by little that whole time. If so, she is a hero again.
I came across the breast feeding story, but i missed the goat part though :rofl:

One of the problems of having a discussion of this sort is that it is easy to come up with random stories exists in the Hadith books, and bring them to a public forum as "quite revealing". All you have to do is to go to one of the anti Muslim websites, even if the website allows the two sides to debate the issue, it would give the impression that those who attack are winning. It is always easy to make a mess than cleaning it up.

Same thing can be said about conspiracy theorists. Just listen to those who claim that 9/11 was secretly organized by the US government (or the Jews). They give you all sort of assertions and present them as facts and reliable info, and along the way, cunningly presenting themselves as the smart asses who don't get deceived. Now, you can spend a lot of time and energy investigating why what they presented is full of non-sense, but why should you bother? If every assertion made by a schmuck is to be taken seriously, the wise would be wasting their life answering fools.

Even some Muslims are guilty of the same thing. They try to present the Quran as a "scientific miracle" full of revelations that only modern science began to understand. They twist both science and the text to make both compatible, using arguments from ignorance and authority. Indeed, there are no limits to human foolishness.

I hate to sound as a broken record, but there are better ways of addressing issues. The feeling of satisfaction we humans get by debunking something we hate is something to be resisted by those who seek wisdom, all in my opinion.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:41 am

Greetings David,

But Mohammad is dead... being dead, I'd have thought the only way he could "bully" you was to live rent free in your head.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

binocular
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by binocular » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:17 am

davidbrainerd wrote:It doesnt really matter. My constitution is such that I dont back down to bullies. Its the one place logic is out the window. Even with thinking about dating I use logic, and the dont do it because it makes no financial sense. But if a bully is 9 feet tall picking on me that little logic that saya "hey, hes bigger than you" just melts away.
But Muhammed is dead. And Muslims themselves disagree who has the right understanding of what Mohammed taught. They even kill eachother over it. Who exactly is then your opponent, the one bullying you?

---
retrofuturist wrote:But Mohammad is dead... being dead, I'd have thought the only way he could "bully" you was to live rent free in your head.
I find that the reason why Islam (and some other religions) can feel so challenging, so bullying, is when they hit a person at their weakest points: like one's faith in humanity, or one's belief that life is worth living. For that, it is enough to read something from their scriptures or other texts.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by Caodemarte » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:17 pm

In right speech one can respect and not agree with and criticize the other. Making up false or dubious historical claims about the dead is done to express hatred and bigotry. It is is clearly not done to understand or even put forward an intellectually honest criticism. It is not right speech.
Last edited by Caodemarte on Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by binocular » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:21 pm

Caodemarte wrote:Making up or dubious historcal claims about the dead is done to express hatred and bigotry.
What a limited view of the human psyche!

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by clw_uk » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:02 pm

Caodemarte wrote:In right speech one can respect and not agree with and criticize the other. Making up false or dubious historcal claims about the dead is done to express hatred and bigotry. It is is clearly not done to understand or even put forward an intellectually honest criticism. It is not right speech.
lol what?
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by SarathW » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:26 pm

Indeed, but was it right or wrong?
It depends.
Slavery was legal some distant past now the slavery happens in a different way.
There is a story that Abraham had a sexual relationship with his daughter according to the Bible.
Prostitution was a common thing in the past.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:16 am

SarathW wrote:
Indeed, but was it right or wrong?
It depends.
Slavery was legal some distant past now the slavery happens in a different way.
There is a story that Abraham had a sexual relationship with his daughter according to the Bible.
Prostitution was a common thing in the past.
Prostitution is a common thing in the present. And is is legal to varying degrees in various countries. In some countries, such as New Zealand, it is legal and regulated. In many countries prostitution itself is legal, but organised activities are not.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_by_country

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