Steve says – The only part of Africa that has ever crawled above subsistence level, is the Muslim dominated north.
You know if I hadn’t taken more than a few history courses I might have turned my tail and run away but fortunately I did so it rather easy for me to spot the inaccuracies in your statements. First North Africa is one of the cradles of civilization and has had an advanced system of government and commerce for thousands of years and well before the Sword of Islam arrived to convert the inhabitants. Comparing the history of North Africa to Sub Sahara Africa is akin to comparing the history of North America to Europe prior to the 15th century. Your approach while maybe well intended doesn’t hold up under careful scrutiny does it?
Patrick, I agree with what you said. It does not contradict my post in anyway. Whats your point ?
Clearly becoming christian is not helping them improve their circumstances. Who would have thought that believing in primitive myths and signing up for a cult, would not help!
Ah Stevo I see you have a bit of Anthony Weiner in you but not literally I hope…ha hai ha!
You were deliberately attempting to discredit Christianity in Sub Sahara Africa by implying, in a not too subtle way, that it had no positive impact on Africa and that Islam had far better results. Harry Houdini you are not (lol)
Patrick, the trouble is you are fundamentally misrepresenting things again, is your point that weak? By use of very selective quoting you infer that Einstein was a supporter of your version of God, when nothing could be further from the truth. Like all good scientists he was willing to admit there are things we don’t know but unlike you he was not willing to fill those gaps with fanciful deities, in fact he refers to such beliefs as the product of an undeveloped mind. In fact he was adamant the idea of vindictive or even merciful God rewarding good or evil as done by man as simply absurd. He was appalled at the continued attempts by the religious fanatics to attribute his support to their perspective.
It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
– Albert Einstein in Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas (Einstein’s secretary) and Banesh Hoffman,
It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere…. Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
– Albert Einstein, “Religion and Science,” New York Times Magazine,
Nobody, certainly, will deny that the idea of the existence of an omnipotent, just, and omnibeneficent personal God is able to accord man solace, help, and guidance; also, by virtue of its simplicity it is accessible to the most undeveloped mind. But, on the other hand, there are decisive weaknesses attached to this idea in itself, which have been painfully felt since the beginning of history. …
– Albert Einstein, Science and Religion (1941)
Etc, etc..Do we really need to keep doing this? Granted he was not that keen on atheists either, as a true scientists no absolutes can be declared without definitive proof (myself on the other hand, happy to take the chance on 99.9% probability). The point being is at be best disingenuous at worst dishonest to represent Einstein as a supporter of the God myth as represented by any of the current cults.
As for Africa, you have to be kidding ? the church’s opposition to family planning, condoms and support for any number of tyrants has ensured millions are trapped in a never ending cycle of Death, poverty and disease.
Christianity does not need my help to discredit it Pat !
Possibly Islam has had more of a positive effect, though I would suggest some rational humanism could have done the same, without belief in some mythical being.
Nobody, if nothing else you prove there is little difference in the fanatical cultism and the need to misrepresent in support of the indefensible, why you and Patrick are almost the bobsey twins :-). I have always wondered why people do that when such verifable evidence soon proves such statements foolish at best.
Slavery; the state of entire subjection of one person to the will of another. Slavery is the obligation to labor for the benefit of the master, without the contract of consent of the servant. Slavery may proceed from crimes, from captivity or from debt.
Let’s start simple, what do you call it when a maid is held against her will, has her passport taken from her, treated brutally, not paid for her labours and finally subjected to what most of the civilized world would acknowledge travesty of justice and finally beheaded?
What.. too selective for you? How about something more recent, say 2007 (as matter of interest, those enslaved below included a significant number of Muslims but I missed the story of the boat of brothers and sisters rushing to the rescue..could it be a colour thing..gasp!…but I digress)
The International Criminal Court this week issued warrants for the arrest of Ahmed Haroun, the minister for humanitarian affairs of Sudan, and Ali Kosheib, a leader of that country’s notorious janjaweed militia. The Sudanese government has refused to hand over the two for prosecution. Charges include murder, rape, torture and “imprisonment or severe deprivation of liberty.” Severe deprivation of liberty — that is, slavery. Egypt’s Al-Ahram Weekly observed this week that in Sudan, “slavery, sanctioned by religious zealots, ravaged the southern parts of the country and much of the west as well.”
(so much for its impossible?)
Still not recent enough.. how about 2010..
Trafficking in Persons Report 2010 – Qatar
QATAR (Tier 2 Watch List)
Qatar is a transit and destination country for men and women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and, to a much lesser extent, forced prostitution. Men and women from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Sudan, Thailand, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and China………. A small number of foreign workers transit Qatar and are forced to work on farms in Saudi Arabia. Qatar is also a destination for women who migrate and become involved in prostitution.
I will let you do your own research further if you wish to have a modicum of credibility, try UN – Slavery or Human Trafficking. Of course closer to home is there anyone in Indonesia (besides the government..sigh) who does not know about the sale of young girls to service the sex industry? Shall we discuss the evil and nonsense of mut’ah marriage, for those that don’t know that’s the practice where our pious Arab tourist comes to Indonesia and “marries” the young girl for as long as it takes to get his rocks off, slips her a couple of bucks and then divorces her with hours or days. Mostly these girls are sold into this service by their dirt poor parents..nice hey
Oh and lets skip the Nonsense that Islam was against slavery and only acknowledged it because it was already there. The man himself captured, bought, sold and used slaves as his personal chattels. Hardly the act of someone repulsed by the idea.
None of the above should be thought to be the sole evils of Islam but for (in your case) heavens sake lets stop this nonsense that the Islamic World is anything like pure or a force for good anymore than anywhere else. In fact, you can pretty much bet that where poverty and (any) religion hold sway then life for the masses can’t get much worse as they feed on one another.
Lastly, Aboriginals in Australia are citizens just like anyone else, with the right (actually an obligation under Australian law) to vote, drive cars (as opposed to SA). Australia has Aboriginal governors, MPs, decorated military commanders etc etc. What’s the chance of having a female governor drive herself to work in SA anytime soon?
Seriously, do some research instead of throwing out such easily dismissed nonsense, it makes for a better debate.
Possibly Islam has had more of a positive effect, though I would suggest some rational humanism could have done the same, without belief in some mythical being.
Your contention as if Christianity would be at the basis of sub-Saharan backwardness in contrast to Islam-dominated North Africa is biased and incorrect for at least two reasons.
– As already pointed out by Patrick, North Africa, before it became converted to Islam by the sword, was one of the cradles of civilization which rivaled the Roman superpower of its time. You certainly must have heard of Hannibal and Carthago.
The subsequent so-called golden age of ‘Al Andaluz’ was mainly financed by the jizya tax imposed on the subjected populations.
– If Islam has had such a positive effect in North Africa then why are the Maghrebians flocking en masse to once Christian dominated Europe? Despite all its shortcomings some of the values propagated by Christianity surely must have had a positive influence which for some reason you deem absent or not applicable in Christian-dominated sub-Sahara.
Credit should be given where credit is due. As much as I’m opposed to the belief in a personal god one should remain honest and not throw the baby out with the bath water. You are probably right that some rational humanism could have done the same for civilization but mentioning Islam in the same line as rational humanism is trying to marry water and fire.
For the rest my humble mind can only subscribe to Einstein’s view on religion.
“Your contention as if Christianity would be at the basis of sub-Saharan backwardness in contrast to Islam-dominated North Africa is biased and incorrect for at least two reasons.”
No that was not my contention. I was merely making the observation that belive in mystical entities has not done them much good.
“Despite all its shortcomings some of the values propagated by Christianity surely must have had a positive influence which for some reason you deem absent or not applicable in Christian-dominated sub-Sahara.”
What positive influence? I think its far from sure.
“The subsequent so-called golden age of ‘Al Andaluz’ was mainly financed by the jizya tax imposed on the subjected populations.”
“- If Islam has had such a positive effect in North Africa then why are the Maghrebians flocking en masse to once Christian dominated Europe? Despite all its shortcomings some of the values propagated by Christianity surely must have had a positive influence which for some reason you deem absent or not applicable in Christian-dominated sub-Sahara.”
To be fair, isn’t the current advance of the European in terms of economy and technology funded also by profits from colonial exploits? That was much more severe than a mere jizya tax. Further more, you mention “jizya” as though it was something disgusting and unfair, which it was not. If you actually did your research, a “jizya” was actually just another name of “tax” for the non muslim. Everybody pay taxes, for muslims it was “zakat”, for non muslim it was “jizya”. Are you suggesting that nonmuslim should life free loading on a society where public facilities are paid from muslim zakat only? Surely not.
Back to the unfair comparison of the current state of economy and technological advances of western and islamic countries: all those great monuments in Amsterdam, or London, and all those great discoveries in oxford, manchester, delft, leiden, and other famous universities in the west, is made possible due to generous funding generated from profits of the British or Netherlands East India Company. Without 300 years of Indonesian sweats and bloods (and lifes) , cities like Amsterdam would be under water by now. Same with Maghreb vs Spain/France. In retrospect, Muslims were just being punished for doing trade fairly, without using gunboats or muskets to enforce monopoly or forced plantation or outright colonizations.
isn’t the current advance of the European in terms of economy and technology funded also by profits from colonial exploits?
No certainly not currently and even previously the majority of that wealth went to private organizations. Your poorly thought out cliche’ concept fails to explain the rise of the US as an industrial and economic power. Nice little “woe is me” stories work sitting the cafe but the poor bugger me syndrome ignores the rise of countries like Japan, Korea, Singapore who achieved so much more after at least as bad colonization histories (and war).
If you actually did your research, a “jizya” was actually just another name of “tax” for the non muslim. Everybody pay taxes, for muslims it was “zakat”, for non muslim it was “jizya”.
Actually not really true, is it Nobody? Zakat is a charitable obligation for Muslims and jizya is purely an additional and humiliating tax for being a non muslim often with a humiliating ceremony to boot.. Jizya is paid on top, extra to, as well as normal taxes so it is blatantly misleading to pretend it is anything but an ADDITIONAL and discriminatory tax. Could you imagine the screams of outrage if christian countries started demanding Muslims pay an extra tax for being Muslims.
We should put this “tax” into context, something Nobody tends to brush over..
Surah Tawba 9:29:
“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”
Bit of a stretch to say its nothing more than a tax equalization policy..just saying..
In retrospect, Muslims were just being punished for doing trade fairly, without using gunboats or muskets to enforce monopoly or forced plantation or outright colonizations.
Yet another howler You seem to have forgotten the Muslim invasion and colonization of Syria, 637, Armenia, 639, Egypt, 639,North Africa, 652, Cyprus, 654, North Africa, 665, siege of Constantinople, 674–678, siege of Constantinople, 717–718, Hispania, 711–718, Georgia, 736, 820, southern Italy, 827. More recently, shall we discuss the rape and pillaging of the Ottoman Empire? No one is saying western colonisation didn’t occur but history revisionist nonsense suggesting that the poor Arab Traders weren’t just another mob of raiders with bad timing is just nonsense (Is this really what have been taught an never questioned..that’s sad).
Still the mindset you display is why the so many nations will never develop anymore than what they have. “It’s not fair, it’s someone else’s fault” Guess what, probably is not fair but the reality is no one cares and only the people themselves can change that. Whinging about what happened 200 years ago changes nothing.
To be fair, isn’t the current advance of the European in terms of economy and technology funded also by profits from colonial exploits?
No, the most advanced European nations are Denmark, Sweden and Norway and they all don’t have a recent past of colonizing others.
To keep in line with this very topic, these nations have a very high number of organic atheists, not enforced by some anti-religious dictatorship but grown naturally as these people have learned to use common sense in stead of blind following. Furthermore they have the best social facilities, a very high level of gender equality and active polices to improve the health of nature and environment.
With the exception perhaps of Denmark, in possession of Greenland and the Faroer Islands…
(Is this really what have been taught an never questioned..that’s sad).
This is exactly the kind of revisionist history they are taught in Islamic schools. I remember some girl in the Dutch War Crimes thread who pretended to be taught that it was the Majapahit kingdom who sold out the archipelago to the Portuguese, conveniently overlooking that it was the last prince of the Srivijayan kingdom in Sumatra who, after converting to Islam, founded the sultanate of Malacca and allied with the Portuguese who came to trade for spices, thereby further weakening Majapahit’s position.
@Oigal – Patrick, the trouble is you are fundamentally misrepresenting things again, is your point that weak?
Actually Oigal old pal, it is you who are misrepresenting things here. The statement that you referred to, quoting Einstein, was placed there by me to demonstrate that the Church did take a stand against Nazism and that a famous German Jew acknowledged it. Rather nice quote don’t you think?
the Church did take a stand against Nazism
The Nazi also took a stand against the Church.
I will leave it to those who know a little history to decide which group was worse.
Well if you want look at history, the Nazis and the church there is no better place to start than the Concordat between the Catholic church and Hitler. A lovely piece of treachery that ensured the rights of the Catholic Church in Germany and at the same time neutered the emerging opposition to Hilter from the other (mostly Protestant) religious organizations.
One can only guess at the misery avoided had the church taken the moral stand over the right to co- exist with the monstrous regime.
@Oigal – Was there not a similar agreement already in place and that was signed by the Protestant Churches in Germany prior to the Catholic agreement?
Why Patrick are you going to enlighten us to some more religious perfidy? However fair to say none provided as much legitimacy to the NAZIs as the concordat. To be fair more than a few religious figures acted bravely and morally in spite of this.
Patrick the Catholic Church has blood on its hands.
Here is a summary of how the Catholics helped their fellow believers during the Nazi period.
“It is well-known that many Catholic clergy members participated directly or indirectly in Ustaša campaigns of violence, as is attested in the work of Corrado Zoli (Italian) and Evelyn Waugh (English). The most notorious example is that of Franciscan Miroslav Filipovi?, known as “the devil of Jasenovac” for running the Jasenovac concentration camp, where estimates of the number killed range between 49,600 and 600,000. Ivan Šari? is believed to have been the “worst” of the Catholic bishops who supported the Ustaša…”
@Oigal and Stevo – Excuse my late reply but unlike you two this is not my regular job so I do have other things to do with my life. You know many times in the past and on this thread I have quoted prominent Jews who spoke of the intense bravery of the Catholic Church and its many deeds to often stand alone against the Nazis. You two seem to be able to find individuals who acted against the teachings of the Church in a vain attempt to indicate that the whole Church was engaged in an evil conspiracy with the Nazis. However you do give a few individuals credit for acting “alone” in brave acts but divorce these actions from the whole church as if Catholicism had nothing to do with their good actions. Allow me to demonstrate the “perfidy” of your comments.
You made comments concerning the Catholic Church singing the Concordia with Nazi Germany in 1939 left out the fact that the Church had previously since the 1920s and as part of its diplomatic efforts signed Concordias with many European countries. It left out that the Catholic Church made more than 60 official protests to the Nazi government in regard to their actions during the 1930s and before the signing of the Concordia. You also conveniently left out how the Church bravely smuggled into Germany the famous Vatican Encyclical “Mit Brennender”. This document was read aloud at all the Sunday masses, and in German, in every church in Germany and was considered the strongest and most formal condemnation of Nazi policies by any entity during the entire period that the Nazis were in power. It denounced unequivically anti-semitism as being incompatible with being Catholic. The Pope went further to say that we Catholic are spiritually all semites and therefore we are all children of Abraham. Anyone caught distributing “Mit Brennender” was immediately place under arrest by the Nazis and subjected to torture and even death.
You said “…to be fair more than a few Catholics acted morally and bravely.” Yes, I suppose all those involved in every Catholic Church in Germany could be described as a few! Then if we go to Poland we can see what amounted to a Nazi campaign to openly persecute the Catholic clergy by imprisonment, torture, public beatings and death on the street and in the concentration camps in a failed attempt to spiritually bankrupt the Polish people. History records over 2000 members of the Polish Catholic clergy lost their lives to Nazi brutality. This amounted to 20% of the clergy in the country during the period but as you said “more than a few”. If you need more examples of the Bravery of Catholicism in the face of Nazi evil then please let me know?
I think we can all acknowledge that Catholics are not universally bad.
What you fail to acknowledge, are the gross wrongs committed. I accept your historical accounts, of the churches actions, but it is a very selective reconstruction.
Sorry Patrick, Just a few short ones for now. Firstly, nearly 60 protests and yet the Church was still willing to sign the Concordia, obviously preservation of position was more important than principle but that was always my point. Secondly, let’s not revise history too much, Mit Brennender was more to do with a Defence of the Catholic Church it certainly was not a universal protest at the treatment of the Jews in fact our dear old Pope could still not even bring him self to use the term.
Speaking of the Pope, why didn’t you mention the rest of statement when he mentioned the children of Abraham where he reconfirmed the churches real position on the Jews (I let you do that if you are honest enough).
Yes, there is no doubt many clergy were imprisoned by the Nazi’s however you failed to mention that very few were there for offering support to the Jews of Europe, nor do you make any attempt to reconcile the fact that far more if not abject supporters of the regime were at best passive supporters. The fact remains that Germany was 75-80% Catholic at a time when 1/3 of the worlds Jewish population was brutally wiped from the face of the earth. To pretend that the Church’s inherent racism (?) and view that the Jews were the christ killers doomed to wander the earth (which Pope said that and when was it disavowed, I forget?) did not play a huge role in the holocaust is to ignore one of the great shames of humanity.
Oh as for the MB being the strongest condemnation of Nazi Germany and it’s policies by any entity…errr.. I would suggest that the English declaration of war might rate above there. Of course, as Chamberlain would attest they had the chance to take the church option and sign a treaty in exchange for …………as long as they should turn blind eye. Forunately, the English displayed far higher principles than the church.
@ Oigal – you said “Of course, as Chamberlain would attest they had the chance to take the church option and sign a treaty in exchange for …………as long as they should turn blind eye. Forunately, the English displayed far higher principles than the church.
Are you referring to the Policy Of Appeasement that the English followed from 1937 through 1939 with Nazi Germany? Learn your history mate as it is soooooo weak!!
@Oigal – you stated “The fact remains that Germany was 75-80% Catholic at a time when 1/3 of the worlds Jewish population was brutally wiped from the face of the earth”.
Wrong again, as Germany, since the Protestant Reformation was predominantly Protestant and not Catholic. Protestants would have been about 75% of the German population during WWII and Catholics would have been most of the remainder. Also did you know millions of Catholics lost their lives to the brutality of the Nazis? Learn your history mate!
Indeed Patrick, on the the religious make-up of Germany ..ouch yup very sloppy stuff on my behalf and as you so joyfully point out I was incorrect..I should have said….nope never mind, you can have that one. For what it is worth, I am really embarrassed about that slack piece of work.
As for the response to Chamberlain, not sure what your point is. The policy of appeasement was exactly what I was referring to which fortunately was recognized as such once the true nature of the Nazi was known, too bad the church didn’t do the same with concordant.
Sorry Patrick, on the road at the moment, so difficult to provide you with exact references to fume over but I will get back to you later. In the meantime, I encourage you as well read some history, in particular some of the earlier writings of Hitlers Pope ( a bit harsh but not totally undeserved).
Protestants would have been about 75% of the German population
Surely your not suggesting the outcome would have been different if the population was 75% Catholic ?
did you know millions of Catholics lost their lives to the brutality of the Nazis?
Yes I do know. The vast majority of people killed during WWII were Christian. It is often overlooked that only a small percentage were Jewish.
It seems as if the other non-Jewish 60 odd million don’t matter so much. I beg to differ on that one.
To me they are all people who suffered and died. Me being an atheist and all …
Well Patrick, your fellow Irishmen are also coming to their senses.
More on this: The Cloyne report showed that allegations of abuse were being covered up as recently as three years ago.
Pure evil practiced by the RC Church well into the 21st century….