We have heard of your plans for Beirut. As we have some experience in urban and rural development, we will be happy to exchange information and to participate in your reconstruction programmes. Because of a variety of unfortunate actions on the part of extremists and deviationists who have been lumped as Islamic fundamentalists, and the failures of some Islamic countries to achieve stability, peace and progress, our image at the moment is very much wanting.
This is not the image of Islam at all. Lebanon and Malaysia are in very good positions to correct this image by showing true Islamic tolerance and justice for others not of our faith, and our capacity to govern and govern well a pluralistic society. We hope that we can work together on the task of revealing the true face of Islam and Muslims. Your visit to Malaysia will, I am sure, provide you and your delegation with an opportunity to see for yourself the possibilities that exist for us to cooperate and work together for mutual benefit.
At present, the level of economic interaction between our two countries is still minimal but the potentials are enormous. During our meeting this morning, we had together explored new ideas and new thoughts, particularly in the area of bilateral economic cooperation, to provide for a more substantive interaction between Malaysia and Lebanon.
We have agreed that our interactions should not be confined only to the government but more so among our peoples and the private sector. Malaysia believes that the private sector can play a pivotal role in helping to transform the character of our economic and trade relations. Lebanon and Malaysia share similar views on many international issues, in particular the struggle of the Palestinian people and the attainment of a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Many momentous developments have taken place in the West Asian region since the end of the Cold War. In Lebanon itself, we have witnessed the end of the civil war. But the issue of Israeli intransigence and continued occupation of Arab lands, including southern Lebanon, remains. Some 20 months ago, many believed that the signing of the Declaration of Principles between the PLO and Israel marked a fresh beginning in the efforts to resolve the conflict. Regrettably, the international community has yet to see peace take root in the region, in particular in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories.
While recognising that there have been progress in some areas, the situation on the ground remains far from satisfactory. Malaysia believes that progress of the peace process very much depends on the commitment and willingness of both parties in implementing all the provisions that they had agreed. The continuing expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied territories is certainly against the spirit of the agreement. Malaysia, as I have mentioned, is opposed to all forms of extremism, violence and terrorism. We believe that violence will not solve problems.
Violence only begets violence. We would urge Israel to demonstrate its sincerity and commitment to implement the remaining central issues, including the return of Golan Heights and withdrawal from Southern Lebanon in order to maintain the momentum of the peace process. Rather than respond to some of the more silly asides, I will focus on two issues: the morality of murder and the issue of homosexuality. I am asking a simple question. As an atheist, do you believe John can kill Steve for no reason, and if not, why not? Oops, I clicked Send too early! One can feel something and not act upon it.
I may be born with an innate sense that I need to steal things. That is part of the challenge of life. However — a study of biology and embryology clearly identifies a range of intersex conditions! You see I am a biologist who reads medical text books and biological studies, rather than bronze age-guesswork wearing a god-badge! Could I recommend some study of the actual subject at a top international medical reference site! Ambiguous genitalia is a birth defect where the outer genitals do not have the typical appearance of either a boy or a girl.
The male and female reproductive organs and genitals both come from the same tissue in the fetus. This makes it difficult to easily identify the infant as male or female. The extent of the ambiguity varies. In very rare instances, the physical appearance may be fully developed as the opposite of the genetic sex. For example, a genetic male may have developed the appearance of a normal female. Alan 75 — If you had a disabled child who was a wheelchair user, would you also refuse their fellow wheelchair using partner admission?
I will focus on two issues: the morality of murder and the issue of homosexuality. Re murder, rather than addressing my crystal clear question: Does an atheist believe John can kill Steve simply because John feels like it, and if not, why not,. First of all, people who are not psychopaths do not casually kill people anyway. Usually they need a strong motive! A secular humanist view, is that societies need to establish laws and manage their own moral codes of conduct, based on equality of rights, mutual co-operation, and altruism.
Perhaps you could explain the various accounts of acclaimed killings and genocides against rival states, rival tribes, and rival religions. Deuteronomy I tried to give a vague meaningless question some context. We are fundamentally different on this point, you and I. And, in my system of morals, you are extraordinarily morally corrupt on this point.
More importantly, I also find your other answers deeply, deeply immoral. It makes me happy and I have a right to it.
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And, that is precisely where your beliefs hurt others. And my sentiment of not judging others is clearly stated in your own Holy books and YOU choose to flout them…. Our sages ask, when are you allowed to judge another person? The answer: Never. The explanation given is as follows: Who says your blood is redder than his? Talmud — Sanhedrin 74a. You have a tradition that came purely from men inventing stuff to suit themselves and ascribing it to an imaginary god, and I mean men in the male sense because almost exclusively women had little say in the origins of the ancient religions which is why they are so discriminated against in them.
End of. You are just a product of your particular childhood brainwashing. However childhood brainwashing is very hard to overcome. We understand that and are saddened by it. Hi Avi. I am one of the secular Jews Alan mentioned and a semi regular contributor here. They have the patience of Job if that makes you more comfortable. You have also conducted yourself this way, just with a message we cannot rationally appreciate.
I use the word rationally on purpose. I will remind you again of where you are choosing to post. You need to understand that we are as incapable of believing in your sky god as you are in his absence. But let me be clear on this point: we are NOT incapable of considering it rationally however. That seems anathema to your dogma. We would never have evolved without an innate morality.
This much is clear. I love that. And I shall steal that with attribution with your permission. Love that. I remember Richard debating with some bat shit crazy blonde American woman years ago who spoke in the quietest calmest voice that nothing could upset but everything that came out of her mouth was pure poison. Also Ted Haggard raging against gays whilst paying male prostitutes for sex and calling the police against Richard because he discussed evolution he accused me of being a monkey. It has nothing, however, to do with homosexual conduct! It was not my intent to seek out a secular site just to post!
However, I will note that it seems you prefer insularity, that is, you prefer not to engage in discussion with those who disagree with you. I have no such issue, I am much more open-minded. We all agree that societies need to establish laws. So we agree, we need laws.
The laws against, say, murder, are meant so that society is not destroyed. But this has nothing to do with morality! What makes you think these are positive values? Indeed, what makes you think there are values at all? It is this issue that particularly interests me. By the way, this has nothing to do with the original posted article.
Obviously you would or should agree that a self-managing group such as Orthodox Jews can have its own rules, as long as it is not forcing others to keep those rules. I would fully agree with that notion. I await your response. I would say that I am absolutely prohibited from within! And as I have never been religions and come from a family of non-religious people and have had very little contact with orthodox Jews and no very little about Judaism. I can only assume that that feeling of murder and rape and stealing, and hurting people being wrong does not, cannot come from any God.
God to me and to many compassionate and humane agnostics and atheists is simply Nothing. This sense of prohibition does not come from the State either, i. It is not an easy thing to explain; these are complex questions, and they should be asked. Empathy, being civilized, caring about others… All those things have developed willy-nilly over the centuries, but not enough, as violence and hate and cruelty is still so prevalent, prevalent among religious Jews and Christians and Muslims and their non-believing counterparts as well.
We have enough homicides in the world. The prisons are filled with homicidal maniacs. So for all of our sakes, stay religious until you figure out how you as a man, an individual with your own set of values and sensibilities, feel about killing — and not a child or soldier taking orders from Big Daddy in the Sky. Yes, I am expressing some disdain. Many Holy Books do advocate killing. Did you read what someone had written above about all the different religions all saying different things? Religion cannot possibly last; no lie can live forever.
Regards, Report abuse. Actually it does, because the brain development governing sexual attraction, is similarly affected by hormonal effects on the embryo in the womb. I recall this earlier comment, but it appears when it comes to homosexuals and intersex people, you express an urge for friends and family to bring pressure to bear on then in exactly that way!
So which is it? Just as the writer of the article did, one can choose not to follow the laws. There seem to be conflicting claims and compartmentalised thinking in your comments. Perhaps there are some reasons here in threats to apostates, why you seem to have mental blocks making you unable to follow the reasoning which challenges some of your mistaken preconceptions.
Well Avi I appear to have underestimated your smiling hate and condescension. And if I preferred insularity I would not have posted. What I disdain however is arguing with a dogmatic close minded person which you quite clearly are. This world is no less valid than yours. These are of course worked out by people making informed judgements on predicted outcomes and balancing the interests of various parties. For example professions such as doctors have codes of conduct, which most follow voluntarily, but which include sanctions against rogue individuals.
Now we are talking! However laws as I explained should be based on evidence and predicted outcomes, not ancient superstitions. Actually no! Most systems are less than perfect, and many are corrupt! That is where the objective evaluation of various political systems comes in. The values are chosen by the people of the community.
All laws and codes of conduct are the work of humans, including those which some try to enhance by sticking a god-badge on to them. Actually, it does because it looks at the sources of ideas and mental processes directing the behaviour patterns under discussion. I recognise god-beliefs as a mental delusion created by childhood indoctrination. Groups form their own rules, but it is perfectly reasonable to evaluate the effects of these on members, relations of member, friends of members, children of members and members who wish to leave the group.
As with politics in general applications of rules are open to abuses, so criticism and in extreme cases actions are justified. There are many examples where authority figures in religions sometimes in league with politicians , abuse their positions to the detriment of their members.
Not only are many regular posters on this site well read, but many are ex-Christians, from Muslim families or are secular Jews. There is a wide ranging understanding of religions and their effects in societies. Would that be okay with you? I think we are centering on the problem! My set of questions sure seems to have exposed the closed mind and smiling hate trademark pending.
Avi would regard his son being homosexual as terrible. The cognitive dissonance and absolute lack of self awareness is staggering. Guy with his hair parted on the side, accountant, clean shaven, neat orderly???? Serial killer. I can only assume…. And as I have never been religions and come from a family of non-religious people and have had very little contact with orthodox Jews and know very little about Judaism, I can only assume….
I would also add that as the atheist Dr. Jonathan Miller admitted, we do owe religion, the Christian religion in particular, a certain debt of gratitude; it helped to move the evolution of our moral idea of brotherly love along. But morality is not from God. No, that would not be okay with Alan or with any of us. It would be dreadful. But that is the world we live in and the struggle for humane laws and justice is continuous, and cruelty and injustice and bigotry, etc.
That is far, far more dangerous, far more insidious — and you know it.
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Yes you have centered on a fundamental problem. Dan responded: No, that would not be okay with Alan or with any of us. Dan, what I am asking is: Why would it not be okay with you? I am not seeing an answer to this question. I will note that I had the same discussion recently with my brother, a practicing, believing Orthodox Jew who maintains that one can devise a moral code without religion.
But my brother, along with all the posters on this site, has been unable to logically explain why this moral code would have any standing or any validity. What makes something right or wrong? To this, I have not heard an answer from the atheists on this site or from my believing brother, much as he wants to side with you.
I am saying that as of yet, I have not heard a cogent rationale for it. I am open to suggestions! Avi — He also introduced other non-related issues e. Of course not — I explained secular values earlier. There needs to be various bodies to hold those in authority accountable. When particular religions dominate the local legislatures national legislatures, police and the courts, actions of religious authorities are looked at through rosy spectacles, and we get the sorts of covered up abuses, such as Catholic priests raping children with impunity.
Not really! The former view require a LOT more study! It is the same with making the effort of developing the ability to work out your own code of conduct, V copying a simplistic one which is spoon-fed to you. Science based decisions on abortions are determined by survivability without debilitating complications affecting the baby or the mother, and the later potential life quality of the infant. You are going to have to stick around and join in with discussions on how the brain works, evolution and animal behaviour, to name a few, and be as open minded as you are to suggestions, if you want an answer that you might be happy with.
Morality is not devised by atheist but by millions of years of evolution. I was wondering if Religious Jewish people would be happy being represented here by Avi and I googled a few things and found this;. Why would it not be okay to kill people in a given secular community? These ideas and arguments are debated and it is rare to find a society where there is universal agreement about what should be considered right and proper and what is considered wrong and improper.
With regards to the State, I would say that in a democracy, where people are allowed to worship as they wish and to speak their minds and be who they are, its citizens should be able to enjoy their natural right of freedom to exist assuming that they are able to obey reasonable laws , to live their lives, without fear of being arrested or persecuted or punished, without being criminalized.
Dictators are always capricious and always impose their paltry will upon the freedom and the pursuit of happiness of others, trample on that right. Democracy is a state of grace, easily lost; laws concerning justice are a delicate thing too, based often on consensus. But that is the nature of morality with regards to the State.
Perhaps this basic uncertainty as to why one must not do this or that has given rise for the need on the part of many for some kind of ultimate authority on these matters. Democracy is a grace. Fascism goes back to our infancy and childhood, where we were always told how to live. We were told, Yes, you may do this; no, you may not do that. So the secret of fascism is that it has this appeal to people whose later lives are not satisfactory. Murder as a way of life is not an isolated issue; it is bound up inextricably with such things as justice and truth.
To condone murder is to deny justice and to affirm lies such as those based on prejudice or a false sense of moral superiority. Why is it better not to kill? Because we as individuals have risen above the egotism of brutes, because we regard indifference to human life as depraved. Persecution and murder based on capricious laws or the need to control in order to maintain power is not only impractical, it is based on a system that is unsustainable as it is based on lies and on vice — and all lies and all vice eventually do harm and destroy those who engage in them in the end. From a mere pragmatic point of view such a way of life where killing is considered lawful or acceptable would make life impossible.
The question as to whether this is learned or not does not belong here; let us assume it is learned, for clearly it can be. The opposite of this is base egotism. It comes from no law although the laws are a practical necessary to keep selfish men from preying on others which is no basis for organizing a civilized society that aspires towards the cultural and aesthetic Good or that has any affinity with Beauty. Thou Shalt Not Kill is a flimsy thing indeed designed, presumably, for criminal-types and accepted by malleable, pathetic, hoodwinked half-men and half-women who have no sense of their own personal dignity or the dignity of others, and would or might be inclined to kill or do harm without such messages of prohibition, sent by a man-made God.
The strength of the prohibition is proportionate to the latent desire to commit the crime. Gods are made in the image of Man and his laws cannot be relied on. Gods and goddesses belong to the realm of mythology. When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. Not true, at least for Judaism. We believe that while God guides many things, we have the free will to do good or evil. We believe we can overcome our inadequacies. Surely you must admit that you may be wrong, because you have no experience to dictate otherwise. I, however, have the experience within Judaism to comfortably assert surety!
To make a block of text orange just add a right arrow directly in front of the first word. Try that and see if it works. Actually I quoted Olgun saying that and posted the the chapter in the book giving depth of explanations on the evolutionary genetics of altruistic interactions in populations. Actually, not far off from how Judaism thinks, although there is a wide spectrum Jewish law is very complicated, much more complicated than civil law, and different experts hold different views, all based on their incredible knowledge of the subjects at hand.
Science is a mostly objective discipline, it has no feelings and no moral contours. People make moral judgments, and I still await someone who will answer my core question: How does an atheist determine what is moral? Avi In your comment you are sure to run into trouble with this communication. The problem is that the science community has one thing in common and that is how we think and talk about probability. Anyone here who has a college degree in science or math processes certain statements and assertions in the same way due to the training and education that we have.
We entertain hypotheses and think about how to test them. We collect, organize and analyse data. We make conclusions based on those analyses and then consider the implications of those results. When in the company of my fellow science majors this is something I count on them knowing. To me, everything is a probability equation. Some things are more probable or less probable than other things.
This is how we view the probability of the existence of a god or collection of gods or any other supernatural creature. The probability that there is an omniscient, omnipotent being that has created this universe and all of the life in it is in fact, so absolutely minuscule as to be for all intents and purposes — so close to the number zero that we will all now say — the probability that this entity exists is ZERO. The end. We will no longer waste our time speculating as to its nature and properties and we will move on to more interesting hypotheses.
We will end up talking past each other forever if these two very different ways of understanding reality are maintained. What any science major will require and what anyone who relies on logic and rational thinking will require is for you to present a hypothesis — God exists, and then explain how you will collect data and move to a conclusion one way or another, that will satisfy us that this is truth or not truth.
This cannot possibly be processed by us and it makes no sense whatsoever. It is only a feeling stated with emphasis.argo-karaganda.kz/scripts/nusikutu/4308.php
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My field is psychology and I can tell you that emphatic statements that are based on nothing but feelings are very common and are often completely false. Too many of these curious statements in too short a time and your shrink will be reaching for his prescription meds pad, pen in hand. Not good. When they do this they usually include a link to the evidence for their assertion. If they fail to do that you are within your rights to ask for their evidence.
This is how science and rational thinking works. I hope you will try to talk to your brother again about his ideas on secular morality. Your religion, like all of them, include a little subroutine that kicks off a fierce defensive reaction. Yes, they all have this feature. Can you suppress this reaction long enough to give his ideas and the ideas presented here a fair trial? Also, you are perfectly capable of reading some entry level science and material on ethics, humanism, etc.
Even if it never changes your mind, there is some credit to you for making an honest attempt to try to understand how many other good people create a worldview that is moral and good with no reference at all to a supernatural all powerful being. Or, you could double down on the substantial defense systems that are evident in all of your comments here. I can do much better than that! I can also point out the thousands of believers in other gods with conflicting properties which are followed by believers who are equally certain their their versions of gods are THE correct ones, — and finally I have the mounting evidence from psychologists and neuroscientists that god-delusions are a feature of believers brains which dominate their core beliefs.
Not at all! God delusions dominate the subjective thinking and blank out perceptions of reality, which might lead their host brains to apostasy! It is how the religious memes are preserved, copied, and passed on as comfortable certainties devoid of any supporting material evidence. However as all the various god-delusions see list of deities 77 , produce claims which are in conflict with each other, there is no reason to think any of them have any material basis beyond the illusions in the brain chemistry and circuitry of their believers. Jeeze Alan, we really need to take this show on the road!!!
That is correct. Science informs moral judgements which can then be made on the basis of reliable information and predicted outcomes. They do indeed, but if they use guesswork or dogma in place of science, their judgements will most probably be flawed due to a lack of proper evidence-based information. Other issues are dealt with in a similar manner on their merits. Btw, speaking of morality, I was just having a bite to eat on 84th and Third Avenue. I noticed a crowd outside. A young man had collapsed and was foaming at the mouth. The ambulance came. My point; everyone was standing around, concerned, on their cell phones.
Some people are cruel. But most of us have empathy to some degree, and that is just the way it is. It is possible to imagine a world without empathy. HG Welles described such a world. Whether empathy is more natural or not is an open question, but we have it and all I can do is hope that we as a species never lose it. That would be contrary to my values and would not be a world that I would choose to be part of if I found myself transported to such a world and had the ability to decide my own fate.
Life is what we make of it, our experience is what we interpret, our values are what we form and what we develop. We create all of it — and it varies. Yes, yes, there might be a God. But the burden of proof is on you to prove that something does exist. Do you comprehend that? Thinking about God all the time is a wasted life.
You are thinking about nothing. You only know what you feel, and that is not objective truth; No one can know nothing, and that is why you cannot describe him. Nothing to describe. And that is all God is: Nothing. And you have no answer to that, cannot say anything at all about this God of yours. This is madness and imbecility.
You think Judaism is profound but are in denial; Judaism is based essentially on nothing. Go help someone. Quit thy childhood and wake up. Laurie, pssst, come here for a second. Started with my copy in my Dickens collection — the print is so tiny I almost went cross-eyed.
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Switched to the free Kindle edition. Easier on the eyes. I feel a pall over my life because of him. If I plunge into a deep dark depression it will all be your fault. And there we have it finally, the arrogance of surety that always comes out in the end when believers talk about their non existent deities. We are not so arrogant as to claim surety in anything.
Only the delusional do that. We talk about probabilities and evidence. It is irrelevant what in in our gut or inside our own heads. Only reproducable evidence matters. Evidence that can be demonstrated to a third party with no axe to grind and which produces the same results every time. There is no evidence for the existence of any god that has ever been postulated or worshipped. In the absence of such evidence we simply decline to accept the postulation that such a god exists and leave the burden of proof back where it belongs — on the believer. When we factor in the thousands of gods that humans have invented over the millenia and no proof for any of them, when we factor in the laws of physics which make omniscience and omnipotence impossible.
When we factor in that we already have robust scientific explanations for most of the things that religion has turned out to have been wrong about such as the earth being the centre of the universe, how planets and solar systems form, the age of the earth and the universe, evolution rather than creation myths. Their faith is unshakeable despite zero evidence to support it. It would not take incontrovertible evidence to inspire faith in me. Religion is based on faith, not reason. That is why people like Avi get under my skin; they are sure of something that one can not possibly be sure of; that is fanaticism, as defined by Kant.
You seem to be very sure what ought to be obvious to other people which is more of the arrogance I mentioned in my previous post. What if that self regulating group practices cannibalism, female genital mutilation, paedophilia? Hell no is the answer. The reason is that believing in, and worshipping, that which does not exist is delusional. Essentially a form of mental illness and that reflects poorly on all of humanity and any aspirations we might have to one day be able to call ourselves civilised. I have trouble making up my mind about all this.
I take back what I said in comment I want evidence. Faith in God is faith in nothing too. Next week I might say something different. But have yet to produce ANY evidence of this happening or any mechanism showing how gods are involved in this working of nature. As can all people, but that has nothing to do with gods, or the inadequacies of dogmas and doctrines. Actually, once theists stop making vague suggestions that some obscure god-thingy exists somewhere out of sight, and list the claimed properties and activities of their gods, these are easily and rapidly debunked by scientific and historical evidence.
They are shown to be myths and folk-law from the imaginations of people in the past. They were used as manipulative tools by elites seeking power over local populations, and organising tribal followings to attack rivals and rival populations. Today they still are! Thanks, Laurie, it worked; reminds me of my days in publishing when I would do a bit of coding. Ideally, one indeed should keep God in mind all the time; this is the essence of life!
Yes, it does seem we are talking past one another as someone said in a post. The problem is that I am perfectly logical while you folks are not.
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But I digress. The logical conclusion is that as society advances, we will become ever more good a term you cannot even explain, but so be it. Then why, my friends, have the last years featured more evil than at any time in history? The answer is that the natural world has nothing to do with good and evil; it is simply the setting in which good and evil and neutral acts take place! I repeatedly asked for a definition of good. Dan responded with a story about bystanders having concern for someone who was ill.
Dan, you are right; people have good within them, because God put good within them! God and good are, as far as I know, of common etymology. You all know the story of Leopold and Loeb and the im perfect murder. Leopold and Loeb held themselves, by virtue of their intellects, to be superior beings who had the right to do whatever they wanted to those they held to be inferior. What a perfect demonstration of how amorality leads to evil. Of course, none of you can say Leopold and Loeb were wrong; they held themselves to be scientifically superior! And the Nazis did the same.
No, I am not saying you are Nazis! I am sure someone will jump on me for invoking the Holocaust. But it is indisputable that the Nazis believed themselves to be biologically advanced. They held Jews, Romas and others to be biologically inferior. Do you believe that similar abominations cannot be repeated? What about euthanasia in supposedly civililzed, advanced, secular societies?
Need I say more? But since we are talking about science, can someone please explain how and why we would develop two eyes? And I am still waiting an answer to how matter appeared. That is why people like Avi get under my skin; they are sure of something that one can not possibly be sure of. Dan, I can say the same about you; you are so certain about your beliefs that you cannot imagine anything else being correct.
How do you know that our logic even commonly shared logic is reliable? What makes you think that your thinking process is a valid one? How, indeed, do you draw conclusions about anything? As I explained in an earlier post, logic a deductive or inductive process, not a badge to be stuck on to assertions which endorse your preconceptions.
Unless the starting premises are evidence based, anything built on them will be hypothetical fantasy! Logical reasoning from evidence, is one of the key skills of scientists in their investigations seeking understanding of the workings of nature. That is one of the reasons why the majority of top scientists are atheists. The majority of species on this planet have no concept of gods, and the majority of humans on this planet have no belief in your particular version of a god. There is no evidence to suggest this causes them any problems.
Although beliefs in some other gods certainly do! I can assure you I have had no need of gods since I matured to the formal operations stage of mental development as a teenager. Arkrid, while Jews do not rely on supernatural evidence for our beliefs Maimonides, one of the greatest thinkers of all time, is quite clear on this subject , God DID leave a glowing message in the sky. He spoke to us at Mount Sinai. Also, I have not written about evolution, your sacred touchstone, and the truth is I have no problem accepting a God-guided evolution. Theistic evolution has no explained mechanism and the mechanisms of evolution have NOTHING to do with being guided towards particular objectives.
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