Mohamed Zaki's Comments

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At 8:11am on April 13, 2010, Devil's Advocate said…
As for religions "assuming absolutes and forcing people to following them":
Non religious ideologies such as communism and even democratic systems today assume that they hold the absolute truth and moral and ethical high ground. See Francis Fukuyama's "The End of History and the Last Man". As for human rights, the current technologicaly developed countries which happen to have humanist ideologies have a poor record indeed. I hope I will not need to produce an in-depth analysis of the crimes that have and still are commited by many western countries. A tendancy to believing in an absolute set of beliefs is natural and not necessarily the sole property of religion. I am sure you believe in sacro-saint set of principles that it would be very difficult for you to give up. The question is: Do you want to impose it to others? As such, religions and other ideologies differ in their will to spread their belief system/ideological principles and the methods used to do this. Not making any effort to do so either through propaganda or enforcement ultimately leads to the death of religion, philosophy, ideology or whatever system. An ideology, religion, philosophy lives in an economico-socio-military medium so as to make it difficult to dissociate it from whether we like it or not.
At 8:00am on April 13, 2010, Devil's Advocate said…
"Even believing in a form of a deistic god does not help. Simply because we have no means of knowing." Well, by definition, believing is about holding to some truth without a proof of it. In fact, that's what you do everyday: You believe that you are not crazy, you believe that you do see things around you, that you are typing on a keyboard and so on, yet have no way of proving it. What you "know" is relative to what you perceive and what you perceive is subjective and most importantly limited. As such, you might THINK that believing does not help YOU. Yet, you do not KNOW if does not help. Note that we have a hard time analyzing simple physical systems such as the three body problem. We are even less entitled to judge on the usefulness of religion in complex chaotic systems such as the socio-economic-military systems we live in. Moreover, having had myself a western education, I was taught how the Church and religion in general was an inpeding factor to scientific development. This generalization is more difficult to verify in the context of the early Islamic caliphate, Endalousian civilization in Spain and later the Othoman Empire. The later decadence covered not only the scientific fields but also the religious field that sunk into a static state of affairs. Being ignorant of other religions, it is difficult for me to provide other examples. The first that would come into mind is the extremely sofisticated Inca civilization that strived while performing human sacrifices.
-- end of part 1 --
At 6:54am on April 13, 2010, Devil's Advocate said…
Just wanted to add this detailed reference about the Council of Nicea.
At 6:06am on April 13, 2010, Devil's Advocate said…
As a result, I think that if an atheist is to be rational, IMHO, it is much safer to be agnostic and adopt a neutral posture simply because the little knowledge at our disposal is simply not sufficient to allow for an arrogant attitude implying that we know it all and these believing fools are just a bunch of irrational idiots when it comes to metaphysical beliefs. Note that this statement does not imply the endorsement of religion. It is more an encouragement to humbleness in view of our very limited perception, processing power and deductive capacity.
-- end of part 3 of 3 --
At 6:05am on April 13, 2010, Devil's Advocate said…
No, as far as religions are concerned, if one does not believe in anything except matter, then religions become irrelevant. If one believes in the existence of a metaphysical entity, then he might either select to be a deist or start a quest for a religion that he finds the most in line with his beliefs. It is obvious that throughout history religion has been used as a political tool of domination because of the power inherent in manipulating a believing populace. Yet, does that imply that all religions are and have always been manipulative at their onset? Answering such a question would imply knowledge that we will always lack due to the difficulty of conserving accurate, undistorted and un-manipulated information during long period of time (and that has nothing to do with technology). As far as Christianity is concerned, it went through a long evolution with critical modifications such as the concept of trinity being imposed in Council of Nicea on May 20, 325 AD. The political influence of the Roman Empire and trinity like believes may have helped this evolution. Buda was a philosopher who is said to have stated "I am but a philosopher; you will make a god out of me". If this is true, he well predicted what would happen. As a result, I think it is extremely important to examine the essence of each religion rather than concentrating on their ritual aspects. What is Buddhism about, what is Christianism about, what is Islam about? Answering these questions requires one to abandon preconceived ideas that one may get even from observing members of those very religions who might not grasp key concepts of their own religion and are even less capable of explaining them to others.
-- end of part 2 --
At 6:04am on April 13, 2010, Devil's Advocate said…
Obviously, contradictory concepts, religious may they be or otherwise cannot all be true at the same time as implied by simple logic. Yet, before getting into the specifics of religion and how they have evolved, I would like to concentrate on the existence/non-existence of God. If we want to get fully rational, then we have to agree on a formal logical system that one might use to prove/disprove the existence of an all powerful entity whose essence is different from the material existence that we know. Now, this implies that such a formal system can be built and most importantly be proven consistent. Unfortunately, if one gets an in depth view at the foundation of mathematics, he/she will discover that this is not possible; moreover, there are many different schools on which axiomatic system to adopt. See this Wikipedia Article. Moreover, we will always lack a common set of axioms on which to base a logical discussion due to a different perception of reality. As an extreme example, if one is to tell you that he alone exists. Can you come up with any logical argument to prove him wrong? No matter what you come up with, he can always pretend that you are just dreaming that whatever you perceive through your senses is mere illusion. Finally, assuming a God whose essence falls outside the material reality, it is in my opinion impossible to prove/disprove such an existence. As such, the safer approach is to state that one believes or does not believe in God without adopting a militant attitude for or against such a belief. This is the approach of agnostics which I think is the most rational atheist position and do not imply the irrationality of believing in God.
-- end of part 1 --
At 12:49am on April 13, 2010, Devil's Advocate said…
I understand from what you say that anyone believing in God is irrational? If this is not what you mean, please clarify what you mean.
At 6:32pm on April 12, 2010, Fahad al said…
Hello :) and alive
At 12:06am on April 12, 2010, Devil's Advocate said…
Why do you like to see arabs in here?
At 6:34am on April 8, 2010, Murtad Fitri said…
Hi Mohamed Zaki,
Thanks for welcoming me to this group. Egypt? Ouch! I guess it could be worse. For me Saudi Arabia takes the biscuit, where the religious police try to force you to worship and all.
Be strong and remember knowledge is power. We have the intellectual and moral high-ground. We will operate beneath the radar to tear down this evil, barbaric ideology that is opposed to freedom and scientific progress. I try to study the following books by Robert Greene to help me get the strategy right:
http://bookoutlines.pbworks.com/The-33-Strategies-of-War
http://www2.tech.purdue.edu/cg/Courses/cgt411/covey/48_laws_of_power.htm
Peace
At 10:42am on March 17, 2010, Mustafa said…
شكرا يا كبير.أنا اعتقد ان الملحدين و اللادينيين فى مصر اعدادهم كبيرة الى حد ما بس الخوف من موجة التطرف الدينى الموجودة هو اللى مكبلهم.فى غضون سنتين ممكن نستضيف المؤتمر الدولى للملحدين فى القاهرة و لا حاجة..قول يا رب.
At 10:50am on February 28, 2010, lol mahmood said…
Hi mohamed,
good to hear from you. I've never been a Muslim, luckily. My family is Arabic on my dad's side (hence the name) but he's not a believer as far as I can tell, and I know relatively little about islam.

As a kid I went to schools where Christianity was taught as a matter of course, but it never really stuck, so I've been atheistic for about 30+ years now.

How about you?

Cheers,

lol
At 10:50am on February 28, 2010, lol mahmood said…
Hi mohamed,
good to hear from you. I've never been a Muslim, luckily. My family is Arabic on my dad's side (hence the name) but he's not a believer as far as I can tell, and I know relatively little about islam.

As a kid I went to schools where Christianity was taught as a matter of course, but it never really stuck, so I've been atheistic for about 30+ years now.

How about you?

Cheers,

lol
At 3:04pm on December 5, 2009, Richard Goscicki said…
Mohamed, I used your name on one of my posts and I'm thinking perhap I should ask you first. I could easily delete your last name and you'll just be Mohamed.

Here's the link. I'd be glad to learn your opinion on this.
At 6:09am on December 3, 2009, ɟǝןıx dǝʇɹɐɹ said…
wow, an atheist living in Cairo! I guess you are really smart! I have crossed with your name accidentaly and I thought it is funny to meet an atheist called Mohamed. Well, I guess there are many atheists on AN called Christian, Kristy etc although I never met a Jesus. :)

Isn't it risky to be an uncloseted atheist in the muslim world? or riskier than other worlds?

About your question "how can an adult person live all his/her life without realizing the non-existence of their god (especially Elohim, Yahweh and Allah). " read here: Viruses-of-the-mind and you'll understand. You (like me) just have had somehow the chance to have a better anti-virus program... although I have definitely noticed a corelation between people being intelligent and being atheists.
At 10:39am on November 30, 2009, Arshad said…
Hello, Thanks for your message. I am curious to know more about you. How and in what position you remained in Islamabad in all your 'life'..? and how you turned into rational mode of thinking... I would love to know what experience was yours in Islamabad life.
At 10:19am on November 3, 2009, Tricia Otto said…
Thank you for the welcome. I think you are a very brave man Mohammed.
At 4:02am on July 5, 2009, George B. said…
I also live in Cairo, I put Pittsburgh because that is where I will be for college next year. Someone once told me it is literally illegal to be atheist here, is this true?
At 2:46am on June 28, 2009, Lourenco Fernandes said…
Hi mohammed, i mean wow u r a athiest in an Islamic country, u r a brave man, i live in Goa (India) now but i was in the middle east most of my life, i couldnt imagine being this liberal there they would have put me in prison
At 5:28pm on June 20, 2009, Malena said…
Most argetinians have been raised by non practising catholic parects and they are used to it. It´s more like religion is more about weddings and traditions that about beliefs. And no one educated argentinian believes that moral has anything to do with religion (too many problems with corrupted bishops during our history). People usually pay very few attention to their beliefs, if any.
I always had a wonder about it, may be thats why I have passed from being very catholic (to my country standarts) to here. I think I have been evolving (growing) some way.

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