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There's an Egyptian graduate student visiting to work on his Master's & we've chatted a good bit. There's a mutual respect there & we've learned a lot from each other.

Today he decided to give me some personal advice - made sure I understood it was just a recommendation. He said I needed to read from all the major holy books (Christianity, Judaism, & Muslim), which first off is excluding a lot, but I think he's biased (Muslim). Then was explaining how when you know god & the rewards you will get, doing good comes easier. By reading the texts you can understand the contradiction, which I also have issues with, so they make sense.

As gently as I could I told him that I had been a Christian & that's why I stopped, because of the inconsistencies & whatnot. He seemed to agree with me that you don't need religion to be a good person - but I'm not sure if that was in general or he was agreeing with me about my personal philosophy. It was a strange conversation to say the least. I'm sure he felt like he was doing the right thing.

So I just told him I appreciated his concern, but I don't have the time or desire to do that. Maybe I'll read the Hindu books since they're part of my dad's culture & the stories are interesting. That's all they are to me though - stories with varying levels of frustration.

Anyone else have a similar experience?

Decieven 7 June 3

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Why would you need to do this? His advice shows that he believes already. Maybe you should ask him why he believes that god would write anything in books for mankind to read. It all comes back to a personal choice of which system you think you have to follow and again shows that you believe already. It's like saying there are lots of cars in the world but I prefer a Chevy. Cars are visible and really here. You cannot say as much for god.


I don't know about the other part, but the Hindu texts are definitely a source of some fun reading when it comes to stories. Some good philosophical points made there too.

I'm sure I've missed some nuances in the small amount of reading I've done because I'm only able to read translations.


Religious people will want to read since they need a continuing reinforcement and support of their Hope's. I know, there for I do not need to continually read about it.


Everyone who believes in God will always try to convert you in some way, thinking that you are ignorant of not having read the bible or any other books. Being a good person, is just your character and disincentive of your ecolhas. More for them is difficult to understand.

ylma Level 5 June 4, 2019

It makes me feel angry that how a graduate student and educated person can believe that an uneducated Arab guy 1400 years ago went to the space with flying donkey.

NR92 Level 6 June 4, 2019

@Decieven "it's likely been integrated so much into his life it's no longer something to analyze, just accepted" - I don't think I have ever heard this said so clearly. 🙂


Oh yea. The way a Muslim apologist or Muslim ignorant (of his own text and scripture and official or widespread explanation) talks/argues can come off as strange, exotic, or weird. But once you've seen one, you've seen all. Basically what a western/modern/cool albeit observant Muslim is taught is how to use complete flowery misrepresentations tgat he might truly believe and how his religion differs from all other abrahamic ones and some logical fallacy ridden answers to basic atheist arguments (they like to use if u see a car, then u deduce there's a maker, if u see the UNIVERSE usually said with grandiosity, how can u not know there's a maker). We are a fertile field for Muslims especially those who aren't atheists but are Christians or secular families and angry at god. Many have been successfully converted to Islam. They escalate their arguments and as they get frustrated, if they're assholes who actually know the other side of their religion aka what to do when u become powerful or a majority, they start becoming belligerent and violent and threatening. Much like the catholic zealots or the puritans. These are the more intelligent qaeda, they're the ideological counterparts and recruiters, strewn in the suburb of London Sydney, Paris, in the US, Canada. They claim peace to outside world but then preach death from pulpits. Idk if you heard about the Islamic schools in Pennsylvania teaching kids some nazi style songs. Or the video of the Imam in Canada preaching death to seculars and western civilization, or the neighborhoods in Sydney, Paris, London where there's almost sharia. Idk how federal agencies don't classify these as threats on the same level as nazis. But then again we have a Bible belt here which is not better and a 50% politically catholic Supreme Court. These are the people that destroyed the Middle East before spreading their cancer elsewhere. Of course the believers are completely oblivious and think they're in a utopia in the slums of Cairo, Aleppo, Iraqi cities.. . Mind you I'm talking believer Muslim. Not the ones who are attached only for familial reasons but drink and don't fast or pray and don't believe. Those are atheist agnostic deists spectrum but coerced mentally or psychologically or doing their best interest.

kng01 Level 5 June 4, 2019

"neighborhoods in Sydney, Paris, London where there's almost sharia"
I live in London and I've never heard of such a place - please give me the name of this neighbourhood or find yourself a better source of information. After all, this is a site for rationalists and sceptics, not believers in made-up nonsense. Thanks.

@Gareth I live near a heavily Muslim populated region of NW England. Tomorrow the local mosque opens for a big Eid party after their prayers. Everyone is invited, even non-believers like me. No sharia law, no preaching hate but lots of food!


Yes, I have had similar experience. Religious people can decide what's good and bad in their and other's religions. I argued that this implies most people already have a set of values with which they have evaluated the religions. So, the religion in question is superfluous as far as morality /values systems are concerned. We agreed on this, but the feeling of community provided by religions was contentious.
Side note: Mahabharata is an awesome story as far as you don't care what it may or may not be trying to teach. It raises some eternal questions but the answers it provides are not palatable to all, certainly not for me.


Yes, but not everyone is as nice about it as he seemed to be.


You can tell him that everyone understands the value of evidence so, when it comes to religion, why would anyone put all that kind of thinking aside in favor of faith? Faith is believing in things without evidence. Even if the evidence is to the contrary they believe it anyway! Faith is illogical!


When I worked retail, I had a customer who suggested that I read the Quran because it is an extension of the Bible. He was very kind and incredibly polite about it. I didn't tell him that I wasn't religious, because I was still figuring things out at the time, but I'm one to treat people the way they treat me so I was nice to him.

I don't personally care to read anything about any religion. It's all stories and myth to me.

Hahaha. Why doesn't he explain the texts about slavery, killing, making every non-Muslim second class citizen with an extra tax and ban from army, beating women in the text of the Quran... Need I go further. What a prime continuation

@kng01 These are common in all the Abrahamic religions. The Quran has contradictory versus in regards physical violence to women, as does the bible.


A lot of religious people are rather sweet and think they have seen something that you have missed, not having the wit to realise that you have seen something that they have missed.

Well said.


I was among thousands like him all around for 30 years until I decided to quit and left. I have not looked back ever since and I do not even start or allow anyone to start a discussion on religion.

I have concluded that not even a second spent on any discussion, though or act about religion is worth anything in life. The farther you will go from religion, the better you will be. It is a very easy thing to do with tons of benefits.

You're so right. It's eye opening. I'm just surrounded by it from many sides that I always think about how to expose it and weaken its power on minds, societies, économies and prevent it from destroying culture and humanity


nor do i want to


There was a Catholic friend in grad school who speculated that I'd correctly abandoned Protestantism because its inconsistencies arise from its being incomplete. Imagine that your Muslim friend would like you to think the same.

@Decieven During the same period in grad school I observed w amusement how proselytizers engaged the numerous Chinese on campus from the PRC. I'd recently spent a year in China and had observed that most Chinese were both very curious about Christianity yet also very prone to a wonderfully noncommittal attitude, sort of like our cultural treatment of rabbits' feet, i.e., interesting, a bit fun, it can't do any harm, hedge your bets and do rituals from all traditions. So I chuckled at the proselytizing time spent as the Chinese nodded and smiled and seemed to the Christians to be buying the package but really weren't intending to do any such thing.


A problem with religions, is when they are contrasted with each other. Why didn't god just give us one correct religion with rules and a single language so we shouldn't mistake what god was on about.

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