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Thread: What have the Moslems done for mankind?

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    What have the Moslems done for mankind?

    What have the Muslims done in the past 1,000 years to improve the health, welfare, and happiness of the human race ? What important advances in medical science have been made by Muslims ? What labour-saving devices to reduce the burden of the working man and/or his wife have been invented by Muslims ? What advances in basic human rights have been made by Muslims ?

    All of the major medical advances that I know of have been made by Christians and Jews. All of the labour-saving devices of which I know are western inventions. The machinery which has increased agricultural productivity many-fold was invented and is manufactured by Americans and Europeans.

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are.............endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Can you think of anything more alien to the spirit of Islam ?

    Oh, but the Muslims made contributions to mathematics and astronomy. Yes, but WHEN ? The mathematical contributions were made mainly to arithmetic and numerical notation. They introduced the West to the concept of zero, which was not their own discovery but came to them from India. This contribution was made nearly 1,000 years ago.

    They preserved and elaborated upon, but made no innovations in ancient Greek astronomy. They preserved some ancient Greek medical knowledge.
    This concern with science was made possible by the fact that ancient Greek science was so primitive that it did not, as yet, conflict with the mythology of the "glorious' Qur'an. All of this occurred about 1,000 years ago.

    To be crass about it, What have you done for us lately ?

    I began this post with numerous questions in the hope that those who know more about Islamic history than I could either answer them, or, at least, discuss them.

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    Historically, there is no such an entity as the "Muslims" and it's kind of....'american' to use that expression...

    Muslim is a purely religious term which does not apply to any ethnic/racial group alone. There are muslims in the Arabic Peninsula, Persia, India, Thailand, Central Asia, Anatolia, etc, etc. Each one of those peoples who have been islamified, have made greater, or lesser, contributions for mankind.
    For example, back in ancient times, the Arabs have made contributions to mathematics, astronomy, poetry, literature, etc. The Persians have had a long-lasting empire and a glorious civilization in the past. Others, like the Turks, for example, was less contributing, and so on, and so forth...

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    What have the MUSLIMS done for mankind ?

    I asked exactly what I intended. It is my contention that Islam is a hindrance to benefitting mankind. I contend that the values embodied in the Islamic faith militate against compassion [despite Al'lah or Ar-Rahman being referred to repeatedly as "the merciful, the compassionate"] and altruism.

    I also specified "in the past 1,000 years". I am well aware of, and discussed in my post, Islamic contributions to mathematics and the preservation of ancient Greek science in ANCIENT times. I asked "What have you done for us lately ?"
    Greek science did not conflict with the primitive metaphysics of Islam nor its stringent dogmas.

    I am well aware of the ancient cultural contributions of the Persians , which are almost wholly pre-Islamic. I admire as much as any man the poetry of Omar Khayyam.* Now, you tell me how it benefitted the sick, the overworked, and the oppressed. If you're going to comment on my post, be so kind as to READ it.

    *[BTW, I am aware that Omar lived in Islamic times. I am also aware that his poetry embodies a philosophy which is contrary to orthodox Islamic teaching.]

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    they provide us with good target practice.

    maybe start World War 3? Kosovo? I dunno how that shit will play out...

    ETA i changed my avatar to reflect my political tastes. Good guy, Arkan...
    Tequila Sunrise

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    Algebra.

    Also, I think it was Al Farabi who championed the idea that "truth does not contradict truth"--a notion that vitiates the anti-science prejudice of religion.

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    What have they done for us lately ?

    I did specify "in the past 1000 years". al-Khwarizmi discovered some of the basic concepts of algebra in the year 830 . These discoveries were incorporated into what we now know as algebra much later by European mathematicians.

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    What do you suppose changed such that the first few hundred years were productive and the rest have been so backward?

    Oh, they did preserve Aristotle in Arabic, although, I confess that I can't remember off the top of my head whether this satisfies your era-qualifier.

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    Aristotle

    I think it's a case of what I've heard referred to, with reference to individual persons, as "hardening of the attitudes." It appears to me that Islam has become more doctrinaire and narrow-minded as time has gone on.

    I doubt that the ideas of Aristotle would be acceptable to strict modern Muslim clerics. To paraphrase the opinion of a mediaeval Muslim cleric. "If
    [Aristotle's views] agree with the Qur'an, they are unnecessary. If they disagree with it, they are pernicious."

    I know of no important advances in medicine which are the work of Muslims. I know of no inventions by Muslims which have lightened any labourer's burdens. I know of nothing that they have done to free men's minds from fear and superstition. Quite the opposite. I know of no Muslim social or legal doctrines which manifest even a shred of mercy, compassion, or love for one's fellow man UNLESS he be a fellow Muslim.

    What have they EVER done to make life better, more bearable, or easier for ANYBODY ? Instead, the "glorious" Qur'an contains page after page of THREATS against infidels and backsliders. And, as their fulminations every time they are annoyed show, threats are still their stock-in-trade.

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    Ibn al-Haytham and the camera obscura, but that barely makes your cut of a thousand years.

    What have they done for mankind? Given us an excellent example of what to not be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edenkoben
    What do you suppose changed such that the first few hundred years were productive and the rest have been so backward?

    Oh, they did preserve Aristotle in Arabic, although, I confess that I can't remember off the top of my head whether this satisfies your era-qualifier.
    It is my belief that Islam was dreamed up as a way to weld the Arab tribes together into a political and military force, and that the practice was likely different when it was new. Their lives were dynamic and they ventured out of their desert lands to go conquering, eyes opened to the bright world around them. They were justly impressed by the things they saw, and it was preserved by realistic men who saw value in the power of these things.

    Now, hundreds of years later, their military operations stagnated, and so too did their cultural ambitions. They've become trapped by the ideology that was designed to give powerful and ambitious men control of the masses, and the ignorance the system fostered grew to dominate it.

    Strict fundamentalism, a simple minded faith in the absolute truth of their Quran, has rotted their society and crippled their brains, stunting their growth.

    It's the same with any organization, really. Vibrant growth in the beginning, a "golden period" followed by stagnation and breakdown. I would say the same thing about Christianity. The only difference is whether the Muslim populations are going to be able to reform themselves from the inside in the same way.

    Religions and empires come and go. As far as what Muslims have done for us, I'd say they have provided us with a clear idea of what our society could become if we don't wake up as a people.

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