Thursday, November 12, 2015

Religion and sociopathy

From a reader:

We corresponded a few months back about your sister.  I've been following your blog on and off since and having read your book I know you take your religion seriously.  I've found myself returning to my own religion and am beginning to realize how accurate it's world view and message is.  Sociopathy does not exist as defined by psychologists.  A default lack of empathy (or diminished capacity) should yield indifference, not pleasure at other people's misfortunes (not to mention deliberating causing the misfortune, especially when the victim has been generous to you).  

I'm not proselytizing but I'm certain if you read the Qur'an you'll find answers to any and all questions you may have that remain unanswered despite years of therapy, research and experience.  The website below has three English renderings.  Worst case you'll just become familiar with a book believed to be divine by a quarter of humanity.

Best of luck.


Ok, I downloaded i to my Kindle.

I do feel like Islam is a beautiful religion. I visited Egypt and Jordan years ago and saw some Mosques and was half tempted to convert right there.

I sometimes wonder whether our connection to our religions feels so good because we are recapturing a little that sense of identity and connection to the universe that is otherwise so sorely lacking. What do you think?


I think you phrased it almost perfectly.  For the past few months I've been battling depression resulting from heartbreak.  I was betrayed by my own father, brother and closest friend (who was also my love interest).  No one knows what I felt and why I feel I was wronged.  All of them are less intelligent than I and apparently lack insight so they mistook all my favors for manipulation.  I've been depressed in the past and easily recovered from medication rather quickly.  This time around it has been a mental jihad - I've been fighting to decide whether I should give up being a nice guy who's always screwed over and care about myself only.  What led me to God was the fact that I could NOT - no matter how hard I tried - keep my integrity while prioritizing myself.  I swear it was as if I had only two options: be a "good" person and stay depressed / lonely or become apathetic and be happy by causing others suffering along the way to material success.  No matter how hard I tried I couldn't knock myself out of it.  If you knew me personally you'd know how strong my resolve & self-control once was.  Then all of a sudden I had a mysterious experience while driving once.  I've been ruminating about the same thing for months but this time it felt like it wasn't me who was talking to me but literally something outside which imprinted its message directly in my heart.  Since that day I've been coming closer and closer to true faith.  I read the Qur'an and I understand the verses which once read like some lunatic having a go at poetry but now they so much sense I can't help but cry so many times I read some of them.  

The Qur'an asks a reader to approach it with humility.  Be objective and try to not have any bias - one way or another - when approaching it.  For me, the combination of objectivity (or as close as I could be to it) and watching a youtube series on the life of Muhammad ("seerah of Muhammad") did it.  I could not convince myself that this man was a liar.  I'd bet my life he genuinely meant what he said.  Of course he could still have been deranged / deluded etc but it begs the question: "do deluded people end up doing what Muhammad did"? He united an unknown tribal "civilization" spread over 1 million square miles into countless tribes in a period of 23 years and immediately following his death these very people - people with no history prior to this point, no significance whatsoever - conquered almost all the ancient civilizations from Spain to Western India in under 100 years.  Imagine an outsider - an alien civilization examining us from the outside.  I doubt they'd look at Muhammad's accomplishments and say "the only explanation is what some people who never knew him and live hundreds of years after him have said: he's deluded." 

Lastly, I also realized that he was dealing with classic psychopaths / sociopaths but most of those same people ended up becoming some of the greatest people in history.  You can look up figures like Umar and Khalid bin Walid - their impact on the world is documented in western sources as well as muslim sources.  Besides the history, my own personal experience in dealing with family and friends has shown me that sociopaths are not incapable of empathy - they are just unlikely to do so until they see a victim of theirs forgive them knowing full well what was done to them.

On a little bit of an aside, I've been really interested recently in learning how the 12 step programs use the concept of God/higher power and religion/spirituality in really instrumental/pragmatic ways, as being an essential element of a successful program. I've watched some friends who were never at all spiritual or religious have to figure out some way to integrate that as a primary driver in their lives. Why, I wonder, is this true? 


  1. More often then not I feel indifferent to the suffering of others and present a facade of sincere sympathy, but sometimes I feel like laughing and never caring the slightest about how that would make the other person feel. I rarely give in to that impulse though. The last time I did that seems significant enough to remember is when I was young, no older then twelve. I did something terrible enough to bring my mother to tears and make her bedridden but I don't recall exactly what that was. Her face was contorted by her emotions in such a way that I started smiling broadly, then bursting into laughter when she kept asking me "Why are you smiling?"

    I can't speak much for religion, as I don't care much for it. I do recognize its value though to a sociopath, of how participation in a religion can give you a more clearly defined "code of honor" for you to live by. These preconceived notions of morality presented by religion can add a certain amount of defined identity for those who otherwise don't have a solidified identity, especially sociopaths. Personally, the only times I've ever claimed to be of a faith was because it was a detail I'd drop in conversation to get in good with a certain individual or group, to manipulate.

    1. Yes, indifference is the default response. But sometimes bad things are just outright funny. Empaths don't agree.

      Just yesterday I was speaking with my wife about the deaths in Paris. I can't remember exactly what was said, but I made a joke and laughed. The response was "that's terrible, people died!"

      The manipulation and act of causing misfortune is simply because it can be advantageous to do so. Empaths just see us as "being evil". But really we just are looking for our own advantage.

      As for religion, I am religious myself. It is one code to live by, while other sociopaths may love by a secular code. Personally, I have proven my faith to myself. So it only makes sense to pursue my beliefs.

    2. I used to make sadistic jokes and didn't think anything bad about someone else doing so. A joke about the deaths in Paris (unless it was really crude) would be perfectly fine with me. In fact I'd have trusted you more because it takes a little bit of courage to do that. However, saying a joke like that at the scene, or actually not feeling anything inside, or worse getting some sort of pleasure out of the atrocity etc THAT is what I mean when I say indifference shouldn't yield pleasure. I could make the most sociopathic statements showing utter disregard for people's feelings but I'd go out of my way to DO something if I could to help. Perhaps for that reason I attract socios, I misread them, get screwed by them and then feel shitty. What hurts me the most is I can see beneath their outer mask (the sociopath) into the actual, non-socio, inside. Sometimes they're so fucking beautiful (their inner true nature) I can't help but to not give up, even if it means self-destruction. I can't blame them in the end because I knew - overall - what I got myself into.

  2. Well, you detest the weakness of the person. You take satisfaction
    in the knowledge that you can treat them anyway you want and get away
    with it.
    Society can't process this when it comes to women, because historically, these
    have not been female charastics.
    Today is Charles Manson's birthday. Most of his "family" consisted of women.
    He used the girls to attract male muscle, and extort favors from men.
    Pound for pound, female sociopaths are every bit as effective as the male ones.
    One of the best films about what a female sociopath can do is "Last Summer"
    (1969) . I urge M.E. and "A" to watch it. The greatest all time film about a lady
    sociopath is "Leave Her To Heaven" (1946)
    Female sociopaths are "limited" by the era they operate in. Most have resorted
    to posion. Some have benefited. Lizzie Bordon was acquitted because the all
    male jury just couldn't wrap their minds around the idea that a dainty woman
    could commit such a crime.
    One of the defense attornies in the Manson trial said: "He, (Vincent Buglisoui,
    the prosecuter) wants you to believe that these women killed people in a violent
    way. Women are not violent. They are life givers, nurturers, lovers.
    Most people buy that viewpoint even to this day, for the sake of their sanity.
    As for "religion;" Every religion has two sides escoteric, and exoteric.
    The exoteric is the "mainline" version. It's what the masses are trained in.
    The escoteric is the hidden and more spiritual aspect of the religion.
    In Islam, you have the exoteric (What you see on T.V. with all it's horrors) and
    the escoteric called Suffism. I would put the wonderful Suffi teachings against
    any "mainline" "Christian" teachings. Interestingly enough, the Orthodox Muslims, hate the Suffis worse then the "Christians" because they are more
    threatened by them.

    1. You have a very distinct style of writing, and a clear obsession with our darling M.E.. I would say IMHO that many of the things you say are not particularly intelligent (or rather you ramble on frequently about nonsense), but you do sprinkle a little nugget of golden wisdom here and there.

    2. I agree I think very many sociopaths (if not all) are deep down "weak" - (I prefer sweet & big-hearted) but out of fear and embarrassment - and sometimes understandably so because they've been abused - they present a facade of "courage" by becoming apathetic. That would explain why they detest emotional weakness and use it against people. That's the irony and sad fact about them - they fuck over people like themselves.

      I personally always found something attractive about genuine people who happen to be emotionally weak. To maintain integrity and be emotionally weak is a sign of the greatness as far as I'm concerned. Actual courage and strength breeds itself in this environment. Of course being TOO weak can be problematic but I only get annoyed if the person is stubborn and unwilling to be reasonable (that implies they're too stupid or fake).

      I defend "weak" people and admittedly lost much because if it. They didn't appreciate my help instead abusing me and tried to turn me into one of them. IDK if they knew but a sociopathic me would be nothing like them. I would be a very sadistic and evil sociopath - the ones I know are too afraid to aim big or aren't as smart as they think. In fact each and every one of them would do FAR better if they didn't keep up their masks. I might do better as a psycho. That's what I call irony.

      If not for God they had me. I owe Him everything.

  3. "On a little bit of an aside, I've been really interested recently in learning how the 12 step programs use the concept of God/higher power and religion/spirituality in really instrumental/pragmatic ways, as being an essential element of a successful program. I've watched some friends who were never at all spiritual or religious have to figure out some way to integrate that as a primary driver in their lives. Why, I wonder, is this true?"

    From what I've seen of addicts struggling through 12 step programs, you have already answered this question in part: "I sometimes wonder whether our connection to our religions feels so good because we are recapturing a little that sense of identity and connection to the universe that is otherwise so sorely lacking."

    I agree that feeling connected to the universe can fill and bring light to the interior void. But I also think perhaps it has to do with the act of surrendering one's life to a higher non-material order, something beyond the earthly grip of human success or failure, brilliance and stupidity, acceptance or rejection. To give up one's petty ego and desires to a higher power is to some extent to be enlarged by that power. One begins to imagine the omnipotent Invisible is visible inside every rock. "Split a piece of wood and I am there." Once you truly surrender to God, God is visible everywhere, in every person and thing. To love the spirit that resides in all matter is to fall in love with all things.

    While in the throes of addiction the addict is only connected to the isolated void of his/her drugged self. Only the drug can soothe the trauma of an isolated selfhood with warm comfort and dreams of power and beauty. I know a family of prostitutes, mother and two daughters. They are united in their history of trauma, love of heroin and crack, their hatred of men, their joy at dolling themselves up. They protect each other from violent johns and scam everyone who comes within their circle. But when the drugs run low, it's each woman for herself and they will steal, lie and cheat each other. Once the drugs commence to flow generously, they apologize to and forgive each other, knowing full well that in all likelihood they will do it again. In those moments of forgiveness, they thank God that they have each other. They hold hands and pray to do better. And they will run around the hood, bestowing gifts on 'friends' they have hurt or robbed.

    Not sure why I brought this story. I guess because I believe that I have seen god at work in them, too.

    Mr. Hyde

    1. Thank you for sharing that story, Mr. Hyde.:) I agree, that you saw God at work in those women, too.:) I believe God is love, and love is positive energy. When anyone gives positive energy to anything, they are giving love, and that is a reflection of God. I believe sociopaths love. When they give positive energy, they are loving. I believe the 12 stop process encourages people to seek positive energy, which is love, which is God, to fill the void they are attempting to fill. Once the void is filled, there is no longer a need to attempt to fill it, with anything else...

    2. I think this is a cool quote: "I want to know how God thinks-everything else is a detail. -Albert Einstein.

    3. Audioslave's "Like A Stone" is a cool song, and goes along with this topic.:) So does their song "I Am The Highway"...

    4. ...and "Show Me How To Live".:) Just wanted to share...

    5. Anon@ 1:13 pm, You're welcome. Love is indeed a positive energy flow that knows no bounds. When a person can sacrifice their personal desires for others something magical happens.

      Anon@ 2:31 pm, Thank you for bringing up Einstein's quote. He had the sense to know that only by knowing how god thinks can we realize the details of existence.

      Mr. Hyde

    6. Musical Anon, Thanks for tuneful recommendations. :)

      Mr. Hyde

    7. You are welcome, Mr. Hyde.:) I was just enjoying some Chris Cornell (the lead singer). Just looking at him and listening to his voice, is proof positive for me, that there is a God and people are pieces of "Heaven on Earth".:) He has a voice, like no other...

    8. Audioslave's "Original Fire" is another good one.:)

    9. ...and "Be Yourself".:)

    10. Anon 1:13 PM:

      "love is positive energy. When anyone gives positive energy to anything, they are giving love, and that is a reflection of God. I believe sociopaths love. When they give positive energy, they are loving."

      Wonderful! This is a powerful and useful conception of love! It is free from expectation and describes more than feeling; more useful than the nebulous "intent" and deeper than action - it's so often that action appears positive yet is filled with negative intent.

      Energy is physically tangible and it's easy to distinguish positive and negative energy. Even negative energy can be utilised... but positive energy is transforming and life-giving.

      Wonderful! This has already proved useful.

  4. The 12 step programs seem to get people to realize they don't run their lives as an indepenent agent (self), which is the fundamental assumption of most people, and the source of their greatest misery.

    if a person imagines they are a person, thinking their thoughts, choosing their feelings and creating their own impulses, they'll likely start disliking themselves for doing it wrong, which leads to a spiral of ineffective deeds.

    any person can do some intense noticing and see that he doesn't control his experience, which is liberating.

    oh - for the muslim that wrote in - it seems muslims thunk muhammad did wonderful things - especially marrying aisha, a six year old girl, whom he fucked at age 9. some people - westerners - think that fucking children is a totally immoral thing. Muhammad also kept sex slaves and said it is ok to rape them (surah 4:24) if I join can i marry six year olds and rape sex slaves? thanks

    1. I would think sociopaths of all people would not make claims or allegations they cannot support with conclusive evidence. Whoever wrote this comment succeeded in doing only one thing: displaying their lack of insight and their ignorance of history, Islam and Muhammad. Now to your points lest you accuse me of muddying the waters:

      It should be noted that Aisha was engaged to someone before Muhammad. It didn't go through because her father - Abu Bakr (the first Caliph and Muhammad's best friend) - became a muslim and the fiance's family refused to allow the marriage to take place. She then got married to Muhammad and yes, acording to ISLAMIC sources, she was very young, likely 7 years old at betrothal and around 9 at consumation. The key point to note is that NO ONE in Arabia or beyond for hundreds ever considered this to be inappropriate or immoral. Muhammad's worst enemies who made fun of him when his baby son died never hinted anything, let alone outright critisize, regardin Aisha. Aisha herself lived a happy life with Muhammad and became one of the greatest scholars and narrators of hadith (sayings of Muhammad) in history. She is amongst the most respected women in history according to muslims. To conclude then: I admit it seems off color for an aged man to marry such a young girl (who was, BTW, his ONLY virgin wife) but apparently he did not do anything wrong by anyone's standards at the time and no harm came from the relationship. We cannot look back and say "they didn't know any better."

      Muhammad never kept sex slaves that one is just outright fabrication so until it is further clarified I will avoid commenting.

      Verse 4:24 of the Qur'an is accessable to anyone who wishes to Google the Qur'an. Read it and you'll know there's no possible way to deduce rape or the permissibility of rape therein. Muhammad is - like all great men & women who accomplished everything they accomplished genuinely - vehemently criticized. The best way to attack your enemy is to not fabricate lies outright but to twist facts and misrepresent them. Anyone with an ounce of insight should recognize that if Islam had an agenda other than what it perceives to be the truth, than MUSLIM historians would have covered up apparently embarrasing details about their founder.

    2. OK, so Muhammad fucked a 9-year old (or a girl of approximately that age).

      Isn't Muhammad's behavior considered - by Muslims - to be incredibly moral, and the sort of behavior that a person ought to emulate? It is my understanding that muslims will tell you that Muhammad lived essentially a perfectly moral life and that all people should emulate his behavior.

      If a muslim wants to marry and fuck a 9-year old girl, is that considered moral or is it immoral? Are saying Mohammed did something immoral when he fucked that little girl?

      Also, I'm not saying Muhammad kept sex slaves. I'm saying that Surah 4:24 is quite clear that muslims are OK to have sex with their captives. Everyone else might call it rape (because you're forcibly having sex with them against their will), but according to Muhammad, the creator of the universe (aka "Allah") says it is OK for muslims to have sex with them. Here is more info for you.

      Let's be clear, if you are a muslim, you need to do it properly. You need to be meticulous. There's a book. What's in the book matters. A straightforward reading of the book (along with various hadiths and commentaries) leads to this sort of behavior - slavery, including sex slavery.

      As Sunan Abu Dawud 2150 says (in English):

      Abu Sa’id Al Khudri said “The Apostle of Allaah(ﷺ) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of Apostle of Allaah (ﷺ) were reluctant to have relations with the female captives because of their pagan husbands. So, Allaah the exalted sent down the Qur’anic verse “And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hand posses.” This is to say that they are lawful for them when they complete their waiting period.

      I'm not asking you to be nice. I am asking you to be consistent and honest. It may be that the creator of the universe wants us to take sex slaves and have sex with them against their will. And it my be that the creator of the universe wants us to marry 6 year old girls and fuck them when they are 9 years old. That seems to be what the founder of Islam said. And that's fine. Let's just be honest about it, OK?

    3. OK so we have a scholar of Islam here who can cite Sunan Abu Dawud and what not. Funny how sociopaths love citing sources and using documentation as evidence when they need to prove something in their favor but LIVE their lives cynically and mistrusting anything & anyone that doesn't conform to their world view. In any case, that was technically a red herring so let me get back to your response:

      Yes, Muhammad is considered by muslims to be the greatest man who ever lived. He is the prime example for muslims and I see him as such myself. Now a person with intellect and insight (which, unfortunately, most people don't have so they must rely on majority opinions of scholars) knows that Muhammad was a prime example of a man BUT NOT AN ANGEL. The Qur'an specifically says why God doesn't send angels to mankind. It would be pointless we can't take them as examples. The Qur'an does not say Muhammad was perfect - he made mistakes (obvious example is when he turned away from the blind man and God rebuked him or when he listened to his wives and stopped eating honey). He's just the best amongst us.

      Does that mean that muslims should marry 9 year olds? It's a fair question I must admit but it assumes we ought to follow Muhammad like blind robots, without any consideration for time, context, norms, etc etc. NO one ever said follow Muhammad and marry young wives or older wives (most of his wives were beyond marriage age by Arab tradition) or multiple wives. If, however, your cultural context allows for such a practice to take place (marrying 9 year olds) and there is no objectively verifiable reason to think it's harmful, then YES I would say that a person can marry them and muslims would naturally add Muhammad's example as further justification. In the real world this is extremely rare and where it does occur, if it is against culturally allowed practice, it must a sociopath using Muhammad as an excuse to justify his pedophilia.

      Another point I should add for a SOCIO to ponder: Aisha's age is not an absolute fact. I simply don't wish to muddy waters or lie and say we don't know. Her age is assumed to be 9 at consummation because she apparently said it herself in the hadith collection. A "scholar" like yourself knows full well that the hadith were written down over 200 years after Muhammad died. There's no doubt many that got in there which are not authentic. I personally why Aisha would bother mentioning the age of CONSUMMATION. What on earth would that accomplish? Islamic norms would have required silence on such matters. Nonetheless, I defend it as if it is true because it is trivial - muslims and non-muslims (genuine spectators) respect Muhammad for his accomplishments and his genuine character, not because he was some sort of God who should have been absolutely perfect in everything.

      "Muhammad also kept sex slaves and said it is ok to rape them (surah 4:24) if I join can i marry six year olds and rape sex slaves? thanks"

      You're NOT saying Muhammad kept sex slaves? Which one is it? I'm going to avoid commenting further on this because I don't know which position you trully hold.

      Next you are preaching muslims on how to "do it properly." This sounds like Sam Harris' bullshit. I was an atheist for 12 years, staunchy anti-Islam and gay (that one I still am). Even then I knew Harris was nothing more than a clever sociopath. Let muslims define how to "do it properly" and you mind your own business. Savy?

    4. Finally, as regards the citation of the hadith in Abu Dawud: I have no idea what the chain of narration for this hadith is. I know that Abu Dawud's collection is NOT considered primary (those would be Muslim and Bukhari). Nonetheless, if I grant that it is 100% authentic, so what? What's your point? Muhammad was a MAN leading a civilization of people as a religion AND secular leader. This is the atheist mindset with traces of christian world view which requires anyone with divine guidance to be an ANGEL on Earth. Islam acknowledges that good and evil are creations of God. Evil, however, is the result of distancing oneself from Him and it never returns to Him. That being the case, Muhammad came into a world where such practices were not only commonplace but far, far more extreme (actual rape would occur, no limitations and no rights of protection). Islamic law mandates that a slave captured in war (who is not claimed by the relatives and thus abandoned) who doesn't convert to Islam (which would free them immediately) to be treated humanely. A "sex slave" who gives birth is automatically elevated to something called "Umm Walad" - mother of a child. She can no longer be treated as an ordinary slave, can never be sold off and is automatically free once the master dies. ALL THIS IS NOT APPLICABLE anymore in the modern world because slavery is universally outlawed. The muslim scholars who I don't respect much myself still agree, unanimously, that such practices are no longer allowed because there's such circumstances. Islam puts into practice the most humane regulations possible once a phenomenon is already in existence - it does NOT impose nor does it introduce them.

      Honesty requires using your own intellect first and not relying on the opinions of others. Muslim scholars are not infallible and not without prejudices, pressumptions and at times ill-agendas. The Qur'an is the primary source of Islam, not Muhammd, not the Hadith, not the scholars and certainly not muslims. I returned to it NOT because I like muslims. I'm disgusted by very many of them and prefer to keep to myself rather than mingle with them. However, reading the Qur'an as a genuine seeker of truth at a time when I was on the brink of breaking I realized that it is, without a doubt, not a work of man. It almost speaks to you when it wants to - call that delusion if you will but that again is labeling which ignorant people apply to others when their intellect fails them.

      Good luck.


    5. Like Muhammad I too am human and can get carried away at times due to emotions or ego. I don't blame you for your harsh demeanor towards what you (perhaps genuinely) perceive to be an ill-conceived dogma masquerading as universal truth & morality. I would suggest that if you are genuinely interested in finding out if there's any truth to the claim that the Qur'an is divine then you read it. Open the book with the intention of a genuinely curious person and just say "God, if you're out there, whoever you are, allow me to see reality as it is." You'll do it in private no doubt so no one will know and there's no harm to anyone, including yourself, if it was pointless in the end. The only person who does not do it is an extremely arrogant & self-deluded person and they, as the Qur'an repeats again and again, are the ones promised the torments of hell after they're resurrected. It's not just a madman throwing out promises of sex and fire. Try it if you dare.

    6. That's quite the word salad above. I don't have a lot of time, so I'll try to briefly address the important points.

      You wrote: "...Funny how sociopaths love citing sources and using documentation as evidence when they need to prove something in their favor but LIVE their lives cynically and mistrusting anything & anyone that doesn't conform to their world view." --- do you have any evidence for that? What is my "world view"?

      I'm open-minded and logical. Most non-psychopaths aren't logical or open-minded enough to discuss a middle-aged guy (Muhammad) marrying a six year old girl and fucking her when she turns nine as if it were an OK thing to do. They couldn't even entertain the thought; the behavior of Muhammad - the kid-fucking and telling his followers to rape the sex slaves - is too repugnant. I don't experience disgust contemplating that, so thankfully we can have an honest, open and hopefully constructive discussion.

      About Surah 4:24 -- I'm not saying Muhammad had sex slaves. I'm just saying that he told his followers that raping the sex slaves was OK (that's the non-muslim view of the situation). I get that from the muslim view, forcibly copulating the sex slaves is totally OK; if Allah says it (via Muhammad) is OK, it is OK.

      Look, here's Muslims giving away girls in marriage as prizes in a Koran-memorization competition. Those guys take the religion seriously and literally. Most Westerners find that disgusting. I applaud them for being logically consistent; they are doing it right. They are living their lives according to the religion.

      You wrote regarding slavery, "ALL THIS IS NOT APPLICABLE anymore in the modern world because slavery is universally outlawed." You're incorrect. Slavery is done in the Middle East, particularly in Islamic State - and it is done based on the Koran, hadiths and Islamic Law. They argue that slavery and sex slavery is a good thing. By writing what you write you mislead people about Islam. You can find more info here, should it interest you.

      The same kid-fucker (Mohammed) that told his followers that raping (forcibly fucking) their captured sex slaves was moral also said that it was OK/necessary for Muslims to cut your head off for apostasy. You should be glad right now that more people like me don't believe in Islam; we'd be the sort to cut your head off, sending you to hell so that you can burn their forever. By making it seem that slavery is wrong or that forcibly fucking (aka "raping") captured sex slaves is wrong, you steer people away from Islam. And the punishment for that is very clear; apostates get their heads lopped off.

      I have ompassion for you. You didn't choose to be born into a muslim family, any more than a tapeworm chooses to be born a tapeworm. Maybe you're angry when you read this message from me - if you are, that's a pity - but apparently I don't care enough to be less vulgar. My take is that the truth is all that matters, not how nice I do or don't say it.

      I get that if Islam is correct I'll be heading to hell to burn there forever - maybe that makes my disagreeing with you more bearable.

      I'm short on time. If you want to continue this discussion I'm requesting that you to be more succinct.

    7. Islam and gay? how does that possibly work? shouldn't you turn yourself in for stoning? Koran 7:80-84, for example.

      homosex is the greatest sin, worse than adultery. Must suck to believe in a religion that condemns you for having sinful impulses.

    8. "Anonymous" is actually a perfect symbol for a psychopath. They are too afraid to voice their true opinions openly even when living in a country which guarantees freedom of expression. The internet is a Godsend for cowards to diplay their "bravery" by expressing the most vulgar nonsense as "succinctly" as possible. What's my evidence that socios live cynically but use whatever they can to prove a point they want to prove? I know it because I have dealt with them and I have God-given insight. Like I said all knowledge and wisdom is ultimately from God. Man deludes himself by thinking he's special because he did a few experiments to find out how he pees and how he decicates. You won't know if you're breathing two days from now yet you rant against a man who left a legacy Western Civilzation is giving up its liberties fearing over. Very macho you are. I don't need to defend Muhammad against anonymous nobodies like yourself, especially when you're the one spewing nonsense ("word salad") without addressing any actual points of fact that I made, What a miserable life you must have that you need to come here and make yourself feel special by attacking in a very HONEST way (I have to laugh at that one) people far greater than you. No one cares if you're alive (save God if you call to Him but you're too arrogant). People kill when Muhammad is insulted. Use your "rationality" and "reason" and ponder how in the cosmos that could be.

    9. With regards to being gay and muslim, I'm honestly not sure how best to respond. It's ironic because for a decade (until only a few months ago) I would have chastised a "gay muslim" for being an insult to both gays and muslims. I used to call it an oxymoron. So what's different now?

      Firstly I'm gay in terms of my orientation, not necessarily in practice. I always found it hard to enjoy sex without an emotional element being present. I don't know if I will ever end up in an actual relationship but at this point I honestly do not care and it is way down on my list of priorities. Knowing (I mean KNOWING, not thinking) God is real gives me way more pleasure than any physical activity could. There's no way on Earth I would sell my soul for sex with anyone here. Anyone who's ever been in real love (and I doubt any socio can even imagine what that is) knows that it is FAR beyond any material or bodily pleasure. Now imagine the feeling of knowing a loving Creator exists. Like I said, if you're not too arrogant, try asking Him for answers in the privacy of your home. Don't let this psuedo intellectual and "rational" culture of ours make you think that our innate desire for answers and meaning - which has been with us for thousands of years - is just a mere relic of our past. If this is beneath you, than as the Qur'an says, let them wait and see. "They are scheming a great scheme and I too am scheming a great scheme," says the Qur'an. We'll all know one day.

      BTW if the two sociopaths who'll know who they are if they read my comments about God want to discuss this with me feel free. It'll be better for you instead of telling yourself a new story about how I made up God for some personal gain.

      Peace folks.

    10. Apologies if anything I said really stung. It was not my purpose to make this personal but emotions & ego can get involved (I'm still new to God...). Free yourselves and you'll no longer need masks I swear to you. No harm in trying.

    11. You get easily rustled (emotional) and you take things personally. You lose your head - unlike a psychopath. Don't worry, I don't blame you; it isn't like you can choose to be any different.

      I'm remaining anonymous because Muslims are violent and attack people like me who say true things about their religion that they don't like. I value honesty and ease. When discussing Islam with strangers it isn't possible to have honesty and ease without anonymity.

      OK Gay Muslim, I encourage you to watch this: here's some Muslims throwing two gays off a building and then stoning them to death - their crime: homosexuality.

      According to them, killing those gays is a very good thing. It may look ugly to everyone but them, but the fact that they do it is proof of what good Muslims they are. Lots of muslims think these are the best Muslims in the world.

      Are they doing it by the book? How about you read this, and tell me if I'm lying:

      Since this act is one of the most criminal acts in Islam, equally its punishment is one of the greatest. All Muslim scholars agreed that death is the basic judgement such individuals deserve... However, there is a divergence of opinions on the methodology to be used in executing the punishment...

      For what it is worth, I'll tell you how modern, non-muslims secularists look at this stuff. First, taking sex slaves and raping them (forcibly copulating) is a war crime. The fact that Mohammed, the founder of your religion, said that the creator of the universe said it was OK, is proof that your religion is a dangerous cult. As the leader of that cult, Mohammed is something like a Stalin - he's the bad guy responsible for getting otherwise good people to do bad things. That makes him especially bad. Killing gays for sticking their penises into other mens' butts is evil.

      The fact that Mohammed, the founder of your religion, married a six year old and fucked her when she was nine, demonstrates that he was a pedophile and rapist; secular Westerners consider anyone who fucks a girl that age to be an evil/sick rapist. The fact that you Muslims believe that stuff is moral and exemplary is proof that you guys are moral imbeciles. You're dangerous because you'll do those antisocial things and think you are doing good things.

      As I mentioned above, I understand that if Islam is correct I'm going to burn in hell. If Islam is true, I guess my role is to be something like a "bad guy" in a Hollywood movie. I'm the sort of person who antagonizes the "good guys" (the muslims - LOL) and gets punished in the end. Too bad for me. It sounds like you'll be in hell too; if that happens I'll give you a handjob.

      I have nothing more to say to you on this issue. I hope you figure out a way to be happy (despite your religion, which just seems to make people miserable) and that others learn from this exchange.

    12. Jonaid,

      Mohammad had sex slaves - eg Mariyah, Al Jariya, Rahiya. we call them concubines, but that means sex slaves in our language.

      Mohammad sounds like a narcissist or a sociopath. Sex slaves, pedophile, murder (of that Jew he had tortured to death for the money) and fag-murder. just an all-around shitty guy.

      i am curious to hear how you spin this.

    13. Well, I'm happy to report that even if homosexuality gets you executed according to shariah, if you somehow make it to heaven, you'll get to indulge your homosexual tendencies to your heart's content.

      This seems tough - you have to white knuckle it through your life, but then when you get to heaven, it is just straight bisexual hedonism eternally. So what is an abomination becomes OK. Does that make any sense to you? If Allah doesn't like that stuff, why does he let you do it in heaven? Whey doesn't he just take aware the desire for hairy man-ass once you get to heaven? This is the sort of stuff that has me thinking Mohammed just made the religion up on the fly, a bit like Joseph Smith and the other Mormon patriarchs.

      Here's stuff in English:

      The Qur'an:

      Qur'an (7:80-84) - "...For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.... And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone)" - An account that is borrowed from the Biblical story of Sodom. Muslim scholars through the centuries have interpreted the "rain of stones" on the town as meaning that homosexuals should be stoned, since no other reason is given for the people's destruction. (The story is also repeated in suras 27 and 29).

      Qur'an (7:81) - "Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you?" This verse is part of the previous text and it establishes that homosexuality as different from (and much worse than) adultery or other sexual sin. According to the Arabic grammar, homosexuality is called the worst sin, while references elsewhere describe other forms of non-marital sex as being "among great sins."

      Qur'an (26:165-166) - "Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males, "And leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates? Nay, ye are a people transgressing"

      Qur'an (4:16) - "If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone" This is the Yusuf Ali translation. The original Arabic does not use the word "men" and simply says "two from among you." Yusuf Ali may have added the word "men" because the verse seems to refer to a different set than referred to in the prior verse (explicitly denoted as "your women"). In other words, since 4:15 refers to "your women", 4:16 is presumably written to and refers to men.

      Interestingly, the same rules don't apply in paradise, where martyrs for the cause of Allah enjoy an orgy of virgins and "perpetual youth" Qur'an (56:17) (otherwise known as "boys" Qur'an (52:24)). Qur'an (76:19) bluntly states, "And immortal boys will circulate among them, when you see them you will count them as scattered pearls." Technically, the mere presence of boys doesn't necessarily mean sex, however it is strongly implied from the particular emphasis on the effeminacy, handsomeness and "freshness" of the boys. The female virgins of paradise are also compared to pearls (56:23).

      [Editor's note: We are not implying a link between homosexuality and pedophilia here anymore than we are implying one between heterosexuality and pedophilia when mentioning that Muhammad's preferred wife was a 9-year-old girl.]

    14. OK to the original anonymous I've been responding to:

      There's obviously no point in continuing this any further with you. I responded originally because this is a public forum and I did not want to let your BS go uncorrected. Seeing that you are incapable of maintaining civil and rational discourse I think it's best to stop here. Any reader with a functioning brain can see the content of what we both wrote and decide for themselves. Anyone who is interested to learn more can contact me directly or post a more appropriate response and I will get to it. For you, Mr. Anonymous, it has been a game. You're projecting your own mindset onto me and Muhammad. You probably have no clue that you're not being rational at all. Emotions are to be controlled and that is what God teaches. It is the exact opposite of psychopathy on the empathy spectrum. Psychos control their emotions only in public so that they may succeed in masking themselves. People of insight control their emotions because they KNOW that idiots and people of ill-intentions will use them against them, not because of ill-agendas. One proof of God's existence is that psychos gradually lose their rational faculties but they continue to get more arrogant and think they're getting smarter. The exact opposite occurs with the pious. The neutral (non-psycho and non-pious) observer will notice this immediately if he / she ponders enough and considers both sides carefully. I was one such neutral observer and noticed how sociopaths are so utterly deluded that they consistently end up damaging themselves for no apparent reason except their own ego and arrogance. Worst still they seem to not even notice and if they do they simply tell themselves a different story - make up a version of events in their minds which fits nicely with their imaginary reality and makes them feel even better instead of guilty. Obviously they will not learn from mistakes but only go deeper into the pit. The Qur'an says this too...another reason why I believe it.

      It's not easy to find truth. Sincere intention and humility are two prerequisites according to the Qur'an. Unlike Christianity the Qur'an demands SOME effort on the part of the seeker before grace is given. I say grace because once you realize the truth you KNOW that it cannot be earned or deserved but it still isn't a free for all. Like any good parent, God makes you feel like you did a little to earn it. This will sound like white noise to most of the readers here I assume but like I keep repeating: there's no harm in humbling yourself and asking Him to reveal answers to you. Do it in private, be sincere. No one will know if you think you're acting like an idiot and there's no harm to you, but potential benefit. What but undue arrogance could prevent anyone from that?

    15. To the anonymous who referred to me by my name:

      First of all, "slave" as used in the West implies something completely different from what slavery was in most of the ancient world and particularly in Muhammad's time. The only similarity was that slaves were NOT free and not paid for their work. Slavery in America was much more than that. It was an expression of pure racism combined with brutality, abuse and theft. Africans were snatched out of their homes, thrown into ships and transported to America where they were put to work and beaten into submission. Such a notion of slavery was always HARAM (forbidden) in Islam. Slaves could ONLY be individuals captured as prisoners of war that were not ransomed by their side. These may include women (who would likely become "concubines") and children. NO OTHER non-slave could become a slave in any other way. Freeing of slaves is encouraged again and again in the Qur'an and in Muhammad's actions.

      As to Mariya and the other concubines you mention. Yes, he did have 3 or 4 "concubines." Mariya, for one, was gifted to him by the King of Egypt. He did not find some lady and enslave her. She had her own home, gave birth to his son Ibrahim (which elevated her to "Umm Walad") and she was a free woman when he died (which was not long after). According to some scholars she converted and he married her.

      You see the "macho" anonymous keeps ranting about honesty. Islamic sources document everything - that which is verified & authentic beyond doubt and that which may be true but is weak in its chain of narration. They are not afraid because the greater truth of the man prophecy and his message were already, beyond a doubt, proven. Muhammad was a man with an incredibly difficult mission and he minimized & humanized certain practices that existed in his time (i.e. polygamy, slavery etc) which we now, comfortably sitting in our homes with our laptops, are pronouncing moral judgments on.

      I used to tell my sociopath acquaintances: WORDS DON'T MEAN ANYTHING, ACTIONS DO. That was a bit extreme (I was an atheist then) but it is still largely true. Words do matter more than I thought but in the end actions reveal intentions and actions make the world go round. The Qur'an and Muhammad may seem to say somethings which might appear to be harsh but what he DID and accomplished is without exception the greatest achievement by any mortal that we know of. Michael Hart confirms this when he rates Muhammad as the #1 most influential man in human history.

    16. To the third anonymous above who cited all those verses of the Qur'an and ponders how I can make peace with God and my homosexual orientation, among other things:

      This question - albeit it could be phrased in a more civil manner - is a very sincere one. I never, ever, thought I'd return to believing in God one day, let alone Islam of all religions. I was certain there was no God and I could defend the atheist position better than any atheist I knew (with the possible exception of Sam Harris). Yet here I am now, certain that God exists and the Qur'an is his direct speech. All these citations you posted, all the questions you think I don't know, all the confusion which makes one think it's all BS - I respect that and understand where you're coming from. I can give you my take but it would be long and I prefer not to do it here. Even then, subjective experience and understanding (that is rational and reasonable) - can never be fully transmitted to another person. This is especially the case when the person is not personally acquainted with you. If you knew me personally long enough to know my level of integrity (or lack of) it would help understanding everything. For now I can just say that all the questions & mysteries that seem to negate religion (or Islam in this case) beyond a doubt in your mind I have gotten answers for. I'm 99% content with everything I've learned - not just OK with some seemingly possible explanations for important matters. I've approached God like a cynic even though I gave any human the benefit of the doubt when they told me something (and took many hits for that). God is brilliant - more brilliant than any theologian or philosopher or scientist can imagine (without experience). Every single mystery and question has been addressed in ways I never thought possible. Far beyond my own brain's understanding - as the Qur'an says His knowledge encompasses all. My advice if you really want answers is what I said repeatedly: humble yourself and sincerely ask Him for help. You'll thank me and I'll say thank God. Try Him.

    17. There's a lot of generalities in Jonaid's remarks. It has the "feel good" quality of low-class evangelism for any mass reglion. You might as well declare that "God is Love", "All is Brahman" or "just pray and it'll make sense to you."

      I don't see how Islam is more compelling than Christianity, Buddhism, hinduism, etc. There's no need for contemplation to take place in a religious framework. Indeed, that's why contemplatives have founded all sorts of religions; the dogma - whatever it is - is just a bunch of unjustified beliefs.

      On the other hand, the quotes from the Qu'ran, with the commentaries, seem to lay out a logical case that Islam is very harsh compared to modern secularism. Jonaid, I don't think you've laid out a logical argument that shows that Islam is kind, rational, compatible with Western Civilization, etc. If you were trying to convince this psychopath, you didn't manage to. Not that it matters. LOL!

      I hope you can cultivate some equanimity about all this. It isn't your fault Mohammed was a savage pedophile murderer war criminal. It isn't your fault you were born muslim or gay. You can turn away from your religion, or at least refuse to do evil things to people and justify it via recourse to your religion.

      Also, I hope you can get comfortable with doubt. If the Christians are right, you are going to hell. How do you feel about that? Can you prove the Christians aren't right? How do you really know? If they are right, all your family will be in hell too, unless they are saved. How do you feel contemplating that?

      How do you even know that time exists the way you assume? Is there any proof right now that the past, as you remember it, actually happened? What does that even mean? Maybe the whole universe was just created, and all our memories are just false.

      If you can't prove that time works the way you assume, how can you expect to know that God exists, that he cares about whether or not you stick your penis into a vagina or an anus?

      I don't see how you can prove any of the things you've claimed. Other than you saying that you believe it without evidence.

    18. If you're really interested on my answers to all these questions you pose email me at Trust me Mr. Anonymous I had a lot more questions and grievances with God / Religion that the few you listed. I believe in God - not some ideology called Islam. I have answers to everything you posed and they weren't easily gotten. Show me you are serious and open-minded and I'll work with you. Otherwise think what you will and I will do the same. We can agree to disagree I'm sure - you are, afterall, a western liberal defender of freedom right?

    19. I'm using my phone and am traveling so cannot respond in detail. I just wanted to add that religion is way more nuanced than anyone I know - and certainly no atheist or sociopath - ever imagined. I'm NOT asking you to buy my take on it that's not fair. I can "reason" with you but in the end I can't expect you to see what I see and feel what I feel. I can, however, direct you towards the "path." If you're sincere and genuinely care to know the truth - which requires a level of humility that is by definition absent in sociopaths - you'll find it. All these questions will be answered and then you'll look back and wonder how incredibly blind and ignorant you were when you thought you knew it all. I'm not insulting you I was like you myself only a few months ago - except I was never outright sociopathic and never engaged in verbal abuse of this sort with serious, intelligent people willing to engage.


    20. Oh I should add: the truth, which includes serenity and true happiness, is certainly not compatible with "Western Civilization" as we know it to be today. Neither is it compatible with the so-called theocracries we see. Sociopaths should know that people like them will spoil anything good. The Quran tells us very clearly that if you expect heaven in this world you'll be disappointed. You'll get what you think is heaven here if you chose to sell your soul for it. In the end you'll realize that it's all a massive, collective delusion - a rat race where the most "intelligent" and psychopathic win but only at a terrible price.

      You want God to hand you grace and answers to the mysteries of the Universe when you don't have the humility even to acknowledge that IF He exists (BTW I use He because IT sounds weird - God isn't a male) He knows what he's doing. Try asking like I said, sincerely and preferably in prostration. You'll see wonders that are unknown to the bland and incredibly ignorant masses (again I was one of them but the Master literally saved me).

      As Sparrow used to say: savvy?

    21. Ever wonder why everyone with Sleep Paralysis experiences the same few variations of "hallucinations"? It's either a feeling of some demonic presence, or actually seeing dark hooded persons or normal people you know who turn into monsters as they approach you. It can also be some animal / beast hideous in outlook. Why isn't it some sexy guy showering kisses all over you? Or a friendly chap looking for a nice conversation?

      I suspect some of the worst psychos here probably know why. Too bad that doesn't help them see the Truth.

    22. I'm not "a western liberal defender of freedom" - you said you were sure, but I'm pretty sure I don't see that stuff as being an absolute good. I have yet to find any evidence for absolutes, actually. Right now there's just reality as it is - there's my experience. And that's it.

      In my own experience, and Sam Harris's, it is possible to get all the benefits of religion - all the feelings and subjective experience - without the toxic Iron Age dogma of Islam.

      I suggest you read this book and see what happens if you try meditation:

      Good luck Jonaid. It has been fun and educating to interact with you.

    23. Likewise and good luck. I'd read the book at your suggestion but I've seen too much if Sam to know he's a fraud. Why would I waste time reading a book not knowing if the author himself believes his own nonsense. Integrity means something to me.

    24. "Likewise and good luck. I'd read the book at your suggestion but I've seen too much if Sam to know he's a fraud. Why would I waste time reading a book not knowing if the author himself believes his own nonsense. Integrity means something to me. "

      I'm confused. Can you be more specific?

      more info: Sam Harris would say, don't believe anything without reasonable evidence. Eg if I say the earth is flat (or round) and before you act like it is true, you should see the evidence. Similarly, if I say you are going to live forever in hell, before you act like it is true, you should see the evidence.

      I don't think he wants himself, you or me or anyone to believe anything.

      Harris seems to have a lot of integrity - he admits we may be living in a Mormon universe, muslim universe, etc. He admits he may be wrong - he just hasn't seen any evidence of it yet.

      What he did do is do a bunch of meditation - which will change how a person relates to reality, typically for the positive. When people meditate in a religious context (or do any contemplative practice, like chanting, singing, parading, etc), they tend to take the positive feelings they get (the dropping away of everyday neuroticism) for confirmation that their religion's dogma is 100% correct - which leads to people doing the things you see them do.

      In the case of Jains, it leads to them walking around with masks on their faces, so they won't kill things accidentally. In the case of Muslims, some of the stuff listed previously.

    25. I'll get to Sam right after I briefly comment on something you (or a different anonymous) posted about the various religions and how I would go to hell according to Christianity.

      Again, it's not possible to do justice to this very important question here. To me it used to be one of the biggest proofs against God - or at least ONE God - that there are so many competing ideologies preaching good ethics but holding mutually contradictory points of theology. In a nutshell (and again this is barely touching the surface): Islam is the last of all major religions. No other religion - Mormonism, Sikhism, Scientology, Ahmadiyya (who I consider by and large muslims) etc can come anywhere close to the impact Islam or Christianity or Judaism (to a lesser extent) have had. Looking at the rise of Islam and the career of Muhammad just from purely secular lens shows that there is something remarkable going on here. For God to be true objectively - not just because I'm personally convinced - there has to be a rational explanation for the success of Christianity and to much lesser extent the various other religions (Buddhism I'd say is second, Judaism, Hinduism etc). I go to the Qur'an first because 1) it is like I said the last of ALL major religions and arguably the most outspoken in its truth claims, 2) I was raised muslim so in that sense it made sense to start with what I knew.

      In the end, my experience with the Qur'an and how it allowed me to ultimately piece together everything I've come to know in life - sociopathy, scientific progress, philosophy, ethics, morality, atheism, deism, mono/polytheism, etc etc - convinced me that it is certainly not the work of a mortal living 1400 years ago. I'd say no one could replicate it today or a 1000 years from today. It's utterly simple (almost foolishly so) in its outlook yet when it wants to reveal itself it is beyond profound in how much it can encompass in a single verse. So in a nutshell:

      The Qur'an says that mankind has an innate knowledge of God. Deep down we know that we have a purpose and deeper still we know it's God. As regards the various religions, the Qur'an can easily incorporate their existence because God says again and again that he sent reminders and messengers with knowledge from Him to bring people back to His way. As is man's nature he eventually corrupts and alters the message over time. Some is deliberate and some is the result of an inability to preserve a tradition as cautiously as it ought to be. The first psychopath - the envious Satan - is the chief deceiver who's primary agenda is lead man away from God. He does this by muddying the waters (corrupting early religions so now we have a whole mess on our hand), by leading people into "Sin" (sin is not necessary a crime in itself - i.e. adultery is, unlike theft, not harming any specific individual - but can likely lead down a destructive path), by making people forgetful of their purpose, by confusing and causing strife etc etc. Indeed his biggest trick is to convince the masses that he doesn't exist (sound familiar? psychos go beyond the extreme to make sure their mask doesn't come off). You see where all the religions come from now?

    26. There's far more to this than what I posted. I just don't have the time right now nor feel fully comfortable outlining all my views here on this forum. In the end, the Qur'an's criterion for a "good life" is an ethical life which results in serenity for the individual and helps the community overall. The belief in God is a MUST only because 1) God has a right to be acknowledged and worshiped and NOT overlooked just because He is merciful enough to allow for that choice (i.e. we don't see him or hear him and can easily deny his existence but with enough concentration and pondering and an inherent desire to KNOW the truth we will find Him). God is the God of Jesus and Moses and Buddha and every living and dead thing. He promises mankind that when the time comes He will inform us all of that which "we disputed about" (i.e. all these questions). The point is that we'll never know ALL the mysteries of the universe so don't want for every answer before you humble yourself before Him and ask directly, in humility with a sincere desire for the Truth. You'll get it then.

      Now to your question about why I view Sam Harris as disingenuous and a fraud:

      First of all I've always felt something was off about him. You know when you have an innate sense of "something is strange" - and I always tried to overlook that as a bias I inherited from my religious upbringing or its something I - someone far less educated and qualified than him - naturally express in ignorance. Nonetheless, over the past 7 or 8 years of following him very closely, he's done nothing but confirm my initial suspicions. Here's some reasons why (and this is again hardly touching the surface):

      You'll no doubt agree that Sam has an extremely brilliant mind. He's almost a genius. He's also very, very well spoken. Amazingly articulate, calm and collected and knows exactly HOW to respond in any given context. In business terms he basically knows when to "aim for the most profit" and when to "aim for the least loss." I hold him accountable to a standard that someone of his intellectual capability deserves. As an atheist and staunch critic of Islam I have no quarrels - indeed I'm a friend - with anyone who shares my views. However, I never liked blind prejudice and hate, of an ideology and worse of people. Sam is not blind not ignorant - he knows that most of the criticism he levies against Islam is blown way out of proportion. He knows that he's being extremely selective in his "spectrum of religious beliefs" when he singles out Islam ALWAYS and conveniently. His endless rants again and again - when needed and when not needed - reveal his inner hatred of Islam which goes FAR beyond what an objective analysis would reveal.

      I know Islam much better than Sam Harris. I was raised amongst muslims, I lived with them, I studied with them, and I now I am one (albeit not in a conventional way). The situation - be it terrorism or extremism or misogyny or homophobia (recall I'm gay) or anything else - is NOT NEARLY as bad as Sam keeps making it seem yet he can't shut his mouth. He picks any opportunity - opportunities I'd expect some ignorant overweight hillbilly to grab, not someone as learned and intelligent as Sam Harris. If you're wondering why I'm not citing any examples I can't decide where to start. It's pointless - EVERY attack he makes is unfair and exaggerated. I'm happy to respond to any examples you cite yourself of Sam doing his thing but I would not know where to begin myself. So challenge me if what I said didn't resonate at all.

    27. Lastly, you don't need Sam Harris to tell you to not believe anything without evidence. Did you not know that? Doesn't EVERYONE not know that? Frauds - clever frauds - like Harris know how to use the perfect tone of voice in a perfect context and packaged in the perfect box when selling themselves as moral exemplars. In the end he just repackaged what YOU ALREADY KNOW in a way that awed you and made you think so highly of him. I admire him when he speaks about neuroscience and anything neutral. He's actually very impressive then and I enjoy listening to him. As soon as he starts talking about religion, especially Islam, I can see straight through his BS and lose all respect for him.

      Final and most important point I want you to ponder about: He champions science and the rigorous standards of the scientific method. He demands an extremely high standard of evidence before believing anything. All fair. WHY THEN does he keep on running his mouth about a topic he has NO qualifications to talk about. Is he an Islamic scholar? Does he have any educational background in oriental studies? Islamic history? Contemporary Islam? Has he been to muslim countries? Has he been a muslim? Does he speak Quranic arabic? Does he have extensive knowledge of the hadith and the Islamic oral tradition? YET he is doing what he wants no one else to do: utter in full confidence views without any sound grounding except of course some erroneously conducted PEW polls.

      I promise you Sam is a fraud. If I were offered a $1,000,000 to hold it against him I would hands down, even if being wrong meant I lose my life.

    28. If you haven't read the email exchange between him and Noam Chomsky you should. I loved how Chomsky (who clearly picked up what I picked up about Sam) humiliated him in a manner thas both extreme and subtle.

    29. Another major grievance I have with Sam is he ruined Real Time with Bill Maher for me. Ever since he and Bill became acquaintances, you can see a gradual increase in Bill's rants against Islam. Initially I agreed with his comments (and would even now as a muslim) but now he's outright bigoted and hardly an episode goes by where a significant portion isn't devoted to the "muslim issue." Unlike Sam, however, he seems to come across as mostly just ignorant. I think he doesn't really know and honestly thinks what he says is true.

    30. Hmmmm. OK. That's a lot of complaints against Harris's take on Islam. Arguing that doesn't make sense.

      He says somethings that don't make sense to me. Eg his attempt to have a utilitarian morality doesn't make much sense to me. Eg a world of sadists and masochists would be optimal in terms of joy/happiness/gratitude, but would it be "moral"? If an alien creature came along and really enjoyed eating chickens (it experienced ecstasies so great that they'd dwarf all the happiness we could ever feel in a trillion years), would it be moral to feed humans to it? OK, if so, would it be OK to feed it humans if it really liked humans?

      Eg his "Moral Landscape" doesn't make sense to me. You could theoretically have a universe where masochists want to get flogged and sadists that want to flog them - and where that'd be all that was happening. According to SH it would be a "moral" world, which just seems silly to me; just because happiness/joy/gratitude would be optimized doesn't mean it would be a "moral" world.

      If you can set aside his attacks on Islam - a big 'if', I guess - you might still enjoy his last book, as its subject is contemplative practice, the brain, etc.

    31. Mr. Anonymous I have to say I agreed almost entirely with your post this time. I haven't listened to his lectures on the moral landscape closely enough (because I stopped taking him seriously) but from what I do remember, you're absolutely right in your criticism. However, even if I disagreed with him as you do, that would not signal anything about his integrity or his sincerity. He may actually believe his moral landscape is really the best way forward for humans. The reason I used his attacks on Islam to prove he is a fraud is because that's a topic I know enough about and I know he knows enough about - or at least is much too intelligent to know that he should know more. I recently listened to his podcast discussion with Douglas Murray and was disgusted once again by how he deliberately and subtly eggs on sincere critics to do his dirty work for him. Douglas Murray, like Bill Maher, comes across as a sincere man. I think he genuinely feels Islam is a huge problem and I don't blame him. I think he will eventually come around unlike Sam. Sam is disgusting and he'll be discredited eventually.

      I'll see if I can come across a free copy of his last book online. I'm not paying for it lest he get another sale.

    32. Jonaid, this is Mr. Anonymous again.

      I think the benefits that you get if you try contemplative practice (eg meditation) are real whether or not Sam Harris is honest (or dishonest) or has good (bad) intentions in writing his book on contemplative practice - so I hope you check it out.

      It is a bit like medicine. We don't talk about German medicine or American medicine - we just call it medicine. The medicine works whether or not Americans or Germans do it. And it works whether or not we like or dislike the Americans or Germans.

      Similarly, we don't talk about Arab algebra or Arabic numbers, despite the fact that the stuff originated with Arabs - because math is independent of Arabs.

      I find it interesting that we listened to the same talk (Harris and Murray) and came away with such different takes on the same thing.

      Harris is a rare - despite the fact that he tries to look at uncomfortable threats rationally and dispassionately (eg what would ISIS likley do if they had WMDs?), he doesn't seem to slip into the typical solutions that most threat-oriented people do.

      So he (and Douglas) Murray will be saying, "hey, there's a problem. Let's solve it as nicely as we can" long before most people will even realize there's a problem. If a more typical result and threat-oriented guy like Donald Trump comes along and says the sort of things he says (e.g. build a wall & deport them all ...), Harris and Murray will feel quite pained and try to argue for a compassionate solution.

      The way most people are, they don't think about threats. If they start thinking about them they want radical solutions. Harris seems to avoid that kind of thinking on principle.

      The sad thing for Harris is that people he would call "extremists" are picking up his ideas and running with them in directions he wishes they wouldn't.

    33. Hi there, apologies I didn't realize you posted again until now.

      I agree with everything you say here except your take on Harris. I understand it - you certainly do seem to be coming at it from a place of prejudice. However, as I've said before, to me Harris is a give away because I know Islam & Muslims and the way he speaks about the whole mess is a 100% give away to me. This is why I find him that much more repulsive: that he manages to come across exactly as you've described but his aim is something completely different (at least insofar as Islam is concerned).

      I don't know if you like Glenn Greenwald or not but in this conversation he spells out a lot of the same grievances I have with Sam Harris. I have more.

      Thanks and good luck!

    34. Apologies once again I meant to say:

      You certainly do NOT seem to be coming at it from a place of prejudice.

  5. I find religion funny and versatile throughout different periods in my life. We can all claim " ours " is the right theology or ways - yet theology and the law is what drowns out most religions. It's just a slow breeding ground for dislike. Other groups become segregated by the particular theology they follow and project. I was stuck in a Calvinist view of religion before. Scripture was so beautifully intertwined to theology in the services , the community rocked. And so I thought " that was the way." And so I thought.....But when I chose to leave..... ( ya you know) ...,You know what happens.... ;)

    It was based on conditions to me following a particular way.

    I wasn't meant to believe in one particular way of theology.

    First the theology brought incredible freedom , than I realized I put that above all else and lost something of value "an open mind." . But whatever group you put me in , I'll find away to see Christ in it. Specially the hookers. I like me the hookers. Hearing some of their testimonies makes me feel their effects. Haha. Cause most of them have been through hell and back.

    No , seriously , if you follow Christianity , they enter first, before many of us. It's all backwards. Jesus Christ was the biggest rebel and I just have a hard time following 80% of believers . I will rebel against it all..... Eventually.
    First, much needed freedom comes.....Than I see the sneaky evil ways like what's mentioned about the Pharisees and scribes. Matthew 23 if I remember correctly. Wow I haven't quoted scripture in years. Lol. But them, knowing so much scripture -- Beautifully adorned -- spouting it off - yet their hearts are so twisted and evil inside. Cups so filthy dirty, hypocrites. Lip service poop.

    It's so simple, yet so hard. Love your neighbours of others religions. It's the second commandment. Tolerance.

    But many Christian groups believe tolerance is not needed and will proclaim " our God reigns harshly." Let's stand hard against this rebel community and proclaim " ours is the right way! "

    And I'm baffled looking at sum , thinking to myself , what God are you serving? Who the fuck are you really worshipping here?? Lol

    When I chose to leave , Christ walked out with me and held my hand. Figuratively speaking. You ain't gunna keep me in a cage of theology, I'll choose to sit in my cage when the opportunity calls for it.

    Yes this is my religion rant from my own experience. He still has his grip on me, but it's not regularly felt I admit anymore. When it comes, it's pretty mind-blowing! And now I know i sound crazy to some. I get it. Cuz I see things from other people's perspectives

    1. Superchick, Your insights resonate. I grew up in the Calvary Memorial Church. Got in trouble for playing card games and dancing, so, I had to rebel. Tolerance should be the first commandment.

      I laughed out loud at your question, "What God are you serving?"

      I've asked the same thing. And told the fucking minister who damned my mother to hell that if that's how God judged women like my mom, I wouldn't have anything to do with him.

      Now that I'm older, I don't let anyone tell me who god is, what he/she wants from us or how he judges. I'll be damned for saying it, but I think I already know: god/life wants us to remember where we came from and to nurture all life to carry on the great adventure. Evolve.

      I like your religious rant. You rock.

      Mr. Hyde

    2. "I've asked the same thing. And told the fucking minister who damned my mother to hell that if that's how God judged women like my mom, I wouldn't have anything to do with him."

      You were brave, Mr. Hyde. So brave....

      "Now that I'm older, I don't let anyone tell me who god is, what he/she wants from us or how he judges. I'll be damned for saying it, but I think I already know: god/life wants us to remember where we came from and to nurture all life to carry on the great adventure. Evolve."

      Further, I like that you are even braver in this great adventure. Do you yearn to explore that "unknown" place where no one else has been? I do, Mr. Hyde. ;)

    3. Not really brave, simply a pissed off, grieving teenager who didn't give a damn about consequences. (My grandma was so mad that I'd spoken to her minister that way she didn't talk to me for years; since she was a fundie, I didn't really care.)

      Yes, Parnasse, I yearn to explore the 'unknown place' where no one else has been, but I think it'd be more fun to bring along a friend. We'd have a blast gadding about the universe, untangling cosmic puzzles, discovering the way through its secret maze. ;)

      Mr. Hyde

    4. LOL , set that minister straight Mr. Hyde ! Sometimes you gotta call it someone out. A spade of spade! :)

      Religion can be good and all, it's all the rules & regulations that can keep one bound; then others can find it relieving to follow. Idk, I just can't seem to fit in it for too long. Community is all cozy & nice until they diss ya for not following the doctrine according to their "gospel." Lol

      But I've put it underneath me, and try to make peace with men where I can. I understand their hyper-mode of calvanism - but I guess now being through DBT myself I learnt dialectical thinking. There's many ways to look at things in life. We all want the ice cream.... but it comes in many flavours and toppings ! You choose what type taste good, haha my analogy.

    5. Discovering the way through its secret maze, or chamber of secrets, sounds original, Mr. Hyde, and I really like "the original" in this cosmic puzzle.

      How would you untangle and infuse the following question: What is the simplest fact of the universe? Does it deal with beginnings, or can it be found within the unveiling of an awakened seed? ;)

    6. I don't know, I just need coffee beans. :p

    7. The simplest fact of the universe is change. Change is the fundamental component of beginnings and the unveiling of an awakened seed. ))

      Creamy dark chocolate ice cream smothered with raspberry sauce is my cosmic serving. :P

      Mr. Hyde

    8. Like spring, change is the harbinger of life, Mr. Hyde. It unveils seeds, the splendor entering and unearthing that which yearns to grow.

      Yes, dark chocolate ice cream and warm, suffusing sauce. I like that preference in you.

      I would like to see the intense, entwining opening of a seed, and all those seconds in between. You, Mr. Hyde? ;)

    9. Absolutely, Parnasse. I love gardening.

      Right now I've got three avocado seeds sprouting in my kitchen and TWO avocado trees, one standing over five feet high, growing in pots in my living room. The smaller of the two, my little stand-in for Eden, the tree of Knowledge, good and evil, is trying to catch up to the taller avocado, i.e., my stand-in-residence reminder of the tree of everlasting life. ;)

      Mr. Hyde


      You are both insufferably pretentious. Seriously.

    11. I am quite drawn to pottery or ceramics, Mr. Hyde. I like the natural feel of the forming, smooth-shaping and rising clay on my fingers and palms. I see and perform it as an art that knows no bounds or heights, inducing and coaxing the clay into a most natural, well-crafted shape. I especially like "giving life, " so to speak, to these pots in my studio, where I envision all types of ascending creations.

      Your avocado trees, coupled with your detailed descriptions of them, have inspired me to return to my studio tonight and create your thoughts in the form of a tangible Eden.

      Can you picture what I have in mind, Mr. Hyde?

    12. Trees with hanging fruit? I have no idea, Parnasse. When it comes to pottery I'm afraid your imagination surpasses mine.

      Please do tell.

      M. Hyde

      Mr. Hyde

    13. Trees with hanging fruit is a great connection that you have made to what I had in mind, Mr. Hyde. Like the inner workings of Eden, your imagination is a "place" that fascinates me. In terms of pottery, I had a transformation in mind, along with the trees that you envisioned. You contemplated the idea of good and evil, and I thought of creating something along the lines of a "Black Swan" (alluding to the movie, that is). It would be a pot in the shape of a swan that is half light and half dark, the exterior design of it alluding to the tree of knowledge. Afterward, I would fill and permeate the pot with the splendor and essence of ripe avocados. ;)

      Can you visualize the coming together and immortal bonding of all these beautifully contrasting and infusing elements, Mr. Hyde?

    14. Very cool, I'd love me some advocado trees in my living room. :D

      Such a healthy delicacy.

    15. From what you describe, Parnasse, I visualize a lush blend of elements that evoke life's constant change. Depending on the light and shadow of the season, there might emerge all kinds of hybrids. The black swan's wing could appear almost scaly, like battered bark on an old tree.

      " your imagination is a "place" that fascinates me" Thanks. :)

      Right now, my imagination needs a cup of coffee.

      Did you start making the pot? Must be fun to play around with clay. I like getting my hands dirty; as a kid I was always building mud and stick forts in the woods. I'd use them a "hide" from which I spy wild creatures.

      The movie "Black Swan" is terrific, btw. Emotionally speaking, I was very much like the dancer when I was a teen. When I discovered my "it was perfect" moment, I set about crisscrossing the country, hitchhiking, and somehow that liberated me.

      Mr. Hyde

    16. Please ignore the typos.

      Better get that coffee. ;)

      Mr. Hyde

    17. In my mind, the black and white swans are two facets of everything that draws me into the engulfing symphony of life's arousing, seeping orchestra. Like a pair of rare notes that one has just uncovered at dusk, light reaches those dark, immersing places, and finds every hidden corner of the "underworld." It takes one there, slipping forth, and encircling those places which no one has ever touched before.

      When touching it, the scaly wing of the black swan feels as though a realization has sprung forth:

      After walking barefoot onto the moist leaves and sinking mud belonging to the woods, one finds that specific tree with its "well-known" bark and leans ardently against it. The pull is felt quite highly, taking in the stupor-filled scent of the scaly, battered bark. In those moments, nothing feels more natural and immersing, Mr. Hyde.

    18. Molding, stroking and covering my fingers and palms with clay feels both rousing and artfully liberating within my being. I am so glad to know that you like getting your hands dirty in such exhilarating ways. Spying on wild creatures must have formed unforgettable experiences within the hidden, encased channels of your springing memories.

      As I delve even deeper, I can relate to your thoughts quite well, Mr. Hyde. We seem to absorb life's moments in highly comparable dosages. I have found a "me connoisseur" in you. ;)

      What marked your "it was perfect" moment, Mr. Hyde?

    19. "Like a pair of rare notes that one has just uncovered at dusk, light reaches those dark, immersing places, and finds every hidden corner of the "underworld." It takes one there, slipping forth, and encircling those places which no one has ever touched before."

      Yes. It's beautiful when the notes resonate, illuminate the underworld. To touch and be touched by another being is grand stuff. :)

      "Spying on wild creatures must have formed unforgettable experiences within the hidden, encased channels of your springing memories."

      Many wonderful memories of animals, whether spying on them or during a face-to-face. Those experiences introduced me to Other-ness in the most basic and loving sense. Better than people did at many turning points in my life. Consequently, today I have great relationships with all kinds of city critters.

      What marked my perfect moment was when I quit my nurse's aid job, left my roommate my car and last paycheck and hit the road with a backpack. Total freedom to explore the country, the mountains, rivers and so on. I hitched a thousand miles with 20 bucks, just to see if I could do it. Many people fed me but I also fasted, camped out. :) I was free from my home town and all of the past, which I desperately wanted to escape. I could finally explore the road less traveled, without feeling out of place. :)

      Mr. Hyde

    20. I can relate to being introduced to Other-ness in the most basic and loving sense. The thought tingles and climbs freely, drawing me into an evolving wave of intensity.

      "I could finally explore the road less travelled, without feeling out of place. :)"

      I know exactly what you mean. Nature marks our best "calling," Mr. Hyde.

      A face-to-face encounter with an animal. What did you want to do during it, or afterward?

    21. I am happy that you understand me so well. It's so seldom that happens that when it does, waves of intensity are inevitable. :)

      One example would be year-long encounters with wild bees on top of a small mountain above the sea where I used to go to meditate. I would sit and chant Om under a specific tree, three, four times a week. The bees would come and swarm, crawl all over me. They never stung me, and the sensation of their tiny feet and buzzing eventually became something I intensely enjoyed. It was, how shall I say, 'spiritually erotic.' Until that time, I never felt a connection to bees and in fact was afraid of them. But all that changed over the course of a year and countless meditations.

      It was magical, Parnasse. Truly magical.

      I've had many, many encounters with different kinds of wild animals over the years. Each one has brought me closer to the Great Spirit that resides in all things. It is easy for me to love beasts and I think they somehow sense that. They seem to be equally curious and open to interspecies communion. I've no idea what these animals 'want' from me but I do know that we've enjoyed each other's company.

      Mr. Hyde

    22. I, too, experience waves of stimulating intensity, Mr. Hyde. They are part of my permeating, natural high, which can rise to levels that would seem overly unusual to a "normal" person. These specific, radiating waves have become an inherent part of my being on a daily or nightly basis.

      "Spiritually erotic" thoughts and images. I know the feeling you've described, coupled with its origins. It has a magical quality to it, which I happen to crave profusely. Can you think of other examples in this form, together with some thoughts that might open the way to knowing what they "want" from you?

  6. I haven't been here for a while, and it's good to be bad. But I must say, it is disappointing that so many of you are hiding behind "Anonymous." Oops, edit: good to be back ...heh heh

    1. Who are you? Under what name did you post?

  7. PS: most of the psychopaths i know use religion as a very keep part of their plan

  8. Well would you look at that. I'm a hardcore nihilist and, as it would happen, I'm an empath.

    Feels good to have an emotional one-up on the psychopath! But really, I don't think that meaning even makes sense. In fact, the arbitrariness of reality has allowed me to dissociate from my emotions, including guilt, and I manipulate people all the time these days.

  9. The "Double Doctrine" method of teaching has been used through out
    history. Basically what this means is that "religious eliets" hold on to
    the true knowledge and disceminate watererd down knowledge to the
    masses. Secret knowledge is held onto primarly to imprision and control
    populations. If people believe that their eternal existence after death can be
    assured by following an "authourity" they will do it.
    What secrets are being kept? Basically, that all religious rituals are
    When Christ came to earth, he did everything necessasary to reedeem
    mankind. There is nothing-absolutely nothing that man can do through his
    own efforts to "save" himself as pertains to his eternal salvation.
    But that idea frightens the eliets because they would lose all the power they
    weld over people as mediators. All religious fractionalism would crumble and
    these mediators would be out of business.
    Now, because salvation is no longer based on following religious rituals, but
    from the Grace of God, DOES NOT mean that people can stop working.
    After all, the spiritual is only one side of life. Work is required for a quality of
    material life. The bottom line however is no one need be a frightened RELIGIOUS SLAVE. We need no mediators. Christ accomplished all the
    ritiualistic work of salvation.

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  11. Am I the only one that suspects that "hollow men" are just indifferent about religion in a "nihil est" kind of way? In fact if I got taken hostage by a crazed psychopath I would NOT refer to religion/prayers because I think this could perhaps tranform a "stable" situation into a dangerous one, him saying in a dry voice:"-Well, where´s your almighty Lord now, then?", that type of thing..

  12. Does anyone find the smell of their partners vag or cock intoxicating? I wonder why thats so. What's the science behind it? That smell is the bong.

  13. Haha that sounds so impulsive and out there , but I keep telling my partner I'm a freaky, the smell is inviting , there's a natural scent that's intoxicating. I can't be the only one. Does anyone get what I mean. Sniff. Sniff. :D

    1. I do!!! I believe it is pheremones.:)

    2. PS-The cologne "Realm" claims to have human pheromones in it.:) Just an FYI.:)

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