This forum is for objective analysis of the facts and the history of various religions. It also serves a place to find research material on various religions. The idea is to provide information and prompt research through civil and objective discourse.
This is not a forum for pushing one religion above all others or to get into a contest of which religion is "better" or the one "true" religion. You may not expect others to take on faith your beliefs. So saying "this is so because Bible says it is" is unacceptable. But reasoning that such verse from Bible addressed a specific need or was essential in the context of its time (i.e. objective analysis) is ok. If your idea cannot stand on its own and needs to push others' down to make itself known, then either you do not know it as well as you should, or it is wrong all together.
It is absolutely, positively, NOT ok to put down a religion (even a pagan one) or make fun of a belief. We are not engaging in philosophical or theological debates about the virtues of a belief. The fallowing examples are meant to clarify the rules:
Stating that "Buddhism is nothing but hallucinations of a starving nutcase" is unacceptable as it is an empty opinion voiced in an incendiary manner that prompts name calling. On the other hand, stating that "Buddha's visions at the Bodhi Tree may have been the result of his extreme fasting as evidenced by..." is ok. Both statements are pretty much off topic and if they lead to disruption will be stopped.
Claiming Christianity is anti-science and tries to keep the masses ignorant, or any of the "classic" religion versus science bashing arguments is off topic even if the author can factually prove his case. On the other hand, discussing the motivations for and/or history of "scientific" postulations as Christian doctrines is on topic. Tracing the evolution of religious views on science from the beginning all the way through to pope John Paul-II's statement that evolution was "no longer a mere hypothesis" would be a great contribution.
Within these guidelines, there is no political correctness here. There is nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade. You may make a case, for example, that Christianity has stayed true to Jesus' teaching. Or you may try to show that it was usurped by Paul. You may claim Koran is accurate and true to its origin, as it was immediately written down. Or you may claim that the whole thing is a hoax that Salman whispered into Mohammed's ears. Needless to say these are very sensitive issues and must be articulated carefully or the thread will degenerate into public brawl quickly, hence the style rule. You have to provide objective reasoning for your claims.
If you find it hard to maintain a civil discourse when your core beliefs are questioned, then this is not the place for you. [Hint: reread the above paragraph and see how you'd respond if those claims were made]
This forum was originally created to continue this discussions: Message 18889500 It is perhaps a worthy read.
Good sources of research include:
cais-soas.com (ancient Persia, Mithraism, etc)
al-shia.com (Shia Islam)
shariati.com (Dr, Ali Shariati's views, considered by some as Islamic Protestantism)
muslimphilosophy.com (hundreds of books and articles on Islamic philosophy)
By popular demand, this thread is moderated. If you doubt what you are about to say breaches on the rules, PM me before posting it.