The Garden of Eden was in Congo


My great friend and teacher shared with me a story about the Efe people taken from The Pygmy Kitabu by JEAN-PIERRE HALLET and ALEX PELLE [yours truly is yet to read the book but I will relay the story nonetheless.

One fine day in heaven, God told his chief helper to make the first man. The angel of the moon descended. He modeled the first man from earth, wrapped a skin around the earth, poured blood into the skin, and punched holes for the nostrils, eyes, ears and mouth. He made another hole in the first man’s bottom, and put all the organs in his insides. Then he breathed his own vital force into the little earthen statue. He entered into the body. It moved… It sat up… It stood up… It walked. It was Efé, the first man and father of all who came after.
 
    “God said to Efé, ‘Beget children to people my forest. I shall give them everything they need to be happy. They will never have to work. They will be lords of the earth. They will live forever. There is only one thing I forbid them. Now — listen well — give my words to your children, and tell them to transmit this commandment to every generation. The tahu tree is absolutely forbidden to man. You must never, for any reason, violate this law.’
    “Efé obeyed these instructions. He, and his children, never went near the tree. Many years passed. Then God called to Efé, ‘Come up to heaven. I need your help!’ So Efé went up to the sky. After he left, the ancestors lived in accordance with his laws and teachings for a long, long time. Then, one terrible day, a pregnant woman said to her husband, ‘Darling, I want to eat the fruit of the tahu tree.’ He said, ‘You know that is wrong.’ She said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘It is against the law.’ She said, ‘That is a silly old law. Which do you care about more — me, or some silly old law?’
    “They argued and argued. Finally, he gave in. His heart pounded with fear as he sneaked into the deep, deep forest. Closer and closer he came. There it was — the forbidden tree of God. The sinner picked a tahu fruit. He peeled the tahu fruit. He hid the peel under a pile of leaves. Then he returned to camp and gave the fruit to his wife. She tasted it. She urged her husband to taste it. He did. All of the other Pygmies had a bite. Everyone ate the forbidden fruit, and everyone thought that God would never find out.
    “Meanwhile, the angel of the moon watched from on high. He rushed a message to his master: ‘The people have eaten the fruit of the tahu tree!’ God was infuriated. ‘You have disobeyed my orders,’ he said to the ancestors. ‘For this you will die!'”
    In another version, god, angered, says to the Man’s wife:     

“‘You broke your promise to me! And you pulled that poor man into sin! Now I’m going to punish you: both of you will find out what it is to work hard and be sick and die. But you, woman, since you made the trouble first, you will suffer the most. Your babies will hurt you when they come, and you will always have to work for the man you betrayed.'”

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

234 thoughts on “The Garden of Eden was in Congo

  1. That story, I’d like to hurriedly add, was in existence long before the Forest People of the Ituri ever encountered a white man, or heard of Western religions.

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    • makagutu says:

      Oh yes indeed. I think the people who come here are not lazy bummers and will go read the book. And I hope those who follow Abraham’s god will look for it too though most of them believe contra evidence

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      • Who can say, possibly the Hebrews got it from the Ituri people.

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        • To believe that the Hebrews did not get their stories from far and wide is to say that you do not believe humans of 5000 years ago were trading across the globe… and you’d be wrong on both accounts. A good story travels fast… even faster when there is no truth to block its way.

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          • makagutu says:

            And I can’t remember who said a lie goes round the world before truth has its pants on. This I think is true in this case here.

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          • If I had to venture a wild guess – and that’s all it would be – ancient Egypt and Ethiopia were active trading partners when they weren’t at war with each other, and it’s entirely possible that Ethiopian traders picked up the story, transported it to Egypt by merchant traders, where Hebrews later picked it up.

            That hypothesis is consistent with the Ituri people’s insistence that there was no early contact with Whites, which, compared with an Ethiopian, the Hebrews would be so considered, yet still gets a third-hand version of the fable to the Levant, as the Jews also traded frequently with Egypt.

            The earliest version of the Hebrew story of Genesis, and it’s tree of forbidden fruit, wasn’t written until 950 BCE, in the Southern Kingdom of Judea.

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            • I firmly believe that we completely underestimate the abilities and skills of our ancestors. They were much more active and cognitive than we generally give them credit for. to me, the idea that an idea could spread globally in 1000 years is completely understandable.

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              • Oh, I agree. I’m just trying to construct a scenario whereby relatively White Jews could get the story without violating the integrity of the insistence by the Ituri people – that I have no reason to doubt – that they didn’t encounter Whites until relatively recently.

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  2. paarsurrey says:

    Reblogged this on paarsurrey and commented:
    ??

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    • Hello, Paarsurrey, I don’t believe I’ve met you yet – how are you? I look forward to your comments from a Muslim perspective. I have a number of former Muslim friends, from Egypt, who post on the thinkatheist.com website, who are now atheists. As you are a peaceful Muslim, so we are peaceful atheists, mostly.

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      • paarsurrey says:

        Yes;we have never met before; but it is never late when two humans meet and share their experiences.
        I like the post “The Garden of Eden was in Congo”. How do we know which one is the original; the Bible version or the Congo version.

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        • makagutu says:

          Good question. The Congo one is independent of the bible one and may be older than the bible one just as there are many stories in the bible told after the fact but passed as prophecy.

          How have you been? I haven’t heard from you in quite a while.

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          • paarsurrey says:

            Thanks for remembering me.
            May be both the stories in origin have been revealed to both the people independently by the One-True-God Allah Yahweh.

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            • makagutu says:

              Haha. I have missed that now, don’t you agree.

              Is it not more rational to think it is a speculation spread from one group to the next embellished on the way as they go along?

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            • “May be both the stories in origin have been revealed to both the people independently by the One-True-God Allah Yahweh.”

              Or possibly they are simply efforts, like the myriad of other creation myths, by a primitive culture, devoid of scientific knowledge, to explain how we got here. Now we know that the answers lie much closer to the fields of cosmology and evolution, than to the mists of mythology.

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        • “How do we know which one is the original; the Bible version or the Congo version.”

          Of course we don’t. It could be, like bats and birds, they independently evolved in parallel, but that involves a great deal of coincidence. The man who wrote the book lived among the forest people of Ituri for a number of years, so I have every reason to believe that he is passing on their story truthfully and accurately.

          Every peoples have had their creation stories, and you will find some interesting (and amusing) ones here

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  3. Eric Alagan says:

    What an interesting story – an eye opener about origins and originals 🙂

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  4. Sabio Lantz says:

    I am not a Christian and count as probable that the Hebrew legend of the Garden of Eden was a long shared story in cultures prior to theirs.

    That said, I’d have to read Hallet’s book to see the evidence he has for the Pygmy stories not being influence similarly by outside sources.

    Over the years I have come to skeptically view the reports of anthropologists. Anthropologists have agendas. For example, the “Peaceful Ape” and the “Idillic Peoples” myths abound. Margaret Mead (1901-1978) idealized the sexuality of the South Pacific islanders. Popular anthropology and biology long held that only human primates are violent — field work disproved that in the last 50 years or so.

    So likewise, when I read here that Hallet said, “The pygmies of the Ituri Forest must be saved. They still represent the true human potential for love, peace and harmony, without crime or greed.”

    I wonder about agenda in valorizing the pygmies.

    But like I said, I too like the implications of these stories, but I am slow to jump on the bandwagon just because it supports my opinions.

    Freethought Nation quotes the book here too and many folks refer to that article. For fun, I looked for Christian apologists who would dismiss these claims but couldn’t find them. But I am sure they are out there.

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    • makagutu says:

      Thanks for that insight. I haven’t read the book either and I honestly must say I haven’t read much anthropology too. But as you say, the stories, if true would challenge beliefs held by many people.

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      • paarsurrey says:

        There is no challenge in it. I believe that the One-True-God Allah Yahweh conversed with ever people; since the source is common hence the commonalities of stories.

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        • makagutu says:

          I agree with you the source is common and that is human minds.

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        • “I believe that the One-True-God Allah Yahweh conversed with ever people; since the source is common hence the commonalities of stories.”

          Most cultures, Paarsurrey, around the world, have flood stories, and many religious apologetics cite this as proof of Noah’s universal flood, which we now know was plagiarized from a minor Mesopotamian river flood of 2900 BCE. There is no evidence for a global flood to be found. Each culture has had a flood happen to their people at some time in their history, but that doesn’t mean their floods didn’t happen at widely different times.

          Both Islam and Christianity evolved from Judaism, and there is no evidence for either of their magical claims, nor to believe that some supernatural being chose a family of nomadic goatherders to be his chosen people and carry his message to the world. I say this with all due respect to your own beliefs, I am merely expressing mine.

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          • paarsurrey says:

            Of course you could express your opinion freely but I don’t see it to be correct.

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            • I never, for a moment, Paarsurrey, entertained the hope that you would. Sadly, most of us are never able to free ourselves from the philosophical system – and that’s exactly what all religions are – in which we are indoctrinated as children. Fortunately, on the other hand, some of us are able to move into the 21st century, and you will find a small collection of us here.

              Because I can’t imagine this conversation going much further, let me leave you with this advice to consider:

              “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
              Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
              Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
              Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
              Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
              But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
              — Buddha —

              Pax vobiscum – or, as you might more readily say, As-Salaam Alaikom —

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              • paarsurrey says:

                Wa Ulaikumus Salam
                Thank you.
                Please do not doubt unless it is reasonable to doubt; it is unnatural to doubt to start with.

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                • With Humankind, it is natural to question.

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                  • paarsurrey says:

                    Yes; if it is reasonable otherwise it would by cynical; please don’t mind.

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                    • Who decides what “reasonable” is? Question, then decide for yourself if the answer, not the question, is “reasonable.”

                      “If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood, or persuaded of afterward, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men that call in question or discuss it…the life of that man is one long sin against mankind.”

                      — William Kingdon Clifford —

                      And against himself, I would hasten to add.

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                • makagutu says:

                  Doubt, my friend is the beginning of wisdom. Be wary of anyone who discourages you from doubt.

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                  • paarsurrey says:

                    If one starts with doubt; one can never get any knowledge; one could end in cynicism.

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                    • “”Question with boldness even the existence of god.”
                      — Thomas Jefferson —

                      I’m not sure how you can believe that Paarsurrey – beginning with doubt leads to the collection of evidence, which leads to resolution of the doubt, but based on facts, not suppositions.

                      Your belief system teaches you to fear questioning ANYthing – I can’t even imagine living like that, nor would I want to. I’m free to follow the evidence, your fear forbids you that luxury.

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                    • paarsurrey says:

                      When one sees an anomaly; then it is natural to doubt, question and find the solution; not otherwise..

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                    • When one sees an anomaly; then it is natural to doubt, question and find the solution” – I can agree with you about this, but not about this: “not otherwise…” Always question.

                      “anomaly: something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected”

                      Now I’ll be quick to admit that my knowledge of the Quran is very limited, and I have no idea how knowledgeable you are with the Bible, as I know that the Quran is supposed to be based on the Biblical Patriarchs, but I also know that a number of the Biblical tales have been significantly changed, or omitted entirely by the authors of the Quran.

                      The Bible, however, is loaded with anomalies, as is, I suspect, the Quran as well. Examples:
                      1. An invisible spirit who lives in the sky, magically assembled all of the material in this inconceivably vast universe, from nothing, and created everything.
                      2. The planet was covered with water, to the point of 15 cubits (22.5 feet) above the highest mountains, despite the fact that there isn’t even half enough water in, on, under, and above the earth to accomplish that, and of the water that IS available, 90% of that is already at or below sea level, and thus unavailable for flooding purposes.
                      3. How about the Red Sea magically parting, while a million and a half men, women and children walked the 18 miles (at it’s very narrowest point), to get to the other side?

                      There’s no point in going further, the Bible is riddled with anomalies, including the fact that there is no evidence that any of the Patriarchs, including Moses, upon whom Judaism, Islam and Christianity are based, ever existed.

                      Oh, and how about old Mo flying from Mecca, to Jerusalem, to heaven, and back to Mecca on a winged horse, in a single evening, getting home in time for breakfast? Anomaly!

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                    • paarsurrey says:

                      I an an ordinary man in the street with no claims of any piety or scholarship of any kind.

                      Krishna, Buddha,Zoroaster, Moses,Jesus, Muhammad, the founders of great revealed religions; they or their Word of Revelation in origin never claimed to writing down any text books of science. They guided humanity in ethical, moral and spiritual realms.

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                    • “I an an ordinary man in the street with no claims of any piety or scholarship of any kind.”
                      Sounds very much like you’re one of us, yet I sense that you are defending religion. You clearly stated, on your own website, that you are Muslim.
                      They guided humanity in ethical, moral and spiritual realms.
                      Some more successfully than others – Yahweh, for example, told the Israelis to commit mass genocide, that rape was ok as long as you married the girl eventually, and many, many other abominable pieces of advice.

                      I actually quoted you Buddah, but you seemed to reject his opinion:
                      “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
                      Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
                      Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
                      Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
                      Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
                      But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
                      — Buddha —
                      Possibly you will find this a little more to your liking:
                      “Custom, tradition, and intellectual laziness lead men to follow their religious leaders blindly. Religions have been the sole cause of the bloody wars that have ravaged mankind. Religions have also been resolutely hostile to philosophical speculation and to scientific research. The so-called holy scriptures are worthless and have done more harm than good, whereas the writings of the ancients like Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, and Hippocrates have rendered much greater service to humanity.”
                      — Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyā al-Razi —

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                    • paarsurrey says:

                      “Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.”; then why should one believe in Atheism?

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                    • “…why should one believe in Atheism?”

                      No wonder you’re so critical of atheism, Paarsurrey, you clearly don’t understand it! It’s not about believing, it’s about not believing, and it follows the tenets of Buddah’s advice entirely, in that it depends on evidence – not emotional, irrational belief systems, but rather observation and analysis.

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                    • paarsurrey says:

                      Buddha has got nothing to do with Atheism or Skepticism.

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                    • “Buddha has got nothing to do with Atheism or Skepticism.”

                      Au contraire, mon frère – Buddha has everything to do with free thought, for deciding for oneself which is the best path through life, for rejecting the ideas of others from your holy books, your Imams and preachers, even your neighbors who would criticize you because you don’t believe as they do. Maybe you need to read that quotation again, or did you even read it in the first place?

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                    • paarsurrey says:

                      Can you please quote Buddha where he favored Skepticism Atheism?

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                    • “Can you please quote Buddha where he favored Skepticism Atheism?”

                      I’d be happy to:

                      “Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.”

                      Actually, “Skepticism Atheism” are two nouns, and you are obviously trying to get one to modify the other, which makes no sense in English. I realize that English is not your first language, and you certainly write it very well, but the passage I quoted comes closest to what I can only assume you are trying to say.

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                    • paarsurrey says:

                      Buddha never supported Skepticism or Atheism or Agnosticism used generally in the same meaning; though different words do have different meaning in a language.

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                    • RE: “Buddha never supported Skepticism” – now you’re either making no sense, or you never bothered to read the quotation from Buddha, is every sentence in it promotes skepticism, telling us to question everything.

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    • “I am not a Christian”

      It may surprise you to learn, Sabio, that many of us here aren’t either –:)

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  5. aguywithoutboxers says:

    An outstanding proof that the wheel was only invented once! I think this fable proves that modern belief systems are all based on the same fables with perhaps slightly varying settings. I like this myth better, I could never quite get beyond the one with the talking snake! Too Disney-esque! I hope all is well with you, my Nairobi brother! 🙂

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  6. john zande says:

    Wait up, wait up… But Kenya is the cradle of humanity, isn’t it?

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  7. […] As a bonus, here is a photo of Jean- Pierre Hallet whose story has been the subject of this post. […]

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  8. vastlycurious.com says:

    Sounds very familiar…………….

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    • paarsurrey says:

      @archaeopteryx1
      The following quote given by you from Buddha is already in my knowledge and I have read it several times:
      “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
      Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
      Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
      Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
      Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
      But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
      – Buddha –

      It is a general teachings and is already included in the teachings of the Truthful Religion; there is nothing in it which specifically supports Atheism/Skepticism. Please quote something from Buddha where he supported Atheism/Skepticism.

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      • Paarsurrey, you picked a really bad time to start with me, especially spouting nonsense:

        “Please quote something from Buddha where he supported Atheism/Skepticism.”

        Let me acquaint you with the definition of skepticism, the action of a skeptic:

        skeptic |ˈskeptik| ( Brit. sceptic)
        noun
        1 a person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions.

        Now reread your quotation from Buddha, and ask yourself how many of those sentences asks the reader to question or doubt accepted opinions.

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      • And I might add, Paarsurrey, the phrase, “Truthful Religion,” is an oxymoron.

        oxymoron |ˌäksəˈmôrˌän|
        noun
        a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction

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      • paarsurrey says:

        So , please don’t mind it; you don’t have anything concrete from Buddha supporting Atheism/Skepticism.

        It is just your impression that Buddha discussed here about the Truthful Revealed Religions; he has discussed here the corrupted version of the religions and of those who don’t believe in any altogether.

        If one finds after observation and analysis that Atheism/Skepticism don’t agrees with reason and it is conducive to the good and benefit of the humanity not to accept them; then one is doing this within the scope of the general teaching of Buddha for not accepting Atheism/Skepticism.

        Kindly give some concrete quotation from Buddha in support of Atheism/Skepticism. Please

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      • makagutu says:

        In a conversation with a young brahmin called Vasettha, Buddha told him

        Just as a file of blind men go on, clinging to each other, and the first one sees nothing, the middle one sees nothing, and the last one sees nothing, so it is with the talk of these brahmins. Their talk is laughable, mere words, empty and vain.

        and then compares belief in god to a man who declares he is in love with the most beautiful woman and on being asked what she looks like is forced to admit he has never once seen her.

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  9. Lux Ferous says:

    First off, a hello to John Zande! I remember your challenge to me concerning archaeology – just want to let you know I haven’t forgotten. I’m still committed to researching the topic, but unfortunately there isn’t time for everything, and it’ll be a mighty long time before I get to it. With that said, I hope the holidays are going well for you.

    Let me help Paarsurrey out a bit, as it appears we’re racked up on the same side except that I have a rather different approach.

    I think what Paarsurrey is trying to get at is that complete skepticism leads to a nonsensical and impossible interpretation of the world. You cannot prove morality, or the consciousness of others, or induction. Likewise, you beleive in them. More on that later.

    Arch (can I call you that?), you make wicked accusations about “evidence” and “indoctrination”. For one, you use logical arguments that quite deserve “surely” transitions before each sentence, in the sense that Dan Dennet would refer to. You are lightning quick to assert “the pale, small, silly, nerdy accusation that religion is, I don’t know, dumb”, as physicist David Albert would say. You treat the assertion is factually true with no basis for the “evidence” and yet preach skepticism to Paarsurrey.

    I hope you can see the immediate flaw with that. As to your wonderful quotes from Clifford (who is that, btw?), Buddha, Jefferson, and the Arab skeptic Al-Razi, I like them and agree with them – except for the last one of course.

    Now I cannot speak for other religions to appear judgmental, I will say what I know about my own faith. The Qur’an repeatedly calls on people to use their intellects, as a quick search of certain words may show: http://www.searchtruth.com/search.php?keyword=ponder&chapter=&translator=3&search=1&start=0&records_display=10&search_word=exact.

    With that said, in your criticism of religions based on the “invisible spirit who lives in the sky”, the planet measurements, and Reed Sea parting (you were wrong to say Red; google it) is equally arbitrary. For the first, I recommend you familiarize yourself with Hume’s empiricism and Bertrand Russel’s chicken (yes, I am aware he’d agree with you) before we proceed, and that you recognize both the Bible and Qur’an do not refer to “any man”, despite what arbitrary Biblical translations may imply (Google the NRSV and gender neutrality). For the second, Islamically we have no such incongruous measurements in our book. For the third, you are making a rather sweeping argument for so little to say. We do not believe the parting of the sea simply for the sake of tradition, we believe in the parting because the Qur’an tells it to us. And the Qu’ran we believe for the rational evidence/arguments it presents and the miracles from it that are quite visible today. You are withholding us from a precious premise and assuming it does not exist, and you aught at least be remotely knowledgeable in a subject before you ignore it altogether. A similar situation goes for the Bible – the Patriarchs aren’t believed on their own evidence, but on the evidence for the Bible as directly presented by Christians (which you and I would agree is weak anyway, although I doubt you know much about it anyway). The same goes for your “old Mo”, whoever that is, as I have no idea who you are referring to. If you are referring to the Islamic Prophet, please be more respectful, lest you are not looking for a proper dialogue, which I suspect you are.

    Finally, Paarsurrey, you cannot make assertions that Krishna, Buddha, and Zoroaster had messages revealed from God. You certainly can state the possibility, but claiming it because it suits your purpose is what none of us want to do here.

    Thank you, makagutu, for the insightful story.

    Cheers and have a merry time this Christmas, all. I look forward to a happy interfaith talk/dialogue/debate/name calling session.

    Lux

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    • “You are lightning quick to assert ‘the pale, small, silly, nerdy accusation that religion is, I don’t know, dumb’, as physicist David Albert would say. You treat the assertion is factually true with no basis for the ‘evidence’ and yet preach skepticism to Paarsurrey.”

      I never made the above assertion. Actually, I’m still waiting for Paarsurrey to present evidence that his claims were valid.

      “As to your wonderful quotes from Clifford (who is that, btw?)”

      William Kingdon Clifford was an English mathematician and philosopher, who also said, “It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.

      “The Qur’an repeatedly calls on people to use their intellects”

      I can’t imagine a great deal of autonomy coming from a religion whose very name means submission.

      “Reed Sea parting (you were wrong to say Red; google it)”

      I’m quite familiar with the Reed Sea, sufficiently so to know that it is only one of many theories proposed by biblical archaeologists, the most prevalent one at the moment being, that there is no evidence that Moses ever existed or that the Exodus ever took place.

      “We do not believe the parting of the sea simply for the sake of tradition, we believe in the parting because the Qur’an tells it to us

      Sadly, I realize that you can’t see the contradiction between telling us the above, and telling us that, “The Qur’an repeatedly calls on people to use their intellects.

      The same goes for your “old Mo”, whoever that is, as I have no idea who you are referring to. If you are referring to the Islamic Prophet, please be more respectful, lest you are not looking for a proper dialogue, which I suspect you are.

      “Old Mo” is exactly who you think it is – you people have gotten the misguided impression that because your “Holy” book calls for de3ath as the punishment for most transgressions against it, that one needs to tip-toe around Muslims and not do or say anything that would offend their religious sensibilities. I don’t feel that way – I’m an equal-opportunity offender, for me, all religious characters are automatically available for ridicule simply by virtue of appearing in a book of fairy tales. So yes, I’m speaking of your “Mo,” (Poohbear!).

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      • Lux Ferous says:

        Hey, how did you do those italics?

        Anyway,

        “Sadly, I realize that you can’t see the contradiction between telling us the above, and telling us that, “The Qur’an repeatedly calls on people to use their intellects.””

        Please don’t pick and choose contexts. I clearly stated the reasoning behind the evidence for Qur’an in the next sentence, which is direct logic, while the belief in certain stories has indirect evidence via the Qur’an.

        “I can’t imagine a great deal of autonomy coming from a religion whose very name means submission.”

        Oh, aren’t you knowledgeable? Sheikh Estes explains this well. He goes on a tangent about earthquakes, which I don’t know much about. I actually try to refrain from arguments when I don’t know about the subject.

        “you people have gotten the misguided impression that because your “Holy” book calls for de3ath as the punishment for most transgressions against it”

        I’m guessing the burden for evidence is on me, somehow? Please familiarize yourself with elemntary logic and the concept of the Burden of Proof. While you’re at it, research Russell’s chicken since you didn’t mention you have yet. I love the beautiful evidence you cite, especially since your “knowledge of the Quran is very limited”. You remind me of Dawkins’ reasoning about not knowing about the Qur’an:

        “Of course you can have an opinion about Islam without having read Qur’an. You don’t have to read Mein Kampf to have an opinion about nazism.”

        Continue with the happy holidays,

        Lux

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        • “I love the beautiful evidence you cite, especially since your ‘knowledge of the Quran is very limited'”

          When I’ve finished debunking the Bible, in my book, I most certainly intend beginning on the Quran, at which time, I will have studied it thoroughly.

          “Hey, how did you do those italics?”

          It’s HTML – maybe you should Google it.

          Interestingly, Ronald McDonald above tells us that Islam cannot be forced, since it must be sincere – it that’s the case, why is apostasy punishable by death?

          pax

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          • Lux Ferous says:

            Well, I look forward to it. I’ll freshen up on HTML, don’t remember too much on text format.

            “it that’s the case, why is apostasy punishable by death?”

            Why do you enjoy misleading? By format of the question, just as the format of mine, you require an answer that affirms your premise. Once again, read up on elementary logic. Google it.

            Now, to address your over simplification that has no evidence cited or justification (once again, burden of proof is somehow on me), we’ll resort to Zakir Naik and his associates:

            http://www.irfi.org/articles/articles_251_300/is_killing_an_apostate_in_the_is.htm

            Continue with happy holidays

            Lux

            Like

            • Interesting, Mo says, “Whosoever changes his religion, Kill Him,” then his posse try to modify it so it doesn’t sound quite so absolutely evil, so they say, well, there are different viewpoints, different interpretations.

              They ultimately conclude that the penalty for the crime of apostasy is not fixed, if the apostate “repents,” in other words, comes back to the goat herd. The suggestion is, that “the death sentence applies to leaving the faith, then the convict is to be given a life-time to repent.” Yet, according to the article, another “authority” maintains that, “the death sentence is not for ‘simple apostasy,’ but for apostasy accompanied by treason and sedition, or by the abuse and slander of the Noble Prophet.

              I have read SO many differences of opinion in the article you offered, it’s pathetic. This is why any sophisticated civilization separates religion from civil activities.

              And yet I have a young Egyptian friend, Alber Saber, who had to flee Egypt, to Europe, to escape imprisonment for admitting he is an atheist.

              You have no idea how I long for the death of Sharia law, but as long as ignorance persists, and it would appear to be a prized possession in Islamic countries, it will continue to foster misogyny and discord.

              Christianity is dying – it has a hundred years left, at best – one can only hope that sufficient Muslims will, as world conditions continue to improve, increase their education to the degree that they can at last willingly throw off the shackles of Islam and be free.

              Like

              • Lux Ferous says:

                Okay, cool. I’m glad you actually did a remote bit of research the first time. Except you ignored the other 15 quotes from the Qur’an in your reading. But that’s cool, at least you clicked the link. How about Russell’s chicken, now?

                Thanks, once again, for not citing evidence on your extravagant claims. As for your friend, my sincere apologies to him and possibly his family for being victims of stupid law, and I commend him for his bravery and free thinking.

                As for your claimed ignorance of an entire civilization, I ask you to learn about topics before you argue them, and learn arguments before espousing them. While you’re at it, you’ve got a checklist:

                1) study elementary logic
                2) learn about Russell’s chicken
                3) familiarize yourself with Islam
                4) Read the Qur’an for the purpose of bashing
                5) Practice citing evidence in argument

                Continue with the happy holidays. Let me know when you’re done.

                Lux

                Like

                • “How about Russell’s chicken, now?”

                  Thanks, but I’ve already eaten.

                  1) study elementary logic
                  I’m quite conversant with elementary logic and beyond.
                  2) learn about Russell’s chicken
                  Only if I ever manage to combine the time, inclination, and the interest, simultaneously.
                  3) familiarize yourself with Islam
                  I have no interest, at the moment, in doing that – I have no need.
                  4) Read the Qur’an for the purpose of bashing
                  I didn’t actually bash the Qur’an until you came along, just Mo.
                  5) Practice citing evidence in argument
                  Oh, I do that, when it’s my responsibility to do so.

                  You know, I’ll bet John Zande is still waiting for you to get back to him – think you might have been able to use some of this time you’ve spent here, to do that?

                  pax

                  Like

        • makagutu says:

          Happy holidays Lux.
          We don’t engage in name calling here and whoever starts is usually quickly banished!

          Like

    • makagutu says:

      Finally, Paarsurrey, you cannot make assertions that Krishna, Buddha, and Zoroaster had messages revealed from God.

      Don’t you think this standard should apply to all the other so called prophets? Where do you draw the line?
      You cannot say

      The Qur’an repeatedly calls on people to use their intellects

      and then want us to take this

      We do not believe the parting of the sea simply for the sake of tradition, we believe in the parting because the Qur’an tells it to us. And the Qu’ran we believe for the rational evidence/arguments it presents and the miracles from it that are quite visible today.

      for either you are using your intellect or believing as the Koran wants you to.
      And here I think you commit a logical fallacy when you tell us

      A similar situation goes for the Bible – the Patriarchs aren’t believed on their own evidence, but on the evidence for the Bible as directly presented by Christians

      There is no other evidence for the Patriarchs except the bible. It is circular to insist they are believed on the evidence of the bible as presented by the Christians.

      Like

      • Lux Ferous says:

        Oh, hello makagutu!

        You misunderstood me – what I mean to say is that there is evidence for the Qur’an and there is purported evidence for the Bible. Thus, by recognizing them, you recognize the claims they make inside. Does that make sense? Let me know if it doesn’t.

        Lux

        Like

        • “there is evidence for the Qur’an and there is purported evidence for the Bible. Thus, by recognizing them, you recognize the claims they make inside.”

          WHO needs lessons in elementary logic? Let’s say I meet a man who claims he can fly like Superman, and has flown to the moon and back – he presents me with his birth certificate, which appears to be in order. I now have evidence for the man, but that in no way proves any of the claims he makes.

          I would LOVE to see some evidence that Big Mo (PoohBear) flew to Jerusalem, from Mecca, then to heaven, and back to Mecca – care to trot some of that “evidence” out for our examination?

          Like

        • Point of curiosity, Lux — Prometheus, in Greek mythology, brought fire down from “heaven” and gave it to man. “Lux,” or “Luz Ferrer,” was a mythological “Light Bringer,” just as Prometheus was a “Fire Bringer.”

          Is that what you meant to call yourself? “Light Bringer“? I ask, because your name currently means, “Iron Light,” and that doesn’t make a great deal of sense.

          Like

          • Lux Ferous says:

            You are confusing “ferous” and ferrous”. Two r’s is what you’re looking for.

            Lux Ferous is a variant of Luz Ferrer.

            Have a good night and tomorrow,

            Lux

            Like

            • Sounds to me, Lux, that you also need a refresher course in basic Latin. Be that as it may, you ARE aware, I would certainly hope, that “Luz Ferrer,” which you have corrupted as “Lux, is the root form of the Satanic name, “Lucifer.” Now I’ll have a new image in my mind, whenever you comment.

              Like

        • makagutu says:

          You say

          there is evidence for the Qur’an

          and

          there is purported evidence for the Bible

          .
          I would care to know how you make this distinction. While at it though, it doesn’t make sense. The two books make claims that are not supported by any evidence.
          The historical claims they make are mostly false, their science is wrong, their morality in many cases abhorrent.
          The claims they make are in need of proof. And it is this we are asking for.

          Like

          • See, that’s the problem both Lux and Paarsurrey face – when you belong to a religion that demands abject submission, the very idea of considering that anything in their book needs “proof,” amounts to heresy.

            Like

          • Lux Ferous says:

            @arch below, thanks again for not citing evidence for any claims you make. Thanks again for talking about things you admit you know little about and then insist you don’t want to bother learning about it in order to discuss it. You remind me of one of those street performers from Funke’s “Inkeheart” trilogy. You’re like a juggler, I think, recycling arguments that you spin around in circles to people you come across, riling them as you walk towards the circus….

            Now, disappointingly, makagutu, you say I require proof for my assertions, and then make assertions of your own without proof. I do not quite understand why circular logic is so lovable, but I suppose we’ll have to go with it? I can easily pull the FAITH! card here and now if you’d like, or I could say GOD DID IT! and be done with it all, and I think that would satisfy our juggler friend as a story to tell people he passes by about his fantastic adventures….

            I was watching Seuss’s movie “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, and I couldn’t help but think about how superficial this debate is. It’s a puppet show, almost, where one side finds some sort of quote or quick reference that they can show off to the audience, using rhetoric and pettily argument to satirize and ridicule without really saying anything at all.

            Of course, I am perfectly happy to provide what you are asking for. It is equally difficult to rationalize and have dialogue with extremists as it is with militants, as I am discovering right now, but I will try (I hope you understand the meaning of the words, and take no offense, but rather self-recognition and pride; perhaps I would need to throw in a “surely”?).

            I will provide a link here, but I will not go on debating every point on it. Neither would I defend it all, and undoubtedly much is flawed, but I hope you can at least have an open mind – or a willingness to learn the disagreeable. I am only doing the initial Google search for you – that is all.

            http://www.quranandscience.com/

            With a sense of irony, God bless you tonight 😉

            Lux

            Like

            • I don’t know how much of that crap you expected any of us to read, but having read, “big bang” – BUSTED!, was all I could take without cracking a rib while rolling on the floor.

              Hey, Mak – did you know that, “Allah did not evolve us from monkeys“? And here I thought for sure that that’s where Humans came from! The author uses the old “747,” basic Kalaam cosmological argument. “If a salvage yard blew up, would the falling pieces construct a car?” Same old sh- oops – stuff!

              Lux, if that’s what passes for evidence in your neck of the sand dunes, I can understand why the once great Muslim scientific community, which did indeed keep knowledge alive during Europe’s Dark Ages (which was brought about by religion, BTW), has sunk to the intellectual depths it occupies today.

              Like

              • Lux Ferous says:

                Like I said, didn’t agree with everything. I only did the Google searching for you.

                Now, to learn Latin…

                Lux

                Like

              • Lux Ferous says:

                Oh crap! Wrong link – I swear! I clicked your big bang link, and look forward to when we get around to inventing spontaneous combustion engines!

                Apologies. You may see them as the same, nut it means a bit to me. If I’m correct, our Ronald McDonald is associated with this one (remind me, why the name calling?).

                http://www.islamreligion.com/category/122/

                Lux

                Like

                • I have no idea what time it is where you are, but it is FAR too late at night for me to even try reading that this evening. Darwin knows, if I screw up and get something wrong because I’m too sleepy, you’ll jump on it like a frog on a fly, and we can’t have you break your record of consistently being wrong.

                  Like

                • But feel free to rant on all you like without me, I’ll respond tomorrow over coffee, after I’ve seen what Santa has brought me.

                  Like

                  • Lux Ferous says:

                    Have a good night, and don’t worry about me.

                    Just stumbled on a quote.

                    “The crisis of the Muslim world is a crisis of knowledge, a crisis of the intellect.” – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

                    Lux

                    Like

                    • “Have a good night, and don’t worry about me.”

                      You have my word, I shan’t give you a second thought.

                      “The crisis of the Muslim world is a crisis of knowledge, a crisis of the intellect.” – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

                      Now THAT is something with which I agree entirely. I personally have no issues with people of the Middle East, just with all religions, certainly including, but definitely not restricted to, Islam.

                      Now, in the spirit of the season of gift-giving, I have a gift for you, if I can trick the computer into letting me give it to you – you wanted to know how to make quotations, here’s how to do it in HTML:

                      “phrase to be quoted goes here”

                      Now, hopefully, I have tricked the computer into not recognizing what I typed as HTML, by leaving dashes where they’re not supposed to be. When you’re ready to quote something, type enter object to be quoted

                      I know that sounds like gibberish, but copy it to a text program and remove the dashes – what remains, will allow you to quote something on a WordPress website. Eventually, you will no doubt memorize it, and copy/paste will no longer be necessary, but if I were to type it out here, in its accurate entirety, it would instantly disappear when posted, as the computer is instructed to hide the actual HTML symbols – I hope that makes sense, it’s as clear as I can make it this late at night.

                      Merry Whatchamacallit!

                      Like

                    • OK – that was a miserable failure – somehow, the computer recognized the HTML code, even with the dashes I added. OK, new tactic – I am going to type a different symbol on each line, separate from its companions, and it will be up to you to piece it together, without spaces, into a text program. Your quotation, of course, should have its regular spacing, but not the HTML, nor between the HTML and the quotation. Here goes:

                      ‘Quotation goes here”

                      Now, let’s see what happens when I post it.

                      Like

                    • Clearly, that didn’t work either – OK, one last try, then you’re on your own:

                      < followed by no spaces, then, blockquote followed by no spaces, then "your quotation" followed by no spaces, then

                      Put that all together in a text program, and that should do it. We shall see.

                      Like

                    • OK, the first half printed beautifully, but the last half disappeared entirely – now we have a mystery I won’t be able to sleep without solving.

                      Here’s the first half again:

                      “your quotation”

                      Hopefully, I have separated the symbols sufficiently that even the computer wouldn’t recognize them as belonging together. Now if they don’t disappear again, and if you can piece them together, then by George, I think we’ve got it!

                      Like

                    • OK, that’s it – no matter how far apart I separate the symbols, nor how many words I place between them, the computer still manages to pick them out, make everything in between disappear, and perform the instruction it was programed to do.

                      Please believe me, this was not intended as an object lesson, but I do hope you can see what happens when something totally submits to its programming, and performs its instructions blindly.

                      This would be me, going to bed now —

                      No – one more try! Here’s the HTML – just replace the x’s with the word blockquote – no spaces between the word and the symbols. If this doesn’t do it, I’m done for the evening.

                      “your quotation”

                      Like

                    • Even with the x’s, the symbol disappeared.
                      >blockquote/blockquote<

                      Now, if this works, just reverse the < symbols, so that they point in the opposite directions – outward, rather than inward.

                      Like

                    • OK, we’re coming down the home stretch —
                      >blockquote<

                      Copy that to a text program, reversing the < symbols, add your quotation, then (next comment)

                      Like

                    • Join the above to this:
                      >/blockquote<

                      again reversing the < symbols, and you've got it.

                      Merry Freakin' Christmas!

                      Like

                    • Looks like my last comment disappeared – add what I typed above, to this, again, reversing the /blockquote<

                      Like

                    • Ignore my last comment, it screwed up again (I know exactly what I did, but it’s not worth explaining) – the two comments above that, when spliced together, are correct.

                      Like

              • makagutu says:

                Is that what we are to spend time reading on the link provided?

                Like

                • No Mak, in his defense (who’d have thought I’d ever be defending Lux?) Lux admitted he had made the honest mistake of giving me the wrong link – the correct one is here.

                  Like

                  • makagutu says:

                    Thanks Archy and sorry Lux

                    Like

                    • Even Lux had to laugh at the quality of “science” in the fiirst link he mistakenly gave me – you KNOW it had to be pretty bad for that to happen. Surprisingly, I find myself holding out some hope for Lux, he seems to have a mind more open than I would have guessed.

                      Paarsurrey, on the other hand, has some wisdom (and likely some age) to gain (and naivety to lose), before he will reach that point. He is, with the Qur’an, where I was at twelve, with the Bible – he believes it, lock, stock and barrel (whatever that means) – I then gradually put aside childish things, as he may, or may not.

                      Like

                    • makagutu says:

                      The quality of the science must be really bad for Lux to admit it!

                      Paarsurrey is as you say, maybe he should read Paul or whoever wrote it, when he says when I was a child, I spake as a child, but now I have put aside childish things.

                      Like

                    • Now you know why I use that phrase so often – vaccinations involve using a germ to kill a germ.

                      If you’ll look up a bit (QUITE a bit, actually), I commented to you on what it contained, that we claim we came from monkeys (I still think a few of us DID!), and the BB is false because a salvage yard can’t explode and create a Benz.

                      Like

                    • makagutu says:

                      I saw that comment, I wouldn’t want to spend precious hours going through such garbage.

                      Like

                    • Mak – here’s an interesting article I blatantly stole from Atheist Universe, where you and I are both members:

                      Can Fears Be Inherited?
                      DEC 19 2013 @ 4:46PM

                      Dana Smith gets excited about a study suggesting that fear memories may be heritable through little-understood epigenetic processes:

                      In the study, mice were trained to be afraid of acetophenone, a fruity smell that’s used in cherry, jasmine, honey-suckle and almond flavorings. The researchers paired this fragrance with a foot shock so that it soon became a warning signal to the mice, instilling fear and alerting them to an impending attack. The mice’s noses and brains also adapted accordingly, generating additional M71 neurons—cells receptive to this particular scent—so that they would be extra sensitive to the smell. So far, this is all basic Pavlovian conditioning and neural adaptation, nothing special yet.

                      However, the crazy part is that the offspring of these mice, who had never before been exposed to that smell, also showed increased fear and startle responses to the scent. This suggests that the learned association, connecting the smell with danger, was passed down from one generation to the next. And this second group’s offspring also showed heightened sensitivity to the odor. Thus, three generations of mice were affected by the conditioning, even though only one of them had actually experienced it. Behind these behavioral effects were similar changes in the noses of each of these offspring groups, with larger M71 receptors present and an increase in the number of M71 neurons available.

                      Now, imagine, if you will (my best Rod Serling), a people, such as the early Hebrews, who would travel great distances to find a wife that was related to them, because their mores forbade them to marry outside of their gene pool. If indeed fear of a specific thing CAN be inherited, as this article suggests, that would greatly increase the odds of generations of fearful people who would follow the rules of anything they believed could do them harm.

                      Food for thought, for those who think.

                      Like

                    • makagutu says:

                      Food for thought, really. Interesting.
                      What is it under in AU?

                      Like

                  • makagutu says:

                    Archy, Paasurrey has asked for quotes from Buddha advocating atheism/ skepticism. Here are a few which I think he could also know.

                    Let us, then, abandon the heresy of worshipping I?vara and of praying to him; let us no longer lose ourselves in vain speculations of profitless subtleties; let us surrender self and all selfishness, and as all things are fixed by causation, let us practice good so that good may result from our actions.

                    Rituals have no efficacy; prayers are vain repetitions; and incantations have no saving power. But to abandon covetousness and lust, to become free from evil passions and to give up all hatred and ill-will, that is the right sacrifice and true worship.

                    The world is full of evil and sorrow, because it is full of lust. Men go astray because they think that delusion is better than truth. Rather than truth they follow error, which is pleasant to look at in the beginning but in the end causes anxiety, tribulation and misery.

                    Like

                    • Sadly, Mak, he will say that that applies only to false religions (as though there were any other kind), and not to the TRUE religion!

                      Like

                    • makagutu says:

                      Don’t worry about the article from AU. I have found it.

                      Paarsurrey keeps talking about the true religion everywhere, how he gets to that conclusion is left for us to guess

                      Like

                    • “Paarsurrey keeps talking about the true religion everywhere, how he gets to that conclusion is left for us to guess.”

                      He is told it by his significant others, and he believes everything they say. He has never learned to think for himself, because he fears the consequences, which brings us back to:

                      “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
                      Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
                      Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
                      Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
                      Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.

                      Like

                    • makagutu says:

                      How to him this doesn’t encourage or approve skepticism is beyond comprehension.

                      Like

                    • Trying to think with a closed mind is like trying to read a closed book.

                      Like

            • makagutu says:

              Now, disappointingly, makagutu, you say I require proof for my assertions, and then make assertions of your own without proof.

              On morality
              1. In Genesis, Lot sleeps with his daughters and gets them pregnant on the guise that he was drunk. This is after retiring to the mountains with his daughters.
              2. In the same book, Lot offers his daughters to be raped by the village men instead of the angels who have paid him a visit.
              3. Japheth? offers his daughter as a sacrifice to his god when he returns from war.
              4. Instead of dealing with David the adulterer, god sees it fit to kill the child.

              On bad science
              1. That the universe was created in six days
              2. That there was a first man and woman who are the ancestors of all of us
              3. That the sun stopped for 7 hours so Joshua could go on a killing spree

              On history
              1. That the Israelites were at one point slaves in Egypt and left after ransacking the Egyptian households

              Now where is this circular logic you were referring to? In your comment there is innuendo of name calling and the sort. If that is how you want to engage, am game, always am.

              Pull the faith card Lux, I will not argue with you on it but will accept it is an argument from ignorance and leave it at that.

              As to your link, I will be honest, my time is better spent doing something useful. But don’t worry yourself too much. There is a book I think by the same title that a friend of mine has I will borrow him someday when I finish reading the ones am reading currently.

              May your god bless you.

              Like

              • “3. That the sun stopped for 7 hours so Joshua could go on a killing spree”

                Ample evidence that those who wrote the Bible, knew believed that the sun revolved around the earth.

                Ask our Muslim guests if the Qur’an forbids drinking alcohol. Then ask them if the Qur’an leaves out the story of Noah getting drunk and passing out in his tent. Then ask them why.

                Like

      • He probably needs to spend a little time studying elementary logic.

        Like

  10. Lux Ferous says:

    So I had some 15 notifications this morning and was afraid someone bombarded me :P. Luckily half of them were for my own blog and the other half Arch messing around with HTML…. Thanks for that, let’s see if it works.

    I used the word militant, if that’s what you are referring to for “name calling”, because I thought it was an appropriate term we could all agree upon. The Free Dictionary:

    militant [ˈmɪlɪtənt]
    adj
    1. aggressive or vigorous, esp in the support of a cause

    Ask our Muslim guests if the Qur’an forbids drinking alcohol. Then ask them if the Qur’an leaves out the story of Noah getting drunk and passing out in his tent. Then ask them why.

    Everything Mak references for criticisms of the Bible aren’t in the Qur’an, as with this. At least for us, the prophets were people one would look up to you. I was astonished myself when I read about Noah’s drunkenness, the genocides (especially Lot’s, when he found out his daughter slept with that city state king), etc.

    For the science, although it is different for us, I still ask you to read up on Bertrand Russell’s chicken and David Hume’s empiricism.

    Lux

    HTML test:
    I’m a little teapot short and stout!

    I’m a little teapot short and stout!

    I’m a little teapot short and stout!

    I’m a little teapot short and stout!

    I’m a little teapot short and stout!

    I’m a little teapot short and stout!

    I’m a little teapot short and stout!

    I’m a little teapot short and stout!

    I’m a little teapot short and stout!

    What I entered:


    I'm a little teapot short and stout!

    I'm a little teapot short and stout!

    I'm a little teapot short and stout!

    I'm a little teapot short and stout!

    I'm a little teapot short and stout!

    I'm a little teapot short and stout!

    I'm a little teapot short and stout!

    I'm a little teapot short and stout!

    I'm a little teapot short and stout!

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      Lux, it would require enormous amounts of time to show you the mistakes the Koran makes in it’s morals, science and history but I don’t have the time to do so. I did point those in the bible out because you did say I made assertions without proof. That should settle the case.

      Am on Hume at the moment, just finished his Dialogues on Natural Religion and am not sure he would be your ally. I will write my thoughts about the book sometime in the future.

      I see you are a good student of HTML.

      Like

      • Lux Ferous says:

        Yes, it settles the case. I ask for the sake of those who disagree, and I think it is a rather important habit.

        Well, no, he is not my ally. And surely not Russell :P. But there are things they both have on the problem of induction that I find useful.

        Lux

        Like

    • This is a blanket, “SURELY,” to appease Lux’s insistance —

      Lux, you’ve come a long way, Grasshopper, but you still haven’t mastered the quotations, and I don’t know of any other way of getting it to you, except possibly in an email.

      It’s just blockquote on the front side of the quotation, and /blockquote on the other, with < symbols on each side of both the first and the last, each pointing away from the word. Clearly, I’ve proven that I can’t demonstrate it without the computer believing I want to quote something, but you’ve done the same thing with “strong” and “em,” the rest just involves the word blockquote and the quotation.

      As for,

      “Everything Mak references for criticisms of the Bible aren’t in the Qur’an”

      Don’t you see, that that’s the writers of the Qur’an, trying to clean things up and make the so-called patriarchs appear more pure? You’re simply too intelligent, not to as least consider that.

      Just as the Bible did to me, when a book begins to lie to me, I begin to doubt that book. I’m not trying to convert you – I couldn’t care less if you stay Muslim for the rest of your life – I’d just like you to think, as well as believe.

      Like

      • Lux Ferous says:

        Well of course, but that’s about as speculative as it can get. Likewise, one can say the Biblical scriptures were corrupted. Sound familiar?

        Now, to get on that pesky thinking thing….

        Have a good day,

        Lux

        Like

    • “I’m a little teapot short and stout!”

      I can only hope you get taller and slimmer.

      Like

    • Here Lux, is an excellent, brief, article on HTML formatting on WordPress blogs, from the website of mine and Mak’s. The only correction I would make to it, is to ignore the part about posting an image. I tried it, it failed, and the owner of the blog (and writer of the article) admitted that it may be that only the blog owner is allowed to post images, which is too bad, as there are a lot of times when I would like to emphasize what I’m saying with an image.

      Hope it helps, but as you’ve already demonstrated, you’re well on your way, but one can never have too much information.

      Like

    • Lux – you made a comment last night, that since I needed sleep, I simply pasted for future reference. Now i certainly don’t recall every comment I’ve made on every blog, during the course of the day, and if you did, it would surprise me. That said, do you happen to recall why you said this:

      “Islamically we have no such incongruous measurements in our book.”

      I don’t recall to what “incongruous measurements” you were referring, do you happen to remember? (And no, this is not a trick question.)

      Like

  11. Sorry, meant to say from the website of a friend of mine and Mak’s.

    Like

  12. Lux Ferous says:

    1. Sodom and Gomorrah (same story, sort of, except that Lot’s wife was killed for being similar to that of the people in the town, and that Lot didn’t offer his daughters, no incest, Lot is a prophet)
    2. The flood (except that the extent of the flood is not mentioned – is it the whole world, or a piece of the world, etc – but yes, all the animals in that place were in the ark)
    3. Adam and Eve (equal blame, no original sin, Tree of Eternity not Tree of Knowledge)
    4. Abraham sacrificing son (it was Ishmael though and Abraham told him beforehand what would happen)
    5. Joseph story (same in the important details)
    6. Moses stuff (similar, but I’m not sure if the Bible mentions that all the people of Egypt were evil, and none of the sacrificial lamb stuff)
    7. Destruction of that Kora dude
    8. David andn Goliath
    9. Jonah

    The stories in the Qur’an tend to focus more on the meanings than the narrative and are usually just shorter. Also, nothing is authoritative in any way, shape, or form from the Bible. Hope that helps. Also, by the way, I’ll be rather busy this week and won’t be responding as quick as I did the first few days of this discussion. Cheers.

    Lux

    Like

    • Yeah, well, Lux, I waited three days to hear from you, and didn’t, and it is much too late at night to begin anything now, I’m basically brain-dead.

      We have a cold front coming in Sunday, and I’ll have much more time then.

      Later.

      Like

    • Lux —

      I have a little time now, so I will begin responding to your information regarding the Qur’an – take your time getting back to me, as you’ve indicated you’re busy, and I can understand that.

      “3. Adam and Eve (equal blame, no original sin, Tree of Eternity not Tree of Knowledge)”

      This, I won’t even dignify with a response – you’re an intelligent, educated man, and there is SO much evidence as to how Humankind originated in Africa, evolving from an earlier primate species, and spreading all over the world, that not even a Muslim – at least an educated one – can possibly still believe the Adam and Eve story (though the “Tree of Eternity” interests me, and if you have a link, I would enjoy reading about it).

      I know too many Muslims with differing beliefs in the factuality of the Qur’an, to think that all of you believe it to be inerrant, any more than many of even the religious among us, believe the Bible to be so.

      Here, if you have the time and inclination (each is nearly an hour long), is a fascinating series of five videos, in which Dr. Alice Roberts, medical doctor and paleontologist, traces Humankind’s journey from its humble beginnings in the forests of Africa (or as I prefer to think of it, Makagutuland) to its present occupancy of the entire planet. That we have been so successful in reproducing ourselves and overcoming obstacles to our survival as a species, could conceivably give rise to a belief among the superstitious that we are somehow “watched over” by a supernatural being, is to a degree understandable, but that doesn’t make it so:





      Enjoy!

      Like

      • Lux Ferous says:

        I apologize, don’t see much on Tree of Eternity online, and don’t know much about it anyway. Here is a quick and brief on the story:
        http://bama.ua.edu/~msa/adam.html
        If you really have time, here is a good video from a mathematician explaining his conversion from Atheism (he deals with pretty much this story):

        As for your evolution stuff, I suppose if I ever find the time I’ll watch the videos? I am well aware what evolution is….

        Lux

        Like

        • “If You forgive us not and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers”(Quran 7:23)

          In a universe with a population of two, Lux, how many “losers” could there have been, and why would the author of this part of the Qur’an say that? Or do you ever allow yourself to question the Qur’an?

          The article seems to be trying to demonstrate how kind and fair Islam is to women – to that I would ask, in how many Islamic countries are women allowed to go out without being accompanied by a male, and in how many of them are women allowed to drive cars?

          Like

          • Lux Ferous says:

            How do you mean, by the first paragraph? The quote is saying that without God one is lost.

            As for the second paragraph, not a single but Saudi Arabia 🙂

            Lux

            Like

        • Lux, with all due respect, I seriously doubt I’m going to have the time to watch a two-hour, 37 minute video – at least the ones I offered you, were broken into 50+ minute segments. I’ll promise to watch some of it —

          Like

    • Luz —

      4. Abraham sacrificing son (it was Ishmael though and Abraham told him beforehand what would happen)

      5. Joseph story (same in the important details)
      8. David and Goliath

      These three are not worth arguing about, except to say that since Muslims trace their connection to Abraham through Ishmael, rather than Isaac, of course it would be in the interests of the writers of the Qur’an (I say, “writers,” because histories I have read of Mohammed indicate that he was illiterate) to say that the favored one was Ishmael, though the Bible indicates that by the time of the alleged sacrifice story, Ishmael and Haggar, his mother, had already been discarded by the Bible’s god’s illustrious “>Chosen One,” like a pair of old shoes.

      As for “9. Jonah,” I would like to know of a fish – and the Bible specifically says a fish, not a whale – that could swallow a man whole. It’s further clear that neither the biblical writers who wrote the story, nor the Muslim writers who copied it, knew enough about science to realize that the gastric juices in the stomach of all animals, dissolves what it swallows.

      Assuming them to have known so little about taxonomy as to have meant a whale when they said, a fish, brings us to another problem – one whale is large enough to have swallowed a man – the Orca, or so-called, “Killer Whale,” but its rows of sharp teeth preclude the possibility that there would be little of him intact by the time he reached the stomach. All of the other large whales are “baleen” whales, their teeth have evolved to join together to create a strainer, through which they strain water and trap thousands of tiny shrimp and krill for their meals, and are incapable of ingesting anything larger than that. The giant Sperm Whale, for example, which is usually pictured in story books as the one who gobbled Noah, is a baleen whale, couldn’t possibly have done the crime, and is hereby acquitted.

      The story is obviously a fairy tale, much as Aesop’s fables, designed to deliver a moral in an interesting story – “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” – this one being, “See what happens when you don’t do what god tells you to do?

      Like

      • Lux Ferous says:

        Well of course, the gastric juices would have done so. But there is a thing we call “divine intervention”, right? Surely, if there was a God, he could do just that?

        Lux

        Like

        • “Well of course, the gastric juices would have done so. But there is a thing we call ‘divine intervention’, right? Surely, if there was a God, he could do just that?”
          So, I’m discussing magic with an intelligent, well-educated man —

          Surely, if there was a God —” “Aye,” – as Shakespeare put it – “there’s the rub –“

          Like

    • Lux —

      “1. Sodom and Gomorrah (same story, sort of, except that Lot’s wife was killed for being similar to that of the people in the town, and that Lot didn’t offer his daughters, no incest, Lot is a prophet)”

      Well of course, if the writers of the Qur’an believed Lot to have been a prophet (and there’s nothing in the Bible to indicate that he was), they would likely sanitize the story, much as they deleted the story of Noah’s drunkeness, to make him appear more righteous. If you have time, you should read George Orwell’s “1984,” for an object lesson in sanitizing a story.

      As for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, yes, there is indeed evidence of a fiery destruction of those two cities.

      Of that, this is what the footnotes of “The New American Bible,” which, for any who may not know, is the latest Catholic version of the Bible, and for an organization that took until 1998 to admit Galileo was right in 1600, and who moves child molesters around like chess pieces, it is surprisingly forthright, when it could certainly get away with being otherwise, in it’s own debunking of the Bible, and regarding the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, have to say:

      “19:25  ‘Overthrew’: The consistent use of this term, literally ‘turned upside down,’ to describe the destruction of the cities of the plain seems to imply that their upheaval (v.29) was caused primarily by an earthquake; this would naturally be accompanied by a disastrous fire, especially in a region containing bitumen (cites 14:10) and its accompanying gasses.”

      These were discovered by Archaeologist Walter Rast, of Valparaiso University and Thomas Schaub, of Indiana University of Pensylvania, who were doing a survey of the Southeastern Plain of the Dead Sea. In 1973, the expedition excavated two of the largest sites in the plain – Bab edh-Dhra and Numeira – and discovered both had been thriving Bronze Age cities that were destroyed at almost exactly the same time, 2350 BCE. Also found, were evidences that residents hastily fled the site and buried skeletons of those who were caught in the destruction. Rast proposed that the Sodom and Gomorrah stories originated with ancient traditions surrounding the near-simultaneous demise of these once prosperous twin cities. (Rast, W.E., and Schaub, R.T. 1974  Survey of the Southeastern Plain of the Dead Sea, 1973. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 19: 5–53, 175–85.)

      The Greeks knew the Dead Sea as, Lake “Asphaltites,” due to naturally surfacing asphalt in the area. The Greeks were only one of many groups who recognized the abundance of bitumen in the Southern Dead Sea area – modern surveys have located bitumen, petroleum, sulphur and natural gas in the area. Bitumen is a petroleum-based substance similar to asphalt and normally contains a high percentage of sulphur. The Egyptians discovered the value of bitumen, extracted from the Dead Sea, and used it for embalming their mummies. Bitumen was also used as mortar, in the building of the great ziggurat in Ur, Mesopotamia.

      The ” slime pits” of 2 Genesis, Chapter 14, were identified by The New American Bible as being similar to Los Angeles’, La Brea Tar Pits, that have revealed so many fossils of prehistoric animals trapped there eons ago.

      Petroleum Geologist Fredrick Clapp (1879-1944), who visited the general area in 1929 and 1934, maintained that an earthquake could have caused the sulphur and bitumen deposits to be forced out of the ground by subterranean pressure, through a fault line, and as they gushed out, they could have been ignited by a spark, a surface fire in one of the cities, or by lightning generated by the rapidly-moving, ionized air. It would then, Clapp contended, fall to earth as a burning, fiery mass. Geologists who have studied the area in recent times agree with Clapp’s reconstruction (Harris and Beardow 1995: 360; Neev and Emery 1995: 13–14; 33, 37).

      Genesis 19:28 described the conflagration as, “dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.” Dense smoke suggests a petroleum-based fire, while, “rising like smoke from a furnace,” indicates a forced draft, as might be expected from subterranean deposits being spewed out of the ground under pressure.

      But what are the chances that some form of seismic activity in the area released natural gas that propelled ignited bitumen skyward, which fell to earth, destroying the cities in an act of nature? It turns out they’re very, very good. The Dead Sea Transform Fault, a continuation of the Red Sea and East African Rift System, runs directly under the Dead Sea, up through the Jordan river valley, the Sea of Galilee, and northward through Lebanon. Equally interesting, regarding Babedh-Dhra and Numeira, the two cities mentioned earlier, believed to have been ancient Sodom and Gomorrah, is that both lie exactly on the eastern fault line!

      The first main collision between what we can call the Africa-Arabia Plate and Eurasia took place around 40 million years ago. The Arabia part of the African Plate kept on moving north and rifted away from the larger African body. The spreading ocean that resulted is the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The movement of this new plate past the Levantine protrusion of the African Plate has given rise to the Dead Sea Transform Fault zone. Both are moving northward but the Arabian plate is moving faster. (See, http://ddc.aub.edu.lb/projects/geology/geology-of-lebanon/)

      Israeli geologist Amos Frumkin, in his May/June 2009 Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) article on the salt pillar known as Lot’s Wife, indicated a belief that an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter Scale gave rise to both the Sodom and Gomorrah tradition, as well as the story surrounding the Mt. Sedom salt pillar. He added that the legend likely represented an ancient memory of a single catastrophic event that affected the cities and peoples of the Dead Sea region nearly 4,000 years ago.  Frumkin neglected to mention any supernatural involvement.
      Additional sources:
      INOC – Israel National Oil Company – (History of Oil Exploration in Israel http://www.givot.co.il/);
      Konstantinos Politis, “Where Lot’s Daughters Seduced their Father,” BAR, January/February 2004;
      Politis, “Have Sodom and Gomorrah Been Found,” BAR, September/October 1980;
      Kenneth Kitchen, “The Patriarchal Age: Myth or History?” BAR, March/April 1995.

      The Sodom and Gomorrah story, whether found in the Judeo/Christian Bible, or the Islamic Qur’an, is just another bit of BS, based on an ancient actual event, and turned into a warning by those who would control the behavior of those in their society by saying, “See what happens when you don’t obey god?

      I HAVE, Lux, devoted just a bit of time to this study, I hope that hasn’t escaped your attention.

      Like

      • makagutu says:

        This is quite detailed and informative. Thanks my friend

        Like

      • I’ve been accused of not providing evidence – I trust the sources I’ve provided are sufficient.

        Like

      • Lux —

        I realize you told me you had things that would keep you busy and that’s OK, take your time, but in the interim, I’ve been reading the site you recommended, The Scientific Miracles of the Holy Quran, and I would like to periodically comment on portions of it, until you return.

        The Earth’s Atmosphere
        Description: Modern science has discovered facts about the atmosphere mentioned in the Quran over 1400 years ago.

        By the sky which returns.” (Quran 86:11)
        “[He] who made for you the earth a bed [spread out] and the sky a ceiling…” (Quran 2:22)
        How would it be possible for a fourteenth century desert dweller to describe the sky in a manner so precise that only recent scientific discoveries have confirmed it?  The only way is if he received revelation from the Creator of the sky.
        ____________________________________________________
        Is the author of this site actually calling this evidence of ANYthing?! Possibly that Humans can write words, but little else! There is nothing “precise” about either, “By the sky which returns.” or, “[He] who made for you the earth a bed [spread out] and the sky a ceiling…

        How many times, for example, would a member of a caravan have to bed down in the desert at night, looking up at the sky, before conceiving that the earth was literally his bed, with the sky his ceiling – and to one day write about it or share the thought with one who could write? It wouldn’t take much of a poetic nature, to make that connection.

        By the sky which returns.” – the author of the article takes a nondescript phrase, to which I, personally, could assign a half-dozen possible meanings, and adds to them the advanced scientific knowledge we’ve garnered through hard work and human ingenuity over the last millennium or so, and says, “See how accurate the Qu’ran is?” Again, imagine a member of a camel caravan, trudging through the desert all day beneath a blue, starless sky. The sun goes down, and suddenly, that clear, blue sky is replaced by a black one, filled with stars, which, with the coming of the sun, disappears, while the one of blue skies does what? “Returns!” Could not an uneducated Arab, or even simply a poetic one, possibly imagine two skies, one that rules the day, and another that rules the night? When you’ve read all of the creation stories and flood stories that I have, such a fanciful concept as two skies that, “return,” is nowhere NEAR the edge of the weirdness chart, much less off it.

        Oh, and before I’m accused of bigotry by my continuous reference to caravan members, it’s not that I conceive of all Muslims as nomadic camel-herders, it’s that from what I’ve read, Mohammed operated his own freight company, i.e., camel caravan, and assuming he, an illiterate man from what I’ve read, wrote the Qu’ran, I’m trying to view those verses through the world as he most likely would have seen it, i.e., the caravan. I have no problem with insulting Mohammed, any more than I would Yeshua, but I’d rather not be accused of it if no insult is intended.

        Like

        • Here, from the same site, a different article, all collected under the banner of, The Scientific Miracles of the Holy Quran:

          The Quran on Human Embryonic Development
          In the Holy Quran, God speaks about the stages of man’s embryonic development:

          “We created man from an extract of clay.  Then We made him as a drop in a place of settlement, firmly fixed.  Then We made the drop into an alaqah (leech, suspended thing, and blood clot), then We made the alaqah into a mudghah (chewed substance)…” (Quran 23:12-14)

          Literally, the Arabic word alaqah has three meanings: (1) leech, (2) suspended thing, and (3) blood clot.
          _______________________________________________________

          One can easily see, by the use of such technical terms as “leech,” “suspended thing,” “blood clot,” and “chewed substance,” that the author, whoever that might have been, clearly went to doctor school and everything.

          It doesn’t take much more than a mental midget to realize that all children are leeches, not just during the embryonic stage, but from the time they first wreck your car, to the time when you want to move in with them and they suddenly don’t know you, give you a cookie, and suggest that you go away. The author of the article (not the Qur’an) even molds a piece of chewing gum into the shape of an embryo, and uses his own tooth marks as symbolic vertebrae, then places his finished artwork under a drawing of an actual embryo, which he has taken great pains to imitate, in order to seem as though a eighth century caravan owner possessed scientific knowledge.

          I will say that it wouldn’t surprise me if people of the time had a considerable amount of knowledge regarding embryos, although the Qur’an certainly seems to show no evidence of it. Today, we go to the supermarket for our meat and buy it in nice, neat little plastic-wrapped packages, while in those days, they butchered their own, and if a cow or sheep died in childbirth, they had no reason to waste the meat. Point being, they had ample opportunity to view embryos in many stages of development over time, and since up to a point, all embryos look a great deal alike, it wouldn’t be that difficult to extrapolate the various stages of human embryonic development.

          Feel free to read it if you need a good laugh, or have absolutely nothing else to do.

          Like

        • makagutu says:

          Your insights are highly appreciated. I look forward to more of them

          Like

      • Lux Ferous says:

        Wow, that was a whole load of information! I should be more active again, although I cannot promise the same activity we had in the beginning.

        Anyway, I was a bit confused while reading your evidence. Are you saying the event occurred naturally, with no story behind it? Perhaps I am missing something, it is early.

        Either way, I still find it difficult to argue much until you look into Russell’s chicken and Hume’s problem of induction.

        Here’s to truth,

        Lux

        Like

        • “I was a bit confused while reading your evidence. Are you saying the event occurred naturally, with no story behind it?”

          If you’re referring to the Sodom and Gomorrah story, yes, all indications are that it was a natural disaster, resulting from an earthquake (one that I can only assume your mountain-stabilizers didn’t prevent) that occurred hundreds of years prior to the time that the fictional Abe and Lot were thought to have lived.

          Like

  13. fabryhistory says:

    Hello! How are you? I missed reading your blog, and having somewhere to talk about religion and philosophy, so I came back.
    I also wanted to share a video with you about religious apparitions in America that will make you laugh really hard –

    Like

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