When the message starts with a private 'revelation', not to me but to others, that I have to unquestionably accept giving some other mammal total control over my mind or be tortured forever, I don't need to be told anymore. It's insulting, childish, it belongs in the infancy of our species and it needs to be outgrown, never mind how 'good' it makes you feel inside.
What private revelation? Go to your nearest bookstore and pick up the Quran. Problem solved.
"Other mammal" here refers to what exactly? As for punishment, that happens when you intentionally deny the existence of the Creator, even when given the access to His word and religion. Islam teaches us that human beings are born pure and good by default, unlike other religions.
Suppose you lived your life on a remote island, never knowing about Islam or the Quran. In that case, you will be treated as if you lived your whole life as a Muslim in the hereafter. Why? Because you did not actively and intentionally deny it, and were not aware of its existence.
Other mammals as in the ones who use religious texts to get 'power' in the real world. Politicians, military leaders, jihadists, and sadly even teachers and parents.
And was the Quran not a revelation from 'God' only to Muhammad? If he wants to believe it, fine, why should anybody else? Oh yes, eternal torture. It is childish to be told a story and believe it true only because they threaten you.
Oh yes, I agree. Unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world where not all followers of a religion follow its true message. You might say "well OK, so get rid of religion". People will still seek power, but in other ways. In other words, there are people who always seek the easiest way to gain more power and influence.
Yes, the Quran was revealed directly to Muhammad. He told his wife first, and she believed him. It just spread from there. I'd argue that the absolutely miracolous rate at which Islam spread throughout the region is a plus in favor of Islam :)
As for your point about eternal torture, let's say a guy comes up to you in the street nowadays and tells you he's a Prophet sent by God to save humanity. He tells you about this book called Mojimbi which is the word of God. At this point, you have complete freedom to accept of reject his claim. Unless he can convince you that what he's saying is true, you wouldn't believe him and he'd be on his way.
Muhammad however was able to convince people with two things.
One, he was known in his community to be an extremely honest person; never once did anyone hear of him lying. He was a trader, so he dealt with a lot of people. So when he said that he was visited by an angel etc, some people just believed him on the spot. Of course, many others called him crazy, so it wasn't a fool-proof plan.
Two, he had the Quran. Some background first. The community Muhammad lived in was very well-versed in the Arabic language. Most mastered the language and its intricacies by the age of 10, and were known as experts in poetry. Look it up, Arabic is extremely complex.
So he recites some verses from the Quran to people and claims that these are words from Allah (keep in mind he was illiterate). They were amazed, absolutely awestruck by the words coming out of his mouth. The structure and linguistic nature of the verses was perfect, and this was coming from experts in the language! One of the Prophet's biggest critics (and a great poet no less) at the time was almost going to join Islam just because of this.
Now, let's go back to the example. You're a professor of English language at Standford, and a guy you've dealt with a lot and who you know is an extremely honest person in all aspects tells you the same message. He also recites some verses that are so elegant and beautiful in structure that they make Shakespeare look like a pre-schooler's work, and tells you these are the words of God. Wouldn't that make things different?
Sigh...there are a lot of problems with your statement. The first is that you are reciting anecdotes from 1400 years ago; there is absolutely no proof of anything you said. Even if we accept that the Quran was given to Mohammed by God, we have to at least acknowledge the possibility that a lot of what you've learned has been added in by various persons over the course of many hundreds of years i.e. we cannot be so sure about anything that is written down, by anyone, at any time, especially from something as old as the Quran. And to be clear, that applies to all writing, the Bible, etc.
The second is that no, believing ANYBODY about ANYTHING, no matter how eloquently put, is foolish to say the least. It doesn't make a difference if they are my parent or not, never mind some professor or total stranger. The only person who can decide if something is right or not is YOU. Belief should not be based on how charismatic anyone is, that is irrelevant. Unfortunately, you have total responsibility for your actions and opinions and it is inexcusable to believe anyone or anything without first exploring your doubt. And even then it is up to you to walk the line of what should be believed and what should be questioned.
No, there is proof that that's how it started. These "anecdotes" were passed down by narration initially, then they were recorded by two scholars: Al Bukhari and Muslim. The methods they used for verification were amazing, which is why we believe most of what they deemed valid. If you'd like to know more about how they did this, I can elaborate.
As for the Quran, it has been passed down by rote memorization. This is the difference between it and other books: people memorized it AND wrote it down. No other book in history has been memorized by so many people at once. Even now the record stands. Of course, the Quran could be falsely memorized in a localized instance, but not in all places at once. Many attempts were made to falsify the Quran systematically, but they failed due to the sheer number of people who had it committed to memory.
The apparent beauty of the text says nothing about the truth of the text. Otherwise the King James Bible, considered by most English scholars to be one of the most, if not the most beautiful work of english literature would be entirely true.
I have no opinion on the honesty of Muhammad, it is irrelevant. He might have heard voices, or seen angels and visions on his head that were so real to him as the voice and sight of his own wife. His honesty makes no difference on the truth. Otherwise the visions and revelations of the most honest and righteous Buddhist monks would all be true.
The rate at which an idea spreads has no connection with the truth of the idea. Otherwise Christianity, Mormonism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and even Scientology would all be true.
The truth must stand on its own, in any language, spoken by any or no man. If an idea requires fear and intimidation to make itself true, then it needs no further examination.
The problem is that they are selling the business instead of adjusting it's structure to bring it inline with the levels of profits they are confortable with.
The profits fell over the years because of 'disruptors', IBM could't accept the losses so they decided to sell. It happened 10 years ago in the PC, now it's happening with low end servers, maybe in 10 years high end servers are not going to be profitable for IBM any more and they are going to get rid of them.
At least in Mac OS, they have always been called Apps, and with Mac OS X (2001) they even adopted the ".app" extension (Mail.app, Safari.app.) Steve Jobs used to call them apps in public all they way back to the 80s, even during the NeXT days when they only focused on 'serious' enterprise software.
Windows users call them programs and I guess after the 'there's an app for that' campaign, everyone associates apps with smartphones but in reality the term is almost as old as the PC.
I don't see the point of a duodecimal system of units when a base 10 system is much more elegant. You would never end up with a 1/64th of something in the metric system. Fractions are a hack.
As an aside, I wonder how technology affects the units or systems we use. They had to rely on decimal or duodecimal systems for their units because they were doing all of their calculations manually (so did we until about 20 or so years ago btw,) but now that everyone* carries a computer on his/her pocket, what better systems could we design?
I guess binary might be an example of that. 2 values is not something that applies to everything, at least not naturally in the way the human mind works, but it is much more efficient for machines to process information, that makes sense.
> I don't see the point of a duodecimal system of units when a base 10 system is much more elegant. You would never end up with a 1/64th of something in the metric system. Fractions are a hack.
How is base 10 more elegant than base 12?
1/64th might result from a binary, octal or hexadecimal system; duodecimal tens to favour things like 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/9, 1/12 and so on. The elegant thing is that in duodecimal all of those are non-repeating fractions: .4, .3, .2, .14, .01 respectively. Interestingly, in duodecimal 1/5 and 1/10 are non-repeating (this is also true in binary...).
Base 12 is far more elegant than base 10, but the conversions cost make the conversion to French units look cheap--and then we'd need to convert all our units to some sort of French units mark II.
> I guess binary might be an example of that. 2 values is not something that applies to everything, at least not naturally in the way the human mind works, but it is much more efficient for machines to process information, that makes sense.
For day-to-day use, it makes sense to use a system where you can express your age (in years) in one or two digits rather than five to seven. Hence, a hexadecimal system might be preferable as a representation.