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About haider

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    Haider Al-Mosawi
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    Critical thinking, philosophy, religion, programming, psychology, holistic learning, polymathy, personal growth, life balance.
  1. Thank you very much. Wa alaikum assalam WR WB. I'm not disheartened, and I honestly believe that their hate is justified, given their ignorance (or what facts they choose to focus on and facts they ignore). William Scherk has already told me about you and thinks we'll have a lot to discuss. I look forward to some discussions around the forum. I don't see political correctness having a place in ideological discussions, and that's not what I'm encouraging. But "A is A" refers to a fundamental attribute of reality, not a phenomena such as Islam, which is open to a wide range of interpretatio
  2. What I presented is a model that focuses on a specific point we were discussing, namely the role of ideas in social movements. I admit there are many more factors involved, but my focus led me to drop off the non-essentials. Volition determines how much attention we give to our ideas and the degree of awareness (or evasion) we exercise. The choices we are able to make with regards to the mental content of our consciousness will define the choices we make in our behavior. That's why we are able to speak of "personality types" in psychology and predict how people behave, given their mental stat
  3. Define productive. It seems to me that what you mean by "productive" is: "The quickest way for Muslims to know what I think of Islam and its founder." I think it's crucial to realize that Muslims are constantly redefining what Islam means to them and how they view the prophet. I don't believe it's important to focus on historical accuracy as much as it is on the values and principles people uphold today. Even if Islam started off as a bloodthirsty war manifesto against humanity and Muslims have come to redefine it as a tolerant, peace-loving religion, then you will have to take their new impre
  4. All these years I've been working hard on better understanding people's views and presenting the most rational arguments I can think of, when what I should have been focusing on was word play. How could I have missed this?
  5. I'm interested in promoting dialogue and understanding. No matter what I think of a person, I wouldn't resort to insulting them. It doesn't promote rational discourse, but tends to encourage defensiveness and hostility. I prefer discussing ideas and how we can make the world a better place. That's my attitude, but others might find Islam bashing more comforting to them. I think it's pretty clear which is a better approach, but I'll let you be the judge.
  6. Good question. I try and deconstruct a situation, consider all the elements at play, then identify how the elements are connected and the nature of the relationship between them. We have atrocities in the world. Atrocities committed by groups tend to have a leader, or some sort of leadership that guides and inspires the group. If a leader is always present, is it not the case, then, that the leader is the fundamental reason for the atrocities? My deconstruction: Groups are formed of individuals. Individuals possess motives that govern actions. Motives are conditioned by values. Values are sha
  7. Yes they are. Good ideas produce good deeds. Bad ideas produce bad deeds. Regardless of whether they come from a secular or a religious source. They don't share the same fundamental Islamic ideas. I'm saying that Islam - and every other religion - is open to a wide range of interpretations. Salafism and Sufism occupy opposite ends of the Islamic spectrum. They share common sources, but their interpretations are worlds apart. The consequences of these interpretations are evident from their actions. What distinguishes a Salafi movement from a Sufi movement isn't the intentions of their leaders,
  8. My answer would be "No" to both questions, and I still disagree with your premises. Allow me to explain: Leaders are required for any social movement, good or bad. That's just how human beings organize themselves. We cannot agree on a plan of attack if every soldier has equal say in what's to be done. There has to be a general that issues commands for others to follow for a military campaign to succeed. This is true for any movement that involves people. There's even a saying by Prophet Muhammad, I believe it's to the tune of: "If more than two of you are traveling, appoint a leader." But thi
  9. A lot has been said since my last post. I'd like to offer my own take on religion. I see religion as the gamification of philosophy. It not only presents a view of what the world is like, but a storyline that gives meaning to our lives. The essential elements of religion as a "game": 1- A simple, comprehensive worldview (Game Environment): There's just too much detail in the real world for the human mind to grasp, and for millennia the human race didn't know a whole lot about it. This often leads to anxiety and feelings of insecurity. That's why old maps used to have "Here Be Dragons" in uncha
  10. Hmmm... it seems he really doesn't have a presence in English. It's neither of those gentlemen. This is a sample video from one of his lectures. Again, you may not agree with everything he says, but his advocacy of reason and freedom are very positive.
  11. First of all, regardless of how sizable a rational community of Muslims is, I'm talking about a Muslim outlook that values reason and individualism that's rooted in Islamic teachings. This exists and has existed throughout Islamic history, though it has had cultural influence but not a great deal of political influence. And, unfortunately, you're absolutely right about the radicalization of Muslims in the Middle East and in Europe. The results of the "Arab Spring" are anything but hopeful. It seems that the tyranny of ruling minorities is simply being replaced with the tyranny of religious maj
  12. Hi, Blackhorse. I'm not entirely sure that approaching me with suspicion is a sign of reason or paranoia. But if I am still an Islamist, then I have nothing to gain from claiming that I'm now an Objectivist. I'll be more than happy to share my reasoning for why I left the Islamist worldview in favor of the Objectivist one. And I certainly don't deny that I still appreciate and value many of Islam's teachings. I think that should be clear from some of my earlier posts. There are some questions I prefer not to answer, given the fact that I'm living in Kuwait and apostasy laws are alive and well
  13. وعليكم السلام I totally agree. I'm a tad reckless at times. My brother keeps warning me not to provoke people, especially in beliefs they hold dear to them. I don't notice that I'm being provocative. I just see it as making observations. I'm glad most of my discussions have been with friends and relatives. Otherwise I may not have survived to post this message.
  14. You're absolutely right. Which is why I oppose the ridiculous claims that Islam has been "hijacked" by the extremists. There is widespread acceptance of - if not support for - extremist ideas within the Muslim mainstream. Martyrdom is prized even by the most liberal of Muslims. Many Muslims would never tolerate living in a theocracy, but they wouldn't oppose Sharia law, because to them it seems like they are opposing God's law. I would say that many, many Muslims don't know the basics of their religion, or carry contradictory fragments of it in their psyche, and they lack the ability to connec
  15. The two of you ought to be like peas in a pod! I infer this from your most perceptually evident shared trait: perpetually itchy chins. I'm mirroring Michael. Hope that builds some sort of rapport with him.