Re: Islam, theology and politeness

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Mon Mar 05 2001 - 18:05:15 MST

From: <>
> There was a question about how Islam (about 25% of the planet's
> population) would respond to the types of technology we are interested

If it's important to consider how Muslims respond to extropic technology,
then it's three times MORE important to question how non-Muslims (about
75% of the planet's population) would respond to extropic technology,
because there are three times more of them. Since this is the Extropy list
(not the Muslim theology list), it seems somewhat OT to discuss Islamic
responses and/or theology. But since no one has complained...

Muslims, just like Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and any other
faith-based creeds, have a small percentage of true believers, and the
rest are content to identify themselves with their parents' denomination
and go about their business, not giving it much thought. As Max's recent
presentation at a Jewish school shows, normal, healthy kids don't let
religious memes interfere with their perception of reality at large. I
imagine that most of these kids are smart enough to ask questions like the

* When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev.1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They
claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

* I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price
for her?

* I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her
period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev.15:19-24). The problem is, how do I
tell? I have tried
asking, but most women take offence.

* Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of
mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you
clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

* I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2
clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill
him myself?

* A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality.
I don't agree. Can you
settle this?

* Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a
defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my
vision have to be 20/20, or is
there some room for negotiation here?

* Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by
Lev.19:27. How should they die?

* I know from Lev.11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me
unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

* My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different
crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two
different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse
and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble
of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev.24:10-16) Couldn't
we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with
people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

Stay hungry,

--J. R.

Useless hypotheses: consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind,
free will

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