Islam or Christianity? or dare I say which is better?

First off a qualifier: I’m an Athiest, so pretty much all religions seem about the same to me.

I was doing a little (internet) research on Muslim faith and I stumbled accross this little link. Now, I have to admit I’m not 100% sure on the veracity of said link. It does seem a little biased to be quite honest.

However if the above link does turn out to be accurate; I’d have to say that Muslim faith makes alot more sense to me than Christianity. As a man of logic (By that needing to see proof of actual results.) I especialy liked the part about Muslim children having a lower drop-out rate and drug usage rate ect…

Any thoughts on this?

(Oh, if the link turn out to be a bunch of hooey. My apologies, and forget I started this thread.)

Why must you choose? Isn’t it possible that they’re both mostly BS?

Six of one, half dozen of another.

I don’t see any evidence here - the link says, "Go and find some Muslim families - I bet you’ll find . . . " - this isn’t even the beginning of evidence. There are no statistics cited, and surely you must acknowledge that the author might sincerely believe something about their own religious group that is not true. People’s perceptions are in large part the product of their own viewpoints. Further, it discusses the Nation of Islam as evidence, but connections between the Nation of Islam and actual Islam are tenuous.

Even if Muslim youth in the United States are more inclined to stay in school, keep off drugs, et cetera - what’s the evidence that this is due to their religion? Most Muslims in the U.S. are the children of immigrant families and cultural factors must be considered as well - compare the notable academic performance of children from South Asian or East Asian families. To chalk it up to the principles of a religion is quite a leap when more immediate influences, like culture and family structure, or communities - many immigrant groups, at least, for small subcommunities that may provide support that doesn’t exist among other Americans.

Personally, I agree that the Muslim emphasis on doing good works is appealing, much moreso than the Fundamentalist Christian focus on faith alone - but I think it’s silly to read too much into it in examining the cultural effects of a religion.

Any religion is only as good as the spirit of the people who claim it. Certainly we have wonderful people who are Christians or Muslims or Jews or Buddhist, and whatever, the same as we have twisted hateful jerks everywhere.

Within each religion, there is a huge diversity. Consider a fundamentalist creationist who hates gays compared with a tolerant priest who runs soup kitchens.

This is too vague to answer.

To say something on behalf of C’nity-

1.) It’s been about three hundred years since we officially approved killing people because they were of another religion, and it took three hundred years into C’nity that C’tians began killing people because of their religion.

2.) To me, it’s not C’nity vs Islam, it’s JC & pals vs M & pals. No contest. :smiley:

IMHO, it’s more JC & M (& B* & …) vs. those who corrupted each one’s teachings in the perhaps inevitable process of power grabbing, hierarchy building, mindless ritualizing, and holier-than-thou violence.


How many Buddhist holy wars have their been?

Good point. But we should dispel the romantic notion of some that Buddhism is immune to rigid hierarchies, coercive state sponsorship, or violent sectarianism, not to mention gender discrimination. I have no particular cites on hand; I just recall reading certain things (one book in particular: The Red Thread).

But, as I said, when it comes to large-scale holy wars, you make a good point. If I wanted to start one myself, I’d turn to the Christians and Muslims for advice.

Well, there are Buddhist extremists too…

While comparing behavioral outcomes is certainly a valid line of inquiry, I’d like to see fundamentalists from the two religions debate actual doctrinal points.

Don’t get me wrong - I actually am disgusted with the way eastern religions and cultures have been turned into these fantasy creations amongst many in the west. It goes hand-in-hand with the attitude that “indigenous people are better than me” and both represent a distortion and, really, a dehumanization of the “others”, where the others are any group of people with dark skin or slanty eyes. They get transformed into some sort of representation of western aspirations or ideals, and their cultures are aped in an absurd desire to get “closer to the earth” or other such nonsense.

I know that Buddhists are sometimes not nice. I’m just still not familiar with any Buddhist holy wars. :slight_smile: It’s a mistake to reflexively assume that every group is equal.

Agreed. Not to hijack, but Mexico faces this issue when it allows (certain) indigenous groups to practice traditional laws within their communities – even when such laws might, say, discriminate against women, or involve coropral punishment. Similar issues come up all the time, in the U.S. as well. It’s the old question of promoting diversity vs. protecting individuals. You could make the case that it is the fundamental problem of our times. Of course I have no solution to offer, other than to encourage the tolerant faction of each group to thrive, without giving up everything that makes the group unique.

There were a lot in Japan, and WWII was justified by the Zen Buddhists as a holy war. Buddhism was also used in both Tibet and Thailand to justify divine right of kings, social stratification, and political oppression.

Welll…there were a variety of militant sects in Japan, most famously the Ikko, who formed the Ikko-ikki ( a revolutionary peasant/lower middle-class/low-ranking samurai army, essentially ) that seized Kaga province and held it for nearly a century as well as becoming strongly entrenched in a number of other areas. They represented probably the single-strongest faction in opposition to the centralizer Oda Nobunaga who they fought hard for over a decade starting around 1570.

Moreover violence between armed rival sects was common in this chaotic period in Japan. For example Tendai vs. Nichiren/Hokke or Jodo monks joining Oda Nobunaga in his war with there spiritual cousins the Ikko ( Jodo Shinshu ) or using Nobunaga’s patronage to undermine then attack the Hokke. While it is debateable whether uprisings like the Ikko-ikki were more peasant uprisings with religious veneeer ( there were other, non sect related uprisings like the Tsuchi-ikki ) than actual holy wars, the intersectarian violence definitely has a real religious tinge.

A further example can be found in Tibet, where rival sects long battled violently for supremacy, frequently using different Mongol groups a patrons/muscle. The currently dominant (new )Yellow Hat or Gelugpa Buddhism of the Dalai and Panchen Lamas, achieved their authority through the armed backing of the great 16th century Mongol warlord Altan Khan.

  • Tamerlane

I feel that Christianity is better but only from this reason.
Islam requires belief in the authority of the Qu’ran, and the Qu’ran contains explicit details of when it is allowed to kill another person, and rules about owning of slaves. Christianity on the other hand only necessarily requires the belief in the existance of Christ, so does not necessarily allow killing or owning of slaves.

That said, many many Christian churches impose more requirements on their believers that are of questionable morals. And many, many Islamic groups reject the right to kill and own slaves granted by the Qu’ran.

As an atheist, I think you’re all a bunch of loonies. :slight_smile:

Others have beat me to it, but I guess I could at least offer you a reference source. See Zen at War, by Daizen Victoria.