Sunday, 27 July 2008

The Quran

It was my planning mentor at HHCL who first turned me onto the Koran (as we spelled it then) and Islam, and watching the following video reminds me of a discussion I had in Starbucks the other day with a guy carrying Richard Dawkin's book The God Delusion. I asked him how he was finding it, and pointed out one flaw is the absence of separation between God and Religion (I dislike the latter).

In any case I put him onto my favourite rebuttal of the Dawkins book and he was very grateful for that link. I've just had a chance to watch this, and it's top quality content. I've no idea why YouTube viral clips get only 10 seconds to work with me and yet I'll lose an afternoon in this stuff. This came by way of Smashing Telly which has disrupted any number of lovely days I should have spent in the sun. Time to get down to the beach and squeeze a few hours out if possible.


  1. hello mr firth..this is totally irrelevant to ur post but i'm trying to get ur attention to my facebook group called US AGAINST UNILEVER. I have read ur comments to little wrists and i am hoping that u could assist with my campaign. I have also created a blog ( which is still in its early stages. Please could u make other bloggers (who care about this issue) aware of both efforts.

    thank u for your time..

  2. Religion: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or Gods.

    God: a superhuman being or spirit worshipped as having power over nature or human fortunes.

    They are one in the same thing. There's no seperating them. And if you try to, it's only a matter of semantics, not reality or logic.

    Dawkins is a Darwinist and with good reason; evolution and scientific fact dictate there's no such thing as God and hence, religion's founding element - it's very epicentre - is irrefutably flawed.

    There's a very distinct difference between having faith (self-belief) and following a faith (religion). The latter of which, if you ask me, is inextricably linked to the belief in a deity of some kind. Or at least the deity's human advocates (Muhammad), which is just as bad.

    Because, isn't the point of being an individual to be just that? To not follow anybody, or anything? To be yourself only? Religion and belief in God or any Gods, detracts too much from that being a valid human practice. If you ask me, that's plain stupid.

    I could go on and on and on! Lol, good post.

  3. Vegan. In my experience the best way to change multinationals is on the inside, unless you bring one to its knees. In which case there are much more attractive candidates than Unilever.

  4. Thanks for your comment Emma. I have to use dictionary terms and thus do get embroiled in basic semantics like you point out. However the description you use is in one instance nothing like the what I'm alluding to. I find text writing isn't good for this (as is arguing politics) but I don't mind sharing it via skype if you like to go on and on?

    Other than that the last hardcore atheist I shared it with over Sushi in Beijing finally understood my concept (which runs into paragraphs) and said 'but that's not God'. Exactly, it's not yours. It's mine!

    And I'm not interested in proselytizing.

  5. Hey Charles,

    I'm always up for a talk on religion. Variety is the spice of life! My skype is amsterdam_em.

    Look forward to it.

  6. there is no certainty if god exists or not. science has not proofed god's existence. at the same time, science has not proofed god is not existing. in fact, science couldn t answer fundamental questions concerning the physical world yet. not to forget that there is no ultimate truth in science. sometimes you cannot know or proof. sometimes you have to believe. this is why there are many different schools of thought, i guess. everybody has got the right to believe what they want to. that s what i think. and yes, sometimes, i don t agree with the beliefs of others. i might not even like them. especially if those beliefs are lead by leaders who misuse their power to achieve even greater influence and might. and this not only applies to religion...
    individualism is probably more a phenomenon that first appeared in western christian stamped societies in which ppl nowadays often worship money, don t they. if this is good or not depends on one's mindset, i guess... last but not least i think that ppl should just show some respect and love for each other. as far as i know love is a basic principle in all religions (islam, christianity, buddhism, hinduism, etc.) and some might say that god is love...

  7. Always found comfort in this quote, that & Spike Millagan
    Listen now to a furtherpoint: no mortal thing
    has a begginning, nor does it end in death and obliteration;
    there is only a mixing and then a serperating of what was mixed,
    But by mortal men these processes are named "beginnings"

    Empedocles 492-432 BC

  8. I think each must choose to live the life they wish Peggy. I'm certainly not interested in pushing my view(s). Having said that I was talking about Avicenna the Iranian philosopher who concluded Descartes Cogito ergo sum about 500 years before him with his 'Falling man' proposition, and while that has its flaws it did make me think about a new idea based on destiny and dreams. Outlandish when explained and yet all to visible in everyday life.

    Borzio. That's an excellent quote and in line with my own conclusions of how Buddhism observes the world and of course Buddhism is really a science. Not a religion.

  9. "Avicenna the Iranian philosopher who concluded Descartes Cogito ergo sum about 500 years before him with his 'Falling man' proposition" !!
    Life is an ameba, elegant & simple. Compared to my possible brothers and sisters left behind on my fathers wetwipe I'm doing real good with MY flaws.
    "Buddhism is really a science. Not a religion" My own conclusions are about how I view the world but my mate Harvey the white rabbit agrees with you

  10. Hello Charles. I agree when you say that each must choose to live the life they wish. You might be with me when I say that ppl do not always have the possibilities to do so.

    I did not take your words in a way that you would try to push your views. (Actually I'm not even sure what your views are like.) Even if you would try to push something here, I wouldn't mind. It's your blog and we got some freedom of speech on that planet, not everywhere though, i know.

    But sure, beliefs, religions, gods. Delicate in many ways and very personal subjects too to talk about, especially in public...

    Anyway, I would like to hear about that new idea you mentioned. Furthermore, I'd like to know why you think Buddhism is not a religion. For me, even an atheist has got a religion. Just because he/she has thought about some supernatural existence and decided to believe that there is no such thing. So it's some set of beliefs concerning a supernatural 'thing' and a deeper meaning. (That is what religion means to me.)

    I don't want to dwell on the topic too much, but in which ways do you see Buddhism as a science? For me science is a way of gaining knowledge by doing research. Results of that research must be verifiable. You start with claims and theses and try to prove them using some methodology... Maybe, I just got lost in translation here and you meant that "it's a science", because it is all very complex?

  11. There's no deity worship in Buddhism Peggy. It's pretty interesting if you dig into it, and yet it's also universal. The meditation is fresh to Occidental culure though.

    Think of the science adjective as a roadmap for a better life if that helps. There are measurable inputs and outputs.

  12. To Peggy's comment:

    Well I hope you don't mind me discussing this.

    Buddhism is doing mental research and the deepest introspection on self and how we become our own worst enemy.

    Understanding karma (cause and effect) where the infinite journey leads how it was started a long time ago and how we jump in (like I am now) and do our silly dance and go.

    Evolving the mind (through understanding and testing theories) to see above the fray of life and within these funny bodies we walk in. What is our motivation in everything we do, think, and feel?

    This goes waaaaaay beyond faith, belief, and your own perception of reality. Buddhism questions even that, reality.

    It trains you to think deeper and harder and then let it all go.
    It shows how you create a reality and destroy it.

    You do research in Buddhism, you peel the layers of your own mind to try and see through the truth you think you have found.

    You actually take apart your mind, observe, be mindful. Be mindful of being mindful and know all the while you are still creating fiction and trying to convince everyone even yourself that yours is the one true (non)fiction.

    Kind of like a dream.

    Science of the mind is a part of Buddhism. This is the highest goal and even higher is beyond Buddhism... once it gets you across the river of truth (understanding the nature of reality) you leave it as well.

    There are mis interpretations and dangers of having egomania or delusional mind which is why Wisdom and Compassion are the two guides through this path they also are at the very heart of ending suffering.

    You walk in the essence of everything and nothing.
    The middle way.

    Hope you don't mind my metal drool.

  13. Remind me to give you the Tao of Pooh that I'm finishing up at the moment Sherry. There's a lot of overlap there.