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Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
in response to reader comment: Oh For GODS Sake!

Submitted by Joe (United States), Feb 27, 2006 at 20:42

My mentor had a Doctorate in religious studies, was a historian, a Muslim, and spoke or read at least (I believe) 7 languages including Aramaic, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Urdu, Latin, and English. I know she was fluent in Arabic and English, and she was pretty much fluent in Urdu.

Many of the Muslims in my classes understood less than I did, and I believe many of them left with less faith than they started. The fact is, if you begin to study a religion objectively without clouding it with faith, then you have to let go of a few literal things. The problem with Islam, is although there are the usual things you have to let go, there are many philosophical arguments that one cannot let go.

As a philosopher, you must understand both sides to the argument. For example, I always thought Capitalism was the only way, and Socialism was completely wrong. After reading "Economic Justice", I realized that many socialist aspects are far superior to capitalistic ones, and that even the greatest capitalist spokesmen (Robert Nozick, Milton Freedmen) have flawed philosophical thought and contradictions. In the case of religion, you must understand both sides, and imagine youself at the "original position" weighing God's commands, humane instinct, and the various religions.
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