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Chad_Is_Rad's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by Chad_Is_Rad

Religion is in retreat in many places, and so I had a debate with someone about which religion could be the one most likely to survive free thought, questions, good education, affluence and good standard of living.and good standard of living.

At the risk of starting an argument (I'm not being intentionally provactive here), I'm actually going to go out on a limb and say Islam.

Yup, that Islam.

If you look at early adherents to the faith, you see a people obsessed with gaining knowledge of all sorts. In fact, many early Muslims translated more Classical works than any of their contemplatives. Most people don't realize this, but the only other word used in the Quran as much as Allah is "Knowledge". Early believers looked to the "Greater Jihad" (that of inner struggle), much more than the "Lesser Jihad" (that of physical struggle), in which the current crop of Islamofascists seem to be obsessed with.

Neil deGrasse Tyson has actually done a few discussions regarding this fact on several occasions. He points out that if it wasn't for the work of a single radicalized cleric who pushed math and science as being "the Devil's work" ... Islam could look completely different than it does today.

To be honest, I think early Islam's progressive history and openness to science and culture could be the best tool we have as atheists to fight radical Islam. We can argue with them until we are blue in the face. Does that work ... on occasion. But if we could simply remind them and reeducate them on who their ancestors were and what they found important ... those gains would be infinitely more impactful in my opinion.

Tue, 15 May 2012 19:46:10 UTC | #941673