This speaks for itself

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Democracy chose Barrabas, executed Socrates and led to the downfall of Greece.

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Categories: Politics

71 replies

  1. Hey Blue is my favourite colour!

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  2. Yet the UK enjoys considerable advantages over countries with other forms of government, such as Iran: http://meerkatmusings.co.uk/democracy-or-theocracy/

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  3. A mob 2000 years ago in the remote area of the Roman province of IUDAEA was probably not very familiar with neither democracy nor the idea of a constitution which purpose is to optimize a balance of the utilities of justice, liberty, and security.

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  4. democrat that comparisons is over simplistic. there are many factors behind them. not democracy or theocracy.

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    • The initial comparison is simplistic. Democrat is correct in his comment. To hold up that event to the modern day and suggest we judge democracy as we know it today by the standards of 2000 years ago just isn’t reasonable.

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    • its essentially the same system – and democracy elected Hitler within living memory

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    • Theocracies have given us countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which are all well known for lacking in freedom of speech, and they all have poor human rights records. Communism has China and North Korea among its leading practioners – I am not keen to move to either nation, are you?

      Perhaps though, the best question is to ask where you would rather live? In the UK, or Iran?

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    • its a bad question as it gives just two either or options. I have no idea what Iran has to do with my post, but as it is in fact a democracy I guess you support it?

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    • Iran is a theocracy in practice, and I believe you are aware of that. Besides, this is the sort of question you ask a lot. But let’s broaden the parameters – where else in the world would you move to, on the condition that it wasn’t another practising democracy?

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    • Let’s stick with Iran. Are you saying it does not have a democratic system?

      Now back to democracy in Germany. The most evil man in history was elected under the democratic system agree?

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    • I will answer your questions when you answer mine.

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    • Paul

      “Now back to democracy in Germany. The most evil man in history was elected under the democratic system agree?”

      Hitler dismantled the democratic institutions once he had manipulated himself into power, destroyed opposition parties and took control of systems of checks and balances by concentrating power in his own hands.

      How is democracy to blame for that?

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    • Democracy permitted him to form a government.

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    • That’s it? That’s your argument?

      That doesn’t explain how democracy is responsible for the dismantling of democracy.

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    • You don’t get it. Hitler was very clear for years about his National Socialist ideology. The democratic system facilitated his rise to power. He was even reelected. This demonstrates the system has no built in moral compass and can be very dangerous to humanity.

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    • What are you talking about? Political and economic systems aren’t moral agents, your point is nonsense. It’s like saying cars have no moral agency, so when cars are involved on wrecks it is a good reason to oppose their use.

      Your argument is so bad it isn’t even wrong.

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  5. Yes Paul, you are. Why are you fond of putting people on the spot with questions, but unwilling to play by your own rules?

    I suspect it’s because we both know the answer. You would not pick a theocratic state like Iran over the UK. Nor would you pick a communist state like China over the UK.

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    • My personal preferences are irrelevant, a mere divergence from the post. You have an obsession with Iran for some inexplicable reason, a country with a parliamentary democracy. As an Englishman I will stay in England if you don’t mind.

      Now back to the discussion…

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  6. This is the discussion Paul. You are highly critical of democracy as a system of government, but cannot present an alternative and are not prepared to answer the question of whether you’d be prepared to live under modern-day theocracies (Iran) or other forms of government (such as communism in China). You may not like theory A, but if you cannot and will not present a theory B, then what is the point of your statements about theory A?

    Clearly, Iran is not run in the same manner as the UK. To call Iran a democracy would be like calling the UK a dictatorship. The UK doesn’t have an unelected supreme leader that actively determines, among other things, whether the country goes to war, or appoint members of the judiciary, or appoint people to run state-controlled media, or the armed forces. The UK doesn’t have a Council of Guardians, which oversees the activities of parliament, and which is presided over by this Supreme Leader. These are just some of the examples of the differences between how the two countries are run.

    Now, to address your obsession with Hitler – do you think it reasonable to equate the ailing and failing Weimar Republic with a modern democracy like the UK?

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    • Are you saying Iran does not have a democratically elected parliament ? I understood that it did.

      As I have made clear to you on countless occasions this is not a discussion about where I personally would live to live today (I have dealt with that question anyway) but about the moral bankruptcy of the democratic system, I do not have to detail any alternative system for my criticisms to be valid.

      Btw the Britain DOES have an unelected supreme leader. She is called the Queen. Everything is done in her name.

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    • The Queen doesn’t make policy. The Queen doesn’t determine off her own power who can stand to vote (whereas the Supreme Leader does). There are several articles detailing the undemocratic nature of Iran’s government, and it takes a certain measure of wilful ignorance to declare otherwise: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/tehran/inside/govt.html#guardians

      One has to wonder what the endgame is of your criticism of democracy. What purpose does it serve, if you are unwilling or unable to argue for an alternative? Democracy isn’t perfect, but the other options are worse, and I believe you know that. That’s why you won’t answer as to whether you would live in a non-democratic country.

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    • What purpose does it serve? I thought that was obvious. A frank evaluation of a political system’s weaknesses is a worthwhile project in itself. It’s an attempt to be critically detached from our rulers and not believe what we are told uncritically – as you obviously do.

      I prefer to live in an Islamic society but I am far from seeing a good example of that today. It is a far most moral and just society and gives rightful sovereignty to God our Creator.

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    • Any government built on any single religion is inevitably going to fall foul to the interpretations of whomever is ruling at the time. It is not a good system for ruling and can be abused far more easily. They cannot successfully represent an entire population, hence why none exist today that could be considered superior or even equal to many democracies.

      You may consider democracy to be a flawed system, and I have even stated it is flawed. It is however infinitely better than the alternatives, something you are tacitly acknowledging. There are other forms of government where you would not be permitted to blog, or if you were, you would have to be very careful with what you said.

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    • Paul

      I think it is fair to point out where a system is flawed and strive to rectify it (Socrates for example said as much in the Republic), democracy is the process of people deciding on who should govern them therefore having an active role in the direction our society goes in but just like any society those views are reflected in the current circumstances as well as historical/cultural influences. In that sense democracy is intrinsically tied to the society and thus can be used for either electing good or bad candidates.

      Democracy is also flawed in that respect because people are flawed and open to all kinds of influences, good or bad. It is no better to blame it than it is to blame computers for cyber criminals as they are inanimate.

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    • I think democracy is fundamentally flawed because it assumes mankind is competent to govern itself itself wisely and justly by its own lights. I think history suggests we are not capable of ruling ourselves.

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    • By that reasoning, every form of government is flawed. They are all based on mortals ruling mortals in some way shape or form. As it unlikely God is about to descend from on high to rule over us, we must make do with our own judgement.

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    • Islam disagrees.

      God has given guidance to mankind on how to live well politically, socially and spiritually. We were never meant to live in rebellion against our Creator.

      Read the Qur’an.

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    • But the Qur’an is still subject to interpretation. Should it be taken literally, or philosophically? Or should certain parts be taken literally but not others? What if someone doesn’t share in the Islamic faith?

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    • We need to start begin this debate with a discussion of Tawhid – the indivisible oneness of God. Unless we can agree to this reality there is little point discussing God’s Sovereignty in society and law.

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    • There are many different religions that will all claim the true nature of God and therefore the true path and the right way to follow God’s Word and law. There are divisions within these religions as to how best to interpret religious texts. Who decides which system should be elevated above all others and used as a system of government? And what happens to those who disagree with that system, or feel under-represented by it?

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    • Muslims believe that the final, perfect and complete Revelation given to mankind is found in the Quran.

      Do you believe in the Creator?

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    • Muslims may believe that, but do Buddhists, or Sikhs, or Hindus? To say nothing of Native Americans, and other tribes and cultures?

      You will never get consenus on ruling via religious doctrine. As I mentioned before, there are different interpretations of different religious texts – who decides which one is to form the basis of laws and government? What happens to those who disagree with that interpretation?

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    • Paul

      Seculariasm i think is a great thing not only for non-believers but for believers of all religions because it means that everyone in society is on an even playing field in terms of rights, the only condition is that one does not interfere in another persons right to do the same.

      While all political and social systems are bound to be flawed or be misused by people it does not mean we should simply throw it out, by that standard we should throw more or less every major world religion out because as history well attests have been used to justify all manner of horrific events.

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  7. Thank you for your wise words Patrice. I agree that any system of government can be abused – none are perfect and none ever will be – we are as human beings fallible creatures and we cannot find consensus even within individual religions as to how best interpret them, much less use them to form a government.

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  8. Can you name a single form of government that is perfect?

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    • Darth, I wonder why you as an atheist actually care. Why the value judgements? After all, religious beliefs are only human constructs just as secular worldviews. Let the fittest concept survive in an accidental evolving universe without purpose.

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  9. Hang on, I sound like an evangelical but I am also an atheist? Make up your mind…

    If the universe is indeed random, and we are here on the back of a one-in-a-billion chance, then it is all the more important to cherish our rights and freedoms, for they are unbelievably precious in that scenario. They are not granted to us at the whim of a creator, but rather are the result of us learning, and growing, and developing. If you choose to believe in a God, or Gods, or who-knows-what, then fair play to you. What isn’t right though, is to take your beliefs, assume them to be better than anyone else’s and use them to force a system of government upon others who do not share them.

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  10. Paul,
    Iran does not have a Democratic Parliament. All candidates for election must FIRST be approved by the Shiite cleric Guardian Council. So no one gets through even as a candidate, unless they already agree with the Khomeini Shiite “Theocracy” (Allah – ocracy).

    The Barabas example is a silly example, since there was no nationwide election process, etc. As someone else wrote above, it was just the mob-rule of the crowd right there in front of Pilate, hardly a nationwide election process.

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  11. Those are only allowed within the Dhimmi understanding for Jews and those Christian groups (Orthodox and Roman Catholic) because they existed in Iran before Islam came and conquered, and they have submitted according to Surah 9:29, and agree to not do any evangelism or try to build new churches nor debate issues. They are the exceptions to the otherwise all Muslims have to have follow the Shiite Khomeini ideology and all Muslim candidates have to be approved by that Guardian Council of Shiite Khomeini dogmatics.

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    • you evangelicals are new kids on the block, considered heretics historically. In an Islamic society you cannot evangelise. Thats the rule dude.

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    • Ok, for the sake of argument; but what about the fact that all other candidates must be approved by the Shiite Cleric Guardian Council?

      they don’t worry about those Jews and Christians, as they already submitted according to Surah 9:29, which since the Christians agree to no evangelism, then they are not longer obedient Christian communities, as that is a vital part of true Christianity – Matthew 29:18-20; Luke 24:44-49; John 20:21, etc.

      Those ancient communities left the faith long ago (Revelation 2:4-5; 1 Tim. 4:1), worshiping Mary and gave Islam a false idea of the doctrine of the Trinity. (Surah 5:116; 5:72-78; 6:101; 19:88-92)

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    • blah blah blah. You sound like a broken record. You say the same thing over and over, and have been refuted and answered. End of.

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    • Iran later allowed one Zoroastrian representative in Parliament, after they fought against them for century to convert them. Most Zoroastrians were killed, or converted, or fled to India.

      Islam originally (Qur’an) deemed Zoroastrians as fire-worshippers, (Magi), but later, after centuries of wars and Jihads against them, seems to have included them in the Dhimmi status of Christians and Jews.

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    • “Those ancient communities left the faith long ago (Revelation 2:4-5; 1 Tim. 4:1), worshiping Mary and gave Islam a false idea of the doctrine of the Trinity. (Surah 5:116; 5:72-78; 6:101; 19:88-92)”

      mary held your god in her belly. she HELD your god, HELD.

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  12. What about the fact that all (even the 5 seats to Christians, Jews, and one to Zoroastrians – they also must be approved by the Shiite Guardian Council before elections, and submit to Surah 9:29) candidates must be approved by the Shiite Cleric Guardian Council?

    Which proves Iran is not a Democracy.

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  13. why the example of Barabbas as somehow about Democracy?

    The whole meme is wrong – that was just “mob-rule” on the spot, manipulated, and not the entire country/region; and no process of election.

    Not a valid example of Democracy.

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    • ‘democracy’ like Christianity comes in different shapes and sizes. None of them are biblical, though evangelicals like the man-made system.

      Muslims in contrast prefer to acknowledge God and live by his Divine Law.

      Christians are secularists. One of the many reasons i could never go back to Christianity – it does not take God seriously enough.

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    • Then you just admitted a contradiction / tension that Darthtimon was trying to find out by his questions – if you want to live under Divine Law (Islamic Sharia – Sunni version) – why not go live in the closest thing to it – Saudi Arabia or Taliban controlled Afghanistan or parts of Pakistan ?
      I think one of the states within Malaysia has their version of “Sharia”, but there are many different versions of it.

      Isn’t Great Britain a man-made system?

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    • ‘Saudi Arabia or Taliban controlled Afghanistan or parts of Pakistan ?’

      no thanks. I’d rather live in the UK. But this post is not about my domestic living arrangements as I have already said several times. So lets keep on topic.

      Democracy is not a biblical system at all but a man-made system.

      Muslims prefer to acknowledge God and live by his Divine Law.

      Todays Christians are thoroughgoing secularists. A i said before this is one of the many reasons i could never go back to Christianity – it does not take God seriously enough.

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    • but UK is secular and “man-made” and you cannot live by or under “Divine Law” there. Saudi is closer to Islamic Sharia law.

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    • but the UK is a country for all its faults permits Muslims to practice their faith freely. We can follow aspects of the Divine Law pertaining to prayer, inheritance, divorce etc.

      You have avoided responding to my earlier point: democracy is a system enthusiastically endorsed by evangelicals is not a Biblical system at all, but man-made, secular and godless.

      Double standards Ken?

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    • We already talked about that issue a lot here at your blog. The NT shows the abolishment of the OT Theocratic system – Jesus said to the Jewish leaders and Pharisees – “the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruit of it.” Matthew 21:43 (see whole parable and context of Matthew 21:33-46) Acts 1:6-8 shows Jesus is not interested in military or political power, but gives the disciples the power of the Holy Spirit to witness and live holy lives. (see Galatians 5, Ephesians 5) Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world. If it was of this world, My servants would be fighting.” John 18:36

      The “nation” Jesus referred to in Matthew 21:43 is a nation made up of all nations and cultures and peoples – 2 Peter 2:9-10; Revelation 5:9

      The early church were local churches/assemblies scattered all over the Roman Empire with no political power and they were persecuted until Constantine stopped the persecution in 311-312 AD.

      The western developments of democracy and representative constitutional republics, etc. was the result of the problems and issues of history from that time onward. But Constantine did not make Christianity the state religion; that was a later Emperor, Theodosius I, 380-392 AD. That was a mistake.

      The problems with that principle took centuries to rectify, resulting in the modern western political states with freedom of religion, etc. But Britain and USA retained some kind of Christian culture and system of morality; although in the past 30-40 -50 years, that morality and tradition has been greatly diminished.

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  14. “Those ancient communities left the faith long ago (Revelation 2:4-5; 1 Tim. 4:1), worshiping Mary and gave Islam a false idea of the doctrine of the Trinity. (Surah 5:116; 5:72-78; 6:101; 19:88-92)”

    quote :

    :::::::::::
    As for Mary, she is indeed worshipped as “Queen in Heaven”,”Omnipotent by grace not by nature”. The Byzantines prayed to her in their war against the Sassanids and her icons were called upon to defeat enemies. People considered saints have said about her that her relation to God is like a child to his mother because Jesus the God-Man takes her as his mother in his humanity and since Jesus is one person this means the second person of the Trinity treats her as his Mother. They say just as a child obeys her mother so does God obey Mary. You may consider them heretics but they are the majority. So the Quran is correct in pointing out that Mary is worshipped as deity. Nowhere does the Quran say she is considered part of the trinity.
    Quran 5:72 condemns modalism.

    5:73 condemns the Trinity.

    5:75 simultaneously refutes both Maryolatry and the Chalcedonian creed. Compare this verse to:”They traded their glorious God for the statue of a bull that eats grass”[Psalms 106:20]
    Clearly the author/speaker of Psalms 106:20 does not consider it acceptable to worship any being that depends on food for sustenance. This includes an embryo in his mother’s womb depending on her food for his sustenance.
    ::::::::::

    I showed you that Quran 5:72-75 deals with multiple heresies-
    1)Modalism – dealt with in 5:72
    2)Trinity – dealt with in 5:73
    3)Maryolatry dealt with in 5:75
    4)Chalcedonian creed dealt with also in 5:75
    Now you consider only two of the above to be heresies.
    But from our perspective all these 4 are heresies and whoever wrote/spoke Psalms 106:20 would agree with Quran 5:75. He would not agree with the Chalcedonian creed.

    The Quranic texts engage and refute numerous false accusations and presumptions about Allah having a son or sons and daughters in various contexts

    This includes refuting the false notion that God ontological has a son ( eternal emanation or begetton son) that shares the same divine nature. since if God had a son that eternally subsists by the eternal emanation or begetting of the father then the son by divine nature would be a recipient of worship just as articulated or conceptualized in trinitarian christological polytheism

    The Quran makes clear that if God did have a son, who therefore must be divine in nature like the father and therefore entitled to be a recipient of worship then Muhammad would be the first of God’s worshippers to worship the son, however the Quran refutes this falsehood by drawing our attention to pure monotheism since worshipping two divine persons or deities sharing the same divine nature would translate as polytheism. The Quran implicitly reiterates or proclaims the truth that God has no son since only Allah is the true deity and that only Allah is the true God to be worshipped alone in heaven and on earth

    81. Say (O Muhammad): “If the Most Merciful (Allah) had a son then I am the first of Allah’s worshippers”
    82. Glorified be the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Lord of the Throne! Exalted be He from all that they ascribe (to Him).
    83. So leave them (alone) to speak nonsense and play until they meet the Day of theirs, which they have been promised.
    84. It is He (Allah) Who is the only Ilah (God to be worshipped) in the heaven and the only Ilah (God to be worshipped) on the earth. And He is the All-Wise, the All-Knower. 43:81-84

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  15. Muslims in contrast prefer to acknowledge God and live by his Divine Law.

    But you cannot do that in Great Britain or the west, so which Sunni Muslim country are you moving to?

    Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Malaysia, or ?

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