So when is the Muhammed mythicist campaign going to begin?

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So when is the Muhammed mythicist campaign going to begin?

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Well, the thing is, there's

Well, the thing is, there's loads of historical Evidence that Mohammed was a real person, and did the things the Koran says he did (like go to Medina and convert them, go back to Mekkah and conquer it et.c.)

 

Jesus, on the other hand, is about as real as Beowulf.

 

So while there is ofcourse no reason to believe he actually spoke to an archangel and all that, Mohammed does seem to have been a real person, unlike Jesus.

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That's interesting to know.

That's interesting to know.


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I actually do think that

I actually do think that Muhammad is in the same league as Jesus when it comes to the existence of his historical character. There are no first-hand nor second-hand attestations to Muhammad--only the many vestiges of myths of the religion that he founded. But, exist he did, because it is very difficult to explain the founding of Islam and all of the myths about Muhammad without a historical cult-leader Muhammad, just as it is very difficult to explain the founding of Christianity and all of the myths about Jesus without a historical cult-leader Jesus.

Nevertheless, there are actually some people who really do believe that Muhammad never existed. Do a Google search for "Muhammad never existed" in quotes, and you will find plenty of relevant information on the hypothesis. It is a hypothesis that appeals to a few very liberal Islamic scholars and many anti-Islamic activists.


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I recently read the Koran

 

 

Arberry's translation - and I read Ib Warraq's Why I am Not a Muslim, in which he dissects the Koran. He may not have a doctorate but Warraq is a scholarly author and he doubts Muhammad's existence and references many other scholars who doubt it as well. The general consensus from scholars Warraq references seems to be that of all the major religious doctrines the koran is the most incoherent and fractured, containing the entire Torah yet out of order, a swathe of christian mythology and a whole bunch of strange arabic mythologies and fables incorporating rock and star worship. Allah for instance, is initially the leading god of the pantheon of Medina, not the equivalent of El, the one Canaanite god. Oddly, Jesus is mentioned more times in the Koran than Muhammad. There are dozens of versions of the Koran though only 3 are formally recognised. 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 

Arberry's translation - and I read Ib Warraq's Why I am Not a Muslim, in which he dissects the Koran. He may not have a doctorate but Warraq is a scholarly author and he doubts Muhammad's existence and references many other scholars who doubt it as well. The general consensus from scholars Warraq references seems to be that of all the major religious doctrines the koran is the most incoherent and fractured, containing the entire Torah yet out of order, a swathe of christian mythology and a whole bunch of strange arabic mythologies and fables incorporating rock and star worship. Allah for instance, is initially the leading god of the pantheon of Medina, not the equivalent of El, the one Canaanite god. Oddly, Jesus is mentioned more times in the Koran than Muhammad. There are dozens of versions of the Koran though only 3 are formally recognised. 

 

 

This makes me think that the Koran was likely written by multiple people over years - but the consensus that I've always heard is that Muhammed (or 1 man) wrote the whole thing himself.

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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:
Arberry's translation - and I read Ib Warraq's Why I am Not a Muslim, in which he dissects the Koran. He may not have a doctorate but Warraq is a scholarly author and he doubts Muhammad's existence and references many other scholars who doubt it as well. The general consensus from scholars Warraq references seems to be that of all the major religious doctrines the koran is the most incoherent and fractured, containing the entire Torah yet out of order, a swathe of christian mythology and a whole bunch of strange arabic mythologies and fables incorporating rock and star worship. Allah for instance, is initially the leading god of the pantheon of Medina, not the equivalent of El, the one Canaanite god. Oddly, Jesus is mentioned more times in the Koran than Muhammad. There are dozens of versions of the Koran though only 3 are formally recognised.

Seems like the Acharya S of Islam.


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Get your hands

Recovering fundamentalist wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 

Arberry's translation - and I read Ib Warraq's Why I am Not a Muslim, in which he dissects the Koran. He may not have a doctorate but Warraq is a scholarly author and he doubts Muhammad's existence and references many other scholars who doubt it as well. The general consensus from scholars Warraq references seems to be that of all the major religious doctrines the koran is the most incoherent and fractured, containing the entire Torah yet out of order, a swathe of christian mythology and a whole bunch of strange arabic mythologies and fables incorporating rock and star worship. Allah for instance, is initially the leading god of the pantheon of Medina, not the equivalent of El, the one Canaanite god. Oddly, Jesus is mentioned more times in the Koran than Muhammad. There are dozens of versions of the Koran though only 3 are formally recognised. 

 

 

This makes me think that the Koran was likely written by multiple people over years - but the consensus that I've always heard is that Muhammed (or 1 man) wrote the whole thing himself.

 

On Warraq's Why I am not a Muslim. It's a total coshing of the Koran's authenticity. You come away shaking your head wondering how a book like this could be claimed to be the work of the lord on account of no more than rhyming meter and the threat of an ugly eternal death for the dubious. As far as sensible argument or coherent proofs go, the koran is woeful and those who believe in it are driving turbo-charged confirmation biases with go-fast stripes and double overhead foxtails. 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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You may want to check the

You may want to check the relevant claims before accepting them as fact. According to Ibn Warraq's Wikipedia page, one reputable historian has claimed that "This modern son of a bookseller imprints a polemical farce not worth the 500-plus pages of paper it wastes." Not that he has the final say, but just be skeptical.


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Sure

 

 

I agree with you skepticism is best Abe but Warraq's seriously referenced 500 page book beats out a criticism that first appeals to authority and then leads with an ad hominem.

 

Ed: I've now read half a dozen negative reviews which generally accuse Warraq of not understanding Islam or of hating Islam, etc, etc, that he's non intellectual. Similar to criticism of Dawkins' God Delusion.

He's accused of being too scared to show his face, admit his real name and address, etc. 

None of these reviews specifically address Warraq's criticism of islam's refusal to self criticise, to recognise its inconsistencies, and in doing so many seem to prove his point.

None address fundamental proofs of god's existence, Muhammad's existence. None challenge the bizarre supernatural claims, the clear importation of wholesale mythology. The peculiar influence of jewish scholars.

For me, Warraq shows where the Koran came from and indicates the different threads of thought and influence that led to the evolution of the doctrine it contains. 

Perhaps I need to read more criticism of this book but most seems anchored in muslim apologetics...

 

For those interested, here's a piece by Warraq that shows his open style, depth of referencing and general tone.

 

http://www.newenglishreview.org/Ibn_Warraq/Koranic_Criticism%3A_700_C.E._to_825_C.E./

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Great. My allusion to

Great. My allusion to Acharya S was not without reason. I am crawling through Acharya S's book Christ Conspiracy, cataloging and investigating the questionable claims. It is a very slow slog, because there seems to be terribly bad reasoning mixed in with the good on every page. Like Ibn Warraq, Acharya S is an outsider with scant academic credentials, has remained anonymous and used a pen name for most of her writing career, publishes books of history that double as polemics against an established religion, and treats the conservative religious position as the primary opposition. Her book is also thoroughly referenced, but the key references go to outdated and fringe modern sources instead of the ancient relevant evidence.

If I were you, I would investigate the positions taken among reputable secular historians of Islam who have academic credentials, find out the arguments that they accept for the historicity of Muhammad, and see how the arguments compare. Chances are, of course, they would take the historicity of Muhammad to be an obvious and assumed fact, but some arguments are relevant ancient evidence would be discussed on the web (i.e. Wikipedia's Historicity of Muhammad). Examine the explanation for the same evidence in Ibn Warraq's book. Also, see if you can find a critical review of the book from the secular camp, though that may be difficult. There may be good arguments that come from Muslim apologists about Ibn Warraq's historical claims, though of course the anti-Islamic polemics would be a huge distraction for them.

I imagine that, in a few thousand years, after the historical evidence has been largely destroyed and Mormonism becomes the established Christian sect that dominates the world, there will be a few authors who assert or doubt that Joseph Smith ever existed, using the same arguments--the historical silences, the similarities to other mythologies and mythical figures, the historical improbabilities of the mythical character of Joseph Smith, the deceit that was central to founding the LDS church, and so on. Not that Joseph Smith is analogous to Muhammad in every respect, but I think it is a reason, again, to be skeptical. There are authors who take advantage of wishful thinking of every audience perspective, not just the religious perspective, but also the anti-religious perspective.