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About odyssean

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    Believer without religion

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  1. All, I don't know people's stances on either illustrated depictions in general or comic books/graphic novels specifically, but I thought it might be nice to share news about an anthology I co-edited which is coming out in a few months: Originally, it was going to be printed as part of a Kickstarter(contact admin if its a beneficial link) campaign, but the Harvard office with which I was working saw that there was enough interest to sponsor it wholly themselves. So, I present: Muqtatafaht, a collection of Middle East comics creators' works, now available to comic shops for ordering for Free Comic Book Day 2012. Edited by myself and the folks at Harvard University CMES Outreach Center. you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetfreecomicbookday(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/Home/1/1/2...temID=STK460619 I'd welcome your comments and thoughts! (Of course, though, I know "Middle Eastern" is NOT perfectly equivalent to "Muslim." Nevertheless, I still thought there could be some overlap/interest in this here at IF, potentially.)
  2. What Did My Fellow Western Muslims Do

    Ha, there's no "versus" -- they go great together! No, I did the same with my family as I did growing up in a Jewish family. In fact, it can be kind of nice, the feeling of having the movie theaters to ourselves and the excuse to chow on Chinese food. All in all, though, we still get to experience the feeling of peace and happiness, even if it isn't connected to some religious experience for us. (But, yes, television program is awful on Christmas Day.)
  3. What Did My Fellow Western Muslims Do

    We did what my Jewish family did growing up: Go out for Chinese food!
  4. Conversion Dilemma

    Should this topic, which is totally legitimate but a tad advanced for me, be broken into another, separate thread?
  5. Discovery Of New Planets

    By those three definitions, yes, I think there could be intelligent life out there in the rest of the universe. But, also by those definitions, a dog should be considered intelligent. So long as we're prepared to have first contact with alien life that has the cognitive capacity of an animal (or a truly "alien" approach to thought), then, yes, I feel there is "intelligent" life elsewhere.
  6. Conversion Dilemma

    Ok, but, rather than feeling it's a homework assignment, could you give me some context as to why this feels like an important thing for me to read? That is, what is it such that it could aid me? I want to keep up with this discussion, but you folks have kind of lost me. Could you explain the relevance of all this to me?
  7. Discovery Of New Planets

    Yes, I believe in the possibility of extraterrestrial life. And I also believe it could be intelligent -- but that word, intelligent covers an awful lot of ground. I am less certain that what we consider intelligence would apply to them, and vice versa. As such, I am skeptical about them having "religion" in any manner that we would recognize as such.
  8. Discovery Of New Planets

    Perhaps I'm wrong, but I took Lost In Paradise's comment to refer to the two Earth-like planets discovered outside our solar system. I believe we now have 8 planets in our own solar system (since Pluto got downgraded).
  9. Conversion Dilemma

    I'm not making light of this when I say that this reminds me of Yoda from Star Wars: "Do or do not. There is no try." Since I was practically raised on those movies, that's what rings in my subconscious when I read SaracenSoldier's comment -- and, frankly, that always struck me as the most difficult part of being a Jedi. I am always willing to try things, but I am often wary of committing to something definitively. I have to wonder, though, whether most people who identify with any particular religion feel this way, sad clown. That is, I suspect that many Jews, Christians, and even Muslims aren't devoted "in their hearts" to their faith. Frankly, I'm not devoted to Judaism anymore...but I don't know whether or not I can be devoted to Islam, as attracted as I am to it...
  10. Conversion Dilemma

    I think your last point is the most applicable here (and very much appreciated). It's not that I'm considering Islam so as to change; I'm considering it because I suspect I already think and intuit in a manner that I see reflected in Islam. But, heh, my clubbing days are long over -- and none of my peers drink very much (or else they get sleepy and have to go to bed early). I already live amongst the humdrum! No, my concern would be with maintaining their trust in my judgment skills. I know this is an unfair comparison, but think I if one of your friends announced he wanted a sex change. (However, he'd still date women; he just identifies more with the "thinking and intuiting" of lesbians as he perceives them.) You might be supportive and kind, but it could leave you wondering what else in his (now her) life is so alterable and changeable. I don't want my friends to think they no longer know me. I think I'll do that right now! I have access to a digital Qur'an, and there's a print one in my household already, but none of them feel like "mine."
  11. Getting To Know Me...

    No problem. I've already started a thread in the Conversion forum, so I'd welcome further discussion there if that seems appropriate.
  12. Conversion Dilemma

    It does make sense, though I am unsure of its applicability to me personally. I do have a supportive family and have rarely ever been out of their good graces. So I suppose I'm less worried about my family than I am about my social circles. My friends and coworkers all act very open-minded, but I can't predict what the actual responses might be to my conversion. (Also, I can picture quite a few eyebrows raised to my using the term "reversion" rather than "conversion." It may sound to them like I feel they are in the wrong and practicing an illegitimate faith.) I live just outside of the Boston area, Amna.
  13. Conversion Dilemma

    Was learning Arabic part of that process for you?
  14. Purgatory

    Haha! :sl: It's just a fancy way of saying, "white person."
  15. Conversion Dilemma

    Hm! I don't know if this is a lost reference to you, but that sounds positively Augustinian to me -- he was looking for guidance, his Bible flipped open to a random page, and the passage there spoke to him in a way that he never doubted his Christianity again. :sl: