Monday, August 29, 2011
Descending in to the dark night of mental illness? Apparently yet another dire consequence of climate change. The bad news just keeps piling up.
Apparently the Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the dude the Scots released on "compassionate" grounds a couple of years ago, is now, finally, staring in to the abyss. He had better hope that the all-powerful single diety is Allah, rather than the alternatives.
A few ideas for policymakers who want to encourage business formation at essentially no cost to the government.
For reasons that are wholly unclear to me, the White House is "a bit touchy" about the First Family's vacations. Not on my account. I'm all for the president going on vacation. Sure, I would have preferred that he do it before he appointed all those leftists to run the administrative state, but you can't have everything.
"He had better hope that the all-powerful single diety is Allah, rather than the alternatives."
"Allah" simple means God in Arabic. Theologically, it's the same deity as for Christians, Jews, and (when Muslims are feeling charitable) Zoroastrians.
Not exactly true. Technically, it refers to the moon god of pagan origin. Thus the crescent moon symbolism and the fact that the Arabic calendars are based on the cycle of the moon rather than the sun.
And before someone mentions the Egyptian farmer's calendar, I might mention that that actually has Pharoahic origins.
This might be just a nit to pick (because after all, the Christian celebration of Easter is actually based on the pagan celebration of Oestre), it is still the trught.
"Technically, it refers to the moon god of pagan origin. Thus the crescent moon symbolism and the fact that the Arabic calendars are based on the cycle of the moon rather than the sun... it is still the trught."
That is not, in fact, the truth. Like, at all.
Allah is a contraction of 'al' (meaning 'the') and 'ilah' (meaning 'god'), making it, literally, God with a capital G.
Secondly, even in pagan Arabia, Allah was the supreme deity; it shares as cognates Hebrew words for God, like Elah or the pluralized Elohim, which predate Islam by a millennium or more. It is not taken from the name of any other deity. Its defining characteristic is that it is a reverential title without a name. It is specifically nameless, like how Adonai or Ha-Shem are used in place of YHVH in Jewish liturgy.
Third, Arabic/Aramaic/Syriac speaking Christians and Jews use "Allah" (or a recognizable variant, such as Eloh or Aaloh) and always have.
Fourth, Islam uses the lunar calendar because the Arabs used the lunar calendar, just like Jews (who populated ancient Arabia and against whom Muhammad had a personal vendetta) use a lunar calendar. It's utterly unconnected with Islamic theology.
Lastly, the crescent moon association with Islam was established by the Ottoman Turks centuries after Islam was founded. It has no theological connection at all. At BEST, you could try to link it with an (obviously legendary) Hadith about how Muhammad once split the moon to demonstrate his authenticity as prophet.
If you doubt the connection between climate change and mental illness (or at least the connection between worrying about climate change and mental illness), you have only to look at the evolution of Al Gore.
Slight nit about Hebrew vs. Muslim calendar: both are essentially lunar as DF82 says. However the Hebrew calendar attempts to keep Jewish holidays aligned with the seasons by throwing in a "leap month" every 2 or 3 years while the Muslim calendar always consists of 12 months per year and lets the season (or rather the calendar) drift - 12 lunar months ~= 354 days. The foregoing is not intended to make implications about anything other than the calendars themselves.