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July 22nd, 2012
03:00 AM ET

Muslim Olympians wrestle with Ramadan dilemma

By Richard Allen Greene and Aroub Abdelhaq, CNN

London (CNN)– Olympic judo competitor Hemeed Al Drie plans to sin during the Games in London, he admits with a grin.

"God is merciful and compassionate, even when our sins are many," said Al Drie, kneeling on a mat while martial artists hurled each other to the floor around him.

Al Drie's sin isn't what you might expect. It's that he is planning to eat and drink while the sun is up during the Olympics, even thought the Games fall smack in the middle of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Observant Muslims are supposed to fast during Ramadan, abstaining from all food and drink, even water, during daylight hours, then eating and drinking after sundown. Fasting for the month is a major religious obligation, one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

But Al Drie, 19, knows that fasting on days when he has up to six judo matches against the world's best competitors would doom his chances of winning.

"If you don't eat and you enter a competition, you might faint," he said. That would lead to instant elimination.

So Al Drie is going to stick to his normal competition diet.

CNN's Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the big stories

"Maybe some people will fast, and that's good for them. But for me, I can't risk losing any of my matches," he said.

Al Drie, who is from the United Arab Emirates, isn't alone in facing the Ramadan dilemma. It's not clear exactly how many Muslim athletes are competing in the Olympics this year, but more than one in five people around the world - about 23% - is Muslim, according to estimates by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Religious experts in Saudi Arabia determine the starting date of Ramadan each year based on the phase of the moon.

Muslim athletes face a particular challenge because there are so many hours of daylight in London during the Games, says sports nutritionist Hala Barghout.

"It's a 17-hour fast in London. It's not like here in the Middle East," said Barghout, from the United Arab Emirates.

It is "physically impossible" for a world-class athlete to stuff as much food as they need into their body during the seven hours of darkness that remain, she said.

"How much can a person eat in one meal? You can't have, say, 3,000 or 4,000 calories in one meal. You need time to digest," she said. Three thousand calories is the amount that the U.S. government recommends that an active man in his 20s eat in an entire day.

Explain it to me: Ramadan

But one of the leading Islamic religious leaders in the Middle East says Muslims competing in the Olympics should observe the daytime fast, regardless of how it affects their performance.

"Playing sports is not a requirement in Islam. Players become athletes by choice. This optional activity, therefore, does not allow athletes to break their fast," said Ahmed Abdul Aziz Al Haddad, the grand mufti of Dubai.

Muslim athletes must also observe the fast because they are representing Islam at the Olympics, Al Haddad said.

"They must be ambassadors of their faith," he said. "Meaning that Islam must be present in their actions, and they do not fall into anything that Islam forbids."


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Competitors may eat or drink if fasting is threatening their health, he said.
"If a person feels extreme fatigue, sharia allows him to break his fast. Sharia is flexible," he said, using the Arabic word for Islamic law.

"But to immediately break your fast without being hungry or thirsty is the same as submitting to your cravings and lusts, and not putting God's desire before your own," the religious scholar argued.

Not all Muslim authorities agree with Al Haddad.

British Olympic rower Moe - for Mohamed - Sbihi has discussed the problem with his imam, and decided not to fast during the Games.

He plans to feed 1,800 hungry people in Morocco after the Games as compensation for not fasting during the holy month, and will observe a fast later.

"It was a hard decision for me to make," said Sbihi, who was born in Britain to an English mother and Moroccan father.

"When I first started rowing as a youngster, I said that I'd be fasting regardless," he said.

But over time he changed his mind. He did his university dissertation on fasting in sports, and consulted family, friends and coaches in Morocco and Britain before making his decision, he said.

British rower Mohamed 'Mo' Sbihi.

"In the end it felt like I was making the right decision for me, and that's to postpone my fast, to make it up at a later date," he said.

Sbihi has been considering the Ramadan dilemma for years, since it became clear that the 2012 Games would fall during the holy month. They usually don't. The Muslim calendar follows the moon, so Ramadan falls during different seasons in different years.

Members of the London committee organizing the Games this year noted it was not their decision to hold them during Ramadan - the International Olympic Committee sets the date.

The IOC pointed out that the Games "bring together virtually every religion and creed. ... How to deal with religious practices is up to each athlete and his/her personal beliefs."

Sandrine Tonge, a spokeswoman for the IOC, said different countries and individuals deal with the question differently.

"Some countries, like Egypt, for example, issue fatwas exempting athletes from the need to fast when competing," she said, using the Arabic word for a Muslim religious ruling. "At the end, religious practice is a matter for individual conscience."

Interactive: The evolving Olympic athlete

The London organizers pointed out that major international sports events have taken place during Ramadan before, including the Singapore Youth Olympic Games in 2010.

Dining facilities in the Olympic Village will be open 24 hours a day, and athletes observing Ramadan will be able to order "break-of-fast packs that will include water, nutritional bars and fruit," the organizing committee says.

Even with those provisions in place, and with the Games beginning in just days, Khadijah Fahed Mohammed hasn't decided whether she will fast.

The 17-year-old weightlifter is the first woman from the United Arab Emirates ever to qualify for the Games.

Her nutritionist has put together a plan for her to consume 5,000 calories a day - more than twice as much as an active woman her age should normally eat, according the U.S. guidelines.

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She's torn between her obligation to fast and her desire to win.

"Both are important to me. Fasting is a must," she said, even as she recognizes the importance of her first time in the Olympics.

"This is our chance. Ramadan just happened to be at the same time as the competition, so no one knows what to do. Should we fast or not?" she asked.

Her coach says she should.

"Many competitions have taken place during Ramadan," said Nagwan El-Zawawi. "I am not convinced you can break your fast. I mean, fasting is a must. There are no excuses."

But judo competitor Al Drie doesn't believe that.

"God is with me wherever I go, whether I fast or not," he insisted. "The most important thing is to have faith in God and give it your best and thank God, whether you win or lose."

CNN's Christina Macfarlane, Mohammed Jamjoom, Jon Jensen and Nima Elbagir contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Ramadan • Uncategorized

soundoff (1,052 Responses)
  1. ug

    Who cares! This isn't even an issue...p i s s on the moslems...

    July 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  2. LT

    They definitely have a dilemma all right. How on earth are you going to wrestle your "well fed" opponent who is strong and ready for you???? Will be a very interesting match to watch.

    July 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      They will win through prayer, what else?

      July 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  3. jorge washinsen

    I have made it plain to my family I do not want a preacher of any faith wrapped up in my funeral. I decided this when 9-11 happened. I will take my chances.Not that I do not believe in a higher being I will never trust a religion again.

    July 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Hey Jorge!

      Why do you need to believe in a higher power, just curious?

      July 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  4. christopher

    My God asks me not to fast. Allah's commandments are only for Muslims ? How can Allah the One and Only True God create a class of people called infidels / non-muslims ? It doesnt make sense. Allah / Mohammad / Quran must be wrong.

    July 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Arvoasitis

      As the poet, Tennyson put it:
      "God fulfills himself in many ways,
      Lest one good custom should corrupt the world."

      July 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  5. jorge washinsen

    I still go with human nature,we all put our pants on one leg at a time.

    July 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  6. jorge washinsen

    We saw on 9-11 there are exceptions in all religions.

    July 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  7. jorge washinsen

    It seems we all have a price at which we will change our thinking.

    July 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  8. notphil

    I understand the plight of these Olympians, but I loled at the line "How much can a person eat in one meal? You can't have, say, 3,000 or 4,000 calories in one meal."

    Apparently none of these people have ever been to McDonalds.

    July 22, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  9. rft

    Why can't he observe Ramadan and STILL feed 1800 hungry people? Why is it either/or. People who follow the Muslim religion know what the sacrafices are. Is personal gain and false pride more important than their relationship with God?

    July 22, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Fred

      Have you ever looked into Islam? Anybody who worships a pedophile and murderer can't be too bright.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • paperjihad

      Increasing one's charitable acts during the month of Ramadan is highly commendable and strongly encouraged.

      Peace!

      July 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Guest

      There are no gods and those who choose to believe there are should suffer the guilt of defying their imaginary daddy or choose to sacrifice as necessary to pay obeisance to that same daddy. Either way, their fantasies shouldn't provide them with special treatment nor prevent life going on as scheduled for the grownups in this world.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Tex

      Prove the lack of immaterials. You seem smart. You should know what I mean. Are you a radical empiricist?

      July 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  10. CBR

    Weren't the Olympic officials aware that the dates coincided with Ramadan? Poor timing that is for sure. This is definitely another example of how out of touch Olympic officials are.

    July 22, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • The guy in Dances with Wolves who p1ssed his pants and then shot himself

      Who cares what some religious morons think? Let's race!

      July 22, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @CBR

      A typical religious enti*tlement response, you're a moron.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      The Summer Olympics have been on these dates for decades. It's not like would change them at this late date, to change them by an entire month.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Tex

      @ Voice of Reason

      You're not very nice. Perhaps we can discuss the topic of morality some time. You can tell me why you think you're better than everyone, and I'll tell you about how we are all people, all flawed, and all headed to the grave.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Tex

      Please show me where I said I was better than everyone please and then we can have that discussion on morality, moron.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Tex

      @VoR

      Well, in calling people "moron", now twice, you imply that you are better than them. Because of your drastic disposition against religious people, I'm assuming you think you're better than all of them. Do you think you're better than anyone? Yes. Is it wrong? Yes. You're turn.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Tex

      By me calling someone a moron automatically makes me a person that thinks I'm better than everyone else? WOW! I'm not gettin' Tex, you have some complex there dude, seek some help and quick! Poor little boy I called you a moron, cry, cry cry.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Tex

      If you'd read the latest post, I said that you think you're better than some people. Why are you better than them? What is the rule that measure's a man?

      July 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I just called the waahmbulance for Tex; they'll play some recordings of your mommy telling you that you're the best little boy in the world and everything you do is just sooooo special. It'll fix you right up.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Tex

      "You can tell me why you think you're better than everyone"

      Come on now tex, you said everyone, quit changing the game here boy.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • shelly

      You can't possibly be suggesting that the Olympics be planned around a religious holiday to accompany people's religious beliefs. Its THEIR CHOICE to compete in the Olympics which happens to occur during their religious holiday. The Olympic committe had zero obligation to move the Olympics, your comment is absurd.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  11. Tex

    I'm not Muslim, but if your belief is to fast for a specific month, stay true! If you don't believe, then don't fast. It's very simple. I will respect those who fast because they believe it right more than those who refuse to fast and think it an offense. The former is altruistic, fasting because they are following what they think is good, even though it may harm them. The latter is selfish, thinking it wrong to eat and drink, yet doing it anyway for their own gain.

    July 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • paperjihad

      @Tex What the article seems to overlook is that Muslims have a dispensation while travelling....they can simply make up the fast at a later time. It wasn't meant to be a hardship.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Tex

      Then they should make it up. My post was more to target those who would decide not to observe Ramadan in any fashion, whether it be starting the 20th or made up later. Sorry for the confusion.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • paperjihad

      Thanks, Tex!

      July 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  12. AlienShark

    How beautiful is it that he is willing to feed 1800 poor people because of he believes he owes his creator. He is only one story, I wonder how many others there are who are feeding poor people and restraining their desires to purify themselves. The more I learn about Islam, the more I like it.

    July 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Very well written.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Why do all you believers need this god cr*ap to rationalize doing good things? I just don't get you people.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Tex

      @VoR

      Why should one do what is good? (devil's advocate)

      July 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Lameness Spotter

      fake tallulah,

      The real @tallulah13 must make some real good points for you to want to try as.sume her persona?!

      No matter which religion you are, I'm pretty sure that stealing (a screen name) and lying (impersonation) and unjustly defaming the character of another are no-nos.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Tex

      If you have to ask why someone should do good then you don't understand the social structure and evolution.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Tex

      @VoR

      What does evolution have to do with the is/ought problem. If evolution says we should progress the species, why does that command me, an individual, to do so? Why must I choose to follow what evolution says? Maybe I don't like it? It just right for me to do what I think is right, because that's what evolution has given me. (still devil's advocate)

      July 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Tex

      You ask me to read the bible, I did, in turn I asked you to educate yourself on the theory of evolution, you didn't, you won't because it goes against what you believe. And what you believe cannot be proven so you strike back at me because your belief is merely that, a belief. I'm not sorry for you I pity you, I'm not better than you, I'm just more informed than you. I am in a place that I can make a logical choice, a decision based on facts and reasoning, yet, there you live, in a world of make believe, supernatural mumbo jumbo. It's not that I am better than you tex, it's just that I think and you don't.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Tex

      You think I'm uneducated. lolololololololololol

      Evolution is irrelevant. I'm asking about how one should behave, and evolution has nothing in it that says someone should behave X. In fact, it would say that whatever the individual feels is right is right, because evolution made that individual. Is that your belief?

      July 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Yo Tex!

      Wake up little one! Morality is a social dynamic not a special menu from your god, get a life! It was born in the process of interaction between humans, actually there are some studies that suggest morality in animals as well. Hurry put your hands over your ears!

      July 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Tex
      "You think I'm uneducated"

      Tex, you don't play fair, I never said you were uneducated did I? Show me please. I can't play with a little boy with a little mind that makes up fairy tales and crying wolf, goodbye!

      July 22, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Tex

      You don't play nice. I think I'm done, lest I be accused of shoving my beliefs down your throat. I don't know why I thought I'd find many open minded people on the comment boards of CNN.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Thank you spotter. This person "borrows" my screen name every time islam is a topic on these pages. I think that they mistakenly as.sume that the -lah at the end of Tallulah means its an Arabic name, which couldn't be further from the truth.

      July 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  13. OJ

    One of the main point behind fasting is to feel wha a homeless or orphan child feels going hungry all day while people enjoy all sort of goodies. Fasting during the daytime drives this point home since this is the time to enjoy life and all it has to offer. I found myself after Ramadan donting more and put life in prespective. You don't have to be religious to try. Try fasting three days, and you will start paying attention to those in ineed. I hope the olympians do well, if not this time then next time when they are not fasting!

    July 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Why in the world would anyone with a brain want to starve themselves is beyond me? Other than for a medical purposes it doesn't make any sense. If it is medically proven that there are desirable results through fasting that is another matter.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • RS

      Voice of Reason, you're the stereotypical atheist. You could care less about other people's beliefs but absolutely MUST shove YOUR beliefs down others throats. Every atheist is the same, it's pathetic.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @RS
      "You could care less about other people's beliefs"

      You couldn't be further from the truth but what should I expect? You are close minded and presumptuous. You don't offer anything. Shove it!

      July 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Guest

      RS, I think you meant that Voice of Reason 'couldn't' care less, not that he/ COULD. Either way, it isn't atheists forcing their irrational beliefs on others; it's deluded religious fanatics.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Tex

      So.... You are allowed to force beliefs on people because... you think they're right.... Sounds like a religious fanatic to me!

      July 22, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Tex

      We are not forcing anything on anyone, it is the religious that do that. First off, I don't have a belief, there is an absence of a god in my life, that's all. You are the people trying to force BS down my throat and I don't like lies, it's counter productive. This is reality Tex, there is no god, if there is then prove it or shut the f*uck up!

      July 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Tex

      @VoR

      Ok. I'll prove it. But you need to be completely consistent in your self.

      I'd first like you to answer the 2 following questions. I have to see if I can actually work with you, or if you have presuppositions that will make it futile.

      If I prove God, what will it do for you?
      Is the universe logical in every way?

      July 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Tex

      If you could prove to me that there is a god, what would it do for me? Are you serious? It would prove to me there was a god, right? What else do you want it to do for me?

      As far as logical is concerned I couldn't tell you.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Tex

      @ VoR

      Eh, your acceptance of truth is good enough for now. I guess, if I prove it, you simply knowing it is fine and dandy.

      So first, things exist. I'm sure you wont debate it. I assume you know that the universe is finite, so, therefore, space and matter are finite. This is actually important for the proof, believe it or not.

      Next, since it is finite, and it has X matter, what is to say it must have X? It does have X, but why does it not have X+1? Or X*3? Instead, it has X. This can mean two things: the universe's existence is illogical/absurd, or it is dependent upon something else that has a natural disposition to existence.

      The first option means we cannot know anything except of our own existence and the past (David Hume's position). However, you and I both know that magnesium and hydrochloric acid react, always. Both in the past and now and in the future. They bubble, and sometimes burst into flame. Hume is wrong. It is the second option.

      This infinite thing which is dependent upon must also not simply be, but choose the dependents to exist. The dependent things, material or immaterial, do not spawn simply because there is a infinite thing, but the infinite thing must spawn them. It chooses. It must be, not might be, but must be a being. This is what I call God. This is a being that is non-contingent (non-dependent) being. That's all this proof does. It does not prove the Christian God or the Muslim God or any specific God, it proves a non-dependent being, which I call God.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Tex

      Creationism, already been done, next.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Tex

      Ahw, so you don't like logic. That's upsetting. I guess it was futile.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Sorry Tex, that's not logic. It's a bunch of seemingly random thoughts loosely connected by unsupported assertions. For example, why must the amount of matter (X) mean what you say it does?

      Regardless of your explanations and "logic" you don't have better proof than theologians, and they have none.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Tex

      Excuse me if I'm moving too fast. This is only a comment board. I made the matter of the universe equal X because I don't know the actual finite total. However, there is a finite total. Ask any atheist scientist. They'll say it too. The universe is finite. I'd rather not post links everywhere for sources, so if you don't trust me, look it up.

      If the universe was infinite, you could say it can't have less or more. That would rule out my assertion that it is contingent. However, it is finite, making my assertion a necessity. The finiteness of the universe proves it's contingency.

      The universe has nothing in and of itself that requires it's existence. Yet it does exist. Still two options, still one solution.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      Tex, you need to keep on chattering 'cause you haven't made the case that a finite universe must have a non-dependent being, which you need to exist to fulfill your desire for a god.

      Have you submitted your "logic" to a peer-reviewed publication? Are you really ready to take on the likes of Krauss and Hawking? I don't think so....

      July 22, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  14. DDM

    Islam is just religious BS like all the others. Plus followers are NOT required to keep to restrictions if it interferes with their job, their survival, whatever, although they like to pretend it's required whenever it suits them for breaks on the job, at school, etc. They can even eat pork if needed to survive, they are to lie to promote Islam, etc. Look, folks, why not just pray if it suits you to do so, but dump all the indoctrination which is nothing more than human intervention by men with their personal agendas, anyway.

    July 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  15. falsehoodwinsovertruth

    @rs1201
    You said:
    It would have been really nice for the 11 Israeli Olympians who were murdered by these good islam followers to have had a chance at life...but no they didn't...because Islam is a "good" religion and only Israelis and Jews have to die.

    Me: I am against killing any innocents and any attacks..But you must know those who attacked 11 Israelis were fighting to regain their theft land that is Palestine by Israel and/also against USA veto of over 40 UNO resolutions.

    They (some Muslims) are also retaliating the killing of thousands of innocent Palestinians, especially Palestine children by one of the modern day oppressing regimes (thieves) of Palestine land since last 60 years.
    The plane hijackings, suicide bombings, 9/11 attack etc.. was nothing but frustration against injustice by two of the superpowers (unfortunately)) of this world, supported by Jew controlled medias and their tactic propaganda’s.
    I hope you are not one of them.

    July 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • i12bphil

      There has never bee a country or culture known as "Palestine". Look it up.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  16. God / Allah / Yahweh / Great Pumpkin / Lord Bubba

    Religion has to be one of the dumbest things ever invented.

    July 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Tex

      1) Matter doesn't exist infinitely.
      2) There could be more, there could be less, but the total is equal to X.
      3) There is no reason for there to be X rather than X-3, or X*2, or whatever.
      4) The existence of the universe is reasonless/absurd.
      5) The universe now just exists because it exists, and there is no reason for the universe to be other than it's own prior existence. There is no reason for why there was anything to go bang 14 billion years ago. Matter just exists for no reason.
      6) The universe is illogical.
      7) We can only know of our own existence and that the universe is illogical.
      8) We cannot know if there is a God or not because the universe doesn't tell us; it's illogical.

      -OR-

      1) Matter doesn't exist infinitely.
      2) There could be more, there could be less, but the total is equal to X.
      3) There IS reason for there to be X rather than X-3, or X*2, or whatever.
      4) The existence of the universe is CONTINGENT/DEPENDENT.
      5) There must be a non-contingent thing.
      6) This non-contingent thing must be a being, because a non-being would simply exist and not have any contingencies attached to it. Instead, there are contingent things, and there are because something chose/made the contingent things.
      7) This non-contingent being is what philosophers call God.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Or the universe is not intuituve, as proven by Dirac, Heisenberg, and Einsten, and all the contingent crap is rendered mute, until we see evidence.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • *

      Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      *moot (not mute)

      July 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      and your god certainly aint the Yahew guy : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZY2eeozdo8

      July 22, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      yup, you're right

      July 22, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      List two IMPLIES a "non-contingent" "thing," but that doesn't mean that "non-contingent thing" is conscious or a being with anything similar to what we know as existence. I think it's reasonable to believe in some noncontingent thing, but it's unreasonable to as.sume anything else about what that noncontingent thing might be like or might want or anything else–especially in response to humanity. Do you think it's reasonable to as.sume any specifics about that noncontingent thing?

      July 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Tex

      As.sume? No! Never! What we know of the non-contingent thing is by what is contingent. We know it can create because there is stuff. We know it is a being rather than inanimate because in order to create, it must act. If we get into immaterials, we can actually prove lots of things, but many people think there are no immaterials. What are you curious about? This is what I do for fun.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Black holes preserve on their surface the digital information of matter that falls into them. (See Brian Greene). Since that is the case, there is no way to rule out that we are NOT holograms of a data set running on the surface of this universe.
      Sorry Tex. Go tell WLC he's gonna have to cook up a new script.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Tex

      I saw that PBS special too. Don't think you're so smart. Truly, it doesn't matter if we are holograms or not. We exist. Even Descartes couldn't deny that. That's what this argument follows. It doesn't matter about the details, there are things existent that have no internal quality that demands their existence.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      So explain how god began the creative act "before" spacetime existed.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      There is more consistent evidence, (speaking of being totally consistent), that the Salem Mass. women were actually witches, than there is for the resurrection.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      No Tex, that argument is valid ONLY if the univese HAS to be intuitive to our brains. It is not. You can't eat Logic for supper.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Tex

      But you're already as.suming when you say "create." That word carries the connotation of intent, and we have no reason to as.sume intent or a being. Why must the non-contingent thing (that we're already as.suming) be anything that thinks or intends? You have no reason to as.sume that.

      No, you AS.SUME it is "a being." You don't know it.

      I'm curious as to why you think it's logical to base a belief off an as.sumption. You as.sume a "non-contingent" thing because without you'd have to be at peace with ignorance or absurdity (the universe exists and we don't know why, or maybe a non-contingent thing did something or other).

      I'm glad you're having fun, but you don't seem to be able to see the flaws in your logic.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Tex

      God began the "creative act" before spacetime because God is not material.

      The evidence of the resurrection is in the rapid growth of the religion from ~30 AD to ~70 AD. People believed the story. Would you, unless someone who saw it came up to you and told you?

      The argument has nothing to do with the universe being intuitive. Do we exist? Does the universe exist? The argument doesn't care HOW the universe exists, it's only moot if the universe DOESN'T exist.

      The non-contingent being "creates" because the contingent things do not spawn on their own. If they did, they'd be part of the non-contingent being. Because it creates, we know it to be a being. I agree, only so much can be proven, but I think I got this.

      The reason it can't be the first option is that logic wins. Matter has nothing to say it must exist besides prior existence. Why does it exist in the first place? Unless the universe is reasonless, there must be a God. However, we can see the universe acting completely logical. My classic example is that magnesium and hydrochloric acid always react. We've never recorded a time where they don't, and unless you're David Hume, you can easily know they always will. If it were illogical, sometimes it'd fizzle and other times not. The universe is logical. Option 2.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      My head is spinning due to the high velocity circular logic!

      Tex, reason is not the same as logic. There does not have to a reason for the universe. It's formation can be explained by peer-reviewed theories by several recognized scientists. How the universe formed and continues to operate is logical because of the laws of physics, not some bullsh!t imaginary god, unless of course, you have some actual proof, not just mumbo-jumbo words you'd like us to accept as logic and science.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Tex,

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xv_Iklb1V4&w=640&h=360]

      Speaking of agreeing to be completely consistent. If I can prove there is more evidence for the Salem witches, than for the resurrection, will you agree to believe in the Salem witches? (See the video about..you just lost).

      Come on. You can do better than this reply. The question of materiality is irrelevant to the question of time, and action. Material or not, the act procedes. For that to happen, it requires time. Name one property of existence, which does not require time.

      The growth argument is arumentum ad populum. Also irrelevant. 100 % people on Earth also thought the earth was flat. The growth argument is pathetic. No I would NOT believe it. Why are YOU so gullible ?

      YOU are the one, with your contingency mumbo jumbo who is saying the universe operates according to YOUR logic. I have pointed out what that is no longer possible to rely on the The existence of the universe is irrelevant. Logic does NOT win. Heisenburg has prove that. Have you ever taken a Physics class. Apparently not. So 3 irrelevants so far. Hmmm. The universe does not have to be the way you NEED it to be, just to make you happy.

      We don't know why it exists yet. But that doesn't men you get to make up a story, to make yourself feel all good and cozy. There may be no reason for the universe. Buck up dude. Grow a pair. Some day we may know, we might not.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  17. The guy in Dances with Wolves who p1ssed his pants and then shot himself

    I just p1ssed my pants and I don't care who knows it.

    July 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Solex

      That you would think anyone would care about you soiling yourself on purpose is the biggest joke of all.

      Are you a stooge for depends?

      July 22, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  18. LetsThink123

    Sure, lets fast for imaginary allah. When will the human race progress, i wonder :-\

    July 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  19. El Flaco

    The Muslim athletes should do what we Christians do. Just commit the sin and don't tell anyone.

    July 22, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • tallulah13

      You make a very good point. I am so proud Hemeed Al Drie for owning upto his sins.There is nothing more disgusting than breaking the fast and not letting the world know about it. We as muslims are very good at leading very religious lives.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Lameness Spotter

      fake tallulah,

      W.. T.. F...?

      July 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  20. Voice of Reason

    Just another example of insanity driven by religion. If they don't fast their god will be mad, whatever, or maybe someone will kill them for not fasting? What the f*uck? Same old BS just another part of the world. Hey you bible thumper's if you were born over there you'd have the same god as them, go figure!

    July 22, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Aaron

      ... Hey voice of reason.. If you, like most people in this country knew anything about Islam you'd know that they already have the same God as us Christians do. The angel gabriel gave Muhammad the Koran, and Pope John Paul II gave an excellent speech to young Muslims in Casablanca in 1985. They are the same God, the "One God". The differences lay in other things.
      For a Voice of Reason, you seem woefully uneducated.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • i12bphil

      It's not the same God. Period. No matter what you've been taught or what they tell you.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Listen Aaron, it's all the same to me, whatever, a god is a god is a god, all a bunch of BS. I guess it matters to you, right? I wouldn't use uneducated towards me my friend, it is you that is woefully fooled and deluded not I.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Islam is a moon god cult. See previous page. Ain't no angels. Yahweh was a pagan god, so was Al-Ilah, the moon god. You saying something, does not make it so. The moon is made of green cheese. I sqaid so. So it is.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.