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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the 685.98-and-1-nights dept.

girlwhowaspluggedout writes:

Hoping to be a pioneer on the Red Planet? First seek permission from your local cleric. Dubai's Khaleej Times reports that the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment in the UAE has ruled that promoting or being involved in a one-way trip to Mars is prohibited by Islam. The fatwa appears to be a response to Mars One's call for volunteers to make the pioneering trip to the red planet.

According to the General Authority, 'Such a one-way journey poses a real risk to life, and that can never be justified in Islam. There is a possibility that an individual who travels to planet Mars may not be able to remain alive there, and is more vulnerable to death.' Because of the inherent dangers of the trip, those who choose to go there are likely to die for no 'righteous reason,' thus incurring 'punishment similar to that of suicide in the Hereafter.'

The Khaleej Times further states that the General Authority fears that some of the volunteers, among whom are 500 Saudis and other Arabs, may be interested in traveling to Mars to escape punishment or to avoid standing before Allah for judgment. The General Authority decreed that 'this is an absolutely baseless and unacceptable belief because not even an atom falls outside the purview of Allah, the Creator of everything.'"

[ED Note: Likening the one-way-ticket to suicide does make some theological sense, but I am saddened that the Authority does not consider space exploration a "righteous reason" to risk one's life. In times past, many great explorers hailed from Muslim societies, and were part of what made them great.]

 
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  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by boinker on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:26PM

    by boinker (2434) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:26PM (#3497)

    Although I agree with the thought, the Editors note at the end doesn't do much except take away from the humour of the idiocy of religion. Let the stupidity speak for itself.

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    Total Score:   -1  
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:38PM

    by Sir Garlon (1264) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:38PM (#3512)

    What's idiotic about saying signing up for a one-way trip to Mars is equivalent to suicide? A reasonable person could disagree with that statement, but it's not a dumb thing to say.

    Or perhaps you're trying to say that religion is idiotic because it disapproves of suicide. Again, debatable but not off the wall.

    Wait, what was your point again?

    --
    [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by SleazyRidr on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:57PM

      by SleazyRidr (882) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:57PM (#3526)

      Yeah, going to Mars could be an awesome thing, but it's not something that I could encourage my daughter (or anyone for that matter) to do in good conscience. I wouldn't want to stand in someone's way, or tell them that they'll go to hell but they'll probably be a lot happier in a nice safe life on Earth.

      • (Score: 1) by melikamp on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:03PM

        by melikamp (1886) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:03PM (#3531) Journal

        Yeah, going to Mars could be an awesome thing, but it's not something that I could encourage my daughter (or anyone for that matter) to do in good conscience.

        I would volunteer James Clapper for a one-way Mars mission in a heartbeat.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:22PM

          by Sir Garlon (1264) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:22PM (#3548)

          I think that is more or less how Australia got colonized...

          --
          [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
        • (Score: 1) by jcd on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:05PM

          by jcd (883) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:05PM (#3569)

          What, so he can get a head start on setting up pan-colonial surveillance? I think not.

          --
          "What good's an honest soldier if he can be ordered to behave like a terrorist?"
        • (Score: 1) by FatPhil on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:52PM

          by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:52PM (#3594) Homepage

          Even before the spaceship's ready. I'll chip in $10 for fuel.

          --
          Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by SecurityGuy on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:12PM

        by SecurityGuy (1453) on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:12PM (#3779)

        I don't know, being among the first humans on Mars would be spectacularly awesome. I'd probably enjoy it quite a bit until I got near the actual dying part. It's much like regular life, actually. I'm having a blast now, but one day I'll be in a hospital bed facing my last days, or maybe in a crunched up car facing my last minutes, and expect that I might be unhappy about that.

        Dying is inevitable, but let's not let that stand in the way of actually living in the meantime. I think there's a tiny slice of the population who actually would be happier on a nice, dangerous Mars, even if that means they don't get to live as long as if they stayed here.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Thexalon on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:06PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:06PM (#3570)

      A couple more things to bear in mind:
      - Islam is not unified, and a lot of Muslims will simply ignore what these clerics have to say. For example, Iranian Shiites will probably treat this decision the same way an Anglican treats the pronouncements of Pope Francis - interesting, but by no means infallible. The Sunnis in Algeria take what the ayatollahs in Iran say about the same way.

      - Even within the right sub-group of Muslims, there are lots of people who aren't very devout. Most people will declare the faith, do the routine prayers, observe Ramadan, maybe go on a Hajj, try to give something to charity if they have it, stop by Friday prayers at the mosque on occasion, and consider that "good enough" without worrying too much about the pronouncements of various scholars and clerics.

      A lot of people in the West have this idea that Islam is a unified billion-strong group of crazy backwards people. It's in fact a very divided bunch of people with about a billion average folks trying to get by, maybe a couple million that take it really seriously and focus their lives around it, and a few thousand that are actually crazy or backwards.

      --
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      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by ragequit on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:27PM

        by ragequit (44) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:27PM (#3674) Journal

        The same could be said about any organized religion. How many Christian sects are there again?

        People are people, losing sight of this is the basis for prejudice.

        That being said, is this going to cause a religious divide on Mars? There appears to be a self selection here that would leave their voice unheard on the big red rock in the sky.

        --
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      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by akinliat on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:38PM

        by akinliat (1898) <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {tailnika}> on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:38PM (#3683)

        +1. Oh, where are mod points when I need them?

        Seriously, where are they? I got 10 this morning and they've already expired. I am not that decisive.

        It's in fact a very divided bunch of people with about a billion average folks trying to get by

        On a side note, most folks are like this. We in the West spend so much time inventing stereotypes and debating what it is that various Others are "really" like, when the truth is that most are just looking to put food on the table and roof over their heads. And, like enough, having a hard time managing even that much.

      • (Score: 1) by philip on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:58AM

        by philip (1614) on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:58AM (#4639)

        you would get mod points if I had them

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by girlwhowaspluggedout on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:42PM

    by girlwhowaspluggedout (1223) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:42PM (#3516)

    Although many (most?) modern day Islamic "denominations" are intent on becoming a perpetually backwater culture [wikipedia.org], medieval Islam was hardly the same. You can choose to view the religion as nothing more than a joke, but you can also look at its history as a tragedy.

    LaminatorX was right in referring to the past achievements of Muslim travelers. But do take the page he linked to, which claims, inter alia, that the Arabs discovered America 500 years before Columbus, with a grain of salt.

    --
    Soylent is the best disinfectant.
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by girlwhowaspluggedout on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:37PM

      by girlwhowaspluggedout (1223) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:37PM (#3560)
      Also, everything Sir Garlon [soylentnews.org] said. The fatwa doesn't appear to be anti-science per se but anti-suicide. Which, as has been said, is entirely reasonable. What's more, it is also appears to be theologically consistent.
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      • (Score: 1) by kumanopuusan on Friday February 21 2014, @01:51AM

        by kumanopuusan (2575) on Friday February 21 2014, @01:51AM (#3970)

        It would be a little easier to understand if it wasn't coming from the religion that brings us so many suicide bombers.

        • (Score: 2) by girlwhowaspluggedout on Friday February 21 2014, @07:32AM

          by girlwhowaspluggedout (1223) on Friday February 21 2014, @07:32AM (#4148)

          And Christianity is the religion that brings us so many abortion clinic firebombers, yet there are many Christian pro-choicers. Religions, especially global ones, are hardly monolithic.

          Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostalists, and Anabaptists are all nominally Christian, but that doesn't mean they share a systematic theology, or even a single set of beliefs. In like manner, has the UAE's General Authority ever issued fatwas in favor of suicide bombings? Even if they did, it is readily apparent why a fundamentalist would view suicide bombings as a theologically legitimate "righteous reason", whereas a trip to Mars, that may not even succeed, as a religiously unjustified risk.

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          Soylent is the best disinfectant.