So you're telling me that if you saw the possibility of choosing to give the local council (where you may not even live) £120 (£60 if you pay quickly) of your own money or keeping it for your regular budget, you would choose the former?
lol! I see that your Quantum Physics degree has helped you get a job where you obviously get far too much money! (jk)
Well, I'll take your word for it, but I think that in that situation, most people would choose to slow down and avoid the ticket. However, I'm sure that you already knew this was my point...
Most people would slow down to stay within the clear boundary of the speed limit at the threat of (and through fear of) losing money that they could be spending on food/rent/bills/family/etc. That doesn't mean that they are incapable of following the speed limit, or that they are some sort of low-life hooligan, because they "need" to have the fear of government punishment in them. It simply means that they recognise a boundary that has been put in place for the general well being of the citizens of the country as a whole.
This applies to religious rulings, too. There's absolutely no point in having a boundary or a limit if there are no consequences in crossing it. In reality, no matter how much of an upstanding role model you might perceive yourself to be, that would eventually lead to utter chaos.
We need boundaries, and we need to be aware of the consequences of crossing them. "If you don't eat your vegetables, you're not getting any dessert!"
"You don't see how the logic there is flawed? The whole "I don't need proof, I have faith" is basically a get out clause"
That's not the only aspect of what I'm saying, though. What I'm saying is that having a "provable" knowledge of God would be a contradiction that would demolish the entire point of having a faith based religion in the first place.
If I can force anyone to believe through empirical evidence, having the test of faith becomes unnecessary, because 100% of people would have no choice but to believe.
I might agree with you that it was a get out clause if the Prophets and Messengers had started off saying that they had indisputable, empirical evidence, then debated with scientists, and eventually fallen back onto a 'I only need faith' argument, but that's not what happened.
The original call was to faith, so it's not a clause, but rather, the entire essence of the contract.
"...it is a test that many are doomed to fail for many reasons. Assume that Islam is the one true religion. Anyone brought up with another religion, or in a non islamic country, or in a remote tribe somewhere - they are all immediately at a massive disadvantage."
First of all, I was brought up in a non-Islamic environment, in a non-Islamic country, and in a non-Islamic family. So I don't agree with the idea that as human beings, we only follow the ways of the people around us. Sure, it plays a huge factor, but in the end, our true personalities make us who we are, rather than the people around us.
Secondly, from an Islamic perspective, anyone who truly believes in one God, and doesn't associate any partners with Him is a Muslim.
So in the hypothetical situation of a random person on a desert island, who never hears or knows anything about Islam, the Qur'an or the Prophets and Messengers, as long as he maintains his faith in God, he is a Muslim.
On top of that, all of the followers of all of the previous revealed religions, before they were changed by people who were looking to follow their desires or abuse power, were also Muslim in that regard. It's people who know and understand about Islam and monotheism, and turn away from it who we can instantly say are unquestionably non-Muslim.
"...saying that you know those messengers were sent because it is in the Qur'an which you know to be true. You believe it to be true, but you don't know it to be. There's a major difference..."
Like I've said before, this is my belief, and the Islamic belief. Sometimes I might not write 'As a Muslim, I believe...' or something similar, but whenever I make a statement of fact regarding an aspect of faith, that is generally what it is prefaced with.