Islam is shrouded in misconception some perpetuated by the media, our own biases, other religions, and many other forces that tell us what to believe. Being Muslim can be difficult, especially at a time when many of the misconceptions about your religious beliefs are very negative.
Here, Muslim people take a moment to share a common misconception about their religion that they want to clear the air about. If you'd like to read more, check out the source link at the end of the article.
Comments may be edited for clarity.
Former Muslim. One thing that I find even some Muslims don't know: Muslims actually believe in the second coming of Christ. He is accepted as a Prophet, who brought a new Gospel, the part that Muslim's disagree with is that he is son of God. Everything else is the same, including that he will come back at the end of times and will lead the righteous to Heaven.
The top five largest Muslim populations are in:
None of these are in the Middle East or Arab. In fact, the Middle East & North Africa account for less than a quarter of all the world's Muslims.
Except for Nigeria, all of them have had a female head of state
In Indonesia, the fastest growing religion is Christianity. In Pakistan, the fastest growing religion is Hinduism. In Nigeria, the fastest growing religion is Folk religion. Map of fastest growing religion in each country, based on PEW
Technically, there are more Muslim-majority countries which impose restrictions on the usage of headscarves, than those which mandate them.
That's not to say that Arabs as an ethnic group are to blame for the problems. This is aimed at addressing the misconception that Muslims = Arab and vice versa.
The 72 virgins in heaven isn't real.
You cannot say ____ will go to hell for ____. Only God knows who goes to heaven and hell. And speaking of God, Allah means God in Arabic. Christians also use the term Allah if they speak Arabic. It's not just a "Muslim" thing.
There is no forced marriage in Islam. But there are Muslims who force a marriage.
This is actually towards Muslims but, guys, you/we can touch dogs. We just gotta wash your hands afterwards....
The biggest misconception is the over-simplification of Islam. It's extraordinarily complex and people seem to think that a 30 minute Google search is enough to understand it.
The verses of the Quran are not to be (all) taken literally. The Quran says it itself: He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking fitnah (division), and searching for [their own] interpretation, but no one knows its [true] meaning except Allah... " The two types of verses are muhkamaat and mutashabihat. The translations are very subtle and difficult, and still debated. The gist is that some are fundamental and others less so, and that the less fundamental will be used by evil people to justify what they want to.
The Quran is considered the word of God but exactly what that means is not known. Historically it's been a subject of much debate. The spectrum goes from complete and utter literally believing its God's word to thinking of it in a context and not a part of God and therefore, prone to being flawed. Famously the rationalist Mu'tazila school followed this thought. To this day it's still a difficult and subtle question of whether the Quran is a part of creation or creator.
There's a curiosity in the Quran's use of "verse". What is translated as verse (as above) is actually the word for "sign". The Quran uses that same word to refer to the natural world as "signs" too - e.g the changing of the winds, the variation of animals in the world, etc. It explicitly states that the heavens (not Heavens) and the Earth are filled with "signs". This is partly what led to the whole Islamic rationalism thing.
Islamic sexuality is not as rigid as people believe. There's explicit mentions of some people being mukhannathun in the hadith and historical records. They don't fit neatly into gay/bi/trans/non-binary but they are something along those lines (and were particularly commonly singers and entertainers). There's a reference in the Quran to "men who do not possess the desire for women". They were traditionally the matchmakers of society. This is the background to why you had 9th/10th century clerics talking about not blaming "men who are by their nature effeminate" and why Iran funds sex change operations. It's also why the Ottoman Caliphate was among the first-ish to decriminalize homosexuality in 1856, and why Morocco was where Oscar Wilde fled to practise his homosexuality. It's a little more complex than that because "sexuality" back then - including in Greco-Roman times - was defined by an action, not as a trait.
5. Many interpretations do not view hell as permanent. This stems mostly from the most important Islamic phrase that begins (almost) every single Chapter. It's the Islamic "in the name of the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit". It goes In the name of Allah alRahmaan, alRaheem. I've not translated the last two because the common translations are WRONG. They're mistranslated as "most compassionate" and "most merciful" but in English those are synonyms and come from separate roots. In Arabic they are from the same root "r -h-m" and so can't mean the same thing. The correct translation is that they both mean "the all-merciful" but that the first kind of mercy extends to all living things, and the second is specifically in response to actions i.e sin/good. That the all-encompassing mercy is stressed and comes first implies that we will all end up in heaven (along with other verses where it says "My punishment - I afflict with it whom I will, but My mercy encompasses all things."
6. Forced Marriages are completely and unequivocally unIslamic. Anyone who's been to an Islamic marriage ceremony knows this. Islam sees two sides to marriage, the spiritual side and the let's get down to business side. The latter side is why marriage in Islam revolves around the "nikah" aka contract. It's very much down to earth. You set a whole bunch of vows, you have a dowry (male to female) and have to decide on a prenuptial agreement. Some interpret that you are free to put anything you want in your nikah e.g "husband must give wife a foot rub every night" and set your own terms, though the cleric probably would frown on silly additions like the one above. I can imagine much more serious ones about money and children that would be allowed. Anyway, as any contract it must be signed by both THREE TIMES (each) who must also say "qabalit" - I consent - three times in public during the ceremony. The vast majority of (especially stricter) interpretations state the bride must do it in private with just the imam marrying her and two or three witnesses of her choice. If she hesitates or does not say "qabalit" even once - it is not valid and the imam will not perform the ceremony. Even stricter interpretations put strict rules on who can be the witness. Most agree that the groom cannot be one. Many extend this to her parents. Forced marriages are a cultural stain but not Islamic in the slightest.
In summary, it's simply not something a 30 minute Google search will teach you. This statement could just as well be made about anything and I wish people understood this.
A lot of things in Islam are not strictly black and white. I like to imagine some areas, such as the core beliefs of Islam, being rigid (believe in Allah, His Messengers, His Books, His Angels, the Destiny, etc) and unchangeable. But as you extend from that, its depends on the person, and the situation.
Situations might include everyday life-related or sharia related (before anybody starts crucifying me for writing sharia - I mean the religious code/law that is abided, which in daily life does not involve things like killing nor stoning people).
Oh my God, so many things. I'm sure a lot of them have already been addressed by others, but they merit repetition.
Allah is the same as the Judeo-Christian God, not some other deity. Arab Christians worship Allah. On a similar note, Muslims revere Jesus Christ as not only one of the greatest prophets, but as the Messiah, and we believe in the second coming. When it comes to Jesus, we are functionally the middle ground between Christians and Jews, affirming his status as the messiah, but rejecting that he is divine. I should probably add that we believe in pretty much all the Judeo-Christian Prophets from Abraham to Noah to Moses.
Judaism and Islam are so incredibly similar, when you sit down and compare them, its often just the words that are different. And even then, they're often not that different.
No, Muslims are not commanded to kill all infidels. As a matter of fact, the Qu'ran strictly forbids killing someone just because they practice a different religion, and specifically notes that Christians and Jews are "People of the Book"; those who received the revelations of God before Islam. While we believe that the Bible has endured changed, we believe that it was once, like the Qu'ran, the direct word of God.
You are not going to send me to hell by shooting me with a bullet dipped in pig blood. I honestly don't now where this came from, but the idea that getting killed in a particular way is a sin is laughable.
5. I don't want to impose Sharia on anybody. This stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of what Sharia is. It is religious law synthesized from the Qu'ran, so by following the Sharia, you are following the tenets of Islam. Some countries have adopted "Sharia legal systems" and many of the laws contained have no basis in Islam. Furthermore, Sharia commands Muslims to obey the laws of the land in which they are living, provided they don't directly conflict with the core of the religion.
6. The Qu'ran does not command that women wear Hijab or Niqab. It merely says that both genders should be modest in how they dress. This should be an individual choice, depending on what you believe to be modest.
7. The whole 72 virgins thing. I have no idea where that comes from.
8. The Qu'ran does not generally command the killing of apostates. It would in fact, be counter-productive, since hypocrisy is one of the greatest sins in Islam. The idea that you must remain a Muslim or die would just encourage you to pretend to believe, which is pointless, since God knows and sees all.
9. Muslims speak a lot of different languages, not just Arabic. Most Muslims do not in fact speak Arabic. While we are encouraged to learn to read Arabic since it is the language of the Qu'ran, most don't speak it, and many cannot read it.
10. All Muslims are not the same. While we do generally adhere to the same basic texts, there are a wide range of different views, just like any other religion. While some things are foundational, and not really up for debate, there's a lot of stuff that is, so there are a range of views.
There's probably a lot more I could mention, but this is already long, so I'll stop here. Baby steps.
Former Muslim here. One thing that nobody realizes, Muslim or not, is that Muslims think that Adam was a Prophet and Christians & Jews do not. They simply view him as the first human.
Whoever tries to explain Islam as either a religion of pure peace or pure evil is doing a disservice. Islam is the word of God Himself, as per our belief. Therefore we consider it to be inherently good overall. But since it's the word of God, it's also pragmatic. It accepts that resorting to war is a natural human tendency and will happen one way or the other, so rather than having an unrealistic ban on war and getting mowed down by your enemies, Islam instead gives you a code of war. What to do, what not to do. Kill enemies, but don't who surrender. Treat them with kindness even after you have captured them. Don't kill women and children. Hell, don't even kill people who made it to the battle field but decided not to fight from there, etc.
So yes, it does tell us to fight in certain context, but it also gives us the rules of engagement. Most people misconstrue that part.
We dont worship Muhammed. We worship God alone.
We believe in all prophets including Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Isaac and so on.
Islam doesn't command you to kill infidels or anyone period. These are cherry picked verses that explain a historical battle, not a command.
We are not allowed to forcefully convert anyone.
We do not believe in "genital mutilation." Circumcision is a recommend thing which is common with Christians, Jews and atheists alike. Its not about mutilating the body, but about cleanliness. Women do not have to have any sort of procedure done.
Islam is the 2nd biggest religion in the world and soon to be the biggest at the current rate. Muslims are all over the world, and there are many white Muslims from nations like Turkey, Algeria, Bosnia, Montenegro, and many more.
We do not believe in owning slaves, and definitely not the type of slavery during America's early years. Historically there were slaves during a much earlier age period which is not like the idea of the slavery we learn in school but rather an exchange of services for shelter, food and protection. We do not currently live in a time where it's ideal and hence its no longer seen.
Here are a few things that are actually misconceptions:
-Female genital mutilation is not a Muslim problem. It's done in some areas that happen to be Muslim, and some that aren't Muslim. But it's not a Muslim tradition in origin, and it's not done in some of the most conservative societies like Saudi Arabia and Iran.
-The region with the most Muslims in the world is actually South Asia (Pakistan, India, Indonesia, etc.). The reason why it's so linked to the middle east and North Africa is because that's the area that was under the caliphate, and so it was ruled by Islamic theocracy.
No longer practicing, have since become an Atheist, but there's a lot of stuff that circulates in the media about how halal food is slaughtered, how it's barbaric and such. For starters, the livestock slaughtered for proper halal meat is free range. It's never raised in batteries and is given a healthy diet and in general, raised with great care.
The actual slaughter of the animal is performed with a swift slice with a sharp knife. This is to ensure that death is as swift as possible and I believe it also cuts off a lot of the livestock's nerves so if it does take any time to die, death is relatively painless. This is how proper halal meat is made. While there are 'halal' farmers who don't follow the steps to the letter, these meats aren't truly considered halal. It's just lazy. And when the ritual is performed correctly, is probably a lot less stressful and painful for the animal involved than going to a slaughter house to get a bolt fired into it's skull before being electrocuted.
As well as this, in certain situations there are instances where muslims can have meat that isn't halal as part of their diet. If you live in an area where halal is not readily accessible, you can eat other meats as part of your regular diet.
As a Muslim woman:
1/- I have dreams and ambitions, I study hard, I want to be cultivated, I read a lot (Oscar Wilde, Agatha Christie, Jane Austen...), I drive and I workout
2/- I love and want to be loved. I AM A women too. I want flowers, and poems and chocolate and wild surprises and romantic date nights...I have feelings to, and I want whoever my partner is to love me just like Noah loved Allie in The Notebook.
3/- True muslims have stopped forcing marriage on their daughters since the era of Muhammed pbuh, literally every single girl I know married the man she wanted to marry, sometimes their parents wouldn't even agree but they would do it anyway...And their parents would still be there for the wedding, because they understand it's a personal choice.
4/- Nobody touches our genitals or cuts anything off...Seriously, what the heck is up with that?
5/- I have a sense of fashion. I like make-up and nice clothes, I wear shorts and sexy bras, strapless dresses and every single thing any other woman would wear...Just not everybody has to see it.
6/- If you walk past us in a bikini, we don't judge. 99% of the time a muslim woman is staring at a non-muslim woman is because she's wondering about what skin routine she has, or what lipstick she's using....Uh, except if you're 100% naked, I would probably be like wtf? Cause I really don't understand people who do that.
7/- If you're non-Muslim, get to know us before you judge.
I am an American-Pakistani Muslim woman who wears the hijab. I did not wear it when I lived in Pakistan, rather started when I moved to the US. I am not forced to wear it.
Fatwa does not mean death sentence. It means a legal opinion expressed by a prominent religious scholar about how Islamic laws apply to a certain situation. For example, if a new species of fish enter the market, an observant Muslim may inquire a religious scholar as to whether he trusts whether this species is halal (OK to eat) or haram (forbidden to eat). The scholar would then research about the fish and compare it against religious laws about food and issue a fatwa saying whether he believes this specific fish is halal or haram. That's all fatwa is.
The problem is that most non-Muslims have heard of exactly one fatwa ever, and thus believe that is what fatwa is. In reality, that does not even represent the minority of fatwas. That was a fringe case even then and definitely since.
Halal meat isn't a crueller way to get meat, it is, in fact, a lot more merciful, and designed to provide the safest cleanest meat possible while causing the animal as little pain as possible. Heck, it's a sin to let the animal see the knife first and the animal has to have been properly fed and taken care of to be considered halal.
I hate saying that I used to be Muslim because I've pretty much been told by my constituents that Islam is the religion of destruction and sheep sex so I would rather not associate with it. However, it points out a bigger issue that people cannot be comfortable in their own skin without being vilified. Now I know some of you may be saying "Oh you're blowing it out of proportion."
I can't post pictures of myself in my cultural garb on social media because it puts me in this box. A box that I would love to be in, but honestly I'm much happier by not even saying I'm muslim to begin with. That's how bad it is. I tell people I'm half Indian and half Pakistani and that's it. I usually don't touch religion since it's such a hot button issue.
"Muslims are ignorant and believe that women shouldn't be able to drive "ad infinitum
When it's kind of the opposite. Muslims hold a similar "Storyline" to the other main religions with modifications here and there. Because of this we have to think differently about our origins. I personally never took religion too seriously but because Islam's viewpoints were different than others I got to have a more objective viewpoint of religion and therefore I feel as if I'm more tolerant than my peers.
They have more or less stayed in their religions that are all highly praised. Whereas Islam is CONSTANTLY under scrutiny and it forces people who are believers to always question their faith and their morals.
Overall, I wouldn't say I'm muslim in a religious sense. However the morals, such as the 5 pillars of Islam were instrumental in my personal development. I know I'm just one voice but I talk to so many other Muslims in my place and they feel the same. Honestly, we just want people to listen to us for once instead of making us into a 5 minute piece on the nightly news and moving on to hydrogenated soy bean milk.
Muslim is a very diverse term, my mosque is filled with people from different backgrounds and cultures. The main thing we have in common is our religion.
One misconception is that there is some real, true form of Islam.
Right wing bigots like to say that moderates don't exist and the only real Islam is the hard core Saudi style.
Moderates like to say the Wahhabi extremists are not the real Islam.
Wahabbi fundamentalists don't think you're a muslim unless you toe their extremist line.
And that's just levels of severity within one strain.
You also have splits in Islam according to history and doctrine so there are groups like Sunnis, Shias, Ahmadiyas, Ishmailis etc who call each other heretics and say only they follow the truth.
When Someone like Obama or Trump starts going on about real Islam they MISS THE POINT.
You can't deal with some theoretical real Islam that hold to the original teachings of the prophet (be they peaceful and tolerant or extreme and hateful)
You can only deal with Islam as it exists in the wild. And the Islam in the wild is not the demon the neoNazis think it is and it's not the blameless bastion of feminism and peace the Democrats want you to think it is.
It's a religion like any other with lots of problems in doctrine and practice that conflict with secular humanist values but also which promotes good values like charity and brotherhood and humility.
Islam is what it is on the ground. Not simply what the books say. Or what we wish it was.
3 Things from a moderate muslim guy born in Texas, raised in California... 1) We aren't some weird ritualistic medieval society or anything, at least me and every friend I have who's muslim in the states aren't. Most of us don't talk about our religion too often, we just kind of hang, watch Game of Thrones (or insert your favorite tv show) and go to mosque occasionally. There are very few differences, and I can't stress that ENOUGH, with every other religion. It tends to feel like people have this view that I and my other Muslim friends have these weird rituals we perform every night away from the public eye. I guess we pray a lot, but really that's about it and even then some of us miss those when we have really difficult schedules
2) When we eat Pork... nothing happens it's just really bad. Seriously I get asked this on the daily or whenever me and a few friends order a pizza.
"Hey you can't eat like, pork right?" "Right" "Well what happens if you do?" "Lightning strikes me and I turn into Charlize Theron." "Heck, really?" "No dude, I just feel guilty for a few hours."
It's haram or whatever, yeah, and I don't eat pork-- but I'm not gonna explode unless you put dynamite in the darn thing. 3) Allah and God are the same. Allah is just the Arabic word for God. It's not some separate entity. Some people may not believe that, but we're like the Return of the Jedi to Judaism and Christianity's Star Wars and Empire. The characters are pretty much the same, even if there are slight differences.
But that's the best way I can explain things.
Thanks for reading!
What is it about someone that captivates you instantly?
Could it be the twinkle in their eye as they talk about their passions? Or perhaps its their overwhelming sense of humor that draws in everyone in the room?
Whatever it might be, everyone has that one trait, that one quality, that can make them instantly interesting to someone listening nearby.
"What's one thing which makes someone interesting to you instantly?"
It doesn't even have to make sense why that person is interesting to you.
If they're only funny to you, and no one else, doesn't matter.
You'll sit, listening to them, for as long as you can.
Make Me Laugh
"Sense of humour"
"I have entire relationships that are built on mutual humor. Sincere humor is the best, when someone can be their full selves with you - serious moments are appreciated and occur but our love language with one another is our ability to laugh together."
You've Seen Things Others Haven't
"If they have traveled outside their home country or have lived/are living outside the home country."
"As someone who spent the last 15 years outside my home country, this is normal for me, or that they’ve learned a second language.(I have too just not always the language of my host country)."
Math And Numbers All The Way
- "If they're interested in math I instantly love them. Haven't met anyone tho"
- "Funny sarcasm a bit situational, but if someone is good at using sarcasm in a gunny way I want to be they're friend."
Totally Got Into A Fight With A Bear
"Facial scars, and not ones done intentionally. If you got a big ol scar on your face, you've seen some sh-t, and I am dying to hear about it."
"I have a fairly prominent scar close to my eye that I got from walking into the corner of a table as a 2yo."
"Can't say I've seen sh-t, but I sure as sh-t didn't see that table."
Conversations are tricky to navigate, especially when you think you'll do nothing but bring the group chat down.
That's why when someone perks their ears up to give you the floor, it's intriguing.
Let's Talk TOGETHER
"They draw people into the conversation by finding topics of mutual interest."
"A great tip for doing this is to abandon any embarrassment at knowing nothing about someone's passion. Instead of trying to change the subject or staying quiet, ask the basic questions that come to mind."
"You'll find there are two types of people - those who delight in explaining why they're so passionate to you in a way that makes their passion practically contagious and those who can't be bothered making an effort. The first group are the ones you want to talk to anyway, as they not only match the effort you made but make it effortless for both parties."
Take Your Time. I'll Listen.
"People who can find the sentence through all the stuttering I do and are actually interested to chat for an undetermined amount of time"
"Hang in there buddy! It's a shame how society treats people who stutter! I'm a speech therapist and the biggest problem for my patients isn't the stuttering, but the inability of other people to just take a little bit more time and let them finish their sentences on their own time"
Or Maybe We Don't Need To Talk At All
"Ability to enjoy and appreciate comfortable silences without having the need to constantly talk."
"Nothing's more annoying than someone who constantly talks just to fill the air."
You don't know why, you just know how it feels.
It's a gut thing, deep down inside, that lets you know this person is something special.
Let It Out
"Passion. Doesn't matter about what, they could be passionate about installing toilets and I'd listen to them. I find it infectious."
"YES fully f-cking agree. My friends always apologize when they go on about something I’m not into/haven’t even heard of, but I could listen to it for hours. Just hearing the excitement in their voice and seeing their eyes light up just soothes my soul."
"They’re not afraid to like things. I’m so bored of people whose personality is based around not liking things or being too cool for things. Coming from someone who used to be extremely cynical — cynicism is boring."
Eyes That Make You Feel
"Their eyes. Some people have very kind eyes and I’m extremely attracted to that."
"Omg this. So far I’ve only met one person with really kind eyes and there was a time when I was in bed just crying about it cause whenever he looks at me it’s like all the mistakes I’ve made in my life doesn’t matter"
Speak Your Truths
"Honesty. Even at their own expense. Extremely attractive trait in friends or significant others."
"Double this. It comes down to being able to accept wrong and being unafraid to open themselves up to judgment, criticism, and consequences of action, which is a huuuige display of strength, and == hot. Dishonesty is insecurity at best, malice at worst."
Trust your gut.
You never know what kind of fascinating individuals you'll be lucky enough to interact with.
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Turns out not all of us are interested in being benevolent Gods.
It's Reddit, so we're not exactly surprised, but we're suddenly glad divine cosmic powers don't work this way.
Reddit user Purple_Pineapple_752 asked:
"If God gave you his powers for 1 hour, What would you do?"
So here's the thing, Reddit has no chill.
So every random whim, thought, or chip on people's shoulders certainly came out in the comments.
And honestly... it's delicious.
Some Redesigns Needed
"Redesign human knee and shoulder joints. Because, seriously, I've got some bug reports that have been ignored."
"You’ve got my vote! As a nearly 30yr old with chronic arthritis, I’d say thank you!"
"Yup. Tore my ACL the other month in college football and am now a 'house potato' according to my dad."
"Both of my shoulders are reconstructed. My hips are finished as well an I'm in my 30s ."
"I think the human body needs to be made of better quality parts at this point lol"
"Elected politicians, and candidates for office can no longer lie."
"Intentionally or unintentionally, every thing they express will be truth. If they try to lie, it will come out truth."
"This is not meant to be wholly benevolent."
"No half truths. No vagaries. The plain and objective truth, or silence. Those are their options."
"And it applies to all elected politicians, officially government sponsored ones (MPs) or otherwise, like say the elected spokesman of the IRA."
"Let the games begin."
"This is actually terrifying."
"Imagine you are elected. You want to know the nuclear launch codes? No worries, just try to state the first character in the sequence."
"You cannot lie. So what you say will come out as correct. Now just have someone write it down."
"Want the password to the white house twitter account? No worries, just get someone to vote you into some form of office. Could be you and joe-no-body, it doesn't matter."
"Privacy would end overnight."
"No no no, you want them to not be able to tell intentional lies. Then at least it's limited to things they know. And just for good measure, give every elected official a strong sense of questioning their own knowledge."
"I feel like this power will end up being a monkeys paw. You try to do good but it has an equal/opposite reaction..."
"You make it so politicians can't lie, and the followers just accept it and still vote them into power."
"Make it so people have critical thinking and aren't easily misled by conspiracies and propaganda, then I dunno, maybe we find out we needed conspiracies in our life and we now no longer question anything.. Idk.."
"You remove corruption and it has some unforeseen knock on impact where now South American or African countries become super powers and a new cold war erupts with new players."
"Yeh monkeys paw... Beware of this power..."
"Create various images on toast and have fun watching believers react to them."
"But technically... they would be right because it was you as God!! You!!"
"I’ve often wondered how many people eat their Jesus toast without ever bothering to check."
"Extending the thought, how many people actually do check their toast only to think to themselves, 'Hey! It’s Keanu Reeves!' ”
Can We Vote For This Person?
"1st of all, I would make it so that everyone napping always wakes up refreshed. All naps now last 23 minutes but feel like 4 hours of perfect sleep."
"Nothing is addictive."
"All men are given perfect recall about everything their wives have said or done."
"All women obtain positive body images."
"People who are cool never have their shoe laces come undone. A-holes have their laces break every Friday."
"Dogs stay small puppies for 3 extra months and come out potty trained."
"Turtles can play trumpet."
"America switches to metric with no fuss."
"The internet makes sense to everyone over 70....but they chose to avoid social media anyway."
"Corn syrup goes away."
"All religions announce simultaneously that God is kinda... but not exactly gay."
"Every swastika owned drawn or tattooed is slowly burned away over a week. It hurts really bad and is replaced by a picture of a teddy bear blowing a very startled looking Nick Cage."
"You had me at trumpet turtles and taco trees."
"I also choose this god."
Assuming I'm Still Interested
"Assuming I’m still really interested in Earth, get us back to zero or a good starting point."
"Remove all trash and pollution everywhere. It just ceases to exist."
"Complete all municipal separated storm sewer projects instantly."
"Instantly create storm water gardens wherever necessary. Instantly eliminate lawn culture and convert to lawn alternatives to eliminate run off."
"Instantly convert all power generation to safe thorium nuclear and renewable. Instantly convert all sea shipping to clean nuclear."
"Instantly convert all cars to electric. Create charging stations at every residence."
"Instantly convert all heavy construction equipment to a safer fuel (I don’t know what yet). Instantly put solar panels on every structure/house. Instantly create bike lanes everywhere. Instantly create bike culture of the Netherlands everywhere."
"Upgrade everywhere to high speed rail systems similar to Japan. Switch all roads to permeable pavement."
"Instantly perform major upgrades on every structure, road and bridge everywhere. Have all work go to new construction and maintenance."
"Instantly install field drains and timer stadium lights in all playing fields."
"Instantly process all rape kits in all police stations."
"Instantly repair all playgrounds and park features everywhere."
"Automatically register everyone to vote. Create 10 new states out of Texas and California. Instantly pass political reform."
"Legalize all drugs. Instantly create more treatment centers."
"Instantly cure all ailments that are in recovery in hospital and would cure naturally. Instantly move those patients back home."
"Instantly kill all patients who would die naturally. Instantly inform all families."
"Instantly remove all graveyards and eliminate practice of saving dead. Create new ritual of donation to science or turn into tree."
"Instantly create depression cure. Instantly create obesity cure. Instantly create formula to grow/repair existing teeth."
"Instantly change taxation rate to post WW2 for businesses. Instantly change view of all workers to pro-union."
"Instantly identify and eliminate all political corruption. Have everyone just realize all this exists."
"Eliminate all religious belief everywhere. Instantly create belief in helping neighbors, being a good person, and creating a heaven on earth."
"Eliminate all mosquitoes. Bring back bees."
"Is time up? Was that an hour?"
One Solution To The Fossil Fuel Issue
"Having given it some thought:"
"Easy parthenogenesis for all humans, regardless of their biological sex and mental identity."
"And the natural ability to self terminate pregnancies. And self. That would wipe out a whole bunch of angst and repression in the world."
"The ability to fly, as someone else suggested, at fairly rapid speeds. This would vastly change society, no more cars, planes, elevators, stairs, possibly no more country borders, it would be nearly impossible to enforce. The demand for oil would plummet and the environment would be healthier."
"Extra longevity, with senescence happening only a few years before death."
Genderqueer Garlic Bread
"Make an easily accessed and super powerful source of electrical energy that's renewable and environmentally friendly, it's also easily accessed (this could just be 100% efficient solar gen, or a generator that somehow turns heat back into useable energy? I dunno I'll be god, I could figure it out)."
"Cure All Diseases"
"Humanity now has the ability to magically transform themselves freely to look however they choose, provided it's still anthropomorphic."
"I'm genderqueer; this would make it so all the non-cis people wouldn't need expensive drugs and surgery, or suffering, although I guess we'd be dealing with a few furries but y'know that's fine with me."
"Reverse earth's environmental damage back to pre-industrial while maintaining all the infrastructure changes."
"Finally, all major US and Canadian highways are underground and infinitely maintainable, AND there's also Bullet Trains that run underground with them along the WHOLE interstate/400 Series and Extension/Trans-Can that way I NEVER HAVE TO DRIVE AN HOUR TO WORK AGAIN."
"AND all Cities with populations over 10K have more-than-adequate 100% free public transit that's also so efficient the busses/trains/trolleys/whatever are never late."
"OH one more thing: Since everyone is gonna be sexy because of the Shapeshifting, everyone is either pansexual, or ace, and the people that are ace aren't seen as weird and are completely respected in their orientation. And we all have an innate sense both to locate each other and to locate garlic bread."
"I would set a timer for 10 years and then everyone dies and the earth explodes. I would make everyone aware of the timer."
"I think that would eliminate a lot of bullshit around the world like war and hate, and would make for a really good last time alive until we all die together."
"Am I a weirdo?"
"Curse everyone whose name was listed in the Pandora Papers to spontaneously explode somewhere in public and just let the media chips fall where they will."
"Create a sky-dwelling jellyfish that eats carbon fumes and whose tentacles contain a chemical that makes you feel total euphoria for 8 hours straight."
"See how long it takes humans to turn them into a carbon-sucking, drug-producing sky farm animal."
"I am 100% on board for carbon-Hoover-jelly-sky-fish-farms."
"Because Who Wouldn't?"
"I'd get rid of all mental impairment diseases and conditions. Alzheimers, Dementia, the severe mental impairment that some kids are born with (Not sure what the various conditions are called)."
"I would make humans and other animals immune to cancer. I would extend healthy human lifespans by another 50 years, and dogs and cats can also live as long as humans."
"I would then give humans the ability to research and cure other diseases and ailment so that mankind could eventually have treatments for such things as they come along. I say this because I only get an hour and things will appear in the future that can't be predicted (even with God's power)."
"And lastly, I'd of course, give my self a bigger dick, because who wouldn't?"
Oh you didn't honestly think we were going to get through an article about god-like powers and NOT have someone use it for penises... did you?
Come on now.
You're not THAT new on the internet.
You know how people are around here.
What would YOU use your god-like powers for now that you've read some of Reddits ideas? Let us know in the comments.
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Are you like me and the 1990s were only 10 years ago?
Yes, I can do the math, but 1990 being 32 years ago still seems unreal.
Why is that?
Maybe it's the fact it marked the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st.
Either way, it just doesn't seem that long ago and the nostalgia for the trappings of the 1990s is strong.
Redditor PrimaryYam9432 asked:
"What is something outdated from the 90s you want back?"
"I lived in a one bedroom apartment in San Diego in the nineties to the tune of $400 a month. I'd like that back, please."
"I looked up the specific place I lived. That one bedroom runs $1,650 now."
Cheesy Video Games
"Westwood Studio's real time strategy games featuring cheesy live action videos between the levels. I'm fine without the dial-up multiplayer though."
Subscribe, Subscribe, Subscribe
"Software that you buy one time and own. Looking at you Adobe."
"Being able to own things without having to take out a subscriptions."
"This is exactly what I was going to say. Being able to buy something and be done. Now everything has a subscription attached to it."
"Software is one of the worst examples but even the auto industry is trying to get in on the subscription money by requiring additional monthly plans to access features of your car that you already paid for."
"A local HVAC company is attaching a subscription to their work. So you pay them to install it all and then a monthly fee for them to be on-call in the event it needs maintenance."
"At work our IT support company stopped doing ad hoc service calls unless you subscribe to their monthly service plan. So the company is paying triple the price and getting basically the same thing except in theory the amount of service call they can request is 'unlimited'."
Your Local Video Store
"I miss going to video stores and browsing."
"I do too. That was a fun Friday night as a kid. Going to Blockbuster to pick out a new movie to watch."
"It's not the same getting on Netflix and spending an hour looking for something to watch to only wind up watching something you've already seen."
"Yep! As a kid my dad would come home from work on Friday evening and take us to Hollywood video."
"We’d pick out a movie and get a pizza on the way home. Good times."
"Reasonable commercial lengths."
"Now ESPN has 5 minute commercial breaks..."
"My least favorite trend is a commercial break, then they come back for 1-2 minutes with some tiny snippet of 'coming up next!' then go to another commercial break."
"Or they smash the credits into a tiny window, while running ads on full screen. Can't even read the credits if you wanted to."
"Not having to make an account for EVERYF'KINGTHING!"
"And lately every time I sign up for something, they send me texts now too in addition to emails that I don’t want. Leave me alone!!"
"I'm so over this. Especially when you're supposed to make a different password for every account you have. My brain only has so much memory for passwords anymore."
"This is probably more late 90s/early 00s than the 90s as a whole, but a social media-less internet."
"It felt like an escape from real life, as opposed to an extension of it."
"Remember when they told us to never identify yourself on the internet? And now they put their whole life on it."
"I miss web 1.0 where anonymity was the point."
"Remember when our parents told us not to trust anyone on the internet, but now believe everything they see online and lecture us about it?"
"My mom when I was 16 and got my first PC: 'Don't put your pictures online!'"
"My mom now: 'Send me grandson pics nowww! Need new profile pic and header!!'"
"Geocities web pages, made with heart, not for money."
"I do miss Geocities. It was sh*t, but atleast anyone could have a web site for free hosted on a server that was relatively fast and reliable."
"Nowadays, good luck to find a good free web hosting..."
"Oh my god, my bff would purposely go to my crappy Geocities site and sign the guestbook as ridiculously over the top characters like 'Madame Consuela de Soliz-Camacho-Dubois St Bernard,' and she'd write their comments in Spanish, German, French, whatever she felt like that day."
"It was so stupid but for idiot teenagers back in the 90's, it was the height of hilarity that she could prank me without being in the same room. Good times."
Why Is This Phone Smart?
"Not being able to be reached 24/7."
"Remember when the only people who had cell phones or pagers were doctors and high end business professionals that NEEDED to be reached at a moments notice."
"Now, everyone is expected to be available at any time. And if you elect to stand your ground and establish a separation between work/personal life you're considered 'rude' or 'difficult to communicate with'."
"Yeah, remember when you let the house phone ring during dinner?
"I remember my dad grumbling if the phone ever rang: 'It's dinner time, nobody should be calling now. Who calls during dinner?!'"
"You didn't call people's house after about 8pm either unless you knew it was okay. It was rude—that was private, home time."
Buttons & Knobs & Dials
"Technology with buttons and knobs."
"Agreed! Some things I just don’t want a touch screen for."
"I hate touchscreens in cars because 1) you just know they'll wear out and be expensive to replace and 2) I can't use it by feel and have to take my eyes off the road to adjust anything."
"Agreed! Why does my Microwave need to have touchscreen? I don't want to touch the panel with my fat butter and chips fingers. I want use the back of my hand."
"All my touchscreen appliances start to fizzle and fail pretty quickly. All the analog or mechanical ones still work from decades ago, or I can at least open them and clean some contacts."
Nostalgia is a funny thing—we tend to romanticize our past.
If we truly went back, we'd probably discover all the things we'd miss from our future.
But we still miss a lot from the 1990s.
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You're probably going to be beat over the head with this as you read this charming article but bedbugs are a nightmare and they are always lurking (in the back of my mind) when I think about purchasing some items secondhand.
Some years ago, a relative brought in a stuffed animal and some other items off the street. Within days we had a bedbug issue.
It was thankfully resolved very quickly–good thing it was caught so early–but let's just say I dealt with phantom itch for a while.
Nooo thank you.
People told us all about their own reservations after Redditor princesspeaches8 asked the online community:
"What's something you'd never buy secondhand?"
"Most people don't realize..."
"Motorcycle helmets. Most people don’t realize that helmets expire and lose effectiveness even after relatively small impacts."
Best not to tempt fate and get a new one for sure.
People cut corners and then pay the price with their life.
"...unless it was from someone I knew for certain..."
"Climbing gear, unless it was from someone I knew for certain is an experienced climber and cared for their gear per manufacturer recommendations. Even then, I'd prefer to buy new."
The last thing I would want if I were a climber would be to realize that I am using faulty equipment!
"You want bedbugs?"
"A mattress. You want bedbugs? That's how you get bedbugs."
Bedbugs terrify me.
No thank you.
"Since nobody else has said it..."
"A car seat. Since nobody else has said it, I will. Secondhand car seats are so dangerous. You have no idea if they have been in an accident, after which they are supposed to be replaced no matter how minor."
All it takes is one accident.
Don't risk it.
"I got into a whole argument..."
"Tires. I got into a whole argument about it with my automotive teacher in school, and everyone laughed at me and called me spoiled, but I just don’t feel that it’s worth taking a gamble on people's safety with used tires."
I believe this depends on the tread, though.
"Jigsaw puzzles. Bought a 1,000 piece puzzle for £3, spent a few hours making it only to find 6 pieces were missing."
I'd be so upset after spending all that time!
"Three things I would never dream..."
"A toothbrush. Toilet paper. A condom. Three things I would never dream about buying second hand."
People buy used condoms?
What is going on with the world?
"It happened when I was 10..."
"Shoes. It happened when I was 10. My mom bought me a pair of boots from The Salvation Army that I just had to have. Athlete’s foot. HORRIBLE. It took powder, not spray, to get rid of it."
I am also very hesitant to purchase used shoes (and won't) and I understand that this is a privileged opinion.
"There's no warranty..."
"Crucial car parts. Like used tires, brake pads, brake rotors, rack-and-pinions etc. There’s no warranty from the back-alley Craigslist dude and if those parts have defects you won’t be able to stop or steer. Which leads to you quickly performing the room-temperature challenge."
You see, I don't drive, but if I did, this would definitely be something I wouldn't do.
No way I'd purchase crucial car parts from some rando!
"I was very open to it before..."
"Most second hand things now. Especially furniture and clothing which can't be checked thoroughly. I was very open to it before. But bed bugs really terrify me now. All it takes is one to start an infestation, and they hide in things like the labels and behind boots and screws. The eggs are about the size of dandruff."
As mentioned before... bedbugs are terrifying.
I don't think I can stress that enough.
Sometimes saving a few dollars can cost you a lot.
Why risk it?
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