Jump to content
DigitalUmmah

What would convince you to believe/ disbelieve?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Salam, Ya Ali (as) Madad, Lanat upon the enemies of the Ahlulbayt (as)

Aliun Wali Allah Wajib

BAR MUQASSIRREEN LANAT

to the atheists/ agnostics: 

what is the strongest argument you can use to justify your atheism, and what would it take for you to change your views?

to the theists:

what is the strongest argument you can use to justify your belief in an ultimate power, and what would it take to change your views?

I saw this paraphrased argument by one of my favourite authors Douglas Adams (an atheist) with regards to the argument that the universe can sustain life, therefore was designed to sustain life:

imagine a puddle in a pothole in a worn out road. the puddle would think that the pothole in the road it occupies was perfectly designed to fit the puddle, therefore this was proof that the pothole was created specifically for that individual puddle. 

the universe is so vast that there will be places where the conditions are right to sustain life, but if 99.99% of the universe does not sustain life of any kind, can it be argued that the universe was designed by a supreme being, just to keep humans alive?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, DigitalUmmah said:

the universe is so vast that there will be places where the conditions are right to sustain life, but if 99.99% of the universe does not sustain life of any kind, can it be argued that the universe was designed by a supreme being, just to keep humans alive?

Was universe only created to keep humans alive?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Islandsandmirrors said:

Don't atheists according to the Quran demand angels to be seen instead of humans sent as prophets? To which Allah destroys the town? 

Yeah I read that too. It says that Quraysh wanted an angel to be sent instead of Rasul Allah (saw)

6 hours ago, DigitalUmmah said:

imagine a puddle in a pothole in a worn out road. the puddle would think that the pothole in the road it occupies was perfectly designed to fit the puddle, therefore this was proof that the pothole was created specifically for that individual puddle. 

Puddles think? That doesn't make sense, because in all theistic religions even animals can't do that.

6 hours ago, DigitalUmmah said:

 can it be argued that the universe was designed by a supreme being, just to keep humans alive?

No Monotheistic religion argues that. We argue that:

●God must exist, as everything must have a point of origin

●God must be intelligent, as nothing unintelligent can create something with as many complexities as the universe

●This God is intelligent, so he must have had a purpose for creating us. So he sent down messengers to inform us of this, even though it is natural for any human to believe in God. These messengers gave us the purpose, which is to gain Ma'rifat Allah

So his argument is flawed

@David66 you are probably the most prominent atheist on here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, DigitalUmmah said:

what is the strongest argument you can use to justify your atheism, and what would it take for you to change your views?

Total lack of evidence of anything supernatural. 
A single verifiable miracle that violates natural law would be a good start. Just one. 
 

 

7 hours ago, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

No Monotheistic religion argues that. We argue that:

Special Pleading is a fallacy in which a person applies standards, principles, rules, etc. without providing adequate justification for the exemption.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_pleading

7 hours ago, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

●God must exist, as everything must have a point of origin

You can't merely assert that "everything must have a point of origin/cause" and then contradict that assertion in the next sentence with "except the cause". 

The logic behind asserting that there must be a first cause is based on the premise that everything needs a cause. 
From that initial point, it is posited that there must be a first cause that initiated everything. 
 
It is a contradiction because your first cause is exempt from the line of reasoning that required it initially, hence invalidating the initial assertion that everything must have a cause. 
 

7 hours ago, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

●God must be intelligent, as nothing unintelligent can create something with as many complexities as the universe

Your rule/principle: complexity suggests a creator

Your unjustified exemption: God. Complex yet needs no creator. 
 

7 hours ago, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

●This God is intelligent, so he must have had a purpose for creating us. So he sent down messengers to inform us of this, even though it is natural for any human to believe in God. These messengers gave us the purpose, which is to gain Ma'rifat Allah

Why would an Intelligent and Just God endow a few people with the gift of prophecy and leave billions of humans in utter confusion about the actual truth?

wslm.

*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Quisant said:

You can't merely assert that "everything must have a point of origin/cause" and then contradict that assertion in the next sentence with "except the cause". 

If there was no base cause for everything, then how would we be here. What caused the big bang? What was there before? Then before that? So there has to be a base cause for everything that exists. Also one more

●My religion makes me a better person in this world, and I risk nothing in my grave if it happens than God does not exist. But if God does exist, I will do fine while you will not.

3 hours ago, Quisant said:

Why would an Intelligent and Just God endow a few people with the gift of prophecy and leave billions of humans in utter confusion about the actual truth?

Because what would then be the point of humanoty. We are are a rational species, capable of finding these things on our own. There would be no point to our existence on earth anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Quisant said:

Total lack of evidence of anything supernatural. 
A single verifiable miracle that violates natural law would be a good start. Just one. 

interesting point. if you were to ask the majority of members on this forum, would you think that their belief in Islam is completely dependant upon their belief in miracles?

what sort of miracle would convince you? can you give an example?

in the time of the prophet (S) people became muslims for a few different reasons:

- they were slaves and wished to be free
- they were poor/ weak, and wished to be powerful/ wealthy
- they were alone, and wished to be part of something
- they saw miracles of the prophet (S)
- they became muslim out of fear (such as at the conquest of mecca)
- they discovered Islam through personal struggle
- they studied Islam, and found it worthy of their worship. 

almost all but the final two group became deviated instantly upon the prophets (S) death, before he was even buried. this was because their belief in islam was set on weak foundations.

if your belief in miracles is the only thing stopping you from becoming a muslim, then I suspect even if you did see a miracle, you would soon return back to being an atheist.  

3 hours ago, Quisant said:

Why would an Intelligent and Just God endow a few people with the gift of prophecy and leave billions of humans in utter confusion about the actual truth?

mental illness and social issues aside, human instincts lead people to act well to each other and themselves. Islam teaches nothing different than this. if someone is not a muslim, or has never properly spoken to a muslim, or knows nothing about Islam, or has not been taught about Islam fully, we believe that since the hujjah (proof) has not been completed on them regarding Islams superiority, they cannot be judged by our standards, so Allah will judge them according to their own actions and intentions and moral code. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

If there was no base cause for everything, then how would we be here. What caused the big bang? What was there before? Then before that? So there has to be a base cause for everything that exists.


You can define God as wajib al-wujud (necessary existence) if it pleases you but it does not compel reality to conform to your definition. It is an unsubstantiated claim. 
You needn't assume what you are trying to prove.

The first cause:
Why must it be non-material?
And how would not-material interact with material?
And why non-material does not require a cause?

How do you identify that First Cause with God? 

When you don't know something the honest thing to do is to admit ignorance.

50 minutes ago, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

●My religion makes me a better person in this world, and I risk nothing in my grave if it happens than God does not exist. But if God does exist, I will do fine while you will not.

Pascal wager has been debunked many times.
Will you also be having a deathbed conversion to Hinduism when you die? If you don't believe when you die you risk being resurrected as a lower being.
Or if you don't believe in Odin you risk not going to Valhalla would you? 
As if an Omniscient God would not know that you were a believer of 'convinience' ...just to get to Heaven.
 

 

51 minutes ago, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

Because what would then be the point of humanoty. We are are a rational species, capable of finding these things on our own. There would be no point to our existence on earth anymore.


You are not addressing my point, for a God that can say "be and it is"  passing a message to one or passing it to billions requires exactly the same effort...so, why just passit to one?

10th-century Syrian poet Abu al- Ala al-Maarri to produce the following stanza: 

Mohammed or Messiah! Hear thou me, 
The truth entire nor here nor there can be; 
How should our God who made the sun and the moon Give all his light to One, 
I cannot see. 

Wslm.

 

47 minutes ago, DigitalUmmah said:

interesting point. if you were to ask the majority of members on this forum, would you think that their belief in Islam is completely dependant upon their belief in miracles?

Thanks for your response, I always enjoy your writing.  I have little time at the moment but I will try and address your post later on today. :)

wslm.

*

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Quisant said:

You are not addressing my point, for a God that can say "be and it is"  passing a message to one or passing it to billions requires exactly the same effort...so, why just passit to one?

I did address your point. You're just not seeing it.

Look at Surah Baqarah Verse 30 to 40. Allah allowed Adam (as) and his wife a place in Paradise, but Shaitan tricked them into transgressing. So Allah said  وَقُلْنَا ٱهْبِطُوا۟ بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ ۖ, get down on the earth with enmity between yourselves. This was his consequence, and according to Al Khisal, he cried valleys into his cheeks because of this.

فَتَلَقَّىٰٓ ءَادَمُ مِن رَّبِّهِۦ كَلِمَٰتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلتَّوَّابُ ٱلرَّحِيم

Then Adam (as) learn't "words of inspiration" from Allah, and Allah relented towards him. 

It goes on to say...

ٱهْبِطُوا۟ مِنْهَا جَمِيعًا ۖ فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُم مِّنِّى هُدًى فَمَن تَبِعَ هُدَاىَ فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُون

Get ye down all from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

So we have the choice to follow guidance or not. It will not harm God either way.

If Allah was going to hand us all the truth, then why would he not just let us all back into Heaven? There would be no point to our existence on earth.

And our souls are not complete yet. What do I mean by this? In Islam, we are told that we were raised up to Allah, who told us he is our Lord and we should worship him. This is an instinct engraved in us. What do we do on earth? In the Quran it has been famously stated that Allah only created us to worship Him. According to our hadith, worship in this case means gaining inner knowledge of Allah. The Akhirah? To reward us for our deeds.

So if Allah simply gave us all inner knowledge of Allah, which we will either recieve in this life if we seek it, or in the next life as by then everyone will know the truth, then there would be no more point for God to keep us on this earth.

But then that would be unjust, because by then Allah would have to judge us, and if we were not given a chance to prove whether or not we would pay heed to his signs, then how could he judge us like this if he is just.

Inshallah I will get to your other points when I have time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, DigitalUmmah said:

interesting point. if you were to ask the majority of members on this forum, would you think that their belief in Islam is completely dependant upon their belief in miracles?

You have invited opinions as to what justifies atheism for me and what would it take to change that view, to which I replied: "Total lack of evidence of anything supernatural. 
A single verifiable miracle that violates natural law would be a good start. Just one." 

But it seems to me that you have taken my post to be a criticism of Islam and Muslims, this is absolutely not so.  I merely criticise belief in the supernatural.

All organised religions are the same; religion is a highly profitable business which finances an industry of deceit to keep the show on the road. The clergy has always made money, well before Islam and Christianity.
 

2 hours ago, DigitalUmmah said:

what sort of miracle would convince you? can you give an example?

 

Here's a few examples, I would believe: 

If the stars gathered orderly in the night sky once a year and spelled the name of God-
If a bush burned but did not consume-
If a stick turned into a snake-
If the Moon regularly split in half-
If I saw elephants fly-
Etc.. etc.. 
As I said earlier: A single verifiable miracle that violates natural law.

What would it take to make you disbelieve? Can you give me an example? :)

wslm.

*

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Quisant said:

You have invited opinions as to what justifies atheism for me and what would it take to change that view, to which I replied: "Total lack of evidence of anything supernatural. 
A single verifiable miracle that violates natural law would be a good start. Just one." 

But it seems to me that you have taken my post to be a criticism of Islam and Muslims, this is absolutely not so.  I merely criticise belief in the supernatural.

maybe you are right, as a believer in a supreme being I guess i am conditioned to see any sort of criticism as a criticism against my beliefs. 

what if science progressed to the point where we could perform miracles as you described? for example coating a tree with some sort of chemical which burnt only itself leaving whatever it was attached to unburnt, would you call that a miracle just because you didn't understand the science? 

I think the point I am making is that rejection of supernatural to the point where you will accept the existence of god if you see a miracle, is probably not the best idea. especially since technology is advanced enough/ is advancing enough to replicate many of them.

is there anything else that would convince you?

12 minutes ago, Quisant said:

What would it take to make you disbelieve? Can you give me an example?

its a bit harder to prove the non existence of something, not sure what could prove a non-existence. if you were a muslim (not sure your beliefs, assuming atheist?), what would make you disbelieve?

taking a step away from my conditioning, my belief in god is actually entirely dependant on the truthfulness of the holy prophet (S). I trust his truthfulness, so therefore I trust his message where he taught the world he was relaying gods words through the angel gabriel. 

if I was to discover that the holy prophet (s) was in some way false aodhobillah, then that would probably make me rethink my faith. since my belief in the imams is based on my belief in Imam Ali (as). his belief was based on the holy prophet (S), everything ultimately goes back to him. 

however if I was to lump all monotheistic religions as worshipping the same ultimate creator, i guess if a hindu god like vishnu or haruman sprang to life and proved some sort of hidden knowledge which could not be known or determined by technology (such as the name of the book i am thinking of right now, that i read sat on my desk as a kid by the lamplight to not wake up my gran) then i guess that would prove to me that I have been worshipping the wrong god. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Quisant said:

If the stars gathered orderly in the night sky once a year and spelled the name of God

If a bush burned but did not consume-
If a stick turned into a snake-
If the Moon regularly split in half-
If I saw elephants fly-
Etc.. etc.. 
As I said earlier: A single verifiable miracle that violates natural law.

Then again, we are capable of reason, and should not place our faith in miracles, but rather sincere inquiry into the origin of man.

I know @Sindbad05 and @Engineer73 will enjoy this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DigitalUmmah said:

is there anything else that would convince you?

 

Very nice post. I did say you write well and it is pleasing to read you.   :)

 

In reply to your question...

Sigmund Freud wrote:
"Religion is the process of unconscious wish fulfilment, where, for certain people, if the process did not take place it would put them in self-danger of coming to mental harm, being unable to cope with the idea of a godless, purposeless life."

Myself, I am ok with being a meaningless spec in the grand scheme of things; a single transient spark which extinguishes itself after a fleeting moment in this universe. 
I accept my life for what it is: a fleeting moment in time and space. 
I have no God that measures my worth, my future, my past, or my right to exist. I simply am. And when I cease to be, then oblivion will be my fate. There are no second chances, no "better places" to look forward to, and no "perfection" that will be bestowed to me. I am what I am, and it is my responsibility to ensure that my future and the future of my loved ones, my planet, and my existence are bettered. 

I just happen to disagree with 'organised' religions, I think it's a con-trick 

But if I were to believe it would be something personal between God and myself . Most people I know are quite prepared to leave it at that. No need to put on a show of piousness or point out other people failings in revering God. Just try to live without malice towards others, malice is the sin.  

I am half Arab and I often visit this site because I am curious to learn of any new development, idea or interpretation; I have often been touched by beautiful metaphysical images or 'religious vision'. Something I miss.

Nice talking to you.


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Quisant said:

have no God that measures my worth, my future, my past, or my right to exist. I simply am. And when I cease to be, then oblivion will be my fate. There are no second chances, no "better places" to look forward to, and no "perfection" that will be bestowed to me. I am what I am, and it is my responsibility to ensure that my future and the future of my loved ones, my planet, and my existence are bettered. 

But you do have a God, and I'm afraid you misunderstand the concept of God. God doesn't measure your worth. 

Its like saying the sun doesn't exist on a cloudy day. Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not there.

Its great to strive for betterment of yourself and your loved ones. 

Edited by Islandsandmirrors

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Islandsandmirrors said:

But you do have a God, and I'm afraid you misunderstand the concept of God. God doesn't measure your worth

I think that @Quisant is referring to Allah judging us to be worthy of heaven or hell. it seems that he is nihilist so his beliefs would be understandable in this context

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Quisant said:

You have invited opinions as to what justifies atheism for me and what would it take to change that view, to which I replied: "Total lack of evidence of anything supernatural. 
A single verifiable miracle that violates natural law would be a good start. Just one." 

Are you not that single miracle ? That was non-existent and there was no intelligence in you while you were a infant but with the passage of time, God raised you with an intellect which walks and talks with a lump of boneless flesh and sees through fat and hears through bones as said by Imam Ali a.s.

I am amazed that why human beings are so blind to forget themselves that they are not watching themselves as to how they are walking and have five fingers in hand whom they move with their intelligence what miracles you need other than that. 

And if there be miracles, I would tell you what "unbelievers" call it. They either call it "magic" or "coincidence" or "another such word" which they invent for themselves so that they have plea not to believe those miracles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×