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In the Name of God بسم الله

Quisant

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  1. Here is a piece I wrote a while back, It may help with your question. A 'Creator' that is not in control or fully aware of every future consequence of his creative act is not a God, he is an irresponsible, capricious entity. If God exists, everything in existence is tied to God through a network of causes (an unbroken chain of cause-and-effect), so we can only do what he designed us to do, essentially making us nothing more than conscious puppets. We do not choose our feelings, desires, tastes, genes, environments, parents, family and relatives, tribe/clan, native language, upbringing, and son and so forth; everything has already been decided for us. We each have about as much knowledge of what we are about to think next as we do of what someone else would think. We are not the author of our own thoughts. That is, we don't pick our next thought. Can you stop yourself thinking, can you choose which thoughts to summon for analysis or decide what to think? Schopenhauer famously wrote: Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills. He makes a distinction between freedom of acting (which he endorses) and freedom of willing (which he refutes). Our 'willing' is slave to desires over which we have little control; we cannot will what we will. Yes you are free to do whatever you desire. But you are not free to choose your desires. In essence, man's desires are not predicated on careful calculation; rather, they are innate. The "heart of man" is autonomous and fickle. Our urges are genetically encoded, rooted in the subconscious and not subject to the whims (desires) of the conscious mind. ws. *
  2. You are probably forgetting that: God is Infallible: everything that happens has turned out exactly as He planned. God is Omniscient: he needs no prayer, because He already knows what you want. But if you believe that you can change God's mind, then you believe He is imperfect. If you believe that God can be influenced, than the God you believe is an Idol created by your mind and you are an idol-worshiper. A Perfect Being cannot change its mind - To change is to be subject to time, and to change implies that what comes after was better than before, which would contradict God's perfection. If God changes from one state of mind to another, then there must be a reason. The new state must be better than the old state. But this is impossible if God is perfect: It is not possible to "improve" God. You might say that God is limited. A limitation is actually a very ambiguous word; indeed one could say that God is limited. For instance I can scratch my head while God cannot do that. In the broadest sense, this could be defined as a "limitation". However, these types of definitions are not relevant when it is said that God is not limited. What is meant by 'unlimited' is that God is unlimited in every power that He possesses. If "God" is "the Creator", then we know that any faculty/power that exists does so because from God spring all abilities and since we are defining God to be the creator/ source of all abilities, then there cannot possibly be any limit on these abilities, because God has the power to create them. Therefore God is unlimited, since there isn't any other power that He is dependent on; He is the source of His own abilities and by being the Creator, there isn't a limit on the amount of that ability that God possesses. I hope that helps your confusion a little. ws. *
  3. Unfortunately a large part of humanity doesn't seem to care... American Indian saying: When all the Land is Barren and all the Forests are burned When all the rivers are poisoned and all the fish taken from the sea people will realise they cannot eat money. We do not inherit this Earth from our ancestors, We have it on loan from our grandchildren. ws. *
  4. Fashion and cosmetic industries are capricious and ever mobile; the big difference has to do with compulsion rather than choice. SURAH NOOR AYAT 31 And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed. The Veil, therefore, is God mandated so it is compulsory. Islam, it would seem, assumes women are responsible for the lust in men, that they must be hidden, covered, and prevented from full participation in society. In my opinion this is unfair and degrading to women but I have come across many people who believe otherwise. ws. *
  5. You have delightful thoughts. And your post is beautiful; specially the last paragraph, one could easily fall in trance with your God of the Eternal Now. But what you are describing is not the God of Abraham because the Abrahamic God is an Omniscient creator who amongst other things created 'evil'. He must therefore be in control and fully aware of the consequences of His creative act. Otherwise He would not be a God but an irresponsible capricious entity. An Omniscient God knows every way in which evils can come into existence, and knows every way in which those evils could be prevented. If He is also Omnipotent and benevolent. ws. *
  6. The question is attributed to the Greek philosopher Epicurus (341 BC – 270 BC) and it illustrates with wonderful brevity and clarity what we now call 'the problem of evil' https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Epicurus The question has never been resolved satisfactorily by theists and remains pertinent to this day. Why do you imagine I would want to answer it? ws. *
  7. A well intentioned post but not a very accurate apology. Evil is not man-made, both the Qur'an and the Bible confirm that God created evil. He would because a Benevolent God always chooses the path that causes most good. Benevolence is the desire for good, the desire that there not be suffering/evil. If God wanted to remove suffering without removing free will, it would happen in a heartbeat with perfect consistency. For an entity of infinite power, knowledge and goodness, nothing would be necessary apart from its will. A test for what? Does a Perfect God need to test if we turned out as good or bad as He created us? Does the Master Potter test his vases for leaks? ws. *
  8. There are too many atheists in this world for you to paint them all with the same brush. And in any case an atheist is neither right nor wrong because atheism is 'lack of belief', not a claim. You, on the other hand, are claiming that 'supernatural entities' exist. The burden of proof falls on the claimant. ws. *
  9. Oddly enough ,much of it came from the east and was due to the influx of intellectuals from Constantinople, fleeing the conquest of the city by the Ottoman Turks in 1453. After so much culture had been forgotten during the Dark Ages, great personalities came to the University of Florence, Ferrara and Milan, spreading new knowledge of Greek and philosophy. The study of Greek between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and Humanistic studies were encouraged and supported by the families of the Medici of Florence, the Este of Ferrara, the Sforza of Milan, the Gonzagas of Mantua and the dukes of Montefeltro of Urbino, the nobles of Venice and papal Rome. ws. *
  10. Apologies for the late reply. I am not sure you have a convincing argument. If now couldn't exist unless a second ago existed, and a second ago couldn't have existed unless two seconds ago existed, etcetera, you don't end up with a beginning first second. You end up with an unending regress of seconds. Is there a logical necessity for a line to have a beginning or an end? No, it can be endless on one side, endless on the other or endless on both sides; there is no paradox. You appear to be implying that once there was nothing, and then there was something. But 'Nothingness' has no positive properties. If nothing did exist, how would it exist? For a nothing amount of time? In a nothing amount of space? Something is the 'default' of existence. 'Something' must always have existed, because to say 'nothingness once existed' is a contradiction". ws. *
  11. I've never used that reply nor have ever I heard anybody use it. God is supposed to be 'immutable'; creation out of Himself would mean a change and therefore contradict His immutability. The word 'nothing' is a human concept that has no real reference in nature. It only exists as a word and a way to think. In reality there are always things going on in some level or other. Nothingness is the epitome of nonexistence. Another approach is to assume the physical universe 'eternal' but needs a first cause, an unmoved mover to move it. ws. *
  12. I did say 'in general terms'... That's true, it can be very nearly done but it takes a lot of training.I certainly have difficulties with achieving that because I lack the will to concentrate.
  13. Free will is a very broad term and there are many debates on the matter. In general terms, we have very little free will; we do not choose our feelings, desires, tastes, genes, environments, parents, family and relatives, tribe/clan, native language, upbringing, and son and so forth; everything has already been decided for us. We each have no knowledge of what we are about to think next, we are not the author of our own thoughts. That is, we don't pick our next thought. Can you stop yourself thinking, can you choose which thoughts to summon for analysis or decide what to think? The philosopher Schopenhauer wrote: Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills. He makes a distinction between freedom of acting (which he endorses) and freedom of willing (which he refutes). Our 'willing' is slave to desires over which we have little control; we cannot will what we will. Yes, you are free to do whatever you desire. But you are not free to choose your desires. They may come from deep past and are probably present in our genes from distant generations. In essence, man's desires are not predicated on careful calculation; rather, they are innate. The "heart of man" is autonomous and fickle. Our urges are genetically encoded, rooted in the subconscious and not subject to the whims (desires) of the conscious mind. The 'free will' often discussed with regards to religion, is, in my opinion, very problematic. But if you propose an Omniscient creator who knows your present and your future even before your own existence began..then we have no free will. God's act of creation essentially "predetermines" one's actions, stripping one of free will. To put it concisely: If everything that exists has a ‘reason’ for its existence and the source of that reason is ‘random chance’ then you do have some free will. But if the source of that ‘reason’ is God then you have no free will. Because God is not a mere Observer; God is the Cause of everything, the cause of all causes. If there are specific reasons for everything you say and do, then God knows those reasons. And from the beginning of time, God knew those reasons and what you would say and do. You couldn't do anything else. (or God would be wrong) If God didn't know the reasons (or if there are no specific reasons for your behaviour) then ultimately your choices and behaviour are a mystery even to God. Omar Khayyam puts it very neatly: "I came not hither of my own free will, And go against my wish, a puppet still; When Allah mixed my clay He knew full well My future acts, and could each one foretell; Without His will no act of mine was wrought; Is it then just to punish me in hell?" (Apologies for the long read, afternoon at home nursing a cold. ) ws. *
  14. I did not mean to over complicate it, Life is sometime complex.
  15. A God who claims to be "Utterly Just" should not have favourites. Why would God single out certain individuals and elevate them above other people I don't know but you are right, it does not seem fair. Oxford English Dictionary: Favouritism: noun - the unfair favouring of one person or group at the expense of another. 10th-century Syrian poet Abu al- Ala al-Maarri: : 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. ws. *
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