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In the Name of God بسم الله


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  1. These are all very good points that are hard to answer without losing some intellectual integrity. I think religion captures many people, including myself, because it appeals to a notion of justice. However, the more you contemplate, the more you realize how utterly nonsensical it all is.
  2. It's pretty refreshing to see a poster who's educated and doesn't have to ignore the laws of nature to make sense of the religion.
  3. I'm uncertain. That's why I'm here. But last I checked, if you believe in God, God gave us a brain. If he didn't want us to reason, he wouldn't have given us a brain capable of reasoning. Or am I being set up?
  4. Uhh, everything I've written about thus far? This hadith says they're weighed equally, whereas the hadith below says they're weighed unequally. What does this say about the accuracy/authenticity of the ahadith? Regardless, citing hadith is fine and all, but because there's so much debate about the truth of them (each sect differs), there's little benefit in using it as proof that what you say is true. That's like a Muslim having a debate with a Christian, each using their holy books as evidence for their arguments. It goes nowhere. If you say so. What was the point? The radio analogy fits perfectly? I'm not sure about that. With that analogy, you're merely suggesting that the soul exists, not that it has any affect on thought process. And unless you can explain it a little better, it doesn't answer anything about that serial killer example I gave earlier. Btw, I'm not trying to force a connection. The connection should exist by itself. Interesting theory. So you're proposing that the soul is a physical thing that changes the structure of the brain? Thus far unproven, but it's at least somewhat plausible. I beg to differ. I think cloning is the type of thing that shakes the very foundation of religion b/c of its far-reaching implications and the many unanswerable questions that would arise. In-vitro methods of fertilization is one thing, but cloning humans is another thing altogether.
  5. Finish the analogy. The signal is what? The soul or Islam? Either way, the analogy isn't intuitive because I'm talking about humans here, not radios. If a radio can't receive the signal well, nobody cares. It's inconsequential. If the brain can't receive the "signal," then what? I'm asking for someone to bridge the gap between science and religion; this just further convolutes the subject. So you're saying that the brain is not involved in generating or understanding concepts? It's not as simple as saying there's no other choice. I would like nothing more than for everything to make sense. I'd follow without question. But as far as I've understood, if you have doubts, they need to be resolved. Otherwise, what's the point of following the religion? Science shouldn't oppose religion, and I certainly don't worship or "follow" science in that sense. Rather, science should strengthen your faith. I just fear the day that we clone a human being. How do we justify that?
  6. That's exactly the issue. There is a disconnect between science and religion. Maybe it's because--what Shuayb said--the language of Revelation is a language of symbolism, or maybe it's something else. Regardless, because Islam claims universality (i.e. applicable to everyone in the entire world), I don't think it should be this difficult to understand. I've indeed heard that both intentions and actions are judged. However, it isn't possible for actions and intentions to be weighed equally, so there's still a discrepancy between those with means and those without. Actions and intentions are fundamentally different because, for one, in this life, intentions are temporal, while actions are permanent. What you intend may change from day to day, but without it being put into action, actual effects may differ substantially, and the consequences it has on other people do, too. For example, say someone intends to kill another person, but either the attempt fails, or the attempt never happens. The intention was to kill, but the effect on the would-be victim, his/her family, friends, etc. is completely different. Thus, intention can never be on the same level as action. On the other side of the coin, those who intend to do something good may never do it because they're too lazy, slow-witted, etc. Whereas the action may affect someone in reality, the intention rarely does.
  7. In order to follow, I have to understand--not everything--but enough to rid myself of this cognitive dissonance. Blindly following anything is never a good idea. Saying that out brains are programmed by our souls is interesting and may make sense if it weren't for simple observation. Brain function isn't in all-or-nothing proportion, that much is obvious, but to say that this is a result of the soul, rather than the myriad ways in which genes, fetal environment, and fetal/child/adult development affect it, is disregarding everything that's observable. Trauma to the brain, neurological diseases, and genetic disorders suggest that brain function is a very complicated natural phenomenon. Brain function runs the gamut, and thus explains the diverse ways in which people think, much better than an abstract soul does. On that point, whenever I've asked others how the mentally handicapped or ill are judged by their actions, the response has been that they're conventiently absolved to a large extent. Why? I'm not really sure what you're trying to say here. I shouldn't have said all right. I meant corrected for in the sense that all the variables (environment, genes, etc.) must be accounted for in order for God to judge each person according to his/her actions. And you're supporting me with your last couple sentences by saying that people are judged according to different standards. My point was that if everything is corrected for anyway, the actual process of doing good and bad becomes nearly meaningless in the sense that it all evens out. What is it that differentiates one person from another if it isn't some ratio of good/bad deeds? I think we're back at square 1 here, trying to find out what causes our actions. On a related note, do serial killers have a brain defect or are they simply evil souls corrupted by the devil? Science suggests the former, so how are those murders judged? Isn't the entire notion of good/evil completely voided if the former is true? Thanks.
  8. To preface, let me just say that I've really started to question the universality and truth of religion because there's far too many things that just don't make much sense. I'm posting here because I want to know if it's possible to get rid of these doubts, which have come as a result of many questions left unanswered. One thing that's hard to reconcile is science and religion. We've all heard arguments about nature versus nurture, but from a religious perspective, there is more than that, right? We believe in this metaphysical, yet-to-be-proven entity called the soul. And don't we believe that it is the soul that distinguishes us? Don't we believe that it is the soul that allows us to be judged according to our actions? But the question is, where does the soul actually come into play? From a scientific perspective, all of our actions are a result of electrical/chemical signalling in the brain. If the way in which we THINK is due to the wiring in our brain, which came as a result of both genetics and environment (both of which are directly attributed to random chance), how is it that we can be judged according to our good and bad deeds? How does the soul factor into how we act? Because, according to science, a soul has yet to be discovered. And certainly, if there is a soul, I think it's important for God to outline its involvement in the process of thinking and acting. Even disregarding the natural argument, how is it that we can be judged independently on our deeds when the environments and experiences of each person in this world differ so drastically? The ability of one person to perform good deeds (i.e. taking care of others, donating to charity, etc.) may directly be related to his/her means, which are a direct result of environment/chance. Does an inhabitant of war and poverty-stricken countries, perhaps only fighting to survive, have the same potential for good deeds as a wealthy man living in Scandinavia? Probably not. So what gives? If the answer is that everything is variable and God knows and somehow makes it allright in the end, then what's the point? What's the point of existing if everything you do is ultimately corrected for anyway? What happened to free will? Hopefully, someone can give provide something that makes sense, though I doubt it. Thanks.
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