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Pascal

The Fate Of The Unbelievers

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(Note to moderators, i couldn't think of the *best* place to put this thread. If you see a better place, please do move it to there, i have no objection to such a thing.)

I'll start this off with a little introduction, sorry to lengthen it but i feel it is important to the post. Please do read on, i'm sure you'll find it interesting. Lets begin.

I was going for my evening run, as i usually do but tonight i heard something that wasn't usual. I heard a man screaming, a woman screaming and i saw the man throwing around things. My first instinct of course would of been to call the police but i was trying to figure out how serious the situation was, maybe just a minor dispute or misunderstanding. My second instinct would be to go over there and protect the poor woman or at least try diffuse the situation. I feel it is my moral duty to do such a thing and i will always stand up for others, no matter the cost. I would do this every time without fail, at least i believe i would stand up in a situation and not just cower away or ignore the wrong being done. I am not a Muslim but someone was hatefully arguing against religion and Islam, i stood up for Islam and did my best to open their eyes and protect people being targeted. I might not agree with Islam but i will protect, with every single inch of myself, your right to practice your beliefs and to be free from hate. I will stand up for all. Thankfully, the dispute between the man and woman looked minor (misunderstanding) and in any case, one of their neighbours just arrived in their car and they would inevitably sort it out.

However, it got me thinking... What if i went over there to try break up this dispute and the man was armed. This isn't the nicest part of town and it isn't exactly unusual; one of my friends had a gun pulled on him, several people i know have been mugged around here; its not the safest place. So, i was imagining, say i went over there to protect this poor woman the best i could and the man was armed and he had stabbed me or something like that. It got me thinking, what happens to me if i die? Now, I'm agnostic but that doesn't mean i totally reject the afterlife either. I currently do not hold such a belief but my beliefs aren't the primary question of this topic, as you will soon see...

I've tried to live my life the best i can according to the morals i think are best. Indeed, we probably share many similar morals, i assure you of that, without going into too many personal things that would make me uncomfortable. These things include romantic relationships to a degree, ethics, diet (vegetarian, obviously different but haven't had any pork ect in 10+ years) ect. I'm not trying to score points or anything or boast. I am a human being like you and im sure we have all done some things we wish we hadn't. I just wished to give a general idea of myself. You have my word that i am honest about all these things i say.

It got me thinking, i share similar values to religious people and i am good people like they are(most anyway, not the hateful or intolerant). Also, they do good deeds partially or entirely out of love for God and because they know it is what God wills. They do it out of want for virtue and want for heaven. They try not to sin because they do not wish to displease God and they do not wish to end up in hell. Obviously, they are good people like I and wish to do good things for the same reason i do but they have additional motivation. I do my good deeds not out of want of reward or heaven but just because i believe it is the right thing to do and i wish to do them. Surely this is also virtuous, if not more virtuous (i think so anyway but i dont want to argue over this point much) because there is no motivating factor or reward.

I like to study comparative religion and all the religions of the world. It has came to my attention that all three books/Abrahamic religions, regardless of how good of a person i am, seem to say i get a ticket to a place full of interesting volcano's, mustard ( i hate mustard) and fire. I am hellfire bound as they say. No matter how good my deeds are, if i don't do them with God in mind or to please God apparently i am bound for the hellfire. Obviously, i don't really enjoy being told all my good deeds are worthless in the grand scale of things and i don't like being told i am going to hell for being a good person or even going to hell for that matter. I dont really want to believe a loving God would still put me in such a place for being a good person but thats why i came here, to get everyones views.

It got me thinking, imagine i died when that situation happened, where would i ultimately end up from the perspective of all the major religions. So, please do share your opinions. I know it isn't the most polite thing to tell me I'm going to hell and i won't exactly enjoy reading such a thing but a truth is a truth. If you believe it to be the truth please don't be afraid and tell me as such. I won't hold any personal thing against you of course. Perhaps, also, if you could please include a little explanation, to make it easier for me to digest.

(I'm not sure if all Muslims hold one view to this issue or there are many different views by many different scholars and interpretations, same goes for all other religions but i'm happy to see a diversity of views and all view points.)

(I also realise the fact you are not divine, you are a fallible human being like I and you are not Allah/god/brahman/ect... I realise you obviously can not know such a thing for certain and it is up to the supreme force to decide. I am not taking anyones words about the literal truth, so do not worry about misleading me. I just want to know what your religion and particular scholar you follow/ your beliefs say about where i will go and even what you personally think, which is also very important to me.)

Edit: I put a poll in so those who were a bit cautious of telling me where i would end up or just out of politeness or respect did not wish to do such a thing could voice their opinion as well, the poll seems to of not worked. Apologies to those people but really, please do speak your mind, i won't hold anything against you, i promise.

Regards,

-kingpomba

Edited by kingpomba

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I've tried to live my life the best i can according to the morals i think are best. Indeed, we probably share many similar morals, i assure you of that, without going into too many personal things that would make me uncomfortable. These things include romantic relationships to a degree, ethics, diet (vegetarian, obviously different but haven't had any pork ect in 10+ years) ect. I'm not trying to score points or anything or boast. I am a human being like you and im sure we have all done some things we wish we hadn't. I just wished to give a general idea of myself. You have my word that i am honest about all these things i say.

It got me thinking, i share similar values to religious people and i am good people like they are(most anyway, not the hateful or intolerant). Also, they do good deeds partially or entirely out of love for God and because they know it is what God wills. They do it out of want for virtue and want for heaven. They try not to sin because they do not wish to displease God and they do not wish to end up in hell. Obviously, they are good people like I and wish to do good things for the same reason i do but they have additional motivation. I do my good deeds not out of want of reward or heaven but just because i believe it is the right thing to do and i wish to do them. Surely this is also virtuous, if not more virtuous (i think so anyway but i dont want to argue over this point much) because there is no motivating factor or reward.

Regards,

-kingpomba

Ah yes, these are fair points. One major problem i have with scripture is just this. All verses seem to point toward one ending for non believers which is unappealing. Never have i read a single verse that even gives the slightest support for honest/good non believers.

However, being a non believer also has its benefits. It allows for the entertainment of concepts that many theists would avoid considering. Recognizing that I can be a good person, in my opinion gives me strength and confidence in being a non believer. Its easy to stand up to the police (to question ancient scripture) when you have not broken any laws (youre morally good and an honest person and you work hard to learn absolute truth). And so i feel as though there is nothing to fear. Just as i have no fear of the police arresting me when i work hard to abide by rules. Regardless of whether or not these police exist, i think we're fairly safe so long as we play by the rules provided to us by other means, and we work hard with honestly to learn truth.

Aside from this though, you and i, if im not mistaken are fairly similar in what we believe, and with that said, there's no need to say more (unless you would like to hear preaching from the choir).

These are good thought experiments.

oh, and one more thing. I dont think anyone performs actions solely for the sake of abiding by scripture for rewards in heaven. At-least most people dont. They may claim that they do, and they may believe that they do. But im willing to bet that if they did ignore their scripture, they still would be fairly good people, and in their hearts they would recognize right and wrong just like everyone else.

but really, im fairly certain you agree with me on that statement above (at least in part), so it may be for the viewers more so than you in particular.

Edited by iSilurian

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Hmmm, i was afraid this kind of thing would happen.

Yes, seems we have come to agreement again iSillurian, which is good, but our book (lackthereof) doesn't say im bound for the hellfire, so its definitely less concerning of a matter :P, you see what i mean.

I was looking for answers from people here really. I know of course only Allah knows these things so i wont push you on that matter but i just want to hear your opinions of the theology and what you think.

Of course, I'm sure you guys can understand from my viewpoint how this must look and feel. If you can't walk a mile in my shoes and understand my point, im sure you can at least try my shoes on right. It's not a nice realization that no matter how much good i do and how good i try to be it is ultimately worthless in the view of two of the largest religions. Quiet disheartening really, unless i drew an incorrect conclusion.

I am very busy with university and i must confess i don't know if ill have time to read an entire book not related to my work for a long period of time. I read the summary section but it wasn't very clear without reading the rest of the book. The conclusion i drew was no matter how good my deeds are i am going to hell, for eternity, is that a correct assertion to make?

Surely this man doesn't represent all of islam though, after all it is just a book by one man and his interpretation or does it really represent the views of all of shia islam?

Edited by kingpomba

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In Islam muslims believe that God or 'Allah' (Elah in hebrew) is fair and just. We believe that it is a test for all human beings to find God and to accept his religion however as God is fair He will reward any human being whether they be muslim or non muslim, who is a good person and stands up for whats right, eithier in this world or the next. If you are searching for God and your interested in Islam, then maybe you could watch AhulBayt tv on Sky 842 theres a programme called 'reverts world' where converts (or reverts) to Islam discuss what they found interesting about Islam that made them want to convert. I think its a good place to start, all the best and may you find success InshAllah. :)

Edited by AlHamdulillah110

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Dear KingPomba:

You've drawn an erroneous conclusion. You must read Religious Pluralism and Kitab Al- Tawheed, they're awesome books so read them and alot will, if not all, be clarified.

Know that everyone is judged according to their intelligence, as a foundation. You're an agnostic aka a confused person, still seeking the true path and you will be rewarded if your endeavours are honest. Just to give you a glimpse from the books that I read, a good, moral atheist will still go to hell for willingly rejecting God BUT will be immune from the punishment and will receive provisions from outside of hell.

Edited by Çåá ÇáÈíÊ

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Let me give you a taste of one of the narrations of Ahlulbayt [a] on this subject:

Imam al-Baqir [a]: "When the day of judgement comes, Allah the mighty and high will hold objection against seven: the child, the one who died during the period between two prophets, the elderly senile man who lived during the period of prophecy, the simple-minded person, the mentally ill, the deaf and the dumb .... (the narration continues)" Kitab al-Tawhid, chapter 61, narration 4. And there is more.

One a side note Ayatullah Mutahhari in his book 'Adle ilaahi' (Divine Justice. the book "Islam and Religious Pluralism" is actually from the last chapter of that book) points out that there is a very serious lack of material from scholars on such topics. And how right he is, people keep asking "Why does evil exist?", "What happens to good non-muslims?" etc. Most muslims should already know the answers to these types of questions but they hardly know anything.

Edited by Muhammed Ali

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You're an agnostic aka a confused person

I find that rather offensive to be honest.

I am intelligent person, I'm not some headless confused duck running around.

I believe i have very good philosophical justification for my position otherwise, as an intelligent person, i wouldn't believe it. Seems logical right?

I don't think i'm confused at all, i think im in the best philosophical position i can be without also shutting my mind off to other positions.

I do not mean this in a mean way of course but i do find such things offensive, i hope you understand.

BUT will be immune from the punishment and will receive provisions from outside of hell.

Now that is very interesting. If i am immune to punishments, why be in hell at all then? Why not put me in the lowest level of heaven?

I apologies i dont have time to read the full books but i closely glanced over it and it made me aware of something i previously didn't think of. Here i am asking, why would a loving God not allow a good person to get into heaven but Muslims have some of the same worries, if Good non-muslims get into heaven, whats the point of being a muslim? I understand some of the concerns that raises and how it could lead to arguments which go against my position.

I don't think they're necessarily contradictory though. For Good muslims to go to heaven and for good people of other faiths to go to heaven. It doesn't need to be some kind of competition. Why be a muslim? Perhaps because it is one of the best guides to live your life but im sure people can independently arrive at a lot of the same conclusions Muslims have (like i did) without having a religion. It is also a very good comprehensive system. Perhaps, i may postulate, that maybe, Good unbelievers go to a lower level of jannah than Good(of the same goodness anyway) muslims. That is one possible way of reconciling this issue.

It was also of interest to me for another reason. As i have stated, i held certain conservative morals aligned with some of those of Islam/Christianity. I used to think those were good. I realised, its hard to objectively judge good and the morals i thought were good, were derived from Christian morals in large but similar to islamic morals. Now, they come from that source but if im going to hell either way no matter how good i am, it made me think, why do i follow these morals then? (I didn't follow them out of belief in God obviously but i still used to think they were good) If im doomed for hell anyway, why be conservative like that, Why not just do what ever i feel like (without harming others greatly) and live up this life as much as i want. Which is a very difficult philosophical position to be in.... Half of that post probably belongs in an entirely different thread though...

In Islam muslims believe that God or 'Allah' (Elah in hebrew) is fair and just. We believe that it is a test for all human beings to find God and to accept his religion however as God is fair He will reward any human being whether they be muslim or non muslim, who is a good person and stands up for whats right, eithier in this world or the next.

This is the position that seems to make the most sense to me and it is the one i would like to believe but do you have some kind of source for this? Your own original logic is fine but then it isn't really the islamic response either

Imam al-Baqir [a]: "When the day of judgement comes, Allah the mighty and high will hold objection against seven: the child, the one who died during the period between two prophets, the elderly senile man who lived during the period of prophecy, the simple-minded person, the mentally ill, the deaf and the dumb .... (the narration continues)" Kitab al-Tawhid, chapter 61, narration 4. And there is more.

I do not really understand that passage, he holds objections against children and the mentally unfit? I dont think Allah would do that, at least the one you believe in. So, my interpretation must be wrong...Care to provide an interpretation/explaination?

Thank you everyone for your contributions so far.

Edited by kingpomba

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I find that rather offensive to be honest.

I am intelligent person, I'm not some headless confused duck running around.

I believe i have very good philosophical justification for my position otherwise, as an intelligent person, i wouldn't believe it. Seems logical right?

I don't think i'm confused at all, i think im in the best philosophical position i can be without also shutting my mind off to other positions.

I do not mean this in a mean way of course but i do find such things offensive, i hope you understand.

Now that is very interesting. If i am immune to punishments, why be in hell at all then? Why not put me in the lowest level of heaven?

I apologies i dont have time to read the full books but i closely glanced over it and it made me aware of something i previously didn't think of. Here i am asking, why would a loving God not allow a good person to get into heaven but Muslims have some of the same worries, if Good non-muslims get into heaven, whats the point of being a muslim? I understand some of the concerns that raises and how it could lead to arguments which go against my position.

I don't think they're necessarily contradictory though. For Good muslims to go to heaven and for good people of other faiths to go to heaven. It doesn't need to be some kind of competition. Why be a muslim? Perhaps because it is one of the best guides to live your life but im sure people can independently arrive at a lot of the same conclusions Muslims have (like i did) without having a religion. It is also a very good comprehensive system. Perhaps, i may postulate, that maybe, Good unbelievers go to a lower level of jannah than Good(of the same goodness anyway) muslims. That is one possible way of reconciling this issue.

It was also of interest to me for another reason. As i have stated, i held certain conservative morals aligned with some of those of Islam/Christianity. I used to think those were good. I realised, its hard to objectively judge good and the morals i thought were good, were derived from Christian morals in large but similar to islamic morals. Now, they come from that source but if im going to hell either way no matter how good i am, it made me think, why do i follow these morals then? (I didn't follow them out of belief in God obviously but i still used to think they were good) If im doomed for hell anyway, why be conservative like that, Why not just do what ever i feel like (without harming others greatly) and live up this life as much as i want. Which is a very difficult philosophical position to be in.... Half of that post probably belongs in an entirely different thread though...

This is the position that seems to make the most sense to me and it is the one i would like to believe but do you have some kind of source for this? Your own original logic is fine but then it isn't really the islamic response either

I do not really understand that passage, he holds objections against children and the mentally unfit? I dont think Allah would do that, at least the one you believe in. So, my interpretation must be wrong...Care to provide an interpretation/explaination?

Thank you everyone for your contributions so far.

1. Forgive me. I didn't mean to be rude in any way, perhaps I was too direct. The fact is that you're an open minded person who is judging and extracting opinions and thoughts from different ideologies and concepts and using this as an arbitrator in order to reach a sound conclusion. I admire you for this. What I actually meant to say is that, generally, agnostic people may be open minded but they don't really know what path is actually right, hence they are confused.

2. I ask you, why should an atheist go to heaven, let alone a lower heaven, if they reject such a concept in the first place and disbelieve in god and recompense? wheres the logic in that?

3. It is stupidity to let go of morality, no matter what religion you are in, as good people and those who help out in humanitarian causes are closer to felicity in the hereafter. Ultimately, it's up to God.

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An interesting thread although I don’t think I fully understand its intent. However you appear to be open minded not confused and of course not condemned to some folk lore story of a hell.

This being a Shia website you will receive some attempts by those who proselytize but they are doing it from their heart and truly believe what they are telling you. I am not a Muslim and do not share a belief in that kind of hell, not that this life is a test. A test is rather cut and dry either you pass or fail and what is its purpose, to graduate and what if you fail? Will failure result in burning in hell's fire forever, hardly what a "kind and loving" Creator's action would be. And if there was an offer of forgiveness at life's end it hardly makes the whole exercise valid does it?

Keep an open mind and I will have additional comments later.

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A test is rather cut and dry either you pass or fail and what is its purpose, to graduate and what if you fail? Will failure result in burning in hell's fire forever, hardly what a "kind and loving" Creator's action would be. And if there was an offer of forgiveness at life's end it hardly makes the whole exercise valid does it?

Yo only fail if you want to. The exercise is valid because it makes us into better beings. Anyhow there is a lot more to it.

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An interesting thread although I don’t think I fully understand its intent. However you appear to be open minded not confused and of course not condemned to some folk lore story of a hell.

This being a Shia website you will receive some attempts by those who proselytize but they are doing it from their heart and truly believe what they are telling you. I am not a Muslim and do not share a belief in that kind of hell, not that this life is a test. A test is rather cut and dry either you pass or fail and what is its purpose, to graduate and what if you fail? Will failure result in burning in hell's fire forever, hardly what a "kind and loving" Creator's action would be. And if there was an offer of forgiveness at life's end it hardly makes the whole exercise valid does it?

Keep an open mind and I will have additional comments later.

I understand why you would mock hell, it's because you are very ill informed. You do realize that Shia books have been written about questions such as yours and numerous threads have been opened up about the subject.

Let me just give you the skinny on this:

God isn't kind and loving and caring to the extent the He will ignore your injustices , as that would make God unjust. Yes, gods mercy overcomes his justice, but that doesn't mean justice won't be served to those who actually deserve it.

If someone murders your entire family and gets away with it, he should go to heaven? God may be "kind and loving" but there's one thing he ain't - stupid.

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Kingpomba,

What is stopping you from submitting to Allah swt and accept Islam?

Perhaps I am missing something as I often am but why do you ask that question like it is the logical next step for kingpomba? What is stopping him from accepting Christianity? What is stopping him from accepting Daoism or any other faith?

Although it would have little effect on my life I would be pleased if he embarked a spiritual journey no matter what the path because they all lead to the same destination. Don't you agree sister?

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I understand why you would mock hell, it's because you are very ill informed. You do realize that Shia books have been written about questions such as yours and numerous threads have been opened up about the subject.

Let me just give you the skinny on this:

God isn't kind and loving and caring to the extent the He will ignore your injustices , as that would make God unjust. Yes, gods mercy overcomes his justice, but that doesn't mean justice won't be served to those who actually deserve it.

If someone murders your entire family and gets away with it, he should go to heaven? God may be "kind and loving" but there's one thing he ain't - stupid.

I believe Lord Shiva, use any name you like even Billy Joe because the names are given by man, to be kind and loving who would not write of his creation any more than a father would write off his children. God does not over look actions that offend it. A person's actions must be brought into balance; you know like what goes around comes around, you consider God in this realm of time and space which Shiva or Billy Joe or Allah or Yahweh is within and without.

It is not that I am ill informed but I think your information is limited. I am not going to try and increase or widen your horizons because it will come to you in time, maybe a very long time. You could jump start the process by reading what Islamic mystics have written, don't read them literally but seek the metaphor.

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Perhaps I am missing something as I often am but why do you ask that question like it is the logical next step for kingpomba? What is stopping him from accepting Christianity?

Nothing stops him from accepting Christianity just like nothing is stopping him from accepting Islam.

Is seems logical to me to ask him that question because he wants to know his fate in hereafter/akhira. No one can really answer that question because this is a bit of grey area. However, if he accept Islam and continue to live his life in the good manner (and he is already living a good life) and accept Islamic obligation, then I have good news to tell him.

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Nothing stops him from accepting Christianity just like nothing is stopping him from accepting Islam.

Is seems logical to me to ask him that question because he wants to know his fate in hereafter/akhira. No one can really answer that question because this is a bit of grey area. However, if he accept Islam and continue to live his life in the good manner (and he is already living a good life) and accept Islamic obligation, then I have good news to tell him.

If he accepts any religion and continues to live his life in a good manner ( and he is already living a good life or not) then there is good news no one needs to tell him because he will know it as it brings a change in him. Doesn't that sound better. Wouldn't you be pleased if he found a belief in God no matter what the faith is as I would be?

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If he accepts any religion and continues to live his life in a good manner ( and he is already living a good life or not) then there is good news no one needs to tell him because he will know it as it brings a change in him. Doesn't that sound better. Wouldn't you be pleased if he found a belief in God no matter what the faith is as I would be?

You make it sound like every religion is true, yet every religion contradicts the other. And this of course means that you cannot attain salvation by joining any random religion like you propose

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If he accepts any religion and continues to live his life in a good manner ( and he is already living a good life or not) then there is good news no one needs to tell him because he will know it as it brings a change in him. Doesn't that sound better. Wouldn't you be pleased if he found a belief in God no matter what the faith is as I would be?

Not all religions are about belief in God. Many religions are man-made. So he would be changing his disbelieve to disbelieve to disbelieve to disbelieve.

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Not all religions are about belief in God. Many religions are man-made. So he would be changing his disbelieve to disbelieve to disbelieve to disbelieve.

All religions are man made spirituality is not.

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You make it sound like every religion is true, yet every religion contradicts the other. And this of course means that you cannot attain salvation by joining any random religion like you propose

+1

The modern liberal humanist approach to religion has been either:

1) Dismissing all religions as the same, and declaring them to be an obstacle to human progress, or

2) Declaring all religions to be the same, and declaring them all to be truthful.

In a way, we Muslims should prefer #1, because people who believe in #1 could never infiltrate our ranks. #2 on the other hand? Separate from the issue of it being a threat to the uniqueness of Islam, it is a threat to the uniqueness of all religions, really. (I don't think Christians or Buddhists or Hindus want their beliefs to be lumped in with ours any more than we do).

#2 is an incoherent humanist idea that conflicts with basic perception: religions are not the same. There are clear differences in practices, beliefs, philosophies...

This incoherent idea was made to neuter religion. Instead of applying force to destroy it, instead a generic, amalgamated religion has emerged to overtake it.

It's such a disgusting thing; it's worse than atheism or idol-worship.

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You make it sound like every religion is true, yet every religion contradicts the other. And this of course means that you cannot attain salvation by joining any random religion like you propose

I am not making it sound like anything I am saying that all religions are valid and seek the same goal. A problem with Abrahanic religions is they all think they have an exclusivity on the truth, this of course can not be true but that they are all wrong can be true. These differences you want to focus on are minor compared to the grandeur of the metaphor.

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I am not making it sound like anything I am saying that all religions are valid and seek the same goal.

Subhanallah. OK all religions are valid? Christianity - Accept Jesus (as) as Lord to attain salvation. Islam - Those who ascribe partners to Allah (aka saying Jesus is God) are from among those who will not attain salvation

How can religions that damn the followers of other religions all be valid? What you're saying doesn't make sense; only ONE religion can be true.

A problem with Abrahanic religions is they all think they have an exclusivity on the truth, this of course can not be true but that they are all wrong can be true.

Why not? Logically speaking, the possibilities regarding the validity of religions are: a) Only one religion is true (since religions contradict each other, and thus they cannot all be true) or B) No religions are true. Why have you rejected the first possibility?

These differences you want to focus on are minor compared to the grandeur of the metaphor.

lol

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Subhanallah. OK all religions are valid? Christianity - Accept Jesus (as) as Lord to attain salvation. Islam - Those who ascribe partners to Allah (aka saying Jesus is God) are from among those who will not attain salvation

How can religions that damn the followers of other religions all be valid? What you're saying doesn't make sense; only ONE religion can be true.

Why not? Logically speaking, the possibilities regarding the validity of religions are: a) Only one religion is true (since religions contradict each other, and thus they cannot all be true) or B) No religions are true. Why have you rejected the first possibility?

lol

Islam is at the top of the list of those who condemn other religions, that is why we are having this conversation. Some of Islams' most radical have no problem with killing "infidels" because they believe God is going to condemn them to hell anyway. It is easy for a person who thinks this way to believe he or she is doing God's work, this and brainwashing creates suicide bombers.

Read the following by Joseph Campbell.

METAPHOR As MYTH AND As RELIGION

THE PROBLEM

"From the point of view of any orthodoxy, myth might be defined simply as "other people's religion," to which an equivalent definition of religion would be "misunderstood mythology," the misunderstanding consisting in the interpretation of mythic metaphors as references to hard fact: the Virgin Birth, for example, as a biological anomaly, or the Promised Land as a portion of the Near East to be claimed and settled by a people chosen of God, the term "God" here to be understood as denoting an actual, though invisible, masculine personality, who created the universe and is now resident in an invisible, though actual, heaven to which the "justified" will go when they die, there to be joined at the end of time by their resurrected bodies.

What, in the name of Reason or Truth, is a modern mind to make of such evident nonsense?[/color]

Like dreams, myths are productions of the human imagination. Their images, consequently—though derived from the material world and its supposed history—are, like dreams, revelations of the deepest hopes, desires and fears, potentialities and conflicts, of the human will—which in turn is moved by the energies of the organs of the body operating variously against each other and in concert. Every myth, that is to say, whether or not by intention is psychologically symbolic. Its narratives and images are to be read, therefore, not literally, but as metaphors.

Mythologies are addressed, however, as dreams normally are not, to questions of the origins, both of the natural world and of the arts, laws, and customs of a local people, physical things being understood in this view as metaphysically grounded in a dreamlike mythological realm beyond space and time, which, since it is physically invisible, can be known only to the mind. And as the insubstantial shapes of dream arise from the formative ground of the individual will, so do all the passing shapes of the physical world arise (according to this way of thought) from a universal, morphogenetic ground that is made known to the mind through the figurations of myth."

Edited by satyaban

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Islam is at the top of the list of those who condemn other religions, that is why we are having this conversation. Some of Islams' most radical have no problem with killing "infidels" because they believe God is going to condemn them to hell anyway. It is easy for a person who thinks this way to believe he or she is doing God's work, this and brainwashing creates suicide bombers.

Didn't you say all religions are valid? You appear to have a different tone in your posts..

Islam condemns other religions, and other religions condemn religions that contradict their beliefs. In the end, the fact that there are contradictory opinions within the many different religions leaves us with only two possibilities, either ONE is true or NONE are true.

The end of your post is off topic, I don't see how that has anything to do with the discussion. The acts of random people who wish to commit acts of terror has nothing to do with Islam.

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Valid points bro. God is the final judge. If with all your intellect you have come to the conclusion that being an agnostic is the answer then i guess you will be judged on your AKL (intellect) however God knows whats in your heart.... but you make a fair point... I got one question for you. How can you go your whole life being an agnostic its like sitting on the fence in my opinion, you end up living an indecisive life? neither here neither there.

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[Post is currently being edited(16:20 GMT 0 ) and may change]

2. I ask you, why should an atheist go to heaven, let alone a lower heaven, if they reject such a concept in the first place and disbelieve in god and recompense? wheres the logic in that?

This is true but again, this is a very two sided argument. There is definitely the other side of this: Why would a loving God not reward someone doing good deeds, why would God send someone who did good things to hell anyway. Would a God like that be so pedantic and childish to send someone to heaven for not believing in him or admiring him? If God is the ultimate source of justice, surely it is just that the good people get rewarded is it not? This doesn't really answer your question but that same logic can produce two very different outcomes...(actually i might of answered it..)

An interesting thread although I don’t think I fully understand its intent. However you appear to be open minded not confused and of course not condemned to some folk lore story of a hell.

It's more of a thought experiment really, it just got me wondering after that situation. Me asking on a theoretical basis, as a thought experiment, if i would go to hell according to your theology (as in the differing ideas people here hold), in no way implies my belief in such an after life. As i said in the opening post, i do not hold any belief in such a thing. I could see how people would be easily confused though.

This being a Shia website you will receive some attempts by those who proselytize but they are doing it from their heart and truly believe what they are telling you. I am not a Muslim and do not share a belief in that kind of hell....

I wanted views from all people in fact, the more the merrier. In hindsight this might belong better in the philosophy section but i think ill let it play out a litte more here before i request a mod to move it. I don't know much about Hinduism's say in it (Afterlife, i know a little but i may be wrong) but like i remarked, i read the three books, so to speak, of the Abrahamic religions and all told me i was bound for the hellfire. One of the Muslim groups on campus gave me a quran (they had a stand set up so i went to talk to them) and i started reading it on my train home. In the very first few opening paragraphs it told me i was definitely bound for hell. All the translations of this particular section seemed to promise me awful doom no matter how good of a person i was. So, that originally piqued my interest.

However, if the quran says i have "awful doom" upon me, it does lead me to question some of the other conclusions people are drawing. Since nothing can abrogate the quran. I would prefer the version where i do go to heaven or as someone said above, i go to hell and im immune from punishment but it does not seem consistent. That said i never read all the way through so maybe i missed some later verses. If a loving God would indeed punish good people for doing good deeds then i don't know if it's the religion for me.

....A test is rather cut and dry either you pass or fail and what is its purpose, to graduate and what if you fail? Will failure result in burning in hell's fire forever, hardly what a "kind and loving" Creator's action would be. And if there was an offer of forgiveness at life's end it hardly makes the whole exercise valid does it?

Yes, this is exactly the kind of question that lead me to start this thread. Hopefully it will at least partially satisfy my thirst so to speak.

Kingpomba,

What is stopping you from submitting to Allah swt and accept Islam?

I have some very good reasons (obviously); arguments against any kind of God and against (i mean this in the nicest way possible, i really do) Islam as a belief system.

They are obviously very convincing to me as an intelligent person and i think it is the closest to the truth i can currently get. It would be foolish to say my beliefs are cemented and unchanging for ever but i do not expect them to change as i see things now.

I was actually going to make a thread detailing them but i didn't for many reasons. For one it wouldn't actually contribute much to the community, it would just look like im bashing Islam which i have no intent of doing. I may also upset some people, which, i have also not come here to do. Thirdly, a lot of my arguments and reasons are very long and complex and some of them are my own original formulations i haven't seen anywhere else, all of which would require considerable thought in detail into writing down every single one of them. I like to put a high degree of quality and effort into what i write, you can see for yourself, most of my posts here are quiet lengthy. I do not wish to leave something half done or not to the best of my ability. As a university student during the 'high season' of the academic year, i just lack the time for this kind of thing regrettably. It would also lead sooner or later to a very circular kind of debate. If i find some spare time i might send you a very brief message with a very brief outline of a few of my reasons but it would be far from complete and im not currently seeking a debate on them either but you do seem interested, if i do find the time, i will try to.

Your question seems to indicate (apologies if it doesn't) that everyone is only a few logical steps away from Islam. Of course, you, as a Muslim, think it is a very beautiful religion and the most correct one. You think it is the one true religion for all humanity, so of course you think everyone is only a few steps away. This is where it gets hard, to try walk in my shoes; it probably is very hard for most of you to imagine. I currently have no religion and if i were to look at all the religions of the world and try to 'choose' one, it would be a very difficult task(I've looked at them all and none seem right to me). I wouldn't automatically head towards Islam.

These kind of things also indicate that, if you're not a Muslim, you must just not be entirely informed yet or you must not of read the quran or know what Islam is. Maybe you're influenced by the media and get a bad image, maybe you reject every religion you see. I realise this might be rather confronting, i have studied Islam, like i have studied all religions of the world. I think i have a good understanding of it. I have read the books and i reject all that bad influence of the media. Yet, even after all these things which people would suppose hold be back because i haven't done or learned, i have done them and i am still no more of a Muslim. Even after doing all those things, i still came to the same conclusion that it wasn't for me.

While most of you here think Islam is the one true religion, like most of you know i am an agnostic and do not. If i were looking to find a religion, i would be looking at *all* of them and Islam would hold no special distinction among the religions in these books. All the major religions i have looked at have problems for me, problems i can't reconcile, therefore i don't believe them. I'm not a hard-line atheist though, i don't totally deny the fact that a religion could be true. As a student trained in science, i also think it is equally as illogical to say that i am 100% certain that there is no God or no religion and reject things blindly(even richard dawkins doesn't classify himself as this). The atheists who do that are just as bad as the people whom they try criticise. It seemed so hypocritical to me, hence, i am an agnostic.

As an agnostic, choosing from the "menu of religions" if you will (yes, yes, i understand you don't really choose the truth and all that but this is just a metaphor to help understanding), all religions seem as equally as valid to me (with the exception of the obviously wacky like Scientology). So, i am just not a mile away from walking to Islam, i am a mile away from all of them. Again, i know its hard to walk in my shoes but perhaps this can help people to understand.

This wasn't exactly directed at you only Zareen but more everyone who raises similar things, seemed like a convenient place to put it.

(Guys, do not wish to debate you on any of the things i said above, in this thread anyway. Lets keep it about heaven/hell, please?)

Let me just give you the skinny on this:

God isn't kind and loving and caring to the extent the He will ignore your injustices , as that would make God unjust. Yes, gods mercy overcomes his justice, but that doesn't mean justice won't be served to those who actually deserve it.

If someone murders your entire family and gets away with it, he should go to heaven? God may be "kind and loving" but there's one thing he ain't - stupid.

This statement actually seems a little contradictory to me, ill try break it down and make sense of it.

1)God isn't so wholly kind and loving that he will ignore injustice (this in itself raises problems), because that would make him unjust.

2)God's mercy overcomes his justice

3)Justice will be served to those who deserve it

2 & 3 seem like they are in conflict to me?

I think you just didn't think of the best way to phrase it though, perhaps you meant to say God is equally loving and just.

This actually came up in my philosophy class, we were listing properties of God:

1)God is all Merciful

2)God is all loving

3)God is entirely just

1&2 seem to conflict with 3. How can an all loving and all merciful God also be entirely just (by handing out punishment).

What if i have done more injustice than justice, what of me then?

It's not as simple as you say either. If going to heaven or hell is simply balancing bad deeds, 3 different people will get 3 different outcomes, sure you're murderer might get punished but it depends on his beliefs.

Say we have three exactly the same people with one difference, their religion:

A)Murderer A did the same deeds as all, good and bad but is a Muslim.

B)Murderer B did the same deeds as all, good and bad but is agnostic.

C)Murderer C did the same deeds as all, good and bad but is a polytheist.

It seems even though they did the same good and bad deeds in life, the punishment or sins they accrue will also increase in such an order A->B->C just because of their beliefs. So it is not clear cut as you mentioned as a murderer just getting justice. There are many confounding factors. It begs the question to me why should the polytheist get punished more than me? Just because happened to be a polytheist? So, i don't think you can really make blanket statements like that.

Why is it fair a polytheist, by no fault of his own, grew up in a polytheist society and believed with all his logic that he was right, just like muslims here believe with all their logic they are right, why is it fair he recieves more punishment for exercising his God given logic? Why should i receive more punishment for exercising my God given logic and reaching a conclusion i thought was right?

I guess the central crux is, why would God punish a good person?

I do appreciate your input though.

Is seems logical to me to ask him that question because he wants to know his fate in hereafter/akhira. No one can really answer that question because this is a bit of grey area. However, if he accept Islam and continue to live his life in the good manner (and he is already living a good life) and accept Islamic obligation, then I have good news to tell him.

You can see why such an idea piqued my interest; from my story and what i mentioned in this post as well.

What if i don't accept Islam but continue to live in a good manner? What news for me then?

As i said above, my interest in such an idea, in no way indicates my belief in such an idea though.

If he accepts any religion and continues to live his life in a good manner ( and he is already living a good life or not) then there is good news no one needs to tell him because he will know it as it brings a change in him. Doesn't that sound better. Wouldn't you be pleased if he found a belief in God no matter what the faith is as I would be?

I think she(apologies if i am incorrect, not sure if you are a lady or man, he did call you sis though) would be rather disappointed if the God i found was Thor or Zeus; or if i found a pantheon of many gods (Eg polytheism).

I think she wouldn't be particularly pleased in me unless i found one very particular and specific conception of God. Infact, they are probably more pleased in my current state of being agnostic (Holding no beliefs in any of the world religions but also no belief in no religion, i am of course an atheist in practice but if i saw something very convincing, I, of course would be convinced.) because i do not really hold any particular beliefs in a religion or God than they would be (pleased) if i found a religion that was dissimilar to their own.

Seems like an accurate assumption to me.

Of course, if you're the kind of person who think all paths lead to God(You seem to be such a person) then you will be happy either way.

The modern liberal humanist approach to religion has been either:

1) Dismissing all religions as the same, and declaring them to be an obstacle to human progress, or

2) Declaring all religions to be the same, and declaring them all to be truthful.

I think you are creating a bit of a false dichotomy here that doesn't necessarily represent all the facets of that kind of approach. I don't think it is so black and white necessarily.

Separate from the issue of it being a threat to the uniqueness of Islam, it is a threat to the uniqueness of all religions, really. (I don't think Christians or Buddhists or Hindus want their beliefs to be lumped in with ours any more than we do).

It depends how exactly you declare to them to be the same really, which you didn't state clearly. Do you mean all people will declare them to all be equally true or equally wrong? This doesn't really lump them together, they're still either distinctively true or distinctively wrong.

I would think i am a 'liberal humanist' in some ways and i do not take this approach. I know there are many religions out there and there are many different people out there, believing many different religions. They each have their own pearls of wisdom and they each have their own downfalls. These such things are unique. I dismiss the fact all religions are the same but i do not believe they are an obstacle to human progress, so indeed, i think you did create a bit of a false dichotomy and a bit of a straw man.

This isn't directly related to the whole original point of my discussion though, so, i won't really want to talk about it further in this particular thread. I suggest you do not waste time typing, just a helpful suggestion anyway. I of course mean that in a nice way, i just dont want you to waste your time and be unsatisfied with lack of a response.

I don't wish to censor people or anything and i will happily discuss such matter elsewhere but....

This is getting a bit off-topic though. Please try to keep it about the topic i actually wished to talk about :) and not have your own little personal debates within it, it'd be much appreciated. I was just looking for everyones different views, didn't think people would end up debating one another haha. Such is the nature of these things i suppose though.

Edited by kingpomba

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Didn't you say all religions are valid? You appear to have a different tone in your posts..

Islam condemns other religions, and other religions condemn religions that contradict their beliefs. In the end, the fact that there are contradictory opinions within the many different religions leaves us with only two possibilities, either ONE is true or NONE are true.

The end of your post is off topic, I don't see how that has anything to do with the discussion. The acts of random people who wish to commit acts of terror has nothing to do with Islam.

Other religions have committed atrocities for the same reasons but Islam became the center of attention when you made the statement you can not prove about it being the only true religion which is absurd but you are entitled to your opinion.

The essay I included is most appropriate because it illustrates the problem you have. You are missreading the metaphor or more likely you don't even see it.

I am not going to waste anymore time with you because you refuse to consider anything but what you were told. Also I must assume God did not whisper anything in your ear.

See ya.

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[Post is currently being edited and may change]

This is true but again, this is a very two sided argument. There is definitely the other side of this: Why would a loving God not reward someone doing good deeds, why would God send someone who did good things to hell anyway. Would a God like that be so pendantic and childish to send someone to heaven for not believing in him or admiring him? If God is the ultimate source of justice, surely it is good that the good people get rewarded is it not? This doesn't really answer your question but that same logic can produce two very different outcomes...(Wait actually i think i did answer it)

It's more of a thought experiment really, it just got me wondering after that situation. Me asking on a theoretical basis, as a thought experiment, if i would go to hell according to your theology (as in the differing ideas people here hold), in no way implies my belief in such an after life. As i said in the opening post, i do not hold any belief in such a thing. I could see how people would be easily confused though.

I wanted views from all people in fact, the more the merrier. In hindsight this might belong better in the philosophy section but i think ill let it play out a litte more here before i request a mod to move it. I don't know much about Hinduism's say in it but like i remarked, i read the three books, so to speak, of the Abrahamic religions and all told me i was bound for the hellfire. One if the muslim groups on campus gave me a quran (they had a stand set up so i went to talk to them) and i started reading it on my train home. In the very first few opening paragraphs it told me i was definitely bound for hell. All the translations of this particular section seemed to promise me awful doom no matter how good of a person i was. So, that originally piqued my interest.

However, if the quran says i have "awful doom" upon me, it does lead me to question some of the other conclusions people are drawing. Since nothing can abrogate the quran. I would prefer the version where i do go to heaven or as someone said above, i go to hell and im immune from punishment but it does not seem consistent. That said i never read all the way through so maybe i missed some later verses.

Yes, this is exactly the kind of question that lead me to start this thread.

I have some very good reasons (obviously), arguements against any kind of God and against (i mean this in the nicest way possible, i really do) islam as a belief system.

They are obviously very convincing to me as an intelligent person and i think it is the closest to the truth i can currently get.

I was actually going to make a thread detailing them but i didn't for many reasons. For one it wouldn't actually contribute much to the community, it would just look like im bashing Islam which i have no intent of doing. I may also upset some people, which, i have also not come here to do. Thirdly, a lot of my arguments and reasons are very long and complex and some of them are my own original formulations i haven't seen anywhere else, all of which would require considerable thought in detail into writing down every single one of them. As a university student during the 'high season' of the academic year, i just lack the time for this kind of thing regrettably. It would also lead sooner or later to a very circular kind of debate. If i find some spare time i might send you a very brief message with a very brief outline of a few of my reasons but it would be far from complete and im not currently seeking a debate on them either but you do seem interested, if i do find the time, i will try to.

Your question seems to indicate (apologies if it doesn't) that everyone is only a few logical steps away from Islam. Of course, you, as a Muslim, think it is a very beautiful religion and the most correct one. You think it is the one true religion for all humanity, so of course you think everyone is only a few steps away. This is where it gets hard, to try walk in my shoes, it probably is very hard for most of you to imagine. I currently have no religion and if i were to look at all the world religions and try to 'choose' one, it would be a very difficult task(i've looked at them all and none work for me). I wouldn't automatically head towards Islam.

These kind of things also indicate that, if you're not a Muslim, you must just not be entirely informed yet or you must not of read the quran or know what Islam is. Maybe you're influenced by the media and get a bad image, maybe you reject every religion you see. I realise this might be rather confronting, i have studied Islam, like i have studied all religions of the world. I think i have a good understanding of it. I have read the books and i reject all that bad influence of the media. Yet, even after all these things, a lot of people suppose i haven't done to hold me back, i have done them and i am still no more of a Muslim. Even after doing all those things, i still came to the same conclusion that it wasn't for me.

While most of you here think Islam is the one true religion, like most of you know i am an agnostic and do not. If i were looking to find a religion, i would be looking at *all* of them and Islam would hold no special distinction among the religions in these books. All the major religions i have looked at have problems for me, problems i can't reconcile, therefore i don't believe them. I'm not a hard-line atheist though, i don't totally deny the fact that a religion could be true. As a scientist, i also think it is equally as illogical to say that i am 100% certain that there is no God or no religion and reject things blindly(even richard dawkins doesn't classify himself as this). The atheists who do that are just as bad as the people whom they try criticise. It seemed so hypocritical to me, hence, i am an agnostic.

As an agnostic, choosing from the "menu of religions" if you will (yes, yes, i understand you don't really choose the truth and all that but this is just a metaphor to help understanding), all religions seem as equally as valid to me (with the exception of the obviously wacky like Scientology). So, i am just not a mile away from walking to Islam, i am a mile away from all of them. Again, i know its hard to walk in my shoes but perhaps this can help people to understand.

This wasn't exactly directed at you only zareen but more everyone who raises similar things, seemed like a convenient place to put it.

This statement actually seems a little contradictory to me, ill try break it down and make sense of it.

1)God isn't so wholly kind and loving that he will ignore injustice (this in itself raises problems), because that would make him unjust.

2)God's mercy overcomes his justice

3)Justice will be served to those who deserve it

2 & 3 seem like they are in conflict to me?

I think you just didn't think of the best way to phrase it though, perhaps you meant to say God is equally loving and just.

This actually came up in my philosophy class, we were listing properties of God:

1)God is all Merciful

2)God is all loving

3)God is entirely just

1&2 seem to conflict with 3. How can an all loving and all merciful God also be entirely just (by handing out punishment).

What if i have done more injustice than justice, what of me then?

It's not as simple as you say either. If going to heaven or hell is simply balancing bad deeds, 3 different people will get 3 different outcomes, sure you're murderer might get punished but it depends on his beliefs.

Say we have three exactly the same people with one difference, their religion:

A)Murderer A did the same deeds as all, good and bad but is a Muslim.

B)Murderer B did the same deeds as all, good and bad but is agnostic.

C)Murderer C did the same deeds as all, good and bad but is a polytheist.

It seems even though they did the same good and bad deeds in life, the punishment or sins they accrue will also increase in such an order A->B->C just because of their beliefs. So it is not clear cut as you mentioned as a murderer just getting justice. There are many confounding factors. It begs the question to me why should the polytheist get punished more than me? Just because happened to be a polytheist? So, i don't think you can really make blanket statements like that.

Why is it fair a polytheist, by no fault of his own, grew up in a polytheist society and believed with all his logic that he was right, just like muslims here believe with all their logic they are right, why is it fair he recieves more punishment for exercising his God given logic? Why should i receive more punishment for exercising my God given logic and reaching a conclusion i thought was right?

I guess the central crux is, why would God punish a good person?

I do appreciate your input though.

You can see why such an idea piqued my interest; from my story and what i mentioned in this post as well.

What if i don't accept Islam but continue to live in a good manner? What news for me then?

As i said above, my interest in such an idea, in no way indicates my belief in such an idea though.

I think she(apologies if i am incorrect, not sure if you are a lady or man, he did call you sis though) would be rather disappointed if the God i found was Thor or Zeus; or if i found a pantheon of many gods (Eg polytheism).

I think she wouldn't be particularly pleased in me unless i found one very particular and specific conception of God. Infact, they are probably more pleased in my current state of being agnostic (Holding no beliefs in any of the world religions but also no belief in no religion, i am of course an atheist in practice but if i saw something very convincing, I, of course would be convinced.) because i do not really hold any particular beliefs in a religion or God than they would be (pleased) if i found a religion that was dissimilar to their own.

Seems like an accurate assumption to me.

Of course, if you're the kind of person who think all paths lead to God(You seem to be such a person) then you will be happy either way.

I think you are creating a bit of a false dichotomy here that doesn't necessarily represent all the facets of that kind of approach. I don't think it is so black and white necessarily.

It depends how exactly you declare to them to be the same really, which you didn't state clearly. Do you mean all people will declare them to all be equally true or equally wrong? This doesn't really lump them together, they're still either distinctively true or distinctively wrong.

I would think i am a 'liberal humanist' in some ways and i do not take this approach. I know there are many religions out there and there are many different people out there, believing many different religions. They each have their own pearls of wisdom and they each have their own downfalls. These such things are unique. I dismiss the fact all religions are the same but i do not believe they are an obstacle to human progress, so indeed, i think you did create a bit of a false dichotomy and a bit of a straw man.

I don't wish to censor people or anything and i will happily discuss such matter elsewhere but....

This is getting a bit off-topic though. Please try to keep it about the topic i actually wished to talk about :) and not have your own little personal debates within it, it'd be much appreciated. I was just looking for everyones different views, didn't think people would end up debating one another haha. Such is the nature of these things i suppose though.

I am a man and Zareen is a woman, I once had a great deal of respect for her but am now noy too sure.

I am glad you came back to you thread. As I have stated it will have no effect on my life if you find a spiritual path, forget religion because as you can see religion started as spirituality but their dogma and doctrine became more important than being spiritual, but I would be happy for you if you progressed on one that became irressistable to you not one that you would pick.

Anyway have a happy and fruitful life

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I am glad you came back to you thread. As I have stated it will have no effect on my life if you find a spiritual path, forget religion because as you can see religion started as spirituality but their dogma and doctrine became more important than being spiritual, but I would be happy for you if you progressed on one that became irressistable to you not one that you would pick.

Anyway have a happy and fruitful life

Thank you for your kind wishes. I know you would be content and happy with any kind of spiritual development from me but i was trying to make the point that zareen might be less than thrilled if i developed in a way that wasn't similar to her own (which is the nature of her belief, not knocking her for that).

I don't usually like quoting people but as Michaelangelo once said - "Ancora Imparo" - Yet, i am (still) learning. You can never stop i believe and i indeed hope i continue to progress.

I am still editing my post for anyone wondering.

Might want to cut down how much of me you quoted satyaban haha, seems just a tad excessive. My posts already strech out this forum enough, peoples monitors might explode :P

As much as i would love to field questions not related to this topic, i have decided not to. It would just even more encourage this thread to become off topic which i really hate (have said this a number of times in other threads if you have noticed, so its not exclusive to this, even in threads that weren't my own).

Edited by kingpomba

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(bismillah)

I just wanted to point out a few things that might be of interest to the discussion. Firstly, if you haven't done so already, you should read Shaheed Murtadha Mutahhari's book called Divine Justice or, at the very least, Religious Pluralism.

An important point that was mentioned by asharp above is the reason for your "morality". Why do you do good things? (Just on a side note, saying that you do good for the sake of good is just as valid as someone saying that they do evil for the sake of evil.) People who believe in God will answer that they do good because that's what He commands and following the commands of God allows us to get closer to Him and achieve eternal salvation and bliss.

Now there is also another reason that we do what God tells us to do. Imam Ali (as) says: "There are some people who worship God for the sake of reward, that is the worship of the merchants. There are some who worship God out of fear, and that is the worship of the slaves. Then there are those who worship God out of gratitude, that is the worship of the free (Nahj al-Balagha, Saying 237)." So what the Imam is saying is that we should worship God out of gratitude to Him for everything that He gave us. So, how can you consider yourself a good and moral person if you do not even thank the One who is most deserving of your thanks? Not only do you not thank Him but you add insult by rejecting His very existence and replacing Him with things such as Nature. An important thing to note is that the Islamic/Arabic word for disbelief is "kufr" which also means ungratefulness. A "kafir" is not only one who disbelieves but also one who is not grateful.

The Qur'an says:

وَآتَاكُم مِّن كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ ۚ وَإِن تَعُدُّوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ لَا تُحْصُوهَا ۗ إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَظَلُومٌ كَفَّارٌ

And He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the blessings of Allah , you could not enumerate them. Indeed, the human is most unjust and ungrateful.

[14:34]

May Allah guide us all to the Truth.

Edited by akf

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This is the position that seems to make the most sense to me and it is the one i would like to believe but do you have some kind of source for this? Your own original logic is fine but then it isn't really the islamic response either

Salaams

"Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah (God) and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve" Quran:2:62

"Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it."(Holy Qur'an 99:7-8)

"...Let the dearest of your treasuries be the treasury of righteous action... Infuse your heart with mercy, love and kindness for your subjects. Be not in the face of them a voracious animal, counting them as easy prey, for they are of two kinds: either they are your brothers in religion or your equals in creation" Imam Ali (A.S) in a letter to Malik Ashtar (ra) (Quoted by Kofi Anan, the General Secretary of Human Rights, on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights)

Holy Prophet said,"Whosoever does injustice to a protected non-Muslim, I will be his enemy (on day of judgement). Therefore, have fear of Allah [and treat them justly"

http://www.qfatima.com/docs/QConcepts_RisalatulHuquq.pdf

Non muslims do have rights in Islam, and one of the duties of a muslim is to protect, be kind and help non muslims aswell however the holy Quran makes it clear that this world is a trial and that the eventual aim is to find Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì. Being a muslim also carries a lot of responsibilities because we are aware of what the Quran and Hadith of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s) say, and the guidelines which we must live by, if we dont follow them then were accountable because we had the knowledge not to sin yet we did.

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