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Pascal

9 Reasons Why I Don't Believe

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Someone here asked me awhile ago why i don't believe in God and in Islam and i sent them some reasons through the messenger system here. They encouraged me to share them, i didn't because they weren't up to my standard and various other reasons with things like this but i decided to share some of them. They are far from finished though, so excuse any imperfections.

Usually in these kind of arguments the burden of proof is on the person to prove something *does* exist if it is not apparently obvious, instead of comming from the default state that it doesn't exist. However, i guess i will do just that.

Also note, even if you come up with arguments proving that God exists, it still doesn't negate my arguments that he doesn't. Whereas, if i come up with arguments proving he doesn't exist, it does kind of negate the arguments that he does.

To start off with though, i am not very well trained in philosophy. I have only taken a handful of classes. I'd like to mention something rather profound my professor told me though...

If you accept the premises of an argument(these are the things that lead to a conclusion) as logical and yet you reject the conclusion or the argument, as a whole, there is something wrong with your reasoning.

You need to step back and reexamine your views.

Even if one and only one of these arguments still seems logical to you (i have put a lot of thought into them as well, it does seem almost all muslims would accept my premises) then you still have a little reexamining to do.

In my case here, every numbered item, except the last is a premise. If you accept each of these individually and yet, reject my conclusion, that is not logical. You must step back and reexamine what you think, with all respect intended of course.

If you wish to accept this as a prerequisite for continuing then please, do read on. I have put a decent amount of time into this.

As promised in the thread i will outline some of my reasons:

Category A: Arguments against God

The properties of God are hard to list and vary wildly. Most religions however agree that God is all loving.

Reason 1: The problem of evil.

If god is loving why would he allow evil to exist?

I realise the Islamic view point (as far as I'm aware) is that free will is a greater gift or of greater benefit to humanity than evil.

I have formulated my own counter argument however.

1)God is all loving.

2)Evil exists.

3)An all loving God would not allow evil to exist at all or would not allow it to exist without an excusing reason.

4)God allows evil to exist because to allow free will is the greater gift(the excusing reason).

5)An evil doers free will however can negate and cancel out another persons free will.

6)Allowing evil to exist negates free will in a large proportion of the time.

7)There is no great benefit to be derived in allowing evil/free will to exist.

8)Why does a loving God allow evil to exist then?

9)An all loving God does not exist.

An example - People often say even if God enacts bad or evil upon us (being robbed, raped, mugged, having our house burn down) it is just a test for us in life, to judge our resolve and faith to determine where we go in the next life.

It is also often said God allows evil to exist because to allow free will, rather than deny, is a greater gift. The capacity to do evil comes along with the gift of free will.

Example: A little girl is walking on her way to school one day. A convicted murderer and rapist abudcts, horribly rapes and later murders this girl after several days of suffering.

It is logically inconsistent to inflict such a thing upon the girl to test her faith and resolve, she is not at an age capable of logical reasoning or her deeds admitting her to heaven or hell. Some people have told me that this poor girl was treated in such a horrible fashion to test her parents, i however, find this extremely disgusting that God would create the little girl and use her as a pawn to simply test the parents. I do not want to believe in such a God and i do not think many others would.

God knows all that will happen. God lets us into this earthly life so we might be judged for the next. Why create this little girl, to judge her, with full knowledge she will die before she is able to be judged. Why allow this little girl to suffer, if it is not even capable of judging her. Why bring her into the world in the first place if you know full well this will happen?

Onto the free will argument for the existence of evil. People say evil exists because free will exists and free will is a great gift. Indeed it is. However, in almost all cases, the evil people exercise as a result of having the trait of free will, restricts or totally denies others the same right to exercise their free will. This is logically inconsistent. Why would God allow evil as a result of the gift of free will, when evil is used most of the time to deny another's free will.

That girl was raped and murdered *against* her free will. God allowed one being to deny her free will. This is not a good enough reason for the existence of evil, when evil in itself, negates free will most of the time. That girl was killed and subsequently, her free will extinguished by the free will of another. This does not make logical or theological sense in the light of an all loving, all powerful God.

Reason 2: The natural problem of evil.

Ok, even if you manage to accept God allows evil to exist because free will is a great gift, this raises another problem. The natural problem of evil.

Evil caused by one human onto another isn't the only kind of bad thing that exists in this world.

Evil exists in nature.

For example: In Africa there is a young boy who grew up in very very poor and horrible conditions, he is not yet of an age to be judged by God (according to islam).

This boy, by nature of living in such horrible conditions, drinks water that is infected with a parasite. There is no other source of water in the village and no one was previously aware this water was infected.

He contracts a horrible parasitic worm. This worm slowly bores into the eye of the boy. Causing extreme pain and suffering over the course of many months, followed by blindness and finally the relief of Death.

1)God is all loving and all powerful. (Premise 1)

2)Free will exists. (Premise 2)

3)Evil exists. (Premise 3)

4)Evil exists to allow free will to exist. (Premise 4)

5)A parasitic worm that bores into childrens eye sockets exists. (Premise 5)

6)This worm does not need to exist to allow free will. (Premise 6)

7)It does a bad or evil action. (Premise 7)

8)This action is not a necessary prerequisite to allow the existence of free will or the judgement by God of the child. (Premise 8)

9)Yet, God still allows such a parasite to exist. (Premise 9)

10)God either does not exist or is not all loving or all powerful. (Conclusion 1)

As someone who studies biology and will go on to do a PhD i'd just like to point out the entire ecosystem wouldn't collapse if parasites didn't exist in the same way everything would fall apart if we suddenly removed plants. Parasites don't really need to exist. Even if they did (which they don't), an all powerful and loving God would be able to design an ecosystem without these creatures in the first place.

All parasites invariably cause suffering to their hosts. Suffering is not a good thing. People may say parasites aren't evil, they are just natural but again, this raises the question, why did God put them here in the first place? He could of designed a world without them. Less animals and humans would of suffered because there were no parasites and yet, parasites still exist.

Example 2: Another example not even entirely related to humans is thus - A baby deer wanders in a Forrest, frolicking in all its innocent wonder. Animals are not capable of being judged.

Lighting strikes a tree, causing a fire and the burning tree topples over striking the deer.

The deer is horribly burnt and suffers in agony for 5 days until death finally relieves it of its pain.

God being an all powerful being could have control over lightning if he so wished.

There is no good reason for such a thing to happen to an innocent creature who is not capable of being judged. Yet, it still does occur. Why would a good God allow such an innocent animal to suffer such horrendous pain? He could of surely prevented this horrible suffering as an all powerful and all loving being.

You might say that only proves God isn't wholly (100%) good. I for one do not wish to believe that God is not wholly good or in other words, God is at least partially evil. You may believe such a thing and that is fine, i personally find such a notion abhorrent.

So, in this case, we either have a God who does not care or not willing to do anything about the suffering of the deer (who is not 100% loving) OR can't do anything about it (not all powerful) OR doesn't exist/interfere in earthly life *at all* ever (why even believe/worship then).

Reason 3: Poor Design

As someone trained in human anatomy and biology in general this is of special interest to me.

If God was all powerful, surely, he would do the best he could at designing things, the first time around as well.

Humans exhibit poor design. Most other animals for example have the ability to synthesize Vitamin C whilst humans lack this trait. Lack of vitamin C causes scurvy and eventual death.

There is no good theological reasoning for making humans able to synthesis so many other things (we synthesis the many building blocks needed to make hair and we can synthesise many of the building blocks for proteins crucial to health for instance) and yet, not Vitamin C.

Flightless birds still have wings, this is another argument of poor design.

Human females go through an external menstural cycle, that is, waste from such a process is released externally. Most other mammals do this internally (called covert menstruation - https://secure.wikim...rt_menstruation ) with relatively few health effects that human females suffer from during menstruation such as headaches or cramps.

There are many other examples but i think mine shall suffice.

1)A perfectly powerful God would logically exhibit very Good design. (Premise 1)

2)Things do not exhibit very good design (Premise 2)

3)This raises problems about an all powerful God or such a God does not exist.(Conclusion)

Some of our poor design plays into my second argument about natural evil. I mentioned scurvy and Vitamin C, why would an all loving God allow children to die from Vitamin C deficiency when he could of simply allowed our bodies to make it like most other animals? Why make innocent and good people suffer by simply not designing us to produce Vitamin C like most other animals do? Scurvy isn't a nice disease to have, at all, feel free to look up the symptoms and pictures if you wish.

Another example of poor design is diseases. Most will say diseases are created by God to inflict upon us to test us. In muhammeds time pretty much any serious bacterial infection would of killed you, if you had any kind of cancer, you would or most likely died. The plague killed so many people.

You know what would happen today if you got the plague? You would be prescribed some antibiotics and you would most likely live. Not the death sentence it used to be. So, why bother creating diseases to "test" us when we can cure such diseases anyway? Does that mean i should never take any medicine so i should be fully tested by a disease? If i do take medicine aren't i giving up on my test?

I believe there will be a day where we can find proper pharmacological targets for any disease and cure them. There will be a day where most people will no longer suffer from disease. Why bother inflicting such horrible things on early humans only to have humanity now start to cure them? Why bother creating disease we will cure one day anyway?

Reason 4: Contradictory Free Will

God gave me free will and God is all knowing. Could i use my free will to deny God's plan, it would make me in effect, in one way, almost have power over God.

Let me elaborate.

IT is said that only God knows when jugement will happen and this date is set. There will be all the signs, the madhi will come, ect... all at certain set times.

What if i were to construct a 5,000 very large nuclear warheads, mad scientist style. I would then take them into space and then launch them at earth. I would kill all humanity before judgement time, i would kill all humanity before the madhi arrives. I would make a liar out of the holy books.

There are two options here, either, God stops me from launching these nuclear warheads but that negates my free will and if you are able to negate free will, it isn't free after all. That suggests that our free will isn't entirely free. The second option is i ended the world and stopped the god given prophecies from ever happening, even though it is clearly written they would. These events would not take place anymore.

I know i do not have access to that many nuclear warheads obviously but it still is a logical argument. It is not impossible to suppose with enough initative, money and manpower that i will not be able one day to construct such a thing. You could replace it with anything really, an extremely deadly virus i engineered, ect, anything with the same philosophical nature.

Category B: Arguments against Islamic conceptions

Reason 1: Heaven and Hell

1)God is all loving, all fair and all just (according to Quran) [Premise 1]

2)Heaven and Hell exist according to the Quran. [Premise 2]

3)Good people would logically go to heaven and Bad people would logically go to hell.

4)A loving God would not punish someone who has done good deeds.

5)Either:

A)God denied unbelievers entry into heaven but allows the believers only. This is not 100% just and not 100% loving. So, God is partially unjust and partially unloving/ partially not good, so, partially evil.

B )God allows all into heaven eventually. What is the point of following Islam and not every other religion or no religion?

6)Both can not be simultaneously true.

7)Either God is unjust or unloving or there is no point in following Islam. [Conclusion]

Reason 2: Heaven and Hell - Shirk

1)God(Allah) is all loving and all powerful.(Premise 1)

2)Shirk is the one sin that God can not or will not forgive ever, according to the quran.(Premise 2)

3)If God does not forgive shirk he is not all loving. (Premise 3)

4)If God can not forgive shirk he is not all powerful. (Premise 4)

5)Shirk is unforgiveable according to the quran. (Premise 5)

6)Either God is not all loving or not all powerful. (Concluson 1)

That is an argument in itself. I present a totally different thing below as well.

I am not 100% sure on the Islamic theology regarding this so i am not using it as an argument on its own. I am using it as an additional note to the one above. It no way superceeds or replaces or conflicts with the above.

It is thus - If i grow up a Hindu polytheist, doing only Good deeds for my entire life, what is my fate?

Surely it is hell for all eternity, because i comitted shirk.

Yet, i only did good deeds. Why would God punish a good man, additionally, it was not my fault i was born in india into a hindu family. I had no control over it and yet God did. Why is God punishing me for the very thing he instituted upon me? I realise some say that regardless of where you are, you should still naturally find Islam. I reject this assertion. The same argument could be used for any religion.

What if i monothestically worshiped Satan or a pagan God, why is that still not as bad as being a polytheist? This seems grossly unjust and unloving.

Why are my good deeds as a polytheist worthless than those of a monotheistic pagan or indeed anyone else.

Say i was born into a remote tribe? What of me then? This isnt the crux of my argument though, the above numbered list is.

Reason 3: Argument from incompleteness

1)The quran is the complete (Qur'an 6:11-116; 7:52) and perfect document of God

2)The quran is incomplete (EG. Doesn't detail the correct method of prayer, even though you are expected to pray.)

3)The quran is Authored by God

4)God asserts the Quran is complete

5)The Quran is incomplete

6)Either God is a liar, not all powerful or the quran was not authored by God.

Reason 4: The contradiction inherent in abrogation.

1)God is omnipotent (all powerful) and all perfect.

2)The quran is the literal document of God.

3)The quran is perfect, since it is designed by a perfect being.

4)The quran states verses may need to be aborogated.

5)This implies the quran wasn't written to the absolute highest, complete and perfect standard in the first place.

6)Either God is imperfect, not all powerful or the Quran is not the literal, innerant document of God.

I believe you accept all these assertions as a muslim. If you accept all these assertions and yet reject the conclusion i drew from it there is some kind of problem with your reasoning and you need to step back and think. Same holds for all my other arguments.

Category C: Miscellanea

These aren't what i consider absolutely good or proper, flawless, arguments. They are some of my favourite though and do raise interesting questions about knowledge (epistemology), i consider them more "fun" arguments than "serious" arguments.

Reason 1: Argument from Incosistent Revelations

As it says over to the side, i am agnostic.

1)I and many others currently hold no beliefs with regard to religion or lack there of.

2)There must be a true religion or true idea of God out there.

3)There is a huge number of exclusively different belief systems/religions out there(Hinduism, Paganism, Wicca, Buddhism, Taoism, ect).

4)Only one or a particular group of beliefs can be true. The rest can not.

5)All religions just seem as equally as true. There is no reason to suppose hinduism or paganism look any less true or logical to an outsider choosing a religion. They all claim to be true. There is no way to establish conclusively which one is true.

6)The probability of any particular belief system being the truth is exceedinly small and a risky gamble. The probability your religion is false is much higher than the probability that it is true.

See the following link for more Info - https://secure.wikim...ent_revelations

There are two more miscelanous arguments which i didn't have the time to type up but you can read them here(taken from wiki):

1) "The "historical induction" argument concludes that since most theistic religions throughout history (e.g. ancient Egyptian religion, ancient Greek religion) and their gods ultimately come to be regarded as untrue or incorrect, all theistic religions, including contemporary ones, are therefore most likely untrue/incorrect by induction. It is implied as part of Stephen F. Roberts' popular quotation:

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

2)

I have many more arguments, some are better than these but these are easier to present and i lack a lot of time to present them all. I think this provides a reasonable sample of my reasons why though. These last ones were just for fun.

Again, remmeber what i said in the opening, if you accept all the premises but reject the conclusion you really need to consider what exactly you do believe. It's alright to have differing interpretations and be liberal if you so wish, its alright to believe in the literal interpretation if you so wish, long as you can find logical reasons for it. If you cant or unwilling...its a bit hard if you want to go against logic but thats up to you.

I realise some of these questions might be hard or distressing to think about for some people, this is one of the reasons why i did not wish to post them, so i am sorry if i upset anyone in advance. It was not my intention.

I hope you take the time to read them and consider them. I consider the first 2, the ones about evil, to be some of my very best arguments against the existence of God. They seem near bulletproof to me in a philosophical sense.

Thanks for your time reading,

-kingpomba

Edited by kingpomba

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Reply to Category A Reason 1

Bringing someone into this world and knowing how they are going to die doesnt have anything to do with All-Loving. God may love us and still do something to us which we think is bad

"...It is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But God knoweth, and ye know not." Surah Baqarah 2:216

That child being raped and killed doesnt necessarily mean they were created for that purpose, they have been created for the same purpose as the rest of us

"And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)." Surah Az-Zaariyaat 51:56

Now yes this girl was killed, and then this does test the parents, but it doesnt mean the girl was killed to test the parents.

Examples of house being burnt down, robbed, mugged etc. again doesnt only mean this being done as a test, it may be an expiation of your sins.

To answer the question : God is all loving and Evil does exist, but without evil this life wouldnt be a test. Allah (swt) loves us so much and has made our creation the highest by allowing us to do both good and evil, because without evil we wouldnt be able to persevere to prove Allah (swt) our love for him.

Reply to category A Reason 2

Allah (swt) didnt force the parasite to go and infect the boy, even if the world was exactly the same but without a God then wouldnt in your beliefs the same thing had happened? Just because bad stuff happen doesnt mean God is not all loving or all powerful. God can stop it from happening but chooses not to, does God love the child less by making him suffer? No. In fact that might be a reward for the child. Maybe he suffered at a young age and had a painful death, but this prevented him from growing older and having an even more painful death, I know you can say well God could have given him a non painful death

Parasites may cause sufferings, but can you for 100% say that they do no good at all? Or that the good does not outweigh the bad of what they do?

From your PhD you could say no, but what if humans still dont know about the benefits of parasites, many years ago people didnt know about the benefits of many things which now they do.

I will post the rest of the reasons in a bit inshaAllah

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If god is loving why would he allow evil to exist?
From what I understand God creates the capacity for good and evil, truth and falsehood and them has them confront each other.

1)God is all loving.

2)Evil exists.

3)An all loving God would not allow evil to exist at all or would not allow it to exist without an excusing reason.

4)God allows evil to exist because to allow free will is the greater gift(the excusing reason).

5)An evil doers free will however can negate and cancel out another persons free will.

6)Allowing evil to exist negates free will in a large proportion of the time.

7)There is no great benefit to be derived in allowing evil/free will to exist.

8)Why does a loving God allow evil to exist then?

9)An all loving God does not exist.

God is all loving but God is also just.

God gives life but God also takes life. Do you consider this unjust and against the principle of an all loving God as well?

Example: A little girl is walking on her way to school one day. A convicted murderer and rapist abudcts, horribly rapes and later murders this girl after several days of suffering.

It is logically inconsistent to inflict such a thing upon the girl to test her faith and resolve, she is not at an age capable of logical reasoning or her deeds admitting her to heaven or hell. Some people have told me that this poor girl was treated in such a horrible fashion to test her parents, i however, find this extremely disgusting that God would create the little girl and use her as a pawn to simply test the parents. I do not want to believe in such a God and i do not think many others would.

God knows all that will happen. God lets us into this earthly life so we might be judged for the next. Why create this little girl, to judge her, with full knowledge she will die before she is able to be judged. Why allow this little girl to suffer, if it is not even capable of judging her. Why bring her into the world in the first place if you know full well this will happen?

Onto the free will argument for the existence of evil. People say evil exists because free will exists and free will is a great gift. Indeed it is. However, in almost all cases, the evil people exercise as a result of having the trait of free will, restricts or totally denies others the same right to exercise their free will. This is logically inconsistent. Why would God allow evil as a result of the gift of free will, when evil is used most of the time to deny another's free will.

That girl was raped and murdered *against* her free will. God allowed one being to deny her free will. This is not a good enough reason for the existence of evil, when evil in itself, negates free will most of the time. That girl was killed and subsequently, her free will extinguished by the free will of another. This does not make logical or theological sense in the light of an all loving, all powerful God.

This would apply if worldly existence was the only existence.

God rewards the little girl with eternal bliss and punishes the one who wronged her with eternal torment.

Ok, even if you manage to accept God allows evil to exist because free will is a great gift, this raises another problem. The natural problem of evil.

Evil caused by one human onto another isn't the only kind of bad thing that exists in this world.

Evil exists in nature.

For example: In Africa there is a young boy who grew up in very very poor and horrible conditions, he is not yet of an age to be judged by God (according to islam).

This boy, by nature of living in such horrible conditions, drinks water that is infected with a parasite. There is no other source of water in the village and no one was previously aware this water was infected.

He contracts a horrible parasitic worm. This worm slowly bores into the eye of the boy. Causing extreme pain and suffering over the course of many months, followed by blindness and finally the relief of Death.

1)God is all loving and all powerful. (Premise 1)

2)Free will exists. (Premise 2)

3)Evil exists. (Premise 3)

4)Evil exists to allow free will to exist. (Premise 4)

5)A parasitic worm that bores into childrens eye sockets exists. (Premise 5)

6)This worm does not need to exist to allow free will. (Premise 6)

7)It does a bad or evil action. (Premise 7)

8)This action is not a necessary prerequisite to allow the existence of free will or the judgement by God of the child. (Premise 8)

9)Yet, God still allows such a parasite to exist. (Premise 9)

10)God either does not exist or is not all loving or all powerful. (Conclusion 1)

Again this existence is not the end.

“Abu ‘Abd Allah has said, ‘On the Day of Judgment Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious,will turn to the poor believing people, similar to an apologetic one, and will say, “I swear by My Majesty and Glory that I did not make you suffer poverty in the world, considering you insignificant. You will find out how I treat you today. Hold the hands of those who helped you in the worldly life and take them to paradise.” The narrator has said that the Imam then said, ‘A man from among them will say, ‘O Lord, people competed in their world to marry, dress up in fine garments, to have fine food, nice houses, and riding best animals, thus, give me what

you had given to them.’ Allah, the Most Blessed, the Most High, will say, ‘You and every one of you will have what I had given to the people of the world from its beginning to its end, seventy times as much.’”

Al-Kafi, Book of Belief and Disbelief, H 2379, CH 103, h 9

“I heard abu al-Hassan Musa, saying, ‘Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy, says, “I have not made certain people rich because they are important to Me and I have not made certain people poor because they are insignificant to Me. It is because I wanted to try the rich through the poor. Had there been no poor, the rich ones would not have deserved paradise.’”

Al-Kafi, Book of Belief and Disbelief, H 2390, CH 103, h 20

As someone who studies biology and will go on to do a PhD i'd just like to point out the entire ecosystem wouldn't collapse if parasites didn't exist in the same way everything would fall apart if we suddenly removed plants. Parasites don't really need to exist. Even if they did (which they don't), an all powerful and loving God would be able to design an ecosystem without these creatures in the first place.

All parasites invariably cause suffering to their hosts. Suffering is not a good thing. People may say parasites aren't evil, they are just natural but again, this raises the question, why did God put them here in the first place? He could of designed a world without them. Less animals and humans would of suffered because there were no parasites and yet, parasites still exist.

Existence is a test. Why does a rose need to have thorns? Why does their need to be pain and death? I'll quote An Essay on Man since its one of my favorite English poems

Heav'n from all creatures hides the book of fate,

All but the page prescrib'd, their present state:

From brutes what men, from men what spirits know:

Or who could suffer being here below?

The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,

Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?

Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flow'ry food,

And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.

Oh blindness to the future! kindly giv'n,

That each may fill the circle mark'd by heav'n:

Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,

A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,

Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,

And now a bubble burst, and now a world.

Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar;

Wait the great teacher death, and God adore.

What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,

But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast:

Man never is, but always to be blest:

The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,

Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

Example 2: Another example not even entirely related to humans is thus - A baby deer wanders in a Forrest, frolicking in all its innocent wonder. Animals are not capable of being judged.

Lighting strikes a tree, causing a fire and the burning tree topples over striking the deer.

The deer is horribly burnt and suffers in agony for 5 days until death finally relieves it of its pain.

God being an all powerful being could have control over lightning if he so wished.

There is no good reason for such a thing to happen to an innocent creature who is not capable of being judged. Yet, it still does occur. Why would a good God allow such an innocent animal to suffer such horrendous pain? He could of surely prevented this horrible suffering as an all powerful and all loving being.

You might say that only proves God isn't wholly (100%) good. I for one do not wish to believe that God is not wholly good or in other words, God is at least partially evil. You may believe such a thing and that is fine, i personally find such a notion abhorrent.

So, in this case, we either have a God who does not care or not willing to do anything about the suffering of the deer (who is not 100% loving) OR can't do anything about it (not all powerful) OR doesn't exist/interfere in earthly life *at all* ever (why even believe/worship then).

Perhaps the baby deer will be given recompense for the pain he went through. Perhaps not, I dont know for certain. But it is our belief that God is just.

So, verily, with every hardship, there is ease

Verily, with every hardship there is ease.

[surah Inshirah 94: 5-6]

Reason 4: Contradictory Free Will

God gave me free will and God is all knowing. Could i use my free will to deny God's plan, it would make me in effect, in one way, almost have power over God.

Let me elaborate.

IT is said that only God knows when judgement will happen and this date is set. There will be all the signs, the madhi will come, ect... all at certain set times.

What if i were to construct a 5,000 very large nuclear warheads, mad scientist style. I would then take them into space and then launch them at earth. I would kill all humanity before judgement time, i would kill all humanity before the madhi arrives. I would make a liar out of the holy books.

There are two options here, either, God stops me from launching these nuclear warheads but that negates my free will and if you are able to negate free will, it isn't free after all. That suggests that our free will isn't entirely free. The second option is i ended the world and stopped the god given prophecies from ever happening, even though it is clearly written they would. These events would not take place anymore.

I know i do not have access to that many nuclear warheads obviously but it still is a logical argument. It is not impossible to suppose with enough initative, money and manpower that i will not be able one day to construct such a thing. You could replace it with anything really, an extremely deadly virus i engineered, ect, anything with the same philosophical nature.

Unless you manage to successfully blow up the world and wipe out humanity, this argument is not valid

Reason 3: Argument from incompleteness

1)The quran is the complete (Qur'an 6:11-116; 7:52) and perfect document of God

2)The quran is incomplete (EG. Doesn't detail the correct method of prayer, even though you are expected to pray.)

3)The quran is Authored by God

4)God asserts the Quran is complete

5)The Quran is incomplete

6)Either God is a liar, not all powerful or the quran was not authored by God.

Just because the Quran does not tell muslims the method of prayer does not mean the Quran is incomplete. It has whatever it was meant to have. The Quran instructs people obey the prophet (pbuh) and through the sunnah of the prophet (pbuh) people find the method of prayer.

Reason 4: The contradiction inherent in abrogation.

1)God is omnipotent (all powerful) and all perfect.

2)The quran is the literal document of God.

3)The quran is perfect, since it is designed by a perfect being.

4)The quran states verses may need to be aborogated.

5)This implies the quran wasn't written to the absolute highest, complete and perfect standard in the first place.

6)Either God is imperfect, not all powerful or the Quran is not the literal, innerant document of God.

I believe you accept all these assertions as a muslim. If you accept all these assertions and yet reject the conclusion i drew from it there is some kind of problem with your reasoning and you need to step back and think. Same holds for all my other arguments.

Your view of what is perfect and what is not is is too rigid.

1) "The "historical induction" argument concludes that since most theistic religions throughout history (e.g. ancient Egyptian religion, ancient Greek religion) and their gods ultimately come to be regarded as untrue or incorrect, all theistic religions, including contemporary ones, are therefore most likely untrue/incorrect by induction. It is implied as part of Stephen F. Roberts' popular quotation:

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

Actually the basic gap between monotheism and polytheism isnt that monotheism believes in a pantheon of one one God and polytheism believes in many. Even if you as a Greek worshiped Zeus to the exclusion others in the pantheon your difference with monotheism would be that you worshiped a
god
, while the monotheists worship the
Godhead
.

And what is called Pascal's Wager actually much older than pascal. It should be called Ali Reza's Wager IMO

“Once an atheist man came to Imam abu al-Hassan, while a group of people were in his presence. The Imam said to him, ‘Consider, if what you say is true, in fact is not true, in such case, we all will be equal. However, our fasting, prayers, giving charity and belief will not harm us.’ The man remained quiet. The Imam then said, ‘If what we say is true, in fact is true, then you will be the one facing your destruction and we will be saved.’
The man then said, ‘Please help me learn where is He and how is He?’ The Imam then said, ‘What is the matter with you? What you say is not right. He is the ‘Where’ of ‘Where’ but without ‘Where’. He is the ‘How’ of ‘How’ without ‘How’. He cannot be defined with ‘How’ and ‘Where’ and cannot be comprehended with the senses or compared with anything.

“The man said, ‘He then is nothing; none of the senses comprehends Him.’ ’Abu al-Hassan, said, ‘That is not reasonable. Weakness of your senses and their inability to comprehend Him is not proof that He does not exist and that He is not the Lord. On the other hand, when we realize the weakness of our senses and their inability to comprehend Him it gives us certainty that He is our Lord and He is different from all things.’

“The man then said, ‘Tell me then when was He?’ The Imam replied, ‘You tell me when He was not there so that I will tell when He was there?’ The man then asked, ‘What is the proof for His existence?’ The Imam said, ‘When I look at my body I find that I cannot do any addition or alteration to it such as width and

breadth or remove its sufferings and attract all its interests. I then come to understand that for this establishment there must be a founder and then I acknowledge His existence. Besides, I see all the orbiting planets and stars, the movements of the clouds and driving of the winds, the paths of the sun, the moon, the stars and other things like these marvelous clear signs I come to believe that there is One who has designed and created all such wonderful things.’”

Al-Kafi,The Book on the Oneness of
Allah
, H 213, Ch. 1, h3

Ive said it once before, for people claiming to follow what is rational, atheists have a childish conception of God.

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Reply to Category A Reason 1

Bringing someone into this world and knowing how they are going to die doesnt have anything to do with All-Loving. God may love us and still do something to us which we think is bad.

Bad isn't subjective, bad is clearly objective in a case of murder and rape. So, everyone thinks it's bad, God also judges these actions to be bad.

Yes but creating a little girl only to have her die before she can even be judged and God knows full well this will happen, what is the purpose of that? We are created to be judged in this life so we may gain entry to the next. The girl isn't even old enough to be judged for such a purpose before she was murdered. So, what is the point? Surely if he willed he could of prevented such a thing from ever occurring.

Reply to Category A Reason 1

That child being raped and killed doesnt necessarily mean they were created for that purpose, they have been created for the same purpose as the rest of us

What purpose is that exactly? To worship and gain entry into the next life? She is not even old enough to be judged on such a basis. This is logically and theologically inconsistent.

Reply to Category A Reason 1

Now yes this girl was killed, and then this does test the parents, but it doesnt mean the girl was killed to test the parents.

Why else would God allow her to be killed then? What other reason could he possibly have for such a grotesque thing taking place. Why would he create her knowing full well she would suffer a violent death even before judgement, for what purpose?

Examples of house being burnt down, robbed, mugged etc. again doesnt only mean this being done as a test, it may be an expiation of your sins.

The child is not old enough to of accumulated enough logic and theological knowledge to of considered to of sinned in the first place. So, this isn't relevant to my specific case.

God is all loving and Evil does exist, but without evil this life wouldnt be a test. Allah (swt) loves us so much and has made our creation the highest by allowing us to do both good and evil, because without evil we wouldnt be able to persevere to prove Allah (swt) our love for him.

It still doesn't strike at the crux of my argument (my actual argument, not the illustration). As i said in my argument i'd refer you to premise 4. Allowing free will isn't a sufficient excuse for evil existing when that evil in almost all cases is used to deny free will anyway.

I still don't think you have managed to defeat or disprove any of my assertions and therefore, the conclusion drawn from them. So, i think my argument still stands. If you have a problem with any of the particular assertions please tell me which ones, otherwise, if you accept the assertions but reject the conclusion of a logical argument, as i said, there is a problem...

Allah (swt) didnt force the parasite to go and infect the boy

Parasites are specific. A particular parasites will only usually infect humans and maybe a couple other species. It won't infect anything else. So, by pure virtue of creating this parasite which almost always infects humans, he pretty much did force the parasite to infect this boy or any other human being. That is the only way the parasite can survive, by infecting humans, so by design, he has forced it to infect humans.

even if the world was exactly the same but without a God then wouldnt in your beliefs the same thing had happened?

Thats right but in that case, there is no all loving all powerful, higher being to be held culpable for such a bad thing occurring to the boy. This argument works if you want to reject God but that would just more or less prove my argument that God doesn't exist anyway...

Just because bad stuff happen doesnt mean God is not all loving or all powerful. God can stop it from happening but chooses not to, does God love the child less by making him suffer? No.

I reject this assertion. Love is the will to do good and prevent suffering. By allowing this horrible suffering, he is being unloving. If he deliberately chooses to stand by and just simply watch him suffer, yes, that is unloving.

In fact that might be a reward for the child. Maybe he suffered at a young age and had a painful death, but this prevented him from growing older and having an even more painful death, I know you can say well God could have given him a non painful death

A parasite isn't a reward for anyone... Like i said, the ecosystem wouldn't fall apart if parasites didn't exist. Surely, God could of designed an ecosystem without parasites if he so wished (i already covered this in my original post, please read agian). Yet, he didn't. So, by creating them, he created more suffering. Allowing parasites to exist which cause human suffering and are not ecologically necessary is unloving. If he could not design such an ecosystem, he is not all powerful. ( Again, i preempted this response in my original post, please read it again)

Parasites may cause sufferings, but can you for 100% say that they do no good at all? Or that the good does not outweigh the bad of what they do?

They do almost no good. It would be exaggeration to say they do 0 good, however, they could easily be replaced with other animals in the food chain. Anyway, this isn't relevant. Like i said, if God willed, he easily could of designed an ecosystem without parasites. The good does not definitely outweigh the bad, with human parasites anyway.

From your PhD you could say no, but what if humans still dont know about the benefits of parasites, many years ago people didnt know about the benefits of many things which now they do.

I'm sorry, i might be mistaken but are you in some way suggesting parasites are potentially beneficial for human health? Because that is absolute hogwash. If you really believe this i challenge you to go infect yourself and see much "healthier" you become for it. They definitely do not make us healthier or increase our biological "fitness".

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God is all loving but God is also just.

God gives life but God also takes life. Do you consider this unjust and against the principle of an all loving God as well?

Which premise of my argument are you targeting here? I don't understand your angle.

That is a different matter. If our lives were not taken eventually we would be immortal. The prophet would still be around today, so would all of his enemies. Nothing would ever change and we wouldn't even be here discussing this probably. Dying is a prerequisite for going to heaven but doesn't mean the child has to die in such a horrible way as sanctioned by God.

This would apply if worldly existence was the only existence.

God rewards the little girl with eternal bliss and punishes the one who wronged her with eternal torment.

Again, this doesn't make logical sense.

Yes, she may get compensated in the next life.

God already knows he will compensate her, he is all knowing and all powerful.

God Already knows how she will die so painfully.

Why create her in the first place, only to inflict suffering upon her and then later...compensate her for the very suffering he inflicted upon her...

It is logically inconsistent.

Why does the girl need to suffer in such a horrible way in the first place?

To be tested? She is too young of an age for this

To have her parents tested? This is a grotesque use of creation and waste of human life, using creation as a pawn.

Surely a loving God would not allow such suffering, if then, he isn't wholly loving, therefore partially evil.

If he is incapable of preventing it, he is either not all powerful or just doesn't care or doesn't exist.

That was just an illustration(the girl) of the actual numbered argument being applied.

You still haven't dealt with the crux of my argument which is, Evil is supposedly excused because free will is a greater gift and yet almost all the time such evil serves to deny free will anyway. You also haven't fully defeated my illustration.

Existence is a test. Why does a rose need to have thorns? Why does their need to be pain and death? I'll quote An Essay on Man since its one of my favorite English poems

In the case of a girl who is below the aged to be judged according to Islamic theology, it isn't a test.

Perhaps the baby deer will be given recompense for the pain he went through.

Animals do not enter Jannah. He will receive no recompense. here is no good reason to put an innocent animal incapable of suffering through such horrendous pain. You still haven't defeated my argument.

Unless you manage to successfully blow up the world and wipe out humanity, this argument is not valid

It is a valid philosophical thought experiment though. Just suppose i could, my argument still stands. Either God stops me and prevents my free will, which means it isn't really free or i make a liar out of the holy books and therefore God.

Just because the Quran does not tell muslims the method of prayer does not mean the Quran is incomplete.

I'm pretty sure if something essential is left out, that is the definition of incomplete.

It has whatever it was meant to have. The Quran instructs people obey the prophet (pbuh) and through the sunnah of the prophet (pbuh) people find the method of prayer.

I conditionally accept this. It sort of saying the book is perfect, something is left out, so that could make it imperfect but it tells you where to look...I still think this detracts from its perfectness but i accept your premise as probabilistically logical.

Your view of what is perfect and what is not is is too rigid.

Something can not be "loosely" perfect or near perfect. The definition of perfect, is perfect. It has to be rigid if it is to be judged as perfect. It has to be the utmost perfection according to my argument because it was created by God and yet i illustrated the opposite of this.

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Hello kingpomba,

You must have done a lot of work and you present some good arguments.

Here is a couple more thoughts that might compliment yours.

God is Just and He is loving/merciful.

Being just means enacting punishment appropriate to the crime and being merciful means forgiving or enacting lesser punishment than that fits the crime.

Any time God forgives a sin, he could have been more just, any time he punishes, he could have been merciful.

Free will.

If God has free will, but never chooses evil, then it would have created life without evil. If God has no free will but is still good then there was no point creating evil to grant humans free will as it is possible to be good with no free will.

If there is free will in heaven where there is no evil or suffering, then it cannot be true that god lets evil exist because it is a required side-effect of free will.

Gregory Paul recently undertook a statistical study on Natural Evil

Here is the abstract.

The full extent of the anguish and death suffered by immature

humans is scientifically and statistically documented for the first

time. Probably hundreds of billions of human conceptions and at

least fifty billion children have died, the great majority from non-human

causes, before reaching the age of mature consent. Adults

who have heard the word of God number in the lower billions. If

immature deceased humans are allowed into heaven, then the latter

is inhabited predominantly by automatons. Because the Holocaust

of the Children bars an enormous portion of humans from making

a decision about their eternal fate while maximizing the suffering

of children, the classic Muslim/Christian “free will” and “best of all possible

worlds” hypotheses are falsified.

http://gregspaul.web...hy&Theology.pdf

http://en.wikipedia....possible_worlds

The best-of-all-possible-worlds defense fails because there are better possible worlds.

Wslm.

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Salams Kimgpomba, i would like to reply to your catagory A section with some of my own thoughts on some of your points:

You can accept that something is logical without believing it is true, a lot fo things can make sense that arent a reality, if that wasnt the case fiction wouldnt exist at all. In the same way illogical things happen, in the sense they do not make sense to a person or cannot be explained by a person, they shouldnt happen, but they do.

Evil comes from peoples free will, in order to be able to choose right and wrong we have to be able to act in right or wrong ways also, rather than it just existing in thoughts, which cant always be controlled; action can. One persons act doesnt negate the other free will, because that person still chooses how to react, unless you die, Our death date will happen one way or another, it cant be brought forward or put off. Some people might say suicide proves this wrong, but people abuse there bodies in such ways that baffle us as to how they could survive, people survive suicide attempts all the time and when they dont we dont know that they wouldnt have died on that day by some others means.

If youre equating evil with suffering, i would ask if you believe you can cause someone else to suffer out of love. I wont pretend that i dont struggle to understand some of the suffering i see, but as a concept you CAN cause someone to suffer out of love for them, to encourage their growth and betterment.

With regards to your example of the murdered girl, the world is a brutal place yes, but if you believe in the after life then sufferings on earth can be put better into perspective and if you believe all people have a purpose on earth, and we all have an impact in one way or another , to one extent or another, then that girls life wasnt wasted, it will have been profound in its impact and impacted so many in so many different ways that we cant say her death was pointless; we dont have that over view of everything.

The example of the boy in Africa is not an example of Evil, it is an example of suffering and suffering doesnt = evil. Evil comes from choices we make and is a lack of good, rather than a thing existing of itself.

'This worm does not need to exist to allow free will.' - all testing situations are there to prompt a choice of action in the person its happening to and the people around them.

'Suffering is not a good thing' - i refer you to 'A road less travelled' by M Scott Peck which has a lot of interesting things to say about suffering and why it is necessary and the different kinds of suffering (he's a psychoanalyst and it is pretty religiously neutral, although the last chapters include spiritual ponderings)

The deer incident - how do you know this is happening? in order to know that this animal is suffering and for 5 days you have to have witnessed it, if a person has witnessed it then it is having an impact on them and that interaction triggers free will. Do you push the thought of an innocent animal suffering away? do you harden your heart to it and say 'who cares?'? or do you suffer along with that animal emotionally for sometime and let it expand your capacity for compassion?

We complain about our bodies 'inefficiencies' because we now expect to live a long time, if you dont get your 3 score years and ten youve been short changed, and begrudge any suffering we might have to put up with in order to live a long time. I havent studied biology so i cant talk about that field and the benefits and problems with the ways our bodies work. Lack of vitamins is something that causes us to suffer, so gaining those vitmains in food/light is a motivator in life. Sometimes we dont get the nutrition we need and we suffer. The suffering is an opportunity for the person and the people around them to learn and exercise free will. If you dont believe in an after life i can understand why this would perhaps be more ditressing to contemplate, all you see is purposeless pain.

'God stops me from launching these nuclear warheads but that negates my free will and if you are able to negate free will, it isn't free after all' - that isnt negating your free will, you intention to make the action is there and you are in that process. You could hit a button and it not work, your free will hasnt been negated, but the result of it has been denied.

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You can accept that something is logical without believing it is true, a lot fo things can make sense that arent a reality, if that wasnt the case fiction wouldnt exist at all.

Fiction relies on a Suspension of disbelief to be "into" and believe a story, you are specifically required to temporarily suspend your ability to logically disbelieve in the story being told, otherwise, something like spiderman wouldn't be very enjoyable would it.

So, i categorically reject your analogy.

In the same way illogical things happen, in the sense they do not make sense to a person or cannot be explained by a person, they shouldnt happen, but they do.

I hold the belief everything that happens can be reduced down to logic in one way or another, i challenge you to provide something that can't. If it is illogical, then, it shouldn't exist. Because illogical things by their very nature just plain don't make sense in the existence we know.

Evil comes from peoples free will, in order to be able to choose right and wrong we have to be able to act in right or wrong ways also, rather than it just existing in thoughts, which cant always be controlled; action can. One persons act doesnt negate the other free will, because that person still chooses how to react, unless you die,

Go find a rape victim and ask if they chose to be raped. Go ask a little boy who stepped on a landmine and ask him if he chose to lose his leg. Go find a kid who parents beat on him and ask if he chose to be beaten. Of my own free will i do not wish for the man with the knife to stab me and yet, i get stabbed anyway. I wish to have all my own blood and yet, being stabbed, i lose plenty. So, it most definitely does violate my free will. I do not wish to be stabbed of my own free will but i get stabbed anyway. That *clearly* does negate my will.

Surely an intelligent person like you can see what a logical fallacy such a thing is?

So, again, i reject this.

Our death date will happen one way or another, it cant be brought forward or put off.

So, in Auschwitz, God chose all those peoples death dates to coincide with the time hitler gassed them en masse? They had no good reason to die. So, either God functioned as a mass executioner or the death date isn't set as you suggest it is.

What about famines? God writes the names of all those innocent people to starve to death? He condems them to such a horrible fate, only to reward them later for the very thing he inflicted upon them?

You can see this is a logical contradiction and absurdity.

If youre equating evil with suffering, i would ask if you believe you can cause someone else to suffer out of love.

By its very definition love is not causing suffering. Love is bringing happiness and pleasure, not pain. I really don't believe you can make someone horribly suffer...out of love. Might have your emotions a bit messed up there.

With regards to your example of the murdered girl, the world is a brutal place yes, but if you believe in the after life then sufferings on earth can be put better into perspective and if you believe all people have a purpose on earth, and we all have an impact in one way or another , to one extent or another, then that girls life wasnt wasted, it will have been profound in its impact and impacted so many in so many different ways that we cant say her death was pointless; we dont have that over view of everything.

So, you're saying, Yes, the girl didn't need to suffer.

God didn't create her only to take her away again before she could be judged. God created her to have an impact on all the people around her? So, basically, a pawn. A living breathing pawn?

She had no judgement of herself to undergo. Like i said, she was murdered before she could be judged. God created this little girl, full well, with the knowledge that she would get brutally murdered and suffer, as a tool to influence a couple humans? A couple humans out of the billions and billions of people who have came and gone...All that suffering...onto an innocent person...to influence a couple humans? Thats such a grotesque disregard for human life and the sanctity of life. If you want to believe in that kind of God then by all means do so but i can not fathom such a diabolical maneuver from an all loving god...

it is an example of suffering and suffering doesnt = evil.

That may be so. However, i was talking about the being that allows the suffering to take place. If you stand idly by and allow suffering without an very good excusing reason (which in this case cant be free will because its a parasite. Free will is the classic Muslim defense against the problem of evil but i negated it with my argument about the parasite), you are a bad person. If you stand by and let billions suffer without an excusing reason, you are down right evil. Especially when you could of prevented such a thing by not creating that parasite in the first place, as i have shown.

So, The agent who created the parasite in the first place, knowing full well what it would do and furthermore not preventing it or not creating it in the first place, is most definitely evil. If he is not evil, then he is not all powerful.

Either you believe in a partially ungood God, so partially evil or you believe in a God who isn't all powerful which negates the definition of a God or God just plain doesn't exist at all. All those choices are horrible if you're a theist. Surely, it tells you theres something wrong with your belief? If you wish to hold you belief against the face of logic and reason, continue a cognitive dissonance you don't fully believe in, then be my guest if you wish but i couldn't hold such a thing if i did not fully believe in it or could reconcile it with logic.

Evil comes from choices we make and is a lack of good, rather than a thing existing of itself.

'This worm does not need to exist to allow free will.' - all testing situations are there to prompt a choice of action in the person its happening to and the people around them.

Well, no one choses to get infected with a parasite for starters. What action could being infected with a parasite possibly prompt you to take anyway? It's not like being infected would make you tempted to do sinful things and hence judged. Anyway, like i said and you failed to see perhaps. It is a child, they are incapable of being judged. God doesn't need to prompt an action out of them to judge them because they are too young to be judged in the first place.

If you want to believe God uses human children's lives as a pawn to test others around the children, then as i said above, i just see that as fundamentally sick and evil. Especially in light of the post someone above made which suggests millions if not billions (with a B, billions) of children have suffered from natural evil. All as pawns? This just seems fundamentally evil, it really does. I doubt you'll disagree if you have a heart.

The deer incident - how do you know this is happening? in order to know that this animal is suffering and for 5 days

It has conceivable it could happen.

In all the years deers has been around it must of happened in the very least, at least once.

I don't think you can really deny such a thing has never happened in an uninhabited forest, that is just plain illogical. You know things like this happen all the time.

You don't know where your cheese came from exactly but it doesn't change the fact you cheese still exists. You didn't witness the cow being milked but doesn't change the fact a cow was milked. Just because you can't see something, doesn't mean it cant happen. Thats just plain silly.

Even if i indulge such an illogical idea, what if i found the badly burnt deer *after* it had died. We can do autopsies and determine how long the burn was there based on healing and other biochemical markers, we can also roughly determine the time of death from the liver, rigor mortis, those kind of things.

So, we could just as easily work it out *after* this deer has suffered.

God is still implicated in this horrible suffering.

If a person has witnessed it then it is having an impact on them and that interaction triggers free will. Do you push the thought of an innocent animal suffering away? do you harden your heart to it and say 'who cares?'? or do you suffer along with that animal emotionally for sometime and let it expand your capacity for compassion?

God is everywhere. God sees all. God much watch every deer suffer, there is indeed someone watching even though there are no people around as you have suggested. God must do this on a regular basis then? Why go through all this if there is no good reason an unjudgable animal needs to suffer if you can prevent it anyway though? Why do such a thing and hurt such an innocent creature in such a horrid way?

Lack of vitamins is something that causes us to suffer, so gaining those vitmains in food/light is a motivator in life.

God could of just of easily designed us to make Vitamin C though, we make countless other molecules, why not vitamin C? Why allow people to suffer so horribly because you didn't include Vitamin C in the design plan?

We make several things other animals don't as well. We make an enzyme that helps us break down the chemicals in chocolate. Dogs dont, this is why chocolate is poisonous to dogs. We make many many many more things than you think, why did he simply not include Vitamin C in that list?

You could attack this argument by saying well...why didnt he make us produce our own food like plants do, hell why do we even need oxygen? IF you follow that path though, you eventually reach the absurd. You reach a point where we need nothing. We don't need to be on this earth. Why create it? You reach a point where we could be theorectically immortal as well. I'd caution you against using such a response. I am in no way suggesting God suddenly enables us to get everything. Vitamin C seems like such a noted abscence though considering scurvy and all. Not to mention the fact he designed almost every other animal capable of making it...why leave us out? To challenge us to make good vitamin c tablets? Such a thing is absurd.

@.InshAllah.

My second argument i think is the strongest. By far. I haven't seen anyone disprove it yet but if you certainly feel up to it..

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slam dear.....you have put forward the very simpler stuff... I have lot of logical answers to convince you... only if... you want to b convinced...if you really want to some guidance... Then lets have some exchange of thuoghts, ideas, and beliefs... but we will remain unbiased.... if you find my arguments acceptable you would have to agree with them... if i found yours... then i will....

but the debate will only be fruitful if you want it to be...

i will be waiting for your response... so that we shall proceed..

hoping to see you soon :)

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Which premise of my argument are you targeting here? I don't understand your angle.

You view appears to be that just because something happens which, to you, seems harsh, that means god is not all loving. The way you throw around the term 'all loving' is too simplistic.

Im just reminding you that Monothiests dont believe in an eternal pamperer. They believe in one who give life and takes it away. One who creates and destroys. The one that wishes to see his creations struggle, toil and suffer.

Why is that so? Just look at the natural order of things.

That is a different matter. If our lives were not taken eventually we would be immortal. The prophet would still be around today, so would all of his enemies. Nothing would ever change and we wouldn't even be here discussing this probably. Dying is a prerequisite for going to heaven but doesn't mean the child has to die in such a horrible way as sanctioned by God.

Again, this doesn't make logical sense.

Yes, she may get compensated in the next life.

God already knows he will compensate her, he is all knowing and all powerful.

God Already knows how she will die so painfully.

Why create her in the first place, only to inflict suffering upon her and then later...compensate her for the very suffering he inflicted upon her...

It is logically inconsistent.

Why does the girl need to suffer in such a horrible way in the first place?

To be tested? She is too young of an age for this

To have her parents tested? This is a grotesque use of creation and waste of human life, using creation as a pawn.

What does one moment of pain amount to, compared to eternity? Hardship and toil is unavoidable in the current order of the universe whichever way you look at it. Someone once said "life is suffering"

You appear to think that pain and suffering is wrong. But suffering pain and hardship is what makes people great, Nelson Mandela, if he spend his time "Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool" he would no value.

You may think this use of life is grotesque and a waste but the creator does compensate the child. But you are right that creations are pawns. Slaves.

Imam Ali (as) said

“I came to know Allah by observing the strong wills that trembled, the difficult entanglements that were disentangled, and the decisions that were crushed.”

Surely a loving God would not allow such suffering, if then, he isn't wholly loving, therefore partially evil.

Were your parents evil when they dragged you to the doctor's for a shot? Mine beat me when I misbehaved. It was for the best.

If he is incapable of preventing it, he is either not all powerful or just doesn't care or doesn't exist.

Just because something happened that you disliked you think God does not exist because it wasnt prevented? I dont know where you get your ideas of God.

I think maybe God's will is apparent in the natural order of things with all life struggling in vain to stay alive.

Like Imam Ali (as) said;

"Praise belongs to God, who did not originate from anything, nor did He bring what exists into being from anything. His beginninglessness is attested to by the temporality of things, His power by the impotence with which He has branded them, and His everlastingness by the annihilation which He has forced upon them."

You still haven't dealt with the crux of my argument which is, Evil is supposedly excused because free will is a greater gift and yet almost all the time such evil serves to deny free will anyway. You also haven't fully defeated my illustration.

Evil isnt excused, evil is punished by God. And evil does not deny free will. It can deny freedom of action but it cannot deny free will.

In the case of a girl who is below the aged to be judged according to Islamic theology, it isn't a test.

Who are you to say? Allah tests man in all aspect of his existence. Parents through their children. Men and women through their parents. You think just because someone is below legal age he or she is outside of nature's control?

Animals do not enter Jannah. He will receive no recompense. here is no good reason to put an innocent animal incapable of suffering through such horrendous pain. You still haven't defeated my argument.

Well your saying this brings back memories since I asked this question from all of my Islamic studies teachers through school, college and university ; "Do animals have an afterlife". Some replied "well...maybe". Most said "i dunno"

And even if the baby deer did not have an afterlife his suffering would highlight the frailty and impotence of the creature of God before their fate.

Last year during Muharram the alim whose sermons I went to said that Islamic philosophers had divided this universe into kingdoms, the first was the mineral kingdom, which was consumed the plant kingdom, both the first two were consumed by the animal kingdom, the preceeding 3 were consumed by the kingdom of man, which God consumed along with everything else.

It is a valid philosophical thought experiment though. Just suppose i could, my argument still stands. Either God stops me and prevents my free will, which means it isn't really free or i make a liar out of the holy books and therefore God.

I like Ruqaya has said before, if the case you fail, your free will would not be the thing that was negated. Your freedom of action was constrained

[Quran 08:30] ...They plot and plan, and Allah too plans; but the best of planners is Allah.

To make you succeed lets 'put the suspension of disbelief' into effect. So ok, you you've succeeded, the earth is blown up. Mankind is no more. The promise of God turned and the God of scripture is proved to not exist.

So. What now?

I'm pretty sure if something essential is left out, that is the definition of incomplete.

Are you the best judge of what is essential in this case? The quran provides wherever it was necessary for it to provide.

Something can not be "loosely" perfect or near perfect. The definition of perfect, is perfect. It has to be rigid if it is to be judged as perfect. It has to be the utmost perfection according to my argument because it was created by God and yet i illustrated the opposite of this.

On what grounds are you judging something to be perfect or imperfect?

Its like this, Is the universe perfect? "Sure!" you might say. "If it was perfect there would not have been any death and pain". I might say "it is perfect the way it is". Its a bit like this.

By its very definition love is not causing suffering. Love is bringing happiness and pleasure, not pain. I really don't believe you can make someone horribly suffer...out of love. Might have your emotions a bit messed up there.

I dunno about you but on our side of the world the greatest love stories are tragedies. Leila-Mujoon, Shireen-Farhat, Heer-Ranjha, Sohni-Mahiwal, Anarkali etc etc. Love brings longing, love conquers reason and separation is suffering.

Farid ud-Din Attar in the 'Conference of the Birds' wrote

Zulnoon said: ‘I was in the desert once.

Trusting in God, I’d brought no sustenance --

I came on forty men ahead of me,

Dressed all in rags, a closed community.

My heart was moved. “O God,” I cried, “take heed,

What wretched lives you make your pilgrims lead!”

“We know their life and death,” a voice replied;

“We kill these pilgrims first; when they have died

We compensate them for the blood we shed.”

I asked, “When will this killing stop?” He said:

“When my exchequer has no love to give,

While I can pay for death they shall not live,

I drink my servant’s blood and he is hurled

In frenzied turbulence about the world --

Then when he is destroyed and cannot find

His head, his feet, his passions or his mind,

I clothe him in the splendour he has won

And grace enfolds him, radiant as the sun:

Though I will have his face bedaubed by blood,

A starved ascetic smeared with dust and mud,

A denizen of shadows and the night --

Yet I will rise before him robed in light,

And when that sun, My countenance, is here

What can these shadows do but disappear?” ’

Shadows are swallowed by the sun, and he

Who’s lost in God is from himself set free;

Don’t chatter about loss -- be lost! Repent,

And give up vain, self-centred argument;

If one can lose the Self, in all the earth

No other being can approach his worth.

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@.InshAllah.

My second argument i think is the strongest. By far. I haven't seen anyone disprove it yet but if you certainly feel up to it..

Your second argument:

1)God is all loving and all powerful. (Premise 1)

2)Free will exists. (Premise 2)

3)Evil exists. (Premise 3)

4)Evil exists to allow free will to exist. (Premise 4)

5)A parasitic worm that bores into childrens eye sockets exists. (Premise 5)

6)This worm does not need to exist to allow free will. (Premise 6)

7)It does a bad or evil action. (Premise 7)

8)This action is not a necessary prerequisite to allow the existence of free will or the judgement by God of the child. (Premise 8)

9)Yet, God still allows such a parasite to exist. (Premise 9)

10)God either does not exist or is not all loving or all powerful. (Conclusion 1)

The problem is with premise 4. You're argument presupposes that the only good that can be gained by allowing evils to happen is free will, but why believe this? When I see a child that is ill, or an animal in pain, I feel compassion and empathy, I am driven to act and to alleviate this pain, and thus am driven to perform morally good actions. Natural evils give us the opportunity to cultivate moral virtues like compassion and mercy, and give us extra reasons to perform good actions. In short, they give us the opportunity to be better people. For all we know these benefits of natural evils (and they are not small) outweigh the disadvantages of allowing them to occur in the long run, and providing God with a good reason to allow them to occur

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A thing that may require a 'suspencion of belief' can make complete logical sense and be perfectly feasible. You can reject my fiction analogy, that doesnt negate the fact that something can logically make sense and not be true.

An example of something that logically makes NO sense but happened is this:

Two people are sitting in a kitchen. There is a broom resting against the wall. The broom (without being touched by the 2 people) stands up virtically and moves 'by itself' across the room and then moves back. This isnt something that can be explained scientifically or philosophically, but it is something that happened. (the 2 people sitting in the kitchen were my mum and gran; my grans home was haunted and this was one of many 'phenomena' they experienced while living there). What ever the reason for this phenomena, it is not something that is currently explainable with scientific method.

You seem to be confused about what free will is. Free will is the ability to make choices, to have choices rather than only one possible option, it isnt the ability to have every possible option open to you. So no, someone or something that in some way limits your options (which is happening at all times because we are all in circumstances that dictate our options) is not negating your free will, it is not taking away your free will. As long as you have options you have free will.

I dont claim to know how death works, i know Islamically it is supposed to be pre-destined. This was just a theory, and yes all the people that died in Auswitch could have been pre-destined to die at the ages they did on the date they did. I dont know what i think about pre-destined death dates or how they may work, but its interesting to discuss. If you want some solidified points of view on the subject then maybe wait for someone else to chip in about it.

But you havent given a reason for why the notion itself is illogical or absurd, just that its an uncomfortable thing to contemplate.

'By its very definition love is not causing suffering. Love is bringing happiness and pleasure, not pain' - No offence, but this is a very imature notion of what love is. It takes very little investigating to realise that this is not true. A child that needs to be disciplined for its own good is the most obvious and easiest example of contradiction to this. The act of disciplining the child causes the child to learn through suffering. All learning takes discipline and discipline is something we have to suffer for because we have to fight our laziness and challange painful situations/thoughts/feelings in order to learn from them and grow. Buddha's 1st nobel truth is 'life is suffering', we are made to suffer through problems and difficulties in order to learn and grow, it is a necessity infact; if everything was hunky dory nothing would have any real value because we wouldnt be able to appreciate blessings because the opposite of blessings wouldnt exist to be compared too.

Again i recommend to read the first few chapters of 'A road less travelled' to expand your appreciation of what suffering is and what love is.

As regards the girl:

Events have all sorts of dominoe effects, you cant say 'a few people' and even if it was only a few people, why can that not be enough? the ripples of consequences of actions are not calculatable, so you cant diminish the impact of this girls death by guessing what it might be, again, we dont have that over view. We dont know what this girls purpose in life was, but the nature of her death offers a huge challange for those that come in contact with it. It is also perfectly feasible that, even if you havent clocked up many sins on earth, you can still be rewarded for suffering after you die and still give other people who are old enough to of clocked up sins the opportunity to grow through their suffering and be rewarded for that also.

If a person stands by and lets suffering happen, then you can argue that they arent being the best person they can be and doing the most good possible to their capacity whilst exercising their free will. Thats a different argument than saying suffering shouldnt exist at all, for the reasons ive already given, this is a ridiculous proposition. Where do you get this idea that life should be easy and pain-free? where is the potencial for growth in that compared to the potencial for growth when we are challanged?

If youre using 'pawn' with this definition: 'A person or an entity used to further the purposes of another', i would say that the only way that can apply is if the 'purpose' is Gods desire to have human beings grow and evolve individually and as humankind all together. This doesnt mean there is a lack of love for the person suffering, even if death comes quickly after, i know from personal experience that profound things can be learnt from such seemingly 'meaningless' suffering, both for the person experiencing the first hand suffering and the person witnessing, things that wouldnt have been realised and appreciated if a sudden death had occured. Everything we come into contact with is an opportunity to make that growth happen. yes is can be unbearabley hard and painful and that is life im afraid. It might 'seem' evil to you, but it isnt 'evil', its just suffering, its just life.

the Deer - actually, i dont know things like that happen all the time. I suppose that animals are indeed injured because human beings have reported that animals have been found injured and i have found an animal injured. Its possible that animals are injured and no one is ever aware of it and their death doesnt have an obvious purpose. The 'suffering' in those instances cant be calculated. Perhaps when deaths of animals arents witnessed there is very little suffering, neither of us can prove or disprove that because we can only say what humans witness. If the animal is found to be tested for cause of death then an interaction has taken place with a human being and again the death can be said to of had a purpose in the sense of it gives the person an opportunity for exercising free will. As soon as the animals death is witnessed and suffering can be observed or deduced, this happens.

'if there is no good reason' - you are again assuming there is no good reason without the over view to know if there is a reason. Whether the reason is 'good enough' for you is another matter, thats something you will have to struggle with.

Do we not need motivators in life? otherwise we'd all be sitting around in a zombie state which seems even more absurd. Why Vitamin C, i dont know, why not Vitamin C? arent you glad its only one vitamin we dont make? perhaps necessitating the need to obtain this one vitamin has provided enough motivation for us historically to set in motion all sorts of other things that are beneficial to us. Again your main problem seems to be the fact that this can cause suffering. Once you resolve the blocks you have regarding suffering these questions you have wont seem so black and white. Life isnt black and white, it cant be neatly wrapped up and presented to you with the words 'dont worry, heres all the answers so you never have to suffer to find them for yourself'.

You keep saying you have disproved things, you are entitled to that view, but there is no point you havent made where an equally feasible counter-argument cant be made. You havent proved or disproved anything, you just keep saying 'you must agree that is absurd' or you must agree this and that, well no, i dont agree and you havent given a single sound argument why i should yet.

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A: Evil doesn't exist unless somebody chooses to be evil

B: Life is a test and the evil/bad things in this world are just obstacles

C: If you think about it, its difficult (almost impossible) for good to exist without bad

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Guest Jebreil

(bismillah)

(salam)

I think that if someone holds a particular perspective on the purpose of humans, this argument will fail to touch them. I will sketch this perspective below.

This is the argument:

1)God is all loving and all powerful. (Premise 1)

2)Free will exists. (Premise 2)

3)Evil exists. (Premise 3)

4)Evil exists to allow free will to exist. (Premise 4)

5)A parasitic worm that bores into childrens eye sockets exists. (Premise 5)

6)This worm does not need to exist to allow free will. (Premise 6)

7)It does a bad or evil action. (Premise 7)

8)This action is not a necessary prerequisite to allow the existence of free will or the judgement by God of the child. (Premise 8)

9)Yet, God still allows such a parasite to exist. (Premise 9)

10)God either does not exist or is not all loving or all powerful. (Conclusion 1)

I think I disagree with Premise 8.

The story of Adam, the Fall and the Forbidden Fruit, I feel has this philosophical message:

A person who is free can choose to follow the Right or the Wrong

A person who has suffers no need or temptation towards Wrong will never choose Wrong

A person as described above is not special for inclining towards Right

A person who suffers need or temptation towards Wrong may incline towards Wrong or may incline against it

A person who prefers to incline towards Right in the above circumstance is special, because they prefer to suffer than incline towards Wrong

Often, doing what is Right costs us - sometimes dearly. We know we will suffer in one way or another. It involves sacrifice. Self-sacrifice is the key word, I suppose. Probably, that is why we value self-sacrifice and 'true' martyrdom so much. The martyr negates himself for the Right, concretising the moral sentiment that Life is Good when it contributes the Good and Evil when it contributes to Evil, and a martyr is someone who Lives a perfect life by contributing its very being for the Good and the eradication of Evil.

Self-sacrifice - whether it is sacrificing our lives, money, time, reputation or pride - is special, because it prefers doing Right and suffering to oneself over doing Wrong and probably causing suffering and destruction to others.

I think, should God have wanted to create a special, miraculous being from the random motion of atoms, He would transform them into making a person so courageous and beautiful which would even negate itself for Goodness and others. In the human, He has managed to make a being with this potential, I find.

However, for such a special, miracle to self-sacrifice, it would need to suffer in some way. Therefore, in this perspective, any thing or action which produces suffering has a raison d'etre. Suffering, it could be said, was made for Humans, as lasers were made for uncut diamonds.

From this, I believe premise 8 must change into:

8)Any thing or action which causes suffering is a necessary prerequisite to give greater value to the exercise of human free will (Premise 8)

Suffering gives greater value to a human who applies free will for Good while tasting the suffering.

Therefore, the conclusion of the argument changes into:

10)God either does not exist or is not all loving or all powerful or He exists and wants to derive greater spiritual value and beauty. (Conclusion 1)

I suppose, it can be asked why would God want to derive this greater value. The answer is probably: for the same reason He (and we) prefers free will over pre-determined will. A self-sacrificing creature is more admirable than a selfish creature. It is Divine. It is Perfect. Probably, God is trying to cast His fiery image into the dust, so to speak. He has made dead matter live, blind matter see, silent matter talk, mindless matter think and now meaningless matter turn into a meaningful god!

Of course, materialists may object as to the injustice of creating humans only for them to negate themselves. A religious person who has understood that God is almighty, believes in God's Justice, and therefore, in the Resurrection and Reward and Retribution. The diamonds, cut and uncut, will at last be weighed according to their brilliance, and those who shine are cherished, and those who are dull are cut until they shine, and the rocks which have destroyed any diamond in them, are rejected.

A person who holds this perspective - as described above - will not be harmed by that argument.

For example, the child who is suffering is not asking the child to self-sacrifice, but the parents and the doctors and anyone who can help in some way. It is also provoking the beautiful and tragic impulse of a parent lovingly anxious for their child and going to any lengths for their child's health and happiness. The child who suffers in a poverty-stricken plague-ridden land is God crying out to all humans of the world, demanding humanity and sympathy from them. He asks for humans to sacrifice some time and money to save a fellow human being. Those who sacrifice all they can - though they do not know the child and may never even see the child - are a real star. When I look to my life and those whom I have seen, I notice that most sufferings - if not all - are existential Questions asking us to solve them. We have the free will to sweat, toil and bleed for a Solution, or press the Ignore This Question button and pass along unhurt. Without suffering, there would be no Questions, and therefore, no chance to be a god and make the right, but hard, decision.

-------------------------

This has not much to do with the argument. Just for anyone who might be interested to know my views on the making of Man

I believe, from the Qur'an and from philosophy and from mysticism, that "God wanted to create His Heir on earth, someone earthly limited creature whose spirit would be free, creative, knowing, loving and good. He wanted to mould the physical molecules into a form, allow it to multiply and evolve over millenia, and transform the blind forces of nature into a body which would hold a 'divine' person. In the human, He created a being who had the potential to evolve even further - on the mental plane - into a divine creature, an earthly god."

Such an earthly god would be able to transcend all suffering and, in the face of temptation and evil, refuse to incline towards the Wrong but rather rush towards the Right.

Humans are free to try to learn their lessons and evolve towards their better potential, and free to skip classes, ignore the impulses towards self-betterment and continue being selfish and ignorant.

In this philosophy, the Human Life has this meaning: to understand what it means for a Human to be 'like-God' - to find a way to being 'like-God' - and try and becoming 'like-God' - until one becomes, in this world or the next.

(wasalam)

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I conditionally accept this. It sort of saying the book is perfect, something is left out, so that could make it imperfect but it tells you where to look...I still think this detracts from its perfectness but i accept your premise as probabilistically logical.

I withdraw my position. I do no longer accept your argument. I thought about it for awhile. The quran tells us to look to the hadtih. The quran is the most perfect thing in our world, the most perfect book of God. Everything else than the quran is less perfect (except Allah). So, the quran, a perfect book, directs us to look to a non-perfect book (hadith) to find out how to do one of the very basic and core things in Islam? Pray? Really? Why would God leave something so essential like this out of the quran and leave it up to interpretation in the Hadith?

Sunni and Shia pray different as far as im aware, only one of you can be right and by no fault of your own either. God could of just as easily prevented this though by including a couple more simple lines in the quran.. God is all knowing so he know this would happen.. Why would he let such a thing occur? It isn't to test people, because, again, its of no fault of their own. You either choose one hadith or the other or none.

A perfect book, directing you to an imperfect book for guidance on one of the very fundamentals? That doesn't make it a very perfect or complete book.

slam dear.....you have put forward the very simpler stuff...

If it is 'very simple' it seems as have no respect for my argument or indeed my veracity to think philosophically or debate you. I find this insulting. These are some of the peak arguments that the philosophers throughout the ages have used. Even a muslim who knows how to evaluate arguments would say that some of them are well constructed. They might not necessarily agree with the conclusion but some of them i consider very well constructed.

It seems like you think you've already won and believe you indeed will win.

If you've already judged my arguments the debate your proposing would be about as balanced as fox news, with all due respect of course. It's not a recipe for success...

So, i would like to respectfully decline the whole idea of a seperate comprehensive discussion of that nature. 3/4ths of my arguments are already presented here anyway.

Feel free to post any particular objections you have with the arguments i have presented here though.

As i said in my opening, even if you have the best arguments for God, if you can't disprove all the arguments against God it is worthless(in an argumentative sense). Whereas, even if i have one good argument *against* God it disproves all the other arguments in favour of God because that is the nature of proving deities like this.

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If it is 'very simple' it seems as have no respect for my argument or indeed my veracity to think philosophically or debate you. I find this insulting. These are some of the peak arguments that the philosophers throughout the ages have used. Even a muslim who knows how to evaluate arguments would say that some of them are well constructed. They might not necessarily agree with the conclusion but some of them i consider very well constructed.

It seems like you think you've already won and believe you indeed will win.

If you've already judged my arguments the debate your proposing would be about as balanced as fox news, with all due respect of course. It's not a recipe for success...

So, i would like to respectfully decline the whole idea of a seperate comprehensive discussion of that nature. 3/4ths of my arguments are already presented here anyway.

Feel free to post any particular objections you have with the arguments i have presented here though.

As i said in my opening, even if you have the best arguments for God, if you can't disprove all the arguments against God it is worthless(in an argumentative sense). Whereas, even if i have one good argument *against* God it disproves all the other arguments in favour of God because that is the nature of proving deities like this.

if i didn't have any respect for it... i would never had considered to argue... and i am sorry if found it insulting...

every one considers his arguments as well constructed unless they are beaten by the more good one... and you are right that i beleive that i will win... :)

and if its not the matter of gain... than why to discuss it... leave it... but if you want to gain something... if you are in search of truth... if you want to reveal the truth about the God... you have to agree with the right thing... else leave it... and arguments against God are like building sand castles... all of your ""good arguments"" will get the best counter arguments.....

and if u dont want a debate... its all okay.... we are still friends

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If it is 'very simple' it seems as have no respect for my argument or indeed my veracity to think philosophically or debate you. I find this insulting. These are some of the peak arguments that the philosophers throughout the ages have used. Even a muslim who knows how to evaluate arguments would say that some of them are well constructed. They might not necessarily agree with the conclusion but some of them i consider very well constructed.

if i havn't any respect for your arguments.... i wouldnt have considered this topic... i am sorry if you felt insult... and everyone considers his argument to be well constructed unless its beaten... i have already told you that if you really want to be convinced only than we can have some good exchange of arguments.... because casting pearls before swine is always of no reward... we can have debate if you want... and if its not the matter of gain... then whats the reason putting this debate forward... no one cares... if we believe in God... u dont care... same as if u dont believe...

regardless to this... we can have a healthy cnvrsation....

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The problem is with premise 4. You're argument presupposes that the only good that can be gained by allowing evils to happen is free will, but why believe this? When I see a child that is ill, or an animal in pain, I feel compassion and empathy, I am driven to act and to alleviate this pain, and thus am driven to perform morally good actions. Natural evils give us the opportunity to cultivate moral virtues like compassion and mercy, and give us extra reasons to perform good actions. In short, they give us the opportunity to be better people. For all we know these benefits of natural evils (and they are not small) outweigh the disadvantages of allowing them to occur in the long run, and providing God with a good reason to allow them to occur

Hello InshAllah,

You mean that God allows evil and suffering (of the most excruciating kind) to millions of children in order that 'some' might feel compassion and empathy?

Do you seriously regard it as a fair exchange?

Is the moral edification of a small minority of people more important than the prevention of suffering?

If God doesn't need to suffer to know good from evil, why do we have to suffer?

Wslm.

*

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if i havn't any respect for your arguments.... i wouldnt have considered this topic... i am sorry if you felt insult... and everyone considers his argument to be well constructed unless its beaten... i have already told you that if you really want to be convinced only than we can have some good exchange of arguments.... because casting pearls before swine is always of no reward... we can have debate if you want... and if its not the matter of gain... then whats the reason putting this debate forward... no one cares... if we believe in God... u dont care... same as if u dont believe...

regardless to this... we can have a healthy cnvrsation....

I agree with many of the points Kingpomba has presented.

If you have decent counter-arguments to propose...why don't you just go ahead instead of threatening to do so?

I would be curious...

All the best.

*

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I withdraw my position. I do no longer accept your argument. I thought about it for awhile. The quran tells us to look to the hadtih. The quran is the most perfect thing in our world, the most perfect book of God. Everything else than the quran is less perfect (except Allah). So, the quran, a perfect book, directs us to look to a non-perfect book (hadith) to find out how to do one of the very basic and core things in Islam? Pray? Really? Why would God leave something so essential like this out of the quran and leave it up to interpretation in the Hadith?

Sunni and Shia pray different as far as im aware, only one of you can be right and by no fault of your own either. God could of just as easily prevented this though by including a couple more simple lines in the quran.. God is all knowing so he know this would happen.. Why would he let such a thing occur? It isn't to test people, because, again, its of no fault of their own. You either choose one hadith or the other or none.

A perfect book, directing you to an imperfect book for guidance on one of the very fundamentals? That doesn't make it a very perfect or complete book.

Like I said by what criteria are you judging the book to be imperfect? Or incomplete? Are you first claiming things for it that we dont claim for it and then denying them? I'll stand by what I said before and say that has whatever it was meant to have.

Why would he let such a thing occur? It isn't to test people, because, again, its of no fault of their own. You either choose one hadith or the other or none.

God tests people in all aspects of life. Evey choice matters.

Yusufali 6:107] If it had been Allah's plan, they would not have taken false gods: but We made thee not one to watch over their doings, nor art thou set over them to dispose of their affairs.

[Yusufali 6:108] Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did.

If God doesn't need to suffer to know good from evil, why do we have to suffer?

We cannot be compared with God becuase God is unique.

Through suffering people remember God. Through the feeling of powerlessness people remember God.

[Yusufali 17:66] Your Lord is He That maketh the Ship go smoothly for you through the sea, in order that ye may seek of his Bounty. For he is unto you most Merciful.

[Yusufali 17:67] When distress seizes you at sea, those that ye call upon - besides Himself - leave you in the lurch! but when He brings you back safe to land, ye turn away (from Him). Most ungrateful is man!

The properties of God are hard to list and vary wildly. Most religions however agree that God is all loving.

I think you should read this verse

[Yusufali 4:78] "Wherever ye are, death will find you out, even if ye are in towers built up strong and high!" If some good befalls them, they say, "This is from Allah"; but if evil, they say, "This is from thee" (O Prophet). Say: "All things are from Allah." But what hath come to these people, that they fail to understand a single fact?

Evil caused by one human onto another isn't the only kind of bad thing that exists in this world.

Evil exists in nature.

Marcus Aurelius the stoic philosopher and emperor of Rome wrote in his meditations,

Of human life the time is a point, and the substance is in a flux, and the perception dull, and the composition of the whole body subject to putrefaction, and the soul a whirl, and fortune hard to divine, and fame a thing devoid of judgement. And, to say all in a word, everything which belongs to the body is a stream, and what belongs to the soul is a dream and vapour, and life is a warfare and a stranger's sojourn, and after-fame is oblivion. What then is that which is able to conduct a man? One thing and only one, philosophy. But this consists in keeping the daemon within a man free from violence and unharmed, superior to pains and pleasures, doing nothing without purpose, nor yet falsely and with hypocrisy, not feeling the need of another man's doing or not doing anything; and besides, accepting all that happens, and all that is allotted, as coming from thence, wherever it is, from whence he himself came; and, finally, waiting for death with a cheerful mind, as being nothing else than a dissolution of the elements of which every living being is compounded. But if there is no harm to the elements themselves in each continually changing into another, why should a man have any apprehension about the change and dissolution of all the elements? For it is according to nature, and nothing is evil which is according to nature.

http://classics.mit....ions.2.two.html

Say i was born into a remote tribe? What of me then? This isnt the crux of my argument though, the above numbered list is.

According to the Imams, God judges people based on their intelligence and knowledge. If you had no knowledge of Islam you would not be punished for disbelief.

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Ruquaya's Amal, you're talking about sophism, not logic. Logic is much better defined and conservative study, than structured sentences, that sound reasonable (sophism). Formal logic is something like: A is greater than B, B is greater than C, hence A is greater than C. Example of sophism: "What is better than eternal bliss? Nothing. But a slice of bread is better than nothing. So a slice of bread is better than eternal bliss." :)

(Western) logic is developed by Aristotle, Avicenna, Averroes and in modern days by Cantor, Peano, Goedel etc. Sophism is devolped by sophists and politicans.

In his premises and conclusions, kingpomba uses formal logic, not sophism. So they cannot be refuted logically by counter-conclusions but only by finding wrong deductions or false assumptions in them. The girl, the boy and the little deer are just examples, not the essence of his arguments. Even if you prove that they are not appropriate this does not refute the argument. Anyway smallpox virus is an example of parasite, totally eradicated from the nature, how does this affect the free will?

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By the way Muntasir is right - what kingpomba says is more like atheism, not agnosticism.

Here is an example of how a modern agnostic argument might look like:

Kurt Gödel in his first incompleteness theorem states that "Any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete."

How can this be "translated" into common language: Any set of statements aiming at explanation of the world or even small part of anything ("theory"), if using Aristotelian logic, cannot either explain every aspect of it's subject or has contradictions. "Aristotelian logic" is the logic that is used in the philosophy and theology of the Abrachamic religions. Examples of "non-arestotelian logic" are the ancient chinese and hindu studies. So the holy books, being such "theories" (but also any other "theory", like calculs, general relativity, or even logic itself) cannot explain every aspect of the world, or if they do, there will be contradictions. The facts that cannot be explained by a certain "theory" are called "Gödel sentences" for this theory.

So if the holy books cannot explain the world without errors, are they created by an Almighty God? Even if they are updated for millions of years they will still not be able to explain every aspect of the world or if they do - there will be contardictions, because of the little nasty theorem that Kurt Gödel discovered. The conclusion is that either God, as described in the holly books, does not exists, or if he exists he has not sent us any holly books.

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Ruquaya's Amal, you're talking about sophism, not logic. Logic is much better defined and conservative study, than structured sentences, that sound reasonable (sophism). Formal logic is something like: A is greater than B, B is greater than C, hence A is greater than C. Example of sophism: "What is better than eternal bliss? Nothing. But a slice of bread is better than nothing. So a slice of bread is better than eternal bliss." :)

So we are communicating our ideas differently, its a conversations, not a game to win or not win.

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Hello InshAllah,

You mean that God allows evil and suffering (of the most excruciating kind) to millions of children in order that 'some' might feel compassion and empathy?

Do you seriously regard it as a fair exchange?

Is the moral edification of a small minority of people more important than the prevention of suffering?

Wslm.

*

No I mean that God allows evil and suffering so that the world is significantly better place. For the reasons already mentioned, such a world is plausibly better, and that is a moral reason for God to create it, whilst recompensing those that suffer of no fault of their own.

If God doesn't need to suffer to know good from evil, why do we have to suffer?

We all 'know' intuitively good from evil without suffering, but suffering gives us opportunities to be better people, opportunities that we otherwise wouldnt have.

---

(great post Jebreil)

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Animals do not enter Jannah. He will receive no recompense. here is no good reason to put an innocent animal incapable of suffering through such horrendous pain. You still haven't defeated my argument.

They will brought into the presence of their Lord:

All the beasts on land and flying birds have different communities just as you (men) have. We have not neglected anything in the book. They will be brought into the presence of their Lord. (Surah al-An'am, 6:39)

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same questions where asked by a hindu revert brother at my main forum, ill share, he dosnt know im quoting him, but its on the interent

Q

Assalam Alaikum:

Today I was driving through a road heading towards school of my daughter. Suddenly my wife pointed of a spot where a very little girl hardly two and half years old was crushed to death by a school bus about few weeks before.

I remember the deep deep deep sorrow (from the clip in local TV channel) of the helpless mother,she just gone mad weeping in the hospital with shoes of the little girl in her hands. It was a terrible shot. The mother was driving a scooter when she suddenly lost her balance and all of a sudden her little girl, who was standing at a space between her mother and scooter handle,was thrown below the tyres of the school bus.

Life is a test as Allah says in Quran. I don't understand what sort of test is this for a little girl who isn't mature to know that life is a test for her?.

Regards.

Good responce 1.

Asalama Alaykum

First I want to say, I'm very sorry for the lose of that Mother, It really hurts but You should know that Whatever Allah does, there is HIKMAH (Great Wisdom) behind it.

If you have read the Quran, you might know the story of Khadar (as) and Prophet Musa (as). Allah gave Khadar some knowledge of the unseen, as you have seen in the story, he came across a boy and cut his head off. For the person who has no knowledge of this will say that was barbaric act, but later Khadar explained

"And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared that he would overburden them by transgression and disbelief." 18:80

This was what Allah has willed, and the hikmah of Allah, Khadar has killed the boy.

So, my point is, we might see something as being harmful and bad, but in reality its good for us, as Allah (swt) says in the Quran

"But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not. " 2:216

Also you should know that anything bad happens to us is because of what we did to ourselves. This is clear from the Quran

"Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness]." 30:41

Maybe Allah wanted that mother to come back to Allah and at the end, that is much much better for her than thousand children.

I hope that makes clear.

peace

Good answer 2

The believer is thankful to Allaah in his heart, with his tongue, and with the actions of his limbs. He is thankful for Allaah's Blessings and the great amount of goodness that Allaah has given him, those that he enjoys at all hours of the day. Thats why when you see someone who is sick or suffering, one should reflect his or her situation , by doing that you will know that you are blessed and see no any other blessing that is greater than what Allaah has given him or her, nor any token of generosity greater than what has come from Allaah.This is one of Characteristics of the True Believer

Good answer three

This world was not intended to be heaven. It was intended as a stepping ladder to it. The central issue about our stay on earth is how we are going to use our free will? Will we uphold God's laws, accept His decrees and do good? If so, we get the reward that never ends, for which we were meant. If, on the other hand, we start to think that this life is our only existence, try to question God or feel free to perpetrate the earth with mischief, then we are asking for torment.

God asked us, before He created us, if we would like to have a free will (33:72). We said yes, after the heavens, the earth and the mountains declined!

This subject of the free will is crucial to understanding Islam, so I recommend that you read this archive and settle that question once and for all.

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I agree with many of the points Kingpomba has presented.

If you have decent counter-arguments to propose...why don't you just go ahead instead of threatening to do so?

I would be curious...

All the best.

*

slam... i am doin so because of a verse...

in quran Allah almighty says very clearly....

Deaf, dumb, and blind,

They will not return (to the path).

and Allah clarifies that such people will never return... all the explanations and reasons... even if they are very solid... they wont turn their hearts...

so all of the arguments will be in vain... such people are exemplified as....

Their similitude is that of a man

Who kindled a fire;

When it lighted all around him,

God took away their light

And left them in utter darkness.

So they could not see.

thats um not going ahead... because why go for such thing which is nothing but a waste of time...

i f you are curious.... you just start thinking.... in this way...

that first of all Allah IS JUST.... and after this... HE is MERCIFUL... u can get your answer... even most of the answers...

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I wrote a rather lengthy response to some of the earlier posts...no idea where it went. It just disappeared into the void. It had some rather good points as well that ill never be able to recover. Perhaps the mods did not approve it (cant see why) perhaps it was a technical issue, who knows. So, you can see why im averse to writing all that again, things like this are very mentally exhausting as im sure you all have found out. I promise i did actually type a rather good response and i even came up with another argument inside of it... no idea where it went.

I'll most likely reply to some of the earlier posts again at another stage if i summon up enough encouragement and effort but for now ill reply to some of the later posts.

Deaf, dumb, and blind,

They will not return (to the path).

Thats rather out of context and as far as im aware that refers to people who refuse to belief even provided with copious proof like miracles.

I don't refuse to believe just because im against belief. I don't believe because, in my mind, its what makes sense.

Also, classically, in philosophy, your arguments usually have to contain premises and evidences that your opponents accept to make them a 'good' argument.

I don't really believe in the quran as a non-believer so just quoting stuff out of there ad infinitum won't really satisfy me much.

Like i said in another thread: "If i told you i had a book that claimed i was a world famous chess player and that book was written by the person who claims to be the chess player (me) and you don't think im famous...would it convince you? Same situation."

If you want to tell me Allah is merciful, after reading all the arguments where i have shown why i think he hasn't and with no counterargument of your own...i must say it isn't very convincing...

They will brought into the presence of their Lord:

All the beasts on land and flying birds have different communities just as you (men) have. We have not neglected anything in the book. They will be brought into the presence of their Lord. (Surah al-An'am, 6:39)

I looked up that sura and it has no evidence of all about animals going to heaven, which as far as im aware within islamic theology, don't. That sura doesn't even talk about animals... I'm sure it was just a simple mistake and you wrote the wrong numbers. I'll allow you to correct yourself.

We all 'know' intuitively good from evil without suffering, but suffering gives us opportunities to be better people, opportunities that we otherwise wouldnt have.

Whilst suffering onto yourself allows these opportunities, such as disease, what about suffering inflicted by some onto others. I doubt the robber will become a better person because he robbed someone and being seriously raped most of the time doesn't really bring one many opportunities...

So, using the above, you can't use it to prove all suffering is justified just by that...

We all 'know' intuitively good from evil without suffering, but suffering gives us opportunities to be better people, opportunities that we otherwise wouldnt have.

Whilst suffering onto yourself allows these opportunities, such as disease, what about suffering inflicted by some onto others. I doubt the robber will become a better person because he robbed someone and being seriously raped most of the time doesn't really bring one many opportunities...

So, using the above, you can't use it to prove all suffering is justified just by that...

No I mean that God allows evil and suffering so that the world is significantly better place.

Most would say the world would be much better off *without* the suffering being there. I doubt people would argue suffering makes the world a better place on the whole...

For the reasons already mentioned, such a world is plausibly better, and that is a moral reason for God to create it, whilst recompensing those that suffer of no fault of their own.

Why do they even need to suffer in the first place? Why make them needlessly suffer by your own volition to only compensate them for it later? Surely that isn't the best way to design a world... or the most loving way. It would be better if they didn't even suffer in the first place, that would make more logical sense than the alternative.

We all 'know' intuitively good from evil without suffering, but suffering gives us opportunities to be better people, opportunities that we otherwise wouldnt have.

This seems flawed, let me demonstrate:

1)We all intuitively know good from evil, without suffering

2)How could this be? A world without suffering would also be a world without evil.

3)If evil doesn't exist you can't know it nor can you know the difference between good or evil.

In his premises and conclusions, kingpomba uses formal logic, not sophism. So they cannot be refuted logically by counter-conclusions but only by finding wrong deductions or false assumptions in them. The girl, the boy and the little deer are just examples, not the essence of his arguments. Even if you prove that they are not appropriate this does not refute the argument. Anyway smallpox virus is an example of parasite, totally eradicated from the nature, how does this affect the free will?

This is correct. I did this for a number of reasons, for one, i realise an abstract argument might be rather hard to follow and people would have no idea where im comming from with it. The examples provide just that, an example, an illustration of how i like to think about the application of the argument. Sure, you might find flaws in the example but that isn't really the main objective of showing me your point, it should be attacking my actual argument. That said, sometimes, comments on the examples sometimes also do reflect on the argument but this isn't always the case.

The biologist in me wants to make me just point this out on a little side note, viruses are different to parasites. Some viruses can be considered microparasites though. When most people think of parasites they usually think of wormy type things which is correct, those tend to be parasites but there is much more than those.

Whats also interesting is new viruses also come about like AIDs and Ebola. These haven't existed 100 years prior to now (especially aids, ebola is a little iffy). Which begs the question is God cooking up new diseases or something? Obviously they came about through natural interactions but God designed such nature and has full knowledge of the entire future so could see it coming, so, technically he is the one that creates all the new viruses that have and will come about.

Feel free to keep posting in this thread, i really don't mind. You seem to follow a lot of my logic/beliefs as well.

Like I said by what criteria are you judging the book to be imperfect? Or incomplete? Are you first claiming things for it that we dont claim for it and then denying them? I'll stand by what I said before and say that has whatever it was meant to have.

The quran claims to be perfect within itself. So we must assume its perfect, the most perfect, unless god didn't make it or God lied.

No other book can be as perfect as the quran, so, the hadith must be less perfect. We all know that hadith isn't 100% of the truth all of the time, thats why systems exist for verifying the authenticity of the hadiths and even those systems can be disputed in some way... so..by that criteria...logic.

God tests people in all aspects of life. Evey choice matters.

Yusufali 6:107] If it had been Allah's plan, they would not have taken false gods: but We made thee not one to watch over their doings, nor art thou set over them to dispose of their affairs.

[Yusufali 6:108] Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did.

I could be interpreting this wrong but then again, in a epistemological sense, no interpretation of the Quran can be proved to be the right one. The only person who has the actual interpretation that is actually right would be Allah and Allah alone. So, no one interpretation is worth more than another unless it is quiet obviously grossly wrong.

So, Allah made/guided people to worship Gods beside him...and later he'll guide them...back to him...after he lead them astray?

If God(the most powerful being) in the universe guides you towards something or denies you something how the heck are you meant to fight against pure raw power like that. If an all powerful being guides you towards a certain path it would be pretty damn hard to be tested...when they guided you to that very same path in the first place..its divine entrapment. Seems rather underhanded of God to do such a thing to me...but maybe i am reading it wrong..

We cannot be compared with God becuase God is unique.

Through suffering people remember God. Through the feeling of powerlessness people remember God.

Through the beauty of creation people could remember God. Through constant messengers people could remember God. Through miracles (why did these stop? they were so abundant in biblical times and the times of muhammed...why did the supply just dry up?) we could remember God. There are so many other alternatives and still, yet, he makes us suffer to remember him even with these alternatives presented?

[Yusufali 17:66] Your Lord is He That maketh the Ship go smoothly for you through the sea, in order that ye may seek of his Bounty. For he is unto you most Merciful.

[Yusufali 17:67] When distress seizes you at sea, those that ye call upon - besides Himself - leave you in the lurch! but when He brings you back safe to land, ye turn away (from Him). Most ungrateful is man!

This would only really work if you believed in a God in the first place. You wouldn't sincerely cry out to a Allah if you were lost at sea if you didn't believe in the islamic conception of God. Doesn't really prove much except that unfaithful muslims sometimes call out to god as well...

I think you should read this verse

[Yusufali 4:78] "Wherever ye are, death will find you out, even if ye are in towers built up strong and high!" If some good befalls them, they say, "This is from Allah"; but if evil, they say, "This is from thee" (O Prophet). Say: "All things are from Allah." But what hath come to these people, that they fail to understand a single fact?

I read more than that verse, i read the rest of the context around it as well. It seems to be addressed to Muhammad specifically... and its more about the problems he faces...

Also, 4:79(Sahih international):What comes to you of good is from Allah , but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself. And We have sent you, [O Muhammad], to the people as a messenger, and sufficient is Allah as Witness.

I have pointed out how some evils can only come from things outside of humanity. Things that either God could directly inflict or easily not allow to happen in the first place. All my natural evil arguments. Like the deer. That wasn't inflicted by humans. Same with a parasite. This is problematic because if even one part of the quran is wrong it raises questions about many things...

For it is according to nature, and nothing is evil which is according to nature.

Again, this raises epistemological questions. How do we know nothing is evil according to nature? For one, 'nature' isn't even sentient or capable of thought...so nothing is ...nothing according to nature... natures asks no questions and knows no answers..

Also, rape and murder seem ok in the animal kingdom according to nature...and yet, we consider these evils as human beings. If you do not think these things are evil that is fine and your argument still stands...pretty cold of you if you were to take such a view but who am i to criticise... however, if you know deep down, that murdering someone is bad, according to nature it is neither good nor bad, just natural, but if you, within your soul, know deep down it is bad, perhaps even that it is evil, then, your argument really doesn't stand.

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I wrote a rather lengthy response to some of the earlier posts...no idea where it went. It just disappeared into the void. It had some rather good points as well that ill never be able to recover. Perhaps the mods did not approve it (cant see why) perhaps it was a technical issue, who knows. So, you can see why im averse to writing all that again, things like this are very mentally exhausting as im sure you all have found out. I promise i did actually type a rather good response and i even came up with another argument inside of it... no idea where it went.

I'll most likely reply to some of the earlier posts again at another stage if i summon up enough encouragement and effort but for now ill reply to some of the later posts.

Cheer up. If you have some new argument just givvit. And try making a backup of a particularly lenghty post

I looked up that sura and it has no evidence of all about animals going to heaven, which as far as im aware within islamic theology, don't. That sura doesn't even talk about animals... I'm sure it was just a simple mistake and you wrote the wrong numbers. I'll allow you to correct yourself.

[Yusufali 6:38] There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end.

Here is a commentary of this verse which is an interesting read

http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/library/quran/light/light_05/006/6_038.htm

Looks like I finally have the answer to the question I pestered my teachers with. Animals will also be judged. Funny thing is, I read this part of the Quran yet couldn't recall this verse. And neither it seems could my teachers. Sorry state of affairs this.

Thanks Zufa

The quran claims to be perfect within itself. So we must assume its perfect, the most perfect, unless god didn't make it or God lied.

No other book can be as perfect as the quran, so, the hadith must be less perfect. We all know that hadith isn't 100% of the truth all of the time, thats why systems exist for verifying the authenticity of the hadiths and even those systems can be disputed in some way... so..by that criteria...logic.

The Quran is a perfect book but can you define what that perfection entails? The Quran, in my way of looking at it, is a book of admonition, a guidance towards faith.

I could be interpreting this wrong but then again, in a epistemological sense, no interpretation of the Quran can be proved to be the right one. The only person who has the actual interpretation that is actually right would be Allah and Allah alone. So, no one interpretation is worth more than another unless it is quiet obviously grossly wrong.

According to us thats why Imams are neccesary. To tell the true interpretation of the book of God.

So, Allah made/guided people to worship Gods beside him...and later he'll guide them...back to him...after he lead them astray?

No its more like he will resurrect them and tell them where they went wrong and where they could have gone right.

If God(the most powerful being) in the universe guides you towards something or denies you something how the heck are you meant to fight against pure raw power like that. If an all powerful being guides you towards a certain path it would be pretty damn hard to be tested...when they guided you to that very same path in the first place..its divine entrapment. Seems rather underhanded of God to do such a thing to me...but maybe i am reading it wrong..

It is also our belief that God also judges people according to their intelligence and knowledge. And you always have a choice even though you may neglect to see it.

Through the beauty of creation people could remember God. Through constant messengers people could remember God. Through miracles (why did these stop? they were so abundant in biblical times and the times of muhammed...why did the supply just dry up?) we could remember God. There are so many other alternatives and still, yet, he makes us suffer to remember him even with these alternatives presented?

Im not saying that suffering and the feeling of powerlessness is the only reminder of God. The Quran does tell people to contemplate nature. But suffering and the feeling of powerlessness its one of the most pointed reminders of God.

Like this qoute (which I have also quoted before) of Imam Ali (as)

“I came to know Allah by observing the strong wills that trembled, the difficult entanglements that were disentangled, and the decisions that were crushed.”

Its is just the way we are, people will scream for a higher power when suffering afflicts them and when things go out of their hands, but most of those same people will take nature's beauty for granted and see nothing remarkable about it. Most of the messengers were ridiculed and marginalized in their lifetime when they asked people to worship one God. And regarding miracles, they were not common in the lifetime of Muhammad (pbuh) there is no major miracle associated with Muhammad (pbuh), at least not the catastrophic kind.

Like this hadith of our Imams says;

“Once ibn Sikkiyt asked Imam abu al-Hassan, ‘Why did Allah send Moses with miracles that appeared through his staff and his hand and means of magic? Why did He send Jesus with miraculous means of medical tasks and Prophet Muhammad, recipient of divine supreme covenant, with miracles that appeared in his speech and sermons?’

“The Imam replied ‘When Moses was sent, magic was very popular among the people. He showed a magic of such form that was not possible for others to perform. He was given such means that destroyed the magical effects of other people’s magic and established the truth of the message of Allah among them. Allah sent Jesus at a time when serious (chronic) illnesses existed among the people and they needed medical treatment. Jesus brought from Allah what the people did not have. He brought from Allah the means to bring the dead back to life, cure the sick and the lepers by the permission of Allah. Thus, he established the truth of the message of Allah among the people.

Allah sent Prophet Muhammad at a time when oratory and speech were very popular among the people - I think he said poetry (uncertainty is from narrator). He brought to the people from Allah the good advice and wisdom that showed the falsehood in their speeches. Thus, he established the truthfulness of the message of Allah among them.’ Ibn al-Sikkiyt then said, ‘I swear by Allah that I have never seen anyone like you. What is the proof to establish the truth of the message of Allah among people today?’ The Imam then said, ‘It is Intelligence. Intelligence recognizes those who speak the truth from Allah, thus, one acknowledges their truth. Intelligence recognizes the lies of those who lie in the name of Allah,’ Ibn al-Sikkiyt then said, ‘This, by Allah, is the answer.’”

Al Kafi, Book of Intelligence and Ignorance, H 20, Ch. 1, h20

This would only really work if you believed in a God in the first place. You wouldn't sincerely cry out to a Allah if you were lost at sea if you didn't believe in the islamic conception of God. Doesn't really prove much except that unfaithful muslims sometimes call out to god as well...

Just goes to show that people are more likely to remember Allah in bad times and forget him in good times.

I read more than that verse, i read the rest of the context around it as well. It seems to be addressed to Muhammad specifically... and its more about the problems he faces...

Also, 4:79(Sahih international):What comes to you of good is from Allah , but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself. And We have sent you, [O Muhammad], to the people as a messenger, and sufficient is Allah as Witness.

This verse has its own context like every other verse but the statement I highlighted cannot be limited to that verse only. All good comes from God and all misfortune ultimately comes from God, be it as seemingly random accident or as a result for what man's own hands have wrought. You may think the two verse are contradicting each other but it may be more like one of them encompasses the other.

Like Mahdi Puya's commentary says

Good and evil, blessings and punishment, are from Allah, but no distress afflicts a man unless he earns it by his own mistakes or blunders. Like bounties and blessings, misfortune also comes from the Lord but is earned by man through his own wrongdoing

Most exegetes whose commentary I read of verses 4:78-79 seem to think that all misfortunes are ultimately good. And the Imams taught that good men will be sent more misfortune from God to increase their ultimate reward.

I have pointed out how some evils can only come from things outside of humanity. Things that either God could directly inflict or easily not allow to happen in the first place. All my natural evil arguments. Like the deer. That wasn't inflicted by humans. Same with a parasite. This is problematic because if even one part of the quran is wrong it raises questions about many things...

Againt how can you consider such things evil when they are part of nature, without which nature could be thrown out of balance? A parasite may control the spread of a herbivore species which could otherwise overgraze the plants it's territory and reduce resources for other species and upset the whole food chain.

Again, this raises epistemological questions. How do we know nothing is evil according to nature? For one, 'nature' isn't even sentient or capable of thought...so nothing is ...nothing according to nature... natures asks no questions and knows no answers..

But nature is isnt it? It may be only a concept. A concept just like evil is a concept, which you apply to reality in such an overbearing way.

But if nature can be said be a reality, if its is the way things are, then evil becomes something which goes agaisnt how things are. If you go according to how things are then that is good.

Also, rape and murder seem ok in the animal kingdom according to nature...and yet, we consider these evils as human beings. If you do not think these things are evil that is fine and your argument still stands...pretty cold of you if you were to take such a view but who am i to criticise... however, if you know deep down, that murdering someone is bad, according to nature it is neither good nor bad, just natural, but if you, within your soul, know deep down it is bad, perhaps even that it is evil, then, your argument really doesn't stand.

Marcus Aurelius was a stoic. Stoic philosophy stressed that man should live true to nature. That virtue was in living according to nature. Virtue was simplicity, justice, truthfulness, loyalty and hardwork.

You cant just say nature is just thing killing and raping each other all the time, if it was life could not be sustained. There is order in nature. And social animals in have their own unique social orders according to which they live. Their societies are in harmony.

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I wrote a rather lengthy response to some of the earlier posts...no idea where it went. It just disappeared into the void. It had some rather good points as well that ill never be able to recover. Perhaps the mods did not approve it (cant see why) perhaps it was a technical issue, who knows. So, you can see why im averse to writing all that again, things like this are very mentally exhausting as im sure you all have found out. I promise i did actually type a rather good response and i even came up with another argument inside of it... no idea where it went.

I'll most likely reply to some of the earlier posts again at another stage if i summon up enough encouragement and effort but for now ill reply to some of the later posts.

Good Job mods. Pomba, you should save your responses in a word document before posting them, just to be safe.

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Whilst suffering onto yourself allows these opportunities, such as disease, what about suffering inflicted by some onto others. I doubt the robber will become a better person because he robbed someone and being seriously raped most of the time doesn't really bring one many opportunities...

So, using the above, you can't use it to prove all suffering is justified just by that...

Whilst suffering onto yourself allows these opportunities, such as disease, what about suffering inflicted by some onto others. I doubt the robber will become a better person because he robbed someone and being seriously raped most of the time doesn't really bring one many opportunities...

You asked me to address arg no. 3 which was specifically about natural evils. Now you are trying to refute my answer by pointing to human evils like rape and robbery. But human evils dont come under argument no. 3 so they arent relevant to my reply. I said that I was going to address one of your arguments, so for now at least thats what Im going to do. Having said that I will make one brief comment. Being the victim of crimes does give people opportunities to cultivate moral virtues, for example patience, forgiveness, courage.

Most would say the world would be much better off *without* the suffering being there. I doubt people would argue suffering makes the world a better place on the whole...

By what standard do they judge it to be better? I agree there would be less pain, so if that was their standard then yes, it would be better. However lack of pain is not the only good. There are other goods like courage in the face of danger, patience in the face of hardship, compassion, mercy, and all of the virtuous actions that people perform as a consequence of the existence of suffering.

do they even need to suffer in the first place? Why make them needlessly suffer by your own volition to only compensate them for it later? Surely that isn't the best way to design a world... or the most loving way. It would be better if they didn't even suffer in the first place, that would make more logical sense than the alternative.

Given all of the good things that come out of suffering, it is at least plausible that a world in which there is suffering is overall better than one without.

This seems flawed, let me demonstrate:

1)We all intuitively know good from evil, without suffering

2)How could this be? A world without suffering would also be a world without evil.

3)If evil doesn't exist you can't know it nor can you know the difference between good or evil.

I never claimed that evil was necessary in order to know the difference between good and evil. I claimed that the existence of evil gave us the opportunity to cultivate moral virtues and do morally good things, and given this opportunity, it is possible that such a world is overall better than one without suffering.

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Sorry to steal some of your fire Pomba, lets see what you think of this.

Being the victim of crimes does give people opportunities to cultivate moral virtues, for example patience, forgiveness, courage.

This does not mean that this is the greater creation though. A creation with evil and sin and pain is unarguably worst than a creation of greatness and perfection.

Given all of the good things that come out of suffering, it is at least plausible that a world in which there is suffering is overall better than one without.

So lets say that our hypothetical creation, without suffering, is heaven. Are you willing to say that life here in this world, with pain and suffering "is overall better than one without" ? Ie that the Dunya is greater than Jannah?

no, of course not. The current creation can unarguably be greater, without pain and suffering. God has no limitations on HIS ability to create perfection, the world we live in is far from perfection by any and all standards.

Even if you were to say, that pain is necessary to learn and utilize good morals, you would be assuming that we couldnt be created with those good morals. Also, beings can perform good actions without evil being necessary for good hearted actions to occur, and therefore, evil is not necessary for the cultivation of things like empathy and good morals. Pain is not necessary for good hearted feelings to exist for others, as you seem to believe.

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