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diyaa110

Why Must A God Be Just ?

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Salam,

 

As Muslims we all believe that Allah is Just but I have often heard Islamic scholars say that it is part of Islamic philosophy and logic that a god must be just. I do understand the logic behind the existence of god; why he must exist -- but how can we logically prove that a god must be just as well ?

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In Islam morality is literally the basis of the religion. In Mesopotamia they believed their gods were evil, hence pessimism was prevalent. They were a deeply pessimistic civilization. However, God has innately made us realize goodness, even to those Mesopotamian, even though their viewpoint on good was skewed. When they would sacrifice their belongings or food for their gods just so that their gods would not harm them or give them back something in return. They believed that was from the goodness of their gods. Goodness is something all humans strive towards and want, regardless of beliefs in todays age. We as humans have far advanced our ways of thinking and understanding. A rational human being agrees, that if there is a God, the God must be good. An evil god is not worth worshiping, nor does it rationally make any sense. Hence, atheists always bring the evil card in that they try and disprove the existence of God. Therefore, as humans we desire a good God, and from goodness, must come justice and all other forms of good. Hence, it wouldnt make sense for a good god to be unjust. If God was unjust, again he would not be worth worshiping. Lets think for a moment. Would a unjust God make sense? Why would a god(s) create us just so that we worship him, yet expect us to obey and worship him? Now suppose we put forth the argument of an unjust God that forces him creations to worship Him. Again that wouldnt make any sense because there are humans with different beliefs, hence if that same God created all, why are most of His creations not following him if those who do believe in Him are forced into worshiping? Now let us even suppose an unjust god(s) that has created us out of mere play. The first question comes to mind, how do we even know of such a god, if he created us out of mere play? If it was out of mere play, how did we come to know He created us? This scenario begs the question, would there be an almighty being who has no intelligence? Who has no willpower? Who has desires of his own (which begs even more questions)? Hence, this case is also far from being possible. It is highly irrational.

Edited by Ethics

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I am sure, they believed their GOD/s were unjust on the basis of power. The general observations that human associate with power is within their own realms. A tyrannical or merciful king is then related to either a just or unjust God. The language is the same. There is no evidence of the requirement, that intelligence begets justice. We are educated as, that those whom have a higher form of intelligence, somehow, should propose a form of morality that would be related to a peaceful existence, though, that same form of intelligence has no problem in handing out punishments for its own purpose. I doubt we can suggest an evil God cannot be worshiped, there is not a yes or no in that matter, as there is no choice in worshiping a so called just God. Both will fulfill their justice, according to their own whims as sold to us.

Edited by monad

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Ethics, 

 you've mixed up Islam, morality and rationality and the assumption that a god has to be worth worshipping. I'm asking from the point of view of an atheist or as a next step after you agree there must be 'a god' - and since I have heard some authentic scholars speaking that it is something well supported by academic logic and philosophy that is taught in hawzas - I was wondering if somebody knows what that explanation is.

 

I'm only interested in that kind of logical or philosophical explanation.

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Salam,

 

As Muslims we all believe that Allah is Just but I have often heard Islamic scholars say that it is part of Islamic philosophy and logic that a god must be just. I do understand the logic behind the existence of god; why he must exist -- but how can we logically prove that a god must be just as well ?

 

What do you mean when you say logically? 

 

Walikumasalam

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What do you mean when you say logically? 

 

Walikumasalam

 

The scholars say things like this:

 

Anyone who commits wrong or injustice does so because of one or more of the following reasons:
 
- either he does not know that it is wrong;
 
- or he needs something which cannot be obtained without wrongdoing;
 
- or he had been compelled by somebody else to commit that wrong.
 
But God is Omniscient and All‑Knowing; He is free from want and is not in need of anything; and He is Omnipotent and nobody can compel Him to do anything. So logically it is impossible for God to do any injustice or wrong.

 

http://www.al-islam.org/justice-god-sayyid-saeed-akhtar-rizvi/actions-god

 

But there is much more than this.

Edited by Muhammed Ali

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The scholars say things like this:

 

 

 

 
If you accept the logic that God must be Just you are logically admitting that He cannot be Merciful.
 
As it is written:
 
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. 
 
Wslm.
*

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The scholars say things like this:

Anyone who commits wrong or injustice does so because of one or more of the following reasons:
 
- either he does not know that it is wrong;
 
- or he needs something which cannot be obtained without wrongdoing;
 
- or he had been compelled by somebody else to commit that wrong.
 
But God is Omniscient and All‑Knowing; He is free from want and is not in need of anything; and He is Omnipotent and nobody can compel Him to do anything. So logically it is impossible for God to do any injustice or wrong.

 

 

 

 

hmmm... but who is to say what's wrong and what's not for someone who owns everything ? For someone who is the absolute reality... who is to say that creating a universe and deciding not to introduce himself as the creator is something wrong or unjust ? Or who can say if creating a universe one minute and destroying it the next minute would be something 'wrong' ? 

 

If I create something from nothing and that thing exclusively belongs to me and me alone, then what laws - either moral or logical or philosophical - can determine whether it would be just or unjust for me to do whatever I do with it ?

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hmmm... but who is to say what's wrong and what's not for someone who owns everything ? For someone who is the absolute reality... who is to say that creating a universe and deciding not to introduce himself as the creator is something wrong or unjust ? Or who can say if creating a universe one minute and destroying it the next minute would be something 'wrong' ? 

 

If I create something from nothing and that thing exclusively belongs to me and me alone, then what laws - either moral or logical or philosophical - can determine whether it would be just or unjust for me to do whatever I do with it ?

 

 

Brother I must apologise. These topics require time and care. I unfortunately do not have enough time to engage in these discussions*

 

What the scholar said is not the only reason given by the thinkers as a proof for the justice of God. E.g. if some of the ontological arguments are correct, then God by definition would be a maximally just being.

 

Your question is for a different subject completely. It is meta-ethics. I believe in some form of moral realism. In that case I believe that we are able to say that God for example cannot annihilate his own creation. 

 

If you believe that we have no way to determine what is good for God to do, then it does not mean that the reasons given by the Sayyid are refuted. The Sayyid gives his reasons for believing that Good is good, but us not knowing what are good actions for God, does not mean that those reasons must be rejected.

 

* Also because I get the impression that not many people are interested. It is very often demoralising for me to post in these threads.

Edited by Muhammed Ali

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If you accept the logic that God must be Just you are logically admitting that He cannot be Merciful.
 
As it is written:
 
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. 
 
Wslm.
*

 

 

A totally different subject.

 

If you accept the logic that God must be Just you are logically admitting that He cannot be Merciful.
 

 

 

Allow me to add precision to your statement in accordance to your own definitions. 'you are logically admitting that He cannot be absolutely Merciful'.

 

In accordance to your own definition, justice could often produce mercy. E.g. when the punishment brings benefit to the criminal through betterment of their character (but in this case your definition of mercy would need to be modified).

 

However your definitions are inaccurate.

 

Justice means doing the right thing. It is not restricted to giving punishments. The scholars of Islam do not restrict adl (justice) to punishments*. To them justice does not mean giving a punishment that fits the crime (even your own definition does not say this but your understanding implies it). In this case forgiveness falls under the domain of justice. Giving appropriate punishments also means factoring forgiveness and leniency into the punishment. E.g. if it is known that a criminal (and thus society) will benefit from a lesser punishment, then it would be unjust not to enact that lesser punishment.

 

Given the proper definitions of justice and mercy:

 

Absolute justice never contradicts mercy. Rather it entails mercy. 

 

Absolute mercy never contradicts justice. For how can it ever be wrong to be merciful?

 

I can anticipate your counter arguments, but I will wait for you to post them :)

 

 

* E.g. Ayatullah Makarem Shirazi:

 

The extensive meaning of justice is “to put everything in its place,” or in other words, being in balance and equilibrium.

 

http://www.al-islam.org/justice-of-god-ayatullah-makarim-shirazi/justice#what-justice

 

Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi:

 

Justice means putting everything in its rightful place; it means balancing things in the proper order; it means creating harmony. 

 

 

http://www.al-islam.org/justice-peace-and-prophet-muhammad-sayyid-muhammad-rizvi/missions-prophets-justice

 

Edit:

 

I had previously written: The scholars of Islam do restrict adl (justice) to punishments. It was meant to be be: The scholars of Islam do not restrict adl (justice) to punishments.

Edited by Muhammed Ali

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God is the criteria of what "must be". The question is how do we know God is just? The answer is right there in Suratal Fatiha, by the name of God all praise is/belongs to God.  That is how we praise him, including the praise of him being just. The name of God is light with light, and it's his face, and it's a living reality connected to him, and it's how God is upon the throne and kursi, and how he is the light of all light. See what Ahlulbayt have explained about it.

 

 

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A totally different subject.

 

 

Allow me to add precision to your statement in accordance to your own definitions. 'you are logically admitting that He cannot be absolutely Merciful'.

 

In accordance to your own definition, justice could often produce mercy. E.g. when the punishment brings benefit to the criminal through betterment of their character (but in this case your definition of mercy would need to be modified).

 

However your definitions are inaccurate.

 

Justice means doing the right thing. It is not restricted to giving punishments. The scholars of Islam do not restrict adl (justice) to punishments*. To them justice does not mean giving a punishment that fits the crime (even your own definition does not say this but your understanding implies it). In this case forgiveness falls under the domain of justice. Giving appropriate punishments also means factoring forgiveness and leniency into the punishment. E.g. if it is known that a criminal (and thus society) will benefit from a lesser punishment, then it would be unjust not to enact that lesser punishment.

 

Given the proper definitions of justice and mercy:

 

Absolute justice never contradicts mercy. Rather it entails mercy. 

 

Absolute mercy never contradicts justice. For how can it ever be wrong to be merciful?

 

I can anticipate your counter arguments, but I will wait for you to post them :)

 

 

* E.g. Ayatullah Makarem Shirazi:

 

http://www.al-islam.org/justice-of-god-ayatullah-makarim-shirazi/justice#what-justice

 

Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi:

 

 

http://www.al-islam.org/justice-peace-and-prophet-muhammad-sayyid-muhammad-rizvi/missions-prophets-justice

 

Edit:

 

I had previously written: The scholars of Islam do restrict adl (justice) to punishments. It was meant to be be: The scholars of Islam do not restrict adl (justice) to punishments.

 

Like you, these days,  I don't get much time to interact in the Forum and I want to thank you for your brilliant and extensive reply.
 
Whilst I understand what you are saying, I cannot help thinking that you are just dodging the issue and moving the goalposts by adding 'precision' to the definitions. 
God did, after all, plan and design an eternal torture chamber to punish sinners and every time He punishes He could have been more merciful. 
 
I remain somewhat curious to understand by what logic you have decided that God is not simply Just, He is absolutely Just. Everything  God does is for the greater Harmony....what makes you say that? 
 
Or are you just saying that Might is always Right?
Or perhaps God works in mysterious ways?
 
You say: 
Absolute justice never contradicts mercy. Rather it entails mercy. 
Absolute mercy never contradicts justice. For how can it ever be wrong to be merciful?
 
Clerics always have a way with fine and noble sounding words. It seems almost a  sin not to agree with such wonderful statements ...
 
 
But how does that work in practice?  
 
For instance,  how do you relate your 'better'  definitions of Mercy and Justice to:
 
God intervening in Egypt by parting of the Red Sea to save Moses and a group of Jews.
and....
God not intervening  in the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which resulted in at least 227,898 fatalities.
 
How is everything put in its rightful place?; How are things in the proper order?; Where is the harmony here?. 
 
wslm.
*

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Quisant, your moving the goal posts. What you originally said has been refuted.

 

Ahah, You would say that, wouldn't you.
 
 
'The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of an eye. 
The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract.'
(Oliver Wendell Holmes)
 
Wslm.
*

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When did  I insult you that you should call me a bigot?

 

The lines I quoted were meant jokingly, but you are quite right...it was inconsiderate of me not to think they might cause offence.

Please accept my apologies.

 

wslm.

*

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Salam,

 

As Muslims we all believe that Allah is Just but I have often heard Islamic scholars say that it is part of Islamic philosophy and logic that a god must be just. I do understand the logic behind the existence of god; why he must exist -- but how can we logically prove that a god must be just as well ?

 

That's a misunderstanding. There is no reason why God must be just. He's the Most powerful and everything answers to Him. So even justice is bound by His rules only. God CAN violate justice if He wants. He doesn't violate justice because it's His absolute free will to not. He can if He wants to violate justice. He just doesn't do it, because He simply decided not to. Any arguments regarding this ??

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That's a misunderstanding. There is no reason why God must be just. He's the Most powerful and everything answers to Him. So even justice is bound by His rules only. God CAN violate justice if He wants. He doesn't violate justice because it's His absolute free will to not. He can if He wants to violate justice. He just doesn't do it, because He simply decided not to. Any arguments regarding this ??

God is a Necessary existence.  Although he wills to be good, the truth is if ceases to be perfect, he will cease to be the maximum ultimate being, which means his essence would not be ultimate power (which is the station of ultimate greatness and goodness), and as such he would not be the true existence by which all things exist, and not only would he cease to exist, but nothing would exist.

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Asking why god "must" be just is like asking why god "must" exist, it is a necessary attribute which exists "of" his essence. I do not say "in" his essence for god has no parts in his essence, his essence has the quality of justice. Justice is an attribute of perfection and Allah is perfect, thus it necessitates that Allah has the attribute of justice.

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^ You too used the word 'necessitates' which is = must. Your argument is that He is Perfect so he has to be Just. I get it and I think the others have indicated to this idea one way or another.

 

@ all,

Its a good argument too, only if we can get our heads around what this 'perfection' is. What I understand is that a God must be perfect because He is the creator so he has to be better than all the creation, and since there is no one to compete or equate with him therefore he is not just better but he is the best. The problem is that being the best is not the same as being 'perfect'. Being omnipotent and all powerful is true for him because he is above all, he is at the top, he rules all - but still it doesn't necessitate 'perfection' - that is, fulfilling the requirements of the highest imaginable position regarding any given virtue. In case of justice, assuming god to be perfectly just and assuming that he wont be perfect if he is not perfectly just.

 

Unlike love, intelligence, mercy, light, power etc. justice is not a quality but an action, and God's action is based on His will, and His will is something very independent and personal to him, its not like he is duty bound to act in a certain 'perfectly just' way. You know.. like being the source of intelligence he 'cant' act foolish ..but one can't be the source of 'justice'... as justice isn't something you possess but it is a quality of your actions. Therefore his actions can be based on love or mercy or intelligence or wrath and he may choose to either send a representative on earth or he may choose not to, right ? He may choose to let his creation go on and he may choose to put an end to them. And that a certain criteria of justice cannot demand certain actions from god... right or not ? (I'm very ignorant on the issue and look forward to being corrected, thanks for all the replies so far)

Edited by diyaa110

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That's a misunderstanding. There is no reason why God must be just. He's the Most powerful and everything answers to Him. So even justice is bound by His rules only. God CAN violate justice if He wants. He doesn't violate justice because it's His absolute free will to not. He can if He wants to violate justice. He just doesn't do it, because He simply decided not to. Any arguments regarding this ??

 

Yes, I have a similar opinion regarding this that God chooses to be Just because He likes being Just :) but still my question originally is due to what I've heard in lectures and majalis and have read in books and so I ask. And it is also from the point of view of atheists, that once it is proven that there is a God, you have to go out in search of Him (i.e. the right religion) but the reason we assume that the 'truth' or the 'right religion' is out there is because we believe in this idea of justice and perfection of God, due to which He 'must' have sent clues or representatives or messages down for our guidance. (as perfection and justice demand that he shouldn't leave us unguided)

 

So its either that OR there is no clear logic or proof that he 'should have' guided us yet he 'chose' to guide us anyway, since we have this chain of messengers and prophets, and so we should listen to what they have to say and decide for ourselves. So these are two different approaches, I've heard the scholars preach the former. One more thing that I have heard scholars say time and again is that the Universe cannot go on if it does not have a representative of Allah or His Hujjat in it, that it will collapse or something if His Hujjat is not present in it. Now I have heard it a lot of times and I do understand the importance of Allah's representative and the need of humans to have access to such being but I haven't truly grasped the meaning or the philosophical/logical wisdom in this statement. I look forward to understanding it better.

 

Your question is for a different subject completely. It is meta-ethics. I believe in some form of moral realism. In that case I believe that we are able to say that God for example cannot annihilate his own creation. 

 

Can you explain more ? What is moral realism ?

 

 

* Also because I get the impression that not many people are interested. It is very often demoralising for me to post in these threads.

 

 

Why do you say that, your posts are knowledgeable. May Allah reward you for the time you give here.

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salam everyone;

 

logically, we can only prove the necessity of the existence of a first mover (the first in the line of instrumental causes), not necessarily a god. as such, proving he is just, ominpotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, is extremely difficult, if not impossible.

 

one might argue, that if "god" is pure good/perfection, then he has no freewill himself, because he has no choice but to do what is best. if he ever does what isn't best, that would mean he's imperfect. so he's essentially bound by his innate perfection.

 

all the claims about "god's" alleged justice, take our attention to the afterlife (alleged afterlife), as they know there's no justice here.

 

like one or more posters already alluded, if god is omnipotent, he can be as unjust as he pleases, who's to stop him? he himself says in quran, that everyone must answer for their actions, but he doesn't answer to anyone.

 

everyone, please remember that the argument here must be based on logic, not quran (which is what god himself said, naturally, he'd never condemn himself). same for narrations.

 

 

 

The scholars say things like this:

 

Anyone who commits wrong or injustice does so because of one or more of the following reasons:
 
- either he does not know that it is wrong;
 
- or he needs something which cannot be obtained without wrongdoing;
 
- or he had been compelled by somebody else to commit that wrong.
 
But God is Omniscient and All‑Knowing; He is free from want and is not in need of anything; and He is Omnipotent and nobody can compel Him to do anything. So logically it is impossible for God to do any injustice or wrong.

 

 

i know you're very busy, but i'll ask you to provide the complete logical argument (yes, some of us are genuinely interested in this, and have sufficient educational and intellectual backgrounds which allow us to grasp these concepts) proving that god is omnipotent, and omniscient, when you find the time. i'd be grateful.

 

wslm

Edited by Einstein

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I like to gather many different perspectives and I found this one to be of interest. It's by Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo, who is orthodox but gives a particularly unorthodox perspective. The title of the lecture is "God is not moral and the Torah is not righteous."

I didn't agree with a lot that he said, but I think his curiosity and fearlessness in the face of being labelled a heretic are admirable.

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B9hNrd5FTToufkNjMXA3Y0NrU2dPd3I0bUFucHNPWGRINTk4cVA0LWdTUDE1YWdUeFR2STg&usp=sharing

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Salam,

 

As Muslims we all believe that Allah is Just but I have often heard Islamic scholars say that it is part of Islamic philosophy and logic that a god must be just. I do understand the logic behind the existence of god; why he must exist -- but how can we logically prove that a god must be just as well ?

What is justice? It means to give to each thing that has a right, it's right. The right of each thing is determined by a things essence which is eternally known in God eternal knowledge. Now, what it means for God to give a thing it's right is to make it exist. It is as simple as that. Everything in God's knowledge receives existence because God, being infinite does not withhold, or has no reason to withhold anything.

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What is justice? It means to give to each thing that has a right, it's right. The right of each thing is determined by a things essence which is eternally known in God eternal knowledge. Now, what it means for God to give a thing it's right is to make it exist. It is as simple as that. Everything in God's knowledge receives existence because God, being infinite does not withhold, or has no reason to withhold anything.

 

refer to the post i just made in http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235033197-predestination-vs-free-will/after it's approved.

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On 11/13/2015, 12:36:42, eThErEaL said:

What is justice? It means to give to each thing that has a right, it's right. The right of each thing is determined by a things essence which is eternally known in God eternal knowledge. Now, what it means for God to give a thing it's right is to make it exist. It is as simple as that. Everything in God's knowledge receives existence because God, being infinite does not withhold, or has no reason to withhold anything.

 

...and what determines a thing's essence ? what determines what becomes known to God eternally ? Does essence precede existence ? is our essence eternal ? 

Also, if I might ask you to speak in very layman terms, then isn't it like saying that if a thought crosses God's mind then it has to be acted upon or carried out and carrying it out is justice ?\

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27 minutes ago, diyaa110 said:

...and what determines a thing's essence ? what determines what becomes known to God eternally ? Does essence precede existence ? is our essence eternal ? 

Also, if I might ask you to speak in very layman terms, then isn't it like saying that if a thought crosses God's mind then it has to be acted upon or carried out and carrying it out is justice ?\

Nothing determines a thing's essence because a thing's essence is eternal in God's eternal knowledge.   To ask why this thing is the way it is, is to ask why God's knowledge is the way it is!  We can't ask that question because His knowledge does not change (even in conception or in possibility).  How could His knowledge change if it is eternal?  How could His knowledge be other than what it is if it is eternal?  Our essence as known by God is without any shadow of a doubt, eternal.  And that essence is identical to Himself.  All essences are identical to God in His knowledge.  Let me explain:  

When God knows creation He does not know "other than Himself".  One who is not heedless, and who knows creation, sees God (because everything is sign of God, the ultimate meaning of each thing is God).  One is considered to really know a flower if he sees the flower as nothing but His manifestation.  If this is so, then when God sees the creation, would it make sense to say that He sees other than Himself? If we are supposed to be seeing God when we look at creation, would it make sense if God sees other than Himself when He sees His own creation?  Of course not.  So God sees Himself When He sees His own creation.  Why?  Because He is identical to each and everything in His eternal knowledge.  In fact, all things are One in His knowledge.  I don't think it is necessary to get into the debate whether or not existence or essence is principial.  There is a reason why Suhrawardi and Sadra would both agree with this.  The only difference I would say is that Sadra's "principiality of existence" allows him to argue for other things (like the resurrection, harakat al jawhariyya, and tashkik al wujud) more coherently.   

Anyway, to get back to the discussion on God's knowledge, since God knows everything from eternity then He didnt have to make anything in order to create it.  Rather, He simply manifested (made to exist) His eternally hidden knowledge.  Creation is nothing but an inevitable manifstation of His non-manfest knowledge.  Why is it inevitable? Because the manifestation is not other than the non-manifest.  These are not two seperate realities but rather they are simply just two different sides of "the same coin".  Two different points of view of the same reality (which is ONE).  

I amnot sure how serious you were about saying that "thoughts cross God's mind".  This is because nothing "crosses" in God's knowledge since He is eternal and does not change.  His knowledge is eternal.  But i think what you mean to ask is whether God has to create every single thing which is in His eternal knwoledge!  And yes!  He does.  His knwoledge is infinite and so the manifestation of the knowledge will be indefinite (without any beginning and end).  Nothing can exhaust His infinite knowledge.  He never "started" to create such that we can ask, "why" did He create.  God is not restricted or determined by something outside Himself.  To ask why did He create is to assume that something outside Himself has determined Him to create.  But nothing determines Him because He is free.   And since He is free, and since nothing outside Himself determines His choice, He chooses to create out of His own nature.  This is why He never "started" to create. He has always been creating, and will always be creating.     

 

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On 11/24/2015, 5:46:10, eThErEaL said:

I amnot sure how serious you were about saying that "thoughts cross God's mind".  This is because nothing "crosses" in God's knowledge since He is eternal and does not change.  His knowledge is eternal.  But i think what you mean to ask is whether God has to create every single thing which is in His eternal knwoledge!  And yes!  He does.  His knwoledge is infinite and so the manifestation of the knowledge will be indefinite (without any beginning and end).  Nothing can exhaust His infinite knowledge.  He never "started" to create such that we can ask, "why" did He create.  God is not restricted or determined by something outside Himself.  To ask why did He create is to assume that something outside Himself has determined Him to create.  But nothing determines Him because He is free.   And since He is free, and since nothing outside Himself determines His choice, He chooses to create out of His own nature.  This is why He never "started" to create. He has always been creating, and will always be creating.     

What you're saying makes sense logically but I still have doubts and questions, first thing I want to know is whether what you're saying conforms to Islamic philosophy or not ? Secondly the way you're describing God He sounds very impersonal. We believe in a personal God Who makes decisions, who plans, who blesses and forgives, etc. Now I do understand that you may say all of His decisions and what He gives and doesn't give is part of eternal knowledge and is carried out the way He wants but then again it makes God sound very impersonal and robotic whose presence in the now or at this moment is very passive. Its almost like you saying that eternal knowledge is God itself and it keeps manifesting itself in different ways and creation is more or less an inevitable and automatic manifestation of this eternal knowledge.

In Quran there are several verses where Allah expresses His choice over another; saying If Allah had so willed He could have done x but instead He chose to do y. Some examples being 25:45, 47:5, 2:253 - what these verses tell us is that there were 'options' for Him, its not that anything that is part of His Knowledge had to be manifested and acted upon. They show us that Allah is personal and actively present in the moment and decides and plans and weighs options and possibilities and creation is not inevitable, He choses what to create and what not to create.

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On 25 November 2015 10:49:10 pm, diyaa110 said:

What you're saying makes sense logically but I still have doubts and questions, first thing I want to know is whether what you're saying conforms to Islamic philosophy or not ? Secondly the way you're describing God He sounds very impersonal. We believe in a personal God Who makes decisions, who plans, who blesses and forgives, etc. Now I do understand that you may say all of His decisions and what He gives and doesn't give is part of eternal knowledge and is carried out the way He wants but then again it makes God sound very impersonal and robotic whose presence in the now or at this moment is very passive. Its almost like you saying that eternal knowledge is God itself and it keeps manifesting itself in different ways and creation is more or less an inevitable and automatic manifestation of this eternal knowledge.

In Quran there are several verses where Allah expresses His choice over another; saying If Allah had so willed He could have done x but instead He chose to do y. Some examples being 25:45, 47:5, 2:253 - what these verses tell us is that there were 'options' for Him, its not that anything that is part of His Knowledge had to be manifested and acted upon. They show us that Allah is personal and actively present in the moment and decides and plans and weighs options and possibilities and creation is not inevitable, He choses what to create and what not to create.

Yes.  What I am saying is part of the Islamic philosophical tradition.  It is not only Islamic, but it is perennial because it has its expression in other metaphyscial traditions from other religions like, Vedanta, and the Kabbalah.  The view I am espousing, if understood correctly, does not make God robotic or mechanical.  We moderns think like that because we have failed to understand what consciousness is.  Consciousness is not that invisible speaker in our heads.   Consciousness is being and freedom itself.  And the whole world is an expression of this Unitary Consciosunessness, Love, and Being.  Not only have we misunderstood God we have also misunderstood who we are!  

 

As for for those verses you mentioned from the Quran, they are trying to show that nothing in this world has any causative force  by itself.  The clouds move and send down rain because that is How God has intended it to be and He has intended that  because it is what He knows in His eternal knowledge.   Each and ever thing has been necessitated (effected) by other things or necessitates (causes) things through God will (which is based on His eternal knowledge).  To me that seems to be the obvious point of the verses!  It certainly is not trying to tell us that God's will is arbitrary (that "it could have been another way, but God SO HAPPENED to want it to be the way it is now").  If we read the verse to mean a kind of arbitrary freewill then I think that would be a misunderstanding of those verses!  If anything, these verses are trying to tell us, that we see things the way they are only because they couldn't have been any other way, since God has intended these things to be the way they are.  The point of the verses are to explain to us that things have their being in God alone.  

 

Edited by eThErEaL

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On Tuesday, November 24, 2015 4:16:10, eThErEaL said:

Nothing determines a thing's essence because a thing's essence is eternal in God's eternal knowledge.   To ask why this thing is the way it is, is to ask why God's knowledge is the way it is!  We can't ask that question because His knowledge does not change (even in conception or in possibility).  How could His knowledge change if it is eternal?  How could His knowledge be other than what it is if it is eternal?  Our essence as known by God is without any shadow of a doubt, eternal.  And that essence is identical to Himself.  All essences are identical to God in His knowledge.  Let me explain:  

When God knows creation He does not know "other than Himself".  One who is not heedless, and who knows creation, sees God (because everything is sign of God, the ultimate meaning of each thing is God).  One is considered to really know a flower if he sees the flower as nothing but His manifestation.  If this is so, then when God sees the creation, would it make sense to say that He sees other than Himself? If we are supposed to be seeing God when we look at creation, would it make sense if God sees other than Himself when He sees His own creation?  Of course not.  So God sees Himself When He sees His own creation.  Why?  Because He is identical to each and everything in His eternal knowledge.  In fact, all things are One in His knowledge.  I don't think it is necessary to get into the debate whether or not existence or essence is principial.  There is a reason why Suhrawardi and Sadra would both agree with this.  The only difference I would say is that Sadra's "principiality of existence" allows him to argue for other things (like the resurrection, harakat al jawhariyya, and tashkik al wujud) more coherently.   

Anyway, to get back to the discussion on God's knowledge, since God knows everything from eternity then He didnt have to make anything in order to create it.  Rather, He simply manifested (made to exist) His eternally hidden knowledge.  Creation is nothing but an inevitable manifstation of His non-manfest knowledge.  Why is it inevitable? Because the manifestation is not other than the non-manifest.  These are not two seperate realities but rather they are simply just two different sides of "the same coin".  Two different points of view of the same reality (which is ONE).  

I amnot sure how serious you were about saying that "thoughts cross God's mind".  This is because nothing "crosses" in God's knowledge since He is eternal and does not change.  His knowledge is eternal.  But i think what you mean to ask is whether God has to create every single thing which is in His eternal knwoledge!  And yes!  He does.  His knwoledge is infinite and so the manifestation of the knowledge will be indefinite (without any beginning and end).  Nothing can exhaust His infinite knowledge.  He never "started" to create such that we can ask, "why" did He create.  God is not restricted or determined by something outside Himself.  To ask why did He create is to assume that something outside Himself has determined Him to create.  But nothing determines Him because He is free.   And since He is free, and since nothing outside Himself determines His choice, He chooses to create out of His own nature.  This is why He never "started" to create. He has always been creating, and will always be creating.

like i said before, if everything is nothing but a manifestation of what's in god's mind, then this isn't technically knowledge that he has of everything (because knowledge must be extracted from reality, not reality extracted from knowledge), but rather a realization of his ideas/imagination..

 

On Thursday, November 26, 2015 2:19:10, diyaa110 said:

What you're saying makes sense logically but I still have doubts and questions, first thing I want to know is whether what you're saying conforms to Islamic philosophy or not ? Secondly the way you're describing God He sounds very impersonal. We believe in a personal God Who makes decisions, who plans, who blesses and forgives, etc. Now I do understand that you may say all of His decisions and what He gives and doesn't give is part of eternal knowledge and is carried out the way He wants but then again it makes God sound very impersonal and robotic whose presence in the now or at this moment is very passive. Its almost like you saying that eternal knowledge is God itself and it keeps manifesting itself in different ways and creation is more or less an inevitable and automatic manifestation of this eternal knowledge.

In Quran there are several verses where Allah expresses His choice over another; saying If Allah had so willed He could have done x but instead He chose to do y. Some examples being 25:45, 47:5, 2:253 - what these verses tell us is that there were 'options' for Him, its not that anything that is part of His Knowledge had to be manifested and acted upon. They show us that Allah is personal and actively present in the moment and decides and plans and weighs options and possibilities and creation is not inevitable, He choses what to create and what not to create.

actually god can't will what contradicts his nature (or what's eternally in his mind), which means he can't actually do anything differently to what had existed eternally in his mind.

 

On Friday, November 27, 2015 6:49:02, eThErEaL said:

Yes.  What I am saying is part of the Islamic philosophical tradition.  It is not only Islamic, but it is perennial because it has its expression in other metaphyscial traditions from other religions like, Vedanta, and the Kabbalah.  The view I am espousing, if understood correctly, does not make God robotic or mechanical.  We moderns think like that because we have failed to understand what consciousness is.  Consciousness is not that invisible speaker in our heads.   Consciousness is being and freedom itself.  And the whole world is an expression of this Unitary Consciosunessness, Love, and Being.  Not only have we misunderstood God we have also misunderstood who we are!

there is no logical (or practical) evidence that god is good, loving, perfect, etc. (based on our understanding and definition of these things). there might exist evidence to the contrary, however.

Edited by Einstein

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4 hours ago, Einstein said:

like i said before, if everything is nothing but a manifestation of what's in god's mind, then this isn't technically knowledge that he has of everything (because knowledge must be extracted from reality, not reality extracted from knowledge), but rather a realization of his ideas/imagination..

On what basis are you saying that "knowledge is an extraction from reality?" Extraction of what from reality? Explain for example how you know that you know?  In other words, explain how one can be self-knowing.

You are thinking too simplistically and are not looking at the implications of what you are saying.    You are attempting to give an account of how we know.  For you knowledge seems to be a "process" or a "mechanism".  You are treating consciousness as a kind of machine or a technical apparatus.  But a mechanical process has nothing in common with the simplicity of consciousness. The latter is not-compounded and simple while the former is compounded and made of different parts.    

Edited by eThErEaL

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12 minutes ago, eThErEaL said:

On what basis are you saying that "knowledge is an extraction from reality?" Extraction of what from reality? Explain for example how you know that you know?  In other words, explain how one can be self-knowing.

You are thinking too simplistically and are not looking at the implications of what you are saying.    You are attempting to give an account of how we know.  For you knowledge seems to be a "process" or a "mechanism".  You are treating consciousness as a kind of machine or a technical apparatus.  But a mechanical process has nothing in common with the simplicity of consciousness. The latter is not-compounded and simple while the former is compounded and made of different parts.    

it doesn't matter how you or i know something. what does matter, however, is the general understanding and definition of the word "knowledge". i argue that our understanding of  factual "knowledge" is that it must conform to reality, and not reality conforming to our imagination. all of existence is essentially nothing more than god's imagination/dream being realized (unfolding).

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