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In the Name of God بسم الله
Guest Hussein

Belief in God

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On 3/16/2019 at 11:22 PM, Guest Hussein said:

As far as I understand, Muslims justify the existence of God based on two concepts

Every Muslim has his own arguments regarding with the existence of God. Generally you can start with studying the concept of "Necessary Being" (Wajib ul Wajood). For me, I understand that "Knowledge and Power are prerequisites for the origin of systems like Universe & Life, a Supreme Being therefore exist". 

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As salaamun aleikum, 

If things just popped into being out of nothing, wouldnt we see that occuring durring our own lifetimes? Like, wouldnt we have examples of things "just appearing out of nowhere" that would lend creedence to the possibility or liklihood that thats what happened with the universe?

Seems to be the only thing that some people are claiming came "from nothing" is only this amazingly complex,intricate and finely tuned universe...

I know showing a video like this will do nothing to prove God or that the universe has a Creator, but its still an amazing video and worth a watch for 7 mins if simply for the sake of appreciating our own amazing bodies.

W/s

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On 4/17/2019 at 11:38 PM, Shia farm girl said:

If things just popped into being out of nothing, wouldn't we see that occurring during our own lifetimes?

If I am not mistaken about astrophysics, I think that elementary particles pop into existence out of nowhere and back into nowhere all the time in empty space. Of cause that doesn't mean that Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) isn't creating them. In my limited understanding it actually appears to me as one of the very good arguments for Gods existence.
Though for me I do not care so much about the physical evidence. The evidence that makes me certain of Gods existence is purely emotional.

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On 4/9/2019 at 6:44 PM, Guest Hussein said:

Yes, thank you so much for your answer. This 'teleological' argument actually has some solid underpinnings, unlike the other arguments, as many scientists have determined it impossible for the universe or life to exist without fine-tuning. I completely forgot about this and haven't looked into it in detail yet. Thanks a lot for mentioning it, I'll try and read the counterpoints and see if there are any good ones, in which case I'll get back to all of you.  

Metaphysics isn't Mumbo Jumbo mathematics fall under the category mathematical concepts define our reality so well and yet they are only mental models for keeping track of things numbers don't exist in physical reality and the things we've chosen have been to represent distinct concepts.

Most people that are atheist or non religious are usually materialist the belief that things are merely physical and don't exhibit a value beyond their physical worth but this is somewhat absurd as moral systems require a metaphysical justification because physically humans are no better than rocks or vegetables from a mere physical perspective and the innate ability of autonomy and freewill also have to be done away with as from a physical standpoint such things cannot be demonstrated or proven.\

However, even within physical spaces things indicate properties beyond merely physical means they can be quantified through the use of numbers although physically measured we have established as merely abstract construct.

Furthermore, from the point of view of Occam's Razor the idea of a conscious entity separated from some physical notion of existence makes sense, not under the justification of Gods such as Zeus or others who have physical features and are bond by time or space but quantum physicists although not totally proven posit the idea that even electrons may exhibit consciousness.

The idea of a higher power fits so well that without it morals, inner worth meaning etc retain their value without it all is lost and we have to accept absurdist and nihilist theories that from an existential point of view are inconsistent with themselves if nothing has a purpose or meaning then even theoretical or plausible meaning should impossible to assign.

Also we don't need to resort to the God of the Gaps fallacy which makes every single thing attributed to God, why is the chair here? God did it, but simply so establish the existence of some aspect of time and space that is greater than the sum effect, the effect being consciousness, mathematics, all of existence etc.

Edited by Enlightened Follower

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4 hours ago, Revert1963 said:

If I am not mistaken about astrophysics, I think that elementary particles pop into existence out of nowhere and back into nowhere all the time in empty space

Particles don’t come from nothing.   What you might be referring to is thenm coming from a quantum vacuum.  This isnt nothing - its a sea of fluctuating energy:

According to present-day understanding of what is called the vacuum state or the quantum vacuum, it is "by no means a simple empty space".[1][2] According to quantum mechanics, the vacuum state is not truly empty but instead contains fleeting electromagnetic waves and particles that pop into and out of existence.[3][4][5]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_state

Edited by .InshAllah.

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2 hours ago, .InshAllah. said:

Particles don’t come from nothing.   What you might be referring to is thenm coming from a quantum vacuum.  This isnt nothing - its a sea of fluctuating energy:

According to present-day understanding of what is called the vacuum state or the quantum vacuum, it is "by no means a simple empty space".[1][2] According to quantum mechanics, the vacuum state is not truly empty but instead contains fleeting electromagnetic waves and particles that pop into and out of existence.[3][4][5]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_state

But the fluctuations between gluons and quarks (which constitute this so called “empty space”) from where these particals “come from” are like lumps that quickly come in and out of existence.  

Go straight to time: 3:42

 

:)  

So Revert has a point if he adjusts his statement to refer to the field of fluctions between gluons and quarks rather than the quantum particals.  

Quantum physics is fun and interesting.  But it only makes sense when understood metaphysically!  The reason it can only make sense metaphysically is because in this science one is forced to resort to the something supra-rational (to something that is beyond logical analysis) or else it will remain as an enchanting enigma.  I encourage everyone to read the works of the Physicist Wolfgang Smith.  

Heidegger once made a very interesting observation about Modern Science.  He said that what defines Modern Science is Planck’s assertion that reality is inherently measurable (anything that cannot be measured is not considered reality).  And this is the main pitfal of Modern Science and it takes Quantum Physics to wake up the Modernists

 

Edited by eThErEaL

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Greetings, Guest Hussein! I'm not on here very often but I'm glad I checked in, because your question really intrigued me. I tried to send you a private message but I don't think I can, probably due to your status. I do hope you open an account so that we can message one another because I'd like to hear your thoughts. 

I agree with you completely that sometimes it is hard to have a confident faith in God's existence. In my youth and into my 20s I struggled with the question of God's existence, and some of the questions that follow. How can I know that my holy book is true (or in my case, my 66 holy books that comprise the Bible)? How can I know in whom to place my faith? 

And I add this with all possible respect, but I believe these would be harder questions for a Muslim who is searching for truth. After all, the Qur'an contains many statements about reality that are simply untrue (as do the Hadith). For example, we all know the sun doesn't set in a pool of muddy water, we all know sperm isn't produced between the ribs, we all know that stars are not lamps hung from a dome, etc. Yet these are the words of the all-knowing, all-powerful God who created the universe? It doesn't make sense. If I were a Muslim, this would give me serious alarm that the God alleged to have crafted the Qur'an is not real. Perhaps these are issues which are bothering you as well. 

In my opinion, there is overwhelming evidence that God exists... the Kalam Cosmological argument, the argument from fine-tuning, the moral argument, the teological, etc. But if I were a Muslim, my struggle would be: "I don't understand why there are good reasons to believe God, yet my Qur'an contains inaccuracies and misunderstandings (as do the Hadith). How can this be? How can God make such mistakes?"

Obviously I don't know if this is what you are thinking. It is simply what I would think IF I were a Muslim.
However, let me make a respectful suggestion. 

Have you ever considered that God does exist, but maybe he is not Allah

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As salaamun aleikum @thegoodman81,

God willing, all is well with you.

 I've ran across your response at a very inconvenient time, so I intend on coming back to it later, however, I would like to add a point of caution. Please do not confused the difference between the Qur'an and the hadith. They are not one and the same. There are numerous Hadith that are incorrect and wrong in both Sunni and Shia hadith books. To try to use incorrect, False or weakly graded hadith as a means of disproving the Qurans and Islams accuracy and authenticity is to approach the situation backwards and unjustly. 

Im in a hurry at the moment, so I will be brief reagrding the issues you brought up.

Have you ever seen the sun setting "on/in a city"? How about "on a hill" or "on/in the ocean"? What has your own experience been in this regard? Firsthand experience coupled with an honest assessment of things you yourself have witnessed should suffice. What is stated in the Qur'an is in regards to the general appearance, not in an absolute literal sense. I don’t think anyone anywhere actually believed the sun set in a pool of mud, lol, but I can see how it would appear to be so. 

Also, im curious which translation you used for the the ayat 86;67...Pickthal says:

Pickthal: (4) So let man consider from what he is created. (5) He is created from a gushing fluid (6) That issued from between the LOINS and ribs;

Whereas Yusuf Ali says:

Yusuf Ali: (4) Now let man but think from what he is created! (5) He is created from a drop emitted― (6) Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs:

This is not an issue with the Qur'an per say, rather, it is an issue in the translators understanding or interpretation and application of the word.

As a convert to Islam of 10 years and someone who scrutinizes and doubts pretty much everything, this particular problem is something I as a primarily English only speaker/reader  am regularly frusterated with myself.

Sorry, as I mentioned before, I'm in a hurry, if you could please quote the exact  ayat that you got the Dome idea from, I would greatly appreciate it.

God wiling, later I can go through that one as well.

Take care, and I apologize if I have derailed this thread. The OP has doubts about the existence of God, not whether Islam/Qur'an is right or wrong, unless I am mistaken. I know many people who believe in God, but do not follow any religion because of the way different religins have understood and explained God to be. Even people like Stephen Hawking and Dawkins have a legitimate and rational right to disbelieve in the kind of God that is typically undertood, and that type of God is sadly how many Muslims understand Him to be as well. 

I don’t think the problem lies in proving whether God exists or not, I think the problem lies more in gaining a basis for understanding  God that doesnt go against a person's rationality.

 The beginning of searching or discovering God and reality starts with the rational mind. The rational mind can take you a long ways, but at the end of that, it becomes a spiritual journey, not a journey of the rational mind anymore.

W/s

 

Edited by shia farm girl

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1 hour ago, thegoodman81 said:

Have you ever considered that God does exist, but maybe he is not Allah

Have you considered that God does exist regardless of what language you speak? (Allah means God in Arabic if you didn't know.) Arabic speaking Christians also uses the word "Allah" when they mean God. As a matter of fact your statement assumes that there are more than one God and that is Shirk, or polytheism. Are you a polytheist? But of cause you clam to be Christian and you have tree gods, right? :discussion:

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On 3/17/2019 at 7:22 AM, Guest Hussein said:

First of all, it's not a straight forward idea and I'm sure millions of people throughout history hadn't made the same logical deductions, that's why they worshipped roman, greek and Hindu gods. I'm sure it took a lot of time for Islamic philosophers to put such an idea in writing and develop it to the point it is now. It's not really an easy way of trying to convince people of His existence because its more of an argument than proof. So I was wondering if there is any solid underpinning for choosing to believe in God that I might have missed and whether you can enlighten me of them. I would be really grateful if anyone can address my doubts and help strengthen my faith.  Thank you.

Actually, on the Hindu and Greek deities. Well, from the Greek deities we got Platonism (and neo-platonism) which agrees on the Absolute (As-Samad), from Hinduism (and it's original Vedic religion) we've gotten Vedanta. The thing with Hinduism that is fascinating is the three main traditions of Hinduism (Vaishnavism, Saivism and Shakta) as well as the two main streams of Vedanta Philosophy (Advaita and Dvaita) all agree on an abstract Absolute (As-Samad) constant of existence (of course Dvaita is way closer to Islam because it believes in distinction between us and God, unlike Advaita), even though they conceptually frame themselves in varying ways (as we Shia tend to have more vaster understandings of Allah anyway). 

It seems an inevitability of Polytheism to become a form of Pluralism, mirroring the same Ontological Ultimate Reality of Monotheism (As-Samad). In a way, the Islamic stance on Polytheism (Shirk) could be seen as a forewarning of a greater understanding of the functioning of things, one that especially more ancient forms of Polytheism where incredibly naive of. Leaving out the physical practice of Idolatry though, which constitutes a different discussion. 

And outside of that, it all depends on the framing of "God" itself. As all forms of Philosophy that deal with the greater questions and problems of existence itself fall back into the same paradox, which itself produces many reactionary forms of evaluative interpretation of "Meaning", Absurdism for instance). 

I'm not making this post about necessarily tackling the question positively or negatively but rather, I just want to put the thought across to you: What happens when you fold all philosophical positions and beliefs (including hard-Atheism) all onto each other with observations of Science? 

Edited by HakimPtsid

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1 hour ago, HakimPtsid said:

I just want to put the thought across to you: What happens when you fold all philosophical positions and beliefs (including hard-Atheism) all onto each other with observations of Science? 

That is an interesting thought, how would you go about doing that?
I can see no equivalence between science and religion.Faith is absolute. Science is not.

Science and Religion address different aspects of human existence.

Religion is about deriving a sense of one's place in the universe,. Science is about objective definitions of how the universe works.

The flaw in Science is that it can only determine truth in the Physical.
It can only determine truth about an observable phenomenon.

The flaw with Faith/religion is that it is subjective, not examinable.
It does not have sophistication in explaining reality. Metaphysics' deals with all things outside of the perceivable realm.

ws

*
 

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On 4/25/2019 at 4:10 PM, Revert1963 said:

Have you considered that God does exist regardless of what language you speak? (Allah means God in Arabic if you didn't know.) Arabic speaking Christians also uses the word "Allah" when they mean God. As a matter of fact your statement assumes that there are more than one God and that is Shirk, or polytheism. Are you a polytheist? But of cause you clam to be Christian and you have tree gods, right? :discussion:

Hello, Revert1963. 

Thank you for pointing out a potential misunderstanding of what I said earlier.  I did not mean to imply that there is more than one God, simply that there are different beliefs about who he is. And of course you are right that Arabic-speaking Christians also use the word 'Allah' when referring to the God of the Bible. I did not originally mention that for the sake of brevity. But let me clarify now. 

Muslims identify 'Allah' as the *name* of God, while Arab Christians use this as a *title* for God.  Christians of ALL languages acknowledge that the actual name God originally used for himself in Hebrew is Yahweh, which means "I Am" (Exodus 3). So yes, Arab Christians refer to Yahweh by the title Allah, just like English-speaking Christians refer to Yahweh by the title God.

The problem is that we (Christians and Muslims) have radically different ideas of who this one true God is, as well as how he calls on us to interact with him. We can't both be correct, and it matters because eternity is at stake.

The cumulative description of the one and only God in the books of the Bible is radically different than Islam's cumulative description of the one and only God (from Qur'an,  Hadith, and Sira), as are the purported facts and doctrines asserted from our respective religions.

So to put my question to Guest Hussein more specifically: have you ever considered that perhaps God exists, but Islam is not accurate in its claims about him?

Also, no, we do not worship 3 gods. We worship one God, Yahweh.

Shia Farm Girl, I'll get back to you soon!

Blessings upon you all.

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@Shia farm girl, thanks for the reply. Not sure how to tag you while typing on my phone, hope you see this somehow!

I'm familiar with the Hadith, and aware that Sunnis have a looser policy than Shia on that matter. That's a whole other can of worms, and probably pretty far afield from the OP so I'd rather not get into that. But suffice to say, the Qur'an has a lot of inaccuracies. I'm glad they are not unknown to you because it is a very important issue. 

Regarding Q86:67, I have not seen any translation that matches biological facts. They all imply lower abdomen or lower back,  well 'north' of the actual locstion of production. 

Regarding the lamps, I'm talking about Q 67:5 and Q 37:6-10. It mentions that the stars are lamps, that they occupy the lowest dome, and that they are sometimes launched as an attack against demons. I suppose the usual translation is 'firmament' rather than 'dome,' but either way it states that the stars are affixed to the lowest of 7 solid layers (dome, ceiling, firmament,  etc). 

The sun setting in water is confirmed by Muhammad in a hadith narrated by Abu Dharr. I'm not sure if Shia accept him or not but I would think so. From what I have read he was a close companion to Muhammad. 

So, these things are just not true. We can know that through investigation,  though Muhammad couldn't know that when he spoke them. If you can't trust a man to give you truth about that which can be verified, why trust him with that which cannot (and which is infinitely more important)?

 

 

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17 hours ago, thegoodman81 said:

Also, no, we do not worship 3 gods. We worship one God, Yahweh.

Of course, I know that Christians interpret the trinity as believing that God is one. It is the same with the Hindus. They have over a 1000 gods. They even have a trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. However, if you talk to any Hindu scholar they will tell you that Hindus only believe in one God. The deities that they present through idols in their temples are avatars, manifestations or emanations of the one true God, Brahman, who is formless and beyond limitations.
The problem with this approach is that you tend to focus on the attributes and not God him self. The attributes end up being detached from God and people start to see them as a completely separate entities. That brings the believer further away from God rather than closer to him. Putting an idol up there to represent the attribute only enhances that problem. In that respect the Christian Crucifix is no different from a Hindu idol of Shiva.
The Qur'an on the other hand makes it clear that rahman and raheem is only names of Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and not independent deities in a would be trinity.

The reason why I made a funny comment on this as a response to your post is because some Christians, especially in America, have this conspiracy theory that Allah is the "Moon God of Mecca." This is a theory that fits into their Islamophobic narrative and is easily debunked.

 

Quote

Muslims identify 'Allah' as the *name* of God, while Arab Christians use this as a *title* for God.  Christians of ALL languages acknowledge that the actual name God originally used for himself in Hebrew is Yahweh, which means "I Am" (Exodus 3). So yes, Arab Christians refer to Yahweh by the title Allah, just like English-speaking Christians refer to Yahweh by the title God.

By your argument Yahweh (or Yahooh depending on how you pronounce the letter 'waw'. ) is, by your own admission "I Am", a description or an attribute if you will. In the bible it is used interchangeably with the word "El," which is the old Semitic word for God which became Allah in Arabic. It is found in the Ugaritic texts way before anybody thought of the Bible. If Yahweh is not the same as Allah, then Yahweh is not the same as El. If that is the case then the understanding of the bible becomes very contradicting.

 

Quote

The problem is that we (Christians and Muslims) have radically different ideas of who this one true God is, as well as how he calls on us to interact with him. We can't both be correct, and it matters because eternity is at stake.

The cumulative description of the one and only God in the books of the Bible is radically different than Islam's cumulative description of the one and only God (from Qur'an,  Hadith, and Sira), as are the purported facts and doctrines asserted from our respective religions.

The Jews and Jehovahs witness probably call God Yahweh when they interact with him through prayer, but in most Christian denominations don't. It is also true that Muslims don't address God as the "heavenly Father," but that is simply to avoid your polytheistic problem with the trinity. I think you  have to come up with better examples of the difference in nature between the biblical description of God and the Quranic description of God.

Of course, besides the problem with trinity as I addressed above, there are the difference that the Qur'an mentions that God has send his message to All of human kind in their own languages. And according to Hadiths through over a 100000 Prophets. Not only to the Jews and the Christians. The Qur'an has been send in order to once and for all correct the corruption of the message that has occurred not only in the polytheist religions, but also in Judaism and Christianity. On the other hand maybe Judaism and Christianity would like to keep God to them selves.
The only thing you achieve by claiming that God in Christianity is another than God in Islam is to push a "them and us" narrative, branding Muslims as some sort of devil worshipers.

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