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In the Name of God بسم الله
user5000

How do you know god exists?

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Hello, I hope you are well and in good health in these strange times. Im a young guy in his early 20’s who was raised in a (Shia) muslim family. For most of my life, I followed the religion to the T, never questioning anything nor having any doubts about it. It wasn’t until the past year or so that I did a complete 180 for reasons unknown, and found myself questioning and disagreeing with a lot, if not most, things. I still consider myself Muslim, and I guess you could best label me as a: 

  • Agnostic Theist - DOES believe in gods and DOES NOT claim to know they exist.

As opposed to what I would call the majority of muslims, or followers of abrahamic religions:

  • Gnostic Theists - DOES believe in gods and DOES claim to know that they exist

Many may disagree with my stance, and some may outright declare me a kafir for it, as you apparently cannot be agnostic and muslim. 

The purpose of this discussion is to lay out some ideas or thoughts that led me to taking this position, and literally, have you refute them, or at least tell me what you think, and get your ideas and thoughts on them. There have even been some posts I found interesting taken directly from here on shiachat and incorporated into the discussion. 

AND SO…

In order to understand religion and god in the way a gnostic theist would, it seems that you have to know through your heart's certitude, the core center of your being, not through your thinking or rationalizing mind. You have to ask who you are. What is your awareness or consciousness? What is it? Is it some thing? What is aware of your consciousness or who is aware of it? I just don’t believe humans are smart enough to comprehend such questions, really.

For gnostic Theists, what happens if you're wrong and there is nothing?

From what I can understand, it is supposed to be easy. If you die and find out that there is no God, you don’t lose anything, because….. you're dead, obviously. Yes, you endure some hardships in life and have to resist some things, which some argue is not without worldly benefit, because it makes you a better person and a better contributor to the society you live in, something I can attest to as some of the finest people I know are those who are firm in their beliefs, regardless of the religion they follow. For example, by paying a small premium, you get an excellent insurance policy with tremendous benefits, if a god is there. Thus, being a Muslim, Christian, Jew ect. is apparently a win-win situation. In either case, you are supposed to be better off than the others. This isnt always the case however, as we have clearly seen what extremism and exploitation in any religion leads to.

In abrahamic religions, people are told that when this temporary life is over, God will raise everyone for an eternal life wherein he will immensely reward all those who pursued personal and collective excellence through religion; and He will imprison in Hell those who misused their free will, rebelled against Him and adopted un-religous ways of life that caused injustices, corruptions, ecological disasters and other imbalances in the world.

BUT WHY? What's the point?

Steve: “Is God merciful, compassionate, and just?”

Bob: “Yes, absolutely,” 

Steve: “Is there an eternal Hell?”

Bob: “Yes, absolutely,” 

Steve: “So why would a merciful, compassionate, and just God create a FINITE creature with FINITE knowledge of sins, only to later send it to infinite damnation and hellfire? Does that make sense to you?”

Bob: …………

I'm not sure how I feel about a God who wants to condemn most of the planet to a fiery hell, an aspect that seems prevalent again, amongst abrahamic religions. What type of loving, sensitive, omnipresent, omnipotent being wants to condemn his beautiful creation to a fiery hell at the end of it all? Why create them in the first place if you knew they were to later be cast into hell?

This is important as it also brings into question the notion of "God is good", and the existence of Evil in the world. Assuming there is a god, why does evil seem to prevail? One way to look at the issue is to recognize evil merely as the lack or absence of good, leaving you only with good and the absence of good. Since evil then becomes the absence of something, it cannot be something that can be placed on the account of god. This claim does not argue that evil exists; it merely rejects the "reality of evil."

 So, either a God is responsible for the evil and suffering and cannot be considered "good", or you can argue that evil and suffering subsist despite God because he cannot, or will not eliminate them.

 But, this is conflicting, as God is often defined as omniscient, meaning literally all-knowing or often all-wise. Fully understood, God's omniscience places every element of life in divine hands. The rock claim goes hand in hand with this, the omnipotent being (god) can not construct a stone that it cannot raise. The omnipotent being is not able to produce such a stone because its power is equal to itself — thus eliminating the omnipotence, because only one omnipotent being may exist. 

Religion seems to keep people afloat, making them feel like there’s something better on the other side.

Amongst the major abrahamic religions, it seems to be set up binary, it’s us and themsaved and unsavedheaven and hellenlightened and heathenmumineen and kafir,  holy and righteous … that makes a lot of people feel better about themselves. 

Furthermore, it seems to impose a Rule of Law, which acts to keep people on the right track. What happens when you don’t have the order that religion brings? 

You have the order of MIGHT, like in China for example. The religion is the state. 

Now of course they do have religion(s) in China, but the reality is, what’s running China is a dictatorship, and the king is the ruler. This is what they look towards. This brings us to:

ARGUMENT 1.) Moral laws require a lawmaker. The argument that subjective morality is unacceptable because it has, and will, differ from person to person and two contradictory statements (let alone millions) can not be true at the same time, as per the second fundamental law of logic. So the lawmaker can not be a human being. Believers in abrahmic religions are compelled to believe then, that only God can provide true objective moral boundaries as the creator who is all-knowing. If there are no clear guidelines set by an all-knowing god, and there are no guaranteed consequences for our actions, then life is ultimately nothing but a large hedonistic doghouse, and nobody can prove otherwise.

RESPONSE-  This does not take into account the notion of a secular government with secular laws. We do not need religion to dictate our morality and we as humans have the intelligence to discern all that we need to live moral lives. We live in a completely different world now than those before us because of the interconnectedness we have today, which did not exist before. Today we have access to so much information and to the vast body of work that people have written about philosophy, ethics, and morals. We can understand why it’s good to be a good person without having to invoke a higher power, or some divine spiritual entity that’s watching over everything. Before, that wasn’t the case, we were establishing civilization, moving from primitive groups that lived in tribes, which we all came from. People need to take into consideration that we are here because our ancestors were better at violence than others. We are a warlike species of beings that have consistently throughout history conquered each other, doing awful things to each other (taking over land, cities, people), and religion is what we needed then, to get people to act in a moral and more ethical way, to get people to stop from raping and pilliging their way across the world. Some argue that religion is in many ways a sort of a natural creation of the human mind and the human psyche to try and move us past our primitive tribal tendencies, towards a more cooperative way of existing. 

And 

ARGUMENT 2.) The argument of causation. Everything has a cause and an effect. Your jacket is an effect, and the clothing factory is the cause. This world must be effective, right? So it needs a cause. What if it existed by itself. That would mean itself is the cause. Well, then what made itself exist? What proportioned the necessary atoms and particles to form a universe? For Theists, this must mean, in conclusion, that there was a Supreme power involved. An infinite regress of causation with regards to natural phenomena is impossible, thus proving the necessity of a first cause/creator of all-natural phenomena who itself is not bound by anything. Inconceivable and necessary, God. 

BUT Why does it have to be a god (and more specifically a god found in a particular revelation or revelations?) Why does it have to be a god at all? Why can't this cause less cause be some unknown aspect of this universe that is beyond our scope of comprehension? Or is it simply called "god" merely because we just don't know enough about this first cause? What if there is a domain within our existence where things don't operate by cause and effect. Secondly, is God at the beginning of this causal chain? Is he "before" all other effects? That is already a limitation on god. The universe may be more than matter a spacetime and maybe even more than what our thoughts could conjure. The known or visible universe might work through what we would call causality but maybe the unknown part of the universe (before the Big Bang) might have a whole different structure that escapes our feeble imaginations and our limited ideas or thoughts. Have you ever thought about this? Why does that "unknown" always have to be a god by default? In contrast to a gnostic theist who his firm in their religious beliefs, scientists acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers, we don’t really know where the laws of nature came from, nor do we know why the universe began in the way it did (if it even did have a beginning)

For example, we understand nuclear physics and we can build nuclear reactors from it. We understand the physics of stars, and understand that they built carbon and oxygen, and we know how they did it. We can see it. When you look far out into the universe, you are essentially looking back in time, and as you’re looking back in time you see less carbon and less oxygen. PRESTO, direct observation that in the earliest universe there wasn’t any.

We don't have anything to justify that the laws of nature originated themselves spontaneously out of nothing, nor do we have anything to justify that it was created by a divine architecture.

All these systems, their state of the art designs, the laws by which they exist could be mere accidents or chance, or they could not be. We just don't know…… 

Thoughts?

 

 

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1 minute ago, hasanhh said:

How do l know?

All the created ayats outside my window.

Can you elaborate? Your statement just goes back to Argument 2.) of causation. 

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1 minute ago, user5000 said:

Can you elaborate? Your statement just goes back to Argument 2.) of causation. 

Sorry. l's gettin' old and know what l think and know why l do.

As such, l only responded to the question in the title rather than delve into a philosophy debate.

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3 minutes ago, hasanhh said:

Sorry. l's gettin' old and know what l think and know why l do.

As such, l only responded to the question in the title rather than delve into a philosophy debate.

I understand, however thats not the point of this discussion.... not so much a hardcore debate, just thoughts on these ideas for anyone who is interested.

 : )

Edited by user5000

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Guest Quran and Itrah

I hope you are well too, thank you for taking the time to put the effort into clearly relaying your understanding of arguments in favour of God's existence and what your doubts are. I won't deny this is arguably a question that every single human being has explicitly or at the very leas, subconsciously reflected over frequently during their lives. For sake of argument, i want to ignore words we use like 'God', or 'Allah', and start from the very beginning. I will use the words sparingly at the beginning. I'm also going to address one argument per post, as i am worried spending a lot of time writing this, and it not being approved.

Argument 2:

I wouldn't necessarily argue that every cause has an effect as a primary argument for Gods existence. Rather, i would turn to the Quran, and use an additional reliable tradition from ale Muhammed (asws). If the Quran is the last and final guide to mankind, surely it should be able to clearly give humanity evidence, and point to it, for the existence of God. 

"Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]?" - Noble Quran

We can see that this verse calls on humanity to reflect on two important things:

1. Did you come from nothing?

Now, very few would ever argue that the universe came from nothing. Bear with me here. Whether you are Agnostic, Atheist, Deist, or Theist, we all accept from a rational point of view that something has always had to exist, or nothing would exist. You can call it a multiverse, a quantum vacuum of energy, perhaps even call on string theory. However, to claim that there was a point in time where there was absolutely nothing, meaning no potential, and the absolute negation of anything, is something any rational seeker of the truth should admit. Now , if you accept one, you may still ask yourself, well, why must it be 'God'?  The Quran follows up:

2. Were you, a physical, contingent being, made up of constituent components, the creator of yourself?

I'm not referring to evolution here, but reality itself? Forget a human body for a moment here ,the universe, like us, is made up of constituent subunits - we are part of the universe.  This is far more pertinent, as the Quran states: "Are you a more difficult creation or is the heaven? Allah constructed it."

 Now, the question of the hour is: can the universe, or can physical reality that may have preceded the universe, be it a quantum vacuum full of energy or a multiverse, be what has always existed to make this universe, and in essence, be a creator of itself?

If something exists, as a nature or necessity of its own existence, it has always had to exist. We know that matter, energy, physical reality exists at one point, stops existing in another. There was a point in time where atoms didn't exist, indeed, even where our own laws didn't exist. There was a point in time where the universe itself didn't exist. Matter, energy, laws all had a beginning. A multiverse too, would have had a beginning. . Furthermore, they are also subject to change from one form to another. Therefore the universe is contingent, it didn't have to exist, nor did it always exist. Any arrangement of physical reality is contingent

Whatever has always existed must be changeless, immaterial, in one state eternally in and of itself. 

3. "He is the first and the last" - Noble Quran

I asked Jaffer b. Muhammed b. Ali b. Hussain b. Ali b. Abi Talib عليه السلام about the saying of Allah عز وجل, “He is the First and the Last” (57:3).
 
And I said: As for [the meaning of] “the First”, we know it; but as for “the Last” – elucidate its interpretation for us.
 
So he said: It is that there is no thing except that it can perish or be changed; or be susceptible to alteration or disappearance; or shift from one colour to another and from one shape to another and from one quality to another; or from abundant to lacking and from lacking to abundant – except for the Lord of the worlds; for He is unceasing and unhalting in His solitary state. He is the First before all things, and He is the Last and does not cease. [His] qualities and His names do not change as they change for other than Him; like the humans who were dust at a time, and flesh and blood at a time, and corpses and powder at a time – and like a date that was raw at a time, and ripe at a time, and dry at a time, and then a date. Its names and qualities change, and Allah عز وجل is different from that. (al-Kafi, Volume 1, hadith 309) Translated by @Qa'im
 

Summary

1. Something has always had to exist, by nature or necessity of its own existence, or nothing would exist. Something can't come from nothing.

2. Whatever has always existed must - as it states - have always existed. It therefore can not begin to exist, can not be destroyed in form, can not cease to exist in one from and change to the other. Our laws, matter, energy had a beginning, undergo change, and are therefore not necessary but contingent.

3. Whatever has always existed must be above being physical or material, and must be therefore immaterial and changeless.

All beautifully simplified in the following verses:

"Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]?" - Noble Quran

"He is the first and the last" Noble Quran

 

In addition to other arguments and evidence for other attributes, this what we call 'God', or 'Allah'. If this gets approved, insha Allah i may address some of your other points and respond to counter points.

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Guest salam

I really like this question been thinking of some of these things myself. The need for universal morality becomes more clear to us now more than ever. If you read the news you probably saw leading figures of secular countries like hungary and poland say stuff like we dont think multiculturalism is a moral value. so I think a universal code for morals is definitely necessary. As far as hell is concerned, we shouldnt forget there exists people who take away rights from orphans and widows, rape and murder innocent people. The only characteristic of god which is compulsory for a shia to accept is adl i.e god is just you cant be just if you arent willing to give punishment. The thing about the big bang is that it does agree with nothingness as do all religions. they agree something was created out of nothing. I think the reason why scientists dislike the concept of god is because it kills the curiosity for some to learn the reasons behind particular systems. In the end both are assuming, one with the assumption that everything is pointless. other with the assumption that there is a moral entropy and the universe cannot be stable unless morality is also balanced.

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18 minutes ago, power said:

To many questions, can you summarise it ? 

I mean, It kinda already is a summary of the myriad of ideas I wanted to include. You don't have to refute the whole thing, pick and choose any of the ideas.

in a TL;DR summary, I guess it would be something like..

-Religion gives people hope and a moral guide to live by (moral guide more so in the past). Sometimes this is good, sometimes bad. Its binary and makes people feel like they belong to something special.

-Where is the proof that god exists, why does causation, existence, and all that is unexplainable have to be a god, rather than something unknown.

 -and why, if he is just, would he create something finite in knowledge only to send it to hell, assuming he is all knowing. 

That was a terrible summary, really, which is why you kinda have to go through the whole thing...

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55 minutes ago, user5000 said:

We do not need religion to dictate our morality and we as humans have the intelligence to discern all that we need to live moral lives.

lol

tell that to the nazis, US, kkk, saudi, ussr, north korea, parts of africa, extreme republicans, skin heads, israel etc. etc.

ur living in fairytale land if you think humans are smart enough to formulate moral laws. even if we were smart enough, we are far too selfish to do that. whoever is in power at the end of the day will look out first for himself his family his friends etc. favours will be called in left right and centre. being smart enough means nothing, and no we are not collectively smart enough anyway nor will we ever be.

what you need to do is travel to yemen or something and get a real taste of life rather than the fairy tale land you are living in where we are apparently smarter than our ancestors and we aren't the same barbarians they were etc.

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Guest sameasbefore
2 minutes ago, user5000 said:

 -and why, if he is just, would he create something finite in knowledge only to send it to hell, assuming he is all knowing. 

The first thing a human probably learns is morals and i thing everyone knows what is wrong and what is right

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25 minutes ago, dragonxx said:

 

tell that to the nazis, US, kkk, saudi, ussr, north korea, parts of africa, extreme republicans, skin heads, israel etc. etc.

Quote

This was another example I didn't include in my summary. Have you ever heard of Japan's Unit 731? it was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that made the Nazi's look like they were running a day camp. How can there be a loving omnipresent creator while a unit like 731 existed? This is just a small example, obviously, there have been a lot of atrocious things that humans did to each other, and goes back to the "God is good" part in my summary, arguing about the existence of evil.

ur living in fairytale land if you think humans are smart enough to formulate moral laws. 

Quote

Maybe there is an evolutionary origin of morality? For example Darwin (don't flame me for using Darwin) argued that Humans are animals and have evolved from ancestors that were not human. But our “bodily frame,” as well as the capacities that stem from it, show also that we are a unique kind of animal, a unique kind of ape, with distinctive features, of which the moral sense is one and, if we are to agree with him, the most important one. 

People have moral values; that is, they accept standards according to which their conduct is judged as either right or wrong, good or evil. The particular norms by which moral actions are judged vary to some extent from individual to individual and from culture to culture (although some norms, such as not to kill, not to steal, and to honor one’s parents, are widespread and perhaps universal), but value judgments concerning human behavior are passed in all cultures. So, this raises two related questions: whether the moral sense is part of human nature, one more dimension of our biological makeup; and whether ethical values may be products of biological evolution rather than being given by religious and other cultural traditions, like your arguing.

what you need to do is travel to yemen or something and get a real taste of life rather than the fairy tale land 

Quote

I visit the Middle East every year. I don't live in a fairy tale, and im aware of the terrible things humans are capable of doing to each other. Refer to the post above

 

 

Edited by user5000

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1 minute ago, user5000 said:

I mean, It kinda already is a summary of the myriad of ideas I wanted to include. You don't have to refute the whole thing, pick and choose any of the ideas.

in a TL;DR summary, I guess it would be something like..

-Religion gives people hope and a moral guide to live by (moral guide more so in the past). Sometimes this is good, sometimes bad. Its binary and makes people feel like they belong to something special.

-Where is the proof that god exists, why does causation, existence, and all that is unexplainable have to be a god, rather than something unknown.

 -and why, if he is just, would he create something finite in knowledge only to send it to hell, assuming he is all knowing. 

That was a terrible summary, really, which is why you kinda have to go through the whole thing...

 Okay, i'll put forward a hypothetical question; let's take god out the equation for a moment, suffering, evil, corruption, natural disaster, tyranny, wars, etc, would have not occured? 

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2 minutes ago, power said:

 Okay, i'll put forward a hypothetical question; let's take god out the equation for a moment, suffering, evil, corruption, natural disaster, tyranny, wars, etc, would have not occured? 

They would have still occurred, hypothetically, yes... why?

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Just now, user5000 said:

They would have still occurred, hypothetically, yes... why?

Where did this human instinct come from of, killing, murder, tyranny, etc? (Bearing in mind that god does not exist) 

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8 minutes ago, power said:

Where did this human instinct come from of, killing, murder, tyranny, etc? (Bearing in mind that god does not exist) 

Aggression in mammals, including humans, has a genetic component with high heritability. Consequently, it is widely acknowledged that evolution has also shaped human violence. As I posted above in reply to dragonX, maybe there is an evolutionary origin of morality? This instinct of Violence can be seen as an adaptive strategy, favoring the perpetrator’s reproductive success in terms of mates, status or resources.

Humans are moral animals?

Edited by user5000

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32 minutes ago, user5000 said:

 

you are missing the crux of the issue,

you are focused on dissecting morality peripherally and are not recognizing that no matter which way you cut it, morality is subjective and depends on the majority population; this will never change. therefore there will never be the justice you seem to seek outside of God.

 

and yes, evil exists and God exists, for God created evil, hence why we pray to God to protect us from the evil He created. At the same time, people have the freewill to choose how to use the faculties bestowed upon them for the transient period of time granted to them.

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Guest salam
30 minutes ago, user5000 said:

Aggression in mammals, including humans, has a genetic component with high heritability. Consequently, it is widely acknowledged that evolution has also shaped human violence. As I posted above in reply to dragonX, maybe there is an evolutionary origin of morality? This instinct of Violence can be seen as an adaptive strategy, favoring the perpetrator’s reproductive success in terms of mates, status or resources.

Humans are moral animals?

Evolution also states that if a particular trait isnt used over time it disappears like the "Legs of the whale" etc so since we dont require violence for mating why hasnt it disappeared yet?

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1 hour ago, Guest Quran and Itrah said:

 

Summary

1. Something has always had to exist, by nature or necessity of its own existence, or nothing would exist. Something can't come from nothing.

2. Whatever has always existed must - as it states - have always existed. It therefore can not begin to exist, can not be destroyed in form, can not cease to exist in one from and change to the other. Our laws, matter, energy had a beginning, undergo change, and are therefore not necessary but contingent.

3. Whatever has always existed must be above being physical or material, and must be therefore immaterial and changeless.

All beautifully simplified in the following verses:

"Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]?" - Noble Quran

"He is the first and the last" Noble Quran

 

Interesting, but once again, in reference to my original post, why does this have to be god, or have anything to do with a divine creator? Why not some unknown aspect of this universe that is beyond our scope of comprehension?

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1 hour ago, user5000 said:

and why, if he is just, would he create something finite in knowledge only to send it to hell, assuming he is all knowing. 

Quote from the Holy Qur'an: Al-Baqara (2:30)

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَٰٓئِكَةِ إِنِّى جَاعِلٌ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً ۖ قَالُوٓا۟ أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ ٱلدِّمَآءَ وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّىٓ أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels, “I am about to place My Caliph in the earth”; they said, “Will You place (as a caliph) one who will spread turmoil in it and shed blood? Whereas we glorify You with praise and proclaim Your Sanctity”; He said, “I know what you do not.”

 

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1 minute ago, Natsu said:

Quote from the Holy Qur'an: Al-Baqara (2:30)

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَٰٓئِكَةِ إِنِّى جَاعِلٌ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً ۖ قَالُوٓا۟ أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ ٱلدِّمَآءَ وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّىٓ أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels, “I am about to place My Caliph in the earth”; they said, “Will You place (as a caliph) one who will spread turmoil in it and shed blood? Whereas we glorify You with praise and proclaim Your Sanctity”; He said, “I know what you do not.”

 

Right? So why? it doesn't seem like an answerable question.....

So, you just take it and believe as it is?

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Guest salam
14 minutes ago, user5000 said:

Interesting, but once again, in reference to my original post, why does this have to be god, or have anything to do with a divine creator? Why not some unknown aspect of this universe that is beyond our scope of comprehension?

the unknown aspect beyond comprehension itself is what people refer to as god. 

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16 minutes ago, user5000 said:

Right? So why? it doesn't seem like an answerable question.....

So, you just take it and believe as it is?

Yes i do, there is a reason he created us and only he knows why

You can also ask why did he create billions of galaxies,whats the point?

Why couldnt he just place all the humans in jannah in the first place?

We dont know,This world is a test

If he had put believers in jannah and disbelievers in hell dont you think people of hell would say What did we do to deserve this.

So Allah has given us free will and guidance,we choose to accept it or nott

Also Allah forgives all and he is the most merciful but he is also JUST,if he forgave everyone regardless of them seeking forgiveness or not then people could literally rob and kill and still go to paradise;where is the justice?

 

Edited by Natsu

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52 minutes ago, Guest salam said:

the unknown aspect beyond comprehension itself is what people refer to as god. 

So, in essence, it all comes back down to us really not knowing.

Thats agnosticism. We don't know for certain. We would like to think of it as a god, creator, divine architect, whatever.... but, we still don't know forsure.

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Guest salam
55 minutes ago, user5000 said:

So, in essence, it all comes back down to us really not knowing.

Thats agnosticism. We don't know for certain. We would like to think of it as a god, creator, divine architect, whatever.... but, we still don't know forsure.

There will always be doubt for some people.

http://www.shiavault.com/books/your-questions-answered-volume-6/chapters/2-q1-how-to-deal-with-atheist-and-or-agnostic

its okay to have questions there are alot of resources online by islamic scholars you can also contact some scholar and talk about your doubts im sure theyll be willing to have a conversation.

we don't know if we will be alive in the future yet our instinct makes us keep our self supplied for the uncertain future most people with doubts use this thinking of saving for the uncertain hereafter and inshallah maybe someday in the future youll recieve a sign from God specially meant for you. In the end it is a matter of faith or else no one would have doubts. 

And as for the "thats agnosticism" its kinda like agnostic with faith i'd say. Mathematically we can't prove or disprove god. I see the vast world and the existence of it gives me faith that this world and my birth has a purpose, the probability of everything turning out as it is cant even be calculated as we cannot know how many conditions are vital for our existence theres definitely a purpose(I feel). also the instinct of a god being there is natural the Inca empire in the americas was isolated from the rest of the world they didnt even have the wheel or a writing system yet guess what, they had gods. there are alot of books on this subject and its a ital discussion im glad you asked.

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4 hours ago, power said:

I followed the religion to the T, never questioning anything nor having any doubts about it. It wasn’t until the past year or so that I did a complete 180 for reasons unknown,

0kay, you followed a path, but you didn't write the pathway signs for yourself. So now you 180 and need to go back and start again. You can always read your own writing, inshallah.

5 hours ago, user5000 said:

The purpose of this discussion is to lay out some ideas or thoughts that led me to taking this position,

Gnosticism is having mystical/magical knowledge

Agnostic --doubting; unknowable

Letting this pagan pantheon of postulates does not help. Quran was revealed with Ayats for the doubters. What is better than Quran to guide your thinking?

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4 hours ago, Guest salam said:

Evolution also states that if a particular trait isnt used over time it disappears like the "Legs of the whale" etc so since we dont require violence for mating why hasnt it disappeared yet?

Ok, axe out mating. How about status and resource? 

 Violence for resource? Sounds familiar, no? Pretty much every war in the last 5 centuries?

Status? Pax Britanica, Pax Americana? Criminal Organizations, ect. ect.

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1 hour ago, guest 2025 said:

You can leave Hell whenever you want, all you have to do is repent

Sounds like something I would say 2 years ago. As Ive mentioned multiple times in this thread, how does hell fit into the idea of a loving, all knowing, eternal being/force/creator. 

Why create them in the first place? So far, the only direct answer Ive gotten was that "Only god knows".

Whenever we reach a dead end, it becomes "gods will" or "only god knows" rather than, "we don't know".

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4 hours ago, user5000 said:

So, in essence, it all comes back down to us really not knowing.

Thats agnosticism. We don't know for certain. We would like to think of it as a god, creator, divine architect, whatever.... but, we still don't know forsure.

The divinely appointed personalities had absolute yaqeen (certainty) of God’s existence and trust in the purpose of our creation. 
 

Essentially, these personalities are asking us if we believe they are truthful or not. That’s ultimately our decision, and this would in itself settle the issue. 
 

Some may not like the “appeal to authority” argumentation, but what alternative source would be preferable? Other people? Your own personal pontifications?

With that said, there’s nothing wrong with seeking knowledge, logic, self-reflection, and human experience, but know that we are not solely dependent on these alone. As a mercy, we were given these divine messengers to help us.

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1 hour ago, user5000 said:

Sounds like something I would say 2 years ago. As Ive mentioned multiple times in this thread, how does hell fit into the idea of a loving, all knowing, eternal being/force/creator. 

Hell is a natural consequence of one’s actions, such that proper justice is impossible without its potentiality. That said, it’s not something one just falls into, it’s an active, willful process that one works very hard to get into. That’s where its fuel derives.

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7 hours ago, Guest Quran and Itrah said:

Whatever has always existed must be changeless, immaterial, in one state eternally in and of itself. 

For me, this is a powerful statement. With my finite mind, I know I cannot prove this. But I am equally certain I cannot disprove it. I know that I exist--for 66 years now. From my own personal experience, this I know. And from a personal experience with "God" in 1976--44 years ago--that changed my very nature, from darkness to light, from spiritual death to spiritual life, I believe God exists. I have been exposed to the Bible for all of my conscious life. I have found it reliable because it begins, "In the beginning," with an account of the first created human beings and ends in the culmination of human history, and I have never found anything false within it, I have chosen it as my source of truth. In the Bible, which I believe is God's revelation of Himself to humankind, He actually states why we should believe He exists and the penalty for not believing:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,
30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
32 Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. - Romans 1:18-32

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One way I used to think about it is: let’s say for example if you go to planet X and there on the land that is uninhabited, Deserted you all of a sudden find Mercedes just sitting there. Would your mind ever accept that it came into being out of its own? The right environment, with the right ingredients, at the right angles/factors etc could produce such a car? Your mind would never accept this and would automatically deduce this must have been placed here by someone as the odds of this occurring due to chance is next to impossible.
Now look at universe.... it’s much more complex/intertwined, in web of matter, space-time, four fundamental forces with the unknowN dark matter...the odds of all this happening exactly is impossible. 
This might be poor analogy but does make you think. 

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Guest Quran and itrah
6 hours ago, user5000 said:

Interesting, but once again, in reference to my original post, why does this have to be god, or have anything to do with a divine creator? Why not some unknown aspect of this universe that is beyond our scope of comprehension?

If you accept that something can't come from nothing, and you accept that the physical, material world and any manifestation of it (multiverse etc) could not have always just existed for the reasons i delved into in my post, you will accept that whatever has always existed:

1. Must be immaterial and non-physical 

2. Changeless, spaceless, outside of time

3. At least unimaginably powerful (to create the universe)

4. The first, before every first, having no beginning nor end, nor equal.

This immaterial, changeless, powerful necessary existence is what we call 'God'. Some people say 'Yaweh' , some people use other names, but if you affirm this, you have the starting foundational block to accept the existence of God. These other attributes can be proven, but do you accept this? 

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