Saturday, August 11, 2012

I'm your creator - worship me!

A Muslim recently asked why non-believers should be concerned about Allah torturing them for an eternity:
If you do not believe in something, why do you take exception to a condition that is implied by not believing in that thing? Take a hypothetical situation where a human creates a ‘universe’ wherein he creates robotic beings with need and wants, and he also fulfills those needs and wants. In addition, he gives these beings the capacity to comprehend and understand him and assigns them the task of recognising him as a means of evaluating each being’s validity. The basic requirement he places on these robots is that in the very least they accept and acknowledge their creators (sic) existence. Now if some of these beings do not, does the human not have a right to punish these robots as he sees fit? Will the human not expect his creation to understand the feeling of betrayal (from not recognising their creator) if these robots are capable of this feeling?
Why do you find it difficult to understand non-believers’ concerns over a large proportion of humanity (1.6 billion Muslims at last count, I think) firmly believing that the rest of humanity (over 5 billion souls), will be roasted for an eternity? 
We don’t believe it for one minute. But we do find it disturbing, to say the least, that so many apparently rational and intelligent people are happy to worship a deity who does such appallingly sadistic things. 
Can you not understand our concerns? 
For if you are happy to worship a deity of such mind-blowing cruelty, then that in turn says something about you, doesn't it? About how you view non-believers for a start…
Personally, I can’t conceive, nor would I want to, the agony suffered by someone being burned for an hour, let alone for an eternity. And yet you are happy not just to accept that your God inflicts this torture on countless people whose only fault is not to believe in such a sadistic creation, but to worship Him  (and this really gets me) as “the most merciful of all who are merciful”!
Your metaphor of robots is interesting since it takes away the horror of torturing people. But let’s stick with a similar analogy.

I create a world of little creatures.  I then ensure their world is full of clues to strongly suggest that I DIDN’T create it, such a fossils, evolution theory, junk DNA, a universe of unimaginable wastefulness, etc etc. I also make sure that my message to the little creatures, explaining it was me who created them and that their most important task is to worship me, is in a language only a small minority of them can understand. (I have also, of course, sent down previous messages to other groups of the creatures but I allowed these to get corrupted, so they're basically useless)  I then sadistically torture any of the little creatures who use the intelligence that I gave them to question my existence. 
What do you think that says about me?
I'd say the men in white coats ought to be along to put me in a nice, safe, padded cell. 
Wouldn't you?

(Oh - and by the way, isn't "betrayal" a very human emotion?)


  1. I seems to me you're scared of what Allah has in store for you, my friend.

  2. @ Spinoza

    While I understand your concerns of God ‘torturing’ people with hellfire, I will ask to re-evaluate your understanding of the relationships between a creator and his creation.

    Note that never did I say that every non-believer will be roasted! The Qur’an says the ‘Kafirs’ and Munafiqs (hypocrites) will be sent to the hellfire. If you do your research, you will note that the definition of a Kafir/Munafiq is the one who knows and understands Islam, yet despite this, rejects it. It does not encompass people who

    a) Did not receive the message of Islam and are hence ignorant of it, due to them being born/living in a time/place where a prophet or messenger did not reach them.
    b) Mentally challenged individuals
    c) Minors
    d) People who did not receive the message of Islam in its true and correct form (this one is very relevant in this day and age). This has also happened to holy books in the past, but Allah GUARANTEES that the Qur'an will never be corrupted

    Noting the above, all 5 billion+ non-Muslims of today are certainly not Kafirs! As I said before, Allah is infinitely just and will judge these individuals according to his wisdom.

    As for the punishment itself, note again that Allah, being infinitely just, cannot inflict a punishment more severe than deserving of the crime. The Qur’an also serves as a warning to mankind, and one must understand that Allah’s choice of words in the Qur’an, e.g. ‘hell-fire’ or ‘burn’, are meant to have an emotional impact (which they are apparently having, on you!) so that one understand the implications of disbelief.

    You seem to imply that there is a lot of scientific or empirical evidence that a ‘God’ DID NOT create the universe. I disagree, I am a scientist and engineer and I have studied this matter in detail, finding that there IS a lot of evidence suggesting creation. The very fact that every single tenet of science is based on a so-called ‘law of conservation’ (of mass, energy, space, time, charge, etc.) the whole of modern technological society is designed on and runs on the principle that the matter of the universe cannot create or reproduce itself. This automatically implies that some higher power, Who is NOT governed by the laws of physics, is responsible for the creation of the material universe.

    Besides that, note that nowhere does the Qur’an explicitly refute evolution in the animal kingdom, and some have even interpreted verses of the Qur’an to actually support it. Similarly, some see the Qur’an as advocating for the Big Bang theory, space travel, etc.

    Let me just add that we believe that Allah is merciful because he created everything in its most beautiful form (the stars, galaxies, planets, plants and animals, other humans, etc.) for human benefit. He gave us all the emotions and intellect we need to recognize him and even gave us these things to those do not even believe in Him. Even more, he is also ready to forgive us despite our inability to fulfill his rights (because he made us inherently imperfect and he will never discriminate or judge us in an unfair manner).

  3. The idea of a jealous Allah or a vengeful Allah, in my view, does not exist in Islam. Allah has on many occasions, in the Qur’an, made it expressly clear that Allah is not in need of us, our worship or even our belief. He also make it quite obvious that he is free to forgive any he pleases and punish any he pleases, yet his forgiveness exceeds his anger. The notion that Allah can be vengeful for us not worshiping Him is, again in my view, there to make it easier for us humans to rationalize why we need to worship Him (i.e. the fact that we owe Him everything in life)

  4. Hi Muslim,
    Thanks for your comments. Firstly, you seem keen to minimise the number of poor victims who will suffer Allah's wrath. But don't we already know the number?....
    ...for Bukhari tells us the following:
    The Prophet said, 'Allah will say, "Adam!" "I am obedient to Your orders." Allah will say, "Bring out the people of the Fire." "How many are the people of the Fire?" Allah will say, "Out of every thousand take out nine-hundred and ninety-nine persons." At that time children will become hoary-headed and every pregnant female will drop her load. You will see the people as if they were drunk. Allah's punishment will be very severe.'" V8B76N537
    Or is this another of the Bukhari hadith that liberal Muslims have decided to ignore (whilst reciting to each other those which have a less fire-and-brimstone feel to them...)
    You say the Qur'an is very specific about who will burn in Hell. I agree.
    "The Mujrim (disbeliever) desire will be to free himself from the Punishment by sacrificing his children as a ransom to save himself from the torment." 70:10
    This seems pretty clear to me that it is simply disbelievers. It is also, to use the word that Eren over at Muslimah Walking Around so dislikes, pretty sadistic in its tone, I'd say.
    70:12 makes it even plainer that Allah does indeed DELIGHT in these threats and tortures:
    "He would sacrifice his wife and his brother, and his kin who sheltered him, and all that is on earth to deliver himself from the Doom. By no means! For them it is the Fire of Hell! Plucking apart his body right to the skull! Taking away the head skin. Eager to roast; dragged by the head, hell shall claim all who flee."
    You say Allah's choice of words are meant "simply to have an emotional impact". I'll say! And what do you think the poor children who are forced in madrassas to recite this stuff day-in, day-out make of it all?
    Moderate, liberal Muslims (just like the moderate, liberal Christians) try hard to persuade us that that this stuff is not to be taken at face value.
    But then why threaten it all it the first place? Surely telling us that when we die we cease to exist and miss out on eternal life in Paradise would have been sufficient, wouldn't it? Why spend verse after horrific verse enumerating the tortures (there's that word again) that Allah is going to inflict upon the non-believer - even down to specifying what they will eat down there (variously: puss or special thorny fruit or hot oil, I believe)
    I find your suggestion that Allah is merciful because he created everything in its most beautiful form for humans incredible (in the literal sense). To paraphrase David Attenborough: What about the parasitic worm that burrows into the back of the eyeball of the African child thus making him blind. Presumably your God created that as well. Or malaria? Or any number of other horrors of the natural world? In the same way that those who believe in a merciful god choose to ignore the verses in their Holy books that make it clear he is anything but, so they also ignore the plainly horrific things in this world and choose to focus on flowers and butterflies and rainbows...
    There is so much more to take issue with in your comment but that will have to do for now.

    1. My mistake - the sinners are given boiling water to drink:
      "Those who shall dwell forever in the Fire are given to drink boiling water that tears their bowels to pieces, and cutting their intestines to shreds." 47:15
      (but I'm sure it's just allegorical, so we've needn't worry. I just wish someone would tell those fellas over at iERA)

    2. Yes, you're going to pull out every single verse in the Qur'an and Hadith that threatens man, yet you fail to mention even one of the thousands of times Allah mentions that He is forgiving, merciful, will overlook our faults, etc.

      About the 999/1000 Hadith, you do not post the complete explanation, which includes the Prophet explaining that most of the 999 will be Yajuj and Majuj from the end times just before the day of judgement. Your reporting is just as biased as the skewed lense through which you look at Islam.

      As for the fear that the day of judgement will incur in the people, who is there to say that Allah will actually make these fears come true. Such extreme fear will be a HUMAN reaction to the realsiation that there was truth in the message of Allah, and perhaps that they had not lived their lives as they should have.

      Do you really expect any of us to believe that humans beings would behave perfectly amicably if only encouraged with good words? Anyone with a basic understanidng of human psychology knows that humans also need to be warned and that fear is a key component of dissuasion from wrongdoing. If not, why do we not abolish all public forms of policing or warningin society?

      You still haven't come up with any response to my fundamental point, that we as humans are responsible for our actions, to a higher power (Allah). You keep trying to show that Allah is vengeful, scary, hurting, sadistic etc., yet you fail to acknowledge that had HE created us and placed in a position to obey Him, we would be obliged to do so.

      I've come across that quote of Attenborough's years ago. He fails to realise, like you, that without evil we would never understand good, without pain we would never feel pleasure and that without the negative, the positive is meaningless. Who gave you the right to question the life of that parasitic worm?

      Tell me, did you create the universe? Did you create that worm, or even a single celled amoeba? If not, why do you so readily question the symbiotic circle of life upon which every thing begins and ends it existence? Your own body wouldn't be sustained if you hadn't consumed some or other living thing (be it plant or animal). Does that mean your existence is evil?

      There can only be one reality, so just 'telling' you that there is no afterlife to put your mind at peace and let you go about your life without a care for your actions and responsibilites is not something Allah would do. Let us take the hypothetical situation where Allah says that there is no afterlife, what do you think is stop greedy people from usurping the property of the weak? What do you think the pedophiles will do to small children? Human laws are imperfect, as are human justice systems. The final reckoning must take the form of a day of judgement, to restore balance to the sum of human expericence. If there was no mention of a day of judgement, even I would have abandoned religion just like Attenborough and you.

    3. Hi Spinoza

      There are also a few question that I would like you to answer:

      a) If that poor African child, or the numerous diseases and horrors of the natural world did not exist, would that prove or disprove the existence of God. Or to put it another way, if I decided to write a novel which is half full of pain, heartbreak, evil, etc. and half full of joy, happiness, hope, etc., does that mean that I as the author do not exist just beacuse I wrote the bad parts?

      b) If a higher power did not create the universe, who did? How did all these atoms come into existence when one atom cannot create another? Where did they come from? Don't just disagree, please provide a better explanation if you don't accept mine. Or perhaps you can make an atom for me, from nothing? :)

      c) Contrary to what you claim, I do not deny the existence of both a positive and a negative narrative of Allah in the Qur'an and Hadith.
      If you are so concerend about the existence of the negative, why do you not protest with equal contempt the existence of the positive? Shouldn't God then be neutral? Why do you not take exception to God being merciful?

    4. Hi Muslim,
      Thanks again for your comments. I'm away for a couple of days but will answer your questions on my return (or on my travels if I have access to the net).

    5. As a final question, what rationale do you profess in your view that God has to be either totally mericful or totally sadistic? The definition of the Islamic God (Allah) makes it very clear that God judges his creation, and has the full right to reward or punish whomever he find desreving of reward or punsihment. On what basis do you infer that just because Allah is capable of punishment, that he does not exist or that He will abuse that capacity? Yes, the Qur'an and Hadith make it clear that some of his creation WILL be punished, but who are you to say that those will not be deserving of it? Please show me a single verse or HAdith where Allah promises to punish someone for no reason.

    6. Punishing someone for simply not believing/ recognizing the punisher is a punishment for no reason.

      Imagine an old feudal landlord who owns a large size of land. A huge population of peasants live and work in his land. The landlord feeds them, provides them with homes, clothes etc. He has also set up a judicial system, where he punishes crimes and rewards good deeds. In fact, he holds so much power that he decides who lives and dies

      Yet this Landlord, due to the power he holds and everything he does for the peasants, believes he should be worshiped by the peasants. Anyone who fails to do so is taken into a torture chamber where they are tortured mercilessly!

      If you were to hear such a story of torture, you would puke. You would not find his reasons for punishing people for not worshiping him as justified in any manner!

      Yet, if the same Landlord had an infinite amount of power, and he commits the SAME crimes with more intensity, you are happy to worship and praise him and even call him merciful!

      It is tragic how people intentionally kill their humanity and defend sadistic torturing!

  5. You have already posted this, but according to several hadiths, 99.9% of Humanity will be in Hell.

    "The Prophet said, "Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection), 'O Adam.' Adam will reply, 'Labbaik wa Sa`daik', and all the good is in Your Hand.' Allah will say: 'Bring out the people of the fire.' Adam will say: 'O Allah! How many are the people of the Fire?' Allah will reply: 'From every one thousand, take out nine-hundred-and ninety-nine.'"

    This is how anyone can know that Islam is full of sh**! On the Day of Judgment, Allah will ask Adam to take out the people of Hell who will be 99.9% of the whole of Humanity.

    A religion just for 0.1% elite! Haa even the "evil" Wall Street 1 percenters are better than Allah!

    Furthermore, if an omniscient God whose plan for humanity involves the torture of 99.9% of all Humans to have ever lived, then clearly the fault was with "creator" for creating such an incompetent plan!

    Then again, there is the possibility that Allah is just a sadist and the 0.1% elite he will put in his eternal brothel are those Muslims who are sadistic enough like Allah to defend the idea of torturing billions upon billions of innocent Men and Women .

  6. @Muslim

    //Note that never did I say that every non-believer will be roasted! The Qur’an says the ‘Kafirs’ and Munafiqs (hypocrites) will be sent to the hellfire. If you do your research, you will note that the definition of a Kafir/Munafiq is the one who knows and understands Islam, yet despite this, rejects it. //

    yes you are right here..but according to the quran allah will clear to all human beings that this is the truth ..if allah is unable to send his message to even one human being ..then the attempt of allah to send his last message for the whole of human kind is is impossible according to quran that any person remain unknown to his message..coz allah clearly says that "Only religion acceptable in hereafter is Islam" may argue on definition of means "submission to god" how one can submit to god if message didn't reach him ? and on other hand allah says that "submission to god" is acceptable in hereafter other than that nothing will be yes any sane adult dying without accepting islam is certainly a kaafir ...

  7. @Muslim

    you forgot another category of kaafir that is a mushrik. Quran clearly states that Shirk will never be forgiven ... although it is impossible according to quran that any person remain unknown of islam but even if there is someone to whom islam didn't reach , he must believe in one god else he is screwed up and will get tortured in hell fire without end by ALL MERCIFUL BEING who is his creator

  8. @Muslim

    imagine that you have powers of allah [god] are hovering in dark somewhere...what will urge you to create angels and watch them bowing to you ? ....after much much much much time period what will urge you to test human beings and more interestingly you know the end result ? ...why you will create heaven and hell for belief and disbelief ? why you will create those human beings who you know that will end up in hell ?

  9. @Muslim

    God of all the religions [esp abrahmic faiths] is worse than human beings .... he becomes angry if someone not believe in him ...he loves to get praised....he become happy if someone praise him .....from where he got all his emotions ?? are emotions also uncreated and eternal ? from where the knowledge of creation came in god ? who taught him to create universe like this or that...? how he came to know that what is wrong and what is right ?

  10. @ Muslim "Yes, you're going to pull out every single verse in the Qur'an and Hadith that threatens man, yet you fail to mention even one of the thousands of times Allah mentions that He is forgiving, merciful, will overlook our faults, etc."
    Spinoza doesn't need to mention the many verses that suggest Allah is merciful, since if just one verse suggests He is a sadistic, vengeful creation then it surely proves that He cannot be the perfect deity that Muslims worship.
    Surely that is the whole point of this debate.

  11. Hi Muslim,
    Anonymous above has answered one of your points very succinctly, so I'll leave that.
    You suggest Allah needs to instill fear in his creation, otherwise they wouldn't behave. How do you account for those atheist charity workers, nurses, doctors, teachers etc who lead blameless lives? Religion doesn't force bad people to behave well but it can force good people to behave badly - just look at the poor deluded souls who flew the planes into the Twin Towers. Telling your followers they get a ticket straight to Paradise if they die fighting for you is one of the most pernicious doctrines ever thought up.
    "You still haven't come up with any response to my fundamental point, that we as humans are responsible for our actions, to a higher power (Allah). You keep trying to show that Allah is vengeful, scary, hurting, sadistic etc., yet you fail to acknowledge that had HE created us and placed in a position to obey Him, we would be obliged to do so." Not quite sure I follow your logic here. IF Allah created us and IF he said we were to obey him - then of course, in your belief system, we would have to obey him. What is your point?
    (Do you not agree that IF there is a Flying Spaghetti Monster and IF he created us and IF he wants us to work in the Great Beer Factory then we should? My question to you makes as much sense, since I believe in Allah as much as you believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster)

    If there was no evil we would be unable to understand good, you say. I suppose my question would then be: HOW MUCH evil do we need to crack that one? And it seems a bit unfair on those who suffer famine, child-abuse, excruciating and debilitating disease etc etc that they are simply serving to illustrate some philosophical premise for the rest of us. Doesn't it??

    I don't know how the universe came into being. But why does that then mean I have to jump at the idea of God doing it? If God did do it, why did he do it in such a wasteful way? (Hundreds of billions of galaxies, each containing billions of stars [Milky Way contains 200 billion stars] just to create us) And we then have to ask how did God come into being? I prefer to use Occam's Razor - slice away all the unlikely scenarios until you're left with the most likely. God gets the chop on the first slice, I'm afraid.
    With regard to God's character - you "accept the negative narrative of Allah" in the Qur'an and ask why I cannot accept His good attributes in turn...Again, i'm not entirely sure I understand your point.Perhaps it's my christian upbringing, but I if I were going to believe in an omniscient, omnipotent Creator and spend my life worshiping Him, I'd have to believe He was BENEFICENT and PERFECTLY GOOD. It would therefore be IMPOSSIBLE for Him to exhibit such petty human emotions as jealousy ("Don't you dare worship other gods"), vengeance ("Your God is a vengeful God!"), sadism etc etc. Is this the "negative narrative" of Allah that you accept? If so, why do you worship something that you accept has a "negative narrative" in the first place? Why not reject it as an obviously human contruct?

  12. @ Anonymous (August 15)

    My definition of 'perfect deity' is not someone who does not punish, buit rather someone who carries out justice. And yes, justice does include punishment. Perfection encompasses both positive and negative attributes when it relates to what is right and wrong. The perfect judge will hand down a sentence to a criminal as likely as he will reward someone who does a good deed.


    Your allegory hold no water. The relation between a feudal landlord and peasants does not reflect in any way whatsoever the relation between a creator and his creation.

    a) The feudal landlord requires the services of his peasants to run his system of welfare, whereas Allah makes it explicitly clear that He is completely independent of His creation. Allah gives mankind everything for FREE.

    b) Infinite power? There can be a higher power than the "landlord", who can even be the decider of the landlord's life/death. Hence, one cannot worship the landlord. However, Allah is BY DEFINITION the pinnacle of power, hence HE DOES have a RIGHT to be worshipped and does consequently have a right to punish those who don't do so.

    c) Why is it a "crime" to punish those who owe you a right?

    In my view, the greatest attribute of Allah is that He is merciful and will forgive, despite his capacity to punish. You can argue as much as you like, but the scriptures are quite clear: Allah has promised to forgive one just one conditions - that we believe in Him.

    1. You have not answered my contention nor did you even try to represent it correctly?

      I am not saying that the relation between a human landlord and his peasants are the same as that of Allah and all humans! BUT they are analogous in many aspects! Try answering these questions sincerely (without resorting to misrepresentations)!

      Would you or would you not CONDEMN the actions of a tyrannical landlord who punishes and tortures his peasants for not praising him? Would you describe such a person as a good being?

      If your answer is that you would condemn such an evil being, then the question WHY would the SAME behavior be considered as good if the being performing the condemnable actions were omnipotent? (Do not misrepresent this point again!)

      Your attitude seems to that of "might makes right" which is truly appalling!

      And What right do I owe Allah? Why is it his right it should be praised and believed in by everyone (especially when he has not given any credible evidence for his existence).

      Your example if anything shows Allah is not merciful. Consider the landlord again, if someone in his land refused to Kiss his ass! he would be tortured for a long time BUT if a serial murderous rapist were brought to him and he praises the landlord, he would forgive him!

      There is hardly any mercy in a God who thinks the most unforgivable act one can do is that of one sincerely disbelieving in God due to the absence of any evidence!

  13. @ Spinoza

    a) The issue of fear:

    Again just because there are some atheists who are good and some believers who are bad doesn't imply that there is no need for punishment. I just have to present a single case of an atheist's wrongdoing to dipsrove your

    argument against punishment.

    I don't see any point in the argument that humans 'thought up' the concept of God so that individual could behave themselves and society could benefit. If this were the case, it certainly hasn't worked!! Despite the

    existence of religion throughout history, people have always committed misdemenaours as well as excelled in good works. Both sides of the coin become meaningless once one realises that no human is in control of the

    universe and no one can control his/her destiny. Hence, there must be a divine hand

    You say religion forces 'good' people to behave 'badly'??? Can you cite a real example?? You cite the 9/11 attacks:

    I have yet to see a shred of unbiased, independently verified evidence about the 9/11 attacks proving that:
    1) These attacks were indeed carried out as claimed (there are many contetsting theories that haven't been disproven)
    2) That the attackers were religiously motivated or even remotely religious
    3) That the attackers were otherwise known as 'good' people

    Just because religion teaches you that fighting oppression will gain paradise doesn't mean some idiots won't misuse or misinterpret that to further their own interests. Same thing happens when some atheist communist

    glorifies fighting for the party, or the nation, etc. I don't see how the guillible human mind can be used to deny religion.

    Yes, throughout history religion has been used, wrongly in my view, to motivate people to do unjustifiable acts (crusades, etc.). However, this is again a sign of human weakness. It does not, by any means, negate the

    logic which I see that points to God's existence. Remember, I do not claim belief to just any religion, I claim belief to the one true religion (which I see currently as Islam)

    Allah's greatest attribute is that He forgives despite having the capacity to punish.

    b) Good and Evil:

    You seem to be very concerned that its 'a bit unfair' that so many people are suffering, there are wars, hunger, etc (i.e there are some who are more advantaged than others). By the same logic, shouldn't I consider it

    'a bit unfair' that there are people who are born richer, happier, helathier, than me. Does this mean that I can now go and violate their rights, steal their property, etc.? My point is that good and evil are RELATIVE.

    Hence, there must be a supernatural REFERENCE POINT which defines good and evil, hence God.

    I also believe that if humans weren't imperfect, there would be no wars, famine, disease, etc. I don't see human weakness as a reason for God's nonexistence, in much the same way that I don't see another humans weakness

    as a reason for my own non-existence.

    Also, can I ask: How much good do we need to prove God's exsitence???

    Good and evil don't exist to prove some philosphical premise. They exist because there are natural, inherent imbalances in the universe. Go back to my previous post about the day of judgement and see where I'm coming

    from. God PROMISES to restore balance. If the promise wasn't there, I wouldn;t believe either!

  14. c) Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Yes, as I said before, there is only one reality. If that reality is the 'flying spaghetti monster', then there's nothing you or I can do to change it. However, unlike you monster, Allah doesn't command us to work in a

    giant beer factory. Allah commands us to live in peace and harmony, see to everyone's well-being, worship and recognise Him and of course believe in Him. He never commands us to ill-treat anyone (yes, I know, you'll

    probably pull some Qur'anic verses out of context, but I already have the answers to those wild misinterpretations).

    d) I have a very pressing question for atheist/agnostics: The soul

    If there is no supernatural domain, what is our essence? What is it that we perceive as ourselves? Are we just a bunch of electric signals in our brains? Does that mean that if I recreated a material human body to

    perfection, it would suddenly jump up and start living? Also, what is death? Surely if there's no soul we should be able to bring the dead back to life by repairing their material bodies. Why has this not been done?

    There are just a few of the reasons I believe in the hereafter. As you can see, religion explains things better than atheism, hence I believe.

    e) Creation of God

    You can ask how did Go come into being? The whole concept of creation and destruction is attached to the passing of time. We believe that time itself is a material entity (physics has proven this) and God, having

    created space and time, transcends space and time. Thus by definition, he has no beginning and no end (and so will the soul once it leaves the physical universe)

    1. Muslim,
      You say you do not believe that those who flew the planes into the Twin Towers were doing so because of their religion. In fact, it sounds horribly like you believe in the cover-up theory. Let's leave the Twin Towers then (I can't be bothered to enter into THAT debate) What about the 7/7 bombers in London, then? They handily left videos explaining to their families that they were doing Jihad for Allah. Or the Taliban, inter alia, poisoning the drinking water in girls' schools in Afghanistan. You will say these people are misinterpreting the Qur'an and the message of peace in Islam. My response would be that, nonetheless, it is religion which has so poisoned their minds that they think what they are doing is good. I don't think the 7/7 bombers were evil. I think they were fundamentally good people made bad by religion.
      Just to clarify,I think it MONUMENTALLY UNJUST that the poor and destitute and vulnerable suffer appalling misfortune in this world. My "a bit unfair" was litotes or understatement. I was hoping you might have picked it up. Thus, my problem with your justification for the existence of evil (that we need it to appreciate good)is that those who suffer it, do so apparently to illustrate this philosophy for the rest of us. Hence you believe YOUR GOD creates the parasitical worm, cancer, malaria, plague, leprosy...(the list is endless)so that we can better understand goodness. Forgive me if I find that credo "a bit" despicable. (By the way, how can you believe "that if humans weren't imperfect there would be no disease"? Do animals suffer from disease because they are morally degenerate as well?)
      What you refer to as the soul, atheists believe is simply consciousness and self-awareness. And yes, it is perfectly reasonable to assume these are the product of electrical impulses in the brain.
      Your question regarding bringing bodies back to life makes me wonder about the "scientific background" you lay claim to. Perhaps you'd like to clarify what you mean exactly...

    2. Spinoza

      a) I hate to have to repeat myself, but lets just get this clear: I have yet to witness any true, correctly guided Mulsim commit an act of terror.

      The 7/7 bombings (and countless other senseless acts of revenge) were motivated primarily by the unyielding oppression (economic, social, political, etc.) which has left some individuals in certain societies with a hatred for the 'other', i.e. ethnic groups, nations, etc. This is nothing new to history and has nothing to do with religion. I myself have witnessed personally the way certain nations have invaded, destroyed and totally dehumanised some Muslim countries, and I can totally understand if some few people are unable to hold back their anger and frustration and carry out violent acts of terror. Again, this is HUMAN WEAKNESS. My religion encourages acommodation and forgiveness, but also allows us to defend ourselves. You don't have to be a Muslim to understand that everyone has feelings. When you see you country get bombed, your children killed, etc. you can do pretty much anything. The causes of these phenomena (war, terrorism, oppression, etc.) are varied and complex and more often than not, I notice, they lead not from religion, but a LACK thereof.

      On my side, I don't intend to get involved in the whole Jihad debate. I find that many non-Muslims simply cannot come to grasps with the fact that

      a) SOME Muslims will abuse the concept
      b) ALL Muslims have a right to self defence
      (So yes, the Taliban DO have a right to fight, although I don't agree with some of their methods)
      c) Just because our religion compells us to defend ourselves against unjust attacks, it doesn't mean we automatically hate who are not Muslim

      Also, you say that religion poisoned their minds. Would you then say the same for communism (which also led to millions of deaths in the last century) and capitalism (which continues to make the rich richer and the poor poorer)?

      I have followed Islam my entire life, how come I didn't become poisoned? I would never do the things these people did, so what about me (and the majority of my co-religionists)? Are we also doomed to have our minds brainwashed?

    3. What prompted a teaching assistant from Leeds to blow himself up? Do you accept that the utter conviction he was on his way to Paradise MIGHT have had at least something to do with it? Do you also accept that had he NOT believed he was going to receive a "martyr's reward" he would have probably not done it? Ergo religion prompted him to act as he did. Are the Taliban "defending themselves" when they stone adulterers or poison little girls just for going to school or are they persuaded they are following their religion? Without the certain belief they are following God's rules they would NOT act as they do. Ergo religion prompts them to act as they do.
      You ask why you haven't been poisoned by religion. Did I ever say everyone who follows religion becomes a bad person? Of course not. I am simply saying that religion (and in particular Islam) CAN and OFTEN DOES lead otherwise good people (teaching assistants from Leeds, for example)to commit the most heinous crimes because they think God is on their side.
      You are of course right that other belief systems (such as communism or fascism) that require unquestioning adherence and deny or discourage rational inquiry lead to evil. What is your point?

  15. @ Azdaha ExMuslim and Spinoza

    "God's Emotions"

    Why do you insist that YOU have a right to decide what attributes my God should or should not have, when YOU had no hand in creating the reality which I attribute to my God?? I don't see any logic in it at all. Why do you define perfectly natural human emotions as 'petty'?

    Let's put it this way: IF I were living in a perfect parallel universe, would it be reasonable for me to deny the existence of this universe just because someone told me that it is not perfect?

    You fail to realise how wishful your thinking is!! Just beacuse you perceive that jealousy, vengeance, etc. are signs of weakness in humans, you cannot accept that God may portray them. Yet one can argue without jealousy, vengeance, etc, there would be no motive for equality, peace and harmony. The very reason we have laws guaranteeing freedom and equality are that we must respect each human's feelings of jealosuy and vengenace. If someone hurt me and I did not feel vengeance, then that person would have no moral reason not to hurt me further and I would have no moral right to live unhurt!

    To be quite frank, I find you ideas scary! It seems as if you think that while you may continue to enjoy your 'human rights' based on you so called 'petty' human emotions, you are ever so ready to deny these same natural emotions to your creator.

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  17. Occam's razor states that the most likely explanation is the correct one. Since you cannot supply an explanation in the first place, HOW does that imply that God gets the chop in the first place??? What is 'unlikely' about a supernatural being creating something that cannot create itself?? In my understanding, Occam's razor states you should reject the more complex explanations in favor of a simpler one. This doesn't mean you can simply deny the existence of the creation question!! If you have a simpler EXPLANATION, please bring it forth!

    1. The answer is in the question: "What is unlikely about a SUPERNATURAL being?" Supernatural = Beyond what is natural, or explicable by rational, reasoned, scientific means. You are therefore reliant upon unnatural, irrational, unreasonable arguments.
      I'm happy for you to rely upon your FAITH but please don't tell me your belief in God as creator of the universe is logical, rational or in any way scientific.
      Therefore I stand by my reference to Occam's razor.