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About hatsoff

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  • Birthday 06/22/1980

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  1. What Brought You To Believe In God?

    I have no qualms about pointing out ridiculous beliefs for what they are. Please note that I draw a firm distinction between criticizing the person and criticizing their beliefs. I am not calling you out for any personal failing, except one: you hold obviously false beliefs regarding Islam. Now, I understand that my emphasis on the absurdity of your beliefs must sting a bit. However, I have no doubt that you feel similarly about my lack of belief in a god or gods. If you want to talk about this, I think it's best that we're open and honest with our opinions. If you disagree, well, then you are free to respond or decline to respond in whatever manner you like. If you don't want to try to back up your claims with evidence and reason, because you're irritated I don't find it convincing, that's fine. Hopefully I will get responses from more willing participants.
  2. What Brought You To Believe In God?

    And I further assume that since you are an active Muslim, you have had occasion to re-evaluate those teachings as an adult. How, then, do you justify them? Myself, I find no good evidence that a supernatural creator-deity exists, that Muhammad was a prophet thereof, that the Qur'an contains messages from it to us, etc. And I cannot imagine any form of justification for such beliefs, other than evidence. Sure, but then your explanation is incomplete. And that means I'm still curious about how you justify your god-belief, if you don't mind my prying. No. The proposition was made in antiquity, and has been passed down to us today, evolving along the way. I think people believe the proposition for a number of poor reasons, not the least of which is that it is so very popular. One of the heuristic methods we use to determine whether a claim is plausible or not is whether a large number of people agree that it is. If most of the population believes that a disembodied mind created the universe with supernatural powers, then that belief is seen as reasonable. If so many people believe it, surely there are good reasons for thinking so! But there aren't. The sheer force of popularity has in large part helped to allow the stark absurdity of this common belief in a god or gods to go unrecognized. I'm as sure as I can be without actually peering into those hearts, yes.
  3. What Brought You To Believe In God?

    Interesting. It sounds like you were raised Muslim; is that the case? As for your reasoning, I would point out that lots of things "make sense." That doesn't make them true. If I tell you that I went to school today, that would make sense. It would make even more sense if you were previously aware that I am enrolled full-time at a university this semester. But then it also makes sense that I didn't go to school today. After all, a class only meets two to four times each week, depending on the course and section. And it is springtime; perhaps I am on break. Both of these claims make perfect sense, but only one can be true. Sometimes ignorance is all we have. We don't get to make up answers just because we want them.
  4. What Brought You To Believe In God?

    Share what you feel like sharing; I am genuinely curious to hear your story. This does not mean that I will refrain from pointing out where I judge you to have made a mistake in your conclusion(s). If you do not wish to be exposed to that sort of criticism, then you had better not tell me. That's why I made my feelings plain in the OP--so that there would be no surprises later on. It was no insult.
  5. What Brought You To Believe In God?

    I don't recall insulting you, or anyone else.
  6. What Brought You To Believe In God?

    Thanks for your response. Your story is very common; it was my own, for several years.
  7. What Brought You To Believe In God?

    Thanks for your response. In case your question is not rhetorical, I would be glad to answer it--but in another thread. I can tell you that you should be able to comprehend why I don't believe in any god, and I expect to be able to comprehend why you do. That we will disagree with each other does not bother me, nor I hope you. I have read some (though not very much) of the Qur'an in English. I hope to become more familiar with it as time passes, though I have many other priorities which will slow my progress in that regard. That said, I think I understand in part what you're saying. Being raised with the Bible, I find that it often speaks directly to my heart. However, I do not mistake its beauty and wonder for divine inspiration. Why do you think that because the Qur'an invokes such strong feelings in you, it must have been written by a supernatural creator-deity? Well, you could humor me. Or you could test your own dogma, and see if I really don't understand, as the Qur'an promises (according to your interpretation thereof). Perhaps you would have some fun talking about it, as opposed to making declarations that it is incomprehensible and/or inarticulable. It's up to you, of course. Maybe, maybe not. But it is not something I am asking for. I only want to know what brought you personally to believe in Islam. This is incorrect. And even if it were correct, it would be irrelevant. So let's move on... Try me. By the way, I have no idea why you went on like you did about "undeniable proof." I have not asked for any such thing. I simply want to know why you believe.
  8. Hi, all. Some time ago, in a (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/show.php/showtopic/595564.html"]previous thread[/url], I asked about uniquely Islamic reasons for God-belief and belief in Islam, in particular. I thank you all for your cooperation. It gave me a helpful glimpse into Western Muslim thought. Now I'd like to ask, more specifically, why you believe in God. Did you have some kind of special revelation? Did you come to believe through some kind of prophetic evidence? Were you won over by a philosophical argument (e.g. cosmological/teleological/transcendental/etc.)? Or were you raised Muslim--indoctrinated at an early age--? I'm curious to hear your responses. Please keep in mind that I would like to follow up your testimonies with challenging questions, since I find most supernatural claims, including the alleged existence of a disembodied creator-deity who dictates holy books for humans to write down, utterly ridiculous. Thanks!
  9. The Babylonian Falsehood

    yabadaba'doo No, it wasn't: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_celobox.googlepages(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/god.html"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_celobox.googlepages(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/god.html[/url]
  10. The Lack Of Good Evidence For God

    None of these talk about anything ontologically prior to spacetime. For example, string theory is a mathematical model for the behavior of spacetime. And of course I should remind you that such models are highly speculative; so, even if they did describe what you apparently think they do (and let me assure you, they don't), they are far from proved accurate. Why must the universe be dependent on some deeper reality in the first place? And why must that deeper reality be a supernatural disembodied mind, as opposed to some mindless system? These are questions you can't seem to answer--which is of course because they can't be answered; for no such limitations have yet been identified.
  11. The Lack Of Good Evidence For God

    I'm sorry to tell you no such proof exists. If you think otherwise, I invite you to share a reference. That's not how God is defined, but even if it was, you still have to first establish that some thing created it--that spacetime isn't the whole of reality, and that it doesn't exist independently of whatever else might make up that whole.
  12. The Lack Of Good Evidence For God

    That depends on the context. But I asked about contemporaries. You have given me a list of modern names. But none of the claims you just made are facts, and it so happens that I doubt most of them. For example, you claim that Muhammad would have taken credit for the Qur'an, but by doing that he could undermine his claim of divine inspiration. Further, without additional evidence, we have no idea what were the particulars of his situation, and how they might have affected his options and his motivation. This makes it impossible to say anything with confidence about what Muhammad would or would not have done. Such a fantastic analogy has little similarity with our present situation. Muhammad isn't here to interrogate. Neither are his contemporaries. All we have are ancient documents--of which, by the way, I'd like to see an example. Christians falsely claim that their ancient texts were written by eyewitnesses. I have to wonder if Muslims make similarly false claims. I didn't say he was. I simply pointed out that it's considerably more likely than divine inspiration. What prevents a person from having a delusion and personal integrity? Besides, you still haven't made a case for the character of Muhammad. Dropping names isn't the same thing as presenting evidence. I wish you could see that I haven't called him a liar.
  13. The Lack Of Good Evidence For God

    Indeed. And this is the reason that when you ask where I think reality "came from," it is the same as asking where spacetime came from. What do you think I believe existed, which is ontologically prior, for lack of a better term, to spacetime, that spacetime could have "come" from it? I acknowledge no such reality. Spacetime simply is. The question, "why is there [spacetime] rather than nothing?" is a reasonable one, but it is also one for which I have no answer. More importantly, though, it is one for which your answer has no empirical or logical justification.
  14. The Lack Of Good Evidence For God

    Can you please give an example of something which we agree exists, but which is not material or emergent from matter? I do not believe spacetime has been created by the will of a supernatural disembodied mind, but neither do I believe that it "came into being." Such terminology has no meaning outside the context of spacetime.
  15. The Lack Of Good Evidence For God

    I'm pretty sure, yes, for exactly the reason I gave: use of the English language has only ever been observed in human beings. You can re-phrase that in such a way that it sounds a bit like the teleological argument, but it will only be an illusion. Good. Then you'll understand when I express skepticism. Can you please provide an example of the evidence for this? That's a distinct possibility, yes. He did claim to have received a holy book worth of private communication from an invisible, telepathic companion. Typically, this sort of claim is a red flag that the person making it may not be entirely lucid. First of all, I don't believe he did any of those things--not in the way you mean, at least. However, even a profound delusion, so long as it is relatively isolated to one area of understanding, or otherwise benign, is not necessarily debilitating. There is no reason to suppose that a delusion must prevent one from living a productive life, though it is certainly likely to interfere therewith. Or perhaps he was a liar, in spite of your insistence to the contrary. Without evidence, I cannot say which of the two possibilities is most likely, or if perhaps both factors worked together to some extent. I can note, however, that either is considerably more likely than the idea that Muhammad was actually influenced by a supernatural disembodied mind.