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The Quran Is Not The Word Of Man

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Your position that it is not possible to objectively judge between two pieces of literature is arguable.

No, I'm pretty sure it isn't. It would be an easy thing to prove though, simply come up with an argument demonstrating the objective nature of literary quality.

 

It seems to derive itself from Relativism, whereas Relativism and its various permutations such as Subjectivism have been severely challenged on philosophical grounds by a long list of thinkers.

That sounds cool, but is pretty baseless, especially in this instance. I would be interested in the list of thinkers you have in mind, however, since my degree is in philosophy. I'm not a relativist, but I do think Kant has a pretty good point about the noumena. Even if you qualify it, that still won't get you to objective knowledge of which piece of literature is better, nevermind which is best. I like to think of myself as more of a pragmatist, however, and lean towards thinkers like Pierce and Wittgenstein.

 

To bandy the notion about as being a universally accepted truth is at best a mistake, and at worst deceptive. Is there really any consensus among thinkers on the question of 'objective reality'? I'd say not.

When has philosophy ever formed a consensus? Nevertheless, it isn't hard to see you have failed to put forward anything approaching a rigorous argument for your case. Honestly, if our positions were reversed, I would abandon the talk of objectivity and go with something along the lines of intersubjectivity. It would work out for you a lot better, although I'm not familiar enough with the Quran and Islam to know if your religious beliefs would allow for that particular philosophical tact.

 

So we return to the Quran's challenge and your allegation that the challenge is invalid. To reiterate your stance, you say that it is impossible to judge whether one piece of writing is objectively better than another. But this seems counter-intuitive. A qualified assessor can easily distinguish the work of Shakespeare as being better than a poem written in haste by a school student. You would be hard pressed to assert that this view was merely the subjective opinion of the assessor. Such an assertion illicitly assumes the non-existence of an objective reality to 'greater quality'. Again, this is a view from Relativism, whereas Relativism is far from being universally accepted.

But how has he assessed that Shakespeare is better than a school student? He has applied a set of standards which are an amalgamation of his own education, cultural biases, and personal preference. In addition, if the competition was between Shakespeare and the school student, but the criteria was scientific accuracy, then it very well could come out that the student is better than Shakespeare. Again, our definition of better is subjective and determined by the goal in assessing the piece of literature. The only reason this seems objective is because the criteria is held in common, and so general agreement, especially with comparisons that have clear differences.

 

The Quran possesses various literary characteristics which together, give it an elevated eloquence. It is possible to assess objectively whether a given challenger to the Quran possesses these characteristics to the same or a greater extent....I believe I have provided a list of objectively assessable criteria against which any challengers could be judged.

Sorry, it doesn't seem like we are going to get anywhere with this topic. The criteria you listed are not only subjective in themselves (one person could legitimately disagree with another over their measure), but are subjective in that one would have to ask why those sets of criteria are the ones we should evaluate literature on. In other words, I have no reason for accepting the Quran's measure of either eloquence or greatness. I am sure you will come again with a rebuttal, but unless it is a very interesting one, I don't see us carrying on this discussion much longer.

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I'm sure that Sad Clown will argue this effectively, but can I just say that if relativism is 'far from being universally accepted', thus incorrect, the idea that the Koran was dictated by a god is also far from being universally accepted. Does that make it an incorrect idea?

 

This is irrelevant. My point is that we should not take a given philosophical view as a given.

 

Not difficult. Every author has their own style.

 

But in most cases, this style still fits into the various categories of prose or poetry. The Quran is unique in that it does not fit into any previously known category.

 

 

Again, not difficult. If you can quantify the number of these devices used by the Koran, it's simple to add one more. (Although your word "effectively" again puts us back in the realm of the subjective.)

 

'Effective' can be objectively judged. Thing 'A' works, in that it achieves the purpose it was designed for. Thing 'B' does not. This can be judged objectively by observing the result.

 

 

"Depth" is subjective, unless you can quantify it.

 

Depth here can be viewed as 'the amount or number of messages' conveyed by a given number of words.

 

Lots of subjectivity there, but simply stipulating that a certain number of verses have to rhyme with something doesn't make for much of a challenge.

 

If you know anything of poetry or verse, you will understand the importance and value of rhyme. You can dismiss it as easy to do, but talk is cheap.

 

 

Well, you cannot set up a challenge ithout a complete list of criteria. Also, a more fundamental problem is that you have stipulated that the challenger must have its own unique style, yet you also stipulate that it must conform to the style of the Koran (number of rhyming verses, etc). You can't ask for both.

 

I was asked to provide objective criteria. I have done this. Perhaps an expert can add some more objective criteria, I don't know. The fact is, I have provided you with some criteria. The fewer the criteria, the easier it ought to be for the challenger. And again, I am not the issuer of the challenge. It is the Quran.

 

You again made an incorrect leap of logic. Just because one particular book scores better on a certain set of quantifiable criteria than all others does not logically mean that it was dictated by a god.

 

If it can be demonstrated that it is beyond human ability to 'score better' than the Quran on those criteria, it clearly points to it not being written by man.

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But in most cases, this style still fits into the various categories of prose or poetry. The Quran is unique in that it does not fit into any previously known category.

 

"Known category" is misleading. Descriptions of literaty categotries arise *after* a work has appeared which needs to be categorized. At one time there ould have been fewer categories of Arabic literature.

 

'Effective' can be objectively judged. Thing 'A' works, in that it achieves the purpose it was designed for. Thing 'B' does not. This can be judged objectively by observing the result.

 

Just because X billion Muslims (probably the majority of whom do not speak Arabic and recite the Koran by rote) consider themselves as being Muslims because of the eloquence of the Koran is not an argument, even if it were true that they studied the Koran in the context of Arabic literature before they had committed to being Muslims. A greater number of people are convinced of the divine origin of different religious texts. is the Koran less effectie than these other texts?

 

Depth here can be viewed as 'the amount or number of messages' conveyed by a given number of words.

 

So how many messages would one need to convey per hundred words to better the Koran?

 

If you know anything of poetry or verse, you will understand the importance and value of rhyme. You can dismiss it as easy to do, but talk is cheap.

 

I don't dismiss it, I say that if the competition's criteria is to have more (or as many) rhymes on a particular word than the Koran it is not a difficult chanllenge.

 

I was asked to provide objective criteria. I have done this. Perhaps an expert can add some more objective criteria, I don't know. The fact is, I have provided you with some criteria. The fewer the criteria, the easier it ought to be for the challenger. And again, I am not the issuer of the challenge. It is the Quran.

 

But your criteria are not objective.

 

Also, you have not answered my objection that you want the challenger to have a unique style but also to conform to the style of the Koran. You cannot ask for both.

 

 

If it can be demonstrated that it is beyond human ability to 'score better' than the Quran on those criteria, it clearly points to it not being written by man.

 

But it cannot be demonstrated.

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There's a difference between celebrating human sexuality and pornography. This is genuinely the first time I've ever heard the Song of Solomon referred to as '######', and I'm genuinely surprised.

maybe the first time for you.not for me.

 

and you celebrate human sexuality?

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Of course I celebrate human sexuality!

 

If your god created us as we are, your god must have decided to make us reproduce sexually - we could reproduce asexually. The pleasure invilved in sexual reproduction is surely a gift from the god. Why not celebrate it?

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Actually, I haven't said anything about mountains. Don't really care about it either.

 

Looking back at what wattle and the others were discussing i put in an understanding of how we should look at the Quranic verse metaphorically speaking. This is what i was refering to your comment after wattles seemed to agree.

 

Yes, I realize that if I look at the Quran with the perspective of a believer, then of course it will be a different experience for me, this goes without saying, and in fact was precisely what I have been arguing for
.

Ok then, so how can you truly understand the Quran when you have chosen to be a disbeliever. I mean i can be told all of the great things about science but if i dont believe in science then i would always reject it and i would never fully understand it. It would be rather silly of me to question science and scientist and when all the while im ready to reject what is going to be told to me because i disbelieve in science. The bases for understanding the Quran is belief in God, the only way that it would ever be applicable to you or wet your taste for God is if you really want to know God.

 

 

Sorry, I might have agreed with you when I was a believer, but I have discovered after having lost my faith that I have remained remarkable the same, including my ability to care for others. This was an interesting, and unexpected discovery for me.

 

Ok look what im telling you is those good qualities that you have is what makes you a believer, however religion and God has been given to you in a screwed up manner so you reject that. And in todays time how religion and God is presented i really i cant blame you. But what you reject is not God you reject mans version of God the path that your taking is the path that many prophets have taken and a path that many have had to take. If you have good qualities and your a good human being this is the behaviour of a muslim are you a believer?? No your not, why ? because faith has yet to enter into you. Muslim and Mu min in Islam are two different things Muslim is the character that you describe that you have Mu'min is one who is a believer. The Quran is a way to help bring you into becoming a believer, but the book will always be locked as long as YOU reject God

 

 

 

I can want the best for human beings because I am so inclined to do so. I have no need of any other reason than I because it is what I want to do. I understand perspective, it would have been mine a few years ago. I simply have a different one now, although I can remember how I thought about the issue before. One of the few benefits of my loss.

 

And the best for human beings is to Know more about this life and where it comes from

 

It is not something that I chose for myself. I lost my faith because I discovered that God wasn't there. And I mean that subjectively, not objectively, so I make no judgment as to whether God is there for you or not. One can't really continue on with religious faith if one doesn't have a god to anchor it in. As for my history, in a sense I reject it, but in another it continues on in me, informing who I am even to this day, and I accept that. Nothing is ever as simple as we would like to believe it to be, especially ourselves.

 

Interesting.... So when you said that you discovered God wasnt there, what was the circumstances that led to that discovery???.. Death?? Burdens?? bad luck what was it?

 

I don't agree that the knowledge of good (a human construct) would not exist without belief in your god, but as a matter of interest, are you saying that anyone who happened to believe in a different god (or no god) could not have "knowledge of good"? If so, reality doesn't seem to verify the claim.

 

Wattle tell me where does the concept of good and evil come from if not from religious beliefs?? And i said in God he is my God as well as your God even though you may reject Him .

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Ok then, so how can you truly understand the Quran when you have chosen to be a disbeliever. I mean i can be told all of the great things about science but if i dont believe in science then i would always reject it and i would never fully understand it. It would be rather silly of me to question science and scientist and when all the while im ready to reject what is going to be told to me because i disbelieve in science.

By that same logic, you could not question any other religion without being a believer in it. Do you doubt the precepts of Christianity? Buddhism? Hinduism? How can you since you disbelieve them? But if what you are saying is if I question whether a belief is legitimately Islamic, then of course I defer to those who are Muslims. As for how I can understand the Quran, I naturally understand it as an unbeliever, but believing in God is not so foreign to me that I can not imagine what it would be like to believe while examining its teachings.

 

Interesting.... So when you said that you discovered God wasnt there, what was the circumstances that led to that discovery???.. Death?? Burdens?? bad luck what was it?

No, it was complicated and more intellectual, but basically, God wasn't answering my prayers, no matter how much I asked him, and I concluded that either he wasn't there or he wasn't good, since if he was there and he was good, he would have seen how destructive not answering would have been to my faith. I went on with this for some time before giving up.

Wattle tell me where does the concept of good and evil come from if not from religious beliefs?? And i said in God he is my God as well as your God even though you may reject Him .

Good and evil are products of successful social practice, in that what is good helps promote social cohesion, while what is bad is detrimental to society. All you need are individuals participating in cooperative collectives that are in competition with other collectives to have pseudo-evolutionary pressure on societies to develop moral codes that offer advantage to their society over other collectives. Those with poor or disadvantageous practices will either collapse on themselves or else succumb to pressures from other social groups that are more successful, i.e., that offer maximum evolutionary advantage to its members.

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Wattle tell me where does the concept of good and evil come from if not from religious beliefs?? And i said in God he is my God as well as your God even though you may reject Him .

 

It comes from the same place all other concepts come from - the human brain.

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By that same logic, you could not question any other religion without being a believer in it. Do you doubt the precepts of Christianity? Buddhism? Hinduism? How can you since you disbelieve them? But if what you are saying is if I question whether a belief is legitimately Islamic, then of course I defer to those who are Muslims. As for how I can understand the Quran, I naturally understand it as an unbeliever, but believing in God is not so foreign to me that I can not imagine what it would be like to believe while examining its teachings.

 

Being a believer in God I dont doubt that there were Prophets for many people infact inthose religions that you mentioned they allhave a all powerful Being that the soul is to comeinto contact with. So being a believer in God enables me to gain understanding of other religions and appreciate them.

 

No, it was complicated and more intellectual, but basically, God wasn't answering my prayers, no matter how much I asked him, and I concluded that either he wasn't there or he wasn't good, since if he was there and he was good, he would have seen how destructive not answering would have been to my faith. I went on with this for some time before giving up.

 

Ok well then you are very impatient. There was a story of a man who prayed for years for something and when he didnt get it one day he gave up praying and gave up believing in God and then the Prophet said if he had prayed one more day he would have goten his prayers answered.lol, so your faith was being tested on an intellectual level and you failed to hold on to your intellectual patience, you wanted God to respond to you when you wanted Him to it could have been the day that you gave up on God could have been the day you got what you wanted.

 

Good and evil are products of successful social practice, in that what is good helps promote social cohesion, while what is bad is detrimental to society. All you need are individuals participating in cooperative collectives that are in competition with other collectives to have pseudo-evolutionary pressure on societies to develop moral codes that offer advantage to their society over other collectives. Those with poor or disadvantageous practices will either collapse on themselves or else succumb to pressures from other social groups that are more successful, i.e., that offer maximum evolutionary advantage to its members.

 

 

No No No No No No.....(not saying your wrong) however your saying that it comes fromthis but it doesent it comes from religious belief in God! Adam and Eve and all that. The belief in God is where good and bad comes from thats where we get it from, we get it from prophets who came to mankind with guidance for mankind, take away God then you have chaos

 

 

It comes from the same place all other concepts come from - the human brain.

 

Ok smarty pants so where does the brain get the concept of good and evil?? It doesnt just think of it on its own.

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Being a believer in God I dont doubt that there were Prophets for many people infact inthose religions that you mentioned they allhave a all powerful Being that the soul is to comeinto contact with. So being a believer in God enables me to gain understanding of other religions and appreciate them.

But you wouldn't understand the differences, and so you would still be unable to question these differences. Your problem remains the same.

 

Ok well then you are very impatient. There was a story of a man who prayed for years for something and when he didnt get it one day he gave up praying and gave up believing in God and then the Prophet said if he had prayed one more day he would have goten his prayers answered.lol, so your faith was being tested on an intellectual level and you failed to hold on to your intellectual patience, you wanted God to respond to you when you wanted Him to it could have been the day that you gave up on God could have been the day you got what you wanted.

Is that what you do to those you love? Make them keep asking you, and then when they give up, tell them if only they had asked you one more time, you would have answered them? Nevertheless, whether I am impatient or not is immaterial, since my situation was not that I gave up, but that my faith deteriorated against my will within an environment in which I could not detect God's presence. As I said, it is a complicated affair, a confluence of a number of factors, including a catastrophic failure of my beliefs, the percieved absence of God, the presence of readily available alternative explanations for phenomena previously attributed to God, a failure of confidence in the evidence of of God in my life, and a depressive state whose sources are multifaceted in itself.

 

No No No No No No.....(not saying your wrong) however your saying that it comes fromthis but it doesent it comes from religious belief in God! Adam and Eve and all that. The belief in God is where good and bad comes from thats where we get it from, we get it from prophets who came to mankind with guidance for mankind, take away God then you have chaos

OK, but stating it comes from one thing and not another doesn't demonstrate anything. I understand the strength of your beliefs. You are confident of the presence of God in your life, there is no need to look elsewhere when this explanation is readily available to you. But there are two points in favor of my explanation. It does not need God, an explanation not available to me, and two, it simplifies the entities necessary, in that you do not need to explain the phenomena with any outside entity (like God), it can be readily explained merely by understanding the functions of objects under consideration (morality, society, individual persons). I don't think this will convince you, since you operate in a reality that includes God, and so feel no compulsion to seek answers elsewhere. But you will probably have difficulties demonstrating your solution outside of that religious context. I doubt it would be very productive to go beyond what we have already done, which is state our respective positions so that they are known.

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That sounds cool, but is pretty baseless, especially in this instance. I would be interested in the list of thinkers you have in mind, however, since my degree is in philosophy. I'm not a relativist, but I do think Kant has a pretty good point about the noumena. Even if you qualify it, that still won't get you to objective knowledge of which piece of literature is better, nevermind which is best. I like to think of myself as more of a pragmatist, however, and lean towards thinkers like Pierce and Wittgenstein.

 

You're not a relativist, yet you make a relativist argument: "One piece of writing can never be objectively assessed as being better than another". The rejection of absolute truth in favor of the view that truth is merely subjective, is a relativist view. Major problems with this view are that it involves double think, and is self-defeating. If all truth is subjective, then you can not assert that Relativism is more true than an opposite view, such as Absolutism. Yet both can not be true at the same time. If one piece of writing can not objectively be assessed as being better than the other, then as a relativist you are forced to make the untenable assertion that all writing is of equal quality, as there is no such thing as 'better' or 'worse' literature.

 

You call yourself a pragmatist. But you exhibit closet-relativism like 'pragmatists' such as Richard Rory. I'm amused that you doubt whether relativism has been challenged. You make a thinly veiled argument from authority: "I am a philosophy graduate, so show me your list of critics!" As though your qualification in philosophy somehow confers truth upon your assertion. And anyway, if you've studied philosophy and didn't sleep through the course, you ought to know who the critics of relativism are. Have you not heard of Plato or Socrates? Or even (funnily enough) Dawkins?

 

 

Nevertheless, it isn't hard to see you have failed to put forward anything approaching a rigorous argument for your case. .

 

Is this your subjective opinion, or the objective truth? If it's your subjective opinion, then by your own logic it's invalid. Recall that your entire argument is based on the idea that the Quran's challenge is invalid, because it could only be judged subjectively.

 

 

But how has he assessed that Shakespeare is better than a school student? He has applied a set of standards which are an amalgamation of his own education, cultural biases, and personal preference. In addition, if the competition was between Shakespeare and the school student, but the criteria was scientific accuracy, then it very well could come out that the student is better than Shakespeare. Again, our definition of better is subjective and determined by the goal in assessing the piece of literature. The only reason this seems objective is because the criteria is held in common, and so general agreement, especially with comparisons that have clear differences.

 

If the assessor's standards are based on his cultural biases and personal preferences, then those standards are flawed and he has not assessed competently. His incompetence as an objective assessor in no way negates the truth that Shakespeare's work is better than the average school boy's.

 

 

Sorry, it doesn't seem like we are going to get anywhere with this topic. The criteria you listed are not only subjective in themselves (one person could legitimately disagree with another over their measure), but are subjective in that one would have to ask why those sets of criteria are the ones we should evaluate literature on. In other words, I have no reason for accepting the Quran's measure of either eloquence or greatness. I am sure you will come again with a rebuttal, but unless it is a very interesting one, I don't see us carrying on this discussion much longer.

 

Again, you persist in evading the Quran's challenge by relying on your claims of subjectivity. You are forced to maintain this untenable position, as it is easier to do than actually face the challenge. Others have had the courage to face the challenge, and those challenges have been assessed comprehensively by non-Muslim experts (such as von Grunebaum and St Clair Tisdall). So your view that the challenge is invalid is nothing more than your personal view on the matter.

 

You may feel that the criteria are subjective or inadequate, or that others may prefer different criteria. But the reality is that most of the criteria rely on little more than basic arithmetic to assess. If the Quran is really the word of man, it should be quite easy to produce a work which, for example, employs the same proportion of rhyme as the Quran, whilst still remaining coherent and conveying meaning. Recall that over 50% of the Quran's verses rhyme with the Arabic sound nun. Regardless of what you might think of this attribute, whether you think it makes for good writing or not, the reality remains that man is unable to produce a book that does this.

 

I am sure you will come again with a rebuttal, but unless it is a very interesting one, I don't see us carrying on this discussion much longer.

 

Feel free to leave the discussion any time you wish. But you do so without having shown that the Quran is the word of man, nor that the Quran's challenge is invalid.

 

I was asked to provide criteria against which to judge any challenger. I have done this. A competent group of Arabic linguists could easily and objectively assess whether a challenging book employs the same proportion of rhyme, the same number of rhetorical devices, and just as few words per idea expressed, as the Quran. They could easily determine whether the writing employed a unique literary style, by not resembling any of the presently known categories of writing in that language.

 

Even if you disagree that these characteristics make for good writing, the fact remains that unless man can produce something that matches the Quran on all these points, the challenge remains unmet.

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Ok smarty pants so where does the brain get the concept of good and evil?? It doesnt just think of it on its own.

 

As Sad Clown has pointed out, it gets there through evolutionary processes.

 

I personally do not believe in "evil" as such, and only believe in human "goodness" - ie I do not believe that the concept exists outside humans - which is very closely tied to my own personal belief systems. Some people might think that some of the things I think of as "good" are not good. Bint Ali for one.

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You're not a relativist, yet you make a relativist argument: "One piece of writing can never be objectively assessed as being better than another". The rejection of absolute truth in favor of the view that truth is merely subjective, is a relativist view.

 

There cannot be any 'absolute truth' about an artwork. There might be absolute truth about the number of leaves on a tree. There's a fundamental difference.

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I was asked to provide criteria against which to judge any challenger. I have done this. A competent group of Arabic linguists could easily and objectively assess whether a challenging book employs the same proportion of rhyme, the same number of rhetorical devices, and just as few words per idea expressed, as the Quran. They could easily determine whether the writing employed a unique literary style, by not resembling any of the presently known categories of writing in that language.

 

If your criteria are simply the same proportion of rhyme (what is that propoertion in the Koran?) number of rhetorical devices (how many are there in the Koran?) and the ratio of ideas/words (what is that ratio in the Koran?) it would obviously not be a superhuman challenge to meet.

 

But you have STILL not answered my objection that you demand that a challenger has a "unique style" yet must also conform to the style of the Koran.

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quote]

But you wouldn't understand the differences, and so you would still be unable to question these differences. Your problem remains the same.

 

Oh no I very much understand the differences, being a believer in God enables me to meet with other believers and come to a common ground that we believe in one God. If they wish to go some other route im not here to stop them but when we meet I will give what I have faith in and from my reading of the Quran and if it helps them then all praise is for God and if it doesent help them then it is from myself.

 

 

Is that what you do to those you love? Make them keep asking you, and then when they give up, tell them if only they had asked you one more time, you would have answered them?

 

Nobody made you keep asking, you made yourself keep on asking, and hey even where you work you can ask for a raise today and not receive on until 10 years later will you quit your job just because you cant get the money you really want. Think about that we all would love to make millions of dollars either doing the work that we are doing now or doing something else, but how often have you given up on work??? A relationship with God is work man . Do you have children?? Well I got two and when they was babies one thought that it was his right to touch fire on the stove. No matter how many times he went towards that stove I removed him from it. He cried and cried and asked if he could touch it and I said NO!! And this went on from age 1 till age 3 and he started to realize and point and say “hot right daddy?†As a loving parent we know whats best for our children. And as a loving God He knows whats best for you.

 

 

 

Nevertheless, whether I am impatient or not is immaterial, since my situation was not that I gave up, but that my faith deteriorated against my will within an environment in which I could not detect God's presence. As I said, it is a complicated affair, a confluence of a number of factors, including a catastrophic failure of my beliefs, the percieved absence of God, the presence of readily available alternative explanations for phenomena previously attributed to God, a failure of confidence in the evidence of of God in my life, and a depressive state whose sources are multifaceted in itself.

 

No it is not immaterial at all, faith and belief requires patience and a great deal of it. Ive been working since I was 14 and I prayed that I could get a job where I get paid well and not bust my hump for it and it took 19 years for that to happen. Now I can sit behind a computer while making money and chat to you while work is still getting done. God answers prayers buddy, and when they are answered the time you waited for them to be answered seems like just yesterday. And all those problems are caused by you and not by God you were looking for some big miracle to happen to strengthen your belief in God. Still you couldn’t see that God was making you stronger by giving you whatever trials you was going through, no you turned around and took the cowards way out and blamed God and said He must not exist because he didn’t answer you the way you wanted to be answered? I could pray for a million dollars to drop out of the sky if it doesent happen I should say hmrph!! There is no God!

 

 

 

OK, but stating it comes from one thing and not another doesn't demonstrate anything. I understand the strength of your beliefs. You are confident of the presence of God in your life, there is no need to look elsewhere when this explanation is readily available to you. But there are two points in favor of my explanation. It does not need God, an explanation not available to me, and two, it simplifies the entities necessary, in that you do not need to explain the phenomena with any outside entity (like God), it can be readily explained merely by understanding the functions of objects under consideration (morality, society, individual persons). I don't think this will convince you, since you operate in a reality that includes God, and so feel no compulsion to seek answers elsewhere.

 

 

Then you have stifled your intellectual growth, this whole life points to intelligence when it is studied, so how can you rule out an intellectual creator when you don’t even know how to design a human being. In order for you to learn words or anything you learn from other human beings who learn from studying a subject that they found here( the earth). And the earth is full of knowledge it is a big classroom, but the question comes who or what put this classroom together in order that we may learn. Ok yeah you don’t need God you can reject Him but you will never reach your intellectual peak because you refuse to submit your own intelligence to that which is greater. And the one who designed this earth had greater intelligence than us all.

 

 

But you will probably have difficulties demonstrating your solution outside of that religious context. I doubt it would be very productive to go beyond what we have already done, which is state our respective positions so that they are known.

 

If that was true then Islam would not have pushed technology in the direction that it is on right now, science would be nowhere if it wasn’t for Prophet Mohammed and the Quran. Belief in God has helped the society greatly Show me a society where disbelief in God advanced the whole world?

 

 

As Sad Clown has pointed out, it gets there through evolutionary processes.

 

 

Yeah ok but how do you know about good and evil. These two principles come from belief in God. Now you can go through your evolutionary processes all you wish but the fact remains that you would not know of good if there was no God. Morals and bad behavior was checked by those who believed in God

 

I personally do not believe in "evil" as such, and only believe in human "goodness" - ie I do not believe that the concept exists outside humans - which is very closely tied to my own personal belief systems. Some people might think that some of the things I think of as "good" are not good. Bint Ali for one.

 

Ok then explain hitler, or explain murder, rape, child molestation, how do you classify these things?? If you only believe in human goodness. Goodness exists outside of humans buddy some animals behave better than how some humans behave.

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Ok then explain hitler, or explain murder, rape, child molestation, how do you classify these things?? If you only believe in human goodness. Goodness exists outside of humans buddy some animals behave better than how some humans behave.

 

I do not say that humans cannot do bad things, but that doesn't mean that I believe in a force called 'evil'. Hitler is fairly easily explainable through historical circumstances and bad luck.

 

ALL animals behave "better" than humans, because animals don't have a choice.

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If your criteria are simply the same proportion of rhyme (what is that propoertion in the Koran?) number of rhetorical devices (how many are there in the Koran?) and the ratio of ideas/words (what is that ratio in the Koran?) it would obviously not be a superhuman challenge to meet.

 

But you have STILL not answered my objection that you demand that a challenger has a "unique style" yet must also conform to the style of the Koran.

 

My apologies pal, I have been remiss in responding to you.

 

I am not insisting that the challenger conforms to the Qurans particular unique style. It should ideally innovate an entirely new literary style. But this doesn't mean it can not employ the use of basic qualities such as rhyme, rhetorical devices and conciseness. How about this. I'll relax my rules a little and give the challenger a choice on the matter. They may either employ a whole new style, as the Quran does, or may try to emulate the Quran's style. The latter, however, will be much more difficult than the former.

 

It may seem that the task is not 'superhuman' as you say. But so far, those who have tried have been assessed by non-Muslim experts as having failed.

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I do not say that humans cannot do bad things, but that doesn't mean that I believe in a force called 'evil'. Hitler is fairly easily explainable through historical circumstances and bad luck.

 

 

Wow bad luck huh? What hitler done as well other murderers( i see you only named hitler and skipped over the child molestor) is beyond bad it is evil. I can have a headache thats bad and in no way shape or form is my headache the same as a child molestors actions. You can deny the word evil but it exists, evil exists. And you cant spell good without God( oh man i think i said to much) you really should think about that.

 

ALL animals behave "better" than humans, because animals don't have a choice.

 

No i said some animals, sheesh man monkeys masterbate in the open and you think that ALL animals behave better than humans?? Ive seen lions show their power of choice by choosing to to go after a herds young rather than a one of the grown buffalo, Animals do make choices The only thing that they dont have is a concious brain to think like how we do

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There cannot be any 'absolute truth' about an artwork. There might be absolute truth about the number of leaves on a tree. There's a fundamental difference.

 

Well, we'll have to agree to disagree on this. Your stand point reflects your view that beauty is relative, and merely a human construct, with no independent reality. Various schools of philosophy dispute a lot of this and posit for example, that beauty is not in the eye of the beholder (see Kant for example). Some say that our dis-ingenuity in accurately quantifying the degree of something's beauty does not detract from the fact that it may, in reality, be more or less beautiful than something else.

 

As believers in Allah, we side with this view and add the following. We believe that Absolute Beauty is manifested in Allah, and that He imbibes some of this beauty, in deliberate measure, in the things He has created. All beauty in the world is merely a shadow of His Beauty. When he imbibes things with beauty, He does so in a certain measure, in accordance with His Wisdom and Justice (through His names Hakim and Adl). Our incompetence in judging the extent of beauty in things with sufficient accuracy does not detract from the reality that some things manifest greater beauty than others. But one of our duties as conscious, discerning observers of the universe is to appreciate and weigh up the beauty apparent in things and to affirm the Beauty of the Creator of those things. This will result in us loving Him and expressing this love through various forms of worship. Hence Allah says:

"I did not create jinn and man, except that they might worship Me." (Quran 51:56)

Edited by wordVision Student

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Twoswordali said:

 

Do you have children?? Well I got two and when they was babies one thought that it was his right to touch fire on the stove. No matter how many times he went towards that stove I removed him from it. He cried and cried and asked if he could touch it and I said NO!! And this went on from age 1 till age 3 and he started to realize and point and say “hot right daddy?†As a loving parent we know whats best for our children. And as a loving God He knows whats best for you.

 

Nice analogy brother, beautifully insightful! :sl:

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....... The pleasure invilved in sexual reproduction is surely a gift from the god. Why not celebrate it?

God has created us the way we are.....and so he has ordered us to get married.

 

and not 'celebrate' this gift however we please

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God has created us the way we are.....and so he has ordered us to get married.

 

and not 'celebrate' this gift however we please

 

 

Hey siter he is right he can celebrate this gift however he pleases, Allah has many more gifts as well for him should he choose to be like this. You ever see those people who are given a gift like an old painting and instead of apreciating and respecting the gift that they have they sell it only to find out later on that it is worth millions of dollars. So he can go around and have as much sex as he wishes it is his gift and maybe he might get some othe "gifts" as well namely std's how wonderful.

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Thank you for the discussion. After taking a day off to review my participation here, I have come to the conclusion that it was not to debate Islam. I continue to believe you have a problem with your belief about the Quran and its challenge to eloquence, at least as you are currently formulating it. However, I am not interested in arguing you out of your beliefs. I am satisfied that I have sufficiently explained my position on the matter and that further explanation will do nothing to further elucidate it.

 

One last thought though, I underlined the above because I do believe that it can be formulated in a way that at least makes the challenge coherent. I earlier suggested using an intersubjective standard rather than attempting to demonstrate an objective one, and I continue to believe that doing so will not only make your argument immune to the sort of arguments I have put forward, but will make it a better and sounder argument. Please understand that what I have argued against is not the Quran, but the way you have been characterizing this particular doctrine of the Quran.

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Thank you for the discussion. After taking a day off to review my participation here, I have come to the conclusion that it was not to debate Islam. I continue to believe you have a problem with your belief about the Quran and its challenge to eloquence, at least as you are currently formulating it. However, I am not interested in arguing you out of your beliefs. I am satisfied that I have sufficiently explained my position on the matter and that further explanation will do nothing to further elucidate it.

 

One last thought though, I underlined the above because I do believe that it can be formulated in a way that at least makes the challenge coherent. I earlier suggested using an intersubjective standard rather than attempting to demonstrate an objective one, and I continue to believe that doing so will not only make your argument immune to the sort of arguments I have put forward, but will make it a better and sounder argument. Please understand that what I have argued against is not the Quran, but the way you have been characterizing this particular doctrine of the Quran.

 

Thank you also Sad Clown.

 

I appreciate your suggestion to argue from intersubjectivity, however to my mind, we as Muslims have no need of it. We believe that the superiority of the Quran is an objective reality, so we needn't concern ourselves with any standard of truth that falls short of this. To underline the Islamic view, we reject the notion that there can be no objective truth to things like 'beauty', 'best book', or 'best man'. We feel that such views implicitly (and moreover, illicitly) assume the non-existence of Allah, whereas the non-existence of Allah is far from proven.

 

To reiterate an earlier point, our scholars of the Quran have found it to be miraculous in various respects. A prime example is its conciseness - in that its verses express their numerous ideas using the fewest words. We see no subjectivity in this - it is an objective and verifiable fact. Other aspects of its miraculousness, such as its amazing proportion of rhyme, are also objective facts.

 

We continue to challenge the Quran's detractors to produce writing that betters it on these points. For as long man can not achieve this, we will remain justified to say that the Quran is not the word of man.

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Apologies for this omnibus reply, but for some reason page refreshes are taking about 3 minutes on this site at the moment and I don't have time to reply individually.

 

Twoswords said:

 

No i said some animals, sheesh man monkeys masterbate in the open and you think that ALL animals behave better than humans?? Ive seen lions show their power of choice by choosing to to go after a herds young rather than a one of the grown buffalo, Animals do make choices The only thing that they dont have is a concious brain to think like how we do

 

They are conscious, but no, they don't think like we do. So it is ridiculous to judge their behaviour by human ethics. There's nothing at all "bad" about monkeys masturbating in public - it's what monkeys do. They are exactly conforming to Allah's plan for the, if you like. And if you think it's a sign of 'evil' that lions kill young buffalo rather than old ones, I take it that you prefer mutton to lamb.

 

WorldVision Student said:

 

I am not insisting that the challenger conforms to the Qurans particular unique style. It should ideally innovate an entirely new literary style. But this doesn't mean it can not employ the use of basic qualities such as rhyme, rhetorical devices and conciseness. How about this. I'll relax my rules a little and give the challenger a choice on the matter. They may either employ a whole new style, as the Quran does, or may try to emulate the Quran's style. The latter, however, will be much more difficult than the former.

 

It may seem that the task is not 'superhuman' as you say. But so far, those who have tried have been assessed by non-Muslim experts as having failed.

 

"Basic qualities" such as rhyme (especially when the proportion of rhymes is stipulated), rhetorical devices and conciseness ARE the Koran's style. A unique style would have to deliberately NOT use them.

 

Also and more fundamentally, I suspect that if you really did precisely define what the challenge involved (such as actually stipulating the ratio of ideas:words - as you must if you are to judge by objective criteria), you would end up stipulating that any challenger must BE the Koran - any deviation from it would be regarded as being inferior.

 

Just what books have non-Muslim experts judged to be inferior to the Koran (other than all later works in Classical Arabic)? Did they judge books in other languages? Does a book have to specifically say that it is challenging the Koran to be included? No-one is arguing that the Koran is not the best book in Classical Arabic - I'm saying that it does not follow that it as not written humans. Joyce's Ulysses is generally regarded the best Modernist English book. No-one claims that it was ritten by a god, even though no-one will ever write a better Modernist novel.

 

 

WorldVision Student said:

 

Well, we'll have to agree to disagree on this. Your stand point reflects your view that beauty is relative, and merely a human construct, with no independent reality. Various schools of philosophy dispute a lot of this and posit for example, that beauty is not in the eye of the beholder (see Kant for example). Some say that our dis-ingenuity in accurately quantifying the degree of something's beauty does not detract from the fact that it may, in reality, be more or less beautiful than something else.

 

Your problem is that even if you were right, and there are objective standards of beauty, without any means to ascertain them other than a vote, there's still no way for humans to reach definitive conclusions about beauty.

 

 

WorldVision Student said:

 

To reiterate an earlier point, our scholars of the Quran have found it to be miraculous in various respects. A prime example is its conciseness - in that its verses express their numerous ideas using the fewest words. We see no subjectivity in this - it is an objective and verifiable fact. Other aspects of its miraculousness, such as its amazing proportion of rhyme, are also objective facts.

 

If they are "objective and verifiable fact", then the actual numbers must be available. Once the word:idea ratio is known the "miracle" disappears.

 

Bint Ali said:

 

God has created us the way we are.....and so he has ordered us to get married.

 

and not 'celebrate' this gift however we please

 

As far as I remember the marital status of the couple in the Song of Solomon is not specified.

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