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Debate: Islam Or Atheism?

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Debate: Islam or Atheism? With Hamza Andreas Tzortzis & the president of American Atheists[using large font size is not allowed]

 

(you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_vimeo(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/14166291"]Debate: Islam or Atheism[/url]

Edited by SaracenSoldier

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PropellerAds

Ah, I tried to watch it, but I don't think it was very good, for either speaker. Sorry.

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I didn't think it was too bad, I actually enjoyed it although I think both speakers could have expressed their points more succinctly, would have helped to ensure a smooth rebuttals session. But you like reading tsc, Hamza's blog is interesting and he's usually quick to respond to questions, check it out here. (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_hamzatzortzis.blogspot(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/"]Hamza's Blog[/url]

 

Salam

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I didn't think it was too bad, I actually enjoyed it although I think both speakers could have expressed their points more succinctly, would have helped to ensure a smooth rebuttals session. But you like reading tsc, Hamza's blog is interesting and he's usually quick to respond to questions, check it out here. (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_hamzatzortzis.blogspot(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/"]Hamza's Blog[/url]

 

Salam

Thanks. I actually think it is a tribute to the quality of membership here that I was unimpressed with Hamza. I don't think he argued anything that I haven't heard here already. The atheist speaker was awful and should stick to writing and editing, which I presume he is better at than public speaking (since people are willing to pay him for it). He was ridiculous and borderline insulting.

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Agreed. I haven't seen Hamza debate with someone who is a coherent organized speaker yet. I'm not talking about good or bad points but someone who can articulate themselves clearly and speak and respond in an organized fashion. Which is a shame because Hamza seems to ne a very well organized speaker.

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I havnt watched the debate but I just want to know how an atheist can justify his/her belief when a key factor

they believe in is that the begining had to start with an initial action,(of an infinite matter)which led to chain reactions

which led to the eventual creation of the universe/s and all that is in it/them, when it is impossible to

concieve( atleast for me) where that first movement that first activity came from? Something that is infinite that is without

creation or end ( I'm pretty sure that's einsteins theory) would be stagnate from begining since it was always just there as oppose

to something that was moved or placed into existance. Also there's all the factors of physics and quantum mechanics thY would not

have been around at the very begining. Also it should be noted I'm just talking out of ignorance with logic and a general understanding

of existance as my basis. Atheism just seems so stupid! I'm sorry but I can't for the life of

me understand how you could say that the ultimate truth lies with accepting your existance as just a state of consciousness

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Hi yt01

 

I'm sure one of our non-religious members will reply to your post, but there is one thing I wanted to point out.

 

Atheism just seems so stupid!

 

You and I have Iman, and we follow the teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah. The Qur'an commands us not to insult the God's of other religions and that includes refraining from insulting the beliefs of non-religious people lest they should make an insult towards Allah.

 

Salam

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I havnt watched the debate but I just want to know how an atheist can justify his/her belief when a key factor they believe in is that the begining had to start with an initial action,(of an infinite matter) which led to chain reactions which led to the eventual creation of the universe/s and all that is in it/them, when it is impossible to concieve (at least for me) where that first movement that first activity came from?

Hi yt01. I think the problem here is that you are assuming that I believe the big bang to be the beginning. I don't pretend to have that kind of knowledge. All I know is that it is the beginning of the current state of this universe. I don't pretend to know what's behind the curtain, or if there even is anything, although it seems as though science is making some progress in discovering information that may have preceded this event (but I'm tentative on this point, because the science is very new).

 

Something that is infinite that is without creation or end ( I'm pretty sure that's einsteins theory) would be stagnate from begining since it was always just there as oppose to something that was moved or placed into existance. Also there's all the factors of physics and quantum mechanics thY would not have been around at the very begining. Also it should be noted I'm just talking out of ignorance with logic and a general understanding of existance as my basis. Atheism just seems so stupid! I'm sorry but I can't for the life of me understand how you could say that the ultimate truth lies with accepting your existance as just a state of consciousness

I don't think that is Einstein's theory, which had more to do with frames of reference (special relativity) and the relation between mass and energy (general relativity). I could be wrong though, as I am no expert on Einstein. The rest of your opposition seems based on the initial error made that understood atheists as positing the Big Bang as some absolute terminal beginning. I can sympathize with you thinking that atheism is stupid. When its beliefs are judged from your perspective, they probably are poorly thought out, even hazardous considering the consequences. But I am afraid that there are also many atheists that think Islam is stupid and superstitious. I myself prefer to try and understand the other persons perspective, to do as much as I can to put myself in the other persons shoes, so to speak. I think that both systems of thought are consistent, and only differ in their perspectives regarding the structure of their world. Essentially, the difference comes down to you knowing there is a God involved in this world, while I (and I suspect other atheists) do not know this.

 

Finally, as to the ultimate truth, I wouldn't know what that is. I know what truth is when the perimeters are set for establishing veracity, but there are no such perimeters for ultimate or objective truth, at least there isn't outside of religion (and perhaps only monotheistic religions at that). The atheist does not have recourse to a God whose will represents ultimate reality and truth, and so they also do not have recourse to ultimate truth or reality. There are only subjective frameworks of perspective within which truth can be established as representing a consistent statement within that particular conceptual environment. Attempts at evaluating the framework itself, which necessitates stepping outside it and into a neutral perspective, are impossible, since there is then no frame of reference to establish truth claims.

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Thanks for the reply. Both of u made sense and I apologize for anything insulting.

Still we should all admit that there has to be an answer and that we will (most likey) face it when we die. Why not put your money on something that offers you a return instead of betting everything on a horse with no head......atleast untill fact proves otherwise?

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Why not put your money on something that offers you a return instead of betting everything on a horse with no head......atleast untill fact proves otherwise?

Because I can't make myself believe something that I don't, and it wouldn't be honest to simply pretend to believe in order to avoid possible negative consequences. I have know idea how I could put my money on God without being a believer, but then I wouldn't be an atheist and this wouldn't be a question.

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Everyone has faith, and everyone has placed their faith in something. 

I chose Allaah, the unimaginable, the one who is outside and above our existance. The one that 'is' in a way that befits his majesty, without limits in anyway possible. How is that possible? The finite can never understand the infinite.We simply choose to place our faith in something that is absolute. The one which there was none before nor will there be any after. The onewho created the laws of physics. The one who created logic, the one who created thought and comprehension. The human mind will always doubt  what it cannot comprehend. It's the heart that instills certainty. Existance came from something not nothing, we all know this. Search for that something in reason not in science because for certain the creator won't be found in it's creation!   

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Everyone has faith, and everyone has placed their faith in something.

I suppose that is correct. When I flip on the light switch, I do so because I believe the wiring is good and will function in the way I anticipate. I do not know that it is good, and in fact, it could be that the light bulb is burnt out and won't turn on. So, I guess I am having faith in my experience of all the times I flipped on the switch and the light turned on, knowing that it is only very occasionally that this experience is not borne out. And of course once I do flip the switch, and the light does not turn on, then my faith in the wiring is destroyed, and can only be renewed after I have once again successfully flipped on the switch and the light turn on (typically after I have replaced the light bulb). But note that this renewed faith is not automatic. I test the wiring and see if it will support my faith. If the light turns on, I have faith again, because I know that there is no other way for it to turn on than by the light bulb being good. The test is conclusive if positive, but ambiguous if negative (after all, there could be a different problem than just the light bulb, I could simply not have power to that light socket or some other problem). Thus, it doesn't seem outside of reasonable experience to test something before placing one's faith in it. And typically those tests are designed to match the nature of the thing (or person) being tested. If I was hiring a world class sprinter, it would not matter how well they did on a test of calculus, since that isn't the qualifications I am looking for. If this is the case, then it seems to me that if one were to test and see if God existed and was as Islam describes, one would have to have test that matched the qualities being attributed to God in Islam's description.

 

I chose Allaah, the unimaginable, the one who is outside and above our existance. The one that 'is' in a way that befits his majesty, without limits in anyway possible. How is that possible? The finite can never understand the infinite.We simply choose to place our faith in something that is absolute.

Well, I'm not trying to imagine the unimaginable, but even if I couldn't understand the inner workings of a light bulb, I would still have to test it in order to see if the new one I put in the light socket actually lit up when I flipped on the light switch.

 

The one which there was none before nor will there be any after. The onewho created the laws of physics. The one who created logic, the one who created thought and comprehension. The human mind will always doubt what it cannot comprehend. It's the heart that instills certainty. Existance came from something not nothing, we all know this. Search for that something in reason not in science because for certain the creator won't be found in it's creation!

As I said before, if the light turned on when I flipped the switch, it would not matter if I could comprehend the light bulb, I would still believe that it could turn on. This has nothing to do with comprehension. I was a Christian before, and believed that God was ultimately incomprehensible to the finite human mind. That never caused me to doubt or lack faith. And if God is above our existence, without limits, creator of the mechanics of the universe, logic, and reason, then it would not seem like such a great task to convince someone attempting to use logic and reason or to find proof of him in the creation (since he created and organized it). As I said in the beginning, I do not think a test that matches the nature of that being tested is unreasonable. It does not seem unreasonable when applied to a light bulb. It does not seem unreasonable when hiring someone for a task. It does not seem unreasonable for a whole host of things we do on a daily basis, and even many things we do on only rare exceptions. The only time it seems unreasonable is when I have only one opportunity to use or experience something, such as with a parachute before jumping out of a plane. I cannot very well test that particular parachute without it being used, but if I do that, it is no longer available for me to use (since it will successfully be guiding something gently to the ground below me). But I can at least know that the materials and procedures being used have a success rate that is sufficient to counter-balance the perceived risks of jumping out of an airplane. Also, the risks of a failed parachute could appear less than the risks of continuing to be on the air plane (such as if it were going to crash). But in that case, it really isn't faith in the parachute, but rather simply a calculation that it would be safer at least trying to use it. If it fails, I will die, but if I don't try it, I will die anyway, and so an uncertain death is better than a certain death (unless of course the uncertain death is qualified with extraordinary amounts of suffering). Of course, if I had no reason for thinking that the plane was going to crash, then it would seem far risker to jump with the parachute than to simply trust in the mechanical safety of the air plane.

 

The problem is that there is a fundamental disconnect between the example of the parachute and religion, and that is that I cannot know the success rate of religion. The people who have jumped with it (i.e., who have died while believing) are unavailable to either observe or interview to discover the success rate of their beliefs. Add to this competing religions, some of which are mutually exclusive, and the difficulty of knowing what to do only grows exponentially. And so, this is why I think the most appropriate analogy is not the parachute, since I do not have access to past examples of success, but rather the light bulb. This is especially true since most religions claim that there is in fact verification available in this life. So, since the parachute analogy is unavailable to me due to a lack of information, the light bulb analogy is really the only method I have for gaining faith. Additionally, since the analogy between dying in a airplane crash isn't death (that happens to everyone, even those who jump with the parachute of religious faith), but rather something like hell, it seems almost impossible to think it safer to trust in religion without first being convinced of it since there is no reason to believe in hell without believing there is a God who would send you there for unbelief (or allow you to go there, if "send" seems inappropriate). Thus, it seems even more important to get proof of God as He is described in Islam, not only so that I may believe in Him, but also that I might be more fully aware of the magnitude of the consequences of both belief and unbelief.

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Reasoning was given for a purpose. It's used to conclude to something. The fact that it is created means nothing since it is used to reason with creation.

quote

"it seems almost impossible to think it safer to trust in religion without first being convinced of it since there is no reason to believe in hell without believing there is a God who would send you there for unbelief (or allow you to go there, if "send" seems inappropriate). Thus, it seems even more important to get proof of God as He is described in Islam, not only so that I may believe in Him, but also that I might be more fully aware of the magnitude of the consequences of both belief and unbelief." end quote

 

Also you should realize that denying the truth doesn't fictionalize it's reality nor dies it nullify it's effects.

Our end is guaranteed and our appointed time is not known. Death is a one way door there is no second chance no testing. Just eternity. Just finality.

 

A light bulb is provision, Allaah is the light. You switch it on to escape darkness, you turn to Allaah to find your purpose.

 

Try not to reply to this. Just read it and think about it. Don't think that you have to prove something, atheism doesn't offer me anything but oblivion. If I am wrong I will face neither regret nor sadness, no happiness or joy, no consciousness no nothing. No memories no contemplation, no understanding no feeling. Pure oblivion. Believing doesn't make you a coward or a sell out to your ideology it just means that you have chosen to place purpose to something that already is there...you, your life, your consciousness, your future, your existance.

 

Please if you are sincere don't reply. Instead let me have the last word, it maybe that someone else might find purpose in what I have said, even if you do not.

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Sorry, you may consider this an indication that I am not sincere, but I will respond. I hope that my words and actions will be sufficient to demonstrate my sincerity without forcing me to be silent when you make arguments or statements that are directed towards me and imply things about me.

 

Reasoning was given for a purpose. It's used to conclude to something. The fact that it is created means nothing since it is used to reason with creation.

I can only know this if I know there is a purposeful creator. Without that, it is unreasonable to assume these things have purpose outside of my own subjectively imposed ideas.

 

Also you should realize that denying the truth doesn't fictionalize it's reality nor dies it nullify it's effects.

I have done my best to avoid denying the truth. In fact, if you look back, I try to be careful to limit my truth claims. I have no desire to fictionalize reality, but I ought to be honest when answering you and not pretend I can see the truth when in fact I do not.

 

Our end is guaranteed and our appointed time is not known. Death is a one way door there is no second chance no testing. Just eternity. Just finality.

This is true. On the other hand, each day granted to us is another opportunity. Both perspectives are legitimate and complementary. Since I have no choice about the finality of death, I choose to focus on the opportunities I am presented with each day that I do live. This is something that I have at least a limited amount of control over.

 

Don't think that you have to prove something, atheism doesn't offer me anything but oblivion. If I am wrong I will face neither regret nor sadness, no happiness or joy, no consciousness no nothing. No memories no contemplation, no understanding no feeling. Pure oblivion. Believing doesn't make you a coward or a sell out to your ideology it just means that you have chosen to place purpose to something that already is there...you, your life, your consciousness, your future, your existance.

Well, I believe we are both in agreement here. I have no desire to prove anything to you, least of all atheism. I think you should continue being a Muslim, especially since you find meaning and happiness in Islam and have found it to be true. There is no benefit (for you or me) in convincing you to leave all of that. I certainly don't think being a Muslim is cowardly or intellectually dishonest. In fact, I have respect for the Muslims desire for truth and goodness in both their words and actions. But I do wish to develop an understanding between us, and if not a mutual appreciation, then at least a mutual empathy and respect. I do have purpose for my life, future and existence. I simply don't derive it the same way you do. I do not disbelieve because it is convenient for me, I promise you it is not. I disbelieve because I so far have not found religious arguments, including Islam, to be believable. But note, this says nothing about the legitimacy of Islam. It is rather a commentary upon myself, about what I find believable and unbelievable, and can be subject to change, even, God willing, to belief in God and His Prophet.

 

If you do not wish to talk with me, perhaps because I am an unbeliever and have wrong or dangerous thoughts, I can understand that. But please don't refuse me the chance to interact with you when you do talk to me. I feel like it is this exchange of words that is what will help us understand each other and better live in peace with one another, a goal that I think I can confidently say I share with Islam. Thank you.

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"I can only know this if I know there is a purposeful creator. Without that, it is unreasonable to assume these things have purpose outside of my own subjectively imposed ideas."

 

This didn't make much sense to me but either way it's not true. Your belief in evolution states that we developed through a series of natural selection. There for the ability to reason (according to an atheist) came through mutation+usefullness+survival rate= membership to DNA. Or at least something like that yeah? So even according to u it should have purpose. In anycase I like to debate but I am not educated enough in

my religeon to do it justice and logic without knowledge will only take me so far.

 

Also it should be noted that the fact you couldn't stop your self from replying shows how much of an urge you have to justify your disbelief. Only a person with a comfortable and content heart would have had the strength to not reply.

 

Find a way to test how sincere you really are about your search for the truth. Be honest with your self.

 

Arrogance in presumption is a hurdle set high.

 

I like saying that to you :sl: it seems appropriate. Forgive me

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"I can only know this if I know there is a purposeful creator. Without that, it is unreasonable to assume these things have purpose outside of my own subjectively imposed ideas."

 

This didn't make much sense to me but either way it's not true. Your belief in evolution states that we developed through a series of natural selection. There for the ability to reason (according to an atheist) came through mutation+usefullness+survival rate= membership to DNA. Or at least something like that yeah? So even according to u it should have purpose.

Well, that really isn't a purpose, since there is no intelligence behind the process. For something to have a purpose, it seems to me that it must have at least some intentionality behind it. I mean, I am sure there are some rocks that make better hammers than other rocks, but their better hammer shape is not purposeful, it is merely accidental, at least for an atheist.

 

Also it should be noted that the fact you couldn't stop your self from replying shows how much of an urge you have to justify your disbelief. Only a person with a comfortable and content heart would have had the strength to not reply.

Well, of course you can read anything you want into my actions, but if you are interested, I did provide my own interpretation in the concluding words of the previous post.

 

Arrogance in presumption is a hurdle set high.

 

I like saying that to you :sl: it seems appropriate. Forgive me

I'm still not clear on why you like saying that, but it doesn't seem like the worst thing you could say to me. I have tried to explain that I am being sincere, but ultimately it is up to you whether you will believe me or not.

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Hi yt01. I think the problem here is that you are assuming that I believe the big bang to be the beginning. I don't pretend to have that kind of knowledge. All I know is that it is the beginning of the current state of this universe. I don't pretend to know what's behind the curtain, or if there even is anything, although it seems as though science is making some progress in discovering information that may have preceded this event (but I'm tentative on this point, because the science is very new).

.........

Finally, as to the ultimate truth, I wouldn't know what that is. I know what truth is when the perimeters are set for establishing veracity, but there are no such perimeters for ultimate or objective truth, at least there isn't outside of religion (and perhaps only monotheistic religions at that). The atheist does not have recourse to a God whose will represents ultimate reality and truth, and so they also do not have recourse to ultimate truth or reality. There are only subjective frameworks of perspective within which truth can be established as representing a consistent statement within that particular conceptual environment. Attempts at evaluating the framework itself, which necessitates stepping outside it and into a neutral perspective, are impossible, since there is then no frame of reference to establish truth claims.

 

Part 1

 

Just a quick point. The cosmological/kalam proof of theology, Islamic or otherwise, is not dependent on a big bang but just a beginning. It proposes that whatever chain of causes one may find, even if they find something that caused the big bang, then the chain has a terminus. If not then the chain extends to infinity, but what is 'infinity', there are no real infinities, those infinities of mathematics, of the size of the real number set for example are philosophically 'indeterminates' as opposed to 'real infinities', i.e. they are abstract infinities. This particular line of argument is old school from pre-Greek times, William Lane Craig has done some work of it recently to bring it more up to date.

However, if one still contends that there is a terminus to the chain of causes, then there still exists a proof for the existence of a 'Necessarily Existent by itself' and that is what people take to be God or 'the One' or 'Ahad', or by various other names across all different religions and philosophies. This proof is based on premising that the universe, even if it were infinite requires an explanation by reference to something which itself requires no further explanation (otherwise we would have the same problem again), and that is precisely that which is Necessarily existence by itself. So positing God is rational whether one takes the universe as finite or infinite.

....contd

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i had a much larger post, which i tried to break into sections but it seems to think even a few lines is too much..., i am unsure how to post the rest, apologies.

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Hi borealis,

 

I have a nice thread in which I already discussed some of the Kalam argument. If you want, why not look over it and we can talk there?

 

(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)/index.php?showtopic=730237"]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)/index.php?showtopic=730237[/url]

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Salamz

My 2 cents:

 

Interesting debate..though very long..

Warning: Don't watch the first 5 minutes of it unless you are sufficiently sustainable to diphenhydramne hci (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 yetthescubasite(contact admin if its a beneficial link)"]######you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_forum.thescubasite(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/indifferent/indifferent0023.gif[/img][/url]

Anywho I got half way so far...here is some critque on Hamza.

1-Hamza concluded that Allah exists as the primary cause as supported by of Occam's Razor, however he either misapplied the principle or didn't explain how exactly Occam's razor can justify One God. (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 yetmysmiley(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/free-japanese-smileys.php"]######you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_serve.mysmiley(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/confused/confused0077.gif[/img][/url]

 

2-He explains that Quran is the work of a supernatural being as the prophet SW couldn't have written such perfect literary work.. and he supported his point weakly ..ex.. it's based on the opinions of the wise men of literature of arabia in the 7th century..

 

3-lastly, he first claimed that his statements will postpone judgment abt atheism and only present a positive case for Islam when he did take jabs at Atheism in the mist. (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 yetmysmiley(contact admin if its a beneficial link)"]######you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_serve.mysmiley(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/fighting/fighting0029.gif[/img][/url]

 

I'll finish watching it tomorrow and give another 2 cents for Buckner . :sl:

(that's 4 cents..use them wisely)

 

peace

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1. Hamza does have a short article written on a theological and philosophical perspective on the oneness of God, you can take a look at it here; (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_hamzatzortzis.blogspot(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/2010/04/how-do-we-know-god-is-one-theological.html"]Tawhid.[/url]

 

It's not too detailed though, and I think it's a topic that could be expounded upon much more than it currently is.

 

2. Explaining the literary form of the Qur'an in one debate session isn't very easy, and it's highly unlikely that one can touch on all the points required, while elaborating them on the way. Although you can read more about it here (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 yettheinimitablequran(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/fivemajorarguments.html"]The Inimitable Qur'an[/url]

 

 

3. It happens ^^

 

Mmm 2 cents, lets see that's about 1 Pula. I can buy me some gum.

 

Salams

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I'll finish watching it tomorrow and give another 2 cents for Buckner .

Good luck. I actually found Buckner to be the more painful speaker.

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Good luck. I actually found Buckner to be the more painful speaker.

Hmm how so? I did he did well and spoke concisely.

 

 

I finally finished it, (######you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_i479.11chan(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/albums/rr160/macast/emoticon/corn.gif[/img])

This was more like Atheism vs Theology as oppose to Atheism vs Islam. Usually I find such debates circular and redundant, however this particular one wasn't bad.

Buckner mainly geared his arguments against religion in general, he couldn't deconstruct Hamza's arguments due to lack of Islamic knowledge (or drive for his own well being perhaps :sl:)

Hamza couldn't provide a convincing argument about God's existance as primary cause or justify the Occam's razor thing.

Though some of the key points that one should reflect upon were raised and somewhat sufficiently reflected upon.

All in all I give it 4 cresents out of 5 :sl:

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Hmm... I thought he was muddled in the beginning, and borderline insulting to his audience. I guess it's personal taste. I've seen better speakers (attended one in which a fellow laid out an argument against religion in general claiming it was primarily a psychological disposition).

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sallam, while reading this thread I was struck and reminded of some passages from the Quran. no insult meant...

 

6:25 (Asad) And there are among them such as [seem to] listen to thee [O Prophet]: but over their hearts We have laid veils which prevent them from grasping the truth, and into their ears, deafness. [18] And were they to see every sign [of the truth], they would still not believe in it-so much so that when they come unto thee to contend with thee, those who are bent on denying the truth say, "This is nothing but fables of ancient times!"

 

6:39 (Asad) And they who give the lie to Our messages are deaf and dumb, in darkness deep. Whomever God wills, He lets go astray; and whomever He wills, He places upon a straight way.

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