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fareed52

Why I Reverted To Islam

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Asalam Alaikum. I testify that there is no God except Allah (SWT) and that Muhammad (PBUH) is Allah's final Prophet and Messenger to all of Mankind. I further testify that the Holy Qu'ran is Allah's word and is preserved in it's original form to this day. Allhumdulliah. 

My name is Fareed. I was raised in a conservative Christian family who believed that the Bible was the inerrant word of god. From a young age of about six I went to Sunday school,  morning services and Wednesday evening prayer meet8ings. You see I was a fundementalist Baptist and taught the doctrines of that faith. Nothing was more important to me than 'leading someone to Christ'.At the age of 12 I began to fell as though I should study to be a paster and pursued this until the age of 19. At this time I was at a crossroad of faith. I discovered that the church that i loved had become antagonistic towards other denominations and were saying that they had a corner on all bible truth. I questioned this after reading the Book of Acts, where I found a very different church than what I was raised in. I turned away from the church and began experimenting with drugs.  was also very involved with  music and other vices. I went to the pastor and asked some pointed questions about what i had read and his answrer was that all the actions in the book of Acts was for just the early Christians because they did not have the full canon of scripture. I also raised the question that if Jesus tol;d his Disciples to keep the commandments why weren't we doing the same? I was told that Paul had revealed we were not under the law but free from it. I was shocked! So I began a search foir a group of like minded believers. This led to the Jesus people movemnt of the early 70's. Some of the groups I allied myself with believed in the whole word of god and practiced it daily.  But something was still lacking. I saw where Jesus, upon whom be peace, wanted believers to care for thoise less fortunate. So I began a search for a community of beleivers that practiced this.My family and I were eventually part of a 'community' of people that were really living out what Jesus taught concerning social welfare and spiritual discipleship. I was chosen as a wot=rship leader for our Sunday gatherings and eventually taught when the director wasn't present. I also becamr very involved with the radio ministry of this 'ministry' as a DJ. 

But, something wa s still lacking. I had no real peace. During High School I had taken a year long course on religion and minorities. during this course we were introduced to many faiths, Mormon, Hindu, Bahai, Buddiam, and Islam. I was intrigued that in Islam the Holy Qu'ran was their center piece scripture and it was unchanged from the time of their Prophet (PBUH) I was given a copy of the t5ranslation of the meaning of the Qu'ran by Pickthal and read it cover to cover. But when my parents discovered I was reading it they threw it away and sent me to our pastor for counseling conderning Islam and it's teachings.

Fast forward to 2006. My family and i began to realize that the 'ministry was changing fromone who worshipped the Creator to one that worshipped the creation. In fact the director has said in one of his sermons that man was put here to be a servant of God's creation. This plus the discovery of some financial misdealings led me away from the 'ministry". I was agian left to begin a search for thr real truth about God his purpose for my life.  When I was job hunting in Rolla Missouri, I noticed there were many churches but I was so turned off by this time i would not set foot in any of them. I kept questioning my faith and beliefs and wanted more. By this time My children were all grown and out of the house so it was just my wife and i as empty nesters. We watched a lot of TV and noticed how the news treated muslims. I was appaled at the lack of compassion on the part of the main stream media. I remebered the Qu'ran and it's beautiful teachings and said to myeslf I have to get another copy of it and read it for myself. So in 2008, I took a break from job hunting and went to the Islamic center in Rolla. It was Friday and there was a group oif men standing outside oif the door to the small Masjid. I had just intended to get a Qu'ran and leave, but somehow I asked the question, "How do I become a Muslim?" I was warmly welcomed and invited to attend their prayer service that afternoonj. So as I sat in the back of the Masjid observing  the service I discovered that I actually was peaceful and calm. No one wanted to ki,l,l me or cause me harm as the Media had portrayed. Neither was there any mention of anything out of line with my own personal beliefs. I listend intently to the sermon given in english that day by a brother from Nigeria who concentrated on Serving Allah (SWT) and avoiding the ptifalls of Shaytan. There was power in his Khutbah and i was really impressed! Then I obsevered the Prayer. I found myself in awe of men of different nations standing shpoulder to shoulder to worship the Creator of the Universe. Allah. 

After the service I met many of the brothers, who, all greeted me warmly. I was invited to come back next week and when they found out that I didn't own a car and lived 30 miles away the brothers set up rides for me to come to the Masjid every Friday. I was given a copy of the Qu'ran in English and some other literature to read at home. I eagerly took the material and went home amd began reading. I found within that Book answers to my questions of some fifty eight years. What the Christian pastors couldn't answer or cover was within the pages of the Qu'ran. I felt a deep need to change my life. Allah was guiding me to Islam!

The brother from Nigeria gave me a mp3 player to listen to some lectures from various brothers and both my wife and I listened intently. We also were given CD's and DVD's of lectures on the basics of the faith. I was like a sponge! I absorbed it like a man who had mot ate for weeks! I was finding many answers to questions that plagued me for years! I discovered that Islam is the truth1

I began to pray and ask Allah's help. I felt so close to him. At first when I did the Five daily prayers, I said it in english because I didn't speak any Arabic. As time progressed I learned the salat in Arabic and taught it to my wife.

On April 18th 2008, I stood in that small masjid and recited the shadah. I was finally hoime!

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wa alaykum as salaam brother fareed

 

It was very nice to read your story. I am also a revert to Islam although my story is very different in that I was raised Catholic, but I never grew up in a strict religious environment per se. I found it interesting that your journey to Islam took many years as you heard about it in high school and many years later you pursued your interest in it. These stories really inspire me in a sense that I should never give up on people changing because it shows that despite your many years outside Islam, in fact they were years which were a journey to Islam. It is sometimes in the most darkest moments of life, which are so far from Islamic morals, that we begin to question life and find Islam. 

 

It is great that you have a support network because this is something reverts often lack in the beginning. You are very blessed that your wife is also a Muslim.

 

May Allah bless you and increase your patience in this world. 

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Asalam Alaikum

 

I appreciated your reply an di found that your closing statement has really hit home. I am a disabled Vet that suffers not only from Depression caused by military service but also because of a family history of depression going back to my Great Grandfather that died while in a mental health facility in the 1930's. But, Alhumdulillah since Allah (swt) has guided me to Islam and has granted me peace I really haven't had too many of the occurances of my depression that i refer to as 'the funk'. Mashallah.  I have discovered that through prayer, stidying the Qur'an and memorizing portion of it Allah (swt) has granted me great contentment, peace and quite a bit of support and understanding from my ummah here in Mid Missouri. 

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Assalamo alaikum brother Farid

 

That was a great story. Jazakum Allah for sharing.

Like sister PL mentioned, your story shows that we should never lose hope in the mercy of Allah Al-Mighty in guiding us to the true path. May He grant you happiness in both worlds, ameen.

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Interesting story and indeed I have read a lot of converts testimonies and a common theme is to hear that the 'Quran' answered their questions but sadly these testimonies never seem to tell us what those questions were. Same here I think.

 

"I found within that Book (Quran) answers to my questions of some fifty eight years. What the Christian pastors couldn't answer or cover was within the pages of the Qu'ran. I felt a deep need to change my life. Allah was guiding me to Islam!"

 

So let's hear those questions and answers please.

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'So let's hear those questions and answers please.'

 

I would imagine that 'they' would be comparable to the responses received from a 'Christian', if asked a similar question.

Which is precisely why a believer (of any religion) can quickly begin to sound hypocritical, when criticising another.

 

We can't prove Christianity to be of any greater validity than Islam (nor vice versa).

All faith systems are of equal value... Whatever value one might impose upon them.

 

The state of the universe NOW, determines the state of the universe NEXT, surely.

But we haven't the technology to unravel and decode such large quantities of data.

 

Why anyone chooses to do anything, is a matter of immense complexity.

After all, you didn't create your own brain... You didn't teach it.

And for the first few years of life, you had no (apparent) control over it.

 

Everything we are today, is a result of our parents DNA and the surroundings that their geographic positioning provided for us.

Which too, was no deliberate cause of their own, as they are also a product of this very same system. Ad infinitum.

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Rather an odd post if I may say so for on the one hand those of faith are hypocritical, we can prove Christianity etc and yet you are so positive about the role of DNA and how we become who we are and for you its all deterministic.

 

No matter, my question was if the person in the header post found answers to question then let's hear those question and answers for they could change lives

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You can prove Christianity like I can prove the spaghetti monster. This is not a practical route to knowledge.

Everything you have ever encountered is a result of prior events... Please offer examples to the contrary if you have them.

 

PROOF THAT MY GOD EXISTS (TEST)

 

STEP 1: Think of god that you don't believe in.

STEP 2: Determine which standard/s of proof this god does not meet.

STEP 3: Apply that/those standard/s of proof to your own god.

STEP 4: Wonder why you didn't see it sooner.

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Well one might say creation itself - what caused that? I might also point to particles appearing and disappearing in a vacuum. or radio active decay seems to have no cause. If we look at the history of science we often find discoveries look like pure chance so what caused those. Your problem is that you think you know everything but really what we can be sure of is our own ignorance, and it's ignorance that drives science.

 

Perhaps you will tell us what your standards of proof are given that science is littered with mistakes that were thought to be proofs.

 

Now, all science is provisional for we don't know what might be uncovered tomorrow that might modify what we know, or cause us to discard what we thought was true or it might be something entirely new.

 

Finally, I don't have a proof or test for God but that does not mean there isn't one? But we can find indications or avenues of thought that lead us to God. For example, I've always been amazed how Christianity can transform lives.

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Because we can't explain the 3 very difficult and incredibly complicated things you mentioned, determinism must be false. Is that what you are saying?

 

Hopefully you will agree, that EVERYTHING else we have EVER experienced and tested, owes it's existence and current 'state' to something that existed before it.

Can you think of something that you understand a little better, that does not follow the rules of cause and effect?

 

'Your problem is that you think you know everything...' this sounds like a response one might find on a Youtube video comment section... And has been ignored.

 

Science is supposed to change! New methods for verifying data are discovered all of the time... The speed of light, the age of matter, the accuracy of a timepiece to measure a second etc...

 

The very last line of text in your post, could be uttered by a devout Muslim and still possess the same value. An anecdotal value of 0.

 

This argument works just as well for the spaghetti monster and/or flying unicorn. Which have transformed my life tremendously.

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I gave you examples which as far as we can see are not deterministic and your only answer appears to be that they are complicated and hard to explain. Of course one accepts cause and effect but it simply does not seem to explain everything does it? If you want a completely deterministic world then become a Muslim and accept that it is Allah who determines everything. But I don't see the world entirely like that. For example, I might be certain you will fail my class from what I observe but it cannot me that my certainty caused your failure.

 

Why ignore a point? You feel you live in a deterministic world and seem to express absolute certainty in it and all I'm saying is that perhaps you just need to dent that certainty so you open to something new or something you don't like. Sure you appear to admit the science moves on but cannot accept that God might exist but as yet we may not have to tools to prove his existence.

 

One wonders how you mind works when you say 'could be uttered..' As if truth is limited to the speaker. With regard to spaghetti monsters I have never heard or seen lives transformed by such ideas - perhaps you can point to the testimonies of such people who can tell us how they discovered truth and life that way?

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Wait... What!?

 

Because we are yet to understand the cause of your three examples, free-will must exist... Is that you're position?

That's almost like saying... We can't prove that a god DOESN'T exist, so there must be one.

 

Why doesn't this argument work for the spaghetti monster?

Are you open to the possibility of such an entity?

After all. The cause of our existence is a very difficult problem, as we've already established.

And nobody really knows yet...

 

'Your problem is that you think you know everything...'

But this is not MY position at all... Far from it.

I simply refuse to acknowledge an ill-thought out proposition.

If the data makes sense, my brain will accept it.

I don't have a choice in the matter; I'm not deliberately avoiding evidence!

 

I do not have a name (yet) for the cause of existence,

or for the way in which particles of matter come into being...

But what you are essentially suggesting, is that I replace that ignorance,

and perhaps any other 'unknown', with YOUR interpretation of the Christian faith.

 

The only evidence you have in favour of free-will (and/or a god), is humanity's current ignorance.

 

Christian determinism exists too. Not that it helps you any.

And not all Muslims are determinists.

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No, but it's just that something may be forever beyond our understanding and if one's position is that we accept nothing until proven then you're going to have a very hard time getting through life. Of course we cannot prove something does not exist for the obvious reason that if it does not exist there can be no evidence or data with which to offer a proof. But there have been numerous examples where something has been suspected and then many many years elapsed before any data emerged. This simple fact tells us not to be hasty in dismissing things.

 

But you're missing that point, you are assuming you will always understand and be able to verify the proposition but of course that might not be so. Qurantum weirdness doesn't make sense does it but I suppose you nevertheless accept it. Do you not see I am not suggesting you accept everything but that you might just open your mind a little and agree for example that when it comes to God the jury is still out.

Edited by tanker

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'...and if one's position is that we accept nothing until proven then you're going to have a very hard time getting through life.'

Why is that? I haven't accepted anything without good reason to do so; Life is unbearably miserable for some... But I'm doing well, thanks.

 

I haven't missed the point. I just wind up with a different result (based on the tools I use to inspect the problem).

 

Quantum weirdness IS odd. But then we don't properly understand it so... We're back to square one, aren't we.

 

'Do you not see I am not suggesting you accept everything but that you might just open your mind a little and agree for example that when it comes to God the jury is still out.'

You're right! Due to a lack of data (that we might possibly NEVER have access to), the pink sparkly unicorn of the chocolate space pirates, may actually exist.

 

Remember: Ignorance of the fact, is all that you have in your defence.

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Ah, you seems to be moving from proof to good reason - or perhaps you don't know the difference?

 

You don't care for ignorance do you? Yet ignorance is what drives science.

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Haha. Semantics! Defending a position that you consider logical, shouldn't be this difficult.

 

As a multicellular organism. Which one of you is free?

Are you capable of acting in a way that does not require the outside world and it's input?

 

If God was capable of knowing what sort of universe He was about to create, before He created it,

then surely He chose the future that unravelled as a result of it.

 

Where is our freedom if God chooses our reality?

 

Either He knew that Adam would fall and that He would have to intervene, prior to the event, or He did not.

He knew that Noah would have to repopulate the Earth using his immediate family, or He did not.

He knew that many thousands of Muslims would be killed this year as a result of his work, or he did not...

 

If God possessed the ability to see 'into the future', but did not use these powers before creating us.

Then, He sort of threw everything He had into a bowl & this is the outcome... A world wherein He constantly needs to tend and mend His experiment.

 

If He created this world, knowing that He would not have to intervene, then we can't be free.

If He created this world, knowing that He would have to intervene, then we still can't free.

 

What sort of free-will do you think we have?

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Well defend from a logical point of view Qurantum weirdness?

 

Are you wanting now to discuss free will or freedom itself?

 

You don't it seems believe in God but nevertheless think he chooses our reality!

 

You seem to be under the delusion that knowing something will happen causes it to happen?

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1: Asking me to explain things that we don't fully understand, is stupid.

    Not to mention that ignorance does not provide evidence for truth. As we've already discussed.

 

2: Both! Please offer YOUR definition before continuing.

    Freedom, in the strictest terms, is a descriptor of 'some-thing' NOT bound by ANY external factors.

    Free-will, is the idea that our decisions are not governed by external forces.

    Both of these concepts are intimately tied, if you'd care to notice.

 

3: Was your god capable of choosing what universe to create, before creating it?

    I don't have a god that compares to any of the Abraham religions. Sorry.

 

4: I can predict an outcome of a system if I understand the properties of the components involved... Though I can never be the cause.

    However. If God created and understands everything, then his knowledge of all matter (prior to the event) IS equal to cause.

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1. I see at last you have understood that you can't explain everything logically. No, ignorance is not evidence but if we are to advance we have to use ignorance as a guide - do you understand this about science?

 

2. How about this for a start from John Bagnal Bury

 

It is a common saying that thought is free. A man can never be hindered from thinking whatever he chooses so long as he conceals what he thinks. But this natural liberty of private thinking is of little value and even painful to the thinker himself, if he is not permitted to communicate his thoughts to others, and it is obviously of no value to his neighbours. Moreover it is extremely difficult to hide thoughts that have any power over the mind. If a man’s thinking leads him to call in question ideas and customs which regulate the behaviour of those about him, to reject beliefs which they hold, to see better ways of life than those they follow, it is almost impossible for him, if he is convinced of the truth of his own reasoning, not to betray by silence, chance words, or general attitude that he is different from them and does not share their opinions. Some have preferred, like Socrates, some would prefer to-day, to face death rather than conceal their thoughts. Thus freedom of thought, in any valuable sense, includes freedom of speech.

 

3. If one accepts God then the creator must choose what he will create. Do you know the cosmological argument for a God?

 

4. No I think you are wrong, systems have emergent properties and so absolute prediction is not possible.

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1: I wonder if I you can see the circles that you're running in.

    Everything that we understand, can be explained logically.

    Everything that we are yet to understand, cannot be explained logically.

    Logic can be understood. Everything else is merely 'accepted'.

    I'm not going to acknowledge my understanding of the scientific method (to you) yet again.

 

2: Anything you understand should be put into words of your own.

    I wont be scouring the internet for quotes to refute your claims.

    So please, do me the favour of not copy & pasting other people's arguments.

    But seeing as you asked -

 

    John Bagnell Bury, is discussing the 'value' of free-will (which he believes to exist)

    He's not taking on the task of refuting it's existence; Read the whole book!

 

    https://archive.org/download/historyoffreedomft00bury/historyoffreedomft00bury.epub

 

3: Of course! The cosmological argument is the most well known (and convincing)

    argument for the existence of a god.

 

    In order that all things may have an explanation for their existence (via cause and effect)

    it MUST be, that at least one 'thing' exists without a cause. The un-caused causer.

 

    But this property could merely be particles of some description, and goes no way towards proving that a sentient being

    knowingly created & covered the Earth in microscopic organisms that have silently killed man for thousands of years. And so on.. and so on.

 

4: By 'emergent property' you essentially mean (again), 'something we are yet to understand'. Such as consciousness, or the like.

    But if we were to understand the properties of all components, prediction would indeed be possible.

    In fact, IT IS possible to know someone thoroughly enough, to predict how they will behave given various stimuli.

 

    But, how does this apply to your god? Surely he understands exactly what will happen when two ingredients are mixed...

 

    Why not make a universe that does not require His intervention?

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1. Perhaps you'd explain the circles I'm in since you obviously could never get into such a state? That maybe is the difference you show all the arrogance of knowing and thinking you but not others have understood - I prefer to acknowledge my ignorance and in humility seek for truth. You have a touching faith in logic but seem not to understand its limitations and that paradoxes do exist.

 

2. What rubbish, if I can find words better than my own I'll use them. Incidentally, I have a copy of Bury's book and have done some for a great number of years and have read the wholbook so please stop your ugly implications. In any case what is wrong with quoting?

 

3. Well in some things all we can do for now is have a convincing argument - is there something intrinsically wrong with that? Don't you appreciate what it tells us that Newtons laws were eventually shown to be incomplete?

 

4. No emergent means that when we create a system from parts it may exibit quite unexpected behaviours which we could not have predicted. In other words even when we fully understand a component we still cannot predict every state of the system in which it is placed. Based on your comment it's not a question of God being all knowing but rather he made the universe as it is.

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Perhaps you would point out the circles i find myself in? You of course could not possibly enter such a thinking state? That's the problem with arrogance, you always think everyone else is an idiot.

 

I've read and had a copy of Bury's book for many years so keep you patronising to yourself. In any case what on earth is wrong about quoting something or using words that are better that you own?

 

In many case all we have is a convincing argument - don't you see the implication of Newtons laws being shown to be incomplete.

 

Emergent means that when a system is assembled it may exibit behaviours that we could not have predicted even if we perfectly understood the behaviours of its parts. I rember many years ago in mathematics the lecturer having to wheels that were perfectly predictable on their own but when he connected that in a particular way the motion became totally random. Have you never heard of the butterfly effect?

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Thanks for leaving both copies of your message behind.

It is a window into an otherwise censored world.

 

1: Are your negative words a direct response to my being so sure of myself?

 

2: Read the book again. Quote from a position of understanding. Or don't.

 

3: Facepalm!

 

4: Emergent properties are not understood!

    If our knowledge of a system was 'perfect'

    foresight would be possible.

    And they would not be called emergent, they'd just be properties.

 

    Random is yet another word used to describe ignorance.

    If I toss 200 marbles into a bag and give it a shake,

    knowing the position of each marble is not impossible.

 

    If I manage to 'pull-out' my favourite marble, it may be called luck or chance.

    But 'chance' is yet another descriptor of a system who's variables are too complicated to immediately assess.

 

    I build components for aircraft; Physics and Engineering are my life...

    Your random-wheel anecdote will be a story that I tell when I go to work again on Monday.

 

    'Totally random' refers to a system's complexity. Not it's impossibility.

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1: Are your negative words a direct response to my being so sure of myself?

 

No, it's just that being sure that you are right is not always a good thing since it essentially becomes a defensive position where one's response is not to consider what has been said but simply defend you own position soI that one learns nothing.

 

2: Read the book again. Quote from a position of understanding. Or don't.

 

No dea what your asking here but it's another arrogant response from you that you understand the book but I don't. I made the quote as a starting position for discussion but it's seems that is something you don't want to engage is.

 

3: Facepalm!

 

Aptly describes you as one who only values his own opinion

 

4: Emergent properties are not understood!  If our knowledge of a system was 'perfect' foresight would be possible.

    And they would not be called emergent, they'd just be properties.

 

Well look it up yourself if you don't understand - there is no shame in not known how something. But is this perfect knowledge possible? Let's take a coin, we have perfect knowledge of that but I still cannot predict exactly what the outcome will be of any toss, I can only ever know it's probability.

 

Random is a difficult concept to define for obvious reasons. But I wonder how you can know the position of each marble without looking inside the bag. Again all we can know is probabilities not certainties. What you seem to be suggesting is if we could make a perfect coin and a perfect tossing machine in a vacuum we would always get the same result. But really this is patent nnsence and the quantum world shows it to be so.

 

5. I build components for aircraft; Physics and Engineering are my life...  Your random-wheel anecdote will be a story that I tell when I go to work again on Monday.

 

I never mentioned random wheels but just two wheels that when connected in certain ways producer unpredictable and random behaviour. Neither did I say anything about impossibility for obviously one CAN connect wheels together and see what happens - the example is not about whether one can construct such a system but whether you can predict it motions. Why don't you look up butterfly effects or Black swan events

 

    'Totally random' refers to a system's complexity. Not it's impossibility.

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1: Every hole in our understanding of the natural world, isn't a receptacle for any old fanciful nonsense.

 

2: My apologies. This book is of no use to our discussions here. It's conclusions were out-dated before the book was even released.

 

3: I wouldn't get far if that was true though, would I?

 

4: We do not have perfect knowledge of a coin and any system to which it may belong. You are still yet to grasp the depth of this problem.

    As understanding of any system increases with clarity, the numerical probability of predicting the outcome also increases.

 

    'But really this is patent nnsence and the quantum world shows it to be so.'

    This sounds like something you feel you have the proof for... Please do your best to explain.

 

5: Don't worry about the label I assigned to your comment about 'random-wheels', it is just a label. The context wont get lost...

    If you look into it further, you will see that the 'traditional' definition of random does not apply to Black Swan events.

 

    This may be where you have been going wrong this entire time... Conflating random input, with random output.

 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degenerate_distribution

 

    Let me know if you still don't get it. It really is quite simple once you have the basics of calculus.

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