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    Pygoscelis's Avatar
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    Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

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    I think that the mere existence of the holy books, including the Bible, Quran and Torah may be evidence against the existence of their proclaimed Gods. At the very least they show these Gods to act in peculiar ways.

    Why would an all powerful God communicate with us via written word? And through ancient scribes? And in a language we no longer speak (in the case of Christianity, Islam escapes this one)? And in a form that can be interpreted in conflicting ways?

    Wouldn't a truly all powerful God simply have us know what he/she/it wishes us to know? This would not overide free will as we'd only have the facts and we'd still be free to act upon them as we wish.

    Thoughts?

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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    Why would an all powerful God communicate with us via written word? And through ancient scribes? And in a language we no longer speak (in the case of Christianity, Islam escapes this one)? And in a form that can be interpreted in conflicting ways?
    Wait, I am sorry... G-d who wishes for his laws to be followed willingly by humans on earth would not put forth a written law, through scribes who specialize at writing, and put it in a language (in judaisms case) that a majority of Jews speak/learn in school...

    Wouldn't a truly all powerful God simply have us know what he/she/it wishes us to know?
    What would be the challenge? If we knew G-d's will then overcoming the odds for G-d would be a very simple choice if we had proof of how powerful he is. Having no proof but complete faith is the exact point.

    This would not overide free will as we'd only have the facts and we'd still be free to act upon them as we wish.
    Any man/women with free will that has proof that G-d exists will follow G-d since he is all powerful. It is following by faith not proof which is the test and the reason.
    Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    משה בן מימון

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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Pygoscelis View Post
    Why would an all powerful God communicate with us via written word?
    It was verbal, he taught Muhammad pbuh the Quran verbally, through the angel Gabriel, it was only ever written down so it doesnt become forgotten.

    And through ancient scribes? And in a language we no longer speak (in the case of Christianity, Islam escapes this one)?
    Interest point. Islam has the nice and simple answer to this. The books revealed to prophets other than Muhammad were only ever meant for those prophets and their people. So the text revealed to Jesus was only meant for the people of his time- so it doesnt matter that no one speaks that language anymore because that religion was not meant for us. The religion meant for us is based on the book revealed to prophet Muhammad pbuh, which was sent to all of mankind until the end of time, not just to a certain people of a certain time.

    It is interesting that you should note that Islam escapes this one, it nicely highlights how Islam was meant to be the religion for the rest of time.

    And in a form that can be interpreted in conflicting ways?
    Not always. The most important things will almost always be interpreted in the one way. It is only the small details will vary. I think you need to be more specific with this statement.

    Wouldn't a truly all powerful God simply have us know what he/she/it wishes us to know? This would not overide free will as we'd only have the facts and we'd still be free to act upon them as we wish.
    How do you want Him to do this? He choose to send His Message with people. Through his messengers He let us know exaclty what he expects of us.

    He also supported it by something called 'Fitrah'- the natural inclinations of humans. For example, cleanliness, the need to worship only one God, decency etc are all part of the fitrah.

    If you mean why didnt He teach us via a more supernatural means, well He did give many of his Messengers miracles. Prophet Jesus brought people back to life and people still didnt believe him!! Prophet Moses turned his stick into a snake, He parted the sea, he had all types of miracles, and yet people didnt believe him.

    Really I'm not sure why you want to have some other method? I dont understand what your point is. Do you mean you want it to be somethng printed across our foreheads from the moment we are born that there is only one God and we have to worship him and believe in the Day of Judgement etc?

    Lastly, Gos knows best why He choose this method, He is the All-Wise and All-Knowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by IzakHalevas View Post
    Any man/women with free will that has proof that G-d exists will follow G-d since he is all powerful. It is following by faith not proof which is the test and the reason.
    I must differ on this point. I am not sure how the story goes in your religion, but Pharoah was given sign and sign from Prophet Moses that he was the Messenger of God, and he still didnt believe only because of his love of power and his arrogant insistence that he is God.

    The same thing happened with Prophet Muhammad pbuh. Many people knew he was telling the truth, but they let worldy thing stop them from believing. For example, one arrogant man refused to believe only because prophet Muhammad pbuh was not from the same tribe as himself.
    Last edited by Malaikah; 12-19-2006 at 02:12 AM.
    Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods


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    IzakHalevas's Avatar
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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    I must differ on this point. I am not sure how the story goes in your religion, but Pharoah was given sign and sign from Prophet Moses that he was the Messenger of God, and he still didnt believe only because of his love of power and his arrogant insistence that he is God.
    Very true, yet he was given signs. He could have attributed this to sorcery, or other forms of evil magic ect.

    Plus, the plagues that rained down on the Pharoh were plagues. Much different from G-d actually placing in the mind of a man what he wants him to do. That is much different.
    Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    משה בן מימון

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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    Wouldn't a truly all powerful God simply have us know what he/she/it wishes us to know?
    In some sense, the existance of conscience and feelings of guilt are one such provision. While one can argue that all societies do not share the same mores, all societies have a concept of right and wrong, and all individuals claim to know when someone has treated them in a manner which violates those norms. Try sitting in a public place and listening to the conversations nearby. Most of them take on the "Hey, won't you play another somebody did somebody wrong song" flair.

    And through ancient scribes?
    These scribes seem to be ancient to you, but to their peers they were very real, and frequently unpopular.

    Why would an all powerful God communicate with us via written word?
    As you indicated, God spoke to scribes or prophets, and they or their followers wrote down the message as a historical record. In some ways, written communication is better because there are often misunderstandings in verbal communications. The only way to verify the flow and context of a verbal message is to take notes and review it. If this were not the case, there would be no need for court reporters in the legal system and all university students would ace their exams without study.

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    May Allah have mercy on him رحمة الله عليه

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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Pygoscelis View Post
    I think that the mere existence of the holy books, including the Bible, Quran and Torah may be evidence against the existence of their proclaimed Gods. At the very least they show these Gods to act in peculiar ways.

    Why would an all powerful God communicate with us via written word? And through ancient scribes? And in a language we no longer speak (in the case of Christianity, Islam escapes this one)? And in a form that can be interpreted in conflicting ways?

    Wouldn't a truly all powerful God simply have us know what he/she/it wishes us to know? This would not overide free will as we'd only have the facts and we'd still be free to act upon them as we wish.

    Thoughts?
    Some of us who have a deep belief in GOD(swt) often have those very same thoughts. It is interesting to note that some of us who believe, have the very same thoughts an athiest has. We are far from perfect and we often face many doubts.

    Some of us are so darn hard headed that if GOD(swt) spoke directly to us, we would seek to find a valid explanation to prove that what we heard was hallucinations, over active imaginations, mental illness, substance abuse or whatever that could physicaly explain the existance of a Godly presence. Rest assured I know I would find a "valid" explanation or come to the conclusion that my elevator didn't quite reach the top floor.

    A very handy thing to have around is a reference work that can be turned to. Now the nice thing about reference works is we can see and touch something concrete to show that at least one other person in this world was able to accomplish a task and left us a detailed description of what is needed and how to put things together. As a Muslim I call that reference book the Qur'an and for further explanation I also have other references called the Ahadeeth.

    Now my first thoughts are. You know it would be handy if God(swt) had been kind enough to have rewritten this reference book peiodicaly to keep up with new languages as they develop and to reflect changes in thinking from age to age. But, that would result in a mass of books each differing to each individual and suddenly instead of having to understand one book, I would be faced with sorting through millions to verify that I was reading the correct one. Now this one book in a single language that has not changed suddenly makes a lot of sense.

    Then I see all of the ways various people interpret and misinterpret the Qur'an and I wonder. "Why didn't God(swt) write such an important document in an indisputable manner?" Then I remember God(swt) is never going to judge us beyond our abilities. We all have different levels of abilities. We all will see things a bit different. So then what is to keep all of us from just deciding to make the Qur'an match what we want it to be. Perhaps our instructions to read and to learn. To learn from our readings and to learn from those who came before us and see how they followed the Qur'an and see if that makes more sense than our own wishes. Oddly enough we have a collection of books that tell us just that. That is where the Ahadeeth becomes valuable.

    Now when I look I see we have the original reference book and then writtings and critique from people who had hands on experience.

    You know this system of sending down one book, is really a pretty brilliant concept and it works.
    Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods




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    rav's Avatar
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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    I
    think that the mere existence of the holy books, including the Bible, Quran and Torah may be evidence against the existence of their proclaimed Gods.
    how is this so, you do not outline any proof of that statement, plus, the books promote that there is an all powerful one, how on earth can you say they are evidence against existence?

    Why would an all powerful God communicate with us via written word?
    so we do not forget his word, or it does not get lost in translation possibly?

    And through ancient scribes?
    a scribe is a person who serves as a professional copyist, esp. one who made copies of manuscripts before the invention of printing, why on earth would G-d choose anyone else to wrote down his word?

    And in a language we no longer speak (in the case of Christianity, Islam escapes this one)?
    are you saying hebrew and arabic are not spoken today?

    And in a form that can be interpreted in conflicting ways?
    there is not any event, or occurrence on this earth that does not have two different opinions on it. everything in life can be viewed in conflicting ways.

    Wouldn't a truly all powerful God simply have us know what he/she/it wishes us to know?
    who says G-d does not have us know what we wish to know by instinct. we all have the instinct that something is good and bad. we all have a conscience. now why does G-d not just tell us all of his laws and put it in our heart so we know? because what challenge would it be if it came directly from G-d? G-d gave us the tools to follow his laws, he gave us our bodies, he gave us everything, now the point is will we follow them? will we convince ourselves they are not true?


    Thoughts?
    your logic is flawed.

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    Pygoscelis's Avatar
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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by IzakHalevas View Post
    What would be the challenge? If we knew G-d's will then overcoming the odds for G-d would be a very simple choice if we had proof of how powerful he is. Having no proof but complete faith is the exact point.
    This is the most suprising to me of the responses in this thread so far. Are you saying that choosing God should NOT be a simple choice? And that we should NOT be certain of his existence absent a "leap of faith", believing despite not having proof?

    You seem to hold this "challenge" as something that must be more than an acceptance and worship of God and something that must include a willingness to accept unsubstantiated claims though faith. Odd. Just odd.

    And for the record, not everybody would worship your God even if they believed him to exist. I would not. I would take Hell over worship of this particular deity as depicted in the bible stories. Or at least I'd like to think that I'd have the moral fibre to do so.

    I see him as a tyrant and a monster. I am entitled to that opinion, as you are to yours. I am not stating this to upset you (so please do not be offended, it is only my opinion and I do not push it at you), but only to correct your claim. Do not assume that everybody loves your conception of God.

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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Malaikah View Post
    Not always. The most important things will almost always be interpreted in the one way. It is only the small details will vary. I think you need to be more specific with this statement.
    There are different sects of Islam, I assume they are split over interpretation. Maybe that isn't correct. I don't claim to be an expert on Islam.

    Christianity I do know has had numerous bloody incidents over misinterpretations of the Bible and mulitple splittings of churches into separate sects over how the Bible is to be interpreted. It is hard to believe that this would be the intention of an all powerful God. And its harder to beleive that he couldn't have easily avoided this by simply having us all know the actual meaning he meant to convey.

    How do you want Him to do this? He choose to send His Message with people. Through his messengers He let us know exaclty what he expects of us.
    Why have messengers? An all powerful God could simply have you know what he intends you to know. All of these limitations, written words, scribes, languages, people to tell you the proper interpretations (pope etc) seem awfully human and very much not godly.

    If you mean why didnt He teach us via a more supernatural means, well He did give many of his Messengers miracles. Prophet Jesus brought people back to life and people still didnt believe him!! Prophet Moses turned his stick into a snake, He parted the sea, he had all types of miracles, and yet people didnt believe him.
    All these theatrics. It seems like its more for showmanship than anything else. If God wishes us to know something and he's all powerful, he could easily have us know it. It would not override free will for we'd still be able to act on it however we wished.

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    Malaikah's Avatar
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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Pygoscelis View Post
    This is the most suprising to me of the responses in this thread so far. Are you saying that choosing God should NOT be a simple choice? And that we should NOT be certain of his existence absent a "leap of faith", believing despite not having proof?
    Every single person would believe and worship God if they saw hell-fire with their own eyes.

    And for the record, not everybody would worship your God even if they believed him to exist. I would not. I would take Hell over worship of this particular deity as depicted in the bible stories. Or at least I'd like to think that I'd have the moral fibre to do so.
    Ha! You say that now. I would love to see you take a look at hell-fire and then still say that.

    This attitude is very arrogant. (I do not mean that in an offensive way) You are not better than God. I am not familair though with the biblical stories that make you take such a strong stance. Can you give me an example? There is nothing in Islam that I would find so disturbing. Would you say the same about the God of Islam then?

    I see him as a tyrant and a monster. I am entitled to that opinion, as you are to yours. I am not stating this to upset you (so please do not be offended, it is only my opinion and I do not push it at you), but only to correct your claim. Do not assume that everybody loves your conception of God.
    Do you see the God of Islam this way too? (Even though our God is the same God of Judaism and Christianity, although they attribute things to Him which are rejected in Islam).
    Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods


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    Pygoscelis's Avatar
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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodrow View Post
    Some of us are so darn hard headed that if GOD(swt) spoke directly to us, we would seek to find a valid explanation to prove that what we heard was hallucinations, over active imaginations, mental illness, substance abuse or whatever that could physicaly explain the existance of a Godly presence.
    But this is assuming that God would appear as a voice or something. He need not. If he is all powerful he could make you KNOW that the message is from God. The question of if it is or isn't doesn't have to apply.

    It is difficult to reconcile an all powerful God with a limitation on communication that requires a reference book.

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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Malaikah View Post
    Every single person would believe and worship God if they saw hell-fire with their own eyes.
    I fear that you may be correct. But I hope that you are not. Regardless, it is to me like saying "every slave will obey if you threaten them with a big enough whip". It isn't a glowing endorsement of God's greatness, but a threat of his evil.

    I am not familair though with the biblical stories that make you take such a strong stance.
    I do not wish to derail this thread, which this no doubt would do. It'd likely start a flame war as well as it would no doubt offend many Christians here. I'd like to avoid that. Suffice it to say that I have numerous moral problems with the bible stories. And I am not alone in that.

    Do you see the God of Islam this way too?
    I do not know the Islamic conception of God well enough to say. I suspect yes, but in all fairness I can not say so with any conviction.

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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Pygoscelis View Post
    There are different sects of Islam, I assume they are split over interpretation. Maybe that isn't correct. I don't claim to be an expert on Islam.
    No not really. The sects are much, much more complicated than that. They have to do with people being arrogant and rejecting the truth, liars, people with their own hidden agendas, ignorance, innovations etc.

    Even if they do interpret things differently, they are not allowed to interpret thing how ever they want, there must have suppport from the Quran and sunnah.

    The prophet told us that there would be sects, and he also said the only 'saved' sect is the one that follows the Qurana and his example (the sunnah).

    Christianity I do know has had numerous bloody incidents over misinterpretations of the Bible and mulitple splittings of churches into separate sects over how the Bible is to be interpreted. It is hard to believe that this would be the intention of an all powerful God. And its harder to beleive that he couldn't have easily avoided this by simply having us all know the actual meaning he meant to convey.
    Well, christianity is not God religion. Islam is. Problem solved. (From my point of view anyway).

    Why have messengers? An all powerful God could simply have you know what he intends you to know. All of these limitations, written words, scribes, languages, people to tell you the proper interpretations (pope etc) seem awfully human and very much not godly.
    But now you are assuming you know what God's intention was! He didnt do it that way because that is not what He wanted.

    Why do I have the feeling that even if God did it the way you wanted it, there would be a thread on LI complaining about why didnt God send us prophets and holy books to teach is the religion?

    All these theatrics. It seems like its more for showmanship than anything else. If God wishes us to know something and he's all powerful, he could easily have us know it. It would not override free will for we'd still be able to act on it however we wished.
    God is All-Powerful and He choose messengers and books, by His Wisdom.
    Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods


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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Pygoscelis View Post
    I fear that you may be correct. But I hope that you are not. Regardless, it is to me like saying "every slave will obey if you threaten them with a big enough whip". It isn't a glowing endorsement of God's greatness, but a threat of his evil.
    You can run from a big whip, but you can not run from God. God is not evil! The humans how arrogantly reject Him and think they are better than the one who created them are evil! God promises for His obedient slaves paradise! This is the ultimate reward!

    I do not wish to derail this thread, which this no doubt would do. It'd likely start a flame war as well as it would no doubt offend many Christians here. I'd like to avoid that. Suffice it to say that I have numerous moral problems with the bible stories. And I am not alone in that.

    I do not know the Islamic conception of God well enough to say. I suspect yes, but in all fairness I can not say so with any conviction.
    Would you like to start a thread on this? It is an interesting topic. I know of some stories in the bible that made me go but we dont have them in Islam. I'll not dwell on this point in this thread though.
    Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods


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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    [QUOTE=Malaikah;601898] But now you are assuming you know what God's intention was! He didnt do it that way because that is not what He wanted.
    [QUOTE]

    Indeed, perhaps God DESIRED this current state of affairs, with numerous competing religions, fractured sects all claiming conflicting interpretations of his word and wars and attrocities committed in his name.

    As I put in the original message, either this is evidence that these claimed Gods don't exist, or at the very least is shows that they act in peculiar ways.

    Why do I have the feeling that even if God did it the way you wanted it, there would be a thread on LI complaining about why didnt God send us prophets and holy books to teach is the religion?
    But there wouldn't be. Such people would KNOW the truth and would simply be causing trouble for the sake of causing trouble. There would be no confusion because God would have clearly conveyed his word to each individual and each would understand it perfectly.

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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Pygoscelis View Post
    I think that the mere existence of the holy books, including the Bible, Quran and Torah may be evidence against the existence of their proclaimed Gods. At the very least they show these Gods to act in peculiar ways.

    Why would an all powerful God communicate with us via written word? And through ancient scribes? And in a language we no longer speak (in the case of Christianity, Islam escapes this one)? And in a form that can be interpreted in conflicting ways?

    Wouldn't a truly all powerful God simply have us know what he/she/it wishes us to know? This would not overide free will as we'd only have the facts and we'd still be free to act upon them as we wish.

    Thoughts?

    why not? as an agnostic, i accept the conscept that much is unknowable.
    (i have no holy books)
    Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Malaikah View Post
    Would you like to start a thread on this? It is an interesting topic. I know of some stories in the bible that made me go but we dont have them in Islam. I'll not dwell on this point in this thread though.
    It may be a fun thing to do. We could go through the entire bible and then quran, story by story, putting the actual text in a message and then have board members comment on each. It would take a very long time to go through, maybe even a year, but would be interesting. I don't have time to organize it but would join in on it with my own comments.

    I suspect that my own views would not be othe only views conflicting with other board members. I suspect that you'd get many christians debating with christians and many muslims debating muslims.

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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Pygoscelis View Post
    It may be a fun thing to do. We could go through the entire bible and then quran, story by story, putting the actual text in a message and then have board members comment on each. It would take a very long time to go through, maybe even a year, but would be interesting. I don't have time to organize it but would join in on it with my own comments.

    have you got any tasfeer (translation with explanation of quran) with you?

    erm...i don't have the link...but if you want...i can find the link for you (i'm sure there is somewhere here in this board)
    Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods



    25:36 And the true servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk the earth with humility and when the ignorant address them, they respond with words of peace.

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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    It would be more difficult to do the Quran than the Bible I suspect as Islam demands that the Quran is perfect only in arabic, which many of us do not speak. This question is rarely raised by Christians when discussing the KJV bible (not the original language).

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    Re: Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Pygoscelis View Post
    But this is assuming that God would appear as a voice or something. He need not. If he is all powerful he could make you KNOW that the message is from God. The question of if it is or isn't doesn't have to apply.

    It is difficult to reconcile an all powerful God with a limitation on communication that requires a reference book.

    It is difficult to reconcile an all powerful God with a limitation on communication that requires a reference book.

    God(swt) has no limitations. But, we sure do.

    But this is assuming that God would appear as a voice or something. He need not. If he is all powerful he could make you KNOW that the message is from God. The question of if it is or isn't doesn't have to apply.

    True he could have created us with full knowledge of all things. We could all have indestructable bodies and we could have an abundance of all things with no fear of injury old age or disease.

    He could have created us as being Identical to the Angels.

    But he had created the Angels as beings seperate from us. We were not created as Angels and we were created with a need to toil and to do our best to earn the pleasure of God(swt).

    I do not know what God(swt) gains from any of this. But, I do know that all of us who believe know we do as a matter of choice. We know our affection is not being taken by force, we have to give it freely and have the right to deny the Existance of God(swt). We know we have to search to find God(swt) and that even then we are faced with many trials and hardships.

    An education is a wonderfull thing. Yet it has some hardships and we get banged around and pay some heavy prices and make many sacrifices to work towards a goal such as a Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer, Farmer, Machinist etc. We gladly do so out of blind faith that when done we will have employment in the field of our choice.

    To some of us Faith is our chosen occupation. A very difficult job to be trained for. It is a very difficult learning experience and quite often along the way we do face times when we do doubt the validity of it and do see it as an unneccessary hardship. But, in spite of all obstacles we do find a little spark that is sufficient to let us know we are working on our degrees in the Graduate School called Jannah.
    Holy Books as Evidence Against Their Gods





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