agreed, but that statement by z10 is the result of critical thinking.... he didn't say don't rationalize, he only gave us the conclusion, and a brilliant one too.
I share his view (that experience of choice is more
important) but we have to critically examine our alleged freedom in order to fully assess the tenability
of Allah concept…Which is kind of what I’m trying to do here. A man can live his whole life without thinking in depth about philosophy or theology, but that fact shouldn't be used to discourage thinking about them.
ok. but it would seem you're implying you would act differently if you were the creator? if that is the case, then i can't see how your being the creator or not is relevant. what is relevant is the experience of choice itself.
Of course I would act differently! If I was the one who designed the universe, I would not hold the guy responsible. He only did what I designed him to do, and I’d assume total responsibility.
Again you’re with your experience of choice. What of it? Is it some sort of attempt to shift the responsibility off from the Creator and unto his toy soldiers?
nor would hitler torture anyone forever, i know that.
You love Allah way more than Hitler though. In Hassan thread (that I glossed over) you wrote that you love him for the beauty of his creation. You’ll disagree, but I don’t think all the beauty in the universe is worth eternal suffering of billions. Too high a price, and seemingly
unnecessary for omnipotent being.
of course, creation only points to a creator, not necessarily the Quranic God, (the creator doesn't even have to be divine or even communicative) but the point of the argument is: cast away deities of whom you have no evidence.
If the bolded part is your conclusion, than it's not very controversial and hardly needs an argument to support it. What I'd be interested to see is an argument for why Qur'an says the truth.
it partly depends on your definition of the word "God".
I use "god" in the broadest sense: a powerful being who is responsible for creating or controlling nature (or aspects of it).
The Quranic view is that a limited deity, no matter how powerful, is helpless beyond his reign.
Such a deity doesn't deserve the title god, because god is absolute. The Quran argues that multiple gods = multiple tyrants who demand worship while being powerless outside their respective domains. So there can only be one God or none.
Doesn't sound convincing.
First of all, you have to concede that omnipotence has limits if
you want to circumvent the Problem of Evil and numerous logical paradoxes (creating a rock so heavy he can't lift, etc). You can't define something into existence, so saying that God means "an absolute being" isn't an argument for this being's existence. I'm guessing the author of Qur'an thought of old pagan Gods when he "argued" that multiple Gods must be egotistical tyrants who compete for worship of puny humans. Why must they be like that? A city is designed by many men, couldn't the universe be designed by many Gods? That's not what I believe obviously, I'm just curious.
However, a Creator of the universe does not have to be divine. I'm no cosmologist but I would *guess* if a cosmologist would accept the assumption that the universe was created, they would conclude there is only one creator (everything goes back to stardust, etc).
Probably. I'm willing to bet most cosmologists are not theists, though.
no! I said I judge a religion by its arguments.... this was only one example. There's many arguments in the Quran, mainly about the nature of God, and since they mostly make sense to me, i proceed to conclude this book is from God.
i agree, but I was confused by the objection that the language sounds "human" when the party to which the message is being delivered is human.
Not just human, but a 7th century human. Unsophisticated, fairly ignorant, and superstitious 7th century man - not an omnipotent creator of 100+ billion galaxies. Hell, I can't even believe that omnipotent creator would employ visions to select people as a means to communicate with all mankind. It's prone to human error, slow, and highly suspicious given history of false prophets.
1- it's not misreprsenting reality, it's using a language to *describe* a scene. Do you think cosmologists today, when they use words like sunrise and sunset, they're misrepresenting the reality? The key difference lies in whether the speaker's goal is to *describe* a scene or to *explain* it. Even brain surgeons use phrases like: *I wish you success from the bottom of my heart*, although they know that heart has nothing to do with emotions. Again, why get so hung up on the language and ignore the message itself? I don't think in my previous two examples, either the cosmologist or the surgeon were wrong in using this (faulty) language in delivering the intended message.
People today aren't as ignorant as they were in 7th century Arabia; they know those are just metaphors. Experts don't run the risk of confusing or misleading their audience.
2- Quran's message/goal has nothing to do with explaining nature, so why even explain it when it doesn't serve its purpose, but can only get in the way of delivering the message itself?
It serves a purpose: establishing the divinity of the author. Which in turn makes the entire message more relevant. Revealing new scientific knowledge is far more impressive than mirroring scientific ignorance of the age. It's conducive to convincing the masses of your godliness.
3- So you're saying if the Quran *explained*, out of nowhere, for for no immediate clear goal, that the earth was a sphere (against everyone's observations), then that would have been enough for you? how about explaining the spinning of the earth (again, against everyone's observations)? Would those two be enough?
Not for me, no. Pythagoras figured out that Earth was a spinning sphere long before Muhammad's parents met each other. Still, it would've been an improvement. Add a bunch of accurate (and previously unknown) explanations and I might have believed that the author is God.
4- how hard is it to explain? i would think it would have sounded as crazy as trying to convince someone that rivers don't pour into seas but it's the other way around. why does it sound crazy? because it goes against observations.
Pythagoras figured it out all by himself, without an all-powerful God explaining it to him in a book. Do you think omnipotent being is so incompetent as to not be capable of imparting knowledge in humans?