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We get Muslim email (part 1)

Yes, it’s true. Christians often accuse us of picking on them and ignoring what they consider the more dangerous religions like Islam. (PZ Myers’ readers coined the term “Fatwa envy” to describe such complaints.)

The mundane truth, however, is that we don’t often talk about Islam simply because we rarely get feedback from Muslims.

With a few exceptions. Naturally, in the interest of being equal opportunity offenders (sorry — moral equivalence fallacy anyone?) I must showcase this letter… which, in fairness, makes about the same bad fallacies as any Christian apologist.

Subject: I want a feedback on these possible suggestions that creationism exists.

Hello my name is Muhammad *****-*****

I would like a feedback on these suggestions.

1. Energy exists as a result of different dimensions interacting with each other and among those dimensions is time itself. These dimensions interacting with each other = God. Without these dimensions interacting with each other, energy never would have existed. Now I know in your mind you are asking how do you know that these dimensions = God. Well its the fact that things must come out of things. The only way for something to happen if there is another thing acting on it to make it happen. The fact that energy always existed and never was created or destroyed is confusing because this so called energy that always existed could have just sat its ass up there without cause (being sarcastic) the fact that it didnt just sit its ass out there and that it eventually shat out the universe means there was a particular point in its existence some specific point in its existence that shat out the universe. The fact that it shat out the universe in point A and not in point B means there was some sort of intelligence involved. The only possibility is god therefore by deduction god exists. You cant give me another explanation to explain why point A is where it shat out the universe and not point B without including something intelligent. You cant say well it randomly occured at point A because the fact that it was random means means I would have to go back to my original statement that it could have just sat its ass out there and nothing happened but it didnt, something happened, meaning there has to be something that caused it to happen.

You can say the same and tell me well how did god exist in the first place who created god. No matter how many blocks you build you will still have blocks. No matter how many times you say supernatural created supernatural created supernatural created supernatural, THERE IS A SUPER NATURAL involved

2- My second statement has to do with cause. Its not really an explanation but its something you should look at. Why dont you go ahead and kill a random person on the street. What causes you to say no thats just wrong? I mean if you look at it youre just made up of a bunch of interacting atoms just as a carboard box is made of a bunch of interacting atoms. You can break the cardboard box without even thinking but cant do the same for a human being. What makes you think you can kill cows freely when cows are just as interactive of atoms as you are. Is it because they are below you in the food chain? You can canabalize humans cant you. What is your ultimate cause? Why are you doing what you are doing today?

Here’s my reply. For brevity, I will truncate some of the quoted passages that I already posted, which you will see marked with leading ellipses.

Hi Muhammad,

1. Energy exists as a result of different dimensions interacting with each other and among those dimensions is time itself.

Speaking as someone who has been through numerous physics classes, this appears to be pure gibberish which superficially sounds like science. Dimensions don’t “interact with each other.” They are units of measurement.

These dimensions interacting with each other = God.

What additional information do you get from calling it “God?” Even assuming that “dimensions interacting with each other” made sense as something other than a bunch of words strung together, why wouldn’t you just keep calling them dimensions? Do the units of measurement become conscious when you apply this label? I don’t get it.

…that it eventually shat out the universe means there was a particular point in its existence some specific point in its existence that shat out the universe.

You’re making a bunch of statements that are not supported by any observation. We don’t know whether it’s in some way more likely for energy to “sit on its ass” than “shit,” because we have nothing outside of this universe to compare it to. Science doesn’t currently have any definite position on whether there is some kind of metaverse, containing more energy which either sits or shits. We don’t have any statistical data. For all you know, free floating energy has no alternative but to shit universes. Or whatever you’re trying to say.

The fact that it shat out the universe in point A and not in point B means there was some sort of intelligence involved.

1. To what are you referring when you say “point B”?
2. Where the heck did intelligence enter the conversation? As far as we’ve observed, intelligence only comes as the end product of a universe which exists, generates life, evolves brains, and executes consciousness as a behavior of those brains. Until you demonstrate that there is some kind of stuff that behaves like a brain outside of the universe, you’re just making stuff up.

…I would have to go back to my original statement that it could have just sat its ass out there and nothing happened but it didnt, something happened, meaning there has to be something that caused it to happen.

Why?

There are two uninhabited patches of land. On one of them, it rains. On the other, it does not rain. Does this require somebody to “intelligently” choose to make it rain in one place and not another? Must everything be uniform, all the time, unless there is divine intervention picking between two places? If so, what is your justification for this claim?

…THERE IS A SUPER NATURAL involved

I think you skipped a step that explained what “A SUPER NATURAL” is and how you know it exists.

2- My second statement has to do with cause. Its not really an explanation but its something you should look at. Why dont you go ahead and kill a random person on the street.

Why would I want to do that exactly? Austin has an excellent police force which solves murder cases with a fairly high rate of success. It may not be a guarantee that I would be caught, but I think it’s pretty likely that I would wind up sent to jail or executed myself. And even if I did wind up getting away with it, many of my friends would probably have awkward questions for me, probably even fear me. As a result, I would certainly lose contact with many people whose love and friendship I value highly.

I don’t know what reality you think you’re living in, but here in this world, usually actions have consequences. When I look at all the consequences of killing random people on the street, I can’t see how the benefits even come close to outweighing the drawbacks.

…What is your ultimate cause? Why are you doing what you are doing today?

I enjoy living free, I enjoy
friendship, and I find it fulfilling to be able to support myself and get things that I want. None of those goals are furthered by killing strangers. So I’m going to have to ask you to explain what kind of stupidity would cause me to entertain such an action.

Let me turn around and ask you the same question. I would ask you what your ultimate cause is, but I’m presuming the answer will be something like “to serve my god.”

So instead I’d like to ask: what is your god’s purpose for existing? Why does the god do the things that it does? What drives it? Why does it do whatever you think it is doing?

There has been one followup exchange, which I will post later if there’s enough interest. Needless to say, though, “Muhammad” did not respond to anything in my reply, but instead went on to talk about how miraculous it was that his namesake was capable of writing a book.

Comments

  1. says

    I find it amusing that these people probably never even try to look up any possible rebuttals to their "brilliant" arguments. Either that, or they just throw mud at the wall and see if it sticks.

  2. says

    It is so frustrating that people start a "debate" with you guys and then respond without actually addressing what you've said. This, to me, is just plain stupidity. And that stupidity is terrifying…especially since it seems so abundant!Needless to say, it's addicting to read. Please post more! hahaha

  3. says

    I can only assume those who continue discussions by ignoring the counter points are following a script and if the counter pointer goes off script then that point will be ignored and the script reader will move on to the next point.This usually ends up with the person reading the script to then declare that you have no provided any evidence against what they said therefore they are right, even though you did and it was ignored.This is happening on the discussion forum of an atheist group I'm in.

  4. says

    I think what's going on is that these people don't really want to be doing this. They already know their favorite brand of faith /woo is correct, they feel it in their hearts and are 100% certain of it. However there are these pesky people who apparently need arguments to believe in a position. So they look at which argument they think sounds more convincing and they throw it at you. They don't really understand them though, because in their mind, the almighty hand of god exists and can reconcile any sort of problems. Therefore when called on the inadequacy of the argument, they either fold, lose interest or revert to preach-mode.

  5. says

    It all makes sense now!God shat out the universe ∴ The universe is shit.We are of this universe ∴ We are pieces of shit.God loves us ∴ God is a coprophiliac.When will Muhammad be uploading "Two Gods, One Cup" to YouTube to support his argument?

  6. says

    Did you by any chance ever read Victor Stenger's "God – the failed hypothesis"? He deals with several of the typical astrophysical, ultimate cause and fine tuning arguments submitted by too-lazed-to-do-the-research believers, and referring to it might make it easier to answer them, in some cases maybe even by pointing people to it. I found it surprising how many of the things where, as physics laypeople, we would usually be tempted to answer "we don't know, but what makes you think that god is an explanation instead of a cop-out?" are actually already in the "we know why it has to be that way, and it actually looks exactly as we would expect it to if it had not been created" folder.

  7. says

    Sounds exactly like every exchange I've had, with some more colorful language though. And yes of course they never really address the questions I ask. But they never really came for a discussion, they came to convert or believe that they implanted a seed. They aren't going to listen.

  8. says

    They already know their favorite brand of faith /woo is correct, they feel it in their hearts and are 100% certain of it.Caffeine Addicted,I think it's rather that they aren't 100% certain. They're plagued by constant doubt; their attempts to convince you are really attempts to convince themselves. This is the underlying motivation for missionary activity. They want so badly for it to be true. I sympathize; life is hard, and I wouldn't be the one to take away whatever they need to get through it, but once they venture into the realm of salvific exclusivism – they've lost me.I don't know what reality you think you're living inWell, that's the problem right there. It isn't merely that he's "following a script" – he's probably unbalanced, but, even if he isn't, his world view is so fundamentally unlike yours that communication is impossible.

  9. says

    I always wonder what fundamentlist Xians have against Islamists. They are the same products with different brands. Same meaningless arguments, same confusion between moral and faith, same disregard for anything secular.

  10. says

    Guillaume,Same deal with the New Age people. They're just as firmly married to their beliefs. Apart from a few points of doctrine, these groups area all alike – but they think those points are of life and death importance.

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