Last Muslim email, I’m done. Your turn. »« We get Muslim email (part 2)

We get Muslim email (part 3)

Yep, I went another round with Muhammad. He sent two emails and here’s the resulting response.

This was part 1 and part 2.

Muhammad’s first reply:

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.

Because if it were JUST dimensions and nothing else, what made it shit out the universe?You cant say it just happened because for all I care it could have just sat there and just existed without anything happening but the fact is something did happen and it was the fact that it shat out the universe. IT cannot do something by itself without another thing acting upon it.

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.

What im trying to say is sciences says that energy just existed and has always existed. If that was true all it could have done is just exist without anything happening but some how some way it didnt just exist without anything happening it led to universe what caused it to lead to the universe?

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?

It rains as a result of evaporation and this evaporation happens because there is water and water is there because of the interaction of atoms and the atoms came from energy and energy like I said is from god. Without god you wouldnt be arguing about these two uninhabited patches of land. What Im trying to say is there is something behind everything that is happening. And if that first happening was something by itself without existence then nothing would have happened.

You can’t measure god and say he exists or not using natural physical laws. God is super natural therefore no physical laws or nature or quantum mechanics apply to him. This is where the quran revelation comes in handy and explains the only proof of his existence.

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.

So are you saying you’re not going to kill random people because of the fact that you would be jailed? So if there was enforcement order you would kill people at will?

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?

He exists because he created everything therefore he must exist. He has a reward of heaven and hell in which the believers will go heaven and the non believers will go to hell. He deserves every respect and worship to him because without him you wouldnt exist so the least we can do is respect him and bare witness his existence.

Second email:

That makes very little sense to me (are you saying that you can’t make up a story and then dictate it?) but okay, we’ll move on.

If you make up a story using the arabic language in which you would use when engaging in a conversation then no you cant write it down. But if you make up a story using the language in which can be written then yes you can write it down. For you to be able to that though you must learn how to read arabic first.

Imagine yourself in my shoes for a minute. You are merely a poor benighted atheist, without any belief in God or supernatural magical powers whatsoever. I come to you and say “Look here, I know for a certainty that there is a magical being who lives in the sky and listens to every one of the seven billion people on this planet, every minute of every day. And the reason why I know this is that 1,500 years ago, an illiterate man wrote a book about him.”

So you’re saying that you would much rather believe it if you were actually alive during that moment? Too bad thats when it happened and it is history that doesnt mean you can deny it. Do you think 3000 years from now people are going to deny all the science discovered now just because its too old?

1. This being you’ve described really exists, despite a complete absence of other corroborating evidence.
2. I am somehow mistaken, and the author of this book either wasn’t illiterate or somehow found SOMEBODY who was willing to listen to this story and write it down.

Again you cannot come up with a story that is in readable form unless you know how to read arabic. Thats just the way it is. So the prophet could not have made up that story unless he knew how to read which he didnt. There are many arabic poems in the past the confirm Prophet Muhammad‘s illiteracy.

Before you answer, stop and ask yourself if your answer would be the same if the book was not the Koran but say, the book of Mormon, or a book about Scientology or something.

Bible book and others have been proven to be edited through out the year.The old and new testament is from god himself but they have been changed and edited through out the years the Koran was never changed….

And now, my reply to both. Sorry, but editing is becoming a pain so I’m not going to even try snipping for clarity this time.

Because if it were JUST dimensions and nothing else, what made it shit out the universe?You cant say it just happened because for all I care it could have just sat there and just existed without anything happening but the fact is something did happen and it was the fact that it shat out the universe. IT cannot do something by itself without another thing acting upon it.

This rule that you’ve made up seemingly doesn’t get applied to your god. After all, you believe that the god just sat on its ass before shitting out the universe. All you’ve done is answer a question you don’t understand, by making up additional stuff which you still don’t understand. Again I’m asking what reason you have for believing this addition god-thing exists.

What im trying to say is sciences says that energy just existed and has always existed. If that was true all it could have done is just exist without anything happening but some how some way it didnt just exist without anything happening it led to universe what caused it to lead to the universe?

Why do you think your god just existed without anything happening that caused the god?
It rains as a result of evaporation and this evaporation happens because there is water and water is there because of the interaction of atoms and the atoms came from energy and energy like I said is from god. Without god you wouldnt be arguing about these two uninhabited patches of land. What Im trying to say is there is something behind everything that is happening. And if that first happening was something by itself without existence then nothing would have happened.

And around we go in a circular argument. You want me to accept your assertion that god exists, and your argument for this is that “Things don’t just happen without intelligence.” Then when I suggest an example of something that doesn’t have an intelligent cause behind it, and you say “God did that.” But God is the thing that you are trying to prove to me, so all you are doing is repeating your assertion, not making an argument. When are you going to justify the belief that your god exists?

So are you saying you’re not going to kill random people because of the fact that you would be jailed? So if there was enforcement order you would kill people at will?

Incarceration is one of many reasons. Maintaining relationships with other people is another. Yet another is that I have no motivation to kill strangers; it wouldn’t get me anything useful. And if there were no formal law enforcement, that stranger quite likely would still have friends and relatives who would wish vengeance.

You asked me why I don’t kill strangers, and I gave you several reasons why I would not do it. You focused on one reason and then asked if that was the only one. I get the feeling that you’re not really looking for a serious discussion, but you just like to hear yourself talk. Why don’t you give me a good reason why I SHOULD go around killing strangers?

Moving on to your second letter:

If you make up a story using the arabic language in which you would use when engaging in a conversation then no you cant write it down. But if you make up a story using the language in which can be written then yes you can write it down. For you to be able to that though you must learn how to read arabic first.

Many apologies, but I don’t believe you. If you make up a story using conversational Arabic, you can even write it in English. All you need is a translator who understands both English and conversational Arabic. It sounds like you’re asking me to believe that Muhammad didn’t know any people who could translate between conversational and written Arabic. You want me to accept your claim that Muhammad had no believable earthly means for committing his thoughts to paper, but as an alternative you want me to believe that it was accomplished by magic.

Sorry, but I just don’t believe you. I still find all the other alternatives much more plausible.

Another thing that doesn’t seem to add up about your story: If Muhammad was illiterate, how was he able to know what it was that he wrote?

So you’re saying that you would much rather believe it if you were actually alive during that moment? Too bad thats when it happened and it is history that doesnt mean you can deny it. Do you think 3000 years from now people are going to deny all the science discovered now just because its too old?

Oh, I see how it works now. All I have to do is make some kind of claim, and then it becomes “history,” and then it is undeniably true. There is no need to verify anything at all.

Well, in that case, I’ve got a claim for you. I am illiterate. I have no means of writing this email to you right now. But I’ll tell you how I do it: I have magical supernatural powers, thanks to the angel that I am channeling right now. And you know what the angel just told me? He says Muhammad — both of you — are full of shit.

I guess you’ll be abandoning Islam now. I wrote it down, after all, so it’s history now.

That’s all for now! If I get another reply, I’ll mention it in comments until there’s another full round to post.

Comments

  1. says

    You sort of missed a trick with the whole "why don't you murder?" business. You should NEVER go towards the "I don't do it because I might get caught" explanation, because unless you are really different from me, you have never seriously considered murdering random people. Possible punishment doesn't factor into it for me, because I have NEVER felt the random urge to rape or steal or murder. Since I have never felt that urge, there is no need for the threat of punishment to prevent me from doing things I would never do anyway. I'm almost positive that you feel the same way. :)

  2. says

    Glad to see he actually tried to answer back. The thing is he has this odd tendency to miss the point completely. I'm sure that's totally accidental. It's just a bunch of arguments from ignorance and unsupported claims about history and science. The usual. One criticism though is that I tend to not insult the person I'm replying to. I usually let them do that to me and then run away claiming I'm closed-minded.

  3. says

    Just a (somewhat longwinded and potentially rambling) point regarding the whole literate/illiterate prophet thing (coming from an Arab here).In modern times (i.e. today), Arabic as a language has diverged into what is known as Standard Arabic (or Classical Arabic) which is what we use in our newspapers, books, TV news, etc, and Spoken, or Colloquial, Arabic, which consists of the various dialects and so on that are spoken in the different countries around the Arab world. (On an interesting side note, some of these dialects are so far off from the Classical form that some people argue that they have become individual languages in their own right). Classical Arabic is (as Muhammed argues) very different from the spoken form. In today's world, anyone who spoke Classical Arabic would be regarded in the same way as someone spouting Shakespearian English in regular conversation. On to his argument. His claim that an illiterate man could not have come up with a work such as the Qur'an (which, from a purely aesthetic viewpoint is a rather impressive work of poetry) is a very old one, one of the oldest 'proofs' that god exists in the Muslim world. There are two problems I see with the argument. First off, the question of the prophet's literacy is in itself suspect. To this day, many will argue that the prophet was an illiterate and will throw up countless poetic and documented (take that as you will) 'proofs' of this. However, his life-story, like that of many such figures, is full of gaps. It is accepted however that he married a rich, literate merchant and then helped run her business (if not took over it altogether). For an illiterate man to do that sounds a little far-fetched to me. Dealing with the accounting aspect of running a trading business must have required him to be able to read and write, even if he was illiterate before he married her (and this was well before the 'revelation'). The second argument is based on the Arabic language itself. Arabic is quite an old language, but people tend to forget that what we now call Classical Arabic was not a widely written language during the time of the prophet. Literature was very much oral back then. People would memorize poetry and repeat it in gathering. Public debates, criticism, etc were related in poetic form. Very few of these poems were written down.. it was not a literate society in the way we would refer to one today. But even people we would refer to as illiterate today could hardly have lived their lives without some sort of knowledge of poetic style and language. Whether they knew the alphabets and could write the letters down on paper is completely irrelevant.As an interesting note, there is a strong argument that what we call Standard Arabic today was only actually standardized after being written down… in the Qur'an. Before that, there were multiple forms of the written language (for those interested, look into the diacritic and dotting system used in the Arabic language… much of that didn't exist back then).

  4. says

    Wow. This guy is just a cascade of fallacies and errors in logic.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?He exists because he created everything therefore he must exist. He has a reward of heaven and hell in which the believers will go heaven and the non believers will go to hell. He deserves every respect and worship to him because without him you wouldnt exist so the least we can do is respect him and bare witness his existence.Yeah, this is about all you're going to get out of him. Same fundie/authoritarian crap we always see – can't get past reward and punishment, wants it be true, and is too deeply terrified of hell to consider that it may not be true.It's just going to go 'round and 'round like this. Time to kick him to the curb.(Also – notice how he doesn't show up here to defend his arguments. He does know about this blog, right?)

  5. says

    I was amused by the previous two parts, but this one got a mental "The stupid! It burns!" from me. Has this guy mentioned how old he is? He really comes off as a teenager who's just thinking about this stuff for the first time and thinks he has profound knowledge that he MUST share with you! But yeah, I agree with cipher. I'd recommend in any future correspondence that you nicely tell him you don't feel like this is getting past his circular logic and fallacies and just say "Good day, sir!"

  6. says

    What a poor knowledge in science. I mean I would say even culture. Dimensions out of the universe? But the dimensions belong to the universe. The science said it has always been energy? Nothing has always been for science, since with the laws of physics we have, we NEED a beginning with nothing before.I stop here. I find it really stupid that people want to argue without any kind of culture.

  7. says

    @Rami-Interesting. I don't know much about Islam and the Qu'ran, but in many different cultures at that time and after, literature was at least as much oral as it was written, and many forms of literature were meant to be recited/read in public. Because of this important oral tradition, sometimes the only way to transmit culture, illiteracy was not the liability it is now.

  8. says

    I agree with Improbable Joe on this, he wants you to admit that you have no MORAL reason for not killing without god's instruction.I think the best reason you could give would just be that you don't want to hurt anyone. The punishment argument makes them think that you DO want to kill b/c you have no god, you just don't want to get caught.However…the basic idea with religion is that you don't kill b/c GOD will punish you, so…Argh! Makes my head hurt…haha

  9. says

    @RamiWait a second. Mohammed's wife was literate and we're arguing over whether he knew anybody who could have helped him? Pat, I'd like to solve the puzzle, please.

  10. says

    Another blogger with a private profile. What is it with these religious fanatics? What are they so frightened of? Hasn't God got their backs?So how can I say he exist if laws don't apply to him? Simple the Quran. Thats proof enough of his existence.This is such utter nonsense that the fact you find it a compelling argument shows how completely unreachable you are.

  11. says

    "Bible book and others have been proven to be edited through out the year.The old and new testament is from god himself but they have been changed and edited through out the years the Koran was never changed"=====Yes I know the basis for you making this claim is that you errantly believe the Quran says the previous scriptures have been 'corrupted.' Indeed this lie is perpetuated out of necessity. The Quran claims to confirm the previous scriptures (taurat & injil) but since it is contradictory, the easiest way to explain it away is to say that the Quran claims physical corruption.In fact it does not – it only claims that the jews distort the book 'with their mouths' but not that the texts are physically corrupted.So in the end what you really have is a bad copy of the Bible.Again the Quran was changed – Caliph Uthman decided on the "official Quran" and ordered 3 copies made – 1 to be sent to Medina, 1 to Mecca and the other he kept for himself. All other copies were ordered burnt (and they were). So no more of this silly "Koran was never changed" crarp.(also I'm wondering why you spell "Quran" like a Westerner? Usually only Westerners spell it with a K).ويكيإسلام

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