Comments

  1. twarren1111 says

    Just caught the last caller (Thomas-Ontario I think) talking about evil. Satan. Power. Hell. Not only is it amazing how TAE hosts deal with the same arguments over and over again with a patience far beyond my understanding (Tracie!!!! (n.b. I’ve upped it to FOUR !)), or as Aron Ra puts it (PRATT: previously refuted a thousand times), but why do theists insist there are forces, or energy, or power beyond the 4 forces we already know of 1. weak nuclear force, 2. the strong nuclear force, 3 & 4 electromagnetism and, maybe, 5. gravity (gravity may not be a primary force but rather, like time, mass, and length be an emergent force from the other 4 (ie, gravity may be the ultimate form of information/entropy). Never has anyone seen, measured, or even needed any other force/energy/power to explain any phenomenon that has been described. So why do they keep inventing evidence to support their hypotheses?

  2. twarren1111 says

    PS
    I’m hoping I’m the first post today! It may have been a delusion but I think John David Balla promised me a steak dinner if I posted first today.

  3. John David Balla says

    @twarren1111. Delusion confirmed! LOL. I loved “PRATT: previously refuted a thousand times.” It’s a keeper. Aron was quite good today.

  4. twarren1111 says

    Regarding Mohammed the first caller:
    I recently met Richard Carrier on one of his meet and greets when he was driving through Des Moines. I had been reading his blog and talked to him about his fascinating article where he logically laid out the propositions and conclusion that our universe is/was inevitable and no deity need be involved. Indeed, adding in a deity dramatically REDUCES the probability of our universe. My only concern with his post was that he used the multiverse hypothesis heavily in his argument. While it was obvious as I read his essay as to why he used this hypothesis, what concerned me is that a theist could, very correctly, point out that that the multiverse thus far is a hypothesis, is no where close to a theory, and as it stands currently (ie, Everettian Multiverse) is not only unfalsfiable but has no evidence other than as a mathematical construct to explain (some) aspects of quantum mechanics. My point was that he could rewrite the same essay taking out the multiverse link and the result should be the same argument but now much more solid.

    Well, I can’t claim that my input was the reason for his recent post but boy did he recently post a logically cogent syllogism that explains rationally why our universe was inevitable and exactly how it could come from nothing. And he specifically does NOT mean the ‘nothing’ of the quantum foam/fluctuations that occur on the Planck level…he starts from the actual concept of nothing. Nihil. Not.

    https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/14486

  5. twarren1111 says

    I’ve said it before and, because my delusions extend to how hilarious I think I am, so I’ll say it again: I ain’t never playing poker with co-host John I. That dude has to be the best bluffer in Texas.

  6. twarren1111 says

    Michael-Canada
    My life was devastated by seeking counseling from a faith based therapist. Even though I stated clearly at the beginning that I wanted only DSM-4, scientific based psychology and no faith based therapy, the two years spent devastated my life and ultimately resulted in the abuse of my children simply because the faith based therapist could not recognize ADD (me) and OCPD (spouse). He could not recognize these highly common types of neurobiology and thus missed completely the profound level of domestic abuse such a pairing could (and did in my case) engender. The result was a therapist who actually FED the pathology of our marriage leading to a divorce of epic damage via parental alienation. I’m soon to start my 4th year of not having any contact with my 4 children. It is a pain beyond description. And it was so preventable. So correctable.

  7. twarren1111 says

    @John David Balla
    My Jill friend and I are looking forward to visiting Austin sometime soon…hopefully before the year is out. We want to see the show live and hangout afterwards for the dinner. I asked Jill if I could wear a T-shirt that says ‘Tracie!!!!’ And she said yes, as long as she gets to where a T-shirt saying ‘yes, I’m with this clown’.

  8. twarren1111 says

    Errol-Tulsa
    At the risk of sounding like a Richard Carrier disciple, he does have a well thought out definition of supernatural. Here’s the link to his blog post: http://richardcarrier.blogspot.com/2007/01/defining-supernatural.html

    To summarize: supernatural refers to concepts that can only be explained using mental, ie non-physical, concepts.

    I actually first heard of Richard Carrier’s construct of what defines supernaturalism while watching an EXCELLENT presentation from Eliezer Yudkowsky from Skepticon 4 on probabilities. Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/TwqYB1uzcU4

    And to complete the ideas: if you watch the Eliezer presentation, then read Carrier’s definition of supernaturalism and then read Carrier’s post on the probability of ‘something from nothing’ linked to above you’ll have found your time well spent.

  9. twarren1111 says

    Christina-Virginia
    A situation where John I shines.
    Christina, if you read these comments, I too am a recovering southern baptist. It’s just like being a recovering catholic but with a lot less guilt.

    I found reading Bart Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus” from the forward until the last page, was, for me, the last nail for theism.

  10. twarren1111 says

    Now back to Thomas from Ontario
    Why is he having such difficulty defining his claim (hypothesis) and then providing his evidence? It’s because using the religious process to determine reality overtime drastically impairs a person’s ability to reason.

    His claim is easy: god saves/heals/cures/snake oil. And his evidence is non-existent. So…when someone like Matt Dilahunty asks those Occam-razor sharp questions, what Matt does is slice the claims as well as the evidence. And the more the theist tries, the deeper the theist gets into trouble.

    And now we are at the point where Thomas laughs when Matt says he doesn’t believe in Satan and Thomas says he believes 1000% in Satan. Which is so sad a statement on so many levels.

    And now Thomas is talking about ‘satan’s Force’ which brings me to my first post today above.

    And with that I’m out! I think I’m gonna grill a 2 inch ribeye. Rare.

    Tracie!!!!

  11. John David Balla says

    @twarren111 #7. I highly recommend an ACA pilgrimage. I spent the entire day at the Free Thought Library and met many of the hosts, support staff (awesome folks), and board members. It’s a very relaxed venue, and while more than a few complained about the cramped quarters, it had the charm of an improvised apartment that college students might share, and certainly the vibe. I had hoped to go back for the Bat Cruise weekend but was precluded by family commitments. That said, I shall return. The community the ACA has built is difficult to overstate.

  12. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Matt (6:20):

    Steven Pinker […] I hope we become fast friends […] he’s one of the singularly impressive individuals that I’ve been looking forward to working [with]

     
    Comment: CA7746 #5 on Axp 22.23
    (Various reviews of his books; excerpts further abbreviated here)

    It is not sufficient to grab other people’s data (i.e. numbers) out of context and shovel them into an ideological hopper without any effort to understand what those numbers represent, and, more to the point, what the potential problems might be. You need to know what you are doing and you need to know what your data represents. There is a fine line between devil-may-care and not giving a damn. Pinker doesn’t merely cross that line–he soars over it with an indifference that is almost majestic.

     

    I don’t want to sound overly emotional here, but when I started digging into Pinker’s sourcing (not just the examples I provided), I felt betrayed on an intellectual level.

     

    [Intellectual dishonesty, misrepresentation, and illusion of pop-sci expertise] is precisely what Pinker did with non-generativist theories. He’s an excellent writer from a prestigious university. It’s these three factors combined that make the book so damaging to the public understanding of linguistics.

     

    he wraps his arguments up in such a thick layer of exaggeration and misinterpretation that the book does more harm than good. It makes use of selective data, dubious history, and, when all else fails, a contempt for “intellectuals” straight out of Breitbart.

  13. twarren1111 says

    @sky captain:
    I have significant exposure to Pinker and his wife, I understand he can be viewed with difficulty (I’m trying to be polite), a trouble Rebecca has avoided. In general, evolutionary psychology and linguistics lend themselves to hypotheses that challenge credulity. As a biologist, immunologist and oncologist I understand these issues. Accordingly, I do not understand the context of the quotes you proffer and that is why I’m asking you to clarify. It is important to me that we assiduously avoid ad hominem and attack the issue. In that spirit I beg you to clarify your erudite quotes.

  14. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @twarren1111 #14:

    I do not understand the context of the quotes

    As indicated above, see the original comment for further context, and if necessary, the original reviews – where lots of specific evidence is provided by reviewers with relevant academic credentials.

  15. twarren1111 says

    @sky captain:
    Please forgive me for not realizing your original post had a link.

    After clicking on the link:
    Article 1
    Article 2
    Are both non-specific criticisms. Indeed, they rely on criticizing Pinker and not the specifics of his data. Thus, article 1 and article 2 are the very definition of ad hominem and thus are excluded due to this fallacy.

    Once I got to article 3, these comments deserve careful examination. It is Sunday, 21:36 in Iowa City and I am watching Infinity War while waiting for a calzone. This is not an excuse but an explanation. Thank you for alerting me. I promise to dwelve into the subsequent criticisms; it matters.

    Lastly, thank you for your very kind response. I hope to post tomorrow.

    Tom.

  16. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @twarren1111 #16:

    non-specific criticisms. Indeed, they rely on criticizing Pinker and not the specifics of his data.

     
    Article 2 – Steven Pinker and archaeology (which you would’ve seen had you looked at the review, as directed)

    In the following table, I’ve listed the archaeological sites he uses in his argument. I reviewed his original sources and, where I could figure it out, included the number of individuals in each cemetery (data that he really should have included). There are some issues with his data that I need to address before proceeding. A relatively minor, but still significant, problem with [his] figure is how poorly it is cited. One has to go through a pile of references hoping to find a match. Fortunately Pinker used only three sources for his archaeological and ethnographic data
    […]
    I’ve grouped my carping about the archaeological evidence into three main categories: (1) Pinker’s understanding of the data (2) Pinker’s sample size, and (3) the manner in which Pinker selected his sample.

  17. paxoll says

    @twarren1111

    evolutionary psychology and linguistics lend themselves to hypotheses that challenge credulity

    When you challenge credulity, you have to have very good research and data. Pinker does not, and in these topics it may be CANNOT. To make an analogy, he is taking a bit of research showing that high concentrations of glyphosate increases the rate of tumor formation in rats that are genetically prone to tumor formation and then he goes around telling people it is going to give them cancer. Even with ALL the research available the WHO only calls it a probable human carcinogen.

  18. says

    as often as we hear the “just look at the trees!” argument for god, it’s surprising we don’t often hear thomas’ corollary “just look at the atrocities!” argument for satan …

  19. Mohammed says

    I am the first caller. I am not sure whether my position was misunderstood or intentionally misrepresented. God is known through His continuous acts on the world. That is: through direct acts of creation. He constantly brings things into existence out of other things. I strongly encourage you to listen to the last three mintues in the video “Response to Atheism is over debunked” on my channel. It explains why rearrangement of matter is an irrational position. Things really come into existence and then go out of existence. This is evidence of an external being that brings them into existence and removes them out of existence.

  20. John David Balla says

    @twarren111 #4. Carrier’s definition of nothing and its corresponding syllogism I too find very compelling, as he demonstrates how nothing, after meticulously defining it, creates something through necessity, not mere sufficiency. He even excludes logical “laws” or “rules” from nothing, yet the logical possibility exists as a metaphysic, or so it seems. However, by simply reallocating the “logically possible” from the metaphysical to the intellectual makes for a cleaner, less cluttered argument. That’s my initial read of it anyway.

  21. artless.knave says

    spotted a Hermaeus Mora comment.
    he’s cool, but nowhere as interesting as Sheogorath, being just to focused on mysteriousness.

  22. bluestar says

    Kudos to the team for installing the condenser mics for the hosts. It is so much better listening to the broadcast while working in my shop. Dramatic improvement on the audio.

  23. Theisntist says

    How ignorant does one have to be to call a show called “The Atheist Experience” and be shocked to find that the host doesn’t believe in Satan?

  24. rune1im says

    I wish there was a way to remind callers not to waste time saying things like “I have a question…” we know you have a question. STATE THE QUESTION! Also, you are coming into their house. Don’t tell them what to say and how to act. When you’re on their stomping grounds, they can say and act any way they please. Just goes to show how arrogant theists are. As if somehow you should kiss their asses or something. tsk tsk….

  25. John David Balla says

    @Theisntist. “Adding something else” in all its reified glory. The unproven satanic cause overwhelms the fact that people can do bad things. This is how facts lose their empirical standing.

  26. rune1im says

    A message to Thomas, if he’s looking here- I was in AA and there were helpful things in it but it is not a cure-all and to suggest that you (or anybody) could turn to substances and nto feel good about one’s self (which is a given) and either turn to a god to feel better (or turn to god to help get off the substances) I can assure you is a placebo effect. I have been an atheist since June of this year but in AA since spring of 2016 and the “higher power” stuff means nothing to me now. I did it myself as well as with the help of others (my husband, family, friends and AA members) but there was no higher power who helped me.

  27. Marcelo says

    rune1im @ 25:

    I did it myself as well as with the help of others (my husband, family, friends and AA members) but there was no higher power who helped me.

    This is a seriously noteworthy achievement, and I’d like to congratulate you.

    There is some research in the use of naltrexone and other opioid antagonists, making the person to take the medication one hour before the time they will dring alcohol and only then. The medication blocks the positive reinforcements of ethanol. This is known as the “Sinclair method”, and they claim 80% effectivity. Is there a chance that you can consult a doctor to see if this can be also useful for you?

  28. gonefishen says

    Matt Dillahunty is the entire reason why I found and watch TAE and now is the reason why I cringe. IMO Matt is just completely out of control .To the point now where it’s getting offensive to me. His constant temper tantrums are really taking away from the TAE message (IMO). Please Give some serious thought into temporally sidelining him. From this very limited view(weekly viewer) the guy seems super stress out and overwhelmed with personal issues. Putting it nicely he seriously needs some time off and until he can converse with some common courtesy then please sideline him. His behavior is reminiscent of a unruly irritated teenager as of the last few times he has hosted. This tantrum filled behavior was on full display for most of this episode 22.36.
    I can’t be the only one noticing this? Matt is my favorite Athiest “Avenger” but even the best hero’s need realigning some days.

  29. Lamont Cranston says

    twarren1111 says:

    At the risk of sounding like a Richard Carrier disciple, he does have a well thought out definition of supernatural. Here’s the link to his blog post: http://richardcarrier.blogspot.com/2007/01/defining-supernatural.html

    .
    I have read his definition and also watched the video description of his definition. Perhaps you could explain something to me.

    I understand this to basically mean that for something to be supernatural requires that there be a mental part to it that has nothing physical about it (poor short paraphrase). This was discussed in the video with regard to the stars affecting people personalities through some magic mechanism that has no physical explanation.

    So this seems to boil down to being supernatural requires that there can be no physical explanation. This seems OK until you try to define something as being supernatural.

    If I try to claim something is supernatural I now have to establish that there is NO physical explanation. That doesn’t sound awful until you try to “prove” a negative (there is NO physical explanation).
    True, if there is NO physical explanation the thing is definitely supernatural, but I can’t prove there is NO physical explanation (you have to eliminate all possible alternatives including those of which you are not even aware might exist). At best it seems you can only say there appears to be no physical explanation.

    So if I can’t prove a negative then it seems I am stuck with the categorization approach to the supernatural that Matt takes issue with. Matt does not appear to care for the idea that supernatural is the catch all category for things where we presently have no defined natural cause. Of course if you find a natural cause then something that was once considered supernatural then becomes natural.

    I understand why Matt dislikes that idea. Supernatural things (woo) can become natural at any time rather unexpectedly when an explanation turns up. This means you can’t dismiss things that are considered supernatural and instead have to consider investing time and energy researching them to determine if supernatural things have merit rather than being able to dismiss them.

    Let’s take an example which may not pan out in the long run. The heart does not influence the mind except by failing to beat properly. This has long been accepted and any claims to the contrary would be considered supernatural because no physical means were identified to allow for it. Then it was discovered that there are about 40,000 neurons in the heart. These neurons are similar to , but not identical to, brain neurons. Then it was discovered that subjecting the brain to certain stimuli in sync with the action of those heart neurons has a direct effect on the brain.

    Suddenly the supernatural idea of the heart influencing the brain may have a physical mechanism which was previously unknown and may not be supernatural at all.

    Then let’s take something that is NOT considered supernatural that is way more bewildering than most everything considered supernatural; spooky action at a distance. This describes the actions of two “entangled” particles where perturbing one particle will cause its entangled twin to be perturbed in exactly the same way instantaneously regardless of the distance separating them. The laws of physics tells us that there is no communication possible between the two particles at faster-than-light speed, yet the action of the second particle is not delayed in accordance with the speed of light delay. It is truely instantaneous.

    Why would spooky action at a distance not be considered supernatural with the Carrier definition? We’re definitely stuck with a hand-waving mental explanation that has no known physical component. Yet this is clearly an area of scientific research.

    Just wondering with no ax to grind either way.

    Lamont Cranston

  30. twarren1111 says

    First, I have (finally) invested the necessary time to learn about the ‘field’ of evolutionary psychology in general and into Pinker’s ideas expressed in “the better angels of our nature” and “enlightenment now”. Thank you Sky Captain for the links you provided. I read all of them. I also perused Pharyngula and PZ Myers provided a link to a simply outstanding academic critique on the whole field.

    http://modernpsychologist.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Peters-Evolutionary-Psychology-Critique-2013.pdf

    Simply put, it appears that the entire field of EP is advocated by formally trained PSYCHOLOGISTS trying to apply (undergraduate level understanding of ) EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY to the construct of what we all call THEORY OF THE MIND (which I will call NEUROPSYCHIATRY simply to emphasize how out of field this is to EP) while almost completely ignoring the field of NEUROBIOLOGY.

    As Dr. Peters states so eloquently as his paper concludes is that what this means is that EP is faith-based determination of the validity of evidence to test untestable hypotheses. Think about it: the field is using the THEORY of evolution to MAKE UP EVIDENCE for hypotheses that are themselves hypotheses made up from made up evidence. When Dr. Peters built to the crescendo of his conclusion, he hilariously points out the ‘bible thumping’ used in the field.

    With that being said, the issue is the difference between science and religion. In other words the issue is the IDEAS. THE IDEA OF EP. NOT THE PERSON. Whenever any of us confuse the issue we are leaving science and entering fear based, religious thinking. Thus, referring to Pinker as a ‘charlatan’ and ‘delusional’ is self defeating.

    To wit: we are NOT DESTROYING THE EARTH WITH CLIMATE CHANGE. Roaches and bacteria are going to do just fine. So are most fungi. This extremism, this FEAR BASED CONFUSION OF THE ISSUE is exactly the difference between science and religion. We are destroying the earth FOR HUMANS; we are destroying the earth for MANY SPECIES as evidenced by our current accelerating extinction rate; but WE ARE NOT DESTROYING THE EARTH.

    To wit: there is no such thing as a stupid question TO YOU. If I stand up in my freshman astrophysics course and ask what 1+1 equals, it is NOT a stupid question to me.

    The essence of avoiding fallacy is not confusing what the issue is. And the sine quo non of low empathy/no empathy disorders (like with our psychopathic POTUS) is confusing the issue. The issue is NOT Pinker’s person. It is his SCHOLARSHIP.

    Matt Dilahunty would be well advised to read the above linked paper and to peruse the links given by Sky Captain and to peruse Pharyngula (search E olutionary Psychology) and Wikipedia at least prior to sharing any podium with Dr. Pinker.

    A last ‘tell’: Sam Harris is an editor with Pinker on the Evolutionary Psychology Journal.

  31. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @twarren1111 #28:

    the issue is the IDEAS. THE IDEA OF EP. NOT THE PERSON. Whenever any of us confuse the issue we are leaving science and entering fear based, religious thinking. Thus, referring to Pinker as a ‘charlatan’ and ‘delusional’ is self defeating. […] The issue is NOT Pinker’s person. It is his SCHOLARSHIP.

    There’s a difference between ‘poisoning the well’ and ‘concluding the well is not potable’. Concluding someone is a shoddy scholar based on patterns in their scholarship is not an ad hominem. On matters of credibility, the people promoting ideas are not off-limits.

  32. twarren1111 says

    I see your point but it’s not necessary. More people will listen if you keep it on the issue. Pinker, as far as I am aware, does not claim a theory but a hypothesis. So why call him fat when pointing out his data is thin is the point.

    He’s not Deepak Chopra.

  33. twarren1111 says

    @Lamont Cranston:
    I did do an in-depth response to your well taken comments. I think, due to its length, it was flagged for review. Hopefully it will be posted soon.

  34. Lamont Cranston says

    twarren1111 says:

    @Lamont Cranston:
    I did do an in-depth response to your well taken comments. I think, due to its length, it was flagged for review. Hopefully it will be posted soon.

    Thank you for taking the time to address this. I await your comments.

    Lamont Cranston

  35. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @twarren1111 #30:

    More people will listen if you keep it on the issue. […] why call him fat when pointing out his data is thin is the point.

    I didn’t call him fat (which would have been an ad hominem: irrelevance is the fallacy).
     
    I wasn’t posting about any particular hypothesis to refute. Matt didn’t mention any on this show either, only saying that Pinker is “singularly impressive “. I pointed out his work has been reviewed by peers, and they found him wanting, shockingly so. Their conclusions yielded pithy pull quotes, and links were provided.

  36. Rich Rodgers says

    So nobody wants to talk about guy who thinks he’s brilliant because he thinks a god is something worshipped so CHECKMATE! Gods exist. Now I’ll tell you the whole thing again, even though you’re only disagreement is in word usage. That was as hot as I’ve seen Matt get.

    Point of criticism fwiw, complaining that you can’t get out a sentence and then not allowing a sentence to get out seems to happen a lot these days. Not that I could do any better, mind you. I even interrupt myself, somehow.

  37. ncburnett says

    “So nobody wants to talk about guy who thinks he’s brilliant”.
    Hi Rich, I rather thought that was a waste of time, he probably only called to try to score that point.
    I think the whole notion of the universe being god is probably a waste of time the way Erol explained it. He does stumble on one point that I was wondering about before. The point being nobody ever defines the god they believe in or is asked to. Could be I missed that episode though.

  38. Theisntist says

    The statement “God is that which is worshipped, real things are worshipped, therefore God is real” doesn’t even qualify as theism, it’s more like irrelevant redefinitionism.

  39. John Iacoletti says

    @Theisntist – exactly! Some people around here worship football. Do we call football, “God”? No, we call it football.

  40. einyv says

    @Mohammed says #21
    No you were not misunderstood. You just have no clue to what evidence is. It was pointed out over and over and you keep repeating the same thing.

    Nothing, Zero, Nada you said even comes close to showing any evidence to claims like
    “God is known through His continuous acts on the world. That is: through direct acts of creation.” —Now provide evidence of something this being created and how you know it was this being.

    He constantly brings things into existence out of other things. –Again prove it. Saying it is not evidence.

    All you have are words and no evidence and you haven’t debunked anything. You completely fail.

  41. Monocle Smile says

    @Mohammed
    That might be some of the nuttiest blather I’ve read on this blog. Go back to kindergarten and start again.

  42. mathczyk says

    I have some constructive criticism for Matt:

    Matt, I have been a huge fan of yours for several years now. I think you’re brilliant and well-spoken. However, I’ve recently heard you say (a few times) that, to keep from getting bored, you play a game where you try to guess the caller’s argument before they get there.
    I’ve noticed lately that it seems you are arguing with your own guess, Rather than what the caller is actually saying. Several times you told Muhammed “what you said was…” when it’s not really what Muhammed said.
    Of course I agreed with the points you were making, but you kept interrupting Muhammed to assert what you assumed he meant. I know that you interrupt sometimes to clarify a point before a conversation goes off the rails….but this was not that kind of interrupting. Please let your guests at least get to the end of their sentence before you interrupt. You don’t have to let them preach for an hour, but at least let them say more than five words before you jump in.
    I really do love what you do; but it’s been more and more difficult to listen lately. Please keep up the great work – and maybe just tweak it a tiny bit for me ;D

  43. Mohammed says

    I am the first caller. I incorrectly formulated the last of my three questions.
    The point of the three questions was to demonstrate that natural beings do not bring anything into existence, but that an ETERNAL being must have brought them into existence.
    The questions should be presented as follows:
    1) Can one creature bring itself into existence? Answer: No.
    2) If not, then can the sum of creatures bring itself into existence? Answer: No. [Fallacy of composition doesn’t apply here.]
    3) If not, then how can the sum of those creatures be brought into existence by a part of itself?!
    That is: if the sum of creatures cannot bring itself into existence, it is with greater reason that one creature cannot bring it into existence, because that creature would be a part of that sum. The agent must therefore be an eternal being above.

    Those questions of course would not make sense if we do not accept that things come into existence.
    If things in this world were eternal, they would not need a Creator. But the truth is that they are not eternal. We see them coming into existence everyday.

  44. RationalismRules says

    @Mohammed
    Can you really not see the multiple gaping holes in your argument?

    To pick one:

    1) Can one creature bring itself into existence? Answer: No.
    ….
    The agent must therefore be an eternal being above.

    Assuming, for the sake of the argument, that this is true, you haven’t eliminated the possibility that one creature can bring another into existence. And without eliminating that possibility, you haven’t eliminated the possibility that one creature can bring another into existence and then cease to exist itself.

    Your argument doesn’t even come close to an ‘ETERNAL being’. It could simply be the case that there has been a chain of things appearing, creating, and disappearing since forever. There is no requirement within that for ‘an ETERNAL being’.

    I’ve just picked one flaw from the many you’ve given us to choose from. Feel free to try to plug this hole, and then we’ll move on to another.

  45. says

    1) How do atheists demonstrate science is all of reality?
    2) If 6,000,000 Jews got “Holoco$ted” wasn’t it just a unique pattern of atoms that disappeared? It so, who cares? Why care? Why would atoms care?

  46. Mohammed says

    @RationalismRules
    When I say that a creature cannot create itself, i am pointing out that it cannot exist by itself but must exist by an external creator. If the sum cannot exist by itself, how can it exist by a part of itself? That is a greater impossibility.
    This is very clear.
    Are you Stephen?

  47. RationalismRules says

    @Mohammed
    That has nothing whatsoever to do with the point I made. You claimed that the ‘creator’ was ETERNAL. Your argument does not get you there. Nor does it get you to a BEING.

    Like I said, multiple gaping holes.

  48. Michae says

    #48
    “it cannot exist by itself but must exist by an external creator”
    Can this external creator exist by itself?

  49. Mohammed says

    @RationalismRules
    If the Creator being were not eternal, it would be with beginning. That is: it would be created just like all other creatures are. It would be part of the sum and not responsible for it. This is why the Creator cannot be with beginning, but must be eternal without beginning.
    It is very clear that acts of creation, just like all other actions, must subsist in objects. They do not subsist in nothing.

    If you are Stephen of Rationality Rules, please tell me.

  50. John David Balla says

    @Mohammed
    Please demonstrate how anything comes into existence as opposed to a rearrangement of existing matter that results in what we call a new object or thing.

  51. says

    Mohammad, I have two major problems with your argument.

    1. You never define “creature.” Assuming it means “animal,” then all your argument really leads to is that animals have an origin that is not, itself, another animal. I doubt anyone here really has a problem with that. It in no way implies the existence of a deity.

    2. Even then, I’m not sure your argument really works out. Question #3 asks how creatures can be brought into existence by “a part of itself.” To answer this question more simply, we will set creatures aside and focus on rainfall.

    What are rain drops made of? Hydrogen and oxygen. Where do they come from? Clouds. And what are clouds made of? Hydrogen and oxygen. So we have rain being brought into existence by a part of itself (hydrogen and oxygen, in the clouds).

    If you think there’s an overwhelming exception when it comes to creatures, then you need to make an argument to that effect. But even then, I strongly recommend you focus your attention on how you actually plan on reaching a conclusion that is something better than a God of the gaps argument.

  52. RationalismRules says

    @Mohammed
    As I said earlier:

    It could simply be the case that there has been a chain of things appearing, creating, and disappearing since forever.

    You haven’t eliminated this possibility, so you have no basis for claiming an ‘ETERNAL being’. As soon as you cede this point we can move on to some of the other holes in your argument.
     
    No I am not in any way related to the YouTuber Rationality Rules. I’ve been using this username for several years – well before his account appeared. Just a case of convergent evolution.

  53. John David Balla says

    @Mohammed # 55
    The video does not answer my question:

    “Demonstrate how something comes into existence in opposition to a rearrangement of existing matter”.

    The video is one giant deflection that shifts the burden of proof away from your claim. If you cannot see this then we cannot have a rational discussion. And no. Calling the opposing view “absurd”, no matter how many times you do it, doesn’t make it so. This is sophistry, and not even good sophistry.

  54. Monocle Smile says

    @Mohammed
    That video is mostly word salad, bald assertions, and awful metaphysics.
    And JDB is right, the video doesn’t answer the question at all. You have this non sequitur about how without “acts of creation,” then everything is “unchanging.” It’s more of the same bizarre bullshit you’ve been posting.

    @The Antagonizer
    Troll elsewhere.

  55. says

    I saw a few comments come in that indicated Matt was particularly aggressive this episode. I don’t often watch shows I’m not on, but I took the time to watch this one from start to finish to see what was going on. I didn’t see anything that made me think Matt was out of line or impatient. The only time I saw him get insistent was with the one caller who seemed unwilling to answer a simple question: What do you intend to demonstrate? Instead of answering, the caller simply kept complaining he wasn’t being allowed to answer. He could easily have inserted the answer in at any point where he was issuing a complaint, and I think this is what caused Matt’s frustration. I was also frustrated with the caller at that point.

    I didn’t think Matt misrepresented Mohammed, either. Mohammed described a situation where a supernatural trigger was required to initiate the natural universe. Matt was simply applying shorthand to say that Mohammed was asserting that the universe could not have come into existence via natural causes. In fact, that was what Mohammed was saying, although he kept insisting it wasn’t what he was saying. Sometimes a person is misrepresented–and the listener doesn’t understand what the speaker is saying. Other times the speaker is being accurately portrayed by the listener, but the speaker is not capable of understanding that they are actually saying what the listener is restating. I have this happen often when people are ignorant about some situations involving racism. I will say “that comment is racist” and they respond to say it isn’t and then go on to explain it further, only clarifying it was, absolutely a racist statement. It isn’t that their comment isn’t racist–it’s that it is racist, and they simply don’t understand racism very competently and so don’t recognize they’re view/expression is racist. That’s not me misrepresenting them. That’s them not fully understanding the implications of what they’re saying. It was my impression that Mohammed wasn’t really cluing into the fact that he is inserting a god creator for no other reason than that he *must* believe natural causes cannot account for this universe. That was his entire argument. But when Matt called it out in shorthand, he wanted to declare that wasn’t what he was saying, because he *does* believe in natural causation. Yes, he does, but he ALSO believes, and was arguing that these natural causes cannot account for how the natural universe began.

    Also, in response to “god is anything someone worships.” This assumes two things:

    1. A god that is not worshipped is not a god.
    2. Anything worshipped is a god.

    There are almost certainly gods of antiquity lost to history that are no longer worshipped, and yet if we were to discover a record of one, it would be recorded as the god of some group of people, even with nobody worshipping it. I honestly am not sure that all gods known have or require worship–in fact, the god of deists, as far as I know, requires no worship?

    Many people will declare they worship some-thing-X that they don’t consider a god.

    It’s like saying that a cow is anything I say is a cow, and then I declare my ball point pen is a cow, and then assert that cows can help people write letters.

    While I do agree there is some discretion when it comes to discussions about gods–in that we have to offer some flexibility for what a person is using as a definition. There is also a cultural construct of what that label means–to *some* reasonable degree–which allows us to even have a discussion about it. As Matt was pointing out–if we’re going to literally say that anything can be a god, then the conversation becomes incoherent. We no longer have the capacity to talk about gods when we can literally say that anything–existent or not–is a god. When a cow is “whatever anyone says is a cow”–then we can’t really discuss cows. There are many varieties of cows, but there must be things we can agree are not cows, if we want to dialog about cows and what it means to be a cow and whether or not certain cows exist.

  56. John David Balla says

    @heicart #61
    I sometimes agonize over whether to invest the energy to respond to spurious claims, and this is one of those times. The absurdity of the “worshipping makes it god” assertion can be demonstrated as follows:

    —–> A god really does exist, but no one is yet aware of this ‘real god’, and therefore cannot worship it, and because there is no act of worshiping going on, the real god does not exist. <——

    Verbs are not things. We cannot 'verbalize" something into existence via an affinity for it. What the caller seems to be asserting as a universal truth is that feelings, any feelings that have a directive toward worship, are self-evident truths. (Head spinning)

  57. Mohammed says

    I am not saying that things in the world would be unchanging without God’s acts of creation. I am saying that those things wouldn’t be here at all.

    Also, I do not need to go into the origins of the world or of life to know God exists. This is a very crucial point the people don’t seem to understand. As I said, I know God through the acts of creation the effects of which I see everyday. God constantly creates things and causes others to go out of existence.
    There might be nothing about the distant origin of life or of this world which is indicative of God any more than the coming into existence of the signs we see everyday. And I have not seen the origin of life or of this world. None of us have. People looking for God’s existence there are looking in the wrong places, and have certainly lost the natural disposition they once had.
    I don’t see why going into far origins is relevant to the question of God’s existence. I don’t see why Matt had to mention abiogenesis.

    Additionally, I never claimed that God is supernatural. I claim that God is an eternal being above the world unequalled by another, one who constantly brings things into existence by His power and will.

  58. John David Balla says

    @Mohammed #63
    If god, as you just stated, is not supernatural then please explain the natural conditions by which god is constantly bringing things into existence. And keep in mind that we do have natural explanations already.

  59. Mohammed says

    @John David Balla
    I believe God brings things into existence by power and will.
    But I never said that God is natural either. That would be a worse statement. I believe those terms should be discarded altogether because they may be used to indicate false meanings.
    If you explain to me what you mean by natural and supernatural, I may be able to tell you which parts of the meanings were acceptable to the Prophets and which were not.

  60. says

    @Mohammad
    If all you mean by “creature” is “created thing,” then yes, it is likely that for any given created thing, then it implies the existence of a creator (which is not necessarily a conscious entity). But you are not showing us: A. What things you are claiming to be created, or why you think they were; B. Why you think one creator is a better explanation than multiple; or C. Why you think a deity serves as a good explanation at all.

    You really need to work harder on this.

  61. Mohammed says

    @Secular Strategy
    I intended to speak about the oneness of God later on the show. I believe it is rationally impossible for two or more Gods to exist.

    I believe you and I were created because we are not eternal. Please check the link i posted earlier. It explains why the rearrangement of matter is neither intuitive nor rational. There exist components of matter, and those components not only rearrange, but are also subject to totally perish into new things. That is: one thing is created out of another. This is how early Muslims and the early followers of all Prophets before Muhammad knew God above.

    Why would you claim that God is unconscious? Are you more perfect or your Creator? You cannot be better than God to whom you owe your existence.

  62. Monocle Smile says

    @Mohammed
    You’re ignoring questions and repeating yourself over and over again.
    Why should anyone give a shit what you have to say?

  63. says

    Mohammad, I never granted that anything was ever created by a god. If I prove that a puddle was created by rainfall, it doesn’t mean that the rain is a deity.

    Furthermore, your contention that matter rearrangement is neither rational nor intuitive is something I find to be patently absurd. How is a puddle from rainfall NOT a rearrangement of the water droplets?

  64. Mohammed says

    @Secular Strategy
    I do not deny that components rearrange. Wood may be rearranged into a chair.
    But I am claiming that those components also perish.
    Nothing within the universe is eternal.

    @Monocle Smile
    I do not intend to ignore questions. I am trying to help to the best of my ability.

  65. John David Balla says

    @Mohammed #66
    You could have saved us a great deal of time if you would have revealed that your argument is theocratic in the first place. But not until just now do you reveal your Prophets as the authority who determines what’s true and what isn’t. And no, I don’t care whether there’s some underlying pseudoscience to their positions since clearly it’s only their authority that matters.
    Secondly, I never brought up supernatural. You did. When you responded that you don’t believe god is supernatural, I then asked for a natural explanation, and you stated you don’t believe that either. Besides breaking the laws of logic, please state your nebulous character of god which is neither supernatural nor natural. And of course, check with your prophets first.

  66. Monocle Smile says

    @Mohammed
    You’ve been asked for evidence that things come into existence and cease to exist half a dozen times already. You haven’t even attempted a response. That comes across as dishonest.

  67. says

    I’ll just echo Monocle Smile’s request and ask that Mohammad give one example of something that is known to come into existence (NOT as a rearrangement of matter) and how we know that the thing that caused it to come into existence is a conscious entity.

  68. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    1) How do atheists demonstrate science is all of reality?
    2) If 6,000,000 Jews got “Holoco$ted” wasn’t it just a unique pattern of atoms that disappeared? It so, who cares? Why care? Why would atoms care?

    Why does it matter if they have a soul? I don’t see how that changes anything. Explain to me the reasoning “soul, therefore morality”. It’s just as difficult a leap as “atoms, therefore morality”.

    I am not saying that things in the world would be unchanging without God’s acts of creation. I am saying that those things wouldn’t be here at all.

    I can easily imagine a hypothetical world where there is not a god. I can easily imagine spacetime being eternal in the past. I can easily imagine spacetime starting uncaused at some definite point in the finite past. There are no rules of logic that preclude these possibilities. There might be some part of your metaphysics that precludes these possibilities, but I don’t subscribe to your unproven assertions that you use to try to argue for your position. For example, you probably implicitly argue that for something to start, to be created, to have a beginning, then it must have a cause. I reject that assertion as unproven. Furthermore, concerning atomic nuclear decay, it appears to be spontaneous, random, and uncaused, which is circumstantial evidence against your implicit global proposition that every event must have a cause.

    I see no need of a god to explain the orbits of the planets. I see no need of a god to explain lightning. I see no need of a god to explain the big bang. I see no need of a god to explain the existence of spacetime, and whether it came about from a beginning in the finite past, or whether it is past-eternal. I see no need of a god to explain anything that any of us perform and accomplish in our daily lives. Etc.

  69. Mohammed says

    @Secular Strategy
    Everything from the smallest particles to the largest galaxies comes into existence. This is because there is absolutely nothing within those things that was always there. Do you know of anything in the world that was always there? Point out one to me, and I will have no choice but to accept that it has no Creator.
    It might be useful if you could tell me what you mean by matter. Are referring to something other than the particular components of which the world is made? I do not believe there exists anything that is not a particular object or a property of a particular object. If by matter you are referring to something other than those particular objects and their properties, I will reject its existence because that is the only sensible thing to do.

    @Monocle Smile
    I believe the three minutes in the link explain the matter clearly. Things may rearrange only if they are actually separable or composed of parts. But composite things are not actually separable to no end. You must reach basic, fundamental parts. Only if those parts are eternal and do not change into other things may you claim that the composite things only rearrange and do not totally change.

    @John David Balla
    Theocratic arguments ought to be accepted should they make sense to us. No one should reject a rational argument simply because it is mentioned in a book. That is not fair in the least.
    It is not fair to say that I believe God is neither natural nor supernatural either. I did not say God isn’t supernatural and I did not say He is. I said the terms natural and supernatural ought to be discarded when speaking about God because they cause much confusion.

    As for describing God, there is no one who can do that better than God Himself. The Quran reads:
    ((Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is presently before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Footstool extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.))

  70. RationalismRules says

    @Mohammed
    You specifically said that the point of your three questions was to demonstrate that an ETERNAL being brought them into existence.

    Here are your exact words:

    The point of the three questions was to demonstrate that natural beings do not bring anything into existence, but that an ETERNAL being must have brought them into existence.

    and

    The agent must therefore be an eternal being above.

    I have pointed out that nothing in your questions demonstrates ETERNAL.

    Nor do your questions demonstrate a BEING.

    Are you able to acknowledge that your argument totally fails to demonstrate what you set out to demonstrate?

  71. Mohammed says

    @RationalismRules
    The three questions specifically answer your contention. They are there only to address why an infinite regress of creators is impossible. Ultimately, there must be something existing in and of itself. If it is not the world, and it is clearly not the world, it is the Creator of the world.

  72. John David Balla says

    @Mohammed. “No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude”. 
    — Karl Popper

    You are evidence of the intellectual harm religion can and does do. You are incapable of engaging with others in an honest way. Surely, your religion has taught you that well. But at least, and just very recently, you exposed your appeal to authority over your irrational arguments. That’s progress of a kind. And you end your final remarks with no reason whatever, just…

    “As for describing God, there is no one who can do that better than God Himself”. and “Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission?”

    I never understood the desire of the credulous to be a slave. But I can’t deny it as it is a common theme, one that many celebrate as a virtue. To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, “I’m glad your god doesn’t exist”. Your entire so-called argument just culminated as “because my god says so”. I can think of nothing more despicable and amoral.

  73. Monocle Smile says

    @Mohammed
    You’re pathetic. All you have is a mangled understanding of physics, piss-poor metaphysics pulled straight from the asses of the prophets you’re obsessed with, and a desperate urge to shift the burden of proof.
    “Prove me wrong” is not a valid response to demands for evidence. I don’t give a fuck what some dead (or alive) “prophet” says. Stop pretending that any of us are enamored with your book or your “prophets.”

  74. Mohammed says

    @John David Balla
    I do not have to follow in your footsteps to be a rational person. I accept what makes sense.
    I believe that God is your master whether you accept it or not.

  75. John David Balla says

    @mohammed. You are correct. Being rational is not about a person, it’s about a process. You either adhere to it or not. Accepting what makes sense is not rational. There are all sorts of people believing the most bizarre, incoherent, and irrational things, who contend that it makes sense to them. As such, your position that what you believe makes sense to you is not impressive. You have now encroached into the realm of opinion. Everyone has one. So what?

    “I I believe that God is your master whether you accept it or not.”

    Why should I care what you believe? Because it makes sense to you? This is what your argument comes down to? Again, you could have saved us all a bunch of time by being honest about that from the get-go. But because you’re a troll, you accomplished your time-wasting tactic. I now totally understand why Matt hung up on you. I consider this a lesson learned.

  76. John David Balla says

    @mohammed. As long as people yearn for divine authorities and rules to follow uncritically, religion will remain a great opposition to human progress and well-being.

  77. RationalismRules says

    @Mohammed #78
    So you’re refusing to honestly acknowledge that your questions fail to demonstrate what you explicitly stated that they are intended to demonstrate, instead you’re now claiming that they are intended to demonstrate something else:

    They are there only to address why an infinite regress of creators is impossible.

    Honesty and humility demand we acknowledge our failings, Mohammed. When you are shown that your argument fails to demonstrate what you claim it is intended to demonstrate, the honest and humble response is to acknowledge that you have failed.

    Your response, instead, is to move the goalposts ie. attempt to change your claim without acknowledging the failure of the original claim. Goalpost shifting is dishonest, Mohammed. Does the Quran have anything to say about honesty and humility?
     
    Let’s examine this new claim:

    They are there only to address why an infinite regress of creators is impossible.

    Nope, the questions fail at this too.

    In fact, this is already addressed in my first post:

    you haven’t eliminated the possibility that one creature can bring another into existence and then cease to exist itself.

    It could simply be the case that there has been a chain of things appearing, creating, and disappearing since forever.

    Your questions do not eliminate this possibility.

    Are you going to move the goalposts again?

  78. Monocle Smile says

    After listening to Mohammeds call, his bitching about not being allowed to explain is the tantrum of a toddler and nothing more. Mohammed, you didn’t call in to have a dialogue. You called in to preach. You did the same crap you’re doing on this blog where you avoid answering questions until you’re beaten into addressing them. Matt was extremely patient with you and let you prattle on for long enough. Eat shit.

  79. Mohammed says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal
    I read your post. You reject that a creature needs a creator. What do you expect me to say. I can say that I do not entertain that because it would make me irrational.

    @RationalismRules
    We can no more create ourselves than be created by nothing.

    ((By the heaven full of paths,
    Indeed, you are of various opinion concerning the truth
    He is made to turn away from it who is himself averse.))

  80. Loveromates says

    I do not have to follow in your footsteps to be a rational person. I accept what makes sense.
    I believe that God is your master whether you accept it or not.

    All right, I also accept what makes sense. I grew up in a Dharmic religion. My culture does not revolve around your god concept. In fact, the word is not something Buddhists tend to pay attention to.
    Why should I have to accept your god claim over Hindu’s claim about Krishna?

    It is a huge leap from your god argument to Allah; thereby, I need to submit to 5 pillars of Islam to be saved. No thanks. I will live and die with what makes sense to me, not what you or your religion impose on the rest of the world.

  81. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Mohammed
    Your arguments appear to rest on the assumption that everything that began to exist had a prior cause. Is that correct?

    What proof or evidence or reasons do you have for this claim? It seems easily enough for me to imagine differently, and we see stuff in the world which also appears to happen uncaused, such as spontaneous nuclear decay.

  82. RationalismRules says

    @Mohammed #87

    We can no more create ourselves than be created by nothing.

    Again, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the point I made.
     
    You came to this blog (and to the show) with an argument comprising 3 questions, which you thought demonstrated a particular claim. You have been shown that this argument fails to demonstrate that claim. All I’m asking of you is that you have the simple honesty (and humility) to admit that your argument fails to demonstrate that claim.

    As someone who is interested in truth, when an argument of mine fails I am keen to acknowledge where it fails in order to learn from that failing – either to adjust my position, or to improve the argument. I don’t understand why you are unable to make this simple acknowledgement. Is your worldview based on such shaky foundations that it is too threatening to even admit the failure of one argument? And if so, how do you ever expect to learn anything?

  83. Robink says

    @Mohammed

    part of the confusion I think comes from your choice of your language. You continually refer to a creature “not being able to create itself”. It’s self evident that a creature such as a human can not cause itself to come into existence out of apparent nothing. However it is not self evident that any type of matter in general cannot do the same thing, this is an unproven claim (and there is some evidence to the contrary.)

    Your argument essentially seems to boil down to “stuff had to come from somewhere because it couldn’t have caused itself to exist, so God is necessary to explain this”. There are a few key problems with this:

    1. As mentioned above, it is an unproven assertion that all matter required an act of creation to exist
    2. It precludes the possibility that matter ALWAYS existed (a solution you have no problem applying to your god which would be a case of special pleading)
    3. Even if taken as true all your argument tells us is SOMETHING was the cause, but doesn’t indicate it was a being, or a god, or your particular god.

    The best answer we have to your dilemna is simply; we don’t know why there is something instead of nothing or if it’s even POSSIBLE for there to have been nothing instead of something. Anything beyond that requires evidence you simply have not/cannot provide

  84. Mohammed says

    @Loveromates
    Allah is the God of Abraham. You should put your trust in Him, the one Creator being who brought you and everything around you into existence. You should shun all other gods because they are false. They cannot defend you should God above will to harm you. They cannot harm you should God above will to protect you. And if you don’t believe in God, then my sincere advice to you is to return to Him in repentance.

    @EnlightenmentLiberal
    Actually, my belief in God is due to particular signs. I do not doubt that this particular and that particular, which I see coming into existence, are brought into existence by an eternal being. If I doubted it in one creature – God forbid – the universal premise would not benefit me.
    But I do not like to describe God as a cause. I describe Him as an eternal Creator being that is distinct from the world He created. Because He is a Creator, His decisions are the determining causes for whatever happens in the world. That is: God determines the existence of events in this world by His will and power.
    There indeed exist no spontaneous events in existence. The existence of such events is an impossibility. Everything is predetermined. Every event in the world happens upon the occurrence of its complete cause within the Creator. Nothing happens in the world unless God wills it into existence, and He is the maintainer of what He created.
    I also believe that there exist natural causes. Those events within the world indeed have insufficient intermediary causes, but are nonetheless created by God. God creates plants by means of rain and earth, as an example. He creates the cause and the effect, and makes one thing a cause for another. How do I know that? It is because acts of natural causation subsist in created bodies. If those bodies are created, their actions and properties will equally be created.

    So, if by uncaused decay you mean that nuclear decay might be occuring without any determining causes, that would be a false position. That would be tantamount to claiming that things may come into existence without a Creator, or that events may occur without a Determiner.

    @RationalismRules
    A creature must owe its existence to a creator, because a creature does not exist in and of itself. The more those creatures assumed, the greater the need for the creator. How can a never-ending ‘sum’ of creatures, which exist not in and of themselves, exist in and of itself? Worse still. How can it exist by a part of itself?!

    @Robink
    I know God is a being because actions only subsist in objects. They do not subsist in nothing or in other actions or properties. The act of creation must exist somewhere. If it does not subsist in a created object, it must subsist in an eternal being.
    It is undeniable that things come into existence and go out of existence. This is creation.
    The world is dependent and created, because every part of it is created. Ultimately, something is eternal and necessarily existing.That eternal being is therefore not the world, but a being on which the world depends.

  85. says

    Mohammed #64

    By creature, i mean “created thing”. Everything within the world is a creature.

    Doesn’t that just mean that you’ve baked your conclusion into your definition? Obviously, a created thing must have a creator, but you can’t just assert that something is created, when that’s part of what you’re trying to demonstrate. You’re begging the question, you’ve just phrased yourself in such a manner that you don’t realize it.

  86. says

    Mohammed, you’re contradicting yourself. I asked you for an example of something that comes into existence NOT by rearrangement and you say “everything.” But earlier you said, “I do not deny that components rearrange. Wood may be rearranged into a chair,” meaning that a chair comes into existence by rearrangement.

    So which is it? If I make a chair, do I make it from pre-existing material, or do I make it out of nothing? Make up your mind.

  87. Mohammed says

    @Secular Strategy
    Composite things do rearrange, but may also totally perish, because their components do. This should be clear by now.
    The components of the chair begin to exist. The wood begins to exist, for example.
    Yes, when a chair is assembled, only the form begins to exist during that assembly. But the point is that those components also begin to exist at an earlier time. The components are created by God, and so the chair is.

    God created everything. This is why He deserves our worship, love, and fear. He is our Lord and Creator. Why don’t you accept Him when He calls you to the abode of peace? He has promised for good-doers a blissful Garden in which they will remain forever.

  88. Monocle Smile says

    @Mohammed

    Actually, my belief in God is due to particular signs. I do not doubt that this particular and that particular, which I see coming into existence, are brought into existence by an eternal being. If I doubted it in one creature – God forbid – the universal premise would not benefit me.

    For the seventh or eighth time, what fucking particulars? And how do you know?

  89. Mohammed says

    @LykeX
    No, creation is evident.
    Things come into existence. It is the position of uncreated matter that is irrational and incomprehensible. I tried to explain why in the link.

  90. Monocle Smile says

    @Mohammed
    All of those things are the result of well understood processes that involve only the rearrangement of preexisting stuff.
    You clearly know absolutely nothing about physics or science in general, which is why you make such wildly wrong statements.
    Also, look up Stockholm Syndrome.

  91. John David Balla says

    @Monocle Smile
    Excellent description. Mohammed is the poster child of the Stockholm Syndrome. He has fallen in love with his captor, and every statement he makes demonstrates that.

  92. Theisntist says

    I find it amusing that Mohammed thinks his preaching will somehow make us heathens come around to religion when he is just exposing the flaws of religious thinking. It’s like there is a force field around his brain that won’t allow facts to penetrate.

  93. Monocle Smile says

    Thomas set off alarm bells when he started blabbering about “manifestation.” He’s so entrenched in his woo (to the point of the religious version of crank magnetism) that he can’t even communicate properly with people who aren’t stuck in his same rut.

    “Why do bad things happen?” Is not a very interesting question to anyone who has two neurons to rub together.

  94. Mohammed says

    @Secular Strategy
    I answered your question, but you didn’t listen.

    @Theisntist
    Don’t get me wrong like Monocle and John did. I am aware that most people will not believe. But I am sure there are some good people out there on your sinking ship. God does not create a purely evil group of people. This is part of our theology.

  95. Loveromates says

    Allah is the God of Abraham. You should put your trust in Him, the one Creator being who brought you and everything around you into existence. You should shun all other gods because they are false. They cannot defend you should God above will to harm you. They cannot harm you should God above will to protect you. And if you don’t believe in God, then my sincere advice to you is to return to Him in repentance.

    You are not listening to me. My religious background centers around human mind. Gods are irrelevant. I believe in the transcendence, but I don’t worship any deity.
    Just because I am religious does not mean I have to be a Muslim. If religion does not act like a vehicle for me to become a compassionate person, I don’t want anything to do with it. Your religion is one example.

    Seeing how you keep forcing your concept of god in your specific text on people, I can understand why you are from Saudi Arabia. Please keep staying there. Debating like this is cool. Just don’t come to the States and cause trouble with the rest of us. Just because I am not an atheist does not mean I automatically sign up to Abrahamic religion.

  96. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Mohammed
    I still don’t understand your argument. Are you starting with the assumption “There indeed exist no spontaneous events in existence.” ? Or are you trying to prove that from other premises?

    Contrary to your assertions, there is nothing logically impossible about something happening spontaneously, with no cause. It is not irrational either.

  97. Loveromates says

    If this transcendence you mention is not a being, then you believe in nothing.

    Fine, then I believe in nothing. I am cool with that label. At least, in the name of nothing label you slap on me, I have never committed any crime against any human or animal. In the name of nothing, I only treat people well and am kind with animals. Had I believed in god the way you do, lots of people would be killed. Moreover, I would believe that they perish in hell simply because they don’t worship Allah regardless of their characters.

    If that is the case, I am totally happy with believing in nothing.
    Muslims like you are not different from fundamentalist Christians. Assertion after assertion and then you play the role of a psychologist to claim about what I believe in. No wonder your people in your country label atheists as terrorists.

  98. says

    I have a request from the other people in the conversation.

    Earlier, I asked Mohammad a question: If I make a chair, do I make it from pre-existing material, or do I make it out of nothing?

    I feel as though he has not answered this question, even though he claims he has. If there is anyone here who feels that he has answered the question, then please point out to me what his answer was. No dogpiling, please. I legitimately want to know if I’m missing something.

  99. says

    @Secular Strategy:

    I think Mohammed is referring to this response at #95. At this point, you may want to use this as the spring board for any clarification still needed:

    @Secular Strategy
    Composite things do rearrange, but may also totally perish, because their components do. This should be clear by now.
    The components of the chair begin to exist. The wood begins to exist, for example.
    Yes, when a chair is assembled, only the form begins to exist during that assembly. But the point is that those components also begin to exist at an earlier time. The components are created by God, and so the chair is.

    God created everything. This is why He deserves our worship, love, and fear. He is our Lord and Creator. Why don’t you accept Him when He calls you to the abode of peace? He has promised for good-doers a blissful Garden in which they will remain forever.

  100. says

    I understand that, but he avoids the question by talking about the components of the chair, which is not what I asked.

    I think he realizes that he’s backed himself into a corner where he cannot admit that a human being has ever manufactured furniture.

  101. Mohammed says

    @Secular Strategy
    I see your question now, Secular Strategy.

    Of course I believe that people manufacture furniture. As I said, I believe in natural causes. I also believe that fire burns and earth springs to life. The act of manufacturing subsists in human beings, the act of burning subsists in fire, and the act of springing to life subsists in the earth. Those are REAL actions.
    But when we speak about God, we speak about His acts of CREATION. The actions within natural things cannot exist without those act of CREATION within God. The Prophets of God understood this very well. They understood that natural causes exist, and they understood that God is the Creator of everything. In other words, God creates creatures as well as the attributes and actions subsisting in them. Basically, God creates absolutely everything within the world. Our actions are ours because they subsist in us and not in God, but those actions of ours are created by God within us just before they begin to exist, just like all other creatures are.

    So, just as I believe that God creates plants by means of rain and earth, I believe that God creates chairs by means of people. God creates the people, their power, their decisions, their acts of manufacturing, and creates the resulting effect in the new arrangement we call a chair or table.
    This is how the world is. It is dependent on God. God creates natural causes and effects, and makes one thing a cause for another.
    But why do I believe that God creates our actions? Why do I believe that He is enables natural causality? It is simply because I believe God is our Creator. He must have therefore created our properties and actions. It is not possible for a creature to be created by God while its properties and actions are uncreated.

    Take these examples. The one who creates man equally creates his sight. The one who creates a tree creates its height. The one who creates earth creates its actions. In the same way, the one who creates a manufacturer creates his acts of manufacturing. Everything in the world is created by God.

    This is very profound because it means that you are a slave to God whether you accept it or not. He created you and you cannot break free of His kingdom. If you do good, you will do it only by His decree. If you do evil, you do it only by His decree. This is why our Prophet used to many times pray: “O God! Turner of hearts! Make my heart firm upon your way!” It is because he understood that whomsoever God guides, none can misguide. But whomsoever God misguides, none can guide. We are dependent on God in our existence, and we need Him in every moment of that existence.

    In short, we manufacture chairs. God creates us, the chairs, and our REAL decisions and acts of manufacturing those chairs.

  102. Mohammed says

    @Loveromates
    Good Muslims are compassionate by their nature. It is the pagan and atheistic nations that are least compassionate and rational. We were taught to be compassionate and to love good for all people.
    As it is mentioned in the authentic narrations, our Prophet Muhammad said: “Show mercy to those who are on the earth, He Who is in the heaven will show mercy to you.”
    I do not see that your rejection of Islam for Eastern religions is a virtue at all. All they have is ever changing philosophies of men. How is that comparable to clear signs and evidences from God, and a Law which will continue with us till the end days.

  103. Mohammed says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal
    It is very irrational to claim that a creature may have no creator. Or that an effect in this dependent world hay have no determining cause. This is what I meant.

  104. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Ok. Thanks for clearing up your position. My position simply is: I don’t accept your unsubstantiated, naked assertion, and moreover, at first glance, it appears to be wrong based on our modern knowledge of quantum theory.

  105. jake3d says

    I want to make sure I have a correct understanding of gnogistic atheism. When I looked on the websites and blog I didn’t find this information and Google searches yeald conflicting definitions. As I understand it the best definitions are these:

    -Gnostic Theist: someone who believes in a god or gods and is sure of the nature of god. As in they ‘know’ who and/or what god is. E.g. Christianity.

    -Agnostic Theist: someone who believes there is a god but doesn’t know the nature of god, who or what it is. (Cannot know the nature of god while believing there is a god also fits here.)

    -Agnostic Atheist: someone who does not accept the claim “there is a god” but does necessarily hold the belief “there is no god”. Cannot know the nature of god, who or what god is while not accepting the god proposition also fits here.

    -Gnostic Atheist: someone who holds the position “there is no god”. This would also be a “hard line atheist”.

    So that’s basically what I’ve come to understand as the best definitions for those terms. If there is any thing incorrect or inconsistant I’d like to know. Also if I just missed it by searching the blog and websites a link to the page where it has already been pointed out may also be helpful. Thanks.

  106. Monocle Smile says

    @Mohammed

    Good Muslims are compassionate by their nature. It is the pagan and atheistic nations that are least compassionate and rational. We were taught to be compassionate and to love good for all people.

    Out of all the absurd nonsense you have spouted so far, this is the least forgivable.
    Your preachy nonsense is not convincing to anyone, let alone a blog full of skeptics.
    What are you even doing here?

  107. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed #112:

    I believe God is our Creator. He must have therefore created our properties and actions.

    What does God directly, proximately cause without delegating? Is God feeble, unable to do anything himself, merely stealing credit for the work of intermediaries?
     

    actions are ours because they subsist in us and not in God
     
    actions of ours are created by God within us just before they begin to exist

    So we’re meat puppets continuously micromanaged by God? But humans are to blame for their actions because God doesn’t hold himself accountable if he makes the chair-building action “subsist”, planting it in flesh and retreating at the last second? But God still gets credit for the action that the human body performed?
     
    If the chair is poorly crafted, who is at fault? If it is well-made, who gets credit?

  108. Loveromates says

    Good Muslims are compassionate by their nature
    If you want to justify to me what defines a good Muslim, you are wasting your time. I don’t belong to your religion. Sort it out with your people.

    It is the pagan and atheistic nations that are least compassionate and rational
    Since I immigrated to the USA, the kindest people I have ever encountered are atheists and pagans. Pagans extend their compassion to animals and concern about environment. The ones who try to impose their religious values on the rest of the country are Christians. The ones who cause suffering to innocent people are radical Muslims. The ones who make excuse for those inhumane actions are apologists just like you.

    We were taught to be compassionate and to love good for all people.
    Really?
    Can I show my affection to my husband or boyfriend without being executed because I am gay in your Islamic country?
    Can I practice my spirituality without governmental prohibition in your Islamic country?
    Can I have a choice not to pray without punishment in your Islamic country?

    As it is mentioned in the authentic narrations, our Prophet Muhammad said: “Show mercy to those who are on the earth, He Who is in the heaven will show mercy to you.”
    I am not a Muslim. My religion already teaches me how to be kind to people. I don’t need your god or scripture to know that.

    I do not see that your rejection of Islam for Eastern religions is a virtue at all.
    I grew up in a Buddhist family. I don’t reject Islam as you accuse me. The concept does not resonate to me. That is why I don’t believe. If you cannot accept that not every human views religion the same way as you do, if you cannot accept commonality among humans without your religious assertion, it is your problem in your theocratic state.

    All they have is ever changing philosophies of men
    The core of Buddhism is loving kindness. That does not change regardless of the methods. Of course in your view, my belief is garbage because I don’t bow down to Allah. That is fine with me. I know who I am, and what kind of philosophy works for me.

    How is that comparable to clear signs and evidences from God, and a Law which will continue with us till the end days
    That is just your assertion. I have no reason to believe in your god, your prophet, or your holy book any more than do I believe in the Bible, Bhagavat Gita, or Dhammapada.

    At the end of a day, the first thing I have to answer to is my conscience before I answer to any deity provided that that deity exists. If by doing that I will suffer for eternity in the hell that Allah sets up, so be it. I will not sacrifice my humanity to worship such deity.

  109. Loveromates says

    Out of all the absurd nonsense you have spouted so far, this is the least forgivable.
    Your preachy nonsense is not convincing to anyone, let alone a blog full of skeptics.
    What are you even doing here?

    This Muslim reminds me of caller Aziz long time ago. It is bizarre that some Muslims can sink their humanity that low to worship a deity like Allah.

  110. Murat says

    @Mohammed

    Hey there Mohammed!

    Very briefly: In the past, I was where you are now.

    Therefore, I have some kind of empathy for the effort you are putting into explaining what you consider as the source for your beliefs.

    However, I have three major problems with your call:

    1) I believe there was some kind of a lingual barried that made your “perception” sound less significant than it actually was. I’m sorry that I can not call it anything other than “perception”, tho, because it was not “evidence”.

    2) The philosophical arguments you come up with are, as opposed to what you might be thinking, not really the “sources” for Islamic belief. They are perceptions that have evolved later, as muslim sages, scholars, thinkers, etc. have felt the necessity to make the tradition (of religion) compatible with their ongoing process of learning, reasoning, explaning etc.

    3) There were hints of some good arguments among what you tried to articulate, and I believe that was in part why Matt gave you more time than certain people would find appropriate, however, that good part did not even justify certain details of the belief and tradition, hence, was disconnected from your particular position with regards to beliefs.

    Finally, I’d like to say that I am a skeptic and totally okay with reading whatever you’d post here. You have no reason to feel rejected or unwanted. There certainly is a gap among you and the more vocal followers of the show, but still, I believe you should keep calling the show, posting your arguments here, and whatever else would make sense to you.

    To understand better what might trigger negative feedback and avoid it, try saying “Good people are compassionate by their nature” instead of assigning whatever you consider “goodness” to any particular religion.

    Not all readers of the blog are vocal. So, any fine arguments that may come from you would be appreciated as significant contribution to the discussions that are the very essence of such platforms, even if you may not notice them.

    Take care and please consider the criticism!

  111. Lamont Cranston says

    Loveromates #118 says:

    If you want to justify to me what defines a good Muslim, you are wasting your time. I don’t belong to your religion. Sort it out with your people…

    … At the end of a day, the first thing I have to answer to is my conscience before I answer to any deity provided that that deity exists. If by doing that I will suffer for eternity in the hell that Allah sets up, so be it. I will not sacrifice my humanity to worship such deity.

    I thoroughly enjoyed your well thought out response. I was thinking of writing something along the same lines but you beat me to it.

    Lamont Cranston

  112. John David Balla says

    @Murat
    I appreciate your perspective and consider it a worthy contribution. You are on to something big. And that big is what I’ll call rules of engagement.

    It’s not just Mohammed. I run into these situations all the time. Many people, sad as it is, don’t understand the difference between a fact and a strongly held belief. A claim and support for a claim. And, witnessed throughout this thread, ‘rational’ has descended into meaning “it makes sense to me”.

    I mention this because I’m not here to get into a philosophical knife fight. I gained very little from my recent posts though I do appreciate some excellent points made by others. That said, I’ll always prefer learning over winning. Short of that, some kind of solution or way to move forward I guess you could say is a standing goal.

    So with that in mind, I have been motivated through this experience to not be shy about establishing rules of engagement. But unlike Tracie and Matt, I’m pretty sure I would piss off my interlocutor if I were to do this upfront. Life just isn’t a call-in show. So I’ll continue to, when needed, use the courtroom analogy, the gumball example, and most importantly, utilize the Socratic method liberally. After all, people tend to listen better when presented with a question versus a counter-assertion, claim, or negation.

    That’s my takeaway. And thank you all for teaching me new ways of expression, many of which impresses me more than my own.

  113. Robink says

    @Mohammed

    there’s a fair bit to unpack here so I’ll take it bit by bit…

    “I know God is a being because actions only subsist in objects.”

    I think there is a bait and switch of language going on here similar to when you switch between creature/matter. There is the concept of A “being” which is commonly referred to as the existence of an individual and the state of “being” which is just existence itself. An “object” does not necessarily imply a “being” (a chair for instance is an object but not a being), however an object must “be”, ie. exist. Are you saying god is simply the state of existence? It’s fine if you define it as such, pantheists everywhere do, it’s just not a very useful definition imo as we already have a word for existence and the word “god” has a lot of unproven baggage attached to it.

    “The act of creation must exist somewhere.”

    Only if you start from the assumed premise that something was “created”, which as others have pointed out is a case of begging the question (you haven’t proved your premise is true)

    “It is undeniable that things come into existence and go out of existence. This is creation.”

    Only because YOU purposefully define it as such. It is perfectly possible something could come into existence without being “created” (Quantum science implies as much). It largely depends on your definition of “coming into existence” which is why Matt was trying to nail you down on the issue of childbirth. The concept of Matt as a person “came into existence” when he was conceived but no-one would ordinarily say Matt was “created”, therefore no creator necessary. However when pressed on this issue you pull the switch to talking about Matt as matter, which is where the confusion comes from.

    “Ultimately, something is eternal and necessarily existing.That eternal being is therefore not the world, but a being on which the world depends”

    Why can’t matter itself be the thing that is “eternal” and “necessarily existing”? This is the problem with your argument, even if all your premises are true (which I don’t agree they are) it only leads us to SOMETHING un-created (eternal) being necessarily existent, it’s special pleading to claim god is the exception to your rules. It’s simply another form of the Kalam which does prove what it sets out to demonstrate.

  114. Murat says

    @heicart

    Matt was simply applying shorthand to say that Mohammed was asserting that the universe could not have come into existence via natural causes.

    This was the main problem of communication already, though Matt is not to blame here.
    Mohammed’s take is not one that distincts god from the natural causes. Indeed, the kind of Islamic philosophy he seems to have inherited suggests that god is the natural cause for the universe to come into existence, because it is in god’s very nature to start / ignite / create.

  115. Murat says

    @John David Balla
    I just briefly checked your previous posts, and no, the kind of engagement you had with Muhammad was not among those which I’d found to be counterproductive, easy, unwelcoming and furious.
    On the contrary, you seem to have addressed him properly and with solid information. 👍
    That said, I’m glad if you found something new in my expressions.

  116. RationalismRules says

    @Mohammed

    A creature must owe its existence to a creator, because a creature does not exist in and of itself. The more those creatures assumed, the greater the need for the creator. How can a never-ending ‘sum’ of creatures, which exist not in and of themselves, exist in and of itself? Worse still. How can it exist by a part of itself?!

    I already granted all of this in my first post, for the sake of the argument. Repeating the same argument in different words does not get you any closer to the thing you said your questions demonstrated: an eternal being.
    The furthest any of this gets you is to the conclusion that ‘creatures’ cannot bring themselves into existence. It does not tell you anything whatsoever about the characteristics of what brought them into existence.

    Specifically, it does not get you to one ETERNAL being.
    Specifically, it does not get you to one eternal BEING.
    Specifically, it does not get you to ONE eternal being.

    I’ve been keeping an eye on your conversations with others, and nothing that you have presented gets you to any of these characteristics – all you have offered in support of these points is empty assertion.

  117. RationalismRules says

    @SkyCaptain #117

    If the chair is poorly crafted, who is at fault? If it is well-made, who gets credit?

    I can answer that. Anything good or well done, all credit to the deity. Anything bad or poorly executed, entirely the fault of the human.

    Theism 101.

  118. RationalismRules says

    @Murat

    Mohammed’s take is not one that distincts god from the natural causes. Indeed, the kind of Islamic philosophy he seems to have inherited suggests that god is the natural cause for the universe to come into existence, because it is in god’s very nature to start / ignite / create.

    Interesting thought, but he has said several times that his god is not natural:
    #47

    The point of the three questions was to demonstrate that natural beings do not bring anything into existence, but that an ETERNAL being must have brought them into existence.

    #66

    I never said that God is natural either. That would be a worse statement. I believe those terms should be discarded altogether because they may be used to indicate false meanings.

    It’s clear that he doesn’t consider his god to be natural, but he won’t acknowledge that that therefore makes it supernatural – instead he wants us to change our language because it doesn’t suit him.

  119. Murat says

    @RR
    As I said, there is a notable problem of communication.
    This does not mean Mohammed is in fact consistent within the borders of what he is propsing, nor that the only problem is about a calibration of semantics. He sure has to smoothen these edges and place his definition either totally outside of a dichotomy, or choose a clear side on this.
    The remarks you cite are, in my view, problematic also in the light of Islamic philosophy.
    “Supernatural”, I can get. But “not natural” sounds off base.
    I believe he should have a mch better case if he detached the whole argument from whatever religious suppostion is dangling there, and come clean as a deist who has neither evidence, nor the burden of any tradition, but just the thought process that signals to “natural source of existence with agency and intent”, because the effort boils down to that in the end.

  120. John David Balla says

    @RationalismRules (vis-a-vis @mirat #66)
    “I never said that God is natural either. That would be a worse statement. I believe those terms should be discarded altogether because they may be used to indicate false meanings.”

    “It’s clear that he doesn’t consider his god to be natural, but he won’t acknowledge that that therefore makes it supernatural – instead he wants us to change our language because it doesn’t suit him.”

    Muhammed is behaving like a hostile witness who refuses to be forthcoming. This all could be resolved — only by Muhammed — by stating what it is he believes instead of only stating what he doesn’t believe, and doing the latter only when necessary (and certainly not voluntary). This is indeed a communication problem brought on by Muhammed. A more sincere desire to communicate would be as simple as “God is neither natural or supernatural. God is [Muhammed inserts whatever language sufficient/necessary to clarify his god’s disposition/character/quality…whatever]. In other words, explain your position, Muhammed. Why be so flippant? If you don’t like chocolate, what flavor do you like?

  121. Mohammed says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain
    I do not believe we are puppets. I believe that we are willing, deciding agents. Without these decisions, we would not be responsible for what we do. Reward and justice would make no sense.
    As I said, God does not do our actions, He creates our actions we do.
    When you pray, it is not God who is praying. It is you who is praying exactly as is created by God.
    If the chair is poorly crafted, it is you who poorly crafted it. If the chair is well-made, it is you who crafted well. Eitherway, God would be responsible for creating your actions and determining them, not for doing our actions.

    We will have no excuse before God should we do evil in this life, because we would be responsible for our evil actions.
    It is also unjust for God to put evil people in Heaven and good people in Hell. Justice is to put a thing in its right and suitable place. God puts believers who accept His call and do good in Heaven, and puts unbelievers who reject His call in Hell. That is justice. People of good actions deserve good, and people of evil actions do not. That acceptance of God is an action subsisting in the servants of God.

    ((Shall We then treat those who have surrendered as We treat the guilty?
    What is with you? How foolish you judge!))

  122. Mohammed says

    @Murat
    I appreciate your kind words. There is indeed a language barrier, and I am not that articulate either.

    The sources of Islamic belief are two: the Quran, which is the word of God, and the authentic traditions of His Prophet Muhammad.
    Those sources were kept intact by God through historical figures we refer to as the Pious Predecessors. We Muslims regard those predecessors, or salaf, the first three generations after the Prophet, to be the best generations to have ever lived since creation of heaven and earth: in terms of their belief, actions, intellectual power, and so on.

    As Abdullah ibn Masud, a famous disciple, once advised his pupils: “Whoever wishes to imitate, let him imitate those who are gone… Those were the companions of Muhammad, the best among the Muslims, the purest at heart, the deepest in knowledge, and the least in making things difficult. God chose them to accompany His Prophet and to establish His religion…”

    After the religion became dominant and those generations passed away, argument and difference appeared in the religion. There are indeed many sects in Islam.

    It was authentically narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that the Messenger (prayers of God be upon him) said: “You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you, hand span by hand span, cubit by cubit, such that if they entered the hole of a lizard, you will enter it.” We said: “O Messenger of God, [are you referring to] the Jews and the Christians?” He said: “Who then [am I referring to]?”

    You can see that there is a continuous need for scholars to maintain the continuity of the tradition and to defend it against distortions. As the Muslims come into contact with Aristotelean philosophy, for example, there comes a need to dismantle those parts of his philosophy that contradict the religion. What I am doing here is drawing from the works of strictly orthodox Muslim scholars, as opposed to the confusing claims of kalam and philosophy, and presenting them in an easy manner. But the truth, Murat, is that this information I bring up, as far as I can tell, is directly taken from the scriptural texts. I don’t believe you can find anything in those intuitions, rational arguments and evidences which I have presented that is not based in one way or another in God’s revelation. Those meanings mentioned have not evolved. Yes, the terms might have, but I generally try to use terms which are somewhat scriptural. If there is anything specific you think is not mentioned in the Quran, do point it out. I just don’t believe you can objectively make that statement.

  123. Mohammed says

    @Robink
    I am using ‘being’ as ‘object’, or a ‘thing which has properties’.
    There can be nothing beyond objects and properties of objects.
    I mean to say that God is a thing with attributes. He is not existence, but is an existing being or thing.
    As for creation, most people intuitively accept this fact of creation which atheists deny. It is atheists who are swimming against the current. Most people believe in God and have no time for irrational speculations about matter and form. As far as I know, it is the greek philosopher Aristotle who brought forth the idea of an intelligible substance he dubbed matter. Most people will disagree with what he says. What exists outside the mind is not intelligible, but is sensible and may be perceived.
    Because there is nothing sensible in the universe which does not totally change, matter is not eternal. Yes, it is perfectly rational to believe that every world was preceded by another, but matter would still not be eternal. This is because only particulars exist. Nothing exists beyond particulars.
    The genus or kind of particulars being eternal does not imply that the specific particular or the sum is. So if the genus of matter components is eternal, it does not imply that the matter components are. Matter is created out of other matter, and perishes into other matter.
    Many of these terms I believe are unnecessary. I think it is better if you think of things as trees, sun, earth, birds. You may call that matter, but it does not change the reality of what things are.

  124. Murat says

    @Mohammed
    I thing you got the analogy with the chairs all wrong 🙂
    However, I like this one a lot:

    “It is also unjust for God to put evil people in Heaven and good people in Hell.”

    So, we can turn the tables on God and judge him by the very rules he has allegedly set.
    Like, calling for a mistrial.
    This approach it truly delightful as a mind game and reminds me of a work of fiction I had once written.

  125. Mohammed says

    @RationalismRules
    I neither describe God as natural nor do I describe God as supernatural. I do not negate that God is natural or supernatural. I prefer to use words which are not dubious. I describe God as a Self-Sufficient eternal being above the world, a being without partner or equal.
    If you could tell me what you mean by supernatural or natural, I can tell you which meanings are rationally acceptable to the Prophets of God and which are not.

    I believe the argument I presented is very clear. There must be an eternal being. I can speak about the Creator’s oneness later, insha Allah.

  126. Murat says

    @Mohammed

    The sources of Islamic belief are two: the Quran, which is the word of God, and the authentic traditions of His Prophet Muhammad.

    I was suspecting you would come up with this at one point.
    Apart from holding any Islamic beliefs or not, let me just put this straight first:
    That statement is inherently wrong on all accounts. Because the first of the “two” you address directly opposses the “second”.
    For the sake of the argument, I will not even get to whether the Quran is a fabrication / recollection of the human mind or not. Because, even if it is, adding that “secon” criteria as a “source of Islamic belief” destroys from within ANY heavenly value you can attribute to the Quran.
    If you said “Islamic tradition” or “Islamic teachings” instead of “Islamic belief”, I could agree on some level.
    But the moment you address one book as the “word of God” and then talk about “secondary sources”, then, you are inescaplably talking about a God that could not finish the work.
    Unlike what “holy texts” or rigid scholars may suggest, human kind never stops to investigate. There is a continuous search for something. Therefore, people keep thinking, making up stuff, for good or bad reasons or moral or amoral intent. When the need for piling all these up under certain cultural categories, we find ourselves in a position to talk about “Christian culture”, “Islamic Culture”, “African Culture”, “Slavic Culture” and other stuff. Leaning too heavily on these kinds of categorizations is, at best, “dangerous” because it alienates people from their likenesses based simply on genealogy or strains of faith.

    You can see that there is a continuous need for scholars to maintain the continuity of the tradition and to defend it against distortions.

    What scholars produce and diffuse IS the distortion itself.
    The better, peaceful, humane versions of Islam are those that rely only on the Quran and approach it within the context of its time. The moment you validate the bulk of “reboots” that were seen within the 14 centuries, you distort your very own connection with what you claim to have some heavenly meaning.
    Think of it like this:
    You have some headaches and visit a doctor. Ask for a prescription. And the doctor writes down two things:
    1) The medication itself
    2) Any drug else you can find and use
    Though you clearly fail to see, the proposition you make about the “sources” of Islam is practically the same thing.
    What kind of a doctor can be so irresponsible?
    I get the feeling that you are a person who tries to be honest and helpful, and your effort in spreading what you consider as God’s word is an extension of this positive nature of yours.
    However, you’re starting off on the wrong foot when your very own perception of the religion you follow is totally recoiled.
    I can not know if you could convert anyone on this platform to Islam if you had narrowed down what you consider as “the source material”. But, with more than one driver at the wheel, I’m certain that you have no chance of doing that.
    I suggest you check out some other approaches to Islam that have not relied on Arabic culture as the vessel of the faith.
    As I wrote before, the “argument” you try to make is more in line with “deism”, and even if you will not consider leaing the baggage coming with a particular religion, just try to put into order the content of the baggage.
    Because the “multiple sources” you mention are so unnecessarily and contradictingly unaccaptable that, not even I could have supported you back when I was considering myself to follow your current religion.

  127. Murat says

    @Mohammed #135
    I suggest you find online and watch the episode of the show on which John Loftus was the guest.

  128. Mohammed says

    @Murat
    The Prophet explained the Quran by his words and actions. I have no doubt in my mind that only an ignorant person would claim to follow the Quran but not the Prophetic example.

  129. John David Balla says

    @Mohammed #138 (and everyone)
    I would be most interested to see the difference in brain activity of a brain hopped up on absolute certitude versus one excited by doubt and critical inquiry. If anyone knows of such a study, please share. I would expect these differences to contrast and align with their approaches to epistemology. Similar neuroactivity would be a big surprise.

  130. RationalismRules says

    @Mohammed

    I believe the argument I presented is very clear. There must be an eternal being.

    As I have repeatedly pointed out, your argument does not get you to ETERNAL, nor does it get you to a BEING. All it gets you to is ‘something (or some things) which are responsible for bringing into existence the ‘creatures’. It does not get you to any of the characteristics of that ‘something’.
    All you have done is repeatedly assert these characteristics as though they are indisputable fact. “Something must bring these creatures into existence, so it must be an ETERNAL being above the earth and [insert additional assertions here]. Ta da!”

    Empty claims aren’t going to convince anybody here, because we are not credulous fools, Mohammed. You, on the other hand, I’m not so sure about.
     

    If you could tell me what you mean by supernatural or natural, I can tell you which meanings are rationally acceptable to the Prophets of God and which are not.

    Why would I give a flying crap what meanings are ‘rationally acceptable to the Prophets’ of your imaginary god? When you are in conversation with others what matters is that you share an understanding of the words you are using. That’s how communication through language works. I and others are not in conversation with your imaginary friend, so please tell it to butt the fuck out of our conversation.

  131. RationalismRules says

    @Mohammed
    Reading through your responses to others, I’ve just come across this little gem in #133.

    As for creation, most people intuitively accept this fact of creation which atheists deny. It is atheists who are swimming against the current. Most people believe in God and have no time for irrational speculations about matter and form.

    If you think the ‘most people’ argument is persuasive, then you presumably believe that Yahweh is the true god, since Christians currently outnumber Muslims 2.1 billion to 1.3 billion. And throughout the course of history, as the numbers of ‘most people’ has changed from one religion to another, so the ‘true’ god has changed with them.

    It’s a ridiculous argument, isn’t it?

    This is what’s known as an Appeal to Popularity fallacy. The popularity of a belief actually tells you nothing about whether or not it is true. If you want to claim yourself to be a ‘rational thinker’, you should educate yourself about the basic logical fallacies, and avoid them.

  132. Mohammed says

    @RationalismRules
    The God of the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims is one: the God of Abraham.

    You are insulting Him. That is the worst gamble you can possibly make. It is not rational in the least and you know that.
    Even if you are right in being frustrated with my attitude, would it make it right to insult God?! Does it not occur to you that God might be testing you at this moment? Would you sell His reward for His punishment just like that? I don’t know whether you genuinely did not understand the argument or are just disputing, but I know that you know that you are being unfair to yourself.

    ((And the thunder exalts with praise of Him – and so do the angels from fear of Him – and He sends the thunderbolts and strikes therewith whom He wills, while they dispute about God, and He is severe in assault.))

  133. Murat says

    @Mohammed

    …only an ignorant person would claim to follow the Quran but not the Prophetic example

    Does it not occur to you that God might be testing you at this moment?

    Let’s follow the first argument in the light of the latter.
    Just connect the dots and you will see for yourself believing in which “hadith” (a term that’s always been used in negative coding, as “worthless hearsay,” in the Quran) might have caused this, at the expense of who failing in the test:
    http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/middle-east-respiratory-syndrome-coronavirus-(mers-cov)

  134. RationalismRules says

    @Mohammed

    The God of the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims is one: the God of Abraham.

    Except, of course, that most Jews, Christians and Muslims don’t agree with you. And many of them have felt sufficiently strongly about their different gods that they have killed each other over it. (Which, by the way, is something no atheist has ever done – killed someone else for believing in the wrong god).
     

    You are insulting Him. etc. etc.

    No, actually I’m insulting you, for your nonsensical beliefs. That’s why I asked you to talk to it, because it’s your imaginary friend, not mine. I don’t address insults to figments of other people’s imagination – that would be absurd. If you think your imaginary friend is insulted by what I said then that’s your issue, not mine.
     
    The rest of your post is just Pascal’s Wager. If I was at all convinced by the “what if you’re wrong?” argument, I’d have to believe in every religion that ever promised “His reward” or threatened “His punishment”, which is pretty much all of them. As it happens, I don’t find imaginary threats and imaginary promises at all convincing – just more bullshit attempting to take the place of actual evidence. Seriously, that sort of nonsense might have had some weight back when people were still afraid of thunder and lightning and thought that blood sacrifice could get them a good harvest, but the carrot vs. stick god arguments belong in the past with those other ignorant superstitions. If you want to hang onto them that’s your business, but shouldn’t you be offering up a blood sacrifice too, just in case?

  135. paxoll says

    @Mohammed
    Not wanting to strawman you as English does not seem to be your first language, I have waited to say anything. At first it seemed like you were pulling a William Lane Craig, where you present all arguments that are each fallacious but you believe that their combined usage somehow equals a true conclusion. Not it is obvious that you are simple presuppositionalist. I recommend you go look up the following topics on Dillahunty’s youtube channel.

    Sye Ten Bruggencate
    Watchmaker
    Ontological Argument
    Argument from Contingency
    Argument from Design.

    Then branch out and look at other videos on these topics.
    I also think Murat is the best person to deal with the preaching that this has devolved into.

  136. Murat says

    @twarren1111 #5

    …a logically cogent syllogism that explains rationally why our universe was inevitable and exactly how it could come from nothing. And he specifically does NOT mean the ‘nothing’ of the quantum foam/fluctuations that occur on the Planck level…he starts from the actual concept of nothing. Nihil. Not.

    Is there a very brief and simple explanation to why it is OUR particular universe (and not another probable one) that was inevitable?

  137. Mohammed says

    @Murat
    Whether our Creator destroys us or chooses to spare us, what will protect you from the punishment of God if it comes to you?

  138. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    You are insulting Him. That is the worst gamble you can possibly make. It is not rational in the least and you know that.

    Whether our Creator destroys us or chooses to spare us, what will protect you from the punishment of God if it comes to you?

    Assuming facts not in evidence. In effect, you just made the argument known as Pascal’s Wager. The responses to this are numerous. The simplest response may be: I do not accept that there is a god that will punish me. Furthermore, I positively believe that there are no gods.

  139. Theisntist says

    So this God character will torture people for eternity for daring to withhold believing in something without evidence? That’s more evil than any sin a human could ever possibily commit.

  140. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed #131:

    As I said, God does not do our actions, He creates our actions we do.

    Define “creating an action” such that it is different from “doing an action”.
     

    We will have no excuse before God should we do evil in this life, because we would be responsible for our evil actions. […] People of good actions deserve good, and people of evil actions do not.

    The evil actions that God created?
     

    I do not believe we are puppets. I believe that we are willing, deciding agents.
    […]
    acceptance of God is an action subsisting in the servants of God.

    What does it mean for the action of acceptance to “subsist”, particularly in people who are not doing the action? How can this thing you call “subsisting action” be detected? (#53: “actions, must subsist in objects”) Otherwise how can anyone recognize what actions are available to decide?

  141. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Mohammed #112

    you are a slave to God whether you accept it or not. […] If you do good, you will do it only by His decree. If you do evil, you do it only by His decree. […] whomsoever God misguides, none can guide

  142. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @John David Balla #139:

    I would be most interested to see the difference in brain activity of a brain hopped up on absolute certitude versus one excited by doubt and critical inquiry.

    Articles: Epiphenom – Search: “Brain”
     
    Lots of fun stuff there. Do checkout the additional pages of results.

  143. Robink says

    @ Mohammed

    “I am using ‘being’ as ‘object’, or a ‘thing which has properties’.”

    Ok well you should know in English a “being” is usually used as a word to refer to an individual of some sort.

    “There can be nothing beyond objects and properties of objects.”

    So your god has physical attributes or manifestations that we should be able to identify then yes?

    “As for creation, most people intuitively accept this fact of creation which atheists deny.”

    I don’t really care what “most people” believe, I care about what can be demonstrated. Most people don’t hold to your personal religious beliefs either but I doubt that dissuades you from believing them.

    “Most people believe in God”

    Again, not relevant, but also not true in my country. And most people don’t believe in the same god you do. Let’s focus on the actual evidence rather than popularity contests.

    “Because there is nothing sensible in the universe which does not totally change, matter is not eternal. Yes, it is perfectly rational to believe that every world was preceded by another, but matter would still not be eternal.”

    “Eternal” need not be synonymous with “unchanging”.

    “This is because only particulars exist. Nothing exists beyond particulars. The genus or kind of particulars being eternal does not imply that the specific particular or the sum is. So if the genus of matter components is eternal, it does not imply that the matter components are. Matter is created out of other matter, and perishes into other matter.
    Many of these terms I believe are unnecessary. I think it is better if you think of things as trees, sun, earth, birds. You may call that matter, but it does not change the reality of what things are.”

    This is word salad I’m afraid.

    Your task is quite simple; if you believe everything you see around you is created give evidence why you believe this is so and evidence for what you believe the creator is and why.

  144. Loveromates says

    This is very profound because it means that you are a slave to God whether you accept it or not

    I remember this episode from caller Efe.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMrMYGJ-PYY&t=4657s

    If there is no news about terrorists, if Islam functions at the same level as evangelical Christianity, it is like Calvinism plus.
    I cannot imagine that some people can think so low of their humanity to the level that they are proud of being slave to a being who knows every single move that they make.

    If English was Mohammed’s first language, I am pretty sure that we will be listening to another version of Sye Ten Bruggacate.

  145. Mohammed says

    People, you can dispute about Predetermination all you want. But you cannot avoid this simple fact: You are responsible for your decisions and actions.

  146. Mohammed says

    @Robink
    God is a tremendous being above His creation. You may call that physical, but we Muslims do not. We choose to describe God as He describes Himself and as His Prophet described Him.
    You also brought up an important point about change. It also demonstrates why early Muslims were justified in avoiding confusing terms and sticking to scriptural ones.
    The truth is that an object subject to TOTAL change is not eternal but with beginning. This is what I specifically meant by ‘unchanging’ in that context: a BEING or OBJECT that may not possibly perish, and may not TOTALLY change. The only ‘unchanging’ being in this strict sense is God.

    As for the existence of events in the eternal being, that is absolutely true. No rational person can deny that there exist events in the eternal. We need not call that change, however, because the term might be confusing to many. An eternal being does not perish or totally change as we said.

    Rational people will not differ about this. Even if one denies God, this world is uncreated by God and so must be in perpetual motion.
    But as for believers who realize that this world is created by a God, they understand that it would not come into existence if God had no actions.
    Those actions and decisions in God are nonetheless UNCREATED, because they are His attributes, not His creatures. This is the rational belief held by the Prophets of God. They believed that God is an uncreated CREATOR, and that nothing of God is created by anything.
    The Quran like previous books confirms this truth. The Quran reads:

    ((Indeed, the vengeance of your Lord is severe.
    Indeed, it is He who originates creation and repeats.
    And He is the Forgiving, the Loving,
    Lord of the Throne of Glory,
    Doer of what He intends.))

  147. Murat says

    @Mohammed

    You may call that physical, but we Muslims do not. We choose to describe God as He describes Himself and as His Prophet described Him.

    Which is it?
    As he describes himself (meaning, your point of reference is whatever is written in the Quran)
    OR
    As his prophet described him (meaning, anything other than the content of the Quran, since nothing within the Quran can be considered to be the prophet’s remarks).
    See, you are not even coherent with drawing a line between what you consider to be “revelation” and “individual commentary”.
    This is like trying to sell a plane ticket to a person without having in hand the proper information about the point of departure.
    *
    My emphasis on this confusion of yours may be found off topic, but I’m trying to make a point here:
    Not that I would buy the ticket if you were able to provide consistent information on the travel, but at least there could have been a structure to what you are proposing.
    *

    Rational people will not differ about this. Even if one denies God, this world is uncreated by God and so must be in perpetual motion.
    But as for believers who realize that this world is created by a God, they understand that it would not come into existence if God had no actions.
    Those actions and decisions in God are nonetheless UNCREATED, because they are His attributes, not His creatures. This is the rational belief held by the Prophets of God. They believed that God is an uncreated CREATOR, and that nothing of God is created by anything.

    Change “prophets of God” with “prominent thinkers of their own geographies and times” and I will consider this approach a notable take on deism to discuss.
    In other words, try making this a two-step thing:
    First, lure people into a deistic notion, without citing any Islamic references.
    I believe you will be much better at that.
    If that works on any level for anyone, then, take the second step and begin to talk Islam.
    Mixing the two up is a bad strategy.

  148. Robink says

    @ Mohammed.

    I think we’re done here. I can’t continue to formulate any kind of dialogue with this steam of consciousness blather. I would suggest in future if you come here to debate these matters you consider bringing clear, well formulated arguments that don’t simply consist of empty assertions (“God is a tremendous being above His creation”), you use words as they are commonly understood and avoid simply making up terms (“TOTAL change”), you avoid cases of special pleading (“They believed that God is an uncreated CREATOR, and that nothing of God is created by anything.”) and you drop the attempts to defer to an imagined consensus (“Rational people will not differ about this”). None of these tactics are persuasive, and obviously people DO differ or we wouldn’t be here having this discussion.

  149. Theisntist says

    @mohammad

    “Indeed, the vengeance of your Lord is severe…and He is the Forgiving, the Loving,
    Lord of the Throne of Glory”

    I’m confused here, is he forgiving and loving or severely vengeful? It’s not possible to be both, especially when one of the sins that he shall avenge is simply believing what we believe, which is out of our control. (And if your arguments are any example, not believing is understandable!)

  150. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Please answer my questions from 151/152. Your theology is meaningless if you can’t explain
    – what it means to “create an action”
    – or for an action to “subsist”
    – or how “willing, deciding agents” can be “unwilling slaves who do good and do evil only by His decree”.

  151. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    * Correction: how “willing, deciding agents” can be “unaccepting slaves who do good and do evil only by His decree”.

  152. Mohammed says

    @Robink
    I have my many shortcomings but I think the points were clear in general. I sincerely believe that no rational person will disagree about the existence of uncreated events, just like he wouldn’t disagree over that he exists, or that one thing is half of two things. I know there are people who will argue about these things, but that is something that I, like the overwhelming majority of people, will regard as totally unreasonable. I am just stating a fact and I hope you understand me.

    @Theisntist
    There is no contradiction. God is forgiving and loving towards those good people who turn back to Him, but not towards those who don’t. We do not believe that God loves all things like some Christians do. God does not love evil people, for example, before they repent and accept Him as their Sovereign.

    This fact is in line with those two verses:
    ((The revelation of the Book is from God, the Exalted in Might, the Knowing.
    The forgiver of sin, acceptor of repentance, severe in punishment, owner of abundance. There is no deity except Him; to Him is the destination.))

  153. Mohammed says

    @CompulsoryAccount
    ‘Subsisting’ is simply ‘existing in’. The color of a tree is attributed to the tree and not to something else. It subsists in the tree because it is a property of the tree. The same is said about actions and decisions. It is us who decide and do our actions and decisions, not anyone else.

    Why are our actions created and decreed by God? It is because we were ourselves created by God. We did not create ourselves, so how is it even possible that we create our actions?!
    As for how God does so, I might never know the manner it which it happens. We will never have full knowledge of God. But I know that this is the case and that it is therefore not rationally impossible, because creation is everywhere around us and within us.

    ((Or were they created by nothing? Or were they the creators?
    Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they are sure of nothing))

  154. Monocle Smile says

    Oh, I see I’m being ignored.
    Why are you here, Mohammed? Do you think anyone reading this thread thinks you’re not a clown? If so, seek professional help, because that’s some serious delusion.

    If I could, I would light every Koran on fire and watch them burn. Fuck the book. If something’s real, you don’t need to quote a fucking book to demonstrate that it exists.

  155. Murat says

    @Mohammed
    For you are on shaky grounds, you keep not only pushing unsubstatntianted, and, more importanty, incoherent statements, but also use highly counter-islamic arguments:

    We do not believe that God loves all things like some Christians do. God does not love evil people, for example, before they repent and accept Him as their Sovereign.

    What you say here is so far from the actual mythologies of the two religions that, its exact opposite would be closer to representing their core values: In Christianity, there’s this concept called “the original sin” and people are believed to be born as sinners who can reach salvation only through Christ.
    However, according to Islam, every human is born “innocent”, and it is the process of growing up that stains their souls.
    Change the names of the religions in your sentence, and you will be closer to their perceptions of human soul and salvation.
    Do you know why you are making errors on multiple levels?
    Because what you advocate is “dogma”, and you are trying to evoke reasoning in order to support it.
    The more you keep trying this, the bigger you spin.
    Watch Matt’s debates with Matt Slick and Blake Giunta.
    You have practically the same material with them, but you are not providing a similar kind of discussion.

  156. Mohammed says

    @Monocle
    ((And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, you recognize in the faces of those who disbelieve disapproval. They are almost on the verge of assaulting those who recite to them Our verses. Say, “Then shall I inform you of what is worse than that? The Fire which God has promised those who disbelieve, and wretched is the destination.”
    O people, an example is presented, so listen to it. Indeed, those you invoke besides God will never create as much as a fly, even if they gathered together for that purpose. And if the fly should steal away from them a tiny thing, they could not recover it from him. Weak are the pursuer and pursued.
    They have not appraised God with true appraisal. Indeed, God is Powerful and Exalted in Might.))

  157. Mohammed says

    @Murat
    I believe that every human is born upon the natural disposition, that he will believe in God were he left untested. I believe that human beings are born innocent and without sin.
    But I also believe that ((God does not love the wrongdoers.))

  158. Theisntist says

    @Moammed
    You are conflating belief with goodness, but in reality these are more likely to be opposites. The less religious a country, state or region, the less crime, violence and unfairness in that society. This is empirically, universally true.

    And what is accomplished by God sending non believers to eternal torture with no hope of redemption other that satiating a sadistic, evil deity?

  159. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed #165:

    ‘Subsisting’ is simply ‘existing in’.

    What does it mean for an action to “exist” in a way that is different from “doing”?
     

    The color of a tree is attributed to the tree and not to something else.

    You attributed trees’ height to God.
     
    Mohammed #112:

    The one who creates a tree creates its height.

    Trees build their own height from seeds by metabolizing material from the environment, assembling cells, and stacking them. Those are actions trees DO.
     
    You say God doesn’t DO any of this in the tree. It sounds like when you say “create” you mean “claims credit for what others do”. How does God relate to what the tree does AT ALL (without repeating the so far undefined label ‘create’)? It sounds like you’re saying that God is feeble and vain and a liar – and you don’t know how he could be otherwise.
     
    @Mohammed #165:

    how is it even possible that we create our actions?! As for how God does so, I might never know the manner it which it happens. We will never have full knowledge of God.

    If your words are nonsense, we can’t enact them (trees won’t disappear because that theological model is a failure)… and neither could God (your religion collapses into meaninglessness because you have nothing to say).
     
    Mohammed #135:

    I prefer to use words which are not dubious.

  160. Mohammed says

    @Theisntist
    What is accomplished is a manifestation of divine justice.
    ((Or do those who commit evils think We will make them like those who have believed and done righteous deeds – equal in their life and their death? Evil is that which they judge.))

    True faith bears good fruits. Disbelief does not. This is why true belief is many times mentioned with goodness.
    Our Prophet Muhammad taught us: “There is a piece of flesh in the body which, if good, the whole body becomes good, but if corrupted, the whole body becomes corrupted – it is the heart.”

  161. Murat says

    @Mohammed
    :)))

    True faith bears good fruits. Disbelief does not. This is why true belief is many times mentioned with goodness.

    You know the first principle of Islam:
    “La ilaha illallah”
    (There are no gods other than Allah)
    Islam was not born / sent / developed in response to “atheism” or anything like that.
    It was a revolt aganist the popular polideistic mythology of its time and era.
    Hence, the key phrase stresses on a DISBELIF in the “other gods”, and NOT a belief on Allah, which was already established as the major god.
    If faith bears good fruits but disbelief does not, then why reject the greater part of the harvest by repeating the motto?
    Let’s believe in every single god and save some dried fruits for the winter of our existence!

  162. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed #173:

    Prophet Muhammad taught us: “There is a piece of flesh in the body which, if good, the whole body becomes good […] it is the heart.”

    Hearts can be transplanted from one person into another person, and it doesn’t change the recipient’s deeds, beliefs, or religious affiliation.

  163. Murat says

    @Sky Captain
    Far as I know, 7th century Arabs (and maybe some other nations) used to think that “thoughts” generated from the heart. And this is why in no part of the holy texts we see a reference to “brains”. Whenever reasoning, deduction, memory etc are mentioned, the object of the statement is “the heart”.
    I have no idea what function they believed the brain to have at that time.
    In the following centuries, researchers / doctors from the world of Islam have examined and sorted out the functions of the brain, but of course, for the text was untouchable, no one dared / cared to change the “heart”s with “brain”s, leading to today’s apologetics argue that the wording in the Quran was “allegoric”, and not a result of assigning the heart to cognitive features.

  164. Monocle Smile says

    @Sky Captain
    Careful, the second you start explaining that our understanding of reality far surpasses his shit-ass texts, he’ll start ignoring you.

  165. Theisntist says

    @ Mohammed
    Are you saying that even if one lives their life as justly as possible out of a desire to be good to their fellow human, but who does not believe a God exists based on the evidence, they are still considered evil and condemned to eternal torture by a loving and forgiving God? Because that’s a contradiction in terms.

  166. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Murat #176:

    Far as I know, 7th century Arabs (and maybe some other nations) used to think that “thoughts” generated from the heart.
    […]
    I have no idea what function they believed the brain to have at that time.

    Trained physicians back then may have known better, had any of them been consulted.
     
     
    Article: Medicine in the medieval Islamic world

    Most likely, the Arabian physicians became familiar with the Graeco-Roman and late Hellenistic medicine through direct contact with physicians who were practicing in the newly conquered regions rather than by reading the original or translated works.
    […]
    In 825, the Abbasid caliph Al-Ma’mun founded the House of Wisdom […] Led by the Christian physician Hunayn ibn Ishaq, and with support by [Byzantium], all available works from the antique world were translated, including Galen, Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Ptolemy and Archimedes.
     
    It is currently understood that the early Islamic medicine was mainly informed directly from Greek sources from the Academy of Alexandria

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Byzantine medicine

    from about 400 AD to 1453 AD. […] The medical practices of the Byzantine Empire originated from the Greek physician Hippocrates and Roman Physician Galen.

     
    Article: History of neuroscience

    Ancient Greeks developed differing views on the function of the brain. […] In the 4th century BC Hippocrates, believed the brain to be the seat of intelligence (based, among others before him, on Alcmaeon’s [5th century] work). During the 4th century BC Aristotle thought that, while the heart was the seat of intelligence, the brain was a cooling mechanism for the blood.
    […]
    During the Roman Empire, the Greek anatomist Galen [129-210 CE] dissected the brains of sheep, monkeys, dogs, swine, among other non-human mammals. He concluded that, as the cerebellum was denser than the brain, it must control the muscles, while as the cerebrum was soft, it must be where the senses were processed. Galen further theorized that the brain functioned by movement of animal spirits through the ventricles.
    […]
    Circa 1000, Al-Zahrawi, living in Islamic Iberia, evaluated neurological patients and performed surgical treatments of head injuries, skull fractures, spinal injuries, hydrocephalus, subdural effusions and headache.

  167. says

    @Compulsory –

    It makes sense to me that anyone dealing with medicine, even ancient medicine, who dealt with any sort of head injury, might start to realize that whatever was in a person’s skull was tied to capacity to think and reason. It’s almost obvious when you consider how demonstrable that would be for someone who is tasked with helping people with head injuries–of which I’m sure they saw many during wars and battles?

  168. Murat says

    Most of us are not aware of heart’s thinking ability. Traditionally, the study of communication pathways between the brain and heart has been approached from a rather one-sided perspective, with scientists focusing primarily on the heart’s responses to the brain’s commands. Now, we learn from the research that communication between the heart and brain is actually a dynamic, ongoing, two-way dialog, with each organ continuously influencing the others function. Scientists also believe that heart has its own “brain” – an intrinsic nervous system! It’s not clear what it does or if it is subservient to the higher brain. But it is clear that it is there. The Quran emphases the importance of using our hearts (39:23; 57:16).

    https://submission.org/friday_thinking_with_the_heart.html

  169. Mohammed says

    It is sad how people intentionally miss the point.

    Contrary to what was said, the early Muslims assigned a cognitive role to the brain. Ahmad ibn Hanbal, who was an unrelenting follower of the Quran and the Sunnah, understood that the brain plays a role in the reasoning process. Ibn Taymiyya, the Shaykh of Islam, believed that thoughts begin in the brain. They differentiated between thoughts and decisions, and also believed in the soul.
    When I ignore, it is because I prefer to concentrate on important things.

  170. Mohammed says

    @Theisntist
    God sends His Messengers with signs because He loves to excuse people. Only those who reject the signs will be punished. A person who does not receive a Prophet in this life will be tested later. The Quran reads:

    ((Whoever is guided is only guided for the good of his soul. And whoever errs only errs against it. And no laden soul will bear the another’s load. And never would We punish until We sent a messenger.))

    A good person would not reject his Creator who gave him everything. That is being ungrateful and rebellious. It is the opposite of being good. There are of course people who reject God but may do good to other people. Those will be given their full reward in this life, and will have nothing when they meet God.

    ((Whoso desires the life of the world and its pomp, We shall repay them their deeds herein, and therein they will not be wronged.
    Those are they for whom is naught in the Hereafter save the Fire. All that they contrive here is vain and all that they are wont to do is fruitless.
    Is he to be counted equal with them who relies on a clear proof from his Lord, and a witness from Him recites it, and before it was the Book of Moses, an example and a mercy? Such believe therein, and whoso disbelieves therein of the clans, the Fire is his appointed place. So be not in doubt concerning it. Indeed, it is the Truth from your Lord; but most of mankind believe not.))

  171. Murat says

    @Mohammed

    Contrary to what was said, the early Muslims assigned a cognitive role to the brain. Ahmad ibn Hanbal, who was an unrelenting follower of the Quran and the Sunnah, understood that the brain plays a role in the reasoning process. Ibn Taymiyya, the Shaykh of Islam, believed that thoughts begin in the brain. They differentiated between thoughts and decisions, and also believed in the soul.

    The first sentence actually means “Contrary to what was said IN THE QURAN…”, and you understand this, right?
    Of course people who were using their brains were able to understand that it was the brain that had the cognitive role, and not the heart.
    But the man on the street, at that time, thought it was the heart, and the language of the Quran was constructed in a way to appeal to that ignorant majority, hence, the Quran talks about the heart as if it is home to the process of thinking.
    In the light of the links in my former posts, you can clearly see how today’s apologetics try to twist and bend this simple facts by trying ridiculously hard to give a cognitive role to the heart.

  172. Loveromates says

    A good person would not reject his Creator who gave him everything. That is being ungrateful and rebellious. It is the opposite of being good. There are of course people who reject God but may do good to other people. Those will be given their full reward in this life, and will have nothing when they meet God.

    This is the reason I really hate talking with Christians and Muslims when they try to guilt me into believing in their god.
    My ancestors have been Buddhists for many generations. They don’t have Abrahamic concept of god. The tenet of their religion don’t have monotheistic concept. Moreover, belief is a matter of conscience or heart; it is not a choice that I can intentionally make.

    The fact that you cannot accept it is the reason religious minorities keep being persecuted in your beloved Islamic state. You are very much like fundamentalist Christians, who love to accuse people for not believing in the same thing that they do.

    However, I will go along with your argument. My response would be “Fine. I will have nothing when I meet your god. No problem. I live my life based on values that my family pass on me; I treat people with kindness; I am willing to go out of my way to help people; I have compassion for non human creatures.
    If I receive all rewards you mention in this life and not after I die, I am all right with it. When I achieve my fulfillment in this life, I have no regret at all. Whatever happens afterwards is not in my control. No reward in afterlife is actually not too bad. As long as I don’t do things that violate my conscience, I have nothing to fear.

  173. indianajones says

    Just kinda skimmed through that lot.
    Mohammed is being dealt with, just wanted to echo the thoughts of the bar-flies.
    jak3d: Pretty much you have a decent understanding of a broad sketch AFAIK.

  174. says

    “Only those who reject the signs will be punished. A person who does not receive a Prophet in this life will be tested later.”

    Bit of a nasty game your god plays isn’t it? Put obscure signs that only some people can interpret, and then punish those who say. “I can’t see a sign there”.

    Meanwhile, we as humans can make signs that are not open to interpretation. An example might be the humble stop sign. It’s bright red and says “STOP” right in the middle of it. It is so universal that no matter where you drive in the world you know what to do when you see one.

    So Mohammed. Why is it that we humans, who are infinitely more limited in intellect than your god, are better at communication than him?

    Gee, one could be forgiven for thinking that your god was creation of man, who used threats as an enticement to get people to believe.

  175. Mohammed says

    @Loveromates
    It is the believers in God who will be safe. You ought to not follow your fathers if they are on the wrong. We ought to follow truth. I am not even encouraging you to leave your philosophy for something less. I am calling you to accept what is better. Understand that I am not calling you to be a slave to ideas of men. Don’t be a slave to any other human being. Be a servant of God above. He will elevate you and dignify you, and give you the best of this world and the next.

    @Shaun
    Shaun, your very existence is sign of the Creator. It is far more indicative of God than a road sign is for direction. You are neither independent nor eternal. You began to exist and will die.

  176. Murat says

    @Mohammed

    Understand that I am not calling you to be a slave to ideas of men.

    The whole point of the discussion is for you prove what you uphold as god’s message is not just another one of the ideas of men.

  177. Mohammed says

    The Quran is unlike the words of men. It is a miracle in both words and meanings. You probably have not appreciated the Arabic wording as miraculous, but you must have appreciated the meanings of the Quran to be as such.

    ((O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may ward off evil –

    Who made for you the earth a bed, and the sky a canopy; and sent down water from the sky, thereby producing fruits as food for you. So do not set up rivals to God when you know better.

    And if you are in doubt concerning that which We sent down upon Our Servant, then produce a chapter of the like thereof, and call your witnesses beside God if you are truthful.

    But if you do not – and you will never be able to – then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.

    And give glad tidings to those who believe and do good works; that they will have Gardens beneath which rivers flow; as often as they are regaled with food of the fruit thereof, they say: this is what was given to us before; and it is given to them in resemblance. There for them are purified spouses; there forever they abide.))

  178. Murat says

    @Mohammed

    The Quran is unlike the words of men.

    It isn’t.

    It is a miracle in both words and meanings.

    It isn’t.

    You probably have not appreciated the Arabic wording as miraculous, but you must have appreciated the meanings of the Quran to be as such.

    No.
    I was introduced to is as dogma, just like you were.
    Later, I clearly saw that it was just another collection of texts, and that the people not understanding this were deluded by the aura created around that book in order to protect it from “blasphemy”. So, yes, the “packaging” and “safekeeping” of the taboo was really very cleverly constructed. Even more cleverly than anything in the content.
    *
    There’s this book of stories of fantasy by Michael Ende. In one story, the character mentions getting inside a mysterious shop. On top of the door is a graving of hunters throwing arrows at a deer. But at second look, you notice that the image of the deer is nothing other than the collection of arrows aimed at it.
    I don’t recall if there was a solid reference to Escher’s illustrations in the story, but I never forgot the verbal depiction of this particular detail.
    *
    The way you insist on looking at the book is what constructs the uniqueness of the book itself.
    The content has no importance at this point.
    If Derren Brown pulls a mental trick on you and changes the verses of the book, erases or blocks your memory from recalling the original content, then you will simply wake up to another day, with other pieces of text on your mind as “holy”, still thinking they “can not be words of men”.

  179. Mohammed says

    Contrary to what was said, the first Muslims were truthful and honest, the chains of recitation remain unbroken, and the reciters agree. This is just as one would expect from the following verse:
    ((Indeed, it is We who sent down the Reminder and indeed, We will be its guardian.))

    This religion is easy, but is nonetheless based on sincerity and tremendous sacrifices which will continue to the Last Days. It is not a deception.
    It was authentically narrated in Bukhari that Ubada ibn as-Samit said: “We gave the oath of allegiance to the Messenger of God that we would listen and obey him at both times of strength and times of hardship, that we would not fight against those in charge, and that we would say the truth wherever we might be, not fearing in the way of God the blame of the blamers.”

  180. RationalismRules says

    @Murat
    You’re doing a fine job with this one. While most of us here can destroy Mohammed’s attempts at ‘rational’ arguments, it takes someone with your knowledge of the religion to point out that he is even failing in his understanding of his own holy book.

    I am enjoying your posts. Keep up the good work!

  181. Robert Delaney says

    In response to Gonefishen (#30), I have to unfortunately agree.

    I live in Austin and I’ve watched the Atheist Experience since before Matt was the host, starting back on public access before streaming was even a thing. I haven’t missed an episode in years. That doesn’t give my opinion any more importance or validity, I only mention it for context to say that I’m well familiar with the show and it’s evolution.

    I used to look forward to Matt’s hostings, and now I watch them with a bit of the same cringing feeling you described. I felt a small shift beginning a few years ago, slowly, as Matt started doing more debates and speaking engagements. Then I noticed small changes, like casually referring to Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins by their first name (before they’d ever met) and taking many opportunities to elevate himself (and subsequently elevate himself above the callers). The show did not used to have such a smug or antagonistic feeling. Sure, it would sometimes get to antagonistic places (especially back in the Jeff Dee days when a caller would suggest that Jeff is bound for eternal hellfire), but it rarely felt as if it started from a place of perceived superiority. The addition of people like Phil and John to the show has helped to temper that a bit in recent years, but not enough to balance it in my humble opinion.

    I’m not suggesting that my opinion is the end all be all, or that I have any right to demand any changes, etc. I understand I am welcome to not watch the show, and I hope that it is understood that I am only offering my critique as a long time fan and nothing more. I understand that Matt will do as he pleases and that the show will take whatever direction those in charge believe it should take. I’m not expecting anything to change.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Matt’s and I have been for many many years.
    But over the past couple of years it seems evident that the biggest fan of Matt is Matt himself. At least that is the way he comes across, whether he means to or not.

    I only wish he could get a tiny bit of humility and patience back which made him (and the show) much more enjoyable to watch and, in my opinion, productive as a vehicle for true dialogue and potential change.

  182. Monocle Smile says

    @Robert Delaney
    Personally, I thought Matt was extraordinarily patient with both of the first theist callers. He let Mohammed in particular prattle on for quite a while.
    If you cringe, then try watching TalkHeathen or listening to Dogma Debate, where the hosts let the callers deliver entire sermons before speaking up. THAT is cringey, to me.

    like casually referring to Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins by their first name (before they’d ever met) and taking many opportunities to elevate himself (and subsequently elevate himself above the callers).

    I have not once heard this.
    What I do hear is frustration with: 1) old, tired apologetics that have been demolished a thousand times, 2) “gotcha” calls that are made in bad faith (like the “god is that which is worshiped” caller), 3) blatant lies, 4) preaching, and 5) batshit crazy woo (like that of Thomas, the last caller). I don’t really recall Matt being overly unreasonable with callers who avoid all of these, and that’s not exactly a high bar to set.

  183. Robert Delaney says

    @Monocle Smile

    To each their own, obviously.
    I stopped listening to Dogma Debate a couple of years ago when the show become more focused on Smalley himself. It was a much more enjoyable show to me when Rachel Brown and Aron Ra were on it. I’ve never watched TalkHeathen, perhaps I should finally give it a try.

    In regards to Matt, I should probably add that I didn’t particularly find him less patient in this episode than any other in recent memory, my comment was intended more in reference to what I have perceived as a general trend in a shift of his style over the past few years.

    In regards to the ‘first name basis’ comment I made, I would have to go back and dig up the episodes I suppose. In and of itself it’s not some huge offense, I mentioned because I saw it as a symptom of a greater problem of perceived self-importance. Again, I don’t think Matt intends to come across this way. Not at all.

    In terms of his frustration level, I agree with you. And I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to deal with those same issues week after week. In that case perhaps he should step away from the show for a little bit. His reactions sometimes reminds me of when your spouse or significant other may have had a bad day at work… you come home and next thing you know you’re getting in an argument, not because of anything you did or said but because of what they brought home with them from their previous interactions. Matt sometimes seems to treat the shows as one big dialogue, without realizing that the callers have the disadvantage of not having watched every show, or coordinating with other callers.

    You’re right that dealing with the same arguments over and over is frustrating. But most callers have no idea that those arguments have been used over and over. As someone I know often says, “every day someone is born who has never seen the Flintstones.”

    I’m not saying I could be any more patient, that’s for sure. I know that I couldn’t.
    I’m certain it’s tough to approach each caller with fresh patience and respect.
    But just because it’s tough doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to do it.

  184. Murat says

    @Robert Delaney

    In regards to the ‘first name basis’ comment I made, I would have to go back and dig up the episodes I suppose. In and of itself it’s not some huge offense, I mentioned because I saw it as a symptom of a greater problem of perceived self-importance. Again, I don’t think Matt intends to come across this way. Not at all.

    The man is currently writing a book named “If I Were God”.
    And it took Dustin Hoffman many years to fully recover from his role in Rain Man.

  185. Loveromates says

    It is the believers in God who will be safe. You ought to not follow your fathers if they are on the wrong. We ought to follow truth. I am not even encouraging you to leave your philosophy for something less. I am calling you to accept what is better. Understand that I am not calling you to be a slave to ideas of men. Don’t be a slave to any other human being. Be a servant of God above. He will elevate you and dignify you, and give you the best of this world and the next.

    I am not a slave of any being, natural or supernatural. I don’t even want to own an animal because I don’t like the idea of ownership.
    Who are you to decide what is better for me? Do you live my life? Do you have access to my mind and my heart?
    I don’t follow every value

  186. Loveromates says

    It is the believers in God who will be safe. You ought to not follow your fathers if they are on the wrong. We ought to follow truth. I am not even encouraging you to leave your philosophy for something less. I am calling you to accept what is better. Understand that I am not calling you to be a slave to ideas of men. Don’t be a slave to any other human being. Be a servant of God above. He will elevate you and dignify you, and give you the best of this world and the next.

    I am not a slave of any being, natural or supernatural. I don’t even want to own an animal because I don’t like the idea of ownership.
    Who are you to decide what is better for me? Do you live my life? Do you have access to my mind and my heart?
    I don’t follow every value from my family. I have a mind to think for myself. I take the same approach to religious texts as well.

  187. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed #184:

    When I ignore, it is because I prefer to concentrate on important things.

     
    #185: his Creator who gave him everything
     
    #190: your very existence is sign of the Creator
     
    #192: your Lord, who created you and those before you
     
    You keep using the word, when you don’t know what it means.
     
    Clearly you think the word is important, that you make God’s authority depend on having the feature.
     
    You risk eternal punishment if you cannot recognize signs properly. You should be able to say what “create” means.

  188. Mohammed says

    @CompulsoryAccount
    I already explained this in sufficient detail before you arrived at the thread.
    An act of creation is when an agent brings something else into existence after it is nonexistent, not necessarily out of nothing, but also out of another.

  189. Monocle Smile says

    @Mohammed

    I already explained this in sufficient detail before you arrived at the thread.

    Blatant lie. You didn’t explain that at all.

    An act of creation is when an agent brings something else into existence after it is nonexistent, not necessarily out of nothing, but also out of another.

    Earlier, you said that making a table is not an act of creation, nor is making a child.
    So you were lying earlier or you’re lying now, and it’s incredibly obvious.
    You’re an embarrassment to your religion and humanity.

  190. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed #204:

    I already explained this in sufficient detail before you arrived at the thread

    Then what does it mean to “create an action” such that it “exists” in a way that is different from “doing”?
     
     

    An act of creation is when an agent brings something else into existence after it is nonexistent, not necessarily out of nothing, but also out of another.

     
    Mohammed #132:

    I believe that we are willing, deciding agents

    So *we* are the agents who create? What is left for God?

  191. Mohammed says

    @CompulsoryAccount
    It is rationally impossible for someone to create his own actions in another, or to be described by the actions of someone or something else.
    We do not create our actions. We do our actions.

  192. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed @207:

    It is rationally impossible for someone to create his own actions in another […] We do our actions.

    How is it rationally possible to create /someone else’s/ actions?

  193. Robink says

    “I have my many shortcomings but I think the points were clear in general. I sincerely believe that no rational person will disagree about the existence of uncreated events, just like he wouldn’t disagree over that he exists, or that one thing is half of two things. I know there are people who will argue about these things, but that is something that I, like the overwhelming majority of people, will regard as totally unreasonable. I am just stating a fact and I hope you understand me.”

    Once again, the reason you are getting confusion and disagreement with your statements comes because the terminology you use is incredibly vague and designed to lead to a specific conclusion. I don’t know what a “created event” is as opposed to an uncreated event for instance to even assess what is likely or true. However you shouldn’t come to a debate with an assumption that your viewpoints are simply fact, be prepared to support them.

  194. Mohammed says

    @CompulsoryAccount
    It is not rationally impossible because creation is not rationally impossible.
    I cannot tell you the MANNER in which creation happens. I can only tell WHY it does happen. It is because things begin to exist. For me to answer how it happens, I must know how God creates and how He is.
    The matter you are asking about is a clear consequence of God being a Creator. He creates the world and everything in it. How can He not be the Creator of our properties and actions?!

    @Robink
    Uncreated is simply: without Creator, or not brought into existence by an external being. That is, it does not depend in its existence on something external.
    I don’t see how the fact of creation can be vague at all, Robink. It is understood by the vast majority of people. You must have understood it as a child because all children know it. If what you say about yourself is true, you must have forgotten it at some point in your life. I believe you will remember it if you introspect about your past.

    @Monocle
    Islam is not your enemy. It is your salvation. Be honest and fair.

  195. Monocle Smile says

    @Mohammed

    The matter you are asking about is a clear consequence of God being a Creator. He creates the world and everything in it. How can He not be the Creator of our properties and actions?!

    Prove it. Quoting a book is now how you fucking prove it.

    I don’t see how the fact of creation can be vague at all, Robink. It is understood by the vast majority of people. You must have understood it as a child because all children know it.

    This is a blatant, heinous lie. But it is also irrelevant. Fuck what the “majority” of people believe. The “majority” of people couldn’t find their own asshole with a map. The world is full of clueless knuckle-draggers.

    Islam is not your enemy. It is your salvation. Be honest and fair.

    Fuck that. Islam and Christianity are two colossal threats to the well-being of humanity. They need to be destroyed. Your god does not exist. You believe a lie.
    Why do you continue to ignore the important stuff? Why do you always reply with pointless, offensive preaching or repetitions of your previous bullshit? You’ve been caught in a number of lies, yet don’t even seem to notice. What’s wrong with you? Are you really that delusional?

  196. Robink says

    “I don’t see how the fact of creation can be vague at all”

    It’s extraordinary vague because you haven’t made any differentiation between someone doing an action, an action “subsisting” in an object or an action being “created” by an external source, or actually defined what you mean by any of these things and how you came to that conclusion.

    When I see an action taking place I see evidence of someone doing something, what I don’t see is an act of “creation” going on behind this. To make this point you’re going to have to provide actual reasoning and evidence, and you’re definitely going to have to provide evidence for what you believe this creator is and why. You continually skip right past this to calling it “God” or “an eternal being”.

  197. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed #210:

    How can He not be the Creator of our properties and actions?!

    You said “we are willing, deciding agents”.
     
    How (or Why) is that compatible with being “unaccepting slaves who do good and do evil only by His decree”?
     
    If they are not compatible, and if you maintain that we *are* deciding agents, then it would be nonsense to say God is the “Creator of our actions”.
     
    If your words are nonsense, not even God can enact them.
     
    Mohammed #132:

    we are willing, deciding agents. Without these decisions, we would not be responsible for what we do. Reward and justice would make no sense.

  198. Loveromates says

    Fuck that. Islam and Christianity are two colossal threats to the well-being of humanity. They need to be destroyed. Your god does not exist. You believe a lie.
    Why do you continue to ignore the important stuff? Why do you always reply with pointless, offensive preaching or repetitions of your previous bullshit? You’ve been caught in a number of lies, yet don’t even seem to notice. What’s wrong with you? Are you really that delusional?

    Be careful, Monocle Smile. You are dealing with a Ray Comfort plus. This guy may not be happy with your language and convinced that your head should be cut off for insulting his deity. Do you remember Aziz?

    I have to admit that despite Aziz’s mental gymnastic, he at least tried to have a conversation with non Muslim. Mohammed, in contrast, plays presuppositionalism on everyone in this board. I feel like he is not capable of being respectful to non Muslims with all his non stop imposing statements.

  199. Mohammed says

    @CompulsoryAccount
    You are asking me the same question again. All you did was use the term ‘compatible’ instead of the term ‘possible’. I can only refer you to my previous answer.

    @Robink
    You can replace ‘subsists in an object’ with ‘describes an object’, and it should make absolutely no difference.

    Do we not agree an effect is due to a corresponding and suitable agent?
    For example, I see an apple sliced in two, I understand it is due to a ‘slicing’ agent.
    I see a painting, it is due to a ‘painting’ agent.
    I see a built house, it is due to a ‘building’ agent.
    In the same way, I see a thing coming into existence, it is due to an agent that brought it into existence.

  200. RationalismRules says

    @jake3d
    Sorry for lack of responses – I’m guessing your post was held up waiting for moderator approval.

    I’ve encountered that definition of gnostic / agnostic before, but it’s not how the term tends to be used at AXP. The general approach here is that theism / atheism is a position on belief, whereas gnosticism / agnosticism is a position on knowledge.

    So most people around here would probably go for something along the following lines:
    agnostic theist – I’m not certain, but on balance I do believe that a god exists
    gnostic theist – I know that god exists
    agnostic atheist – I’m not certain that no gods exist, but I don’t believe in any of the ones I’ve been presented with
    gnostic atheist – I know that no gods exist

    Specifically in relation to atheism, it’s not correct to equate ‘hard’ with ‘gnostic’.
    atheism = the lack of belief in any god(s)
    this encompasses both
    soft atheism = I don’t believe in any god(s)
    hard atheism = I believe no gods exist
    Both are still statements of belief, not claims of knowledge.

    So, for example, I am a hard atheist (for the same reasons I’m a hard a-fairy-ist), but I don’t claim to know that no gods exist, any more than I claim to know no fairies actually exist. I’m an agnostic hard atheist.

    I think you’d be hard pressed to find many around here who would claim knowledge of the lack of existence of any gods, for the simple reason that it is pretty much impossible to prove the lack of existence of a thing, especially something as broadly defined as a deity.

  201. Murat says

    @Sky Captain
    I think what he is trying to say is that, there are a limited number of “actions” people can choose from, some good, some evil, and that humans are not able to come up with any specific “action” as their own “creation”, that they can only choose to pick whichever they like from the menu.
    I don’t know how this contributes to any argument, nor if it would make sense at all (since, if nothing else, what causes climate change is the result of man-made actions) but that seems to be what he is suggesting by replacing one verb with the other.

  202. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Mohammed
    I see no agent at work when an unstable atomic nucleus undergoes apparently-spontaneous and apparently-random and apparently-uncaused decay. There is no metaphorical “slicer”. We see atoms that appear identical, and sometimes it will decay right now, and sometimes it takes minutes to decay, and sometimes it takes years to decay. It really seems as though there is no “cause” in the normal sense of the word.

  203. Murat says

    @Mohammed

    Do we not agree an effect is due to a corresponding and suitable agent?
    For example, I see an apple sliced in two, I understand it is due to a ‘slicing’ agent.
    I see a painting, it is due to a ‘painting’ agent.
    I see a built house, it is due to a ‘building’ agent.
    In the same way, I see a thing coming into existence, it is due to an agent that brought it into existence.

    This practically means there is no (necessity for) god.
    Because in nature, apples grow as wholes, unsliced.
    There are no paintings or buildings in nature.

  204. RationalismRules says

    @EL, Murat
    There are also natural effects that have a cause, but no agent. A boulder rolling down a hill, because rain has caused erosion of the earth underneath it – a string of cause & effect, with no agency required.

  205. Murat says

    @RR
    When Jackson Pollock was painting, did he know exactly what splatter of the paint would end on which part of the canvas, or how big it would be?
    No.
    But he knew that, the force he applied to his arm and the amount of paint he had on the tool would have some effect on the outcome.
    Thus, I tend to differentiate between approaches to the claim of “agency”:
    – God uses its agency over every single action, big or small, and orchestrates everything.
    – God uses its agency for setting the mechanisms that we humans understand as “laws of physics / nature”, and the rest of what is going to happen remains constrained within the borders of his initial desire.
    The first of the two gods is like Rembrandt.
    The latter, much more like Pollock.
    For a deistic argument, I’d definitely go with the Pollock-like god. Because with the first comes the problem of “free will” among many other issues from the heavy baggage of religions.
    If it were up to me, what kind of a painter god would I wish there to be?
    Van Gogh, for he was original, lonely, of good intent, powerful, yet, unstable.
    Would have more explanatory power.

  206. says

    “Shaun, your very existence is sign of the Creator.”

    Oh come on! That is absolute rubbish. The only thing my existence proves is that my parents had sex (ugh, why did I have to think of that?) and that set in process a biological chain of events that culminated in my birth.

    If you want to believe it nonsense like that, go right ahead. Any god that wants to verify his existence to me needs more clarity of communication.

    I’m never going down the path of you need to believe because I believe and I told you of this belief,so you have to as well. And frankly, the only evidence I have had for god is other people telling me – and I don’t believe them.

  207. Murat says

    @Mohammed

    Contrary to what was said, the first Muslims were truthful and honest, the chains of recitation remain unbroken, and the reciters agree. This is just as one would expect from the following verse:
    ((Indeed, it is We who sent down the Reminder and indeed, We will be its guardian.))

    This religion is easy, but is nonetheless based on sincerity and tremendous sacrifices which will continue to the Last Days. It is not a deception.
    It was authentically narrated in Bukhari that Ubada ibn as-Samit said: “We gave the oath of allegiance to the Messenger of God that we would listen and obey him at both times of strength and times of hardship, that we would not fight against those in charge, and that we would say the truth wherever we might be, not fearing in the way of God the blame of the blamers.”

    Ayyyy ayyy ayyy aiii aiii!
    I just saw this one. And it’s a mess. :))))
    Mohammed, I’m sorry to say that but you are not really a muslim in your own god’s eyes.
    Because you are in severe contradiction with the basic principle of those you praise as “first muslims” whom you say were “truthful and honest”.
    The strain of gossip / fabrication / myth you follow does NOT even come close to what you, on the other hand, register as “the original source and revelation”.
    There is absolutely no way of NOT being a “mushriq” once you cite Bukhari while talking about Islamic theology.
    Who are these people, man?
    What you are advocating is, at best, “cultural Arabness” of a particular kind. You are putting into the bag anything and everything. This is so terribly messed up that I will need to get back to the example with the patient and the doctor:
    *
    By your own admission, the “first muslims” were doing okay.
    Why?
    Because they were provided with revelation at a time they were in heavy social, moral and spiritual crisis.
    This is, like, someone being terminally ill, and being given a prescription by an expert. If they stick to the prescription, they will be cured of the disease. And what is the medication? The Quran.
    Let’s assume that as a “given”, that the expert really existed, that the medication (bitter or not) worked well at the time (maybe the only thing I can partially agree with you on).
    And then?
    When did the doctor EVER tell you to “take ANYTHING along with this medication, you will be alright regardless of who prescribes it, when, for whatever reason!”
    This is not how medication works.
    The names you mention here are those who have used the name of the prophet in order to get a free pass for raping kids, stealing and murdering, etc.
    “The hadith” is a term that is used in the Quran ALWAYS as something to “avoid”. It basically means “hearsay”.
    In the centuries following the prophet’s death, the Arab world was so vibrant with fabricating hadith that, the rulers, in the open, made contests and awarded those who came up with the “best hadith”.
    For example, X is ruling a tribe and he wants to murder an adversary and own both his wife and his daughter as spouses. He gives gold to the poet who fabricates for that very special need a “hadith” in which the prophet is either shown to personally have done a similar thing, or to have encouraged “killing of certain political adversaries and raping their famiy”.
    And not just that:
    A merchant wants to sell his fruits fast. He goes to a prominent “scholar” and gives him money, so the scholar will come up with a hadith that promotes the certain kind of fruits as “the prophet’s favorite”. It is simple, plain, obvious “advertisement”.
    What you are bringing on the table when you mention the hadith is nothing other than the outcome of this dirty game.
    Whatever people needed to to, they “created” ways of incorportating it to Islam.
    And here you are today, with Arabic kingdoms that exist on slavery, exploitation, laziness, deceit and dogma as the pillars of their existence.
    The things you cite along with the Quran are what give a very bad name to Islam all around the world.
    I may no longer have a connection of belief with Islam, but I do not “hate” Islam, because I know it was nothing like what you keep suggesting it to be.
    I’m sorry to say that, but you are highly confused and mislead. Whatever was presented to you, you have absorbed it. Still, deep inside, you must be feeling that there is something very wrong with the path you are on, because you tend to find a reasonable way to justify your belief.
    At which point, you just have to ask yourself:
    Which of your beliefs?
    The one that upholds the Quran, or the one that incorportates anything and everything in your particular strain of nationality and faith?
    The first, you can manage. You can keep being a muslim while having mildly reasonable explanations to whatever is problematic with what you admit the “first muslims” have practiced.
    But the latter, no, and not just a simple no but a very heavy NO because that latter thing is a whole other deal. It was constructed in order to set the mechanisms of Arabic culture back to when the Quran was NOT present. It is the bulk of the society’s way to go around the Quran and keep being mushriqs while pretending to attribute value to revelation.
    That first challenge, which I honestly believe you can face, depends on how you can separate other strains of identity from your belief system.
    During the centuries in which Arabs had lost their power on intellectual and scientific issues, other nations, some of which had adopted Islam, went on to practice philosophy much more freely. And in their versions of Islam, you can find your way out from the blasphemy.
    I’m not suggesting you to “stop being an Arab”. Just try to reach and understand Islam not as someone who is tied up to an identity on many levels, but just as a person who wants to understand existence. At that point, you will be able to tell the blunder from the real deal.
    The “real deal” is something that can be debatable.
    Even when not believing in it, I (and some others on here) may appreciate its certain features.
    But this one, NO.

  208. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @RationalismRules #221:
    Mohammed is trying to defend occasionalism, where God is a drop-in replacement for laws of nature, which are a human generalization of a richly described concept of matter. If the definition of matter bakes in how it will interact, there’s no room for miracles.
     
    To make room for the Quran’s miracle stories, Al-Ghazali made matter thinly described, so God would do ALL the work, and if he wanted cotton to NOT burn when exposed to flame, God would simply neglect to do it. Rather than transmute the cotton into something non-flammable or otherwise interrupt how the universe works, he says reality can be bonkers so long as there are no logical contradictions, and if cotton isn’t /defined/ as a flammable substance, there’s no contradiction! There is no cause and effect, only effects God does one after another, with regularity, only most of the time.
     
    Problem is, taking the extreme God-controls-everything approach snuffs out free will.
     
    al-Ash’ari (founder of one of the Sunni orthodox schools of theology) adopted the “Kasb” doctrine. God mustn’t share credit for creating (He is the Creator after all), so humans can’t be allowed to initiate any action at all. Humans can only “acquire” the choice to raise one’s own arm, from a menu. Somehow we’re just supposed to know what God made available on the menu.
     
    Article: Wikipedia – Sunni Islam, Ash’ari

    Regarding the nature of God and the divine attributes, the Ash’ari rejected the Mu’tazili position that all Quranic references to God as having real attributes were metaphorical. […] one word can have 15 different meanings [in Arabic], so the Ash’aris endeavor to find the meaning that best befits God and is not contradicted by the Quran. Therefore, when God states in the Quran, “He who does not resemble any of His creation,” this clearly means that God cannot be attributed with body parts because He created body parts.
     
    Ash’aris tend to stress divine omnipotence over human free will

     
    Article: Britannica – Kasb

    the kasb doctrine was regarded by many Muslim theologians as being indistinguishable from pure predetermination. Despite the efforts of al-Ash’ari and his followers to clarify kasb, it remained one of the most vague theories in Islāmic theology

     

    As for the criticism that his kasb theory attributes evil to God, al-Ash’ari explained that, by creating evil, God is not an evildoer.

    XD

  209. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed #216:

    You are asking me the same question again. […] I can only refer you to my previous answer.

    Your answer in #210 merely insists God is the Creator, full stop. Because “How can he not?!”
     
    Your answer said nothing about non-GoD agents. You cannot *also* insist that we are “deciding agents”. But as I quoted, you previously said “how can we not be agents?!”
     
    If you insist on two mutually exclusive things, their combination is rationally impossible. You did not say HOW they could both be true. You did not even say WHY they could both be true.
     
    If your response to your own contradictions is “How can I *not* contradict myself?!” your theology is broken, and you spread lies, endangering yourself and others.

  210. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Rephrasing myself in #225:

    There is no cause and effect, only effects God does one after another, with regularity, only most of the time.

    * By declaring what we usually think of as a material cause to be insufficient to produce the material effect we associate, a god of the gaps steps in out of artificial necessity to [mysteriously verb] events to play out the way He wants.

  211. Murat says

    @Sky Captain

    To make room for the Quran’s miracle stories, Al-Ghazali made matter thinly described, so God would do ALL the work, and if he wanted cotton to NOT burn when exposed to flame, God would simply neglect to do it.

    Al-Ghazali was a rotten ass.
    The Quran does not really tell miracle stories. Instead, within the book, “miracle” is almosty synonymous with “nature’s way of working”, and not “what happens unnaturally”.
    But Muhammed is reading the Quran through the hadith, causing him to miss the point and open room for hadith-based legends like the prophet flying to the Moon on what is obviously the Pegasus.
    If the Quran is fiction, the hadith are “fan fiction” based on the original content, and sometimes not even considering the borders of that.
    There was an episode of Cosmos (the recent version) where Neil deGrasse Tyson explained very well how the world of Islam collapsed after figures like Al-Ghazali emerged.
    And they did not emerge from nothingness: The hadith culture, which is basically a mechanism for people to rely only on dogma, had by then replaced the initial version of Islam, which was not that huge an obstacle for those who wanted to practice and spread science or arts.
    Maybe we can put it that way:
    The change in Christianity was for something kind of better: Protestantism was more progressive than its predecessor.
    But the change in the world of Islam was for worse: The original version of their religion was muddied by the latter additions, which were basically whatever rulers wanted to impose on people as heavenly rules.

  212. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    The Quran does not really tell miracle stories. Instead, within the book, “miracle” is almost synonymous with “nature’s way of working”

    Ehh. Out of unfamiliarity I’ll grant that it may be lean and commentary adds lots (inventing whole cloth, or sometimes advising literalism and not advising metaphor)…
     
     
    Article: Wikipedia – Splitting of the moon

    54 1-2: “The Hour (of Judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder. But if they see a Sign, they turn away, and say, ‘This is (but) transient magic.'”
     
    Early traditions and stories explain this verse as a miracle performed by Muhammad, following requests of some members of the Quraysh. Most early and medieval Muslim commentators accepted the authenticity of those traditions, which allude to the moon-splitting as a historical event.
    […]
    Al-Zamakhshari [1075-1144], a commentator of the Qur’an, acknowledged the splitting of the moon as one of Muhammad’s miracles. But he also suggested that the splitting might take place only on the day of judgment.
    […]
    Western historians such as A.J. Wensinck and Denis Gril, reject the historicity of the miracle arguing that the Qur’an itself denies miracles, in their traditional sense, in connection with Muhammad.

     

    Quran 54:1-2 was part of the debate between medieval Muslim theologians and Muslims philosophers over the issue of the inviolability of heavenly bodies.
     
    The philosophers held that nature was composed of four fundamental elements: earth, air, fire, and water. These philosophers however held that the composition of heavenly bodies were different. This belief was based on the observation that the motion of heavenly bodies, unlike that of terrestrial bodies, was circular and without any beginnings or ends. This appearance of eternity in the heavenly bodies, led the philosophers to conclude that the heavens were inviolable.
     
    Theologians on the other hand proposed their own conception of the terrestrial matter: the nature was composed of uniform atoms that were re-created at every instant by God (the latter idea was added to defend God’s omnipotence against the encroachment of the independent secondary causes). According to this conception, the heavenly bodies were essentially the same as the terrestrial bodies, and thus could be pierced.
     
    In order to deal with implication of the traditional understanding of the Quranic verse 54:1-2, some philosophers argued that the verse should be interpreted metaphorically (e.g. the verse could have referred to a partial lunar eclipse in which then earth obscured part of the moon).

     
     
    Still, the Quran inherits baggage from the previous books.
     
    75:1-4:

    Nay, I swear by the Day of Resurrection;
    Nay, I swear by the accusing soul (that this Scripture is true).
    Thinketh man that We shall not assemble his bones?
    Yea, verily. We are Able to restore his very fingers!

  213. Mohammed says

    Contrary to what was said, I am against Kalam theology, I am not in favor of occasionalism or of kasb, I am not an Ash’ari, I do not take my religion from al-Ghazali although I love him because he was definitely a sincere person, I take my religion from the Quran and the Sunnah as explained by the orthodox predecessors and scholars of Islam across the ages, and I am upon the belief of the Pious Predecessors.

    If you are unsure, you should check what I said for yourself.
    Murat, play your tricks elsewhere. I am no fool. I will also not be distracted, God willing.

    ((God has sent down the best statement (hadith): a Book consistent, wherein is reiteration. The skins shiver therefrom of those who fear their Lord; then their skins and their hearts relax at the remembrance of God. That is the guidance of God by which He guides whom He wills. And one whom God sends astray – for him there is no guide.))

  214. Mohammed says

    Natural agents are created just like human agents are. There indeed exist non-willing agents, and God is the creator of those as well.

  215. Murat says

    Mohammed, you’re already distracted as hell.
    You can not even simply say “I take my religion from the Quran”, and you keep putting into the mix what is absolutely, openly, deliberately, clearly, evidently, in-your-face “man made stuff” by adding “…and the Sunnah as explained by the orthodox predecessors and scholars of Islam across the ages, and I am upon the belief of the Pious Predecessors.”
    *
    At this phase, it is no longer a “belief” in the sense that you consider it something to be “real”.
    You are making the religion a mere extra on a set of various cultural actors.

  216. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed #230:

    I am not in favor of occasionalism or of kasb, I am not an Ash’ari

    I agree. The vague blatantly contradictory mess you’ve presented here only bears a passing resemblance, but it’s the closest I could find from people who actually care what their words mean.

  217. says

    ‘God has sent down the best statement (hadith): a Book consistent, wherein is reiteration.’

    No. A statement was written down and then a man claimed to other men that it came from god.

  218. Murat says

    @Shaun
    He’s not even there.
    What he is following as a religion is what several other men in a course of centuries came up with as compulsory additions / corrections / updates to what the first man in question had claimed to be from god.

  219. RationalismRules says

    @Murat #222
    All you’re really saying is that effects can be either a direct consequence of an agent’s action, or an indirect consequence of an agent’s action (ie. further down the chain of cause & effect). I was presenting an example of cause & effect where no agency is apparent no matter how far back one follows the chain of cause & effect.

    I don’t really care which version of agent someone claims in this context – neither version can be reasonably inferred from the observed fact of a rock rolling down a hill.

    (I am slightly intrigued as to why you keep urging Mohammed to embrace deism. Isn’t that just an argument that he should be less specific about his god?)

  220. Robink says

    @Mohammed

    “Do we not agree an effect is due to a corresponding and suitable agent?”

    quite simply… no. What you are describing is simply cause and effect. If you see an acorn roll down a hill you have reason to believe the effects of wind, gravity, momentum and friction are acting upon it. You are disingenuously using the word “agent” as a replacement for every example of causation because you have presupposed your god is the explanation for everything without first doing the work of proving this.

    This is why you’ve also disingenuously cherry picked examples of actions where intent and agency is involved, but these are still all observable human actions. You aren’t getting any closer to proving there is an invisible, eternal, all powerful agent working behind the scenes to “create” these actions or how this is even logical.

  221. Monocle Smile says

    @RR
    Murat’s done this odd thing before where he defends deism (while attacking hard atheism despite nobody volunteering that position) and then refuses to answer questions about it.

  222. Mohammed says

    @Robink
    Not at all. By agent I am refering to the object in action. Those objects may be willing or nonwilling agents, human or otherwise, as I already said in my last comment.

    The effects of wind do not act on the acorn. It is the wind itself which does. It is the object of wind which acts, not its properties or actions.
    Equally, earth is an agent for the acorn falling towards it, not its actions we call gravity. Gravity is not an object with actions.
    As for momentum, it is related to the property of mass and to velocity. Neither are objects or agents. When two objects collide, each of the two objects acts on the other. It is not the property of mass and it is not the velocity which acts. This is because only objects have actions. Properties may be said to have actions only in a metaphorical sense.
    Friction is also to do with collision.

    Do you not agree?

  223. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed #239:

    It is the object of wind which acts

    That lie of omission misrepresents what you have said. It’s distracting to say you acknowledge “natural causes” and quietly leave out that they are insufficient. For what reason do you believe natural causes are insufficient for the wind to act on an acorn?
     
    You don’t just have a God who set up a pre-established harmony and stepped away and claims credit for all that follows, passively watching a predetermined universe play out (having created the initial matter out of nothing, and knowing all its future interactions with itself). You propose an active meddler involved in every cause/effect interaction at every moment – claiming credit for every instance of activity itself and determining every act, yet without responsibility for the acts.
     
    How does it meddle, you don’t know. For what reason did you come to believe there is meddling? “How could there not be!?” There’s meddling, and the agents are insufficient to cause anything themselves but: “How could we not be responsible!?”
     
     
    Mohammed #21:

    God is known through His continuous acts on the world. That is: through direct acts of creation. He constantly brings things into existence out of other things.

     
    Mohammed #92:

    Everything is predetermined. Every event in the world happens upon the occurrence of its complete cause within the Creator. Nothing happens in the world unless God wills it into existence, and He is the maintainer of what He created.
     
    I also believe that there exist natural causes. Those events within the world indeed have insufficient intermediary causes, but are nonetheless created by God.
     
    God creates plants by means of rain and earth, as an example. He creates the cause and the effect, and makes one thing a cause for another. How do I know that? It is because acts of natural causation subsist in created bodies. If those bodies are created, their actions and properties will equally be created.

  224. Robink says

    @Mohammed

    Wind isn’t an “object” in any meaningful sense of the word, it itself is the effect of other causes (air molecules moving) however what you seem to be arguing by using that term and through the rest of your reply is an extremely materialistic and deterministic view of the universe where there is no action or reaction that isn’t directly related to some physical property of the universe. I don’t necessarily disagree with this (though there is some disagreement at an atomic level) but I can’t see how you square this with your worldview that there is an agent working outside or above the universe as a primary cause for actions.

    Your continued misuse of common terms, inability to clearly defend your positions and contradictory opinions on causation/reality tell me you have a world view that is… muddled, to say the least. This is a common occurrence when you have someone who starts from a conclusion (god exists and is responsible for everything) and is working backwards to reconcile that with what they observe in reality.

  225. Mohammed says

    @Robink
    In my language, wind is the air itself in motion. I believe this is what wind means in your language too.
    Do I understand from your last comment that you accept, in this very sense I mentioned, that effects in the world have suitable agents? If so, you should have no problem in accepting that the coming into existence of those objects requires a suitable agent that brings them into existence. In other words, you should understand that, because the acorn, the wind and the earth began to exist after once nonexistent, there must be a Creator for the acorn, the wind and the earth who brought them into existence.

    Note that I do not claim that anything of this world determines. I am not a determinist in this sense because determinism in this atheistic sense is an unreasonable position. This is because there is nothing in the world which determines anything else or is a sufficient cause for another. There is nothing here which necessarily implies the existence of its effect, as there is absolutely nothing in the world which acts on its own. Rather, every acting agent in the world is conditional on other agents and actors in the world.

    If there is something here that is sufficient for your existence, you will have right to take it as a god, because it will be your creator necessarily. But there is absolutely nothing like that in this world. Everything in the world is needy, and so should not be feared or loved as one should fear and love God.
    The Quran points out this very fact to Christians who worship Jesus and claim that he is God. Jesus was a man who needed food and drink, whereas God is independent of others, and His existence is not conditional on others. The Quran reads:

    ((The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; other messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded.
    Say, “Do you worship besides God that which holds for you no harm or benefit while it is God who is the Hearing, the Knowing?”))

  226. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed #243:

    every acting agent in the world is conditional on other agents and actors in the world.
     
    If there is something here that is sufficient for your existence, you will have right to take it as a god, because it will be your creator necessarily. But there is absolutely nothing like that in this world.

    Welcome to atheism.

  227. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    If so, you should have no problem in accepting that the coming into existence of those objects requires a suitable agent that brings them into existence. In other words, you should understand that, because the acorn, the wind and the earth began to exist after once nonexistent, there must be a Creator for the acorn, the wind and the earth who brought them into existence.

    aka Kalam’s cosmological argument.

  228. Robink says

    “Do I understand from your last comment that you accept, in this very sense I mentioned, that effects in the world have suitable agents”

    If by that you mean that effects are a product of the physical universe, then yes, in the broadest sense.

    “If so, you should have no problem in accepting that the coming into existence of those objects requires a suitable agent that brings them into existence.”

    No. What we can observe about interactions in the universe tells us nothing about whether the universe is eternal or if it was brought into existence, what could have brought it into existence, and certainly not whether or not something is still acting as a controlling agent.

    I think this conversations has run its course. Your conclusions simply do not follow from your very vague premises. You are starting with a presupposition and making inferences from there. As Matt is fond of saying “how have you ruled out universe creating pixies?”.

  229. Mohammed says

    @Robink
    It is the different parts of the world that may be said to produce effects, but ONLY as intermediary insufficient causes, not as creators or determining ones. I am reluctant to speak of the world as a producer because it can be confusing. When one says: the rain and the earth cause a tree, one is able to make a distinction between rain and earth, on one hand, and the tree on the other. But when one speaks of the whole world as causing a tree, it gets confusing, because the tree is only a part of the world yet to exist. It is far better to think of the world as individual things and components. It will also help arrive at the conclusions more quickly.

    Our observation of the parts of the world tell us a lot about its Creator. Clearly, not one of those components is eternal or without beginning. I already explained this in the link I posted at the beginning. There is also nothing in the world that is sufficient for anything else. This indicates an eternal sufficient being outside of the sum of created and insufficient things, one who suffices, one who brought them into existence.

    That being maintains His creation, and creation may not possibly break free of His control. This is because the creation owes its very existence to His existence, both at the moment of its origination and for as long as it exists. A creature does not exist in and of itself as we already said, but by its Creator.
    As for why I rule out multiple creators for the world, it should be clear by now. God is Sufficient for our existence, and so no one else may be sufficient for our existence.

  230. paxoll says

    I’m curious about this thread. It has gone on quite a while, and I am interested in peoples motivations for posting.

    Have you enjoyed the conversation with Mohammed?
    Have you learned anything from what he has said?
    Have you learned anything from what you or others have responded to him?
    Do you feel that some kind of value has been generated for someone by this dialog?

    Please, these are not rhetorical. I am genuinely curious whats everyone’s motivations are for posting. Mine is boredom, and while my boredom is bordering on pathogenic, I still could not force myself to read everything Mohammed wrote.

  231. Robink says

    “but ONLY as intermediary insufficient causes, not as creators or determining ones”

    prove this.

    “Our observation of the parts of the world tell us a lot about its Creator.”

    No, they don’t.

    “Clearly, not one of those components is eternal or without beginning”

    Prove this.

    “There is also nothing in the world that is sufficient for anything else”

    Prove this.

    “His creation”

    why “his”?

    “creation may not possibly break free of His control”

    Prove this.

    “God is Sufficient for our existence”

    Prove this.

    I’m not really interested in this back and forth anymore, I’m simply going to point out all the parts of your posts where you make blind assertions without basis.

  232. Loveromates says

    I don’t want to post anymore ever since Mohammed’s remark on my. I will answer your questions to my best ability.

    Have you enjoyed the conversation with Mohammed?

    Not at all. His obnoxious assertion turned me off quickly. Compared to SamfromtheUK, Mohammed is the worst unconvincing Muslim apologist. At least, Sam tried to understand my point of view. Mohammed did not.

    Have you learned anything from what he has said?

    Yes, I have learned that Islam is essentially Calvinism on steroid.

    Have you learned anything from what you or others have responded to him?

    My posts were boring. Other posters are intelligent and scientifically sound. That motivates me to read more about science.

    Do you feel that some kind of value has been generated for someone by this dialog?

    Not much. It seems like argument and anger drowns this conversation if I can even call that.

  233. Mohammed says

    @Robink
    How can anything in this world be sufficient for another when nothing here acts on its own?!
    How can anything in this world be eternal when everything here perishes?!
    How is it that a creature may grow independent of its Creator when it owes its very existence to its Creator?!
    And how can God not be Sufficient for our existence?! You seem to accept predetermination. So how is it that you do not accept God as the Determiner when nothing here determines anything else?

    You should be grateful to God, Robink. We should not just argue for the sake of argument. Do not wait until He takes away from you what you love. You will then become VERY regretful.

    ((And those who, when reminded of the verses of their Lord, do not fall upon them deaf and blind.
    And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.”
    Those will be awarded the high place forasmuch as they were steadfast, and they will meet therein with welcome and the ward of peace,
    Abiding there forever. Happy is it as abode and station!))

  234. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Guys. He’s just doing Kalam’s cosmological argument
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalam_cosmological_argument
    which itself is founded from in the anti-scientific thought of Al-Ghazali. You see heavily influences and/or coincidental similarities between Mohammed and Al-Ghazali. There’s nothing new to see here. If you’ve seen this from William Lane Craig, then Mohammed adds nothing of intellectual value. Maybe a curiosity of seeing an actual Muslim use it instead of the Christian Craig, but that’s about it.

    Just refuse to accept the undemonstrated premises, and off the top of my head, they include,

    1- Every thing that had a beginning has a cause outside of itself, as opposed to some things just happening without causes.

    2- There is a first cause, as opposed to an endless regress of causes, or other, more exotic, possibilities.

    3- The first cause must be a personal god, as opposed to a non-sentient something.

    4- The personal god must be the god of Islam, as opposed to Anubis, Odin, etc.

    All of these possibilities have been addressed up-thread, and Mohammed hasn’t addressed any of them AFAICT.

  235. Robink says

    “when nothing here acts on its own”

    Prove this.

    “everything here perishes”

    Prove this.

    “it owes its very existence to its Creator”

    Prove this.

    “nothing here determines anything else”

    Prove this.

    “You should be grateful to God”

    Lol.

    This is fun.

  236. Mohammed says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal
    I looked up the kalam cosmological argument. It is worthless and even the kalam theologians did not use it. It is very troubling that there exists so much confusion. The argument reads:
    “Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
    The universe began to exist.
    Therefore, the universe has a cause.”

    This ‘argument’ above does NOT indicate that an eternal Creator brought the universe into existence. It clearly fails to differentiate between created causes and their Creator. A correct and far less confusing statement would be “created things have a Creator.”

    William will be correct in saying that everything that begins to exist has a cause ONLY if he means to say that everything that begins to exist is CONDITIONAL on a thing that begins to exist before it. The claim that everything that begins to exist is created or has a CREATING cause is absolutely false, and inevitably leads to the impossible infinite regress in creators which we have addressed in the three questions earlier. If this is understood, we will understand that his argument is pointless.
    Indeed, God’s decisions and actions cannot possibly be created. They are uncreated events subsisting in God above. They describe God and are not external to Him.

    Secondly, the world indeed began to exist, but William seems to claim that this is because we know it began to exist out of nothing, not out of another world. I don’t believe we have observed anything to be created out of nothing. God is instead known to bring one thing into existence out of another. The reason the world is created is because every part of it is created. If one doubts that we and everything around us are created, one will doubt that the sum we call the world is created.

    Thirdly, although this argument seems have incorrectly led William to believe in God, he seems to believe that God does not decide nor do one thing after another. This is false and is clearly in contradiction with the natural disposition we all once had as children. He says: “If the universe has a cause, then an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe exists who sans the universe is beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless and enormously powerful;”

    Indeed, because I observe creation everyday, I agree that God is uncreated, beginningless, and powerful. But William also says that God is timeless and spaceless. This is a contradiction, and I do not see how he can be truly believing in a God at all. The God of Abraham is an eternally powerful being above the world who brings things into existence by His WILL and power, glorified is He and exalted.

  237. Mohammed says

    @Loveromates
    I saw your last post and it made me smile, yet sad. I do realize that I am a bad communicator. However, we do not have to be very intelligent to realize the truth. God is very merciful to us. He plants clear signs everywhere. The problem I see is in our willingness to accept God. It is a problem in our hearts, not in the evidence.

  238. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed #254:

    absolutely false, and inevitably leads to the impossible infinite regress
    […]
    the world indeed began to exist, but William seems to claim that this is because we know it began to exist out of nothing, not out of another world.
     
    I don’t believe we have observed anything to be created out of nothing. God is instead known to bring one thing into existence out of another.

    What did God bring the universe into existence out of?
    And what was that thing brought into existence out of?

  239. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @paxoll #248:

    Have you learned anything from what he has said?

    Well… his youtube video mentioned Ibn Taymiyya. I read a bit of his work. Guy was *obsessed* with God having a chair before getting around to the six-day creation of the heavens+earth. Fifty thousand years before. Not our years mind you: a foreign unit of time, based on other moving bodies that also must’ve existed. And the Throne was on the water. And there was a talking pen! And God told the talking pen to write every event until the Resurrection.
     
    50k years later, give or take a few says, God creates the heaven out of vapor/smoke, humans from a blood clot, jinn from smokeless fire, angels from light… He thought God relied on an infinite series of material from material, with no beginning or end. But God was eternal, so that makes it okay.

  240. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

     
    Ibn Taymiyya citing hadith:

    The first thing God created was the Pen.
    He said to it, “Write!”
    It said, “What shall I write?”
    He said, “What will be until the Day of the Resurrection”.
     
    He created this Pen when He commanded it the written determination fifty thousand years before the creation of the heavens and the earth. It was created before the creation of the heavens and the earth; it was the first thing created of this world; and its creation was after the Throne, as the texts indicate. This is the view of the majority of the salaf [i.e. the early Muslims]. The point here is to clarify what the texts of the Book and the Sunna indicate.

     
    Phew. Good thing he ‘clarified’ the holy book and hadith. Almost had the talking pen be the first in an infinite series. That’d just be silly.
     
    I like that God had to try multiple times to express his will.

  241. Mohammed says

    @CompulsoryAccount
    The three questions clarify that the infinite regress in CREATORS and DEPENDENCIES is impossible. The infinite regress in conditions is not impossible. This world is created out of another world, and God has always been a Creator.

  242. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    The three questions clarify that the infinite regress in CREATORS and DEPENDENCIES is impossible.

    They do not such thing. See:

    1) Can one creature bring itself into existence? Answer: No.
    2) If not, then can the sum of creatures bring itself into existence? Answer: No. [Fallacy of composition doesn’t apply here.]
    3) If not, then how can the sum of those creatures be brought into existence by a part of itself?!
    That is: if the sum of creatures cannot bring itself into existence, it is with greater reason that one creature cannot bring it into existence, because that creature would be a part of that sum. The agent must therefore be an eternal being above.

    There is absolutely nothing here that even tangentially addresses the possibility of an infinite regress of mundane causes.

  243. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed #159:

    if one denies God, this world is uncreated by God and so must be in perpetual motion.
    […]
    for believers […] this world is created by a God, […] it would not come into existence if God had no actions. Those actions and decisions in God are nonetheless UNCREATED

     
    So you’re saying perpetual motion occurs, not necessarily in a god.
    But if one does assume
    – there’s a perpetually active god thing
    – the god thing [mysteriously verbs] with material that always happens to be around anyway
    – and call [mysterious verb’s] effect on arbitrarily labelled regions of matter which weren’t labelled that way previously “creation”…
     
    Then one has assumed God exists and is a Creator.
    Congratulations?
     
     
    Mohammed #251:

    How can anything in this world be sufficient for another when nothing here acts on its own?!

    Collaboration.
     

    How can anything in this world be eternal when everything here perishes?!

    No single thing needs to be eternal if you allow an infinite series of matterials churning among themselves through time.
     

    How is it that a creature may grow independent of its Creator when it owes its very existence to its Creator?!

    No ongoing dependence of material to a god (or God’s relevance at any point), has been demonstrated. Only asserted by calling freshly re-labelled assortments of matter “created”, and presuming a creator.
     
    There’s no inherent need to call an arrangement of wood a “chair” versus “kindling”. Humans apply labels for their own convenience. That “coming into existence” of kindling from a chair doesn’t imply anything except that the way *we* regard the material has changed.
     
     
    Mohammed #259:

    The three questions clarify that the infinite regress in CREATORS and DEPENDENCIES is impossible.

    What did you hope to accomplish in telling atheists that? That was 13th century bickering among Muslims.
     
    From Jon Hoover’s intro to Ibn Taymiyya’s hadith commentary:

    Ibn Taymiyya refutes opposing viewpoints on the basis of tradition and a speculative theological stance that he believes is both rational and in accord with tradition.

     
    Muslims talking among themselves may take God’s existence for granted as they fight over details. Atheists expect you to give a reason to believe a god exists AT ALL before you spin stories about it and waste everyone’s time.

  244. loveromates says

    I saw your last post and it made me smile, yet sad. I do realize that I am a bad communicator. However, we do not have to be very intelligent to realize the truth. God is very merciful to us. He plants clear signs everywhere. The problem I see is in our willingness to accept God. It is a problem in our hearts, not in the evidence.

    Give me a break, please. You talk about your deity as if I know that being but deny it somehow. I repeat one more time. I don’t have the god concept that is described in your book. I read the Koran, too. That idea of god is strange to me.

    If I need a psychologist, I will find one. If you respect my intellectual autonomy, you should not have diagnosed my heart. I resent Abrahamic believers because of their passive aggressive approach to people who don’t share their religious conviction, not because of ISIS or Wesboro Church. You do exactly like that.

    Your English is just as good as mine, or even better. English is my second language, too. Being a bad communicator is not an excuse for you to play guilt on me.

  245. Mohammed says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal
    It addresses the impossibility of the regress of creators. It does not address the regress of conditions or of created effects. In fact, there is no sound argument against the latter.

    @CompulsoryAccount
    I was saying that perpetual motion cannot possibly exist in the world because the world has a beginning. Only an eternal being acts perpetually.

    You seem to claim that, although the earth, rain, and sun do not act on their own, the sum of earth, rain and sun is nonetheless sufficient, and that it may be said to create or determine the existence of a tree for example. This is an irrational position. If not one cause in the world is sufficient but needs assistance, the determiner must be external to the world.

    Also, you just claimed that, should the parts of the world be coming into existence and going out of existence, nothing eternal is required to bring them into existence or remove them out of existence. You are basically saying that, even if created things exist, there is no Creator. It is strange how you do not realize the absurdity of what you are saying.
    I can only stress those three irrefutable points again:

    1) A creature that comes into existence does not exist by itself, but by a creator.
    2) Those creatures that come into existence do not exist by themselves.
    3) If the sum does not exist by itself, how is it even possible that it exists by a part of itself? If the sum is not enough, the part will not be enough with greater reason.
    The Creator is therefore external to His creatures, exists in and of Himself and is eternal.

    This is VERY clear.

    ((Indeed, those who distort Our revelations are not hid from Us. Is he who is cast into the Fire better or he who comes secure on the Day of Resurrection? Do whatever you will; indeed, He is Seeing of what you do.))

  246. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed #263:

    you just claimed that, should the parts of the world be coming into existence and going out of existence, nothing eternal is required […] It is strange

    I left some bread, meat, and cheese stacked in the kitchen.
     
    *gasp* I just checked and… God brought a sandwich into existence!
     
    I lift the top slice of bread off.
    Oh no. God stole my sandwich away from me!
     
    I drop the bread back.
    Praise God for creating another sandwich!
    That sandwich wasn’t there a second ago.

  247. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed #263:

    I can only stress those three irrefutable points again […] This is VERY clear.

    The words you wrote before are still there.
    If you have nothing more to say, just leave.

  248. Mohammed says

    @CompulsoryAccount
    I can only describe this as dishonesty on your part and an attempt to intentionally misrepresent what was said.

    As it was already pointed out in #95:
    “Composite things do rearrange, but may also totally perish, because their components do. This should be clear by now.
    The components of the chair begin to exist. The wood begins to exist, for example.
    Yes, when a chair is assembled, only the form begins to exist during that assembly. But the point is that those components also begin to exist at an earlier time. The components are created by God, and so the chair is.”

  249. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Mohammed #266:
    Nobody cares. Even *I* lost interest in scrolling back 169 posts. Again. To humor you. I got sloppy in a futile attempt to entertain myself.

  250. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    It addresses the impossibility of the regress of creators.

    No, it doesn’t. It’s simply an argument that something cannot create itself, or a group of things cannot create themselves. It has absolutely nothing to say about an infinite regress of creators, i.e. A was created by B, who was created by C, who was created by D, etc.

    If you’re trying to make a mathematical inductive argument, you’re doing so very badly.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_induction
    Yes, you attempt to show that every set of creators cannot be solely responsible for their own creation, but there could always be that creator +1, e.g. the endless regress of creators.

    It does not address the regress of conditions or of created effects. In fact, there is no sound argument against the latter.

    Then how does your argument work at all? If there is no first thing, why must there be a god to create the first thing? What about the possibility that spacetime has always been here, extending back into the infinite past, and thereby no need of a god-creator?

    because the world has a beginning

    You haven’t demonstrated this either. According to the best of modern science, as far as I can tell, it’s still unknown.

  251. Mohammed says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal
    A creature is created. It does not create itself, and so is created by something else. It does not exist without that creator bringing it into existence.
    Thus, it does not exist by itself, meaning that it does not exist IN AND OF ITSELF.
    A total of two, three, or four creatures does not exist in and of itself.
    The more of those creatures you incorporate into the sum, the more the dependency. Adding yet another creature will not explain the sum, because that creature will only be part of the sum. This is why we must go back to an eternal independent being outside of the sum. Ultimately, a necessary being on whom that sum depends must exist.

    God is not a Creator who merely creates the ‘first’ creature in the sum. Rather, He is the Creator of every particular in the sum. Yes, the more the creatures, the more indicative the sum is of that being’s creative power. But do not forget that not one created particular can exist without the Creator bringing it into existence. This is indeed why people directly refer to these PARTICULARS as SIGNS of God, because they understand that they point to the Creator above.

    The spacetime continuum is not a particular. It is no more than a mental construct. It is meaningless to say that the spacetime is eternal or with beginning. What may be said, however, is that every particular time duration is preceded by another time duration, such as in every day being preceded by another. That particular duration is related to moving bodies, and is not external to them. In other words, because these creatures perish, their motions, and thus their durations, perish. Nothing exists outside the mind beyond those particular objects and their properties.

    As for why the world has a beginning, that is very clear. Every particular in the world begins to exist, because it perishes and totally changes into something else. I responded to the claim that the world only changes by rearrangement here.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zYVZFbI2v-0
    The world does not consist of eternally rearranging components. Those components instead perish into new components. Everyday, something new is brought into existence.

    ((Blessed is He in whose hand is dominion, and He is over all things competent –
    Who created death and life to test you as to which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving))

  252. RationalismRules says

    @EL
    I addressed the infinite regress argument back in post #84.
    We’re up to post #268, and he’s still trying to claim it?

    LOL.

  253. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Mohammed
    At least, I know understand what you’re trying to say.

    Have you taken what I would call high school math? Have you ever done a proof by mathematical induction before?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_induction
    This is what you’re trying to do. Let me try to formalize your argument.

    1- For every non-eternal creature, there must be a creature that created it.
    2- For every non-eternal creature, its creator cannot be itself.
    3- If there only one non-eternal creature in the history of existence, it’s a trivial exhaustive proof that this situation violates our assumptions #1 and #2.
    4- If we temporarily assume that it’s true that all possibles histories of existence that consist solely of N non-eternal creatures violates assumptions #1 and #2, then we can prove that all possibles histories of existence that consist solely of N+1 non-eternal creatures violates assumptions #1 and #2,
    5- From #3 and #4, we can proof using the theorem of mathematical induction that all possible histories of existence that consists solely of finite number N of non-eternal creatures violates assumptions #1 and #2.

    That’s the argument that you’re trying to set up – at least the defensible version. All mathematical induction can get you is “for all finite N, the proposition is true”. However, there is another possibility – an actual infinite number of N. To put it another way, the set of Natural Numbers consists of all finite positive whole numbers, e.g. {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, …}. However, the set of Natural Numbers does not contain the actual number infinity, ∞.

    Perhaps you have proved that no possible combination of finite number of non-eternal creatures is possible, but the whole time we have been discussing the possibility of an infinite number of creatures, and your proof has nothing to say about that.

    To put it in terms of formal symbolic logic, perhaps you have shown:
    (∀n∈ℕ)(¬P(n))
    However, you have not shown:
    ¬P(∞)

    Your proof deals only with finite numbers, and not an actual infinite regress.

    To put it another way, your proof is of the form “add any additional number of finite non-eternal creatures, and it doesn’t fix the problem”. However, we’re not adding a mere finite number of additional non-eternal creatures. We’re adding an actual infinity number of non-eternal creatures; that’s what “infinite regress” means – a non-finite regress, and a proof by mathematical induction never gets you to any claims regarding actual infinities.

  254. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I also watched your 3 min video.

    There’s nothing inherently absurd with the possibility that space extends infinitely far in all directions with a roughly flat spacetime (i.e. no looping back on itself).

    There’s nothing inherently absurd with the idea of an infinitely dividable object. You attempt to prove “if it’s infinitely dividable, then that means that there is an actual infinitely small object, because I could keep cutting it in half down to an infinitely small object”. Not really, no. This is the same mathematical error that I identified in the post above. You’re taking a mathematical induction proof, and misusing it to make a conclusion about actual infinities. Any finite number of times you cut an object in half, the remaining objects will still be non-zero, finite, and Real-valued.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_number
    There is no such thing as an “infinite number of times of cutting an object in half”, and therefore your proof fails.

    Your video also makes the claim that any sum of an infinite series is itself infinite. This is trivially false.
    Let S = {1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, …} = { x∈ℕ | (∃n∈ℕ)(x = 2^(1/n) }
    Sum of S = (∑x∈S)(x) = 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 + … = 2
    Here is a set, where every element of the set has a non-zero, finite, Real-value, and the sum of the set is a simple finite number, the number 2.

    Your video also argues “therefore reality is composed of a bunch of non-zero finite elementary particles”. This is just wrong. You should go learn something about quantum theory, specifically quantum field theory. Just for example, when an electron and a positron come together, what can happen is that the two “particles” go in, and only 2 gamma waves come out. The electron and positron do not contain the gamma waves. Moreover, we can reverse the process, and we can bring two gamma waves together, and produce a positron-electron pair. Quantum field theory is the highly successful model that everything in reality is actually quantized waves in universal fields, and that waves in some fields can transform into waves in other fields. There are no such things are indestructible indivisible particles that have existed since the beginning of time in the finite past. That’s just not how reality works.

    I also watched the whole video, twice, and I didn’t see anything resembling a proof that spacetime began to exist. The closest that it comes is saying “have you ever observed anything eternal?”, and the video leaves it at that. This is not a proof at all. Please try again. There are good reasons to believe that spacetime may be different than any particular object inside of spacetime.

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