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How can a good God allow suffering

 
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 12:52 pm
@HabibUrrehman,
Quote:
Second point-read stories of prophets in OT and you will think even a normal human being would be less sinful than the prophets. Are these the role models you are supposed to follow? If the description of prophets in bible is correct, what is the guarantee that the message which they conveyed was not tempered with?

The text was tempered with, multiple times in some cases. But amongst the Hebrew prophets, who do you see as immoral, pray tell?
HabibUrrehman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 01:12 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:

The text was tempered with, multiple times in some cases. But amongst the Hebrew prophets, who do you see as immoral, pray tell?


When talking about human beings, it is understood that we are by our very nature, fallible. That is to say we make mistakes and even sin.

When talking about the prophets–beginning with Adam and ending with the seal of the prophets, Muhammad (peace be upon them)–we need to be aware that they are human beings sent by God to guide people.

This matter of guidance necessitates that exemplary character should be a distinguishing attribute of all the Prophets. And that, first, prophets should be human beings. If not, they would not be able to understand the reality of human needs. And second, prophets should be wise, strong, and knowledgeable; so as to be able to lead human beings to the right path. 
As for all the prophets, we need to raise some important points to be able to comprehend the meaning of their infallibility.

1. The infallibility of the prophets comes after receiving the message from Allah Almighty.
2. They make mistakes least among all people. 
3. However, we need to confirm the fact that the prophets did not commit sins. They only made mistakes, as they did not have the intention of disobeying Allah. And their mistakes are only proofs of their humanity. 

Keeping above points in mind, Muslims believe in all prophets and none of them were immoral ( this includes all prophets mentioned in Quran, OT and NT). This is one of main issue I have with OT, they lied so much about prophets to prove they were the worst of the worst and humanity needed God to die for our sins because there was no other way out. In NT these lies have gone to the other extreme to prove Jesus God even though Jesus PBUH was one of the mighty prophet and Messiah.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 02:02 pm
@HabibUrrehman,
The OT is a set of pretty old texts of various origins. These texts are in some cases rooted in oral tradition from the bronze age, that is to say, they were sung as poems or songs before they were written down. Some, like Genesis, are strickingly similar to the Sumerian myths and probably originate from them. Others eg some psalms have Canaanite origins. Ie pagan texts, reworked and reinterpreted as monotheist.

It's messy but it's what we got.
HabibUrrehman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 02:13 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
The OT is a set of pretty old texts of various origins. These texts are in some cases rooted in oral tradition from the bronze age, that is to say, they were sung as poems or songs before they were written down. Some, like Genesis, are strickingly similar to the Sumerian myths and probably originate from them. Others eg some psalms have Canaanite origins. Ie pagan texts, reworked and reinterpreted as monotheist.

It's messy but it's what we got.


It is true and I believe the biggest benefit of OT is that it leads to truth. For many Christians and Jews it is start of their real spiritual journey and once they find out the contradictions in old and new testaments, they start search for truth. It may take several years but if a person is sincere, they will eventually find answer to all the questions they may have. This journey may differ from person to person and ending may also differ from person to person depending on how sincere they are and how sincerely they have been asking God to lead them to truth.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 02:21 pm
@HabibUrrehman,
Or maybe it just leads them to another set of questions...

I find scripture interesting from a history of ideas view point. I treat the Quran like any other of these texts. Not necessarily inspired by a god in my view, but certainly inspired by something. Like some poets can be inspired, or some politicians, some philosophers, prophets can be inspired too. Where this inspiration comes from remains an open question for me.
HabibUrrehman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 03:16 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
Where this inspiration comes from remains an open question for me.

If you believe in God, then keep praying to God and He will lead you to truth. As I said, it is a journey and everyone goes through it. It does lead to several questions and all questions will be answered when you find the truth and when you are ready to accept it.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 03:36 pm
@HabibUrrehman,
I don't believe in God.
HabibUrrehman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 03:40 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
I don't believe in God.


That is the one conclusion which anyone can arrive to. I have been giving my arguments on this subject and will be happy to prove that God exists and there is only ONE God. But I will first give you a chance to prove that God does not exist or whatever believe you have just state that and provide a logical reasoning for your belief system.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2019 09:04 am
@HabibUrrehman,
As i already explained, you cannot prove anything about gods because your logic does not necessarily apply to them. So don't waste your time. Likewise, no human being can possibly prove that gods don't exist, so I'm not going to try.
HabibUrrehman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2019 09:26 am
@Olivier5,
I am not trying to reason with you, just trying to help.

There is a reason you are born as human, not a slug. God has given us intelligence and free will for a reason, so use it. Anyways, I tried and I am sure you are trying as well. Don't give up and keep searching for truth with sincere heart.

All the best.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2019 10:58 am
@HabibUrrehman,
Thanks but I don't particularly need help on this.
0 Replies
 
knaivete
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2019 10:52 pm
@HabibUrrehman,
Quote:
I have been giving my arguments on this subject and will be happy to prove that God exists and there is only ONE God. But I will first give you a chance to prove that God does not exist


Thank you for the courtesy of allowing me to go first.

I cannot prove that god does not exist.

Your turn.

Please proceed to prove that god exists.
HabibUrrehman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Jun, 2019 09:19 am
@knaivete,
Quote:
I cannot prove that god does not exist.

Your turn.

Please proceed to prove that god exists.


There are several arguments which can be given to prove the existence of ONE God. I will focus on three arguments namely design argument, moral argument, and Cosmological argument.

Design argument

Let me start when an example. Suppose someone finding a watch in a desert and upon opening it, they marvel at the intricate wiring and design. One can think two scenarios. One, that the watch came into existence by accident. Second, there is someone who created this watch. We all know that the first assumption is laughable. Why, the intricate design tells us that there is someone who created this watch. Now lets take this simple example and apply that on a much larger scale which is our world or universe. We see very complicate design in anything that exists around us. Even the creation of human beings has a certain design in it. For example every human being has unique finger prints. Can we say that all this is accidental? How could this intricate and complicated world be brought into existence by an ‘accident?’ A lot of care and attention would be required. Therefore, nothing, including the universe, is brought into existence by accident.

I am using more examples as evidence:

Humans constantly try to change their appearance, whether it is through contact lenses, makeup, fake eyelashes or face lifts, the fact remains that underneath all of that, they still look the same. No one can change their appearance, even through surgery, as the individual cells and DNA of a human being cannot be altered to switch to another specific job. For example, humans can dye their hair another color, such as blonde to brown, but the actual DNA cannot be altered to naturally create brown hair.

A plant cannot grow on its’ own. People give it food and water, but where does the food and water come from? They are both made on Earth but what makes them grow? Where do the nutrients and minerals required come from? Again and again, the source can be questioned. What makes the leaves green? Chlorophyll and sunlight. But where does the sunlight come from? The Sun. How did the Sun come into existence? The Big Bang Theory? What triggered the explosion?

Similarly, the Sun and Moon are kept at the correct distance from the Earth to let humans survive. What keeps them at that distance? Gravity? Who created Gravity? What causes the combustions on the surface of the Sun? Muslims believe that the Designer of everything is Allah, who is the creator and controller of the Universe.

Human beings are another example. We grow from just a blood clot into full adults with various characteristics. Proteins make us grow, but where do the proteins come from? What is the First Cause? Muslims believe this to be Allah. Also, humans breathe mechanically and automatically. If, even for a minute, we concentrated our breathing and tried to breathe, it would become difficult. Muslims believe Allah has made us this way.

Moral argument

Many times in our life, we think that ‘I ought to do this’ or ‘this is wrong.’ This is because of our conscience. Most of the time, we know what is right, yet we don’t do it. Muslims believe that all rights and wrongs come from one source: Allah who has already programmed in ever human to distinguish between the right and wrong. If we don’t follow those rights or wrongs, it is our choice and free will kicking in. Therefore, the presence of good and bad and of our conscience suggests that there is a higher power.

Cosmological argument

Science agrees that it is impossible for matter to create itself. Everything has a cause. Man, the external agency, creates a pen. Global Warming is caused by pollution and the upset of the Greenhouse Effect. A person dies because of a cause. So if everything has a cause, there must have been a First Cause without a cause, which must be Allah/God.

For example if a person has a black eye, then people know that someone has hit you, and therefore there must have been a cause/reason for them hitting you. Even humans have a cause, which are our parents. There is no such thing as an accident. The sperm fertilized the egg to produce the offspring. Whether intentional or unintentional, the fact remains that there was still a cause. Let me also discuss Big Bang theory and evolution by natural selection as these theories are related and often discussion in response to Cosmological argument.

Big Bang Theory:

Science explains the Origin of the Universe through the ‘Big Bang’ Theory. This states that the whole Universe is expanding and that it all started billions of years ago, in one place, with a huge explosion. Evidence for the Big Bang Explosion has been obtained by the detection of Microwaves, which were produced as a by-product of the event, according to Science. Also, evidence for the expansion has been obtained by the measurement of ‘Red-Shift.’ If a source of Light moves away from us, the wavelengths of the light in its spectrum are longer than if the source was not moving. For light, this is known as ‘Red-Shift’, as the wavelengths are ‘shifted’ towards the red end of the spectrum.

According to the Big Bang Theory an ‘explosion’ created the Universe. However there is not enough evidence and Science is unable to explain who provided the basic ingredients for it, or what triggered the explosion. For example, there are millions of fireworks, ammunition and bombs present in the world. But none of these go off spontaneously or without a detonating mechanism. The factors that have to be present are: Firstly, the correct ingredients in correct amounts in a suitable environment and Secondly, somebody to set off the explosion whether it be by the means of a matchstick, or the hammer of a pistol or by setting off some electric spark. Science explains none of these. It is possible that there was an explosion, but then who set it off or who created the Universe? Muslims believe it was Allah/God.

In fact, Science states that for any theory or scientific argument to have value, it must be reproducible – ‘testable, demonstrable’. If the Big Bang Theory was indeed the truth, then surely Scientists should be able to reproduce the same phenomenon in the laboratory? Some Scientists argue that the energy that was unleashed with the Big Bang was such that they do not have access to. However, if that is true, then where did the tremendous energy originate?

Quran and Muslims however do agree with parts of Big Bang theory and the fact that universe is expanding. In fact, these facts are established by science only in last 100 years but Quran mentioned those 1400 years ago

I can provide Quranic references to expanding universe and big bang theory if you need to look at those.

Evolution by Natural Selection:

Science believes in the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, founded by Charles Darwin. He made four observations: 1) All living things produce far more offspring than actually survive to adulthood. 2) In spite of this, population sizes remain fairly constant, all things being equal. 3) There is variation in members of the same species. 4) Characteristics can be passed on from one generation to the next.

Charles Darwin used these observations to conclude that all organisms were involved in a struggle for survival in which only the best-adapted organisms would survive, reproduce and pass on their characteristics, thus ‘Evolution by Natural Selection.’

Natural Selection means that the species adapted to the changes in the environment by a change in form and structure, changes which they then passed on to succeeding generations, enabling them to survive: while those species which did not adapt, became extinct.

The classic example is that of the Dinosaurs, which could not compete with smaller, more agile animals, which had miraculously evolved, thus the bigger, more slower animals became extinct, whilst the smaller, nimbler animals survived. Also, during the course of evolution, what was redundant disappeared, like tails and claws, being replaced with tail-less species with hands, which could hold, the final result being Man.

However, there are no fossils to directly link the descent of man from the same ancestor as apes and there is a constant search for what is termed as the ‘Missing Link.’ Also, there are no fossils showing definite mid steps in the transition from ape to Man. Scientists have failed to produce any new species of life in their laboratory by controlling and changing the environment. Famous examples, are those of Richard Goldschmidt and experiments on fruit flies, which have remained unsuccessful.

There are many holes in the Theory of Evolution. For example, if the Theory of Evolution were true, the nipples of male human beings would have disappeared because of inactivity thousands of years ago. However, they still remain today.

Again besides many holes in science about evolution, Muslims, as a whole, believe in evolution; there is no controversy there. The contention within Islam is the Creation of Man. Whilst Islam can accept evolution as a scientific fact, the reconciliation of the status of humanity as God’s vicegerent and the idea that humanity are primates is difficult for some. The verses of the Qur’an are also ambiguous on this matter in that they can be understood either way. Either Adam was Created separately and did not evolve, or the Creation story is allegorical, or this Creation is unique to Adam. Also, Adam could be the first man for homo sapien and other hominids evolved, or many variations on the theme. In truth there has not been any real discourse in this by both jurists and Muslim scientists. In short, Muslims do not all agree, and there is no real consensus either way.

I mentioned Quran and modern science in my response above. Muslims don't shy away from established scientific facts because they only validate that statements in Quran are correct and these have to be correct if Quran is from God. Science and Quran is a very vast subject and we can discuss this separately or you can follow my posts on this topic.
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