May 152014
 

I have forever pondered over this, and feel the need to constantly re-evaluate the basis for my beliefs. Although I have acquired philosophical and rational justifications for my present beliefs, I used to believe for very practical reasons.  Let me share some of those practical reasons, and how they gradually lost all validity for me.

The number one reason I always followed that which I followed is because I wanted to fit in.  As a child, I am taught the ways of my parents, my uncles and my siblings, and thus observing their rituals and beliefs makes me fit in.  I grew up in a community where the Muslims were a small minority within a larger Christian society.  This meant that the Muslim family had to really establish a very strong attachment to its beliefs to prevent children from growing up and becoming assimilated into the larger Christian community, and thereby losing their original beliefs and identity. The mosque and other places where Muslims gathered were centers of entrenching the Muslim identity and insulating a Muslim psychologically from other members of society.  I suspect this is what traditional Jewish born youngsters experienced in the past. Perhaps this is what all small religious communities do to ensure their survival.  So the first reason I believed was because I had been psychologically and socially conditioned to believe the way I do.   Now what if my parents had it wrong?  What does the child of criminal parents think or do?  Does he or she automatically just imitate their criminal activities?  If I look at infamous crime families, then this indeed seems to be the case.  Believing just to fit with the family or the community can in no way be used as a proof that you believe in the right stuff, and has consequently lost validity to me.

The second practical reason why I believed was because it made me feel better and more elevated than other lost souls. As a child I was always told that being a Muslim means you have higher standards of personal hygiene, higher dietary standards and higher moral standards.  It felt good to be Muslim, because you hardly saw a drunk Muslim, a beggar Muslim or a Muslim lost in some vice like illicit sex or gambling.  The comfort of this belief was disturbed when I first saw very poor (beggar) Muslims in other countries (and now locally.) It was also severely shattered when I learnt that Muslims in Afghanistan, are the biggest producers of opium as the hardest drug in the world. I also heard first hand, and from reliable sources, that prominent Muslim kings and presidents used alcohol, including some who hold prominent positions in Saudi Arabia.  Yazeed, king of the Muslims, within 50 years of the death of the Prophet Muhammad (p), is also known to have imbibed alcohol.  “But”, says the Muslim apologist, “those Muslims are not following the teachings of Islam.” My response is, then why are they elected or tolerated as kings and presidents? There is no law in traditionalist Islamic shariah that makes it unlawful to tolerate a drunk, gambling king.  In fact, Sunni jurisprudence makes it incumbent to obey the authorities no matter how repugnant they are.  (See “Reliance of the Traveller” by Noah Haa Mim Keller.)  Even the bit about we are better because we value hygiene more is devoid of truth in reality.  It is difficult to claim hygiene superiority when looking at many modern Western societies, which seem to reflect a higher standard of public hygiene than Muslim countries and societies.  I have found the toilets in churches to be generally cleaner that those at mosques.  What about dietary standards? Well, in 2012, the MJC, the body that 80% of Muslims in my area recognize, certified more than ten tons of pig hearts for consumption by the Muslim community.  This happened because they just did not uphold the trust they were given to do thorough inspection of the meat they certify as Halaal.  Not a single member of the MJC is known to have been disciplined for this gross violation of the  MJC “Halaal Trust”. The “we are better than them…” basis for clinging to a belief-system turned out to be chauvinistic nonsense.

The third practical reason I believed was because it seems that worshipping and prayers, the way I was taught, guaranteed me a good afterlife.  I would not like to end up in the nasty place called Hell, and by making some sacrifices in time and effort in worship and prayer would seem to be a small price to pay for eternal salvation.  Other religions make the same claim, but as a Muslim, my prayers and my rituals are carefully defined and legislated by thousands of scholars, going back centuries. Certainly, these men cannot all be evil or misguided.  The troubling thought however is that Jews also follow some tough laws and also have a lengthy tradition.  They could not be right however because they oppress the Palestinians and are the masters of the interest-based banking system, I thought.  But what if the Jews who do not oppress Palestinians or promote interest-based banking are then not perhaps on the right path?  The other, more troublesome problem that perplexed me is which Islamic tradition was best? Sunni’s claim that Shi’ites will burn in hell, while Barelwi Sunni’s are condemned to hell by Tablighi Sunni’s.  How do I know which Islam is going to bring me salvation?  I was told to stick with the majority, but what if the majority happened to be Barelwi? Or Shia? It brings one back to reason number 1, above why people believe: “just follow what your parents taught you and hope for the best.”  I have already invalidated this as pure nonsense.

The final practical basis I found to base my religious beliefs on was to identify an upright, heroic figure and to emulate his beliefs.  By associating with such a figure, I could be somewhat in control, as well as experience moral and religious karma for having made some effort to avoid hell.  The concept of Taqleed says that you can emulate a learned man, and delegate your key rational and philosophical life-decisions to him.    There is a similar movement in the Christian world where it seems “charismatic churches” are based on some or other charismatic leadership personality.  Upon closer examination however, I found that there are thousands of people who, in obedience to some leadership figure, end up at war with people that have done them no harm.  By splitting society up into blind emulators seems to be a recipe for the formation of cliques.  The reason for this is that (1) Clearly not all charismatic leaders are good, and (2) no charismatic thinker is perfect, so there will be plenty of conflict if this is the chosen route.

Conclusion

There can be no guarantee of salvation on earth or in the afterlife in

  • following someone blindly,
  • following a religion in order to fit in,
  • following a religion in order to be superior to others
  • or following a religion because it has majority support within society.

In the end, shaping a religious world view for myself will require of me to use my own intellect.  Being an agnostic is no solution.  Being an agnostic is equivalent to burying my head in the sand.  There HAS to be a solution.  Being an agnostic is like taking a tranquilizer and going to sleep.  It does not answer my important questions, only amounts to me saying: “I can’t get answers, just let it be.”

What are those questions?

  1. Is there an objective truth?
  2. If there is such a Truth, how can I access it?
  3. If I can access it, how does it impact on my day-to-day existence?

The scientific and rational philosophical routes are based on the faith in the existence of rational coherence and inter-connectedness in the physical world.  Mathematicians develop proofs, with the subliminal axiomatic faith that it will hold in all cases.  2+2=4 is a belief that holds for all times and spaces.  The rational/scientific method therefore does not shy away from making “ultimate truth” claims.  Why then should one not hope and yearn for the existence of a greater and broader universal Truth that transcends Science and Mathematics? In other words, a truth that transcends the realm of the physical.  In pondering the natural world, which our senses behold, it screams out coherence and rationality.  This to me is the first sign that points to the existence of an objective universal Truth that transcends the physically observable. After all, the temporal nature of all that is observable necessitates the existence of a non-temporal, higher frame of reference.  I cannot conceive of any object without conceiving of its limits, thereby conceiving the existence of the “beyond”.  If the physical universe/multi-verse has a finite existence, then there has to be a greater existence, beyond which these are founded; an Existence or Being beyond physics or nature.    A realm that is of necessity unfathomable and therefore not limitable, because any object that is sensible has boundaries, and is therefore limited.  The existence of an ultimate and transcendent Truth is therefore the natural conclusion one has to arrive at when contemplating the physical universe.

“Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah Sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they Trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;- (Here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise.”

[Qur’ān 2:164]

 Posted by on May 15, 2014 at 11:23 pm  Comments Off on Why do religious people cling to their beliefs?
May 122014
 

The standard premise that atheism rests on is the absence of evidence for the existence of God or a god.  Oxfordictionaries.com gives the meaning of the word atheism as “Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.”  Let’s define the word “god” or “deity”.  The same site defines god as follows: “a superhuman being or spirit worshipped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity.”

The operative words here, if we ignore the nature or corporeal make-up of “god” would be the words “having power over nature or human fortunes.”  Atheists certainly have no qualm with the existence of entities that possess immense power to affect nature and the fortunes of people.  The only problem they have is that a “superhuman being or spirit” should possess such powers.  We can therefore expand on the definition of an atheist as one who “disregards the existence of superhuman or spiritual being” but does not deny the existence of power over nature or human fortunes.

Now let’s have a closer look at the atheistic position and the words “power over nature and human fortunes.”   Who, according to the atheist, currently wields such power? This power, says the atheist, lies in nature itself and the hands of people themselves.  Nature is governed by the physical laws of nature, which has evolved by itself, while people make the rules affecting them, based on their own best interest.  The mechanisms that people establish to collectively make the rules, represent the seats of power therefore, whether it is parliament, international treaties or any other recognized decision-making forum.

In days of old, pagan people delegated many a grave decision to the flipping of a coin.  It is reported from ancient pagan Arabia that many crucial questions were often settled by drawing lots, akin to today flipping a coin.  In other pagan societies the shape of the moon, the intensity of the thunder or an eclipse of the sun would be given similar importance in influencing their important life decisions.  It is this sort of flippant invalid approach to settling serious human questions that religion came to dispel.  Revealed religion de-legitimated the power of the “coin”, or the moon or the sun.

Now what if all decisions were simply referred to a mighty king or a guru of sorts?  This was the case in mediaeval Europe and in many other pre-modern societies.  In fact it’s still the method used in Saudi Arabia.  Would power that is vested in such a king or guru be more legitimate?  Authentically revealed religion says no.

Modern societies have shifted this power to a “people’s assembly” or a parliament and to international treaties such as the United Nations.  Atheism will certainly agree with, and embrace a belief in these mentioned modern sources of power.  They hold a “belief” in the validity and legitimacy of such means of acquiring guidance on the questions that vex us.

What the atheist perhaps fails to realize is that the issue of power and authority to influence the voluntary actions of people goes more to the heart of revealed religion, and NOT the corporeal essence of God.  Muslims are in fact called on to refrain from contemplating the essence of God, and to rather occupy themselves with pondering His attributes.  If we suspend the question of the corporeal make-up of God, then there is not so much difference between the atheist and the pagan.  The atheist, as with the pagan, requires tangible, real world sources of power; whether it is (falsely) regarded as the sun, a stone or a congressional or parliamentary committee.

A knower of God sees the flipping of a coin, the edict of a king or guru or a parliamentary legislated piece of law all as devoid of reliability and legitimacy to a greater or lesser extent.  The knower of God holds that there is an objective truth out there.  Just as there was a proof to Fermat’s Last Theorem, conjectured by Fermat in 1637, and only discovered in 1994 by Andew Wiles, there is always a perfect solution to any vexing human problem, which may not necessarily be obtainable at a given moment.  Knowers of God believe that an objective truth, independent of any created phenomenon,  exists somewhere in the universe.  We define God (no matter what the corporeal essence is that He possesses) as the source and maintainer of such truth.

Can such truth be accessed? How do we access such truth?  The knower of God sees the mind of a true Prophet, such as Jesus, or Moses or Abraham as the recipient and holder of such perfect and unadulterated wisdom. However, we are not calling to blind obedience.  Divine truth is like pristine water which can undergo contamination the moment it drops on the earth.  But rain water can also be kept pure and wholesome for human use.  Just as we have a duty to verify that the tap water we drink is safe, when we travel abroad, so we have to make sure the truths we take from anyone is safe to uphold.  For that purpose we are given a healthy mind and some good survival instincts.  When Israel’s foreign minister speaks on CNN, or when an ad for getting rich quickly comes on the radio, our bullshit sensors are activated immediately, just as our senses are activated when we obtain water with a foul smell.  We are further convinced of the foulness of promoted truths when gullible people start dying after embracing such false truth claims.

Knowers of God hold that a divine stream of pure wisdom has reached humanity for thousands of years via the magnificent prophets; that they clearly used such wisdom to touch humanity in a very positive way; and that they left behind a sufficient legacy for us to continue to distill pure truth for our own salvation.

The atheist is a denier of universal and perfect truths, more than he is a denier of God.  As with the pagan, the atheist prefers his truth from a tangible source.  For the atheist, truth is the product of a human mind, not the inspired cosmic wisdom that enters the mind of a Prophet.  Is the atheist not more of a pagan than the knower of God then?  The knower of God is less cynical about the profound universal possibilities that exist for humanity.  We find our direction from the deeply sublime, while atheists seek theirs in the mere mundane.  Most fundamental to the definition of religion is not what the essence and make-up of God is, but rather what the ultimate source of power and authority should be for humanity.  We hold that such power and authority should emanate from an elevated, sublime source, propagated through and manifested in sublime agents, while the atheist holds that the “here and now” is the best source of truth.

 Posted by on May 12, 2014 at 1:59 pm  Comments Off on The Knower of God responds to the Atheist
Apr 242014
 

Firstly we need to examine the word cruel. What is cruelty? Is there cruelty in the world? Who created the cruelty if it exists?

Let us look at what constitutes cruelty first. Is childbirth an act of cruelty? Is a heart transplant an act of cruelty? Is refusing a child something he or she desires, knowing that it may harm the child, an act of cruelty?  Is toil and labour for the sake of achieving one’s goal cruel? As you would have come to realise, none of the above depictions constitutes cruelty. The common thread through all of them is that they all include pain, fatigue or emotional distress. So cruelty cannot simply be defined as pain or emotional distress.

So what does constitute cruelty? Let’s look at some obvious examples: causing injury to somebody, for no reason except to inflict pain and suffering on the victim would definitely constitute one form of cruelty.  Denying and child access to something that has no potential to harm the child, and that will in fact benefit the child, can also be seen as an act of cruelty. Putting a person through hard labour, without any reward, or without a fair reward, I think you will agree, also constitutes cruelty. What is the inference that we can make from the above? My humble suggestion is that cruelty is where there is pain and suffering, emotional distress or toil and labour without any justifiable moral cause, growth or justification.

Now somebody might argue that the serial killer can justify his acts of cruelty, through deriving psychological satisfaction, even at a psychopathic level.  Again somebody might argue that slavery is regarded as cruel, although the slave driver derives a benefit from the labour of the slave.  Also war can be cruel, but the victorious in war will derive the benefit associated with victory. I will concede this point, and use it to expand on my definition of what it means to be cruel: a cruel person inflicts unnecessary pain for no moral reason or for purely self-serving reasons.  Okay, so I have included the word moral here a few times, without really explaining what we mean by it. Let us at this stage only accept the word moral as what is commonly accepted as being good and acceptable human behaviour.

We come to the second question then namely, if there is cruelty in the natural world. Is a lion hunting its prey being cruel? Is a tsunami that takes the lives of hundreds of thousands of people cruel? Is the staying away of the rains, which causes a severe drought and the loss of thousands and even millions of lives, cruel? Is contagious disease which takes millions of lives cruel?  My humble opinion is that these natural phenomena only appear cruel in the eyes of one that does not understand the workings of nature. Tsunamis are often caused by underwater earthquakes. Earthquakes are the result of plate tectonics of the land masses of the Earth.  If you investigate this carefully, you will find that earthquakes are integrally connected with the growth and the survival of our planet, and therefore the human species. Unfortunately the Earth, which gives life to billions and billions of people, has to exact a cost for its own long-term survival which is perceived as the destruction in the simple mind of man. Pretty much like a child growing up, and experiencing childhood sicknesses and ailments, which might seem debilitating at the time, but in fact prepares the child to be more resilient and resistant to all sorts of threats later on in life.  If you look carefully at all the other examples above listed in nature, you are bound to find an element of transformative growth, or the maintenance of an equilibrium at root of what seems to be nature being cruel to us. My answer to the question of whether nature is cruel is that nature only appears cruel, but is in fact benevolent, and natural disasters always result in a greater good for the planet and for mankind.

From the above few paragraphs it becomes clear that, although pain is a natural phenomenon, cruelty really is a phenomenon to be found exclusively within human society. Some people have argued that a cat is cruel to play with its prey, as it does not benefit from inflicting this unnecessary additional pain.  This is incorrect. I found the answer on a website [http://curiosity.discovery.com/question/why-cats-play-with-prey] which states:

“It turns out that, while cats may seem cruel, capricious or malicious as they toy with a catch, their behavior isn’t indicative of an evil mind lurking within the cute, furry exterior. Cats, rather, wear down prey to avoid sustaining injuries. They’re motivated by self-preservation, just like most other animals, and they know what could happen if they aren’t careful. Mice and rats, for example, can deliver nasty bites that can cause injury or spread disease. Birds, for their part, are able to scratch and peck. So, what’s a cat to do? Rather than playing with their prey for amusement, cats tire out their victims to the point where they’re too worn down to fight back.”

It is humans that are cruel, not nature.  Nature always intends well when it acts in an apparently cruel way, the same of which cannot be said for human beings. When nature is apparently cruel, it is restoring the balance or supporting transformative growth. When human beings are cruel, it is to distort a balance and to stunt transformative growth.  Let me put forward a few examples of the greatest forms of cruelty inflicted by human beings:

Example 1: Inflicting pain for no reason or for personal satisfaction. The Holocaust was cruel because it inflicted severe pain and suffering on many without just cause. The apartheid system was cruel, because it inflicted pain and suffering and denial to millions without a just cause. The Rwandan genocide was cruel because it to result the team severe pain and suffering without a valid cause.  Serious killers or war criminals are cruel because they inflict cruelty for narrow self-benefit and to the detriment of the greater society or environment.

Example 2: Dangerous and unusually hard labour, without any reasonable reward is cruelty because it results in no growth or improvement in the condition of the sufferer. That means the miners that are working in a South African mines and are unable to feed and clothe the families on their salaries, while they face the risk of death every day at work, is in a cruel relationship with the mining bosses.

Example 3: Imposing a paper currency, and enforced banking on ordinary people, and then gradually reducing the purchasing power of that paper notes through printing more and more of it, is an act of cruelty. The result of this is slow creeping poverty over the individuals within that society, which is sometimes referred to as inflation.  The effect of paper currency on society, is almost exactly the same as the effect of the strangulation of a Python. It slow, insidious and barely noticeable but over the years it leads to much suffering and loss.  (The Book “Our Godly Struggle”, available for download on this site, goes deeper into explaining the cruelty of the present day monitory regime in the world.)

Example 4: creating desperation through removing the means by which people can subsist, and then creating derogatory and humiliating work situations for those in desperation.  By replacing nature with concrete jungles in the form of cities, the means by which ordinary human beings can subsist through simple agriculture or husbandry, is taken away from them. Cities are a result of industrialisation, and industrialisation is the result of mass production and consumption, and mass production and mass consumption are the results of the need for economic growth, and economic growth is driven by greed.  When you remove all the natural opportunities for ordinary people, it is an act of cruelty then to create only derogatory and humiliating opportunities such as prostitution or mercenary activity. Let me explain in somewhat more detail: prostitution comes in many forms, most common of which is the selling of one’s most intimate self to strangers for compensation. Mercenary activity refers to people engaging in murder and pillage for compensation. The present day prostitution industry, and the military industry engaged in an unjust wars are sad results of people being desperate to make a living.

I come back to the original question of this article namely is God cruel? People often refer to the scriptures to show how cruel God is. Some passages are taken from the Old Testament where the people of Israel conquered other nations and slayed the innocent in the process of doing that.  They will also point to the holy Quran and cite passages that speak about fighting and slaying the enemy. Furthermore they will cite God’s depiction of hell as a cruel place, to show that God is indeed cruel.  So is God cruel?

Is the pain and suffering which God inflicts devoid of any justification, transformative growth or the general improvement of the human condition? Let us take hell as an example: Hell is a cruel and unfathomably painful place, and is depicted as such within the Holy Scriptures. But is hell not also a deterrent?  And is the purpose of a deterrent not to deter?  And will the one that is deterring, not make the deterrent as effective as possible? It is obviously still left up to God whether He will or will not impose his punishment. And we must remember that hell as a deterrent is meant for those who have committed unspeakable initial acts of cruelty.  Those who caused unnecessary pain and suffering to countless millions and millions of people on the earth, through preventing them from pursuing a livelihood; through making them toil and struggle for an insufficient reward; through barring millions and millions of people from transformative growth by keeping them in bondage; through taking possession of the natural resources of the world and denying them to the rest of mankind; through fermenting and prosecuting unjust wars of dispossession and plunder.  Is the severe pain of hell described in the holy books not a fitting punishment for those who caused such immense pain and loss to so many millions and millions of people over so many thousands and thousands of years?

The religious people miss the point completely by identifying hell as an abode for those who committed petty offences.  In fact the religious impostor priests, imams and rabbis have usurped the concept of hell, to impose their own narrow ideas on society.  Hell is no place for a person who acts in desperation to secure himself or his loved ones. A person stealing a bread, cannot be seen as a future inhabitant of hell. It is the person that denies bread to millions, through artificially inflating the price of grain after taking control of all the grain stocks that is meant for hell.  The young lady forced into prostitution is not intended for hell, but rather the evil ones that caused poverty through unfettered greed by the rich and predatory exploitation of the poor are meant for hell.  The only way that the poor and powerless become culpable, is when they become complicit in their own oppression and exploitation or in the oppression of others. When they are able to kick out their enemies, and refuse to do so out of force of habit, or out of fear, they become partners in oppression.  When they accept the pain inflicted by man as the natural state of things, they become partners in the act of cruelty and oppression perpetrated by man.  In this case they do not even need to go to hell one-day, they will experience hell every day of their lives.

Okay so let us look beyond the concept of hell as we investigate the question of whether God is cruel. God also speaks about war and fighting against those who are evil. The holy Quran has quite a few such verses of fighting and neutralising the enemy. Once again I want to refer you back to the initial cruelty perpetrated by evil human beings in creating poverty, misery and dispossession.  Nothing can explain this apparent cruelty prescribed by God than the following verse:

“Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory.”  Quran 22:39

 

So once again this so-called cruelty ascribed to God, is none other than a restorative process that is sanctioned by God for those who believe in justice and abhor pain and suffering, to end the reign of those who want to inflict cruelty and pain on society. We must therefore not conflate the act of cruelty with the act of stopping cruelty. Both instances may involve pain and suffering, but on the side of those who are stopping cruelty there is no personal interest but rather the greater good of mankind.

In summary, God has created pain and discomfort, for transformative and restorative reasons, but man has created cruelty, as unjustifiable pain, for selfish and oppressive reasons.

 Posted by on April 24, 2014 at 9:53 am  Comments Off on Is God Cruel?
Jun 212013
 

The Apostle Paul is the author of about half of the New Testament.  The vast bulk of Christian orthodox beliefs can be traced back to the interpretations and the teachings of the apostle Paul.  Paul however never met Jesus during the  pre-crucifixion period.  He is said to have converted from being a persecutor of Christians to becoming a noble defender of Christianity and saint, after undergoing a grand epiphany.  His conversion was occasioned by his vision of the Holy Spirit, a year or so after the crucifixion, who spoke to him and set him on his Christian path.  An enormous amount of authority is given to Paul as a shaper of Christianity in its current form.  From the words of modern Christian apologist such as William Lane Craig, it seems that the inerrancy and authority of Paul is entirely ascribed to his noble conversion story.  It is argued that Paul proved his honesty and his integrity by having forfeited his standing in the Roman state, when he professed his acceptance of Christ.  He traded a position of respect and honour for persecution and dissidence.  Surely, as the argument goes, nothing but true faith could have spurred him to make such a sacrifice.  Paul, after his conversion, became a marked man, living a life of hiding from the authorities. What sane person, it is argued, would trade freedom and power, for dissidence and persecution, unless he truly believed in his cause?

Now let us list the key elements of Paul’s scenario:

1.  Never met Jesus prior to the crucifixion.

2.  Starts out as a persecutor of Christians, in good standing with the authorities.

3.  Has a miraculous vision of the Holy Spirit, which transforms him

4.  Commences a life of preaching

5.  Suffers life-long persecution by the civil authorities for his teachings.

Now let us look at the scenario of Muhammad’s apostleship:

1.  Never met Jesus prior to the crucifixion.

2.  Starts out as an honest trader and citizen of Mecca, in good standing with the authorities.

3.  Has a miraculous vision of the Holy Spirit, which transforms him

4.  Commences a life of preaching

5.  Suffers life-long persecution by the civil authorities for his teachings.

The scenario’s are the same except for (2).  Muhammad led a respectable life as an honest trader and family man, whereas Paul was a persecutor of Christians.

Roughly two billion people in the world today accept and embrace the one scenario, while roughly two billion accept and embrace the other.  Each group shapes its deepest and most sacred beliefs around either of the two scenarios. 

This forces us to look at the core teachings of each of these two revered figures.  Let us tabulate them.

Paul

Muhammad

1.     1.  Jesus Christ is the Messiah of God

         Jesus Christ is the Messiah of God

2.      2. Jesus was miraculously conceived by the virgin Mary

         Jesus was miraculously conceived by the virgin Mary

3.      3. Jesus was crucified, as a symbolic atonement for the sins of all of mankind

         Jesus was spared the humiliation of crucifixion, and each man must atone for his own sins

4.      4. Visions of Jesus after the crucifixion indicate that he was raised from the dead as a proof of his divine nature

         Visions of Jesus after the crucifixion indicate that he survived all attempts on his life, and continued his preaching

5.      5.  Jesus was raised up to heaven

           Jesus was raised up to heaven

6.      6.  Jesus is the eternal son of God, who shares the divine station with God the Father.  

        Jesus represents the word and the spirit of God, sharing the company of God.

7.      7. The Divine Godhead is a Trinity, composed of The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost

        The divine Godhead is a pure unity, and Jesus is the figurative Son of God, His instrument and His medium and messenger.

  

In the end, we have to use our intellect to evaluate the two sets of preachings. They differ in (3), (4), (6) and (7).  Paul’s teachings demand of us to accept as rational, the following:

1.  That a person who died, after having his heart pierced by a Roman spear, regained the ability to regenerate physiological life functions

2.  That God inflicted suffering on his most beloved, in order to expiate the sins of every sinner, oppressor and dictator from the beginning of time to the end of time.

3.  That the divine Godhead has three distinct personalities, who although they have three different wills, really represent one will.

If we clear ourselves of any predisposition, it must be said that Muhammad demands less of a stretch of our rational faculties.

 Posted by on June 21, 2013 at 11:01 am  Comments Off on Paul Vs Muhammad