# Proofs and evidences of the existence of God

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by dumaurier, Jun 28, 1999.

1. ### 2+2Registered Senior Member

Messages:
55
It is, or has been, interesting for me to read this thread, this blizzard of words. In my opinion Boris won, because dumaurier never once in this debate intellectually struggled to answer a point. Instead he posted scripture after scripture like a BOT. Like a devotee he keeps his eyes on the guru waiting. And afraid that if he even considers a non-believers concepts, then he has sinned. That is how it reads to me anyway.

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The landscape opened like a children's book...
It has the look of careful joy.John N Morris

3. ### dumaurierRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
171
Boris writes:
See, now this is just the kind of reasoned argument I've been hoping for all along. Let's try to keep it at this level from now on.

dumaurier responds:

Boris writes:
It seems that this very forum is about personal beliefs, and potential justifications of them. Thus, I am not at all surprised that personal beliefs is what we finally arrive at. After all, one must first have a conjecture in order to seek proof of it. The problem is, that the 'proofs' you have been citing are not really proofs so much as derivatives of the conjecture they are trying to buttress; they are circular arguments in other words. I'll explain what I mean in more detail.

dumaurier responds:
You yourself have voiced personal beliefs. Your personal beliefs center upon a focus of your so called "scientific methods." However, let me say that the fact that the piece of bread had a maker is by no means a personal belief. That humans are dependent on the sun is far from being a personal belief. That there exists within the human being something that we term "spiritual" or something which is beyond the comprehension of the methods used by materialist scientists is not personal belief. The fact that scientists do not understand a million things in this universe is no personal belief. The principle of Cause & Effect is not personal belief. That God exists is not personal belief. These are facts!

The proofs that i have presented are proofs to any intelligent thinking creature such as man. They are obvious truths, but only to the pure of heart. Einstein believed in God and he had a pure heart. It is why he contributed so greatly to the advance of mankind for he did not confine himself to the test tube and ignore the spiritual reality that infuses all of creation. He was not labouring to agrandize nor defend his own personality but rather was he working for the welfare of all. For the individual imprisoned within the confines of matter and whose vision has been clouded by the very methods which confine him therein, and whose intellectual extravagances, to begin with, refuse in acknowledging any other existence save the material existence, certainly any proof presented to him beyond the scope of his understanding and methods is rebuked and ridiculed. But he fools only himself with his personal beliefs for the fact of his being proves without a doubt that there is someone greater than he who afforded him to breath the air and to partake of the food he eats.

Although you might think that you have demolished the proofs and evidences of the existence of God with your intellectual meanderings, the principles enunciated at the start of this post are all sound and stand up to reason. You fail to understand because of your strict materialistic approach to all phenomena. You have taken out of context and added doubts based on your materialistic perceptions of all things. As i have noted before, God has no need of man, but man has need of God.

Boris wrote:
There are two kinds of proof: mathematical proof and empirical demonstration.
Mathematical proofs start with axyoms and arrive at a conclusion implied by the selected axyoms and dictated by the particular operations applied. Your 'proofs and evidences of God' are more akin to this mathematical kind of proof -- where the fact that is demonstrated is inherent in the assumptions used to demonstrate it. The problem with mathematical proofs is that they do not reflect reality unless their basic axyoms are somehow justified. However, axyoms cannot in principle be justified through mathematics (read: logical argument) -- they are apriori assumptions. Hence, mathematics, logic, and argument on their own are completely inane when it comes to actually having something to do with reality. In order for the argued conclusions to hold any pragmatic weight, their fundamental assumptions must first be justified by pure observation. Not by argument, not by revelation, certainly not by deduction or mathematics -- but by empirical observation which is independent of observer and can be verified by other independent observers.
Thus, any theory of the universe must, at its root, stem from the universe itself. Its fundamental axyoms must derive squarely from empirical observation. If even one of the axyoms is not empirically justified, then the entire theory becomes an empty mathematical construct. There is an infinity of empty mathematical constructs, since one can assume an infinity of arbitrary axyoms in an infinity of combinations. It is easy to see that the vast majority of such mathematical constructions will have nothing to do with reality. The only theories likely to at least approximate reality are those whose fundamental axyoms at least approximate empirically collected facts.

dumaurier responds:
There are only four accepted methods of comprehension-- that is to say, the realities of things are understood by these four methods. The first method is by the senses--that is to say, all that the eye, the ear, the taste, the smell, the touch perceive is understood by this method. Today this method is considered the most perfect by most philosophers: they say that the principal method of gaining knowledge is through the senses; they consider it supreme, although it is imperfect, for it commits errors. For example, the greatest of the senses is the power of sight. The sight sees the mirage as water, and it sees images reflected in mirrors as real and existent; large bodies which are distant appear to be small, and a whirling point appears as a circle. The sight believes the earth to be motionless and sees the sun in motion, and in many similar cases it makes mistakes. Therefore, we cannot trust it.

The second is the method of reason, which was that of the ancient philosophers, the pillars of wisdom; this is the method of the understanding. They proved things by reason and held firmly to logical proofs; all their arguments are arguments of reason. Notwithstanding this, they differed greatly, and their opinions were contradictory. They even changed their views--that is to say, during twenty years they would prove the existence of a thing by logical arguments, and afterward they would deny it by logical arguments--so much so that Plato at first logically proved the immobility of the earth and the movement of the sun; later by logical arguments he proved that the sun was the stationary center, and that the earth was moving. Afterward the Ptolemaic theory was spread abroad, and the idea of Plato was entirely forgotten, until at last a new observer again called it to life. Thus all the mathematicians disagreed, although they relied upon arguments of reason. In the same way, by logical arguments, they would prove a problem at a certain time, then afterward by arguments of the same nature they would deny it. So one of the philosophers would firmly uphold a theory for a time with strong arguments and proofs to support it, which afterward he would retract and contradict by arguments of reason. Therefore, it is evident that the method of reason is not perfect, for the differences of the ancient philosophers, the want of stability and the variations of their opinions, prove this. For if it were perfect, all ought to be united in their ideas and agreed in their opinions.

The third method of understanding is by tradition-- that is, through the text of the Holy Scriptures--for people say, "In the Old and New Testaments, God spoke thus." This method equally is not perfect, because the traditions are understood by the reason. As the reason itself is liable to err, how can it be said that in interpreting the meaning of the traditions it will not err, for it is possible for it to make mistakes, and certainty cannot be attained. This is the method of the religious leaders; whatever they understand and comprehend from the text of the books is that which their reason understands from the text, and not necessarily the real truth; for the reason is like a balance, and the meanings contained in the text of the Holy Books are like the thing which is weighed. If the balance is untrue, how can the weight be ascertained?

Know then: that which is in the hands of people, that which they believe, is liable to error. For, in proving or disproving a thing, if a proof is brought forward which is taken from the evidence of our senses, this method, as has become evident, is not perfect; if the proofs are intellectual, the same is true; or if they are traditional, such proofs also are not perfect. Therefore, there is no standard in the hands of people upon which we can rely.

But the bounty of the Holy Spirit gives the true method of comprehension which is infallible and indubitable. This is through the help of the Holy Spirit which comes to man, and this is the condition in which certainty can alone be attained. (Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions).

Boris writes:
The assumption of God is an axyom. It is an apriori belief and cannot be justified logically or mathematically. However, it does not derive from empirical observation. It is in fact an arbitrary construct, one among the infinity of possible constructs, which is arbitrarily singled out of that infinity and taken on faith. As such, it is highly unlikely to reflect reality; the probability of the God conjecture being true in the real world is mathematically 0.
That is what I have been trying to show. Not only are there no empirical proofs or evidences for existence of God, but the very assumption of God is overwhelmingly likely to be false.

dumaurier responds:
Boris, i don't believe that you exist. prove to me that you exist. Give me proofs and evidences. But such proofs and evidences must be based on the grounds that you are laying here. I have argued that for every effect there must be a cause. The universe and all that is therein is an effect; the cause was its Creator. We call this Creator, God. This is not "faith." This is sound reasoning. Why do you stubbornly refuse such an intelligent conclusion? When rain pours you do not argue the point that clouds caused it. Cause and effect. Why do you accept this principle of Cause & Effect in certain instances and refuse it in others?
No matter how deep a microscope may go in fathoming the slightest particle, man will never discover the essence of that particle for such knowledge is forbidden him. This is the domain of God and no one can join partners with God for obvious reasons already discussed here. He is THE Cause and we are all the effects.

Boris writes:
It has been demonstrated in the course of epistemological evolution that only assumptions that contribute new predictive power to an understanding of a phenomenon are likely to reflect reality. The assumption of God, on the other hand, provides no added explanatory or predictive power -- it adds no new understanding, and it models no aspect of reality. As such, it is useless and redundant. It is certainly not necessitated by anything humans have ever learned from the world.

dumaurier responds:
On the contrary! Humans have learned all they know about the world thanks to God's Messenger Who has educated man from the beginning of time. Without such education it would no longer have been possible for man to continue living on this planet. It was through God's healing Message that the brute was transformed into a social creature. Abraham taught humanity how to live in relative peace within the clan. And Moses taught man the unity of the tribe. Then Muhammad established the Muslim Ummah (nation) from the savage tribes of Arabia. And today Baha'u'llah is establishing universal peace. Moreover, the concept that the central orb of our own solar system was the sun was enunciated in the Qu'ran. Witness how sciences developed and progressed AFTER Muhammad's Revelation. We've talked about this at length. In addition, it is thanks to God's Revelation that superstition and ignorance were replaced with true knowledge down through the ages. Most great men of the Medeival and Renaissance period were God fearing men. The great nations of the West were founded on a belief in Christianity. What united people was their mutual belief in Christ. If there were no belief in God none of this could ever have come about. It is the impetus of an intensive inner belief in the existence of a benevolent Creator that drives mankind forward toward perfection in this otherwise imperfect world.

Boris writes:
Finally, let me remark on that comment that challenges to your beliefs only make them stronger. Such a disposition is not what I would call an open mind, and it is certainly not conducive to discussion or any kind of argument -- antagonistic and friendly alike

dumaurier responds:
My meaning is that upon witnessing how a great mind such as yours is wasted by narrowing its focus only to considerations of a material nature, makes me realize that God is truly Omnipotent in that no matter how reasonable, how scientific, how perceptive is the human mind, it still remains a prisoner within the confines of its own limitations and can never hope to join partners with God, the Omnipotent Creator of the very tool you use to discredit Him. Any attempt at disproving the existence of God must, in the end, end in utter failure and disappointment. Mark my words: in later life you yourself will eventually cry bitter tears for having stood so arrogant before His great majesty and might! But this is the way God works, you see. It is through tests such as these that the blind eventually attain true vision.

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dumaurier

5. ### BorisSenior MemberRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,052
No character attacks, glib dismissal, threats of divine wrath, or pounding on dogma. Now, I must admit to some of similar crimes, but this is my first serious public debate, and I am learning. I hope you do the same.

Indeed. I contend that my personal beliefs are more than just beliefs -- they are based on observed fact. They don't center on scientific method, they center on fact. Scientific method centers on fact. So you can compare my beliefs to scientific method, but you can't claim that they have it as their ultimate foundation.

Now <u>that</u> is a personal belief. If you disagree, then provide an empirical justification for this claim.

Again, true. These are demonstrable facts, and entirely have basis in reality.

But it is. Again, if you disagree, provide an empirical source for the belief.

<hr>

I have shown quite clearly by now that they are not obvious truths, and in fact are not even demonstrably true.

That is hogwash. Einstein contributed so much to science because he was a scientist, and not a monk. He did indeed confine himself to a test tube -- the theory of Relativity is the ultimate Test Tube! It is an epistemological nightmare; it discounts any absolute reference frame. He paid no attention to spiritual reality when he constructed his theories. He paid a great deal of attention to Maxwell's equations of electrodynamics, and later to unification of physical forces.

But we <u>are</u> matter! We are not imprisoned within its confines; we are what we are! To acknowledge an existence, one must perceive it first. Otherwise, the so-called existence beyond material has no more veracity to it than the existence of Alice's wonderland. Who is really being blinded -- one who casts an unencumbered look at the real world, or one who rather prefers to eye a fantasy painting?

I am not trying to fool anyone. As to you -- well, your motives are yours to know.

As I have clearly shown, there is no proof 'without a doubt' of God's existence. And our existence speaks of nothing but our existence. The known laws of physics explain our existence starting with the Big Bang. However, they stop there and cannot in good conscience be used to describe something prior, or outer, to the Big Bang.

What you have called 'intellectual meanderings' are in fact examples of reason, exposing the lack thereof in your own arguments.

Oh no, I understand very well. I fail to agree. And anyone who has spent any time entertaining the sources and mechanisms of thought and fact would agree that the 'materialistic approach' is the only one justified by what we have in our possession, in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.

And therein lies your big mistake. It is not mere comprehension that we are ultimately interested in. What we seek is a comprehension that reflects reality, that models it closely -- the currently most accurate comprehension. And the accuracy of it is measured not in idle debate, but in brute empirical testing.

Here you are showing lack of understanding. The senses in themselves are merely measuring instruments. Measuring instruments cannot be fooled -- what they measure is precisely what they measure. What can be fooled is our cognitive machinery that takes the data from measurement, and proceeds to interpret it. This is where illusions and misinterpretations occur. Not at the empirical perceptual level, but at the cognitive theoretical level. In fact, our ability to be deceived by the senses is a beautiful illustration of the fact that all life in effect uses the scientific method as its fundamental mode of operation. Our perceptual mechanisms learn to discern, and later expect, certain regularities in the surrounding world. It is these expectations that are subsequently fooled by illusion. In essense, our senses are forming theories of the world, and these theories are not always complete. However, we do not possess a biological capacity to reprogram our senses after we discover that their world-theory is incomplete. However, we do possess the capacity to reprogram our higher brain centers with better theories. And that's what science is all about.

Quite right. Pure philosophy is not a source of knowledge; it is merely a source of conjecture. This is the crucial fact that the Greeks failed to realize; philosophy must be accompanied by empirical observation in order to give rise to new knowledge.

Now the last two are actually one and the same. Tradition has to originate with someone. So does religion. And neither is a source of knowledge; rather they are sources of myth, speculation, superstition and sometimes irrational behavior.

Indeed, you possess ample proof that I exist -- entirely based on the materialistic grounds that I have laid out for you. You have an empirical proof of my existence -- these very writings and my continual interaction with you. This you perceive, and don't just take on faith -- not by a long shot!

God is an effect. What is the cause of God? (How many times must I repeat this question until it sinks in? If God may have no cause, then the physical universe similarly may have no ultimate cause!) You see, <u>for every effect WITHIN OUR PERCEIVED UNIVERSE there must be a cause</u>, at least according to our present empirical observations. This says nothing about the situation <u>OUTSIDE</u> our perceived universe. And it certainly says nothing about an all-powerful, sentient source-creator. Pray tell, what effects <u>within our perceived universe</u> cannot be explained save through God? None! (At least none we know of!) Then why must the situation be different for the medium, if any, outside our perceived universe?

Indeed, when rain pours I do not argue the point that clouds caused it. Strangely, you do not argue that point either! Yet, I must ask you why is it that you do not claim that rain pours because God makes it pour? Why is it that you are willing to accept that the rain is a merely physical process. But why are you refusing to recognize that fact in general for the rest of the observable universe? And what reason do you have for totally reversing that perspective as soon as you contemplate reality outside of the observable universe? You see, it is <u>you</u> who refuses cause-and-effect in the special cases of God, thought, mind and soul. But strangely, at the same time you attribute the universe's emergence to cause and effect -- while at the same time claiming that it emerged from an origin which does not obey causality! And, to boot, you are arguing about causality -- a physical law observed only within the known universe -- as applied to the entirety of exitence, including the origins of our universe! Not only are you making arbitrary exceptions to your 'universal law', you are wildly extrapolating a mere physical law and making it into a 'universal' one!

That is not at all clear, and remains to be seen. Nobody knows what the true limits to theoretical knowledge are, if in fact there even are any limits.

<hr>

Here we go again... Man evolved from ape, and nature was and remains his educator.

No. Evolution transformed us into social creatures. And not only us. Take a day out and visit a zoo with a gorilla exhibit in it. You will see families of gorillas getting along beautifully, and as true families should. With no help from divine prophets, mind you.

Hogwash. I'd say American Indians, for one, had it figured out long before the rise of the Jewish civilization.

All the while fleeing from a unified Egyptian tribe.

And long before Mohammad, in fact long before recorded history, the 'savage' Africa was home to beautiful, affluent and sophisticated civilizations, of which Egypt was only the last gasp.

Well, it's either Baha'u'llah with his x million followers (not even in double digits) -- or world economy combined with fatigue from the horrors of full-blown modern world war. Now, which is the more reasonable explanation, I wonder...

Yes, witness how the European Renaissance rejuvenated the <u>anscient Greek</u> knowledge. Witness how science took off in an overwhelmingly Christian Europe. Witness how the mathematical knowledge was passed from the Greeks, to the Arabs, and then back to Europeans, after which the Islamic arabs descended into the depths of ignorance!

It is thanks to God's Revelation that one type of superstition was replaced with another! No useful knowledge has ever descended from any deity, and I dare you to show otherwise!

Those are the same great men that thought Earth was flat and at the center of the universe! And then they thought disease could be cured by letting blood. And in their Christian unity, they hunted down witches, burned books and heretics right and left, and persecuted the greatest scientists of their time! If Renaissance was truly inspired by the word of God, why did it not occur even 500 years earlier?!! What united people was their mutual terror of the Church. And what united the Church was greed, political strife, and lust for power and control.

That is an empty claim. History turned out the way it did. As to why it turned out the way it did is entirely open to interpretation. This is going back to the issue of empirical observation versus theory. History is fact. Your assertion is theory. And a rather weak one at that! Anyone with even a rudimentary education in history realizes that every single event is caused by and precipitates a host of varied vactors. And in most cases, the message of Christ was not the decisive cause in any significant social change!

Here comes that notion of perfection again. Compared to what, may I ask, is our world imperfect???

It is certainly not a belief in God that drives the majority of the human population, save a few fanatics here and there. More often than not, the main factors are greed, yearning for recognition, power, respect and influence, sense of personal worth or achievement, or yearning for adventure and exploration of new possibilities. Humans are stimulated by novelty. This is what primarily drives the modern boom of basic research.

Agreed. Same is true of any attempt at proving the existence of God. But what I am actually trying to do is show that existence of God as you conceive is highly improbable. I am trying to show that the only reasonable and true-to-the-facts answers are:
"I don't know what created the universe. I don't know whether the universe even had an ultimate origin. I don't know what exists outside of spacetime, and I don't know if the outside even exists. I don't know what is the limit to human knowledge; I can only speculate. But the world is sure mysterious and fascinating enough as to not require some myth to spice it up."
That would be an honest and humble answer as well, not an arrogant one as you portray it.

Thank you for that bit of wisdom. But if I had a cent for every time some child of the Lord gave me dire warnings, I would be a billionaire by now.

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I am; therefore I think.

[This message has been edited by Boris (edited July 30, 1999).]

7. ### godRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
49
dumaurier
if i may interject with a quick question. If every effect has a cause what would be the cause for the creator?

Boris
what would the cause be for the big bang?

8. ### BorisSenior MemberRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,052
That is precisely one of my points. Causality does not work as the ultimate explanation for the source of the universe. And while Dumaurier will tell you he knows exactly that God existed forever, I will tell you I don't know what was the cause of Big Bang. In fact, I don't even know if Big Bang was caused by anything to begin with.

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I am; therefore I think.

9. ### dumaurierRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
171
The words in italics are dumaurier's from a previous post.
Those preceded by three dashes ~~~are Boris's response to these words

That God exists is not personal belief.
~~~But it is. Again, if you disagree, provide an empirical source for the belief.

dumaurier responds"
What is "proof"? What is "fact"? On the one hand you have 5 million people with little toys who weigh and measure matter and satisfy their senses through such play and conclude as established "fact" that a rock is "hard:" "Gentlemen, according to our senses through which we have gained immense pleasure and satisfaction with regards our 10 thousand years observation of this gray substance before us, we conclude that a rock is hard, from which we derive the law that one must never walk beneath a window from which it falls lest it collide with the skull and turn us all into spiritual scientists!"
On the other hand you have 500 million people without such little toys but who say God exists and put forth logical proof such as the principle of causality, yet this is not considered an "empirical" source. The conclusion is that a handful of madmen proclaiming the law of "Beware of windows and falling gray matter!" are right and the remaining 500 million are wrong. Give me a break Boris, alright already!

You fail to understand because of your strict materialistic approach to all phenomena.
~~~Oh no, I understand very well. I fail to agree. And anyone who has spent any time entertaining the sources and mechanisms of thought and fact would agree that the 'materialistic approach' is the only one justified by what we have in our possession, in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.

dumaurier responds:
But what is the goal of knowledge and understanding? Is it to discover matter only and proclaim that people should beware of lousy windows lest they are hit on the head with a rock? Is the object of knowledge the accumulation of facts and thereby become enmeshed in meaningless muck and mire? Is it to be at one with matter; to marry illusions with which to go to bed with each night? For knowledge by itself is meaningless unless it has ulterior goals which aim at improving spiritual and moral life; the improvement of both a moral and material existence both go hand in hand (science/religion) and one cannot exist without the other. And what is there to understand about matter which is so important? We can understand the make-up of matter, it's variable components, inter-relatedness, its mechanistic functions, etc., but what next? What is the purpose of it all? You see, this is where the spiritual equation comes into play and takes on meaning because it is only by such God-derived meaning that matter itself takes on a spiritual significance for man. And why would we want to perfect implements that further human comfort and ease physical pain? Why work toward better living conditions if not to ease the soul of man? When thirst is quenched and hunger satisfied, what remains? What is the purpose of life itself if there were no spiritual meaning infused into it? You see, this is why man today is so confused; because he lacks the very stuff within his soul to uplift him from the filth of matter and into the heavenly gems of spiritual reality. On a clear night while gazing at the awesome stellar spectacle above, the pure heart is made to wonder at the greatness of the Creator of it all. How could such a puny thing as man, while gazing at such panoramic beauty, ever claim to have any power whatsoever in comparison to the Almighty and Benevolent Creator?

Boris writes:
Here you are showing lack of understanding. The senses in themselves are merely measuring instruments. Measuring instruments cannot be fooled -- what they measure is precisely what they measure. What can be fooled is our cognitive machinery that takes the data from measurement, and proceeds to interpret it. This is where illusions and misinterpretations occur. Not at the empirical perceptual level, but at the cognitive theoretical level.

dumaurier responds:
Boris, you are fiddledaddling with words. What is the difference between your "empirical perceptual level," and "cognitive theoretical level"? There is none! No scientist could categorize colors without the sense of sight. What are you talking about, Boris? How can a scientist ever study sound without the sense of hearing or sight? You are playing with words again, no more no less!

Boris writes:
In fact, our ability to be deceived by the senses is a beautiful illustration of the fact that all life in effect uses the scientific method as its fundamental mode of operation.

dumaurier responds:
This is totally false. All life does not use scientific method whatsoever; fundamentally or otherwise! Scientific method is used by intelligent creatures ONLY for such a method was invented and developed by intelligent creatures in order to aid in their understanding of external phenomena. A tornado does not use any scientific method at all. An earthquake, a tidal wave, a volcano, rain, snow, sleet, gravity, all are natural phenomena perfectly in conformity and subject to a law that is imposing, immutable and created by an Almighty God! Nature does not deviate a hairsbreadth from the universal law of which it is a slave. Nature has no will. "He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command. Is it not His to create and to govern? Blessed be God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds! (Qur'an: 7 - AL-AARAF)

Boris writes:
Our perceptual mechanisms learn to discern, and later expect, certain regularities in the surrounding world. It is these expectations that are subsequently fooled by illusion. In essence, our senses are forming theories of the world, and these theories are not always complete.

dumaurier responds:
In essence our senses form no theories whatsoever for they do not possess intelligence. It is the power of the mind that observes data through the senses and formulates a synthesis of bits of knowledge gleaned through these senses. Because man is extremely limited in his capacity to "encompass" and "surround" the infinite knowledge of God as it is infused and revealed through all matter, he cannot hope to understand all that there is to know of the grandeur of his Creator. Yet, through the senses he can glean bits and pieces and see the majesty of the workings of the Omnipotent's greatness through observation of the phenomenal.

Boris writes:
However, we do not possess a biological capacity to reprogram our senses after we discover that their world-theory is incomplete. However, we do possess the capacity to reprogram our higher brain centers with better theories. And that's what science is all about.

dumaurier responds:
In brief, man understands bits and pieces of the laws of the physical universe through his senses and formulates theories according to observed recurring patterns. As he observes more and more of such patterns his knowledge of same increases and thus, his theories are modified to conform to the new data. This knowledge is based on experiments experienced through the senses. But i will add more: The capacity to understand and synthesize such data is a spiritual capacity which our Creator has endowed human creatures for no other purpose but that man should recognize that infinite power and bounty belongs to the Source of all such creations--namely, God. Synthesis of knowledge is made by the soul, not the senses! And the soul originated with God and will return unto Him at death.

1. The third method of understanding is by tradition... 2. But the bounty of the Holy Spirit gives the true method of comprehension which is infallible and indubitable.
~~~Now the last two are actually one and the same. Tradition has to originate with someone. So does religion. And neither is a source of knowledge; rather they are sources of myth, speculation, superstition and sometimes irrational behavior.

dumaurier responds:
Tradition is an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior. It is the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction. It is a continuity of the culture of social attitudes, customs, and institutions. It is blind belief insofar as man practices what his forefathers invented without as much as blinking an eye. It is the promotion of all sorts of prejudices to the detriment of true understanding according to the reality of life in the real present. This is tradition.
But by the bounty of the Holy Spirit is meant that knowledge revealed by a Manifestation of God which educates the human soul and makes it into a new creation. Such fresh, invigorating, and new knowledge aids in broadening man's perspectives and infuses him with the courage to break tradition. At such coming man is imbued with renewed faith, acquires confidence that religion has been divested of its old attire (the superstitions and established worn-out dogmas which are irrelevant to the time of the new Revelation). The will to acquire virtues is stimulated through such Teachings and this is indeed a bounty by the Holy Spirit unto man. The power of the Holy Spirit gives life to the world of humanity, changes the aspect of the terrestrial globe, causes intelligence to progress, vivifies souls, lays the basis of a new life, establishes new foundations, organizes the world, brings nations and religions under the shadow of one standard, delivers man from the world of imperfections and vices, and inspires him with the desire and need of natural and acquired perfections. Certainly nothing short of a divine power could accomplish so great a work as that of the Holy Spirit. In fact, the Holy Spirit it is which destroys and demolishes to the ground traditions.

Boris, i don't believe that you exist. prove to me that you exist. Give me proofs and evidences. But such proofs and evidences must be based on the grounds that you are laying here.
~~~Indeed, you possess ample proof that I exist -- entirely based on the materialistic grounds that I have laid out for you. You have an empirical proof of my existence -- these very writings and my continual interaction with you. This you perceive, and don't just take on faith -- not by a long shot!

dumaurier responds:
Last night i had a most wonderful dream. I walked in a garden where nightingales sang and the roses blossomed with the sweetest fragrances permeating the entire garden. Along the path there flowed the sweetest river and the sky above was a pastel blue. Seated in all her majesty was a damsel of tender years who greeted me with a most welcoming smile and she bade me to seat myself by her side. We had a most wonderful conversation and then she asked me why i was sad. I told her that in my waking life i had a little problem which required a solution but that i had none. She bade me explain to her the details and i consented. Then she proceeded to suggest one solution which she said i should follow. Finally i bade her farewell.
The next morning upon waking i remembered the dream very clearly. I could still smell the roses and see the pastel sky and sweet flowing river. I proceeded to apply the young damsels recommendations into practise and by the end of the day my problem was solved.
This was a dream but the recommendations were exact, precise, to the point, succinct. Her suggestions solved my grave problem without compromise.
This garden, nightingale's song, pastel sky and pretty young damsel full of wisdom was more real than talking to someone in cyberspace. Yet, i cannot prove that it was real. But the suggested solution to my grave problem was even more real for its effects were engendered by my physical person in this physical world.

Boris writes:
God is an effect. What is the cause of God? (...If God may have no cause, then the physical universe similarly may have no ultimate cause!) You see, for every effect WITHIN OUR PERCEIVED UNIVERSE there must be a cause, at least according to our present empirical observations. This says nothing about the situation OUTSIDE our perceived universe. And it certainly says nothing about an all-powerful, sentient source-creator. Pray tell, what effects within our perceived universe cannot be explained save through God? None! (At least none we know of!) Then why must the situation be different for the medium, if any, outside our perceived universe?

dumaurier responds:
Boris, you remind me of an ant speaking to another ant and saying: "I don't believe in the existence of man for i can't understand him!"
Let us be reasonable here. It is beyond the station of man to understand the station of God. I have taken up this issue with you before. I have stated that the mineral lives within the range of its own station and due to its inherent limitations cannot ever understand the station of the vegetable kingdom above it. In like manner, the station of the vegetable cannot ever understand the station of the animal above it. The animal is incapable of understanding the station of man. Man is incapable of understanding the station of God. This is sound reasoning and can be ascertained by deductive observation. A piece of bread cannot, could never ever in a trillion years understand its maker, the baker. The two stations are not analogous, not equal. Yet, if the mineral had a rational faculty, through deductive reasoning it could conclude that the vegetable kingdom exists through its effects; if the vegetable had a rational faculty, through deductive reasoning it could conclude that the animal kingdom exists through its effects; if the animal had a rational faculty, through deductive reasoning it could conclude that the human kingdom exists through its effects; if the human had a rational faculty, through deductive reasoning he could conclude that the Divine Reality exists through its effects. Praised be the Creator of all visible and invisible effects!

Boris writes:
Indeed, when rain pours I do not argue the point that clouds caused it. Strangely, you do not argue that point either! Yet, I must ask you why is it that you do not claim that rain pours because God makes it pour? Why is it that you are willing to accept that the rain is a merely physical process. But why are you refusing to recognize that fact in general for the rest of the observable universe? And what reason do you have for totally reversing that perspective as soon as you contemplate reality outside of the observable universe?

dumaurier responds:
On the contrary, dear Boris. God indeed is the cause that makes the rain fall! The process of evaporation/cloud formation/rain follows those laws in nature of which the Creator put into place. Nature cannot deviate a stitch from such laws and obeys them as an obedient servant. God created the laws; therefore God willed the entire process. Rain, indeed, is an indirect manifestation of the will of the Almighty just as the Qu'ran states: "It is He Who doth show you the lightning...It is He Who doth raise up the clouds, heavy with (fertilizing) rain! Nay, thunder repeateth His praises... with awe: He flingeth the loud-voiced thunder-bolts..." (Qur'an: 13 - AR-RAAD)

Boris writes:
You see, it is you who refuses cause-and-effect in the special cases of God, thought, mind and soul. But strangely, at the same time you attribute the universe's emergence to cause and effect -- while at the same time claiming that it emerged from an origin which does not obey causality! And, to boot, you are arguing about causality -- a physical law observed only within the known universe -- as applied to the entirety of existence, including the origins of our universe! Not only are you making arbitrary exceptions to your 'universal law', you are wildly extrapolating a mere physical law and making it into a 'universal' one!

dumaurier responds:
Nay, dear friend, the universe and all that is therein (and beyond) is a visible effect caused by the One Who engendered the existence of your very soul that thinkest, just as God desired! He is that Infinite, Omnipotent, Omniscient Creator who caused the very notion of causality to come within the radius of man's vision for the purpose of making him aware of his limitations with regards the true power which is God's. Such a notion of causality, moreover, comes from the Messengers of God Themselves, not from man! "Do they indeed ascribe to Him as partners things that can create nothing, but are themselves created?" (Qur'an: 7 - AL-AARAF) "To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth: When He decreeth a matter, He saith to it: "Be," and it is. (Qur'an: 2:117 AL-BAQARAH) "He begetteth not, nor is He begotten." (Qur'an: 112:3 AL-IKHLAS). "...but in all things the master- planning is God's..." (Qur'an: 13 - AR-RAAD). "God! There is no God but He---the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth... He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. " (Qur'an: 2 - AL-BAQARAH). "To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth...He created all things, and He hath full knowledge of all things." (Qur'an: 6 - AL-ANAM)

It was through God's healing Message that the brute was transformed into a social creature.
~~~No. Evolution transformed us into social creatures. And not only us. Take a day out and visit a zoo with a gorilla exhibit in it. You will see families of gorillas getting along beautifully, and as true families should. With no help from divine prophets, mind you.

dumaurier responds:
The theory of evolution takes into account the progress of man's physical nature and its adaptation to an antagonistic environment ("survival of the fittest"). It does not take into account his spiritual nature and development. It tries to explain progress and evolution in relation to circumstantial factors occasioned by the accidents of an environment which was/is beyond human control. A rose is a rose will be a rose. We may fiddle with its genetic code, modify it, but it will always remain a rose. An ape was created an ape, will continue being an ape, and will forever remain an ape with absolutely no possibility for it to become human nor attain anywhere near the station of man. This is interdicted by natural laws established by the Law Maker. Man, on the other hand, has always been man with the inherent and intrinsic potential of growth and development of his physical, mental and spiritual faculties. The foetus in the womb of a human mother may look like an animal in the beginning but soon develops physical members which relate him to the kingdom of man. But while yet in the womb he still has the potential of a human being. Observe that the fetus of most mammals (elephant, fox, cat) resembles that of the human fetus in its beginnings. The two fetuses are alike in many respects. But the potential inherent in the genetic codes are different as decreed by God. Though there may have been a time when man behaved like the beasts of the wild, yet did he still receive Divine instruction, for a Benevolent and Compassionate God would not abandon His creation to itself just as a responsible and caring gardener would not abandon his beloved garden and allow weeds and thistles to over populate it. From the dawn of man the human species has always received a Manifestation of God to guide him in his spiritual development. All ancient peoples of this planet speak of traditions relating of "prophets" that visited them with the word of God. Some of these peoples still have their Holy Books as testimonies to this fact, such as the Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Jews. Other peoples have only legends due to the remoteness of their prophets and their incapacity to have developed adequate means to record such religious history (the Eskimos and American Indians are some of these peoples).
Moreover, recently some new scientific thinking about Darwin's theory of evolution has happened and serious scientific voices have started to call into question several of the premises of evolutionary theory. These objections are so strong that the "theory of intelligent design" is making a comeback. Biological structures have been discovered which do not fit at all within the theory of evolution and scientists are left to wonder who the designer of these biological structures might be? Could it be God, Aliens, a universal act of magic? These new discoveries throw into contradictions what scientists have adhered to uptodate and scream for new answers. When confronted with significant unexplained contradictions and new problems, the scientific mind must open up to new possibilities, or else cease to be a scientific mind.

Abraham taught humanity how to live in relative peace within the clan.
~~~Hogwash. I'd say American Indians, for one, had it figured out long before the rise of the Jewish civilization.

dumaurier responds:
The only way to truly settle your objections is to present a thorough study of both the history of the peoples in Abraham's time and the peoples of the Americas. Since you do not seem to have the time to present historical evidence on which to base your objections but, rather, go on heresy, i shall drop the matter by saying that what i say is historically verifiable and we also have the Old Testament (the Torah) to go by. In the case of the American Indian, there is no such record extant.
However, let me share with you a little legend that circulates among most of the Indians of North and South American. The legend claims that a Being in white robes and sandals visited them many moons ago, stayed with them for some time, instructed them in the ways of living and in looking up to the sky to their Creator, and then departed. Thus, if legends have any degree of authoritative truth, we may assume that the American Indians also received spiritual education from a Prophet of God. All knowledge comes from the One same God, be it in the East or in the West. There is none other God but God!

And Moses taught man the unity of the tribe.
~~~All the while fleeing from a unified Egyptian tribe.

dumaurier responds:
Again, here i point you to the Old Testament for your personal education. You may also find reference of this tribal unity as being a unique phenomenon in many passages of the Qu'ran. As to your objection, you fling words but supply no substantiating proof. First we must define "tribe" and then see if it fits as a designation of the peoples of Egypt at the time of Moses. According to established definitions, Egypt was no "tribe" but a conglomerate of warring people with a king who held powerful sway with his tyrannical dynasty. The transition from primitive nomadic and warring peoples to traditional civilization is estimated to have began in Egypt in 5500 BC. This date is considered speculative trepidation by historians. The date for the unification of Egyptian people, of both the northern and southern regions, is estimated to be sometime between 3150 and 3110 BC. At this period Egyptians were incapable of writing whole sentences but used individual symbols to represent sounds. The Jews record that the Patriarch Abraham, a caravan trader who would later become the father of the nation of Israel, traveled to Shechem and Zoan (Egypt) sometime between 1900-1500 BCE where He came upon Egyptian barbarians who practised a pagan religion. But what he met resembled not in the slightest a tribe. Moses liberated the Jews in 1250-1200 BCE when the conquest of Canaan was begun. The Hebrews emerged as victors. Under Moses' instructions they parceled the land of Canaan into tribal territories creating a system of government known as an amphictyony. Such a political system did not exist in Egypt whose people were ruled by a tyrant.

Then Muhammad established the Muslim Ummah (nation) from the savage tribes of Arabia.
~~~And long before Mohammed, in fact long before recorded history, the 'savage' Africa was home to beautiful, affluent and sophisticated civilizations, of which Egypt was only the last gasp.

dumaurier responds:
Again, you are making a free affirmation. The adjectives "beautiful," "affluent," and "sophisticated," are highly inappropriate for a people ruled by a tyrant whose population was mainly made up of slaves who suffered beyond that suffering that human imagination can conjure! The "beautiful" you speak of is an invention by modern man who wishes to glorify something that deserves pity. Also, consider that the merchants of contemporary Egyptology could in no wise sell their wares if they did not resort to the tactics of sensationalism. The kind of unity brought about by Muhammad was never experienced by humanity before His advent. I presently continue working on that paper i promised you wherein i prove that the concept of the nation originated in Islam. I have every intention of posting such findings here when completed.

And today Baha'u'llah is establishing universal peace.
~~~Well, it's either Baha'u'llah with his x million followers (not even in double digits) -- or world economy combined with fatigue from the horrors of full-blown modern world war. Now, which is the more reasonable explanation, I wonder...

dumaurier responds:
The influence of the Holy Word from a Manifestation of God is subtle. It changes the hearts of even the unbelievers who see not the source thereof. The Word of God is revealed in progressive stages and educates humanity progressively. In the West great potentates established nations through the inviolable influence of Islam. But the influence was subtle. Any historian will testify to the importation of knowledge from Islam through the Crusades. Since Baha'u'llah's advent (1863) and His promotion of the idea of world unity, the world is stirred toward its achievement. Likewise, since Baha'u'llah's promoted the equality of the sexes, the elimination of all sorts of prejudices, the establishment of an international tribunal, one universal auxiliary language and script, justice for all, one world unity, harmony between science and religion, since the enunciation of these ideas men and women in all walks of life and throughout the planet have taken these issues up to task. Mankind is in need of the Word of God which acts as a spiritual force and impetus toward progress.

Moreover, the concept that the central orb of our own solar system was the sun was enunciated in the Qu'ran. Witness how sciences developed and progressed AFTER Muhammad's Revelation. We've talked about this at length.
~~~Yes, witness how the European Renaissance rejuvenated the ancient Greek knowledge. Witness how science took off in an overwhelmingly Christian Europe. Witness how the mathematical knowledge was passed from the Greeks, to the Arabs, and then back to Europeans, after which the Islamic Arabs descended into the depths of ignorance!

dumaurier responds:
Ancient Greek knowledge was rehashed by the Muslims, not the Europeans. In Islam the sciences of the material world saw a new life and were diligently studied. It was the Arabs who acknowledged the greatness of such Greeks as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and took it seriously. The pagan thought of ancient Greece trickled back to the West through the medium of Islamic culture and Arabic translation, to which reaction the Church repudiated and denounced. Aristotelian and Pythagorean theorems were thrown into a rigid, immutable cast by this same Church in Europe who frowned upon Roger Bacon, disfavored Copernicus's theories, and persecuted Galileo. The great physicians, Galen and Hippocrates, were held in high esteem by the Muslims who produced al-Harith Ibn Kaladah, styled "the doctor of the Arabians." Masarjawah translated the first book on medicine from Syriac into Arabic and this set the trend for a long line of translations that opened the way for the advent of Islamic civilization and shed luster upon it. Hunayn translated Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Categories & Physics at a time when Europe forbade even the mention of such great Greeks. These Muslims were inspired directly by the Holy words of Muhammad Himself who says in the Qu'ran: "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave," "Seek knowledge be it even in China," "The ink from the pen of the scholar is more worthy than the blood of the martyr," "He who leaves his home in search of knowledge, walks in the path of God." These were emphatic statements of Muhammad and He adds, "Are they equal: those who know and those who know not?" (Surah 39:12)
While the fervent believers in Muhammad were studying medicine, the oratory arts, mathematics, geometry, trigonometry, astronomy, etc., the dark ages in Europe were devastating the potential in men to think!
Baghdad became the cynosure of the world of savants when the Caliph al-Ma'mun established his House of Wisdom (al-Bayt al-Hikmah). Al-Ma'mun's astronomers computed the circumference of the earth and concluded that it must be a globe. When Nestorians found it difficult to practise their Faith in Byzantium, Chosroes I, the Sasanian monarch, gave them refuge, instituted a College of medicine and philosophy in Jund-i-Shapur (province of Khuzistan), and appointed a number of the learned amongst the Nestorians to staff it. The first astronomer in the realm of Islam was Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim al-Fazari who undertook to translate a book on astronomy by an Indian. The celebrated Musa al-Kharazmi brought together the Indian and Greek disciplines of astronomy and produced the Astronomical Tables ("Zij") which gained great fame. Albategnius, another Muslim, was the author of another set of Astronomical Tables, which in its Latin version provided the groundwork of astronomy in Europe for several centuries. But al-Kharazmi's was not just an astronomer: he is more know for his work in the field of mathematics. It was he who adopted Indian numerals and made use of zero, which facilitated calculation to an extent hitherto unknown and prepared the way for great scientific advance. The word "zero" comes from the Arabic "sifr" which means "empty." When the Indian numerals reached the Western world to oust the Roman, they came to be known as "Arabic Numerals." Al-Kharazmi was also the originator of algebra. The word "algebra" comes from the Arabic "al-jabr" meaning the renovation of something broken. Trigonometry, both plane and spherical, is another branch of mathematics that owes its inception to the scientists of Islamic civilization. The term "sine" (Latin "sinus"), used in trigonometry, is the Latin translation of the Arabic word "jayb" which means an "opening."
The indebtedness of Western civilization to the civilization of Islam is great. Many names of stars and scientific terms come directly from Islam. For example, the House of Twins is called Betelgeuse which comes from Bayt al-Jawza; the Flyer, Altair, is at-Ta'ir; The Calf (Pherkad) is Farqad; Acrab (Scorpion) is aqrab; the scientific word "Alembics" comes from as-Sumut; "Nadir" comes from "Nazir"; "Zenith" comes from "Samt arra's"; "Arsenic," from "Zarnikh"; and so on. The contribution of the notion of "nation," likewise, comes directly from Islam.
I could go on and on listing thousands of items contributed to our Western civilization by the people of Muhammad.

In addition, it is thanks to God's Revelation that superstition and ignorance were replaced with true knowledge down through the ages.
~~~It is thanks to God's Revelation that one type of superstition was replaced with another! No useful knowledge has ever descended from any deity, and I dare you to show otherwise!

dumaurier responds:
Muhammad said that the sun and moon have their own orbits, that these orbits are "rounded," and that our years and time are dependent on the sun:
"It is not permitted to the Sun to catch up the Moon, nor can the Night outstrip the Day: Each just swims along in its own orbit according to Law." (Qur'an: YA SIN, 36:40).
"It is He Who created the Night and the Day, and the sun and the moon: all the celestial bodies swim along, each in its rounded course." (Qur'an: AL-ANBIYAA, 21:33).
"It is He Who made the sun to be a shining glory and the moon to be a light of beauty, and measured out stages for her; that ye might know the number of years and the count of time." (Qur'an: YUNUS, 10:5)
This was and is useful knowledge.
At the time of Moses and Muhammad people had no knowledge of maggots in dieing carcasses of animals, nor were they aware of "germs." Thus they made laws and prohibitions to protect people from their own ignorance: "...if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcass of an unclean beast, or a carcass of unclean cattle, or the carcass of unclean creeping things, and if it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, and guilty. (Leviticus, 5:2). This was and is "useful knowledge."
"The carcasses of every beast which divideth the hoof, and is not clovenfooted, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you: every one that toucheth them shall be unclean. And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcass shall be unclean until the evening. And he that beareth the carcass of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening: they are unclean unto you. (Ibid 11:26-28). This was and is "useful knowledge".
"O ye who believe! when ye prepare for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles. If ye are in a state of ceremonial impurity, bathe your whole body. But if ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature,... and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands, God doth not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean, and to complete his favor to you, that ye may be grateful. (Qu'ran, Al-Ma'idah, 5:7) This was and is "useful knowledge".
"Bull-like, noble, a hero, a great sage, and a conqueror, he who is motionless of mind, washed clean and awakened - that is what I call a Brahmin." (Buddhist Dhammapada, p. 422). This was and is "useful knowledge".
"...when there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any garment, thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled...." (Leviticus: 6:27)
These are just scant examples of the many gems to be found in all Holy Scriptures. This was and is "useful knowledge."

Muhammad, like Christ, Moses and Abraham before Him, taught humanity about hygiene and exhorted men and women to wash themselves regularly. The Word of God through these Manifestations revealed to mankind not only laws of hygiene, but laws of nature and of social behavior. All this is and was "useful knowledge."

Most great men of the Medieval and Renaissance period were God fearing men. The great nations of the West were founded on a belief in Christianity. What united people was their mutual belief in Christ.
~~~Those are the same great men that thought Earth was flat and at the center of the universe! And then they thought disease could be cured by letting blood. And in their Christian unity, they hunted down witches, burned books and heretics right and left, and persecuted the greatest scientists of their time! If Renaissance was truly inspired by the word of God, why did it not occur even 500 years earlier?!! What united people was their mutual terror of the Church. And what united the Church was greed, political strife, and lust for power and control.

dumaurier responds:
It is undoubtedly true that the Church committed unpardonable crimes. I said "most great men." The dominant leaders of the Church were not "great men." The fact remains that the Christian civilization carries the name of Christ and under His banner did they unite to become one.

If there were no belief in God none of this could ever have come about.
~~~That is an empty claim. History turned out the way it did. As to why it turned out the way it did is entirely open to interpretation. This is going back to the issue of empirical observation versus theory. History is fact. Your assertion is theory. And a rather weak one at that! Anyone with even a rudimentary education in history realizes that every single event is caused by and precipitates a host of varied factors. And in most cases, the message of Christ was not the decisive cause in any significant social change!

dumaurier responds:
History has no mind of its own; men of wisdom and who feared God made the great events of history to occur. The great Roman empire came down thanks to the spiritual influence of Christians who were subjected to great tortures. But by "Christians" i do not include the "Church." I speak of the true Christians like the Nazarenes of Jerusalem, the Corinthians, the Colossians, the Ephesians, the Philippines, and other Christian communities to whom Paul wrote his epistles and whom did not recognize any Church. If you'd like me to give you a course on the greatness that was the peoples of Christian persuasion, just ask and this shall be forthcoming. History is replete with great men and women who lived for the Cause of His Lordship the Christ. The effect of the social changes due to Christ's Divinely inspired Message can be seen in the several ecumenical councils beginning with the Council of Nicaea in 325 which formulated the creed proclaiming the doctrine of the Trinity (first enunciated by Tertullian, who later, in 220, turned his back on the Church and joined the Montanists). It was from this Council of Nicae that the form and contents of the New Testament emerged.

It is the impetus of an intensive inner belief in the existence of a benevolent Creator that drives mankind forward toward perfection in this otherwise imperfect world.
~~~Here comes that notion of perfection again. Compared to what, may I ask, is our world imperfect??? It is certainly not a belief in God that drives the majority of the human population, save a few fanatics here and there. More often than not, the main factors are greed, yearning for recognition, power, respect and influence, sense of personal worth or achievement, or yearning for adventure and exploration of new possibilities. Humans are stimulated by novelty. This is what primarily drives the modern boom of basic research.

dumaurier responds:
There are over 900 million Muslims in the world. Dare you say they are all "fanatics"? There are more than this who claim to be Christians. Are they all "fanatics"? There are millions more who claim belief in Moses, Buddha, Krishna, and Baha'u'llah. All these people–in fact, most people on this planet– are driven by their belief in an Almighty God. And you have dumped them all into your basket of "fanatics." Get real, Boris! You're not the only one on this planet. In fact, you're an exception to the rule!!!

Any attempt at disproving the existence of God must, in the end, end in utter failure and disappointment.
~~~Agreed. Same is true of any attempt at proving the existence of God. But what I am actually trying to do is show that existence of God as you conceive is highly improbable. I am trying to show that the only reasonable and true-to-the-facts answers are: "I don't know what created the universe. I don't know whether the universe even had an ultimate origin. I don't know what exists outside of spacetime, and I don't know if the outside even exists. I don't know what is the limit to human knowledge; I can only speculate. But the world is sure mysterious and fascinating enough as to not require some myth to spice it up."
That would be an honest and humble answer as well, not an arrogant one as you portray it.

dumaurier responds:
"Any attempt at disproving the existence of God must, in the end, end in utter failure and disappointment."

Mark my words: in later life you yourself will eventually cry bitter tears for having stood so arrogant before His great majesty and might!
~~~Thank you for that bit of wisdom. But if I had a cent for every time some child of the Lord gave me dire warnings, I would be a billionaire by now.

Dumaurier responds:
You're very welcomed!

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dumaurier

10. ### bedlanamGuest

boris,

it is interesting how you leave 'the' out of bigbang; it is/as if u refer to bigbang as your (kinda) buddy. just something u 'know' well and respect with integrity.

11. ### bedlanamGuest

dumaurier,

don't you see ? , you just acknowledged yourself to be as the countless others. recognize the approach. there is still no-one listening.

12. ### dumaurierRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
171
"god" wrote:

dumaurier
if i may interject with a quick question. If every effect has a cause what would be the cause for the creator?

dumaurier responds:
I have amply answered this question several times in these posts. Not meaning to offend or be rude, i must ask you to please be so kind as to re-read my posts.

Thank you

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dumaurier

13. ### dumaurierRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
171
bedlanum:

Thank you.

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dumaurier

14. ### godRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
49
OK dumaurier
if I understand you correctly you say god is an effect however we humans are incapable of understnding the cause. thats very convenient , but i'll buy it for now.
you also say we see the effects therefore god is the cause (natural laws , intelligence , ect..)thats nothing more than a leap of faith. The same effects could be used as evidence ( and have been ) for evolution & other sientific theorys.
You tell me all these holy scripture that you quote are truths. I could quote you science text as truths . what makes one real and the other not ? faith ?
I agree the universe is awfully complex to come to be on its own , but one almighty creator? That's no more likely than any other theory.

15. ### dumaurierRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
171
god writes:
if I understand you correctly, you say God is an effect however we humans are incapable of understanding the cause. That's very convenient, but i'll buy it for now.

dumaurier responds:
There is a slight misunderstanding here. I do not say that God IS an effect. No! Rather do i contend that man is capable of discerning God's existence through the effects He has initiated within this phenomenal existence. I have beforehand provided a clear example in comparing the sun to God. I have said that we know of the sun through its effects (light, heat, etc.). We cannot know the sun directly but indirectly, through its visible effects. If a blind man walked outdoors on a sunny day he would feel the heat of the sun and may declare that the sun does, indeed, radiate heat. He needn't see the bright, luminous orb itself. Thus the blind man knows of the existence of the sun by its effects. Color is dependent on light and this is another indication of the sun's effects for without the sun light is not possible. Now, you might argue that man has developed artificial light which is independent of the sun. But this is not so because the elements required to build the instrument which provides that artificial light came into being due to the effects of the sun. There are many examples where man has indirect knowledge of something without actually having had direct experience with that thing. One of our own planets was discovered through mathematical calculations years before it could actually be observed with a telescope. But all these are examples relative to the finite, physical realm. There are other examples indicating the existence of God in the spiritual realms. For example, the spiritual graces and the effects thereof prove the existence of an Almighty One Who caused such subtleties of the angelic condition to be manifest. For example, the virtue of compassion is not material but a spiritual phenomenon. Then what is the origin of such a virtue? What is the origin of all virtues? In fact, all virtues are spiritual phenomena which have been revealed gradually to mankind by the Representatives of God on earth (Christ, Muhammad, Baha'u'llah, etc.). Witness also the power in the Word of God as revealed by His Holy manifestations. See how the Word has transformed humanity down through the ages. So, for example, Socrates, Aristotle and Plato were God-fearing men who developed great sciences. According to Eastern histories, Socrates journeyed in Syria and learned about the Oneness of God from those who adhered to Judaism, he brought back such beliefs to his native land and educated all those who circled about him; such as Plato and others. The great Arabian physicians and mathematicians who gave us algebra, trigonometry, astronomy, etc., were all God-fearing, believing men. They were not atheists who didn't believe in the bounties of God! Their education derived from their belief in an Ever-Loving and Benevolent God Who directed their lives through their belief and obedience to His Messenger.

The knowledge of the existence of God comes to us from the Manifestations of God Themselves. Christ, upon whom the Christian civilization was founded, said that His Word came from the "Father." He did not say that His Word came from Himself, from His imagination. Read these passages:

"All things are delivered unto me of my Father..." (Matthew, 11:27)

"For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." (John, 12:49-50)

In the Qu'ran, Muhammad said similar words:

"They [the Apostles] speak not before He speaks, and they act in all things by His [God's] Command." (AL-ANBIYAA, 21:27)

"Say: "I am but a man like yourselves, but the inspiration has come to me, that your God is one God: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner." (AL-KAHF, 18:110)

"Say thou: "I am but a man like you: It is revealed to me by Inspiration, that your God is one God: so stand true to Him, and ask for His Forgiveness. And woe to those who join gods with God." (HA-MIM AS-SAJDAH, 41:6)

Moses, likewise said that the Word He uttered did not come from Himself but was given to Him by Yahveh, or God. We've only to refer to his sojourn up Mount Sinai (see Exodus 31:18) where God revealed to Him the Ten Commandments.

Moreover, Baha'u'llah also said that His Revelation came from God, not from Himself.

So, God has revealed Himself to mankind through His Divine Manifestations. Baha'u'llah says that in the world of being there are three ranks:

1. the rank of God or Divinity;
2. the rank of the Divine Manifestations;
3. the rank of man.

He says that the Divine Manifestation is the intermediary between God and man; man can only know God through the Divine Manifestation and in no other way. Moses, Christ, Muhammad, Baha'u'llah were all Divine Manifestations who revealed Books in which are written divine instructions for men to follow. And they all claim that this knowledge comes from God.

god writes:
you also say we see the effects therefore God is the cause (natural laws, intelligence, etc..) that's nothing more than a leap of faith. The same effects could be used as evidence (and have been) for evolution & other scientific theories.

dumaurier responds:
Please give me some examples of the same effects as evidence for evolution and other scientific theories.

god writes:
You tell me all these holy scripture that you quote are truths. I could quote you science text as truths. What makes one real and the other not? Faith?

dumaurier responds:
I am not saying that there are no truths in worldly sciences. Of course there are! For example, on the earth what goes up must come down! This is a truth. Man needs oxygen to live. Plants need the sun. Water evaporates. Fire burns. There are many truths. The sun is luminous. I am a man. Women bear children. Airplanes fly. Man has landed on the moon. These are all truths. They are not unreal! But they all pertain to the material world. Why do you reject that there is a God? Is it because He can't be dissected like the frog or be weighed on a scale? You see, when we speak of God we must refer to things which are beyond and above the material world; we must use something other than the senses to comprehend and understand. The Prophets of God revealed laws of hygiene, social laws, and they also revealed spiritual laws of a moral character. Such moral laws are not material. They are spiritual for they have to do with the education of souls. For example, They have all promoted the concept of goodness and righteousness. Such concepts are not material but they have an effect in the material world. So, when the Prophets teach man about washing the body, about chastity, and the like, although these instructions are directed toward the material body they have an effect on the soul of man. Baha'u'llah says that science and religion must go hand-in-hand. He does not say to accept one and reject the other. So there are sciences that concentrate on discovering the material world. And there are sciences that concentrate on discovering the spiritual worlds. Both are complimentary, not antagonistic.

But if you try to understand everything from a material perspective, you are limiting your search from the start.

Salutations

------------------
dumaurier

16. ### bedlanamGuest

" incapable of understnding the cause" that is what i believe is missing. - it does not mean we cannot sense the 'cause' . for many the words 'leap of faith' imply innocence or blindness. this is a presumtion that relates nothing to the notion. have u ever been walking on the sidewalk and approched a slow caterpillar. if so, did u try to get it to a safe place in the foliage? perhaps instinct in combination with logical deduction creates intuition. is it that we take a chance during a leap of faith or is it a sense ot trust thru intuition. and say this is debated to be a self induced delusion, but if nothing bad ever comes of it (including vanity) then so be that explanation, right. the inference is 'sense' .

17. ### BorisSenior MemberRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,052
The principle of causality is an empirical fact. By itself, it would mean nothing if it could not be demonstrated. 'Empirical' means observed; empirical fact means observable fact. When you claim to have knowledge of something you have never observed, nor can in principle observe, you are making an empty claim that has no bearing on reality.

Is the term 'madman' defined by numbers of people, or by their mental state? Besides, I don't call the believers madmen. I simply say that they are ignorant and misled, that's all. If I followed your methodology, then I'd call Baha'u'llah, Mohammad, Christ, Moses and Abraham madmen too -- their solitary word stood against the rest of the world! However, them you view as Prophets, while you view scientists as madmen. Where's your consistency?

(though let me remind you that whereas the Prophets had nothing but rhetoric to back themselves up, the 'madmen' of science have indeed empirically demonstrated extraordinary comprehension of reality.)

The object of knowledge is formation of theory. Scientific theory reflects and approximates the true reality; it is our only way to learn of the world's true nature, extent, sophistication, or behavior. Evolutionarily the theory-forming capaciy emerged as a behavioral adaptation, its purpose to guide the animal through the world safely, and to enable it to formulate optimal foraging strategies.

But in the answers to such questions as purpose of life and origin of everything, knowledge has no place. Such questions cannot be answered through knowledge (at least not as far as we can tell), and thus should not be answered at all -- for any answer even at present would be nothing but pretense.

We know of no ultimate purpose. We strive to understand matter because it is the only thing we can presently understand. As our understanding grows, we may be able to extend our investigation into areas not fathomed today. If there is an ultimate purpose, it can only be ascertained through empirical investigation; anything else is a mere random stab in the dark. Actually, not even all that random -- it never fails to have stark humanistic and earthly overtones. The choices are these:
1) stop wondering altogether and simply subsist
2) investigate, and nurture knowledge, in hopes of uncovering clues for further investigation.
3) manufacture answers that make you feel all warm anf fuzzy inside, and simply subsist from there on.

Why do detectives collect clues at a crime scene? Is it so they can marry and go to bed with those clues? Or is it because they want to provide answers as to what actually happened? After all, they could just pick a person at random and hang him/her -- and satisfy the mob that someone has paid for the crime. Question is: do people actually care who? It appears that a small minority of 'madmen' does...

The man today is increasingly educated and knowledgeable. Thus, he is increasingly immune to the religious doctrine. However, science is commonly demonized as the domain of 'madmen' and 'geeks' -- so modern man is left with no available systematic perspective on life, and is forced to invent his own. Hence, confusion. Nevertheless, I do observe an increasing dependence on science when advice in life is needed -- especially when it comes to such things as nutrition, education, health care, or economic forecasts. The world at large is slowly coming to terms with the fact that science is the only source of reliable and thorough interpretation of reality, and this fact is true only because of modern science's empirical foundation.

If you need to be 'uplifted', there are many ways to accomplish that. Religious bliss is only one. An alternative way is to fall in love, start a family, and raise children. Another is through creativity and self-expression (art, in other words). Another is through finding an occupation that you enjoy and are really good at. Yet another is by simply soaking in the vastness, complexity and beauty of both the universe and human beings themselves. Yet another is to assume the role of a seeker -- no quest is as fulfilling, noble, or rife with inspiration, as that of a seeker after truth. The cuddly comfort of Sunday church meetings pales to nothingness in comparison. This is especially so when the truth one seeks concerns the fundamental nature of reality itself. There is a certain punch of exhilaration in realizing ones own ignorance, and the evident vastness of the universe filled with mysteries we cannot yet even fathom. Oh yes, there are indeed ways of being uplifted other than, and far superior to, religion.

A pure heart would simply wonder at the greatness of it all. A confused one would rather contemplate Creator. By the way, the 'little toys' of science get extremely handy when it comes to the appreciation of greatness and complexity of the universe -- but also when it comes to understanding thereof.

Play on words is all you see, but one who reads with care and at least attempts to follow my argument would disagree with you. You split a coherent paragraph into chunks and ridiculed each, without seeing the unifying message:

The act of capturing information is done at the sensory organs. It is done in the rods and cones of the retina, in the hair cells of the ear, in the taste buds of the tongue. The recorded information is then transmitted along nervous tracts to higher centers where it is filtered, interpreted and registered. The sensory organs are empirical measuring instruments. They can be somewhat modulated by the higher cognitive machinery, but their fundamental registration of information is an unobstructed process. Senses themselves are not capable of being fooled. They are merely the cameras, the microphones, the thermometers and the spectrographs of the human body. Their data is submitted to higher processing nodes, which at genesis are jumbled but with maturation slowly modify themselves to make sense of the incoming information. Eventually, they learn to perceive and identify patterns within sensory input -- and these learned responses constitute a theory, an interpretation
of the empirical measurement.

Such implicit theory-making is inherent in adaptation. Animal life, long before it became conscious, was forming theories of the world. Depending on how successful a theory is encoded in an organism's body, that organism will have greater or lesser chance of survival. You see, the narrow sundry meaning of the word 'theory' is the one you presume; I am using a much more essential meaning of the word. A theory is a symbolic representation of the natural world that enables interpretation, dependable manipulation, and prediction of events within that world. Scientific theories are only a subclass of a much larger lot; every single behavioral adaptation present in animal life is a theory of the world. And, depending on how complete is the theory encoded by the behavioral adaptation, the animal is either more or less fit to survive.

Practically all of your knowledge, Dumarier, consists of theories. You know that fire burns flesh, and water soaks clothes. You know that the sky is blue and that you are a Canadian. Every one of these generalizations is a theory -- and even as you were emerging from your mother's womb you were already employing the scientific method to form such theories. We, and all other animals, learn by trial and error -- which this is only a simple restatement of the scientific method. Life itself, no matter what kind, evolves by trial and error. So you see, I was right after all. The scientific method is one of the most fundamental principles on which life operates. So you are welcome to eat yet another shoe.

You see, this is just what I mean when I relate scientific knowledge to awareness. No 'revelation' has ever increased our awareness of the world; our awareness has always grown only through experience and accompanying theory making. You have demonstrated an awareness too limited to even grasp the essense of my argument; instead you proceeded to attack it in bizzarre ways as a strange beast it was to you. What was all that about tornadoes, rain, sleet, and volcanoes? They are not alive; they do not adapt; they do not evolve -- they naturally do not form theories. You are miles off the point here!

What you refer to as the 'power of the mind', I refer to as 'perceptual mechanisms'. You proclaim knowledge of the mind, whereas you actually possess virtually none. Just this once, cast away your presumption, and hear out the objective fact.

The vast majority of the sensory illusions occur prior to entering the stream of consciousness. Such illusions are produced by adaptations in the sensory corteci which have come to represent the 'normal' behavior of the world. For example, when you see some object that is bright at the top and dark at the bottom, you cannot help but perceive it as an oblique object illuminated from above by sunlight. However, this object might actually be a crater on Mars, and the sunlight is coming from the bottom. Your visual system refuses to contemplate such a perspective, however -- because it has by now formed a rather rigid theory of how objects are illuminated in the world. Another example is the Gestalt principle of continuity. When you see a tree, and from one side of the tree you see a shovel tip up in the air, and on the other side of the tree you see the shovel head dug into the ground, you will automatically assume that the shovel is continuous behind the tree, and that the tip of the handle you see up in the air is connected to the head in the ground on the other side of the tree. Such an assumption is a theory formed by your visual apparatus; in this case it may or may not actually represent reality. However, this is not a conscious theory you have arrived to through reason; you learned the principle of Continuity even as you were a toddler. The same can be said about the principle of adjacency, where two events exhibiting similar or simultaneous behavior are automatically attributed to a common source, and sometimes even perceived as the same object. For example, you can make a computer program draw a random spattering of black pixels on a white computer screen. Then, the program would pick at random any two of those pixels, and start synchronously moving them around. Your visual system would immediately interpret the two dots as belonging to the same object -- with no conscious input whatsoever.

Theories permeate our consciousness even deeper than that. For example, a prototype is a theoretical construct. When you envision a prototypical chair, or a prototypical tree -- you are employing a theoretical representation of an entire class of often varied and quite dissimilar objects. Such formation of mental symbols, or prototypes, for objects, behaviors, and even sensory qualities is just a veiled formation of a theoretical representation.

So you see, our sensory systems are indeed full of theories -- as indeed is all life on this planet. These theories strive to represent the world as best they can; however, they can be fooled deliberately and very reliably once one understands their basic assumptions.

Finally, let me correct you on this notion of 'encompassing and surrounding' the universe with one's mind. The brain does no such thing. Theories are formed by detection of correlation. The brain detects repeated patterns, and makes the fundamental assumption that these patterns represent
natural behavior and are likely to be repeated in the future. Correlation plays a huge role in cognition; it is the only source of statistical information about the behavior of the world. We don't 'encompass' the world with our minds; we merely correlate events and behaviors, and thus try to discern regularities and predictability within the influx of information delivered by our senses.

Synthesis of knowledge is not performed by the senses. Neither is it done in the 'soul', whatever that is. It is done in the higher cognitive centers of the brain. They draw together and correlate varied sensory memories, theories, and qualities in order to synthesize them into a more general representation, which is again stored back in the brain -- this time near the higher cognitive centers. When we die, our entire brain dies -- including the upper cognitive centers.

These posts are getting unwieldy; I'll break off here and continue in the next post.

------------------
I am; therefore I think.

18. ### bedlanamGuest

knowledge itself is the outcome of the synthesis of sense and soul. synthesis of knowledge is more theory and speculation.

19. ### BorisSenior MemberRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,052
This is the claim that you have attempted to dispute. So, let's see how well you did:

<hr>

1) I don't agree with this last little maneuver to assert that tradition must be non-written. It is simply a mere fact that most cultures until recently did not possess writing. However, in the case of literate cultures, tradition can be and indeed is transmitted both by word of mouth *and* in writing. Similar is the case of the world's many religions.
2) So far, you description of tradition in general describes religion to the tee.

I think your entire opposition to my statements here is rather misguided. Religion is just a subset of tradition -- nobody in their right mind ought to dispute such a self-evident fact.

And so tradition evolves. New replaces the old; fresh overcomes the worn-out. As our empirical awareness of the world grows, and as the average capacity for reason increases, 'revelations' are adjusted and renewed to track this process and stay roughly in synch with the known world.

The will to acquire virtues drives men into monasteries and caves, devoting their life to prayer and worship. Again, I will reiterate that for the majority of human population save a few fanatics, religion (or God) does not enter the mind any more often than once or twice a day (or perhaps even a week!) Most people go about their lives with no regard for God or religion; only on special occasions and in congregations do they return their attention to their religion in earnest. To suggest that human condition worldwide has improved because of religion is laughable. As I said before: if the modern age was indeed spurred by word of God, why did it not begin immediately after Mohammad's revelation? Why did it take a thousand years since the last 'prophet' for Renaissance to take off? The fundamental tenets of modern civilization can be traced back much more readily to the British Magna Carta than to Qur'an. It is the British representative political system that ultimately spurred the American democracy, with its associated
declaration of fundamental human rights and independence from tyranny. The present improvements in human condition are due in much larger part to greatly advanced and amplified social analysis and criticism, as well as technological progress. Neither is driven by the scriptures; rather these things arise from ever-growing freedom of thought and opinion, which has always originated with reach and powerful aristocrats -- as was the case in Greece, Arabia, or Renaissance Europe.

There is no such thing as 'Divine Power'. Lightning is not the work of Zeus. And historical progress is not the work of a mysterious invisible hand. That which is not tangible cannot touch you. Which goes back to my point about awareness. Religion creates a mildly nonsensical dream out of reality; objective thought, on the other hand, builds awareness. The readers of our debates can judge the fairness of this observation for themselves.

<hr>

Sounds like another fable. You are certainly fond of those (just stop making them out to seem real). The things you supposedly saw in your dream are in fact no more real than talking to someone in cyberspace. Whereas
the former were visions generated by your mind, the latter is an actual process observable by everyone else. And while the former are not observable by everyone else, they were ostensibly observed by you: they were an observation of your own internal state. If you indeed had such a dream, then it indeed was real. However, it would say nothing about dreams or consciousness being supernatural (if that's what you are trying to imply). The brain does not shut down during sleep; indeed it is very active, sometimes more so than in a wakeful state. It has been observed that the state of the brain over the period of falling asleep has an influence on the contents of the dreams that ensue. It has also been known to happen
that solutions to real problems were discovered in a dream. All that proves is that the brain can process information even when it is in an altered state of consciousness. And perhaps, an altered state of consciousness is precisely what is needed to get around a mental block in a problem-solving activity. The images and events conjured up by the brain during sleep are indeed real insofar as they are directly represented within the brain's activity; however, they do not reflect reality, as any sleepwalker knows. Furthermore, ask yourself this question: if dreams were indeed otherworldly, would they not involve objects and concepts completely alien to our earthly experience? And yet, we see in our dreams only the types of things we have already seen when we were awake.

<hr>

I am flattered to remind you of an ant. LOL. (Have I been pestering you much lately?)

The issue is not understanding; the issue is emiprical evidence and sensibility. First of
all, an ant can certainly obtain evidence of a human's existence. Compare that with our God conundrum.

The GREAT BIG POINT is that you yourself are trying to use that miserable little human mind of yours to conjure up proof of God. And the 'proof' that results is more of a 'poof'.

What you are saying is utter nonsense. (And I thought humanizing nature was against the Judaic doctrine!!!) A mineral has no comprehension whatsoever as it is not alive. A plant has no comprehension whatsoever as it is not conscious. An animal has no comprehension whatsoever because it does not possess language to handle such abstract concepts as 'station'. What the heck are you talking about in this passage when you mention 'deductive obsevation'????? Not only does it not make sense given the context, but 'deductive' and 'observation' are essentially opposite concepts! Observation is <u>inductive</u>, not deductive! Deduction works on axyoms, not on observations!

The only way any one of the objects you mentioned, had they possessed intelligence, could ascertain the existence of such things as minerals, plants, animals, or humans, is by direct observation! The only way
humans could ascertain the existence of God is through direct observation. What the heck are you talking about when you mention the 'invisible effects'?????? An effect, by definition, must be measurable!!

So who is it that makes the rain fall -- the laws of nature, or God? I think the laws of nature. As to where those laws came from -- your claim is no more valid than mine. But you totally avoided the questions that were
asked. First, I want to see an explicit recognition from you that all observed phenomena to date have been shown to follow physical laws. Next, I would like you to finally stop evading the question of why you use causality in explaining the origin of the physical laws, where causality does not actually apply to the origin itself! (God in your case) You cannot continue to use causality as your 'proof' of God until you answer this question!

Rubbish. Causality is at the root of all learning and the most fundamental principle of existence; one needs no God to perceive causality. Fire burns flesh. Sun warms up the air. Food satisfies hunger. Injury results in pain. Just a few examples of causality to show you that one does not need a divine messenger to perceive it.

In other words:

"Shut up you stupid annoying little thing. My Divine knowledge comes straight from God and He knows best. I don't have to make sense because He doesn't either. God makes no sense, but you must nevertheless believe everything I tell you because He said so. Believe me or else..."

<hr>

Really???! I suggest you browse through the Evolution vs. Creation thread, and plomp this blather in there so we could examine it closer.

Laughable! These very laws are the ones responsible for evolution in the first place!

Depending on how old you are, you might actually live to see the day when you would have to swallow these words.

Hmmm... Are you here referring to those very superstitions that God himself is out to destroy??? The prophets of the Incas told them to sacrifice children to God. Nice work, God. Admirable work. Does it ever enter your mind that superstitions and religions arise on their own, with humans being their only source??? What is so hard to comprehend about such a possibility?

On Evolution vs. Creation, I have examined a paper from one of such 'scientists' concerning intelligent design. I suggest you go read it. The so-called 'comeback' of intelligent design is a non-event. This line of opposition has always been present, and can be found in Sunday School textbooks from fourty years ago (I've seen it myself!) It is merely yet another attempt by religious individuals to claw at the last vestiges of hope in order to salvage their faith from the relentless onslaught of fact. Please do read my post in the Evolution vs. Creation thread (it's among the last posts in the thread).

This is not a reasonable request. Anybody in their right mind will just take a look at some of the remnants of the Incan empire, or some of the archaeological digs in the Andes uncovering flourishing cities interconnected with well-engineered trade routes. The mere existence of such relics proves that Indian tribes indeed lived in peace and prospered long before Abraham. A 'study' would only be requested by you, Dumaurier. It is clearly an overkill for such a self-evident matter.

While it may be true that no written record equal to the Torah remains of the anscient American tribes, they did indeed write down many things, which are found engraved on tablets and unearthed buildings. In time,
we will decode these writings and learn of anscient life in the Americas. Written record is not the only type of record to provide us with information about the past. You are ignoring an even more important type of record: archaeological.

So... The other civilizations are definitly being viewed through a distorted lens due to the salesmanship of modern Egyptologists. (By the way, I was referring to the pre-Egyptian sub-saharan kingdoms). However, from the Jews themeselves, no less, we are getting a clear as glass, true representation of their own culture 3,000 years ago, and a high-fidelity representation of the rest of the world, to boot???! I believe it is time for me to caugh a few times in a fery evocative manner.

By the way, recent evidence indicates that Egypt was not a slave-driven country overall. It seems the popular belief that the Pyramids were built by the slaves is a myth. They seem more likely to be religiously-motivated monuments to love, submission and worship.

<hr>

As for that look into the transferrence of Arabic knowledge to Europe, I can't agree more. However, you have glossed over the main fact: the Arabs obtained their original knowledge <u>from the Greeks</u>!!! What divine prophet, may I ask, provided the anscient Greek noblemen with their ideas and inspirations, may I ask?!

<hr>
I wrote:

"It is thanks to God's Revelation that one type of superstition was replaced with another! No useful knowledge has ever descended from any deity, and I dare you to show otherwise!"

Come on!! All he is saying is that the sun and the moon, and indeed all 'celestial bodies' trace arcs in the sky. This is what 'orbit' (probably a translation error) refers to. There is no concept of a Keplerian celestial system here!

It is common and very obvious knowledge that night and day alternate. Come on Dumauruer, do you really need Mohammad to tell you that????

The statement "It is not permitted to the Sun to catch up the Moon" is <u>very</u> dubious indeed!
If he is implying that the sun and the moon do not co-exist in the sky, he is dead wrong -- the moon is regularly seen during the day (in fact it is seen just as often during daytime as it is during night). If he is implying that the moon and the sun's positions cannot coincide in the sky, he is dead wrong -- solar eclipse is a very well-known occurrence, I hope.
If he is implying that the moon moves across the sky faster than the Sun does, then he is stating a fact that is directly (and easily!) observable during daytime, and ought to have been common knowledge. It certainly ought to be for any civilization that pays any attention to the celestial events.

And what is this reference to the celestial bodies 'swimming along'???

Finally, I hope you realize that practically every civilization on earth has used the sun and the stars to tell the time of day, and days and seasons to measure years. The Greeks alone knew <u>way</u> more astronomy than that!!!

Come on!! Are you suggesting that people observed the maggots on the dead carcasses, but were not aware of them??! (They are pretty hard to miss, if you've seen them!)

Are you suggesting that the natural instinct of disgust engendered by foul stench and the sight of decomposing meet (or any type of decomposing food) was not present in humans before a prophet showed up??!

What you are quoting is common knowledge. It is certainly useful, but it is also obvious, self-evident, and common.

Come on!! This says that cows, horses and camels are actually clean! (useful knowledge???)

This conveys only the need to be clean when worshipping God. It says nothing about the importance of personal hygiene. Now, if it actually demanded a washing of hands (and not feet, or the face) particularly before food is eaten, then I'd be impressed.

Are you kidding me??? Do you really suppose that before these great religions came along, people went around filthy?? Is the smell of filth attractive? Is the sight of filth attractive? Is filth suggestive of a higher social status? What woman would you find more attractive: one who has never washed, or one who just washed? It is ridiculous to suggest that cleanliness is not an obvious enough thing to be known without help from 'revelation'! Even animals regularly clean themselves -- because they itch when they are dirty (and so do people)!

The only culture, to my knowledge, that actually endorsed filth was that of European Christians. They believed that filth was God's filth, and that it is a sin and it is presumptious to wash it off. Not to mention that cleanliness makes you sexually attractive, and in God's eye that is a big no-no.

<hr>

It is painfully obvious that what the 'prophets' were 'teaching' humanity has been common knowledge among their own people! They were merely re-iterating the knowledge they themselves acquired from their own culture. But, they were also embellishing it with extraneous bells and whistles -- thus, for example, pigs are dubbed unclean, whereas cows are clean (and in India, even sacred!).
Mohammad was clearly pandering to the Hindu beliefs within his exception for the 'cloven-hoofed, cud-chewing beast'.
As for the 'uncleanliness', he was probably turned off by pigs and their propensity to wallow in mud. So much for divine knowledge, eh?

<u>
My challenge to you was to produce evidence of useful knowledge which has demonstrably DESCENDED FROM A DEITY, and was not, nor could have been, already possessed by the parent civilization. I want examples of knowledge which is not self-evident, which is not obvious, which is well beyond the common wisdom of the Bronze age, and way too esoteric for anyone to have arrived at on their own back in those times.
</u>

And under His banner did they split into a gazillion warring denominations, each one persecuting the other! Give me a break!!! And you still didn't answer the question: "If Renaissance was truly inspired by the word of God, why did it not occur even 500 years earlier?!!"

And you know, speaking of the "great men". In addition to being God-fearing, they all without exception also believed in Creation, to the point of actually painting pictures of it, sculpting sculptures of it, and writing exaltations to it. They had <u>no</u> idea
of evolution. But do you think, perhaps if they possessed access to modern knowledge, at least a few of these 'god-fearing' men would change their mind? Greatness and ignorance can go hand-in-hand. Even the most brilliant geniuses can believe and say the stupidest things when they are not in full possession of all the facts.

Really???! Wow! And silly me, I thought the fall of the Roman Empire was due to political weakness and attacks of the Germanic tribes...

This is the 'social changes' you proclaim??! The emergence of the New Testament??!
I was hoping for a hint to what prompted the transition from Feudalism to the Industrial era, or what incited the urban centralization that forever transformed the European cultures and the rest of the world. But, I suppose, the New Testament is certainly more significant to the world than the social and technological evolution since the Dark Ages... NOT!

'Claiming' a religion is quite different from being <u>driven</u> by religion, won't you agree???! Beliefs were not even the point here; I was discussing the main motivations that most influence peoples' lives!

But since you want to confront me with the "you are in the minority, therefore you can't be right" b.s., let me then address this particular charge. Just remember: the Baha'i are also in the minority, Dumaurier.

A <u>belief</u> in an almighty God is absolutely no evidence for existence thereof. Moreover, neither Hindus nor Buddhists espose a belief in an allmighty God; they have multiple Gods in complex hierarchies and arrangements. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if all the Judeo-Christian people in the world were still a minority when compared to the rest of the population which does not believe in a single, obscure, abstract Allmighty God.

Furthermore, I am not claiming the 'believers' to be fanatics. There is a rather big distinction between a misguided individual and a fanatical one. But yes and yes, I am indeed claiming the majority of the world to be ignorant and misguided. Which should not be too surprising, since the majority of the world is still struggling to emerge to the Second-World status, or to catch up with the scientific progress since those geeky math and science classes they used to flunk in grade school, or to free their minds from under the tonnes of horseshit that has been piled upon them in Sunday School or in Church by the Holy Debunkers of Evil Materialism, or to progress beyond the brainwashed mindset instilled by the mandatory daily prayer and other mind-control rituals.

------------------
I am; therefore I think.

20. ### dumaurierRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
171
It is amazing to see how the defeated proclaim allegiance to truth while tripping in their own blindness.

Verily, they know not what they say nor what they do. God, forgive them their trespasses against Thee.

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dumaurier

21. ### dumaurierRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
171
According to Boris, Muhammad and His religion of Islam was a pack of lies, full of superstitious beliefs, and didn't contribute anything at all to humanity or sciences.

The following writers, according to Boris' assessment, therefore, would all be a bunch of "fanatics," ignorant, full of superstition, and they didn't know what they were talking about.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present some comments by famous "ignoramuses" (according to Boris) on the worth of Islam as founded by His Honour, Muhammad...

=================================

Napolean Bonaparte:
"Moses has revealed the existence of God to his nation. Jesus Christ to the Roman world, Muhammad to the old continent...
"Arabia was idolatrous when, six centuries after Jesus, Muhammad introduced the worship of the God of Abraham, of Ishmael, of Moses, and Jesus. The Ariyans and some other sects had disturbed the tranquility of the east by agitating the question of the nature of the Father, the son, and the Holy Ghost. Muhammad declared that there was none but one God who had no father, no son and that the trinity imported the idea of idolatry...
"I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of Qur'an which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness." (Napolean Bonaparte as Quoted in Christian Cherfils, 'Bonaparte et Islam,' Pedone Ed., Paris, France, 1914, pp. 105, 125. Original References: "Correspondance de Napoléon Ier Tome V pièce n° 4287 du 17/07/1799; profession de foi, voir aussi pièce n° 3148. Also, Journal inédit de Ste Hélène, de 1815 à 1818" du Gal Baron Gourgaud -2 tomes-Ed. Flammarion. [Note: Some Muslim historians have suggested that Asad bin Al Furat, the commander of Muslim forces in Sicily [see 827 CE in Muslim History], is the progenitor of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821). Asad's descendants were known as 'Banu Furat'; for other such names see 1031 CE. One of Napoleon's brother-in-law was Joachim Murat.]

Sir George Bernard Shaw:
"If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam."
"I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity."
"I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today." (The Genuine Islam, Vol. 1, No. 8).

Bertrand Russel:
"Our use of phrase 'The Dark ages' to cover the period from 699 to 1,000 marks our undue concentration on Western Europe...
"From India to Spain, the brilliant civilization of Islam flourished. What was lost to christendom at this time was not lost to civilization, but quite the contrary...
"To us it seems that West-European civilization is civilization, but this is a narrow view." (History of Western Philosophy, London, p. 419).

H.G. Wells:
"The Islamic teachings have left great traditions for equitable and gentle dealings and behavior, and inspire people with nobility and tolerance. These are human teachings of the highest order and at the same time practicable. These teachings brought into existence a society in which hard-heartedness and collective oppression and injustice were the least as compared with all other societies preceding it....Islam is replete with gentleness, courtesy, and fraternity."

Dr. William Draper:
"During the period of the Caliphs the learned men of the Christians and the Jews were not only held in great esteem but were appointed to posts of great responsibility, and were promoted to the high ranking job in the government....He (Caliph Haroon Rasheed) never considered to which country a learned person belonged nor his faith and belief, but only his excellence in the field of learning." (History of Intellectual Development of Europe).

Edward Montet:
"Islam is a religion that is essentially rationalistic in the widest sense of this term considered etymologically and historically....the teachings of the Prophet, the Qur'an has invariably kept its place as the fundamental starting point, and the dogma of unity of God has always been proclaimed therein with a grandeur a majesty, an invariable purity and with a note of sure conviction, which it is hard to find surpassed outside the pale of Islam....A creed so precise, so stripped of all theological complexities and consequently so accessible to the ordinary understanding might be expected to possess and does indeed possess a marvelous power of winning its way into the consciences of men." (La Propagande Chretienne et ses Adversaries Musulmans, Paris. Also in T.W. Arnold in 'The Preaching of Islam,'London.)

Thomas Carlyle:
"As there is no danger of our becoming, any of us, Mahometans (i.e. Muslim), I mean to say all the good of him I justly can...
"When Pococke inquired of Grotius, where the proof was of that story of the pigeon, trained to pick peas from Mahomet's (Muhammad's) ear, and pass for an angel dictating to him? Grotius answered that there was no proof!...
"A greater number of God's creatures believe in Mahomet's word at this hour than in any other word whatever. Are we to suppose that it was a miserable piece of spiritual legerdemain, this which so many creatures of the almighty have lived by and died by?...
"A poor, hard-toiling, ill-provided man; careless of what vulgar men toil for. Not a bad man, I should say; Something better in him than hunger of any sort, -- or these wild arab men, fighting and jostling three-and-twenty years at his hand, in close contact with him always, would not revered him so! They were wild men bursting ever and anon into quarrel, into all kinds of fierce sincerity; without right worth and manhood, no man could have commanded them. They called him prophet you say? Why he stood there face to face with them; bare, not enshrined in any mystry; visibly clouting his own cloak, cobbling his own shoes; fighting, counselling, ordering in the midst of them: they must have seen what kind of man he was, let him be called what you like! No emperor with his tiaras was obeyed as this man in a cloak of his own clouting. During three-and-twenty years of rough actual trial. I find something of a veritable Hero necessary for that, of itself...
"These Arabs, the man Mahomet, and that one century, - is it not as if a spark had fallen, one spark, on a world of what proves explosive powder, blazes heaven-high from Delhi to Granada! I said, the Great man was always as lightning out of Heaven; the rest of men waited for him like fuel, and then they too would flame..." (Heroes, Hero
Worship, and the Heroic in History, Lecture 2).

Simon Ockley:
A rugged, strife-torn and mountaineering people...were suddenly turned into an indomitable Arab force, which achieved a series of splendid victories unparalleled in the history of nations, for in the short space of ninety years that mighty range of Saracenic (Muslim)conquest embraced a wider extent of territory than Rome had mastered in the course of eight hundred. (History of the Saracens).

Phillip Hitti:
"During all the first part of the Middle Ages, no other people made as important a contribution to human progress as did the Arabs, if we take this term to mean all those whose mother-tongue was Arabic, and not merely those living in the Arabian peninsula. For centuries, Arabic was the language of learning, culture and intellectual progress for the whole of the civilized world with the exception of the Far East. From the IXth to the XIIth century there were more philosophical, medical, historical, religious, astronomical and geographical works written in Arabic than in any other human tongue." (Short History of the Arabs).

Carra de Vaux:
"Finally how can one forget that at the same time the Mogul Empire of India (1526-1857 C.E.) was giving the world the Taj Mahal (completed in 1648 C.E.) the architectural beauty of which has never been surpassed, and the ‘Akbar Nameh’ of Abul Fazl: "That extraordinary work full of life ideas and learning where every aspect of life is examined listed and classified, and where progress continually dazzles the eye, is a document of which Oriental civilization may justly be proud. The men whose genius finds its expression in this book were far in advance of their age in the practical art of government, and they were perhaps in advance of it in their speculations about religious philosophy. Those poets those philosophers knew how to deal with the world or matter. They observe, classify, calculate and experiment. All the ideas that occur to them are tested against facts. They express them with eloquence but they also support them with statistics."...the principles of tolerance, justice and humanity which prevailed during the long reign of Akbar." (The Philosophers of Islam,' Paris, 1921).

Marcel Clerget:
"Many proofs of high cultural level of the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent are to be found in the development of science and law; in the flowering of literary works in Arabic, Persian and Turkish; in the contemporary monuments in Istanbul, Bursa, and Edirne; in the boom in luxury industries; in the sumptuous life of the court and high dignitaries, and last but not least in its religious tolerance. All the various influences - notably Turkish, Byzantine and Italian mingle together and help to make this the most brilliant epoch of the Ottomans." (La Turquie, Passe et Present').

Thomas Arnold:
"We have never heard about any attempt to compel Non-Muslim parties to adopt Islam or about any organized persecution aiming at exterminating Christianity. If the Caliphs had chosen one of these plans, they would have wiped out Christianity as easily as what happened to Islam during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella in Spain; by the same method which Louis XIV followed to make Protestantism a creed whose followers were to be sentenced to death; or with the same ease of keeping the Jews away from Britain for a period of three hundred fifty years." (The Call to Islam).

Michael the Elder (Great):
"This is why the God of vengeance, who alone is all-powerful, and changes the empire of mortals as He will, giving it to whomsoever He will, and uplifting the humble beholding the wickedness of the Romans who throughout their dominions, cruelly plundered our churches and our monasteries and condemned us without pity, brought from the region of the south the sons of Ishmael, to deliver us through them from the hands of the Romans. And if in truth we have suffered some loss, because the Catholic churches, that had been taken away from us and given to the Chalcedonians, remained in their possession; for when the cities submitted to the Arabs, they assigned to each denomination the churches which they found it to be in possession of (and at that time the great churches of Emessa and that of Harran had been taken away from us); nevertheless it was no slight advantage for us to be delivered from the cruelty of the Romans, their wickedness, their wrath and cruel zeal against us, and to find ourselves at people. (as Quoted in 'Michael the Elder, Chronique de Michael Syrien, Patriarche Jacobite d’ Antioche,' J.B. Chabot, Editor, Vol. II).

"Despite the growth of antagonism, Moslem (Muslim) rulers seldom made their Christian subjects suffer for the Crusades. When the Saracens finally resumed the full control of Palestine the Christians were given their former status as dhimmis. The Coptic Church, too had little cause for complaint under Saladin's (Salahuddin) strong government, and during the time of the earlier Mameluke sultans who succeeded him the Copts experienced more enlightened justice than they had hitherto known. The only effect of the Crusaders upon Egyptian Christians was to keep them for a while from pilgrimage to Jerusalem, for as long as the Frank were in charge heretics were forbidden access to the shrines. Not until the Moslem victories could they enjoy their rights as "Christians." (The Christian Approach to the Moslem, p. 35).

M. M. Pickthall:
"In the eyes of history, religious toleration is the highest evidence of culture in a people....It was not until the Western nations broke away from their religious law that they became more tolerant, and it was only when the Muslims fell away from their religious law that they declined in tolerance and other evidences of the highest culture. Before the coming of Islam it (tolerance) had never been preached as an essential part of religion...
"If Europe had known as much of Islam, as Muslims knew of Christendom, in those days, those mad, adventurous, occasionally chivalrous and heroic, but utterly fanatical outbreak known as the Crusades could not have taken place, for they were based on a complete misapprehension...
"Innumerable monasteries, with a wealth of treasure of which the worth has been calculated at not less than a hundred millions sterling, enjoyed the benefit of the Holy Prophet's (Muhammad’s) Charter to the monks of Sinai and were religiously respected by the Muslims. The various sects of Christians were represented in the Council of the Empire by their patriarchs, on the provincial and district council by their bishops, in the village council by their priests, whose word was always taken without question on things which were the sole concern of their community...
"The tolerance within the body of Islam was, and is, something without parallel in history; class and race and color ceasing altogether to be barriers." (Lecture on 'Tolerance in Islam,' Madras, India).

Sir John Bagot Glubb:
Khalif (Caliph) Al-Ma'mun's period of rule (813 - 833 C.E.) may be considered the 'golden age' of science and learning. He had always been devoted to books and to learned pursuits. His brilliant mind was interested in every form of intellectual activity. Not only poetry but also philosophy, theology, astronomy, medicine and law all occupied his time.
By Mamun's time medical schools were extremely active in Baghdad. The first free public hospital was opened in Baghdad during the Caliphate of Haroon-ar-Rashid. As the system developed, physicians and surgeons were appointed who gave lectures to medical students and issued diplomas to those who were considered qualified to practice. The first hospital in Egypt was opened in 872 AD and thereafter public hospitals sprang up all over the empire from Spain and the Maghrib to Persia.

On the Holocaust of Baghdad (1258 C.E.) Perpetrated by Hulagu:
The city was systematically looted, destroyed and burnt. Eight hundred thousand persons are said to have been killed. The Khalif Mustasim was sewn up in a sack and trampled to death under the feet of Mongol horses. For five hundred years, Baghdad had been a city of palaces, mosques, libraries and colleges. Its universities and hospitals were the most up-to-date in the world. Nothing now remained but heaps of rubble and a stench of decaying human flesh.

[This message has been edited by dumaurier (edited August 02, 1999).]

22. ### dumaurierGuest

Forgive me for citing even more on the worth of Islam.
The object is to show the ignorance of those who stubbornly continue to refuse to see the facts though they dare to claim a right to speak of "science" :

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Thomas Carlyle in 'Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History,'1840

"The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only."
"A silent great soul, one of that who cannot but be earnest. He was to kindle the world, the world’s Maker had ordered so."
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A. S. Tritton in 'Islam,' 1951

The picture of the Muslim soldier advancing with a sword in one hand and the Qur'an in the other is quite false.
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De Lacy O'Leary in 'Islam at the Crossroads,' London, 1923.

History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.
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Gibbon in 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' 1823

The good sense of Muhammad despised the pomp of royalty. The Apostle of God submitted to the menial offices of the family; he kindled the fire; swept the floor; milked the ewes; and mended with his own hands his shoes and garments. Disdaining the penance and merit of a hermit, he observed without effort of vanity the abstemious diet of an Arab.
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Edward Gibbon and Simon Oakley in ‘History of the Saracen Empire,’ London, 1870

"The greatest success of Mohammad’s life was effected by sheer moral force."
It is not the propagation but the permanency of his religion that deserves our wonder, the same pure and perfect impression which he engraved at Mecca and Medina is preserved after the revolutions of twelve centuries by the Indian, the African and the Turkish proselytes of the Koran....The Mahometans have uniformly withstood the temptation of reducing the object of their faith and devotion to a level with the senses and imagination of man. ‘I believe in One God and Mahomet the Apostle of God’ is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honors of the prophet have never transgressed the measure of human virtue, and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion.
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Lane-Poole in 'Speeches and Table Talk of the Prophet Muhammad'

He was the most faithful protector of those he protected, the sweetest and most agreeable in conversation. Those who saw him were suddenly filled with reverence; those who came near him loved him; they who described him would say, "I have never seen his like either before or after." He was of great taciturnity, but when he spoke it was with emphasis and deliberation, and no one could forget what he said...
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It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great Prophet of Arabia, who knew how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the Supreme. And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which may be familiar to many, yet I myself feel, whenever I reread them, a new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.
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W.C. Taylor in 'The History of Muhammadanism and its Sects'

So great was his liberality to the poor that he often left his household unprovided, nor did he content himself with relieving their wants, he entered into conversation with them, and expressed a warm sympathy for their sufferings. He was a firm friend and a faithful ally.
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"Head of the State as well as the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without the Pope's pretensions, and Caesar without the legions of Caesar, without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a police force, without a fixed revenue. If ever a man ruled by a right divine, it was Muhammad, for he had all the powers without their supports. He cared not for the dressings of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his public life."
"In Mohammadanism every thing is different here. Instead of the shadowy and the mysterious, we have history....We know of the external history of Muhammad....while for his internal history after his mission had been proclaimed, we have a book absolutely unique in its origin, in its preservation....on the Substantial authority of which no one has ever been able to cast a serious doubt."
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Edward Montet, 'La Propagande Chretienne et ses Adversaries Musulmans,' Paris 1890. (Also in T.W. Arnold in 'The Preaching of Islam,' London 1913.)

"Islam is a religion that is essentially rationalistic in the widest sense of this term considered etymologically and historically....the teachings of the Prophet, the Qur'an has invariably kept its place as the fundamental starting point, and the dogma of unity of God has always been proclaimed therein with a grandeur a majesty, an invariable purity and with a note of sure conviction, which it is hard to find surpassed outside the pale of Islam....A creed so precise, so stripped of all theological complexities and consequently so accessible to the ordinary understanding might be expected to possess and does indeed possess a marvelous power of winning its way into the
consciences of men."
------------------------------------

Dr. Gustav Weil in 'History of the Islamic Peoples'

Muhammad was a shining example to his people. His character was pure and stainless. His house, his dress, his food - they were characterized by a rare simplicity. So unpretentious was he that he would receive from his companions no special mark of reverence, nor would he accept any service from his slave which he could do for himself. He was accessible to all and at all times. He visited the sick and was full of sympathy for all. Unlimited was his benevolence and generosity as also was his anxious care for the welfare of the community.
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Alphonse de LaMartaine in 'Historie de la Turquie,' Paris, 1854.

"Never has a man set for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime aim, since this aim was superhuman; to subvert superstitions which had been imposed between man and his Creator, to render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material and disfigured gods of idolatry, then existing. Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means, for he (Muhammad) had in the conception as well as in the execution of such a great design, no other instrument than himself and no other aid except a handful of men living in a corner of the desert. Finally, never has a man
accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world, because in less than two centuries after its appearance, Islam, in faith and in arms, reigned over the whole of Arabia, and conquered, in God's name, Persia Khorasan, Transoxania, Western India, Syria, Egypt, Abyssinia, all the known continent of Northern Africa, numerous islands of the Mediterranean Sea, Spain, and part of Gaul.
"If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are the three criteria of a human genius, who could dare compare any great man in history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws, and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples, dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls.
"On the basis of a Book, every letter which has become law, he created a spiritual nationality which blend together peoples of every tongue and race. He has left the indelible characteristic of this Muslim nationality the hatred of false gods and the passion for the One and Immaterial God. This avenging patriotism against the profanation of Heaven formed the virtue of the followers of Muhammad; the conquest of one-third the earth to the dogma was his miracle; or rather it was not the miracle of man but that of reason.
"The idea of the unity of God, proclaimed amidst the exhaustion of the fabulous theogonies, was in itself such a miracle that upon it's utterance from his lips it destroyed all the ancient temples of idols and set on fire one-third of the world. His life, his meditations, his heroic revelings against the superstitions of his country, and his boldness in defying the furies of idolatry, his firmness in enduring them for fifteen years in Mecca, his acceptance of the role of public scorn and almost of being a victim of his fellow countrymen: all these and finally, his flight his incessant preaching, his wars against odds, his faith in his success and his superhuman security in misfortune, his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was
entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was twofold the unity of God and the immateriality of God: the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.
"Philosopher, Orator, Apostle, Legislator, Conqueror of Ideas, Restorer of Rational beliefs.... The founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?"
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Mahatma Gandhi, statement published in 'Young India,'1924.

I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind.... I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life.
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Sir George Bernard Shaw in 'The Genuine Islam,' Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.

"If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam."
I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion for from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of humanity."
"I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.
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Michael Hart in 'The 100, A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons In History,' New York, 1978.

My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the secular and religious level. ...It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. ...It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history.
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Dr. William Draper in 'History of Intellectual Development of Europe'

Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born in Mecca, in Arabia, the man who, of all men, has exercised the greatest influence upon the human race... To be the religious head of many empires, to guide the daily life of one-third of the human race, may perhaps justify the title of a Messenger of God.
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J.W.H. Stab in 'Islam and its Founder'

Judged by the smallness of the means at his disposal, and the extent and permanence of the work that he accomplished, his name in world's history shines with a more specious lustre than that of the Prophet of Makkah. To the impulse which he gave numberless dynasties have owed their existence, fair cities and stately palaces and temples have arisen, and wide provinces became obedient to the Faith. And beyond all this, his words have governed the belief of generations, been accepted as their rule of life, and their certain guide to the world to come. At a thousand shrines the voices of the faithful invoke blessings on him, whom they esteem the very Prophet of God, the seal of the Apostles.... Judged by the standards to human renown, the glory of what mortal can compare with his?
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Washington Irving in 'Life of Muhammad,' New York, 1920.

His military triumphs awakened no pride nor vain glory as they would have done had they been effected by selfish purposes. In the time of his greatest power he maintained the same simplicity of manner and appearance as in the days of his adversity. So far from affecting regal state, he was displeased if, on entering a room, any unusual testimonial of respect was shown to him.
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Arthur Glyn Leonard in 'Islam, Her Moral and Spiritual Values'

It was the genius of Muhammad, the spirit that he breathed into the Arabs through the soul of Islam that exalted them. That raised them out of the lethargy and low level of tribal stagnation up to the high watermark of national unity and empire. It was in the sublimity of Muhammad's deism, the simplicity, the sobriety and purity it inculcated the fidelity of its founder to his own tenets, that acted on their moral and intellectual fiber with all the magnetism of true inspiratio

23. ### BorisSenior MemberRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,052
The compliment is appreciated.

This was a definition of 'fanatic' perhaps even better than any dictionary can provide. Such are the true madmen, Dumaurier; and you are striving to be one of them. Fanatical behavior is not positive, nor beautiful -- even if it happens to result in beneficial things overall. Instead, it is frightening. It is the type of behavior that can be easily manipulated by a skilled puppeteer to accomplish any goal whatsoever, good or bad, and with equal ruthlessness and efficiency.

You have just managed to offend every single Pagan religion in the world. So much for that famed Baha'i tolerance. But for your information, the idols were merely physical representations of supernatural beings, in the same way that the crucified Jesus is to the Christians.

Then I must once again turn your reluctant attention to Lenin, Hitler, Luther, Jefferson, Aristotle and many others. Along you line of reasoning, they were similarly endowed with the power of God -- how else could they have persuaded millions using nothing but THEIR WORD ALONE? They impacted history in a significant way, but not through God, wouldn't you agree?

The capacity of the lay populace to be mislead and brainwashed through a mere promise of bliss speaks not of God, but of human gullibility. All you have to have is a people that are destitute, or desperate in any way -- and you can unite them behind just about anything. It is my sincere hope that as the world becomes less and less destitute, more educated and therefore more keen to deceit and misdirection, such tactics of manipulation will cease to be effective.

Not true at all.

Baha'u'llah was smart enough to realize that religion cannot survive in isolation from science. When a religious dogma is rigid and one of its tenets comes into a stark contradiction with observed fact, that religion is doomed to a slow death or a transformation often beyond recognition. Religion indeed does not need science; but since science exists contrary to the religion's optimal arrangement, religion must subsist on science and adapt itself to new knowledge. Baha'u'llah was not, however, smart enough to suppose that the 'soul' will eventually be equated to the brain in an undisputable manner. It is this insistence on the supernatural soul and the corresponding afterlife that spells ultimate doom for the Baha'i (and indeed practically every other religion in existence today). But I am sure new denominations of your unitary faith will eventually emerge to cover for that slight of hand (and potentially for a few others).

Science, on the other hand, has no need of religion. It concerns itself exclusively with observable and measurable phenomena, and subsists on measurement rather than faith.

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I am; therefore I think.