Archive for the ‘Reasoning’ Category

After my public denouncing of religion, I’m getting a lot of e-mails and messages from people; some are encouraging and supportive, whilst some are just attacks (“You’re an idiot.” said one random tweeter), and others are mainly people asking questions. It’s a major life changing decision I’ve taken to denounce my religion and become an atheist, people are naturally curious as to know why I’ve done it.
So these Q&A posts will contain the questions that I usually get along with my response. Most of these are just copy + paste from my replies, and as I also use my phone for sending messages, they may contain some spelling mistakes and grammatical errors due to the limiting keyboard of a touchscreen phone. So I hope those can be forgiven, but the content can be appreciated.

[Question] You do know a lot of the science can be found in the Quran?

[Answer] First let’s get the false pre-assumption out the way that Mecca at that time was completely ignorant of any knowledge. Mecca was a busy hub for trade and people from the surrounding countries did cross through it very regularly, and with them not only they brought spices and other goods to trade, but also ideas, known knowledge on science, myths and philosophies (mainly from Egyptian and Greek philosophers).

The science argument comes up time and again, and I disagree when people say there is science in the Quran. All the “scientific” claims made by the scriptures (all holy books from all religions, not just Quran) have been refuted and debunked many times; The flat earth, 5 stages of embryo development, the mountains preventing earthquakes, the water cycle, the 2 different waters not mixing, mention of an “atom”, the earth rotating around the sun, earth being round (like an ostriches egg), the list goes on and on..

All the above claims have been refuted many times conclusively by scientists. It is only recently when the Muslim scholars and religious apologists found themselves up against modern science trying to disapprove the holy scriptures, that they started to find meaning in the ambiguous verses and relating them to science.

Consider this.. there are accepted 6346 number of verses in the Quran, and from that, some have been used up to explain science. The others are just about history, the battles, and other non “science” things. Considering that some of these verses have been used to explain science only in the last 50 years, one wonders in 500 years time, when mankind has made so much advancement in science, will the religious apologetics still have enough verses left in the Quran to explain what we learn in 500 years time?? Gives you something to think doesn’t it 🙂

A Culturally Inherited Faith

Posted: April 16, 2011 in Islam, Reasoning

Please, next time somebody insists on calling a child a Muslim child, or a Christian child or a Jewish child, do correct them. That infant has no idea what religion is, what it means and what it teaches.

In Islam it is believed that every child is born a Muslim:

Surah Al-A’raaf, Chapter 7, Verses 172-173;

Allah explained that when He created Adam, He caused all of Adam’s descendants to come into existence and took a pledge from them saying, Am I not your Lord? To which they all replied, ” Yes, we testify to It:’

The Prophet Muhammad said, “No babe is born but upon Fitra (as a Muslim). It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Polytheist.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6426)

http://www.islam101.com/dawah/newBorn.htm

A baby born to Christian parents remains a Muslim until it is “led astray” by its parents towards Christianity. That baby will grow up believing in the Christian faith and many of its views will favour the Christian ideology; the holy trinity, the crucifixion of Jesus and his status as a messenger of God or as the son of God.

That child, say for the sake of the argument is a boy, has grown to become a Christian man. According to the Quran that man can only go to heaven on the day of judgement if he is willing to pay a tax; possibly in the form of submission.

Then what about a child born to atheist parents? Or a child born in a culture or part of the planet where the Abrahamic religion has not yet spread? What about a Hindu child? An apologetic[1] will say that it becomes the persons responsibility to seek out the true religion i.e. Islam, and if he doesn’t, well then, that’s his own fault and deserves to go to hell because he denied one true god and didn’t accept Muhammad as his messenger.

Imagine a poor child in India born to illiterate Hindu parents, in a village that has cut off all communications with the outside world. An ancient village and its occupants who have survived for thousands of years in a remote part of the country where the Abrahamic religions never reached. What are the chances that that young child will get to learn about other religions, whether its Christianity, Judaism, or Islam?

Not just India, but there are many examples where a person has no means to educate himself on the different religions except on the religion of his parents. He is most likely to follow the religion of the community and culture that he has been brought up in. It’s a cultural religion that he has inherited. Does that man deserve an eternal suffering in hellfire? Here, an apologetic will say: ‘God will let him in heaven because of his innocence, his backward culture, and the difficulty of him growing up in a region of the planet where he could not be exposed to Islam. Therefore, God will forgive him and grant him a place in heaven.’

I say, if that was the case, then why not simply say it in the Quran? Why say that a person who does not believe in God will be punished?

Surah Al-Tawba, Chapter 9, Verse 28;

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

– Translated by Yusuf Ali

Source: http://www.itsislam.net/quran/surah.asp?sid=9

Islamic apologists say there is no compulsion in Islam. However, if you’re a child born to Muslim parents and in to a strict culture with Islamic ideology, the religion is compulsory for you because your situation demands it. You have no choice but to accept it. It is compulsory because if you refuse it, you become an outcast. You will face resistance from your parents and then from the community. This resistance can even take shape in the form of real physical abuse and threat.

And do I need to remind you what the punishment is for apostasy? It’s death in case you were wondering.

[1]apologetic – is the discipline of defending a position (usually religious) through the systematic use of reason.