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Conversation Between Feign and Hassan_Abdillah
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  1. Hassan_Abdillah
    April 14th, 2011 10:04 PM
    hey there feign, are you off the forum or anything?
  2. Hassan_Abdillah
    March 25th, 2011 2:02 AM
    Hey bro, long time ^_^

    You might have noticed that I kinda tore away from our conversation, but that is because I left this forum altogether for a while. As interesting as our discussion had been and as promising as it might look, I do have other priorities, due to which I had to leave our discussio. I hope you will forgive me :)

    As soon as I get my act straightened I will get back to where we left of, if God wills.

    On another note, I have started "The Story of Philosophy" by Dr. Will Durant. This is the second philosophy book I've started, and expectations are therefore high ^_^ The book is very well written, and a very interesting read by all standards.
  3. Feign
    February 19th, 2011 11:46 AM
    I'd say that Deism is mostly an individualistic belief, but that the tenants remain for groundwork for those who want to believe in it. I'll put the questions individually to make it easier on myself and probably you too, haha.

    where is your intellectual security coming from?
    It comes from the fact I know there are things that can and cannot be answered. I know this seems paradoxical but I honestly don't mind that some things cannot be answered. And yet I do not fear death. One thing I did forget to mention in terms of Deism is that one of the main tenants dictates that humanity is generally moral. Aside from that, my security comes from the fact that I know I won't be judged, and am only one in many. Hummm a bit hard to explain I suppose, sorry about that.

    explain to me why do you think your belief is the most consistent/logical/plausible

    Occam's Razor to put it simply. As an example if a clueless man was presented with the Bible's two creation stories, as well as strong evidence towards evolution, the choice with the most evidence might be more likely chosen. As well, it was only mortal men (that I believe) who wrote the Bible. It might say that it has God's words in it and such, but I'd much rather have my own revelation of God to know the truth.

    I think when I initially had these beliefs, I did not know that Deism existed, and now it sort of caters to it. It is quite subjective, but I don't feel any more wrong in believing it, seeing as there are quite a few religions about.

    As for the difficult in offense comment, I think I did not clarify it well enough. It's not that I am not open to world views, but rather, that if someone were to offend me by any means, that I wouldn't be offended. And while my views may have started off as desirable, I'd say they have moved to most sensible. Thus independent of offense, as I cannot be easily suaded.

    As for the rejecting of scriptures, I don't mean it in a rude or ignorant way. Instead I'd have more of the belief that people should write their own scripture (so to speak), just for themselves. I mean they physcially don't have to, but that to at least gain their findings on their own instead. Pretty much like a religious journey. THen with knowledge perhaps a scripture can be accepted, and so forth.

    It's a bit of the reason why I don't like seeing children at a very young age being involved in religious activities. Now I can understand that their parent would want it to happen, but I like the idea of a parent who lets their child have free will and allows them to believe what they want to. Even if it comes into conflict. The whole love thing however, would remain the same.

    And since we're more talking than debating, I think, I enjoy it much more as there is no insincerity to our intentions of merely coming to a pass, and understanding each other's beliefs.
  4. Hassan_Abdillah
    February 19th, 2011 2:24 AM
    I think the focal point of your previous post is the fact that your beliefs are fine-tuned and makes the most sense (apart from other issues). Now down the line of our conversation, I have picked up some aspects of your concept of deism, like the concept of God or afterlife (although a fragmental view of it). So this is where my old question enters the arena again, where is your intellectual security coming from? In other words, explain to me why do you think your belief is the most consistent/logical/plausible. As you might know, logic/rationalism isn't something subjective, if you find it logical, of a surety I would find it logical as well (if both of us are being honest that is ^_^).

    As for your reasons for rejecting scriptures, let me be honest here, I did not really understand what you said. :-( Please explain this part to me once more.

    As for your denying the attribute of Justice for God, well we've pretty much reached the point where we agree to disagree. But let me just say this: even if we start with your premise i.e. God is Loving, then it would mean God is virtuous, and I cannot imagine a virtuous God not being Just to his Creation. Justice is something which is not found in this life, in laymen's terms, good people suffer and bad people prosper. So I think it is logically impossible for someone to believe in a virtuous God and disblieve in the Abrahamic concept of hereafter (i.e. Justice being served).

    To comment on the issue of hereafter which you described, this actually brings us back to my primary question, what is the intellectual basis behind these postulates? Other than any intellectual basis to back it up, it would only be an assertion.

    With that said, let me drop a comment or two on the paradigm you embrace. By your own admission, I think the road you chose to tread is one that's been formed by your subjective view of life, and what would make this life-death-afterlife process more desirable. You have then taken this subjective premise as an axiom, and tailored your worldview in accordance with this. This is why I fail to see any intellectual basis to your worldview (of course this is from my subjective pov, and you are welcome to criticise me on rational grounds), rather, I think you have taken the answer to the "what makes it more worth living" question as your intellectual basis. If what I have hypothesized up to this point is right, then my next deduction would be that the premise on which your worldview rests is subjective, since people's perception of meaningful existence is subjective. So this has created sort of a bubble of assumption, through which the consideration of other worldviews would not penetrate.

    Sorry for being so blunt and direct, but all of the above was said based on the premise that:

    it is extremely difficult to offend me, so you don't have to be concerned if you're being confrontational or not.
    So I think you should allow yourself to consider other worldviews, and check which one is more sensible/consistent, rather than which one is more desirable, and take the result of this finding to implement in your life. Especially in the case of rejecting religious scriptures, to start off I could not understand what you were saying as mentioned before, and by all means I suggest you give them the benefit of doubt.

  5. Feign
    February 18th, 2011 12:25 PM
    Yep I understand that a philosophical discussion (even on religion) is still vastly interesting. I like to hear other people's believes, even if the reasoning isn't fully explained, as I endeavour to not be ignorant. XD Thus, I know you are not trying to convert, but rather explicate. Though my own beliefs have been fine-tuned so my beliefs are diamond solid (seeing as rock can be chipped XD). It's not to say I'm ignorant in and of itself, or stubborn, but rather I have just come to conclusions on religious matters that makes the most logical sense to me.

    In terms of rejecting scriptures in a general sense (that you had mentioned), it's not done out of ignorance, I mean Deists can still appreciate portions of the bible or other relevant teachings in other scriptures, but rather it's done only by experience. Like I know that touching a rock means that it is hard, that sort of learning experience registers and stays with me. A 'learn as you go' so to speak. As though creating a new scripture for one's self (if that makes any sense). I believe this is what those who believe in Wicca do. Though they use an actual physical book, I was merely speaking empirically.

    I suppose where our viewpoints converge most is that I do not believe in the "justice" portion of God. And with that premise, I do not see a purpose in hell, thus I don't believe it to be an emotional response (however I cannot necessarily delve into my subconscious, haha).

    Of the issue about God and hell, I can't exactly remember what the Bible comments on that. Like if Satan created it or what have you. I'm sure there are plenty of debates over that too, such as how hell was created, who created it, why does god allow it, etc. Some of those questions can of course be more easily answered than others. It's not really important to me however.

    Another idea I have encountered is when a person goes to the afterlife, I have the belief that a sort of revelation is made. That revelation in a sense answers all questions. Like if a murderer were to die and receive this sort of revelation, he might see what his murder has done. My thoughts this are more muddled mind you, but it is in absence of personality, and emotion that this is realised. Like the lack of an individual. That's why I mention the source. That it is like everything and nothing. I kind of picture it as a big ball of light (not the sun mind you) where everything (physical and non physical) comes and goes. That being said, the only thing I am really unsure of then is reincarnation (imagine that. XD). I realise the Abrahamic religions probably don't believe in that, but even myself, it's hard to understand individuality and what it exactly means. Of course I realise then that there are some things that is beyond human understanding (just trying understanding the theory of relativity or 4 dimensions, is crazy enough), but like I said before, I am not discomfitted by this fact, as per my belief that God is love, and we are mortal for the experience so to speak. (Sounds like I just came full circle, hopefully what I have said makes sense).

    I hope I covered everything. I wish I could have more linear thoughts at times, but it is not always the case. And just to say, it is extremely difficult to offend me, so you don't have to be concerned if you're being confrontational or not. As sometimes a person might try to get a point across, only to have it misunderstood or something. I am maybe too open minded for my own good, haha.
  6. Hassan_Abdillah
    February 18th, 2011 3:00 AM
    I think what the majority of this post of yours boils down to is the notion that the concept of hell is unfair, so that is what the focus of my response is going to be. ^__^

    But before we get into that discussion, let me clarify something that I probably should have clarified before our discussion started. The purpose of my previous post was to remove any intellectual obstacles you might have towards considering Abrahamic Theism as a worldview (the term is general, I know). Don't misunderstand though, it is not my purpose to "convert" you so to speak. It's just that I take pleasure in talking about the philosophical paradigm I accept, follow and take pride in, and the pleasure is only enhanced once I see someone else appreciate it :-) But then again, don't we all?

    The following excerpt is taken from an article by an new Muslim from Belgium, he is kinda like a big brother to me. This summarizes where I am coming from:

    "Before I converted to Islam several years ago, one of the profound thoughts that struck me was; that no one had told me. That my views on Islam were so different from reality. That it is in fact so beautiful, so logically consistent, so amazing. Why had they kept this secret to me up until then? Or perhaps people had tried, but I just wasn't listening before. Or perhaps yet; they simply couldn't reach me since they had no idea just how profoundly off my views were. After converting, I made it my personal mission of telling people what I had found, and how much it had put my world up-side down, and how much I loved it and benefited from it. And doing so has been a very interesting learning-curve so far. It has pushed me to constantly expand the boundaries of my knowledge, to seek answers for all and any question people might have."
    So this motive so to speak is not merely a whimsical decision rather something I take upon myself as an ethical dictation. I hope you get my point there.

    What I mean by "obstacle" is an intellectual doubt, which prevents you from considering my paradigm. People can have a lot of doubts, this doesn't of course mean all of them are intellectual, and I do not think these emotional doubts should be regarded as good reasons not to consider, or even accept, worldview x or y.

    So moving on to the problem of hell: as I have demonstrated in my previous post, there is not really any intellectual case against fate vs. hell. Your cases rests on the premise that hell is unfair nonetheless. This seems to me as an emotional doubt, and emotional doubts do not have an objective answer, as pointed out before. However, to remove the internal friction you might have with this issue, do consider this: the "perfect" concept of God would have to contain both love and justice. love comes with a host of other emotions like mercy and grace, while justice, while associated with mercy itself, would also have the connotation of wrath in it. So when we come down this tangent, the concept of hell seems plausible: we expect God to be merciful, but also Just: and his Justice is manifested by his punishment on the sinner. I think we need to consider this dual attribute of God i.e. Loving and Just to get a true picture of this issue. So to deal with your query in specific: it's not God's "fault" that He punished Satan, rather Satan, by its own arrogance and wrongdoing justly deserves the punishment inflicted upon him. In Islaam however, we believe that the mercy of God is more than His Wrath (this is found in an authentic saying ascribed to the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him). The discussion on how this is manifested however is a long discussion, if you want I can supply you with more details, if God wills.

    Also, realize, according to the Islaamic worldview, God never really "leaves" anyone. The door of sincere repentance is open to everyone, and God is most generous in accepting repentance. In the Qur'an the following is mentioned:

    "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Turn ye to our Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (Will), before the Penalty comes on you: after that ye shall not be helped." [39:53-54]

    So the door of repentance is open to anyone and everyone. But if someone stubbornly refuses to submit to God, then of course God can be held accountable for this. And this door of repentance is open to Satan! Satan is left the choice of repenting to God, but we believe that due to his own extreme arrogance he will never do so. There is a narration reported from the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) where he invited Satan to Islaam, but he refused, and promised that he would never submit to God. Also, in another saying of the Prophet (may peace be upon him):

    "If the son of Adam (referring to human beings) had a valley of gold, he would desire another; and nothing would fill his mouth save the dirt of his grave. But Allah pardons whoever repents." (found in Saheeh al-Bukhari) [I guess you don't understand the references I give and how to look it up etc, but for the sake of intellectual honesty I provide references]

    In yet another saying of the Prophet (may peace be upon him), he said:

    "Allah said: O son of Adam! So long as you call upon me and ask of me, I shall forgive you for all you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky, and were you then to ask forgiveness of me, I would forgive you." (Found in the collection of Tirmidhee)

    So the point being, the door of repentance and God's mercy is open for anyone and everyone, so long the repentance is sincere and one repents with the mindset of submission to God. From this point of view, God never really leaves anyone, and God's love and mercy to his servants is tremendous. (reminds me of another saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him: "I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assemble better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.") However, the idea of Justice is also present as one of His attributes, and this is the crux of the matter.

    With that out of the way, let me comment on some aspects of Deism you got across.

    Rather than starting from the premise that religious scriptures are falsehood, I believe a more rational choice would be to give them the benefit of doubt, and then passing a verdict on them. Also, people tend to forget the fact that world religions differ significantly, and so do their scriptures. So what may apply in the case of a certain religion does not necessarily apply across the board. I'm not saying you committed this fallacy, but it's better to be on the lookout for it.

    As for the concept of non-revealed religion, I agree that the thought might be adventurous, even fascinating, but I don't think it is rational (sorry for sounding confrontational, but when people with differing worldview discuss, they don't agree on everything ^_^ so don't take it personal). Here is my reason for thinking so:

    A Just God would judge us based on our virtue, and not our knowledge. Had Truth and Falsehood been unclear, then people would have to employ knowledge to seek out what the truth is, and on top of that, there would have been many differences of opinions. For this purpose, God purposely revealed His religion to His Prophets coming in different time and places, to guide people to light. This way, people are expected to believe on using some basic rationale, and mostly virtue. Deep knowledge on Science etc tends to play a minor role in this decision. This is not to say that one cannot arrive at the right decision (and by right I mean Divinely Revealed) by study of science and philosophy (I myself did to an extent). But generally speaking, God tests people’s virtue, and not their knowledge, because people differ in knowledge, while all people more or less share the same level of virtue and common sense.

    Not only that, if we rely upon worldly knowledge to know the deeper meaning and purpose behind creation, then this might not get us very far. I say this because the philosophy of science relies on empirical observations, and not their philosophical underpinnings. The issue of purpose behind this Universe is not a matter of empirical discussion as you very well know, so science cannot be expected to pass a verdict on this, since that would be overstepping its authority. What people are left to do is come up with an infinite number of parallel philosophies, and no one would know which one is right and which one is wrong. At the end of the day philosophers might have a good time out of this, but mankind in general wouldn’t have any practical benefit. I do not believe that a Just God, who has bothered to put together such a precise Creation would only leave it to wander in misguided (or unguided perhaps) darkness. So I think the concept of God revealing a religion sounds more rational than not revealing one.

    Im being really brief here, quite honestly a lot more can be said on this issue.

    As for the Islaamic Scriptures, my Islaamic studies focus heavily on the preservation of scriptures. I think the fact that in and of itself gives Islaam a lot of cogency is the Islaamic scriptures have been preserved intact for the past 1400 years. The Qur’an, which we believe to be the literal word of God Himself, has not undergone the change of a word or even a letter. Not only so, the methodology of interpreting Islaamic scriptures and the interpretations have also been preserved, to keep the scriptures from being subject to whimsical interpretations. This is the reason why there are no difference of opinion, at all, in Islaamic orthodoxy in matters of theology. There are some slight differences in the issue of legislation, but that doesn’t promote sect formation or anything of that sort. So yeah, the Islaamic sources of knowledge have been meticulously preserved. This can only be appreciated once you look into the scriptural history, like I did :-)

    Sorry again for the long post, and let me know your feedback, especially on the topics we differed upon.

  7. Feign
    February 17th, 2011 8:36 AM
    You can make your response as long as possible. :P If you had questions about Deism that's fine too. :)

    I think the thing I did forget to mention, which you briefly did, was that despite things being fated, and going to hell, humans don't know that their history was predetermined (per se), as you mention in you reverse history example. It might be foolish to say this, but I'd still think it unfair, even if I wasn't sure my life was fated. So a foolish flaw, I suppose. XD

    I suppose my objection of hell was mostly from the other comment of mine anyway (that Satan turned from God etc). As even though I believe God to be more of a watcher, I too believe God is love incarnate. A person who commits murder would still find themselves in the same place where everyone else is (again not the Asphodal type example but the one about the "source" I mention), and receives the same sort of "revelation" of understanding.

    I suppose, to put it simply, I don't believe life to be a test, but rather an experience. I do not fear death, I think it is silly to fear something that is inevitable. I would go as far to say that death is as beautiful as life, however perhaps some theists and atheists would disagree with me (albeit it is probably rare for a non-Theistic person to say that).

    Also one of the main tenants of Deism is to refute any religious scripture, because it does not hold the truth per se in terms of a belief in a God. I suppose a lot of people had the Abrahamic religion as their own religion before changing over to Deism, so perhaps the monotheistic God they think of may be the same in both situations.

    Apparently though, Thomas Paine is an excellent read for those who are interested in Deism, I haven't read his works yet though. Not that I really need to. XD

    Yeah, I'd agree that it is both nature and nurture, as I make a simple comparison to heterosexualness too. It seems when people make the ideology of "being gay" they sometimes can forget the sameness of heterosexuality too. It's like putting a gay man in a world with only women or a straight man in a world of gay women sort of thing.

    Hmmm I think those were the only points I wanted to bring up. XD

    I'm off to work soon, so take your time. :P

    On a side note, I very much like the idea of a non-revealed religion (which may seem odd), it's that sense of mystery that seemingly can only be discovered through science. While of course it might be impossible to find succinct evidence of God (aside from nature itself), it is still fascinating the discoveries that are made to this day. The only two non-revealed religions I can think of is Deism and Buddhism.

    EDIT: One thing I do appreciate most about Islam though is that is hardly has gone through any translations. Compared to the Bible, I can appreciate that it may contain more "truth" (if I were so bold so say).
  8. Hassan_Abdillah
    February 17th, 2011 4:42 AM
    Massive! :D But yeah, I am a patient listener so, I don't mind :)

    First let me address the main arguments you have against theism. Of course, I am not an advocate of theism itself, but things like fate and hell are common in all abrahamic faiths, and some Aryan ones as well.

    1. The paradox of Hell vs. Fate.

    I guess your question is: how does it make sense that God (or Allah, as Muslims would call Him) would punish people in Hellfire when He predestined everything? That's like a computer programmer who is angry with his program when it is he himself who made it wrong.

    I have not studied Christian theology in that much detail, although I know the basics. But since I am a Muslim let me answer this from a Muslim perspective.

    The way I see it, the confusion arises with a flawed understanding of fate, and the role God plays in our lives. The Islaamic Stance regarding this is somewhat like this: God is Omnipotent, so He knows everything. So He does know that who's gonna end up in Hell. But this knowledge of God doesn't have any bearing whatsoever on the decisions men make. Let me illustrate this with the backward historian example. A historian records events after they happen, like for example, after WWII happened, Historians got word of it and recorded it. Their recording of it didn't have any effect whatsoever on the WWII's occurence. Now think about it backwards: God plays the same exact role of a historian, only backwards. He knew and recorded everything prior to their happenings, but His knowledge of it doesn't have any effect on human decisions and free will. To put it bluntly: God does not interfere with what we do in this life. So this resolves the apparent paradox.

    There are other ways to answer this as well, such as God being an observer outside time, so time-related terms like present or future does not apply to Him. However there is a bit of difference of opinion on this issue in among the Scholars of Islaam, and I have not looked into it that meticulously, so I will not use this argument. The previous argument, I think, answers it succinctly anyways.

    These however beg an obvious question, so let me answer it as well. It may well be asked: If God does actually know everything then why does He make us go through this trial? Why not straightaway place us in heaven or hell?

    The answer Islaam provides to it, based on a saying of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is, if God put people in heaven or hell without this test of Life, then the inhabitants of hell would complain that the judgment is not fair, and argue that had they been given the chance they would've been righteous. To remove this argument, God actualy demonstrates to us the Justice of His decision with our own Life. So God doesn't "benefit" out of this test we take on earth, but it is done only to leave no room for argument on the part of the sinner.

    And if you read the description of Judgment Day in Islaamic Scripture, you will notice something: the sinners on that day do not put a single intellectual objection against any of God's decisions, he only pleads for mercy and appeal to God's benevolent side. So to keep that consistency intact i.e. the Judgment being Crystal clear and not Causing any intellectual doubt, God arranges this test of life for us.

    If you have any questions about/objections against my reasoning, do not hesitate to ask. A saying of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him): "The cure for ignorance is to question." ^__^

    2. The Disbelievers going to Hell.

    Islaam agrees with this to a certain extent, and disagrees with this to a certain extent. We as Muslims do not know at all who is bound for hell and who is bound for heaven, with the exception of those who have been mentioned in the scriptures specifically. What we say generally is: In order for people to enter Paradise, they need to have faith in Islaam. But of course, we do not know what is in the hearts of people, so we are not given the right to condemn people to hell. So the statement "All non-Muslims are going to hell" is fundamentally wrong, and so is "all Muslims are going to Heaven". The next paragraph might clarify this issue a bit more.

    As for the people who don't know about Islaam, then this rule does not apply to them. The antonym of "Mu'min" (believer) in Arabic is "Kaafir". The word Kaafir refers to someone who covers (like the farmer who covers seeds with dirt), and in the context of Islaam, it refers to people who hide and reject the truth after it has come to them. That it to say, if you do not know about Islaam, and truth has not reached you, or a distorted picture of Islaam was presented to you, then you will not be held accountable in front of God for your deeds on this life. For these people, a test would be arranged on the Day of Judgment, and their fate would be decided on the outcome of that test. I am not making this up by the way, evidence for this is found in the Islaamic scriptures, and I'd be more than happy to drop examples if you ask for them.

    As for the question of why disbelievers deserve the punishment of hellfire, the answer can be better understood if one has some basic knowledge as to what Islaam is. Islaam literally means to submit, and the central message of Islaam is to submit to God, as opposed to personal desires or ego. So if someone, in spite of knowing better, refuses to submit to God, not because of any intellectual reasons (We Muslims hold that no intellectual case can be built against Islaam ^__^) but for emotional ones like arrogance, egocentricism or worldly desires, then this is viewed as a punishable offense, and that's where the concept of hellfire comes in.

    This is very basic answer which I have presented to you. More than a millenium of Islaamic scholarship is dedicated to this issue in particular!

    But to stress on my previous point again, we don't condemn people to hell because we don't know what is in their hearts. God alone knows the conscious and the subconscious, and he knows how evil a person is. So He will give people the punishment they Justly Deserve. You will notice that the arguments from either sides are a bit speculative in nature, and speculative questions do not have objective answers. At the end of the day, we as theists believe that God is Just, and He will deal with everyone Justly, and you will get your question answered on the day of Judgment when God actually reveals the evil people bear in their hearts.

    3. On the issue of Homosexuality.

    (On a personal note, this issue is a bit perplexing for a South Asian, brought up in otherwise conservative confines, to deal with. This concept is almost absolutely absent in my country, and the only place I come across homosexual people is the internet ^__^ Therefore I would not go into too much detail concerning this topic.)

    Before moving on to the topic-specific discussions, let me write a couple of things about the Muslim's view on Divine Legislation.

    As pointed out above, Islaam literally means to submit, i.e. this is the religion where we submit to God (or Allah). Now to submit to God means to submit to Him on His terms: to accept his commandments and to obey them without question. So primarily, for the Muslim, Legislative commands of God isn't something we question, rather we hear and obey. This however is not to say that our faith is blind, the following is the reasoning we adopt:

    Premise 1. It is established on intellectual basis that Islaam is True and from God.
    Premise 2. God is Omnipotent and has knowledge of everything.
    Premise 3. God is benevolent, and therefore would only lead humankind to good.
    Conclusion. (from 1,2 and 3) The legislative commandments of Islaam would lead mankind to good.

    This is the reasoning of the Muslim behind his acceptance of Divine Legislation.

    However, this doesn't mean that no reasoning whatsoever is sought for Divine Legislations. Rather we as Muslims believe, while the ultimate reason behind God's plan is known only to Him, we can still detect beneficial reasons as behind them. Quite a few centuries of Islaamic scholarship is dedicated to this issue as well.

    With that introduction, let me move on to the topic at hand. We as Muslims believe that this life is a test, and people will get the results of this test on the Day of Judgment, based on which they will enter Paradise or Hellfire. Now the test is not the same for everyone, it afflicts people in varying ways and degrees. The harder the test, the greater the rewards.

    In Islaam, having homosexual desires isn't a sin, committing homosexuality is. . Having the feelings is not a sin by itself, acting upon it is. And all people are tested in similar ways, while others might not be tested with having feelings for the same gender, they do have desires for sinful things. For some people it's harder to resist than others, but thats part of the test. This is very briefly the stance Islaam takes towards homosexuality.

    As for the whole scientific nature vs. nurture debate, as far as I'm concerned, no characteristic in a man is strictly genetic or strictly environmental, it's a combination of the two. So if the environment is partially responsible for one's homosexual behaviour, this would be taken into account by God an he would judge people accordingly.

    And again, at the end of the day, I as a theist put my trust in the infinite wisdom and Justice of God and Divine Legislation.

    These are the main objections you raised, and the above are my response.

    I wanted to comment on the aspects of deism you brought up, but this post has become massive enough as it is ^__^ Hopefully you can forgive the length.

  9. Feign
    February 16th, 2011 11:51 PM
    Hmm seemingly like a proposition, interesting. XD

    Well to begin, I wouldn't say that Deism was a faith or religion, or dogma, but rather a belief. I will explain why there is no real adherence too. (I'd also like to point out that it has been a while since I have read the Bible, so I hope I don't misconstrue anything).

    I'd say it could have started at around the age of 16, I went to a catholic school, but my family and I were never practicing Christians. I had already read the bible (of my own accord). What really set off the questions though were the inconsistencies with various passages in the bible. Plus after reading various books in philosophy, I questioned fate and hell. That is to say, if fate existed, then hell would only serve as a tool for something God had purposely created, which would seem odd. Not only this but the fact that it says in the Bible that Satan turned his back from God (not literally of course but more figuratively). I think this is extremely impossible... No matter how evil a person is, I believe God will always be there. And if it was meant in the context that Satan disregarded God's teachings or what have you, then I'll explain that later with another subset of my beliefs. XD

    Yeah, to put it bluntly, I enjoy the company of the same sex. The bible says this is bad (though to be fair this was not the reason why I no longer believed in Catholicism. Deism took hold of me a year earlier I believe). That being said there was that reason, but also the erroneous statements, as I believe I recall, within the same book, wherein it says that a man should not lay with a man, it also says that wear two kinds of fabric is also a sin. This picking and choosing of scriptures by people today seems to me to be out of convenience and personal vendettas. Again these two reasons was not my main reason to convert. It was more the paradox of the hell/fate thing mentioned earlier.

    I realise it would be simple enough for someone to believe in on or the other, but then it got me thinking. I do sort of believe in a kind of Heaven, yet I would call it more like a "source". (I'd also like to mention that all Deists have differentiating beliefs, but they do have all of the same main tennants). I don't like thinking too much of it though, because I am unsure on exactly what happens, but it would perhaps be something similar to the phenomenon seen in the Golden Compass trilogy after the main characters freed the spirits from the Ashphodal-like fields. That is to say people returned to the Earth by way of a sort of energy.

    Many people would think that Deists are insecure (because they don't really care about the need for salvation), but this is untrue. A Deist is comfitted by logic. It's almost similar to an Atheist actually. I know one day that I will die, and that some form of God or creator or something in that regard that I cannot explain now will take place. Because I believe everyone is energy (so to speak), it essentially implies that hell is truly unneeded.

    That being said, the kind of God I see existing is one that sits back and watches his/her creations. This explains the scientific/logical aspect of a Deist's mind.

    I don't believe someone can be born with a faith. Only a parent or other can teach the person, and while a child is not the best to teach a religion too (loss of interest perhaps, etc), it can at least open doors to openess of religions.

    Anywho, I hope that all made sense. I tend to ramble on, but I won't really edit the above as it probably is all pertinent.

    On a side note though, I remember having a sort of discussion with another member a while ago who I think was a Fundamentalist Christian who had gone to the Iraqi war. It wasn't argumentative, but I did ask a lot of questions, because I was more astounded by his beliefs. I realise it is 'to each their own', but he explained that his actions were justified because he (as a believer in Christ and God) was doing God's job of eradicating terrorists. Not only that but he had mentioned that those who did not believe in his religion would be going to hell. Then I brought up the innocent people, such as children not aware completely what his religion meant, and an isolated tribe who has not had contact with the world. He had said that they would all be going to hell. This was quite disconcerting.

    Ramble complete. :3
  10. Hassan_Abdillah
    February 16th, 2011 10:38 PM
    If it is not too much to ask, can you tell me what actually sparked the thought of taking a spiritual journey? Apart from the two reasons you mentioned earlier i.e. being held responsible for something beyond your control and erroneous statements in the scripture?

    Also, since you have "chosen" a faith, rather than "being born with" one, can you tell em what do you look for in worldviews? I mean what exactly made you choose the faith you are currently on? In other words still, where is the intellectual security coming from?

    Sorry if I sound too old, I like to use sophisticated wording when I discuss religion ^___^

    (What did I do up there? I pulled up a chair for you and handed you a mic :-p I like to think I'm a patient listener, its on my mental resume haha. Also I am really into discussions about theology, purpose of everything, stuff like that. Hopefully you share the same passion or at least a fragment of it ^_^)

  11. Feign
    February 16th, 2011 7:13 AM
    Haha thanks. Yeah I saw your post in the religious thread. I know a bunch of Muslims from Indonesia and they all had various differences in their own devotion.

    You could say I've also had my own religious journey. Starting out as a catholic and now I've migrated to something that suits my beliefs. It wasn't really that I had a negative experience but that it just sort of donned on me that my beliefs that I have now, would make a lot of sense, even if they weren't the prettiest, so to speak.
  12. Hassan_Abdillah
    February 16th, 2011 3:29 AM
    Hi there ^_^

    Sorry for coming up to you like this, what caught my attention is your comment on the religion thread:

    Maybe it is due to bias, but an organised religion disheartens me (particularly because I'd be considered a sinner for reasons beyond my control). Plus when there are conflicting statements in a book, it is hard to take it seriously, that's why I love logic (and Deism).
    That is well-wroded and seems like you have an intellectual approach to religion. I couldnt help but stop appreciate that ^_^

    Im Hassan, and nice to meet you ^_^