Important: Read Before You Post

Go Back   AlMaghrib Forums > AlMaghrib Seminars > Guiding to Allah by the Book: Fiqh ad-Da'wah - DWH 101

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-03-2009, 12:44 AM   #41
Sadikatul Quran
Ummat Muhammad
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Re: Foundations & Arguments in debate for Muslims vs Atheists

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abdullah123
When you're in debate, especially with atheists about different topics - you need a starting point.


They will say that the starting point of the debate is that there is no God, so you have to prove that there is one in order to convince them.




But this isn't true at all:
Some will even claim atheism isn't even a paradigm but the default starting position. They are obviously wrong, Agnosticism (believing in a God) is the default starting position. Atheism is negatively biased towards the existence of God whereas theism (relligion) is positively biased.


The difference is, at least the theists acknowledges that their view is a belief.


[MOD EDIT: No outside links allowed]

[This is A Muslim site who is an ex-atheist - he has some really good articles mashaAllah.]






That's a really good point to make, since the person who believes in God knows and says that they know they require faith to believe that He [God] exists.

From there, all you need to do then is to explain why you feel Islam is the correct religion from all the rest. Since the default starting point in the debate is agnosticism, not atheism.




As my friend always says.. Ha! lol


[MOD EDIT: No outside links allowed]
Assalamu alaikum,
can you elaborate on this point? i dont think i understand the point here.
JazakAllahukhair for this informative thread and apologies for any inconvenience
Sadikatul Quran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2009, 12:47 AM   #42
Ali_Mehdi
Ummat Muhammad
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 17
Re: Foundations & Arguments in debate for Muslims vs Atheists

Actually, there is no such thing as a "Default Position". This is actually a modern phrase developed by Antony Flew (former Atheist) in his paper "The Pressumption of Atheism", where he defines Atheism as a mere lack of belief in God. He systematically took away the Agnostic position, applied it to Atheism, and then shouldered the burden of proof on those making 'positive assertions', which are assertions of knowledge/belief.

For instance, a person comes up to you and says, "God exist". This is a positive claim. A negative claim is simply "I don't know" or "I lack belief". The problem is that many Atheists and even Agnostics still make positive claims and they do not have some magical default position where they simply asks you questions and do nothing else. It's just a desperate attempt to take scientific methodology and apply it to philosophical subjects so as to not have to defend ones' own position.

So how does the Atheist and the Agnostic still make positive assertions? Simple. For one, to say that your lack of belief or whatever it is is the "default" is a positive assertion in and of itself. This can be challenged. Secondly, claims like "there is no evidence or little evidence for God" is a positive assertion. Claims such as "it is irrational to believe in God" is also a positive assertion.

The claim that those who make positive assertions must shoulder the burden of proof is in and of itself a positive assertion.

Those who make these claims seem to have forgotten the Modern Era Philosophers called "Logical Positivists", who believed that no statement has any meaning unless it is empirically verifiable. Unfortunately, they didn't notice till later that this very claim could not be empirically verified, therefore their verification principle, along with their entire philosophy crumbled.

Just further evidence to show that western society is becoming more ignorant rather than more knowledgeable. Just because we are scientifically advanced, does not mean that we know more. The more we lose knowledge of Philosophy and Religion, the less valuable our scientific knowledge becomes.
Ali_Mehdi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2009, 12:55 PM   #43
Abdullah123
Ummat Muhammad
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 697
Re: Foundations & Arguments in debate for Muslims vs Atheists

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sadikatul Quran
Assalamu alaikum,
can you elaborate on this point? i dont think i understand the point here.
JazakAllahukhair for this informative thread and apologies for any inconvenience
wasalam alaikum


Atheists are negative in regard to the existence of God, and Theists are positive in their beliefs for the existence of God.

Therefore - with both sides being on both extremes - the middle point is that God can exist (and you [the atheist] can't prove that God doesn't exist, even if you claim that i can't prove that He exists.]).


So when you're debating about issues which are not directly related to God, but about religion - you don't have to prove the existence of God. You just have to argue your point on your belief that God does exist (and you have your own reasons for believing in Him, the same way the atheist has his/her own reasons for not believing in Him.)



Remember, every person is convinced of their belief being the truth based on the things which convinced them over other beliefs. So you believe that Islam is the truth based on your own experiences and reasonings, i.e. one thing which convinces me that Islam is from God is because it provides a perfect guidance for life on all matters which brings humanity a greater good [which early Islamic history has proved to be a reality], and other things such as Prophecies of Prophet Muhammad (sal Allah alaihi wasalam). These issues can't be addressed or responded to by atheists.

A Prophecy which convinces me may not convince them, but then if they're so truthful - who told Allah's Messenger all this info? If it was chance, why did all his prophecies come true? Issues like this show Islam to be a reality, and really from God.



I'll try to post a thread on Prophecies in the near future insha Allah since i can't post links on this site.



ps: jazak Allah khayr bro ali, its really useful info.
Abdullah123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2009, 04:03 PM   #44
Abdullah123
Ummat Muhammad
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 697
Re: Foundations & Arguments in debate for Muslims vs Atheists

asalaam alaikum


Prophecies;
http://forums.almaghrib.org/showthre...3&page=1&pp=10
Abdullah123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2009, 02:33 PM   #45
Ali_Mehdi
Ummat Muhammad
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 17
Re: Foundations & Arguments in debate for Muslims vs Atheists

On a side note, there is no need to discuss the origins of the Universe or Evolutionary Theory in regards to the existence of Allah (swt).

Study Aristotle's and Aquina's proofs for God and you'll have no need of these arguments. They are actually irrelevant to be honest with you.
Ali_Mehdi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 04:15 PM   #46
Abdullah123
Ummat Muhammad
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 697
Re: Foundations & Arguments in debate for Muslims vs Atheists

Asalaam alaikum Warahmatulah Wabarakatuh



Intelligent Design - The Logic
& Truth Behind our Faith


There's a book by William Dembski which is called - the Design Interface. He studies human logic to try to find conclusions as to why people believe in intelligent design, ranging from belief of designs of humans, to designs of God. Why do we believe something is designed by someone and not by chance or nature?


He explains this sequence of Logic thought, and then compares this to natural objects to see whether living beings can really be a work of nature or Intelligent Design.







The logical sequences goes like this;
1] Improbable Object + Recognizable Pattern = Intelligent Design.


So an improbable object, with the addition of a recognized pattern = the design of someone with an intelligence.

He gives the example of the hieroglyphics in Egyptian writing. We did not see the egyptians write them on the walls, however - due to the writing on the walls - with recognized patterns, such as the repetition of certain letters in different words - we can conclude that someone did actually write this - based on intelligence - because it makes sense and its improbable that all these letters came together to make up meaningful words.





So his other logical sequence is;


2] Small Probability + Specification = Design.



Since the possibility of these letters and words being written in the correct sequences, and their specificness in the way they are written [to be meaningful] - we come to the conclusion that is based on someone with intelligence, who designed it this specific way for a purpose.


Then he gives examples of the Carved faces of the American presidents on a Mountain (Mountain Rushmore) in the USA, these faces are specific, recognizable by everyone who sees them [not just specific people who may imagine them as faces], and its highly improbable that it can happen by chance [since there are no other mountains similar to this design in its detail and specific carvings etc.] Therefore we come to the conclusion that it is carved by someone with an Intelligence.


Then he gives more examples such as writing written by people on a beach which means something meaningful to a passer by reader, who would recognise that it was written by another person before etc.



The 3rd logical sequencing he gives is;


3]
See Objective Pattern = Recognise some Intelligence.



This is a summary of the logical sequences we discussed above.

We recognise that there is intelligence which caused this final product to be made due to our objectivity [i.e. we can compare this mountain (Mountain Rushmore) of the USA presidents in comparison to other mountains which have no faces on and just eroded through natural means].

Another example given is how forensic experts can study different scenarios and come to conclusions as to whether an incident was caused by a criminal with intelligence, or if it was an accident - even though they didn't see the crime take place when it occurred, they recognised whether it was due to Intelligent criminal activity, or natural means.








Let's put DNA through the Intelligence test




Now by using the 3 Logical sequences above, let's look at DNA and see how it fulfills the above conditions to fit into the category of Intelligent Design.


Logic #1]
Improbable Object + Recognizable Pattern = Intelligent Design.

So an improbable object (DNA), with the addition of a recognized pattern [the makeup of DNA*] = the design of someone with an intelligence.



There is a recognizable pattern in the formation of DNA, and its structure: *


**Nucleotides (i.e. billions of A,T,C,G, match with their suited nucleoclide to become: Base Pairs [A-T, G-C] (millions of these matching pairs*)] ---> Genes (thousands of these*) --> DNA.

--> = come together to make up... [i.e. Base Pairs --> (combine to make Genes etc.)]





  • 2 Nucleotides form a Base Pair
  • A specific number of Base pairs form a Gene
  • A whole strand of base pairs with different genes on it form DNA
  • DNA is folded, wrapped up with histones to form Chromosomes
  • Chromosomes are stored inside the Nucleus.
*(The haploidhuman genome (23 chromosomes) is estimated to be about 3 billion base pairs long and to contain 20,000-25,000 distinct genes.[1])

[1]International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium (2004). "Finishing the euchromatic sequence of the human genome". Nature 431 (7011): 931–45. doi:10.1038/nature03001. PMID 15496913.[1]






The above flow diagram shows what DNA is made up of.




The most basic foundation of DNA are base Pairs;


But let's look at the basic foundations of DNA, and that is base pairs. In regard to genetic material (i.e. base pairs) being formed out of natural processes; some might claim that genetic material was formed in chains naturally. However there is a whole bunch of objections to this idea. First of all the basic building blocks, neucleotides/base pairs don't form spontaneously from the earth. Secondly they don't pair up to form base pairs correctly just like that either. And finally even if you could explain the previous two steps, it still wouldn't be a linear (straight line) strand, but more probably a chaotic and branched strand, or lots of base pairs clogged up together [whereas a linear strand is required for it to be useful RNA/DNA for life so that two RNA strands can bind together to form into useful DNA]. Finally, another problem is that they wouldn't form much long strands, and a short chain can only hold a very limited amount of information (even the most basic of bacteria require thousands of base pairs/nucleotides in a linear strand for their RNA/DNA makeup to be useful for living beings).

Since the above is a repetition of a pattern which is recognizable (like programming i.e. like binary coding for a software) Our logic tells us that it was organized by someone with an Intelligence who controlled it to fulfill its role.








So we continue to his other logical sequence;


Logic #2]
Small Probability + Specification = Design.



Small Probability
; We know that science has been unable to produce DNA through experiments, and scientists are aware of how improbable it would be for it to come into existence through natural means (no experiments to prove DNA can come into existence by natural means no evidence to prove its reality). For example; the probability of billions of base pairs connecting with each other in the correct sequencing, and them forming on to become DNA, The probability of this is actually 4^1million (four to the power of one million). Whereas in mathematics, probabilities smaller than 1 over 10 to the power of 50 [50 zeros after it] are thought of as "zero probability" Even if they were to argue that the chains were much smaller in the earlier days, the probability of this happening are still high (reaching to the mathematical probability of impossibility of such a thing happening.)



Specification; We know that if these base pairs do not match up together correctly, then there will not be any useful genes for life. So millions of base pairs have to connect properly in the right sequencing to become useful genes. These genes will have to be many in number (hundreds or thousands) [so the nucleotide sequences will have to be in the billions connecting with each other properly], and these genes will have to form onto become strands of RNA.

Two strands of RNA will have to be equal lengths (with equal amounts of base pairs) so they can connect with each other (in a helix/coiled up way) to become DNA. The probability of this (like mentioned) above is 4^1million, because all the base pairs will have to connect with each other in the correct sequencing [i.e. A (from one RNA strand) will have to connect with T (from the other strand of RNA), G will have to with C etc.] This will have to be done billions of times - so that all the base pairs can connect with each other, and the probability of this happening without someone purposelly controlling it is impossible.


Its like tossing a coin one billion times and it always landing on heads, people won't say its chance - but they will say that it was controlled by someone with Intelligence.


Since that - happening by natural causes - is impossible (according to the rules of statistics probability) - there is a plausible explanation, and that is Intelligent Design.


The 3rd logical sequencing he gives is;


Logic #3]
See Objective Pattern = Recognise some Intelligence.



Definition ofObjective: undistorted by emotion or personal bias; based on observable phenomena; "an objective appraisal"; "objective evidence"

wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn



Today, scientists are aware of how complex DNA really is.


Here's a few statements from objective scientists, some who were atheists before but left atheism and started to believe in Intelligent Design - [because that was the only plausible explanation to understand how amazing DNA really is];

“Biologists’ investigation of DNA has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce [life], that intelligence must have been involved.”
[1]

Richard N. Ostling, “Lifelong atheist changes mind about divine creator,” The Washington Times 10 December 2004; (http://washingtontimes.com/national/...3212-2782r.htm.




Francis Crick, for instance, one of the scientists who revealed the helix shape of DNA admitted in the face of the findings regarding DNA that the origin of life indicated a miracle:
An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.[4]





Based on his calculations, Led Adleman of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles has stated that
one gram of DNA can store as much information as a trillion compact discs [of genetic information].[5]




Gene Myers, a scientist employed on the Human Genome Project, has said the following in the face of the miraculous arrangements he witnessed:

“What really astounds me is the architecture of life… The system is extremely complex. It’s like it was designed… There’s a huge intelligence there.”[6]




The most striking fact about DNA is that the existence of the coded genetic information can definitely not be explained in terms of matter and energy or natural laws. Dr. Werner Gitt, a professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology, has said this on the subject


A code system is always the result of a mental process… It should be emphasized that matter as such is unable to generate any code. All experiences indicate that a thinking being voluntarily exercising his own free will, cognition, and creativity, is required… There is no known natural law through which matter can give rise to information, neither is any physical process or material phenomenon known that can do this
.
[7]

more:
http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/265/#_ftnref12874



So this final statement by Dr. Werner Gitt is saying that there's no process in science which indicates or explains that something without a mind can form itself in a way to actually produce information in such detail [like the DNA].



[4] Francis Crick, Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981, p. 88
[5] John Whitfield, “Physicists plunder life’s tool chest”, 24 April 2003; (http://www.nature.com/nsu/030421/030421-6.html)
[6] San Francisco Chronicle, 19 February, 2001
[7] Werner Gitt, In the Beginning Was Information, CLV, Bielenfeld, Germany, pp. 64-7, 79




And the owner of Microsoft said; DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software we've ever created. - Bill Gates


So we see that many intelligent scientists who are objective, who were infact atheists before realise how complex DNA really is and explain that Intelligent design can be the only plausible explanation as to how it came into existence. They even compare DNA to software and hardware which humans [who have intelligence] themselves make. So what then, about DNA which is even more detailed, and contains more genetic information (i.e. it contains all your bodies attributes like hair colour, eye colour, your testosterone/oestrogen levels, thousands of pages of information of who you are and how your body works etc.) than them softwares and hardwares which they program?





A Final Word

Finally, Even if scientists were able to produce the likes of the DNA (although this seems extremely far off), this would again be Intelligent Design and would not prove that it can come into existence by natural means. Since the production of DNA by scientists would be through controlled experiments by them, whereas nature in of itself is not controlled by Intelligence [according to atheists.]


If someone said that you are relying on 'the god of the gaps', i would say that this isn't 'god of the gaps' - since nothing is preventing us from studying this further. However, due to the detailed specifications and co-ordination of such works and processes, I believe there is no other alternative except Intelligent Design.



It all started because Darwin (died in 1882CE) thought a cell was just a blob which could come into existence by nature, he never knew how complicated cells really were until we were able to use the Electronic Microscope (for the first time in the 1950s) to see the details within the cell. This breakthrough is what amazed many atheist scientists, and made them realise that there was no other logical explanation except Intelligent Design.



We simply know that the the attributes atheists give to nature are usually some form of attribute of Allah. I.e. Allah is al Faatir [the Originator], Al Khaaliq [the Creator], He is Al Mussawir [the Shaper], Al Razzaaq [the Provider] etc.

The only exception is that they have to depend on not knowing why nature does its job well in a controlled manner and why the universe actually formed into this control and order from the start of time (through gradual processes through Allah's wisdom), whereas we rest our faith based on logic and understanding - which is more logical and plausible in understanding the amazing universe around us. We might not have been present when the creation took place, but we understand that all this is based on Intelligent work, and the attributes of control, design (like forensic experts understand), this Intelligence is the Knowledge, Wisdom and Power of Allah.




Last edited by Abdullah123; 05-02-2009 at 10:46 AM.
Abdullah123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 04:25 PM   #47
Abdullah123
Ummat Muhammad
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 697
Re: Foundations & Arguments in debate for Muslims vs Atheists

Asalaam alaikum Warahmatulah Wabarakatuh

D
NA - it HAD to beIntelligentDesign



Intro

For a 'living' cell to pass its evolution on to future generations - it needs genetic material either in the form of DNA or RNA. Without genetic material, no progress can be passed on to the future generations. Your DNA contains all information necesairy for your body, it contains the blueprints of how things should be build such as your physical attributes (i.e. hair colour, eye colour etc. to how tall you would be, and some say - even how old your body can possibly age). Without these blueprints it's impossible for a body to be formed, a child to grow up. If any life form would suddenly and randomly appear without such a blueprint, it would not be able to copy itself, or to have offspring without any such guidelines. Therefore in order to preserve life, and pass down biological information, lifeforms must contain this genetic material.

DNA and RNA are both strands made of nucleotides. The difference is, that RNA is a single strand whereas DNA are two strands of nucleotides coiled together. Now for these strands to "fit" into one another, the right nucleotides need to be paired up. We call these paired up nucleotides from the two strands of DNA "base-pairs". Some other small differences, RNA does not use Thymine as one of the 4 nucleotides but uses Uracil instead. DNA uses deoxyribose instead of ribose.

DNA is the most common genetic material found inside the cells of plants & animals. RNA can be found in different places, it can be the genetic material of a virus. RNA is also used in our body to carry information (a transcript of a part of our DNA) to other places in the cell.


Being Made

DNA is made up of thousands of different genes, and genes are made up of base pairs. These "base pairs" are made of two paired up nucleotides. In other to form a base pair, we need to pair up specific nucleotides. Each type of nucleotide has a specific shape, so only certain combinations fit. There are 4 nucleotides. Adenine, Thymine, Guanine and Cytosine represented respectivly by the letters A,T,G and C. Due to their shapes only A and T or G and C fit into one another.

In regard to genetic material being formed out of natural processes; some might claim that genetic material was formed in chains naturally. However there is a whole bunch of objections to that idea. Fist of all the basic building blocks, neucleotides don't form spontaniously. Secondly they don't pair up to form base pairs correctly just like that either. And finally even if you could explain the previous two steps, it still wouldn't be a linear strand, but more probably a chaotic and branched strand. Finally, another problem is that they wouldn't for msuch long strands, and a short chain can only hold a very limited amount of information.
*Nucleotides (i.e. billions of A,T,C,G, match with their suited nucleoclide to become: Base Pairs [A-T, G-C] (millions of these matching pairs*)] ---> Genes (thousands of these*) --> DNA.


-->
= come together to make up...
[i.e. Base Pairs
--> (combine to make Genes etc.)]






*(The haploidhuman genome (23 chromosomes) is estimated to be about 3 billion base pairs long and to contain 20,000-25,000 distinct genes.[1])

[1]International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium (2004). "Finishing the euchromatic sequence of the human genome". Nature 431 (7011): 931–45. doi:10.1038/nature03001. PMID 15496913.[1]



  • 2 Nucleotides form a Base Pair
  • A specific number of Base pairs form a Gene
  • A whole strand of base pairs with different genes on it form DNA
  • DNA is folded, wrapped up with histones to form Chromosomes
  • Chromosomes are stored inside the Nucleus.



Connecting


Now since these nucleotides need to connect with each other to form base pairs, they have to do this thousands and millions of times - in the correct sequencing - in order for them to become useful genes. So millions of different A nucleotides will have to connect with millions of T nucleotides, and millions of G nucleotides have to connect with millions of C nucleotides. These combined will make our genes. One gene might contain any number from a small dozen up to thousands of nucleotides connected together into base-pairs, so there will be millions of nucleotides connected together in the matching sequences in the DNA.



Connecting two strands to make DNA

Since DNA is made up of two strands, proponents of the RNA world suggest that somewhere along evolution DNA was formed by merging two RNA strands toghether.

Now for two strands to connect - not only would they have to have approximately the same size, the nucleotides should also have to match up correctly. I.e. the A from one strand would have to connect with a T nucleotide from the other strand, and a G nucleotide to connect with a C nucleotide from the other strand. If we take two RNA strands with a million nucleotides, the probability of all nucleotides pairing up correctly would be 4^1million (four to the power of one million). Whereas in mathematics probability, In practice, probabilities smaller than 1 over 10 to the power of 50 [50 zeros after it] are thought of as "zero probability" Even if they were to argue that the chains were much smaller in the earlier days, the probability of this happening are still high (reaching to the mathematical probability of impossibility of such a thing happening.)




Right handed and left handed isomers - right handed only being useful for nucleotides
:

Theres something else which is interesting aswell;

There are two types of nucleotides, left handed and right handed (isomers) [Imagine your left hand and right hand - they're the same - but the total mirror opposite of each other]. Someone can argue that yes, left handed ones were only present and this is why there was no harm in nucleotides coming together to form into the correct genes. The problem is though that even if they could show how nucleotides could form natuarally (which they can't) then both left handed as well as right handed nucleotide isomers would have produced equally. (Search Racemic mixture) [Pasteur concluded that organic molecules can exist in one of two forms, called isomers (that is, having the same structure and differing only in mirror images of each other), which he referred to as "left-handed" and "right-handed" forms. When chemists synthesize an organic compound, both of these forms are produced in equal proportions, canceling each other's optical effects.] - Term Paper on Biology. Essays, Research Papers on Bacteria -research material v. II,I

The nucleotides which make up our DNA are exclusively made up of right handed isomers [of nucleotides], and no left handed isomers. The same problem exists for our proteins. The proteins are made up of amino acids which are all made out of left handed isomers.

Its like tossing a coin 1000 times and it always landing on heads only. Would you say this is because of chance, or purposely controlled by someone with an Intelligence?




DNA needs to pass its genes on to future generations, but how?


Finally, even if for arguments sake DNA was to form, it would need to reproduce itself or it'd eventually end up being destroyed by the chaotic atmosphere. Replication is a vital part of evolution, without replication no advancement can be saved. For this it would need protein organelles, preferably kept together with our DNA by a cell membrane. The problem is though, DNA by itself can't do anything - it's just a Blueprint, or a set of instructions. So even if amino acids were present (based on Millers study some were produced), how did the amino acids know what to do? (Millers experiment does not explain how amino acids come together to form proteins and there is no successful study to show that this has actually ever occurred.)

To make a comparison, Imagine a factory with car parts (amino acids) laying around scattered, and some blueprints (dna/rna) laying inbetween them, and whole whole bunch of other random and even harmfull stuff. Would such an enviroment naturally produce a car? Everyone would agree you need factory workers [protein organelles and enzymes] who can sit within a factory (a cell membrane) and get their instructions from the DNA. The problem is though, that a simple cell membrane is made up of lipids (fat) only, so it can't open and close (like floodgates) at its own will unless it has a system within it [telling the different components what to do, and when to open up or close]. Fat/lipids by themselves aren't able to do this. So how did the DNA enter into this cell membrane in the first place, and how did any organelles enter into this cell membrane - so that they could work together to be productive in reproducing themselves on to future generations?

Last edited by Abdullah123; 05-02-2009 at 10:45 AM.
Abdullah123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2009, 03:15 PM   #48
Abdullah123
Ummat Muhammad
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 697
Re: Foundations & Arguments in debate for Muslims vs Atheists

asalaam alaikum warahmatulahi wabarakatuh







That's mountain rushmore, carved by Intelligence (of humans).


Now compare that mountain to any other mountain which has eroded over time, do you come to the conclusion that the erosion was able to produce undisputeable human face images like mount rushmore?

I don't think so.




----


After a while;

Someone gave these examples of 'acts of nature' to prove that patterns can occur in nature with some specifications;



http://riverdaughter.files.wordpress...s-causeway.jpg





http://www.math.uconn.edu/%7Ekconrad...ractalmany.gif
So he [the atheist] says;
"Each of these is formed only from the most simplest equations. In some cases each pixel is itself a similar shape at higher resolution."

The reply;

There's a huge difference between the complexity of DNA and the complexity of these pictures.

First of all, we need to agree that complexity is subjective. What is complex and difficult to one person can be plain and common to another. Therefore if we would want to "measure" complexity to make philosophical assertions, we would have to have some universal criteria. You (the commenter) yourself mentioned these formations originated from a 'fairly) simple mathematical equation. But there has been found no such equation that could have formed DNA.

Another difference is, the complexity in these formations are formed by repetitiveness. There's a small formation which is repeated, and repeated, and then extrapolated to a higher level and again repeated. So in other words, the complexity is formed by doing the same thing over and over again. However, DNA, or mount Rushmore have a lot more variation. They couldn't possibly have formed by doing the (exact) same thing over and over again (but infact had continuous subtle changes in each stage of their formation). Because such a thing - of repetitiveness - would make it a lot less diverse.

Last edited by Abdullah123; 06-11-2009 at 05:27 PM.
Abdullah123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2009, 03:16 PM   #49
Abdullah123
Ummat Muhammad
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 697
Re: Foundations & Arguments in debate for Muslims vs Atheists

asalaam alaikum

Advanced Atheism FAQ's - the Real Deal (you've never seen these before). Really good for Dawah!


The Anthropic Principle's definition:
Is merely the acknowledgement that indeed the universe is as if build for the purpose of sustaining us. Philosophically speaking, The anthrophic principle does not disprove or prove God. All it does is explain that this universe is in a way that it can sustain life. However, many theists argue that since this is the only universe which does sustain life - more specifically our planet, and any other universes are just hypotheses (i.e. we aren't sure whether any exist or not) - then this universe was created in a way by God for life.

If atheists argue that life was formed by many coincidences, then this is not really a scientific argument until it is tested and proven.




Atheist; Forget perfection - the universe doesn't even work well since it has certain flaws.

answer: whether or not our universe is "perfect" is a philosophical and subjective question which depends on your view of perfection, and the purpose of the universe. If it's purpose is to sustain and contain us, then it does it's job perfectly doesn't it?




Atheist; How much of this planet is habitable? How many billions of years did it take before even basic life was possible?

answer: How do these uninhabitable parts of earth, defeat the purpose of creation? Do not even the uninhabitable parts have a function? Indeed the sea is uninhabitable, but without the seas, we wouldn't have climates. Indeed some mountains are uninhabitable, but they to have a purpose on earth, to buffer [and keep the earth firm during] earthquakes. The point is, our planet is uninhabitable, and the characteristics fit surprisingly well with our needs.



Atheist; This universe does astound our small minds, petty by-products of chance life; but is there any part of that we can actually say "that is so amazing only a creator could have caused it?"


Answer:

Yes most definitly, some examples:
1) rate of expansion after big bang
“If the rate of expansion one second after the 'Big Bang' had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million (0,000000000000001%), the universe would have recollapsed. The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous”. (Stephen Hawking, 'A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes', Page 128).
2) gravity :
“If gravity (released by the Big Bang) had been stronger or weaker by even one part in ten thousand million million million million million million (0,00000000000000000000000000000000000001%) then life sustaining stars like the sun could not exist. This would most likely make life impossible.” (Brandon Carter, ‘New Physics’ Page 187).
3) Or how about the physical constants (like speed of light, planck constant). In physics we see these seemingly arbitrary numbers appear, that cannot be accounted for, but are adhered to strictly. Many scientists have expressed their awe for the way these constants caused a form of "fine-tuning". We do not understand where these values come from, yet we do see that if they would have been any different, life in this universe would have become very challenging. (Constants of Physics and Mathematics) 4) But even in our day to day life, if we look at our own bodies and surrounding, there's a sense of awe in all of them. Take for example the fine-tuning by which proteins in the cytoplasma self-regulate: Protein and Protein Interactions



Islam does require faith to an extent, but not 'blind faith';


in general yes, there is always a portion of faith. In the end of the day it is still a religion. However there is clearly a difference between Islam and the other religions. Islam doesn't require "blind" faith. Islam doesn't go in against logic and science. And there are many miracles which show Islam is genuine. So even though I acknowledge there's a portion fo faith required, I wouldn't say that it's "merely" faith-based.




the multiverse argument just shifts the question as to how it [the multiverse] all originated in the first place;

Whether or not it is scientificly plausible, is rather irrelevant. The multiverse explenation only shifts the question from how was our universe created to how was our multiverse created. Again note that there's a diffrence between believeing in an infinite multiverse, and an infinite Deity. Because an infinite (in time) multiverse would face the same technical problems with entropy as an infinite universe (i.e. the amount of useful energy of eternal big bangs, - expansion after contraction - continuously, would be reduced to 0, so needing a starting point once again at some time). That is because the multiverse theory sees the multiverse as the same closed system with the same universal forces.





Atheist: you believe in God due to science of the gaps argument;


answer: Again a straw men argument as reply. I did not say:

"Science uses science of the gaps.
"

Instead I said:

"You use science of the gaps. "



Since you choose to believe, that things which we haven't got a scientific explenation of, do have a natural explenation. In other words, the point I'm making is not that "science" is guilty of anything. I see science as completely neutral between us in this discussing. But rather my point was that you (ab)use science, or at least your faith in future-possible-scientific-discoveries to fill these gaps. So if I were indeed guilty of this proces of filling gaps, you would be equally guilty of filling these gaps with something else that is also faith-based.

You're using your science of the gaps again, where you assume that the gaps will eventually be filled with a naturalistic explenation based on your blind faith in (future) science.


So the all-possible-alternatives-exist-multiverse theory is not ridiculously complex? Is not untestable? Surely you are mistaken. The reason that we are uncertain regarding this is because all current theories are untestable. So far, none of the suggested explenations from any corner has been testable. As for complexity, again, I consider your explenation more complex [since your claim of God being complex is also subjective, then this is subjective too in complexity and is untestable].


Besides, you cannot explain 'why' the universe does what it does. you will only say it happens by chance or coincidence today, due to our lack of knowledge of science today, so you have faith in scientific theories which may come in the future which may or may not explain why the universe did what it did to achieve what it has achieved uptill today. But, due to the knowledge of probability, and alot of these factors occurring to allow life to survive, reproduce etc. then Ockhams razor theory goes for the most simplest of the two explanations (this only applies if both theories are equally plausible), and in this case - it supports my belief in an Intelligent Designer.






Atheist; "the reason we find the world exists for us to be able to observe it is because if it didn't we wouldn't be able to observe it."

So what you're saying is? The reason that we observe that the world exists in the way that it does, is because if it wouldn't exist in that way, we wouldn't observe it? That is what you could call the "contra-anthropic-principle". But that seems like a fancy way for saying, "It is like that because if it weren't like that then it wouldn't be like that". Well yeah, obviously, but that still doesn't make it any less miraculously that it is like that, and not any other of the million less favourable ways.




Atheist; "He's an infinitely intelligent, infinitely powerful, omnipresent being which can manipulate anything in the world according to his will from anywhere. A being like that is pretty much the most complex being you can think of." (hence he's more complicated than the idea of an eternal universe).


answer:

I grant that God is quite possibly the most complex among the beings. That however does not mean that the idea of God as creator is the most complex of all ideas. In fact I consider the multiverse, or at least, the way you suggest it accounts for existence a theory that is far more (needlessly) complex.

I realize that if I claim "God is the solution to the question of existence", then you could reply: but who created God? My reply in term would be, God is not created, he is timeless. This however logically fits. A universe going back infinitly in time, defies logic especially when considering entropy. A god which is time-less on the other hand (meaning not inside of the dimension of time) does not defy logic. Therefore to some extent I find it persuasive.


[Meaning: since Intelligent Design 'idea' is the most plausible explanation (to me) based on my understanding of science and probabilities of nature doing all these acts in a synchronised way), then the multiverse hypothesis 'idea' is even more complex in comparison since it defies logic.]




Atheist: This does not explain why God cannot reveal himself.

answer; It doesn't explain it directly. God created the universe and our lives in it in order to test us. For God to show himself, would be like a teacher writing the answers on the blackboard during an exam. What the verse does explain, is how even if more testable evidence were submitted, (like the suggested example of an angel who functioned as messenger to the people) then there would still be people who disbelief. People do not believe or disbelieve because of their rational evidences. People belief or disbelief due to their emotional inclinations. Islam is perfectly rational, if people would judge on evidence and logic alone, all people would become muslims. But there's obviously more to it then that (i.e. due to someone not wanting to follow the guidance willingly due to channeling desires in a way which may be displeasing to God etc).



Undisputable Miracles in Qur'an;
1. The mountains are shaped like pegs:
Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse, And the mountains as pegs? (78:6-7)
Early tefsir made prior to scientific discoveries:
Tafsir.com Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Scientific article that confirms the shape of mountains:
Beneath the mountains
Article explaining how research confirms the function of mountains as insulators for earthquakes:
Effects of Large-Scale Surface Topography on Ground Motions, as Demonstrated by a Study of the San Gabriel Mountains, Los Angeles, California -- Ma et al. 97 (6): 2066 -- Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America

"The mountains are shaped like pegs" is not vague, it gives a clear view of their shape, and this has been confirmed by science, and there was no way to discover these things without our current scientific advancement.
A similar argument can be said about the other verses. If you read them at face value, their have an obvious direct meaning. They are clearly not meant in a metaphorical way, and give a direct message. Of course people can interpret that differently, but that's not my point. My point is:
1. The direct literal meaning of these verses is confirmed by science
2. The early scholars, who lived before we had these scientific knowledge, believed that these meant the same as we now believe.
3. This knowledge could not have been discovered without our current technological equipment.
4. The only logical explanations are that it is truly a divine revelation or that it was a lucky guess. However to claim that all of these different miracles were all lucky guesses defy the logic of chance-calculation and luck, and is therefore no longer a logical explanation


2. The deepness of the sea:
Or as darkness on a vast, abysmal sea. There covereth him a wave, above which is a wave, above which is a cloud. Layer upon layer of darkness. When he holdeth out his hand he scarce can see it. And he for whom Allah hath not appointed light, for him there is no light. (24:40)
Claims that:
1. Deep inside the sea there is darkness, this has now been tested with diving equipment and validated.
2. There are different waves above each other. This has now been tested with hightech equipment, measuring density and temperature, you can find "layers" of sea.
3. The darkness is caused by the layers. Again this is correct. These different layers of sea, since they each have a different density and temperature cause a phenomena which in science we call: "light refraction". Upon each refraction, a percentage of light is reflected back up. So the light is really stoped in part layer by layer.

(Do note this only acounts for part of the darkness, allot of the light is also reflected on the surface (+-30%) and also some part of it is "absorbed", nevertheless, that this verse does not contradict science is amazing)
(for this verse I didn't look for scientific sources, as I take it the behaviour of light is something widely known and thought in high-school level physics)


Atheist; (he says that you are abusing science to support your religion)

answer: No, clearly this is not the accurate description of things. I'm not having a go at you for having faith in people who do good work, I'm having a go at you because you link your personal faith to those people's work, in an attempt to inappropriately give your faith the same prestige of their work. That's a form of abuse of their good name even. See, you're trying to make it seem as if it's you (=science) vs. me (=religion). And as if my views are contrary to science. But that is not at all the case. My views are perfectly compatible with science.

Perhaps yours might be to, but that doesn't change that science is neutral in this, and that your constant cry of "god of the gaps" is a hypocrite argument, since you fill the gaps with your faith-based assumptions as well.




Atheist; God is not falsifiable, simply because you require faith in Him.

answer:
wouldn't that be neat if everything was falsifiable? Well sadly some things aren't. When a scientist believes in string theory due to it's mathematical harmony; despite that it's not falsifiable, people seem to look the other way. But if a theist believes in God based on a harmony in his world-view, it's like everybody goes: "look at that blind fool..." [Both are faith based, so why the double standards?]




Atheist; you're trying to use science to explain God because of advancement in science today only;

answer: It's not some new-age way of trying to fit Religion within the parameters of science. In fact it's the same explenation that exists since the beginning of Islam (since the Qur'an continuously encourages people to study science, reflect on the universe to believe in God through His signs), that despite scientific advancement still works.




When debating, they might say that science may disprove the need for God in the future.


First of all, we don't need to argue about the future. Science is what we understand of the universe today, so we have to accept the reality as it is today and not how it will be in the future.

2nd, we're realising that Science is showing the need for Intelligent Design today.

3rd, If they argue that science will disprove the need for God in the future, whose to say that science won't prove the need for God in the future?



Who created God?


God is uncreated by definition.


Abdullah123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2009, 04:18 PM   #50
Abdullah123
Ummat Muhammad
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 697
Re: Foundations & Arguments in debate for Muslims vs Atheists

Asalam alaikum warahmatulah Wabarakatuh


Believing in God is the nature [fitrah] of the human being.



The Prophet (peace be upon him) also informs us: "Every child is born upon the natural way. It is then his parents who turn him into a Jew, a Christian, or a Zoroastrian." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1296)]



Everything has a logical purpose

Everything in this universe follows certain sets of rules, which we can comprehend and understand. If these laws run according to logical rules, then it is most likely that something has been co-ordinated this set way in order for these laws to have been established in the first place. If these set laws are not established in the beginning, then how can co-ordination form from chaos? This is extremely unlikely. Logically speaking, order is put into motion by one who controls and directs. This is how the human nature understands the universe we live in. Someone might argue that it is due to our perception - that we logically try to percieve things in order, so they are in order only due to our minds placing them within that sequencing - however, it is because they are within this order that we are able to percieve the control that we see.

If one was to argue against this - then they are saying that the logical came out of the illogical, something which the human mind cannot really comprehend, prove, or even agree to naturally. Anyone can say we evolved to only accept control as a perception, but the reality is still otherwise - in the universe we live - where the Planet Earth was in the exact location to allow life to survive and remain protected within it for millions of years. People cannot explain why the planet earth came in this location to allow life to remain within it, however due to the extremely low probability of the earth being in the exact place to achieve this purpose without control - the human nature is more likely to agree that there was some form of intervention, to allow it to to be in the exact location to support life, and to provide for the different species for a long time period. That is what the human nature agrees to, to understand that every living and non living thing has achieved something for a purpose. Survival in of itself is not a purpose, although it may be a means for achieving something.



The probabilities of 'Coincidences' is - in most cases - lower than Impossibility


A good example of this is given when certain chemical reactions take place, we know that they can take place to produce certain products. However, some form of control is required to react these substances together to produce the outcome. Someone may argue that it is possible for certain events to occur through natural means, and that is true - however - these are extremely limited. So the person may reply that over millions of years, natural occurences, and trial and error - useful products are produced. However, the weakness in these arguments is that the probability of such events - especially of trial and error - occuring are extremely low, and in many cases - statistically impossible (a probability smaller than 1 in 10 (to the power) 50 [50 zeros after it] is statistically considered to have a "zero" probability of occurring, and most of these cases require a higher probability than this number.) This then, logically speaking, makes certain events impossible, except through control and some form of intervention from someone with Knowledge, and Ability to do so.





2 Equally Competitive but Conflicting theories are Present - the Simplest is most likely true



According to the Ockham's Razor Principle, if there are two conflicting theories of equal value, then the simplest of the 2 theories is most likely to be true. In this case - the universe - being controlled to produce and sustain life is the simpler of the 2 theories, therefore more likely. For example, we see;
Pro creation by anthropic theory: When considering the complex way the rules of physics manifest themselves in both physiology and cosmology it seems obvious that the slightest change in any factor of physics or any change in the nature of the universe would have made life impossible:

“If the rate of expansion one second after the 'Big Bang' had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million (0,000000000000001%), the universe would have recollapsed. The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous”. (Stephen Hawking, 'A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes', Page 128).

“If gravity (released by the Big Bang) had been stronger or weaker by even one part in ten thousand million million million million million million (0,00000000000000000000000000000000000001%) then life sustaining stars like the sun could not exist. This would most likely make life impossible.” (Brandon Carter, ‘New Physics’ Page 187).


So we see that the complex rules of the physics of the universe - even if they were altered slightly, would make life impossible to exist within this universe. It all started with a design of life; then the universe was custom made in order for such life to exist. Such a well balanced universe and complicated creatures cannot be the result of mere luck. This order suggests creation.




Moving on...


Claim that: Children - without being taught - have a Predisposition to believe in Supreme Being who created with a Purpose.


Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford's Centre for Anthropology and Mind, claims that young people have a predisposition to believe in a supreme being because they assume that everything in the world was created with a purpose.

He says that young children have faith even when they have not been taught about it by family or at school, and argues that even those raised alone on a desert island would come to believe in God.

"The preponderance of scientific evidence for the past 10 years or so has shown that a lot more seems to be built into the natural development of children's minds than we once thought, including a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"If we threw a handful on an island and they raised themselves I think they would believe in God."

In a lecture to be given at the University of Cambridge's Faraday Institute on Tuesday, Dr Barrett will cite psychological experiments carried out on children that he says show they instinctively believe that almost everything has been designed with a specific purpose.

In one study, six and seven-year-olds who were asked why the first bird existed replied "to make nice music" and "because it makes the world look nice".

Another experiment on 12-month-old babies suggested that they were surprised by a film in which a rolling ball apparently created a neat stack of blocks from a disordered heap.


Dr Barrett said there is evidence that even by the age of four, children understand that although some objects are made by humans, the natural world is different.

He added that this means children are more likely to believe in creationism rather than evolution, despite what they may be told by parents or teachers.

Dr Barrett claimed anthropologists have found that in some cultures children believe in God even when religious teachings are withheld from them.

"Children's normally and naturally developing minds make them prone to believe in divine creation and intelligent design. In contrast, evolution is unnatural for human minds; relatively difficult to believe."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/3512686/Children-are-born-believers-in-God-academic-claims.html



We see from the above study that the human nature accepts and believes that everything has a purpose, i.e. "to make nice music", "it makes the world look nice".



Conclusion


So we see that it is in agreement with human nature to accept that everything is done with a purpose, along with control and order of one with knowledge and power. This is what the mind accepts and is at ease with, this is the simplest and most plausible of the two competitors (chance vs control), this is the human nature.
Abdullah123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Principles of Persuasion and Influence MSalah The Book Nook 22 05-09-2008 02:52 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
All content copyright © 2005 AlMaghrib Institute. All rights reserved. No part of this site may be copied without written permission from the administration. The views, posts, and opinions expressed by members of the forum are not necessarily those of the staff and management of AlMaghrib or the Institute itself.