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From Allah hypothesis to atheism and irrationalism

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 From Allah hypothesis to atheism and irrationalism Empty From Allah hypothesis to atheism and irrationalism

Post by admin on Sat 04 May 2013, 9:53 pm

From Allah hypothesis to atheism and irrationalism






By Sujit Das

A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it.” – David Stevens

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.” – Delos B. McKown

What we understand from the Qur’an is that Allah is necessarily
omniscient (all knowing), necessarily omnipotent (all powerful) and
necessarily omnibenevolent (all merciful). But what the Muslims do not
understand is that there is a serious conflict in these “omni”
attributes of their Allah. If Allah is necessarily omnipotent, i.e., he
has unlimited power then certainly he cannot be omniscient because such
necessary omnipotence precludes him from having the experiences that are
needed to acquire certain concepts. For example, it is impossible for
an omnipotent Allah to comprehend fully certain concepts, such as fear,
frustration, despair and greed that an omniscient being needs to
possess. Here lies the hidden antitheist argument in the Qur’an which
the brainwashed Muslims cannot see. If Allah is omniscient then he has
to understand all concepts fully. And someone’s full understanding of
such concepts as fear, frustration, and despair requires one to
experience fear, frustration and despair respectively. But Allah cannot
have those experiences because, by definition, he is necessarily
omnipotent and so could not fall prey to the weakness entailed by the
having of such experiences. Therefore, the argument concludes, the God
of Muslims does not exist.

Now, Muslims can argue that even if Allah himself cannot experience
fear, frustration and despair there is no reason to conclude that he
cannot possess concepts of them. Allah can possess such concepts by
directly perceiving the “contents of human consciousness”. For instance,
someone – say, in a prayer – reflects vividly on his fear, then Allah
will be able to perceive this person’s feeling and to come to understand
fully what fear is. But still there are difficulties with this reply.
First of all, the omniscient Allah cannot depend on insignificant human
beings to perceive the contents of human consciousness, simply because
he is omniscient. In fact, the Qur’an itself confirms that Allah is self
sufficient.

Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures.” (Q: 3.97)

“…and Allah is He Who is the Self-sufficient …” (Q: 35.15)

Secondly, a timeless god cannot perceive human feelings, in
particular, human sufferings. Allah, who transcends space and time, is
not in a position to share human feelings. This is the doctrine of
divine impassibility.

Moreover, the omnipotent God cannot be jealous. He cannot crave for
praise and remembrance. But Allah is jealous and his mind is full of
hatred for the mortal human beings.

Jabir b. ‘Atik reported that Prophet as saying: There is
jealousy which Allah loves and jealousy which Allah hates. That which
Allah loves is jealousy regarding a matter of doubt and that which Allah
hates is jealousy regarding something which is not doubtful. There is
pride which Allah hates and pride which Allah loves. That which Allah
loves is a man’s pride when fighting and when giving sadaqah and that
which Allah hates is pride shown by oppression. The narrator Musa said:
‘by boasting’.
” (Sunaan Abu Dawud: 2.2563)

Allah even promises to forgive all the sins if a believer praises him one hundred times after every prayer.

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: If anyone
extols Allah after every prayer thirty-three times, and praises Allah
thirty-three times, and declares His Greatness thirty-three times,
ninety-nine times in all, and says to complete a hundred: ‘There is no
god but Allah, having no partner with Him, to Him belongs sovereignty
and to Him is praise due, and He is Potent over everything’, his sins
will be forgiven even ff these are as abundant as the foam of the sea.
” (Muslim: 4.1243)

Qur’an repeatedly says that Allah is omnibenevolent. If Allah is
all-powerful and perfectly good, why is there evil in the world? If
Allah is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human
action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is
also his work. How is it possible to think of holding men responsible
for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Allah? In giving
out punishment and rewards Allah would to a certain extent be passing
judgment on himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and
righteousness ascribed to him? Secondly, Allah cannot know what it is
like to have an evil desire, because he, who is necessarily
omnibenevolent, cannot have an evil desire. But the history of Islam is
an ongoing record of human pain arising from people’ inhumanity. Qur’an
itself confirms that Allah created evils.

Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the dawn, from the evil of what He has created.” (Q: 113.1-2)

No misfortune can happen on earth or in your souls but is
recorded in a decree before We bring it into existence: That is truly
easy for Allah
.” (Q: 57.22)

If Allah is a perfectly loving God, he must wish to abolish all evil,
and if Allah is all-powerful he must be able to abolish all evil. If we
have to believe the verse 2.117 that Allah creates instantly, by
decree; he says “be” and it is, then within the same logic Allah could
say “no evil” and evil would disappear in a second. But evil exists;
hence Allah is neither omnipotent nor omnibenevolent.

Though there is problem of evil in the philosophy of every religion,
in Islam, the problem is at the root. Here the god itself is evil, and
hence, his judgment is also evil. He is more prone to punish than to
reward, to inflict pain than to bestow pleasure, to ruin than to build.
It is Allah’s singular satisfaction to let created beings continually
feel that they are nothing else than his slaves, his tools to propagate
his religion. His slaves have no other choice; jihad is obligatory to
them. Such a god can be anything but omnibenevolent. Muslim apologists
have noted this discrepancy and they come out with an explanation that
there are greater goods that justify the evil’s presence in the world.
But this logic is flawed, because without knowledge of what the greater
goods could be, one cannot have a successful theodicy. In fact, the
problem of evil does not need to be encountered in Islam because Allah
is neither omniscient nor omnipotent; hence the existence of evil is
explicable.

In addition, there is a moral constraint. If an evil is necessary
because it secures a greater good, then it appears we humans have no
duty to prevent it, for in doing so we would also prevent the greater
good for which the evil is required. Even worse, it seems that any
action can be rationalized, as if one can actually perform it, then it
must be permitted by Allah for the sake of the greater good. From this
line of thought one may conclude that, as these conclusions violate our
basic moral intuitions, no greater good theodicy is true, and Allah does
not exist.

The righteousness and justice of God is the aspect of God’s holiness
that is seen in his treatment of his creatures. Warraq (1995, pp. 127-Cool
argues,

We are told that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent;
yet He behaves like a petulant tyrant, unable to control his
recalcitrant subjects. He is angry, He is proud, He is jealous: all
moral deficiencies surprising in a perfect Being. If He is
self-sufficient, why does He need mankind? If He is All-powerful, why
does He ask the help of humans? Above all, why does He pick an obscure
Arabian merchant in some cultural backwater to be His last messenger on
earth? Is it consistent with a supremely moral being that He should
demand praise and absolute worship from creatures He Himself has
created? What can we say of the rather curious psychology of a Being who
creates humans—or rather automata-some of whom are preprogrammed to
grovel in the dirt five times a day in homage to Himself? This obsessive
desire for praise is hardly a moral virtue and is certainly not worthy
of a morally supreme Being
.”

The omnipotent, omniscient Allah who is supposed to have total
knowledge of everything and total control of the universe cannot even
reach the man’s knowledge and understanding. If we read the Qur’an with a
logical mind we will find that any attributes to Allah is dependent
largely on the experience of humans. Since no human is perfect, all
these attributes have much deficiency in them. Allah has all the human
strengths and weaknesses of a mortal human being. He is not at all
supernatural or having any godly qualities.

Secondly, the concept that we have about a thing does not include its
existence in the meaning. When I say that the existence of a thing is
not included in the meaning of a concept, it means that concepts cannot
cause their meaning to exist. No Muslim cleric can cause the existence
of Allah by defining his concept. If he imagines a perfect being, and
then adds all the things that make it perfect, it is still in his
imagination. Muslim clerics cannot prove an existence by making a sum of
its properties; they also need to prove the relationship between their
concepts and the world. Simply speaking; you cannot prove that the
creature of your fantasy is real with your description alone, or giving
it one hundred “omni” attributes. It is nothing more than to say that
some unknowable being possesses some unknown qualities in an unknowable
way. Something unknowable is useless as qualities. Who can rescue such a
god from the oblivion of nonexistence? Fortunately for Allah, a suicide
bomber cannot return to demand a refund. If I claim that a triangle can
have four sides, but if there is no such triangle anywhere within
sight, then the concept is only in my mind. A triangle can only have
four sides if it exists. Allah can only have attributes if he exists.
Therefore, these clerics first need to prove that Allah exists before
they can describe his nature. Otherwise this is an argument to
ignorance.

Since there is no evidence of Allah, his existence is equivalent to
nothing. If the existence of Allah is equivalent to nothing, then the
only thing that remains about the concept of Allah is the belief that
the Allah exists. Consequently, Allah exists only in the imagination of
the believers. A god that exists only in the imagination of the believer
is a delusion. The Allah simply collapses into atheism (and from there
into irrationalism) under scrutiny.

The real God, if exists, necessarily has to be entirely
self-sufficient, not dependent upon anything or anyone outside of
himself. He exists in His own right as an independent being. Allah’s
knowledge of fear, frustration and despair relies on the contents of
human consciousness is inconsistent with this doctrine of divine
independence. By fitting some “omni” attributes to a fantasy hero does
not make it realistic. It actually strengthens the atheist argument.

Some apologists who understand this drawback of the Allah hypothesis
come out with a wonderful explanation – Allah is epistemologically
transcendent; i.e., he falls beyond the scope of man’s intellectual
comprehension. The full nature of Allah is not merely unknown; it is
unknowable. Man’s rational capacity does not allow him to understand the
true nature of Allah, and any knowledge that man does possess
concerning Allah is necessarily inadequate in some respect. Thus, Allah,
by definition, is that which Muslims cannot understand. What then shall
we say about Allah? What Muslims had been able to understand is not
Allah but something else instead of Allah. It leads to serious confusion
– What identifiable characteristics does Allah possess? In other words,
how will we recognize the Allah if we run across him? To state that
Allah is supernatural and unknowable does not provide us with an answer.
If clerics are to talk intelligibly about Allah, they must presuppose
that Allah has characteristics by which he can be identified. But once
the idea of supernatural existence is introduced, an existence apart
from the limitations of natural law, they exclude the possibility of
assigning any definite characteristics to Allah – because by so doing
they bring their Allah within the realm of limitations and hence within
the realm of natural law. The standard defense of the clerics is
actually flawed. It is foolishness to introduce the “unknowable” as a
supposed characteristic of the concept itself. If Allah is completely
unknowable, the concept of Allah is totally devoid of content, and the
word Allah becomes a meaningless sound.

Also, if Allah must remain forever outside the context of man’s
knowledge, a “supernatural explanation” is a contradiction in terms.
Nowhere in the Darwinian theory of evolution did I have find “divine
intervention” of Allah. Indeed, to explain everything in terms of Allah
is precisely not to explain anything – it is to cut all inquiry dead, to
stifle any intellectual curiosity, to kill any scientific progress. To
explain the wonderful and awesome variety and complexity of living
organisms as “miracles” is not to give a very helpful, least of all a
scientific explanation. One cannot explain the unknown with reference to
the unknowable. Allah is like a doctor’s placebo, which is, however,
effective in spite of being pretended. To state that “Allah exists” is
to communicate nothing at all; it is as if nothing has been said. The
label of “Allah” serves no function, except, perhaps, to create
confusion.

The adaptation of Occam’s razor to this controversy consists in
demonstrating that Allah is a redundant identity in the pantheon of
Gods. This god cannot be shown to be necessary for any explanatory
purposes, and unless science and reason are vigorously attacked and hard
scientific truth is distorted, this failed god cannot gain a foothold.
When the door is wide-opened for science and reason, the subject of
faith in Allah does not arise in the first place since it is much
simpler to assume that the world is logical and scientific where the
moral and ethical values are approved by God, and therefore these
qualities always have higher priority. A true God, if he exists, cannot
be immoral. It is much easier to believe that Muhammad was the actual
author of the Qur’an, and an ungodly god – a god of intolerance,
violence, treachery, lying and, above all stupidity and confusion – does
not exist. The hypothesis of Allah as a creator explains nothing; it
merely asserts the futility of explanation. It simply pushes the problem
one floor upstairs! It is futile and redundant.

The great majority of the believing Muslims are unwilling to
reexamine their beliefs. They find it difficult to accept the truth
because of their fear to lose the false moral support that is founded in
the belief of Allah. The very meaning of “Islam” – “submission” –
notifies the Muslims of their proper role in Allah’s religion. If the
choice must be made between the comfort of Allah delusion and the truth
of science, they will sacrifice the latter without hesitation. His
entire life is frozen in his Allah. This pattern of behavior is passed
from one generation to another by imitation. If the evidence seems to
contradict Allah, it is the evidence that must be thrown out, not the
belief in Allah. Science cannot save him, logic cannot save him,
knowledge cannot save him, medicine cannot save him – only his Allah can
save him.

The solution to the problems of life does not depend on imaginary
perceptions. Where was Allah while millions of Muslim children died from
starvation and disease in the Middle East? Where was Allah while a
cyclone killed 266,000 Pakistanis in 1970? As per the verse 7.57, – “… make rain to descend thereon, and produce every kind of harvest therewith
– rain is the mercy of Allah, yet devastating floods claim the lives of
thousands of people in, ironically, a Muslim country, namely,
Bangladesh. The cyclone of 1991, with winds of 200 kilometers per hour,
resulted in floods that left 100,000 dead and 10,000,000 without
shelter. All these must be the works of Allah, as Qur’an says,

No misfortune can happen on earth or in your souls but is
recorded in a decree before we bring it into existence: That is truly
easy for Allah
”. (Q: 57.22)

There is no Ayatollah or Grand Mufti who can create an Allah with the
force of his religious faith, even if when he shares his belief with
the entire Muslim Ummah. Nobody can alter the nature of reality with the
power of his blind faith. Religious faith does not make humans
infallible; extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Muslims
have prayed for the total destruction of the Jewish ever since the time
of Muhammad without a single result. There was no Allah to save the
hundreds of thousands of children who died from starvation and disease
in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sudan. This is clear evidence that the
power of blind faith in Allah is a hideous instrument of forged reality
that confronts every faithful Muslim at every waking hour and can
convince even the most educated of them.

References

Warraq, Ibn (1995); Why I am not a Muslim. Prometheus books. NY.

Sujit Das lives in Mumbai (India). He is the author of several articles critical to Islam and a book Islam Dismantled: The Mental Illness of Prophet Muhammad available for online purchase at Amazon.com and in various book stores. His forthcoming book The Allah Delusion is due for publishing. He can be contacted at counter.jihad@yahoo.co.uk

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