Sunday, October 14, 2012

How To Talk To A Muslim: The Nature of Allah

It is very rare that I come across an actual believing Muslim that I can debate with in my life, but recently I came across a blog made by an African American Muslim who writes about many hot button issues from the point of view of his Islamic faith. He had advertised his blog on the Non Believer Nation Facebook page, and that's what caught my interest. So I checked out a few of his blog posts, and naturally, as an atheist I had to take issue with many of them. So on several of his blogs, in the comment section, me and him went back and forth debating various topics, including his description of the nature of Allah, the atheistic position, and homosexuality as seen from his 7th century narrow-minded view. 

His name is Gareth Bryant, and he is an unapologetic conservative Muslim. He wrote a blog explaining his enduring love and respect for Allah and the anti-theist in me had to call out some of his brainwashed bullshit. Below is the transcript of our debate going back and forth. His blog post is linked below so you might want to read what he wrote before reading our debate. I start out apologizing to him for bugging him because this comment came after several heated back and forth comments we had on other posts. His words are in bold.


Reality of the Nature of Allah:
http://garethbryant.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/therealityofthenatureofallah/?replytocom=17384#respond


ME:


Sorry man I gotta bug you again. But you did say you want honest feedback from your readers…


So I have some issues with how you describe Allah. I have a problem with how the god of monotheism is portrayed in general, but in no particular order:


You mentioned that Allah is not created but is eternal. Doesn’t that mean Allah has an eternal past? Many monotheists believe God is timeless, but I don’t see how that is possible. Even the Qur’an says Allah’s day is a certain measurable length of time, whatever that may be. If Allah has an eternal past, wouldn’t it have taken him an eternity to get to the present?
Does Allah have free will since he knows everything he is going to think and do, forever? Isn’t that kind of like being an actor and having to go along with a script forever knowing that you could never deviate from it?


You mentioned that “Allah never plays practical-jokes upon people”. Really? Ever heard of the story of Abraham? Talk about practical joke. Whatever the lessen to be learned there, commanding someone to kill their son, and then saying it was all a test, is one hell of a joke. Can you imagine Abraham’s face when he found out it was all a test? Not to mention the look on his son’s face. This whole story is Allah’s intentional deception.


You said “It is impossible for Allah to be a tyrant”. Excuse me. Allah is the tyrant of tyrants. It’s his way or the highway. He demands to be loved, worshiped and feared. That sounds to be a lot like Stalin and Kim Jung-Il. Nearly every line in the Qur’an mentions this. All the verse you pointed out says is “And thy Lord wrongs not anyone.” But the Qur’an justifies slavery, sexual slavery, and Allah even uses the role of the slave to show their masters how much higher Allah is to them. I don’t think a “perfect” being would justify human slavery, don’t you?


GB:


1. When one is eternal, past, present, or future are irrelevant, this doesn’t affect Allah i any way. Yes, it’s true that things which we don’t know about, happened in the past, obviously. But, that has absolutely no affect upon Allah’s status as being eternal. Free-will is something that only applies to the creation, because free-will is something which is given, granted, allowed, allotted, etc. & it is Allah who gives-No one gives Allah anything-Allah owns everything. Since Allah is the one who sets the rules, guidelines, standards, etc., then, there’s no need for Him to be subjugated to a “free-will”, or lack thereof, by virtue of who He is, He is eternally free from any & all need, dependence, necessity, etc.


2. Allah doesn’t think, thinking is an aspect, quality of created things: What does the work think mean?Think- to have a conscious mind, to some extent of reasoning, remembering experiences, making rational decisions, etc. (Courtesy of Dictionary.com)Allah doesn’t reason, because He knows everything, there’s nothing for Him to ponder about or investigate. He doesn’t remember, because He never forgets anything. Allah doesn’t rationalize, because He already possesses all knowledge & wisdom of everything which exists.

3. It’s never an issue of Allah having a “script”, that He can never “deviate” from-There’s no limitations set upon Allah, except those that He places upon Himself. He does however have a Sunnah (Allah has a divine-routine), and Allah mentions, in the Qur’an, that His Sunnah never changes, not that it can’t, but it will not. As Muslim, we are not entitled to place limitations, boundaries, conditions, standards, etc., upon Allah, which Allah has never placed upon Himself.

4. Allah doesn’t impose practical-jokes upon people. He has the sole right to test, anyone or anything that He so desires, we just have to deal with it.5. Allah has never been tyrannical, and He never will be. Allah specifically says, “Verily, Allah doesn’t oppress Humans at all. However, Humans do oppress themselves.”(Noble Qur’an: Chpt., V.) And, also, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has said, “Oh, My Property!!! Verily, I’ve made oppression prohibited upon Myself, as well as between you. So, do not oppress one another!!!”(an-Nawawi) Furthermore, Allah is the Lord of the Universe; and, as such, He definitely has the exclusive right to be respected, feared, loved, worshipped, etc. 

ME:

You know when I hear theists talk about their God, it reminds me a lot of North Koreans talking about their “Dear Leader”. To the North Korean the Dear Leader is always right, he’s always perfect, all thanks and tribute and gratitude must go to him. He can never do any wrong, ever. This is because they fear him, which is one of Allah’s qualities.


Now a North Korean might truly in their heart, be completely willing to submit to the Dear Leader, and destroy any will that they might possibly have for their own being and give all their control to him. But this submissive and very masochistic way of living in the eyes of others, is not something to be proud of. We in the West can easily see how ridiculous and sadistic the Dear Leader is. But most Muslims cannot see this with their own concept of God as non Muslims clearly can, because they live in fear of Allah’s wrath and they are brainwashed (as you clearly) are by its dogma, just like the North Koreans are in their country.In the Qur’an, Allah has nothing but hatred and contempt for those who do not submit to them. Anger and jealousy are not virtuous traits, otherwise we would teach our children these values positively. Therefore the core character of Allah is one that is sadistic, capricious, extremely jealous beyond comparison, totalitarian, tyrannical, who enjoys the torment of those in hell like a teenage boy enjoying a slasher movie, and whose love is only conditional as to whether you completely and blindly submit yourself as his slave.


Now do you see how free-thinking people like me don’t see Allah as anything but a cosmic “Dear Leader”. You might be fine submitting to him. But you know what, some people find happiness in slavery. Some people like giving up all their power to authority. It comes from the masochistic aspect of human nature, and religions capitalize on that. Others of us want to live our lives freely, while respecting others so that we can live in a civil society.


Allah has limitations, he can only do what is logically possible, which is why he cannot create a square circle, or another god better than him.


Now if free will is given, that defeats its whole purpose, because you didn’t have the free will for it to be given. The characteristics of Allah are not logically possible, but theists just assert them to be so, through theological wordplay. It is like the ontological arguments given about god. You’re just “defining” Allah as “perfect” without offering any proof. As I said before, having 1 flaw exterminates perfection. And jealousy, anger, and sadism (enjoy the torment of others) cancels this perfection. The same standards apply to everyone, including Allah.


But I’m sure that you, just like the North Koreans, will fail to recognize this in the one you worship, because you’re brainwashed and fearful. Your religion prevents you from applying a critical eye towards Allah or any Islamic dogma. You must take a step back, from the perspective outside of your faith in order to see where I’m coming from.


GB:


Everything that you’ve just mentioned has absolutely no basis at all. There are more uses of the word mercy & forgiveness, in the Qur’an itself, than torment or punishment. So, your statements against Allah, which are obvious lies, are not even worth me disproving. It’s just another lame-ass attempt, by you, to try to convince me to have a negative opinion of Allah, the Lord of the Universe, and it’s just not working & it could/would never work. If Allah were truly merciless, as you claim, you wouldn’t even be allowed to take your next breath. For all of the insidiously slanderous statements that you’ve just made against Allah, you don’t even deserve the intellect that He’s given you, let alone the life that He’s given you. But, out of His ultimate mercy, He still, in spite of your disgusting rebellious behavior, against Him, He still allows you to live.


Me:


Well you’ve proven my point exactly because if you’ve ever seen a North Korean react when someone points out to them the obvious truth that their leader is not really all that he is cracked up to be, they can’t even fathom for one second that that could be correct.


You mention Allah’s forgiveness and mercy. Sure, only for those who blindly submit to be his slave forever. His love is purely conditional as to whether you sacrifice your entire personality and free will to him. Now Allah could be humble. He could say “I need not be worshiped” and could act as an advice giver and give us true scientific and moral knowledge and let us make our own decisions, whether good or bad, like a father does. But no, he demands total submission and worship constantly or else he will enjoy your torment in hell. That is far from humble, or merciful, this is what you call megalomania, and there is no denying this at all.


I don’t need Allah’s permission to breath because he doesn’t exist. He only exists in the minds of the people who believe in him. And even so, there are so many different versions of God that exist inside people’s minds that it shows you that man created God, not the other way around. You believe him on faith and you have no real evidence to his existence and it is a good thing, because who in their right mind would want to live under such a demanding tyrant that you will have to submit to and worship forever like his little play thing, as merely a means to HIS end; who rewards you with watching the torment of others in hell to enjoy this sadism?


The Islamic mentality is a form of psychopathy if you think what I mentioned above (in paragraph 2) is perfectly alright because Allah’s power makes it right. It prevents one from thinking rational. Muslims believe “might makes right” and it is sad. That same mentality justifies brutal kings and dictators. When Muslims assert that “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammad is his prophet” they don’t realize that only the first 4 words are correct.


END

Summary:

It is clear from his words that he is not even willing to come halfway in agreement with me. He sticks to his talking points insisting that Allah is perfect, wise, and merciful, and that I should be thankful that I am even allowed to breathe. This is what it is like talking to "one who submits" and I polemically compare this to a North Korean analogy. True believing, submitting Muslims like him, will never admit any problem with their god because they are brainwashed and fearful, much like their North Korean counterparts. They will blindly insist that perfection can be found in a "holy" book written 1,400 years ago.

Our other debates are even more exciting.


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