On a recent blog post, I ran into the claim that:
Your belief won’t affect anyone else. It will only affect you and your life. So choose wisely.
I didn’t agree and told the author so. My exact words were:
It might if those beliefs equate into action. Beliefs absolutely effect other people.
It then turned into a conversation about evidence. The author (nice guy that he is) offered to send me some evidence for his God and the faith claims associated with that belief. I directed him to my email address and he sent them to me today.
From the moment I started reading and watching his ‘evidence’ I was struck once again by how remarkably similar his evidence was to that of every other monotheistic religion and its claims.
It is a simple principle that something cannot come from nothing, therefore, where did the Universe come from? It cannot simply exist without having any cause as this contradicts the clear reality which everyone can sense, for example, if we see a car no one would ever think that it simply exists without any manufacturer, this can be applied to anything around us. The following example demonstrates this point well.
At first glance you’d think we were talking about Yahweh or Christianity, but he’s talking about Allah.
This is the danger of monotheistic religions like Islam or Christianity – it’s their way or the highway, and there is no way to differentiate or decide the truth claims of one religion over the other. Since both religions claim that you must believe in their version of God or meet some unspeakable, uncomfortable end, they are practically destined to clash. If they don’t clash militarily, they’ll definitely butt heads in the marketplace of ideas.
Furthermore the amazing design of every part of the universe, man and life are testament to the fact that Allah (swt) exists.
Here we have the argument from design, which is quite popular among Christian circles as well. The real question is this: if we grant that this argument is valid (which I don’t) which god is the right one? Is it Jesus, Yahweh or Allah?
And how do you determine which is the right one, since both use the same ‘evidences’.
Maybe we can look at their holy books for the answer.
To this day Muslim and non-Muslim scholars have not been able to find any contradiction or mistake in the Qur’an. Moreover, if one was to compare word by word a copy of the Qur’an published today to one of the first copies of the Qur’an available then one would find that not a single word has been omitted or added.
Then again, maybe not. Just like Christians have their bible, Muslims have the Qur’an. Both can claim it was inspired or written by a supreme being. Both claim miracles happened. Both can say the writers were witnesses to God’s majesty.
And both have no way to determine which side is right. Let the clashing begin!
Furthermore, both religions will argue that their book is more authentic and historically accurate than the other.
In fact, this line of evidence is so blurry that he sent me links to Christian sites that argued the same points as he did for his God. I wonder if the irony ever dawned on him.
And what talk of evidence would be complete without talking about the evidence for the end times. You might think Christianity is alone in this endeavor, but you’d be wrong. Islam is also full of such prophesies and those prophesies are backed up by the same evidence as the ones talked about by their Christian counterparts.
One of the evidences discussed is the removal of a mountain. It wasn’t really removed. The video shows pictures of humans developing it. So the first evidence they show you is literally something that isn’t all that surprising, since we destroy nature almost everywhere we go. It would be more surprising to see an area where we live that hasn’t been torn apart.
The narrator then goes on to say he was walking on a public beach and came upon two people having intercourse.
So what does this mean in religious thinking?
The same thing right wing Christian pundits scream about all the time – a moral crisis in society that God will eventually punish.
The rest of the video, which I’ll link at the bottom of this post is equally distasteful. It goes on about how women aren’t watching their children because they’re working like men, and other disjointed events that are supposed to be signs of the end times. The video (at the time I wrote this) has 723 likes and only 18 dislikes. Some of the comments seem to take great pleasure in the prospect of the end times. Some say the idea is beautiful. It’s the same sort of things you can find on many Christian websites. It’s like a yearning for an ending of life.
Here’s a few examples:
The point I’m trying to make is that there is no way to determine which of these two religions (or the thousands of others) is correct. Both religions claim the same kinds of evidence, which includes miracles, design, prophesies, near death experiences, reliable holy books, prophets and so on and so forth.
So if you’re religious, how do you make the determination that your religion is more ‘right’ than any other?
I think if you’re honest with yourself, you might find that your religious belief has more to do with where you live and your exposure to a particular religion, rather than actual evidence.