The Shaky Evidence of Faith: Why Is Your Religion True And Theirs Isn’t?

Battle of the gods
Battle of the gods

Battle of the gods

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.

For example:

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.

*gasp!*

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:

2015-08-02_1559 2015-08-02_1557 2015-08-02_1557_001

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.

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40 Comments

  1. And they both claim the same kind of fallacious evidence, like the “something from nothing,” gambit. That notion, though, is highly presumptuous and most likely derived from the limited abilities of our sense and our perception of time. For example, you didn’t exist and then you did. The human brains loves these kinds of concrete ideas because they satisfy an aversion to the unknown, which represents risk, and because it jives so well with how we experience time and cause and effect.

    But the argument from design is a fallacy, the idea of “So it is written, thus it is,” is highly fallacious (Do these people assume that every movie that’s “Based on a true story” is a literal and 100% accurate depiction of the original events simply because of the tagline of the film?), the notion of prophesy is ridiculous, etc.

    If they’re all built on fallacious arguments, then none of them are right!

  2. Well. I just want to reply on one point that Mosa (A.S) , Jesus (A.S) and Muhammad (s.a.w) all were sent down by the same God (Allah in Arabic) and they were humans and God’s messengers. And It is important part of faith of Muslims to believe in all prophets including Mosa (A.S) and Jesus (A.S).
    MOSA (A.S) was given Torah, Jesus (A.S) was given Bible and Muhammad(PBUH) was gifted with Quran, there are disputes and disagreements among followers of these messengers. GOD is One and all prophets preached the same msg. Core msg was same. It is just that previous Holy Book, Torah , Bible etc were corrupted by humans on earth, therefore God (Allah) sent his final message: Quran, which was revealed 1400 years ago and each of its word is preserved and unchanged till the day of judgement. That is also a miracle of Allah that He saved His final word and it is memorised by millions in the world. Many of you have seen and heard debates among theists and atheist. I would not repeat those arguments. But whoever visit this page, I would request them to kindly visit following website and see the miracles of Quran, information that was revealed 1400 years ago and modern science has proved those facts just two centuries ago. Like Earth is not flat, it is spherical, Sun and all planets revolve around their specific orbits, Man is made up of water (human cell contains 80% of water), whole process of Human Development from sperm to embryo and new born baby is defined in the Glorious Quran. This was also revealed 1400 years ago that it is man’s sperm that is responsible for the sex of baby, not female’s ovum, Gulf of Alaska, a place where two seas meet but they don’t mix. Was also mentioned 1400 years ago. There are hundreds of facts that are mentioned in Quran that science has revealed recently.
    I would request all readers to kindly visit this page for detailed info on Quran and Modern Science.

    http://www.whyislam.org/submission/the-holy-quran/the-origin-of-the-quran/

    I would appreacite if you keep my this comment under your post.
    Hidaya (Guidance is given by Allah alone) I just wanted to share with you what I know. Not forcing anyone to believe in what I believe. And I would Like to thank the author of this blog who gave me this opportunity to exchange ideas.
    Stay blessed.
    Umair R.
    http://www.myurbanphilosophy.wordpress.com

    • Thank you for the links and for visiting, as well as for giving me permission to talk about the links you sent.

      “Muhammad (s.a.w) all were sent down by the same God (Allah in Arabic) and they were humans and God’s messengers. And It is important part of faith of Muslims to believe in all prophets including Mosa (A.S) and Jesus (A.S).
      MOSA (A.S) was given Torah, Jesus (A.S) was given Bible and Muhammad(PBUH) ”

      I think claiming Jesus was a prophet and Jesus was a God are two very different things and changes the religion on a fundamental basis. Don’t you?

      But you’ve yet to rpvide evidence that your God is true. How do you figure out your religion is more true than Christianity?

  3. Can you say “man from a clot of blood”, “Muhammed on a flying horse”, and “married to a 6yr old” five times fast?
    It is dishonest to try to say the ot, nt and the Koran all testify of the same god with the same basic message. Only a truly empty minded, brainwashed, cultist would try saying that and expect anyone to believe it.
    Try again.

  4. And one last thing:
    The main argumentative difference between Muslims and Christians is that Christians say, Jesus was Son of God and Muslims believe that Jesus (A.S) was a human and God’s chosen prophet but his birth was a miracle of God. Muslims believe that God is One. And He is alone sustaining this universe. and doesn’t have a family like humans. Otherwise Muslims do believe that Bible and Torah were revealed by Allah.
    As long as this question is concerned that which religion to follow. You must seek guidance and do research, Study different religions and ideologies without any prejudices or assumptions. The truth is only One.
    And insha Allah you fill find the truth if you really wish to do so.
    Do visit this website for hep.
    http://www.whyislam.org/submission/the-holy-quran/the-quran-and-modern-science-3/

    Umair R.

  5. It would be funny if not so tragic that the three monotheistic religions make such similar claims. The irony is that followers of each consider their version to be obviously true and the others obviously false. I used to be part of the mix so I understand this thinking.

    It is only when one steps back from the mess that one can see clearly that very similarity of the religions and their claims is strong circumstantial evidence all are false.

    However I think we can prove they are all false by relying on just one test. That is the Noah’s Ark test. The story is in all three holy books. I consider the Noah flood claim to be among the easiest Bible stories to be shown to be false. It fails on so many levels. That alone is sufficient to prove the Holy books wrong and not inspired.

    Some more ‘enlightened’ spiritual folk argue it is just like a parable, but that is a rationalisation for a failed argument.

    • Lol. Yeah, good old Noah’s Ark. I find the parable hammer comes out only when the story is proven false.

      I think even pantheistic religions use much the same arguments – arguments from design, god if the gaps, why is there something rather than nothing, we have an infallible book etc.

      Imagine a book actually written by a higher being like a god. Our holy books definitely don’t resemble what I would think such a book would read like – full of violence and cruelty with a ton of contradictions and falsehoods.

  6. It’s such a paradox. People who are very religious tend to have a hard time coping with their mortality, experience death anxiety and need the belief that there is an afterlife. Yet, they can’t wait for this life to end. The anticipation of something, as in an afterlife, is more rewarding, neurochemically, as demonstrated in neurological studies.

  7. It is an interesting behavioral observation for which they seem to be completely blinded to.

    “Nice comments on the article I wrote on James’ site by the way.”

    Thank you, GC. As I read your post tonight, I smiled at the similarities between my comments on James’ blog and this post. Seems like we were on the same wavelength. 🙂

    • Haha. Maybe!

      I find the most fascinating thing about the comments there (apart from someone calling me a bigot who is displaying bigoted behavior) is how people argued about missionary work. It seemed like a no brainer to me but from the believers point of view, I can see why they’d think it’s perfectly okay to push faith on those who are vulnerable. They see it as a different, but just as needed, sort of nourishment.

      Religion reaches so deeply and intertwines itself around everything.

      • What has always upset me about missionaries ( of the old school, especially) is the blitheness and selfishness they exhibited at the same time they were honestly (and still are) trying to help people survive. On the other hand they completely ignore the fact of any prevailng belief system as being savage or immoral and attempt to convert totally uncomprehending naked savages to Christianity, all the while infecting them with measles and chicken pox, and as one woman blithely put it, “yes, they will die, but they will go to their maker happy.”. Oh please.
        I wonder if the mind set has changed all that much…

        Somewhere on one of these blogs I found a series of posts by a terribly disappointed missionary who had been so excited about going to a South American country to save the savages. She was horrified to find they were more sophisticated than she was, and quite well off both economically and spiritually. It was a big city, too. She didnt get a lot of sympathy, im afraid.

  8. I wish I could add a picture comment! I’ve had several conversations with theists in which I just answer every claim with “that’s what the followers of every religion say about their [holy book, prophet, religious experience, etc]”. They can say Jesus is better than Muhammad or vice versa, or that the Bible or Quran are true, and on and on, but all they are doing is making claims.

    They can’t all be right, but they can all be wrong!

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