Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Oh God! I Can't Believe It, You Have Faith?

I am a Muslim. I posted a reply to a bunch of people who were on a mailing list that sent me a "news" item forwarded email that some Dutch Doctor had "proven" how saying Allah's name to patients cured them or some such story.

IMRAN TO MUSLIMS:

"Perhaps it is the WEAKNESS of our faith in our own FAITH of Islam that we read stories like this and somehow feel "better" about believing in Allah. The fact of the matter is that a most comprehensive study has shown that patients who were PRAYED FOR actually had WORSE results than the ones NOT prayed for. This can be looked up on the Internet.

Fact of that matter is, if I believe in Allah, it is and should be because I BELIEVE in Allah, not because someone emails us a story saying this or that urban legend makes Allah more believable. What do you think?

PLUS, if someone has contact info on this professor, I will be happy to interview him. Any info?

regards

Imran"

I shared the discussion points above on a religion (ALL religion) bashing newsgroup where someone wondered how I could believe in God by just believing... that is, when it can't be scientifically proven that there is a God.

IMRAN TO ATHEISTS:

"I am hardly a religious person to be discussing a defence of religion, but Yes, I believe in Allah/God/One "being"/power/force/entity (not a white bearded dude who had to rest after six days and needs humans to kill other humans) because I CHOOSE to BELIEVE. That is the whole point.

Not lobbing an insult, but do you know if your mother gave birth to you from your father or from any man she knew? Do you BELIEVE that or do you KNOW that because you had a DNA test done on your father and you? So, yes, today science allows you to test whether he is your father or not but for centuries of human existence atheists, while decrying others' religious BELIEFS, were probably living their whole life BELIEVING their father was their real father even when it was NOT true, nor could they prove it. The point is, everyone believes in some things, has something the put their faith in... their mother, their father, their girlfriend or wife not sleeping around.... they do it as BELIEF and FAITH, not because they have a private investigator giving them daily reports of fidelity.

So, regarding God, I believe.

I BELIEVE because it is my BELIEF and FAITH, though I cannot prove it, nor do I TRY to prove it but choose to believe it. If I had a notarized document from the FBI (can't trust CIA's slam dunk proofs!) PROVING there is a God, whose calls the NSA is moninting, it would NOT be FAITH or BELIEF, instead it would be KNOWLEDGE.

Sure, after I die my new-found post-mortem KNOWLEDGE may prove my BELIEF was misplaced and there is no God, nothing, an emptiness forever... so, fine, what did it cost me to believe? Nothing. How much of my brain CPU %age did it take? 0.00001% unless I become a priest whose every brain CPU second (when not raping little boys) is used up by religion.

If you're happy not believing in anything, that's fine by me. Anyone wanting to kill you for that can go to hell... but, you can''t really tell them that, because you don't believe in that. :-)

Imran"

17 comments:

Frances Billano said...

Hi Imran!

Just read your rant towards the atheists. LOL. I feel the same way you do about God, and I understand your annoyance with those who wonder why we bother believing in a God. But I think you could've shortened your stinging tirade to that last paragraph: "If you're happy not believing in anything, that's fine by me. Anyone wanting to kill you for that can go to hell...But, you can't REALLY tell them that, because you don't believe in that." :-)

Another thing: I've a feeling that the good Dutch doctor, who did that study on saying Allah's name to patients, was aiming to convince the common atheist of God's existence (and importance) -- rather than remind fellow Muslims to strengthen their faith. Sigh. See, this kind of guaranteed "empirical" proof is needed in our modern, materialist world. (Tsk.)

basit said...

Well, what did it cost you to believe in God? Nothing, that's not a true statement.
When we believe in Allah as a muslim, we just don't believe that there is a God who create human beings, but we also believe the teachings by God, our life is disciplined by that fact. As a muslim believing in Allah, we do not go to bars, do not drink alcohal, we don't sleep with women other than the wife, we practice the techings of Islam in our daily life. If we don't, there is little or no use in believing in God.

think for a moment, for a non-believer to start having faith GOD, it costs him/her all the above.

Imran Anwar said...

Thanks for your comment, Basit. But you are incorrect. In Communist Russia or Communist China or some African tribe you can have rules like that, not to have sex, not to drink, not to do this or that... that does not make them Muslim. COMPLETE FAITH in Allah is what Islam is about. Being a good HUMAN being is what God would like us to be, not like robots exercising our knees 5 times a day, or parrots remembering Arabic verses of the Quran not knowing what we are reading. You are welcome to subscribe to your concepts, but if I did not say any of my prayers this week or this month, it is for GOD to decide if I am a "good Muslim" or not, not some mullah or neighbor counting if I have said prayers or not.

Imran

--spared-- said...

Good Muslim, Bad Muslim. Tomatoe, Tomato. Let's call the whole thing off.

Imran Anwar said...

Jesus Christ. George Bush. What's the difference... they both said God speaks through them....

Imran

Anonymous said...

Who is a good muslim according to you. Plz elaborate.

Imran Anwar said...

You ask, who is a good Muslim.

Only GOD knows.

No one appointed me judge of who is a good Muslim or not, nor you. If YOU think YOU are a good Muslim, great, then it's for God to decide if your version of YOUR being a good Muslim is true or not. Similarly, HE will let me know how right or wrong I am.

Regards

Imran

basit said...

imran, ok let's spin the discussion, you said "COMPLETE FAITH IN ALLAH is what Islam about",
from where this "COMPLETE FAITH" is coming? is this something you develop gradually after you come
to this world (by your parents teaching, surroundings, family's relegion etc)? or is it something
that's always there in a human being and that he/she is just ignorant of it?

if the answer to the first is "yes", then if you are born to muslim family, there is a 90% chance
that you will die as a muslim, or if you are born in a jew family, 90% of times you will die as a jew,
or hindu or christian, they all believe in GOD but the posture is different, whose definition of
"complete faith" is correct? why every person born on this earth is NOT a muslim? why every person
born on this earth is NOT a good person? why every person born on this earth is NOT rich? who decides
the fate of the person? what's a "GOOD" deed? how do you judge a deed to be "GOOD" without having a
complete understanding of what's "BAD"? who creates BAD to provide meaning to "GOOD"? who creates
a "non-muslim" to give meaning to "muslim"? isn't it all by GOD?

if the answer to the second is "yes", then why a person becomes ignorant of GOD? why a communist at all
exists? is it the surrounding in which a person grew up? who created such surroundings?

you said "I CHOOSE TO BELIEVE", what made you believe in GOD? did it come from GOD or is it because you grew up
in a muslim family? I bet if you were born as Neil Anwar (a jew), there is a 99% likelyhood that I would
be reading a different material on your website.

who decides the fate of a 10 year child in pakistan working hard to make 100 Rs / day to
feed 5 persons in his family? or a 44 year grown old man who makes 100$ / hour for just writing blogs
and bashing in news?

who decides about Mr. Tufail taking birth on street, couldn't afford to go St. Paul's English high school
and remain poor for all life?

or Mr. Imran anwar taking birth in a wealthy family afford to go St. Paul's English high school and
remain rich.

I am just giving an example, I just can't get the answer to it. isn't it GOD? may be you have
better insight than myself.

Regards,
Abdul Basit

Yes said...

Imran,

You provide some really good points and you make a really compelling argument. Similar to many conversations that I've had. It's funny how discussions of religon boil down to be nothing about the actual beliefs, but just that you (anyone) has a belief system. But that's just my observation.

Imran Farooq said...

I don't know if I remember this 100% correctly but I think it was Pascal who made a very compelling argument for the belief of God. He claims that if you believe in a God and there is no God then you will have gained nothing but lost a finite amount of "pleasure" during your time on Earth since you could do anything without divine consequence. If you believe in God and there is a God then you gain "eternal paradise." If you don't believe in God and there is none then you gain a finite amount of "pleasure" but if there is a God then you face eternal damnation. He feels that it rationally makes more sense to bet on believing in God on that argument. What do you guys think?

Joe said...

Your right, you don't have an argument for Atheists.
Believing something is not Faith.
Believing something with NO reason to do so, is Faith. For if you had reason to believe in somthing, its called fact, or it means some logic is behind it and confidence is High.

There is no Logic behind your Faith, and as it should be. So believing your parents are your parents and believing God exists are two completely different origins of belief. One is nonsensical, the other is more confidence that your parents aren't lying to you, and that you probably look like your parents.

So until you can admit your Faith is non-reason based, you can't be honest with yourself or your fellow Muslims.

Since you think you have an education, read Thomas Paine, or Kant. Maybe they can shed some light on what is real, and what is not.

Joe said...

Pascal was a moron. He didn't think to consider the millions of versions of God that are believed in the real world. And he never understood, no one that believes in God has the right God, so they all go to hell anyway.

Imran Anwar said...

1. Joe, that is the whole point I was making. FAITH based religion has to be FAITH not "REASON" and "PROOF" based.

2. The issue of what is "real" or what is not is NOT the issue. Is "THOUGHT" real? Can you see it? Is "LOGIC" real? Can you touch it? So, just because something is not physical or touchable or something that can be proved to you, it does not mean it does not "exist". No one is asking you to believe. If someone believes, good for them. If you or someone doesn't believe, then what basis can you damn someone to hell, when you don't even believe in it.

3. So, Pascal was a moron... and you are the one with the answers?

4. Organized religions' pissing contests, like that moron American General who Bush keeps in office, who said his God was bigger than the Muslim God, or nutjob Muslims who think Christians or Jews will go to hell because they are not Muslims, are all morons. There is a concept of some one divine power, some force... since it is not well understood, people can disagree on what/how it is and what/how it does what it does. That, Joe, is not so hard a concept to understand... even physicists are either for or against String Theory... so, even "real" world, logic, education, proof driven scientists have a sort of "religious debate" over String theory... which is called a theory though it cannot be proven. Go figure, Joe.

Imran

Joe said...

Thought is real. Unfortunately we let people "Think" that shouldn't.

Particularly Muslimic extremest.

Maybe we should make everyone take a lie detector test, and neuter all that want to fight for Jihad (never said I could spell).

That is really the answer then, cut the balls off everone that feels the need for Jihad. Its human, "they won't have babies to make little Jihadists".

Unfortunatly I have many answers, very few questions. And just as many questions, figure that one out.

Answer=Question.... he he

Imran Anwar said...

Joe, can you touch a "thought", can you SHOW it to me? No.

Your solution for Jihadis (that George W. Bush's lame duck Father President Bush created with Reagan) is very simple and would work well alongside Hitler's Final Solution, which I am sure you would support.

Imran

Joe said...

Hitler was biggoted against race.

I am biggoted against a way of life, and possibly certain belief systems.

Especially the ones that value suicide bombers.

Good luck with your lebonen war. All will be lost on that front.

Frances Billano said...

Oy! Joe!
Honey, do us all a favor and try working on that grammar, spelling and writing style! I am "bigoted" against those who present their narrow, cartoonish opinions on religion or world politics, using words that remind me of C- English essays. (FYI: The correct usage is "I am a bigot when it comes to...", rather than "bigotted".)

"Never said I could spell," you say. "Unfortunately I have many answers, very few questions." Go figure. I hope you don't believe that arrogant, tough-hick talk makes you look smart. And to think you live within easy access to good nutrition, good education, and reliable global communication channels of every sort. Shame on you. Perhaps if you stop taking your blessings for granted, you would have more sympathy for the poor people around the world who are tempted to join religious or racist fanatics.

Good luck to ALL of us in this sad Lebanese-Israeli war, for ALL THE WORLD has already lost something on that front.

To the rest of you guys:
Here's something you might want to comment on (if you are inclined to do so).

A philosophy professor once told me that faith is NEITHER logical nor illogical. Rather, it is ALOGICAL: meaning, we periodically go through dark nights of relentless questioning and REASONING, as to whether God exists or not, whether what we believe in is true or not --- before we bravely decide to leave cold reason behind, to again make that leap of faith. :-) Doesn't this sound like a more accurate picture of how ordinary, decent human beings actually experience religion (or any system of beliefs)?