Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Archiving the Sacred

Mike Morgan - Why do people of faith find it difficult to understand that others genuinely do not believe in God?

Muhammad Rasheed - I’m a ‘person of faith,’ and I don’t find it difficult to understand that there are people in the world who genuinely don’t want to build up the discipline and strength of character needed to be a believer in the One God. I understand that these people prefer to live as if there is no God.

It would seem as if these atheists find it difficult to understand that a person who has faith in the afterlife—and consequently, knowledge of the terrible fate that awaits the disbeliever—would like to help save them from hell by sharing the message of scripture with them. If the atheist happens to be someone we know, then we’d want to make sure they have more chances to save themselves than a single “no.” I wonder why those who do not have faith are so dead set against believing when they so often know so little about it.

Adam Sivachev - Are you sure it takes much more “discipline and strength of character” to be a believer in the One God rather than not? Very questionable.

It’s easier to live being a believer and believing you know what awaits you, believing you know the capital T truth in form of a word of God, that right or wrong, good and bad, etc, are set in stone for you via sacred books…

And it’s much harder to live on, while understanding that everything most people believe in, is their collective or individual illusions. That good, evil, morality, right or wrong - have no absolute standard in the universe by which to prove their existence as immutable laws - hence all your “discipline and strength of character” is just the illusion of meaning and significance, in a universe that has none.

Then it’s much harder to live with all this and still be a decent person, not because of fear of “eternal punishment”, but because you yourself decided to incorporate this meaning into your life, by your own philosophy. And that’s completely different thing.

Muhammad Rasheed - It definitely takes high-level discipline and strength of character to be a dedicated believer in the One God, and to apply oneself to adhering to the Straight Way of Righteousness per the requirement of sacred scripture. It’s far more seductively easy to just abandon the effort and swagger through life with the faux-assurance that what we process through our lowly five senses is all there is to process.

I’m amused at the idea that you are ‘living on’ being a ‘decent person by your own philosophy,’ when the very standards of morality, ethics and being good people comes directly from the sacred scripture traditions that have been among humankind from the species’ beginnings. You don’t live in a vacuum, and you certainly don’t conjure pet philosophies from thin air without the influence of the ages old cultures that surround you.

Adam Sivachev - The impression that a path was given to you by a higher force, that what’s good and what’s wrong was spoon-fed to you with the scriptures does ease following any path thoroughly. A belief that there’s something else, than just you and the void, makes it easier.

Facing this meaninglessness may be much more horrifying than anything that scriptures or priests say to inflict fear of eternal punishment on their followers.
People who are spoon-fed their version of truth, they are happy. They believe they found the meaning. It’s now easier for them. But not for you, when you understand that the meaning is not something objectively carved in reality, it’s what you decide for yourself. Which path is harder? I’ve used to experience both, and I do know that the second one is way harder.

Regarding your remark, that “you certainly don’t conjure pet philosophies from thin air without the influence of the ages old cultures” - that’s true to an extent, but these cultures’ moral codes are not everything. Their codes can be overcome, their philosophies deconstructed, they cannot bind your judgments not to go beyond them.

As for “‘living on’ being a decent person by your own philosophy” - some moral norms have practical roots. It’s perfectly manageable to come to similar conclusions in many cases that other philosophies preach - moral norms can cross, nothing strange about it. You can follow your own code and be a decent person in the eyes of others, and your “decent” and their “decent” will coincide - it can occur.

Muhammad Rasheed - The Straight Way of Righteous illuminated by sacred scripture is deceptively simple, but it certainly isn’t easy. Composed of denying oneself base pleasures that in the wrong context create sin, avoiding the temptations of evil that continuously beckon us to moral destruction, few among even those who claim to believe stand true on the Path. Perhaps it is for those who lived in communities known for covering over the revealed message towards true salvation with institutionalized bureaucracy in the guise of their religion—and the inherent camaraderie that comes from supporting one another in the same—would one receive the false impression that this was so.

I doubt facing a meaningless, Godless existence would actually be “horrifying” in the way presented. It would be far more horrifying for those lusting after sin to live with the certainty that they will be held accountable for all the decisions made throughout their earthly lifetimes. The false belief that there will be no Judgment Day waiting them would be freeing, and a perfect example of the seductive ease that all those too lazy to develop the discipline of belief find alluring.

Adam Sivachev - Straight Way of Righteousness isn’t easy, but there’s an all-forgiving God, so you can receive absolution for your every misdeed, no pressure here. The fact that you believe to have a capital and the only Truth given to you, abolishes lots of moral reservations, and first of all, the responsibility for finding your own moral ground.

Who’s more admirable - a person, who acts kindly and does good deeds (from Christian point of view) *without* any “Judgement Day” fear, or that religious person who does good deeds in fear of eternal punishment, should they do otherwise?

I’d give it to the first one. Because taking responsibility for finding your own path is harder than following a given code. It’s even harder to follow responsibility of the code you’ve made yourself, that shows the ultimate strength of character.

Muhammad Rasheed - I don’t know what “an all-forgiving God” means when the atheist, willfully uninformed about the actual content of scripture, says it. The One God forgives those whom He pleases, and per the revealed message sent for that purpose, He explains that He forgives those who step outside of their own base, animalistic vanities to commit to developing the high-level discipline and strength of character needed to be a believer.

I have no “responsibility for finding [my] own moral ground” since this is a fiction invented by disbelievers, based on a rejection of the fact that literally everything humanity thinks about morality comes from the ages old religious traditions that civilized us. Reinventing a wheel when there is no reason to do so is both unattractive and foolish.

The righteous believer, who does good in the world according to the criteria of the all-knowing Supreme Creator, and does so only to please the same, is by default more admirable than one who conjures “good” from some random ideology literally based on absolutely nothing. You think the latter is the most admirable, because you feel absolutely nothing is an admirable ideology, as compared to sacred scripture that human civilization was built around.

The ultimate strength of character is recognizing that humans are not gods, and require guidance lest they cause mischief in the earth. The rejection of that guidance is failure.

Adam Sivachev - Oh my, and you’re informed about the “actual content of scripture”? In Christianity alone, there are over 30K denominations - meaning that people actually do conceive scriptures with contradictions.

For each denomination in existence, there was an unsolvable conflict between people in Denomination A that resulted in Denomination B. This means that someone perceived that a doctrine, belief or practice in Denomination A was so far off track that splitting off to form another denomination was not only reasonable, but imperative.

With all this, it’s no use claiming that you know the “actual content of scriptures” better - no one does and at the same time, everyone believes it is they, who know exactly how a scripture should be interpreted.

As for the the “fact that literally everything humanity thinks about morality comes from the ages old religious traditions” - do you now speak about humanity as a whole and can be sure that’s true for each and every human being in existence? I’ve already explained how morals came to be and why some moral norms concur.

M. Rasheed wrote: "Reinventing a wheel when there is no reason to do so is both unattractive and foolish."

So, the morals humanity developed did not evolve over time, right? Because when certain norms and values evolve it’s due to inventing and re-inventing the wheel constantly, adding some new features with each “re-invention”.

Otherwise, you’d have humanity forever stuck in the same cultural norms and traditions, which absolutely would not change, like a tribe lost forever in a Stone Age. But if you look out the window, it’s not how it is - wow, we’ve evolved due to inventions and re-inventions. So, that argument about “re-inventing the wheel” is invalid.

M. Rasheed wrote: "The righteous believer, who does good in the world according to the criteria of the all-knowing Supreme Creator, and does so only to please the same, is by default more admirable than one who conjures 'good' from some random ideology literally based on absolutely nothing"

Problem is, all your further justification comes from the assumption that there’s an ultimate arbiter, the all-knowing Supreme Creator, that defines moral norms and good or bad objectively, as some immutable constant.

Alas, that concept is based on the same, if not on lower, ground, as the “random ideology” that you wrote about.

Moreover, one’s own ideology is based on one’s own experience, on the path they carved for themselves - which in is already more when compared to an ideology based on some beliefs in higher forces, that was irrationally passed to a believer by his culture and the beliefs of his parents.

Muhammad Rasheed - “Oh, my” indeed.

lol I am informed about the actual content of scripture since I’ve actually studied the material, as opposed to standing on the outside with shallow knowledge of the same, and casually dismissing the entire body of literature as fiction. The actual content of scripture is composed of the revealed message of the One God to the anointed prophet-messengers, that the latter preached to their peoples during their lifetimes. This is often mixed up with and/or mistakenly included with:

1.) the opinions of the followers of the prophet-messengers about what was preached to them

2.) the documented formal opinions of scholars of the religions’ body of literature.

 This is factual information that any actual scholar of the scriptural record is well aware, so your declaration that everyone is as uninformed as you are—in your role as a willfully uninformed atheist—is quite inaccurate. The “30K denominations” of Christianity you’ve mentioned have very little to do with what God actually told the Christ Jesus (peace be upon him) to preach to the children of Israel. The new denominations and sects and what have you of the world’s religions formed as political power grabs, not because there were problems in the original message of God.

I’ve read your atheist explanation of how morals came to be and dismissed it as uninformed foolishness. Should I not have? Atheists base their opinions on this topic on literally nothing, and thus have zero value to add to any of it. Please refrain from providing any more empty “explanations” on topics that you proudly and arrogantly know nothing about as some form of badge of honor. Thank you.

The moral guidance the all-knowing One God revealed has not changed, hence the enduring scripture of the ages still being relevant today and it will continue to be relevant for as long as we are human. By contrast, the laws humans fashion in their courts change all the time, but that’s the nature of humans that you seem to be mistaking for our morals. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel on morals; just do as God commands. How you as a human decided to interpret God’s commands formally in your laws may need to be amended based on your limited intellect and understanding (and greed and power lusts).

I do not assume that God is indeed THE immutable constant. The One God is this as Truth. Accept this Truth and save yourself from hell. The only problem here is that you reject what is actually true in favor of inventing faux-truths on the fly based on what you willy-nilly would like to be from your proud knowledge base of literally nothing at all. None of that holds any kind of value, and your posts function as little more than the empty flapping of a hand mimicking an opening & closing mouth.

The truth of God revealed to the very first human beings is the source of our language, our arts, our religions, and our very civilizations. The truth of God provided by our Creator’s Mercy is what humanized us, setting us apart from the base animal of our foundational structure, and this is a far, far cry from the “random ideology” false equivalency fallacy you are attempting to conjure from your committed position of ignorance about this topic you are so passionately against.

I’m curious what you yourself think about people who negatively pontificate at length about topics they literally have done zero research into, but magically believe their uninformed pet philosophies hold equal weight to those who have deep dived. Are you generous and trade with them as equals? Tell me.

Adam Sivachev - Ok, so here you write another longread, that is based on the same fallacy, as the previous ones - you assume that the “moral guidance” that you’re writing about exists objectively and are somehow based on something more than human conceptions or behavioral evolution.

Do you have a way to prove its existence as immutable physical laws that have absolute standard in the Universe?

If you don’t - then in such case, do not call that “Atheists base their opinions on this topic on literally nothing” - I’m afraid I haven’t seen any proof that your value is somehow more objective than mine - so, you’ve no higher ground to claim that your explanations value more.

Also constantly referring to the fact that “you’ve studied scriptures” doesn’t qualify as a proof of your exact flavor of morals to be an immutable objective truth. You may read Vedas or LaVey Bible as well and make claims to hold the knowledge of objective moral truth - it’ll have the same level of objectiveness to an outside observer.

I also like the notion of how 30K denominations of Christianity are wrong in their understanding of the scriptures and the moral truth, while you’re right and have a clear understanding of it, that’s truly fabulous.

By the way, I haven’t seen your explanations here, I only see that you constantly refer to some improvable belief that morals were obtained from a higher being called God. Sorry, I’ll have to ask you to try better with explanations. Does that help you answer your last question?

Muhammad Rasheed - 1.) My “read” is only long in this case because of your own long reads. lol Keep your rambling thoughts to a minimal, and I promise my responses will shorten in return.

2.) Once again I am not assuming anything. The moral guidance we possess was provided by the all-powerful Supreme Creator of reality. I know this because this same Being told humanity this in the revealed message provided for this reason. Fortunately, previous generations were kind enough to scribe this information into printed books, so that we may objectively read it for ourselves as we like.

3.) Are you asking me am I capable of proving the Word of God is what it claims to be while using the limited tools & techniques required for testing & proving a limited range of material based scientific hypotheses? If so, then the answer is an amused “No.”

4.) You are confused. Between the two of us, I’m the only one who actually bases his position on something that’s real, i.e., the physical, printed sacred scripture used by humans throughout the ages to guide their behaviors, create art, and build whole civilizations around. The atheist on the other hand, proudly proclaims that atheism is the belief in nothing at all, even going so far as to insist the tenets and traits of atheists cannot even constitute a religion of its own since it is based on NOT believing in something. So whether you actually accept the origins of sacred scripture claimed by the believers as true or not, what is factual is that we do base our beliefs on something… something we actually hold in our hands and literally guides the conduct of those who actually follow what they have read. You, by stark contrast, literally hold NOTHING, and base all your opinions on whatever you conjure on the fly. Something > nothing.

5.) The so-called “objectiveness” of an atheist outside observer who is too deliberately ignorant to tell the difference between nothing versus the nuances of the various forms sacred scripture takes is worth just as much as the nothing he bases his own position upon.

6.) The point is that 30K denominations were not differentiated by their understanding of scripture, but by the institutionalized bureaucracy they used to jockey for political position. Since you don’t know enough about scripture either way to test my knowledge compared to what those jokers knew or didn't know, your comment is comical at best.

7.) Your comment wasn’t helpful since you just sidestepped what I actually asked to double-down on your commitment to atheism. Naturally this holds zero value to me. My explanations weren’t designed to convince you of anything, but only to explain the position I take. If you don’t accept them then that is where that stops. If instead you needed help understanding something I said in the explanation, then I can reword it to better help you. If you are asking me to discard my explanations and invent something that better suits the mindset of the unrepentant hellbound, then that will be another “No.”

Danijar Dreger - And from where do you know so much about it? From a book.

Muhammad Rasheed - Information is found in books? What an insane concept! O_O

Danijar Dreger - Yes, but do you know the genre “Fantasy”?

Muhammad Rasheed - Of course! I actually have a published graphic novel series under that genre category. :)

Steve Ives - I’m a non-believer and I find it difficult to understand that there are people in the world who genuinely lack the critical thinking skills and strength of character needed to reject institutionalised religion and to realise that the omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omniscient god is a logical impossibility.

Muhammad Rasheed - In my experience with discussing the subject with disbelievers, I’ve found them to be excessively narrow-minded and actually adverse to using any logic or critical thinking skills they may possess. They usually just casually dismiss the concepts as fictions, and treat people that do explore the concepts as real as if they are primitive and stupid.

Steve Ives - Believing in something without proof is pretty illogical. Do you beleive in Thor, Neptune, fairies, mermaids or Bigfoot and if not, why not?

Muhammad Rasheed - Believing in a faith-based system without specialized, scientific proof is quite logical if that's what the system requires in order to function. It's illogical to insist a system jump through hoops that it wasn't designed to jump for. That would be the very definition of close-minded.

I don't believe in the false deities you've named because the One God ("One" being the clue here) revealed the enduring scripture of the ages in which He explained that He is the Supreme Creator, shares the Godhead role with no one, and that the pagan deities listed were but fictions created by weak minds. Since not one of them revealed their own scriptural "diss track" in response, that means the One God won that faux-beef.

Steve Ives - So... you believe in god because the Bible says he’s real? And why do you believe the Bible?

You do realise that the reason the Bible dismisses other gods and not vice-versa is chaise the Bible is the newest of these religious texts and therefore lacks the authority of the older texts.

Muhammad Rasheed - I believe in God because--in His mercy--God revealed His message to humankind, advised us to believe, and I decided to take God at His Divine Word, joining the ranks of the believer in word & deed. The collected books we know as “the bible” are part of the body of sacred scripture that make up that message, and within it, the honest truth seeker can connect many dots that form the greater canon.

Why do disbelievers—willfully ignorant and dismissive of the material’s content they are so critical of—say such things as “you do realize that…?” when they literally have no basis that supports that display of arrogance? The Omniscient One God, Supreme Creator of reality, proclaims that He is the only deity, and definitively said that all other idols of worship were fictions. God said that He revealed Himself to the very first human being, and subsequent generations fashioned other items to worship alongside and even instead of their Guardian Lord who created them because they were weak and stupid. Since there is no living human who can definitively prove this fact one way or another using the materialist rules of modern scientific rigor, you do realize that your claim is just faith-based wishful thinking from a disbeliever that shouldn’t mean anything to anyone else, right?

Steve Ives - Sorry but there are plenty of historical records that validate those god’s as well as the other 4,000+ that mankind has worshipped. Are you saying you don’t believe in *any* of them?

Muhammad Rasheed - I’m sorry, it looks like I confused you with my comment. Allow me to try again.

The enduring scripture of the ages… the revealed message of the One God to humankind… is our Creator talking directly to us, telling us who He is, what His requirements are for the sentient among the creation, explaining that all other deities from your 4,000+ and whatever else are just fictions invented by weak-minded men, and instructing us on how to be prosperous both in this world and in life hereafter. Show me the rival revealed scripture from any of these fictional deities you champion that directly addressed the One God’s claims and contradicted the message.


Steve Ives - I will show you the scripture from many other deities if you can show me the scripture from yours.

So you’re happy to dismiss 4,000 deities as fictitious? I’m happy to dismiss 4,001.

Muhammad Rasheed - lol You already know the scripture I hold. It's very famous. You even referenced part of it in your comment earlier. So what's your delay in linking me to the fictional rival scriptures that contradict the One God's claims?

Steve Ives - It’s ok... I’m just messing with you. There are over 4,000 mythical beings in which I don’t believe and you don’t believe in just one less than me, and you think one of them is real, and talks to you, because of a book full evil doings from this god, commands to kill and rape and sell your daughter, and stupid things you can do (mixed cloth, divorce etc etc) for which this being th8nks you should be stoned to death. And you think this being loves us and should be worshipped!

It’s just too ridiculous for words.

Steve Ives - …especially considering the HUGE amount of errors and contradictions in the bible. It is just a mish-mash of old stories, mis-told by old men trying to control people.

Muhammad Rasheed - You’re now “just messing with me,” are you? You are formally admitting that none of the 4,000+ fictional deities (that you oddly dropped as some kind of “Ah HA!!” earlier) have ever formally stepped up and revealed a message to humankind that countered the claims of the One God. You think that is a small thing from your woefully uninformed understanding of sacred scripture, the very one you casually dismiss as fiction based on that same uninformed understanding. You somehow believe—as evidenced from the tone of these posts of yours—that is somehow an intelligent/logical position to take.

Attend! The message of the One God was revealed to the prophet-messengers who were tasked to preach it clear & true to their peoples during their earthly lifetimes. What the different ethnic groups/communities did with the message once received varied greatly. Some, like the children of Israel, carried it as an oral song passed from generation to generation for centuries before it was finally written, but now changed with the taint of human dross. Many people never even bothered to try to save their message at all, and we know that they had a message revealed to them only from brief mentions in the scripture of others (Example: the Nineveh community of Jonah, peace be upon the prophet). One notable community both wrote down the message in its entirety once received and carried it orally, strictly guarding it from the human taint corruptions of previous scripture God Himself mentioned disapprovingly within the message.

So because I know this, I find your babbling “mish-mash of old stories, mis-told by old men trying to control people” tantrum to be the very “too ridiculous for words” you directed at me, since your understanding is so pathetically surface-level it barely makes a scratch in the first layer of dust.

Please improve if you hold plans to continue commenting on religious-themed Quora answers. At the moment you lack the proper credentialing.

Steve Ives - If your evidence that god exists relies on the Bible saying that god exists then I’ve news for you - there is more printed literature proving that Harry Potter exists.

Muhammad Rasheed - God’s criterion for being a believer is to have faith that His message is true. Only the narrow-minded insist that a matter of faith adhere to rules it was never designed to conform to. God exists because He reached out to select anointed people to pass the Word to us that it was so. The only physical evidence of this truth is the ages old body of literature that gave humans our language, our arts, our religions, and our very civilizations.

If that’s not good enough for you, then you may enjoy hellfire with my blessing.

Steve Ives - Odin and all the other gods have the same criteria. Plus god wouldn’t send me to hell because he loves everyone unconditionally, right?

Muhammad Rasheed - Your list of 4,000+ fictional deities have no criteria to compare to the One God’s guidance as we’ve established with your “I’m just messing with you” withdrawal. Focus, please.

Why are you asking me “right?” at the end of that question? Do you believe that “God loves everyone unconditionally” is a formal doctrinal line that can be found within His message? Why or why not?

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