Some Logical Difficulties
There are realities
that perhaps we would never be able to understand. Life, love,
compassion, perception or intuition, are enigmas. But then
who knows! Every thing is possible. A wise person would never
say never. We may one day be able to discover the physical and
biological characteristics of the brain that would make a person
more loving, compassionate, perceptive or intuitive. But would
we be able to single out the “thing” that can be called
love, consciousness, compassion, perception, or intuition?
What is life? I
have no doubt that one-day, perhaps not too far, we would be
able to create living organisms. What we would do is to engineer
an organism that would simulate living beings and therefore
would start to live and even manifest other faculties like love,
consciousness and intelligence. But does that mean that we can
realities that cannot be measured by present scientific methods.
That does not mean that in future we won’t be able to invent
“machines” that can detect them. Now we can take a picture
of the human aura. All living organisms have auras. Is this our
spirit? It does not look to be made of mater, or is it? Is it a
function of living organisms or is it what gives life to the
organisms? Is it the spirit or is it the life energy, the élan
vital that ticks the being into living? Or are these the same
thing? We don’t know the answer to these questions yet, but we
will find out.
The point is
that we cannot deny the existence of spirit. How otherwise would
you explain the phenomenon of premonition, or dreaming something
that would take place in future? How would you explain the
I believe in
reason. I would not accept anything that is irrational and
contradicts logic. The existence of human (even animal) spirit
may not be verifiable in labs and by our scientific methods yet,
but the important thing is that it is not against reason. There
are many realities that are beyond human reason, i.e. you cannot
reach them by reason alone. Yet the point is that they should
not be unreasonable either.
God as a Reality or a Principle cannot be determined by
scientific methods and it is beyond reason. It is not
unreasonable, in fact it is very reasonable to assume that there
is a principle underlying the creation. But the existence of a
deity, as described by Semitic religions, is utterly
unreasonable. Although the characteristics of this deity has
changed gradually and the god of Moses who was a smoke-like
anthromorphic god and the god of Rumi who is an unknowable
essence are not the same, the general concept of this god has
not changes. God in all these religions is a “being”. It is
no more a physical being, and it may not be even a spiritual
being, but it is still a being. It is a god that resembles
humans. We don’t envision him any more as an old patriarch but
we attribute to him our own human characteristics. He is no more
imagined in our physical semblance, and some even hesitate to
call him with a gender-biased pronoun. Yet in our subconscious
mind God is our father, best friend, someone to pray to, someone
to worship, someone to rely upon, and someone who loves us. We
assume that God is intelligent, loving, caring, mighty, wise,
help in peril and someone who would eventually come to succor us
if we knocked on his door supplicating with utmost humility and
meekness. He is a god that worries about us, who sends
messengers to guide us, who rewards us either by giving us
access to his paradise or by allowing us to associate with him
more intimately when we die.
But this god is
also a jealous god and is very paranoid. He does not like us
worshiping another god and feels restless when we busy
ourselves, making a living or enjoying life and forget to bow in
front of him, (who is apparently everywhere) constantly. His
messengers tell us that we should worship him for our own sake.
But you don’t have to be Freud to realize that he actually
enjoys being known and worshiped. In fact, if you fail to do so,
he is offended so much that would take you to his cosmic
rotisserie and barbeque you forever. That is a long time, I say.
Don’t you think so?
tell us that he has sent them to teach us to be righteous. Apart
from the fact that for this mighty task he often chooses men who
do not walk their own talk and themselves live less than
honorable lives, which in the case of his favorite Prophet was
scandalous, he has made it clear that living righteously is not
enough. We have to recognize him also through his messengers.
Without that recognition, none of our good deeds would count.
But the problem does not end there. Despite the fact that each
time he sends a messenger he makes it clear, in one way or
another, that this messenger is the only and exclusive way to
him or that he is the last one, he surprises us by sending new
massagers at the least expected moments and in the most unlikely
places, often choosing the less educated and the most ignorant
among the men. Then he expects us to find these new messengers
with the purity of our own heart but without the use of our
brain. If we fail to do so, even if we already praise him, all
of our worships become null and when we die we are given a
one-way ticket to hell.
To know god is
a very serious business. If you make a mistake you know where
you end up. So you are left on your own to find your way through
Why god does that?
It is because he wants to test us.
Test what? Does he want to test our intelligence?
No, not at all! The majority of intelligent people do not
believe in him. He likes the meek ones the unsophisticated and
the simple-minded people who would easily believe in him without
too much questioning.
Does he want to test our knowledge?
No that is not also what he is interested in. He says that
knowledge acts as a veil for knowing him. And most of the
believers in him are amongst the illiterate and ignorant people.
So what is he testing us for?
He wants to test the purity of our hearts. Only those who are
sincere will recognize his new messenger, or recognize that this
new pretender is an impostor and remain steadfast, whatever may
the case. Others will fail and go to hell.
think that is unreasonable. I have lived among many
nationalities and befriended people of different faiths and
denominations. I found that the majority of them are sincere and
have pure hearts. They truly believe in their particular faith
and are willing to sacrifice their own lives for it, with the
exception of the Muslims who prefer to sacrifice the lives of
others first. But even that is done with sincerity because they
are promised that by killing the non-believers they will go to
It is absurd to
believe that close to two billion Christians who failed to
accept Muhammad as a Prophet of God are insincere and all of
them will go to hell. It is also absurd to believe that over one
billion Muslims who preferred Muhammad to Christ will go to
not Allah or Yahweh?
I do believe in God
but not in Allah or his Jewish counterpart Yahweh. These
psychologically anthropomorphic gods are illogical. I know that
human logic is limited, but it is not just the best, it is also
the only means that we have to determine the truth and the
claims of the multitude of god’s self-proclaimed envoys.
There are three major
objections in accepting the god of the prophets.
I reject Allah and Yahweh, or any other deity for they
are “beings”. They may be big or the biggest, yet they are
still beings. It makes no difference whether this being is a
physical or a spiritual being. As a being, he is a thing an as a
thing he has a distinct identity, and is separated from other
beings. He is one, yet one among many. He is distinct from his
creation. If there is a distinction between the creator and the
creation, then the creation has its own identity independent
from the creator and that is a duality. This means that God is
not unlimited for where the creation is God is not.
Another difficulty with this god is that he acts. He
“answers” the prayers; he “sends” messengers; he
“rewards” and “punishes”, etc. Any action must perforce
take place in time. Therefore a god that e.g. answers the
prayers is acting in time. He is reacting to our prayers. If you
say that time does not apply to God and all his actions took
place in one instant that cannot be measured by time, which to
us appears an eternity, then there would be no need for you to
pray because he has already either answered your prayers or has
rejected them. Your supplication, or not supplication cannot
change things that have already taken place.
In fact this is what is known as predestination
and is repeatedly confirmed in the Quran and many hadithes.
If everything is predestined, praying or not praying,
supplicating or not supplicating should make no difference. God
had either answered or not answered your prayer before he
created the universe. Your life is like a film already cast, you
can only watch it happen but you cannot change it.
The third difficulty with this God is his moodiness. He
is subject to emotions like us. As his messengers have assured
us, he becomes pleased with us or would be displeased with us
depending on what we do. He can become angry, mad or loving and
tender, depending on our behaviors. That is an awesome power
given to us, the decedents of a bunch of African apes, to
control the mood of the almighty God, the author of this
unimaginably vast universe. Dose it make sense that you and I,
who are nothing when compared to the vastness of humanity and
our planet is nothing when compared to the immensity of this
universe and what is happening in our universe is nothing when
compared to its eternity could actually alter the mood of God?
How little these self-appointed prophets know of God and how
preposterous is their claims!
When I was a child
one of my schoolmates asked, can God make a rock that he cannot
lift? As childish as this question may sound, there is a great
wisdom in it. Whether your answer is yes or no, is irrelevant.
In either case you are admitting that God is not omnipotent. If
you say yes then God is not all-powerful to lift the rock and if
you answer no then he is incapable to create such rock. This is
just an example. The point is whether God can set himself a task
that he cannot perform? No matter how you think of it, you have
to admit that God cannot be all-powerful.
Religionists say that
God is all loving. But it is clear that the foundation of this
world is not based on love. Every day billions of creatures die
for other creatures to feed on them and live. Is this how a
loving god would design the universe? Every day thousands of
innocent human lives are destroyed in God-made and man-made
disasters. Why God does not intervene? Religionists for lack of
answer to this question say: he is testing us! What an
outrageous thing! There are 40,000 children who die every day
because of malnutrition and diseases associated with poverty.
What test they have to give? To prove what? The other lame
excuse is that God is patient? Is that a virtue? Can any loving
God sit patiently letting small children be blown up by
terrorist bombs, killed in earthquakes and other disasters or
simply withered by prolonged hunger? What does this "all
knowing" and "compassionate" god want to prove?
Why he is so oblivious of the cries of the wronged ones in this
world? In my country if one sees someone in danger and is able
but does not intervene to help, that person could be prosecuted.
If God sets foot to Canada, I will take him to the court for
crime against humanity. No war criminal has done more harm to
people than God. Is he less compassionate than humans?
Why he does not come to the rescue when his children need him?
There are three
possible answers to this question:
God sees the pain of the people, suffers because of it
but cannot help.
He dose not know what is happening and does not hear the
supplications of those in desperate need.
He knows what is happening and can help but decides not
In the first case he
is impotent, in the second case he is ignorant and in the third
case he is callous. (These are what I could say of Mr. Khatami,
the smiling and powerless president of Iran. who speaks of
democracy and cannot deliver. Is God as useless as Mr. Khatami?).
Irrespective of your answer to this question, this God is
unworthy of my worship. (just as Mr. Khatami is unworthy of my
vote) I am defiantly more compassionate than him and I refuse to
bow in front of an impotent, ignorant or a callous god.
Religionists say that
God is all knowing. God knows what is going to happen in the
future. In that case not only we humans have no control over our
own destiny but also God has no control over his. If he does
something different from what he knows that he should do then he
proves to be not all-knowing because he has done something of
which he had no idea of and if he dose exactly as he had planned
without any deviation or change of mind, then he has no free
will. He is acting like a robot doing what he is supposed to do.
This also raises
another problem. If God knows the future, his knowledge of the
future makes it impossible for us or him to act differently and
therefore our prayers and supplications are of no use. What has
to happen and is in the knowledge of God will happen anyway,
whether you pray or not. Then why pray for the peace? Why pray
for the deceased? Why pray for blessing, bounty, protection,
forgiveness or wisdom? Isn’t praying a total waste of time?
Prayers affect only the one who believes in them. There have
been people that have miraculously recovered from their diseases
by praying. But this is not due to the power of the prayer but
the power of their belief. It is the placebo effect. The brain
does have the cure for all our diseases and positive thinking,
imagery, autosuggestion and beliefs can stimulate the release of
the endocrines that do cure the ailment. However, you could take
advantage of the power of your brain without the need to rely on
the mumbo jumbo of a god.
What is the purpose
of the prayer anyway? When you ask God something, isn’t it
that you are asking him to change his mind and do something that
otherwise he would not have done it? Isn’t this sheer
arrogance to expect that the author of this universe change his
mind to appease us humans, the decedents of a bunch of African
apes? The whole idea of prayers is just ludicrous.
We humans live in a
relative world. We are not perfect and therefore are left on our
own to choose between the bad, the good and the better. This is
the source of our freedom. But God is perfect. He can do only
the best. Can God do something, which is wrong? If he can and
does it then he is no more perfect but if he cannot do wrong and
whatever he does is perfect then he has no freedom of choice.
The God as taught by religions is not a free god.
Of course this is a
long subject and I know that this debate has been going on for
centuries. But the reason it is not settling is not because
there is not enough evidence to disprove God. There is plenty of
evidence and I have just scratched the surface of it. The reason
because people, and many of them very intelligent and brilliant
people, are not willing to give up the notion of a personal god
is because of their emotional ties to this imaginary creator.
The religionists also present their own reasons to prove the
existence of God. But all of those reasons can be easily
rebutted while no one is able to answer to the proof presented
against the existence of God.
By Ali Sina
See also Chance