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3   Atheism And Materialism - refutations 3 Atheism And Materialism - refutations Presentation Transcript

    • Day 2
    • Atheism & Materialism
    • Presented By:
    • Bassam Zawadi
    The Belief Study Program
  • What is an Atheist/Materialist?
    • - An atheist is one who denies the existence of God and is not to be confused with an agnostic.
    • - A materialist is one who holds the belief of m aterialism, which is that form of physicalism which holds that the only thing that can truly be said to exist is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. [1]
    • 1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism
  • The Atheist’s Difficult Stance
    • Science is a branch of knowledge requiring systematic study and method, esp. dealing with substances, life and natural laws. [1]
    • - If science cannot go beyond the natural world then how can it disprove the supernatural world?
    • - Scientific theories are in a constant state of change
    • - Atheists refute themselves when they say “we should only believe in what is scientifically proven”
    • 1) Oxford English Multidictionary
  • The Atheist’s Difficult Stance
    • - Philosophy is the study of the most fundamental and general concepts and principles involved in thought, action and reality [1]
    • - Philosophy can only understand the limited, so how can you use philosophy to disprove the existence of God?
    1) Penguin Dictionary
  • Arguments for the Existence of God
    • - The Kalam Cosmological Argument
    • - The Argument from Free Agency
    • - The Argument from Information
    • - The Argument from Design (Teleological Argument)
    • - The Argument from Morality
    • - The Argument from Instinct
  • The Kalam Cosmological Argument
    • - Premise 1: Whatever begins to exist, has a cause.
    • - Premise 2: The Universe began to exist.
    • - Conclusion: The Universe has a cause.
  • Whatever Begins To Exist, Has a Cause
    • - The law of causality states that the logical relationship between one physical event (called cause) and another physical event (called effect) being the direct consequence (result) of the first event. [1]
    • - Material Cause is a philosophical concept proposed by Aristotle, which describes the material out of which something is composed [2], e.g. a set of falling dominos
    • Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Causality&x=35&y=25
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Material_Cause
    • Whatever Begins To Exist, Has a Cause
    • Allah says :--
    “ Were they created by nothing?  Or were they themselves the creators (of themselves)?  Or did they create heaven and earth?  Nay, but they are not sure.” (Surah At Tur, Chapter 52, Verses 35-36)
  • The Universe Began To Exist
    • - As you go back in time, you reach a point at which the universe was shrunk down to nothing at all. [1]
    • - All the matter and energy [were] compressed into a single point, or singularity . . . . the entire observable universe . . . started out compressed into such a point. [2]
    • - The universe began from a state of infinite density. . . . Space and time were created in that event and so was all the matter in the universe. It is not meaningful to ask what happened before the Big Bang; it is like asking what is north of the North Pole. [3]
    • - Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang. [4]
    1) Fred Hoyle, Astronomy and Cosmology (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman, 1975), p. 658. 2) Stephen Hawking,  “The Edge of Spacetime,” in The New Physics , ed. Paul Davies Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1989), p.61. 3) Richard J. Gott, et.al. , "Will the Universe Expand Forever?" Scientific American (March 1976), p. 65. 4) (Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, The Nature of Space and Time, The Isaac Newton Institute Series of Lectures (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), p. 20.
  • The Steady State Model                                                                Fig. 2: Steady State Model. As the galaxies mutually recede, new matter comes into existence to replace them. The universe thus constantly renews itself and so never began to exist.
  • Refuting the Steady State Model
    • The Steady State theory never secured a single piece of experimental verification; its appeal was purely metaphysical. The discovery of progressively more radio galaxies at ever greater distances undermined the theory by showing that the universe had an evolutionary history. But the decisive refutation of the Steady State Model came with two discoveries which constituted, in addition to the galactic red-shift, the most significant evidence for the Big Bang theory: the cosmogonic nucleosynthesis of the light elements and the microwave background radiation. As a result, in the words of Ivan King, "The steady-state theory has now been laid to rest, as a result of clear-cut observations of how things have changed with time."
    • Read Dr. Hugh Ross’s 8 point refutation to the model here http://www.origins.org/articles/ross_astroevidgodbible.html#the%20hesitating%20universe
    • Ivan R. King, The Universe Unfolding (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1976), p. 462.)
  • The Oscillating Model                                                                                                                                          Oscillating Model. Each expansion phase is preceded and succeeded by a contraction phase, so that the universe in concertina-like fashion exists beginninglessly and endlessly                                                                                                                                           Oscillating Model with Entropy Increase. Due to the conservation of entropy each successive oscillation has a larger radius and longer expansion time .
  • Refuting the Oscillating Model
    • Even if we allow that there is some mechanism by which this cycle of contraction-explosion-expansion does take place, the crucial point is that this cycle cannot go on for ever, as is claimed. Calculations for this model show that each universe will transfer an amount of entropy to its successor. In other words, the amount of useful energy available becomes less each time and every "opening" universe will open more slowly and have a larger diameter. This will cause a much smaller universe to form the next time around and so on, eventually petering out into nothing. Even if "open and close" universes can exist, they cannot endure for eternity. At some point it becomes necessary for "something" to be created from "nothing".
    • William Lane Craig, Cosmos and Creator, Origins & Design , Spring 1996, vol. 17, p. 19
  • Refuting the Oscillating Model
    • - There are no known physics, which would cause a collapsing universe to bounce back to a new expansion. Also, the observational evidence indicates that the mean mass density of the universe is insufficient to generate enough gravitational attraction to halt and reverse the expansion.
    • - Since entropy is conserved from cycle to cycle in such a model, which has the effect of generating larger and longer oscillations with each successive cycle, the thermodynamic properties of an Oscillating Model imply the very beginning its proponents sought to avoid
    • - The oscillating model of the universe thus still requires an origin of the universe prior to the smallest cycle.
    • Associated Press News Release, 9 January 1998
    • I. D. Novikov and Ya. B. Zeldovich, "Physical Processes near Cosmological Singularities," Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics 11 (1973): pp. 401-02; Joseph Silk, The Big Bang, 2d ed. (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1989), pp. 311-12
    • John Gribbin, "Oscillating Universe Bounces Back," Nature 259 (1976): 16
  • The Vacuum Fluctuation Model                                                                                                                                           Fig. 5: Vacuum Fluctuation Models. Within the vacuum of the wider Universe, fluctuations occur which grow into mini-universes. Ours is but one of these, and its relative beginning does not imply a beginning for the Universe-as-a-whole.
    • - A quantum mechanical vacuum spawning material particles is far from the ordinary idea of a "vacuum" (meaning nothing). Rather, a quantum vacuum is a sea of continually forming and dissolving particles, which borrow energy from the vacuum for their brief existence. This is not "nothing," and hence, material particles do not come into being out of nothing. [1]
    • - Nothingness is not an entity, which has an equal amount of positive and negative properties, which comprise the stuff for the production of a specific state of affairs. Nothingness has no properties whatever, and it is not identical to an existent state of affairs where the positive and negative charge, or the positive and negative energy, is equal. The latter contains some sort of stuff (protons and electrons or energy); the former contains nothing. [2]
    • - Quantum events pertain to the change of condition of particles, not the bringing of these particles into existence from absolutely nothing. [3]
    • - "But what of the laws? They have to be 'there' to start with so that the universe can come into being. Quantum physics has to exist (in some sense) so that a quantum transition can generate the cosmos in the first place." [4]
    Refuting the Vacuum Fluctuation Model
    • William Lane Craig, Cosmos and Creator, Origins & Design , Spring 1996, vol. 17, p. 20
    • J.P. Moreland, Scaling the Secular City , p. 41.
    • William Lane Craig and Quentin Smith, Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology , (New York: Clarendon Press, 1995), p. 143.) 
    • Paul Davies, God , p. 217.
  • The Universe Must Have Been Caused By A Free Agent
    • Premise 1: The universe was brought into being either by a personal agent with free will or an impersonal agent with no free will.
    • Premise 2: The universe could not have been brought into being by an impersonal agent with no free will.
    • - Conclusion: The universe was brought into being by a personal agent with free will.
  • The Universe Must Have Come From A Free Agent
    • - The universe cannot have an unchanging/impersonal cause if the effect popped into being at a certain point.
    • - In order for the effect to not be eternal just like its cause, the cause must have a free will.
  • The Universe Must Have Come From A Free Agent
    • A simple analogy…
      • Suppose the cause of water's freezing is the temperature's
      • being below zero degrees centigrade. If the temperature were
      • below zero degrees eternally, then any water that was around
      • would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the
      • temperature to be below zero from eternity, and yet the water
      • just began to freeze only fifteen billion years ago. How can
      • you have an eternal cause but a temporal effect, unless the
      • cause was a free agent?
  • The Universe Must Have Come From A Free Agent
    • Allah says :-
    It is He Who has created the heavens and the earth in truth, and on the Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) He will say: "Be!", - and it shall become. His Word is the truth. His will be the dominion on the Day when the trumpet will be blown. AllKnower of the unseen and the seen. He is the AllWise, Well-Aware (of all things). (Surah Al An’am, Chapter 6, Verse 73)
  • The Argument from Information
    • The DNA of a bacterium contains as much information as a 1000 page book [1]
    • There is no known law of nature, no known process and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter [2]
    • We do not understand even the general features of the origin of the genetic code . . . [It] is the most baffling aspect of the problem of the origins of life and a major conceptual or experimental breakthrough may be needed before we can make any substantial progress. [3]
    • Evolutionist Douglas R. Hofstadter of Indiana University, states his despair in the face of this question: "How did the Genetic Code, along with the mechanisms for its translation (ribosomes and RNA molecules), originate?" For the moment, we will have to content ourselves with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than with an answer. [4]
    1) Lee M. Spetner, Not by Chance , 1998, p. 30 2) Werner Gitt. In the Beginning Was Information. CLV, Bielefeld, Germany, p. 107, 141 3) Orgel, Leslie E, "Darwinism at the Very Beginning of Life," New Scientist, vol.94 (April 15, 1982), p.151 4) Douglas R. Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, New York: Vintage Books, 1980, p. 548
    • Tomohawk Cruise Missile
    Mutton Bird
  • Argument from Design
    • Premise 1: The fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design.
    • Premise 2:  It is not due to physical necessity or chance.
    • - Conclusion:  Therefore, it is due to design.
  • Is it Due to Physical Necessity?
    • No natural laws existed before the creation of the universe. Natural laws came into existence after the creation of the universe. Therefore, we cannot say that a law existed before the creation of the universe, which forced the universe to be created the way it is.
  • Is It Due to Chance?
    • - The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way is comparable to the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein. [1]
    • - Socrates ( 339- 469 – Greek philosopher of Athens) says:
    • "This world appears in such a manner which gives no possibility to coincidence"
    • James Jeans (1877-1946) the famous British astronomer and mathematician who was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society and the "James" Moon Crater was named after him says:
    • "It is impossible to assume that coincidence is the origin of this universe"
    1) Hoyle on Evolution," Nature, vol. 294, November 12, 1981, p. 105
  • Is It Due to Chance?
    • - If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached its present size.
    • - It is hard to resist the impression that the present structure of the universe, apparently so sensitive to minor alterations in the numbers, has been rather carefully thought out… The seemingly miraculous concurrence of numerical values that nature has assigned to her fundamental constants must remain the most compelling evidence for an element of cosmic design
    • Arno Penzias, who was the first, along with Robert Wilson to detect the cosmic background radiation (for which discovery the pair received a Nobel prize in 1965), comments on the beautiful design in the universe:
    • - “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has underlying (one might say "supernatural") plan.”
    1) Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time, Bantam Books, April, 1988, p. 121 2) Paul Davies, God and the New Physics , New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983, p. 189 3) Quote taken from Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos , p. 122-23
  • Is It Due to Chance?
    • - Francis Crick, the biochemist who discovered the structure of DNA, won a Nobel prize for the research he had carried out on the subject says "An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that, in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle.
    • - But the most sweeping evolutionary questions at the level of biochemical genetics are still unanswered. How the genetic code first appeared and then evolved and, earlier even than that, how life itself originated on earth remain for the future to resolve.... Did the code and the means of translating it appear simultaneously in evolution? It seems almost incredible that any such coincidence could have occurred , given the extraordinary complexities of both sides and the requirement that they be coordinated accurately for survival. By a pre-Darwinian (or a skeptic of evolution after Darwin) this puzzle would surely have been interpreted as the most powerful sort of evidence for special creation.
    • - The big bang theory holds that the universe began with a single explosion. Yet as can be seen below, an explosion merely throws matter apart, while the big bang has mysteriously produced the opposite effect - with matter clumping together in the form of galaxies.
    • 1) Francis Crick, Life Itself: It's Origin and Nature, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1981, p. 88
    • 2) Haskins, Caryl P., "Advances and Challenges in Science in 1970," American Scientist, vol.59 (May/June 1971), p.305)
    • 3) W.R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991; originally published by Philosophical Library in 1987, p. 462
    • Allah says :-
    Argument from Design In the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and day, and the ships which sail the seas to people's benefit, and the water which Allah sends down from the sky- by which He brings the earth to life when it was dead and scatters about in it creatures of every kind - and the varying direction of the winds, and the clouds subservient between heaven and earth, these are Signs for people who use their intellect. (Surat al-Baqara, Chapter 2, Verse 164) He Who has created seven heavens in full harmony with one another: no incongruity will you see in the creation of the Most Gracious. And turn your vision (upon it) once more: can you see any flaw? Yea, turn your vision (upon it) again and yet again: (and every time) your vision will fall back upon you, dazzled and truly defeated. (Surat Al Mulk, Chapter 67, Verses 3-4)
  • Refuting The Arguments Against Design
    • (i) The universe should have been designed better.
    • (ii) Maybe there is more than one God or designer.
    • (iii) Evolution accounts for the appearance of design in biological organisms.
  • Refuting Polytheism
    • Allah says…
    Had there been therein (in the heavens and the earth) gods besides Allah, then verily both (heavens and the earth) would have been ruined. Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the Throne, (High is He) above what they attribute to Him! (Surat Al Anbiya, Chapter 21, Verse 22) No son (or offspring or children) did Allah beget, nor is there any ilah (god) along with Him; (if there had been many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have tried to overcome others! Glorified be Allah above all that they attribute to Him! (Surat Al Mu’minun, Chapter 23, Verse 91)
  • Refuting Evolution
    • 1) How did the first living cell emerge?
    • 2) How can one living species turn into another?
    • 3) Is there any evidence in the fossil record that living things underwent such a process?
  • How Did The First Living Cell Emerge?
    • W. H. Thorpe, an evolutionist scientist, acknowledges that "The most elementary type of cell constitutes a 'mechanism' unimaginably more complex than any machine yet thought up, let alone constructed, by man.” [1]
    • 1) W. R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited, Thomas Nelson Co., Nashville, 1991, pp. 298-99
  • Transformation of One Species to Another?
    • - First, genuine mutations are very rare in nature. Secondly, most mutations are harmful since they are random, rather than orderly changes in the structure of genes; any random change in a highly ordered system will be for the worse, not for the better. For example, if an earthquake were to shake a highly ordered structure such as a building, there would be a random change in the framework of the building, which, in all probability, would not be an improvement. [1]
    • - Many will be puzzled about the statement that practically all known mutant genes are harmful. For mutations are a necessary part of the process of evolution. How can a good effect-evolution to higher forms of life-result from mutations practically all of which are harmful? [2]
    • - When it comes to identifying positive mutations, evolutionary scientists are strangely silent. [3]
    • - No matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution [4]
    1) B. G. Ranganathan, Origins?, Pennsylvania: The Banner Of Truth Trust, 1988. 2) Warren Weaver et al., "Genetic Effects of Atomic Radiation", Science, vol. 123, June 29, 1956, p. 1159. 3) David A. Demick, "The Blind Gunman", Impact, no. 308, February 1999. 4) Pierre-Paul Grassé, Evolution of Living Organisms, Academic Press, New York, 1977, p. 88
    • Allah says :-
    O ye folk! a parable is struck out for you, so listen to it. Verily, those on whom ye call beside God could never create a fly if they all united together to do it, and if the fly should despoil them of aught they could not snatch it away from it - weak is both the seeker and the sought. (Surat Al Hajj, Chapter 22, Verse 73) Argument from Design
  • Fossil Record Refutes Evolution
    • - A famous British paleontologist, Derek V. Ager, admits this embarrassing fact: The point emerges that if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of orders or of species, we find – over and over again – not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another.
    • - A half-billion years ago the remarkably complex forms of animals that we see today suddenly appeared. This moment, right at the start of Earth's Cambrian Period, some 550 million years ago, marks the evolutionary explosion that filled the seas with the world's first complex creatures. The large animal phyla of today were present already in the early Cambrian and they were as distinct from each other then as they are today.
    1) Derek A. Ager. "The Nature of the Fossil Record." Proceedings of the British Geological Association, vol. 87, no. 2, (1976), p. 133. 2) Richard Monestarsky, Mysteries of the Orient, Discover, April 1993, p.40
  • Evolution
    • There has developed a general consensus among evolutionists that the evolution of intelligent life, comparable in information processing ability to that of homo sapiens , is so improbable that it is unlikely to have occurred on any other planet in the entire visible universe
    1) John Barrow and Frank Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986], p. 133)).
  • Argument From Morality
    • Premise 1: If objective moral values do exist, then God exists.
    • Premise 2: Objective moral values do exist.
    • Conclusion: God Exists
  • Allah Is The Source of Our Moral Values? By the Soul, and the proportion and order given to it; And inspired it (with conscience of) what is wrong for it and (what is) right for it. (Surat Ash-Shams, Chapter 91, Verses 7-8) Allah said :-
  • Argument from Instinct
  • Why Self Sacrifice?
    • - The question is, why do living beings help one another? According to Darwin's theory, every animal is fighting for its own survival and the continuation of its species. Helping other creatures would decrease its own chances of surviving, and therefore, evolution should have eliminated this type of behavior, whereas we observe that animals can indeed behave selflessly. [1]
    • - In recent years, research has revealed findings regarding self-sacrifice even in bacteria. These living things without brains or nervous systems, totally devoid of any capacity for thought, kill themselves to save other bacteria when they are invaded by viruses. [2]
    1) Bilim ve Teknik [Science and Technology] - Turkish Scientific Journal, no.190, p. 4 2) Andy Coghlan "Suicide Squad", New Scientist, 10 July 1999.
  • Why Self Sacrifice?
    • As a result of extensive research into animal groups in the 1960s and 1970s, V. C. Wynne-Edwards, a British zoologist, concluded that living things balance their population in an interesting way, which prevents competition for food. Animal groups were simply managing their population on the basis of their food resources. Population was regulated not by elimination of the weak through factors like epidemics or starvation, but by instinctive control mechanisms. In other words, animals controlled their numbers not by fierce competition, as Darwin suggested, but by limiting reproduction.
    • 1) V. C. Wynne-Edwards, "Self Regulating Systems in Populations of Animals, Science, vol. 147, 26 March 1965, pp. 1543-1548; V. C. Wynne-Edwards, Evolution Through Group Selection, London, 1986.)
  • Argument from Instinct
    • Allah said:
    • Your Lord revealed to the bees: "Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow." From inside them comes a drink of varying colors, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect. (Surah Al Nahl, Chapter 16, Verses 68-69)
  • Atheist Arguments
    • Question 1:
    • How can God who is All good, All Knowing & All Powerful allow evil to occur?
  • Atheist Arguments
    • Question 2:
    • As time goes by, we make more scientific discoveries. In the future science will most likely prove that God does not exist. You are only using God to fill up a gap in our knowledge today. How can you tell us with so much confidence that it is God that caused the universe to come into existence?
  • Atheist Arguments
    • Question 3:
    • Can God create another God? If yes, then it is possible to have a created God. So why do you insist that God is uncreated? If no, then doesn’t that mean that God can’t do everything?
  • Atheist Arguments
    • Question 4:
    • I refuse to believe in a God that will throw people in hell for eternity. Not believing in God does not deserve such a cruel punishment. How can you say that your God is All Just despite this?
  • Atheist Arguments
    • Question 5:
    • Why did God create people whom He already knew would reject Him and go to hell? Shouldn’t God who is All Loving instead not create them so that they won’t go through the punishment?
  • Atheist Arguments
    • Question 6:
    • How can we believe in the existence of God if we don’t even know what His essence is?
  • Atheist Arguments
    • Question 7:
    • There is lack of evidence for the existence of God, thus this implies that this is evidence against the existence of God.
  • Atheist Arguments
    • Question 8:
    • You say that the universe cries out for a designer. Well, who designed the designer?
  • Atheist Arguments
    • Question 9:
    • I called out to God several times, He never responded back to my prayers. Doesn’t His silence indicate that He does not exist?
  • Answer to Question No. 1
    • - To have a successful argument, the atheist must prove that there is no good reason why God might allow evil.
    • - No intellectual objections exist, the argument is emotional.
    • - Who said that the purpose of life is materialistic happiness?
    • - The existence of evil actually implies the existence of God!
    • - Islam provides reasons for why evil might occur…
  • Answer to Question No. 1
    • There are some people who say, 'Our Lord, give us good in the world.' They will have no share in the hereafter. And there are others who say, 'Our Lord, give us good in the world, and good in the hereafter, and safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire.' They will have a good share from what they have earned. God is swift at reckoning. (Surat al-Baqara, Chapter 2, Verses 200-202)
    • If anyone desires to cultivate the hereafter, We will increase him in his cultivation. If anyone desires to cultivate the world, We will give him some of it but he will have no share in the hereafter. (Surat ash-Shura, Chapter 26, Verse 20)
    - Allah says:
  • Answer to Question No. 1
    • Man prays for evil just as he prays for good. Man is prone to be impetuous." (Surat al-Isra‘, Chapter 17, Verse 11)
    - Allah says: - Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: Do not pray against yourselves or your wealth, for that might coincide with a time when Allah answers prayers (Saheeh Muslim)
  • Answer to Question No. 1
    • And when your Lord announced: "If you are grateful, I will certainly give you increase, but if you are ungrateful, My punishment is severe."' (Surat Ibrahim, Chapter 14, Verse 7)
    • It may be that you hate something when it is good for you and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. God knows and you do not know. (Surat al-Baqara, Chapter 2, Verse 216)
    - Allah says: - Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "When Allah intends good for His slave, He punishes him in this world, but when He intends an evil for His slave, He does not hasten to take him to task but calls him to account on the Day of Resurrection.'' [At-Tirmidhi].
  • Answer to Question No. 1 “ Remember Allaah during times of ease and He will remember you during times of hardship.” (Narrated by Ahmad) "Allah, the Glorious and Exalted said: `When I afflict my slave in his two dear things (i.e., his eyes), and he endures patiently, I shall compensate him for them with Jannah.". (Al-Bukhari) "No Muslim is afflicted by a harm, be it the pricking of a thorn or something more (painful than that), but Allah thereby causes his sins to fall away just as a tree sheds its leaves". (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) - Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
  • Answer to Question No. 1 - If no such thing as pain and suffering existed then how would we be able to understand what an eternal punishment means in order for us to fear it? - It helps you recognize that your not in control of everything and that Allah is .
  • Answer To Question No. 2 - We are not appealing to God due to some gap in our scientific knowledge, rather we are appealing to God due to what the best of scientific knowledge today tells us. - We have to make our decisions today based on what evidence we already have and not what we might have. - I can also argue back that maybe science in the future would prove that God does exist.
  • Answer to Question No. 3
    • Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: As for Ahl al-Sunnah, in their view Allaah, may He be exalted, has power over all things, and everything that is possible is included in that. As for that which is inherently impossible, such as a thing both existing and being non-existent, there is no reality in it and its existence cannot be imagined, so it cannot be called a “thing” according to the consensus of the wise. This includes the idea of creating another like Himself, and so on. End quote from Manhaaj al-Sunnah (2/294). 
    • Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Shifa’ al-‘Aleel (p. 374): Because that which is impossible is not a “thing”, so His Power has nothing to do with it. Allaah has power over all things and no possible thing is beyond His power. End quote. 
  • Answer to Question No. 4
    • - The punishment must fit the crime. The rejection of God is a crime that is infinite in magnitude, thus deserves an infinite punishment.
    • - The Islamic concept of God is that He is All Just and would not hold a prepubescent child, mentally ill person, unconscious person or someone who has not received the message of Islam accountable.
    • - This argument is more emotional rather than intellectual.
  • Answer To Question No. 5 - Perhaps if God did not create people that would reject Him then others would not have ended up accepting Him as they would if those people were to be created. - Perhaps this is the best world possible that God could have created in order to get the most people to accept Him.
  • Answer to Question No.6
    • - We are not debating about God’s Essence, we are debating about His existence.
    • - Just as I can know that a painter exists by looking at the painting, I can also know if God exists by looking at the creation.
  • Answering Question No. 7
    • - Absence of evidence does not necessarily imply evidence of absence.
    • - For the atheist’s argument to be successful, he must illustrate two things:
    1) Prove that if God did exist, then we should expect to see such and such evidence. 2) T hat he has covered all areas of knowledge possible so that he is sure that God doesn’t exist. - There is no reason to believe why people would accept God if He did make Himself more manifest.
  • Answering Question No. 8
    • - It is not relevant to have an explanation for the explanation.
    • - Doing such a thing would lead to an infinite regress of explanations, so that nothing could ever be explained and science would be destroyed.
  • Answering Question No. 9
    • - From the Islamic perspective, there are a number of possible reasons why Allah might not answer the prayers of people…
  • Answering Question No. 9
    • - The person might be making Du’aa’ for something haram.
    • - The person might not be using the proper etiquettes when calling out to God.
    • - The reason why his/her du’aa’ is not answered may be because he/she has done something that Allaah has forbidden, e.g. backbiting, going to forbidden parties, etc.
    • - The Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned a man who has traveled on a long journey and is disheveled and covered with dust; he stretches forth his hands to the heaven, (saying) “O Lord, O Lord”, but his food is haraam, his drink is haraam, all his nourishment is haraam, so how can his du’aa’ be accepted?” Narrated by Muslim.
  • Answering Question No. 9
    • - Trying to hasten the response. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The du’aa’ of any one of you will be answered so long as he is not impatient and says, ‘I made du’aa’ but it was not answered.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim.
    • - Making the du’aa’ conditional, such as saying, “O Allaah, forgive me if You will” or “O Allaah, have mercy upon me if You will.” The person who makes du’aa’ has to be resolute in his supplication, striving hard and earnestly repeating his du’aa’. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Let not any one of you say, ‘O Allaah, forgive me if You will, O Allaah, have mercy on me if You will.’ Let him be resolute in the matter, whilst knowing that no one can compel Allaah to do anything.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim.
    • Any Questions???