On the surface, the claim that “God does exist” is not all that daft, there are of course many people who do believe and so for cultural and perhaps also emotional reasons people will assert that they “believe” that there is a god. It is not actually factual, but the claim is understandable due to the observation that humans tend to copy those around them and fall in-line. However, some push the boat out a bit further and will assert that they “know”, and that is a rather silly claim to make.
Today’s example comes from a letter written by a Muslim to Gulf News. A Mr Birjees S Hussain writes …
Ricky Gervais, maker of the famous The Office says, and I quote, no one knows if God exists. So, everyone is agnostic. Atheists don’t know so they don’t believe. Believers don’t know but they do believe. In other words, Gervais contends that believers don’t know whether or not God exists but they believe in him anyway.
I believe that Ricky Gervais couldn’t be furthest from the truth. Actually, Gervais’ comment is typical of an atheist
Ah, so he as a believer claims to actually “know” and does not simply “believe”.
OK, so if he has some evidence for this claim for us to evaluate and consider, then we can easily verify this, and sure enough he does indeed offer some …
proof of existence is the Holy Quran, the Universe and our very own state of being
Yes, it is time to face-palm.
The Qur’an is not “evidence”, it is a claim. The fact that we exist and that the universe exists does indeed prompt the philosophical question, but is most certainly not “evidence” for his specific “god did it, hence god must be real” claim. I can just as easily claim magic unicorns, any flavour of a god (Zeus, Thor, etc…), aliens, time travellers, etc… and offer the universe and us as “evidence”, and yet if I did he would reject that claim. He needs to seriously ponder over that and realise that the “evidence” for his claim is not evidence at all, just as it is not evidence for all the other alternative claims that he would indeed reject.
He then goes on to claim …
I do know enough about Islam to be able to say that being an agnostic and a Muslim are mutually exclusive
Yes time to face-palm once again, this chap claims to speak on behalf of every Muslim and asserts that you simply cannot be a Muslim and also an agnostic. The truth is that nobody actually “knows”, and while many might assert that they do, when asked why, then do not have anything to offer that is credible, and so they do not actually “know”, they simply believe. Additionally, quite a few Muslims would not claim to know, and some are simply cultural Muslims and do not believe at all.
It gets even worse, he then goes on to claim …
we believers believe in God because we believe that He has given us clear signs of his existence
So he believes because he believes he has “signs” … which is essentially religious speak, so permit me to translate for you. – OK, so I do not have any actual evidence, so instead I will simply point at random things and interpret it in such a way that I can claim it to be “evidence”. In other words, when he puts his Islamic shaded glasses on, he will see Allah wherever he looks.
Next comes this …
Just because something cannot be seen, it does not automatically mean it does not exist.
He illustrates this with love and hate … sigh!
Human emotions are indeed physically measurable, just wire up some bio-sensors to a human brain and then measure what happens in response to a diversity of stimulations. In stark contrast, when it comes to Allah there is nothing to actually measure (apart from a delusional human brain).
He then proceeds to say something very scary …
Religion generally, also encourages people to do good things in the hope of being rewarded in the afterlife
The “only” reason he does good things is because he will get a reward if he does, or burn in hell if he does not, and so in essence he is telling you that he has no actual empathy at all, he just does good things because he wants something!! He appears to be claiming that all religious people are psychopaths.
That of course is utter bullshit, most humans regardless of their belief or non-belief and decent and honourable and act out of empathy, not religious rewards.
He then finishes off like this …
When I lived in England, I came across quite a few atheists, or at least people who doubted God’s existence. But here’s the weird thing, come Christmas time, they were all involved in the festivities. What’s that about? Do they believe in God when it’s convenient for them?
Sigh! … the stupid is strong in this one.
People can quite happily enjoy religious festivals without actually believing the religious supernaturalism. This is not unique to the UK, take Saudi Arabia for example, a Poll conducted there revealed that even in that very highly religious culture, 1 out of every 4 Muslims were not religious at all and did not actually believe, and yet at the same time did indeed preserve the religious façade, and that perhaps is a rather sensible thing to do given the number of religious lunatics would be more than willing to murder any who dared to openly doubt.
So yes, believing in Islam is just fine … apart from the intolerance, homophobia, misogyny, violence, intimidation and murder, what possible objection could there be?
Er … perhaps the observation that such beliefs are not actually true at all and do not have any evidence, not one jot. He might indeed “believe” and he should be free to do so, but he most certainly does not “know”, even if he claims he does.