- Religion and Philosophy
Islam or Atheism?
There are two types of atheism (to make it simple anyway. On top of that, it splits once again into aspects such as protest atheism, positive atheism, practical atheism etc). Weak atheism, which is just the lack/absence of belief, perhaps you haven’t given it much thought or you’re just too young to understand, and then strong atheism, which is where you fully deny the existence of God, certain of his non-existence. Many people are atheists due to the way they were brought up , e.g. in Communist China, the norm is to be an atheist. Others however, are just atheist because that’s what they feel is right.
- Many people are atheists because they think there is no evidence for God’s existence or at least no reliable evidence. They argue that a person should only believe something for which there is empirical evidence.
“It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence” W.L. Clifford (1879)
- Science explains everything. There is no need for God as a part of the explanation therefore there is no point in saying that God exists.
- Occam’s Razor, a philosophical idea popularised by William of Occam in the 14th centry which says “Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily”. The simplest answer is the best. Evolution and all science can explain the origin of the universe so we don’t need God.
- The argument from design is criticised as atheists say the universe is not particularly beautiful and orderly and even if it was why should there be a designer? Modern science shows that most of the natural things we think of as designed are just the products of processes like evolution.
- They argue that if the universe had to have a cause, and that is God, then what is the cause of God?
- The problem of evil is always a big one
- Religion is manmade and simply comes from emotions. (Feuebacher )
Questions to an Atheist
1. If there is no God then what defines morality?
2. What is the purpose to life without God?
3. What would it take for you to become religious?
4. Why are you an atheist?
5. Can something really come from nothing? That violates the first law of thermodynamics
6. If an intelligent designer doesn’t exist, how did life, with its vast complexity, even get going in the first place?
7. If we live in a purely material world then how can we account for many of the supernatural experiences that people have, such as encounters with God, ghosts etc.
8. Why does humanity seem to have an innate desire and need to worship something, or someone? Why is there such a universal religious sense within humanity?
9. Why are you happy to presume our lives are just a result of chance, yet if you saw a beautiful painting on a wall you would not presume it painted itself?
“The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise about this view of life” Freud
“The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank” Dante Gabriel Rossetti
“I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays” Henny Youngman
“Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God” Heywood Broun
Did you know
Islam does not dispute evolution. You can believe in evolution, but just note that God is the force behind it.
In pre-Islamic Arabia female infanticide was a common practice, but Islam came along and put a stop to this.
Islam is not incompatible with science. In fact, the Quran has formed the basis for many scientific studies and encourages Muslims to investigate God’s creation.
Muslims can believe in the big bang… the way they differ from atheists is that they believe God caused it, where as atheists believe it caused itself.
In Islam there are six basic beliefs. The belief in one God, the belief in Muhammad and the prophets, the belief in angels, the belief in the revealed books, the belief in the judgement day, and the belief in predestination. They then follow five pillars of Islam: Shahadah (declaration of faith), Salah (prayer), Saum (fasting), Zakat (obligatory charity), and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). Being a Muslim means you are one who submits their life to God.
My personal take on things
I went to a Church school when I was younger, then when I moved on up to secondary school I sort of didn’t really bother about God- it didn’t cross my mind too much, but when it did I didn’t believe it. I wasn’t some kind of militant atheist, I just didn’t think God existed. I agreed with the thought that it was a manmade concept brought about by our psychological need for a higher power. Then, I met someone who is a Muslim, and she became very close friends. She taught me a lot about Islam and we debated a lot – me as an agnostic/atheist, her as a believer. I then had the brilliant opportunity to spent Ramadan in Morocco… I couldn’t quite get my head around why they were praying so much, I mean, I knew, but it seemed like a bit of a chore. Anyway, I became more and more interested and so I read. I bought a Quran, read articles online, read books, spoke to people, and I started to logically accept the existence of God. I didn’t however, accept him in my heart. I was frustrated because I almost knew he existed, and felt fear, but I didn’t feel love and peace. Things have changed in these past few days however. I have accepted God in my heart and I think I am ready to convert to Islam. I was the least likely to take this journey amongst everyone I know. I am surrounded by nonbelievers and I often mocked the idea of a God as a ridiculous and childish concept. I studied Christianity again, and Islam, as well as looking into other religions but not so deeply, and I have been drawn to Islam. I still have my doubts, I am only human. But I accept God and I know I am ready to take this journey now. I think what was stopping me was that, in a way, I kind of didn’t want there to be a God (in the back of my mind), as honestly, it means that I have been sinning and I do have a purpose so I have to stand up and account for my actions and do good in this life. I have a lot to change, but I will do it slowly. I have issues with a few of the concepts in Islam but as I start to feel God even more, I am starting to accept everything. In a way, it’s not really a choice. I have become aware of God’s existence and so I have to change.