Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How to convert an atheist to Islam - Pt III

Last time (and Part II), I was looking through some guy's discussion about how to convert an atheist to Islam. Here, I continue sifting through the arguments.

Continuing reading on...


The only logical answer to the question as to who could have mentioned all these scientific facts 1400 years ago before they were discovered, is exactly the same answer initially given by the atheist or any person, to the question who will be the first person who will be able to tell the mechanism of the unknown object.
I chuckle, and then shed a tear, every time an apologist invokes the word "logical", only to employ a logical fallacy... which is not logical (this one being basically an argument from ignorance + false dichotomy, if one manages to gather up the pieces of my segmented response to the argument to catch on).

Apparently, the solution to his equation is (if we take my answers to those parts from before):
Reasonable basic observations of reality == Scientist
Huh. Actually... that's actually sort of accurate.
It is the ‘CREATOR’, the producer, the Manufacturer of the whole universe and its contents. In the English language He is ‘God’, or more appropriate in the Arabic language, ‘ALLAH’.
I think you may want to go back and check your work. There was a lot of assumptions and presuppositions that are skewing your results (I imagine he'd say the same thing about me - but at least I can appeal to reality).


Let me remind you that the Qur’an is not a book of Science, ‘S-C-I-E-N-C-E’ but a book of Signs ‘S-I-G-N-S’ i.e. a book of ayaats. 
The heck? So why are we even talking about it's supposed scientific insights?
The Qur’an contains more than 6,000 ayaats, i.e. ‘signs’, out of which more than a thousand speak about Science. I am not trying to prove that the Qur’an is the word of God using scientific knowledge as a yard stick because any yardstick is supposed to be more superior than what is being checked or verified. For us Muslims the Qur’an is the Furqan i.e. criteria to judge right from wrong and the ultimate yardstick which is more superior to scientific knowledge.
What I find strange is that he says "speak about Science"... because it really doens't. Something that is factually true about reality isn't "science". Science is a process for figuring out what's true... a process that is strictly absent from the Qu'ran.

Please point out to me where Allah talks about how the "scientific knowledge" in the Qu'ran was discovered using control groups, double-blind trials, peer review, etc.

Methinks he doesn't really get what "science" is.

I'm happy he thinks that the Qu'ran is a "superior yardstick" to scientific knowledge. I disagree.
But for an educated man who is an atheist, scientific knowledge is the ultimate test which he believes in. 
He's way ahead of me!
We do know that science many a times takes ‘U’ turns, therefore I have restricted the examples only to scientific facts which have sufficient proof and evidence and not scientific theories based on assumptions. 
Geesh. Really? If one is trying to wield science in an argument, it's best not to pull the "it's just a theory" argument.

Scientific theories are the sum total of scientific facts, passed and falsified hypotheses, and an overarching model that best-fits the preponderance of evidence, regarding to the topic. In science, theories are the pinnacle to knowledge, not the starting point.

Also, I'd like to hear some examples of "science taking a U-turn"... because if we're talking about low-level studies, that's normal, and how it's supposed to work, and therefore a red herring to anything. Give me an example of a major theory that "took a U-turn".

Most of the time, the theories that are supplanted by better theories weren't wrong... they just weren't complete, and the new theory explains everything the old one did, plus more.
Using the ultimate yardstick of the atheist, I am trying to prove to him that the Qur’an is the word of God and it contains the scientific knowledge which is his yardstick which was discovered recently, while the Qur’an was revealed 1400 year ago. At the end of the discussion, we both come to the same conclusion that God though superior to science, is not incompatible with it.
He certainly is optimistic. I read the argument. Saying it "has much to be desired" is an understatement. Using the "yardstick" he's asking me to use to "prove that the Qu'ran is the word of God", unambiguously demonstrates that he's unrealistically leapt to a bizarrely magical solution to a problem that could easily have been solved by mundane explanations. That's typical for apologists.

This strange "God/religion is not incompatible with science" comment keeps popping up, and is one that I cannot wrap by pathetic little brain around. It's incompatible with science, because it requires us to accept things as true without engaging in the scientific method. It doesn't become magically compatible because they state similar results.

A belief system that surrounds supernatural robot-unicorns that eye-laser planets into existence in a parallel reality where fairies and Loch Ness monster Voltrons float through the sky with their minds is not "compatible with science" because somewhere, deep within that belief system, it states "Earth has one moon". "See! It got something hardcore science right! Compatible!" - what would the magical number be before it goes from being incompatible to compatible? 100 matching facts? 1000?

It's not about the results. It's about the process.


Francis Bacon, the famous philosopher, has rightly said that a little knowledge of science makes man an atheist, but an in-depth study of science makes him a believer in God.
Then I disagree with Francis Bacon... even if he's a major contributor of the modern-day scientific method.

I'm still waiting for anyone to make that case that doesn't immediately fall apart upon inspection, like the author's arguments here.
Scientists today are eliminating models of God, but they are not eliminating God.
That's not how it works, though. We set out to learn about reality, and we have a good process for doing so (science). We have these weirdos asserting that invisible sky wizards exist, and when we use that method to look into the claims, we find they have no merit... thus, they are dismissed.

Get back to me when it's actually been established that there actually is a god... until then, you're just making baseless assertions.
If you translate this into Arabic, it is La illaha illal la, There is no god, (god with a small ‘g’ that is fake god) but God (with a capital ‘G’) 
Surah Fussilat:
"Soon We will show them our signs in the (farthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things?"
[Al-Quran 41:53] 
At least I'm balancing out being mauled by Bible quotes by being mauled by Qu'ran quotes. Maybe they'll cancel each other out.

So... that's it. That's how this guy tries to convert atheists. I'm wondering if he's actually had any success, because I found the whole effort to be fairly lame.

IF it wasn't for the repeated references to "Qu'ran", I would have sworn this was just yet another Christian apologist... rolling out argument after argument that's bursting at the seams with logical fallacies, all the while insisting that they're actually employing logic.

To, recap, this are the arguments given:

  • Ask a loaded question, word "creator" shoved in your mouth, which makes it true.
  • "What, you think they just randomly guessed all these readily observable facts that the liberally translated scripture, once we focus on all the hits, and omit all the misses, appears to say some things that modern science understands?"

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