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Thu, 07 Jun 2001
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 His reply:

From: "Ali Sina" <afreethinker@hotmail.com> [Save Address] [Block Sender]
To: islami@consultant.com
Cc:
Subject: Re: I came up with some questions:)
Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2001 03:31:55
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Dear Usman.

Thanks again for your email. I will answer only those questions of you that
are new and will refer you to the articles where they have already been
answered

Q.
In first Para, you mentioned that we should not follow any human being, and
we must choose our own way. Don’t you think that these humans who claims to
be prophets and so on, have spent their whole life in search of the truth.
Don’t you think it is good if we choose one among them and follow his words
and then build our life on this foundation! For example determining and
studying religion is a full time job, people spend their whole life solely
in this. Now if Humans have to study it only, then who will advance in other
fields; like of science and so on.

A.
It is our responsibility to find the truth on our own and never rely on
another person for that. Even if you want to follow someone blindly,
trusting his or her decisions, you have to make sure that this person is a
true guide and not a charlatan. People fail to do that. They simply rely on
the guru of their parents. Naturally since truth cannot be more than one,
from among thousands of ways, philosophies and religions at most only one
can be true and the rest are wrong. How do you know which one is the true
one? You have to investigate all of them, for which you need few thousands
of years.

What I propose is a shift of paradigm. Man should not look unto another
human being for guidance, but be inquisitive, question, reason. In other
words doubt and gradually find the truth.

Logically it does not make sense that god send a messenger in a corner of
the world without the rest of the world having the chance to learn about it
immediately. If we are all children of God we all should have equal chance
for salvation.

Also it make no sense that god make his message so confusing and illogical.
All these so-called holy books are replete with scientific incongruencies,
errors and absurdities. A host of apologists are trying desperately to
reinterpret the so-called “difficulties” in their holy books. Shouldn’t the
message of God be simple and clear to understand? If there are so many sects
in the same religion, doesn’t it prove that the holy book of that religion
is not clear for everyone to understand the same truth as God intended? Go
to the section dedicated to Quran in my site and read any one of the
articles, especially the Contradictions in Quran. See how this book is
obtuse and contradictory. Could it be that the maker of this universe be so
ignorant as it appears to be in Quran? (Bible is not better).

The facts that people follow the religion of their fathers is proof that
their faith is based on imitation and not independent search of the truth.


Q.

In third you said that your mission is to cause doubt, don’t you think that
this isn’t polite? It means that you only cause confusion. I strongly
believed that you talk about and believe in unity and peace while confusion
is what is against it. I hope that you will be able to explain your theory
of doubt.

A.
Teaching people to doubt is not impolite. Teaching them to have faith is
impolite. We come from a religious culture that has all its priorities
upside down.

What is faith? Faith is belief in something without evidence. Once you have
the evidence it is no more belief but knowledge. For example, there are
people who believe in the Bigfoot. The Bigfoot is said to be a human-like
animal living in North America. There is not enough evidence of the
existence of such creature, yet some believe that it exists. If this belief
is strong it becomes faith.

But what will happen if we actually find such creature? Do you say that you
“believe” that Bigfoot exists? No, at that time you “know” that it exists.
Knowledge is based on facts. Belief is based on suppositions and lack of
facts. Primitive people invented fables and gods and believed in them. They
built religions around them. Even today some people believe that snakes are
gods, some believe in cows, some believe that rats are the spirits of their
ancestors, others believe that a black meteorite is fallen from heaven and
therefore must be worshipped. Muslims believe that Muhammad split the moon,
they believe that he performed Vudoo as soon as he was born and started to
praise Allah. Jews believe that Moses parted the Red Sea and Christians
believe that Jesus rouse from the dead and ascended to heaven. All of these
religious people believe that Noah collected all the living animals in his
ark while the whole earth was flooded for 40 days. They don’t doubt the
absurdity of these beliefs. How could the polar bear go to Canaan? Who
informed the Australian Kangaroos to head to Middle East? How these animals
got there? All these stories are absurd. There is no evidence for any of
them, yet people believe in them, because belief does not require evidence.

You mentioned Mi’arj. Is this scientific? If God is supposed to be
omnipresent, why Muhammad had to go somewhere else to meet him? Is Jerusalem
the gateway to Heaven? If Muhammad traveled on a winged steed in one night
to get to heaven then the heaven must be a physical place close to Earth.
You cannot travel out side the Earth’s atmosphere with wings. Wings will
only take you were there is air. With so many mapping, air travels satellite
photos why we haven’t find this heaven? If heaven is not a physical place
why Muhammad needed the winged steed? If Allah was behind the curtain then
god cannot be omnipresent. An omnipresent god cannot be behind, in front,
under or over anything. He is everywhere. This whole story is so naïf that
it is mind boggling anyone still believe in it. But faith blinds. If someone
said a similar story about someone else, no Muslim would believe it, but
since it is about Muhammad, all lies are truth. The bigger the lie, the
better it is.

The charlatans calling themselves prophets wanted to keep people ignorant.
They did not have our interest in their heart. They were a bunch of liars
and impostors. They kept telling you it is not up to you to test God, but
God must test you. They praised people for believing without questioning.
The stronger was this belief, the better it was. Of course it was better for
them, because people did not dare to question them and expose their lies.
Now that we are mature, we have to ask these questions. We have to become
skeptic and doubt whatever we were told and accepted as true. This does not
mean to reject everything. It means we should ask for facts and stop
believing things for which we have no evidence. It’s time to “know” not to
“believe”. Doubt is the path to knowledge. If you don’t doubt you don’t ask
and if you don’t ask you’ll not learn. The world owes to men and women who
doubted. We owe to Galileo to Copernicus to Newton, to Darwin, to Einstein
and to all those who doubted what they were told and found the facts. Now we
no more BELIEVE that the Earth is flat but we KNOW that it is round.

[This subject is explained in more detail under the section FREETHINKING]

Q.
Also if your mission is to pull people out of the religion then you must not
leave then in some pathless way, you must guide them to some place, some
religion, some destiny and some understand able God, to some laws to be
followed and to some code of conducts to be followed for life. And your laws
must also explain ones destiny not until death but onwards.

A.
Truth is pathless. If I present myself as the path, then I am an impostor.
It is not up to me to be the spiritual guide for others and it would be a
mistake if anyone take me as such, follow me blindly and imitate me. We
humans are all created equal. We are all endowed with reason. We can put our
heads together and find the truth helping each other, but it would be a
mistake to take someone as our guru and follow him. No man is infallible.
Those who are honest acknowledge their limitations and those who do not, who
claim to be from a deity that no one except them can see and hear, are
impostors and charlatans. The substitute to religion is not yet another
religion. That would be replacing ignorance with another ignorance. As long
as people expect another person to guide them, there will be swindlers who
will come forth pretending to be the guide and take them for a ride.

Humans do not need another human for guidance. We have to be our own guides.
We have to follow the Golden Rule. There lies our source of guidance. “Do
not do to others what you do not expect others do to you”. This is the
eternal truth. From this source we can get all the guidance we need.

Q.
Then you believe that these God, Allah and Yahweh are out dated, what about
the researches that goes on (scientific), which proves the religious
transcripts to be true. As I was a Muslim and so is my family I studied
number of books that proved each and every Ayah of Quran to be
scientifically right. For an example see below:

Prove of Gravitation:
O company of jinn and men, if ye have power to penetrate (all) regions of
the heavens and the earth; then penetrate (them)! Ye will never penetrate
them save with (Our) sanction. (Q. 53: 33)

A.
There is no real research showing that god of the Quran and Bible is
scientific. What you refer to is pseudo-science. It is ignorance and
misinformation imparted in scientific language. Please go to the section
dedicated to Quran in my site and read the articles that speak about Quran
and science. I am not going to repeat this subject because it is explained
exhaustively. However if after reading those articles you still disagree and
want to refute me, I will be glad to address your specific points. I may be
able to answer or I may accept your views.

Just to make a quick note: Is jinn mentioned in the above verse scientific?
If everything else in Quran was right just this belief in jinn cast doubt on
the “divine origin” of this book. What would you think of a scientist who
talks to you of Santa Clause as if he was a real person? Now apart from
that, why in the world you think this absurd and obtuse verse is the proof
of the Gravitation? Religious people see what they want to see. This is
faith.


As for your criticism of Jonathan Baron’s definition of Rational Thinking, I
am not familiar with his works and cannot comment.

Q.
Do you believe in a God or multiple gods?

A.
I do not believe in any God as a being. I believe in the Single Principle
underlying the creation. This Single Principle is not the same god of the
theists. It is a non-being. Please read my article Life Beyond and the
Single Principle in the section dedicated to the discussion of God.

Q.
Now towards proving my point. If you don’t believe on a religion, then you
should not even believe on the existence of God. Because I don’t think that
going through the intellectual maturity man came to know God, once in for
while. According to me, he must have questioned someone, and someone might
have said, God.

A.
The notion of God has been evolved from old myths. This has been a gradual
process. It is an invention of human imagination and there is no evidence to
its existence. It’s just like the belief in Santa Clause. Some one must have
started this fairy tale and it grew. Allah is the same as Al Illah Il or El
was the supreme deity of the pantheon Sumerians. En in Sumerian language is
the definitive article like Al Arabic and The in English. So Enlil (En Lil)
in Sumerian is Allah (Al Il ah) in Arabic. The H at the end is Arabization.
Allah was not introduced by Muhammad. It existed as the supreme god between
360 gods in Mecca. The wife of Enlil was Enlat. The wife of Allah was Allat.
Later people said it was his daughter and Muhammad denied that he had any
daughters. People did not record their legends, so by going from mouth to
mouth it kept changing. The same happened among the Jews. Yahweh who was
originally the son of El or Elyon and ended up merging with his father.

These gods are myths. Gradually people became more sophisticated and could
not accept several gods so they synthesized them together. There is as much
evidence for the existence of God as there is for the existence of Santa. If
you want to be a believer, it is up to you. Belief, as I said, is acceptance
of something without evidence. You can accept anything without evidence and
that is your choice. My job is to teach people how to be skeptic, how to
question, how to doubt and how to not accept anything without evidence. This
is my definition of Rational Thinking. If you still think faith is superior
to doubt, then continue believing. Just remember that we owe our
civilization to men who doubted not to those who believed.

Who do you think is superior, ArRazi, Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd who doubted and
were called heretics or Ghazali, Bukhari and Muslim (not to mention Khomeini
and Mullah Umar of Afghanistan)? The latter may be important for Muslims.
But as Islam’s glory fades, so these men of faith will be forgotten. Razi,
Sina and Ibn Rushd will be remembered forever for their great contribution
to the world. These people did not believe in Islam but they put their trust
in science and facts. They doubted the validity of the garbage that was
given to them and therefore became the giants that they became. Under the
section Freethinking, I have an article called Freethinkers of Islam. You
may like to take a look at it.

Q.
As for Yahweh, the Lord, He is believed to be very loving to His creatures,
how could He kill them all, when He loves them?

A.
I think you should read the Bible. I am sure you will not be saying this if
you read that book. If you don’t have time, just read Joshua. This is a
small chapter. No one who has read Bible would say such thing.


Q.
You think that people use religion. Of course they do, but not everyone.

A.
Good and bad people exist everywhere. My fight is against bigotry and
fanaticism. Religion is the source of bigotry and fanaticism. People who are
inclined to do evil, find justification for their acts in the cruel
teachings of their religion and the good people cannot stop them because
they can produce verses from their holy books and silence any opposition.
That is why fundamentalism always wins. Quran is full of mandates to kill
the unbelievers and hate them. (See the collection of the Quranic verses
called Quran Teaches). That is why we see the countries that call themselves
Islamic and want to implement Islam are barbaric. These countries kill
people left and right not because they are not following the teachings of
Islam; they do so because they are following those teachings. Also my site
is not “revolutionary”. If by revolution you mean instigating rebellion and
uprising, that is not what I intend to do. I do not advocate violence. The
whole rational behind my writings is because I want to make this world a
peaceful world where all members of humankind can live together in peace,
without one thinking of others as najis, kafir, inferior or try to subdue
them and impose on them Jazyeh (Islamic penalty tax imposed on non-Muslims).

Q.
Do you think that man has reached a mature enough state to understand the
origin, existence and everything about Allah/God/Lord/etc?

A.
There are some questions for which we may never find an answer. But I am a
positive thinker and say: “never say never”! With the expansion of human
understanding and the discovery of science, I believe that one day we may be
able to answer many questions such as the ones you posed. [I believe so,
because of that I have no evidence. It’s just a belief]

But one thing we “Know” [we know because we can prove it] is that the
explanation given to us by a bunch of charlatans posing as messenger of God
is absolutely false. If you read my article Where is God and other articles
under the same heading, you will know that such god as portrayed in the
Quran and the Bible is a logical impossibility.

I define God as the Single Principle. This is only a theory, a hypothesis. I
am not here to deceive people like the unscrupulous quacks who pretend to be
the messengers of God demanding total obedience, and absolute faith in their
concoction of mumbo jumbo and threaten you with the fire of hell and the
wrath of an imaginary god if you dare to question their absurd claims. I
want you to think, doubt, and come up with your own understanding. Your
understanding and my understanding will not be 100% true. But at least they
are based on some facts that we know and the more facts we learn the more we
understand. Our beliefs will evolve. We can exchange ideas and help each
other to understand more. Eventually the humanity will get closer and closer
to the truth. This is much better than having faith in a falsehood, fighting
over it and trying to impose it on others by sword and by blind faith.

Q.
Why don’t you study Allah, according to Quran and tell me about that in more
detail.

A.
I was born a Muslim and that was the first thing I studied. This deity is
absurd. If you want to know why I reject Allah you have to read my article
in the section called God. Especially the one called The Purpose of
Creation. If still you have questions or objections, I will be more that
happy to address them or accept your views if they are convincing.

Q.
Can you give me more information on the books “Katib al Waqidi” and
“Tabari”?
Well if this is true about Muhammad, then why don’t you see this
conversation in this way that one day the dispute of LAT, OZZA, and MANAT
will be over, and it is clear now? We see no follower of LAT, OZZA or MANAT
today.

A.
You can order the books of Katib al Waqidi and Tabari from an Islamic
bookstore.

The issue of the three daughters of Allah is over now and so the question of
Allah himself will be over when people start to think rationally and abandon
blind faith.


Q.
And as you claimed that Muhammad was misogynist, then please I admire him on
this thing that he provided more freedom to women then any other religion.


A.
One thing religious people love to do is to fool themselves. Muslims believe
that Islam improved the status of women. This is a total lie. I have written
an article disproving this lie. It is called Did Islam Improve the Status of
Women? You can find it under the section dedicated to Women.

The next fallacy is that Muslims compare the status of Muslim women of today
with the status of non-Muslims of 2 or 3 thousand years ago. Even if Bible
is unkind to women, no Jew or Christian follows those books when it comes to
the treatment of women. Women’s rights are protected by the secular laws and
not by religious laws. In Islamic countries, women are abused because
Muslims cannot get rid of Shariah.


Kind regard

Ali Sina


From: "Usman Malik" <islami@consultant.com>
To: afreethinker@hotmail.com
Subject: I came up with some questions:)
Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2001 13:11:27 +0500

Hi Ali
I took so long reading your article, as you know leaving a religion is
not an easy thing. It is matter of life and death. I must be completely
satisfied from each and every angle before I take a step like this.
Ali I have some confusions and disagreements with your last e-mail, I hope
that you will try to remove my confusions from them by explaining them.
In first Para, you mentioned that we should not follow any human being, and
we must choose our own way. Don’t you think that these humans who claims to
be prophets and so on, have spent their whole life in search of the truth.
Don’t you think it is good if we choose one among them and follow his words
and then build our life on this foundation! For example determining and
studying religion is a full time job, people spend their whole life solely
in this. Now if Humans have to study it only, then who will advance in other
fields; like of science and so on.
In next Para you talked about Jews’ children becoming Jew and so on for the
Muslims. I don’t think that without this the religions would have ever
continued. And their would have been more Atheists then of any religion. Its
objection is same as of the previous one.
In third you said that your mission is to cause doubt, don’t you think that
this isn’t polite? It means that you only cause confusion. I strongly
believed that you talk about and believe in unity and peace while confusion
is what is against it. I hope that you will be able to explain your theory
of doubt. Also if your mission is to pull people out of the religion then
you must not leave then in some pathless way, you must guide them to some
place, some religion, some destiny and some understand able God, to some
laws to be followed and to some code of conducts to be followed for life.
And your laws must also explain ones destiny not until death but onwards.
Then you believe that these God, Allah and Yahweh are out dated, what about
the researches that goes on (scientific), which proves the religious
transcripts to be true. As I was a Muslim and so is my family I studied
number of books that proved each and every Ayah of Quran to be
scientifically right. For an example see below:

Prove of Gravitation:
O company of jinn and men, if ye have power to penetrate (all) regions of
the heavens and the earth; then penetrate (them)! Ye will never penetrate
them save with (Our) sanction. (Q. 53: 33)

In above it is clear that one need power to penetrate through the earths’
field…

Now about the place where you said that you do not deny the divine reality.
I just would like to know how do you explain “Rational thinking”? As for me
this is how it is to me.

Rational Thinking:
I will take one definition from a respected academic in this field.
Jonathan Baron in his book "Thinking and Deciding" [Jonathan Baron, Thinking
and Deciding, Cambridge University Press 1994] chooses to define being
rational as
"the kind of thinking we would all want to do, if we were aware of our own
best interests, in order to achieve our goals."
[Ibid. p3]
He then goes on to categories thinking as being about decisions, beliefs or
about the goals themselves.
Language and choices of definitions of its words can of course be highly
subjective matter but I find this definition particularly inadequate because
the choice of goals is entirely left to irrational and subjective choice and
can easily be wrong. For example my goal could be to justify the equation
1=0 for which I would have to use very irrational arguments. If we build in
the requirement that the goals are being, or have been, rationally set then
we have a circular definition where any irrational goal would lead to
completely irrational thinking which might, for example, be quite illogical.
Then, this type of thinking would reinforce the irrational goal!
We cannot use this as a definition- at least until we have some clear
refinement of it. Baron acknowledges this further on
"When I argue that certain kinds of thinking are "most rational" I mean that
these help people fulfill their goals. Such arguments could be wrong. If
so, some other kind of thinking is most rational."
[Ibid. p17]
If we are to understand from this that `people' means any person and
therefore any goal then we still have the same problem. However, his
arguments make sense because they appeal to the fulfillment of goals that
people generally have. In other words if he uses the word people here to
mean `people in general' then rational thinking is defined (at least in so
far as goals are set) as being what people generally do.
This is a fairly major weakness in this attempt to define rationality in
purely objective terms. You cannot describe rational thinking and forget
that the criteria are themselves a matter of value judgment, such as the
judgments made when setting goals. If one leaves the subjectivity of such
value judgments in place then the objective approach fails.
Taking Baron's definition of rational from a different angle we could well
ask what does it mean to be "aware of our own best interests"? This, in
contrast to the above description, presupposes that there is such a thing as
`best interests', which for all intents and purposes we can take to include
the goals we set. This is closer to the position I shall take. There are
such things as our own best interests, which include what our goals should
be. We may not know perfectly what they are but we must assume that they
are there, for without them any attempt to define rationality is
self-defeating.
The goals we set, and therefore the very definition of rationality is
governed by moral choices - by what our goals should be.
"Unlike many other fields of psychology, such as the study of perception
where the emphasis is on "how it works", much of the study of thinking is
concerned with how we ought to think, or with comparing the way we usually
think with some ideal."
[Ibid. p16]
The study of thinking is the area in which the `Is-Ought' problem is closest
to being resolved. For to study thinking we must study what is `good
thinking'. The Is-Ought problem can be stated as "It is impossible to
infer, by any logical means, a normative statement from a descriptive
statement." i.e. you cannot infer from any statement of the form "A is the
case" the conclusion that "John ought to do X.” i.e. "Is" and "Ought to”.
If we want to break out of this we must make value judgments. Using
statements of value we can infer normative statements. For example, if I
said "It is raining outside. Therefore you ought to take an umbrella." it
would be an illogical inference. However, if I say "It is raining outside.
It is good for you to avoid getting wet by

 our e-Mail:

From: "Usman Malik" <islami@consultant.com> [Save Address] [Block Sender]
To: afreethinker@hotmail.com
Cc:
Subject: sorry
Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2001 12:40:13 +0500
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Hi Ali,
After my last e-mail few days back,I haven't recieved another e-mail from you. Can I kindly know if everything is okey. I was just wonedering if it is due to something I said?
Malik Usman

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