Thursday, October 05, 2006

Creationist Ahoy!

A very interesting female (and indeed self-proclaimed feminist!) Muslim blogger, Zola Malay has been commenting on my post on richard Dawkins over the last few days. Something I've found very interesting since she's actually a creationist. And prepared to talk about her views - in my experience most creationists are shut off to discussion. Anyway so I thought some of you might like to read the latest from her and from me and join the discussion.

From Zola:

"Cruella my response to "who created god?" is fortunatley already given in Islamic texts.

According to the Quran, Allah tells us that He is the only creator and sustainer of all that exists and that nothing and no one exists alongside Him, nor does He have any partners. He tells us that He is not created, nor is He like His creation in anyway. He calls Himself by a number of names and three of them are:

A) The First - (Al-Awal)
B) The Last - (Al Akhir)
C) The Eternal, who is sought after by His creation, while He has no need from them at all. (As-Samad)

He always has existed and He never was created, as He is not like His creation, nor similar to it, in any way.("He" is used only out of respect and dignity - not for gender, Allah has no gender).

A number of sceptics ask this question. But God by definition is the uncreated creator of the universe, so the question 'Who created God?' is illogical, just like 'To whom is the bachelor married?', i.e. God cannot be a creation if He himself is the creator?I will try and post more on this on a seperate piece on my own blog. "

Well fair enough, let me respond to that...

Starting, if I may, at the end with the notion that the creator cannot him/herself be created. That for me doesn't hold water. Only this afternoon I created a very nice tray of cinnamon shortbread. And by your reasoning I was created by Allah, which makes me both creator and created. And before you suggest that it was in fact Allah who created the cinnamon shortbread let me remind you that (a) I don't believe in Allah so it sems odd that he would help me out in the kitchen and (b) I've also created some very interesting variations on the bacon sandwich. I'm sure Allah wouldn't have wanted to help me with those. So if you believe I was created then a creator can be created. So for me the issue of who created Allah remains.

Evolution offers an explanation for how life on earth came to be. Your argument is that A created B and A "just does" exist. That's not an explanation, it's a refusal to address the issue. You might as well cut out the middle man and say life on earth "just does" exist.

Now secondly the proof you offer of your theory comes from a book. Surely if that's proof enough then I might say "Evolution is a fact because it says so on Cruella-blog". There are books about teenage wizards, talking rabbits, two-dimensional planets and inter-gallactic time-travel, it doesn't mean that such things exist.

And finally, strangely, the book you choose to accept as fact is littered with contradictions and inconsistencies not to mention things that are simply horrific. A pertinent example of a contradiction is in Quran 02: 256 "There is no Compulsion in religion. ", then in Quran 9: 29 "Fight those who do not profess the true faith". And for general horrificness Quran 4: 34 "As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and beat them."

And now some more questions - open to anyone who wants to answer them:

1) What is your view on the dinosaurs? Did Allah bury stacks of giant reptile bones as a big trick to confuse scientists?

2) There are millions of people around the world who believe just as strongly as you do that the earth was created by a God other than Allah. How can they all be wrong and you right? Do you think you would believe in Allah if you had been raised by, say, Japanese Shinto-ist parents?


Cruella said...

Ah Zola - sorry I've been busy a few days so not able to get back to you. All you say is all very well IF I am prepared to believe that the writings of a 7th century preacher and some of his fans are to be 100% believed. I don't really buy that. Why should that book be true? I see no reason to believe it any more than I believe that, say L Ron Hubbard (leader of Scientology cult) has met space aliens.

This first, last and eternal thing doesn't mean anything to me. I mean if Allah existed before the universe where was he? Clearly not in the universe, some other dimension or another universe? And if he already knows that he will be the last then he must know how the universe ends. And if he knows how the universe ends than he knows what happens to all of us - whether we become muslims or not. So really he's playing a very cruel trick on us by bringing us to life, letting some of us live horrible lives of suffering and knowing that many of us will get no reward for their efforts. And clearly first means at the beginning and last at the end so if there is a beginning and an end then there can be no eternity so no eternal. It's just one of those nonsense brain-washy answers to everything that has no real meaning.

And if Allah created the world including people in 4 or 8 days (depending which Quran verse you read) then when did he create the dinosaurs? Afternoon of day 2?

And finally I lived four years in Japan and I never met a single Muslim, not a one. Globally there are 2.1b Christians and only 1.3b Muslims. Now since the two are mutually incompatible one of two things are true:

1) One group have correctly-founded faith in a real God and the other group are just nutters.

2) Humans have a natural tendency to adhere to religious systems but in fact none is true.

Cruella said...

The paradox of free will and an omniscient deity is a lovely riddle to ponder. However there is one very easy solution to it: no God!

That's not actually what I was dismissing as having no meaning, I was referring to the phrase "The first, the last, the eternal". Religious doctrines are full of phrases like this which are trotted out as the answer to everything that people don't understand. That sort of thinking to my mind is dangerous and lazy.

Zola I see your points but speaking as someone who doesn't choose to believe that every word of the Quran is factual, it proves nothing to me. Christians feel just as strongly about the bible as do Scientologists about L Ron Hubbards descriptions of aliens he's met.