The ‘Four Horsemen’ – The High Priests of New Atheism

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Kamil Ahmad

Channel: Kamil Ahmad

Episode Notes

1) Origins and Significance of New Atheism
2) Rationality and Faith
3) Morality and God
4) The Problem of Evil

Episode Transcript

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Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa salatu salam ala rasulillah.

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Salam alikoum to LA to everyone who's come to this webinar.

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I hope you're as excited as I am for today's presentation shala. So we've chosen a very interesting topic for today. The title is the four horsemen, the high priests of new atheism. And for those who are aware of the current writings when it comes to atheism, then the four individuals that will we're looking at, become prominent in many of the discussions or at least at the populist level. Many of the arguments that we might even encounter during our discussions on on chat have been expressed by one of these four individuals, and how I have now become become popular amongst the masses. Also, that this particular webinar is quite timely, with the release of the recent book,

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The Four Horsemen, the discussion that sparked an atheist revolution, with a foreword by Stephen Fry. So, the last few decades has seen an emergence of the new atheist movement, and within that as a trend, known as a radical or militant atheists, with these particular four individuals, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens, who obviously is no longer life. So inshallah In this lecture, shaker Malamud will discuss the origins and the significance of new atheism. He will also discuss the discussions of the debates relating to rationality and faith, which is something that also discuss by Sam Harris in his writings. Also, we'll be looking at

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morality in God. And then also a common question that we come across the question related to the problem of evil. Now introducing the speaker for today, Shay Kamala Ahmed was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and he studied at the Samak University of Medina where he graduated with a bachelor's degree from the faculty of Sharia in 2009. He then went on to complete a postgraduate diploma in data from the faculty of Dawa and Sula, Dean. Upon completing his studies in Medina, he then went on to pursue a master's degree in Al Qaeda and contemporary ideologies from Qasim University. His research actually was on this specific topic or at least looked at New atheism and

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its impact on Muslims. So his discussions and his insight on this topic will be extremely crucial, especially knowing the amount of years is dedicated and looking into this matter, and doing and graduating with an MA degree with a thesis on this particular topic. Besides his academic studies, he has also studied various classical texts in different Islamic disciplines under several scholars during his stay in Saudi Arabia. Over the last decade, he has lectured in various countries and appeared on a number of satellite channels, including peace TV and Hoda TV. He has also been teaching to the Islamic online university since 2010, where He currently serves as the assistant

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professional professor for the Masters in Islamic Studies program. So without any further delay, I will pass it on to shake Kamla Ahmed, to inshallah, discuss this topic with us that locker

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Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah Allah He was so happy Jemaine

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Salaam Alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. I thank brother Imtiaz and

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the team at Islam chat for hosting me today

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for this webinar,

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and, as I'm sure some tea has mentioned,

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this topic

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you know, I have spent pretty much the last three years looking at this topic.

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And, you know, reading many of the writings of the new atheists and

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analyzing

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analyzing their writings and critiquing them, and putting forward solutions for the Muslims on how to basically counter this movement.

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Obviously, the time that we have today,

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it's not

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you know, it's not sufficient to cover everything that I have studied regarding this topic.

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But, you know, we'll we'll try to cover what we can inshallah going through the main, the main points without going into too much detail he is and

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I'll just start by mentioning that,

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obviously the time, the time in which we live in today

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is very different to the past.

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In the past, from the time of the Prophet sallallahu, alayhi wasallam.

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You know, the kind of deviation that Islam came to

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counter was completely different than what we have today. And so, in the past there, you know, the paganism of jaleo was one of idolatry, whereas the paganism of today is one of ideologies. And this is something that we have to keep in mind.

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We have to keep in mind, when we are giving Dawa, that the majority of people today are attached to ideologies, like the people of the past, were attached to idols. And so today's fitna with ideologies it resembles the fitna of Quraysh with idols. And so they abandoned everything from Revelation

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and demanded everything from materialism, they said, show us, show us give us proof give us material proof. And they used to worship idols. And when they would find another idol,

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they would throw the first idol away, similar to the to the kofod of today.

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They follow one ideology, and then they invent and come up with a new ideology. And they follow that throwing the previous ideology away.

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And so among the fitna of ideologies today is that of atheism, atheism is among the many ideologies that exist today.

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And it is obviously one of the most dangerous, it is obviously one of the most dangerous of ideologies, because it is basically,

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you know, bringing down the very essence, the very essence of all religions, not only Islam.

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And although I although atheism is nothing new, and it has always existed

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throughout history,

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it It never became a widespread phenomenon like it has become today.

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Rather, what existed in the past was widespread shift, associating partners with the law. And what proves this is that the Quran has narrated in precise detail many stories of the past nations. But you will not find a single story in the Quran,

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where there is mention of a nation that rejected the existence of Allah subhanho wa Taala. Rather, you know, the stories in the Quran, that tell us of the past nations, they all shared a common phenomenon. And that was a shift, directing their worship to others, besides a lot while acknowledging his existence, when I mean worked out when Billa Billa won which record most of most of them do not believe in a lot except while

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being recorded. And the messengers when they came to their people, they said, you know, when when the dialogue took place in Taurus, Ibrahim,

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between the messengers, and there are people and when there are people said, we have rejected you. So the messengers, they they tried to, they tried to reason with them through something

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that they believed in already. And that was the existence of Allah. And so what did the messenger say? They said, we'll call it room aphylla. He thought it was an hour to an hour.

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They said, Is there any doubt of the existence of a lot? You guys accept this? You guys accept this? And so what this proves is that

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atheism is something new, or at least being widespread, is something new. It never existed at this level in the past, and so we could easily conclude

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That,

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you know, the atheists were a fringe group in human history. And it is only within the last 200 years or so, that

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you know, they started to gain momentum and you know, had followers and be, you know, atheism spread as a widespread phenomenon in today's society.

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Moving on to the new atheism,

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atheism in the West has existed

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as a widespread phenomenon for about 100 to 200 years.

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It started off before that we can see in the Renaissance period, abroad about 400 years ago, but it became a widespread phenomenon we could say in the last 100 to 200 years.

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However, at the turn of this present century,

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at the turn of the 21st century, a movement emerged in the West commonly referred to as the new atheism.

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And so, this movement consisted of secular humanist intellectuals from various Western countries from the US from the UK, headed by

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four or five individuals, most notably, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens. So, how did this movement emerge basically,

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around 2004, between Luke and say, between 2004 and 2007, they came out with,

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with books that basically became bestsellers in their time.

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And these books

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were basically

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aimed at trying to bring religion down once and for all.

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And so it was not simply, you know, a critique of religion, but rather an attack of religion.

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And so this is how the movement emerged.

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And what we can say is that, generally, the direction of this movement, and that which distinguishes it from the general direction of traditional atheism, that has always prevailed in the West, it is better described as being hostile to religion in general, and to Islam in particular. And this is something that we have to

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that we have to pay attention to

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their attack, although it is, you know, aimed at religion in general.

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It is aimed at Islam, more so than any other religion.

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And also, what distinguishes this movement from traditional atheism in the West, is

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that

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they're not concerned about trying to establish proofs for atheism.

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But rather, their whole theme is to attack religion. And so the central theme of discourse of new atheism is that religion must not be tolerated, it must be confronted, it must be criticized, and it must be exposed in every way possible. Even if we have to resort to harshness, to hostile tactics, even if we have to resort to violence. And some of them are some of the new atheists have clearly explicitly mentioned this.

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And so the general discourse of this movement has been characterized as having clear traits of what we can call intellectual terrorism,

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as many Western academics have described it as.

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And so in terms of its origins,

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some of these new atheists, they were prominent before, before the movement emerged in the early 2000s, such as Richard Dawkins.

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He had books that he had written prior to

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prior to the early 2000s.

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But he didn't really really really become famous as he became.

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After publishing his book, The God Delusion, The God Delusion. This was published in the early 2000s.

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As for some of the other new atheists, such as Sam Harris, he only wrote

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To popularity as a result of as a result of

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publishing his book, The end of faith, before that he was a nobody.

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So these are some of the heads of the movement. And basically,

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the emerged after 911. And so we can say that it was the events of 911. And then the subsequent worldwide war on terror.

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And what follows that of Islamophobia, all of these events, pretty much, you know, made up

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the main reason for the emergence and popularity of the new atheists. What this shows us, and there's something very important to keep in mind is that the new atheists are not really an intellectual movement

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that presents intellectual arguments disproving God's existence.

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But rather, it is a movement based on or driven by emotions, and Ill sentiments, showing their hatred and honor and animosity for Islam and Muslims in general.

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So, it is different than your typical, you know, atheists of the past,

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who used to have, you know, a, an objectionable, or they used to have, you know, a, a reasonable discussion, when it came to, you know, the arguments or proofs that they would put forward, or that they would try to counter for the existence of God.

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This movement is completely different. And that's why, you know, some refer to it as militant atheism. Others refer to it as anti theism.

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There are many Western academics, who basically say that this is not even an atheist movement. In fact, there are leading atheists, who have refuted the new atheists

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who say that, you know, this movement does not represent us. But rather, these people are anti theists. They are not atheists.

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And so this is basically regarding the

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the origins of new atheism, and its significance. Moving on to the second point of discussion for tonight, and that is rationality and faith.

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The common theme, in new atheist writings is that rationality and faith are two opposites that can never be reconciled. This is something that we find in all of their writings, especially Sam Harris. In the very beginning of his book, The end of faith, he has an entire chapter, in which he tries to

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prove that beliefs

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that we have, and especially religious beliefs, they are irrational, and rationality and faith can never go hand in hand.

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And we find throughout their writings, that they claim to be champions of reason.

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While people of faith are anti rational.

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And we find that this is based on two misconceptions.

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The first is that

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they think that religions call on their followers to accept beliefs without providing them with rational reasons to do so.

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So they have this idea in their minds, that

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religions

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basically forced people to believe in things without giving them rational reasons to do so. Now, we can say that this may be true with regards to certain religions, such as Christianity, and certain beliefs in Christianity, that clearly goes against, you know, rationality and logic.

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However, that's not the case with regard to Islam. And when it comes to we're going to come to that. The second misconception is that it is impossible to prove the existence of God. Thus, religious beliefs are based on blind faith, not rational arguments. This is the second misconception that they have. And so, according to them, it is impossible. It is impossible to prove the existence of God.

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Therefore, you know, since we don't have any rational arguments to prove the existence of God, therefore, therefore, religion is irrational.

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So how does Islam reconcile between

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rationality and faith

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This is something very, very important, especially because the new, the new atheists, they are more familiar with

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Christian beliefs.

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And, you know, atheism in general in the West, there has been a long history of, you know, back and forth debates between atheists, and, you know, Christian theologians.

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And so, they have a certain that atheists have a certain worldview, when they look at religion, and they try to, you know, put all the religions in one basket, in that sense,

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we need as Muslims to, you know, promotes our understanding of these concepts. Because unless we do so, you know, they're gonna look at us as all being the same. And we need to put forward the correct understanding, not just any understanding

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that you know, Muslims put forward but rather the correct understanding, that is based upon the principles of religion.

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And this is one of the one of the areas where we Muslims are lacking today, especially with regards to countering the new atheism.

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We find that even with the new atheism, the majority of those who have written in refutation of the new atheists are Christians.

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They are Christians, even though new atheism is attacking Islam more than Christianity, but it is the Christians in the West who are refuting the new atheists.

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Whereas the Muslims, we barely have anything out there, where we have, you know, countered

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the new atheist movement.

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So the question is, how does Islam reconcile rationality and faith? Basically, Islam teaches that the intellect has its role to play improving religious beliefs, but it also has its limits.

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So,

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we do not say that,

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you know, rationality has no room for religious beliefs.

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But rather we say it does play a role. However, it also has limits. So in this sense, is Lam's position is between two extremes, one that gave the intellect an unlimited role,

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such as the various sects that use the oil McCallum, such as the my Tesla and others, who gave the intellect

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preference over what has come in the knuckle, the the texts of the Quran and Sunnah. And also the atheists come in the same group, they have given the intellect an unlimited role. On the other hand, you have the other extreme, that stripped the intellect of any role whatsoever.

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And this is basically represented by Sufi groups

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who you know, throw, to throw the alcohol aside completely, and also the Christians, when it comes to certain beliefs that they cannot prove rationally. They say you, you have to have a leap of faith.

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So for example, for example, with regards to our belief in the unseen,

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our belief in, in animal wiping,

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we can use the intellect to prove that it is possible for such things to exist, and not impossible. We can use rational arguments to prove that there is something that exists beyond this material world. And if we were to look at what Allah has revealed in the Quran, we find a law using rational arguments to prove that there is life after death, for example.

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And also we can use rational arguments to prove the existence of a law as well.

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However,

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this is in the general sense. The rule of revelation comes into play to give us a detailed understanding of that world of the ANC. So this is a very moderate and balanced approach, to say that the intellect

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can be used, but its role is limited.

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Its role is limited.

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Time After that, we'll move on to the third topic of discussion for today. And that is

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the issue of morality and God

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The issue of morality or moral values

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is very, very problematic for atheists in general, and especially the new atheists.

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Because whoever believes that this world came into existence by mere chance, then On what basis would he believes in moral values?

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Or in other words, what can justify for an atheist belief in moral values?

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And what benefit is there for an atheist in following moral values, when there is no ultimate purpose for our existence in this world?

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And so the issue of morality is, you know, a pretty big issue for the for the new atheists. However, because of the difficulty that this poses to the new atheists, we find that they don't really touch on these questions.

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They don't really touch on these questions, but instead, they divert to talk about other issues related to morality,

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such as trying to separate morality from religion, and how humans can live a moral life without the need for God in religion, and so on and so forth. But as for the very fundamental question of why would you live a moral life to begin with, what what benefit is there in you following moral values, when you don't believe

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that there is an ultimate purpose for your life, the card will evade such questions. And that's why you don't see any of the new atheists discussing these particular questions in any of their writings.

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However, as I mentioned, their main focus is trying to separate morality from religion, and trying to say how we don't need God in the picture in order to live a moral life. And so our response to the new atheists on this issue of morality is very simple.

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And that is to say that it is not possible for the human intellect to decide on its own

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very detailed moral values. Yes, there are certain moral values that can be proven by rational arguments. However, there are many that require an external source.

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And so we human beings, have cried for centuries, to have certain,

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you know,

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certain laws that will be suitable for us, however, no society,

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you know, no human society has been able to be successful in deciding laws for themselves. And that's why we need revelation. That's why we require revelation to give us a detailed, a detailed set of moral values

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that we should live our lives by. And this is the position of Jamal, that

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the human intellect

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cannot decide on the very detailed,

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precise, detailed moral values, but rather, there are certain moral values that the intellect can agree on.

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But as for the more detailed ones, this is where we we require the, the the shutter or the revelation. And this is a topic that has been debated even in the past by our scholars in the past, under the under the subject of

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scene with Dr.

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Alok Liang. And this is something where, you know, the scholars have

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debated with the Tesla and the shadow over whether the intellect is sufficient

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in deciding good and bad or whether it is not sufficient. Finally,

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if we were to look at how the new atheists deal with the issue of morality and religion,

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and how they try to separate morality from religion, and try to tell us that we don't need religion to live moral lives. It makes one think that the new atheists are on some high level of moral conduct. And they have some special way of deciding moral values that the rest of humanity has not yet come to discover.

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However, the opposite is true.

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And so the new atheists you find

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There are all over the place, when it comes to how to decide on moral values. And so Sam Harris, for example,

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he wrote an entire book called The moral landscape

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and tried to prove how science can determine human value our moral values. Whereas on the other hand, Richard Dawkins, explicitly admitted that science cannot prove moral values. And so they're all over the place. And, you know, they don't really agree on how to come up with, you know, moral values, or we're, where we get moral values from.

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And so this shows us, you know, one of the, you know, one of their, their faulty points, with regards to how to refute them.

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Regarding the issue of morality, finally, we move on to the last, we move on to the last topic for tonight. And that is the issue of the problem of evil.

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The problem of evil

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is one of the oldest and most popular arguments that atheists have always used.

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It's nothing new, it's nothing new that you know, the new atheists have come up with but rather it is something that has always existed

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from even before the atheists, you know,

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basically became widespread in the, in the West.

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Basically, to put it in a few words, the problem of evil

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is basically,

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this is how they define it, they say, that the existence of evil and suffering, contradicts with the existence of a powerful, knowledgeable, merciful and just God.

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They say that the existence of evil and human suffering,

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contradicts with the existence of a God that has attributes of

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complete power, knowledge, mercy, and justice.

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So, this is how they put the problem of evil forward. So, they say that, since since evil and human suffering exists, therefore, therefore, God does not exist. However, before responding to this, suppose it problem, we need to realize that the problem of evil is not evidence for or against the existence of God.

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But rather,

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it is.

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The rather, it is something

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the problem of evil is something that should be debated among those who already believe in the existence of God.

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Because you cannot debate the attributes, without first affirming the existence of the one who possesses those attributes.

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And so, this is something very, very important to remember, before trying to respond to someone who comes and says to you, that I cannot believe in the existence of God, when I am suffering, the way I am suffering, or, you know, look at what's happening to people around the world.

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You know, why are children suffering, why are people suffering?

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Where is God how come God is not

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preventing

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the suffering from existing.

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So, this is something very important to understand, that these people

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who object to the existence of God based on the problem of evil,

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they are doing that based on their emotions, they are doing that based on their emotions, while deep down inside they know that a lie exists deep down inside they know a lie exists.

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And so, from the very getgo, we say that this is not this is not evidence for or against the existence of God. But rather there are other

00:34:43--> 00:34:53

arguments that we can debate regarding a laws existence. As for the problem of evil, it does not it has no place in

00:34:55--> 00:34:57

in the the debate over

00:34:58--> 00:34:59

the existence of

00:35:00--> 00:35:06

of loss of Hannah What? So what is our response to the problem of evil,

00:35:07--> 00:35:11

the problem of evil or responding to it is known as theodicy.

00:35:12--> 00:35:13

In

00:35:14--> 00:35:20

intellectual circles and academia, it is referred to as theodicy. And

00:35:22--> 00:35:27

there are various ways of responding to it. But we're going to stick to

00:35:28--> 00:35:35

the way of lasagna when jamara regarding, regarding how to respond to the problem of evil,

00:35:36--> 00:35:43

we say that the problem of evil is raised by those who have a wrong perception of two things.

00:35:45--> 00:35:46

The first is,

00:35:48--> 00:35:53

of evil and suffering. And the second is, of the attributes of Allah.

00:35:55--> 00:35:59

So they have a wrong perception of evil,

00:36:00--> 00:36:03

and, and suffering.

00:36:05--> 00:36:06

And so they think

00:36:07--> 00:36:13

that, you know, this, you know, they should object to the existence of Allah.

00:36:14--> 00:36:29

And they have the wrong understanding of a loss attributes. And so we mentioned attributes, such as power, knowledge, mercy and justice, they say that a God that possesses such attributes,

00:36:30--> 00:36:47

he should prevent evil, and should not allow it to exist. This is based on their wrong understanding of these attributes, as it pertains to Allah Subhana whatever. So, with regards to evil, we say that evil is something relative,

00:36:49--> 00:37:03

there is no such thing as pure evil from all angles and perspectives. There is no evil in the world that seems evil, except that behind it is a positive good angle, or many positive good angles.

00:37:04--> 00:37:15

As for pure evil, 100%, evil, there is no such thing as 100% evil. And so whatever Allah subhanho wa Taala has created, there is good in it,

00:37:17--> 00:37:26

even the worst of the last creation, even the most evil of Allah's creation, and that is a beliefs. And that is a beliefs.

00:37:27--> 00:37:33

And among the scholars of Islam, who really went into great lengths, in discussing this issue of,

00:37:34--> 00:37:37

of relative evil is ignored.

00:37:38--> 00:37:39

Even though Kareem

00:37:41--> 00:37:45

wrote, you know, an entire book on this topic

00:37:46--> 00:37:46

of

00:37:47--> 00:37:52

evil and suffering and how, how to correctly understand

00:37:54--> 00:37:57

you know, how to correctly understand evil,

00:37:58--> 00:38:02

from a correct or a more comprehensive perspective.

00:38:03--> 00:38:18

And so he mentioned, you mentioned that evil is relative. And so when we look at something as being evil, it is only from one angle, whereas from other angles, there is good in it. And so when Allah created that evil thing

00:38:20--> 00:38:26

for Allah, it is not evil. And that's why that's why we won't find a single

00:38:28--> 00:38:34

text in the Quran or in the sooner the attributes evil to Allah subhana wa.

00:38:35--> 00:38:52

Whatever evil and suffering that has been mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah it is attributed to allows creation and not to Allah, because for Allah, there is good in it, Allah created that, you know, evil for there to be good in it.

00:38:53--> 00:39:01

So this is regarding evil. As for the wrong perception of allies attributes.

00:39:02--> 00:39:23

Basically, we must look at a lot of attributes holistically, and not individually. So we must look at all of those attributes equally, and not only focus on one attribute while forgetting while forgetting the rest of his attributes. And so besides being the most merciful,

00:39:24--> 00:39:35

or Rahman and Rahim, Allah is also an idol. He is also the judge, he is the bringer of judgment, the one who takes into account every detail.

00:39:36--> 00:39:54

It is wrong to accept only some aspects of the laws, attributes and ignore or negate other aspects. Yes, Allah is merciful, and he is loving and he is compassionate and he's all forgiving, but at the same time, he is also just and he is also Severe in punishment.

00:39:55--> 00:39:58

And these are attributes that Allah has mentioned to us in the Quran and the Sunnah.

00:40:00--> 00:40:03

So, we must look at a lot of attributes from the correct understanding,

00:40:05--> 00:40:13

what leads many people to fall into the problem of evil and claim that you know, there is a contradiction here

00:40:15--> 00:40:22

is that they look at these attributes of mercy of justice have power of knowledge.

00:40:23--> 00:40:32

And they resemble these attributes to human attributes. And so, because

00:40:33--> 00:40:37

because someone is suffering, so they look at someone suffering,

00:40:39--> 00:41:09

they assume right away, that the mercy of a lot is absent. Why? Because they have a certain perception in their mind that if someone is torturing someone else, let's say, you know, one human being is torturing another human being, it means that that torturer has no mercy for that person that he's torturing. So, this is you know, a human type of mercy that is absent.

00:41:12--> 00:41:44

Whereas, with regards to a loss of Hannah, who went to Hana, laser committee, he shaved, there is nothing like a lot and even a loss attributes, they are not like the attributes of a loss creation, we can never comprehend fully of loss attributes. And so, if a lot is allowing someone to go through certain suffering, it does not mean that Allah's mercy is absent, but rather it may be that because Allah is being merciful to that person, he is allowing him to suffer.

00:41:46--> 00:41:50

And this is something that we human beings can never fully comprehend.

00:41:51--> 00:41:53

And so, what is important for us is to understand

00:41:55--> 00:41:56

that the attributes of Allah

00:41:58--> 00:42:10

are in no way whatsoever like the attributes of human beings laser committed Li shaped, there is nothing like Allah subhana wa tada in his essence, and in His attributes.

00:42:12--> 00:42:16

And so, we must not forget the last attribute of Al hikma

00:42:18--> 00:42:18

wisdom

00:42:20--> 00:42:29

and that just because we do not see the wisdom and mercy of a lot in certain evils, it does not mean that, you know, a was mercy and His wisdom is not there.

00:42:31--> 00:42:35

Let me give you an example of this. We all know the story of Musashi Salaam,

00:42:36--> 00:42:43

and Oliver, in Surah Toka, for what tells us that Musashi Salaam went out with Hitler.

00:42:46--> 00:42:56

And, you know, he did certain things Hitler did certain things that to Musa alayhis, salaam, it seemed that this was,

00:42:57--> 00:43:02

you know, this was oppression, he killed a boy, he

00:43:05--> 00:43:08

made a ship to drown

00:43:10--> 00:43:20

from from the outset, it seems that these are evil, pure evil things, and that there is no good in this, and that there's no wisdom behind it.

00:43:21--> 00:43:30

However, later on, clearly explained to Musashi Salaam, what he did not have knowledge of. And so, this shows us that

00:43:32--> 00:43:59

that there are certain things that may exist, that seem to us to be evil and pure suffering, and that there is no mercy there is no wisdom in it whatsoever. But the reality is, that there is wisdom in it, a lot does not do anything, he does not allow anything to happen except due to a greater wisdom. And so in this way, we could respond to the problem of evil

00:44:02--> 00:44:03

in in this in this manner.

00:44:05--> 00:44:08

And with that, we come to the end of this presentation.

00:44:10--> 00:44:14

There's a lot more to to discuss regarding the new atheism.

00:44:15--> 00:44:23

Especially how we Muslims should counter new atheists arguments, and

00:44:24--> 00:44:37

their, their writings and so on so forth, and especially our youth how to protect our youth from becoming diluted by the noise of

00:44:38--> 00:44:46

of the new atheists. But we must suffice with this for tonight in sha Allah. If anyone has any questions then please feel free to ask

00:44:51--> 00:44:59

Zach locker to shake Campbell for this succinct and concise presentation in child life. You do have any

00:45:00--> 00:45:34

We've got a roughly 15 minutes. So inshallah you can ask those questions. We currently have two questions. So I'll do one question at a time. The first question is, please do comment on atheism in the Muslim world. And it's relevant with current atheism. This is specifically referring to works of Eben roundy and liberal woroch. And others, ninth century, atheists, where the Dow has had a significant impact on atheism within the Muslim world.

00:45:40--> 00:45:40

To be honest,

00:45:42--> 00:45:48

atheism in the Muslim world, has pretty much remained.

00:45:50--> 00:46:09

Over the centuries, it has remained as something very, very minor, I mean, atheism, atheists in the Muslim world have always been a minority, a very small minority, even today, with the spread of atheism, although it is

00:46:10--> 00:46:22

gaining a foothold in many Muslim countries, is still remains very unpopular among the masses. And so when we compare, you know, what happened in the West,

00:46:24--> 00:46:37

especially during the Enlightenment period, and before that, the Renaissance and the reformation, and how Western society, you know,

00:46:38--> 00:46:49

countered Christianity, we don't find the same thing happening in in, in the Muslim world. And that is, because, you know,

00:46:50--> 00:46:52

the Christian faith

00:46:53--> 00:46:55

is a corrupt state to begin with.

00:46:56--> 00:47:06

And there are many loopholes that can be found. And, you know, we add to that add to that, the,

00:47:07--> 00:47:13

the, the tyranny of the church, and how they subjected the masses.

00:47:15--> 00:47:35

So, it was easy for atheism to spread in that society with that kind of distorted religion. Whereas in the Muslim world, although there is corruption, and there's subjugation and all of that, but in the end of the day, because, you know, Islam has been preserved, and the texts of Islam have been preserved.

00:47:36--> 00:47:47

atheism has not been able to really gain a strong foothold. But it is spreading, there's no doubt about that. But it is spreading quietly and not openly.

00:47:48--> 00:47:49

And so

00:47:51--> 00:48:00

you even have some of the works of the new atheists, such as God Delusion, also the end of faith that have been translated into Arabic

00:48:01--> 00:48:06

and they are available in the market in certain Arab countries.

00:48:07--> 00:48:16

But as I said, it remains, you know, a minority and its influence, still remains still remains low.

00:48:18--> 00:48:22

Okay, so we have maybe a comment or maybe

00:48:24--> 00:48:44

questing, maybe your view on it. He's saying that Allah has decreed everything, so evil forms part of Kava Kony. So is it just due to our lack of understanding? So it's just due to our lack of understanding, there is good that will come but we just do not understand.

00:48:46--> 00:48:50

Yeah, that's pretty much the gist of what I explained, that

00:48:52--> 00:48:55

whatever Allah has predestined,

00:48:57--> 00:49:01

there is good in that, whether we see it or not. And so for the Muslim,

00:49:03--> 00:49:04

when we look at

00:49:05--> 00:49:06

suffering,

00:49:07--> 00:49:14

when a Muslim faces certain trials and afflictions, in this dunya

00:49:16--> 00:49:39

there are, there are many positives in it. And so we are taught to look at the positives, in that, as a professor Sallam told us that, you know, there is no harm that touches the believer, except that there is good in it, and there is reward in it. And so we look forward to the hereafter.

00:49:40--> 00:49:54

There are many examples of this how, you know, if a Muslim was to approach the problem of suffering in this way, he would never live a dark life. And there's something very, very important to

00:49:55--> 00:50:00

to bring up with atheists that an atheist if he was to be touched

00:50:00--> 00:50:01

With suffering and you know,

00:50:03--> 00:50:05

no harm and affliction,

00:50:06--> 00:50:26

he would be living very dark days. Because that suffering doesn't mean anything it has no, it has no good in it for him. And that's why Western countries, the suicide rate is so high. I look at Sweden, one of the highest rates of suicide, and also

00:50:28--> 00:50:40

one of the highest rates in terms of atheism. And yet, and that's one of the reasons for it, that these people, when they are in touch with affliction, and suffering,

00:50:41--> 00:50:54

they can't make sense of it. Whereas the believer of their and the Muslim, there's a lot of good in it. There's a lot of good in whatever Allah has decided for us. And there is a wisdom in it, like I explained already.

00:50:56--> 00:51:16

Okay, it seems we're getting quite a few questions on the the problem of evil. We have another question, which is saying what's the good to be found in the police? So again, based on the discussion about the problem of evil, so the question is asking what's the good to be found in a police

00:51:20--> 00:51:25

claim really, really expounds on this in his book, as I mentioned earlier,

00:51:27--> 00:51:29

his book is entitled

00:51:30--> 00:51:40

shutout lolly lolly, in which he actually, you know, dedicates several pages to this very question of

00:51:41--> 00:51:45

the the wisdom behind the existence of abilities.

00:51:47--> 00:51:49

And so among the things he mentions is that

00:51:52--> 00:52:20

if it wasn't for the existence of your beliefs, then this world would be meaningless completely. There would be no, there will be no tests from Allah subhanho wa Taala, there will be no way for, for us to distinguish between good and evil, there would be no struggle, there would be I mean, you know, this, this dunya would be meaningless. And so Allah subhanho wa Taala, created this dunya for a purpose.

00:52:21--> 00:52:26

Whereas if at least did not exist, and they would, that purpose would be completely gone.

00:52:27--> 00:52:33

And he mentions many other things, and he compares it to fire. He compares it to fire, and mentions how fire

00:52:35--> 00:52:50

from the from the outset, it seems that fire is pure evil. It burns and there's nothing good in that. But we use fire for good things. We use fire for light, we use it for cooking, and so on and so forth.

00:52:52--> 00:52:59

And I would refer the questioner to the book of the mocha Jim, for he really, really expounds on this issue.

00:53:01--> 00:53:06

Okay, Zack locker also for those who are interested, the book, or at least

00:53:07--> 00:53:53

elements of the book has been translated into English as well. So there's a book called no Kamal josemaria on divine wisdom and the problem of evil. So it's a translation of selections from two of the claims works. One is miftah, Dara cider, and also Schiphol alley. So if you someone want to read an English translation, then it's roughly about 300 pages, specifically on the problem of evil. We have again, I think, another kind of similar question. I'm just going through questions one by one. salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah regarding the problem of evil. What argument can we most successfully bring? When the atheist asked, for instance, what wisdom is there in children suffering from rape,

00:53:53--> 00:54:03

and other horrors at the hand of other people, or suffering suffering from a terminal illness? I know you've kind of responded to this already. But if you had anything additional to say,

00:54:07--> 00:54:07

yeah,

00:54:08--> 00:54:11

basically, we say that,

00:54:13--> 00:54:30

that basically, the the problem of evil like I said, in the very beginning, we have to make sure we established this principle, that the problem of evil is not evidence for or against the existence of God. So let's say that,

00:54:31--> 00:54:40

you know, this person was not raped, the child was not raped or, you know, this suffering did not exist. Does that mean that all of a sudden,

00:54:41--> 00:54:47

God exists now, and that because the person is suffering now God does not exist though.

00:54:48--> 00:54:55

It's a separate issue completely. And so when it comes to the the evidences for God's existence,

00:54:56--> 00:55:00

the problem of evil does not play any role. There. There

00:55:00--> 00:55:15

Rather, you find that those who raise this objection are those who are driven by their emotions. And so they look at suffering and think that, you know, this suffering could have been prevented

00:55:16--> 00:55:19

either for themselves or for others.

00:55:20--> 00:55:26

And once again, it goes back to trying to establish the attributes of Allah subhanho wa Taala.

00:55:27--> 00:55:36

And looking at a lot of attributes, holistically, as I mentioned earlier, and not individually, and

00:55:38--> 00:55:43

also not resembling a loss attributes to the attributes of loss creation.

00:55:45--> 00:56:10

Okay, is that black hair? Also another question? Are there materials you'd suggest us to read on the subject? Maybe that's an indirect way to say when did your thesis available? That's for my interests? Also, do you see that it's important for most of us, as part of this subject to have a basic understanding of epistemology? If so, are there materials that you'd suggest?

00:56:13--> 00:56:21

Yeah, first of all, with regards to my own thesis, I'm hoping to get it published soon in sharp law, but it'll be an Arabic.

00:56:23--> 00:56:24

Eventually,

00:56:25--> 00:56:45

I'm planning on also putting it in English. However, it won't be the entire the entire thesis, but rather selections of it, that I'm going to translate and, you know, hopefully publish in English inshallah, but will Long Island when that will be, it might be in the far future.

00:56:47--> 00:56:54

With regards to the issue of epistemology, this is also a very, very important topic that I did not get into at all today.

00:56:55--> 00:57:07

But I did, you know, get into it in my thesis. And that is because the new atheists, they come from a very, very

00:57:08--> 00:57:30

scientific basis. And so, they, they have, you know, basically relied completely on science, and they have made science, the only, you know, the only source of knowledge, and the only way to prove whatever exists through science.

00:57:31--> 00:57:36

And, and so we should definitely read up on the issue of epistemology.

00:57:39--> 00:57:46

In English, perhaps you would know better. But in Arabic, there are a few Excellent, excellent books that have been written,

00:57:47--> 00:57:48

such as

00:57:50--> 00:57:59

one called the law that may differ by a professor omokoroa of the economy, and also another one called

00:58:03--> 00:58:05

something along those same lines of

00:58:07--> 00:58:08

Yes, de la palma etha.

00:58:09--> 00:58:13

So, these two along with others are very, very excellent books.

00:58:15--> 00:58:17

In the English language, I'm not really sure to be honest.

00:58:20--> 00:58:21

Okay, it's o'clock.

00:58:22--> 00:58:29

There's a few comments about whether it's recorded. Yes, inshallah. This session was recorded and will be made available.

00:58:30--> 00:58:44

Another question, please give reference names of traditional or maybe I think referring to contemporary atheists, who have spoken out against the new atheist movement, like you mentioned in your talk.

00:58:47--> 00:58:47

Yeah.

00:58:49--> 00:58:50

There are a few

00:58:51--> 00:58:55

notable atheists who have basically refuted

00:58:56--> 00:58:57

the new atheists

00:58:59--> 00:59:02

such as the philosopher, the philosopher.

00:59:04--> 00:59:04

What's his name?

00:59:06--> 00:59:07

Michael ruse,

00:59:08--> 00:59:22

who's a prominent atheist philosopher. He has really, really written against especially against documents he has written in refutation of documents. And besides Him, you have other atheists

00:59:23--> 00:59:26

who are,

00:59:27--> 00:59:30

you know, notable, such as Noam Chomsky,

00:59:32--> 00:59:34

who has spoken against the new atheists

00:59:37--> 00:59:42

and others as well in the academic world in the western academia.

00:59:44--> 00:59:51

Also, you have the brother of Christian, Christopher Hitchens, the brother of Christopher Hitchens,

00:59:52--> 00:59:57

actually wrote a book. He wrote a book in refutation of his brother.

00:59:59--> 00:59:59

Although

01:00:00--> 01:00:02

From what I understand he converted to Christianity.

01:00:05--> 01:00:17

Yeah. So these are some notable individuals who it's very, it would be very interesting to read their views on the new atheists.

01:00:19--> 01:00:45

Okay, I think I'm going to now wrap it up with a final kind of I'll try and put some of the comments and questions together, and it can be your final response, inshallah. So there's one statement saying, just like evil may not be evil 100%. atheist may argue that the moral scale may also differ from the different perspectives. I think that's maybe related to objective morality.

01:00:47--> 01:01:00

There's another question on how can we start a conversation with an atheist? And then one, finally, you said that atheists deep inside actually believe in the existence of Allah, in spite of the claim that he does not

01:01:01--> 01:01:16

out of their emotions? What is their actual purpose of proving to be to the people that God does not exist? So if they do actually believe, then what's the reason that they're claiming that they don't believe?

01:01:18--> 01:01:20

And yeah, I'll end it inshallah.

01:01:24--> 01:01:26

Yeah, with regards to

01:01:27--> 01:01:28

that last question.

01:01:30--> 01:01:42

The downside inside, every human being knows the existence of a light. And this is based upon the fitrah that Allah created all of us with. And that's why we Muslims use the

01:01:43--> 01:01:48

fifth row as the very, very first evidence to prove the existence of a law.

01:01:49--> 01:01:54

Because before any rational arguments, or any logical arguments,

01:01:55--> 01:02:03

before any of the signs and allows creation proving his existence, we have the fifth round, which is within every single human being.

01:02:06--> 01:02:13

However, over time, this fifth row can become clouded and can become blurred. And so people go against that fitrah.

01:02:16--> 01:02:24

This fear exists even in in atheists, although it may be covered by layers, and layers of comfort and of arrogance.

01:02:26--> 01:02:34

Why would an atheist disbelief if he knows deep down inside that Allah exists

01:02:35--> 01:02:43

for many different reasons, based on each person's individual circumstances, just like Pharaoh,

01:02:44--> 01:02:56

he had his reason for his arrogance, and his Cofer. But deep down inside, they knew they knew that Musashi Salaam was a messenger from Allah will stay on it. And

01:02:58--> 01:03:03

they're deep down inside, they knew and fit on at the very end, he admitted.

01:03:06--> 01:03:07

Similarly,

01:03:08--> 01:03:09

with with atheists,

01:03:11--> 01:03:12

what happens is

01:03:14--> 01:03:18

that there is something that drives them to atheism.

01:03:20--> 01:03:35

That is not based on the rejection of the existence of a law, and is something very, very crucial to, to, to basically study, I guess, you could say, in fact, there is a book that has been written,

01:03:36--> 01:03:44

compiling a list of prominent atheists throughout history, which even includes some of the new atheists

01:03:45--> 01:03:46

and mentions how

01:03:48--> 01:04:14

these people did not have a father figure in their lives. Obviously, the one who wrote this book is coming from a Christian perspective and how, you know, the father figure is Christ and so on and so forth. But it's, it's interesting to, to note that they had some kind of suffering in their lives, something that was missing in their lives.

01:04:16--> 01:04:37

That basically pushed them to arrogance, and to object to the existence of Allah subhanho wa Taala. And we find the same thing among most people who end up atheists, whether they be Muslims or Christians, something happened in their lives, that they cannot make sense of.

01:04:38--> 01:04:42

And so, you know, they wanted to simply

01:04:44--> 01:04:50

they wanted to simply go against, you know, whatever they were taught and so on and so forth.

01:04:54--> 01:04:59

And so we could say that it is their emotions that are pushing them more than more than you know.

01:05:00--> 01:05:25

Intellectual rational arguments. And so first they disbelieve, then they try to bring, you know, arguments and evidences. So there's a reason behind every atheist to, you know, to disbelieve, and everyone based on his own personal circumstances. As for those who, you know, they are pushed by, you know, so called

01:05:26--> 01:05:44

evidences that disprove the existence of Allah. These are a very, very small minority, they are very, very small percentage of most atheists out there. Those who actually are driven by, you know, evidence, and they think that, you know, their evidence

01:05:45--> 01:06:23

proves the non existence of God, these are a very small minority. And so that's why it's very important to understand who we're dealing with, are we dealing with someone who is pushed by emotions? Or are we dealing with someone who is, you know, trying to understand the evidence. And so, you know, how we deal with each individual should differ and it's something that every single day you should understand that not everyone is the same, even if they believe in the same thing, but what drives them to their culture is different. So we should approach each accordingly.

01:06:24--> 01:06:25

Analog was best.

01:06:27--> 01:06:29

Okay, I had circular hair for

01:06:31--> 01:07:17

an extremely interesting talk on the topic. I'm sure we can carry on all night with the questions but unfortunately, we do need to stop. But hopefully inshallah we'll have an opportunity in the future to host shake camel again and sha Allah, he can draw more light on some of these topics for us in the future. I'd like to thank all of you for coming along on this Saturday, Sunday night for the session. I'd also like to sincerely thank Shay Campbell on behalf of the entire team for spending some time with us. And may Allah bless you in your knowledge and also make you a source of benefit for the oma and inshallah We hope to see you again. So we don't inshallah Zack l'affaire.

01:07:17--> 01:07:26

And we'll end the session so panel why he will be harmed he Subhana Allah home will be heavily conditioned or lay Langton self will continue to make Solomonic work to watch

01:07:27--> 01:07:29

when it comes to collages or collage