Islam or Atheism which is more Rational
Channel: Mohammed Hijab
File Size: 117.89MB
South Africa University of Johannesburg
Thank you for your patience.
It's good to see such a great turnout today. I hope we have a wonderful evening.
On behalf of the Department of religion studies, and the department of philosophy here at the University of Johannesburg, I welcome you to today's discussion, exploring religious belief, a Muslim atheist conversation.
You will have noted that we are envisioning today's event as a conversation, a discussion, not a debate per se.
We find ourselves in an academic setting, and the purpose of the singular space. The academy is to foster good faith conversations, often difficult ones about life's deepest and most important questions. This is where we can engage in free and open dialogue in the spirit of seeking.
And I didn't know how to keep the light.
In the spirit of seeking truth, that was a spirit.
I don't know how to get the light on
not imposing our views on others, and certainly not centering the views of those with whom we disagree. We also find ourselves in Africa, a continent with the rich philosophies around the importance of fostering communal dialogue around matters of great importance. And the matter of religious belief is of great importance, is it not? Indeed, we can consider religion to be that quintessentially human activity of engaging with matters of ultimate importance, but it will not have escaped the attention of anyone in this room, that the approaches
and answers to these questions
And where we have such a wide divergences
conflict can result and has resulted time and time again throughout human history.
Today, we take one small step toward perhaps breaking the cycle. But let us not be naive, it won't be easy.
Religious questions arise from the very core of what it means to be human. You may have a hand mentally disagree with one or more or all of the speakers today, even the chair. But I hope you can find the courage to accept that free and open conversations about truth must be fostered if humanity has any chance of moving toward a new, more tolerant and tolerable future.
With that said, allow me to briefly introduce you to our four esteemed panelists.
Hamza and Reyes, Judas
is the founder and CEO of Sapiens of the Sapiens Institute. He is the author of the best selling book, the divine reality, God, Islam and the mirage of atheism, which has been translated into over 10 languages. He has a Master's of research degree, an EMIC and a postgraduate certificate in philosophy from the University of London. He is currently pursuing his PhD on the Quran, and its verses pertaining to nature. He has studied Islamic thought and theology under qualified scholars. Hamza has spoken in many universities all around the world. He has debated prominent academics and thinkers on Islamic atheism. his interlocutors have included Professor Lawrence Krauss, Professor
Peter Semmens Simon's Dan Barker and Professor Simon Blackburn. We are happy to have you here.
Mohammed hijab is an author, comparative religionist and philosopher of religion. He is co founder of the Sapiens Institute, and is a researcher and instructor for the organization. He has a BA in politics, and a master's degree in history. He has also acquired a second master's in Islamic Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies. He has also completed a third Master's Degree in Applied theology from the University of Oxford, where he focused on the philosophy of religion in applied settings. He is now doing his PhD in the philosophy of religion on the contingency argument for God's existence. In addition, he has undergone formal training in Islamic
Studies, with a focus on the Quran prefers it to the prophetic traditions and legal reasoning. Here, he has completed Islamic seminary courses and has been given formal permission to relay Islamic knowledge on selected Islamic fields.
He's one of the very few Muslim public figures who deal comparatively with political, philosophical and theological issues and as such has amassed a following of many subscribers on YouTube in English and Arabic. We are happy to have you here welcome
Aaron faster, faster, faster, faster sorry, is a practicing advocate and member of the Johannesburg bar and a self described philosophy enthusiast.
Aaron graduated from the University of the headquarters run in 2007 with a BA comb louder and in 2009 with an LLB Kumada Aaron has also graduated graduated with an MA in Applied Ethics Kumada in 2017, and has an an MA in philosophy. In 2019. He has also been awarded IS LM M. L. Lm international law kumara in 2021. At the University of the Witwatersrand, he has appeared in a number of cases that have been reported in the South African law reports. We are happy to have you here welcome.
Last but not least, we welcome Mark Oppenheimer. He's a practicing advocate and a member of the Johannesburg ball. He has appeared in the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court in a series of cases that seek to determine the boundary between freedom of expression and genuine hate speech. He has authored submissions to Parliament on the hate speech bill, and to the UN committee for the Elimination of Racial racial discrimination on escalating racial tensions. He is co author of the conversations about philosophy book series, and hosts the popular philosophy series, bringing in a vet, we're happy to have you here Walker.
Here quickly is the format of today's events. We will start of course, with me giving you this introduction. Once I'm done, each of the panelists will present for 15 minutes each. We will then move to an internal discussion amongst the panelists. And that should go for around 20 or 30 minutes, then we will have a more open discussion.
That session will be around 25 minutes that will include our esteemed panelists who I'll introduce in a moment.
They will respond and get the conversation rolling in in a different order. Continue that direction that was started with the internal discussion. And then we'll let you the audience ask questions and comments for around 15 minutes. And may I please ask you to keep it brief and concise and of course civil.
And we will end. With a quick fire round. Each of the panelists can conclude in one minutes, just give us your concluding thoughts.
I will send you off but before that we have some gifts for the panelists.
Once those gifts are given off, I will thank all of you and we will all go home hungry. That is my hope hungry for more conversations about these matters of vital importance. So with that said, let me introduce you to the panelists. And then we'll get the ball formally rolling. To my left I have the head of department and senior lecturer in philosophy, Dr. Chad when Harris
and then we have Dr. Sher Shah eternity, senior lecturer at the Department of religion studies welcome.
We are going to go straight into the panel discussion now, which should last us around 14 minutes.
And we are going to begin by agreement of the panelists that
we will start with Aaron facile. So Aaron Fetzer, your 15 minutes begin How we looking forward to hearing what you have to say about these matters of all important importance. Thank you. I'd start by I would just like to start by thanking the organizers of this event, maybe the philosophy of religion and philosophy, or religious studies department to the University of Johannesburg as well as the StG Institute. It's a great privilege to share the stage with such esteemed learned interlocutors. conversations like this are vitally important not only because the topics that arise themselves intellectually stimulating, but because they allow us all an opportunity to gain some
insight with the worldviews and beliefs of people vastly different from ourselves. This attempt to deepen one's understanding is at the heart of the source. The philosophy like Kima captures the nature of what we're doing here.
And he sums it up in a quote, unless one is able to learn to think and love with the concepts of another person
Thought objects constituted by one will always fail to have a real grasp on the meaning of the other person.
This however, need not mean that people can understand only those persons all whose beliefs they share. What is required for proper understanding is rather the ability to let the other person's beliefs beliefs constitute one's own universe of board objects, trying to achieve a fusion of the horizons. This can be done however, only in a long dialectical process, which may take adjusting the beliefs of either party, we should not seek winning of a debate for that is the concern of socialists, but to win over the other two ones beneath, and all and or to be won over to the others belief for the sake of what is true and good. But this, of course, requires openness, patience and
respect from both parties. Indeed, this requires that attitude, which defines how professional the love of wisdom. So with that in mind, I'd like to address two aspects in my opening address. The first relates to my understanding of tonight's discussion topic and the concept of rationality.
The second relates to my reasons for thinking that atheism is a more rational, philosophical position in Islamic theism.
The topic for discussion this evening is atheism or Islam, which is more rational. However, what are we to what are we to understand by the term rational,
they'll broadly speaking two concepts of rationality that need to be disambiguated. The first is an ethic or an epistemic rationality, which is concerned with truth tracking, and that set of reasons or justifications which properly bear on the truth or falsity of someone's belief. The second is pragmatic rationality, which is concerned with the utility of a given set of beliefs in achieving a person's stated goals. There's my understanding of the principal concern this evening is in determining whether atheism or Islam is more rational in the alethic or epistemic sense, rather than in a pragmatic sense. Accordingly, I understand this evening's topic is about whether there's
greater epistemic reason to believe that atheism or Islamic theism is true. So why do I believe that atheism is true? Before I can do that, I need to get some definitions on the table so that we're all clear about what we're talking about. By God, I understand to be the single necessary, transcendent, supernatural, immaterial, non physical person that exists our say that is to say independently, and is essentially only perfect, He's omnipotent, omniscient, Omni benevolent and thus worthy of worship. And he was the creator design and sustainer of the natural world.
Atheism is the thesis that the proposition god exists is false. theism is the thesis that the proposition god exists is true.
naturalism is the thesis that the proposition that only the natural world exists is true. Natural ISTS are committed to the idea that one there are none but natural causal entities with non that natural causal powers. And to our best, most well established science is the best touchstone for what those natural causal entities and items on naturalism logically in tears that natural reality exhausts global causal reality, and it logically entails atheism, how that atheism does not logically entail naturalism.
supernaturalism is the thesis that the proposition only the natural world exists is false. supernaturalism posits a bifurcated ontological view of reality. theism entails supernaturalism how the super naturalism does not entail theism. supernaturalism is committed to all the causal entities that the naturalist is committed to, plus the existence of non natural causal items with non natural causal powers. supernaturalism thus entails that global causal reality is not exhausted by natural reality.
By Islamic theism, I understand this to be the idea to claim that God as I've defined them, also has the property of having progressively revealed through the Archangel Gabriel, the contents of the Quran to Muhammad, and which contents of the final and definitive revelation for mankind. Islamic theism logically entails theism, theism does not logically entail Islamic theists. I am an atheist and a naturalist. I reject theism and a 40 or I address I reject Islamic views for two principal reasons. First, the arguments for the existence of God have put aside the unpersuasive, we can call this the negative reason. Second, they are in my view, persuasive arguments for atheism and for
naturalism. This is the affirmative reason.
The negative reason flows from the fact that atheism is justified in virtue of the failure to infer God's existence in circumstances where one would rationally expect his existence to be in thermal absence of evidence can indeed be evidence of absence, justifying the conclusion that something does not exist. This will be the case provided providing the keys to conditions are jointly met. First, if the thing x exists, then there would be evidence of X's existence. And two we have conducted an exhaustive search for the evidence in the areas where such evidence or reasonably to be found.
When applied to God, condition, one is generally accepted by all parties to the discussion. After all, if God does exist, then we all atheists and theists alike, rationally expected to be evidence of his existence, given the sort of being God is supposed to be, if we do not rationally expect evidence of his existence were he to actually exist. And it's quite difficult, if not impossible, to see how one could rationally argue for his existence in the first place. In fact, the project of natural theology assumes that there wouldn't be evidence of God's existence. And if he were to exist, that we can, in fact Marshal that evidence, conditioned to when applied to God amounts to
dealing with the best arguments from natural theology. These are the theistic arguments that often invoke the input and insights into contemporary science that are supposed to take up the mantle and provide the positive evidence from which to infer God's existence. Examples include the cosmological argument or contingency argument, the teleological argument, the moral argument, etc.
We can proffer the following deductive argument which takes the above considerations into account, premise one. If God exists, then there is compelling evidence from which to refer either deductively or non deductively is existence. In other words, the arguments from natural theology of sound. Premise two, there is no compelling evidence from which to either deductively or non deductively. God's existence, ie the arguments of natural theology are not sound, therefore premise three conclusion, therefore God does not exist, the argument is logically valid. Of course, theists will vehemently denied the soundness of premise two, that's where the action is, so to speak. And it
means that this must offer positive reasons which to the third God's existence. If there is no evidence for God, when you're drafting expect it to be evidence, then we are within our epistemic rights to conclude that God does not exist, and that atheism is true.
The affirmative reason why he ism is tied to a panoply of positive arguments. because of time constraints, I can't deal with all of them. I'm going to list the family of arguments and then I'm going to provide one specific argument that I think is quite powerful. The first family of arguments seeks to demonstrate a logical incoherence in the very concept of God. Either because I suppose divine property of God taken on its own is logically impossible, or because some sets of supposed divine properties is logically incompatible. The second family of arguments seeks to demonstrate that the existence of God is logically incompatible with the existence of certain undeniable facts
about the natural world. For example, one the existence of horrendous evil and suffering in the world, or to the existence of non resistant non believers, or three the existence of Doxastic discord and religious heterogeneity.
The third sort of arguments is non deductive in character, and seeks to demonstrate not that the existence of God is incompatible with these facts, but rather that the existence of God is a poor explanatory hypothesis when you're foregoing facts and others besides are taking into consideration cumulative consideration.
The idea is that on a conspectus of all the relevant data, the naturalistic hypothesis explains the data better than the theistic hypothesis. It is obvious that if one has a choice between two competing theories, and the one is better at explaining the relevant data, and it is more rational to accept that theory, what then constitutes a better theory or explanation? I contend that it is one that has the greatest explanatory scope and depth, while also being the most parsimonious. The core idea is that naturalism can explain all the relevant data at least as well as theism. And it is by its very nature more parsimonious in theism. After all theism posits the natural world plus
something more. I contend that naturalism can explain the existence of the universe, so called fine tuning of the universe, consciousness and morality, at least as well as theism.
Furthermore, naturalism can better explain a host of more specific facts about reality that are not well explained by the theistic hypothesis. For example, and I've already alluded to this, the scope distribution quantity of her inner suffering in the world, both animal and human, to the existence of non resistant non believers, three the existence of Doxastic discord in the form of widespread religious heterogeneity, and for the continued and repeated success of naturalistic explanations in displacing super naturalistic explanations over the course of human history.
Turning then to the specific argument that I'd like to present there are many more but time constraints only implement this one. It's the form of the logical argument from evil presented by JL Schellenberg, and what he calls the new logical argument from evil. Challenged jail Schellenberg explains the central thrust of this version of argument to be the following quote, fears must rationalize from God without evil prior to creation. Prior fear may be taken logically or temporarily or in both senses to God with evil after those such transitions. So it may be argued is metaphysically possible. The key thought can be put in the form of a slope in any possible
All including God, once purely good, always purely good. What we have here is something like the theological analog of Newton's first law of motion. Another way of putting it is no evil before creation, no evil after
the premises of argument are as follows. One God is answer possibly great to God is ontologically, independent of any world that he creates. Three. Prior to any world being created, there is no evil in god of any kind, there are only divine goods, this is the prior purity of God. Therefore, for every possible non divine good is greatly exceeded by good at the same time existing in God prior to the world. Therefore, five, every worldly good, is greatly exceeded by good at the same time existing and guided prior to the creation of the world.
Therefore, every well the good sorry, six, all goods found in God prior to the world are pure goods, they are goods that exist without any evil whatsoever. Seven. Therefore, every worldly good is greatly exceeded by pure good at the same time existing in God prior to the existence of the world. Therefore aid every well the good that may commence or require evil is greatly exceeded by pure good at the same time existing in God prior to the world. Therefore, nine if every will be good that commence or requires evil is greatly exceeded by a pure good at the same time existing in God prior to the world, than any mold containing goods permitting or acquiring evil is greatly exceeded by New
World model the corresponding care goods in God.
They protect any world containing goods permitting or acquiring evil is greatly exceeded by any world model and modeling the corresponding care goods in God. This would be a greater world, God can ensure the existence of such greater worlds and can do so limitlessly.
Therefore, if a any world containing goods permitting or requiring evil is greatly exceeded by a world modeling the corresponding pure goods in God, and be the existence of greater worlds, can limitlessly be ensured by God, then for any world X that requires or permits evil, there is some greater world why that model is pure goodness in God, such that God has no good reason or justification to create x rather than worldwide.
For any world X that requires or permits evil, there is some greater worldwide that models pure goodness in God, such that God has no real good reason or justification to create world x rather than worldwide.
Therefore, 14 if for any world, X that requires or permits evil, there's some great tool worldwide, that models pure goodness, and God says that God has no good reason or justification to create x rather than y, then God has no good reason or justification to make evil in the world. 15 Therefore, God has no good reason or justification to permit evil in the world. 16 But if there is evil in the world, then God has good reasonable justification to permit evil in the world. 17 Therefore, there is no evil in the world. 18 however, as we all know, there is evil in the world 19 The conclusion therefore, there is both evil and not evil in the world, which is a contradiction.
As JL Shambo concludes, having derive this contradiction in the way that we have, it follows that the conjunction of the three commitments of theism mentioned at the beginning of the discussion and some possible greatness, ontological independence and prior purity are logically consistent with the fourth undeniable fact they need the existence of evil in the world.
That's conclude that concludes in essence, my presentation, and obviously I look forward to discussing the merits on the details of those arguments.
Thank you very much.
Next, as being on the panel, we will hear from Alana EGM.
Stop that we started.
Let's suppose there is no gods.
Let's suppose there is no omniscient one, no Omnipotent One. No all knowledgeable one. No all powerful one no necessary being, let's suppose, no problem.
What do we have?
What are the explanations that we have?
That the universe came from nothing. But we know from nothing, nothing comes because nothing is the absence of something
that the universe is self generated. But we know that that's a contradiction because the universe cannot generate itself exists and not exist at the same
So, what do we know?
What do we know? We know there exists a universe we know I exist, we know you exist.
We know Oppenheimer exists phaser exists, and hopefully, some of the explosions today
except for the argument that
I will say
that when you know that the dependent existences exists, you have two options, either you have a chain a finite chain a,
depends on B or B depends on a, c depends on B,
in which case a is the beginning of that chain with the Muslims close out the necessary being the independent one God. Obviously, the ACS cannot subscribe to that theory. Let's move away from that and please. So, what do we have left, we have an infinite chain
and infinite chain of dependent things.
But in for a chain of dependent things, is absurd proposition. The reason being, because if this was actualized in the actual world, for example, through an infinite amount of multiverses, then would imply that the inexhaustible has been exhausted.
The unlimited has been limited, which is a contradiction, which is absurd.
It would also imply that infinite sets exist within infinite sets, which means that the pot is equivalent to the whole bar. The pie is defined by most neurologists as a portion of the whole, which is an absurdity itself and a contradiction.
So let's suppose God doesn't exist.
What can you atheists actually present and put on the table? You've got nothing. And the best Mr. Face I can actually put to the table is to say, naturalism can explain just as well, he says, he's not even trying to say it's better.
He's trying for equality.
He's gone Nelson Mandela approach to the situation.
muscles, why, in a different manner,
because in an intellectual way, we will conclude therefore, that's unnecessary ba through which everything depends upon is independent, in and of itself. And everything depends upon is the only way to make sense of dependent things. You see,
contingent things cannot exist within necessarily things that contingent things as possible, can exist or not exist. And necessary thing is not possible. It's impossible not to exist. In other words, contingencies cannot exist within necessities, the existence of dependent things, the existence of this young man is a handsome one.
is full of fathers, that's a lot of people's non existence.
Existence indicates without a shadow of a doubt that unnecessary being is required. So what kind of necessary being is this? We know I'm different to him. We know he's different. Today, we know different differentiation indicates possibility and contingency
and wherein there is differences and possibility and contingency there in
there must be an explanation for this. And what is the explanation for this? Islamic theism says an external sorting agents
which specify the particular things to be a certain map, which indicates a choice had to be made. And this we would say, indicates a chooser a Willa, which we would say is the will of gods. So already we've identified that you have to have something which is independent and necessary, posted title and predetermined to break away from the infinities and have the will. What do we call that? We call that Gods?
Yes, we do. And it's the only explanation that doesn't lead to contradiction and absurdity. I challenge anybody here today to give me another explanation. That doesn't lead to contradiction and absurdity.
I finished quite early.
I've got more to say.
I've got more to say which is okay. You say fine. I understand the situation. I agree with you. Nope.
But why do you say that Islam is true? Before we get
one more prerequisite must be mates? How could there be only one of these? How come there's not three, for example, the train situation.
Because if there was an individuating factor there individuated. And differentiated, necessary being a from necessary being be, that would render either or both of them contingent, because a contingent thing is differentiated
and unnecessarily being cannot be differentiated from something else. But I'll give you an easier argument,
which is the Puranic argument. But the how the Loveman? Well, it didn't matter how many isn't
malaba Chapter 23, verse 91, that they couldn't be more than one god effectively, because they will outstrip one another in power, they cannot be more than one overall power. Because an all powerful agent by definition, yes, means that he has power over all other things, nothing can supervene on his power capabilities.
Moreover, there cannot be more than one for a will.
Though cannot see Him and we had to an il Allah left us a letter in chapter 21, verse number 22. If there was in them either heavens in the Earth more than one, the heavens and earth would have been corrupt, meaning what you have to have one overriding well, because it had been more than one way to be consistent. You couldn't explain the uniformity, the regularity, the stability of the universe, because there is uniformity, stability and regularity. Without it, you couldn't even do science.
And there is uniformity, stability and regularity to the extent at which it allows life to exist on the universe. That's a fact no one here will deny that there is life on the universe, and that the universe is uniform and regular and stable enough to allow such life to exist. Why is the best explanation for this one singular overarching will, that doesn't need to have conflict? So that's why it's one God. But what about the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam?
Now, there's many things I can say.
And in seven minutes,
I'll just mention one evidence. There are necessary and sufficient conditions for a word of God to be conceived as such the Word of God. I would put to the table today that one of the necessary conditions is that this cannot contain any contradictions. We are logicians there with all the Quran says if this was from Allah, God, he would have been many contradictions inside the language of the telephone cathedra.
The Quran, this is one of the necessary conditions. It's one of the only books even posited this challenge religious books,
which is find the contradiction within it.
Secondly, is inevitable, thirdly, is preserved. We will argue all these points. However, what's the sufficient condition I give you one argument and one argument only, which is the proof the prophecies of the Prophet Muhammad symbolizes? Now I'm claiming here and I'm willing to be challenged today that the prophecies of the Prophet Muhammad, Salah, Salah, are those accurate and numerous and frequent frequent that comes from an Integra source and unambiguous in human history.
These five criteria,
these five criteria that I've just mentioned, if you apply them to any other historical figure, it will collapse.
For example, if you look at the Bible, Mark, chapter number 13, you'll find that it says in one generation, the heavens and earth will be destroyed.
Nostradamus made a prediction that in 177 years, there'll be famine and war and so on. The Prophet Muhammad Rasul Allah, He made the following predictions. For example, I'll give you some that's the barefooted Aaron's Yeah, Tatau Aluna people knew that they will compete to see who great spies buildings. Now, we're seeing that the highest building in the world is in Bush Khalifa. How could the economic capabilities of these nations be such that if someone wanted to get to the self fulfilling prophecy that it was such It couldn't be? Number two, that the prophets Allah, Allah Salam predicted the fall the downfall of the Persian and the Roman Empire, the two greatest empires
of that time, spanning millennia? Not only that, that the Muslims overtake those empires.
Number three, the Prophet Muhammad wa sallam predicted the invasions of the Mongols, and I'm ready to give all the primary sources it's very well known in the Islamic tradition. He told us how the Mongols would invade. And one of the biggest battles in Muslim history was a general trend towards 60 The the the sacking of Baghdad was until 58 and this is all connected to the prophecies of the Prophet
Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam told us what kind of world we'll be living in. He said, the world in the future will be such that there'll be so much interest men who are Sava toolbar. Whoever doesn't consume the interest, you will be affected by its dust. We living in an economic system. The whole thing is interested women busters perpetuated or exacerbated, at least by the interest systems or the banks. I think South Africa is no different.
Number five, the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam told us that there'll be an advent of sexually transmitted diseases due to an increase fornication.
The number six the prophets of Allah Azza wa sallam told us that women will go into the workforce. Yes, I'm not sure if any of you have heard this one. Hashtag China Morocco. XO Japheth T Jarrah. This is a Hadith of
the woman who will involve herself in business with her husband. This is a prophet a prophetic Hadith. The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu wasallam even told us about obesity that will become a phenomena within his own mind.
And many people in this room I wanted to kill it.
Says, You see what I mean? The Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam told us exactly where Islam is going to spread. Do you have the set for it? Oh, my God by
the gods has been projected to me and so is eastern part in Western parts. And all of the OMA will take what has been projected by say east west, north and south. Look at the map. He told us exactly what Islam was spread. He said we'll go to a single headed it will go to India and Pakistan. He told him go to Egypt. He told us we will go to a sham Jordan and Lebanon and these countries Yemen. How could somebody get this so right? There's been no figure in human history, who has predicted with such frequency and ambiguity, the events of the future as Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.
And these are just some examples I could go on for two hours. And books have been written. Volumes voluminous books have been written encyclopedic, compendious, voluminous books have been written the issue.
I'm not going to talk about that today. I've just given you as much as you need. Now to respond to my interlocutor quickly. He's talking about the problem of evil. He had two arguments effectively. One of them was disagreement, religious disagreement, effectively another straw man, correct. Same the existence of religious disagreement means there's no God.
What the hell is this?
Well, I'll shut up.
Francaise if Allah wanted he could have made the people want people well as a Luna, Mr. Finn, and they are in fact continually disagreeing. What can what is Alleycat Illa, Moroccan or Buka? Except for Allah has that gone? Well, is there like a holla cow. And that's the reason why I created them in the first place. You created you as a test my friend to see your view which is going to be good or bad, but he valid.
This is no argument against our discussion in line with God's wisdom and mercy.
And he says evil the problem of evil which we've heard 1000 times before, I just I just believe in evil. How about that? I believe evil is privation. I don't believe evil is substratum. But even under a microscope atheist who is evil is evil as privation is the lacking of God's goodness. That's why I say he was telling me where evil is. Let me use empirical value judgments. So whether the substance of evil is evil doesn't exist. How about that? As an atheist, you don't believe in God or you believe in evil, but you can't put evil under a microscope empirically? What ontological status does evil have? How can you use the existence of non existence to try and disprove the existence of
the necessary existence?
So waste of time and you've got 20 seconds here, and then that time
I will just recite Quran.
Allah Who wishes
says Allah one and only Allah has summoned the one who everyone depends upon the dependable nothing. amulet gets long noisy begotten, and I'm yet to learn to perform. There's nothing like
next attendance is Mark.
Well, I thought that was a marvelous place to end off talking about the question of evil. Wow. Aaron has spoken about the arguments for and against the existence of God. I'm going to talk about why yes, can talk about the existence of morality and why they give a better account.
Now the first place to start is to say well, what would a good moral theory look like? Well, firstly, we should know what if
requires of us. In other words, the theory tells us what we ought to do in the world, what's permissible, what's not permissible. It should cohere with our ordinary intuitions. So if it prohibits things that we think are good or neutral, that's a problem for the theory.
If it allows things that we think are repugnant or bad, that's also a problem for the theory.
It must be consistent, the theory mustn't be at odds with itself. It shouldn't require you to do X and also not x.
We also think that it should be universal, that we can take the moral theory and we can apply it across history and across the world, and we can make moral judgments. And it'll tell us that certain things were wrong, even if people at the time believed them to be right. So for example, it was a case that, throughout human history, slavery was practiced. A lot of people believed that slavery was a moral practice. And a good moral theory should tell you that those people were wrong, that slavery is always wrong, and can never be justified, because that's what a good moral theory should do. Now,
Hamza has in his book, a theistic accounts of what morality requires of us and what a good moral theory is. And the claim is really that God is the foundation of morality.
And he takes the divine command theory approach. So we say whatever God's commands, that is, what's right.
this is dealt with, in what's called Euthyphro dilemma. There's two horns, the dilemma. The first is, is it good? Because God commands it? Or does God commanded? Because it is good? Sorry, there's a terrible beeping sound if someone could turn that off? I really appreciate it. So the horns of them is Does God commanded? Because it is good? Or is it good because God commands it. Now, if it's good, because God commands it, you run into this arbitrariness problem, which is that God could command anything. God could say, kill the firstborn, and it would be good because God has commanded it, God could say that the right thing to do is wear purple underwear on a Tuesday, something we think is
neutral, and it would be good because God commands it. So there's the arbitrariness problem.
If you take the other one of the dilemma, which is that God knows what is good, and therefore that's why he commands it.
Then the foundation of morality doesn't stem from God's commands, but it's external to God.
Now, in his book comes a text, another move to say, well, actually, there's a third option, which is to say that God's nature is good. And that's why whatever stems from God's commands is good. The problem with this approach is that really, it just moves the problem one step back. So we can ask, are the things that are in God's nature good, because they're in God's nature? Or are they good because of an external standard? So God could have a series of character traits, God could be vicious and spiteful and jealous.
And we'd say, well, they're in God's God's nature, therefore, they're good. And that would, of course not be here with our ordinary sense of what goodness is. Or we could say, God has a series of attributes that match our external standards of goodness.
So relocating the problem to God's nature doesn't get you out of this.
So what does secular ethics have to offer?
Well, the atheist has a number of different approaches, they're not necessarily required to believe in one particular ethical system. There's a variety that are available to them, I'm going to give you a couple that I think are very plausible.
So the first one is grounded in the idea that we all suffer. that suffering is something that all of us have experienced, that when we see suffering, we think that it is lamentable and bad, that we tried to prevent suffering that we ought not to go and inflict suffering upon others.
And I think that there's a very good moral theory that can come out of that. In other words, we think that if you were to pull out a baby's eyeballs just for the fun of it, and cause the baby to suffer, we don't need to ask why that's wrong. We know innately that suffering is a bad thing. We might think that the morality supervenes upon the fact of the suffering, and that that is a good reason not to do that to the baby. And that wouldn't matter which day to command you to go and pull the eyeballs out of the babies would be wrong.
Another account that you can have, is grounded in the nature of beings. So gravity can extend not just to humans, but to animals, animals will not can suffer, for example, we might have obligations to animals, not to cause needless suffering to them. But we think about humans for a minute in the humans have this capacity for rationality, that you can reason through various ideas. And because of that, you can create what Immanuel Kant calls universal laws. So one path to second morality is in the categorical imperative, where Kant says
can you will a law that if universalized you would be able to operate it by
So the idea is, can I will that it's okay to lie to someone in order to extract money from them. And he says, Well imagine a world in which everybody lied.
So we try to
Well, while we tried to sort this out,
apologies for the interruption. So we'll send down a long queue that we have 10 minutes remaining, I'm going to add one minute.
But it seems like it's finally
Well, as a demonstration of my point, that suffering is bad.
So that's our first secular account that the presence of suffering is bad, it is an evil and come down the road. And you can build a moral theory based on the presence of suffering, that you ought not to call the data people that you ought to try and alleviate it when you see it. And thank you so much for alleviating that suffering that we've all been enjoying for the last 10
years a second account that you can have, which is sourced in rationality. So Immanuel Kant comes up with the categorical imperative. So the idea is that there are universal laws that can guide us, that tell us what we ought to do and what we ought not to do. So for example, if you have the maxim, that it is okay to lie to someone in order to cheat them out of money. Kant says, Well, you need to universalize the maximum. So imagine a world in which everybody lied to everybody else in order to deceive them into handing over money, what would happen in such a world, no one would believe each other no one hand over the money. So the maximum would fail. So just through the process of
rationality, you can see that you cannot will such a low into existence, which is that it's okay to lie in order to extract money.
John Rawls has a contemporary account of how you can source morality. So imagine this case, you're lying in a hospital bed,
you're covered head to toe in damages. And you've got a severe case of amnesia. So you can't record your sex, your race, your faith, but you have a basic understanding of economics and history. Doctor walks into the room, and he says, I'm going to give you a once in a lifetime opportunity, I'm going to let you set the rules for the world that you step into. But you got to set the rules first, before I take up the bandages. And so you think I need to act in my own self interest. So what if I introduced the rule that men have more power than woman, or that whites or to get more property than blacks? Well, maybe if I take advantages, I'll wind up being a black woman. So I wouldn't produce
such a rule. And so he thinks under this veil of ignorance that you will then generate a set of rules that we track common sense morality,
so that you have three different secular accounts that don't require the existence of God that I think meet those criteria quite well. In terms of what is a good moral theory, they're consistent, that you're here with our intuitions. And there's an advantage as well that you can make adjustments. If you are dealing with something divine. The idea is that the text that was granted to us is immutable, that if it says things which no longer cohere with our common sense intuitions, we either have to try and pretend that they're not there, we have to try and interpret our way out of them. But we're bound by the text. And at some point, it starts to look for dashes, when you're
trying to talk around some things that are clear in the text. The secular author says, Well, we were mistaken in the past that our moral theory wasn't very good. Let's make some adjustments. So you find, for example, that the growth of moral theories to be more inclusive, to say that our obligations to others extend not maybe what particular sexes or faiths or religions but to everybody that we have this growing and egalitarian ism.
So now I've given you those accounts. And I'm going to talk about some particular
more requirements in the Quran. But first, I just like it if that door could be closed, because it's very loud again.
Please close the door and talk.
Again, you can see the presence of sufferings and evil.
So I'm going to give you a couple of examples of Sharia law. And I'm open to in the conversation if I've gotten anything wrong. Given a bad account of the law, please correct me. Let's start with the idea of being an apostate. The idea that if you're Muslim, that you have an obligation to stay in the faith and not leave the bed, and not to rebuke the faith.
Now, one of the
most well known apostates are those accused of being in the past dead with Salman Rushdie. Rushdie wrote the book has tannic verses 1989 It's an enormously popular bestseller. And I think most people are aware of the fact that the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa a legal opinion, saying that because of the blasphemous content in the book,
and because of the fact that he was a Muslim, that it is the obligation of all Muslims when they see him to kill him.
And I'm going to read just a little short extract from that fatwa. We are from Allah and to allow we shall return I'm informing all brave Muslims of the world, that the author of The Satanic Verses a text written, edited and published against Islam, the Prophet of Islam and the Quran, along with all the editors and publishers aware of its contents are condemned to death. I call on all Belen Muslims wherever they may be in the world to kill them without the left, so that no one will, will dare insult the sacred beliefs of Muslims henceforth, and whoever is killed in this cause will be a martyr, Allah willing. Meanwhile, if someone has access to the author of the book, but is incapable
of carrying up execution, he should inform the people so that Rushdie is punished for his actions.
Now, the source
in the Quran for this view,
was in chapter nine, verse 61.
Some of them heard the prophet by saying he has all yours. So it is better for you that He listens to you. He believes in God and trust the believers. He has a mercy for those among you who believe those who hurt God messenger have incurred a painful retribution.
Now, there is some debate in the community about whether or not this was a legitimately issued penalty whether there should have been a trial.
We know that rusty was driven to hiding for many, many years, up until last year, when he gave a talk in America. And while giving the talk was publicly attacked on stage, and his eye was gouged out. So I invite my friends to deal with this question. Is it wrong to be an apostate? Was the punishment fitting? It seems that that doesn't cohere with our ordinary requirements of moral philosophy. In other words, the atheist would never punish someone who cease to be an atheist who became a believer, a polytheist, or a theist of any sort.
We can then think about
the publication of Charlie Hebdo.
So many of the writers and cartoonists of that publication in France were violently executed, on the grounds that they had produced depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. Now, again, there's some debate as to whether or not it is permissible at all to produce such depictions. But it seems that if there is such a rule can only bind believers in the faith.
And to say that those who have reached the rule who are non believers deserve death strikes me as contrary to our ordinary moral intuitions.
Now, what does the Quran say about people who are non believers?
chapter five verse 10, says, as a as for those who disbelieve in dinar signs, they are the residents of the Hellfire
as well as believers, and if they were to possess everything in the world tries over and offer it to ransom themselves and punishment of the Day of Judgment. It would never be accepted from them and they will suffer a painful punishment. They will be desperate to get out of the fire, that they'll never be able to they will suffer an everlasting punishment.
And to those who say Allah is one in a trinity in other words, Christians have certainly fall into disbelief. There's only one God, if they didn't stop saying this. Those who disbelieve among them will be afflicted with the painful punishment.
again, it seems odd to think that you have you should have eternal hellfire, eternal suffering, for failure to believe in a particular God. No secular religion would no secular viewpoint would ever require. This was the thing that punishments are different crimes, so that there ought to be a level of proportionality
and that there is a failing in this regard.
chapter five, verse 33, says the penalty for those who watch wage war against the lion is Messenger, and spread mischief in the land is death, crucifixion, cutting off the hands and feet on opposite sides or exile from the land. There's penalties that are great the disgrace for them in this world and they will suffer tremendous punishment in the hereafter.
The commentary says that in the case of armed robbery, offenders, right hand and left feet are to be cut off. Now there are some circumscribed ways in which these penalties will be imposed, that you should have people who can testify you can prove it with things you might expect in a court of law. But I would think that no moral court system would impose your hands been cut off for the crime of theft. We can all accept that theft is wrong, but it must be proportional punishment. In other words, maybe you think a custodial sentence, maybe you think a fine, but having your hands removed, seems disproportionate.
Now with regards to sexual ethics,
There are some further problems.
Chapter 24 Two says,
As for female and male fornicators give each of them 100 lashes, and do not let pity for them to make you lenient and enforcing the law of Allah. If you truly believe in Allah and the Last Day, they had a number of believers witness their punishment.
what about having sex with a woman while she's menstruating?
The Commentary on its for 16
says that when he goes into a woman administration, or you know NFL goes to a soothsayer and accepts his statement relating to the unknown, then such people have rejected what is revealed to Muhammad. As for a fixed punishment for this evil act, there is a difference of opinions among Muslim jurists details of which are available in the books of fake. Nevertheless, the nature of such punishments reported by them is as severe as it can be, such as burning into fire, bashing under a wall felled over, throwing down from a height, stoning and beheading with the sword.
Now, what about homosexuality? Well, again, this is condemned.
And the idea is that it is deserving of death. Now, it's not just theoretically deserving of death, that it is practiced in a number of countries that have Sharia law,
that gay people are executed. Now, one line is to say, well, it's okay to be gay, we just have a problem with the act of homosexuality.
But a secular account of morality is going to say, Well, have you caused anyone to suffer by engaging in a consensual act of homosexual sex? No. Have you violated any rights?
If you were to sit in the veil of ignorance, and imagine that you yourself, may very well be a homosexual who would like to have loving relationships and sexual others? Would you want such a rule that would impose the death penalty upon you know?
So there is a difficulty in that
the actual moral views that are expressed in the Quran don't meet what we require for good moral theory, that they're out of accordance with our intuitions that they're non revisable. Because the claim is that they come from a divine source. And that secular morality provides us with a much better richer account that can be claimed to be metaphysically. True, through a multiple range of sources, either through the presence of suffering, it strikes me as a very interesting move that my friend has made to say there is no evil in the world.
I would imagine that
spending some time being tied up and torture to death, you would very quickly think there is evil in the world. And I'd like to resist it. To claim that there is no evil is such an outlandish claim. It's said to be entirely amoral.
And I think not in coherence with our ordinary intuitions about the nature of reality. But I look forward to a robust discussion. I run the channel, Brandon evangelist, the philosophy discussion channel with Jason webalive. And the nature of our show is such that we try to engage each other in a polite subtle way so that we can both find out what's actually true. Thank you so much.
Thank you. Our final skin panelist is Hamza Jonas.
Rahim in an hamdu lillah wa Salatu was Salam ala Rasulillah Salam alikoum, Rama complaining but a cattle
with a peace and blessings of Allah be upon every single one of you. So before I get into my argument for God's existence that undermines naturalism, which goes against the idea that naturalism explains reality. And by the way, naturalism cannot explain the hard problem of consciousness, the acquisition of language, objective moral values, and there's a whole list of cultural facts against the naturalistic paradigm to say they experience all of reality is, is quite bizarre. But notwithstanding, I like to just make a few points, we're gonna address every single one of your assertions. But the first point I'd like to see is
regards to the problem of evil argument is a totally false argument in misrepresents Islamic theism, because it assumes that evil has some kind of ontological reality. Evil is real, from the perspective of that exists in our world, but ontologically is based on the goodness and wisdom of the Divine, which undermines some key premises of the argument. Also, from the perspective of suffering under naturalistic account, what your suffering is, is electrons whizzing around called Blind, non conscious, non conscious non intentional electrons whizzing around. So from a naturalistic paradigm, just like Well, Richard Dawkins says, and I have respect for him on this
particular on this particular matter, because he's consistent in his book he says, It's pitiless indifference, no good, no evil. Also, you strode, man
My argument concerning the children's dilemma I didn't say God is only good, I said God is good. But the way we argue that because he's the only data worthy of worship and the only deity worthy of worship is the highest form of good, which we can unpack. But also we have another argument against the people's data. And that is a false dilemma. Because there is no external standard that Allah has to submit to. And although it is good because God God commanded it, his commands are not arbitrary. They're not dislocated away from his nature. That's a false assumption. And also, when we look at the reality of God's commands, we see they cannot be arbitrary unless you want to believe that
something could come from nothing, or something well designed, is actually based on some kind of randomness. And let me explain God's commands manifested in Islamic moral and legal law addresses the moral needs of human beings on a personal social and political level, we have 1000 years of a great society, secularism has only existed for one maybe two years, or 100 years, maybe more. And we've seen more bloodshed on the secularism than any other moment in time and phase in history. But notwithstanding the commands of God, I like a key that perfectly fitting a lock that opens the door to wellbeing, and function for individuals, and social harmony. A key is designed for a lock. And
just like the key is designed for luck, the commands of God, God are designed for our well being. Therefore it's completely irrational and absurd to claim that God's commands are arbitrary, to argue that they are arbitrary is the equivalent of claiming that specific key that opens a specific door was actually not designed for that function. So there's much more to say, so much things were going on. But let me start with why called the Quranic argument of prior cognitive information. And today, my dear brothers and sisters and friends all argue that Islamic keys and make sense of our ability to produce thought and rational judgments. I would argue that the very fact that atheists up
interlocutors can have a thought can have a judgment within sound or not. And there's very unsound reasoning going on today. But the point is, the very fact that you can have a thought and you can have a judgement
requires God's existence in the first place. So it's quite interesting that atheism, these atheists think about denying God, but that very cognitive process requires God in the first place. And if I have time, I'm going to talk about why God is worthy of worship. And this argument is from the Quran, and the best arguments are from the Quran. If you go to chapter two, verses 30 to 33, Allah says, He taught Adam the names of things. Then he presented them to the angels and said, tell me the names of these if what you say is true, they replied, glory be to you, you have no knowledge except what you taught us. You are truly the All Knowing the wise, Allah says, Allah said, or Adam informed
them of the names than when Adam did Allah said, Did I tell you I know the secrets of the heavens and the earth. And I know what you reveal, and what you conceal. And the exegetical understanding of this is not just names, but it's concepts, nature's realities, and properties of things. So here's the argument. And by the way, this argument has been taken from my friend and my teacher, Dr. Suffolk charter, who's a well known academic, and he actually published a paper on this particular topic. So here are the premises number one, prior cognitive information is necessary for humans to formulate judgments, judgments about things. Number two, the ultimate source of pride cognitive
information is either from a human and non human, animal and inanimate object, natural selection charts, or non natural source. Number three, the ultimate source of pride cognitive information cannot be from a human and non human animal and inanimate object, natural selection or chance for which is the conclusion, it must be from a natural source. And we have two more conclusions. Five, the most plausible non natural source for prior content information must be a transcendent agent calls that has the property of omniscience, life and intelligence. And it finally follows conclusion six, the non natural agent calls and finally, we just mentioned, make sense of the god of Islamic
theism. Now, here's some glimmery points. The argument that I'm producing today is not claiming that necessarily every historical stage of human development, they required some kind of supernatural pedagogical agent, I'm saying that the original human, the original Human required that prior cognitive input, and this is very important, it's like a causal argument of First Cause Argument from a prior cognitive input perspective. Also, the premises that have unpacked they're not kind of something that naturals wouldn't necessarily disagree with, because we even have in the empiricist and nativist debate, a discussion of kind of an innate cognitive apparatus with some kind of
linguistic cognitive biases. Now, even the empiricists agree that you do require some nativism but they're not as extreme if you like, as the nativist themselves. Also,
So, just to repeat, we're talking about the initial human being requiring that pedagogical source that gave the prior cognitive information that is required for us to have judgments and thoughts. So let's go back to premise one to unpack prior cognitive information is necessary for human beings to formulate judgments about things. Now, the capacity to think the past capacity of thoughts and to have rational judgments or unsound in sound judgments, you require at least four conditions, a reality external to the agent or perceived reality. Number two sense faculties that sense the reality number three, a properly functioning brain that differentiates the sense reality and for
prior cognitive information. If any of these conditions are absent, you cannot have thought you cannot have judgment. And also, you have to have prior cognitive information, in some sense, to be able to link that private cognitive information to that sensory reality in order to have a thought and a judgement. Without that all you're going to have is sensation and sensation and sensation, you're not going to have thought or any form of judgment and put an adequate cognition. And we can unpack that in the q&a premise number two, the ultimate source of prey cognitive information is either from a human, nonhuman animal, inanimate object, charts, natural selection, or non natural
source. So let's go to human beings, where the prior current information that is necessary for thinking could not have come out Similarly, from another human being. Why? Because we could ask, where did that human being that prey COVID information from and to, can you continue that chain, you have an absurdity of an infinite regress?
non human animals? Well, it will be hard pressed to give examples of an intelligent account of how a non human animal species could have meaningfully interacted with human beings based on some pedagogical setup or approach. It might exist in the future, some postmodern secular ethics will be marrying animals soon. That's what happens when you change your ethics based on your own desires, and your first understanding of suffering. But the point is, we don't have that set up at the moment, and God forbid, it happens in the future. And if you went through that some kind of animal give us that pride, cognitive information, or input? Well, at the end of the day, it goes back to
the regress problem, where did that animal get that prior cognitive information from? And we know that the infinite regress is absurd, therefore this is not an adequate explanation. What about inanimate objects? Well, inanimate objects do not have cognitive abilities or functions or the ability to teach, instruct or pass on cognitive information. Just like under naturalism, you can't simply adequately explain language development, you can't adequately explain the fact of inner subjective conscious experiences because fundamentally under this fuzzy physicalist reality, it's just blind, cold, non intentional processes. And at the end of the day, when you have blind code,
non intentional processes, you have to now start to explain how we could develop language, how we could develop cognition, how we could develop in a subjective conscious experience, and that is going to be interesting debate. So objects fail without a fourth chance, but let's say Dr. Safak Choudry, because he actually gives a beautiful undercutting defeater to this possibility. He says, The major problem with this possibility is that it's not remotely clear how Charles can do anything, charges though metaphysically a thing, an entity, it has no being and it's not a cognizing potency or power. It is a term that is inadvertently endowed with the creative power efficacy. In fact, for
charts to be a candidate for inputting prior cognitive information will be to granted granted all pervasive power reserved only for something that we would that we would describe as living. To do this, however, is to commit the fallacy of reification which consists of attribute in concrete characteristics to something non concrete or abstract. By arguing that Charles did X created y and selected Zed obscures something deeply taking place. And that is making charts of calls when it is mere mathematical possibilities and abstract or, in effect to attribute charts as a cause for originating prior cognitive information is tantamount to saying nothing originated prior cognitive
information. What about natural selection? Well, this feels because there is no necessary link between survival, reproduction and the ability to even have Fordson sound or unsound judgments. Look at cockroaches, they survive, they reproduce, but then I hear him talking about the inner dimensions of spirituality or theism and atheism or debating about moral theory. Cockroaches are just cockroaches and unfortunately, we do have the human cockroaches in the world that cause a lot of suffering. And unfortunately, many of them have been naturalist and secularist. But nevertheless, one would also argue that there is no necessary link between survival and production even having
true reliable cognitive faculties. For example, if I know
I'm the first human, or I'm part of the evolutionary chain. I'm one of your ancestors that will come to a jungle and I have the false belief based on the unreliable cognitive faculties that mushrooms are poisonous, I'm gonna survive. But is it true that all mushrooms are poisonous? Of course not. Now, the atheist may retort and say MOBA evolutionary liberalism. This is the view that is more likely for natural selection to select traits that formed cognitive faculties that were reliable and produce true beliefs over unreliable cognitive faculties that produce false beliefs. However, I will reply by saying, where's your evidence? Why the epistemic privilege? Why, and when you look at the
empirical evidence, with all due respect, you have to be radical skeptics, and therefore there is no truth the claim, there is no God, the claim that there is evil, you have the radical skeptic skeptic, you have to be radical skeptical about these categories. In actual fact, you have to turn into a post modernist. Now, the reason I'm saying this, because when you look at the words of James sage, and many others, and you look at cognitive science today, they're saying that having true empirical perceptions is not conducive to survival in production. So we have false perceptions are not totally accurate perceptions. Also, the very fact that you think that you have to have true
beliefs that are reliable, and we will develop that way and select the forces
wanted selected those traits is completely incoherent. Why? Because of the fact that when you use your brain to certain degree, it drains your resources to make specific inferences and deductions drains your biological resources. In actual fact, it's more conducive to survival and reproduction to do what to make false generalizations that would facilitate survival and production, because like James stage much later. So, conclusion number four, therefore, it must be from something non natural since all the possible naturalistic explanations to explain prior information fell, the reasonable conclusion is that to explain prior COVID Information is to say a non naturalistic explanation. And
the non naturalist explanation and this is the conclusion five and six is that it has to be a natural transcendent agent that has the property of omniscience, life and intelligence. Why must be living because an inanimate object does not contain prior cognitive information, and it doesn't have the ability to construct the prior cognitive information. And a living being is a rational precondition for possessing any pedagogical attributes. As Allah says, Allah there is no deity except Him the EverLiving and chapter 2255. It must be transcendent, why because as a transcend the regress otherwise would also require private information. So Allah says least it can be cliche. In
chapter 41, verse 11, there is nothing like him, also, he must be willing, because this means it must be a kind of being that chooses what it wants to do. So he can willingly select the private information relevant to and necessary for human cognitive success or any other functional objective. And a choice indicates a will, as Allah says, In the Quran, in chapter 36, verse 30, but you cannot want to do so unless Allah wills and finally, it must be on this year. This living willing, transcendent agent cause must possess immense immense knowledge to endow it. it to other intelligent bearing agents, it must also consciously select all relevant initial cognitive cognitive input and
justify that selection. As Allah says, In the Quran, surely Allah is born knowing all the way in chapter 31, verse 34, and this makes sense of the traditional God, in theism in general, and also Islamic theism. And finally, conclude, atheism cannot even start to explain the fact that we can think have thoughts and judgments, they don't have the key to open the door to rationality. Why? Because atheism or as philosophical naturalism has already been dealt with in this presentation. Atheism as a form of evolution reliable reliable ism has been dealt with in this presentation. Atheism as a form of scientism has also been dealt with in the presentation because naturalist
selection fails atheism in the form of post modernism will postmodern principle of knowledge of knowledge, there is no method to come to an objective truth. Therefore, truth there is no truth is radically skeptical. So you can't really explain true thought judgments itself. Atheism is a priori, that Oh, is April, right. It's a first principle, it's a metaphysic. We start with the fact that we trust our reliable cognitive faculties, we say they're reliable. Well, if you're gonna play that game, the door swings both ways. Islams choose a party, but what the Lord you've got to choose as a rational agent, a comprehensive explanation of reality that explains your, your your your ability to
form judgments. And you could claim that as a pro or another so called a priori, I can't even explain our ability to think and form judgments. So brothers or sisters or friends, atheism is a failed project in every shape or form all manifestations of atheism. It can't even explain it.
ability to have cognition, to think, to form rational judgments. And at the end of the day, the eighth isn't physical, this universe just reduces the human being to blind, cold, non intentional physical processes. And it's all pitless in difference. And I would suggest that internal controls become more consistent and coherent with a low view and just say, there is no good, there is no evil, there is no right, there is no wrong way this truth value, because in the political world, it's all valueless. Anyway, electrons whizzing around, thank you very much.
Okay, so what we're doing now is we're going to get the panelists discuss amongst themselves, it's going to be an open internal discussion, we lost quite a bit of time, we'll try to go 20 minutes and see how it goes. But then I want to bring in to discussions and just add you to to the discussion. And we'll hopefully have a good
fire started. And then we will bring in you as the audience for the final 15 minutes or so of that open discussion.
So I'm not sure how you want to proceed. I have questions as well. In fact, let me give some give you some thoughts that came to mind.
that I'm sad that you're the argument you gave there, is trying to undercut the ACC project. And I've heard I've heard this sort of argument.
Before In fact, I'm working on things similar, not even in a theological setting. But you aren't, you're talking about?
What would you call it? The argument against naturalism.
That's plenty. But this is not the same. That's the name we're looking for.
Which is the idea that
naturalism is self defeating. But there's something something quite interesting that
I'm wrestling with this as an ethicist as well, what is grounding ethics? So I'm trained in the western analytic tradition.
And I'm trying to figure out, okay, why are these moves being made? And I, you know, my sense is that the specific moves have been meaning to you ontology and consequentialism. They've been made, because they say, the old way, the religious way of grounding ethics has been jettison another needs to be a new starting point. And what you're suggesting is that that starting point, will be based on faith either way. But you're suggesting that this, this basis has, firstly has, it has, let's say, centuries of religious grounding to it.
Whereas the new, the new attempt to Grand false religion posted at God has an arbitrariness to it that needs to be recognized. I don't miss represent what you're saying. But I find that quite intriguing. Because
I'm not sure.
I'm not sure what resources there might be to
grapple with what you're saying, without accepting
the ontology and writing what you're saying. And this is not just a problem for today's discussion. It's a problem for philosophy in general, of course, there's a problem of, of different ontologies competing with each other. And this is, this is actually something for all of you.
One of my, I would say concerns coming into the room, that we recognize that there are different ontologies in this room, different cosmologies, right?
I grew up that I'm multilingual in the sense that I understand on ontology or underwriting your views.
I can understand the ontology underwriting issues. But I think it is a first step we first have to realize that there are these different ontology, just can we Can I just talk to him because you spent three minutes making that point. And we've got 25 minutes with segment. And I just want to say that when he's talking about morality, and he's talking about Sharia law, and all these kinds of things, you mentioned something quite interesting said, our ordinary requirements for moral philosophy, you mentioned as well, that you've got deontological ethics, or consequentialism, or teleological ethics and ethics. Pick up a book on ethics, like, for example, John Mackey, you're
gonna find this kind of classification. This is a Western classification. You mentioned two men, which are Immanuel Kant and John Rawls, both of which, in a sense, represent the white liberal tradition, both white men from Western from the Western Hemisphere. My question is, why should it be that white men dictate to us what morality is and we have enough of this in this country? In a sense that you know, it is now it to be honest with you in a veiled sense, if you said our requirements for morality as it was all subscribe to it, we have a completely different and this
standing in a completely different ontology, why have you assumed that the white man is right? What proof that you have that is Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative was hypothetical imperative, or John Rawls veil of ignorance where you get mentioning any of that stuff is true. And if it What proof do you have? It's objectively true? As an atheist? If we can get through this question, then we can talk about Sharia law and the false things that you were saying about it, for example, a woman that's menstruating gets burned or something like that you get burned by it. Or if you're if you have sex with a woman that's menstruating, which is not mentioned in any book, or felt in Islam,
whatsoever. And you mentioned as mentioned above, to focus not mentioned in any book whatsoever. Then you mentioned Khomeini who was an obscure figure. So my question is, as an atheist, you're you have the audacity to say, our requirements of moral philosophy, as if the white man's moral philosophy is all of our moral philosophies. No, we have divine command theory we have Quran we have so now we have our own way of deriving morals. What objective proof do you to have the deontological ethics of Immanuel Kant and all the veil of ignorance of John Rawls who's a liberal, both of them are liberal in a sense, and or any of the consequentialist ethics of any of the utilitarian thinkers
of the Monday is objectively true. So first of all, I think you play a very dangerous game, when you attempt second ethics to race. And you rob people of many races, of the human rights, like when you say that it's a white man's game, to talk about rights, no, to try and abolish suffering, neither to say it's a white man's race. It's a matte white man's game, sort of like rights, I said, that what you've mentioned, is a Western form of ethics is the ones who the knowledge producers will objectively white men, objectively from the liberal tradition, and you will know about the genetic fallacy. I'm not saying it's false. I'm asking you why it's true. Yes. So let's firstly want to deal
with this question of Tim saying, we can assess the content of the ideas. By looking at the race and the sex of the speaker. You said, our moral philosophy you've included me in your morality, I'm asking you to prove your morality before you say, Alan, well, I don't subscribe to your morality, as Answer me. Why is the veil of ignorance of Jordan rules or the consequentialist moralities of any of the liberal thinkers? Or the veil of ignorance or the deontological ethics which I'll get to as you can have to stop interrupting? Okay, so firstly, I teach Hans's your discourse. You also mentioned rights. If you don't mind, I'm assuming you're advocating a liberal conception of rights, the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Well, you advocate, the UN Charter claim that I've made is that there are three different ways in which an atheist can construct morality.
They can understood the specific as you mentioned, rights twice, and it's very relevant to the ontological account can get you rights, and a consequentialist account can also get you right. From the perspective of law of liberal and more reasoning and what your views are. So I understand how to deal with you, you and your beliefs in a positive way. What conception of rights do you advocate? Is it is it the conception of rights that is known as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? So first of all, I haven't expressed the personal view about ethics another intent on doing okay, you mentioned rights twice.
To morality, but you've asked him a number of cars. Can you just for sake of discussion, I
just wanted to do purchase. I just wanted to add to that, because that's gonna be a follow up question. So if you think about that, just let us know. Because the what I want you to see was that has a liberal individualist assumption, which many people don't have to agree, and that's why when you come to the table with these universals, it does come across as somebody that that is a sign of maybe superior to complex reports. And I don't mean it in a negative way. I'm just trying to psychoanalyze certain statements in a positive way. So we know, and you could stand in the possibly in actual fact that you may think you're already right. And I want you to stay in the possibility
that you might be wrong. And if that's the case, then maybe define your terms a bit more clearly, clearly clearer, especially when you're mentioning things like rights, because rights is a big term, it has ideological strong constructs. Alright, so I'm not going to speak without interruption. Absolutely. And I'm going to try and answer your questions as please, please, you're still interrupting me.
So all right, so let's first of all talk about the different moral framework that you can have. I haven't picked a lane for myself, and I don't intend on doing so. The claim that I have made is that an atheist is entitled to claim that there are moral facts that they don't have to buy the nihilism, you've set up a false dilemma, which is to say that either morality is grounded in God, or there is no such thing as morality, that the atheist is required to say that they're just whizzing atoms and they cannot have any normative force. And what I pointed out is that there are very good secular claims to why there is morality either grounded in suffering, or grounded human reason which can
generate rights. And by the way, those rights can be spoken about either in legal instruments. So we can talk about rights allocated by the UN, or they can just be talked about in the deontological sense. You don't necessarily have to think that the UN Charter does
Human rights is the definitive account. But I think we think a lot of the rights that are in the charter are pretty good. Now, you can bite the bullet, you can just say I don't buy any of it. I don't believe in rights, I don't think there's a problem with suffering. I don't like any of the rules that Rawls generates.
And you can just bite the bullet. And you can say, there is nothing wrong with putting homosexuals today. That's just your white, liberal Western conception of things. And then we're going to have to agree to disagree on it. The point is that you have to bite a very repugnant bullets, that when you deny the major moral theories, that the consensus is going to be against you. Now, it has nothing to do with your race or your sex. While I was trying to explain this, that there's a huge danger in claiming that the liberal tradition, or that the moral philosophies that have emanated from John Stuart Mill, John Rawls, or Immanuel Kant, belong to white people, because they emanate from white
people, there's something wrong with them. First of all, many people around the world benefit from the notion of human rights, the idea that as an individual,
you have a claim against someone else not to do certain things to you. That because you have a right to dignity, it is wrong for someone to intentionally torture you against your will, to put you into a state of slavery. One of the examples that I gave was in any person who thinks that morality is external, and the good thing would think that slavery is abhorrent. Now, the Koran mentioned slavery on many occasions. It doesn't get to that you spoken for two minutes to respond to one thing at a time, because otherwise, you just got to finish that. Let me finish that.
If the Quran mentioned slavery, and we'd expected a Divine Being that either issues good commands or is aware of what is good to not just have regulation about slavery, but to outright condemn it to say that, no matter the society that you're in, regardless of the place of the time, slavery is always wrong. And we just don't see that on the ground. That seems like a fair that's responding. You've completely miscategorized what he said extraordinaire, and actually what he said was very surprising considering your level of qualification and education. I'm actually surprised that he didn't say we don't believe in rights or suffering. He said, We don't believe that you can't prove
it objectively. Underline the word objectively, as an atheist, there is no mechanism through which you can prove deontological ethics or consequentialist ethics on an objective framework, which is why John Stuart Mill tried to prove the desirability principle in his book on utilitarianism. What I'm saying is that this is the first thing you're gonna have to choose. The second thing is you were talking about race and you talked about slavery. Let me tell you something, the problem house is an obsessiveness. Okay, the Prophet said, there's no virtue of a black man over a white man or an Arab over No. Now, how long does it took you? I don't know how many years as the white dominance to
figure that out only 30 years ago, you've stopped apartheid. So why should we listen to you, in a sense, you're playing the most, with all due respect, with all due respect, it took you 1300 years after the fact to realize that something the Prophet said, Prophet Muhammad, who you're attacking the religion of right now, a three 1200 years before you now agree with him. So how do we know you're going to differ on these issues? Number two, on the issue of slavery, okay, because you know, when was the one with apartheid and nine i Four years ago, and they're telling us about this, and that I don't see how this is working here. Number two, you said, you said this, the emanation and
the knowledge production of these ideologies that you're talking about is undoubtedly white and European. You cannot take that away from the reality. Other think John Stuart Mill, or Jeremy Bentham, or Immanuel Kant was Nigeria, I think you're talking about secular ethics. It's not the secular ethics of the black man is it is the secular ethics of the white man. And you've already assumed it to be true, just like many of probably the people before in this country, white men assumed that Apartheid was true. Then then they had to the suffering, by the way that Mandela and others have to undergo the suffering that which is good suffering, by the way, because not all
suffering is bad human suffering is bad. What about the suffering that Mandela and the others the anti apartheid activists had to go through? Was that good suffering or bad suffering was good suffering, because then people realize that it's, you know, it's equality and race and things like that. So this is what you're doing here is you're being morally sanctimonious. You're clearly trying to come with the hierarchies you explained to me. Now you explain to me why your morality is true in the first place, I believe. Yes, homosexuality prohibited in Islam is wrong. Yes, I believe you're gonna go to the Hellfire if you don't believe in Allah. Yes, I believe that there's heaven. Yes. I
believe in Day of Judgment. These are things I believe in that tell me why that's wrong. Tell me why that makes Islam to be true. What creedal disproving implications does that have as a philosopher, where's your objective morality? Where's your objective reasoning? What are the arguments? Where's the empiricism? Where's the calculation? Where's the proof? Where's the evidence? That's why I'm asking don't assume because the dominance remains in the western hemisphere. And there's hegemony on the side of the Western Hemisphere that wherever ideology they decide to put down we're going to assume it's going to be true that you're going to come here and tell us our requirements for what
for moral our moral compass that's your moral compass on a different you have a religion I have it this
Religion prove to me that your religion is true. That's what I'm saying. Why is consequentialism true? Why is the ontological ethics true? Why do you come up with that? So before my response, I just want to make a meta comment about the style of communication.
Very uncomfortable. I'm very uncomfortable with how this has very quickly degenerated into a shouting match. I understood and I was led to believe by the organizers of this event that we were going to be here to discuss in a mature and reflective way, various worldviews. I'm very disheartened by the term this has already taken. So I want that noted for everybody to see. Because, because
philosophers as intellectuals, and for the last five minutes, Mark, who was a absolute gentleman has been shouted out. Now, it's not this smarter than to be honest, right? We're talking about God and morality, you've spoken about 10 minutes.
Can you get to the point? And again, the point is, I'm making a guess.
It's not really
I want to reset things, and I want to talk about something that's a one thing that came up, I will, I will let you I promise I'll let you.
So we did say that this is a discussion. And
we all came in wanting to discuss things and understand that things that he did, I should say that I enjoyed all four presentations. I was impressed with the level of philosophy all three or four. So I said, all four presentations.
And I'd like us as best as we can. Even though these things I needed for all of us
to try to do what we did in the discussion, try to argue the point. Even if we do not like many things you want to talk about to speak with all due respect. I'm free in this country, I can speak with an assertive voice. I don't need people telling me how to speak. I've not been told that I cannot speak in an assertive voice discussion doesn't dispute that, with all due respect, I want to be told off, this is a 25 minute segment. And when
he was for two minutes, that is a runaway tactic. He knows that he's got nothing to say about.
Talking about Muhammad and Salman Rushdie and homosexuality and attacking Islam, I'm telling you respond to my arguments, instead of trying to tell me off like a little boy trust. Now I'm not a little boy in every single.
So we haven't we haven't settled this yet. So the issue is not being told what to say, well, how to say
the issue is that there's a
there's a structural part, by the way, you'll be it'll be dealt with right now.
You dealt with properly, let me put it this way. So just answer my question. I don't want to be told how to speak.
I'm speaking to you in a way. You're just you're being you're being erroneous. And you're trying to be the schoolboy teacher? You don't hear for that? No,
no, no. I actually spent three minutes actually my, my view.
I'm not an atheist, oh, it doesn't matter what my views are supposed to
One of the discussions
that we could ask if she saw him this year, the moderator of the show, can I ask if all of you agree that we can censor that Chad and I, it gives us chance to think over things? And then we'll get back to our four panelists. So do you want to ask a question that I think as the discussions that maybe Chad can say, you know, we are you going to come in? Yes.
I'm gonna bring in. So I did promise, Aaron, that you're going to finish your point. Okay.
I wanted to do I wanted to, I wanted to actually, I couldn't get to talk about philosophy. You know, I've spent the last I've spent a long time preparing our read Hans, his book, I wanted to talk about some interesting things. So perhaps we could do that. Yes, please.
So a number of your arguments. And Muhammad made this point about his contingency argument. There was this talk about this problem with natural infinities? Which I found that I think it's fascinating is a really interesting metaphysical discussion to be had about whether infinities can be instantiated in reality. I know Hamza Muhammad, you are okay with mathematical infinities. So you have no problems talking about in a logical space that mathematicians can talk about mathematical infinities, or cardinalities of infinite sets, or potentially infinite step tend towards infinity like an asymptote. You just think that for some reason, those can't be
instantiated in reality, is that is that a fair assessment of your, of your view? That they can't be instantiated in reality? Yeah, yes. To a degree. Okay. So I want to put forward this argument for discussion. So it's an argument for atheism, and I'm just interested to get your both your input.
You've asked a question. Like, Oh, would you respect I know, this was a distraction. But I did ask a question. And there was a distraction. So can you answer my question before I answer, you know, what, why don't we get back to that after he's given this? Yeah, I have no problem. We can talk about rights and the objective basis, I have no problem talking about. Okay, good. You said that your amount of you would, yeah, understand. We'll talk we can talk about that. You can talk about modal realism, and all that. Okay. So let's just assume X hypotheses that actual infinities can't exist, but they can exist in a conceptual realm of abstract logic and mathematics. Okay, so here's
the problem. The problem you might have heard before is that this problem is, how does it How does that reconcile with God's infinity? Now I know there comes a you've said that there's a distinction between a qualitative infinite and a quantitative? Yes, right. So your normal responses when you're challenged on the spot, God infinity being instantiated in reality, you say no, that this is a qualitative and there's no accepted thing of God that internet, it's a way of talking about his, his acne, his his all his all his good problems.
This is the problem that I want to pose and see how you guys deal with it? Because I don't know. Honestly, I don't think I've heard you respond to that. So the first premise is that God is essentially Omnisphere. Right? So I take that to be a fundamental feature.
So if God is missing, then I take it that he has actual knowledge of all true propositions.
So premise three of the argument has been that the cardinality of the set of natural numbers is not
premise four is that there's a true proposition about each member elements of a sense of natural numbers. From that, we can conclude that therefore, God has actual knowledge of Alif, nor true propositions.
Having knowledge of a numerically distinct proposition P entails having a numerically distinct belief about proposition P. Yes. Therefore, God has numerically distinct beliefs about color, not true proposition.
A belief is an actually existing state of an actual mind. So beliefs are not math, mathematical objects, and they're not abstractions. They might be about abstract objects, and they might be about abstractions. But beliefs themselves are states of a mind even a divine. Yes, you're right. So therefore, God has an actual Alif naught, which is the cardinality of the number of beliefs in mind. But if x hypotheses, actual infinities are impossible, by the assumption, then we must conclude that God is not innocent. If God is not innocent, then he's not essentially understand. It's a defining feature of gods in the sense that he's essentially on the students have shown that he doesn't exist.
So it seems to me that the problem, and maybe you will have to retract on the idea of that, actually, these columns exist, where you will have a different view about God's mind.
you guys think about this has been dealt with extensively in the books of Kalam, actually? Because this actual question, yes. So
it's actually a good question. So I'm going to come round. So you look. So the the distinction between quantitative and qualitative has been made? Usually, it's a bog standard answer that's given by William Lane Craig himself. Yes. Actually, this is connected to the Kalam Cosmological Argument. Yes. Now, the thing is, what is actually problematic about the idea of an actual infinity in the real world. So if you look, for example, at the sender's account, and it's interesting, there's a lot of secondary source materials and stuff like that, and other people's account has opened up to being one of them, they don't have a problem with the the instantiation of an actual infinity in the
real world. They only have a problem with the actual instantiation of the real world considering certain conditions, and I'll tell you what they Okay, so, number one, the condition is that these things are have the they occupy a space time. And then number two is that they coexist. Okay, number three, is that they're limited. Now, let me say that again, right, that they're limited, they they occupy space time, and that they actually exist, right? So for example, many scholars of philosophy of religion, Aristotle believed this even Cena believed this even Tim really believed this. Many people believe that I believe this, that there was actually an infinite regress of things they
didn't see as an absurd or they didn't believe it was they connected it with unnecessary being the major differentiation that they put in place was the following. Look at this wall, for example, this is limited, would you agree? It's limited in this form? In certain parts of Yes. Actual Physical proportions? Yeah. So right, right matter. So so the what they would say is that this bottle, which is contingent, unlimited, independent, having an infinite amount of these bottles at the same time, okay, that is what would be impossible. Why would that be impossible? Because, number one, they're limited. Number two, they're contingent, and number three, that they would have to coexist at the
same time with this with these conditions in mind, you see, they will, they will, they will discount the idea of an actual infinity it will say actually, in these contexts, wouldn't work with God now. He's not limited
So there's already a difference is not contingent. So you see God is necessary and necessary being by death exists must exist, but even the attributes of the necessary being, for example, the machines, it must be necessary to actually do the
actual work. Which means Yeah, the idea of a quantitative infinity is not only not applicable to him, yes, it's not applicable to him. Number two, it's something which is not applicable to anything necessary. So in other words, you see, the actual infinities in the context of limited things which coexist at the same time, and which are dependent and contingent. That's where the gripe is, it's not where the idea of a, as you've you phrased it, which is an actual infinity in the real world. That's why it's actually we do kind of believe an actual infinity in real world only when necessary existence is only an actual infinity rule with certain conditions that I just mentioned. Yeah, no.
Okay. So yeah, you wanted to go? Yeah, so if you don't mind, so you said like, the belief of God having a belief? Yeah. would mean that it's, it's actualized in the real world? No, no, what I'm saying. So yeah, so what I'm saying is that you believe that God is a mind. Right. So no, we don't we know. God doesn't have beliefs. He doesn't have knowledge.
But he's got so maybe this maybe I'm confused. Yes. person. So this will be this material, personal.
Physiology. Yes. Some would have found that physiology, some wouldn't. But just just just to so we believe in God's transcendence, right. So using things like mind and person is something that not doesn't really exist in our tradition.
Mania? None of us a person. Yes, sir. As a person with a mind. Yeah, that has subtle,
anthropomorphic connotation. So we wouldn't really fixate on the term mind itself. That's the first thing this way, when I want to find out what do you mean by goods, beliefs? And why you saying that this means that they are actualized, I want to know how key to So my general understanding, and maybe we're talking across purposes, because the idea that I've always had of the sort of being that resonates for people that has that is cashed out religiously, is the idea that people have a belief that God is looking after them. He's essentially a he's a person and we are made in His image. And obviously, God's not a finite purse, like I take you guys. Yeah, he's transcended and limited and
bounded. And all of those sorts of words are limited. You have to connect it to an attribute of God at all because I'm intelligible. Okay, if you said I'm limited in mercy, unlimited power, unlimited in knowledge superlative knowing about? If so, so. So what I'm saying is that, I've always understood that when people pray to God, he can answer prayers. God knows God knows the amount of hairs that are hands, his head on your head.
He knows he knows what's going on with me and Mark, and these are distinct beliefs. And normally, when you think about a justified, justified true belief, just go with JTB assured
that any claim of knowledge implies belief, right? It's hard. It's very hard to make sense of what you mean by by God's on mercy. And if we're not talking about propositional you, but my, my specific question is so so can I to address your point? Yeah. So you want a straw man? No, no. So when you say good having a belief, and then God having a belief means that somehow actualized in the real world? What do you mean, okay? And how to demonstrate, okay, so it has a belief and the diver by the very virtue has a belief, it means that it's actually real. So when I say God's belief is real, I mean, it's in the same way that you think God is real. Nobody has some other way. So there
we go back one step, right. Yeah, I know, you're what you're trying to say. You're trying to say, Listen, you have a problem with actual infinities, you're saying that God's attribute of knowledge must be actually infinite, because it's connected to quantifiable things which have to, for example, his own self image, if he's if he's got, if he's boundless, that he must know himself, right. So in other words, he must have, it's not quite what I'm talking about. But you're saying that God's you have a problem. You're saying to me, you have a problem with actual infinities? Right? And God's knowledge, you're saying God's knowledge us is actually infinite. So I'm responding to you. I don't
have a problem with actually infinity. I'm responding. It's my response. I don't have a problem, even in the real world. Listen to I'm saying, I can see it's logically not always incoherent. Can you see I'm not going to get KSA Casey? Yeah, because what you're doing now is refuting William Lane Craig's car, because my government, I'm saying, I accept, accept what you're saying here is a strong point against the collapse argument. I grant you it. But what I'm saying is, this is the response. This is what I'm thinking, we'll write this down.
Which is this. I'm saying I have a problem with actual infinities in certain contexts number one, that the objects of of a question in actual infinities number one are contingent. Number two, unlimited. Number three exist all at the same time. That's the thing that every scholar of, of the medieval painting, so I'm trying to understand.
Sorry, let me explain. Okay, so let's
imagine God created a then created B thing created C and
goes infinity. That was it. The thing is you, that's a view of the slide.
If you've ever seen a belief this, many people believe this, Aristotle believed this. Do you see what I'm saying? It's a view in the philosophy of religion. I'm not saying logically is fully problematic. I'm saying the following. So if you get all of the, if you get all those infinities at the same time, all those things ABC adequate, and put the whole at the same time, the existence of those contingent limited existences together. That's where the contradiction lies. Why? Because therein lies, the absurdities of the plot being more than the whole, that the inexhaustible becomes exhausted, all those things that I mentioned the presentation, that's where it would be a problem,
where the spatial temporal time dimension is one, ie they all coexist. Yes, all those things exist at the same time, number one, and number two, that they're limited and contingent. Do you understand what I'm saying? No, I think I understand what you're saying. I would like to finish my point, just because so it's a little bit of a straw man to consider the qualitative versus the
What did you say I said, in my book, I forgotten about the qualitative and the quantitative.
In the book is actually goes a little bit further. And he echoes what he was saying is more about the differentiated and undifferentiated. This is the point. So is based on a temporal, spatial, discrete things by discrete things. So there is a fundamental difference. So we accept the actual infinite, we can accept it. But we don't accept it from the point of view that you can have an actual infinite that is based on differentiated things, which is based on the contingency, the limited nature.
So God's knowledge, no scholar on Earth to say God's knowledge of humans is is is a differentiated, a tonal limited attribute from the point of view that its temporal spatial, and it has these limitations. And that's why I wanted to really find out what your by believes, I think and how that actually denies what we're saying, I can't see that the argument that you propose, actually, actually is a defeated.
Before I let you finish your point, we can
quickly bring in Dr. Chen, ARIS. And then we can continue this
with audience questions, perhaps on this point or otherwise, he said he would
just want to do that.
If you can, if you can manage that geometry, just rephrase the freeform of the objections. Yeah. How would you because you mentioned the ontological. And you mentioned consequentialist developing those abdominals. I'm just saying what is the ontological epistemological grounding that this is a morality on an objective level.
So the view that I would give is going to be a slightly different model than Mark did mentioned, which is that, I think that a good basic way to ground an objective ethics is to look at the nature of suffering. So when an entity suffers, one of the things that they learn about the suffering, the actual nature of it, is that it has an actual theological valence. So in other words, we learn about the axiological disk value of suffering, through knowledge by acquaintance through our direct acquaintance with the state of suffering. And I think that that's now we can cash that out in slightly different ways. I mean, some some meta ethicist will cash that out, giving a reductive
account. So some people will say that much like in the philosophy of mind, we want to reduce qualitative properties to neural states, certain method emphasis thinks that it's appropriate to reduce suffering to certain the badness of suffering, the normative property, to suffer. And I think that that's quite plausible. Another way of looking at it is to say that it's non reductive. So in other words, that the normative properties supervenes In a necessary way, on the on the non on the non normative property of suffering. And other ways to look at it is a functionalist account, that all of those various accounts, they're very interesting in meta ethics, but that's more in house
debates amongst many therapists. But once you grant that suffering is intrinsically bad. It may be instrumentally good in some cases, but once you grant that it's intrinsically that that generates a moral reason it was okay.
So once we have a moral reason that's amenable to rational to rational understanding, yes, we can start to think about rights. Because once we recognize that there's an actually logical disobedience or negative axiological valence to suffering, we can see that that the MC has an interest a moral interest in not suffer, and that has a rational, right, and what is a right, a right is a claim that an entity has to protect its vital interests, and one of the vital interests that it has is the interest in not suffering. Why? Because suffering is intrinsically bad. So that's so that's, this is the this is the moral responsibility. Listen, David Hume style is all fallacies matter.
As the clarity, because what you're saying is suffering you feel as bad therefore it is bad from an audit perspective, due diligence perspective. teleological vector more perspective. The point is, currently provide me the premise that suffering is bad in the first place, some suffering is good. We all go to the gym and suffer that.
I don't even grant you the premise we suffer all the time. As I mentioned before, I'll give you a live example. The people that were the good people in South Africa that went against the apartheid for so many years, decades. I'm sure you one of them, your rights activist yourself, was suffering against the hegemonic power until they achieved their dream. So I don't even grant it, or somebody told them that the point is, you saying that suffering you feel bad, therefore is bad, is a naturalistic fallacy. David Hume, who was an atheist himself said you shouldn't be doing this. That's not grounding objective morality. So that's the question, how can you grab brown just to
monitor. So one response to that is you've conflated the intrinsic versus the non intrinsic nature. So in axiological theory, there's two distinctions important category distinctions that are often made. One is about the intrinsic nature of the intrinsic value of something. The other one is the non intrinsic, what you're referring to is a non intrinsic value of suffering. So suffering is cost suffering for mental state, the state of being in pain is itself bad in and of itself. It may be extremely good in the sense that it helps you to overcome certain things. Like for example, I can see homies that likes to train as well as do I like to train in the gym, right? So the instrumental
value of suffering we can grant, right, it's a non intrinsic.
Almost just one more thing. I think what you've done is conflicted, the psychological the ethical, like, for example, what you're saying is that we don't like pain. I agree with you. We don't like pain, human beings don't like the event as bad for the most part. I understand that. But part of what we're talking about here is a kind of psychological bat, not an ethical teleological, how'd you get from that psychological to ethical, how are you making that jump? There's another question I think would help this because I would like to ask you, because I think you've skipped something very important. When we say objective, yeah, but when you say objective, what do you mean, and because if
you route so few ground moral values in a naturalistic paradigm, yeah. Well, your ground moral values in what you would say intrinsic suffering.
How does that make your objective because my understanding objective is that irrespective of the whole world, right, if they were to say that for example, apartheid is right and we still know is wrong, yes. Because more values are out there so to speak. So the require an ontological grounding, you have to answer to keep on to question number one, what is what is the source of this moral value? And what makes it mind independent? All you've done? Actually, you've just gone round circle.
One more so you really understand I'm trying to say because this is philosophy, right? Yeah. No, we're doing said naturalism explains everything. Yeah. So under what naturalistic account, if naturalism is defined as metaphysical naturalist defined us, yes, number one, there is no divine, there is no non physical whenever I can be reduced to or explained by physical phenomena in some way. You what you're doing, you're enchanting physical phenomena with some kind of divine attributes on non physical features. So from my point of view, you have to also define what physical properties are or what physical
understanding is just called the non rational.
Time is limited also. And with
all these other people, there's
no no, there's no.
Out of order, if you're a Muslim, when you speak about clap,
diminishing him. No. I'm seeing you indicating all these questions. You can have a discussion and you will answer them. You cannot negate all these other people. Oh, I'm sorry that I'm overriding my chair. I'm being recorded by doing that. But I'm asking I'm asking you to have some respect for others and then we can speak about religion in totality. So can you let the the chair do what he needs to do? And we will come back to that to speak but people you need to ask questions to do not negate.
Respect and you have
spoken very good.
Yes, sir. Make that point. And then I want to, I want to bring in discuss, but I do want to thank you all for that very civil exchange. I really appreciate
The point I want to mention is because I want to be as authentic as possible, which means I don't have any undeclared negative intentions. And I think, you know, I believe in sometimes we have a collective consciousness and energy permeates the room. And from the beginning, prior to this conversation, we had academic saying, we need academics on the panel, because of academic university, because we have to academically, it's not your words, but it came across, we have to academically babysit the panel. And that I'm being honest, that was what those were the words we're here, because we're academic, you need some academic professionals to give an academic input. With
all due respect, you have master's degrees, you have PhD PhD, we're in almost finishing, we have a he has more degrees than a thermometer. So the
point I'm trying to see is, I'm trying to and this may be wrong, I started the project, possibly I'm totally wrong. But I got the kind of feeling that there is almost a sense of, you know, metal type of babysitting going on there. And yes, emotions, but I think a gentleman he knows he's a man 100% He knew what he was gonna say was going to trigger something. So guaranteed, we live in a hegemonic liberal second side that's imposing on the Muslim community. And it's not a neutral space, ideological security, he just said, but we need to wrap up and I get you. But I'm trying to say that has to be clear, because that's how it has come across from the beginning, before we've entered this
room. And we had, we're having a really good philosophical discussion, and was given the pat the What's your name, the, the chair has already assessed that we're gonna give more time to discussion than to q&a. It was already agreed with all due respect your subordinate in this in this conversation, and you should allow him to do his job you interrupted, which was fine, but you didn't know why he interrupted, they have been trapped properly. If you want to take it to the audience. That's fair enough. But with all due respect, let's not have any undeclared negative intentions that were neutral and equal on this panel and platform. There's no arm academic arm up here. And you've
been to seeing your dissent. The other gentleman we have on personalities and this other conversation, I just find it was rude that was interrupted and we're having a really good philosophical discussion. That's why I'm saying can we take
we're gonna continue with this discussion. Dr. Harris and
Dr. Murthy are going to be brought in and I appreciate Dr. Murthy
bring us in, bring you in and the audience. Please go ahead. So it's another argumentative point. I'm not gonna take sides either way this but I felt, you know, it started off by presenting an argument that ostensibly is an argument about evil. And then mama came in and said, You denied evil. Objective substratum. Okay. And you said, actually, there's just good and there's a lack of good. So good is the good something that admits of degree so you can have greater or lesser good?
Yes. So then the argument still goes to, because all that's needed for me to go through is for you to have less good. So I
would respect the notion of evil.
Point was in response to that was that evil doesn't have an ontological status, you cannot put it. It's not substratum you cannot put under a microscope. I'm not making a point about the relational type of evil, you can say that evil exists. I'm saying, as an atheist, how can you substantiate my question was how can you substantiate the existence of something on atheism, objectively, which doesn't have but that's irrelevant to his argument?
No, it's not.
On the basis, all he needs for his argument to work is if good can admit of degrees, if you can have a greater or lesser amount of good, then the arguments are sound arguments. Now, I feel like three on one level,
you need to do this, I'm sure you do.
Last thing is this, you've negated one very important thing, which is the fact that we talked about Divine Wisdom anyway, which is that we vie wisdom is not mentioned up the Epicurean types of evil.
It's not mentioned in in the urine. You're
not asking about it's not mentioned even in his argument, because Divine Wisdom wisdom, direct language means what are shaping mechanics it basically is appropriate. We love here. This is also relevant to the
you aren't you aren't answering a question about the you're laughing while laughing? Because you are deflecting. Now the question. My question is this, when you when you talk about God, you're talking about all of the attributes that Muslims speak about, we're talking about God, including, but not limited to the wisdom of God. And I'm saying that the existence of evil doesn't negate the wisdom of God, because wisdom is appropriately, it could be appropriate unless you want to say it's fundamentally inappropriate for them to be a world in which evil exists. And that's appropriate. Because as the handles also say, you know, only the pixel and God knows the picture. You have the
totality of knowledge. You don't know everything that exists. In other words, and also from a logical perspective, just to address your point. Let's assume that that so what Muhammad hijab means about
Good having levels is in a kind of model export into the real world sure does have levels in the robot, but ontologically say good is nonexistent. Good, good. It says existence an absolute. Let's assume that and we have wisdom that's existence absolute. What we're saying is that evil itself is actually a in a manifestation of absolute unchanging, good and absolute unchanging wisdom. Yeah, in a real world sense. So even from that perspective, there are theological accounts where you can say, yeah, the goodness and wisdom of God actually ground evil in the real world sets. But evil doesn't have its ontological status is actually good. And based on wisdom that actually under undermines the
logical argument, in my view, do you mind if I respond?
There was like a
bow talking and takes divine wisdom into account. So okay, so the idea is that prior to godson, it's just the argument into simplistic terms. idea is that the theist is committed to the three distinct phases of propositions about God. The first is God's unsurpassable greatness. That includes his omniscience, which is includes his wisdom, His omnipotence and his app supreme axiological. Right. So he's omniscience in Islam is different from his wisdom. Okay, so essence. So let's, let's say that that also includes his wisdom. Okay, let's,
let's say that they say that a pod is supposed to gather data.
The idea is that prior to the existence of any natural world, so the created order, God is independent, you this is part of this is your point that you want to emphasize, which is independent of the Creator, or the difference between the creator and the created? Yes. So prior to any creation, you have this, all that is existence, is a superlative view. And the core argument that Schellenberg puts forward is that the feast is also committed to what he calls prior purity of God. So in other words, there's no good sin. There are no goods in God that have any relationship to evil whatsoever. So there's no God is in some sense. Axia logically underlain? unblanched, okay, so he's
pure. Okay. And the point that he's trying to get across in this new logical argument from evil, yes. is trying to say, Well, how do you bridge the gap? If you start off with a being that is superbly Great. Can't be great to show show and is Axia logically pure? Yes. In all, goodness is no evil and God does not mean that presupposes. So you may even think that there's nothing like COURAGING God prior to. Okay, okay. Okay. But let's not be dismissive. I'm trying to give the the argument here. So the idea is that, from that state, any omniscient unwise being would judge that all the pure goods in him are better than any sorts of fine art goods? And the idea of the argument,
the thrust of the argument is that God would model the world they offer the goods that are inherent, in other words, he would make a world that is more God luck. Right.
Okay, so basically the Islamic tradition. Yeah, there's different schools of thought, let me just say, gentleman, let you finish there. We've been given now seven half minutes to
wrap things our container let you finish your point with this different schools of thought. So there's the wind kind of just like with Christianity, like Augustine and Thomas Aquinas and so on, they had the school field this is called the obviously and in that they had the idea of privation. Okay, if you take the integral claim, I also believe in that there's divine command theory, which is something that's good because God said it. That's, that's also representative samples to always answer this question. Let's go with the provision to for the sake of argument or the one Woodstock's issue. I'm saying the following. I'm saying that look, if God is all good, it's like for example,
the see the slide over there, you see, like, yeah, yeah, okay. So what is goodness is the reflection of the evil is the removal of the light, right? So, you answer so good is when God chooses to manifest His attributes of goodness, that is the provision of good to understand and translate. So it doesn't require him to have an evil in him to remove the goodness or remove manifestation. But you understand this? Yeah, yeah, I get it. I get I get I get the point. But that's what that's what identity is the point that it's like to go to you, which is exactly that you can run the same argument I don't need to talk about when we can run Schoenberg's argument without talking about
evil. We can talk about there exists a world with a distinct absence of good Okay, so
the point. Point is a world full substantially shorter.
is a thing in the first what you have to answer
and then we can take questions because I do get the full McKeesport for about three minutes. Anything. Give me one side. So there is a there was a there was a phrase by a man who has one of the great schools of Islam. He says that Lisa fill in can abdominal can there's nothing in the creation better than what is. This is
kind of connecting what you're talking about. Okay, so there's a long discussion amongst our scholars about what this means. You see, I'm gonna say so it's because it's connected. So you're coming with good interrogations? I'm not I'm not actually dismissing what you're saying, what he's saying is something that Islamic scholars spoke about 4000 years, no problem, you'll, you'll come up with good interrogations. Now, the response to that, like if I wrote a book on that very phrase, sapd Because he literally wrote this, in reality, as a reader as a local material, you tell me what the answer that he gave was possible to
get his face we have to.
So I believe that there is a problem with the body. And as I address the professor Harris, what I would say is, there is an assumption that there is a distinction between ontological good, and a real world evil. Is that correct?
It's not quite, but the argument is not that I'm talking about the assumption of the argument. So what I'm saying is, there is a good, God has good, right? It's perfect being good is only benevolent, right? And there is an evil, you will, are you making an ontological distinction between evil existing and God's goodness? All right. What we would say is, in actual fact, even itself does not have an ontological existence. It is a manifestation of the perfect goodness and the perfect wisdom. So what, that's the theistic position of Islam? So the whole logic is actually a straw man of Islamic thesis, it will only work if you conflate omniscience with God's wisdom, which there is a
subtle difference. And only there is a an assumption in the logic that there is an ontological difference between good and evil and evil itself has some kind of grounding or ontology. We will say that's not Islamic this this
discourse is Excuse me, excuse me.
We literally started Sorry, I was supposed to have five minutes. It's nothing to be sorry. And you can call me rude. It's fine. I live with that. What what I'm saying I'm a passionate person, I think to start with the gentleman outside. It strikes now we will be talking about God truth, morality. There are men getting cold outside. It's very cold workers working for us people that didn't know that. Yeah. Now I'm telling you that. So let me say we speak about God and where do they fit in that mentor? We need to be out by one minute, so I'm not even going to finish? No, really.
These people needed to ask questions, but because you have four men were truly interested only in themselves with their truth with their correctness. You could have been one but
I'm interested in myself know because you've been speaking with so