“Philosopher, Jay Richards, defines materialism, discusses how it has impacted us, explains why it shouldn’t be confused with science, and analyzes why it ultimately fails as an explanation…” (SOURCE: From the blub on the associated YouTube channel)
Jay Richards, PhD, is an Analyic philosopher and the Assistant Professor at The Catholic University of America.
What is the difference between Information and Misinformation?
INFORMATION: Facts provided or learned about something or someone.
Example: ‘a vital piece of information’
Synonyms: details, particulars, facts, figures, statistics, data
MISINFORMATION: False or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive.
Example: ‘nuclear matters are often entangled in a web of secrecy and misinformation’
Synonyms: disinformation, false information, misleading information, deception
This video talks about the New Atheists, but what was most interesting in it was when Professor Blankinship talked about the radical historical doubt that even queries the historicity of the nineteenth century, let alone the ancient and medieval periods (and the implicit absurdity in the line of reasoning that its adherents go through to try and ‘prove’ their point of view).
On Facebook, Jesse Smith said:
“…Moral “truth” changes with time, else slavery and executions of adultery, among others, would continue. We dont need an ancient book or vague ideas of a celestial overmind to know what is moral, especially when the ancient books morals are selected for by humans as we go. The 4th surah is good evidence of this, as is the punishment for unbelief, as are much of the laws of the Old Testament- for every beautiful verse like u quoted there are others that are shockingly cruel. These books can be a guide, thrown aside when needed and adapted when needed.
Our civilisation has depended on this ability to discern its value, and as we rely on it less and less we have greater freedom and happiness than ever before.
The answer to preventing nuclear war is not faith however, which has a history of fermenting war and rarely preventing it, but more and better science to safeguard that which we have, and limiting the causes for war in general which tends to be poverty and ideological divison- two things religion tends to encourage. So the answer is not less science and more ancient faith based guidance, I would argue.”
“‘Christianity is about love.’
“How many times do we hear Christians say Christianity is all about love?
“But, what happens when somebody Bob mistakenly thinks is a Christian, when in fact he’s a Muslim… What was Bob’s response? When a Christian comes and says, ‘Look, this is not Christianity, you know it should be about love.’:
“‘Oh you’re a weak Christian.’
“What did he mean?”
Early Man was Religious
We have very little facts about prehistoric beliefs. This is a problem.
“The first semblance of religious practices began in the Paleolithic period, which occurred roughly from 2.6 million years ago and lasted until 10,000 years ago… it was during this expansive time period that the first ancestors and relatives of modern humans began to bury their dead. Specifically, around 300,000 years ago. The practice of burying the dead indicates a belief in or fascination with the concept of an afterlife.”
So it seems that with the advent of humanity, there is certainly evidence of a belief in an afterlife. However, there are massive problems with trying to make further assertions one way or another during this time period.
This is a great overview of a failed hypothesis.
Hamza Tzortzis first distinguishes a difference between academic and popular discourse on this topic. Though there are arguments on the popular front as to why and how science has killed religion and that atheism is inevitable, Hamza explains that on the academic front the answer is very different: No – science does not necessarily lead to Atheism.
Hi there again,
I’m enjoying this conversation by the way. I think through civilised discourse you can get to understand and appreciate different perspectives.
“O mankind, indeed We have… made you into peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of ALLAH is the most righteous of you. Indeed, ALLAH is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Qur’an 49:13)
1. The Mission: A Very Important Choice
I fully agree with you that “one must first establish the validity of the text as a source of knowledge.” (See point 6, below.) Firstly, what I like about Islam is that our mission is to spread the word about Islam but not to compel anyone to it.
“There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the deen (way of life, religion). The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut (corruption, evil) and believes in ALLAH has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And ALLAH is Hearing and Knowing.” (Qur’an 2:256)
“So if they argue with you [O Muhammad] , say, “I have submitted myself to ALLAH [in Islam], and [so have] those who follow me.”… “Have you submitted yourselves?”… but if they turn away – *then upon you is only the [duty of] notification*. And ALLAH is Seeing of [His] servants.” (Qur’an 3:20)
This is because the rapport each one of us has (or the lack thereof) with The Creator is something between us (individually) and Him, at the end of the day (i.e. the Last Day – i.e. the Day of Judgement).
In which case, consider the adage: ‘Don’t shoot the Messenger.’
There was a series of conversations on the ‘Why Evolution is True‘ site, on the post about ‘Gary Wills whitewashes the Qur’an‘. The thread I’m referring to is:
“The gist of the Quran is that God will torture for eternity those who reject him or his prophet, or oppose his plans. The same idea appears in the story of Moses. Both, the threat of eternal punishment and the story of Moses are repeated endlessly. I don’t know what’s wrong with people that don’t find the idea of eternal punishment repellent.”
John Lynn Harvey said:
“I believe the Sunni’s are the strictest on the damnation of all non-Muslims. Shia Islam and Sufi Islam are much looser on this.
Roughly one-third of the Koran is concerned with the Last Judgement, which is a much higher percentage than the New or Old Testament.”
MWM (That’s me) said:
“If there were a God who promises those that do good, eternal good and those that do bad, eternal bad that’s His perogative. He’s God. He sets His rules. He’s sent prophets time and again to warn us of a Judgement Day and to guide us to His revealed way. “… And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning).” (Qur’an 17:15). Why would He do that unless He cared?
Moreover he’s given us our minds and our will to make up our own minds, which is a bonus; they are aids to help us to that end. “[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving” (Qur’an 67:2). The danger is we anthropormorphise God, which results in us thinking He’s a tyrant. But tyrants are men acting/pretending /thinking they’re like God. They’re not. “And none is comparable to Him.” (Qur’an 112:4) Only God has the right to act the way He does; that’s the definition of being God. And yet His guidance is good for us. “And this is a Book which We have revealed as a blessing: so follow it and be righteous, that ye may receive mercy.” (Qur’an, 6/155) and “The Qur’an as a guide to mankind also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong)…” (Qur’an, 2/185).
“Why are we surprised our children become secular-minded after a secular education?” (See 0:27:54)
And so begins Daniel Haqiqatjou, Director of Religion and Scientism for the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, in his lecture, ‘Decoding the Matrix: Restructuring Muslim Thought for the Modern World’.
“Part of your success as a… student in general in the college system is your ability to internalise certain … conceptual schemes… in the process of analysis [of] different texts… so for example, Islamic studies – as Islam is studied in Western nations, we’re assuming a certain conceptual language and we’re asking… ‘what is Islam?’ ‘what is Islamic?’ ‘how much does Islam respect minority rights?’ ‘how much does Islam respect women rights?’ ‘to what extent does Islam respect freedom, equality, and democracy?’… In asking those questions you’re deploying certain concepts – namely, what is a minority? What is freedom? What is democracy? What is power? What is authority? What is equality? These are the terms that any graduate student will understand intuitively. Those questions, however, are never in question. What’s in question is Islam. What’s in question is the Islamic conceptual universe…
And so my recommendation… is that we need to turn the tables in a sense, that we need to assume, as Muslims devotionally, we need to assume the Qur’anic conceptual landscape and interrogate the modern structures and the modern conceptual landscape in those terms… if we do that and have that kind of prioritisation in mind and exercise a little bit of skepticism and critique, that is going to in shaa Allah help us to live in the modern world succesfully, constructively and peacefully.” (See 0:44:08)