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9/6/08

My Final Treatise

It has been some time since I have recorded my thoughts here on AID. I must admit that I feel ashamed to have not kept in contact much with my team here, nor with our readers. The reasons for my absence are many, but are the product of one in particular which I believe many will find obvious by the end of this article; something that has taken up the majority of my minds time and patience these past couple of months.
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I have been studying and seeking in other fields of philosophy so as to craft a finer mind of my own and to understand the world around me more clearly. At the same time, these studies have led me on a new spiritual journey for the sake of truth and inner peace. In this article I hope to give some brief thoughts of my own regarding the topic that this blog represents: Atheism. I only hope that these fragments of thoughts are clear, being granted as a rational position by my fellow Theists and the opposition alike. I must confess that many of my thoughts were influenced by the likes of individuals such as Antony Flew, Alvin Plantinga, Scott Hahn, and the much older, yet still powerfully convincing Descartes: my personal thinking hero.

My philosophical journey began with my studies in Metaphysics and the particular method known as Existentialism. I had also begun to re-examine the Argument From Design (should be changed to the Argument TO Design, rather), noting before that I had always considered it one of the weaker arguments for the existence of God. It was with great surprise that I began to find the Design Argument to be perhaps the best of the argument for Gods existence, but not in the same way that many people conceive of it today. Combining my insights with those who promote arguments from reason, such as Alvin Plantinga and the former C.S. Lewis, and other such arguments such as the rationalists views of Descartes and the Existentialists views of Thomas Aquinas, I came to understand some things that have always been right in front of me. Or, should I say that they were always inside of me? Ingrained deep within my psyche and as my psyche? Could it have not been clearer before? The existence of God is so clear that I think any man, woman, or child would literally have to not be in order to miss it or lying to themselves, or confused about what they really think of reality.

Knowing that one exist is the absolute first certain thing that man can come to know. It is the only thing that can be proven by first being doubted. It is by doubt that self-existence is proven. From here we reason that we can think; that we are thinking things. In order to move further from this we must understand that we can examine the world around us and that we can interpret the world. We can also make choices and we can decide between those choices, seemingly uninhibited by the laws of nature themselves. And if we are to deny the freedom of choice and say that our minds are dictated by the material, then we can no longer accept that we or anyone else is rational, for rationality needs free will to be considered as such. No man can reason to the truth if reason does not exist and is merely something chosen for us. A man who thinks himself wise for destroying his own wisdom is the greatest fool of all. Needless to say, this is why Atheists are foolish in their thinking, but we have yet to conclude that in the following examination. Let us continue.

Taking this idea further, let us conclude what Descartes concluded, that the effect must have something of the cause. The cause must be greater than the effect in the sense that it created the effect. It must possess a lack of limitation that the effect has. Let us consider a conversation I had recently with a fellow Agnostic friend of mine. She had stated to me that the Universe could have come from the result of several causes acting on one another, sort of like a gradualist evolutionary process. She said that a cause “greater” than the Universe we see today was not necessary. But all I needed to do to upset this sort of thinking was ask her a very obvious thing: What then are we to make of that thing that was able to organize all those other causes to create the universe we have today? Shall we continue to suggest that smaller factors simply continued to pile on top of one another ad-infinitum? Where we have many things working together we must have something greater to make them do this. This is only reasonable. And for those out there that think an infinite regress is a plausible idea, I believe they have no good reasons for supposing such a thing exist. For if this were the case, then all justification would go out the window, there would be no reason to suppose that the Universe we have today came from those chain of causes. Note the following, that if there were such thing as an infinite regress, the Universe we have today would not exist. For the Universe we live in is set on a foundation that we can observe and understand. If such foundations were the result of an ever-changing, contingent chain of events, we would not be alive today to notice such things, for the very smallest change in the Universe and its patterns would destroy us all.

Going on with the idea of a “greater cause” over that of its effects, we must therefore conclude that if we consider ourselves rational creatures with the capabilities of design and purpose, that the cause of us must equally if not moreso, possess the same attributes. Even if we were to say that we create our own meaning, purpose, and objectives, and that design is simply a small function of human survival, we must conclude, rationally, that the ultimate reality possesses or at least can possess similar features. If not, then we claim that we are greater than that which has caused us or we concede the most irrational belief that the effects of causes do not hold similar like features of those causes, disrupting our idea of cause and effect forever.

It is by self-examination and the obvious understanding of human thought that we can conclude these things. It is by the empirical observation of the inner-self, that proves as the greatest evidence of design. From evidence of design, free will, rationality, etc. comes the logical conclusion of that which is greater than ourselves: The Ultimate Reality, which is God. And the only way for an Atheist to deny this evidence is to deny his or herself. It is from this denial that the label of “fool” is so adequate and not simply because of the mere denial of the existence of God. It is the denial of the freedom of choice, the rational mind, and the entire human person that is most foolish, because such things are the greatest evidence of belief. And of course, the Atheist will scoff at such an idea and call these things mere illusion, but if they are to do so they must similarly conclude that the human person, not as a body, but as a mind is an illusion, and all their thoughts and all their objections to the Theists are meaningless portrayals of chemical reactions bubbling their way to the surfaces of absurdity.

It is with this basic understanding that I have concluded that there is no longer any reason to argue with such disbelievers. I have eased my mind and made it clear to myself that there is no longer any reason, for the man who denies God denies himself, and the man who denies himself never sees God. It is not even a paradox, but a self-justifying circularity, much like the doubting of self-existence. I can see nothing more clear than this. I can see no other way. For those that argue over times, dates, the function of cells, the morals of the world, and all other things I simply smile and look the other way. It is a waste of time. For it should be obvious without such nonsense arguments. We have no need to use such things. The greatest evidence, the greatest witness, is within us and is us. We need nothing else to show these truths! Why have I wasted my time for so long till now? And I know that even now I may be wasting my time, as my opponents will think themselves clever by telling me how I evolved and where I came from. Shame on them for thinking that these things have any bearing on what I have stated, as though I deny my own evolutionary history simply because I am a Theists, or that I need to be told this because it is somehow relevant to the obvious conclusion of accepting the human person as it really is: a thinking thing. And however you view a “thinking thing”, you must logically conclude, if you are truly using reason and not mere emotions, that there is a greater. There is no other conclusion if one is to use their reason.

And it should be clear that to accept the mind as the brain, as a physical entity, one has destroyed their own wisdom. They should feel ashamed for even trying to argue such a thing, for they have made themselves the most obvious of fools and have made my argument the only rational conclusion, because they have discarded rationality for the absurd conclusion of determined mindsets.

I am finally at peace with myself and I have no need to argue this any longer. For this is the approbation of my delusion. It is who I am. It is all that I can be. And it is by the great knowledge and power of Allah that I have come to be helped in reaching these conclusions. And it is with this understanding of Allah that I must also leave this blog as its administrator and contributor, as I am no longer within the same Theological circle as my fellow brothers here on AID, so gifted as they are and so well intended. I only give thanks to all of you who have stuck through with this blog and made it the great place it is.

And it is with this final treatise that I say farewell to you all. Much love and blessings and may Allah guide you towards the straight path.

Assalaamu Alaykum


-M-

26 comments:

  1. "And it is with this understanding of Allah that I must also leave this blog as its administrator and contributor, as I am no longer within the same Theological circle as my fellow brothers here on AID, so gifted as they are and so well intended."

    Did M just convert to Islam, or what's with the "theological circle"? I thought creed wasn't an issue in this here Believers vs. Unbelievers free-for-all. At least as far as atheists are concerned, this creed or that, hardly matters.

    But it sounds like M has decided that he doesn't need the strife and abuse that comes with blogs like these, which is a very sensible and respectable decision. The senseless ones, I often think, are those who keep banging their heads together against all better judgment, like in a mental proton smasher hoping to discover some new particle of thought.

    Incidentally, the LHC will be switched on next week. It was nice knowing y'all. (=joke)

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  2. The only way you are ever going to know God is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Muhammed's remains are still in the ground.

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    Replies
    1. and so will be your remains and mine and including Jesus's peace be upon him after his descend back to earth to fulfil the prophecy. but the Lord, yours and mine, the God who created everything. None other than Allah Most High. He is the Ever living, and none is like him. He does not beget nor was He begotten. unlike the Prophet Jesus who was begotten and will by the will of Allah, beget later. You choose whom you worship and so will be your price in the hereafter.

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  3. And with Andrew's careless comment, Atheism nails the coffin shut...

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  4. I didn't see this coming. M, I'm gonna be sad to see you go. Personally, I don't blame you for not wanting to continue on.

    Best wishes.

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  5. Did M just convert to Islam, or what's with the "theological circle"? I thought creed wasn't an issue in this here Believers vs. Unbelievers free-for-all. At least as far as atheists are concerned, this creed or that, hardly matters.

    Quite honestly, I have no idea what happened. If he is a Muslim, tht fact is something I've never known. But as a Muslim he would have been (and was, for the short time I knew him) welcome at the blog.

    Good on you, M, and I wish good things on you in your continuing journey.

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  6. Yeah, on his VLog, on Youtube. He says he's been entertaining the idea for a while. Kinda, sad to see him convert but such is life. See Ya M

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  7. Josh said:
    Quite honestly, I have no idea what happened. If he is a Muslim, tht fact is something I've never known.

    M publicly mentioned it...though in passing on this video (dated July 11th) that he was considering Islam (between min 2:30 and 3:00):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGk1GPnYlZU

    M,
    I am saddened to hear you have officially converted to Islam. Salvation is only found in Jesus Christ. He is God, and more than just a prophet.

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  8. I wish you good luck on the winding path of life, M.

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  9. Allah is simply the lebanese(or arabic) word for God.

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  10. Is M sargent Thomas on my boards and formerly on CARM and AARM?

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  11. SubhanAllah! Wa Alaykum Assalaam M. I find that you've followed the same path as I.

    Your conclusions are most sound.

    Salaam Alaykum
    -sgttomas

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  12. SubhanAllah! Wa Alaykum Assalaam M. I find that you've followed the same path as I.

    Your conclusions are most sound.

    Do you have a good community of brothers there to be nurtured in? You are welcome to email me at any time.

    As-Salaam Alaykum
    -sgttomas

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  13. You're a Muslim, M? Such a pity you didn't weigh in on the "Jewel of Medina thread. I would have liked to know your opinion.

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  14. Your contributions are widely appreciated, M. Although we are of different faiths, here is to theism and the to helping spread the word of a higher power.

    Good luck and God bless.

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  15. M wrote:
    We can also make choices and we can decide between those choices, seemingly uninhibited by the laws of nature themselves. And if we are to deny the freedom of choice and say that our minds are dictated by the material, then we can no longer accept that we or anyone else is rational, for rationality needs free will to be considered as such.

    It is a pity that his final treatise is predicated on a false premise and a gross misunderstanding about the nature of ‘choice’ and ‘free-will’.

    There is absolutely no reason or evidence, that I’m aware of, to indicate that our ability to make reasoned or even un-reasoned choices are ‘uninhibited’ by the laws of nature. All of the neurological studies that I’ve read about show quite clearly that the process of ‘choice’ is, at the very least, entirely consistent with the laws of nature. There is nothing (that we know of) in the way our nervous system works that would lead any body to believe that the process is ‘uninhibited by the laws of nature’.

    The amount of ink wasted on the topic of ‘free-will’ would fill an ocean. The concept of ‘freedom of choice’ and ‘free-will’ is and has been a muddled mess of philosophical confusion. I make no pretense to be able to clear up the issue but I am sure that there is no valid reason to believe that accepting that our minds are ‘dictated by the material’ would in any way mean that ‘we can no longer accept that we or anyone else is rational…’. That is just an unwarranted leap of illogic.

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  16. I just wanted to clarify some things.

    1.) I did convert to Islam for reasons which I will elaborate on later in a future blog as well as on YouTube.

    2.) The basis of my argument does not rest in the concept of Free Will, but the Descartesian (sp?) formula of an effect having to have similar features to the cause it is contingent on for existence.

    Therefore, whatever your perception of "thinking" or "free will" is doesn't matter, because the cause must necessarily have greater features...thus proving rational the belief in a superior intelligent being.

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  17. Indeed, M.

    It looks like you've also figured out the argument -- The human person, each self, is the proof that there is a God, is all the proof that has ever been needed. And the 'atheist' is fool because to deny God he must assert that he himself does not exist.

    As Paul said: "... [men] are without excuse."

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  18. M, you need to work out why you have rejected Jesus and apply the same reasoning to big Al.

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  19. I'm still not sure if M is the person I had met through bible-truths.com a few years back and lost touch with. He has not yet responded to my e-mail. If you see this comment, please e-mail me back.

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  20. Keith said: M, you need to work out why you have rejected Jesus and apply the same reasoning to big Al.

    FYI, Muslims neither reject Jesus nor the Christian God. Their faith explicitly admonishes them to honor Jesus as a prophet sent from God (i.e. Allah), just as Muhammad is revered as Allah's prophet. Furthermore, they consider Allah and the Judeo-Christian God to be the same.

    They feel it's Christians who are mistaken for worshiping Christ as more than a mere prophet and for not recognizing Muhammad as God's prophet and thus rejecting Islam. Now they're wrong, but at least you can see that the conflict for the Muslim doesn't center on a rejection of Jesus or the Judeo-Christian God (contrary to the misunderstanding of many Christians as well)...

    Contrary to their ingrained hubris, atheist are usually ignorant in these matters. Thus the whole 'I just reject on less God than you' argument...

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  21. If Allah and the Judeo-Christian God are one and the same, why did he allow his existence to be reported in two different books? Didn't he realize that this might cause conflict? Or is that what he wants?

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  22. "If Allah and the Judeo-Christian God are one and the same, why did he allow his existence to be reported in two different books? Didn't he realize that this might cause conflict? Or is that what he wants?"

    That is a question that you should really aim at muslims. As far as Christianity goes. there is no "2 books" i.e. the Bible and the Qu'ran. There is only the Bible. Christianity rejects the divine auhority of the Qu'ran.

    ---At this note I am not sure if you are setting up some type of strawman arguement, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt ; ) ---

    It is the muslims (as Netlosh did say if you read carefully) that claim the God of the Bible and the God of Islam to be the same God. This is not a claim that Christians believe (at least they should not), because (as you noted) of the plain contradictions between the 2 books over major theological issues.

    I am sure there are some islamic blogs that could answer your question. Or maybe M could later on?

    Peace

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  23. Muslims believe that Allah (swt) revealed himself, through the prophets, in many books...all of which are "the book" in their purest form (that is, all teach essential Islam).

    So there are not two books, but many.

    However, we were unable to properly preserve this message until the time and place in Arabia, where the particulars of the people and the language ....and the will of Allah...were all right for His word to be delivered in its final form.

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  24. Andrew, Muhammad's (saws) remains are still in the ground because he was a human being. ...this is an irrelevant argument that relies on the particulars of a kind of Christian salvation theology. Such an argument is circular and only applies if one is willing to accept the entire package of original sin, permanent death, separation from God, restoration through atonement sacrifice, and fulfillment through divine sacrifice.

    I understand your beliefs and your desire to express them, however there is no point.

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  25. I know I'm late in the game here, but I just wanted to say really quickly that I'm really sad that you've left the fold, M. It's a great disappointment, but I hope that you will eventually return.

    Nevertheless, I respect this entry and think it's one of the best treatises on the subject I've seen. Simple and straightforward, it makes a solid point. God is obvious.

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