Facts and beliefs
But, I am sorry, instead of all of this I will again post part of an Orkut discussion, so you will have to wait a bit longer to read here about Dutch politics and multiculturalism ;-) Below is another discussion with Roberta from the UK, we disagree a lot but our discussions are nice. Roberta had a discussion with a Muslim (named K here) about the validity of the Quran.
She said that he should prove that:
- Allah is God
- Allah wrote the Quran
- EVERYTHING in the Quran happened in FULL accordance with HISTORY and ARCHAEOLOGY
Why do you emphasize so much on proofs?
For ONE reason only. To be a FACT, as something is claimed to be, PROOF is needed. If there is NO PROOF, then it is NOT a fact, but a mere speculation. (And that changes the whole context of an issue).
Is a discussion about validity really interesting, aren't there some more interesting and relevant ways in which we could have religious discussions?
Sure we can! We can discuss any religion you like, as long as people do NOT claim that what they are preaching are FACTS.
This discussion has been going on a long time now and it doesn't seem to be heading somewhere.
Of course! That is because I have set a challenge to K, which HE is unable to meet. So he keeps delaying and trying to manipulate the situation but is never proving anything.
He is pushing me to prove my evidence, which I will, as soon as he proves what I asked first. It is fair, I believe.
And I already said to him that if he cannot prove it, he must ADMIT it, so that I can proceed to prove the scriptures similar to the Quran.
Facts are things that you know / that you can test to see if it's true or not.
Yes. This is my point. I totally agree with you.
Therefore my point is: If I cannot test to see if ALLAH is G-d, or that G-d wrote the Quran, it ceases to be a FACT, and it becomes a BELIEF. ONLY A BELIEF.
Yes I agree.
A belief is something you believe in because you find it plausible, not because you have proofs that everything is exactly like that.
Some people believe in things because OTHERS tell them, and NOT because they find it plausible. MOST PEOPLE who are muslim these days cannot believe in the Quran as plausible because they cannot read ARABIC. So they depend on OTHERS to tell them things.
And the OTHERS can tell them whatever they want... after all, how can you check?
A scientific proof of the existence of God, gods or of your "aliens" isn't possible anyway, it isn't possible for any religion.
Who said so? The meaning of G-d is KNOWLEDGEABLE. This is what G-d means as a word. And as far as this word goes, it is found in ALL SCRIPTURES as either G-ds or G-d, suggesting that there have been many G-ds. NOT ONLY ONE. The monotheist idea is the agglomeration of all these g-ds and their feats throughout history.
This is very important to establish.
Why should the Islam be an exception?
It is NOT an exception. The only exception with Islam is that it CLAIMS G-d wrote the QURAN, and it claims that "ALLAH" is "The Almighty G-d", which I do not agree. So I need PROOF for this CLAIM. Otherwise it is NOT a fact at all!
If you don't accept what K says, and vice versa, is it useful to have this discussion then?
I will accept what he says, provided he gives me ARCHAEOLOGICAL and HISTORICAL proof that situations in the Quran happened as it is stated, 100% and that Quran was written by G-d. Oh, and that ALLAH is G-D.
He is not accepting what I say because he is afraid of the truth.
And the truth is that you cannot prove any of the things I asked him to prove. Why?
Because they are NOT FACT. They are just SPECULATION or Baseless BELIEF.
There are on the one hand facts which we can know, and on the other hand there is our faith in which we believe. Some things can be considered as proven facts/knowledge, other things not.
Moral judgements and predictions, for instance, are beliefs, not facts.
Let's analyse this:
- "At this moment I am working for the Dutch Council of Vocational Education and Training." -> This is a fact.
- "I will still work there next year." -> This is not a fact, this is a belief or prediction.
- "In the Netherlands, abortion is legally allowed but only in the first three months of a pregnancy." -> This is a fact.
- "It is wrong to have an abortion because we are not allowed to kill a living human being." -> This is not a fact but an opinion, some people believe it's right, others disagree.
This distinction is also relevant e.g. for the Reality vs Fiction discussion we had before. Some Orkuters seem to think that every statement consists of a claim to facts which can be tested and which then turns out to be either correct or false. With predictions you can test afterwards if they were true or not, but with moral judgements you can never objectively test if they are right or wrong. I think that the same applies for religions, which are also moral systems. Moreover I think that God (or the gods if there are more) is not made of the same "material" as everything else that you can find in the physical world. I think God belongs to the meta-physical world, so if you look for physical, not meta-physical proofs of Him, you will never find them.
I am sure that K isn't afraid of "the truth" (your truth). When somebody strongly believes in his faith, there is no need to be afraid. I personally think that every belief should leave some space for doubt, I believe in God, but I am not sure he exists. I don't need to prove it either, because to believe is not the same as to know.