Monday, September 19, 2005

God isn't dead

If one of us haven't killed him, then He's alive.

I claim that each one of us has this constant struggle between serving our self material interests and rising above them, between good and evil, between having principles and being purely utilitarian, between being moral and immoral.

Does it matter if we're Muslim or not, or if we're religious or not even? I say it doesn't. A religion like Islam just makes it clearly communicated, what's wrong and what's right, and we get to choose and we get to know the consequences, and we should thank God for letting us know. Nevertheless, we know it already, but now its just communicated for the blind of us.

How do we know it? Simple, that's how we've been created. Man is created with a balance of good and evil, and he makes the choice, and he is accounted for that choice. You have been created in the best form, yet you can become of a lowest form, and that's how God has created us [al-teen:4-5].

Knowing enough atheists makes you realize that there is such a thing as a moral atheist, and knowing enough religious people makes you realize that there is such a thing as an immoral believer. Maybe the believer is trying to compensate for his immoral behavior, and maybe the atheist is trying to compensate for his lack of belief? Well, I would say no, not necessarily. But we're all affected by religion and by God, and even atheists have been influenced by some form of religion that is radiating from their surroundings, family, literature, film, architecture as Begovic notes, and that the nonreligious didn't grow up in ignorance of religion, but rather in opposition to it.

So we're all affected by religion really, some of us choose to believe in it and in God yet still be immoral in most of their acts. Those, have killed God, but it doesn't mean that He's dead still. And some of us choose to reject religion and God, yet they are still the creation of God, created in the best form with as much good in them as much as evil, and their lack of visible belief does not negate God's existance, and their beings is proof of His very existance.

An atheist friend of mine who has grown in a Christian family and whom I consider very moral, once told me that he knows he will be missing something and will eventually need to "believe" as he grows older in the later stages of his life. I wonder if that is a common case, and I wonder why?

For those who suggest that man's conscious, not God, is what drives moral behavior, isn't that conscious a creation of God? of the form man was created in. And thus, as Begovic asks, isn't belief in man instead of God a lower form of religion? That conscious part of us is what God has blown into man from His spirit [saad:72], which drives our morality, whether we recognize it or not.


Charismatic Soul said...

this statment sounds very disturbing to me :)

jessy said...

This totally reminds me of Nietzsche's 'The Gay Science'. In the beginning, I was completely disturbed by it, perhaps I was too young to think about such things! But seriously, take a look at this:
" Without God, society could enjoy true freedom as determined by one’s will to power. “Do we not hear the noise of the grave-diggers who are burying God?” he wrote. “Do we not smell the divine putrefaction?—for even Gods putrefy! God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him! How shall we console ourselves, the most murderous of all murderers? . . . Is not the magnitude of this deed too great for us? Shall we not ourselves have to become Gods, merely to seem worthy of it?” Accordingly, he came to believe that by overcoming his need to conform to religious ideals, he could rise to the greatness within him."

jessy said...

I remember when I first heard this, I was in class and my crazed teacher (he taught us some class called Theory of Knowledge) started pacing frantically across the room, he wanted us to be moved by this, and he wanted us to consider why anyone might think that God is dead. Given the religious ( I lived in the Gulf at the time)laws, and extremely theological mentalities, I expected him to be fired then and there. Poor guy, but it was amazing to talk about such things so profoundly. I'm not saying that Nietzsche was a total atheist, I believe he simply didn't want to conform. God, well the idea of God is such a universal form of belief where everyone has faith, and fear to stand out and believe in something different. Maybe he didn't wanna be a part of it, maybe he was a complete mental pshyco, or maybe he was too egotistical to think that some greater power than the human mind remains. The reality of it all is that Nietzsche is dead, and God is still alive.

Mohamed said...

Thanks Jessy. I promise I'll write the post then.

"The reality of it all is that Nietzsche is dead, and God is still alive."

Hehe, yeah :)

ritzy said...

I'm really glad you mention this and have a focus on the choices we made.

An observation: there are so many people who say they do not believe in God and are therfore not religious. Yet when you get to know them, you will learn that they believe in all kinds of spirituality; it's just that they cannot identify with the God and the religion they have been taught to identify with; however God is still there with them.

Re. Nietzche, I think what he really says is that God died the moment we stopped believing in him; e.g. he is a creation of mankinds collective mind; if no one is thinking of him/believing in him, he has ceased to exist.

If we find that crazy it's because we believe God is a separate entity that exist on its own and not just an idea in our heads. I think he tried to show us what God once was and now is (well, at his time). As far as I can understand the conclusion is a question mark: if we don't believe in God how can we then say he is there?

Then again, we say we believe in God, we are believers, it is our faith; already there is a notion that God is something we want and it doesn't matter if we can scientifically prove his existence, we still believe.

Does it make sense?

roora said...

Actually yes we are all born by elfitra , (nature ) to know what is right and wrong but sometimes things change and life is stuggling and we have to stick to what is right an leave what is wrong. There are more temptations that just happen ! The sense of reward and judgement gives this push and directs us to what is right and wrong absolutely.

Beside that even the atheist, He should not behave well , he should thank God and worship Him.

I guess your freind to feel by what is called elfitra in worshipping God

Jane said...

I have a friend who is a scientist, doctor, and atheist. She has simply never believed in God at all. Her parents sent her to church school on Sundays when she was a child. The church asked them not to send her anymore. She was never swayed by anything they said. Her lack of belief in God is just as fervent as the belief others have in God. I don't think she will ever have faith in a higher power no matter what, but she is an ethical and moral person. Her statement would be not that God is dead, but that God never existed in the first place.

jessy said...

First a reply to ritzy:
Once again, it goes back to the choices we make. I totally agree that there exists many forms of spirituality, such as elfitra, or a total belief in God, or whether it be Buddhism, etc etc. Regardless of the many reasons we are given to believe in God or any spiritual entity on its own, the choice is made based on many other predicaments.

- Believing in anything doesn't happen on its own, we are influenced by many other factors, such as Authority, or the society we live in, or even to a certain extent the language we speak, logic.. they all work together when making a choice in the end. And at this point it never will seem to make sense. Yet when you break it down, perhaps an atheist bases their belief on knowledge, the science of logic, or even a past experience in life that molds their opinion. Whereas once again an experience in life might completely sway non-believers to become devout believers.

Then, perhaps when we talk about the existence of God, we also need to consider how we even came about to know that such a God existed. For instance, I grew up in a Muslim society where the idea of God has been imprinted in my memory for as long as I remember. I never thought otherwise until I became older, and saw how other people are passionate believers in different things. Even the idea that God "is a creation of mankinds collective mind", and that we can choose not to believe in him, never, and I reiterate, never crossed my mind before.
It's extremely complicated making such a choice, and in the end spirituality is very personal, and nevertheless public because we discuss it, and talk about it. We are the ones who even acknowledge the existence of these different kinds of spiritual belief.
ok, I think I've confused myself and everyone else enough.. thinking about it is absolutely intense!

Ana Horra said...

Believing in God or having faith a higher power does not necessitate following an organized religion.
On the other hand, one can be religious and an atheist, e.g. Buddhists.

As for the connection between morality and religion, as you said, one often sees them together but it’s possible to have one without the other.

The question is - does morality require a religious foundation.
I liked this quote by Einstein:
“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.“

Anti-religious, you may say? Absolutely not.
Another quote that I read somewhere.
“The only mature attitude to religion is to see it for what it is - a kind of art, which only a child could mistake for reality, and which only a child would reject for being false.”

TARFAH said...

Did u catch the info.? This is ur neighbour

ritzy said...

Thanks Jessy,
it is confusing and perhaps it should be because if there is a higher being how could we aspire to understand it? The nice thing with faith is that it allow us to stop at a certain point; we acknowledge that we do not need to 'know' or 'prove' everything; there is a space we cannot enter and it is nice to believe God is taking care of us from that place.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me for my english.

According to me, God's Existence doesn't concern the moral or ethical behaviour of people, doesn't concern the good and the evil, the right or wrong.
God's Existence is for me, first of all, a need of human mind to overcome the fear of death.

Anonymous said...

Not only the fear of death, but the fear of unknown in general.

Al Sharief said...

Naturally divisive this post is Ya Mohamed. Nice stirr up though, But Not for every one. The General Public usually avoids the controversy topic when titled as such. Only Bloggers like us gives the topic some Attention.

Can't help it here to wonder wher's haal from all of this, since she addressed the "Fitrah" and the lack of human knowledge from S.Qutb perspective, only to beg to Not to call the very dead Nietzche a Kafir Boy, on this post.

God Never Die, rather ever Living, regardless of the nature of the struggle by whom ever: Einstin, Nietzche , or Qutb. All gone except "Al Hai" "Al Dayem"" zu AL Jalal we El Ekramm"

Mohamed said...

Yeah Sharief, actually I can relate my argument to Qutb's Fitrah one I suppose.

Haal is usually the one to ask the questions, and everyone here seems to be providing answers.

haal said...

'...nonreligious didn't grow up in ignorance of religion, but rather in opposition to it.'

Religion here is in refrence to what? I assume you mean the idea of 'God', right?!

'we're all affected by religion really, some of us choose to believe in it and in God'

Why do u separate between God and religion? why the 'And'. Shouldnt one encompass the other by definition.

'isn't belief in man instead of God a lower form of religion? '

Love this sentence.

But again define what bigovic meant with religion, and a lower form of it.

My fitra tells me that Bigovic meant no separation between God and religion. Both are the same. I say, one form is for those who 'yatafakahoun' and the other form for those who need stick and a carrot, and indeed there is a middle state for those who are 'on the path.'

But again, isnt all this the creation of God. The ideas. The instinct. The thinking. The death of him and the every living part.

'God Never Die, rather ever Living'
If he is living then He must die. Thus, i support that he is neither dead nor alive. He is THERE. Not a place either.

haal said...

'Haal is usually the one to ask the questions, and everyone here seems to be providing answers.'

there are no answers. only questions. no argument either. all valid and invalid. we are talking about something very personal here guys!

Mohamed said...

Haal, 7ayy is a state with no beginning and no end, al7ayy alkayoum. Its a different a state than the human state of living, so being alive doesn't mean that He'll die.

That is in regard to the "physical" state of death, He's alive whether we like it or not, but that's not what matters really, what matters is if He's alive to us or not.

Yeah, I think Bigovic doesn't differentiate between religion and belief in a god.

And I think by lower form of religion, it is to believe in a lesser god than God, ourselves --a creation of God.

haal said...

Sure He is there. Whether we acknowledge God or not, HE is there. Period. What is not there is our image of Him.

One of my professors once told me, (in refrence to soemthing else), if you dont know that England exist doesnt deny the fact that IT IS THERE... it is Only that you dont know about it.

Al Sharief said...

Fine elaboration on
"al7ayy alkayoum" & thanks for the useful link Mohamed.

England Exist & nothing is personal about it.

What is personal, is the struggle (that Mo opened this post with) between serving our self material (or spirtual I may add) interests and rising above them to power a happy being via the guidance of the "Living" God.

Re gardless of forms, I like the possiable catagories: "those who 'yatafakahoun'" and "those who need stick and a carrot" and those in the middle state for those who are 'on the path." The concern is that the "'yatafakahoun'" class are often taken as none conformists, rebeles, and actually chosen prophets as well, at least in the beginning of their ideas. some had been often prosecuted.

Al Sharief said...

"The reality of it all is that Nietzsche is dead, and God is still alive." some how I see this as unfair for Nietsche?. or is he a lesser god wanna be metaphore?
Too tired to defend him now, it's late...but I can
admire his human will to power.
Never dare to compare his human death to the Al Mighty Living Will Power.

jessy said...

Well, I'm sure I can see why people might think of Nietsche as a " god wanna be", I mean, we wouldn't be talking about him right?

I am in no way defending what I wrote, but just to clear things up.. When I mentioned that ("The reality of it all is that Nietzsche is dead, and God is still alive.") , I wasn't exactly comparing, and even if I was, you are talking from your point of view here. You believe that it is wrong to compare the human death to the Living Power of God. So many others wouldn't even blink an eye at such a sentence, or statement. See that's what gets me thinking- people's perceptions. Even writing such a statement for me was a challenge, and that again goes down to simply an opinion. I went ahead anyways because it felt quite ironic.

Mohamed said...

I think it could be unfair to Nietzsche too, and he might be worth defending. So give it a shot Sharief.

And yes, we can't compare a human state to a Godly state, even if the states use the same words because there is nothing like Him ليس كمثله شىء

But I liked Jessy's statement nevertheless (though unfair to Nietzsche yes), serves as a good reminder that we come and go, and He's always there. Our deeds however will last forever, so Nietzsche isn't really dead either!

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