Atheism – The First Questions, what is the Source of this World?

Were they created by nothing, or were they their own Creators?

Atheism Series Introduction -By Fadel Soliman

One of the most wonderful books I have ever read is a book called “There is a God”, by Anthony Flew, who was a professor of philosophy at Oxford University. Anthony Flew was perhaps the most notorious atheist throughout the world. Through his work related to the philosophy and religion, he must have been responsible for converting tens or even hundreds of thousands to Atheism. However, in 2004, he turned the tables and astonished everyone when he wrote a book called “There is a God”, in which he declared that he now believes in the existence of God.

Where did we come from?

When you ask an atheist: ‘where did we come from?’ They merely answer: ‘We came into being by chance’. The word chance here is quite amusing really, because, not only did we not come by chance, but there is not a single thing in the world that came by chance. Everything occurs through God’s providence. God Almighty says: ‘Indeed, all things have we created in proportion and measure.’- Quran 54:49 To those who say that everything in the world came by chance, I say: ‘Why has it never happened that a mango seed grew into a fig tree, by chance? Not once. Never did a grape plant produce marrows or watermelons, by chance. Not once. nothing in this world comes to be by chance.’

The word chance here is quite amusing really, because, not only did we not come by chance, but there is not a single thing in the world that came by chance.

I would like to respond to those who claim that there is no creator by using the words of a great French philosopher, who also happened to be an engineer, called René Descartes. René Descartes says: “I doubt God’s existence. I doubt, therefore I think. I think, therefore I am. (je pense donc j’existe)  I exist, therefore I was created. Since I did not create myself, then Someone else must have created me, and that Someone is God, the Creator.’ So his doubt led him to belief. His doubt in God led him to believe in God. Actually something similar to his reasoning is summarized in a very short yet beautiful verse of the Holy Quran. The impact of this verse is described by a man called Jubayr ibn Mutaam ibn Ady who had been caught by the Muslims during the Battle of Badr. He recounts that as he was entering Madinah as a prisoner of war, he heard the Prophet (PBUH) praying and reciting the following verse from the Quran: ‘were they created by nothing, or were they their own creators?’ Quran 52:35 He recounts that when he heard this verse, he felt suddenly spellbound. He felt himself soaring because the magnificent concept, similar to the one later expressed by Descartes, had been so eloquently expressed in this short verse.Quran-52-35

René Descartes
I doubt God’s existence.
I doubt, therefore I think.
I think, therefore I am.
I exist, therefore I was created.
Since I did not create myself, then Someone else must have created me, and that Someone is God, the Creator.

 

What is the probability that there is no Creator?

Mathematicians often challenge atheists who work in the fields of biology and physics. Because mathematicians deal with invariable facts. 1+1=2 – This will never change. They deal with what is called the theory of probabilities. What is the probability that there is no Creator? Well, let us look at a simpler example. Supposing I get 12 marbles, and number them from one to twelve, then put them in a bag, close my eyes, shake the bag and blindly choose one. What is the probability that I will pull out marble No. 1. The probability is 1 in 12. If I return the marble back to the bag, shake it again and blindly choose a marble once more, what are the odds that I will pull out marble No. 2? Still 1 in 12. Ok, so what is the probability that I will get marble No.1 the first time, followed by No. 2 the next time? It is 1 in 144. In other words, I would have to repeat this experiment 144 times in order get marble  No. 1, followed by marble No.2. Do you know what the probability is of getting all of the marbles in sequence from 1 to 12. I would have to try 379 million times for that to happen once. So, if picking out 12 marbles in sequence seems so impossible, then what are the odds that this universe, with all its variations, numerations and synchronizations would come into existence by chance. All this enormity, diversity and complexity, what are the odds that it could all have come to be without a creator – by chance? The chances are zero. It is practically impossible. That is why many mathematicians often challenge those who say there is no creator of this universe.

 

12 marbles

 

Therefore, nothing in this world came by chance, and we came to be through the Creator who created us. Everything in the world has a source. There is nothing without a source. One day I was approached by a man who said: ‘I don’t believe in the presence of God.’ So I asked him what he did for a living. He said he was a financial analyst. So I told him, ‘When you are performing financial analysis of a company, would you accept a single dollar in the balance sheet, without a source?’ He said, ‘Of course not.’ I said, ‘Very well, so how is it that you cannot accept the presence of one dollar with no source, yet accept that this whole universe came to be, without a source?!’

Regardless of circumstances, humanity as a whole has always concluded that there is indeed a God

One of the most beautiful stories on this topic is the story of Hayy ibn Yaqthan, which is attributed to a philosopher named Ibn Al Tafeel. This story is about a newborn that was only one day old when he was left alone on an island uninhabited by humans. So from the very first day of his life, he never saw any humans, nor was he instructed by anyone. He was taken by a Doe who breastfed him and raised him with its own offspring as a feral child; so he lived with animals and grew up among them. He learned the language of animals and that of birds. Then one day, the doe that had raised him, and who was, in effect, his mother, died. He was shocked by this and did not understand what had happened. He tried turning her left and right and she moved limply in his arms. So he got a sharp stone and slit her chest open. He took out her heart and examined it, but it looked normal. He could not comprehend why she wasn’t moving anymore. He couldn’t comprehend her death. The first thing he realized, then, was the presence of something called a soul, and that the exterior he saw of any animal or human was merely a machine, and that this machine was operated by an important worker, namely the soul. Next, he started observing the animals and birds around him, and realized that the common factor among them all was the presence of material bodies. He concluded that anything with a body must have a beginning and an end. He concluded that everything must have come from a certain source, and that this source of everything must itself be something that has no beginning and no end. In this way the author was able to illustrate that the human mind can discover God Almighty, as well as God’s basic characteristics such as perfection, that he is the First and the Last, and so on. Hayy ibn Yaqthan on the island actually represents the intelligent mind on this earth. In Arabic, the word “Hayy” means alive, and “Yaqthan” means alert. So he represents the intelligent mind on this earth, and the story proves that the mind can, on its own, can come to the conclusion that there is a God and deduce God’s main characteristics such as perfection and  wisdom, or the fact that this God is the First and Last, that He is the Manifest and the Hidden, and that he is the All-knowing.

Although this story is a hypothetical one, it is a philosophy worth reflecting on and I recommend that the viewer read the entire story, as I have only touched on it’s main points. However, it is a fact that throughout recorded history, mankind, regardless of time, place, culture, etc, has always come to the conclusion that there is indeed a God. Since the beginning of time, even peoples who have lived in secluded places, cut off from the influences of other societies and cultures, have of their own intellect and reasoning deduced that there must be a creator and sustainer of the world that they live in.

Supposing I believe in God, how can you prove that there is a Day of Judgment?

One common challenge is when someone says: ‘Ok, supposing I believe in God, how can you prove that there is a Day of Judgment, resurrection and reward and punishment?’ Actually, the answer to this makes perfect sense to anyone who believes in God. There is one important question to ask any believer, whether Muslim, Christian or Jew. That question is simply: Is your God perfect? The normal answer would be ‘Yes, of course, he is perfect.’ So if he is indeed perfect, then he must be just. Ok, if he is just, then would it be fair for people who committed atrocious crimes – killed hundreds of thousands or even millions – would it be fair for such people to get away scot-free with no punishment, and not be punished – ever? Would it be fair for people who are consistently righteous, and patient and who perform good deeds throughout their lives, then die without being acknowledged or rewarded – would it be fair for those people to never be rewarded – ever? Needless-to-say, that is far from fair. So if God Almighty is described as being perfect, then he must be just, and there must be resurrection and a Day of Judgment, so that these people who killed and committed heinous crimes can be brought back and punished. And the other type of people, who were good and patient must be brought back in order to be honored and rewarded. So, to believers, it makes perfect sense that there must be a Day of Judgment as described in their scriptures, but for those who do not believe in God in the first place, there is really no point in convincing them that there is, indeed, a Day of Judgment.

Suppose there is a God, what is the purpose of my life?

The next question is:  ‘ok, suppose there is a God, what is the purpose of my life… is it merely to earn money, eat and drink, and reproduce?’  God says in the Holy Quran that he created us solely to worship Him. That may seem impossible or unbelievable to anyone who is not familiar with the concept of worship in Islam. You may ask yourself ‘how can a human being spend their whole life worshiping God; we all need time to eat, sleep and earn a living?’ And you may also ask ‘isn’t that a rather narcissistic reason to create people?’ Well, lets address both of theses questions in turn. Firstly, in Islam, “worship” does not equate to “praying and fasting” like in other religions. Praying and fasting are rituals which, although important in Islam, are only a small part of worship. Rather, worship in Islam is to do anything lawful, with good intentions. That means that eating can be worship, sleeping can be worship, even having intimate relations with ones’ spouse can become an act of worship if done with good intentions. The prophet, peace be upon him,  said ‘A believer gets rewarded when he has sexual intercourse with his wife, as if he had spent in charity’ at this, his companions were stunned and one asked ‘What! How can a man satisfy himself with his wife and get rewarded for it’ The prophet asked ‘Don’t you think that if he had done it unlawfully (by cheating on his wife) that he would be punished for it?’ The man said ‘of course’, so the prophet asked ‘then why are you surprised that he would be rewarded for doing it lawfully?’ meaning to have the good intentions of satisfying himself and his wife, and staying away from illegal relationships. So Muslims are able to transform all of their otherwise ordinary or mundane daily tasks into acts of worship for which they will be rewarded.

Who benefits from this worship?

Next, we need to consider who benefits from such acts of worship? As God said: ‘If all of you were as good as the best man among you, it would be of no benefit at all to me. And if all of you were as bad as the worst man among you, it would be of no harm whatsoever to me’. The point that this makes is that God has all knowledge and power, and everything belongs to Him. So there is nothing we can do that will benefit Him. Likewise, we have no power to hurt Him or deprive Him of anything. This means that the only one to benefit from our acts of worship, are ourselves; by the rewards that we earn, and the improvements that we make to ourselves thereby. So if God does not even benefit from the worship that He wants us to participate in, then how can it possibly be a narcissistic reason for creating us? Actually, the consequence of continuous worship should be that the individual is in a continuous state of self-improvement. This happens because even though we may do a good deed; for instance we may give money to a beggar, we still cannot be certain that our good deed will be accepted by Allah, because our intentions may not be 100% pure for one reason or another; perhaps we gave money to the beggar partly to have others see that we are such a good, kind person. Therefore, a Muslim endeavors to constantly strive towards self-betterment by doing more, and giving more; tomorrow must be better than today, and today must be better than yesterday. Otherwise, we are not progressing. This means that worship, according to Islam, is to be in a constant state of self-improvement and development.

To sum it up, God has created us on this earth in order to develop and enhance it and ourselves, in order to worship Him, to help people worship him if they are willing to do so, and to concurrently uphold justice and support all which is right and good on this earth.

The topic of Atheism is a very complex one, which cannot be dealt with in only one episode. We have only touched on this topic here, but we will discuss it in much further detail in the episodes to follow in Islamophobia, Season two, God willing.

 

Click here for All Answers to Atheism

 

Courtesy- 

This article is a transcript of Islamophobia Season 1 Episode 29Subscribe to Islamophobia Series by Fadel Solimanbridges-foundation.org; Official website of Fadel Soliman fadelsoliman.com;

Source of this world | Atheism series introduction | Quran 52:35

  • Linie Aquavit

    The marble example you give is a cute one, but you’re giving a false analogy. You’re trying to compare the chances of this exact universe came into being just as it is, versus the fact that it was created at all.

    The chances of this universe being made by a creator is exactly 50/50. It was or it wasn’t.

    • muhammad mansoor

      Good to see you. I disagree. If the universe was just one monolithic object like a coin with two sides then your example is correct. But it is far from it.

      If there is a question “what is the probability that the movie Lord of the rings got made itself without a producer, director, crew member 1, crew member 2, crew member 3, ….crew member X, without someone holding the camera, without someone having written a script…. And a billion other factors cannot be reduced to a mere 50/50 probability. The case of universe is incomparable to this.

      This demands honesty in acknowledgement. Please open up and think

      • Linie Aquavit

        Maybe we’re talking about two different things. You seem to be asking what the odds are of this exact universe appearing in this exact format with these exact rules of nature.

        You can certainly talk about it that respect, but that seems a bit pointless to me. The question we’re asking, since this is aimed at atheists, is Did the universe unfold of its own volition or did something create it.

        So yes, the universe is s single thing, made up of many trillions upon trillions squared number of smaller things. But the act of creation itself, is either yes or no.

        But if you want to calculate the odds of a being or power creating THIS exact universe as it is, then yes, go ahead and do so. And to me, the answer is the same. No. Because the odds of this universe happens by chance just as it is, are the EXACT SAME odds that a creator crested it this way. It could have made the universe with no humans. It could have made the universe with only one Galaxy. It could have made the universe not have gold or silver, or any countless other variations. It could have made no gravity, no sunlight, no sound. No water. Whatever. But none of those things happened. The universe is as it is. And it unfolded that way on its own. Just as grains of sand in a beach get pushed around by the waves without some all-powerful being helping them. Nature acts on its own. Grape seeds don’t become apple trees because it’s not in their nature to go so. The grape seed can only ever become a grape plant. Just as humans can only give birth to humans, and never a cat.

        • muhammad mansoor

          You are thinking well, but you need to think a level higher. You said, “grains of sand in a beach get pushed around by the waves”. So the sand would not have moved if there were no waves, assuming that “wave” is the only factor capable of moving sand in order to simplify the issue. This one statement is enough and I would ask you to reverse engineer the existence of the universe.

          Regarding the grape seed, how did the grape seed choose its “nature” to remain a grape seed? Did it make this choice itself? Even if it had free will would its nature change to reflect that of an apple seed if it wants to? I cannot become a bird even if I want to. So what is this excuse of “nature” which is capable of reining me in, in this world of chance that you visualize?

          You give all the credit of wonders to an unintelligent, abstract word “nature” but fear acknowledging an intelligent, superior being to yourselves out of ego and denial.

          Regarding the act of creation being 50/50. You grossly misunderstand this. If it is as simple as this then You, Linie Aquavit, have a 50% chance of being the Creator! The 6 billion people of the earth each have 50% chance of being the Creators individually! Yet not one of them is more than what he or she actually is. This is pure denial in my opinion. Several verses of the Quran come in my mind to tell you at this point, but I will tell you this.

          “We have revealed for you (O mankind!) a book in which is a Message for you: Then will you not reason?”. Quran 21-10

          I urge you to reason and not make the mistake of re-inventing the wheel. The one life we have should be used to quickly identify the Creator and speed-up in doing other things and progress in this regard. The Quran, the latest revelation has answers to all Questions on Atheism and God and is a letter to you, not produced by a human. Please suppress bias in this regard and entertain the possibility that it is true and take measures in knowing the truth.

          • Linie Aquavit

            Grape seeds choose nothing because they have no consciousness. It is what they are; there’s no choice in the matter. No plant makes choices, because they don’t have brains or a central nervous system capable of thought. And even if they did, you can’t choose to be something you’re not capable of being. No matter how much a person with green eyes might choose to have brown eyes, it’s not going to happen because biology doesn’t allow you to choose those things. It just happens. By chance. When your genes combine with someone else, there’s a mathematical chance of outcomes.

            I don’t have a 50/50 chance of being the creator because of three things: 1.) we haven’t established that there is a creator living on the earth. 2.) If we assume there is one, we haven’t established that he’s in human form. 3.) If we assume he is, then because there are billions of people on earth, the odds of me being the creator are 1 out of the total population. This is different than my example because there is only one universe.

            And that universe was either created by a creator, or it wasn’t. In this concept, I am only talking about the very moment of creation. Before there were planets, Suns, black holes, etc. there was black emptiness. Nothing. A pure void with not a single molecule in it. Then the creator came along and out of nothingness decided to create a universe and using his powers created matter out of nothingness. There…that act. Either it happened or it didn’t. 50/50 chance it happened.

            So I have to ask… If the universe couldn’t possibly have happened randomly over time, then where did the creator come from? What created him?

          • muhammad mansoor

            This was not what you originally implied. You reduced the possibility of the universe to have been made by God to a mere 50℅ implying that the probability that all these trillions of complexities present currently could have been come about without a God as 50℅! which is completely wrong.

            Regarding the flavour of a Universe, even if you visualise a Universe with maybe a single galaxy, without earth and without humans and the like, it still fails the test of probability if it has a single complex mechanism as much as a single amoeba within it.

            You are willing to go to lengths of even entertaining the possibility of an alien source as the Creator yet hesitate to acknowledge God? Would you risk an entire afterlife simply due to stubborn denial? You were quick to point out three reasons why you don’t have 50/50 chance of being the Creator. This further proves my point. You did this because you know about yourselves and your limitations – a being endowed with intelligence, consciousness and will. But you are willing to bet 50℅ possibility that “random chance” or an “abstract nature” which is devoid of any of these could have caused the universe into being? This is not a sound logic.

            Honest acknowledgement that “perhaps I do not know anything about God, and hopefully I will know” is the first step towards knowing the truth.

            Stubborn denial that “I have solved the puzzle of the Universe, there is no God” will only keep you hidden from the truth causing you great loss.

            neo-Atheists will want to tell you, “look, we may not know the answers now, but we will eventually figure out, but one thing is certain though – DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD”. Do you realise that when you believe them today and tomorrow they realise that God exists, you will still not believe them because they would not be among the Atheists anymore and you don’t believe the theists? You need to free yourselves from this predicament. People switch from both sides everyday, but God endowns the worthy with his knowledge.

            Regarding the question who created God I will say that this is a good thought process to start with. It is not a “fill in the blanks” question where we can jot down a name although I can answer it in one word, but you are not ready for the answer yet. As intellectual thinkers we will approach this thus.

            Your answer is here, in a previous article of mine. https://solution-for-peace.com/2016/09/05/answer-to-who-created-god/

          • Linie Aquavit

            I didn’t mean to imply “alien” source (meaning creature from another planet).

            You are clearly willing to go to any lengths to avoid the truth of my statements. You use circular arguments where one false statement is used to prove another false statement that then proves your original statement.

            So either I’m not explaining myself well enough, or you’re simply not grasping the basic facts… Or you’re unwilling to.

            I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors, so long as they don’t include forcing non-believers to live under religious laws or rules.

      • Bosnaman

        good answer brother😀

      • Linie Aquavit

        Yes, it took a lot of hoops to create The Lord of the Rings. But the fact of the matter is the movie was made. Some movies get green lit and still never get made. Things happen or they don’t. Either God created the universe or he didn’t. We’re not talking about HOW he made it, or the steps that it took to make it.

        Did you drive to work at all this week? Do you know what the odds of you doing that safely is? The sheer number of factors that could prevent that from happening are countless. But that doesn’t make it impossible.

        • muhammad mansoor

          I still disagree with your 50/50 analysis concept. Your example of me going to work further proves my point. It is undeniable that for me to got to work there are countless factors that play a part. But the fact that I have a consciousness, intelligence and will which “random chance” doesn’t have, eliminates those million probabilities and makes it possible for me to go to work. Universe has no chance of being created by chance dear Linie Aquavit.

  • Paul

    Why do galaxies collide if God created a perfect universe

    • Linie Aquavit

      Perfection is not always neat and orderly. 🙂

    • if they collide universe won’t become any imperfect!

    • Magdi Abdullah

      Dear brother Paul, Alsalam alikum

      It is a very good question; if it is perfect, why galaxies collide?

      We know that Allah almighty has created this vast universe as a sign of his almighty greatness and power. As he created it, He Keeps it, mange it and maintain it, in a continuous demonstration of power and wisdom.

      Few week ago Nasa published an article on a galaxy that is over 13 Billion years away, the universe is not only huge but t is also expanding, we are told this in the Holy Quran in chapter 51 verse 47: “And the heaven We constructed with strength, and indeed, We are [its] expander.”

      The colliding of galaxy, does not mean destruction, it can be fusion for recreating, we are told in more than one place in the Quran of this continuous process, e.g. in chapter 30 Verse 27: “And it is He who begins creation; then He repeats it, and that is [even] easier for Him. To Him belongs the highest attribute in the heavens and earth. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise”.

      We are even told that ending the whole thing, will followed by a recreation, see chapter 21 verse 104: “The Day when We will fold the heaven like the folding of a [written] sheet for the records. As We began the first creation, We will repeat it. [That is] a promise binding upon Us. Indeed, We will do it.

      There are many published articles on the interest that discuss of these are this one here: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-can-galaxies-collide/