Islam is fundamentally incoherent.

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Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:02 pm
I was chatting with an associate of mine about how an empirical error in the doctrine of a religion correlates to an error of the religion itself. In any case, it has occurred to me (even before this chat...it's just that this chat spurred me to write this thread) that there is such an error in Islam. Herein lies the error (I am pulling this from St. Bonaventure's "Journey of the Mind into God)":

1. Muslims believe that God is one both in substance and in hypostasis (person).

2. Muslims believe that God is perfect. This is to say, no greater God can be conceived.

3. It is apparent both to the Muslim and to me from the creation of this, the best possible world, that God desires to express His Goodness.* Further, even if it were not empirically obvious, it should nonetheless be obvious to the Reason (see Plato's Timaeus).

* By express, I mean it in this way: red food dye makes cake icing red. The redness of the food dye is reflected in the redness of the cake icing. Likewise, God is Good. God desires to see that Goodness reflected by some communication of that Goodness.

These 3 things a given, it is evident that the Muslim faith is incoherent. This is to say, their beliefs result in a contradiction. Since their beliefs result in a contradiction, it is evident that either the Muslim faith as a whole is right (but this one belief or those several beliefs are wrong), or the entire faith is wrong. In this case, the former cannot be the case, since the beliefs in question which result in the contradiction are either obvious (as is the case in 2 and 3) or central to the Muslim faith (as is the case with 1). Therefore, if I can demonstrate that the beliefs result in a contradiction, it must be admitted that the Muslim faith as a whole is an error.

If God performs an action, then God must perform the action in the best possible way (from 2). If He does not perform the action in this fashion, then a better God can be conceived, namely a God Who has performed the action in the best possible way. For this reason, no man who believes in the second proposition (as the Muslims believe and I believe) may believe that this world is not the best possible world. God has created the world, and therefore His act of creating the world must have been the best possible. IE, this is the best possible world.

Yet, the Muslims (and I suppose the Jew) say that God expresses His Goodness only in the creation of the world (from 1 and 3). Either, therefore, no greater expression of God's Goodness is conceivable, or Islam becomes incoherent.

But look! A greater expression of God's Goodness is conceivable. The most perfect conceivable expression of God's Goodness is an entire communication of the Divine Substance in a new hypostasis. Quoting St. Bonaventure:

Itinerarium Mentis in Deum 6:2 wrote:
However a most high diffusion cannot be, unless it be actual and intrinsic, substantial and hypostatic, natural and voluntary, liberal and necessary, unfailing and perfect. Therefore unless there be eternally in the Most High Good an actual and consubstantial production, and a hypostasis equally noble,8 as is one producing through the manner [per modum] of generation and spiration - so that there be an eternal (production) of an eternally co-beginning principle - so that there would be a beloved [dilectus], a co-beloved [condilectus], a begotten and a spirated, that is, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; it would never be the Most High Good, because it would not diffuse itself most highly. For diffusion in time [ex tempore] into creatures is not but as a center and/or point in respect of the immensity of the eternal Goodness;9 whence any diffusion can also be thought greater than that, namely that, in which diffusing itself it communicates to the other its whole substance and nature. Therefore it would not be the Most High Good, if it were able in reality [in re], and/or in understanding [intellectu] to be lacking.


Itinerarium Mentis in Deum

Look! The Muslim beliefs necessarily result in a contradiction. 2 and 3 demand that in God there be a plurality of hypostases (persons...ideally 3) in a single substance. Yet, they flatly deny this in 1.

Islam is fundamentally incoherent.

On that note, this may also demonstrate the error of Mormonism.
 
thysin
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:16 pm
@Bonaventurian,
I think before questioning the validity of any religion we need to question the validity of our definition of God. I'm of the mind that if there is a God that is omnipotent then we would not be able to comprehend in any real sense why it does anything. We have emotions to help us cope with situations...if there is an omnipotent being it wouldn't need any coping mechanisms so therefore it would not have emotions that we can define or even begin to understand. I think this leads to a sort of scary God that to us might seem indifferent, instead of the idea of a God who only does good things and wants to best for us.

thysin

"Kindness is the beginning of cruelty" - Frank Herbert
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:18 pm
@thysin,
thysin wrote:
I think before questioning the validity of any religion we need to question the validity of our definition of God. I'm of the mind that if there is a God that is omnipotent then we would not be able to comprehend in any real sense why it does anything. We have emotions to help us cope with situations...if there is an omnipotent being it wouldn't need any coping mechanisms so therefore it would not have emotions that we can define or even begin to understand. I think this leads to a sort of scary God that to us might seem indifferent, instead of the idea of a God who only does good things and wants to best for us.

thysin

"Kindness is the beginning of cruelty" - Frank Herbert


You are missing the point. Muslim and Jews hold all 3 of the above propositions. Those propositions are contradictory.
 
thysin
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:30 pm
@Bonaventurian,
I see your point and I agree but I was just saying that no religion I know of is truly logical and all are inconsistent in some way.

edit: By the way I'm agnostic, if it wasn't apparent...hehe.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:31 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Since when is "coherence" a meaningful standard by which we should judge a religion?

Since when does it matter to the actual practicioners of the religion whether it conforms to a demonstration of logical coherence?

And if we so chose, could we not easily find examples of logical incoherence within any religion, including your own?
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:46 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
Since when is "coherence" a meaningful standard by which we should judge a religion?

Since when does it matter to the actual practicioners of the religion whether it conforms to a demonstration of logical coherence?

And if we so chose, could we not easily find examples of logical incoherence within any religion, including your own?


If a religion is incoherent, then belief in that religion is impossible.

That said, no, I don't think that every religion can be shown to be incoherent. Catholic Christianity is a religion I consider to be entirely consistent (incidentally, that's the religion to which I submit my intellect).
 
thysin
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:49 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Bonaventurian wrote:
If a religion is incoherent, then belief in that religion is impossible.


That's assuming people aren't capable of being illogical, I think.
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:50 pm
@Bonaventurian,
By definition, belief in an incoherent religion is impossible. For you to believe an incoherent religion, you must believe both A and not A, and that's impossible.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:51 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Bonaventurian;52440 wrote:
If a religion is incoherent, then belief in that religion is impossible.
The mind's capacity to rationalize, the soul's ability to be moved, and the intellect's limited capacity to understand, all make it entirely possible to believe in an incoherent religion.

Bonaventurian;52440 wrote:
Catholic Christianity is a religion I consider to be entirely consistent.
The fact that there have been 21 Ecumenical Councils suggests that the Vatican itself has been concerned about this very subject.
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:54 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
The mind's capacity to rationalize, the soul's ability to be moved, and the intellect's limited capacity to understand, all make it entirely possible to believe in an incoherent religion.


See my answer to the other dude.

Quote:
The fact that there have been 21 Ecumenical Councils suggests that the Vatican itself has been concerned about this very subject.


The point of an Ecumenical Council is to clear up confusion. What is true after an Ecumenical Council (faithwise) was true before it.
 
thysin
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:55 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Leaning a bit into psychology, but this is what I mean.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:56 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Bonaventurian;52444 wrote:
The point of an Ecumenical Council is to clear up confusion. What is true after an Ecumenical Council (faithwise) was true before it.
If it was that consistent, then they could have cleared up all the confusion the first time around.
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:57 pm
@Bonaventurian,
You cannot, fully understanding that two ideas are contradictory, believe them both. I cannot both believe that my hand is red and not believe it.

Aedes wrote:
If it was that consistent, then they could have cleared up all the confusion the first time around.


That's silly. It's not the case that my hand is both red and not red, and it's not the case that my hand both has 5 fingers and does not.

I have 2 sets of people (let's say) arguing that my hand is orange. I come in and say "Uh...it's not orange."

Then people argue that it's black. I come in and say "Uh...it's not black."

People continue to argue about the color, and finally I come in and say "DAMMIT! My hand is fair skinned!"

Then they start arguing that I have 3 fingers...

At no point are the actual facts inconsistent. At no point was my understanding ever inconsistent.
 
thysin
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 09:01 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Did you go to that article I posted? Heh. If you see your dead mother it's not your dead mother....it's a corpse....she is no longer there as you remember her but aesthetically you see what you associate with being her. So you see your mother and not your mother at the same time.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 09:01 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Bonaventurian;52448 wrote:
You cannot, fully understanding that two ideas are contradictory, believe them both.
You mean kind of like believing that the tasty wafer is the body of Christ? Or like believing that 3 = 1?
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 09:03 pm
@thysin,
thysin wrote:
Did you go to that article I posted? Heh. If you see your dead mother it's not your dead mother....it's a corpse....she is no longer there as you remember her but aesthetically you see what you associate with being her. So you see your mother and not your mother at the same time.


I did. I am aware that this phenomena occurs. I deny that there is an actual contradiction being acknowledged, though. I don't believe that Muslims believe contradictions. I think that what they believe is contradictory. I don't believe that they assent to the contradiction, though. That's impossible.

Their concepts are eschewed.

Likewise: I think I see see my dead mother, and insofar as I think I see my dead mother, I fail to understand that I do not.

Aedes wrote:
You mean kind of like believing that the tasty wafer is the body of Christ? Or like believing that 3 = 1?


I believe neither. I believe that the tasty wafer becomes the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and insofar as it becomes the Body and Blood of Our Savior, it ceases to be a tasty wafer except in appearance. Likewise, I do not believe that 3=1. I believe that there are 3 hypostases in a single Divine Substance.

There's no contradiction in either belief.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 09:12 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Bonaventurian;52452 wrote:
I believe that the tasty wafer becomes the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and insofar as it becomes the Body and Blood of Our Savior, it ceases to be a tasty wafer except in appearance.
And you believe that because your taste buds can tell the difference between Body-wafer and other wafers? Or you believe it because of your general experience of bread products turning suddenly into flesh? Or you believe it because the particular wafer being bathed by your saliva was specifically referred to by Jesus? Or you believe it because you're told by the priest that it's the Body of Christ? And how do you know that it's the Body of Christ, and not, because of some defect at the wafer company, it's actually transubstantiated into the Body of Abraham Lincoln?

Do you believe that the Catholic faith is a tautology, in which it has 100% perfect airtight internal consistency; and the external physical world is also a 100% perfect tautology; but the two of them have no overlap, such that you can rationalize miracles like transubstantiation that logic would otherwise deem impossible?


By the way, I'm not trying to offend you here. I respect your beliefs whether I share them or not. That's fairer game than discussing someone else's religion who doesn't have the opportunity to come into the thread and defend themselves.
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 09:16 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
And you believe that because you've tasted said Body before and can distinguish between it and all other wafers? Or you believe it because of your general experience of bread products turning suddenly into flesh? Or you believe it because the particular wafer being bathed by your saliva was specifically referred to by Jesus? Or you believe it because you're told by the priest that it's the Body of Christ? And how do you know that it's the Body of Christ, and not, because of some defect at the wafer company, it's actually transubstantiated into the Body of Abraham Lincoln?


Your concerns aren't logical concerns. These aren't concerns about coherency.

Quote:
Do you believe that the Catholic faith is a tautology, in which it has 100% perfect airtight internal consistency; and the external physical world is also a 100% perfect tautology; but the two of them have no overlap, such that you can rationalize miracles like transubstantiation that logic would otherwise deem impossible?


I want to be perfectly clear: I don't believe that the Catholic Faith is entirely comprised of necessary truths. Certainly, there are contingent truths which I as a Catholic must believe. I do believe, however, that none of those beliefs are contradictory.

Furthermore, I want to draw a distinction between what is logically possible and what is physically possible (God can do the latter, but not the former), and between what is physically possible and physically "normal (men generally don't rise from the dead, but there's no law of physics which says that this Man cannot rise from the dead)."

In fine: there is no contradiction in any of these beliefs that I have.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 09:19 pm
@Bonaventurian,
If you aren't going to hold up the world as a verifiable standard, and you're going to allow for contingent truths, than you can rationalize coherency into anything you want.

What makes you think that the same can't be said for religions you're unfamiliar with, like Islam?
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 09:22 pm
@Bonaventurian,
I think you are confused. By "coherency" I mean "there occurs no contradiction." It is entirely coherent for me to believe that my hand has 5 fingers, and furthermore that Barack Obama is the current president of the United States of America.

It is incoherent for me to say that the grass is entirely green and the grass is entirely devoid of color.

Islam is incoherent in the strictest sense, not merely contrary to common sense.
 
 

 
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