The Koran presents the reader with an immediate conundrum within the first three Suras (chapters). The first Sura is composed of only one page, with only seven statements, which praise Allah and ask for guidance on the right path. No problem here, assuming Allah is who he says he is; that is, he is the same God as the God of Abraham. Oddly, Allah is not named as ‘the Creator’, among his other titles. I think this is a hint of something.
The second chapter starts out speaking in the plural grammatical voice of Allah, saying ‘This is the Book…for those who believe…what WE have given them’ (verses 2 & 3). The WE is paramount in understanding the problem. The rest of the book does this hundreds (if not thousands of times), with Allah speaking in the plural voice (‘Us’, ‘We’, ‘They’, etc.) . Only a few times does Allah speak of himself in the singular voice (‘I’, ‘Me’, etc.).
Right off the bat, for someone familiar with either the Old (Hebrew) Testament or the New (Christian) Testament, they might presume that the godhead of this one called Allah might indeed be the same as the three-person God of Abraham. Or at least in a Godhead that contains more than one person.
Yet in the third chapter the speaker (supposedly the archangel Gabriel) begins to speak to Muhammed of Allah as ‘HE’ (verse 3, ‘there is no god but He..). And then, in verse 64, we get to the heart of the matter. Allah, speaking to Mohammed, tells him to ‘Say: O People of the Book! Come to agreement between us and you; That we worship none other than Allah; And that we do not place partners with Him…’ Houston, we have a (math) problem.
Allah says he has no ‘partners’ here, and throughout the rest of the book Allah is quoted as saying he has no partners, no siblings, no equals, no mates, and no children. He is singular, alone, self-sufficient, and most importantly, inscrutable. Simply put, he stands alone and cannot be understood, by anyone, in any sense of the word. He can only be obeyed. And he can change his mind at any time, for no reason at all. This is repeated hundreds of times. To make the point clear, the book curses, time and again, anyone who says otherwise!
This is repeated throughout the book. Except for the ‘Satanic Verses‘ found in chapter 53, (‘The Star’, or ‘the Cranes’) of course, wherein Mohammed speaks of the three female goddesses who are Allah’s consorts. Later, Mohammed’s biographers said this inclusion was to be blamed on the devil, and not him. Talking about this is what got author Salman Rushdie in hot water in the Muslim world, because this chapter exposed Mohammed as either an unquestioning idiot or a compromising political hack. Yet throughout the entire book, Allah also continues to speak with a plural voice. The dissonance is palpable. Something is disturbingly wrong here with the mind that spoke this.
The Koran insists that ‘Allah is one’, yet he continuously speaks as more than one. What gives? Why this grammatical confusion? As I see it, the primary purpose of this claim to be ‘singular’ is simply a means of denying the Trinitarian nature of the Christian Godhead. I’m not drawing this conclusion from a few isolated instances. The Koran pounds this theme, ad nauseam, throughout the remaining 330 pages. In fact, it becomes a central part of the ‘hypnotic’ effect I mentioned in Point 4 last time.
It soon becomes clear that this claim of singularity is the central theme of the book. Which is to say, it is designed to deny the divinity of Jesus, the (second person of) God in the New Testament. Considering that Christianity was the dominant religion of the time, it is a natural claim that has to be made if someone is trying to sell a competitive religious belief. So, to cover up the insult to the divinity of Jesus (so as not to offend too deeply the Christian audience he sought to convert), Mohammed then ‘elevates’ Jesus to the same status of Moses.
Which is to say, Jesus is just another Messenger sent by Allah in the past, whose message was corrupted over time just like the message of Moses. Again, we are never told exactly what passages of the Bible that we have today are corrupt. Nor does Mohammed tell us what the original message was. It seems to me that if God wanted to reform the New Israel (or Old) all he had to do was to give Mohammed the original revelation so he could publish it abroad. Or at least tell us which passages were changed, and what the original verses said. Instead, all we have in the Koran is the claim that the two books of the Bible of that day were corrupted. This claim is packaged within a bunch of praise-phrases of Allah, and the claim to singularity (even though it is expressed time and again in a plural voice).
Say what you want about the Christian concept of God, which also claims to be both singular and plural, at least it confronts the issue head on. It claims a singular Godhead, but explicitly packages it in three persons. It never claims singularity of person, only the singularity of the unified Godhead. Just think of it as a family, and they all have the same last name: God. They are all essentially of one substance (although that word is as close as we can get towards describing the essence of God. Think of DNA).
In the end, the Christian story allows rationality to exist alongside of mystery. We can conceive of this arrangement, but not fully understand it, due to our finite nature. But in Islam, there is absolutely no room for rationality, as Allah is, by the definition laid down in the Koran, unknowable in any sense of the word. All you can know is what he (or someone) said to Mohammed, and you must accept it without question. No thinking allowed. Just like public schools.
What do we make of the use of the plural voice then? If Allah is one, why speak as ‘We’ or ‘Us’? Well, there’s the matter of familiarity for those who are conversant with either the Old Testament or New Testament. If you’re selling a product to a group that already has an earlier version of the new and updated Operating System you promise to deliver, you can’t get too far outside the marketplace definition of what is being offered, which in this case is the concept of ‘One God’.
The Koran, as we are told time and again in the text, was delivered in Arabic, which according to the Koran is the only ‘pure language’. Muslims claim the original Arabic words of Allah have suffered no corruption whatsoever over the past 1400 years. Normally, we think of a xenophobe as someone who is fearful, perhaps paranoid about strangers from other nations or tribes. We think of it as a defensive mechanism. Here in the Koran it becomes an offensive weapon in the ‘war of translation’ that every religious and political document undergoes as people try to understand it across the world-wide divide of tribes and tongues.
By saying that Arabic is the only pure language, it would seem clear that those who speak it have an insurmountable advantage over anyone from any other linguistic group that seeks to ‘understand’ the Koran’s meaning. Even if you were bi-lingual and spoke fluent Arabic, it becomes impossible to render an acceptable version to any other group via translation. Or does it? According to the Imams who interpret it in the Arabic world today, it certainly does. This alleged singular purity of Arabic also allows these same Imams to dodge the schizoid nature of the singular/plural grammatical problem covered in my point above. In other words, their xenophobia allows them to simply ignore their evident schizoidal nature mentioned earlier, by claiming the non-Arabic reader simply can’t understand the nuance of Arabic.
In a way, this claim that Arabic is the only pure language is almost racist in nature, as it separates not only all believers within Islam (Arabic vs. all the rest), but all non-Arabs outside of Islam are thereby separated from the Arab-speaking world. It posits that there is a pure language that isn’t penetrable by any non-Arabic speaker, and therefore, if there is any nuance in the original, it is inexpressible to non-Arabic readers. Since the Arabic language has supposedly delivered the true word of God, what’s that say? It says, to me, ‘go to the back of the bus’.
The next basic structural problem I see with this text is the robotic (versus human) presentation of the Koran’s contents and the robotic reaction that its believers acquire. There is no room for thought, whether rational or mysterious, in this system of belief. In fact, you could even say it is not a form of belief but simply a script demanding unquestioned acceptance (submission?). It leaves no room for human discernment at any level. All human action is completely programmed out by the commands of the author (whoever ‘Allah’ really is), and this reduces humanity to the status of a computer. One with only Artificial Stupidity. Think of Facebook. Which is to say, think of a robot.
All actions are either black or white. All people are either good or bad. No room for people who are both good and bad. No Adams allowed. All commands are to be followed without question. It sounds like Stalinism to me. A lot like it. There is no room for human thought, no room for human contemplation, let alone decision making, and certainly no room for mercy. All of this is in total contrast to the Bible, where many are led to question God. Think of Job, for example. Or Moses. And Abraham.
By the way, have you noticed that the desired end (Islamic paradise) has no description of any reward that goes beyond the enjoyment of earthly pleasures? Food, wine, sex. That’s it. I’ll admit that’s a pretty powerful combo for a lot of people, mostly men. But there is nothing mystical about this version of heaven, because there is absolutely no possibility of comprehending even the smallest part of Allah, who we are told innumerable times, is inscrutable, unknowable and certainly not ‘human’ in any respect. Certainly not one you can reason with.
Therefore, the only things we can enjoy in the Islamic heaven are earthly things. What of this allowance of wine in heaven when it is proscribed here on earth? Weird. Unless of course, you simply want those seventy-two virgins. Just a thought that occurs to a Barbarian. The Koran spends absolutely zero time on the fate of women, good or bad. I think women are just accessories in Islamic heaven. Just like Islamic earth. By the way, it never says what gender the virgins are. Is there a surprise waiting for us, guys?
All throughout the Koran readers are told repeatedly to act without question. Now, to be fair, this happened a lot in the Old Testament of Judaism as well. See Abraham, for example. But in the Old Testament, men actually were able to plead and even reason with God, especially when they hadn’t done what they were told to do. Moses was often reduced to pleading with God not to destroy all of the Chosen Ones who time and again failed to do as God had instructed. Several times Moses used logic and reason to ask God to relent of His expressed desire to stomp the ever-lovin’ crap out of Israel.
Meanwhile, in the New Testament, Jesus makes many demands of his disciples, but each time, he tells them of the pain and suffering they will experience if they actually do what he tells them to do. This type of exhortation is not the best way to get people to follow you blindly. The New Testament also counsels believers to ‘test the Spirit’ (1 John 4:1) when we are urged to do something by some unknown spirit. Mohammed missed this part of the syllabus.
I conclude that Jesus was telling his followers to think hard, very hard, about what he was commanding. For it could only be through a reasoned acceptance of his theological construct that his believers could truly be said to be freely accepting his message. It likely was the only way to steel them against the persecution that would come, thus inoculating them from the danger of apostasy. In any event, it was a far cry from the cold dictates of Allah, who never offered any insight into his reasoning when he made demands of his ‘submissive’ followers.
In any event, the robotic nature of Islam can best be seen by the willingness of its most submissive members to willingly strap on highly-explosive underwear for the purpose of killing infidels. And themselves, of course. But before you can activate the robot, it has to be programmed. In the case of humans, we call that programming process ‘hypnotism’, and that’s what we’ll look at next.
The last structural problem with the text of the Koran is the hypnotic nature of its composition. The book makes very few theological claims, and the same goes for the historical context it is set in. (Read my book for a more in-depth analysis of those factors). These elements are secondary, if that, and are simply window dressing to the main element, which is the continual repetition of the three main themes.
These themes are pretty simple: God is one (never mind the syntactical problem noted above when Allah refers to himself in the plural), Mohammed is his prophet (forget Moses and Jesus), and all opponents will be un-mercifully crushed. Period. Each of these themes is repeated hundreds (if not thousands) of times from beginning to end. Sprinkled in between them are a few historical blurbs, many of which contradict the historical context of the Old and New Testament, and often themselves. (See the parts about Mary and the elders in the Temple). That’s not the point. The point is the repetitious nature of these themes that becomes, effectively, a hypnotic mantra. This mantra then commands that the believer mindlessly absorb the programming that Allah has given (Jihad), all without a single thought as to the effects they will have, on believers and non-believers alike. Including your own spouse and children, as you blast them to smithereens. Just look at Sri Lanka on Easter if you doubt me. What great parents.
This observation of the hypnotic nature of the presentation of Islamic belief has nothing to do with the commands themselves. Rather, the hypnotic state is the result that a reader falls into if they accept the repetition of these basic themes. Once the reader succumbs to the repetition, then the underlying commands of these themes will become firmly embedded in the sub-consciousness of the reader. Or, in most cases, the listener, as so many Muslim’s have never read the Koran (as most Christians today have never read the Bible), because they only hear the Imam chant these verses at the mosque.
Think of a glove, where the hand has been removed. These repetitious themes have deadened the hand, and it then unconsciously slips out of the glove. Another, unseen hand inserts itself. This is the heart of hyp-gnosis. Anything in the outside world that conflicts with any or all of these heavily repeated and deadening themes must therefore be dealt with by resorting to the underlying commands the Koran contains about what to do when there is anyone who questions them. The response? Jihad.
Anyone who has studied hypnotism (as I have) knows that repetition is one of the key elements of successfully inducing a trance. The purpose of inducing a trance is to implant a command in the sub-conscious mind that will override the decisions of the conscious mind. In other words, programming. Bottom line, Islam is a very effective Operating System, but it takes me where I don’t want to go. I like my boxers without the extra baggage. Semtex is not really very comfortable clothing.
Islam is a pretty closed system then, totally unlike Judaism or Christianity (in their original forms) both of which give great weight to the concept of ‘contemplation’. The Koran tries to hijack this thought, but since man is unable, by definition of the Koran, to fathom God’s thoughts in the least, then there’s nothing really to contemplate. And so, the real comparison of Christianity vs Islam is contemplation vs. repetition. One leads to further understanding of God and his creation, whereas the other is a replacement for thought, for the Koran claims man cannot understand anything about Allah, let alone the creation.
The ‘moderate’ believers of this Operating System claim that these ‘extremists’ are simply that, fanatical extremists who have misread the Prophet’s intent. I believed that, until I read the Koran myself, and saw that the Prophet talked out of both sides of his mouth. This then allows both ‘moderates’ and ‘extremists’ to claim with equal sincerity that they are following the Prophet’s words. Because they are! If you are hypnotized, you’ll never notice this dichotomy, will you? Not until the Queen of Diamonds comes up in the deck. But then it’s too late, candidate. You’re already toast. Ka-boom.
(End of the slightly edited Excerpt)
I asked earlier why Islam can see no humanity in their enemies. It’s easy to see when you understand that they see no humanity in themselves. How can they, when they’ve been reduced to automatons? Do you also see why the post-Christian man would choose a religion that guarantees his own destruction? It’s so simple, fella. They’re automatons too. Look at their lives and tell me they haven’t denied their own future. They don’t want to accept children from God because they don’t want to be children of God. They just want to be children unto themselves, with their lattes and lovers. Since they’re multi-culti, any flavors will do. The modernist mind can easily conclude that the only solution to their existential boomer-angst, of how to avoid growing up while growing old, is to accept Islam. That’s the only way to defeat that oh-so demanding tyrant named Jesus, and his ‘corrupted’ followers.
Which persona would you like to choose? What fits your mood today? Do you want to be Isaac, or do you want to be Ishmael? Who do you want to die for? You are going to die. You do understand that, don’t you?
You’re not keen on this Christian idea of self-denial? Great! Let me show you our latest line of designer martyr-vests. They come in all shapes and colors, and will nicely compliment any robe or burka. Nothing bulky. So graceful, no one will notice you’re wearing one. Full body motion is guaranteed. All sizes. Including children’s. All detonator buttons are fully concealed, and come in an array of colors. No one will notice till the end. And the end will be so glorious. Guaranteed.
Just the thing for any true Modern Islamic believer. The modern response to the intolerance of Jesus. So then, fellah, don’t wait till tomorrow. Order now, while supplies last! Be the first one, mom, on your block, to have your boy come home in a box!
Go ahead. Embrace the Prophet. Go ahead and push that button. But before you do it, be sure and remember your real name. And remember your real fate.
Some people interpret the Koran’s strictures as against drunkenness rather than alcoholic drinks.
Ok a very interesting outline of Islam and some of the problems with it.
In less than 10 years, Islam will own the world. NO ONE CARES AND NO ONE WILL STOP IT. You just don’t get it, do you??????
Watt is confused. He twists himself into a logical cul de sac and can’t get out.
There are political organizations of Muslims that have, in recent times, used suicide bombers against their enemies. From that fact, without considering political/social/historical context, Watt confabulates that all Muslims are hypnotized (he’s read a book about that too!) robots seeking paradise at the touch of a button.
From the fact that some Muslims have used suicide bombing, it does not logically follow that all Muslims are suicide bombers.
Look at history and reality. Suicide attacks were features of multiple cultures across the globe, for thousands of years before Islam even existed. Suicide attacks are not a tactic unique to Islam. Muslim suicide attacks only became more widely used after 1981.
Remember Japan’s kamikaze? They were headed to paradise in a burning Zero? Closet Muslims? Ask Watt.
Again, try logic. If Islam creates hypnotized robots itching to die, why did it take 1400 years for Watt’s feverishly imagined core belief of the religion to manifest?
Is religion or culture used to convince people to take actions that appear insane or counter-intuitive? Sure.
Is Islam the only religion, group, or culture that has used such a tactic?
Here in reality–no.
Exhibit 1: Rev. Jim Jones. Christian minister. Convinced 909 people to commit suicide. Was he a secret Muslim? Ask Watt.
Mass suicide at Jonestown:
You can’t (won’t) accept the FACT that for the entire 1400+ years of Islam’s existence, their expansion has come almost exclusively at the point of the sword. Sure, lots of Muslims seem ok (for now), but the point is, their assent has been coerced at some point in their past. And leaving Islam carries the death sentence. Quit dodging reality. It makes you look stupid.
And how about that hypnotized Muslim robot, Sampson:
“Samson’s Vengeance and Death
…29And Samson reached out for the two central pillars supporting the temple. Bracing himself against them with his right hand on one pillar and his left hand on the other, 30Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” Then he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people in it. So in his death he killed more than he had killed in his life. 31Then Samson’s brothers and his father’s family came down, carried him back, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of his father Manoah. And he had judged Israel twenty years.”
“You can’t (won’t) accept the FACT that for the entire 1400+ years of Islam’s existence, their expansion has come almost exclusively at the point of the sword. Sure, lots of Muslims seem ok (for now), but the point is, their assent has been coerced at some point in their past. And leaving Islam carries the death sentence. Quit dodging reality. It makes you look stupid.”
Thanks for your kind words, and concern for my intelligence. Guess I’ll just have to deal with that on my own. Not too worried about it, though.
Your message, “expansion has come almost exclusively at the point of the sword” is not Watt’s main message (although as muddled and hysterical as his presentation is, it’s sometimes difficult to fathom his actual point). I believe an accurate summary of Watt’s thesis is as I stated above: “…all Muslims are hypnotized robots seeking paradise at the touch of a button.”
That’s not a criticism of Islamic imperialism. It’s an ignorantly misled analysis of a religion, its beliefs, and its devotees.
Your point, that Islam has practiced muscular imperialism, like Watt, totally ignores the exact same practices–expansion at the point of the sword–by Christianity and others. Again, it’s not unique, and not unusual. In fact, that is pretty much de rigeur for religions. And treatment of apostates? Again, look at a bit of real history–Islam’s not the only religion that frowns on such.
The dodgers of reality are you and Watt–who put your blinders on, ignore millennia of history and current operations, and channel neocon hatred against their enemies. This blinkered and blindered worldview refuses to consider reality (that all religions, through history and now) have invaded and occupied others’ lands, slaughtered “infidels” and forced conversions.
To pretend otherwise, and to don the mantle of holier-than-thou sanctimony makes you look…well, check your ad hominem attack above…fill in the blank yourself.
Jim Jones would not have been considered a Christian by any denomination. He’s a “Rev.” who literally tore up a Bible in the pulpit.
Islam gets one thing right, that women must be the personal property of individual men, which is a huge advantage in a world where most nations are dying of old age because they emancipated their women. Everything else about Islam is a raging dumpster fire for the reasons Jim describes, and their warm-body advantage can easily be neutralized with warm bullets, see China and Burma.
Modern free enterprise suicide bombers began with the Hindu Tamil Tigers to attack the Buddhist Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, but the practice was institutionalized by Sunni jihadists and to a lesser extent Shi’ite jihadists. You will find the practice most often when a small powerless faction faces a larger, powerful enemy. When you have no tanks and missiles and you enemy does, your only weapon is your own body. But compare the IRA bombing campaigns or campaigns involving hijacked trucks.
Islam spread across SEAsia and East Africa through merchants and traders, not the sword.
There are instances where Christian rulers forced their subjects to adopt the royal religion, but this was a practice of secular rulers not of the religion they used. Compare the imperial Roman practice of requiring the burning of incense to the cult of the emperors. This sort of conformance was a symbol of political loyalty, not of religious belief. Monarchies professing Christianity conquered places, but this cannot be ascribed to the religion, even if monks followed in their wakes.
The case is more difficult in the House of Submission, because no distinction was recognized between what is God’s and Caesar’s until fairly recently in history: e.g., Ataturk, the Ba’ath, etc.
Statements about “all” religions practicing conquest is painting with a broad a brush as Mr. Watt. History is always local and particular, anything broader — “Islam” or “religion” — runs the risk of reifying abstractions.
I am genuinely confused whether some posters on this blog are that misinformed, or just pretend to be so.
The terms Muslim, Islam, etc. are the product of post-911 US advertising/marketing machine, which did not happen by accident. The goal was to present an uneducated mass of global consumers with an image of a yuuge number of people who think alike and have a single goal (insert your fantasy here). Ironically, that group is the most unorganized assembly of folks you can imagine, largely for political reasons.
The result is obvious:
When a genetic defective shoots up 50 people in New Zealand, the media is not ‘apologizing’ on behalf of all Christians. We don’t read: “but, but, but, not all Chr. are like that…”. It is taken for granted that they are not. In contrast, if some nut case blows himself up somewhere, an Indonesian clearing customs in Fiji is looked at with suspicion.
If there are a handful of be-headings, the entire world is ‘in shock’ (BTW, what’s up with those? Suddenly stopped a few years back, huh? They reached a marketing momentum, I guess) Meanwhile, if hundreds of thousands are oppressed or massacred somewhere, the news flow very slowly and there is only a 20/20 hindsight. After the ‘job’ is done.
Reading literally into old books written and re-written over and over again by psychotic shepherds of the Middle East is pointless.
Comparing anything else to Christian conquests of the past (and present) is laughable, at best.
“Jim Jones would not have been considered a Christian by any denomination. He’s a “Rev.” who literally tore up a Bible in the pulpit.”
Another logical cul de sac! You can get in, but you can’t get out!
Reverend Jim Jones was Pastor of the People’s Temple Disciples of Christ Denominational Brotherhood, also known as the People’s Temple Christian Church. He served in that capacity for many years, in several states of the USA.
Inability to deal with reality by trying to believe two opposite propositions at once is called cognitive dissonance.
Might want to tell Watt that Jim Jones’ hypnotized robot Christians who stepped up glassy-eyed to drink the suicide Kool-aid, and who murdered many in cold blood in the name of Christ, must have had Qurans hidden inside their Bible covers–hypnotizing them, don’t ya know!
Excellent points, all!
“Statements about “all” religions practicing conquest is painting with a broad a brush as Mr. Watt. History is always local and particular, anything broader — “Islam” or “religion” — runs the risk of reifying abstractions.”
Valid and well-stated. Assuming that you’re responding to my earlier response, I’ll withdraw that gross-ish generalization and revise it to: All religions that have achieved mass followings in more than one region or country have, at some point in their history, used force against non-believers–either to convert, to punish, or to oppress. Further, all the religions referenced here have committed gross human rights violations–either in the name of their religion, or their culture, or their civil government (although those are usually all wound so tightly together it is useless to quibble).
That covers all major world religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Marxism, atheism, etc.
As for Christians not forcing conquered populations to convert, or doing it, but only for secular reasons–sorry that’s just inaccurate. Columbus is an excellent example–his driving force was Christian zeal. When he found a continent of heathen infidels his entire being was focused on making them Christians–come hell or high water!
Or as he said, “So that they might be well-disposed towards us, for I knew that they were a people to be delivered and converted to our holy faith rather by love than by force, I gave to some red caps and to others glass beads, which they hung around their neck, and many other things…I believe that they would easily be made Christians, for it seemed to me that they had no religion of their own.”
In the event, however, the natives weren’t that interested in Christianity, so the Spaniards just whipped a little slavery and slaughter on them.
The Christian Spaniards kept up converting and slaughtering those they encountered across the entire length and breadth of South America, and up into North America. Of course, the Aztecs and Mayas had already spread their own religions by the sword for centuries, as had most of the other natives they encountered, so this was nothing new for the natives. Or hypnotized robots…
Right now, with respect to the world, the Christians are in charge.
That’s not about to change.
What might, for a time, is the state of relative peace and prosperity.
Christianity can never be defeated.
It takes only one candle to eradicate the darkness.
Paul said that God gave everybody the spirit not of fear, but of love and of power and of a sound mind.’
Islam won’t prevail.
Muslims will become Christinas or lose their faith altogether.
Then nations can go to war with nations about important things like who’s got the most air conditioned steel framed buildings or who’s walking around with the most cash in their pocket. Who has the most cars…important things…Turkish delight futures!
Turkish Delight, full of Eastern Promise…
Mr. Watt’s posts are growing on me.
I do not find the We-argument convincing. Kings and Queens are ‘we’ all the time (as in “We are not amused”). You could also say that the most important people use ‘we’ as an indication of their importance.
The Satanic verses and their hiding in plain sight seems much more interesting, as well as the impossibility of God being knowable to reason. Seems one could create a bunch of logical inconsistencies about that. Like, if there is no understanding of God, then it is impossible to understand his commands too. Because, a command from God is part of God. This means it cannot be understood, because God cannot be understood. So, if you think you understand the command, the command either does not come from God, or you really do not understand it, amd cannot execute it properly.
A similar argument can be constructed against Kent Clizbe’s objections. He does not understand God by definition, and therefore alls the bits of his argument dealing with God are wrong. If a part of an argument is wrong, the argument is invalid.
The best part is that you don’t have to identify which bits are wrong.
“A similar argument can be constructed against Kent Clizbe’s objections. He does not understand God by definition, and therefore alls the bits of his argument dealing with God are wrong. If a part of an argument is wrong, the argument is invalid.
The best part is that you don’t have to identify which bits are wrong.”
Curses! Foiled again!
You’ve discovered and deployed the nuclear weapon of logic and debate!
All you need to do is declare that your opponent “does not understand God by definition…” Which implies that you do have that heavenly insight (and collaterally, that you have insight into the inner workings of your opponent’s mind).
After that it’s smooth sailing! Once you’ve made that declaration of your omnipotent omniscience, anything else anyone else says is wrong!
And the beauty of it? “…you don’t have to identify which bits are wrong.”
Man, oh man, imagine all the debates that could be settled!
Patent that line, Sander. You could mint money with it! /sarc
You are right on Watt’s silly effusions on linguistic points, though. Among his many distortions, assumptions, and ill-formed conclusions, that silly riff on “We” is among the silliest. Linguistic and cultural issues obscure translations and cross-cultural understanding. Especially across centuries. Just look at the English language. We struggle to interpret Shakespeare’s English language production–and those are just 400 years old. Chaucer’s English is virtually incomprehensible to us today, and he wrote just 700 years ago. The cultural, linguistic, and political contexts of their writing are obscure to the modern reader.
Even in modern English, we (that is, first person plural) have cultural uses of the “Royal We”, which is actually first person singular used by a person of great importance to speak to their subjects. Or the editorial We–sort of a variation of speaking down to the masses.
Modern Arabic, in some of its many dialects, has not only singular and plural forms, but also dual forms. Classical Arabic to modern Arabic is much like Chaucer’s English to our English. Cultural, linguistic, and political context obscures meaning.
“In addition to the masculine / feminine distinction … Arabic has singular, dual and plural forms of pronouns, nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. The singular form is used when referring to one person or thing, the dual subject pronoun to refer to two people or two things, and the plural form when referring to more than two people or things.”
Watt is careless in arriving at his ill-formed conclusions. He appears to believe he has greater linguistic and cultural competence than he actually does. The results are tragic.
Without a doubt this essay is the WORST evaluation/analysis/description of a major world religion EVER. The dunce who wrote it does not speak or read Arabic, and has a cursory or worse concept of history, theology, and comparative religion.
Space and time preclude corrections of this tragic pile of falsehoods. Suffice it to say that such wanton ignorance and bigotry can only lead to continued (1400 years and counting) strife, hatred, and war. And you call yourself “Christian”. What a pathetic example of that religion you are. No wonder your (Dark Age superstitious) religion is slip sliding into oblivion.