State Religion Is an obstacle to Freedom


Washington DC

July 4, 2016

State Religion Is an obstacle to Freedom–A Constitutional Mistake for Malaysia

by Dr Lim Teck Ghee

In retrospect the biggest blunder the Reid Commission made when it drafted the constitution for an independent Malaya was to freeze the definition of the Malay into a religious and cultural sarcophagus from where there seems to be no means of mobility and no way of escape.–TG Lee

 

By all accounts – as well as according to popular understanding – Malaysia is a multi-religious country with relative tolerance existing among the various religions. However, beneath the surface of superficial good relations and harmony is to be found a more turbulent state of affairs, and much less goodwill and understanding than is visible or demonstrated at the public level. We, of course, are not an exception among nations..

The clash of religions has been the case throughout the world for most of recorded time. All the major religious groupings, past and present – in particular the monotheistic ones – have a history of intolerance and gore more than of charity and love contrary to the claim of being messengers of peace, tolerance and respect for others.

Thankfully, this ignominious phase of bloodshed, warfare, and often massacre of innocents in the name of an entirely man-made and mythical construct called God has changed for the better for all religions.

Still, all the current major religions – to a lesser or greater extent – continue to have leaders, proselytizers and followers who are guilty of disrespect, envy and jealousy of other religions, and of condemning what they see as competing ones (including agnostics and atheists) and consigning the disbelievers to hell.

In Malaysia, it is not surprising that the spotlight should be on the actions and behavior of the Islamic leadership, given the religion’s special position and constitutional status. This leadership, at least for two decades after independence, was relatively open and benign. Now it appears the era of moderate and open minded Islam is over.

Thus we find a proliferation of so-called ‘heroes of the faith’ who engage in mud-slinging, name-calling, and other forms of extremist, outlandish, and sometimes, frankly ridiculous behavior – accompanied by the waving of supposedly authoritative quotations from the scriptures – ostensibly to ‘protect’ the religion or assert its superiority over other religions.

From invoking blessed incantations to brandishing machetes and lobbing grenades to defeat the enemy is not such a quantum leap unfortunately as we have seen in some parts of the world, including ours.

And this behavior of ‘justifiable violence’ and ‘jihad’ – or at least, condoning it – appears to be contagious even for those who are otherwise sensible and not dogmatic.

As I noted to some colleagues lately:

The P Ramlee Bujang Lapuk era is gone.What a tragedy especially for the Malays and for all Malaysians. Unfortunately there is no silver lining, no respite that we can look forward to from this Islamic onslaught.Even the so-called moderates see the answer in more and more of the religion.

Many outside observers – including Muslims, but with the exception of Zakir Naik – are of the view that the main driver for the religious tension and antagonism in the country is institutionalized Islam and state-led agencies which have taken it on themselves to assert Islamic hegemony; and to put down what they perceive as challenges to ketuanan Islam. Also to be faulted are the elite and educated class who have chosen to compromise or have remained silent during our local clash of religions.

All-Conquering, Uncompromising Islam

Much of the religious table-thumping, breast-beating and teeth-baring is carried out openly. Thus, the assertion of dominance in cases such as the Linda Joy episode; the prohibition of the word “Allah” in Christian bibles; the body snatching case involving national h ero M. Moorthy; and other controversies including the latest over “kafir harbi”, are conducted in full view of the public.

Dr Abdul Rahman (seated right) having a meeting with NGOs in Pekan. - Bernama

Dr Abdul Rahman (seated right) having a meeting with NGOs in Pekan. – Bernama

These episodes of religious contestation have overshadowed the everyday, less obvious bureaucratically driven efforts aimed at consolidating and reinforcing the position of an advancing, proliferating and ultimately, all-encompassing Islam.

Achieving the goal of an all-conquering Islam takes different form.At one level the fight is against those faiths which are portrayed in the Malay media as ‘stealing’ what the official guardians of the Islamic faith see as their congregation. Never mind if there are concerns that the individuals in dispute may belong to another faith or may be dead. Or that they may have left their religious affiliation unknown or a mystery, or may be kids who are simply too young to battle over such an issue as religion.

Even one coreligionist lost to the other side is an unacceptable defeat to the official and unofficial gatekeepers who see converts as part of a a non-negotiable, legally and constitutionally incontestable grouping whose souls should belong eternally to their new religion.

At another level – one that is possibly even more crucial for the country’s future – the fight is aimed within the community itself to purge it of its deviants and to ensure and enforce unity and solidarity, whatever the cost may be to the minority in the community who have a different understanding of Islamic justice and fair play from that propounded by the ulama and others holding power over the Islamic institutions of the country.

Reid Commission’s Constitutional Definition Blunder

In retrospect the biggest blunder the Reid Commission made when it drafted the constitution for an independent Malaya was to freeze the definition of the Malay into a religious and cultural sarcophagus from where there seems to be no means of mobility and no way of escape.

What the Commission’s members did – looking back with the advantage of hindsight – is to consign the moderates, the liberals, the deviants, the progressives, the open minded, the more secular-inclined in the Malay community – to a life of contradiction and pain that only they alone can break the shackles of.

We – especially those of us who do not have the albatross of religious certainty and belief – can only watch and wish them well. What’s mystifying and distressing is that many in that besieged group believe that more, rather than less, religion is the answer to their community’s woes.

33 thoughts on “State Religion Is an obstacle to Freedom

  1. The jurists who drafted the constitution for an independent Malaya (1957) sought a legalistic definition of an identity that defied a precise definition. The Malay is a hybrid. That is why Dr. Mahathir and I are considered Malays. His ancestors came from Kerala and mine were from Tamil Nadu.

    I have more Indian and some Chinese blood with less than 20 per cent Malay blood. Technically, I am an Indian. I only happen to be a born Muslim; I speak Malay and practice the custom. So by definition, I am a Malay and I am entitled to handouts from the UMNO state.I am also required to obey the rules of religion from the bigoted muftis and ulamas (our priests) who are appointed by the UMNO state to dictate how I should run my life as a Muslim. These priests also decide how I should think and behave.

    Dr. Mahathir and I are,therefore, constructs of the Malayan constitution which also makes Islam the official religion. –Din Merican.

  2. Don’t forget the other Malay traits such as khianat, hasad, dengki which has been amply demonstrated by UMNOb. When the UMNOb politicos couldn’t achieve what others can, they begin plotting to bring down the others instead of finding ways to make themselves better. This not only happens to the opposition but also within their own ranks. These are sad traits and which will eventually bring the Malays down.
    For example the Chinese and Indians despite not benefitting from the NEP privileges still manage to create wealth and become successful through sheer hard work and business acumen. What do the UMNOb Malays do, make the Chinese and Indians as scapegoats and accusing them of trying to sieze the government. Despite ample privileges the Malays still lack behind simply because they believe that its Takdir, or God’s willeth. They are taught to be thankful and shukur for what they have.

  3. Religions appear to have been ‘commercialized’ with the main objective of collecting and accumulating wealth and indirectly provide luxurious life styles for those at the top and for their close colleagues-friends-relations-others. The main objective appears to be to control the accumulated wealth gathered from the followers of the religion. For this it is necessary for those who lead religions to have more followers to ensure continuous increase in wealth which may be used more for personal greed and wasteful of lifestyles and in some cased misuse of funds and followers for personal ambitions and greed for power.

    Thus religions may be equated with Multi National Companies who continually expand their base and spread their activities worldwide.

    The majority of shareholders have zero influence on the policies of the MNCs as they can never be untied even if some do not agree with the policies or method of management of the activities. Similarly the followers of religions may have little influence on the way the religions and the funds are used/abused by those in leadership positions. Further in both cases those in leadership positions can and may change the interpretations of their respective original objectives.

    The best past is both may be exempt from laws [designed by them or their followers] or action due to their influence [and power] on those entrusted to monitor or supervise them.

    THUS IT MAY BE PERCEIVED THAT THERE MAY BE LITTLE DIFFERENCE IF ANY BETWEEN THE RELIGIONS AND THE MULTI NATIONAL COMPANIES.

    THEY BOTH CONTROL THE WORLD INCLUDING THE NEXT WORLD.

  4. Pauline Hanson the newly elected Senator in Australia is pushing for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to inquire if Islam is a religion or a political entity with the sole aim of mind control and a strict code of social behavior used for political purposes. .

  5. In response to hewhoknowslittle’s comment regarding
    ‘Pauline Hanson the newly elected Senator in Australia is pushing for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to inquire if Islam is a religion or a political entity with the sole aim of mind control and a strict code of social behavior used for political purposes’.
    it is my perception that all religions may be similar to political parties as the objective of all their leaders is to increase their control of the wealth of the followers.
    Christians used the Crusaders which was the armed wing of the Church leaders who were then controlling the rulers of the day.
    Thus the wealth of religions has been granted [by political/ruling leaders under the ‘control’ of the religious leaders] tax exemptions and given [land and assets] with little if any control on how the funds are utilized.
    THIS MAY HAVE BEEN THE MAIN CONTRIBUTORY REASON TO CONTROL THE BILLIONS IN WEALTH AND FOR THE ABUSE/MISUSE OF FUNDS AND FOLLOWERS OF THE RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS BY TO-DAYS POLITICAL LEADERS.
    This may be the common culture on almost all religions.
    In the olden days the Royalties lived in luxury and were above the laws as they were the one in power. TODAY IT IS THE POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS WHO LIVE IN LUXURY AND MAY BE ABOVE THE LAWS AND AUDIT AS THEY ARE EITHER INDIVIDUALLY OR IN SOME CASES HAVE JOINED TO BE IN POWER.

  6. There was a purpose why it was included in the Malaysia Agreement , otherwise imagine the catastrophe , in which Malaysia would have have been embroiled in following the untold miseries in the IS crises happening in the middle east and Africa, middle east , the Indian sub=continent and Pakistan , and Afghanistan ?

    For us as human beings , nothing is ever enough…..

  7. Blame the Reid Commission for not gurantee the right to apotasy? They do not even recognise what the Reid Commission says about something like Malay special position. Dr. Lim think it makes a difference if they guarantee absolute freedom of religion?

    All religion does not allow freedom of religion. Islam is political and hence if you make freedom of religion part of your politics, it will fight it no matter how its written first and ever..

    The problem is not the Reid Commission, its Islam as its practised today..

  8. Din,
    I think I had , few hour earlier,erroneously posted a comment in the related piece, “Defending Constitutional Democracy, dated 28 February 2015” .That comment was meant to be posted here.
    Please ratify . Sorry. Thanks –Kllau.

  9. Najib says Islamophobia is because of misunderstanding of Islam while towing the Western line that terrorism is misinterpretation of a few. Question is, even if it’s true, why are they talking about the two extreme only? If the two extreme are solely to blame, why is it so hard to solution? Why is so called true Islam espoused by the likes of Amanah and most American Muslims have so little traction elsewhere? Why UMNO/Najib resort to pandering the extremist and bribery to keep them on his side and inevitably corrupt making it worst?

    There is a connected tissue between the practise of Islam by most Muslim and the extremist. There is no running away from that if there is to be a real solution.

  10. 1. Atheists and adherents of all religions can find a minimum program to live in peace together in Prophet Muhammad’s Medinah Charter, the first written constitution in the world. It is most surprising that the Reid Commission jurists were unaware of this seminal constitutional document.
    2. In the Medinah Charter, following the Quran, religions is autonomously administered by its adherents, thus doing away with religious conflicts. The Quran clearly stipulates no compulsion in religion.
    3. In Medinah of Muhammad’s administration, Muslims, Jews and pagans lived peacefully for 13 years. The Jews later conspired with their Meccan allies to fight the famous Battle of Badr where 333 Ill-equipped Muslim soldiers fought against 1,000 well-equipped soldiers to win that battle, proving that a few fighting in self-defence, can win over the many.
    — Kassim Ahmad

  11. Umno Baru leaders had compellingly institutionalized Islam as if it the answer to all political and social woes. That is the bigger blunder than the Reid Commission had made.

    There is no compulsion in Islam.
    The besieged minds of the politicans from the divide need to review the blunders made by both of them (Reid Commission and Umno Baru) and reinvent in terms of personal beliefs and freedom enshrined in the Westminster Democracy.

  12. Quote:- “There is no compulsion in religion”

    Really?

    Let’s put to rest this off-quoted Quranic phrase by looking at the whole passage together with the next follow-on passage.

    2:256: “There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.”

    2:257: “Allah is the protecting guardian of those who believe. He bringeth them out of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities. They bring them out of light into darkness. Such are the rightful owners of the Fire of Hell. They will abide therein forever”

    Still no compulsion?

    What does the phrase “no compulsion” means? It means you are free to do what you wish to do. Like there is no compulsion that you must eat rice everyday, and if you chose to eat bread 3 times a week, Ok, no problem, go right ahead, nothing bad will happen to you, you will not be punished in any way whatsoever.

    If we say, for example, “there is no compulsion in obeying the laws of murder”, it means you are free to kill anyone, anytime and you will not be charged for any crime. But what does our Malaysian law on murder actually says? It says if you are convicted of murder, you will be punished by being sentenced to death by hanging.

    So, may I ask, is there “compulsion” or not in Malaysia to obey the law on murder? There certainly is because it says if you don’t obey this law you will be hanged.

    Now coming to the Quran, it says “As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities. They bring them out of light into darkness. Such are the rightful owners of the Fire of Hell. They will abide therein forever”

    So, what the Quran says is, Oh, there is no compulsion, BUT, if you “disbelieve”, you “… are the rightful owners of the Fire of Hell. (you) will abide therein forever”

    How hypocritical can you get?

    That’s like saying, Oh, you can come into my kitchen anytime you like and eat anything and everything you find in the fridge, no problem, HOWEVER, if I catch you doing that, I will kill you.

    Coming back to the Quranic passages, what it says in totality is, there is no “compulsion”, meaning you can chose to believe in Islam or not, “no compulsion”, BUT if you are a “disbeliever of Islam”, then you WILL BURN IN HELL FOREVER; just like saying you are free to kill anyone you like, BUT if you do, you will be hanged; so do you need to obey the law on murder or not; are you “compelled” to be a “believer” or not?

    Therefore, when we say there is “no compulsion” to act or behave in a certain way, it means there is no adverse consequences for choosing to act or behave in whatever way chosen.

    So please do not use this “There is no compulsion in religion” in isolation ever again. Please quote the whole of the two passages so that non-believers or potential non-believers can form a balanced view and know that they will burn in Allah’s Hell forever for unwittingly observing to the letter this off-quoted phrase — “There is no compulsion in religion”

  13. Every religious holy scripture emphasises about good values but some of their representatives or leaders modify the values to suit their personal ambitions and greed for power and wealth.
    All religions teach the same good values but some leaders claim their religion the only true religion.
    This may be the main cause of conflicts.

  14. After going through the comments above, it further reinforce my belief that religion and or race is NOT comparable to ( Free) Westminster Democracy.

    Added to it there is Muslim= Malay=Bumiputera,
    and the Indigenous, Aboriginal≠Bumiputeras.

    It is very confusing and contradictory.

    For Clarity and to extract the Maximum Consequential Benefits and Creditability for the country and people, I emphatically urge the MPs from the DIVIDE to seriously and immediately consider the Review of the Question of Compatibility of Race and Religion to the Westminster System, amend decissively where necessary, the constitution, swiftly.

    Time is the Essence.
    Wisdom and Decissiveness is the Quality of Leaderships, whether inside or outside the government.

  15. > The finger that points to the moon is not the moon.
    If the moon happened to be “not being a Muslim”, the word “kafir” is merely a pointer.
    I suspect we should not get offended, by the term used.
    Nonetheless, I do pity those who have to find comfort in calling others “kafir”, in order to experience empowerment.

  16. /// Kassim Ahmad July 7, 2016 at 11:07 am
    1. Atheists and adherents of all religions can find a minimum program to live in peace together in Prophet Muhammad’s Medinah Charter, the first written constitution in the world. ///

    Why does the rest of the world have to live according to the dictates of your god?
    What about you living your life according to the dictates of the other 4,176 gods?

  17. I am amazed at Wayne’s sureness in his own position of blaming my hypocrisy on the question of “no compulsion” in religion. Understand, oh clever, clever man, that even you are not in total charge of what is going on in your body. You heart-beat and billions of cells in your body behave according to a law that even clever you do not understand! There is a power more clever than you that is controlling your own body. Be humble then and learn, oh arrogant man! — Kassim Ahmad

  18. @wayne. I am a Christian. Just thought I could share how I would read the next two phrase you quoted from Quran as per how I learnt to read the next two phrases of the often quoted John 3:16 from the Bible, which carries similar contradiction that you have illustrated.
    I did not mean to evangelize. I merely hope to illustrate a perspective of how I, as one theist, resolve similar contradiction. Please read beyond the text of “Sonship” for a moment, as I illustrate the point.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+3%3A16-18&version=NIV
    16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

    I had similar issues with evangelists not quoting the hypocritical text 3:18 that came after 3:16, before I became a Christian. Today, as a Christian, I would defend the decision of not presenting the 3:18 to non believers after realizing that “Elections” to be a citizen of kingdom of God is a “grace” that I could not work out on my own terms, in light of faults I see in myself and others. That “grace” is so precious in that I know I do not deserve it. When it is seen in this light, 3:18 does not become a contradiction, but a mere text that becomes apparently true in light of 3:16.
    3:18 becomes a text to warn self proclaimed Christians that one maybe missing the point.

    If we read the Quran text of the phrase “no compulsion” as meaning the absence of unreasonable urge, I see the text as applicable to Muslims who have to struggle daily especially during this puasa month. Urge to eat still exists, but no unreasonable urge to skip puasa. Of course, we could imagine some Malays would find institutional puasa draconian for them. But, hopefully, most Muslims who were willingly struggling through puasa would be able to empathize, as one finds the urge to rebel against the call to puasa. That is the beauty of “no compulsion” I see in that text.

    Of course, I am only reading the Quran text as a Christian, with zero learning of how one Muslim is taught to read the text.

  19. 1. Wayne seems so sure of his position on “no compulsion” in religion that he uses nasty words against me. He should know that no one likes to be treated nastily. He goes on quoting the Quran to slap my face. He is not only ignorant, but rude.
    2. He should be humble enough to learn that there are two sets of laws, the this-worldy secular laws, and the other-worildy divine law. Which law does the blood running in his body and the millions of cells working in his body obey? Does he control them? What about the winds, the planets and the immensely vast Universe — what laws do they obey? Physical? What is physical? What about the uncertainty principle of Schrodinger? Better speak with a soft voice because you know so very little.
    3. In this world he is free to belief or disbelief. He may disbelieve in the Hereafter. But his disbelief does not mean that it does not exist. Man knows so little about his life and the Universe that he should be humble enough to learn from any teaching. Do not be arrogant. There is a power unspeakably more powerful behind this material Universe than meets the eye. Greater men than puny Mr Wayne have affirmed that. Of course, there have been geniuses the likes of Stephen Hawing have declared their atheism. That the does not follow that most powerful of powers does not exist.
    4. There is a beautiful passage in the Quran, expressing mans’ wonder at the the creation of the Universe. I cannot remember its location at the moment. This feeling of wonderment has been echoed by some great modern physicists and philosophers.
    — Kassim Ahamd

  20. @Wayne,
    I agree with Kassim.
    That is why I always maintain:
    Science Never lie.
    It Always tells the Truth or Nearest to the Truth.

    Also,
    It is Absolutely Unnecessary to invoke the Divinity (God-Allah, through preacher or otherwise) for answers to every Question that we can’t find. Just be honest and say “We Don’t Know”, and keep on learning and researching until we have found new evidence to support the Truth,the Answer, not necessarily the absolute.

    There is so much, yet, so little we know about (inside) ourselves in this unimaginable vast (Multi) Universe we live in-It is most humbling.

    But for the UmnoBaruputera leaders,their appointed Mutifs and some opposition leaders evangelists alike, they behave and think they are or bigger than God-Allah.

    For them and most, Science is or may be the Answer.

  21. “Science Never lie.
    It Always tells the Truth or Nearest to the Truth.”

    I say this as an atheist. This is absolutely false.

    (1) Science has always been manipulated.
    (2) Science has never been about “truth”
    (3) The use of science as some sort of moral guide is a foolish and dangerous endeavour.
    ______________
    I agree. I recommend this book, The Signal and The Noise–Why so many predictions fail–but some don’t by Nate Silver. I got this book as a gift from John Malott when I was Washington DC last week. Keep in touch. Maybe CLF and the gang but the paperback version. –Din Merican

  22. I agree with Conrad in this sense . I have tried to express it in some different threads (another topic elsewhere ), the Scientific truths EMERGING in human evolution up till now, that discoveries achieved so far CONFIRM & PROVES ‘Spirituality ‘ , rather than ‘detract ‘ it …..
    Differently put, Science and Spirituality are two sides of the same Coin….

    To understand that, in the Sciences one has to go from the atomic particles into the Sub-atomic particles , and further into the sub- , and sub, sub- atomic particles , which operate at ABOVE the speed of light….and Scientist/s do say that these ‘ Energy ‘ ” carry two lives at the same time , it appears and disappears in split seconds from the physical universe ” – not knowing why , and its simply the behaviour pattern of Energy ……

    Problem is , having discovered this potent force in discovering the Nuclear forces, Man is USING IT AS A WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION ……. ! !

    I am no scientist, so I stand corrected .

  23. 1. Dr. Lim Teik Ghee is an old friend of mine. In his article I find the following, “… an entirely man-made construct called God …” Dr Lim may be an atheist, but to call God a human construct invites the contrary question “Of whose construct is man?” To cut the matter short, his answer would probably be, “Man constructs himself.” I remember the book by V.Gordon Child titled “Man Makes Himself”, which I do not think means, “Man constructs himslef.”
    2. The statement “Man construct himself” tantamounts to the Universe existing by itself. This is and cannot be correct. How can the Universe gives birth to the Universe? The Universe is a contingent being, dependent on a Necessary Being of philosophy. The Necessary Being is a Power (the most powerful of the powerful) that we call God. Without a creator-fashioner-guider of the Universe, the whole vast struicture would collapse upon itself. This most powerful of the powerful (Pure Spiritual Energy) creates the Universe in an instantaneous simultaneity, if we can imagine such a situation!
    — Kassim Ahmad

  24. Each photon of Energy – which is the smallest and indivisible particle of matter was the building blocks that eventually ‘created ‘ the physical Universe – amazingly carries within it ‘ information ‘ ( or knowledge ) for whatever function it has to carry out , or to contribute in the formation of all the large-scale objects we presently observe existing in the Universe ! : Differently put , Energy has ” intelligence ” , and Mankind is baffled as to how an Indivisible particle of matter as minute as the Energy has ‘knowledge’ for the purpose or function it has to carry out….?

    ( Illustration : the smallest insects like ants and mosquitoes have ‘ that amount of intelligence within them, the larger ones like birds , have some higher degree of intelligence inside them ‘ , but how ….? ) = you tell me as to how all these happened by itself, by co-incidence , by chance or random happening ? All things happened by ‘ accident ‘ ? – )

    Such mysteries of creation incidentally are ‘ hidden ‘ in the Scriptures …..but they are hidden treasures of ‘ knowledge ‘ , and one has to dive 7000 meters in depth of the proverbial Marianas trench in the Pacific , to try and retrieve such hidden treasures …….

    My learned and esteemed colleague , CL Familiaris , was having some dialog on this, hope he can further elucidate along this line…..?

  25. Conrad and Din,

    Science (might be called in different names) was there from the beginning of time, (if there is a beginning) for the homo sapiens to discover and prove through observation and experiment, nature’s phenomenon existence and properties as it changed and evolved through time .

    Man manipulates. Science does not.
    It is a changing constant that can be measured to the dot or nearest to the dotted figure or phenomenon, the truth.
    There probably be no absolute truth or false.

    If man through its manipulations and mathematical calculations failed or unable to measure or find the answer, he would say “I don’t know”, meaning ” I am an agnostic”

    On that premises, I believe ‘”Science never lie”, unlike human, “it always tells( presents itself) the truth or nearest to the truth”.

  26. Some people here say, “Science never lies.” But they should know that science at all times is only a partial truth. Newton’s physics was particle, whereas Schrodinger was wave, of the uncertainty principle. Newton was absolute space/time; Einstein was relative. Science, man’s ability to apprehend the Universe, goes step by step. It defers from religion in the sense that religion gives the total picture, although it may not be completely true. Whereas philosophy rationalzses what we know from religion and science. So man advances step by step and through trial an err. Since believers have scriptures, they try to go by the scriptures. Some scripture are of course outdated through change and corruption. If there is a merciful God, Who gives without measure (note the planets, the sun, the winds, the oceans and countless others) without asking for payments, He must give us a scripture that He protects against corruption. — Kassim Ahmad

  27. My question, “Is there compulsion in religion”, has not been answered by anyone here. Not surprising really as the religious text in question is self-contradicting. No matter how you twist and turn, it still contradicts itself. I did not write the text. I interpret it as I find it. I may be wrong, but that still gives me the right to see it as it is and not as some religious apologetics want or wish to see it. And that I think creates an emotional turmoil to believers and hence the teeth-baring and jaw gnashing we get.

    Instead I get attacks on my person, which is most unbecoming of the so-called religious scholars. Attack my ideas, not me.

    BTW, talking about “me”, lets be clear as to who “me” is.

    If you truly believe in an ultimate Creator, then I too am a creature of this Creator, just like everyone and everything else, and if I am “arrogant”, “clever” or plain “stupid”, then who made me to be this way? As it was argued so eloquently, I could not have “created” myself the way I am?

    So, just as we should not blame the messenger, don’t blame the creation, blame the Creator.

    And talking about “Creation”, if the Universe has to be created, Somebody or Something must create It because It, (the Universe), could not have possibly create itself, then how is it that God dose not need a “Creator” also if any “creation” must have a “Creator” as has been so forcefully asserted?

    And if we assume, (I say assume because none of us were present at the moment of Creation), or grant that God some how could break this universal Law of Creation and created Himself without the universal imperative need to have a Creator Himself, then there must have been a time when there was no God at all because God Himself came into existence only when He “created’ Himself?

    So what was there before God created Himself? Nothing obviously, and if there was a time when there was nothing, meaning Time itself did not exist because God Himself did not exist, then the Beginning of Time starts only when God Himself existed at the very moment He created Himself. The point I am making is that there is no such thing as “Eternity” because Eternity means there is no End and therefore no Beginning. But then there was a “Beginning” and no matter how far you wish to stretch Time into the unimaginably distant future, it is still not Eternity. So the divine threat about being burned in the “eternal” fires of Hell is a lie told by lightning-fearing Bronze Age people and believed by people who are created stupid by God Himself.

  28. kllau,

    “Man manipulates. Science does not.”

    Religionists say the same thing about religion. Funny, right ?

    Science does not exist in a moral vacuum. Think about that for a moment.

    Anyway I think Wayne is doing a good job in rebutting certain presumptions citing dogma.

    “Being” a certain kind of atheist I would prefer the discussion evolve to another level but……

  29. 1. Mr Wayn’s long-winded arguments, are nothing but babbling. We are here to argue logically. He blames me for not answering his question. I took great care to answer his question, while giving back what he gave me! Apparently, he enjoys denouncing me as hypocrite, while not liking what I gave him back! Of course, like Jesus, I could give the other cheek.
    2. Epistemology is a branch of philosophy examining how we know. How do we know? Take this computer that I am writing on. Firstly, I can see and touch it. That is witnessing by the sensory organs. Secondly, you ask the question where this computer and the writer come from. The answer is the computer is made in a factory — the earth — an so is the writer. This is witnessing through logical deduction. Thirdly and lastly, you ask where does the earth come from. The answer is the earth is created by a power called God, God of course is Self-Existing by which all exist. In philosophy he is called the Necessary Being, while the Universe is a contingent being. This third stage is called suprasensory or supralogical.
    3. Mr Wayn obviously did not read my answer carefully. In this secular man-governed world, the Quran stipulates freedom of religion. while telling us there is a right religion (the monotheism brought by all prophet-messengers). In the Hereafter where God reigns supreme, the choice of polytheism would logically suffer its consequences (Hell).
    4. I think I know why atheists are atheists. They believe in evolution: “the world evolved from nothing. We do not need a god to create it.” Thus they err in the third stage. Evolution and creation are not contraries, but complementaries.
    5. How did God create the world? He created it from Himself. This secret of creation is revealed it in the Quran, thus, “If He wishes a thing, He says to it,’Be!’, and it is!” A Hadith Qudsi (of a higher type) has it, “I was a hidden treasure. I wanted to be known; so I crested the creation. I am now as I was before.”
    — Kassim Ahmad

  30. That’s the way to go Pak Kassim . The Qura’n has some gruesome admonishment
    ( few verses on Prophesies ) for blabbers who go like the babbling birds , not knowing what they are babbling about save for their empty stomachs.

    Warnings in the Prophecies :

    ” Men will be liars towards the end of the world (time is nigh ) , and will relate such stories as neither you nor your fathers ever heard. Then avoid them , that they may not lead you astray and throw you into contention and strife….” –
    (note that it was revealed to last & final Prophet in 1437 hijrah )

    ” Verily ye are in an age in which if you neglect one-tenth of what is ordered, ye will be doomed. After this a time will come when he who shall observe one-tenth of what is ordered will be redeemed …..” –

    ” It is your own conduct which will lead you to reward or punishment , as if you had been destined therefor….” –

    ” Every human being hath two inclinations – one prompting him to do good and
    impelling him thereto, and the other prompting him to evil and thereto impelling him : but Divine assistance is nigh , and he who asketh the help of God in contending with the evil promptings of his own heart obtaineth it …..” –

    The moral obtaineth from Martin Lings (leader of world-renown Perennial Philosophers , who slogged with the Sufi Masters of the middle east ) , he writes :

    ( ” …they knew not the differences between where the world of Spirits is in relation to the world of bodies….” ) , and he wrote about his experience on this :

    ” There where the world of bodies is , there also is the world of Spirits ; there where the world of corruption is , there is also the world of purity ….” –

    As a revelation to the Final Prophet : ” Religion is about admonition, and it means being pure ….”

    ” They will enter the Garden of Bliss who have a true , pue and merciful heart….”

  31. God is perceived to be ‘created’ by men to appoint ownselves to be Its representstives and then use the name of their respective Almighty for personal greed for power and wealth and thus make the rest subsurvient to them for use and abuse.
    Most in positions of power claim to be apppointed by their respective Creators.
    Further there is a need to make some entity to take the blame and be a scapegoat for all the blundres and disasters caused by the leaders in their greed and then who better than GOD who is not there to defend ownself.

  32. Science in another name can be ” God”. but can ” God” be Science?

    There is no end to this question, their existence,. their having a beginning, “why something or nothing?” ……,…..,…

    On one end, the study of Science,a changing constant, is governed by postulated theories, rules, laws, formulae and observation. The results measured and obtained from applying them are highly accurate, explainable and predictable, and tested and proven through space and time (in the billions of years)in which the age of our (approx.4.5 b year old) Universe can be measured.

    On the other, the study ” God” (Religion) is governed by ” hearsays” written in holy books or scripts of which most results obtained can hardly be proven or measured or predictable to high degree of accuracy. It is either it is believable or not.

    Both are placed on the table. It is either you accept it or not?
    which lead to what I am asking originally in the above.

    Assumingly, in Islam, ” there is no compulsion in religion ” is an accepted fact, should it(Islam or any other religions) be placed on the table of Westminster (Free) Democracy for inclusion in the system?

    Another words ,
    Is Religion, (here, Islam) Compatible to
    our Accepted System of a Free Westminster Parliamentary System???

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