Tom Caylor wrote:

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
Tom Caylor writes:

> > So you believe that the Qur'an is the literal word of God? What I was hoping is that > > you would say Muhammed was deluded or lying, so that the Qur'an is at best an > > impressive piece of literature with some interesting moral teachings: i.e., what atheists
> > say about the Bible.
> >
> > Stathis Papioannou
> No, I was just answering your question.  I'm going out on a limb (not
> referring to Shirley McLane ;) but I think that the belief in Islam
> about the Qur'an is that it fulfills the role of the 2nd/3rd
> hypostates, instead of the person of Jesus.  It is eternal and spans
> the infinite gap between God and man.  For the Christian, Jesus
> fulfills this role.  (Also, Jesus, being a person, solves the problem
> of the infinite relationship gap between us and God in a from-God-to-us
> direction rather than the from-us-to-God direction of good works. Good
> works are only finite.)  So as I see it the Christian has a different
> belief about the Bible than does the Muslim about the Qur'an.  There
> are plenty of good sources about the Christian's belief about the
> Bible, and evidence to support those beliefs, so I don't want to get
> into a long discussion about it on this List.  I'll just say that I
> believe that a non-Christian can read the Bible, and about the Bible,
> to try to find out something in a rational way, just like reading any
> other book.

Sure, the Bible contains some historical facts, some moral teachings, some great literature, as does the Qur'an. But there are literal conflicts between the Bible and the Qur'an, eg. Muslims believe that Jesus was just another prophet, not God in human form [if that concept is even coherent], while Christians do not believe that Muhammed actually took dictation from God. But in terms of empirical evidence, general plausibility, or even strength of conviction in believers, there isn't much to choose between the two faiths. Why do Christians and Muslims agree on certain incredible-sounding things of which they generally have no direct experience, such as the Earth being spherical, but strongly disagree on other things such as the status of
Jesus and whether he really rose from the dead?

Stathis Papaioannou

People disagree on lots of things, especially if it touches on ultimate
questions, for instance as I mentioned about the Christians' belief
that Jesus is the solution to the problem of evil (from-God-to-us) and
Muslims' (and all other belief systems that recognize the problem of
evil) belief that the solution depends on our good works (or something
similar, from-us-to-God/Good).  Do you recognize the problem of evil,
and if so, what do you believe is the solution?  Do you think that the
MWI is the key to the solution?


The problem of evil is the contradiction between the theory that there is an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God and the observed fact that there is great suffering and evil in the world. The obvious solution is that the putative existence of the the tri-omni God is false.
I don't see how Jesus or good works are even relevant to this problem.

Brent Meeker

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