BARRIERS TO USING LOGIC IN CONSIDERING OTHER RELIGIONS


J

janfljan

All praise be to Allah; the one magnificent creator of all beings ...
the Most compassionate ... the Most Merciful ...

and peace and blessings from God be upon His final messenger and
prophet; ...and upon all of God's preceding messengers and prophets ...
whom God sent to humanity ... to spread one simple message ... Worship God
alone and totally submit to Him.

May Allah join us with them all in the highest of Paradise. Amen.

My dear brothers and friends ...

Do you sometimes wonder ... how is it ... that so many intelligent people
today follow religions ... that to you ... are so obviously wrong?
You travel around the world ... and you come across businessmen,
philosophers, educators, and college students ... who worship all kinds
of things ... including idols ... animals ... and even fire!
So why? ....why in the 21st century when knowledge is so abundant and
easily accessible ... and when logical thinking is expected to guide our
everyday functions ... why is it that so many millions today can't seem
to see how wrong their religions are ....and that even when logical
arguments are directly presented to some of them ...they continue on
with their own false religions?
This question is one of the most critical questions to be asked ...and
understanding the answer to it is so important for anyone who is
genuinely interested in finding the true religion.
You see ....what prevents an educated mathematician who worships an
animal, for example, ... from logically evaluating a more godly religion
.... is not far from what prevents a person who believes he follows a
more godly religion ... from logically accepting the true religion when
presented to him.
The common denominator is a number of mindsets and attitudes that
block a person's logic. They're like walls and curtains that prevent
a person sitting inside his house ... from clearly seeing what's
outside. What he needs to do ... is move around these walls ... roll-up
those curtains ... and step outside to the open balcony where he can
enjoy an unobstructed view.
As we discuss these logic-barriers ... you may find that one or more of
them applied to you at a certain point in the past ... or may continue
to apply to you until now. In such case ... I invite you to come out
from this discussion ... with one: ... a realization that these are
barriers to you using your intelligence ... and two: ... a determination ...
to not allow them to stop you from intelligently evaluating the truth
when it is presented to you.

And now ... let's examine together the 9 logic-barriers.
The first logic-barrier is the emotional attachment to one's own
parents. If you look around you ... you'll notice that most people who
claim to belong to a certain religion....regardless what that religion
is ... have the same religion as their parents, or at least one of
them. Converts to other religions are the exception not the rule.
This is natural ... because of the unique attachment and relationship
between a person and his or her parents ... through which ... values,
culture, and religion get passed on. Therefore, when a person is
invited to consider a religion different than that to which his
parents belong ... there's a good chance that person will subconsciously
.... or even consciously ... resist the notion of leaving his parents'
religion, ... and therefore, not appreciate logical arguments.
Obviously, this could not be a good-enough reason for anyone to hold-
on to his religion. Otherwise, ... we should not expect a person whose
parents worship fire, for example, ... to worship anything else.
The second logic-barrier is confusing religion with the current state
of its followers. This takes two forms. The first is being satisfied
with one's own religion ... because it has the largest number of
followers in certain parts of the world, ... or it is followed by
communities who are currently more advanced economically or socially
than the followers of other religions.
Here we must take a closer look ... and we will find that some societies
excelled only after placing their religion on the sidelines, ... whereas
other societies have fallen after removing their religion, with its
comprehensive and true meanings, from the center of their lives. In
addition, ... weak and ignorant communities in the past and in the
present, have sometimes accepted the religion of those who were strong
at the time, ... or the religion of those who gave them food and
medicine. Their conversion to their new religions and their
descendents' continuity with it ... do not necessarily reflect an
intelligent and logical evaluation of their new religions.
The second form ... is dismissing other religions because of the
behaviors, numbers, or status of their current followers.
Here ... we need to remember ... that with every religion, there are many
assumed followers who live their lives in contradiction with the true
code of their religion. This fluctuates throughout the history of
each religion, and is in many times influenced by the character and
political wills of the leaders of countries and societies.
In short, ... it is not logical to evaluate the correctness of any
religion by the current state of its followers, ... just as it is not
logical to evaluate the value of a book ... by the appearance and order
of the bookstore that currently sells it.
The third logic-barrier is one saying to himself .... "They can't all be
wrong!" ... A person being offered another religion that may make more
sense than his....may divert his thinking to noticing how many good
individuals ... in the present and in the past ... were followers of his
current religion, ... and using that observation ... to conclude that his
religion must be good ... and avoid confronting the logical arguments
presented to him.
That person needs to remember ... that the same claim can be made by the
followers of a number of other religions. Even those who worship
something so ungodly as an animal ... will be able to find doctors,
mathematicians, philosophers, spiritual men and many others around
them ... who worship that animal. Therefore, if a person who believes
he worships something better ... finds himself submitting his own logic
to an argument such as "They can't all be wrong" about his own
religion, then that person's logic is no different than that of the
animal-worshiper.

The fourth logic-barrier is finding morality in one's own religion.
In other words, ... a person feels that his religion must be the right
religion ... because it expects its followers to be honest, trustworthy,
just, kind, generous, helpful, pious, ... to speak no evil, to hear no
evil, and to do no evil.
Indeed, ... these are great values, ... and that person is correct in
thinking that the right religion would promote these values. However,
.... what that person also needs to know ... is that morality and ethics is
embraced by almost all religions that have millions of followers. The
reason is that the human being is born with a natural instinct towards
right and wrong. He is programmed, if you will, ... to feel that being
honest is good, ... and lying and deceiving is bad. That giving the
needy is good, ... and that leaving them to die is bad. Therefore, ...
for any religion to spread and have many followers, ... it must not
clash with this human instinct. At the same time, ... we all know that
all these religions, which conflict with each other in many other core
aspects, ... cannot all be right.
Therefore, morality and ethics cannot be used as the only criteria in
determining the correct religion.
The fifth logic-barrier is brotherhood amongst the followers of the
same religion. Inside the houses of worship ... and after the
worshipers come out from a communal religious service, ... they feel a
sense of brotherhood and euphoria ... that raises their spirits. This ...
reaffirms their pre-established desire to believe that their religion
is correct, ... and can prevent them from properly evaluating another
religion. Unfortunately, ... this alone cannot be logically used to
confirm the correctness of one's own religion ... because once again,
comparable feelings are felt by those coming out of the houses of
worship for other main religions.

The sixth logic-barrier is resistance to change. Today, it is well
known that within the dynamics of cultures, organizations, groups, and
individuals ... there is a natural resistance to change. For example, ...
a new manager with new ideas will face some resistance to change ...
from some or many in his organization. Those resisting the change ...
will block their logic against fairly evaluating the new manager's
ideas ... and often take a passive or negative stand. The same goes
with religion. Some who may not be following the correct religion ...
may allow their natural resistance to change ... to block their logic
from evaluating any other religion.
The seventh logic-barrier is the significance of religion overall in
the person's life. With many people, religion has become a sideline
matter...it simply acts as a general symbol for morality ... that would be
nice for them to follow whenever they like. With others, it's a nice
addition to their identity.
So ... if the religion is a sideline issue to a person, ... he or she may
choose not to turn-on his or her logic ... or give it enough electricity
.... to properly evaluate another religion. What this person needs ... is
to first understand that by finding the true religion ... he will find
the road to eternal happiness. Therefore, nothing ... in this very
short life ... could be more important than this.
The eighth logic-barrier is avoiding change in current lifestyle.
Many people allow their logic ... to be blocked from honestly evaluating
another religion ... which they sense could be correct ... because they
know in advance ... that accepting that religion will result in changes
to their lifestyle. Changes in terms of what's permissible and what's
not ... what's favorable and what's not ... and ... the specific acts of
worship and religious duties that would be expected of them.
Many of these individuals ... subconsciously or consciously ... sense the
correctness of a certain other religion, ... however, they willingly
allow themselves to be mislead ... and turned away from that other
religion ... by false arguments or exaggerated negative comments about
it. Alternatively, ... they may simply keep their minds and logic
turned off ... from searching deeply into the other religion ... in fear
of being convinced by it ... and as a result ... having to change their
lifestyles by accepting it. A few might even admit ... that they
believe the other religion is correct ... but frankly say they cannot
convert to it because they are too weak to give up certain things in
their current lifestyles which the other religion forbids ... or are too
weak to perform certain duties which the other religion requires.
For individuals who face this type of logic-barrier, ... the following
analogy is perhaps worth their attention:
Imagine that two people were riding a very comfortable and luxurious
car. The car had very soft seats, ... excellent air conditioning, ...
automatic controls, great stereo system, ... and rides ever so
smoothly. At the same time, ... there were two other people riding an
old, rusty and uncomfortable car ... and the two cars were traveling on
two separate roads.
In a certain area, ... the two roads ran nearby such that the two groups
were able to see each other. At that point, ... those riding the old
rusty car ... started shouting towards the others. The two in the
luxurious car noticed, ... however, were too comfortable with their air
conditioning and smooth ride; ... they chose not to open their windows
to hear what the others were trying to say. Then, ... one in the old
rusty car stuck his two arms out his window ... and waived a map with
one hand and a GPS device with the other. The two in the luxurious
car smiled ... but still didn't open their windows. Later, they
reluctantly opened a window and shouted; ... "What do you want?"
The one with the map yelled; ... "You're on the wrong road ... I can prove
it ... please give me your mobile number." Again, ... reluctantly ... they
gave him their mobile number. The man with the map immediately called
and said; "Listen ... you have a major problem. You are traveling fast
on a one-way road to the edge of a very steep cliff. If you continue,
.... you will end-up undoubtedly dead at the bottom of the canyon, ...
whereas our road goes straight to a magnificent resort. Please stop
the car now ... and ride with us ... since there is no way to get your car
to cross to our road. I can prove all of this to you. I have a map
and a GPS."
To this man's astonishment, ... the others reply by saying; "Listen
friend, ... we are extremely happy with our car. It is so comfortable,
cool, and rides so smoothly ... you're welcome to ride with us if you
want. At the same time ... we don't want to ride your ugly car. And
frankly ... we don't think you know what you're talking about." They
quickly cut-off the call ... then turned their mobile phone off.
The two in the rusty car were stunned ... and just could not believe how
the others could have been so preoccupied with their current
comfortable situation ... to not care about their miserable
destination.
At the same time, ... the two in the luxurious car privately thought
that maybe they should have continued the discussion with the other
guy. After all ... he does have a map and a GPS device. Unfortunately,
they did not continue with this thought for long and allowed
themselves to be distracted by the songs their stereo was playing ...
and relaxed into their comfortable seats and smooth ride.
Needless to say, ... the choice these two made ... by blocking their logic
from evaluating what the others were trying to prove ... was tragically
ridiculous. It becomes even more ridiculous ... when you know that in
the previous scenario, ... the ones traveling on the right path ... were
actually riding a very nice car ... that is wonderful in its own
different ways.

The ninth logic-barrier is arrogance. Those with arrogance will allow
their bigotry and sense of superiority ... to block their minds from
evaluating anything that comes from groups or individuals ... who they
consider beneath them. This can occur on an individual level, a group
level, or both. On an individual level, ... some are arrogant over
others within their same community or close circle. On a group level,
.... members of certain communities or cultures can be humble amongst
themselves ... but subconsciously or consciously arrogant over other
communities or cultures. And there are some who are arrogant on both
levels. Throughout history, ... arrogance ... has long been and continues
to be the worst logic-barrier ... that holds societies and individuals
back from seeking and accepting the truth.


These were the 9 logic barriers I wanted to share with you ... and
before I conclude ... I'd like to quickly summarize them:

1. Emotional Attachment to One's Parents
2. Confusing Religion with the Current State of its Followers
3. "They Can't All be Wrong"
4. Finding Morality in One's Own Religion
5. Brotherhood and Sense of Euphoria from Communal Services
6. Resistance To Change
7. Religion is Sidelined
8. Avoiding Change in Current Lifestyle
9. Arrogance

In conclusion, ... it is important to remember that the truth does not
favor masses and status. The truth possesses power of its own. It
will always appear as clear and bright ... as a brilliant star for those
who truly seek it.
Therefore, ... I invite those considering Islam to first check ... have
you taken a position that is block-free? Are you standing before a
clear, unobstructed view of the truth ... that is vitally essential to
your very salvation, ... your eternal destiny? If you find yourself
resisting what may seem to you as truth, ... if you feel you agree with
the logic presented to you, yet feel inclined to reject it, ... then ask
yourself which of these logic-barriers ... are you employing at that
critical moment of evaluation.
At the same time, ... I invite those trying to help others consider
Islam ... to assist them to discover their logic-barriers ... and
eventually overcome them.
I ask God ... to guide us all ... to see truth as truth ... and grant us the
wisdom and humility to follow it, ... and allow us ... to see falsehood as
falsehood .... and grant us the courage to reject it. Amen.

WASALLAM ALAIKUM WA RAHMATULLAHI WA BARAKATUH
 
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E

Ed Cregger

Son, my God doesn't need prophets, messiahs nor disciples.
Being all seeing, all knowing and all powerful, He gave us a
brain to figure it out for ourselves. If our brain can't do
it, it isn't anything to be concerned about.

On the other hand, God would have to be charlatan and a
wimpy deity if all He could do was tell a few folks and then
hope that the rest would get the message. That does not
sound like a God that I could respect.

Anyone telling you that God talked to him, but you haven't
heard a word, is out to control your mind with guilt and
ridiculous promises of an after-life. I'd rather live the
life He gave me right now and let Him worry about the rest.

Ed Cregger
 

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