Foundation of our morality: Islamic and Judeo-Christian tradition!

Authors

If we examine our morality in its extreme situations we may realise that clearly there are religious implications and our morality came from God and perhaps cannot fully exist without God.

Our morality is rooted in the prophets of God who revealed to us the absolute standards of our Creator against murder and incest for example.

If we carefully examine the teachings of the Bible and the Holy Quran on the subject of murder and incest we will find Quranic tradition a more evolved and preserved text. The Holy Quran details the blood relationships that believers are forbade to marry. It says:

“Forbidden to you are your mothers, and your daughters, and your sisters, and your fathers’ sisters, and your mothers’ sisters, and brother’s daughters, and sister’s daughters, and your foster-mothers that have given you suck, and your foster-sisters, and the mothers of your wives, and your stepdaughters, who are your wards by your wives unto whom you have gone in — but if you have not gone in unto them, there shall be no sin upon you — and the wives of your sons that are from your loins; and it is forbidden to you to have two sisters together in marriage, except what has already passed; surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.” (Al Quran 4:24)

About murder the Quran links itself to the Jewish tradition and states:

” … On account of this, We prescribed for the children of Israel that whosoever killed a person — unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land — it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind. And Our Messengers came to them with clear Signs, yet even after that, many of them commit excesses in the land.” (Al Quran 5:33)


Argentinian arrested, allegedly fathered 10 kids with daughter

CNN 2010-11-30 23:22:54

An Argentinian court has charged and ordered the arrest of a man who allegedly fathered 10 children with his daughter, a local government agency reported Saturday.

A court in Reconquista, in the province of Santa Fe, alleged that the man violated his daughter for 30 years, the Santa Fe government’s web site reported.
Other cases of sexual abuse were reported in the area 2009, triggering a special inquiry, the government site reported.
Renconquista judge Virgilio Palud was quoted by the government site as claiming that family-based “sexual abuse is common currency in the north of Santa Fe.”
The judge said that two other cases of men fathering children with their daughters have been reported in nearby provinces, the site said.
In April 2008, the world was shocked by the secret life of Josef Fritzl, the so-called “Monster of Austria” who fathered seven children with his daughter, who he kept in confinement.
“This case is more serious than the one in Austria,” Palud was quoted as saying in a Santa Fe newspaper.

Our strong condemnation of incest clearly has religious implications and is derived from religious traditions.

Where do our rights and absolute teachings come from:

Dr. Andrew Conway Ivy was appointed by the American Medical Association as its representative at the 1946 Nuremberg Medical Trial for Nazi doctors. By 1945 he was probably ‘the most famous doctor in the country.’ He wrote, “Only in a moral world, a world of responsibility, can man be free and live as a human being should. Men are truly equal and free only as creatures of God, because only as the children of God and only in the sight of God and ultimate moral law are men truly equal.” In the Nuremberg trial he struggled with the question that if man-made law is the sole source of basic human rights, why condemn the Nazi assault on Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and politi­cal enemies; and having shaken by this perplexing trial he concluded:

“If God and the ultimate moral law are denied, there can be no absolute argument against slavery, against ‘might makes right’ and man’s greedy exploitation of man. If human beings have no absolute intrinsic value, no absolute intrinsic freedom of decision, no absolute liberty, no absolute duties, they possess only extrinsic value and may be used as chattels, slaves or serfs by those who have the intelligence and power.”[1]

It is worthwhile quoting Dr. Ivy’s testimony on this issue in its entirety:

“History and reflection have convinced me that the certainty of the primacy of spiritual and moral values rests on whether a Divine Personality, who represents Divine Perfection, exists or does not exist in the faith which guides human behavior. Our intellect reveals the unity and order in the universe, and the principle of causality. But these facts do not constitute a religion, nor a religion with permanency, unless they are permitted to operate in our everyday conduct on the basis of the freedom to make decisions and the concept of the Fatherhood of God and the consequent brotherhood of man.
If the better earth life is to be maintained, with the upward trend characteristic of the past, Divine guidance will be required. Recent sad, sickening, tragic historical events demonstrate that morality, truth, justice, mercy and freedom lead a dastardly existence when not rooted in applied theism. Under Nazi paganistic state socialism and under atheistic communism the most cherished God-given possessions of man are profaned and tramped into the mire. Only in a moral world, a world of responsibility, can man be free and live as a human being should. Men are truly equal and free only as creatures of God, because only as the children of God and only in the sight of God and ultimate moral law are men truly equal. If God and the ultimate moral law are denied, there can be no absolute argument against slavery, against “might makes right” and man’s greedy exploitation of man. If human beings have no absolute intrinsic value, no absolute intrinsic freedom of decision, no absolute liberty, no absolute duties, they possess only extrinsic value and may be used as chattels, slaves or serfs by those who have the intelligence and power. Rights given to man by God can be taken away only by God, but rights given to man by man or man-made institutions can be denied or taken away by man or man-made institutions. Unless inalienable rights come from the Ultimate, from the Creator, it is irrational to say that human beings have rights which no manmade institution may ignore or deny. Man has no absolute claim of intrinsic worth and dignity, no absolute duties and responsibilities, except as a creature of God.

Is the brotherhood of man a concession of a man-made materialistic State, with expediency the only guide of individual and governmental conduct? Or is it derived from the Fatherhood of God? Which source will guarantee it the greatest permanency? Does freedom come from freedom of the spirit, from freedom of decision of the individual mind? Or is it a concession of a materialistic society? How can freedom of choice and liberty exist when a person is a creature of the State?

In the absence of a belief in the intrinsic worth and dignity of the individual, moral enormities and atrocities occur, and are justified by the doctrine of “superior orders” and the doctrine that the welfare of the State is the supreme good and end, and that the end justifies any means. This was the dilemma at Nuremberg. How could the Nazi leaders and doctors who were responsible for the atrocities be indicted and convicted when they were obeying Nazi law and orders? They could be indicted and convicted only under the Eternal Natural Law of God, called in condescension to the atheistic Russian representatives the Laws of Humanity. If man-made law is the sole source of basic human rights, why condemn the Nazi assault on Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and political enemies? Why condemn the assault on the Hungarian Patriots? Under Nazi laws Jews had no rights. Under Red Communist laws the Hungarian Patriots had no rights. Under the communist governments behind the “iron curtain” no human being has inalienable rights. If inalienable rights exist, what made them inalienable? If man did not create the world, how can he delegate to himself the creation of his worth dignity, rights, duties, freedom of choice, and liberty? You always get into a causal chain which leads to God unless you arbitrarily dismiss it from consideration before you arrive.”[2][3]

Recently I saw a debate between William Lane Craig and Sam Harris on the issue of, can we have objective moral values without God?

Now, see I am being very candid here, I am a Muslim, belonging to Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, but I have no problem applauding a lead Christian apologist, when I think he is right.

I thought to myself that Sam Harris was creamed, he was wasting his time in the 12 minute rebuttal off the topic, on why there is suffering. Let me touch on the issue of suffering in the words of Charles Darwin here, but I will urge that debate to be in some other thread. I think I already had a thread or perhaps several posts on that issue before. Here is what Darwin correctly identified for us. Let me quote here the concluding paragraph, in the later editions of the legendary book of Sir Charles Darwin, on the Origin of Species that can make one quickly conceptualize the role of suffering in the grand scheme of things:

“From the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been breathed, by the Creator, into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

To give credit to Sam Harris’ presentation and refutation, all the information that he offered off the topic may be worthwhile for considering that Christianity is a bad form of theology and there may be good reasons for an honest comparison of Christian theology to the Muslim theology.

To refute accusations that Sam Harris made in his closing statement against Islam, without any Muslim speaker defending it was not moral at all and here is the refutation for it.  Islam does not believe in eternal hell and does not condemn all non-believers:

Surely, the Believers, and the Jews, and the Christians and the Sabians — whichever party from among these truly believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good deeds — shall have their reward with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve. (Al Quran 2:63)
Surely, those who have believed, and the Jews, and the Sabians, and the Christians — whoso believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good deeds, on them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Al Quran 5:70)
As to those who believe, and the Jews, and the Sabians, and the Christians, and the Magians and the idolaters, verily, Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection; surely Allah is Witness over all things. (Al Quran 22:18)

The watch a video describing Islamic understanding of heaven and hell, in the Islamic paradigm, go to a post in the Muslim Times that has a video linked, in there.

Around an hour into this debate Rabbi Shmuley Boteach nicely lays it for the atheist debating panel that their morality comes from religions.  We can argue the bragging rights for different Abrahamic faiths in my other articles, but here is the bottom line that the atheists have not come up with an agreed upon gospel or basis of their morality in evolution or whatever else they would like to base it on:

Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens had nothing to say to refute the Rabbi but Prof. Daniel Dennett did try to refute, by following the principle that when evidence is slim, rhetoric should be loudest.  He certainly obfuscated the issue for the lay audience, by his commanding position given his achievements in science and philosophy, telling the Rabbi that he has a lot of reading to do about evolutionary biology.

We can certainly find some clues for morality in evolution and animal kingdom.  Most mammals and birds exhibit wonderful maternal instinct, for example.  However, even if there are no true biological missing links, and I do believe that the common ancestry of all life forms on our planet is a fact, to jump from chimpanzee wars to sacredness of each and every human life is a huge jump and shall we call it a missing link, to use the evolutionary vernacular.

To give some credit to Sam Harris, most of what he said about Christian dogma or doctrine was true. However, Robert Wright nicely pushed back Harris’ strong rhetoric to just superficially link religion with terrorism by the force of repeated propaganda.
In the following clip Denish D’souza nicely articulates some of the crimes of atheist and communist regimes:
Is God Necessary For Morality? Debate – Shelly Kagan vs William Lane Craig
In this debate, Prof. William Lane Craig nicely articulates that if God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.  He also cites, atheist philosophers from the past, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre and Bertrand Arthur William Russell, who were more honest on this issue, who would agree with his position as they did not realize the present day political ramifications of this view.
Prof. Richard Dawkins seems to agree with Craig’s position, when he said, “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.”[4]
One of the point Prof. William Lane Craig makes is that if we do not have an eternal soul our choices, moral or immoral, in the final analysis, have only temporary consequences, no cosmic significance, and as such do not have any absolute value.  Prof. Shelly Kagan, with his atheistic mind set fails to see this point, which is self evident to me, at least.  Another way I would like to put it is by asking think of a past painful experience that lasted a few hours, is it of any absolute value today, now that you are years removed from it, what if it lasted only an hour, what if only a minute, what if only a second!  The point being that there is a sea of difference between something which is eternal or infinite verssus finite!  A short lived event in a temporary world or universe may have significance, but, only limited and by definition, temporary.

References

  1. The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe. Edited by John Clover Monsma. GP Putnam’s sons, New Yrok, published in 1958. Page 240.
  2. http://www.alislam.org/egazette/articles/Certainty-of-God-s-Existence-200910.pdf
  3. This is from an article in a book ‘the Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe’ edited by John Clover Monsma, published in 1958. This book is a collection of short articles by different scientists about their views about God. This article formed the Extended Epilogue for the book.
  4. Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (1995), quoted from Victor J Stenger, Has Science Found God? (2001)
    http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/dawkins.htm
%d bloggers like this: