God Vs the Universe: which is more worthy of our admiration?

God and the Universe have quite a lot in common. There is ambiguity about both their beginnings, their nature and their definition. A quick look:

  • This universe is thought to have a finite beginning 13.8 billion years ago. But that depends on your definition of “universe”. If you maintain that “universe” refers to this bubble of space/time and does not exclude other universes, either contemporaneous or precedent, then that the universe is 13.8 billion years old is correct (is so far as it is the best answer we have to explain the evidence). However, if you define the universe as “everything” and thus includes any other possible bubbles of space/time, then you have a problem: our investigations are limited to this bubble of space/time so we cannot know the age of the universe.
  • God is thought to be eternal and uncaused. God is meant to be historically eternal. One of the main defences of this is that existing eternally is logically impossible, therefore the universe could not have existed forever, therefore it must have been caused by something which has existed eternally. The very reason we believe God exists eternally undermines the conclusion that God exists eternally.
  • The universe is indifferent. It operates by rules that are immutable. They do not change out of sympathy and there are no exception for the sake of justice. The universe is also amoral and non-intelligent; it has no mechanism by which to acknowledge, care for or redirect itself with regard to suffering or morality.
  • God is immutable, but loving. It does have the power to change out of sympathy and make exception for the sake of justice. God is moral and intelligent; It has mechanisms by which It can acknowledge, are for or redirect the universe with regard to suffering or morality.
    •  The universe is not redirected with regard to suffering or morality.
  • The universe is immense, subjectively beautiful and consists of vastly more things than you can know.
  • God is supposed to be immensely powerful and objectively great in all ways, but is basically comprehensible to humans (with the exception of when evidence contradictions a definition of God, then it’s all a convenient mystery).

In terms of content, here, God is much more worthy of our admiration. But, look more closely. We observe things consistent with the universe. We observe very little that is consistent with God. God involves contorted reasoning and a large amount of wilful ignorance to the suffering of life. The universe is more deserving of our admiration because it is knowable reality. God, real or not, does not care enough to make Its existent evident and is indistinguishable from fiction. Reality will always be more deserving of admiration than fiction.

Also, nature is true to the indifference of the universe. It is not true to the asserted morality and caring nature of a God. Truth is also deserving of admiration.

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(Challenge to another blogger: a post entitled “God, the convenient mystery”)

Interesting footnote: notice my word choice: “admiration”. It’s not worship. Worship wouldn’t be the wrong word, but it’s so steeped in religious connotation that at least one person would make efforts to misunderstand it. And that person would be disingenuous.

Inspired by this. The author asks why a necessarily created entity (what many religious people believe the universe is) is less less impressive than an entity that does not need to be created (which apparently describes God).

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78 thoughts on “God Vs the Universe: which is more worthy of our admiration?”

  1. Universe is itself a creation of LORD..n above it,stands our Al-mighty..so admire the lord who created this fantastic..self systematic Universe..
    Quran: surah fatihah( the beginning) verse 1
    “All praises and admires belong to Allah,the sustainer of universe”
    😉

      1. Yea… He is unseen..
        Our framework of imagination cannot imagine God..
        U r little doubtful on the definition of God…well lets see what Quran says about the definition of God :
        1.Say: Allah is One
        2. Allah is eternal…no starting no ending…
        3. He is not son nor father of ny1
        4. He is NOT LIKE ANYONE (if u compare nything creation with God..it goes against the definition)

        1. Evidently this definition of yours is not supported throughout Islam, therefore, it is false by its own inclusiveness. The Hanafiyah Islamic school believe Allah might have indeed had a beginning.

        2. John.. Never listen to ulemas (scholars) or any school of thoughts..they are itself corrupted..
          Why should i bother hambal…hanafiyah..salafi schools..if they goes against God’s word?? Are u gettin my point? Islam says to believe in quran..not on hypothesis of some schools of Islam..and u have got a wrong information bro..ALLAH has no beginning..nor an end
          Ok lets b rational…if u think god is created…who is then responsible for His creation?? U will be confused yourself….it is beyond our thinking 😉 we just hav to stand firm on faith..

        3. And I should listen to you over Islamic scholars why, precisely?

          Now I find it interesting that you say believe in the Qur’an. Interesting because I already know its rubbish as Mo didn’t know what he was talking g about. He couldn’t even distinguish myth from actual historical fact. In your Qur’an, Musa (Moses) is considered a prophet and is named 136 times, correct? Abraham is named 69 times, and is even described as the Middle Eastern gods best friend: “Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to Allah, does good, and follows the way of Abraham the true in Faith? For Allah did take Abraham for a friend.”

          Now, I’m afraid to inform you, but we know with a great deal of certainty that neither Abraham nor Moses were real historical characters. They never existed. They are fiction, spun together in a metanarrative commissioned by Judah in the 7th and 6th Century BCE to justify a northern land grab after the fall of Mamlekhet Yisra’el (Kingdom of Israel) in 722 BCE.

          Now, how do you explain Mo not knowing basic regional history? Quite the blunder, wouldn’t you agree?

        4. Omg zande….u made me laugh 😀
          I was debating on religion’s principles…and guess what i came to know …u don’t have faith on neither Islam nor Christianity or judaism..
          So as i told you earlier..before we debate on a rational issue…we need to have this FAITH…
          If u dont believe on real heroes like abraham or jesus or muhammad (peace be on them) or islamic/catholic principles..then what is the point of debating…
          Ok lets assume…we playing crosswords..and suddenly u exclaimed : ‘ i don’t believe prejudice is a word’…. Will that help :/
          By the way …islam stands simple …everyone can know islam much by themselves..its too much flexible…n recorrecting u again: hanafih school follows Imam ABU HANIFAH …
          And guess what this imam said 😉
          – “if my any teachings or fatwa(opinions/thoughts) goes again ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER..leave my words and believe Quran n hadith..
          Are u getting my point sir.. Again if u say,”i dont believe you..trust u…”
          Then no point of debate at ol 🙂
          Im a scholar of comparative religion sir…i can claim atleast i know little more than u…May allah give u guidance..
          Else period..

        5. What nonsense are you babbling on about? Calm your mind before writing. You’re getting yourself all confused. “Faith” has nothing to do with the historical validity of a story. It is either true, or it isn’t. It either happened, or it didn’t. It’s either non-fiction, or fiction. Regarding the Pentateuch, it is known neither Moses nor Abraham were real people. This has, in fact, been known for over two generations. The problem you’re facing here is Mo blundered terribly in naming both Abraham and Moses as real. Do you deny he did? Of course not. So, given the facts, we can say with complete confidence that Mo didn’t know what he was talking g about… which is hardly a ringing endorsement for someone claiming to be speaking for a Middle Eastern god.

        6. John stop panicking…i am already in peace..
          See my belief on God is more than on Pentateuch…i dont know who is he even,sorry
          Well,Muhammad…(mo as u say) didnt spoke at oll gross.
          See i told ya na..you believe in hypothesis of people’s work n we believe in God..
          Ok lets not argue..could u pls temme on what base u believe?? U believe in jesus?? Old testament new testament? Anything.. ?? Science probably?? Telme

        7. John,

          The historic reality of both Moses and Jesus are undeniable.

          The atheist thinks the way he does because he applies his postmodern values and his life experience to all other cultures, times and ideas.

          That makes the atheist really nothing more than an ignorant provincial (aka a hick from the sticks) lost in the perpetual present.

          Judaism was the scourge of the pagan world. Christianity was worse, it was a gutter offshoot of Judaism.

          Therefore, the Jews and Christians wrote for themselves and hardly anyone else (Roman, Greek or otherwise) wrote about them.

          So it’s not surprising at all that there is a dearth Christian and Jewish documentation in the historical record.

          Also, Christians were quiet, moral people, not atheist, Marxist activists (Pliny the Younger).

          It was because of the moral and social nature of Christianity that by the 4th century it had gone from gutter religion to coin of the realm, courtesy of Emperor Constantine.

        8. That’s interesting, especially considering the entire bible narrative began breaking down with the work of the American archaeologist and bible advocate, William Albright, a Christian, in the first half of the 20th century.

        9. Wow, John, he must be a really strong man to bring down the God of heaven with his petty grievances, and dismiss God’s promises as nonsense..

          You can have your 10,000 archaeologists and pseudo scholars who claim ‘no Moses,’ ‘no Exodus,’ and God’s word will lose none of its lustre, and, leave behind 10 thousand liars.

          Hey Silence, how are ya??

        10. Ever heard of Alfred Edersheim John?

          You may enjoy his work,
          esp. ‘Bible History,’
          ‘Sketches of Jewish social life,’

          and his masterpiece,

          ‘the life and times of jesus the Messiah.’

          It may take you a few years to go through his work, but hey, if you are the zealot for truth, it would be years well spent.

        11. Well, since you hang your hat on Finklestein, etc, thought you may like to be fair and balanced,

          yes, what He writes is connected to the topic of the day. Don’t be so quick to write him off,

          just saying.

          There is no modern writer jew or gentile of equal regard. His work is lunsurpassed.

        12. Colorstorm, I just read his bio. Your man never even left Europe! He never conducted a single dig… Anywhere! Why? Because he’s not even an archaeologist, let alone a professional historian. Please, let’s keep this real, shall we…

        13. Of course hes not an archae-

          never said he was.

          His work stands alone, irrefutable, as I said, try to find flaws in in it,

          Professional historian? You mean one accredited with the approval of the atheistic community?

          Since this talk is about the universe, then his work is just as relevant as to your so called dig guys.

          Except his is more so, follow the trail John, it always to

          ‘in the beginning God.’ You work way to hard to deny it.

        14. You’re deflecting. John is arguing that Jesus and Mo referred to Abraham and Moses and the events of Exodus as real, yet modern archaeology says Jesus and Mo got all that wrong.
          That makes the central characters fundamentally mistaken. Given that the characters are God and in direct communication with God (respectively) this is a serious issue. The life of Jesus is irrelevant to that conversation.

        15. Yea sure allt-

          Go ahead and challenge the word of Christ against ‘modern’ ahem, men

          Me? I’m going with the old tried and true, yea, he who is ‘faithful and true.’

          And guess what? in a hundred years your men will be dead, other imposters will take their place, and God will still be God, and His word just as good as it is today.

        16. If he claims the Patriarchs, Egypt, Moses, Exodus, and Conquest were all real historical events/people then I’m afraid to say his 1800’s “opinions” are very much refutable.

          Since this talk is about the universe, then his work is just as relevant as to your so called dig guys.

          What on earth are you babbling on about here? Archaeology concerns validating the historical claims of a story. and as Conservative Rabbi David Wolpe said:

          “A tradition cannot make an historical claim and then refuse to have it evaluated by history. It is not an historical claim that God created us and cares for us. That a certain number of people walked across a particular desert at a particular time in the past, after being enslaved and liberated, is an historical claim, and one cannot then cry “unfair” when historians evaluate it.”

          Well Colorstorm, historians have evaluated it. They’ve been grading the historical credibility of the Torah and Nevi’im for over a century and the conclusions are in: the narrative is a historical fabrication; a dramatic dream sequence that bears no resemblance whatsoever to the actual early history of the Jewish people. The revealed religions are missing the supposed revelation.

          Now, the “Universe” concerns a small interest known as cosmology. Look it up, you’ll see the difference.

        17. Validating the claims? Yea, there is always invalidating the claims too; such as who in their right mind dare challenge He who , oh by the way ‘made the stars also.’

          The claims of scripture, the claims of the universe, and the claims of the word of God all agree. The there is always your conscience

          You have nothing John

        18. CS, that’s unashamedly a logical fallacy. You’ve appealed to the authority of God, which is both question begging (because the existence of God is part of the question) and an appeal to authority. It was done elegantly, I’ll give you that. But a fallacy none the less.

        19. Claims, all made in one story which says it’s true. Nice circular reasoning there, Colorstorm. I can use that same method to validate the authenticity of the existence of The Cat in the Hat… and let’s not forget, this is all highly amusing considering we know the historical “claims” made in that one story are factually false: fiction. Can you invalidate the Cat in the Hat as cleanly and easily as I can invalidate your story?

        20. He does not even argue Jesus exists. He assumes Jesus exists and tries to set the gospels into a political context. As a discipline, creating narrative from other narratives and political data is trumped by physical evidence. Evidence i notice you haven’t even asked John to explain (he is not familiar with the research than me).
          Not that it matters, the question was of whether Jesus and Mo were correct to refer to Abraham and Moses as real.

        21. John,

          Many of the great heresies that plagued the Catholic Church were started by priests.

          So simply being Christian lends absolute zero credibility to the atheist hallucination of world history where Moses and Jesus are fictional characters.

          Also, there is nothing radical about William Albright.

          So pilfering the authority of his name is similar to the way atheists pilfer the authority of science, logic and reason to lend credibility to atheism which is actually a denial of science, logic and reason.

          The Jews and the Catholics kept their own histories and because the rank and file were mostly illiterate, memory (history) was passed down through ceremony.

          The Jewish Passover and the Catholic Mass are two such ceremonies that date from antiquity and which encapsulate the core of Judeo-Christianity.

          Further, the Catholic Church recorded its popes from the beginning starting with Saint Peter, the Apostle.

          Later, during the Middle Ages, where Christian missionaries went, so went literacy.

          Historians love the Christians because of that.

          Saint Augustine was a Catholic Platonist who lived during the fall of Rome (476AD) and whose writings are renown.

          Saint Thomas Aquinas was a Catholic Aristotelian who lived during the High Middle Ages and whose writings are also renown.

          The atheist hallucination of world history simply isn’t born out by real world history.

        22. Your description of how Jews and Catholics keep history is immensely tenuous. Do you not worry these methods could be wildly inaccurate and indistinguishable from the rites, ceremonies and traditions of any culture or religion?

        23. Alla,

          The Jewish Passover ceremony and the Catholic Mass are essentially unchanged over millennia.

          And the moral and ethical values developed by the Hebrews and Christians became normative for all of mankind.

          The consistency, coherence and profound influence of Judeo-Christianity put the lie to atheist propaganda concerning Moses and Jesus.

        24. Nonsense argument.
          There are religions older than Christianity that also have consistent ceremonies. There are political philosophies that precede Jesus that are moral and peaceful.
          Even if the above is false (which it isn’t) how does what you said demonstrate the super natural?

        25. Alla,

          There exist no religions with the influence and impact of Judeo-Christianity.

          That, “there are religions older than Christianity that also have consistent ceremonies,” is you completely missing the point.

          You also completely miss the point with, “There are political philosophies that precede Jesus that are moral and peaceful.”

          Who cares?

          The point is that Judeo-Christian ethics and moral values dominate the world and have done so for centuries.

    1. Almy,

      Hanifiyyah is not Hanafi. They were 2 different person. As an example, you call him “John”, it doesnt mean you referring John Zenda to John Travolta. It just coincidentally, the surname were the same.

      Dont let them distract you.
      In my experience, commonly Atheist was quoting from everywhere as long as they can win. So, stick to principles, don’t stray. Always, recheck the quote and strike back with it.
      Commonly, they like to boost their knowledge that they read this and that which they not. Importantly, keep your cool.

      1. Exactly bro… They cannot adhere to a particular point. They speak all shits.
        End of this debate:
        Let me quote a prophet sayings when he used to encounter a debate with blabbering mouthed fellows-” i am illiterate for u..and so you are for me”
        Period

        1. As there were nothing to lose, why not be polite to them and just act as teacher – student relationship.
          When I use this mindset, it bring more peaceful for my mind and at the same time, my blood pressure were not increase.
          It was a good start up platform to comparison religion/faith. I learn a lot from them, which make me re-read and re-understand back all the Usul Tauhid, Ushul and Fiqh. It make me more appreciate the knowledge of Islam and past scholar.
          As their knowledge are almost zero about Islam and their view of Islam is based on action of Muslim and religion around them i.e Christian or Judaism. Therefore their basic of logic are all around the the context of behavior of person itself.
          I think it was interesting to learn the way/system of atheist conduct their mind and grouping the logic of behavior, moral, laws, life. Even, we think it was rubbish, at the same time, this view make us foreseen and forecast few step forward their action/way of though. If we can forecast them, they will not win, no matter how.
          Understand them.

        2. European is being famous for being a stupid for over century and also being famous to have less 50 books in whole kingdom. Jews is being famous for exiled and being slave under Greek.
          Actually, as Muslim, we are also question about the credibility of Jews/Christian book. Their story as good as lost at all.

          If you read the story of Abraham, he is not the king, a prince or any powerful man. He is a son of statue’s maker. In those era, those time, the pen are not being design.
          Same goes to Moses, an exiled adopted son of Pharaoh.
          If both are not in written stone, it quite true.

          Tradition or not, or historical or not.
          In context of Abraham, the best statement that you can have is:

          “There are recorded statement or writing that being found. Abraham is either true or fiction.”

          Once, you are confirm and very confident that Moses/Abraham is fiction. You are in position to given an evidence how you derive that Abraham is fiction. Therefore I demand you an evidence of your statement.

          By the way, I don’t know who is Rabbi David Wolpe. Are you following “School of Thought of Rabbi David Wolpe”.

      2. Do you deny the Hanafiyah Islamic school believe Allah might have indeed had a beginning? That was the point, which you have failed to address. In context, it was presented to simply demonstrate that there is no single definition of god in Islam. Like Christianity, the word “god” is an abstraction that no one agrees upon.

        Still, the conversation is moot as we know, historically, the single source for this “god,” the Pentateuch, is false. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are all based on a 7th and 6th Century BCE Judean (Judah, not the later Judea) cartoon.

        1. John,

          What is “The School of Thought”? It was a classroom of people who learn from someone and pass down the idea to others. When the idea of thought are mass, it being call “Madzhab” or “School of Thought”.

          When come Hanaffiyyah, which you quote mention that “Allah might have indeed had a beginning”.

          In Quran mention in 112 : Say, “He is Allah , [who is] One, Allah , the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent.”

          When there was 2 contradictory opinion,
          1) Hannifiyyah
          2) Quran
          In context of religion, Quran will superseded Haniffiyyah.

          You mention : There was no single definition of god in Islam.

          A quotation from Quran in 112 is main definition of God in Islam. Are you serious want to argue about this?

        2. I’m not sure you even know what you’re arguing about. It seems to me you defer all authority back to the Qur’an, which is fine, except for the small matter that we know the books’ author, Mo, couldn’t even distinguish historical fact from myth, and is therefore not credible. His testimony simply does stand the truth test. In fact, to go further, we can say with a great deal of authority that Mo was either a deliberate liar, a charlatan (as well as being a child molester), or a temporal lobe epileptic who, in essence, can’t then really be blamed for re-telling the historical cartoon he’d been led to believe was true, but which we know today has about as much historical validity as a Batman comic. You say Mo is believable. I say you’re categorically mistaken because he named Abraham and Moses as real historical characters, which we know today were nothing but fiction: a human invention to tell a 7th and 6th Century Judean metanarrative. This fact will be the ultimate downfall of Islam, just as it is already undermining Christianity (as Jesus made the same inexcusable, unforgivable historical blunder as Mo).

        3. In any world debate rules, an attempt to change the subject is the mark deduction. In Allallt top tabs, there are a link to “etiquette”. Please read it carefully. It stated “Be consistent” and “Actually say something.”

          As always, when being cornered. A cursing reply to a personal Muhammad as last resort to escape the argument.

          In my reply, I purposely put it as “In context of religion”. The reason, if there any want to debate in context of “logic”, “reason” or any other context, I open to any type of argument.

          If you want to get a context of history. Then, we talk about history. I make a simple principle argument.

          If the thing happen in time of pharaoh. In so “scientific” and “archeological” method, a full name of king pharaoh and his prime minister also can not be listed down.
          Abraham and Moses is a leader of common people, if there are not being written in any historical stone. It still logic. Or do you expected in pharaoh times, wikipedia exist?

          I summarize your school of principle thought of historical event of past (in this context event that happen B.C) as
          “If there are no such writing in the stone or can not anything in deep mud of Nile river”. It not existed.”

          Interesting thought, I hope you can rectify above principle. So sell those idea to archeological lecturer, I hope they can buy your ideas.

        4. Who’s changing the subject? You’re deferring your entire argument to the authority of the Qur’an (which is nothing but atrocious circular logic and worthy of lampooning in and by itself), and I have established that the Qur’an has no authoritative value as it can be invalidated by the demonstrably false historical claims it makes.

          I would advise you to stick on the subject, and lift your game from further examples of juvenile circular logic. That might work on less-educated Muslims, but it won’t be respected here.

        5. Your question stated like this:
          “Do you deny the Hanafiyah Islamic school believe Allah might have indeed had a beginning?”

          You are asking me the as Muslim the question by mention “Do you deny the Hanafiyah Islamic school”.
          Of course, Quran have authority over Islam.
          Which I answer the question clearly.

          Actually, you should ask me which I can rephrase “”Do you believe God might have indeed had a beginning?”
          Which I can answered it in logic way.

          But of course, you are too “educated” to understand the difference.

          By the way, in Allallt’s etiquette tab, there are 3 more statement:
          “Be aware there is a written record of our conversation ”
          “Be aware of when you are making claims.”
          “Answer questions”

          But, with me, you still can rephrase the question, so I can teach you a lesson.

        6. Yes, yes, I did, but if you’d bothered to read on you’d see I then said the entire subject is “moot:” meaning, I don’t even need to litigate the petitions forwarded by the Qur’an, the Hanafiyah, or any Islamic school of thought for that matter, as it is already perfectly clear that it is all derived from a body of work which can be appropriately described as utter nonsense. Again, the Qur’an has no authoritative value as it can be invalidated by the demonstrably false historical claims it makes.

          So, again, I advise you to stick on the subject.

        7. To you, Quran may not have authorities.
          Example, I am Malaysian, you are may be South African. I am bind to Malaysian laws, you are bind to African’s law. South African does not have authorities to me.
          This is common practice.

          General statement/ principle/fundamental of history: “History are subject to biased. Historian are writing based on their position and point of view.”

          Before I answer, can you explain “demonstrably false historical claims”. How we evaluate the false historical claims?

        8. No, the Qur’an doesn’t have authority to anyone because it can be invalidated by the demonstrably false historical claims it makes. This, however, is not to say it can’t have a certain “value” to you. You may find the poetry appealing, or even embrace many of the lifestyle suggestions made. That is your prerogative, and I won’t challenge that. What I will challenge you on is if you try to claim that book has some sort of supernal authority. It doesn’t. It is a human work, complete with very human blunders.

          demonstrably false historical claims

          In the Qur’an, Musa (Moses) is considered a prophet and is named 136 times, correct? Abraham is named 69 times, and is even described as Yhwh’s best friend: “Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to Allah, does good, and follows the way of Abraham the true in Faith? For Allah did take Abraham for a friend.”

          These are demonstrably false historical claims to people and events who/which never lived/happened. As I wrote the other poster, Colorstorm: Conservative Rabbi David Wolpe said:

          “A tradition cannot make an historical claim and then refuse to have it evaluated by history. It is not an historical claim that God created us and cares for us. That a certain number of people walked across a particular desert at a particular time in the past, after being enslaved and liberated, is an historical claim, and one cannot then cry “unfair” when historians evaluate it.”

          Well, historians have evaluated it. They’ve been grading the historical credibility of the Torah and Nevi’im (essentially, the Pentateuch: the Patriarchs, Egypt, Moses, Exodus and Conquest) for over a century and the conclusions are in: the narrative is a historical fabrication; a dramatic dream sequence that bears no resemblance whatsoever to the actual early history of the Jewish people.

        9. European is being famous for being a stupid for over century and also being famous to have less 50 books in whole kingdom. Jews is being famous for exiled and being slave under Greek.
          Actually, as Muslim, we are also question about the credibility of Jews/Christian book. Their story as good as lost at all.

          If you read the story of Abraham, he is not the king, a prince or any powerful man. He is a son of statue’s maker. In those era, those time, the pen are not being design.
          Same goes to Moses, an exiled adopted son of Pharaoh.
          If both are not in written stone, it quite true.

          Tradition or not, or historical or not.
          In context of Abraham, the best statement that you can have is:

          “There are recorded statement or writing that being found. Abraham is either true or fiction.”

          Once, you are confirm and very confident that Moses/Abraham is fiction. You are in position to given an evidence how you derive that Abraham is fiction. Therefore I demand you an evidence of your statement.

          By the way, I don’t know who is Rabbi David Wolpe. Are you following “School of Thought of Rabbi David Wolpe”.

        10. Am I to take your comment to mean you have absolutely no idea of the contemporary state of biblical archaeology? This will make things very, very, very difficult, but not impossible if we just focus on a few specifics, rather than full treatise writing dismantling the entire narrative.

          Let me begin by asking you if you’re aware of what the Settlement Period even refers to? I’m guessing your answer is, No, and this is important in establishing the fallacy you alluded to earlier in suggesting if something is not “written in stone” (meaning, I’m assuming, with evidence) then one cannot know either way. This is an appeal to an argument from silence. You are assuming there is no evidence either for or against the people and events detailed in the Pentateuch, and therefore any positive statement is based only in bias. This is a demonstration of your ignorance, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and just assume you’ve never been exposed to (or perhaps interested) in any of the following information. The Settlement Period is when the Canaanite hills were actually populated with the people who would go on to establish two kingdoms: Mamlekhet (Kingdom) Judah, and Mamlekhet (Kingdom) Yisra’el which existed in one shape or another from the 10th Century to the 6th Century BCE. Now, when did the settlement begin? 1100 BCE. This date is accurate and is not challenged by any archaeologist or historian, minimalist or maximalist. The published population maps of this settlement period are incredibly accurate, and we know there were originally 11 villages with a total population of the entire hill area not exceeding 30,000.(One of those villages would go on to ne named Jerusalem). Why is the 1110 date significant? Because 50 years earlier the Philistines (the Sea People) invaded the Levant. What is known today is the people who would go on to establish the nation of Israel (the Judeans, from Judah, and Yisra’elites) were refugees from the coastal states. They were Canaanites. On the Levant they had no immediate distinction from any other Canaanite populations.

          Now, why is the Settlement Period important? Because it completely contradicts the Jewish origin tale (invented by the Judeans) which says the Hebrews took Canaan through vicious and bloodied conquest in the 14th Century BCE, following the Exodus of some 2.5 million people. There was no conquest, and the narrative is so flawed many of the place names (places said to be “conquered”) simply did not exist in the 14th Century, but did exist in the 7th Century, precisely when the story was first conceived of. The Pentateuch is peppered with these era-blunders. Most of the 19 Stations named in the Exodus narrative simply didn’t exist at the time the Jews were said to be on their walk, but they did exist, again, in the 7th Century, when the story was written. Many of the cities the Jews were said to have been forced to build simply didn’t exist in the 14th century, but did exist in the 7th Century, when the story was first written. For example, Exodus 1:11 “So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.” The problem for the narrative is this: Pithom is Per-Temu Tjeku which translates as ‘The House of Atum of Tjeku’ at the site now known as Tell el-Maskhuta … Built by Egyptian King Necho II no later than 605 BCE. Thwe narrative, I remind you, has these sites being constructed anywhere between the 15th and 17th Century BCE.

          As for Moses himself, are you aware of the Babylonian tale of King Sargon of Agade? It predates the Pentateuch by 1,000 year, and begins:

          “My humble mother bore me secretly. She put me in a basket of rushes and sealed me in with asphalt. Then she put me into the river…. The river held me up, and carried me to Akki, the irrigator who drew water from the river for the people. As he dipped his jug into the river, Akki carried me out. He raised me as his own son.”

          Sound familiar? It’s what the Moses character is based on. So definitive is the evidence against a historical Moses (and the Exodus he supposedly led) that the second edition Encyclopaedia Judaica (which assess all theological, archaeological and scientific evidences) concludes that the entire narrative was “dramatically woven out of various strands of tradition… he [Moses] wasn’t a historical character.”

          The Exodus narrative (14th Century BCE, I remind you) also talks of the dreaded Philistines, and Yhwh even warns Moses not to travel up the coast for fear of attack. Do you remember the date when the Philistines actually arrived? 1150 BCE, 300-400 years after the Exodus supposedly took place. They simply didn’t exist at the time, but they were certainly prominent in the conscious of the tales weavers because their great, great, great grandparents had fled from them to the hills. They hated them, and is why Jews today do not eat pork.

          Another point in fact, when the Conquest was said to have occurred, Canaan was in fact under Egyptian military rule (see the Amarna letters and The Merneptah Stele) with garrisons and administrative centers located in Gaza, Yaffo and Beit She’an, as well as on both sides of the Jordan River: precisely where the narrative claims 2.5 million Hebrews crossed into Canaan. This striking presence is not mentioned in the biblical account. An example of the Egyptian hegemony over the Canaan, particularly during the new kingdom, is the valley of Meggido which depended entirely on Egyptian protection and support and how it was essential for their chieftains to show their unflinching loyalty to the Egyptian monarchy. In the Amarna letters, Biridiya, the chieftain of Meggido, is practically groveling for the help of king Amenhotep IV. Notice that Biridiya is addressing the king of Egypt as “my lord, my god and son,” and not as “Pharaoh.”

          “To the king, my Lord and my God and Sun, thus speaks Biridiya, the loyal servant of the king: At the feet of the king, my Lord and my God and Sun, seven times and seven times I prostrate myself.

          May the king know that since the archers have gone back, Labayu [chieftain of Shechem/ biblical town of Jacob and where Joseph is allegedly buried] carries out acts of hostility against me, and that we cannot shear the wool and that we cannot pass through the gate in the presence of Labayu, since he knows that you have not given (me) archers; and now he intends to take Meggido, but the king will protect his city so that Labayu does not seize her. In truth, the city is destroyed by death as a result of pestilence and disease. Grant me one hundred garrison troops to guard the city, lest Labayu take it. Certainly, Labayu has no another intentions. He tries to destroy Meggido.”

          Yet all this was seemingly unknown to the authors of the biblical narrative. Why? Because they weren’t recounting actual history, rather telling a metanarrative that served the purposes of Judah after the sacking of Mamlekhet Yisra’el (Kingdom of Israel) in 722 BCE. Are you even aware of this history? Do you know what happened after 722?

          To put it in context, though:

          “There is no archaeological evidence for any of it. This is something unexampled in history. They [Judah] wanted to seize control of the territories of the kingdom of Israel and annex them, because, they said, `These territories are actually ours and if you have a minute, we´ll tell you how that´s so.’ The goal was to create a myth saying that Judah is the center of the world, of the Israelite way of life, against the background of the reality of the later kingdom.” (Israel Finkelstein, professor of archaeology, Tel Aviv University)

          This is how we get to the story of Abraham. He and his sons were not historical characters, by metaphors for kingdoms/tribes: Isaac in the north (Israel), Jacob in the south (Edom, which wouldn’t even become a nation until 800 BCE, 1,000 years after the setting of the story), and Abraham, the father, right in the middle in Hebron (Judah). I suggest you read Thomas Römer (one of the world’s leading experts on the Old Testament) for greater detail here. But one interesting example for why we know Abraham (the Patriarchs) is fiction is because of the humble camel. Camels weren’t introduced onto the Levant until 900 BCE, yet according to the narrative, Abraham had hundreds, 1,000 years too early. (see Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef: “The Introduction of Domestic Camels to the Southern Levant: Evidence from the Aravah Valley”)

          Now, this is just a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of the evidences, but let’s just repeat that the narrative completely contradicts the actual early history of the Jewish people. I’m not going to waste any more time on this, but just so you know, for your own benefit: The only area where there is still a live debate regarding biblical archaeology is whether or not Judah had an urban society in the 9th Century BCE, which relates to the narrative concerning the United Kingdom. That’s it. That’s all there is. The Patriarchs, Egypt, Moses, Exodus and Conquest are dead subjects in the field of serious archaeology. They were dismissed as myth nearly two generations ago, and nothing has changed in that time to alter this consensus. As Israel’s oldest daily Newspaper, Hareetz, announced recently:

          “Currently there is broad agreement among archaeologists and Bible scholars that there is no historical basis for the narratives of the Patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, and the conquest of Canaan, nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise.

          That last point again: nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise.

          So, as you can see even from this very, very brief display of the evidences, the Qur’an naming Musa (Moses) 136 times, and Abraham 69 times, as real historical characters invalidates the book as authoritative. I mean, how can we believe someone who claims to be talking to and for a god if he couldn’t even distinguish historical fact from historical fiction?

        11. Actually, what do you want to tell me?
          By the way, I am not a historian, I am engineer by profession. I always look history as a past that can not be retrieve 100%. By telling me such details, I not going to travel and dig in a middle of desert. I am not Indiana Jones.

          Even, in history of my state, as an example, a case happen last 100 years are being hidden and biased due to British colonization and Japanese war and also local political interest. You want to tell me, your own version story happen last 3000 years is correct because some historian are agree with each others? So naive.

          If you want to evaluate a person because you based on the historian view, what I can said more?

          Quran and Biblical way describing the history are different. Biblical way of describing are details, with name, date, duration, time, etc. Quran describing based on general basis.

          The way you describe the the story are only applicable to Judaism/Christianity. By the way, Muslim do not take the Judaism/Christianity story are authority to religion. It will never happen. Muslim read Judaism/Christian view only for reference purpose.
          Muslim believe Exodus in Bible are being exaggerated by Jews. Canaanites and their story are not even mention in Quran.

          History in Quran are being view to describe the “a message conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a story or event.”
          Even, Muslim believe it was true, but no one can retrieve back the history unless you have the time machine to travel back to those historical time.

          This is my first time dealing with a person who take an undetermined historical account to determine a principle/fundamental of faith and believe of God. I never thought a kind of person ever existed until I chat with you.

        12. Archaeology is a physical evidence based method of discovering history. Of you choose to not trust it, that’s fine. But your doubt of physical evidence, while trusting human-authored books that are pre-scientific is a stance you will struggle to defend.

        13. Allallt,

          It true, Archaeology is a physical evidence based method of discovering history. Most of the time, it also supported by ancient scripture which written by scholar of those time and state’s record Which written by HUMAN.

          When we are referring to history back dated 3000 years ago, the physical condition subject to half life of decaying factor. The ruin itself are almost gone, and reconstruct based on the written evidence and information gather by local.
          Even, in China where most of the ruin are being preserved better than Europe and Middle East. They are still relied on the written history by ancient scholar. The last record of China is being found during Shang Dynasty (1200BC).

          Precision and accuracy are being question here. We are not talking about history of last 300 or 500 or even 1000 years. My friend, it is 3000 years ago.

          I may not familiar with European ancient history, but the fundamental of what I gain from Asian history can be applied here. I dont know how stupid that people have become.

        14. It not the problem of trust. It was how do we make the decision when two item have contradiction.
          It may happen in 4 situation: 1) Both are true, 2) Either one is true and other one is lie, and 3) Both are lie.
          At the same time we don’t know what really happen in that time.
          So, if this happen in this context, Jews can remain believe what they want to believe, Christian can remain believe what they want to believe. Even, I may not agree with the Christian/Jews statement, I myself do not have any evidence to deny their claims.
          Court will take all probability into account but it will not make it as a major evidence to predict and decision making. It will take it as “lesson learn”, etc.

          That why I feel hilarious to found a person to use this kind of probability to determine his faith/ believe. It such desperate action.

        15. I disagree with (1), i do not think two contradictory statements can be true.
          Here’s the issue, though. You and i seem to agree that faith is divorced from evidence. However, we disagree about whether faith remains sensible when divorced from evidence.
          What John is saying is that all three of the religions we’re mentioning (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) all talk of the Exodus story. Mohammed and Jesus talk of Moses’s story as truth. Yet physical evidence suggests no settlers or journeys occurred out of Egypt at this time.
          You may be able to argue that belief in the Exodus’s story is defensible when no investigations claim it to be false (although, i disagree), you cannot defend this belief as sensible in the light of evidence demonstrating it’s false.
          Therefore, as convinced as you may believe Jesus and Mohammed were, they were wrong to talk of Moses and Abraham as real people.
          The question is this: given that Mohammed was wrong (thus both the Koran and Allah were wrong) how do you maintain confidence in the claims without some external arbiter (like physical evidence)?

        16. 1)Both can be true, if both of idea are missing certain point/data. It happen in puzzle or riddle. The information that we got are not necessarily complete.

          “You and i seem to agree that faith is divorced from evidence.”
          It depend on the context and content. We can not assume we know everything. We hold faith based on evidence/reason/logic/knowledge that we know. Thing that we do not know, how we should know? I believe I do not know everything, and I not going to make it (unknown) as my fundamental argument of my faith.

          Islam take a part of Exodus in Bible as truth, but it not necessarily I go and dig every grave to confirm my faith. At same this I also believe a past is unknown that hard to understand due lost of information.
          As example, currently, Saudi Arabia have demolish every part of Mecca for construction. If in future, some one ask, where is the the “house of her, his, him or this and that”which already abolish. Is it, because of the demolition, the history are not there? And it just happen less than 100 years. Logically, based on argument above, you will said, the was nothing there and it never exist.

          Even, I know if you not found the archaeological monument. It was logic, but it not sensible.
          Your question:
          given that Mohammed was wrong (this both the Koran and Allah were wrong) how do you maintain confidence in the claims without some external arbiter (like physical evidence)?

          Your question are not really sensible for me. I refer to explanation above. The faith should not based thing we do not know, it should be based on something that we understand and profound. Not everything in this world we understand fully.

        17. (1) it remains that two contradictory claims cannot both be true. Two incomplete claims can both be true, but that’s not relevant.
          Part of the point of science is that you don’t have to dig every grave. The point is you are free to, but someone has already done it and told you what they found. Archaeology has found something contradictory to Islam (and the other Abrahamic religions) and now you have to decide what you are going to do with the evidence: disregard evidence is favour of faith, or be reasonable.
          Your response appears to be to disregard archaeology as a discipline. With that in mind, i don’t have the time to run through a philosophy of science discussion with you. This conversation is dying because you simply refuse evidence you don’t like.

          The question is simple and sensible. Mohammed was wrong about Abraham and Moses, yet you still trust his word. Why?

        18. “Archaeology has found something contradictory to Islam”
          Dont used same method as Christian apologist, it make me sick.

          What evidence? A never ending debate of philosophy of science. It not that I dont like. How I want to give a trust that something I totally not an expert. Even, in my field of engineering, we don’t totally believe, we “rely” on expertise. I don’t refuse the evidence, but there are no evidence.

          “Mohammed was wrong about Abraham and Moses”
          Actually, that is your statement, by the way, it not mine. I never said that. And my answer are quite clear, but seem you not disagree with that.
          We both know by engaging this conversation, we are agree to disagree with each other. I don’t understand why you want to impose you “faith” to me…

        19. Well, congratulations for failing to address a single point of evidence presented, which I remind you, you demanded to see… And a huge congratulations for once again reverting to juvenile circular logic. There is no point in continuing this conversation. You’ve proved yourself incapable of performing like an adult. You’ve proved yourself incapable of engaging in evidence-based reality.

          Let me, however, address this one outrageously erroneous statement:

          The way you describe the story are only applicable to Judaism/Christianity.

          Is this so? Do you not worship the god of Abraham: Yhwh? Have you another cardinal source document for where the god of Abraham makes its literary debut in human consciousness? Of course you don’t. Your entire religion is inescapably rooted to the Pentateuch, and having been proven to be nothing but inventive myth invalidates your entire religion.

        20. Yhwh? I dont even know how to pronounce it.

          That why one of my definition of Atheist is – an direct enemy of religion that will use any kind of action (ethically/unethically) to deny religion. I see many Atheist is clever than Christian but have a very bad heart.

  2. The atheist always begins with a logical fallacy or false claim.

    This post hits the trifecta of false claims at the very beginning.

    The truth is that there is nothing ambiguous about either the origin of God or the origin of the universe.

    And the idea of a multiverse is pure science fiction. There is no scientific evidence whatsoever to support the notion of a “multiverse.”

    Since this composition starts out with three outrages to reason it follows that the rest is simply an irrational mess.

    And that is always the case with atheist arguments which are really nothing more than hallucinations of alternate realities.

    Atheists need to do that in order to get atheism to work out.

      1. Alla,

        I told you why I disagree. You hallucinating why I disagree doesn’t move the discussion foreword.

        Demanding that I argue against a hallucination is a typical atheist tactic.

    1. You know what else would have been considered science fiction a thousand years ago? The idea of more than one planet, sun, solar system, and galaxy. At that time, we had no evidence that they existed… but if someone were to suggest the possibility, they would have been ridiculed or even put to death. Like everything else, at one point we only knew of one in existence, but since we have furthered our scientific abilities, we have found that multiples of each entity do exist. Therefore, both scientific ignorance and scientific history have both shown that we should be open to the idea of a multiverse. Just because we can’t see far enough to find another universe at this point in time, certainly does not indicate it is not there. Again, there was a time when we couldn’t see far enough to find other planets, suns, solar systems, and galaxies. This is quite different from the argument that goes: “You can’t prove God doesn’t exist, therefore he exists.” Rather, the multiverse hypothesis is much more solid than that… for two reasons: 1). We have evidence that a universe can exist (since we live in one), thus there could be more in existence; and 2). Time and time again, we have proven our intuitions wrong by discovering that there is more than one planet, sun, solar system, and galaxy.

  3. Thanks for the post!

    The logical fallacy that the comment above refers to, which forever must remain a mystery because the original comment did not explain, may reside in the comparison between god and the universe.

    The first proposition sits squarely in our metaphysics and the second in physics. The post refers to the constant and unceasing end through history of the first proposition, god, being forced, daily and violently, into our physics, our lives. Asked to be taken as physics, god and the attendant holy writings are nonsense. And they are taught that way and sometimes legislated that way!

    What this post is driving at in in my view and what the first comment deals with snarkily, is the glaring reality of the universe, staring us all in the face, and the stark contrast between that wondrous reality and the sham fairy tale held up as a justification to alter text books and persecute human beings.

    If would be fine if god were a lie that we can ignore, but we can’t. On one level, it’s in the fabric, has been for a long time and that just doesn’t disappear overnight. On the next level, god is psychological and deals directly with consciousness and human hard wiring.

    Anyway, thanks again for the post! The Universe is certainly more worthy of admiration and such admiration, I dare say, would be pleasing to god.

  4. Interestingly, the universe is also not capable of greatly giving a shit whether you admire it or not. Flattery literally gets you nowhere.

  5. I have always had a great admiration for the universe.
    For god, not so much. (And after reading the counter-posts by theists on this thread, even less.)

  6. Almy,
    Try re-read back few times the conclusion that Allallt’s writes.

    “We observe things consistent with the universe. We observe very little that is consistent with God….. Reality will always be more deserving of admiration than fiction.”

    It start with a reality and God is real and link it with suffering of life and a beauty of universe. Then, it suggesting a view of God either exist or not while link it with another option: God doesn’t care or not? The last conclusion, he can not hide hide him view and need reveal this thought of God is just a fiction.
    So, in one paragraph, the mind set of “God as fiction” are being draft in the head unconsciously which is reveal in last paragraph. It just like a fraud and truth in one paragraph. It hard to justify unless, you read it carefully.

    The most interesting me is, the last conclusion:
    “Also, nature is true to the indifference of the universe. It is not true to the asserted morality and caring nature of a God. Truth is also deserving of admiration.”

    If we carefully read this, this is was how the way Christian teach the nature of God. Love and caring, that it. Full stop.
    This is actually a counter to a religion of Christianity.

    If I rephrase the sentence, it will sound like this:
    “In this world, there are pain, suffering, murder, death, dirty, etc. Are God are still loving and caring.?”

    In Christianity mindset, God have 2 character ONLY “Love and Caring”. In my understanding, this is a defense to character “Jesus the god” as justification to Jesus that come to the world. Many character of God are being conceal to save Jesus.

    Then, to finalize the sentences, the writer put the last word:
    “Truth is also deserving of admiration.”

    It true, truth deserve admiration, which is a demand from Christianity to tell the truth.

    Atheist is a people who are craving for the truth. Pity them.

    Confucius mention in his book, The Great Learning
    “Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things.”

    Firstly, They need to heal them self by learning and be sincere to them self.

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