I Found This Quite Amusing …

It’s amazing what one can find browsing through WordPress’s Tag Surfer. Take this one person, for example. I came across his blog the other day while scrolling through the Tag Surfer and seeing his Is God impotent? Evil? or non-existent? post. Throughout his blog he shows a great deal of enmity and hostility to anything remotely religious (he’s an atheist, so he’s obviously retarded intelligent). He shows particular disdain for Muslims claiming that “all religious people are complete idiots, without the ability to think for themselves. However one group clearly has the lead in stupidity, the Muslims.” I find this quite amusing considering the fact that in my brief perusal of his blog thus far, he’s displayed a tendancy to misspell words you wouldn’t think a person who claims to be “far! intellectually superior to” religious people would misspell. Examples of this are his renditions of: philosopher (philosofer), mosque (mosk—several times!), and Rwanda (Rowanda). You would think someone so “intellectually superior” to people of religion would at least have enough sense to make use of WordPress’s spell-check feature, if even just once in a blue moon … but then again, someone so self-deluded might think his supposed superiority excludes him from the need to do so, so probably not.

In any case, I wanted to take a look at some of the (il)logical questions pertaining to evil mentioned by this person in his Is God impotent? post. He writes,

lets take a look at something els from the same time period, EPIKUR (342? – 270 f.v.t.) the greek philosofer. posed some interesting questions around the stupidity of god that i think illustrates how incredibly stupid you have to be to be religious.

Epikurs questions went something like this, there is evil all around so:

Is god willing to prevent evil and suffering, but unable to do it? (then god is not almighty)

Is he able, but unvilling to prevent evil and suffering? (then he is evil.)

Is he both able and willing to prevent evil and suffering? (then where does evil come from?)

Is he unable and unwilling to prevent evil and suffering? (then there is no point calling him god)

Now, these questions themselves are inherently flawed. That flaw stems from several things, but rather than address the many causes that may be to blame, I wish to touch on a couple rather obvious ones: a) the questioner’s apparent understanding of evil and its reality; and b) how our universe functions and the role evil plays in it.

Firstly, what is evil? Everyone’s going to say that evil is the opposite of good; but then what is good? Are these things subjective to each individual, or is there some sort of standard that we all can go by? This is a question most atheists will have trouble coming up with a convincing and definite conclusion to. For Muslims, however,  (and most people of religion, for that matter) the answer is pretty simple. In his book Shifâ’ al-‘Alîl fî Masâ’il al-Qadâ’ wal-Qadar wal-Hikmah wat-Ta’lîl (“The Ailing One’s Cure In the Issues of Divine Decree, Predestination, Wisdom, and Causation”), Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah explains, “Evil is placing the thing is other than its [proper] place, so if it is placed in its [proper] place, it is not [considered] evil.” As such, evil cannot be attributed to Allah, since Allah puts everything in its proper place according to His complete and perfect knowledge and His complete and perfect wisdom.

That said, there are two types of evil: evil that is pure and unadulterated, it is evil from every aspect; and evil that is relative and incidental, it is evil from certain aspects, but not from others. The evil found throughout the universe is this second type of evil. As for the first type of evil, it doesn’t come into existence and as Imam Ibn al-Qayyim mentions, “if it did enter into existence, it would not be pure.” That is because evil is always relative to whatever it is linked to; something that may be perceived as evil for one person may be something that is perceived as good for another. Sickness, for example. It is evil for the one who is afflicted by it, but it is good for those who are able to treat it and make a living doing so (e.g., doctors and physicians). Similarly, machinery such as cars and household appliances. When they break down or need maintenance, those who suffer the misfortune of having these things breakdown on them undoubtably see it as something evil. The mechanics who make a living repairing and fixing them, however, will see it as something good as they are able to do their jobs and earn a living to provide for their families.

This universe works on cause and effect; it is the way Allah created it. Something happens, which in turn affects the things around it and cause other things to happen. Keeping this in mind, the occurance and existence of evils in the world is integral to how the universe functions.



About Rasheed Gonzales
My name is Rasheed Gonzales. I’m a Muslim convert of Filipino descent. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, I was guided to Islam through one of my younger brothers and a couple of friends, all of whom had converted to Islam sometime before me (may Allah reward them greatly). I am married with four children (and the praise is Allah’s) and also a volunteer for the Qur'an & Sunnah Society of Canada, based in Toronto.

20 Responses to I Found This Quite Amusing …

  1. Pingback: Look another idiot found me! « Escaped Mentalpatient

  2. An expected and typical response. Also as expected, much of what I mentioned in my post went right over your head. You also seem to need to read a bit more carefully.

    Thanks for stopping by, though. Have a nice day ;) .

  3. Sumera says:

    Lol. That made me chuckle :D

  4. Shahrzad says:

    “Unlike agnosticism, which leaves open the question of whether there is a God, atheism is a positive denial. It is rooted in an array of philosophical systems. Ancient Greek philosophers such as Democritus and Epicurus argued for it in the context of materialism. In the 18th century David Hume and Immanuel Kant, though not atheists, argued against traditional proofs for God’s existence, making belief a matter of faith alone. Atheists such as Ludwig Feuerbach held that God was a projection of human ideals and that recognizing this fiction made self-realization possible. Marxism exemplified modern materialism. Beginning with Friedrich Nietzsche, existentialist atheism proclaimed the death of God and the human freedom to determine value and meaning. Logical positivism holds that propositions concerning the existence or nonexistence of God are nonsensical or meaningless.”

    Dont get angry, you can see what name of his blog is. He is escaped mental patient as he says. Even atheist worships something and that something is ego or humanity.So he cant say worship nothing. And then at least they respect humanistic values and believe to “freedom of human beings.”
    So he just pretend to be atheist and for he doesnt accept his beliefs, he is not even atheist! He is a wanderer..That’s why fight at this or that..

  5. What’s funny is that I work for an addiction and mental health centre.

  6. Sumera says:

    No! Never?? You do? Thats what I call irony! :D

  7. Shahrzad says:

    lol ye funny, mental health! ha ha You do? :))
    But really for God’s sake leave that guy. He just wants to play with nerves for his counter. I dont like wn they play game and cheat.It is not real logical disscussion!

  8. It is not real logical disscussion!

    With people of the type he seems to be, it rarely ever is. Most of the time they just resort to name calling and insults, as intellectually superior as they think they are, they just make themselves look like bratty little kids–just as he has in this exchange.

  9. :) just a quick comment to Shahrzad

    Why do you claim to know anything about my beliefs, or what motivates me?

  10. Abuameenah says:

    Salaam alaykum Brother Rasheed,

    A slight typo in the fourth paragraph:
    “Evil is placing the thing is other than its [proper] place,…”
    Should have read, “Evil is placing a thing in other than its proper place…”

    Nice quote. I have used a number of his quotes in my course on Qadar at the islamiconlineuniverity.com . And, as I mentioned to Sister Umm Junayd who’s teaching Tawheed in her blog, I could use some assignment markers for our free courses. Free markers for the free courses… do i hear any minimally qualified volunteers?

  11. Abuameenah says:

    Actually, Ibn Taymiyyah made the statement in his treatises and in translation “something” or “anything”, though not as literal may more comfortably convey the intent. I.e., “Evil is placing anything in other than its proper place…” – “The thing” is definitely not an English expression though it is the literal translation of “ash-shay'” This is a case where the “al-” is for the type [istighraaq al-jins] and not the regular definite.

  12. Mâshâ’allah, what a pleasant surprise.

    Wa ‘alaikum as-salâm wa rahmatullah Dr. Abu Ameenah,

    While I agree that the use of the term “the thing” in the quote doesn’t exactly sound right in English, I wanted to keep it as Imam Ibn al-Qayyim said it in the Arabic since he was speaking about a specific thing, rather than speaking in general terms, and Allah is more knowledgeable. In any case, jazâkallah khairan for the note.

    Regarding the assignment marker thing, do you mean people to mark and grade assignments submitted for the courses? If so, I’m not sure I’m a person for the job, but please email me (rasheed DOT gonzales AT gmail DOT com) the details of what’s required and if I have time I can contribute, I’d definitely consider helping out.

    Btw, when will you be visiting Toronto again?

  13. misterlister says:

    Hi, Rasheed.
    I saw you on Escaped Mental Patient’s blog. I thought you might like to read:

    Science and the Islamic World by Pervez Hoodbhoy, a professor in Islamabad, who is trying to figure out how Islamic science fell behind and how to bring about another Golden Age.

    He refers to Abdus Salam — co-winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics — saying that Salam believes science is a spiritual duty for Muslims.

    Hoodbhoy is also very critical of the state of science in Islamic countries today. He claims that Salam was barred from Islamic universities — one of which he says has 3 Mosques and no bookstore.

  14. Misterlister,

    Welcome, and thanks for the links. I’ll be sure to check them out when I get the time.

    Thank you for your words of reason on EMP’s blog. It’s just too bad that they didn’t seem to get through to him.

  15. frankiesoup says:

    WordPress directed me to Escaped Mentalpatient’s blog yesterday and whilst reading his former entires, I stumbled upon a post which links to your site.

    I think the way you picked apart his so-called argument was intelligent and above all fair*, though I was sad to see his response was the verbose equivalent of ‘so’s your face’.

    You mention a book in the post above – Shifâ’ al-’Alîl fî Masâ’il al-Qadâ’ wal-Qadar wal-Hikmah wat-Ta’lîl – and I wondered if there was an English translation of it available? I’d very much liked the description of evil you give and would like to read more about it.

    *unlike my somewhat furious rant regarding his post about ‘selfish religious idiots’

  16. Hi frankiesoup,

    Thanks for dropping by. To my knowledge, Shifa’ al-‘Alil hasn’t been translated into English (I could be wrong). There has been, however, a work that has been written in English which is largely based off of the book (if I’m not mistaken). It’s title is The Salaf’s Guide to the understanding of al-Qadaa’ wal Qadar: Fate In Islaam and is by the late Dr. Saleh as-Saleh, who was based in Saudi Arabia. You can find the book online here. I hope you find it of benefit.

  17. frankiesoup says:

    Thanks :) I’ll take a look.

  18. No problem.

  19. Mehdi Sheikh says:

    Just wanted to comment on something “misterlister” said.
    He mentioned Abdus Salam, a winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979. He mentions how Abdus Salam was barred from Universities in Islaamic countries. The most probably reason would be that Abdus Salam was not a Muslim. He was a Qadiyani or Ahmadiyya, one of the followers of the fake claimant to prophethood, Mirza Ghulam of India.

    The greatness of this ummah is not measured by its contribution to science, but in its commitment to tawheed and the principles of Islaam. Abdus Salaam regardless of his greatness in the realm of science, will be in hell, regardless.

  20. Abdus Salaam regardless of his greatness in the realm of science, will be in hell, regardless […]

    … if he died up those beliefs and did not repent before he died.

    Wa ‘alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullah, Mehdi.

    May Allah reward and bless you for your comment. I pray you are well this Ramadan and are benenfitting from this blessed month.

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