Why Did God Not Stop The Holocaust?

Last month I visited Auschwitz and it left a strong impression on me. I was shocked at the brutality of it. The mass slaughter that went on there revolted me. It was disturbing to know that it could go on for so long without anyone stopping it. Why did God not stop it?

Over six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis. Most of them probably prayed to God asking him to save their lives. Why did he refuse?

Think about it. Think long and hard. Think of the gas chambers. Think of how the Jews were led in there. Think of when they realised they weren’t showers. When they realised they were going to die. Think about how they would have screamed. How they would have cried out to God to save them. God saw this (for God sees everything) and did nothing. He saw all the Jews rounded up, sent to the camps, knowing full well what would happen and that he could stop it, and yet he did nothing.


Why not save them? In the Old Testament God is constantly protecting the Jews from their enemies. There’s one part of the bible where he kills one million Ethiopian soldiers like it’s no big deal (2nd Chronicles 14:8-14). If he created the universe and everything in it, it would not be beyond his powers to stop the worst genocide in history. Didn’t he promise to protect the Jews? Wasn’t the whole point of the covenant that if the Jews obeyed his laws he would protect them?

Religious people often mention free will as a reason why God doesn’t intervene, but why would God put Nazis right to free will above the lives of so many innocent people? I have heard it claimed that suffering helps us grow, that we learn from our mistakes. That we need to solve our problems ourselves and can’t rely on God for everything. That excuse sounds extremely hollow. The internet is full of sites claiming the magic of prayer and how it can make anything possible if you believe had enough. I guess it doesn’t work as well as claimed.

Others claim “God is mysterious” which is nonsense. The whole point of the Bible is that God wants us to understand him. The Bible tells us follow these rules and will be rewarded for eternity. We are told God loves all humanity. What about the Holocaust victims? Does he not love them?

I can only see three possible explanations. Either God refused to prevent this genocide, in which case he is a bastard who we should not worship and praise. Or he did not know about the genocide or could do nothing to prevent it, in which case there is no point worshiping him and praying to him. Or he does not exist and they would have been as well praying for fairies or unicorns to save them. Draw your own conclusions.


Filed under Religion

103 responses to “Why Did God Not Stop The Holocaust?

  1. I find it difficult to understand the apologists’ excuse that suffering makes us grow. Granted, sometimes it does and we become stronger, or more compassionate, or more willing to help others in need; other times, however, it’s pointless and it leaves us defeated, bitter, or just dead … with nothing gained for anyone left behind. Either way, what difference does it make? It’s not like God ever indicated any intention for us to use whatever growth we’ve achieved or skills we’ve gained on earth to apply them to something productive in Heaven. In fact, there’s very little information given on eactly what we do up there, other than sitting around with the angels and all of the people who passed the right tests of faith, praising god until He decides forever has gone on long enough.

    In light of this, I obviously agree with Option 3. At least in the sense that the Abrahamic god certainly hasn’t done anything to prove his existence in the context of all of the stories we’ve heard about him. If he does exist, I submit that he doesn’t love us at all, and has made a concerted effort to keep any real understanding of his nature and will a secret. Otherwise he wouldn’t have allowed a book to be written about him that so blatantly contradicts everything we’ve come to discover about the world he supposedly created.

    • In this case, there are cases in the Bible were every time God would help and guide the Jews they turn and lead astray. Every time he would save them after they asked for forgiveness. But when they didn’t need his help he left them. The Jews literally ask God to curse them and there descendants. Weren’t jews the same ones who killed Jesus of Nazareth.

      • Alexandria

        Roses are red,
        Violets are bluish
        If not for Jesus, Wed all be Jewish.

        However, Jesus was Jewish. His mother was Jewish, his disciples were Jewish, he died Jewish… so many people wrongly say that Jesus was killed by the Jewish people when he was killed by the Romans!

    • Abraham Paz

      There is an obvious answer to this dilemma. The real problem is no matter if God exists or not, He is not interested in human behaviour

  2. Thank you Robert for a great and mindful post.

    I believe a god of our own making would do ask we desire. I wrestled with unanswered prayers and ended up thinking, there are no unanswered prayer. God simply, if He exist, did not answer the way I wanted Him to. He simply did not will, what I willed.

    Dealing with suffering and silenceness of God, I read Jesus prayer in garden of Gethsemane recorded in Luke 22:39-46. Jesus wanted another way, but his Father in Heaven was silent and answered not according to His own Son will but His will. I came to understand David’s psalm that said “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases”

    If God did not stop His own Son from being tortured, betrayed and killed a shameful death, what made me think that He ought to answer my prayer according to my will. The God of the Jew is free being that does what He pleases.

    Luke recording also the Acts of Apostles tells as that “This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men”. It looks like that God used free creatures to do what He planed to do.

    In Joseph’s account, sold to slavery by his brothers, concluded “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

    Suffering and evil makes no sense if God does not exist. Given atheism is true, Richard Dawkins is correct stating “In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. 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.”

    Jews in Holocaust got hurt, unlucky but at the botton, if atheism is true, it was no evil, had no purpose, just another blind pitiless indifference. The strong survive the weak perish.

    If you think that Holocaust was not a blind pitiless indifference and was objectively wrong, then you are force to abandon atheism because there are no ontological ground for believe it to be so. Atheist philospher Michael Ruse explains correctly that “The position of the modern evolutionist is that humans have an awareness of morality because such an awareness is of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation, no less than our hands and feet and teeth. Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate that when someone says, “love thy neighbor as thyself,” they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. Nevertheless such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, and any deeper meaning is illusory.”

    God, if He exist, showed in Old Testament that He pour earthly justice on none-Jews when they did wrong and used none-Jews to pour justice on Israel when Jews did wrong.

    I do not know why He allow evil and suffering, but I know, if God of Israel exist, then He knows what He does. Evil as it may be, He has his reasons.

    Let me know what you think.


    • Your argument seems to be based on the assumption that morality comes from god and without it we have no way of knowing right from wrong. I’d disagree though that is a debate for another time. I will just say that you could turn your argument on its head and say that with Christianity the Holocaust was not that bad because Jews (like all non-believers) are going to hell anyway, so that was only a taster for for future pain

      • Thank Robert for your reply.

        If and only if God exist, yes I think He would be ontological ground of Objective Moral duties and values. I am not talking about epistemological ground of Moral duties and values (knowing right from wrong) but ontological ground.

        I believe one can know objective right from wrong without believing God exist, but the problem is one we press for the ontological, not epistemological, ground of objective right and wrong(duties) and objective good and bad(values).

        In Christianity the Holocaust is still bad and evil, as Joseph answered his brother “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good”.

        Remember Hell is not evil, no wrong but just and good. If Christianity is true, the God is a cosmic Creator and King, and us rebelling against Him is treason. He would be justly and good, if He send me, a rebel, to eternal punishment for rebelling against eternal King as a normal good and just judge who would send a cold murderer to a lifetime sentence in Jail.

        It would be wrong thinking that Jail is evil and wrong to a cold murderer. But all this, is only true, if and only if, that Jew God existed.

        Thank you again for a wonderful piece.


        • Just on your point about God being King, your description actually resembles a dictator. After all atheists do not take up arms against God, rather we merely disagree. Only a dictator sees a lack of total obedience and love as treason.

          Thanks for the comment and I’m glad you like the post

          • I would agree that God is a righteous, just and loving dictator.

            Remember, Robert, we have to think in Judaism context, if Jew God exist that is. He is said to be righteous and holy and out of his nature comes Objective moral values and duties.

            As an ordinary righteous, just, loving judge in our own court system would dictate, Robert, those who are objectively wrong (e.g. cold murderer, merely disagree with that judge) to a loving, right, and just place for them e.g. Jail.

            But all that is if that God exist.🙂

            Thank you for replies and great post. I am following you blog. I find it thoughtful, brilliant, provocative, as I am a Christian theist.

            I would love to have friends that do not share my worldview to build, correct,teach and help me understand their worldview. Your writings are full of respect, gentleness and wisdom. It is my hope I found an atheist blog friend.


        • If you can know right from wrong without a moral compass, then by what plumb line do you get your values. And if there is no right or wrong then everything is permissible, ie:, sex offenders, murder, incest, etc… The values that our in our culture are Judeo-christian. There is the OT and the NT. When Jesus came and died for all man kind not just the Jews, (though He went to the house of Israel first but because they rejected Him) he open the door for everyone to come to Him who believed in Him. So if Jesus died for everyone then the Jews who rejected Jesus are in the same category as everyone else, sinner who need saving. The covering of God is then removed from the Jews and at the will of mankind. God did however say that a remnant will remain so that the world will see that He is the God of Israel and the God of the Universe and all that is in it. God did give us free will to either choose life with Him or life without Him and all that means. I choose life and life with Jesus because everything is chasing after the wind but with Jesus there is life and a life that everlasting.

          • According to Paul, Janet, every human being has the moral compass wired in them by nature(Roman 2:14). Tracing back Epicureans, the idea that human have innate moral compass has being discussed both in philosophical and religious circles. It is interesting that cognitive science is recently mounting empirical evidence showing that this is in deed the case.

            So we can all know objective moral values and duties without belief in God. The problem is not knowing right and wrong, the problem is what are there foundation. It appears that theism has better explanation than atheism here.

    • Prayson, I know am commenting on this quite late in the day, but if as you assert that god left his son, whose existence is in doubt but on that later, to suffer, what type of god is that? Who worships such a god?
      Did you read Job where god doesn’t answer why he is suffering? Maybe god doesn’t know we suffer or he thinks we are having a joyride with all this problems which means the same thing anyway?
      If a god permits evil to be done to others just so he/she/it can punish them in future eternally then he is malicious to say the least and useless to us.
      I think atheism is true and it is beholden upon us to make our lot better. It is up to us to reduce suffering of our fellows whichever way we can. In regards to Hitler and the Nazis, yes they were deranged and that it is it. Nothing to do with a god trying to teach people a lesson besides what lesson would the dead learn, that god doesn’t give a care what happens to you or what lesson would it be?

    • God didn’t stop the Holocaust just like Daffy Duck couldn’t stop my car from leaking oil.

  3. I should imagine that God did not stop the holocaust, because just like any competent researcher he could find no trace of it. I am not quite sure what you discovered during your own research, however what I discovered was that our ideas of right and wrong or good and bad are forced fed into us from an early age, by folk whom are following their own selfish agenda. You may not have noticed, but your reactions were as expected. To find ourselves discussing as fact, an event which is becoming daily more akin to a belief in God than of, a provable historical event, while at the same time discussing atheism is quite amusing.

    • Wow so this is the first time I get to meet a Holocaust denier. Most people probably find your views offensive, but I’m laughing too much to be offended. Please continue

      • I am no such thing. Do not be so quick to categorise. As are many folk of a religious bent, I am still in search of the holocaust, which was apparently carried out against the Jews, as they may be in their search of their God. On the other hand I have no doubt whatsoever about the Holocaust which was carried out by the English against the Irish, which is being denied by what you might refer to as holocaust deniers in the UK.. The factory in Poland, which manufactured rubber goods, did not have gas chambers or crematoriums, nor were any trace of gassed people ever discovered in the surrounding area. I hope you noticed the plaque at the entrance, where it was recorded that 1.2 million people died there. Not as the Jews still claim 4 million. Please continue.

  4. There was no Holocaust against the Irish. Genocide is the deliberate extermination of an ethnic group. There never was a plan to wipe out the Irish race. Millions died during the Famine due to indifference and lassez-faire ideology that argued the government should never intervene in the economy.

    I’m not sure what factory in Poland you are referring to, but the gas chambers were found as were corpses and witnesses.

    Regarding the 4 million figure, this was claimed by the Soviets, it was never accepted by most scholars. Most agree on a figure of 1.2 million.

  5. It can hardly be called indifference, when people are killed for fishing in a river. Nor is when millions of tons of Irish produce was taken away at gunpoint on route for England. Nor when 200,000 troops are on hand to escort the food to the dockside. There was no famine in Ireland, there was a potato blight, which was deliberately deployed by the English. I would be obliged if you could supply me with some references as to where I can find these gas chambers and corpses which had been gassed, you are pretty smart, because even he Jews themselves no longer talk of gas chambers. Dimjanjuk was sent home to die, when the prosecutor in Israel failed to find evidence of how he managed to kill 28,000 Jews with the exhaust fumes from diesel truck as diesel does not produce enough carbon monoxide to kill a human being. Oh and please don’t bother to mention the millions the Jews claimed were killed in places like Dachau, there were no gas chambers there either.The factory of which I speak is the one you claim to have visited. Auschwitz, where there were no gas chambers or crematorium.The Russians claimed a lot of things but not that one. That was the work of Simon Wiesenthal, whom wrote a lot of garbage. Take a glance at this :Dachau is a town in Upper Bavaria, in the southern part of Germany. Even “mainstream” historians and Holocaust propagandists now acknowledge that no mass exterminations took place at Dachau or in any of the German camps on German soil, and the fairy tales about “gas chambers” and “mass exterminations of jews” are now relegated to the camps that were in occupied Poland. The vast majority of those who died at Dachau did so near the very end of the war due to typhus outbreaks. Two-thirds or more of the inmates at Dachau were non-jews, though in sad Hollywood Holocaust propaganda like “Band of Brothers”, virtually 100% of the inmates are portrayed as Jews. Tell me, I was not quite sure, do you believe in God? Because you appear to believe in everything else. The English have been attempting to wipe out the Irish since the days of the first Elizabeth. Have a look at Hansard it is all recorded. After the Irish holocaust, there was a huge hole in the Irish population, and mass graves can be found all across Ireland. After the Jewish holocaust, there were more Jews left alive than had been recorded in the most recent census.
    You have already done well in your research, nobody else has managed to discover a single example of a gas chamber. Well done.

    • It is absurd to suggest the English deliberatively infected potatoes with fungus as it affected most of Europe at the time, though only Ireland was so dependent on potatoes. It has always been claimed that large quantities of food were exported though this has never been decisively proven by historian. I would be grateful for any sources you have. Can you give some examples of the other times the English tried to wipe out the Irish?

      The fact that Jews were sent to gas chambers in Dachau and elsewhere is a fact as widely accepted as evolution (in other words by all reasonable people). I have personally seen Auschwitz with its gas chambers and furnaces (I wrote an earlier post about my trip). I’m not sure what “mainstream historians” you are referring to. It is still accepted that Dachau and Auschwitz has gas chambers. I would recommend you look at this site http://www.hdot.org/en/ Half the Jewish population was killed in the Holocaust, so there was not an increase in its census population. You completely lose the plot by your claim that no one has found a single example of a gas chamber.

      By the way I am an Atheist. There is no evidence for God’s existence, there is plenty for the Holocaust

      • The English force the Irish to buy seed potato from them. When they sold the spuds to Ireland they knew them to be infected. The Irish, being little pore than pigs only ate pot

      • The Irish being little more than pigs only ate potatoes and did not recognise, Beef and cheese and eggs and legs of chicken and mutton as food so they allowed all that to go off to England Have a look at Christopher Fogarty, The Irish Famine. So you believe the Theory of Evolution, and I suppose you believe that you have the evidence in the same way as you believe that you have evidence of gas chambers. and half of the Jews were killed in concentration camps. What do you think of this?;.
        Wiesenthal’s holocaust story has it all. He claims he was in 13 “death” and work camps, yet “miraculously” survived them all. He walked 170 miles on a gangrenous foot with a recently amputated toe — and without a shoe and only the sleeve of a coat covering the foot! His gangrenous foot and leg “miraculously” healed without any medical aid. Then there are the numerous “miraculous” escapes from death, including one where he falls unconscious in sub-zero temperatures, is mistaken for dead, only to be discovered alive just before going into the crematorium oven, and simply given a cold shower to thaw out.
        You can check this out on Exposing the Holocaust. I hope you have not failed to notice, that in the wink of an eye, you have become a Holocaust Denier yourself. A holocaust is a burnt offering, which is why the Jews insist on incinerators. There were no incinerators at Auschwitz. Whatever you may choose to believe. So there were no holocaust victims there. However in the holocaust which you choose to deny, the bodies were burnt in their homes, by setting fire to the thatched roof.
        The Jews needed six million burnt offerings to justify stealing Palestine. They were not involved in this biblical prophecy because they are not real Jews. They are Khazars. Jews of choice. They are not of Middle Eastern origin.. They should not be there. I watched the News yesterday, from Israel. They have an immigration problem. Black people are turning up in Israel. They are called “infiltrators” whom should be put on a bus and sent back where they came from. We have enough problems with the Arabs we don’t need another one. They breed like cats. We don’t want them here. Nice people the Jews. No room for refugees with them. See Ya!.

        • Jim

          The Irish were writing poetry when the “English” were still living in mud huts. Irish people may be a lot of thigs, but pigs wasn’t one of them. This description fits enocherd much better.

  6. irishholocaust.org. is the link you need.

  7. interesting blog… great to read someone sharing the same thoughts

  8. I believe there is a fourth explanation, Robert: God (the name humans came up with) exists, BUT, as far as the universe is concerned, we are smaller than grains of sand on an endless beach. We mean nothing more to this infinite entity than anything else it created. So many humans feel superior to everything else on Earth, when that is just preposterous. What do we see when looking at this gorgeous planet from space? Water, land, clouds. WE are invisible, except to each other…Religion is man-made and, therefore, riddled with imperfections. The Bible, Koran, Torah, etc. are nothing more than books with stories to keep people in line, to give them hope and perhaps purpose, as well as to justify feelings of superiority and fanatical actions. War, terrorism, abuse, and other cruelties stem from our flaws – greed, jealousy, prejudice, arrogance, insecurity, etc.- and from absurdly refusing to recognize that we are all the same. In the end, we cannot blame or bless “God” for anything. The good and the bad, kindness and evil are of our own doing. Shame on us for continuing to harm one another.

  9. I do care to point out that the Qur’an is unlike anything most people have experienced coming from whatever background. That statement is supported by the fact that it is:

    a. The highest level of Arabic ever recorded (think better than Shakespeare for the Quran is both prophetic and scientifically precise);
    b. Contains a ton of provable scientific knowledge, including those that have been discovered only last century (I.e. the different layers of darkness beneath the ocean, and the embryological development of fetuses);
    c. Contains statements that though yet to be scientifically proven, have not been disproved either;
    d. The kicker, there is ABSOLUTELY zero inconsistency in the entire book, page for page, verse for verse

    Therefore, if any of you want to include the Qur’an with books discussing how god was defeated by man in a wrestling match, the existence of unicorns or that man-god rode on two donkeys at the same time, you must substantiate that argument with the glaring inconsistencies you’ve found in the Qur’an. Otherwise, the above comments on God and the Qur’an is fairly uninformed, and does not shed much light on Truth.

    • I’m not what exactly this has to do with my post. I haven’t mention the Qur’an in this or any other post. I do think its pretty funny that you’re so disparaging of the Bible considering it is a holy book based on faith as opposed to evidence just like the Qu’ran. Really there isn’t much difference between the two. You’re leaving yourself wide open by claiming there are “absolutely zero inconsistency in the entire book”
      A blogger went through the Qur’an and found a list of contradictions, absurdities as well as violence, intolerance and injustice http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/index.htm

      • My comment was a response to the specifically unsubstantiated statement below:

        … The Bible, Koran, Torah, etc. are nothing more than books with stories to keep people in line, to give them hope and perhaps purpose, as well as to justify feelings of superiority and fanatical actions…

  10. To be honest, I do not criticize the bible as a whole because that would violate my own set of beliefs. But, I point out that some stuff in there is obviously not from God, which is why it is inconsistent with logic and other verses in the same book. I do so to say that a book with glaring errors cannot be on par with one that is fully without a single inconsistency (I.e the Qur’an). By the way, it is easy to destroy the entire faith that is Islam. Muslims are ready to leave their faith and God if you are able to show a single inconsistency in the Qur’an because God is based on sound logic and intellect and there’s no room for errors.

    That cannot be said about the faith that is Atheism. This statement is substantiated on many levels at MuslimHaitian.com. (abiogenesis, evolution and many more inconsistent and unscientific arguments debunked).

    As for the site on the Qur’an, the notes on there are amateurish at best. Without making this post too long here are some of the unsubstantiated personal opinions and you may decide for yourself:

    “Alif. Lam. Mim.”
    Many surahs start with three Arabic letters. No one knows why. But I have a theory. The mysterious letters (Alif. Lam. Mim.) are the Quranic equivalent of WTF. 2:1

    “This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil).” There is no doubt about this or any other “Scripture”. It is false. It wasn’t revealed by God and it won’t “ward off evil.” 2:2

    Those who believe in the unseen things revealed by Muhammad and who are absolutely certain they will survive their own death are the successful people. You know, the Muslims. 2:3-5

    “Shall we believe as the foolish believe?”
    According to the Quran, the answer is, yes. To be truly wise you must believe whatever the foolish believe. 2:13

    Allah especially dislikes people who pretend to believe when they’re around Muslims, and then disbelieve when they hang out with devils. 2:14

    “If Allah willed, He could destroy their hearing and their sight. Lo! Allah is able to do all things.” 2:20

    “And if ye are in doubt … then produce a surah of the like thereof.”
    If you doubt that the truth of the Quran, then try making some stuff up and see how it compares. (Whatever you come up with will be better than the Quran.) 2:23

    • Ok, if a single contradiction will convince you, then compare these two quotes on drinking alcohol.

      In fact here’s 32 contradictions http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/contra/by_name.html

      Here’s some more debunking the idea that Islam is scientific http://mukto-mona.com/wordpress/?p=54

      Atheism, by definition, is not a faith, it is the absence of faith. Nor does your site debunk it.

      While the site I last mentioned does occasionally joke, most of it is good points. There are plenty of silly points in it (like all old stories) and he rightly points this out

      • As for the alleged inconsistencies above, I read the most salient points in those sites provided. I can provide the existing proof to obliterate each of those comments individually and collectively. That would just be a momentous task for me, however.

        But, I do suggest you find the knowledgeable Muslim (such as YouTube video of Dr. Zakir Naik’s) counter-argument to these and ponder on the logic for yourself. Here is the link http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=r5h6CNhtVls

        Insha Allah, you will see the truth for yourself for:

        “When truth is hurled against falsehood, falsehood perishes, for falsehood is by its nature bound to perish”
        (Quran, Surah Isra Chapter.17, Verse No.81)

    • How in the world is God based on sound logic and intellect? It’s only after the utter abandonment of these two concepts does it become fairly simple to find regular “evidence” divine inspiration and influence in everyday life. Usually it takes the form of arguments from incredulity and ignorance (“The universe is obviously too complex for things to have come about by chance!”) coupled with an almost tragic lack of scientific literacy in which the apologist appears to understand just enough about evolution and cosmology to ask questions, yet not be bothered to look for the answers. (“no transitional fossils” is my personal favorite.)

      I’m curious as to why you think that there’s any degree of profundity in the observation made by the authors of the Quran that there are layers of darkness under the water. If you can’t see all the way down, logic would suggest it’s dark at the bottom. The other claims about the creation of the earth (in a varying number of days … by God) as well as some rudimentary – and incorrect – observations regarding embryological development just further substantiate the conclusion that the Quran is of the same nature as the bible: limited in applicability and scope, a bad moral foundation, and truly worthless as a scientific text. To claim otherwise is wishful thinking at best … blind faith and hopeless delusion at worst.

      Lastly, are we to also assume that the scientific wisdom expressed in the Quran doesn’t apply to the social sciences? I would hate to think that all of the advances we’ve made in the areas of women’s rights, abolishment of slavery, war crimes, capital punishment for blasphemy and apostasy, and sexual abuse constitute one giant misunderstanding of an obviously suiperior source of knowledge and innate knowledge of the workings of the universe.

    • To the extent that the muslim believes in the existence of devils or ghosts, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, the quran is useless as a historical book. There is no evidence that these guys existed and Islam borrowing from christianity and judaism just took them in.
      Why would anyone want to write another Quran when there are more interesting novels? Can you write a Beethoven symphony? Can you write a Brothers Karamozov like Dostoevsky? The demand that someone produces something like the quran is absurd!

  11. Thanks, Jason.

    Your first paragraph did not shed any intellectual light on any of the topics mentioned.

    Your second paragraph failed to appreciate complex pieces of information. I will give you one underdog:

    Allah (SWT) says: “Or (the unbelievers’ state) is like the layers of darkness in a deep sea covered by waves topped by waves, topped by clouds: Layers of darkness, one above another. If a man stretches his hand, he can hardly see it. For any to whom Allah gives no light, there is no light.”(Quran 24: 40)

    The Qur’an mentions precise information about the layers of darkness in the deep sea. It refers to the causes underlying their formation and their arrangement atop each other. Man could not know of these layers of darkness until after 1930 AD. The Qur’an informs us of the existence of internal waves in the seas, a fact unknown to people before 1900 AD. It informs us that the internal waves cover the deep sea, a fact discovered only after the invention and use of submarines in the thirties of the twentieth century. The Qur’an also discloses the role of the surface waves and internal waves in creating the layers of darkness in the deep sea, a matter known only with the scientific advances in the later centuries.

    The above-mentioned pieces of information and knowledge were not discovered by man expect after he had invented such instruments of scientific research as enabled him to reach these depths and study these phenomena, and after a long period of research extending for three centuries during which hundreds of researchers and investigators worked hard to discover these facts.

    You can develop a much better position as an atheist or whatever background you are coming from if you know the Muslim’s argument from a knowledgeable Muslim, instead what non-muslim Joe Blow summarizes in his cliff notes about Islam or the Quran. Check out the facts for yourself:

    I am declining to answer the third paragraph until you do some sincere basic study of what the Muslim position is on those things, rather than tackling your shameful regurgitation of biased media misinformation.

    Until then,


    • My first paragraph was in response to your claim that God is based on logic and reason. I’m refuting this claim based on the fact that most arguments that point to the existence of God are from ignorance and personal incredulity. Sorry you don’t see that as not having shed any intellectual “light” on the conversation, but that’s not my problem.

      So … “waves upon waves” that are analogous to the depth of ignorance of an unbeliever isn’t any kind of literary technique of repetition to emphasize a point, but to imply – in the most obscure way possible – that internal waves are present under the sea? I’m sorry, but you’re really reaching … you cherry picked one translation out of a number of possibilities because this particular one happens to sort of sound like it could have a connection to something we’ve recently discovered.

      All of this is from the phrase “waves upon waves” … because clearly, there’s no simpler interpretation … like the aforementioned waves are on the surface of the water, flowing over one another …

      Look, it’s one thing to go through the Quran (or bible, torah, whatever) after the fact and point at some translations that could be interpreted as having parallels with scientific discoveries. It’s another thing entirely to clearly identify a collection of claims that you KNOW refer to scientific principles or yet-to-be-discovered natural laws or phenomena and put them to the test. Can you do that? Because all of the easy ones have failed, like the sun orbiting around the (flat?) earth and setting in a muddy spring, or earthquakes being caused by God and not plate tectonics or volcanic activity, or the origin and life cycle of stars. These are pretty basic scientific concepts, but since the authors of the Quran weren’t aware of them, neither was Allah.

      What you’re doing now is what believers in Nostradamus have been doing for centuries … it’s called the “Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy”. Basically, fitting ambiguous prophecy to whatever best fits, and only after the fact. It sounds cool, I admit … but it’s not based on anything more than wishful thinking.

      I’m not sure why you’re acting offended at my last paragraph. The Quran mentions slavery, and does not appear to condemn it (2:178). Nor does it have a problem with using any method of warfare, regardless of what it is (2:194) Tough luck if it involves the commission of war crimes (rape, torture, genocide, murder of innocents), as was common in the day. I’m not making this stuff up, nor am I saying that it’s exclusive to Islam. You can find stuff like this in the Bible, too. You don’t need “biased media misinformation” to tell you that … just a copy of the holy books themselves.

      • I am not offended by the statements made, it takes a lot to draw me in that direction. I was briefly an atheist. I am just disappointed by your abrupt analysis, if you’re an atheist. The Qur’an states before the hour strikes (judgment day, that is), the sun will rise from the West. Please prove the scientific fault in that statement if you are indeed truthful?

        One quick point about layers of darkness, read the facts:

        “Sunlight consists of seven colors (red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, violet and blue). Each color has its own wavelength.

        The penetration of light ray into water depends on its wavelength; the shorter the wavelength the deeper the light ray penetrates. The red color is absorbed at the depth of about 20 meters and then disappears. Consequently there appears the darkness of the red color. If a diver should be injured at the depth of about 25 meters and wanted to see the blood he would see it black because of the absence of the red color of the light. At the depth of about 30 meters the orange light is absorbed causing another type of darkness under the darkness of the red color, that is, the darkness of the orange color. At the depth of about 50 meters the yellow light is absorbed; at the depth of about 100 meters the green color is absorbed; at the depth of about 125 meters the violet and indigo colors are absorbed. The last color to be absorbed is the blue color at about 200 meters deep. Thus several layers of darkness of the colors of sunlight top one another because of the depth of water where colors are successively absorbed at different depths.”

        Until then,


        • I’m well aware of the extent to which the simple phrase “layers of darkness” has been interpreted in an attempt to portray the Quran as a scientifically relevant text. But just like “wave upon wave” and the context in which it’s used, there is no indication that it’s intended to be anything more than a figure of speech to describe the depth of someone’s ignorance.

          Considering, too, how the authors of the Quran have failed miserably in demonstrating fairly rudimentary celestial mechanics and meteorology (i.e. the claim that the sun orbits around the earth, or that stars are missiles, hail comes from mountains), there is no reason to take seriously any claim to scientific accuracy … especially when you need to dig into metaphors and symbolism and write pages on what it “really” means.

  12. One last question, Jason:

    What is the world record depth for deep sea diving where someone could have observed the layers of darkness phenomenon even with a modern day breathing apparatus, if you are indeed among those with knowledge?



    • I’m going to have to agree with Jason on this one. The quote was clearly meant to be metaphorical not literal. “Waves topped by waves” is not a deep scientific discovery, anyone staring at the sea would see waves washing over each other.

      Even if your right, isn’t this knowledge effectively useless? How are we any better off by knowing that there are layers in the ocean? Surely it would have been better if Allah had given a cure for some horrible disease or some advanced technology like electricity or steam power? Or deep scientific breakthroughs like the laws of thermodynamics or the theory of relativity?

      If the Qu’ran is so full of advanced scientific knowledge why is it that Mohammed’s tribe were just as ignorant and backward as every other tribe in the desert? There were no major advances during his lifetime that only God could have provided

      • Thanks for the questions, but you have to do yourself the favor and watch Dr. Zakir Naik’s video so you can evaluate on your own a small flavor for the scientifically proven statements made in the Quran. Never mind the fact that our Hadiths in Al-Bukhari and al-Muslim are filled with out of this world wisdom.

        The Quran is not a book of science, the point is to draw people out of ignorance to a better way of life and monotheism. Incidentally, there is nothing in it that science has disproved. The verses were also meant as reassurance to the believers, nevertheless.

        The overwhelming wealth and breadth of information in there is astounding even to knowledgeable and sincere scientists. So much so, that you will come to the conclusion that is not a fluke or a simple metaphorical book of Arabian fables.

        Paragraphs two and three are conclusory and not factually based. The Quran is meant as a guidance for mankind at all time, though historical context help refine the matter being analyzed. Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them) were instructed in the highest level of moral values and wisdom, things that matter most to a God.

        Allah has granted a cure to every disease except death and what scholars interpret for us as cancer. Quranic passages and Hadiths are major sources of the cures you are asking about, if people would spend the effort to read the volumes of information available. I cannot even get you to watch a two hour video, and some Muslims similarly refuse to do the grunt work though the benefit will speak for itself.

        In the end, all we do is ask questions with embedded assumptions and little open mind to an actual answer.

        Lastly, please scientifically refute the Quran’s position that the Sun will rise from the West one day. You need not disprove judgment day itself, just the Sun that rises from the East daily and has never appeared from the West before.

        • “Lastly, please scientifically refute the Quran’s position that the Sun will rise from the West one day. You need not disprove judgment day itself, just the Sun that rises from the East daily and has never appeared from the West before.”

          Classic argument from ignorance. You are not automatically correct just because it’s not possible to categorically prove you wrong.

          Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Until you provide such evidence, such statements are just ink on a page not worthy of attention.

          • You cannot disprove this verse with science and that does not make it true for you, fine. I do not fault you at all. I agree that would not make me automatically correct either.

            Here’s something that I will leave to you to PROVE with science this time:

            It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

            “The Hour will not begin until the land of the Arabs once again becomes meadows and rivers.” Narrated by Muslim (157).

            Meadows refers to spacious land with a great deal of vegetation, according to this site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meadow

            What must have been true for the current desert land of the Arabs to have once been a land with fields vegetated primarily by grass and other non-woody plants (grassland)?

            The answer is plain, but the hint is in this article http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/jan/27/stone-tools-human-migration-africa

            At the end of the day, all of you are entitled to your opinions…just not your own facts as well.

            Until then,


            • I’m not sure what you are trying to prove or even if you think your argument will convince us. Of course the sun doesn’t rise from the East, for that to happen the Earth would have to completely reverse the direction it spins in, which to my knowledge is impossible. This is less science and more common sense.

              You may argue that the last day will be an exception, but there is no way of knowing this until that day comes. For example, I may claim that on the last day all the stars will rearrange themselves to spell my name and the sun will change from the shape of a ball into the shape of Ireland. There is no way you can scientifically disprove this will happen. We cannot know until the last day (if there is one) if this will happen. Of course common sense says it is highly unlikely this will happen.

              I have no idea what the remainder of your comment is about.

            • I’m not sure what you’re trying to prove here. Do you want me to provide evidence that Arabia was once green, or to somehow conclude that the statement in the Quran about “once again” becoming meadows and rivers is proof of some kind of divine wisdom?

              If it’s the latter, it should come as no surprise that Arabia had people living and passing through for thousands of years, since it was the crossroads connecting Africa, Europe, and Asia. The evolution of oral traditions into legends and eventually myths could easily preserve the understanding that the land they currently live in was once far different from what it is now.

              Again, nothing you’ve provided to date suggests that any “knowledge” painstakingly interpreted from the words of your holy book has a divine source.

  13. Dr. Zaghloul al-Najjaar says:

    This hadeeth is a scientific miracle that describes a natural fact that was not understood by scientists until the late twentieth century, when it was proven by definitive evidence that the Arabian Peninsula was meadows and rivers in ancient times. Climate studies have also indicated that the arid desert is now on its way to becoming meadows and rivers again, because the earth throughout its long history passes through climatic changes that take place gradually over long periods of time, or they may be sudden and swift.

    Climate studies indicate that we are coming into a new rainy period, the evidence of which is the shift of the ice-cap in the northern hemisphere towards the south, and a noticeable fall in winter temperatures.

    The fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) referred to this ice age in his hadeeth “until the land of the Arabs once again becomes meadows and rivers” is proof of his Prophethood, and shows that he was always connected to divine revelation, and was taught by the Creator of the heavens and the earth. End quote.

    • It’s a fact that was experienced by people who lived through it before written history, and passed it down to those who followed. Arabia was green, and people were there to witness it thousands of years ago. It also hardly qualifies as a scientific miracle to say that since it was lush at one point, it may eventually become so again.

      • Yeah I’m starting to notice a common theme in these supposed “scientific facts”. Most of them seem to be a mixture of vague quotes, open interprepation and lucky guessing

        • They have to keep digging into the vague passages and creative interpretation, since the obvious stuff like the behavior of the sun and the stars is plain wrong. It’s a valiant attempt at distraction, but still fails.

          • Some more valiant digging for you:

            It is God Who sends the Winds, and they raise the Clouds: then does He spread them in the sky as He wills, and break them into fragments, until you see rain-drops issue from the midst thereof: then when He has made them reach such of his servants as He wills, behold, they do rejoice! (Surat ar-Room, 48)


            • And from this passage, you write pages and pages of what it “obviously” means from a supposedly scientific perspective. Again, if the level of detail you provided were in the Quran to start with, you might have something. But it’s not. The passage you select talks about the wind, clouds rising and breaking up, and rain coming from them. All of these things were easily observed and understood by the people at the time.

              Again, if the Quran is such a valuable scientific tool, why did it get something as basic as the relationship between the Sun and the earth wrong? How do you expect people to take it seriously as a scientific text when it fails on that, of all things?

              • Will you please detail what you mean about the erroneous relationship of the sun and moon verse. You may have mentioned it before, but there were other things on my plate and that was not addressed at the time. Thanks.

                By the way, there is a subsequent post on the site that clarifies 19th century scientists failed grossly in their explanation of the causes of rain, leading to now laughable instances of “dynamiting air.”

                • Surah 13:2 describes both the sun and the moon as being to be of service, “each runneth unto an appointed term”, implying that the sun orbits the earth. This is further substantiated by Surah 18:86, which reads “… when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and found a people thereabout. We said: O Dhu’l-Qarneyn! Either punish or show them kindness. ”

                  What’s your point about 19th century science? That it’s wrong based on what we know now? That’s not surprising; in fact, it’s to be expected. Science is a work in progress, but it’s the best tool we have to decribe natural phenomena. You shouldn’t take it as absolute truth, but instead have a *reasonable trust* in its efficacy given the number of technological advances we’ve made based on our understanding.

                  • As to your first paragraph, I believe you are referring to this verse from Arad Malik interpretation of the Arabic meaning:

                    “Allah is the One Who raised the heavens without any pillars that you can see, then firmly established Himself on the throne of authority and subjected the sun and the moon to His law – each one pursuing its course for an appointed time. He regulates all affairs. He has spelled out His revelations so that you may believe in meeting your Rabb.”

                    The quote “each one pursuing its course” is understood as the entire universe is in motion from the initial explosion that brought matter into being. Established science confirms this.

                    Next, the moon is in an orbit in its own course. The sun too is traveling in its own course. Nothing here indicates that the sun is traveling in an orbiting manner around the earth. That is why each has its own precise course.

                    The quote, “for an appointed time” affirms that there is a finite point in time when everything, here sun and moon, will cease to pursue its historical course. Then what? That is a theological matter, as you may not believe in a judgment day.

                    So you know, this is cutting edge science we are now about to jump into. Scientists are now discussing that there is proof that the entire universe has been slowing down since the initial explosion and may be receding to its original source in the distant future. I could go on, but have to run.

                    Again science backs up the whole verse.

                    • “The quote “each one pursuing its course” is understood as the entire universe is in motion from the initial explosion that brought matter into being. Established science confirms this.”

                      First – of course established science confirms your “understanding” of the passages; you’ve made these interpretations with the full benefit of our current scientific knowledge. You’re assuming the answer and then working backwards. That tells us nothing.

                      Second – the universe is expanding at an *accelerating* rate; it’s not slowing down.

                      Third – you ignored the entire passage about the setting of the sun in a muddy spring. It’s a clear statement about the relationship between the sun and the earth, but I’m sure you’ll find a way to creatively interpret it to mean whatever you like to preserve the scientific validity of the Quran.

                    • Last – as I’ve said … you’re not doing anything I haven’t seen a dozen times before. I recommended before that you do some reading about the “Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy”. It’s the kind of backwards thinking that devotees of Nostradamus have been doing for centuries to “prove” that the man had prophetic vision, what Christians did with the Messianic Prophecy, and what you and your friends are doing with the Quran. It’s easy to fit convenient interpretation to prophecy after the fact when you have a vast wealth of history and a bunch of ambiguous passages to work with. It’s too bad that this process thoroughly lacks any predictive power or testability … making it nothing more than an interesting exercise in finding patterns that aren’t actually there.

  14. Thanks for clarifying the question.

    I now understand the issue you are raising. I had no idea there had been so many debates around this verse until 20 minutes ago as I looked up the context. It is a fair point to raise, as I always prefer a Justice Scalia-like strict constructionist textual approach, though this verse is not nearly as problematic as some make it out to be.

    The basic concept here we have a passage discussing deep cosmological concepts at a very simplistic level. Easy enough for an illiterate man to make his point across 1,400 years later even to any esoteric circle. (By the way, I was referring to “the Big Crunch” theory, explained here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Crunch). So, it is unlikely that common sense should fly out of the window in the next verse.

    That said, my answer stems from this passage:

    What does Allah (swt) mean here by the setting of the sun? How can it be that Dhul Qarnayn reached the place where the sun set? We know now that the sun is stationary, we know now that the sun does not even move let alone set. So what then could be the meaning of this part of the ayah where Allah (swt) tells us that Dhul Qarnayn travelled until he reached the setting of the sun? The meaning is that he (as) travelled until he reached the western most part of the known world. As we know the sun sets in the West, so the West is what Allah (swt) refers to here as “the setting place of the sun.” … We take the metaphorical meaning and say that it means that he (as) reached the western most part of the word. The lesson that we can take from this is to see just how far he (as) travelled. He journeyed until he reached the end of the earth, until he (as) could not go any further. This was how much he (as) sacrificed for the dawah. How much he (as) gave to Allah (swt). What have you given?

    What did Dhul Qarnayn find at the western most part of the world? Allah (swt) tells us “he found it setting in a dark muddy spring”. He (as) found the sun setting in what seemed to be a dark and muddy spring.

    On the surface it may seem as if this makes no sense whatsoever, but it is actually very deep. Allah (swt) tells us here that Dhul Qarnayn found the sun setting in a dark and muddy spring. What does this tell us? It tells us that what he (as) must have beheld at that moment was no ordinary spring. When we think of a spring we think of a small pond of water. But what Dhul Qarnayn saw at that moment was no small pond, rather what he saw a vast sea. How else could it have been that the sun seemed like it was setting into it? Only a sea or an ocean is large enough that when one looks upon it, it seems like the sun is setting into it.

    But then the question to ask is that if Dhul Qarnayn really did see a vast sea in front of him then why in the ayah does Allah (swt) refer to this sea as a dark muddy spring? It is because such is how Allah (swt) saw the sea to be. For Allah (swt) this vast sea was naught but a muddy spring. Because His Estimation is different from our estimation and His Power is different from our power.

    What we see to be very large He (swt) sees to be very small. What we see to be tremendous He (swt) sees to be insignificant. What we see to be insurmountable He sees to be easy. The lesson that we can take from this is to see how He (swt) operates on a different sphere than we do. He (swt) does not see the universe as we do. What may seem like a mountain for us is only a molehill for Him (swt). What seems like an ocean for us is only a pond for Him. How then can we ever despair? How then can we ever be afraid because of anything of this world? We should always remember that this thing that we fear, this thing that seems so tremendous and frightening for us it is so small for Him. He (swt) does not think much of it. It does not weigh heavy in His estimation. Just think about it for a moment. Dhul Qarnayn, a man of so much power, saw in front of him a vast sea. A sea so vast that it actually seemed as if it had swallowed the sun. But Allah (swt) considered this sea to be so insignificant that for Him (swt) it was [described] as a pond of muddy water. Muddy because it is so shallow. So not only was it a pond for Allah (swt) but it was a shallow pond. This was how He (swt) saw this vast sea to be. This is how He (swt) sees our world to be. He is the All Mighty and the All Powerful. He (swt) is so Tremendous that we cannot even begin to imagine. All that we can do is be awed and submit.

    In the next part of the ayah Allah (swt) says “and he found near it a people, we said “O Dhul Qarnayn either you punish them or you take with them (a way of) excellence””. So now Dhul Qarnayn had reached the western most part of the world. He (as) could not go any further because the ocean was in front of him. He (as) saw the sun setting into it. But he (as) had not travelled all this way to see the sunset. No, rather he (as) had travelled to find people whom he could take the Message of his Lord to. He (as) travelled to find people whom he could call to Allah (swt). And that was what he (as) found. He (as) found near this sea a nation of people. Perhaps it was a village, perhaps it was a town, perhaps it was a city. Allah (swt) Knows best. But for our purposes we can say that he found a settlement of people.

    What was he to do with these people? Of course he carried the dawah to them. He (as) invited them to be part of his nation. To accept the Sovereignty of Allah (swt) over them. We can take this meaning from the words of Allah (swt) “O Dhul Qarnayn either you punish them or you take with them (a way of) excellence”. There is a depth of meaning in this sentence alone. From here alone we can see how Allah (swt) is telling Dhul Qarnayn to invite these people to Islam. Because we know that Allah (swt) does not punish any people until the Message is taken to them. Allah (swt) will not punish any people until they are deserving of punishment. So just by Allah (swt) giving to Dhul Qarnayn the option of punishing these people shows that the Message was indeed taken to them. In essence Allah (swt) is telling Dhul Qarnayn to invite them to the Din, to call on them to return the sovereignty to their Lord, and if they do not then they are to be punished. However if they accept then they are to be treated in the best of ways. As Allah (swt) says “take with them (a way of) excellence”. End quote.

  15. “We take the metaphorical meaning and say that it means that he (as) reached the western most part of the word. The lesson that we can take from this is to see just how far he (as) travelled. He journeyed until he reached the end of the earth, until he (as) could not go any further. ”

    That’s convenient. So because this verse is so blatantly wrong on a scientific level, you’re calling it a metaphor instead.

    Hindsight is a glorious thing … and this is EXACTLY the kind of faulty logic I’ve been talking about.

  16. “That’s convenient. So because this verse is so blatantly wrong on a scientific level, you’re calling it a metaphor instead. Hindsight is a glorious thing … and this is EXACTLY the kind of faulty logic I’ve been talking about.”

    Bismillahi Rahman Raheem (In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

    Let us have a small paraphrased recap on what we’ve discussed so far:

    1. Quran addresses layers of darkness under the sea. This phenomena can only be witnessed at depths impossible to reach without a breathing apparatus and other physical protective devices that did not become available until 1400 years later.

    You say no, the verse does not say that. It’s a Texas sharpshooter Nostradamus style situation.

    2. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) made statements that a land that has always been a desert for thousand of years was once a fully vegetable field.

    You say he must have heard from ancient stories, but you do not point to any specific ancient writings or recorded sayings.

    3. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) mentioned that this same desert will “once again become meadows” or vegetable fields. I provide scientific indications that another Ice Age (resulting from global warming) will cause the same Arab desert lands to become meadows again.

    You say yes, but the Prophet got lucky in his guess.

    4. You point to a verse from the Quran that was unclear to you and argued that it was absurd and inconsistent with science.

    In that same verse, the Speaker Allah SWT teaches the moon has its own course that it follows, separate from that of the sun. Moreover, at an appointed time, these two will stop pursuing their historical course.

    I argue that the whole universe is in motion from the initial Big Bang – like explosion (because the Quran tells the Initial Big Explosion that resulted in life in surah 21:30 is a fact, mind you 1400 years ago). I also argued that the stopping of the historical travel of the sun would only mean a Big Crunch is on the horizon and warned you that this is cutting edge science that has not caught up to the Quran.

    You responded only the expansion of the universe is truth, as far as you knew. Then I referred you to more facts.

    5. You then informed me that the part of the same above verse discussing “the setting of the sun in a muddy pond” is an absurd statement, if one takes it literally.

    I agreed with you and stated it is a metaphor because common sense should dictate that if a person is knowledgeable about future Global warming that will cause vegetation of desert land, the Big Bang- like explosion that resulted in life creation, the traveling of the sun (while people argue it is stationary), and the fact that the sun’s traveling will one day stop, it is fair to say they would NOT say something as absurd as the sun sets in a muddy pond and Prophet Dul Qurnayn witnessed it.

    You again argue that this is Texas sharpshooter Nostradamus style argument that I’m benefitting from hindsight.

    Fine, first, let us play by your rule – Science:

    Occam’s razor (also written as Ockham’s razor, Latin lex parsimoniae) is the law of parsimony, economy, or succinctness. It is a principle stating that among competing hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be selected.

    My assumptions here is that the sun was metaphorically described as setting in the west and this was witnessed next to a vast body of water which is why the metaphor states it is setting in it.

    You can state your own assumptions of what it would take for the sun to dip into a small pond.

    Second, let us talk about historical facts and common sense:

    If you stand in front of an ocean and you watch the sun pass the horizon before nightfall next to a settled land, how would you describe that moment differently so desert Arabs in the fourth century would get the salient facts, understand the truthfulness of the story and submit to the true One God – Allah?

    Please tell me how you would make this passage more factually accurate, oh and by the way, how would you refer to the sun setting in the west when the compass that would inform people about the western direction is still 600 years to come?

    The earliest reference to a specific magnetic direction finder device for land navigation is recorded in a Song Dynasty book dated to 1040-44 CE, while the Quran was revealed in the 4th century CE.

    The Common sense in all of this is people use the words “sun rise or set” to express a thought. Technically, the sun neither rises nor sets.

    6. As for the Texas sharpshooter or hindsight comments, recognize science is 1400 years behind an illiterate desert Arab (ie the stopping of the historical travel of the sun and global warming).

    The interesting thing is that while Muslims use established science to explain their verses, even with the benefit of hindsight, find any other book on the face of the planet that you can do that to so consistently and without glaring unexplainable contradictions.

    • 1. That’s right. You and others are reading FAR more into the passage than what it actually says, to force it to become consistent with science so you can make a claim about its “accuracy” only after the fact.

      2. What is more likely: that stories passed down from people who have lived there for thousands of years tell of a time when the land was green and lush … or that a divine being that can’t be observed or verified told the founder of your religion? This claim has other more reasonable explanations, so it hardly provides “proof” of a god or his wisdom.

      3. That’s right. The Quran claims the deserts will become green again. This isn’t “proof” that they knew something about global warming. It’s far more likely that it’s a promise of better times. The burden of proof is on you to show that the only explanation HAS to be supernatural or divine.

      4. Now you’re making no sense. First, there is mounting evidence to show that the universe it expanding at an accelerating rate, and won’t contract into a Big Crunch. Second, the only way it says anything on the level of our modern cosmology is if you write pages about the passage in modern scientific terms and point to that instead. Hell, I could do the same with the Bible; that doesn’t make it right. The only thing you’re doing is putting words into the mouth of the god you worship.

      5, 6. As with 1-4, you still don’t get it. The more you try to tell me the same thing, the more you’re proving me right. You’re conveniently reading into the Quran whatever you want to see, and whatever best supports what you already think. If a passage is clearly *wrong* on a scientific level, it’s a metaphor. You care assuming the answer and desperately searching for things to support it.

      Again, you are far from the first. Followers of Nostradamus have done the same thing to his book that you’ve done to yours, with similar results. Look up “The Bible Code”. Same exact thing. So believe what you want. Assume that the Quran is some gem of a scientific text that you can only understand in retrospect.

      However … keep in mind that it’s been done many times before, and no one outside of the faithful is impressed or convinced.

  17. I acknowledge and understand your position.

    Mine can be summed up as, the miracle that is the Quran is:

    A graduate of the most prominent educational institution in the world in the new millennium would not have and could not have provided a more accurate or eloquent truthful account to describe Dhul Qurnayn’s (peace be upon him) location and what he was witnessing to a 4th century audience. Moreover, this statement, despite its seemingly absurdity, is as true then as it is today and will be so in another millennium, before another group of thinkers, long after you and I face up the reality in our graves.

    Faced with that dilemma, I have two choices. Either abandon reason and adopt a position that is not scientifically, historically or logically consistent; or, say “La Illaha ila Allah, Muhammad rasool Allah” (there is no God, if not Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger).”

    I opted for the latter choice and (unwillingly submitted at first due to the overwhelming facts) then now willingly and knowingly submit as one of the Muslims.

    Wa- Akhiru Dawah, Alhamdullilahi Rabul Alameen!!

    • Having followed this discussion and listened to the two sides, I saw you mentioned you were briefly an atheist, how did you change to become a muslim? Where did the evidence of a god come from? You have made claims that the quran is a miracle, revealed to an idiot in the arabian desert, what stopped allah, god or whatever deity from revealing it to the Chinese, the Indians ,hell why not even the Romans or Greeks who were already so advanced in thought and government?
      Don’t you think Wa-Akhiru Dawah was so inclined to believe that allah exists and that Muhammad[piss be upon him] is his prophet that he chose not to follow the most logical part that the quran is work of an ignorant group of men living in the arabian desert between 600 CE and 900CE?
      At some point you mentioned Occam’s razor, which should be an easier explanation, that there is a supernatural being that once in a while as occasion so demands intervenes in our affairs reciting books or that men existing before books can write them from observations in their environment? Which of the two makes the least assumptions?
      Am not going to start a discussion with you on the content of the quran but i have this question on validity of revelation. If perchance I was to tell you that a god has revealed something to me and I wrote it down would you believe me or would you say that am probably lying or insane? Now if you can’t accept mine as revelation why should we take the word of people we are not sure they existed as true? Think about it?
      Why should we take the word of people who believed that ghosts exist and that they control the spirit world? If they appear not to know about this, how can we take it that they know about another we have no evidence for?
      Now lastly I think the gentleman Jason has told you that if a text can be interpreted to mean anything you want to, then it looses explanatory value. You can if you wish stretch the quran to explain every scientific discovery but it will not wash. Until you can make a precise prediction from the quran and not wait for scientists to arrive at it and claim ownership, you are better of believing that allah is watching you.

  18. Pingback: 10 Questions For Christians | Robert Nielsen

  19. omar khan

    in prophatic tradition of Mohammed (pbu) it is clearly declared if any oppression or injustice starts another muslim man should try to stop by his own hand…..Hitler should have been killed on the spot…..it was just possible..by truely faithful muslim , christian or jews…..God Almighty will accuse every religious sect and humanity….as you are accusing God…..

  20. omar khan

    it is silly that you you used shameful words like bastard..on GOD ALMIGHTY .beacuse you are an atheist…God created humanity on one concept….you are responsible for whole humanity, and whole humanity is responsible for you….you will be judged according to whattttt you have done for your fellow humen being in oppression…..everything including holoucast is a trial for you…..but an atheist has noway to know that YOU REPRESENT GOD

  21. omar khan

    ANSWER Dawkins question in book THE GOD DELUSION who desined the designer?An american scientist claimed, give me water, time and technology, i will make a man, his intention was to prove A GOD is not necessary to create a man,beacuse he thinks humen is product of evolution and time,even he succeed to create a robotic man who can store more memory in its micro cells than natural brain..is it not true that American scientist will be its creator..so origin cannot be denied.ALL ORIGIN ENDS TO A POINT GOD.evolution seruoiusly inquire origin..true origin is God Almighty
    Prophet Muhammad said “Verily, the first thing Allah created was the pen. He said to it: ‘Write.’ It replied: ‘My Lord, what should I write?’ So He said: ‘Write all that will occur.’ So in that hour, everything that will occur until the Day of Recompense was recorded.” Another hadith indicates that this was 50,000 years prior to creation.NOTHING HAPPENDS FROM EVOLUTION OR TIME..TIME AND SPACE ONLY ACCOMODATES EVENTS THAT WILL HAPPEN
    At a point evolution theory does not fit anymore….for example water H20 remained unaffected by time in billion trillion years.if TIME cannot affect every living and nonliving object in nature. Evolution theory does not make any sense.some natural laws, atomic and molecular weight of every element and compounds will remain same until eternity
    TIME is like Space.Space is measured by length, wideth and height and Time is nonspatial fourth dimension.TIME OR SPACE is not the cause of any event.or natural phenomena. Event or an Incident is calculated by SPACETIME(space plus time) einstein.
    universe and whatever it contains is everchanging unstable dilema .time, money, science, evolution, nature everything is false or illusion.universe itself is merely appearence subject to perish. only thing truth is you. why you beacuse only you can take a decision.you represent God
    Do not let evolution theory shake your faith.We have resolved the critical subject of evolution by a simple verse in bible , quran and torah…MAN IS MADE FROM CLAY.no other explanation needed

    • I don’t think your rambling poorly spelt and punctuated comment deserves a full discussion. Quite frankly, it doesn’t make any sense. You base your beliefs on what you are told. You are told by the Koran that God created everything and you refuse to explore any other possibility. I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do for you.

  22. omar khan

    SIX million jews died in holoucast….in front of humanity…..now every year six million dieing of aids.HIV…..whatttttttt you can do ?
    there is no answer except you you trust God……God promised an atom of good and evil is recorded to be reckoned on day of judgement…but in worldly affairs your freewill create chaos….God has only promise with a true beliver not an atheist….but everything including holoucasr is predestined…..God knew six million jews will die before those jews was born….God is a concept beyond humen intelect , logic and metaphor, if you belive God has ananswer for you any inquiry beyond yur understanding….but atheist will only perish in time.

    • “God knew six million jews will die before those jews was born”

      And he did nothing about it? Why not? Why not stop it? Are you saying God could have stopped the greatest genocide in history, but choose not to? Does that not make him complicit?

  23. jack

    same complain apply to genocide in rwanda …or 911 why God did not stop genocide in rwanda.or 911 ……genocide and holoucast is humen evil action…when evil overcomes good , innocent suffers…..90 percent porn industry belongs to jews..children of israel, you atheist has created a lawless world where incest is a great fantasy of family sex..when you excedd in lawlessness…holoucast happens.
    wait for more holoucast….and cry in gas chambers. holoucast is your creation….your complain is idiotic…as ignorrant ask why not God come down show us face to face so that we can belive….fuck you bastard…..close yur page.

    • This wins the award for most ignorant and illiterate comment I have ever received. You somehow manage to combine terrible spelling and poor punctuation with a nonsensical rant that mixes paranoia with delusion. The clincher was the closing sentence where you go for the personal insult and tell me to close my page. Rest assured, I will definitely take your opinion into consideration and your comment has really made me reconsider my views and the purpose of this blog.

      • jack

        did you not utter a shameful comment that God is a bastard, so you receive the same title that you are certainly a bastard,if your free will can call GOD IS BASTARD…so hiltlers freewill killed six million jews..
        you are actualy more guilty and arrogant than HITLER….you should die in similar incident like gas chamber in holoucast….just wait

  24. marilyn

    God created humen out of love and compassion so the compassion you are feeling in your heart for jews is not yours, God is more compassionate than you.but we dont know why six million jews should suffer this way..your page does not prove you are looking for an inquiry.or answer, your atheistic attitude like calling God may be a bastard or does not exist.is a clear sign you are not looking a sincere
    answer any how you can be called a proud atheist. you are promoting atheism

    • You claim God created love, actually it was Thor. He also created outrage, so the outrage in your comment isn’t yours. You may be annoyed that I just hijacked your thoughts to claim them for a random religion with no evidence, but that’s what you just did. If you’re just going to claim love belongs to one religion, then I will do the same, in the hope that it shows how ridiculous you sound.

      You seem to imply (I’ll admit the poor punctuation makes this difficult) that calling me a “Proud Atheist” or “promoting atheism” is an insult. It isn’t.

  25. marilyn

    Robert neilson do you know why everyday six miilon stars are crushed into a blackhole to create a no return zone, scientist call it point of singularity where everything succumb to be ONE .this is a proof of existance of a powerful God….about whom we cant relate any question or answer.no logic applys there, it is better choice to submit in infinite wisdom than to place personal comment on God Almighty.God has promised an answer only if have faith.but if you are atheist no answer.

    • Your argument is severely weakened by the point that you mispelt my name. Come on, its in giant letters on the top of the page, what more do I have the do? Second of all, your comment is not related to the post. Thirdly, seeing as almost all scientists who study black holes are Atheists and none proclaim this as proof, your on weak ground.

      You tell me I should “submit” to God and not think or question but rather mindlessly obey, like a servant to a dictator. I refuse. I believe in freedom of thought and freedom of speech and refuse to bow in servility.

      Also I was religious and did have faith. God did not provide any answers because he does not exist.

  26. Another Jack

    I find it amusing how ardently believers of so many religions will seek to argue over minute details in order to support their belief system. However, if they would simply take a step back and look at the picture, they might have a revelation (or twelve of them). It has been painful to read some of these debates in the comments. As an ex-christian and now agnostic diest, I found this an enjoyable to read. The comment section tested my patience though… Some people will only see the world as they want to. (And sometimes with atrocious spelling to boot!)

  27. Another Jack

    Edit: I found this enjoyable to read.

  28. man created God in his image, a jealous, angry, murdering, flawed individual. Can you say MYTH ? Man has created 100’s of gods and religions, that should tell you something…….unless you’re a brainwashed cult member……..Christianity fits the definition of CULT……..look it up.

  29. Jazzy

    thats not very nice saying that god is a *******! WE SHOULD RESPECT GOD FOR HIS ACTIONS

  30. Mike

    You have it exactly correct, all the talk against your comment, still leaves the obvious, God did nothing!

  31. Pingback: Why I Am Not A Christian |

  32. Heres my two cents on the topic. The God of the jews had specific laws and regulations for them to follow and he simply said that if they would follow them that they would be saved. #1 The jews crucified jesus on the cross. Jesus said to God oh lord please forgive them for they know not what they do. #2 In the bible it says that what God says will not go undone if God makes a promise he keeps it. Jesus prayed in the Garden to be spared from death but God didn’t spare him from death. It says in Exodus 20:5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, THE THIRD AND FOURTH GENERATION OF THOSE WHO HATE ME. So we see in that passage that there is a certain consequence for the decisions you take in this life. Maybe when they crucified jesus on that fateful day they thought there would be no repercussion for their decisions or actions but come down many years later they themselves become persecuted and executed for their sins. Now keep in mind that God does not live in our time frame to God 1 thousand years of ours is like a day for him or so on. In other words just yesterday they crucified Jesus and the next day in Gods time the jews we’re paying the price. Now lets keep in mind not all the jews were killed many escaped into the forest others fled the country and they lived. Why didn’t they die? Maybe they were truly righteous and following God’s laws to the fullest…….

    • So the Holocaust was punishment for the crucifixion of Jesus? In other words the Jews brought it on themselves? Whereas those who were righteous were spared? Do you realise how messed up your comment is?

  33. I appreciate this honest post. I think about this subject often, suffering and God. Thank you for sharing.

  34. Religion is a comfort for the suffering… however, those in peaceful times can reflect on the true meaning of things. The truth is, religion is beneficial to humanity, as it still exists. Think about it… if there was no evolutionary benefit for it, religion would have died out.

    That brings me to my second and much more personal point: I’ve been thinking of God and existence for the last several years. I even became a Christian two years ago. I did this because I suffer from horrible, unrelenting clinical depression. I’m 25 and I want to die every day.

    Still, I’ve always known the truth… how could anyone who understands the world for what it truly is, deny it? God didn’t stop the Holocaust because he doesn’t exist. We are spinning on a dust ball, surrounded by darkness. There is no meaning to anything anymore for me, and objectively, there probably never was.

    I’m glad you posted this… I really am. I mean that with complete sincerity. I typed in “why did God allow the Holocaust” and found this. I can’t take such a painful, horrid life anymore. I’m going to kill myself. Maybe not today, but it’s sure to happen. There’s no one to pray to, and no one to save me.

    • Sorry about all that… Like I said, I have clinical depression, and sometimes dark waves hit me. I feel better now. I just want to comment again to let you know something… Understand that for some people, their faith is all that keeps them going in life. I’m not saying for you to believe what I believe, as I think experiencing God is personal, but try to be cognizant of those with faith.

  35. Re evolutionary advantage of religion see “The Biology of God” by Sir Alistair Hardy, 1975

  36. Sly

    I ask myself the same thing all the time. If the Jews are his people and if he loves them as much as he claims, then why did he look the other way while they plead for their lives? You have asked some good questions very worthy of pondering. Thank you.

  37. Maybe God did prevent the Halocaust, and maybe he did so by lying that it never happened.

  38. David Redding

    Having visited Auschwittz 1 and Auschwitz Birkenau it confirms to me what I already suspected that there is no God. Having read the testaments of those interned and what they did to survive then this only confirms my opinion that we are all basically selfish and our actions are motivated by either our own needs or those we hold dear and that is not a recipe for any intelligent person believing in an omnipotent force acting for the good of mankind. It merely proves that humans are capable of acting in any way that is motivated by our selfish desires be it good or evil and I a do not refer to those terms in any religeous sense but based on my own moral compass.

  39. Caitlinpurplez

    Can I just say, regardless of a viewpoint, this article is really interesting to read and provided me with infinite arguments for both sides of this debate. I was actually researching this for an ethics essay, so thank you very much.

    Essay aside, this is still a fantastic discussion!

  40. Sandeep

    I think even if there is god he doesn’t care about us. Our life is not predestined. For instance, people die if they don’t wear a seat belt in a car. God has nothing to do with that.

  41. jim

    This is your answer why God allowed the jews to go through the hollocost. John:3:1,8. At the time of the Christ’s death on the cross God did away with the old testament and brought in the new testament called grace. The jews were not saved and new not or believed in Jesus Christ. Yes they believed in God but did not know the son of God. Jesus is God. And who ever does not believe is condemed. The jews condemned themselfs God was always with them in the old testament but not with them in the new testament. Jesus never talked about Religion he talked about having a personal relationship. And the jews did not have that and today Isreal still there is no peace over them but one day the bible says that they will awake to the truth that sets all men free. Amen

  42. I believe your statement is wrong and my proof starts with the story of jobe you see god maid a deal with satin that jobe would stay faithful during the hard times that satin was sending at him. And jobe did stay faithful to god and he was blessed with 2x the amount of money and land he had. The point is the Jewish people didn’t stay faithful there is proof that they were scribbles on the walls that said “if there was a god he should be asking me for forgiveness” so they were not being faithful. If they were faithful they most likely would have gone to a better place.

  43. yeshua

    where was God?….He was on his throne when it all happened
    The holocaust was really sad and heart breaking..but God is always faithful and righteous no matter what.
    In the end…it all belongs to HIM after all

  44. m

    There are spiritual beings that are evil flying around in the universe tgey are merciless and want to wipe out humanity. My creator who i choose to call God has been fighting for my soul all my life to live with wisdom and fight back against evil. But it seems like evil has just gotten stronger and stronger in the universe and theres no stopping such murderous people and murderous beings they are here to destroy and torture the human race. It appears that human souls and human babies are just food and torture punching bags for these beings humanity is doomed.

  45. Diana Park

    None of the three solutions are correct EVERYONE has free WILL and SIN is one of the the ways that people choose when they don’t CHOOSE to worship GOD, the Nazis had free will just like any other, they were evil ugly people and in Gods time they all stand in God’s judgment and had to answer to God, they are forever never dying in tortureous Hell.

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