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Featured Can we prove or disprove the claims of any Messenger of God?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Dawnofhope, Sep 16, 2018.

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  1. Definitely, yes

    28.6%
  2. Yes

    7.1%
  3. Somewhat

    3.6%
  4. Marginally

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. No, we can not prove the spiritual authenticity of anyone

    35.7%
  6. Proofs are valuable for demonstrating their claims are false.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. We can safely and convincingly disregard all such claims using reason and proofs

    3.6%
  8. None of these options describes how I think

    14.3%
  9. I have no idea

    7.1%
  1. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    This thread is the start of a discussion between @Trailblazer and I about Proofs. What are the proofs that God exists, that a prophet is who He says He is, or that He is a Messenger of God? Are there really any proofs at all or is it all an illusion and wishful thinking at best and delusion at worst?

    Bahá’ís believe God has inspired Divine Teachers with laws and teachings for mankind in each age. In the past there have been many Prophets and Messengers. How do we know whether any of these past Messengers were really from God?

    I believe there are several proofs which can used to demonstrate the truth of such a claim. These proofs can be used to demonstrate the truth of great Teachers of the past such as Krishna, Buddha, Moses, Christ and Muhammad and more recently Bahá'u’lláh.

    So what are these proofs of the truth of any Manifestation of God?

    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    1. His Character

    According to Bahá'u’lláh the 'first and foremost testimony' of a Messenger of God is 'His own Self'. The Manifestation of God has a dual nature consisting of both a divine station and a human station. For example He may show innate knowledge from childhood and from an early age be renowned for Their extraordinary wisdom. The religious leaders of the day may find themselves unable rival Him.

    He may always the friend of those in need and be detached from the worldly pursuits. Instead He may accept a life of persecution, imprisonment or poverty in the path of God. From His lowly state He may fearlessly address the religious and worldly rulers proclaiming His Mission, calling upon them to be just and fair to their people.

    2. His Revelation

    The laws and teachings brought by the Manifestation of God are the next proof. They identify God to
    be the origin of this Revelation rather than Themselves. Such Teachings are like those from a Divine Physician who has His pulse on the finger of mankind. In His unerring wisdom He proclaims the remedy of the age in which They live.

    3. His verses

    The verses (words) revealed by the Manifestations of God are different from those of men. They are the 'Word of God'. They have great spiritual power and change the hearts of men. They possess a special beauty and eloquence.

    4. The martyrs

    When God sends a new Teacher to mankind detached pure-hearted souls seek Him out. They become so inspired and transformed that they readily and joyfully sacrifice their wealth, position and even their lives in the path of God.

    5. The repudiation

    Christ was persecuted by the clergy and the rulers of His day. The same happened to Muhammad and to every Manifestation of God.

    6. The two-fold sign

    Many of of us know of the star which signaled the birth of Jesus and of John the Baptist who spoke of Him. Bahá’u’lláh says that every Manifestation of God is announced by one sign in the physical heaven (e.g. a star or comet) and another sign in the spiritual heaven (eg Matthew 24:29).

    7. Prophecies Fulfilled

    All the Manifestations of God are part of one Plan and each one foretells the coming of the next.

    8. Future Events Foretold

    The Manifestations of God may make prophecies of future events.

    9. Miracles

    While the Manifestations of God may perform many miraculous deeds we should be cautious with this proof as theyare only proofs for those who see and but not so much for those who hear them second-hand.

    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    So are these 'proofs' of any value? Why do you believe what you do and is evidence or proof important?

    I'm not looking for an argument or to push my Baha'i beliefs on anybody, just respectful courteous discussion. Thanks again for your thoughts and comments.:)
     
    #1 Dawnofhope, Sep 16, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  2. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    I really do think anyone sincerely seeking truth will find it by way of their own grapplings.

    God can not be shown to exist by way of proofs.

    No human is divine, nor equal to the divine. Divinity being authority in truth.

    The most ideal and perfect attributes of being can be self discovered by anyone who desires such things.

    If one has not witnessed the miracles themself, they can not be known of. Only believed.

    All these religions are far from being in harmony with each other. If one is right all others are wrong.

    I was raised Christian, and the way, the truth, and the life was by way of only one, Jesus.

    I have no religion now, and from what i have read of each its a stretch of wishfulness to try to harmonize all these religions.

    I can cherry pick all the good statements from each religion, and there would be a lot of wisdom to gain. But each religion as a whole claims to be the one true way.

    Along comes Ba'hullah and does just that, cherry pick wise words, and then mesh all religions into a process of increasing revelation about God.

    Since all these messengers have died all we have is words of text to go by. No evidence, and no proofs that would make it obvious that God exists, and that any plan is being carried out.

    If God exists, God would undeniably put forth clarity, harmony, and obviousness to each generation in all the Earth.
     
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  3. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Here is our take on what a prophet is and is not...

    Distinguishing the True From the False. In some cases, such as that of Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and Jesus, God’s prophets performed miraculous works that attested to the genuineness of their message and office. Not all, however, are recorded as performing such powerful works. The three essentials for establishing the credentials of a true prophet, as given through Moses, were: The true prophet would speak in Jehovah’s name; the things foretold would come to pass (Deuteronomy 18:20-22); and his prophesying must promote true worship, being in harmony with God’s revealed word and commandments (Deuteronomy 13:1-4). The last requirement was probably the most vital and decisive, for an individual might hypocritically use God’s name, and by coincidence, his prediction might see fulfillment.

    But the true prophet was not solely or even primarily a prognosticator, as has been shown. Rather, he was an advocate of righteousness, and his message dealt primarily with moral standards and their application. He expressed God’s mind on matters. (Isaiah 1:10-20; Micah 6:1-12) Hence, it was not necessary to wait perhaps for years or generations to determine whether the prophet was true or false by fulfillment of a prediction. If his message contradicted God’s revealed will and standards, he was false. Thus, a prophet who foretold peace for Israel or Judah, at a time when the people were engaging in disobedience to God’s Word and Law, of necessity was false.—Jeremiah 6:13, 14; 14:11-16. . . .

    The false prophets lulled the people and their leaders with soothing assurances that, despite their unrighteous course, God was still with them to protect and prosper them. (Jeremiah 23:16-20; 28:1-14; Ezekiel 13:1-16; compare Luke 6:26.) They imitated the true prophets, employing symbolic language and actions. (1 Kings 22:11; Jeremiah 28:10-14) While some were outright frauds, many were evidently prophets who became delinquent or apostate. (Compare 1 Kings 18:19; 22:5-7; Isaiah 28:7; Jeremiah 23:11-15.) Some were women, false prophetesses. (Ezekiel 13:17-23; compare Revelation 2:20.) A “spirit of uncleanness” replaced God’s spirit. All such false prophets were to be put to death.—Zechariah 13:2, 3; De 13:5.


    Jesus’ later warning concerning false prophets paralleled that of Moses. Though using his name, and giving “signs and wonders to lead people astray,” their fruits would prove them “workers of lawlessness.”
    Matthew 7:15-23; Mark 13:21-23; compare 2 Peter 2:1-3; 1 John 4:1-3.

    Prophet — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY
     
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  4. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    When it comes to prophesies one must be careful. This article has some reasonable guidelines for evaluating prophecy, it applies to Biblical prophecy but it could be applied to any religion:

    "For a statement to be Biblical foreknowledge, it must fit all of the five following criteria:

    1. It must be accurate. A statement cannot be Biblical foreknowledge if it is not accurate, because knowledge (and thus foreknowledge) excludes inaccurate statements. TLDR: It's true.
    2. It must be in the Bible. A statement cannot be Biblical foreknowledge if it is not in the Bible, because Biblical by definition foreknowledge can only come from the Bible itself, rather than modern reinterpretations of the text. TLDR: It's in plain words in the Bible.
    3. It must be precise and unambiguous. A statement cannot be Biblical foreknowledge if meaningless philosophical musings or multiple possible ideas could fulfill the foreknowledge, because ambiguity prevents one from knowing whether the foreknowledge was intentional rather than accidental. TLDR: Vague "predictions" don't count.
    4. It must be improbable. A statement cannot be Biblical foreknowledge if it reasonably could be the result of a pure guess, because foreknowledge requires a person to actually know something true, while a correct guess doesn't mean that the guesser knows anything. This also excludes contemporary beliefs that happened be true but were believed to be true without solid evidence. TLDR: Lucky guesses don't count.
    5. It must have been unknown. A statement cannot be Biblical foreknowledge if it reasonably could be the result of an educated guess based off contemporary knowledge, because foreknowledge requires a person to know a statement when it would have been impossible, outside of supernatural power, for that person to know it. TLDR: Ideas of the time don't count."
    Biblical prophecies - RationalWiki

    Any problem with any of those criteria?
     
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  5. RoaringSilence

    RoaringSilence Active Member

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    brother i think every religion exists for a reason .if reincarnation is true then it offers a milder way of punishing vs a full blown hell sentence to eternity for 1 lifes action , and if reincarnation is true even so opting for Abraham will not fail you .. each soul is where it needs to be and the lessons it needs to learn . you might come in a new religion in your next life for new lessons / experience to enjoy.

    and that why since ages Hinduism says all paths are valid.- coz even if u failed to get complete knowledge or lessons in 1 life u may come back. fair and just, with no fear based worship but tendency based worship.
     
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  6. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    The criteria seem reasonable though in the final analysis it is for God to test His servants and not for man to test God.

    Deuteronomy 6:16, Luke 4:12

    What does that mean? If you were sincere in your quest to seek out the answer to any spiritual matter concerning the God of Abraham you would need to consider the following verses from a Christian perspective:

    Matthew 18:2-4, Matthew 19:24, John 8:32 and Matthew 25:31-46

    From a Baha'i perspective the following verses would be applicable:

    No man shall attain the shores of the ocean of true understanding except he be detached from all that is in heaven and on earth. Sanctify your souls, O ye peoples of the world, that haply ye may attain that station which God hath destined for you and enter thus the tabernacle which, according to the dispensations of Providence, hath been raised in the firmament of the Bayán.

    The essence of these words is this: they that tread the path of faith, they that thirst for the wine of certitude, must cleanse themselves of all that is earthly—their ears from idle talk, their minds from vain imaginings, their hearts from worldly affections, their eyes from that which perisheth. They should put their trust in God, and, holding fast unto Him, follow in His way. Then will they be made worthy of the effulgent glories of the sun of divine knowledge and understanding, and become the recipients of a grace that is infinite and unseen, inasmuch as man can never hope to attain unto the knowledge of the All-Glorious, can never quaff from the stream of divine knowledge and wisdom, can never enter the abode of immortality, nor partake of the cup of divine nearness and favor, unless and until he ceases to regard the words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for the true understanding and recognition of God and His Prophets.

    The Kitáb-i-Íqán | Bahá’í Reference Library

    So if its an argument you seek to prove atheism right and Christianity wrong they are sensible criteria and you are well eqipped to take on the Christian apologists.

    If its the truth you seek then I would encourage a modified approach.
     
  7. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    Thank you for sharing your Jehovah Witness perspective as to a true and false prophet.

    Why do you think most of the Jewish people rejected Christ as a true prophet.
     
  8. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    Thank you for your response.

    The words of Christ are perhaps pertinent for one who sincerely seeks the truth in any matter.

    Matthew 18:2-4, Matthew 19:24, John 8:32 and Matthew 25:31-46

    It really is a matter of the heart rather than trying to solve it like a mathematical problem.

    I don't seek to prove to you the truth of my Faith, but I do need to correct your presentation. The Baha'i Faith is not a syncretic religion or a mish mash of the teachings of various other religions. It is founded on the Teachings of Baha'u'llah as Christianity is founded in Christ and Judaism on Moses. So as Christianity draws on what has gone before it with the Hebrew Bible, and Islam draws on both Judaism and Christianity, so too does the Baha'i Faith draw on what has gone before. However most importantly, it is an indepedent religion founded on Baha'u'llah's Revelation.
     
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  9. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Jesus was not what they expected. Roman rule over Judea created deep religious and political tensions. Josephus, the main source of information on that turbulent period, described various Jewish liberation groups that sprang up. One group was the Zealots. As their name suggests, the Zealots were zealous for Jewish freedom and, spurred on by messianic fervor, were willing to use violence. They even despised fellow Jews who sought peace with the Roman authorities. The uprisings in which the Zealots shared did not lead to liberation; rather, their actions sowed the seeds for national disaster—the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in 70 C.E. Some Zealots fled to the mountain fortress of Masada, which had been occupied by those who were called Sicarii (Dagger Men). In 73 C.E., after a two-year siege, the Zealots committed mass suicide rather than surrender.

    The Messiah they were expecting was expected to liberate Israel physically.....but Jesus was sent to liberate the "lost sheep" from the yoke of the oppressive Pharisees. His stinging castigation of their hypocrisy and lousy shepherding was enough to make the Jews want him dead.
     
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  10. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    I honestly don't agree proof or support can be proved by its supernatural nature. One person's virgin mary on the side of a building is another person's water mark. Eve though we can prove it was a watermark, the proof from the believers perspective doesn't invalidate the personal meaning of its claim and proof.

    Bahaullah proof is all written by and from people who knew him, knew of him, and have some sort of relationship to him or his son and so forth. So there is no objectivity to validate proof (and why is it necessary?)

    While paganism, and other religions and their off shoots have the same "proof" as bahai, what are the supernatural claims to which if a nonbahai would witness they would think god or the bahai faith?

    If proof of these claims were objective (exist apart from the believers) would
    haven the ability to test and even observe the claims. Historians been trying to find noahs noahs arch for years.

    What is behind the Need to prove historical validity and objective syncronicty? Does it prove to oneself it valid as to put ones self over others who many god believers dont make that same claim and motive (and find they don't need to; waste of time).

    But you would have to prove supernatural claims. Historians have histories on Paganism (say hellenism/real Pagan), Witchcraft (european), gosh and such more. It's not a bahai thing.

    But I can see the meaning behind it. Why not stick with the meaning without need to validate claims that not all are based objectivity (miracles and prophecies). Even the existence of god is up for grabs and bahai can't define god what do these claims really mean without knowing the source to which these claims are based on.

    I see the meaning but the logic makes no sense.
     
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  11. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    What are different claims that prove bahai claims as false according to the OP?
     
  12. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    IMHO. Truth is beyond matter, so Manifestations of God are pointers at best to help you reach your goal in life.

    In this context for me it is unimportant to prove whether a Manifestation is true or not.

    It is enough for me to experience that the Manifestation "works for me".
     
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  13. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    Welcome back @RoaringSilence ,

    In regards the OP question any thoughts about why Krishna and the Gita is the best religion other than it teaches reincarnation?
     
  14. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    Thank you. So what are your expectations for a future Messiah and would it be possible for you to make the same mistake as the Jews?
     
    #14 Dawnofhope, Sep 16, 2018
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  15. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    I think there can be a real craziness in trying to find "the truth" if I'm understanding you correctly. We have the YECs trying to find their proof by searching for Noah's ark. Some things can't be proven like the virgin birth. Then what about paganism and witchcraft?

    I appreciate you don't believe in God and of course nothing the Baha'is have said has changed that for you. That's to be expected. To be clear this isn't a 'Lets really talk about the Baha'i faith' thread.

    What the OP is about is are we able to coherently and clearly provide proofs for our beliefs whatever they may be? So what's your belief and can you provide proofs? The second question, does it really matter? What does it really matter if I can't provide a convincing account of my beliefs to anyone. I think that's where you may be in part. You believe what you believe and giving an account to another isn't so important. Have I understood you or totally missed the mark?
     
    #15 Dawnofhope, Sep 16, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  16. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    Thank you.

    Its enough for me too to experience. But it wasn't initially. I needed to investigate and be certain before I could trust enough to give my heart.

    My Faith works for me and makes me a better person. All the intellectualising isn't the issue anymore. Still, its kinda nice to be able to explain my beliefs to another if asked. Its good that on some level my beliefs make sense to me, even if they seem like complete nonsense to another.
     
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  17. RoaringSilence

    RoaringSilence Active Member

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    thanks :)

    yes a lot of reasons ill list a few at the top of my head..
    1) Krishn'as clearly states that - he is indifferent to weather or not his creations worship him.. but if they choose to do so he helps them out..his attitude is perfect.ALso he has mentioned that I cannot be blamed for creating a meaningless universe , thus he has the karma system and a grand meaningfulness which was not reveled.--- the purpose of creation from other books is - i created you to worship me. and you are supposed to get one life to do that .and even in the afterlife u do enjoy heven but worship never stops.
    2) He also acknowledges that many people worship deities and demi god's of their choice for short term rewards, which he is comfortable with and says i myself vest the power in the deities to fulfill those rewards.( SO no jealousy / anger of any sort towards stone gods or multi demi' gods"
    3) krishna gives paths to liberation based on the aptitude of the follower.. one can be a bhakti yogi karm yogi gyan yogi etc. and various other detailed concerns that people have are closely understood .
    4) the way he educates arjun he makes sure that the teachings stand the test of time and should apply to all mankind throughout the ages..
    5) however in some other books if god says " do not enter the prophets house while he is eating, and coz he is shy . such a verse is of the past and doesn't seem like a message that can help anyone in after prophet passed away, since he was "the last one" so the verse is pretty much void.
     
    #17 RoaringSilence, Sep 16, 2018
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  18. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    When I went first time to India, I did not know my guru. When I visited the ashram, in my heart I felt that He was pure Love
    But I could not explain using my brain. I even forgot about it. Then after ca. 1,5 years I saw a video and thought "OMG I have been there"
    Then I went again, stayed long time, had many interviews. But still His Being is far beyond my comprehension, as is Truth

    Realizing this gave peace of mind.
     
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  19. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Hmm. I kinda wish I could have more god related historical discussions but when you dont do believe in god its hard to find proofs for or against your op.

    I think you are assuming that it' already logic to have the OP claims and to figure how they are not supported. Which is odd. How do you counter your op when the source of that OP (to some) doesn't exist to give more than historical claim of acurracy.

    Anyway, let me ask. I'm still at a lost how historical findings support the truth of religious claims. We know they were written but the connection and meaning from observation (and experience) seem to come from believer.

    How can physical historical evidence there was a claim and believers understanding and interpretation of it support the spiritual nature defining why bahaullahs prophecies are true but say Nichiren who has similar background is false?

    Greek Pagans and christians have found support for spiritual claims that today we would toss aside as mythology. Astrology is a huge one. That's been around and predicted the future (and ideally still does) for centuries.

    But they are pushed aside where I think christians used to use but later were killed because of witchcraft (foreigner minority spiritual rituals and believes not held by the majority. It depends on the a area with the name. Some call christianity as a whole witchcraft but that wasn't to popular vote on the tenants of christ ;)).

    As for my belief, I don't use Buddhist predictions, deities, and his culture to define what I practice his interpretation of The Dharma. I don't see The Dharma as sola-sutrura to where his claims need to be validated by what was written rather than Practiced. But I know culture defines buddhism so I'm very limited in that regard.

    I do know there is proof against your claims. But they aren't based on history. I don't see how acurate history proves the spirituality validity of its claims. But what I do know is when you bypass the source in relation to what the prove is based on. I wish there were more intelligent discussion of the source. Bahaullahs claims would make sense if we knew what he was talking about.

    Just sayin
     
    #19 Unveiled Artist, Sep 16, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  20. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Ill edit more later. I usually catch the big ones. This text predictor annoys the mess out of me.
     
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