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How can we know the truth?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Endless, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. Endless

    Endless Active Member

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    Hi all
    Posted this with regard to the Qu'ran in the Islamic section but put your own religion or beliefs in it's place and the general question will apply to you. Happy discussion :)

    I'm wondering how you can be sure that the Qu'ran is the truth from God? I understand Satan to be the great deceiver and you will acknowledge that he has deceived many millions of people around the world, buddists, hindus, christians etc. These people believe with all their hearts that they have found the truth in their religions as do you, many would find fulfilment in their religions as do you - however, how can you be sure that you have not been deceived like these people?

    It cannot be because you feel and know it is the truth when you read it - because these other deceived people would truthfully say they feel and know it is the truth.

    It cannot be because God has spoken to you and told you this was the truth - because the other deceived people will say exactly the same thing, who is hearing God and who is not? Are you hearing your own emotions and thoughts - or is it really God?

    Neither can it be because 'it must be true since my friends, imam etc believe it - because the deceived people will say exactly the same thing.

    So my question simply is - how do you know that the Qu'ran is the truth, how do you know that it is not another ploy by Satan to deceive you? What is written in the Qu'ran that could only have come from God, that could never have been written by a man, what is God's fingerprint on the Qu'ran that you should believe it to be the word of God? What is it that separates the Qu'ran from the other religious writings - that mean it could only have come from God?

    Thanks
     
  2. MdmSzdWhtGuy

    MdmSzdWhtGuy Well-Known Member

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    You can't. And that applies to any other religion as well. Any "truth" based on a feeling in the heart with no discernible evidence to back it up has the same problem. We can find the "truth" in gravity by pushing a coffee cup off the edge of the table, we can find the "truth" of atomic theory with atom bombs and atomic energy plants, but we can never say with any degree of certainty that the diety of our choice, or more accurately the deity of the choice of our culture/family is "the one" or is "the truth."

    Nobody with any level of intellectual honesty can positively say that their religion got it right, any more than they can say in honesty that any other religion got it wrong. If the world's most devout Christian grew up in Tehran, there's a good chance he would be a Muslim. All those Imam's out there, if they grew up in Nepal, would likely be Buddhists. And if the Dahli Llama grew up in Texas, there is a good chance he would be a Protestant Christian.

    There is absolutely no more reason to beleive that Islam has the truth than there is to beleive that Sun worshippers of ancient times had the truth. Same with Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Wiccans, etc etc etc ad nauseum.

    B.
     
  3. Cosmo

    Cosmo New Member

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    why can't people have one religion that we all support. I find this stuff more complicated then cosmology and astrophysics combined! What is the point in debating, when everyone's wrong.
     
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  4. Nehustan

    Nehustan Well-Known Member

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    It is said that Socrates often contended that his own wisdom was made up of that fact that “he knew that he knew nothing” (p.83)
    (Taylor, et al., 2001, Greek philosophers: socrates, plato, aristotle, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.)

    While for me their is an absolute and infinite truth (Al Haqq), it is veiled from me and I may not know it. I choose to worship it, but thats very different to knowing/comprehending it in its 'totality'.
     
  5. Anastasios

    Anastasios Member

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    A quotation:
    Verily, We Ourselves have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian, (Al-Hijr, 15:10)

    This verse of the Holy Quran promises that its text has been safe-guarded in its original form by a divine plan for all times to come.


    Commentary:

    This verse furnishes a powerful proof of the truth of the Quran and of its divine origin. In fact, the promise about the preservation of the Quran made in this verse has been remarkably fulfilled that even if there had been no other proof of the truth of Islam, this alone would have sufficed to establish its divine origin.

    Verse 8 of this Sura, contains the demand, mockingly made by disbelievers that if the Quran were really as grand a book as it was claimed to be, it ought to have descended under the guardianship of angels. This ridicule of disbelievers has been answered in the present verse, which emphatically says that the Quran is indeed a sublime book and that God Himself has undertaken to act as its Guardian and that He will always protect it against every kind of corruption and interference. And in order that this promise about the protection of the Quran may gain still more force, particles expressive of special emphasis, such as 'Anna' (verily We) and 'Nahnou' (Ourselves) and again 'Anna' followed by 'Lam' (most surely) have been used in this verse. Thus the claim has been made in the most emphatic and forceful language.

    The statement that God Himself is the Guardian of the Quran does not mean that angels do not guard it. They also do so, for when the master himself is guarding a thing, the servants must also be necessarily engaged in that service. By saying, most surely We will be its Guardian, God, however, points to the fact that there are certain peculiarities of the Quran which it is beyond the power of angels to guard and therefore, God Himself has undertaken to do that work.

    The means adopted to safeguard the purity of the text of the Quran have been briefly referred to in verse 2 in the memorable words 'Al-kitab' (the written Book) and 'Quran e Mubeen' (the illuminating Recital) signifying: (a) That every verse of the Quran was committed to writing as soon as it was revealed and this writing was most tenaciously preserved. (b) That it was committed to memory as soon as revealed by a number of Muslims. And this pious practice has increasingly continued so much so that in the past centuries hundreds of thousands of Muslims have had the entire Quran literally on the tips of their tongues. Add to this the fact that from the very beginning of Islam the recital of parts of the Quran in the five daily Prayers was made obligatory.

    Again, it is not only the text of the Quran that has been preserved intact by God. He has provided for the preservation of its spirit also. This has been done by raising divinely inspired Reformers among the Muslims from time to time. These Reformers, known in Islamic terminology as Mujaddids, receive revelations from God and interpret and explain the true meaning of the Quranic text. Such Reformers appeared among the followers of other religions also, but that was only for so long as such Scriptures served as guides for their followers. After the advent of Islam, however, all other religious systems and their Scriptures, which were intended only for specific periods and specific peoples, became abrogated and divinely inspired Reformers ceased to appear among them. Now, therefore, the Quran alone among all revealed Scriptures of the world holds the field as a living book and hence divinely inspired Reformers now appear only among the followers of Islam. The appearance of such reformers in itself constitutes proof of the living power of a religion and its Scripture inasmuch as they are really the fruit of their religion and their appearance proves its efficacy.

    The question here arises, if the Scriptures revealed to the previous Prophets have not been preserved in their original purity, what guarantee is there to believe that the Quran would enjoy permanent security? In this connection it should be noted that the promise of protection made by God in this verse mentions the word 'Al Zikr' (rendered in the text as "this Exhortation") and not the Quran or any other word; and herein lies the answer to the above question. For, to become deserving of the permanent protection of God it is essential that the divine revelation should be 'Al Zikr' of which the necessary attributes are. (1) that it should establish a close and permanent relationship between man and his Maker, inspiring in the former constant remembrance of God, the word 'Zikr' meaning remembering; and (2) that it should elevate man to a state where God may also remember him or in other words favor him with His words and with heavenly help, the word 'Zikr' also meaning eminence. 'the verse under comment thus purports to mean that God undertakes to protect any Scripture so long as it serves the above two purposes. But when, through changes in the conditions and circumstances of man, any Scripture ceases to perform these functions and God, in infallible wisdom, deems it necessary to reveal another Scripture, He naturally ceases to extend His protection to earlier revelations.
     
  6. Anastasios

    Anastasios Member

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    I have found a little paper, but i didn't examine.

    FULFILLED PROPHECIES OF THE HOLY QURAN





    by Ansar Raza, Canada
    Prophecy is foretold news about any future event. In religious world, a prophecy, quite distinct from an educated and wise guess, is considered the most authentic criterion and a vital proof for the truthfulness or otherwise of a prophet. The Bible has also mentioned this test and claims that the prophecies mentioned in it shall be definitely fulfilled.

    "I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you." (Isaiah 42:8-9) "I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He." (John 13:19)


    In modern era atheists put the religions on trial by presenting criteria to check the genuine-ness or otherwise of the prophecies mentioned in the religious scriptures. Mr. Douglas E. Krueger, an atheist, on Pages 96-98 of his book, “WHAT IS ATHEISM – A Short Introduction” has presented the following five criteria to judge a prophecy. He wrote:
    "Some criteria are needed in order to distinguish cases of lucky guesses from those of true prophecy. Let us define a genuine prophecy as one that satisfies the following five criteria:

    1. The prophecy must be clear, and it must contain sufficient detail to make its fulfillment by a wide variety of possible events unlikely.
    2. The event that can fulfill the prophecy must be unusual or unique.
    3. The prophecy must be known to have been made before the event that is supposed to be its fulfillment.
    4. The event foretold must not be of the sort that could be the result of an educated guess.
    5. The event that fulfills the prophecy cannot be staged, or the relevant circumstances manipulated, by those aware of the prophecy in such a way as to intentionally cause the prophecy to be fulfilled."
    According to these criteria, we see that the Quranic prophecies, some of which are presented here, prove to be quite genuine and true. No one can ever imagine that an unlettered person living in a nomadic society of Arabia 1400 years ago can predict such amazing scientific events, as mentioned hereunder, to happen. It is very well beyond the human capacity to foretell or even visualize such incredible incidents. The only conceivable source of these prophecies and predictions is purely divine. Interestingly, all such prophecies are fulfilled by those who were not Muslims, rather many of them are atheists. Thus no question of staging the prophecy and manipulating the circumstances arises.

    FINGER PRINTS



    "Their skins will bear witness against them as to what they have been doing" (41:21)​
    The finger prints system at borders, criminal investigation cells and immigration centres prove the fulfillment of this Quranic prophecy.

    POLLUTION



    "Corruption has spread on land and sea because of what men’s hands have wrought" (30:42)​
    One of the interpretations of the above verse of the Holy Quran is the environmental pollution, caused by human being. And that is spread both in land and sea due to our own inventions, i.e., fumes from chimneys of factories, chemical and nuclear waste, huge traffic in the cities, noise and creation of ozone hole are manifest testimonies of the fulfillment of this prophecy.

    ESTABLISHMENT OF ISRAEL



    And after him We said to the Children of Israel, 'Dwell Ye in the promised land; and when the time of the promise of the Latter Days come, We shall bring you together out of various people." (17:105)​
    Creation of Israel and gathering of Sephardic, Ashkenazi and the Jews of many other different races in Israel proves the authenticity of this prophecy and hence Quran.

    GENETIC ENGINEERING



    "They will alter Allah's creation." (4:120)​
    The holy Quran has prophesied the plastic surgery, genetic engineering and cloning in this short and concise sentence.

    ROADS IN MOUNTAINS



    "And when the mountains are made to move." (81:4)​
    Centuries before the invention of dynamite, the holy Quran prophesied the blowing up and moving of the mountains.

    NEW TRANSPORT SYSTEMS



    "And when the she-camels, ten months pregnant are abandoned." (81:5) "And He has created horses and mules and asses that you may ride them, and as a source of beauty. And He will create what you do not yet know." (16:9)
    As we know people, specially those living in deserts, have now abandoned camels and other animals for travelling. But this prophecy of invention and emergence of new transport systems is on-going as we witness new and faster modes of transportation emerging all the time.

    ZOO



    "And when the wild beasts are gathered together." (81:6)​
    Nobody could ever imagine that one day wild beasts shall be captured, tamed and put together in closed and open parks. The establishment of zoo have fulfilled this prophecy.

    OCCEANS LINKED



    "And when the rivers are made to flow into each other." (81:7)
    "He has made the two bodies of water flow. They will one day meet. Between them there is a barrier; they cannot encroach one upon the other." (55:20,21) "And He it is Who shall merge the two seas together. This palatable and sweet, that saltish and bitter. And between them He has (presently) placed a barrier and a massive partition." (25:54)
    This phenomenal prophecy is an excellent proof of truthfulness of Quran. It was beyond imagination of any one living 1400 years ago to even think of linking of oceans which we see today in Panama and Suez canals.

    MODERN COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS



    "And when various people are brought together." (81:8)​
    Fast transport systems, telephone, satellite systems and internet have brought so close to each other proving the truthfulness of the holy Quran.

    WOMEN’S RIGHTS



    "And when the female-infant buried alive is questioned about – For what crime was she killed." (81-9,10)​
    Modern-day women rights and liberation associations may be brain-child of freedom-loving and egalitarian humanist / feminist people but foretold by Quran centuries ago.

    BOOKS PUBLISHED AND SPREAD



    "And when books are spread abroad." (81:11)​
    The invention of printing press and publication houses and consequently spread of books every where is one of the marvellous prophecies of the Quran made in the dark ages of ignorance and illiteracy.

    EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL LIFE



    "And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and of whatever living creatures He has spread forth in both. And He has the power to gather them together whenever He pleases." (42:30)​
    Having discourse with aliens is still an unrealized dream, but science is progressing in that direction. The presence of extra-terrestrial life has been proved by scientists. The next step is to see them and making a link with them. No religious scripture, except Quran, even hints about this great scientific discovery.

    AIR TRAFFIC SYSTEM



    "And by the heaven full of tracks" (51:8)​
    While prophesying about modern transport systems, Quran also foretold the air-traffic system which is an essential part of aviation. A person living in desert 1400 years ago cannot talk about such advance technologies unless revealed to him by God Almighty.

    AIDS



    "It never happens that permissiveness overwhelms a people to the extent that they display their acts of sex shamelessly and they are not uniquely punished by God. Among them, invariably, pestilence is made to spread and such other diseases, the like of which have never been witnessed by their forefathers." (Ibn-e-Majah, Kitab-ul-Fitan)* see footnote​
    You need at least a doctor of medicine and an expert of social behaviour at the same time to talk about such behaviours and their fatal consequence. Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was neither of them, but a Prophet of God who didn’t copy from the Bible and paste in the Quran and foretell the same fate of perverts of Sodom and Gomorrah for the future perverts, but a unique disease never heard or known by earlier people, AIDS! The medical scientists are unanimous that this disease is never recorded in the annals of history.​
     
  7. Revasser

    Revasser Terrible Dancer

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    *replace Islam with his own beliefs*

    Basically, I don't claim to know Truth(tm). Some say that the Ultimate Truth is unknowable, but I tend to doubt that such an Ultimate Truth even exists when we're talking about spirituality (and no, I don't claim to know that for sure, either :D ). I have a working knowledge of what makes sense to and is good for me, and that's as much as I want and need. If other people have things that make sense to and are good for them, that's great, and it's not my place to tell them that they are missing the Ultimate Truth, for reasons states above.

    I am often rather suspicious of the circular reasoning that is employed sometimes by followers of certain holy books. How do you know the book is true? Because the book says it is true. How do you the book is truthful when it says it's true? Because the book is true. How do you know the book is true? Because the book says it is true. How do you know...?

    And round and round and round she goes. Makes me dizzy. :areyoucra
     
  8. mormonman

    mormonman Ammon is awesome

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    This is what I don't get. In the Old Testament times, the truth was on the Earth, and there were prophets. In the New Testament the truth was on the Earth, and there were prophets and apostles. Why now would God shut up Heaven, leave us all alone. During Biblical times the only time the gospel was taken away is when the Israel or the Church apostisized. Prophets like Amos prophesized about a great apostacy. And with apostacy comes reseration. I know, and so do millions of LDS members, that this is the only true religion. You know how we know? We pray. We ask our Father in Heaven if this is the true gospel. And He answers the prayers of His children. Tonight, pray about your religion. Ask God if yours is true. I can assure you that you won't feel a thing, or maybe you'll have a stupor of thought. If you truely look for the truth, you'll find it in the LDS Church.
     
  9. Nehustan

    Nehustan Well-Known Member

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    You know I'm Muslim, but I think I'm sticking with Socrates on this one...:sarcastic
     
  10. Endless

    Endless Active Member

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    Do you think Anastasios raises an interesting point concerning the foretelling of the distant future as perhaps the fingerprint of God on the Holy writings in question? Whether the prophecies he has mentioned are correct or not is not the question - but can this be used as an indication that what is written God has played a part in, and so more likely to be truth?
     
  11. mr.guy

    mr.guy crapsack

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    Sounds like you'll be debating the divinity of fortune cookies, next.
     
  12. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Hi Cosmo,

    As I notice that this is your first visit here, I thought I would take the opportunity to welcome you to Religious Forums;

    I hope that you would feel able to introduce yourself to the other members of the forum, by posting on:- Are you new to ReligiousForums.com?

    Please feel free to ask questions, if you have any. You might like to check out our article with links for our newer members; from there, there is also a link to the forum rules which you ought to look at.

    I must say, I agree with you. Wouldn't life be so much easier if all different religions came under one umbrella ? ......Alas, I can't see that happening.


    So I guess it's 'make your mind up' time, and see what is right for you!:D

    How can we know the truth ? I hope I am not being too naive when I say "I'm 99.9% sure" - my heart tells me so.
     
  13. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    27 The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for:

    The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.1
     
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  14. d.

    d. _______

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    i rarely agree with socrates, but this is one of those rare occasions.

    the OP of this thread pretty much explains why i've never could accept "metaphysical claims" - i.e. the church or whoever claims to know things about things we never can know anything about.

    "I know what the creator looks like and where she lives, and i know she wants you to cut your hair in a mullet and grow a mustache, otherwise you won't go to heaven".

    also considering, as walker texas ranger previously stated - can't remember your user name at the moment, sorry ;) - that your choice of religion is determined by geography more than anything else, makes it really hard for me to believe that any religion holds "the truth" - objective truth in itself is a bit of a strange concept when you think about it. faith is another matter, but that's what religion is about more or less, isn't it?

    taoism, however....that's a different story. for me.
     
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  15. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    I agree with brother Nehustan. Knowing that I cannot comprehend God does not prohibit me from worshipping God. God provides for our education by sending the Apostles of God to educate us. These Apostles are referred to below by the phrase "Gems of Holiness".

    "XIX. To every discerning and illuminated heart it is evident that God, the unknowable Essence, the Divine Being, is immensely exalted beyond every human attribute, such as corporeal existence, ascent and descent, egress and regress. Far be it from His glory that human tongue should adequately recount 47 His praise, or that human heart comprehend His fathomless mystery. He is, and hath ever been, veiled in the ancient eternity of His Essence, and will remain in His Reality everlastingly hidden from the sight of men. "No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision; He is the Subtile, the All-Perceiving."...
    The door of the knowledge of the Ancient of Days being thus closed in the face of all beings, the Source of infinite grace, according to His saying, "His grace hath transcended all things; My grace hath encompassed them all," hath caused those luminous Gems of Holiness to appear out of the realm of the spirit, in the noble form of the human temple, and be made manifest unto all men, that they may impart unto the world the mysteries of the unchangeable Being, and tell of the subtleties of His imperishable Essence."
    (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 46)

    Regards,
    Scott
     
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  16. Ody

    Ody Well-Known Member

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    Agreed :D
     
  17. Ody

    Ody Well-Known Member

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    How Can We Tell Any Religion To Be True? This Debate Is Moot! There Is No Damned Conclusive Evidence For Any Side To This Debate!
     
  18. Bangbang

    Bangbang Active Member

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    Reality is truth .......truth is reality.........seek it and you will find it. When we allow the dogma of world religions to cloud our thinking abilities we loose the ability of our senses to perceive the world as it really is.
     
  19. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    I don't believe there are any such thing as Ultimate Truth. I believed that the religious truth is unknowable, but to me, religious truth doesn't equate with Ultimate Truth.

    As I have written before in other topic, my personal agnostic motto is:
    There are many truths
    and there is no truth.
    Although, this motto is contradictory,:banghead3 the 2nd line, "no truth", actually means there are "no ULTIMATE TRUTH".

    So it is possible to rewrite motto as:
    There are many truths
    and there is no Ultimate Truth.
    But I like the paradox because it suit my agnostic nature, so I preferred my original motto of "no truth".

    Yes, I loved Socrates.
     
  20. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    I tend to agree. Though I would call it ABSOLUTE TRUTH rather than ultimate.
    The only absolute truth is God Himself, and I can never be privy to that. That makes all revealed truth and religious truth RELATIVE. I can live with that.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
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