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Featured How do we know a Prophet is a Prophet and sent by God?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by loverofhumanity, May 11, 2022.

  1. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    This is for me a fascinating topic because I am a strong believer in the Prophets although I never met Them yet somehow within myself, I know they are true and sent by God.

    The question is - how do we know a Prophet is from God? We have such scriptures as the Bible, the Quran which I accept and also stories about the Lives of Great Educators like Buddha, Christ, Moses, Muhammad, Krishna and Baha’u’llah.

    But with no one yet able to describe God how do billions of people believe in Them?
     
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  2. Viker

    Viker Spirit in Black

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    We don't know. Faith is the only guiding hand. Billions simply agree, accept then acclimate themselves.

    I would consider the Buddha more a philosopher and instructor less a prophet. Just me, I guess.
     
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  3. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    There's a lot in what you say. Billions simply agree on one Figure. I want to know why? They weren’t rich or powerful but highly unpopular and anyone who followed Them were endangering their own lives.
     
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  4. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    IF we reach the spiritual level of the Prophet, only then we know what the Prophet knows.
     
  5. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    Have we innately got the ability to recognise perfection if we ourselves are so imperfect?
     
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  6. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    Whether it be a Prophet from the Baha'i framework or a Pir from Islamic Sufism or a Sadguru from Hinduism, there's nothing that's easy or certain while that personage is alive.

    Thinking about the 5 who Meher Baba identified as perfect, one lived like a king, one was locked up, one demanded money from those who came to him and one lived on the streets.

    There are some markers such as how they handle money, sex etc. But beyond the obvious, it's a matter of the best intuition one has coupled with the intellect.
     
    #6 sun rise, May 11, 2022
    Last edited: May 11, 2022
  7. Heyo

    Heyo Veteran Member

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    You should first ask "what makes a prophet a prophet?". Prophecy, of course.
    And that should not be lucky guesses. It has to be precise, timed, not self-fulfilling and extraordinary. Multiple examples with no failures would also be nice.
    Now, with those criteria, we have an empty set of extinct and extant prophets. Which criteria would you relax to fill the set?
     
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  8. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    There are plenty of very good people in the world and have been, so why do certain Figures become sacred to the entire world?
     
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  9. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    What made Their legacies last for centuries right down to modern times? Do humans have an ability to know if someone was sent by God?
     
  10. Heyo

    Heyo Veteran Member

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    Obviously not. If they had, there would be only one religion.
     
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  11. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    My belief is that to see such Figures is to see God.
     
  12. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    It is possible, as each human has the Divine spark within, but the Path is extremely narrow, hence very few might reach
     
  13. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    Still no guarantee but I'd put a base line at the performance of some major miracle.
    Moses parted the Red Sea.
    Jesus rose the dead and healed the sick.
    Muhammad split the moon into two parts.

    A display of supernatural powers comes along with most prophets.

    Unfortunately we only have the stories so I'd suppose it'd depend on the belief in the accuracy of these stories.
    Any current or future prophets, I'd expect proof of their supernatural powers.
     
  14. Sirona

    Sirona Hindu Wannabe

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    You can't know it. It's a question of belief. If the message of the "prophet" in question suits your personal taste, then you "know" he's "right". ;)
     
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  15. Bathos Logos

    Bathos Logos Member

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    For a lot of people (at least many that I have spoken to) the fact that they risked their lives is one big reason people believe in them. "Why else would they do this?" is the (paraphrased) question usually posed.

    The reality is, there are any number of reasons - for example, maybe they believed their own stories, maybe they were delusional, maybe they enjoyed the notoriety, maybe they felt that what they were doing would put them in the good graces of the deity they, themselves, believed in, maybe they felt that the good that they were doing (by their own standards, in disseminating their own beliefs and principles) outweighed any fibs they might tell along the way.

    Can we really, truly rule out all of those other possibilities? Do we, in our relative places and times, have the evidence it might require to discern such? And if we don't, the most unfortunate bit of all this is that the "God sent them" piece certainly requires the most outlandish reaches of imagination over any of the other possibilities I posed. The "God sent them" hypothesis is actually more closely related to something like "an alien race was puppeteering the messenger to say and do the things he/she was doing during that time."
     
  16. Luchito Prays

    Luchito Prays Member

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    From the biblical side, the recognition of a prophet, besides of the message to be in accord to the doctrines, was also a condition for him to have wealth.
     
  17. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    So you are claiming that the majority of humanity are delusional? But also is the question that after the passing of the Prophet, their influence extended over many centuries. So Muhammad died in 632AD and now it’s 2022 yet His influence is felt over billions and also many governments. Can you or I achieve this? Can we replicate it?
     
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  18. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    Why can we have beliefs and not animals?
     
  19. Policy

    Policy Well-Known Member
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    But that is just people writing that the people you listed are from God. Someone writing that X is from God is no different than you writing that X is from God.
     
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  20. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Putin' on the Blitz!
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    To answer the last point first - I think we have to look at the lives of the people at the time when any prophets were seen as such or as to being seen as such later. The people then were mostly ignorant about so much. Beliefs as to what might be effective in curing various ailments would be widespread but erroneous, given that they just didn't know the true causes of most illnesses and ailments, for example. I think it can be quite difficult for most of us now to place ourselves in such a past. Word of mouth and no doubt public talking was probably what persuaded most to believe in whatever, and they had few if any ways to know the truth of that which was claimed as being true. If they (the prophets) gained some credibility for promoting peace, prosperity, and progress within society (or whatever), which they might easily have done, then this could have impacted as to how they were seen later. Who can say why one cult develops and another doesn't, apart from apparently making the most sense to more people perhaps?

    Rhetoric, as to persuading others to believe one's utterances, has always been a strong factor throughout human history - because it often involves producing supportive emotional responses in others - and as to such, those who have mastered this technique will no doubt be likely to come out on top more so than others. I refer you to Trump or Hitler, who might be suitable modern examples of this, and where their messages often appeal to enough for them to succeed.

    Now, as to the first, well I am not a great believer in prophets - as to their being whatever is claimed about them - other than what they might espouse, which so often is so sensible enough as to be useful. They often might have good and genuine effects with whatever they project, and hence they might do so much good as to how others perceive them and/or any messages coming from them, but, as we have often seen over the course of history, they do tend to become idolised and often do cause conflict within societies or between societies. This is so because they don't all tend to espouse the same message, or be aimed at all, given that if they did then we would hardly have had the conflicts that we have had over history, even if the core messages might be the same. There are sufficient differences so as to cause harmful division and often conflict too.

    But the main reason why I don't tend to believe in the truths as to such prophets is mainly to do with how humans behave, and seemingly have behaved for what we have as recorded history. It seems more natural to me that so many people will simply accept what others say, especially when they are unable to verify any truths, or because they just don't have the ability to think properly. This would have been so for most people in actual fact in times past, given that mass education has been a rather modern phenomenon. Hence why those with much better education and/or knowledge could rise and stay in any hierarchical sense, and especially those who knew how to 'play to the crowd'. And if not the prophets, then they could be used by those who did have any such power.

    So my lack of belief tends to come from two aspects, along with others no doubt. Firstly, that our human vulnerabilities opens us up to believing all too readily (or has done), and secondly, it hardly makes much sense to have prophets uttering certain 'truths' when the very fact of them being prophets, and usually localised ones, tends to cause conflict and division. And this has continued on down through history and is still with us. Great prophets then - if you believe in the one that suits your belief system - but not so much for the others who believe in a different prophet.

    So for me, any prophets are more the result of humans in action than being as depicted, and more about the probabilities involved as to such - even though I'm not sure there would be any better method for any possible God or gods to interpose or mediate in human lives.

    And to answer the title question - I doubt any can know, but rather simply believe they know, especially if they place all faith in such.
     
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