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Me vs. Link: One God vs. many gods

Discussion in 'One-on-One Debates' started by Snow White, Jul 25, 2021.

  1. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    This thread is a One-on-One debate between me and Link only.

    @Link :

    Thank you for taking the time to talk.

    I subscribe to Smartism as reality. This is a more traditional view in Hinduism of there, of course, being multiple gods.

    Smarta tradition - Wikipedia

    However, I believe that if one devotes their life to Krishna or Shiva, that Krishna and Shiva can become a spiritual Brahman in their lives.

    One might ask how both or all can be true.

    I take this view:

    I take the idea that spiritual reality can be different and set apart for all. Multiple things can be true.

    In the video game Cadence of Hyrule for Nintendo Switch, the worlds and dungeons are randomly generated. If I look on my screen, I could say, there's an enemy at X position of Y kind. And what I'm saying is true. However when you play the game, your reality isn't the same. I happened to, in fact, have given you bad advice on what to do in the game.

    If I have to coin a term for my idea that there's different spiritual reality for all and it's almost like randomly generated dungeons there are so many realities existing and possible in the spiritual world... I will call it "Dungeon Break" for this thread.

    My objections to the idea there is only one God:

    If there's only one God, and he plays an active part in our lives, he is also responsible for all the chaos and cruelty in the world, that he allows. Since surely he has the power to improve things.

    Should you take the belief that the devil causes it, I'd take the stance that God too allows the devil to exist.

    The difference with my gods is that someone like my Shiva is indeed powerful, but I believe him indifferent except to those who actively wish to follow him. He's not a righteous god to me, just a good god with power and power over light and darkness, and a god to both Right Hand Path followers and Left Hand Path followers.

    There could be some lesser gods that are benevolent and want to interfere in the world, but they, on the other hand, might be so weak, they lack the power of doing so, too. Just trying to think of multiple possibilities and scenarios.
     
    #1 Snow White, Jul 25, 2021
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  2. Link

    Link Well-Known Member
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    Intro

    Thanks for the invitation. I hope we reach a better understanding of religions and our viewpoints.

    1. Oneness of the Ultimate God


    Oneness of God for me is intuitive because I believe greatness does have a basis and must have one. The basis of all greatness must include all levels of greatness and value, and hence is the ultimate greatness itself.

    As a student of computer science, I am aware of set theory. The highest number of infinity and hence greatness would be such that it lacks nothing and nothing is absent from it. It's absolute and so all things can be found in it.

    That said, God is the Ultimate form of all things but nothing in particular. The human is said to be more in similitude of God become somehow has infinite attributes mapped to him from God's light, but as he has that, he also reaches the lowest of the low and most vile if he rebels against God.

    That said what you would describe as god/avatars of the source, I would see them as being mere servants of God no matter what spiritual power they are given. If God can multiply himself he would because he is that generous and loving, and would create perfect ultimate beings if he can, and if he can all of creation would have been that.

    But the fact is the ultimate being is the necessary, the necessary is eternal, and what is eternal is not begotten and he can't beget an equal for same reason.

    As such I see while God is Rich in Value, Treasures, blessings, creation have to ascend and strive. The greater they strive, the more value they earn. God also bestows upon them blessings, but they have to embrace those blessings with power and strive with it and for more.

    If he can give us all absolute value without us ascending and striving, he would have created us all as gods, but the fact is this impossible. The proof of that is we strive to earn value, we have inherent value, but must strive to enrich this value and gain honor and ranks. This shows it's not possible for God to transfer his eternal value to us without striving on part of his creation.

    2. His chosen ones require proof.

    The chosen ones of God, anyone can claim this position, and hence require proofs. To my shame, I have not read the Hindu scriptures to be able to tell if they are proofs for the chosen ones that revealed them. I don't know them and so won't comment on them.

    But to me, chosen ones require proof in form of scripture giving them this position "Or do you have manifest authority? Then bring your book if you are truthful!" (Quran) and also if those are alive and in public, they need to perform miracles and God would let them perform miracles by his permission at some point. Anyone claiming religious authority from God requires such proof.

    This was also in context of soothsayers, and they claim purity and authority, in time of Mohammad (s) in Arabia, while Quran says they would require proof if they listen to Angels or have any sort of religious authority.

    3. His chosen ones should not be called "gods"

    Although they have incredible powers and are with every soul ruling through his chair and are the light revealed, their is a vast difference between them and the Creator, the former is limited, changing, created, the latter unlimited, absolute, and eternal.

    As such our reverence should not come anywhere be at par with others with God. We should have a word that expresses our love and exaltation of God above all others.

    4. Theodicy


    Quranic theodicy as I understand it.

    I believe God is doing his best, but doesn't want to force his creation, to come to him. He could've made impossible that Adam (a) be disobeyed, made him of dazzling creation that Iblis would have submitted to, and could've forced Iblis out of the creation. If he forced Iblis not to be able to lead astray, everyone would be afraid knowing they would not be able to lead astray or God takes them out. This would be a forceful type worship. And when things went haywire, it all has to do with the fact God is not Worshiped directly, and so the order of the universe was question not only by Iblis but when Adam fell, so did a great portion of humans following him and would not repent like Adam (a).

    Adam (a) was tricked and questioned the veils of light, and their Lord, out of desire to reach ultimate proximity to God and be of highest station, but he was warned, and it was unexpected.

    Thereafter God appointed successors to Adam (a), but people turned to idols from men and who had no right of religious authority took on that position and lead people astray and away from the leaders appointed by God.

    Nuh (a) tried to save them but he couldn't.

    Since then, a plague of insincerity to truth has be a custom of humans to return to and we have not come sincerely to the kings appointed by God or else the problems of the world would be solved long ago.

    He sent the chosen houses so that they bring people to the light and take them out of darkness. When miracles would be the open, people would become hostile and oppress the followers of their performers till they perished.

    God out of compassion and mercy, has delayed the return of the Mahdi and hid him, so he does not destroy humans when they are not ready to accept miracles. Although the outcome may not be the ideal one, God and his appointed King and followers are striving to make a good return and good result.

    But the result is unknown and we don't know if he will guide those on earth or they will perish, Angels don't know either, no one knows because it's unwritten and free-will can factor in and save the day or factor in and make things really bad.
     
    #2 Link, Jul 25, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
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  3. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    I appreciate your solid post - and acknowledge that it's really good. I may go back and argue some points later, but for now:

    I believe in reincarnation. As part of my belief in Shaivism, there are multiple ways of achieving moksha - breaking the reincarnation cycle and breaking the constant cycle of being reborn. One of them, for me, is achieving full spiritual and religious maturity. I follow a Left Hand Path worldview, don't worry it's quite gentle and has its own moral values in regards to humans and animals, that I'd say is gentle and good. But I see there as being three stages toward moskha the way I described, in my personal view - stage 1: spiritual awakening, stage 2: spiritual enlightenment, stage 3: you live wise having achieved moksha.

    I consider myself at stage 2, with the possibility of having achieved stage 3 in the next 3-6 years. Shiva seemed to tell me this while doing my prayers.

    Also, I believe Shiva didn't really give me my morality. It's more a thing that has to do with upbringing, evolution, and our concepts of free will and interacting in that reality or illusion.
     
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  4. Link

    Link Well-Known Member
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    Salam

    I'm not supposed to comment on my inner state as per teachings of Imams (a), we are to conceal our state as much as possible.

    That said, we can investigate reincarnation philosophy vs judgement day timeline philosophy if you wish.
     
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  5. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    You can talk about what you feel like in regards to this subject, and I don't really care if we keep the conversation light or heavy. I respect your boundaries in regards to this discussion though, not to mention that I'm a mega beginner in regards to the Quran and any paths taken within Islam. I do believe Allah is real, just my current god is Shiva. Why I believe Allah is real is that I see the genuine joy he seems to bring some followers on this forum, and as a result, I see the joy and the God as being well, as real as you and me.
     
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  6. Link

    Link Well-Known Member
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    We don't have access to God, the closest access we have to God/Allah is through his names and signs and veils of light. I will expand on this in great detail tomorrow, but what you mean is our light who is our leader brings us great joy while you believe in a different spiritual guide. That said, there is no difference in believing in God's light and believing in God, but rather we are to connect the two and not separate.

    It's the holy spirit believed in by believers that you are calling "Allah" - because Allah (swt) no one has access to including the holy spirit who is the 12th Imam (a) in this era. Mohammad (s) being the first veil and light, the call to God he walked was through himself, and God spoke through him to him and he listened, and so his belief in himself is ultimately belief in God because even he doesn't have direct access to God. Nothing does. But as he is given the Abundance directly sustained and blessed by God, it can be said he is the most certain of God and the most certain that God sustains him and gives him his incredible power.

    The Angels (a) were taught by God through Ahlulbayt (a) and hence have to trust them as signs of God and as veils from whence God speaks.

    That said, Ahlulbayt (a), Angels (A), and those with knowledge and believers, know God 100% through the power he sustains his chosen ones and has connected their hearts to them.

    You aren't contending "Allah", but you are contending Mohammad (s) and his family (a) and if they are the proper avenue and guides to the Creator. Or have I misunderstood?
     
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  7. Link

    Link Well-Known Member
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    Adam (a) wouldn't have doubted what he was told, if he had direct access to God (swt) for example.
     
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  8. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    This may become a delicate subject, even if not to you, to the audience reading, but... I see Muhammad as a spiritually enlightened individual. I see him as knowing more than me. But there being so many facets to truth, I see him as looking at 1 page on a 100-1000 page book.

    Also, I see the creator as Brahman. I think there may be multiple layers or dimensions where all these gods and Allah exist, sometimes separately, but what it comes down to, is that something had to initiate the Big Bang. I'm thinking Brahman may have done it.
     
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  9. Link

    Link Well-Known Member
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    What's Allah (swt) in your understanding? A Jinn/Genie that misguided Mohammad (S) and is misguiding his followers?
     
  10. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    I see most of the world's gods existing, but some being at different power levels. For example, Bahaullah I don't see as powerful as Jesus.

    This view may draw criticism, but I see different gods on different power views. I see Allah as being way more powerful than Bahaullah, possibly more powerful than Jesus in my view, but it's debatable in regards to someone like Krishna or Shiva.

    However, I feel people relate to gods in different ways. You could have way more powerful experiences with Allah, than I have with Shiva.

    I could be completely wrong. And it may be a sensitive subject, but I wanted to point out that it seems like the next course in this debate, would be to debate who the creator/initiator was to begin with. For example, it could be that Allah is the creator. In which case, it really wouldn't make sense for me to call Shiva more powerful. And that's my whole point. But since I accept Shiva as my everything, it's like I have to accept that he's more powerful. To not do so, might be to accept a different faith.
     
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  11. Link

    Link Well-Known Member
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    I'm little confused on your viewpoint, but will reflect over what you said. We obviously mean two different things when we talk about God/Allah.
     
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  12. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    Okay. Just keep in mind that my positions may not be as considerate as I should have worded them, even if it's what I believe, because I guess I botched something up early on in the debate - I was hoping this would be a more casual debate where we get to know each other and introduce some points slowly. However, while you have presented some really solid info, it just seems like you may have taken the subject just a touch more seriously than I did. So I'm kind of scrambling to get in the same rhythm where we can have a really good discussion/debate.

    But I'll use an analogy from Star Wars. To me, Shiva is the Force. Allah is the Jedi in this universe. Muhammad is someone like the respectable Mace Windu. And you also have many other gods making up this universe.

    And it's the best worldview I can come up with as a subscriber to Shaivism who also believes in what I labelled "Dungeon Break".

    So no, I don't see Muhammad and Allah as being evil or misled. I take the view they're a part of a larger universe, and I'm glad they exist / have existed.
     
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  13. Link

    Link Well-Known Member
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    The Quran says Mohammad (s) is not a soothsayer though. His claims to revelation is that it's from the Creator of the universe.
     
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  14. Link

    Link Well-Known Member
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    What is meant by seeing God, is seeing that he is the light of all light and seeing he is the sustainer of the incredible power. God himself can be known to exist, but can't be fully seen. His actually self is free from sign, similitude, and likeness. This is from one perspective but from another perspective, he is with everything and close to everything, and is their light.
     
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  15. Link

    Link Well-Known Member
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    There is a sign that is greater then all signs. Belief in God's grand name and greatest signs are linked to faith in him and accepting God for who and what he is.

    From my understanding, you would label these "signs" of God as gods, but to me, they are servants of God that God favored humanity regarding them, and they don't act but according to his command. How his words are spoken in them and how they see and trust God and know they haven't acquired their power is a great subject in itself.

    There is a noble hadith that contains the following:

    Abd al-Salam ibn Saleh narrated from Imam Reza (عليه السلام) from his noble fathers from Amir al-Mu'minin (عليه السلام) that the Holy Prophet ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) said: God has not created a people superior to me and dearer than me - to Himself - Imam Ali (عليه السلام) said: I said: Are you superior or Gabriel? Hazrat(His majesty ), while expressing their virtues and excellence , said:

    O Ali, if it were not for us, Allah would not have created Adam (عليه السلام) or Eve, nor heaven and hell, nor the heavens and the earth, so how can we not be better than angels? And we knew our Lord before them, and glorified Him, and testified to His oneness, for the first thing that Allah created was our souls, who brought them to His praise and glorification, and then the angels. When they saw our souls as a single light, they found it very great and tremendous , and we glorified Him in order for the angels to understand that we are creatures and that God is exalted and superior to our attributes, We glorified him and the angels followed us in similar fashion and considered him pure from our attributes.

    And when they saw the greatness of our dignity, we testified to the oneness of God so that the angels would know that there is no god but Allah and know that we (only) are the servants of Allah and we are not God and we should not be worshipped alone or with Allah and they said: "There is no god but Allah لا إله إلّا اللَّه " And when they saw the greatness of our position, we said Takbir (Allahu Akbar اللّه اکبر) so that the angels would know that Allah is greater than the greatness of the position can be achieved by a way other than Him. And when they saw the honor and power that Allah had given us, we said: "There is no power except with God لا حول و لا قوّة إلّا باللَّه" so that the angels may know that what we have power is from God, and when They saw the blessing that God has given to us and upon us which he made it obligatory - that is, the obligation to obey us - we said: "Praise be to God الحمد للَّه" so that the angels would realize the praise and glorification that, in fact, in the face of divine blessings, God's right upon us, and the angels also said: Praise be to God. "So, in fact, it was through us that they were guided to monotheism, praise, glorification (there is no god but Allah لا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ) and praise and glorification of Allah."


    My comment: We can see the Angels (a) would've believed these beings to have independent power or be gods themselves, but the exalted ones showed them there is one God and reminded them they are but servants of the Creator.
     
    #15 Link, Jul 26, 2021
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  16. Link

    Link Well-Known Member
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    Imam Hasan Askari ((عليه السلام).) said:

    When Adam ((عليه السلام).) failed to cling to the preferable and left it, he confessed to his sin and sought pardon saying: O Lord! Kindly accept my repentance and excuse and grant me my earlier rank and raise my status, because the effect of this fault of mine has appeared in all parts of my body.

    At that time, Almighty said: O Adam! Do you not remember that I had called upon you that when you face calamities and troubles, you must give the mediation of Muhammad and his family ((عليه السلام).) and then you should pray to Me?

    Adam said: Indeed O Lord! I do recall it.

    Allah said: Seek the mediation, especially of Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain ((عليه السلام).) and ask from Me. I will answer your request and grant you more than your want.

    Adam submitted: O Allah! O my Lord! Their rank, in my sight, has reached so much that, through their mediation, my mistake has been pardoned by You, though You had commanded the angels to prostrate before me and You made Your Paradise available to me and You married Your slave-girl, Hawwa, with me and You made angels my servants (how much beneficent You are)!

    In reply, Almighty said: O Adam! I had asked angels to prostrate only because you were the container of these Five Precious Personalities and had you, before your mistake, requested me, making them mediators to protect you from mistake and even to make you aware of the delusion of Iblees for being protected from his evil, I would have accepted that request also. But whatever becomes known to Me earlier comes true. Now you may pray to Me making them your Waseelah. I will certainly accept it.

    Then Adam ((عليه السلام).) prayed like this: O Allah, I give You the Waseelah of Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).s.) and of his Purified family, I repeat, of the mediation of Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain ((عليه السلام).) and of their progeny ((عليه السلام).), please forgive my mistake and make me regain the rank You have so graciously granted to me and grant me more through Your generosity.

    In reply the Almighty Allah said: O Adam! I have accepted your prayer and am pleased with you and I have turned My gifts and grants towards you and re-established you to your earlier rank, which I had granted you by My grace and now I have given full benefits of My unfathomable bounties.

    Source: Tafseer of Imam Hasan Askari(عليه السلام), Sura-e-Baqara, Verse 35-39

    My comment: Ultimately, if Adam (a) didn't mistrust the tree of life and continued to be steadfast in their love, and at time of doubt and peril, mediated through them to clarify the truth that Iblis lied about and caused him to doubt, seems like the whole tragedy would've been avoided and this world would not be set in motion.

    But this is the trial of envy vs love. He wanting to be their rank and be of the exalted ones and have the authority that wouldn't disappear believed in the lies of Iblis but also Adam (a) believed because he was truthful and hence naive. Truthful people tend to be naive unfortunately.

    It can be seen what you see as "gods" to be are but exalted servants that God yes wants us to take as means to him, but they are not to be seen as equals to God and hence not labelled as "gods".
     
    #16 Link, Jul 26, 2021
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  17. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    @Link - as I read some of your posts on this subject, I find my heart softening a bit. Maybe hearing the stories just kind of adds a human touch or 'feeling' to things. I'm realizing that my heart longs for a greater devotion to religion in general. I'm thinking about devoting some time to reading more stuff from my own faith, as well as reading the Quran. On the other hand, I make no guarantees what my thoughts will be after my reading is done, but I have my serious doubts I can read things and not come out more enlightened / with a more open heart toward the subjects.
     
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  18. Link

    Link Well-Known Member
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    Thank you for you kind words. You are in my prayers. Remember one thing, all translations are severely distorted but you can find your way through all that, I believe. Wishing you the best <3.
     
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