Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, an 1887 painting by Victor Vasnetsov.
Christopher Hitchens died on December 15, 2011. My condolences to his family and friends. From here on any blunt reference by me to my four horsemen should be considered to the surviving three.
First a few words about the big picture. Atheists are right in exposing the irrationality of the Christian dogma. However, the Christians are right in as far as their claim that there needs to be a Creator of this universe, Who employed natural means to do His work. However, both parties in their self-conceit are not listening to how Islam resolves their conflict; Islam as understood by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Christopher Hitchens, Prof. Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Prof. Richard Dawkins have been called the four horsemen of neo-atheism. That is old news. The latest is that I have just recruited them as volunteers for army of Islam; they form my meager cavalry, which will establish the philosophical superiority of Islam over Christianity. They will work hard for every day of their God given life, for the cause of Islam, without any worldly compensation from me.
Every time they make a good case for evolution, for common lineage of all life forms on planet earth, they establish the truth of Islam as opposed to the dogma of Christianity. In my previous writings I have shown, how evolution, by showing that Adam and Eve were not the first human couple, strikes a death blow to the dogma of Original Sin. I appreciate the clarity of thinking of my cavalry, except in the areas of their blind spots, where they are blinded by their ideology, so I will continue to use their scholarship suitably. With this army of only four, I will fight in all directions, East, West, North and South, by the Grace of Allah. We will fight not with swords or arrows, not even with pen, just one mouse and a key board, which I bought for twenty dollars of my hard earned money! My mouse and key board will just properly direct their words. To make sure that my horsemen do not double cross me and start fighting their own battles, I will need to suitably expose their blind spots of understanding also, so they submit to the will of Allah and continue to serve Islam. Read on, and in the words of Sir Francis Bacon’s advice, “Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider.”
It is not politically correct to condemn Deism, after all it was the religion of the Founding Fathers of USA and of the celebrated Albert Einstein. In God Delusion, one of my horsemen, Prof. Richard Dawkins applauds the religion of Einstein and in a debate with John Lennox, says that a plausible case could be made for a Deist’s God. But, when it comes to Theism, Christianity and Islam, my horsemen use a broad brush and condemn both equally, without realizing that Islam is much closer to Deism than Christianity. I have examined this in one of my articles, Islamic theology starts with Deism: Why all Christians and atheists should be Muslims?
My horsemen pick up weaknesses in Christianity and without evidence or knowledge attribute them to Islam also, purely on ideological grounds. Even when their criticism of Islam is correct, it usually applies only to the Muslims of a particular sect and only exposes ignorance of atheists and their lack of rigorous scholarship about different schools and sects of Islam.
Never mind atheism, even Deism does not have a chance of winning ideology battles. My horsemen do not fully appreciate the human psychological need for consolation. They can use belittling labels for this need or vulnerability but they cannot wish it away. President Thomas Jefferson predicted victory of Deism over Trinitarian Christianity two centuries ago but his predictions did not come true! Why? I believe it was precisely due to human need to be consoled and only a Personal God can offer that platform. Additionally, it also stemmed from basic human craving to associate with fellow humans as equals, in rather democratic institutions like mosques and churches, rather than worshiping a few intellectual elites, who preach atheism for sake of their personal egos.
This collection is also an invitation to the atheists to consider the distinct possibility that they may have to live with some form of theism for centuries to come. So, why do not they spend some of their time and scholarship, directly without my help, in trying to tease out different forms of theism and get to have a say in what form of theism, they may end up sharing the planet with. After all, according to a recent survey only ten percent of Americans are satisfied with atheistic explanation of life on our planet. If the approval rating of a political candidate was 10%, we will not honor him or her with a second look!
I have a very simple, yet elegant perspective, which is that a genuine study of atheism and Christianity proves Islam! It may seem an extraordinary claim to some, but it is true and I am willing to provide extraordinary evidence to establish the claim. My 350 knols and ten different collections here, substantiate my claim from one angle or the other. I want to thank both my cavalry and my Christian sources for making my life so easy! My work would not have been possible before the internet revolution, so thanks to everyone, who contributed to this effort in one form or the other. And above all thanks to Allah for giving me and my horsemen this opportunity!
Now, as I discuss their work individually, let me drop my analogy of horsemen and cavalry and treat them with the fullest respect that they deserve for their excellent scholarship. I thank them for the wonderful contributions they have made, in helping me, articulate my ideas and thoughts.
Let me continue on a note of agreement with Prof. Daniel Dennett of Tuft’s university. I fully agree with his proposal to teach all religions in a neutral manner in all public schools, just the facts about them without arguing about their truth or lack there of.
In the following talk, however, he predicts a grand future for atheism, towards the end of the video, half jokingly suggests that the Vatican may become the European museum of Catholicism in decades to come and Kaaba may become Disney magic kingdom of Allah:
I would say it is false hope on his part, an opiate, not for the masses but for the so called intellectual elite, I won’t go so far to suggest that it is an atheist’s delusion as he may change his opinion, he certainly seems very open to logic and reason. Different articles in this collection are meant to show different aspects of religion and atheism and my simple, yet elegant premise that if a smart Muslim moderator manages, an open and honest Christianity versus atheism dialogue, Islam gets an easy and clear victory, even without any significant advocacy. All the reasonable observations that Prof. Daniel Dennett makes in this lecture, are our own, for the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him advised, “The word of wisdom is the lost property of a Muslim, so that wherever he finds it, he should take it, as he is the most entitled to it.”
Wherever, Dennett has astrayed and made unreasonable criticism of theism, a Christian apologist, Denish D’souza helps me out for suitable refutation. In a debate between D’souza and Dennett, in Tuft’s university, a part of that debated is included below, the weaknesses of some of Dennnett’s arguments is successfully exposed by D’souza and the discomfort of our brave horseman is visible in the recording after his opening statement, when he was fully comfortable. It seems that the comfortable had been afflicted when he comes back for his second round after his opening statement, in his home-ground of Tuft’s university. There is a famous saying by a Social activist Mary Jones, “My business is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” However, when D’souza preaches resurrection and Christian style miracles, he is denying well established science, a vulnerability not shared by Islam, as understood by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Now, let me document some of the claims that I made in the beginning. Atheists do not fully appreciate the human psychological need for consolation. They can use belittling labels for this need or vulnerability but they cannot wish it away. This is addressed in an article below, Longing for consolation: A Dilemma for Dawkins!
President Thomas Jefferson predicted victory of Deism over Trinitarian Christianity two centuries ago but his predictions did not come true!
Why? I believe it was precisely due to human need to be consoled and only a Personal God can offer that platform. Additionally, it also stemmed from basic human craving to associate with fellow humans as equals, in rather democratic institutions like mosques and churches. This fact Daniel Dennett acknowledges himself in one of his other lectures.
The masses are not served by worshiping a few intellectual elites, who preach atheism for sake of their personal egos. This collection is an invitation to atheists to consider the distinct possibility that they may have to live with some form of theism for centuries to come. So, why do not they spend some of their time and scholarship, in trying to tease out different forms of theism and get to have a say in what form of theism, they may end up sharing the planet with. After all, according to a recent survey only ten percent of Americans are satisfied with atheistic explanation of life on our planet.
To make my points further let me use some debates between the Christian apologists and atheists. In a well attended debate in Mexico, in 2009, regarding evolution and religion, three of my horsemen, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett represented atheism and Dinesh D’Souza, Shmuley Boteach, Nassim Taleb advocating theism and neutral position was taken by Robert Wright. It provides me with materials to make a few points from my perspective, which is that a genuine study of atheism and Christianity proves Islam! It may seem an extraordinary claim to some, but it is true and I am willing to provide extraordinary evidence to establish the claim. My 350 knols and ten different collections here, substantiate my claim from one angle or the other.
Around an hour into this debate Rabbi Shmuley Boteach nicely lays it for the atheist debating panel that their morality comes from religions. We can argue the bragging rights for different Abrahamic faiths in my other Google-knols, but here is the bottom line that the atheists have not come up with an agreed upon gospel or basis of their morality in evolution or whatever else they would like to base it on:
Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens had nothing to say to refute the Rabbi but Prof. Daniel Dennett did try to refute, by following the principle that when evidence is slim, rhetoric should be loudest. He certainly obfuscated the issue for the lay audience, by his commanding position given his achievements in science and philosophy, telling the Rabbi that he has a lot of reading to do about evolutionary biology. In my opinion, we can certainly find some clues for morality in evolution and animal kingdom. Most mammals and birds exhibit wonderful maternal instinct, for example. However, even if there are no true biological missing links, and I do believe that the common ancestry of all life forms on our planet is a fact, to jump from chimpanzee wars to sacredness of each and every human life is a huge jump and shall we call it a missing link, to use the evolutionary vernacular.
To give some credit to Sam Harris, most of what he said in this debate about Christian dogma or doctrine was true. I accept all of that as my evidence to demonstrate that Islam has better theology and teachings than Christianity. As regards some of the other claims by Sam, in an attempt to link religion especially Islam with terrorism, I would suggest that in this very debate, Robert Wright nicely pushed back Harris’ loud rhetoric to just superficially link religion with terrorism, by the force of repeated propaganda. I also have a collection on Islamophobia and another one titled, Islam, Politics and Human Rights!
For those Christians, who have surrendered their reason to unreasonable faith, rather than a faith which starts and is grounded in firm reasons, allow me to present a quote from the legendary, Thomas Paine:
It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe. It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. [Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason]
The blind spots and unreasonability of the Christian theologians, at times, is no bar for me to benefit from their work and ideas, when they are right. In this spirit, let me bring out the following clip from a different debate with Daniel Dennett, where Denish D’souza nicely articulates some of the crimes of atheist and communist regimes:
My thesis is very simple, my horsemen, recently recruited in the cavalry of Islam, try to obfuscate one aspect of the truth and the Christian apologists obfuscate a different aspect of the truth. If you hang around long enough in the neighborhood of my articles in the Muslim Times, you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
Think of the sum total of the Muslim and the Christian theology as A + B. ‘A’ is true and is common between Islam and Christianity. ‘B’ is simply false and make belief and consists of Christian dogma or doctrine that are unique to Christianity. My horsemen nicely expose ‘B,’ but at the same time they try to obfuscate ‘A.’ The Christian apologists nicely present ‘A,’ but when it comes to ‘B,’ they dance around the bush or obfuscate it. God said, let there be light and there was internet and the Muslim Times! May God give all of us wisdom! Amen.