Religion, Secularism, Politics – Conversations with History

– Welcome to a Conversation with History, I’m Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is the distinguished anthropologist Talal Asad, who is the 2008 Foerster Lecturer on the Berkeley campus. Professor Asad, welcome to Berkeley. – Thank you very much. – Where were you born and raised?

– Well, I was born in Saudi Arabia, actually, because my mother comes from there and my parents moved when I was a couple of years old to India, and then eventually to Pakistan. So, I was raised both in India and in Pakistan. Well, in very different ways. My mother was a very traditional woman. My father actually was an Austrian Jew who had converted to Islam in his twenties and was a correspondent, a foreign correspondent for the Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung and for the Neue Zurcher Zeitung as well.

In the 30s, he had to give up the first one, the Frankfurt one, because he was not allowed to continue. And he was very interested in the Middle East. And that was where he eventually settled for six years in Saudi Arabia, married my mother, and moved on to India,

Partly for reasons, journalistic reasons, but also because he had friends who urged him to come. So, the question about what, how they shaped my views, well, certainly my father was much more aware of, as it were, a European heritage, as well as the heritage of the Middle East,

To which he was very attracted. And although he had relatives, mother’s relatives, in Palestine at the time, in the 20s, he was born in 1900. – And he converted when? – [Talal] And he converted in his mid-twenties. – I see. – And he died in 1992 in Spain and he’s buried there.

But, he was always really a strong anti-Zionist. He felt that this was a great mistake, even before he became, before he was converted. – So, what I’m hearing you say is you must have gotten a real sense of the diversity of the world and the complexity of the world from them.

– Absolutely, and I was a child, but my father was interned during the war, as an Austrian citizen, even though he was a Jew, by the British, it was, of course, British India at the time. And I was a child, but most of the people there during those years

Were, in fact, from Central Europe, who’d been brought together. So, I have memories of them, as well. And then, shortly after the war, we went to the Punjab, which became Pakistan. And, you know, I was very much aware of many of the things that were going on politically there, as well.

My father was quite active intellectually in Pakistan, as well. – And were you raised in the Islamic? – I was indeed, yes, very much so. My mother being a very pious woman who is not at all an intellectual, but who, in some ways, looking back on it,

I can see that her approach to her religion, in some ways, unconsciously made me aware of different approaches and that is of an unreflective, what people have called an embodied approach to religion, rather than a highly intellectualized one. My mother was not an intellectual, of course.

– So, the religion is really part of the way people live. Is that right? – That’s right, exactly. That was certainly so. And it was certainly for, for my father, it was even more an intellectual matter too. He thought of this as a kind of an intellectual promise,

So to speak, of Islam as a way of living within a community and within a political community and so on. – I believe I read somewhere that, as a Muslim, you were actually, were you educated among Christians – in a school. – That’s right. – And that must have been a kind of

Another layer of a sensitivity to diversity. – Very much so. It was a boarding school and the teachers were British missionaries there. And I can remember being a very obstreperous boy who was determined to, as it were, hold on to his own religious identity among others who were mostly Christians. But, you know,

It wasn’t a very conflictual situation in school, I don’t want to suggest that. But certainly, difference was, you’re right, was very much a part of my early experience. – And how did your education beyond, you know, these first schools, but more your advanced education in England, impact your future scholarship?

– Well, I came to England at the age of 18 and I was, in fact, going to become an architect. That was my father’s choice. He decided for various reasons, because he was also perhaps an architect manque. He thought a, it was a wonderful profession

And b, he thought I needed a certain amount of discipline as well as an opportunity to be creative and what could be better than being an architect? So, he chose for me the profession. I went to London and did architecture, not very successfully, because my heart wasn’t in it,

For two years in the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. But, I really wanted to be an anthropologist. And then I went off to that, took my own decision and went and did architecture at Edinburgh, sorry, anthropology at Edinburgh. I left architecture. And after that I went to Oxford

Where I did both my first postgraduate degree and my Dphil, the PhD, in Oxford. – And did you focus on religious studies and what was your dissertation on? – No, not at all. You know, I had to some degree, although I was brought up in a sort of a fairly conventional religious way,

Perhaps not quite so conventional, obviously, because given my parents’ background. But, I had to some extent revolted and felt myself to be, to have lost my faith already at the age of about 14 and so on. And I wanted very much to come to Europe,

Which I regarded as a source of all the wonderful things that seemed somehow not to be present in Pakistan at the time. And I remember that my father tried to, in his own way, to disabuse me of some of my ideas, which were rather naive.

But nevertheless, he allowed me to go to Europe, which was interesting. And indeed he, you know, he even encouraged me when I was a boy to try and learn the piano and things like that. And European music is something which I’m extremely fond of and still am deeply fond of.

But, going to Europe was, for me, both something which was exciting to arrive at and, at the same time, as I’ve said to friends, a kind of a slow disabusement, because I sort of had clearly had ideals, and so on, which were very misplaced in terms of what actually existed.

But, my intention to do anthropology was part of a, if you like, a purely secular choice and I eventually did fieldwork in a pastoral nomadic society in the deserts of northern Sudan in the 60s. And it didn’t deal with religion at all. It had to do with their economy

And their political system, primarily, their local political system. – Were there any particular political awakenings that you had in the 60s? I mean, coming from this background where you must have sensed, however young you were, the turmoil in the Pakistan region and then coming to your mature years of education in the 60s.

What stands out? – Well, I think one of the moments, a very important moment in my life was the ’67 war. And I’ve written about this elsewhere or spoken about it, anyway. It was very traumatic for me in the sense that I couldn’t quite understand the reaction of so many people in Britain

To what had happened and a kind of exaltation on the part of the British, which I thought was inexplicable to me. As I’ve said elsewhere, I think I could understand that the Israelis might have felt, you know, very pleased with the fact of the victory,

But why were the British so enormously satisfied with it and emotionally pleased? So, and that had to do with, of course, their earlier experiences. Particularly the ’56 war and their sense of humiliation at that time, when they were obliged, you remember, to withdraw. And some of that came back

And that was very important for me and it also made me think much more seriously about the entire colonial experience, which British society still somehow retained in part. – I wanna ask you about being an anthropologist, but what you just said is maybe a lead-in to this, because as an anthropologist,

One thing that stands out in the work of yours that I read is your sensitivity to power and the relationships of power between the former colonial powers and their former dependencies. And it strikes me that what you just said, was that an entree point into this insight? That is, with your background,

Sort of being surprised by the exaltation and then, sort of thinking about that? – Yeah, I think that’s a very good question. Because I was certainly aware of power in a very general sense and aware of the history of colonialism. But, the way in which it seemed to work

Within the psyche, if you like, of people both individually and collectively, was something that I felt was much more important than I had realized. And, you know, as I said, when I came to Britain, I was also enormously enamored of what one might call an enlightenment kind of culture,

Which I thought I would find. And I was enormously anticipatory with regard to ideas of equality and justice and rationality and so on. You know, held rather naively, of course, as a boy in my late teens. But, nevertheless, very powerfully. And in some ways I think

What my engagement with or my concern for power has been is a kind of complexification of those understandings. So, at first, I thought my goodness, how can this be that this is the culture which believes in all these things and compassion and so forth. And yet, it seems not to do that.

But then, of course, as I’ve said, I had to reinvent the wheel by recognizing that, you know, all sorts of cultures, all cultures, in a sense, are capable of bias of different kinds, every culture. So, the idea that there was one culture out there which would be without it

Was, in my view, very naive. – A theme that runs through your work is the power of concepts and often, how they are derived from power relations. And how those concepts then obscure the realities both of the conceiver and the object of the conception, so to speak.

Is that a fair, maybe simple, statement about some of the things that have interested you? – Yes, I suppose it’s one way of putting it. But, I think of power, now certainly, not simply as repressive and exploitative. I think of it also as something

Which is an opportunity to create, to rebuild, and so on. And the relationship between these two emotions of power, as it were, repressive and creative, it is what fascinates me and is certainly very involved. The ideas, the concepts which interest me, therefore, are both concepts that obscure the possibility

Of some kind of resistance as well as the possibility of some kind of creativity, as well. So, I do agree that that’s not an unreasonable way of describing things, of looking at the way in which these concepts are put together, in which we’ve received, in our culture,

And which in some ways are not adequately and critically and from a distance examined. – I’m curious, what, in the kind of work you do, what do you, what conclusions do you have about the skills that are required to do the kind of anthropology that you do well?

One thing that strikes me is sensitivity to culture, the different cultures. What else? – Well, certainly with languages. – Yeah. – You have to have languages which are necessary for what, I mean, as a medium, both in the field where you’re working but also, at the same, of other perspectives,

Even within the West, as it were, you know, to recognize that there are different national traditions, as well. I think the ability to listen is very important. I don’t know that that’s the kind of skill that can be very sort of systematically or formally learned. But it’s certainly has become easier for me,

Both through teaching, particularly through teaching, and through field work. And I think that that’s absolutely crucial for the anthropologist. To be able to listen, as it were, without too many presuppositions and being open to arriving at conclusions that might be quite startling, eventually, when you arrive at them.

But, not think that you have an answer. I’m giving you a really, perhaps not quite the answer you want. – No. – About skills, but. – Yeah, well, but that, this is, I should maybe I should have phrased the question better. But, that’s the answer I wanted. – [Talal] I see.

– Whether I gave you the right question. Now, how does the student and the scholar transcend the biases that come out of their own culture? That would seem to be a big problem. – It is a big problem and certainly, you know, I don’t think any of us can completely overcome our biases

And the formation that has made us what we are. But, insofar as one can try by encountering very different kinds of cultural phenomena, very different kinds of human beings in different societies, and demand of oneself that one listen, as I said a moment ago, and that one try and question

Not only what one finds out there, to question also oneself. I mean, I’m a great believer in criticism and a criticism which I think should not be confined only to, as it were, the cultural phenomena that we encounter, but also our own criticism, self-criticism. I don’t know, one can only try

And of course, we won’t completely succeed, I’m convinced. But, we can try and question ourselves. – If one looks at your works, it’s very clear that they’re steeped in comparative studies, comparative theory, interdisciplinary work, and combining that all with a sensitivity to the complexity of a particular setting and so on.

Talk a little about that. I know you’ve worked on reform in Egypt and religion and what emerges is a much more complex picture of what the interface between modernity and what the West would call modernity versus tradition. – Right, well you know, one of the things I’ve been very struck by

And I’ll come back to, more directly, to your question in a minute, but is, as I put it, that within the West there is much more argument, much more difference about what modernity means. And what it entails, how one gets to it, or what its problems, its primary problems are.

Too often, partly because it’s a presentation of Westerners who have, as it were, directed their words to the non-Western world and also, as a consequence, people in the non-Western world. There seems to be what I call a single face to modernity. I mean, this is no longer entirely the case.

I know that there are all sorts of developments going on, especially in East Asia and South Asia, and so on. But, there is a lingering sense here of, you know, we know what modernity is, modernity and we know how to get there and it’s quite different from our tradition.

I think in the West, one doesn’t think that. One recognizes how important traditions are, all intellectual traditions are traditions, first of all, we work through and we rethink them, but they’re still traditions and we think of them in or we try to think of them in a modern, i.e. contemporary way.

So, I would say that the question of, you know, the very different kinds of approaches to modernity, for me requires an exploration of kinds of knowledge from very different disciplines, both Western disciplines, if one might call them that. I’m not very happy with that, but still, you know roughly what I mean.

And the more traditional disciplines in the Middle East, theology, law, say Islamic law, Islamic theology and so on are I think very important to get into. As well as the different opportunities in the disciplines that we have in our liberal institutions. – I’m looking here at the definition in your book

And I’ll show the book, the Formations of the Secular. And just as an autobiographical note, you say, “Modernity is a project “or rather, a series of interlinked projects “that certain people in power seek to achieve. “The project aims at,” and then you list the and what just sort of struck me was

Many of these things must have been in your mind’s eye when you came to England, thinking that you had found a secular Mecca. – [Talal] And a modern, yes. – Yes, yeah, so. – Absolutely, yes. – And in another place, and I can’t unfortunately find the quote right now,

You mentioned that we forget that the notion of modernity that the West has come up with really emerges out of a particular time in our history when we made a transformation and we forget that and then want to apply the concept that emerged from that to other peoples who come from

Different practices and different histories. – Exactly, I think that that’s very true and that is, of course, part of the reason why we find so many problems, both social and political, in that part of the world. Indeed, we sometimes, you might say, some of these problems arise here too in the West,

Whether it’s the United States or Europe. For some people, the idea of modernity is quite straightforward and certain things must be rejected if one is to be truly modern. And then, for other people, not so. You know, one has seen arguments about the British political system. No doubt you’re familiar with these arguments,

Which say, well of course, the British system is not completely modern yet because, you know, the Church of England still has a certain important place in the British government and you can’t call that modern. Because in a modern state, and here we think of either the United States or France,

Both very different kinds of secular arrangements, in which, in some ways, the religion is at least politically intended to be kept out. So, but I’m not sure that it’s a good description, say, of the British system to say it’s not modern. This presupposes a single model.

The question is, is it the kind of society that is, that produces obstacles in the path of various developments which we think of as valuable or not? Rather than, is it modern or not? I mean, that’s why I’m a little leery of the idea of modernity as well.

– And you go on to point out in this book that the theory makes the assumption that it’s a binary choice, that it’s one or the other. And you’re trying to help us understand that there’s much greater complexity and in a way, I think you’re suggesting that you can’t actually understand

What’s going on in a place like Egypt and how it reformed itself in religious matters and how this interface between what came from the outside, interface with kind of living practices and a living religion. – Yeah, this is absolutely true as far as, you know, my work on Egypt is concerned.

This is what I’ve tried to do and I think of this as an anthropology which is, I think, appropriate for our time. By which I don’t mean it’s the only thing that one can do as an anthropologist, but I think it’s very important to be able to

Somehow tackle the question of various interconnections, as well as distinctions. But in ways that are not binary, as you’ve just rightly quoted. Because I think that the language that we use, that everybody uses, makes for very different possibilities of interpretation and of living and therefore, binaries are a rigid way

Of approaching these problems. I think it’s a mistake to even think of, you know, the secular and the religious in strictly binary terms. I think that there are all sorts of interpenetrations, especially if you look at it historically, as well as cross-culturally. That you see that there are various connections,

Various transmutations of concepts, of modes of behavior, of organizations, and so on. – Mmmhmm, you write, “In an interdependent world, “traditional cultures do not spontaneously grow or develop “into modern cultures. “People are pushed, seduced, coerced, and persuaded “into trying to change themselves “into something else, something new “that allows them to be redeemed.”

I’m curious because, of course, this is an insight into what’s going on in the developing world, but one could almost apply this to the United States itself and the way our secular modern elites have been shocked by the revival of religion in this country and the way it seeks to intrude into politics.

– Right, yeah, I’m still learning about the United States and the problem, or the problems, that people see of secularity and religion, but certainly, I think there is a greater awareness among various people of a complexity which we have overlooked. So that one can try to work out ways of accommodating

A certain kind of multiplicity and of interconnection, without allowing this to be repressive of individuals or of traditions and so on. And this is very difficult in any culture, certainly. In the Middle East, as well. You have forces which are repressive and you have forces which are opening up.

And it’s not always easy and I say this not as a criticism, but as a fact, not easy for people to know, certainly in the Middle East, where they should be going. And what, as it were, a more adequate and reasonable and just development of a tradition in moments of change might be.

So, and I think that this is true here too. You know, people are on the one hand worried by certain developments in the demand for the intrusion of religion into politics. But in other ways, they do recognize that there are some aspects of what we call religion

Which somehow could have a place, as it were, in the public square. But how to do- – And the important thing here, which we should say for our audience, is that secularity, being secular, defines a world in which religion is separated from the public space

And the two, although side by side, do not meet. And what we are encountering in the world and here at home is the concept doesn’t work completely. – Right, right and I think on this one finds ways in which one can address that difficulty. You know, the outcome will often be rather unpleasant.

And I do think that it’s necessary not just to keep insisting on a straightforward separation of two things, which are themselves very ambiguous, religion on the one side and secularity on the other, but to recognize that there have to be, one must analyze out what the implications of each are,

To what extent elements of each can be changed, accommodated, made to answer for its own claims. And I think that this can apply to both secularity and religion. – And a place where this problem emerges very strongly is in Europe today as it deals with its Muslim communities.

– Absolutely, yes, it’s a matter of both of great interest to me, as to what’s happening in Europe, and at the same time of considerable dismay that Europe has become so rigid in many respects and so fearful, really, of a population that is, on the whole, initially not at all,

Should not be seen as threatening. While elements might be, but I don’t think that the majority should be seen in this way. And there are ways of accommodating and some are more, and some states and some national traditions are very rigid. The French one, of course, is famously, extremely rigid

About accommodating certain kinds of religious differences. – For example, the veiling, the hijab, yes. – Yeah, absolutely. But you know, many people often forget that the French who are supposed to be so fiercely laic are also able to accommodate religious schools, Catholic schools, which have a place within the government educational system.

And it’s possible for people to do whatever they like, including cover their head and so on, in religious schools. But, not in government schools. I mean, there’s a degree of, you know, a contradiction and incoherence in our approaches to secularism, in Europe as well as, perhaps, in the United States.

– You write that when Europe or the West errs in its overemphasis or overstatement of its own modernity that you write, “The belief that human beings “can be separated from their histories and traditions “makes it possible to urge a Europeanization “of the Islamic world.” And you’re really suggesting that is gonna create problems?

Are you suggesting that? Or what are the implications beyond an insensitivity to the reality of people that one presumably would want to integrate? – Well, in the first place, yeah, I think that there are problems that will arise and have already arisen. The problems are partly also the result

Of certain claims, historical claims that liberal Europe has about degrees of autonomy, degrees of, as it were, self-determination, which are not simply political, but also social, cultural, and psychological, and so on. How is it that these ideas which were regarded as basic to Europe’s inheritance have now suddenly become difficult to apply

And you have to have one model? I think that integration, in other words, is something that requires a certain amount of give and take. The nations of Europe, as in the United States, have never been stable, stationary. They have evolved over time. We know this.

But, this very banal fact tends to be forgotten, time and again. That, you know, if we are changing then we can’t rigidly say there is just our way of life, which must stand forever and unchanged. But, also something in which one can give and take and at a reasonable level.

And that should apply, I think, to immigrants as well. – As a social scientist one has to analyze the factors that provide the social or political base for this blindness to both the inadequacy of the concept and the reality of one’s own history and evolution

And the reality, history, and evolution of the other, in this case. – Right, well, you know, there are clearly elements, if you like, on both sides so it’s not just a question of a straightforward blindness on one side. But, I think in some ways there’s a greater responsibility

On the part of the party which is much stronger and the party which is more secure in dealing with groups that are less secure that are expected to transform themselves. What are the origins of these? I think they are largely historic. In the case of Europe, the entire colonial experience

Has been very strong I think. That there’s no question in my mind, both for Britain and for France, certainly. In Germany, it’s a little more complicated, because the immigrants there are not from, I mean, the Germans have never had that kind of empire as the French and the British did.

But, that’s one part of it. And I think, if you like, that the modern nations in Europe are not sufficiently liberal, not sufficiently modern one might even say, provocatively, although I’ve criticized that idea as a simple idea, in not taking their own values seriously enough. But, there are all sorts of incentives.

For political, economic reasons, it’s easier to find scapegoats and so on. I often think that, in the case of Europe, I’ve said again, provocatively, that it’s almost as though the Europeans now, no longer able to publicly denounce Jews and persecute them, however sub rosa sort of anti-Semitic some of them might be,

But, it’s no longer possible for a person in Europe to be taken seriously as a respectable public figure and be anti-Semitic. This is no longer true. This is not true, of course, in relation to immigrants. So, there’s a kind of shift, almost. It’s almost, one might suggest,

Because they can’t any longer, as it were, choose one outsider or define one group as an outsider which they did and then, right up through the 30s, which was the most terrible period, and now they have to find somebody else. I mean, I’m making a provocative formula out of it.

– And you’re not saying that having lost the one, you have to do the other, it just tends in that direction, right? – In that direction. Because, of course, many people don’t do that. I mean, there are lots of very responsible people and lots of people who are warning against

Precisely the attitude which I’ve been describing with some dismay. Lots of Europeans who have made the very points that I’m making already about it being in conflict with liberal ideas, with democratic ideas, and so on. – Let’s talk now about 9/11 and look at the way

We’ve looked at this problem of suicide bombing. And let me show you, the audience, your book on suicide bombing, which is a series of lectures you gave at the University of California, Irvine, I believe. After 9/11 we were in a situation of having to reconceptualize our adversary,

So a lot of these themes that we’ve been talking about come into play in the way the West sees the other. What do you see as, what insights do you bring to that definitional issue that, you know, follows up on what we’ve just been talking about?

– Well, I think that, in some ways, this connects up with some of the things we’ve already said. And that is, the need to look critically at many of our received categories and received notions. In other words, not just to criticize the others or the perpetrators of that terrorist attack,

But to go deeper. And again, there were people who already suggested this at one time. At the time, it was a bit difficult to make this point forcefully. – [Harry] After 9/11. – After 9/11. – Yeah. – Nevertheless, there were some people and since then, there have been more

Who have urged that, you know, what we also need is an examination of the relationships between, say, the United States, in this case, it was the United States, and the rest of the world, but particularly, of course, in this case, the Middle East. Instead of just blaming,

Just as it’s, I think, quite wrong for Middle Easterners to blame everything that happens in Middle Eastern countries on the outside, which I think is not true, I’m extremely critical of the political situation in the Middle East, but it should be so too, in the United States, so that one can look critically

At our relationship, as I put it, to violence. In what way, historically as well as within the country, as well as between the United States and other parts of the world, what has been the relationship to violence and how has it been invoked at certain points and denied at other points

And what are the consequences of what we’ve done? I say we, ’cause I’m already now an American citizen, of course. So, I became an American citizen in summer of 2001. Rather, sort of symbolically. Anyway, so that’s what I would say in answer to, I don’t know whether I’ve really adequately, probably not.

– Yes, you had, but let’s explore, but at least in terms of looking at the other, you say, or you suggest, the way you see, define, explain terrorism gives a justification for the actions of the state. That’s my reading of what you’re saying. In other words,

That in going down one road of interpretation, it then makes it easier for the state to practice all kinds of violence and come up with a moral justification for that. – And a violence not only on the outside world, but within. – [Harry] Yeah, right, right.

– Exactly, and you know, so many people have complained a restriction of liberties and all sorts of things. We’re going over very familiar ground which, nevertheless needs, I think, to be stressed again and again. I think that the whole question of war and terrorism has fascinated me.

When I wrote this book and gave the lectures, I showed it to a friend who said yes, he liked it very much. And he could see, he was an American born and bred, he could see that I was rightly saying that in some certain instances, terrorism might be justified.

And I said no, this is not what this book is about. I am not trying to justify terrorism. I’m just trying to shake this sort of binary categorization which gives rise to certain kinds of policies. So, I had to actually spell this out. You may have seen this in my short introduction

That’s saying this is not intended as a justification for it. I’ve, as I’ve mentioned to you, I’ve become particularly interested also in the whole idea of just war and the reasons for it. And I’m working at the moment on that very category

And the way in which it is a kind of moralization of war, which I think should not be moralized at all. I’m not a pacifist, but I don’t for one moment think that just war is a coherent and valid notion. And the way in which this justifies certain kinds of violences,

Which are often of a enormously greater scale than anything that the wretched terrorists can do. There are so many things, not only in the way in which we have used air power in war, for example, but also in this very ambiguous business of when one transgresses the law of war.

And the law of war is, for me, fascinatingly, much more ambiguous than I thought it was. There’s a very fine and insightful writer on this, a law specialist, David Kennedy, who’s written, I’ve quoted him in my book, but since then he’s written another one on the law of war,

Which has, I think, extremely good insights about the law of war being not a series of rules which cannot be transgressed and which are supposed to justify just war, but really a language, what he calls a language for argument. And that’s what the law of war is.

There are others who’ve also developed this. Again, an international law specialist in City University who has written a number of wonderful articles called, I keep trying to remember rightly, was it Jonathan Berman? Oh, Nathaniel Berman, who’s written on this subject as well, very much about the question of the construction in war

Of various categories, including that which has allowed, you know, the proportionality business, the question of necessity, and so on. So, what I tried to do in this book, first of all, is to shake those categories so that we could think for ourselves.

I mean, I don’t provide any answers, as you know very well. But, I want, I hope that some readers will begin to question for themselves and find answers for themselves. And then, in the final part, of course, I was still fascinated by the reasons for horror at suicide bombing.

And there were all sorts of reasons, it seemed to me, one could draw on to try and explain what that sense of horror was. Which could be looked at without being moralistic about it, because as an anthropologist, I was and here I was much more thinking about it anthropologically.

And also reminding ourselves that, you know, in modern society, we are committed to all sorts of conditions that would otherwise be considered terroristic and horrific. And one of those, which I do mention in the book, you may remember, has to do with nuclear weapons.

– Go on, go ahead, please, no you know, finish, go ahead. – Well, I just wanted to say that, you know, in a number of official definitions terrorism is defined as not only an act, but also as a threat, the threat of terrorism. I mean, a particular kind of threat makes it terrorism.

Now, it has seemed to me, as well as to legions of other people, that possessing nuclear weapons, which you say you’re going to use if necessary and you will destroy not only the enemy, but in the process, yourself, you’re prepared to do that, seems to me, logically,

You have the logical structure of terrorism. And yet, we don’t see that and we don’t address it quite in those terms and I think we should. – This part of the conversation is raising an interesting point and that is, as a social scientist, as you try to disentangle

The complexity of our own development in thinking about an issue, violence and war, violence between combatants, and so on, we basically get some new insights about ourselves, we see different things about the adversary. Now, what’s interesting is the point you made about what your friend said, because when you begin to do that,

What you’re saying becomes politicized and people say, oh, you’re defending suicide. Talk a little about that, because it really is an important issue of where the academy can have insights, but in those insights becoming part of the political debate, there is a politicization in which people are accused of saying things

They didn’t say. – Yes, of course, this is very difficult to control, to some extent. Let me approach this indirectly by referring a review that was made of this book in the Times supplement, the Sunday supplement. A book review by Samantha Power, which, in fact, was about three books,

Including one of Petraeus, and this book, and one other, I forget which. And when she turned to that, she said among other things, well, she said a couple of nice things, but she disagreed, of course, fundamentally with it. But, she described it as an angry book

And she said in the end, rage overcomes him. And I’ve been saying to my friends, you know, did she read the book or didn’t she? Well, the point is, you can’t control how people read you. And I think that, you know, this is simply a rediscovery of a fairly obvious thing.

It’s no use by saying no, no, I wasn’t angry and I certainly wasn’t enraged. But, people will read you in odd ways and to some extent, you can control that by at least explaining yourself, but in the end, there are things that you can’t, I think,

Totally control how people will take up what you’re saying. My hope is that the, insofar as the politicization, it can be seen as an indirect one. I mean, I think of, if you like, of democratic politics also as a kind of personal, interpersonal kind of ethical encounter in which one can,

One should be able to treat others with whom one is engaging on equal terms, critically, but also listening carefully instead of jumping to the conclusion that, you know, that they belong to a certain category. What they’ve said, aha, we already know what he or she is saying

And we really will not tolerate that sort of thing. And asking oneself why one has these feelings of rejection, as well, as we proceed. You know, for me, in a sense, democracy is not just about, you know, voting and so on, which is, in some ways, the least problematic aspect of democracy.

There is that other aspect which I think is very important and very neglected, including the readiness to be self-critical. – Professor Asad, on that note I wanna thank you for coming to the campus to be the Foerster lecturer and also for appearing on our program.

– Thank you. – And thank you very much for joining us for this Conversation with History.

#Religion #Secularism #Politics #Conversations #History

Who is Satan? – The Devil Explained

The devil the bane of human existence. The personification of evil, appearing in some from in almost every human religion and thought. The problem of evil is a touchstone of any religion. From our direct confrontation with evil results suffering, and thus endless questions about the meaning of life.

That is why all religions have to give a proper answer regarding the origin, nature and end of evil. The general pattern in Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism is to consider evil as the effect of spiritual ignorance. But in many ancient religions, pantheistic religions and Judaeo-Christian religions evil has a face.

Anthropologists say that the story of religion starts with animism – the concept that all people, animals, plants, water, air, the world and the heaviness are all spiritual beings. Anthropologists state that this was a means for man to interpret and understand the meaning of life and the world around them.

These Ancients also often believed in evil spirts, often people who could not find rest in the afterlife spirit and that disturbing the natural order of things brought pain and was the cause of evil and pain in the world.

This system of belief still exists in some parts of the world, notably Africa, and it led naturally to the pantheism found in ancient societies like Greece and Rome. And it also led naturally to the eastern spiritualist religions as well. In eastern religions the concepts of animism lead naturally to the concept that physical

Matter was bad and the spiritual was good. In these religions pain is caused by attachment to the harsh physical world and to truly gain power and perfection is to escape physical existence. Meanwhile this animistic thought lead to the concept that beings were the cause for all the pain and destruction in the world.

In many ancient religions such as the religions of the Aztecs, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans evil was explained through the imperfections of the gods and by gods of chaos and destruction who manifested evil. In many of these ancient religions good and evil were at war with each other and this

Led to dualistic religions such as Zoroastrianism where good (Ahura Mazda) and Evil (Angra Mainyu) oppose each other. Angra Mainyu – meaning evil spirit attempts to undermine god’s creation by creating death and tempting mankind to sin. Anthropologists often state that these religions owe Zoroastrianism for the concepts of heaven

And hell and Satan, but naturally Christians, Jews and Muslims would not accept this view. This brings us to the Judeo- Christian religions Jews, Chrisitans and Muslims explain evil entering the world through the creation account but all of them view the devil very differently.

Devil comes from the Greek word diabolos, “slanderer,” or “accuser” which is a translation of the Hebrew word Satan. Judism has an unclear view of the devil and view in judism vary from just being a metaphor to being an opposer to God.

Some Jews even think of satan as being an agent of Gods or even someone who acts as a courtroom prosecutor. The word satan appears numerous times in the Hebrew bible, but often it is unclear whether it is an evil spirit or an agent of god.

Forinstance in 2 Samuel 24:1 god tells David to have a census and 1 Chronicles 21:1 says that god did it. In the book of Job Satan speaks to god concerning Job and seems to be acting as ‘devils advocate’ no pun intended.

But it is clear that satan is an evil force in other passages like 1 king 22 and in the book of samual in the from of a evil spirt harassing saul. In Christianity satan is more clearly a fallen angel and an opposer to God.

The new testament interprets passages of the old and identifies the snake in the garden as being the devil. Romans (16:20) and revelation (Rev. 12:9; 20:2). Satan acts as an antagonist to Jesus, attempting to tempt him in the wilderness and unlimitly leading to Jesus death by insiting Judis to betray him.

But in this instance satan is acting according to Gods plan possibly without knowing it. The Devil in the end times will attempt one last rebellion but will usimitly fail. The devil is sometimes called Lucifer, particularly when describing him as an angel before his

Fall, although the reference in Isaiah 14:12 to Lucifer, or the Son of the Morning, is a reference to a Babylonian king. The new testament allows for this though, as it often adds second meanings to passages outside of their original context forinstace Psalm 22 which is originally about king David,

Is interpreted to be about Jesus in the new testament. In Islam the devil is often known as Iblis. Iblis also likely comes from the same root as the word devil, but Muslim scholars often link it to an Arabic word meaning ‘without hope’.

Iblis is mentioned in the Quranic narrative about the creation of humanity. When God created Adam, he ordered the angels to prostrate themselves before him. All did, but Iblis refused and claimed to be superior to Adam out of pride.[Quran 7:12] Therefore, pride but also envy became a sign of “unbelief” in Islam.

Thereafter Iblis was condemned to hell, but God granted him a request to lead humanity astray, knowing the righteous will resist Iblis’ attempts to misguide them. To summrise devils appear in many religions in the from of evil spirits or evil in general Some religions use the devil as a metaphor for evil

Some religions believe evil is caused by the physical world and our attachment to it Judaism has varied ideas about the devil, but usually identify him as an evil spirit or a metaphor Christianity and Islam both believe that Satan is a fallen angel or angelic creature who was guilty of pride.

In Christianity the angel wanted to be as great as God In Islam the angelic Jinn wanted to be greater than man What are your thinking on the topic of satan?

#Satan #Devil #Explained

What is a Religion? Rethinking Religion and Secularism

– This is what I hope will be potentially a future book, which I’m tentatively calling “The Myth of Secularism”, but I’m basically going to share some of my reflections on what is really a work in progress. And looking at a few questions. What is religion?

We usually think of it as a relatively limited concept. Everyone knows what a religion is when they see one. What is din? That’s usually translated. It’s an Arabic word, usually translated as religion. And I want to look at whether that translation, which has been called into question

By a lot of scholars might have something to it. And finally, what is secularism, and that is an area of considerable sort of contention in the contemporary era, but it’s also in a sense, an ideology that underpins the way in which we organize the world, particularly in the Western world today.

So let me begin actually, by looking at some competing conceptions of the notion of religion. There are in a sense, I mean, there are a number of conceptions of what constitutes religion in academic scholarship today. But I wanted to actually think about, perhaps start by looking at the Oxford dictionary definition of religion.

So this is the Oxford dictionary of English. It’s not the OED that 20 volumes of mammoth piece of scholarship, but it’s basically a work of contemporary English usage you could say. So how is this word used in English today? And they sort of define religion as the belief in

And worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. This sounds familiar to most people, but if we think about a religion like Buddhism, which we usually refer to as a religion, about 70% of the global population, half a billion people, there’s no concept of God.

Some scholars have described it as an atheistic religion. So already, even with our common sense, understanding of these things, things are starting to break down. And so, in a sense, you have these two conceptions of religion within the academy one is close to the conventional understanding,

Which we’ll have a look at in a moment, but you also have a notion that religion is actually a modern category. It was invented in the modern period after the 17th century, the wards of religion kind of work constitutive of our understanding of religion today.

And some scholars also talk about the fact that secularism as an idea develops with the concept of religion. Scholars talk about the fact that as they would put it, there is no for religion in pre-modern times, what we refer to as religion doesn’t have a pre-modern equivalent. So that’s actually a widespread view

And we’ll have a look at it. I shouldn’t proceed any further without plugging the work of a colleague at Stanford University, Rushain Abbasi, he’s recently written a mammoth article, a 100 page article called Islam and the invention of religion where he’s basically criticizing what he describes

As the kind of modern orthodoxy in the study of religion, which argues that religion is a modern invention. Rather he says, that concept can be found early on in the Islamic tradition. And that’s something I’ll be looking at in a moment. But as I say, the current academic orthodoxy,

And it might be a little overstating of the case. I think that there are a significant number of scholars and I quote one of them in the transcript, but I’ll be sort of quoting him in passing. They hold this kind of traditional concept of religion that I mentioned earlier but this is

The view of Brent Nongbri, a scholar whose recent book is a 2013 book published by Yale University press called “Before Religion:The History of a Modern Concept”. He actually early on in his book defines religion in this way. “Religion is anything that sufficiently resembles modern Protestant Christianity.” Okay, now stay with him on this.

Let’s stick around. So religion is anything that sufficiently resembles modern Protestant Christianity. Such a definition might seem as crass, simplistic, ethnocentric, Christiancentric, and even a bit flippant. It is all of these things, but it is also highly accurate in reflecting the uses of the term in modern languages.

So this is, as I say, this is a very widespread view that basically what happened was modern Protestant Christianity post reformation kind of develops a conception of itself as a religion. That religion is privatized. That religion is in a sense to stay in the private realm, stay out of public life.

At least that’s the dispensation we live with today for the most part in a place like the UK. And then Europe exported that concept around the world and said, “This is what religion is. Get your religions in line with this.” So this is kind of the argument that scholars like

Brent Nongbri are making, that religion has to be privatized. And this is actually something we hear very often in society. We say, “Well, if it’s a religious matter, it’s a private matter. It should be privatized.” And what he’s saying is that conception of religion is actually a distinctly Protestant conception of religion

Developed after the 17th century in the wake of the wars of religion. And that is actually the way religion is used in other modern languages as well. And that’s a point which I will contest in just a moment, at least with respect to Arabic and other what scholars call Islamic cult languages.

Scholars sometimes make a distinction between Islamic and Islamic cult. And Islamic cult is basically a reference to what you could say, the secular components of a Muslim society, which are in some way imbued with the values of Islam, but are not really part and parcel of the religion.

I’m already using the category of religion that we’ll get back to why I think that is justified. Now, I want to ask us to think beyond Europe and I take my cue from sort of a Bengali historian, my own roots of Bengali as well, from the University of Chicago, a very prolific author,

This is an influential book he wrote in the year 2000 called “Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference”. So Dipesh Chakrabarty is a scholar of post-colonial studies. And he basically is arguing in this book that when we do history in an academic setting, we are so deeply embedded within a Eurocentric paradigm

That it’s extremely difficult to escape from it, even though that’s something that we should try and do. So the very concepts that we’re using, et cetera, are deeply embedded within the conceptual universe of Europe. And in a sense, it’s descendants in a place like the United States.

And so in the spirit of Provincializing Europe, I’m trying to ask ourselves, well, what if we discard this conception of religion and start to think about religion in terms taken from another tradition, the Sonic tradition, for example. Not to say that there’s a single unitary conception of religion in any given tradition.

Sorry on the basis of this I’m trying to look at, okay, is there an Islamic conception of religion? And why should that not be as legitimate of basis for our theoretical ruminations on the category of religion, on society, on the way in which society is organized.

Why should that not be as legitimate a source for those sorts of reflections as sort of what some scholars described as the Eurocentric conception of religion, right? And I think, increasingly it’s possible to ask those sorts of questions. I think maybe a generation or two ago

That suggestion would have been sort of dismissed as being, that’s not scholarship. Scholarship means you have to respect the canon, right? And that canon is now being brought into question. I think that’s a healthy development in our studies. So in Islam you have a concept of din.

So the term din is the Arabic word found in the Quran, found in the hadith literature. And I’ve got a hadith up there, section of its terpene on. And that term is usually translated as religion in modern period. Okay. It’s not always been translated as religion,

But in a sense, a language shifts over time. There’s something to be said about that. But what I’ve got on the screen is actually a hadith, a statement that is attributed to the prophet, which Muslims generally will consider to be authentic in this particular case, authentically attributed.

I’ve just made a note of where it’s found in sort of authoritative missing collections. And it’s a hadith where it’s a statement of the prophet or it’s actually a narrative of something that happened to the prophet and his companions where someone came to the prophet completely unfamiliar. It’s known as the Gabriel hadith

And so kind of title gives away who’s coming. So Gabriel appears in the form of a human and asks the prophet, “What is Islam? What is iman?” Which means faith. “What is the lesson?” Which is sometimes translated as spiritual excellence, and then asks a series of other questions.

And at the end of that hadith, the prophet asks one of his companions, “Do you know who asked that question was?” He had gone at that point. And then the companion response, “God and his messenger know best.” It’s very pious response. And the prophet responds, “(speaks foreign language) That was Gabriel.

He came to teach you your din.” And so early on in the tradition you have this term, which kind of identifies the entire project, din. But what’s interesting is and perhaps in contradistinction with some other traditions and some scholars point out people like Wilfred Cantwell Smith made this observation over 50 years ago.

That Islam is almost unique in history as naming itself. The scripture in a sense names itself. It reifies itself to use a bit of an academic term. And so the Quran itself actually has this sort of 109:6 where it says, “(speaks foreign language).” It not only attributes din to itself

Or the Muslim communities practices, but also attributes it to the other. It says that you have your religion, we have ours. Okay. Or I have mine. And this was addressed according to the unbelievers who are persecuting the prophet, okay. Saying, let us be, you have your religion, we have ours.

So the clan in a sense, uses this word. And this is just one instance but throughout the grant, this term is to be found in my estimation, rather transparently refer to beliefs, norms, practices that a given community adheres to, whether it be approved or disapproved by God.

And sometimes it refers to the din or the religion of Muslims as din will have the true religion. So it will sort of make those sorts of claims. But it’s interesting that that concept is in my estimation, very transparently present in earliest time scripture. And this should disrupt in my view,

What Rushain Abbasi calls the orthodoxy that has formed about the notion that religion is actually a modern category. Now, I’m going to change gears now and think about secularism for a moment. Okay. What is secularism? Another of these concepts, as I say, we all think we know what it is,

But when we start to sort of explore what it means, it’s difficult to pin down. And so, philosophy is sometimes called ideas like this, essentially concepts. Concepts where people are arguing about the very essence of it, the concept itself, democracy. And you could say Britishness, like what is Britishness?

And so secularism is often viewed as the separation of church and state. That’s one very popular definition. Something I’ll come back to towards the end of the lecture. And Charles Taylor, and this really it’s an award-winning book, “A Secular Age”. It’s a huge book, I think it’s 900 pages,

Took a long time to finish reading that. But Charles Taylor has suggested that secularism should better be understood as managing pluralism, a kind of neutrality between different competing religious claims, for example, on the part of the state. So the state should be a neutral umpire between different sort of perspectives.

But as I say, secularism is a contentious topic. How do we define secularism? Talal Asad, the chap whose book is on the left, an influential anthropologist of the secular. So he’s an anthropologist, who instead of looking at sort of traditional societies he said, “Well, what does an anthropology of secular societies look like?”

And he says, “Secularity is a distinct product of European history.” And he’s one of these people who described religion and secularism as Siamese twins for example. Charles Taylor, I’ve already mentioned talks about sort of neutrality. And he also highlights that secularism is about sort of the prevention of the persecution of minorities.

For example, the recognition of pluralism is acceptable, managing pluralism. And then you have, I think this is a relatively conventional view, but one which has been brought into question increasingly as he’s a scholar, I think he’s in Budapest at the moment, but he describes secularism as kind of a natural product of history.

So history kind of tended toward secularism and he’s a very sophisticated scholar, but it strikes me as teleological. It’s kind of history arrived at its conclusion with Europe, for some reason, according to that view. And I would sort of question that kind of a reading, but what about secularism beyond Europe as well?

So, I’m sort of going perhaps a bit backwards, sort of in a sense I’ve already mentioned Dipesh Chakrabarty’s “Provincializing Europe”. And so what I’m suggesting here is that account of secularism as sort of emerging and kind of reflecting natural historical development whereby all societies as they mature, as they advance,

As they progress, they will secularize. This is a very widespread assumption within the sociology of religion as well. And so, in a sense, in accord with that sort of an understanding, I want to sort of go back slightly and mention Bruce Lincoln, as another person who upholds a conception of religion,

Which is relatively conventional in that way. And he describes religion as a consisting of four components. The most important of which I want to highlight is a transcendent discourse, but it also is. And I want to highlight Bruce Lincoln’s definition for two reasons. One is, let’s think about religion,

But let’s think about how this might even apply to the concept of secularism as well. So Bruce Lincoln, a scholar at the University of Chicago as well wrote in this book made an attempt to define religion. And he’s a very sophisticated scholar, one of the finest positive religion of his generation,

But someone who in my view, adheres to the conventional view, that in a sense you can attempt to come up with a universal category of religion that excludes secularism as well. So he defines religion fairly extensively. I have summarized it here as a transcendent discourse, a practice, a community and an institution, right?

So, if we think about Christianity, transcend the discourse, the discourse of the Bible, a practice, there’ll be various rituals attached to it, the community, the Christian communion as were and an institution, the church. But in my estimation, depending on how you define transcendent, that can define any community.

So if we think about the British. Britishness as a discourse, it is also a practice that is regulated through laws, laid out through statute or in the form of the British constitution, whatever that is, a community. I happened to have my passport with me today ’cause I’m flying out tomorrow,

But we actually have sort of like these documents with which we can identify ourselves, and an institution. The institution you could say is the British state. But I think Britain is an institution in a sense. So I mean, one of the things that I should perhaps highlight here is these are all ideas

That there’s nothing natural in the world, which identifies someone as being from some country. These are ideas that we generate and we develop into institutions. The idea of progression college is basically a collectivity of people who have continued certain practices over time, right? And in that way, what I’m suggesting here is that

What is so different about secularism as a practice compared to a religion? The term transcendent is what Bruce Lincoln leans on heavily in my estimation, in order to justify the distinction between religion and secularism. So transcendence, he uses in my estimation, and he doesn’t use the term, God

Probably bearing in mind a traditional Buddhism, right? Or other potentially non-theistic practices, I suspect certain forms of other religions other than Buddhism and I’m not an expert on Hinduism would be considered to be transcendent discourses. Buddhism in a sense believes in spiritual practices that elevate people to around that cannot be accessed

By the normal human beings and so on. So in a sense, transcendence is doing a lot of work here, but to my mind, the values that underlie, any of these religious systems are transcended on some level. And I’m happy to sort of take questions later,

Querying my conception of this, but what is liberty? What is sort of liberalism as an idea? What is individualism as an idea? These are transcendent ideas in a sense, they are concepts and conceptions that we elevate to levels of unimpeachability in order to underpin our legal frameworks,

In order to recognize what is an acceptable social practice in our communities, what is equality? And what I want to suggest is that any normative system has to depend on these norms, which are transcendent ideas on some level, I haven’t gotten the book in the slides, but I’m reminded of William T. Cavanaugh,

Has a wonderful book called “The Myth of Religious Violence” where he basically argues that transcendence is something which is a kind of convenient way. It’s a slight of hand to allow for the creation of religion as a category. So he says that someone who works on Wall Street

And has a commitment to capitalism in a sense engages in a kind of deifying of the market and may spend hours and hours in rituals of devotion to the market, I suppose to give a sort of a locally relevant example, be the City of London, right?

And so I personally think that there’s something to that. And I think that the attempt to distinguish between theistic traditions or even something like Buddhism and an idea like secularism hinges on this conception of transcendence, which I think is highly problematic, I should sort of conclude this slide.

I didn’t mean to take quite so much time on it, but I’m going to plug my colleague, Rushain Abbasi’s work again as being an extraordinary history, his PhD, a 600 page PhD is a remarkable history of the concept of the secular not secularism, but the secular meaning.

He talks about the distinction between a religious realm and a secular realm as being present within the Islamic tradition from early on and theorized by scholars through history. It’s unfortunately unpublished. So if you want to read it, you’ll have to fly to Cambridge, Massachusetts and check-in at the library of Harvard University,

But hopefully it’s a different publication in 2023 with Princeton University Press. So if you’re interested that will be a book to look for. Okay. So I’ve already sort of suggested this, inverting the gaze: secularism as religion. And I’m taking inverting the gaze as a kind of a decolonial phrase, so to speak.

In my estimation, the Islamic view of religion resembles Emile Durkheim sort of famous definition of religion early on in his enormous book, “Les Formes Elementaires de la vie religieuse.” “The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life”. So this is 1912 work. He passed away five years later. It’s kind of his… I’m sorry.

I hope that’s not me. So, this is his great work towards the end of his life. And he defines religion interestingly enough, without reference to God. He says a religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things that is to say things set apart and forbidden.

So that’s his definition of sacred. And in all societies, we set things apart and forbid people from transgressing them in a sense. And practices which unite into one single moral community called the church, all those who adhere to them. So he’s used the term church, I think, that’s a little sort of,

I would query the use of that term, but I think to a certain extent, these sorts of conceptions of various modern ideologies religions is not terribly new. Another example. So this is from 1912, obviously, Emile Durkheim. And in a sense argues towards the end of his book that all societies need religions.

If we were to get rid of religion, we’d have to invent a new one. A decade later, Carlton Hayes, a scholar, a historian at Columbia University. And he writes an essay in a collected volume of essays, nationalism as a religion. It’s out of copyright so you can Google it and read it online.

And a really fascinating, I mean, he expands it later on, I think he published the book form in 1961, so 30-35 years later, but the book is called nationalism or religion, and this is nationalism as a religion. But those sorts of reflections on the way in which various modern ideologies in a sense

Take the place of religions is something which is quite widespread. And so I asked this question, could various modern ideologies be viewed as religions and his, one potential way of looking at this, depending on how one defines religion. And I’ve suggested a few definitions, we could view secularism as a broad church religion

While various secular ideologies, such as liberalism, nationalism may be seen as denominations or sects, right? I suppose denominations is a less loaded term, but perhaps Nazism and fascism should be considered sects. And so, in a sense, these are all post-enlightenment ideologies that predicate themselves on a world focused, what Charles Taylor calls,

“They look through an imminent frame.” They look at the world beyond not as transcendent, as connected somehow to a transcendent world, but only as eminent, only as interacting with the here and now, and well the times as well. And so, this is I think a remarkable transition in the history of humanity,

In a sense this kind of a shift beyond transcendence. But I also think that this is simply another manifestation of human religion. So these religions are ones which the secular wealthy realm, sorry, one’s in which the secular wealthy realm has been converted into an encompassing system that has replaced religious traditions.

And what do I mean by that? I’m just thinking about an idea like liberalism as something that imbues all of our institutions, or at least it should in a sense. So, we see ourselves as a liberal society, the values of liberalism and individuality, equality, all of these sorts of notions,

In a sense what Charles Taylor, the Canadian historian of secularism calls the French revolutionary trinity. Liberty, equality and fraternity. And those values in many respects are things that imbue our institutions. They imbue our laws. They are the basis on which we can actually adjudicate disputes among one another. And in my estimation, we engage in philosophical inquiry, which can be described as theological

With respect to those sorts of traditions. So if what I’m suggesting is a legitimate reading, then we live in a deeply religious age, right? And it sort of subverts our self image as a secular society. So in a sense, I mean, this book is slightly unrelated to the slide,

But I’m highlighting the limitations of the prevailing understanding of secularism in light of Islam, that a number of modern scholars know that Islam even as a practice today, even as a tradition today, not only the pre-modern world, but the Western trend of secularization in a form of marginalizing religion from the political sphere.

Now, most of the time people have rather sort of like unpleasant conceptions of this, partly because of the way in which it has been mediatized. But even beyond the more shocking manifestations that people are used to and form, part of a narrative, which is very problematic and skews our understanding

Of what’s actually happening in the world in my estimation. There are interesting things to be said about the fact that religiosity in the Muslim world often manifests also in the political sphere. And there isn’t really a very widespread conception in parts of the world, which have not been deeply touched by secular paradigms

That that is a bad thing, right? And so, that’s something that we can explore in perhaps the Q&A but it’s just something to recognize that the sort of the common understanding that secularism is the natural way for humanity. And it will gradually sort of secularize the whole world

Still held by a sort of respected sociologist of religion today. I think really needs to be brought into question and not in a historical fashion, but in a fashion that’s reflective and thinks about the sort of plurality of perspectives that exist in the world. These perspectives remain discussable marginal.

So in the broader discourse on whether it’s as an academic level, whether it’s I think greater latitude in this sort of discourse, or certainly in the popular level, they are discussing only marginal due to sort of the dominance of certain in my estimation narrow views of how society should be organized,

What we can think in a sense. So let me give one other example of what we can think of as a nation, as a religion. So I’m taking this again from Carlton Hayes, this is his 1961 book or note, it says 1960 on there.

So his 1960 book, and I’m just riffing off of it. This isn’t necessarily what he’s saying, but I’m just saying, what do we think about modern nation states as kind of these religious entities of sorts? They have sacred histories, all nation states have founding myths.

Why are we sort of Britain rather than England or Scotland? I guess Scotland might happen. But what makes France France? And younger nations have to kind of invent mythologies about themselves. They create museums. They sort of write histories that are to a certain extent, an act of creation,

Not an active sort of discussive discovery. You could say it’s a form of discovery question. It can also be a form of discovery. And so we have founding myths, we have sacred scriptures in my estimation, and I had a sort of Marshall Hall Patel’s book earlier “People of the Book”.

Constitutions, I mean, it’s a bit difficult to say this in the UK, of course. But in some respects statutory law can be seen as having elements of this. These are texts which cannot be ignored. They are true by definition, right? That’s how scripture works, right? The constitution of the United States is a good example because to a certain extent, it’s starting to be a bit archaic,

A couple of 100 years old at this point, or more than that. And it’s creating all sorts of complications with respect to, for example, the second amendment and the right to bear arms and things like that, written in a very different time. Yet, it’s not something that can just be discarded.

It’s a sacred text in practice, and you have a clerical class that adjudicates this sacred texts and various rankings of clerics, the Supreme court justices of the greatest theologians, the sort of the doctors of the church. But you do have a massive theological discourse and describing it somewhat facetiously as theological discourse,

But that’s what legal scholars are there for to mull over these complicated questions as they relate to practice, the philosophers are there to explore the philosophical underpinnings. And sometimes those two realms will overlap as well. You have, as I said, sort of a clerical class, you have unequal ingroups and outgroups

So religions will have members of that confession and people who are outside of that confession, but we have citizens and foreigners, for example. In fact, we’re so committed to our in-groups and out-groups that we create documents to prove that we’re number of one and not a member of another,

And people vie over these things, of course, right? I mean, it’s a tragedy that we’re living through in the course of the refugee crisis. And the state, is in a sense this inviolable sort of entity, the state in a sense becomes quite sacred. And we can talk about that,

But in a sense, the way in which sometimes security is used to run roughshod of a liberty is an illustration of some of these crazy theological debates. And yeah, so I hope that this sort of reading of kind of alternative history of the secular, so to speak,

Based on an Islamic sort of set of presuppositions is an interesting, sort of interesting one that people may consider taking up. That’s my friend, Rushain Abbasi, the scholar at Stanford, and here is a book by Noah Feldman, who’s at Harvard. But in a sense, what we have with secularism

Is the kind of in my estimation, the marginalization of traditional religions and replacement with potentially an alternative religion. Rushain Abbasi argues in his thesis at one point, that Islam’s worldliness. Actually, no, this isn’t a separate article, but Islam’s worldliness may have prevented the formation of secularism within Islamic civilization

And the form that we have within Western civilization. In a sense, this is his argument, that there was a kind of harmony, a natural harmony between the secular and the religious within Islam that allowed for that interplay not to create great tension in the way that he suggests was the case in Europe.

And Noah Feldman also sort of points out in the political realm, which is, in a sense of the reason secularism is the separation of the religion, religious and the political. In the political realm historically sort of… Sorry. Historically the political realm was subordinate to a rule of law system.

Yes, it was based on the sheria, but it was a rule of law system that was seen as just, and operated in ways that conform to society’s values rather than what is very often assumed that, pre-modern religious policies were in some way on the basis of religion despotic,

The divine right of kings doesn’t really exist in the Islamic tradition in my reading. Part of the reason I wrote my latest book about the Arab revolutions of 2011, is that there’s an attempt to revive or in a sense manufacture kind of divine right of kings

Or in the case of the Middle East divine right of dictators. So, that is a problem, but yeah, this is kind of my last slide. And then I’m just going to read a brief, sort of the conclusion to the written version of the paper, which I say is a work in progress.

And so, there’s a lot of stuff here, which I don’t talk about in that paper, but under stuff in that paper, which I didn’t talk about here. But, in a sense the implication of what I’ve said for the last 40 minutes is that it creates a kind of contradiction in secularism self-image, right?

How can secularism be a neutral umpire between religions, if it is self is a religion? I think this question indicates the need for reassessing our conceptions of various concepts. And I hope that, in a sense that I’ve contributed to something useful in that regard, I’m just going to read out

And I hope this is not too much, I don’t drone too much, but I just wanted to read out a brief section, the conclusion of my article. Of course, secularism rejects the notion that it is analogous to the religions of old. It sees itself as a uniquely rational enterprise

That has transcended the superstition of pre-modern religions. Those religions now belonged in the private sphere of the modern secular order. This was essential to maintaining the peace and preventing the world from being written by superstitions wars of other world is south Asian, at least in secularism self-conception.

But in fact, secularism was simply even in genuinely reenacting the established pattern of a new universal religious project. It had simply come to recognize its own salvific qualities and thus it was only reasonable, but it supersede the primitive paradigm of religion in the public sphere. Secularism was the new dispensation

Brought for the salvation of humanity. And it was for humanity’s own good that it’d be accepted in one ideological form or another. Yet unlike a religion like Islam, his scriptures offered the ostensibly unbeatable claim that God had sent Islam as the final revelation through the final prophet to end all profits.

That’s the Muslim belief that the prophet Mohammed was the final prophet. Unlike that secularism could make the claim that it had in fact, superseded the category of religion itself. This was in many ways a master stroke of self legitimation for it cleared away all the traditional competitors for authority in the public sphere.

By masking itself as transcending religion, secularism has arguably found the means of legitimizing itself that is proven remarkably effective. It is called for religion to be largely removed from public life except in a symbolic or vestigial form. In doing so, it has rendered the public sphere, a realm over which it exercises

A monopoly of legitimate violence. Yet, I have tried to suggest, as I’ve tried to suggest over the course of this presentation, there is a deep contradiction at the heart of secularism, as it stands today, namely that it upholds the principle of separation of religion and state or in more recent articulations upholds

The states neutrality or equidistance between all religions. But if secularism is indeed itself a religion, then the claims that the secular state is separate from religion breaks down. And I asked the question, how can the secular state be neutral between religions if it is governed by the rules of one particular religion,

Namely secularism? I don’t have the answer to these questions, versions of which have been posed by certain Christian scholars for some time now. But I do think posting such questions from an Islamic perspective is important in helping us recognize the need for our society to acknowledge that the conversations in these areas

Needs to be broadened to include a wider range of viewpoints that better reflect the people who make up our increasingly diverse societies, the conversations these kinds of reflections might open up can be enriching and mind broadening in many ways. And I hope we’ll foster greater mutual respect

And understanding if what I say contributes to such an outcome, I will consider the job of this brief presentation to be done. Thank you. – If secularism is a religion, what should it mean for the separation of religion and the stats in your view? – Oh my, I hope my conclusion made clear I have no idea. I mean, I think we need to have conversations about this because it does make things a lot more complicated in a sense. And I think that that claim that I have presented, and I’ve not presented it as the truth, but I’m presenting it as a claim that secularism is a religion,

Opens up opportunities for conversations and discussions rather than giving us any answers, to be honest. And I think that that’s the opportunity that we should embrace at this point in time. And, I think it will make for a very interesting sort of, and mutually respectful conversation.

– [Man] Thank you for a fascinating lecture. – Thank you. – [Man] I have a number of questions, but I’ll keep it to one. – Thank you. – [Man] Where in secularism or religion does morality come and I think it’s been subtext there actually. – Right, right.

– But is there a universal morality that can be a bit- – That’s an excellent question. I mean, yes, it’s absolutely. It’s been sort of implied throughout and I’ve used the term, norms throughout. And in a sense, the sort of the enterprise of ethics and moral philosophy and philosophy more generally

Over the last century or two has been trying to address what happens to morality when we lose sort of the traditional sources of that morality. So Christianity or Judaism or any given religious tradition, what I’m suggesting is that actually, and it’s not a suggestion. It’s very well recognized.

Political philosophy is a species of ethics. It’s a species of moral philosophy when people like John Rawls, great sort of liberal philosopher from Harvard wrote a theory of justice. He was basically trying to ask, what is ethical for society? How should societies be organized in a way that’s ethical?

So I think secularism has its own traditions of morality. And liberalism is one such tradition of morality. Religious traditions have that sort of discourses on morality as well. So I think that in my estimation and I figured out a definition for religion from an Islam conception,

But what I take to be the broadly speaking, the understanding of religion is a community that religion is basically a set of norms that govern the community, norms mean that there’s morals involved, right? How should we behave towards one another? What sorts of laws? Laws are intimately tied with our ethics as well,

But what kinds of laws should govern our transactions and interactions with each other? And so, I think religions where that source historically and secularism in its various dispensations, liberalism and forms that we might not like so much, communism and so on. We’ll have the morality’s as well.

And I think we need to recognize, of course, that there’s a diverse array of moralities out there. The question of universalism is a difficult one. I mean, one classical and perhaps dominant Islamic perspective was that virtually relativist one, which was to say that you cannot really know

What is right or wrong without the guidance of God. I think that’s somewhat problematic personally, because then how do you know how to accept what God gives you? Is that right or wrong, right? But there’s interminable debates, anyway. So I hope that answers the question somewhat.

– [Man] Would you say that the periods of political Islam revival, the 1970s to 2010s actually represent a wide rejection of secularism within the Islamic world or due times or perceived Islamic revival merely represent Islamic influence coming from the background to the forefront of society. – It’s a very thoughtful question actually.

So the sort of what’s referred to as political Islam, a term which I think reflects and scholars are increasingly noting this, that even that label reflects a kind of Eurocentric paradigm because you have to give a special label to a religion that has a political component phrase.

But, I think that it reflects not necessarily, I mean, what is secularism? A lot of the groups that are labeled as political Islamists are pro-democracy, they want to uphold a certain regime of human rights, which in many cases we would recognize, in some cases, there would be tensions

With dominant liberal traditions, for example, perhaps on questions of gay rights or things of that nature. I think it’s too simple to say it’s a rejection of secularism. Secularism is an entire tradition. There are lots of things that, secularism in my view as a religious tradition

Has to offer and not all of those things are problematic. In fact, many of those things are quite positive in my estimation. And so those elements don’t need to be rejected by political Islam. And I don’t think are rejected by political Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that I’ve spent some time studying,

Which is probably the largest and most influential organization under the label of political Islam is an organization that is very pro-democracy that is extremely popular and anti dictatorship in the middle east. And that’s why they are hated by the secular autocrats and the secular autocrats sell themselves as secular to the west.

They’re not actually any more secular or less religious than the Muslim Brotherhood. That’s just a good marketing tool to get sort of the west on your side. So, I think in the region that there are interests, but there’s not much to do with the secular religion divided in my estimation.

– One thing that really came to mind when thinking about your ultimate conclusion, secularism as a religion, is why is the word secularism used? And it immediately made me think of France, the concept of laicite. And to my mind and I’d like your observations on this, it’s a device, the word secularism,

It’s a device basically used to make a particular belief system seem more important, neutral, and acceptable in a society. And that in a sense what happened to France because you have a particular belief system. – Right. – [Man] It’s not called a religion, it’s put forward under the concept of laicite

And it privileges certain historic practices. And what I’m really interested in is what do you think about the use of the word secularism, and why is it used? – That’s again, very thoughtful question. Thank you very much. And France is a very unusual sort of case of,

I mean, compared to sort of the liberal polities that we might be used to in the Anglophone world, I lived in the United States for more than five years. And religion is quite widespread in society there and it’s invoked in Congress and all of those sorts of things.

And France is a very kind of laicite is a very aggressive kind of anti religion in a sense. And some such a sociologist of religion actually call it a religion. I mean, not in the sense that I’m talking about, for some reason, this is something I feel a bit irritated by the way,

Some sociologist of religion will label as religious secular ideologies, which tend to be extreme. So they’ll see Nazis and fascism and perhaps laicite can be considered political religions or something. And I’m like, “Well, everything’s a religion.” Anyway, so I think at the end of the day, we use labels…

These developed very often organically in the course of debates. The word secularism emerges from a sort of important English thinker, George Hollyoke who wanted to coin a phrase that would not suggest atheism and immorality. I believe he’s the one who sort of coined the phrase

Sort of secularism, but then it kind of takes a life of its own. And as a philosophical system, it sort of develops into a very important and central idea. I think those things happen through historical accident and then we become wedded to a particular version of that.

So I’m not sure that there’s a particular sort of effort to engineer something by using a particular word. I think whatever word has ended up representing what we think is appropriate, an appropriate ideology or appropriate philosophy and appropriate religion, we will then argue the best thing since its spread

And therefore we must uphold it. And if you’re not upholding it, we need to somehow marginalize and show society that this is not acceptable. All societies do that with their core concepts. And so, I’m not sure it’s particularly unusual to secular societies. I hope that answers the question somewhat.

– [Woman] I can remember when I did my first thesis long, long time ago, but there’s a theologian, who wanted to encompass a whole variety of different theistic and nontheistic, including dialectical materials. and he had angles his material, his stints in the sense of the material world

Is all that counts and the highest (indistinct) but he wanted to call it a religion that would ought to include that in this broad conception of what religion might be. – So I mean, as you can see, I’m quite sort of liberal with the liberal religion, no pun intended.

But what’s interesting about dialectical materialism is that even someone like Bruce Lincoln who holds this sort of notion of religion as transcendent in a footnote in that book argues that, well, it might be reasonable to say dialectical materialism, given that certainties in this sort of like in the ideas that they’ve generated

Can be considered a religion. But again, for me, this is one of the things that irritates me slightly, which is that, well, why make a special case of bad things is religion, right? I think there’s a kind of prejudice in my estimation in the way in which certain things are called religion,

Because there’s something wrong with them. They come into the political realm, that’s a Protestant prejudice. So to speak that is post 17th century for what it’s worth. – [Man] I disagree with most of it. – Great. – I don’t really think that secularism can be defined as a religion because it doesn’t have

The normal characteristics or religion. It doesn’t have a catechism or membership category or rituals. It’s not a religion, it’s a principle. No, I don’t have a religion but I’m a secularist. But if I had a religion, I’d also be a secularism because I do believe as a principal in the separation

Or the neutrality of the state and institutions. So I don’t think that religion should have a special role in the functioning of the state. That’s all that secularism is. So the examples you give really secularism grew out of conflicts within religion not between religions, whereas the Islamic societies you describe,

Have always been almost wholly Muslim. Not always, not always, not always, but mostly have. And secularism, even before (indistinct) had a history, there were many empires, which were broadly speaking secular. They left people to their own devices. They did not interfere or force conversions, et cetera, et cetera.

So I’m not saying that it’s secular, but there were in some ways secular and so secularism has a long history which you seem to be suggesting somehow it’s a completely modern idea. It’s not. – It’s a lot of stuff that you’ve mentioned. I’m just trying to keep up with which points.

I wonder if you’d like to sort of like summarize the question in one or two components. – Well, your definition of secularism as a religion is not substantiated because it does not have the characteristics of religion. It doesn’t have places of worship, does not have catechism rituals.

– So how do we define anything? On what basis do we define something as religion, something as secularism? Basically the conclusions will arrive that will depend on those decisions that are made early on in that sort of thought process. So early on, I kind of set out my store

On how I conceived of religion. And religions are basically, broadly speaking about norms that allow for the cohesive existence of a society. If I define religion on that basis, then certainly I can call it secularism my religion, your defining religion on the basis of, certain other presuppositions.

So we can then go and question, the presuppositions themselves, is it reasonable to say that, if something has a catechism, it is a religion. If something has such and such a component, it is a religion. And I think there are scholars who have argued in that way, as I’ve mentioned with Bruce Lincoln,

But I would suggest that it’s perfectly reasonable to develop this kind of a conception of religion. And I think the resistance to that is something that we’re better bringing into question because it shows us a kind of attachment to ideas which are somewhat arbitrary and historically

Sort of like have come about at a certain point in time for reasons that maybe need to be brought into question. So, yeah, I mean, that would be my sort of broad response to that. We could take specific questions because you raised a lot of…

There were a number of aspects to what you mentioned, and I can’t recall all of them and I didn’t have the presence of mind to make notes at the time. And I’m happy to discuss this with you afterwards, but really it hinges on how you define the category of religion,

The way in which you’ve defined religion. Obviously secularism doesn’t count as a religion because you’ve defined it in a way that precludes the possibility of including secularism Islam as religion. But I’ve brought into question in the course of my talk, and this is, you’re not the only person who does it,

Plenty of scholars have done that. I brought into question, that approach to the definition of religion. And I think that there are cogent reasons to bring that approach into question, but this will be hopefully a conversation we can take on after the session. – I would just like t thank Dr. Usaama al-Azami

For a really fascinating, stimulating evening. – Thank you all. Thank you all very much.

#Religion #Rethinking #Religion #Secularism

Queen of Hell – Mother of Demons – Bride of Satan

Hey everyone, welcome to Mythology Explained.  In today’s video, we’re going to discuss Lilith,   the queen of hell, mother of  demons, angel of prosti.tution,   killer of pregnant women and infants, Adam’s first  wife, and seducer of men. We’re going to start off  

By looking at a couple of allusions to her in  the Old Testament. Following that, we’re going   to look at early influences that originated in  Mesopotamia, and finally, we’re going to look at   the tide of information presented in various  works published throughout the Middle Ages. Let’s get into it.

Lilith barely features in scripture: she’s  absent from the Quran and doesn’t appear in   the New Testament; it’s only in the  Old Testament that she’s included,   and even then, her inclusion depends either  on the translation or on the interpretation.

In the Book of Genesis, which is the first book  of the Old Testament that describes the Cosmogony   (the creation of the universe) and the  anthropogony (the origination of humanity),   the creation of women is described  twice, each with different wording,  

Which has led to some interesting theories and  stories that endeavor to reconcile the two. The first instance reads as follows: “So God created man in his own image,   in the image of God created he him;  male and female created he them.”

One interpretation of this passage is that  God created the first man and the first woman   simultaneously, which, by this  reckoning, places it at odds   with the second instance in which the  creation of the first woman is described. Here’s the passage that  describes the second instance:

“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon  Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs,   and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and  the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man,  

Made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones,   and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called  Woman, because she was taken out of man.” To reconcile the two accounts, one version, such  as the one given in the Alphabet of Ben Sira,  

Which we’ll expand on later, explains that  the woman created at the same time as Adam   in the first passage is a different person  than Eve, the woman created from Adam’s rib   in the second passage. Moreover, this version  holds that the woman created in the first passage  

Is actually Lilith, making her Adam’s first wife.   Again, we’ll cover this part of lilith’s  story in greater detail later in the video. The other mention of Lilith in the Old  Testament is given in the Book of Isaiah,   though her inclusion by name depends  on the language and the translation.

In the JPS parallel Hebrew and English version  of the Tanakh, Isaiah 34:14 reads as follows: “And the Wild-cats shall meet with the jackals,  and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; yea,   the night-monster shall repose there,  and shall find her place of rest.”

Night monster is indistinct and ambiguous, but  many other translations, either of the Tanakh or   of the Old Testament, have seen various monsters  and animals substituted in, including: Lilith,   night specter, night creature, night hag,  Lamia (a female monster of Greek origin that  

Preys on children), night bird, and screech  owl. This last is especially interesting   because it parallels a detail of the Queen of the  Night plaque, which is nearly 4,000 years old,   made in ancient Babylon sometime between  1800 – 1750 BCE. It depicts a winged woman  

With talons for feet standing on two lions  flanked by a perched owl on either side.   Who this figure is isn’t known for certain, but  the list of possibilities has been whittled down   to just a few candidates: Ishtar,  goddess of war and sexual love,  

Ereshkigal, ruler of the underworld, or the  demon Lilitu, who became later known as Lilith. And this takes us into the part of the  video that looks at Lilith’s origins. Lilith, a female demon infamous for  preying on infants and pregnant women,  

And for copulating with sleeping men, thereby  birthing a plethora of demons into the world, is   a central figure in Jewish demonology. You could  say that Lilith, as conceptualized in Jewish lore,   is but one expression of an archetype, that of  the demon who targets infants and pregnant women,  

That seems to rear its head across cultures and  millenia, particularly in the near East. If this   is tracked backwards through time, it looks as  though Lilith’s origins can be connected back   to ancient Mesopotamia. She briefly  features in the Epic of Gilgamesh,  

A Sumerian work, and she’s identified with Lilu  and Lilitu, respectively, male and female spirits   of ancient Babylon – both of them notorious for  attacking infants and women in labour. Another   figure who shares this MO is Lamashtu, either  a goddess or demon, who endangered women during  

Childbirth and even abducted infants as they  suckled at their mother’s breast. In appearance,   she was a hideous amalgamation of many animals,  having the head of a lion, the talons of a bird   of prey, the teeth of a donkey, a body covered in  hair, blood-stained hands, and long fingers with  

Long nails. Another variety of demon germane  to Lilith is the Ardat-Lili, which rendered   men impotent as a sort of revenge for itself not  being able to copulate. Sometimes women were also   targeted and rendered infertile. In appearance  it looks like a wolf with a scorpion’s tail.

Much of the best known information surrounding  Lilith comes from the Alphabet of Ben Sira,   a work thought to have been written sometime in  the Geonic period, which lasted from the late   sixth to the mid-eleventh centuries CE. The third  part describes Ben Sira recounting 22 stories to  

Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. One of these  gives an alternative anthropogeny. Rather than   Eve being created from one of Adam’s ribs, it  describes Lilith, not only as the first woman,   but also as being created from the earth just as  Adam was. Unfortunately, their relationship is  

Characterized by acrimony and incessant fighting,  and ultimately, Lilith refuses to submit to Adam;   so she invokes God’s name and flies  away. Three angels, Senoy, Sansenoy   and Semangelof, are sent after her, and they  eventually catch up with her; but she negotiates  

Her way out of the encounter, promising to be  repelled by any amulets bearing their likeness,   which is why thereafter such amulets were used to  ward her off, safeguarding those she preyed on:   pregnant women and infants. Furthermore, she also  accedes to 100 of her children perishing each day. 

Here’s a quote that describes this: “He also created a woman, from the earth, as He   had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith.  Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight.   She said, ‘I will not lie below,’ and he said, ‘I  will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you  

Are fit only to be in the bottom position, while  I am to be the superior one.’ Lilith responded,   ‘We are equal to each other inasmuch as  we were both created from the earth.’   But they would not listen to one another.  When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the  

Ineffable Name and flew away into the air…. The angels left God and pursued Lilith, whom   they overtook in the midst of the sea… They told  her God’s word, but she did not wish to return.   The angels said, ‘We shall drown you in the sea.’ “‘Leave me!’ she said. ‘I was created only to  

Cause sickness to infants. If the infant is male,  I have dominion over him for eight days after   his birth, and if female, for twenty days.’ “When the angels heard Lilith’s words, they   insisted she go back. But she swore to them by  the name of the living and eternal God: ‘Whenever  

I see you or your names or your forms in an  amulet, I will have no power over that infant.’”  In one account, after the fall of man, which  resulted in the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the  

Garden of Eden, the first man and the first woman  became separated for 130 years. During that time,   Lilith returned to Adam and copulated with him in  his sleep; supposedly the son that resulted from   their coupling turned into a frog. Another  account, the one given by Rabbi Eliezer in  

The Book of Adam and Eve, claims that at one time  Lilith was bearing Adam 100 children per day. The   Zohar depicts Lilith as “a hot fiery female who at  first cohabited with man”, who “flew to the cities  

Of the sea coast” when Eve was created. The cabala  portrays her as the demon of Friday, who appears   as a naked woman with a snake’s tail for legs.  Another description maintains the nude upper body,   but gives her a column of fire for legs. And in  Talmudic Lore, Lilith is presented as an immortal  

Demon who will continue to plague mankind until  God eradicates evil from the face of the earth. Eventually, a profusion of early traditions  coalesced, and from them emerged two predominant   activities associated with Lilith: the strangling  of newly born children and the seduction of men.  

Regarding the latter, it was thought that  anytime a man woke up with wet undergarments,   made so by the nightly discharge of seed, it was  indicative of Lilith having paid them a visit   and seducing them in their sleep. And in this she  was thought so prolific that a virtually infinite  

Number of demonic spawn were attributed to her,  said to be her brood – legions upon legions   sired by unwitting men as they slept. Apparently,  people were so wary of her erotic powers   that in some Jewish communities it was commonplace  for sons not to accompany their father’s as their  

Bodies were laid to rest in graveyards, sparing  them the shame of bearing witness to all their   demonic half-blood siblings, those conceived when  Lilith seduced the father. Because of this, In the   Zohar as well as other sources, Lilith is known  by many colourful appellations that denigrate  

For lasciviousness and wantonness. These include:  the black, the wicked, the false, and the harlot.  In Zoharaistic cabal, Lilith, along with  Eisheth Zenunim, Naamah, and Agrat bat Mahlaht,   three angels of prostitution, was one of the  consorts of Samael, a figure with many identities,  

Not all of them evil, depending on the version;  among them were: the great serpent with 12 wings,   a prince of hell, and another name for Satan,  especially in Jewish lore. As conceptualised in   Kabbalism, Lilith was given preeminence, becoming  the principal and permanent partner of Samael –  

Basically, in effect, crowned queen of hell. And that’s it for this video! If you enjoy the   content please LIKE the video  and SUBSCRIBE to the channel As always, leave your video suggestions down below

#Queen #Hell #Mother #Demons #Bride #Satan

The Untold Truth Of Fallen Angels

Pop culture is filled with depictions of fallen angels, once holy beings that have succumbed to sin. But how and why did the idea of fallen angels even come about in the first place? Here’s the untold truth of fallen angels.

Fallen angels are basically angels that have given up on the good and righteous path and turned to evil, right? Well, not necessarily. It’s true that Jewish and Christian traditions believe that fallen angels were originally just as holy as any of the other angels, but fell when the most beautiful of them – Lucifer

– decided to rebel and enticed others to go with him. But in Hindu traditions, it’s a little different. They believe that the creator god, Brahma, actually made some angelic beings good and some evil from the very beginning. Why? Because it’s meant to illustrate the natural order of things, and balance in the universe.

And fallen angels don’t even exist in Islam, where traditions says that all angels are good, including the ones tasked with overseeing those whose evil souls have landed them in hell. These angels are lording over hell, yes, but they aren’t fallen, as they are still doing divine work.

There’s another explanation for Satan there, too, and it basically says he’s not an angel, he’s a jinn: a creature made from fire and free will. Put a pin in that, because there will be more about this pesky “free will” stuff later.

Historically, those who believe in fallen angels typically have believed them to be responsible for things like tempting mortals into sin. And fallen angels are tricky about it, too, sometimes masquerading as good angels as they torment and tempt. How do believers know all this?

Well, these days, most of it comes from the non-canonical Book of Enoch, which was written about 350 B.C. The text claims to be the revelations of Enoch, who was taken up to heaven and told the universe’s deepest secrets, then shown just what would happen during mankind’s ultimate judgment.

Enoch shows up in other texts as well, which claim he lived to be 365 years old, and eventually told his tales to his son, Methuselah, who lived to be an impressive 969 years old. Strangely, even though the stories of Enoch were influenced by the mythology of places

Like Babylon and, in turn, influenced Judaism and Christianity, the only place that all 100 chapters of the book survived was Ethiopia. And among those chapters was a fascinating explanation on fallen angels. One of the most widely told tales of fallen angels says it was Lucifer who rebelled against

God and brought a bunch of angels down with him, but the story told in the Book of Enoch is very, very different. It tells a story of lust. According to the Book of Enoch, long before the Great Flood, angels and humans met and mingled pretty commonly, and the inevitable happened: children.

Those sons and daughters of angels were a race of 450-foot-tall giants. The angels started teaching their giant offspring evil ways, and God not only imprisoned them, but subjected them to judgment and sent the flood to hit the reset button on his creations.

Enoch, the story says, tried to speak on behalf of the angels and their giant children, but sadly, a lot of the texts are missing. We do know that Enoch was the one God selected to act as an intermediary to the fallen angels,

Instructing him to tell them what their punishment would be for their transgressions. They were to be condemned to the ends of the earth, with an eternity of punishment to follow. Early Jewish writers considered Enoch to be a prophet, but when Christianity started to

Adopt his teachings, he largely fell out of favor with Judaism. Christian writers then took the Book of Enoch with them when they converted isolated areas of Ethiopia in the fourth and fifth centuries. Though the Book of Enoch was lost to the rest of the world, it was preserved in Ethiopia,

And was finally brought back to Europe in 1773. In the meantime, though, with the Book of Enoch to guide them, Christian scholars and writers had centuries to let their imaginations go wild, leading them to the really convoluted origin of Satan as a fallen angel. See, that’s not actually in the Bible.

But theologians turned themselves into pretzels trying to explain how Satan exists in the first place. The reasoning went like this: God created everything in the universe, and therefore, God created Satan. But the only things God creates are good things, so therefore, Satan must have been good at one point.

He also needed to have the free will to turn bad. But since he clearly wasn’t human, he must therefore have been a fallen angel. Clearly, these scholars went to the Princess Bride school of logic and reasoning. “You must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you

Would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me!” Oh, and once more, there’s that free will thing. Don’t worry, it’ll come up again! According to the Book of Enoch, the first batch of fallen angels was each responsible

For teaching humanity about a specific sin. Asbeel, for example, was repsonsible for teaching humanity about sex, so thanks very much for that. Tamiel, on the other hand, taught humanity about demons and spirits. And then there’s Shernihaza, who is apparently responsible for that race of giant half-angels.

Those giants, if you remember, led to the imprisonment and punishment of the fallen, as well as the Great Flood, which was brought to cleanse Earth of their gigantic sins. Perhaps the strangest fallen angel of all, though, was Penemue, who was credited with

Giving mankind something that led to all kinds of evil: the written language. With writing came knowledge, and that, of course, is really really bad, because it might lead to…free will. The big lesson you’re apparently supposed to learn from fallen angels?

That knowledge and free will are bad and will get you killed, so the only way to remain safe is to choose ignorance and obedience. Funny how that works. Maybe the biggest diversion The Book of Enoch takes from the regular Bible is its depiction of the Garden of Eden and the fall of mankind.

Everyone knows the traditional story from the Bible: a serpent, usually associated with Satan, tempts Eve into eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (there’s that whole knowledge is bad thing again) and then, boom, goodbye, paradise!

In the Book of Enoch, though, it’s not Satan who tempts Eve, it’s a fallen angel named Gadreel. And then this jerk also went on to give humanity weapons and armor and teach us all how to kill each other. Sounds like Gadreel has a lot to answer for! Quick, describe a fallen angel!

There are probably some scowly faces, bat-like wings, maybe even some horns or cloven hooves, right? Maybe a double chin…who knows. But it wasn’t always like that. In early Christian art, fallen angels looked pretty much the same as their holier counterparts.

One of the earliest representations of the idea that there were angels and fallen angels opposing each other in an otherworldly battle is featured in an ancient mosaic in Italy. Jesus is in the middle, and on one side is an angel in red with some sheep, representing the home team.

On the other side are the bad guys, a figure thought to be Lucifer or Satan, standing with some goats. He’s wearing blue, which is the color of the damned, plus he has goats, so we know he’s the bad guy, but otherwise he doesn’t seem all that bad.

The mosaic even suggests fallen angels kept their iconic halos, which at the time were a symbol of power, not holiness. It wasn’t until the middle ages that images of fallen angels started turning more grotesque. During that time, something weird happened: Creatures from ancient Babylonian texts, called

Lilitu, began to be associated with Adam’s non-canonical first wife, Lilith. At the same time, parallels were drawn between Satan and the ancient Canaanite deity Beelzebub, and the ancient Roman half-goat, half-man god of nature, Pan. In the 14th Century, these pop culture influences led Dante to describe Satan as lording over

The depths of hell while sporting bat wings. And that in turn influenced the 17th century author John Milton to describe fallen angels in his work Paradise Lost as the sort of grody monsters we think of today. Remember those theologians who turned themselves inside out trying to explain how Satan existed?

Well, they faced the same issue with the rest of the fallen angels, and came up with some typically convoluted explanations. Until the 12th century, “pride” was the typical answer as to why fallen angels fell. But that meant God would have had to create something with a crippling, all-powerful amount

Of pride, and that didn’t fly. So scholars came up with the idea that angels had been created with a natural love that allowed them to love God, themselves, and each other. It’s the last part that scholars in the Middle Ages believe caused the fall of the angels.

After Lucifer fell because his love was a selfish love of power, the other angels who fell did so because they loved Lucifer. God was largely an absent, distant figure, after all, and Lucifer was their friend. Rather than condemning themselves to struggle for the acceptance of an unreachable father,

Perhaps they followed their brother into exile. It’s kind of heartbreaking, when you think about it, especially once you add love to free will and knowledge as things too dangerous for mortals to contemplate. According to the Mirabilia Journal, one of the most convoluted bits of theology that

Grew up around the legend of fallen angels is the way Christian writers used it to excuse and promote the persecution of the LGBTQ community. Scholars have long debated about whether fallen angels and demons are capable of love, with many believing that instead, fallen angels are consumed with lust, a desire to use others

For their own ends. Indeed, Christian writers as far back as the apostle Paul himself warned women about the danger of attracting the attention of a lusty fallen angel. But since they didn’t write anything about fallen angels having lust for members of their

Own gender, early scholars decided that meant that there was something so fundamentally wrong about the idea that even fallen angels wouldn’t do it. This kind of self-satisfied circular logic was used as an excuse for centuries of persecution, which still continues today.

Our contemporary view of fallen angels might suggest that they kind of got off easy. After all, though they might be in hell, they aren’t exactly at the mercy of the demons there, because they…kind of are those demons, right? Well, not exactly.

According to the Jewish Virtual Library, the seven archangels (those are the leaders of the good angels who stayed loyal to God) count the punishing of the fallen angels among their heavenly duties. Each one of the archangels was in charge of particular facets of the otherworldly life:

Jeremiel, for example, keeps watch over the souls in the underworld, while Michael protects Israel, Gabriel is the overseer of Paradise, and Uriel leads the host. They’re the ones with direct access to God, and they’re also in charge of punishing the fallen. Punish how?

Take Azazel, who according to some sources was the one who taught mankind how to make weapons rather than Gadreel. According to the Watkins Dictionary of Angels, Azazel was punished by Raphael, who put him in chains, threw him in a pit full of sharp rocks in the middle of the desert, and brought

The darkness down on him while he waited for his condemnation after the final judgment. That doesn’t sound so great after all. And it’s a pretty steep price to pay for expressing love and free will! Better luck next time, fallen angels. Check out one of our newest videos right here!

Plus, even more Grunge videos about your favorite stuff are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the bell so you don’t miss a single one.

#Untold #Truth #Fallen #Angels

Kids Of Different Religions Describe God

– I think gods in Buddhist fart. – I’m Sara, and I am 10 years old. – I’m four and I’m Tobie. – By law, I am Jewish, but I don’t know if I necessarily believe in it. – I believe in Buddhism. – I believe in God.

– For me, it’s a really big maybe. Part of me believes in God a lot, and part of me definitely doesn’t. Because maybe there is someone upstairs, making great things happen and sprinkling magic on the world. And then you see such bad stuff happen and you see kids get cancer,

You doubt or you question God. – We have this thing called Guanyin, it’s kind of like God, but it’s like Chinese. – In my religion, we call him Allah. – He helps people. – God is love. – I think God has a sweet, soft voice.

– I think he would sound like, “Hi” (laughs). – I think since he’s lived so long, it’s kind of washed out, “I should make “good things happen to the world.” This sounds so creepy, like a horror movie. – I think it sounds loud. He sounds like really kind, I think. “Well hello” (laughs).

– You can see him on the ground on his legs and on his feet. – I think God is in the sky. – I pray to the Guanyin to bring us good luck and support my family. – Usually what I wish for, I’d like to spend time with my mom all day.

– I wanna have confidence in God, if they control all of us, I wanna have confidence that I don’t need to pray and tell them to do it. I think they should make great things happen and really prevent the really bad, terrible things.

– One time I went outside and I prayed to God so I could have flowers. – If there is a God, what is it? What do they look like? – God looks like a person. – Maybe God’s a woman or maybe God doesn’t identify as a gender. – They’re usually gold or white.

– I think God will have green eyes. – Why do we always think of him wearing a hoodie? – I’m drawing him clothes, I don’t really know if he has clothes because I can’t draw him naked. – He’s wearing his masculine God t-shirt. Gotta put that God on there.

– Put some jewelry on his head. – He’s in his hoodie so we’re not gonna be able to see his hair, guys. I don’t think he has hair, I think it’s hard to keep having hair if you’ve been alive for this many millions of years. He’s kinda self-conscious about not having hair.

– This one’s shaped like a monkey. – I just would hope that he would look like a regular person. – God is a big head on legs (laughs). – His hands are very long and big. – I now how to make hands, really. Like this circle, because my hands are circles, see?

– I don’t think he looks like anyone I know. – I think he wears those swag green pants, very cool green pants, make him a little more colorful. He’s got those sick Nikes on. – He has a beard. – He has orange hair and green eyes (laughs).

– He’s big and he always sits down. – He looks kinda funny. – He has a blue shirt and blue pants, and very hairy arms. – I just would like you to think of God, a man or a woman or whatever you want to think of God as, happiness.

You should have big smile when you think of God. And wearing those, those sick Nikes, you know. – Thank you for letting me be in this world. – The world goes around because all these different people have different beliefs in God, and I love that, but I don’t think

That their beliefs should cause wars. This could be somewhat fiction. This could be somewhat man-made. I love that everyone has a different view of God and different beliefs in God, but I don’t think it should cause so much commodity or war, I really don’t.

– Hey, Unsolved is on a new channel, and now your part. – [Together] Subscribe here. – That was my part.

#Kids #Religions #Describe #God

2. The Resurrection of Jesus (The Historical Evidence)

As we said in the introduction the resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of Christianity without it all of Christianity is a lie in a false religion but unlike most miracle claims Christians claim there is good historical evidence for the resurrection so what is this evidence and how can we

Use it we already went over the basic underlying philosophy in the introduction and pointed out that we already gave natural theology arguments for God’s existence argued the New Testament documents are reliable and established miracles are not impossible however as we noted in the introduction we will not assume the New Testament

Documents are inspired or even accurate in every detail instead we will only argue from facts that are agreed upon by the majority of New Testament scholars and have good evidence to infer they are true this means even if the rest of the New Testament is a fabrication it will

Not show these facts are false since even many skeptical scholars doubt the historicity of the entire New Testament but at least agree these facts are true so now with this as our underlying foundation we can begin to look at the historical evidence and see if it infers a resurrection first two underlying

Facts about the death of Jesus it is almost unanimously agreed that Jesus died by crucifixion just outside of Jerusalem sceptical scholar John Dominic Crossan says this is as sure as anything historical can ever be sceptical scholar EP Sanders lists this as one of the most indisputable facts about Jesus’s life so

There is no question for historians whether or not Jesus died by crucifixion second it is widely agreed that Jesus was buried in nearby tomb the evidence for this is pretty overwhelming we have multiple attestation from early sources like Paul and mark and Josephus agrees crucified victims were allowed to receive a proper burial

Jewish law demanded that even foreigners and criminals had to be buried we have archaeological evidence for this as well the burial count of Jesus also meets the criteria of embarrassment since they had to admit they could not afford their own tomb to bury Jesus but had to you

Kim of a member of the court who had just executed him there are just too many facts would support the burial of Jesus only a few skeptical scholars in the Jesus Seminar deny this but the majority does not and we’ll come back to this later and discuss it more but both

Of these facts could still be true and Jesus would still be dead in the grave the real question is what happened next what caused the events which followed and led to the rise of Christianity from a small backwater province in Rome there have been a wide variety of theories

That have been proposed in order to explain what took place three days after Jesus was buried and this video will cover the four most popular in general theories to see which best fits the data the first theory is the mythic theory this is probably the most popular among

Laymen sceptics it argues that all the events in miracle claims of Jesus were made up at a later time and were not made up by early eyewitnesses the disciples never claimed Jesus rose from the dead and was only made up by later Christians the second is like the mythic

Theory but it is called the conspiracy theory historical evidence that justices probably the earliest competing theory offered to challenge the resurrection account it says that the disciples made up the story of Jesus rising from the dead and simply lied about it all for their own gain third we’ll look at the hallucination

Theory which comes in many variations and it’s probably the most popular among skeptical New Testament scholars it basically says that after Jesus died the disciples were grief-stricken and had hallucinations or visions that Jesus had arisen from the dead and that propelled them to think he was alive again and

Finally we’ll compare these two the resurrection theory which is that Jesus actually did rise from the dead and the disciples believed it because they witnessed it so let’s look at the facts and see if any of these theories can fully explain the data the first piece is something that is accepted by almost

Unanimous scholarship which is that after Jesus died his disciples said he appeared to them again alive there is not a lot of doubt among scholars that the disciples believed this had happened Bart Ehrman says I don’t doubt at all that some disciples claimed this Paul writing about 25 years later indicates

That this is what they claimed and I don’t think he is making it up EP sander says it is an equally secure fact that Jesus disciples saw him in what sense is not certain after his death thereafter his followers saw him the reason for this is because it has multiple attestation in various

Sources including Josephus and there is no way to explain the rise of Christianity if this did not happen something had to happen which compelled the disciples to begin the world’s largest religion with seemingly nothing well people claim may see all sorts of things so why should we take the claims

Of the disciples seriously how do we know their testimony is reliable and they were not simply making the appearances up well in our previous series we’ve already established a new Testament it’s very early and reliable in what it reports so there is plenty of evidence their testimony is reliable but

Putting that aside we should at least evaluate when eyewitness testimony is unreliable for instance when events happen quickly or over a period of a few seconds it is hard to retain memory of an event or when people go out looking for what they want to find people that are desperately

Desiring to find Bigfoot will sometimes fool themselves into thinking they found something or when the participants are all strangers like during a bank robbery it is hard to retain memory when you were around unfamiliar people and last it is hard to retain memory if there was a weapon involved for the simple reason

That everyone is focused on the weapon and not anything else however if we examine the resurrection reports none of these seem to be a factor there is certainly not a weapon involved and it is not with strangers the disciples are familiar with each other and who they are witnessing they believe had risen

The disciples were also not expecting Jesus to rise from the dead all the accounts embarrassingly report that the disciples had misunderstood the Scriptures in what Jesus had claimed and they did not expect him to come back and the reports do not seem to happen quickly but over a period of time where

Jesus would eat and drink with him and engage in conversations or give them instructions even if you could write off the Gospels and acts as later myths we still have preserved for us early creeds and oral sermons handed down which report these as well so the reports on the surface level do

Not match circumstances that create unreliable testimony as EP Sanders admits they definitely experienced something which doesn’t bode well for the conspiracy theory so what if these accounts which is made up at a later date well this seems to be rejected by most scholars since Paul preserved for

Us an early Creed in first Corinthians 15 which is a list of witnesses that Jesus was said to have appeared to they include Peter the rest of the disciples a group of five hundred at once then James and then all the Apostles most scholars believe this list of witnesses

In the Creed goes back to within three years of Pentecost the reasons for this are simply overwhelming it is formed in a mnemonic structure and with parallelism and it is less than fifty words and all this seems to meaning was an early Creed for katha sizing new Christians it was something easy to

Learn and memorize Paul also says of the Corinthians I delivered to you when I received this is a rabbinic statement for a teacher passing on something to his students so it had to have come from the disciples themselves very early on before they could teach it to Paul the

Creed also calls Peter Cephas and not by his name Peter Cephas was an early name for him only later on was he called Peter and it has an independent tradition that is not contingent on the Gospels such as the appearance to James in the independent appearance to Peter Geritol Collins says

That he doesn’t know of any New Testament scholar who dates the Creed after the mid 40s so all the evidence suggested is very early and this means the reports of appearances are very early on as well that rules out the mythic theory what about the hallucination theory well the problem is

The appearances happen in group settings even in the early Crete and group hallucinations are exceptionally rare and because of this there was not a lot of scientific literature to explain them in a private email with scholar Michael Kona psychologist dr. Gary sabzi says I have surveyed the professional literature peer-reviewed journal

Articles and books written by psychologists psychiatrists and other relevant health care professionals during the past two decades and have yet to find a single documented case of a group hallucination an event for which there is more than one person purportedly sharing in a vision or other sensory perceptions

Where there was clearly no referent so there is not a lot of scientific evidence group hallucinations can happen peer-reviewed work on hallucinations also reports that they most often manifests in one sensory mode such as auditory or visual and then multimode hallucinations are exceptionally rare yet the appearances of Jesus contain at

Least both of these elements making the hallucination theory exceptionally improbable for an elucidation to explain the appearances you would have to say that the disciples are all each having a rare multi-mode hallucination that they are all agreeing Jesus is doing certain things like eating and drinking and giving them the exact same instructions

And this would need to have happened multiple times not just once even if you could write off the Gospels and acts as later myths we still have the early Creed preserved in 1st Corinthians 15 in other early sermons preserved in acts which report that Jesus ate and drank

With the disciples CH Dodd notes the speeches and acts seem very early because they lack influence from Pauline theology or vocabulary they contain a high degree of Semitism meaning they were likely originally Aramaic and they lack resemblance to the original written elements of Acts and Luke meaning they

Likely predate acts and seemed to be very early Aramaic speeches so the reports are very early and appear in group settings multi-sensory and over a period of time in hallucinations with these elements are so improvable it would have to be a miracle to cause one let alone several but what about the

Power of suggestion sometimes one person can cause others around them to he’ll loosen eight the same thing through the power of suggestion such as people in a lifeboat where one thinks they see a ship in the distance and they all think they see the same ship in anomalistic psychology a study of extraordinary

Phenomenon behavior and experience authors Lucy and Jones are at some of the very little literature on group hallucinations and theorize that if there is an expectation emotional excitement and people having been informed beforehand that a group hallucination may be possible it is also believed they will vary in what is

There’s a and Jones site an event from 1917 where 70,000 people said they witnessed a public miracle however the reports varied although the children reportedly saw the Virgin the crowd at least many of them witnessed a color phenomenon in which the son in the shape of a fiery disc

Began to move and approached the earth however Zeus nee and Jones also had to conclude with the final answer to these questions has yet to be obtained so they still maintain a scientific explanation has yet to explain collective hallucinations however even if they could it is interesting how their

Criteria doesn’t fit the resurrection appearances expectation and excitement were definitely not present the narratives embarrassingly portray the disciples as cowardly running for their lives after Jesus was crucified they even doubted the report of the women and when they first saw Jesus they were frightened which shows they were not

Excited and didn’t understand what was going on second it is interesting that if the appearances of Jesus were hallucinations then they do not for the criteria of varying drastically between reports all report a bodily resurrection of Jesus where he looks sort of like himself but also slightly different and

His body has new powers that do not have before as William Lane Craig says the fact remains that there is not a single instance in the case books exhibiting the diversity involved and the post-mortem appearances of Jesus but the biggest problem with the hallucination theory is this even if you discount the

Gospels is unreliable one still is to account for the early Christians preaching bodily resurrection and not a spiritual appearance the first Christians were very familiar with visions and claim to actually have some in acts 12 when the servant girl finds Peter at the gate she runs a tell

Everyone and they tell her the appearance she had with just an angel so the Christians firmly understood what visions and spiritual experiences were yet they never interpreted the appearances of Christ as just spiritual visions they firmly believed it was a bodily appearance and that is what they preached from the beginning as even

Sceptical scholar curlew Daman agrees so since the appearances were in group settings multi-sensory do not vary or were interpreted to be spiritual but always physical there was no expectation or excitement for them the hallucination theory cannot account for these appearances so what about the conspiracy theory well despite the early facts we

Mentioned about how the resurrection appearances do not match factors that make testimony unreliable it would be hard to explain how the Christians could hold together such a radical conspiracy with over 500 people involved before Christ was crucified they couldn’t even keep Judas from betraying them however

If all we have to go on is the appearances themselves and no other piece of data we have to accept that this theory could at least tentatively account for the reports of appearances even though it seems like a stretch so I don’t see any reason why the conspiracy

Theory could not account for this piece of data if especially there was no more data to go over finally the resurrection theory can account for this since if Jesus did rise from the dead reporting his physical appearance makes perfect sense the next piece of data is appearances to skeptics it is almost

Unanimously accepted that James and the brothers of Jesus were not his followers during his crucifixion it is also unanimously accepted that Paul was an enemy of the church originally in a later convert the reason for this is Paul admits it himself and cites an early Creed in Galatians 1 22

To 23 he who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy if we add the account and acts we have multiple attestation and it meets the criteria of embarrassment since Paul reports it himself that he was once the enemy and was in the wrong

The same goes for the conversion of James it is clear in the early material Paul the leader of the Jerusalem church was none other than James the brother of Jesus however all the evidence suggests that James did not believe his brother was the Christ during jesus’s ministry the Gospels embarrassingly report that

The Brothers of Jesus were skeptical of him no early Christian would dare attack a prominent leader in the church by claiming he was once jesus’s enemy James was also not listed as one present at the cross and Jesus surrendered his mother over to the Beloved Disciple

But why not his own brothers if they were in the Christian ranks this is why most scholars accept James and his brothers or early skeptics and only converted after the crucifixion so what happened that turned these enemies into believers well the mythic theory is a hard time explaining this since Paul was very

Early on writing and quoting a Creed about his own conversion also mentioning the changes in early skeptic would not have been made up as no Christian would dare to dishonor shame her lie about one of their own leaders in such a terrible way so this fact would not have been

Made up later on yet it is clear James was the early leader of the Jerusalem church as Paul and Josephus record could James and Paul of lied the question must be asked why on earth would they have done that the early church was a small persecuted and

Hated minority with a messiah who is just shamefully crucified as a criminal it was too poor to even afford their own tomb Jesus had dishonored the family and James has already opposed to him why would James suddenly feel the need to make up an appearance of Jesus’s resurrection if there was nothing to

Gain and only shame and dishonor to suddenly reverse but claim his brother was Lord after he had already mocked him openly to do such a thing would make no sense Paul also had no reason to try this he was at the top of his game a prominent leader on the rise and making

A name for himself while he persecuted the church he had everything going for him and suddenly he has an urge to leave all that and join the persecuted minority he had already hated such a sudden conversion he knew to be a lie would take a miracle in itself of nothing else

So what have they both hallucinating well adding more hallucinations to this theory begins to multiply its assumptions and causes it to lack parsimony it is even harder to explain since neither them were grieving that Jesus had died especially Paul who hated the church James may have been in grief

For his brother but he didn’t believe he was the Lord and would never have expected or even considered a physical resurrection says a dying rising Messiah was not part of second temple Judaism beliefs as scholar Michael ocona says James and his brothers would have regarded their dead brother as a heretic

Rather than rushed to Jerusalem and be caught up in the group ecstasy it seems more likely that Jesus’s execution as a criminal on a blasphemer would have supported their continual unbelief rather their conversion the plausibility of Paul having hallucination is even far lower than James since hallucinations usually happened for people who are

Expecting them and grieving over the death of the loved one neither of these would have been the case for Paul nor would a mere vision have caused his sudden conversion as we said earlier the early church knew what visions were and if Paul simply had a

Dream he would have called it a dream and moved on a hallucination would be very improbable as the cause of Paul’s sudden conversion however the Christian theory can easily explain the conversion and appearance to skeptics if Jesus really did rise and appear to them that would be enough to

Cause their miraculous conversion now we have surveyed the appearances but that is only half the battle since we cannot interview them personally today or perform a psychoanalysis but what we can do is look at the surrounding facts that accompany these appearances for us today and see which theory is the most

Plausible for them so now it’s time to fill in the gaps first up the expectation of the gospel to the surrounding world the message of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins may sound loving and warm to us but to the ancient world a culture that thrived

On honor and status such a message would be nothing but disgusting and horrendous Walter bear said the enemies of Christianity always refer to this gracefulness of the death of Jesus with great emphasis and malicious pleasure a God or son of God dying on a cross that

Was enough to put paid to the new religion david de silva knows the same thing in his work christianity was founded on a premise that should have failed from the moment it began the christians preach to the Gentiles to worship a man that was shamefully executed on the cross not only that but

A Jew of all people who the Romans looked down upon but even more than that a Jew who was a carpenter which it was also a position that was looked down upon Cicero said that such an occupation was vulgar and compared to slavery on top of that they preach physical

Resurrection to the Roman world which was detested by most pagans who thought the purpose of death was to escape the evil material universe and make it to the spiritual realm yet the Christians taught the Jewish idea that heaven would be the restoration in eternal Kingdom on earth which was not something

Pagans hoped for but even more the Christians place ethical demands on the new converts that would have shocked most pagans no temple prostitution or even extramarital affairs morality was radically challenged by the Christians that flew in the face of most pagans as they Sylvan knows the message about this

Christ was incompatible with the most deeply rooted religious ideology of the Gentile world as well as with the most recent message propagated in the Roman Imperial ideology this is seen in how the Christian opponents like Kelsey’s attacked Christianity he attacked Christians for worshipping a God who

Could not beat the Romans or even escape from the cross Justin Martyr had to respond to these attacks because pagans were calling the Christians mad for putting a crucified man next to the eternal God the Jews also thought the message of Christ was embarrassing they’re supposed Messiah was shamefully

Crucified and murdered by the Roman enemy the Messiah was expected to be a conqueror who would defeat Rome and restore the Kingdom of Israel Jesus was shamed and disgraced to follow him was to give up on the Jewish idealization of a conquering Messiah and a restored Israel on top of that Jesus

Was from Galilee and Nazareth of all places areas were looked down upon by the Jews his father was not known to them so he had a shady family history which the Jews were not keen to forget everything the Christian stood for was working against them they had better

Have good evidence and truly thought Jesus had been raised because the odds were completely against them on every front as NT Wright says Christianity was born into a world where its central claim was known to be false this being so knowing the expectation the gospel would have no group of conspirators

Would ever have made it their core doctrine if you’re going to make up a message the gain of following you want to make up something that is appealing and will work to your advantage not something that was expected to fail so the conspiracy theory could not explain

Why the Christians would make up such a story neither can the hallucination theory as we said before the crucifixion of Jesus is almost unanimously accepted by scholars as well as the fact that Jesus did it advocate lie ethical loads so unless the entire population of Jerusalem hallucinating Jesus’s crucifixion and message this

Would not be something that Christians were fallen to believing hallucinations also usually happen to grieving people as a psychological way to comfort themselves you would not hallucinate things to believe that would cause you more trouble and grief so the hallucination theory cannot explain what the disciples would preach

An utterly embarrassing message in a way to win converts and again as we’ve already noted the disciples and early church knew what visions were yet they preached the physical resurrection as part of the gospel not a spiritual vindication it would have been easier for their Gentile audience and even

Jewish audience who didn’t expect a resurrection to happen until the end of time to preach a spiritual assumption over a physical return and transformation hallucinations would have inferred this not a reanimation of the body since we know crucifixion was preached early the mythic Theory cannot explain

This either it would also fail for the same reasons the conspiracy theory does but all this fits perfectly with the resurrection theory this is what was preached by Christians because this is how it happened and they preached this embarrassing message because it was true the next factor look at is the low

Status of women in the ancient world it is unanimously accepted that in the ancient world the testimony of women was not to be trusted but let not the testimony of women be admitted on account of the levity and boldness of their sex any evidence which a woman

Gives is not valid to offer let the words of the law be burned rather than given to women there is a whole host of other sources we could look at which shows women were believed to be less trustworthy than men the ancient world was very clear the testimony of women

Was not to be trusted now take that and marvel at the fact that in the Gospels the women are the first and primary witnesses to the empty tomb this fact was utterly embarrassing for the early church first they admit they didn’t even trust the testimony of the women then

All the early sermons found in acts and the epistles always skip over the fact of the women were the first to discover the tomb that doesn’t contradict the Gospels but they tend to stay on this matter in order to make their early case because women were not deemed

To be credible witnesses yet when they write down the accounts of how it happened they cannot leave this fact out because they played such a key role discovering the empty tomb this is a serious claim because as Richard baulkham says in these stories women are given priority by God as recipients of

Revelation and thereby the role of mediators of that revelation to men the Gospels claimed the women were an intricate part of the revelation of God and the first key eyewitnesses to the resurrection thereby making their testimony necessary and telling how the empty tomb was found for an ancient

Writer this was not something you would ever make up Cal says even uses to try to discredit Christianity who claimed the entire argument for the empty tomb rested on the testimony of women NT Wright says as historians we are obliged to comment that if these stories have

Been made up five years later let alone thirty forty or fifty years later they would never have had Mary Magdalene in this role put Mary there is from the point of view of Christian apologists wanting to explain to a skeptical audience that Jesus really did rise from

The dead like shooting themselves in the foot but to us as historians this kind of thing is gold dust the early Christians would never never have made this up so the mythic theory or the conspiracy theory lacks any explanatory power with this one as Michael okona says even if the disciples

Had fled Jerusalem Joseph of Arimathea or Nicodemus may have been better candidates than women for discovering the empty tomb what about the hallucination theory it is difficult to say if the hallucination theory could fit with this one if all we have to go on is this fact I suppose you could say

Someone had a crazy dream and thought women discovered the empty tomb before anyone else but why they weren’t expecting it in multiple sources seem to agree this is how it happened plus it was such an embarrassing fact that everyone involved would have wanted to make sure it actually happened and

That it was not a dream or a subjective vision so will allow this one to pass just to be fair but there was really no reason why one would hallucinate this since it was not comforting or expected to happen but even though it lacks explanatory power will allow to tentatively pass

Until we can evaluate the evidence for the empty tomb and finally the Christian theory has no problem explaining this because the writers were reporting how it happened and of course because God is no respecter of persons and there is neither male nor female for we are all

One in Christ next fact the immediate proclamation in Jerusalem the majority of scholars could not deny that the resurrection was first preached in Jerusalem all the evidence leads to Jerusalem as being the home base and happening very early on such as the development of early Christian Creed’s and how all the sources suggest

Jerusalem is where Christianity began Tacitus mentions off the cuff that Christianity began in Judea and spread from there in one of Paul’s early epistles he mentions off the cuff that the Apostles are still preaching in Jerusalem now why does this matter well when we look at the importance of time

And when you proclaim a miracle that fact can make a serious impact as James siren said the Apostles proclaim the resurrection at Pentecost when Jerusalem expected the spread of the report and endeavored to prevent it well the eyes of their enemies were yet sparkling with rage and madness

While Calvary was yet died with the blood they had spilt there do imposters take such measures would they not have waited till the fury of the Jews had been appeased till judges and public officers had been changed until people had been less attentive to their dispositions if the evidence was not in

Their favor it would have made sense for the early church to go elsewhere as cults often do cult leaders ran up their followers and take them away from civilization or to a different area from the place where you can be disproven even with Mormonism Joseph Smith’s led his people away from New York

But the disciples walked right up to the Sanhedrin and said you crucified your Messiah and he has been raised now these people are either crazy or they are absolutely convinced they are right so the conspiracy theory has no hope of explaining this if you’re an impostor

You go off to Spain or India and proclaim your miracle not in Jerusalem where they have the evidence then motive and the means to debunk you since we know the resurrection was proclaimed early on and it was in Jerusalem it is hard to say that the mythic theory can

Explain this either this was not something we can say with developed later if the created first Corinthians 15 is roughly dated within three years of Pentecost that means there were Christians right there on Jerusalem developing this which set a foundational belief for Christians to be able to

Memorize so there is no reason to think it was developed later on or far off elsewhere so the mythic theory cannot explain this fact either but what about the hallucination theory well if all we have to go on is this fact I suppose a miraculous hallucination could convince

The disciples to preach the resurrection immediately in Jerusalem but it is still doubtful because hallucinations or visions don’t really imply a physical resurrection or do they fit with group hallucinations as we discussed earlier but it is possible if all we have is this fact alone so just in case we miss

Something we’ll allow this one to pass but the resurrection theory explains this with the most ease because if Jesus was resurrected of course the disciples had the boldness to proclaim the resurrection God would have been on their side and all the evidence would have been in their favor

Next fact the voluntary suffering of disciples and witnesses this is an important fact we cannot ignore multiple attestation from Christian and non-christian sources testifies that the early witnesses of the risen Christ were persecuted martyred for their faith Tacitus and Suetonius mention events and Josephus as well who even tells us how

James was martyred in Jerusalem first belief Jesus was the Risen Messiah Paul also admits to intense persecution early on in fact his scholars like NT right note 2nd Corinthians was written as a response to the Corinthians who asked Paul to provide some evidence of good fortune to show God was on his side

Asian people believed like some still today that if you were suffering persecution it was evidence you were being punished by God and needed to turn from your ways Paul responded with the opposite despite the cultural norms and it was meant to challenge their beliefs of how God worked a later Epistle from

Clement of rome talked of how Paul and Peter were martyred in Rome for their faith and axor course how the early witnesses were persecuted and murdered the evidence for this is multiple attested so what some people may say people die for their faith all the time why are the

Christians any different people will and have often died for things that were false but they don’t tend to die for something they know to be false we’re not talking about Christians who were martyred but the founders of Christianity who were murdered these men and women did not die just for faith but

Something they claim to have seen with their own eyes the root meaning of the word martyr is witness over time we’ve expanded the word to mean anyone who dies for their beliefs but originally they referred to someone who was a witness of an event and died for his

Truth the disciples didn’t just die for their beliefs they died for events they claimed had happened and knew very well they were true are made up fliers make lousy martyrs when you have nothing to gain it doesn’t make sense to make up or hold to a theory that is going to get

You nothing and the Apostles were not getting a whole lot out of their new religion they were constantly facing persecution from the Jews and threats of death nor do they become wealthy from what they were doing they were doing it because they were insane than one of the

Cult following they did some things that didn’t make any sense like establishing churches in other regions which it did not have total control over Paul moved from city to city raising up believers and then moving on you’re trying to establish a cult in a controlled group

Of people you do as cults do you gather your followers remove them from society where there’s a threat they’ll be pulled away by reality and you keep them very close to keep them brainwashed the Apostles didn’t do that they stayed in populated cities and left their new

Churches to go start more churches in other cities which leaves your followers vulnerable to corruption and if we read the epistles that is exactly what happened the Apostles had to revisit them and write letters to correct them constantly so it doesn’t seem like there was anything to gain from starting

Christianity unless it was an elaborate plan to be martyred so the conspiracy theory is hopeless in explaining this one the mythic theory doesn’t work either because the voluntary suffering has multiple attestation and even from secular authors and there is nothing that challenges that the disciples were

Persecuted or that many of them died for the events there port it is true if the disciples hallucinate the whole thing that it is possible they would be willing to take it to the grave but it would have to be a wild miraculous hallucination to utterly convince them of it and as we

Have seen such hallucinations are very improbable but it is slightly slightly slightly possible if the resurrection theory is true then this fact makes perfect sense the disciples were willing to suffer because Jesus was resurrected and it was better to deny men than to deny God who they witnessed with their own eyes

Final fact the existence of the empty tomb Gary Habermas has surveyed the material written by scholars on the resurrection and it’s found that 75% of them accept that tomb was found empty on Easter morning for example skeptical scholar Jacob Cramer says by far most exegetes hold firmly to the reliability of the

Biblical statements concerning the empty tomb the evidence for this is simply overwhelming however some scholars like John Dominic Crossan do not think Jesus was buried in a tomb but thrown in a trench for dogs to eat because the Romans who not have a lot of proper burial for criminals but such a theory

Flies in the face of a mountain of evidence first Dale Alison who is skeptical of physical resurrection points out the word in the cretan 1st Corinthians 15 for bury would rarely be used for dumping of criminals in a trench for dogs to eat so the earliest

Account of the burial of Jesus would be incompatible with Crossing’s argument we also have multiple attestation crucified victims were buried and two different sources say Jesus was buried we also have archaeological evidence a crucified victim received a proper burial and there was no reason to think the Romans

Would not have allowed this practice they were certainly okay with allowing other Jewish practices to go on in Jerusalem that’s just temple worship which they detest it because it meant a rejection of Roman gods they allowed to juice a conductor on trials have their own temple guards keep the Sabbath and so forth

There is no reason they would not have allowed this as well and it fits with archaeological and textual evidence Jesus’s burial not only has multiple attestation but it meets the criteria of embarrassment since they say he was buried in the tomb of a Sanhedrin member which would have been dishonouring for

His followers such a group had just their lorry and now they needed the Bama tune for him from one of its own members to the public this would have looked pretty humiliating and the fact that they mentioned he was in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea means the tomb was

Public knowledge and its whereabouts were known so the public at any time would have known about it and could have readily debunked it if the tomb was not empty but the account of the empty tomb is also embarrassing because it was discovered by women and we have already

Discussed this is not something you would have made up Matthew also mentions the competing theory that the disciples stole the body this is odd because why would Matthew want to mention the competing theory which could possibly start up doubt among the people he was trying to convert Justin Martyr writing

Later has to respond to this theory because it was the official story Jews were telling people which is an interesting admission because it says the body could not be found if the Sanhedrin still at the body they could have had Gentiles bring it out for them

And show the tomb was never empty but the Christians never had to respond to this charge so both sides agreed the body was missing finally we have the Nazareth inscription a stone found in the area and it has written on it an imperial decree from around 41 ad which

Says that the penalty for grave robbing was death which is interesting because it is very severe for how Romans punished thieving the Romans would not normally give such a high penalty for stealing something but this will make sense with the rise of Christianity and what Suetonius tells us in Rome there

Were riots among the Jews on accounts of Christus which was a common Roman mispronunciation of Christ and eventually Claudius expelled all the Jews because of it if some Jews in Rome were preaching Christ was resurrected and riots resulted from it and the tomb was not empty there would be no need for

An imperial decree because they could just produce the body but because the only alternative explanation was the body was missing because it was stolen Rome’s only option would be to issue a decree to try to combat the accounts of a missing body if there was a body then

Rome could have just dispelled the riots with the body and not have to indirectly admit the body when missing so it appears to be that from all sides the body was missing away there’s no evidence the empty tomb was just a fabrication and this is why most scholars today accept that tomb was

Found empty all the evidence simply favours it so if the body was stolen who did it would Rome of course not because they would not have cared how about the Jewish leaders why would they they wanted Jesus crucified shamed buried and forgotten the last thing they wanted was

Suspicion of him coming back to life of course the Sanhedrin claimed it was the disciples but that is unlikely their rabbi had just been crucified and a movement was dispersed in shamed they were in fear the Jewish authorities would come after them as well there is

No reason to think they would have been in the position to steal a body and create a mass hoax second if they had stolen the body there is little reason to think they would have reported the theory that Jewish leaders were spreading if it was true the last thing

They would have wanted would help spread the rumor they had stolen the body and if they had stolen the body they would not have reported to their shame and dishonor that they had not believed the reports of the women when they found the empty tomb nor would they have

Embarrassingly reported that they had not understood that Jesus had predicted his rise these were very embarrassing and shameful things to report later Christians would not have made this up and attack the honor and authority of their leaders nor would have the disciples unless they wanted to shame

Themselves and most of all where would they have taken the body a common overlooked fact is that this was Passover and the city was flooded with pilgrims they would have been seen and they would have been caught it would have been very hard to pull off especially getting the body out of the

Sanhedrin section of town so for the conspiracy theory to work you need to deposit the disciples were in fear for their lives yet somehow decided to steal the body and faked a resurrection even though none of them were expecting that then they managed to get the body out of

The Sanhedrin section of town where the tombs were and hide it in an overcrowded City the entire theory becomes overwhelmingly unlikely the hallucination theory doesn’t work either did the entire population of Jerusalem hallucinate so the theory it was not really discovered empty fails as well what about the mythic theory so I’ve

Tried to claim the empty tomb was made up later because it is not specifically mentioned in the Creed Paul gives us in first Corinthians well this just ignores the amount of evidence we already gave and that the empty tomb and physical resurrection are both mentioned in the early passion

Narrative found in mark but most of all it overlooks what the Korean first Corinthians says it says that he was buried and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures he was buried and raised it is pretty obvious that what was buried

Is what was raised and therefore the tomb would have been empty as NT Wright says the fact that the empty tomb itself so prominent the Gospel accounts does not appear to be specifically mentioned in this passage is not significant the mention here of buried and raised no

More need to be amplified in that way then one would need to amplify the statement I walk down the street with the qualification on my feet so the mythic theory fails here as well but there is one theory they can’t account for all the data it is the theory that

Jesus was raised and vindicated by God no other Theory out there can account for all the data the mythic theory fails because we only argued from facts that we know are early and could not have been made up the conspiracy theory could not account for the quality of the

Testimonies of the disciples the empty tomb herwise skeptics would join a small persecuted minority the hallucination theory could only work if you posit some pretty miraculous hallucinations to cause the disciples to change their idea skeptics to convert and posit crazy ideas no one was expecting or looking

For it has to posit such a wild hallucination it would take a miracle itself only the theory that was reported can account for all the data because of that it has explanatory scope because they can explain all the data with the least amount of effort it has explanatory power it provides

Illumination as well which means it can explain other areas of history like the rise of Christianity and the belief in physical resurrection in fact this means three pieces of the criteria are filled that historians use when judging an historical hypothesis behan mccullough who has outlined the criterion for weighing historical theories accepts the

Resurrection hypothesis meets these three things better than any other hypothesis but claims it fails the other two pieces of criteria this Christian hypothesis is of greater explanatory scope and power than other hypotheses which try to account for the relevant evidence but it is less plausible and more ad hoc than

They are so McCullough accepts the resurrection meets three out of five of the criteria for historical investigation but fails the other two however there have been replies to challenge this dr. Travis Campbell has why is the resurrection theory ad-hoc to be ad hoc according to McCullough means a number

Of new suppositions are made by hypothesis that are not already implied in existing knowledge so the hypothesis adds extra assumptions in order to explain the data that is not already present but dr. Campbell points out the resurrection theory only adds one extra assumption not multiple it is difficult

To see why the resurrection hypothesis is extraordinarily ad hoc it requires only one new supposition that God exists surely rival hypotheses require many new suppositions the hallucination theory requires we say group hallucinations plus multi-sensory experiences happened on multiple occasions and that they were so powerful that the disciples took it

To their death preaching something that only brought in poverty and turmoil as well as a crazy Mass City hallucination that there was an empty tomb the conspiracy theory wants us to believe a bunch of frightened followers of Jesus stole a body in secret in an overcrowded

City to makeup up the story they were not expecting or was not in line with Jewish messianic expectations in order to get themselves murdered and that some of the skeptics decided to join their poor persecuted movement for no reason at all the mythic theory expects us to believe an extra assumption for each

Fact that it was actually made up later in spite of hard evidence these facts were very early and unlikely made up the resurrection theory only wants us to add the assumption that God exists which is not @ha if we combine the resurrection argument with other arguments we’ve already presented which infer theism

Since we’ve already argued for theism the resurrection hypothesis would hardly be ad hoc as dr. Campbell says moreover for the person who is already a theist the resurrection hypothesis does not even introduced a new supposition of God’s existence since that is already implied by existing knowledge so the resurrection hypothesis cannot be said

To be ad ha simply by a virtue of the number of suppositions it introduces what about plausibility a historical theory is plausible if other areas are known with confidence and suggests the same theory yours is suggesting so if other things suggests the same conclusion is your theory that would make your theory

Plausible and in line with other beliefs but as we’ve already suggested why would the resurrection theory not be plausible if we have other arguments to infer theism as William Lane Craig says only if the naturalist has good reasons to think that God’s existence is implausible or is intervention in the

World implausible could he justifiably regard the resurrection hypothesis as implausible so if one insists on assuming naturalism is true and leaves no reason for theism as a possibility then they can say the resurrection theory is implausible but that is arguing from a presupposition and not being open to evidence regardless of how

One feels about it and we can say that in conjunction with other arguments the resurrection hypothesis is not ad hoc nor is it implausible has already been shown God exists thus we can see why Anthony flue was bold enough to say the resurrection has more evidence than any

Other miracle claim the resurrection is the only theory that can explain all the data and it can do it while not being at hawk or implausible the evidence infers that God has acted in the world to raise Jesus from the dead as Paulo Frederickson admitted they must have

Seen something in all the evidence favors that what they saw was the risen Savior

#Resurrection #Jesus #Historical #Evidence

Inside Colombia’s Temple of Lucifer

-We’re about to start my initiation ritual, into the “Luciferian” religion. -I saw him, an angel, he was enormous, with seven wings. I’m organizing an army of Lucifer’s children. What would be the ultimate goal of this army? To confront them. -Who, you wonder? -The grand whore. -The grand whore, you mean Catholic church?

We bring this man before you. LUCIFER’S TEMPLE Hi, I’m Andrés Páramo. We’re really close to what is called the Luciferian Temple, Seeds of Light, led by a guy called Victor Damian Rozo. Hello friends from Latin America, I’m Victor Damian Rozo Villareal. Founder of the Association, Luciferian Temple, Seeds of Light.

We came here to interview him and to do a satanic initiation ritual. And to also see what people think about this and what their opinions are regarding this phenomenon. Until now he hasn’t revealed himself. Some girls that entered that place came out mentally insane. The way they adore Lucifer by sacrificing innocent animals,

Killing them in such a cruel way so they can drink their blood and idolizing Lucifer’s image. We’re carrying out some legal proceedings, not because of the religion they practice but because they don’t have the legal requirements to construct their building. They’re going to be fined

$64 million pesos. He has to pay it if not they’ll demolish the place. Even the police have visited but they didn’t find anyone in there. The devil for us is a negative thing, a symbol of all bad things like, no values We haven’t done anything here because we haven’t found anything

But we will keep our doors closed if we do. The people we interviewed at Quimbaya square all had the same opinion about Victor Damian and his temple. They all rejected the idea and were afraid of it so they kept the emergence of this Luciferian religion at a cautious distance.

A different story emerged when we traveled to his farm. Alberto Trujillo, a neighbor who worked for him doing many things, took us on a ride, recounting a kinder, more humane side of Lucifer’s son. -Yes, I’m his driver. He’ll ask me to go and buy materials for him since he’s sick.

-Yeah, and do you live close to him? Our properties are close to each other. -Yeah, and what do you think about the temple? Nothing, everyone has the right to do their own thing. -Even if it’s Satanic? -Yes. -And if he’s the devil, he’s just as bad. Yes or no? -Yes.

He’s evil so we have to take care of ourselves. -Well, what about Damian? -What do you think about him? -No, he’s very professional. -Very professional. -Hail Mary, for sure. -He just built that temple about a year ago. -And nothing has happened? No, nothing has happened. -Nobody has gone there? No, no.

-And don’t you find that a bit weird? A temple where nothing happens? Some people say that they use it to film horror movies. So they made that space to film horror movies. about vampires. The ranch has two houses, two swimming pools, a couple of German Shepherds, and finally, in the distance,

The construction of a building with inverted crosses. From the outside, the temple looks deserted, abandoned and totally private. And for being a church, it doesn’t really feel welcoming. -Victor or Hector? -Victor is more of an alias. But my real name is Hector Londoño Villegas. Victor Damián Rozo is more of a personality.

-So, Hector, please tell us what this space is about? On this side we have a shield, “Satanas Rae”, with an inverted cross on the shield, which represents the rebellion, a worldwide rejection of religion, of Christianity. And why do you reject Catholicism? Because of their history and what they have done to us.

Because of what they represent, this huge scam that they’ve embroiled us in for thousands of years. This is a Luciferian shield. It represents good and evil. And what is the evil part? Evil for us does not exist. Got it? What’s important to us is your character and behavior.

If you do good things than you’re going to have a good life. It all depends on your behavior. As followers of Lucifer, we do not believe in evil as something that’s imposed on us. If you do this, you’re bad. That having sex with your neighbor’s wife is bad. No.

We don’t believe in that. To make a pact with the devil is to change your doctrine, change your religion. To make a pact with the devil is nothing else but to embrace him and accept him. I wanted to deliver this message and grab the people’s attention in a certain way.

My goal here on Earth is to gather souls for him. So I had to send a message since people know him like this. So, I had to do something like a marketing campaign. Hello friends from Latin America. I am Victor Damian Rozo Villareal. Lucifer’s representative here on earth.

And, founder of Lucifer’s Temple, Seeds of Light. The only Luciferian temple in the world. Don’t let yourself be fooled! Don’t you let them take your money anymore. Don’t let them scam you. If they do, you’re gullible. Don’t be fooled! This is Victor Damian Rozo, the founder of the Luciferian Temple, Seeds of Light.

-Tell me, where are you from? -I come from a very spiritual family. From witch doctors and sorcerers. My mother was a renown spiritist. My grandfather too, he healed and cursed as he wished. I stared studying this when I was in school. I remember I used to get my books and a Ouija board,

And I would go study. I would go to the bathroom and I began playing with the Ouija board there. I explored new things. And as I got older I started to work as a spiritist. As a sorcerer. Like what your mom did? Exactly. But, it was a side job

Because before this, I used to do random jobs. I use to be a normal person, working in shoe warehouses, selling clothes. -All day? -All day. But when was the moment where you decided to work for Lucifer, and nothing else? In a dream, I saw him, he was an enormous angel,

And he told me that he had big plans for me. He told me, you are the chosen one. Got it. I chose you to gather my children. We have to organize the army of the children of Lucifer. What would that army’s goal be? We would confront them. Who, you wonder? The great whore.

The great whore? The Catholic church? Yes, the Catholic church. I’m here on earth, sent by my father, Lucifer. I was sent by him, to gather souls. To gather souls, devoted followers for Lucifer. For our amazing God, I am the chosen one. -We’re in front of La Crónica building,

One of the most important and established newspapers in this region. In there, Oliver Gomez is waiting for us. A journalist that has been following Lucifer’s son very closely. Among other things, he has reported that this guy hasn’t traveled around the world, but has actually photoshopped himself into these pictures.

So let’s hear what he has to say. I found out about him from a report that I wrote about a person that has no legs. -Why do you do this? Because it’s easier for me to receive what I need from the devil than with God. And I hope that Mr. Damian helps me.

What tangible things has Lucifer given to you, what do you have now? Right now, I have some money saved, a car, and my health. He has given me what I dreamed of, and I have more dreams that he’s going to help come true for me.

But then he told me that it was a lie. It was a scam, he received money to do that. And that guy ended up scamming him as well. Journalistically speaking, what do you think was the most serious thing? His false advertising. You can’t play with people’s hopes and dreams.

We seen his videos on the internet, I think he’s deleted them all but fortunately we downloaded one of them and we uploaded it to our platform. We saw a powerful, rich man telling people that they could get all these material things Just as he did with the handicapped man,

The man with no legs, who’s asks for help in southern part of the city. This was all a lie. So lying to people and playing with their dreams is the worst thing about Damian Rozo, or whatever his name is. He’s destroying people’s dreams.

Hello, friends from a Latin America. This is Victor Damian Rozo. The founder of the Luciferian Temple, Seeds of Light. Your temple. The benefits are clear and obvious. You’ll leave your sadness behind. Rebel against the regime and start worshipping Satan, the true god, Lucifer.

Are you tired of looking for God and answers that you can’t find? Contact me, from anywhere in the world. I’ll tell you how you can be a true believer and make a pact with Lucifer. My name is Victor Damian Rozo Villarreal. Dare to do it! Let yourself be surprised.

As night fell, we came back to Victor Damian’s farmhouse to see him in action. To see how far or close we were to the possible manifestation of this serious religion. We are about to start my initiation ritual into the Luciferian religion. Victor Damian is anxiously awaiting, but I think I’m more anxious.

There are some of his followers. He’s wearing a red tunic the rest of them are wearing black tunics. and they’re about to dress me up to convert me into a believer. We’ll see what happens tonight. We’re gathered here, once again to venerate the name of our father, Lucifer.

We need a lot of discipline and consistency. In the name of our father, Lucifer, the God we worship, please, let’s “hit a home run” as they colloquially say. King of Earth. Planetary King. Before you, Lucifer, is this man. Open up his eyes. He’s here before you, God of freedom.

God of love, God of the universe. Oh, Lucifer. We present this man before you. Praying for you. I curse the presence of that false God they taught us to adore. I curse the presence of that God that I used to follow. Your revenge is my revenge. Your power is my power.

Your light is my light. Your goodness is my goodness. You taught me the true meaning of goodness. Your gave me freedom, you gave me power. Your gave me a true reason to live. For eternity, our eternal celestial father, we stand before you, Lucifer. My soul evokes your presence.

Our souls are longing for the end of times. The day when we will finally fight at your side. The day of the final battle, when we will be victorious. Glory to you, Father Lucifer. Repeat after me: -Before you. -Before you. -Powerful God of freedom. -Powerful God of freedom. -Powerful Lucifer. -Powerful Lucifer.

-God of the Universe. -God of the Universe. -God of freedom. -God of freedom. -God of love. -God of love. -God of power. -God of power. -God of richness. -God of richness. -I come before you. -I come before you. -Here we are. -Here we are. -In your temple. -In your temple.

-Looking for. -Looking for. -The path. -The path. -That leads me. -That leads me. -To you. -To you. -It is for you to judge, not me. The Luciferian ceremony has come to an end. One of the thousand ceremonies that have taken place here at the Luciferian Temple, Seeds of Light.

How did feel me throughout the ritual? You were very relaxed, very calm and curious. What about what we did in the temple, like making me go down on my knees What was that for exactly? That was an invocation to our father, Lucifer.

But it all depends on him, he knows if you really want it. I feel that you really don’t want to be a Luciferian. That’s what I believe. I think that your beliefs are different. I don’t know what your beliefs are, but I respect them.

But I don’t think you’re really interested in being a Luciferian. Now it depends on him, if he decides to accept you. The ceremony has come to an end. It was intense. It seems now that Lucifer is going to decide if I’ll be a part of his reign. We’ll see tomorrow how I feel.

-We are back in Montenegro Quindío, the day after the ceremony. We were left with some doubts yesterday. Everything went too fast. I’d like to know how this place usually works. Victor Damián is really charming. I found him fascinating during the interview.

He’s very kind, recieved us openly and he put on a good show. The ceremony was incredible, but there were some details that disappointed me a little bit. His cellphone kept ringing throughout the ceremony. He paid his followers. We have an audio recording

Where he told them he’ll give them a certain amount of money for their time. -How much for you? $10 pesos? -$11 pesos. -$11 pesos? -Fine, $11 pesos. -May God bless you, my son. That man has $50 pesos for each one of you. Arrange it with him.

Guys, please head out fast. Hurry up! Hurry up! Oh! This is what I love the most about parties. These are the tunics that the believers used. Today we found them in the swimming pool, in a very visible place. We also found the cross thrown over there.

The cross they used to purify me yesterday is now laying here at the entrance. All the things that we found the next day after the ceremony make me doubt the faith that Lucifer’s son has in his father. However, that doesn’t take away from his charisma when speaking about

The subject, or the grandiosity of the ceremony he conducted. There’s no doubt that this guy knows how to put on a show. What’s the purpose of forgiveness, if they keep cheating on people? If they keep subjugating them? If they keep taking people to churches

So they can take away the little money they have. While they continue to get richer and richer, and the people get poorer. Don’t close your eyes during the day, and say, “It must be nighttime since I only see darkness.” No! Dare to join us, and you will be surprised.

#Colombias #Temple #Lucifer

The Problem of Evil: A Christian Response

The problem of evil is the most used and biggest objection to the existence of God there is not a skeptic out there who doesn’t cite the existence of evil as a reason God probably does not exist and So we need to be frank

This is a serious objection that Christians cannot simply overlook and There are no answers to the problem of evil that can explain every horrible event The reason why this is a persistent objection is because of the emotional sting that evil causes runs deep for mankind

Why does God allow so much pain and misery? Does God really love us if he can look down and see a child being tortured and not stop it any? One of us would if we came across such a horrible act Yet the omniscient God does nothing and simply lets evil continue unchecked why

I’ve spent years researching this in Adelaide a formal video on it because I wanted to take my time and give it a fair treatment Again, this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed But over the years of my research, I have come to the conclusion

The only way to address the problem of evil is not just through philosophy Although that is part of it because the problem of evil stings emotionally more than anything else. I’m Indebted to Clay Jones for this but one cannot truly address the problem of evil without the message of the gospel. I

Don’t think the problem of evil can be answered without Christianity and I’ll explain why later on But first we need to begin by going over what the problem of evil is and the different types of arguments I Would suspect the problem of evil has been used for millennia

But the logical problem of evil was famously given by the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus and is what most people think of when they think of the problem of evil? Premise 1 if God is all good. Then he wants to stop evil premise 2 if God is all-powerful Then can stop evil

Premise 3 there is evil Conclusion. Therefore there is on an all-powerful and all good God However, this argument is not used by most modern atheistic philosophers because it ignored another important attribute of God his omniscience

Being that God is all-knowing. He might in his perfect knowledge have very good reasons for allowing evil that we cannot see Agnostic Paul Draper notes that some serious attempts have been given that show evil is logically compatible with God’s existence Specifically he says alvin plantinga’s free will defense has persuaded many

Planting a says of his free will defense a world containing creatures who are significantly free and freely perform more good than evil actions is More valuable all else being equal than a world containing no free creatures at all

Now God can create free creatures, but he can’t cause or determine them to do only what is right for If he does so then they aren’t significantly free after all They do not do what is right freely to create creatures capable of moral good therefore He must create creatures

Capable of moral evil and he can’t give these creatures of freedom to perform evil and at the same time prevent them from doing so as It turned out sadly enough some of the free creatures. God created went wrong in the exercise of their freedom

And this is the source of moral evil the fact that free creatures sometimes go wrong However counts neither against God’s omnipotence nor against his goodness for he could have first Auld the occurrence of moral evil only by removing the possibility of moral good

Paul Draper notes in order for a logical argument from evil to succeed It is necessary to show that for some known fact about evil It is logically impossible for God to have a good moral reason to permit that fact to obtain

This however is precisely what most philosophers nowadays believe cannot be shown and So the free will defense succeeds in showing it as at least logically possible For God to exist alongside evil Because it might be the case a world with freewill and evil is more

Valuable than a world with no free will and no evil and Thus William Roe has to admit there is a fairly compelling argument for the view that the existence of evil is logically consistent with the existence of a theistic God What most atheists argue today is the evidential problem of evil

Which today is where the real debate is because it is a probabilistic argument It argues that given the amount of evil in the world. It is unlikely an all-loving all-powerful God exists as Paul Draper says premise 1 gratuitous evil exists Premise 2 the hypothesis of indifference ie that if there are

Supernatural beings they are indifferent to gratuitous evils is a better explanation for 1 than theism Conclusion therefore evidence prefers that no God as commonly understood by theists exists Perhaps Sam Harris explains the issue of evil in a far more relatable way Somewhere in the world a man has abducted a little girl

Soon he will rape torture and kill her If an atrocity of this kind is not occurring at precisely this moment It will happen in a few hours or days at most the girl’s parents believe at this very moment that an all-powerful and all-loving God is

Watching over them in their family. Are they right to believe this? is it good that they believe this know the entirety of atheism is contained in this response as You can see the issue many skeptics have is given the amount of horrendous evil in the world

How can an all-loving God allow this to happen, especially if he has the power to stop it? Surely it is far more likely there is no such God The issue itself has to be addressed by looking at what moral evil is it cannot be brushed over as mere hardship?

To put it bluntly as Lewis said the Christian answer that we have used our freewill to become very bad is so well known That it hardly needs to be stated But to bring this doctrine in the real life in the minds of modern men and even modern Christians is very hard

We need to really look at what evil is and I’m not going to hold any punches back or give a cheap account So viewer discretion is advised The reality is the atheists are right that our history is filled with insurmountable horrendous evil

The reality we all have to face his genocide is not inhumane despite that little lie. We’d like to tell ourselves Genocide is very much human When the Bible says humans are totally depraved is meant to be a very serious claim Matt Dillahunty and many others have argued

The Bible is an evil book that poisons our minds Telling us we are totally depraved is a horrible thing to say and degrades us as humans Well, that would only be true if the Bible was lying and we are not actually depraved

If I was suffering from narcissism and you told me I was a narcissist and needed to get psychiatric help That would only be a horrible thing to say if it was false If it was true that it might have been the best thing you could have told me

Because you would want to see me get help and overcome my mental disorder so if the Bible claims that we are totally depraved we ought to test that against reality and It will help us better understand. What moral evil is

What I’m about to go over will be a hard pill to swallow and it will take some time to unpack Because once we understand human nature, I suggest the problem of evil falls in the context

See, we like to think of ourselves as further along than our primitive ancestors who engaged in genocide rape and torture But there have been more people murdered in the past 120 years than any other time in our history The two world wars gave humanity an up-close look at some of the most brutal

Humans have ever committed against their fellow humans the Nazis rounded up Jews homosexuals gypsies the handicapped Polish Ukrainians and many other groups they deemed unworthy, they ripped children from their mothers and they murdered children in front of their parents. They

Made their victims walk in horrible death marches force them into sweltering rail cars and then made them travel for days without food or water People would defecate urinate and puke all over each other in these rail cars all to be taken the death camps where they were painfully exterminated with poisonous gas

Reports from guards talk of people in the chambers climbing over each other to try to claw their way out They knew everyone was dead when the screaming stopped The Nazis also performed Carew some experiments on young children where victims were put in a decompression chambers drained of blood or sewn together

The worst part was most of the young men who carried out these killings and tortures were average people from Germany drafted into the military We have identified over 10,000 camps ghettos and brothels the Nazis set up Many of the so called unfit were forcing the slave labor for Volkswagen BMW

Bayer and many other companies So it is not like the Germans did not know what was going on the German population knew early on Hillier wanted to exterminate those he saw his unfit and most did nothing when he started rounding people up and Worst of all many joined in and helped him

Was this inhumane this was completely human Of course it is sadly obvious to any student of history Japan was probably far worse than Germany the horrors They brought upon the Chinese people were thought to be unfathomable in a post enlightenment era the Japanese army raped tortured and murdered more than

300,000 Chinese and committed some of the most gruesome acts known to man People were lined up in decapitation contests civilians were tied down and used for bayonet practice Soldiers routinely would target women for gang rapes and torture and more often than not they targeted children

Many went beyond rape and disemboweled women slice off their breasts. They would hang men and women on hooks up by their tongues Fathers were forced to rape their own daughters at gunpoint people were buried alive castrated and roasted alive over fires It was so bad that Nazi leaders present and man king

Intervened to put a stop to it The Japanese army was so bad Nazis couldn’t even handle it Was this inhumane? This was completely human After the war when Russia marched into Berlin, they did many of the same things to German civilians

Starving women who came out of their homes to search for food were targeted for gang rape by Russian soldiers Fathers were forced to watch their daughters raped and tortured and were forced to pick which soldier got to go first in The USSR people were tortured and enslaved in concentration camps in Siberia

Populations like the Ukrainians were selected to be starved to death Parents were murdered in front of their children But then the children were left alive to starve to death as to not waste any bullets on them Was this inhumane? This was completely human

Okay, but surely these examples are extremes and the result of citizens being brainwashed by fascists and communists It would be wonderful if that was all this was But we see endless examples of these massacres throughout history in Rwanda in 1994 People were tortured and raped and over 800,000 were murdered

1.2 million Armenians were murdered by the Young Turks from 1915 to 1923 Roughly 2 million were murdered in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979 in Guatemala Thousands of mine Indians were murdered the Reconciliation Commission of South Africa found that there were over 36,000 cases of abductions rape tortures and killings

I could go on and on talking about the genocide committed against saroja Muslims the rape epidemic in the Congo and Haiti Isis the Taliban Saddam Hussein’s Iraq the French military in Algeria the British Empire in

Tasmania in many other lands they conquered and even the slavery of Africans in the Western world and the genocide committed against Native Americans on every continent in every century genocide rape and war has been committed by humans because that is what humans do and I’ve only stuck with recent examples

Our history is filled with countless more examples and probably even more acts of genocide that were lost a time Humans are murderous selfish evil creatures and we have the audacity to call genocide inhumane I would bet the hundreds of species. We’ve directly caused to go extinct. Wish we were actually inhumane and

Let’s not pretend that we ourselves are somehow better than these other humans or that we would never commit such horrible acts Most of the people who ended up committing these terrible acts were terrifyingly normal They did it out of hate fear pride or just to be accepted by superiors

Holocaust survivor and professor Freddie Katz says only a tiny proportion of this century’s massive killings are Attributable to the actions of those people we call criminals or crazy people or socially alienated people Or even people we identify as evil people

The vast majority of killings were carried out by plain folk in the population ordinary people like you and me Cats reminds us he was ordinary people that carried out the plans of Hitler Stalin and Mao It was ordinary people that sat by and let it happen

Assuring themselves their own skins would be saved if they just followed orders It was ordinary people They let political divides Turned into vitriolic hatred for their opponents that eventually led them to think they must be killed first before they turn and kill us

We forget that there were actually many Jews that administered the ghettos or man, the gas chambers out of fear for their own survival even now in this country People who are on opposite sides of the political spectrum Or spoken of is not even human or need to be murdered for the greater good

It doesn’t take many more steps before we allow ourselves to slide into actions. We cannot take back people today are even talking as if a civil war is on the horizon and Yet we don’t think massacres could happen today

Given the history of our species I am highly skeptical things could not get out of control as they so often have in the past Psychologist Israel journey says Sometimes sitting in a staff meeting of a modern psychiatric hospital. I could see how it all could happen

The ingredients were all there the bitter hating factions among the staff disguising themselves in the pomp and circumstances of a mental health conference the barely disguised superiority and disdain for the hapless patient the patronizing professional sympathy in

Righteousness that barely concealed the brutality of the so-called modern therapies of electric shock in brain surgery The dehumanizing everyday hurting of anonymous patients into anonymous routines Everywhere in lovely families that persecuted one or more other members in the Universities

I loved where faculty intrigues and hatred knew no bounds in the Pampas coldness of exalted physicians Turning away from the death fears of their patients Almost every researcher that has looked in the genocide Concludes that genocide is carried out by the average person not by supervillains or dark Lords

Whether we want to lie to ourselves or not There is potential in us all to commit genocide and all sorts of other selfish evil acts Laying them Gilkey believed humans were naturally good until he was placed in an internment camp by the Japanese He said nothing indicates

So clearly the fixed belief in the innate goodness of humans as Does this confidence that when the chips are down and we are revealed for what we really are We will all be good to each other Nothing could be so totally an error

We forget that we have most of our needs met in the Western world That most people who have lived on this earth did not have access to We’ve not had to face the hardships of the past like tribal warfare with the kill-or-be-killed Mentality because we are blessed with such excess

So we are lucky our primal natures are not so evident If you had to fight for your survival under a brutal regime Or in an ancient setting you may very well be surprised at what you were capable of

The reality is our depraved nature is not something thrust upon us. It is very much a part of us and our ancestry The murder rate in prehistoric times was much higher than we expected When there was no law or fear of punishment

People often did what they had to do to survive or simply just did what they wanted in fact a recent paper suggested due to high murder rates the human population bottleneck roughly between 5,000 and 7,000 years ago with only one man for every 17 women

The idea modern societies have simply corrupted us is not backed by data Studies also back this up Stanley Milgram conducted the first Milgram experiments Where a subject would be brought in under the assumption that he was there to be one of two participants in a learning experiment

They were instructed to ask a person in another room a series of questions Unbeknownst, they were actually a paid actor if the other person answered wrong They would have to give them an electrical shock as ordered by the scientists Each shock would increase in the amount of pain it caused

The actor would cry from the other room They were having heart problems But the scientists performing the experiments would tell the subject he had to keep going regardless of the pain They were causing the person in the other room the results shockingly demonstrated that 65% of subjects in ministered all the shocks as

Instructed including one that was perpetrated to give a lethal shock Other researchers replicated these results with even higher percentages with subjects administering all the shocks in 1970 in West Germany 85% administered all shocks in 2017 in Poland 90% of participants also administered all the shocks

The data shows it is not hard for the average person to do horrible things Atheist Michael ruse says I think Christianity has spot-on about original sin how could one think otherwise when the world’s most civilized in advanced people the people of Beethoven Goethe can’t Embrace that slimeball Hitler and participated in the Holocaust

But surely there has to be some good people out there who do not deserve the lives they’ve been given Clay Jones asked a very simple question in his book do gang members stop at red lights Yes, but not because they respect that particular law it is out of self-interest

No one wants it gets sidelined by oncoming traffic Most people do not rob banks because they don’t want to go to jail Most people do not cheat on their spouse because they don’t want to destroy a marriage they may like ruin the reputation or lose relationships they derive meaning from

It’s hard to deny that much of what motivates us is self-interest when people do decide to go ahead with these terrible acts it is because they think they have clever ways out of them or Think the act will benefit them more than what they could lose

The sad reality is we are all motivated by our own self-interest in The light of human nature even acts of heroism and sacrifice can be motivated by self-interest Ernest Becker who openly rejects Christianity says Everything painful and sobering in what psychoanalytical genius and religious genius had discovered about a man

Revolves around the terror of admitting what one is doing to earn his self-esteem This is why human heroics is a blind driven as’ that burns people up in passionate people Screaming for glory as uncritical and reflexive as the howling of a dog in the more passive masses of mediocre

Men, it is disguised as they humbly and complainingly follow out the roles that society has provided for their heroics Man will lay down his life for his country his society his family He will choose to throw himself on a grenade to save his comrades. He is capable of the highest generosity and self-sacrifice

But he has to feel and believe that what he is doing is truly heroic timeless and supremely meaningful The hard truth no one wants to accept is there is no one good None are righteous. No one no one understands No one seeks for God all have turned aside together. They have become worthless

No one does good. Not even one There are many that wish to whitewash Jesus and just reduce them to a good moral teacher that offers some good advice and lessons But jesus never paints humanity as something inherently good that just needs a little guidance

But instead of sinners that desperately need to repent less we to perish if Christianity is true. It needs to answer for why bad things happen to people The answer we offer is this There are no good people for bad things to happen to da Carson says

First Jesus has not assumed that those who suffered under Pilate are those who were killed in the collapse of the tower? Did not deserve their fate Indeed the fact that he can tell those contemporaries that unless they repent

They too will perish shows that Jesus assumes that all death is in one way or another the result of sin and therefore deserved Second Jesus does insist that death by such means is no evidence whatsoever That those who suffer in this way are any more wicked than those who escape such a fate?

The assumption seems to be that all deserve to die if Some died under a barbarous governor and others in a tragic accident It is not more than they deserve but that does not mean that others deserve any less

Rather the implication is that it is only God’s and mercy that has kept them alive Third Jesus treats wars in natural disasters not as agenda items in a discussion of the Mysterious ways of God but as incentives to repentance

It as if he is saying that God uses disaster as a megaphone to call attention to our guilt and Destination to the imminence of his righteous judgment if he sees no repentance this is an argument developed at great length in Amos for

Disaster is a call to repentance Jesus might have added as he does elsewhere that peace and Tranquillity, which we do not deserve show us God’s goodness and forbearance it Is a mark of our lostness that we invert these two?

We think we deserve the times of blessing and prosperity and think that times of war in disaster are not only unfair become perilously close to calling into question God’s goodness or his power even Perhaps his very existence Jesus simply did not see it that way

Now I have hammered this point for quite a while because one of the worst lies we tell ourselves Is we really are good and do not deserve the world. We have created but nothing could be further from the truth God’s judgment our absence in rescuing us from this world seems barbaric

Only to the person that has not understood the depths of human psychology But if we can take some time to reflect on the state of humanity as seus Lewis puts it God’s wrath Seems to be inevitable a mere corollary from God’s goodness

Mere sloth wolf once questioned the wrath of God, but when he saw two hundred thousand people killed in Yugoslavia He said my people were shelled day in and day out Some of them brutalized beyond imagination and I cannot imagine God not being angry

Though I used to complain about the indecency of the idea of God’s wrath I came to think I would have to rebel against the God who wasn’t wrathful at the site of the world’s evil God isn’t wrathful in spite of being loved God is wrathful because God is love

Now I need to be clear that Myself or any of the author’s I’ve quoted are not saying every horrible thing that happens to a person Should be seen as a direct punishment from God for their sin. No one is suggesting that

The point is simply to critique the notion that bad things happen to good people bad things happen to bad people and this is so because this is the world the human species chooses to live in every day as Our cease pearl once said why do bad things happen to good people?

Well, that only happened once and he volunteered The truth of the matter is no one has died before the age of accountability. That is not guilty Every person is invested in self interests and contributes to evil one way or another in

Light of all this the real question we should be asking is not why does a good God allow so much evil? But why does a good God not just wipe us out for the good of the universe? The answer to why there is so much evil is simple. There are so many humans

Every day we choose to contribute to the evil in the world by simply going about our day doing nothing and focusing on ourselves To put this into perspective with numbers the UN estimates that would cost roughly 30 billion a year to end world hunger in

Americans alone wasted 116 billion in gambling in 2016 God has already given us everything we need to turn this world into Eden and we simply delay it Whether you want to admit it or not every one of us contributes to the evil in the world

Mostly through focusing on ourselves and doing nothing to help We have everything we need to end things like world hunger and human trafficking and instead We spend our money on pointless things just to make ourselves happy Because if the problem is not right in our face we pretend it doesn’t exist

Simply put evil exists because we exist When this has been pointed out the next question is why did God create us this way? Why are we so easily prone to commit horrible acts?

Well, that is assuming God did make us evil one can argue he did not he made us free and to be truly free means We have to be allowed to choose how we want to be Seus Lewis says the moment you have a self at all

There is the possibility of putting yourself first wanting to be the center wanting to be God In fact, that was the sin of Satan and that was the sin. He talked to the human race it is not as if we were simply made to be this way as

A species we choose to be this way every day instead of focusing on good and holy things This is not how things were supposed to be Early on God called humans out of the wilderness to serve as priests over creation and to enter into a covenant with him

So that he could sanctify us to subdue the rest of creation in his name This is a story of Eden when Adam and Eve were called by God to be close to him in learn his ways But they rejected the Covenant God made with them and left his presence

So we could be our own gods in with that came the freedom to go as far into evil as we wanted to No matter how it would affect those around us god, they’re not dumas to a world of evil our species by rejecting Eden did so and without God’s protection and

Eden and the Tree of Life, we now live in a world of moral and natural evil Now many will object they were not in Eden. How can we be forced to live in a fallen world that we did not choose

Clay Jones response of this by saying that we did an individually vote to make Adam the head of our race Doesn’t matter because God knows who can best represent us Also, if God knew that all of us would have acted similarly. He does no wrong in choosing one person to represent us

If Christianity is true and the problem of evil needs to be addressed One cannot say this unfair Adam and Eve were our chosen representatives God in His omniscience knew who the best representatives would have been and therefore given human free Will there were no possible futures where humans did not choose sin?

So why even give us free will Should we really have been given the freedom to be truly evil? Why on earth would such a world not be better where we are deprived of free will So as to not cause grief pain and misery Clay Jones notes

It is not hard to perceive of such worlds and more often than not they are far worse than a world with free will we ought to consider how humanity has looked at this scenario and unsurprisingly a life without free will is

Often betrayed in movies as a horrible existence, and this should be pretty obvious Take the old movie from the 50s the invasion of the body snatchers The invaders do not want to kill off humanity But simply change humanity to lack free will and they offer it as a wonderful existence free of pain

Desire emotion ambition self-interest in such a world not only Terrifies us it becomes obvious that such a world would be worse than a world with free will and evil It would have been so much easier. If you’ve gone to sleep last night Oh relax, we’re here to help you

You know better than that Who you want us to put them would you like to watch them grow? No. Thanks. Put them in there There’s nothing to be afraid of we’re not gonna hurt you. But once you understand you’ll be grateful Remember how Teddy and I fought against it?

Well, we were wrong me and Teddy doesn’t mind of course not she feels exactly the way I do. Let’s go We’ll leave town. We won’t come back. We can’t let you go. You’re dangerous to us Don’t fight it miles. It’s no use Sooner or later you’ll have to go to sleep

I’ll wait for you in the hall Myles You and I are scientific men. You can understand the wonder of what’s happened I just think less than a month ago santomero was like any other town people with nothing but problems Then out of the sky came a solution

Seeds drifting through space for years took root in a farmer’s field From the seeds came pods, which have the power to reproduce themselves in the exact likeness of any form of life So that’s how it began, how does the sky

Your new bodies are growing in there they’re taking you over self or so atom forever There’s no pain Suddenly while you’re asleep, they’ll absorb your minds your memories and you’re reborn into an untroubled world Where everyone’s the same exactly What a world We’re not the last humans left. They’ll destroy you

Tomorrow you won’t want them to tomorrow you’ll be one of us I’m not Becky Tomorrow will I feel the same there’s no need for love no emotion And you have no feelings only the instinct to survive

You can’t love or be loved am I right you say it as if it were terrible believe me. It isn’t You’ve been in love before It didn’t last it never does Desire ambition faith without them life so simple, believe me. I

Don’t want any part you’re forgetting something miles. What’s that? You have no choice I guess we haven’t any choice good One to love and be loved I want your children. I don’t want a world without love grateful Buda rabbit are

The obvious reason as to why it is better to have free will and evil than the lack both is because we would simply lose our humanity our movies and books Celebrate realities we’re a world of free will along with pain and misery is a far better

Alternative to a world without these things a Good example can be seen in the movie, Pleasantville two teenagers are transferred into a scripted television show from the 1950s where everything is perfectly happy yet enslaved to a script they have to run through

However, the teens begin to introduce new passions and desires to the characters and throughout the movie All the characters reject are scripted enslavement for a life of freedom and color Even though that comes with passions emotions suffering in problems The message is clear the freedom to engage in love passions desires

Must come with real freedoms to do so Without free will these things are meaningless even though it comes with the bad as well an Existence of freedom along with misery and love is far better than scripted enslavement

The truth of the matter is given the option of a world with free will and pain versus a world without free will and pain Humans will always most likely choose a world with free will because as alvin plantinga says a world containing creatures who are significantly

Free and freely perform more good than evil actions It’s more valuable all else being equal than a world containing no free creatures at all So God simply could not have created humans without free will

We essentially would just be biological robots and that is not a world where we could truly experience love and companionship But with that has to come the true freedom to choose love or choose evil you cannot have your cake and eat it, too

If you want a world with true conscious agents who are free. You have to allow them to choose good without forcing them to Ask yourself this would you as a healthy adult want to spend a lifetime married to a lifeless?

Robot who always does what you command never speaks to you as a free agent or engages in an honest discussion The answer is no then you can understand why God chose a world where we are truly free and choose to love him or not

But surely there had to be another way couldn’t we have a world without the horrendous evil we currently have a World without a Holocaust or the Rwanda Massacre where we still have free will must surely be possible

Clay Jones debated Richard Norman on the radio show unbelievable and Jones, press Norman to answer this How could God give humans free will and not let them hurt others and the only answer he offered was I don’t know I’m not God, but it is possible

The key I guess back to my major point is that doesn’t just say it should have been a different world doesn’t tell us how Anywhere near how that world works. Well, I’m not to define creator I mean saying we’re talking about divine omnipotence in which any number of possible worlds could exist

Clay Jones, simply reply to that with if you can’t imagine a better way Then it’s at least logically possible that there isn’t a better way. I don’t know I’m not God as a cop-out We’ve harnessed the atom and put a man on the moon

If you’re going to complain that God should have done differently with regard to free will but you cannot offer a better way Then maybe there isn’t a better way Johnny There was no other way As we discuss in our video on omniscience Avengers infinity Wars provides an excellent analogy

Dr. Strange looked into the future and could only see one possible way to save the most number of people But that way involved a lot of pain and death given the free choices of evil creatures Likewise

Given God’s middle knowledge where he can only actualize a world that works with the free choices of creatures There are no possible worlds where God could create a world where we are free, and there is no evil or misfortune

God would actualize the world where there is the least amount of evil while taking human free choices into account Therefore the argument is given human freedom within middle knowledge God might not be able to actualize perfect worlds or worlds with less evil

Because there are no possible worlds where we are free and always do the right thing or do the right thing more often But couldn’t God just actively prevent more evil When the Nazis lined up the Jews to be shot

Why didn’t he just make the guns Jam or caused an earthquake to form a great chasm between them both? Such a world would not have freedom it would be a playpen with an overprotective mother Seus Lewis says we can perhaps conceive of a world in which God

Corrected the results of the abuse of free will by his creatures at every moment So that a wooden beam becomes soft as grass when it was used as a weapon in The air refused to obey me if I attempted to set up in it the sound waves that carry lies are insults

But such a world would be one in which wrong actions were impossible in which therefore freedom of the will would be void Evil is not evil only an intention it needs to be carried out and experienced Otherwise we are not truly free to do what we want

We would be nothing more than constrained robots locked in with predetermined boundaries This would be a sci-fi horror Where we know there is something holding us back and can’t freely reject it We can see from sci-fi shows being free up to a certain point is not freedom. It’s slavery System

God wants actual free creatures to do the good But the only way he can truly have free creatures that will do the good is allow us to see the devastating consequences that rebellion causes Babying us is not freedom nor would we ever grow and learn to freely choose to reject evil?

We have to experience it for ourselves and hopefully learn from it It’s a dictator who says be free, but you’ll suffer if you use your freedom in this kind of way. Yeah

Thank you for that Richard. I agree. Yeah be free. But if you use your free will wrongly you’re really gonna hurt each other It’s gonna be bad. Yes exactly. What is problem with your position precisely precisely that you make God sound like

Some kind of dictator that’s just a problem with your position outlet a dictator that says do what you want. And here we are Yeah, we do what you want and you will suffer for it. Well, do what you want and look what you’ll do

You’ll do outwits to each other you’ll do you’ll be the Khmer Rouge. You’ll be Rwanda This is what happens when free wit beans go off and decide they’re gonna do whatever they want

And so to say he’s a dictator that says to his people. Okay. You don’t want to follow my rules knock yourselves out if he But couldn’t God teach us another way given the self-centered nature of humanity I ask how

Some have suggested God ought to provide dreams to warn people, but that is assuming we would even listen Growing up. My parents warned me not to do a number of stupid things I did them anyway, as we all did when we were kids

There’s been a Surgeon General warning on cigarette packets for decades people still smoke Recent history alone is filled with examples of large corporations who had evidence their products were harmful and they did nothing God performed dozens of miracles before Israel in the desert and they still hardened their hearts and complained

So perhaps if God was more involved nothing would change Real life is not an episode of touched by an angel We’re glowing being can show up tell us to change and we live happily ever after people have to be shown how evil they are and what their actions cause if

Everyone could just be told to change things would have gotten a lot better thousands of years ago This is a hard truth humanity has to learn and it cannot be done by God simply Babying us and providing knee pads for every corner in

Fact if God did simply that and gave us everything needed to keep us perfectly happy Arguably it could make things worse Keith Ward says I could give people lots of good things and they will like me because of what I give them

But will they love me freely for myself? Well, they love me unselfishly Hardly, in fact such a course of action may be self-defeating. I Cannot make people unselfish by giving them lots of things they want and so encouraging selfish tendencies

We have to remember the chief goal of God is not to make us happy but to make us holy through sanctification which will make us truly happy in the long run as we discussed in our videos on the nature of Heaven and Hell and

Given the self-centered nature of humanity that God would want us to overcome Having us live in a fallen world will help us to realize we need to return to God and to be sanctified William Lane, Craig and JP Moreland, put it like this

Innocent human suffering provides an occasion for deeper dependency and trust in God if We are depraved as the evidence shows keeping humanity happy and safe will not fix what is actually wrong with us History seems to show that hardships caused more people to turn to God

Patrick Johnstone has noted in his work that Christianity tends to grow more in countries that have faced severe hardship Under communist rule in China Christianity was and still is to some degree heavily persecuted Yet despite that it is set to become the world’s largest Christian nation by 2030

Although I do not argue God is the cause of misery and suffering allowing us to live in a fallen world that we choose can be used by God to bring us back to him and Ultimately help sanctify us into eternity where our present pain will be dwarfed in comparison to the joy

We will experience there but God doesn’t always have to prevent evil. Why not just a little more why do children have to die of cancer? Couldn’t the Holocaust have been cut in half if God had simply warned the Jews in a dream to get out of Germany before Hitler Became Chancellor in

Response clay Jones says First who is to say, how much is too much? For instance skeptics often cite the Holocaust as an example I ask those who say God shouldn’t have allowed so much evil whether they would be Satisfied if instead of six million Jews killed only 600,000 had been killed

No one ever says yes six thousand. Nope 600. Nope, six Should everyone be allowed to live to a certain age before they die? should certain diseases only effect really bad people at what point is the line drawn between security and freedom a

Reality where we are free and have rejected God’s lordship has to have real consequences and be fully realized for what it is When people suggest this what they are really saying is I want to be God and the Creator needs to be our magical Butler

Who watches over us never lets anything really bad happen, but still lets us rebel so that we can do what we want if That was the case. We would never truly see the real consequences that our rebellion has caused

Instead we would have God as our servant who was supposed to take care of us when it is needed But doesn’t really let the horrendous consequences of what happened when we abandoned him to play out in the natural world without his presence

Unless we see what the evil in our hearts truly does. We will never learn God’s message is simply that your rebellion must be fully realized so that hopefully you will come back Summary so far Evil exists because humans had the freedom to choose god, but instead we chose to be our own gods

When we walked away from God in Eden, we chose a different Lord for the earth And with that a world filled with issues that a connection to God and the Tree of Life would have prevented

Although God could regularly intervene. He doesn’t because he wants our species to see the real consequences of our rebellion which is life without his presence and sanctification as horrible as it is is the only way to learn the horrors of what life without God is like

Natural laws have to work in a regular way if our actions are to mean anything at all But that is not the whole story the Skeptic who makes the argument from the problem of evil often will subtly

Presuppose a non theistic worldview, they will mention a young child who died before his or her time from a horrible disease but if the argument is to attack a Christian worldview The whole of that worldview has to be taken into consideration And more often than not we forget that when that child dies

They do not rot in the grave forever But can live on an eternity in the pain and this life will be dwarfed in comparison to the joy. We will feel the next the previous two videos I made went over heaven and hell and explain what they are and how no one in Hell

Doesn’t want to be there so It’s important to remember that God has not doomed us to a world of misery in one life or an eternity of misery in hell Those who die can go on forever in a world of endless love if they choose to and the joy

We will experience in heaven will dwarf the misery. We feel here So the child dying of a horrible disease is not forgotten but given new life in the age to come Although God lets us experience. What a world that has rejected him feels like He still rescues all who want to be rescued

The worst pains of this life will be as miniscule in the next as the pains of when you fell down as a toddler Are to you now as an adult So you can’t compare the evils we feel now on a Christian worldview without accounting for eternity

God has promised a way back to Eden for all those who want it as seus Lewis said They say of some temporal suffering No future bliss can make up for it not knowing that heaven once attained will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory and

God did not sit idly by He didn’t just make a way back to Eden. He came to us in our pain and misery to pull us out There are a lot of gods that are for joy for our misery

But sit distantly away never experiencing as we experience never suffering human pain as we suffer Not with this God There is only one God that plunged himself into pain to save us You want to know the answer to a world filled with torture and murder?

It is a God who was tortured and murdered to wipe away every tear in sadness While we were his enemies Christ died for us if Evil was meaningless or a cruel joke and omnipotent God plays on us then. Why did the omnipotent God empty himself?

Become a lowly servant to suffer as we suffer and die as we die even the Atheist philosopher Albert Camus admitted Christ the man God suffers too with patience Evil and death can no longer be entirely imputed to him since he suffers and dies

Then I don’t go Gotha is so important in the history of man only because in its shadow the divinity Abandon is traditional privileged and drank its last drop despair included the agony of death Even if you cannot find a reason for your suffering and have nothing I said thus far suffices in Christ

The reason can’t be because he doesn’t love us at The cross a coin was flipped on one side justice and the other side mercy And it was the only time in history the coin landed on its edge God allowed justice to fall on self so that mercy might fall on us

The Gospels thus tell the story which is unique in the world’s great literature religious theories or philosophies the story of the Creator God taking responsibility for what’s happened to creation bearing the weight of his problems on his own shoulders a

Sydney Carta most famous for writing the lord of the dance put it in one of to my mind his finest songs It’s God they ought to crucify Instead of you and me I said to the carpenter a hanging on the tree

Or as one old evangelistic tract put it the nations of the world got together To pronounce sentence on God for all the evils in the world Only to realize with a shock that God had already served his sentence the tidal wave Of evil had crashed over the head of God himself

The terrorist spear went into his side like a plane crashing into a great building God has been there. He has taken the weight of the world’s evil on his own shoulders You cannot look at the problem of evil while ignoring the cross

God took evil upon himself so that a new creation could begin in his resurrection If evil was the fault of God, he has already carried out his sentence as st Augustine said God had one son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering if

Evil is a problem. The problem is also felt by God the cry of Jesus – Paul says it all Saul why are you persecuting me? Notice Jesus did not say why are you persecuting my people? He said why are you persecuting me?

Jesus places himself in the midst of evil and suffering with us if Evil was too much to bear for any creature. God would never have created in the first place But God still did create knowing full

Well, he would take the brunt of it because the love of creation was worth more than all the pain he feels through us Evil exists for now because of us, but even in that God took the pain and misery of us all

Faithfully to the car and in the end he will wipe away every tear

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