17 June 2008

The Bible and the Quran agree: God and Satan force nonbelievers to disbelieve.

I'm not sure how this works exactly, but it must be true because both the Bible and the Quran say it is: God and Satan force nonbelievers to disbelieve (and then burn them forever in Hell for not believing).

Here's what the Bible says:

God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned. 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

He [God] hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. John 12:40

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

And here's the Quran:
As for the Disbelievers, Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not. Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. 2:6-7

We have placed upon their hearts veils, lest they should understand, and in their ears a deafness. 6:25

As for him whom He sendeth astray, for them thou wilt find no protecting friends beside Him, and We shall assemble them on the Day of Resurrection on their faces, blind, dumb and deaf; their habitation will be hell; whenever it abateth, We increase the flame for them. That is their reward because they disbelieved Our revelations. 17:97-98

Lo! on their hearts We have placed coverings so that they understand not, and in their ears a deafness. And though thou call them to the guidance, in that case they can never be led aright. 18:57

He [Iblis aka Satan] said: Now, because Thou [Allah aka God] hast sent me astray, verily I shall lurk in ambush for them on Thy Right Path. ... He said: Go forth from hence, degraded, banished. As for such of them as follow thee, surely I will fill hell with all of you. 7:16-18

I [Iblis] verily shall adorn the path of error for them in the earth, and shall mislead them every one, Save such of them as are Thy perfectly devoted slaves. ...for all such, hell will be the promised place. 15:39-43

Isn't it great to see God and Satan working together so nicely on such an important task?

18 comments:

Skeptical Simsam said...

When I realised this a couple of years back, it was the end of any sympathy I had for religious belief. I guess it shifted my disbelief from atheism to anti-theism. How anyone can believe in such a god, I don't know. But of course, believers have an excuse for everything - you've either misunderstood, misinterpreted, or in the case of the Qur'an, mistranslated it.

Brian_E said...

So just to be sure that satan has enough people to burn, god would purposely 'harden people's hearts' to make sure they don't accidentally turn to him. What a kind and loving god.

Anon said...

Good post, Steve. I don't understand why God would lead people not to believe in him or to break his law, and then condemn them to death for not believing. Sounds like entrapment to me...

v_quixotic said...

Verses like these are a sop to the proselytisers. It's like god is saying to the righteous, "Don't feel too bad when people don't accept your gospel, I've already decided that they won't fit properly in heaven... but keep trying!"

Dawn said...

I have only the time and energy to work on one of your statements so I will take the first.
The part you forgot (conveniently) was:
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2 Th 2:10

Basically, BECAUSE they did not love the truth, he helped them believe their lie.
Steve, God is talking to you here. Because you are not a lover/seeker of truth, he sends you strong delusions to help you believe your own lies.
You know when you work on this blog that you distort the words of the Bible and you know that you have an agenda. Even now, God is helping you believe your own lies.
I pity you. But God loves you.

Darren Delgado said...

dawn wrote:

You know when you work on this blog that you distort the words of the Bible and you know that you have an agenda.

I have to disagree here -- Steve, from what I can see, takes the words of the Bible in a completely straightforward way. In fact it's kind of a theme of this blog and the S.A.B.: actually looking at what the bible says.

That's usually why Bible-believers get mad at him, because apparently you're not supposed to do that and it pisses them off royally whenever anybody points out the crazy stuff that's really in there.

It seems to me that the believers are the ones who distort the words of the Bible, to get them to make sense.

sconnor said...

Dawn, I too, only, have the time and energy to work on one of your statements so I will take the first.
The part you forgot (conveniently) was:
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2 Th 2:10

Basically, BECAUSE they did not love the truth, he helped them believe their lie.
Dawn, God is talking to you here. Because you are not a lover/seeker of truth, he sends you strong delusions to help you believe your own lies.
You know when you comment on this blog, that you distort the words of the Bible and you know that you have an agenda. Even now, God is helping you believe your own lies.
I pity you. But God loves you.

Dawn, how do you know god isn't sending you strong delusion to help you believe in your own lies?

--S.

Anon said...

Dawn said: "Basically, BECAUSE they did not love the truth, he helped them believe their lie. "

Dawn, let's assume God exists, and that unbelievers are wrong. Wouldn't a loving God, instead of making an unbeliever even more deluded, help them to see the light and realize the error of their ways? What good does it do to delude them even more?

sconnor said...

I remember the first time I committed to reading the Bible. I went into it with all these preconceived ideas, of who the character of god was, and who the character of satan was. God was to be all-loving and the very essence of morality, while satan was all-evil and god's ultimate nemesis. Was I thrown for a loop, when I read the Bible. Not only was god a complete and utter psycho, who causes people to suffer, in vile and unimaginable ways -- he and satan were in cahoots. Nowhere is this more explicit, than it is, in Job.

In the book of Job, god, who is supposedly omniscient, asking satan, "where he's been", reeks of a fairy tale character, who, in league with satan (adversary, which doesn't make sense, if he's helping god), are on the ultimate Punk'd episode, just to fuck with Job. And why does god want to fuck up the innocent, Job? -- just so he can prove a petty, little, point to satan. Is god so insecure that he has to prove his point, by making Job suffer? God is the cosmic equivalent to a juvenile delinquent, who has an ant farm and on some boring, afternoon, day, decides to take an ant out of it's farm and torture it with a magnifying glass. God is the equivalent of the creepy, little kid who ripped the wings off of a fly and removed the legs one by one.

And after god and satan tortures Job and kills his children (sometimes god and sometimes satan, it's hard to tell, at times, who is doing the torturing) he decides to make everything better, restore the faithful Job to his healthier self and with the compassion of a disgusting, demented, dictator, he replaces Job's seven sons and three daughters with an entirely different set of children. I mean what kind of fucked-up, god is this? How can the excruciating pain of losing a child be removed by replacing it with the birth of another? What is god saying? -- that a child is expendable and then replaceable like a lost CD or new ants for the ant farm? God and satan -- the ultimate and vile tag team.

Needless to say, this opened my eyes to the illusion, that is christianity -- I still can't believe a religion was constructed from such insane nonsense.

--S.

RR said...

Christians, Jews, Mulsims, Mormons: they all claim to seek "truth" but they start from a point of indoctrination. They don't need reason, evidence or rationality... they all claim to have knowledge but can't see they base this claim on nonsense.

They can, of course, see how nonsensical it is for other religions to use revealed truth as a starting point ... but of course there's doesn't suffer the same fatal flaw.

I pity these people. They spend their lives in devotion to mythical lunacy.

Anon said...

rr said Christians, Jews, Mulsims, Mormons: they all claim to seek "truth" but they start from a point of indoctrination. They don't need reason, evidence or rationality... they all claim to have knowledge but can't see they base this claim on nonsense.

They can, of course, see how nonsensical it is for other religions to use revealed truth as a starting point ... but of course there's doesn't suffer the same fatal flaw.


I think that's what's frustrating. As a recovering Christian, I used to think other religions were ridiculous. Then I started to find out there were good and bad things in all religions, including Christianity. Then I actually started reading the Bible...and began to see what little good there is in it is not unique to Christianity at all and a lot of times is modern revisionism, trying to put our morals into the Bible, and not vice-versa.

I think if a lot of people (not everyone, but a lot of people) just took the book they say they believe in and actually read it for themselves, instead of being spoon-fed selected verses, pretty songs, and fancy rituals, then they would see their religion is just as silly as the others. It's my opinion, and I understand if anyone objects to it, but that's how I feel.

Anon said...

sconnor said God is the cosmic equivalent to a juvenile delinquent, who has an ant farm and on some boring, afternoon, day, decides to take an ant out of it's farm and torture it with a magnifying glass.

I think this is a good analogy, and it can be taken a step further: the kid eventually outgrows the ant farm and just abandons it. God got bored with us, so he's totally ignored us for the past 2000 years.

If he did exist and acted the way he did in the Bible, I'd be kind of glad he's forgotten about us.

Commodianus said...

Superficial examination of scripture used to reinforce your already held point of view.


2Th 2:10 God shall send them the operation of error.[9] That is, says St. John Chrysostom and St. Cyril, he will permit them to be led away with illusions, by signs, and lying prodigies, which the devil shall work by antichrist, &c. (Witham) --- God shall suffer them to be deceived by lying wonders, and false miracles, in punishment of their not entertaining the love of truth. (Challoner) --- The end God proposes is the judgment and condemnation of such as reject the proffered light. This is the march of sin, according to St. Thomas Aquinas on this place. In the first place a man, in consequence of his first sin, is deprived of grace, he then falls into further sins, and ends with being eternally punished. Hence it happens that his new sins are a punishment of his former transgressions; because God will permit the devil to do these things. Deus mittet, quia Deus Diabolum facere ista permittet. (St. Augustine, lib. xx. de Civ. Dei. chap. 19.)


Joh 12:40
He hath blinded their eyes, &c. See Matthew xiii. 14. (Witham) --- God blinded the Jews, not by filling them with malice, but by refusing them his graces, of which they had made themselves unworthy, and which they before abused and despised. It was their perverse will, their pride, presumption, and obstinacy, that brought on them this judgment. (St. Augustine)


2Co 4:3 The apostle here brings another proof of the sincerity of his preaching, viz. the success with which it is attended: And he says, if there be any who have not yet received it, that is their own fault. For had they been as eager to receive it, as we have been to announce it to them, the whold world had long since been converted. (Theodoret)

2Co 4:4 In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers.[1] Thus the words are placed, both in the Latin and Greek text, so that the true God seems to be called the God of this world, as he is elsewhere called the God of heaven, the God of Abraham. God, says St. John Chrysostom, blinded, that is, permitted them to be blinded. Others translate, in whom God hat blinded the minds of the infidels of this world; so that this world may be joined with unbelievers, and not with God: and by the God of this world, some understand the devil, called sometimes the prince of this world, that is, of the wicked. (Witham)

Jacob Stai said...

You count some things as contradictions; but there is truth found in a simple contradiction with its feet planted firmly in reality. So, what truth is there in the present statement, which would at face value seem to contradict the idea of an all-loving or all-powerful God? How can it be that God and Satan force nonbelievers to disbelieve?

This question, this post, all boils down to a simple matter of the necessity for free will. If you were designing a universe from scratch, how would you build it? Would you create a myriad of little souls running around in a happy garden of eternal joy? Would you give them all a little happy bar and set it to "Always Maximum Happy!"? Would you give them infinite wisdom so that nothing they could ever do would ever hurt someone else?

These are lovely ideas, except that in a world where everything is happy all the time, there is never any need for diversity, for plurality, for exploring the multitude of differences in existence. Why on earth would you ever want to leave the shade of your tree to go splash in the pool? You would already be as happy as you ever could be, there would be nothing to gain, and nothing to do. No difference between the cool of stream and the cool of the shade of your "Maximum Happy." Nothing would be accomplished, no goals, no time, existence paused in a perpetual state of what could be called bliss, but would be more aptly called apathy.

There would be no need to work for justice in a world of total bliss, but that does not mean it would be a just world. There would be no need to improve the world, but that would not make it perfect. There would be no need to labor or toil, but neither any need to invent, create, or express one's self. There would be no need to help others; in fact, there would be no need to interact at all. Most of all, there would be no need to be happy, in a world where everyone already was. Existence in such a world would simply be, but it would not be for anything. Such a world would be lifeless, dead. A world without need would be a world without happiness. A static "happy meter" set to "maximum happy" simply isn't what it says it is.

In order for there to be happiness, there is a need for there to be free will, a need for difference, for strife, for petty hurt. Look at teens or kids or grown people joshing each other about in playfully offensive ways. There is joy between friends in banter that would insult a stranger, and friendships routinely survive pranks that would alienate and ridicule someone of a more sensitive bend. Satan was once the greatest of God's angels, or so the tradition goes; because difference, difference from whatever perfect definition of bliss, is the greatest of God's gifts to mankind. Free will is the greatest source of joy that God ever made, free will to "hurt," yes, if the kind insults exchanged by friends can be called hurt, when one knows truly that the "hurt," will be healed so quickly.

I suppose a simpler way of saying it is this: God is the only perfection, and if he makes perfection, he is making another of himself, who is already infinite. Therefore, God has made imperfection, in order that all may experience beauty through difference, through the oscillation between perfect and imperfect divine communion with God, an oscillation which is in itself perfect communion with God’s world. As Lutherans say, we are all “saints” and sinners simultaneously, but that does not bar us from living the Christian life.

Jacob Stai said...

Yes, we Christians believe that we alone have the true message of Salvation, that we alone know why good people go to Heaven, namely because God as revealed in Jesus loved us enough to suffer with us for our sake. And you know what? We're right. We alone have perfectly the message of Truth. But that fact (and I do mean fact to the faithful) is not the same thing as believing that anyone whose eyes God has closed to that truth will be sent to the eternal fires of separation from the Divine; in fact, in His love God gives them their own delusions, delusions of secular morality, of interreligious community, of other religions in themselves, in order to help them believe in the true Word, the true Light, imperfectly as they must. They are delusions that He is giving because He knows that He is behind them all, but He gives them their delusions nonetheless because those delusions are capable of bringing them closer to His truth, closer than those people would be in the absence of His delusions.

In the end it is not really God who has closed their eyes at all. God has allowed them to be closed, certainly, has allowed those people to be born without the psychological capability for faith; since psychology has proven to us that religious sentiment is in large part predetermined at birth, that irreligion tends to run in families, even though the specific religion to which one adheres is determined by the environment in which one is born. God has made the laws of the universe, including the randomness we see, and He does not micromanage, except to prod even His atheistic children to the goals of secular morality and secular community. It is indeed His hand which allows atheism, but He is no more its cause than he is the cause of anything else. Atheism is not one of his special creations; it is the result of something else He created, namely free will.

God did not make us to be sheep, to be machines. We are sheep, are machines trapped in ourselves, as the Bible makes clear; but that is not all that we are, for we are also His children. Free will, God's greatest gift to his children, is also his greatest curse; because with free will comes the fact that some will turn from God, that some will reject the bliss God hopes and wishes for us to choose, if such we want. Without difference in our "happy meters" we cannot truly appreciate what we have been given; but with the freedom to leave joy behind comes the freedom to get lost and never find our way back, if we were left to our own devices. And as to that, God's message is clear; Jesus, God, will always bring us back to the joy that he has promised, if we so repent, if we so wish. (And I cannot conceive of one who does not wish, in some capacity, in some delusion.)

The world is wider than can be described in a post, and so is God. In sum, you are right; God and Satan do force nonbelievers to disbelieve, in the sense that God allows the free will randomness inherent in the universe to evolve those without the psychological capacity for faith; and even then, to those he gives delusions that will give them at least an imperfect knowledge of His Word.

Jacob Stai said...

Unfortunately you have said something more, a separate question of whether nonbelievers go to Hell. Your first mistake was to assert that the Quran and the Bible both claim that atheists go to Hell, and then only cite Quranic verses to back this up. If you could have cited a few verses that actually state that, you would have; but you can't, so you didn't.

However, in one sense, you are indeed right; God and Satan, God and your own free will to choose anything other than God, are working together to give you the tools you need to cause your own destruction, to bring about your own Hell, God by giving you that will to choose, and Satan by being that other choice. God gave us the tool of difference because he intends for us to use it to make His world interesting, and lively, but the tool of free will is powerful, and is not always used for good. God promises that despite Satan, despite whatever randomness afflicts your life, He, the Lord, will always be there to bring you back to joy. God promises that no matter how many times you blow yourself up out of your own free will, no matter how many times someone else blows you up through no will of your own, no matter how many times the sheer cruel randomness of the world screws you over, that our Lord will still love you, will save you, will give you another chance, either in this world or the next, to experience the joy that can only come of a will freed from endless sameness.

As to the idea of Satan at all, you can cite him if you feel like it as a mastermind entity behind those evil portions of the world of scientific randomness. For the scientifically described processes of randomness are an interface between the otherwise intangible spiritual world and the physical one. As a Christian, I would blame the devil for our woes. But God "collaborates" with Satan only in that Satan has access to the same tools of free will as we do to have his dominion in this world; it is not because God actively wants some to be led astray. No matter what "random" disasters are felt and lived through by Job, by us, in this world we have the promise always that when all is said and done, our Lord will be there to carry us to the eternal shore of Heaven, where there will be no random disasters that bring to naught all hope for a better tomorrow.

The fact is, the only way to this Heaven, according to Christianity, is through Jesus. Faith in Jesus, faith alone, without works. But who is Jesus? In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God... That Word was Jesus, and therefore faith in Jesus can mean many things to many people, even to non-Christians.

And that is why you are wrong to state that Christianity believes that atheists go to Hell. Heaven is the reward of faith, a faith seen often through righteous action for all who believe in the message of Jesus, however imperfectly, even imperfectly enough to believe that they are rejecting God and His message. Anyone who casts out the demons of this world, every scientist, doctor, and engineer, every priest, pastor, rabbi, imam, guru, daoshi, pujari, purohit, kannushi (yes, I just took an opportunity to look up names of religious leaders from other religions), every teacher and builder of any or no degree of secularity who truly believes in the message of the Christ, no matter their particular delusion, will be counted among God's righteous. The material bodies in which we find ourselves can cloud our psychology and keep us from perfect faith, as can the cultures in which we were raised; but as the Bible states even more clearly, nothing can separate us from the love of God, because it is Him behind these cultural delusions and it is Him who knows that these differences cannot change the fundamental Word to which all the righteous ultimately aspire.

Jacob Stai said...

My unbelief, too, is dwindling, and being replaced by the fire of faith.

Jacob Stai said...

This is off topic. I apologize.

The Bible says "Prove everything," and it also says "Believe everything."

Contradiction? No. It means this:

Things that have been proven true have been proven to exist. They are something, and therefore part of everything. Believe them.

What has not yet been proven to exist might be true too, and therefore might be something and as far as we know is part of everything. Believe them if you want.

But that which is proven not to be true has been proven not to exist in reality. It is nothing; it is not part of everything. Do not believe them.

In effect, "Believe what is proven."

Seems that Christianity had objective rationalism down pat 2000 years ago, 1500 years before The Enlightenment, if only we would have listened.