This man comes up to you and says, “I am Phil, the latest prophet of God.”
And you say, “Really? How do you know that?”
He says, “I have this book that says so. Look.”
And he hands you a folded piece of paper, which you open up, and it says, …
This book was written by a truthful person and not a liar, honest. I your God commanded him to write it.
Believe anything the author of this book tells you about me, your God. When he appears to be making up convenient stories to solve a problem, he’s really getting a message from me, on the invisible hotline. Honest. It’s true.
When your belief is challenged by someone using reason and evidence, that is the work of a liar tempting you, so beware, and maintain your faith in this book and its bearer, Phil, my messenger.
Does that sound credible?
How about if it was just a little more ‘religious’ sounding?
This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of God.
Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them, and who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Phil], and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith]. Those are upon right guidance from their Lord, and it is those who are the successful.
Indeed, those who disbelieve – it is all the same for them whether you warn them or do not warn them – they will not believe. God has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing, and over their vision is a veil. And for them is a great punishment.
Are you convinced yet, about the authenticity of Phil’s message?
Only that’s what happened with a bunch of people, who listened to a guy like Phil, and believed him, way back, in the early 600CE. Maybe they weren’t such fools. Maybe their Phil came up with a plan, inventing a religion – so maybe those guys, and Phil, were liars. Or maybe just deluded men. Personally, I’d guess their religion was invented, with the purpose of making stuff up in order to impress and control people. Like old Joe Smith with his ‘golden tablets’, or L. Ron Hubbard and his Scientology.
Stories like this shouldn’t be the least bit convincing to any intelligent person with an ounce of reason – and of course most such stories are not believed, though one often is, especially if the believer is indoctrinated from infancy.
Here’s some more:
And say, “The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills – let him believe; and whoever wills – let him disbelieve.” Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place.
The only difference between Phil’s bit of paper and this other stuff is that a bit more effort was put into it, over decades and centuries, … over millennia by some religions that continue to try to find ways to justify the beliefs.
And to be fair to believers from the distant past, with very limited technology and hardly any science to speak of, making up stories and believing them was par for the course. Everyone did it.
And to be fair to children, they seem to be built to believe their parents – a survival imperative in early and pre-human evolutionary times. But we make kids believe in and then disbelieve in Santa, and the tooth fairy, so why not gods and prophets? Why don’t we outgrow them? Religion has momentum on its side, not truth, or evidence.
That’s why Islam is so successful: like a runaway wagon, lots of momentum and no brakes. What brakes might work are tampered with: apostasy and blasphemy rules.
And it all stems from a hopelessly naive act of believing what someone says, and then accepting what he says when he tells you he was told and what he was told is true, because it came from God.
There have been lots of liars like Phil with their holy books. Believers tend to accept no more than one at a time.
Two of the passages quoted above are from a holy book. So is the other. One of them is bullshit. So are the other two.
If you’re a believer, just think about it. Your whole belief, that there is actually a god, is based on a stream of holy books up to and including the one you have settled on. Does that really sound credible to you?
Even in Mohammed’s time there were people that saw right through the claims he was making. And when they called him out on it, he said …
Quran 16:101 – And when We substitute a verse in place of a verse – and Allah is most knowing of what He sends down – they say, “You, [O Muhammad], are but an inventor [of lies].” But most of them do not know.
So, Mohammed admits to making this stuff up as he goes along, and his answer to being called out on it? “What do they know.”
Anyone with an ounce of sense, and without mind controlling indoctrination, can see right through this nonsense. Mohammed made it all up as he went along. At best, this is the work of a seriously deluded person, or Mohammed is a liar that produced a holy book, and he used it for his imperialist expansionist purposes (which may not have been his original intent, but became a sudden opportunity not to be missed). His later followers continued to use this book, this imagined deity, as the ultimate authority upon which to justify their conquests.
If Islam were truly a religion of peace it would be in decline, like many truly peaceful religions. Christianity didn’t get where it is today without persuading people by the sword, the rack, the burning stake. But the ‘nice’ bits of Christianity are in decline.
Some people seem highly susceptible to spirituality to such an extent they seem to want and need something beyond the world in which we find ourselves.
But if you don’t indoctrinate children, and if you don’t threaten or actually kill people that don’t believe, if you present only a ‘nice’ religion, you end up with a plethora of fantasies where a few people invent their own manual for life, where a hippy guru can con tens, hundreds or even thousands of people they have discovered true meaning – just look at West coast America throughout the hippy years.
Jesus, Mohammed, they were the hippies of their time. They made up religions – and their followers built religions around them.
Surely nobody is stupid enough to believe our guy Phil, here, … now, … today? Why are people still clinging to the words of the Phils of the past? Why do so many very smart people cling on to unevidenced beliefs that clearly conflict with similar equally unevidenced beliefs?
6 thoughts on “The Liar’s Holy Book”
Great post. Going to share it
I would suggest removing “Mo” and putting “Mohammed” in full instead, to better connect with Muslims. Also, I would suggest using a better word than “BS”
Hi Abdullah, welcome.
I hadn’t intended it to be for a Muslim audience, but it turns out that I’ve been offering it to more Muslims than fellow atheists, so I’ve adapted as you recommend. Thanks for the input.
I comment on Islam often these days (I used to have most to say about Christianity), but I also have a set of posts specifically about Islam. Feel free to comment there too, as I’d value your input.
The menu system will get you there, but her’s a link to a page that lists the main posts:
Nice post! I wonder what the fate of those who called out Mohammed on his replacement of verses was. Nice to know we have a God who second guesses himself. Way to set the tone, God!
Welcome. Yes. Clever old Allah. Has obviously studied the many objections to previous gods.
Interesting post. All organised religions are man made corruptions. However, in the vein of critical thinking, the universe could not have come from nothing (zero +zero doesn’t equal 1). The fine tuning, design and balance in nature shows there is a creator\designer. Also, none of us willed ourselves into existence here! And you can’t will yourself out of existence no matter how hard you try!
I believe there is 1 creator, he’s sent many messengers. The message (the creators law) at its core has been the same message given to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses etc.. all the way through to Jesus & ended with Mohammed…
You should critically & thoroughly analyse the message in full & without pre-conceived notions, then make up your own mind.
Check this video out for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYJ7_CW7x5Y
Sorry for the late reply Yusaf, welcome.
“in the vein of critical thinking, the universe could not have come from nothing” – How do you know that is could not come from nothing?
We have only in the last 100 years or so begun to understand THIS universe, from the inside, and that’s the extent of the ‘laws of physics’ we have come to understand.
What do we know about reality ‘external’ to this universe (if ‘external’ is even a meaningful concept)? What extra physics, additional physics, is there to learn about, regarding how universes come into existence? We know nothing of this. Nobody knows anything regarding those aspects or reality and the wider context in which our universe exists.
So, sorry, but “the universe could not have come from nothing” is not something you can actually know, one way or the other. So, maybe the universe didn’t come from nothing but from prior natural (non-teleological, non-conscious, non-personification … not a god) context, where universes pop in and out of existence according to some physics of which we are totally unaware.
And the believer’s answer to this lack of knowledge? “God did it,” which is a really poor attempt.
There is no need to “analyse the message in full” when its basic premises and arguments are so poor.
The video link you provided is one made by a very confused person whose main reason to believe is that his brain is the type that seems to believe. Does that mean that someone that can’t help believing in fairies should be taken seriously because they really really think they can’t help believing in fairies? The poor guy is wallowing in his own delusion, that drives him to search for an answer that he wants, not one that he can verify.
“God is the mind behind the universe.” This is the foundation of his belief, but already it contains a presupposition of this thing ‘God’. It’s an entirely circular self-fulfilling mind game, a self-delusional acceptance of a simplistic phrase that is meaningless, but upon which he builds all other meaning.
He can’t help believing in ‘something’ – he thinks he has a god gene (or metaphorically he is using that term to express the depth to which his brain has fooled him, but which he has decided to accept, on no evidence whatsoever.
There does seem to be a tendency in some people to believe that there must be something more than this material world, something ‘higher’, ‘transcendent’, ‘teleological’. It seems to have occurred independently around the world in many cultures – or at least that’s how it seems. But we have no idea what our very early ancestors thought about in detail, and its quite possible that myths originated in Africa and were spread around the world as people migrated. The gods of native Americans, Greeks and African peoples may have originated way back in Africa and been carried around the world with migrating populations – human brains were already very active and inventive by then.
But, whatever the cause of the inventiveness that invented gods to conveniently explain the unknown, gods are just one of many delusions that human brains can suffer, and the powerfulness of the feeling that it is true does not make it true.