Friday, October 15, 2010

God Needs A Quality Control Department 1.2

This is "God Needs a QC Dept," Part 1c, which is part 3 of my thoughts on the debate between William Lane Craig and Shabir Ally, held at York University in Toronto on March 5, 2002. The focus of the debate is this question: Which doctrine of salvation is correct, that of Jesusianismistism or that of Muhammadanismistism? In this video I address Shabir Ally's opening statements.


Good according to what standard? The Muhammadanismist standard, where it's ok to beat your wife, own slaves, amputate limbs as a punishment for crimes, kill people for abandoning the faith, lie for the purpose of advancing the faith, cut off the clitorises of little girls? (And by the way, if anyone wants to drop the old chestnut about how that's not required by Muhammadanismistism but is instead a cultural tradition, that's not my point at all. My point is this: if Allah calls for adulterers to be stoned to death, then why does it remain utterly silent on the subject of horribly mutilating little girls?)  Or maybe you mean those who treat their wives and children well, who are honest and open, who speak up for the rights of the oppressed? No thanks, I'd rather not spend eternity with that god; it's contemptible.

In Dr. Craig's opening statements he rattled off numerous verses from the Qur'an that explicitly say that god does not love sinners. Here, Ally tries to address that point.


So the Qur'an can be interpreted metaphorically too? Does that perhaps mean that I can be saved by intoning, "There is no god but no god, and Muhammad was epileptic"? Ally picks up a concept that Dr. Craig had introduced earlier, and embellishes it monstrously:


This is only slightly more horrible than Dr. Craig's statement about bad parenting. What makes it more horrible is that Ally seems sincerely to believe that this is perfectly acceptable behavior. I've made this point before: go ask a hundred qualified child mental health specialists whether it's effective parenting and conducive to the well being of a child. I imagine that anyone watching will concede that the vast majority of such a group would very strongly recommend against a parent ever saying anything like this to a child. If anyone seriously doubts this, please let me know on what grounds you doubt it. I don't know a hundred therapists, but I do have a kid, and I know some of her friends, and I think I can easily identify those whose parents unload this sort of nastiness on them. Neither the kids nor the parents are emotionally healthy. Ally makes the point that it's quite easy to be saved according to the Qur'an:


Funny, it seems that he is using the Muhammad Sarwar version of the Qur'an, the only one out of seven translations on the Quranic Arabic Corpus website that translates the Arabic this way. I've put the relevant link in the love bar. The Khan translation cops out entirely and just Latinizes the Arabic word and renders it stahkah moo. The other five translations tell a different story:
  • Sahih International: remain on a right course
  • Pickthall: afterward are upright
  • Yusuf Ali: stand straight and steadfast
  • Shakir: continue in the right way
  • Arberry: go straight
Ally, you called upon Muhammadanismist scholars for support in one of your earlier points. Would you call upon those scholars here? Would you get consensus that in this particular verse, Sarwar has best imparted Allah's true meaning in English, while five translations that agree with each other are incorrect? Or are you implying here that Allah would approve of an English-speaking Muhammadanismist can get seven translations of the Qur'an and then pick and choose the translation he finds the most to his liking for any given verse?

That's Part 1c. I know, I said "2b" in the last one. I just like to confuse people sometimes. Thanks for watching.

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