Just re-iterating my response to your article on "Absolute Truth" - …


Just re-iterating my response to your article on "Absolute Truth" - https://mavenroundtable.io/harrissultan/islam-atheism/the-trick-of-an-absolute-truth-6uIuvDExkkeKS8ZA8D3Oug

Remember - "Absence of Evidence does not account for evidence of absence". What Hitchens says is a logical and philosophical fallacy - "What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence".

We are bought up in the way to usually trust people from the very beginning. Actually we trust by instinct - be it parents, teachers, older siblings etc right from our childhood. But of course since we have a twisted nature there are people who are not fortunate to grow up trusting people due to episodes of child hood abuse and things like that.

Also, most of the world works on trust and axiomatic principles. Not empirical evidence. If I tell a person to sit on a chair and that person does it out of trust. The thought of the chair being defective or not quality tested does not arise. There is no question of empirical evidence but just trust. In this article, Harris Sultan has made opinions but not cited scholarly works of people in the scientific community. So for starters, what Harris is saying are his own opinions about the notion of "Absolute Truths".

I watched a video of Harris talking about no evidence to track any Old testament characters like David or Moses (think he was bashing Engineer Mohd ALi Mirza who in my opinion is no better than Zakir Naik. But it alarms me to see that Harris is attacking religious apologists from the sub-continent who are actual whackos and whose audience do not know any better. I am disappointed that Harris Sultan himself has so much of ignorance and bias when he made blanket statements about no Old Testament characters ever existing in the video (Eg: David)! I do not know where to start and where to begin. Once again - "Absence of Evidence does not account for evidence of absence".

Most of the evidence when it comes to the Old Testament character's historicity is either destroyed due to wars being fought in the land over the past two millennia. And lots of it is buried near the Temple Mount and other regions in Palestine and near Egypt. Restrictions are imposed for archeological excavations in most of these areas by Muslim authorities. Much of the archaeological discoveries that have supported evidence of historicity of Old testament characters have been made in the last few decades!

eg: In 1993 after digging for almost 30 years a Jewish archaeologist discovered an inscription written in Hebrew that read "House of David". True this is still under review...similarly naturalists and Biblical minimalist scholars could not give an answer when evidence for the Hittite civilization was found...before this discovery was made, post enlightenment scholars dismissed ancient races like the Hittites as a myth (because no evidence was found before the discovery). This proves how wrong Hitchens was when he said - "What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence".

There are more discoveries which have taken place both archaeologically and literally to give non-biblical support to the existence of many Biblical characters in the Old testament - King Ahab (prophet Elijah or Hazret-Ilyas's enemy) (9th century BC), King Nebuchadnezzar's annexation of Judah and war with the Egyptian king Necho and many other sources. Although I have to admit some claims of authenticity are still under dispute. People like Moses, Abraham etc are yet to be proven as historical characters (i.e. Biblical characters beyond 1000 BC).

Also about Moses - nothing to prove that (at least not yet) but discoveries are getting close. eg: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shasu. This talks about the existence of Semitic Nomadic tribes that identified themselves as worshipers of YHWH (Yahweh is the name people in Old testament referred to God as). There are objections to this claim but even they are being refuted

For a list but not complete list refer - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_biblical_figures_identified_in_extra-biblical_sources
List of biblical figures identified in extra-biblical sources - Wikipedia
List of biblical figures identified in extra-biblical sources - Wikipedia
These are biblical figures unambiguously identified in contemporary sources according to scholarly consensus. Biblical figures that are…

Then secondly, look up the sources and the scholarly literature from both sides of these discoveries (objectively) and not with a biased-naturalistic lens favored towards one side. Of course, you can say that I will look at the same thing with a biased religious lens and draw my conclusions. But every time a piece of evidence to support the Bible has been discovered the naturalists and materialists (who have effectively hijacked the scientific community) come up with suppositions (that do not even agree with each other) to make it fit into their proposed model of ancient cultures. They fail to see that either their model was wrong all along or this is an outlier in the model. And these suppositions/supposes or assumptions made by them to question the authenticity of the archaeological sources do not have a strong existing foundation or source of knowledge to stand on. The only supposition or assumption a religious person or theistic scientist has to make is that God exists but the Biblical minimalists, naturalists, materialists etc have to make a lot of assumptions to even reject the evidence. Further, these assumptions cannot agree or come to a consensus.

As a computer scientist and software engineer this is part of something you would call data modeling. We collect data and based on patterns come up with a model i.e. an interpretation of how data/evidence comes together and we derive a truth. However, if new data is found that does not fit into the existing model of the system, it is an exception and considered an outlier. But if more data is formed that do not fit the existing model (i.e. interpretation of evidence), we have to reject the old model and construe a new one by once again aggregating the data. That's how things like the atomic model has moved forward. And this my friend is how anything we see in nature is interpreted. But as of the late 19th century the naturalist world view has hijacked the scientific community. Things that do not conform to the naturalistic model of ancient civilizations is rejected without even being treated as an outlier or the existing model being questioned. Likewise Science is not a fact - it is an interpretation of facts around us based on their observation and examination of variables contributing to those facts. Scientific "laws" get revised and re-modeled based on how the same thing operates in different conditions or if new sets of facts/evidence/data was found that do not fit the existing model. eg: Pluto is now a "planetoid", the snow leopard was not considered to be a panther but lately is considered closer to the original panthera genome than even the leopard.

Now these so called scientific "scholars" who have enforced this majority view of certain concepts like Darwinian evolution do not like people questioning it. This makes them no different from a religious extremist when it comes to questioning dogma. Do not get me wrong here, I believe evolution but the Darwinian theory has major non-reconciled holes. Contemporary evolutionary proponents of Darwin's time had their theories about evolution not make it mainstream because they questioned some holes which the naturalistic view upheld. (I can talk about this via email if you want to and point out the sources)

I have research published papers. To get a paper published, I have seen PhDs, academics and post-docs even changing the variables of their experiments so that the data that is produced better fits their hypothesis (why do they do that - to keep their jobs as academics). We thought there was 1 sun in a solar system but wrong now there are systems that have three or more suns!! We say it is "Science" - wrong. It is only our interpretation at the end of the day which is fickle and subject to change based on data and different conditions (like Atif Khaja pointed out the difference between classical i.e. Newtonian Physics and Quantum Physics). And by the way Newton believed in the Christian God and made certain doom's day prophecies based on analyzing patterns and numbers in the Bible (according to Newton the world will not end before 2060). So much for science and religious views not being upheld by the same mind.

For Harris Sultan, he grew up thinking Islam is the final frontier and then when he came to the shock of realizing its not what he thought it was, he developed a bias and started applying it to every other religion. Harris is an anti-theist, not an atheist. An actual atheist is someone like the guy who runs the Apostate Prophet channel. He left Islam, admitted he had become anti-theist first and then an actual atheist i.e. someone who does not believe in God but does not have a problem with people who believe in God. Why is he still an atheist after studying every world view? It is due to reasons related to Determinism and Free-Will i.e. philosophical questions.

And unfortunately philosophy which is a foundation on which scientific reasoning was originally built on for a long time has been separated by the naturalists and materialistic scientific community in the last 100 or so years. Who is the liar - not Science but the popular scientific community (As a student of science and engineering for nearly 20 years, this is the conclusion I have come to). The people who have hijacked the scientific community today can be compared to the far-left of western society since their view is dominant when it comes to free speech and hijacking media and public opinion. They have made "scientific" dogmas which they do not want to be challenged but give staunch opposition if anyone questions it.


Atheism & Islam