This blog is dedicated for every person who likes to debate and argue in very scientific and logical method over Religious concepts in Christianity or in Islam.
If you are this person and have a beautiful mind, pure heart, and write “politely”, then you are most welcomed, otherwise don’t waste your time.
Debate with a Priest (8) – Would you change your religion ever?!
I appreciate your reply. It may take me a few days to write back, I have not yet read your email but will do so the next chance I get. After that, I will reply. In my reply, however, I will try not to be so long - I presume neither of us are the fondest of extra-long replies, which ours seem to keep growing and growing. So I will try to keep my reply brief and to the point, though I cannot promise.
Till then, God bless.
Thank you for taking the time to write back. As I noted in my previous reply, I am going to try to say a lot without making my reply long. I simply do not always have all the time in the world to read and reply, hence why it has taken several days.
You wrote, “it’s superior of all religions because it’s from God, and what you can find and explain and work on it in Islam, you’ll never find it in other religion, because of that many of priests or rabbis or even Hindu scholars, who converted to Islam and studied”.
I agree that Hinduism is a fallacious religion – the teachings, much like Buddhism, are contradictory. There is no clear set of doctrines and teachings, there are thousands of Gods, and with a religious system that does not have a set teaching, I would personally find it difficult to accept as truth. As for the claim that Islam is “superior because it’s from God,” if I made this statement be it to an atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, or the like, they would tell me that I am using circular reasoning. I could reason the same thing and say that Christianity is superior than all other religions because it is from God, but great claims require great evidence.
“you will never find anything similar, that billions of people who leave their food and drink to fast for God sake only, and to give portion of their wealth for the poor, so our God forgive us on the day of Judgment.”
– There are many Christians who fast for God’s sake, as well as giving to the poor. The same is true of Judaism.
“Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told us about a speech of John the Baptist…”
– While Muhammad may have relayed a story about John the Baptist, Muhammad also lived almost 600 years after the death of John the Baptist. The four Gospels, which are historically, archaeologically, textually , geographically and scientifically attested, were written within a few decades of the actual events, written by eyewitnesses (or in Mark’s case, who was dictated his Gospel by Peter, and Dr. Luke, who interviewed eyewitnesses) of these events. I would be more likely to trust eyewitnesses of these events than those who lived centuries later. This is one of the reasons scholars have such difficulty with the so-called Gospel of Barnabas – because it was written over 1000 years after Christ, and not by eyewitnesses.
“Who told you that? Did Jesus said ever pray to me so I convey your prayers to God? did he ever say I will act as mediator between you and God?”
– God did, in His Word that I trust with my entire being, not picking and choosing verses. Did Jesus ever say “pray to me?” As eloquently worded by Matt Slick,
“Jesus said in John 14:14, "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." Therefore, it would seem safe to say that we can pray to Jesus and ask Him to answer our prayers. Also, we can see further confirmation of this by looking at the phrase, "call upon the name of the Lord." In the Old Testament that phrase is used only of God and it includes the meaning of worship, adoration, and prayer.
Psalm 116:4 says, "Then I called upon the name of the Lord: 'O Lord, I beseech Thee, save my life!' What is interesting is that this phrase is applied to Jesus in 1 Cor. 1:2, "to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours." Paul obviously knew the significance of the phrase, which included prayerful appeal, and applied it to Jesus. In 1 Cor. 1:9 it says, "God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." The word "fellowship" is the Greek word koinonia which is also translated as the word "communion." 1 Cor. 1:9 says that we are to have an intimate fellowship with Jesus. That is fine. But, how can we have fellowship with someone with whom we never talk? Therefore, this verse can also be used to support the idea of praying to Jesus.”
Also, aside from the other quotes I referred to about Jesus being mediator (the New Testament is clear), Jesus also hints as this several times. For example, John 14:6 says, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” If you accept other words given by Jesus in the Gospels, as you have, you need to accept all of them – not just some of them.
Also, again, I do not consider Mary anything other than human, so there is no need to continue bringing her up. Assuming that all Christians worship Mary still does not answer the question: if the Qu’ran was truly written by God, why did he misrepresent Christianity? We do not worship Mary, Catholics do, which already holds separate beliefs than mainstream Christianity. There is no need to continue to assume I worship Mary or believe she is a mediator – I do not.
“who came after Jesus by decades or centuries, are not considered as God’s words, it’s human work, and unfortunately those are the responsible for corrupting the religion of Jesus who was send truly by God as messenger only, not a Son or a God. And, historically, you must agree on this too, and be aware from quoting from them.”
– This is not historically accurate. The early church fathers quoted extensively from the New Testament, showing 1) it has not changed over time and 2) Matthew, Mark and Luke were written between 40-64 AD, with John having been written later. The letters of Paul were written before 64 AD, when Paul was beheaded in Rome, as well as Peter’s letters, who, according to Origen, Eusebies, and others, Peter was crucified on an X-shaped cross upside down in 64 AD. Jude’s letter was written ca.70-80 AD, John’s letters (including Revelation) were written prior to 96 AD, and James letter was written in the 50’s/60’s AD. All of the New Testament was written prior to 100 AD.
“Imagine, if you write a book or letter and after decades, some change it and explain it in extremely different way, how angry you will be, knowing that Jesus warned already that some will come and divert the religion to worship himself “Jesus” falsely instead of God”
– quoting the Qu’ran, which I do not accept due to its unreliability (it was compiled by Zaid bin Thabit, under the guidance of Muhammad’s father-in-law, Abu-Bekr. Then in 650 AD, a group of Arab scholars produced a unified version and destroyed all variant copies to preserve the unity of the Koran. The Bible was unified from the time of its writings – the Koran had to be unified through the editing of man. Also, why would there need to be an “official” or “unified” version if all versions agreed?
As for the claim that the Bible has changed, you cite no historical evidence for this. The writings of early church fathers, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Textus Sinaiticus, and the 24,600 manuscripts of the New Testament demonstrate it to be 99.9% reliable. The only thing we are truly unsure about is how to spell John’s name – something that is not at all essential to faith.
“A helpful way to look at the New Testament’s textual history is to compare it to other documents of antiquity. For most ancient documents, we have about a thousand year gap between the writing of the document and the first available copy that archaeologists find. For example, with a Roman historian called Tacitus, our first manuscript copy of his work comes from around 1100 A.D. and we have 20 total manuscript copies today.
Interestingly, Tacitus actually wrote his works around 100 A.D. Most historians do not doubt that we have a really good idea what Tacitus actually wrote, even though we only have about 20 total partial or complete manuscripts and the earliest manuscript comes about 1,000 years after the original writing.
In comparison, our first manuscript copy of the New Testament (John Ryland’s Papyri, dates from 117-138 A.D.) comes about 30-40 years after the original book was written (i.e. the Gospel of John in about 90-95 A.D.). Also, we actually have over 5,700 Greek New Testament manuscripts! In addition to all of the Latin, Coptic, Syriac, and other languages, we have about 25,000 total New Testament manuscripts! This literally blows the competition out of the water!”
My friend, please do not think I am trying to harp the subject. However, I must inquire, out of curiosity – if you believe that the Bible has been corrupted, I must ask why, and what evidence do we have that it is corrupted? Is it because the Bible teaches that Jesus is divine, it teaches that Jesus died on the cross and rose again, and because this disagrees with the Qu’ran, it must be corrupt? If not, what is the reasoning behind this? As for the two verses I cited, I already answered this. Considering the context, Jesus was referring to the Pharisees’ false view of the law.
“Although I didn’t see anything wrong, don’t you all Christians worship Jesus as Son of God or not? Don’t you claim that he is his son, and in your book, it’s written son of God many times, so where is the problem.”
– Yes we do claim that Jesus is God the Son. He also said that He is the Son of God and the Son of Man. When He claimed to be the Son of Man, He was referring to the passage in Daniel 7 which talks about the Son of Man, coming on the clouds of heaven with great glory and power, whose kingdom is eternal. As for the Son of God, “he was even calling God is own Father, making Himself equal with God.” (John 5:18) As described by Got Questions Ministries:
“Jesus is not God’s Son in the sense of a human father and a son. God did not get married and have a son. God did not mate with Mary and, together with her, produce a son. Jesus is God’s Son in the sense that He is God made manifest in human form (John 1:1, 14). Jesus is God's Son in that He was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:35 declares, “The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’”
During His trial before the Jewish leaders, the High Priest demanded of Jesus, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God” (Matthew 26:63). “’Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied. ‘But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven’” (Matthew 26:64).
The Jewish leaders responded by accusing Jesus of blasphemy (Matthew 26:65-66). Later, before Pontius Pilate, “The Jews insisted, ‘We have a law, and according to that law He must die, because He claimed to be the Son of God’” (John 19:7). Why would His claiming to be the Son of God be considered blasphemy and be worthy of a death sentence? The Jewish leaders understood exactly what Jesus meant by the phrase “Son of God.”
To be the Son of God is to be of the same nature as God. The Son of God is “of God.” The claim to be of the same nature as God—to in fact be God—was blasphemy to the Jewish leaders; therefore, they demanded Jesus’ death, in keeping with Leviticus 24:15. Hebrews 1:3 expresses this very clearly, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being.” Another example can be found in John 17:12 where Judas is described as the “son of perdition.” John 6:71 tells us that Judas was the son of Simon. What does John 17:12 mean by describing Judas as the “son of perdition”? The word perdition means “destruction, ruin, waste.” Judas was not the literal son of “ruin, destruction, and waste,” but those things were the identity of Judas' life. Judas was a manifestation of perdition. In this same way, Jesus is the Son of God. The Son of God is God. Jesus is God made manifest (John 1:1, 14).” Hosea 11:1 says, "When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son." This is cited by Dr. Luke in Luke 2.
“7- About Jesus being the savior of the world, I agree on that on his time, but now we all have to follow Muhammad the savior of the world now, and even when Jesus came back he will be ruling in the Law of Sharia’a, the one put by prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to all humans, and he will not change anything except 3 things, that Prophet Muhammad told us about.”
– What is the Law of Sharia’a, and you mentioned Jesus coming back? Before or after the Madhi? If you don’t mind my asking.
“Yes we believe on them all and not in picking what we like only, and we know the God’s words won’t change ever, but the people who wrote the words of Gods changed them.”
– Understandable. But perhaps my point is not coming across. Firstly, what evidence is there that people changed the New Testament? Second, how do you know which verses are corrupted and which verses are not? If I looked at the Qu’ran and said that certain Surahs agreed with my belief but the rest were corrupted, what evidence would I have for that? Great claims require great evidence. This is true in any religion.
“All prophets were muslims, if you review that whole Old testament, didn’t all prophets call their people to worship only One God, they never mention holy ghost or Jesus as his Son ever.”
– The Holy Spirit is mentioned in several places, and the pre-incarnate Jesus appears as the angel (messenger) of the Lord, as well as the prophecies and references such as Psalm 2, where the Father says, “you are my son,” or in Psalm 110, “The Lord says to my Lord…” The reference given in Amos 4:11, “I overthrew some of you as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah… says the Lord” is difficult to explain away without God existing as one in three. The Holy Spirit is mentioned directly in the Old Testament, by several names. For example, He is called the "Spirit of God" in Genesis 1:2, God calls Him "My Spirit" in Genesis 6:3, "the Spirit" and "his Spirit" in Numbers 11:25 and 29, respectively.
He is also called the "Spirit of God" in Numbers 24:2, the "Spirit of the Lord" in Judges 3:10, 6:34, 13:25, 14:6 and 19, as well as Judges 15:14. 1st Samuel 10:6 calls Him the "Spirit of the Lord" and 10:10 calls Him the "Spirit of God," as does 11:6, and is called the "Spirit of the Lord" again in 1st Samuel 16:13-14. He appears several times all throughout the Old Testament, such as Nehemiah 9:20, "your good Spirit," and 9:30, "your Spirit," Job 34:14 calls Him, "his spirit," among other references. Psalm 51:11 says, "Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me" (emphasis mine). He is also called "your Spirit" (referring to God) in Psalm 104:30 and 138:7, and "your good Spirit" in Psalm 143:10. Speaking of the coming of Jesus, Isaiah 11:2 says, "The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him - the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD." Isaiah 32:15 calls Him "the Spirit," Isaiah 34:16 calls Him "his Spirit," God calls Him "my Spirit" in Isaiah 42:1, as well as 44:3. He is called the "Spirit of the Sovereign Lord" in Isaiah 61:1, and "his Holy Spirit" twice in Isaiah 63:10-11.
In Ezekiel 36:27, God calls Him "my Spirit," as well as in Joel 2:28, and Haggai 2:5. The Holy Spirit is mentioned and appears several other times within the Old Testament, too numerous to mention here. Romans 8:9 also calls Him the "Spirit of Christ," making Him equal to both the Father and the Son. Islam teaches that the Holy Spirit is Gabriel. In the Bible, the Holy Spirit lives in the Christians.
1.Question: If the angel Gabriel is the Holy Spirit, how can he dwell in us? (Note: According to the Nestle Aland Greek New Testament Textual Apparatus, there are no textual variations of any of the following biblical references. They are recorded and transmitted to us accurately.)
1."Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you," (2 Tim. 1:14, NASB).
2."Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Cor. 3:16, NASB).
10 & 11 – Thank you for clarifying.
“he answered him that same words mentioned in this prophecy: “I am not Learned”!!, he was asked 3 times to read and answered the same answer 3 times: “I am not learned” !!”
– If I said “When times are good, be happy” three times – which is found in Ecclesiastes 7:14, it would not prove anything, it would only mean that I know how to speak words and audibly project them out of my mouth.
“In 1st statement you caused death to the Creator, I don’t know how? And who can kill or cause to death to the Creator? How much power he has to do so to THE Creator? And in case God had died, then who was controlling the whole universe during that time, who was keeping the balance of all Creations, whether on Earth, or on space !! what ciaos can you imagine if all this perfect balanced system of rotating planets and stars, and environmental balance of the world had stopped because his creator who is controlling it had DIED, how such thing is possible !!”
– God the Father and God the Spirit were in control of creation. Such a thing is not impossible, because all things are possible with God. Also, saying “I don’t know how” does not prove anything, it simply means you personally cannot fathom how.
Appealing to your personal reason, a bit of a relativistic edge, does not prove anything. “Who can kill or cause death to the Creator?” We would expect only God could do that. In John 10:18, Jesus said, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” In John 19:30 we read, “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
– Jesus gave up His life on His own accord. Crucifixion, flogging, hematihidrosis, hypovolemic shock, and a ruptured heart brought Jesus close to death – but only Jesus, who claimed to be God, could end His own life, just as He said. We also find this evidenced in Luke 23:46, “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last.” To answer your question, albeit a good question, only God could cause death to Himself.The logical question we must ask is: if no other man could redeem mankind, what makes us believe that, if Jesus was just a man, He could redeem us? Simply put, only God could redeem His own creation by atoning for us in the original covenant that we broke.
“And imagine what kind a reason that Creator may die for, for his creation and for what reason !! what the logic in this, did you ever someone who execute himself for his own car, or chair or computer survive !! is this logic in your mind!!!”
– Sin, Abdallah. The Creator would die to save us because He loves us.
Our ancestors, Adam and Eve, disobeyed a direct command of God in the Garden of Eden, and because of this, all of God’s perfect creation became corrupted. When this happened, the world became cursed, as did we. Animal sacrifices would not save us, but only the ultimate sacrifice would atone us for our own fallen nature. Leviticus 17:11 says, “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” Only the blood of the Creator could redeem us, Abdallah.
This, from Matt Slick, may help further understanding:
1.God is infinite.
1.There is no limit to Him. He is endless.
2.God is holy.
1.Holiness is purity. God is incapable of doing anything wrong. Part of the quality of holiness is the inability to do wrong.
3.God is just.
1.He always does what is right.
2.God cannot violate His own righteous declarations, because that would mean God is contradicting Himself.
3.This justice is according to His nature since it is He who tells us what is right and wrong.
4.Therefore, God is infinitely holy and infinitely just
1.Neither His holiness nor justice can be denied since they are part of His character and God cannot be denied.
5.We are not infinite and not holy
1.We are not infinite because we are creations.
2.We are not holy because we have sinned.
6.Sin is doing anything against God's Law.
1.It is God who declares what is right and wrong. He has revealed this to us in the scriptures.
7.The Law is a reflection of God's character.
1.God speaks out of what is in His mind and heart. If He says do not lie, it is because it is against God's nature to lie.
2.God is not speaking without reason or purpose. If He had no reason or purpose, this would mean that God is not trustworthy.
3.God is trustworthy, therefore God's Law is the standard of perfection, justice, and holiness.
8.God's Law carries a penalty upon the sinner which is damnation.
1.Damnation is the act of God where He passes righteous judgment upon a person because of the person's sin against Him.
2.If breaking God's law did not carry a penalty, then there would be no damnation. But since there is damnation, we can conclude that breaking God's law carries a penalty.
3.If He did not damn based upon righteousness, then God is doing wrong. Since God cannot do anything wrong, then damnation is righteous.
9.God is affected by what we do.
1.Proof of this is found in our prayers. Since God answers our prayers, our prayers have an effect upon God because God is moved to answer.
2.If our prayers have no effect upon God, then prayer is useless since it accomplishes nothing.
10.Breaking God's Law, sinning, has a negative effect upon our relationship with God.
1.God is not injured in a physical way by our sins since God is spirit, perfect and complete.
2.But, since damnation exists (because of the justice of God), we can conclude that sin has a negative effect upon the relationship between the sinner and God. If this were not so, there would be no damnation.
11.Since God is infinite, our offense against Him has an infinite effect.
1.It is the infinite God we have offended, therefore, the sin results in an infinite offense against God.
12.A finite person cannot remove an infinite offense against an infinite God.
1.A finite work cannot remove an infinite offense because the effort of a finite person will always fall short of meeting the justice of an infinite God.
13.God cannot arbitrarily forgive the sinner without satisfying His infinite justice.
1.If damnation is righteously given because of justice, so, too, forgiveness must be in accordance with justice because both are dealing with sin.
2.To simply dismiss sin in order to forgive is to deny justice.
3.If forgiveness is not consistent with God's justice, then God is arbitrary, inconsistent, and unjust.
4.Therefore, the act of forgiveness also requires an act of justice.
14.Since it is just that the sinner die and be damned, this justice cannot be ignored.
1.If it were ignored, then God is not being consistent in His justice.
2.If it were ignored, then God has no right to damn anyone.
3.No one is damned who is alive. Only the dead are damned.
15.Since man cannot earn forgiveness from God through his finite works, it must be God who makes forgiveness possible.
1.This is so, because there is no one left to make things right, other than God.
16.Since it is not just to ignore the penalty for sin, and since man cannot satisfy God, there is none left but God to pay for the just penalty of sin.
1.The sin cannot be ignored because the act of forgiveness also requires and act of justice.
2.This justice cannot be ignored because God would then be inconsistent.
17.It is just that the sinner die and suffer judgment.
1.Death is a punishment of God and damnation follows death.
18.Since it is just that sin must be dealt with, God must meet that requirement of justice.
1.This is so, because a finite person cannot please an infinite God's just requirements of holiness and purity.
2.God must then do what is just in forgiveness of sins - or justice cannot be met.
19.God must then take the place of the sinner and suffer the consequence of the lawful judgment of death upon the sinner.
20.With justice met, forgiveness can then be rightly given.
21.This forgiveness, which cannot be earned by man's effort, can only be received from God by man's faith - because there is nothing else he can do.
“In 2nd statement, that God was converted to flesh to die on Earth and in 3rd statement it’s still Jesus who is praying to father in heaven, so is it GOD or not GOD who converted to flesh or not, did he leave Heaven to stay and being executed on Earth, or is it his Son, or begotten Son, or non begotten Son!!”
– God the Father stayed in Heaven. God the Son was incarnate on the Earth. The Greek word used for “only begotten” is monogenes. It is an adjective, meaning “single of its kind, only; used of only sons and daughters (viewed in relation to their parents; used of Christ, denotes the only begotten son of God” (BLB Lexicon). According to Thayer’s Lexicon, it is better translated as “one and only,” and not in the literal, biological sense that Jesus is the Son of God, but in the cultural and relational sense. Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for a while, and as such, God gave us the understanding of the Father-Son-Spirit relationship to better understand and relate to Him.
“You are quoting other than from the gospels, which are only letters between the apostles who came after Jesus and maybe some of them didn’t ever see Jesus himself, like Paul and John, etc... why you are asking me to believe on God’s words and these are only human writings, unless all these apostles becomes God’s too in your religion.. Frankly, all these letters worth nothing if they contradict with Jesus words in the Gospels, and what they worth comparing with all the verses that you quoted from the Old testament, those of real prophets who were revealed to them by God, there is there is ONLY one God, and then you collapsed all what is mentioned by them before because some of “apostles” wrote messages and claimed that God is three!!!”
– Show me where they contradict. I am quoting from the Word of God, which is unified, and to claim that “maybe some of them didn’t ever see Jesus himself, like Paul and John….” is a claim not made by evidence, but opinion. “Why are you asking me to believe on… only human writings” – why are you asking me to accept the Hadith and the Qu’ran which I believe are only human writings? The Gospels also contain the notion that God is three in one, particularly John. Acts was written by Dr. Luke as a sequel to His Gospel, to Theophilus. John, who was an eyewitness of the life of Jesus, wrote 1st, 2nd, 3rdJohn, Revelation, and the Gospel of John. Paul likely did not see Jesus in his life, but he surely heard of his influence, and Paul saw him several times throughout his life – on the road to Damascus, in prison, the like.
Simply because you do not find something logical does not make it illogical. If I examined a red orange and did not find it logical did not make it illogical, it made it something I personally may find to be contradictory but in reality is not. As for your examples of the “plurality of God” in the Qu’ran, none of those references imply a Trinity as God’s Word does.
According to the Christians Apologetics Research Ministry, “One of the questions I ask the anti-Trinitarians is "Can you please show me how the Trinity is illogical?". Usually, they respond with something like, "It just doesn't make sense," or "It simply can't be." But making such statements doesn't prove or disprove anything. The question is, "How is it illogical?" I have yet to hear a logical explanation. It isn't against logic for God to be three persons. It may be difficult to understand, and some may not like it, but it isn't illogical. For it to be illogical, there must be some rule of logic that is violated that makes it impossible for God to exist as a Trinity. For example, to say that one god is really three gods is illogical because the quantity of one is not the same quantity as three and since they (one and three) are mutually exclusive as to quantity in this situation, to say one god is three gods is illogical. But that isn't what the Trinity is anyway. Remember, it is not that three gods are one god as some critics mistakenly say. The Trinity is three divine persons who comprise the one God. Furthermore, there is no logical reason why God cannot be three persons.
Trinitarianism is monotheistic. That means that it is a doctrine that teaches the existence of a single being who is God and that there is only one God in all existence. This is sometimes ignored or not known when people (Muslims) criticize the Trinity by asserting that the Trinity teaches three gods. But, it does not. As is stated above, the Trinity is a monotheistic theological position. The Muslims need to properly understand what they criticize. Most often, they do not.
They typically fail to understand what the Trinity really is, make a false character of it, and attack the false representation. Then, when we correct them and say that is not what the Trinity is, they often say we don't know what we are talking about. The muslims need to do their homework. Finally, when Muslims state that the Trinity isn't logical, it is up to them to demonstrate how. They need to produce logical statements in sequential form that demonstrates the impossibility of the Trinity. If they are not able to do it, then they should stop making the claim.”
“All these are “stupid” examples of trinity” – arguing that they are “stupid” simply because you found them stupid does not make them stupid. Also, there is no need for such language. You could have also easily said, “All these are, in my opinion, imperfect examples of [the] trinity,” but instead you chose to use the insulting “stupid.” I have said nothing similar about your beliefs, why do you persist to do so toward mine? “What you are claiming that he is:
God (divine, immaterialized) + Holy Ghost (Angel, Spirit) + Jesus (prophet, Mankind)”
– No, I am claiming that the Father (divine) the Spirit (divine) and the Son (divine), are all parts of a whole.I never said that I believe Jesus was merely a prophet, nor that the Holy Spirit is an angel. Is it true that Islam teaches that the Holy Spirit is actually the angel Gabriel?
“my stomach hurts me, even now…and sometimes I need to listen to some Quran or pray just to forget such evil idea about God”
– calling something “evil” or saying that “my stomach hurts me” proves nothing. Appealing to emotions and physical blights does not help an argument; it only introduces an element of insult toward the other person in the argument. I have not told you that “my stomach hurts me” or said that Islam is “evil.” Why do you persist to say this about my belief?
19 – Interesting article, Abdallah. What else can you tell me about Jesus, the Madhi, and this false prophet, my friend? Some have mentioned that Revelation 6:2 is a prophecy about the Madhi. Would you agree or disagree?
20 – Consider the same about the Old and New Testament. But indeed, I will think on it.
“You also know very clearly that Idea of God’s son exit in most of pagan religions before and during Jesus times, as in Greek, Roman, Persian and Egyptians ancient religions”
I am left with a few general questions, if it is okay. I do not want the discussion to make either of us think of one another as enemies, but as friends. Friends discuss politics, friends discuss religions, friends discuss the weather, the like. There is nothing wrong with discussing our beliefs with one another, even if we disagree. It is still good to get a better understanding of the beliefs of Islam and Christianity. But I do not want to create anger by asking honest questions, so I hope that it is okay. They are, as noted, honest questions.
1)Do most Muslims believe and teach that the Holy Spirit is the angel Gabriel?
2)Which books of the Bible do you accept? Concerning the New Testament, I understand you only accept the Gospels, but do you accept all four Gospels?
3)What do you think about the Book of Mormon? It also claims to be a further revelation from God – what would make it any different than our claims? (Note that the Book of Mormon is one of four “revelations” to Joseph Smith. As you know, I do not accept Mormonism.)
4)If you would list them out – what are your objections to Christianity, and not merely based on opinion?
5)What evidence do we have that the Bible has changed?
6)What evidence do we have that the Qu’ran has not changed?
7)What evidence do we have (aside from citing the Qu’ran and the effects of Muhammad) that Islam is true? Bear in mind that Christians could cite the life and effects of Jesus, but it does not prove the religion.
8)This is a bit of a personal question. Have you always been Muslim, were you raised Muslim, and if you were not, what convinced you?
9)Was Muhammad sinless? (This is an honest question, not trying to make any attacks or make any false claims, but to ask your opinion)
10)The Qur'an says to have no divisions within Islam. "The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah - the [sic] which we have sent by inspiration to thee - and that which we enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them..." (42:13). Question: If Islam is the truth, which of the divisions within it is the "most" true?
Those are my questions. I have others, but those were a few that came to mind.
I appreciate your concern. Likewise, I wish that you would accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, confess that He is Lord (Romans 10:9), and proceed to live the life that God wants for you. However, you and I have two radically conflicting views of the world around us, and both of us think we are right.
I can sense the compassion and the drive with which you believe you are trying to save me. There are many reasons I have not converted to Muslim – I have many questions that are still unanswered about the Qu’ran, there is too much evidence for Christianity (and my interpretation of the world around us) for me to reject, I would never become a Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, or Atheist. I believe in God, and I know that He loves me. When I was younger, I would play games in my backyard, “make-believe.”
Those days are long gone, I never expected – until God Himself called me – to become a Pastor and apologist. Friends and family remind me constantly that they believe I am one of the nicest folks they know, and I simply cannot understand why. I do try to help out people in whatever way possible – not just in religious matters, but in relationships, in marriage, in friendships, in life in general. Many come to me for advice, and though I personally do not consider it good advice, those who it is given to seem to think so. I do not know why we met the way we did, Abdallah. But it must be for reason. Behind this defense, I try to be at peace with everyone as much as possible, and try, first and foremost, to simply be a friend.
So if I may ask, Abdallah, I would like for us to know one another as friends. I have not tried to anger you or push you, and I know you have not either. If I have ever caused any anger, I apologize, that has never been the intention. You must understand, to me, Christianity is true. With this presupposition, just as you believe Islam to be true, I try to help others as much as possible. Yet neither of us accept the other’s view. In either case, I want to thank you for all of your help, your friendship, and your support.
So if we can, sir, I would ask that, while we can continue this debate and likely will, would it be possible to be as we say of one another – friends?
In His Name,
PS - If at all possible, please try to keep the reply shorter than our usual emails. I have been fairly busy of late, hence why it has taken me a while to respond. The shorter our emails (this goes for my part as well, I will try to keep it even shorter) the less we have to take time with, but the more we have to think about. This is good at the same time, because thinking stimulates the brain and it further informs us on one anothers beliefs. If not, perfectly understandable . But let us try to keep our discussion as friendly as possible. We are discussing eternal matters, which each of us appears set in our personal view. Let us be as civil and kind toward one another as possible, and not accuse or call the beliefs of one another certain names.
Thanks for your long reply as usual my friend, but before I start working on the answers, I need to know from you, are you really searching for truth or just doing this for enjoying, means whether you know that Islam is the true religion from God and the only accepted way for salvation or you don’t know, it won’t make any difference for you?! means even if you knew it’s true you will not follow Islam, and you will prefer to die on your beliefs even if they are wrong, and you will take your chance whatever is waiting you in the afterlife?
Or, if you really touched that Islam is the truth then you surely will change to Islam whatever it may cost you, maybe you will lose your job or family or friends, but it doesn’t matter since you will save your soul and gain the eternal life?
Please answer me honestly, and PLEASE don’t reply my question by a question, answer first then ask whatever you want to know.
Dear my friend,
I didn’t receive your answer yet on the below question, I am afraid that you may not receive it, so I am sending it again, also I would like to refer you to one of my articles, I don’t know if I send it to you before or not, but please have a look on it, it will show what do we mean by “God”.
Also, while I was reading some verses from Quran yesterday you came to my mind, I don’t know why, so I will paste them below, honestly I don’t know if they are a message for me or for you !!
Note, still I want to answer on all your questions in God’s will, but they will take some time.
Last Verses from Chapter: Jonahs, “Prophet Yunus”, in the Holy Quran:
So if you (O Muhammad SAW) are in doubt concerning that which We have revealed unto you, then ask those who are reading the Book [the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] before you. Verily, the truth has come to you from your Lord. So be not of those who doubt (it) (94)
And be not one of those who belie the Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allâh, for then you shall be one of the losers. (95)
Truly! Those, against whom the Word (Wrath) of your Lord has been justified, will not believe. (96)
Even if every sign should come to them, - until they see the painful torment. (97)
Was there any town (community) that believed (after seeing the punishment), and its Faith (at that moment) saved it (from the punishment)? (The answer is none,) - except the people of Yûnus (Jonah); when they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the (present) world, and permitted them to enjoy for a while. (98)
And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed, all of them together. So, will you (O Muhammad SAW) then compel mankind, until they become believers? (99)
It is not for any person to believe, except by the Leave of Allâh, and He will put the wrath on those who are heedless. (100)
Say: "Behold all that is in the heavens and the earth," but neither Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) nor warners benefit those who believe not. (101)
Then do they wait for (anything) save for (a destruction) like the days of the men who passed away before them? Say: "Wait then, I am (too) with you among those who wait." (102)
Then (in the end) We save Our Messengers and those who believe! Thus it is incumbent upon Us to save the believers. (103)
Say (O Muhammad SAW): "O you mankind! If you are in doubt as to my religion (Islâm), then (know that) I will never worship those whom you worship, besides Allâh. But I worship Allâh Who causes you to die, I am commanded to be one of the believers. (104)
"And (it is revealed to me): Direct your face (O Muhammad SAW) entirely towards the religion Hanif (Islâmic Monotheism, i.e. to worship none but Allâh Alone), and never be one of the Mushrikûn (those who ascribe partners to Allâh, polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh, and those who worship others along with Allâh). (105)
"And invoke not besides Allâh, any that will neither profit you, nor hurt you, but if (in case) you did so, you shall certainly be one of the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers)." (106)
And if Allâh touches you with hurt, there is none who can remove it but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can repel His Favour which He causes it to reach whomsoever of His slaves He wills. And He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (107)
Say: "O you mankind! Now truth (i.e. the Qur'ân and Prophet Muhammad SAW), has come to you from your Lord. So whosoever receives guidance, he does so for the good of his own self, and whosoever goes astray, he does so to his own loss, and I am not (set) over you as a Wakîl (disposer of affairs to oblige you for guidance)." (108)
And (O Muhammad SAW), follow the revelation sent unto you, and be patient till Allâh gives judgement. And He is the Best of judges. (109)
Thank you for your email. I apologize for the long wait..
- I received your email, but I have been very busy. I will be candid with you, my friend. You essentially asked if I would ever be Muslim. At this point, Abdullah, honestly, I do not think I will ever be Muslim. I have many reasons why. For me to become Muslim, I would need to explain away the reliability and accuracy of the Bible, the archaeological support as well as support from other works of antiquity (Flavius Josephus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Fronto, Lucian, Marcus Aurelius, Galen, Celsus, Philostratus, the Babylonian Talmud, the Jewish Talmud, Mara bar Serapion, Origen, Tertullian, Clement, Irenaeus, Polycarp, Ignatius, Clement, Justin Martyr, as well as the writings and records of the Roman emperors and many other historical documents which support early Christianity).
I would also need to explain away the resurrection - having examined the many different theories about the resurrection, the only one which I found stands to scrutiny is that Jesus rose from the dead. If Jesus rose from the dead, then His claims need to be considered. I would also need to explain away all the fulfilled predictive prophecies in the Bible - from Cyrus the Great to the destruction of Tyre - from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD to its rebirth in 1948, all of these I would need to explain away.
I would also need to explain away the philosophical arguments for Christianity, as well as the scientific evidence, including the many passages in Scripture which demonstrate scientific foreknowledge. For example, in Psalm 8:8, "the paths of the seas" are mentioned. 3000 years ago, this verse described the "paths of the seas." In the 19th century, Matthew Maury (the father of Oceanography), after reading this passage, researched - and discovered - ocean currents that follow specific paths through the seas. Utilizing Maury's data, marine navigators have since reduced many days the time required to traverse the seas.
Another example is Job 38:16, which mentions the "springs of the sea" and "the recesses of the deep." It has been discovered in recent decades that there is springs of water emerging from specific parts of the ocean floor. This is a scientific fact, and until recently, it was thought that the oceans were fed by rain and rivers only. Yet another example is Jonah 2:5, "The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed wrapped around my head. To the root of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in..." We now know that there are mountains on the bottom of the ocean floor. Only in the last century have we discovered that there are towering mountains and deep trenches in the depths of the sea. There are about 100 examples I know of at the moment.
Regarding other religions, Hinduism and Buddhism have too many contradictions to be reconciled. In Hinduism, there is no agreement on the afterlife, gods, who should and should not be worshiped, the like. Compare Zen Buddhism to Western Buddhism - the teachings do not agree. Buddha never claimed to be God, never rose from the dead, his tomb is still occupied.
The Hindu gods have no historical evidence. Much like the Egyptian god Horus, he did not exist as a historical figure: Jesus did. The same goes for Sikhism, Bah'ai, the like. In Evolution, whether adherents agree or not, is based on faith. Science is what is repeatable, testable, and observable. We cannot do this for Evolution, and therefore those who accept it do so on faith.
The alleged "missing links" are all explained - Lucy, for example, is a three foot ancient chimpanzee. The skeletons claimed to be early men are usually humans who had particular diseases - skin, bone, the like. Even so, if there is an ape fossil that resembles a human - is a hot dog and a pickle the same merely because they look alike? As for the Big Bang, when has an explosion ever resulted in order? Consider Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The negative effects are still felt to this day, people still die of remnant radiation. If I set off a bomb in a garage somewhere and expected it to result in order, would it? It would not.
Therefore, how can we rightly conclude that the largest explosion in history would ever result in order? At the same time, where did the material that resulted in the big bang hypothesis come from? it could not be an infinite regression, but would require an external force outside of time and space. Yet there are numerous problems with Evolution and the Big Bang, too many (and too technical) to get into here and now. If Mormonism was true, we must account for several things. Studies show that Native American's mitochondrial DNA is 98.6% Asian, and 0% Middle Eastern.
If the Native Americans had descended from the Israelite Laman as the Book of Mormon teaches, why is there no trace mitochondrial DNA of Middle Eastern descent? We must also consider, if Mormonism were true, why do we not find any archaeological evidence for it whatsoever? Year after year archaeological discoveries are made which provide further credence to the Bible, yet none have been found that support Mormonism. One of my concerns would be this: if I accepted the Qu'ran, which claims to be a revelation from God, why not also accept the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Teachings of Joseph Smith and the Book of Abraham, all of which claim to be new revelations from God? I believe a great many things, my friend, and to be clear, I have a satisfied mind.
I know in your heart you truly wish I would become Muslim. It is the same for me. You must understand, Abdallah. There are spiritual encounters involved in my life which I cannot ignore, as well as experiences I know of concerning people who have seen Heaven and Hell and were told by Christ that He is the only way. You may disagree with me, and I understand that. I do not wish to debate this, Abdallah. I could ask you the same, "why will you not become a Christian," and I should hope you know why you believe what you believe. I have tried to find ways to explain away all of Christianity, but I simply cannot. I study other world religions, cults, denominations, and philosophies, and when compared to Christianity (this is my opinion) I find that Christianity stands, not the others. You believe that Islam is true, I believe that Christianity is true.
But I must ask you, dear Abdallah. Why do you believe what you believe? I do not want you to answer me. I want you to think. If you will not accept Christianity, and absolutely believe Islam, then know why you believe what you believe. Know why you believe it, know the claims, understand your beliefs, know that everyone has a worldview and that what we perceive is a result of those beliefs and views, and that we are all faced with the same evidence, but a different interpretation.
The question is which interpretation fits the world around us the best. All I am asking is that you know why you are Muslim. I could say, "I believe the Bible because the Bible says its true and I feel it is." But this is a fallacy. It is circular reasoning. Therefore, this is why I study archaeology, history, science, geology, spirituality, world religions, philosophy, sociology, psychology, and other topics. Overall, Abdallah, it seems as if both of us are firm in our belief.
But if you said, "I believe the Qu'ran because it says it is true and I feel it is," this is also circular reasoning. We do not need blind faith - evidence gives insights into beliefs. Note, however, that evidence is different than proof. Regardless, I have ranted, and thus, I rest my case. We both believe what we believe, and cannot seem to change one another’s beliefs. But I still wish to converse, because I still have many questions about Islam and the Qu'ran - good, honest questions. Thank you Abdallah, if nor nothing else, sticking with me in this year-long conversation.
God bless you.
Dear My Friend,
Really you are an encyclopedia and like to write a lot too !!
But, I would like to tell you that you didn’t answer my question as I didn’t ask you why Christianity is right in your mind, NO..
I asked you if once you felt that Islam is the correct way then will you take a great move and change your religion to Islam whatever it will cost you, or NOT you will stay on your religion “Christianity” regardless what is waiting you in afterlife (i.e. hell and eternal torment)??
Please answer the following very shortly:
(a) Yes, I have the courage and will change and save my soul, OR,
(b) No, I will stay on my old religion whatever it will cost me …
Second, I don’t want to answer on your letter all as I didn’t answer the previous one yet, but I would like to tell that the 3 examples that you mentioned about ways in seas, underwater springs, mountains roots, are all mentioned in Quran too, you can read them in my articles on: please just check them, they are straight forward..
This to proof to you that both (Quran and Bible) are from God, but the bible has been corrupted during history, while Quran NOT (we will keep talking about that later on)..
3rd, about other religions, let’s finish all questions about Islam and Christianity first, and then we will discuss them, in God’s will.
4th, about your question that if I ever will change my religion from Islam, the answer clearly is: NOOOOOOOOO…..
Even if they (or any) will cut me into pieces and feed me to the animals, even if they want to smash me into powder and throw me into sea water, or even if they want to throw me in strong acid or a boiled oil (as they did to some of prophet Muhammad companions or the servant of the pharos who accepted Islam and followed Mosses, and they throw her and her children in a boiling oil), I will not change in God’s will..
But of course, I ask God not to test me in such way, as Jesus said it’s written not to test God..
But, Why all of that?
I already answered this in the verses that I sent to you in my previous email, verse 114:
Say (O Muhammad SAW): "O you mankind! If you are in doubt as to my religion (Islâm), then (know that) I will never worship those whom you worship, besides Allâh. But I worship Allâh Who causes you to die, I am commanded to be one of the believers. (104)
Means, I will worship the only God who creates and who causes Death and who resurrects, whenever I stand up again from death in front of the one who created me, I will say I was worshiping you alone, so how he will tortured me then, if he knows that I was worshiping him all this life, thus in God’s will, I will be always in safe side..
I don’t not need to justify that I was worshiping Jesus, because I thought, he was a lord and he is not the one who created me, not caused death to me, and he will not resurrect me, what I will say to the Angels of the day of Judgment, when they will take me to Hell, well, because some papers of someone who threw them in a valley next to dead sea saying: “that it’s said that Jesus was God, then I thought he is God !!”
They will throw me in Hell, and will say to me, keep thinking in hell then…
About saying: “Regardless, I have ranted, and thus, I rest my case”
Please DON’T, and keep this an advice from a friend, most of people who will be thrown into hell are: stupid and arrogant!!
Arrogant to follow, Arrogant to accept, Arrogant to change, Arrogant to respond, Arrogant to repent, etc..
And they are mentally stupid not “literally”, but incapable to take the good option and the correct choice by themselves.
"But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Qur'ân nor acts on its teachings) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection." (124)
He will say:"O my Lord! Why have you raised me up blind, while I had sight (before)." (125)
(Allâh) will say: "Like this, Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) came unto you, but you disregarded them (i.e. you left them, did not think deeply in them, and you turned away from them), and so this Day, you will be neglected (in the Hell-fire, away from Allâh's Mercy)." (126)
And thus do We requite him who transgresses beyond bounds [i.e. commits the great sins and disobeys his Lord (Allâh) and believes not in His Messengers, and His revealed Books, like this Qur'ân, etc.], and believes not in the Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations) of his Lord, and the torment of the Hereafter is far more severe and more lasting. (127)
So, please DON’T take such decision, even if our discussion will take decades Not only years, prophet Muhammad (PBUH) called for Islam for 23 years, and his own people, family, tribe in Makkah didn’t respond before 21st year !!
So, we still have 2 decades left, let me answer all your questions about Islam and Quran and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), till you become sure that you know well about Islam and how muslims think and believe too, then if nothing left, you take the choice that you want..
Finally, Please pick one of the choices on the above question. Thanks a lot,
"you are an encyclopedia and like to write a lot too" - thank you, I will take that as a compliment. It is my job, after all.
As for answering you question, I apologize, I misunderstood. However, I did answer your question, essentially. My answer was that I cannot explain away Christianity, and as such, I do not think I would be able to accept Islam. There are issues I have been unable to resolve with the Hadith, Islam, Muhammad, and the Qu'ran.
"This to proof to you that both (Quran and Bible) are from God, but the bible has been corrupted during history, while Quran NOT."
- My friend, I must be blunt. You continue to claim that the Bible has been corrupted, but even many non-Christian secular scholars agree that it has not. I do not know how to convince you otherwise. Also, you provide no evidence to support this claim, and as I have said, great claims requires great evidence. Whether you consider what I have referred to about the Bible's accuracy to be evidence or not does not explain away the fact that it is just that: evidence. You also do not explain how the Qu'ran has not changed. That is my question, I suppose: "How do we know the Qu'ran [and Hadith] have not changed? How were they recorded? When were they recorded? By whom?" I know you have mentioned a few of these, but my memory can be a bit spotty sometimes, forgive me.
So I again ask those questions, out of curiosity, not animosity. One more thing: you mentioned, my dear Abdallah, that the Qu'ran mentions these things as well. But the logical question, or rather point, is this: the Bible was written before the Qu'ran was, and contained these things thousands of years prior. Job was likely written by Moses ca.1445-1405 BC while in the desert, demonstrating that Moses wrote these things down almost 2000 years prior to the Qu'ran. Literary speaking, there is nothing saying the Qu'ran did not derive those passages from the Bible, which was written first.
"About saying: “Regardless, I have ranted, and thus, I rest my case” Please DON’T, and keep this an advice from a friend, most of people who will be thrown into hell are: stupid and arrogant!! Arrogant to follow, Arrogant to accept, Arrogant to change, Arrogant to respond, Arrogant to repent, etc.. And they are mentally stupid, incapable to take the good option and the correct choice by themselves.."
- I believe you misunderstood what I said. Perhaps I should reword it: "Regardless, I have written a lot, and thus, I am done for this email." That is all I meant. Also, I truly wish you would not imply that I am "stupid and arrogant," and "mentally stupid." If I was stupid and arrogant, I would not be researching other world religions and philosophies, I would not be speaking with anyone other than Christians, and I would be incapable of writing these emails and writing over 260 articles.
I agree that most people who are thrown into Hell are arrogant, but (perhaps I read it wrong) it is rather hurtful to me for it to be implied that I am such. In previous emails you called my beliefs "stupid and evil," and then (again, perhaps I misread) called me "stupid and arrogant... [and] mentally stupid." There is no need for such phrases. I will once again note that I have not called your beliefs - and I have not called you - any of those things, and I do not plan to.
"let me answer all your questions about Islam and Quran and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), till you become sure that you know well about Islam and how muslims think and believe too, then if nothing left, you take the choice that you want."
- Okay, my friend. I truly appreciate that. As I have said before, when I am not debating about Christianity, I try to be helpful and kind to others as possible, and this part of me never seems to come across in emails. If nothing else, my goal in life is to help others whatever way possible - whether it is helping a neighbor, a friend, a stranger, encouraging and uplifting others, attempting to inspire others, the like. Life is not an easy thing, nor was it ever promised to be. But we can make the best of it with what we have, being thankful for the things we do have, and helping others in whatever way possible.
Lastly, I suppose I will say this. It may seem like I am stubborn, and perhaps that is an accurate assumption. But we must remember, no one ever wants to be told that they believe the wrong thing. So I will say, Abdallah, that I will keep an open mind about Islam, but I do not ever see myself denying Christ. He must become more, and I must become less, to paraphrase the words of John the Baptist. It is my life's long journey to continue my relationship with the Creator, to defend what He has called me to defend, and to be like a light on a hilltop - not hidden, but a beacon of light to shine in the darkness. Overall, I will keep an open mind, but I cannot deny what God has shown me.
I do have one more question: what can you tell me about Jinn? About their appearance, what they do, and if they are different from angels. I believe I recall reading n the Qu'ran that Satan is an angel but I also read that he is a Jinn. I was a bit confused, thought I would ask you. God bless you, and send my best to the family.
PS - I suppose I have not asked, and was curious - do you have any other interests aside from Islam Apologetics?