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  • Does God Lie?

  • Ahmad Shoaib

    Contributor September 5, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    We have established that the Quran is a message from God to humans. Now how do we know that he is not lying to us in it?

  • Ahmad Shoaib

    Contributor September 5, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    The general argument against this is that it is incoherent like the lifting a stone argument. But no one has ever lifted an infinitely weighty stone- and the idea of conflicting infinities. And the fact that a stone by definition – any stone- would be able to lifted by God- so the premise is incorrect.

    But this seems incoherent. Because I can lie. The task exists.

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 6, 2020 at 7:09 am

      For instance the things we can’t know or have no way to know that they are true- for example things concerning the afterlife. We are simply just taking a leap of faith and trusting that God is not lying here. If there’s any other thing that I’m missing please let me know

  • Ahmad Shoaib

    Contributor September 6, 2020 at 7:15 am

    The only argument I can think of is that we have no reason to attribute this trait to God as we see he has fulfilled his promise in the past

    It is like doubting a bodyguard who has protected you for decades

  • Ahmad Shoaib

    Contributor September 6, 2020 at 7:33 am

    I mean unless we want to go into philosophy:

    Then there is necessity and change.

    The same way knowledge is necessary and does not change to ignorance.

    Speech is necessary and does not change from truth to falsehood.

    And since God has previously spoken truth his speech would not change to falsehood as any change in God would imply that he was not necessary.

  • AbdurRehman Zaffar

    Member September 6, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    Please listen this video clip he covered this particular Question 👇https://youtu.be/jzsVQCpJjVE

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 6, 2020 at 4:14 pm

      Yes but he doesn’t explain in my opinion why the lafdhi kalaam of Allah could be a lie the same way we humans would lie.

      For example:

      I have a kalaam nafsi that I believe in Allah. Then under pressure and someone threatening my life my kalaam lafdhi is a statement of shirk.

    • Sheharbano Ali

      Member September 6, 2020 at 4:21 pm

      Under pressure is the key word. There are many variables which make our Kalaam Nafsi and Kalaam Lafzi different from eachother.

      For God there are none. Why? Because Hes God. There is noone above, before or after Him.

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 6, 2020 at 4:22 pm

      I knew you would say that.

      My kalaam nafsi is that the sky is blue because it is in accordance with my knowldge.

      Now I have no pressure or harm to avoid and I say the sky is red.

    • Sheharbano Ali

      Member September 6, 2020 at 4:41 pm

      😁

      You say its red. But either you are deceiving yourself or others around you because the truth is its blue.

      God’s Kalaam Nafsi says that He is the Only One and the All Powerful.

      Why would a perfect being potray Himself as something Hes not? Where would the possibility of a different Kalam Lafzi come in?

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 6, 2020 at 4:43 pm

      The point is I can go against my kalaam nafsi with my kalaam lafdhi

      So why wouldn’t God lie like I can if he wanted to misguide me?

    • Sheharbano Ali

      Member September 6, 2020 at 4:51 pm

      Yes that is the whole point. Why would God lie to His Creation about Himself? For what?

      And okay He lied. So none of what He has said about Himself should be true. But don’t we get to experience, each one of us, one a daily basis, His Attributes? Those who read His book and live by it, even more?

      Where is the lie?

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 6, 2020 at 4:52 pm

      To misguide you. Anyway the motives are irrelevant I would say

    • Sheharbano Ali

      Member September 6, 2020 at 4:57 pm

      Regarding what? Himself? Then all or most of what He has told us should be lies. Bur that is not the case again as He manifests Himself and His attributes as promised to believers. So none of this should have been happening then if the motives were nothing but timepass/evil

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 6, 2020 at 4:59 pm

      What if he manifests then now and not later?

    • Sheharbano Ali

      Member September 6, 2020 at 5:06 pm

      We can’t dismiss something based on ‘what if not later.’ And do we in this life?

      We trust other human beings based on what and how they were and are with us at the moment. We take such big leaps of faith with others who are equally faulty as us, deficient and incapable (basically as humans as us). So why not God when He tells us Hes perfect etc and manifests also?

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 6, 2020 at 5:08 pm

      How do you know for certain that he is not misguiding you even now? This is the same bodyguard argument

    • Sheharbano Ali

      Member September 6, 2020 at 5:09 pm

      Misguiding about what?? Elaborate

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 6, 2020 at 5:10 pm

      I don’t know- anything. That there will be justice in the akhirah

    • Sheharbano Ali

      Member September 6, 2020 at 5:21 pm

      To inform us in His book about the minutest of the details inside of us and enabling us to identify those details, from allowing us to be able to look inside of us and better ourselves in order to know the right from wrong in yourself and others. Also being able to see through people then or the outer manifestation of those attitudes adopted by them that Quran warned of. Sometimes also getting to witness the consequences of people who adopted such attitudes for eg. Relationships of someone who is a hypocrite/liar.

      Right now word by word of what He says about the attitudes of people comes true along with the consequences He mentions. My intellect doesnt allow me to distrust Him when it comes to Akhirah

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 6, 2020 at 5:22 pm

      So the bodyguard argument in essence

  • Sheharbano Ali

    Member September 6, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    I have found this video to be an excellent response to this question. When we lie, especially when we lie for something good where we wouldn’t consider the lie, a ‘lie’ technically because it was for good. Yet, our inside is still telling us that its a lie regardless. That is because of the existence of a higher being. We are conscious of Him. And also, the Kalam Lafzi and Kalam Nafsi part explained in my opinion is the answer.

    Hes the only reality. Rest are all ‘faani’. There is noone above or behind or after Him. Who does He have to lie to? And what for? And what about? Again the point of Kalam Nafsi and Lafzi mentioned in the video. @AhmadShoaib

  • Ahmad Shoaib

    Contributor September 6, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    @sheharbano @AbdurRehman

    I think I’ve got it.

    To pose that God’s speech could contain both truth and falsehood implies that his speech could’ve been true or false.

    This introduces contingency in God. Because we then argue that the stories in the Quran eg of luqman عليه السلام could either be true or false.

    And the mere possibility of this change is what it means to be contingent. As if this change is possible then it is possible that God could change this means there is nothing necessary about the way God is since he can change.

    So if we know some statements of God are true (eg death will befall you wherever you are. Or the fulfilling of promises in itmam e hujjat) then all must be true. Because to introduce the possibilities of falsehood introduces the possibility of change and therefore contingency

  • Sheharbano Ali

    Member September 7, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Therefore inconsistencies? But its actually the opposite. Consistency in God’s message, consistency everywhere in creation and within creation, consistency in His speech (content), consistency in His laws. Infact, isnt this the whole argument of the Quran? Consistency. Like for example when Quran addresses the Sun and the Moon and how they are following their due courses. Then there isnt a day when the Sun doesn’t come up. Meaning, everything is working consistantly, uniformly. This theme is recurrent in the Quran. And I haven’t gotten it before writing this. Could it be addressing a much deeper issue like this? That when everything is consistent, following the orders consistently, operating in such a uniform manner. Then how can God be contingent?

    Have I understood it correctly? @AhmadShoaib

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 7, 2020 at 2:41 pm

      The point is God is that entity that is necessary. So contingency cannot be attributed to him.

      With these two premises God’s speech should not be able to have the question ‘could it be a truth or a lie?’ Because that means it could logically change. But God does not change because he is necessarily the way he is and any change would imply he is not necessary in that way.

      So if God’s speech contains any truth at all it must be all truth to avoid this contingency. And the Quran definitely contains some truth.

      P1. God’s speech is either necessarily true, necessarily lies, or contingently on or the other

      P2. God’s speech is not necessarily lies

      P3. God’s speech is not contingently one or the other

      C. God’s speech is necessarily true

  • Sheharbano Ali

    Member September 7, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    The possibility of contingency within God also gives birth to any other possibility/necessity other than God. Like no uniform reality. Then reality also would be anything to ever exist. But the temporary nature/death of creation but the Creator is evidence to Him being the Only and True Reality.

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 7, 2020 at 2:42 pm

      The possibility of contingency (or just contingency) in God would mean he is not God eg the necessary one- wajibul wujood

  • Ahmad Shoaib

    Contributor September 11, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    @faisalharoon

    Sir if you find any other argument that is not philosophical – as we apparently don’t need it – please do inform me

  • Ahmad Shoaib

    Contributor September 15, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    @UmerQureshi

    Sir if you don’t mind could you forward this question to Ghamidi sahab. I understand there must be many questions to him so I see how it might not be possible.

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 15, 2020 at 4:43 pm

      It’s because of his recent comments of kalaam and the way that I disprove that God doesn’t lie is through kalaam- so I want to see what argument he gives

  • Umer

    Moderator September 16, 2020 at 4:50 am

    I don’t understand the nature of this question.

    A person who believes in God, does so with all the good attributes that one innately considers as good. They are not mutually exclusive, rather, all the good attributes are a necessary corollary of the belief in God itself.. All the good attributes come with the belief itself for which a range of arguments exist from intuitive, logical and empirical domains; one doesn’t have to prove each and every good attribute of God through separate discourse.

    And a person who doesn’t believe in God when tries to discuss whether God can lie or not, that means he is evading question of God’s existence. You cannot say that you do not believe in God but at the same time discuss the question of whether God can lie or not, that means you’re not serious about discussing the focal point of God’s existence.

    Ghamidi Sahab has reiterated on many occasions that these discussions of kalaam and philosophy have no end to it and are actually meaningless discussions because they are trying to answer something that a human brain is not capable to answer.

    I actually do not find any utility in this question being asked to Ghamidi Sahab, especially not after recent discussion on Kalaam by Ghamidi Sahab. (unless you’re successful in persuading my bossWink A.k.A @faisalharoon )

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGkDTi8wdow

    • Faisal Haroon

      Moderator September 16, 2020 at 8:08 am

      I completely agree. I have tried explaining this to Ahmad before that once one is able to understand and appreciate the religion from it’s foundation on the basis of evidence, this kind of questions become irrelevant.

      A true believer believes in God and His communication with earth not as a matter of blind faith, but because there’s more evidence to such a belief than an atheistic viewpoint. Once Quran is accepted as the true word of God, on the basis of such a belief, then God has already assured us in His book that He doesn’t lie and His promise will be fulfilled.

      As for a non-believer, the question that whether or not God can lie is contradictory within itself. God is the ultimate definition of truth. Asking whether He can lie is like asking is the white color black?

    • Umer

      Moderator September 16, 2020 at 8:24 am

      The analogy at the end was very nifty boss! ThumbsupWink

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 16, 2020 at 8:47 am

      Why is God to an atheist the ultimate truth? If he is searching for the correct God then surely he will ask- just like before he will accept any evidence that is the person lying? From the Quran itself we know that this book (to an atheist) is superhuman. Now how can he go from superhuman to God?

    • Faisal Haroon

      Moderator September 16, 2020 at 10:02 am

      A person searching for the true God should understand God from the introduction that He Himself provides.

      Consider this rather crude but hopefully a relevant example. An alien from Mars visits you, and unaware of the different genders in humans and the process of procreation, asks you when will you give birth to a child. It’s an irrelevant question because you are a male who can’t give birth – there’s no question of when. The question is based on nothing more than the alien’s ignorance. In order to understand this, he would have to learn who humans are, their different genders, attributes and anatomies of genders, how they procreate, which gender you belong to, and finally arrive at the logical conclusion that you will never give birth.

      In order to remove his misconception he would have to understand you from the human perspective using the proper approach. If he just picks up a book on philosophical debates and tries to answer his immaterial question, he might still arrive at a satisfactory answer, but it would just be a conjecture purely based on imagination.

    • Faisal Haroon

      Moderator September 16, 2020 at 10:08 am

      Based on my previous response, I would like to add a conclusion that in acquisition of knowledge what matters most is the approach and the attitude towards knowledge. It’s not enough to just look for answers to one off questions.

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 17, 2020 at 2:23 am

      The Martian has many ways to test how humans procreate. EG witnessing it. We cannot witness God. If the humans told the Martians we have two genders and Procreate, and Was all- he should definitely not rely on them.

      It’s a relevant question for the Martian to ask, so that he can correct his assumptions.

      When I ask can God lie it is also multiplied- because God is extremely smart and it would be reasonable to think that he could lie to so many.

      So how do we understand God? If it is from God himself isn’t that taking information from a bias source? Like I wouldn’t ask an Apple employee is the Microsoft laptop better

    • Faisal Haroon

      Moderator September 17, 2020 at 9:28 am

      This is precisely the reason why we should generally try to stay away from hypothetical examples and focus on the principles. The world of assumptions is an infinite one. When such an example is cited, certain parameters are assumed, but during a conversation those boundaries are expanded and the conversation quickly turns into a fruitless debate.

      God is not asking us to believe in Him based on blind faith. He’s asking us to use the the same natural process to conclude His existence that we use to conclude many other things in life. Once we have arrived at that conclusion, we have no other way to know His attributes, apart from what He has told us. And we have no evidence to conclude that what He has told us is incorrect.

      If one can come up with an answer to whether or not God can lie solely based on imagination, it’s just a matter of time that someone else proves to the contrary through the same means. Imagination is infinite. An enormous amount of inconclusive philosophical debates in the entire known human history are a witness to this fact.

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 17, 2020 at 2:57 pm

      Then one will have to show how the argument from kalaam is based on imagination. I can post it again if needed

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 17, 2020 at 3:00 pm

      The mutakalimeen would suggest it is based on rational inference.

      And what I’m trying to pose @faisalharoon , sir, is that the natural process of coming to a conclusion is that we don’t take information from a biased source. Like the example I gave above. If we have no choice other than a source like this, then I would not spend my money on the Apple laptop (whatever one has it’s reviews based on by people with biases)

    • Ahmad Shoaib

      Contributor September 17, 2020 at 3:02 pm

      I can think of another myself. We take information from our parents that they are our parents even though it is in their interests to not let me know I am adopted. Now usually we would not think twice about who our parents are. But, God forbid, we find out they have been lying to us, and we find out we are adopted- it is because we took information from a biased source.

      I think the analogy is clear

  • Faisal Haroon

    Moderator September 17, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    The question of biased sources come into play when you actually have multiple sources. When all you can know – including your own self and your intellect – is a creation of God, then there’s no question of a biased source.

    As I have already stated, once one understands the premise of religion from the correct perspective, the question of whether or not God can lie is irrelevant. God is the ultimate definition of truth, so there’s no question of lying. I have also tried to demonstrate with a hypothetical example how questions can be irrelevant due to lack of knowledge and incorrect perspective. I’ll leave it at that. My intent is not to stop you or anyone else from using kalam to answer the question. Just be aware that it’s a never ending road that after many twists and turns, leads to only one place – exactly where you first started.

  • Ahsan Jalal

    Moderator May 5, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    Recently Ghamidi Sb talked about this question.
    https://youtu.be/ulspR2euA6s

The discussion "Does God Lie?" is closed to new replies.

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