God and the barbers shop

Discussion in 'Islam' started by faryal, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. faryal

    faryal member

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    Assalamoalaikum,

    I didnt know on which board to start this thread so I thought i'll start it here. A few days ago i read something very interesting and I'd like to hear everyone's comment on it, esp from atheists. here we go...

    A man went to a barber shop to have his hair and his beard cut as always.. He started to have a good conversation with the barber who attended him. They talked about so many things and various subjects. Suddenly, they touched the subject of God.

    The barber said: "Look man, I don't believe that God exists as you say so."

    "Why do you say that?" - asked the client.

    "Well, it's so easy, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God does not exist. Oh, tell me, if God existed, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be no suffering nor pain. I can't think of a God who permits all of these things."

    The client stopped for a moment thinking but he didn't want to respond so as to prevent an argument. The barber finished his job and the client went out of the shop. Just after he left the barber shop he saw a man in the street with a long hair and beard (it seems that it had been a long time since he had his cut and he looked so untidy).

    Then the client again entered the barber shop and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist."

    "How come they don't exist?"-asked the barber."Well I am here and I am a barber."

    "No!" - the client exclaimed. "They don't exist because if they did there would be no people with long hair and beard like that man who walks in the street."

    "Ah, barbers do exist, what happens is that people do not come to me."

    "Exactly!"- affirmed the client. "That's the point. God does exist, what happens is people don't go to Him and do not look for Him that's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."

    So what do you people think of this?
     
  2. Dave the Web

    Dave the Web New Member

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    Interesting. But would God seek to give people riches and money or more important things such as happiness within the self?
     
  3. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste faryal,

    thank you for the post.

    well... since you are asking what we think instead of expressing what you believe i shall contribute.

    let me explain... if you were expressing what you believe, and in a sense you are, then i have no argument with that. how can you argue with someone's beliefs? well.. i know people that do, it just seems to be a waste of time.

    but... since you are asking for opinon and feedback on your analogy, i shall happily contribute.


    first things first.

    we can see a barber, we cannot see God. this is a very significant thing to bear in mind when using analogies of phenomena. so... overall, i would say that the analogy is flawed due to this factor. it's like comparing apples to oranges in a sense.

    secondly, it doesn't matter which barber you would go to whereas it does matter which God you believe or by extension, which religious path you choose, at least this is the impression that one gets from the monotheistic traditions.

    thirdly, the client was lying to make a point. he clearly knows that barbers exist, as he had just left one, however, to make his point, he chose to employ deception when talking with the barber. eh.. perhaps i'm being overly picky with this one, however, i think that is a poor strategy to employ.

    whilst is may be true that God exists, there is no way to know which of the monotheistic traditions are correct... i.e. which of the One True Gods to follow, ergo, one could choose any of the traditions that posit a Creator Deity (which is what i presume you mean when you are talking about God) and have as good a chance at being right as anyone else.

    however... those are not my main points of contention with the monotheistic traditions.... but... i should clearly state... that i think that those traditions are beautiful spiritual jewels and should be valued and treated as such.
     
  4. faryal

    faryal member

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    Assalamoalikum, Vajradhara

    You were absoluty right about the fact that the analogy has its faults. I see them now, thanks for pointing them out. Yes, its true that we can see a barber and we can't see God, and yes it does matter which path u take when u are looking for God.


    But i've got to say, i donnot agree with your third point. The client was just making a point by messing up with what the barber said before. The barber said 'Well, it's so easy, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God does not exist. Oh, tell me, if God existed, would there be so many sick people? Would there...', so its safe to assume that the base of his not believing in God is the fact that there are many people suffering. Therefore, i think it's ok for the client to say that the barber doesnt exist, reason why, that there are people with long beards.

    I would have written more, but I've got to go (my exams are going on, pls pray i get good grades inshallah). Thanks again for the post. I've got another passage like the one before, i'd like to hear your comment on that one too. I'll be posting it soon.. just let me get over with my exams.

    take care,
    AllahHafiz.
     
  5. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Salaam faryal,

    thank you for the post.

    good luck on your exams! :)

    i look forward to your next post.
     
  6. Nogodnomasters

    Nogodnomasters New Member

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    You lost me Faryal, could you make your barber female and topless. I would rather believe in that barber.
     
  7. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Quoting from the story:

    Then the client again entered the barber shop and he said to the barber:

    "Ah, barbers do exist, what happens is that people do not come to me."

    "Exactly!"- affirmed the client. "That's the point. God does exist, what happens is people don't go to Him and do not look for Him that's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."

    So what do you people think of this?"

    My reply:

    I enjoyed the story a great deal and it is like a wise parable, simply because people do not submit to God does not obviate His existence and make God less relevant.

    "Thus do we coin for you parables, so that perhaps you might attain certitude in your beliefs. Render your vision and insight subtle, so that a breeze from the wind of delight and splendor might caress your heart and you might be firmly ensconced on the throne of tranquillity. This is the greatest, the supreme teaching, if you can but discern it."
     
  8. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    The barber puts a sign out, so no-one can be uncertain where to go if he wants to go to a barber.
    God leaves it up to rumor-mongers to tell hundreds of contradictory stories about where you have to go if you want to go to God. Are we supposed to sort out which rumor-monger, if any, has it right?
     
  9. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste bob x,

    moreover... you can tell the barber what type of haircut you'd like.. and the barber may offer you some advice such as "this will not look flattering to you" or "this will accent your broad nose" things of this nature.

    if the barber treats you poorly or performs poor service, you can go to another barber and have a proper hair cut with good service.

    analogies are useful to a point... but often, it seems, they provoke more disupte than confusion they dispell.
     
  10. Yaseen

    Yaseen New Member

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    Yaseen

    A very good way to make someone understand something (was the client's responces).
     
  11. Vapour

    Vapour New Member

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    ah, I think the misunderstanding come from this. Barber is pointing out that God is almighty so he can prevent *every* evil in the world but somewhat he decide not to do so. On the other hand, barber is not almight so he cannot trim everyone's hair unless people come to him.

    Because his power (not to mention the fact that he created the world in the first place), what happen to the entire world is his responsibility. Barber on the other hand is only responsible for people who visit his shop.

    Obviously this discussion can move on to the topic of freewill but I think it is a separate issue from the existence of God.
     
  12. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Hi Yaseen and welcome to CR. :)
     
  13. samabudhi

    samabudhi New Member

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    So you're saying that those who go to God live happy and fulfilled lives and those that don't don't get their hair cut and live with suffering and misery.

    Isn't it clear that this is not the case?

    Do I really need to quote examples of peaceful populations of animists or atheists and compare them to pious populations such as catholics and protestants in Ireland, Jews in palestine or Muslims there too?

    If you look at the major conflicts in the world today, they are about two things: Politics and Religion, which are often inseperable. More people die from fighting about the true nature of God every day. This is not to say that God is the problem, but that our perception of him/her and how we act about it is flawed.
     
  14. Yaseen

    Yaseen New Member

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    Barber

    The barber is there so you can cut your hair (WE humans are here so when we go to GOD WE humans can LOOK-AFTER ourselves.

    God, if we don't care for ourselves... why should He care for us when we don't care for Him (He crated us and SENT (RULES) but we neglect them).

    Remember, God created this world, and surely has a 'manual' *for us... on how to cope with it).
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2004
  15. Vapour

    Vapour New Member

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    If someone don't care about god and commit evil, God is the original cause of such action. Afterall, he made human in that way. Somewhat he created us with capacity to commit evil. Berber isn't responsible for someone else. God on the other hand is.
     

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