Posts Tagged ‘Some Answered Questions’
Posted by Sen on July 14, 2012
One of the participants on the Facebook group Bahais United in Diversity wrote:
I’m afraid I have to point out that Abdu’l-Baha contradicts himself [in the proof of the existence of God, in the first chapter of Some Answered Questions]… First he suggests that “Nature has neither intelligence nor perception.” So God must exist. Then he says that “man is the branch; nature is the root,” and asks “can the will and the intelligence, and the perfections which exist in the branch, be absent in the root?”
So the will and the intelligence and the perception are in nature after all… and God becomes unnecessary to explain order in nature and the emergence of human life.
It’s a sharp observation, but the problem lies in the translation rather than in Abdu’l-Baha’s reasoning. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Theology, Translations | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai Faith, bahai theology, Some Answered Questions, مفاوضات, بهائی, عبدالبهاء | 6 Comments »
Posted by Sen on September 15, 2009
Abdu’l-Baha and his critics
You can ‘prove’ just about anything, by pulling words out of context. A few years ago there was an example of this tactic on a web site opposing the Bahai teachings, called ‘Answering Bahaullah.’ One page there purported to show examples of racism in Bahai scripture. That site is no longer functioning, although the web archive has a copy, but the material from that page is being recycled by various bloggers and has been reproduced in the ‘Bahai Combat Kit’ at page 73 (image later in this entry).
So let’s look at these “proofs” of racism in the Bahai scriptures. But first let’s look at Abdu’l-Baha. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Defence of the Faith, Translations | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Africa, Africans, Bahai Combat Kit, Contextual reading, Convention for Race Amity, Louis Gregory, NAACP, racism, Rousseau, Some Answered Questions, state of nature, بهائی, بهائیت, عبدالبهاء | 4 Comments »
Posted by Sen on February 6, 2009
Amended April 3, 2011
The Bahai community has a tendency to get carried away with its enthusiasms for prophecies that supposedly give an insight into the immediate future. I’ve discussed one of these in Century’s end, about the expectation that “unity of nations” would be achieved by the year 2000. The story this time goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, when the Bahais were waiting for cataclysms to strike in 1917, followed by a world at peace in which “all nations shall be as one faith.”
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Community, Defence of the Faith, Theology | Tagged: 1335 days, 1917, Abdu'l-Baha, Alma Knobloch, Armageddon, Baha’u'llah and the New Era, Bahai Faith, Bahai prophecies, Barstow Collection, Corinne True, Daniel 12:11, Daniel 12:12, EG Browne, Esselmont, failed prophecy, Fanny Knobloch, Fred Mortensen, George Latimer, Hotel Sacramento, Howard MacNutt, Jean Masson, Kheiralla, Most Great Peace, North Shore Review, pilgrim's notes, qarn, Quran 3:4, Randall, San Francisco Bulletin, Shoghi Effendi, Some Answered Questions, source criticism, Stanford University, Star of the West, textual criticism, World War I, بهائی, بهائیت, شوقی افندی, عبدالبهاء | 9 Comments »
Posted by Sen on January 25, 2009
I was in the bazaar of Shiraz one morning early, just after sunrise in April. The sound of a sermon drew me off the main route through the bazaar: the mullah’s voice rising and falling in beautiful rhythmical Persian.
I followed the sound and came into a courtyard with shops on two floors around, and in the middle a garden with some orange trees. It appeared to be a former madrasah converted into shops. In one corner sat the mullah on a chair, rocking back and forth and gesturing left and right in time with the rhythms of the language, all built up of pairs of synonym phrases. Either he had it entirely memorised, or this was highly polished extempore art like rapping.
In front of him a cloth of perhaps 10 metres square was spread out on the ground, and about 25 merchants were sitting around the edges of the cloth, eating cucumber and flat white bread and white cheese, and drinking tea. Several of them gestured me to come and sit at an empty place, and one who made it his business to serve the others brought me some food and tea. I noticed, a little bit further away, under one of the orange trees, that there were two women also sitting on a cloth. The sermon was interrupted with some munajat, responses from the merchants, then more rhythmic Persian by way of conclusion. Then the mullah looks at his watch, jumps up, bows left and right and hurries off. I suppose it lasted 30 minutes, but I was hardly aware of time passing.
The shopkeepers fell to gossiping, and then went off one by one to raise the shutters on their shops.
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Posted in Church and State, Devotions, Islam | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai Faith, Christ, Christianity, Church and State, Future of Islam, Future of religion, Iran, Islam, secular state, Shiraz, Some Answered Questions, بهائیت, عبدالبهاء | 2 Comments »
Posted by Sen on January 15, 2009
In Century’s end, I showed that Bahais of my generation widely expected universal peace to arrive in the twentieth century. Some of the texts on which this belief was based did not refer to the twentieth century; others did refer to the twentieth century or dates in the 20th century, but were pilgrims’ notes. There may be more, but I have found five such unauthentic sources:
- The Maxwell’s pilgrim’s notes, anticipating the Lesser Peace by 1953.
- Esselmont’s pilgrim’s notes, in the first edition of Baha’u'llah and the New Era, anticipating universal peace by 1957. As Dan Jensen has pointed out, the 1950 edition changed the date to 1963, but it is still just a pilgrim’s note, and universal peace was also not achieved in 1963.
- Sarah Kenny’s Haifa notes anticipating the Lesser Peace in the 20th century.
- A report in the Montreal Star on September 11, 1912, printed in Abdu’l-Baha in Canada p. 35, saying that peace would be universal in the 20th century.
- A talk reported in The Promulgation of Universal Peace page 126, and in Star of the West 3.8.14, calling the twentieth century the century of international peace.
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Posted in Bahai Writings, Community, Theology, Translations | Tagged: 7 candles, Abdu'l-Baha, Alexander Whyte, Baha'u'llah, Bahai, Bahai Faith, bahai theology, century, century of light, election, Esselmont, failed prophecy, Isaiah 11:9, Lesser Peace, pilgrim's notes, qarn, Sarah Kenny, Seven Candles of Unity, Shoghi Effendi, Some Answered Questions, The Promised Day is Come, twentieth century, unity of nations, Universal House of Justice, World Order of Baha'u'llah, `asr, بهائیت, شوقی افندی, عبدالبهاء | 11 Comments »
Posted by Sen on November 18, 2008
A poster used to advertise a thanksgiving mass
In a discussion forum, a Baha’i participant said,
“Baha’is do not join the military, except as non-combatants“
To which the response was:
“That really limits how many Bahais a Nation can have!“
But is it really a Bahai teaching that we should not serve as combatants, or is this just current practice? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Ethics and Morality | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai, Bahai Faith, collective security, conscientious objection, Custodians, Darfur, Ethics and Morality, Hands of the Cause, holocaust, Jalal Khazeh, just war, Mai Pederson, military service, Nazi Germany, non-combatant status, Sermon on the Art of Governance, Shoghi Effendi, Shu'a'llah 'Alai, Some Answered Questions, Srebrenica massacre, world peace, بهائیت, شوقی افندی | 8 Comments »