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Method of Dialogue With Atheists

Ever since the descent of the Divine Messages, part of humanity believed in while others chose to be atheists and rejected the existence of the Creator, revelation and prophet-hood. The Prophets had been engaging the atheists in dialogue and disputation according to the latter's mentality, since the beginning of these conflicts. Their aim was to introduce the Creator of existence and confute whatever obscured the minds of the atheists.

As human intellect evolves and knowledge increases, the subjects of dialogue also become more complex, in a way, and simpler in another. In the first case, the debated issues become more complex as a result of man's arrogance and his ignorance of reality. On the other hand, they become simpler and even aid the divine ideology because science is a way to belief and the intellect speaks on behalf of Allah, the Glorious.

This is why it is incumbent upon a caller to Allah to build his method of dialogue on the following points:

1- The dialogue should start from first principles and axioms acceptable to the intellect and from which it is based when trying to comprehend nature and the sensory world.

2- Defining the way by which man acquires knowledge, pointing out that it rests on inductive reasoning, syllogism, probability and the principl-es of causality.

3- Defining the means by which knowledge is acquired; that they are the senses, experimentation and intellect, which is the final judge and that establishes knowledge.

4- To use the results of scientific and experi-mental discoveries in proving the soundness of divine thought. Such issues include astronomical findings, the beginning of life, medical dis-coveries, the nature of plant life, etc.

5- Explaining the role of religion in meeting the spiritual and social needs of man and fulfilling the religious instinct, as well as, differentiating the true and healthy satisfaction from the corrupted one.

Adapted from: "The Methods Of Propagation and Missionary Work" by: "Sayyid Bahashti"

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