Professor. Lawrence Krauss a scientist and a great debater. If you have not seen his debates on you tube, then you are missing important and interesting discussions. He neither believes in GOD nor finds his existence necessary, and argues that science is the answer for knowledge, morality and tolerance. Although he debated great minds nobody, till now has managed to put him in a corner where he is speechless.
What is his strategy, you may ask? I don’t think the word strategy exactly fits here because most of the time he is not the person who starts debate but he has solid points that he uses repeatedly in his debates. This gives a chance for his opponents yet none have used it wisely. For him, everything is questionable. Everything must be tested to be proven correct or at least applicable or likely. Once something is proven unlikely, he will then disregard it, but nothing is ever ridiculed or treated as implausible. This is his secret, he has no references to follow except reason and rationality. He is not restricted to teachings and beliefs. This is something that cannot be use in religion because the word is sacred and unquestionable. Theologians from all religions do not agree on the interpretation of the word fully and in some cases, makes one team think of the other as an infidel.
He does not think of himself as an atheist, any more than the religious believers whom think that their religion is the only correct one, are atheists of the other 1000 religions in the world. This is a key point in his discussions, “why should I be condemned to eternal hell” and “I am a believer in GOD but belongs to this religion or that.” You cannot argue with that because not only are you condemned to eternal hell but you could be killed in life too per some sects.
You might ask why is a person from the middle east whom believes in GOD writes favourably of an atheist in Judaism? Yes, this professor just happens to be Jewish. In the middle east, no matter what you think or believe you must show that you are religious even if that means that you fake it. Social restrictions are enormous and leaves no space for questioning. Moreover in this delicate period of sectarian struggles you beg for ignorance, because this sort of knowledge is passed by the long beards. Of course this, could lead you towards radicalism, even if it something that you do not want to be.
I will give an example from just a few months ago. One of the scholars with a long beard said the Earth is flat. If you say that Earth is a sphere you are blasphemous of the words of ALLAH. I looked at that clip with astonishment because he was with a live audience whom none stood up and argued. The audience digested that piece of information and if you were to argue with him you could be hurt or more. The fear alone can create a truth, even when it is so obviously false.
Does that make Professor Krauss, right? No, because he, himself said “bring me proof and I will most likely accept it,” and he is talking about a methodology in thinking. Do not be blind, or at least do not choose to be blind. It is far better to think, discuss and question all in the process of finding the truth no matter what the result is. He says “why should you have a discussion if the answer is predetermined per your religion?”
In one of his debates with an Islamic scholar he said, “I do not see anything special in Islam rather I see it like all other religions,” to which his opponent did not reply. Although it looks so simple and straight forward, because the scholars today are not interested in such vital questions, rather they are interested in promoting hate to the other sects. These types of issues control the masses, and direct them easily towards goals that are political, radical in nature, and receives good money all at the same time.
As a conclusion, the failing of all religious scholars in front of Professor Krauss is not because there is something wrong in religions, but that we are not asking the correct questions. Our methodology in this process is not aimed towards the truth, so you cannot take what you like and dispose of what you don't from the text. In my humble opinion religious scholars and believers should reform their ways of thinking, and approach the issues with questioning, instead of closed mindedness, thus allowing the text to be debated without determining what the outcome should be.
We in the middle east have suffered a lot from scholars that feed poison, fear and enmity, rather than love, tolerance and forgiveness. The incident in Egypt, where a terrorist exploded himself to kill innocent people just because they are Coptic is a wonderful example of the former. What kind of knowledge was he given and what sort of teaching brought him that knowledge? Looks a lot like hate and the following of a so-called scholar herding sheep. It is high time we change and accept reforms.