I appeared on the BBC 1 ‘The Big Question’ program on Sunday 29th May 2016, to debate the selected question ‘Did Man Create God?’. The video is available to watch below.
Francesca Stavrakopoulou, professor of ancient religion at Exeter; Elaine Storkey; theologian
Tim Whitmarsh, professor of Greek culture at Cambridge;
Rev Teresa Morgan, professor of Graeco-Roman history at Oxford; Arif Ahmed, philosophy lecturer from Cambridge;
Cole Morton, author of Is God Still an Englishman?; \
Prof Bruce Hood, experimental psychologist from Bristol;
Rupert Shortt, author of God is No Thing;
Selina O’Grady, author of And Man Created God;
Satish K Sharma from the National Council of Hindu Temples;
Rabbi Charley Baginsky from South Bucks Jewish Community;
Abdullah al Andalusi from the Muslim Debate Initiative.
Review of Program
The show was pre-recorded and was not broadcast live. Most of the guests were Liberal Atheists, Liberal Christians, Liberal Jews, and Liberal Atheist Feminists. However, despite this, the show allowed me to make some very key points from the Islamic perspective, citing evidence and rational argument, and refuting arguments (and leading questions) made by the other panellists and host, Nicky Campbell.
I set the debate into context, citing that all human civilisation throughout history started out monotheistic, and corrupted this doctrine into polytheism. I cited that more polytheistic religions have a ‘head God’, or ‘first God’ in their cosmology. Humans invented anthropomorphic representations of God and the sun, moon, sky etc. Just because these representations are false, doesn’t mean the sun, moon and sky don’t exist. Likewise, the same for the anthropomorphic representations made of God (who we believe does not resemble humans or any creature, or anything finite for that matter). And I also told the audience that God made man (not man made God), but man made idols, and we should not throw God out with the idols. I argued against some of the Atheists, and had a (former Muslim) Atheist, Arif Ahmed, argue a red-herring that Islam oppressed ‘Gay people’ despite it not being related to the subject matter of the show.
The Feminist Atheist led the charge arguing ‘why can’t there be more ‘goddesses’! Others joined in. So even in polytheism religions which Atheists don’t actually believe in, they demand equal representation for women. It’s a good thing that Muslims simply don’t believe in any male or female gods – which sums up the dichotomy between Islam and Feminism generally.
The limited time given to me allowed some clear comments about the Islamic position to be made, and ultimately the orthodox Abrahamic belief of God. This is the benefit that such shows provide. Hopefully, there will be viewers who will be curious enough to investigate all the claims made on the show to discover the truth for themselves.
For those who already believe in the Islamic position, this program will give you an insight into the direction Liberal theology wants to take all religions. Those who will not adopt Atheism, will be assimilated into a Secular Liberal perennialism – the belief that all religions are equal in truth – and equally silent on the public affairs of mankind.