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"The Most Merciful"—7 Versions of Mercy

A Philosophical Exploration of the Mercy of God

  • 6 July 2015
  • Author: Scott Cherry
  • Number of views: 8781

Most people believe that mercy is a good thing. We want justice but not without mercy, from God and from other humans. Muslims and Christians agree that the Creator (whether God or Allah) is merciful; it is replete in our holy books. Therefore, it's important for us to discuss the mercy of God because this is one of His primary attributes. But when we say God is “merciful” exactly what do we mean?  As a thought experiment I tried to list all the possible versions of mercy I could think of and sent them to a Muslim friend named Mohanid asking which one most closely matched his concept of mercy.  The following are the results of my thought experiment.


Islam and Historical Criticism

by Joshua Alexander, RC Chapter Director, Shepherd University 

If one is not a pluralist he/she may be inclined to compare/contrast religions and evaluate them. A pluralist might ask "why?" while others ask, "by what criteria?" Of course, there are various approaches each with there respective standards, one of which is known as the ethical approach. 

The ethical approach is a common and quite justified approach that focuses on the character of Muhammad and the effects Islam has had throughout history, which we see so clearly in many Muslim nations today. If Muhammad were really the prophet of God, and Islam the true religion, then Muhammad’s life should reflect this and Islam should have a just, ethical system that promotes human flourishing.

The Little Girl on the Corner

The Universality of Reason as Evidence for a Rational God

  • 17 July 2015
  • Author: Scott Cherry
  • Number of views: 5168
Everyone uses, and must use, the very same rules of reason.  Everyone is constrained by the same laws of logic and rational principles.  Premises always lead to conclusions, for example.  Normally, good reasoning is valued and expected by everyone, everywhere.  It is universal. If reason is faulty it’s always due to violations of a standard set of universal laws or principles.  The principle of validity is another example.  That is, whether it’s valid or invalid, it is so for everyone, everywhere. This is evidence for a rational God.

Qur'an to Jesus in 3 Hops

How the Qur'an confirms the authenicity of the gospels

I often wonder how different my beliefs would be if I grew up under different circumstances. Am I a Christian only because I was raised by Christians? What if I had been raised by atheists or by Hindus? Would I come to the same conclusions that I arrive at now?  

I have even made attempts in the past to clear my slate (as best I can) and start from scratch. It is important to examine our own beliefs. Why do I believe in God? Why do I believe Jesus is God? If I start over, would I re-assemble the same construct that I have now or would it look different? While we are (admittedly) incapable of entirely setting aside beliefs, one can attempt to imagine different starting points in life and explore the reasoning premised on the beliefs we hold. Imagine that you were a Muslim (are perhaps you are). If the Qur'an alone were your starting point then where would it guide you?

ISIS the Irrational

Ever wondered why ISIS acts so contrary to reason?

Two theological schools emerged within Sunni Islam in the ninth century. The first, the Mu’tazalites, said that God is reason and justice. The Mu’tazalites held that man’s first duty is to reason because the existence of God is not self-evident.

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