Monday, September 22, 2003


A:Thanks for more clarification
There are two side issues that have an effect on the central issue ,but if I want to deal with those and the main issue, it will be a very big email. so I break it to several emails, which I can write in my breaks.
First issue is infallibility of prophets.
Second is if this hypothetical situation is a rare case or on the contrary what is happening all the time.
I start with the first one in this email.

I differentiate between infallibility of a prophet and his invincibility.
By invincibility I mean that the prophet delivers his message to us in a way acceptable to God. Like you I don’t believe that prophets are infallible, but in fact seems obvious to me that they are not. They are troubled by all the limitations of this material world the way we are. As you put it very good, they are not robots, or computers that we can get another copy of their message each time we want by pressing a button or treat it the way we please, nor can they deliver that message like a speaker constantly and tirelessly, and they cannot deliver that message to all the people on the whole wide world too . They get tired and sick. They may also do mistakes in their everyday life decisions. None of these in my view affect their invincibility.
I always use an example for myself so I can understand it better: if a wise man, say a philosopher or scientist wants to deliver his theory or a message to us and help us understand it, he will choose a person that would understand that message and has the necessary means to deliver it to us. Now that messenger is errorless for us as his message in concerned. He doesn’t have to be a scientist or philosopher in order for us to accept what he says. Or in fact we may see that in his own everyday life, he makes wrong scientific decisions. What we accept from him, as far as we know him the messenger of that message, is only the message. This the meaning of invincibility.
In a divine scale, it’s not hard for me to believe that God chooses someone who can deliver his message in an acceptable manner in His eyes to us. I even can agree that a particular prophet may not deliver this message in its absolute correct way. But as in calculus, to me the limit is close enough for our goal.
Usually mistakes occur in complicated matters, like sophisticated language, advanced sciences, abstract philosophies, complicated machineries and …, prophets’ messages on the other hand are at the same time the simplest and the most important. For a mistake to happen in such a message is not very likely in my view. Prophets are not chosen from scientists or linguists to be able to deliver their message correctly, since they don’t have to have those tools to do that. Their message is much simpler. Everybody can understand it, but not everybody has the talent to understand hard literature jargon or scientific theories.
Prophets don’t bring too many difficult-to-memorize rules. So they repeat those laws over and over. If they have been troubled by a worldly difficulty or limitation to make a mistake in the first place, they can express it better or make up for that mistake later.
But even if I assume that they may do mistake(s) in delivering one or more of the laws they are chosen by God to deliver , I think since the God’s purpose hasn’t been fulfilled, and He is not satisfied, and this wrong message can cause problems for humans, God is able to send another prophet. We cannot say that God’s hands are tied since two prophets cannot come at one time, or very close to each other, God can do what he wants. So even if I agree with that, I again conclude that we have to be on the watch for the next prophet.
But if that particular mistake doesn’t effect the God’s purpose, the there is no need for correction, so we haven’t been wronged in following the prophet again.

I will write about the second issue soon.

(posted by Farid)

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