Thursday, July 10, 2008

David Wood vs. Sami Zaatari: "Was Muhammad a Prophet of God?"

Here's one of the debates I did back in March (part of the "Easter Debates"). I'm still waiting for an edited version (one that combines the footage from both cameras), but the raw footage will do for now. On an interesting note, I learned that I'm less aggressive when I debate in Virginia, where Muslim friends and their family members are sitting in the audience. I feel like I'm trying to break things to them gently (which isn't how I feel when I debate elsewhere). Anyhow, this was a fun debate. Sami Zaatari was a pleasure to work with, and I look forward to the two debates we're doing in September. I will certainly need to do a post on his "But Christianity suffers from all the same problems you're bringing up" tactic, since (a) I didn't really get to address this in the debate, and (b) I don't see how Christianity suffers from ANY of the problems I raised. One interesting aspect of this debate is that Sami didn't take the standard approach when dealing with certain criticisms such as the Satanic Verses or Muhammad's assassinations. Instead of denying that these events occurred, he simply argued that they're not really a problem for Islam. I was very impressed that he didn't throw out all of history (which seems to be the standard approach of Muslim debaters). Here's the debate for now. Sam Shamoun's commentary on the debate can be found here and here.

33 comments:

Yahya Hayder Seymour said...

At the end of the debate, Nadir Ahmed says that the Islamic Centre of Preoria offered an Apologist to debate you whom you ran away from, who was that?

David Wood said...

Me? I have no clue what he's talking about (I haven't watched the debate yet). I've never backed down from a debate. Indeed, ACP has asked Nadir to debate me, and he has utterly refused.

BlackBaron said...

Thanks for posting this debate.

David, I think you did a great job. Many of your points seemed to go over your opponent's head.

Some of Mohammed's revelations remind me of Joseph Smith's similar revelations especially concerning the right to take whomever was desired by the "prophet" as a wife.

Thanks again for your defense of the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

Bfoali said...

I have

Bfoali said...

I have to disagree with the last comment, david. I believe that Zaatari crushed all of your argumenets against the prophet muhammad (pbuh)I am actully shocked that the blackbaron thought you did a good job.
David wood, I think your a great person as well, who has true character in debates.
Peace

shafsha711 said...

Sami:

About prophecy:

building is not a prophecy !!! havent u heard of the pyramid and other ancient buildings ?! so it wasnt somwwthing mieaculous. Any muslim would come and build a building and will say, see, he was a true prophet glory be to Allah !!! very funny prophecy

Having sex in public:
first I have to say what an impressive story from a preoccupied sex messenger !!
second , do u really consider this a good prophecy ?! havent u heard of the greek who used to practice sex as part of their worshipping ?! dont u know that pilgrim (haj) usef to be done nude and was considered as breeding season ?!


Take this prophecy from me , u will have a child and he will know how to drive a car :) and u will buy him a new car !!

shafsha711 said...

U say bible have sex , so I think u need to be more conistent sami,

How many time the word P. ( meaning vagina) was mentioned by its name in the quran ?! and to know how bad is your quran, he mentioned mariam P. !!! should we call it the P book ?!

or what about the F word (nekah) ?! mentioned many several time in your NOBLe koran , is this the F book ?!

so I invite u to search the whole bible , try to find these two words anywhere in the bible.

I am not trying to offend you, but u said we have sex in the bible. So u r through stones at your glass house honey

shafsha711 said...

what does has to do with Shakha Ahmed yaseen , for heaven sake ?!!

shafsha711 said...

you prophet himself said he wont do a miracle !!!! do u say he is a liar ??????????

Where did the prophet mentioned that sex with captivist was optional ????????/

shafsha711 said...

oh so merciful, they didnt hurt the baby, he was just orphaned ... what a mercy !!

shafsha711 said...

10 commandments!! trinity !! what does has to do with a debate about muhammed ?!!

shafsha said...

David:

I would suggest that you start debating muslims on each of the point you usually arise, in separate sessions, so there would be more time, to reach to a logical answer. Also I would suggest to increase the number of cross fire sessions , so there will be more chance of real boxing challenge. Also the Q/A are very vaulable for the audience.

And to be fair, and avoid tuquoque fallacy, I would suggest that the topic be discussed in two separate sessions, 1 for christianity, and other for Islam. So in an islam session , we wont find the speaker pointing a finger at christianity, but instead keeping him within the topic discussed. lets see if islam will survive this :)

Topics I would suggest in this context:
- Mohamed's Wives / JESUS :D
Khadija, Aisha, Mary the copt, Aisha commiting adultery, Zainab bent Gahsh, ...etc
- Women In Islam / christianity
- Quarnic Miracles
- Infaliability of Muhammed / Jesus
- Perfect preservation of the book
- satanic verses
- Prophet of peace ( may be this was already dissuces in the debates about violence)
- literal errors in the quran
- Abrogation
- Sex and morals in islam / christianity
- Freedom

God bless you, and let me know if u need materials or references n these topics

God Bless you

shafsha said...

regarding Polygamy mentioned during the session:

1st: In Christianity:

as Wood said, there are differenet covenenats in the BIBLE, and according to this let me mention what happened in the bible and how we can interpret it:

a- Adam & Eve :
1st created as 1 couple
But they Sin against God. By this the seaparted themselves from God, the soure of life. So they will Die.
In order to Keep humanity from vanishing, God allowed that brothers marry their sisters, that was in the very history.

Even Abraham, according to this covenant, married his sister Sarah

b- Moses:
According to my knowledge, polygamy was ok in the mosaic law. And I think the reason cause the Jews were small nation, and they were in need to have sveral generation up to the coming of the Messiah.

c- Jesus and the New Covenant:
returned humanity to its origin, to how god created human in the early begining, pure and clean, just one couple, not runnng after sex.
So he said, Just one wife, No divorce exept in case od Adultery. Also he said Chastity is even Better.

So muslims, if u want to return us back in the old covenants, why do u just Choose Moses ? why not return to Adam and Abraham ? or is it just beacuse polygamy according to moses is in line with you laws.

Sorry muslims, we have Jesus Covenant. The book is isnpired by God, by Laws changed.

So , now muslims, Do u have any answer why Muhammed married More womean than it was allowed by the islamic law ?! dont you see that this is violation to quran ?! then the quran abrogated itself to allow More wives for muhammed !!

shafsha said...

Sami:

U are comparing your presnt Laws , with our very ancient Laws , r u sane !!!

to be consistent , Compare the PRESENT laws of chrisitianity, which Started 600 years before islam, with your PRESENT laws which started 600 years after christianity, and see the difference ?!!

simply you are doing this cause you dont have history, your history is Paganism and Polytheism in Arabia

shafsha said...

Sami: U say ALlah Mislead people who are bad !!!
Wow, so what does Allah Do then ?! u are supposed to be Good first so that Allah wont mislead you ?!!what about if u sinned , u r mislead ?!!

So once sinned, always sins according to this concept, caus once sinned, u are misled !!

shafsha said...

Total incosistency, why did Good appeared in the past and not now,

we if u applied this methosd to every prophet and muhammed as well, will ak, why Allah appeared to Moses ,and not appearing to you now ?!! why muhammed came 14 years ago, and not earlier to tel everyone the truth from the begining ...

INCONSISTENCY

shafsha said...

Sami, I think u lied when u commented on the last question of th Kid, that you cant bring it anywhere in the hadith , really ?!!

There are not Just hadith or two about wome, there are cmplete chapters
few examples,

- The F chapter ( Bab el Nekah)
- Breast Feeding of an adut Chapter (read3 Al kabeer)
- Menstruation Chapter (Bab al Hayd)

and o course you know there are many many more in your books, and you are saying , you cant find them in the Hadith , ARE YOU KIDDIG ME ??????????????????????

Ed said...

One point where it seems to me David was wrong (at least in the first half hour presentation): He quotes the part of the Qur'an that challenges unbelievers to write a sura like one in the Qur'an. Then David replies that many non-Muslims believe they have succeeded in doing this. But David doesn't seem to consider that their belief they have done this could be true or false. He seems to take their sheer belief they have written something equal to the Qur'an, as establishing the fact that they have in fact succeeded in doing so. But their belief might be wrong. (I don't think their belief is wrong.) My point is that their mere belief they have written something equal to the Qur'an is not relevant here, is it? The issue is whether they have in fact written something like the Qur'an. Their ability to do so is not established merely by their belief they can do so, but must be established on other bases.

David Wood said...

Ed,

The weakness of the Muslim argument is that it's appealing to people's subjective view of poetry. It's also a test given to unbelievers. But unbelievers generally aren't impressed by the text of the Qur'an, and it's only Muslims who run around saying that it's amazing. But again, this is supposed to be a test for unbelievers. Instead of appealing to science, or history, or some other objective study, the Qur'an appeals to something that is quite subjective. So it does matter whether unbelievers are convinced that it's easy to write something like the Qur'an, because the Qur'an says that if we try such a task, we will obviously fail. And that's just not what happens (which is why Muhammad had to turn to other means of converting people).

Ed said...

Here's the sura:
And if ye are in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto Our slave (Muhammad), then produce a surah of the like thereof, and call your witness beside Allah if ye are truthful.

If Muhammad's Allah is suggesting that a non-Muslim could not produce a witness to attest that another text is equal to the Qur'an, then the above Qur'an verse obviously fails. Non-Muslims can produce plenty of witnesses to that effect. But if the verse's reference to a witness is not a reference to an earthly witness, but to an alleged divine "partner" or associate of Allah, then the verse is not as much of a pushover.

I would disagree (if I understood you) that poetic quality is purely subjective. But even if you were correct, it doesn't seem clear to me that Muhammad was referring to a merely poetic quality, was he?

In any event, poetry is not purely subjective, even if no mortal has a perfectly infallible means of ranking poetic quality. Though we don't have perfectly sure ways of objectively ranking poetry, that does not mean that an objective rank does not exist in itself, accessible to, say, God, or angels. And if there is, then it could be knowable (without perfect certainty), to some sufficiently active and wholesome human mind.

So what did Muhammad's Allah intend by the verse in question? Did "Allah" merely mean "produce a sura you non-Muslims think is equal?" If that's what was meant, then of course the verse fails miserably. But wasn't the implication intended, in fact, that there is some objective superlativeness in the Qur'an, (even if not all fallible humans can see it)?

I do think one can pile up evidence that there is no such quality in the Qur'an. But even though there is not such a quality there, in principle there could be, and the mere fact that non-Muslims know other texts they consider equal to the Qur'an is not in itself sufficient proof against the verse, or am I missing something obvious?

I agree with your argument that superlative poetic quality is not in itself proof that words with that quality are a verbatim transcript from God. Even if one could by some magic establish that a book were objectively the greatest poetic work ever, that in itself would not prove that the words in the poem were verbatim from God.

Gavoo said...

Sami's arguemts were weak and vague.He couldn't refute David's arguments,instead he tried to prove Muhammed was a prophet by words without substance.
As I have seen everywhere and rightly David said Muslims always try to divert attention to something else or allege a flaw in the Bible to 'prove' their points.Very often I feel sick watching Muslim's arguement as their attitude and methodology is fitting only to a middle school student.
Some examples: One person said,on the issue of Muslim veil,if the Christian nuns can wear veil why are you objecting Muslim women wearing it !!!. Another person answered the arguement that Islam is evil by quoting "kill them " from a parable Jesus said(Read Luke 19:11-26).I am sick of hearing Muslim debaters,which Muslims consider as great ,speaking lies and twisting the Bible versus and assuming so many things.

Gavoo said...

If one goes through all the debates on Youtube he can see the clear difference between Christians and Muslims.Any one can check that.Christians are more matured,composed and have better temper while Muslims show the uneasiness and lack of courtesy.Muslims can't debate in a mature way as they are trying to defend something which is not defendable.Islam is basicaly built on lies,exaggeraions and perversions of the Biblical accounts.
I have been working in the Middle East where the tall buildings,as Sami mentioned are being built.I myself have involved in half a dozen projects. They use Western technology,mostly western materials and south asian manpower to build these tall buildings.Yes there are some Arabs involved though much of the work is carried out by others. Construction of such tall building is the fulfillment of a prophesy and therefor a miracle?.As I said earlier I can't expect a Muslim's intellect and wisdom go higher than a particular level as I see many of them from many parts of the world everyday.I know how they behave,react and reason.Simply patehtic in most cases.Sami is better,as he has an American background (ifluence of a Christian culture) but still he is an intellectual feather weight.Aagain,is it the fulfilment of a prophesy and therfore a miracle that Aab nations build tall buildings?.No way.Fulfillment of a Prophecy becomes a miracle only if the fulfillment happens against all odds and the incident is uncommon and without a concerted effort to achieve it. Here I am sure these people are building tall buildings to make this 'prophecy' fulfilled through their efforts.Or they are fulfilling it to make Quran true.They are doing it with their efforts and then they claim it's a miracle.If it was written in the Quran about ships on land they would build large ships on land with their Oil money to make Quran work.Muslims do such things to make Quran look credible. If this is a major proof of credibility then I think Quran deserve a place only at the bottom of the deepset part of the Pacific ocean,nowhere else.If this is a miracle Muslims should themselves accept the Bible as a thousand mile above Quran for its amazing prophecies fulfilled(which can be proved with history) and the propecies being fulfilled in front of our eyes and there for truly of divine origin.

Del said...

Great debate David.

Your arguments were solid.

JV777 said...

Dear brother David and Sam.

God bless

JV777 said...

God bless David

the said...

Though I know that you speak well of Sami and your experiences wth him my husband and I have not been so lucky. On his Youtube channel, where he can censor and block at will he has done both to us and has also sought out our URL, as we found out when my husband created a new account to try to get an answer from him.
We have never been rude or aggressive, in fact both accounts were blocked after one educated question from each.
This, to us, is not surprising: Muslims seem to have a universal idea that censoring the truth causes it to cease to exist.

Satish Kumar said...

"When thou art come unto the land which the Eternal thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me. . . . Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away" (Deut. 17:14, 17).

Did Mohammed brought this law?

Well he violated and changed the law of God.

paul said...

IF MUHAMMED ALLOWED TO BE MARRIED TO MORE THAN FOUR WOMEN FOR THE SAKE OF PEACE WITH OTHER TRIBES, WOULDNT IT BE GOOD TO ALLOW OTHER MUSLIMS TO MARRY MORE THAN FOUR TO STRENGTHEN THE PEACE?

The Purple Marquise said...

OMG!!! This muslim guy was SO illogical!!! He keeps saying "this doesn't disprove my argument" "that doesn't disprove my argument"!!!! YOU DUMMY!!! The Christian doesn't have to prove or disprove ANYTHING!!! When the question is "who is Muhammad" the burden of proof is ENTIRELY on the muslim!!! You are the ones who have to prove your case to the satisfaction of the non muslim that Muhammad was a prophet. The non muslim doesn't have to prove that he was not! The starting point IS that he was not.

zeusdelvalle said...

hello David and Sam i just saw this video on youtube where two different rabbis jews afirm muhammed was profetized in the tora describig the name of mohamed, i would like to know what are your comments on that because is very extrange for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN0YbC0BJ8g&NR=1

zeusdelvalle said...

what are your comments on this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN0YbC0BJ8g&NR=1

mkaimo said...

zeusdelvalle said...
what are your comments on this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN0YbC0BJ8g&NR=1

Zeus, you may have already gotten your answer by now but the last portion of your video is tackled by Dr James White here:

http://abnsat.com/index.php/en/component/hwdvideoshare/viewvideo/539/2010-shows/is-muhammad-found-in-the-bible-part-1

HTH!

My Life said...

I watched this debate and must say that it was better then the one where you and Spencer recently debated two Muslims. At least here, the Muslim tries to use some logic. Although the mindset he has about sex with slave captives I found particularly disturbing. Better that he admitted it rather then denying it or simply dodging the question. But I doubt if someone else were to actually do this to his own family, a sister for example, that he would be singing the same tune. Hypocrisy is a basic human problem and remains one of the great problems with trying to come to the truth through the process of debate.