For this episode, I was joined by Tarek, an Egyptian ex-Muslim who is now based in Canada. We started off the conversation by discussing Tarek’s religious background in Egypt and the role that religion played in his life.
We then went on to discuss how Tarek came across programming through online gaming. Tarek’s programming adventure opened a window of logic into his life and he went on a quest to apply critical thinking and logic to other aspects of his life. Tarek then shared how this sparked his skepticism and then, later on, made him question his religious beliefs. He shared how he started questioning stories in the Quran for example the creation story of Adam and Eve and whether or not Iblis/ Satan was an angel.
The conversation then turned on to the questioning of unnecessary suffering. We discussed why it does not make sense for there to be an ‘all merciful’ creator in a world filled with unnecessary suffering. We also talked about the poor evidence for the existence of God.
We also discussed evolution and why it is true. We covered how humans have evolved to need community for thriving. Tarek and I then moved on to talk about how we as humans are able to develop better moral systems and how religions have evolved along with humans to provide answers to human beings. Later on, we touched on how the ‘God did it’ explanation keeps on shrinking whenever science comes with an explanation for various natural phenomena.
We closed off the episode by discussing how technological advancements have brought forward new moral questions that are not covered by religious scriptures.
Many thanks to Tarek for sharing his story with us. I hope you will enjoy this episode!