While exploring reddit, I discovered another Baha’i subreddit I had never seen before:
This community will be to discuss the revelations and ministries of the Bab and Baha’u’llah, use their teachings as primary sources for discussion, and find pathways to enable positive social change. Please abide by the rules and show loving kindness for all.
Then I saw this:
Anything, I wondered? So I decided to challenge the subreddit’s creator.
What do you consider to be valid proofs of the Bab and of Baha’u’llah?
What would make you reject at least one of them?
I am incapable of proving God exists. How could I ever prove something came from God? This is the claim of the Bab, Baha’u’llah, and others.Why do I accept their claims? For the same reason I continue to believe in God despite the incapability to currently prove God exists? It is based on faith, grounded in a feeling I feel within myself.There are many things in existence we take for granted but have no proof of. We have evidences of their existence, but no actual proof. I’m ok with that.Since I do not require any proofs for that which I feel within me, the only thing that would change my perspective is if my feeling were to change.
That was NOT anything like I expected, since I was used to seeing arrogant talking points from fanatics like DavidBinOwen.
Your honesty is commendable. This is what separates you from bigoted extremists.
What had changed your perspective regarding the Bab?
The Bayani claim that the Bab was NOT the forerunner of Baha’u’llah, but was supposed to bring in a new age for humanity on his own. Baha’u’llah was said to be a usurper.
The Shia Muslim claim that the Bab’s claims about himself were debunked the moment he was killed. He should have defeated his enemies instead.
The Sunni Muslim claim that the twelve Imams Shiites revere were not of any special status. The Bab was supposed to be the return of the 12th Imam.
The atheist argument that if God cannot be proven to exist, then claims by Prophets supposedly sent by God are irrelevant.
But my actual rejection of the Baha’i Faith in 2004 had nothing to do with the Bab. That’s another issue altogether.
The reason why I asked about the Bab is because if you were a Baha’i, you had to have believed in the Bab during the time you were a Baha’i. As you express yourself to be an atheist (assuming by point 4), your points 1-3 actually wouldn’t matter since the Bayani, Shia, and Sunni people do believe in God. Any claim any of those 3 groups would make would be irrelevant if you also believe in point 4.
What happened in 2004 which made you question that which the Bab had taught?
Why was he fixated on the Bab, I wondered. Again, I was direct in my response.
It was the general perception that if the Baha’i Faith was failing, the Bab had also failed, since Baha’u’llah was a follower of the Bab before starting the Baha’i Faith. I still believed that Baha’u’llah was supposed to be the one the Bab had foretold (thinking they knew each other, since they were both contemporaries and countrymen).
And if the Baha’i Faith had failed, since it was supposed to be the Religion of God for this age, God himself had failed.
Then I thought, “Maybe there is no God and that would explain why religions around the world are so messed up.”
And once I reached that conclusion, I never looked back. I rejected ALL God-centered religions.
I understand why you feel as you do. As Bahau’llah (I think) taught, if religion becomes the source of fanaticism and yields no more fruit, it is best if it no longer exists.
Also, it is extremely difficult to see any faith or religion without the clergy and the organization. The Baha’i Faith has spent so much effort making it seem the organization IS the faith, that it is nearly impossible for people to see the Bab or Baha’u’llah without the Faith. In the Aqdas, he does promise another Manifestation and in the Iqan, he says why. Because the people would have completely turned away from the revelation.
However, I still feel that outside of the organization, God is having effect towards the things God promised through Baha’u’llah and nearly all of this exists outside of the organization, mostly by people who have never heard of the Bab or Baha’u’llah. I particularly wish people knew the story of the Bab. His ministry deeply touches me. I do not believe He was merely a forerunner but really was the Gate and the Primal Point. He first appeared in a dream of mine in 2003, and it took me nearly 5 years to figure out that this person was real.
As of 2023, there is much much less war in the world. The entire Western Hemisphere has no nation or tribe actively fighting the other. There is a loose federation of nations, although the United Nations is far from a potential end goal. Translation services and AI is bringing us closer to a common script. Many older faiths and/or believers of those faiths have adopted many of the tenets, such as monogamy, women having more freedom in things such as how they dress, and a greater understanding that there are common truths in all of the major faiths.
I can see the argument that says these and other things are the product of human innovation, which is true. This is the path we were meant to be on. I do believe we can progress more quickly if we adhere to the teachings of God more fully, but certain things are inevitable regardless of our belief or non-belief.
With that being said, a friend and I have plans to create, independent of the Baha’i Faith, a functioning Mashiriq’ul-Adhkar in our community. The Dawning Place of (community name).
BTW, I have visited a UU church before. It seems like a good community and its good to see people of varying perspectives have a common bond. I hope they have success in their goals.
Again, I was quote floored by the gracious nature of his comments. It was a clear example of someone “killing me with kindness”. I decided at that point this particular Baha’i was no threat to the ex-Baha’i community of reddit I was representing. So I withdrew from the discussion.
Thank you for agreeing to let me come here. This was a pleasant discussion. This is how talks on religion should always be conducted. Farewell.