Highly unlikely but curious...

All research or scholarship questions
AdibM
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Highly unlikely but curious...

Postby AdibM » Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:51 am

Does anyone know if `Abdu'l-Baha ever engaged in a public debate with anyone during his trips to Europe and the United States? I've never heard of any such event taking place but it would be really interesting to follow a sort of "real-time" debate between him and anyone else. :D
"To be a Bahá'í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood." -- `Abdu'l-Bahá

Sean H.
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Re: Highly unlikely but curious...

Postby Sean H. » Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:00 pm

I thought that Baha'is didn't have debates but discussions :D

AdibM
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Re: Highly unlikely but curious...

Postby AdibM » Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:43 pm

Touché. :D
"To be a Bahá'í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood." -- `Abdu'l-Bahá

onepence~2
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Re: Highly unlikely but curious...

Postby onepence~2 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:55 am

Howard McNutt ...

yes/no ... ???

Ibrahim Kheiralla

yes/no ... ???

such debates/discussions always revolve around the eternal question
that is asked to every soul

ciwan
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Re: Highly unlikely but curious...

Postby ciwan » Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:34 pm

I don't think a debate was even possible with The Master, because his argumentation was too strong, and the kindness in his speech so great that no one could debate with him :D

brettz9
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Re: Highly unlikely but curious...

Postby brettz9 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:15 pm

A few quick points:

1) Our Writings advise us to never argue with anyone
2) However, 'Abdu'l-Baha was described by E.G. Browne as having met no one more "ready of argument". Too often, I feel, we Baha'is may use awareness of #1 to ignore this point. Demonstration of the greatness of the Cause in no small part depends on an awareness of the proofs and history of the Faith (while not being drawn into heated argumentation), as told in NUMEROUS quotations and as demonstrated actively in the lives of our Faith's Founders.
3) Baha'u'llah accepted challenges by the mujtahid (or Covenant-breakers) to address their arguments in a public challenge (though He was refused, prompting some to recognize His greatness as a result). Baha'u'llah even promised to perform any miracle were they to agree on one--an offer no other previous Manifestation to date has made--yet none dared to take the challenge.
4) In His travels, his secretary records how 'Abdu'l-Baha frequently was not challenged (being invited into countless churches and places of worship) because of both His kindness and cogency of His argument.
5) However, besides the internal challenges 'Abdu'l-Baha openly faced (as alluded to by Onepence), a few of 'Abdu'l-Baha's talks, particularly His talk in a synagogue in the U.S. advising the Jews to accept Christ and Muhammad (even alluding to the future horror of such as the Holocaust and continued opposition to their security were they to refuse), did create a stir among some in that congregation, but even here, a formerly antagonistic Rabbi was sympathetic and in other places several Jews embraced the Cause and/or accepted His arguments in defense of the greatness of Christ. The tone was loving but frank.

best wishes,
Brett

AdibM
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Re: Highly unlikely but curious...

Postby AdibM » Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:52 pm

Indeed, I understand completely. Just expressing some good old curiosity. :) Thanks.
"To be a Bahá'í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood." -- `Abdu'l-Bahá

brettz9
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Re: Highly unlikely but curious...

Postby brettz9 » Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:47 am

Adib,

Did you catch that I was kind of pointing out that it was not inconceivable that 'Abdu'l-Baha would have participated in such a debate? It was a reasonable question, I think...

Brett

AdibM
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Re: Highly unlikely but curious...

Postby AdibM » Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:16 am

I had that perception, was just a bit groggy in my last response.
"To be a Bahá'í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood." -- `Abdu'l-Bahá

MontanaDon
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Re: Highly unlikely but curious...

Postby MontanaDon » Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:44 pm

AdibM wrote:Does anyone know if `Abdu'l-Baha ever engaged in a public debate with anyone during his trips to Europe and the United States? I've never heard of any such event taking place but it would be really interesting to follow a sort of "real-time" debate between him and anyone else. :D


I think so. I have vague memories of reports of "debates" (discussions would prob be a better term) with both a Christian minister and a Persian dignitary, both in Paris as I remember. With the Christian minister, He took pains to establish a common framework of discussion, saying He would not quote non-Christian materials because they could not agree on their authority.

Don C
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Understood properly, all man's problems are essentially spiritual in nature.


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