The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

The Islamic prophet flew to heaven on a winged horse.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/7/2016 Category: Science
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 131 times Debate No: 93431
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
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This topic could go in either religion or the science category. Both science and religious arguments are welcomed into this debate.

Burden of proof will be upon Pro, since it is very difficult to prove a negative. I have chosen the Con side of the debate. I will use science and evidence to make my case.

Since the burden of proof is on Pro, I am at the moment winning, therefore I make no argument for round 1. My opponent is welcome to make a case on round 1.


Okay, this seemed so ludicrously biased it seemed fun. A few ideas here.

Speaking strictly in terms of the plausibility of a winged horse, nothing in Islamic doctrine, except for later writings which aren't broadly accepted as orthodox, explicitly describes Muhammad as flying to heaven on an animal at all. Only hadith, which aren't part of the Quran and not necessarily accepted as true by Muslims, describes a winged animal; only very recent ones not widely accepted as Orthodox describe the animal as a winged quadruped. It's described in the earlier ones as somewhat smaller than a mule; numerous large birds, such as the crowned eagle or Dalmatian pelican, fit these measurements in terms of wingspan and could theoretically carry a smallish human; the former is recorded as preying on humans. So it's possible that a winged animal could carry someone around. To heaven, I don't know ... which brings me to the second idea.

It seems reasonably likely that the "flying to heaven" described could have occurred in a spiritual or mental fashion, rather than a physical one; in other words, Muhammad's soul could have flown to heaven without this occurring in a physical sense. This could have, presumably, also involved winged horses and so forth, occurring outside the bounds of regular scientific limitation.

Thirdly, and most importantly, it's important to recognize that people in the 1st Millennium did not perceive the world, or record their experiences, in the same way as a modern product of a culture founded in Enlightenment rationalism. People then were much more open to concepts we now know to be physically impossible and would likely have perceived divine revelation in a way that included these ideas, even if it actually did not. Presumably, such revelations would have been difficult to rationalize mentally and resulted in grappling with things not easily understood which might well have been rationalized in the context of existing things like horses, even if they did not actually take those forms.
Debate Round No. 1


Physically flying to heaven

The best explanation for a person being taken to heaven by a winged creature would be a gigantic bird killing the person, ripping them to shreds, and then flying them to heaven in smaller pieces.

" The new study found that most of the monkeys were dismembered before being taken to the nest.

This, Schultz says, explains how an eagle is able to deal with prey more than twice the bird's body weight. " [1]

That being said, the type of animal would be incredibly important. With a bird that preys on humans being far more likely. Yet, even this theory falls flat, because the human would have to be a child for such a bird of prey to even attack, and to the best of my knowledge the Islamic prophet made the journey as an adult. "The Taung cave specimen weighed around 26 pounds (12 kiolgrams) at death. " [1]

Other than a miracle, I see no physical way the events could have happened. Instead, there still is the matter of a metaphorical or spiritual interpretation. That instead the prophet stayed firmly rooted to the group, and instead flew to heaven on a winged horse in his mind or spirit.

Spirtually flying to heaven

Now, using your imagination, it would be trivial to imagine flying to heaven on a winged horse. Any ordinary person could do that, and thus this is the most likely scenario. A spiritual journey, begs the question, do humans have spirits? Since no evidence is provided that humans have spirits and humans evolved from animals via Darwin's theory of evolution. The chances of a spiritual journey to heaven are extremely improbable.

Therefore, I conclude that the Islamic prophet did not physically nor spiritually journey to heaven, and instead just imagined flying to heaven on a winged horse while rooted to the ground, just like any ordinary person can do. Thanks for your time and reading.

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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by DavidMancke 3 months ago
Well Chris330 is just asinine. That religion is older than atheism has no impact on deabte theory. Age is not an indicator of where BOP should lie.

That being said, the guy happens to be right, but via bad reasoning. The BOP should be shared, otherwise you have required your opponent to defend a position that is very outlandish, while assigning yourself no burden. Excluding a miracle you could not show up and win. That is a dumb debate topic.

Con is either extremely anti-religion, or the laziest would-be debater I have seen here yet.

"Finish you homework, then you can have dessert kid." -adults addressing the original poster
Posted by JustVotingTiedDebates 3 months ago
Now you have put this debate in category 'science'.
Posted by Stupidape 3 months ago
I beg to differ Chris330. "The universe itself is only 13.7 billion years old" [1] Considering that inanimate object can't hold a belief system and that belief in a God is a positive, one can only conclude that this part of the galaxy has been atheist for a little over 13 billion years.
Posted by Chris330 3 months ago
The burden of prof is on you friend. Christianity started as a sect of Judaism which can be traced back to the Israelites through traditions back to Abraham approx 2000bc. Atheism faith in Darwinism started in the late 19th century. For 4000+ years historically kept the belief and existence of God. Theretofore, burden is on you to refute the longer held belief in favor of the new kid on the block.
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