A question answered: Chapter 1 of Some Answered Questions

SAQ book cover

One of the participants on the Facebook group Bahais United in Diversity wrote:

I’m afraid I have to point out that Abdu’l-Baha contradicts himself [in the proof of the existence of God, in the first chapter of Some Answered Questions]… First he suggests that “Nature has neither intelligence nor perception.” So God must exist. Then he says that “man is the branch; nature is the root,” and asks “can the will and the intelligence, and the perfections which exist in the branch, be absent in the root?”

So the will and the intelligence and the perception are in nature after all… and God becomes unnecessary to explain order in nature and the emergence of human life.

It’s a sharp observation, but the problem lies in the translation rather than in Abdu’l-Baha’s reasoning. I would also note that the title of the chapter, which is part of the original Persian text, is not “a proof of the existence of God” but “nature is governed by universal law.” In my translation, Abdu’l-Baha’s argument goes as follows:

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