The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.
So says the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Part 1, Section 2, Chapter 3, Article 9, Paragraph 3, Sub-paragraph 841, if I understand the organization of the catechism correctly—it seems rather long and complicated considering it’s such an important document).
Let’s make an argument!
- Muslims and Catholics together adore the one God
- Muslims adore Allah
- Therefore, Allah is the one God
- Therefore, Catholics adore Allah
Yeap, it holds water
I’ve seen Catholics respond to this by saying that the argument doesn’t follow, because Muslims deny certain truths about God, like that he is manifest in Jesus. So, to draw an analogy, you might adore Batman and yet believe that he is not Bruce Wayne; so you can adore God and yet believe that he is not Jesus. But there’s an obvious problem with that comeback, because neither my argument nor the catechism is couched in terms of denial, but rather of affirmation. So we can construct a valid parallel argument from the perspective of Selina Kyle, who knows Batman’s secret identity, in regards to Vicki Vale, who does not:
- Vicki and Selina together adore Batman (because…)
- Vicki adores Bruce
- And Bruce is Batman
- So of course Selina also adores Bruce
You’ll notice the argument isn’t trying to prove anything new—rather, it’s retracing the steps of reasoning used to get to Rome’s conclusion (premise ) in the first place. My conclusion, premise , is simply an entailment of Rome’s original line of reasoning.
The premises follow exactly because the argument is framed from the perspective of someone claiming greater knowledge than the parties whom the arguments are about. Catholics say Muslims adore God—and Selina says Vicki adores Batman—not because the epistemically impoverished Muslims believe that Allah is God—or the epistemically impoverished Vicki believes that Bruce is Batman—but because the epistemically gifted Catholics (and Selina) claim to know it.
But if Allah is God like Bruce Wayne is Batman, then Catholics, who adore God and know about his “secret identity”, automatically adore Allah too. Just like someone who adores Batman, and knows his secret identity as Bruce Wayne, must adore Bruce too. They adore them both because they know they’re one and the same person.
Well, it’s obvious enough, innit? Catholics explicitly identify Allah with God. Since Christians explicitly deny that Allah is God—he is just another false idol—it follows that Catholics are not Christians, but rather some kind of “enlightened Muslims”. It’s nice to have it confirmed by Rome that Roman Catholicism is not a Christian denomination, but rather a sect of Islam.