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Author Topic:   Evil Muslim conspiracy...
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 145 days)
Posts: 3943
Joined: 07-01-2005


(1)
Message 91 of 189 (600136)
01-12-2011 6:49 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by ApostateAbe
01-12-2011 4:08 PM


Re: Islamic terrorism.
1) Very many Muslims are not violent.
2) Very many non-Muslims are violent.
3) Therefore, Islam does not cause Muslims to be violent.

Do you think that is a valid argument? If not, would you like to restate the argument?

I think most Muslims manage to follow Islam without being violent mass-murderers. This is strong evidence that the perception that Muslims are violent is a flawed perception, the result of confirmation bias rather than objective analysis of fact.

I think that many non-Muslims perform acts equally evil or worse than those typified in your average Islamophobic media story, including the Protestant/Catholic violence in Ireland, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Unibomber, the Holocaust, the Japanese occupation of China and the rest of the Pacific in WWII, the American detention of Asian-descended citizens during WWII, violence toward German-descended Americans in WWI and WWII, race riots, etc is collectively very strong evidence that human beings are violent toward each other by nature, with little to no excuse, and therefore Islam is incidental, not causal, to the violence.

I think that human history is filled with examples of man's inhumanity toward man over nearly every conceivable difference, from favorite soccer team to skin color to religious persuasion to nationality etc. I think, given the undispitable fact that this is so, it is an example of gross oversimplification and condifirmation bias to state that Islam results in violence.

A rational investigation, remember, does not look by starting to seek confirmation fo your hypothesis. It starts by seeking falsifications of hypotheses. Violent Muslims, including terrorist acts, would be expected whether Islam causes violence or if human beings are inherently violent and latch on to authoritative excuses.

What would differentiate those two hypotheses, Abe?

I think that, if Islam caused violence, we should expect to see more violent Muslims than any other conceivable group - more acts of mass murder should be committed, for instance, by Muslim terrorists than any other social, religious, or racial group. In essence, you need to determine whether Islam is correlated with violence more strongly than other possible distinctions.

Yet it appears to me that the vast majority of Muslims do not blow anyone up, nor do they chop off heads, nor do they open fire on crowds. It appears to me that the brutality seen in many Muslim countries is little different from the brutality seen in other societies throughout history (history, I think, should count - Islam has not fundamentally changed, and neither has Christianity, only social values have changed while the holy books and traditions remained unchanged). Extreme notions of justice are not limited to Muslim nations. Victimization of women is not unique to Islam - remember, in predominantly Christian nations women were treated as chattel not too long ago, and it was perfectly legal to rape or even beat one's wife. I see no overarching pattern among Muslims that does not correspond to other groups.

A distinction without a difference is not a difference. If violent and oppressive societies happen regardless of religion and race etc, then those factors are incidental, and not causal. I think that's a pretty clear chain of logic.

Your arguments in this thread have focused on specific Koranic verses that are sometimes interpreted as encouraging or even mandating violence toward non-Muslims. I suggest that this is analogous to the Milgram experiment - the Koran is taken by some Muslims to be a higher authority than their own internal sense of authority, and among that subset of Muslims, there is another subset that will follow the immoral perceived instructions of that perceived authority for the same reasons Nazis shoved innocent Jews into gas chambers and ovens.

But I think that stopping there and saying "see, Islam does it" is intellectually lazy - you're allowing your curiosity to be satisfied when you've identified only a correlation, rather than establishing root causation, because the conclusion this allows you to draw matches your previously preferred hypothesis rather than compelling you to accept it.

I get suspicious when I notice that I'm stopping my curiosity because I'm allowed to continue with my pre-existing hypothesis, rather than compelled. Your Koranic quotes are evidence, but they are not compelling evidence, and they are less so when we notice that violence and inhumanity transcend any specific faith, because that actively contradicts the hypothesis.

I think most of the evidence I'm able to gather strongly supports the hypothesis that specific religions are incidental (meaning not totally irrelevant, but not causal) to violence, that the real causes for violence are social and psychological in nature.

I think that the hypothesis that Islam causes violence is weakly supported by the fact that some Muslims commit violent acts, but is strongly contradicted by the fact that people of other religions commit horrors as well, such that the statistical difference between the violence rate among Muslims since the dawn of Islam is not significantly different from the violence rate among virtually any other group.

I think you're committing what has been called the "Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy," where you fail to take into account all of the statistical evidence not in line with your initial hypothesis.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-12-2011 4:08 PM ApostateAbe has responded

Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12880
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 92 of 189 (600154)
01-12-2011 9:43 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by ApostateAbe
01-11-2011 5:45 PM


There are some passages in the Bible that are truly open-ended. They are commands addressed directly to the reader. And some of those passages really do give Christians trouble, and they have caused horrible violence in centuries past.

Exodus 22:18
"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."

This single passage, in the same context as the ten commandments, had a direct causal link to many accused "witches" in Christian Europe and the colonies to be put to death.

Quite so; and I'm sure the bits in the Qur'an about chopping people's hands off led to people having their hands chopped off.

I'm not so sure that Sura 8 led to anything more than what it actually says, i.e. the issuing and, eventually, the carrying out of the ultimatum to the polytheists.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-11-2011 5:45 PM ApostateAbe has not yet responded

  
Coyote
Member
Posts: 4766
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 93 of 189 (600160)
01-12-2011 10:08 PM


More
As long as we are discussing such matters, opine on this:

Prime Minister of Pakistan bows down to extremists on blasphemy law

Islamabad: January 12, 2011. (PCP) Yousaf Raza Gillani, Prime Minister of Pakistan, announced here today that Pakistan Peoples Party PPP government have no intentions to repeal or revise blasphemy law.

Talking with reporters PM of Pakistan said that PPP government have already issued policy statement through its Religious Affair Minister Khursheed Shah in parliament that government will not repeal blasphemy law and have disowned private bill submitted by PPP leader Sherry Rehman to amend blasphemy law.

Pakistani Prime Ministers public statement came after Pope Benedicts annual address to diplomats in Vatican city in which he called on Pakistan government to scrap blasphemy law.

The PPP led government is under pressure of Islamic parties protests to not touch blasphemy laws in Pakistan.

The government have forgotten the day light murder of a PPP leader and Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer who termed blasphemy laws to be man made and was campaigning to repeal it.

Holy Father Pope Benedict had earlier demanded freedom of Asia Bibi who was charged under blasphemy law and sentenced to death on November 8, 2010, by ADSJ of Nankana.

When Yousaf Raza Gillani, Prime Minister of Pakistan was denying any change in blasphemy law, the PPP selected and nominated Christian Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti was commenting in an interview to Adnkronos International (AKI) that controversial blasphemy law must be reformed to prevent bloodletting of Christian and other minorities in Pakistan.

And we can also consider this:

Of all the strange "crimes" that human beings have legislated of nothing, "blasphemy" is the most amazing - with "obscenity" and "indecent exposure" fighting it out for the second and third place.

Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love, 1974

The problem seems to be the use of governmental power to enforce religious laws.

Perhaps this primitive and anti-rational practice should be banned worldwide.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
Replies to this message:
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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 145 days)
Posts: 3943
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 94 of 189 (600203)
01-13-2011 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 93 by Coyote
01-12-2011 10:08 PM


Re: More
The problem seems to be the use of governmental power to enforce religious laws.

Perhaps this primitive and anti-rational practice should be banned worldwide.

Of course it should. The enforcement of religious law directly contradicts the basic human right of religious freedom.

But let's not forget that Pakistan isn't the only country with blasphemy laws on the books. And I'm not only referring to various other Muslim nations. Ireland recently enacted blasphemy legislation as well.

The unfortunate fact is that religions, like any other closely-held belief, tend to create sacred cows. Nobody likes hearing somebody else say that what they believe is wrong, or stupid, or whatever. An obvious reaction, when your faction happens to be in the majority, is to force the issue by law, either legislating adherence to your own religion, or simply banning the practice and expression of other faiths as blasphemous.

There are factions in the US that would love to make Christianity the official state religion and outlaw perceived blasphemy. The only difference is that they aren't the political majority.


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onifre
Member
Posts: 4853
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


(1)
Message 95 of 189 (600314)
01-13-2011 10:10 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rahvin
01-10-2011 5:53 PM


This is what the followers of a religion of peace would do.

This is what a decent human being would do.

Ooo, have you seen the video of that dude getting his head cut off as he screams and peacefully dies? Guess what religion the people that did it were?

I bet you guessed correct. Now ask yourself why you were able to guess that correctly.

I'm all for equality, but not for the liberal PC bullshit. The middle east is a violent fucking place, and it is full of muslims who are really fucking violent. I mean, who was threatening the Christians to begin with? Other muslims. You call them homicidal maniacs, they call themselves true followers of the faith.

It's a religion that currently promotes violence as a resolution, they themselves say it. On Egyptian television. Live for everyone to see. They recognize their violent ways and are quite proud of it. I don't see why Americans keep trying to sway opinions the other way.

- Oni


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Coyote
Member
Posts: 4766
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 96 of 189 (600316)
01-13-2011 10:26 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by onifre
01-13-2011 10:10 PM


I don't see why Americans keep trying to sway opinions the other way.

It's just the liberals, not all Americans.

Liberals get certain ideals in their heads and seem to think that those ideals are what's really out there. And they refuse to reevaluate those ideals when they are shown to be inaccurate.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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onifre
Member
Posts: 4853
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 97 of 189 (600318)
01-13-2011 10:56 PM
Reply to: Message 96 by Coyote
01-13-2011 10:26 PM


It's just the liberals, not all Americans.

I don't know, I've heard plenty on the right call Islam a religion of peace.

Bush on Islam: The face of terror is not the true face of Islam, and he told a Joint Session of Congress: Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah.

Ari Fleischer on Islam: This attack had nothing to do with Islam. This attack was a perversion of Islam

Attorney General John Ashcroft on the hijackers: references were a stark reminder of how these hijackers grossly perverted the Islamic faith to justify their terroristic acts

These statements are PC bullshit, although I'm sure politically beneficiary.

- Oni


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ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 1101 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


(1)
Message 98 of 189 (600319)
01-13-2011 11:06 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by Rahvin
01-12-2011 6:49 PM


Re: Islamic terrorism.
In Ireland, the penalty for blasphemy is a fine of 25,000 euros or less. Many Irish atheists have publicly blasphemed after the law was passed, and none have been prosecuted. In Pakistan, the penalties for blasphemy include a fine, imprisonment and death. 647 people have been charged, some with death. It is not just a tyrannical government. Convicts are killed by prison guards. In 1997, a judge in Pakistan was killed by assassins after acquitting two people charged with blasphemy. Wikipedia contains a long list of blasphemy cases in Pakistan, and they are all macabre.

http://en.wikipedia.org/...my_law_in_Pakistan#Selected_cases

quote:
I think that, if Islam caused violence, we should expect to see more violent Muslims than any other conceivable group - more acts of mass murder should be committed, for instance, by Muslim terrorists than any other social, religious, or racial group. In essence, you need to determine whether Islam is correlated with violence more strongly than other possible distinctions.

Your objections are sound. I have crawled Google and Google Scholar looking for evidence of my position, with mixed results.

One study, "Islam and Large-Scale Political Violence: Is There a Connection?" claims in the abstract that no correlation exists between Muslims and large-scale intrastate violence.

I am not so surprised by that conclusion. All the news I have sifted through that relate to violence in the name of Islam have to do mostly with the small-scale stuff--various isolated murders, assassinations, terrorist attacks, beatings, rapes and that sort of thing. The "large-scale intrastate violence" I would take to be more about civil wars, revolutions, riots and genocides.

This would be the only such study on the large-scale violence, but studies on violence and Islam in general are likewise scarce. Whenever I do find a study on small-scale violence and Islam, there is a correlation.

A study in Germany drew a correlation between Islamic religiosity among teenage boys and the willingness to use violence.

"Pfeiffer said that even when other social factors were taken into account, there remained a significant correlation between religiosity and readiness to use violence."

I wish I knew which "social factors" those are, but, presumably, they include wealth, nationality or anything else relevant. That would be essential to drawing a causal link between Islam and the tendency for violence. Such a link seems to be the conclusion of the study, anyway.

"The increased likelihood to use violence was restricted to Muslim boys Pfeiffer said Muslim girls were just as likely to be violent as non-Muslim girls. This led him to conclude that there was not a direct link between Islamic belief and violence but an indirect one. He pointed to Christian teachings which justified domestic violence and male dominance of society for a long time."

The indirect link would presumably be the passages in the Koran that justify domestic violence. Those have not been a topic of this discussion, but it is a big issue. There was another study on domestic violence in Arab countries with an especially interesting abstract.

In Arab and Islamic countries, domestic violence is not yet considered a major concern despite its increasing frequency and serious consequences. Surveys in Egypt, Palestine, Israel and Tunisia show that at least one out of three women is beaten by her husband. The indifference to this type of violence stems from attitudes that domestic violence is a private matter and, usually, a justifiable response to misbehaviour on the part of the wife. Selective excerpts from the Koran are used to prove that men who beat their wives are following God's commandments. These religious justifications, plus the importance of preserving the honour of the family, lead abusers, victims, police and health care professionals to join in a conspiracy of silence rather than disclosing these offences. However, a fair reading of the Koran shows that wife abuse, like genital mutilation and "honour killings" are a result of culture rather than religion.

That was published in the Archives of Women's Mental Health, authored by S. Douki, F. Nacef, A. Belhadj, A. Bouasker and R. Ghachem--Arab names. They concluded that the Koranic passages that supposedly justify domestic violence are not actually legit. To conclude that domestic violence against women follows from Islam (and at the same time condemn domestic violence) would constitute blasphemy.

At least one in three women are beaten by their husbands in Egypt, Palestine, Israel and Tunisia, which is roughly 8% larger than the established one in four ratio that exists in the United States. The one if four ratio constitutes the women who were abused in their entire lifetimes, and there is no widespread conspiracy of silence in the United States, however.

Maybe this is not enough evidence. When direct evidence is lacking, there are still ways to find the most reasonable conclusion. Let me explain to you how I make decisions of belief. Any set of evidence can have many explanations, but only one explanation should be accepted when it excels over the competing explanations. I believe the best explanation, and the best explanation is chosen by what explanation has roughly the most explanatory scope, explanatory power, plausibility, consistency and least ad hoc. It is called, "Argument to the Best Explanation," a methodology developed within New Testament scholarship, but it really can be applied to anything. The methodologies of science that are typically put on the table, in my opinion, tend to be more limited, incomplete, or dogmatic. This is the methodology that we most often use to make decisions of belief, even if we don't know it. You can find the definitions of each of these items here at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/...#Argument_to_the_best_explanation

I learned a lot belonging to the Christian religion. I learned almost as much about it being an activist against it from the outside. The people sincerely believe it. Moreover, many people are willing to do weird things for it. They are willing to go to church every Sunday, listen to boring sermons, make prayers a daily ritual, evangelize, make themselves look like idiots to the world, and decide their careers, families and friends based on it. That is what they do because they sincerely believe that is what God wants. We are already willing to believe that people are willing to do good things motivated by religion. Are we not? We are already willing to believe that people are willing to make substantial changes to their lives motivated by religion. Are we not? We are already willing to believe that Islam is a religion equally as powerful as Christianity, if not more so. In Islam, the people are motivated to pray toward Mecca five times every day. That is a big devotion of one's time. In my grad school, there is only one Muslim, sent from a foreign navy for one year, with nobody else to accompany him. He set his laptop to make the sound of someone praying in Arabic whenever it is time for him to pray. He abstains from pork and alcohol, though there was nobody who would hold it against him if he were to accept a drink. He represents very many people who sincerely believe their religion and are willing to set their behaviors accordingly. We believe those things because such beliefs have explanatory power, explanatory scope and plausibility.

So, why is it more plausible that the bad things people do with the seeming backing of their religion are motivated by something else? Once again I ask: is religion really so weak?


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12880
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 99 of 189 (600325)
01-14-2011 12:00 AM
Reply to: Message 96 by Coyote
01-13-2011 10:26 PM


It's just the liberals, not all Americans.

Liberals get certain ideals in their heads and seem to think that those ideals are what's really out there. And they refuse to reevaluate those ideals when they are shown to be inaccurate.

"The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace." --- George W. Bush, September 2001

---

Is there anything to conservatism any more except a habit of lying about "liberals"? It sometimes seems as though the actual ideology, such as it was, has evaporated, leaving only the hatred and propaganda as a sort of grimy residue.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 100 of 189 (600327)
01-14-2011 12:04 AM
Reply to: Message 98 by ApostateAbe
01-13-2011 11:06 PM


Re: Islamic terrorism.
ApostateAbe writes:

In Ireland, the penalty for blasphemy is a fine of 25,000 euros or less. Many Irish atheists have publicly blasphemed after the law was passed, and none have been prosecuted.

This is perhaps as worrisome as the anti-blasphemy law itself. The government is apparently selectively enforcing the laws which are on the books according to their whim. Such a government is completely uncontrollable; they might as well be enforcing laws that don't exist if they don't care about not enforcing laws that do.

ApostateAbe writes:

Rahvin writes:

I think that, if Islam caused violence, we should expect to see more violent Muslims than any other conceivable group - more acts of mass murder should be committed, for instance, by Muslim terrorists than any other social, religious, or racial group.


Your objections are sound. I have crawled Google and Google Scholar looking for evidence of my position, with mixed results.

Unfortunately I *don't* think that this is a sound objection. Simply saying that Islam causes violence does not imply that Islam causes *all* violence. Its like saying that if gangs cause violence we should expect to see more violent gang members than any other conceivable group - more acts of mass murder should be committed by gang members than by the Schutzstaffel (SS).

Just because being in a gang isn't going to lead to genocide on the level of the SS doesn't mean that being in a gang doesn't cause violence.

Instead all that is required to support the statement that Islam causes violence is to find an example of a violent behavior that wouldn't be undertaken unless the perpetrator believed in Islam. I'm sure everyone can come up with several off the top of their head. Those isolated murders, assassinations, terrorist attacks, beatings, rapes, et c... those count.


This message is a reply to:
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Coyote
Member
Posts: 4766
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 101 of 189 (600330)
01-14-2011 12:14 AM
Reply to: Message 100 by Phage0070
01-14-2011 12:04 AM


Re: Islamic terrorism
Instead all that is required to support the statement that Islam causes violence is to find an example of a violent behavior that wouldn't be undertaken unless the perpetrator believed in Islam.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZ1FN-Ocgfs


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ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 1101 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 102 of 189 (600332)
01-14-2011 12:18 AM
Reply to: Message 99 by Dr Adequate
01-14-2011 12:00 AM


The true faith of Islam
quote:
"The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace." --- George W. Bush, September 2001
That was the politically correct and diplomatic thing for Bush to say, and he has not gotten nearly enough credit for it, though it did help to control the criticism that the wars were anti-Islamic in nature. That isn't quite the same as actually believing it. It really is something that a Muslim or a liberal would have tend to believe. Islam is many things, but it is not an especially peaceful religion.

Edited by ApostateAbe, : include quote


This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by Dr Adequate, posted 01-14-2011 12:00 AM Dr Adequate has responded

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Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 103 of 189 (600333)
01-14-2011 12:32 AM
Reply to: Message 99 by Dr Adequate
01-14-2011 12:00 AM


Dr Adequate writes:

Is there anything to conservatism any more except a habit of lying about "liberals"?

Criticizing a hasty generalization with a hasty generalization isn't very compelling. Or honest.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by Dr Adequate, posted 01-14-2011 12:00 AM Dr Adequate has responded

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Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 104 of 189 (600334)
01-14-2011 12:35 AM
Reply to: Message 102 by ApostateAbe
01-14-2011 12:18 AM


Re: The true faith of Islam
quote:
"The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace." --- George W. Bush, September 2001

This is a tautology, through the wording of the No True Scotsman fallacy. "True Islam" is defined as not being about terrorism, but it says nothing of common Islam.


This message is a reply to:
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ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 1101 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 105 of 189 (600335)
01-14-2011 12:43 AM
Reply to: Message 104 by Phage0070
01-14-2011 12:35 AM


Re: The true faith of Islam
The proposal of those two fallacies does not quite fit, and there is no need to fit everything you disagree with to a fallacy. Sometimes, it is just an inaccurate statement.
This message is a reply to:
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