Against Islam: Lying, Deceiving and Illogical Confusions

The following video is the perfect example of how many apologists try their best to hide behind lies and deception when trying to defend the indefensible (religion of Islam). The video is obviously scripted to serve as propaganda in defense of Islam, but it immediately backfires when one rationally considers its arguments:

As we can see, there are two people defending Islam here, the Professor (Let’s call him P) and the Student (S). Let’s tear into both of them, starting with P since his lie is obvious and straight forward:

Tearing P a new one: At the start P is seemingly addressing the relation between Islam and terrorism, claiming that “Because words Mercy, Peace and Compassion have been repeated much more than Jihad, therefore Islam is much more religion of peace than war (or terrorism)”.

Two things immediately dismantle this garbage:

(1) Did the good P forget to include words such as “Slay (قتل)”, which represent killing, being killed or fighting depending on the context and use, and have been repeated multiple times in the Quran? Of course he did not. After all why forget when you can be dishonest to the bone? (As an example look at chapter 9 of the Quran [Al-Towbah], and in particular vers 111)

(2) The context of words matter. How many times peace and mercy have been used for humanity, and not just for Muslims? The following is far closer to what the Quran suggests “Oh sure be merciful, just towards the other Muslims. And by the way kill all infidels and heretics wherever you find them!”

Pathetic try from the good P. Maybe next time he can sugar coat his lies better, so that someone will buy them.

Exposing S on all levels: Now, S is a bit more sneaky. He first comes up with a provocative statement “White superpowers are the biggest terrorists”. This of course is both racist and stupid. But does one very important thing: Diverts the conversation from Islam to US (or “white super powers”, whatever that means). We know this is scripted, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see similar situations play out in the real world.

The conversation about whether Islam is the religion of terrorism is completely irrelevant to what US or any advanced country does, or whether they themselves are terrorists or not. In any discussion of this sort one must stop these diversion tactics and stick to the point. That being said, a simple answer usually shuts this tactic down: “Yes, terrorism is bad, and whoever does it must be brought to justice. Now, let’s go back to our original topic: Islam”.

There is another important point about what S puts forward, which is worth mentioning. Consider the fact that S tries his best to confuse the issue, using “terrorism” to mean civilian casualties in general (though he does not specify even that much). But one immediately realizes what counties such as US do by no means resembles what Taliban, Al-Qaeda or ISIS do. These terrorist organisation kill indiscriminately, just to create fear. They deliberately kill civilians to terrorize those who they see as enemies, while US may be responsible for civilian casualties, but civilians are not US’s targets.

Final word: The Quran does contain statements that can be interpreted as invitation to pluralism or peace. Whether these verses are enough to cover the cruel and inhuman parts is a discussion for another time.

In the meantime, we should be vigilant about scum such as the likes of P and S who try to put up smoke and mirrors and claim this religion is an advocate of peace. Islam is “not” a religion of peace.

The Foot Soldiers of Illogic: Feminist Propaganda

One of the unfortunate side-effects of having a Facebook page is getting to see a great deal of spontaneously generated propaganda in memes, pictures and comments posted every day. One can simply forget them for the most part, but sometimes they are made legendary by simply being spread very fast. As if no one can see the stupid within them.

Case and point? The following text [1] is taken from a note written by a student under her image in her high school yearbook.

I need feminism because I intend on marrying rich and I can’t do that if my wife and I are making .75 cent for every dollar a man makes.

One’s high school yearbook is presumably about what one wants to be remembered as. It could be an amazing range of attributes and states of mind: Funny, witty, happy, serious, kind, gay and so on. It may as well be one’s political agenda: Feminist, Liberal, progressive, Socialist and so forth.

Although, perhaps one would wish “uneducated” to not be one of those attributes. We have to congratulate our feminist student here, from this yearbook she can be remembered as the only student who never learned the average of a sample of data is not its maximum.

Another example is a quote from Annabel Crabb, Australian journalist [2], circling around on Facebook and Twitter as a semi-meme picture:

I am a feminist because it bothers me that a woman gets killed by her male partner every single week, and somehow that doesn’t qualify as a tools-down national crisis even though if a man got killed by a shark every week we’d probably arrange to have the ocean drained.

Way to get irrelevant things mixed up. I suppose we must award Ms. Crabb with the best red herring of the year: Shark attacks make no difference towards the importance of violence against women. Separate issues must be dealt with separately [3], and it does not help to mix up serious issues with exaggerated nonsense just to make a point.

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[1] http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemcneal/feminist-yearbook-quote?bffb&utm_term=4ldqpgp#.tiAbaMnEz

[2] http://www.smh.com.au/comment/annabel-crabb-im-proud-to-be-a-feminist-despite-my-regular-lapses-20150305-13wrw2.html

[3] http://www.aic.gov.au/dataTools/facts/vicGenderCrime.html

The Foot Soldiers of Illogic: Unintended Propaganda

Recently, in March 2015 in fact, star of stage and screen, Mark Ruffalo published the following very short article in his personal blog [1]:

“My response to the “I am not a feminist” internet phenomenon….

First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, “I’m not the feminist babysitter.”

But here is what I think you should know.

You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.

You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis center, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.

You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).

You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (It is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.

In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.

In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.“

— Libby Anne

The original article, as is referenced, was written by a “Libby Anne Bruce” [2]; and was published in other websites including in the weblog “Freedom Fighter” (2014) [3] before the publishing of Ruffalo.

I must admit, every paragraph of this article made me cringe uncontrollably. The sheer illogical nonsense drips from every word, making it impossible to read with a straight face. One can clearly recognise the fact that the writer was very passionate about what she was writing, but misguided passion is sometimes worse than a simple statement out of ignorance: One is simply wrong, the other is propaganda.

Libby claims she is responding to an internet phenomenon, but as we immediately realize the phenomenon is in fact merely a statement, namely “I am not a feminist.” Any reasonable person, when confronted with a statement which challenges their beliefs, should ask a very important question: “Why?”

If the writer had bothered to ask herself “Why?”, she would have realized that there are numerous different reasons behind such a statement. One can claim one is not a feminist because “Women belong only in the kitchen”, and another might wish to state “The modern feminist movement is too radical for me to associate myself with” as a reason for not being a feminist.

The immediate follow up of “but I’m not going to explain it to you” further shows the writer simply does not care to explain, in neither what she perceives feminism to be, nor what those who she is criticizing perceive it to be: After all she is not the one claiming not to be a feminist.

That is only the first lines of the article, the continuation is even worse.

What do we understand from “I am not a feminist”? True that no definition accompanies it, but we clearly see that it is a statement made in present tense. It is about one’s current state of being, not past or future. And what does our good feminist claim in the majority of the rest of her article? That one’s current state of being somehow must be necessarily based on historical figures or actions of some decades and even centuries ago.

Sheer stupidity of such argument is blatantly obvious. Any totalitarian government or political ideology can justify themselves based on such argument: “You are spitting in the face of our founding fathers if you disagree with the current affairs of this government!” or maybe “You are an ignorant jerk if you disrespect Islam! Our prophet was the greatest man who ever lived and you disrespect him with your claims about Islam!”.

Mr. Ruffalo must think twice before publishing any garbage he finds in the feminist dumpster of the internet. A stupid article written on Facebook or other forms of social media is laughter material. In the hands of a celebrity however, it becomes propaganda.

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1) http://markruffalo.tumblr.com/post/114661084940/my-response-to-the-i-am-not-a-feminist-internet

2) http://libbyannebruce.tumblr.com/

3) http://dumbledoresarmy-againstbigotry.tumblr.com/post/92696008814/my-response-to-the-i-am-not-a-feminist-internet

Introduction to Logical Fallacies (Workshop Style): Appeal to force/emotions

Trying to persuade others by means of coercion or by appealing to their emotions. This is a more obvious form of appealing to consequences.

Example: There may be a lot of cases in which this fallacy happens in our ordinary lives. I remember my own dad’s response to my question of “Why?” was usually given as a shout of “Because I say so, and you know what happens when you don’t listen to me boy!”. It was obvious to me, even at my very young age, that his way of coercion does not make things he wanted right. There must have been reasons behind them other than his sheer force[1].

Perhaps the simplest and most common examples are some students at the end of the semester “You cannot fail me Professor Smith, if that happens I’ll be expelled/ My dad will kill me.”

Professor Smith may be quite sorry that these things may happen, s/he may even consider passing the student, but there is absolutely no logical reason for that. The argument is flawed since it only appeals to emotions and abandons the reason behind a fail grade, that the student simply does not know enough about the subject at hand[2].

Propaganda is another less common form of this fallacy. It is a media based movement devoid of any substantial reason, but based on excitation of the feelings that people may have on a particular subject. An example for movement is the so called “pro-life” movement in US. Most of what is presented by the pro-life could be considered as propaganda. Read a part of the poem written from an unborn child’s mouth against abortion:

please don’t let them kill me,
it wasn’t my fault mommy.
and if you think you’re doing what’s right
then ask yourself, what if it was me?

Remember that no argument is presented, if one tries to argue against abortion, one has to do so by means of reason and evidence, not just by writing poems of this sort, designed only to provoke emotional response instead of giving a message by means of reasoning. Most propaganda exists exactly because there are no good reasons to appeal to, only emotions.

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[1] My father died some years ago, it’s a pity he died as the same person as is portrayed here.

[2] There is a humorous story based on this fallacy: There was a very poor writer who lived in a very bad state. He wrote a book and took it to a publisher as a last ditch of effort to earn some money. The publisher asked: “What’s the book about?” to which the writer responded: “It’s a story about a woman who’s in love with a young man. They marry each other, and she gets pregnant, but the man is eaten by a shark, the child is born dead, and she finally commits suicide from heart-break. Also, if you don’t publish the story, its writer will die of hunger!”