Questionable Motives

December 26, 2014

How can we tell the difference between a ‘mentally unbalanced individual’ and a True Believer?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 3:42 pm

We can’t. There is no means to differentiate… if the True Believer honestly thinks scriptural authority is justified as moral.

Sure, media can (and often does) point out the connection between an individual claiming to act on behalf of some religious motivation and the act itself… like the claimed motivation for the assassination of two police officers in New York, the claimed motivation for the shooting at a synagogue in Paris, the claimed motivation for attacking police officers at a station in Joue-les-Tours, the claimed motivation for stabbing police officers in Melbourne, the claimed motivation for a hatchet attack against the officers of a NYPD sub station, the claimed motivation for running cars into crowds in France over the past few weeks, the claimed motivation for the Sydney cafe hostage taking, the claimed motivation for the killing of soldiers in Ottawa and St-Jean-sur-Richilieu, and so on… but how often do we hear senior police and government officials address that direct connection?

What I keep hearing from almost all of these these public officials commenting on these deadly acts is some ‘lone wolf’ excuse, some deranged person, some a mentally unbalanced individual… often presented as if th indiviudal in question were the inevitable product from a failure of some social service, a failure of mental health, a failure of whatever intervention the public should have provided in a timely manner… but almost never do these same officials connect these horrific acts with the motivation stated by the perpetrators… namely, Islam.

Now consider the definition of ‘delusion’ offered by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV:

Delusion. A false belief based on incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained despite what almost everyone else believes and despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary. The belief is not one ordinarily accepted by other members of the person’s culture or subculture (e.g., it is not an article of religious faith). When a false belief involves a value judgment, it is regarded as a delusion only when the judgment is so extreme as to defy credibility.

With this special exemption, now consider the difficulty establishing a means to differentiate actions that, by themselves and in isolation from any religion, would indicate judgement so extreme as to defy credibility (the claims used by these public officials to absolve religion’s direct role in promoting what otherwise would be ‘delusional’) but, when tied to religious belief suddenly and magically become rational by fiat.

How convenient.

Thought of another way, imagine the outcry from faitheists if humanist and secular societies distributed a global membership book that stated as if true:

“Muslims are the vilest of animals…”

“Show mercy to one another, but be ruthless to Muslims”

“How perverse are Muslims!”

“Strike off the heads of Muslims, as well as their fingertips”

“Fight those Muslims who are near to you”

“Muslim mischief makers should be murdered or crucified”

Is it just me, or does that sound suspiciously like it would be viewed as bigotry in action, a kind of hate speech directed at Muslims as a group and not only towards those few ‘extremists’, those ‘few bad apples’, those few who have been  ‘radicalized’, those ‘lone wolves’ we keep hearing about, and those ‘mentally unbalanced individuals’ who carry out these appalling acts?

Let’s turn it around, shall we, and see what bigotry against non believers as a group the Koran actually does say:

Non Believers:

Eat like beasts 47:12
Are apes 7:166, 5:60, 2:65
Are swines 5:60
Are asses 74:50
The vilest of animals in Allah’s sight 8:55
Losers 2:27, 2:121, 3:85
Have a disease in their hearts 2:10, 5:52, 24:50
Are hard-hearted 39:22, 57:16
Impure of hearts 5:41
Are deaf 2:171, 6:25
Are blind 2:171, 6:25
Are dumb 2:171, 6:35, 11:29
Are niggardly 4:37, 70:21
Works shall be rendered ineffective 2:217, 47:1, 47:8
Are impure 8:37
Are scum 13:17
Are inordinate 5:68, 78:22
Are transgressors 2:26, 9:8, 46:20
Are unjust 29:49
Make mischief 16:88
Are the worst of men 98:6
Are in a state of confusion 50:5
Are the lowest of the low 95:5
Focus only on outward appearance 19:73-74
Are guilty 30:12, 77:46
Sinful liar 45:7
Follow falsehood 47:3
Deeds are like the mirage in a desert 24:39
Allah does not love them 3:32, 22:38
Allah forsakes them 32:14, 45:34
Allah brought down destruction upon them 47:10
Allah has cursed them 2:88, 48:6
Allah despises them 17:18
Allah abases them 22:18

Hear that deafening silence? That’s the sound of Islamic outrage expressed by Muslims towards this bigotry.

Of course, this list of grievances against the non believer isn’t delusional belief in action if it’s religious because, well, it’s all rather mainstream and so it’s cannot be delusional if acted upon because… well, because it’s religious (and therefore exempt from being defined as delusional according to our psychiatric and psychological medical practitioners)!

And before Christians think their hateful bigotry is any less revolting against non believers, recall:

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good. Psalms 14:1

Let’s not forget the myriad droppings of wisdom about the deplorable state of the non believer usually expressed throughout the bible in terms of opposites between believer/non believer: those in the light/those in the darkness, those with eternal life/those with eternal death, those who have peace with God/those who are at war with Him, those who believe the truth/those who believe the lies, those on the narrow path to salvation/those on the broad road to destruction, and many, many more. Let’s look to the gems we find in Proverbs about befirending non believers:

“The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray” (12:26). We should stay away from foolish people (13:20, 14:7), from people who lose their temper easily (22:24), and from the rebellious (24:21). All these things represent those who have not been saved. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). First Corinthians 15:33 tells us that bad company corrupts good character. Unbelievers are slaves to sin (John 8:34), and Christians are slaves to God (1 Corinthians 7:22).

Can you non believers feel the love? Not so much, eh?

What we non believers – especially us New Atheists – can feel (and with a very great deal of smug satisfaction for not being listened to by otherwise intelligent people) is that we’ve been trying to point out this problem for a very long time, that because there is no means to differentiate delusion from faith-based claims, we alone seem to be unsurprised at the confusion in politically correct circles and communities of religiously tolerant people who find themselves unable to describe the difference between what these individuals have done and the motivation they share with the general religious populations who agree that these motivations are indeed religiously justified and righteous. They are so because they are scriptural, the very words of of God after all! And right there is the disconnect faitheists of all stripes (believers and non believers and fence-sitting agnostics) must suffer when they try so desperately to convince themselves that there is no fundamental and irrevocable incompatibility between respecting religion and respecting reality’s arbitration of its motivations in action.

December 9, 2014

Why does reality suffer from Islamophobia?

Filed under: Criticism,Islam,islamophobia — tildeb @ 11:59 am

wahhabi libertyReality suffers from Islamophobia because that’s the only way Islam is both a religion of peace and the koran is the perfect word of god. By reality offering us compelling evidence that this duo is in practice incompatible means that reality is the problem and this is because it suffers from Islamophobia. Muslims have to face this reality and choose one or the other. It’s just that simple.

Sure, many muslims will continue to delude themselves with a lovely bit of circular thinking, namely, that because Islam is a religion of peace, any violence done in its name is not true Islam, and so criticisms of the scripture that offers directed divine support for violence – the perfect word of god, don’t forget – is not representative of the correct meaning of the scripture.

Mulberry Bush, meet the circumbendibus weasel.

Let me introduce to you John Maguire, a Canadian muslim calling for other Canadian muslims to kill other Canadians. How is it possible he thinks his call is divinely sanctioned?

Well, it’s a mystery. It couldn’t possibly be due to his Islamic beliefs derived from the scripture of the koran, now could it? We are told repeatedly by ‘experts’ that doing what he’s doing – using scripture from the koran to justify violence done in its name – is a mysterious exercise of some kind of nefarious ‘radicalization’ process obviously divorced from the religion itself (ie ‘radicalization’ meaning the effects that may occur when someone points out this call to violence contained in scripture to someone who accepts that it is the perfect word of god. Experts agree that the real problem comes from the guy talking and not the guy listening and most definitely not because of the scripture saying what it says. No, no, no… ).

How is this divorce between scriptural calls for violence and violence done in its name made clear to the rest of us who mistakenly think Islamic violence is somehow connected to Islam?

Well, first we must assume that the scripture couldn’t possibly mean what it says because Islam has to be a religion of peace because it truly is a religion of peace, you see… sort of like the Shriners of the religious world. Mind you, that there are no Shriners calling for the killing of non Shriners – funny that – but this lack of ‘radicalization’ in the Shriners ranks is in all likelihood another great mystery to these same self-described ‘experts’. So many mysteries.

Secondly, we must assume that those who do believe this scripture calls for certain actions to be undertaken in its name has been interpreted correctly if and only if these actions are not violent… as if working hard in community service and charity downplays the very real tendency towards taking over political governance and imposing sharia law in place of democratic jurisprudence, which is more like a bloodless change in business management and administrative policy… business (almost) as usual, you see….

Thirdly, as any ‘good’ muslim knows, any violent actions done in the name of Islam cannot be true Islam. This is just a fact, you see. The koran really is the perfect word of god… except where it makes calls for violence, in which case it must be reinterpreted to mean something other than what it says. The perfection is still present and non violent, of course, because true Islam is a religion of peace; it just has to be interpreted correctly. Those who become ‘radicalized’ have failed to interpret the perfect word correctly and have taken it at face value… which advocates for violence that cannot possibly be associated with true Islam because true Islam is a religion of peace…. as every good (ie not ‘radicalized’) muslim knows. Sure, much koranic scripture is to be taken at face value as god intended and not interpreted by ‘radical’ reformers – radical because they presume they have some right to interpret god’s most perfect word in areas like gender differences and roles and so on – but taking scripture at face value in call for violence is the opposite, you see. In this case, taking scripture at face value is what’s radical because true Islam is a religion of peace.

Fourthly, anyone who criticizes this whack-a-mole notion that the koran itself as not being the perfect word of god (this bit of the koran perfect by its literal directive, this bit perfect by interpretive direction, you see, so the whole remains quite perfect and reasonably so) is by definition racist and an Islamophobe. They are the worst kind of people because they are intolerant of muslims for really bad reasons that have no basis in fact. These radicals just don’t understand why true Islam is the religion of peace and made so by submitting to the fact that the koran is perfect word of god in spite of overwhelming evidence reality offers us to the contrary. Because reality itself demonstrates that Islam is not a religion of peace when followed by those willing to submit to its literal understanding of scripture, reality is at fault because the koran is the perfect word of god AND true Islam is a religion of peace.

Pretending that there’s nothing inherently dysfunctional and violent about believing the koran somehow contains the perfect word of god and that word is peaceful is to deny reality. And that reality is that the source scripture called the koran continues to be used as a divine source to justify violence done in its name. How so many of the ‘experts’ addressing the problem of violence done in the name of Islam continue to miss this hard-to-miss connection I think is the only truly Great Mystery at work here.

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