Monday, January 21, 2008

14 Shevaṭ 5768: National Hugging Day/Granola Bar Day/Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Greetings.

Divine misconception of the day: “Government renames Islamic terrorism as 'anti-Islamic activity' to woo Muslims”. One of the most common logical fallacies I have encountered is redefinition—changing the meanings of words from their accepted meanings, frequently deceptively or delusionally—and deciding to call Islamic terrorism is one of the most blatant perpetrations of this fallacy for two reasons, which due to how disgusted I feel about this grievous metatransgression are written deliberately in capital letters: 1) THE GUILTY PARTY IS REDEFINING SOMEONE ELSE’S RELIGION. There is no regard being paid to what Islamic tradition has to say about terrorism whatsoever, no scholarship, just reference to anonymous "Muslims in the UK and across the world”. These people being used as a source could be anyone—clergy, laypeople, even the nonreligious and outright apostates. They could be ignorant as to what Islam has to say on terrorism or lying for all we know. (Ever hear of taqiyya? Lying in the name of Islam is well-documented.) Islam in any historical sense of the term is defined by the Qur’an and Hadith, and thus any proper determination of what is and is not Islam must refer back to these. Rather the UK government is saying “Some Muslims say something we like, therefore it is necessarily what Islam holds.” This is conclusion-jumping, and it is forbidden according to the rules of logic. For comparison: the fact that individual Catholics approve of divorce and abortion does not mean that Catholicism approves of divorce or abortion, and it is not legitimate for secular or non-Catholic institutions to insist that Catholicism approves of divorce and abortion, and it is ridiculous for such institutions to expect Catholics will follow through in approving and practicing divorce and abortion.  2)  THE GUILTY PARTY IS DELIBERATELY OBSCURING THE FACT THAT WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO WORK AGAINST IS TERRORISM.  “Activity” is a very general term.  Practically anything that people do is an “activity”.  The UK government is not working against Muslims trying to do anything whatsoever.  There are trying to stop the much more specific set of actions referred to as “terrorism”.  The resulting term, “un-Islamic activities”, is about as badly chosen for what the UK government is trying to stop as possible.  Ask yourself what any normal person is going to think when they see the term “un-Islamic activities”.  The answer is going to be in terms of “eating pork”, “not fasting during Ramadan”, and “criticizing Muhammad”—things which it is none of the business for any government to stop anywhere freedom of religion is guaranteed.  They are not going to think of terrorism, which is the government’s duty to stop anywhere life and liberty of are guaranteed.  (Do note that a lot of the terrorism committed today is done by Muslims in the name of Islam.)  Frankly, the UK government is just sowing confusion and making themselves look stupid.

Today’s news and commentary, some of which Barry is responsible for:Today’s weird thing is some odd wallpaper. Enjoy and share the weirdness.

Aaron
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