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"Post hoc, ergo propter hoc" is not always a fallacy.

Reader comment on item: Islam and Democracy - Much Hard Work Needed

Submitted by Peter Forsythe (Hong Kong), Feb 7, 2011 at 21:48

Mr Pipes, you say that post hoc, ergo propter hoc is a fallacy (pace Wikipedia). But of course it need not be, and in many cases when there is a correlation between A and B, it will be precisely because A causes B. Think smoking and cancer, drinking and car accidents, carbon dioxide and global warming (!).

I like to run the ruler of "common sense" over a correlation. In other words, in this case, does it make sense that Islam should be the cause of "fewer political rights"? The, to me, common-sense answer -- butressed by readings of the core documents of Islam -- is that "of course the causation makes sense, because a core belief of Islam is that laws must be of Allah and not of Man". And of course the Law of Man is the key of democracy. Whether that can be changed in a Muslim "enlightenment" is highly doubtful, as you yourself hint.

Similarly, it makes sense to me that Islam should hold back economic development, both because of the Rule of Allah mentioned above, and because its doctrines specifically inhibit innovation, encourage fatalism, discourage science, and rule out the contributions of half of its population.

I have done a statistical analysis of Islam and Freedom here. I note in that post the possibility that "correlation does not imply causation", but discount it. It really is a matter, in other words, of post Islam, ergo propter Islam.

Submitting....

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