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ASsumptions are dangerous when you use them as facts.

Reader comment on item: Those Danish Cartoons and Me
in response to reader comment: to Chris G

Submitted by Chris G. (United States), Jul 3, 2007 at 12:37

Again, Mr. As, you have a very limited notion of what theology is. Theology has always been highly influenced by culture and vice-versa it influences culture. Much of what Islam is today is due to the contributions and influence of all of those regional cultures that you mention. They are not two things that are totally isolated from each other. That is why anthropology is a holistic social science that tries to look at the complexity of human societies from both a quantitative and humanistic approach. You also continue to show your ignorance of Islam by continuing to mention 72 virgins. That is actually a very weak hadith with low validity. But if you want to believe in it, you and Islamic extremists are free to do so.

Also where in the world did I say that Wikipedia was my only source of information? I checked on the number zero on Wikipedia because often some of the Islamic sources are biased and so I need to check with another source as well. Also, quite frankly I do not have hours to waste going to the library to research the number zero for the sake of a minor argument that is really not part of my research and that I am not interested in. For my research if you want I can post all of my published sources although a few are websites and I'm not sure what the policy is on posting websites for this forum.

At any rate, if you want I can send a private message with all of that. There is no way that I would ever be allowed to graduate if my only source of knowledge was wikipedia.

As for my background in statistics, I am no expert by any means. However my B.A. was in psychology with emphasis on cognitive psychology. The field of cognitive psychology is strongly based on statistical research that goes far beyond correlational research. These were not simple quasi-experimental designs but rather highly controlled experimental designs used to study such things as memory, auditory skills, perception, child development, etc.... This meant designing tests with strong internal/external validity, controlling for a complex range of variables, developing robust sampling criteria, developing coding schemes for behavior using several experimenters, understanding the weaknesses and flaws of various statistical methods, etc.. etc...

My most difficult paper was on the negative priming effect which used a five way ANOVA for its analysis. I'd be happy to send you that paper if I can find it. I have also done some statistical research in archeology as well in the area of lithics analysis. Its an interesting bit of research at a particular site in Northern Mexico called Cerro Juanaquena in which I determined the function of various projectile points using statistical analysis based upon material type, stem width, overall size, and distribution among other factors. I can also probably dig up that paper from my archives if you wish to critique my usage of statistics on that.

Today however I do not do such complex statistical research and it has been many years since I've done any of that. My main usage of statistics in my current research is very limited and more focused on linguistic analysis and population demographics. It is not the centerpiece of my research, which is based on a much more qualitative form of methodology.

Its funny that you keep saying that I use statistics like a 5th grader when you don't point out exactly how this is so but instead use against the strategy of making fun of me to try and delegitimize me. I have yet to see what your credentials are in statistics or in the social sciences. I do not even know what your education level is.

Again, just as I will not argue physics with a physicist (because I'd look like an idiot), you will end up just looking like a fool if you are a physicist arguing about anthropology when you know absolutely nothing but basic knowledge about the field. However, that does not mean that you are stupid or that your opinion is meaningless. I am glad that you have studied Middle Eastern history and I continue to encourage you to do so. Furthermore, your opinion and belief systems are of great value to me when it comes to understanding your (and similar people's) methods of argumentation. I prefer however to discuss issues in a polite rationale manner and not using emotional rhetoric. Productive open-minded discussion on solutions to complex problems is always a lot more interesting then theoretical masturbation.

With you what I have been trying over and over to get you to do is to look at the logical repercussions of what you advocate. What is shocking is that you seem to accept the notion that it could very well lead to a situation in which genocide (and I'm not talking about tens of thousands but rather millions) is a logical solution to you. You base all of this on your apparent belief that Islam is inherently evil and that Muslims must either renounce their religion or die and that you must use Christianity to convert them. Tell me, since you are a history buff, what happened to the early Christians when they were fed to the lions by the Romans and persecuted? Did they renounce their faith or did they get stronger?

1. How are you going to convince Europeans and the rest of the non-Islamic world to go to war against Islam?
2. How do you deal with American Muslims who are American citizens who are born in America? Do we deport them? Kill them? Set up concentration camps specifically for them?
3. How do you force a Muslim to give up his religion using violence and know that his conversion to Christianity is sincere?
4. How do you convince Christians that Jesus Christ commanded them to kill Muslims who do not convert?
5. What do you do with Christians who claim that Christ preached mercy and love towards their enemy as is written in the Book of Mathew?
6. How do you deal with secularists who fight against both Islamic and Christian extremists and who want to build a tolerant society in America (as we have been slowly doing all through our history)?
7. How do we deal with American sympathizers to those of the Islamic faith and who try to defend them?
8. If we remove our secular notion of tolerance, does that mean that we no longer should be tolerant of other minorities who refuse to assimilate with White-American mainstream culture and values? If so, when Mexican-Americans become the majority (as they will be within the near future), will they get to decide that Catholicism is the rule of law for all the land and to not tolerate other Christian sects or religions?

Please answer these questions and we will then look at the logical repercussions of such actions.
I am not commanding you to do so. It's a free country. However if you can't or won't answer these questions it seems that your idea of a solution has no legs to stand on and is based on pure fear, hatred, and ignorance. I have already stated that in contrast my solutions are based upon a step by step experimental approach that can be tried on target Islamic communities and in which methods of delegitimizing Islamic extremists can be refined and improved. On a broad scale, Islamic based counter-propaganda against Al-Qaeda and other extremists, coupled with noble and good diplomatic foreign policy on our part, could significantly reduce the threat of Islamic extremism. This ultimately could very well end the war on terror and with economic incentives, encourage Islamic nations to modernize their legal systems (as Turkey has been doing) and improving their human rights situation. This has already been done in the biggest Islamic nation on earth: Indonesia. I lived there and overall saw a very moderate form of Islam blended in with secular ideas of democracy and government. Did you know that family Shariat courts there also have female Islamic scholars on their panels of judges? They also may have female legal council. There were no stonings, no beheadings,... none of that. I never saw a man with 4 wives, I did not see concubines, I did not, in short, see any horrible savage behavior that you attribute to Muslims. And you want to kill or forcefully convert all of these people? You want to make all of them our enemy? If you really want the rest of America going along with your strategy, the only way it would work is if you help Al-Qaeda carry out more terrorist attacks or stage attacks yourself and kill tens of thousands of America. Then maybe you will get your sick and twisted dream of what America should be like.

Personally, I LOVE America and I swore to defend the constitution from both enemies foreign AND domestic. I believe in the American values of freedom and tolerance and I believe in promoting these values all over the world. But I don't believe in forcing them upon people at the end of a gun as we do now. I believe in gentle encouragement and persuasion through Christian values of love and tolerance. I believe in an America based upon tolerance, but with laws in place to limit extremist ideologies that advocate violence and hatred openly. I also believe in speaking out against human rights issues in places like Iran. But equally so, I believe in speaking out against the even more horrific human rights abuses in places like China. I believe in honest self-evaluation of our own nation and our own problems so that we may become stronger and lead the world not just militarily and economically, but also culturally and spiritually.

The idea of Muslims taking over America is as crazy as the idea of the U.N. taking over America. There never has been and never will be one religion around the world. This belief is blind ignorance of sociodynamics and the natural variance that occurs in any culture no matter how homogenous. Furthermore, emphasis on strong action against ANY new country developing nuclear weapons (including Iran) is absolutely necessary. However there are diplomatic means that can be used before military action becomes necessary. With such strategies, America will remain the world's leader for a very long time.

Chris G.


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Mark my comment as a response to ASsumptions are dangerous when you use them as facts. by Chris G.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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