I Never Thought I Would Say This ...
Muslim 4 Life

Absurd Freedoms

Cafe Alpha on exchanging words with Muslims via You Tube:

I had said that freedom of speech has to include the freedom to insult the prophet - that there has to be a right to criticize and even insult religion, a right to heresy, for there to be freedom of thought, religion, secular education that includes rational thought, and even debate and secular democracy.

And she responded by laughing at me, saying that there can't be anything more absurd than a "freedom to insult". She talked about people getting along (as did the first guy, and insults and didn't even mention the prophet, but I can see that she hasn't even the first inkling of the concept of freedom of speech. None at all, it doesn't even register as an idea, just as something that completely fails the laugh test.

When I came to the West, words and terms like Liberty, Classical Liberalism, Free Speech, Secularism, and Human Rights meant nothing to me. I had simply never heard or read about them at the time.

It took me years to learn and comprehend their meaning. Only then could I verbalize why Western Civilization was superior to the Islamic hells on Earth. Before then, I certainly had the sense to see that the West was better but I couldn't actually explain why.

In Islamic nations, well certainly in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, history starts with, and is almost entirely composed of, Islam. Most aren't familiar with the great ideas that have advanced humanity and brought the Anglo world to such prominence today. Instead one finds numerous conspiracy theories for the thieving infidels and the victimized Muslims.

A noxious result one witnesses is Muslims who love to arrive and live in the West while simultaneously loathing the foundations on which it is built. I once had an unreal conversation with a fellow who had green cards for his family. This guy was terribly worried about the planning and headache of moving to America ... and he hoped that the Jihadists in Afghanistan defeat the Americans, so they could enforce the glorious sharia.

I was left speechless.

I don't think we can rhetorically teach them these concepts so that they understand and , maybe, appreciate them. That is one of the reasons why I haven't geared my blog towards Muslims since the result will be fruitless. (Plus, talking to people who don't even agree with your right to breath is not healthy.)


Cafe Alpha

Well, not as many westerners know about those concepts as I thought did either.

I think American education used to emphasize that stuff a bit more than it does now.

Saul Wall

Western schools don't even teach reason anymore. While they give great lip service to "critical thinking" they never actually teach what sophistries, fallacies, and arguments are.

I am excited about the project to translate the so-called Western Cannon of literature into Arabic which is a language with very little inward translation of foreign works. I think the project is mostly along the lines of traditional publishing but hopefully someone will pick up the idea for a free version of core Western works like classics in literature and philosophy and artistic works with editorial and historical context online in Arabic. Keeping it in a form that is accessible to youth would be helpful even if it means (gasp) visual illustrations of people.

Cafe Alpha

I don't think we can rhetorically teach them these concepts so that they understand and , maybe, appreciate them. That is one of the reasons why I haven't geared my blog towards Muslims since the result will be fruitless.

That's very depressing. My hope for the future of the Muslim world, for peace in the world as a whole, was based on the idea that new generations will learn new ideas - that since men can learn, but no one can unlearn, eventually the bigotry and violence and malice of Islam will at some point, seem indefensible to the whole world.

I find some hope in just restating the principle:
"Survival of the fittest" is a special case in evolution of a more general principle "survival of the stable state."

Freedom, modernity are more stable states than ignorance and superstition are, and thus, eventually, Islam is doomed.

Cafe Alpha

Of course Europe could be moving in the opposite direction because the more modern people aren't having children and letting themselves be physically replaced by the ignorant.

It is amazing to look at birth statistics. The US has about replacement birth, at something like 2.1 births per two adults. Saudi Arabia tops the list (or at least at the top of a recent survey) at 4.5 births, and Japan is somewhere near the bottom at 1.3.

You know, it is an amazing bit of stupidity that people failed to notice that allowing the population to shrink too quickly has disastrous consequences.

Classical Liberal

I don't think the main problem is letting the population shrink, though of course that does bring some problems and economic shifts.

Japan is beginning to deal with those now. However, in a hundred years Japan will still be Japan. Europe, however, may very well not be Europe anymore in just a few decades. That's because the real problem is a very low birth rate combined with mass immigration of peoples with very high birth rates.

The U.S. is also facing profound demographic shifts, though not as severe as several of the dying cultures of Europe. In the U.S. we still have many groups that value continuing their culture by having children. Plus, the main immigrant group that is moving here, welcome or not, is not as alien to our civilization as the groups moving to Europe are to their civilization.

And who can the U.S. thank more than anyone else for opening up the doors to this drastic change? A certain fat, alcoholic senator who lets women drown rather than face a drunk-driving charge, that's who.

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