That's "Skepticism" for You

I'd like to share something I found interesting. And frightening. I came across this in my Twitter feed:

In case it doesn't come through, here is the image included in that tweet:


Anyone who knows or cares about history would understand this is grossly misleading as conflict between Christian and Muslim nations had existed long before the Crusades, and in general, no side of the battles was really "good." This tweet tries to portray Muslims as having harassed Christians in some one-sided conflict for hundreds of years before the Crusades, but in reality, both groups had done terrible things to one another for centuries before the Crusades.

Normally I wouldn't care about such nonsense. I wouldn't even care that this person says we should ban Islam, one of the most popular religions in the entire world. The reason I cared this time was I don't follow that person. I follow a proliferate global warming "skeptic" named Barry Woods, who retweeted it. I won't dwell on how Woods is, but he writes a lot to promote the "skeptic" Side of the global warming debate, and one of the common things he talks about is how people on his side are silenced, censored and/or oppressed. That made me interested so I responded:

The idea of banning a religion in any free society is insane. Woods defended the tweet, leading me to say:

The discussion ended with this wonderful close:

So yeah, global warming "skeptic" who likes to complain people on his side are unfairly treated and prevented from participating in discussions due to censorship is willing to support and promote banning an entire religion.

This isn't just a matter of the idea of banning Islam being disgusting and insane in any free society. It's also a matter of how a "skeptic" shamelessly promotes obvious nonsense. The person who posted that tweet posts all sorts of things anyone who isn't entirely close-minded would recognize as bunk. For instance, another tweet from the person today says:

For those who don't know, Islam has dietary restrictions like Judaism does. In the United Kingdom, "halal" meat has become popular due to (amongst other things) it meeting those restrictions. This person wants you to believe that's a scam because the Koran says a Muslim can eat whatever they want if they are hungry. You're an idiot if you believe that.

I'm serious about that. The idea dietary restrictions exist only until you start to feel hungry is absurd. Anyone who uses the slightest amount of critical thinking could probably figure out what I'm about to tell you. Here is the image attached to that tweet:


Notice how the parts of the text highlighted in this image do discuss how a Muslim can eat things contrary to their dietary restrictions. Notice, it also says the obvious: They can do so when forced by hunger. All that means is a Muslim doesn't have to start to death if there is food they could eat which is prohibited by their dietary restriction.

That a Muslim can eat whatever is available if the alternative is starvation in no way makes halal meat a scam. Most Muslims in the United Kingdoms aren't starving to death. Anyone with the slightest interest in the truth would see through nonsense like this. This person chooses to embrace the nonsense instead. It doesn't matter why they do so, but it does matter why someone like Barry Woods would ever promote the things they say.

The moral of the story is don't expect "skeptics" to be skeptical of things. Don't expect people who complain about censorship and oppression to support freedom for everyone. Don't expect people who complain about insults and abuse to refrain from such themselves. Odds are any time you hear someone complain about any sort of behavior, they'd tolerate, if not defend and promote, that behavior when it suits them.

By the way, that's why writing posts on this blog is probably a waste of time.


  1. Brandon, I live in Europe and I can tell you Islamism is a dangerous development for the Western society. The Islam religion is totally incompatible to the Western life style. Islam has never gone through the "Enlightment" which Christianity has. Westeners approach Islam with an open visor, Islam is just the other way, the have a hidden agenda. The migrant problem is now grown into a full blown invasion of mostly young viral men between 20-25 year, which has already lead to countless cases of rape and violence, not mentioning other crimes. Crime statistiques show that muslim people are percentage wise the highest of all criminals.

    Probably you approach this from a theoretical point of view that nóthing is allowed to be banned, but when you have to deal with it in real life, you would think different about it.

    Most likely you disagree with me, but think about it when you are confronted with the problem im real life, yourself.

  2. Hoi Polloi, I'm afraid you won't convince anybody of anything you would like them to believe by making wide-swathed remarks about a religion while suggesting they've never encountered it before. The reality is I've been well-acquainted with Islam for far longer than the anti-Islamic movement we see nowadays has existed. What you say about it is simply wrong and bigoted. Nobody with any real interest in Islam or just accuracy in general would say such a thing. (Heck, what you say about Christianity/westerners isn't even true.)

    There may be a real concern about people coming from a certain area and how they may or may not assimilate, but as long as people like you exaggerate things and misrepresent the Islamic religion, people will dismiss you as bigoted nutjobs. This is particularly true given the anti-Islamic narrative in many mirrors the xenophobic narratives that have accompanied nearly every wave of immigration to any country.

    I get people can cherry-pick examples and find anecdotes which support their pre-conceived beliefs, but I believe in evidence. The evidence rarely supports anti-Islamic claims, and it is often misrepresented or twisted in obvious ways. For instance, your claim Muslims have the highest crime rates will likely sound disingenuous to anyone from America who has heard the typical racist narratives against black people as they will understand that has little to do with race and far more to do with the socio-economic situation of black people.

    Incidentally, many of the same people I"Ve seen promote this anti-Islamic narrative have promoted things like Donald Trump's claim to have seen Muslims celebrating on rooftops after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. Those claims are completely false. There was never any reason to believe them. That is one of the things people need to stop doing if they want to convince many others their views are not tied to xenophobia or bigotry.

  3. Brandon, You are just wrong and rather ignorant on this issue. Just as Nazism was a dangerous ideology, Islam has many of the same dangerous elements. After WWII, many Nazi officers went to Egypt and joined Nassar's quest to finish the final solution in the Middle East. There is a tendency to whitewash the alliance between Nazism and Islam and to think Islam just like all other religions is irrelevant and impotent (a peculiarly modern form of ignorance). You do yourself a disservice by showing your ignorance of religion and silly insistence that Islam is not the sole source of serious and deadly anti-Semitism in the modern world. It is a dangerous ideology. Get a life and actually learn something.

  4. I believe the stories. The only reasons I have to not believe is that they would not want to do so visibly and that they were maybe too close geographically that they would feel personally attacked. I know non-Muslim foreigners who celebrated the attacks.
    For that matter, I consider some of Donald Trump's advisers to have celebrated, particularly Newt Gingrich, who was calling it a new Pearl Harbor.

  5. David Young, I am certain your excessive rhetoric will convince somebody of something. What it will convince them of, I do not know. I suspect it will not be anything you would like. Perhaps if you could try doing something more than flailing your arms and insulting people you might get somewhere.

    MikeN, there isn't the slightest shred to support Donald Trump's claims of people celebrating the attack on rooftops. The story arose from nothing more than a person reporting that they saw it to police, a report which there was never any evidence for. There is always a large number of inaccurate reports you get after any major event, and there is absolutely no reason to think this is any different. Even if the story were true, it certainly wasn't televised for Donald Trump to have seen like he claims. What Trump says is indisputably false.

    If you wish to believe a rumor based on nothing but some vague gossip, you can. You'd be a fool to though. And in you're foolishness, you'll be helping spread hatred and distrust for Muslims in the United States. Even worse, I suspect if the ethnic group were anything other than "Muslim," you wouldn't believe the story. If that's true, you're not just inadvertently helping spread bigotry - you're engaging in it.

  6. No I do believe it for ethnic groups other than Muslims as well. Like I said, I know people who did so.
    A large proportion of immigrants simply do not have a connection to America and do not think of themselves as American in any way. They are here just to make money.

  7. Brandon, You just said nothing in response to my comment because its substance is correct. Islam has tried since the 1940's (in alliance with Nazi Germany) to implement the "final solution" in the Middle East. After 1945, they were assisted by numerous former SS officers. I suggest you read some history and stop your ignorant misrepresentations. Do you actually know anything about Islam other than that it is a "religion." A thought experiment for you: Why are all Islamic majority countries so backward and totalitarian. Why do many support terrorism? And what is with the anti-Semitism? And the slavery in Sudan, the genital mutilation of women? What about the death penalty for homosexuals? I guess you think all religions are equally brutal and primitive. If so you are very ignorant and uninterested in correcting your errors.

  8. MikeN, this is a specific and significant story for which there has never been any evidence. If you wish to not only believe it, but expand upon it, you can. I have no idea how you'd justify it though.

    David Young, you may think there is substance to your comment, but if there is any, I don't see it buried amongst your pathetic rhetoric. That you think you can read my mind to discern that I secretly know there is such substance and simply choose to ignore it is silly. If you wish to have a discussion, try not acting in such a belligerent and obnoxious manner. And perhaps try talking about something that is actually being discussed rather than just trying to divert a discussion into a talk about Nazism.

  9. There is substance to my comment. You can easily check that by looking up the Mufti of Jerusalem and the history of former SS officers in Egypt. I'm surprised that you show no curiosity about this subject.

  10. David Young, whether or not any particular facts in your comment are accurate doesn't determine if there is any substance to your comment. The issue is whether or not you said anything that addresses the substantive points of what was discussed in this post. I don't see it, but perhaps you could highlight it by separating out whatever substance you think I should be interested in from the rhetoric and insults.

    I'm pretty sure you don't want a discussion though. Your behavior here all but guarantees nobody would choose to have one with you.

  11. What I believe is there were many (thousands if not tens of thousands) of Muslims in America as well as other foreigners who celebrated after 9/11. This doesn't mean a rooftop party, but they were generally ok with it. I could modify the definition of 'celebrate' and include Newt Gingrich, Obama's pastor who said 'the chickens have come home to roost', and maybe Ron Paul 'They're over here because we're over there.'

  12. MikeN, the discussion was about a specific story Donald Trump told. You responded to this discussion by saying:

    I believe the stories.

    I really don't care if you want to say you believe something other than what was being discussed happened. You're welcome to believe whatever you want. I just don't get why you'd pretend to be talking about the specific story in question while actually talking about something else entirely.

  13. MikeN, he said he saw thousands of people in New Jersey celebrating on television as the buildings come down. He then tweeted about how reports of rooftop celebrations proved he was right. My memory conflated his tweeted narrative with the spoken narrative, but it doesn't change anything about the substance of what is being discussed. Donald Trump specifically claimed to have seen Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the attacks on television. That never happened.

    If it had happened, it'd be trivially easy for Trump's staff to find footage of such celebrations. By this point, Such footage would be widely available given how much people have discussed this. Trump's story is clearly false. There is no evidence anyone in New Jersey was celebrating as the buildings came down, and it is completely impossible for Trump to have seen such celebrations on television.

  14. Branson. I said I wished Islam did not exist.. which is not the same as banning it.. I also said specifically on more than one occasion in response to 'wanting to bsn it' that banning it would be counterproductive. And that it would be better to laugh it out of existence.. but keep cherry picking tweets and misrepresenting me. If it makes you feel good about yourself.

  15. Barry Woods, it's a bit weird for you to comment so long after discussions have stopped, but in case anyone does visit this page, I should point out your response here is misleading. You claim I have cherry-picked quotations and misrepresented you, yet you do nothing to indicate what I have said that is inaccurate. That is not how one goes about pointing out someone's errors.

    This post correctly notes you took no issue with the idea of banning Islam, going out of your way to defend the idea as not wrong or insane. That you might think banning a religion would be ineffective does nothing to change that you don't think it would be wrong to ban the religion. Banning a religion is not acceptable for people who wish to have a free society or open exchange of ideas. That you don't feel it would be wrong for any reason other than practical ones deserves attention and scorn.

    You are free to think otherwise, but if you want people to believe what someone has said is wrong, you will likely need to do more than wave your hands. It's not like you're afraid to post walls of text discussing points. You do it all the time. Often with points nobody else is discussing. Surely you could spare a few sentences for this one.

  16. Barry Woods, a rule of this site is don't post links/quotations without contribution of your own. Doing so is considered spam. If you wish to provide links, you need to explain what they are/what you think people should take from them.

  17. Brandon, I find it odd that you can't respond to the content of what I said. Your focus on Barry Woods is also odd and legalistic.

    Islam is an ideology that has historically been aggressively pursued through violence, war, and general death and persecution. In the last 30 years we have seen an uptick in barbarity in the name of Islam, but this is not historically out of character. The record is clear and it has nothing to do with Christianity. Nazism is likewise an evil ideology that is still around but that is relegated to the fringe by society generally. That we can't see the parallels between Nazi ideology and Islamist ideology is a peculiar modern narrow mindedness. This also sheds light on the history of Islam and Christianity. Islam actively persecuted Christians and Jews from the beginning. Banning Islam would probably work in some societies such as Germany which bans all kinds of ideologies and groups. Won't work in the US. We have Nazis in the US, but they are shamed and pushed underground. That's probably a good thing.

    Tell me pray tell, why are virtually all Islamic countries bastions of repression, intolerance, violence, and warfare? Has nothing changed since the 7th century for the religion of submission? You can't because you are focusing on something small and irrelevant a characteristic of small minds.

  18. David Young, you may find it odd, but many people are capable of seeing through the stupid sort of games you play. We could delve into the long history of trollish behavior you use to belittle people while pretending to actually participate in discussions, but I don't think anyone would be interested. If people doubt my judgment of your behavior, I can defend it, but there's no point in me doing so for you.

    If you engage people in a reasonable manner, they will likely respond to you. If you do otherwise, they may chosoe not to respond to you. They may also choose to respond to you by simply criticizing your behavior. This should not surprise you.

  19. I assumed the links would just embed the tweet, me saying bans do nor work.. not intending just to have a url showing , the tweet was the comment.

    1st tweet said:

    bans don't work.. I think world would be a better place without Islam.. simple.. @Corpus_no_Logos

  20. Barry Woods, whether or not a tweet would embed, it is never sufficient on this site to post an excerpt from anything without providing one's own content to indicate what meaning they intend to convey with their source. It is not difficult to add at least sentence or two of explanation, and it is required here.

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