Jach's personal blog

(Largely containing a mind-dump to myselves: past, present, and future)
Current favorite quote: "Supposedly smart people are weirdly ignorant of Bayes' Rule." William B Vogt, 2010

We should probably be burning the Qur'an

By "we" I mean the US government, officially. We should also spam this image around; print out millions of copies and attach one to each of the US-funded air-dropped care packages to Muslim groups.

What's the goal? The goal is either how can we get more Muslims to be atheists, or how can we get the proportion of the minority of violent Muslims to regular Muslims to be about the same as the minority of violent Christians to regular Christians. The intent is to piss people off.

Will this anger people? Yup! I don't think it will actually cause violence, though. My reasoning is that for a person so far gone that they're willing to commit violent acts like suicide bombing, burning or not burning a book isn't going to change that. But if those extremists want to infantize their movement and make it about something as silly as burning a book, let them be silly, it will hurt their movement as saner Muslims realize it's just a book and there are millions more as well as infinite digital copies.

I have nothing against the Qur'an itself. It is just a book after all, but even so I wouldn't ever want to eliminate it from the world. Thankfully it lives in the digital world so it will be around forever regardless of how effective a Qur'an book burning extravaganza becomes.

The burning is just a symbol for the symbol-minded. It is meant to inflame people's minds and weed out the irrational. Many Muslims have legitimate reasons to hate on the USA (at least its government's practices) and other western countries, it is for these legitimate reasons that they are able to gather such support and convince people to take their own lives in a suicide attack. If these extremists want to hurt their own movement by making the book burning the primary issue, instead of the legitimate issues, by all means let them, it will only hurt their cause by making them look ridiculous and they'll have a fairly hard time convincing people to kill themselves over a book.

Even in crazy places like Egypt, just because 80% of the population is in favor of the death penalty for former-Muslims who renounce their faith, doesn't mean 80% of the population would actually pull the trigger. People will express outrage at the book burning but very few will actually do anything about it.

On the other hand, maybe I give too much credit to Muslims. This would indeed be a surprise, but not outside the realm of decent possibility.

There's a big difference between homo sapien and human, which are things we are. (In contrast, "humane" is something we wish to be.) Muslim extremists are the former, non-violent conscious individuals are the latter. Humans aren't any more than chimps born with the ability to do math, reason, or consider the moralities of killing others--they get these abilities by being raised in a decent culture with a tremendous amount of background knowledge that has piled up. It is this reason why such a distinction between our species and the term "human" is important--if we are not humans, we are the same species, but we are violent, rampaging animals. Muslim extremists are such, as are Christian extremists, as are soldiers who fight the wars of other men.

Every time we deny reason, every time we deny conscience, we slip back to the raw homo sapien form. This has been one of my annoyances with American culture over the past X years, in the sense of its increasing submission to "political correctness". How such a horrible term gained acquisition I'll never know--there is nothing correct about being "politically correct". But we saw it again with the President of the United States apologizing for accidental book burning, as if we're somehow responsible. There's giving a sympathetic apology "I'm sorry" to a friend who just broke up, and there's being a pathetic weakling caving to mad homo sapiens over something not your fault nor the fault of anyone under your command. Mr. President, will you at least extend a sympathetic "I'm sorry" to the homeless people who died this winter who could have benefited from a warm fire fueled by Qur'ans and Bibles?

If we're not careful, America will become just like Egypt. It's already a worrying state of affairs when someone as sick and vile as Rick Santorum can rise as a serious contender for President.

So maybe I'm overestimating Muslims, maybe all the two billion Muslims are so brain-dead that they are in fact homo sapiens and not humans. I don't believe this, I'd find it very surprising, but I can't rule out the possibility. Only with the actual experiment of a massive book-burning could we find out for sure.

Will I lead the charge? No. For one, and the big reason, I have no political clout. Two, while I'm not particularly attached to my own existence, I'm not that unattached. Okay, I don't really fear death threats, but I don't want to deal with them. Chances are it'll be just my luck this post gains some traction and overloads my blog anyway, so I'll have to deal with dumb commenters (maybe by actually burning a Qur'an and posting a video), but I needed to rant. Reason hasn't worked against these violent Muslim freaks, military force can't (and empirically hasn't), so what's left? I don't know, but the USA government officially burning the Qur'an seems like as good a place to start experimenting as any. Come on Mr. President, do it during your next State of the Union address and say you represent America while doing it. It'll be some epic trolling that'll be sure to get your name in the history books for something other than "first black president" and "denied the civil liberties of American Citizens".

Posted on 2012-02-29 by Jach

Tags: rant, religion


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