Thursday, 4 February 2016

Christopher Hitchen, and some criticism.

Response to a Christian fanatic about Christopher Hitchens, the response is from under a video on youtube about Islam and Muhammad, in which Hitchens refutes much of Islam's foundations, as you may expect many of the comments under the video are from Bigots, racists, Muslim Fanatics, and Chrstian nutbars, here I respond to one who such criticism of Hitchens. 


Some People makes slightly silly claims, some of those are directed towards authors, oddly they seek out the videos related to them, and add poorly thought out Youtube comments, in this case Mr. A*** makes a point about Christopher Hitchens, he claims, “This man is virtually an illiterate. Whose claim to fame is an unresearched book. He was a hack writer in Vanity Fair magazine and left no legacy worth the mention. Good riddance.” Criticism of this kind may seem pointless, it largely is, since the person only uses a few facts and ignore the criticised person's career, in this case I respond by pointing out he was an imperfect, if quite good journalist, author of various books on various topics.
“He was a journalist with some notable errors in his writing, or over simplifications, and yet, he strikes many topics very well, expressing concern over some very mistaken beliefs. I personally don't think the judgement upon the man, Hitchens, is best expressed as he was simply a hack and left no legacy, the fact that he material is still in book stores disproves the legacy point, the hack claim is subjective at best.”

“He wrote on George Orwell, Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine, in a number of books, as well a many articles that were sometimes far from serious, or to be taken as fully serious. Such as the duty he was given to argue that women aren't funny, he also did some things like breaking antiqued New York laws, such as riding through central part with your feet of the peddles, and a story on male waxing. Journalists aren't always serious, when they are they can express well some very good points, Hitchens was good at this, and changed his position on many topics, showing that he was a fair journalist, and a freethinker.”

“So fair, even if he was a heavy drinker and smoker, and god seemed to give him the most obvious death anyone could imagine, a cancer that was the same as his father's, and related to smoking and drinking, and I dare say his weight didn't help either. It seems that he made a good impact over his life, even if some wealth and a little fame was only true for his last decade."

Writting my first book?

[A quick, first draft of an article about writing]

Even though me grammar and speiling aren't not bad, I thought "Why not."

I have published on a few websites my thoughts before, more as a joke or for personal use, I have tried fiction, and as a topic, writing a story about Tibetan spiritual minced with a kind of ghost story, I wrote that while a bit in intoxicated, but I haven't wrote a well thought out book for public sale.  My project started in 2014, writing thoughts as a long winded, and somewhat pointless, philosophy, needless to say, I ended up putting that idea to bed, I had after rounding it down only a small number of pages, I figured that starting over may be for the best.  My next attempt was from the spring of 2015, I used arguments rather than drawn out reasoning, then through second and third draft corrected errors, added facts, and generally steadied up the work to a level that was acceptable, in most cases following edits have been required, and extra pages added. 

By early 2016 I have a great amount of work to use for my book, many points expand into other areas of thought, and a large part of my book is arguing against bad reasoning, as well as checking and double checking what I think I know.  Fact checking has gone up, I'm less impulsive since I started writing, and in many ways more peaceful in terms of my psychological well being, oddly, the liberation of writing seems to offer psychological benefit, and as I use doubt and reason as my way to peel my stresses.  Much of this being the deep marks left in my life due to religion, as well as other paranormal beliefs that we in affect encouraged in my early life, making my focus on magical solutions, how can you cure depression by believing it's something which can be cured by prayer?!
So I dare say I have some biases that will shrine through in my work, not least, the value of rationality above that of mysticism. 

[At this point I thought it best to continue this line of thought in my writings, I will add an update soon.]

Proving Jesus by knocking down Alexander The Great.

[second draft from a book of arguments I've had on the internet, mostly on youtube and facebook]

Jesus Vs. Alexander.

There are so many great arguments for God or Jesus that many classics are found from the parroting comments on youtube, for example “Sorry little to no evidence for the life of Jesus? There's more evidence he existed then there is for Alexander the Great. But Since we like to go on about amount of Evidence it must be assumed Alexander is a storybook character that never existed.” My response was to point out that we have a large amount of evidence for Alexander The Great, “scrolls, coins, inscriptions, tablets, statues of Alexander”, and the best source for the actual existence for Jesus is Josephus, who chronicled Jewish history while working for the Romans, his work covered mostly the first century, the Jewish-Roman wars and uprisings. Josephus offers a near Christ era historical account, however scholar opinions differ on the total or partial authenticity of the account itself, the general opinion is that the account is utterly false, and some say it was changed, but in any case it is the nearest thing to historical evidence. I pointed out that Alexander, who is evident over 2300 years after his death due to kingship of a vast empire that traded from Greece all the way to Western India, and the best Christianity can do is use the bible and shaky historical accounts to try to suggest Jesus existed at all, we would still not have evidence for miracles. I continue “If he didn't exist then it makes no difference, because I don't worship Alexander, nor any historical character, whereas, you seem to”, and “if there's evidence that puts to bed Alexander, or any other historical character, then it's something we can learn from”. 

Skeptic vs. Spirituality group on facebook

New Age Sceptic

enough said, the group has been up for months, over a hundred people on it, a dozen or so regulars, and about half a dozen admins, and I have one rule, well two by technicality; don't spam, keep the posts relevant.  

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Fear Mongering Over Muslims???

Muslim Take Over? No.

Official and independent figures for immigration show that the claims made by right-wing groups are wrong when they suggest that the United Kingdom will be over run by Islam, they often say “By 2030 the UK will be mostly Muslim.”, even though the evidence is by 2040 they may well be level with Christian in the UK.

The mistake is that many figures expressed on facebook and twitter are made to fit far-right politics, so the average guys reads a story on facebook and parrots this on twitter or in a forum, the “Majority.” claim is completely false, and is not fact based, the rate of increase between 2001 and 2011 was massive, the Muslim community increased by one million people, much of this is due to birth rates. The figures for Muslims in the UK in 2001 were at 1.6 million people, this reached 2.7 million by 2011, for arguments sake we may be able to say that over 3 million Muslims live in the UK by 2016. For this rate of increase to become to majority will take decades, far more than two or three, and the Christian population is shrinking, the non-believers are becoming a larger chunk of the UK population every year, indeed some figure suggest over a quarter of the UK is non-religious.

So even if the Christian population remained static at about 30 million people from any form of the Christian faith, for that 3 million Muslims to become 30 million, if doubling every ten years, will take over 30 years, in reality an increase of over half per decade means that it will be much longer, and much longer still considering population increases to the Christians, and other communities, to be the majority in the UK will take far longer than that. If this doubling idea with the Muslim community repeated as a standard increase decade on decade, then it would still take an extremely long period, maybe a century, for Islam to over take the rest.

It's worth noting that most Muslims are not a great danger to all you hold dear, strong law and order will keep criminals of every community in order, educating the population that we should respect free choice can iron out many of our differences, and not treating any community unfairly will limit a sense of victimisation, which can be the problem Muslim face with the unclear media and biases in the tabloid press. One comparison between crimes and a people is that of Catholics, there are over four million Roman Catholics, and there have been many cases of paedophiles in the Priesthood, and yet, no one in their right mind would say the average Catholic is pro-child rape. With the Muslim Community, globally, there are more Muslims than Catholics, the Catholic population is about a billion people, the Muslim population is 1.8 billion people, although figures vary, and in my opinion, it is not fair to compare Muslims in the UK to the highly politically charged events of the third world and radicalism of the Middle East.

It is unreasonable to compare many millions of Muslims to suicide bombers just because they were born into a family of Muslims, since the figures for Muslim suicide bombers accounts for over four thousand attackers, from Syria to Indonesia, from Afghanistan to Nigeria, and out of a diverse religion that has many schools of thought and no strict unity, even within the biggest sect, the Sunni, a hand full are not representative. Consider the Rivalry between Muslim nations, how different perspectives cause divides between Sunni nations, how different powers, such as Saudi Arabia, use religion as a tool to extend influence beyond political boarders, Islam in that way is not unlike Christianity, there are many shades within the faith. The main difference may be that Muslims often claim the Quran is the perfect word of god, so interpretation doesn't make sense, so many schools of thought have differing methods of selecting verses, some cling to the peaceful ones, other insist the verses relating to holy war and martyrdom are more important and relevant. In this way, the Muslim faith is divided, mean that for one to compare Muslims to suicide bombers you must be specific about which ones, what is their deeper ideology. This is often where people confuse the issues, since politics and religion are more often than not locked together, political religious views are both religious and political by definition, it's apologetics to say radical Muslims are not Muslim, and just as unrealistic to call it purely religious,since the action upon a belief in the political arena makes it political.

We should be sceptical of such claims about any community, and fact check as much as we can, avoid being carried by emotionality, avoid being driven by bias elements of the media, and try to not be impulsive when we read only half of the facts. This still means we can be doubtful, very doubtful of Islam, and keep secular principles close, but be fair in this multi-cultural society. 

[a first draft]