Bombings and biased samples

| 244 Comments

Jerry Coyne, over at Why Evolution is True, has a post up entitled “Islam apparently behind Boston bombing.” He writes,

Well, Islam now seems to really be behind what happened in Boston. According to my news feed from CNN:

Boston bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev conveyed to investigators that no international terrorist groups were behind the attacks, a U.S. government source told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev indicated his older brother, Tamerlan, was the driving force behind the attacks and wanted to defend Islam from attack, the source said.

The 19-year-old was “alert, mentally competent and lucid,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler found during a brief initial court appearance in Tsarnaev’s hospital room. During the hearing, he communicated mostly by nodding his head.

How many times do we have to learn this lesson? By all accounts the Tsarnaev brothers were creditable students, good athletes, and seemingly nice people. That is, of course, until they fell into the grips of Islam. As Steve Weinberg says, “For good people to do evil things–that takes religion.”

It’s only a matter of time before the faitheists and apologists start clamoring that what was really behind the attacks was politics and Western imperialism–anything but faith. We should start taking these terrorists at their word instead of confecting soothing reasons why religion wasn’t to blame.

Well, Coyne managed to jump to the stereotypical New Atheist conclusion before anyone got around to making the prediction. Coyne thinks he knows where to place the blame: Islam in general, and religion in general.

However, there’s a problem with jumping to this conclusion.

Today I listened to a story on NPR’s All Things Considered (here), which interviewed a reporter on the extensive Wall Street Journal report (here) which interviewed many people in Cambridge, Mass., who knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The NPR story mentioned some interesting incidents involving the older brother (who presumably was the main instigator), Tamerlan Tsarnaev:

2:00

NPR’s Robert Siegal: Today’s story recounts Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s vocal opposition to devout Muslims supporting American holidays. He did it in a mosque I gather, he did it elsewhere. It was known to people.

WSJ’s Anton Troianovski: That was one of the interesting things I found in Cambridge. He frequented a Halal meat shop. The shopkeeper there told me a story from last Thanksgiving time. On his meat counter he had posted a sign, advertising Thanksgiving turkeys. And Tamerlan, he said, came in, spotted the sign, and grew angry. He referred to the Thanksgiving turkeys as “kuffar”, an arabic reference to non-Muslims.

And it was around that time, actually, that Tamerlan had his first outburst in that mosque, at Friday prayers. The speaker at the Friday sermon was saying that we, this congregation, just as we celebrate Mohammed’s birthday, we can celebrate American holidays, like July 4 and Thanksgiving. Tamerlan stood up and protested, and said he disagreed with celebrating Mohammed’s birthday, as well as celebrating these American holidays.

[…]

3:30

WSJ’s Anton Troianovski: To go back to those outbursts at the mosque, you know, there were two times that he did the highly unusual thing of interrupting the sermon, at the Friday prayer. The first time being that sermon about American holidays, the second time being, in January, when the speaker compared Martin Luther King Jr. to the prophet Mohammed.

We get another account of these events in the Wall Street Journal piece:

Around this time, Tamerlan grew more confrontational in his religious beliefs. Ruslan Tsarni, the boys’ uncle, said he realized in 2009 that Tamerlan had changed and was spewing “this radical crap.” People who knew him say Tamerlan would express outrage when he perceived a religious slight and was critical of Muslim immigrants’ efforts to assimilate in the U.S.

In one incident last November, Tamerlan confronted a shopkeeper at a Middle Eastern grocery store in Cambridge, near a mosque where he sometimes prayed, after seeing a sign there advertising Thanksgiving turkeys.

“Brother, why did you put up this sign?” the shopkeeper, Abdou Razak, recalled him asking angrily. “This is kuffar”–an Arabic reference to non-Muslims–“that’s not right!”

At Friday prayers that month, Tamerlan stood up and challenged a sermon in which the speaker said that, just like “we all celebrate the birthday of the Prophet, we can also celebrate July 4 and Thanksgiving,” according to Yusufi Vali, a mosque spokesman. Mr. Vali said Tamerlan stated that he “took offense to celebrating anything,” be it the Prophet’s birthday (which not all Muslims celebrate) or American holidays.

Tamerlan also protested at Friday prayers in January, around the Martin Luther King Day holiday, when a speaker compared the civil-rights leader with the Prophet Muhammad, Mr. Vali said. Tamerlan interrupted the sermon and called the speaker a hypocrite, while some in the congregation shouted back, “You’re the hypocrite!” Mr. Vali said.

That was Tamerlan’s last outburst at the mosque, according to Mr. Vali. He said a respected member of the community told Tamerlan afterward, “If this happens again, you’re out.”

Pretty much by accident, these stories have given us some information about the religious Muslim community in which Tamerlan Tsarnaev was located in Cambridge. This information includes:

  1. The leaders preaching the mosque were patriots who advocated celebration of American holidays.
  2. The leaders preaching in the mosque also advocated celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., who is of course a pioneer of civil rights and nonviolence.
  3. Almost certainly, we can infer that these views are the views of the vast majority of the mosque’s membership, as this is usually how the leaders of a religious community get to be leaders (and/or, people who disagree with the leaders leave the religious community). (And there is the guy at the butcher shop, celebrating Thanksgiving.)
  4. In addition, not only can we infer #3, but we get a sense of how unusual Tamerlan’s behavior was – even if someone disagreed with a sermon, standing up in the middle and, in an outburst, interrupting the speaker, is extremely unusual. I suspect it is about as unusual as it would be in a Christian sermon (I’ve never heard of such a case). I think it’s safe to say that Tamerlan was very offended by what he was being taught in the mosque.
  5. Finally, the leadership pushed back against Tamerlan’s outbursts, and said if it happened again he’d be kicked out.

In summary:

Coyne’s version of the truth: Islam in general and religion in general can safely be blamed for the Boston Marathon bombings.

NPR / Wall Street Journal version of the truth: Both the leadership and congregation of the Cambridge mosque that Tamerlan Tsarnaev attended were pro-American, pro-patriotism, and pro-civil rights/nonviolence leader Martin Luther King Jr. Tamerlan opposed what he heard in his mosque. He did what he did in spite of what he heard at his mosque, not because of it.

This raises other troubling questions for Coyne and people who think similarly:

  • Which is more fair to take as representative of American Muslims? The (presumably) hundreds of patriotic Muslims and leadership of the mosque? Or the nutjob who opposed what the mosque said?
  • Which is more fair to take as representative of religious people in general?
  • If you base your opinion of Islam in general, or religion in general, on a biased sample of violent nutjobs, what are you doing?
  • How would you feel if someone took the actions of some violent atheist nutjob(s) and used it to smear atheism in general? (Actually, this isn’t hypothetical, Christian fundamentalists do this all the time.) It’s the exact same tactic that Coyne is using, just in reverse.
  • What do you call it when Christian fundamentalists use this tactic on atheists?

244 Comments

That’s one side, but really just one side. Clearly one has to consider what Tamerlan was hearing from his mother (who apparently had become more religious–I don’t know how, it just seems to have affected him, even if she were entirely pacific about it), what he was reading/watching on the web, and certainly what he might have experienced with Muslims in Chechnya (or thereabout), before one would know what sort of impact religion had upon him.

Of course I’m not agreeing with Coyne, especially since Tamerlan seems at present to have been the pivotal individual, and is/would be in that sense quite singular. What’s been his experiences, what was his brain like, what was his cultural background and perceptions of purported grievances, hopes, sense of solidarity? It’s complex, but that also means that the religious aspect is also complex, and can’t be simply be counted as unimportant to his criminal behavior just because he appears to have been “fringe” in the American-Muslim community that he knew.

Basically I’m saying that we don’t know, because we can’t know, yet, if ever.

Glen Davidson

Oh, I’m absolutely sure religion played a role. Tamerlan was, I gather, certainly influenced by radical, extremist versions of Islam. But blaming the bombings on Islam in general or religion in general is rather like blaming the crimes of communism on atheism. Or, cripes, think of how many times right-wingers have tried to tar Democrats and liberals with tags like “socialist”, “communist”, Stalin, Hitler, etc. Guilt-by-vague-tendentious-misleading-association is the most bankrupt tactic in the book. And heck, much of the time, the actual history was that the moderates were the key to keeping the crazies down – e.g., it is often said that FDR saved the country from communism.

Oops fixed blockquote mislocation.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/2[…]L/story.html

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the brothers accused of bombing the Boston Marathon, angrily disrupted a January talk at a Cambridge mosque when a speaker compared the Prophet Mohammed and the peace activist Martin Luther King Jr., the second time in recent months that Tsarnaev’s radical theology collided with mainstream Muslim faith at a public religious talk.

In the days since the suspects were identified last week, a picture has emerged of 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev — the elder of the two brothers, who was killed Friday in the battle with police — as an increasingly militant immigrant, whom family members described as unhappy and mean.

His brother Dzhokhar, 19, captured Friday night, is in serious condition and under heavy guard at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He has a gunshot wound to his throat, said US Senator Dan Coats, a Republican on the Select Intelligence Committee, on ABC’s “This Week.’’

New details on the brothers’ fight with police suggests Tamerlan was killed when his brother ran him over, dragging Tamerlan underneath his car in his bid to escape.

In disrupting the talk in January at the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s shouted at a speaker: “You are a Kafir” – a nonbeliever, according to Yusufi Vali, a spokesman for the mosque. Tsarnaev went on to say the speaker was contaminating people’s minds, and accused him of being a hypocrite.

The congregation disagreed, according to Vali, and “shouted him out of the mosque” on Prospect Street.

I’m a huge proponent of the concept of “Truth in Advertising”. Jerry Coyne should rename his blog from “Why Evolution is True” to “Why Atheism is the Only Point of View I can ever Tolerate”.

I spit on his bigotry!

Nothing is ever completely clear about why human beings do things. I have to provide what is called motivation to characters, on the grounds that it makes them real, but again and again I am struck by how little is needed to make their acts credible, plausible, instantly understandable. We know, we members of the species Pan narrans, how fragile is the connection between our own motivations and rationality, and we can empathise how that is so for others.

Thus, this. The picture that seems to be emerging is of a young man who was “radicalised”. But by what? How was it that he came to identify himself with a movement - antiwestern fundamentalist Islam - with which he had practically no connection at all, not by background, family, other association, history, education, conditioning, or anything else.

You can guess that he was traumatised by immigration. That he felt he was an alien, which is to say that he was alienated. I think this is a good guess.

For that is the first and most important step: alienation and self-identification. The Americans around him were alien to him. That is, other. If you understand that you are an alien, your very selfhood demands that you define the difference between yourself and the other. And the obvious difference was not the clothes they wore or the language they spoke, for he did the same. They didn’t even look different, much. He wouldn’t stand out in an American crowd at a football match. The obvious difference was that they were not Muslim.

The next step is accentuation. If being a Muslim is the difference, then again a sense of self requires that you accentuate that difference, for that defines you, and you cannot define as one of the ‘other’, by definition. So you become more of a Muslim. One who specifically rejects attempts to reconcile difference, because the difference is what matters to you.

Thus, the people among whom you live become “other”. And that involves a terrifyingly easy transition, which is the last step, the step between alienation and dehumanisation. If the other is alien to you, then the other is not, in some sense, human.

As soon as that vital bridge is crossed, most of the constraints are removed. And the rest follows.

If this hypothetical explanation is close to correct, we should see that whatever form of self-identification the alienated person uses, the outcomes tend to be the same. It need not be religion. It can be any form, any idea, any identification, any group that’s important enough to them. It may have some correlation with how aggressive that group is, what its culture accepts as response, but I think that this is what is actually seen.

One of the most arcane aspects of this is that this self-identification need not be related to actual fact. People can self-identify with a group that they don’t really fit into at all, and, most curiously of all, can make aliens of a group of which they are actually members.

We will never actually know why, I think. In many ways, there isn’t actually a “why”. There’s a what, though, and that we can at least trace, even if it can’t be understood.

I’m disgusted by Coyne’s bigotry. It’s all right for him to be all rah-rah I’m an atheist.

But it is UNSCIENTIFIC to overgeneralize. He wants to obtain a general rule from a few data points, then turn that general rule into a theory of causation. But to get to causation, he needs a plausible mechanism.

To get to the desired conclusion “Islam made these brothers kill” he must overgeneralize. This is faulty induction without a plausible mechanism. If MOST Muslims in his community don’t kill, you have to work harder to prove a mechanism of causation. Who, specifically, inspired these guys? Specifically, verifiably– not just overgeneralization and begging the question.

This bigotry is unscientific.

There are also various types of hereditary mental illness issues that can emerge in the age range from about 17 to the mid 20s. Various kinds of bipolar depression, paranoia, and schizophrenia can make their appearance in late adolescence.

As I understand it, there are a number of major brain development processes taking place in this age range; and it is a very bad time to get into any kind of drugs, even something as mild as marihuana, if there is a history of this kind of illness in the family. These kinds of mental illness issues can also make a person susceptible to various forms of radical influences that play on paranoia.

If it is a heredity issue, both brothers may be affected, with the problem appearing in the older brother who then triggers the problem in the younger brother.

We don’t know exactly what is behind the uncle and his family disowning his brother who was the father of these two boys. Apparently there were already some problems in the more extended family relationships.

I agree with a poster I saw recently:

“Most Muslims view “Islamic” terrorists the same way most Christians view the Westboro Baptist Church.”

What, precisely, the hell does this post have to do with the common descent of all life by means of natural selection, or the legal challenges to its teaching in public schools?

I expect this kind of thing at UD, which doesn’t even *pretend* to be anything other than a nonstop airing of every conservative cultural grievance. Will Panda’s Thumb be chiming in on the whole Gosnell thing next?

Mike Elzinga said:

There are also various types of hereditary mental illness issues that can emerge in the age range from about 17 to the mid 20s. Various kinds of bipolar depression, paranoia, and schizophrenia can make their appearance in late adolescence.

As I understand it, there are a number of major brain development processes taking place in this age range; and it is a very bad time to get into any kind of drugs, even something as mild as marihuana, if there is a history of this kind of illness in the family. These kinds of mental illness issues can also make a person susceptible to various forms of radical influences that play on paranoia.

If it is a heredity issue, both brothers may be affected, with the problem appearing in the older brother who then triggers the problem in the younger brother.

We don’t know exactly what is behind the uncle and his family disowning his brother who was the father of these two boys. Apparently there were already some problems in the more extended family relationships.

I agree. This history of behavior suggests developing mental illness and loss of a grip on reality. That this particular man went for extreme Islam is a symptom; another person might go for militant environmentalism, fitness/health extremes or conspiracy theories. Or militant Christianity.

I just lost all respect for Jeremy Coyne, and for any approval-craving, submissive, authoritarian followers who may rush to his defense.

Leave the bigotry to Rush Limbaugh. He does it better than you ever can.

lkeithlu said:

Mike Elzinga said:

There are also various types of hereditary mental illness issues that can emerge in the age range from about 17 to the mid 20s. Various kinds of bipolar depression, paranoia, and schizophrenia can make their appearance in late adolescence.

As I understand it, there are a number of major brain development processes taking place in this age range; and it is a very bad time to get into any kind of drugs, even something as mild as marihuana, if there is a history of this kind of illness in the family. These kinds of mental illness issues can also make a person susceptible to various forms of radical influences that play on paranoia.

If it is a heredity issue, both brothers may be affected, with the problem appearing in the older brother who then triggers the problem in the younger brother.

We don’t know exactly what is behind the uncle and his family disowning his brother who was the father of these two boys. Apparently there were already some problems in the more extended family relationships.

I agree. This history of behavior suggests developing mental illness and loss of a grip on reality. That this particular man went for extreme Islam is a symptom; another person might go for militant environmentalism, fitness/health extremes or conspiracy theories. Or militant Christianity.

Exactly. The hating mind will seek an ideology that fits the hate.

It is certainly true that the obnoxious side of Islam fits the bill, but so does the obnoxious side of most other organized dogmas and ideologies.

Exactly. The hating mind will seek an ideology that fits the hate.

It is certainly true that the obnoxious side of Islam fits the bill, but so does the obnoxious side of most other organized dogmas and ideologies.

As wonderful as the internet is, it makes it much easier for this kind of person to develop an ideology, reinforce the illusion that he/she is right, and give them specific targets. (not to mention instructions on how to carry out such an attack). The internet has the ability to distill the public, concentrating a certain type of nutcase in a virtual location, and without enough contact with the rest of society, even crazy ideas can seem mainstream or normal. I always said “every village has its idiot, but now thanks to the internet they can get together and confirm that they are not alone in their wackiness”.

lkeithlu said:

As wonderful as the internet is, it makes it much easier for this kind of person to develop an ideology, reinforce the illusion that he/she is right, and give them specific targets.

While this is certainly true in some individual cases, I maintain that the internet is the greatest anti-nutcase invention ever invented. For the first time in history any individual can, and will, be exposed to a world of facts, opinions, and alternate viewpoints that they probably never would ever have been aware of otherwise. And when Someone Is Wrong On The Internet, there will almost certainly be others coming along to correct them post-haste. As an educational resource alone it is unprecedented.

It takes a certain kind of focused and dedicated attitude to actively filter that kind of bombardment out, and such a person has to deliberately limit himself to only those echo chambers that re-enforce his beliefs to truly do so. Even then opposing ideas are sure to slip through the cracks occasionally. It’s becoming almost impossible to completely isolate yourself anymore.

I believe that in such an open environment converts to reason are more likely than converts to crazy. Bad ideas can be exposed for what they are, and good ones can reach a much wider audience than ever.

The internet is still young, only becoming a real force in the world within the last 20 years, but we can already see a new, net-aware generation of people who are much more aware of the world and active in it. This is true even in areas of the world that have traditionally been rather closed, such as the Middle East and China. It will take some time before the full effects become clear, but I predict that when the current baby boomer generation finally passes on that we’ll see a much more tolerant world of opinion.

There are also various types of hereditary mental illness issues that can emerge in the age range from about 17 to the mid 20s. Various kinds of bipolar depression, paranoia, and schizophrenia can make their appearance in late adolescence.

Even “normal” males are very impressionable at that age, and can be talked into doing any crazy thing, be it joining a gang or going on jihad.

Over at WEIT I accused Coyne of bigotry, and now I’m being flamed.

Here is an example of what I got over at WEIT:

Oh, and what is it with all the screaming anyway? Coyne got your goat beard?

As for claiming that Coyne should apologize, you are clearly nuts (or “an idiot”, if you prefer strident language). Nowhere does it follow from your analysis, assuming it would be true, that there is something or someone to apologize for or to. Honestly, it looks like some religious non sequitur.

So now I’m religious. And I have a goat beard.

“Most Muslims view “Islamic” terrorists the same way most Christians view the Westboro Baptist Church.”

Except that the Westboro Baptist Church doesn’t blow up marathons and fly planes into buildings.

Uhh– I’m wondering if I’ve been banned from WEIT? My comments now disappear, as they do at UD, while the Coyneians continue to attack me as a religious fanatic, possibly bearded.

If so, it’s the first time I’ve ever been called “religious” and banned from an evolutionist website. Creationist websites, always– they all ban me. Evolutionist websites? Not so much.

Just curious about something, Mr. Diogenes:

How does it feel to be flamed by evolutionists?

Almost certainly, we can infer that these views are the views of the vast majority of the mosque’s membership, as this is usually how the leaders of a religious community get to be leaders (and/or, people who disagree with the leaders leave the religious community). (And there is the guy at the butcher shop, celebrating Thanksgiving.)

In addition, not only can we infer #3, but we get a sense of how unusual Tamerlan’s behavior was – even if someone disagreed with a sermon, standing up in the middle and, in an outburst, interrupting the speaker, is extremely unusual. I suspect it is about as unusual as it would be in a Christian sermon (I’ve never heard of such a case). I think it’s safe to say that Tamerlan was very offended by what he was being taught in the mosque.

This is such unbelievably sloppy thinking that I can only infer that Nick posted an earlier uncorrected draft instead

“The preacher says it therefore all the people in the congregation must believe that”– “this guy did it so therefore it must be rare in the big picture”– surely you can’t possibly think that is anything other than bullshit

maybe those empirical claims are true, maybe they are not, maybe true here not true there. you have absolutely no idea, do you? This is the very same sort of stupid generalization process you are bitching that Coyne has employed, pot meet kettle.

FL said:

“Most Muslims view “Islamic” terrorists the same way most Christians view the Westboro Baptist Church.”

Except that the Westboro Baptist Church doesn’t blow up marathons and fly planes into buildings.

None the less the Westboro congregation is repugnant, or do you disagree? And lets not forget that not that long ago in Norway a right-wing christo-fascist, Anders Breivik, killed 77 people, mainly consisting of teenagers, for his cause. Now I am not saying Christianity or religion in general is at fault for what Breivik did. Hateful ideology combined with insanity is at fault. In Breivik’s case that ideology had a Christian element just like Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s ideology had an Islamic element.

What you are intimating with your post is that radical, Christian hate ideology doesn’t result in the same atrocities that we observe with radical, Islamic hate ideology. This example clearly shows that this conclusion is incorrect.

The bigger question some here are alluding to (and not Flawed, who as usual has nothing to add to the conversation except drag) is whether or not there are single or multiple syndromes of this behavior some have attempted to define as “terrorism”

for example… if columbine had been carried out for all the same reasons and same motives but by students of some islamic faith.… would this have been the fault of islam?

maybe we would disagree here too

after all, we see how christians make large concessions and contortions to disavow any responsibility of christianity for abortion clinic bombings, trade center bombings and the many acts perpetrated by organized members of some christian sect or branch. they use the same rhetoric, even “it’s not true christianity/islam, these acts are contrary to christianity/islam, these are not True Believers”

Nick accusing Coyne of being a bigot, for simply pointing out (albeit clumsily) what it is obvious upon neutral inspection by any disinterested apatheist, while employing the exact same shit reasoning as Coyne… that is still hilarious to me 10 minutes later.

I am STILL being flamed over at WEIT, after my banning. If someone could drop a note over at WEIT to the effect that Jerry banned me, an evolutionist blogger, after one comment, I would appreciate that.

None the less the Westboro congregation is repugnant, or do you disagree?

Oh, I fully agree with you. Yes they are.

But they don’t kill people. They don’t bomb Boston children. They don’t shoot down our soldiers in cold blood at Fort Hood. They don’t plant car bombs in Times Square. And they don’t hijack chock-full passenger planes and slam them into chock-full World Trade Centers.

The difference deserves to be recognized.

FL

FL said:

None the less the Westboro congregation is repugnant, or do you disagree?

Oh, I fully agree with you. Yes they are.

But they don’t kill people. They don’t bomb Boston children. They don’t shoot down our soldiers in cold blood at Fort Hood. They don’t plant car bombs in Times Square. And they don’t hijack chock-full passenger planes and slam them into chock-full World Trade Centers.

The difference deserves to be recognized.

FL

They don’t per-say but there are other groups “Christian” groups that do advocate and perpetrate violence. Perhaps Christian identity groups should have been singled out instead of Westboro; after all, Westboro is just beating everyone over the head with their first amendment rights. They are an obnoxious group but not particularly violent. If that is your point then I happily agree. But if your point is that no Christian hate ideologies result in violent acts ever, then I most vehemently disagree.

I agree it is unscientific bigotry. I believe that if religion had never evolved, and Homo Sapiens were incapable of conceiving of religion, our worldwide history would have been just as bloody and savage and violent as it has been. Blaming religion is a cop-out. I’m sure if you dropped off a 100 “Brights” on a deserted island, within 6 months you’d have Lord of the Flies.

https://me.yahoo.com/a/g_jqEg0ksIAZ[…]7qqbbg#0eec2 said:

I agree it is unscientific bigotry. I believe that if religion had never evolved, and Homo Sapiens were incapable of conceiving of religion, our worldwide history would have been just as bloody and savage and violent as it has been. Blaming religion is a cop-out. I’m sure if you dropped off a 100 “Brights” on a deserted island, within 6 months you’d have Lord of the Flies.

Hilariously and naively self-pwning, again

for fucks sake, you are doing what you are complaining about.

https://me.yahoo.com/a/5rJLWq8Iqe0R[…]Oen7O_#dc428 said:

https://me.yahoo.com/a/g_jqEg0ksIAZ[…]7qqbbg#0eec2 said:

I agree it is unscientific bigotry. I believe that if religion had never evolved, and Homo Sapiens were incapable of conceiving of religion, our worldwide history would have been just as bloody and savage and violent as it has been. Blaming religion is a cop-out. I’m sure if you dropped off a 100 “Brights” on a deserted island, within 6 months you’d have Lord of the Flies.

Hilariously and naively self-pwning, again

for fucks sake, you are doing what you are complaining about.

How? By suggesting that humans are violent animals? Yes ok, a generalization, but I’d think a pretty well supported one :)

J. L. Brown said:

When McVeigh committed mass murder he was not a Christian following Christ; rather, he was a deceived Atheist following Satan.

When a person commits murder they are not following Christ.

And I bet he was no true scotsman, either!

The attempt to undermine via No True Scotsman was played earlier in the thread by your evo brothers. The attempt was refuted (click on link below).

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/201[…]mment-304749

Poor old Ray. The very post you cite shows that you do not understand the No True Churchman fallacy.

Ray Martinez said:

J. L. Brown said:

When McVeigh committed mass murder he was not a Christian following Christ; rather, he was a deceived Atheist following Satan.

When a person commits murder they are not following Christ.

And I bet he was no true scotsman, either!

The attempt to undermine via No True Scotsman was played earlier in the thread by your evo brothers. The attempt was refuted (click on link below).

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/201[…]mment-304749

Dave Luckett said:

Martinez reaches far, to little purpose. His claimed authorities don’t support him.

[snip]

Martinez’s attempt to portray Nazi-Christian Church relations as opposed or conflicted, or, worse, the Christian church as generally opposed to the Nazis, goes far beyond even his selected quotations from his selected authorities. That attempt is deeply dishonest and transparently false.

Even though I’m a former anti-evolutionist (an ex-YEC to boot), I was nevertheless bewildered for sometime how many of PT’s trolls use outside sources for their arguments when on closer inspection these very sources actually offer non-support for the trolls. It’s as if our trolls think we won’t dig deeper into the sources to find the full context. Then when confronted, the likes of FL and Ray may switch tactics such as resorting to red herrings, or they may disappear for a while (then post the same thing again weeks or months later).

However, I’m no longer surprised at our PT trolls. Yes, what they do is dishonest. But their behavior is sadly no longer surprising.

Ray Martinez said:

J. L. Brown said:

When McVeigh committed mass murder he was not a Christian following Christ; rather, he was a deceived Atheist following Satan.

When a person commits murder they are not following Christ.

And I bet he was no true scotsman, either!

The attempt to undermine via No True Scotsman was played earlier in the thread by your evo brothers. The attempt was refuted (click on link below).

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/201[…]mment-304749

Do you know what it means to lie, you hypocrite? It seems to be a terrible pathological condition of yours to do so constantly.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on April 22, 2013 9:46 PM.

Narcissus sp. was the previous entry in this blog.

How the Oatmeal is acing science communication is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.381

Site Meter