Archives for category: Psychology

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/18/books/review/knowledge-illusion-steven-sloman-philip-fernbach.html

Cognitive scientists now provide additional information supporting the postmodern view of man not being a rational agent. Humans are ignorant by necessity and ‘stupid’ in that most decisions are not rationally arrived at. However, language and thought is exquisitely logical, but the problem is that ontology and epistemology have overwhelmed our inputs. We have the potential of being logical and rational, but we don’t have the time to do a thorough analysis in every case, even in most cases. Individual persons are also the only information processors. So, we must rely on each other (and on technology in the future) but there is a very high premium on each one of us being as rational and knowledgeable as possible in our narrow field – a veritable and vast web of knowledge is the engine of our culture and civilization.

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JIHADI JOHN – A BRAND. Prospect Magazine

Majeed Nawaz is the latest darling of the media looking for a reasonable, liberal Muslim:

“Tackling the real issue requires fundamental societal changes to dissipate the extremist Islamist ideology that underpins the brand of Jihadi John, and the circumstances that allow radicalisation of young Muslims to happen in the first place. This needs to happen more urgently than ever, with methods such as internet recruiting of Jihadists making young people easier to access than ever with extremist messages. In a survey conducted by the BBC yesterday, an alarming 11 per cent of British Muslims are reported to feel sympathy for people who want to fight against Western interests.”

His argument is of a type made by all Muslim apologists, and many others, in my experience. These apologists claim that the fundamental problem is not in the foundations of Islam. Rather, it is fundamentally a problem of attitudes and behaviors in Western society: prejudice, discrimination, exploitation, corruption.

This argument is wrong and encourages fundamentalist Islamists.

All faiths have an element of dogma. We BELIEVE this to be TRUE, therefore I shall do thus….  The problem with religions is that they easily conclude that their particular religion is true AND that all else is false. The faith part is underplayed or even eliminated. An article of faith and hope thus transmutes into an unquestionably TRUE statement. All kinds of irrational behavior ensue from such a delusion.

Islam seems to be the most dogmatic of all large religions. Dogmas, however, are part of everyone’s belief system – atheist, agnostic, etc. – and could thus motivate immature or deficient minds of any stripe to do all sorts of horrible things. (E.g. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc, etc.) Dogmas should continuously be, but rarely are, subject to review, revision and clarification. Dogmas are the axioms by which we guide ourselves and so most of us are unwilling to question the very foundations of our existence.

Islam is going through some very ugly convulsions now. Its foundational texts are so problematical that a full discussion of faith has not yet occurred. Heads are literally rolling as we speak!