A word or two about an observed intersection between Islam and liberalism…
There is a curious aspect to almost every discussion between conservatives and liberals on the subject of Islam. At some point in the exchange, any negative reference to Islam becomes generalized by the liberal to mean that conservatives think that all Muslims are terrorists, evil, unsuitable citizens, concentration camp candidates, etc. It happens right here on this site.
Fair enough, opinions are like certain bodily orifices – everybody has one, but one must also note that this is an assumption and generalization that predominantly exists in the liberal mind and is used as a universal tool to dispel almost every criticism:
- Oppose radical Islamists who use the Koran as an excuse for the repression of women, gays and murder – you are calling every Muslim a terrorist
- For lower taxes and less federal spending – you hate and want to harm all black people – even though more white people receive government benefits than blacks
- Oppose 30 year old arrested development activists like Sandra Fluke and abortion – you are a sexist, hate all women and are waging war on them
- Oppose Obama’s socialist programs, Obama is black, therefore you oppose Obama because he is black
In this aspect, liberalism shares a commonality with radical or fundamentalist Islam, that being the prohibition of questioning its own orthodoxy. For an ideology that claims to the pro-science and the “enlightened” answer to modern problems, liberalism, like Islam, seems not to be acquainted with the scientific method and eschews any attempt to use it in application to contemporary issues.
Using the scientific method identifies that every hypothesis has an opposite component- a null hypothesis.
The aptly named site Null Hypothesis has a clear description of the process and necessity of the null hypothesis to rational thought and problem solving:
So let’s say you have some rather exciting ideas about why you seem to lose socks at an astonishing rate. Maybe, you hypothesize; aliens are beaming down to steal one sock out of every pair you own.
- Hypothesis: the loss of my socks is due to alien burglary.
In order to test whether your hypothesis is true or not, you have to carry out some research to see if you can back it up. So you set up a hi-tech alien detection system and record whether times of alien activity are correlated with when your socks go missing.
However, when you get your results, it’s possible that any relationship that appears in your data was produced by random chance. In order to back up your hypothesis you need to compare the results against the opposite situation: that the loss of socks is not due to alien burglary. This is your null hypothesis – the assertion that the things you were testing (i.e. rates of alien activity and sock loss) are not related and your results are the product of random chance events.
- Null Hypothesis: the loss of my socks is nothing to do with alien burglary.
- Alternate Hypothesis: the loss of my socks is due to alien burglary.
The next step is to compare these two alternatives using the magic of… (cue dramatic music)… statistics.
In statistics, the only way of supporting your hypothesis is to refute the null hypothesis. Rather than trying to prove your idea (the alternate hypothesis) right you must show that the null hypothesis is likely to be wrong – you have to ‘refute’ or ‘nullify’ the null hypothesis. Unfortunately you have to assume that your alternate hypothesis is wrong until you find evidence to the contrary. So it’s innocent until proven guilty for the aliens.
This is where Islam and liberalism attain a nexus of sorts. Liberals refuse to consider a null hypothesis to any of their positions and Islam expressly forbids, under pain of death, any null considerations of the Koran or Mohammad and as such, neither is capable of reform.
Adherents to Islam state that Allah is the one true God and Muhammad is his messenger – the null hypothesis is this: Allah is not god and Muhammad is not a messenger. That consideration is simply not allowed in Islam, nor is similar questioning of Obama tolerated in liberalism.
Any religion or ideology that refuses to be questioned or shuts off debate is a religion or ideology that should be rejected.
What is important to understand about a null hypothesis is that it can never be proven. A set of data can only reject a null hypothesis or fail to reject it, never to affirm it. The null hypothesis is an important tool for solving a problem in that it helps us eliminate illegitimate supposition. For example, if a comparison of two groups (e.g.: treatment, no treatment) reveals no statistically significant difference between the two, it does not mean that there is no difference in reality. It only means that there is not enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis.
We see use of a null hypothesis as an obfuscation tool in politics all the time. It is common to camouflage null hypotheses with a leading or affirmative component. Obama’s claim to “saved or created” jobs is an example. The word “created” is an affirmative word that can be measured, “saved” cannot. When combined, these two terms negate each other and make any measure of this impossible and relegates it to a rhetorical tool, not a metric to be used to determine success.
This is an example of the “it would have been worse” meme that gets trotted out a lot – but there is simply no way to prove that as an affirmative statement. You simply cannot affirmatively prove that something didn’t happen, essentially to prove a negative. This goes to something that I’ve written in response to much of the support for Obama’s programs – absence of evidence is not proof. In many cases, liberals use a null hypothesis as a tool against natural law and natural rights and illegitimately accept that they can, in fact, affirmatively prove a null – this is simply not possible.
There comes a point where the impossibility of proof becomes faith. There is nothing wrong with that – because faith is what has kept the human race moving forward for eons – but faith is not necessarily fact. There is a significant difference in the statements “I believe…” and “I can prove…” and we should understand that difference. We do believe in things that we may not be able to objectively prove but the reason that we are able to evolve and continue to solve massively complex problems is that we are willing to question that belief or faith – essentially put faith to the test – in pursuit of an answer.
There was a time in history when Christianity reached the point where Islam is today and became more a tool of man and his politics than an instrument of God. God became the justification for any act of man, no matter how evil in reality. I would propose that Islam faces that same crisis today, as Islam is used as justification for the contemporary atrocities committed in its name. Christianity was saved through the growth and influence of science and the ability to test both sides of a hypothesis that ultimately led to its reformation.
For me personally, I question my faith all the time – that is how I affirm it. I can see how application of my faith proves natural law and the existence of God and in most cases it also does reveal the actions of man in matters that are ascribed to God. I am willing to accept that the absence of evidence is not proof but is a license to continue to question and to learn, to continue to build my faith and allow that process to guide my life.
As I stated earlier, If I was not allowed these questions, there would never be a possibility to separate the deeds and desires of man from the will of God.
The refusal of Islam and liberal ideology to allow their members to question reveals the weakness of those belief systems.