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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Hizb ut-Tahrir guy replies to my Drum article

The Drum Unleashed has now published an article entitled "Rationality, religion and atheism", which responds to my own piece there from a couple of weeks ago, "The state, religion and the need for rational scrutiny".

Consider this current post to be a placeholder - I'll get back to this, because it raised a number of issues that need to be teased out a bit. For now, just note the person who got the job of replying to me: Uthman Badar, the PR guy for Australia's local branch of the Islamist organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir. Even on the most benign interpretation, this is a pretty scary oufit, but that's okay. Let them say what they want, and perhaps that will expose some of their thinking - with its strongly theocratic and totalitarian elements - to the educated world. But do look up what the organisation stands for, and not just its (arguably) "nice" "anti-Imperialist" policies. Hizb ut-Tahrir has a frightening agenda that would involve suppressing important freedoms anywhere where it actually gained power ... not to mention the likelihood of a violent clash of civilisations of the kind that most of us would dearly like to avoid.

14 comments:

Eamon Knight said...

Geez, what a bunch of sloppy apologetics. I look forward to your evisceration of it.

Charles Sullivan said...

According to the Hizb ut-Tahrir draft constitution:

"Article 114 of the constitution specifies that women should not be allowed to be in private with men other than their husband or members of their immediate family (father, brother, son). Article 116 stipulates that once married a woman is obliged to obey her husband."

A scary outfit indeed!

Rorschach said...

I have an reply to this nonsense half-ready, might get to finish it tonight. But it's hard to know what he means by those funny terms he's using, I'm still trying to get my head around what he means by "rational evidence".

Russell Blackford said...

Unfortunately I've spent most of the evening elsewhere on the internet casting my pearls before swine. So it'll have to wait until tomorrow.

Russell Blackford said...

Not that youse guys are swine. If I'd been blogging here I'd have some swine reading, but also all you (and other) fine upstanding individuals. :)

Rorschach said...

So yeah, well, I've posted my answer to this nonsense. I'm not a philosopher, but I tried my best....The ABC Unleashed sometimes astonishes me...

Russell Blackford said...

Posted it where? I probably should know, but remind me.

Russell Blackford said...

By the way, I see he's attracted over 800 comments! From a quick sample, the great majority appear to be negative, but he's also getting a bit of support. Fascinating ...

That Guy Montag said...

Rorschach:

His comments need to be seen from the position of a particular kind of philosophical debate. He's essentially defined science as Empiricism, roughly that everything we know comes from the senses but it's painfully more complicated than that. Generally philosophers oppose Empiricism to Rationalism, an equally painfully complicated term, that roughly implies we can derive knowledge of the world by the analysis of our concepts and the applications of mental faculties. Rationalists will talk about things being a priori or analytically/logically true, though there are some modern wrinkles on this. A general warning is that this definition of rationalism should not be confused with a more modern usage that blurs the important distinction which is over the relationship between the evidence of the senses and the discoveries of the mind.

I'm horrified to say it's not that easy to dismiss this guy's arguments because there's at least something to some parts of them. Except of course for the Kalam Cosmological Argument which has the obvious problem of what caused the causer. As an aside I'm rather curious about his assertion that you need a conscious being to have a non-temporal cause; he was definitely far too glib with that one because it sounds like he's assuming a mind/body dualism which wouldn't be half shoddy.

Anyway, definitely looking forward to Russell's thoughts on this one becuase it looks like a corker of an argument.

Bruce Gorton said...

I put together a bit of a response to the article (Click my name).

Hopefully if I am making a fool of myself I am at least making an amusing one.

s. pimpernel said...

He's getting cut up pretty bad by the comments at his post. This guy is a representative of those that attempt in vain to put some sort of rationality on their religious superstition. He is just a product of his upbringing spouting anything he can to justify, even to himself, his Islamic theocratic nonsense in a world that has passed this type "thinking" by. The reality of this religion is exemplified by the assination of the governor in Pakistan who spoke out against the country's blasphemy law. Reason and dissent can't be tolerated, therefore militancy has to be utilized to keep the faithful, faithful.

Rorschach said...

Oh sorry for the delay, my take on it is here :
http://furiouspurpose.me/2011/01/05/does-the-abcs-the-drum-unleashed-website-have-editors-how-can-nonsense-like-this-get-published/

josef johann said...

did you ever follow up on this?

Russell Blackford said...

Yes, at some length ... if you mean here.