The wicked part of this burger is…? »« How can we be better than the fundamentalists?

Some people find it easy to lie

People like Hamza Tzortzis, for instance. Here he is confronted with a statement he made claiming that Muslims reject the whole idea of freedom, and he promptly denies that he ever said it. Unfortunately for him, his statement was recorded on video, and here that earlier video is spliced in right after his lie.

The other weird thing here: note how the audience cheers and claps at his denial. Like the creationists, Islamic fundamentalists also make the effort to pack the venue’s seats with their mindless followers. I’ve been in similar situations; it’s like trying to talk to an auditorium full of zombies.

Comments

  1. No One says

    …he made claiming that Muslims reject the whole idea of freedom, and he promptly denies that he ever said it.

    But PZ… in Arabic it has a different meaning. You are taking the whole thing out of context of the nuanced koranic framework.

  2. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You are taking the whole thing out of context of the nuanced koranic framework.

    Is that anything like Sophistimacted Xian Theology™?

  3. Michael says

    Shame the debater didn’t have that video as the next slide in his presentation. It would have been interesting to see the reaction after his denial and claims of lying…

  4. says

    Shame the debater didn’t have that video as the next slide in his presentation. It would have been interesting to see the reaction after his denial and claims of lying…

    Indeed. Should be standard procedure when dealing with apologists: Always have the direct evidence at hand. They will lie. It’s what they do. Dishonesty is one of the defining qualities of a religious apologist.

  5. Trickster Goddess says

    Showing proof of what they said earlier won’t necessarily phase them.

    I recall once seeing Bill O’Riellly as a guest on someone else’s show. The interviewer asked him about something he once said. Bill claims he never said any such thing. So they play the video clip for him of him saying it. Bill still adamantly denies he ever said it.

  6. athreason says

    I Have left my faith very recently ex Muslim .
    Watching so many many many debates with rational thinking . Going where the evidence lead despite emotions.
    It has been very difficult for me . As the whole meaning of my life changed and I must say as much as I love to learn always. I was depressed and I found it very hard . I can not come out of the closet as of now because of social pressure and I keep my identity in the dark . Actually where I live in I could be executed . Thankfully , I am trying to get out of here .

    I have some wholes in my knowledge and I need help .

    I was watching a documentary recently and it showed that some animals can change their colors with DNA changes to be help them hide better . but how does the animal genes know the surrounding color and that it needs to change to . and how does it identifies that it need to change colors .

    I understand that all beings evolve to try and adapt to their environment, but how can material ( non living ) become living beings . The big bang explains the universe coming into existence but how did the first species as small and simple that it was emerged to life ?

    Although what do you think at the belief of a non personal God something that Albert Einstein made reference to .

    I am still young and learning please recommend me what books should I look for to read because obv . I can’t find any here in the book stores . Thank you

  7. says

    I heard him posing a rhetorical question in the second part: How do we as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech.

    This is not to defend him. I haven’t taken the time to know what his philosophy is. But if I were posing a rhetorical question and it got taken out of context and used to imply I said the opposite of what I meant, I’d be upset.

  8. Christopher says

    I was watching a documentary recently and it showed that some animals can change their colors with DNA changes to be help them hide better . but how does the animal genes know the surrounding color and that it needs to change to . and how does it identifies that it need to change colors .

    The individual animals can’t choose to change it’s DNA. Evolution happens on the scale of the population as a whole.

    If a given coloring is better at hiding from preditors or prey then that individual will survive to breed while others will be eaten or starve. Their offspring will be numerous and if the offspring’s coloring still provides an advantage, they will also survive to breed. Repeat often enough and soon that coloring becomes dominant within the population.

  9. moarscienceplz says

    athreason #7

    Your post is not really relevant to this thread, you should probably move to the Lounge.

    However, a lot of your questions are answered here.

  10. reverendrobbie says

    I’m with #8, there’s not enough video provided to tell if he’s speaking rhetorically. I don’t think I’m being hyperskeptical by saying that the tight editing is a bit fishy.

  11. Charlie Foxtrot says

    @reverendrobbie – you think maybe he added a huge “Not!” at the end of that?

    Nah – it’s the initial claim backed up with ‘supporting evidence’ using that caliphate example, I feel I got all the context I need.

  12. No One says

    Yvonne Rathbone @ 8

    Hamza has made this type of statement before, as have radical islamic speakers before and since. There is a certain set of circumstances where questioning of islam is permitted and this is what he was alluding to… in this particular circumstance. But outside of the “intellectual neutral zone” (can’t remember the arabic name for it) there is no free speech in the way you or I would understand it. Hamza has made it clear that islamic principle should super-cede any personal rights by secular government or otherwise. It’s a common theme among radicalized islamists. Hamza might present himself as an intelluctual, but what I see is a bully and a thug just a half step away from his street gang roots. If he had been born and raised in his native country, Greece he most probably would be a member of Golden Dawn.

  13. brianpansky says

    @8
    Yvonne Rathbone

    I heard him posing a rhetorical question in the second part: How do we as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech.

    he didn’t say “how do we”

    he said “HOWEVER, we as muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech”.

  14. brianpansky says

    plus, the whole context is linked to in the description of the above youtube video.

  15. brianpansky says

    in-context, it looks like he is saying the following:

    “secularism arose in a peculiar circumstance, and is no longer needed. human minds are limited, we can’t rely on us! let’s look at freedom of speech as an example of failure. freedom is an unreachable ideal, and things like laws contradict freedom. so secularism is a failure, we can be a theocracy again plz.”

    the freedom of speech part almost looks like a version of “going nuclear”. except instead of saying “no one can know anything for certain! therefore stop reasoning against me!” he says something like “freedom is an ideal that can’t be reached! therefore secular attempts towards it should be abandoned”

    instead of “science doesn’t know everything! [yet]” it’s “secularism hasn’t solved everything! [yet]”. in both cases it’s a mistake of being ‘wronger than wrong’.

    also, apparently secularism = nationalism.
    and skepticism = no right, no wrong, forced compromise? and “there is no proof of the qoran” = “there is no such thing as truth, which is self refuting because saying there is no such thing as truth is a claim of truth” (huge fail)

  16. biogeo says

    Athreason,

    It sounds like you’re in a really difficult situation, and I’m sorry. I can imagine that questioning, doubting, and finally rejecting some of the core beliefs you’ve held your whole life must be very difficult and painful. I think that following your own power of reason even if it leads you to difficult, even dangerous, conclusions is admirable.

    The good news is that there’s an entire beautiful, fascinating world of science and secular thought that you can now approach with an open mind! The questions that you’re asking here are really good ones. Depending on how in-depth you want to go, the answers can be quite complicated. A good starting place for some of the answers would be the Wikipedia pages on evolution, natural selection, and abiogenesis (the origin of life).

    I can give really short versions of answers to your questions, though you might want to read other resources for a deeper understanding. You asked how an animal’s genes know the colors of the surroundings, and how they know when to change. The amazing thing about evolution is, they don’t need to. Although it looks like the animals are intelligently “deciding” to change their coloration over many generations to match their surroundings, in fact no intelligence or decision-making is needed. Rather, it is a consequence of differences in the likelihood of survival. Animals that stand out from their surroundings will be seen and possibly eaten, but animals that don’t will survive, leaving offspring that look like them.

    As for how non-living material gives rise to life, that is a really complicated question that no one knows the exact answer to. But, we have a pretty good idea of how it happened on a very basic level. The key is in realizing that the line between life and non-life is not very sharp. At a root level, all living things are made of chemicals, which are governed by the same laws of chemistry as substances that are not part of living things. Non-living chemistry can produce some of the basic chemicals that make up life, and over time, these chemicals can assemble themselves in increasingly complex ways. Eventually, chemistry can become complex enough that we call it life.

    The question of a non-personal god is a much more philosophical one. My guess is around here you’re not likely to find many who would agree with that view. As I understand it, Einstein took “God” to mean something like “all of natural law that governs the universe.” The problem with this is that it’s basically redefining an old word to mean something new, in a way that makes it seem as though old ideas related to God have some relevance to new ideas about natural law. But since the two ideas are actually very different, this is an illusion and confuses our thinking about these ideas. Personally, I’m sympathetic to people who want to redefine “God” in this way, because when I contemplate the vastness of the universe, and the exquisite simplicity of natural laws and the wonderful complexity of their consequences, I feel awe and reverence, just as I imagine religious people might when they contemplate their god. But I think that those feelings of awe and reverence are enough; we don’t need to try to attach some bad old idea to them in order to enjoy them.

    Good luck with your studies, and please be careful.

  17. athreason says

    Christopher : Thank you for the explanation , that was very helpful .

    moarscienceplz : Thank you for pointing that out :D .

    biogeo : Thank you for very good answers and for moral support . I guess , it is better to know the truth than to live in lies . My relationship with my religion was so deep , its not like I can chose to become atheist overnight I was in great doubt soon after listening to arguments. Very confused . So What I did is that I Collected the Arguments that I though were ground breaking and I wrote them all in my PC , Everyday I will look them up again to calm my self and assure myself. Since I was a strong believer . And I am an Arab now I am collecting unscientific verses in the Qur’an together hopefully one day I can produce something that can help other people like me . I am not feeling proud or happy . I am feel very humble of the scientific truth . And that is how I will chose to treat people who were like me .

    I will Try to learn more and more . Thank you friend . For helping me again . And Careful I shall be :)

  18. reverendrobbie says

    @brianpansky, yeah in context it looks like he was not speaking rhetorically. Tnx for providing the full video as I only watched the embedded video. Your description saved me a lot of headache, too, because I was about to watch it a few more times to try to figure out what he was getting at. What a disaster.

  19. grumpyoldfart says

    The reaction of his followers is the thing to worry about. They could see the proof right in front of their eyes and when their leader called it a lie they instantly agreed with him. Within the space of two seconds he had them so fired up he could have made them do anything for him.

    Imagine what would have happened at that moment if Tzortzis had called, “Attack the infidel.”

  20. KRS says

    grumpyoldfart at #21

    I don’t think the audience saw the video of Tzortzis actually saying the words. My understanding is that hat segment was added by the makers of the YouTube video to show the world that Tzortzis was lying, but the guy making the presentation didn’t have it on hand.

  21. Ichthyic says

    Within the space of two seconds he had them so fired up he could have made them do anything for him.

    exactly why this is all about authoritarianism.

    until people start wrapping their heads around the fact that 30% of us have authoritarian leaning personalities, and deal with that in a reasonable and reasoned fashion, religion will continue to be the dominant tool to organize manipulation of authoritarian personality types.

    been that way since before humans could write.

  22. Ichthyic says

    This is not to defend him. I haven’t taken the time to know what his philosophy is

    Please do take the time then.

    …and when you get over being violently ill, come back and tell us all about it.

  23. Ichthyic says

    If he had been born and raised in his native country, Greece he most probably would be a member of Golden Dawn.

    …authoritarians gonna be authoritarian…

  24. Ichthyic says

    Bill claims he never said any such thing. So they play the video clip for him of him saying it. Bill still adamantly denies he ever said it.

    huh. typically, when these assholes get caught out in a blatant lie, they don’t just flatly deny it. Instead, they say you “misinterpreted” what they were saying, and then proceed to make their baseless argument all over again, since you gave them the free opportunity to do just that.

    five bucks says that this is more like what orealy did.

  25. anuran says

    Would it be too much to hope that this guys followers and the Family Research Council could meet and do an amateur theater production of The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat?

  26. David Marjanović says

    also, apparently secularism = nationalism.

    Sort of understandable: historically, secularism in Muslim countries has always come with either nationalism or communism.

    huh. typically, when these assholes get caught out in a blatant lie, they don’t just flatly deny it. Instead, they say you “misinterpreted” what they were saying, and then proceed to make their baseless argument all over again, since you gave them the free opportunity to do just that.

    Yep. “The evil media misquoted me out of context.” And then suddenly they announce they want to spend more time with their family.

  27. says

    #24

    I am familiar with a lot of the fundie Muslim arguments. #17 does a good job of describing Hamza’s position in the arena. And it’s pretty much what I thought he would be arguing given the clip.

    To say I thoroughly disagree with him would give his argument too much credit. I can’t disagree with someone else’s dreamworld. (I can, of course, work to disallow them from acting their dreams out in the real world, and rest assured, I am.)

    My point was only that the clip does not say what the article says it says. I disagree that he is saying “however”. The syllabic stress doesn’t match. When I perceive something that doesn’t match what I am told, I’ll speak up.

    If we are going to pull this excerpt to the fore in order to make claims about the specific words Hamza has used in the past, we need to accurately portray what Hamza has said. This kind of thing reflects on our credibility.

    As noted after my comment, whether he’s saying “how do we” or “however” is irrelevant for understanding Hamza’s position. It’s just a passing phrase in a longer screed.

  28. rinn says

    Check Hamza’s “Clarifications & Responses”: http://www.hamzatzortzis.com/clarifications-and-responses/ which is basically admission of guilt (albeit with the obligatory “out of context” clause):

    The quote was taken from a YouTube video that was recorded almost 5 years ago. Even though the quote was taken out of context, the opinions of Hamza have changed since then. Hamza upholds freedom of expression and asserts that to reject this liberty is a self-defeating position. However, since he is a student of Islamic thought and philosophy he raises questions on the limits of expression including: since all nations have some restrictions limiting expression, where do we draw the line? What framework of law and values to we use to establish the limits to expression?

    I think this “clarification” (along with the others on his website) ought to have discredited him long ago. Oh well..

  29. says

    @rinn
    So, it was out of context, but he did say it, but he’s changed his mind, but he still kinda agrees with it.

    You know it’s a shitty clarification when it leaves you less certain about what his position actually is. Of course, in his case, that’s probably what he was going for.