Comments

  1. L1ttleT3d says

    After listening to Kieran do you yanks still think the English sound smarter?

  2. sayamything says

    I’m not sure it’s wise to use the example of universe-creating Pixies. I have it on good authority that Frank Black is a Catholic.

    …oh, the joke wasn’t THAT bad….

  3. Net says

    The whole transgender bathroom problem would not be problem at all if there were not separate male and female bathrooms. What if there were bathrooms for white and black and you identified as brownish? Stop the bathroom separation, there is not much reason for it. Another big bathroom trouble is father with daughter or mother with son. Stop the bathroom separation and you will make world a better place.

    Besides in some places the symbols for males and females are hard to decipher:)

  4. Leo K says

    @DanDare
    So a government issue item. When was the last time you filled out ANY government form, and didn’t have to provide them a gender? Social Security, what’s your gender? Taxes, what’s your gender? Change of Address form, what’s your gender? All kidding aside, I’m sure there’s a few legitimate reasons why it is/was require(d). For instance, legacy mandate when licenses didn’t have pictures on them, or collecting statistically information on all drivers on the road, not just gender, but age, type of vehicle, home of residence, etc. The latter can be used provide analysis of accidents rates by those search criteria (age, gender, vehicle, etc), and use to provide usable information.

    One last reason I can think of, and possible the most legitimate reason to have a gender identifier on an ID card of anykind, is simply to help identify a body in case of horrific accident. While processing a scene in which multiple people have been involved (i.e. bus, plane, train accident), a quick way for medical services to identify who’s who is to match up photo ID’s to bodies. This is not always possible, pending on the condition of the person, but a quick way to narrow down the possibilities is to see what the age and gender of there person the ID they’re holding onto says. This could significantly narrow down the list of victims at the scene, sure a corner will eventually figure it out, but until them, the police/EMT needs a faster way to identify who’s who and who’s missing at a scene.

    That being said, I think having a gender neutral government issue ID card is a bad idea, primarily for the last reason I provided. If the person is in transition, then they should be allowed to change the sex to read what they’re transitioning to. If they change their mind halfway through the process, then they go back to the DMV and change it back. Plain and simple, none of this ‘X’ business.

  5. DanDare says

    This was a fantastic episode. The discussion about Islam was particularly vivid and I think important. Its rare to see Jen get hot under the collar. Go for it! And great stuff from Matt too.

  6. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    I enjoyed this ep. and of course a HMD to Jenn!(and motherbird Matt lol) and to all the moms that watched the show.

    Matthew came with the “no true Christian” deed to the house but left with “bible slavery isn’t immoral.” He also helped himself to some mashed “faith” potato salad.

    Shaun(of the dead) must’ve been a utube theist. I cryed during that call.

    Kieran returns(if they ever left)!

    And his offensive hard on for Islam has not waned, he should get that checked, the mental health that is.

    It’s never not fun to hear people with the lower end of Sharia Law imposition risk act as though they’re being slowly fed it(cause Islam is the creeping death.)

    Muslims are a greater threat to each other than they are to us, hell the go to terror factions slaughter them before they even throw shit over the middle eastern border all while “western civilized” nations bury the innocent along with the trash in bombs and then fools like Kieran slam the door in the survivors faces, all in the name of, “we iz better dan dems!”

    It’s also always these types with the unjustified persecution complex, as though they have some truth that the world is trying to suppress, when, at the base of it, Kierans are just assholes, hence people dragging them(which is perceived as protecting Islam and any number of the shitty but not much new, turrible ideas it parades around.)

    Kierans thrive on multiplying the situation by whatever number that suits their case and then run around telling everybody else to drop their shit and run over to their cause, since it’s “totes pivotal to our survival!”

    Reformation doesn’t come by letting people die trying to escape situations our doucheBAG governments and citizens support. As Matt said; Education, Skepticism, *Science & Understanding does the job just fine. Muslims are human, the implementation of ESSU is what works for everyone(a lack of bombs and invasion also help.)

    Yes Sharia Law is a monstrous proposal of filth, yes the Koran says to do evil and immoral things and yes the current trend of terrorist acts is worrying but acting inhumanely and reactively instead of proactively is why the change you want/wanted(Kierans lack cohesive thought on this too) will seem unattainable.

  7. Loover says

    I also appreciated Matt’s nuanced discussion of Islam and in what ways it is or isn’t a “threat”.

  8. Monocle Smile says

    @Leo K
    That’s a compelling case. I might even suggest instead of including “gender” to include the chromosome pairing instead because that’s a true biological marker.

    I also just remembered that I never answered one of your questions from another thread about the quality of callers. In the earlier days of AXP, they had a considerable number of barely coherent mouth-breathers calling the show. In general, the caller quality has increased despite the whining of a few hit-and-run posters at this blog.

  9. einyv says

    Shaun was painful to listen too. He knew he had nothing and just wanted to say the same thing over and over. Once Matt showed the error in his way, Shaun wanted to stick his head in the sand.

    Pretty sad.

  10. Leo K says

    @Monocle Smile
    I thought about that for a second, drop the whole M/F for the (Joe Rogan promoted) X/Y categories, but that would make things even more complicated. In my accident scene scenario, sorting through recovered ID cards with X/Y categories, may not match with what they’re presented with. If a man (X) transitions to a woman (Y), her ID card would read X, but she might look like your typical Y. Just typing that sentence out made my head hurt, now image that at a scene of a plane crash, with everything that’s going around you. Things can easily get out of hand. I understand this will not fix the above scenario, given some people androgynous appearance, but for the most part M/F categories is a much more easily identifiable marker. Once you get into this whole gender neutrality business, things get extremely complicated and frankly silly Prof. Jordan Peterson can attest to.

    I agree, for the most part, the callers I’ve heard from later shows tend to be more coherent in their attempts to stump the atheist. It’s now more common to hear a few of the theist callers say something to the nature that, some buddy of theirs said they should call the show to be stumped, questioned, hung up on, etc. It’s also interesting to see how these coherent theist quickly become flustered as their beliefs begin to get dismantled piece by piece, with Matthew being a perfect example of that. He sounded pretty normal at first, but quickly scrambled towards the end to justify his beliefs by slapping together what ever he could to justify his stance, finally defaulting to ‘faith’ as his linchpin to his belief.

    Side note, I believe Matt would get further in his point, if he would simply drop the name calling. I understand it can be quite frustrating dealing with this types of callers, repeating the same arguments over, and over again, but he doesn’t win any points by belittling the callers. I understand why he does it, sometimes you need to say something shocking to break through the noise, and it might work for that one instance, but in the end who gains no points from the broader audience.

    I know I mentioned a couple weeks back that I wasn’t too sure if I should continue with the show, and I’m still on the fence about it, but for the time being, it kills a hour or show Monday/Tuesday morning at work. Plus it interesting to read the comment section on this block. I dont have anything as close to this show here in Florida, so it’s nice to hear/see people fight for reason wherever they can.

  11. Bruce says

    If callers are going to sound like they are under water or worse, somebody needs to tell them to take it off of speaker . This really gets annoying.

  12. Monocle Smile says

    @Leo K
    Personally, I’m absolutely fine with Matt’s hostility towards dishonest, poo-flinging theists. We’ve become desensitized to religious garbage such that loads of people don’t react as they should towards things like threats of hell. I used to love watching Jeff Dee go off on someone on the subject of hell. I feel it’s extremely important to bring back sanity here.

    Also, in this country, atheists are by and large shat upon by religious figures and media, and the callers who proselytize are feeding into that stigma, so a little belittling is in order. Turnabout is fair play. Given Matt’s following, I think his approach resonates with the broader audience just fine.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_gHFdIh-9Thk/SxglI7HHqqI/AAAAAAAAAiA/kaQJtjQF7Zs/s320/Comic.jpg

  13. pureone says

    @Monocle Smile & Leo K.

    Using someones sex chromosomes to define gender is problematic simply because sex chromosomes don’t always match phenotype Gene deletion and translocations mean there are 46,XY females, 46, XX males. Extra or missing sex chromosome syndromes inxlude 47,XXY makes, 45,X (Turner syndrome) females, Females with more than 2 X chromosomes (49,XXXXX for example). Men often have age related loss of Y chromosome , women loss of the X. Some people have the tissue of an absorbed twin making some cells opposite gender.

    Plus everyone would need to get chromosomes analyzed. People might find put they have constitutional abnormality and that could cause some stress and worry.

  14. Monocle Smile says

    @pureone
    You’ve actually highlighted exactly why I suggested that…Leo talked about identification of bodies, and M/F or X wouldn’t actually help with that. Having a DNA test done and putting a person’s chromosome ID on the license would assist with body identification in a way that a straight M/F would not.

  15. pureone says

    Also, by listing karyotype on ID, we’d have someone’s private medical condition out on public display.

  16. pureone says

    @Monocle- I think you misunderstood. Karyotype doesn’t always match birth phenotype, so putting karyptype is as worthless as putting M/F. And then you’d violate patient confidentiality.

  17. Monocle Smile says

    @pureone
    No, I don’t misunderstand. I’m advocating for removing “gender” and all references to sex-related phenotype from the license. I guess you’re correct about HIPAA, so yeah, that’s an actual problem.

  18. Monocle Smile says

    Shaun was a clown. Paw Paw has a population of under 10,000 people, but it’s close enough to Kalamazoo that he doesn’t really have the bumpkin excuse. “We all have parents, therefore god.” Even worse than “look at the trees.” I don’t know which no-name pathetic youtube theist he is, but he called in to get Matt to hang up on him and only for that purpose. I’m glad Matt and Jen stopped taking him seriously. Shaun’s brain broke when Matt tossed the sunglasses.

    Matthew plays the same stupid word games as lots of christians. “Slavery is stealing freedom, and the bible says don’t steal, so HAHAHA” Shut the fuck up, Matthew.

    Kieran was a straight-up christian apologist. I’m really, really sick of European Islamophobes carrying on about Sharia law. Yeah, the immigration laws in the UK etc. are pretty fucked up and some bad shit has happened across the ocean, but the reactionaries are still not justified. Jen threw the hammer down and Kieran wanted to ignore all of that…because brown people, apparently. I’ve tried time and again to find non-racist explanations for why reactionaries are all “stop worrying about christianity because Sharia law,” but so far, I’ve exhausted them.

  19. Leo K says

    @Monocle Smile
    I agree Matt’s message is resonating, he’s the reason I came across the show in the first place. I’m not entirely sure what the YouTube thread was like, but I came across one of Matt’s discussion/debates on YouTube, watched a few more of his talks/debates, and in one of them he mentioned the show. Figured I give it a look-see on YouTube, and it caught my attention, enough that I watch a few months worth of back shows, and felt I had something to contribute, which is when I first made myself present on this site. All of this is directly attributed to Matt’s message/personality. Atheist Experience also benefits from a whole hosts of equally knowledgeable hosts, but it is interesting to see the different personalities, and what they say and what tone they use, and Matt is by-far the most confrontational.
    I agree, some theist do need a strong, moral, boisterous character (like Matt) to verbally knock some sense into them, but if you belittle the opponent, then you lose some of that credibility you were striving to gain with your argument. The point is to win the hearts and minds of your opponent(s), while simultaneously giving them an excuse to tune you out. But I understand, different personalities have different ways of approaching the same topic, and Matt’s approach is more blunt.
    And if we’re going to share comics, I personally like one of Tracie Harris old comics:
    “https://somniay.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/030207-0712-intolerance11.png?w=570”
    I’ve seen a few modern variants of this, but I’ll give her credit for it since she’s part of the show.

  20. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    I watched the episode with my theist mother and she felt more perturbed by Matt’s curse words than Matthew’s refusal to admit the truth of slavery being immoral. I would’ve been stunned by this if I didn’t know her, with the fact that we’re AA it’s nothing short of wrath inducing.

    How one can get upset at curse words and not at brute, complicit apologetics for the immoral is truly one of religion’s best tapped markets.

  21. pureone says

    I thought toihavebecause i demonstrated karyotype vs birth phenotype are as problematic as M/F.

  22. Leo K says

    @Monocle Smile & Pureone
    This is while I prefer to stick with what’s worked for dozen’s of years, M/F. Using gender neutral ID cards doesn’t make sense in a practical sense, and instituting anything different just complicates matters in the absurdity. There’s the people who would simply not want to give the government a way to identify them, so DNA encoding an ID card would be a nearly impossible feat. Then there’s chromosomal changes, so using the X/Y classifiers would become far too costly to keep up with.
    And my topic of identifying bodies in an accident scene was more for an instant triage of a given situation. Helping the first responders quickly identify who’s who, in a highly stressful situation, and a more accurate postmortem identification can take place after the fact. In an accident, the best most first responders have to deal with could be the scattered remains they have to work work on the scene, purses, wallets, personal remains, ticket manifest, etc. Matching a one-for-one could help them account for everyone on a scene, and if anyone else might be missing. If you’re looking for 10 Females and 10 males, but only have 19 bodies in front of you, you can quickly narrow down who’s missing. Again, this is only a scenario I came up with to justify having some gender identifier on an ID card.

  23. ironchops says

    When it comes to evidence Matt said “I’ll take whatever you have” but that is not true. Over many years of episodes it has been made apparent that Matt and most other reasonable freethinkers will not accept rhetoric and eyewitness accounts as evidence due to its unreliability. Not saying that Shaun had good arguments or any new evidence or even a leg to stand on. On several other previous episodes Matt also said that he doesn’t know what evidence will convince him that a god exist. I take that to mean that even if there was good empirical, or some other kind of, evidence were to be presented that most skeptics would and should take more than a few moments to examine it and decide if there is good reason to believable the evidence. My question is, can real facts, philosophies, ideas and concepts be presented through art, fiction or poetry?
    Mathew sounded just like Chrisley. Matt, if I got you to write a book about my life for me, that I dictated to you, would you claim authorship? By the way, morals are human constructs. Slavery is not moral or immoral but I agree that is wrong.
    Matt said he is a mutha
    To James-that is not proof of god but it is a demonstration how boring the atheist vs theist arguments are. The same ole arguments over and over with the same canned responses. There is no empirical proof either way (that I know of) that a god exists. That does not mean that no god exists.

  24. Monocle Smile says

    @ironchops
    When Matt says “I’ll take whatever you have,” he means “I’m willing to listen to what you think is evidence.” He says this because a certain persuasion of theist will accuse Matt of dismissing things arbitrarily without ever hearing them.

    My question is, can real facts, philosophies, ideas and concepts be presented through art, fiction or poetry?

    The latter three, sure, but if the purpose is clear, coherent communication about reality, those would be poor choices with the exception of direct analogies (which can count as fiction).

  25. Leo K says

    @Ironchops
    Agree, Matt’s statement about taking and evidence was a bit odd with this caller, specially considering the several contradictory stances he’s held in the past, but I simply understood his tactic as getting the caller to simply offer up something/anything of substance, instead of the rambling faith speech he was giving. By now, most callers know not to fall into that trap, because it opens that proof to logical analysis/dissection.

  26. sayamything says

    Oh my Pixies, just got to the end (Apparently, I paused the video when I thought I’d let it run out, whoops).

    I disagree with Matt that this is the fallacy of relative privation. It’s a selection bias. When a presumed Christian does something awful, we don’t attribute it to Islam. If a dozen white dudes named things like Chad and Joe flew planes into skyscrapers, there is every chance that we wouldn’t even have the discussion of religion. We don’t tend to question the group that is “us” or the group that is the status quo. When a kid who ran a racist website, had a racist manifesto, and told people in a black church exactly why they had to die ended up shooting up that church, we (as a nation) were slow to question whether racism or white supremacy had anything to do with it (“Hurr hurr Islam isn’t a race,” says every follower of Saint Dawkins who complains about Muslims the minute a brown person does something bad but remains quiet when white people do the same). A good number of Americans were incensed by a fictitious terror attack in Sweden, but were silent on the actual wave of violence against Muslims that had been happening just a month or so prior. There was a lot of fire over the Quebec Mosque attack until we found out that it wasn’t a Muslim. Then things got really quiet, really fast. We were all about how bad Muslims suck when we assumed it was Muslims, but when it wasn’t…where were the same and equal declarations? The demands that people like the attacker apologise? The complaints that silence equals support?

    Well, there were some ironic ones, but they largely weren’t coming from the same camp.

    This is what ticked me off about the reaction to Pulse shooting. It’s still pretty dangerous to be LGBT in America (and an argument that it’s worse in other nations actually would be a relative privation argument), but the only time the nation really seems concerned about us is when a Muslim attacks and you can blame Islam. When Christians attack gay establishments, it’s hardly reported. We’re slow to tackle the notion of homophobia, but if a brown person does it HO MY GAWD.

    The solution isn’t so much “change your laws,” either, because we have people in America spouting the same conspiracy crap.
    Matt’s dealt with them before (possibly Tracy, too, I don’t remember who his cohosts were on clips dealing with things like the “Ground Zero Mosque”). A good portion of this argument is simply fictional, and doesn’t go away just because you have protections. We have people in this country screaming about Sharia Law, too. Why? Because there’s a narrative out there that The Other is taking over and if we don’t act now, then Gay Jewish Muslims will force you to pray to Mecca five times a day and have mandatory sex reassignment. And the problem with that last statement is it’s far less facetious than it really should be. Americans are concerned about this onslaught of Muslims attacking America while the data still suggests the big threat is white supremacists, and Europe has had a ton of this same sort of response. I suspect the reason that both White America and White Europeans are so more willing to tolerate white nationalism is because we have common enemies. You know, like Muslims.

    Meanwhile, we rally around people we perceive to be “like us.” It makes sense; the minute someone tries to tar us, we get our hackles up. We intuitively infer this is inappropriate behaviour when it’s done to us, but not so much when it’s done to others.

    Jen pointed some of this out, too. Her argument about maternal mortality in Texas is a decent example because Americans are largely okay with women dying needlessly, but when it comes to Islam we are fast to point out how much they hate women. Misogyny isn’t a Muslim thing, and the fact that we have so many wedge issues in American politics which specifically revolve around women and self-determination is a solid example.

    It’s hard to even argue that Islam is particularly worse when you tend to report only the actions of the people you don’t like, or only portray them as typical of group while denying any possible causal link from your own.

    Gaming the argument seems popular, too. “How many Christians are Jihadists?” seems an incredibly dishonest question, along the lines of “how many Muslims are Christian terrorists?” (you can pick your specific branch or sect if you want).

    I’m more than willing to go out on the limb of saying that there are zero Christian Jihadists, though there might be (I guess). So what? What, precisely, does that translate into? If there’s a higher prevalence of these acts, that exists whether or not there are Christian Jihadists. But the people complaining about Islam, in my experience, fail to make a case that it’s worse without narrowing the playing field. People keep trying to argue to me that Americans don’t throw gay people off buildings.

    No, Americans drag us behind pickups and beat us in allies and shoot us. You know, like civilised people. But Muslims throw us off buildings, you see, so that doesn’t matter. Muslims throw gay people off buildings, so they’re bad, and stop trying to point out how ridiculous and contrived my argument is.

    Having had nice white Christian boys try and kill me, I can’t say for sure I’d find being tossed off a building any worse than being left for dead on a dirty road in the middle of Rural America. But Muslims are bad, you see, because they throw gay people off buildings. Violence against gays isn’t a white thing when white do it. It’s not a male thing when men do it. It’s not a Christian thing when Christians do it. Americans and Western Europeas tend to get hostile and defensive when you suggest that.

    But you bet your sweet backside it’s a Muslim thing when Muslims do it.

    Christians are especially good at arguing how the Quran tells you to be racist, sexist and homophobic, while arguing that the Bible doesn’t REALLY mean you should kill gays, women who aren’t virgins, or keep slaves, because…umm…that’s different…umm…look over there! But Islam is really bad, because look at all the awful things in their holy book. Just…don’t look at mine.

    What, those Westboro Baptist guys and the preachers who praised the Pulse shooter and those legislators trying to outlaw homosexuality even after the SCOTUS ruling? Well, they’re not REAL Christians. But every last Muslim is accountable for everything any Muslim does.

    This has already gone on longer than I’d intended, but I feel I need to wrap up with this: none of this makes Sharia Law acceptable or bad things done by Muslims “okay.” I’ve watched the TAE crew get accused of accommodationalism just for not being whilling to get the tar and feathers like the good, logical, True Atheists. I’ve been through this before: this black or white mentality that if I don’t think this is inherently a Muslim thing, I’m one of those strawhippies who are okay with gays and women being murdered if a Muslim does it because “it’s just their culture.” I don’t accept that it is “just their culture,” and I don’t supportr these actions, whether they are done by a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew, a Buddhist, an atheist, or a freaking Jedi.

    What bothers me, what disgusts me, is this naked hypocrisy in action, that Muslims are bad because of their horrors, but #notallmen or #notallwhitews or #notallChristians because of “ours.” The Kierans of the world have a specific axe to grind. I really couldn’t care less whether it’s a Muslim or a Christian trying to murder me.

    They’re still trying to murder me.

    And I really don’t give a damn if they’re a “Jihadist” or a “Christian soldier,” or just trying to “save me.”

  27. ant8me says

    Pixies did not create the universe, leprechauns did!! I am in direct communication with them. They exist in a parallel universe known as the lepriverse.

    Help I think I may have become an atheist!! I was never a devout christian, although I was born into a christian family. I’d describe myself as having average intelligence and I have always found comfort in the idea of a creator.

    Recently after watching a few fascinating videos on abiogenesis, evolution, intelligent design and fine tuning on youtube (see cdk007 on youtube, brilliant videos exploring science), i began having the thought “what is the purpose of a creator?”. I haven’t been able to answer the question because it seems to me we have discovered so much about the laws of nature why still believe in a creator. We no longer live in caves and look up at the heavens trying to come up with explanations for natural events. I now find myself wanting to reject all notions of a creator.

    I find beauty in the possibility that the universe is a result of a fluctuation in the quantum vacuum. I know that this is only theory, but scientists have been contemplating the possibility and devising mathematics to show how such an event could occur. To me this seems far more probable than the notion of a creator that twiddles a few dials, presses the start button and hey presto, creates a universe, from nothing?

    I just cannot see how a creator could exist or ever have existed, so I think this makes me an atheist? According to the wiki page I am a positive or strong atheist – “explicit affirmation that gods do not exist.”. I know that i cannot prove this but this is a personal belief and I am entitled to hold this belief. In conversations,
    am I correct in thinking that it would be better taking a “softer” position otherwise I would have the burden of proof?

    It’s interesting, it literally happened overnight. I’m no different now than I was before and I still go about my daily life as before.

  28. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    ^made me want to lie down. Damn! *wipes sweat from brows.*

    That was a read.

  29. mond says

    @sayamything

    You are 100% correct that Kieran has an axe to grind.
    He is talking about ‘the muslims’ taking over and getting sharia law in the UK. (which is total BS)
    https://fullfact.org/law/uks-sharia-courts/

    The UK has Scotland, England, Wales and Northen Ireland.
    The only part of the UK that doesn’t have same sex marriage is Northern Ireland and this is basically due to religion.
    Basically the Protestant parties are against and the Catholic party & Non-sectarian are for it.
    So in a country where Kieran is soooo concerned about ‘the muslims’ taking over, real progress is being retarded by one group of christians who disagree with another group of christians.

    Also Northern Ireland, unlike the rest of the UK, will only allow abortion to save the mothers life.
    When the UK law changed in 1967 to allow abortion in wider circumstances it was not extended to Northern Ireland.
    This also has religious roots. In this case both catholic and protestants were mostly against extending the law to Northern
    Ireland

    England and Wales have laws which restrict the hours shops can open on a Sunday.
    The laws actually used to be more strict with very few shops being allowed BY LAW to trade on a Sunday.
    When the law was proposed to allow limited hours of opening on a Sunday it was opposed by many christian groups.
    Ultimately the christian groups lost BUT they have been able to prevent multiple attempts to amend the law in an even more liberal direction.

    There are religious forces at work shaping laws in the UK but these are not the religious zealots that Kieran and his ilk bother about.

  30. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    Gravitationally speaking, the sun is actually a far lower power…

  31. RationalismRules says

    @Leo K #9

    I believe Matt would get further in his point, if he would simply drop the name calling. I understand it can be quite frustrating dealing with this types of callers, repeating the same arguments over, and over again, but he doesn’t win any points by belittling the callers.

    Matt (and other hosts) have said on numerous occasions that the goal of the show is not to change the mind of the single person on the other end of the call, it’s to reach people who are watching the conversation. Conflict is entertaining, entertainment brings viewers, more viewers means more people exposed to the emptiness of theist arguments. Job done.

  32. says

    @Monocle Smile #8

    I also just remembered that I never answered one of your questions from another thread about the quality of callers. In the earlier days of AXP, they had a considerable number of barely coherent mouth-breathers calling the show. In general, the caller quality has increased despite the whining of a few hit-and-run posters at this blog.

    lol
    *runs away*

  33. Max says

    BRILLIANT response by Jen at the end about how Christian theocracy in our nation is just as harmful as Islamic theocracy would be. Good stuff!

  34. Monocle Smile says

    Gerard, my hostility will cease immediately if you decide to start engaging honestly and openly. You can call me a fucknozzle twice a post and I won’t care. I don’t know why it’s so hard for you to be clear, concise, and forthcoming.

  35. Pommy Bob says

    mond.

    So is it your opinion that there is no trend of Islam spreading throughout Europe and causing issues that become greater with the greater percentage of adherents in a country?

    Also, do you perceive a difference in threat between a religious ideology that comes from within and has been back-peddling for the last few hundred years, and an external one that has increased massively in the last few decades and has people from our own society so tamed that they willingly coverup 1400 women / girls being sexually assaulted over 10 years due to fear of being seen to be “islamophobic”?

    One of these religions is moving backwards and one is moving forwards as it has demonstrated since the 7th century, and not through tolerance and peace.

  36. Yaddith says

    Beginning at 48:00, Matt discusses Dr. Robert M. Price’s Christ-myth theory. To clarify Dr. Price’s position, he does not say that Jesus definitely did not exist, but rather that there is currently insufficient evidence to prove that he existed. This is analogous to the difference between the strong atheist and weak atheist positions.

    For me, the fact that the name “Jesus” means “Salvation” is itself an indication that he may be an entirely mythical figure, although it is certainly true that “Jesus” was a common Hebrew name at the time.

  37. Cake says

    I just wanted to supply an European perspective on the discussion about the dangers of Islam.

    West European countries have very low murder and violent crime rates, with France, Britain and Germany each having fewer than 1000 cases of murder/manslaughter each per year. If you deduct in-family crime and crime within criminal circles, your risk of being harmed in public spaces is extremely low. Violent crimes also have been falling for decades.
    Against this long-term trend, 2016 crime statistics for Germany show increases between 10 % and 20 % for violent crimes and murders, due to recent immigrants from a certain group of countries. In France, the situation is much worse, with big terror attacks such as at the Bataclan or in Nice having claimed around 100 deaths each.

    This means that my and my family’s risk of getting injured or killed when in public has increased drastically. If this is not something to get angry about, then I don’t know what is. And remember, religious terrorists literally kill for nothing – they believe in an imaginary god and his imagined wishes.

    In addition to these hard facts, there is the political climate. During the pre-referendum campaign in Turkey, Turkish government cabinet ministers have threatened European citizens both with religious wars and with street violence. This is the same Turkish government that runs a ministry of religion with 600000 employees and is commissioning most imams preaching in European mosques.

    Direct death threats to the non-Islamic public are not just limited to the Internet, they feature in government speeches, and sometimes concretely in the form pf posters, etc.

    Please take also into account that there is no risk of Christian fundamentalism getting a hold on politics. Christian religion is largely confined to the private realm, and not part of the public discourse anymore.

  38. Cake says

    Oh, and I forgot: Of course Jen and Matt have a point when they limit themselves to the situation in the US. But I do suspect that the international appeal of the show is welcomed by the Atheist Community of Austin, and that international outreach is even part of the design.

  39. ironchops says

    MS & Leo K-I got that. I just thought that a little funny I guess. If the caller had opened up with “well the bi…” click. He most likely would not have listened to the rest.
    Thanks for responding.

  40. Orphan Black says

    Is there anyone there that identifies trolls? I could tell right off that Shaun was a troll. He just argued anything just to keep the conversation going no matter how stupid.

    I was screaming “hang up on this troll”. Takes time away from “serious” theists.

  41. Vic says

    @Mond

    I’m glad somebody has said this, it saves me the bother. Kieran was talking total BS and misrepresenting the situation in the UK and Europe massively. It sounds like he’s swallowed the agenda of the right-wing press hook, line and sinker without actually going outside and seeing if any of it tallies with reality.
    I lived in Belfast, Northern Ireland for over 10 years and experienced an inordinate amount of Christian terrorism, although I have never encountered violent Muslim extremism personally and would guess that over 99% of people in the UK haven’t either. Just to give you an idea of what gets conveniently ignored by the likes of our disgracefully misleading press – the Sun, the Daily Mail, et al – in favour of shouting “Muslim danger”, you can check out this BBC timeline that only covers the Catholic side of the Christian terrorism in NI
    “http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-10866072”
    It’s horrifying. Interestingly, I can’t find a similar BBC resource for the Protestant violence, but that’s definitely not because it doesn’t exist, it’s just as rife.

  42. Les Black says

    I don’t get you guys who’re always wanting the hosts to immediately cut off the irrational/theistic/”trolling” callers. I myself take great delight in seeing their positions dismantled. It also helps me stock my own rhetorical arsenal for when I run across similar people in my own life. Why in the world do you just want to hear from people who hold the same position as yourselves? Boring!! And how many times does it have to be explained that the arguments the hosts have with theists are just as much for the observers, who may still have an open mind, as they are for the closed-minded caller him/herself. No, even more! The day when TAE tolerates only atheist callers is the day I stop tuning in.

    To you hosts, you’re fighting the good fight. Keep up the great work!

  43. Monocle Smile says

    @Les
    There’s a difference between productive theist callers and trolls who just want to waste time and bring the discussion down to the stupidest level possible. I don’t engage real-life trolls and I don’t think anyone should. That’s the real complaint here.

  44. DanDare says

    Even arguing with the trolls is interesting up to a point . It highlights their failures. I think they tend to get it right.

  45. Les Black says

    Well, to quote The Dude, that’s like, your opinion, man. One man’s troll is another man’s punching bag. Unfortunately, there are lots of people who live at the “stupidest level possible”. How else can we explain our recent presidential election? One reason they live in that place is because they’ve never heard anything else. I believe there are lots of people out there who can benefit from seeing a troll’s reasoning, or lack of it, exposed and trounced. And hey, it can be fun. Besides, in *my* opinion (man), the only difference between the reasoning of what you call a “productive theist” and that of a troll is a thin patina left over from a wasted education.

  46. Monocle Smile says

    @Les
    Meh, you do indeed have a point, especially with that last part, but I still feel like there are a number of callers that aren’t worth the time they waste. I don’t really think Shaun was one of them (although “YOU CAN’T HANDLE FACTS” should have earned a “you’re done”), but the Alex/Adam/Brad/what-the-fuck neckbeard who’s been calling in over the past weeks shouldn’t be entertained by the show any more.

    I feel there are ways to distinguish genuine but wildly ignorant/belligerent callers from the trolling fakers, and this is the difference I meant to highlight.

  47. Monocle Smile says

    @Pommy Bob
    Those are some rather…interesting…apologetics. Revisionist history is always fun. Be less dishonest next time.

  48. says

    On the subject of trans restroom legislations, i’ll quote a great comic/writer from up here in canadia. There should just be one room with a sign that reads “It’s a room for poop and it’s weird that you’re so concerned who you’ll see in here.”

  49. DanDare says

    @cake in 40. Please cite where you are getting your figures. Also please show how it is known who is causing the increase in violent crime and how you know there are no other factors. Thanks in advance.

  50. mond says

    @Pommy Bob.

    I am from the West of Scotland which still has massive sectarian issue as far as the christian religions are concerned (Prostestant/Catholic).
    Trust me I am in far more danger of harm if I am perceived to be the wrong type of christian than from other religious groups wishing me ill.

    As for people so tamed that they turned a blind eye to sexual assault through fear of being labelled Islamophobic.
    Of course that would be totally different from all those good white christian folks who covered up WORLDWIDE sexual abuse for the best part of at least half a century.

    Also there have been prosecution of groups such as the Rochale abusers where original reluctance to investigate was questioned. BUT it was investigated and people went to jail.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochdale_child_sex_abuse_ring#Trial_and_sentences

  51. Paul Money says

    Sayamything, the well-known typing error, misses the point I believe. From the atheist point of view, it is Islam that sucks. Muslims are demonstrably good neighbours, arguably better than other groups, certainly no worse. How does this work in practice? Although an atheist, I would take action to defend muslims against attacks on their persons, homes, businesses and mosques. On the other hand, I would also speak out very strongly against any attempt to alter the law of the country to accomodate sharia law or anything like it.
    This is really no different to my position on Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism or an y ism you care to name.
    Let’s fight religious bullshit, it’s what we are here for, but you don’t need to target people.

  52. Cake says

    @DanDare : I didn’t want to write a scientific article, but here is a version with more figures and sources. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    I just wanted to supply an European perspective on the discussion about the dangers of Islam.
    West European countries have very low murder and violent crime rates, with France, Britain and Germany each having fewer than 1000 cases of murder/manslaughter each per year. If you deduct in-family crime and crime within criminal circles, your risk of being harmed in public spaces is extremely low. Believe or not, in the twelve months ending March 2015 only 125 people have been killed by strangers in Britain (Home Office, Homicide Index). Violent crimes across Europe also have been falling for decades, for example murder in Germany by an average of −3.6 % per year from 1987 to 2007 (Bundeskriminalamt).

    Against this long-term trend, 2016 crime statistics for Germany show large increases for rape (+12.8 %, Bundeskriminalamt), grievous bodily harm (+9.9 %, Bundeskriminalamt) and murders (+14.3 %, Bundeskriminalamt), due to recent immigrants from a certain group of countries (in 2016, 33.9 % of suspects were foreigners as per Bundeskriminalamt). More details are provided by Germany’s federal states: In Bavaria, grievous bodily harm committed by immigrants grew in 2016 by +93 %, and 20 % of all violent crime suspects were immigrants (Die Zeit, “Wie kriminell sind Flüchtlinge?” on 19 April 2017).

    In France, the situation is much worse, with big terror attacks such as at the Bataclan (130 dead) or in Nice (86 killed) having claimed so many people’s lives.

    This means that my and my family’s risk of getting injured or killed when in public has increased drastically. If this is not something to get angry about, then I don’t know what is. And remember, religious terrorists literally kill for nothing – they believe in an imaginary god and his imagined wishes.

    In addition to these hard facts, there is the political climate. During the pre-referendum campaign in Turkey, Turkish government members have threatened European citizens both with religious wars (foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Antalya, March 2017) and with street violence (president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Ankara, 22 March 2017). This is the same Turkish government that runs a ministry of religion (Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı) with more than one hundred thousand employees and a budget larger than that of thirteen other ministries. This ministry of religion controls many mosques and their imams in western Europe, for example 900 mosques in Germany alone.

    Direct death threats to the non-Islamic public are not just limited to the Internet, they feature in government speeches, and sometimes concretely in the form of wall posters, etc.

    Please take also into account that there is no risk of Christian fundamentalism getting a hold on European politics. Christian religion is largely confined to the private realm, public society being secular.

  53. mond says

    @Cake

    Please link directly to sources.

    Otherwise anyone can say anything and claim they are official stats.

    BTW the above statement is official advice from Department of Homeland Security.

  54. says

    I know that leaving this message is pointless, because nobody from the atheist experience has EVER responded to me in any way, but I would like to inform Matt Dillahunty that his “universe creating pixies” argument……IS CRAP!!!!!! It’s NOT about WHAT God “is” dude!!! Who gives a fat shit about what God “is”!!! This is about the existence of a higher power, which is CLEARLY indicated in various ways that can’t be denied!!!!! You also say that there are no examples of anything supernatural, but the Higgs field is ABSOLUTELY a SUPERNATURAL component of reality that has been observed as such, and that fact CAN NOT BE DENIED! There is also the “genome”, which is ABSOLUTELY a DIGITAL CODE SEQUENCE and there is NOTHING you can do to argue that point…….IT IS A FACT!!!!! There is also the cosmological constant, which is so precise that it could NEVER come about by chance, a FACT that is also undeniable!!!!! I would stomp you flat in a debate Matt, but you are FAR too weak to face me!!!!!

  55. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    @Cake
    You’ve been a bit spotty in providing numbers, so I apologise if I’m pulling inaccurate numbers here.
    If we start with 125 as our number for murders committed by strangers, and we add 14.3% to that number, do we suddenly have a terrifying crime wave? I do realise that the base is for the UK and the increase is for Germany, but, again, spotty numbers. It is a large relative increase, yes, but, as you stated, the starting number was small. I also realise that any increase in crime is objectively a bad thing, and even 1 murder is too many in a civilised society, but 18 additional murders is not quite the end of the world scenario that some would have us believe. It is clearly devastating for those who lose loved ones as a result of it, but the same is true of our original 125.
    You state that “grievous bodily harm committed by immigrants” is up by 93% but give no indication of the base number. If it was 1, it is now 2. This is the problem with small numbers and percentages – an increase of any magnitude to a small number is a large percentage increase. I also note that grievous bodily harm without reference to perpetrator has only increased by 9.9%. Again, I’m sure these percentages don’t match up perfectly, as you’ve got percentages pulled from all over the place, but assuming there is some relation between the two, and even assuming that the 9.9% increase is entirely down to immigrants, it would certainly appear that either the actual numbers involved are, again, quite small, or we already have an epidemic of GBH that needs addressing now regardless of perpetrator.

    Something worth keeping in mind is that a large number of immigrants in the current world climate are refugees. That means they’re not the restless few looking for a better life in Europe – they’re a significant chunk of an entire country’s population. That means even their petty criminals. That means even their paranoid reactionaries looking at percentages and shouting at anyone who will listen; “Look! 80% of their violent crime suspects are European! We must be wary of them!!” It means the best and the worst. It means the peacemakers and the warhawks. There is a criminal element among them, as there is among those who were here before them. That does not make them criminals any more than it makes us criminals. There is a violent element among them, as there is among those who were here before them. That does not make them violent any more than it makes us violent. I’m far more worried about what’ll happen if America collapses under Trump’s rule, and we have American refugees coming over with their horrifying gun crime rates.

    Another thing worth keeping in mind is that your opening statement made it seem that your comment was about the dangers of Islam, but it’s pretty much all about immigrants to this point. Immigrant =/= Muslim. Many immigrants are Muslims, true, but many are Christian, and other religious views are represented among them. It is dishonest to cite these numbers as an argument against Islam.

    You cite examples of Islamic terrorism. Yes, terrorism is a threat. Statistically speaking, not a very large threat to life – although, again, clearly devastating to those who are victims of it, or lose loved ones to it – but still a threat.
    When I was young, Irish terrorism was a pretty common thing. Over decades, the IRA, UVF, INLA, UDA and others killed more than I can, or could bear to calculate. Would it have been reasonable for me to see any Irish person as a threat because of that? Bearing in mind that the vast majority of the victims were Irish, in much the same way that the majority of victims of Islamic terrorism terrorism are Muslims and people in Muslim majority nations?
    In 2011, one pointless arsehole and terrorist killed 77 people in Norway, out of fear of Islam. One piece of shit killed over four times as many people in one day than your numbers would have us believe immigrants have killed in a year, motivated by the fear you are trying to market to us now.

    Allowing ourselves to be ruled by fear, based on flimsy data and assumptions, as you seem to be promoting, will achieve nothing but bigotry and bloodshed. There is no point to it. It is irrational.

  56. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    For the record, my most recent statement, being that of a European, is also a European perspective.

  57. Cake says

    @Athywren – I’m promoting the rule of fear? Sources, please? I make flimsy assumptions? Evidence, please?

  58. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    You want a source for your fear mongering? You can’t just… scroll up?

  59. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    And it was flimsy data – data that tells us little, owing to having very little context – not flimsy assumptions, although I would argue that assuming your flimsy data about how dangerous immigrants supposedly are relates to Islam is a fairly flimsy assumption, so I’ll let that misreading pass.
    Sorry for the weird gap between comments – food arrived.

  60. Cake says

    @Athywren – in my post, I state well-reported facts. There are no assumptions made by me (please cite one, if you can).
    I make one claim – that it is reasonable to get angry if your risk of being harmed increases. What is fear mongering about facts? If you call that fearmongering, what do you call Erdogan’s and Cavisoglu’s statements?

  61. Cake says

    Athywren, what does the “flimsy” data about the Bataclan and the Nice massacres and their “flimsy” connection to Islam tell you?

  62. Monocle Smile says

    @Cake
    While those two incidents were indeed devastating and terrifying, they don’t actually tell you if your family is in more danger in public than it was before.

  63. Monocle Smile says

    I live in Los Angeles. The shooting in San Bernardino doesn’t mean I’m in more danger now than I was before the shooting.

  64. Cake says

    @Monocle Smile – My point is that Islamists have committed terror attacks that caused deaths at a magnitude comparable to the total number of murders per year in a given European country. Having evidence that this is both possible and likely does increase your statistical chance of getting harmed. How could it not?

  65. Monocle Smile says

    @Cake
    Show your work. It appears you’re trying to connect numbers that aren’t really related, and when asked to show causation rather than weak correlation and also calibrate for base numbers, you instead got facetious with Athywren.

  66. Cake says

    @ Monocle Smith: The numbers of people murdered in individual incidents and the total number of people murdered are not related? And what work should I show you?
    I do apologize if I was facetious, but it was Athywren who accused me of fearmongering and flimsy assumptions (later half retracted). Where was I wrong in my treatment of Athywren?

  67. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    @Cake

    in my post, I state well-reported facts.

    Well reported facts devoid of context or supporting data.

    There are no assumptions made by me (please cite one, if you can).

    That immigrant is a synonym of Muslim.

    I make one claim – that it is reasonable to get angry if your risk of being harmed increases.

    So you’re saying that if my risk of being on a plane that crashes into the sea increases, I should be angry? What if my risk has only increased because I had previously never travelled by air before? What if my risk is actually still negligible? Am I still reasonable to be angry, or am I a fool?

    What is fear mongering about facts?

    UKIP flyers once claimed that the entire populations of two eastern European countries would be able to immigrate to the UK. This was a fact. It also had no bearing on reality. They claimed millions could now move to the UK, without bothering to mention that this was everyone in those countries. Without bothering to mention that the vast majority of them had no desire to leave their homes. Without bothering to mention that those same people had the exact same right to move to Germany or France or Greece. Without bothering to mention that every single citizen of the UK had the exact same right to leave the country of our birth and settle in those countries.
    A factual statement was presented in such a way as to generate fear among those who would do no further research. In exactly the same way, you presenting your percentages without base numbers generates fear among those who do not understand that 1+93% is less than 2; or that 143, while a terrible number of murders, is still nothing compared to the population of a nation; or that 20% of criminals being immigrants does not imply that 20% of immigrants are criminals, or that this makes it apparent that 80% of criminals are not immigrants.

    Use of facts does not make your statement any less fear mongering. What would make it not fear mongering is telling us exactly what the differences are.
    For example, is the 93% increase in GHB committed by immigrants an increase in incidents of assault of 7,000? Is it Pavel and his cousin getting into a blazing row and sending each other to hospital for the second time in a year? Is it something in between these two extremes? With nothing more than 93%, we cannot even begin to judge, but it sure is a scary number!

    If you call that fearmongering, what do you call Erdogan’s and Cavisoglu’s statements?

    Fearmongering. Hatred. Shit.
    Sometimes more than one person can be wrong at the same time. Sometimes there are two things wrong with the world. Sometimes, when it gets really bad, there are even three!

    what does the “flimsy” data about the Bataclan and the Nice massacres and their “flimsy” connection to Islam tell you?

    Same thing the data about the Oslo attack tells me. Same thing the attacks during the Troubles tell me. Terrorism is a bad thing that has bad consequences.

    What does your use of the word flimsy here, as if I had been unclear about what I was calling flimsy data tell me? That you might be pretty dishonest, or maybe just not thinking clearly, as a result of being too busy being pissed off that someone disagrees with you to look at how poor the evidence you’ve presented to us is.

  68. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    I do apologize if I was facetious, but it was Athywren who accused me of fearmongering and flimsy assumptions (later half retracted).

    I didn’t retract anything. I never said you made flimsy assumptions, I said you presented flimsy data. You said I accused you of flimsy assumptions, and I affirmed that you had indeed made flimsy assumptions, but I didn’t accuse you of it in the first instance.

  69. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    @me

    For example, is the 93% increase in GHB committed

    GBH, not GHB. I think GHB is a make of hair dryer? Maybe…

  70. Monocle Smile says

    @Cake
    Okay, are you really having trouble understanding or are you just playing dumb?

    Having evidence that this is both possible and likely does increase your statistical chance of getting harmed. How could it not?

    This is a conclusion that requires some work. Tossing out a few numbers with little context and basically no relation isn’t how you demonstrate that your likelihood of being harmed in public is increased in statistically significant manner.

    The numbers of people murdered in individual incidents and the total number of people murdered are not related?

    No. The body count of a terrorist attack is not somehow more grievous merely because a particular country has a low murder rate. As far as I’m concerned, this is a category error.

  71. Cake says

    @Athywren, @Monocle Smile: Why don’t we just relax a little? This is a comment section on Freethought blogs, not the place for a dissertation in statistics, criminology and sociology.

    I understand that one opinion expressed in the AXP episode discussed here was that Islamism is not seen as a major threat in the US. Fine. The purpose of my original post was that I wanted to give some reasons why it’s reasonable in my opinion to hold the view that Islamism is major threat in Europe. One side of the argument is that we don’t face the danger of a theocratic Christian government in Europe, so the issue Matt and Jen were citing as a larger threat in the US does not apply to Europe.

    Now to the numbers: The numbers of people killed by Islamist terrorists in some European countries are comparable in magnitude to total murders. What is there to discuss? I really don’t understand, Monocle Smith, or maybe I’m just playing dumb, as you kindly suggest? I don’t know how you rate your well-being and your approval of the state and society you are living in, but for me the risk of being killed or otherwise harmed is probably first priority. Of course, I get angry if boy racers kill dozens of people, or if the government fails to protect me. Imagine if the government passed a law that had the effect of raising traffic deaths by +10 % – why wouldn’t one get angry?

    To use your example – if there were people willingly and knowingly working towards increasing the risk of my plane crashing into the sea, I would be angry. Very angry indeed. Why wouldn’t I?

    Thirty years ago the IRA was the biggest perpetrator of terrorism in the UK. In the past twenty years, their followers didn’t succeed in killing a single person in a terrorist attack, if I’m not mistaken. Now it is Islamism. Now is the time to be angry about Islamist terrorists just like it was time to be angry at RAF terrorism in Germany in the seventies.

    And are you telling me seriously that the emergence of new terrorist groups, with a new terrorist ideology, with large numbers of attacks and people killed does not increase risk? What kind of in-depth analysis do you want here? If you find out about a new, previously unknown, risk for air travel, of course the assessment of risk will have to be adjusted upwards.

    About the crime rates in Germany: http://www.zeit.de/2017/17/kriminalitaet-fluechtlinge-zunahme-gewalttaten-statistik – have a read and see for yourself that any connection between an increase in crime rate and immigrants is made not by me, but by high-quality, centre-left media based on official figures. Naturally, anything mentioned in a blog comment is not going to be comprehensive, how could it be?

    Okay, here comes some additional info about Germany (from BKA, Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik, dated 26.01.2017, 2016 data) Murder 761 cases, manslaughter 1630 cases, major crimes against sexual self-determination 47401, the same with violence 14492, rape 7919, group rape 524, grievous bodily harm 140033, violence with bodily harm 573450. Oh, and I didn’t make the assumption that immigrant is synonymous with Muslim, it is a well-established fact that the vast majority of recent immigrants are Muslims. One of the reasons for this fact is that immigrants from so-called safe countries of origin are not being granted immigrant status in Germany, and the countries that are not considered safe nearly all have Muslim majorities.

    Now to some sociological and statistical issues: Athywren, your whole paragraph starting with “Something worth keeping …” in your post from 12:09 pm shows you haven’t understood the issue. You argue that both good and bad people come as refugees, just as we have good and people in any population. The share of immigrants committing crimes refutes that argument, there are more violent elements among them than among the native population.

    There are other factors at play that need to be adjusted for. For example, young men tend to commit more crimes than other groups. Lower-educated, poorer people might commit more crime than other groups. So, the crimes committed by immigrants need to be adjusted for by demographic factors. Having done that, the results are that immigrants from North Africa are much more criminal than immigrants from other countries, for example than immigrants from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Another result is that even when comparing immigrant crime suspects against the same demographic group of German-passport crime suspects, they still come out as more violent. For example, crimes against life in 2016, men between 21 and 25 years, 171 immigrant suspects versus 211 German-passport suspects. We can close our eyes and deny this all we like, but it is much better to find out the reasons and try to improve things.

    Why are some people more likely to commit crimes than others, even when adjusted for demographic factors? Well it’s bound to be a multitude of factors, for example, social, cultural and religious, that are very hard to pull apart. Nobody is saying the cause is Islam and only Islam, just like Islamist terrorists are also motivated by other factors such as perceived or real injustice. However, Islam does play a role, the correlation is there, and in many cases evidence for causation (such as when a terrorist states his motives clearly).

    Well, you guys have implied that I’m fearmongering, use flimsy data, make flimsy assumptions, put me on the same level as Cavosoglu and Erdogan, that I might dishonest or not thinking clearly, that I’m playing dumb … what can I say? Can’t you argue fairly? Have I suspected you of anything or used insults?

  72. Monocle Smile says

    @Cake

    Why don’t we just relax a little? This is a comment section on Freethought blogs, not the place for a dissertation in statistics, criminology and sociology.

    This doesn’t excuse poor argumentation. If you’re not willing to engage rationally, then you’re not going to have a good time.

    The purpose of my original post was that I wanted to give some reasons why it’s reasonable in my opinion to hold the view that Islamism is major threat in Europe

    I would agree with that, but that’s not what the caller was arguing and it’s not true in the context of immigration.
    That link you posted is in German and Google can’t translate the page, apparently. I don’t really trust the “work” you’ve done.

    For example, crimes against life in 2016, men between 21 and 25 years, 171 immigrant suspects versus 211 German-passport suspects

    “Suspects?” What? I need to see all the raw numbers here, not just those select categories and the numbers that I apparently have to take at face value because of the link I can’t read (and it’s to a news article anyway).

    Well, you guys have implied that I’m fearmongering, use flimsy data, make flimsy assumptions, put me on the same level as Cavosoglu and Erdogan, that I might dishonest or not thinking clearly, that I’m playing dumb … what can I say? Can’t you argue fairly? Have I suspected you of anything or used insults?

    I consider ignoring direct questions and requests for sources and instead repeating yourself to be an insult to my intelligence. Nobody mentioned Cavosoglu and Erdogan except you, and now you’re just flatly lying about the accusations against you.

  73. Cake says

    Gosh, Monocle Smith:
    1) If you want to see raw data, try this, for example: https://www.bka.de/DE/AktuelleInformationen/StatistikenLagebilder/PolizeilicheKriminalstatistik/PKS2016/Zeitreihen/zeitreihenTatverdaechtige.html?nn=65720.
    2) You say you “would agree” with the view that Islamism is a major threat in Europe, which is the point I made. We are of the same opinion then.
    3) Please check Athywren’s post from 1:29 pm: “‘If you call that fearmongering, what do you call Erdogan’s and Cavisoglu’s statements?’ Fearmongering. Hatred. Shit. Sometimes more than one person can be wrong at the same time. Sometimes there are two things wrong with the world. Sometimes, when it gets really bad, there are even three!” How am I flatly lying about accusations the against me?

    — I’m arguing poorly and not rationally? What do you mean? Can you give examples?
    So now, you don’t trust the “work” (in scare quotes) I have done (what reason do you have to distrust me?), I’m ignoring direct questions (which ones?), ignoring requests for sources (which ones?), insulting your intelligence and flatly lying.
    Please do me a favour and count the sources I have supplied. How many sources do you want in a blog comment? What is your expectation here?
    And lastly, perhaps I’m allowed to notice that you don’t respond to the replies I made to your questions and points.
    Anyway, I would like to ask for a more civil and fair treatment.

  74. Monocle Smile says

    @Cake
    That link doesn’t help, either. I can’t read German. I don’t know which table to download. I also don’t know what “suspect” means in the context of German law enforcement; I don’t care about who is merely suspected of a crime. Thus far, my personal count of your supplied sources is 0.

    You say you “would agree” with the view that Islamism is a major threat in Europe, which is the point I made. We are of the same opinion then

    No, you seem to be arguing that immigrants are to blame for Europe’s problems, which is something I wouldn’t agree with.

    Please check Athywren’s post from 1:29 pm

    So you, Erdogan, and Cavosoglu all made statements that fall under the wide umbrella of “fearmongering.” Suddenly that means you’re being put “on the same level” as those people. You can’t possibly be serious. This isn’t how honest people operate.

    So now, you don’t trust the “work” (in scare quotes) I have done

    No, because I can’t check your work.

    what reason do you have to distrust me?

    You haven’t truly backed up any of your numbers and you somehow think comparing the body count of a terrorist attack to the total murder number in a particular country means something. It doesn’t. One is irrelevant to the other. Athywren has asked twice for actual context to the numbers you posted, and there’s still silence on your end.

    And lastly, perhaps I’m allowed to notice that you don’t respond to the replies I made to your questions and points.

    Why would I when you’re not responding to mine first? I’m not just going to let you run around and change the subject a hundred times when you don’t answer questions to my satisfaction. For instance:

    The numbers of people killed by Islamist terrorists in some European countries are comparable in magnitude to total murders. What is there to discuss? I really don’t understand, Monocle Smith, or maybe I’m just playing dumb, as you kindly suggest?

    Not only did you get my username wrong, but you didn’t explain why this comparison means anything. You just repeated yourself. You also once again excuse poor argumentation with the terrible “it’s just a blog comment” cop-out.

    You are correct in your paragraph about adjusting for demographics. But I don’t trust that you have done the math properly; I need the raw numbers or the ability to get the data (maybe a link that translates properly?) and I need to know what “suspect” means in German law enforcement terms.

  75. Cake says

    Monocle Smile, I apologise for misspelling your name.
    You have to excuse me, but that you are unable to read or auto-translate German is a problem for you when it comes to assessing original sources about Germany. It is not my problem.

    Please state where I “seem to be arguing that immigrants are to blame for Europe’s problems”. That is not my opinion.

    On Cavosoglu and Erdogan: I understand Athywren’s comment to mean that it’s a given I am wrong, but that he puts Cavosoglu and Erdogan in the same category with me. You might see that differently, maybe Athywren can explain. Anyway, I wasn’t being dishonest when I gave you my interpretation, and I don’t know why you have to keep questioning my integrity. Your point of only me mentioning the two Turkish politicians is wrong anyway, and shows you had not read that paragraph before making your accusation. I’m not saying this was dishonest of you, I’ll assume it was a genuine mistake. However, I do notice you called me a flat-out liar based on this mistake of yours.

    How haven’t I truly backed up any of my numbers? My main point was about the large terrorist atrocities, citing Paris and Nice. What backup do you want? For all other numbers I have supplied sources.

    What context do you mean? I have explained what I argued for in my post and how it relates to what was discussed on the show. One hundred people killed are one hundred people killed, which is a major event in otherwise low-crime countries. I have argued that it is reasonable to be angry about the deaths and that Islamist terrorism is increasing murder rates by a factor which is larger than insignificant. What else is there to explain? Could you tell me why that would be wrong? How would a new threat to life not increase personal risk?

    Anyway, this has taken too much of my time, and was a displeasure to me.

  76. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    On Cavosoglu and Erdogan: I understand Athywren’s comment to mean that it’s a given I am wrong, but that he puts Cavosoglu and Erdogan in the same category with me. You might see that differently, maybe Athywren can explain.

    Who cares if you’re in the same category as someone awful?
    I paint. Hitler painted. I just put myself in the same category as Hitler. So what?
    I have some fairly extreme views on economic policy. Stalin had some fairly extreme views on economic policy. I just put myself in the same category as Stalin. So what?
    If you can’t handle being in some category with bad people, I have terrible news for you – you are, presumably, a human. Every bad person in human history was human. I just put you in the same category as every mass murderer, dictator, propagandist, and economy crashing banker in human history. You were already in that category. You will always be in that category. Deal with it.

  77. mond says

    @Cake

    There is a problem with including a large scale terrorist attack in the general criminal trends in a country.
    It is called the ‘The bill gates fallacy’.
    The idea is as follows. Bill Gates walks into a room of non millionaires and suddenly the average net worth of each person in the room is in the million or billions depending on how many people are in the room. No one has actually gotten super rich for period of time they shared the same room with bill gates.

    Billionaires like large scale terrorist attacks are rare and if you view them as the norm your stats get fucked up.

    Another statistical problem that has been pointed out is when you don’t supply a baseline figure when mentioning an increase.
    If I say a medically prescribed drug has a 50% increase of fatal side affect if used for more than 10 years would you continue to take the drug? To answer the question you need to know the baseline fatal side affect figure. If 2 in 100,000 will die before 10 years that only increases to 3 in 100,000 after 10 years. It the drug continued to be medically useful it would be prudent to take the risk.

    What is instead of using a drug these statistics relate to your chances of being murdered. 50% increase makes for great tabloid headlines but an increase of 1 in 100,000 does not.

    It the classic relative increase stats verses the absolute number stats. It is a trope often used by sensation mongers.

  78. dargndorp says

    Disclaimer: I live in Germany
    First, let me say that the sources that cake names are indeed reputable. The numbers check out, the article in the Zeit is well written and goes into quite a bit more than raw numbers but also mentions how difficult it is to obtain them, what the numbers etc etc. Good work there.
    What I vehemently disagree with is the insinuation that is being spread in idiotic media that the sky is falling because the big bad islamist is coming to kill us all over here. Close to a million people die in Germany each year – even if a wave of islamist terror swept over the nation, killing hundreds, the absolute increase in risk of being thus harmed is still negligible.
    If one now compares this negligible risk increase with the breathless sensationalism in national and international media, it’s apparent to me that the best response would be to engage in what the political scientist Herfried Münkler calls “mürrische Indifferenz” (catankerous indifference). The sky isn’t falling, life’s not fair and yet it still goes on.

  79. mond says

    @dargndorp

    Thanks for the info.
    You have hit the nail on the head of what was annoying me about what @Cake was saying.
    No one is denying that with a large increase in people seeking refuge to get out out of a bad situation that this does not lead to social problems.
    But to try and spin it as the beginning of Armageddon by misrepresentation sound statistics is pretty despicable.

  80. Vic says

    Can I play with statistics too?

    Between 2014 and 2015 immigration in Germany increased by 74.5%
    (Source: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/tgm/table.do?tab=table&init=1&language=en&pcode=tps00176&plugin=1)

    Between 2014 and 2015 German immigrant criminal suspects increased by 13.4%
    (Source PDF: https://www.bka.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/EN/Publications/PoliceCrimeStatistics/2015/pks2015_englisch.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=3
    From this page, which is an English version from the site that I think Cake was linking to earlier: https://www.bka.de/EN/CurrentInformation/PoliceCrimeStatistics/2015/pcs2015.html;jsessionid=53970CC16384322706F52BE8542E6EB3.live0612?nn=39580)

    Using these figures I can probably convince the hard of thinking that, per capita, immigration is making German much safer in terms of crime. What does this tell us about Muslims, actual crimes committed by immigrants, the veracity of claims made in the press? Absolutely bugger-all, but it does show that if you pick the right numbers then statistics can be skewed however you want.

  81. Cake says

    Wow, Vic, of course you can play with statistics, but you should do it right. The immigrant increase you quote is a year-on-year comparison of 2015 influx versus 2014. It tells you nothing about by how much the total number of immigrants in the country increased. In addition, the full impact of immigration in 2015 can only be seen in 2016.

  82. indianajones says

    Oh CAKE is now pointing at how statistics are being misused to make a point. CAKE is now picking upon peoples reasoning in what is ‘just a blog’.

    ROFLCOPTRZLMAO Look there’s a shiny thing!

  83. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    Huh. Funny how quickly people can become capable of critical thought once the statements they’re thinking about don’t support their preferred biases, isn’t it?

  84. Cake says

    @Indianajones: Of course I’m opposed to statistics being misused to make a point – who wouldn’t be? And I’m not picking on people reasoning, I’m pointing out faulty reasoning.
    ROFL… etc. ???!!

  85. Cake says

    @Athywren: Funny, my experience here has been the opposite – if people see information that doesn’t agree with their biases, they abandon all critical thought and become personal, hyperbolic, and get lost in irrelevant details and strawmen arguments.

  86. Vic says

    @Cake #82
    Does playing with statistics right mean only doing it to get the answer you want? I quote a percentage increase in both cases, this is the only way to make a direct comparison. The total numbers are found in the sources I quoted, which is where I calculated the percentages from, though if I were to say “The immigrant population increased by 1,543,848 and immigrant criminal suspects increased by 294,472” this tells us even less without knowing total populations, etc.
    If I accept that it takes a bit of settling-in time before crimes are committed, fair enough.
    Between 2013 and 2014 immigration in Germany increased by 27.7%
    Between 2014 and 2015 German immigrant criminal suspects increased by 13.4%
    (Sources the same as before)
    My conclusion stands, though I agree that it’s an unsound conclusion based on a BS metric, which was my point to begin with.

  87. Cake says

    @Vic: The one percentage figure you quoted related to the influx of immigrants in a given year, the other relates to the number of immigrants resident. You simply can’t compare the two (well, you can, but you get nonsensical results – bananas and apples). This is a fact, indenpent of what outcome I might like or not.

  88. indianajones says

    Sigh Cake, sigh. I am not sure how I could throw the faults in your argumentation into sharp relief more obviously. But here we go. You previously objected to people here criticizing your statistics because they claimed that you misused them. They then misused them in exactly the same way. You missed the point being made by them so very very far as to blindly use the same criticism in exactly the same way against them. Just friggedy wow.

    And then you misunderstand me so far as to make the exact same point I made and try to use it against my pint. It was only EVER the faulty reasoning that you were employing that was being picked on. I mean Duh?

    And as for your question, the ROFLMAO etc is juvenile, stupid and and annoying speak. Which I employed to once again throw into sharp relief what I saw as your juvenile stupid and annoying reasoning. Which could only be vaguely excused if it was all unwitting when you employed it. That being the case I pity you and suggest education. But if it is not unwitting it is even worse. Either way, see you when you are either more educated or more, I don;t know, more just about any worthy trait at all.

  89. kieranthegod says

    WOW, the ignorance on display here is truly breathtaking. @Cake is absolutely right. Ever heard the phrase, “better the devil you know”? We know all about Christianity and have brought it to its knees. It’s a shadow of its former self, and we’re all the better for it. By contrast most people don’t know practically anything about Islam and vaguely think of Mohammed as just like a muslim version of Jesus. They think he’s like a hippy who got crucified when he was in fact, he was a bloodthirsty desert warlord from the dark ages.

    Firstly, Islam does not operate under a unitary ethics system as Buddhism, Christianity or Humanism do. In other words there is no golden rule in Islamic theology, instead there is a dualistic ethics system. For muslims, the world is divided between dar al Islam (the house of Islam) i.e. the land controlled by muslims and under sharia law, and dar al Harb (literally “the house of war”) i.e. the rest of the world that is yet to be submitted under Islam and sharia. Both Mohammed and the Quran explicitly say that moral empathy is only and exclusively to be extended towards fellow muslims. Kaffirs (non-muslims) are to be fought and enslaved and forced to submit. This is extremely clear.

    In addition, in Islam there is one thing that distinguishes a kaffir dhimmi from a slave. A slave is to be treated well, you are to “house them and clothe them.” A kaffir is to be humiliated, the Quran literally says this. When they came to pay the jizya (submission tax) to their muslim overlords in muslim occupied counties, they would often have their beards pulled and be slapped across the face, there are numerous historical record of this from Spain to the Balkans. You are not just allowed to rape their women, but obliged to as part of the dhimmi’s humiliation and submission, just look at the Armenian genocide. This has been a part of Islam since Mohammed the paedophile “prophet” himself first led by example, almost one and a half thousand years ago.

    The Quran and Hadith specifically mentions the fact that God will compensate any martyr for sacrificing his life for Islam. If you become a martyr, God will give you 72 virgins (houris) that never defecate, urinate or menstruate and remain virgins even after sex. This concept is grounded in Quranic text and Hadith which describes a sensual Paradise where martyred muslim men are rewarded by being wed to virgins with “full grown”, “swelling” or “pears-shaped” breasts. Conversely, women will be provided with only one man, and they “will be satisfied with him”.

    And it gets worse than that… The 72 virgins are just one of the seven blessings of Allah bestowed on the shahid (martyrs) which are:-

    He is forgiven from the moment his blood is first shed.
    He will be shown his place in Paradise.
    He will be spared the punishment of the grave.
    He will be secure on the day of the “greatest terror, the day of judgment.”
    There will be placed on his head a crown of dignity, one ruby of which is better than this world and all that is in it.
    He will be married to seventy-two virgins and he will be able to “ravage them through all eternity.”
    He will be permitted to intercede for seventy of his relatives.

    In other words, when a regular muslim dies they face the prospect of the punishment of the grave until the return of Jesus, whereupon they then face the uncertainty of judgement day, and might be sent to hell with all the kaffirs. But if you die as a martyr then you get to skip the punishment of the grave, skip judgement day and you go straight to heaven, pass go and and collect your $200. You can also take 70 relatives along with you.

    See the appeal?

    And remember, the vast majority of muslims (including the so-called moderate ones) are taught and believe this bollocks.

    There just isn’t the same fast-pass shortcut into heaven in Christianity, everyone must face the uncertainty of judgement day, even martyrs. Judaism meanwhile has a rather undefined concept of heaven and an even murkier concept of hell, same with Hinduism. In fact no other religion I’ve encountered has the same celebration of martyrdom that Islam has. This is what makes it such a threat. How can you build a cohesive society when you’re living next door to wannabe martyrs?

    Churchill summed it up perfectly: “Islam in a man is as dangerous rabies in a dog.”

  90. indianajones says

    Wow ktg, so much crap, so little words. Watch the show a bit to see where you are wrong, I grow weary.

  91. Cake says

    @Indianajones: Could you explain to me how I misused statistics?
    Oh, and the last line of my post wasn’t a question, I know what you meant by your long acronym. My “???!!” was meant to indicate bewilderment on the conclusion of your post.

  92. indianajones says

    Scroll up cake, vic did a pretty good analysis less than 4 hours ago that you read I assume as you responded to it.

  93. indianajones says

    Ya know what mods? How ’bout a good old fashioned ‘No no no! We’re done! being thrown about a bit here? I know, maybe I’m being premature, just wanted to splash that one onto the radar….

  94. Cake says

    @Indianjones: I assume you are joking. Vic did not present an argument about my reasoning, he or she simply tried to make an analogy, which was faulty. What was the analysis I missed?

  95. jeffcia says

    Question for you Bible experts. Doesn’t the Bible make fun of Baal believers? Doesn’t it say something like an all-powerful God can defend himself and doesn’t need people to help? I think I remember this somewhere around the Book of Judges, but I can’t find it.

  96. Vic says

    @Cake #88
    I am agreeing with you, whilst also trying to show that without applying a bit of thought it’s easy to be led to an erroneous conclusion from having numbers thrown about, which I see a lot of in the media.
    I could have said that as a percentage of the population, immigrant suspect levels are at 4.6%, whereas German nationals suspect level is only 2.2%, thus the sky is falling. But what does this tell you about how safe you and your family are? I posit that it’s a bit more complicated than that.

  97. Vic says

    @Cake #97
    Yet we still reach different conclusions, which is probably a better place to start than numbers. Do I think that Islam is dangerous nonsense that has no place in an enlightened world? Of course I do. I think the same of Christianity. I think the same of bigotry. If we can’t just kill everyone who doesn’t agree with us, seal them up in a ghetto or ship them off to another country, how do we deal with it? I might argue that showing that there are other ways than those they have been brainwashed by espouse is likely to be more productive and is much more likely to win hearts and minds. What do you reckon?

  98. Monocle Smile says

    @Cake
    Do you understand what “statistically significant” means?

    The one percentage figure you quoted related to the influx of immigrants in a given year, the other relates to the number of immigrants resident. You simply can’t compare the two (well, you can, but you get nonsensical results – bananas and apples)

    This comparison is far more sound than than the asinine one you made earlier.

    @Vic or someone else familiar with Germany
    What does “suspect” mean in the context of law enforcement in Germany? I’ve been asking this for a while.

  99. Cake says

    @Monocle Smile #98; Yes I do understand what statistically significant means, but you don’t know what it means when you compare apples and oranges. Those two percentage figures measure different things, I don’t know how to explain it more simply. And by the way – I think Vic has said as much, he wanted to give an example of nonsensical stats to point out how easily confusion can be sown amongst mathematically illiterate people.

  100. Monocle Smile says

    @Cake
    /facepalm
    The annual murder rate and the body count from a terrorist attack ALSO measure different things. They are completely unrelated. It is unreal that you fail to grasp this.
    Can YOU answer the question I’ve been harping away at for a while? What does “suspect” mean in German crime statistics?

  101. Cake says

    @Mond #78 – Sorry for taking so long to respond and thank you for writing a reasonable reply.
    I think the Bill Gates fallacy/analogy doesn’t apply. The wealth of the people in the room is not affected by Bill Gates coming in, or statistically speaking, there is no correlation. However, well-being and the risk of getting harmed is correlated with the murder rate, and even causally connected.
    About the second part: I’m aware of the baseline problem, which is why I compared base line figures for murder (massive terror attacks aside, they don’t change much per year) with the number of people killed by specific terrorist attacks. The baseline here is roughly somewhere between 100 (low estimate for stranger-on-stranger murder) to 1000 (upper figure for all murders in a large EU country).
    @Mond #80 – Please read my original post and tell me whether an objective, neutral, reasonable observer could conclude from what I have written that I was “try[ing to] spin [Islamism] as the beginning of Armageddon by misrepresentation”. The one and only value judgement I made in my post was “If this is not something to get angry about, then I don’t know what is” (by which I stand, by the way – I even think it is my moral duty to be of that opinion).

  102. Cake says

    @Monocle Smile #102 – Again, I’m not sure how to explain it more easily. The number of people killed in a terrorist attack, any terrorist attack, will become part of the murder stats of the respective country. Hence terrorist attacks increase the number of murders in a country, and thus the murder rate. Murder stats measure the number of people murdered, victims of terrorist attacks are a subset of the total murders. I don’t see how you can argue they are totally unrelated. Maybe a numerical example will help: For years, the murder rate has been 800 cases. Then in year x 100 people are killed by terrorists in a large attack. As a result, the total murder figure for year x will be 900 people.

    Now one thing I should have mentioned before: I have argued that it is reasonable in my opinion to view Islam as a major threat to Europe, or perhaps even as the major threat. To this purpose, I have used several, independent lines of reasoning as examples. One was the increase in crime rate in Germany in 2016, which is a hotly discussed topic there, and is reported on in mainstream high-quality media. The next example is the number of people killed in Islamist terrorist attacks, and you might have noticed, I prefaced this by saying that the cited crime stats are small fry compared to the large terrorist attacks. Third line of reasoning were the outright threats of violence by the president and foreign minister of Turkey, members of an Islamist party. The fourth example was religious propaganda in Europe being sponsored by an Islamic country. The fifth and final example were concrete death threats, which are unfortunately all too common over the Internet, but also increasingly so in real life. Just ask the Jewish community in France or Germany how they feel. I myself have seen wall posters threatening all non-Muslims with death.

    The most contentious topic was the German crime stats. Again, I’m reporting what mainstream media is saying, and have cited original sources as per request. However, even if you think this line of reasoning is not valid, then you still haven’t negated the conclusion of Islam being a major threat.

    Okay, so now to your question: In German law, there are two different stages of suspects, weak (suspect is treated as a witness) and strong (suspect becomes accused). In addition, there are six different stages of suspicion. Some of the details are defined as per law (StPO).

    And now, after having inadvertently hijacked this threat for far too long, I’ll withdraw. My original post was related to one small part of the show discussed here, but the non-constructive discussion and the drifting into ever finer details does take away from what the Atheist Experience is or should be about.

  103. Monocle Smile says

    @Cake

    The number of people killed in a terrorist attack, any terrorist attack, will become part of the murder stats of the respective country.

    Wait, what? That’s preposterous. I don’t believe that’s the case in the US. It seems extremely silly.

    One was the increase in crime rate in Germany in 2016, which is a hotly discussed topic there, and is reported on in mainstream high-quality media

    Yes, but this isn’t necessarily related to Islam. This is the line of reasoning that is most hotly contested.

    The next example is the number of people killed in Islamist terrorist attacks, and you might have noticed, I prefaced this by saying that the cited crime stats are small fry compared to the large terrorist attacks

    But that doesn’t actually tell you if your personal danger is increased in any statistically significant manner. In fact, merely using this to say the sky is falling is precisely the goal of terrorism. Here in the US, 9/11 did not elevate our personal danger levels by any appreciable amount. Yet that is still used as an impetus to garner support for loads of xenophobic measures the US has taken.

    Now, you COULD be correct, but you have more work to do.

    Third line of reasoning were the outright threats of violence by the president and foreign minister of Turkey, members of an Islamist party. The fourth example was religious propaganda in Europe being sponsored by an Islamic country. The fifth and final example were concrete death threats, which are unfortunately all too common over the Internet, but also increasingly so in real life

    And these are all reasonable, but I don’t believe anyone’s contesting that.

    However, even if you think this line of reasoning is not valid, then you still haven’t negated the conclusion of Islam being a major threat.

    See, here on this blog, we are pretty hard up on not only being correct, but using good reasoning to reach those correct conclusions. I’m rather baffled that you find this to be problematic. Merely being correct doesn’t necessarily score points.

    Okay, so now to your question: In German law, there are two different stages of suspects, weak (suspect is treated as a witness) and strong (suspect becomes accused). In addition, there are six different stages of suspicion. Some of the details are defined as per law (StPO).

    Oh. Then I give very few shits about those statistics. I don’t know about Germany, but in the US, the police force is at least decently racist in most urban areas. Minorities are disproportionately convicted as it is, but arrests? Those are so much worse. Those numbers are laughably unreliable if you’re trying to determine who is actually committing crimes. I don’t care nearly as much about “suspicion” as I do about actual conviction.

    Overall, you seem to be much less like Kieran than I thought before, so I’d like to extend an apology for being perhaps a little too quick to lump you in.

  104. Paul Money says

    In the UK, for the year ending March 2016, there were 1,780 deaths from road traffic accidents, a typical figure. Do British citizens realistically fear dying in an RTA when they leave their houses? Clearly no. Are there this number of people killed by Muslim terrorists in a typical year in the UK? Clearly no, it isn’t even 1% of that, so where is this fear? About 5% of the British population is Muslim, yet that leads to a terrorist threat so vanishingly small as to be laughable. What is Kieran on?
    Fight the religion, not the people.

  105. Kenny De Metter says

    I understand your reaction to the last caller, but I also understand where he’s coming from.
    When politicians are too afraid to even acknowledge that a problem exists, it’s easy to become cynical and believe that there are no solutions.

    Even worse, someone can come along who does offer a solution, but it’s a horrible one ( like deporting all muslims ) , but because it’s the only solution being offered, people will then go along with that.

    Still, I think you gave some good advice. I hope he won’t take your response too personally and actually listen to what you said.

  106. Monocle Smile says

    @Eric Holp
    I was hoping the door had hit you in the hemorrhoid on the way out, but no, you’re still lurking and smugly trolling every so often. I have no idea what you’re trying to accomplish, but trolls usually troll because it’s more than they’ve ever achieved before.

  107. baz says

    mass uploading 30+ videos is a great way to lose subscribers. please don’t do that.

  108. Lillith says

    @26, Ironchop

    There is no empirical proof either way (that I know of) that a god exists. That does not mean that no god exists.

    Nor does it mean that one exists. So what do you do in the meantime until its demonstrated? Believe in it? For what reason and to what end?

    @106, Paul Money

    About 5% of the British population is Muslim

    Which already achieved this and that which is kinda impressive. At what percentage do you suggest people should start getting worried about muslim views on apostasy, homosexuality, women’s rights etc.?

  109. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    Which already achieved this and that which is kinda impressive.

    Were we not supposed to read those articles? After reading them, I feel like this is on of those cases where the link itself is the argument, rather than the content it leads to. “Look! We have sources! Convincing, huh?”

    1) Some undefined, but presumably large percentage of UK meat is slaughtered in such a way as makes it compatible with Halal rules. Ok. We are informed that this allows for animals not to be stunned before slaughtering – which I agree is bad – but makes no effort to demonstrate that it is required, nor does even try to give us a ballpark figure on how many are slaughtered unstunned. What is the detail here? What are we being outraged by? The only thing we have is a scary muslamic trigger word and an unsupported insinuation, which, if true, definitely would amount to animal cruelty, but which does still need to be demonstrated.

    2) Rowan Williams had an opinion a decade ago (or thereabouts). Gosh.
    I’m still more profoundly affected by his eyebrows, honestly.

    I’m quaking in my boots. Truly, the mighty must look upon these works and despair.

    At what percentage do you suggest people should start getting worried about muslim views on apostasy, homosexuality, women’s rights etc.?

    We can’t be critical of nonsensical views without running around the place, screaming that the sky is falling?
    Christians are already vocal opponents of women’s rights, homosexuality, and apostasy. What horrors does it add to the mix if Muslims join them? Maybe, with enough wankery about how barbaric the Muslims are, our Christians will trick themselves into being civilised human beings?

  110. Vivec says

    I personally can’t be bothered with how people choose to kill non-human animals – I think it’s probably a bad thing to kill them without stunning them, but in the grand scheme of things I just don’t care. Using that as some call to rally against “creeping sharia law” is just fucking hilarious to me.

  111. Monocle Smile says

    @57 William Mills
    I was going to ask how you have tried to communicate with AXP in the past, but your post makes it extremely clear why nobody’s bothered to answer. Act more like a level-headed adult next time.

    @Lilith
    It’s a bit rich to use a global Muslim survey to stir up panic about British Muslims. To me, it’s pretty similar to using a survey among African Christians concerning homosexuality and genital mutilation to indict American Christians. Yes, there are some problems. No, this isn’t cause to start a war and advocate for ethnic cleansing.

  112. Lillith says

    @115

    We can’t be critical of nonsensical views without running around the place, screaming that the sky is falling?

    Which I did where exactly?

    @117, MS

    It’s a bit rich to use a global Muslim survey to stir up panic about British Muslims.

    What panic? I’ve used this to demonstrate the pervasiveness around the world of certain views which IMO are related to the faith.

  113. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    @Lillith

    We can’t be critical of nonsensical views without running around the place, screaming that the sky is falling?

    Which I did where exactly?

    Fair point. At no point did you run around (as far as I can tell) or actually tell us that the actual sky is actually falling. However, permit me, if you would, to introduce you to a concept.
    Hyperbole. “Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. In rhetoric, it is also sometimes known as auxesis. In poetry and oratory, it emphasizes, evokes strong feelings, and creates strong impressions. As a figure of speech, it is usually not meant to be taken literally.”

    You did not literally scream that the sky is falling. But you did criticise us for not arguing that people should worry. You are arguing for worry. You are fearmongering. You are figuratively screaming that the sky is falling, based on a daft bishop’s opinion and an article that tells us little of substance.

  114. Monocle Smile says

    @Lilith
    I don’t actually believe you’re this clueless. If you’re not going to engage honestly, then neither will I.

  115. Lillith says

    @119

    But you did criticise us for not arguing that people should worry

    I did not. I’ve simply hinted at the fact that people living in Europe might have reasons to see things a bit differently due to their daily experiences. I do live in Europe and I have first-hand experience of seeing security being installed in a public swimming pool because of some local muslims suddenly having a hard time experiencing women not wearing burkinis (which I actually did see worn on beaches when visiting the Netherlands) and acting accordingly. But I’m sure that’s not at all representative nor the shape of things to come.

  116. Vivec says

    As we all know, anecdotal evidence is both highly reliable and highly predictive of future events.

  117. RationalismRules says

    Wow, you hear some weak-assed avoidances on this show, but Shaun’s “well I didn’t see the rock” is one of the most craven I’ve ever heard. A new low!

  118. Anselm says

    The problem with German crime statistics is that they tell us more about what the police did than what the criminals did. It is up to the police to decide what sort of “crime” an incident represents, and if a suspect can be identified that doesn’t mean that that person actually committed the crime – just that as far as the police is concerned the crime was solved and the police pass that information on to the public prosecutor, who must then decide if it is worth bringing the suspect to trial based on the evidence gathered by the police. It is certainly not the case that every suspect is later accused, let alone convicted in court. By way of example, if there is a violent demonstration in the town and the police manages to arrest 100 random people they suspect of being guilty of “breaking the peace”, the official crime statistics will show 100 solved cases of breaking the peace with 100 associated suspects even if the public prosecutor immediately drops all these cases due to lack of sufficient evidence. Later on in the statistics this looks like a massive outbreak of politically-motivated violent crime even though really nothing much happened at all.

    It’s also probably worth noting that the German statistics of violent crimes and violent crime suspects include violent crimes committed among refugees themselves. Since in 2015/2016 there were so many refugees that for the most part they had to be accommodated quickly without much consideration of their origins, religious affiliation, etc., in the refugee camps there was a certain amount of immediate contact between groups of people who basically hated one another’s guts by tradition and in some cases that did lead to violence. The statistics certainly don’t mean that every additional instance of murder or grievous bodily harm was due to a refugee attacking an upstanding native-born German citizen.

    Finally, most non-Germans in Germany (refugees or immigrants) are young, male, comparatively poor, and live in large cities. All of these properties are associated with a higher likelihood of committing crimes in the first place, even among Germans, so that tends to skew the statistics. The official statistics on crimes by non-Germans do not distinguish between crimes committed by recent refugees, permanently resident aliens, or tourists, and there are crimes that German citizens can’t even commit (like breaking residency laws). Also, on the German-citizen side, the statistics do not distinguish between ethnic Germans and naturalised immigrants – so if, e.g., a second-generation Arab-German radical Muslim with a German passport was suspected of committing a terrorist act, that would count as a crime commited by a German national rather than a non-German.

    It is possible to read all sorts of things into the official crime statistics but as it turns out, the recent refugees really don’t make a huge difference to public safety in Germany overall. They’re individually not that much more likely (if at all) to be criminal than comparable members of the “native” population; it’s just that there is a whole bunch of them and that naturally does include some “bad apples”. On the whole, many of these people, instead of risking life and limb at considerable personal cost, would probably have greatly preferred to stay wherever they were in the first place except for the violence and persecution, and the vast majority of them are unlikely to engage in violence and persecution of their own now they’re here.

  119. Monocle Smile says

    @Anselm
    Thank you for that informative post. I feel vindicated for asking repeatedly about the term “suspect,” and apparently there’s quite a bit more to the story.

  120. ironchops says

    Hi Lillith – 1. Live the best life you know how to live, keeping in mind every action has consequences. 2. Not necessarily but sure if you are so inclined. 3. Any reason that makes sense to you (the individual). 4. That would be up to the individual. Go to heaven, to rule the world or what ever it takes to make you happy and well in so much that it has no negative consequence to those around you.