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Bin Laden versus Yassin

06.05.2011. Hypocritical world that slammed killing of Hamas’ Yassin now lauds bin Laden hit, writes Manfred Gerstenfeld on yNetNews. Hat tip Document.

HonestThinking comments: Can there be any doubt that Gerstenfeld has a point here? As he documents, reactions from world leaders to the targeted assassinations of bin Laden and Yassin, respectively, have been very different. Both were terrorists who had caused death and suffering for many innocent civilians, yet the killing of one is seen as very different from the killing of the other. What is this, if not double standards and hypocrisy?


«Muslims need to talk about evolution»

04.05.2011. We need devout Muslim scientists to speak out, says Usama Hasan, who has had death threats for saying evolution is compatible with the Koran, reports New Scientist:

What did you say about evolution that upset people in your community?

My trouble started three years ago when I wrote an article saying that we needed to move beyond the simplistic idea held by many Muslims that God created Adam from clay and then breathed life into him. This literal interpretation of the Koran is still the dominant position. I was brought up a creationist and was a fundamentalist for many years, but I came to the conclusion that evolution is entirely compatible with the Koran and that alternative interpretations of the creation story that account for evolution are valid.

Continue reading in New Scientist.


Part of a propaganda media network for Al Qaeda?

04.05.2011. The BBC is accused of being part of a “possible propaganda media network” for Al Qaeda, according to the leaked US files on the Guantanamo detainees, reports The Telegraph.


An excuse for war and violence - not their cause

01.05.2011. I just stumbled across an almost two year old gem from Satoshi Kanazawa. Here are some excerpts:

Second, as the two-part South Park episode “Go God Go” brilliantly shows, religion is not the root cause of all the violence in the world but merely an excuse.  Just because most of the wars in human history have been predicated on and justified by religion does not mean that, without religion, these wars would not have happened.  The true root cause of all human violence is maleness, not religion or anything else that men happen to use as an excuse or cause.  Men fight, because they are violent and it is part of male human nature to fight.  If you take away religion, men will find another excuse to fight.

In the episode “Go God Go,” Cartman finds himself in a future world where, thanks to Richard Dawkins, everyone is an atheist and there is no religion.  Yet there is interminable violence and wars, because different groups of atheist men (and otters) fight each other over what to call themselves.  Whether Stone and Parker are consciously aware of it or not, this is most likely what will happen in the world that Dawkins et al. envision.  There will still be wars in a completely atheist world without religion.  Men will find other reasons to wage wars against each other.

And this is not just cartoon fiction.  The current and ongoing civil war in Somalia, which began in 1988 but intensified in January 1991 when the central government of Mohammed Siad Barre fled Mogadishu and put the whole country into the state of nature, has been fought between subclans within the same clan within the same tribe within the same race and the same religion.  To those involved in the war, the differences between the subclans (most likely imperceptible to outsiders) are sufficient and meaningful enough to kill each other for.  Yet it would be absurd to argue that the existence of subclans is causing the violence or that there would be no war in Somalia if subclans didn’t exist.  Men will always find an excuse to fight.  Stone and Parker know that, but Dawkins doesn’t.

Read the entire article at Kanazawa's Psychology Today-blog The Scientific Fundamentalist - A Look at the Hard Truths About Human Nature.



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HonestThinking is dedicated and committed to the art of thinking honestly. Yet honest thinking is not the same as true thinking, for it is possible to think honestly, but be mistaken. For the same reason, honest thinking is not identical with objective thinking either. Honest thinking is striving to get things right. This involves being truthful about whatever one publishes, but just as importantly, it involves an uncompromising dedication never to suppress relevant data, even when data collides with dearly held prejudices. Such an approach may sometimes cause hurtful revisions in one’s belief system. That’s what HonestThinking is all about! Read the entire manifesto.

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Please send e-mail to postmaster at honestThinking.org (replacing ' at ' with '@') if you would like to tip us about a web resource that we should link to, or if you wish to submit an article for publication here. Quality contributions are welcome from anyone.



The current European immigration and integration policy is profoundly disrespectful of both Muslims and Islam, because it is built on the tacit assumption that the Muslims will become like us. One claims to have respect for Islam and for Muslims, but one also expects Muslims to give up their orthodox faith when they come here. At the same time one is assuming that Islam will be reformed and modernized as soon as the Muslims become integrated and understand and appreciate how superior our Western culture is compared to their own. This is cultural shauvinism and arrogance indeed! The unspoken premise for this scenario is that Western socities are superior to Islam. Read more.




Human rights and democracy are under pressure. One threat comes from the Western world, in the form of lack of or dishonest thinking. There exists a peculiar Western "tolerance" which is so "tolerant" that it even tolerates totalitarian or anti-democratic ideologies. A tacit assumption underlying such an attitude is that all cultures, world views, and religions are really equally good. As a consequence of this assumption one is cut off from the possibility of critically examining the above mentioned ideologies. Read more.