Are some truly Immune to Facts?


facts_-_Google_Search

Are some truly Immune to Facts? The short answer is “yes”, so if this is TLDR, then you can stop reading now.

So here is the story. A rather strange claim was posted by a Muslim girl regarding the expansion of the earth. The context is that the Qu’ran says the that Allah expanded the earth (79:30) (and yes, OK, that is just a word plucked from one english translation, the actual Arabic used is the word for rolling out a carpet – Quranic cosmology is flat-earth).

So the claim is …

To which many then point out that this is complete and utter Nonsense.

So her Husband, a chap called Assadi, leaps in and starts a fresh thread, takes a stand with his wife (good for him), and provides a rebuttal as follows …

HCMA__Humanist___Cultural_Muslim_Assoc__Debating_Forum

First The Facts

  • The originator of the expanding (like a balloon) Earth theory is not a “scientist”, but is in fact Neal Adams, the comic book author who in his old age has come up with something called “Expanding Earth theory” – personally I think he dreamed up this nonsense to simply get a bit of attention and entertain himself – and no, this is not a serious scientific idea at all from a “scientist”
  • The “Christian” mocking of this “Scientist”, turns out to be a well-known science journalist & Geologist called Peter Hadfield who specializes in exposing pseudoscience.

So how do others respond to all this?

Here are some quotes from the comments …

  • You paranoid little fool!
  • You are an incredible idiot!
  • This seriously brought tears of laughter to my eyes … Assadi, do you ENJOY making yourself look like a total and utter ass?
  • LMAO….He’s still going on about it. Its like these guys don’t know the difference between an Onion article and reality.
  • Poor guy! I don’t know if I feel sorry for him. He does more harm than good for Islam.
  • A glimpse of life at the far left hand side of the IQ bell curve …
  • I wonder if you ever received SOME kind of formal education at all in your life

How does Mr Hussain and his wife respond?

Like this …

  • Assadi Mohammed Hussain – I am busy exposing you people  Hahaha…..
  • Teresa Mohammed Altao – They are all funny sir
  • Assadi Mohammed Hussain – My post above is good enough to answer all your mockery even if you join in thousands  I am enjoying to see you are humiliated with our posts one after other

So what is going on here?

The facts are rather clear, so it may indeed be rather tempting to label Assadi and Teresa as complete and utter idiots / fools / morons etc… and yet that is not what is going on at all, so the real question to ask ourselves is to wonder two specific things …

  1. Why do smart intelligent modern humans embrace crazy ideas?
  2. Why are they immune to factual information?

Perhaps it is best to explain a bit of the background here. Clearly both Assadi and also Teresa passionately believe in a specific variation of Islam. There are lots of variations of course, and so this specific variation is one that motivates them to believe that the Quran trumps everything including science, facts and reality. When faced with information that conflicts with the belief, then the belief wins and the facts can be rationalised away.

Additionally, they are not alone and are conscious that they have folks who watch them. Both promote Islamic claims within various forums on a daily basis, so they are well-known for the promotion of stuff similar to this.

There is also a very heavy emotional investment at play here at many different levels …

  • In themselves: Once you take a stance in public, it is quite challenging for individuals to then change their mind – humans have this psychological need to stick with the original stance no matter what comes along. This is because we demand consistency with ourselves even when it makes no sense to do so. We also appear to become emotionally attached to specific answers (perhaps akin to the way we also become emotionally attached to specific items) and so we can find it hard to let go. Once we promote an idea, it ceases to be an idea and becomes our idea. We become, in short, highly resistant to changing our minds because our answer has become part of who we are, and so any threat to it feels like a threat to us
  • In each other: Assadi and Teresa are also very much entangled here emotionally – they are husband and wife, so each is driven by an emotional bond to support the other no matter what. To back down and acknowledge “actually yes, that idea being promoted by my partner is nonsense” is simply unthinkable and not a viable step for either of them to take … ever.
  • In the belief: They also both have a very heavy emotional investment in the belief itself, everything they do is in many ways built upon this emotional foundation, so much so, that even starting to consider that possibility that the belief might not be true is not a viable option.

So they will remain immune to factual rebuttals of the assertions that they promote, and will rationalise away conflicting information as a trick of Shayṭān (the Islamic Iblīs who supposedly has the power to cast evil suggestions).

A rebuttal of a silly assertion is on one level pointless because they cannot change their minds, it is in effect a symptom of the real problem – the issue is not that they face the wrong facts, but rather comes down to how they work out what is and is not factual. Tackle that issue and then the rest will naturally sort itself out.

I would add that it is at times still appropriate to respond with a rebuttal for silly claims, not because it will change the mind of the claimant, but rather because there are often many fence sitters who do appreciate good reliable factual information – they have not made a public stance and so are open to the idea of changing their mind. Perhaps they have been brought up with only one side of a conversation, and so hearing the other side often does open eyes and change minds.

 

Leave a Reply