In This Corner…..
I invite you to watch the hotly contested debate below. It’s 2 hours long so settle in. No prizes for guessing which side I was rooting for 😉
Let’s put the jokes aside and get serious. I had hoped for an intelligent debate concerning the topic : Which is more sensible? Islam or Atheism?.
Unfortunately, the room was full of Islamist cronies and the odds were clearly stacked against Professor Lawrence Krauss. Still, the man did an admirable job and he has an almost infallible patience. My real issue was with the his opponent Hamza Tzortkis’ approach to the debate.
- Hamza is a bit of a celebrity amongst the Muslim youth and he is revered as someone who speaks the truth and speaks it straight. Moreover he is a strong raconteur.Sadly, he was out of his depth here in going up against Prof. Krauss with his minimal grasp of scientific concepts. For example, the professor proved to Hamza that a quantifiable infinite can and does exist (e.g. pi). This threw Hamza’s small brain into a tizzy and he outright refused evidence before his very eyes. I don’t have an issue with someone making claims of knowledge; however, Hamza should learn to accept error when someone with authority and proven answers shows you evidence to the contrary.
- I also thought that he was incessantly rude. For example, the professor caught him out at few points and Hamza, blushing like a naked baby, bluntly called those cheering the professor’s “slaves”. Clearly the response of an informed and values driven mind. How about all those cheering for you Hamza? Are they slaves? Well, they sure act like they are indoctrinated by your mounteback rhetoric because they are willing to cheer any absurdity you spit out as long as it praises Allah. Furthermore, he literally said the professor was being presumptuous and spreading crap. Of course, this was the real red herring to raise the profile of his followers and divert attention away from actual facts and towards the further befuddlement of the audience.
- In Hamza’s defense, he correctly admits he knows next to nothing about science. He doesn’t even know anything about “nothing”, as it is defined in Prof. Krauss’ book. So how does he challenge the professor? He starts babbling about the linguistic beauty of the Quran and a tirade about inductive vs. deductive reasoning. What was even more bizarre was how all his arguments revolved around interpretations of definitions and hollow examples (e.g. temporal, causality and infinity) . How does any of this outline the sensibility of the Quran? It doesn’t and Hamza knows that . In fact, if you watch the debate closely you can see that Prof. Krauss is actually educating the crowd as he negates all of the points put forth by Hamza. He does this by presenting evidence, common sense and explanation. In contrast, Hamza resorts to cheap parlor tricks and his charm to play the crowd. Moreover, at many times he refuses to pay heed to the professor’s explanations and speaks over him and warps his explanations with ridiculous pseudoscience.
- Hamza’s mission, similar to the mission of all these self-appointed defenders and authorities of faith, is to make an example out of the infidel Atheist. If he wanted to enter into a proper debate, which stayed on topic, then he would have brought proof and examples that speak volumes about the divinity and sensibility found with the Quran. Well, he didn’t. Instead, he danced around the questions Prof. Krauss challenged him with (e.g. Sharia law and homosexuality). He also reveals his folly by stating that homosexual people are not openly gay in the United States and that science requires testimony to be accepted, all of which is bollocks. The point is that all the science, laws, values, morality and concepts of the world found in the Quran can and have been disproved by the accomplishments of science and the advancement of societies. Additionally, many of the claims made in the Quran, especially concerning science, have been claimed by civilizations that stood long before Islam or any other of the current major religions. In fact, just because an Arabic/Christian/Buddhist scholar enlightens the world with an idea does not mean that the respective religion has automatic claim to it. Does Christianity claim Francis Collins’ work? Don’t take my word for it because you can find all this out for yourself by scouring reputable sources on the Internet and in your local library. All this shows is that religion is not unique, special or sensible. It is a highly fallible human construct devised to alleviate our fears of the unknown and to keep the impressionable under lock and key to restrict progress and education. Conform your beliefs to the reality and evidence that surrounds you.
- I could go on and on but I think I’ve done enough to get my point across. I would like to give a special mention to the simpleton mathematician who during the Q&A sessions belittled Prof. Krauss’ book by calling it “an introduction to logical fallacies.” Well smart-ass, I can assure you that no one anywhere will ever read anything you put out because you couldn’t even comprehend the preface of the professor’s book. The idea that nothing is something is not difficult to understand. Simply put, it means that nothing, as defined by the professor, is a real but intangible concept (i.e. something). Also, the book contains no actual mathematics (e.g. equations etc..). I know this because I’m reading the book. It contains diagrams, but they are used schematically to illustrate the points put forth by Prof. Krauss.
- My final point is meant to address the segregation that had become a talking point of the lecture prior to its beginning. Essentially, the organizers of the event did not allow women and men to sit together in the auditorium. Not only is this against the UCL’s stipulations, but it is also reprehensible in the 21st century. Lawrence Krauss refused to take part unless the organizers removed this ridiculous law, which they did and the show went on. Rightly so, the organizers of the event have been banned from UCL. However, in the Q&A one girl felt the need to address this. My dear, a man arriving late and searching for a seat in a non-segregated event choosing to sit beside you is not imposing himself upon you. How does this affect your values? Are your values so fickle that they are harmed by the proximity of the opposite sex? Did he feel you up or belittle you in any way? Also, the example you provided of the same man coming uninvited and joining your girlfriends at a restaurant is not the same thing. They are two entirely different social situations. In the altter, you have every right to be offended and claw his eyes out. You can’t do that at an open public event. Would you remove yourself from public because men are encroaching on your sacred values through their sheer proximity in public places, such as classrooms? No one is forcing you or anyone else to sit next to him because you are free to change your seat. You chose to be a part of a social convention in the secular and open society you were fortunate enough to be born into. Don’t take it for granted because I can assure you that people elsewhere would love to have a taste of the very freedoms you bemoan.