All posts by AtheistExile

I retired early, in 2006, at the age of 52. I moved to the Philippines, married a lovely Chinese woman in Cebu City, bought a house and have been here ever since (except for yearly excursions out of the country, as required by my visa).

How can a foreigner from Africa join ISIS?

Answer by Jim Ashby:

Since you're in Africa, it shouldn't be too difficult for you to travel, by car or bus or plane, to locales where ISIS is active. On the African continent, ISIS is active in:
  • Tunisia
  • Libya
  • Egypt
  • Sudan
  • Algeria
Of course, you could go to the caliphate itself, if you want to travel beyond the African continent.
You should learn a few key phrases to introduce yourself with. Here's some you should memorize:
  • Shalom Aleikhem (shah-LOHM ah-ley-KHEM) — Peace be upon you.
  • Boker Tov (BOH-kehr tohv) — Good morning
  • Tzohorayim Tovim (tzoh-hoh-rah-YEEM toh-VEEM) — Good afternoon
  • Lilah Tov (lyeLAH tohv) — Good night
  • Bevakasha (beh-vahKAH-shah) — Please or You're welcome
  • Todah (toh-DAH) — Thanks
  • Mazel Tov (MAH-zl TAWV) — Congratulations
  • Slicha (slee-CHAH) — Excuse me
  • Lehitraot (leh-heet-rah-OHT) — See you soon
Practice the pronunciation of these phrases until they roll off your tongue with ease. When you finally meet up with ISIS they'll be MUCH more comfortable with you.
You're in for a real adventure.

How can a foreigner from Africa join ISIS?


Why don’t you believe God exists?

Answer by Jim Ashby:

I don't believe God exists because it seems exceedingly unlikely to me. That does NOT mean I'm sure God doesn't exist: it only means that, in my opinion, I don't think he does. The reason God's existence seems so unlikely is because there is no evidence that suggests it. It's true that there's also no evidence that suggests God does not exist but all the evidence points to natural explanations — not supernatural ones. To me, it's a transparently self-evident fact that there's no objective reason to conjure up God in the first place: regardless of whether or not he exists. You may have any number of subjective reasons for belief in the existence of God but you don't have a single objective reason . . . unless, of course, you can produce one here and now. But that's not going to happen. If there were such a thing, we'd all know about it because theists would be clobbering atheists with it.

But I can tell you (and almost all atheists will agree) that if valid, conclusive, evidence of God should surface, I'd gladly and immediately become an avid believer. For us atheists, it really, truly, is about the evidence.

  • Atheists will believe with evidence.
  • Theists will believe without evidence.

That, perhaps more than any other consideration, is what separates atheists from theists.

Why don't you believe God exists?

Aarrgghh!! You did it AGAIN!! And I quote:
Women’s wearing.
The word, ‘wearing’, is a verb . . . that only works with personal pronouns. It’s not that complicated. The apostrophe “s” (‘s), when used with a personal pronoun (he, she, it) is a contraction: he is, she is, it is. Otherwise, it signifies a possessive noun (Obama’s, leprechaun’s, God’s, government’s, Muhammad’s, winner’s, Kevin’s).
Read the content you of your own link more carefully. It plainly states that:
A gerund always functions as a noun. It is formed by adding “ing” to the verb.
Come on, Kevin. I and Quora’s editors have been correcting you over and over. You’re being unreasonable and stubborn. Move on.

Why is the Muslim world so behind in science and technology?

Answer by Jim Ashby:

According to the Nobel Prize website:

Between 1901 and 2014, the Nobel Prizes and the Prize in Economic Sciences were awarded 567 times to 889 people and organizations. With some receiving the Nobel Prize more than once, this makes a total of 860 individuals and 22 organizations.

According to the List of Jewish Nobel laureates wiki, Jews, on a per capita basis are 110 TIMES more likely to be awarded a Nobel prize than non-Jews.

The Nobel Prize is an annual, international prize first awarded in 1901 for achievements in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. An associated prize in Economics has been awarded since 1969. Nobel Prizes have been awarded to over 850 individuals, of whom at least 22% (without peace prize over 24%) were Jews, although Jews comprise less than 0.2% of the world's population (or 1 in every 500 people). Overall, Jews have won a total of 41% of all the Nobel Prizes in economics, 28% in medicine, 26% in Physics, 19% in Chemistry, 13% in Literature and 9% of all peace awards.

You think that's interesting? How about this from the List of Muslim Nobel laureates wiki:

As of 2014, eleven Nobel Prize winners have been Muslims. More than half of the eleven Muslim Nobel laureates were awarded the prize in the 21st century. Seven of the eleven winners have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, including a controversial award to Yasser Arafat. The recipient of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics, Abdus Salam, was a member of the Ahmadiyya community of Pakistan, in 1974, the Pakistan parliament made a constitutional amendment that declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims.
Muslims make up over 23% of the world's population.

Should we follow Pakistan's lead and subtract one from the total of eleven Muslim Nobel laureates? I didn't think so. 🙂

So, 11 out of 860 individual Nobel prize winners is equal to 1.28% of the total going to Muslims. But 7 of the 11 prizes were for the peace prize. So only 4 were for prizes in the sciences: that equals 0.47% (let's call it half a percent). Compare that to the 24% of prizes in the sciences that went to Jews and we see that Jews have received over 48 times more science Nobel prizes than Muslims.

But where this REALLY gets crazy is when you do the per capita math. Jews comprise less than 0.2% of the world's population. Muslims comprise 23% of the world's population. That means there's more than 115 TIMES more Muslims than Jews. If Jews have received 48 times more science Nobel prizes than Muslims AND there are 115 times more Muslims than Jews, then, on a per capita basis, Jews are over 5,520 TIMES more likely than Muslims to win a Nobel Prize in science.

That's just mind boggling. On a per capita basis, Jews are over 110 times more likely than non-Jews to win a Nobel Prize (including for peace) AND over 5,520 times more likely than Muslims to win a Nobel Prize in science.

And, if you're one of those people who think there's a Nobel Prize committee conspiracy going on here, you should know that, according to the Jewish Achievement website:

In the sciences, Jews have won 22 percent of all the Nobel Prizes ever awarded – 29 percent of the prizes since 1950, after the Holocaust destroyed a third of their numbers. Given their small population, Jews should have earned only one of the 502 Nobels awarded for physics, chemistry, medicine and physiology. They have won 123.
The Fields Medal, awarded to the world's brightest mathematicians under age 40, is the honor John Nash, of the book and movie A Beautiful Mind had hoped to win. Instead, he took a Nobel Prize in economics as a consolation prize. One-fourth of the Fields Medals winners are Jews.
Encyclopedia Britannica provides its list of "Great Inventions." Of the 267 individual inventors, more than 13 were Jews, including Zoll (the defibrillator and the pacemaker), Land (instant photography), Gabor (holography), and Ginsburg (videotape). Jews are represented on the list 22 times more than one would expect based on their population.

So, think again . . . it's no conspiracy.

I've always maintained that Islam and the Quran instills a 'Muslim mindset' that westerners often find alien and values that are incompatible with western values. I'm sure there's a variety of reasons why Muslims are so under-represented in the sciences but there's a blazing neon sign pointing to their religion, and the cultures it dominates, in the same way they point to terrorism. According to the  National Counterterrorism Center's 2011 report, prepared for the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Sunni Muslims were responsible for 70% of all terrorist killings in the world. On a per capita basis, that's over 3.6 TIMES more terrorist killings than the world at large. Yet apologists would have us believe that has nothing to do with Islam. They'll have a much tougher time trying to convince us that Muslim under-representation in Nobel prizes has nothing to do with Islam.

Why is the Muslim world so behind in science and technology?

Why is the Palestinian issue a cause célèbre among Western liberals when Palestinians are hostile to many left-wing ideals?

Answer by Jim Ashby:

Thanks for the A2A, Joseph!

Political correctitude has evolved into an intolerant, totalitarian, supremacist ideology. One that shouts down dissent and resorts to ad hominems like 'racist', 'bigot', 'misogynist', and 'Islamophobe', to derail debate and elicit knee-jerk support. In many ways, left-wing apologists bear a striking resemblance to apologists for Islamism. Just as Islamists have intimidated far too many people, media outlets, and governments into squelching dissent, so has the politically correct left. Just as Islamists believe their ideology to be superior and sacrosanct, so does the politically correct left. Just as everybody must respect Allah, the Quran and Muhammad, so must everybody respect politically correct ideals: if you don’t, you’ll feel the wrath of adherents.

Don't get me wrong . . . I like liberal ideals like minority rights; gay rights; women's liberation; inclusion; affirmative action; and support for the poor, disadvantaged, and downtrodden; etc. These values have made our country strong, prosperous, and free. The problem is not our values: it's how we apply them to domestic and foreign policy.

We need to take all considerations into account when making policy. Our values are fine: it's their application that sucks. Do we stand behind our liberal ideals or not? It appears to me that our track record says we don't. It's geopolitics, not our values, that govern our support for causes and countries around the world. We embrace Saudi Arabia while it spends billions to spread a poisonous version of Islam around the world. Yet we treat the democratic country of Taiwan like a hot potato where China is concerned.

And Israel? Well, it's a very special case. Robert Bernstein, founder of Human Rights Watch, says that antisemitism is "deeply ingrained and institutionalized" in "Arab nations in modern times." That's an understatement. Arab antisemitism is an Islamic tradition institutionalized in sharia law, by dhimma. On Muslim soil, Jews are dhimmi, subjugated and, by law, inferior to Muslims. For Jews, dhimma is antisemitism on steroids. Dhimma laws were dropped over a century ago, due to pressure from the West, but still rears its ugly head from time to time: like with ISIS. Remnants of dhimma (neo-dhimmitude) still persist in Iran. On the bright side, Saudi Arabia has no problem with dhimmis . . . but only because Islam is the only religion they allow. The legacy of dhimma is very much alive in the form of  'deeply ingrained and institutionalized' Arab antisemitism.

The Jewish nationalist movement, Zionism, began in the late 19th century as a response to widespread persecution, particularly in Europe. Jews, after nearly two millennia of diaspora, began immigrating to Palestine (Ottoman Syria). They bought land and settled it with the dream of an eventual homeland. There were no problems reported between them and local Arabs until after the First World War, when support for a Jewish homeland was building in the West.

The Palestinian nationalist movement emerged, after WWI, in 1920, under the hard-line leadership of Haj Amin al-Husseini, who immediately targeted the Jewish settlers and all they represent, as anathema to the Palestinian nationalist cause. He sparked many riots against the Jews in Jerusalem and Jaffa. Later, in 1929, a series of anti-Jewish riots led to massive Jewish casualties in Hebron and Safed, and the evacuation of Jews from Hebron and Gaza.
Does anybody seriously believe settlers would have been attacked if they were Arabs? No . . . they were attacked because they were Jews. Ironically, all that hateful violence against the Jews proved to be the downfall of the Palestinian Arabs because it prompted the establishment of Jewish protection leagues, such as Haganah, Irgun and Stern Gang – which morphed into paramilitary organizations that successfully defended Israel against invasion, by five Arab countries, in the first Arab-Israeli War of 1948. They got what they deserved.
The 1948 war need never have happened if only the Arabs had accept just one of the many British and U.N proposals to grant the Jews territory (no matter how small) in the British/U.N. protectorate of Mandatory Palestine. The Jews agreed to every proposal but the Arabs rejected them all, outright, without consideration. Why? Because there was no way in hell that (Muslim) Arabs would allow Jews to stand free, strong and proud on Muslim soil. Pure, dhimma-inspired, antisemitism. Period.

When I think of the history of the Palestinian Problem, I wonder how I would react to being surrounded by much larger enemies who hate my very existence. How well would I handle the myriad and incessant assaults? Of course, no matter how hard I might try, the ever-present danger and lack of security would lead me to an embattled mindset. I would have difficulty staying objective and making the wisest available decisions.

Israel is an island of democracy in a sea of despots and terrorists driven by Jew hatred. I admit that the occupied territories is a woeful mess. But I'm not surprised . . . how could it be otherwise? It seems to me that Israel has done remarkably well so far, despite the mess. The situation is so bad that Israel might have no choice but to expand their borders for their own security — certainly a terrible prospect.

But this situation should not exist in the first place. If Israel had been allowed to continue buying and settling land, they would have legally owned their country outright when the U.N. finally granted them the tiny 10% piece of the protectorate territory of Mandatory Palestine. The Palestinian Arabs got 90% of the territory, including Jordan but that wasn't good enough for them. No sir! It wasn't so much that they wanted 100% . . . it was really all about the Jews having 0%.

The hostility has always been and continues to be from the Arabs. I don't like all of Israel's decisions but I can't really blame them when they make bad ones. Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to exist unmolested. But with the reality on the ground in the region, Israel may never be secure . . . and certainly can never trust their Arab neighbors until they establish a long record of peaceful and tolerant coexistence. And, really, how likely is that?

Liberal support for Palestine (and against Israel) is misguided. Remember those liberal ideals? Why do liberals support a terrorist regime against a democracy? Why do they overlook the regime's treatment of their own people? It's really very sad. Liberal ideals have become tainted by the extremism of political correctitude.

Why is the Palestinian issue a cause célèbre among Western liberals when Palestinians are hostile to many left-wing ideals?