From: Joe Dees (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Jan 03 2002 - 03:45:02 MST
Bob has a friend, Jill, who has driven a Buick for many years. Bob therefore thinks that Jill drives an American car. He is not aware, however, that her Buick has recently been stolen, and he is also not aware that Jill has replaced it with a Pontiac, which is a different kind of American car. Does Bob really know that Jill drives an American car, or does he only believe it?
74% of Westerners (including Europeans) assert Bob only believes, while 57% of East Asians, and 61% of Pakistanis, claim that Bob knows.
Most of these people (along with some western fundamentalists) cannot distinguish between knowledge and belief, and have an atrocious command of simple logic, a discipline that they would flee like the plague the moment it would cause them to see contradictions within their Holy koran, or between it and the verifiable world (they still believe the sun circles the earth, because Allah said it).
One cannot reason with incurably mad dogs; one can only die, flee (and only so far on the Big Blue Marble), or put them down. We must put down this plague, or it will be the death of us. Blind faith-driven conviction can kill many in the absence of logic, and has.
I leave you with William Butler Yeats' eerily prophetic 81 year old poem.
The Second Coming
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
the falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second coming is at hand;
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignany desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what now rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
The fundamental question with which we are presently faced is whether we possess the committment and will to hold civilizations's center, whatever the cost, despite the condemnation of the indignant desert birds squawking and flitting about, or whether we will heed their hollow cries and pliantly acquiesce to our own blood comprising the lubricant of the consequent anarchic tide.
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