STUPID PEOPLE ARE REALLY STUPID.
For example: There is a music room on Pal Talk, "Music Appreciation for Muslims." The purpose of the room is to teach Muslims to appreciate music. The motivation, supposedly, is that many Muslims are interested in music, and this site provides an introduction to diverse musical forms utilized world-wide. Nice, I guess.
Well, I went into the room and found one of the people in charge of the room posting false and inflamatory statements about Islam in the room text.
He said that in the Koran, God is not merciful or compassionate.
This statement is absurd, and easily disproved. All one has to do is read the very first verse of the Koran:
"In the name of the merciful and compassionate God. Praise belongs to God, the Lord of the worlds, the merciful, the compassionate…"
I posted that in the room and the moderator responded, "That is lovely. Where is it from?"
"That is the very first verse of the Koran," I replied honestly.
"WRONG!" He typed. "YOU ARE A LIAR!"
Then my text was disabled in the room, and I was no longer allowed to say anything. I was not wrong. I was not lying. I simply posted the exact wording of the opening verse of the Koran. It was not opinion. It was fact. As the truth contradicted his preconceived opinion, he would not allow the truth to be posted.
This reminds me of an excellent segment of NPR’s "All Things Considered" entitled "There is such a thing as truth.
Errol Morris is an Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker whose works include The Thin Blue Line, A Brief History of Time and The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara. He is also the director of a number of critically acclaimed television programs and commercials.
“Truth is not relative. It’s not subjective. It may be
elusive or hidden. People may wish to disregard it. But there is such a
thing as truth.”
All Things Considered, May 2, 2005 · I believe in truth. And in the pursuit of truth.
I was 10 years old, I asked a neighborhood kid who was older than me,
"Which city is further west: Reno, Nev., or Los Angeles?" The correct
answer is Reno, Nev. But he was convinced it was the other way around.
was so convinced that Los Angeles was west of Reno that he was willing
to bet me two bucks. So I went into the house to get my Rand McNally
Atlas. The kid looked at the atlas and said, "The map is drawn funny."
It wasn’t. Was his argument that the map didn’t preserve east, west,
north and south? What kind of map would that be? I showed him if you
trace down the 120-degree west line of longitude — which runs almost
directly through Reno, Nev. — you end up in the Pacific Ocean,
somewhere west of Los Angeles.
He replied that lines of longitude don’t cross the ocean.
I told him that the lines of longitude were there to indicate how far
west or east some location was, regardless of whether it was on land or
There was one insurmountable problem, however. He was bigger than me.
I drew a number of conclusions from this story.
is such a thing as truth, but we often have a vested interest in
ignoring it or outright denying it. Also, it’s not just thinking
something that makes it true. Truth is not relative. It’s not
subjective. It may be elusive or hidden. People may wish to disregard
it. But there is such a thing as truth and the pursuit of truth: trying
to figure out what has really happened, trying to figure out how things
Almost 15 years ago, I stumbled on a story
about an innocent man, a man who had been sentenced to die in the
Huntsville, Texas, electric chair. And through hard work, luck and a
certain amount of pathological obsession, I was able to make the movie The Thin Blue Line and to help get him out of prison.
kept me going was the belief that there had to be answers to the
questions "Did he do it?", "Was he guilty or innocent?", "If he didn’t
do it, who did?" and that I could find an answer to these questions
It’s not that we find truth with
a big "T." We investigate and sometimes we find things out and
sometimes we don’t. There’s no way to know in advance. It’s just that
we have to proceed as though there are answers to questions. We must
proceed as though, in principle, we can find things out — even if we
can’t. The alternative is unacceptable.
I will never know
whether the neighborhood kid really didn’t understand the logic of my
argument about Reno, Nev. Or whether he understood it completely and
just didn’t want to admit it. Or whether he understood it and just
didn’t want to pay up. I’ll never know.
All I know is I never got my two dollars.