Thursday, March 02, 2006

A priori

One of the first things I learned at University was that everybody starts out with a priori assumptions. Education moves everybody on from their a priori assumptions by introducing them to other points of view, mainly by revealing new facts. All pretty simple really. Trouble is, what if you never ever in your life have your a priori assumptions challenged?

All over the muslim world, yes the same muslim world which is allegedly the fount of our knowledge and learning (if only!), people grow up, live, and die without ever hearing any viewpoint than the orthodox islamic line.

Lets have a look at some of their a priori assumptions. Any territory that EVER has islam foisted on it is forever part of the Ummah. So apologies to 9/10's of the Spanish who grew up believing that Spain was a Christian country; Wrong! It used to be part of a muslim empire so it can NEVER GO BACK. Same with Israel. Why are there Jews all over the world? Because in the first bounding enthusiasm of islam back in the 8th century, so many of them were slaughtered when their country was invaded by the muslims that they took refuge wherever they could, often ending up thousands of miles from their homeland. But of course once Israel had been incorporated into the great maw of the Ummah, it could NEVER GO BACK. Which is why Israel should, in Mr Ahmadinejads handy phrase, be 'swept into the sea' because it is occupying muslim land. Same goes for much of the Balkans, Hungary, Central Asia and on and on.

Now we folks in the west who went to get an education had our own a priori assumptions challenged, one of the big reasons why each and every time we hear something that we think is stupid, insulting or blasphemous we don't go off and burn something down, or try to hang somebody. In a situation as lop-sided as this, the only good response is to make sure that we don't allow our own way of life and sophisticated polity to be battered into submission by a bunch of ignoramuses.

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