Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The petition about removing the pictures of Muhammad? It's up to 160 thousand signatures. That's not a significant proportion of the total population, but the worry is that the muslim street could flare up unpredictably due to network effects.

Here's a moderate muslim response (filled with useful links, too). "Wikipedia has refused to delete the pictures and has released a statement as to why they are not removing the pictures. This statement seems perfectly reasonable to me as a Muslim."

The guy who started the petition has opened an official petition blog.

Here's a list of his Wikipedia edits. On another blog, he writes: "I am proud to call myself a fundamentalist and even your government preach fundamentalism by opposing the gays in few of the states in US." (Update: that's not really a representative quote.)


Taran Rampersad said...

Funny how the one you find 'moderate' is the one you agree with, and the one you don't agree with is not seen as 'moderate'.

POV. Think about it.

Ben Yates said...

You're saying I assign "moderate" to my exact beliefs and consider whatever's farthest from those beliefs least moderate?

That's plainly false. For example, I think Hillary Clinton is more moderate than Dennis Kuchinich, but I'm closer to Kuchinich politically. (There are plenty of other examples I could dig up -- I have close to a decade of writing online.)

More to the point, it's theoretically possible to plot all points of view in a conceptual space. Some points of view ("Aristotle is a great philosopher") fall in the middle of that space, while others ("Aristotle is a hack", "Aristotle is a literal God") are on the edges -- they are held by a smaller number of people.

Are you arguing that prohibiting any images of humans is more centrist than allowing them? That's just not true. The overwhelming majority of the people in the world have no problem with images of humans. That doesn't mean those people are right, but it does mean that their view is moderate, if the word moderate is to have any meaning at all.

POV. Think about it.

POV is a working mechanism on wikipedia, but impossible to achieve perfectly. A human being without a point of view is a corpse.