Response to Ali Sina's allegation: Kisan's reply and my response
By Avijit Roy
kisan wrote to Ali Sina: I read something from another website that reminded me of this debate:
It reminded me of Ali's refusal to respond to Paul Edwards and other responses without the requisite dignity.
Obviously these authors may have said some things that are sarcastic or mocking but when Ali himself engages in plenty of heavy tactics like name calling etc then it seems a bit rich for him to expect only scholarly responses.
Ali's continual likening of "materialists" as being very similar to believers in Islam on the most flimsy grounds is one example of stooping pretty low.
Perhaps Ali could reflect on the golden rule of doing to others what you would like done to oneself in case he would only like scholarly responses to his arguments.
Ali is of course entitled to his own beliefs in dreams or psychic powers and his own revelations of spirituality.
This is also his site in the final analysis. Although it may be called faithfreedom.org in fact there isn't any organisational group in control making decisions about the content of the site apart from what gets sanctioned by Ali.
So, although it is likely that in case there was a group of people deciding on editorial policy it is unlikely that Ali's spiritual viewpoints would make headline news on the mainpage, as Ali is the boss and makes his own decisions then FFI takes periodic detours from rational thinking into Ali's spiritual opinions which are termed as "reality" and "beyond doubt".
It's a bit of a shame but as there are no checks and balances in place that is that.
Of course Ali has said that as opposed to mukto-mona.com here in this forum anyone can post anything without censorship or moderation.
This isn't quite true though. A particularly bothersome Marxist who continually attacked the US was eventually banned. I have seen over time in mukto-mona that people of all views can post and do and eventually they get tackled on their arguments and many people grow intellectually from this free for all.
Ali began this fight after being asked to contribute to a mukto-mona event called rationalist day. Ali took the opportunity to attack the "pseudo rationalists" over at mukto-mona.
The main attack was on communism. Of course mukto-mona has and does feature writings of several Marxists and a wide diversity of opinions. This diversity of viewpoints is a healthy environment for interaction far richer by the participation of more people (and funnily enough the popularity of the site has mushroomed whilst FFI's readership has contracted over the last year).
This attack on communism didn't get anyone to bite. As Avijit and others are not communists they don't need to defend communism.
Then Ali's opinions about the paranormal were used to attack.
The illustrating proof offered included a dream of a family member of a giant falling and breaking into pieces and this corelating to a later fall of a big housekeeper of a neighbours house falling from the upstairs of a building and getting splattered on the ground.
Now, to most, this attempt to use a story like this as a compelling support for trying to convince people that scientific method is insufficient and that a paranormal explanation is necessary seems to be a bit silly.
Not unsurprisingly this logic was mocked. This ridicule seems to have quite upset Ali and he is refusing to dignify these mockers with a response.
I guess we can emphasize with Mohammed who had his mockers too.
Of course we know how these mockers were killed by Mohammeds followers and these killings were approved of.
Anyhow, the analogies aren't necessarily very relevant as Ali's analogies repeatedly comparing pseudo rationalists with Muslims were also pretty silly.
That'll do for now,
I completely agree with Kisan. Ali Sina’s outrage on M-M is expected. He is hurt because his own belief is under rational scrutiny now! For long he was hurting other people’s faith with his anti-Islamic typhoon; it was interesting to observe how a cult figure of “Rational thinking” under the mask of a paranormalist reacts when the same storm hits the shore. Of course he will see M-M as fanatic, autocratic and what not, cause some members of M-M dared to question Ali’s own belief system!!!!! We understand Ali’s strong feeling of displeasure just as we understand a Muslim believer’s discomfort against strong anti-Islamic logic. Ali never faced such a fortified challenge from any circle since FFI had been created. Of course Ali can find sarcasm in Alamgir and Paul Edwards and many other’s writing; but be reminded, Ali himself wrote sarcastic stories including “The Unbelievable But Honest To God True Story of My Ascension To Heaven” while one Islamist named Mr. Malik Usman was asserting that Mi’raj (Ascension to Heaven) was scientific. Of course mocking on Muhammad’s Meraj while responding Malik Usman is completely OK for him ( no “Apeal to mockery or apeal to ad hominem” at that time), But mockery on paranormal event (such as talking with dead etc.) or sarcasm on psychic frauds like Van Pharagh or McMoneagle is unacceptable to him!!!! Any honest reader may want to find the reason behind! To be frank, the reason has already been exposed to all. The reason is- Ali is no more than a believer – Believer of a Paranormal and psychic stuff. His outrageous remarks towards some of M-M members show that his “religious sentiment” (like other believers) is hurt now! Just remember how many times he used a derogatory phrase like “pseudo-rationalist”, “mask of materialist”, “dogmatic denial”, “fanatic” in his pieces while defending his own belief! I wonder whether his opponents deserve any right to get hurt too!
Quote: “In FFI we have a forum and anyone can post anything he or she wishes. Since you do not have such feature in your site and everything passes under your hand, when you delight so much in publishing brainless mockeries in what is supposed to be scholarly debate, as a token of your intellectual honesty it is important that you also make my responses visible in your site.”
which is not a true statement by any means. Like his FFI, M-M also has a dynamic forum of having around 1600 members. Anyone can post his messages; and we published Ali’s previous articles, responses whenever we got from him. Besides, I myself personally posted many of Ali’s responses, even though I did not agree with his view at all. Here are some proofs:
I already linked Ali Sina’s responses to Aparthib and Randi in our debate site quite a long time ago:
There I posted Aparthib’s latest response ( https://gold.mukto-mona.com/Special_Event_/rationalist_day/science_paranormal_aparthib5.htm ) which to my best knowledge, Ali did not respond back.
As I was away from my work place (and still I have limited access of internet), I could not update many of the valuable contribution of our members in our site. I apologize for my inability. However, Ali is solely victimizing himself too seek sympathy exactly like the other believers here. Unlike FFI, every member’s view is important for us, there is no prime exception. I will publish the pending articles of all members when I will return to my place.
It seems Ali only tends to publish those responses in his opening page that he or any of his followers try to refute. This is how democracy works? Ali repeatedly accused me for publishing “Brainless mockery” of Paul Edwards in M-M even though he used to play the same “brainless game” while responding the Islamists. It is quite interesting to learn that for the Islamists he applies one “golden” rule and for the paranormalist he creates another. BTW, a genuine question to ponder - Why I have to take Ali’s opinion as absolute for deciding the fate of Paul’s write-up in M-M? In fact, many of our members found Paul’s write-up much logical, acute and his write-up was appreciated by many of our members. Here is one example:
Tell me, why should not I publish Paul’s writeup then? Just because Paul opposes Ali’s view on paranormal issues or just because Ali thinks his piece is “brainless”? I am sorry to say, we do not give such “special” importance to any of our members. I published Ali’s view as well as Randi, Aparthib, Alamgir and Paul and many others in our site. Let the Readers be judge to decide who is actually “brainless” in the debate. This is how democracy works in my dictionary. But in FFI the scenario is just opposite. Ali Sina is appeared as a “cult figure” among his followers. Nobody can question his belief. No body can mock, nobody can show his logical fallacies either. If you do, you will be taken to “gulag” and all of your previous scholarly work will be wiped out from the site. This is what happened in case of Dr. Alamgir Hussain! Ali removed all the previous contributions of Dr. Alamgir Hussain from his site and deleted the author’s name just after the “brainless mockery” was put forward to FFI. Please check yourself, you will not find Dr. Hussain’s name in the list:
Of course Ali can claim that he is the founder and moderator of his site, and he can do whatever he likes with his own site. He can go ahed with his abnormal/paranormal/psychic or whatever “rational” view that he wishes to propagate ; cause, it is comforting; may be it is consoling for him too. Researchers found that such weird beliefs also offer "immediate gratification". People like weird beliefs because they are simple. Weird beliefs also satisfy the quest for significance: they satisfy his moral needs and desire that life be meaningful. Paranormalists do not want to understand the need for controlled studies to eliminate self-deception from influencing weird beliefs. They are also unaware of the fallacy of the argument to ignorance. List may go on. Whatever he wants to do to convert “Rational/Anti Islamic” site to “paranormal” site, can do with his piece of real estate but my only request to Dr. Sina is to refrain himself from using “fanatic”, "dishonest", “undemocratic”, “autocratic”, “dogmatic”, “pseudo-rationalist” etc. to the others before counterchecking his own action!
This is all for now. I am not going to follow FFI forum for time being. I had no intention to carry on the unnecessary debate either. One of our M-M members sent me the forum link the day before yesterday and requested me to respond. This is the reason I penned again on this issue. May be it's a high time to stop responding. My opponent can continue though. If someone thinks that s/he can win just by uttering his last word in a debate, I am willing to offer him that opportunity. I had a great admiration for Ali Sina (still I have) when he started his mission with FFI for the purpose of rational scrutiny of Islam; I think he should run FFI with his old mission rather than preaching paranormal propaganda. It is my humble personal suggestion and no doubt, Ali himself is the sole authority to decide what he would do in future...
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April 1, 2004
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