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In Saudi Arabia, what historical conjectures are legal lecture topics?

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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:20 PM
Original message
In Saudi Arabia, what historical conjectures are legal lecture topics?
Let's suppose you rent a lecture hall in Saudi Arabia, advertise lectures, and lecture.

If you alternate between stating that highly improbable conjectures are real possibilities and stating that various parts of Islamic religious dogma are matters about which there is no uncertainty, then Islamic dogma would begin to seem rather ridiculous.

For example, suppose you say that perhaps Julius Caesar designed and built the first Ford Model T and Henry Ford simply copied Caesar's design. You can claim that nobody really knows for the sure the truth on this matter. However, you can also say that when Jesus was born his mother was a virgin and that there can be no question about this. Then you can continue to alternate between random and rather unlikely historical conjectures and religious dogma of a historical nature.

Now, if this is unacceptable, then there has to be legally imposed official doctrine on questions of history. However, eventually some historical conjectures that seem very unlikely to us might be discovered to be actually true. Furthermore, the government of Saudi Arabia doesn't claim to have any window into the absolute truth on historical questions. A government bureaucracy might try to determine the truth, but there is obviously no guarantee that it will succeed and no reason to assume that it has any particular credibility on questions of history.

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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:31 PM
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1. Their laws concern when Islamic dogma begins to seem ridiculous
Making it seem ridiculous is, quite simply, illegal, to my knowledge. The government doesn't need to debate the truth of the claim, merely the effect of the claim to a reasonable human being.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Suppose the first lecture raises conjectures such as this:
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 08:05 PM by Boojatta
Perhaps Mozart died of chronic kidney disease.

You could tell the audience that we don't know for sure whether or not that is true. Then you could tell the audience that we do know a particular point of Islamic dogma. Continue in this manner. This will not make Islamic dogma appear ridiculous.

If the second lecture proceeds as described in the Original Post, then we can ask what difference between the two lectures explains why the second lecture makes Islamic dogma appear ridiculous. The answer is that the conjectures are too improbable. To say that they are too improbable is to say that, in a lecture that includes both historical conjectures and points of Islamic dogma, there are some imagined historical events that one is not permitted to describe as possibilities. Then one can ask: "which imagined historical events are too improbable?"
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