Wednesday, 8 February 2006

Ignorance is louder than reason.

I've been reading about something called the availability heuristic. Sometimes events seem more likely or more common than they really are because they're easier to recall. See here for a fun demo.

Now we've all been seeing pictures of angry Muslims in the news lately, torching embassies and what not. It would be easy to conclude that a vast percentage of Muslims are the batshit crazy kind.

I've seen pictures of batshit crazy Christians too. They're the ones holding the "God Hates Fags" signs. Or shooting doctors and so on. Hell, I've met some real loopers, back in the Utah days. Yet because I have been a Christian, I know a lot more Christians that aren't the crazy kind. For that reason, I'd say that the crazy kind represent... I'm guessing... maybe 5% or less of all Christians. Generously. A small minority.

Can anyone who knows more about this than I do tell me what percentage of Muslims are the crazy kind? Just a guess? Go ahead and put your guess in comments, and (as per the name of the blog) tell what your Good Reason is for thinking so. I have a feeling that the availability heuristic is making it look bigger than it is. I hope I'm right.

I tell you what though: if I were a moderate Muslim, I'd be screaming right now. The loonies are grabbing all the attention, and the moderates are getting tarred with the same brush. Whenever I do hear moderate Muslims speak out on the issue (which isn't very often), they speak in measured tones, a voice of reason. But loud loonies are louder than measured moderates. That's the way it always goes.

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