Life after death as a chatbot, ethical dilemmas

Will there be life after death after all? Microsoft has applied for a patent on the idea of an afterlife as a chatbot.

The two protagonists. Is a life after death as a chatbot ethically acceptable? Source: (Fair Use)

In the episode Be Right Back from the dystopian Netflix series Black Mirror, exactly this idea emerges. A woman's dead boyfriend is digitally “brought to life” again. By using her memories of him, and the photos and conversations left behind, to fabricate a realistic look-alike robot of her ex. Of course, in Black Mirror style, this also ends badly.

Brought back to life using an algorithm

In its patent [1], Microsoft focuses on an initially, more modest goal. A chatbot, fed with all the knowledge and memories of the deceased. The idea is not new. Two years after the broadcast of the first episode of Black Mirror, a number of Russians worked on the development of a chatbot to bring their friend who was killed in a collision back to life. [2]

Is an afterlife ethical as a chatbot?

As is often the case with artificial intelligence, ethical issues come into play here too. To begin with, is it ethical to use private conversations of a deceased person as a grief counseling? Are you not violating that person? And in the slightly more distant future, as artificial intelligence keeps getting better, is there still a distinction between a chatbot and a real person? Is it murder to delete the chatbot? And how ethical is it to give a survivor false hope? To make her or him like something that is nothing more than a computer program? Or are we no more than a computer program?

And the question that burns us all on the lips: is Microsoft Windows' infamous Blue Screen of Death getting a second meaning? Because Microsoft is known for its abundant production of vaporware. Questions and more questions.

1. Creating a Conversational Chat Bot Of A Specific Person, US Patent Office, 2020
2. Speak, Memory - Casey Newton in The Verge, 2015
3. After You Die, Microsoft Wants to Resurrect You as a Chatbot, Popular Mechanics, 2021

Are Martyrs Always Right? Argumentum ad martyrem

The father of the United States Marine Humayun Khan, blown up in Iraq by a fellow believer, thinks his son has meant more to the United States than Trump. Of course, the Donald did not let that go by and a media riot broke out. Which brings us to a fascinating philosophical question.

Sense and nonsense of the martyrs

The Christian faith has grown with it: martyrs. In the early pacifist days of Christianity, this usually concerned Christians murdered by order of the emperors of the Roman Empire. As Christianity became the state religion and the Roman Catholic Church increasingly deviated from Christian pacifism, their numbers declined. Some well-known past martyrs were beatified by the Church and then canonized. Their statements were given a special meaning. They had their own saint's day and one hagiography after another saw the light.

Humayun Khan was a hero as well as a martyr. He saved the lives of hundreds of US soldiers by stepping on a suspicious vehicle himself. For this he was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart award. Source: Wikimedia Commons / Sgt. Cody W. Torkelson

The second great faith, Islam, also has martyrs. The Quran guarantees every Muslim who dies (shahid) for the sake of Islam, a certain stay in paradise. All his, or occasionally, her sins are forgiven this person by Allah. Although suicide is forbidden in both the Quran and the narratives (hadith), it is allowed to die murderously. Martyrs are also highly honored within Islam. For example, there is extensive worship of martyrs in the Palestinian territories. Survivors of suicide attacks receive a special benefit.

There is also an extensive cult around fallen soldiers in the United States.

Are Martyrs Right?

From a rational point of view, a martyr is one who has failed to achieve his goal alive. This may be because the only way to reach the goal is to sacrifice yourself. In that rare case, the martyr was a brave man. In many cases, it is a rather silly person best to deceive you posthumously Darwin award can reach out. The Muslims who blow themselves up with a bomb belt can be seen as such. These are gullible, often mentally less gifted that are easily fooled by smooth nice craters. A lot of sexually abused Muslim women become martyrs to save their family's honor.

According to publicly available information, a suspected taxi was approaching Humayun Khan when he served as a security guard in Iraq. He dismissed his subordinates and hailed the taxi himself. Then the driver, a suicide bomber, detonated the taxi. Based on this information, we can provisionally conclude that Khan was indeed a hero. He risked his life to neutralize the danger, instead of sending one of his subordinates. He respected the lives of others more than his own. That makes him a hero in the classic sense of the word.

Who has meant more to the United States: Humayun Khan or Donald Trump?

Khan saved the lives of probably several hundred people through his courageous actions. Trump has had varying degrees of success in his various business activities. This wealth, by the way, mainly because Trump had a rich father. You need money to make money in the real estate world. Without Trump, there would probably have been some other tall buildings than now, some fashion models would have had another rich guy, and Trump University attendees would have let themselves be fooled by another scammer.

Had Trump been an entrepreneur in medical engineering, for example, or a philanthropist, he would in principle have made a much greater positive contribution to the US than Khan could ever have done as a soldier. Let alone, if his dream of becoming a military lawyer had come true. Nevertheless, we have to conclude here that Khan's contribution was positive on balance, and therefore incomparably greater than that of Donald Trump until his presidency.

Whether his contribution to Usa was positive or negative after Trump's presidency ended, we can only determine later. Ratings for presidents sometimes change over time. He has shaken things up quite a bit and thus accelerated the course of history.

Stateless and statelessness, dream or nightmare?

Statelessness is the ideal for the “sovereign man”. But what is that like, living as a stateless person? And do you have a life?

What is statelessness and statelessness?

Nearly every shred of land outside of Antarctica, and much of the sea, has been swallowed up by states. Almost all people are nationals of one or more states. But what if you are not a national of any state? Then you are officially called “stateless”. Statelessness is the modern equivalent of outlaws. Determining how many stateless people there are is difficult. After all, they are nowhere registered as subjects. It is estimated Institute of Statelessness and Inclusion are there such in the world 15 million stateless people and possibly more.


States grant rights within their jurisdiction. That is the term for the area in which the laws of the state are valid. Most of the rights that states grant they grant to their nationals. Or to the nationals of other states. That means stateless people have few rights on most of the earth. Indeed, invoking the law means that the state is likely to expel or imprison the stateless person.

How do you become stateless?

According to the UN Declaration UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 15), every human being has the right to a nationality, in other words, can claim subjection to a state. In practice, most states have fairly strict rules for applying for their nationality. People who through no fault of their own find themselves between the loopholes of these rules sometimes lose their nationality. They thus become stateless. A child of two parents of Canadian nationality only, each not born in Canada, is stateless if that child is not born in Canada or another country where the place of birth counts. More examples on Wikipedia.

These Antarctic penguins are stateless. Statelessness is the dream of many a voluntarist. corp2417, NOAA Corps Collection Photographer: Giuseppe Zibordi Credit: Michael Van Woert, NOAA NESDIS, ORA Public Domain

Become stateless voluntarily

There are also people who voluntarily renounce their nationality. For example, if you are a national of Usa, and you don't like Usa at all, you can walk to the local Usanese embassy and renounce your Usan nationality. The writer Glen Lee Roberts, who lives in Paraguay in early 2021, did this and wrote a book about it.

Renunciation of the Dutch nationality is only possible if you already have another nationality, of a country that recognizes the Netherlands. Renunciation of Belgian nationality is comparably difficult without extra nationality. In these cases, the only way to become formally stateless is to first acquire the citizenship of a country that can be renounced without having additional nationality, and then renounce it as well.

Benefits of statelessness

There are also some, albeit limited, benefits to statelessness. This way you can commit crimes with impunity in Antarctica. Namely, the Antarctic Treaty states that the perpetrator of a crime is convicted by his own country. The logical conclusion is that for stateless crimes in Antarctica cannot be prosecuted. So if you want to open a drug lab, host animal pornography or make the entire US Library of Congress collection of e-books downloadable by satellite and you are Rohingya or some other stateless person, Antarctica is a logical choice. If you try that as a Belgian or as a Dutch person, you will be taken away by a bunch of sturdy custodians at Zaventem airport if you miss the stroopwafels or fries from home.

Another advantage: as a stateless person you have no obligations. You are literally an outlaw. No income tax or conscription. Nothing. At least, as long as you don't reside in a state. So do you want to host deep fake porn from powerful people, you totally hate paying all taxes and / or do you want performing really false genetic experiments, then statelessness is a dream come true. This does require a network in the rest of the world. Hardly anyone lives on Antarctica and the high seas, and there are no postal addresses.

What is Truth? Discerning truth from falsehood

It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish fake and real. What is truth, and how do we distinguish truth from fake news?

Take the vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 as an example. There are several blogs and sites that, incorrectly, claim that Covid-19 disease is caused by 5G. A claim that contradicts almost everything we know about virology.

In addition, there are also critics who, while believing that SARS-CoV-2 causes Covid-19, have questions about the official advice or the mainstream theory about the spread of the virus. For example, they look very carefully and critically at the results of manufacturer Pfizer. [1] There are of course also scientists and other people who firmly believe in the vaccine.

In addition, our government also claims a few things, which sometimes deviates from the scientific consensus. For example, the RIVM claimed that face masks do not help, while a few months later they were made mandatory [2].

This makes the overall picture a bit chaotic, of course.

What is Truth? The spectrum between dissent and wappie

People have had disagreements since the beginning of time. In other words, its own truth. From small details to vaccination obligation, opinions are strongly divided. An important cause of this is of course the news. Fake or non-fake, people want to have an opinion about everything. It is difficult to stomach that you cannot, for example, discuss a subject. That shows a weakness. Is the term appropriate for dissidents? Should we call people who are well or not well informed “wappie”?

When do you think differently, and when are you wappie?

Nowadays it is very fashionable to call anyone you disagree with a "crazy" or "wappie". Especially if your opinion is very different from that of others. Characteristic wappies are not open to other points of view. They are firmly convinced that they are right, even if the facts speak a different language. A good example are the supporters of the Flat Earth theory. Every NASA photo showing a round Earth is, according to flat-earth believers, the product of a conspiracy.

Those who think differently are willing to change their position if the facts give cause to do so. For example, geologist Alfred Wegener, who had noticed that South America and Africa fit together very nicely, was taken to be crazy. After his death in 1950, it turned out that Wegener was right. Continents do move. South America once formed one continent with Africa, Pangea. Of course it is easy to say with today's knowledge. Yet we can learn from this. Wegener did not deny facts and research. Wappies do.

That is why dissenters like Alfred Wegener are very useful. They advance humanity: the mainstream thesis, and their antithesis, leads to a synthesis. A better understanding of the truth.

What is Truth? According to the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), the truth is ugly, so people prefer lies. - Public domain / Wikimedia Commons

Tips to find truth

But how do you discover the difference between reliable news and fake news? We recommend that you look carefully at the source of the information. Any blog, or propaganda website, is more likely to make mistakes in articles or spread fake news than a peer-reviewed science-based article from a university.

But the source does not say everything. Some sources have a vested interest in distorting the truth. For example, the Chinese government body CGTN claimed that their vaccine Sinovac helps against all kinds of different strains and is almost 80% reliable [4], while according to the BBC, Brazil puts the effectiveness at 50.4% and from other countries an effectiveness between 50 and 70 percent are reported. CGTN obviously has a clear interest in extolling the Chinese vaccine, while the BBC may also have instructions from the British government. England itself also produces a vaccine. Checking many sources against each other then gives a more reliable picture.

It is also wise to test internal consistency. If A, then B. An incoherent story that contradicts itself is no good.

In this Wikipedia article about pseudoscience also contain useful features to look out for.

Yet it puts people's confidence to the test. Everyone wants to know the truth and understand what is happening around us. Still, there are many people who spread it as a joke or with serious intent. This entails great dangers. Especially considering artificial intelligence is getting better and better. This can change the future enormously, as people start making wrong decisions.

What do you think? Do you share this view?

1. Hommel, Jan B. 2020. "The Pfizer / BioNTech Vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus." .
2., 2020, How something 'that offers no protection' was nevertheless advised nationally
4. CGTN, 2021, Is the 79% efficacy of Chinese COVID-19 vaccine good enough?
5. BBC, 2021, Sinovac: Brazil results show Chinese vaccine 50.4% effective

Automation, especially a blessing or a curse?

Since the beginning of time, man has been looking for ways to simplify life. Such as the rise of the computer and the industrial revolution. People therefore mainly see advantages in automation. But is that justified?

In Amsterdam, 'gluurautos' drive around from Parking Management. These scan cars check whether someone has paid for a parking space. This is done by means of license plate recognition in the software. And in theory this is very beautiful. For example, almost no people are needed anymore to write fines. Unfortunately, this form of automation also affected many victims. The software does not take a number of factors into account. Such as the time of arrival. And the slow processing of payments. [1]

The Dam Square, Amsterdam. Parking management banned innocent motorists through automation. Will the 'peek-a-boo car' become the new symbol of Amsterdam? Source:

Another example of this in America. Because there a municipality wanted to have a bridge built over a highway. And hired a contractor. This contractor was able to calculate with software what the best construction form for the lowest cost was. But there was one small problem. Because it soon turned out that the bridge was too low for buses. As a result, people with a lower income could not go to the beach. This design has, of course, been rejected.

Does Automation Lead to the Terminator?

Is automation a bane or a blessing? So this question is still difficult. There are many other examples of automation gone wrong. For example Facebook with all privacy problems. And the use of mobile phones. Maybe even the rise of the Terminator robot[2]. In any case, it brings up many issues that people should not be blind to.

Would it be a godsend to establish an ethics committee for automation? What do you think? Because we are very curious about your point of view.

1. Challenging parking fines by scan cars pays off,, 2020
2. Robot being trained to shoot guns is 'not a Terminator', insists Russian deputy Prime Minister, Independent, 2017

Should the Pill of Drion be on everyone's nightstand?

Member of Parliament Pia Dijkstra of the D66 party comes with a proposal to improve the sustainability of public finances. Give anyone over 75 a suicide pill, the Drion pill. Is this a good plan?

What is the Pill of Drion?
In 1991, legal scholar Huib Drion (1917-2004) proposed in an opinion article [1] that a suicide pill should be made available to all elderly people over 75 years old who requested it. This pill had to consist of two preparations: pill A and pill B. Only the combination of these two preparations would have a lethal effect. Preparation B should then be taken a few days after preparation A to allow the suicide to reconsider. This idea caused quite a stir and became the proverbial Pill of Drion.

Bill Completed Life in broad outlines

  • To be eligible, someone must be 75 or older;

  • These are people who do not qualify for euthanasia, but who do consider their lives complete;

  • These people first have a conversation with an end-of-life counselor;

  • There must be at least two meetings with the end-of-life counselor and there must be at least two months in between;

  • The end-of-life counselor is a doctor, nurse or psychiatrist who has completed a special head study to become an end-of-life counselor;

  • The life counselor must check whether the death wish is authentic and consistent, and whether other solutions are possible;

  • If the end-of-life counselor agrees, a date of death will be agreed;

  • The end-of-life counselor collects the lethal substance from the pharmacy, keeps it at home, administers it on the agreed date, stays with it until the client is dead and returns any remainder to the pharmacy;

  • An assessment committee checks whether everything has gone according to the rules. [4]

Benefits of Drion Pill
Proponents of the Pill of Drion cite arguments such as: if an elder feels that his life is no longer meaningful, he should be able to end his life in a painless way, because suicide is a human right.

Is being able to end your life voluntarily a human right?
Source: Adapted

Unspoken arguments are, for example: the elderly are expensive. They don't work, they eat our pension pot, make disproportionate demands on healthcare and to make matters worse, they exacerbate the housing shortage and vote more often than average for populist parties. They poison young, impressionable people with “wrong” ideas such as nationalism, religion and traditional festivals. Every year of life of an elderly person costs society tens of thousands of euros in pension and care, which can be more usefully spent on, for example, redundancy schemes for politicians and contributions to the European Union. Suppose that every older person over the age of 75 took the Pill of Drion, that would mean 1.4 million fewer AOW benefits, hundreds of thousands of empty houses and, if every older person over 65 took this pill, half the health care costs [2 ]. And think of the inheritance tax. Enough to keep even the most insane election promises and to spice up the European Union. At least, for a while. It is also remarkable that the discussion about the Pill of Drion flares up especially in times of economic hardship. For example, in 1991 the Dutch economy showed signs of cooling down and in 1993 there was a slight dip.

Some proponents, such as [3], the D66 proposal does not go far enough. They want everyone to have access to this “miracle pill”, including people under 75. Can Drion's “humane” Pill save our public finances?

Disadvantages of Drion's Pill
The main drawback of the Pill of Drion is that it makes it so much easier to kill without leaving a trace. A murder with this suicide pill can then seem like a suicide by a murderer. A forensic anatomist cannot distinguish between murder and suicide. Also, spreading deadly poisons among the population means that murder weapons are always close by. Every drink can contain a deadly poison. Not a pleasant thought.
In the D66 proposal, this disadvantage has been overcome by placing the professional “end-of-life counselor” as an independent third party. This makes the job more difficult for killers. However, murders by “end-of-life counselors” and psychological murders, in which wealthy older people are told that their lives are over and it is okay if they die, remain possible.

A second drawback is the drawback of euthanasia in general. It is a great violation of the dignity of human life.

Why do the elderly want to die?
A healthy person enjoys life. This also applies to almost all healthy elderly people. Reasons for no longer wanting to live for healthy elderly people are a feeling of loneliness, hopelessness or uselessness. As with young people, loneliness is a major problem among the elderly. We humans are a social animal species and contacts with young people are very important for the elderly. The elderly are the living memory of humanity and also ensure the transfer of culture. It is true that a transfer of culture that is in conflict with the “makeable society” so beloved by D66, but still: a transfer of culture.

Conclusion: the Pill of Drion is an unfortunate idea. There are plenty of useful things healthy seniors can do when they feel useless. The late Drion himself has also done many useful things after his retirement. Instead of glorifying death and seeing the elderly as a burden, we need to develop medical devices and medicines that help older people stay healthy longer (preferably: stop or reverse the aging process) and involve them more in society. There are reasons why older people are less involved with fashionable theories. Often, not always, these are very good reasons. Their life-based criticism can help put things in perspective and develop better concepts.

1. H. Drion, The Self-Willed End of Older People, NRC Handelsblad, 1991
2. People over 65 make half of all healthcare costs,, 2018
3. 'Make the Drion pill available to everyone', John Jansen van Galen, Het Parool, 2020
4. Completed Life Bill, EO Explainer, 2020

Is Luxury Communism the Future?

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, communism has been languishing. Almost all nominally communist countries, such as Vietnam, Cuba and the People's Republic of China, have become capitalist autocracies or have made room for capitalist initiatives. In short, the defeat of communism seems utterly and definitively, the domain of radicalinsky, forever banished to the scrap heap of history. Is that the role of communism over? On the contrary, says Aaron Bastani, the author of the book Fully Automated Luxury Communism: A Manifesto.

Communism without workers
Central to the book is the idea that in the future all human work will be taken over by robots, because robots will be able to do everything better and faster than humans. In doing so, he continues the trend that has been going on for decades: the exponential increase in the computing power of computers and the abundant availability of energy and raw materials is reducing the value of raw materials, energy and labor to zero. And with this the cost price.

Life is getting cheaper because of this technological deflation. It is true that there is less and less work, but there is more and more prosperity in an absolute sense. Until now, labor has been the primary means of redistributing wealth. Most people have a job. For this they are paid from the profits that entrepreneurs make or from the taxes paid by entrepreneurs. But what if there are no more jobs soon? Bioj example in 2029, when 1000 euros worth of computers can process more information than the human brain? Then the main redistribution mechanism, wages, disappears. The solution, according to Bastani, is a redistribution of production resources. In other words, phase 5 communism, the classless society in Marxism without phase 4, the dictatorship of the proletariat, having taken place.

The Five Phases of Society According to Marxism
In his book Capital (1867) nineteenth-century German writer and philosopher Karl Marx analyzed the relationship between technology, capital and society. He distinguished five phases in the development of humanity. These are:
1. Hunter-gatherer societies, such as today's Khoisan. These, Marx argued, had a form of communism for a practical reason. In a wandering existence you can never have more than you can carry on your back.

Karl Marx, the founder of the ideas behind Marxism. Source: Wikimedia Commons

2. Feudal societies. With the advent of agriculture, it became possible to accumulate wealth and gather armies. In doing so, the ruling class, the nobility, extort peasants and craftsmen through their army, so that they could appropriate the profits. When Marxist-Leninists or Maoists talk about "feudal", they are referring to this type of society. We see a revival of feudal society in societies controlled by the mafia and gangs.
3. Capitalist societies. With the advent of free cities (and before, with trade-based city-states such as Carthage, but they did not fit Marx's “iron historical laws”) and factories, labor becomes a factor independent of land and nobility. In addition to the nobility, a class of well-to-do citizens, the "bourgeois", emerges, employing the "proletariat", the workers, paying meager wages and reinvesting the profits to become even richer. According to Marxism, Western countries are in this phase.
4. Dictatorship of the proletariat. Marx dreamed of a seizure of power by the proletariat, which would lead to an egalitarian society. The proletariat would do this without respect for the bourgeois, in other words a dictatorship of the proletariat would arise. The means of production fall into the hands of the state. This communist ideal was more or less realized at the expense of bloodshed in the former Soviet Union and countries like Cuba and China.
5. Communist society. At some point, machines become so productive that they can produce everything for next to nothing. Anyone can now live a luxury life without having to work. Because the means of production are in the hands of the state, no one is exploited anymore and everyone can share fairly. This ideal has not been achieved in any country, with the possible exception of oil states (temporarily and only for their own population).

As we know a century and a half later, the practice turned out to be unruly. While his economic analysis was broadly correct, he lacked a macchiavellian assessment of human nature in his ideal society (for example, he did not foresee the emergence of the "red nobility" of corrupt party officials and inefficiencies in the planning process) and underestimated nationalism. huge.

The five great crises
According to Aaron Bastani, capitalism has survived fairly unscathed over the past two centuries, but is now facing an existential crisis, due to five developments coming our way simultaneously. These are: climate change, scarcity of resources such as energy, water and raw materials, an aging population, a growing number of “useless” people, called “unnecesarial” by Bastani and, the biggest threat, a new era of machines that will completely replace the production factor of labor by machines, ie capital. Capital that is increasingly unevenly distributed. In countries like the US and the UK, dozens of people have barely enough money in their bank account to survive a month. And a large group of people who have nothing to lose is not conducive to stability.

The choice of poverty for most ...
Capitalism basically performs two tasks: increasing wealth (through efficient production techniques) and redistributing wealth (through wages). Where increasing wealth is increasingly successful, this does not apply to redistribution. After all, work is becoming less and less important. The logical end result will be a world in which a small group of empires own almost everything from asteroid mines that will wipe out Earth's mines with their massive production, to fleets of solar-powered satellites and a monopoly on medical technology for life extension, for example. And the rest of humanity? The least unfavorable outcome is that they will live in tightly ruled slums, with the food coming from 3D printers. After all, this is the most CO2 neutral solution. A world that is very similar to that sketched in the science-fiction film Elysium. More likely that is like all bargaining power of the population will disappear, the world population will be reduced to 500 million people in a completely painless and hygienic way, as the Georgia Guidestones recommend. After all, that is the most efficient and most profitable solution.

In the cinema film Elysium, a wealthy elite lead a life without disease or lack in the space colony of the same name, while the rest of humanity is locked up in poor slums. Luxury communism wants to exist as in Elysium, but for everyone. Source: Edited screenshot of the Elysium trailer

Or for luxury communism
The alternative, says Bastani, is that while we still can, we opt for luxury communism. In other words: distributing the production factors among the population. Asteroids, for example, are not owned by one person or land, but by all of humanity under the Space Treaty. You can also question the privatization of intellectual property. With blanket patents, technical progress in an entire sector can be halted. So viewed in this way, luxury communism is the most logical and also most humane solution. To achieve luxury communism, according to Bastani, and also, we must opt for enlightened populism. Populism, so denounced by the “progressive” elite, is the only ideology that puts the interests of the population first. And that can save us from an existence like Elysium, where one genetically enhanced upper class lives in mind-boggling luxury and the remaining 99% in dire conditions.

Aaron Bastani, Fully Automated Luxury Communism: A Manifesto, 2020

Is Islamism legitimate and different from jihadism?

Where countries such as Sudan and the United Arab Emirates are moving away from the most controversial aspects of the Islamic legal system of Sharia, Islamism is emerging in the Netherlands and Belgium. According to a group of predominantly “progressive” opinion formers, we must distinguish between Islamism and Jihadism. Where jihadism is seen as criminal, because: calling for violence, this group sees Islamism as a legitimate political movement. Are they right? What is Jihadism and What is Islamism?

What is the difference between Islam and Islamism?
Islamism is a neologism which basically amounts to "political Islam". Traditionally, there was only Islam, which contained both personal and political elements. In Sharia there is no distinction between the personal and private domain. The hadith (traditions) of a political nature, such as the prescribed penalties and marriage laws, are in the same book as the hadith of a personal nature, such as the prescribed way of praying or performing the ablution. This follows the system of the most important Islamic scripture, the Quran. The Islamic state also strictly monitors the religious life of the individual. For example, communal prayer for Muslims was regularly a legal obligation in a Sharia state, as in the strict Islamic state of the Almohads [1].
In summary, in traditional Islam there is no clear distinction between the political and the religious dimensions. These flow seamlessly into each other. The explication of Islamism is of a fairly recent date, with thinkers such as the Egyptian Islamist Sayyid Qutb, executed by Nasser. Before that, and to a large extent after that, there was no distinction between the private domain and the public domain in terms of Islamic law. The strict separation of the private domain relates solely to the prevention of “illegal” sex between unmarried persons of the opposite sex. The harem is derived from the Arabic 'haram': forbidden or sacred.

Corporal punishment such as whipping, abolished in the Low Countries more than a century ago, will return when Islamists have their way.
Source: L'Exécution de la Punition de Fouet by Jean-Baptiste Débret (1829)

What is the difference between "Jihadism" and "Islamism"?
Who reads the magazines quite tough in terms of readability that terror groups such as Al Qa'eda and Islamic State, such as Inspire (Al Qaeda) and Dabiq (IS) is striking that the sources they cite are the same as the sources that Islamists cite. Namely the Quran and (especially) the hadith. A group known as 'non-terrorist' such as Hizb-ut-Tahrir condemns attacks on, for example, Israelis and others; enemies of Islam 'good on theological grounds. [2] This also applies to a large extent to the ideologically more flexible Muslim Brotherhood, which for the purpose of uniting all Muslims under one Sunni caliphate and subjugating the non-Muslims, sees the mutual differences between Muslims as secondary [3] . There are countries where this group manifests itself peacefully, such as Turkey and many Western countries, and there are other countries where this group carries out terrorist attacks (Gaza Strip, Syria).

Ideologically, there is no difference between a "peaceful" Islamist and a "jihadist", except for a disagreement about the strategy to be followed. The ideology of jihadists IS Islamism. “Jihadism” (more accurately: jihad al-qital, armed struggle) is only a method of struggle of Islamism, it is not a separate ideology.

What if jihadists or Islamists are in control?
The consequences are the same in both cases and extremely predictable: introduction of Sharia, ie restriction of the rights for women and non-Islamic groups, introduction of the jizya (a head tax applied to non-Muslims), introduction of polygyny, abolition of the human rights of homosexuals, the death penalty for leaving Islam for ex-Muslim men / life imprisonment for ex-Muslim women until they change their mind, ar-rajam (stoning) for married Muslims who have sex with someone other than their own husband or a ma malakat amaynukum ('what belongs to the right hand', ie slave girl taken prisoner). And, of course, invalidating the marriage of an ex-Muslim to his wife, in countries such as Egypt where a Sharia light prevails. It was not until 2020 that there was open discussion in Egypt about the abolition of this law [4]. Had this ex-Muslim lived in, for example, Mauretania, where Sharia law applies, he would have been executed.

As you have already understood, dear reader, slavery is also being reintroduced. After all, abolitionism is bida (innovation) of the kuffaar (unbelievers). And, of course, the invalidity of a non-Muslim's testimony against that of a Muslim. In Pakistan and Northern Nigeria, for example, you see Islamism in practice. In all countries where Islamism is advancing, women's rights and the rights of non-Muslim and sexual minorities (including those who have sex without marriage) are being curtailed or abolished.

Islamism has no positive sides compared to the currently prevailing political ideologies in the west.

In short, not really ideals associated with progressive, let alone visionary thinking.

Is Islamism Legitimate?
The question is whether Islamism is “legitimate”. The CP'86 has been banned by the courts due to racism. The ideals of apartheid of Islamism are also over the edge of what is permitted under current Dutch criminal law. We are therefore inclined to answer this question positively in the negative.

1. D. Serrano, Judicial pluralism under the “Berber empires” (last quarter of the 11th century CE - first half of the 13th century CE), Bulletin d'Études Orientales,, 2015
2. Hizb ut-Tahrir: ideology and strategy, Henry Jackson society, 2013
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Amna Naseer: Controversy in Egypt after a statement regarding the legality… [of a marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man], 2020


Was everything bad about the Third Reich?

The Dutch Forum for Democracy party is once again discredited, this time due to a number of members who are in a private Whatsapp group racist (as in: Netherlands 95% white and Muslim-free wishes and: thnx for the mass shootings) and expressed their admiration for the economic policy of the Third Reich, such as one “Ruben” with the text: “Left-right, it cares. National Socialism has turned the poorest country in Europe into the richest country in a few years. ” Probably user "Ruben" referred to the economic revival during the period when the Nazis were preparing for a large-scale war and kept the arms factories running at full capacity. This caused quite a stir.

The criticism of racism in these statements is entirely justified. Judging people by ethnicity or skin color, as racists and those quoted here do, is immoral. People must be judged by their actions and ideas. But what about the Third Reich and the economy?

Was everything bad about the Third Reich?

It makes no sense to call something bad just because it comes from the tube of the Third Reich. An example of the fallacy “argumentum ad Hitlerum”. Vegetarians are bad because Hitler was a vegetarian. Dogs, especially German Shepherds, are bad because Hitler kept a German Shepherd. Etcetera.

The Volkswagen Beetle, developed by order of Hitler, is an affordable car for the common man. Despite its inky past, the design proved to be both practical and popular. This design was built until 2003. Source: Volkswagen AG

It is more interesting to ask which elements of this economic policy are virtues. Job security, for example, is something that many people would be happy with now. The reason why this job security was there, namely the mass production of murder tools to subdue the rest of Europe and to murder Jews, of course not.

The Economic Policy of the Third Reich

I think certain elements of this economic policy could be useful. To be precise: Keynesian investments in infrastructure and, for example, the colonization of the North Sea. Also provides work, but at no cost to anyone. The self-sufficiency that the Nazis strived for is also positive in itself. Autarky means no exploitation of Congolese children in coltan mines or devastating oil wars in the Middle East. The less dependent a country or group of countries is on foreign countries, the less cause for war.

The Nazi regime was wrong because it was racist, aggressively expansionist, and totally disrespectful of human life. Not because of their economic policy per se, apart of course from things such as the use of forced laborers and the use of body residues (such as gold fillings, skin and hair) of gassed Jews in Products.

Racism was also rampant among the Allies

To treat the Nazi era as a unique anomaly in European history is stupid and gratuitous. The threat of unscrupulous totalitarian systems and racism (in the sense of discrimination based on skin color and origin) is still very much alive.

The "good guys," like the US, had racial laws until the 1950s. Winston Churchill was complicit in a genocidal famine in Bengal that killed three to ten million Bengals. South Africa, another “allied” state, had racist laws until 1990. In Canada and Australia, children of indigenous peoples were forcibly placed in orphanages to “civilize” them. Many of them did not survive this. The brutal Stalinist dictatorship, which left tens of millions dead, needs no further explanation. Germany did not have this kind of practice until the arrival of the Nazis.

Dare to think without anesthesia and learn the right lessons from history. This way we can prevent it from repeating itself in an unpleasant way. Putting all the blame on the Nazis to clear our consciences is not justified by the facts.

Why we must unconditionally protect freedom of speech

Is a cartoon worth a human life? At first glance you would say no. However, appearances are deceptive here: not only our freedom, but also the survival of the human species benefits from integrity in thinking, and in this respect from absolute freedom of expression.

Humans and humanity as information processors
Evolution is basically information processing. Evolution is the product of the confrontation of our genotype (the DNA blueprint in our genes) and the resulting phenotype (our bodies) with the natural environment (including other organisms). In billions of years of evolution, the genotype of our species has expanded and adapted until we have grown from two single strands of bacterial and archaeal DNA housed in a simple cell into a complex multicellular organism capable of solving the mysteries of life. to unravel space and time.

This process took place only through the endless exposure of our genome to ever-changing challenges. Our ancestors have survived global disasters such as a catastrophic asteroid impact, a gamma-ray burst, and what may have been a massive volcano eruption. Each disaster has usually selected the toughest survivors. The catastrophic disaster at the end of the Permian 252 million years ago, with more than ninety percent of the species on Earth perishing, paved the way for the ancestor of the dinosaurs (and thus birds), the Chicxulub weft for groups of mammals including the primates, our group.

Some subtler cartoons by Charlie Hebdo wittily portray the supposed inventor of Islam, the merchant Muhammad ibn Abdullah. Source / Copyright: Charlie Hebdo Magazine

Technical and cultural evolution
Economic, social and cultural competition is subject to similar evolutionary pressures. The “DNA” of a bicycle, for example, is the CAD construction drawings, specifications and assembly manuals of the various parts and the entire construction, and the mental blueprint in the brains of bicycle repairers, where the phenotype is the bicycle itself. A beautiful, strong and pleasantly driving bicycle is sold more often, so that the manufacturer can further develop the bicycle and other bicycle manufacturers take over elements. The same mechanism also occurs with cultural elements such as language, ideologies and religion. A religion that is more successful at converting people and preserving the faith is ahead of those that discourage or prohibit conversion, or have too weak a grip on the minds of their adherents. religions, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, succeed best in this.

Why Do Religions Exist?
Religions stem from the same urge that led to the emergence of science: the need to understand the world around us and the meaning of our existence. Religion arises from the physical and metaphysical ideas of the time when religion originated. These ideas are framed, usually by a founder (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism) or group of founders (Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism) and institutionalized in subsequent years as a result of confrontation with other religions and philosophies. The canon (collection of sacred writings) is established and classes of institutionalized bearers of knowledge of the religion emerge, such as monks, gurus, priests, theologians and ulema. This gives religions an additional evolutionary advantage: full-time professionals whose existence depends on the presence of large numbers of believers who give their tithes. These professionals are constantly inventing new ways to bring in believers, maintain their faith, and prevent apostasy. This explains the caste system among Hindus, the emphasis on repentance as the only way to save people from hell among Christians, and the draconian punishments of Muslims leaving Islam.

Do Religions Have Value?
Religions frame ideas and hinder scientific and metaphysical thinking. In principle, religions thus have a negative influence on human survival. Elements of religions can be exceptionally useful. Think of the protection of the family, interpersonal ethics, the stimulation of abstract thinking and the provision of a metaphysical reality that creates a distance from the observable reality and thus stretches the world of thought.
The over-representation of Jews and, to a lesser extent, Christians among scientific pioneers suggests that these religions contain elements that promote the development of theory, induction and critical scientific thinking. While primitive Judaism is very similar to current Islam, later rabbinical Judaism has a more playful, more equal relationship with the supreme god. Also “lernen”, the emphasis on learning, is very important in contemporary Judaism. As far as scientific knowledge is concerned, this is of course very useful in scientific practice. This also applies to Christianity, which focuses more on the esoteric domain and thus (after the devastating defeats suffered by the Catholic Church against Galileo and the Copernicists, and the Protestant heretics) opposed natural science much less and in some cases even promoted. In short: religions can still have a positive value on balance, depending on the ideas they contain. However, this is more the exception than the rule. This also explains why in distinctly atheistic countries like both China's, the Czech Republic and Japan, the practice of science and technology is at a higher level.

Freedom of speech is higher than religious dogma
The essence of evolution is information processing. Our technical and cultural evolution is in fact an extension and a logical continuation of biological evolution. To give up freedom of speech because a mythical supreme being, or a legendary founder, of a religion might be offended is to halt the evolution of human thought and culture. If a religion is unable to refute ridicule or criticism, then this religion loses out in the war of ideas. Just as it is not permitted in the Netherlands or Belgium to extort consumers, it must also not be permitted to make religious criticism impossible with improper methods. If a religion like Islam is unable to survive without intimidating its critics with murder and manslaughter, then this religion must disappear from the face of the earth for good. Anyone calling to kill critics in order to silence them is an obstacle to the evolution of humanity. They are principals of murder and therefore guilty of murder. They should be treated like terrorists. Humanity is better off without them.