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Offline Reader Questions

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Why Do You Stay Anonymous?
« on: May 27, 2014, 11:27:31 PM »
Salam brother

Thank you for accepting my friends request on Facebook.

Firstly, why is it that you tend to stay hidden i.e no details about your studies or your background. The reason I am asking is that someone's background is important to know their validity...

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Why Do You Stay Anonymous?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2014, 11:44:29 PM »
Wa alaikum assalam

Validity should be based on the strengths / merits of an argument and not merely on one’s background. One’s background is superfluous to the strength of a claim and does little but often serve as a distraction and give rise to Ad Hominem.

  • Ad Hominem
    Also Known as: Ad Hominem Abusive, Personal Attack

    Translated from Latin to English, “ad Hominem” means “against the man” or “against the person.”  An ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person  presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). This type of “argument” has the following form:
    1. Person A makes claim X.
    2. Person B makes an attack on person A.
    3. Therefore A’s claim is false.
    The reason why an ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made). [1] 
Such demands also often pander to the lowest form of human tendency which is to discriminate individuals on the basis of what is often not relevant.

For example, would a Sunni Muslim simply accept a Shia argument based merely on a Shia scholar's greater credentials? Would a Muslim accept a Christian theologian’s argument simply because of a Biblical scholar's greater credentials? Would believers accept Richard Dawkin's (atheist) argument simply because he has many academic credentials? However, there are many that would reject another simply because they are a 'Shi'a', 'Sunni', Christian, Atheist or else.

I respectfully feel that it does not take much to realise that an argument's validity should be primarily based on its own merit and strength.

This distraction of asking about one's background or credentials to muster an arguable false sense of validity also finds roots in the Quran where the folk thought of the prophet of lacking 'credentials'.

"And they said, "Why was this Quran not sent down upon a great man from (one of) the two towns / cities?"

'Truth' simply does not belong to ‘academics’ or those with certain 'backgrounds'.

Please see my humble response below which I have shared with those individuals who have asked a similar question to yours:

  • As-salam alaykum
    Your sincere question is one of the more popular questions I get asked as is your parting sentiment.
    If it were not for the fact that I have agreed to keep my background completely anonymous, I would have happily shared this with you.
    I have always hoped that discerning, mature readers can understand why someone may wish to retain anonymity.

    Albeit at times the well-meaning pressure from many respected readers from far afield is intense (from requests for public speaking, meetings, hospitality, requests for proof reading academic works, to teaching etc.), I have 'as yet' never written a narrative of ‘my story’ as such or shared much of my background (intentionally).
    As my intent is purely the dissemination of my humble efforts contained in the 'arguments', where I want to keep the focus, I have been quite persistent to maintain anonymity for many deliberated reasons which were agreed upon with my close ones before my work came to the public.
    One advantage is that many critics are forced to deal with the arguments and are left surmising with other superfluous matters which are irrelevant to the argument being presented. As I am sure you will appreciate, this reduces exposure to Ad Hominem and maintains some degree of safety to one’s person and those close to them.
    I have shared a bit of my background in the following page on my site [1] and other than what one can readily deduce from my writings, there is little else shared (intentionally). Also last year, given some of the very personal and kind hearted emails that I received, I made a public post [2].
    I can always hope to meet you and other kind souls that read my humble musings in a spiritual world that is yet to come, God willing, God willing! :-)
    Your brother in faith,



[1] LABOSSIERE., Dr. Michael C, 42 Fallacies, Page 2 [online] [accessed] 27th May 2014
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell