David Cameron? Disamis and Bokardo!

Below is the third article in a series by Nick McAvelly using formal logic to critique the words of British Prime Minister David Cameron (previously: The Cameron Creature and Cameron Must Go!). It was originally posted at Patriot’s Corner in a slightly different form.

“If you don’t like me, I won’t be here forever.” — David Cameron
(image © Stavros Damos | Dreamstime.com)

David Cameron? Disamis and Bokardo!

by Nick McAvelly

At a speech he performed in front of a Christian audience in 2011, David Cameron acknowledged that he is not a religious scholar, and stated clearly that he does not claim to be an authority when it comes to matters of religion. Addressing a Muslim audience three years later, Mr. Cameron again said that he was not a religious scholar, and made it clear to everyone in Britain that despite having had the finest higher education that money can buy before he began his political career, and having had plenty time to study the subject since, when it comes to Islamic doctrines and practices, he really doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Mr. Cameron’s ignorance did not prevent him from making a significant official pronouncement to the British people following the brutal slaying of an unarmed British soldier by two jihadists, men who had adopted the Islamic names Mujahid Abu Hamza and Ismael Ibn Abdullah, and who openly acknowledged that they had betrayed Great Britain and committed murder on behalf of the ummah, the international Muslim community. The murderer Abu Hamza stated that they were following commands found in surah at-taubah (the ninth surah of the Koran but one of the last to be written) when he and his accomplice stalked an unarmed soldier before murdering him in the streets of our nation’s capital. As we all know, it is usual to accept the confession of a murderer. Nevertheless, despite his own ignorance of the subject, David Cameron stood before the television cameras after Lee Rigby was murdered and stated that there were no Islamic doctrines which justified such violent acts. In logical terms, this is a universal negative proposition (also known as an E proposition).

Mr. Cameron provided the reasoning behind his assertion at an Eid reception on 8th October 2014, saying that he had met a woman at a Conservative party conference who happened to be a Muslim. This woman, who owned two restaurants, reminded him of all the hard working people in the UK who also happened to be Muslims. Therefore, according to Mr. Cameron, Islam is a religion of peace.

Mr. Cameron has employed three terms here (‘Islam’, ‘that which is peaceful’ and ‘Muslims’ behaviour’) but he has only used two premises. Laid out formally, Mr. Cameron’s argument is:

Premise 1.   Some Muslims’ behaviour is peaceful.
Conclusion.   All Islamic doctrines are peaceful.

Obviously, the conclusion does not follow. Mr. Cameron has presented an enthymemetic argument, which means that it contains an unspoken premise. Remember, Mr. Cameron has admitted he is no expert on Islamic doctrines, so we know that he does not have the knowledge needed to formulate a doctrinal argument. Instead, he must provide an evidential argument to support his position. This means that he must link Muslims’ behaviour and Islamic doctrines. In logical terms, the unspoken premise must link the middle and minor terms of his argument in a particular way. (I have explained this logical point in my essay The Cameron Analysis.) So Mr. Cameron’s argument ends up being:

Premise 1.   Some Muslims’ behaviour is peaceful.
Premise 2.   All Muslims’ behaviour is attributable to Islamic doctrines.
Conclusion.   All Islamic doctrines are peaceful.

Mr. Cameron has previously asserted that there are no Islamic doctrines whatsoever that justify violent acts (recall the statement he made following Lee Rigby’s murder). According to the square of opposition, the E proposition ‘No Islamic doctrines justify violent acts’ (SP=0) and the I proposition ‘Some Islamic doctrines justify violent acts’ (SP≠0) are contradictories. This means that they cannot both be true. If Mr. Cameron has insisted that the E proposition is true, then he has excluded from his thinking on the subject the possibility that Islamic doctrines which justify violent acts could exist. Bearing that in mind, let’s look at Mr. Cameron’s argument using a Venn diagram, where ‘Islamic doctrines’ is the minor term, ‘peaceful’ is the major term, and ‘Muslims’ behaviour’ is the middle term:


The Venn diagram represents Mr. Cameron’s two premises accurately but the conclusion (All S are P) is not shown, so the argument is not valid. Mr. Cameron has failed to support the conclusion he wants the British public to accept: All Islamic doctrines are peaceful.

However, the same Venn diagram can be used to represent a valid argument with the form IAI-3, also known as Disamis. That is to say, the two premises of Mr. Cameron’s argument may not support the conclusion he wants us to accept, but they do support a different conclusion — the I proposition ‘Some Islamic doctrines are peaceful’. We can see this is so because there is an x in the white region of the Venn diagram, indicating that one or more members of the class of things represented by the minor term — ‘Islamic doctrines’ — are also members of the class of things which are peaceful. So we know that the argument is valid.

So what? I hear you ask. Hasn’t Nick gone over all this before? We know this already.

Well, this is only the beginning of an interesting chain of reasoning. Here is the next step:

If we think rationally about what we see all around us in the world today, we soon discover that it is possible to construct a second argument beginning with the O proposition: ‘Some Muslims’ behaviour is not peaceful’. Anyone whose understanding of the world is grounded in reality will have no problem with that assertion. Employing David Cameron’s second premise once more, we have the A proposition: ‘All Muslims’ behaviour is attributable to Islamic doctrines’. The O proposition ‘Some Islamic doctrines are not peaceful’ follows from those two premises, as surely as night follows day. So we have:

Premise 1.   Some Muslims’ behaviour is not peaceful.
Premise 2.   All Muslims’ behaviour is attributable to Islamic doctrines.
Conclusion.   Some Islamic doctrines are not peaceful.

Here is a Venn diagram representing this syllogism, which has the form OAO-3, also known as Bokardo:


We can see here that there is an x in the green section of the Venn diagram, indicating that one or more members of the class of things represented by the subject term of the conclusion — ‘Islamic doctrines’ — is not a member of the class of things represented by the predicate term of the conclusion — ‘that which is peaceful’. So the argument is valid.

What we end up with, if we take the time to look closely at the Prime Minister’s reasoning on Islam and the Islamic State, is an understanding of the world that differs significantly from the one he wants us to believe in. David Cameron is the person who is employed, on our behalf, to do something about the ever-increasing threat of battle-hardened jihadists returning to our shores from the Middle East. And if Mr. Cameron doesn’t understand the motives of our enemies, then he will be unable to defend us effectively against them. It is therefore highly likely that British lives will be lost in the near future because of Mr. Cameron’s failure to develop a correct understanding of what our enemies believe in and what they are really fighting for. This is a matter of some importance, given the ‘severe’ level of the threat, and we should be drawing attention to Mr. Cameron’s failure at every opportunity.

Mr. Cameron’s statements amounts to a denial on his part that murderers like Mujahid Abu Hamza and the killers in the Islamic State are acting for the reasons they say they are. This is very strange indeed, for in Great Britain it is usual for a murderer’s confession to be regarded as important, both by the police and in a court of law. Does David Cameron now believe that this should no longer be the case? Should a murder’s explanation of his motives be disregarded by the police in future? No? It is right and proper to use a murderer’s confession to condemn him? Then why are Mujahid Abu Hamza and Ismail Ibn Abdullah treated differently? Why are their motives said to be a mystery, when the murderers have clearly explained what their motives were?

It was David Cameron’s duty to explain exactly why a British soldier had been brutally murdered on the streets of London. Instead, he chose to stand in front of No. 10 and utter a load of incoherent nonsense. Following that performance, every rational person in the country understood that Mr. Cameron has no intellectual integrity and no sense of personal honour. To stand before the British public and betray the memory of a dead soldier by lying about why he died is a truly despicable act.

The bottom line is this: The A proposition ‘All Islamic doctrines are peaceful’ cannot be supported by Mr. Cameron’s evidential argument. Even if one grants that Mr. Cameron’s premises are true, all that follows is the I proposition ‘Some Islamic doctrines are peaceful’. As we have seen, it is possible to construct a second valid argument which supports the conclusion that ‘Some Islamic doctrines are not peaceful’.

This is important, because if some Islamic doctrines are peaceful and some Islamic doctrines are not, that leaves the door open for someone like Mujahid Abu Hamza to state, live and on camera, that he murdered a British soldier on the streets of the nation’s capital because he was following specific Islamic teachings which he found in surah at-taubah, and for that to be the truth.

If career politicians like David Cameron cannot understand that, or worse, they understand it but cannot face up to it, then they need to go. As British citizens, we can make a start to this process by ensuring that the politician currently employed as Prime Minister receives his P45 from the British public in May of 2015. And we need to make it known to every other candidate just why he is being voted out.

Read ‘The Cameron Analysis’ on Kindle

13 thoughts on “David Cameron? Disamis and Bokardo!

  1. This strikes me as a lot of philosophical firepower in service of propositions that can be established more directly (e.g., by citing Quran passages). But thanks for the tutorial in formal logic, which hints at a complete catalog of syllogism-types, each with a name of its own, like
    (What’s the origin of these names? They remind me of
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lojban .)

    • Indeed, there is a set of valid argument forms, each with its own mnemonic, which is very handy – it’s all very interesting, once you crack the subject wide open and get it embedded fully into your hairy wee coconut – I can recommend Copi & Cohen’s latest introduction to logic. That’s the classic textbook, in its various editions, & it’s well worth reading.

  2. Whilst I respect the intelligence and logic of the argument I have to wonder about the usefulness of it and necessity for it. Muslims violent behaviour, screams of “Allahu Ackbar” and quoting of the Koran during their inhuman acts really do give the game away, especially the volume of these acts – regardless of the bs Dave Cameron comes out with after the event.

    Is Dave acting out of the best intentions and trying to maintain peace between Islam and its opposition (everyone else). If so all he is doing is delaying the inevitable whilst Islam continues to usurp European culture and strengthen its position – prior to its historically inevitable takeover.

    • To you and me, this sort of work shouldn’t be necessary, and if we were in charge of the country, it wouldn’t be. However, as we know, the political elite have declared any discussion of Islamic doctrines and practices to be verboten. We need to deal with that – and no matter how tiresome and pointless we might think it is – it is unfortunately going to be necessary, so that we can then jump forward to discussing the real issues. That’s just the reality of the situation, I’m afraid.

      I don’t like it any more than you do. But there it is …

  3. Sorry Nick but you are being too logical. Remember that this man is a politician. Logic rarely exists in politics.

  4. Think about the hundreds of millions of pounds the Islamic world has pumped into Great Briton. I think you will then realize why this is happening and why Mr. Cameron says what he does.

    “Why are their motives said to be a mystery, when the murderers have clearly explained what their motives were?”

    In your next paragraph you stated, which I believe to be true, that the British people now see through this absurdity. Surely, anyone with a TV set saw the Islamic murderer with the bloody meat cleaver in his hand proclaim his allegiance to an Islamic war against the west. You don’t have to be a genius to come to that conclusion. And yet, the gov’t does its best to damp it down… See paragraph #1.

    • Cameron along with Bush have been bought by Arab oil money.

      The fact is Arab oil money has had a hold on both countries for a while. First they bought ex-Congressmen by offering them mid-six figure “consulting contracts”, then buying active members of congress and their families; then came investing in Wall Street(Saudis have over half trillion in funds here, I wonder how much Qatar and KSA have in London); presidential libraries(Clinton) and families(Bush, Clinton); investing in MSM(FoxNews). In England I read that Arab oil money now owns part of the police and military facilities, etc. Not mention a buying spree in real-estate.

      As for Cameron, he seems to be the typical forked tongue politician talking out both sides of his mouth who does as he’s told by his backers.

      Britain’s only hope is to remove Cameron and gut Labor and Tories. But it will be hard. The U.S. won’t stand for it nor will Merkel’s EU.

  5. Look at this guy closely when he spouts his jibberish.. Him, Dubya, Obama… You can see the puppet strings

  6. Just another spineless politician.. Don’t know who made me cringe more, this guy or Dubya.. Almost makes me miss Reagan. “it’s a religion of peace”.. My God, if you look closely, you can see the puppet strings

  7. I hear what you’re saying. The problem we face though is that between us and the truth about Islam, there stands a barrier of [bovine ordure], which has been erected by the David Camerons of this world. And we’re going to have to collapse it before any honest, open discussion of Islam can take place in our societies. It seems crazy, maybe even evil – but it is so.

    Cameron’s logical errors are, at the end of the day, quite straightforward. However, as is usual with these sorts of projects, and as anyone who has studied philosphy knows, it takes a while to explain – in a robust and defensible fashion – just what those errors are.

    So I think this was a useful project because it starts the necessary work of exposing Cameron’s fallacies and outright lies about Islam. They go after individuals all the time – Geert Wilders, Robert Spencer (both banned from entering the UK for example) and just look at what has happened to Tommy Robinson. I think it’s high time we took a leaf out of their playbook and calmly and deliberately take aim at an individual on their side and exposed him – logically, relentlessly, irrefutably – for what he is.

    During the great siege of Malta in 1565, the Knights’ cannon fire struck Dragut (aka Turgut Reis) and delivered him a slow, and hopefully painful, death. This was a real hammer blow to the enemy. We are, whether we like it or not, engaged in a siege against a ruthless and cruel adversary, and if we have the opportunity to “whack” one of their top men, we ought to take it.

    And there is an election coming up …

    • To put this another way – the Knights could have yelled and shouted across the Grand Harbour at the enemy on Mount Sciberras, they could have believed they were in the right and despised the enemy … but that would have gotten them nowhere. However, when they launched some cannon fire over there, and a bucket full of shrapnel ended up in Dargut’s napper – that was worthwhile!

      Let’s take aim at DC & see if we can scatter some shrapnel through his hair … maybe we can even throw a fiery hoop over him & Nick Clegg, that would be fun!

  8. And of course … there’s nothing “right wing” about logic. So the enemy’s ad hominem missles will not work against this sort of attack.

    If we can develop a weapon that the other side can’t defend itself against, then we can really hit them hard.

    1. Is this effort “anti-Islam”? No, not as such. It’s an examination of what a particular politician has said, on record, about Islam. Since we are told the threat of a terrorist attack is “severe” it’s reasonable to worry about that, & wonder where the PM stands on the matter.
    2. Is it “right wing”? No, it’s absurd to say that logic is “right wing” or “left wing”. It’s logic, that’s all.
    3. Is it “reasonable”? It’s logic – so yes, it is reasonable++ (A recognised defence against charges laid under Sections 4 & 5 of the Public Order act 1986)
    4. Does it label a whole group of people as bad, nasty, etc.? No, it does not! (Thereby avoiding any “hate speech” accusations.)

    Et cetera … given the framework we have to work in, this undermines the position adopted by Cameron (and by many others), introduces the idea (not to us CJ veterans but to people who don’t already know) that there may be some Islamic doctrines which are peaceful, but there are also some Islamic doctrines that are not peaceful, and devout Muslims can use the principle of abrogation to decide which Islamic doctrines they are going to follow!

    If we can get that simple idea out into the public domain then we may actually start making some headway. My intention is to frame this in a legally defensible, rational way, but to slip in one or two subversive ideas along the way.

    I wouldn’t mind putting on a pair of Cat boots and giving David Cameron a hefty kick in the [generative organs] while I’m at it, of course … that goes without saying.

  9. The Kindle book lays this out more completely. The overall argument runs like this:

    1. The assertion that all Islamic doctrines are peaceful cannot be supported by an evidential argument.

    2. The assertion that some Islamic doctrines are peaceful can be supported by an evidential argument.

    3. The assertion that some Islamic doctrines are not peaceful can also be supported by an evidential argument.

    4. Devout Muslims can use the traditional Islamic principle of abrogation to decide if they are going to follow peaceful or non-peaceful Islamic doctrines.

    5. That was easy, wasn’t it? If we can figure that out in half an hour, why can’t the Prime Minister do it despite having the finest education money can buy & having plenty time to do so?

    6. David Cameron’s thinking on this subject is not fit for purpose. We need to vote him out come May 2015.

    Now you could write that down on the back of an envelope while having a pint of Skullsplitter in The Grill on Guild St. in Aberdeen. And it would all be correct & perfectly logical. But as Michael Caine told Julie Walters in Educating Rita, you can’t just say “David Cameron doesn’t have a clue!” and expect to be taken seriously. You have to argue your case … and then say it!

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