High weirdness on a Turkish philosophy exam

This is almost untranslatable, but I’ll try. It’s the answer to a Turkish high school exam in a philosophy course, which made it to the Turkish media, and was apparently originally praised by Islamists as an example of a brave Muslim student standing up to an atheist teacher.

The question is: “Prove to me that this chair does not exist (100 points)”

Answer (my translation is artificially coherent): “I swear that there is no such chair—let God accurse me and let the Quran strike me down if there is a chair. Let my two eyes be put out if a chair is there, look. If I am lying let it not be given to me to be able to go from point A to point B. Look, I’ve sworn a great oath, but you philosophers tend to be atheists. Nietzshe etc. are all atheists. They beleeve in evolution. The don’t beleeve in God. But you believe me, teacher. There is no chair there; let my mother be my woman otherwise. I swear to God there is no chair. Bring the Quran and I will lay my hand on it, there is none. (45 ???? teacher)”


The grade is an 8, presumably out of 10.

It looks very much like a desperate student paper; it’s amusing but I wouldn’t read more into it.

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About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University