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Demonization of Muslims and Islam

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John James replied on Mon, Feb 27 2012 10:46 PM

Groucho:
Overall, it seems like simple propaganda since he only used analogies and made assertions - if you watch carefully you'll notice he doesn't actually provide any "facts" in that clip

a) facts were provided.

b) it was 4 minutes of an hour and forty minute lecture.

 

particularly anything to justify the psychos of Christianity being dismissed as not true Scotsmen, while the psychos of Islam are regarded as pious observers of a fundamentally evil faith.

I'm sorry, I missed the part where he even brought up Christianity, let alone attempted to "justify" anything about alleged followers of Christianity.  Could you direct me to the timestamp please?

 

It's clearly meant to be a persuasive speech (as opposed to informative), and he is trying to persuade his audience that it's rational and good to fear and distrust Islamic people because of their religion. I'll be charitable and say that could be because he had some of the same Kool-Aid millions of others drank in the aftermath of 9/11..... even though he uses rhetoric like this:

How many more architects and mechanical engineers must hit the wall at 400 miles an hour before we admit to ourselves that jihadist violence is not merely a matter of education, poverty, or politics? The truth, astonishingly enough, is that in the year 2006 a person can have sufficient intellectual and material resources to build a nuclear bomb and still believe that he will get 72 virgins in Paradise. Western secularists, liberals, and moderates have been very slow to understand this. The cause of their confusion is simple: They don't know what it is like to really believe in God. [source]

I still haven't seen any refutation of anything Harris stated.

 

P.S.

For what it's worth, do a simple youtube search for Sam Harris and you'll find plenty of [for lack of a better word] attacks on Christianity, which I would argue are much more damning, much more crude than anything in that clip.  Like this one, perhaps.  So I'm not sure this "well where's his condemnation of Christians and Jews and their evil deeds?  What a hypocrite" path is one you really want to take.

 

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John James replied on Mon, Feb 27 2012 10:46 PM

Clayton:
Try to keep up. You expressed surprise that I would be unhappy with Sam Harris's condemnation of Islam and I explained that I don't like Sam Harris.

I think you should take your own advice.  My comment about relevance was in reference to the passage quoted directly above it...as in your goings on about the anti-historical anti-critical thinking tendencies of the "Reason" crowd.  I fail to see what this has to do with anything else we've been discussing.

Perhaps you should define "Reason" crowd, as it sounds like you're talking about the people who are associated with and [for lack of a better word] fans of the Reason Foundation.

 

He isn't wrong for that reason but I knew he would be spouting unsupported assertions before I even clicked on the link. Assertions made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

Again, 4 minutes of a 100 minute talk.

 

This isn't my first rodeo - in a past life, I was a devout Christian and debated atheists online, who frequently quoted Dawkins/Dennett/Harris. As a group, you won't find a more rabid bunch of statists than the secular humanists. The Dawkins/Dennett/Harris brand of anti-religionism plays right into the hands of the State which is perfectly happy to end its multi-millenium long power-sharing arrangement with the priestly class and centralize all power and moral legitimacy completely within itself.

Again, I'm sorry, but I don't see the relevance of any of that.  It's as if you're suggesting that anything that can be used to help the state or put a positive light on things done by agents of the state is inherently bad or factually wrong.

And once again, I find it interesting how you completely avoid addressing my direct responses to your comments, and my implied requests for actual rebuttal regarding the subject.

 

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Clayton replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 12:27 AM

And once again, I find it interesting how you completely avoid addressing my direct responses to your comments, and my implied requests for actual rebuttal regarding the subject.

Like everyone else who "evades" you, I'm shocked and awed by your superior arguments and I find myself unable to respond to them.

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Marko replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 8:56 AM

Again, find me a Muslim who will ... publically condemn Hamas and we can have a conversation.


That seems like a bad argument. Let's say it is not possible to find such a Muslim. Why should this prove your point? So they're particularly tribal and therefore unwilling to say anything negative about Hamas lest it potentially hurts the cause of fellow Muslims.

Someone burns a book halfway around the world, and they cut people's heads off.


Or it could be the book burning and the Mohammed cartooning is the final straw on top of occupation and violence associated with it.

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John James replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 10:07 AM

Clayton:
Like everyone else who "evades" you, I'm shocked and awed by your superior arguments and I find myself unable to respond to them.

I'm flattered, but who else "evades" me?

 

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John James replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 10:23 AM

Marko:
"Again, find me a Muslim who will ... publically condemn Hamas and we can have a conversation.'

That seems like a bad argument. Let's say it is not possible to find such a Muslim. Why should this prove your point?

Maybe not outright, but it would certainly support it.  The argument that seems to have been made here is that the atrocities committed by muslims in the name of or in defense of their religion do not have a real rooting in the religion...that these people are simply distorting their religious teachings, and you have to find a "reputable mullah" to get "the real story" of the fundamentals of Islam...(nevermind what former muslims say, or even what current muslims say...and won't say.)

The sentiment seems to be that Islam has been "hijacked" and that the Qur'an has contradictory passages and things that are open to interpretation (just like the Bible and the Torah), and people can pick and choose what pieces they like and use them to support their actions.  So these people committing all these acts of violence aren't actually following the teachings of Islam.

This is not the case at all.

 

So they're particularly tribal and therefore unwilling to say anything negative about Hamas lest it potentially hurts the cause of fellow Muslims.

So they don't want to condemn a a genocidal organization, lest it hurt the organization's stated cause of genocide?  And you're defending this?

Not to mention, how is it there exists this "tribal" sentiment of brotherhood, when others (including some here) maintain that those who commit acts like those of Hamas do essentially aren't real muslims?


Someone burns a book halfway around the world, and they cut people's heads off.

Or it could be the book burning and the Mohammed cartooning is the final straw on top of occupation and violence associated with it.

The final straw.  That broke the camel's back, so to speak, huh?  So, if we go back before the book burning and the cartooning, we'll see a largely peaceful existence, no real disturbances whatsoever, right?

 

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Bert replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 10:34 AM

Are the Muslim communities in the US ever portrayed as such?

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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John James replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 10:40 AM

Bert:
Are the Muslim communities in the US ever portrayed as such?

Who is this directed at?  Portrayed as what?

 

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Bert replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 10:52 AM

In general, we have Muslim communities here, I'm sure we have devout "fundamentalist" Muslims living here, how come the acts we see in Europe or the Middle East (which I'm not denying they happen) don't happen here?

 

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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I come across this frequently. It is so intensely frustrating to me that I feel unable to devise a response. What do you say to someone who fundamentally doubts what you say and your sanity on the basis that it is unpopular?

There is nothing you can say - and that "Which one can not speak, one must pass over in silence" (Ludwig Wittgenstein).  I suppose you can take comfort that silence is a sufficient answer in it's own way, and usually it's a fool who goes on and on about things he ought not go on about.  Sometimes words simply aren't good for anything - like any other tool, they can only be used for the right things at the right time.

And something tells me abstracting long complex human phenomena with much history that one is not an expert on but one speaks on and on about can be wrong, not by the words used (which is a game the person has set up for themselves to win), but by the actions used to put the words down.

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

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Marko replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 12:03 PM

So, if we go back before the book burning and the cartooning, we'll see a largely peaceful existence, no real disturbances whatsoever, right?

If we do that we see a continuity of violence, which points to the possibility this isn't solely about burning and cartooning, but about burning and cartooning coupled with invasion and occupation all the more.

So they don't want to condemn a a genocidal organization, lest it hurt the organization's stated cause of genocide?  And you're defending this?

I'm not defending anything, thank you for asking. I'm in a very value-neutral mode at the moment. What do you mean by a genocidal organization? I mean they may not want to acknowledge some of what Hamas does is terrorism lest it hurts its work for the Palestianian cause.

Not to mention, how is it there exists this "tribal" sentiment of brotherhood, when others (including some here) maintain that those who commit acts like those of Hamas do essentially aren't real muslims?

The heck do I know. In my part of the woods the less secular of a Muslim you are the more likely it is you're down with Hamas and the more likely you are to follow news about various hotspots involving Muslims. It's not as if there's a huge segment of devout Muslims whose interest in the world stops strictly at the national border and who would be very open to taking a non-Muslim side in a conflict.

The sentiment seems to be that Islam has been "hijacked" and that the Qur'an has contradictory passages and things that are open to interpretation (just like the Bible and the Torah), and people can pick and choose what pieces they like and use them to support their actions.  So these people committing all these acts of violence aren't actually following the teachings of Islam.

At the least it seems like a religion that is a lot easier to 'distort' than some of the others. Say what you want about Christianity, but you don't really get advice from Jesus on how to treat a conquered populace.

Now you could be cool about that and say it is a badass, not-at-all-violence-renouncing religion, but for some reason nobody does. It's either alarmism or refusal to acknowledge differences between it and other faiths, which is strange to me because both these reactions would seem to be in agreement that *if* Islam were not just as peacenik as all the other creeds then that would be cause for concern. But that is not the case at all, I don't necessarily buy this but I'm not scared. I wouldn't think it cause for alarm if we had hordes of people following whatever the Klingons go for, so why should I fear Muslims? This Harris person is a straightout as*wipe, I saw he has this other video where he is telling his audience they should be afraid because some people believe the world is 6000 years old.* LOL, so what? What's the relevance? The problem with stopping at denying Islam is one of the more badass religions conflict-wise is the approach is not nearly radical enough, it leaves out the more pertinent objection, the SO WHAT question. This leaves alarmists and Islamophobes off the hook in regard to showing relevancy of the factoids they talk about and creates space for them. It's like what happened to just not being a weenie? So there's creationists and Muslims in the world, boo-hoo-hoo.


*To say nothing of his idiotic oh-I-think-I'm-going-to-feint act.

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Clayton replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 12:17 PM

The sentiment seems to be that Islam has been "hijacked" and that the Qur'an has contradictory passages and things that are open to interpretation (just like the Bible and the Torah), and people can pick and choose what pieces they like and use them to support their actions.  So these people committing all these acts of violence aren't actually following the teachings of Islam.

This is not the case at all.

Yes, the Bible/Torah is a model of peace and brotherly love.

You completely missed my point above. Islam is what Muslims say it is, just like chess is what chess-players say it is. Hockey players don't get to come into an international chess match and assert that the chess pieces are "really" meant to slide across the board like a hockey puck. Neither do you (non-Muslim) get to waltz into Islam and assert that Islam "really" teaches this or that. Quote their reputable scholars who are recognized authorities in the Muslim community and who can trace their pedigree back to the Prophet or GTFO.

And since when did violence qua violence become verboten? The NAP isn't the NVP. Every libertarian acknowledges the right of individuals and, yes, groups of people to defend themselves using violence. That such defense is often drawn along the lines of tribal/racial/cultural boundaries is just a part of human nature.

As for who knows what about Islam, I think you need to read up on the history of Islam, JJ. The Muslims presided over nearly 1,000 years golden age of culture, commerce, innovation and growth in mathematical, philosophical and scientific knowledge while Europe languished in ignorance, darkness and serfdom.

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Islam is what Muslims say it is, just like chess is what chess-players say it is

Well said, it is for those who actually "Are in practice" - these are customs that are simply out of our scope (assuming we aren't muslims or chess players).

So when one of us (non Muslims) say "Islam is a religion of war/peace"  What is being said is "MY Islam is a religion of war / peace".  It's the same thing as calling Coke better than Pepsi - it simply has no authority of any imperative of thinking or acting.

Those who say otherwise are just creating a language to suit their needs.  This shouldn't be too hard a concept to grasp.  It's the same type of concept that is customary law - or why monopoly isn't stratego, etc

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John James replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 12:39 PM

Marko:
"So, if we go back before the book burning and the cartooning, we'll see a largely peaceful existence, no real disturbances whatsoever, right?"

If we do that we see a continuity of violence, which points to the possibility this isn't solely about burning and cartooning, but about burning and cartooning coupled with invasion and occupation all the more.

That doesn't make any sense.  You're the one who just said "book burning and the Mohammed cartooning is the final straw"...as in a tipping point of a boiling pot that was just waiting to burst its lid.

So again, according to you, if we go back and look before the book burning and the cartooning, we should see peace (albeit with "violence boiling up" underneath, just waiting for a final straw, but peace nonetheless)...which of course you freely admit here is not what we in fact see.



I'm not defending anything, thank you for asking. I'm in a very value-neutral mode at the moment. What do you mean by a genocidal organization?

By "genocidal organization" I mean an organization whose goals include genocide.  (Of course I include Hezbollah in this too).

 

I mean they may not want to acknowledge some of what Hamas does is terrorism lest it hurts its work for the Palestianian cause.

"Not want to acknowledge some of what Hamas does"?  As in, pretend certain things didn't happen?  If they can do that, why do they have any problem simply admitting they support the group, then?  Or at least outright saying "No, I won't condemn the organization because I don't acknowledge anything they have done that I disapprove of."

 

Not to mention, how is it there exists this "tribal" sentiment of brotherhood, when others (including some here) maintain that those who commit acts like those of Hamas do essentially aren't real muslims?

The heck do I know.

Well, you're the one who suggested such a sentiment.  So one would think you would be able to explain such a discrepancy.

 

In my part of the woods the less secular of a Muslim you are the more likely it is you're down with Hamas and the more likely you are to follow news about various hotspots involving Muslims. It's not as if there's a huge segment of devout Muslims whose interest in the world stops strictly at the national border and who would be very open to taking a non-Muslim side in a conflict.

Doesn't that largely support my point?



why should I fear Muslims? Harris is a straightout as*wipe, I saw he has this other video where he is telling his audience they should be afraid because some people believe the world is 6000 years old.* LOL, so what? What's the relevance? The problem with stopping at denying Islam is one of the more badass religions conflict-wise is that the approach is not nearly radical enough, it leaves out saying the more pertinent objection, the SO WHAT question. This leaves alarmists and Islamophobes off the hook in regard to showing relevancy of the factoids they talk about and creates space for them.

First of all, I have no idea what you mean when you constantly invoke the phrase "badass religion".

Second, I don't think anyone said you should "fear muslims".  Even Harris states he doesn't consider a "war with Islam" meaning the same thing as a "war with all muslims".  His point seems more to be that the discourse is severely lacking and needs to be elevated beyond the level where it currently is.  It sounds like his concern is more with the acceptance of muslim practices, such that things that would otherwise be called out as cruel, and/or morally reprehensible (among other things) are not only allowed and tolerated, but are offered respect and reservance and obediance, simply because they are recognized as in accordance with "religious" beliefs...when in any other context they would be called out for the atrocities they are and shunned.

It sounds like Harris' fear is more of the so-called "creeping Shari'a"...the slow progression of Shari'a law into secular areas of life, (which is essentially life of non-muslims, as there is no such thing as secular life for followers of Islam).

...Which makes it ironic that Clayton would attack Harris as being pro-state, and helping the state, etc., (which he may very well be), but it's ironic that Harris' fear of the slow, creeping progression of Islamic law into non-muslim areas, so accurately parallels the slow, creeping progression of the state into more and more areas of the individual's life...such that Clayton's fears are fundamentally no different than Harris's...just the established authority is different.

 

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John James replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 12:58 PM

Clayton:
"The sentiment seems to be that Islam has been "hijacked" and that the Qur'an has contradictory passages and things that are open to interpretation (just like the Bible and the Torah), and people can pick and choose what pieces they like and use them to support their actions.  So these people committing all these acts of violence aren't actually following the teachings of Islam.  This is not the case at all."

Yes, the Bible/Torah is a model of peace and brotherly love.

You completely missed my point above.

I would say it is you who missed my point.  I said nor even suggested anything about the Bible/Torah being a model of anything.  Once again you put words in my mouth to create a strawman with which to divert focus from the topic at hand.  But I still can't be sure why.  I can only figure it's because you want to demonize the state so badly that it helps your case to paint the Islam religion as just as fundamentally peaceful as any other, and the muslims who follow it are just innocent, peaceful people who were driven to "radicalization" by outside forces.

 

Islam is what Muslims say it is, just like chess is what chess-players say it is. Hockey players don't get to come into an international chess match and assert that the chess pieces are "really" meant to slide across the board like a hockey puck. Neither do you (non-Muslim) get to waltz into Islam and assert that Islam "really" teaches this or that.

Yes.  I fully understood this the first time you said it.  And my point is

a) You have no idea who I am, where I'm from, and what my religious background is, so you have no place to say I have no ground to assert what Islam is.

b) It's not like "non-muslims" are the only ones who have said what I am saying.  (As I stated earlier).

 

Quote their reputable scholars who are recognized authorities in the Muslim community and who can trace their pedigree back to the Prophet or GTFO.

So basically, unless someone traces their pedigree back to the prophet, they aren't a real muslim and can't speak to what the religion they devote their life to teaches?

I suppose that means only chess players who can trace their roots back to the inventors of the game can truly say what chess is, yes?

 

And since when did violence qua violence become verboten? The NAP isn't the NVP. Every libertarian acknowledges the right of individuals and, yes, groups of people to defend themselves using violence. That such defense is often drawn along the lines of tribal/racial/cultural boundaries is just a part of human nature.

What does this have to do with random attacks on uninvolved people?

 

As for who knows what about Islam, I think you need to read up on the history of Islam, JJ. The Muslims presided over nearly 1,000 years golden age of culture, commerce, innovation and growth in mathematical, philosophical and scientific knowledge while Europe languished in ignorance, darkness and serfdom.

a) Kinda makes one wonder why the country of Spain translates more of the world's literature and learning into Spanish every year, than the entire Arab world has translated into Arabic since the 9th Century.  I guess they were just so advanced that they didn't need to read what most of the rest of planet Earth discovered since then?

b) I fail to see what any of that has to do with what we're talking about.

 

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Clayton replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 1:25 PM

random attacks on uninvolved people

And what do random attacks on uninvolved people have specifically to do with Islam as opposed to, say, modern social democracy (which, yes, bears all the hallmarks of a religion)?

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Clayton:
And what do random attacks on uninvolved people have specifically to do with Islam as opposed to, say, modern social democracy (which, yes, bears all the hallmarks of a religion)?

I don't know...perhaps that virtually every such attack was perpetrated by a follower of Islam and committed in the name of and/or in defense of it?

 

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Groucho replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 2:25 PM

John James:

Groucho:
Overall, it seems like simple propaganda since he only used analogies and made assertions - if you watch carefully you'll notice he doesn't actually provide any "facts" in that clip

a) facts were provided.

b) it was 4 minutes of an hour and forty minute lecture.

That's the link you provided. I think we have to agree that my statement, "he doesn't actually provide any "facts" in that clip," is correct. Unless of course you can direct me to a timestamp that shows otherwise.

particularly anything to justify the psychos of Christianity being dismissed as not true Scotsmen, while the psychos of Islam are regarded as pious observers of a fundamentally evil faith.

I'm sorry, I missed the part where he even brought up Christianity, let alone attempted to "justify" anything about alleged followers of Christianity.  Could you direct me to the timestamp please?

surprise

You gave the link yourself saying it "described" why making generalizations about Christianity on the basis of Christian terrorists (KKK was the example given) is different from making generalizations about Islam based on Islamic terrorists, and in response I am saying the video does not describe why such a double-standard is justified. Are you now disputing your prior statement?

Anyway, while the video didn't give any justification for that attitude, the speaker clearly encourages his audience to accept it. Start at about 3:00 with the statement "the only thing wrong with Islamic fundamentalism are the fundamentals of Islam" and continue until the end of the clip where he says "to say that Osama Bin Laden is David Koresh is just a lie and it's a dangerous lie at this point."

you'll find plenty of [for lack of a better word] attacks on Christianity, which I would argue are much more damning, much more crude than anything in that clip.  Like this one, perhaps.  So I'm not sure this "well where's his condemnation of Christians and Jews and their evil deeds?  What a hypocrite" path is one you really want to take.

I think you are inferring a bit too much about my position - I am aware of his general anti-religion agenda and I am not demanding he condemn them all equally. I think the focus of this lecture is persuading as many people as possible to be ok with condemning all of Islam based on Islamic terrorists - and he wants to persuade more than just atheists so he casually assures anyone who might practice a non-Islamic religion that they needn't worry about that standard being applied to them (yet).

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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Groucho:
That's the link you provided. I think we have to agree that my statement, "he doesn't actually provide any "facts" in that clip," is correct. Unless of course you can direct me to a timestamp that shows otherwise.

0:37 - 0:50

1:08-1:16

1:46-2:40

3:07-3:14

 

You gave the link yourself saying it "described" why making generalizations about Christianity on the basis of Christian terrorists (KKK was the example given) is different from making generalizations about Islam based on Islamic terrorists, and in response I am saying the video does not describe why such a double-standard is justified. Are you now disputing your prior statement?

No.  I will admit the clip doesn't go into Christianity (as I said it didn't), so it is not the best resource to give a response as to why attempting to balance a discussion of Islam with a discussion of "extremist Christianity", but my point in offering it was to bring forward the point that people like the three men mentioned in the clip are offering "a very plausible version of the faith" and you would "have to be an acrobat to figure out how [Osama bin Laden] is distorting the religion."

And again, while he doesn't delve into Christianity, he does mention specific Christian faiths (including that of the Quakers and the Amish) and makes the point that it would be patently obvious how they would be distorting their faith, were these three men ascribing to those religions and committing the same acts.

If you would like a clip where he mentions this "balance" point directly, I stumbled across this one.

 

Anyway, while the video didn't give any justification for that attitude, the speaker clearly encourages his audience to accept it. Start at about 3:00 with the statement "the only thing wrong with Islamic fundamentalism are the fundamentals of Islam" and continue until the end of the clip where he says "to say that Osama Bin Laden is David Koresh is just a lie and it's a dangerous lie at this point."

Again, in 4 minutes of a 100 minute lecture.

 

I am aware of his general anti-religion agenda and I am not demanding he condemn them all equally. I think the focus of this lecture is persuading as many people as possible to be ok with condemning all of Islam based on Islamic terrorists - and he wants to persuade more than just atheists so he casually assures anyone who might practice a non-Islamic religion that they needn't worry about that standard being applied to them (yet).

I fail to see how you can claim that first sentence and then proceed with the second.  How exactly is Harris supposed to suggest that the fundamentals of Islam are less peaceful and more dangerous than those of other religions like Christianity without you alleging he's simply placating to Christians without condeming them all equally?

 

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Clayton replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 3:51 PM

the fundamentals of Islam are less peaceful and more dangerous than those of other religions like Christianity

I guess the Crusaders were all a bunch of foaming-at-the-mouth David Koresh types.

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Clayton:
the fundamentals of Islam are less peaceful and more dangerous than those of other religions like Christianity

I guess the Crusaders were all a bunch of foaming-at-the-mouth David Koresh types.

Maybe.  Or maybe the peaceful Christians of today are distorting their faith.  I don't know what Harris' response to the actions of Christians a millienium ago is.

But I'm also not sure that's relevant...as:

a) You cannot point to a period of time in which Muslims were by and large as peaceful as the vast majority of Christians are today

b) Christians by and large aren't behaving like these Muslims are today, and even less are claiming to be doing so in the name of and/or in defense of their religion, and/or in reaction to some sort of denigration of it.

It sounds to me that Harris' entire point is, (1) Islam and the actions of its followers appear to be cause for concern much more so than many other dangers, and certainly more than any other religions and religious followers, and (2) To allege that Islam is a religion of peace that has just been "hijacked" by a small handful of random crazy people who have misinterpreted the faith, is misguided and dangerous.

I have yet to see anything that really refutes those assertions.

All I have seen are finger pointings and "me too" arguments, essentially alleging there is no difference between Christians/Jews and their respective religions, and Muslims and their religion...when the evidence obviously says otherwise.

If you want to continue to play this game, and will not provide me with a Muslim who will make any of the statements I offered, perhaps you can provide me with a Christian who will not condemn any acts of terrorism committed by people alleging to be Christians and committing the act in the name of their religion (outside of those who actually commit those acts, of course).

If you could do this, I would be at least somewhat more inclined to listen to assertions about how there is essentially no difference between the two religions.

 

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Clayton replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 5:04 PM

*sigh

alleging there is no difference between Christians/Jews and their respective religions, and Muslims and their religion

Of course there are differences and, yes, those differences matter. The tendency toward communism and socialism within Western culture, for example, is a clear consequence of the communistic ideology embedded in first and second century Christianity, much of which is preserved in the New Testament. By comparison, Islam has always had strong property rights. No Muslim country has ever been communistic.

But for all their differences, the major religions of today all share one very important attribute in common: they are monotheistic. And it is no accident that monotheism has become the predominant form of religion - it is the inevitable consequence of State monopolization of religion. How can the territorial monopolist of law and security monopolize a religion that acknowledges the gods of many other religions? The answer: wipe out all the priests who acknowledge any but the one, true god.

Christianity is as suitable for the enslavement of Christians as Islam is for the enslavement of Muslims. Scaremongering about "Islamicization" and "creeping Sharia law" is being driven by the same, nefarious cabal that is responsible for 9/11 and has invaded or toppled the regimes in all but a few countries in the Middle East. It's so absurd, it's laughable.

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excel replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 5:10 PM

a)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_military_operations#1900.E2.80.931909

So peaceful, those christians.
IOW, yes, muslims have been about as peaceful as the "majority" of christians for the last 100 years. (Ie, the majority of christians and the majority of muslims aren't involved in these stupid escapades.)

b) Which muslims? Some specific once, or the general muslim populace? If it's the general populace, then they are most certainly similar; living their lives as best they can.

 

Why should any muslim want to condemn hamas?  Why should any muslim want to condemn arabic freedom fighters? Are you going to condemn a woman for defending herself against a rapist? A man for fighting off a mugger?
Why should muslims bend over and let themselves be fucked because people like you have a hard-on for domination?

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Clayton replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 5:36 PM

@excel: Well, I don't think JJ has a "hard-on for domination", I think he's just (unwittingly) drinking a little of the anti-Muslim hysteria Kool-Aid.

There has been a very long-running tug-of-war between Islamic and Christian powers. The Ottoman Empire reached its apex four centuries ago and was in continuous decline until WWI when all vestiges of it were destroyed. If Islam is so dangerous today, it must have been 1000 times more dangerous four hundred years ago, but they didn't have to pat-down or strip-search everyone riding in a carriage (the equivalent of traveling by airplane at that time) in order to defend the frontiers. As a secular force, Islam has been a non-entity for over a century.

The "threat" of Islam is a boogey-man created by a nefarious cabal for the purpose of rationalizing major clamp downs. They need perpetual war (Republicans vs. Democrats, Jews vs. Palestinians, Christians vs. Muslims, China vs. US, etc. etc.) to keep everyone too busy to notice who's really running things. The myth of Islam-brainwashed, suicidal Palestinians has been an infinitely flexible and useful narrative for the wholly alien Israeli state which I view as basically a sociological R&D laboratory for the Elites. This narrative is now being rolled out on a global scale.

Now there is a global threat of maniacal Islamic suicide killers... people so crazy that they will fly planes into buildings and kill themselves just in order to kill "the infidels." So now we need Israeli-style security (a phrase which has long been used as a synonym for police-state security) and that's precisely what the TSA is. We will soon have to have a finger up the butt in order just to fly from one place to another. All of this can be traced right back to 9/11 - the "new Pearl Harbor" as they described it in the Project for a New American Century. 

If you think Islam qua Islam is some kind of threat, you're drinking Kool-Aid (pun intended). The idea that any of this is some kind of organic outgrowth of some kind of inherent violence within Islam is magical thinking. As Joe Rogan notes, it's like a comic book and should be taken as seriously.

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Clayton:
Of course there are differences and, yes, those differences matter. The tendency toward communism and socialism within Western culture, for example, is a clear consequence of the communistic ideology embedded in first and second century Christianity, much of which is preserved in the New Testament. By comparison, Islam has always had strong property rights. No Muslim country has ever been communistic.

Nazi Germany wasn't "communistic" either.  So what?  This is really where you want to take this?

 

But for all their differences, the major religions of today all share one very important attribute in common: they are monotheistic. And it is no accident that monotheism has become the predominant form of religion - it is the inevitable consequence of State monopolization of religion. How can the territorial monopolist of law and security monopolize a religion that acknowledges the gods of many other religions? The answer: wipe out all the priests who acknowledge any but the one, true god.

Okaay...and?

 

Christianity is as suitable for the enslavement of Christians as Islam is for the enslavement of Muslims. Scaremongering about "Islamicization" and "creeping Sharia law" is being driven by the same, nefarious cabal that is responsible for 9/11 and has invaded or toppled the regimes in all but a few countries in the Middle East. It's so absurd, it's laughable.

So you're saying there isn't a duty within Islam to institute worldwide Shari'a law?...That people of the muslim faith have no interest in having the laws of the land directly reflect the dictates and commands laid out within their religion...(including punishments and behaviors relating to simple transactions)?...that this is all just a made up concept by some small elite?

Again, please find me a muslim who will attest they believe in, want, and would work for/defend/strive to maintain a separation of church and state.

I'm actually quite surprised that as cautious and scared of the state as you are, you seem to have no problem with a religious ideology that openly professes to strive for a virtual totalitarian order.

 

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excel:

a)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_military_operations#1900.E2.80.931909

So peaceful, those christians.
IOW, yes, muslims have been about as peaceful as the "majority" of christians for the last 100 years. (Ie, the majority of christians and the majority of muslims aren't involved in these stupid escapades.)

a) Perhaps you missed the title of the article you linked, but those were "United States military" operations...not Christian operations.  There were many more religions than Christianity represented in those ranks.

b) More importantly, those were not operations perpetrated in the name of the religion, let alone in response to some denigration of it.

Marko alleges these acts committed by Muslims were in response to "the final straw" of book burning and the Mohammed cartooning.  So please find me the list of operations carried out by 100% Christians who alleged to be waging a "holy war" in response to denigration of their sacred religion, as that would actually be relevant.

 

b) Which muslims?

How about these ones.

 

Some specific once, or the general muslim populace?

As I said, aside from the ones committing these acts, the general populace doesn't seem to be reiterating the sentiments implied by Clayton about the nature of the religion and its holy book, let alone speaking out against these acts of violence that others seem to have no problem identifying as horrible and wrong. 

Again, if you can find me a Muslim who will make any of the statements I offered, I'd be happy to hear about it.

 

If it's the general populace, then they are most certainly similar; living their lives as best they can.

"Mostly similar"...you mean save for the difference of not condemning acts of violence perpetrated in the name of their religion as being against the teaching of their religion, and condemning those that would commit those acts as murderers and distorters of the religion?

 

Why should any muslim want to condemn hamas?

Because it is a murderous organization of people who commit acts that you would seem to allege are against the teachings of the religion they claim to ascribe to and honor.

I would say any Muslim should want to condemn Hamas for the same reason any Christian should want to condemn the KKK.

 

Why should any muslim want to condemn arabic freedom fighters?

Because there is not much of an argument to be made that bombing random civilians and children is just or legitimate "fighting for freedom".

 

Are you going to condemn a woman for defending herself against a rapist? A man for fighting off a mugger?

Again, I fail to see the parallel between bombing random civilians and fighting off a mugger.

 

Why should muslims bend over and let themselves be fucked because people like you have a hard-on for domination?

People like me?

 

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Muhammad: more libertarian then Jesus or Buddha.

 

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"[Islam and the West] was a series of roundtable discussions that I moderated in which leading non-muslim American experts on the muslim world..."

Hmm.  Sounds to me like it's a bunch of useless nonsense.  Afterall, "non-muslim expert on the muslim world" is an oxymoron, right?

 

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Clayton replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 6:47 PM

Islam is definitely not libertarian... it prohibits all sorts of non-aggressive behavior on threat of violence. That said, Islam was born in Arabia - Arab culture at the time was heavily influenced by Bedouin culture which is arguably the most anarchic culture in history. As a result, there are some libertarian streaks within Islamic culture - they just don't happen to align with Western conceptions of what libertarianism looks like.

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Clayton:
they just don't happen to align with Western conceptions of what libertarianism looks like.

I'd be interested to hear of any conception of libertarianism that allows for the beating of one's wife.

 

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Sorry to be slightly off-topic but to Clayton - why do you link the initial Arab conquests so closely with the 800 year later rise of the Ottoman Empire?  I saw you do this in another thread and I was baffled but didn't have time to respond and have since lost the thread.  To put things very simply, the foundations of the power of the Ottoman Empire were the militarism of the Turkic tribes and the wealth and population centres of Anatolia, built up over the long Graeco-Roman period.

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Clayton replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 7:43 PM

@Aristippus: I did a quick search on Wiki and it appears I should be saying the Caliphates, which includes the Ottoman Empire as well as the older Caliphates.

Thanks for the catch.

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Groucho replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 9:30 PM

 

John James:
Groucho:
That's the link you provided. I think we have to agree that my statement, "he doesn't actually provide any "facts" in that clip," is correct. Unless of course you can direct me to a timestamp that shows otherwise.
 
0:37 - 0:50
 
1:08-1:16
 
1:46-2:40
 
3:07-3:14
 
I'm willing to look:
 
0:37 - 0:50 - "Religion" can be an ambiguous concept.
 
1:08-1:16 - In sports, Thai boxing injuries tend to be much more severe than those that occur in badminton.
 
1:46-2:40 - An assertion that it is "delusional" to call Islam a religion of peace followed by a humorous imagining of Jainism being taken to the extreme.
 
3:07-3:14 - Three of the most famous terrorists of the 21st century had the same religious beliefs.
 
Obviously I'm paraphrasing and I admit a few of those could be facts, but what proves Islamic religion causes terrorism? And if it does, how is it that with a billion and a half adherents around the world, we are not awash in thousands of "terror attacks" every day?
An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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Marko replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 10:06 PM

That doesn't make any sense.  You're the one who just said "book burning and the Mohammed cartooning is the final straw"...as in a tipping point of a boiling pot that was just waiting to burst its lid.

Yes I did, the final straw for whatever the specific incidents you had in mind when you said they were caused by burning & cartooning. Not the final straw for all violence in the world by Moslems ever. That'd be stupid.

So again, according to you, if we go back and look before the book burning and the cartooning, we should see peace (albeit with "violence boiling up" underneath, just waiting for a final straw, but peace nonetheless)...which of course you freely admit here is not what we in fact see.

No. According to me the specific incidents you had in mind when you said they were caused by burning & cartooning would not necessarily happen if Moslems weren't already pissed off about occupations, invasions, bombings.

By "genocidal organization" I mean an organization whose goals include genocide. (Of course I include Hezbollah in this too).

And can you offer proof?

If they can do that, why do they have any problem simply admitting they support the group, then? Or at least outright saying "No, I won't condemn the organization because I don't acknowledge anything they have done that I disapprove of."

I didn't say they do. Indeed why would they? The point of not admitting something is terrorism is so that you don't have to refrain from supporting the institution involved in it.

Well, you're the one who suggested such a sentiment. So one would think you would be able to explain such a discrepancy.

I offered a plausible alternative explanation for the behaviour you brought up, to show it's a lazy one seeing your larger point doesn't necessarily follow from it. An explanation by the way which you have done nothing to dispute the plausibility of. Instead you're countering by asking me to explain why other people don't argue like me? The heck do I know, they usually don't, and why should I even care, but what is this, an appeal to public opinion? I can't be right because people I'm not of a mind with won't argue in the same way?

Doesn't that largely support my point?

Maybe it does, your larger point, but I'm not invested in that. I said you used bad arguments in support of it.

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Marko replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 10:17 PM

Marko:
"Again, find me a Muslim who will ... publically condemn Hamas and we can have a conversation.'

That seems like a bad argument. Let's say it is not possible to find such a Muslim. Why should this prove your point?

Maybe not outright, but it would certainly support it. ...



If it doesn't outright prove your point then saying what you did (you essentially said unless you can find such a Moslem, this debate is over and I win) was uncalled for.

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John James replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 10:52 PM

Groucho:
Obviously I'm paraphrasing

Much worse than that.

0:37 - 0:50 - "[the term 'religion'] names a truly diverse spectrum of facsinations and ideological commitments."  Fact.
 
1:08-1:16 - "There are sports that are just synonymous with the risk of physical injury or even death."  Fact.
 
1:46-2:40 - "Jainism actually is a religion of peace. The core principle of Jainism is nonviolence.  Gandhi got his nonviolence from the Jains."  Fact.  Fact.  Fact.
 

3:07-3:14 - "Mullah Omar, Osama bin Laden, and KSM...these guys agree about the nature of reality and how to live within it."  Fact.

 

If you would care to attempt to refute any of these, I would be happy to hear it.

 

what proves Islamic religion causes terrorism?

That's a bit of a stretch.  I would not be surprised if Harris would take issue with that characterization of his argument.

 

And if it does, how is it that with a billion and a half adherents around the world, we are not awash in thousands of "terror attacks" every day?

Again, I don't believe anyone has argued that "Islam causes terrorism"...as if it were some kind of affliction..."become a muslim, commit acts of terrorism".  The argument is that Islam is not fundamentally a "religion of peace" as many have alleged...and that the three men mentioned in the clip are offering "a very plausible version of the faith" and you would "have to be an acrobat to figure out how [Osama bin Laden] is distorting the religion."

And again, this is supported by the fact that you will be hard pressed to find a muslim who will make any of the statements I offered.  One does not have to actually commit these acts to agree with them, and believe that they are righteous and holy and in line with the religion's teachings.

If what Clayton is asserting were true, you wouldn't have any trouble finding roughly "a billion and a half" muslims fully willing to denounce such acts.

 

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Islam is the most free market of all faiths. This is why I don't support anti-Islam. Islam isn't perfect but it has a history of being way more libertarian then any other religion.

 

 

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gotlucky replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 11:09 PM

Freedom4Me73986:

Islam is the most free market of all faiths. This is why I don't support anti-Islam. Islam isn't perfect but it has a history of being way more libertarian then any other religion.

Do you realize that because you love Islam, that now Clayton and all the others have to now renounce their viewpoints?  I think JJ wins by default now.

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John James replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 11:11 PM

Marko:
"So again, according to you, if we go back and look before the book burning and the cartooning, we should see peace (albeit with "violence boiling up" underneath, just waiting for a final straw, but peace nonetheless)...which of course you freely admit here is not what we in fact see."

No. According to me the specific incidents you had in mind when you said they were caused by burning & cartooning would not necessarily happen if Moslems weren't already pissed off about occupations, invasions, bombings.

How is that different than what I said?



By "genocidal organization" I mean an organization whose goals include genocide. (Of course I include Hezbollah in this too).

And can you offer proof?

Are you serious?  The obliteration of Israel is in their damn charter.  They've taken credit for multiple acts of terrorism.  The head of Hezbollah said that he hopes the Jews will gather there so he doesn't have to hunt them down globally.

The ignorance here on this subject is apparently worse than I thought.

 

If they can do that, why do they have any problem simply admitting they support the group, then? Or at least outright saying "No, I won't condemn the organization because I don't acknowledge anything they have done that I disapprove of."

I didn't say they do. Indeed why would they? The point of not admitting something is terrorism is so that you don't have to refrain from supporting the institution involved in it.

So why don't they admit they support it then?

 

I offered a plausible alternative explanation for the behaviour you brought up, to show it's a lazy one seeing your larger point doesn't necessarily follow from it. An explanation by the way which you have done nothing to dispute the plausibility of. Instead you're countering by asking me to explain why other people don't argue like me? The heck do I know, they usually don't, and why should I even care, but what is this, an appeal to public opinion? I can't be right because people I'm not of a mind with won't argue in the same way?

Well, then, if that's the case, it would mean the cornerstone of Clayton's and other's assessment has been taken away.  *shrug*

 

Marko:
If it doesn't outright prove your point then saying what you did (you essentially said unless you can find such a Moslem, this debate is over and I win) was uncalled for.

Well, if the other person can't even begin to provide a shred of support for their claim, how is an actual debate supposed to take place?  I'm not saying their lack of support for their assessment proves my assessment, I was simply saying that until there is some kind of support offered, there isn't really a conversation to be had.  He was the one who said something about dismissing "assertions made without evidence".

 

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John James replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 11:14 PM

gotlucky:
Freedom4Me73986:
Islam is the most free market of all faiths. This is why I don't support anti-Islam. Islam isn't perfect but it has a history of being way more libertarian then any other religion.
Do you realize that because you love Islam, that now Clayton and all the others have to now renounce their viewpoints?  I think JJ wins by default now.

I'm not so sure about all that, but it certainly doesn't help them, does it.

 

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