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Gorgeous George
10-02-2010, 11:19 AM
Is prejudice against, and oppression of, others ever justified?
What about if you claim divine warrant? Would you accept status as a second-class citizen - if those beating and/or (sexually) abusing you held a 'holy' book in their hand?

Are ancient beliefs, borne of ignorance of the nature of the world/universe, a barrier to social progress and justice? If so, what place - if any - do they have in the civilised world? Should they be cast off like a snake casts off a skin - as something that has served its purpose, and has been outgrown?

Are these beliefs (apart from the ones about making the earth in seven days; the earth being the centre of the universe; and so on, which have been disproven beyond dispute) immutable - being set down by an entity who is perfect, never wrong, and outside of time?

I trust that this does not fall foul of the rules, and that we can have a calm, rational discussion about this.

With love

- Graham

Rabih Shanshiry
10-02-2010, 12:06 PM
Does it make sense to pretend loaded rhetorical questions are sincere conversation starters?

I trust that you know exactly what you are doing and I'm not sure "love" has anything to do with it.

WilliB
10-02-2010, 12:17 PM
Does it make sense to pretend loaded rhetorical questions are sincere conversation starters?

I trust that you know exactly what you are doing and I'm not sure "love" has anything to do with it.

LOL, I can see where this is going. We must name Lord Voldemort, so shortly the thread will be ended.

Personally, I think that all modern countries, if they want to survive, should adopt Article 18(2) of Azerbaijdan constitution... google it.

Gorgeous George
10-02-2010, 12:40 PM
Does it make sense to pretend loaded rhetorical questions are sincere conversation starters?

I trust that you know exactly what you are doing and I'm not sure "love" has anything to do with it.

I guess it can do; i'd have to see the questions before making a judgment on that, though.

Of course you cannot judge my motives: you don't know me. I can tell you though, with all sincerity, that I love mankind.

@ Willi: Hahahaha. That's brilliant! I can't believe Azerbaijan has such a law - and supposedly progressive states such as the UK are seeing the inverse.

I think the thread can survive: it's lasted this long...

Rob Watson
10-02-2010, 12:51 PM
LOL, I can see where this is going. We must name Lord Voldemort, so shortly the thread will be ended.

Personally, I think that all modern countries, if they want to survive, should adopt Article 18(2) of Azerbaijdan constitution... google it.

Here we have a state constitutional provision that the budget must be done on time. Only 93 days late this year. It would be nice if folks would also follow the laws ... especially the govt.

Marc Abrams
10-02-2010, 02:32 PM
Is prejudice against, and oppression of, others ever justified?
What about if you claim divine warrant? Would you accept status as a second-class citizen - if those beating and/or (sexually) abusing you held a 'holy' book in their hand?

Are ancient beliefs, borne of ignorance of the nature of the world/universe, a barrier to social progress and justice? If so, what place - if any - do they have in the civilised world? Should they be cast off like a snake casts off a skin - as something that has served its purpose, and has been outgrown?

Are these beliefs (apart from the ones about making the earth in seven days; the earth being the centre of the universe; and so on, which have been disproven beyond dispute) immutable - being set down by an entity who is perfect, never wrong, and outside of time?

I trust that this does not fall foul of the rules, and that we can have a calm, rational discussion about this.

With love

- Graham

Graham:

It seems that your view of religion is as prejudiced as the views of some religious people. History is filled with countless examples of religious people who have clearly represented the highest ideals of morality that are represented in the holy books of major religions. We rarely live up to ideals regardless of the source of the ideals. Instead of a blanket condemnation of major religions, maybe you should ask that they actually adhere to the moral ideals that they claim to represent. Your attempts to hide your obvious distaste for major religions while trying to condemn them through thinly-veiled comments will not change anything.

Marc Abrams

David Maidment
10-02-2010, 03:19 PM
I must admit I am forced to agree. The original post was full of loaded questions, which, given the 2010-Western-World context and the later blanket comment concerning the UK government, is clearly aimed at one of the major religions in particular. Quite unduly, I should add.

Gorgeous George
10-02-2010, 04:07 PM
Graham:

It seems that your view of religion is as prejudiced as the views of some religious people. History is filled with countless examples of religious people who have clearly represented the highest ideals of morality that are represented in the holy books of major religions. We rarely live up to ideals regardless of the source of the ideals. Instead of a blanket condemnation of major religions, maybe you should ask that they actually adhere to the moral ideals that they claim to represent. Your attempts to hide your obvious distaste for major religions while trying to condemn them through thinly-veiled comments will not change anything.

Marc Abrams

I don't think that you understand what I said, and your belief that I am prejudiced is thus an incorrect one.
I do not hold the view that having religious views, and adhering to them, uniformly leads to terrible things - that is not my position at all - I love Socrates, Plato, Plotinus, and Spinoza (to name a few), and what they did.

In brief: you said 'maybe you should ask that they actually adhere to the moral ideals that they claim to represent' - when this is entirely beside the point I made.

The point is, if your frame of reference for ethics is an appeal to authority, and this authority is not only antiquated, but beyond dispute or alteration, then social progress is hindered (to put it mildly - are you familiar with the Enlightenment?), and people don't respect one another - they only respect punishment and reward, which is the motive for 'good' behaviour.

So it is utterly, utterly irrelevant whether people have lived up to ideals that will supposedly get them a reward - hence, I do not want these people to embody the ideals they claim to represent, because the belief that there is an absolute good is a poor one, and leads, inevitably, time after time, to much heated dispute (mildly put).
I'd rather people think, and do the right thing for its own sake - which I think is part of human liberation, not to mention animal liberation - I don't know if you care about either of them, but I do: very deeply.

@ David: you should clarify things before jumping to conclusions, because in this case, you've reached the wrong one.

David Maidment
10-02-2010, 05:29 PM
Please explain your original intent, then.

I'm not trying to cause an argument, but your original post is exactly the kind of thing I hear all the time from people who just want to bash Islam and make up aspects of the religion to bolster their case. As I see you're also from the UK, it also doesn't occur to me that perhaps there's a cultural difference and I've misunderstood your words; I hear those kinds of statements all the time from people here and it [I]never ends well. It also doesn't help when you feel the need to put forth your worry that the subject matter might fall foul of forum posting rules.

I'm all for a good discussion on religion (I'm quite happily atheistic and I think I may agree with you on many matters regarding religion), but your opening statements did not lend themselves to supporting the calm, rational discussion you end up stating that you would like to take place.

Marc Abrams
10-02-2010, 06:14 PM
I don't think that you understand what I said, and your belief that I am prejudiced is thus an incorrect one.
I do not hold the view that having religious views, and adhering to them, uniformly leads to terrible things - that is not my position at all - I love Socrates, Plato, Plotinus, and Spinoza (to name a few), and what they did.

In brief: you said 'maybe you should ask that they actually adhere to the moral ideals that they claim to represent' - when this is entirely beside the point I made.

The point is, if your frame of reference for ethics is an appeal to authority, and this authority is not only antiquated, but beyond dispute or alteration, then social progress is hindered (to put it mildly - are you familiar with the Enlightenment?), and people don't respect one another - they only respect punishment and reward, which is the motive for 'good' behaviour.

So it is utterly, utterly irrelevant whether people have lived up to ideals that will supposedly get them a reward - hence, I do not want these people to embody the ideals they claim to represent, because the belief that there is an absolute good is a poor one, and leads, inevitably, time after time, to much heated dispute (mildly put).
I'd rather people think, and do the right thing for its own sake - which I think is part of human liberation, not to mention animal liberation - I don't know if you care about either of them, but I do: very deeply.

@ David: you should clarify things before jumping to conclusions, because in this case, you've reached the wrong one.

Graham:

Your interpretation of what you think that I said is very far off base. I guess I must be a dullard who has never experienced enlightenment. Maybe it's just me and a bunch of other people on this board who thought that you made derogatory remarks about major religions (one in particular). I guess that I will just leave you to your human and animal liberation as a means of bettering this world.......

Marc Abrams

RED
10-02-2010, 06:28 PM
I lost a bet.... I was sure Jun would of closed this thread by now. :p Didn't go the direction I was expecting then.

Gorgeous George
10-02-2010, 09:24 PM
Please explain your original intent, then.

I'm not trying to cause an argument, but your original post is exactly the kind of thing I hear all the time from people who just want to bash Islam and make up aspects of the religion to bolster their case. As I see you're also from the UK, it also doesn't occur to me that perhaps there's a cultural difference and I've misunderstood your words; I hear those kinds of statements all the time from people here and it [I]never ends well. It also doesn't help when you feel the need to put forth your worry that the subject matter might fall foul of forum posting rules.

I'm all for a good discussion on religion (I'm quite happily atheistic and I think I may agree with you on many matters regarding religion), but your opening statements did not lend themselves to supporting the calm, rational discussion you end up stating that you would like to take place.

My intent was to have a rational, unemotive, discussion of whether it is just - fair, righteous, humane, etc. - to allow regressive beliefs and behaviour to be cultivated on the proviso that they are invoked by a 'god'.

It's quite alright, David: I understand that negative experience leads to knee-jerk reactions when a similar situation arises, and that people tend to be 'all the same'.
I know that there are people in this country who are uneasy at the influence of a new religion, just as we were doing away with the old one; people get upset, and when they get upset, they perhaps display poor judgment, or behaviour; I hope that I have demonstrated that I am not one of these people: my objections are very calmly considered, and not the result of prejudice, hatred, racism, etc.
They are also not limited to islam.

I didn't express worry about falling foul of the rules: I said that I trust that it does not. In a previous thread, I was rebuked by the administrator due to a verbal dispute - an equivocation, truth be told - and so I was sure to accommodate.

Of course, when reading what somebody else has written, we ourselves have to adopt a tone, rather than knowing that of the writer; but I can assure you, brother, that I was very calm, and rartional when I wrote that (and I think that what I said was a quite precise and incisive overview of critical questions in this area).
People do tend to get emotional about such issues - but I am not one of them: I think that doing so leads to many misunderstandings and tragedies, and takes us off-topic.

I hope that clarifies things.

Sincerely

- Graham

Gorgeous George
10-02-2010, 09:31 PM
Graham:

Your interpretation of what you think that I said is very far off base. I guess I must be a dullard who has never experienced enlightenment. Maybe it's just me and a bunch of other people on this board who thought that you made derogatory remarks about major religions (one in particular). I guess that I will just leave you to your human and animal liberation as a means of bettering this world.......

Marc Abrams

I'm willing to listen to your correction; if you want...?

I don't see how the fact that I 'made derogatory remarks about major religions (one in particular)' is inherently a bad/wrong thing, and thus discredits me, or what have you...
Is there some reason why a belief system should not be argued against?

All the best

- Graham

WilliB
10-02-2010, 10:27 PM
I have said it already, but here again: What the modern world needs is a clear definition of what "religion" is. Our current idea of "religious freedom" allows totalitarian political ideologies to drive through this gaping whole in our constitutions like Schwarzenegger with his hummer -- as long as they can drape themselves with a "god".

Again, Azerbaidjan constitution article 18(2). If we continue close our eyes, the future will bring Sharia.

Rabih Shanshiry
10-02-2010, 11:07 PM
I'm willing to listen to your correction; if you want...?

I don't see how the fact that I 'made derogatory remarks about major religions (one in particular)' is inherently a bad/wrong thing, and thus discredits me, or what have you...
Is there some reason why a belief system should not be argued against?

All the best

- Graham

To answer your question, there is something to be said with treating a belief system that millions of peole in the world hold as sacred with some respect - even if you disagree with certain beliefs/practices. In these cases it's not what you say, it's how you say it.

The larger problem I see across your posts referencing Islam is that I find no evidence in your comments that you have any real depth of knowledge about the religion - particularly it's intellectual history and diversity of pratice. You seem to treat Islam as a monolithic institution when it is every bit as varied in belief, practice, and custom as Christianity.

Lastly, I find that you tend to compare your ideals with the realities of others. By this I mean, you compare the best of the humanism with the worst of religion. You would do well to compare ideals with ideals and realities with realities. In this you might find the humanists and religious among us are not all that far apart, for better or worse.

Rabih Shanshiry
10-02-2010, 11:18 PM
I have said it already, but here again: What the modern world needs is a clear definition of what "religion" is. Our current idea of "religious freedom" allows totalitarian political ideologies to drive through this gaping whole in our constitutions like Schwarzenegger with his hummer -- as long as they can drape themselves with a "god".

Again, Azerbaidjan constitution article 18(2). If we continue close our eyes, the future will bring Sharia.

LOL! You are a funny man Willi. I just wish you were joking.

Weren't they saying the same thing 80 years ago about the Jews? I think we all know how that ended. Haven't we learned anything?

WilliB
10-03-2010, 01:30 AM
LOL! You are a funny man Willi. I just wish you were joking.

Weren't they saying the same thing 80 years ago about the Jews? I think we all know how that ended. Haven't we learned anything?

Alas, I am not joking, and what I said is NOT the same thing as they sad 80 years ago about the Jews.

However, what islamist preachers say about the Jews is roughly the same as what "they" said about the Jews 80 years ago. And so it is no coincidence that Jews once again are fleeing from European capitals. Haven´t we learned anything indeed.

lbb
10-03-2010, 06:33 AM
My intent was to have a rational, unemotive, discussion of whether it is just - fair, righteous, humane, etc. - to allow regressive beliefs and behaviour to be cultivated on the proviso that they are invoked by a 'god'.

Put me down in the "loaded rhetorical questions" camp too. If that was sincerely not your intent, you might want to examine why you used the sort of leading questions that are also used as a tool by bigots with agendas, and how you can use language differently to distance yourself from those agendas if you don't share them. Merely offering a disclaimer doesn't do it, I'm afraid.

lbb
10-03-2010, 06:36 AM
However, what islamist preachers say about the Jews is roughly the same as what "they" said about the Jews 80 years ago.

"Islamist" != "muslim". Why do you persist in this slanderous and inflammatory mischaracterization?

WilliB
10-03-2010, 06:39 AM
"Islamist" != "muslim". Why do you persist in this slanderous and inflammatory mischaracterization?

Come again? Not all nominal muslims are islamists, but all islamists are muslim. By definition. So what is your issue?

Flintstone
10-03-2010, 08:35 AM
Again, Azerbaidjan constitution article 18(2). If we continue close our eyes, the future will bring Sharia.
Oh, so yes, you are really talking about Islam here. Shame on you.

Flintstone
10-03-2010, 08:49 AM
However, what islamist preachers say about the Jews is roughly the same as what "they" said about the Jews 80 years ago. And so it is no coincidence that Jews once again are fleeing from European capitals. Haven´t we learned anything indeed.
Islamism is as bad an -ism as secularism. Islamist and muslim is not the same. Do you know about Islam at all? Sincere question.

WilliB
10-03-2010, 09:28 AM
Oh, so yes, you are really talking about Islam here. Shame on you.

Islam is the only religion that I know of that comes with a Shariah which would take us back to the life of the 14th century.

If there is another religion like this, it would also be covered by article 18(2).

Amir Krause
10-03-2010, 09:33 AM
Is prejudice against, and oppression of, others ever justified?
What about if you claim divine warrant? Would you accept status as a second-class citizen - if those beating and/or (sexually) abusing you held a 'holy' book in their hand?

Are ancient beliefs, borne of ignorance of the nature of the world/universe, a barrier to social progress and justice? If so, what place - if any - do they have in the civilised world? Should they be cast off like a snake casts off a skin - as something that has served its purpose, and has been outgrown?

Are these beliefs (apart from the ones about making the earth in seven days; the earth being the centre of the universe; and so on, which have been disproven beyond dispute) immutable - being set down by an entity who is perfect, never wrong, and outside of time?

I trust that this does not fall foul of the rules, and that we can have a calm, rational discussion about this.

With love

- Graham

Can I guess you are opposed the the French decision to forbid wearing Burka in public places, in the name of Democracy, against the right of Muslim women to choose their own clothings?

LOL! You are a funny man Willi. I just wish you were joking.

Weren't they saying the same thing 80 years ago about the Jews? I think we all know how that ended. Haven't we learned anything?

Hate to burst your bubble, but there is no similarity. This statement mostly shows your ignorance. Not all discriminations are equal, nor are all of them illegitimate or invalid (e.g. all countries I know of "discriminate" most non-citizens and do not allow them to come, live and work in their jurisdiction).

As an Israeli Jew, who had grandparents living then and there, and who learnt a bit about that horrible era. I will try and explain, in the hope it will help you understand while such mentions throw all my fuses away. :uch:

There is a vast difference between these two hates, Judaism is the religion of few, and rejects conversions. Islam has significant expansionist sub groups (each much larger then all Jews, even pre-Holocaust) and in the past, had a strong conversion rate in the areas it occupied.

The Holocaust/Shoa was (thankfully) so far a unique occurrence in human history. At that time, significant portion of the Jews in the European west tried to assimilate into the local Cultures. The Jews were not a threat to anyone. There was no Jewish violence directed at others.
Further, the Nazis definition of a Jew included many whom even their parents did not consider themselves to be Jews (for this reason, the Israeli law allowing "Jews" to return uses the same definition, which does not follow the Jewish religion).
In the name of their ideology, the Nazis did not ban following Jewish religion, nor did they just restrict the right of Jews. They burned people alive, fired at families (said grandpa was thrown out of the family bunker in the Ghetto, into the escape tunnel, by a brother who was shot at by the German troupes, he lost all of his familly, from parents and brothers to his own wive and kid), Gassed people (said grandma survived Auschwitz, her family including an infant daughter did not).

Thus, do not compare the Holocaust/Shoa to other discriminations!

Still, it seems some people here forget Muslims are people just like you and your fellows. Some of them are smart, others are fools. Few of them tend to extremes, most do not. Most will follow the consensus surrounding them, just like most of us and you. Further, prejudice against any group is wrong, and is one of the ways least helpful to cope with the problems one may have with it.

Amir

Flintstone
10-03-2010, 09:39 AM
Islam is the only religion that I know of that comes with a Shariah which would take us back to the life of the 14th century.

If there is another religion like this, it would also be covered by article 18(2).
Oh, really? Do you know about Christianity? Ever read the Bible?

WilliB
10-03-2010, 10:56 AM
Oh, really? Do you know about Christianity? Ever read the Bible?

Yes, and yes. Your point is?

Christianity obviously has allowed modernity to happen. (Otherwise we would not be writing messages on the internet.)

Where Sharia gets us, you can see in those countries that practise it.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-03-2010, 11:04 AM
Christianity obviously has allowed modernity to happen.
Not so obviously. Have you forgot about Galileo, Servet, Darwin and many others?

Evolution is still contested by some christian sects today.

WilliB
10-03-2010, 11:36 AM
Not so obviously. Have you forgot about Galileo, Servet, Darwin and many others?

You forgot the Spanish inquisition and witch burning.
But you also forgot to look at a calendar.

Christianity has had an age of enlightenment. Islamic theologians want to return to the "perfect state" of the medieval Caliphate. Today.

That is why article 18(2) is necessary.

Gorgeous George
10-03-2010, 11:38 AM
To answer your question, there is something to be said with treating a belief system that millions of peole in the world hold as sacred with some respect - even if you disagree with certain beliefs/practices. In these cases it's not what you say, it's how you say it.

The larger problem I see across your posts referencing Islam is that I find no evidence in your comments that you have any real depth of knowledge about the religion - particularly it's intellectual history and diversity of pratice. You seem to treat Islam as a monolithic institution when it is every bit as varied in belief, practice, and custom as Christianity.

Lastly, I find that you tend to compare your ideals with the realities of others. By this I mean, you compare the best of the humanism with the worst of religion. You would do well to compare ideals with ideals and realities with realities. In this you might find the humanists and religious among us are not all that far apart, for better or worse.

'there is something to be said with treating a belief system that millions of peole'

- In your opinion, perhaps; what is your argument?

I haven't been talking about islam - except for the bit where I said 'I'm not just talking about islam'.
The very nature of what I have said, so as to be applicable to what I am referring to, has been general - in the sense that, insofar as something is regarded as a religion, what I have said is correct.
The definition of a muslim or a Christianity will, of necessity, include certain characteristics, as both are religions - hence when somebody is called one of these things, they can be seen to have these characteristics in common with others thus designated/categorised (e.g., one man might be tall, have black hair, and be British, and another might be short, with blonde hair, and German - however, they are both men, nevertheless).

'You seem to treat Islam as a monolithic institution'

- To you, perhaps...I can't recall getting into an analysis of islam, though, let alone doing this.
What I have said, and how I have said it, has been, basically:

religions are old;
thus, they display considerable ignorance of the way things actually are;
these beliefs, however, are heaven-sent (literally, in the eyes of 'believers'), and thus immutable (after all: a 'god' would never be wrong, and a few thousand earth years are nothing to such a being);
the modern west is such a place as to refute such superstitions, prejudice, and ignorance;
so the two ideologies are at loggerheads (hence what happened to Galileo - and many others).

I don't dispute the fact that religious belief does not lead to uniform cruelty and inhumanity in those it resides, and in fact, I love and admire some religious people; my objection is of a different kind, and I cleared this up in post #8:

'The point is, if your frame of reference for ethics is an appeal to authority, and this authority is not only antiquated, but beyond dispute or alteration, then social progress is hindered (to put it mildly - are you familiar with the Enlightenment?), and people don't respect one another - they only respect punishment and reward, which is the motive for 'good' behaviour.

etc.'

Rabih Shanshiry
10-03-2010, 11:42 AM
You forgot the Spanish inquisition and witch burning.
But you also forgot to look at a calendar.

Christianity has had an age of enlightenment. Islamic theologians want to return to the "perfect state" of the medieval Caliphate. Today.

That is why article 18(2) is necessary.

While there are some Islamist movements that seek to return to a medieval Caliphate, the vast majority of Muslims - common believer and theologian alike - do not share that goal, to say nothing of the means that certain extremist groups embrace.

To assert otherwise is factually incorect.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-03-2010, 11:48 AM
You forgot the Spanish inquisition and witch burning.
Yes I forgot the spanish and the other inquisitions.
But you also forgot to look at a calendar.
No, I didnt.
Christianity has had an age of enlightenment.
If it were for christians (catholics, protestants or orthodox) we would be still living in XII century CE. Enlightement was not exactly promoted by christianity.
Islamic theologians want to return to the "perfect state" of the medieval Caliphate. Today.
So what. Unless they have to power to enforce it, doesn't matter what they want.

That is why article 18(2) is necessary.
It is only something written in a paper. Without the power to enforce it doesn't mean nothing.

Gorgeous George
10-03-2010, 11:51 AM
Put me down in the "loaded rhetorical questions" camp too. If that was sincerely not your intent, you might want to examine why you used the sort of leading questions that are also used as a tool by bigots with agendas, and how you can use language differently to distance yourself from those agendas if you don't share them. Merely offering a disclaimer doesn't do it, I'm afraid.

If anything I said was not factual, then i'm willing to correct it; how you read something is not indicative of how I wrote it, unfortunately.

'you used the sort of leading questions that are also used as a tool by bigots with agendas'

This is irrelevant, as it does not address the isues raised, but is rather an ad hominem attack. Please stay on-topic, or refrain from posting.

Thank you.

WilliB
10-03-2010, 12:06 PM
(about the islamists)
So what. Unless they have to power to enforce it, doesn't matter what they want.
....
(about the constitution)
It is only something written in a paper. Without the power to enforce it doesn't mean nothing.

With enough power, the islamists *will* get their laws written into law. And what laws do say does matter, unless you live on a lonely island.

Take a look at Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc. to see all the niceties of shariah played out.

Rabih Shanshiry
10-03-2010, 12:07 PM
Hate to burst your bubble, but there is no similarity. This statement mostly shows your ignorance. Not all discriminations are equal, nor are all of them illegitimate or invalid (e.g. all countries I know of "discriminate" most non-citizens and do not allow them to come, live and work in their jurisdiction).

As an Israeli Jew, who had grandparents living then and there, and who learnt a bit about that horrible era. I will try and explain, in the hope it will help you understand while such mentions throw all my fuses away. :uch:
Amir

Amir,

Thank you for comments. I believe you highlighted some very valid points and nothing i said previously nor will say now is meant to detract from the tragedies your family endured during the holocaust.

That said, No one people has a monopoly on suffering. Genocide is genocide whether it be jewish, armenian, bosnian, rawandan, or what have you. There are differences, certainly, in each particular case but i find it impossible to judge one group's suffering as being any less tragic than another's.

The point i was trying to make earlier was really quite simple. Before the holocaust happened in germany as with the rawandan genocide, there was a gradual escalation of tension and hatred fueled by bigoted propaganda. It is a dangerous path that leads to the erosian of civil rights of the minority group and can spiral into violence if left unchecked. It is for that reason that i find the current level of tolerance our society has for anti-islamic propaganda deeply disturbing and encourage like minded people to speak out against it.

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Gorgeous George
10-03-2010, 12:08 PM
Can I guess you are opposed the the French decision to forbid wearing Burka in public places, in the name of Democracy, against the right of Muslim women to choose their own clothings?

I'm afraid I don't know much about that...

I think that the purpose of a State should be to inculcate good behaviour in its citizens; I also think that citizens should be free to pursue their own interests where it doesn't harm others: it seems that this obviously includes clothing items - but then, there is the question of whether such styles of clothing can be used to harm others: the society I live in has failed its citizens to such an extent that signs adorn various buildings, informing people to take off their hats, etc., lest they be used as a disguise in furtherance of a crime.

It seems, from what little I know of this, to be a case of 'Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted': these women are already in a state of subjugation, and this is not tackling the root cause of the problem.

Rabih Shanshiry
10-03-2010, 12:16 PM
With enough power, the islamists *will* get their laws written into law. And what laws do say does matter, unless you live on a lonely island.

Take a look at Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc. to see all the niceties of shariah played out.

Jun,

Do we really have to suffer this level of ignorance on Aikiweb?

lbb
10-03-2010, 12:29 PM
Come again? Not all nominal muslims are islamists, but all islamists are muslim. By definition. So what is your issue?

My issue is your disingenuous insertion of a reference of "islamists" when the subject under discussion was Muslims.

Rob Watson
10-03-2010, 12:33 PM
I think that the purpose of a State should be to inculcate good behaviour in its citizens; I also think that citizens should be free to pursue their own interests where it doesn't harm others

Really?! "Be nice, or else!" The concept of 'state' shares the antiquity of the concept of 'religion' and both are surely as likely to lead to oppression as not. The only significant change in that area has been the american revolution but that does not seem to have caught on very widely. Prejudice and oppression seems to be a natural state and folks are just trying to hang the blame for it onto something else. Easier to blame someone/something than to accept that it is simply a part of our nature and deal with it.

The 'Enlightened ones' see through all this and the problem becomes how to impose our new vision/order on those who just don't get it - after all the 'Enlightened ones' certainly know better. It's for their own good after all. :rolleyes:

Gorgeous George
10-03-2010, 12:52 PM
Really?! "Be nice, or else!" The concept of 'state' shares the antiquity of the concept of 'religion' and both are surely as likely to lead to oppression as not. The only significant change in that area has been the american revolution but that does not seem to have caught on very widely. Prejudice and oppression seems to be a natural state and folks are just trying to hang the blame for it onto something else. Easier to blame someone/something than to accept that it is simply a part of our nature and deal with it.

The 'Enlightened ones' see through all this and the problem becomes how to impose our new vision/order on those who just don't get it - after all the 'Enlightened ones' certainly know better. It's for their own good after all. :rolleyes:

...yes: I believe that the basis of laws and society are the universal desire to bring about a common understanding among people of what is acceptable, and what is unacceptable, behaviour, with a view to society functioning, life being bearable, and citizens being able to trust one another.
However, I made no mention of punishment being the motive for good behaviour, so I cannot account for your comment to that effect.

Not to needlessly contradict your tangent, but, sifting through it, I would object to its basis on the grounds that sentencing someone to life in prison for murder is kind of seen (by most people, and those regarded as fair, reasonable, and so forth), as a lot more just and 'knowing better' than giving the same sentence for heresy; being gay; apostasy; witchcraft.

So: I have not been talking about society or a State as, universally, something excepted from the kind of oppressive behaviour religions have exercised - of course I accept that people can use any kind of means to achieve this end; i've been talking about laws and conduct grounded in reason, which will always be liable to change, and adaptable - like science is - rather than something immutable, and beyond dispute, because if you've got the answer already, why search for it? And if somebody puts forward another one, then they're impious, and questioning 'god'.
So I think that it is simply incorrect to say that secular governments are as likely to be oppressive as religious ones.

Rob Watson
10-03-2010, 01:41 PM
However, I made no mention of punishment being the motive for good behaviour, so I cannot account for your comment to that effect.

Logic and reality are bitches of the highest order to which tribute must be paid frequently. In your utopian domain the laws of nice exist because folks are not and therefor some will not obey the law. What are the consequences ... you implied punishment, not me. It would appear instead that you refuse to follow the logic of your statements. They have words for such that are generally considered not nice. Perhaps you will make such utterances against the law as well? Would that, maybe, be seen as oppression? So laws beget oppression. Unless, of course, there is no enforcement or consequences of said laws being flouted.

Whether the intent of the lawmaker the perception of punishment comes from the perspective of those inflicted by the enforcement of said laws.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-03-2010, 01:47 PM
So I think that it is simply incorrect to say that secular governments are as likely to be oppressive as religious ones.

They can be even worse: Stalin, Castro, Mao...

Religion is not the only tool that can be used to opress people.

Flintstone
10-03-2010, 03:40 PM
Take a look at Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc. to see all the niceties of shariah played out.
And then, please dare to take a look at Indonesia. Perfect example of multiple religions existing in peace. Five of them official in the country. Islam being the one most people adhere too aorund 80% of the population. No Christian, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Buddhist, Shintoist, Hinduist, atheist, agnostic... have any major problem there. But we westerners know better.

Flintstone
10-03-2010, 03:42 PM
It seems, from what little I know of this, to be a case of 'Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted': these women are already in a state of subjugation, and this is not tackling the root cause of the problem.
Oh, really?

Of course nuns are different, right?

Gorgeous George
10-03-2010, 03:52 PM
Oh, really?

Of course nuns are different, right?

Wha...?
I think - I think you've got me confused with somebody else, for I have never made such a claim...

Gorgeous George
10-03-2010, 04:05 PM
And then, please dare to take a look at Indonesia. Perfect example of multiple religions existing in peace. Five of them official in the country. Islam being the one most people adhere too aorund 80% of the population. No Christian, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Buddhist, Shintoist, Hinduist, atheist, agnostic... have any major problem there. But we westerners know better.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/5368922.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/october/12/newsid_2543000/2543731.stm

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5iljt9JIzKqz1Q63I_gHY8NGPneaQ?docId=4719406

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4387604.stm

'Three girls have been beheaded and another badly injured as they walked to a Christian school in Indonesia.

This is an area that has a long history of religious violence between Muslims and Christians.

A government-brokered truce has only partially succeeded in reducing the number of incidents in recent years.

Central Sulawesi and Poso in particular was the scene of bitter fighting between Muslims and Christians in 2001 and 2002.

More than 1,000 people were killed before a government-brokered truce.'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3905607.stm

'A priest has been killed and four others wounded during an attack inside a Christian church in Indonesia.

Police said gunmen entered the Effata church in Palu, in Central Sulawesi province, on Sunday evening.

The female priest, 29-year old Reverend Susianti Tinulele, died at the scene after preaching a sermon.

[...]

The violence between Christians and Muslims began in 1998, with some analysts claiming it was caused by fighting in the neighbouring Moluccan islands spilling over into Sulawesi.

Others say it was a consequence of the influx of Muslim migrants from Java in a controversial transmigration programme.

A report in February by the International Crisis Group said some members of the militant group Jemaah Islamiah (JI), which has been blamed for the 2002 Bali bombing, were also pursuing their goal of establishing an Indonesian Islamic state in Indonesia.'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/1262068.stm

'The court heard how the three men had trained and led a group of 700 Christian fighters.

Many hoped President Wahid could end sectarian strife
In May last year they carried out a series of premeditated attacks on Muslims in Poso town and several outlying districts, the court heard.

They killed their victims using home-made guns and machetes.

Many had their throats cut, some were decapitated.

At least 40 people were massacred inside a mosque.

Tens of thousands of people fled as their homes were burnt down and are still living in camps a year later.'


I can't imagine, if this is a state of peace, what a state of war would be like.
The horror...the horror...

Flintstone
10-03-2010, 04:21 PM
I can't imagine, if this is a state of peace, what a state of war would be like.
The horror...the horror...
Oh, Sulawesi. Should be talk about some regions of GB, the States, Spain, France... Looks like you're taking the best of the best and putting it as representative of a country with 237 millions of people.

You take Sulawesi to represent the Country. You take Jemaah Islamiah to represent the Country. That's bold and poor.

"More than 1.000 people were killed before...". Really? More than a thousand?

"Tens of thousands of people fled..." Quite a big number to be held true, right?

Oh wait, you want me started on IRA and that whole Christians vs. Protestants thinggy in your part of the world?

Shit happens.

Gorgeous George
10-03-2010, 04:51 PM
Oh, Sulawesi. Should be talk about some regions of GB, the States, Spain, France... Looks like you're taking the best of the best and putting it as representative of a country with 237 millions of people.

You take Sulawesi to represent the Country. You take Jemaah Islamiah to represent the Country. That's bold and poor.

"More than 1.000 people were killed before...". Really? More than a thousand?

"Tens of thousands of people fled..." Quite a big number to be held true, right?

Oh wait, you want me started on IRA and that whole Christians vs. Protestants thinggy in your part of the world?

Shit happens.

Listen: you said Indonesia - these instances are from Indonesia - no matter what prejudice you might have towards these Sulawesians, they are still Indonesians. You claim they are not representative of Indonesians - then who the hell are you? Do you want to pick and choose your perfect Indonesian?

All I did was to do some light reading about a 'Perfect example of multiple religions existing in peace' - and now you're getting very upset because you've been made to look foolish.

I don't know what to make of all this stuff you're going on about regarding other countries...if you're a murderer, you can't be made to look better by saying 'Look! Over there: they're murderers too!' - you're still a murdering piece of shit.
The stuff I read about children being decapitated, and mosques full of people being murdered are the kind of thing you hear about in Iraq.
'Shit happens' - is that same kind of a sick joke....?

You can go on about anything in any country you want - religion is just as terrible there, too, and would support my argument...for some bizarre, unaccountable reason, you think my viewpoint to be that I like religion when it's that of white people...weird.

Perhaps if you calm down and read the thread from the beginning, you will be ale to understand?

Sincerely

- Graham

Flintstone
10-03-2010, 05:38 PM
Listen: you said Indonesia - these instances are from Indonesia - no matter what prejudice you might have towards these Sulawesians, they are still Indonesians. You claim they are not representative of Indonesians - then who the hell are you? Do you want to pick and choose your perfect Indonesian?
No, the question is quién coño eres tú, not me. Listen, I've been living there for many years. Never saw any religious based discrimination and I befriend people of all mentioned religions. The daily situation is far worse in Europe than there. I hold no prejudices towards Sulawesians; rather postjudices. And yes, they are not the representative Indonesian as can be, for example Jakartians or Surabayans. But you know better; you red some news (pulling the thread I gave you, not that you even knew that country existed some minutes ago).

All I did was to do some light reading about a 'Perfect example of multiple religions existing in peace' - and now you're getting very upset because you've been made to look foolish.
It takes many like you to make me look foolish. Many more.

I don't know what to make of all this stuff you're going on about regarding other countries...
Wasn't it you who mentioned countries?

if you're a murderer, you can't be made to look better by saying 'Look! Over there: they're murderers too!' - you're still a murdering piece of shit.
I don't know; never been one. And I'm sorry, my (how was it?) retarded mind cannot follow how Bali bombings are representative of a Country more than IRA represents yours or ETA represents mine. They are simple... not representative at all. Except for a retarded mind, of course.

The stuff I read about children being decapitated, and mosques full of people being murdered are the kind of thing you hear about in Iraq.
Or the kind of thing you hear about GB.

'Shit happens' - is that same kind of a sick joke....?
No, the joke is in your pants.

You can go on about anything in any country you want - religion is just as terrible there, too, and would support my argument...for some bizarre, unaccountable reason, you think my viewpoint to be that I like religion when it's that of white people...weird.What the hell is that "white people" thing? Are you a racist too? Won't surprise me.

Perhaps if you calm down and read the thread from the beginning, you will be ale to understand?
I'm perfectly quiet and calm down, sire. It was you who began calling names.

Hail, Graham. And peace.

Gorgeous George
10-03-2010, 06:26 PM
No, the question is quién coño eres tú, not me. Listen, I've been living there for many years. Never saw any religious based discrimination and I befriend people of all mentioned religions. The daily situation is far worse in Europe than there. I hold no prejudices towards Sulawesians; rather postjudices. And yes, they are not the representative Indonesian as can be, for example Jakartians or Surabayans. But you know better; you red some news (pulling the thread I gave you, not that you even knew that country existed some minutes ago).

It takes many like you to make me look foolish. Many more.

Wasn't it you who mentioned countries?

I don't know; never been one. And I'm sorry, my (how was it?) retarded mind cannot follow how Bali bombings are representative of a Country more than IRA represents yours or ETA represents mine. They are simple... not representative at all. Except for a retarded mind, of course.

Or the kind of thing you hear about GB.

No, the joke is in your pants.

What the hell is that "white people" thing? Are you a racist too? Won't surprise me.

I'm perfectly quiet and calm down, sire. It was you who began calling names.

Hail, Graham. And peace.

So basically, your agrument is: the anecdotal experience of one layman, is superior to that of many, many, experts?
If only we could apply such a wonderful technique to history, hahahaha. Brilliant.

These people are Indonesians; ergo they are examples of Indonesians - by definition.

If you want the audience to be given a wider variety of Indonesians...

'There was an outbreak of religious fighting in the Indonesian capital Jakarta last November. Then during January, more than 160 people died in religious fighting on the island of Ambon.

In February, 14 people were reported killed in the city of Ambon after gangs of Christian and Muslim youths brandishing clubs, knives and swords attacked each other. '

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/events/indonesia/special_report/285520.stm

I wouldn't have thought you could get more 'in' a country than its capital (are Jakartians from there...? Perhaps they were all on holiday that day?) - but then: you're an expert, it seems, on who can pass for an Indonesian...

No: I don't believe it was me who mentioned countries - you came up with that one all on your own...

Listen: English is not your first language, so I can understand why you are confused. Nobody has any interest in countries, or what is representative of them - that is not what this thread is about; please stop derailing it with your besides the point utterances.

I will say that the events that occur within a country, and are the work of its citizens, represent what is going on in that country; that is very simple and obvious.
For example, when people marched in the UK against the Iraq war, it was because there was a strong element within that country which was opposed to that war; when some idiots blew themselves and a load of innocent human beings up on the 7th July a few years back: that was because there was an element within the country of angry fuckwits...and on and on and on and on.

QED.

You don't have to be a murderer to know - it's obviously the case.

I haven't heard about regular 'mosque-masacres', or those of children - and I live in 'GB'...
The point of what I said there was that you cited this nation as peaceful, when the atrocities taking place there, bring to mind those in Iraq during the 'instability' post-invasion.

Yeah: I said 'sick joke' - so your retort '...the joke...' failed, unfortunately.

'racist too?' - As well as what...?
That comment was a reference to your odd behaviour: you cited countries with majority white populations, for some reason - as if they set the standard for what is acceptable...

Flintstone
10-03-2010, 06:34 PM
Ok, I already got sick of this. Till next thread. I'll be with my fellow ETA terrorists as they are representative of my Country. Really. Sick.

David Maidment
10-03-2010, 06:45 PM
I haven't heard about regular 'mosque-masacres', or those of children - and I live in 'GB'...

You can't claim that your first-hand experience counts for something in the same breath as saying that someone else's doesn't.

Listen: English is not your first language, so I can understand why you are confused.

And that is simply a horrible thing to say. Especially given how this fellow's command of the English language is far superior to most of the people I'm sure we both know live in this country of ours.

I decided to stay out of this thread after it began to turn into petty bickering, but I cannot stand by and not denounce that statement of yours, as a speaker of English and a representative (or not, depending upon which of your posts one's following) of our country.

lbb
10-03-2010, 07:05 PM
Please stay on-topic, or refrain from posting.

Take your own medicine, doctor! The "topic" of Aikiweb is most definitely not the character assassination of Muslims. If you can't stop obsessing on the topic, perhaps you should find another forum.

lbb
10-03-2010, 07:11 PM
So basically, your agrument is: the anecdotal experience of one layman, is superior to that of many, many, experts?

I"m confused. When did YOU become "many, many experts"?

C. David Henderson
10-03-2010, 07:35 PM
Among the broken hills to the west of Santa Fe is the cite of a Japanese internment camp during WWII; when someone broached the idea a few years ago of some kind of reconciliation something-or-other, the local paper got a number of letters from people who still strongly believed it was justified and, incidentally or not, also still seemed to relate to the vicious stereotypes of the Japanese circa the 40's.

In light of this, I find it kind of, well, ironic... paradoxical...illustrative that these discussions are taking place here, with folks so immune from the lessons of history they can't see how their ideology of the moment may well seem equally abhorrent through the lens of time.

But, I see another animating idea here too -- the atheist critique of organized religion, in service of the faith that the world would be a better place without all the nonsense.

Well, I guess I have a couple of problems with that notion: First, that it places a level of faith in human rationality that appears of a peace with the doctrine of transmorgification, so far as I can see. Second, displacing religion for nothing more than spiritual nihilism is simply a sad and crippling burden on the spirit and the heart.

Get rid of religion, and organized religion wins.

There is, by the way, within Islam, generally less adherence to some central, authoritative doctrinal source that in Catholicism. Indeed, in Shi'a, the Ayatollahs have a long tradition of open debate in the name of seeking truth -- a tradition that always has been in considerable tension with the edicts of the Islamic Revolution. This tradition has come into play in recent months in making efforts to reign in oppression.

It just is so far from simple that most of what is to be said is a description of self.

Gorgeous George
10-03-2010, 09:51 PM
You can't claim that your first-hand experience counts for something in the same breath as saying that someone else's doesn't.

And that is simply a horrible thing to say. Especially given how this fellow's command of the English language is far superior to most of the people I'm sure we both know live in this country of ours.

I decided to stay out of this thread after it began to turn into petty bickering, but I cannot stand by and not denounce that statement of yours, as a speaker of English and a representative (or not, depending upon which of your posts one's following) of our country.

I wasn't citing first-hand experience: I was talking of never having heard even second-hand accounts of such things - e.g., newspaper reports, news reports, etc.
Just because I never personally witnessed something, does not mean it never happened; likewise: just because my experience is of one kind, doesn't mean it's universal.

I wasn't being horrible; I didn't say that to cause offence.
There was a comment I made in a previous thread, where I used the word 'retarded', and this gentleman took my meaning for something else.

Gorgeous George
10-03-2010, 09:57 PM
Take your own medicine, doctor! The "topic" of Aikiweb is most definitely not the character assassination of Muslims. If you can't stop obsessing on the topic, perhaps you should find another forum.

Aikiweb has numerous topics for discussion.
I haven't been 'assassinating' anybody's character (i've clarified this point more than once in this very thread: see post #8).
I'm not obsessing about this - you seem to be, though: you make posts such as this, which entirely miss the point of what is being discussed, mischaracterising what I am saying, and trying to bully or intimidate me, as if what I say threatens you.

Gorgeous George
10-03-2010, 10:02 PM
I"m confused. When did YOU become "many, many experts"?

It's alright: i'm here now - i'll clarify for you.
You see, at places like BBC News, there tend to be lots of people such as journalists, foreign affairs correspondents, international relations experts, historians, and such-like.
Now, what these people do - these 'many, many experts', if you will... - is find out what is going on in places, and then tell people about this.
The 'being expert' element is to make sure they don't, for example, just report the anecdotal experience of an individual as if it were fact.

Flintstone
10-04-2010, 02:54 AM
The 'being expert' element is to make sure they don't, for example, just report the anecdotal experience of an individual as if it were fact.
Did it ever crossed your mind that maybe those many many experts were reporting their own anecdotal experience? I can produce many many experts that will agree with me. Expats working and living there for years, most of them of Christian belief. But your (maybe prejudiced?) many many experts know better.

lbb
10-04-2010, 07:06 AM
Aikiweb has numerous topics for discussion.

So it does. So who was it that said, "Please stay on-topic, or refrain from posting."? Someone can start a thread with loaded rhetorical questions, but no one is allowed to call it what it is? That'll definitely add to the quality of the dialogue.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
10-04-2010, 08:00 AM
Thanks folks, this debate just reminded me to finally order a copy of Robert Frager's "The Wisdom of Islam: An Introduction to the Living Experience of Islamic Belief and Practice".

Maybe that is a good starting point, by a man who is a senior teacher of both aikido and muslim spirituality.

Rabih Shanshiry
10-04-2010, 08:48 AM
Thanks folks, this debate just reminded me to finally order a copy of Robert Frager's "The Wisdom of Islam: An Introduction to the Living Experience of Islamic Belief and Practice".

Maybe that is a good starting point, by a man who is a senior teacher of both aikido and muslim spirituality.

I know Dr. Frager's works on Islamic spirituality but I had no idea that he was an aikidoka - let alone a 7th dan who studied under O'Sensei. What a great discovery!

Thanks Nicholas!

Flintstone
10-04-2010, 09:02 AM
Thanks folks, this debate just reminded me to finally order a copy of Robert Frager's "The Wisdom of Islam: An Introduction to the Living Experience of Islamic Belief and Practice".

Maybe that is a good starting point, by a man who is a senior teacher of both aikido and muslim spirituality.
Thank you, Nicholas. I'll take your recommendation and pick up a copy of it.

Best to you.

akiy
10-04-2010, 11:36 AM
It looks like the bulk of this thread has taken on a rather unfortunate tone of personal attacks and has become more a discussion regarding the discussion. And, I don't see the heart of this particular discussion, especially that which has already taken on the aforementioned qualities, will lead anywhere positive.

Thread closed.

Let me just say that, in the future, I wish people here would take a lot more care in directing your responses to the topic being discussed and not the person discussing the topic.

Thank you,

-- Jun