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Old 2nd May 2019, 06:58 AM   #81
IanS
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
@IanS :

I don't disagree, but here's the thing :

1. Surely you'll agree that even if not B&B personally, then some people, people pretty high up, in Intelligence perhaps, were either criminally dishonest, or else criminally incompetent? You can't unleash damage on this scale and expect to go personally unpunished, not in a system that is at all fair.

2. If you imagine this mega-scale military adventure was appropriate, given 9/11 and "defiance", well then given any fairness in the world, those who got the business end of the stick will consider further retaliation appropriate. Not possessing the might of the West, they'll turn to impotent but nevertheless terrible methods that are within their reach.

I don't see any lasting solution that does not inject at least some fairness into this grossly unjust situation.

OK, well firstly – well done for not reacting with hostility to what I'd written above. Because I know how easy it would be for many people to react badly (but imho, mistakenly) to what I'd given there as a brief history of how and why event's unfolded in the way they did.

But just on point 1 - I don't think it's really actually a legal "crime" (or even a “moral” crime) if with hindsight some people decide that Blair and his government, and in fact the UK intelligences services (and also all the intelligences services all across Europe), were "incompetent", when they did all believe that more than a decade of intelligence gathering did show that Saddam Hussein was engaged in developing WMD including nuclear weapons.

In the UK at least (I can't speak for the USA), the decision to invade Iraq was not a decision that was taken lightly at all. And both before the invasion, and after the fall of Baghdad and the removal of Saddam, Blair many times explained what an agonising and difficult decision that was.

Now, people can dismiss what Blair said and call him a liar and a war criminal and so forth, but when they do that they are really just lashing out with knee-jerk conspiracy theories. Because as I explained above, the intelligence services not just in the UK but all across Europe, had all come to that same conclusion about Saddam Hussein, WMD, and the threat that Saddam posed in that region and now (since 9-11) to the wider world. If Blair, Campbell, and the UK government spokesmen were guilty of anything in that respect, then they were guilty of (a) some naivety in too easily accepting what the intelligence services told them, and (b) in some of their addresses in parliament the the words they used pressed the case for invasion too strongly and were too quick to say that Intelligence reports showed it to be “certain” that Iraq was developing WMD including nuclear weapons.


On point 2 – it was not the general population of Afghanistan, or even of Iraq, who retaliated after the western invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. In fact, afaik, the vast majority of the ordinary indigenous population of both Afghanistan and Iraq, never wanted the Taliban, Al-Q or Saddam Hussein to be ruling their nations in the first place. Saddam had seized power through armed military force, and in Afghanistan the Taliban and Al-Q had taken over by waging all out war in that country for many years.

Iirc – after the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and after Saddam was removed in Iraq, democratic elections were finally held in both those countries. And afaik, hardly any of the citizens who voted in those two countries actually wanted to vote for any more people like Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, or Mullah Omar (the leader of the Taliban). And in passing we should also note that in all of those elections the remaining Islamist fundamentalists tried to prevent people from voting by threatening to kill anyone who tried to vote. They, ie the Islamic fundamentalists, wanted instead to seize power themselves by force without allowing any of the population to have any vote, opinion, or say in the matter at all. Those were the two options for the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. And the second of those options (ie forced military and religious dictatorships) had already lead that region into decades of violence and repression, and was now (since 9-11) exporting that violence and intolerance to the rest of the world.

Now it may be true that many people in Afghanistan and in Iraq, and especially in the more rural villages where they had more traditional and perhaps less educated or less well-informed views, were very suspicious & resentful of western powers arranging democratic elections in their countries. But overall, afaik the great majority did realise that democratic voting was (and is) a far better and much safer & more preferable system than allowing what had happened before where the most violent armed religious fundamentalists had simply seized power by killing as many people as possible and threatening the remainder that they too would be executed if they did not immediately submit to the force of fundamentalist Islamic rule.

On one other point your raised – yes, of course some people in those regions will resent any western interference at all, under any circumstances or for any reason, and many of those will (as you say), use whatever means they can to fight against any western occupation or western influence. So they will resort to suicide bombing or using truck/car bombs in crowded places etc. We all understand that. But for a great many of those people, the reason why they have carried out those sort of attacks, is that they have been religiously persuaded to do that by Islamic extremists such as those who are now very active on the internet and who are engaged in a full time propaganda campaign trying to recruit naïve and dangerously delusional Muslims all over the world such as the many millions of disgruntled Muslims living in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany and dozens of countries, where far too many of them willingly allow themselves to be indoctrinated into an Islamic terrorist mentality with the resulting numerous bomb plots etc.


What can we actually do about it? Well I think in the end it has to be a matter of education. And especially a matter of educating people away from ancient uneducated superstitious beliefs in religion, gods and holy books.

How long will that take? Well probably a generation or two. But the process would be much quicker if countries in Europe, but more particularly the USA, stopped appealing to God and praising God after each of these terrorist atrocities by saying things like God help the poor victims, and calling for us all to pray for them etc. Because for as long as they keep doing that, they are inadvertently supporting the same beliefs as the terrorists and just becoming part of the problem themselves.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 10:42 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I find it strange that if you say the Troubles were a conflict between Roman catholics and protestants people are very quick to point out that it wasn't a "religious" conflict beacuse of x, y and z, yet when there is a conflict between Muslims they want to ignore history, discrimination, poverty and so on and simply say it is a religious conflict. Hardly anything in human behaviour is black and white, there are myriad of entangled reasons and so on behind every conflict, if we want to stop conflict we have to take the time to understand the conflict and not simply say "it's religion" as if that explains it all.
History or no, most of the conflict between variations of Christianity has largely died out, as has most of the other conflict inside and between religions. I’m not remotely suggesting we don’t see similar things in other religions but in most cases religious conflict that doesn’t involve Islam tends to be comparatively mild and rare when compared to conflict that does involve Islam suggests there is something more going on.

Around the world we see very active conflict and oppression involving Islam with Islam, Islam with Judaism, Islam with Christianity, Islam with Hinduism, Islam with secularism and even Islam vs Buddhism. While it’s certainly possible to find examples of conflict within and between these other groups, conflict it typically pales in frequency and violence of the conflicts involving Islam.

Either “everyone is ganging up on Islam” which seems unlikely, or there is something endemic to Islam itself that promotes Religious violence and conflict.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 11:05 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post


On one other point your raised – yes, of course some people in those regions will resent any western interference at all, under any circumstances or for any reason, and many of those will (as you say), use whatever means they can to fight against any western occupation or western influence. So they will resort to suicide bombing or using truck/car bombs in crowded places etc. We all understand that. But for a great many of those people, the reason why they have carried out those sort of attacks, is that they have been religiously persuaded to do that by Islamic extremists such as those who are now very active on the internet and who are engaged in a full time propaganda campaign trying to recruit naïve and dangerously delusional Muslims all over the world such as the many millions of disgruntled Muslims living in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany and dozens of countries, where far too many of them willingly allow themselves to be indoctrinated into an Islamic terrorist mentality with the resulting numerous bomb plots etc.


What can we actually do about it? Well I think in the end it has to be a matter of education. And especially a matter of educating people away from ancient uneducated superstitious beliefs in religion, gods and holy books.
It has more to do with them being tribal and pragmatic and poor. Day to day life is simply easier for tribal groups in Afghanistan if they acquiesce to the Taliban. When you struggle just to survive day to day gander visions of a better future fade away and people only worry about the here and now.

Conflict and the heroin trade create by the Taliban all but insure these regions remain poor, and this poverty ultimately enables the Taliban to control the region. It’s a vicious circle that is almost impossible to break.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 11:45 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
OK, well firstly – well done for not reacting with hostility to what I'd written above. Because I know how easy it would be for many people to react badly (but imho, mistakenly) to what I'd given there as a brief history of how and why event's unfolded in the way they did.

But just on point 1 - I don't think it's really actually a legal "crime" (or even a “moral” crime) if with hindsight some people decide that Blair and his government, and in fact the UK intelligences services (and also all the intelligences services all across Europe), were "incompetent", when they did all believe that more than a decade of intelligence gathering did show that Saddam Hussein was engaged in developing WMD including nuclear weapons.

In the UK at least (I can't speak for the USA), the decision to invade Iraq was not a decision that was taken lightly at all. And both before the invasion, and after the fall of Baghdad and the removal of Saddam, Blair many times explained what an agonising and difficult decision that was.

Now, people can dismiss what Blair said and call him a liar and a war criminal and so forth, but when they do that they are really just lashing out with knee-jerk conspiracy theories. Because as I explained above, the intelligence services not just in the UK but all across Europe, had all come to that same conclusion about Saddam Hussein, WMD, and the threat that Saddam posed in that region and now (since 9-11) to the wider world. If Blair, Campbell, and the UK government spokesmen were guilty of anything in that respect, then they were guilty of (a) some naivety in too easily accepting what the intelligence services told them, and (b) in some of their addresses in parliament the the words they used pressed the case for invasion too strongly and were too quick to say that Intelligence reports showed it to be “certain” that Iraq was developing WMD including nuclear weapons.


On point 2 – it was not the general population of Afghanistan, or even of Iraq, who retaliated after the western invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. In fact, afaik, the vast majority of the ordinary indigenous population of both Afghanistan and Iraq, never wanted the Taliban, Al-Q or Saddam Hussein to be ruling their nations in the first place. Saddam had seized power through armed military force, and in Afghanistan the Taliban and Al-Q had taken over by waging all out war in that country for many years.

Iirc – after the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and after Saddam was removed in Iraq, democratic elections were finally held in both those countries. And afaik, hardly any of the citizens who voted in those two countries actually wanted to vote for any more people like Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, or Mullah Omar (the leader of the Taliban). And in passing we should also note that in all of those elections the remaining Islamist fundamentalists tried to prevent people from voting by threatening to kill anyone who tried to vote. They, ie the Islamic fundamentalists, wanted instead to seize power themselves by force without allowing any of the population to have any vote, opinion, or say in the matter at all. Those were the two options for the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. And the second of those options (ie forced military and religious dictatorships) had already lead that region into decades of violence and repression, and was now (since 9-11) exporting that violence and intolerance to the rest of the world.

Now it may be true that many people in Afghanistan and in Iraq, and especially in the more rural villages where they had more traditional and perhaps less educated or less well-informed views, were very suspicious & resentful of western powers arranging democratic elections in their countries. But overall, afaik the great majority did realise that democratic voting was (and is) a far better and much safer & more preferable system than allowing what had happened before where the most violent armed religious fundamentalists had simply seized power by killing as many people as possible and threatening the remainder that they too would be executed if they did not immediately submit to the force of fundamentalist Islamic rule.

On one other point your raised – yes, of course some people in those regions will resent any western interference at all, under any circumstances or for any reason, and many of those will (as you say), use whatever means they can to fight against any western occupation or western influence. So they will resort to suicide bombing or using truck/car bombs in crowded places etc. We all understand that. But for a great many of those people, the reason why they have carried out those sort of attacks, is that they have been religiously persuaded to do that by Islamic extremists such as those who are now very active on the internet and who are engaged in a full time propaganda campaign trying to recruit naïve and dangerously delusional Muslims all over the world such as the many millions of disgruntled Muslims living in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany and dozens of countries, where far too many of them willingly allow themselves to be indoctrinated into an Islamic terrorist mentality with the resulting numerous bomb plots etc.


What can we actually do about it? Well I think in the end it has to be a matter of education. And especially a matter of educating people away from ancient uneducated superstitious beliefs in religion, gods and holy books.

How long will that take? Well probably a generation or two. But the process would be much quicker if countries in Europe, but more particularly the USA, stopped appealing to God and praising God after each of these terrorist atrocities by saying things like God help the poor victims, and calling for us all to pray for them etc. Because for as long as they keep doing that, they are inadvertently supporting the same beliefs as the terrorists and just becoming part of the problem themselves.
Your comment on point 1 just reeks of the kind of western colonial superiority complex that is a huge part of the problem.

The West is convinced it acts with good intentions and forgives itself a whole host of mistakes because they only cost THEIR lives. The people that don't matter. That would probably only have blown each other up anyway if we didnt do it for them.for their own good.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 12:33 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
...Because as I explained above, the intelligence services not just in the UK but all across Europe, had all come to that same conclusion about Saddam Hussein, WMD, and the threat that Saddam posed in that region and now (since 9-11) to the wider world...
Nonsense. The conspiracy theory is that WMD were even an issue: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/my...rom-joe-biden/
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Old 2nd May 2019, 12:53 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
History or no, most of the conflict between variations of Christianity has largely died out, as has most of the other conflict inside and between religions. I’m not remotely suggesting we don’t see similar things in other religions but in most cases religious conflict that doesn’t involve Islam tends to be comparatively mild and rare when compared to conflict that does involve Islam suggests there is something more going on.

Around the world we see very active conflict and oppression involving Islam with Islam, Islam with Judaism, Islam with Christianity, Islam with Hinduism, Islam with secularism and even Islam vs Buddhism. While it’s certainly possible to find examples of conflict within and between these other groups, conflict it typically pales in frequency and violence of the conflicts involving Islam.

Either “everyone is ganging up on Islam” which seems unlikely, or there is something endemic to Islam itself that promotes Religious violence and conflict.
Just because it's unlikely to you, does not mean there is not a large grain of reality there.
Lets go trough your examples.

Islam vs Islam is part of an age old inter-religious conflict that had mainly died due to nations forming along the divides, but then the west re-drew those borders and put groups hating each other in the same nations, and then looked the other way as those nations fell into dicatorships as that was better for business. Once those dictatorships fell lots of weapons came into the hands of people hating each other. Northern Ireland, the Balkans, the former soviet states have shown what happens then, and lo and behold, it did.

Islam vs Christianity is more due to the fact that those nations that have made the biggest mess of the Islamic nations were (nominally) christian than any real previous animosity. It neatly ties into:
Islam vs Judaism. Yes, it made sense for the west to want to do something right for the Jews for a change after WW2. Unfortunately giving in to different religious zealots and evicting an existing population to make up for a crime they did not commit turned out to cause hatred. And the fact that the hated state is then propped up by (nominally) christian nations who are quite hypocritical in what actions they condone and condemn has also generated a bit of hatred.
And guess what is good at channelling such hatred, religious zealotry, funded by a nation the west created by giving a truly hateful sect of Islam the control over tons of oil.

Islam Hinduism/Buddhism comes mainly from the India/Pakistan conflict. You know, the one the British Empire fermented on purpose to weaken the independence movement in the Raj, and then kept alive and well and funded during the cold war, so that several generations in those countries grew up hating each other. As it turned out, again a bit of a mistake by our (great) grandfathers.

Islam secularism is the same war on secularism any religion in power wages against those that defy it. It's mainly found in the theocracies the west funds as buffers against China or by oil, but to be honest, what are the chances of an open atheist to become president of the US?

Combine that with the fact that in Europe we decided it was best to import lots of unlettered, uneducated people from islamic nations to do crap work in the assumption they'd leave, which they did not and then because we ignored this population we allowed the same hateful theocracies to indoctrinate them, often fueled by very real discrimination and relegation to second class citizens and it turns out that yes, in the past 80 or so years the Islamic world WAS actually ganged up on, for profit, for proxy wars, for misguided attempts to make the world a better place.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 01:23 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
Just because it's unlikely to you, does not mean there is not a large grain of reality there.
Lets go trough your examples.

Islam vs Islam is part of an age old inter-religious conflict that had mainly died due to nations forming along the divides, but then the west re-drew those borders and put groups hating each other in the same nations, and then looked the other way as those nations fell into dicatorships as that was better for business. Once those dictatorships fell lots of weapons came into the hands of people hating each other. Northern Ireland, the Balkans, the former soviet states have shown what happens then, and lo and behold, it did.

Islam vs Christianity is more due to the fact that those nations that have made the biggest mess of the Islamic nations were (nominally) christian than any real previous animosity. It neatly ties into:
Islam vs Judaism. Yes, it made sense for the west to want to do something right for the Jews for a change after WW2. Unfortunately giving in to different religious zealots and evicting an existing population to make up for a crime they did not commit turned out to cause hatred. And the fact that the hated state is then propped up by (nominally) christian nations who are quite hypocritical in what actions they condone and condemn has also generated a bit of hatred.
And guess what is good at channelling such hatred, religious zealotry, funded by a nation the west created by giving a truly hateful sect of Islam the control over tons of oil.

Islam Hinduism/Buddhism comes mainly from the India/Pakistan conflict. You know, the one the British Empire fermented on purpose to weaken the independence movement in the Raj, and then kept alive and well and funded during the cold war, so that several generations in those countries grew up hating each other. As it turned out, again a bit of a mistake by our (great) grandfathers.

Islam secularism is the same war on secularism any religion in power wages against those that defy it. It's mainly found in the theocracies the west funds as buffers against China or by oil, but to be honest, what are the chances of an open atheist to become president of the US?

Combine that with the fact that in Europe we decided it was best to import lots of unlettered, uneducated people from islamic nations to do crap work in the assumption they'd leave, which they did not and then because we ignored this population we allowed the same hateful theocracies to indoctrinate them, often fueled by very real discrimination and relegation to second class citizens and it turns out that yes, in the past 80 or so years the Islamic world WAS actually ganged up on, for profit, for proxy wars, for misguided attempts to make the world a better place.
Occam’s razor applies. You are suggesting that world major religions and multiple secular societies are out to get Islam, even though they don’t care nearly so much about each other anymore. That requires a LOT of largely independent things to all happen simultaneously. It makes far more sense that there is something within Islam that predisposes it to be involved in all these conflict its, as that only requires 1 variable to explain the phenomenon.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 01:46 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
After Harris' support of torture - support he's never renounced, although he's very sorry about it, because it rightly makes him look like a douche - I never feel the need to give too many reasons as to why he's not worth the oxygen he uses.

Of course, if this was in a Members-only section, I wouldn't have used the work jerk. Doesn't really fit the case, but the best I had handy without asterisks.



Excellent numbers, but you've fallen into the trap that atheism is responsible for millions of deaths. Convenient for theists to see it that way, and there's even a thread on the very subject you might like to check, because it's a complete mis-representation of the facts.

So realising how poor your argument is when more or less sticking to the topic, you now bring this crap about Harris supporting torture. The relevancy of this in regards to the question of coping with Islam, is beyond my comprehension.

Incidentally, if you were to read the Harris statement you linked in full, you would see it's almost impossible to disagree with what he says.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 01:56 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Occam’s razor applies. You are suggesting that world major religions and multiple secular societies are out to get Islam, even though they don’t care nearly so much about each other anymore. That requires a LOT of largely independent things to all happen simultaneously. It makes far more sense that there is something within Islam that predisposes it to be involved in all these conflict its, as that only requires 1 variable to explain the phenomenon.
No, I am saying that due to historical, cultural and economic reasons the Islamic world has gotten the short end of the stick this century. Kinda like Africa did the century before.
In no way do I believe that this is intentional, but that does not change the fact that each of those things happened.

And yes, that does make it easy for those inclined to do so to use that resentment to suggest an actual plan and push for terrorism.
History has shown that, in similar circumstances, any religion can breed such terrorism and intolerance.
Claiming that it is somehow inherent in Islam and thus pushing those that do NOT follow the terrorist line of reasoning out of society does far more harm than good.
But the best way to combat such feelings is to at least understand where they come from and that they are the result of actions the west has made and maybe can correct.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 02:04 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
History or no, most of the conflict between variations of Christianity has largely died out, as has most of the other conflict inside and between religions. I’m not remotely suggesting we don’t see similar things in other religions but in most cases religious conflict that doesn’t involve Islam tends to be comparatively mild and rare when compared to conflict that does involve Islam suggests there is something more going on.

<snip>
From this side of the Atlantic, it looks less clear-cut. The Troubles had the Good Friday Agreement, but Brexit might reignite them. They are largely sectarian.

The Post-Yugoslavia Serbia-Croatia war was also informed by sectarianism between Orthodox and Catholic.

It's not that long ago.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 03:07 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Occam’s razor applies. You are suggesting that world major religions and multiple secular societies are out to get Islam, even though they don’t care nearly so much about each other anymore. That requires a LOT of largely independent things to all happen simultaneously. It makes far more sense that there is something within Islam that predisposes it to be involved in all these conflict its, as that only requires 1 variable to explain the phenomenon.



"Something within Islam" most certainly. Mind you there are things within Judaism and Christianity also but time, and the influence of secularism, have taken their toll .... to our relief. Christians tend to shove the specific, violence inspiring stuff in the OT to one side also, as they hang on the "Love Thy Neighbour" message in the NT. Buddhism does not boast any violence inducing text that I know of, and although Buddhists are certainly guilty of atrocities, as in Myanmar, this cannot be blamed on the religion specifically, any more than atheism can be held to account for atrocities in China - as The Big Dog tried so hard to claim. Jainism most certainly does not inspire killing - as pointed out by Sam Harris repeatedly in his talks.

We must accept that all religions are not equal in their violence inducing influence. Islam does stand out and we must recognise this, if we are to develop any strategies to deal with it. It could be that time will soften the effect of the violent message, but can we afford to give it that time?
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Old 2nd May 2019, 03:46 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post


"Something within Islam" most certainly. Mind you there are things within Judaism and Christianity also but time, and the influence of secularism, have taken their toll .... to our relief. Christians tend to shove the specific, violence inspiring stuff in the OT to one side also, as they hang on the "Love Thy Neighbour" message in the NT. Buddhism does not boast any violence inducing text that I know of, and although Buddhists are certainly guilty of atrocities, as in Myanmar, this cannot be blamed on the religion specifically, any more than atheism can be held to account for atrocities in China - as The Big Dog tried so hard to claim. Jainism most certainly does not inspire killing - as pointed out by Sam Harris repeatedly in his talks.

We must accept that all religions are not equal in their violence inducing influence. Islam does stand out and we must recognise this, if we are to develop any strategies to deal with it. It could be that time will soften the effect of the violent message, but can we afford to give it that time?
Feels like you are comparing apples and oranges.

How many wars, conflicts, and other military actions have the largely Christian US participated in during recent years? How many have been instigated by Muslim states?

Are we to believe that Muslim Malaysia is a greater threat to its neighbours than the only example we have of a Jewish state? Or can we reliably conclude now that Jewish states are a bad idea?

I have Harris podacst downloaded to listen to on my next flight. He used to talk some sense but he disappeared down a right wing loony rabbit hole a long time ago. He surrounds himself with some very questionable people and some of his reasoning nowadays on a range of topics is laughable. He seems to have discovered that being a friend of the right is more profitable.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 03:56 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
So realising how poor your argument is when more or less sticking to the topic, you now bring this crap about Harris supporting torture.
I disagree with him completely and only brought it up because you asked. We'd already discussed his anti-islam body of work. That's why I asked where his attack on Buddhism was, if you go back a few posts.

But feel free to keep trying to defend him - lots of people get sucked in by him, which tends to show the paucity of skepticism applied to atheist commentators by atheists.

Maybe you'd like to start a thread on Harris specifically so we can look at that entire body of work - the islamic part seems to have go to the stage of repetition.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 04:43 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Does he cast the same criticism at Buddhists? Buddhists like to claim they're all about peace, but I'm sure I can find some Rohingya who would disagree.

His attacks on islam are one-dimensional.
Butbut clinton emails!!!1
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Old 2nd May 2019, 04:57 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
Butbut clinton emails!!!1
Special pleading for thee but not for me?
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Old 2nd May 2019, 06:52 PM   #96
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We can only discuss Sam Harris if we look at his entire body of work. We can only discuss Islam if we discuss all religions. It’s totally consistent. Now if we could just get rid of these pesky sub forums and thread titles.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 08:24 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
We must accept that all religions are not equal in their violence inducing influence. Islam does stand out and we must recognise this, if we are to develop any strategies to deal with it. It could be that time will soften the effect of the violent message, but can we afford to give it that time?
Islamic terrorism is largely a political problem, and as Lukraak_Sisser has shown, the solution is largely political.

The actual content of ultraconservative Islamic doctrine is mostly irrelevant beyond the fact that organisations like IS and Al Qaeda use it to recruit suicidally-devoted followers from moderate mosques.

It's just a form of far right extremism, and like other forms, it recruits followers over the internet. Recruits are socially isolated, if not due to racism and bigotry then simply because they're just loners who spend too much time on the internet.

So if you're working somewhere like ASIO, and you're trying to prevent Australian Muslims from being radicalised, then you're faced with some pretty frustrating constraints:
  • You don't have the power to deconvert people, besides waiting for peaceful, prosperous and tolerant society to do the job for you.
  • You don't have the power to get rid of social outcasts, regardless of religious upbringing.
  • You can't get rid of Muslims without turning into a far right extremist yourself
  • You can't cut off people's internet

All you can really do is remove the radicalising influence at the source, and that's a geopolitical problem. There will always be people like Harris and Hitchens lining up to denounce radical Islam, but their arguments are ultimately irrelevant since we already know that religion, in general, is something we are better off without.

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Old 3rd May 2019, 02:08 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
It has more to do with them being tribal and pragmatic and poor. Day to day life is simply easier for tribal groups in Afghanistan if they acquiesce to the Taliban. When you struggle just to survive day to day gander visions of a better future fade away and people only worry about the here and now.

Conflict and the heroin trade create by the Taliban all but insure these regions remain poor, and this poverty ultimately enables the Taliban to control the region. It’s a vicious circle that is almost impossible to break.

Sure, much of that is probably the case. But that can be changed quite quickly in almost all of those countries simply by removing the huge (and very negative) influence that religion is maintaining there, and replacing it with democracy and a more benevolent and fairer system of law similar to what we have in Europe, the USA and most other advanced democracies around the world (Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand etc.).

That could be done very quickly, and in fact very easily, were it not for the same old religious fanatical violent backlash that would inevitably raise it's extremely ugly head all over again.

It's really mostly religion that's keeping most of those Islamic countries in poverty. It's preventing any genuine modern system of education, especially for women and girls, it's preventing those countries from a genuine free voting democracy, and it's preventing those countries building a more prosperous stable economy through working with the West to agree really effective trade deals and technological advances (inc. advances in health, transport, communications etc.) …

… that could all be done, and with huge progress within the lifetime of most of the population in countries like Afghanistan … but so far any progress of that kind has been prevented by a religion which has held those nations in a vice-like grip for far too long.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 02:21 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post

Islam vs Islam is part of an age old inter-religious conflict that had mainly died due to nations forming along the divides, but then the west re-drew those borders and put groups hating each other in the same nations, and then looked the other way as those nations fell into dicatorships as that was better for business.
Is there any reason why these nations cannot redraw their boundaries- as, for example, Sudan has- or is this yet another example of a colonialist assumption that these countries are incapable of thinking for themselves and solving their own problems?
Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
Islam vs Christianity is more due to the fact that those nations that have made the biggest mess of the Islamic nations were (nominally) christian than any real previous animosity. It neatly ties into:
Islam vs Judaism. Yes, it made sense for the west to want to do something right for the Jews for a change after WW2. Unfortunately giving in to different religious zealots and evicting an existing population to make up for a crime they did not commit turned out to cause hatred. And the fact that the hated state is then propped up by (nominally) christian nations who are quite hypocritical in what actions they condone and condemn has also generated a bit of hatred.
Actually, the western countries, Britain and France especially, bent over backwards trying to appease the Muslim zealots.
The idea that an existing population was evicted to make room for a Jewish homeland is pure fiction.
Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
And guess what is good at channelling such hatred, religious zealotry, funded by a nation the west created by giving a truly hateful sect of Islam the control over tons of oil.
Saudi Arabia was created by the Sauds. (There's a clue in the name). It was not created by the west.
Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
Islam Hinduism/Buddhism comes mainly from the India/Pakistan conflict. You know, the one the British Empire fermented on purpose to weaken the independence movement in the Raj, and then kept alive and well and funded during the cold war, so that several generations in those countries grew up hating each other. As it turned out, again a bit of a mistake by our (great) grandfathers.
Nope. Wrong again. The British were opposed to Partition, as they realised it would lead to conflict. Jinnah was the one who wanted it.
Here is a list of Indo/Pak conflicts. Note that they managed to create these perfectly well on their own, without any western interference at all. Again, I take issue with your assumption that non-western countries are merely docile tools of the west.
Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
Islam secularism is the same war on secularism any religion in power wages against those that defy it. It's mainly found in the theocracies the west funds as buffers against China or by oil, but to be honest, what are the chances of an open atheist to become president of the US?
Can you list the theocracies that are funded by the west?

Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
Combine that with the fact that in Europe we decided it was best to import lots of unlettered, uneducated people from islamic nations to do crap work in the assumption they'd leave,
Seriously? This is one of the most patronising pieces of rubbish I have read on this forum for a long time. Where do you get this stuff from?

Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
which they did not and then because we ignored this population we allowed the same hateful theocracies to indoctrinate them, often fueled by very real discrimination and relegation to second class citizens
Citation needed.

Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
and it turns out that yes, in the past 80 or so years the Islamic world WAS actually ganged up on, for profit, for proxy wars, for misguided attempts to make the world a better place.
Utter bilge. The Iraq War was ruinously expensive for the US, and Afghanistan is also a bottomless pit of financial expenditure.
The west has bent over backwards to appease Muslim sentiment, and to claim that the Islamic world has been 'ganged up on' is a travesty of reality. Yes, the Iraq invasion was unjust, but the global protests against it led directly to a refusal to do the same in Syria. Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, the whole of North Africa (with the possible exception of Libya) have not in any way been 'ganged up on'. Neither have the 'istans' of Central Asia (with one obvious exception) been troubled at all by the west. This idea of Muslims as victims of western hatred is unfounded, and serves as a distraction from the very real human rights abuses, anti-semitism and intolerance that is widespread in the Muslim world.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 11:05 AM   #100
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IanS: Appreciate your detailed and well thought out post.

Originally Posted by IanS View Post
...I don't think it's really actually a legal "crime" (or even a “moral” crime)...
True, it's not a "legal" crime, but that's only because it is the victors who script the mainstream narrative.

But morally? Special pleading, surely? If a corporation ended up unnecessarily causing the death of literally thousands, wouldn't it and its executives be considered culpable? Certainly for damages, and very likely criminally as well?

Quote:
...it was not the general population of Afghanistan, or even of Iraq, who retaliated...
Does that matter? It is their misadventures that birthed Taliban and ISIS as we know them.

Quote:
...But for a great many of those people, the reason why they have carried out those sort of attacks, is that they have been religiously persuaded to do that...
Agreed. Minus the crazy religion, most probably wouldn't be willing to go for suicide.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 03:54 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
IanS: Appreciate your detailed and well thought out post.
I agree to this also.

Interesting that in his talk "Making Sense - What do Jihadists really want" Sam Harris quotes from the magazine Dabiq which can be considered the "voice" of Jihadists - well the IS ones anyway.

Seven reasons are listed detailing why we, in the West, are hated so fervently. Two of those reasons, 5 & 6, deal with the West invading and fighting Islamic forces, but they stress these are minor reasons compared to the main reason for their hatred - Because we are not followers of Islam.


Quote:
Agreed. Minus the crazy religion, most probably wouldn't be willing to go for suicide.

That is the drum isn't it? A religion that inspires such absolute belief is astounding and scary.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 05:41 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I agree to this also.
While I appreciate the depth of IanS's analysis, and have said as much, nevertheless, as you may have gathered, I disagree with much of it.

Quote:
Two of those reasons, 5 & 6, deal with the West invading and fighting Islamic forces, but they stress these are minor reasons compared to the main reason for their hatred - Because we are not followers of Islam.
That makes sense. Islam is crazy -- as are all religions. But if this reason were to go away, the more rational reason for "hatred" might then take center stage.

Quote:
A religion that inspires such absolute belief is astounding and scary.
I agree, Thor2. But then, surely in terms of de facto effect, having access to and actually using drones and missiles, as well as nukes, is far more devastating, and scary?
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Old 3rd May 2019, 06:01 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
While I appreciate the depth of IanS's analysis, and have said as much, nevertheless, as you may have gathered, I disagree with much of it.
I dare say I agree with more of it than you do.



Quote:
That makes sense. Islam is crazy -- as are all religions. But if this reason were to go away, the more rational reason for "hatred" might then take center stage.
Maybe, but to get rid of the religious motivation is worth a try.


Quote:
I agree, Thor2. But then, surely in terms of de facto effect, having access to and actually using drones and missiles, as well as nukes, is far more devastating, and scary?
Not too sure what you are saying here. I am certainly in favour of keeping nukes and such out of the hands of Jihadists. They say quite clearly in the Dabiq mag that they would use them with enthusiasm.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 06:22 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I dare say I agree with more of it than you do.
I gathered as much. Hence that clarification, in order not to inadvertently mislead you.

Quote:
Maybe, but to get rid of the religious motivation is worth a try.
Certainly! There in those lands, as well as everywhere else. (Pardon the whataboutism, but that is what would be the 'complete truth'.)

Quote:
Not too sure what you are saying here.
The West's drones and missiles and nukes are far more damaging to them than their fanaticism is to the West.

Quote:
They say quite clearly in the Dabiq mag that they would use them with enthusiasm.
Yet it is the West that has actually used these hellish instruments of destruction -- not they -- starting from Hiroshima and going on to flattening the desert with drones. Does it matter, ultimately, whether devilish but rational self-interest fuels that enthusiasm or some devilish crazy religion?
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Old 4th May 2019, 01:55 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
No, I am saying that due to historical, cultural and economic reasons the Islamic world has gotten the short end of the stick this century. Kinda like Africa did the century before.
In no way do I believe that this is intentional, but that does not change the fact that each of those things happened.

And yes, that does make it easy for those inclined to do so to use that resentment to suggest an actual plan and push for terrorism.
History has shown that, in similar circumstances, any religion can breed such terrorism and intolerance.
Claiming that it is somehow inherent in Islam and thus pushing those that do NOT follow the terrorist line of reasoning out of society does far more harm than good.
But the best way to combat such feelings is to at least understand where they come from and that they are the result of actions the west has made and maybe can correct.

If you don't think it was intentional from western democracies to keep Islamic nations with the “short end of the stick” for 100 years, then what do you think is the reason why most Islamic countries have not progressed or succeeded (or however they would describe that situation) in the way anyone (who?) might have wished for, or not progressed in the same way as many western democracies have (if that is indeed what anyone thinks of as success for those democracies)?

When the Taliban were ruling Afghanistan, they were not remotely interested in any of the things that people in the west normally regard as all the hallmarks of a successful nation or all the normal benefits of a more prosperous society. Their goal was something very different. What they were trying to achieve was a far simpler existence for everyone, creating a lifestyle that was closer to the way devout religious people lived at the time of Mohamed.

When IS established their Caliphate in Syria, they were imposing that ancient way of religious life even more strictly than the Taliban. With fundamentalist groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria, they even named themselves to make unmistakable that western-style education was forbidden to the extent being punishable by death.

When groups like Al-Qaeda and IS and Boko Haram (and numerous others) issue videos explaining their intentions and their aims for the nations where they are fighting, they never mention anything about creating better hospitals, better schools, better transport infrastructure, a more stable economy, more advances in science or industry & technology etc. Nothing like that is ever mentioned as relevant at all. They never say that the reason they are fighting to overthrow the present leaders is because those present leaders have not given those advances to the people. They have zero interest in any of that. Their entire mission statement is just to rule strictly according to the Koran and the Hadith's, and to impose that by extreme violence.

The obvious point I am making above, is not to disagree with you, but just to point out that the entire aim of the Islamic fundamentalists has been to intentionally reject most of the factors that have made western democracies into the sort of countries where most of the population would agree that the quality of their lives has been hugely improved over the last 100 years (or across any other time span that you prefer to use) – although we all complain about all sorts of things in the USA, in Europe, in Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia etc., most people are honest enough to recognise that we have benefitted greatly from huge improvements in health care, social care and social support, technological advances too numerous to mention, better education, better legal systems and legal support etc etc. … almost everything in the democratic nations has been a huge advancing improvement for the vast majority of the people …

… but where Islamic countries have been either taken over by hard-line Islamic religious fundamentalists, or where they have become disrupted chaotic war zone's due to Islamic fundamentalist violence, or even just without the wars where those Muslim nations have been ruled by religious dictators &/or military dictators (often along the lines of ethnic divides), those countries have seen relatively less progress in those areas of education, medical care, transport infrastructure, legal support, social care, technological advances etc.

None of which is to say that Islamic countries will always “fail” in that way (if you call that “failure”) entirely due to the grip that religion almost always has in those places, because afaik before the current violence all started, Syria (for example) was regarded as quite westernised and with quite a lot of freedom for people, and especially the younger generation where (for example) I recall a BBC TV documentary that talked to young people in Syria and they were sitting around talking in cafes' and bars and those scenes and their lives and what they said and what they talked about could have been mistaken for a film shot in any European capital. Now, under the surface things in Syria may have been quite different for many of the people. And of course the ruling Assad family might always have been a major problem. But I am just accepting that countries in the middle east and elsewhere are not inevitably all dangerous war-torn disaster zones being ruined by fundamentalist religion … however, overall, too many of them, are being ruined by their religious fundamentalism.


Or to put all that far more simply – I think they need to get rid of religion (any religion), and govern by democracy. And to to do all of that, I think the key is education (particularly scientific education).

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Old 4th May 2019, 02:36 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
If you don't think it was intentional from western democracies to keep Islamic nations with the “short end of the stick” for 100 years, then what do you think is the reason why most Islamic countries have not progressed or succeeded (or however they would describe that situation) in the way anyone (who?) might have wished for, or not progressed in the same way as many western democracies have (if that is indeed what anyone thinks of as success for those democracies)?

When the Taliban were ruling Afghanistan, they were not remotely interested in any of the things that people in the west normally regard as all the hallmarks of a successful nation or all the normal benefits of a more prosperous society. Their goal was something very different. What they were trying to achieve was a far simpler existence for everyone, creating a lifestyle that was closer to the way devout religious people lived at the time of Mohamed.

When IS established their Caliphate in Syria, they were imposing that ancient way of religious life even more strictly than the Taliban. With fundamentalist groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria, they even named themselves to make unmistakable that western-style education was forbidden to the extent being punishable by death.

When groups like Al-Qaeda and IS and Boko Haram (and numerous others) issue videos explaining their intentions and their aims for the nations where they are fighting, they never mention anything about creating better hospitals, better schools, better transport infrastructure, a more stable economy, more advances in science or industry & technology etc. Nothing like that is ever mentioned as relevant at all. They never say that the reason they are fighting to overthrow the present leaders is because those present leaders have not given those advances to the people. They have zero interest in any of that. Their entire mission statement is just to rule strictly according to the Koran and the Hadith's, and to impose that by extreme violence.

The obvious point I am making above, is not to disagree with you, but just to point out that the entire aim of the Islamic fundamentalists has been to intentionally reject most of the factors that have made western democracies into the sort of countries where most of the population would agree that the quality of their lives has been hugely improved over the last 100 years (or across any other time span that you prefer to use) – although we all complain about all sorts of things in the USA, in Europe, in Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia etc., most people are honest enough to recognise that we have benefitted greatly from huge improvements in health care, social care and social support, technological advances too numerous to mention, better education, better legal systems and legal support etc etc. … almost everything in the democratic nations has been a huge advancing improvement for the vast majority of the people …

… but where Islamic countries have been either taken over by hard-line Islamic religious fundamentalists, or where they have become disrupted chaotic war zone's due to Islamic fundamentalist violence, or even just without the wars where those Muslim nations have been ruled by religious dictators &/or military dictators (often along the lines of ethnic divides), those countries have seen relatively less progress in those areas of education, medical care, transport infrastructure, legal support, social care, technological advances etc.

None of which is to say that Islamic countries will always “fail” in that way (if you call that “failure”) entirely due to the grip that religion almost always has in those places, because afaik before the current violence all started, Syria (for example) was regarded as quite westernised and with quite a lot of freedom for people, and especially the younger generation where (for example) I recall a BBC TV documentary that talked to young people in Syria and they were sitting around talking in cafes' and bars and those scenes and their lives and what they said and what they talked about could have been mistaken for a film shot in any European capital. Now, under the surface things in Syria may have been quite different for many of the people. And of course the ruling Assad family might always have been a major problem. But I am just accepting that countries in the middle east and elsewhere are not inevitably all dangerous war-torn disaster zones being ruined by fundamentalist religion … however, overall, too many of them, are being ruined by their religious fundamentalism.


Or to put all that far more simply – I think they need to get rid of religion (any religion), and govern by democracy. And to to do all of that, I think the key is education (particularly scientific education).
I'm not saying there is a single reason. Or a singe solution.

In a lot of cases the Islamic theocracies could only find ground AFTER other attempts at reform were destroyed or countered, but in each country that is different.
In Iran the theocracy was founded after several internal attempts are a far more nationalistic reform were countered, often with western support as those reforms claimed that Iran should be able to tax its oil and get part of the profit.
In Iraq and Libya a dictatorship that had already removed all forms of moderation and democratic institutions was removed without the effort to actually re-institute these, combined with the fact that the nations were built out of different people, which has led to the current civil wars.
In Afghanistan a reasonably stable situation was destroyed by a proxy cold war, and once the Soviets retreated noone was willing to assist in rebuilding, leading to warlords, after which the Taliban at least appeared to bring some from of order.
In Saudi Arabia a theocracy was allowed to found by the UK and France as they were willing to fight the Ottomans and ever since they have found the oil everything they do is ok.

And I fully agree, in each of those cases, education and democracy would be the way to remove fundamentalism. But, in order to do that the west does have to be willing to actually aid in that. And in some cases that would mean invading, occupying and paying for the full re-haul of a country while instituting the education and repairing the democratic institutions and then leaving, with the distinct possibility that the new nation will NOT be grateful and maybe take up trade ties with China or Russia.
Those are 30+ years of massive investments and it will cost quite a lot of dead.

Or, we leave them to figure it out themselves, hoping things will stabilize, which will cost a lot less, but does bring refugees and will (at least in the near future) give rise to some more terrorism.
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Old 4th May 2019, 01:49 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Having just listened to Sam Harris podcast: "What Do Jihadists Really Want?", I find myself struggling to see a clear way forward for us in the West, as Islam becomes more and more prevalent.

Sam has given this talk before as he reads directly from an issue of the IS publication Dabiq, but has decided to precent it again in the wake of the recent bombings in Sri Lanka.

Reading the words of Jihardists Sam manages to dispel any misconceptions about the real motives driving the conflict. The words "We will never stop hating you until you embrace Islam" are a daunting excerpt.

Once again, (as was found in the investigations following 9/11), we find well of and educated, middle to upper class, muslims as the perpetrators and suicidal bombers. This must mute the claims of those who continue to bleat that social disadvantage is the motivation. The question about the isolation of Jihardist extremists from mainstream Muslims must also be brought into question.

Sam reads the words of a woman convert to Islam, who is exulted that her infant son was killed and hence martyred in the conflict. How can we begin to deal with people who have this degree of belief? It makes the most fanatical of Christian devotees look limp by comparison.

The best solurtion I see, if we think especially at medium and long run, is to free/create the rational elements in Islam, I may sound again retrograde for some but unfortuntely Islam does not have yet anywhere a viable class of freethinkers and liberals, which to strongly check the Islamic dogma from inside.

Continuing with the same 'small steps reforms' approach from the last 70 years (or even supporting downright the elements who would not change anything or very little in Islam as some 'progressives' do) won't solve much I'm afraid, indeed History shows quite clearly that secularism (the legacy of colonialism, far from the Western standards anyway), even in the most modern islamic countries, has been severely dented, Islam tends to regain its former dominant status basically everywhere (by the way Ataturk's imposition of secularism via brute force, under the pressure of colonialists, would be basically impossible in the politically correct climate of today; unfortuinately, as history shows, even such a move is far from being enough to prevent the strong return of Islam in the public area).

A real breakthrough cannot be done without non-trivial reforms I'm afraid, involving also a strong, yet fair, criticism of islam from our part (spearheaded by Western Academia, today a centre of obscurantism about Islam). We should not be too much concerned with 'but this means that Islam becomes somethig else', the problem is not whether Islam is compatible or not with secularism and democracy (mainly it is not) but that it has to become so; this even if in its case it is very diffcult to 'dilute' it in the way Christians and even Jews did centuries ago with their religions (due to its specific nature).

Today we refuse to see what we see via replacing all with a political grid prior to the event*, this can never lead to understanding, even less to solutions on long run. I would say there is no long term solution in this case without solving this problem first.


* the West is guilty, rational critics of Islam are automatically 'bigots' if they cross beyond the 'wisdom' of today (when in fact they only exercise the long gained right to criticize religion) etc
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Old 4th May 2019, 02:41 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
We can only discuss Sam Harris if we look at his entire body of work. We can only discuss Islam if we discuss all religions. It’s totally consistent. Now if we could just get rid of these pesky sub forums and thread titles.

It's interesting the way these diversions happen on threads such as these.

So I mention the name Sam Harris in my introduction to this topic, as Sam is quoting from the IS publication Dabiq in his talk. Dabiq is the mouthpiece of IS and arguably could be considered that of Islamic Jihadism generally, so what comes from its pages is most relevant. It is the content of this magazine that is relevant and of concern, and the authority behind the argument that radical Islam is a threat.

So then the argument is diverted into one about how much of a jerk Sam Harris is, for a number of reasons, and all kinds of crap thrown at him. The disturbing part is that the one, or ones doing this, think they have scored something.
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Old 4th May 2019, 02:58 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by metacristi View Post
The best solurtion I see, if we think especially at medium and long run, is to free/create the rational elements in Islam, I may sound again retrograde for some but unfortuntely Islam does not have yet anywhere a viable class of freethinkers and liberals, which to strongly check the Islamic dogma from inside.

Continuing with the same 'small steps reforms' approach from the last 70 years (or even supporting downright the elements who would not change anything or very little in Islam as some 'progressives' do) won't solve much I'm afraid, indeed History shows quite clearly that even in the most modern islamic countries secularism (the legacy of colonialism, far from the Western standards anyway) has been severely dented, Islam tends to regain its former dominant status basically everywhere (by the way Ataturk's imposition of secularism via brute force would be basically impossible today; unfortuinately, as history shows, even such a move is far from being enough to prevent the strong return of Islam in the public area).

A real breakthrough cannot be done without non-trivial reforms I'm afraid, involving also a strong, yet fair, criticism of islam from our part (spearheaded by Western Academia, today a centre of obscurantism about Islam). We should not be too much concerned with 'but this means that Islam becomes somethig else', the problem is not whether Islam is compatible or not with secularism and democracy (mainly it is not) but that it has to become so; this even if in its case it is very diffcult to 'dilute' it in the way Christians and even Jews did centuries ago with their religions (due to its specific nature).

Today we refuse to see what we see via replacing all with a political grid prior to the event*, this can never lead to understanding, even less to solutions on long run. I would say there is no long term solution in this case without solving this problem first.


* the West is guilty, rational critics of Islam are automatically 'bigots' if they cross beyond the 'wisdom' of today (when in fact they only exercise the long gained right to criticize religion) etc

Thank you for your "on topic" post metacristi. I am reading the publication you linked thank you.
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Old 4th May 2019, 03:39 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Thank you for your "on topic" post metacristi. I am reading the publication you linked thank you.

Martin Kramer criticizes the Saidian (from Edward Said) impregnated Islamic studies, totally cut off from reality, but one can criticize also the old Orientalists* in some aspects, there where they were shy to push the logic till the end or where they preferred to advocate myths (for example they popularized the idea that anti-Jew attitudes do not have a religious basis in Islam, Islam has little in common with modern Islamism, Islam is not authoritarian, the religious motif was seldom the primary cause of islamic conquests etc, not ultimately they helped Saidians in the 1980s to shut up those who advocate the idea that dhimma did not work that well, still at least a legitimate direction of research). I may understand such an attitude in the 50s or 60s (let 'muslims 'clean their own rubbish', let's be patient, the same attitude shown toward Japan or Germany by the way) but not in the 80s and 90s.


* by the way the term Orientalist was thrown in disrepute by the cultural relativists who conquered Western Academia in the last 35-40 years, before it was a genuine term, indicating bona fide scholars; the reality is of course that the old Orientalists are much more closer to the Truth than the Saidians of today
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Old 5th May 2019, 04:14 AM   #111
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To summarize, the whole field of Orientalism / Middle Eastern studies after WW2 has been on a shaky foundation, taken unfortunately to the extreme today by the Saidian so called 'post colonial' studies (I'm afraid not everything colonialists / Orientalists writing before WW2 strongly criticized about Islam is rubbish). But of course it is much more preferable to have the situation before the 1978-1980 when at least rational dissent in Academia was much more tolerated, there were actually plenty of scholars who did not agree with the paradigms, rather favorable to Islam, of the day. Finally all I personally defend is a return to this pre-Saidian era when there was a much better chance to recover the right way following spectacular failures. This is a common sense approach, those accustomed with the philosophy of Science know well that Science has a non-algorithmic rationality, rational dissent can only help progress. Nothing good to expect if we fail here.
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Old 6th May 2019, 02:37 PM   #112
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Disturbing news article about muslims being vilified and threatened in Australia.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-...ences/11058582


A professor is suggesting students be taught about different religions in primary school:

Quote:
As part of the project, Professor Anna Hickey-Moody will be leading the design of primary school education packs to teach students about different faiths with hopes it could reduce racism and religious vilification in future generations.

However there is limited support it seems:

Quote:
But she said she was finding that there were fewer primary schools than she expected willing to support the project.
"[The schools are] saying, for example, 'We already do work around multiculturalism for the council. We don't need to do anymore work around multiculturalism'," she said.

I think the professor is on the right track. Religion, as a history subject, should be taught in schools. If kids learn about the dodgy history of religions, how one borrows from another and the similarity between them, then the emphasis on difference will diminish. Hopefully the conviction of the truth of one particular brand will diminish also.
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Old 6th May 2019, 03:34 PM   #113
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Once again, why do some on the left cut Islam slack they do not cut for any other religion?
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Old 6th May 2019, 04:53 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Once again, why do some on the left cut Islam slack they do not cut for any other religion?
I would assume that different people would have different reasons, so I would appreciate seeing actual examples of that happening to suggest anything. As far as I can tell, all religions get cut a lot of slack.
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Old 6th May 2019, 05:11 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Once again, why do some on the left cut Islam slack they do not cut for any other religion?
Because it gets more irrational hate from the right?
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Old 6th May 2019, 05:45 PM   #116
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Quote:
Excellent numbers, but you've fallen into the trap that atheism is responsible for millions of deaths.
So the flaw in my reasoning is the same as the flaw in the OP's? What an odd coincidence!
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Old 6th May 2019, 06:42 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
A professor is suggesting students be taught about different religions in primary school:

However there is limited support it seems:
Just as well - terrible idea.

Fortunately, the people who will cry most about it are the religious themselves. If you go to church and sing songs of praise in honour of the one true god, you can't have the kids learning about 50 other gods.

Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Once again, why do some on the left cut Islam slack they do not cut for any other religion?
Like Arthwollipot, I'd like to see examples of that happening before I'd bother commenting.

It could be what I see as balance you see as slack, so let us know.

Cheers

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
So the flaw in my reasoning is the same as the flaw in the OP's? What an odd coincidence!
Better than a coincidence - I've been disagreeing with him as well.
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Old 7th May 2019, 02:03 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post

A professor is suggesting students be taught about different religions in primary school:


However there is limited support it seems:

Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Just as well - terrible idea.

Wow! Just like that you completely demolish my argument.

We have yet to hear any ideas that you may offer on how to tackle the Islam problem. We just hear some white noise suggesting other issues are just as bad or worse so ....... we just sit on our hands I suppose.
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Old 7th May 2019, 04:32 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Wow! Just like that you completely demolish my argument.

We have yet to hear any ideas that you may offer on how to tackle the Islam problem. We just hear some white noise suggesting other issues are just as bad or worse so ....... we just sit on our hands I suppose.
From what I can tell, The Atheist's plan to deal with the Islam problem is to stop telling kids that it exists. I may be mischaracterising his position here, but I don't think so.
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Old 7th May 2019, 04:39 PM   #120
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“The Islam problem.”

Good job, Rupert!
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